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Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic [Episode 1|IC]

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Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic [Episode 1|IC]

Postby Krugmar » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:11 pm



Grand Convocation Chamber
Galactic Senate Building
Coruscant


The chamber was abuzz with activity, it seeming likely that every senator would be in attendance. Dozens made their way to their repulsorpods, senators flanked by representatives and aides, while others milled about from the galleries above. The reason for the excitement had yet to appear.

Below them waited Zaan, in his holding office. To say he was nervous about the upcoming session would be an understatement. It had only been a week after the assassination attempt, and he had been secluded since. Arrangements for an increase in security had been made, and he had been informed that none in the senate had opposed such measures. It was not out of respect, or worry for his safety, but fear for their own. The measures included increased security for individual senators, as well as for the Senate Building and other government properties. After all, if someone was willing to try to assassinate the Supreme Chancellor himself, who wouldn't they make an attempt on?

Additional Senate Guards and Commandos would now patrol the hallways, bolstered by reinforcements from the Judicial Forces and a few Sector Ranger veterans called in should any would-be assassin need tracking. The Jedi Council had also deigned to send a few of their own Order to assist in whatever way possible.

While thinking about such matters, Zaan noticed that his Vice Chair, Ginego, and Administrative Aide, Lon Lod, were both in position on the podium, and made his way over to it. Within less than a minute the special session would begin, and the podium would rise up into the chamber.

All talk and chatter died as it did, with all eyes and focus turning upon him. His Vice Chair formally opened the session, and turned over the floor to himself.

"Senators, Representatives, and Permanent Delegations. I would like to take a moment to thank you for passing the necessary measures to ensure the stability and protection of this senate, and of its members. Our work here is vital to ensuring the stability of the Republic, and safeguarding our precious democracy." He started, giving a few seconds before moving on.

"The attempt on my life has revealed the weakness of those who would attempt to destroy that democracy. But it has also revealed a flaw in our system. Should I have perished, those working against the Republic may have grown bolder. Indeed even though it failed, they may still seize upon any moment of weakness we grant them." He continued. He could hear some murmurings, quiet as they were. His intentions now were perhaps obvious, though most wanted with bated breath until they heard the very words.

"This will not happen. And so as the first of a series of reforms intended to revitalise our Republic, I am putting forward the Military Creation Act, to counter the increasing threats and challenges faced by our Republic."

Uproar immediately engulfed the chamber. Repulsorpods roared into life and began detaching as a multitude of senators attempted to speak their mind. Some objected to the Chancellor, others objected to their objections.

It would have been pandemonium, had the Vice Chair not directed the clerks seated below to override the senators' repulsorpods and return them to their standard positions. "Order!" Ginego shouted several times. "The Chair will not be hearing debate for the Act today. Likewise it will not be taking any motions for this session. Senators may in orderly fashion apply for speaking rights and make brief statements related to the Act." She said, before withdrawing.

Zaan took his seat and waited. No doubt it would only take minutes for the senator's aides to divvy up the act into sections, and ascertain all the information they needed to prepare their statements. And for some they did not even need to read the act, they would either support it wholeheartedly, or intend to bog it down in bureaucratic procedures.

This was to be the start of his crowning achievement, one which would render him as famous as Tarsus Valorum. Yet his mind was occupied by another troubling development, the death of a Jedi Knight by the name of Corde Vane. He had held her in high regard, admiring her fiery spirit and desire for further Jedi involvement in the galaxy to aid an embattered republic. But she was gone, and now her apartment housed only members of the Judicial Forces investigating her untimely death.

This and the attempt on his life were in great proximity. Many might suspect that they are perhaps linked, as linked as the Jedi and Republic. He was not so sure. He had many enemies, while Vane had upset only a small fraction of an old religion.

It was paramount that the Jedi not involve themselves in the investigation, they were under enough stress as it was. It was all he could do to hold firm the failing institutions of the republic, and not let it fall to the Gathering Storm.
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Revlona
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Postby Revlona » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:32 pm

A cooperative post between Revlona and Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States

Coruscant


The door whizzed open, and lieutenant-brigadier Mecko Rendor stepped in. As he passed the threshold, he was met with the well-known smell of cleaning fluids. Although thorough, not even the cleaning droids of Coruscant could entirely get rid of the stale air of an apartment that had been empty for the better part of eight years. Mecko walked straight towards the window and pulled aside the curtain, allowing sharp rays of sunlight to illuminate the room. From what was going to be the living room, the view encompassed much of the Republican quarter, including the squat flag-adorned barracks of the Judicial Forces, and of course the Senate; or the ‘Mushroom, as it was colloquially known.

After Mecko entered the carrying droids, as well as the few workmen that accompanied them. Furniture, cookware, boxes of documents, house plants… A carnival of personal possessions, both of him and Asana. Mecko dexterously avoided collisions, not in the least aided by his supernatural precognition. With the imperative yet kindly voice of a Judicial Officer, he began directing the layout of the various rooms. After a few minutes, following at the tail-end of the chattel parade, came Asana, holding a box of personal belongings she would not even trust to a droid.

“Hey, precious” Mecko said, keeping his eyes on two workmen precariously hauling an all-glass Mon Calamari water clock. They were holding it entirely improperly, and the many glass tubes of its construction would have shattered were Mecko not supporting the device from a distance.

“I’ll be taking granddad’s old room in the back, so you can pick any of the others for your bedroom. The sun rises from that direction” he said, pointing towards the east, “so that’s something to keep in - careful, please!” he exclaimed, two droids almost impaled a plastic-wrapped painting of the Battle of Bothawui on a Felucian spike fern.

“Keep that wrapped, I’m taking that one to the office. If it will fit that is”

“Are you sure that wouldn’t be an improvement dad? I’ve always found that work a little, oh how would someone put it, drab? Yeah, drab!” Asana said as she walked past the two droids with a box of personal items between her arms.

As her eyes flicked past the view and fell upon the senate, they narrowed and a frown formed on her face. She put the box down before getting closer to her father, she cast her eyes around the room quickly and happy that no one was close enough to eavesdrop, she prodded him in the ribs and said, “Gosh grandad had no subtle, I bet he grabbed this view to make himself think, oh darn this republic and its jedi, every time he wakes up in the morning and walks out here,” Her voice going deeper in an approximation of what she thought the former sith master and her grandad would have sounded like, not hat she had ever met him.

“Don’t tell me you actually like the view,” Asana rounded off with a look of disgust crossing her face, she backed away from her father, mock horror taking over as she looked at him.

Mecko tried to give his daughter a stern, disapproving look, attempting to feign offence at the unflattering mental picture of his adoptive father. He only managed a few seconds, though, as a broad smile parted the corner of his mouth.

“Honestly, if you look at his sixty year life and his productivity, you’d think he did nothing else than glaring at them” Mecko answered honestly. It was not entirely fair, since Darth Expulsus had done a lot of preparatory work, including buying - acquiring this very apartment. But it had not escaped both their notice that granddad had done less in his forty years of staying the course than Imperatus and Pretiosa had achieved in the last six. His demise had come none too soon.

“Your faux-teenage indifference is noted, by the way. Those ‘drab colours’ are quintessentially part of the Gorm period of Bothan art, which…” he tried, trailing off as he felt Asana’s disinterest emanating from her like smoke from a fire.

“Would you rather have a view of the Jedi temple? Be close enough to feel that arrogance waft from every opening; starting at five, the try-hards, and just buzzing around your ears all day. The only reprieve being that they go to bed at nine”

Mecko held still for a moment, as he felt one of the workmen taking an interest in their conversation two rooms down. He waited until he could feel the eavesdropper leave the apartment for a new hail.

“And believe me, you will thank me once we start doing business. How are you feeling about that? This isn’t like the petty blood feuds of Nal Hutta like during training. The Sith is unmatched in viciousness, but if there is any place in the galaxy where they’re making an attempt, it’s there” he added, pointing towards the Mushroom. He could try to feel her emotions, but outside of training, he attempted to shield his mind from them. He enjoyed the sense of normalcy it could give him to just ask instead of feel, and both he and Asana liked having their private emotions, when not concerning the Grand Plan directly.

“Yeah I guess this is better than a view of the temple...but if we had one of those then I could imagine it burning every time I woke,” She said, offering the last part of her words in a wistful tone.

“Did I tell you about earlier? When we were delayed at the docks I passed by a Jedi and a couple Judicials, it was nasty. I swear I could almost smell the self righteousness coming off her in waves, some Twi’lek stick of an old woman looking at everything around her as inferior,” She said, shuddering as she brought the memory up. She was of course leaving several things up, including the many thoughts she had about what she wanted to do to the Jedi.

“Anyways,” She said before closing her mouth softly, another worker walking by as she did. “Whoever did in the Jedi was a genius, I should have thought of it. She has the potential of becoming a martyr and we didn’t even off her. Who do you think it was, her padawan? Maybe they tried to kill the Supreme Chancellor too..” she said, her thoughts trailing off as she did so.

She of course shielded her own emotions and force presence at all times, you never knew when a Jedi or other force sensitive might be passing by. It wouldn’t be a good thing if she had to kill a Jedi simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. After all, there would come a right place and a right time. She also felt more comfortable with her father since they started the practice, it had always been unnerving in the first few months of being his daughter whenever he guessed her moods, she was glad he had stopped.

Mecko’s smile ran away from his face, and he dowerly looked at the Senate, and the Executive Palace that stood in its shadow. Mecko was a master of restraint, but he was a Sith regardless. Anger, frustration, impotence… Those were his pitfalls. A breeze passing through the hermetically sealed apartment was the only evidence of this, though, and when he spoke, he spoke with his regular, matter-of-factly tone.

“It’s not knowing that bothers me. Sure, as long as there are two people left in the universe, someone is going to want someone dead… very few exceptions. But to actually do it… That takes a special kind of determination. And to be in the position to kill both a Jedi and to attempt an assassination of the Chancellor, that takes effort. I doubt we are in a position to do the same at this point, at least without endangering the Plan”

Mecko straightened his uniform and walked over to the living room, where most of the furniture had now been installed, depositing himself on one of the recliners.

“But that’s what we are going to find out together. If the Jedi are trying to tear themselves apart without our interference, all power to them”

Then, a broad smile slashed his face, a malicious glare that he always suppressed in public.

“However, if we are not going to have at least some hand in it, I would be incredibly disappointed in myself”

“Hah, I’d be incredibly disappointed in you as well, but I think what we should be focusing on are these assassins as you said. If such a faction could align themselves with us when the time comes they’d be invaluable, at the same time they could prove to be a great threat,” Asana said, her face tightening as she thought. She had always possessed wisdom beyond her age, it having come from her time spent fighting for her life. However it was in these moments that she truly shined, when she put her full young mind towards a certain problem and tried to figure it out, she had the stubbornness to sit there in place for hours doing just that.

It would not be needed today though, “How about this, you got yourself appointed to the investigation of the Chancellors attackers so it is obvious what you intend to do. I’ll do the same but unofficially, I’m not sure there is much we can do to find the Jedis killers ourselves, but the Chancellor is another story,” Asana said, her brow unfurrowing and a satisfied smirk crossing her face. “Watcha think, I’m kinda awesome aren’t I?” she said, directing said smirk at her father.

“I honestly cannot imagine how Jedi are supposed to keep their Padawans in check with all the rules they have to follow. No anger, no pride…” Mecko responded, thoughtfully.

“This conversation would just have been me saying ‘no, young one, that’s wrong” he continued, mimicking the voice and accent of an elderly Jedi. “Genuine emotions and sincerity lead to… By the Force, I cannot even pretend without getting mad”

Mecko stood up again and sauntered towards the kitchen.

“Your self-obsessed irreverence aside, yes. We need to get a lay of the land. Find out anything you can on either of the assassinations, with the Chancellor taking priority. Me investigating the attempt is not just about information, it’s about appearing competent in his eyes. Gaining his trust. The more info we have, the better we can accomplish that”

Mecko opened the fridge and began making a mental inventory of what snacks and beverages they had at their disposal. It wasn’t much, in the nature of moving half-way across the galaxy, but enough to subsist for a few days. He craned his neck back into the living room.

“But enough business. We need to properly settle, and you still need to pick a school. Blue milk?”

“School..” She muttered, putting more venom and contempt into the word than she had when speaking about both the senate and the jedi. With a sigh she took the offered milk and grumbled into it between drinks, the words unintelligible to her father who she had moved away from, her eyes drilling into his back as if he was a demon.

Unbeknownst to the two Sith, the Supreme Chancellor had just enacted a set of events that had the possibility of making or breaking the Republic in the future. The actions of Master and Apprentice just might be the swaying decision.
Last edited by Revlona on Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Miekzhemy » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:27 pm

Rhys Aatahl
Kedoa Nissah



Coruscant
Two years ago


THE JEDI TEMPLE - a structure whose every inch was a work of architectural beauty. So seemingly endless were its halls that one could wander its corridors for days learning its secrets, and only scratch the surface of its history. And on the outside, tranquil balconies gave its Jedi occupants a vibrant view of the gargantuan metropolis that was the Galactic Capital. So high was the temple that even the sounds of the city were practically nonexistent. No speeder traffic, no starships screaming past... Just a peaceful breeze...

Rhys Aatahl had tread these halls for what could easily have been his entire life. When he had finally grown bored of traversing its chambers and learning its layout, he delved into its libraries, spending many of his days perusing holobooks instead. Oh, how he longed to be back in the archives. Despite the Temple's gargantuan size, it always seemed to be one of the only places with true, honest peace and quiet.

But the academic was but one side of the Jedi coin. For today, upon one of these expansive outdoor balconies, a sizable crowd of Jedi Masters and Knights had gathered to observe the Padawans taking turns in the training ring.

The brooding Miraluka stood in a disorganized cluster with the other Padawans, with olive green robes and snow white hair that sported a single neat braid trailing down his shoulder. Rhys, being a good few inches above the more humanlike ones, was somewhat older than the rest of them, himself just turning eighteen some weeks ago while the eldest of his peers were of thirteen and fourteen years at most. While some may look upon him and assume he was simply adopted into the Order at an older age, the truth was much more humiliating. Each year was the same: He would blunder in his combat training, and be forced to repeat the same training sessions with a fresh set of Padawans while watching the ones his own age soar to new heights, ever further down that glorious path to Knighthood. And this class was no different. As was typical for him at this point, this was another bunch of green, inexperienced Padawans, which had been unfortunate enough to have this lanky, adolescent scholar of a Miraluka standing among them.

Presiding over the Padawans was Master Toran Kin, with arms crossed and an almost permanent scowl on his face. The Togruta was massive, with a stature that left him towering above many of his fellow Jedi, Knights and Masters alike. A notable master of Form II: Makashi - as expected of one of Master Dooku's earlier proteges - he had introduced himself as one of the battlemasters when many of the younger ones began their training as mere Initiates. And he had swiftly proved his impeccable combat prowess by soundly defeating entire handfuls of Padawans in five consecutive sparring matches, before subsequently instructing all of them on how they might improve after the fact. For years, the Togruta battlemaster was known throughout the Temple for his ability to effortlessly break any student down with arduous training and, like a smith forging crude iron into shining steel, hammering away all their impurities - Until each and every one was a weapon, capable of standing up to any foe. Though the training itself was known to push even the strongest of souls to their limits, it was typically something the Padawans grew to appreciate over the years.

Or, ideally, that is. To Kin, the recent years of peace had left the Order soft...

"Padawan Rhys!"

Though his turn was inevitable, Rhys nonetheless felt a tinge of dread come over him as he stepped into the ring - even more so when he heard who the battlemaster was choosing as his foe.

“My apprentice!" Kin said, glancing over his shoulder. "You have yet to treat us to a demonstration for some time now! Come, give this Padawan a real challenge!”

Rhys felt himself wince slightly at the mention of the battlemaster's own apprentice. And when his eyeless guise finally perceived the young woman that stepped into the arena, he now couldn’t help feeling somewhat nervous...

Kedoa Nissah was a Zabrak: a red-skinned humanlike figure, with a dark set of jagged facial tattoos and a ring of stubby horns protruding from her head of jet black hair. With impeccable posture and the way she seemed to measure each step she took, she carried herself less like of a Jedi, and more like a soldier. She wore no flowing robes, instead donning a modest tunic of faded sapphire. Her sleeves were bound tightly at the wrists by a pair of armoured bracers, one bearing the insignia of the Order. In these times of relative peace, this combat-ready manner of dress, let alone within the Temple itself was...very unusual. Rhys had seen her before - Knighted roughly a year prior, and yet she's mopped the floor with so many opponents that Master Kin could no longer be bothered to count. And now here she was, glaring daggers in his face with those sharp crimson eyes.

Perhaps, were it not for her attitude, she would be a Temple Guard...

“Master Yan says you have potential, Padawan,” Rhys heard Kin comment from off to his side. Did she now? That certainly sounded like something she would say. No doubt she was somewhere in that crowd now, preparing for yet another session of watching her Padawan be absolutely floored...

"Let us see just how correct she is! Begin!"

After a curt bow, both Rhys and Kedoa drew their weapons. And after both opponents ensured they were dialed to the lowest power setting, three vibrant blades sprung to life with the signature snap-hiss of a lightsaber. With his blindfolded visage "staring" forward at nothing in particular, Rhys held his saber aloft, its emerald green blade jutting into the sky. Kedoa, meanwhile, grasped her saberstaff parallel to the floor in both hands, with one of its two glimmering blue blades pointed in the Miraluka's direction. They assumed fighting stances, Rhys standing tall, Kedoa keeping low.

Kedoa's opening stance was that of Juyo, a style rarely seen practiced in the Jedi Order. The form was unpredictable and aggressive, drawing from the user's deepest emotions to fuel violent, decisive strikes. He could only hope that, when he was inevitably greeted with a barrage of wild attacks, his knowledge of Soresu might help him weather the storm until an opening presented itself...

And for a time, the bookish Padawan and the martial Knight steadily paced around the edge of the dueling ring, their sabers humming above the dead silence of their audience with a sound that seemed to devolve into a low, steady growl. Rhys' guard was steady, and he soon came to the realization that the Zabrak was merely waiting for an opening. Or perhaps, she was testing to see if she was being lulled in a false sense of security. But regardless, when she felt certain that she was not, Kedoa struck.

Reeling to his right, Rhys only barely managed to avoid Kedoa's lunge by mere inches. A subsequent follow-up strike was hurled his way, which the Miraluka deflected with a single deft swipe of his saber. In a momentary flash of blue-green light, the blades crashed together, grinding against one another with an almost deafening crackle before Rhys bounded back. That alone only confirmed his worries: She was swift, swifter perhaps than even his precognitive reflexes. His own defense could only hold out against her for so long. He hated situations like this - the ones that forced him to take an offensive.

But as Kedoa was already fishing for another opportunity to pounce on her would-be prey, he had to act now.

Rhys advanced, quickly whirling his lightsaber around and delivering a poor excuse for a horizontal strike, which the Zabrak blocked with little effort. But to attempt a retreat would only force him right back on the defensive. Rhys' lightsaber spun from one strike into another, and another, trusting in the Force to guide him by some divine providence past Nissah's guard. But the Force, as it was every time he found himself in these pivotal battles, always seemed to have greater business to attend to that day. Kedoa easily intercepted every incoming strikes with reflexes that seemed just as quick as the Miraluka's own. The Padawan cursed himself within his mind for his pitiful offense. At this rate, he would never find a way to break through the Knight's defenses...

Unsurprisingly, Kedoa promptly counterattacked. She did so with brutal efficiency, holding nothing back against the inexperienced Padawan. Try as he may, Rhys' Soresu stood little chance against the wild, staccato rhythm of Kedoa's bladework. Over and over again would she nearly break through the Padawan's guard, until one of the blue blades finally made contact, searing effortlessly through the sleeve of his robe and carving a nasty burn into the flesh of his arm.

"Nngh--! Solah!" Rhys shouted to signify surrender, and the deactivated hilt of his lightsaber clattered helplessly to the floor. As Kedoa promptly backed off, Kin's booming voice called out again.

"One round to Nissah. Again."

The sting of his burn quickly numbed over, and Rhys slowly bent down to retrieve his weapon once more. But as he reoriented himself, the Miraluka's "sight" fell upon the crowd. And sure enough, there she was. Like himself, Master Yan was a Miraluka as well - an elder woman, with flowing grey hair trailing down the back of her Consular robe, and a simple blindfold of cloth concealing her own vestigial eye sockets. It was commonplace for them to take one of their own kind as an apprentice, given how radically different their species even perceived the Living Force in relation to other races. While others gradually learn of its nature, the Force was but a part of life for his people. Everything he saw, everything he felt, he did so through this inherent sight and sense he had possessed since birth. And though Master Yan's face was neutral, he could tell she was thinking of something. Of what, however, he was yet unsure. That throbbing pain in his arm was sapping him of focus...

"Why do you hold back, boy?" Kedoa spat, prying Rhys back to reality. Her eyes narrowed, and her lips curled into a taunting grin.

"Are you afraid of me?"

Though her words were like venom, daring him to succumb to frustration, Rhys said nothing. And when he re assumed his stance and sprung his saber back to life, Kedoa did the same, leaving them to wait for Kin's call...

"Begin!"

This time, there was no pause. Kedoa immediately charged, and the two clashed once more. The second round was twice as intense than the first, twice as fast, and barely half as long. With green and blue blades smashing and rebounding against one another at blinding speed, Rhys quickly took a slash to his shin. He dropped to a knee, submitting to the bout of searing pain that shot up his spine.

"Solah..." the Padawan hissed yet again. He was used to being the one to utter such a word at this point...

"Two rounds to Nissah. On your feet, Padawan! Once more!"

What was the point, he figured... He could fight a thousand bouts, and all he'd get as a reward is a day in a bacta tank. Did they simply want to see him suffer? Rhys slowly rose to his feet. Yet again he had yielded, and yet again had he re-assumed his stance, preparing for the inevitable...

"Begin!"

Once more, Rhys and Kedoa dueled. For a time, the Miraluka's defense was stalwart, swatting down a series of rapid strikes Kedoa sent screaming his way like meddlesome flies. But with each block and deflection, he could feel his own stamina begin to fail him, and his chances at winning even a single round grow only slimmer and slimmer. The burns were growing difficult to ignore. And as if even the world around him was out to ensure his total defeat, Rhys found himself outright disarmed, his lightsaber bouncing to the floor out of his reach. He attempted to dodge his foe's subsequent attack, but as he made a futile attempt to retrieve his saber, Kedoa already had her blade a mere inches from his throat. The heat of her lightsaber left a tingle upon his flesh. They lingered for a moment, but even as the Zabrak pulled back, Rhys could only hang his head in shame.

“...solah...”

Part of him wanted desperately to continue the fight. He could reach out with the Force... Perhaps pull his lightsaber back to his hand. Perhaps it would salvage some semblance of his dignity. But try as he might, his own physical form deemed itself fit to fail him, leaving his arms hanging weakly at his sides. Rhys instead paced across the ring, and plucked the deactivated weapon from the floor. He gripped the hilt in his palm for some time, his thoughts racing over the recent ordeal. He could hear Kedoa turn her back, already beginning to leave the ring. He could feel Master Yan watching him. But despite his performance... regardless of yet another humiliating defeat, he felt no chagrin from her. Not yet... But why...? His "gaze" fell upon the Zabrak once more.

'She revels in the moment they realize she's bested them. Their defeat is her fuel...'

No.

Before Kedoa could make it outside of the ring, she was stopped by the sound of Rhys' saber, springing to life one more time.

But the Zabrak wasn't the only one that froze, however. In fact, it seemed almost like the entire world came to an abrupt stop.

"Padawan." Kin's voice broke the silence.

"One more round..."

"These practice duels are a best of five," the burly Togruta's scowl quickly darkened. "And you have already forfeited thrice! You've done more than enough."

Rhys said nothing. His saber let out a thrum as he whirled it back into a new opening stance. Master Kin seemed ready to drag him from the ring himself.

"Stand down, Padawan--!"

"I'll humour him, Master..."

The battlemaster looked down at his apprentice, who had already turned to face the Miraluka that stood silently in the ring. Kin opened his mouth to protest, but inevitably found himself saying nothing, instead allowing Kedoa to proceed. With an annoyed glare and a glazed look in her fiery red eyes, Kedoa promptly ignited her saberstaff again, and assumed her stance.

But rather than press the offensive once more, Rhys sucked in a lungful of air and, as he breathed it out, he reached out with the Force. For just a moment, he closed his "eyes," and let himself slip into meditation.

Though he was hardly in a physical position for such things, the Padawan was soon able to fall into a meditative state of mind nonetheless. Finally, silence fell upon him, taking him away from the ring for just a little while to a more tranquil place - A quiet, empty place, devoid of the pain of his injuries, the distractions of his audience, and the frustration of his defeat. As the soothing sensation washed over his body, Rhys reached even deeper. He could almost feel the Jedi breathing around him. The Living Force flowed through everything around him. He was still...himself, but at the same time he felt...a part of something so much greater than himself; so much greater than his own frail, physical form... and his petty, mortal desires and emotions. It was an indescribably beautiful sensation, one that even the most adept of Jedi Masters could scant put into words. And for but a mere second or two, the Force was he.

And he was the Force...

Furrowing her brow, it took little time for Kedoa to finally take it upon herself to act. Moving even more aggressively than he had in previous rounds, the Zabrak charged, aiming to put a swift end to their match, and bring a final defeat to the meddlesome Padawan that continued to stand in defiance against her.

Their blades clashed together with such force that an untrained eye would suspect the two hated one another with all their heart. Kedoa hammered relentlessly against Rhys' guard just as she had before. But this time, he could feel her own frustration. She hadn't put any faith in the Force to guide her. Her wild attacks came in the form of violent, arcing slashes, and each swing of her vibrant blades cut off her foe's angles in an attempt to keep her prey right where she wanted it.

But he refused to play to her ends. With scant time to even breathe, Rhys felt himself whirl around the incoming saber, dodging what he could and deflecting what he could not with his glimmering emerald blade. With each deft movement of his body and weapon, the Force guided him to the next. And for a time, he felt as if he were on the top of the world, dancing effortlessly and gracefully from dodge to counter-attack, to parry, and riposte - all in what seemed like a single flowing movement, driven solely by his trust in the Force. Niman.

And all the while, as Kedoa hurled attack after attack without meeting her mark, he could feel her frustration mounting. She was growing angry...

