Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira Grau, Jul 6, 2022.
And they have a great future with the baby
That´s the plan
Ilona placed the dress into the suitcase, then took the next one. During her time on Qaelan the planets heated climate had caused her buy several new ones. Ones that didn`t have the prude tightness of her usual ones, but rather provided some cooling one way or another.
Several weeks had passed since the attacks on the city hall, several weeks since Elena and Ulrika had left, since the days of worrying about Kaiya Adrimetrums life until she had finally been out of danger, and now Ilona was preparing to leave herself. She had a good feeling that the council she and Elena had helped building would be able to see to the planets continued recovery. Some had suggested prolonging the military rule after the attacks but in the end that would have meant admitting defeat in the face of terrorism.
"Ambassador Malek," a polite voice had Ilona turn around.
She knew this voice, and following the protocol she gave the rightful heir to the Galactic Empire a polite nod. "Regent Palpatine."
The old man gave her a smile, "you can call me Maximilian, ambassador. Regent is no longer my title anyway."
Ilona returned it, "only if you call me Ilona. My stint as ambassador is over as well, for now at least." She run a hand over her tank top covered belly, which now began to show a bit.
"You are going in parental leave?"
Ilona nodded, "for a while at least, yeah. But I do intend in returning to politics at a later date." She made a pause. "I actually grew up with my own dad a Senator and my mother the military attaché so I hope my son can take it as well."
"The sad fate of the children of professional politicians, my own children went through the same," the old man said, and an expression of sadness went over his face.
"You have children?" Ilona asked.
"Had..." his gaze lost hers for a moment, "war tore them away from me one by one."
"I am sorry," Ilona replied, swallowing hard.
The old man gave her a glance, "what happened, happened, I still have a granddaughter, Camille, maybe I can right with her what I failed with my children."
"Is she the reason you stepped down from your position?" Ilona continued, intrigued by these revelations.
"In part," Maximilian nodded slowly. "But... I think my time is just over. The time of the Empire in and of itself. If it even ever had a time where it was the best choice for the galaxy."
"I highly doubt that." Ilona said firmly. "Even if Jagged Fel and his consorts seem to think that it is now needed more than ever." Only a few days ago Fel had spoken on the holonet about his desire to 'modernize' and 'improve' the Empire and his goal, to be a new Emperor.
"That to be honest worries me," the old man shook his head, "which is why I left my post, so Cassandra Torin might conclude the regency and move us towards a better future, together."
"Cassandra is the Regent now?" Ilona asked, that did surprise her.
"Yes, she has the smarts and skills for it, and the idealism my generation has long since lost..." He made a pause. "But that isn`t why I came here, Ilona. I wanted to personally thank you for saving my life. We didn`t have an opportunity for that back then." Laric had immediately decided to move the regent away from Qaelan, less than an hour after the attacks had been stopped, and so he had been gone by the time Ilona had awoken again.
"Well, I just did what everyone would have done," Ilona said firmly.
"It's more than most would have done," the old man replied. "And only because of you was I able to ever see my granddaughter again, and secure Miss Torin to have a stable transition into power. For that I offer you a boon. If there is anything you want off me, just name it."
Ilona looked at him for a while, then she said, "I would have asked you to step down as regent and move your nation towards a democracy, but given you are already doing that..."
The old man gave her a patient smile, "that is merely the conclusion of a journey I´ve been on my entire life." He made a pause, "when my cousin offered me this place of power, to serve as his Governor of the Colonial Territories, I saw it as a great opportunity. An opportunity to do good for the galaxy. And at the start I think I achieved some of it, I gave women equal rights, and even improved the standing off non humans. I had great dreams... turning the Southwest into an enlightened and open monarchy. To serve as an example for the rest of the Empire, to offer a better future under my guidance..."
"Well given that Jagged Fel needed to be pressured in accepting women as equals you are already winning some points over him for that." Ilona smiled.
