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Author Topic: Mirror Empire  (Read 8601 times)
Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« on: July 07, 2018, 10:49:47 PM »

This is a thread just to explore some ideas, place, characters and concepts we can’t usually due to restrictions of ‘Canon’.  There’s no real story line per se just exploration when you get an idea or want to do something really different and don’t want to try and fit it into your own continuity so will only be posted to intermittently as I - or ANYONE who wants to contribute has a cool idea, just put it up!

 Of course still need some foundation to build upon so the first two posts here establish that. 
 
Thanks to Dutchman for the Contribution and Idea to make it its own thread!

MIRROR EMPIRE
Coughing he struggled through the ducts, muscles sore not just from the fight but also internal burns from Sidious lighting.

He had failed again…and as he sensed ever more Jedi fall…this time…there was nowhere to run to…he could only hope Obi-Wan had succeeded.

His foot clawed at the cold durasteel vent, pushing the grate out into the alley.

Pausing he took a deep breath, trying to flow healing into his aching body, the damage to his heart still compounding, it would be long before he could even begin to heal these wounds.

Darting back on painful legs he hid behind a pile of rotten papers…he sensed…something old…familiar…this was what happened with force exhaustion, memory became dilute, one began to sense old shadows – and with Sidious ascendant it was no wonder one of the darkest returned to him in his confused state.

Cautiously he moved to the end of the alley as the sun rose – a figure stepped into the light casting a deep shadow, it was joined by two more as he once again leapt to the side.

Old papers crackled behind him as more approached from behind. He didn’t sense any threat only…no it couldn’t be….

The first figure stepped forward face resolving in reflected light….it couldn’t be…it wasn’t…

“Remember me greenie?”

<<<<>>>>

“Ahhh….” He settled back into his chair,

“Guards…” he called still on a high from defeating the Jedi Grand Master…perhaps not fatally but no matter, there was time.

No one approached as he looked around the Grand Convocation Chamber.

“Guards!” he enhanced his voice with the force.

Now someone appeared…now lots of someone’s appeared – in various pods around the cavernous room black figures stepped out, 5, 10, 50…

Behind him were three more stepping through the main corridor toward the central dais…without any effort they leapt up to the small balcony around his station.

He sensed little to nothing…before they struck.

His blade instantly met the Dark sword that struck toward him.  Two of the three instantly in his guard he pulled the darkside back into him to enhance his speed to meet theirs.

“FOOLS” he hissed, did they think the spar with Yoda had weakened him, his injuries from Windu slowed him!

With aggressive and lethal flurries he batted back their impressively precise strikes, but found no opportunities – they fought with extreme co-ordination, whenever he saw an opening the other stepped in to force him away.  But it was the third who stood motionless watching that concerned him. 

They were not his match, but they had numbers…where were the guards! 

Air brightened once more as he poured lighting on one of them and dislodged the pods the others were in with crushing grips of the force, filling the space around with a dark miasma to drain their very life force.

Yet this last had no effect…as he tried to consume them…their armour ate at his attack.  The attacked on the left bucked under his barrage of energy, on the right he now had the advantage twisting into his guard, crimson scraping black in violent sparks till he found purchase in the joint beneath the shoulder. 

As he pushed toward the heart his sabre was nearly rugged from his hand – teleportation!  He deflected the assault…but there it was again…the sabre flickered in unreality briefly enough for his victim to escape.

Now the third moved in.  With practised co-ordination the first two were pulled by the force away from the battle by their fellows.  He was left facing this one alone.

“Now…you will learn the true power of the DARK…”

His throat stopped as he felt the wet beneath his robe…the teleportation…it hadn’t been trying to pull something out of his hand alone…it had put something sharp INTO his body. 

The warrior advanced in the microsecond of realisation as behind the first two were healed with red shatter-point flows.  This one was not playing, fast, accurate, everything Sidious had was poured into firming his bones against the shockwave every single clash of blade produced as he tried to excise the slippery glass dagger from the space between heart and lungs where it simply sat, silently slicing as his body vibrated.

His lighting met an open hand that caught it, swirled it about and fired it back setting his cloak alight.  Now the others joined, the cowards – how he envied them! Every technique he used one or more countered, he became claustrophobic under their barrage.  They were playing safe…two or three would’ve been enough but they were taking no chances.

A downward thrust was his last effort, the body he aimed for simply vanished as the blade plunged from his lower vertebrae up and out of his sternum.  A hand clamped on his head as blue fire filled his vision.

<<<<>>>>

“You're with him. You've betrayed me! You brought him here to kill me!!” He screamed across the roar of the magma flow
“No Anakin, I swear…” Padme pleaded, she was lying…it was a trick – before he knew it his hand was grasping at her throat.

“Let her go, Anakin!” The traitor yelled

“What have you and she been up to?” were they having an affair…under his nose all this time!  Was the baby even his!

“Boys!” a force enhanced voice boomed across the platform.

“Let’s calm this down….”

Anakin snapped his head round to see six figures approaching clad in armour black as the volcanic sands. 

“WHO ARE YOU!” he screeched as Obi-Wan cautiously approached Padme checking she was alright,

“Go back into the ship, this isn’t safe,” she nodded hand holding her throat.

Anakin gripped his sabre

“Don’t do anything you’ll regret later…” the closest figure held his hands up, on his back a massive blade and terrifying rifle.

“The Emperor sent us to assist Lord Vader, we are the new Praetorian Guard,”

Anakin sensed no deception, and was too enraged to see clearly – Obi-Wan with a master calm felt sick at their mere presence.

“Anakin…these…Sentients…cannot be trusted…”

“And you can TRAITOR”

“You say you’re sent by the Emperor…take him!”

Before the last syllable had left Anakin’s lips they…moved was an inadequate description – air boomed out and hands gripped him…he pushed out with the force but it vanished into darkness as his sabre appeared in the speaking ones hand while Obi-Wans face was pressed to the ground.

Anakin didn’t know whether to be elated or terrified as they clamped…something onto Obi-Wans throat that deadened the force around him.  Out of nowhere a bolt hit Padme’s ship, blue arcs trailed across it

“WHAT…”

“Nothing to worry about Lord Vader…just making sure she doesn’t abscond with your child…we’ll take the Jedi away…” behind them a black ship hovered down, eerily silent for something its size.

“I’m sure you sense your wife’s time is near….we have birthing facilities on board.”

Anakin had all but forgotten…he reached out past the empty spaces of the Praetorians to sense he approaching birth.

“Yes…of course…see to it…”

“As you wish Lord…do you wish to depart on your own ship?” the hatch opened on the black vessel and a small squad of Clones exited

“I….” his head was spinning as he watched Obi-Wan dragged away

“I will remain here for a moment then leave…make sure he doesn’t escape.”

“As you wish Lord.”

<<<<>>>>

The Chancellors office was both full and empty…the key Senators, Admirals, Administrators and Generals slowly nodding as the Emperor issued his instructions, their minds open, and thoughts blank.

“And the final item on the Act of Establishment and Transition…” he gestured to his side with a fatherly smile that the holo-new cameras didn’t fail to capture

“Is to secure the future by nominating my niece the Lady Mira as my successor.”

The media and dignitaries applauded as the young woman gently bowed with a flash of a divine smile.  So natural amongst the accolades it almost seemed organic one cheered “Long Live the Emperor!”.

After they had all left the true rulers of the new Galactic Empire entered.  The vote had been narrow, but once agreed all had committed and acted swiftly. 

“No one asked about the miraculous recovery…” The future Grand Admiral noted to the perfectly serene undamaged face of the Emperor.

“They will assume it was expensive and rapid cosmetic surgery…” replied the future head of Imperial Administration, the appointments would be spaced over the next few months, but soon enough they would have the Government and military under their control.

The Emperor merely sat and smiled at the interplay, content with his status as he had be programmed for – the clone was rapidly done, even now other teams were hacking into biometric security systems to re-write the signatures where there were small variations from Sidious himself - it would only last 7-8 years, but that was more than enough to build Mira public profile.  It was a shame they had to incinerate Sidious brain…but he was simply too dangerous to leave alive a second longer than necessary to try any aetheric tricks.

“Confirmed we have Skywalker, Amidala and his children…en-route…they took Obi-Wan as well.” Future head of intelligence noted twirling her long hair, as darker shade of red than average.
“They’ll make an excellent public figures once Skywalker calms down…”

“Exactly…keep them in the public eye…the twins can represent a new dawn and stuff like that…but when do we get to party?” Future Head of Communications (one might unkindly call it propaganda) clapped lounging about poking at Sidious queer statues and art works.

“We should do something big and public and soon…” she went on a sudden crack sounding as she smashed one statue to find the holocron Sidious had hidden inside it.
“Within a fortnight before the momentum dies…”

The True Empress who had remained silent thus far finally spoke
“Go ahead…make sure Mira is front and centre…”
“well duhhh…” she replied dancing about

“What of Order 66, should we suspend?”

“Offer an amnesty…offer sex, credits and luxury for retirement – most will accept it…let those who wish vanish…soon enough they’ll realise they have no enemy to fight anymore…” she glanced back toward the datapads and drives file with the first plans for the Galactic Empires organisation…

She glanced out at the Coruscant skyline, Star Destroyers coming and going she wondered if they had made the right choice…intervening so swiftly…she was confident thy could gather popular support quickly with their policies, a shakeup of administration and a more efficient Military machine...still as benevolent as they were there would always be some resistance…..

<<<<>>>>
Logged

Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 10:53:07 PM »

Dispatches from the Benevolent Empire

“The Galaxy is ours,” Aristocra Nuruodo smiled across the room.

“The Galaxy is theirs…” Syndic Csapla snidely remarked

“So cynical…” he noted sitting down at the head of the table, before the highest ranking members of the Ascendancies Ruling Houses and CEDF, all reviewing the briefings they had been given by their allies, now ‘Emperors’ of the former Republic.

“This investment…is significant…” Noted Vice Admiral Tla, a Trial Born Adoptee of the larger House of Nuruodo
“And the rewards are far larger…the time for discretion is past, already the Republic was encroaching on our borders…now we have a chance to engage on our terms,”
“Their terms…” Csapla added cynically once more

“There is no difference….we both have the same goals, security, stability and preparation…”

Still even Nuruodo conceded the investment was high – The Chiss would send advisors and experts in the thousands to reform the new Imperial Administration in an image of the Ascendancies efficiency and precision.  In addition hundreds of retired officers and NCO’s would be sent to develop the new Imperial Naval and Military Academies and instil discipline, merit and precision in a new generation of officers and soldiers…from the outset the Empire would move toward the Ascendancies high organisational and military standards.

“I’m concerned about the cultural shift…” Tla noted “…while there are certainly those who will adapt well…Tarkin, Mohc, Pellaeon and the like to new the order…our methods may not sit well with the general populace.”

Nuruodo dismissed the concern

“They will soon see the benefits of a more professional unified civil service and officer class…at any rate our allies already have means to ensure compliance and adaptation in critical systems,”

“Mind control you mean…” Csapla always managed to put a negative spin on things…yet this was welcome, they needed a devil’s advocate.

