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Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order
Old 11-05-2005, 01:07 AM   #21
Daiman Sirana
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Default Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order

Hearing the exchange between the two men as he and Roth made their way over to the weight racks. Daiman looked in their direction, suppressing a smile at the former Republic official’s handling of the situation. Obviously the younger man had little appreciation for those in military service, or was just too much of an automaton toward company policy as those in such menial positions tended to be.


As the young attendant could think of nothing more in response to say in the face of such an argument, he turned, red-faced and nearly running into Roth’s broad form before retreating from the room. Probably on his way to report to some officious, annoying little whelp of a boss about the horrendous violation to the sacred dress code of the Imperial’s guest gym. Fool.

“Very nice way of handling that petty little intrusion of your recreational time.” Sirana said, proffering his hand to the slightly older blonde man, “It seems those who’ve never served in times of struggle seem to have no sense of respect for those who have. It’s an honor to meet you, Commander Thayer.”

Matheron took his hand and shook it with a solid grasp, his facial expression a combination of curiosity and more than a hint of suspicion. “I’m sorry, have we met Mr….?”

“Sirana, Daiman Sirana. This is my employee, Mr. Bartek Roth.” Daiman said with a nod of his head in the bodyguard’s direction.

“And actually no I don’t believe we’ve never been formally introduced We may have been introduced briefly once on Coruscant during some New Republic function a few years back. And of course I managed to catch the rather interesting holonet newsfeed interview today as well.” The Anaxsi tycoon said.

“And I must say I was rather surprised by what I heard coming from someone like yourself who once held such a high position in the New Republic administration.” Daiman continued. “Your views on the current government of this planet attracted my interest as well. Hearing such an esteemed speaker as your self denigrate the administration of this fine world makes me question my wisdom regarding the business dealings I have been planning with Prime Minister Captison’s cabinet.

I must confess,” Sirana said, lowering his voice conspiratorially. “I much preferred dealings with worlds such as this when they were under more martially structured control.”

He trailed off waiting for Thayer’s response as he picked up a heavy dumbbell and began a series of repetitive bicep curls.
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 0956. Time for a change
Old 11-06-2005, 10:44 AM   #22
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 0956. Time for a change

Sirana. Daiman Sirana. Indeed, the name rang a bell: SiranAxum. This guy who greeted him warmly, respectfully called him ‘commander’—the Anaxsi tycoon? But yes! First you'd placed the name... the industrialist had been on OPC record also: Suspect of cooperation with the enemy. And now he trained right beside him. ‘Ironic.’ NRI agents had died to get on to him, even more so the Imperial sympathies he confessed. ‘Yet here I stand, welcoming for what thence I’d detested a man.’

‘Like my boy must detest me. Frak! If only I’d managed to break through to him, somehow. Though after how he reacted when last we met…’ Matheron forced the saddening thought from his mind, tried to concentrate as for all he realized this was a crucial encounter. If he succeeded to win over Sirana—or find he already served their vision? All against his prejudices against those with distinct sense of business, the idea intrigued him. There was just too much potential in a wealthy and influential man. Besides, he appeared quite affable; Cut from any other like-minded the more.

Continuing his calf raises, Volk—un-introduced and thankful as it’d grant him a little advantage if need be—watched Roth watching Thayer; His counterpart’s formerly stony face shaken since his chief had obliged him into a handclasp, Sirana’s well-developed member of staff looked funny through their superiors’ exchange of compliments. Volk followed his moves with a sneer.

Till their eyes locked.

Heartbeats stretched, smirk receded—gazes went Hoth.

While Thayer joined Sirana at the Scott bench.

“Your dealings will run grand, especially for a few things are amiss.”

He took in Daiman’s built, his biceps’ perimeter in ratio to the 35kgs he moved to warm up—as the next bigger dumbbell obstreperously urged into his mind. Hand respectively. ‘Frak, No!’ His mirror image looked daggers at him who adjusted 37,5kgs next to… -sidelong glance left- …a younger well-trained whose ridden up t-shirt sleeve exposed tattoos of… the 125th Imperial Stormtrooper Regiment? 5th Special Operations Section insignia?

‘I twit!’ Matheron blinked. Daiman on his part grinned, all over the scar that graced his right cheek; What had the Corellian question his intellect as he heatedly became aware of the remnants of his own Corellian Forces Insignia obligingly emblazoned on his upper left. ‘Salute challenge’ the rider. Someday his codicil.

‘Why can’t I just jack in the kid’s stuff?’ Repetitions begun.

“Of course I appreciate your assessment,” his set completed Daiman changed for 40kgs and turned towards him. “If you’d care to set out?”

“First pain exceeds lethargy, and fear, man’s willing to mend.” Cautioned by the tattooed warning, goaded on by his own, Matheron went along. 40kgs. Briefly wondering how far beyond reason, written out fourty-five, pain would make him willing to mend. At the same time, what did he care? Physical pain was preferable to its emotional equivalent anyhow. He started the repetitions.

“I see disappointment. I see… how change… could amplify… your profits.” And six more.

Profits was what got through; Daiman scrutinized him in mid-set, came upon the CF parole and quickly focused back on his dumbbell, suppressing a smirk. “I’m inclined to hear more.”

“In less disturbed sourrounding, preferrably.” Deliberately audible the latter part went out to a valet who approached with the confidently swaggering bellboy in tow. Matheron followed his gaze and scowled. “Anytime, Mr. Sirana. And, indeed, I too had hoped their outrageous charge already comprised the fee that’d leave you unmolested.”

Last edited by Matheron Thayer : 11-28-2005 at 09:05 AM. Reason: corrected date
 

Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order
Old 11-10-2005, 03:39 AM   #23
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Default Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order

Daiman dropped the weight back into the rack and turned to look at the gym attendant and the man accompanying him whom he took to be the younger man’s supervisor. Taking in the confident swagger of the two men as they approached, Sirana just stood there with his arms folded across his chest eyeing them blandly.

“Is there a problem, ‘gentlemen’? The Anaxsi asked in his coolest Imperial-inflected tone as he looked down at the hotel employees.

“There is a dress code for the guests of this facility that must be followed in order to utilize the gymnasium” the older man replied, pointing to one of the signs near the front entrance to the room as his subordinate hovered behind him smirking. “If you cannot adhere to it then I must ask you to leave. The rules are quite clear”

“Well then.” Daiman replied cooly. “I’m going to have to insist on getting both of your names.”

“And why will that be necessary, ‘Sir’?” The valet asked with a sneer as he looked both Sirana and Thayer’s well broken in militaristic attire up and down.

Diaman answered, “So I know exactly who to fire first when I buy this place.”

The young attendant, bravado boosted by the support of his supervisor made a noise akin to disbelief that this man threatening them actually had the wherewithal to make it a reality.

“Do either of you have any idea who I am? I could buy and sell half of this planet today without making any significant impact on my financial accounts, so if you two would like to keep your miserable little pissant positions, I suggest you get out of this room and leave the paying guest of this fine establishment to enjoy their time here.” Daiman said in a voice that didn’t change much in tone from the moment the two interlopers had first disturbed he and Thayer’s conversation.

And I would suggest that you and your young charge there should learn some respect for real men who’ve had the courage to fight for something greater the next place in line at the buffet.”

The shorter, soft around the middle valet made as if to splutter out something in reply, until a glance around the room at the various members of both Daiman and Matheron’s entourages put some sense into his head.

“I apologize, Sir” he ground out almost as if it pained him. “Should there be anything you require of the staff of the Hotel Imperial, please feel free to ask.” He turned to glare at the attendant still standing behind him, before walking off with the younger man trailing behind.

Glancing at this chrono, Daiman let out a sigh of exasperation. The interruption had cut into what little free time he had scheduled to use to workout that day. Turning to Matheron he said, “I truly would like to continue this conversation, Commander Thayer. I have a pressing engagement this afternoon that I must attend to but I’m free for the dinner hour should you be available to meet then.”
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 1005. The idea
Old 11-12-2005, 09:48 PM   #24
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 1005. The idea

‚I’ll readily arrange it so.’ Quickened by the delicateness of matters that neither of them wished to discuss in front of the numerous well-to-do and after Sirana’s claim no longer but furtively gazing guests the appointment was fixed in a manner of moments. They shook on the agreement and Thayer used the occasion for an orderly retreat, professing he’d still a few items of business to attend to; Main of which had actually just assumed the influential Anaxsi’s name.

‘Mr. Sirana. Pleased to have met you,’ he said grinning, and meant it; Though on his way up he still wondered in how far he actually liked him. Of course, his evidently shared esteem for those who had served threw a bridge, as his trooper past along with what remained visible of his fighting strength earned him respect. The way he had paraded the fact his wealth made him the boss, however…

Although he disliked the two womprats of hotel employees himself and even though his aquaintance’s method had proven most effective, the manner in which Sirana had insulted and threatened them was what in retrospect brushed him the wrong way.

He knew he would chafe in their place. He knew he hated to be threatened. Well, who doesn’t? Yet that possibly was the key: Daiman Sirana was physically and socially superior where most men did with one out of two. And worse, he had the aura of one who was aware.

So that’s what makes me feel like a sandpanther in mating season. He grimaced, studiing his annoyed face in the stainlessly polished mirrors that extended the turbolift’s interior into virtual infinity. Catharin would look beautiful in here. Not that it mattered, anymore. Frak!

She was exactly who he had needed to talk with to sort out that damned mess in his mind, and deeper. She used to give him what balance needed to abstain from childish competitions that, as experience shows, could lead to most undesirable and needless consequences. Like it’d be extraordinarily stupid to mess with Sirana for some thickheaded ego-issues.

Exactly, a man’s worth lies in responsibility, brains and firm sense of honor, wasn’t it? Fair words. With his own damned competitiveness no wonder Gavin never seemed to have truly bought what he assured him. The realization gave him a chill.

And now? Responsibility as in abandoning your family, brains like being harsh to your loved ones when dissatisfied and blaming your wife for she couldn’t stand it; Sense of honour as in running away?

Rubbish! Gavin held his own, as his eventual success at Anaxes Citadel clearly proved. He was high up and, alienated by smug navy chaps and Republican propaganda, sadly deaf to his father’s concern; He didn’t need him anymore. And Catharin, love, you decided against me. Sad but true. So, just like the sense of guilt he got fixed in his head in regard to his parents, friends—set off after freeing himself from an obligation actually long wiped out after three decades of service to their failing belief…

- | -

Back at their suite Hausmann welcomed him with a peculiar grin, that Thayer ignored. First thing he did was adding two lines to his beforehand drawn up report, marked the scandoc time-critical then tossed the chip to the young officer. ‘Up, with immediate advice note,’ he ordered, and pulled back to the ‘fresher’s seclusion. The privacy of his thoughts: The idea.

Strength. He closed his eyes, desisted the habitual, frustrating endeavour to feel the warm stream on largely insensitive skin, sought to let go of all troubling notion.

As water cleanses the body, the idea purges the mind. Only searching your heart, brutally, illuminated by the idea’s audacious truth, you recognize your delusion: elaborate pretense, pangs of conscience your fearful self devises to tie you down to a comfy little existence.

He briefly wondered whether men like Daiman ever had them; Pangs of conscience. Scruple. Immediately angered thoughts of the Anaxsi kept pushing into his mind. Why? The imperative inquiry had been initiated; Security risk or potential ally, Wu would tell. Ideally before 2000. And until then he would have to analyze what reactions had been triggered by the interview.

So what? He needed to get his head straight and get moving. There was no gaining control of this venal world by meditating under the ‘fresher.

Though a number of people right now might have envied him for both, his whereabouts and occupation.


For example Lieutenant Pery Munet...

Colonel Kalat knew where he had seen the man in the newsfax’s background before. And he knew the three who had played dies with him the day before yesterday, by name and number....

Whether it is about Datunda? Equally surprised as apprehensive Lieutenant Pery Munet wondered as he stomped down Bakur Barracks’ bleak corridors. Wholly unanticipated as he’d been ordered to report there right after morning drill the thing stank. Whatever it was, extraordinary meetups with your superiors never signified anything pleasant within an army the stark redundancy of which basically deprived you of every chance to do something amazing.

Yet the little diversion he’d allowed his men the evening before last back at Waltar’s pub shouldn’t have made it to Kalat’s ears. Or had it?

Thinking back Munet suddenly wasn’t so sure. Of course, The Lashing had only occurred after the Colonel had left, he couldn’t have witnessed anything of the rite involving 40 cms black cogged cable tie and 21 strokes to the foreigner’s afterwards unusable hand. There had been enough fellows around, however—one of which might have thought it a good idea to tell the leadership in his desperate hope to gain points towards some highly unlikely promotion. Tit!

Heavy boots resounded up the deserted stairwell, duracrete-cool air changed for another variant of drab staleness when the gate hissed open to admit him to the first floor’s landing; And another disturbing thought to his mind. His pace involuntary slowing the grey-greenish floor stretched to a mile…

- | -

Gazing after the craft Kalat gave a smug grin.

Questioning an in view of unexpected summoning conveniently anxious Lieutenant it hadn’t taken him long to find out about his target’s accommodation; And the possibility of forgetting about a certain incident served an even better catalist to the brown-haired’s memory—digging up a number of dissident remarks from the stranger’s side, as presumed Imperial relations with his employer. Interesting!

Delightful also how positive people reacted to proper lead: Though that night he’d left early, said occurrence at Waltar’s had made it to his desk before dawn. Most saw sports like The Lashing had to be kept private in a wusses’ state, and you could rely on Major-General Reklar’s word when he promised an offender would be made into a full-body example—guaranteed closed to the public.

That’s order. And justice was he’d allowed Munet to denounce himself as a countermove to his cooperation. Twenty-five less for coming forward yourself, ten more for every day late… Remain ninety-five; The articulations triggered by which died away undisturbed by mollycoddled pity or nosiness in the musty stale of an air-raid shelter.

Unheard by the two scouts who were dispatched direction city centre, in a bright white civilian speeder.

Last edited by Matheron Thayer : 11-28-2005 at 09:11 AM.
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 1255. Arden High School
Old 11-15-2005, 07:44 AM   #25
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 1255. Arden High School

That three minutes later passed Arden high school, casting another flash of refracted morning sun through the steely new building’s polarized glass facade as it dashed eastwards along the Aarhonen, the magnificent free space of which stretched from Bakur Barracks up to Bakur Memorial Building, where it was crossed by the Narami, and further—

‘thus dividing Salis D’aar into quarters, renamed after the first four of Arden's descendents: Caratras, Mekin, Venien and Goren, following the compass clockwise beginning West.’

Within the shaded interior Mr. Haiman’s sociology class devoted itself to pupils’ sorely limited occupations during a schoolday’s last, endlessly stretching hour that, amongst else, comprised the thrilling, galaxy-wide standardized disciplines of sub-desk card games, Battleships, Wild Space Whisper and absent-minded staring, subcategories ‘out of the window’/’at attractive members of mostly opposite sex’. One of the youths, a lean brown-haired with angular features, skillfully combined number one and four with a hearty yawn.

‘What, of course, bothers you little,’ Mr. Haiman turned to him with a nonetheless sympathetic grin. ‘In view of the next exam however should; Reminding us of this settlement’s early days, well one hundred and fifty years before the fateful Battle of Yavin, when the Bakur Mining Corporation of Hemei IV, under Captain Arden, formed a colony on this world—considered the official founding of our civilization.

At first the Corporation directly controlled the planet, but after Arden's death and faced with lessening returns of the mining operations and an increase of both population and wealth, a government comprised of a Prime Minister and a Senate was established.

However, this system of government was not truly representative; The titular head of government was always one of Arden's descendents, and the Senate elected its own members.

Actually, ladies and gents, it was not, until the reforms following the Battle of Bakura, four years after the Battle of Yavin, that our Prime Ministers were elected by popular vote.’

Through with the compulsories the dark-haired gave a lopsided grin at his flock; Although the erudite mid-fifty’s lessons belonged to the more popular items on the timetable his youthful audience meantime showed the typical symptoms of fatigue, that, as usual, would miraculously be cured the very moment the call sign released them to the remainder of this gorgeous summer day.

Another twenty minutes but left he longed to wake them—in the course of every lesson at least once, as the teacher in him considered his bounden duty, and reaching into his plain but respectable Telaan suit’s breast pocket the attentive could tell from the liveliness in his keen eyes—The Guide had something in store.


‘Has any of you followed today’s newsfaxes?’ As expected his question earned the erudite mid-forty a round of blank stares. ‘Today’s? Why, Mr. Hamain, we’re on duty since 7:40.’

‘Of course. How silly of me. Naturally I can’t expect you to profane your neat communication devices by such travesty.’ The class chuckled. ‘Luckily some foresighted part of me suggested I prepare some excerpts.’ What led to collective sigh. But well, if you are locked in here anyway, you can as well use the opportunity to learn, as he had aptly introduced their relationship by the begin of last summer.

