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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Hull 721, plot arc the second

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Eleventh Century Remnant
PostPosted: 2011-03-20 04:58pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
Posts: 2293
Location: Scotland
You know that typesetting is my least favourite thing; that entire segment is basically a soliloquy, and I ahd forgotten that that, start each paragraph with a new quote mark, rule even existed.

I got carried away with the content, which- thank you Vianca, but- seems to have got a bit lost in the punctuation issue.

Incidentally, for reasons of being badgered and hounded about legibility before, what I've ended up doing is breaking up each paragraph into it's lines, which are now two to three lines long. Single line separation is, effectively, not a change of paragraph. Paragraphs are marked by the double spacing.

I'll go back and add a few inverted commas, if that's what seems to be necessary. Might have to wait for a fuller editing job though, because on reflection that's not what I think is wrong with it. Rafaella and Aleph-3 and the rest of the squad sort of blur away as I went into that sequence, and I really should go and spend a little time in their heads as they're listening to this. Could be a couple of days.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-03-21 01:25am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22442
ECR, I for one am willing to help with the job of typesetting for this stuff, if you like. I'm one of nature's compulsive proofreaders...

EDIT: Hours later, I really got time to read it.

Very solid, any petty comments about the typesetting aside. Looking forward to seeing viewpoints or questions or the like inserted. Though if you remove anything substantial, I'd like to see the new version in a new post- like with that first big Lennart/Adannan clash, where you posted a second 'true' version of the confrontation later on.
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Count Chocula
PostPosted: 2011-03-23 01:52am 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2008-08-19 01:34pm
Posts: 1821
Location: You've asked me for my sacrifice, and I am winter born
So ECR, when oh when are you going to write an Officially PublishedTM Star Wars book? Your grasp of characters and the SW 'verse is up there with Foster, Zahn and Daley, with a leavening of James Joyce. This stuff is better than ALL of the NJO pap that's been published, and IMO better than Death Star.

Do it! Shit, I've saved Hull No. 721 in Word. Send it to Del Rey!
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-03-23 11:04am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22442
I'm pretty sure Star Wars novels are published on a "don't call us, we'll call you" basis, or they'd be hopelessly inundated with fan drafts- so much so that separating the gems from the dreck would be impossible.

Hull 721 is... well, unpublishable. Not so much because of any question of innate quality, as because of the tangent it takes off the conventional portrayal of the Empire. Also it rather assumes a... call it an SDN-style interpretation of the setting, and while here that's quite popular for obvious reasons, I'm not sure how well it would work out in the overall market.
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Eleventh Century Remnant
PostPosted: 2011-03-26 08:25pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
Posts: 2293
Location: Scotland
The revised and expanded version, now with added punctuation marks. Oh, and the rest of the segment finished and added on.
Not much to add on the subject of publication, except to say that however much I might wish it were so, we represent a small slice of the fanbase without much clout, and it's extremely unlikely.



The official captain's quarters were buried in the bowels of the accommodation block, a strange design decision indeed and one it really took a Kuati to come up with; Lennart used them less than once a year- literally, for an annual Commissioning Day party that they had been too busy to celebrate once.

He was seriously considering converting the space to something else more useful, because the only other purpose it had was as VIP guest quarters, and he had had quite enough of those for a while.

It had been given a quick search by the cleanup crew after the event, as the last significant occupant had been Kor Alric; for a whole afternoon before he had decided the Imperial suite was more to his taste, but he had left nothing behind except a foul smell.

The place had been, in the interim, sanitised. It was still physically in the wrong spot. There was too much crew berthing directly adjacent, and for the status- conscious Empire, and the almost as bad old Republic, giving the plebs the chance to see the captain in his underwear was just not on.

Lennart couldn't really disapprove of that in principle- and after a seconds' thought, it was probably one of the changes the local builders had made to the Kuat design- but he certainly could in practise; it was too far away from the bridge.

Still, at the moment, here it was, and it was where Aleph-3 and her team escorted Rafaella Lennart.


She could sense her father's presence- then the door slid open, and there he was in the flesh. He was taller than his daughter, leaner and darker-coloured, but they were obviously family- she took more strongly after her mother but there was a definite resemblance, a kinship. Aleph-3 certainly hoped so.

Jorian wasted no time; looked her up and down, said 'You remind me of your mother' and hugged her, as hard as he could. Aleph-3 was instantly jealous- I wish he hugged me like that more often, she thought. 'Come in.'

Rafaella- and the squad- did. A picture-hung, otherwise light walled reception room- atrium, really- with couches around a water feature with an abstract sculpture in, that he had always meant to replace with a deactivated battle droid in a ballet arabesque pose.

The young archaeologist looked around baffled; this wasn't at all what she was expecting. The fact that she had expectations- that she had some idea of what to expect- aid a lot to her father.


'It's not really me,' Lennart said, much more breezily than he felt- Aleph-3 reacted badly at first, then grasped the scheme. Good. 'I have a hammock in a closet off the bridge, this place only really gets used as guest quarters, and I intend to put you up here until something else starts to make more sense.

Although that may be around the time I become a great- grandfather. I met your fiance; he's lucky he's a pre-existing fact in your life, because I was strongly tempted to have him fed to something, possibly a drill instructor.

I'll introduce you to such else of the family remain unarrested when there's time, speaking of which, hm, in a moment for that too, remind me to talk to the chief about that. Why archaeology?'


He's not babbling, Rafaella realised. He can bounce from thought to thought like that- and there wee curves of structure protruding, of meshes of ideas- in control, with clarity, at a speed that makes him look as if he's grasshoppering, but he isn't- wait, what? Plarch? Where is he? I wonder what my father would approve of in a son-in-law?

'Because I was looking for a past, I think.' she said. 'Your sister Alrika showed me the alliance's file on you- it told me what happened, but not what, hm, happened.'

'I was told about that, too. She precipitated herself into the hands of a being I know to be a very deft manipulator, and would not trust as far as I could throw our new secondary powerplant. It is going to take some doing, to make that situation end well.

Your young...entity, on the other hand, is doing ninety days in the Kor Vella Correctional Academy for Hopeless Space Numpties. He tried to get in touch by short-circuiting every safety on a spacehopper and telling it to get him to me as fast as possible. Survival was not part of the plan.

He tried to commit kamikaze, and I let the local law deal with him, as a safer alternative to taking him in myself- because then I would have had to have him shot. He couldn't have picked a worse way to introduce himself to a navigating officer. I presume that there was something you saw in him?' Lennart asked.


That was a poser. Not because there wasn't an answer, but- space, there wasn't. She had, oh, no. Well, opposites did, had attracted, and he could be witty when he put his mind to it, and he had the courage of his convictions, and he might be an introvert but there was a lot of him under the shell.

What had just loomed up in front of her was the notion that in view of her force sensitivity, a much nastier explanation suddenly made sense. He really wasn't hero material; could be said to be a bit of a mouse actually.

Had she deliberately picked a weak one because she did have a touch of the dark side? Someone meek and mild that she could mould, impress on, malform and mistreat, a chew toy?

It wasn't like that, she wanted to scream, but who to, herself? Her man was better than that, he was- well, cruelly, he was an absent-minded daydreamer with no instinct at all to reach out, who might never have had a sexual experience if it wasn't for her.

And her father, sitting opposite her now, was a decorated and acknowledged warrior- hero with standards far higher than poor Plarch could ever hope to meet, and the dark side explanation had clearly occurred to him too.


Yet she did not want to give in to that explanation, did not want to fold and collapse before it. She temporised, parrying/defending with 'You don't think he's good enough?'

She was actually quite surprised when her father chose to avoid a head on clash by saying 'Stranger things have happened. Your mother and I, for instance.'

The truth was, Jorian Lennart did think that. With reservations, of course; the kid had at least tried to rob a bank, had hauled himself across half the galaxy searching for a being who may or may not still exist, had found his family at least- screwing up and blundering through every step of the way, but he had achieved something.

The seeds were there. Would take a lot of effort to make grow, and he was nowhere near good enough at the moment, but- for an idle second Lennart senior let himself wander over his own crew, wondering how many potential bank robbers it contained- how many teams he could raise on short notice.

Obviously not everybody, but most of the senior petty officers at least. How many of them would be better potential sons in law? Same answer. Hm. In the interests of honesty he admitted it. 'Although I will say that he's going to need a lot of work done on him to bring him up to spec.'


There were obvious things to say in response to that, but they were so cliched and teenage- sounding that she decided to avoid them. Especially as he might be right. 'Was it thus with you and my mother?'

'More like like charges repelling.' He jumped a step ahead of her in turn. 'Why our respective authorities didn't dump us both in padded cells, preferably on opposite sides of the galaxy, passes understanding now.

We met oh, two, three months after Geonosis, she was a final- stage padawan then and I think her master looked on me as one of her trials. Which she would have failed if, well.

'You may find this hard to believe,' he understated, aware that Aleph-3 and the rest of the team were hanging on every word, 'but then I was an ultramontane, a flag-tattooed-on-the-forehead Republic patriot; with all the fervour of a recent convert, worse yet one who does scent something subtly wrong about his own cause, and shouts all the louder to keep the suspicions away.

I suppose that deep down I was never really all that sold on it, but it was a useful public face, and it sort of became cemented in place as a result of both our positions being pushed to extremes by the arguments we blundered into.

The Jedi Order is a closed, sealed and highly touchy subject these days, so naturally you went looking for whatever you could find about them?' Lennart asked his daughter.


'I, we, ah- no.' Rafaella admitted. 'There were enough ancient traces of them that the Empire couldn't eliminate, there were clues that resisted eradication. Up until, until it really mattered, we could find everything we needed from the past.'