“How long before they turn this on us…if they haven’t already…”

“They are not ambitious in that way…” Captain Thrawn noted, a rising star in the Ascendancy and favoured by their allies,

“Their art – or what little I’ve seen if you’ll forgive a brief digression - shows traditionalism and pragmatism, they will keep faith with old allies and are pragmatic enough to know they need outside perspectives and assistance.”

“Of course this praise has nothing to do with your promotion to Admiral in this new Imperial Navy does it….”

“It confirms my praise, they know their limits, they know they need to restructure civilian and military operations along more efficient lines…and our help to do it”

“Ten new systems…” Tla noted quietly that was their immediate reward for their assistance

“Control of Kuati drive yards…training the future leaders of the Imperial Navy and Administration…the galaxy will be ours indeed…but only under their hand…still…this opportunity will never recur…”

Taking stock of the room Tla rose slightly in his seat

“I’ve fought beside them, even befriended them as far as it is possible…if they wanted to control us…they would’ve long since done so…they want our expertise and help…in exchange we become pre-eminent within their Empire…to refusethis opportunity.”

Nods across the table followed his logic.

<<<<>>>>

The staff of the former Republic, now Imperial, Department of Taxation filled the large hall, 4000 people in all to welcome their newly appointed Chief executive.

Rumour had been buzzing for days about the changes to be put in place, some said they would cut jobs, others double their numbers…some said the new head was an Imperial Senator, others a former Admiral.  All turned out to be wrong.

There was a hush as six of the Praetorians Guard came upon the stage…over the last few weeks more of these had been seen across Coruscant and other centres of the Republic…terrifying and black as death.

They’d all seen the vids on the news - a small force of Jedi and disloyal Clones had attempted to assault the former Jedi Temple and overthrow the Emperor…the Praetorian Guard had met them telling the Loyal Clone Army and Coruscant Security to stand aside. 

It looked like hubris…until the fight began. 

No sane person who had seen the footage would ever dare challenge a Praetorian – in a single engagement they had dissuaded any thought the new Emperor could be easily overthrown – many wondered where they had been hidden during the war…if twenty could obliterate nearly 800 clones and 40 Jedi…what could their force of nearly 500 across Coruscant have done against the Separatists?

A hush descended as a beautiful young woman stepped between the guards.

“Good Morning everyone! It’s great to see 3986 of you here…3986 workers who are going to be some of the most highly skilled, highly paid works in the galaxy within 3 months as you create the most efficient and fair taxation system in the history of Centralised Galactic Governance!”

“How are we going to do this…well by working hard and increasing our productivity using new accounting software, redevelopment of offices for more open plan desks – no lay offs, no replacements by droids – just a little retraining to enable you to implement the new taxation regime in co-ordination with the Civic Communications department…”

She had a beaming smile and lit the room with hair that treaded the line between blonde and red, there was a magnetism to her words, inspiring…they didn’t even notice the ‘Praetorians’ anymore. 

“And once we have things up and running by the end of next financial year…you will all be given a bonus four weeks leave for helping the change process…in addition to our new family friendly flexible working arrangements!”  they were already starting to turn to her way of thinking…now for the loyalty part…the others beside her stepped up the chorus of mental soothing and influence.

“The Emperor himself will be visiting in a few weeks to see our progress, along with the Princess Mira and members of the Imperial Senate, they know that your work is absolutely key, and the Emperor has expressed to me personally his excitement at working with you to get tax right and fair as this new era dawns!”

The applause was actually spontaneous!

<<<<>>>>
Always in groups of no less than six Tarkin had noticed as the Praetorians proceeded along the promenade past the first cadets of the Tarkin Imperial Academy on Eriadu in fine order, newly pressed uniforms.  They were followed by the instructors, a few dozen in all, but amongst them three Chiss special instructors. 

The seventh, the only one without a helmet on looked barely older than some of the cadets.  Tarkin extended his hand as he ascended the platform…the Praetorians, the Emperors body guard and enforcers silently arranging themselves defensively around them. 

His first meeting with the new Emperor had been…interesting to say the least.  Tarkin had known Sheev Palpatine for many years…the impersonation was good…but he knew that man was not Sheev Palpatine.  The Praetorians about the room dissuaded anyone challenging him though.

“Tarkin…a pleasure to see you…please sit,” they had exchanged empty pleasantries for a moment, Tarkin briefly congratulating him on his ascension before he got to the point.
“It seems you’ve reoriented your policies since your ascension Sheev…”
His smile was warm and gentle “You’re an observant man Wilhuff…lets not pretend…”

The so called Princess Mira had entered at that point as Palpatine sagged bac like a droid switched off.

“Who are you,”
“The New Government Tarkin…” she placed a datapad before him

“This details our strategic goals and operational guidelines…read it at your leisure then decide whether you wish to remain a part of the Government…”

He was about to ask what had become of the real Palpatine but decided against it…if they could remove Palpatine…they could remove him.

“And if I do not wish to be a part of this new government…”

“Then you may retire with a generous pension…go into private security…whatever you please…we would prefer to work with you…”

He had studiously read their plans…if they were to be trusted…it was ingenious…perhaps not as forceful as he would like, but their restraint would give no one cause for open opposition…the Chiss influence in particular interested him, but a new administrative system was sorely needed, and he had great admiration for their military capabilities and doctrine.

And so his hand met the gauntleted one - heavy as a block of doonium before turning to address the cadets, his new Insignia as Grand Admiral glistening against the rising sun..

“Cadets, The Emperor has sent me personally to extend his warmest congratulations on acceptance to the academy, and his great anticipation to see you exceed your own limits to become the fine officers we know you can be!”
<<<<>>>>
The statue was gently lowered into place in the centre of the concourse through which millions travelled to and from the centre of Carida’s business district.

The serene expression coupled with sinuous curves of fleshy marble covered the Blackstone core. 

She could hear the beating thrum of the message it conveyed….
Trust the Praetorians
Benefit yourself by strengthening the Empire
The Empire is not perfect but together we make it better
The Princess Mira is our future, our hope, we can always trust her to look after us
Everyone should live on their native world and only leave on Imperial business
Princess Mira and the Praetorians will protect us from all enemies we should help her.
The Three will Love your Children if you Love them.


Every day a million sentients would pass by, most would look up briefly on the sultry feminine form…and all would feel the subtle guidance of the messages, building each and every day passively in their unconscious.

She suddenly topple over as an arm grabbed her round the throat from behind

“Don’t get so distracted you’re like one of them!” her sister chided
“Now come on…we have another 13 to deliver till we can finally go back home away from these icky outsiders!”
<<<<>>>>
The Empire was the best thing that had ever happened to Ryloth.
After the Clone Armies had driven the Sepratists out, the Republic moved out apart from a token garrison relying of Cham Syndulla and the former resistance to administer things while the Republic taxed their resources for the war effort.

In the Chaos many Sepratists sympathizers turned to the perpetual plague of the Twi’Lek race – the Hutts.  Once more the Spice dens, brothels and sex-slave trafficking flourished beyond Syndulla’s ability to police as the Clones stuck to their Garrisons, leaving only to partake of the affections of the war orphaned young Twi’lek women in the bar come brothels.

Inja had been one of those girls as her mother before her…and before her They’d needed the money for food…and all too many pimps in the Octagon of Lessu willing to take her on despite her age.

At seventeen she had her own daughter a year after he mother died, poor nutrition and violent clients taking their final toll. Her mother’s fate would be was her own one day.

She had watched the Coronation of Palpatine indifferently, same clients different uniforms she figured.

But that wasn’t what happened.  Over a hundred conversations in Kooms Tap House where she worked, her small room for clients upstairs, she saw the change the Empire brought.  First the clones noted the arrival of a new administrative team to support Syndulla integrating into the new Imperial Administration, then the Clones stopped coming.

Then the non-Clone officers in their cups brooded on the ‘Clean Up’ Initiative, and how they would lose out on smuggler bribes to look the other way.  Then those officers stopped coming.  Half her clientele was gone in a few weeks, she could barely afford the rent on the room at Kooms let alone the hovel where her daughter Nista lived or the childcare costs. 

She still had spacers and local gang members, death stick dealers and addicts – often one and the same…but they were the worst, the most violent and likely to short change her, but she had no choice.   

Then on the battered Vid in the main bar room Operation Clean Up was announced
“…A New Era dawns, the refuse of the old must be swept away.”  Princess Mira had said on the news.

And then it wasn’t clients that came into the Octagon but Imperial Soldiers – Twi’lek soldiers as part of the new One Army policy- no more system armies, every species could find a place in the Imperial Army and Navy, existing militias like Syndullas were rebadged Imperial under new Officers.

She had watched from the door step of Kooms as the soldiers of the new 14th Ryloth Infantry went through level by levelling dragging out the worst scum of the Octagon, directed by Three Praetorians who watched and never spoke…yet somehow still commanded.   

Inja feared for her lively hood for stressful days as she watched the dregs of Ryloth dragged away – some gangers fought back – but not for long - the News didn’t’ flinch from reporting what had happened, or showing what the Praetorians had done to those who resisted.

“These are hard measures,” Cham Syndulla had declared “But they are necessary,”.

Within a month the Octagon was all but dead, she was on the last few savings she had stored away. 

The final nail in the Octagons coffin wasn’t the arrests, but gentrification – across the Empire Spice, Death sticks, Prostitution were all legalised and regulated under the Imperial Administration Narcotics, Gambling and Prostitution Department – smugglers lost their reason for being, the Hutts had no territory or dealers anymore as Pharmaceutical firms sold safer drugs for those who wished to use them, pimps had no girls as the Administration set up their own brothels with security, medical staff, salaries rather than performance based pay and a clamp down of trafficking and underage prostitution. 

It was in one of these Inja found work –safe regular hours – her daughter enrolled into the free all girls schools opening up under the banner of the Imperial Missions Princess Mira Program.  Inja herself was given the opportunity to take paid study leave under the Program, free counselling and transitional support out of Prostitution. 

The proudest day of her life was her Graduation on a two year course in Restaurant management – it was the Day she stood in the Centre of the New Imperial Administration Centre on Lessu, strode past the Praetorians to be congratulated personally by Princess Mira on a state visit, Nista in the crowd tear in her young eyes as Cham Syndulla himself shook her hand.

The Empire was the best thing to happen to Nista – and that was what was best for Ryloth. 
<<<<>>>>
Operation Clean Up was messy.  He paced along the row of scum while behind them their shanty town was demolished. 

“You have choices,” He called loudly as the 63rd Corellian Infantry kept them in line with newly pressed E-12’s from the factories of Mustafar.

Across the dockyards his Cousins dragged the Grindalid along, Lady Proxima it called itself.

“You can join the new Imperial Army, you can return to your homeworld, you can join the new Free Legions being assembled, partake of free Tertiary education programs…what you cannot do…”

He paused for dramatic effect checking the HUD pacer to ensure he was speaking slowly enough for them to understand

“Is return to a life as part of criminal syndicates such as the White Worms there will be no more theft, no more turf wars, there will be peace and Order…”

He stepped toward the growling Grindalid.