Kedoa's next blow came as fast as the Miraluka expected, her blue blade little more than a blur as it crashed upon his guard with all the energy and ferocity Juyo could wring out of her. But still Rhys was an eye of the storm, weathering each and every attempt from the fiery Zabrak to strike him down. It was then that it finally happened: She floundered a lunge, and lost her footing. With a sharp inhale, Rhys twirled his saber aloft and, as Kedoa tried to throw herself out of the way, brought the green blade down upon his mark.

Kedoa promptly rolled to a stop at the far end of the ring. But when she rose to her feet, a tuft of black hair had fallen from the nape of her neck, leaving a small but unmistakable burn upon the sensitive, black-red flesh.

"I'd say that is a mark of contact, my apprentice--"

"No," she interrupted Master Kin, with a peculiar sting to her words. The battlemaster arched an eyebrow.

"I am not yielding just yet..."

Kin's visage seemed to cycle through a mixture of emotions in response to that. With a gruff sigh, the Togruta ran a calloused hand along the length of one of the lekku that hung from his head. He was obviously irritated, but that was more than likely his resting expression. In fact, something about him seemed... amused. Well, almost...

Nonetheless, Kin gave the Zabrak a curt nod, and she moved to engage the Padawan once again. When he "looked" upon her face, he no longer saw the posh, seemingly uptight duelist, reveling in her own pride. Though she displayed no such expression, he could see it - sense the anger practically hemorrhaging off of her. Her eyelids twitched, and her hasty breaths of exhaustion were now little more than hisses and animalistic growls.

Perhaps, he thought, this was her true face...

Without warning, the Zabrak lunged yet again, twirling her saberstaff in a whirlwind of death. And so their duel continued.

Kedoa pressed her relentless offensive, but this time Rhys was ready for her. He continued his Force-fueled routine of dodging and deflecting until an opening presented itself. An overhead slash from Kedoa came down towards his head, which he intended to evade, but quickly found her anger-fueled strike too swift to do so. Instead, the Padawan received the brunt of her attack on his own blade, locking the two together in a fit of crackling fury from their weapons. For a time, they pushed at each other. As his own physical strength waned, Rhys soon began to feel the heat of the hissing sabers licking at his face...

Gritting his teeth, Rhys put every ounce of his arm strength into pushing his blade upward - a move that proved just fruitful enough for him to break the deadlock of sabers. He bounded out of reach before she could cleave him in two, and they stood back at square one yet again. The two of them were practically sweating buckets now, and most of the spectators were already suspecting the fight was coming to a close.

Kedoa lurched towards him, slower this time, prompting Rhys to square his stance with his saber held high. He felt the aching pain of his burns steadily sap his body of energy with each passing moment. But they were nothing more than distractions to be left aside. Only his full concentration and trust in the Force could help him overcome this battle. A thousand possibilities raced through his mind as they danced. He needed only a bit more time - time to find that one more crack in her defenses...

Thankfully, he wouldn't have to wait long. As Kedoa inched closer to him, like a predator on the prowl, she stared daggers into him. He knew that look. She was baiting him. Rhys raised his saber with one hand, feinting an overhead strike, prompting the Zabrak to reel her weapon upward in a horizontal motion. But in actuality, Rhys' attention was on her weapon. She expected such an attack would allow her a swift parry-riposte counter...

But all she received was the Miraluka's free hand snatching her saberstaff by the hilt.

CLUNK!

"Gah--!" the woman spat from her lips as the body of her own hilt clocked her in the forehead. It rebounded off one of the Zabrak's horns, succeeding in stunning her for only a tiny moment. But that was all the time he needed. With yet another simple but deft swipe, Rhys brought his emerald blade down, swinging low and slicing cleanly across Kedoa's leg.

"Agh--! Damn it! Solah! Solah!"

Rhys relinquished Kedoa's saberstaff the instant he heard those words, rewarding him with a single victory. Those words may have been the single most pleasant thing he had heard in months. For once he deactivated his saber, and exhaled that final lungful of breath, the Padawan practically fell into the railing that lined the duelling ring, propping himself upright with one arm alone.

"Why you little--!" Nissah snapped at him as Masters Kin and Yan stepped into the ring, the former helping her to her feet without a word. A small welt was plastered onto the Zabrak's forehead.

"How did you--?!"

Rhys, pained as he was, still couldn't help but show a small smirk on his face, even as Kedoa hissed and spit in a fit of frustration. Master Yan stepped up to help him along.

"That was quite the maneuver, my apprentice," she remarked. While she had attempted to keep her serious, by-the-book demeanor, even she couldn't fight the grin that tugged at the corners of her mouth.

"I dare say Master Kin and his apprentice will be grumpy for weeks..."




'Oh, how she cursed your name...'


The period of reminiscence eventually called the fledgling Knight back to reality. With his tan robes wrapped snugly around his form for warmth, Rhys leaned against the stone guard rails of the massive veranda of the Jedi Temple, overlooking the vast Galactic Capital in all its glory. He could see the distant, brightly-lit buildings amid the backlight of the setting sun. Even to the Miraluka, born without the human eyes to view such beauty, he could sense it all. The Force showed him the life below - the billions that toiled away. For a time, he immersed himself in the gentle wind that swept through his lengthy white hair.

...and for just a second or two, forgetting the troubles that brewed within the Temple behind him.

But the Knight they had found crept back into his mind. Vane. He pondered the nature of the ideals she had preached, the following she had accrued, the bitterness that simmered in their hearts as they bickered and bickered...

The way they went for each others' throats as they announced the nature of her death...

How did it come to this? Had they forgotten that they were all one in the same...?

Rhys took a moment to observe his own reaction to it all. A part of the young Knight, weary of the anger that wasn't even his own, worriedly pondered just how much mourning lay in store for him. He could sense it. Something was happening to the Order... to the great Republic he had grown to revere. Something foul - taking hold from within like a virus, and setting the stage for it all to begin rotting from the inside out.

It was when he hung his head that Rhys felt a presence - a soul tickling away at the edge of his perception. As it grew closer, its nature became clearer. Her.

"Aatahl."

Even as both their Masters had paired them for any upcoming assignments, Kedoa's attitude towards him had yet to be anything but callous. To the both of them, the mere prospect of having to cooperate was...disconcerting, even if they knew full well the reasons for it. To the Jedi that knew them, they could easily be polar opposites of one another. Rhys was patient and cautious, while Kedoa was impulsive and bold. Kedoa was a warrior, and Rhys was a scholar. From their attitudes and ideals to their stances and color of their hair, everything about them seemed to make one the antithesis of the other. And they expected the two of them to balance out the qualities both Kin and Yan found lacking? That was a trial of its own, but perhaps time would tell if the idea was a sound one...

"Yes?" he responded. Had he eyes, he would have peered over his shoulder to look at her. Admittedly, half his concentration was not on his fellow Knight...but a peculiar soul down below. Somewhere in the underbelly...

"Arrivals are coming in from the hangars. There might be assignments in store for us. Come."

A poor man. Little more than a mere thug...

'His bloodlust is a farce, meant to impress the others. But still he shot them down. The boy's cries haunt his dreams...'

"Of course..."

Rhys loomed over the city for but a moment longer, but soon turned to follow her back into the Temple. He deigned to toss the wayward thought aside, like a fisherman throwing his catch back out to sea.
Last edited by Miekzhemy on Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:34 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Revlona
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6530
Founded: Jan 23, 2017
Father Knows Best State

Postby Revlona » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:44 pm

Darth Pretiosa
Coruscant
Top Level


It was late in the Coruscanti night, well past the time when many would have gone to sleep, yet it seemed as if someone had forgotten to inform the city planet of such a thing. Speeders buzzed above Darth Pretiosa as she walked in the packed streets of the upper level of the Galaxies capital. Her mask was firmly fixed around her head, her black armor and hood fit her graceful form well and the blaster at her hip did not seem out of place with her.

On most other planets and in most other cities she might have gotten a second look from those that walked and buzzed around her, but not here. On coruscant she was far from the most oddly dressed individual and those who even cared to notice her took her for a bounty hunter or mercenary. They couldn't be farther from the truth.

For within the holster at her hip was an undetectable compartment which housed her slender lightsaber. Made of materials which gave it the same makeup as the holster which hid it, her saber was basically untraceable to sensors and scanners. A fact which had served Pretiosa well on the missions in which she had been deprived of her blaster by security forces or paranoid thugs.

Today however she should face neither and she most likely wouldn't need her weapons at all.

"Are you Amor Silvr? My informants tell me you witnessed the attempt upon the Supreme Chancellors life..." Pretiosa said her voice modulated to sound much deeper than usual by the helm. She now cornered the short bothan whom she had been following and subtly directing into the isolated alley the two now found themselves in. At Amors back was a tall security fence and in front of him was Darth Pretiosa, he was trapped.

"Mhm, what's it to you?" Asked Amor Silvr. He looked at the figure with a blank face, hiding his panic well. His left hand toyed with a cigarette, twirling it between his fingers, to mask a twitchy right hand at his side. He didn't have a blaster on him, but maybe she'd back off should she think he was armed.

“Oh it means little to me, very little. However, to you it might mean everything..” Pretiosa said before reaching her hand out in front of her and clenching her fist. Amor suddenly found his airway restricted severely. While not cut off completely to allow him to retain consciousness it was still a painful struggle to breath. “Now, you will tell me everything you saw that day. You will tell me everyone you know of that saw it, where it happened, when it happened, and if you saw anyone suspicious leaving the area. If you don’t, well I think we both know that can be left unsaid. Now, do you intend to tell me what I wish to know? If not, I can always move on to the next person on my list...” she said.

"Alright, alright!" He shouted, sagging a bit when she released him and letting out a few wheezing coughs. "I was trailing behind the Chancellor's convoy a bit, not sure where he was headed but it wasn't to the Senate Building since that was where he was coming from. All of a sudden a speeder out of nowhere crashes into one of his security detail, and another two appear and start taking shots at them. They almost hit his ship, but another of his security speeders got in the way. It collided with his ship and they went down into the nearby Old Market." He said, beating his chest and coughing a few times as he went on.

"After that it was a bit of a blur, but I don't think the assassins followed. Maybe they thought he wouldn't survive the crash, but it looked pretty tame to me. The Jedi Temple was pretty close, so perhaps they got spooked after their initial attempt failed. Happy now?"

“Very, thank you for your help Amor, it does make me regret doing this,” Pretiosa said, raising her fist and clenching it tighter than the first time, the Bothans neck audibly snapping under the pressure. She watched as his eyes widened once more in panic. Asana forced herself to watch him die, it was her fault after all. She had been foolish to use the force, she had signed an unneeded death warrant in a momentary lapse.

Pretiosa could not allow rumors of a masked Jedi in all black armor using the force to intimidate, not yet at least. So she sighed as she turned and moved away from the body, already routing herself away from the scene and towards the old market. Amors death was regrettable but necessary, such things would be common however they would all be necessary. She would do anything to ensure her and fathers plan succeeded, anything.

And so with the regret of killing the Bothan now gone, the 16 year Darth Pretiosa began to make her way through the crowd and towards the old market, she still had work to do.
Last edited by Revlona on Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oblivion2
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Founded: Mar 01, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Oblivion2 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:02 am

Chancellor Valorum Spaceport, Pad 14
Coruscant
0814 Local Time




Jaeda was frustrated as the wind on the landing pad whipped her auburn hair out of its neatly arranged style and blew it about into something beginning to resemble a wild mane. The mercenary was late by about a quarter hour and growing later by the moment. Her image had been carefully put together in order to present an image of modern grace; if a reporter decided to accost them before she could make herself back up again...

She sighed and pushed the thought away. Orelion Arno hadn’t taught his oldest daughter to be so fussily precise, but in the lobbying industry appearance could be worth as much or even more than the words you chose to speak to someone. It didn’t help matters either that this particular lobbying effort might be one of the most significant in modern history. It had started six weeks ago when Private Military Company MilMax had approached her about working a charm offensive on Coruscant in order to aid in the approval of a possible Military Creation Act. The passing of such an act would prove to be the coup of the century, represent a significant bonus should the Bill pass, and provide the Republic with the sort of security the last few decades had been proving it was going to need.

Jaeda had accepted of course, not only was the money good but she believed in the cause. She’d spent the last several weeks building up goodwill towards the company and the Bill in general, and it had finally come time for MilMax’s brand champion to take to the stage and wow the capital. Consulting her data pad, she pulled up the file she had been provided on the Mercenary for what might be the dozenth time today.

Artan Mythros. Early thirties, a Kiffar with chocolate brown eyes, skin approaching the colour of bronze and a tattoo of a pale yellow line with a diagonal break in it on each cheek streaking along his face. Most images of him had him in some sort of combat armour, wielding a small arsenal of weapons. Unlike the traditional depiction of bounty hunters and mercs, his equipment appeared to be in good condition, absent of battle damage and grime where possible. Professional, wherever possible it would seem, but otherwise unremarkable. MilMax wasn’t sending a holonet star. His record however was where things began to get impressive; The Insurrection on Dak IV put down with minimal casualties. A foiled assassination attempt on Grand Duke Irelian of Chron during a body guarding job. A confirmed kill on a rogue Jedi on Wyndark, though the details were mostly classified.

His reputation was perfect; no convictions, no human rights abuses, just a solid show of professionalism during a seventeen year career as a mercenary and Bounty Hunter. He was no Jango Fett... But he may just be what the movement needed. Provided of course he could actually speak intelligently and passionately, as she had been told he could.

Her train of thought comes derailed at the sound of an approaching Ion engine. Between the wind and the traffic, she didn’t hear it until it had come basically on top of the landing pad. Squinting against the glare of the sun, she saw it then. A Lancer Class Patrol craft, small and angry against the backdrop of mostly civilian vessels. Heart of Fire, she was called and had been Artan’s for the last ten years. She was a wolf here amongst the sheep. Setting down with a hiss of Hydraulics, the landing ramp slid open and she gestured for a pair of cargo droids to go and offload whatever might be inside the ship. Two figures would step out as they passed. One was an elderly human, what leanness he might have possessed beginning to give way to middle aged softness. His eyes were clever and never seemed to stop moving, clearly this was the MilMax lawyer; Baan Thrax.

Artan himself wasn’t dressed as she expected he would have been. Instead of armour, he wore instead the formal robes of the Kiffar, layered with leather, beads about his wrists and ankles, his dark hair cut short on the sides and slicked back. What was most striking about him were his gait, and the intensity of his gaze. His walk had a strange grace to it, suggesting he had been exposed to various levels of gravity or lack of it. Those brown eyes though seemed to look with Jaeda’s and look through her into the being beyond the skin. It was unnerving.

Stepping towards one another, Baan Thrax allowed himself a low bow, Artan however held out a weathered hand to the young lobbyist. “Ms. Arno,” He rumbled in a low baritone, the sound coming from deep in his broad chest, “It’s a pleasure to meet you at last. I’ve read a good deal about you these last eight weeks.”

She took his hand and smiled politely, gripping firmly. “Mr. Mythros-“

“Please,” he interrupted smoothly, “Just Artan is fine. You’ll have to forgive my tardiness, CorSec boarded for an inspection when I declared I was carrying small arms and personal armour. They wanted to be sure I was permitted.”

“Artan.” Another smile, “Welcome to Coruscant. I understand that you’re still on Corellian time.” She swept a hand towards one of two air speeders that she’d had brought to the landing pad. “If you’d like, this speeder can take you to your suite where you may rest for a bit and freshen up. We’ll be meeting with the other representatives of the Corporate Militarization Front tonight at 1830 tonight. You’ll want to be well rested, these beings are investing a lot of their hopes in you- in us.”

The Mercenary allowed himself a very faint smile, “Yes, wouldn’t want them to think they’ve been saddled with some Gamorrean punk, huh?”

Jaeda laughed despite herself, the sound like bells. “No, that wouldn’t do at all. I’ll come by at 1630 and we can go over some of the details. In the mean time, I’ll make a few calls and get some wheels turning.”

“That sounds excellent. Come Baan, our little slice of civilization awaits us.”

“Oh, it’s been too long since I’ve been to the capital.” The elder man said, an edge of excitement apparent in his tone. “I hope they put us in the Penthouse!”

The two began to walk towards their speeder, the mercenary rolling his eyes at the older man as Jaeda made for her own vehicle. Sliding inside, she immediately began to fix up her hair and undo the damage the wind had done. When she was satisfied she looked herself again she keyed her communicator, “Put me through to Tiasha Nuvonn’s office please, priority two.”
Last edited by Oblivion2 on Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunas Legion
Post Czar
 
Posts: 30408
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:25 am

Grand Convocation Chamber
Galactic Senate Building
Coruscant


Lott Dod considered himself to be a patient person. Waiting, watching, observing for the correct, opportune time to make whatever move he had intended. Giving himself time to plot and plan, to scheme his way around whatever obstacles had found themselves unfortunate enough to place themselves between him and his goals.

He was not so good when the Galaxy decided to throw in something completely out of left field.

Like an assassination attempt on the Chancellor. He had no idea who had ordered such a thing; he certainly hadn't, although it had entered the realms of desperate possibility. None of his corporate allies had, or none had been willing to admit it. No one he had compromising material on had, nor had anyone in his pocket. It was frustrating.

He remained sitting in his seat, silent as the Chancellor spoke and uproar filled the chamber. His repulsorpod did not move, silent as he let others wade forwards in his place into the verbal melee until they were shut down by the Vice Chair. Unsurprising. He would not bother with speaking rights. Not now.

"Mik." He said quietly, his voice ever so slightly raspy.

"I'm handling it now, Viceroy." His aide said from beside him, her fingers moving quickly across a screen in front of her as she waded through the Act.

"As bad as expected?" Lott asked.

"Worse." Mik said. "If anything. Almost exactly as predicted. The Senate has minimal involvement with the proposed Grand Army. Chancellor controls appointments to the highest ranks and CinC. Volunteer only, organics obviously. No limits on size, to be funded through loans."

"To try and throw the likes of us a bone, no doubt." Lott said. If they had funded it through tax rises it would have been far easier to win support against it, but through loans? It would win the Muuns over, most likely. "Based on prior voting patterns, Lufa, do you believe we can kill it?"

"On any other week, I would have said yes." Lufa Danak, his other aide, said. "Today? I am not so sure. A week after an attempt on the Chancellor's life? Oh, proposing the act now is utterly ruthless of him, makes his opponents look like they're against the safety and security of the Republic. The Core will vote for it, as will the Militarists of course. Some of our fellows, Kuat and the like, will vote for it, the financial gains from military contracts overriding whatever Tambor can do to keep them in line. Those in the Rim afraid of a second Naboo. Against it will be ourselves and our allies, of course. The Pacifists, naturally, as it stands against all they stand for. The Rim Senators, who view this as a first step towards eroding their autonomy."

"It will be a hard fight." Lott observed, eyeing the podium. "We will have to fight with all we have to have a hope of killing it." The question was, was it worth that fight? The expenditure of capital, both financial and political in bribes and favours called in and potentially owed... If they were victorious, it might very well be a pyrrhic victory for them in terms of the power expended in the Senate and the backlash. If they failed, it would have been a massive expenditure of resources for nothing at all. The risk would need to be properly calculated and evaluated. But if not stopped here, where next? Abolishing the Free Trade Zones? Absorbing their private armies and fleets into this Republic military? Bringing the lawlessness of the Outer Rim to order by military force? A war on crime and smuggling and corruption? An invasion of Hutt space?

Anti-monopoly laws?

None of what followed would be good. Easier to kill in the Senate, but... The Senate wouldn't have much jurisdiction over this new military. No. They had been outmanoeuvred. They were a cornered animal now, and they would have to fight with everything they had. Nothing less than killing this bill was acceptable. Anything else would be a crack in a window, a weakness to build upon.

This 'Military Creation Act' would not pass. He would make sure of it.
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Bentus
Senator
 
Posts: 4281
Founded: Dec 18, 2013
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Bentus » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:58 pm

Tiasha Nuvonn
Nuvonn Residence, Coruscant



Sipping at the wine held delicately in her hand, Tiasha watched the proceedings in the Senate chamber from the comfort of her home. Savouring the sweet flavour of her drink, her attention was focused on the large hologram that dominated half of the expansive lounge. The large space, luxuriously and tastefully furnished if she didn’t say so herself, would have stoked envy had it been an estate on any typical midrim world. But had the shaded windows been commanded to show the stunning view beyond them, jaws would have dropped at the incredulous sight of Coruscant’s sprawling skyline beyond. Such an apartment, seated near the pinnacle of one of the city planet’s skyscraping spires, was a flagrant demonstration of wealth. On a planet where the very air was a treasured resource for the masses that toiled below, Tiasha surrounded herself with elegant amenities and carefully maintained displays. It was all a logical political move, of course. To demonstrate such callous wealth was an effective way to make a first impression, and had proven her influence to many potential clients. Though Tiasha would have been lying if she claimed not to relish her perch above the clouds.

Beside her, her assistant spoke plainly as he scrolled through the datapad in his hands.

“The markets are already reacting to the proposal. All the shifts largely fall within expectations, save for the banking clans. Few expected the entirety of the bill to be funded with loans.”

Huffing in response, Tiasha pulled her attention away from the larger-than-life projection of the live scenes to glance towards the Twi’Lek.

“Wait an hour and then sell ten percent.” She instructed after a moment. That should fetch her some healthy winnings from the impulsive frenzy consuming the industry’s stocks.

“Certainly, my Lady.”

In the hologram, the senate chamber was already erupting into scenes of delicately managed chaos. Senators and representatives surged forwards in their efforts to voice their outrage or support, all but stumbling over each other in an effort to claim the limelight. She bet that most of the eager speakers had been practicing their lines that very morning, having known well in advance what it was that they were going to say. Specific contents of the bill be damned.

Ezik’jarif, continuing to scan the constant flood of news updates and information that scrolled past his screen, dutifully picked out specific comments and responses from each senator. Tiasha would parse through them all later, but for now her attention was focused on the scenes as they played out before her.

“Jarif, did the Chancellor’s office release any cost estimates along with this?” She asked, stroking her chin as she mentally tried to pick at the proposal.

“Not yet.” The Twi’Lek replied, swiftly skimming through the press packet provided with the bill. “They may be expecting for negotiations about the final size of the army.”

“And yet they want to write into law that it’s to be entirely funded with credit?” Tiasha mused.

Something wasn’t quite adding up in the puzzle that she was assembling in her head. The Chancellor had momentum, and clearly a vision in mind for what this army should look like. And yet this opening proposal was quite thin on the details. Immediately avoiding the topic of tariffs and taxes was a savvy move. But if he really wanted to build a significant force, then collecting sufficient loans without increasing the Republic’s revenue was insanity. Even the Banking Clan and their competitors would balk at the prospect of suicide by monetary policy.

“Indeed.” Jarif stated, pausing from his note-taking as he studied his master’s expression. “It is possible, perhaps, that the Chancellor wished to push the bill to the floor before their estimates could be completed.”

Tiasha’s frown deepened. If that was the case, then it either meant that the Chancellor’s staff were incompetent, or that something had forced their hand. And she had a growing unease at what that something may have been.

“Have you heard anything more from our sources in the Judicial Forces?” Tiasha asked, causing Jarif to shake his head.

“Unfortunately not. The Chancellor’s Office has insisted that the case be treated with the highest levels of secrecy.”

“And what about the Jedi?”

“We have even less information.” The man stated bluntly. “The assasination attempt on the Chancellor has dominated the news cycle, although my understanding is that Vane’s murder has unsettled the Council. But the Order as a whole has largely closed ranks, preventing any information to be shared with outsiders.”

Tiasha didn’t immediately respond. The murder of a prominent jedi right under the shadow of their Temple, so close to the attempted assasination of the Republic’s highest public figure, didn’t sit right with her. She couldn’t quite trace the thread, but she could tell that she was pulling at something important. Had someone sought to kill the Chancellor to prevent this bill from coming to the floor? If so, who would have been so foolish as to fail and give him more public support than he could’ve hoped for? And what could any of that have to do with a particularly unorthodox jedi?

“This bill’s going to pass.” Tiasha eventually said, sighing as she came to her conclusion. “Now especially.”

“Not all of our clients may appreciate such a curt assessment.” Jarif commented, prompting Tiasha to chuckle.

“No, I can’t think of a few that most certainly won’t.” Tiasha said, rolling her eyes at what she knew counted as a joke from the older Twi’Lek. “We’ll have to focus on amendments. Start profiling some potential points of leverage. The issue with the loans is a good starting point, but it can’t come from us. Put together some basic cost estimates and leak it to the press. At the very least it’ll buy us some time.”

Jarif nodded, already getting started on the assigned task.

“I’ll have it done by tomorrow’s news cycle. I would also remind you of your meeting with Ms Jaeda on behalf of MilMax tomorrow.”

“I remember. Push any updates on the briefing to my datapad and I’ll read them before going to bed.”

As Jarif got to his tasks, Tiasha settled in to continue watching the show play out before her. Some relatively minor senator was making an impassioned speech on behalf of the pacifists, but Tiasha had largely tuned her out. Taking a sip of red wine, she smiled as she considered the challenge that she’d been presented with.

Tiasha respected Chancellor Zaan and considered his meteoric rise as the orchestrated plan of a seasoned politician. But she’d be darned if he thought that he could get this through without letting her dip her fingers into the pie.
Last edited by Bentus on Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jedi Council
Senator
 
Posts: 3966
Founded: Jan 01, 2018
Anarchy

Postby Jedi Council » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:19 am


Arben Peth
Couruscanti Lower Levels



"This seat taken?"

A heartbeat of silence.

"Oi, I said, is this seat taken?"

The sharp voice echoed in the ears of Arben Peth, a discordant crack of splitting stone that broke him from his reverie. The Jedi Knight was seated at a rough hewn duracrete table tucked neatly at the rear of the bar. Across from him, an impatient Sullustan was tapping his foot, evidently waiting for his approval to haul one of the empty chairs away from its place. The Kel Dor waved a hand dismissively.

"Be my guest," he said, the deep baritone of his voice rolling from behind his rebreather like a tumultuous storm front.

Arben Peth had arrived at the small bar some three hours earlier, just as the sun had set across this side of Coruscant. Of course, in the Underworld, it was always nighttime - uncountable miles beneath the surface, time was a far more abstract concept. Losing track of it was all too easy down here, and usually had far more serious consequences than simply being late. The Jedi swirled his untouched drink, before casting a look about the bar from under the cowl of his deep brown hood. While The Raucous Rancor was not the seediest establishment Peth had encountered - that title went to a particularly unpleasant distillery on Ord Mantell - it was hardly a bastion of Coruscanti society. The room itself was simple, sparsely decorated or furnished save for a handful of tables and chairs tucked into the alcoves that dotted the hemispheric walls of the bar. At the far end, the bartender was rapidly making drinks, a task for which the four armed Quermian appeared to be exceptionally qualified for. A gaggle of patrons crowded the proprietor, while several more loitered around the door at the opposite end. With its bare duracrete walls and the various stains and scuffs that dotted them, to the untrained eye it certainly looked like every other bar on the lowest of Coruscant's many levels.