Lennart sighed. 'That would be the sound of your mother. I was in my early turning to mid twenties, she was late teens scrambling after a tradition that like to pretend it was a million years old.

I was already predisposed against them, although in hindsight it might have been worse if they really had done what they were capable of. Certainly would have, for me. Operationally, I'm not sure there was much in it.

I wish the politics really were ancient history, but they're not, nowhere near safely dead and buried yet, if anything ever is- which I presume you're going to tell me it isn't. The point is that we more or less totally failed to get on, after the first couple of weeks.

There was, there definitely was something there; perhaps I am flattering myself, but there's living proof now. That was a thread that was increasingly buried under the way things went, what we were doing, what they thought they were about. The easiest way I can describe it- how hard did you have to cram for exams?'


Rafaella looked slightly perplexed, but Aleph-3 nodded. She knew what he meant. 'Continuous high intensity operations, for someone who hasn't been there that's the next best description I can think of.

Much worse, of course. Your life, and the lives of your friends, may be riding on this- and yours on their success; you have no guarantee, none, that what you're doing is actually going to help, and no idea when the actual test will be, a month, a day, five seconds. No second chance, either- sometimes not a first chance.

You work till you're ready to drop, as many hours a day as you can cram in and stay sane, and sometimes not that, everyone else who gives a damn pushing themselves too, some falling apart, some becoming so burnt out they cease to care, everyone worn, tired, frightened, biting at each other-

and then after the blinding barrage of paper from behind, there are the official enemy, who have been putting themselves through the wringer too, and whoever has managed to think and train and work and practise the best and whose head is still on vaguely straight at least has the ascendancy, not that it always works out that way.

Sometimes you screw up and live through it, and you have no time to mourn, you're too busy trying to make do without the ones that didn't make it and break in a new batch of fresh bodies, and watch them go through the same.

Now add a pair of smugly self-centred, indifferent, tactically illiterate force users into the mix and watch what happens. It was like inviting the hophead dropouts round for a spice party in the middle of a study session.'


Rafaella had never done anything like that, would never be able to do anything remotely like that- and was starting to imagine what an odd pair her mother and father would have made.

Opposites must have attracted, indeed; she hadn't even thought about it in those terms, but as a Jedi, her mother Altara would have been one of the galaxy's supreme rule followers and enforcers; her father, well, if the Alliance file was true had a pretty spectacular past as a rulebreaker.

Although there had to have been a thread of the opposite in both of them. She must have been at least a little bit of a rogue, or wished for it and wondered what it was like; Jorian's conversion to ultra- what had lain behind that?

What gave a being faith, political faith, and what caused them to lose it? There were answers to that, frequently devised by those in the politics business; but from the ultra- long view that she aspired to, and- she was shocked to find the point of identity- that her mother had aspired to, it was basically a compound of fear and greed.


Rafaella settled on the idea that he hadn't really changed at all, it was a cynical and ironic act; Aleph-3, who knew him rather better, decided it had been a conscious choice to step aside from taking juvenile potshots at the republic he actually knew, to fight for the republic he wanted to believe in.

The stormtrooper had a rather better idea of what 'prolonged, high intensity operations' meant than the student, and knew that no-one dives headlong into deep war the way his record said he had- as she had seen him do- without some kind of cause, and few come out well at all, without that cause, that touchstone in the midst of chaos. It mattered less what it was than that it was there.

He looked at the pair of them, judged their reactions, and whether he was genuinely reading minds or just guessing neither would have cared to say, but he frowned at his daughter, grinned at his "complication", before going on.


'This is why Black Prince's crew are such lunatics, incidentally, and why the basic training that may still be in your boyfriend's future is the way it is; because functioning under such circumstances is a corroding, inhumanising business anyway.

The human mind will be broken by it; better to get that out of the way in controlled circumstances, where what's left can be arranged into a form that can do what the service demands, and won't get itself and its' comrades physically killed as well. Repair and reconstruction can come afterwards, once the need is done.

My crew, my extended military family, are as human as I can afford to let them be under such pressure; and by time and tempering, they have come closer to being used to this, more rational in the face of it than I would have thought possible, twenty-five years ago-

...and some of the stranger incidents are really no more than should be expected from letting an almost-normal sense of humour and ethics play with the tools of Armageddon. Still, that's now.


'Then, we were basically pulling in different directions, with different ideas of what war was about and this particular one was for, and I had somehow become ship's fixer- because I knew more or less what I was doing, was mostly functional most of the time, I was taking up as much as I could of the slack for those who didn't. And, as I said, ultramontane.

Looking back on it, it wasn't, no, it was that bad but not on purpose; she was in an awkward position, and she was trying to help, much more than I- no, I knew that at the time, but it was never the right time and never the right way.

Her boss was much worse, but she was stuck between us, trying to be a proper jedi by the standards of a being who, I cannot reconstruct his thinking; he really did seem to believe that if he pretended hard enough nothing had changed and that there was still peace on, then all the shooting would go away.

He couldn't really have been that stupid, not and remain functional. Which, well. What I think he was trying to do was set a moral example, of the sort of personal standards we needed to hold on to. Although a more awesomely inappropriate time to do so or standard to try for would be hard to find.

I abused my position, I admit it now, to trivialise them; drafting ops plans that gave them nothing to do, or sent them far out into the margins. He noticed, and insofar as he let anything show at all, I think he was ashamed of being glad of it.'


Aleph-3 opened her mouth with a question hovering on the tip of her tongue, but decided not to ask. Jedi and Clones were alike in that, personalities that came readied and reinforced for the pounding he was describing, but what had made the authorities so sure that he was?

She had looked up the eight thousand and fifty-ninth assault support group he had belonged to, found that it was one of the first non-clone units to be given new- construction ships, had an outstanding record of victories and losses.

Jedi- and clones- were ready, perhaps too ready, to die in the line of duty. They had been contemptuous of the nocs, the non-clones, for that, but really, what else could they have said? Oh yeah, we're artificial, too dumb to care, no sense of self preservation, doesn't matter if we go squish?

One of their personal anchors had been pride; they were clones, but clones of human beings, and pride had led many a macho young idiot to war- and if fortune too was with them, through. A lot of clonetroopers had kept their equilibrium by being too proud to admit to themselves they were throwaway, disposable items.

The 8059th had been a good outfit for human, better than some clone groups and most of the regulars for combat success, but far above the curve when it came to not dying.

What was the peroration she had heard from one of her first commanding officers, back in the few weeks she had been in service before Coruscant? "Indifferent troops can win battles, if there are enough of them and casualties do not matter; but I expect you, as first class soldiers, to defeat the enemy without yourselves suffering unduly. To this end you must use all your wits..."

That summed up the 8059th rather well, in fact; they didn't win all the time, but they had a remarkable ability to sidestep disaster, and succeed at tolerable cost, and most of the wits that made it possible must have been Lennart's. Altara would have homed in on that.


Aleph-3 actually felt envious of her, this twenty-three years dead jedi; and embarrassed, that the same thoughts hadn't, that it had taken so long for the same to occur to her.

Too many separate people, too many masks; too many parts played, too purely as parts. As the simple- disposable- soldier she had tried to return to being, she had ignored what her cover identities were telling her about the organism, the man, she answered to.

She had been drawn to him, and like a disposable thing, had done nothing with that other than try to use it. Badly, at that. Stress, fear, inexperience, kinks in the head- dangerous to assume that someone is acting intelligently and effectively in their own interests, or can do so, all the time.

She certainly hadn't. Had tried to do anything other than play ice maiden, build a protective shell around herself- damnation, she knew the man, knew his quality; but still had played stupid, white- skulled games, hadn't tried to reach out at all.

Then again, he hadn't tried to reach down to her, partly- only partly- by the standards he held himself to, but- listening to this a light burst in on her. As an anarchist, and an elitist- causally, likely the other way around- who would he aim for? Obviously, searingly obviously, someone difficult, someone against the rules.

He had been hung up for a long time on the actual, prima facie impossibility of it- and my relationship with him didn't come off the back burner until I reported him as a sensitive and tried to get him killed, Aleph-3 thought. I had half the answer, being against the rules, but until then I wasn't trouble.


Although the mechanics of that had evidently escaped the man himself, as he went on. 'She was the one who took up the cudgels on his behalf. we- as the mode we fell into started to set around us, the stances we took up hardened, the arguments began.

I accused them of being essentially indifferent to the republic qua republic, to them it was just the order's milk cow; she accused me of being an arrogant egocentric, little better than a separatist myself.

She called me a frothing maniac, who had got so used to this I was actually enjoying myself; probably actually true now, of course, but not then. I called them sterile wastes of flesh, oxygen thieves who understood nothing, proud of their learned blindness, a tactical and political appendix.

The harder he tried to rise above it, be serene and tranquil, the more he tended to prove my point. Why she didn't cut my face off is the real question. Before you start feeling sorry for him, remember the jedi way; mission justifies.

Knight Senemit was essentially a pacifist and as far as he could be a peacemaker, guilty that peacemaking had failed, and overcame his guilt- or indulged it- by holding his own life cheaply. The risks he wanted to take and the uses he wanted to put the group to- he would have been content to die doing his duty.

Which is acceptable- no, endurable- for a platoon commander, the rank he was just about competent to hold, but not for a fleet general officer. He would have got us all killed if I had let him have his way.


'Altara knew that, and she knew I knew she knew. She had a damned bad starting position to defend, and she did her best for it. Although there were limits. She could have legal-jitsu'd me into what could have amounted to an admission of cowardice, for instance.

Did manage to get me to admit that I wasn't nearly as much of a patriot as I was pretending to be, and that I was actually trying to stop her getting killed. Somewhere in there amongst the shouting.