“The days of the Republic…where the under castes were ignored is over – and those who will not accept our generous invitations,”

With a graceful movement that lasted 0.24 second he drew, swung and re locked his blade to his back mag-lock.  Lady Proxima’s forward head paused for a moment before slowly drooping off in a clean cut muddied by the wretched blood.

“Will not be tolerated.”

“Frell Yo….” The head exploded out before the sentence was finished
“As I said you have choices…use them wisely.”
<<<<>>>>
“Numbers…”
“13,812,” The image, not a holo-feed but Aetheric illusion reported to her
It was high, but if that was the price so be it.  The Pyke Syndicate and their like would not be tolerated in their new Empire, such crime syndicates were a cancer in the Republic that needed to die with it.
“Losses?”
“217 Imperial, 2 People critically injured but quickly restored, en-route Home.”
“Good…Keep me informed.”
As the image faded Mira ran her fingers through her hair, the resistance was stronger than expected – but with every successful Clean Up it diminished.

“They’re still waiting…” her aide noted juggling three link-orbs as Mira looked across the skyscape as the Jedi Temple was slowly demolished to be replaced by the Shrine to the Three…Beneath an even greater demolition was under way, BlackStone Void Altars soaking up the Energies beneath for replacement with more useful Aetheric emanations that would slowly convince the populace of the truth of the new Religion – the third pillar of their strategy to mobilize the largest army in the galaxy to their side - women.

Free education for girls, promotion of flexible work schedules, pulling apart exploitative economic systems, strong social welfare paid for by taxes aimed at rich males – now a religion that placed them on a pedestal intrinsically linked to the Imperial State – a trillion mothers feeling the Empire was supporting and protecting them - and passing that on to their children.

“Shall I send them in?”
She extended her awareness to the head of the Praetorian Guard
<Are they All Black Sun?>
<Yes.>
They were desperate to prevent the legalisations and Clean Up – where policing had failed economics and progressive social welfare policies were pulling them apart – Yet they still thought they could retain some power and influence…
<Kill them all.>
<<<<>>>>
Logged

Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 10:56:56 PM »

Intercept

[Ident-Confirmation – Password]
*******
[APPROVED]
[--DNA SAMPLE insert digit into scanner – note may cause some pain]
>>>
[APPROVED]
[Occular Scan Initiating – Photosensitive seizure warning. A very small percentage of Sentients may experience a seizure when exposed to certain visual images, including flashing lights or patterns that may appear during scan]
>>>>
[Approved]
[Welcome Agent Emerald]
{SPYNET 14.5}
[Emergency Update > Imperial Organisation]
[To: GlobalAddressList
From: Rainbow

Agents, at great cost we have compiled the following details on the new Empires organisation structure, updates to follow. Trust No One.
Hierarchy (in descending Order)

His Most Benevolent Majesty Emperor Sheev Palpatine – Had of State, Supreme commande of Imperial Army, Navy  See attached file.

Her Royal Highness Princess Mira [Niece to Sheev Palpatine – Nabbo registry confirms age 24 years – HIGH SUSPECT details falsified]: Second in line to Throne, direct responsibility for Princess Mira Reconstruction Foundation, Imperial Charitable Mission. Defacto control of Imperial Administration.

Her Royal Highness Princess Alina [Niece to Sheev Palpatine, Nabbo registry confirms age 20 years – HIGH SUSPECT details falsified]. Third in Line to Throne, Details limited 4 sightings

Civilian Institutions

Imperial Senate – responsibility for legislative functions, oversight of Departments, Aediles report directly through committees

Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) – conglomeration of all prior Republic Intelligence agencies headed by unknown Female Sentient
 
Prefect Kari – Head of Imperial Administration – Facial analysis indicates 95% probability of familial ties with Princess Mira and Alina

Aediles – 9 Members responsible for the 9 new departments of the Imperial Administration

--Finance and Commerce (includes taxation, budgeting and oversight of Reserve Banking and Galactic Credit Clearing Exchange)

--Infrastructure (includes both terrestrial and space infrastructure, management of Hyperspace beacons and Emergency Services)

--Education, Health and Child Development (Schools, Hospitals, child protection and family affairs)

--Justice (Policing and Judiciary)

--Civilian Affairs (Citizenship register, Welfare programs in conjunction with Education)

--Communications (Holonet, public communication and propaganda, Aside Censorship greatly reduced, open reporting of anti-Imperial opinions permitted with proviso an member of the Communications division is allowed to respond to any charges – surprising number of agreements with criticisms indicates non authoritarian style)

--System Affairs (oversight of relations between Empire and System Governments, strong efforts to integrate system administration into Imperial Administrative departmental structure.

--Industrial and Workplace affairs (consumer goods standards and oversight of business affairs, union and workplace relations)

--Information Technology and Records (Control of New Centralised Imperial Data Network, HIGH PRIORITY TARGET FOR INFILTRATION,  Libraries, galleries – note a significant number of items have been seized from various museums
Aside – Centralization and overall administrative efficiency had dramatically increased, nepotism and corruption has dramatically decreased. 

***Temporary Agency** Clone Wars Recovery Agency – combines operation of above with view to post war recovery.

Military Institutions

Warmasters – 3 Members details unknown, analysis of transmissions indicates each commands one third of the Imperial Army/Navy with four Grand Admirals reporting to each.

Grand Admiralty – 12 Members notable include Andronis Veers, Wilhuf Tarkin,

>>Carryover Clone Wars chain of command

General Staff – Procurement, Logistics

Additional Positions exact level of authority unknown

Legates – 9 known – [Aside the number 3 appears to have special significance to the new ruling caste] – function appears both diplomatic and military.

Seneschals and Quaestors – Number unknown, Exact Function unknown appears to have military, administrative and diplomatic role. Seneschals appear to be dispatched on mission basis, Quaestors placed in Systems of interest.  Military authority appears equivalent to General for Seneschals, Colonel for Questors – of note these are not members of ruling Elite – see below.

Praetorians – Estimate of 2000 members, deployed in tactical Squads of 10 as bodyguards or strike teams, Infiltration impossible, all attempts at interaction failed.

Other Institutions
Temple of the Triple Goddess – Strongly involved in charitable work with Education and Child Development and Clone Wars Recovery Agency.
 
Ruling Elite
Biological data still being complied, estimates exceed Class 9 Meta Human levels.  Strong evidence of Force Sensitivity.   
Society appears Matriarchal, however sighting of Male lead Praetorians and Aediles indicates Meritocratic tendency overrides matriarchal leanings at times.
Overall Goals unknown.
Origin unknown.

All non-critical operations to be suspended and redirected to investigation of Ruling Elite

Trust No One.

Rainbow.
<<<<>>>>
Logged

Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 11:03:36 PM »

Politics Part 1

Recess
Ash filled the air over Druckwell well as Legate Lysi stepped over the crumbing streets around the BlasTeach facility, her guard handing her the latest report.

458 causalities to take the facility form the Separatist remnant holding out there.  A relatively small price to secure the last secessionist world of the Doldur Sector and the infrastructure more or less intact. 

The loss of clones didn’t bother her so much as the loss of 15 of the new 5th Kashhyyk Infantry, the Wookies had been hard to convince of their good intentions, the public execution of some of the more notorious Trandoshan hunters and offers of amnesty and non-pursuit of all Jedi had placated them, but it was still tenuous.

“My condolences General Rwwnahh” she addressed the Grey furred Wookie approaching across the blast marked promenade.

<War takes its toll Legate…> his height allowing him to look over her head to the approaching Clones in grimy stained armour followed by three of her Praetorians – he force of twenty had suffered no losses as usual.
<On some>
She ignored the barb, she would not apologise for her Peoples superior technology and Biology.
“Legate, we found these two in the underworks of the facility,” Commander Nex of the 102nd Clone Legion explained as the Praetorians pulled the two captives up.

“Trying to make off with this…”  Her guard took the proffered data discs and ran a scan.

[Blastech designs, logistics schedules] the thought came across [Spies but not for the Republic]

Lysi was keenly aware of the Rwhnahh observing her choice on how to treat these two.
“They were non-combatants?”
“They surrendered when cornered Legate” Nex informed
“Well then I invite them to leave the combat zone as my personal guests, continue the operation Commander Nex, my Captain will continue to assist.”

Bothan Council Session 1283 Sitting 24
“…and for these reasons I commend the Bill to the Council.”  Rork Fey’Lya resumed his seat in the 608 member council chamber in the heart of Drev’Stran the capital of Bothawui. 
Sapphire glanced across the cinnamon or vanilla scented furred heads as those opposite Rork rustled and fumed. 

There were three main groupings in the Council, Fey’lya lead the once pro-Republic – now Pro-Empire - faction, Hed Da’Ara the Independence movement that had grown during the Clone wars and was rumoured to have once been in league with Dooku himself as fifth columnists before the Battle of Bothawui in which Jedi Skywalker had barely saved the system from invasion.

In the Middle Lop as’Ken and the ‘moderates’ who offered a balance of power between the two extremes.  Each faction had roughly 200 ‘members’ but in the shifting tides of blackmail, bribery and sabotage that underlay Bothan politics the individual members often shifted, as they gained 5 Clans through promises of cash or influence, their opponents bought off 5 former members.

“I move, that the motion be disallowed” Da’Ara said predictably.
“We should not be voting on further integration with the Empire…” he paused for dramatic effect eyeing off his main rivals.
“We should be voting on whether we even recognise this so called Emperor and his Empire as having any authority.”
Sapphires eyes rolled to hear this speech again.
“It is clear the Republic is dissolved, this Empire is an independent entity that by accident of history inherited its military, until such time as the Bothan People may express their preference to join this new Empire we should not even consider the implementation of its policies…much less those that would damage our independence and neutrality!”
Da’Ara’s side of the floor erupted in cheers as the Speaker tried to regain control to vote on the counter motion.
In a perfect repeat of the previous session 328 voted for 280 against scuttling the Bill.
And once more Da’Ara tried to get an election…
“I Submit to the House the Bothan Independence Bill removing from legislation all reference to the defunct Republic and establishing this Council as the Supreme Legislative power rather than the non-existent Senate. Bothan Space should be ruled by Bothans for Bothans”

The independence movement was growing in strength on Bothawui itself, but less popular on colonies like Kolthis where Fey’Lya’s Clan Alya was dominant – the lack of a Bothan Navy even with a strong Defence force worried the outlying regions – of course Da’Ara fully intended to establish a stronger military and there was no shortage of returning Clone War Veterans to fill the ranks.

“This veiled Xenophobia from the member opposite!” Fey’Lya interjected
“The rosy eyed delusion that somehow we are stronger alone when for centuries we have…”
“Been economically abused by the Republic! For the first time Speaker I find I Agree with the Councillor for Clan Alya!” Da’Ara cut in to echoing laughter from his patsies.

Amid the heckling across the circular room Sapphire noted the result 285 for 323 against – Lop As’Ken’s moderates seemed to split unevenly across issues meaning over all despite two weeks of debate as the Legate neared to ‘discuss integration’ nothing had been decided.

Sapphire stood and proceeded out of the chamber as the raucous debate continued, Sapphire had other tasks to attend to on behalf of the Spynet.