Maximilian nodded, "make no mistake Ilona. Not my mistake, I believed I was doing good, and maybe at times I even did. But I used that to justify doing what was necessary to keep my rule. I had rivals arrested, used people as pawns like poor Lieutenant Duran and when the Iron Alliance came I fought fire with fire...." He made a pause. "Sometimes, when talking to people like Laric, seeing their insane dedication, I realize how much damage I and the Empire caused."
"You took away his childhood, turned him from a boy into a weapon," Ilona said, remembering Laric´s room, the room of a child, a child forced to leave his life behind to become a soldier.
"Yes," the old man lowered his head, "him and thousands more. Seeing how Jagged Fel now wants to do the same again... It worries me more than anything else." For a moment silence fell between them. Then he looked up again, "which is why people like you are so important."
"Like me?" Ilona laughed. "I am a nobody compared to Jagged Fel."
"Oh don`t underestimate yourself, Ilona. You, Colonel Grau, Ms Kyr, Cassandra, you represent a better future, both within the coalition and outside of it. The coalition can be a symbol, a symbol that democracy can work, without turning into a corrupt mess like the old Republic and Galactic Alliance did. But too succeed it would need people to lead it, people like you."
"You are now the second one to suggest that," Ilona said with a smile. "Maybe... if it's the will of the people for me to lead. But... I´m just a small woman, child of two up jumped soldiers, grandchild of simple factory workers."
"My cousin was a simple man himself..." Maximilian said with a grin, "a pathetic little egomaniac. There was nothing great about him, and yet he changed history. You are a woman of integrity and wisdom, why wouldn`t you be able to do the same?"
These words, spoken about the Emperor made Ilona chuckle. "Guess he wasn`t a family man either?"
"No... you can`t imagine the life day dinners." Maximilian smiled. "He already got insane when I called him Cosinga... always demanding me to just call him Palpatine..." The old man shook his head, "I kinda wonder how people could ever fall for him..."
"For the same reason they are now falling for Jagged Fel," Ilona said. "Pretty promises, and playing on the old populist fear mongering. Telling people that they need a firm hand, that security is worth it to give up their freedom, that the good old days of the Empire can return." She was quiet for a moment, then she smiled, "I´ve decided on the boon you have offered me. I want to interview you, not in private, but for the entire galaxy to see. We will talk about your cousin, your time in the Empire, and as Regent, and I want you to tell the galaxy what you have just told me, and to denounce the Imperial Remnant."
Maximilian looked up to her, "it's been ages since I last stepped into the spotlight, but you are right and it is a good choice. So good in fact that I will do it without considering it as your favor."
Ilona laughed, "you really don`t want me to get that done over with wouldn`t you? But fair enough." She made a pause. "You really need me meet your granddaughter one day, so that I might have a glance at the future ruler of the galaxy myself." She gave him a twinkle.
"Of course, who knows, maybe you become her inspiration to one day take that title, via the ballot box." The old man smiled. "Little Camy is all that is left to me and my wife... she keeps us going." He made a pause, "one day I have to tell her the truth, the truth on what her grandfather did, once she is old enough to understand. I am grateful you gave me that opportunity."
Ilona gave him a nod, "that´s what good girls like me do. Though..." she gave him a grin and lowered her voice. "You folks don`t happen to have some of those sexy pinup outfits laying around anymore? Those worn by the girls on the Stormtrooper recruitment posters? I think I know someone who would appreciate his wife dominating him in bed wearing one of these."
The old man gave her a knowing smile, "so much for being a good girl. But I should be able to offer you the entire set." He gave her a twinkle. "Not sure if those posters have a future though."
"I am sure Ulrika would volunteer to pose for them we you asked her," Ilona laughed. "But hey, as long as we add some scantily clad boys I don`t have a problem with that."
Maximilian raised his hands, "I will leave that for your generation to decide then." He made another pause, "it just makes me happy, despite all the suffering the war brought us, to see the chances it brought as well. The chance of a better future, it's such a shame it took the war to unify the Southwest. Don`t waste that chance Ilona."
"I won`t Maximilian, I definitely won`t."
Great discussion between her and Maximilian Palpatine