Although yes, there were times when we both went too far. We were both young, and asked to carry far more responsibility than was really healthy for us, and our coping techniques were worlds apart. We couldn't really be there for each other; tried as often as we dared, sometimes helped, usually failed, occasionally made things worse.

If the rebel alliance file told you we had a love- hate relationship, a lot of the time the hate was real, too. Then there were moments such as my calling her a young fogey, desperate to avoid the terrible burden and misery of having to be free.

She snapped back at me that I had no right to talk, started giving me chapter and verse on my own life, the official version at least; I called her on it, and that was the first time I saw her blush- after I accused her of caring.'


She must have known, Rafaella thought, must have been aware that he was a sensitive; and she also must have been slightly afraid of him. She didn't tell him, if this armoured redhead could be believed- why?

Because he was better off not knowing? Because she, too, then, had been a pacifist and a peacemaker, and had feared the warrior in him? So used to it, she had said to him and he had recounted to them as though he was proud of it, that he was actually enjoying himself; little better than a separatist- and that perhaps meant dark sider.

Rafaella herself was far from sure whether she was a pacifist or not; without bloody mayhem, her field of study would be terribly boring, they had joked, but it was the sort of joke they used to keep the horrors away. She certainly wasn't afraid to raise arms in her own defence, but...but the Jedi had been killers too, she could suddenly hear him thinking.

In her brain or in her blood? Was there really a difference? What there was was an enormous complex tangle of thoughts and feelings behind that, echoes of gut instinct at war with rational argument at war with conscience and imagination, that even if she could pick through, not now.


Wasn't he right, though? The Jedi had been a monastic order, not an assassin's guild- but their political purpose, when you came right down to it, was precise, controlled, intimate violence exercised by individually unstoppable warriors on behalf of the Republic. It was not the vocation they wanted for themselves, but it was the role the state had found for them.

Bloody murder was in them, and their cultivated, ingrained pacifism was a defence against themselves, against what they might each and individually become if they ever ceased to detach themselves from that fact, and instead embrace it.

Rafaella could hear her mother and father having that argument, could hear the ground ripping open under Altara's feet and the abyss yawning before her as he laid out reason after reason that would have been the stuff of nightmares for a well-educated pacifist.

In galactic distance and time, her mother was probably right, but there and then, with live and active evil before them? Although they must have recognised some sympathy in each other, some sense to be had on the other side; they both cared, although in such desperately, dreadfully different ways.


'We parted for a time not long after that,' Jorian said, 'and not in the best way- Senemit's death wish finally came good. She had won the latest round of our endless argument, we had been talking about detachment, errors of omission.

I had got a notification that two of my academy classmates had been killed, one in a particularly messy way when the separatists had boarded her ship and resorted to biobombing the crew. It was at a bad time, and I had the jitters- worse than usual.

I recall asking her what the difference was between Jedi detachment and standard squishy-groundpounder "don't mean nuthin'", and getting the answer that I don't believe she meant entirely, but was good to hear- that the surface flowing bubbles and ripples on the river of Life are not the whole story.

There is a deep, flowing positive, and the losses and miseries of the day are not the cosmic all, just what has to be endured, and can be endured and overcome, if you simply let the currents of life take you.

Normally I would have ripped into her for such mushy mystic no-horizons bullcrap, or she would have ripped into me for meekly accepting such, but right then I really wasn't up to it. Or up to stopping her boss, when he wanted to dive them headlong into harms' way.


'It was basically a smash and grab, our associated 2808th assault group were going in to take a poorly shielded mainworld, Kermadec IV, with a separatist seed base before it could get too big. The Jedi plan was to sabotage the planetary defence guns and arrest the base commander- on their own.

I had set a plan that made no allowances for them whatsoever, which was just as well. The assault group staged a textbook meteoric assisted assault, the support group fought off separatist reinforcements in an extended- system rolling battle that I was quite proud of at the time.

The shock troop found them holed up in a dead end corridor low in the base's structure behind a barricade of broken droids, he was draped over the rear surface and would have been killed by that alone if, well. She was crouching there, apparently catatonic.

I had to go down there myself and call her back to her senses, I said that this could give us material for so, so many future arguments- but just this once, I was prepared to let it ride.

The temple called her home, after that, sent a special transport. They didn't like leaving solitary Jedi scattered across the galaxy, not where normal people could talk to them- or they could start talking to themselves.

I missed her; life was much quieter and duller without her around, and I did think, after the war if there was an afterwards, maybe...it was only much later, in the third phase of the war, that we got back in touch.'


He paused for breath and thought, stood up, walked to the water feature and splashed some over his face, shook it off, sat down beside them again. 'I had been bumped up and out from a frigate group to a full task force, and this was a point in the war where were rapidly running out of jedi.

I'd already worked with another master and padawan pair, seen the padawan die in a diversionary raid that achieved nothing, seen the master die thinking he could take hundred to one odds in a fighter. I preferred working without them, and was surprised when she turned up, a knight in her own right with a padawan in tow.

It took us, oh, a whole twenty minutes to fall back into the same pattern, long rambling, occasionally screaming, arguments about the nature of life and the shape of the universe, the colour of the sky and the price of cheese- anything and everything.

We'd both changed, though, older, deeper dyed in blood, hardened- and both mortally unwilling to admit how much we had actually taken, gained, from each other. I think I did acquire a measure of detachment and serenity from her that...helped.

She had thrown herself into her military studies, the whys and whithers of it all, how war and politics flow together and each makes the other. We had a lot to talk about. Still argued, though.


'As our senior resident wibblemonger, she was a distinct improvement, and she enjoyed watching me find ever more elaborate ways of not admitting it- managed not to treat the task force like an afterthought, actually consciously thought about what her gifts were good for and what she could do.

We did it, fell into the pattern of doing it, backwards; of attacking each other about the things and thoughts we liked, of praising with noisy damns; funny thing, for someone supposedly with foresight, I was better at guessing where the enemy were going to strike next.

Of course, the war and the enemy and just rattling round the galaxy threw us plenty of curveballs, plenty of awkward situations to adapt to; the baby dragon thing would have been quite funny if it hadn't eaten her quarters, and nearly her apprentice. Even with the Force, she could never prove that I had put it there.


'This was the mobile phase, remember the current version, subject to revisionism, is that the chaotic scramble after Geonosis was followed by a period of the sides shaking themselves out, people deciding where they stood and both sides trying to organise themselves, with a lot of small scale hit and run work with what standing forces there were.

Then we have the first mobile phase, the ping-pong stage of the war, huge rolling, sprawling battles as both sides tried to cut down enough of the other's mobile force to win room to fight, to actually make any kind of strategic gain; that slid into the outer rim sieges, as the Republic fleet started to gain the edge, and carve enough clear space to actually prosecute anything.

That turned into the second mobile or desperation phase, as the Separatists tried to use what was left of their battle fleet to prod the Republic, throw it back on the defensive, deep lancing strikes for primarily political effect. Second Coruscant being the one everyone remembers, of course, those of us who lived through it.

Altara and I sometimes managed to go whole days without giving each other heartburn; too much to do. Fifty hours a day wouldn't have been enough, not to do what needed to be done and think of everything that needed to be thought of.

What was genuinely happening to her- I don't know, I still do not know and every time I try to reimagine it I feel layers of actual truth boiling off and being replaced by wishful thinking.


'In what would have been the high summer of year 15, three things happened in quick succession. I tried to break in, get through her detachment indirectly by introducing her to a friend I had made. Local Defence Force officer, decorated hero in fact, a combat surgeon.

I wanted to get her to search his feelings, show her how on one level attachment, even abstract attachment, can be a powerful force for the positive; what a militant pacifist, determined to do good, looked like on the inside.

On another level, half- agree with her, that detachment was of some use, Doc Hackett- yes, nominative determinism in action- really was starting to lose the plot, and that a meeting would do both of them good. That there was a proper balance between attachment and detachment, and it was nowhere near where she thought it was, it was a difficult, creative, dynamic tension.

It was probably a half- baked idea anyway, and a stepping stone to the argument I wanted to have with her about positive and negative attachments and lesser evils; I didn't say that of course, but she knew, and I knew she knew.

They ended up talking to each other, spending a long time talking, and I don't know what she got out of it but I'd bet it involved a metaphorical boot up the backside. She came away looking genuinely shocked.


'Then her own padawan died. He was a typical jedi child soldier, old enough to kill but not old enough to stop playing with dolls. He might have had a personality; wasn't around long enough to tell.

He charged forward to the top of a sandy ridge, too carried away to notice the scout/FO team with him weren't daft enough to follow. Skylined himself, raised his sabre to blocking position, and a smartarse droideka nailed him, put one bolt of a twin-blaster either side of his lightsabre- straight through his eyeballs.

Once there were no more gung-ho idiots in the predicted blast pattern, we pasted the droid division with LTL fire from orbit. He held up the war for maybe twenty seconds, if that.

She lost a lot of her faith in the Order with him, in what they had been doing and in what they had let themselves become. I had a hundred arguments ready, but as soon as I saw her step off the transport I knew that wasn't the time for them. On the other hand, it was the night that you were conceived.'


Rafaella took that fairly well, all things considered. It had been obvious for some time now that her mother and father had not exactly had a conventional relationship, and it could have been much worse.

'I tried not to take advantage,' he continued, 'but I knew that if it was going to happen at any point it would be then, it was electric about her; she needed someone to hold her, someone to pour it all out to, and it would turn into more than that.

Yes, I wanted it, but at that moment, in that state? As a thing of desperate mercy, a huddling together against the dark? That was the way she would have it be, though.

I don't actually remember saying anything at all, she just jumped on me, and I am pretty certain that you started out on top of the main plotting table of the light destroyer Veritable.' Lennart told his daughter; grinned, couldn't help it.