Recess
Ruby pressed the ear plug in as the micro drone on the lapel of the Councillors cape transmitted across the encrypted subspace channel.  The drone was barely more than an electrostatic more a vibrational string and a quantum entanglement strip, cheap to make but required expensive software to filter distortions – fortunately the Spynet was more than able to provide it.

Hissing and pops began to dissolve as Ruby tuned the device
“…speak for the Legate and the Legate speaks for the Emperor – and I Am displeased with your apparent lack of progress,”
“The council will come round eventually, the minor clans main issue with the increased taxation…”

Bothawui was lauded or notorious for its low taxes – depending on your point of view – it offered a tax haven for profit shifting, the new Empire was determined to stop that.

“…if they were to receive some of the extra taxation more directly I’m sure I could shift them off the fence.”

“Those taxes are needed to fund war recovery programs across the entire galaxy, not every sector escaped the clone wars so unscathed through faux neutrality,”

“Of course Seneschal, however the more…independence oriented Councillors lack the of our Benevolent Emperor and the most Charitable Princess Mira,”

“You may promise them 15% of the additional taxation – for use on civic infrastructure projects only.”

The Councillor paused
“20 would be better…”
“Then 20 it is but I expect the next vote to be much closer if not a victory,”

The Bothan Way, the revered text of Golm Fervse’dra, stated that anything short of violence was a perfectly acceptable method of gaining power – to that extent the Councillor was within his rights to negotiate – but the dictate of Ar’Krai meant even though a Bothan must look to benefit himself above all else, the family and clan came next then the species – there were higher callings.

Ruby and the SpyNet kept tabs on their own to prevent a Bothans ambition from overriding their responsibilities to the species…and Fey’Lya was getting dangerously close to that threshold.

Bothan Council Session 1283 Sitting 25
“…The prospect of a permanent military presence in Bothan Space must be considered very carefully…even if as has been proposed by the Emperor it will largely be staffed by local recruits and Bothan Veterans.” 
Lop as’Ken brushed back her greying fur as she paused for breath in her speech
“Our neutrality in galactic affairs has been tested of late, the Battle of Bothawui is a reminder to all of us that our diplomatic ability cannot safeguard us from all threats. However…”
Ruby noted the intent eyes of both the Anti and Pro Empire parties on as’Kens next words, looking for any indication she – and more importantly her voting block – had shifted their way.
“Following the defeat of the Separatists - the most prominent Military threat in the Galaxy against which the Empire would garrison forces here to protect us from is the Empire itself!”

A deep cheer rose from the Independence supporters
“But political pragmatism dictates it would be unwise to make an enemy of the Empire by slapping back the paw that offers the gringa…”

Cheers turned to hisses as the Pro-Empire side lifted – as’Ken kept playing the middle, exactly what she was waiting for no one knew…certainly the inducements already being offered were not working. If she held out for too long Ruby feared they might target her deputies and split the moderates entirely.

Once more the Council went into recess with nothing resolved.

Recess
Sapphire kept low across the rooftops, his stealth suits dampening field draining the battery faster than usual as it nullified the moon light. 

Sapphire had traced the crates from the outer space port toward the Industrial district for nearly an hour. It was obvious what was inside, the question was who was on the receiving end.

Shuffling across the ungainly domed rooftop the cargo hauler turned toward a bottling plant.  Sapphire still had a 45% charge…just enough to get in and place a few listening devices.

Through vents, access tunnels and oily intakes the meeting place was finally reached, nearly 40 Bothans unloading the crates full of diverted Clone weapons – Bothawui had strong restrictions on the ownership of lethal weapons, each could face a life sentence for this – but that was the polices concern not the SpyNet.

Ruby hauled up another pack of power packs as the Ar’Krai Separatist Division leader oversaw the unloading.  They had used the SpyNet to divert numerous shipments in the confusion following the ‘end’ of the war over the last few months, in this case it was Republic equipment but mostly it had been siphoned from the Balstech manufactories on Druckenwell –at least the Separatists wouldn’t mind anymore…

The Ar’Krai had gathered more and more support as the war dragged on, now with the Republic dissolved it was getting more recruits than it could arm, who saw the fall of the Republic as a chance to become fully independent.  Sapphire could empathize, but saw it as short sighted, Bothawui still lacked a substantive fleet and the planetary shield system wouldn’t repel the Praetorians ships if the rumours that even the SpyNet couldn’t confirm yet were true.

Ruby kept eyes open as the Division leader ascended rickety industrial stairs to meet a dark figure, silently cursing not having an excuse to get close enough to place a nantie drone.

Sapphire had not such difficulty moving like the wind to the tops of the boxy overseer’s office that looked across the bottling plant come armoury. Suit sensors read the vibrations the dampening device tried to hide from prying ears…a Viper Arms V4 dampener…how quaint…

“Master Jedi, we are honoured by your presence…as you can see the resistance grows stronger every day…what news from the resistance elsewhere?”

“Like you we continue to grow…there have been some setbacks but the Council in Exile gathers more systems to the cause by the day…”

Sapphire sent a burst stream transmission to the net to cross reference the voice…it was Bothan Sapphire could tell…
[Huddora, Kai – Jedi Master] the result returned.

“Bothawui has become the flash point, once it declares independence the other systems will immediately proffer defensive alliances, against such a tidal wave the Empire will have no choice but to accede,”

Bothan Council Session 1283 Sitting 26
“The councillor opposite, First Speaker, is so misguided as to believe it is better to be ruler of a backwater sector than member of a progressive new galaxy…” Fey’lya called over the hubbub of counter insults

“If he had his way he would cut us off from the Empire, and with it all the companies and trade we rely upon for our prosperity…mark my words a vote against the Empire is a vote for economic regression – one need only look to the Good works being done on Corellia – a 45% drop in violent crime, a 4% increase in employment, nearly 300,000 children off the streets and in school – this is Operation Clean Up – this is…”
“And how many dead!”
“The member…”
The Speaker tapped his gavel to bring a semblance of order
“Councillor Fey’lya…your time is up…Councillor Da’Ara…”
“Thank you speaker…it is clear to me that Councillor Fey’lya is never more satisfied than when he is being ridden like a dewback, Palpatines bit firmly in his mouth!”
It was a crass comment even for Da’Ara Sapphire thought.
“Yes this lackey spews up the ejaculate rammed in by his Imperial overlords onto this Council and expects us to thank him for it…he is a disgrace and a traitor,”

A sudden hush went across the room

“Sir! I demand that last comment be withdrawn!” Borsl Fey’lya, Rorks Son burst up, to be called traitor was a serious offence, Ruby was amazed Da’Ara had stooped that low…unless he had proof.

Rork tried to calm the younger Councillor as the Po-empire party yelled condemnation across the floor, the gavels beating lost in the cacophony of insult and threat.

Recess
The figurative bloodletting was reaching fever pitch, blackmails, dirt files, bribes, Clan alliances were all bandied to try and win votes for the next session, another session closer to the arrival of the Legate. 

Senator Polo Se’Lab on Coruscant remained unable to deter the official visit, and without any firm positon coming from the factitious Bothawui had nothing to negotiate with but his wit and wisdom.

“I fear that the Legates arrival may inflame the situation further your highness, Bothans can be a stubborn people, being one I can attest to it,”

Lady Kari, Head of Imperial Administration looked less than amused between her statuesque guardians.

“Were it to be delayed just a little while…”

“We have already delayed two weeks on your advice…and this was after you declined three of my invitations to discuss the matter – this is obfuscation,” she said directly

“We have significantly compromised on our demands for integration already, and I see not even the politeness to allow an embassy within your sector to reciprocate…The Emperor has personally expressed deep concerns regarding the situation,”

Of course he has…no doubt Mira told you herself…Polo mused.

“You remained on the Sidelines during the Clone Wars, but you cannot bluff your way out of a choice this time, either tender a secession from the Empire or accept the revised Integration package, in fact I will further amend it, two Academies of no more than 2000 students and only four Naval Bases staffed by majority Bothans instead of five…the garrison on Bothawui reduced from 30 to 20 thousands, maximum 25% non Bothawui citizens – no other system is receiving such concessions.”

No other system has a Spynet you wish to gain control of…

“That is very generous your highness and I’m sure will allay many concerns…however I’m afraid more issues remain there is the matter of taxation and the Imperial Citizen register…”

“The issue Senator is are you a part of the Empire or not…” she cut him off
“The details can be sorted out once your Council makes that decision, I am a very patient woman…but delay too long and the decision will be made for you.”

Ruby had almost everything needed…almost…deftly piloting the little drone Ruby could only hope this yielded the final piece to prove treason.

Fey’Lya was in the midst of the Exhibition on Modern Kothisian Art, he was the artist’s patron so had reasonable excuse, most of the conversations thus far were typically boring, although Fey’Lya’s interest in the more morbid of the pieces was a titbit for his file.

Finally he spoke in quieter tones to an older Bothan while observing a piece entitled ‘Order 69’ a grim parody of the death of Ki-Adi-Mundi on Mygeeto – instead of blaster bolts the moving picture showed him sprayed with confetti from Palpatines…male member…

“A significant improvement Councillor…the Legate is most pleased,” the last vote had been lost by only 40 votes

“Coruscants offer was very generous…”

“Kolthis will profit immensely from the new Academy and Naval facilities…and Clan Alya will benefit from having one of their own as Senator,”

So that was the game, Fey’Lya wanted to get into the Senate, not satisfied with hid influence here he wished to play on a galactic stage – that was respectable as a pursuit for a Bothan, but not at the price of every other Bothans freedom.

“There remain a few more recalcitrant members waiting for higher offers….” Fey’lya noted amidst the hubbub of voices around him.

“Keep your promises in check Fey’Lya remember who is paying the bill at the end of the day,” the older Bothan noted before turning away.
--
At the same party Sapphire kept a close eye on Lop as’Ken, her moderate party was fracturing, and she didn’t like it – her only option left was to finally choose aside or find herself irrelevant – better Fey’Lya or Da’Ara’s deputy than a lost voice in the howling winds of the Council.

As’Ken was here to confirm what she had been advised, if it was true her decision would be made.  But she had to see with her own eyes.

Across the room she saw him, the proof that the Resistance and Council in Exile was real – Jedi Master Kai Huddora.

Turning to her wife, also her key assistant she whispered
“Send out the message immediately, The time is now,”
<<<<>>>>
Logged

Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 11:04:42 PM »

Politics - Part 2


Bothan Council Session 1283 Sitting 27
“…unable to produce a rational argument to cover his Xenophobia, the Councillor opposite instead resorts to personal attacks and allegations with no proof whatsoever, this is the man who would be king of a backwater…this is the man you should vote against!” Fey’lya screamed as the votes were cast once more

“298 for 310 against” Once more the Imperial Integration Bill was defeated…but by an ever narrowing margin as the moderates split following Senator Se’Bals revised offer from Coruscant, and more importantly news that the Legate was now on Krant, a mere 6 hour jump from Bothawui itself.

Once the Legate arrived to negotiate directly instead of through the Senator and secret intermediaries Da’Ara and the Independence party would be significantly disadvantaged – they had no more to offer supporters than what they had already promised, but the Legate could charm and sweeten the Imperial offer further once she was on site.  Sapphire could see the end nearing.