‘Now, ladies and gents, if I may command your attention.’ The classroom’s far screen woke to a larger-than-life reproduction of the energetic form of Jarkes Peiron, chief of the Senate’s pro-republican faction—a wiry, short end-fifty with expressive black brows under his far receding hairline. Or well, it was a bald head, truly, yet framed by a wreath of orderly cropped dark grey hair.

Thronged by a number of pressing reporters in front of the senate’s seat, Bakur Memorial Building, something obviously had him enraged; What really was nothing unusual with the known local whose choleric temper and tendency to bite into hated topics had earned him various epithets, none of which could be called especially complimentary.

Zooming in the cam brought a slim blonde into focus, B24 journalist by the mikrophone she brandished. ‘Senator Peiron, what’s your comment with regard to our prime minister’s meeting with a man who publicly dissociated from the New Republic?’ Her hectic but well-articulated question made ‘The Orray’s bushy brows move threateningly close together.

‘It’s outrage!’ The veins standing out on his forehead, his indignation visibly everything but posed. ‘In that she met such a person, behind our backs, she jeopardized our carefully fostered relations and I hereby distance myself not only from her action but also refuse considering suggestions as posed by such traitor to his allegiance.’

‘So you will advise members of your party to abstain from participating in a possibly oncoming discussion about an expansion of our army’s area of responsibility?’ The woman again, moving up with her query as the senator made for the entrance.

‘No. Of course we must object to such ill-considered attempts from the beginning! The very idea is hilarious, absolutely uncalled-for. Although measures in combating crime are, obviously, necessary we will not cave in to anything leading us as irresponsibly close to a police state, or worse military supremacy.’

The camera panned. In view now ‘Beam’, Faridan Tinnick, chief of the economic bloc known as the ‘Bakuran Union’—1,93m jutting tallness, gaunt, blond, and a wooden excuse for charisma. That lately yet ventured towards something more steely: Having come off in the last elections with but fifteen percent his prognosis reached meantime the double and confidence poured her magic tint in his frame, enlivening his once monotone voice with flashes of cleverness and bitter derision.

The slim newsfeedress readdy on him, ‘Senator Tinnick, what is your attitude with regard to Captison’s meeting with one who Mr. Peiron refers to as a traitor to his allegiance?’

‘I’d preferred she’d taken more conservative action, yet consider it just to examine whether a man is actually guilty of any crime—before libelling him in hopes for leftovers from the table under which Mr. Peiron would evidently like to see us follow his bootblacking example.’

‘And what do you think on a possible deployment of our army to combating crime?’

‘Well, our champions are trained and always ready for combat, aren’t they?’ He flashed a smirk. ‘Also a bit bored I imagine.’ What was aimed at the recent embroilments of a number of soldiers in shockball season. ‘So we’d, actually, mine two ores in one shaft. And though, naturally, any restructuring requires careful planning the suggestion itself is definitely worthy of discussion.’

With that he, too, eluded her behind the line of Bakuran Guards, the navy uniforms of which demarcated the border beyond which no reporter was allowed to disturb the Senators’ privacy and prominently held up corporate tradition in both the colour as well as the typical working-suit cut.

The prime minister’s office located within the authoritative building Captison herself apparently had been spared from the onslaught, while Terik Reskal representing Autarkic Bakura just reached the finishing line, stepping out of another cluster of newspersons that crowded the entrance behind the B24 outside broadcast unit. Remained...

Searching the blonde looked around, then pounced upon her next and temporarily last prey; Rab Quardom, with his for the Kurtzen typical pale, brown skin and even ridges adorning his otherwise bald, generally level head. He smiled. Seemingly always did, and Theor wardrobe loosely swathing his stout shape identified him as a traditionalist, a spiritual seeker, amongst the hairless, usually nomadic tribe that constituted the planet’s original inhabitants.

‘Senator Quardom, what is your opinion as to your chief’s clandestine with a Republican deserter?’

The Senate’s singular Kurtzen representative, party follower of Captison’s foundation, the Senate’s largest, moderatly pro-autarkic faction, stood and rose contemplative eyebulges.

‘Butterfly emerges from chrysalis, Rock wart hatches from egg. You must watch to see the next light.’

Within the shaded classroom some grimaced, some smiled; As in the overall population the opinions differed as to what to think of Rab and his quizzical answers. Derided or idolized. There were those who called him fruitcake—especially amongst the majority that knew little about the nowadays but five percent of Bakuran natives, most of which had been displaced to the sparsely populated continent of Kishh'daar during Imperial occupation—while others looked at him as an oracle.

Such as Aluw, comprehension enlightening her olive eyes she trailed his every motion and under the down of brown hair that sourrounded her forehead’s smooth ridges spread out an affectionate smile; Much alike to her father’s.

His chrono in view, at this point Mr. Hamain set the recording to pause. ‘Now, lest it be drowned in the imminent rush; Your homework will be two different things. For the first I want you to write an essay, from today as your starting point on to a fictional future, in which you sketch possible scenarios writing forth the current events. For the second I advise you meditate on what arguments the different factions may bring forward, as next time we will engage in a class-wide roleplay.’

The announcement countered with a number of particularly male sighs The Guide cleared the view; Yet the majority already gathering their stuff in the period’s brief remainder the number of attentive were few when B24 blonde readjusted her micro in the Kurtzen’s direction.

‘Er.. of course,’ the under his controversial view usually rising ratings in mind she managed a grin. ‘And what do you think on having our army carry out police tasks?’

‘Remove splinters with axe.’ Rab said. ‘Very bloody.’

Last edited by Matheron Thayer : 11-28-2005 at 09:12 AM.
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona. At the same time...
Old 11-19-2005, 04:58 AM   #26
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona. At the same time...

Back at the Imperial Hausmann glanced back and forth between the recorded newsfaxes and Thayer from whose set jaw and narrow-eyed glare he could tell B24 blonde had risked her superb head of hair had she faced his caf-carrying chief at this moment.

‘Deserter,’ he spat. ‘You’ve no idea.’

And paced the suite some more before he settled down with a large glass of the dubious potion that seemed to constitute the main part of his careful, for Hausmann’s taste overmore way too erratic, diet: A tap-water prepared babarism of cheap instant caf, that Thayer claimed he preferred over all freshly brewed quality brands, stirred up with one up two three spoonfuls of a suspicious-looking white powder. Crystalline, scentless, pretty much tasteless. No dried milk; Yet apparently not mind-expanding, either. Or Hausmann at least could not detect any oddities even after weeks of curiousity finally had gotten the better of him by this very morning. What. Ever.

When it came to the overall field of health care and personal hygiene Thayer apparently was nuts; His toothpaste a no-lather detergent of Corellian sea salt, shower gel without colouring, smelling of herbs he’d never even heard of. Just like his after-shave with conspicuous ‘organic’ and ‘tested’ labels. Well? Well! The idea Thayer could get on to his snoopy obsession had made him put back every single item with extreme care; For while Wolfgang’s response likely were loud and painful he could not picture the reaction of the man whose call had given him the creeps for just his menacing post. Thayer, OPC. What the frell? Guess I pushed it too far…

Just like in the holos in which some secret service implausibly hired you. Your first contact overshadowed by some charge, you guilty of hacking, and your friend unfortunately just dumped his stock of drugs in your household, so—well, he’d accepted. Overawed and inspired. Or was it the the scent of adventure that stuck to the whole undertaking? The thrill of escorting the very head of your Republic’s OPC on a spectacular, revolutionary mission? And even though he should not command an ominous, faceless force any longer.. as it appeared.

He’d officially resigned from the office, sure. But somehow, thinking back of the men in black—deadly, efficient, day and night at your bidding. Sugar! You didn’t just throw away a position like that, right? It struck him repeatedly these past days. And no matter how rousing the other’s appeal, his acting of how he despised the Republic—possibly this was, really, a daredevilish ruse to get behind enemy lines. One that required you to give up everything, deceive them all, closest friends, family.. the ducks around you not even to mention. Indeed, it must be terrible to have everyone you serve look at you as a traitor. A big sacrifice.

That lit neonsigns in his mind. Thayer’s words that had stricken him so unsusual. Sacrifice brings victory! What kind of motto should that be? He scrutinized the elder, once more as uncounted times before since their departure. Stern or playful, highbrow or instacaf? Determined yet desperately unhappy. Naturally! He was a good actor, but just because he tried to conceal it didn’t mean Carl wouldn’t see. And who would advocate the Empire yet rebel against rules, like a dresscode?

Sacrifice brings victory! …You’ve no idea. Blue eyes sparkled. Of course.

Suddenly it all made sense.

Last edited by Matheron Thayer : 11-28-2005 at 09:13 AM.
 

Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order
Old 11-20-2005, 11:24 PM   #27
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Default Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order

As he rode the turbolift to the fourth floor, the revelation of the identity of the fellow guest in the Hotel Imperial’s gym created more questions for Daiman and piqued his curiosity as to Thayer’s reason for being there on Bakura. From the holonet news interview it was rather obvious to even the casual observer that the man’s political views and ideals had changed radically in a relatively brief time.

The man and his compatriots would bear watching, of that Sirana had no doubt. For all he knew, the former OPC Director may have been working for the same purpose Sirana himself was there for himself. But until he’d received the official word, he would take no chances in revealing anything about his own true reason for courting the various captains of the world’s business and financial institutions.

Upon reaching his suite, the first thing Daiman did was send a scrambled, secured beam transmission to his Imperial Security Bureau contact regarding his concerns and questions about Commander Thayer and his presence in Salis D’aar. The next thing was take a shower and dress for his meeting at the warehouse complex with, Zekkrin Affoh, the mining guild once more to finalize some of the details they had discussed in their last meeting. Roth had gone ahead of him to the warehouse to check on the status of their guest, Mr. Ninx, and to assure that the proper preparations had been made for the arrival of the private army now on their way to Bakuran space at Tarsk Mal’fey’s order.

After the meeting with Affoh, Daiman would head to the Hotel Calixia, a facility smaller and more intimate near the city center but no less elegant than the Hotel Imperial. The atmosphere was not his primary concern, the size, access points, and ease of crowd control was what had made him choose the Calixia as the set up point for the strike team of Doddona’s commandos due to arrive planetside to corral or eliminate those unsympathetic and unwilling to ally themselves with the change in government.

Under the pretense of a formal reception to thank those responsible for helping SiranAxum in setting up the planned manufacturing complex, it would actually be a way to bring all those oppositional to Imperial rule together in one place, making it more efficient way for the strike team to neutralize them.

If all these tasks were completed on schedule, Daiman thought he’d invite Commander Thayer to meet up somewhere much more comfortable for a pair of veteran fighting men as well as their respective staff members to relax in. Some grubby workingman’s pub had to exist in the capital city away from the snooty pretentiousness of the Hotel Imperial’s too clean and artificially clubby lounge.

Dressing in more casual, comfortable clothing for one of the few times since his arrival on Bakura, topped by a black nerfskin jacket, Sirana left the suite after finding no answer yet to his transmission and took the borrowed speeder in the direction of the warehouse.

Last edited by Daiman Sirana : 12-28-2005 at 09:37 PM.
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona. At the same time at BSA's headquarters...
Old 11-22-2005, 06:50 PM   #28
Matheron Thayer
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona. At the same time at BSA's headquarters...

A lazy white thread curled up from the cigarette set aside in the ashtray. Breath sharply drawn in released a last mouthful of tangy smoke, efficiently neutralized by the sunny office’s air-conditioning system, while a low, melodious tone kept announcing a very important caller.

Of course. And all else had been out of the ordinary were it the VICs, highest ranking members of the currently operating government, solely that were granted access to Yvies’ dialling code. After another sip of caf his wrinkled hand leisurely drew the pulsing symbol into the center of the desk’s built in screen where it admitted a one-way holo connection; Gracing him with the view of the prime minister’s exasperated adviser, while…

‘Yvies?’ Geedzia barked, unmistakebly maddened the BSA’s silver-on-black emblem was all that showed at her end. ‘I urgently need to speak to you, in person.’

‘You are. I already expected this call.’

‘Did you? Oh well, then probably I don’t even need to describe the matter.’

‘Hardly. Shame but you thought yourself more proficient than a prospector.’

Momentarily the dark-haired looked as though she wanted to lunge at him. Frustrated, anyway, by the incident as especially her own role therein that first faciliated what awkward discussions dominated the Senate’s present sitting Yvies’ complacency rubbed her the wrong way. Yet she knew he was right: It had been reasonable to consult the BSA, from the beginning; While at the same time his manner reminded her of why she did everything to keep him and all of his cronies out of her area. In consideration of the necessity, however…

Yvies watched her breathe deeply.

‘Alright. I got a file that might help in your surveillance.’

A green cam-icon indicated a socketguard-scanned holovideo that appeared as a pulsing, ready to use symbol to his left. By touch activated it followed his fingertip, then initialized itself in a second, virtual display he’d opened by drawing its outline upon the main screen.

‘You should have notified us at once.’ His voice remained calm, unemotional as his badly furrowed face while he followed a passionate appeal of that same man who’d managed to ruffle the entirety of Bakura’s political landscape after but a single media appearance.

Unwilling to excuse Geedzia took the orray by the horns, ‘What was initiated can’t be in your interest, either.’

‘What do you know about our interests?’ Impassive as he asked, Geedzia felt chilly. Indeed, what did she know about the Baar Security Agency? Founded by Defense Minister Blaine Harris in 6ABY, soon after the Bakuran resistance had overthrown Imperial Governor Wilek Nereus and deferred authority back to the Bakuran Senate, its existence commonly was not even admitted. And swearing in it was made clear to you the BSA was something you Better Silenced About.

‘Enough to suspect you wouldn’t want Kontrak to replace you,’ She retorted, wishing the image of the army’s supreme commander entrusted with far-reaching special authority would at least remotely affect her invisible interlocutor; Who but plainly ignored her sideswipe.

‘Anything else you would like to submit, now you’re at it?’

She snorted. ‘No. I see you manage easily on your own.’

Indeed. Her last comment eventually twisting his withered lips into a crooked smile a fingertip’s move switched on opalescent view at his visage.

‘I can see you are disappointed at his breach of confidence, Marjorie.’ He leaned in and whispered at the woman whose file revealed a penchant for rousing orators as those in positions of power. ‘What would you like me to do to him if he keeps creating disturbances?’

Her mouth opened, she flushed. ‘Skin him alive or whatever, I don’t care in the least how you carry out your business.’

There you are! Yvies sneered over the hastily severed connection. That’s better.

Last edited by Matheron Thayer : 11-28-2005 at 07:14 PM. Reason: error in date
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 1400.
Old 11-28-2005, 07:12 PM   #29
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 1400.

United forces of media

Back at the Imperial Thayer drew up his campaign plan.

The war-chest well covered after yesterday’s visit to the Bakuran Bank of Interstellar Commerce creds were no longer a matter, strategy however was. And first thing you needed to develop a promising one was knowledge, preferably cleary laid out. Visual.

But in this way? From his fortified place behind the communication apparatus Hausmann incredulously watched as his chief produced a notepad. The kind without screen or holonet connection, however. Plain, white, accessible to anyone. Made of as outdated material as organic matter. He can't be serious! Yet, in fact, the other thing he pulled from his baggy pants was an oldfashioned means of writing.

‘Sir?’

‘Hmm?’ After a moment of silence in which the blond didn’t actually know what to say in the face of such antique equipment Thayer looked up to meet his slicer’s what the frell-glance.

‘What?’ He grinned. ‘This is a pen. You use it to note down.. things.’

Black ink to delicate fibre he sketched a coordinate system—Pro-Republican to pro-Imperial, cosmopolitan to pro-autarkic—into the antagonistic quarters of which he recorded the responses to his preliminary attack: One cross for each unit where it took up its, via newfaxes expeditiously reported, public position.

‘But its kinda.. like in a museum.’

‘With energy shortage you’d be happy to have one.’

Draft completed he examined B24’s morning interviews a second time, summarizing catchwords, significant quotes and former election returns next to the senatorial standpoints that, albeit but their official stance, provided a usable outline of Bakura’s political landscape: Peiron left, Tinnick right, Captison in the middle, Quardom somewhat underneath.

Lo! Protruding features of the ground he was commissioned to level. And though a good handful of pennants remained to be set before you could get down to useable analysis or strategy, already now it was awesome how disproportionately more efficient one broadcasted entrance than any conventional, time-consuming means of scouting a comparably wide area.

Nothing beats the united forces of media, satisfied yet also somewhat saturnine he thought, tensely aware he picked up a tool that cut both ways. As, irrefutably, warning all combatants in range the aggress had cost his cover as well. Yet on the other hand, thanks to Yezhov’s expertise, they’d managed to graze the opposing commander by the very reconnaissance shot; A few strokes gave a suggestion of how their published meeting drove a wedge between Captison and Peiron that’d significantly weaken their both parties. Nasty but necessary.

Indeed, even now it was hard to regard them as enemy, both Gaeriel as her ingenious adviser, though the other way around he’d meantime certainly made it into that classification. Shame.

