A Summer of Discontent (Boonta)
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 20 2013 2:41am
Sesswe, in orbit via Boonta 

“You think we're safe here?” 

Among the huge tumbling wreckage of the orbital scrapyard the natives called Sesswe, the junior CSIS agent crouched down in the cockpit of the battered Kazellis-class Light Freighter. How the ex-pirate vessel had managed to stay together beyond the jump into the Sesswe was beyond Senior Agent Ladislav. But CSIS had become fairly adept at keeping such wretched craft working long enough to in piece for one mission. The brown-haired man spared a downwards glance at the muscular kon'me. Shrugging, Ladislav turned back to the ship's instrument panel. 

“Well, there aren't any sensor scans going on right now...I think we should be in the clear.” 

After locking down the craft to a larger piece of debris, the two agents walked among the scarred floors of the craft to its portside escape pod. After double-checking their gear, the two males clambered through the tiny hatch and onto the tiny padded bench that ringed the interior of the craft. They disabled the transponder and then Ngải, the Kon'me agent slapped a red button on the side: the miniature ship jetted out of the vessel's side among the glittering rubbish of the scrapyard. Ladislav directed the rudimentary rudder of the craft towards the orange desert world. As they did so, the CSIS agents jotted brief notes on the orbital traffic on their datapads. Confederate recon flights already provided much of that information, but CSIS preferred to check it against another source. While they did not see any blatantly obvious Maelstrom Eight ships present around the world, they saw enough gang and criminal markings on many of the vessels to confirm the planet's less than savory reputation. Ngải lightly tapped Ladislav's shoulder. 

“Did you see that?”

 “See what?” 

Ngải pointed out to a distant crescent-sailed craft with hull that resembled that of an an ancient sailing ship. Of course. A caravel...only one species uses those in any large amount...the Hutts. It didn't surprise the man too much, as the world had changed hands many times over. The Old Republic and various Hutt clans had constantly exchanged ownership of the world for the last thousands of years. It wasn't implausible that behind the official corporate government there was a Hutt crime family pulling all the strings. Gravity began to yank on their craft before finally seducing the little pod into its fold. The pod began to plummet towards the ground. Ngải strapped himself in tight and closed his eyes. The older man, more accustomed to CSIS frequently unique ways of travelling, kept his eyes wide open, piloting their craft towards its destination. They passed from the day side of the world and into the night. Few clouds on the desert world obscured his view for long until he found the many shining lights of the world's capital: Ootbootana. Translated from Huttese, it supposedly meant “Out” or “Far” “gardens”, though the older man thought the last time the world had any noticeable gardens was when Xim the Despot conquered the world millenia ago. As the lights of capital grew larger, Ladislav pushed the control stick.

The escape pod gently tumbled into the desert dunes and rolled to sickening stop. Ladislav punched the hatch open and stumbled upon to the gritty sand. Moments later, Ngải followed suit. The alien took in a deep breath before lowering his elongated neck to let out a stream of vomit. Ladislav staggered up onto his feet. That looks like it would feel real good...But the man didn't. Instead, he pulled the rest of their gear out of the down ship and started the thermal well charges. Minutes later, the inside of the craft was little more than molten slag, not that the CSIS agents were there to see that.
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:30am
Red's Cantina, Ootbootana, Boonta

“So what's your death wish?”

Ladislav swiveled on his stool to face the female Zabrak.

“I don't have much of one, but may that's what I'm doing wrong. Can I have yours?”

She flashed him a broad smile. He returned a polite grin and let his eyes briefly wander around the cantina. Supposedly Red's was a middle-class establishment by Boonta's standards, at least according to CSIS. That apparently meant the “family-friendly” restaurant had almost stereotypical Gamorrean bouncers and a regular clientele of local starport workers and pilots mixed in with many of the passengers they ferried in and out of Hutt space. The good news was that the wide diaspora populating the restaurant allowed him to blend in and adopt any number of identities CSIS could provide. Unfortunately, the identity they did supply him had the same name was that of a recently wanted forger. She reached out and grabbed his hand.

“Do you want to take this outside?”

“Not really.”

She raised an eyebrow and began to twirl her hair, “Are you sure? I can be a lot of fun.”

“I bet. Look, I'm not the guy you think I am. I can't get you any documents or creds or whatever the other Lonti did. You're a bounty hunter, or maybe someone working with a bounty hunter aren't you?”

She shook her head, “What makes you think that?”

“I've got nothing going for me to get all your attention,” stated the man, “I've got a face that's attractive as a gundark's, the body of an invalid, and the credits of a beggar.”