Da’Ara once more stood to begin his predictable tirade of a call to vote on whether to be in the Empire at all.  Yet he didn’t.

“I move…that standing orders be suspended that I might make an open contribution,”
“Seconded” As’Ken called out surprising everyone – the moderates had finally chosen as side
The Speaker gestured permission without a vote given as’Kens support and Da’ara began.
“Speaker, fellow Councillors, I submit,” he raised a pile of papers and datadiscs
“this evidence that Councillor Fey’Lya has breached the Treason Act of the Bothan Council Session 1 Sitting 3, by actively conspiring and entering into the paid service of a foreign agent,”

The roar began on the other side immediately

“Actively inviting the occupation of Imperial military forces on Bothawui in exchange for a position in the Imperial Senate…Speaker, fellow patriots I can think of nothing more despicable, more traitorous that this act…and her is the proof confirmed by the SpyNet itself – I demand he immediately be removed from office and all those who voted with him suspended pending investigation into their complicity!”

The Speaker looked about as the volume rose…if he suspended the entire Pro-Imperial faction the Council would not have a quorum, it would require new elections, that would take three months at least and the Legate would arrive within a week…Of course the Empire should respect their democratic processes.  And perhaps a new Council would be less indecisive…

“I move!”  Fey’Lya tried to get over the vast noise

“I Move…as I am still a member of this Council, that Da’Aara be cast out as a traitor!”

A hush fell once more and all eyes went to Fey’Lya

“I have evidence of his complicity in smuggling arms, bribing members of the Defence force, and conspiring with foreign agents who call themselves member of a Council in Exile…and yes my Evidence too,” He waved a data disc

“Is confirmed by the Spy Net, I make no…” he paused against the howling across the chamber   

“I make no secret of my support for a Bothawui working with the Empire, but this Traitor, this fiend would see us become a backwater, a dumping ground, allied to a moth-eaten ramshackle alliance of good for nothing reprobates that Operation Clean Up seeks to purge from our worlds!”

The Speaker shook his elongate face scratching his chin fur…what the hell was he meant to do now?

Hammering his gavel he reasserted control

“Order! We will have Order here!”

Finally they quietened down

“Both Councillor Fey’Lya and Da’Ara will submit their documents to the Clerk for distribution to all members and submission to the Bothawui Police for investigation, pending their findings, both Councillors are suspended until further notice!”

Rage flew over him in waves but the two Councillors played the noble statesmen to bow and depart as the normal order began to resume.
Borsk Fey’lya now stood

“Councillors I seek leave to make a grievance,”

“Seconded!” Ruby called

“Councillors I would like to express my deep sadness at the recent loss of an honoured Bothan, a noble Bothan from another era now gone…Jedi Master Kai Huddora recently deceased in fighting on Druckenwell against Separatist Remnant’s…I served with the Jedi Master there recently before returning home…”

Recess
“What do you mean he’s dead!” As’Ken screamed across as Borsk Fey’Lya who now led the pro-Imperial parts a his father was investigated

“I saw him the other night at an art exhibition, and have details from the SpyNet agent Ruby that he is in league with the Ar’Krai?”

“I don’t know what false information you have been fed Lop, but I assure you Master Huddora is dead…I fear Da’Ara has been trying to play you with promises of ‘Council in Exile’ and resistance movements that don’t exist.”

As’Ken flopped back into the seat opposite Borsk, she didn’t know what to believe anymore.

Bothan Council Session 1283 Sitting 28
Ruby watched the votes slowly trickle in, things had changed since the formal charges were laid against both Da’Ara and Fey’Lya, the Secessionists without a leader had flocked to make deals with Borsk as as’Ken was now known to be on his side. 

Slowly the count trickled up, the speaker stood.
“The Vote for the Revised Imperial Integration Act is 489 for 117 against,” the two less than the full 608 due to the two suspended Councillors, with such a margin their vote didn’t matter anyway.

“I Rule, it is passed by the Council and shall come into effect in fourteen days,”

Recess
Leagte Lysi stepped onto Bothawui just after her guard, General Rwwnahh and Admiral Senes just behind followed by various administrators prepared to begin integration.

Amongst the crowd of Bothans in full Council regalia to greet her were the two she had met on Druckenwell two months before – Borsk Fey’Lya or Sapphire as he called himself, and amongst the civilian crowd behind the Honour Guards lines the Seneschal that was once known as Kai Huddora – soon they would place him at the head of the SpyNet.

Borsk looked full of himself behind the Bothan Councils Speaker, his ambition had been a useful tool to gain Bothawuis acquiescence, now that character trait was no longer useful to her.

<Teach the overgrown gobril his place> she thought across to her uncle, also the captain of her Praetorian Guard.

<Gladly sweetling.> 

<<<<>>>>
Logged

Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1044
Posts: 3898


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 08:51:01 PM »

As per LSG's suggestion, I'm reposting this from the "Interludes" thread.  And with LSG's newest submission, I can't wait to continue this alternate narrative  Wink
******************

Dark Harbinger

Then…
The prisoner writhed in both agony as well as ecstasy, suspended in the Renewal Chamber, his face contorted in a silent scream.

“…Him?”  The man said to his companion.  “But I thought that he was diametrically opposed to—”  The woman suddenly cut him off.

“He was.  But you know what Mira says: ‘better an honest enemy than a false friend.’”  She touched her lips in introspection.  “Besides: for as deficient as he is…was—” she corrected herself, “—he died defending his family, his ideals despite facing insurmountable odds.  That is a quality that cannot be bought or cloned.”

The man slowly nodded, understanding at last.  “I see.  And what shall we do with him once he’s undergone the transition?”

The woman gave a small smile.  “She already has plans for him.”  Pressing a button, red drops of thick, viscous blood landed on the prisoner’s head and chest.  But for all the macabre rain that pelted him, the prisoner didn’t react to the stimuli at all, his focus fixed upon some unseen event.

“Take over here.”  The woman commanded her companion.  “I’m needed at the Renewal Chamber.”

Shedding her cloak, the woman entered the enclosure and stepped up upon the dais, her white one piece in stark contrast to the drops of blood decorating the prisoner.  And placing her hands upon his body, the woman’s work really began…

            <<<<< >>>>>

Now…
“Welcome, Lord Seneschal, to Mandalore.  I am Preceptor Bo-Katan Kryze, sister to the Duchess.”  Despite the smooth delivery of the Preceptor’s pleasantry, her eyes scanned the Seneschal’s ship.  “Forgive me, Lord Seneschal but I was expecting Legate Ya—”

“Legate Yara shall be arriving forthwith; I am here to oversee and effect Imperial security measures and—should I deem that such is required—the appointment of a Quaestor.”  Bo-Katan could only see his full brown beard, the rest of the man’s face was covered by his deep, black hood.

“I see.  In that case, please follow me.”  The tall, red headed dignitary bowed perfunctorily before adopting a steady gait from the landing berth and heading towards the Sundari Royal Palace.

Without haste, the Seneschal fell into step beside Preceptor Kryze, his dark hood hiding his face.  But even draped over his armored shoulders, his dark cloak did nothing to obfuscate his Praetorian armor as it gleamed pristinely white, the Scales of Aethenaea carved into the breastplate in low relief indicative of his station.  And while his head was affixed straight at the palace before him, his dark, completely black eyes saw all before him, his ears picking up minute vibrations, even those below the hearing threshold of most sentients.

“On behalf of the Duchess, I would like to extend Mandalore’s approval of Princess Mira’s most current proposals, especially Operation Clean-Up.”  Bo-Katan’s long red hair swayed in the gentle, temperate breeze, her seemingly innocent face almost fawning over her companion.  But if he noticed, he showed nothing in his demeanor.

“Princess Mira does not require the Duchess’ approval, only her obedience.”  The Seneschal’s tone was aloof.  “It would be a shame if the Praetorians had to establish a garrison on Mandalore.”  He said cryptically.  “For the Duchess’ protection, of course.”

“Of course, Lord Seneschal.”  Bo-Katan’s reply was just a hair too swift, her tone too easygoing.  Still…such was not concrete proof.  And his Goddess had been explicit…

As they walked together into the palace through the Great Hall and finally into the Royal Chamber, Bo-Katan had spoken non-stop, having obviously mastered the art of “small talk.”

The Lord Seneschal merely ignored her, although he would sporadically vocalize during a break in the Preceptor’s words or say “That’s interesting” when she took a breath.  But now that they both stood in front of Mandalore’s ruling monarch, Bo-Katan fell silent, both of their attention directed at the austere woman sitting upon the throne.

Regal, if severe, the blonde woman looked down upon them both, even the Lord Seneschal.  Quite a feat given his…reputation.  But the Duchess possessed a spine of quadranium, to say nothing of her familiarity...

“My Lord Seneschal…Her Royal Highness, Duchess Satine Kryze.  Your Grace…my Lord Seneschal, representative of the Emperor and Princess Mira of the Benevolent Empire.” Bo-Katan's voice echoed throughout the chamber.

Inwardly, Satine smirked at that last phrase.  …“Benevolent Empire”…what a contradiction in terms… Her face remained impassive.  But even as she thought it, Satine could swear that the Seneschal had grinned…almost as if he’d read her mind… Steeling herself, she adopted a serious bearing as if donning armor for battle.  Which she very much was.

“Thank you, Preceptor.  You may leave us.  I’m sure that there is also no need for the Ducal Watch to attend me, not while the Lord Seneschal is here to protect me.  After all, who would dare defy the Princess Mira?”  Satine’s blue eyes were predatory, her back straight.

“Forgive me, Your Grace.  But I represent the Emperor and serve at his pleasure.”  His face was cast from durasteel although his black eyes seemed to gleam.

Satine arose to her feet, gliding down the stairs to stand in front of the Seneschal, placing a delicate hand upon the hard, white vambraces of his armor.  “My apologies, Lord Seneschal.  I merely wished to reinforce the Civil Reforms that the Princess Mira has, ah, ‘suggested.’”  Satine’s voice held good-humored laughter in it, and her lips a smile that did not reach her eyes.  “After all, it was the Princess who helped heal Mandalore from the many scars of war that disfigured our planet.  We even have several forests growing in some of the equatorial zones, even where the fighting from the Civil War had been fiercest!”  She spread her arms dramatically, slowly revolving in place.  When she stopped, she smiled coyly.  “Forgive me Lord Seneschal.  After having almost lost our planet—and as a result of our own negligence—I’m sure you can imagine how wonderful it is to see the specter of war being erased from Mandalore.  And in my lifetime…”  Satine’s voice held reverence when speaking of such.

The Lord Seneschal smiled knowingly.  “Of course, Your Grace.  As you know, the Emperor—and Princess Mira—only want what’s best for the Benevolent Empire…and their subjects.”  His black eyes drilled into the Duchess’.  “Including…no, especially the Imperial subjects of Mandalore.

Satine gave a winning smile.  “As do we, my Lord Seneschal, as do we.”  She deliberately looked around his cloaked head, her face adopting a look of consternation.  “Excuse me, but was not Legate Yara to attend me?”  Satine’s blue eyes were large and seemingly full of concern.  “I was assured that the Legate would be in attendance to help facilitate the Integration Protocols…”  She trailed off, disappointment in her voice.