You would never have known that this place launders more money than all the casino's on Cantobite combined.

The Jedi had chosen his position well - situated as he was at the far left corner of the hemispheric main room, and cloaked in his beaten and battered travelers gear, he looked like one more sewer rat washed up from the latest refugee transport, just as Arben had hoped for. For the past several months, the Kel Dor had been operating a large investigation in the Outer Rim, one that aimed to expose the corrupt and criminal practices that many corporations exploited on the frontier to keep themselves profitable in the Core Worlds. While he had successfully tracked down many of the worst offenders, this one, a Bith named Z'Loren, had been more elusive than the others - with deeper pockets and a penchant for trickery. Peth had been tracking his quarry all the way from Nal Hutta, and he was not about to let himself be made now, not when he was so close. His informant had promised that the information was accurate - Z'Loren was going to be here, he just did not know when.

Or with whom.

"I didn't know that your kind could drink," a sultry voice whispered, breaking the Jedi from his reverie. "If I had known that, then I would have been far more accommodating to the others that have come through here."

A lithe Lethan Twi'lek with ruby red skin traced a hand along the Kel Dor's shoulders, and sat precariously at the edge of the table. What little the proprietor of the bar had placed into interior design had evidently gone towards the procurement of an extremely lavish, and revealing, set of clothing for this employee. She leaned in close to the Jedi, and looked into his metallic eyes.

"So serious, like the rest of your people."

Peth scowled behind his rebreather. His response rumbled out like the roar of a cannon muffled by his mask.
"Kel Dor do not drink, not as you would understand the process."

The Twi'lek released a musical laugh, and threw her arms around Peth's broad shoulders. She brought her lips to his ear.
"But do Jedi?"

It was all he needed to hear.

With breakneck speed, Peth stood and threw the woman to the floor just as she unsheathed the short vibro-dagger than had been hidden in the almost translucently sheer black fabric that limply clung to her figure. With a definitive crack, the woman impacted the rough hewn floor, and her blade was sent skittering across the room. For half a moment, time seemed to stand still - The faint music which had been echoing half-heartedly from the small band in the other corner died, and every patrons eyes were suddenly on the Jedi. Peth's eyes danced about the room and his hands instinctively dropped to his waist. Before him, the Twi'lek remained motionless, the life draining from her broken body by the minute. The brand of the Black Sun could be seen all too clearly emblazoned on the small of her back.

"Lets all try to avoid doing something that we will end up regretting," the Kel Dor warned as a small group of patrons began to saunter towards him. "I do not want to hurt you."

A twisted chuckle echoed through the room as various patrons considered their chances against the lone Kel Dor. They were not impressed.

"You cannot say I did not warn you."

Peth was moving even before the first man had reached for his blaster, his heavy leather boots propelling him forwards with supernatural speed. Sidestepping the first assailant, a large Talz, he reached into his cloak and drew the finely crafted brown and gold lightsaber hilt from its hidden pocket and placed the emitter directly at the beasts side - with a hiss, three feet of raw energy pierced the Talz thick hide, while a swift flick of the wrist slashed open his stomach and sent charred entrails flying. The distraction gave Peth enough time to strike down two more patrons with his yellow blade before the room erupted into a hail of blaster fire. Deftly deflecting any shot that got too close, the Kel Dor reached into the wellspring of the Force, and propelled himself forward, somersaulting in mid air above his foes and landing in a crouch behind the bar. Behind him, he could hear repeated blaster fire impacting the thick duracrete that now stood between him and the crowd of people who wanted him dead. The smell of burnt flesh, ozone, and melted plaster filled the air.

So much for subtlety.
A blaster bolt flew over his head a struck a full bottle of Alderaanian Ale, sending the pale blue liquid flying.
I have to get out of here.
The Jedi Knight took a deep breath, and reach his free hand into his cloak. A second hilt emerged from his concealed pocket, a twin to the first that shone with the same radiant golden energy.
Here goes nothing...

Just as the Jedi Knight prepared to stand and launch back into the fray, a vision materialized in his minds eye - the Force flowed, and ebbed, painting rough images in his mind. A vibroknife. A bandolier of grenades. A heavy duracrete balustrade.

Oh I have a bad feeling about this.

Deactivating his sabres, the Kel Dor closed his eyes, and reached out into the room beyond the bar, tendrils of force energy reaching for the dead Twi'leks weapon. Peth smiled when his mind found the blade, and wrapped a telekinetic hand about the hilt. With just a moments hesitation, he threw the weapon at the charred body of the Talz, barring his teeth as he waited for the explosion.

He never heard it. The darkness came before that.



Arben Peth's eyes fluttered open, weakly at first, but then with greater resolve as the memory of the explosion flooded back to him. With a grunt, he tried to move, only to find his arm badly battered by debris that had evidently come from the cracked and flaking ceiling of the bar that had once stood here. With a groan, the Jedi sat up, dusting off his tattered and burned clothing as he did so. Small fires still smouldered about him, but where there had once been a building, only rubble remained. A few bodies were piled amongst the debris, most half covered by collapsed masonry.

Peth shook his head.
"That was slightly more effective than necessary," the Jedi said slowly to no one in particular as he struggled to stand. Looking at his handiwork, the assessment appeared to be accurate. The bar had at one time stood on the edge of a large landing platform, a platform that was now littered with debris and bodies. Beyond, the ruins of several speeders lay afire, while thick black smoke rose upwards towards the Underworld's durasteel roof. With a stretched, the Jedi began to navigate his way through the debris - his going was slow, for alongside the damage inflicted to his arm, his left leg had likewise received severe damage from the veritable barrage of debris that had fallen upon it.

The sounds of sirens shook the complacency from the Jedi's gait, and he began to try to walk more swiftly. If a Jedi were to be found at the site of a massive explosion at the heart of the cities criminal underworld, questions would surely follow. And questions would lead to investigations. Investigations would lead to accusations. And accusations would lead to the Jedi Council. That was something the Kel Dor wanted to avoid above all else. Reaching out to the Force to strengthen his battered body, Peth willed himself forward, and soon found that the rubble strewn street behind him had evolved into a dark alleyway, silent save for the muffled echo of approaching sirens.

Peth grunted as he leaned against the cool steel wall of the alleyway. He could feel his energy fading - even with the Force as his ally, he would never make it back to The Crusader in this condition. He reached deep into his utility belt and grasped a small metallic cylinder. A Jedi homing beacon. He had just enough wherewithal to activate the transmission before darkness filled his vision once again.

I...am going... to... regret this.
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Ormata
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Founded: Jun 30, 2016
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Ormata » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:25 am

Jedi Knight Matant Rouhea
Coruscant


Cowritten with Miekzhemy

The click, clack of boots against the tiled floor, the light clash of lightsaber against pants, against one-another, and the gentle red glow of a single eye from within the shadows of a hood: these were the hallmarks of Matant, things that made him stand far apart from a number of Knights who might otherwise be his twin. He hadn’t brought his pike, though, nor his San-Ni; the Core-side Jedi would already be irked by the man and he had little interest in putting them even more at odds with one-another. Like it or not, he still had to work with them, still had to work with the civilian populace, and you didn’t go on a mission of peace armed for a fight. At least, you didn’t go openly armed for a fight. Matant figured that his sabers would be enough to deal with anything that might come up in any case.

He walked along, one hand removing his hood to feel the wind play about his black hair, feeling far more like a stranger than anywhere before. Smaller droids strode here and there, the noise of engines in the background, the clatter of tools and parts moving about and being used. Some ways back Matant’s own B-7 was left, a little beat-up freighter with just a few friends instructed to keep with the ship. He didn’t need any surprises on her when he left. It was almost alarming, that thought, that instinct; before, no-one would have considered the possibility of a bombing. The Chancellor’s experiences and Vane’s death made people think otherwise, made Matant think otherwise. Places weren’t safe. People weren’t always to be trusted. It was a bad sign. The whole feeling of the Temple seemed to be off...but then again, the last time he’d been anywhere near the Jedi Temple he’d been pleading for a second chance. It was given, but only just.

A softer pair of footsteps behind him; Matant wasn’t surprised that she hadn’t stayed put. He hadn’t really intended on attracting even more attention by dragging along a non-Jedi through the Temple grounds, but there weren’t any rules on it being explicitly forbidden. It was just that there were expectations present, expectations that Jedi didn’t form attachments, expectations that Jedi didn’t have feelings, didn’t make friends, didn’t act like sentients. They were bad expectations, in Matant’s opinion.

“Relax. These are your people, at least in name,” she whispered, sing-song, sing-song, though no real smile showed on Taylia’s face. Her own attire was a bit more discreet than Matant’s Jedi robes, a simple pair of dark trousers, a heavy work jacket, and a pair of workboots. Beneath that was doubtless an armored jacket, probably some sort of armorweave addition, and a light little blaster. She wasn’t really ever trusting of Jedi, not completely, though that was mainly by their own majority’s inaction. Jedi didn’t do what they were supposed to every time.

“Maybe. Last time I was here they weren’t so accommodating.”

“Time wears out most people’s memories. Lot of the ones who judged you before have to be dead by now, right?”

“You don’t know many Jedi, do you.”

“I know as many as I want to. What precisely are we doing here, anyway.”

“Figure out what the state of things are. It’s been a while and these Judiciaries aren’t the same sort of people we have on the Rim. Might have blocked things. Might not. Stars only know what. Need a console for that.”

They kept walking down the way, weaving down a hallway with a lackadaisical sort of stride to the libraries and terminals, attracting some few glances from the Coruscanti Jedi here, there. Matant tried not to notice. Taylia smiled at the looks pleasantly until they looked off and away.

As they proceeded further into the Temple, however, a pair of footsteps began to grow closer. When they turned a corner, two figures - a robed Miraluka and a Zabrak clad in an armoured tunic - momentarily crossed their path, continuing down the corridors towards the hangar. There was a sense of purpose in their step as they marched.

"There is still something you are not telling me," the Miraluka spoke, his voice soft but with a tinge of concern. "What part would these arrivals play in this plan of yours?"

"Because they're as curious of what transpired than all the others," the Zabak hissed below her breath, clearly making an attempt to not attract undue attention. "A Jedi is dead, and the Council continues to simply talk and talk...they'd dawdle until the trail is cold, and you know it..."

Matant stopped in his tracks, almost swiveling about on the spot as the pair moved past them. Taylia wasn’t so precise, walking forward for two, three steps before turning back to the Jedi. She raised an eyebrow quizzically, not having heard the Jedi talk. Matant, though, had that forward lean to him before the man corrected it consciously. He wasn’t dealing with some Rim folks, no not at all. He was dealing with Jedi. He needed to conduct himself like a Jedi would. A quick thought and, well...he couldn’t place who they were. He couldn’t place them at all. Matant cleared his throat at the two.

“You said they were only talking?”

Taylia turned to them as well, sizing the two up. One looked like an overgrown weed, though he was still a Jedi. Even a weed of a Jedi could still be substantial compared to most others, though he’d need to offset whatever lacks he might have physically. The woman looked to be his foil, more athletic about the body. They were both young, too, something that was pretty good even to Taylia’s untrained eyes. Older Jedi were far less likely to help Matant, set as they were in their ways. Younger ones? They might be a bit more willing to help if they weren’t lost in their elders’ ways.

“You know these two?”

“Not particularly. What was it you were saying? They’re merely talking?”

His words grabbed the duo's attention almost immediately, prompting them both to stop and turn to the newcomers. In hindsight, they probably should have kept such discussion behind closed doors. But with the cat out of the bag, so to speak, she might as well elaborate. Judging by his response, the Jedi was no doubt here for at least some answers. The Zabrak woman took a moment to peer down both ends of the corridor, and when she was certain no further Jedi were coming their way, she spoke.

"Hmph, indeed," the Zabrak stated flatly, her disdain for their plight evident in her voice. "They're likely deliberating it further as we speak..."

A short pause followed, where the red-skinned figure seemed...almost disappointed with it all. Eventually, she let out a sigh.

"It's been weeks," she explained. "Everyone is worried sick, and what have we heard? Nothing! No details. No investigations..."

The Knight shot a side glance to the solemn Miraluka at her side, who slowly folded his hands in his robe's baggy sleeves.

"Not even a funeral service..."

“Disappointing,” was the first word out of Matant’s mouth, growled out just a bit under his breath. It really was disappointing, though in the way that she deserved better. Answers, any answers, needed to be found about her death. He refused to believe that it was a mere accident, of course; people wouldn’t just simply disappear. No, doubtless some foul play was at work. The man briefly rubbed at his eye, before pursing his mouth, thinking things over. Something did cross his mind, though; they were being secretive about it. They were going to do something that, officially, they weren’t supposed to. It intrigued him just the slightest.

“Why are you speaking in hushed tones? Why the whispers?”

The Miraluka slowly cocked his neck to the side, reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "To much of those here at the Temple, her views were..." he said, picking his words carefully. "...controversial. Such unorthodox behavior is often overlooked, but she...?"

He eventually hung his head.

"This is supposed to be a place of peace and understanding, and yet all I sense is spite and resentment..."

“Resentment? Someone gets murdered and people resent the dead?” Taylia cocked her head as words poured from her mouth, quick and fast. “Some place of peace and understanding here. Sithspit I want to be back on the Rim again.”

Matant was quiet for a bit, sighing slow and long, before he spoke up as well. “Corde Vane was one of the few Jedi I still respect. To delay any investigation due to her views is criminal. I was not aware such…actions were present on Coruscant.” He shifted in place, single eye narrowing at the pair before him.

“Who are you to defy their malingering? Who are you to act different than the herd?”

Matant's question, interestingly enough, seemed to make the two Jedi wonder. Even the duo before him, open as they were to sharing such information, appeared to staunchly differ in their own opinions regarding Vane's untimely demise. The blind Jedi turned his eyeless visage to his fellow Knight, almost waiting for her to speak. Clearly taking action was her idea...

"Everyone is growing restless. And while the Masters drag their feet deciding the path of least resistance, Vane's murderer slips farther away from the justice he deserves," the Zabrak crossed one arm over the other. "Her views be damned. Vane was a Jedi, and for the Council to take no action at all is a stain on the Order's integrity and an insult to her memory."

Her scowl darkened a bit.

"What is it to you, anyway? You have yet to even talk of your business here, let alone your name..."

“My name is Matant Rouhea. This,” he half-turned, hand briefly motioning to the Wroonian next to him, “is Taylia. Word was slow to reach us on the Rim of Vane’s death and we were in the middle of an...operation when it occurred. Something that could not be delayed. I am here, now, because answers have not yet come. I want them. Do you know me?”

The man’s tone had shifted. He spoke slow now, careful to enunciate his words and make his phrasing clear, and as he did so the man’s face turned wry. It was clear he didn’t have much in the way of patience, at least not in dealing with the bureaucracies of the Coreworlds, and clear he knew how much information he should give. Taylia, meanwhile, shook her head at it all.

“They don’t need to know you. Look, I didn’t know Vane. I never had a reason to. She had influence and pull, though, enough that her death means something bigger is happening. People like Vane don’t just die from random causes or a random burglar. They die by other people who plan it out, work it out, and have bigger plans than just killing her. At least, they do when it’s as quiet as this. If they wanted the fame they’d already have spoken up, but I doubt anyone that stupid could’ve killed her. The Jedi Order didn’t do it, because they’re too kriffing gutless about that sort of thing, so it’s someone else. Quicker this is wrapped up the quicker they can be put in a cell or in the ground.”

The Jedi's introduction was actually rather quick to soften the fiery Knight's mood somewhat. "Kedoa Nissah," she responded in kind, bidding Matant a momentary bow of her head. "Master Kin has spoken highly of you."

Though her aura had shifted as the newcomer revealed his own identity, her thoughts of Matant's...companion, were dubious at best. As the woman quite eagerly spoke her mind, a corner of the Zabrak's mouth was tugged into a smirk.

"Hmph... Well, aren't you quite the inquisitive one? Do you even have the slightest inkling of how things work around here--?"

"No," the previously silent Miraluka butted in, having seemingly been lost in his own thoughts as they conversed. "Her words have merit..."

He deigned to elaborate. "Disdainful as they are, such underhanded tactics would be unbecoming of any Jedi," his hand rubbed gently at the vestigial eye sockets beneath his blindfold. "And even if they saw it fit to resort to violence...to have her slain would make Vane a martyr. It would have the opposite intended effect, galvanizing those in her following and vilifying any that favor the status quo..."

"No, no...this is foul play, indeed," the young Knight scratched at his chin. "Something...someone must be intending to sow discord. But to what end...?"

Matant’s brow raised ever so slightly at the mention of Master Toran Kin; he hadn’t heard the name in some years, though it was good to be reminded of the man. He wasn’t as active as Matant in putting down slavers, no, not at all, but did have a good enough heart for one of the central Jedi. The man should get out more, that was Matant’s line of thinking, though he returned the slight bow of the head. Taylia was about to speak before he rested his hand on her shoulder gently, metal fingers light, and she returned that peculiar little look of wary curiosity.

“It puts us into motion, this is that discord. It places us in jeopardy. It galvanizes some and keeps others in their ways. The Masters dally and we call them fools for delaying decisions. We act and the Masters call us impulsive and, perhaps, we fail somewhere along that line of action enough that their inaction becomes justified in their eyes. It puts the Jedi Order into a war against itself. This may not be their end, but…but it is in effect nonetheless.”

He considered it again, rubbing at his chin. “What was she working on before her death? Perhaps some project which would have revealed some important truth? Something others wished to hide?”

Though the recent rise of such factionalism in their ranks was concerning, the prospect of the Order itself fracturing as a result of this situation, unsurprisingly, filled the two Knights with dread. The Miraluka frowned. He could almost feel his stomach turn at the thought of the bloodshed that would follow. And perhaps, had the attempt on the Chancellor's life succeeded as well, the state of the Republic would be even more chaotic...

Kedoa shrugged in response to Matant's next questions. "Would that I could answer such questions... Even here, the details - or, what little there is of them - are under wraps until the Council agrees on a course of action."

She went on, obviously disappointed in her own lack of pertinent information regarding the controversial Jedi. "Preoccupied with missions of my own in recent months, I've only seen her a handful of times in the Temple..."

“It’s all secrets, then. We need something more concrete,” growled out Matant. “We need honest information, not rumors.”

He looked down, one boot tapping against the tiled floor for just a few repetitions before he realized the din it was starting, the echo down the hall, and paused it. They needed information, the start of a trail that could lead them forward and on to the possible killers. Where would you find such information? The Council would never deign to release the known facts, not to a select group if they hadn’t done so to the Order as a whole. Besides, it didn’t help that he wasn’t in their good graces...the other two, Nissah and...he hadn’t said his name. The Miraluka. He didn’t know what their standings were, but as both were mere Knights and discontent enough to skulk about whispering he doubted they were golden children, beloved of the Council. The Judiciary, if they were blocking the Council from investigating, would likewise not release information to a select group of Jedi. Likewise, he didn’t envy the idea of actually going to the crime scene. It’d be under lockdown, if Coruscant was still Coruscant, with enough officers present to make their entrance awkward. They’d definitely have enough officers to stop a few Jedi if they were specifically blocking the Jedi from joining that investigation. No, but maybe…

“Kuso might be able to listen a bit. Might. Frequences here probably jump a bit compared to the Rim, but nothing he couldn’t handle.”

A sigh; well, it wasn’t out of place for Taylia to suggest that sort of thing. The Judiciaries who worked alongside the System Rangers freely gave out their comms signatures and the ones who didn’t were often crooked enough that tapping into their comms wasn’t such a bad thing. It led to a lot of prey, a lot of slavers, and a lot of bodies. “I’d rather avoid that,” was all Matant said to the offer, quiet compared to his talk before.

“Coruscantis are as bad as those on Nar Shaddaa. Most of them are in Black Sun’s pocket anyways.”

“Hornet’s nest shouldn’t be kicked. Not just yet.” A pause. “The High Council. They’re still debating the issue. Who on the Council may be sympathetic? Master Dooku?”

"More so than the others, I'd say," Kedoa was quick to bid him a nod. "Vane was his apprentice, after all. Hm, if anything, Master Dooku might just convince the rest to actually take some semblance of action."

She sneered towards nothing in particular. "It'd save us the trouble of getting ourselves in hot water with the Masters, at least..."

“Then once their meeting is concluded, we talk to him. Maybe some measure of progress has already been made behind their closed sessions.”

“You’ve been quiet,” Taylia spoke-up, nodding upwards at the Miraluka. “Thinking on something? Didn’t catch a name.” She put one hand into a jacket pocket, casual, calm, though her eyes narrowed ever so slightly at the man. Trust didn’t come cheap, though once again Matant put his hand on her shoulder lightly.

“Coruscanti Jedi are like that. At least, the last time I checked they were.”

“Thinking? Secretive?”

“Quiet.”

Taylia responded with a hmm, slowly removing her hand from the pocket, though she kept looking at the Miraluka.

Though the blindfolded young Jedi appeared to be staring aimlessly ahead of him, he was clearly listening to every word of their conversation. "Forgive me," he said plainly, as if he were used to such treatment. "You've made valid points, and my greater knowledge of the situation at hand is lacking, so I did not chime in. Force of habit..."

The Miraluka bowed his head to them, finally choosing to show some semblance of body language for once. "Rhys Aatahl. I trained beneath Master Esula Yan."

The Zabrak next to him promptly crossed her arms again, a slight sneer tugging at her lips for a moment. She seemed about ready to say something, but eventually decided against it. Rhys arched an eyebrow, actually seeming somewhat surprised by this display of restraint - even if he knew what she wanted to say about him. Opting to simply change the subject, Kedoa addressed Matant.

"I've heard stories of about your so-called System Rangers, and their exploits," she brought up, a tinge of curiosity in her voice. "How goes the quest to rid the Outer Rim of slavers one by one?

A dry chuckle as Matant’s mouth formed into the slightest resemblance of a smile. “Slow, but steady. Last one was a despot near Kessel. Four hundred saved from the mines. A dozen slavers put into the ground. I just wish the Order...and the Republic...were as active. Corruption, though, is what it is.”

“Republic would clutter it all with bureaucracy. One hand making laws and rulings to hamper, the other passing notes to the slavers to get out of where we’re applying to search. Better this way...at least for now.” Taylia spoke with a bit of emotion behind it, though she didn’t exactly speak from experience. Her time with the Republic spoke of a dysfunctional machine that lacked a legitimate leader, taking orders from the cartels while keeping security on a tight leash to protect profits and kickbacks. “What are the stories?”

Kedoa nodded her head in approval at that. "The typical ones you'd hear spreading from mouth to mouth; From one talkative guard in the Cartels to cantinas all over the place. When a Jedi returns from Hutt Space, you can be sure to expect they have tales to tell of the vigilantes that run about, wreaking havoc on their operations and their finances, and even inspiring others to rise up themselves. The Zygerrians, Thalassians, the Hutts...? They're terrified of groups like you."

"I'm envious, to be honest," she shrugged. "Such work sounds much more exciting than posing as a bodyguard for some Galactic Senator. Too much standing around, looking intimidating..."

Matant really only replied with a dead stare, “You want a job, then?”

"Oh, please, by all means..."

She shot a side glance next to her, jutting a thumb towards her fellow Knight. "So long as this one can handle it, of course."

Almost on queue, Rhys' previously neutral guise shifted, his lips pursing in mild irritation. Ah, there it was...

Kedoa stifled a demeaning chuckle. "They knighted him two weeks ago. Can hardly fight. Now I'm stuck with him by order of our Masters. 'To balance our intellect and might,' they say... What a load of--"

"It is due to your flaws just as much as mine," the blindfolded young Jedi fired right back, but with no venom in his tone.

"Really now? And how can I trust you to watch my back?"

The Miraluka let out a soft sigh, turning to her for a moment. "Your ego is a greater danger to yourself than my own swordsmanship," he said flatly. As she shot him another scowl, Rhys shifted his "look" to Matant.

"Please, pay her no mind. The past several weeks have, admittedly, left some of us without much purpose - wanderlust, so to speak..."

“Jedi who can’t fight...a defender of peace and order, of people. I see.” Matant gave a pause, shifting ever so in place. “Not everyone with us fights. Not everyone with us has to as they help us. Besides...I’m sure we can help whatever issues either of you have. Maybe you can even teach me something.”

Taylia just looked at the pair, summing them up again before leaning in close to the Jedi beside her. It was a little gesture, an unthinking act that brought her just a tad close to Matant, though the woman kept her hand out of her pocket this time.

But after a short pause, Rhys promptly returned his answer with a respectful bow of his head. And for once, he actually seemed to smile. "It would be my privilege to have such an opportunity." After a moment of deliberation, even Kedoa seemed to be on board with the prospect.

"We're in agreement, then. Good," she said, bidding Matant a momentary bow of her own before gesturing down the corridor from when she and Rhys came.

"It was an honor to make your acquaintance, Knight Rouhea. If you still have questions, perhaps some others in the Temple may have the answers you're looking for?"

“The honor is all mine. I’ll look about, though...thank you for the talk. We’ll be in touch.”

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Bentus
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Founded: Dec 18, 2013
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Bentus » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:25 am

Nuvonn Residence, Coruscant
A cowrite between Bentus and Oblivion2.


"Jaeda!"

Tiasha called out in greeting as Jarif opened the door to her office for her guests. Standing from behind her desk, the Nabooian stepped forward to embrace her friend and colleague. While they were by no means always on the same side of the political battle lines of the day, the pair had managed to strike up a repertoire. In the cut-throat, often personal conflicts of the senate chambers, it paid to have a friend that could understand that business was just business. Turning her attention to the pair of men that had accompanied the MilMax lobbyist, Tiasha gestured for them to enter.

"Mr. Mythros, Mr. Thrax. It's a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance. Please feel free to take a seat and make yourselves comfortable." Retracing her steps behind her desk, Tiasha called out to her servant. "Could you bring us some tea, Jarif?" Sitting herself down behind her wooden desk, she smiled at the MilMax employees. "Would any of you gentlemen like something to drink? Jaeda?"