'I had hoped it would happen, hadn't dared to expect it, I had thought there would be a better time, a celebration of light; but the dam had burst, and I think she wanted a high point there in the slough of despond, a beacon defying the worst of things.

We were only really together as, as an us, for a very little time, barely enough to figure out half of what we were doing, most of the how, and not nearly enough of the what next. Spent quite a lot of it yelling at each other, as usual.

I had no idea she wanted to leap ahead to reproduction, and to be honest if she'd asked I would have said it was too soon, the galaxy was still on fire and neither of us were out of it yet, but I think she guessed that was what I would have said, and decided to pre-emptively ignore me. I'm glad she did.


'The Order hauled her back into the fold again, and the last I saw of her was boarding the transport; she was assigned to Coruscant home fleet, which was often done with Jedi the Order felt were losing their faith, and where they were punished by being forced to listen to the little green troll.

We weren't supposed to keep in touch, did anyway through mutual contacts until...well. I have no clear memory of what I did when I was told she was gone, but it was good for my shipmates that there was a handy Lucrehulk full of droids for me to take it out on.

What she meant to happen next, I don't know. What we would actually have done is even harder to tell, I thought the Republic and the Order would be massively changed by the war but I didn't expect them to be gone outright.

Acknowledging you as mine and the child of a force user, at the height of the purges? It would have been deadly dangerous then, not going to be particularly easy now, but if it was easy it wouldn't be true to Altara and I. There's a lot we'll have to make up as we go along.'
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jpdt19
PostPosted: 2011-03-27 05:29am 

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So....here it is at last....the whole sad tale from Lennart's own lips.

Beautifully written. You remain one of the few writers who can truly tell a story more by dialogue, less by description, that I've ever encountered!!
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Vianca
PostPosted: 2011-03-27 07:06am 

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Joined: 2006-01-20 09:00am
Posts: 301
Sounds like Vader would be keeping tabs on Lennart if Altara her last words had been something along the lines of: "For the 8059th."
Not that I think that she would, but it would be funny, anyway.

Certain CIS factory plants their production material make-up was slightly altered later in the war by clone-sabateurs, thus making them unfit for use.
Lennart and his crew wouldn't know of a few of those still remaining (sabataged) CIS factories, would they?
Could help with their (later) resupply when cut-off from fleet supply. :mrgreen:

I can see Mirrannon being intrested in certain ship designs, perhaps a side-plot of having him trying to get those one-off plans in the background?
And yes, trying, not getting.
Would Black Prince rate (right now,) high enough to get a Force-Cage, a Force-sensitive-holding-cell and a Universal-Energy-Cage?
I could see Mirronnon trying to get somekinda Ysalamari effect at the minium as part of the ship it's shield system, it would explain partly how a Sith-Meditation-Sphere works. :wink:

As for Mirrannon his little mobile forge system, would these two prison systems help him with it?
Geonosian-containment-field and Mobile-stockade.

Fractalsponge has a few nicely made (and done) renderings of the Tie-Avenger, Tie-Defender and the XG1 Starwing Assault Gunboat, especialy those two Tie's come to live.
Anyway, good work, can't wait till the next update.
I bet your going to give Rafaella a toer of the ship, right? :twisted:
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jpdt19
PostPosted: 2011-03-27 09:30am 

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Posts: 43
Vianca wrote:

Fractalsponge has a few nicely made (and done) renderings of the Tie-Avenger, Tie-Defender and the XG1 Starwing Assault Gunboat, especialy those two Tie's come to live.


Oh god I love that Starwing. Fantastic looking piece of kit, very mean. Especially those torpedo/missile launchers. OUCH!

My compliments to Fractal, hopefully he'll pop up sometime.
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Vianca
PostPosted: 2011-03-27 11:02am 

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Joined: 2006-01-20 09:00am
Posts: 301
Compare his Imperial Star Carrier to this ship, looks more possible then with just cutting out the front mid section of a Imp-star.

He posted some pic's of her in arc-1 of this story, I believe.
It's that or in the beginning of this one, can't remember it exactly anymore, to long ago. :(
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Ronsu
PostPosted: 2011-04-05 08:12am 

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Joined: 2010-05-27 12:43pm
Posts: 35
Location: Finland
As much as I love all this corellian intrigue, I really can't wait for the story to jump post-Endor. Jorian's (and by extension, ECR's) unique perspective applied to that period of Galactic Clusterfuck is bound to be interesting. :)

For instance, how would Jorian react to a central Imperial power on Byss that's openly darksider? It'd confirm some of his well found suspicions, and propably make him more of an object of interest to those in power due to his potential.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-04-05 12:26pm 

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Posts: 22442
I imagine that by the time Palpatine starts issuing orders from Byss, Lennart will have long since forted up with one or another of the Imperial splinter groups. As I understand it, "Palpatine reborn" never really commanded the full might of (what was left of) the Empire; he relied far more heavily on one-off superweapons and the tactics of subversion during his second tenure than during his first.
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Eleventh Century Remnant
PostPosted: 2011-04-27 01:30pm 

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Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
Posts: 2293
Location: Scotland
Hull 721 arc 2 ch 21


After the initial burst of restaurant- based excitement, things quieted down a little as the starters the four of them had ordered came out. Pel Aldrem was feeling ravenous- and carnivorous- so he had ordered a sharer, Jhareylia some kind of tangy seafood sorbet, Iel Brenn pate, and Nat a set of multi-toppinged corn slices.

All of them were not exactly at ease; Brenn tried to defuse some of it by asking Aldrem 'So, what happens now?'

'Not sure, really.' Aldrem said, wondering how much he could really say- both would be wise to say, and actually knew. 'To me? Kriff knows. Stay on board, I hope. For you-'

If anyone knew the captain's mind, it would be Pel Aldrem, and why was a question Brenn didn't want to look too closely at. Probably because they were actually quite similar, in an odd sort of way; the Captain treated him almost like a son. An errant, dangerous son at times, but still.


'Skipper doesn't want to let you go, but he reckons you're due, probably overdue. The biggest problem is finding somewhere for you to go that's just military, a command slot under a flag officer who wouldn't sell you down the river as soon as the politics come round.'

Brenn thought about that, thought a little about what had happened to Delvran Dordd; guesstimated his chances. Perhaps not as bad as they would have been a couple of years ago, there was a civil war in full swing and they needed warriors, but afterwards?

Admiral Lord Convarrian was their final professional boss, before the command structure got political. Grumpy and a back seat driver, but honest enough. Rear- Admiral Rawlin commanding FltDesRon 851, as sound as they came. 851 was a professional outfit, though, promotion by dead men's shoes.

Being a good outfit, they had a tendency not to die, at least not to the enemy. Politics was the leading actual cause of it, in fact. To go out of the formation, to transfer to a local sector fleet- an order of magnitude more dangerous.


'I was thinking about transferring to the Corellian Navy, but I understand some fairly bloody politics went on there too, and I'm far from sure they'd take me. Imperial Sector Group Corellia would be worse.' He changed the subject. 'Does that gun of yours do what I think it does?'

'Would I do something that daft?' Aldrem said. Both of them knew the answer was yes. He twitched a little. 'Supposedly the refit's on schedule, maybe a little ahead, and...how long have you had reservations for this place? How far in advance?'

'There are plenty of reasons for people to stare at us,' Jhareylia said, but Aldrem could tell she didn't really mean it, 'and with politics you always get a side order of paranoia- but I see three behind you that it might be.' Sitting opposite, they could watch each others' backs, of course.


'Are you expecting someone to try and assassinate you?' Nat had to ask.

'Look at it this way; I used to get involved in fights in bars. Getting into a gunfight in a swanky restaurant is just my version of moving up into the officer class. Yes, I am, or kidnap and torture. Why do you think I brought the gun?' Aldrem pointed out.

'It's not paranoia when they really are out to get you, I assume this is trial fallout, and- I see them too. You know you've probably ruined a quiet night out.' Brenn said, trying to sound a lot calmer than he felt.

'Only if you think I'm at fault for actually managing to make the enemies I did, and I was looking forward to a quiet night out too.' Aldrem said, visibly trying not to shout. 'Any ideas?'

'You mean, am I willing to go along with what you've just cooked up, some variant on "get them before they get us", right?' Brenn sighed, and pointed at one of the waiters. 'This is not what the recruiters mean, when they talk about joining a fighting service.'


Nat had actually been about to ask the obvious question, why should anyone be after you, when she remembered some of the rumours of the past weeks. There were lots of reasons why someone might be after him.

The waiter came over, they had a word with him, he went away and chivvied the kitchen, came out with a hovertray with their starters on. As he was scurrying away Aldrem said 'I love the way you're assuming I actually had a plan. Now, for the next obvious question; anyone bring a poison sniffer?'

Jhareylia tried to grasp what he was planning. 'So what do we get out of pretending nothing's wrong?'

'Simple. This is the first civilised food I've had a chance at in about a month. If we jump them, then try to eat, the kitchen staff will probably panic and scatter. If we eat, then jump them, it works better for me. Provided it comes without an anaesthetic garnish.' Aldrem pointed out.

'No, I didn't remember to bring one. The staff must be pretty annoyed at having their profitable business being used as a fighting pit; I wonder if there's any way we can use that?' Jhareylia said.

'The other side are probably banking that they'll let a quick slump into the corn chips go by rather than a gunfight.' Brenn suggested.

'No.' Jhareylia said, decisively. 'Customers shooting it out is much better for business- gets some notoriety, some publicity even, and most of all it's their fault, the restaurant isn't to blame. A food safety issue in an upmarket place like this, though, that's business death- they'd be tempted to shoot the customers themselves to avoid it.'


'Which brings us back to "do unto others".' Brenn reminded him.