Alas out on a limb, with your undermanned squad and choky schedule, you had to act single-minded. Focused. Only then, having won a position of power, you could relax, enjoy being magnanimous and effectively conduct negotiations; Or, with his ambition that is to say, go and rouse civilizations, back to eternal ideals. For only in man’s enthusiasm lay the key to reform this galaxy.

Before, however, you had to win. Many battles. Thus the supreme commander’s confidence and attention. Remained to be seen how waspish the enemy would become...

In the meantime, though, he needed further positions.

‘Anything from the military?’ He looked up and turned at Hausmann, who apparently had been watching him. Again. The boy could really use some tuition in manners.

‘Mom, I check…,’ two clicks and a beam. ‘Yeah, B’s goin’ round like Furnocs. Here we got something.’ And in pod’s speed the wall-mounted screen flickered back to life with the transferred stream. B24 again, yet another reporter, thankfully, who addressed an aged officer within the homely surroundings of a bare study.

‘In today’s senate assembly the possibility of an expansion of your forces’ area of responsibility will most likely be brought up for discussion. General Kontrak, what is your position?’

Kontrak. Thayer noted. General of the troops. And his grip tightened to the pen as with cam’s zoom the leader of the pack, a grey-haired garral of a man entrenched behind a colossal metal desk, seemed to fix him in his steadfast gaze. ‘Wait and see,’ he answered coolly. ‘Then fulfil to our best what instructions we’re given.’

The reporter appeared dissatisfied. ‘So you claim to hold absolutely no personal favour for one or the other possible result?’

‘My preferences are irrelevant. As an instrument of our democrathy the army will act after the Senate’s ruling.’

As was to be expected. This were public announcements after all. So Kontrak’s pennant was planted supportive to Captison’s. For now. Though looking at the old general Thayer tended to believe he was actually as reliable as his statement. Faithful and loyal; Like father. The idea of having to move against such men made him feel queasy. Yet the very next interview dragged his concentration back on the task.

‘…live from the Baar Criminal Police Office, Salis D’aar,’ it sounded from the state of the art dolby surround. In view came a burly brown-haired who, noticeably irritated, crossed an undulating sea of micros and their respective owners, one of which lunged at him brandishing B24’s blue and yellow emblem on his equip—apparently safe-conduct in these lands, as the hefty slowed down with a pained grimace.

‘Chief constable Liontar, one question: How do you picture the cooperation with your military collegues?’

‘Fraught with tension,’ the harrassed retorted briskly, what but obviously didn’t satisfy the emissary of Bakura’s most engaged station; Despite his initial promise the newsperson thrust his micro towards him again. ‘And why do you think so?’

Liontar snorted. ‘Due to our completely different background and designation? You can’t just prescribe your two-weeks continuation course and think that’d turn a soldier into a policeman. They’re army for a reason, a whole dissimilar mindset.You wouldn’t want to be stopped by an ex-military I assure you.’

Now, this sounded honest again. Maybe a little too forthright even; Their press officer would give him a good talking-to after this statement. Yet it plays into our hands. Thayer marked in the national chief of police next to Peiron, and grinned at his fellow MP who breezed in, still stripped to the waist and rubbing his hair back from the fresher.

Having combined some general scouting and familiarizing with the surroundings with a jog along West River Volk’s trip had taken a while; And yet a while longer after the variation on Dejarik Thayer strangely enough had asked him to get had proven exceptionally scarce around even the capital of this backwordly planet.

Still entangled in the awkward process of doing one-handedly what you were used to utilize at least two for, once more confronted with how difficult everyday tasks could become once you tried to take care of your badly beaten up left, riled he peeped at the chief constable.

What’s he said?’ he grumbled from under his towel.

‘He doesn’t want to be stopped by people like you.’

‘Pff,’ the athletic bodyguard sneered. ‘The feeling’s mutual.’

Hausmann and Thayer laughed, then the latter tapped his pen on the notepad. ‘Now I could do with the voices of industry and commerce, miscellaneous influential individuals… also a public opinion poll couldn’t hurt. And oh, what’s taking them so long with news of the secret service?’

The lounge resounded with another round of chuckles and for the first time since their depart the trio felt almost relaxed in each others company. While Baar Security Agency’s mainframe, actually, recorded tera of news by the tenth.


The web

Erect over the hub of intelligence Morgan Yvies impassively perused what selected files he’d commanded his workstation to filter out of the inconceivable stream of data continuously seeping in to the BSA’s central processing unit. Just a number of records he graced with personal attention, nevertheless the space over his desk was teeming with what looked like a quivering, three-dimensional cobweb of dim glowing silver. Like liquid metal under the poor light. And strings, indeed, once you came closer, the tangled up pattern of which looked like a confused spider’s erratic secretion.

To Yvies, however, thanks to years of practice as the fact he himself had evolved the coding, the cryptic data talked like drugged captives. Process 300516-0942 was what attracted most of his interest at this moment. 300516-0942, the Thayer file. Opened but today it had expanded into an amazing directory already, subfolders of which emerged by the minute and linked themselves to existing records all over the system, causing the holoemitter to scale down in rapid series to keep the displayed network in range.

A fast spreading cancer. Vibrant blue where he touched Yvies selected one of the youngest files, that had appeared close to the center, and instructed the system to keep scale while he unpacked the node to shimmering data. Re300516-0942 IDC SD-H1. ID data transfer.

Announcing how Captain Kaie Alastair and Lieutenant Edwin Carmody of the Bakuran army had just checked in to Salis D’aar’s ‘hotel number one’—the very same that had been found to be Thayer’s accommodation by a simple data retrieval earlier on today—booking a double room from now, Natunda, the 30th of Nelona, 14:22 to next week’s Natunda, conventionally ten in the morning.

How about that! Sure you could take it for a remarkable coincidence, yet Yvies had long given up the concept of chance. Adjusted, hence, all that remained was remarkable. And that’s just what he did: Marking two incidents for further tracking. Their files lit up orange in response. As would the records of those whom they contacted. What but deplorably was still based on an element of uncertainty: Their agent assigned, who, as a sentient, necessarily was fallible and, despite her naturally remarkable quota, was prone to supply just as inaccurate input; Defective and maculate by emotions.

Once more Yvies wished all data could be gathered the clean way—automatically, via cool electronical lines. Regrettably we’re still far from the ideal. But those times would come, possibly sooner than he previously could have hoped for.

Preoccupied he touched where a node briefly flashed, indicating data added to the respective subsystem. And triggered one of the BSA’s underhand means to operate unrecognized at the expense of generally helpless system administrators who wouldn’t find a fault with their servers after customers’ repeated enquiry.

Message delivery has been delayed. Your reply would read. Message is waiting at area-18.server-home for delivery to bdc-filter03.na.pg. The message will be retried for another 32 hours. Or similar. At any rate, time in excess for the BSA to peruse, alter, transfer or do anything in the case of your intercepted message.

As Yvies deemed necessary in sight of such noteworthy lines.


Backside of the Bantha

‘Well, I can't help you with the last, I'm afraid,’ Hausmann smirked from behind the switchboard, ‘but a local station’s currently asking around Salis D’aar.’ He was about to transfer. ‘Though.. I’m not so sure...’

‘Upon the screen.’ Thayer ordered, and Volk who’d put on a t-shirt meantime flopped down on the settee behind him. In the blink of an eye… a gaunt, black-haired with certainly X-green contact lenses squinted at them from the huge monitor.

‘…and for those who switched on just now this is Steve Crow, FSD—from people for people, live from the bustling beauty of Salis D’aar. Today I’d like to know what people think about that escapist of a rim-refugee and how his woolgathering of welfare for all goes together with fantasies about turning our lovely nation into a police state.’

You’d seen him stalking an air buses’ aisle with the explanation, now suddenly he stopped, performed an artful circle on his heel and placed his square mic right before a pimply youth in a garish combination of neon-blue and lilac that either was latest Bakuran street-fashion or testimony of a really bad taste.

‘Now, free citizen of Bakura, I’m sure you’d like to thank our bureaucrat has-been, mister I bring you rim-wisdom, for improving your personal wellbeing by the prospect of being frisked by the guys with the really big blasters next time you look askance at their poor, neglected appearance?’

‘Er..,’ the youngster gave him a blank look, then grimaced. ‘Er, no.. we don’t need no rimfilth around.’ Steve Black gave a garral’s smile, ‘And why do you think does he descend on our lovely shores?’

‘Gimme Namana! Prolly his ol’ wumman kicked him an’ he thinks he can get it up with us now instead.’

‘Ah, that’s absolutely gorgeous! Thank you, love, for this proficient estimation. Sooo, as we just heard from our youthful expert, it’s the combined afflictions of rejection and lacking stamina, really frustrating symptoms of midlife crisis I’d like add, that had Mr. Thayer visit a secluded little earth to let off some steam and give himself airs, as back rimwards it’d no longer function. Whether it works? We should ask him. For if so I suggest we all pick our future spa-planet today.’

His hooker as disagreeably close to the cam you thought its distorted picture must instantly prick your vidscreen he lowered his voice to impudent confidential. ‘Keep in mind, sooner or later we’ll all face his pitiful state.’ He winked. ‘And now a brief break for your commercials. Stay tu-uned.’

Smack into the poodoo. Hausmann sat shamefaced. Having watched the expressions of both elder men, Volk’s eyebrows threateningly lowered, Thayer back to emotionless, and the whole show lacking the grain of strategical information he wished he’d silenced about that ‘survey’. The remote control in hand he made preparations for cutting out the channel, then cleared his throat. ‘With your leave?’

Thayer nodded. ‘These aren’t the forces we’re looking for.’

He stood and went rinse his glas in the bathroom. So here we got the backside of the Bantha. Fragging stonemite! What occurred… or not.. between him and Cathy really was none of anyone’s business. That gossipmonger would better not run into him in some deserted place. Also somewhere in the middle of hurt, anger artlessly waved a still totally empty hit list, till he rejected it emphatically. You need to be above.

Yet that most likely was just the beginning. There would be more such incidents on his way; As some possibly much worse. With a shudder he thought of what either party could do to his family, given they knew how he still loved them.
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona. BSA headquarters
Old 11-30-2005, 07:37 PM   #30
Matheron Thayer
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona. BSA headquarters

Mister Thayer,

I’m no man of the word. What I write to you may sound awkward and I know it’s unlikely you care much for my lines. Yet, having decided for a similarly radical step one time in my life, away from what you apparently just turned to and after a paralysing time of moral conflicts, I feel obliged to share you my concern.

I myself joined the Empire in the firm belief it was the right and honourable thing to do. What I saw through the years, however, what I learned as I rose through the ranks was not what I had pictured. I came to realize we all were but puppets, how the honourable goal I fought for was but a glorious name for a dictatorship that ruled by fear and oppression.

I saw your Coruscant video, Mr. Thayer, as your interview and am inclined to believe your intentions are good, yet if you really wish to see welfare improved for all then I can assure you the Empire is not your way. You wish for an upright leadership to invoke genuine public spirit you say, a leadership that will wipe out the wrong and build a feeling of resilient unity instead of just silencing those who protest—a beautiful thought. Have you ever heard of the Tarkin Doctrine?

“Control unruly portions of the Galaxy through fear of force,” it says, or “An impression of overwhelming force will be installed within the citizenry, thereby instilling the idea that resistance is futile.”

Of course that document wasn’t drawn up for the general public and it’s in none of the propaganda stuff that you will find it. Only up in their ranks, once you are there and trusted to share the same selfish and power-hungry mindset.

Yes, you certainly find it odd I contact you.. but if you heard of my condition you should know I’ve the least reasons to lie. And I do entreat you to recheck everything you think to know about the Remnant. Things you’ve read or heard aren’t what it’s really like and if you stand in but remote contact you’re easily deceived. What do you think will they give about a turncoat once your usefulness here is through?

Well I don’t mean to offend you, really. Frell, I changed sides myself. Just what I mean is—sure they pretend to be everything you ever wanted. Especially the ISB. You must be wary, they’re the worst bastards of all and if you really, actually work for them.. what I urgently hope you don’t, on our all account, then the best you can do is to take the next ship and disappear of their scanning range while you still can. Republic or whatever.. everything is better than falling into their clutches.

Alright, I’ve written too damn much, so what can I say? If you heed my warning and leave I won’t take measures. Despite what you did to my wife—we all make mistakes, its not yet too late to correct, and knowing how that Empire can corrupt originally decent men I’d be the last to harbour resentment.

If you but stay.. know you’re going to be watched. And if anything confrims my suspicion, or if you just go on stirring disturbances that could turn out badly for our whole planet—I’m no friend of threats. Just recall, Bakura was freed before.

Regards,
Pietr Thanas
Projected into the void before the reticular approximation of reality that was BSA’s data net the words hovered some moments longer. Before Yvies wiped them out with a casual gesture, causing the file to close and, by code and biometrical confirmation, be erased from their main network after but one untraceable download.

Message delivered. Was soon after displayed for the sender, while thoughtfully Yvies put away the encoded chip with his personal collection. Sorry, Mister Thanas, he dispassionately thought. Yet what operator would allow a free honeypot to be uninstalled before it had lured forth all pests that bugged his system.
 

Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order
Old 12-02-2005, 01:09 AM   #31
Daiman Sirana
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Default Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order

All was quiet when Daiman pulled the speeder up to the warehouse complex. A little too quiet and at first he suspected something might be wrong. Ninx’s fellow smugglers showed up, the Bakuran’s got nosy, the crew he’d hired to work for him at the warehouse turned out to be treacherous as hired thugs tended to be.

All miniscule worries vanished when he saw Roth walking out to meet him accompanied by Zekkrin Affohm, the Mining Guild leader. Built like a fireplug, the short, thick man seemed to never be without a cigarra in his mouth, lit or unlit. The small, piercing, dark eyes under hooded lids peered through the smoke trailing from the cigarra’s tip and gave the mistaken appearance of someone whose intelligence level was far below what it was in actuality. His brusque manner contributed to this effect, which caused many an unsuspecting corporate head or politician to underestimate the man and the power he actually held.

The Mining Guild had always been a force to be reckoned with in the Bakuran system. Without the raw materials needed for manufacturing everything from the smallest piece of jewelry to the body of a warship, nothing would get made without the exorbitant cost of importing these materials from out of the system. Although, with the departure of the Empire years ago, the demand for the ores and minerals mined from Bakura’s moon and the other nearby worlds had slowed considerably, soon that would change.

To facilitate this increase in production, able-bodied workers would be required. A premium at the moment, the number of people needed for such an operation and more importantly the most cost-effective way to do it, was the reason the Mining Guild leader and the SiranAxum CEO were meeting here today. Given the current relatively placid state of things on the planet, the unemployment rate was rather low in spite of the various economic woes the anti-Captison factions of the press gleefully focused on in their daily reports.

This made it difficult at best to find the sufficient numbers of workers willing to toil in such conditions that were present in the various mines in times of lower production needs, never mind when a part of the remnant of the Imperial Fleet would press them into service to mine goods to build more ships. Some of this shortage had been alleviated by the use of convicted criminals as workers, but this was still the less than ideal solution for everyone involved.

Conscription of sorts, Daiman and Zekkrin had decided, was the best way to handle this particular problem. At the same time, it would help Sirana and company deal with another small problem of there own who at this particular moment had regained consciousness inside a small locked storeroom on the opposite side of the main warehouse and was busily working his way out of the bonds he had been placed in by Daiman’s thugs.

Struggling to his feet after managing to get them loose, Yuri Ninx went to work on the bindings at his wrists next, painstakingly (and yes quite painfully) digging and picking at the laced and knotted cords until finally, he broke free. “Shavit!” he grumbled, rubbing at his painfully raw wrists. “Alright, you slagheads. Next time you come in here I’ve got something for you.” Yuri said to himself as he paced the cramped confines of the storeroom.

Meanwhile, as they walked though the warehouse after the obligatory handshake and greetings Sirana discussed with Affoh some of the points of the upcoming events that he was free to share with him.

“I’m not sure of the exact number of laborers that will be provided for you after everything is settled and in place, but I can assure that we will manage to find sufficient quantities to fill your needs by one means or another.” Daiman said.

“Well as long as they can work hard enough and we have the proper equipment, the Guild should be able to supply you with enough raw materials to process in that factory across the way into goods that will fill this place up.” Affoh told him, his hand making a sweeping gesture at the cavernous space of the warehouse. “So when exactly is all this supposed to go into effect. I’d like to start making preparations at the various camps, discreetly of course as promised.”

“Of course. I’m going to say roughly 3 Galactic weeks, give or a day or so.“ Sirana answered. “Any expense you require assistance with for housing, food stocks, things of that nature I can provide. I’ll just write it off under some classification of expense or another. I appreciate greatly taking delivery of your first “employee”. I’m sure some time spent at one of your camps say, on Kur, will make him think twice next time he decides to try double-crossing a business partner.”