Jaeda found herself beaming widely as her friend embraced her. It had been a keystone in her life and career, having a friend in the business who understood how crushing the job could be at times. They’d been together through leaner times, and while Tiasha had undoubtably done better for herself, Jaeda was never one to be jealous of her success.

Baan Thrax took in his surroundings with a slight nod, as if expecting the decoration to be as rich as it was. Whatever standard the elder lawyer had set for Tiasha, she had definitely seemed to meet it.

Artan however, was sizing up the woman seating herself behind the desk. He watched every move, took in every ringing syllable, digesting and learning by the second. He had again dressed in the formal robes of his people, choosing to appear formal rather than intimidating in his usual attire.

“Tea for me, please Jarif. With milk.” Jaeda said with a touch of familiarity in her tone.

“Heretic.” Baan joked lightly, “Black for me dear.”

“Water, please.” Artan asked in his low tone, only then taking his eyes off Tiasha to address to the servant Jarif. Once the servant excused themselves, Jaeda smiled once again keeping her tone light and casual until such time that the conversation really began,

“It’s so good to see you again Tiasha, and you know I appreciate you making room for us in your schedule. Not easily done when you’re as busy as you are and Coruscant is... The way it is.”

Tiasha brushed aside Jaeda's comment with a wave of her hand.

"Please, Jaeda. It's always nice to see you." Tiasha paused for a moment as she turned her gaze towards the Kiffar. From what Jaeda had told her in advance, he was supposedly meant to be MilMax's brand new poster boy. He did seem to have that mercenary air about him, as if he'd have felt more comfortable with at least a ballistic vest beneath the robes that adorned his figure. But while his record was impressive, Tiasha had her doubts.

To the back of the room, Jarif quietly bowed before stepping out to gather the requested beverages.

"But I guess Coruscant has been especially...chaotic, as of yet. And the Chancellor's latest bill is certainly looking like it will be keeping me busy." Smiling politely at her guests, Tiasha folded her hands onto her desk, as if to signify that the pleasantries could safely take a back seat in their conversation. "Although I believe that our interests may have aligned on that front."

Business now. Jaeda’s beaming smile quickly turned to that of an alpha predator smelling blood on the breeze. This was where it all began, the stalking of the prey. The long wait before the strike.

“Yes, I had hoped that would be your thoughts on the matter. As it stands, the Bill has more support than it would have last week. The Chancellor knows when to strike the Iron, I can say that much for him.”

Jaeda gestures towards the mercenary sitting between her and Baan Thrax, “Artan and I met with some of the other PMC delegates here last night after his and Mr. Thrax’s arrival. They’ve agreed that the MilMax team will run point on the combined lobbying effort. Not that it amounts to what you could push out of course, the Private Military Companies have always been... How did you put it Artan?” She asked, glancing at the darker skinned man.

“Looked down upon as the repugnant but oh so talented retainer you keep safely tucked away in the village until you need him.” The Kiffar replies with an even tone.

“Right.” Jaeda agrees, “For now, our political capital isn’t what we’d like it to be. Change is coming, and soon. MilMax has a good a record as any PMC in the business.” She pauses and tosses a glance at Artan, “And... Well their wonder boy here might actually be what he’s cracked up to be.”

"Is he?" Tiasha queried, raising an eyebrow as she once again scanned the mercenary.

While she sounded amused, there was a hint of blunt doubt in her tone. Turning back to Jaeda, she offered the other woman a soft smile.

"Listen Jaeda, I need to know that you're not exaggerating his abilities. If there was anything on his record that was scrubbed, or some problematic personality trait that's gone unmentioned, you and your bosses will need to share it with me. If he's an alcoholic, a womanizer, a gambling addict," Tiasha gestured with her hands, "or whatever. I can keep things private if need be. But if anything untoward from his past were to come to light, I'd need the time to prepare. There'll be a lot of eyes watching for us to make a mistake on this one."

“He,” Artan says, his voice like the distant warning rumble of thunder, “Can speak for himself.” Leaning forward, the mercenary seems to take command of the room. Even Jaeda’s usually powerful personality takes a sideline to the quiet authority the man seems to be displaying.

“What the record shows is accurate. I left Kiffu at sixteen, and have been a registered member of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild since then. I have been taken for questioning by local authorities over a dozen times but have never been formally charged once it was deemed I was operating in a lawful capacity. The record will note that I was married at twenty and subsequently had the marriage annulled eight months later.” A glint of cold metal near his throat would reveal a pair of wedding bands on a simple leather thong about his neck, one looped through the other.

“The only parts of my record that are sealed are those that deal with client confidentiality, and the Haspex Affair and the subsequent elimination of the rogue Jedi involved in said affair.”

The soldier leans back, some of the emotion clearing from his tone, “If you have any specific questions about what is in the file, I am more than willing to be open with you and provide you with details. But I’m afraid I won’t let you talk about me like I’m some armed thug. I’m a soldier, mistress Nuvonn, and I would like to be treated like one.”

Surprised as Artan's stern voice spoke up before Jaeda could respond, Tiasha turned her gaze back towards the tower of a man. Raising a curious eyebrow, she studied his expression for a few moments before she offered him a smirk.

"My apologies, Mr. Mythros. I can assure you that I meant no disrespect." She was amused at his comment on being a soldier. Legally, he was wrong - at least until they were successful in pushing their amendments to the Chancellor's bill. But something told her that he wouldn't see the humour if she brought it up. Besides, in her experience she found that the distinction between thug and soldier was only ever a matter of interpretation. "But I appreciate your honesty. Even if it is a little...rough around the edges."

She made a mental note to look into this Haspex Affair. It was probably nothing, but the Jedi were even more of a wildcard than they usually were these days. And as the closest thing that the Republic had to an official military force at the moment, it wouldn't do them any favours to antagonise the ascetics. Clapping her hands together, Tiasha cleared her throat just as Jarif re-entered the room with their drinks. As the twi'leck maneuvered between the men and women to serve them with a practiced ease, Tiasha moved on to the meat of their discussion.


"As it stands, the bill proposed by Chancellor Zaan stands every chance of succeeding on the back of the recent turbulence here on Coruscant. With a divided opposition, there's little to stop him from ramming the policy through the senate - despite plenty of legitimate misgivings. Given that, our options are unfortunately quite limited." Tiasha grinned as she spoke. She always relished the challenging ones. "But if you can't beat them, I say that we join them and try to pass a series of amendments to the bill. If the Chancellor has his way, this new army would effectively compete with MilMax and other PMCs for contracts with local governments. It may even lead to far more stringent regulations upon the industry, turning your clients into little more than private security. I propose that we try to leverage MilMax's experience and cost-effectiveness to make the case that a more decentralized Grand Army would be a far better solution for the Republic. By handing more power to local governments to meet their own unique requirements, and by allowing them to leverage the know-how of PMCs to fulfill their needs, the Republic will be able to both reduce costs and have a fighting force that better suits its needs."

Taking a breath as she laid out the outlines of her plans, Tiasha continued.

"I've already been in talks with members from the Corporate and Rim factions, but the challenge will be in convincing the Militarists to break from the Chancellor's original vision and side with our amendments. My hope is that MilMax and its partners will be able to convince them of the strategic and tactical benefits that more local control and private involvement would provide. If your employers have any other particular objectives for this legislation, my hope would be to roll them in with the same package of amendments."

Artan sat back in his chair, his honour seemingly satisfied at Tiasha’s acquiescence. Even if she didn’t take him perfectly seriously at this juncture, it was a step in the right direction, and if he could begin to convince her there was hope that perhaps his unorthodox method would be enough for some of those in the senate too.

Speaking back up, Jaeda once again resumes control of the meeting, tossing Artan a somewhat uncomfortable glance. She wasn’t used to being upstaged by anyone, “Yes, right. Our objectives remain the same as yours in this manner. Decentralization of the proposed Grand Army would be ideal for our profit margins, and for local autonomy. However, our projections find us disagreeing with you that a central military apparatus will cut into our profit margins.”

Sliding a small data tab across the desk Jaeda continues, “Under the current legislation, PMCs have made themselves as efficient as possible. We’ve remained profitable despite a lack of large scale conflict. Even if the bill passes in its current form, they will need a short to mid term solution to Levee men, train officers, and obtain equipment. They’ll need specialists to teach them how to do things that they’ve only done in theory for the last thousand years. Even then, with this army reporting directly to the Chancellor or Commander in Chief, PMCs will still see local use in cases where the Chancellor deigns that the use of military force isn’t in the Republic’s best interest.” The young woman gestures again, that bloodthirsty smirk pulling at the corner of her lips once more.

“The data is all there. One way or another, MilMax will be behind this bill. I’d like you to be behind it too.”

“If not for your wallet,” Artan speaks up again, that deep voice a touch softer now, “Than for the betterment of the Republic. So a Galaxy doesn’t have to be afraid.”

Tiasha responded to Jaeda with a smile, enjoying their verbal maneuvering. Even though they were friends, these initial meetings always involved a little bit of both sides sizing each other up. But Artan spoke up before she could respond.

Initially surprised by the mercenary's comment, Tiasha's expression changed to one of bemusement. She'd never expected an idealist in his line of work.

"A noble sentiment, Mr. Mythros. And all the more reason to ensure more local control in this army. I can tell you with certainty that many worlds will not see soldiers and ships sent from the core as reason to be less afraid. Not unless they're given a seat at the table." Turning back to Jaeda, she continued.

"Oh, I've no doubt that MilMax will see plenty of profit from the Grand Army - no matter the form that it eventually takes. But I know you Jaeda, you're not the type to be satisfied with the shavings off the side of a military budget." Tiasha knew that there was no point in denying Jaeda's claims. With insider knowledge, MilMax's profit projections were likely far more accurate than her own. While they may not have as strong of an incentive for a decentralised Army as she did, Tiasha hoped that she could convince Jaeda that it represented a far greater opportunity for her client. Even if it might mean putting up some token resistance to the bill as it currently stood.

"Many of my clients are wary of this bill, so I cannot give it my wholehearted support." Tiasha admitted. "In its current form, it would create a military force directly at the behest of the Chancellor alone - with only a token level of oversight from the senate. On top of that, they legally require the military to be funded purely through loans. I'm sure that MilMax's data could allow for estimates on the potential cost of a galaxy-wide army, and it hardly takes a genius to imagine what would happen if that entire expense were thrust upon the credit markets. The Republic would be constantly accumulating debt and interest at an unprecedented rate, and I doubt the Banking Clan would be eager to have most of their assets held by a client driving themselves towards a default."

The other lobbyist nodded along as Artan remained as close to unreadable as his warriors face could be. It was reasonably impressive. “The suspicion,” Jaeda began again, “our analysis teams have fallen upon seems to be that the initial funding will be through credit. A leveraged down payment if you will. As public sentiment becomes more used to the idea of a Grand Army, one well equipped and founded on cooperation with the banking clans, funding will shift through taxes, investment bonds and the like. Credit is a short term venture, perhaps nearing mid term if one is clever with the funds, but not a permanent one to be sure.”

“Push for reforms,” Baan Thrax says finally adding something to the conversation as the legal expert, “Often times the senate will put forward a bill that has unappealing aspects rather than a more moderate one immediately. It gives the moderates the opportunity to say their piece and get on board with the revised piece of legislation. Which, typically ends up where the initiator of the bill wanted it anyway. Everyone goes home happy with themselves, their wallets, and their consciences.”

“In any case,” Jaeda continues as her blood red lips continue to curl into a more and more victorious smile, “You know which side you’ll end up on darling. Why fight it? You play the game better than anyone does.”

Artan leans forward and sets his palm upon the desk. His eyes seem to unfocus for a moment before the clarity returns in them, “Think of this as an opportunity of conscience, Mistress Nuvonn. Your next ringing of the holo doesn’t need to invoke a childhood apprehension of the sound of Huttese on the other end. Your life doesn’t have to be a string held tight, thirty years waiting for it to be cut. There’s a lot in it for the Republic, Mistress Nuvonn. But there’s more in it for you.”

The room seemed to go silent. Baan Thrax wasn’t breathing, and Jaeda’s fine features seemed lifeless, drained of all blood by Artan’s words. The implication of what the mercenary seemed to know was clear, and though Jaeda had never asked who Tiasha’s most consistent clients were, she’d had her suspicions for a few years. It was only because they were friends that she hadn’t asked, or even used it for personal gain. How did Artan seem to know?

Tiasha was about to respond to Jaeda by pointing out that the bill explicitly prevented raising taxes and tariffs to fund the Army - and that trying to change that in particular without the present momentum would be an uphill battle. But Artan spoke up before she had the chance, and his words sucked the air from the room.

Jarif stiffened slightly as he stood quietly off to one side. He noted the weight of the blaster tucked by his hip, but made no immediate effort to reveal its presence. Instead, the twi'leck watched his master for how she might react to the mercenary's revelation.

To say that Tiasha was caught off guard by the kiffar's words would have been an understatement, and her brow furrowed as she studied Artan's features. There was a cold stoicism behind her eyes as she met the mercenary's gaze. Despite his leaning over her desk, she didn't flinch away from the larger man as the science drew out, with the others doubtlessly waiting for her reaction with bated breath.

"I don't take kindly to being threatened, Mr. Mythros." She stated, breaking the silence with a tone of seriousness. "Especially with such a bold insinuation."

Tiasha allowed her words to hang in the air for a moment, before a smile crept back onto her lips.

"But I'll admit that I'm impressed. Your sources are good, even if you maybe should've at least given Jaeda a bit of warning." Folding her arms across her chest, Tiasha looked over Artan as if really seeing him for the first time, rather than as the prop he'd initially appeared to be. "You've got my attention. Spill the beans."

The soldier’s hand slide’s off the desk and he allows himself the faintest of smiles. It isn’t the arrogant smirk of an investor landing a large client, or even the victorious smile of a bolo-ball player. This was softer, a little more knowing. It was hardly more than a crinkle around the eyes and a twist of the corner of his lips, but it was there for Tiasha to see.

“Please, I am Artan. No Mister here.” He begins. “Truthfully, there is no source, unless you consider yourself one. It is not in the file, nor would Mistress Arno know about it, but I am a Psychometric. It is an ability that crops up amongst my people from time to time. We can divine memories from objects, particularly personal ones, or ones involving a great deal of emotion. I know too for instance that you concluded a call with Senator Forscythe this morning and concluded a matter you’ve been negotiating for some weeks now. I don’t know the details, but you were rather elated.”

Artan would then casually take a sip of his cool ice water, sighing appreciatively before setting it down once more. “Mistress Nuvonn, there are no threats here from anyone in this room. But I do truly wish for you to see this as an opportunity, if not for the Republic, then atleast to reshuffle the hand you’ve been dealt and banish the spectres of your past. And naturally to cash in.”

There is a glitter of cunning behind those brown eyes now. Yes, he had been studying her before, and he had her pegged now. “Push for the reforms you feel the bill needs, the reforms that will pacify your… benefactors. But if they fail, put your influence behind the bill as a whole. Do so reluctantly in front of those who expect you to do so, but do so wholeheartedly for yourself. How often do you get a chance to change your life and the galaxy in the same stroke?”

Tiasha considered Artan's words. She'd of course heard the stories of individuals able to perform feats like he was talking about, but outside of the Jedi such abilities were exceedingly rare. Part of her felt relieved that there wasn't a leak that needed plugging, and that he'd simply gleaned the information from the room itself. The slightest of frowns had tugged at her mouth as he'd mentioned her past. Tiasha was not one to speak openly of her history, and she didn't appreciate being lecture to by a gun-wielding boy scout.

And yet, while she may have found his choice of argument naive, she couldn't deny the opportunity that was presenting itself - even if it wasn't necessarily the one that Artan was seeing. The man was more interesting than she'd given him credit for.

"Alright Artan, you've convinced me." Tiasha said. "If MilMax and your partners support my amendments until such a time as they either pass or fail, then I'll agree to continue to support whatever version of the bill you want afterwards. Would that sound agreeable?"

Artan glanced over at Jaeda as if to say ‘it’s your show now.’

To her credit, it didn’t take the human woman very long to recover from Artan’s verbal jousting with Tiasha. “Yes, I believe MilMax and the other PMCs will find that more than satisfactory to meet their needs. We can pool our resources and push these reforms. Artan here can likely convince some of the outliers you identify as being on the fence.”

She takes another unsure glance at the mercenary who seems to have leaned back in his chair and has set the majority of his attention back on the cold glass of water. “If anything though… I feel like we may have to find a way to get him in front of a camera somewhere. Not yet, of course. It would be far too soon to have any impact. But you see what I mean now, don’t you? MilMax could certainly have chosen worse.”

Tiasha chuckled at Jaeda's comment. "I suppose they could've. Although he still certainly doesn't quite act like a politician, yet." Standing from her desk to signify the end of their meeting, Tiasha reached out to shake each of her new allies' hands. "I'll reach out to some of my regular contacts and pass on anyone I think could be swayed to our way of thinking. It was good to see you again, Jaeda. And a pleasure to meet you both as well, Baan, Artan."

Tiasha's gaze shifted between each of them in turn, before eventually settling on the mercenary. As she shook his hand, she maintained an air of cordiality. "Your capabilities are impressive, and I look forward to working with you." She began, although a coldness had entered into the undercurrent of her tone as she met Artan's gaze. There was a seriousness behind her delicate features, a hardness that made it clear that she wasn't mincing her words. "If you ever use your psychometry on me again, then I will make it my mission to bury you. Do we have an understanding?"

Artan keep his gaze level with the woman’s, his hand firm around hers, but not crushing. “Mistress Nuvonn, I assure you, I have very little interest in your personal and business details. That said, I’m glad we could put this objectification behind us and come to an accord.”

His features soften just a touch once more, again another olive branch rather than an ultimatum. “But if it makes you feel better, you have my word that I won’t use my ability on your possessions without your express permission. A rift between us would be unfortunate.”

Giving her hand one more squeeze he gestures for Baan and Jaeda to follow along, “Good day to you, Mistress Nuvonn.”

Lingering for a moment, Jaeda glances at her friend, “I’m so sorry…” She murmurs softly, “I had no idea he could- Call me when we have something, ok?”

Without another word, the other lobbyist slipped out of the office, shutting the door behind her. Jaeda never did appreciate surprises.
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Founded: Jun 01, 2021
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby KindaFreeXP » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:37 am

Senator Kogliz Mek of Kubindi
Coruscant
Galactic Senate Building


To say Kogliz Mek was outraged at Supreme Chancellor Zaan's announcement was an understatement. He was furious. In one fluid motion the Chancellor had tore the mask off the Republic's tyranny, but not in the way Kogliz would have hoped for. Instead, he saw fit to push the tyranny of the Republic into a new era, one where it no longer needed to don the guise of democracy, equality, and fairness. Now the Senate, or the Supreme Chancellor in reality, could do as they pleased to whomever they pleased without minding appearances. What would be Zaan's next order? To clear the Senate of all but the representatives from the Core? To launch an invasion of Kubindi and end the "Kubaz menace" once and for all?

Kogliz knew the Republic was responsible for the position the Kubaz were in. They had blocked the Kubaz attempts at developing hyperdrives, anchoring them to the irradiated wasteland that was Kubindi. Only a few lucky Kubaz, like Kogliz himself, were able to escape Kubindi's orbit aboard the ships of outsiders. It was obvious to Kogliz that the Republic did not include the Kubaz in its vision of a perfect galaxy. It was difficult, then, for Kogliz to see the Republic as anything other than an oligarchy at best and a dictatorship at worst. And, with Chancellor Zann's proposed act, it was beginning to look more and more like the latter.

As the words left Supreme Chancellor Zaan's lips, Kogliz was one of the first to raise his voice in the cacophony of protests. Zaan's attempts and building an army of thugs to shake down planets and suppress undesirables was unacceptable. Then, when Vice Chair Asi Ginego stated the matter was not open for debate, Kogliz immediately applied for speaking rights.

"You must tread carefully, Kogliz," Nazo Nubzi cautioned. "Too many eyes are already on you."

"I'll be damned if I don't do everything I can to strike this down!" Kogliz countered, his voice filled with rage and hate.

Nazo had a point, though. The Supreme Chancellor's life was nearly ended not but a week ago, and many people speculated Kogliz might have been behind the attempt. His hatred for the central authority of the Republic was well documented, many of the Kubaz who did interact with the rest of the galaxy were known to be spies and slicers, and Kogliz's security outside of the Senate building consisted of two IG-86 sentinel droids, a series of droids sometimes associated with assassination more than security. It would have been foolish to not add Kogliz's name to the list of suspects involved in the failed attempt on Zann's life, and Nazo recognized this more than Kogliz did.

With the Senate now settling down, Kogliz began to look over the proposed Military Creation Act. Not to see if it was worth striking down, as Kogliz was already determined to do so, but to see what exactly he was going up against.

"This..." Kogliz began, moving through the Act quickly on his datapad. "This is a nightmare! Full control of the Army and Navy to the Supreme Chancellor? Loopholes allowing the Judicial Forces to call upon the GAR without reason? Planetary regiments? And where is the Senate in all of this? This isn't an army to protect the Republic, it's a militarized police force!"

Kogliz set his datapad down in a less-than-gentle manner. "Valorum may have been an incompetent buffoon, but at least he didn't have aspirations of becoming king! If there is enough support to strike this Act down, we will need to push further and call for a vote of no-confidence."

"And what if the Act passes?" Nazo asked.

"Then Kubindi's place in the Republic has come to an end," Kogliz responded.

"You do not speak for all the clans, Kogliz."

"I never said I would pull out us of the Republic," Kogliz said, turning to face Nazo. "The Supreme Chancellor did."
Last edited by KindaFreeXP on Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:14 pm

A cooperative post between Revlona and Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States

Coruscant


They called this place the “Old Market” yet nothing really differentiated it from anything else on Coruscant that Asana had seen. The skyways near and above the market were as packed as anywhere else on the planet city and the same went for those who walked the streets below. It definitely didn’t look like the place where an assassination attempt had ended up crashing at.

Amor had said that the speeders had gone down relatively soft. That meant there was still hope of retrieving evidence from the scene. The only problem would be getting on the scene of course, the Judicials would probably have it locked down tight.

That was why she was now overlooking the scene, having been pointed there by more interrogation, from a building not to far from the area. The crowds in the area seemed to naturally skirt whatever cordon the Judicials had thrown up as if it had become a natural part of the markets landscape.

Below she could see the cordon, about three block of the old market had been marked off by the Judicials who now patrolled around the cordon. With blasters in hand the several dozen guards would have been intimidating to most would be trespassers, but to the Sith Lord viewing the scene from above they were only another obstacle.

Pretiosa waited for a patrol of three Judicials to pass below her hiding spot before moving. I a quick series of force enhanced leaps she found herself in the cordon with another series of jumps taking her to another vantage point. This one overlooking the spot where the speeders had gone down. Several uniformed men stood at the spot with their backs to her, seemingly going over the details of the crash.

Plans for how to get closer and possible steal any of the information ran through her head before being abruptly interrupted as one the men turned away from the group and seemed to look directly at her. No, he was most likely looking at her, for she recognized the man after her initial surprise passed. “What is he doing her...damnit” Asana muttered in frustration.

Lieutenant-Brigadier Rendor was just sizing up the downed Chancellary craft when he felt a familiar tug at the back of his mind. Observing the large dent in the side of the vessel, Rendor was simultaneously feeling out the impact site with the Force, while simultaneously dictating a list of information for major Valoneses to procure.

I want a list of vehicles and weapons the attackers were using, and as much ID as you can get from the security detail. Someone must have seen the attackers come and leave. Either they were lying in wait or they had an informant on the inside. I also want the Chancellor's travel plans for the past three months... In fact, plan me a meeting with the Chancellor, it's better if he met the man leading the investigation. Then..."

The familiar pull on his mind then drew all his attention from the craft and to a small outcrop on one of the buildings. There, hidden in the shadows, he saw the unmistakable outline of Asana. Rendor did not need the force to notice the frustration on his daughter's face.

"What the..." he muttered, desperately attempting to telepathically link with Asana.

"What the hell are you doing here?" he thought. "I don't need you to steal information that's already in..."

"Sir?"

Major Valoneses was looking quizically at Rendor, trying to follow his gaze, which prompted Rendor to regain his composure.

"Like I said, get me a meeting with the Chancellor, earliest opportunity. We also need to deliniate jurisdiction with the Jedi, make sure they are focussing on Vane and not getting in our way. I want all interviews with the surviving guards and any prime witnesses on my desk by tomorrow. Then get to the ancilliary stuff, okay?"

Just for a second, Rendor glanced sideways at his apprentice. Then, with the booming voice of an officer, he assembled his men.

"Alright, let's take a look at the downed security speeders. Turek, Pleen, guard the cordon"

Turek and Pleen, while good souls, were not made for the Judiciary. They were good friends above all, and would not last five minutes without engrossing themselves in some sports-themed conversation, totally oblivious to the rest of the world. That would give Asana the opportunity to sneak around a bit. Though she did not discover the crash site, she might learn something he hadn't.

Letting her frustration, at herself most of all for being prideful in not telling her master she'd be here, slide for the moment. Asana regained her composure to make sure she took advantage of the opportunity her father was giving her.

She let a few moments pass after the two guards were left alone to guard the chancellors craft before gracefully jumping from the building and using the force to land silently. She then quickly made her way to the craft, slipping by the two guards easily as they chatted away over a girl the other had met a few days past.

"Damn him, why'd he have to be here. It was supposed to be my achievement, alone! Now it's his, gah.." The young sith muttered to herself as she went over the crash site, looking for anything that an official search might have missed. Something that a different mindset and search method would find. She reached out with the force for help as she searched and brooded. She'd have to one up him with the Jedi case, that's how she'd get him back Pretiosa decided.

After ten minutes of wasted time the girl gave up. She had searched as much as she could in the time frame but now the guards were beginning to do their jobs and had begun to do a slow patrol around the speeder. With a sigh of frustration Asana ran away from the craft, low to the ground in her dash before leaping once more onto a building. It had been a wasted night however she had learned a couple things that her father might find interesting.

It was with this anger and frustration that she wrote a short and precise note, telling what Amor and the others she had investigated had said. She left the note on his bed before retreating to her own room to continue her brooding. During this, her mind went to the jedi and she began to plan the next night out, starting with approaching her father and asking what he already knew. With a last sigh she threw her head against the pillow and closed her eyes.