“But you have a good sense of humor.”

“Which is what? Worth two credits? Maybe I can exchange that for drink from you then.”


“Well,” stated the man, “if a lady such as yourself is so interested in me, clearly you'd be willing to buy me a drink since you want me so badly. That's how it works, right?”

An amused grin swept over the Zabrak's almost rocky featured face, “No, it's not, sadly. But you are coming with me.”


“Yes,” stated a deep voice quietly behind him, “you are. That is, if you don't want to have this shiv ran through you back.”

“That's much more persuasive. But look, I'm not the guy you're looking for. If you look at the holos, you can see our faces don't match.”

“That's not what concerns me,” replied the Zabrak, leaning in closer, “now babe, let's go for a stroll.”

That's just great. And Ngải isn't back yet to back me up, just in case... The Confederate agent glumly finished his glass and followed the lithe Zabrak out. He finally caught a glimpse of the muscle behind her operation: a bulky Herglic that looked like it could almost eat him for breakfast. His old eyes glanced around for the Kon'me, but he didn't see him anywhere. They passed the Gamorrean bouncers and entered the dusty streets not far from the star port. But the woman in front of him led him a different way, through the main thoroughfare and into a little alcove of abandoned vendor stands. She waved him over to stool by an abandoned fruit stand.

Ladislav muttered, “Well, this is scenic.”

“Scenic enough to see if anyone's tailing us,” snorted the Zabrak.

“Look babe, I'm just a salesman, I've got nothing for you.”

“I admire how tenaciously you cling to that identity,” purred the woman, “not that it's really of any use to you with us.”

“And who might us be?”

“The Bothan SpyNet,” lightly laughed the woman, “you don't really think we wouldn't notice another agency creeping onto our turf. The escape pod thing you came down in, that almost cost us an operation. But you can make it up to us.”

He frowned, “You wanna start talking?”

“That's my line,” retorted the woman, “so this is what you and that Kon'me are going to do for us. You're going to get us back into the shipyards.”

“There aren't any shipyards,” replied the man, “or did you mean the scrapyards.”

“I meant what I said. But apparently CSIS hasn't been here long enough to realize the truth about things here. That's going to cost you some, but don't worry, we'll make it worth your while.”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:32am
Bootna Holding Corp Office, Ootbootana, Boonta

“I could be shot talking to you, I hope you realize this. Hell, you probably are going to be shot for this.”

Ngải lowered his neck, peering into the scrawny man's glazed eyes. But the man abruptly turned his head away. The dim lights in the corporate office cast shadows over the man's face; the kon'me could made less out of the man's facial expressions than he would have liked. Is that so. The kon'me stalked up behind the human.

“That is the very reason I am here.”

“To get us both killed?”

“No,” stated the alien dryly, “to prevent both of us from being killed. I am told that the Kasdic Gang has a bit of a hold on you.”

“Understatement of the year. They own us in every way you can imagine.”

“So what if I were to get rid of them?”

“You are either stupid, or I'm buying myself into something deeper.”

“The second,” replied the alien, pulling the man back into the light, “you are buying you and your company into the Confederation.”

“It's not that simple. Even if you did get rid of the gang, you still have their superiors to deal with.”

“That's already being worked on,” stated Ngải, “besides, you're going to hear me out if you don't want anyone to know about the bribe your man just took to get me to you.”

“Fine, fine. But make it quick.”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:37am
Bothan SpyNet Safehouse, Ootbootana, Boonta

“So we're settled then.”

“Except for timing,” interrupted the zabrak, reclining in her chair.

They had blindfolded the man before taking him to the safehouse, but he was certain that they were in one of the houses just outside of the abandoned stands because of the distinctive Corellian flair the house possessed. Ladislav spared a glance at the Herglic, who aside from making eye contact, made no movement. The CSIS agent turned his attention back to the female Zabrak.

“Look Kashi, I don't know what you're talking about, but maybe that's because I'm slow.”

“We're on a time schedule,” she muttered, gesturing at the Herglic, “the prototype the Hutts are constructing in the yard is supposed to be operational soon. And since a certain someone set off their security alarms by jumping their ship into the scrapyards, if it isn't swarming with extra security tonight, it's only to get worse before it gets better. This is the last night we can get in before they'll have definitely boosted security. If it'll make your Confederation feel any better, if we get the prototype tonight, it certainly won't end up in the hands of the Maelstrom Eight.”