Zekkrin scowled. “This guy sounds like a problem case, but I’m sure a few months on that chunk of rock will bust him down a bit. It’s like Kessel, but with a nicer view.”

“Then it sounds like the perfect place for Ninx after all.” Daiman laughed. “Damn criminal smuggler scum.”

They had reached the storeroom where Yuri was being held. Still oblivious to the fact the he had escaped his restraints, Roth unlocked the door to the storeroom and peered inside. Curled up on his side in the same spot they’d left him in, Yuri stayed still, freed hands and feet hidden from view until it was too late.

The three men walked over to the assumed to be out cold smuggler, while Affoh’s guards remained outside the storeroom.

“You sure this guy’s up to handling working in the mines?” Zekkrin asked as Roth bent to rouse the smuggler and haul him to his feet. “Looks kinda soft if you ask me.”

Before anyone in the room could say anything in reply to Affoh’s comment, Yuri struck Roth on the temple, with both hands interlaced to form a larger mass and the bigger man drop to the ground as if hit by a stunbolt. Moving before anyone could react, Yuri grabbed the blaster out of the holster at Bartek’s side while getting swiftly to his feet and he grabbed the Mining Guild leader around his thick neck while pressing the muzzle of the blaster against his skull.

“Frelling stupid…” Daiman started to say as he stepped toward him before Yuri broke in. “Soft, huh? The only thing soft here I can see is your fat neck. And maybe Sirana’s pal’s head.”

You’re going to let me and your friend out of here. I promise I’ll let him go unharmed. I just want to get back to my ship and away from this frelling backwater system ASAP and never come back. That’s it. Just let me get somewhere to contact my crew and I’ll be on my happy way. If not, I’ll drop fatboy here and you’ll have some serious explaining to do to the Bakura authorities and I’m sure to whoever it is you’re working for as well.”

Daiman just glared at him for a moment, his green eyes blazing and his jaw clenched. He knew that Ninx was right. Trying to explain away the death of the head of the Mining Guild would be a task sure to draw the unwanted attentions of the Bakuran Investigational Bureau and would throw the entire plan everyone had been working so hard toward into turmoil. Slowly raising his hands to show the desperate smuggler he was unarmed, Daiman walked backward out of the storeroom, letting Yuri walk out after him along with his hostage.

“Just don’t do anything stupid Ninx. You do, and there isn’t a safe place in the galaxy that you or your crew can hide.” He told him steadily as he backed away, waving off the members of Affoh’s own security detail whose hands were going to their own weapons.

From inside the storeroom, sounds could be heard of Bartek Roth getting to his feet and Daiman glanced through the open door to see his bodyguard, face a livid mask, stumble in the direction of the doorway, muttering something as he walked.

“I said the damn thing’s not loaded” he repeated after discerning that Daiman and the others hadn’t heard him the first time. He had stopped carrying a loaded blaster in Yuri’s presence after that first incident, not trusting himself to use the stun setting if the man did anything to piss him off again and knowing that Sirana would have been furious if he had just outright killed the man over something minor. He reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out a powerpack and held it up. “See. Not loaded.”

Yuri glanced at the blaster in his hand for a split second. “Frak!” was all he could say before he felt Affoh’s elbow connect with his gut and knock the wind out of him. His two burly bodyguards moved in as the Guild head twisted away from Ninx’s grasp and one raised his blaster, barrel first to bring the grip down on Yuri’s skull. He was just barely there when his boss yelled. “Enough! He’s no good to me with a fractured skull. Just stun his ass and collar him.”

“Cripes, not again.” Ninx said as the second guard hit the smuggler with a stunbolt that dropped him to the duracrete floor while his partner pulled a stun collar off his belt, walked over to the twitching man and secured it around his neck as Yuri lost consciousness yet again. The two men hauled him up by his arms, dragging him unceremoniously toward the repulsorvan parked nearby then tossed him none too gently in the back.

Affoh stood, rubbing his thick neck and glaring at Roth. “You really should see about getting some better help, Sirana. This fool may get you killed.”

“My apologies, Mr. Affoh” Daiman said as he gave Roth a look that warned him to keep his mouth shut about Zekkrin’s comments. “He’s been working long hours lately. He usually is much better at handling such situations.” At least he felt comfortable in the knowing it was the truth.

“Well I must be going myself. We will keep in touch about the progression of the work to come. You know where to reach me. Good day Mr. Sirana.” Affoh said, ignoring Roth as he turned to walk toward the repulsorvan still rubbing his throat. He got inside and drove out of the main warehouse loading dock with his bodyguards and Ninx safely stowed in the back.

“Repugnant little troll.” Roth spit out, holding his head where Yuri had whacked him hard enough to raise a good-sized lump. “Damn I can’t wait till this whole thing is over and we can get back to a nice, sane coreward existence again.”

“You and me both, Bar.” Daiman replied, looking after the tail end of the repulsor as it drove off the warehouse complex grounds. “Unfortunately for now, we still have too much work still to be done. At least that smuggler is now someone else’s problem. Let’s get this place locked up tight and let the guards have a night off. We’ve still got a few more places to go and people to see before we can take a break ourselves though.”
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 1600
Old 12-06-2005, 06:28 AM   #32
Matheron Thayer
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From all he could see Thayer was riled. He kept checking through newsfaxes, took some more notes, yet in everything he did his aura communicated the grumpy displeasure that advised you against asking your chief for a lunch-break. Especially after you felt jointly responsible for his grudge, somehow. Also, somehow, unfortunately, this time he didn’t seem likely to recall there were beings that actually required food. Frak, maybe I should ask for a dose of that powder. Though, on a second thought, maybe not. Bleh, once I’m starved you gonna miss a star slicer.

So went two hours. No answer from the mysterious contact yet, what likely was one more thing standing between him and grilled nerf with delicious, crispy fries. Yet learning it was all in vain his stomach at least had given up rumble, or paused, distracted as his owner since the moment his superior had begun zapping through the trailers of various games included with the Galactical Game Collection. What’s he up to? Brow furrowed, bent over the lounge’s glass couch table Thayer skimmed through what playing surfaces were projected above the triangular arranged holo-emitters before him.

At such unanticipated doing Hausmann couldn’t but peep, and with that last preview in particular: a stylized tree the knotty branches of which carried three squares of equal extend, arranged one on top of each other and differing but in the shade of inlay work that, starting from blackened wood at the lowest, ran over a variant of dark-green into shimmering luminosity with the topmost plane.

And, indeed, exactly with this scenario Thayer paused—then confirmed his choice, whereupon three sets of pieces appeared on their respective plane. Black, white and grey.

I'll be blowed! Though familiarly holographic and though he hadn’t usually found anything exciting about a game of Ygdrasil, the creation that rose as the apparition of a wooden artefact before him was not just any version of the old Corellian pastime.

Highly tense Hausmann watched—seemingly endless moments of inaction—as Thayer abruptly woke from what looked like angered meditation and wiped off all white pieces from the uppermost square, then proceeded with the both that lay underneath. The game’s central unit beeped a dissonant protest, yet was silenced instantly as their leader switched to userdefined.

Nobody’s gonna believe me. Above his laptop the slicer froze. ‘All you have to do is to alter the rules.’ Frak, that’s just what Erasion said in Dark Reign. This Ygdrasil looked precisely like his, he too set great store by his subordinates’ manners, was abstinent, celibate—and a fraggin’ sith.

The young officer hardly dared breath, or think. Stay easy, that’s just a game. Nonetheless he solemnly promised himself to keep his hands off his chief’s things in future, and tried hard to cease stare. Eventually even managed to tear himself away from the gripping view—by means of a message incoming, and an alert flashing upon his screen. Shavit! Hectically activating a seeker he paled.

While Volk enthusiastically put away his glossy ‘sights of summer’ to follow as Thayer positioned selected of the on mythological figures modelled pieces back upon the middle plane’s checkerboard quadrants. Though oblivious of how exactly they related to Captison or any of the others he smiled; His commander knew what's what, belieing all slander, and that was all he needed to know.

Whereas Hausmann had been happy to make out a little more than what meagre data his geared up smartframe delivered. ‚Uhm.. Sir?’ With his mortified tone Coruscant, we got a problem could not have turned his compatriots’ heads more efficiently. ‚What is it?’

‘Our local box.. the one I set up for Captison. There’s been an intrusion,’ under Thayer’s gaze he felt ominously constricted around the windpipe. ‘There’s been something I mean. My progs won’t specify.’ Instinctively ducked he waited for the row, or worse.

The other reacted but coolly. ‘Has your central been compromised? Or any of the other accounts? And check thoroughly.’ So the slicer did. Thrice. Whilst Volk moved into position with his blaster drawn, back against the lounge’s inward wall from where he overlooked both entrance and window. Two nerve-racking minutes. Thayer disconnected his laptop...

‘Everything clean.’ Eventually sounded from behind the furiously used keyboard. ‘I’m pretty sure. That one box was lower security, too, adapted to the surrounding.’ Releasing the breath he had held Thayer nodded. ‘Alright. Keep it up for the eventuality. Possibly.. we just made contact with the best camouflaged unit.’ He sat back down, deliberately put a first grey piece to the bottom plane and, unsettling to the young slicer, smiled.

Even through some part of what message he quietly handed him. Though how he replaced the uppermost lone white piece by a grey one looked portentous. Volk was distracted, Thayer off to make a call or something. Solemn promises only last so long…
From: Wu Pei-fu, ISB: Commission of Operations
To: Leon Baradat, Bakura/1
Subject: Plan to destabilize Bakuran political system
Confirmed: SEND; TRAN49/51; RECV
Context: 5E9; AEXC; IMMD; ROPT
Phasecycle: PSEG427621321418611865; SCAN; 00:06:00BMUT; 00:15RMUT

Baradat,

The operation has commenced. Soon, Imperial forces will raid the Bakuran system, and the steps that will lead to the fall of the Captison government must be initiated. I have been monitoring your progress Baradat, and commend you for actions thus far.

The covert strike team of Imperial commandos will be making planetfall as well. A landing area near the West River, preferably where the shuttle can be placed in defilade, seems feasible. Natural foliage and sensor-absorbing netting will shield the vessel from discovery.

As the team is brought into the urban area, keep close watch on the female known as Nekessla, Baradat. She has been assigned command of the force by Dodonna, yet the Admiral distrusts her. I do not trust her either; I sense she is being made to do the Admiral's bidding against her will. Take care, Baradat, for even by outward appearances she is a most formidable and dangerous adversary.

In regards to Daiman Sirana; Always keep in mind Thayer, that despite his Imperial service and occasional work for the Empire, Sirana is at heart a businessman, and monetary credits may be the only thing which he idealizes. At this point, he is merely useful to us. Befriend him, use his resources to further your aims, but remain alert for any treachery. He is merely a tool, and when such devices reach the end of their useful life, they must be disposed of.
 

While blue eyes spotted a sith, and the grey a dependable commander
Old 12-13-2005, 09:48 AM   #33
Matheron Thayer
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Default While blue eyes spotted a sith, and the grey a dependable commander

Stage set Bakura

I can’t go on like this for much longer. Though leaden fatigue did her best to cloud what qualms at the bottom of soberness found no hideout, and though throwing himself into his task had beginningly offered new cover—Steve’s distressingly substantial affronts had fatally hit his concentration; Anew plunged him into the dreaded state that turned your thoughts flies and the worries excreta.

And while vacantly Thayer stared at the Ygdrasil’s virtual playing surface in front realization gave rise to a creeping nausea: Very soon this all would have to be translated into the real thing. Battleground Bakura, with its quite acceptable government to be overthrown and designated civilian victims to serve the required terror.

It’s called terrorism, right, to assassinate civilians to induce some swing of opinion? Exactly the thing I was entrusted to prevent. Weeks ago. Before I chucked in.

And Wu knows. That sick bastard does it on purpose. Let’s make their guardian angel eat shit. Go give him the task of looking after our death squad. Great! Really great, Wu. You know how to beat the remnant of self-respect out of people.

And here sit I, a stage hand staring at the cyclorama. Serf to stagemanage your devious play and switch off lights after your direction. Things have come to a pretty pass.

Why?


Back at Coruscant, the night he’d piled up his entire fifteen pack reserve of Davidoff in the kitchen sink, cremated them along with that baneful choker and had washed away the ashes with the contents of the remaining four bottles of Corellian brandy it had all felt perfectly conclusive: triumph of the will, vigorous action! A bold way had spread out clearly before him.

At that time it had felt very appropriate to push off with a slap in the face of a government that wasted the chances bought at the price of too many excellent men. Meantime, however, looking at what he did, and how he’d tried to use flattery at the fact he’d condemned abrax in favour of death sticks, the brilliant move felt more and more like a nerf-brained act of reprisal; born of frustration, carried out regardless of collateral damage.

Or did I care about what precautions the Republic takes against everyone related to a deserter? Frak, I even dismissed everything I saw and know of Palpatine’s deterrent politics in favour of what’s admirable about the idea. And though Channing repeatedly warned me…

Their leitmotif of strength, discipline and belonging to a superior unity is enticing, the late OPC director used to set out, especially to the dejected. A refined manner of speech deceives over how facts are deviously misinterpreted to mean just the opposite, till even the steadfast feels the wicked attraction.

Really? So did I really clear out and give a damn about my son’s aim in life and everyones’ feelings for some bloody book had me think the Remnant better than the Republic; Potential for a benevolent monarchy? Or is it not rather as Steve suggested?

Accusations towered up shatteringly. At loss for a means, anything, to derail the frightening train of thought, their suite’s well-stocked bar became more testing by the minute. Yet he knew, if he took one now.. well, two men who’d given up everything to be dragged into your mess serve as an admonition. One look upon Volk, who apparently trusted in him, or Carl.. who was still a kid—surrendering now meant the three of them inside for life.

And betraying the mission?

Though Bakura had that defense fleet, isolated here in the Outer Rim they likely couldn't withstand the Remnant for long. That was why the planet was chosen in first place. That was how Tattooine could be taken, too. And he knew how long the Republic took to dispatch reinforcements. If the senators could decide on anything that was.

So if I slink out now they’ll take her the hard way. And if she’s prepared it’ll just take many more lives than those Wu wants switched out for the drama. Besides, he himself had given away their fleet’s strength and position. High treason, before even one night under their two moons. Whomever he told would be downright delighted. Clear case for a firing squat. The thought had something disturbingly exciting. Wonderful! That’s exactly what men it takes! One more evidence, as though he’d needed another…

He was a failure. Blast the docs and their fancy excuses. In some respects the Imperials were, after all, right: A man needed to be strong. Needed to show initiative and determined.. ah well, not again. Anyway, his father, too, had been injured, he too saw comrades suffer and die. And he didn't need any therapy, pills or posttraumatic stress shit. Also he didn't blame things on anybody.

It's just me. A fraggin' ill egomanic. Just for I can't cope with things I went, got fuelled to see whether I'm still up to it with the paid hands. Frak. If I'd never even begun that...

He had never run into one who knew what he needed. Even better than he did; At first command it had been too late. He hated it. Hated himself for how even now memory sent shivers up his spine, heat to otherwise disappointing regions. Still. Yet it was a means to forget, and though for a brief time. Momentary he closed his eyes.

And the very next stop was anger. As always, linked with the memory. The horror of the moment, the crack, release. She'd gone too far.

Inscrutable. It didn't go with himself. He could not stand as a man if anybody pictured him kneeling. Crawling. And especially thinking of Catharin, Gavin.. or the rest of his family.. subordinates; You couldn't possibly command any man who thought you a ludicrous wimp and pervert. To Thayer, at any rate, the awareness had sufficed to cause problems in his own internal chain of command. He wouldn't pay respect to some body like him. What was a bad thing to begin with.

The rest became nightmares; Whose knowledge the most anihilating hard to tell. Certainly it would destroy everything. And that dread was what had made him snap to cold-blooded violence. Only the dead don't blackmail.

And what if Wu had filed that, too? If evidence had survived even after he'd seen to cleaning up everything, meticulously? What if the task hadn't been carried out that reliable and somebody had thought it a good idea to keep the recordings she'd mentioned? He clenched his teeth.

Ever the same questions. And nothing really changes. I messed up their dreams before, and now from a distance. Since Coruscant, life’s just a distorted holo.

‘Uhm.. Sir?’ Forsooth, had he believed in any god, that mailbox stir was salvation. Thrill. Taking his mind off the roundabout of self-destruction. And the incoming scandoc did one thing more. Heart beating, tense with the awareness he needed to make a decision Thayer perused the initially inconspicuous lines—as something within the third paragraph struck him like a whirlpool on a bay’s otherwise unruffled surface.

She has been assigned command of the force by Dodonna, yet the Admiral distrusts her. I do not trust her either; I sense she is being made to do the Admiral's bidding against her will.

A commanding officer assigned against her will? Both his contact as the admiral distrusting her? What in a starless void? With an operation delicate as this all involved needed to function at highest efficiency or the failure of one could result in a total loss. So was in the vastness of their stardestroyers no single competent and reliable man willing to lead the mission? Or what was the big idea in appointing a commander who was not entirely trusted?