The man affected one of his almost-smiles.  “Forgive me, Your Grace.  The Emperor considers Mandalore important and a high priority concerning this visit; apropos of such, I’ve been dispatched ahead of the Legate to ensure that the proper security measures are in place.”  A ray of sunshine glinted of the Scales upon his armor, a direct contrast to his black eyes.

Looking intently within them, the Duchess stared for a long moment, almost as if she were searching, waiting for some sense of recognition.  Whatever she saw, her lips once again spread in a congenial smile.  “I understand, my Lord Seneschal.  After what I’ve heard, I’m not surprised; after all, the Legate has been busy.  Even out here in the Outer Rim, Legate Yara’s reputation precedes her.  I’ve even heard that she’s been given the 7th New Imperial Fleet as a result of her successes during Operation Clean-Up…”

As Satine was speaking, the man noticed one of her many attendants approach, silently hanging back two meters until the Duchess noticed them.  Motioning the attendant over, the Duchess made conciliatory noises while asking to be momentarily excused.  The Seneschal casually noticed that despite the close proximity, he was unable to hear a word that was said between the two.  Amused, he surmised that the attendant possessed a null-field induction device upon their person.  No matter; he would know soon enough what the interchange portended.

Nodding, Satine’s head straightened, the Duchess dismissing the attendant before she returned to the Seneschal’s side.  “My apologies, my Lord Seneschal but I’m afraid that I must attend to some matters of state.  I’m sure you understand.”  Both her face and aura were unreadable.  Nodding, the man moved to one side giving the Duchess an unadulterated path to her throne.

“Of course, Your Grace.  I, too, must implement the necessary procedures before the Legate arrives.”  Satine again smiled warmly.

“Please feel free to peruse the Palace.  And now, I’m sure that you need to refresh yourself after such a long journey.  I’ve commanded that you be given one of the Baron’s Chamber’s in the Royal wing of the palace.”  She made as if to ascend the stairs to her throne, stopping after the second step.  “Oh, my Lord Seneschal, we’re having a dinner in your honor at Concordia’s Zenith.”  The full moon was tonight and Concordia would bath Mandalore in a brilliant glow, the light reflected from Mandalore’s star.  “You would do us the honor of joining us.  Please?”  Her tone was almost pleading, but the Seneschal’s ears registered the measured cadence of the Duchess’ voice.  …The consummate politician and hostess… He thought, more than a little impressed, although his face showed nothing.

“Your Grace, I would be delighted.”  Suddenly he looked down, as if embarrassed by his attire.  “And you are correct.  I would like to take a moment to invigorate myself.  It would be unseemly for me to attend Your Grace except in my finest.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, please.  Your Grace.”  He said, bowing himself out of the Chamber and disappearing down the Halls.

Once she was quite certain that the Lord Seneschal was gone and out of earshot, Satine made a surreptitious gesture as she climbed the remaining stairs to her throne.  By the time she sat down, Bo-Katan had rejoined her sister, the red-haired woman’s innocent look nothing but a memory.  In its place was the face of a shrewd and cruel tactician.

“Do you think he suspects, Your Grace?”  Some of her red hair fell out of place.

Not immediately answering, Satine smiled, a dangerous, calculating smile.  “Absolutely.  But he only ‘suspects.’  Why else would he be here?  But we are secure; continue with our plans.”  Suddenly, Satine’s face grew deathly serious, her hand shot out to grasp Bo-Katan’s forearm.  “Sister…be careful.  Trust no one.”  Her sister nodded before bowing deferentially to the Duchess.  Turning, she went to make arrangements for the transport of munitions and materiel.  And of course the newest intel.

As Bo-Katan did so, Satine sat contemplating the suddenness of current events and their ramifications.  After working and then reworking her plans in her head, she then amused herself by wondering again just how many Jedi it would take to kill a Praetorian…or a Seneschal…

            <<<<< >>>>>

As soon as the door to his chamber closed, the Seneschal reviewed the entire layout of the Palace grounds, his eidetic memory not only flawless but indeed the only tool he required.

He knew that the Duchess was conspiring, plotting against his Goddess and her Benevolent Empire.  All he required was physical proof.

And he thought he knew how to finally get it.  The Mandalorians would provide all that he required.  Now, he only needed to do his duty.

Reaching from behind his belt, he withdrew a small, black orb.  Focusing, he activated the device, waiting patiently.  He did not have to wait long.

“My Seneschal, so good to hear from you.  And so soon!  What have you learned?”  The disembodied voice was melodic and pleasant, sounding as if the speaker were in the room with him.

“My Goddess…your concerns are valid.  Mandalore is conspiring against you.”

“Do you have proof?”  Not a rebuke but merely curiosity.

“Not yet…but I will.  I promise.  For the good of the Empire.”  The Seneschal nodded, certain.

“I know, my Seneschal.  May the Blessings of the Three guide and protect you.”  With that, the connection was severed, leaving the Seneschal somewhat…empty.  But it was always so, especially since he’d come to serve her.  Obey her.

Worship her.

But he knew what was needed.  Reaching again to his belt, he withdrew a lightsaber and activated it.  The rich blue blade illuminated the entire room…much like his first conversations with his Goddess had illuminated him.  Or rather, who he used to be.  

And as the Lord Seneschal prepared for the violence of the night, a tiny part of him ruminated upon the man he used to be, the one he’d left behind, dross upon the dais of the Renewal Chamber.  He was no longer that man and neither did he answer to his former name.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was dead.  There was only the Lord Seneschal.  And he had a job to do.
Logged

Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 2054
Posts: 6194


Lord of the Force


« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 06:07:54 PM »

I really like messing with Reality, so this alternate reality is really cool to me. For those of you who have been following Shadow of the Outcast, you may recognize parts of this from it's Prologue. With a little help and tweaking, I managed to change it to fit in with this "Mirror Empire" scenario. Let me know what you think. I will probably do more with my own characters should you guys enjoy it. Anyways, this was mostly just for fun, but I'd figure I'd share it since LSG got this thing rolling.



“They’ve come for us.”

Taegin awoke to the sound of his master Denna Eem’s voice. They had been in hiding for the past year. Ever since Order 66 had been initiated, the two Jedi had gone unnoticed by the Empire. They did not know if any of the other Jedi had survived the Supreme Chancellor--now Emperor’s–order to exterminate all the Jedi. They always hoped that some had, but they knew it was unlikely. Now it seemed, the Empire had finally caught up with them. As they quickly packed up their few meager belongings, they could hear the Stormtroopers searching through the woods. They were getting closer, and the two men knew that it would not be long before they were upon them. They were so close now that the sound metallic voices could be heard through the trees.
   
“Fan out, and search every inch of these woods. The Princess and the Emperor want them found.” They were saying. As the troops began to close in, the Jedi were ready. Over the last year they had learned to use the shadows for cover. They quickly ran. Disappearing into the early morning light, but they could hear the troopers behind them still.

“Sergeant, we found their camp. By the looks of it, they’ve only been gone a few minutes. My heat sensors are still picking up signatures from where they slept.” One trooper said.

“Good work, we’re closing in.” Said the Sergeant, “Let’s move, they can’t be far away.”

As the Stormtroopers began to give chase, the Jedi ran faster. Suddenly they heard it, or rather felt it through the Force. It was something dark and foreboding.
   
“There is only one thing that could be,” Taegin’s master said, “A Praetorian!”
   
They continued to run, but from the feeling of despair, they knew it would do them no good.

“Keep going Taegin.” His master said.

But the young Jedi knew that it was the last time he would ever see his beloved master again. The bond shared between Master and Apprentice was too great. Teagin knew through a slight tremor in the Force, that his master was going to face Praetorian. Alone. So he ran. Ran faster than he ever had before. But then he stopped. Or rather was stopped. He was frozen. He could not move. He had heard that there were rumors about the Emperor and the Princess changing their mind about Order 66. That they no longer cared whether the Jedi died or not. Apparently that was not so.

Not only that, but  he could no longer feel the simple yet beautiful song that normally so perfectly synchronized with his own coming from his master. He knew then that the Praetorian had killed him. Denna Eem was a great Jedi, and an amazing warrior, but no one, not even a Blue Zabrak Jedi could defeat a Praetorian. And there were rumored to be hundreds of them. Another rumor that had never been confirmed, but it had never needed to be. Using every ounce of will that he had, he broke free, and spun, calling his saber to his hand. He could see the dark mass, or more accurately see the absence of light as the Praetorian slowly strode closer. Summoning what little courage he had left, Taegin charged. He had been trained well, and had rarely been defeated by any of the other padawans of his age back at the temple. And since then, he had grown even more powerful. Still, if his master hadn’t stood a chance, what hope did he have.

As if reading his thoughts, he heard a voice speak. He assumed it was from the Praetorian, though he couldn’t be sure.

“None!” It echoed through the forest, and into his very soul.

Half-heartedly swinging his saber at the Praetorian, he stumbled. The saber disappeared from his hands and reappeared a few meters away. And the Praetorian stood untouched and unharmed. Falling to his knees, the boy began to sob. There was nothing he could do. His master was dead, and he was lost without him.

“Kill me now. Please.” he pleaded with the Praetorian.

“There is one other option.” The voice boomed. “The Princess Mira has given you the opportunity to return with me to Coruscant and join our most Benevolent Empire. If you refuse, I will grant your plea. Consider carefully before making your decision.”

“I . . .  will join you.” Came his reply.
Logged

"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2018, 05:51:54 AM »

I really like messing with Reality, so this alternate reality is really cool to me. For those of you who have been following Shadow of the Outcast, you may recognize parts of this from it's Prologue. With a little help and tweaking, I managed to change it to fit in with this "Mirror Empire" scenario. Let me know what you think. I will probably do more with my own characters should you guys enjoy it. Anyways, this was mostly just for fun, but I'd figure I'd share it since LSG got this thing rolling.

Awesome Job Taegin fits perfectly - the uncertainty of Taegin (character) not knowing what is happening - are they really after Jedi or not? How many are there? ideal for the character as he wouldn't know what is happening just that he has to run.  And perfectly fits with Mira's strategy - she won't waste potential allies - an old dedicated Jedi would resist but a young heart broken apprentice....

Anyway watch this Space I've been working on another section to delve into Mira specifically...
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1044
Posts: 3898


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2018, 11:40:51 AM »

Yes!  Wonderful chapter TR!  Yes, you've perfectly captured the ambiance of the Mirror Empire, from the inexorable spread of influence of the Benevolent Empire to the feeling of utter capitulation that Taegin realizes...