'I could start a scene, throw this at you and miss, hit them by mistake.' Jhareylia said to Aldrem.

He glanced round, gauging range and angle, said 'Completely unbelievable- you'd have to be almost a full radian off and the dispersion of that thing is only at a guesstimate about 200 millis. Nobody could miss that badly.'

She looked at him disbelievingly. 'You're professionally worried about the accuracy- potential accuracy- of a crottled greep? Seriously?'

He picked it up, rolled the dish around on the palm of his hand feeling the weight distribution. 'Even with an improvised weapon like this, a degree of accuracy is always possible.' They could tell he was picturing the flight of it in his minds' eye.

Nat looked at him, thought of food fights, said 'I hope you didn't go to a public school?'

'Must have been, they let anybody in.' Aldrem made the reflexive crack, before going on to 'How much of a scene do we really want to make?'


'Considering your gun, I'd prefer to avoid actual shooting.' Brenn said.

'Just because it looks like it's-' Aldrem couldn't actually think of anything innocuous there, and before he could say it was just stylistic, Brenn added

-'made out of QSM479 durasteel?'

'What does that mean?' Jhareylia, suspecting she wasn't going to like the answer, asked.

The supply officer by training, Nat, knew a little, 'It's an ultragrade non-ductile, massive instantaneous yield point; what would it be doing in a handgun?'

'As long as you don't say it out loud, I won't be forced to have my suspicions officially confirmed.' Brenn said, and Aldrem had the sense not to go into the technical detail he had been about to.

'It's for intimidation purposes really.' He claimed.

'Right, let's go put it to use then.'


The two of them headed towards the table with the three hunched, suited men. They had been made, and they knew it.

The snatch team had already stopped enjoying this job as soon as they were outnumbered by their targets. They had only been after Aldrem, actually. Three to one was not heroic, but it was good odds for the job. Should be more, in fact.

They had called it in, been told to trail and report; they had already been gloomy enough about the prospect of getting this accepted on expenses, and now this.

It could go sour very easily, the team leader was thinking; better to wait, bluff it out and hope their backup got their finger out and showed up. Not actually going to happen; they had already been ambushed by the protective detail. Only a few casualties.


Brenn started the ball rolling. 'What we want is a quiet night out. A chance to eat, drink, de-stress. Your deciding to turn up and look suspicious in our direction has spoilt that, and made me feel rather vengeful.'

No point at all saying 'I don't know what you mean' or anything like it. Too obvious. A little shuffling for better drawing position, that was all.

Aldrem pulled out his all too literal looking hand cannon, there was a scream from one of the waiting staff and some of the patrons- they were definitely patrons, too far up the class system to be a crowd- started shuffling for the exit or looking to their own bodyguards.

The uniforms got them some time; Aldrem pointed the gun at the snatch team leader, said 'We may have to resort to lateral thinking on this one. Shoot you and your troubles are over, your bosses just get a new set of disposable thugs.

'Maim you with surface-concussion bolts, though- between the full thickness burns, torn and part fried muscle, jangled nerves, squashed organs, splintered bone, you'd be looking at months, years of tortuous reconstructive surgery and physiotherapy, and you'd never be the same, not come all the way back- is a lifetime of misery not worse than instant death?'


They looked at him and believed he would do it. They were probably wrong; he was bluffing for effect. He could quite easily shoot them, though. 'What do you want?'

Aldrem handed over to Brenn, who was being a little hypocritical on the whole gun thing considering he was brandishing a repeating carbine. He decided to play not-complete-psycho on this one. 'Start with a little information; who sent you, and why?'

They hesitated, were too obviously trying to think of a convenient lie; 'Five seconds fire, five years in and out of hospitals and clinics, fifty years maimed, less than a whole man- the people you work for can only promise you death, after all.' Aldrem said, and he was overacting it, trying to think like a vidshow bad guy.

Brenn noticed the leader sweating; he had seen too many vids too. 'You're not exactly professionals at this, are you? ISB?'

One of them was looking right down the overly- large barrel of Aldrem's gun. 'We're auditors. Internal Affairs, supposed to find out what, why- I'm an accountant.'


'IDs.' Aldrem demanded; added 'Slowly.' They did, and they checked out- one forensic scientist, one accountant, one slicer. It made sense in a warped sort of way- the ISB office had run out of appropriate people, as well as structural integrity.

'Your people would have known better than to send you to do this.' Brenn realised. 'Someone outside your chain of command grabbed you and pointed you at us, because you were all that was handy- and don't tell me you didn't ask who.'

'We asked, we were told don't ask. The Inquisitorius want us to arrest you or die trying, we were only supposed to be part of the clean up, we-' and that was basically when it went horribly wrong. He started waving his arms around, a bad move for someone under the gun.

Brenn and Aldrem didn't shoot him, they were close enough that they could tell he was no coherent threat, but Nat couldn't. She saw that, saw the doors to the kitchen open and a large human not in a waiter's outfit there- actually one of the covering party.

Pel Aldrem was wrong; it was perfectly possible for an amateur, a supply officer, to miss with an improvised projectile weapon by something like a full radian. The dish hit him on the back of the head.


The covering party pointed their guns at her, Jhareylia waved them off, which would have been better done without trying to draw her own gun in the other hand, but they were stormtroopers- quite good at coping with this sort of thing.

The snatch team saw their chance in that moment, and went for their guns. Brenn gave them a second he shouldn't have done, because he realised too late that he had left the thing on live shot, and it had suddenly become important to get them alive and talking; dithered between trying for a disabling wound and switching to stun.

Normally Aldrem wouldn't let a little thing like a bowl of nachos to the head stop him when there was shooting to be done, not even a bowl of anaesthetically poisoned nachos that were now in direct contact with his bloodstream; but he started to wobble, held himself up, realised it was a better firing angle anyway and let himself go to the floor, half-rolled as he did- Brenn was ducking back, had got a shot off- and fired upwards.

There was a brilliant blue-purple flash, then total darkness.

That was some poison, he thought for a second, then realised he could still feel his own breath and heartbeat, and there were burning bits of goon and table scattered in front of him.


'Was that supposed to happen?' Brenn, sounding half-dazed, said. There was a hole in the ceiling, too. Fortunately the building only went three floors up.

'Theoretically, yes.' If I can still manage a word like that, Aldrem thought- 'Anybody got a glowrod?'

One of the covering party did, and it revealed disorder- virtually everyone who wasn't paralysed by terror was fleeing in panic. There was greasy splatter over and a large hole in the ceiling, one of the goons was gone- vapour- one was half gone, and one was twitching.


'The back of my head feels strangely numb.' Aldrem said. Jhareylia grabbed the medipack from one of the covering party, knelt down beside him and popped it open.

'I don't think it actually got me, it's spreading too fast to be the real thing.' The gunner lieutenant said, actually looking very silly as he worked his facial muscles to see if they were still responding. 'Probably psychobodacious.'

'You mean psychosomatic.' Jhareylia said, picking splinters of plate out of the back of his head and applying antiseptic. 'She didn't mean to hit you,' meaning Nat, 'she was trying to help, she just missed.'

'My version's much cooler- and I really wish I could use that excuse sometime. Is there an actual poison test?'

'Trying it now; negative is clear, positive is red...and on you, it goes blue. What the stang? False reaction off the antiseptic, it's going purple, no, it's clearing. You're fine.'

'Apart from being hit in the head by a plate.' Aldrem said grumpily. 'And still hungry. Is there enough of them left to interrogate?'


'I'm not sure I like the way you string those two together.' The plain-clothes stormtrooper leading the protection detail said. 'It might be effective, but I can't see the skipper sanctioning it. They had a collection of miscellaneous thugs and freelancers covering them, dealt with already. Medevac's on its way, but only this one's going to live long enough to be useful.'

'Balls to that.' Aldrem decided. 'Kitchen staff ran for it, didn't they? Come on, then.' He stood up, headed for the kitchens. 'There's no way I'm going to make it through debriefing on an empty stomach.'

'Actually...I didn't know you could cook.' Jhareylia said, following him. She had just about got used to how breathtakingly casual her man could be about sudden violence, but she didn't think she could stomach anything at all herself just then.

Brenn pointed out the obvious problem. 'Assuming the kitchen hasn't been fried by the containment field off your hand cannon.'


'What is that anyway? Custom job?' The stormtrooper leader asked.

'It's not custom I'm worried about, it's law. There is a distinct possibility that thing contravenes several arms control treaties.' Brenn stated. 'I may be virtually certain, but until it's actually officially confirmed I don't have to investigate you for possession of a personal weapon of mass destruction. And I know what you can cook- which might also count.'

Aldrem was utterly unabashed by his excursion into the land of man portable heavy artillery, but relieved that Brenn had had the sense to change the subject. Not that it was enough to stop him complaining. 'That's hardly fair; my chilli won awards, the Adamantium Spoon three years running. I am a master of nuclear gastronomy.'

'Yes, awards from the silicate peoples of Petron Igni, and the Galactic Tastebud Annihilation Society. Your first batch tested out well beyond LD95.'

'That batch was just to test the heat-and-pressure infusion technique; it was labelled Not Safe For Human Consumption, for kriff's sake.' Aldrem objected. 'How was I to know Dordd would be that stupid?'


Nat turned to Jhareylia, and asked, diffidently, 'Are they always like this, after something terrible happens?'

Jhareylia thought through her own relatively limited experience, and said 'No, it's when something happens and they're still being serious afterwards that you have to watch out- because that means it's not over yet.'

They caught up in time to hear Aldrem say 'All right, thermonuclear- bet you they don't have the ingredients, anyway.'