Whatever reason, reading the passage anew another element sung in a clearly dissonant register. I sense.

And that of an intelligencer! Thayer furrowed his brow. No I was informed that, no I declared myself against. Instead formulations that suggested his contact was basing his evaluation on a hunch and took him into his confidence behind a superior’s back.

So the man either was not high enough in the ranks to have a say, didn’t accept the Admiral’s authority—or their communication was seriously in deficit. Or all of it. What again intimated the New Order was just as torn and disorganized as the Republic. So little difference. Maybe a chance.

Or it could mean Wu, for some reason, was doing his own thing. In which case his comments about that Nekessla could signify yet other facts; He might wish me to tread warily in her presence, act reserved—possibly he’ll supply her with a similar warning, too, so our cooperation won’t warm to anything like trust. For he wants her to eliminate me in the end.

Considering the risk of infiltration he posed, even then, the thought wasn’t far fetched. And especially after the remarks in regard to Sirana; A disposable device still, despite Imperial service and a number of ventures momentous enough to have the Republic put agents on him.

Funny, Wu. You really inspire my confidence. Obviously, once my duty’s through I’ll need powerful arguments. A protection force, how about that? Would you take it on the expenses?

Hullbreak humor though it was, Thayer smirked replacing his Imperial contact’s white representation by a grey one. You know, Wu, I will certainly remain alert for any treachery. Just like you. And after how caring you look upon ground staff I feel I could well become friends with Sirana. So just go on, plot and send stage directions. Yet for every shameful twist, I’m not yet done with you playwright.

Returning to the lounge after having phoned Sirana about the exact meeting point Thayer desisted the urge to write back to Wu, knowing he had probably given himself away by some mordant sarcasm. All he typed were three lines, before he put the laptop away and turned to get ready for an evening out with the Anaxsi.


Camouflaged we mourn for the merry times
Before knowlegde smudged the thin line
Between right or wrong
.

Last edited by Matheron Thayer : 12-14-2005 at 05:49 AM.
 

Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order
Old 12-18-2005, 11:54 AM   #34
Daiman Sirana
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To: Daiman Sirana
From: Capt. R. VonToma, Imperial Security Bureau
Regarding: Commencement of Imperial Operations against Bakura

Sirana,

The campaign against Bakura has entered a new stage. Soon, Imperial forces will be launching an attack on the system. During this time, an elite strike force will be covertly make planetfall. Your part in this operation will be to ensure that the commandos are secreted in a secure site in or near the capital of Salis D'aar. Assisting you will be another operative, named Matheron Thayer.

I suspect that you are no doubt shocked by the revelation that a former high-ranking New Republic official is in the employ of the Empire. Then again, perhaps you are not. Be advised, Sirana, that you must be alert for any sign of treachery by Thayer.

It is highly doubtful, Sirana, that Thayer joined our cause out of his free will. He is most likely a double-agent. However, like any handy tool, we can make use of him. When tools reach the end of their usefulness or are no longer needed, they must be disposed of, Sirana.

For the Empire,
Capt. R. VonToma


This was the message awaiting Daiman when he returned to his suite at the Hotel Imperial. A reply to his inquiry that, unfortunately, created more questions than answers.

That the former head of the OPC was working for the Empire was not the part of the message he had issue with. The interview he had seen broadcast over the holonet news had given him a clue to Thayer’s leanings against the New Republic and the Bakuran government that was supportive of it.

The reliability of the information’s source was the questionable thing to Sirana’s mind. He tended to be less than trustful of the oxymoronic entity that was Imperial Intelligence. As a younger man in his career with the Imperial Army he’d seen more than a few instances of bad intelligence from that particular part of the Emperor’s bureaucracy. During one particular mission his own squad had narrowly missed becoming casualties themselves due to false intel intercepted from the Rebels and taken at face value by the ISB.

In short, he was more apt to trust an ex-soldier like himself then some rear echelon bastard like VonToma. It didn’t mean he wouldn’t be on the alert for anything out of the ordinary, nor dismiss any intuitive feelings he may get during the course of things being put in place. Too much had been done, too much was still to be done, and far too much was at stake to allow anything to go wrong now.

At least the problem with Ninx was taken care of, one less thing to weigh on his mind as he perused the other messages awaiting him. The most important one being from Jak Sandoz, his representative on Coruscant who was handling the in-person details of the deal with Tarsk Mal’fey. In his dry, straightforward manner, Sandoz reported that the dealings had gone well and the Vigo was quite pleased with the merchandise he’d received in payment. The mercenary army was preparing to depart from the galactic capital world in route to Bakura aboard the transport as had been arranged and all the necessary documentation for clearance through Bakuran airspace and customs had been covered.

Daiman nodded with satisfaction at the news. Sandoz may have appeared to be a personality-impaired drone at times, but he was a good man and had been one of the few people who’d remained loyal to his father when he’d become too ill to run SiranAxum, so Daiman had been more than happy to keep the man in the corporation’s employ when he’d taken over.

The remaining messages were just minor business issues, quickly and easily taken care of. Some related to his legitimate corporate interest and some to his just as lucrative, if not more so, covert dealings. The last message on the list originated from the rooms of another guest of the Hotel. Commander Matheron Thayer was inquiring as to Sirana’s interest in meeting informally that evening to just relax socially.

“Speak of the devil,” Daiman said as he read the message and thought back to the correspondence from VonToma. Sending a reply to Matheron, Daiman stated he would be happy to meet with him as long as it was anywhere but this damnable Hotel and its pseudo-clubby lounge. He’d be much more amenable to meeting in a place where men such as themselves, active and ex-soldiers and the like could feel comfortable in their surroundings.

He didn’t know if Thayer would be aware of such a place on Bakura, but possibly one of men seen accompanying him, who had fighting man writing all over them, might have a clue to the existence of such a place in the vacinity.
 

Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order
Old 12-30-2005, 08:31 PM   #35
Ajia Darrow
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Ajia stood still, her body rigid from the lack of movement that her desolation on the Revolution has caused. Her eyes, locked in the same frozen, monotonous state, glanced warily at a nearby droid.

"..." A blank look appeared on her face, blanketing the mirror across from her with a visage of ultimate doubt and uncertainty. Of course she was loyal to Bakura, but maybe they did not think the same of her. The tightly drawn together corners of her mouth flipped downwards instantaneously at this comprehension of her plight. Elucidation of her plans was not to come from her own memorandums this time, however. As Ajia turned around, a hologram flipped out of her console, restarting lost vitality within the slicer.

"Ajia Darrow, let me introduce myself. My name is Eppie Belden. Although you may not have recognized me due to my advanced age, I am sure you have heard of my..." A slight pause was emitted, as Belden glances superstitiously to each side, her wispy, silver hair flipping graciously "exploits. At any rate, our homeland is in danger, and I-"

"Mrs. Belden,” Ajia interjected wildly "I was outcast from my own village on Bakura. You seriously would not insinuate that I would help my excluder?"

"Ms. Darrow, please, do not be so selfish and rash. It is..." Another repeated glance like the first. "The Empire. I have brought word of their apparent attempts to infiltrate our society and government. I am very worried about the possibility of an eventual attack and successful hostile takeover."

Nodding along, Ajia grunted a sign of understanding. "Listen, my ship is en route back towards Bakura for a stop. I don't think it wise to meet somewhere well-known - could you arrange for me to meet in my home village?"

Belden curtly responded. "Of course." Then, however, the hologram began to become less defined, and Belden began to look alarmed. As the bluish-white light began to dissipate, she tried to talk. "Listen, it is imperative that we meet as soon as possible." With that, the communication was shut off.

Ajia stood, astounded. Who in the Empire had the audacity to assume that they could overcome such a zealotrous and nationalistic society? Did they not have any notion of strategy? Ajia shook her head, and ran her left hand, scarred from an incident in her youth, through her grease-stricken hair. The clumped strands of obsidian tissue stuck as though covered by glue. She quickly recoiled, as a picture of disgust began to infiltrate her face. Her eyes darted vividly over to her final meal she had left - some red liqueur, complemented by...

"Where the hell is my sandwich?" She screamed, a guttural, coarse voice echoed from her throat. A droid limped in, his left bronze-coloured leg dented in viciously.

"Ma'am, I am so sorry. Your pet... stole it."

"... Uh huh." She said, her eyes glancing in a large circle.

"Do not roll your eyes at me!" The droid pleaded, his voice filled with disdain. "I am quite serious." After he had finished, a large, white bird strutted in, it's ivory feathers complemented with red colouring. The same Syzathcen sauce on her sandwich.

"Antoo, you silly animal!" She said, half-crazed. Rumbling uncontrollably, her stomach echoed the same sounds that the Revolution had made when she first began modding it. She shook her head, and moved on.

Ajia began to frantically search her wardrobe for something acceptable to wear in the presence of Eppie Belden. One could not meet a person of such high bearing in greasy, rotting pieces of yarn. Although most of her wardrobe did, in fact, fufill those descriptions, Ajia managed to find a long, flowing creme-coloured dress, strapless, with small crystals embedded along the side hem.

As she sauntered around, she noticed that there was a flashing exclamation point floating on her hologram. The ship was alerting her to banking activity. As she pulled up the info, she was shocked.

"Hostile takeover of Ajia Darrow's company, Bakuran Securities, was begun today by Rendeli StarDrive. Under Bakuran laws, any company of which the owner has created shares for, can, if these shares are public, be bought. Ms. Darrow bequethed her shares to the company's employees, hoping for them to sell them for a needed cash infusion. Rendeli believes that the targeting devices created by Bakuran Securities epitomise the forefront of the newest in warfare technology." Ajia slammed her fist down, rattling the metal stand holding the hologram machine.

"Damn it! I most certainly did NOT leave my shares to my employees." The hologram shifted to show a filed form, with Darrows signature at the bottom. "Bah, any decent slicer could do that. Began to file a complaint, computer. This is not my day." With that, she swiveled around on the heel of her black shoees and began to glide away, beads of sweat dancing off her head. This would be an interesting adventure.
 

A night – At the holos
Old 01-01-2006, 08:15 PM   #36
Matheron Thayer
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‘Thayer here. Good to reach you.’ Amazed to note a hint of annoyance in the other ones voice Sirana pricked up. ‘Everything alright, Commander?’

‘Sure.’ Just steered into a farkled dead end and hate every shikking way out, he thought; and glossed over the guilt and bother he felt, also in the face of his designated helper, with more vindictive grudge against Wu. Partly successful – as anger always worked better for him than crippling fear – his scowl brightened to a smirk. ‘Just read your message. I’m glad we see eye to eye. Actually thought about changing accomodations after what fuss they made. But why I call…’

‘Yes?’ Sirana featured the slight frown typical for him in sight of yet unclassified news. As usual he wasn’t even aware. Whereas most who didn’t know him perceived the expression as cold – unapproachable down to contemptuous – his casual smile, according, as scornful. Of course, such sensing was due to lacking self-confidence in a number of cases…

‘Unfortunately, after today’s transmission and the whole exitement snoops may follow me round. So every trifle will likely be observed, dissected and turned into politics… and the more secretive we move the more paranoiac they can get.’

Thayer scowled yet again; Meeting you is not meeting just anybody, he had been about to say, yet true though it was didn’t want to sound smarmy. Generally. As particularly not in the face of Sirana, who sure enough despised every bootlicking attempt at winning his favour. Having mulled things over before he knew his behaviour had something paradox – like too drokking often – yet fault confessed really only flared his temper…

Listen, bud, I’m up to kark on the whole flarg. We can’t show at a soldiers’ pub or they’ll call me seditious. I can’t get drunk, spiced or go shaking the jiffies. We could load every snarkin war holo we can get and get off on it back in this tunding hotel – for soon there’s gonna be war. In reality there’s this frackin' war all the frackin' time, just we’ll be right in again and this time I gotta do really every bishwagging flarg I kark on. But it’s senseless. I don’t know you guy, it doesn’t help and I can’t give my boys such a fracked up example.

‘Yet based on what you wrote I got an idea that might grant us at least a little peace from the holoshill…’ That at least helped. Back to vicious lucidity – over secured line Thayer sketched what he deemed suitable for the tycoon’s ears of what he had worked out. Side effects ignored – you always had them – with a hull-break grin thinking of how bugging newspeople would accidentally do groundwork. Just some derogatory reporting, some takes of the two of them out like pals on liberty. Peoples' imagination would do the rest. It served them right. All of them.

Sirana briefly was baffled – at both, what his fellow operative put forward, as well as spots of mordant sarcasm in his generally well thought out proposal. Stroking his clean-shaven jaw momentarily he pondered VonToma’s warning. But then – what could be more natural than being in a state at the prospect of newsfeeders bushwacking to pick at your recreational activities?

Thence also that first part. Why, of course, it was a little peculiar. Yet Thayer couldn’t have reckoned on his suggestion, and suits or cammie really weren’t first choice for summer in the city. And sneaking in like the grin lurking just beyond good sense came another realization…

‘Well then, we got to hurry.’


/ | \


Thus twenty minutes later they left. All in suits, all in one speeder. Just Hausmann had to hold his post back at the hotel – yet consoled himself rather well with the prospect of leisure time and the biggest supper on the menu. While four speederminutes northwards, at Mekin superstore, surprised customers made way for four authoritatively overdressed men that traversed the aisles in fast march, soon to take over menswear.

‘Damnit that stuff is small,’ Roth muttered from one of the cubicles; back in his own Sirana grinned, picturing his comrade’s plight: This was exactly the store Affoh for example would find no suiting piece – he’d best take along a card for the little troll. While real problems were dealed with in silence.

Next size. Frowning Thayer picked up the other pants, unfortunately as well made of accurst synthleather that apparently was all the rage in this summer’s so called leisurewear, and drew in what remains of a paunch had withstood every discipline so far as he pulled at the dark grey specimen of a shirt that had looked exactly his size. Back on the shelves that was. You had also not seen the fat yellow three-letter imprint in front, whatever it meant. Something about some sports team probably. Hopefully.

Anyhow, after some further discomfort with the topmost trouser button he was the last who still fiddled about; and no tickets yet for the holo. Drok it! He threw a last glance at the mirror, unamused, then stepped out to where the others waited – to find the change really hadn’t changed much: The store’s range limited, all of them evidently more at home with the darker colours the outfits looked strikingly consistent.

In fact, only the tops differed over identical brown, form-fitting trousers. And looking at the three muscular fellows – Sirana and Roth kidding around both in taut standard tee’s, just so covering the proud tattoos, Volk sleeveless, breaking off the examination of his flexed triceps to adjust the shades on his only just shaven skull – momentarily genial warmth softened his features.

‘Uniform again,’ grinning Sirana gave a shrug.

‘Really,’ Thayer smiled. Nearly hadn’t noticed how the bodyguards’ Persuaders lay provocatively bare upon the summery getup. Two minutes’ reflection had helped, he thought, as – his eyes caressing the familiar compactness of the powerful BlasTech holdouts – I wouldn’t mind some A295s. He glanced back at the Anaxsi who had followed his gaze, probably expecting him to raise an objection. ‘Let’s go.’

So that was how, though clothed original Bakuran, the foursome still turned heads. Especially Sirana. Even on the short way from menswear back to the checkout Thayer couldn’t help noticing how both sexes reacted to the tall Anaxsi; and after, eighty-five storeys higher at Mekin holo palace, a young blonde actually bumped into the person in front while she looked desirous of being the ticket machine under that male’s hands he shook his head with a smirk. ‘Seems our little manoeuvre was pretty futile.’

Sirana briefly turned his head. ‘Why? Do you think she’s a reporter?’

Thayer just grinned. I like your humor, he thought, and though walking around with you feels like passing through a stupid deo commercial. ‘Damned alpha!’

Roth fought to keep a straight face as his friend did a hilarious double take at the former head of the OPC. Teflon coated! It wasn’t often he saw Daiman dumbfounded. Conversely, it usually was him who rendered people speechless and Roth wouldn’t normally enjoy having it the other way around—just that remark was too fitting. Inwardly he chuckled away. Till, after four seconds lift to where their tickets directed them to, the repulsorlift’s doors slid aside, triggering his ingrained alertness.

Upper floor. A spacious, dark carpeted foyer. Ordinarily clothed individuals, predominantly middle-aged humans, thronged before snacks and drinks dispensers lined up along the wall to their right, between the gates to the holohalls one and two; Interrupted but in the middle by the way to both sexes’ lavatories. While opposite, to their left, a glass façade separated the room from an elongated terrace upon which many more, humans again.. two, three Kurtzen after all he could see, stood dispersed in little groups. Chatting, eating, fooling about… seemingly bridging the period of time to the next showing in a usual manner. Nothing conspicious so far – besides the lack of droids, that was but typical for this planet.

