Title: Defenders of the Outer Rim Author: Anedon Timeframe: About 65 ABY Characters: Mira Grau, Camilla Palpatine and other OCs Genre: Friendship, Adventure Summary: Twenty Years after the Victory over the Iron Alliance, a new generation of heroes face new threats at the edge of the Coalition Space. This is the first story of the second Generation of my OCs, contnuing the story around the coalition now past the last Legends Novels... Beth is the OC of a good friend of mine. One "Ain`t this a worthy dinner for a Jedi Knight just as you?" The red haired pirate queen asked, raising a cup in her hand an giving a seductive smile. "I can`t deny that I haven`t been treated to far worse hospitality in the past, certainly the most enjoyable capitulation I enjoyed so far," Mira Grau admitted, giving the other woman a polite smile. "Yet I am not used to being in chains during it." She raised her handcuffed hands. The cuffs gave her enough room to eat and drink without problems, but they were there, as was the chain´s keeping her feet tied to the chair. "A safety measure, for a girl as dangerous as you," the criminals eyes flickering to Mira lightsaber for a moment. "Shouldn`t you be chains as well then?" Mira asked, "being a pirate queen and all?" Red Beth, the pirate queen of the Stega System, had pale skin and red hair, shaved on one half of her skull and left long on the other. It reminded Mira a bit of how Hilda Jerec an old friend of her aunts had worn her hair in her youth. Bethany had taken off her leather jacket, revealing a tight cropped tank top and a taught stomach, which nicely complimented her long legs in her tight dark pants. "Hey, I am your host... need to refill your drinks and stuff," Beth smiled. "Can`t fully deny that either..." Mira returned the smile and leaned back on her chair for a moment, enjoying the impressive sight above. The entire roof of the dining room was made from Transparisteel giving away the view into the endless void outside of the space station. Stega wasn`t a system known for its natural beauty, but it for sure could become one in the long therm. Filled with Asteroid fields and space fogs its strong sun drove back the darkness of space and filled the system with a comforting glow. "Admiring my realm?" Beth asked as she took another bite from the large Nerf steak in front of her. "It´s beautiful, yet not as beautiful as its queen." Mira replied, playing the pirates game along. Stega might be nice to look at, especially from here, its central space station, but the primary value of the system lay in its rich mineral fields, fields harvested by asteroid miners, supplying the Coalition, but since Beth and her pirates had taken over the tolls had increased to no end. "Awww, you know how to make a lady blush as well," Beth said, chuckling. "When I had known all Jedi were as polite and as hot as you I would have declared war against your order years ago." Mira laughed, "you may not like the outcome of such a war." "Is that a threat," Beth looked up, the smile gone from her face. "Do you take it as one?" Mira asked, completely relaxed and with all the politeness of a woman adopted into nobility. "No... Aren`t we on a date hun?" The pirate replied, clearly trying to keep herself calm. "If you call it this way." The Jedi replied. "But in that case, if we go on a date, we should be honest with each other shouldn't we?" "Of course," the pirate woman grinned playfully. "It's the first step in any healthy relationship." "Okay," Mira still smiled, "then I first should let you know that I'm not just a simple Jedi Knight, I'm not a full Jedi Master yet, But have a spot on the council." Beth looked at her for a moment, the revelation clearly having given her pause. "You... on the council... but... aren`t you too young for that?" "Some would say that, and they might have a point," Mira admitted, completely nonchalant. "But as the personally appointed ambassador of the Coalition to the Jedi order exceptions can be made. And even if the last exception like that was Anakin Skywalker that shouldn`t discourage practices like that don`t you think?" "So you... you are related to Ulrika Grau?" Beth asked, trying her best to keep her growing worries hidden. "I am, she is my adopted aunt." Mira smiled. "Honey, that quadruples your value as a hostage," the Pirate Queen said, clearly trying her best to sound confident and in control. "Maybe, but I thought this was a date, not a kidnapping?" Mira asked. "It... it is of course," Beth squirmed. "We were talking about honesty, you can ask me anything." Mira threw a look her chrono, as fun as it was torment Bethany, she knew she needed to go ahead with the next part of her schedule. "I could ask you, but then I feel I would only hear the story you want to tell, the lies you have been spinning in the last few years wouldn`t I?" Mira asked, her smile turning into a knowing grin. "What do you tell the people about yourself? That you are the bastard daughter of Keran Sarne? I actually know Keran´s kids and let me tell you that they don`t resemble you in the slightest." Her aunt had been the one to take Sarne´s kids captive, and then instantly gotten herself in trouble trying to protect them from some overzealous Imperials wanting to execute them for their fathers crimes. The two of them had eventually been granted Asylum on Eriadu and provided many useful information in return. "I... that´s just a silly cover..." The pirate queen stumbled over her words again, giving away once more just how little she could actually back up the fearsome facade she had build. "You have actually been born the child of poor factory workers here on Stega, on one of the smaller mining outposts to be precise. I think it's called Stega Iron Works... Terrible place, it makes Eriadu sound like a garden paradise, the life expectancy is barely sixty..." She made a pause to eat the final bite of her steak, while eyeing Beth with a smile across the dinner table. "You also claim you have killed your first man with twelve. That is a lie, you committed your first crime at