Thankfully, they didn't. Jhareylia ended up assisting him in the kitchen, and realised to her considerable surprise that he was actually an excellent amateur chef. Being hit on the head didn't seem to have affected him much, except possibly making him slightly more manic than usual.

He left a whirlwind of mess behind him, true, because he was always moving forwards; there seemed to be at least three of him, eyes and hands everywhere, and he was enjoying himself- because, it came to her, it shares some of the same constant, instant attention to detail as his day job, the same need for flashingly fast precision, calculation on the hoof.

Little touches everywhere, constantly juggling everything, wielding a chemprobe like a rapier, darting from oven to pan to pot, and much sooner than she was expecting it, Jhareylia was carrying two platters out to the glowrod-lit table where Brenn and Nat were sitting talking.


They were clearly having the sort of deep conversation she wanted to have with Pel Aldrem, and didn't want to intrude on; but she could hardly just stand here, listening to everything with two loaded plates on her hands.

'It's not exactly routine for me either.' Brenn was saying. 'This sort of scrabbly hate- driven nonsense is, well, is. We've made personal as well as professional enemies. The important bit that I personally am clinging on to is that fear and confusion are how they expect to win.

Getting the enemy to panic and do something stupid is standard stuff, they hit it hard enough on the course when they were trying to drive us into a state of timor et ignorantia, didn't they? I simply refuse to be cowed and intimidated by it. You have to go on.'

'I..I understand the command school idea, but in practise, seeing the living proof turn to not-living splat in front of me, it's just not- he's a maniac. Your friend. I should be all stern and unflappable, but- aren't you touched by it at all?' Nat said, aware that she was letting herself down and saying the wrong thing, unable to stop it coming out.

'Just because I refuse to surrender to fear and confusion doesn't mean that I'm not crapping it, or that I have the faintest idea what to do next.' Brenn said, managing to make it sound a little like a joke against himself. A little. 'I'm just not going to let it stop me. Ah.' He noticed Jhareylia hovering there. 'Speaking of fear and confusion...'


'Which one's which?' she said, walking over and putting the plates down on the table.

'Knowing Pel Aldrem's attempts at cheffery, both. I think he probably means this one for me.' Brenn said, reaching for the bowl of chilli, and leaving the swirly shredded-ribbony thing to Nat. 'If you're wondering how I can joke about it, wait until you finish eating that.'

The man himself came out from the kitchen with the other two plates. 'What, horror stories already? If I'd known you were going to start in this early I'd have amped up the seasoning.'

'I thought,' Nat was obviously trying for some kind of point of contact, something like a little protective colouring to appease the dangerous lunatic, 'you got more or less the same as we did- balanced efficiency rations.'

'Which is why any spaceman who doesn't want their stomach to die of boredom learns to look out for themselves. Just that some captains are a lot more rigorous about preventing it than others.' Aldrem pointed out, choosing not to react to her obvious horror and tentative pet-the-monster approach as such.

'Some turn it into a savage game. We never proved who was responsible for the Ring of Fire Incident.' Brenn said, looking at the number two prime suspect next only to Chief Mirannon.

'Not quite true, Sir- I had to prove my innocence, at least.' Aldrem objected. He had at the time, too- he knew he had left no evidence.


'And how you managed it I'll never know...what do you think about what that accountant said?' Brenn said, trying not to sound too serious.

'It makes a worrying amount of sense.' Aldrem realised. 'They're powerful, they're underemployed- downright obsolete in fact; they're important enough to have something to lose and out of control enough to use it- just, next time, can it be someone else's job to do the shooting?'
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-04-27 01:53pm 

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Posts: 22442
Good show.

...What the hell was that handgun, a miniature something that best translates into 20th century vocabulary as "bomb pumped laser?" That would explain the choice of alloy, at least.
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jpdt19
PostPosted: 2011-04-27 04:18pm 

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Posts: 43
Well i'm glad you got a jist of what ECR was hinting at Simon.

My brain went wibble at 'hole in the ceiling three storeys high,' and i decided not to visualize what sort of insane piece of man portable capital scale weaponry Aldrem was toting after that!
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Vianca
PostPosted: 2011-04-27 04:24pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2006-01-20 09:00am
Posts: 301
jpdt19 wrote:
Well i'm glad you got a jist of what ECR was hinting at Simon.

My brain went wibble at 'hole in the ceiling three storeys high,' and i decided not to visualize what sort of insane piece of man portable capital scale weaponry Aldrem was toting after that!

I just stopt thinking about possibilities and did a Techi (Muyo) when dealing with Washuu, run like hell!!!! :angelic:
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-04-27 05:06pm 

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Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22442
Also, I could swear I've seen that six-letter acronym somewhere in the Lensman series... [looks up] HA! Perfect choice.

Anyway, what tips me off is that it's way more energetic than typical Star Wars firearms built to the same scale. To a point, they do have weapons comparable, "disruptors," which are basically just supercharged blasters that use an unusual amount of propellant-equivalent to produce unusually powerful bolts.

The use of an extremely high grade alloy, "massive instantaneous yield point" suggests, well, a very very strong chamber, exactly the sort of thing you want if there's a micronuclear explosion going off inside said chamber.
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Rem 12
PostPosted: 2011-04-27 06:34pm 

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Joined: 2010-04-01 08:11pm
Posts: 10
Location: Assembling Astronavigation Data
Poor Pel, every time he goes to a restaurant he gets into some manner of trouble.

I do feel kinda bad for those ISB guys that got roped into doing something outside their job descriptions and way over their heads anyways, then wasted. Guess they should have chosen a better branch of the service.
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Eleventh Century Remnant
PostPosted: 2011-04-28 06:25pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
Posts: 2293
Location: Scotland
Far from insane, it actually makes perfect sense- provided your personal point of reference is a multi- teraton heavy turbolaser, that is; and considering the worst- case target.

The hardware isn't the only answer, or the only important part of the answer, but he's not going to neglect it, and a nuclear shotgun isn't a bad bang-stick to fight off vengeance- seeking dark Jedi with. Exceptionally difficult to parry, variable choke and can be set for a wide enough blast pattern to make dodging awkward, enough firepower at full yield to start removing bits of landscape, actually surprisingly controllable- for that matter the containment/projection field carries enough energy to be infantry level lethal enough in it's own right.

More importantly than that, who was mad enough to run the thing up for him? Someone on Mirannon's staff had to calculate the thing- in their spare time, yet- design it with full knowledge of what it could do, and went ahead and did it anyway.

At least they have a lead. The ISB make a good stalking horse, and yes, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 01:13am 

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Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22442
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
Far from insane, it actually makes perfect sense- provided your personal point of reference is a multi- teraton heavy turbolaser, that is; and considering the worst- case target.

The hardware isn't the only answer, or the only important part of the answer, but he's not going to neglect it, and a nuclear shotgun isn't a bad bang-stick to fight off vengeance...
Aaaah, I was right!
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Ronsu
PostPosted: 2011-05-06 01:53am 

Redshirt


Joined: 2010-05-27 12:43pm
Posts: 35
Location: Finland
That's life in the big galaxy, where scale and energies are immense, life and limb is cheap and should you choose to stay sane on the space lanes you need a degree of directed brazen derangement. :lol:

Incidentally, I read Brian Daley's Solo adventures a little while back, and see them hanging at the same rung of pulpy, happy go lucky in the face of death, fun scifi adventures-in-a-huge-galaxy as Hull 721 and, well, the original trilogy. Which is a good thing.
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Eleventh Century Remnant
PostPosted: 2011-06-17 08:35am 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
Posts: 2293
Location: Scotland
Inspector Viktoria deLante was not having a good month. Hard to believe looking at her, but she had worked on the reputation of being a renegade, a maverick, willing to take terrible risks to get her man. Although that phrase had always been charged, and carried a particularly bitter double meaning now.

She had been friends with Alrika Lennart, perhaps best not to think too loudly in case the office had been able to afford brainwave monitors after all- actually, if they had, she was well and truly kriffed.

Alrika had leaned, more than leaned to the rebellion, been funnelling supplies to the Alliance- and Viktoria had been sent to investigate something tangential, a mugging, followed the leads. Decided not merely to do nothing about it, but to actively support it.

She had known that Alrika had a brother, and there was also a black sheep somewhere in the family, who had disappeared among the stars somewhere and whom she disapproved of.

That had hardly really mattered, until the wayward eldest son came crashing back into their lives, rapidly followed by the wreckage of his own life, and things had just become complicated from there.


Not least because she had fallen headlong for her best friend's rogue brother, who seemed barely aware of her. It was as if they were teenagers again.

Although Jorian had to be at least a decade older than she was- ignoring for the moment that it was nearer twenty in fact- what did it matter? They were both adults, weren't they? Well, he probably was. She had heard rather more of the conversation between him and his son in law than she had been meant to, and it had entranced her.

She couldn't believe this was the man her friend had spoken of. Keeping his head in the face of grief he obviously felt, sacrificing his own authority to avoid making it worse and letting something resembling justice take its' course.

She had expected a crude, brutal psychopath; she had got a tall, intellectual, sensitive, well there was no other word for what he was said and supposed to have done; hero. Even if he was on the wrong side, which made no sense.

She was sure he had the soul of a rebel; what was he doing in the ranks of the Galactic Empire? She had tried to get closer to him to find out, but nothing had worked.


Well, she had only really tried one thing. Gloss and glamour, makeup and glitter- it was what she was good at, what she was comfortable with, the iconography of her tribe, the rich. She was a fairly unlikely rebel herself. Provided nobody went and counted the assorted old- order aristos now fighting for the Alliance, anyway.

She was a fairly unlikely policewoman, for that matter. She had nearly specialised in corporate crime, but the system had realised that would mean investigating and probably arresting quite a lot of her parents' friends; she would have been perfectly comfortable with that but the personnel board saw a potential conflict of interest.