Roth relaxed. Somewhat. And noted his counterpart had come to a similar estimation – unless his surveillance of two girls leaning against the balustrade out in the violet sunset was based on more than their suspiciously short flimsy dresses. Well, at such prospects, he wouldn’t be a blue falcon. As Thayer’s voice penetrated their ongoing observation. ‘Can I bring you something?’

‘Wha.. er.. pardon me?’ Volk turned his head, relieved still confused to see his superior hint at the vending machines. ‘Why, that’s really not necessary, Commander, I was just about asking you,’ the Anaxsi replied. First. What had Volk look vaguely outraged. Thayer but grinned. ‘No titles tonight, and if possible no names. There’ll be enough calling of them by tomorrow.’

‘The most acceptable drink upon that,’ Sirana readily nodded, gazed after him, then broke formation to accompagny Thayer as he queued up for the agreed on – anything devoid of namana as was the new slogan. And noticed the minute limp in Thayer’s right leg again as he followed. Or maybe you would call a lack of synchronization rather what he had first discovered at double-quick pace down at the store.

Frowning over two pint pots of skoa – for lack of anything better – Sirana glanced at him skew from the side like. Whether it were his spoils of war? The ex-trooper wondered, yet knew better than asking right now. Too early. They barely knew each other. They’d had no beer. He knew what memories were stirred if wounds were caused by war, and how it mortified a warrior if they weren’t. It was too early.

Rejoining their mates, however, he’d made out what subliminally narked him since this last turn: the way the other was taking the initiave. It reminded him of himself; of how he occasionally buttered up business ‘partners’. Now, did that prove OPC man a blade – or himself the corrupt son of a murglak? Thayer’s bodyguard, anyhow, looked abashed as he received his drink from the elder.



And some meters away – leant on one of the foyer’s tall bistro tables, entrenched behind another of the red skoa pint pots – a sporty mid-thirty grinned. Sniper check, he thought, as steadily more the four of them reminded him of a covert strike team. Starting by how they moved, ending not with the two bodyguards’ alert all around glances. And how Sirana had silenced securities’ every half-hearted attempt at confiscating their escorts’ Persuaders so far was amazing.

‘And I say they’ll make it,’ he remarked yet again. Lowly. ‘A supper at Ro’s dive that they make it.’ His companion, just as athletic yet due to more than her gorgeous dark curls strikingly female, pushed over the crisps with a lopsided grin, ‘Rescue me some, that stuff is addictive.’ He feigned a frown. ‘Aha! And I got to carry the can. As usual.’ She rolled her eyes, well knowing he always was up for a ration bar. ‘You know, Ed…shut your gob and eat!’



Meantime the previous showing was through. A wide gate to their right spewed a number of youths while, minutes later, a reasonably cleaned holoC 2 was reopened and men streamed in to take their numbered seats. AHM, mainly, adult human males, as classified by the statistics on the basis of which the computerized booking system would compilate previews and commercials geared to the target group; Adding in the selected showing action holos, smokes, liquors and hoodia were to be expected. Weapons, too. Maybe. Depending on the planet’s government of the day. Depending on Captison.

Thayer frowned. He didn’t want to think on Captison and the laserbrains by now. Didn’t want to think on tomorrow. Or the day after tomorrow. Or the day after that. Of course, these coming ads would be prime time for recruitment, also. Though taking in the ordinarily down to paramilitary clothed individuals as they entered – soft faces with their softdrinks and crisps in hand – storage space for three cans of Westriver likely were the one lucid explanation for some of the evidently unfit characters’ full operational getup.

He gave an askance glance at Sirana. The ex-trooper sneered. And following his squinty gaze you came upon estimated 120 kilo in cammies and tactical vest that had done each commando proud. And the short boy’s weight wasn’t invested in muscle.

‘Yep, he’d take a while in the PT,’ Thayer commented lowly after – Volk left, Sirana right, Roth on the right wing – they had taken seat and their target shoved his volume through the actually conveniently laid out rows in front. ‘But those with the seemingly worst starting conditions times turn out highflyers.’ He paused, briefly, as the Anaxsi turned to face him, and his tone took on something defiant. ‘For they’ve really the heart to fight. And with just just a little trust and encouragement they’ll surmount every obstacle – on sheer willpower if all else fails.’

That was the evening’s second double take. You guy are really perplexing, Sirana thought, frowning at the worried look contrasting the other’s upbeat statement – as the commercials’ set in, as though to relieve him from the embarrassment of an answer he hadn’t currently ready. Thayer grimaced apologetically; leaning back in the comfy armchair his interlocutor but grinned. Now, we are uninterrupted, he thought, I should recall setting up this programme next I want a rest from an irritating customer.

And surprisingly fast, ten minutes later, the auditorium was taken over by aliens. Wrapped up in a threatening theme, assaulted by the rumble of starships inexorably blackening out the vaulted screen above, all around. Then the screams set it. And the detonations. And the rock and roll, orders yelled, grunts running, hit, gore and torn up to pieces.

Sirana took a sip of the unfortunately soft skoa. High speed, low drag, he thought, if only they’d sell beer with the carnage. While Thayer felt his splendid idea possibly turned out carbon flush.

SsiRaa

Pulled past. From in front of them to above.

Bakura strikes back

And some guys cheered behind, and some more joined in. He felt at home – and terribly out of place.

Last edited by Matheron Thayer : 01-04-2006 at 04:17 PM.
 

Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order
Old 01-01-2006, 10:55 PM   #37
Yuri Ninx
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Default Re: Bakura: Shadows of the New Order

"We have to go back," argued Riker. "You know the Captain's motto: 'Leave no man behind'."

This was the third time the crew of the Sophia were having this argument, and all three sides refused to give way. Riker insisted on turning the ship around and rescuing their ill-fated captain; Mandalin wanted them to flee the system and try to find new work. Drongo just wanted to blast something. He toyed with a knife, digging at blackened finger-nails.

"Actually, his motto is 'Leave no man who owes me money behind. If the frakker can't pay up, shoot him in the back'," Drongo said matter of factly.

Riker narrowed his eyes at the ewok. "You're not helping."

"I'm just sayin', that's not his motto."

"You all know that if it were you in his position, he wouldn't risk it," the bothan doctor stated.

Drongo and Riker looked at each other for a long moment and gave a mutual nod.

"Not me! I owe him credits," Mouse, the ship's frak-up of a kitchen droid, offered.

"How does a droid owe the captain credits?"

"He beat me in game of sabacc."

"Mouse," said Riker, "you do realize that he built you to lose at card games?"

"Not only that, he built me to like it, sir," Mouse cheerfully answered.

"I says we save him."

Mandalin rolled his eyes. "There will be enough people for you to shoot at the next spaceport."

"That's a given, sure enough," Drongo stated proudly. "But when the Captain escapes, and he will escape, he's gonna go spare when he finds out we didn't do anything to help him."

"But-"

"He'll go spare. And none of us wanna see that."

The bothan glared from Drongo to Riker, to the excuse for droid Mouse. Drongo had a furry hand on his blaster and Riker's strayed closely to his own. Mouse was bobbing his head like an idiot. He wasn't much of a fighter and it didn't take a genius to figure out his chances on taking on the two armed low-lifes.

The bothan bowed his head in defeat.

Frak.




Yuri woke up slowly with the sense of motion. His body was weak after that stun bolt, and it took him some time to make out the blurred image of a starship in view. At least, it looked liked a starship. Groggily, he shifted his head from one arm to the next where to armed - and rather large - thugs kept firm grips on his wrist.

"Wassa..." he started. His mouth still felt numb from the effects of the stunbolt.

One of the hulking figures looked at him. At least, Yuri thought he looked at him. "Huttspit's awake."

The other guard poked Yuri roughly, "You? You stay quiet, yeah? Or we're supposed to frak you up good, okay?"

Yuri blinked confusedly. He could see it was a starship, now. Where the frell were they taking him?

"Where..." Someone hit him and Yuri threw up onto the ground beneath him. One of the thugs hissed at the display, but neither had qualms with dragging the smuggler through his own spray. Yuri passed out, but for a moment he could certainly feel his jaw again.
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 2100 | Porn, Nuke & Assassination
Old 01-21-2006, 08:49 PM   #38
Matheron Thayer
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 2100 | Porn, Nuke & Assassination

Mekin Excess, Mekin 33-11-C

You looked up into Bakura’s starry sky. A clear, beautiful night. All tranquil.

Still something was wrong in how the wind whistled around the skyscraper’s railings. In the flap of clothing, a lone speeders’ overpowering drone below and how headlights severed the night beneath – a sinewy end-forty’s vantage point upon a half covered platform…

‘That’s frackin’ here!’ You heard crisps bags and drinks being dropped in a hall-wide murmur. Mekin Excess. In fact, the very building they sat in. Just the red neon sign hung darkened, as the entire structure – merely the two moons’ light allowed you to make out the deserted block jutting out of the capital’s blackened out skyline before, wraithlike, a female voice singled out of the wind’s desolate sigh.

We write the year eighteen after the Battle of Yavin. Bakura is besieged by the Ssi-Ruuk, a semi-extragalactic Empire from a nearby star cluster. The reptilian race powers its ships by extracting the life-energy of men—in a process called The Entechment...

‘Blast!’ it even came from his captain. She wettened her lips, and Lieutenant Carmody wisely yielded the plush when her hand slowly but inexorably conquered the saparating armrest. For real enough felt the threat; Too real in 180 degree projection that peculiarly turned your stomach with each chancy maneuvre and had you forget you sat safely; ensconced in the holohall’s dome-like screen, duped by the vibration going to your guts from subwoofers installed right under the comfy seats.

Of course, you still had the lines of spectators. Keeping your eyes trailed at them you could recall it was virtual, nothing but fracking holo, and yet it had your adrenaline rise: Impossible to ignore true-to-life bursts of blasts, wreckage soaring down or bolts mangling the pitiable fellow behind you. And especially if your brain was programmed with according reality.

So excitation burned its way: a conceivable war in which, after treachery, the Bakuran defense fleet was partly disabled, the Ssi-Ruuk thence came through, down to the surface to entech and devastate. A nice ploy to get the ground forces involved thus open up yet another group of very prospective purses. And the producer knew the needs: a desperate, yet clearly justified cause; Fight, daring and death in all their magic brutality. Provocative. Like the other exemplary genre, it got you in gear for the real thing. Just the trouble was –



/ | \


BSA headquarters, Caratras 27-55-C

It was late; shortly after 9 o’clock when ‘Mastertech’ Jay T. Karlioz left the wide, neonlit rectangular that served his daytime dungeon; office or primary administrative division respectively, yet the transition was fluid.

He yawned, looked over the columns of servers stacked in in their air-conditioned boxes, noticed the calming 36% humidity, 298.15° K on the wall display as his steps resounded along the underground corridor – yet in thoughts already passed the last control:

He would step out, momentarily feel like entering a steam bath, mount his 474 BarTech Telaan, accelerate and let series of performance tests, socketguard optimizations and nerv-racking DAU questions behind—to five minutes later sit back with a chilled Turbofizz at the roof terrace of Meagan’s Sunside. That’s why he was in a fairly good mood..

When from from the corner of his eye he noticed a flicker; A slight darkening in the neon tubes that made his mouth turn up in frustration. Why? Why exactly now when I am about to knock off? He halted his tracks. Suspicious turned round, scrutinized cube for cube out of narrowed eyes… one by one of the four 2x2m transpaplast boxes in which they sat, quietly buzzing.

Hypocritical like women. The chubby black-haired frowned, took some more steps back—as his brown eyes suddenly widened. Back for the control centre he ran.Yet, as expected, his comm beeped before even the biometrical scans back at his office door were concluded.

‘Jay! Good you’re still around,’ relief was audible in Banks’ voice, Karlioz’ mien though animatedly contested the statement. ‘What?’ he hissed at the lowly network-tech who had the audacity to abuse his entitlement for a direct call. ‘We’re having troubles up here,’ Vegen Banks superfluously began with exactly the line that, after eight years service under the planet’s most advanced computer center, affected the grand admin as favourably as laced testicles did a fully grown Acklar.

‘No! Really!’ Karlioz snorted. ‘Do you hear this?’ Rubbing his sweaty right thumb against the trouser after the scanner still refused his hectical authority, he extended the comm bearing left towards the last cube, the going up noise originating from which meantime outstripped the general buzz like a locked in turboprop.

‘Sure I do,’ Banks conceded. ‘But, listen, the terminals up here just froze. What is it?’

This is cluster D booting. 128 supplementary machines, 384 ball bearing fans speeding up to 4000 revolutions per minute, 195K processors, 1,4 Petaflops additional computing power the implementation of which was complemented only yesterday as a precautionary measure for the highly unlikely, practically inconceivable case of 4,2 thousand trillion floating-point operations per second being too little to…’

Seven floors higher the narrow-shouldered tech sought to stall two frenzied collegues next to his desk with apologetic grimaces as the mastertech’s soliloquy descended on them from high quality speakers. ‘His way to curse,’ Banks explained on the quiet, while back in his office Karlioz continued the discourse even as he lay down in the ergonomic lounger-monitor combination and called up the logs; His way to keep whom he deemed below his level of understanding from asking nerv-racking questions.

‘Aha!’ He snarled all of a sudden. ‘Terminals froze you say?’

‘Yes. A number of terminals on several floors just locked out their users for no apparent reason and all they get is this odd warning,’ he turned to where one of the incensed collegues rotated a flatscreen into his direction. ‘Terminal locked, it says, Do not interfere.’

‘An easy and clear instruction, isn’t it?’ Karlioz rejoined vitriolic. ‘I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about that.’ Or you may lose even more of your precious data is what I should have added, he thought. Just why must the most powerful machines always be operated by the dumbest assumable users?

‘Why, of course, Mister Karlioz but.. the collegues tell me they did nothing..’

‘Oh, naturally, they never do anything,’ Karlioz groused, and caught a glare from the smallest of the trio now beleaguering Banks’ workplace.

‘..and they would like to know...’

‘What the frak is happening down there?’ The little man, a wiry bald head named Maarkats, angrily blurted out.

‘That I should rather ask you,’ Karlioz bellowed back. Or whoever of you asses up there triggered the crap. ‘Here.’ He adjusted the goose-neck camera above and dragged the signal to their channel as he triggered the time-lapse review graph of the highlighted process: a silvery, three-dimensional cobweb; familiar projection of an initially fast, then steadily growing database, the inserted time below which gave away it had smoothly accumulated data the whole day long. Till 21:02:47. When it suddenly went up in a mushroom cloud.

‘Reference 300516-0942,’ the grand admin accusatory commented, ‘a data-gathering process; One or several of the algorythms assigned to which near simultaneously came upon an excessive amount of matching artefacts, setting off 405 trillion alerts within a timespan of 2,3 seconds. Due to which peak management was triggered,’ he gestured towards the server hall, the racket originating from which only gradually faded back to average noise, ‘a subroutine of which commands the level one terminals refuse data input.’

‘That is to say what? Listen, that box just aborted two surveillances,’stepping ahead Maarkats spat. I’m in no mood for guessing games.’

‘That is to say we were nuked,’ an authoritative voice maintained, split seconds before Nosul’s chiselled features appeared in an area vertically partitioned off from the mastertech’s transmission.

Nosul. Banks instinctively took a step backwards in face of the security slicer, as usually depicted in her fashionable, bright office—of which nobody knew for a certainty where it should be located; whether it, actually, existed. Similar rumours had grown up around her. Though in one room she definitely lived. Animatedly. From perfect toes up to the tip of every jetblack hair. That were, predominantly male, phantasies; as the nightmares of the selected few who hitherto had tripped up nasty enough to earn her direct, usually serious attention.

Karlioz recovered first. ‘Or somebody programmed a HSSJ,’ he snapped. What but just drew an impassive gaze from her who, in contrast to him, held the full –level 3b– authorization required to look into the files linked to the closed down process. ‘I verified whether said algorythms contain keywords in the fashion of Hoodia, Sex, Sex, Jiffies,’ she countered. ‘It is not the case.’



/ | \


New Republican governmental liaison office, Goren 21-5C-C

Ten past nine. Completely against his habits lieutenant Boniri still hung around in his office; cleared up, sorted old files, tended to left enquiries—and smoked. A lot. Transferred for disciplinary reasons the bull-necked blond was not normally the type to work overtime. But then, normally, there also was no work that called for even one hour overtime at the Bakuran New Republican military and governmental liaison office.

Just today everything was different.

Today, finally, after 3 years on this penal colony of an outpost, the shortcomings of which the cantankerous bearded missed no day to point out, Boniri scented a chance to earn his ticket back to the coreworlds. Accordingly jealous he prowled around the holo-transmitter; the whole day, since he had sent his report and a recording of today’s Sektor 242 Newsline interview to the Coruscanti Defense Force headquarters the early morning.

The minutes crept. He yawned, twirled the daunting walrus moustache he had grown out of utter frustration, stood up, stacked information from here to there – and back, lit one cigarette with the the stub of another, sat down, browsed the holonet, poured himself another cup of caffa and cursed as, looking across to the transmitter once more, he feared there might come no reaction at all. Though he so wished, yearned… was finally determined to do anything to be admitted back to his old post and rank, be transferred back to good Coruscant.