"Lieutenant-Brigadier Rendor." Spoke a man in a full black outfit. Rendor would have immediately recognised him as Jamilhar Vex, the Executive Administrator for the Supreme Chancellor. In layman's terms, he did whatever Zaan wanted him to. His position was without portfolio, which meant the Senate had no oversight over him and his activities.

"This investigation is being transferred to the Senate Bureau of Intelligence, Director Isard will personally be handling the details. Once the vehicles have been loaded onto the freighter, you and your men are dismissed. Any questions?" Asked Vex.

Rendor would note that he was not alone. Several Senate Commandos had accompanied him, along with members of the SBI, and what appeared to be three Sector Rangers. The Commandos then fanned out to take up positions around the downed vehicles.

Rendor had supressed the urge to salute when Vex approached him. While high-ranking, Vex was no part of the Judicial hierachy. The Supreme Chancellor demanded a salute, but not the likes of Vex. Having received his dismissal, Rendor shuddered to the bone, feeling a deep, seething rage boil up in him. His lightsabre was always at his side, and for a moment, he thought to use ot on Vex and his cronies. A few senate commandos, unaccustomed to fighting a Sith... He could take them. End the lot of them. Fry them slowly as he did. But at the cusp of grabbing Vex and crushing his neck, Rendor managed to calm himself, at least enough to to fly into an instant killing spree.

The curse of Darth Bane; no longer would outright violence and conquest be the route of the Sith. This strategy suited Rendor, but sometimes, he wished he had the armies of the old Sith Empire at his command, or that he could be open about his power. To see Vex, enitrely unaware of how close to death he had been and how easily Rendor could dispatch him, made him quake in his boots.

Rendor straighted his signature grey greatcoat and made a bow at the hip, a civil sign of respect.

"Of course, Exellency. As you command"

As the Senate Commandos fanned out, Rendor assembled his own men. They seemed just as confused as Rendor himself, although he was better at hiding it. Before long, they were mounting their own speeders, and leaving the site for Vex and his entourage.

"Administrator, I do want to bring to your attention that I was recalled to Coruscant for the purpose of this investigation. Should the Chancellor have any need of my services, I am at liberty"

Rendor bowed again, and got into the passenger seat of one of the Judicial speeders waiting to take him back to HQ. The whole flight back he was silent, staring out the window at the approaching Chancery and the Senate behind it.

Isard... Sector Rangers...

The more he thought about it, the more it angered him. The more he wanted to turn the whole Chancery inside out. Clearly, there was something going on within the government itself. Plots, schemes, and he was being used as a pawn in all of it. A pawn that could win the whole game by himself, they just did not realise. And they were happily playing their little games... Standing in the way of his own rise. His stomach began to boil again, his breathing became heavier. He only calmed himself down when he saw two yellow eyes look back at himself in the reflection of the window. The game was far from over.

"Valoneses, get me an appointment... an audience with Tiasha Nuvonn. It wouldn't be proper for me to work on Coruscant without knowing the right people" Rendor said, staring into the void.

"As you wish, sir" came the curt response of his aide, starting to type away on his holopad.
Last edited by Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States on Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled


Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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Revlona
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6530
Founded: Jan 23, 2017
Father Knows Best State

Postby Revlona » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:28 pm

Asana Rendor
Coruscant
Top Level


The Coruscant Youth Military Academy was a lesser known school among the many prestigious military academies that the republic boasted and there was a very simple reason for that. It was simply because it was a youth military academy. The CYMA, as it was sometimes known, was simply where the parents of children with aspirations in their planets defense forces sent said children to learn the things they would learn in a regular school while also being supplemented with knowledge they would find helpful when they were old enough to attend an actual Military Academy. It was also the school which Asana had chosen to attend.

There were two reasons for this choice. The first being the fact that it was a military academy. While she of course had been personally taught military tactics, strategies, and logistics by her father and other hired tutors for her eventual career in the judicials, or GAR should the act pass, she herself believed that one could never learn enough about such an important topic. The second reason was because of its uniform. While the CYMA did not require its students to live on campus in dorms like many universities and academies do, it did require them to wear their uniform at all times while at school and while in transit to or from school. The uniform itself was close to what a defense force dress uniform would look like. It's striking black, red, and white giving a sense of authority to the young aspiring officers.

Asana herself wore the uniform as if it were a second skin. Not a single part of it was out of place when matched with the young woman who wore it. The other cadets all stole glances as she walked through the halls of the academy. Not out of any sort of attraction, though this was not to say that she was not an extremely attractive girl and would have normally drawn such looks, but because of the pure sense of self confidence and authority which rolled off of her. Rumors had already begun to fly across the school when several of the cadets had witnessed the Dean of Students, a older war hero of several anti-piracy campaigns, unwilling stiffen to attention when he came face to face with Asana after rounding the corner. The spell had only been broken when she herself had stiffened to attention and saluted him, most likely to save him from embarrassment the students whispered. They continued these whispers even as she distanced herself from them in the corner of the room, deep in conversation with someone through her com link.

"Good, have the fools park the speeder in the alley I marked for you, the device should be more than powerful enough the level the hospital and surrounding areas. Wear the clothing and mask I purchased for you when you detonate the device, not until I give the signal, and then burn the clothing and hide out for a while. I expect you at the star port in three days time when you arrive from your offworld assignment." Asana said, her voice low as she spoke to the man on the other side of the call. Tyvor Greio, a skilled former mercenary now turned right hand man to Asana muttered a few words of affirmative before waiting in silence for her next words.

"School ends in 2 hours, be ready to detonate the device 3 hours from now. You remember where correct?" The Sith lord said. To anyone else of his caliber it might have been an insult, but Tyvor knew that the young sith lord was very much a perfectionist and was assuring herself more than him that things were going smoothly. "Yes my lord, I will be 200 levels down in a secluded room awaiting for your ping to press the button, just as you planned." He said, patient with the young woman.

"Good, ensure Mika is there, I will take any reporter but I would prefer Mika." She said. The plan called for them to anomysly contact Mika Dawsen, a reporter for the Coruscant News Network and inform her that something big was about to happen. She would arrive and the final phase of the plan would begin. If everything went smoothly that is.

That was what was causing Asanas current worry, the fact that many things could go wrong. The hired hands could not come through, the device could prematurely detonate or not detonate at all, she could become a suspect or not be recognized for the actions she would perform after the plan went through. Many things could go wrong and yet she knew the best thing she could do was the trust Tyvor, he knew what he was doing. She also suspected that he had done this before, it was he that had suggested the use of a starships fuel cell being used as the explosive while hidden in a speeder after all.

With a quick shake of her head Asana cleared her mind of the doubts and said, "We proceed then, four hours from now I just might be the darling of the republic," she laughed then. Laughed and hoped she was right.
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Liecthenbourg
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Posts: 12822
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Liecthenbourg » Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:05 pm

The High Council Tower
The Jedi Temple
Coruscant


In more pleasant times, Dooku had loved this temple. It was his home. His sanctuary. Where he had competed in trials and competitions, contests and tourneys, all in the name of self-improvement and self-reflection; discipline in mental and martial. He could remember his first time walking its halls. Or at the very least he believed he could remember it. A memory existed. A happier time. And they flashed through his consciousness almost successively: training with Master Cerulian; achieving Knighthood, tutoring Kin; discovering Vane and becoming a Councilor. The list was endless.

And now a sombre memory joined the ceaseless ranks of history, as the man's shadow darkened the marble flooring of the mezzanine he walked across.

It had taken Dooku no length of time to leave his transport at the lower levels of the Temple Ziggurat. As soon as he had set the vessel down, he strode decisively out of the vehicle and made no excuse for small-talk. This was not the time. And with little thought other than that he wished to accomplish, the Jedi Master had left the hangars with little more than half-hearted nods of acknowledgement to the staff.

With them he had left the hulking, silent and brooding former warlord of Kalee that had entered Dooku's company in recent years. His reptilian eyes watched the Serennian leave with little concern, and they turned to aimlessly watch the engineers and mechanics of the temple as they performed routine maintenance on the craft.

He knew that the man would do nothing; but his presence was intentionally intimidating. Dooku had no need for a bodyguard, nor was the Kaleesh one. Qymaen was different. A turbulent soul that resembled a ship cast adrift in the storm. And Dooku had made it his mission to teach him how to helm his ship.

But right now his mission was different. He had returned to Coruscant with a thousand questions and he intended all of them to receive answers. He would not be sidelined any further.

And that thought of being pushed to the side had gnawed at him from Serenno to Coruscant. He had spent the time in meditation; feeling for clarity and patience in the Force. He had received the latter, but no clarity came to him. It merely served as time where his mind formulated concepts and ideas, scenarios and alternatives. And he felt a longing, a sadness he had not felt in a long time.

"Did she die, because I was foolish enough to leave the City of Spires?" was a question the ageing master would ask himself a thousand times. "Did she die because her enemies felt emboldened without the presence of her supporters?"

His ship was lost in the storm for some time, before he had regained control of it. But the melancholy hadn't left. And that had caused a thousand other issues: attachment led to suffering and he could not abide that. So he had meditated more and silenced his own doubts.

And he had been busy even before he had arrived at Coruscant. Through a secure channel, he aimed at contacting Lilladri Dara. Informing her of his return to Coruscant, he stressed that he was here to help -- and if she had anything to say, he would be her confidant. He did not know if that was to work. A similar message he sent to his most recent padawan Seel’akru, the slave-girl from Ryloth.

Other messages sent informed the Council of his return and indicated at his requirement of speaking to its members about the "ongoing situations" in the Republic. Whilst he mentioned the death of his padawan and the assassination attempt on the Supreme Chancellor in his message, he only truly wanted answers for the former -- at least at the moment. Zaan was an admirable man with a few wrong opinions, but those politics could be discussed later.

Even though he had successfully wrestled his feelings into submission, holding them in place with the Jedi Code, he felt a minor lingering presence. And he was battling with that as his decisive stride picked up pace towards the elevators of the High Council Tower. Here, in the opened arched hallways of the Temple, did Dooku's presence enlarged. He was a towering human, nearly standing at two metres, with an athletic build despite his age. His motions were swift, strong and youthful. His robes were not ornate by any means, but comparatively the darker colours and flowing capes held by clasps of precious metals did lend themselves to his image of elegance and aristocracy. And that said nothing for his boots made of rancor leather.

"More durable for the harsh environments," he had told other members of the Order when it was first brought up.

The Council's other members were likely hiding behind their traditions and conservatism. They were likely to stonewall him. If they did not, Dooku would be surprised: "Dooku's problem" had been their problem for quite some time. And he knew there was an underlying level of... disagreement on Vane herself.

He cleared his throat as he arrived at the lift that would ascend up to the High Council Chambers and he idly thumbed a datapad in his hands. It only dawned on him there as the doors shut in front of him that he was also returning with a report on Serenno.

Shutting his eyes, Dooku aimed to let the Force flow through him. He did not resist its currents and a vigour returned to him; so much so that only the audible 'ding' indicating the lift had ascended the tower brought him forth into the physical. And he stepped onwards towards the chambers.



The High Council Chamber
A collaborative post between Krugmar, Jedi Council and myself.

It did not take long for Dooku to arrive at the High Council Chambers, to find several of its members already seated in session. For that he was thankful. He had no intentions or wants to sit around and be forced to wait; so he appreciated the presence of his peers before him. A gracious bow was taken before the assembled members as the Serennian cleared his throat.

"Master Jedi", he began in his deep and accented voice. "I have returned with my reports from the incident on Serenno. You will find in my reports that the peace between the counts was maintained, in favour of the smaller counties. There will be no risk of planetary divide in its governance. I have left my summary in a datapad with the Council Clerk."

Standing before all of them, in their circular fashion, was far more intimidating as a younger man. Now it felt natural. Whereby once he had disagreed on a minor note with its seating arrangement he had grown to like it.

He knew it was obvious to the others around him that he was clearly not interested in discussing the details of the Serenno mission.

It was Jocasta, the Grandmaster of the Order, who answered him and, as expected, it was not on the subject of Serenno.

"While your mission on Serenno was of high importance, the Council would first offer their condolences on the loss of your former padawan. If there is anything you would require, we are at your disposal." She said, attempting to give Dooku a reassuring smile.

Toro Yavat nodded, "A great tragedy, the loss of a Jedi Knight of such skill and calibre, with a mind always towards working for the greater good of the galaxy." He added in his highly distinctive Ithorian accent.

Master Tomar inclined her head slightly, her face framed by the elegant curvature of her montrals. She could hardly join in the veneration for Vane without artifice - Dooku's former Padawan had been dangerously unconventional, unorthodox, and undisciplined. For Dooku, however, Tomar understood the pain all too well. Having only recently lost her own Master, she felt for the elder man. The bonds between student and teacher were something that the Jedi prized highly.

"Yes, I am sure we are all sorry for your loss," the Togrutan said with a bittersweet smile. "She was a unique Jedi. And to you, no doubt, a close friend."

Dooku had always liked Jocasta. Whilst she was clearly a compromise candidate of sorts, and a fine archivist, there were few people he could name that would be more fitting of the symbolic role of Grandmaster.

He felt a weight lift off of his shoulders as condolences were given in turn; and at the mention of resources being made available if they were so required.

“I thank you all for your compassionate condolences,” he added towards the end of Tomar’s statement. His eyes quickly glanced in her direction; but he made no comment on her own words save for a neutral nod of acknowledgment.

“I require the information that this Council may have on the incident. I wasn’t here. I’ve not been debriefed, to no one’s fault as such sensitive matters, such personal matters, are better in person.”

He paused for a moment and rubbed his chin. “I’ve also heard that the Judicial Forces are preventing our own investigation...?”

Toro Yavat sighed, to discuss it again was distressing and he knew he would only feel Dooku's pain. First he would feel it by forcing him to think about the death of one he cared about, and a second time by revealing the lack of information. For some that might be a blessing, but for one like Dooku? A curse.

"What information the Judicial Department has given us has proven to be lacking, but we will keep no secrets from you. A distress signal was sent out from Vane's apartment at three minutes past eleven. Judicial Forces arrived to investigate and acted quickly to secure her apartment." He started.

"They discovered Vane in her lounge, deceased. The report mentions signs of a physical struggle, without the usage of lightsaber or any other weapons from Vane or her assailant, and by the injuries suffered and the state of the room it is not judged to have been a drawn out fight. Her murderer fled the scene and evaded and deleted any video and holographic evidence. The report concludes that they were well aware of her building, and likely planned the murder in advance." He concluded on the topic of the report.

Jocasta spoke next. "We received initial clearance from the Judicial Department to begin our own investigation, but upon arriving Masters Horne and Gumbrai were denied entrance. We were later informed that the Office of the Supreme Chancellor had revoked our clearance and has declared it a matter for the Judicial Department as it did not occur on Temple grounds. Needless to say the situation is both highly distressing and unusual."

Master Tomar shook her head and folded her hands into her lap. The obstinacy of the Judicial Forces was unsettling, and indeed, most unusual. In times past, Jedi had be welcomed as the best-of-the-best in their field. Jedi Investigators were prized for their skill and thoroughness. They served as an important tool available to the Republic's defense. And now, under this militaristic Chancellor, they were being sidelined. Such intransigence frustrated Tomar. The Jedi Order existed to help people, to help the Republic. It must be allowed to fulfill this role.

"I do not think the recalcitrance of the Judicial Forces can come as too much a surprise, Masters." The Togruta's voice was clear and measured. She unfolded her hands and laid them on the thick armrests that framed her lithe figure.
"The current administration is, fundamentally, different than previous governments. The Supreme Chancellor has always been less willing than his predecessors to invite our aid or request our support."

The Togrutan placed a hand to her chin.

"While I would not seek to impugn the skills of Masters Horne or Gumbrai, it may be possible that we need to pursue this with more vigour. More immediacy."

And idea formulated in the Togrutans mind. A possibility.

"Perhaps one of our own number, a Council member, should lead the investigation. After all, Vane was Master Dooku's apprentice, and, if I may say, the circumstances of her unfortunate death are extremely unusual. I doubt the Judicial Forces could say no, much less have the inclination to to so if one of us were to take the lead on this matter."

Tomar scanned the inscrutable faces of her colleagues, before looking to Dooku. She had always respected the elder Jedi, even if his student had been troublesome.

It was like a knot in one’s stomach; or a cough in the throat that could not be pushed out.

There was always a level of inaction. Somewhere within the bureaucratic mess someone would be found who felt the need to exercise power, to prove a point, to inflate their own importance.

Yavat was right. He felt the pain from the man standing in front of him; as if the last fires of hope that the rumours were rumours had been extinguished.

And he stood in silence, in contemplation, as his followers council members deliberated and conversed.

For the Jedi to be prevented from investigating in one of their own was a disgrace. An insult of the highest order.

“Highly distressing and unusual,” Dooku reiterated. “Highly suspect and concerning,” he added. “The Supreme Chancellor is adding kindling to conspiratorial fires with this ruling. He’s making an already delicate and dire situation worse.”

And for the first time in quite a while, Dooku found himself in immediate agreement with Master Tomar. “I was going to suggest something almost identical. Whatever you may have thought of Vane personally, she was one of us. And she has been killed. Assailed in a struggle in nefarious, disgusting circumstances. Our exclusion from this investigation is... a mockery.”

He inhaled and exhaled, unclenching the fist he held behind his back beneath his cape. “And I put myself forward for leading our investigation. We have friends in the Senate and in the Judiciary should we need to use them! Countless representatives from worlds we have helped. To do nothing, to allow the Judiciary to stonewall...”

“It would be catastrophic.”

It was strange to place what Dooku’s face displayed other than a mixture of excitement and weariness.

“They cannot turn us away forever; we cannot let them nibble away at our duties and rights.”

Perhaps, if he was lucky, this would work. With Tomar suggesting it it felt like it had a more grounded reality than if it came from him. And perhaps this would spur the council out of its inaction.

"Master Dooku," Tomar said steepling her fingers together as though to indicate both authority and contrition, "While I am pleased that you agree, and indeed, I hope that the rest of the Council agrees, that we must be decisive and firm on this matter, I feel compelled to say that you may not be the correct choice to lead this investigation."

The Jedi Master let the words hang in the air for a few heartbeats at most.

"We all understand the feeling of loss that you must be fighting. We know you and Jedi Vane were close, as close a any Master and Padawan. But this relationship, I fear, would prove only to be a burden in navigating these... delicate matters. You, my friend, are too close to this, too close to Vane."

The Togrutan turned now to address her seated colleagues. "We must act, we must not allow the Chancellor to exclude us from our rightful place. But we must do so smartly. Placing Master Dooku at the head of this investigation may be self defeating - it could aggravate the Judicial Forces, and the Chancellor further, and increase their resistance to our involvement. It may appear, to the untrained and ignorant eye, that we are letting an aggrieved mentor seek revenge for his fallen student, a situation we would know to be false."

Tomar locked eyes with Dooku, unflinchingly meeting his penetrating gaze with both compassion, and determination.

"Because of this, I believe that Master Dooku would best serve us here, working on other assignments. Taking time to mourn and acclimatize to recent events. Meditation, relaxation, and peace are what you need now friend, not more troubles. I therefore, would suggest that I take the lead on this investigation."

Once more, Tomar learned back and cast her eyes about the room. While her orthodoxy and general antipathy towards Vane's more eccentric beliefs were well known, Tomar also knew that the Council trusted her. They appreciated her skills, her power, and her dedication to the best interests of the Order.

Toro Yavat nodded, "You are quite right to feel a desire a personal investigation, but Master Tomar is correct. The situation is highly delicate, and we must not do anything to provoke the Chancellor, or the Senate. Master Tomar you will investigate Vane's passing in whichever way you can, while we negotiate with the Chancellor's Office for a more thorough investigation." He said, though it pained him.

"If you are intent on activity, Master Dooku, then while I would agree with Master Tomar that you meditate and rest on current events, there is a most delicate task only you can accomplish. While not involved yourself you were Vane's master, and so you may be able to speak with those who agreed with her ideals and... attempt to defuse the situation. With all that is going on with the Senate, we cannot be distracted by factionalism." He asked, somewhat hoping Dooku would opt for Tomar's suggestion of a rest. While such a task was vital, it could in his mind wait a while longer.

If Dooku were not a man of restraint, if he were merely human, he knew he would have likely lashed out. But he kept his cool, his collected thoughts, and stared daggers at the Togruta woman who had undone his intentions and elevated herself to a position of investigator.

"With all due respect, my Masters, you have had three weeks to delegate the position of investigator to Master Tomar. To do this in front of me as I ask for your permission to lead the investigation is an insult." He turned to Master Tomar and the narrowed eyes and locked jaw were enough to convey the faint traces of displeasure -- and at worst anger -- beneath the service. "I mean no disrespect to Master Tomar, and in fact I offer her -- and this Council an alternative. If you would not let me conduct this investigation into the assassination of my apprentice on my own; let Master Tomar join me in the investigation as my equal. You fear that my presence alone could be self-defeating? I counter, my absence will embolden the critiques of the Jedi in the Senate over a perceived lack of compassion." For a few moments he was silent, internalising the compromises he was making. "And I know you, Master Tomar, to be compassionate."

He shook his head at Yavat and the pain the Master felt was reciprocated. "To speak to Vane's followers, to approach them with nothing would do little to aid their grievances. Especially, I may add, if it were to become obvious to them that the master of the originator of their ideals, the rallying point of their philosophy, were to be excluded from the official Jedi investigation into her death would be nothing short of the grounds for more conspiracies. For more hushed whispers from the discontented; that there are grander things at work that we know do not exist, but they perceive regardless."

"You misunderstand." Interjected Master Min, a Cerean who had only recently joined the Council after Master Hamne's retirement. "This investigation must be secret. It is clear that the Supreme Chancellor and Senate do not view her death as falling under Jedi affairs. To provoke them now, a mere week after an assassination attempt was made on the Chancellor, would be most unwise." She said, giving Dooku only a blank look which signalled her indifference to his former padawan's death.

Yavat did not speak, only nodded at what Min said, as did most of the Council.

Dooku shrugged his shoulders. He rolled his neck. And he sighed. He had come to the Council with hope and was met with more and more inaction.

"I believe the only one misunderstanding the situation is you."

"Masters," Tomar said authoritatively, her voice raising so as to echo throughout the Council Chamber, "This bickering is unbecoming. Master Dooku, I mean no disrespect in suggesting myself for the position of investigator on this matter - I merely believe that it is on your best interest that you remain at a healthy distance from these painful events."

The Togrutan leaned forward in her chair, arching her back as she made eye contact with Jocasta Nu.

"Perhaps, if Master Dooku is determined to remain active and busy, as is his right, he can take the lead on another matter of great importance - no doubt, the Judicial Forces could use our assistance in investigating the most recent attempt on the Chancellor's life."

There was a short silence as the Togrutan let the possibility float through the room. She did not want to hurt Dooku, she understood his pride and his vanity - she understood his connection to Vane. But she knew that in this, she was the right Jedi for the job. Not only to bring Vanes killers to Justice, as they ought to be, but also to gather more information on her followers throughout.

"We could hardly be accused of sidelining Master Dooku, nor taking the threat on the Chancellor's life lightly by assigning one of our own to the task. Indeed, a Jedi Master as skilled and experienced as you my friend may be just what is needed to unravel this labyrinth of mystery."

She inclined her head towards the elder Jedi. Dooku still stood stoic in the centre of the chamber, his elegant features appearing ancient and unmoved, as though they had been carved from the very bedrock of the Temple itself.

She smiled lightly, hoping he would take the compliment, and indeed, accept the posting.

“We are taught that there is no emotion. That there is peace. To believe that I must remain at a distance from these “painful events”, that I may succumb to some sort of emotional drive response, is a disrespect that you mean.” Dooku fired back, but without changing the tone nor volume of his voice. “You are questioning my ability as a Jedi with your excuses.”

“I am not attached. I am not stuck, frozen in place to an external person. But she was my apprentice. And she was killed. She was killed and I was not here. And now her apprentice is missing and this Council continues to side step the matter at hand. You have had three weeks to entertain the possibility of this investigation. I reiterate my offer; I will happily accompany Master Tomar to provide her guidance and understanding of Vane’s personality. I know her missions, many of her connections, no one would be as instrumental in putting these pieces of the puzzle together than I — save her apprentice. But we don’t have her either.”

It felt like trying to hold onto sand. It slipped through its fingers at every turn. But it was harder than that. It was as if the wind would pick up whenever his hands breached into the grains of yellow, and cast them flying into the sky as he tried to hold them in his grip.

His unmoving features caught the Togrutan as she looked at him, and strangely enough to himself he smiled back at her. It was a small, genuine smile and for a moment he felt the tension mounting in his shoulders evaporate.

But his words did not match the expression on his face. “Another platitude. This Supreme Chancellor is independently minded; I’m sure he would take Jedi involvement as detrimental to the operation of his judicial forces.”

Yavat considered for a few moments. There was no compromise which would satisfy all parties, no solution which came to mind. If he was to deny Dooku the chance to investigate with their blessing, then he would force him to do so without it. Without Dooku on the Council, there could be no dialogue with Vane's followers.

"Very well, Master Dooku. Master Tomar will *lead* the investigation, but you will accompany and assist her in every way possible. As Master Min has stated this investigation cannot be public. I will speak with the Supreme Chancellor myself, but until then you must use discretion, and walk the path of a Jedi Shadow." He said, laying down the law. While he preferred to think of himself as merely the first among equals, sometimes leaning on the authority of his title was necessary.

Dooku bowed. And he held that bow for a few moments. His eyes shut in contemplation before he rose again and looked towards Toro Yavat and Grandmaster Jocasta, smiling again. "Thank you, Master Jedi."

Pivoting on the spot, he looked once again to the Togrutan Master. He studied her face, to see how she had taken the news. In doing so he looked over Master Min with a faint smile. "Master Tomar, I am available whenever you are ready. If you wish to leave immediately that is acceptable. It will be an honour to join you on this investigation."

"In the meantime, or even during, I will do my best to answer any questions that Vane's followers may have without compromising the secrecy of the investigation.”

Tomar nodded. While she had preferred Dooku to stay out of this affair, for his own good if not the good of the Order, she could hardly continue pushing the issue without undermining her own position.

"An acceptable compromise," the Togrutan said as she stood, straightening her robes ,"Thank you, Master Yavat."

The Jedi walked slowly towards Dooku, and raised her eyes to his.

"I am pleased to be working with you, Master Dooku. No doubt your skills will assist in the investigative process most considerably."

She turned to the rest of the Council as she spun towards the door.