She had the contacts to do it, but use them to the full and they would have turned on her within months. Still occasionally got in touch with some of them, especially the young idiot her mother had wanted her to get together with and popped up now and again wanting her to get him out of trouble.

Unlike the starfleet officer, who she didn't think actually liked her much or took her very seriously at all. She was upset about that- she had expected better from him; when a lady throws herself at a gentleman, the least he can do is catch her and let her down gently.

Instead, he had been avoiding her, not even trying to get in touch about his son in law, not even when it constituted the welfare of his crew. All done by minions. Probably it was her relationship, friendship, with his sister Alrika that had poisoned any chance- she and Jorian were more alike than either of them would want to believe.


She had called in a favour to take a look at the record of the one he had sent on the Corellian command course; brilliantly deviant barely began to cover it. Serious self- doubt issues, but had turned the academy on it's head. That had been the left- hand man.

The principal- well, she had managed to shuffle herself sideways into the team responsible for the misdemeanours of his men, the task unit dealing with the Imperial naval presence. They were very, very busy and willing to take any help they could get, which should have been a warning sign.

What a bunch of utter lunatics they were. Traffic offences were universal, public order violations somewhere beyond that-there had been a group of them with no idea what to do with the bounties they had come into, mostly from Com-Scan, touring the city with copies of the criminal code, trying to commit everything punishable by a fine.

Security meant nothing to them; there had been incidents, such as the bank and expense account details of every Councilman appearing in the subtitles of the politics channel- no evidence, but who else could it have been? Freerunners everywhere too, which wasn't all that bad until they moved on to power assist.

There had been a mixed bunch of engineers and stormtroopers who had decided to leap tall buildings with a single bound, with an assortment of exotic power tools; banging hypersonic mallets off the ground and riding the recoil seemed to do it, although landing was trickier. She didn't want to know how the force depolarisers actually worked.

There was the Phantom City, where another bag of mixed nuts had gone out into the wilderness with marker stakes and power tools, and built a ghost town- holographically recreated one of the vanished industrial cities of early Corellia. That was actually a massive environmental issue; there hadn't been a geothermal plant there beforehand.


The fighter wing were probably, individual for individual, the worst- didn't seem to need clearance for joyrides, and there had been several paintball dogfights fought in the airlanes of the city itself, with passers by used as scenery. The Corellian Navy's defensive wings got dragged into this, and most of the accidents and incidents had actually been their fault.

They did seem to have a warped appreciation of scenery, specifically they preferred it when it was passing by their cockpits at several thousand kilometres an hour. The planet was never short of speed freaks and racers, and the Imperial fighter wing was just as bad.

Yet, strangely, there wasn't all that much if any actual malice in it. The pogo hammer team had filled in their divots, and the bwongers who had roamed the city one night with combat engineer tractor/pressors and used the buildings of the financial sector as a giant xylophone had put all the glass back.

At least now they had been told they needed to clear such things with the local police, and who knew what that had headed off. Well, one attempt to use contragrav projectors beaming down into the planetary core to make the world three centimetres bigger, at least. Apparently some kind of earthquake relief scheme.

The engineer officer responsible had been persuaded not to on the grounds that it would be terribly inconvenient, make everybody's commute to work fractionally longer. He had then offered to run the plan in reverse, but no thank you.


High spirits verging on manic lunacy maybe, but there had been remarkably few people hurt by it; most of those that had were air accidents with the Corellian fighter corps actually being more dangerous than the Imperials.

There had been one incident, an accident- nothing to do with them for once- when a nasty chemical incident and fire had broken out due to careless stowage in the downport, and a team of them had turned up and played the fire, setting pressure curtains to stop the fumes spreading, electrostatically controlling the column of burning gas.

They had made a puppet show out of it, of the fire and smoke, manipulating and shaping it, setting up gradients so that parts burned in particular colours- incidentally sectioning it off for specific decontamination procedures, although she wasn't sure whether that was on purpose or just a fringe benefit.

She had been expecting, originally, a crew of frothing psychopaths and random murderers who saw nothing out of the ordinary in death; homicidal man-children who had been purged of all self- restraint and would only truly be happy in whatever man- made hell they could arrange for themselves.

Too many novels, possibly too much rebel propaganda? Instead of a sinister mob of bomb- crazed death fetishists, she had got this shower of boisterous eccentrics. They were certainly a problem, but a very different one from what she was expecting.


The worst thing that had happened deliberately had been the shooting near the start of it all, which provided a clue. Lennart might have been bluffing when he held the police detachment- including her- under the guns of a stormtrooper platoon and an assault shuttle, but she didn't think so.

He would have been- would be- willing to start a major incident for the sake of his people. Had stated what the consequences would be- dressed it up in wordplay, made it easier to bear, but would have had no hesitation at all. There was so little random violence from his crew, because they were confident and secure in their directed violence.

A couple of intelligence related incidents, reports just coming in of a restaurant shooting, but the actual incident was over with no near- term fallout- not in the political-operational sense anyway, although possibly literally.


There had been more actual trouble with the crew of Fist, the Imperator-I brought in to refit at the same time; Fist's commander had been transferred away to take charge of a territorial responsibility, and taken several of the command cadre with her.

They were under-officered, and their refit was taking much longer- looked like some two hundred and fifty days- than Black Prince's, because the crew were not really being employed in it, it was all being done by Corellian Engineering. Who were, apparently, glad to get away from the appalling safety risks being taken by Black Prince's chief engineer.

Fist's crew had relatively little to do, they seemed to have been half forgotten about in fact, and apart from a handful of postings had really no purpose except to wait for more than half a year.

There were few shortcuts, either- there were already as many people on the job as could be efficiently brought to bear, but having to take apart and inspect even the things that weren't obviously damaged was just that time consuming; it would have been faster to build a new destroyer from scratch.


There had been a public exhibition smashball match; Coronet City Crushers versus a team picked from the best of Black Prince's crew, that had turned out mostly to be the engineering-command team, The Bigger Hammer, because Lennart had felt they were working themselves into tunnel vision and needed a diversion.

Both sides had assumed- had been carefully allowed to assume- that they were playing to their usual rules. That had come close to causing a riot. Corellian Athletics Authority rules usually didn't allow electronic warfare, for instance.

Mind you, any riot would have been extremely short lived. Imperial security basically consisted of expecting a military raid and establishing military defences against it- walkers and hovertanks and starfighters everywhere.

In theory they were not supposed to get involved, but apparently one of the fleet teams' players was a stormtrooper tanker, had been misinformed and sent on duty, and had to ground the FireHawke on the pitch, jump out and change into sports gear to take part. This gave rise to claims of undue intimidation.

The tank became the first player to be sent off, for being excessively armed and armoured- and caused a short delay while the Imperial team asked the referee if that meant less well armed and armoured vehicles would be allowed on the field. Answer, no.


When the game eventually started, it was players versus lunatics. Rumour had it that the Imperial team's pre- match warm up consisted of "we're not here for the honour of the ship, we're here because it's a chance to beat the living shit out of a bunch of overpaid posers." Although to be fair they did play it for comedy value.

They had started doing conjuring tricks with the ball in midfield at one point; here it is, there it is, where is it? Shell game with three jerseys. And a disappearing trick, too- one of the players vanished, to reappear in the Crushers' goal zone twenty minutes later with a sandwich in one hand, perfectly placed to catch and score.

One of the Crushers had been stunned- elbow, not gun- and draped, actually taped into, mimetic camouflage so that neither he nor the team had the faintest idea where he was. They had sliced into the earpiece comms of the crushers and directed them all into a massive pile-up in the centre of the pitch. Tweaked another players' nerves so he had to be stretchered off with uncontrollable laughter.

Another had been zapped with something that made the thread holding his uniform together instantly rot, leaving him standing there wearing only a jockstrap. One of their assistant coaches was somehow neurolinguistically hacked into believing he was an omnifowl. Even the ball had, at one point, refused to be kicked, picked itself up and left.

The Crushers' cheerleaders had fled in terror in the face of the Bigger Hammer's hired squad- the Semi-Housebroken Carnivorous Therapods. The home team had tried to get one back by accusing the imperial team of fielding a nonsentient, to wit a wookie.

It had of course been Chief Mirannon, who had put his career in jeopardy- and got a standing ovation from the crowd- by demanding 'And what's wrong with Wookies?' Mind you, he had then turned the tables by rapidly narrowing a workable definition down to the ability to grasp abstractions, and firing a series of references and equations at the Crushers' captain whose response had been 'Eh?'

The robot referee had then been hustled- threatened with a turing test itself in fact- into sending the Crushers' captain off as being insufficiently sentient to count.


The home team had stopped objecting to the moments of lunacy by halftime, because the actual game was a slaughter. The visitors played a much more fluid game, a fast, running, twisty style- despite the number of them still in bits and pieces of working gear.

When it came to it, though, thy could turn their hand to the battering set pieces much more readily than the crushers could relearn how to do the passing game. The Imperials had actually played in a more Corellian style than the locals.

Although relations had been slightly damaged by one of the deputy chief engineers grabbing the Crushers acting captain and saying 'You have a spine. I have a spanner. One more deliberate foul from your lads and I will unscrew your vertebrae and feed them to you.' The armour hovering overhead had made it quite believable.


Now, though, there was a visitor to deal with. Warning came up from the front desk only just in time for Viktoria to ditch her desktop, clear it of any potentially incriminating images.

She barely had time to ask what it was about and be told sorry, we couldn't stop her, when her office door was shoved open and the reason why they couldn't stop her was painfully evident.