Away from this backspace planet. Away from this city the very conception of which had to enrage a freedom-loving man. Alright, with its four areas nicely ordered around what now served the Senate’s meeting place, at first Salis D’aar looked comparatively inconspicuous. If you took a glance at the mapmaking, however, or tried to find your way around the quarters pushily named after the old ruler’s four descendants you soon stumbled upon an especially insidious bit of cheek:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usInstead of laying down one single coordinate system and determining your sector reading the x and y corridor in the usual fashion Salis D’aar’s municipal authorities clung to an awkward, out-dated order that stated ‘the axis right facing Arden’ automatically became corridor x for the respective quarter. What not only resulted in cumbersome four separate coordinate systems in the place of an easy to read sole one – but also made sure you had to include the quarter, thus the descendants’ names, into your every destination and had to turn towards the old ruler whenever looking for some direction.

‘Or the left, with your arse at the autocrat,’ was his pugnacious retort and motto after the realization, much to his collegues’ amusement. Yet while they, obviously, could laugh about such things; even called him oversensitive for maintaining it stank of monarchy much like Palpatine’s megalomania and put forward that it was now the Senate’s seat all axes were oriented to Boniri would not succumb to their wretched indifference. He had eyes to see and some pride and lastly was thoroughly fed up with this world where they merrily named their hotels Imperial, for years put off proper affiliation with the New Republic—and got excited over a frakking deserter; formerly big shot though he was.

One reason more he could neither stand nor understand that Thayer. A man who threw away an excellent position back in the core, supposedly out of his own free will. He had to be either insane or an idiot; In sight of his derogatory talk about the New Republic—probably both. At any rate, his action was an insult to one who ardently wished to serve where he defected from.

Defection. What entirely suiting term. Significantly close to defective. Yes, that’s what you had to be to pull such crap. Though, looking at things the other way around, Boniri actually was grateful. If only…

When the terminal ultimately coughed up the much-longed-for response. ‘Ackbars Eyes!’ No official ever moved so fast. ‘Lieutenant Boniri, in response to your message of 160530, 0100CST. Lieutenant Boniri, We thank you for your report and commend your quick and attentive action….’ Utterly excited the muscular man put away his cigarette and stood to attention. Even though it was but a grizzled transmission, he followed with reverence – every word, as what was explained about another message enclosed – and brief though it lasted his attention had something solemn. Who of his superiors had seen it had not believed.

Having watched the second transmission, however, his bumpy features twisted into a glower. ‘Shik!’ He hissed, and it came from the bottom of his soul. ‘Frak, kid, I understand you well.’

For two minutes his heavy steps resounded through the office, then he sat back down with a wicked glint in blue eyes. Home was interested in his reaction, they said. Well, he was, too. But not inclined to wait. And while the direct shot such character deserved likely was detrimental, to the situation as his career, both would sure enough benefit from its social variety. And many earned good creds by such kinds of assassination.

He needed but few calls.
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 2130 | No more whaladonning for me!
Old 01-21-2006, 09:01 PM   #39
Matheron Thayer
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 2130 | No more whaladonning for me!

Mekin Excess, Mekin 33-11-C

The comm buzzed. Engrossed in a firefight it took Thayer a while to classify the weirdly misplaced vibrations. ‘Yes?’ Providentially another burst drowned his irritated whisper – and gave the slicer to understand he called at an inconvenient time. ‘Sorry, Sir. I hadn’t rung, just you said…’

‘What is it?’ Alerted by the words Volk turned to face him, ready to move; Thayer but waved him aside. ‘A message. From your son as it appears,’ Hausmann hesitated, then decided against details. If he doesn’t ask, he thought, there’s no need to tell I nearly deleted what came in as spam and crashed my Wildspace session. A little nervous though as nothing but violent background noise resulted from the other end the young slicer continued. ‘The file was corrupted, yet I could still extract audio. Transfer while we speak… complete.’

‘Confirmed,’ Thayer replied flatly.

/ | \

A long minute he stared at the comm; apprehensive at once after everything he had done to his son—or omitted. This message would differ, sharply, from the last – Gavin’s heartfelt postscript beneath the official invitation to Anaxes Citadel’s graduation day – that had carved itself into his memory after all faith Gavin had put in him. Undeservedly. For every hope he had not barely failed, but shattered. That’s how what should have been joy reverberated cold and admonishing meantime, and over all sounds of war.
Father. I know that you and Mother have been through a period of great difficulty, and that I bear the blame for the strife that has arisen between you. But I beg of you Father, if you could set aside the differences you have with Mom, and that for this one day we could once again be a family. I know you've looked long forward to this day, and I have as well. It would be my greatest honor to proudly serve at your side in defense of the Republic. I love and admire you so very much, Father, and ask that you make my hopes a reality. Please, Father.
He had promised, yet fled the core three days early; Never attented the commemoration ceremony, never even sent congratulations. In the sight of how Gavin loved the Republic, however, in between this letdown but paled. As did all clamour around him, captured in his son’s voice – strained and curt as he had rarely ever heard.
Father-

Take heed, for that was the last time I will use that term when referring to you. Many a Son of Corellia has lost his patriarch to warfare, disease, or the stars, but mine will be lost because I have disowned him, cheerfully and without regret.

When I was younger, you constantly told me that a man’s worth was measured in responsibility, intelligence, and most importantly, honor. It’s a pity that you took such words to be without meaning. Rest assured though, that I have taken these noble ideals to heart and they serve as my guiding principles.

Let me also speak of other noble ideals: liberty and freedom. Despite what you now think, as evidenced by your Sektor 242 Newsline interview, freedom is not some concept gone stale with age. On the contrary, liberty is something vibrant that many, including myself, gladly nourish, encourage, and protect, with our lives if need be. A life lived in freedom—freedom from fear, from want, to act according to one’s conscience, to voice one’s beliefs—is a right all beings must have, and I will do my utmost to make sure that this becomes fact.

There were times though, when I found myself baffled by your actions. I couldn’t understand why you chose to act as you did. I wanted to blame your injury, some delayed post-traumatic reaction caused by your wounds, but I’ve realized that this is not the case. You have been possessed by new desires and obsessions, choosing to abandon your family for the harlot that is the New Order. In making your decision, you’ve turned your back on that which is most precious in this universe: Love.

For that, I cannot, will not ever forgive you. Your sly and underhanded questioning of me during my time at Anaxes was contemptible enough, but your actions have hurt the most beautiful person that the stars have ever shone upon. I swear unto my dying breath that I will do everything in my power to ensure that you can never harm or hurt Mom again. Pray that we never cross paths again, old man.

Ensign G. V. Thayer
New Republic Defense Force
Gavin! Had he bitten back the tears in the beginning, almost fled to irritation at his parroting of Republican phrases—love, as what he said about Catharin, had eventually crashed his façade. He listened till the static stopped, then his right sunk down feebly.
Maybe you must lose everything before you wake up,’ Catharin’s whisper, choked with pain. ‘I am sorry, Math. I still love you. But I can’t live on that way…I filed the petition this morning.’
He kept his eyes closed, dropped the comm and buried his face in his hands.
Marram rustling, storm’s howl, forlorn seagulls’ cries over the breakers. Chilly spray left the taste of salt on her fragrant skin, let their heated up bodies shiver. Cold sand, everywhere. It hurt. Neither of them could have cared less. Too precious little time left. Every breath shared, every moment united – current, surge, all engulfing flood. Wave after wave. Catharin, love, you are me the ocean. Kiss, make my lips bleed, please, mark me yours. May Coruscant know that I love you.
Another last night; their terminal that close. Seized by indistinct fear he had buried his face in her hair and cried, and he did now. For love lost and false pride and every cursed time he had hurt them.

He had been possessed, Gavin was right.

Like the Daccian captain who had fallen slave to his monomaniacal hunt for the whaladon that cost him his leg; Consumed with a thirst for revenge that he had allowed to overtake all other concerns and desires. He should have studied the novel closer. Perhaps then he had been able to see—limping Math and the white terrorists. Though, likely not. He had been too blind, and deaf…

And now? What was his whaladon by now? The great, unsurpassable Empire? The betterment of this galaxy by sly manipulation of the latter? After he, obviously, did not even master his own life? O please! He had been able to move some men in the past, true—yet this had been for he had believed in his cause. Believed, if not in every word, then still in the reason for which he chose to speak and act in a certain way. That had been love.

For Corellia, his family, his comrades; all of his people in a way. He had been willing to die for them. And though not quite eager to, of course – only a fool were – it had been alright; he had risked if need be, and died with a smile.

And now? How did it feel now, the idea to walk out here and be shot? The idea to die, no matter how, in the awareness you had let down who you loved, for no justifiable reason?

The answer was fear. An icy, black void that no phrase of Imperial glory could fill. And no slogan of the O so fair Republic. Not anymore. Nothing, in the end… if not love, and the hope to live on in your loved ones’ memories. Good memories. That you would inspire somebody to live and lead an unforgettable life; true to love, faith and courage.

Nothing more could man wish for. Nothing else did he desire, at least, in face of the ultimate question. And despite all treacherous ambition, life used to be so. Perfect. Could still be, had he not proven such fragile soul; had not surrendered to fear and hate after the terror of triple zero.

That he had never torn them away from Corellia!

He knew that was the first time he gave Gavin reason to hate him. And his son had been right. Awfully right. From the beginning there had been no good in returning back to the cemetery of his trust: Coruscant. All its paralysing memories had yet nurtured his fear; rage and obsession. He was ashamed he felt that way even though only he had been harmed—not Cathy or Gavin, stars be thanked, when they came to rescue him of that pit of a hospital! All the more, however, he had thence needed to prove himself he was able to stay; face that city, the backflashs and always fear. Fear and fear he had tried to kill by drugs, all kinds of dissipation, as quite literally, in the hunt.

Project 4TTerror To The Terrorist—that been his babe in arms, and that soon was referred to as 5 or 7T off the record after he had proudly presented it to the security council; depending on whether you appreciatively added Thayer’s or put That Trigger-happy Tomfool’s in front. Anyway, that had been when Catharin finally found he conducted himself very unlike the man she had married; a genial guy, whom she used to understand. Gavin, too, might have disapproved, yet the boy was preoccupied redefining grit at Anaxes. Whilst he thought he showed strength. Well, yes, certainly he did—affable as a duracrete headstone.

And how he missed them now! Every sail, Cathy’s laughing attempt at fishing – though compassion kept her from killing the poor creature in the end; what likely was the sole cause he still lived – and Gavin on the fast lane on some hoverbike, producing way too much spray in his reckless maneuvres. He would always suspect his son did it on purpose, and probably he did—but, boy, what gave he now for a complete drenching!

Or their last trip to Redlakes with his father – Leonhard Raoul, truth-seeking defense lawyer – when the latter had introduced Gavin and him to a host of birds he obviously preferred over a few of the guests to one more of his mother’s numerous cocktail parties; and, for sure, Matheron understood him well, thinking back of some of the ladies and gents who so adored dancing to the tune of the Grande Dame she had fashioned herself to be as Baron Lavrenty Nicolaiev’s gracious daughter. Masques and not so godly comedia. And mercy him who dared alluding at the origin of the commerce magnate’s title! For whoever made the mistake of but insinuating lady Marissa Tatyana’s rise to the gentry could have been purchased by a robber baron had sorely outlived his good reputation.

Just Catharin had a penchant for truth, and puns, and she could not but burst into effervescent laughter as someone referred to grandpa Lavrenty as his judicial dad’s father-in-law. Also, typically, she would not beat around the bush when his mother inquired about the grounds of her amusement. So from thence at the latest every encounter was like running errands between their trenches. And these ladies shot live blasts, beware. Stars, he had hated it!

Now, if only he could be their errand boy once again; and his doting sonny’s bail bondsman. Hell, he had called nuts who had prophesied yet, really—he missed even the days another of his CorSec collegues would call to extort a small fortune over a new of Gavin’s traffic offences.

Yes, he definitely loved them; even if he had proven a sikh of a father, icy lover and degenerate son—in which the adjectives were interchangeable. He still adored Catharin, though he had done positively everything, without exception, to make her ban him from the sacraments; and that he had been mortified to see himself incapable of worshipping her as they had both enjoyed was no valid excuse. Possibly, if he had opened up, just a bit, had accepted her always extended hand, with her help he could have overcome trepidation.

Anyhow, this were loads of subjunctives—his insight came late. Too late, perhaps.

But while 60.000 lightyears had not sufficed to outdistance dread, and his turn for Imperial ideals looked even more like a shipwrecked man’s clutch for driftwood by now—his son’s plaint was a beacon: There was a shore! Still. After all. Ideals, love, family! You needed no Empire to find strength; only follow your heart, no matter what were the politics of the day. There, ultimately, were three sides to this story, and 48 was about old enough to pick his.

Weird and wonderful, amid mangled limbs, anguish and gore it was the first time he felt joy in a long, long while. Dazzling, like sun glistens upon crests, it came through and returned buoyant trust—you can reach everything! Everything your heart truly is set for!

As he had made out the smoothest possible takeover to be the least adverse option for Bakura, however, he would first have to do everything within his power to make sure that it happened. It would take hell of a lot of intelligence, even more Corellian overdriving—was but clearly the straits he needed to pass on his last journey. Home. Back to his true heart and peace of mind. End the odyssey. Beseech Catharin for forgiveness; woo her, marry her so she consent, and be close for rest of our lives that no whaladon fits in between us!

What goal! Gavin! For that blow I could polish the Republic’s emblem on your fighter. You know what? I will! Just ever stay true to your heart. And stay alive, boy, please. Frell, I need to get a message throught to you…



Credits to Gavin & Catharin Thayer, Clarence Darrow, Anthony Swofford, Herman Melville & Homer
 

Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 2230 | Corellian!
Old 02-08-2006, 07:50 PM   #40
Matheron Thayer
Mother of Soldiers
I must go to the war, darling, they won’t start without me.
 
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Default Natunda, 30th of Nelona, 2230 | Corellian!

Forntarch or Dewback

‘Yaaaa, kill them barves! Die you sikh sons of Murglaks!’ With the mothership’s detonantion shouted approval drowned the withdrawing Y-wings’ roar of engines. Some final big talk and a double Navanna on the protagonists’ way home – planet Bakura – where the dark-skinned with the flappy ears was welcomed by shouts and cheers and his gorgeous wife. Thus the music came in, final credits exhorting and proud.

Thayer could not but grin. With the lights gradually going on, dimly illuminating the way out whereon the stirred crowd already pressed towards the exit, he turned towards the Anaxsi—to meet the other’s searching glance. Ack! But, sure, he had just kept himself pretty Unimperial; undoubtedly had flustered the poor Volk, too. Now it was tacking, ‘And, how did you like?’

Sirana scrutinized him for an unsettling moment. ‘All right,’ he eventually responded, and suggestively after another tick, ‘Entertaining.’

Staggered, Thayer tensed. Nascent rage erased the smile and lend narrowed grey eyes something violent—that blowed over as it had appeared. Oops! Following one of the holo’s funnier moments he thought, and what gauche look ensued, in fact, resembled the male lead’s after he spontaneously had bumped the decisive piece of captured alien tech into the hangar’s back wall. Some jerk put this… Well, anyway, this was reverse—straight back into the very blind alley he came from. What do you say we try that again? He grinned. Yes, yes. Yes. Without the ‘oops’. Thataway. And to Sirana’s growing mystification passed over the slight, ‘Really, I like how the script openened a gap for the troops.’

The industrialist hesitated. ‘Yet the choice of weapons was miserable,’ he then countered, and stood. Heh! The Corellian followed suit. ‘See, that’s why I asked you here,’ meaningfully he opened and, sure he had Sirana’s attention, included the gradually clearing auditorium in a sweeping wave of his left. ‘These men lack appropriate armament.’ He made it sound world-shattering and, turning back at him, let bared palms underscore the look of despair, ‘It moves me to tears!’

Somebody chuckled. The flabby big boy in camou looked up bewildered as he left his seats two rows below. The steep line between Sirana’s brows deepened—a grin yet ultimately ruined his chilly expression; when Thayer, conversely, followed up suddenly grave. ‘No, seriously,’ his solemn face dismissed the prank. ‘Some deserve we recall them. For ever.’

What the…? In a blink the sceptical frown was back, and deep on the Anaxsi’s forehead. Is that how you lead the OPC? Playing theatre? Confound you, Thayer! First I think you’re prof, and pretty tough, actually, when you dress down those swells, then you howl your head off that I see all cracked-up muzzlesuckers who ever screamed the slag to my position—and tell me… you grieved for your buddies? Sorry, but that’s just… Corellian!

Alarmed and annoyed, amused and affected all at the same time, Sirana stood baffled. And while practised poise loyally masked it, inwardly he grimaced at the man whose formulation had conjured up the laughing face of Irrina.