"Masters, if you would excuse us. Master Dooku and I have much work to do and so little time to do it."
Last edited by Liecthenbourg on Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Impeach the Mayor of Lego City Legalise Falling into the River The Rescue Helicopter Needs to be Built! HEY!
Grand-Master of the Kyluminati


The Region of Kylaris
I'm just a simple Kylarite, trying to make my way on NS.

The Gaullican Republic,
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The Transtsabaran Federation and The Chistovodian Workers' State
I'm a self-identifying social democrat and a Europhile, with a left-wing economic position based on Marxist and Catholic teaching.
I'm socially confused.

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Kenobot
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Posts: 327
Founded: Apr 09, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Kenobot » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:50 pm

Grand Convocation Chamber
Galactic Senate Building
Coruscant


Senator Ragez D’Asta had been one of the first senators to arrive in the Grand Convocation Chamber that day. After the news of the attempted assassination of the Supreme Chancellor, someone even he wasn’t foolish enough to order a hit on, D’Asta was both curious and nervous as to the potential reaction of the Supreme Chancellor after a week of simmering tension.

Spending his time mingling with his fellow Corporate Senators, one theme began to emerge; no one knew anything and all were fearful of what was to come. Perhaps the Corpos would be scapegoated? Would the Judicial Forces play along with the ruse and arrest them? Or maybe, Supreme Chancellor Zaan would blame the Jedi Order which he much loathed? There was certainly enough of a potential for a schism from what D’Asta had heard. But all these theories proved wrong as the Supreme Chancellor finally emerged from his holding office, only to unveil the Military Creation Act.

“What?” Thought a very puzzled D’Asta, “But….what’s that got to do with the attempted assassination? A sufficiently skilled enough bounty hunter could make their way past any army to get to their target.”

As he began to read the contents of the bill, the very vague nature of their jurisdiction left a lot to the imagination.
“Just what does ensuring peace and security within the Republic mean” he quizzed to himself,
“Well if it’s volunteer only and organised by each planet, then I guess we’ll have to make sure the Axilla System’s units are all loyal to the D’Asta Shipping Corp rather than whatever lackey Zaan sends our way. Ha! Maybe I just do the same thing I did with my own father! Kidnap and clone the son of a bantha”

Continuing through the legislation, it became more and more apparent what was going on, at least in D’Asta’s mind.

“The madman has his own personal army! Sooner or later, Zaan and the militarists could truly take over and we’d all be toast! The autonomy that we’ve worked so hard to maintain for a millenia, gone in the blink of an eye! We need to crush this legislation or…..” Not finishing the sentence in his head, D’Asta knew he had to see Lott Dod privately. Contingencies must begin to be prepared. Sending his protocol droid to the Trade Federation delegation, the droid was to ask for a private meeting between Lott Dod and Senator D'Asta immediately after the session in the Senate ended. It was of the greatest urgency that the Corporate and Rim Senators formed a united front.

As he awaited the return of his protocol droid, knowing it would be held against the Corporations if no opposition was given in the initial aftermath of the bill's announcement, Senator D'Asta applied for speaking rights to give his initial remarks, which was granted.

"Supreme Chancellor, fellow Senators and distinguished guests, we all condemn the barbaric attempted assassination of the Supreme Chancellor and I'm sure that we all support any efforts to bring the culprits to justice." Began D'Asta, "This though? Well let's quickly examine some key sections of the legislation, what exactly does 'ensuring peace and security in the Republic' entail? Who defines that? You? Someone down the chain of command who is again appointed by you? What need does the Republic have for a Grand Army anyway? Already the Judiciary Forces are doing an exemplary job without much issue. You know what this sounds like? This sounds like the Core Worlds trying to enforce their will upon the mid and outer rims; to try and make them into their own image by force. Well guess what? No self-respecting Rim Senator will ever vote for this outrageous overreach."
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Revlona
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Founded: Jan 23, 2017
Father Knows Best State

Postby Revlona » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:12 am

A cooperative post between Revlona and Oblivion2

Coruscant


Asana walked calmly down one of the main streets which she had been using as her route from home to the Academy. As usual the streets were packed, both on the ground and in the air. It was getting late in the day and many people were beginning to return to their homes from work while others were getting ready to leave and start their day. None of them knew that the so far peaceful day was about to be oh so abruptly bloodied.

Barely two blocks down the street from Asana sat the Mercy’s Own Peoples Hospital. A well known establishment in the the republican sector of the capital they were in now. It was almost always busy, being situated in a very populated region nearly right in between the senate and Jedi temple. In the alleyway behind the hospital however was parked a nondescript speeder, one which would kill thousands of people in mere moments.

Asana raised her comm link to her mouth, judging the distance to be just about right, and said "So what are we having for dinner?" The ground shook and a bright flash of light momentarily stunned the people around her. It was then that her mind had registered two things, the explosion was much larger than she had expected it to be, it having caught a transport speeder filled with Rydonium that was unlucky enough to be passing directly above it. The second thing she noticed was that her body was a step ahead of her mind.

In the days to come millions upon millions of people would view security footage from a clothing store down the street, it's contents were simple yet inspiring. As those around her cowered, the young woman in uniform disregarded all thoughts of her own safety and charged forward, debris raining around her as she ran to save lives.

To Asana that perception was as close to the truth as she could have hoped, in reality her body reacted before her mind could and had her charging ahead. The debris that raining down around her didn't strike her only because of the force.

All of this was merely a footnote to what she did next, hundreds of eye witnesses, thankful survivors, and fellow rescuers would come to attest to her actions in the coming hours and days. To the people reading and watching the crisis, what she did was nothing short of a miracle.

What can be gathered however is an accepted fact, in the next several minutes the 16 year old girl personally saved nearly fifty people, organized those willing to aid in rescue, used those people to rescue even further victims, and even had them start clearing rubble once those out of immediate danger had been secured. All before any official authorities had arrived.

What amazed people even more than these simple facts is that when authorities finally did arrive, instead of ceasing her efforts and quitting on the people below the rubble, she quickly merged her volunteer force with judicial rescuers and medical personnel to continue the effort. All agree that she only stopped when forced to by her own injuries sustained while rescuing and through pure exhaustion. A second video of the event even shows an older man gently trying to lead her back to get medical help where she would be swarmed by reporters, including the famous Mika Dawsen. The man in question would later be identified as Artan Mythros, a lesser known lobbyist and private military contractor who had been nearby when the explosion had occured.

-- -- --

"Get off me! Let go! There are still people underneath and they need me!" Asana said, the exhaustion in her voice expertly dramatized as she feebly pulled against the hand that had gripped her shoulder. She turned to look at the man who was trying to pull her back and said, "Leave me alone plea.." It was then that her legs apparently half gave out on her. A trickle of blood running down her forehead and right leg as she sank to her knees.

There was something to be said for the reactions a soldier can have drilled into their body. Artan almost didn’t remember leaving his seat at the High Level Diner when the explosion rattled the foundations. He’d been there purely by coincidence, enjoying a mid-morning Caf at the Diner after a late night strategy session with his team.

Politics, he had found, could be exhausting, and so the upper level Diner marketed to staffers and various assistants to society’s upper strata was a literal godsend to the Kiffar mercenary.

While people were still gawking or sitting stupefied in their seats, the mercenary was already out the door and trying to determine where the explosion had come from. He wasn’t a coruscanti native, so navigating the streets didn’t come easy. “Oh my gods,” a young man said and pointed at the cloud of debris that was still floating up into the skies and being blown around by the winds and traffic. “I think it was Mercy’s Own. I think it was the hospital!”

Artan could hear the screams in the distance as he punched the name of the hospital into his datapad and took off at a dead sprint. Beings kept getting in his way as he ran but fortunately military service had gifted him a drill sergeants lungs. “Move!” He roared authoritatively, “Move! Move out of the way damn you all!”

They leapt out of his way after that.

Arriving, Artan found himself at the gates of Hell itself. The hospital was little more than rubble and tower foundation, as was the block that had sprung up on the platforms around it. “Stars be merciful…” He murmurs softly before the smell of blood, vaporized flesh, and dust began to wash over him. He threw himself into the crisis then, he’d seen sights like this before in his time in active war zones. People moved around aimlessly, almost in shock. Most of them anyhow, in the midst of the rubble there seemed to be a group of people moving with a purpose, led by a slight young woman.

Brave, but foolish. There could be secondary charges aimed at taking out the first wave of responders. She could have people with spinal injuries moved from the rubble and made worse. Or she could get hurt herself.

But she’d need to wait, and she seemed to have a cohort of people trying to dig others out of the rubble and honestly, it was better than nothing. “You, you, and you!” He bawls at three beings who seemed to be moving in a stupor, his voice snapping them out of their fugue. “I need you to start gathering up clean cloth, medical supplies, anything! Get people helping! Get shops to give you first aid kits and bring them out here!”

Someone moving out of the rubble collapsed in front of him, clutching his chest as a pool of red began to expand along his shirt. Tearing his own shirt off and cutting the man’s own garment off with a vibroknife, he got a good look at the wound. “Stang.” He swore as he cut his robes into ribbons and pressed them hard against the man’s chest. “You’re going to be alright. Just focus on me, ok?”

Glancing up he could see the three people he’d yelled at on the move. “You there! Togruta! Start rounding up people who can walk and get them to find anyone back out of the blast zone who has first aid, send them back here, you got it?!” The betentacled man nodded and dashed off and began to get more volunteers. Eventually someone came and took over keeping the poor human under his care from bleeding to death.

The cases ran together. Triage, roaring at people to help set a perimeter and guide emergency services in towards the site and some of the more heavily wounded. In between all of this he kept glancing towards the young girl and her group. They’d freed an astonishing amount of people, and given the mass of individuals she had organized, seemed to be doing a hell of a job. But every time he looked she seemed to have more blood on her. More cuts and bruises. She was too young to be doing this sort of thing for this long.

That was when the first paramedics began to arrive and really began to take charge of the scene. Things tightened up considerable with professional assistance, even so, it was a minor miracle that as many people had been saved at this point as they had. People who would have died had that young woman not been willing to throw herself into the fire the way she had. But if there was one thing Artan knew, it was the signs of shock and fatigue in a body, and she was beginning to show it in the worst sort of way.

“We need to go.” His deep voice rumbled softly behind her as he set a hand on her shoulder. “The EMTs are here now. You push any harder and you’re going to hurt yourself.”

“Get off me!” She roared at him with surprising strength and vitriol as he began to lead her away from the rubble, “Let go! There are still people underneath and they need me!”

“What they need is-“ before he could finish his thoughts, the young girl swayed and feel to her knees. Without a second thought, Artan scooped her up into his arms as if she weighed hardly a thing. Covered in blood, dust, and with their respective clothes torn, Artan carried the lithe human out of the rubble. Before he could get to the EMTs, a swarm of holo cameras descended upon the pair.

“How many people did she save?!” Came a voice.

“Do you know this girl?!” Another.

“Why did this happen?!” “Whose responsible?!” “Did you follow her into the rubble when you saw her saving people.”

On and on the questions came as Artan physically pushed through the reporters and their drones. He hadn’t a word to say to any of them, not until someone could take care of this girl. Finally, when he saw an EMT armband through the press of bodies he roared out, “Move, move it! This girl needs to see a medic!”

“Is she alright?” “What is the state of her injuries?!”

“I said MOVE!” He bawled out, the shout almost like a physical force. The press parted in the wake of his momentary fury as he called out for a medic.

“Medic! Over here! I’ve got acute exhaustion, maybe serious dust inhalation and other injuries!”

"Set her down set her down! Carefully!" the Twi'Lek paramedic said, forcing his way through the reporters. The reporters followed quickly but in a show of humanity that was normally absent in their kind, and probably due to Artans presence, they gave him barely enough room to check over Asana. All while yelling questions of course.

"Young lady! Is it true you have personally saved a hundred people?" One called out.

"What is the state of the rescue operation? Is it true you tried to catch those responsible?" Another said.

"What a ridiculous question.." Asana muttered to herself, the words barely auidble, yet the motion of her mouth must have set them off.

"What did she say!?! Did anyone catch that!?!" they quickly began to close in around her when a high pitched yet authoritatian voice broke in.

"Mika Dawsen with CNN! Miss Rendor..." A slight and young looking woman called out, holding a microphone towards asana as she spoke while a camera hovered over her shoulder. The other journalists going silent yet writing down her name, knowing it to be true as seen by Asanas involuntary jerk of surprise when it was spoken. "Is it true that before authorities could even arrive you personally saved countless people and lead the relief efforts which we see continuing on around us now?" The reporter asked.

In response to the reported question Asana says in a quiet voice, “I’m not sure, if that’s the number then it wasn’t enough. I was the first one here, I took charge, and we were too late so many times, if I had been a little bit faster I could have saved them...". That was all they needed, the reporters exploded once more, countless questions being thrown at her in quick succession. In an attempt to escape this uncontrolled situation and to position herself closer in the mind of the man who had helped her, who she now recognized from a picture her father shown her, she switched her gaze to Artan and looked pleadingly at him for help. Her face masterfully forced into the look a child would give a parent when they wern't sure what they were supposed to do next or were uncomfortable.

She knew that many people loved sympathizing with those they looked up to or saw as heroes and so she was allowing herself these shows of weakness. She knew it would be easier for people to love her if they thought of her as a brave, selfless, and the intelligent young woman who could still get tired and be hurt after saving so many people. It is why she had allowed herself to be cut and wounded. Every one of her cuts and bruises had been allowed by the girl, all made to look harmful or bad, but all being barely more the flesh wounds. The one on her forehead itself looking the worse but being barely skin deep, the head simply liked to bleed when cut.

Artan did as he was bid, setting her down on an improvised mat on the ground. It had been covered with a sterile blue sheet, but a quick glance at the ground around the area would tell you that someone had been laying there bleeding not moments ago.

As the medic began to check her over, Artan could feel himself beginning to grow angrier and angrier. All this devastation and all the media could do was to pester the poor girl with a pool of questions. His gut reaction was to deck the nearest camera man and clear the crowd the old fashioned way. But the old ways wouldn’t do here.

It was when she looked up at him with the expression that every being who’d ever been in a war zone and didn’t know what do had on, when he finally intervened.

“That will be quite enough of that.” Artan said in his most authoritative tone, like an avalanche rolling down a nearby mountain. “This young lady will be answering no more questions until such time that she has been cleared medically. As she is clearly in a state of shock, you are all constituting what amounts to aggravated harassment on the girl. Her actions today have been nothing short of miraculous, now give her some damned space and be thankful you have as much of a story as you do!”

Mika was the only reporter who seemed like she wanted like she wanted argue, a grimace of disgust coming across her face as she watched the other reporters all balked and said their goodbyes, agreeing that yes they had a good story already, and that they could of course come back when the young lady felt better. So it was with said grimace that Mika left, swearing to herself that she’d get the top story out of this.

“Thank you,” Asana said to Artan as the reporters cleared out and she was left by herself with the medic and Artan. “They were calling me a hero you know, the ones I saved and even they ones who I lead to save people,” she said, forcing tears to her eyes now as she kept talking, “but I don’t feel like a hero, there were so many people I didn’t find in time, I couldn’t save them! They died because I didn’t get there on time didn’t they?” She said, rounding off the question silently, trying to make herself sound as she was losing hope.

She wanted this man to feel like he needed to comfort her, getting someone like this on her side would be invaluable and she hoped she could manage it. He not only had the look of a career soldier but that of a capable career soldier. Someone like that could be absolutely vital to her and her fathers plans.

Even were she not putting on a little something extra, the mercenary’s reaction would be the same. This was one of the many reasons he became a soldier; to end fights before things like this happened to people, especially the young. Letting her get her words out, Artan squats down beside her, his face and voice gentle as a rough thumb brushes away a tear.

“Clever girl like you should use her head for a moment.” He says softly, in tones one would use on a spooked animal. “If you did, you’d know that a coherent and quick response is the key to saving lives. You probably saved eighty, maybe a hundred today. More from maiming injuries or disabilities because they were treated quickly. You never feel like a Hero when you’ve done it right. Trust me on that.”

He allows himself a soft smile, “Now, when the medic is done with you, it would be best that you call your parents and let them know that you’re alright. It’ll make you feel better hearing a familiar voice. Think you can do that for me?”

If she weren’t faking it like a top class actor then she would have been easily calmed by the soldiers words and actions. She was amazed by how much sense his words made, she realized that this was probably the gap in experience the two shared.

Even while it had always been apart of her plan, taking control of those volunteers and saving the lives of people she had not killed in the explosion was extremely nerve wracking. She of course wanted to save as many as possible, the more the better for her coming reputation, but she had begun to feel the pressure of command. So it was a simple fact that she was happy to have been taken out of the fray by the mercenary.

She shook her head a couple times before saying, “Thank you, I’m not even sure dad would pick up though. The Judicials are always busy these days, especially him with the investigation.” She said, smiling at the medic as he stood up from her and said.

“I’ve bandaged your cuts, you don’t have anything serious. All mostly flesh wounds you probably got while rescuing those people,” his voice then softened and he said, “Young lady, I just want to thank you on behalf of all us first responders, I don’t know how many of those people would still be alive without you. You might not think it but you did the exact right thing,”

The medic then looked at Artan and said, “You probably aren’t needed up there anymore, so could I ask you stay with her until someone else can come? Keep those jackals away from her while I go do my job?”

Artan frowned and glanced down at his shredded clothes. While he didn’t mind walking about Coruscant mostly shirtless, it certainly wouldn’t look good for his image to be doing so with a young woman, possibly a minor.

Still, he couldn’t leave her all alone either. “Try calling your father anyway. I’ll call my people and try and get someone with an air car over here and keep the press off you in the mean time. Hold on.”

Stepping a few feet away, he retrieves his comm device from his pocket, sighing softly to find he hadn’t crushed it against a chunk of rubble. Dialling swiftly, he was rewarded with a click and a familiar voice.

“Jaeda Arno.”

“Jaeda,” Artan says evenly, “You saw the news about the hospital? About Mercy?”

“No…” She trailed off, doing something on the other end. “Oh… Oh! Is it really gone? Who’s the girl? Wait! Is that you?!”

“Look like shit don’t I?” Artan replies wryly.

“Oh stars, stars, stars! This isn’t what I had in mind when I said we needed to get you in front of a camera! Oh this is great, horrible, but also great!”

“Jaeda…” Artan murmurs warningly.

“Right, right, sorry. A car then?” Comes thé almost breathless reply.

“Yeah. And pack my armour and a blaster pistol in the trunk. The EMTs want me to take care of the girl until we can get a hold of her family. Press should leave her alone if I’m in my suit.”

Silence for a long moment, “But we want the press…”

“Jaeda,” Artan replies exasperated, “Let’s pretend for a moment a major catastrophe has just occurred, and there’s a young woman who’s probably traumatized who needs our help. What do we do?”

“Keep her away from the press.” A tired sigh. “Alright but we could really benefit from some really great press. I hope you can make up for it.”

“Thanks Jaeda, oh, and see if you can size her up over the broadcast and get her some clean clothes. It’ll go a long way.”

“Right I’ll get righ-“

Artan clicked the line closed when he’d gotten what he needed. Never waste a moment when you could help it.

He returned in slow, smooth strides to the young woman. “I’ve got a lift coming. How’d you do?”

“Straight to voice mail, he’s probably going to end up dispatched here to help with the investigation, but that probably won’t be for some hours after the rescue is done...and it might sound selfish, but I really don’t want to stay if I can’t help...” she says, muttering the last bit.

Her uniform had been torn in several places and she was showing some belly and leg skin, however she thankfully had though ahead and had been wearing a tear resistant clothing under her uniform so nothing of important was showing.

She checked her holster to ensure her blaster was still intact and that her lightsaber was still in place before looking at the mercenary and the at the press. When they saw her look at them they immediately began shouting questions, only kept back a stern faced line of officers who had just arrived.

“Should I say something else to them now that I’m...more in control? I did do some important stuff I guess, normally you see people talk to the news after they rescue someone...” she says, purposefully trailing off at the end, her tone that of someone who wasn’t sure which answer of many was the correct one.

She of course knew that speaking to the reporters now probably wasn’t the best idea for what she had in mind. Better to make them wait and inflate the story to her benefit before coming in and humbly telling the truth, but she couldn’t let the mercenary know that this was what she wanted, so she left it up to him while giving him no real choice, she was obviously reluctant after all.

“Mmm, damn shame about your father then.” Artan says with a sigh and a shake of his head. He stepped between her and the press again and turned his gaze to the skies, looking for the air car that was supposed to be on its way.

Patience would be swiftly rewarded when the same air car that had picked him up at the space port pulled into view. Jaeda had somehow secured priority laning. It was the young woman’s question however that brought his focus back to her,

“No. The thing with the press is if you give them anything to chew on, they won’t stop until they feel they’ve devoured the whole thing. You talk to them on your terms and your terms alone, you never need feel like you have to speak with them.”

He gestures to an air car landing down the streets. “My friend send that for us. What we’re going to do is we’re gonna walk together towards it. I’m going to keep anyone from pestering you too badly and then we’ll take you wherever you want to go. Sound good, miss…?”

“Yes that sounds good...Um can you take me home then? If they know my name they’ll probably be there soon,” she said as she walked with Artan. She the realized that she hadn’t actually told him her name and said. “My name is Asana by the way,”

She watched as the smoke fled away from them and as the ground below sped by in the air car, its path taking her to the more familiar areas around her home. None of the press had arrived yet but when they landed and Asana had gotten out several speeders appeared around the road, almost seeming to lock in on her home and screaming towards it at break neck speeds.

With a forced shudder Asana thanked the man one more time, before hurrying inside. A smirk playing on her face as she turned on the news and saw the hospital and herself plastered on all the major coruscant networks. That had gone well she thought as she changed her clothing and seated herself in front of the screen. Finally a sigh escaped her and she closed her eyes, falling asleep on the couch in front of screen as she waited for her father to return home.
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Lotrisia
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Founded: Nov 23, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

"I'm getting bed at a decent time tonight" and other funny j

Postby Lotrisia » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:37 am

The Jedi Archives


Tap. Clink. Tap. Clink.

Tap.

Clink.

Master Lonwin’s stride was long, and the incessant tinkling of his lightsabre bumping against the small metal spheres he’d secured alongside it was getting a little irritating to listen to. Such an annoyance would usually have warranted him fiddling with the placement until he could achieve some modicum of silence in his movements, but right now he didn’t have the luxury of time free to adjust his clothes ad nauseam. His robes, a practical set he nicknamed his “action clothes”, would have to wait until after this to be adjusted. He had an appointment to keep.

Above his head, the vaulted ceiling of the Jedi archives soared, tracing a glorious curve across the heavens. After 8 years spent combing both the Open and Inner Archives for information, their beautiful architecture had become something Master Lonwin rarely noticed, mundane in all their splendour. The glowing blue of the Open Archive’s repositories lit up the aisles, adding a shade of azure to the gentle gold of the Archive’s lamps. Through the window at the end of the room, the dull orange glow of the Coruscanti night filtered in, flickering with the lights of passing traffic. Terminals stood silent, resting in anticipation of the next morning. As he approached the door that led to the Inner Archives, the two Temple Guards standing watch on either side inclined their heads towards him, their arms folded gently.

“Master Lonwin.”

The one on the right greeted in a low voice. Lonwin said nothing, but smiled and nodded in response. He passed in front of them and crossed to the stairs that led to the upstairs section, quickly climbing them. As he did, he ran his hand across the beautifully crafted banisters, unthinkingly, a motion practiced for almost a full decade. Had it really been that long? It felt like only yesterday that he’d returned from his long expeditions for good, yet Jedi that had been mere Padawans when he’d arrived back were now Knights in their own right. Some were even beginning to teach Padawans of their own. How quickly time goes by Lonwin thought to himself, with a touch of sadness. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he quickly strode down the upper floor of the Open Archives, tapping his fingers against the shelves as he passed. Seated at a table, with a dim light illuminating him, was the man he intended to meet.

“Master Attmerys.” Lonwin greeted, settling down across from him. Attmerys, an older Twi’lek with skin the dappled green of water at noon, bowed his head in acknowledgement, a gentle smile creasing his face.

“Ah, Master Lonwin! I’d been wondering where you were!”

Lonwin chuckled as he leaned back in his chair. Master Attmerys could be a bit ill-tempered at times, but he was always fun to have around.

“I wanted to start walking over, but my brain had other ideas involving beds and blankets after my meeting with those council members. Had to try convince it otherwise with some caf on the way here.”

“You’ve had a busy day then. And? How’d the meeting go? They finally tell you something useful?”

Master Lonwin snorted derisively.

“With their words, almost nothing. The looks on their faces, though? Clear as day. They’re terrified, and they’re doing a poor job of hiding it. Master Yavat told me off with some “patience and trust in the force” nonsense, which really tells you how little idea they have.”

Master Attmerys seemed a little shocked at Lonwin’s cynicism.

“Galyrand! Those are members the High Council of our Order! You shouldn’t talk about them in those terms!”

“They aren’t going to get any more decisive because I’m sugarcoating my expressions, Fempani. The council had no idea how to handle Vane when she was alive, and they’ve even less idea now that she’s dead. They won’t even tell us what’s happening in the damn investigation!”

Master Attmerys seemed conflicted, and opened his mouth to speak.

“And don’t tell me you don’t think we have the right to know. I know you want to know. We [i]all[i] do. We’re Masters, damn it, not some Padawans still wet behind the ears.”

“You seem quite fired up about this, Galyrand. Vane really important enough to you to fight the council over?”

Lonwin shook his head, a tad vehemently. Despite the strength of his statements, he kept his voice hushed, not wanting anyone else in the Archives to hear.

“It’s not that it’s Vane specifically, it’s just the principle of the thing. They’re treating us like children.”

“So what’re you planning on doing, then?”

Lonwin grinned, tugging at his beard thoughtfully.

“I say we go look into it ourselves.”

Master Attmerys looked shocked. His eyes widened, and his green skin went pale.

“We? What do you mean, we?”

“You know exactly what I mean by we. You and I, maybe Tera as well. We go poke around down there, and get to know what’s going on a little better.”

Attmerys leant across the table, his voice hushed.

“Are you insane? The council -“

“Told us to stay out, which is exactly why we aren’t going to be telling them about our little escapade. It’s none of their business what we do with our spare time.”

“I have a very bad feeling about what you’re planning Galyrand. What exactly do you expect to find anyway?”

“I practise psychometry, and Tera’s an investigator. I’m sure we’ll get something. Who knows? Maybe a Sith did it, and the Order’ll all have a reason to work together for once.”