age sixteen and it was a simple shoplift... you stole a bottle of Corellian Ale nothing special..." "How... How do you know?" Beth eyes widened but the fact that even know there was little hostility in her voice and she didn`t grab her blaster told Mira that she had made the right decision. She ignored the pirates question as she continued, "what followed was an entire series of small time crime, a bottle of liquor here a few Cerditchips there, nothing diabolical. This was also the time you began form your gang, who are of course not hardened ex mercenaries but similar poor worker girls such as you... and of course you weren`t involved in any massacres across the Southwest, you were working hard in factories and committed a few thefts afterwards." "I... I didn`t spread these misinformation's, that wasn`t..." "It was, in fact it's how you eventually prepared this takeover. You and your girls simply took this place, without much bloodshed, simply by acting all confident and dangerous, spreading your fake stories about how bloodthirsty you actually were. You scared the people into obedience, relying on the fact they didn`t know you were actually just a poor workers kid, and not the terror of the Southwest..." Mira smiled. "I must say that is quite impressive. But it surely wasn`t enough to stay in power was it?" "I... how... who ratted me out? Say her name and I will kill her!" Beth screamed. "No you won`t, you couldn`t risk turning your gang onto each other," Mira replied calmly. "I guess keeping them together was the greatest of your achievements so far... but were where we, yeah you began to take over the sector with your girls, terrorizing traders, and battling other gangs to keep them out of Stega. Guess if nothing else you know how to pilot starships." "Thanks, I suspect you do too?" Beth said, clinging herself at this compliment to hide how utterly thrown of balance she was. "Somewhat..." Mira said with smiling. "But I usually leave the piloting to others, speaking of which..." she gestured at the large panorama window above them. Where it had shown nothing but empty space before now it was filled... by two Titan class Battle cruisers. Beth´s face had become utterly pale. Now she wasn`t the strong and fearsome pirate queen of Stega anymore, now she was just a girl in her mid twenties. A girl utterly scared at the sight in front of her. "You... you... I..." she stumbled across her words even more and Mira noticed how she had begun to shiver. She grabbed her comlink, "Lindzy, get the defenses online!" She screamed and her voice was shrill. "She won`t be able to do that..." Mira said, taking a moment to finish her drink, then she continued. "As I said, I am here to discuss a capitulation... I might just been a bit imprecise before... I was talking about yours." "Mine..." Beth´s voice gave away complete panic. "I think you overestimating your odds, you are here, in chains... my hostage." Now she grabbed her blaster and pointed it at Mira, but her hand was shaking. "Right, that inconvenience." Mira twisted her hand and used the force to snap her hand and leg cuffs open. "Now where were we?" Before Beth could answer her com awoke and a woman with dyed hair appeared, "boss our defenses are down, someone cut the energy!" "You know, for such a hard nose pirate queen you are quite trusting," Mira said. "Never even thought that the 'bounty hunter' who brought you your Jedi captive might be more than she seems to be?" The pirate ruler of Stega was close to a complete breakdown at this point, breathing quicker and quicker as her body shivered. A warmer smile appeared on Mira´s face. "You know I think it's time to discuss that surrender now." "I... I" Beth muttered, "I will shoot you!" But her hand shivered and there was defeat in her eyes. "Thing is, for a pirate you weren`t actually half as bad as most," Mira said. "You coup was largely bloodless and you were fair to the people, well somewhat at least. Thus if you surrender you only have to face a few years or so in prison." Her voice became softer. "Beth, you aren`t an evil girl, you are more the product of your environment... This doesn`t have to end in bloodshed." She could have used the force to easily pull the blaster from the pirates hand or to use a mind trick to make her comply. But Mira knew that this was an important decision for her opponent, a decision she needed to make herself, not be forced into it. "I am not going to prison!" Beth yelled. "The alternative is to die..." Mira said, "even if you managed to kill me, there is nowhere to run." She made a pause, "and think of your crew. They would face shorter sentences if you surrender now. Do you want to destroy their lives as well? If so then pull the trigger, but know that if a battle happens the people on this station will get into the crossfire..." This was her last card, her last argument, her last attempt to appeal to reason in this young woman. A long silence followed, then Beth lowered her blaster, place it on the table and raised her hands. "I surrender." She was shivering, but had made her decision. "Then order your girls to do the same." Mira ordered. Shaking Beth grabbed her comlink, "this is Beth. They took down our defenses, there is no point in fighting, we need to surrender." Some argued, some complied, it took a while but eventually Beth convinced them. And as bloodless as it had begun the rule of Beth´s gang over Stega ended. "There, they look much better on you than me," Mira said with a grin as she used the chains to cuff Beth´s hands behind her back. The pirate leader was weeping softly. "Awww don`t feel bad, you made the right choice, just a shame we can`t have that date you mentioned just yet." Mira said, with a twinkle. Beth looked up to her and a weak smile appeared on her face, "just needed to ask officer... but I will take you on it once I´m out of prison." "Looking forward to it already," Mira said. Then she pulled out her comlink. "Yes Camy I got her. Thanks for your help with the defenses. I told you this could be solved in a simple conversation."