Great! Now I can trust you with my mind at rest! Blistering he thought as the redhead teasingly stretched out in his reflections. Deserved, anyway, sounded sarcastically out of place in the sight of her who had helped cementing his life-prolonging habit to screen people—before tieing his fate to one who could drag him into the Sarlacc.

Just here, in this particular, drokking case, VonToma had already done that; put him into a fusion sub with Thayer whose behaviour meantime seemed fairly obscure. Shavit! He would shine a hull with that rear echelon mother frakker if his double agent snapped down here or tried to screw him!

He allowed himself a glower the moment he turned to follow Roth out of the rows of seats.

But no, naturally he would not, disillusioned he owned up. He would be in trouble down here when his comrade had the Cyanogen diffuse through the ventilation; while ISB buddy was far away and safely out of reach—despite all influence and ressources. That was how such tales went, he knew it too well.

And that was where Irrina unmercifully pointed a slender finger…

For after pictorial correlations between incongruous emotional outbursts and friendly fire had shouted for an immediate check on his neighbour – better trouble now, while you knew he was unarmed, than big trouble at some unforeseen point in the future – he had realized how reluctant he was to even affront him. And just now, after that bit of half-arsed testing after which he could still not make Forntarch or Dewback of Thayer, the other, out of the blue, looked more relaxed again than he himself felt.

Magic! Inspire me, freak me out, drive me livid and grin. So typical! incensed Sirana thought, whilst Volk in their backs persuaded two pushing young men into a tactical, and grumbling, detour. Indeed, you could love or hate the Corellians, just never ignore them! Wrong! Love and hate, that was how the saying should go; and never forget for Daiman Sirana. Frak!

Frakety, frak, frak! Following today’s news tabloid’s silliest joke it shot through his mind while he tried a mental stunt over her diverting image. Pure magic! Under the dim red light shining up from the at ankle height set in illuminated panels he scowled at the man in his back. Thanks, Commander! Sidetracked like this, for sure, trouble had already started…

| | |

Noticing Roth’s inquiring glance as he stepped out on the secured side-aisle he dismissed him with a terse roll of eyes, so his friend knew: Situation normal, all frakked up. We gonna talk later. Bartek flashed a confirmatory grin, and went back to the glowering occupation he was enjoying a little too much: Too busy putting off belligerent fellow patrons he did not notice the two faces he had seen earlier on today. Back at their hotel. Anyhow, one of both was still distorted with pain from the cautioning nudge its pert owner had received two minutes prior.

Not that even her pointed elbow could place the prod well enough to silence this son of an amucking protocol droid. For long. ‘Heed my words,’ quietly Carmody pestered on while rubbing his aching side, ‘it is a sign. He just gave us a teflon-coated signal! That man’s here tonight for a reason, and I’ll see you in hell if it doesn’t smell like a high speed-low drag drokked fly change in our weapon systems.’

If looks could carbonite tongues. ‘Your father!’ she hissed, effectively shortening what had become a prominent line in his vicinity. ‘Yea, I know—he’s a rolling clone,’ Carmody met her nauseatingly cheery and quickened his steps down the side aisle to catch up with the remarkable cavity cleared by two armed and obviously skilled bodies. ‘However, I wanna know what they’re talking.’


Visionary

‘So, back to business—and how this holo may interest you beyond its recreational value,’ Thayer sounded the reveille after a minute of awkward silence that had allowed him devise a starting point to what he had missed the entire afternoon. ‘It is, really, precisely for what you disliked. And though you’re self-evidently aware, allow me emphasize what opportunities lie in exactly the most underestimated sectors.’

The Corellian paused marshalling his arguments whilst, in effect, the magical word had helped Sirana accomplish the feat: across Irrina, and over to receive he switched—right in time for the latest ambiguity. The resulting grin indication enough for Thayer to continue.

‘Light entertainment holos but one, yet a high potential one,’ he extemporized, and working in what accidentally he recalled from today’s trid. ‘What we can see, as but one amongst many examples, in that one singular box-office hit into that direction sufficed for the Bakuran National Ballet to first accept more male than female dancers by last year.’

And? Sirana gave him a doubting look whilst they made only minimal headway through the jam-full passage towards the foyer. I don’t plan on investing in tutus. Thayer but carried on undeterred, ‘And inspiring a young man to dance is a whole lot more difficult than filling him with enthusiasm over the art of war. Or all affiliated, state of the art equipment.’

‘Taking a poll, right now after this holo, eight of ten men would list the utensils brandished by their victorious home military as their favoured equip. Immaterial to the majority how efficient these… tools really are, lacking differing information they would go for the most motivating; some even against better judgement.’ Pausing, Thayer grinned at the thought of Ramiries, who had steadfastly kept the overhauled rifle of his father, for years; and was infamous for deadening all digs in memorably nasty ways. ‘At any rate, to witness your favoured party overcome superiour alien tech with a certain type of equip, or conviction, is some serious motivation.’

Apparently blessed with his own share of analogous experiences the tycoon nodded his grinning consent, thus levelled the field for Thayer to link up. ‘So that is why Can Ruin, who is the producer of this as many more also interstellarly popular holos, had better placed an extensive order with you to begin with.’

Ah! First cause for the head of SiranAxum to arch an interested brow; and the Corellian to breathe an inward sigh of relief after what he had thrown together of the final credits as his past days’ rove through Bakuran culture.

‘And while some may spurn him and sneer they don’t sell retail, I think they waive a profitable advertising campaign,’ ad lib he spun on. ‘For even if you had to adjust your price a little to make the appropriate affordable, or found yourself as charitable as to increase the deserving artist’s budget by, say, a few… samples of your company’s finest achievements—the outlay will pay twofold.

Once as the natural sales increase, as a means to which you write-off all invested as business expenses, anyway. Twice, and regarding seminal authority this is priceless, in form of creative influence you may exercise as the generous patron—ever modest in the producer’s shadows, naturally.’ He faced the industrialist with a passionate beam, ‘Imagine, you shape the future!’

Sirana nodded reflectively. Well, allright, it were but holos: High investment, dubious yield. Whereat, that was how consultants had waived his remotely related idea. Recalling it knit his brow. Why, of course, they had difficulties charge what you did not glean from their datapads. That was why they feared it like the mynock the fuel-stop if you started thinking for yourself; and still never showed even half the commitment you wished for. That brotherhood! Too busy upholding their conspiracy of demanding minor moons—for less than what Thayer poured out in between crying and inciting a planet! As, in fact, he joined well-known points to compelling patterns…

‘Interesting,’ white teeth briefly flashed under the muted red light and, albeit terse, it was a complimentary first statement from a man who reacted habitually reserved about unbidden advice. Though the Corellian had hoped for more. ‘Also how Ruin’s Senator, in a setting but two years from now, is an ex-pilot devoid of any visible female characteristics strikes me eerily prophetic,’ dogged, he hid disenchantment under a lopsided grin and tried on a faintly different tack.

Speaking of—he himself would best check in how far people like Ruin would like to chip in. Yes, that was it! The Empire had inspired a quantity of forceful, mind-blowing works—he needed the same, slightly different… for the New Order. For Bakura! Fervour. Fixation. Mania! One big, staggering show that had you forge the bars to your prison cell, cheering. Really, that was his only chance to sway a world in drokking fifteen weeks. Fourteen and a half, respectively. Whether Sirana was interested in arts? Anyhow, it always helped to talk with some sensible body. Gave you ideas.

‘Indeed, the man must be a visionary. Or maybe he has according information,’ Sirana smirked, while under diffuse lighting Thayer’s puzzlement went unnoticed. ‘At any rate, it is true, we just enjoyed two hours of junktech plug, what is an intolerable state of affairs, really,’ the industrialist’s smile took on a devious note. ‘Also from purely moral point of view; should but every dad know how irresponsible it is to allow his boy being sent out with an LJ-90.’

Flustered, Thayer gave him a double take, yet swiftly attuned, ‘Granted. But then, you couldn’t have filled two hours with the superior accuracy and reliablity of tried and tested E-11s.’ The Lord of War grinned, also at the political statement implied in the applicable account of the standard Imperial blaster, ‘Not that you’d encourage anyone to re-equip.’

‘I?’ Thayer feigned innocence, what resulted in an all but malicious contrast, ‘Why, no, any superior weapon will do. I’m just looking after the interests of humanity—in these times that big scaly fiends admit their purpose that bluntly.’ He alluded to the scene in which the captured SiiRuuk – against all wisdom – had hissed he had come to entech or kill his goalers, and scored a chuckle; as abruptly the Anaxsi became serious again, ‘Certainly, things were much easier if everyone made such a clear bid.’

A-ha! Still curious. Inwardly Thayer sighed. Sure, I’d love telling you about my family, that I finally saw some sense, will really just clear up here then be gone. Yet I have the odd feeling you wouldn’t want to hear. So, why do you dude not just trust me? It’d be safer for all of us.

Anxiously his thumb brushed against the unassuming silver ring that, all at once, meant so much more again than a handy excuse to possible bothering females. Not that he had needed it much these past three years. Not that any had made a move to molest him, unless he had paid them for. Perhaps he had really just needed this excuse… as an excuse to keep one last bit of Catharin, though he had thrown her away. And perhaps… he were better alert while Sirana was watching him.

Pensive just now, out of the blue Thayer returned the tall industrialist’s gaze and examined him likewise. A clear bid? Yes, good idea. How about you tell me whether you already know about mission Bakura, are here for this reason, or even work on it? And if so, who informed you—for if it were whom I may not mention he had certainly shared me that vital bit of information, had he not? He grimaced, and someway tried to console himself as well when sardonically he countered, ‘Mind your wishes. You don’t look me a man who desires a cushy life.’

‘Right again.’ His tone though betrayed he would not mind a few things going a tad bit smoother. Such as right now; also in view of the tailback that, irritatingly, detained them in here for already much longer than lucid. ‘What, besides, is their problem?’ Sirana growled, and craned his neck. While Thayer was positive he knew. As more than sheer civility had induced him to volunteer as their waiter two hours ago…

In fact, after Sirana had foiled his opportunity to utilize his unaltered credstick down at the ticket vending, he had needed to make up to still spread electronical breadcrumbs. Now, immobile as they had remained, the trail had been followed. And he was nervous. His mouth parched as Tattooine plains, brains just as void. Irksome heat, heartbeat and irreverent call of nature not even to mention. Frak! Could people not loiter some more there in front? But then, he would make a mess in these pants.

So it really did not take much to appear authentically disgruntled when Sirana announced, ‘Newspeople.’ And the way the Anaxsi’s tone of voice sloped at the end of the word told Thayer everything he needed to know, before the other even turned back at him. Well, sorry, consorting with cark you catch bludflies, he gave a small grin, and instantly felt a little better. Yes, father was very right: the power to laugh was an ally, and procrastinating you only prolonged fears.

We have a drokking good aim now, haven’t we? Yeah, the most desirable of all! So it is sure worth to negotiate some obstacles to reach it? All! So we better went out there like the son of a fly defense lawyer and saw to getting some messages across? Yes, to all parties. Hooah!

‘All right, no problem,’ he met Sirana with a confident grin, ‘I’ll see to cutting that short.’


Kick-off

‘Mister Thayer, mister Thayer..,’ there was lightning when cameramen aligned the glare of publicity. Swiftly the noose tightened on them and, their lenses set, the hunters proved precious little impressed by Volk’s and Roth’s visible persuaders. Quite the reverse; As before you could say SiranAxum the four of them stood surrounded, blinded by dazzling spotlights under a rapid fire of queries.

Uh. Surveying the scene from back out of the passage, captain Alastair’s face mirrored about Sirana’s displeased expression. Now, I'd like to see how he reacts. When, as though on her command, Thayer took another step forward. ‘Everybody just one question!’ accentuated by a dismissive wave of hand his voice rang out above the mess; In which he did not possibly raise it to shout but simply spoke aloud. And authoritatively enough to plunge the gathered envoys of – counting emblems – three channels into a hectical search for the one and only, most important of all enquiries.

The dark-haired’s face twisted appreciatively. Tactical, she thought, would the regulation but render it impossible for the assembled holoshill to cross-examine or corner him with some aforehand prepared sequence of catchy questions. Still, more momentuous would be the answers. And finally having ordered Carmody to keep his trap, or at least for a moment, she watched excitedly as the man from 28/5 first raised a hand.

‘Yes,’ Thayer bade him come forward with an expression somewhere between smirk and gravity. The other, a bony long type in a bad-fitting beige suit, advanced and edgily cleared his throat as he took a last glimpse at his datapad.

‘Mister Thayer, you suggest extended liberties for the military and watch violence-glorifying pieces like Siiraa in your spare time. Don’t you think that shows a disturbing favouritism for the martial?’ He adjusted his mic, while Thayer visibly knit his brow, ‘Thank you, mister..?’

‘Blooc,’ surprised the journalist answered.

‘Now, mister Blooc, there always are many names for the same facts. We call them opinions. And they usually reveal more about ourselves than actual reality. So, while it is your right to wish for less carnage shown in the holos, I like it in there—and will do what I can that it stays bloody fiction.

Therefore it is essential we recognize possible dangers, strengthen ourselves against them and return, where we erred, to the right path. As shutting our… eyes to a problem only renders us blind… and the longer we do that, the more painful the wake. So well.. after, unfortunately, Bakura is situated in the catchment area of the SiiRuuk, who are not inclined to negotiate, and is currently not affiliated to any helpful allies—all facts so far—this beautiful world needs to stand very strong; able to put up a serious fight, and undeniably so to even this fearsome foe. For this is the only truth that makes a conquerer leave you in peace.’

For a moment there was silence. Then somebody started clapping, another fell in, and one… till the majority of bystanders joined in a measured applause. Next to the drinks dispenser whereto they had advanced in the meantime, captain Alastair glared at her subordinate, who but returned her look as if Westriver would not empty in his vicinity. ‘What? I didn’t say a word.’

While in the clearing the FSD representative, as per usual, concentrated on people-related questions, ‘You obviously enjoy the company of one of the most powerful industrialists galaxywide. Mister Thayer, wherefrom do you know Mister Sirana?’

Arching his brow the interviewed exchanged a glance with the Anaxsi. ‘He’s my brother,’ shockingly to Sirana he then opened. ‘As is basically every man who served and made first hand experience of the terrors of war. Though there, absolutely, are civilians, too, who I… revere,’ his left clasped over the right, disclosing a silvery reflection. ‘For their heart. For they have the courage to stand up for their beliefs—what can be just as testing in social as in martial situations.’

Carmody was about to start clapping again, but gave in when his captain fixed him in a vicious stare; instead resorted to whisper, ‘See! They’d both drink with any of us, and we’ll get the new SA-217, slagproof armour plating…’

‘And sit here waiting for an enemy that doesn’t attack for we’re just too teflon-coated,’ tetchy Alastair brought his eulogy to an end. ‘Now shut frakking up or I’ll return you barrackwards in a tin labelled lavaserf for three weeks.’

Carmody opened his mouth… and closed it. Also in sight of the next questioner whose presence really was like a chance on promotion to the National league: Cirrian Karranden, one of B24’s most popular newsfeeders—you had seen her only this morning in interview with the top brass of the Bakuran Senate.

And now she was here. Live. Deeper than trid. The familiar, qualified smile on her lips that distinguished her as a representative of Bakura’s most respected channel. A murmur went through the crowd as the slim blonde stepped ahead with two men expert entourage. Looking around—she was the last; the one to ask the third and preliminary final question, and as she moved into position before Thayer people watched full of suspense.

That’s the decider. Carmody chewed on his lower lip, observed mesmerized while she devoted time to instructing her cameraman, repositioned her microphone… When suddenly his eyes opened wide. But of course! That was why he wore this jersey, exactly.

BSA—Go yellow and dark grey!
Go hard and fast. You go, we gonna stay!


Evidently, tribute to the Baar Shocking Acklars—personal favourites for the coming championships, oft accused of martial attacks, hated, damned, idolized their motto. Shocksign! A confident smirk settled on his features; till she attacked.

‘Interesting you mention that about now, Mister Thayer. How do you feel about your son just having disowned you in a message that under the kinky title, I quote: Attn: Math Ronthaeyr-Buy Hoodia from G.V. cheep! was distributed to every open port in this sector – and what is your statement in regard to him accusing you of cooperating with the New Order?’

All looked at Thayer. Who rather looked like a shocked acklar at this point, whilst the holocam’s intensified beam revealed a close-up. Face-off. Really. Trounced in the prelim. Carmody grimaced; when the tackled eventually found his tongue again.

‘That were two questions.’ His answer so factually dry it raised chuckles. ‘Yet though I prefer conversing with people of at least the tact of an R2 unit…’ The foyer fell very quiet as he gazed her fixedly in the eyes. ‘I will keep my part of the promise.’ Thus turned to face the cam with a serious, though no longer frosty expression. ‘I feel… that was pretty Corellian.’
 
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