Yes, LSG put it perfectly: the Princess would never be so wasteful as to dismiss a useful potential ally.  Given Taegin's youth coupled with his strength, I could honestly see Mira "offering" him a place within her Empire; a Quaestor or Seneschal perhaps?  How so incredibly interesting, the possibilities... Wink

I really, REALLY hope that you continue with this particular narrative TR; there's just SO much potential here  Grin
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 2054
Posts: 6194


Lord of the Force


« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2018, 11:48:26 AM »

Thanks guys. I wasn't sure what you'd all think, but I'll definitely be doing some more. I have one for Caedon spinning around in my head already. I will probably do one or two more with Taegin to set the tone, but then if you guys want to, I will allow you to run with what has been set up. Who knows where Mr. Roan will end up.
Logged

"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2018, 05:16:35 PM »

Queen Takes Pawn - Part 1


The transformation was striking.  Gone were the curved machined columns, replaced by dark wood with gold carved edgings to cream panels, richly framed mirrors and paintings.  It did remind Bail of Naboo as would be expected for the House of Palpatine, but some features were odd - a circle of stones surrounding a hearth of some kind in the far corner seemed out of place, as if part of a historical re-enactment village.

Bail was flanked by Mon Mothma of Chandrilla and Meena Tills of Mon Cala, the three leaders of the Delegation of 2000 – Senators who just before the Dissolution of the Republic had formally protested Palpatine's actions and demanded the return to the Senate the emergency powers he had claimed following the conclusion of the war. 

Instead of rescinding such powers the Emperor and his designated heirs had accumulated even more in the Imperial Constitution ratified by a majority of Senators under the unsettling gaze of the Praetorians and Clones.

“Senators, welcome,” the Princess Mira smiled upon the only chair in the room, resplendent in red and black, adorned with golden laces.  For more than a few moments Bail felt himself tremble under her Regal slight smile – no matter how many pictures of her adorned the streets and Holo-net to see her in person was somehow….overwhelming.

Bail bowed slightly noting the two body guards in the corners –almost invisible in the shadows.

“Your Highness, forgive me we were expecting to meet with the Emperor…”

“His Majesty, my uncle is indisposed at the moment, undergoing further treatment in relation to the injuries he suffered at the hands of the Jedi Assassins…” She paused as Bail felt Mothma’s glance the Emperor seemed to be indisposed quite often.

“…However you may present your petition to me and we may discuss your concerns,” she lifted a single finger and an additional four Praetorians he had not known were there appeared with chairs and a small desk for them.

“Please begin Senator,”

Bail swallowed and handed the Petition of the 2000 - Revised to a Praetorian who inspected it, passed it to a second who also looked it over then finally handed it to the Princess who scanned through it with much too much speed to be reading the 200 page product of the Cantham House meetings in any detail.

“Your Highness, under the previous administration, during the time of war the Chancellor accumulated a number of emergency powers to his office, many were understandable given the necessities of rapid executive decisions in a time of war, however following his accession the Emperor has retained and expanded these powers,”

Tills nodded for him to proceed as the Princess continued to flick through the Petition.

“We are concerned with the increasingly arbitrary powers accumulated to the Emperor – and your own – most exalted office” he added that point in off the cuff from the rehearsed speech

“And demand that some of these powers be rescinded in light of the end of the war having removed their justification.  In addition to this the Delegation has over these last three months observed several troubling changes in policy, an increase in military output and spending, and military actions on Rep…Imperial Worlds that are not under threat from Separatists stragglers.”

She held up the document and a Praetorian swiftly took it away. 
“It is,” Bail began to conclude “Our intention to table these demands during the next sitting of the Senate, but out of respect for your office we wished to present them to his Majesty first so he might have a response prepared.”

Her posture back to the Regal dominance displayed poise and certainty as she replied.

“Very well, We are happy to accede to demands 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 22 and 23 immediately….”

Had he not been a seasoned politician Bails jaw would’ve dropped to the planets core – of 25 demands the Delegation had come up with, to immediately agree to 6 of them, relating to reducing restriction on the press, censorship, curfews and various summary powers.

“On Behalf of the Emperor of course…now item 8 that Clone forces not engage in military actions on ‘compliant’ Imperial worlds, We’re afraid this demand cannot be met as it directly contradicts the spirit of the Emperors most cherished desires to combat organised crime which We’re sure you’ll agree has flourished during the war,”

“Whilst we support the general principals of Operation Clean Up,” Mothma broke in

“We don’t think it is appropriate to use military forces to deal with what is a policing issue, additional resources should be provided to local authorities to…”

“The same local authorities that have been unable or unwilling to stop the Criminal Syndicates growing in the first place, a significant number of whom we have evidence have been taking bribes for a number of years?  Senator, Chandrilla might be free of gangland slums, but Corellia, Taris, and Denon are not – even Coruscant is riddled with areas where you - a strong, intelligent woman would not walk alone – We will not tolerate this situation any longer”

Something about the emphasis on the word ‘woman’ struck Bail as strange

“And what better use for the millions of incorruptible, disinterested Clone soldiers than cleaning the streets of the Empire they fought to defend?”

There was undeniable logic to her position,

“That is no excuse for seizures, massacres, the wholesale demolition of vast swathes of low income housing,” Tills interjected in her gravelly voice

“I would not call the slums We have demolished low income housing…but you are correct Senator, unfortunately the Clones have been overzealous at times treating the operation as just another battlefield, that is why We have increased military spending, referring to your Demand 12…we need more Academies to train a new generation of non-Clone officers to provide a more…Sentient sympathetic command structure.”

She surveyed each Senator in turn,

“In the interim however…We are willing to place Senatorial delegates amongst the frontline forces, increase the number of embedded journalists and will support the establishment of an Operational Oversight Senatorial Committee – with powers to order a cessation of operations and prosecute criminal behaviour.”

“Powers to investigate and prosecute?” Mothma queried

“Absolutely, We don’t want to see crimes committed against Our Citizens by Our Soldiers any more than you do…and if they are We wish to see justice done. We are certain you can draft an appropriate motion to the Senate to establish such a committee, and We will ensure it is resourced according to your requirements,”

“I’m sure we can prepare something before the next session…” Mothma murmured across Bail to Tills, the Mon Cala gargling an affirmative

“Now Demands 20 and 21…Demand 20 that all Amendments to the Taxation System comply with the principles of the Non-discrimination Act…what are you referring to exactly,”

Tills took the lead “That the new Taxation regime penalises males…automatically deducting 50% of their income for child support if they are fathers, and 30% overall additional taxation for all males is excessively onerous”

“You don’t think men should pay child support? Or that this is the best way to reduce gender pay gaps…Males on average earn 30% more than females, hermaphrodite, mitochondrial and monogender species…isn’t it only fitting the be taxed 30% more?”

Tills gurgled a concession,
“That is true statistically, but the way toward a more equal society is not by taxing one group of people based on their gender – that is discrimination,”

“I prefer to call it affirmative action,” Mira replied dropping the Royal ‘We’ to express a personal opinion.
“These measures are needed to fund Our plan for universal Health Care and Paid Maternity leave, We will not compromise on those policies,” Mira’s voice was firm,

“But We are willing to negotiate on how they are funded…we might be instead willing to create a new income tax threshold…say 45% for Credits earned over 300,000…some 82% of earners are male anyway…and an increase the company tax rate from 35% to 37.5%...but We would require your support on strengthening measures to prevent Tax Avoidance,”

Bail could barely process the offer in its entirety all at once, it crossed multiple issues, he looked to Tills who was much more up to date on the new Taxation Regime being proposed to reply.

“That is…reasonable…perhaps if the compliance measures are strengthened, which we do support along with the goals of the maternity leave and healthcare schemes…we might only need a 1% tax increase,”

“Better to play it safe for now with 2.5%,” Mira replied, “I’m sure they will find loopholes no matter what and We don’t want to have to reduce the program because corporations are skimping on taxation.”

Not that Mira was overtly convened, the Aedile for Finance and Commerce already had a list of CEO’s, Presidents and Company Directors who needed to receive a ‘visit’ from a Praetorian to convince them of the benefits of paying their fair share of tax.

“Now demand 21 the rollout of the new centralized administration…’Demand that Centralization measures not be enforced as standardized but adapted to cultural and social needs of individual systems and regional,’” Mira recited despite not having the Petition with her anymore.

“The Republic suffered because it permitted too many wasteful paralleled systems of administration…We do not wish to repeat this mistake. But We can conceded some regional variation where absolutely necessary, and perhaps the Aedies have been over enthusiastic in rolling out the change…an extension from a two year deadline to three perhaps,”

“With an assurance of no system worth off in terms of administrative resourcing,” Mothma queried
Mira paused to consider yet somehow Bail suspected it was for show,
“No worse off…on current funding Credit value…we will make up savings from the increased efficiency by not supplementing for inflation,”
Mon looked to Bail then Tills, the Delegation did want many of the administrative reforms…it wasn’t a bad deal – he nodded.

“We can accept that,” Mothma nodded

“Excellent now…oh I’m afraid I have another appointment very soon – can we just address demand 3 and speak on the others later…let us say tomorrow morning?”

They already had far more to work with than Bail could’ve hoped for

“We can arrange that,” Tills agreed,

“Good now Demand 3…the Jedi…” Mira began “We have already rescinded Order 66…but allowing the reestablishment of the Jedi Order with all Ranks and Privileges…We are afraid We cannot accept that.”
“The Jedi play an important role in dispute negotiation and maintaining Galactic peace, ever since the Ruusan reformation they…” Bail protested

Mira held up a hand

“You needn’t remind me of their storied history Bail…can I call you Bail? But even now my uncle endures ongoing facial tics due to their assassination attempt – and even if it were not personal their time is past – the Imperial Army will take on the functions of peacekeeping and security, and We trust the Senate is more than capable of taking over dispute resolution,”

“Then what of the remaining Jedi, the survivors?” Bail queried, knowing very well he was currently sheltering over a dozen on Alderaan.

“We will offer an amnesty, they served well in the Clone Wars and deserve compensation, a pension, 200,000 credits a year for their natural life if they register and rescind their Oaths to the defunct Republic,”

Bail was not worried that Jedi would refuse, rather he feared too many would accept such a generous offer

“And if they wish I’m happy to accept them back into the Imperial Army as consultants or Officers,” Mira added

“And what of the Temple?” Tills added – rumours were it was to be demolished

“Jedi philosophy as I understand,” Mira smiled red and deep

“Eschews material possessions, and as they are no longer a military force, they have no need for a fortified facility…if they wish to establish a new Temple, then they are free to do so – the Empire is open to beings of all species and Religions,”

Bail felt his heart skip as Mira’s eyes fixed on him - and only him - as if speaking to his secret directly.

“They will enjoy all the privileges of being an Imperial Citizen so long as they abide by the Law and do not hold themselves above it as the former Jedi Order did.”

They remained silent for moment – what happened the night the Temple burned was still not fully explained, the evidence of a Jedi coup limited to the assassination attempt, no documents had been found or informers come forth about a planned coup – the official line was simply the Jedi covered their tracks and the guilty had gone into hiding.

“Well Meena, Bail, Mon I think that was rather productive!” Mira beamed

“I’m so glad you came to me with these issues, I well know the Empire is not perfect but together we can make it better…I am not averse to compromises or admonishments, I look forward to discussing the remaining items tomorrow, now if you will excuse me…”

They rose just before she did to offer slight bows to the Empress in all but name.

<<<<>>>>

“We should still table it,” Mon insisted as the core members of the Delegation of 2000 sat about Bails office in Cantham House in a mirror to the meeting they had held just before the Republic had fallen.
 