Master Attmerys looked worried for a second, then scowled at him as he realised what had been said.

“Not funny, Galyrand.”

Master Attmerys paused for a second, fiddling with a stylus that had been left on the table by some forgetful student. He started tapping it

“When exactly would we be doing this?”

“Thinking of going to hunt some Sith then? Some time tomorrow night, is my thinking. No point in going now, Tera’s already asleep and I’m halfway to bed too. I’ll-”

Before Lonwin could continue, he heard his name being called from the floor below.

“Busted.” Master Attmerys said with a slight smile, motioning for him to go check who it was. The caller in question turned out to be one of the many Temple Guards, though his mask made it impossible to see exactly who it was.

“Master Lonwin?”

“Up here!”

The guard turned up to face the aisle where the answer had come from. Lonwin waved.

“There’s an officer from the Judicials at the Northern landing pad asking for you by name. Identified himself as Major Erevan.”

It was Lonwin’s turn to look shocked. His hand, which had been flapping about in a friendly, if ungainly, wave, dropped to rest against the banister. After a second's thought, he pushed off of the railing and turned back to Master Attmerys, who had been waiting patiently for him.

“I’d better go see what he wants. The last time Major Erevan came calling, it was because of a murder case, and even then he waited until morning to arrive. If he’s here at this time of night, it has to be serious.”

“Wouldn’t want to keep the law waiting, Master Lonwin. May the Force be with you.”

“And with you, Master Attmerys.”

A minute later, Lonwin was hurrying towards his second appointment for the night, though in this case with a tad more urgency than the first. Once more, he found himself cursing the Jedi Temple’s lack of turbolifts. The building was built to the size of an entire station, but it had none of the utilities to match. By the time he’d managed to reach the landing pad where Major Erevan was obligingly waiting for him, 10 whole minutes had passed.

“My apologies for taking so long, Major, you managed to catch me right as I was on the other side of the Temple.”

“Master Lonwin, I’m afraid I don’t have the time to explain in much detail. We need your assistance with a case.”

“Good thing I’m in my working clothes then. When do we leave?”

“Right now, Master Lonwin. It’s urgent.”

Lonwin’s smile dropped off of his face, replaced by a more serious frown.

“How urgent are we talking? A murder?”

Major Erevan shook his head.

“Far worse this time. There’s been an attack. Some maniac’s bombed a hospital.”

Last edited by Lotrisia on Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KindaFreeXP
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 18
Founded: Jun 01, 2021
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby KindaFreeXP » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:08 am

Senator Kogliz Mek of Kubindi
Coruscant
Galactic Senate Building


Kogliz waited for his turn to speak, impatiently fidgeting in his seat. He was definitely glad the opening speaker, Senator D'Asta, was on his side, but thought the Senator could have been more harsh and critical of the proposed Act. Still, it gave Kogliz hope that others were just as appalled by the Act as he was. Eventually, his turn to speak finally came.

"Chancellor Zaan and my fellow Senators," Kogliz began, detaching his repulsorpod, "I, too, must condemn this abominable Act Chancellor Zaan has just now put forth. The Chancellor seems to have forgotten the difference between Coruscant Security Forces and a Grand Army of the Republic. Would an army have prevented the failed attempt on the Chancellors life? No, it would not have. But increasing the security forces of Coruscant, which is becoming an increasing issue, might have. Was it necessary to repel the Invasion of Naboo? Again, no. A centralized army is made to protect from external threats, as even the Act itself states, yet I do not see any evidence of an external threat that warrants the creation of an army loyal only to the Chancellor. Why not use the money that would have been spent on such a vast project to instead bolster security forces where they are needed? It is far better to prevent incidents like these than react to them."

"Do not be deceived, fellow Senators," he continues. "Chancellor Zaan is using these incidents as an excuse to bolster his own power. His proposals do not match the reasons he has given. The proposed army would not have helped in any of the situations he has put forth, but instead increases the risk on democracy. If he decided to march his personal army into the Senate building and force us to sign power over to him at blasterpoint, how could we stop him? He has put no limits to his power, no checks or balances to his control over the army once it already has funds. We must strike this Act dead, for it serves no purpose to the Republic, only to the Chancellor and to those would would seek to profiteer off war. Thank you."

With that, Kogliz returned his repulsorpod to its place, feeling a mixture of smugness and anxiety wash over him. He was more than proud of the points he had brought up, but worried factionalism would override common sense when it came to voting. The Senate was known to be idiotic in that way. Still, he hoped he had sufficiently destroyed all of Zaan's logical support, leaving only his most loyal of followers to side with him. Would that be enough, though?

"Now, we wait," Kogliz told Nazo. "Either the Act is eviscerated, or Zaan has already subsumed democracy and this is all a formality."

"That's quite a pessimistic view," Nazo responded.

"The truth is not quite as beautiful as one would hope."

Kogliz knew that if the Act was passed there was no way the Rim worlds would not threaten secession, Kubindi being one of them. But at the same time, the Act would be passed. Would the proposed army be built quick enough and have enough funding to steamroll all the Rim worlds fighting together? Kogliz wasn't entirely sure, but he most certainly hoped he would never have to find out.
Last edited by KindaFreeXP on Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
- - - What, you were expecting something funny or cool here? Maybe my political ideology? Sorry, all out. Try again tomorrow. - - -
Created to post in discussion threads and non-Nation RP as well as ties all my Nations together.

KindaFreeXP may or may not represent my ideologies, political or otherwise. (~uƠ )
Might also be Gongsi, East Osovia, Catalunya and Navarra, and/or Darlingtown.

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Krugmar
Minister
 
Posts: 2154
Founded: May 06, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Krugmar » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:18 pm

Chancellor's Suite
Galactic Senate Building
Coruscant
4:55 PM | 3.5.2.976 RE


Pandemonium. There was no other word to describe the Senate Building, or indeed Coruscant, at this very moment. The unthinkable had happened a mere week after another inconceivable event: Mercy's Own Hospital had been hit by an assumed terrorist attack, though who or what they were remained for now a mystery.

The Supreme Chancellor, his entire staff, and an army of aides were in his Private Office. Multiple screens showed various views of the event, as well as real-time reporting. It was horrific, having to watch it again and again from infinite angles. Only the heroics of ordinary citizens made it palpable.

Both Hargent and Isard, Directors of the Senate Bureau of Intelligence and Republic Intelligence respectively, were present. It was Hargent who spoke first.

"We'll need to lock down Coruscant, three days of no entry and no exit bar any supply vessels which will be vetted heavily. That should give Director Isard, Minister Vahali, and myself enough time to establish a secure system and log all who enter and exit. Galactic City proper also needs to be locked down, checkpoints at every sector." He said.

Zaan merely nodded his approval. Isard spoke next. "Locking down is the first step, but by now the group or persons who carried this out has likely hunkered down. I expect they will not attempt to leave Coruscant, possibly not even the area."

Tarkin had been slowly pacing the room, but now stopped. "Are there any leads on this group, or persons?" He asked.

Isard shook his head, "The scene is still in the stage of preliminary investigations, evacuation and damage control are still underway and limiting full access. As it was caused by a bomb it is impossible to rule out the possibility of this being the work of a singular person, but we are near certain this is not the work of the same group which attempted to assault the Chancellor."

"Do elaborate." Zaan commanded.

Isard took in a deep breath, "The assault on Your Excellency was almost certainly the work of amateurs, probably low grade bounty hunters. Their attack was exceedingly cautious and therefore prone to a high chance of failure. But their target was clear, it was a concerted if half-hearted attempt on your life, but only your life with any bystanders or members of your security detail being hit a result of the attack, not a goal. Whoever planted this bomb intended for maximum casualties. If they were attempting to assassinate somebody particular in the hospital it will be difficult to ascertain who, but we are checking through the list of those confirmed dead, or currently missing, to check any possible leads." He passed to cough for a moment, before continuing. "And so far nobody on the list checks out with any connection to yourself, the senate, or any faction in the senate."

Hargent nodded in agreement, "The SBI's preliminary findings also show the same story, I would personally agree with Director Isard's assessment."

Zaan placed his elbow on the desk, wiping a hand across his forehead. Why today, of all days?

"I want all resources devoted to this. Hargent, Isard, I want the SBI and RI to work on this investigation jointly and with the highest priority. All Judicial Forces are to assist primarily in locking down Coruscant and the Galactic City proper. Isard, re-assign the Sector Rangers to this case and call in more if you need to. Inform them that they have the highest clearance from the Senate to act in whichever way they deem fit, I will get that motion passed tonight. Vahali, begin the lockdown procedures, that motion will also be passed tonight. Zo, contact the Jedi Temple and prepare a meeting between myself and their High Council, I will attend via hologram. Before the senate session, if possible, and inform them that it is absolutely urgent." Zaan instructed.

Some of them half-expected Tarkin to speak up, he was a known skeptic of the Jedi, but he did not. The situation was too serious, and for all their flaws the Jedi did tend to get results.

Chancellor's Suite
Galactic Senate Building
Coruscant
5:15 PM | 3.5.2.976 RE


The meeting had given way to preparation for the Chancellor's address to Coruscant, and the Republic. There would be nothing fancy, simply a hologram transmission of him speaking, allowing his voice to spread across the corners of the galaxy.

"Citizens of the Republic, a great tragedy has struck today. A cowardly terrorist plot has resulted in many innocent lives lost after a bomb exploded at Mercy's Own Hospital. Our intelligence services are already on the case, while emergency services and the heroic actions of our own citizens worked and still work diligently to save lives. I have called an emergency session of the Senate to enact immediate action, and have already authorised a number of measures to ensure the safety and security of our citizenry. My message to those responsible is simple: we will find you and hold you to account."

With that the broadcast ended. He would record one more in-depth later, after the senate session, but for now a simple statement would suffice.
Liec made me tell you to consider Kylaris

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Brusia
Senator
 
Posts: 4483
Founded: May 22, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brusia » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:29 pm

A Cooperative Post Between Brusia and KindaFreeXP
Martius Shan and Aewees Jesim
Coruscant
Jedi Temple


Martius sighed as he turned off the NewsNet broadcast covering Chancellor Zaan’s proposed Military Creation act. Without a significant majority either for or against it it’s fate was far from certain, though for the first time since the Ruusan Reformations nearly 1000 years ago it looked very possible that the Republic would have a standing military. Whether the proposal of this bill now was the result of paranoia on Zaan’s part following his attempted assassination, or a political maneuver to exploit the attempt on his life as an act of political expediency Martius couldn’t say, though given Zaan’s known militarist tendencies he couldn’t help but suspect the latter. In either case, the desire for such a force concerned the Jedi Caretaker, who knew all too well that history indicated people seldom went to the trouble and expense of mustering an army if they didn’t intend to use it.

Of more immediate concern was how this might further divide the Order. The suspicious circumstances surrounding Vane’s death was already creating greater tension in the Order between her supporters and those who backed the Council and he feared adding a war into the mix may present a breaking point between the two factions; just as it had for the Jedi Crusaders of ages past. While he would do everything in his power to prevent such a break from happening, at the same time he felt it was his responsibility to help prepare his Padawan should the worst case scenario come to pass. Almost the inverse of his previous Padawan, Aewees excelled in her studies but struggled with her lightsaber training, and much as part of him would be happy allowing her to devote her time to learning rather than combat, he knew firsthand that becoming proficient in her saber skills may one day mean the difference between life and death; particularly given the current political climate.

To that end, he’d spent some time digging through the Archives and the Holocron Vault to compile information on some of the Order’s greatest blademasters in the hopes of taking a new tack to instructing his apprentice. After putting the finishing touches on his compendium, he made his way to the one place in the Temple he knew he could almost always find his young Padawan: the Archives. Once there, he listened for Beepo’s now familiar hum and made his way towards the source of the sound, knowing Aewees was seldom very far away. Once he spotted her hood, Martius approached the Miraluka and quietly stated: “Good morning Padawan, what are we studying today?”

“M-Master!” Aewees stammered as she jolted from her chair and fumbled with her datapad. “G-good morning!”

The sudden appearance of her Master surprised her. Even though Aewees was a Miraluka and saw the world exclusively through the eyes of the Force, she had a habit of becoming far too engrossed in her reading to pay attention to her surroundings. On occasion this did cause minor accidents, especially if she decided to walk and read at the same time, but it mainly served give her a scare whenever someone approached her.

“I...I was reading about Master Arca Jeth to learn more about lightsaber combat forms. Well, I did start with Master Jeth. I may have...wandered in my research.”

This was also typical of the young Padawan. Her studies were more akin to a rolling chain of topics rather than a single point of focus. She could easily begin her reading in the Mandalorian Wars and end up in texts about the architectural history of Naboo. And while this gave her a wide pool of knowledge, it did little to help deepen her understanding of topics she had little interest in such as lightsaber combat.

“I was curious about the Noetikon of Science that Master Jeth created, so I wanted to see if there were any further mentions in other records. I was able to track its possible location for a few hundred years, but any mention of it stops after…”

Aewees halted mid sentence, worrying that her obvious lack of interest in combat forms would cause her to fail her training.

“I apologize, Master. This was not a productive avenue of study.”

Martius grinned a little as his Padawan recounted her research for the day; while it was essential that she study her saber forms it was still hard to fault her thirst for knowledge. “That’s quite alright” Martius replied as she apologized for her somewhat unfocused studying “The Noetikons are a very fascinating topic; in the future I might suggest cross-referencing the Noetikon of Science with the old title of Barsen'thor to help narrow your search, but for the time being I have an assignment for you…”

Handing his student the compendium, he continued: “I’ve compiled a series of documents from the Archives and combined them with recordings from a number of holocrons on some of the most vaunted and skilled lightsaber masters in the Order’s history; within you’ll find detailed biographies of these individuals as well as some background information around their service to the Order with their recordings and writings on their lightsaber forms interspersed in the data. What I’d like for you to do is to study this information not here in the Archives but in one of the training rooms, and as you study on these individuals I’d like you to practice their lightsaber forms and techniques as they have described them. Try to look at this saber practice not as detracting from your studies, but rather augmenting them; use practicing their techniques as a means of bringing yourself closer to understanding these Jedi and their philosophies.

Some of these you may find you dislike, but try to find one or two which appeal to you and study both the history and techniques of these individuals more in depth. You are more than welcome to ask me or any other Masters or Knights questions about these Jedi or their saber forms whenever you’d like, though I would ask that you try to limit your use of the Archives to keep your studies focused on the task at hand. Once you feel you’re ready, let me know, and for the final test of this assignment we’ll have a sparring match in which you can tell me what you’ve learned about the Jedi you chose while demonstrating their dueling techniques.” Waiting a few seconds to let his instructions sink in, Martius followed up by asking: “Do you have any questions?”

“N-no Master, I understand,” Aewees responded with a quick bow. “I will get started right away.”

The Padawan took the various documents and holocrons from her Master and immediately began making her way to the training rooms, her remote Beepo following close behind. She was definitely nervous about the upcoming sparring match at the end of her study, but she resolved to learn everything she possibly could to minimize her chance of failure.

“Very good” Martius replied, returning Aewees’ bow “Than I will bid you good luck Padawan, and may the Force be with you.” He grinned as his Padawan then left to carry out her assignment; it was difficult, but he had faith his apprentice could accomplish it.

As he left the Archives however, he suddenly felt the Temple abruptly shake for a brief moment, followed shortly by a disturbance in the Force; the unmistakable sensation of suffering and death. Darting to the nearest holonet terminal, he quickly turned it on to be met immediately by incoming reports of an attack on a nearby hospital. Knowing there would be people in need of help, he then ran to the nearest hanger and ordered the hanger crew to begin fueling the vessels and loading them with whatever relief supplies were available; he felt the Council was sure to order a relief effort and he wanted to be ready to start rendering aid as soon as possible...

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Jhet
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 427
Founded: Dec 28, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Jhet » Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:46 am

Sanya Tagge, Representative of Tepasi

Tagge Residence, Coruscant

The soft hum of the window blinds opening was more than sufficient an alarm clock for the senator. Days gone past it would have taken a far greater amount of effort in order to get her rise, even at home during the hectic weeks of anniversary. When her title was more formality than authority, even the seasonal quakes of Tepasi were no more able to wake her than a summer breeze. But now, as the days ahead loomed ever longer, she was dressing before the first ray of amber could reach her. The bed was of home, a gift from one noble to another. But it did not smell of home, and the sheets did not shield her from the world as Tepasi woven silk could. It was little wonder that sleep could be so easily disrupted when in it. It was of home, but not home.

She turned her head as the modest garments of night were dropped to the floor, eyes locking with those of a woman twice her age. Those eyes. Wide, shimmering jems as sun kissed oceans were wont to do. Many spoke of a similarity between those eyes and her own, and of the woman to whom they belonged. But this woman was not alone, wrapped as she was in the arms of a man older still. His own gaze did not seem to rest on the baroness. They did not seem to rest on anything at all, instead desperately searching for a place on the horizon.

"Aurin!"

The padded door to her room opened, separating the older lovers as the painting split wide in order to welcome Sanya's morning nurse.

"Yes, Your Ladyship?"

But the type of bedding was not the answer to why Sanya could no longer rest easy. Nor was it the muted cries of her newborn in the room aside. No she was no first mother unused to the sharp stab of infant wailing. As it was with this world, Jedi business seemed to become Republic business. And assassination attempts on the Republic's elected leader seemed to have a common link with a Jedi death. Tagge Company had a great deal of experience with corporate espionage, of which Sanya took the professional amount of satisfaction in knowing that they were an equal to many groups who specialised in such dealings. Jedi? Throwing things with your mind seemed outwith the portfolio of most characters she had run into.

"I should think that we will be breakfasting with the children this morning."

Yes the Jedi were a strange and unseemly group indeed. But they were a symbol of that very same Republic, and its stalwart defenders. Defenders who had allowed two assassins to carry out their mission with no response that could calm the fears of Coruscants finest.


Senate Building, Coruscant

"...to counter the increasing threats and challenges faced by our Republic."

Rhoro, dependable chief of her senatorial staff, made to say something important. His words had come to mean a great deal to her within the confines of the senate, but they were swallowed by an almighty cacophony of her fellow senators. She found herself pursing her lips together, the grating noise of the aliens betraying their lack of upbringing. Spirited debate was one thing but the manner in which this chamber carried itself was far from the respectable conduct expected from even the lowliest of gentry on Tepasi. And indeed even in the boardroom.

"I am sure it was quite a tale," she replied to her chief of staff as the room was called to order, a smirk forming on the rest of her staff in attendance. "But it would seem blood in the air."

There were creatures on Tepasi that hunted by the smell of fresh blood, whose senses were so attuned that they could follow the mist trail for leagues. Reading through the documentation of which was presented before them, she had not thought that one would wear the face of the Supreme Chancellor. Could he actually believe this could pass? It was a rash move, assassin victim or not. The formation of an army, subject only to the chancellor, funded in full by loans, and yet with no increase in government revenue. No, this was clearly a gesture of strength, of seeing who would cower. The Tagges did not cower. Not when they had nothing to gain from it.

"I do not think we have much to gain from this," she suggested to those around her, that group who had spent years serving her family's interests before being singled out for her journey to the capital. "Not in this state."

There were only worried looks in response.
Last edited by Jhet on Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 20394
Founded: Feb 20, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:15 am

Coruscant
An unknown figure


On the dusk-lit walkways of upper Coruscant, a figure donning a dark brown cloak and a featureless steel mask did not attract particular notice. Both because of the vast array of species and fashions, a stream of people from all over the galaxy coalescing on the Coruscanti avenues, but also because the figure did not want to be noticed, and his Dark Will make sure the inquisitive gazes just glided off him. He was happy not to pass any Jedi on his way, though they would not have noticed him either. Still, better to avoid contact with the Jedi until such time as he was prepared to cloak his Sith presence. Behind the shimmering glass towers of the upper levels, the sun was bathing the city-planet in an orange-pink light. Behind him, the still-raging fire of the collapsed hospital illuminated against the billowing smoke, the flashing lights of fire-speeders almost rendered insignificant.

The figure stood still for the shortest moment in front of one of the run-down buildings of the lower-upper level, what was closer to the upper-lower level. Here, the streets had almost fallen into the night as the buildings above blocked out most of the evening sunlight, but there was still some natural light to pass by. Effortlessly, the figure passed through one of the closed doors, leading down into the basement. It had been locked, but its locking mechanism required only the tiniest push to unlock itself from the inside. The building was an apartment complex, and its basement served as a maintenance shed; it was filled with tools, equipment, some run down droids, and its walls were lined with piping and wiring. The figure purposefully walked towards a bunch of cabling coming in through the floor, and felt them tentatively, his hand hovering over.

“There you are…” he muttered to himself, and with a flick of his wrist he tore out the whole bunch of it, sending sparks flying through the room and off his mask. The basement, previously only lit by a small bulb, suddenly turned pitch-black. Luckily for him, this man did not need light to sense his surroundings. He went outside again, and one door down, knocked. One knock was enough, as the door quickly opened. A man, holding a crying month-old child in his arm and only visible through a tiny slit in the door, checked him from toe to bottom.

“Yes? Are you maintenance? Our lights…”

“I’m afraid not” the figure interrupted, his voice modulated to constantly shift between high and low pitch.

“I’m here for a fuel cell. I hear you sell them”

The man hesitated for a moment. The figure could feel it passing through the crack in the door like a miasma; clearly, they needed the money, and could not refuse to turn down clients. But they had already taken a risk that same week, and perhaps could afford to be a bit more strict about who they did business with. A looming sense of dread turned his hesitation into firm rejection.

“I’m sorry, madam… sir… Please come back tomorrow, right now is not…” he tried, but he was cut off.

“Right now is the time” the figure said forcefully, stepping closer to the door. The man behind it contemplated this, as if the figure had made some utterly convincing argument, and slowly opened the door.

“Of course… Now is the time… Come in…” he said, allowing the figure to enter, and slowly closing the door behind. It locked into place; as did all the doors in the apartment simultaneously. The entrance hallway was abuzz with activity; people hauling around parts and scraps, boxes and tools. Twi’Leks, Ithorians, and one Miraluka. Perfect. Some looked up as the stranger entered into their domain, but quickly returned to work when the figure waved his hand.

“There is nothing to see here. Go about your business” he said, and the workers, most of them too tired or too indifferent to disobey this direct command, kept doing what they were doing. Conspicuous, yes, but the figure was not trying to hide his knowledge of the Force. Quite the opposite.

“You need to talk to J’Gar, he’s in room 144. First floor, fifth door on the right”

“Thank you” the figure spoke as he went up the stairs, following his host’s instructions, knocking on the fifth door.

“Come in” came the voice from the other side. The figure did. J’Gar was a Gran, and as the figure closed the door behind him, his three eyes lit up with surprise.

“Who sent you up here? We’re closed”

“Is that what you told Tyvor Greio?” the figure asked. The Gran swallowed, his mind began to race, the figure felt. First to the filing cabinet next to his desk, where the figure assumed his administration would be hidden. Next, to a blaster that was hidden beneath the work surface of his desk, held in a specially designed holster.

“That won’t be necessary” the figure said. “Your secret is safe with me”

J’Gar was now confused. He stopped reaching for the blaster, just giving the figure enough time to throw open his cloak and reveal the hilt of his light sabre.

“By the… HELP!” he could just exclaim, but just as he grabbed the blaster a beam of red light severed his arm from his torso, the blade crashing through the desk and sending his tools flying. The Gran fell back, screaming in pain and clutching his stump. The figure jumped to his side and dispatched him with a heavy-handed slash across the chest; a Form VII-attack that was sure to leave a mark. Recovering from his strike, the figure cut the filing cabinet in two, the papers inside catching immediate fire. Ripping it open with the Force, the figure allowed enough air to enter, and ensured its contents were unrecoverably destroyed.

Shouts and shrieks emanated from the hallway, as many of its occupants realised their doors had been locked from the inside. The brown-clad figure craned his neck, took a fighting stance, and exerted his will to blast the door outwards, catching one of the occupants running by. By nature of being black market dealers, the smugglers and scrappers were armed, though were not accustomed to military discipline, and lacked the experience of fighting force-wielders.

“Now for the tough part…” the figure whispered. He shifted outside, the Force allowing him to move faster than his legs would have been able to carry him. In doing so, he crashed his blade through the thin walls and the doorpost, cutting a smuggler that had been hiding there in two. A second smuggler, standing at the other side of the door, fired his blaster wildly, but his target only needed to reflect back one bolt, which caught him in the throat.

“No survivors” he muttered, slashing his way through the corridor. None who had seen his red lightsabre could be allowed to walk away from there. He cleared out the hallway, making sure there were no hidden opponents left. Using Jedi Form VII came unnatural to him, and thrice, a blaster bolt came too close to his head for comfort. Yet, of all the Jedi forms, Vapaad came most natural to the Dark Lord, and it was important that that precise form was used for this operation. He almost reverted back to his personal favourite form, but he managed to continue, feeling as if he were duelling with his non-dominant right hand. After clearing out the entire first floor, he extinguished his blade, walking down the stairs again while feeling out the vicinity. On the ground floor, those who had not dared go up stairs had clearly heard the struggle, and as the figure descended, they were cowering behind crates and corners. The figure felt the urge to dispatch them all, but realised all too well the need for survivors. Only one man was still standing in the way of his escape; the man who had let him in. Shaking, with a blaster rifle against his shoulder, he stood squarely in front of the door.

“Who… Who the hell are you?” he asked.

“I am free” the figure said. “Free from the Order” loud enough for those cowering, especially the Miraluka to hear. “It is time for us to act”

“I can’t let you leave” the man said, aiming the rifle at the figure’s steel mask. “You killed him. J’Gar, Atwo, Perrene, you killed them”

“And I will kill you if you don’t get out of my way” the figure responded, anger creeping in his voice. “No need to stand in the way of justice”

A baby in another room began to cry again, and the man’s eyes darted to where the sound was coming from. The figure realised.

“Do it for her, for your daughter. There is no need to die”

The man nodded, slowly.

“She needs you. Put down the rifle” the figure said, and the man nodded again. He did not need the Force to be convinced. Slowly he lowered the rifle, and then, as he turned to care for his daughter, the figure suddenly extended his arm, slamming the man against the heavy steel door he was guarding. His neck snapped with an audible crack, and his head left a red smirch where it had connected. Immediately after, those hiding from his view found their airflow cut off, and one by one, they collapsed. The figure has changed his mind just as the father had lowered his rifle; it was too much of gamble. After a few minutes, perhaps twice longer than needed, Darth Imperatus released them. He left the room, stepping over the father’s body unceremoniously and closing the door behind him.