“I just can't sacrifice Confederation equipment and credits on things I don't know about for sure.”

“Well, you don't have that choice, and if you start to get any ideas, our double agent will know.”

“Fine, fine, I'll do it, on one condition.”

“And that is?”

“After I pull my little stunt, you join my escape with the prototype.”


“Yes,” emphasized the man, “because if you don't, I'll transmit info to them letting them know that their prototype is being stolen.”

“You wouldn't.”

“I would,” stated Ladislav, “very simply because you won't have a hold over me any more. Because then I'll hold your life on the end, and you'll be dead.”

“Simply seeing the prototype isn't useful to your confederation.”

“I'll let my superiors make that call.”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:37am
Near the Kasdic Gang Lodge, outskirts of Ootbootana, Boonta

Ngải settled into position on the plateau overlooking the Kasdic Swoop Gang's lodge. For Hutt enforcers, the gang seemed remarkably clean-cut to his eyes. While a variety of humans, Nikto, and other Hutt servant species meandered and in out of the swinging doors, there were all dressed in the same black and gold jacket with a flaming sword emblazoned on the back. Light peered out from the slat-like windows on the metal structure, producing columns of lighted desert floor among the otherwise dusk lit sands. Even three kilometers away, the kon'me could faintly hear an odd mixture of high tempo cantina music mix with the drunken slurring of words and the occasional outburst of rough-housing. Finally, a single landspeeder pulled up to the lodge to disgorge a smaller shell-hutt: supposedly the Hutt's chief lieutenant on the world. Flanked by a pair of heavily armed mercenaries and an assassin droid, the shell-hutt slithered into the lodge. A bit more protection than we thought, that should work to our advantage, right?

He set down the macro-binoculars and rolled over to the CCA-9 sniper rifle propped up on a bipod. After rechecking the weapon's settings, the CSIS agent double-checked his cheekweld and homed in on one of the minute windows, catching minute glimpses of the Hutt slithering around and chattering among the bikers. Now to keep you in there. The kon'me tapped a button on his comlink. Far above him, another escape pod jetted out of the diplidated Kazellis-class freighter which had brought him to the world. It weaved itself out of the pile of orbiting junk to fall from the stars to the surface of the barren world. Ngải kept the reticle of his rifle's scope pinned on the lodge's door. But he spared a quick glance towards the sky, watching the escape pod's alabative ceramics burn brightly in the night sky. The kon'me returned his gaze to the scope. The pod came down hard onto the entrance of the building, crushing the arched metal entryway into burning rubble which intruded into the building itself. Toxic fumes and acrid smoke billowed into the hall. Ngải pivoted his rifle's reticle to cover the rear exit.
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:38am
Ghtroc Industries Class 720 Freighter Dancing Rancor, edges of the Ssesswe, in orbit via Boonta

“What the hell was that?” demanded Kashi.

Seating right behind her in the cokcpit, Ladislav forced the smirk from his face. Well, they wanted a distraction, and Ngải did give it to them. He leaned back into his chair.

“Well, that would be the other escape pod of the freighter I came in,” replied the CSIS agent, “should hopefully send them scurrying over after it, or maybe if we're lucky to the escape pod's location on the ground.”

The bulky Herglic that had accompanied them thus far, a grizzled old smuggler named Roju, turned back to face him from the pilot's chair.

“Don't get cocky. You're hella lucky the sensor shroud we have is as good as it is, because the Rancor here isn't much of a fighting ship...”

The Zabrak stared hard at her console, her eyes gleaning the relevant information from the ship's computers. But she haven't to say much; a pair of light Hutt starfighters surged overhead the smuggler's ship, oblivious to their presence. He noticed the quartet of their engine exhausts nearly fade into the glittering junk before arcing down towards the world's surface. Shortly thereafter, even more ships circled around above the Ssesswe junkyard before diving down towards the surface. I hope Ngải is doing well down there. But we should have got them all right where we want them soon...He quietly tapped a button on his comlink in his pocket, which transmitted a short comm burst to the Kazellis-class freighter still orbiting in the junkyard, which would in turn relay that signal deeper into space.

Roju expertly steered the craft among the tumbling debris, no doubt aided by the Ghtroc's unusual arrangement of engines and maneuvering thrusters. Several maneuvers later, the starship broke through a wall of apparently compacted junk to find a small, antiqidated orbital yard large enough to barely hold a frigate. He studied the bronze-colored station carefully. That thing is positively ancient, maybe one of the survivors from when Boonta wasn't this decreipt podracing world, but Ko Vari, the epicenter of Xim the Despot's shipbuilding endeavors. And it's been here all this time? But who would be so cheap to use something so ancient? I know the Hutts are cheapskates...but still...is it even possible for something that old to produce something so new? Ladislav shook the thoughts away.