The visitor was female- Viktoria, in the middle of thinking about her unresolved crush, hated her instantly, although for all the wrong reasons. Middle height or a little more, olive skin, dark hair, and ridiculously well dressed, conventionally styled business suit but cut and material exquisite, a member of the new elite of the galaxy.

By contrast, Inquisitor Pasiq thought, the corellian- native policewoman looked as if she had just come off a shift with the swoop squad, or possibly vice. Three tone, midnight, metallic royal and electric blue armoured bodyglove with gold and gilt trim, it looked like the effort to look classy of someone who actually had no class at all.


'Inspector,' Pasiq decided to dive straight in, 'You are the main point of contact for the Imperial ships in orbit- I need copies of all your files, everything of any relevance.'

'You can't walk in here and demand- you have no jurisdiction, are you even police? Who do you think you are?' deLante demanded.

Ah, the feed line, Pasiq thought. 'Inquisitorius.' Flashing the ID, withdrawing it as soon as she got the spike of recognition that meant it had been understood, but before she could study it. 'Before you strain yourself remembering the case law, yes, my authority supersedes any local police agency, no, there are no Corellian exceptions, not to the Dangerous Cults Act.'

Viktoria's reaction was one of stunned loathing; the daughter of wealth, it was from her family and friends she had learned to mistrust those who thought they were above the law. Which the Inquisitorius clearly were. Possibly more than that, she thought trying to meet the dark inquisitor's eyes; against.

'You do not approve? You disbelieve in the necessity of protecting the people from renegade force users?' Pasiq said, cynicism dripping off her tone. She was a renegade force user, she knew it, deLante would soon work it out, and the system was broken, the rules were bent, and there was nothing the native woman could do about it.


Corellia had a tradition all of it's own as far as the Force went- there was something genuinely freakish in the fact that it produced enough jedi to have any distinctive tradition of it's own at all- but Viktoria deLante could see nothing to be gained from mentioning that.

The case law was actually distinctly confused. There were several Corellian force users unaccounted for- but it might be better not to mention that. What would work, would any words help at all?

Inquisitor Pasiq didn't look like a homicidal bloodthirsty lunatic, but- no, wait. The presence of her, managing to slide round the centre of the room- she wasn't imposing at all. Exactly the opposite. Even though she was there, clearly visible in the office, there was something half- hidden about her, something of a shadow that walked with her.

Viktoria was not a brilliant warrior, but she knew, if ever there was anything that needed fighting against- although how? It seemed very important not to give in, not to roll over and wave her legs in the air to this woman- mercy was not in her.


'I disbelieve that this is within your remit at all.' The last resort; bureaucracy. Possibly less doomed than pulling out a blaster. 'Public order issues that are exactly the opposite of your job? Civil matters that are not your problem?'

'Patterns within that data that are.' Pasiq said, noting wryly the resistance the Corellian policewoman was trying to put up- and catching surface whispers of the reason why. Well, perhaps she wasn't entirely stupid.

'There will be a mind-swampingly large amount of data, of course; and you had just decided to employ the tactic of dumping it all on me unfiltered, hadn't you?' Pasiq prodded.

'One, I don't know what sort of pattern you're looking for. Two, how secret do you want this to be, the fewer who know about this the more of the analysis and sorting will be down to the end user, that is you; three, what? You want everything of any relevance- at the moment it is largely unfiltered, and breeding. What there is to give you, if it was any of your business, is a swamp.' deLante said.


'You're going to have to be more specific about what it is that you want...' she started to add, then the notion hit her; that was bad, bad tactics she knew, but she had just made the obvious leap and could hardly not think about it. Of course the expensively- suited Inquisitor would be here for a force user, what else?

That ship, that crew, who? Him? It must be. Suddenly wishful thinking exploded in full flower again- of course, he was trying to protect her against the fallout of what might happen, it was a noble sacrifice, he didn't want to drag her into it- too late for that, she was going to have to help him whether he wanted her to or not- and then things would be wonderful.

Pasiq watched all this happen, the sudden bust of wild surface thoughts, with a wry internal grin; it was so very like the thought processes she had seen so often in the doxies pheromone-bound and besotted with her prince. The glitz-monster had a crush on her target. She could use that.

'Is it not obvious? Evidence of guilt, of the use of the Force- and of sheltering and supporting the forbidden cult. I know, that makes it sound so much more exciting than it really was.' Pasiq had been a padawan, and even at the price, even at that fearful test, the dark side had offered so much more.

deLante had spiked at the idea of sheltering the cult, however- she certainly would if given the chance, was pro- light side and pro-rebel if her radiations were anything to go by; she had learned a little discretion, enough to fool herself with into thinking she was a lot more opaque than she actually was. Pasiq would be seriously disappointed in her target if he returned deLante's feelings.


Viktoria deLante was temporarily at a loss for what to do, then thought, hm, evidence, right- handed the first folder of the large and expanding file on the financial district incident to the Inquisitor. On a datapad, of course. A hardcopy would have weighed ten kilos.

The effect was interesting. Pasiq skimmed it through, assuming that 'played the financial centre' meant exactly what it would any other time, assumed it was an irrelevant diversion, then her subconscious caught up on all those terms like earthquake dampers and structural resonance frequencies, and she flipped the datapad back open.

This was evidence of...of what she couldn't quite define. There was no such charge as Grand Vandalism, although there did seem to have been relatively little damage done; breaking and entering, obviously, although how was still not exactly known.

A group of techs from that ship had used sixty-odd buildings as a piano, getting sounds from them with damage control forcefield generators. This was- it was obviously the product of a deviant mind, and to the Inquisitor it was a worrying sign. Neither the light side or the dark took its' fun in that way.

'What tune were they playing?' She decided was the first and possibly only sensible question.

'Apparently an old punk anthem called "Eat The Rich." deLante pointed out, noting how Pasiq had failed to come to terms with the incident. Confusion, things not in their proper place. Which was as good an explanation as any of why Lennart had let his people do it.


'Is this the sort of information you came to find?' deLante asked mock- innocently. 'Is this the relevance you're looking for?'

Pasiq was not as unsubtle as some, but she had her limits. She grabbed the corellian policewoman by the mind- engaged her in a contest of wills, gave up on the spoken word and tried to beat her into submission with the dark side of the Force.

She was no titan of the Force, but determination and no scruples whatsoever worked well enough to splash straight through the native's outer thoughts, getting the now hardly relevant precis of what she had been originally after- and there was much wierdness that gave her pause, things like invisible mountains; what?

Apparently some of the engineers had decided to go skiing, couldn't find a suitable slope, and built one out of force fields; so there were sheets of snow hanging in mid air ten thousand feet up, tailored to suit. The weather control needed to make it happen had been done, too. There had also apparently been two wrestlers made out of clouds fighting over Coronet City.

Viktoria felt the process from the other side, being dragged through her own consciousness, pushed and ripped from thought to thought- tried to get her own mind to do what she want it to, think of defences and countermeasures; managed to come up with the old old dodge of the resonating mind, started trying to recite nursery rhymes to herself.


Pasiq had an easy answer for that. An illusion that was not an illusion, a sparked memory of what those nursery rhymes were actually about- most of them had a nightmare element when you came right down to it, like what the one about the maypole or the bridge falling down actually referenced.

deLante tried to steer the dark jedi away from what she was hiding, which made it easier to home in on- tried to lay a false trail entirely by imagining an orange bouncy rhinoceros, and Pasiq made her imagine it running over her.

The imagined shock and pain of that cracked her resistance, stunned her and let the Inquisitor roam freely inside her head. Pasiq wished there were some equivalent of a house- clearing service for the inside of the brain- psyches modified while you wait? It would probably have a frighteningly huge number of customers.

Anyway, it was more or less possible with normal means, just not remotely quick enough to be done in the field; breaking someone with conventional interrogation, reducing them to a quivering will-less jelly, was fine for a hobby but it just wasn't tactical.


deLante's head was a clutter, and while it was difficult to find the limits of any mind it was easy to track the main features; so she was a rebel defector- in- place, was she? Good, that served as a viable cloak for anything else that needed done to her. Much data and details there- some of it exploitable by Black Sun. Her prince would be pleased.

Her prime suspect- and target for unofficial vengeance- loomed large in the inspector's head, as the inquisitor had thought he would; fixated, devoted to him, unrequited, ineffectual, hagridden with jealousy- could easily be turned against her.

Damn. Too much potentially valuable information in her head to reduce her entirely to a puppet- or to kill her off for scheming to harbour a force using renegade. Could be done at any moment anyway. What do do, how to make best use of her?

There was a warm rosy glow of wishful thinking over her thoughts about Lennart- obvious gibberish, but might actually make her of some use, as a pawn anyway. Pasiq stepped round the desk, grabbed the Corellian by the throat and said 'You belong to me now. This is what you do-'
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-06-17 09:18am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22442
Dammit.

Okaay, we now finally have a suitably difficult villain for this arc, or the opening part of one.

[Grumbles at the stupid universe of Imperial order and its steadfast refusal to let anyone have any fun.]
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InsaneTD
PostPosted: 2011-06-17 09:46am 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-07-13 12:10am
Posts: 403
Location: South Australia
They played a set of buidings like a piano? :shock: :lol: Awesome. There is way too much awesome/win/epicness to really picture here. At least I'm having a hard time picturing it all. :P
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Andras
PostPosted: 2011-06-17 12:53pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2002-07-08 10:27am
Posts: 563
Location: Waldorf, MD
Interesting update ECR. Glad to see more.
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Vianca
PostPosted: 2011-06-17 02:43pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2006-01-20 09:00am
Posts: 301
InsaneTD wrote:
They played a set of buidings like a piano? :shock: :lol: Awesome. There is way too much awesome/win/epicness to really picture here. At least I'm having a hard time picturing it all. :P

Rather liked the mountain bit. :P
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