Only the Miraluka and her child, who had both by some miracle gone unnoticed, survived. At least, this was what she presumed. It took three hours before she dared crawl out from the crate she was hiding in.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled


Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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Lunas Legion
Post Czar
 
Posts: 30408
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:12 am

The Paramount
Coruscant
1:09 PM, 3.5.2.976 RE
Collab post between Bentus and Lunas Legion


The Paramount had been serving Coruscant’s gentry and the senate community for generations. Situated only a brief walk from Rotunda itself, the upper class restaurant was renowned both for the quality of its service and its diligence towards the privacy of its guests. This combination had led to it becoming a favoured meeting spot for the political and corporate classes, eager to have their conversations without the prying eyes of the public or media being able to look too closely.

While much of the Paramount was open plan, with busy tables lining the floor as waiters and waitresses moved swiftly between them, Tiasha sat in one of the establishment’s private booths. Elevated above the main eatery below, she was hidden by the one-way glass around her table, and her voice could be masked from even the most sensitive of ears with the electrical sound-proofing built into the booth. Such a table fetched a premium price, but it was hardly a rounding error in the world of galactic lobbying, and the benefits were more than worth it.

Glancing up from her menu, Tiasha smiled as she heard her guest approach.

“Senator Dod! Thank you for taking the time to meet.”

"No trouble at all, Tiasha, no trouble at all. I have the feeling time is going to be at... Something of a premium for the next few weeks. Compared to what is to come, a lunch is positively relaxing." Lott Dod smiled thinly as he pulled a seat out, sitting down comfortably in his chair. "I hope one wouldn't be too presumptuous in assuming you've heard of the Chancellor's latest political storm, that he has unleashed upon the Senate?"

The woman laughed. "Who hasn't heard? He's been whipping his followers into a frenzy. One might think that we were on the brink of war with the way that he's been pushing this legislation." Putting down her menu, Tiasha offered the senator a knowing smile. She'd worked with the Nemodian a few times in the past, with their interests often aligning on the floor of the senate. Even with the battering that the Trade Federation's image had received after Naboo, they remained a formidable pillar of the Corporate bloc, and Lott Dod had been instrumental in rehabilitating their public relations as much as he could. "I imagine it's been keeping you and your colleagues quite busy lately. And frankly Lott, it's what I was hoping to discuss with you today."

"It's quite the troubling issue." Lott said smoothly. "My aides have run the numbers, and... The best projections we've done place the upcoming vote on a knife edge at best. Without whoever made an attempt on the Chancellor's life I'd have said it was a comfortable margin of victory for killing the Act. Needless to say, I do not like the odds of killing it."

Tiasha nodded in agreement. "My own assessment has turned up pretty much the same. More and more Corporate representatives are coming out in support of it as well, with the defence sector in particular falling behind the Chancellor."

The lobbyist cracked a smile.

"But your reputation is not one of rolling over and accepting defeat, senator." Tiasha leaned her elbows on the table. "While we may not be able to kill this bill, I'm working to propose a number of amendments that would turn it into something more aligned with our interests."

Lott Dod shook his head. "Amendments would be trying to hold back a tide, Tiasha." He said. "The Act, while far from watertight, does not have many flaws I wish to exploit. I'd rather it be funded on credit rather than through taxes and tariffs for obvious reasons, and I think a good part of the Senate would too. But I would hear you out, regardless."

"I'm going to have to disagree with you there, Lott." Tiasha said, submitting an electronic order for the kitchen to fill out remotely without disturbing them. "If this Grand Army is at the scale that the Chancellor and his supporters seem to want, the interest alone would be devastating for the Republic's monetary stability. That'd be bad for everyone who holds assets in credits, even those who stand to make short term profits."

The woman shrugged.

"But frankly, none of my clients have asked me to press that particular matter so it is of no particular concern to me." Tiasha smiled at the Nemodian.

"My clients don't take any issue with the principle of a military for the Republic. In many cases, they're actually quite in favour of the idea - especially when it comes to their bottom line. But as it stands, the MCA hands too much power to a single, central authority beneath the Chancellor."

Tiasha spoke with a practiced ease, expecting the senator to have had similar concerns.

"An alternative approach would be far more desirable: that of a decentralized military which could be placed under a united senatorial command should in times of crisis. Already, the framework for such an organization already exists with the Planetary Security Forces. Surely. The amendments proposed by my partners and myself seek to direct most of the Grand Army's funding towards bolstering the strength of prominent PSFs - such as that maintained by your own Federation - which would be better suited to responding to local needs and contexts. Already, MilMax and other PMCs are planning a media blitz to promote the benefits from a strategic and tactical perspective given the size and diversity of the Republic. But it would also be useful to have the Corporate bloc's support."

Lott Dod was silent for a moment, drumming his fingers on the side of the table. "I don't believe, it'll work, Tiasha." He eventually said, having given the matter some thought. "It goes against the spirit of the Chancellor's goals and those of the militarists, who want a centralised, Republic army. It goes against the pacifists, who won't stand for either the act as proposed or your amendment. The Rim faction will be split between those who see the extra money, and those wary of a second Naboo. Equally if the amendment does pass, I believe the Chancellor would rather kill the Act than have it support further decentralisation. It's antithetical to his goals. You'll have my support, even if I don't believe the amendment will succeed."

Tiasha laughed at Lott's comments, the vibrant sound filling the booth as she shook her head. "I see that you are an optimist, senator." She joked, smiling at the man. "But your support is appreciated. I agree that it won't be easy - but the bills that matter rarely are, aren't they? Although, I admit that I'd pay good money to see Zaan be forced to kill his own bill rather than see it amended." While she respected the Chancellor's abilities, Tiasha had found herself squaring up against his agenda more often than not. Considering the amount of political capital and strength that he wielded, she'd consider even a pyrrhic victory as a solid triumph.

"I'm hoping that MilMax's arguments will be able to sway some of the militarists - especially those with elections coming up and who would prefer to see results delivered sooner rather than later. I'd also wager that Naboo may even prompt more of the Rim faction to support the bill. They've realised that they can't rely on the Core or others for their own security, and this bill would give them the resources to start doing just that. And as for the pacifists..."

Tiasha's voice trailed off. It was certainly a long shot, but this was a case where every vote would matter.

"I've been having some thoughts on that front. What if they had a way to put money from the bill towards non-military security spending? They could improve their police forces with some of those progressive policies that they seem to love so much, or what-have-you. Though I must admit that I'm not sure if pursuing such an approach would be worth the time and effort."

"A vote is a vote. Dilute the funding by diverting some fixed percentage to the Judicial Forces, perhaps?" Lott mused. "I don't know how many militarists will turn to an amendment when they are oh-so-close to their goals and the bill is on a knife edge, they might feel like trying their luck. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Rim Senators ask for an addition where corporate entities can't receive funding from the Republic in the amendment in exchange for their support..." He stopped talking. Too many moving parts to know anything for certain, really, about this Act, beyond it was likely to pass. Too many conflicting interests in a counter-coalition attempting to amend or kill it.

Before Tiasha could respond, the door to the booth slid open to allow for one of the waiting staff to deliver her meal. Thanking the man as the intricate dish was presented to her, along with a cup of caff, Tiasha waited until he'd departed before continuing.

"I don't doubt it. But if given the choice between arming corporations and themselves, or just arming what many in the Rim see as a Core-run central army?" Tiasha shrugged as she cut a bite from her steak. "I'm hopeful, Lott. Not naively so, of course, but I think we have a real chance here. Besides, getting the Republic to discriminate between its members based upon their style of local government is not a can of worms that I think anyone wants to get into right now."

Swallowing her food, Tiasha looked back up to her guest.

"How have things been with you, beyond these most recent events?" She asked with a polite smile. It wouldn't do to focus too much on the legislation of the day and neglect the importance of maintaining longer term relationships. "Word on the grapevine was that you were planning to retire and focus on serving as Viceroy." Tiasha added. "Congratulations on that appointment, by the way. I can't recall if I ever did say that in person."

"I'd have retired to Viceroy years ago if it wasn't for our dear friend the Chancellor, but your congratulations are appreciated." Lott said, finally bothering to pick up his menu, just in case they'd changed their offerings since he'd last been here. "But an anti-corporate with as much of a firebrand in him as the Chancellor does? A deft hand was needed, and when half the leadership went down with Gunray's metaphorical ship... I was needed to fill in both positions, although the Directorate has done their best to lighten the Viceroy's duties." He fell silent, finally picking out what he wanted on the menu. There would be more than enough time to further discuss politics later, for now, he would simply savour the food and enjoy the relative tranquillity.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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KindaFreeXP
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Founded: Jun 01, 2021
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby KindaFreeXP » Sat Jun 12, 2021 9:41 pm

Padawan Aewees Jesim
Coruscant
Jedi Temple


Aewees sat in the middle of the empty training room, placing the collection of datapads and holocrons beside her. She took a deep breath, determined to buckle down and study the wisdom of the Order's greatest fighters. Teachings and accounts of well-known warriors such as Ulic Qel-Droma, Tott Doneeta, and Meetra Surik. Writings of wise masters like Vandar Tokare, Skarch Vaunk, Vodo-Siosk Baas, Arca Jeth, and, to Aewees's surprise, Gnost-Dural. There were even some unfamiliar names amongst the records, Masters from a time long past whose contributions were rarely recognized. The amount of information before Aewees was staggering, and as much as she would normally be excited to dive into such materials there was little that bored her more than dry commentaries on combat stances and maneuvers.

Still, this was her assignment, and if she was to pass the upcoming sparring match with her Master she would need all the help she could get. Sifting through the material before her, the Padawan sorted the collection by forms. To her dismay, none of the Masters of old seemed to focus on the Soresu form she was accustomed to. A few Masters who specialized in multiple forms also used Soresu, but its unpopularity in the ancient Order was obvious. If she was going to learn anything here, it would not be Soresu.

Hours were spent researching, contemplating, and attempting to put the ancient wisdom to use. Most of Aewees's attempts were far from successful. She lacked the physical strength to take advantage of Djem So, was hindered by her hesitancy and insecurity when attempting Ataru, and was fairly graceless in her butchered version of Makashi. Aewees found herself getting the hang of a few of the movements and strikes from the Niman form, but was unable to fully grasp the form as a whole.

"I'll never pass my training at this rate," Aewees sighed, sitting down to catch her breath after exhausting herself attempting a few more of Ataru's taxing attacks and acrobatics. Beepo chirped sadly alongside her, having provided occasional blaster deflection opportunities during the hours long training session. The Padawan was barely aware of the overwhelming wave of hopelessness that began to grip her heart. Had her blindfold not spent the past few hours accumulating sweat, Aewees would have noticed tears begin to absorb and bleed through the cloth covering her lack of eyes. Instead she sat in utter silence, knowing her time in the Order was coming to a rapid close.

Aewees's entire life had been spent within the Jedi, having been orphaned at the Temple as an infant. There were no memories of anything prior to her years training as a youngling. Almost all of her time had been spent within the serene majesty of the Jedi Temple. Now everything she knew, everything she cared about, was collapsing around her. Desperation and fear soon began to kick in. Aewees scoured her materials again, hoping to uncover some gem of knowledge she had missed that would awaken her ability to effectively wield a lightsaber.

Nothing.

Tossing the datapads and holocrons aside, she launched into a frenzied attempt to go through all the motions she had learned. Clumsy, weak, and sloppy moves erupted from the Padawan in a burst of brilliant speed. She cycled through the forms again and again, mixing up stances and misremembering maneuvers until her fingers lost the will to grip her lightsaber, sending it flying across the room. She collapsed onto her hands and knees, shaking and gasping for air. Every muscle in her body screamed out in agony, and if Aewees had the energy she might have done so as well.

But the deepest and most oppressive pain came from her heart. Aewees honestly believed she was not good enough, that she would never be good enough. She saw herself as an irredeemable failure. She was not worthy of being a Jedi, and her pathetic attempts were a mockery of the Order. She was a disgrace to those who built the Jedi with their own blood and sacrifice, perfect defenders of peace and justice. Her destiny was to fail, and she knew it.

Struggling to stand, Aewees gathered up the materials her Master had given her and began walking them back to the Archives. The normally insignificant burden sent fire through her burnt out arms, but the Padawan was determined to at least minimize the mess she made before she was expelled. Then, having put everything, she went downstairs and retired to her dormitory.

Once she was in the privacy of her room, Aewees quietly wept in her bed, shedding tears until exhaustion took her and she eventually fell asleep.
- - - What, you were expecting something funny or cool here? Maybe my political ideology? Sorry, all out. Try again tomorrow. - - -
Created to post in discussion threads and non-Nation RP as well as ties all my Nations together.

KindaFreeXP may or may not represent my ideologies, political or otherwise. (~uƠ )
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Liecthenbourg » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:21 pm

The Jedi Temple, Coruscant

"Masters, if you would excuse us. Master Dooku and I have much work to do and so little time to do it."

The words hung in Dooku's head as he had followed Tomar's lead towards the door. It was not as optimal as a situation as he would have liked. The most ideal scenario would have been him being allowed the free reign of the investigation on his own. The worst case scenario was the outright refusal they had been entertaining. And ultimately, he was... fine with the way things had turned out. Not many got into a verbal spar with the better part of the eleven remaining Councilors and manage to budge them onto a position they had not mandated.

So he would follow Tomar's lead, at least for now. And they would, hopefully, uncover this threat.

Dooku would remain silent for much of the journey down from the High Council Chamber, only opening up his communications to contact the attendant he had left at the Temple Hangers leeway to leave back to his apartments. He would engage in smalltalk with the Togrutan Master, enquire her on what their plans of action were going to be in the immediate, but nothing too defining or too extensive.

"To be like a Jedi Shadow," the Serennian thought aloud for a moment. It was obviously not literal, but he found humour in it. "I never studied it; but we can certainly try. What say you, Master Tomar?"

It did not take long for the doors to part and reveal the greater body of the Temple before them. He moved on after Tomar had left the elevator in a display of Serennian chivalry, before taking an earnest stride. Finally, it felt, that something would be done about this.

Tomar walked in silence with the elder Jedi, tracing a path through the massive Temple complex that had been the Togrutans home for most of her life.

It was Dooku who broke their silent march, enquiring as to the meaning of the Jedi Shadow. She could sense Dookus light amusement.

"Unfortunately, I do not think subtlety is something that either of us find particularly useful. After all, we are both most comfortable taking action."

As they continued through the Temple, Master Tomar realized she had to face the issue of the investigation head on. There was no point sweeping it under the rug.

"Master Dooku," the Togrutan said, slowing to a near stop. The mezzanine upon which the pair stood overlooked the Temple's central concourse - below them, hundreds of Jedi were bustling on their business, from Masters to Younglings.

"I did not mean to challenge your ability nor your position at Council today. I understand the sensitivities of losing a Padawan, and better yet, I understand your frustration with the Council's inertia."

She extended red hand to him, a gesture of reconciliation.

"I am pleased that you will be assisting me throughout this difficult task. I will certainly need you in the days ahead."

As they came to the stop on the mezzanine, Dooku was pleasantly surprised by her forwardness. He had expected some form of clarification on her style of investigation; but an apology was not what he had anticipated. She had described herself as someone most comfortable in taking action; a term Dooku would use to describe himself. There had been many times where their view on action, proactive action, had aligned despite their drift on other topics.

"I appreciate it, Master Tomar," he replied taking her red hand and gently clasping it in his own with a nod. It turned into a shake shortly after, before he returned it to rest on one of the stone bannisters that prevented them from tumbling to the concourse beneath them. "I know you did not mean it; words are fickle things. Meaning, understanding, intention, tone, intonation -- I've been misunderstood a fair few times before. Don't worry about it. In that end I apologise if I came across too harshly, but the situation we are in evokes these... compassions."

He thought for a moment: had she lost a padawan? No, he didn't believe she did. Not in the sense of death; but he did recall that some masters did not maintain as close as a relationship with their apprentices as others. And it was pleasant to hear another master about the Council's inertia; but they had spoken much on the Council before so he left that piece of conversation alone for now.

"A difficult task indeed. I am happy to be here. And we are stronger for it."

---
The Temple itself was rife with activity, with Jedi dashing to and fro to their delegated assignments. Though it was obvious everyone was in a hurry, there was no panic in the manner many of them were springing to action. The bombing, though catastrophic in magnitude, was finally a chance for them to go out and do something for a change.

And if anything, it displayed that hidden sense of unity that still remained among them, regardless of their ideological standing.

Kedoa waited impatiently outside a corridor that led from the main Temple body to the upper concourse, where the High Council was debating their course of action. Her foil stood off to the side, the Miraluka's blind gaze fixed upon a small cluster of robed Jedi exiting the Halls of Healing in a rush.

He had felt the disturbance roughly the moment it happened - a stunning pinprick in his mind that left him with that mild headache that just wouldn't seem to go away. He had already contacted Master Yan, on account of his and Kedoa's possible plans they made with Rouhea some time earlier, but even she had reassured him that more than enough personnel were en route to the site of the attack.

"I should be with them," Rhys remarked. But as he was not met with a snide remark, he assumed it was out of Kedoa's earshot.

A minute or so passed, until the Zabrak's waiting finally paid off. Some of the Masters had departed the Council chambers. Though the waiting had allowed her a bit of time to determine the best way to alert the Masters of their plan, she silently cursed below her breath. Where was Rouhea? It might sound better if he were there to stop them himself. Hopefully he would take notice of them before she had a chance to say something foolish.

Damn it! Was she doubting herself now? Surely Dooku would support an investigation on the death of his own apprentice...right? When he finally began to pass by, flanking behind Master Tomar as they conversed, Kedoa attempted to draw their attention.

"Master Tomar! Master Dooku!"

---
“Go to the ship,” he’d said, holding up a hand as the inevitable protests, “it would be better. Trust me. Jedi Masters are...closed about a good deal. This matter is even more delicate than their usual. Any answers they would give, with you nearby, would be filtered by that mistrust. I don’t need filtered answers.” It pained him somehow to say those words, to treat someone like Taylia as though she were...still on that outside. That she was still a stranger. She wasn’t, not at all, and yet he still had to treat her, for now, as they would treat her. It felt wrong.

Taylia shook her head at it, though, replying, “At least keep a commlink with you, OK? Don’t get into any trouble I wouldn’t.”

“I won’t.”

He’d waited near the doors for some time. Thoughts had started to creep in, little ideas about how Dooku had changed and how he’d look on Matant. The last time they’d seen one-another, the Serennian was cutting a Mandalorian’s head off and there was screaming in the distance. They’d been separated, though, when Matant took some shrapnel with him. He wasn’t sure if Dooku had ever been informed of the...changes that had happened there. He wasn’t sure how the man would take it. He’d changed from being a Padawan of Unduli’s, changed a lot in how he thought of the world, thought of his responsibilities. Briefly, he thought on whether or not he remembered the Mandalorians, their faces once the helmets came off, their screams. He wondered if he remembered the Jedi behind them, the bodies, the graves. He wondered if Dooku had tried to repent like he had, if he’d tried to make things up to the dead one deed at a time. Stars above, Matant hated Galidraan.

It had never been pretty. Dooku had been in charge of that mission.

They stepped out, Master Dooku and...Master Tomar Matant thought, walking and talking as he leaned up against the corridor some ways back. Just as before, the two Jedi Knights came walking up...though they yelled his name, ran over to the Masters. She seemed to be that sort of person, the kind to just take the action. It felt almost familiar.

Likewise, though, Matant began to approach from the other way. His stride down the hallway was less than quiet, his hood down.

---
Tomar nodded as Dooku gripped her hand warmly. Whatever their differences, they were Jedi first and foremost.

"Well Master Dooku," the Togrutan said turning once more to continue their walk along the mezzanine ,"perhaps you would like to share your ideas on where to begin with our investigation, no doubt you have..."

The Jedi Master was silenced by a shout from across the mezzanine. With what appeared to be stalwart determination, a young Zabrak female was approaching, the frame of a thinner man trailing behind.

Master Tomar cocked an eyebrow. It was rare for Council members to be accosted so brazenly. This one was brave. Slowly she remember Toran Kin's last student, a feisty Zabrak who had passed the trials relatively recently.

"Good morning," Tomar said, clasping her hands in front of her. It would not be prudent to continue her discussion with Dooku in the open air.

"Maye we help you?"

To approach some of the most respected of Jedi in that...confronting fashion, was not exactly Kedoa's intention. The Zabrak silently cursed her inadvertent impudence. So much for first impressions, she figured. Nonetheless, she bid the two High Council members a quick but humble bow, as did the Miraluka that stopped just behind her.

"I apologize if I've interrupted, Masters," she began, careful to conduct herself accordingly.

"We were hoping to..." Kedoa paused for a split second as she chose her words, and briefly asked herself why in the blazes she didn't just let the "diplomat" behind her do the talking. He was staying quiet on purpose, wasn't he? "...inquire on the Council's course of action, regarding the case of Knight Vane."

The Serennian Master listened to his Togrutan counterpart with interest. The minor disagreements in the Chamber had been cast aside and she seemed ready to get down to business. In the middle of asking Dooku for his ideas, they formulated and came to the forefront in his mind. As he prepared to answer, Tomar was interrupted by a shout for both their names. He turned to face the source of the noise and narrowed his eyes.

And it did not take long for the Zabrak and the Miraluka to quickly make their way to both of them. Dooku ceased resting on the stone and held both his hands rested flat on his stomach.

"...inquire on the Council's course of action, regarding the case of Knight Vane."

Dooku's vision quickly, almost imperceptibly, glanced towards Tomar. He cleared his throat and rested a hand upon Kedoa's shoulder. He decided a good pivot would be familiarity first and foremost. "You are a Knight. But you were the apprentice of Toran Kin, were you not?" He smiled in a grandfatherly sort of way, bringing one of his hands to his chin in thought.

"The Council is doing what it can. And I know this because Master Tomar and I have been assigned to investigate it." With the Supreme Chancellor's permission and authority for the Jedi to become involved in the investigation into Vane's assassination, the necessity to be 'like a Shadow' had quite quickly fallen out the window. There was no need for subterfuge. And for the Council, this meant a bit of leverage when it came to Vane's most discordant followers.

He knew it was not a satisfactory response -- that an investigation would be happening soon - but he could do little with no actual evidence or any investigating having been done yet. "Yet with the bombing on Mercy's Own -- we are in troubling times. If you find yourself burdened with a sense of purpose, we know that the Council is organising teams to assist in that matter. It is good to keep oneself occupied with duty."

His thoughts were interrupted by the particularly loud stepping of a figure who strode along the corridors behind them, hood held down in a manner that seemed to indicate a paradox of discretion and carelessness.

It was strange, a sense of familiarity and unknowningness morphed through the Serennian's mind. And he beckoned the Knight over, clear it was that he was making his way this way. Yet he could never forget a face, even if it was different. A lot different. And it wasn't as if he had never seen him after their shared experiences on Galidraan. "Jedi Matant, how may we help you?"

"Master Tomar, Master Dooku," Matant said, giving a slight bow. "It's been a while. We," he motioned to the other two Jedi with a sweep of the hand, "were wondering. About Vane and the investigation, sir. We want to help."

Tomar pursued her lips. Vane's followers were legion, it would seem. Their dedication, loyalty even, was impressive, if deeply unwelcome.

"The Jedi Council is handling matters," Tomar said softly, spreading her hands before her in a conciliatory gesture. "As Master Dooku has said, we have both been assigned to lead the investigation into the tragic loss of Jedi Vane."

The Togrutan could tell the three Knights before her were unconvinced.

"Vane was first and foremost one of us. I assure you, we will not rest until we find out the full circumstances of Vane's murder. You have my word."
Her eyes flickered over to Dooku.
"And no doubt, the word of Vane's former Master."

As offers of aid began to pour in from the assembled Knights, Tomar raised a single elegant red hand.

"Peace, my friends. Our investigation has only just begun. When we need your assistance, no doubt, we will ask for it. But now, Master Dooku is correct. The Republic needs you most at Mercy's Own."

Kedoa, though obviously disappointed in the Masters' responses, also had little to say in the way of argument. She momentarily looked to Rhys, who was already giving her that 'I told you so' look.

"I am going to find Master Yan," the Miraluka told her after a pause. "No doubt she and Master Allie already have triage underway..."

As the Zabrak watched Rhys start towards the Halls of Healing to prepare for departure, Kedoa let out a sigh. At least they had agreed to take action, she supposed? It just seemed now simply wasn't the time - not while there were survivors that needed their help...

"You're...you're right, Masters," the Knight said, the previously fiery Jedi having been somewhat humbled by the Masters' words. She briefly looked to Matant. "We will speak later. Master Kin probably expects me at ground zero."

Kedoa bid the Council members a second bow of her head, before turning back to regroup with the nearest cluster of Knights making for the hangar.

Matant waited, watched the other two go with just the smallest bidding from Master Tomar, and turned to the pair. His arms were still clasped before him, covered by the folds of his sleeves, and his gaze was as plain as ever. It took a good bit of effort to not be annoyed in one way or another, to not find some fault in their reasoning, but...maybe they were right. Two different investigations from two different angles would step over each other’s feet, muddy the waters they were trying to catch leads from, destroy evidence and generally make a mess of things. Generally, whenever two different investigations came about, there was a reason why they combined their efforts. Working in tandem most certainly meant coordinating to better achieve the goals each investigation had. If they refused the help...while Matant was tempted to be that other investigation, to look in from a different point of view, a part of him knew that it simply wouldn’t do. Still, though, a part of him wanted to be annoyed, a childish little part that he shrugged off.

The Jedi weren’t to be so easily strayed, especially not when it came to such two Jedi as Dooku and Tomar. They wouldn’t accept any other reasons, so ironclad in their own comfort and reasoning that they were invulnerable to any other argument. They would stand their ground. He knew though that for all the Jedi on the High Council the two before him were perhaps among the best to be chosen. Perhaps. Both were driven, either in terms of their personality or their connection to the crime. They would try their best to find the perpetrator, whatever they might have been. Some part of his shoulder relaxed at that thought, at that idea that the crime would be seen for what it was and the victim would be brought to justice. Now that they weren’t encaged in debates with the rest of the High Council, they would move. They had to move.

If they didn’t, though...he had few qualms for moving in their place.

“Very well. I’ll be listening. I’ll be watching. Master Dooku, Master Tomar.” The Knight ended his comment with a bow, turning and walking off to the hangars to find a speeder. One hand raised up to a commlink.
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