“That would be premature,” Bel Ibis replied swirling his drink, Corellian whisky from his own stores,

“The Princess has already agreed to a quarter of the demands, we’ve negotiated some reasonable deals for a third…it will look silly to table it now as is, we should redraft taking into consideration what we’ve already won,”

“Hardly won, this is a placating gesture,” Nee Alavar the Seantor of Lorrd

“I don’t think so,” Tills replied, she had been very impressed with Mira,
“The Princess could easily have simply refused, or delayed, instead she has moved swiftly to implement all the changes we agreed to,”

“I concur,” Bail finally added “We didn’t get all out demands, but the fact she was willing to compromise and negotiate openly, that alone should give us pause,”

He noted of the twenty Senators just over half were nodding along with him, a few indifferent, only three seemed set against it.

<We must not concede any of our demands!> Tendau Bendon of Ithor boomed

<This Empire is a farce, the product of war madness, the Republic must be restored and the Army disbanded>

The Ithorians sentiments might’ve held before the Clone Wars but now it was simply delusional, such outbursts were making him a pariah even among the 2000, and there were rumours Ithor wanted him replaced. 

“I think that time is past my friend,” Dewell Bronk, the Kedorzhan said, always eager to help others, sitting in a small hover chair for he was at eye level to the others making up for his small stature.

“I must myself agree, negotiation is the better option, the Empire and its army are not going away, Palptaine seems far more amiable than during the war – the threat lifted and the influence of his niece have been positive…”

He paused his whiskers twitching slightly
“The Republic is gone, there is no going back – the people will be better off by us working within the new system than simply abandoning or decrying it,”
“A system that is their plaything,” Shea Sadashassa of Herdessa sneered in a rare display of emotion

“Come on Shea, it could be a lot worse,” Bel Ibis tried to soothe picking up a printed newspaper the Core Chronicle
“Look at this…” he opened to the editorial where there was a comic of Mira, caricatured to look somewhat like stripper in make up with her hand up a puppet of the Emperor, beside it an opinion column denouncing the new taxation policies as misandrist.

“This could easily be censored, the writer arrested, hell we could be arrested, but she hasn’t done that, she’s met with you Bail and Meena, delivered on every promise, and even done some things off her own back,”

“Because she is a dictator Garm, that is why she can do these things,” Shea retorted.

“We shouldn’t be thanking her for chaining her own hand, restraining her own soldiers – she shouldn’t have the power to do it in the first place,” Mon Mothma agreed

“Life isn’t perfect Mon, things are better than during the Republic…”

“Like the massacres occurring on Corellia?” Shea spat

Bel Ibis paused his mouth puckering as he worked through a response

“Corellia has struggled with crime syndicates a stone’s throw from Coronet city for years – without the Clones and Praetorians nothing would’ve changed – yes it has been bloody, yes it has been gruesome…” he paused eyes down this was an issue he had struggled with over the last month himself.

“…but it is change for the better, the Police simply didn’t have the resources or firepower to bring down gangs like the White Worms and Blood Knives,”

“And so the ends justify the means,” Mon leaned back seemingly victorious

“Let’s not get caught up in this, how Mira uses the army is secondary to the fact she is able to,” Bail intervened

“Now there remain three key demands that need to be addressed I think we can all agree on One – Imperial Decrees must be disallowable by the Senate, Two, the Emperor cannot declare a state of war or peace against a foreign power without reference to the Senate and Three the Admiralty and…other new officials,”

Everyone understood he was referring to the Aediles, Praetorians and a…being…seen in gleaming white armour known as the Lord Seneschal.

“…must be Answerable to the Senate – a select Committee if he matter is sensitive at least.” 

Most nodded in agreement

“I think as regards the other 22  original demands…well she agreed to half and we have compromises on the other,” he held up a hand to forestall Mon and Shea’s protest.

“They are not ideal, but we need to be realistic …but as Bronk noted, we’re better off working with them than against them – the Emperor could easily disband the Senate and rule by decree – the new Constitution is not perfect, and frankly given I owe my own position to my Royal lineage, it would be hypocritical to denounce a Constitutional Monarchy”

“So you will abandon the principles of Democracy and freedom because some thug controls white armoured goons,”

“Democracy is not incompatible with monarchy, Alderaan and Naboo are both examples of this,” Bail countered

“We need to vote, to table the petition as is or rework it and attempt to negotiate, all hands or limbs to table,”
Only three raised theirs, Mon, Bendon and Shea Sadashassa – there was no need to call for the counter vote
“Then we are decided, we continue negotiations, I will redraft the petition to remove the demands that have already been met and send it for resigning.”
Shea shook her head in disgust

“Pathetic, you think you can negotiate your way out of a tusk-cats mouth,”

“What is the alterative Shea?” Bail bit back “The Emperor has the army and economy, Mira is getting more popular day by day, and they are not acting like tyrants – forceful yes but not tyrannical or suppressive – we need to work with what we have, use every peaceful means we have to get a better outcome…”

She stood up and crossed her arms,

“Do what you like, but anyone who wants to really make a difference and stand up to this Tyrant in velvet skirts, you have my number,” she stormed out.

<<<<>>>>
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2018, 05:20:20 PM »

Queen Takes Pawn - Part 2

“And those are the only three demands they truly wish to see addressed,”

“Yes Highness,”

Mira paused considering their three key demands…disallowable decrees was annoying but could be circumvented simply by the fact all the Aediles were People and would implement her policies without the need for an official order – they would gradually align the administration to her will. 

Declaration of war and peace was easy enough – Mira had no desire to declare a war on anyone – it would be the Empire that was ‘heinously and cowardly attacked’ in the coming conflicts – the Senate would cry for blood. 

But making the Legates answerable to the Senate…she cut the connection to the Senator and turned to her advisors and spoke at normal Peoples speed.

“We prevaricate – the Legates task is to establish compliance, then our policies will build loyalty – we can delay the demand by giving them the Admiralty, the Legates true work will be finished within a few years –agreed,”

The true ruling clique ran through a dozen mental conversations before assenting.

Mira reactivated the connection - so far as the Senator knew the pause had been all of 0.4 seconds. 
“Very well, all of them will be addressed, you made sure to make an exit,”

“As your ordered Highness,”

“Good work Shea, Blessings of the Three guide and Protect you,”

“Gloria in Excelsis Imperator!” she replied – the feminist Senator had been an easy gain to their cause all things considered.

They now had all but a few of the 2000 Senators onside, and the most virulent opponents would now naturally turn to Shea if they were planning anything.

Mira smiled to the voluptuous statue across the room - Everything was proceeding as she had foreseen.
 
<<<<>>>>

“B you look stressed,” Breha called across the holonet - despite his desire to have his wife with him, he felt for now Alderaan was safer – and she had other task to attend to as Queen of Alderaan.
 
“Nothing more than usual, actually things have gone well, we got traction on some of our key demands…but still how are things at home?”

Breha shrugged “Well enough, the New Administration is slowly transitioning our systems over…”

“Much resistance,”

“At first, but…overall the policies are popular enough to make them accept the administrative reforms – the maternity leave especially,”

No one but Bail would notice the slight sadness on her face, after five miscarriages they’d had to abandon their dream of biological children, but were looking into adopting a war orphan.

“…though the Sector Commander is still insisting on the need for an Imperial Garrison – I’m not sure how much longer I can put them off,”

Bail sighed

“We might not be able to…Bothawui managed to negotiate down the size of the Garrisons and military facilities but couldn’t avoid them – I doubt we can either…”

“Compromise?”

“Compromise…how’s Celly?” Celly Organa his sister was perfectly fine of course, but it was a convenient way to term the leader of the Jedi he was sheltering – Shaak Tii.

“A little worried but doing well, taking on more students,”

“Well the education reforms might lead to change, free her options up,”
Breahs suddenly looked stern

“Wait what time is it over there…”he watched her eyes moving to the antique clock he knew was in their room in the Alderaan Royal Palace

“You should be in bed B…”

“I know…just…take care, see you soon”

“Not soon enough B,” she smiled before signing off.

As he settled down for the night Bail couldn’t help but feel a strange sense of displacement, as though all this was wrong – not how it should be – and yet better than it ought to be.

“Too much reading legislation,” he dismissed it switching off the lights to the main study come meeting room, putting the odd feminine nude statue – the Benevolence of Wisdom which the Emperor had gifted a copy of to every Senator - into darkness, its sensual curves reminded him just how far away Breha was.

As Bail settled to sleep, the Statue awoke.

<<<<>>>>
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2018, 06:40:13 AM »

LOL    I have to admit this mirror universe is interesting, if nothing else.   Their "benevolent dictator" approach is actually not a bad one, and would have been far more beneficial to everyone than the outright power grab of the Emperor.

But I can't help but wonder how long it will be before the hyper-feminism of this crew leads to open rebellion.  They may control everything, but no beings, no matter how powerful, would be able to control and entire galaxy.
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2018, 08:21:28 AM »

LOL    I have to admit this mirror universe is interesting, if nothing else.   Their "benevolent dictator" approach is actually not a bad one, and would have been far more beneficial to everyone than the outright power grab of the Emperor.

But I can't help but wonder how long it will be before the hyper-feminism of this crew leads to open rebellion.  They may control everything, but no beings, no matter how powerful, would be able to control and entire galaxy.
This is an excellent point, and one that I think helps to set pathos for the narrative.  Plus, as demonstrated in the chapter, there is precedent for a "democratic-monarchy-meritocracy" that is considered "good" (Alderaan and Naboo to name two).  Raises the question: if a dictatorship is "benevolent" (heh, make of that what you will) and actually WORKS, how many people would actively support it?  Without getting into politics too much, even our "democracy" isn't exactly that; rather, a democratic-republic (I won't go into any logistics of lobbyists, etc.), modeled after the Romans...which is appropriate as LSG's Mirror government also has ties to the old Roman positions  Smiley   But then, add into the mix the focus on a HIGHLY matriarchal social structure (again: good catch Karm) and this is what makes for such a great SW story.  INCREDIBLY intriguing!
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2018, 03:13:40 PM »

This is an excellent point, and one that I think helps to set pathos for the narrative.  Plus, as demonstrated in the chapter, there is precedent for a "democratic-monarchy-meritocracy" that is considered "good" (Alderaan and Naboo to name two).  Raises the question: if a dictatorship is "benevolent" (heh, make of that what you will) and actually WORKS, how many people would actively support it?  Without getting into politics too much, even our "democracy" isn't exactly that; rather, a democratic-republic (I won't go into any logistics of lobbyists, etc.), modeled after the Romans...which is appropriate as LSG's Mirror government also has ties to the old Roman positions  Smiley   But then, add into the mix the focus on a HIGHLY matriarchal social structure (again: good catch Karm) and this is what makes for such a great SW story.  INCREDIBLY intriguing!

Oh, I am loving the story, don't get me wrong.   But I have a little problem with the idea that the Republic didn't already have some form of Maternity leave?   

And the provision of amnesty for the Jedi ... if they agree to obey all laws, etc.   Made me think about my Mak'Tor Knights.  I always envisioned them as already being "under law" ... but are they?

And how would you enforce it?  Barring a super-being like an Aethan or another Jedi?
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