“Code is in, it seems to be working well,” mused Kashi, turning back to face the CSIS man, “I suppose we can uncuff you from the chair now. Now that the main danger has passed. But maybe not...”

“I'm coming with you, right? That's what the deal was,” reminded the man, “you really don't me to pull the stunt off with this ship, do you?”

“It's my ship,” reminded Roju, “and there's no way I'm letting this boy touch the controls, with or without stun cuffs. Let him go on the station and create some more distractions there. He's certainly foolish enough to keep some of the guard's busy. Besides, my end of the deal said I'm leaving once I boot you two jokers off my Rancor.”

“Fine,” glared the woman, “just stay away from me until we're all clear of the station.”

“I thought I was joining you on the prototype.”

“Sure,” said the woman, “if you don't get yourself killed first. But remember our deal, you keep the guards off my back.”

“Yeah, yeah, I got it. Maybe you're going to give me a weapon.”

“Wasn't in the terms,” smirked the woman, pulling out the key to the stuncuffs, “but I hear they give you CSIS guys combatives training. I hope it's good enough to see you through this mess.”

She began to fiddle with the stuncuff's locks. And we thought having a triple agent selling us out to the Bothan SpyNet was a good idea...He spared a quick glance at Roju, but the Herglic ignored him. He is a triple agent, right? Double agents were tricky enough, triple agents were far too complicated for Ladislav to want to deal with, but sometimes he didn't have much of a choice. I'd bet we're paying him better...assuming he doesn't have a fourth master...Kashi finally released his cuffs from as the Dancing Rancor entered the magcon field of the station. He joined the Zabrak infiltrator at the head of the ramp. No sooner had he let out a sigh, then the motors began to whirl to lower down the ship's ramp onto the deck of the station. Here goes nothing...again...
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:39am
Near the Kasdic Gang Lodge, outskirts of Ootbootana, Boonta

Ngải squeezed the trigger of his rifle, incinerating the midsection of the assassin droid charged with protecting the Shell Hutt lieutenant. The droid collapsed into a heap on top of another dozen bodies in the doorway, all slain trying to leave the burning building. Let's see that hutt slither through that pile of bodies. He felt a blast of wind nearly knock his head to the ground before he heard the twinned sounds of repulsorlifts and engines pushing a dozen starships through the sky towards the lodge. This is soon? I've got to get out here. The alien easily hefted up the oversized blaster rifle and began running to the speeder bike he had rented. A hutt light starfighter zipped over him, its shockwave knocked the running alien to the ground, but the kon'me quickly scrambled back up and kept running forwards. Several minutes later, he jumped into a small ditch and finally reached the hastily concealed bike. Then he heard a sudden whistling pierce through the air. Without thinking, the alien fell onto the ground behind the speeder bikes. Moments later, the salvos of Starflare missiles finished their plummet, smashed into the lodge, and detonated. The resulting explosion of the proton explosives obliterated all the agent's handiwork. But he had held them in long enough that there was little to no chance of escaping the explosion. I wonder how the news will explain the explosion, but that does give the Confederation a lot of plausible denialability and neatly wipes out most of the Hutt's power on this world...if the CEO has the guts to go through the rest of it...I'd better get back to him.


Ko Vari Shipyard, Ssesswe, in orbit via Boonta

Ladislav slinked along the danky passageways of the station. Whenever heard the faintest sound, the rub of a cleaning droid's brushes or the ding of a piece of metal hit the floor, he froze before finding cover. It was surprisingly easily. Over the years, most of the panels in the hallways had disappeared out of neglect or removed for easier maintenance on the ancient station, leaving a seemingly endless amount of exposed compartments for him to hide in. Yet despite all his work creeping around the station, he hadn't seen anyone yet, aside from some cleaning droids who Ladislav thought were only slightly newer than the station itself. They ignored him, and he ignored them in turn. He heard a sudden droning of Huttese from a throaty individual errupt from the next intersection up. The CSIS agent quietly peered out from the side to see a chattering nimban and a quiet human male quickly stroll through the intersection without looking. Glancing around, he noticed a strand of loose wiring. Grabbing it, the man shuffled off into the corridors behind them.

When he was within ten meters, Ladislav rushed up behind pulled the wiring around the other man's neck and pulled. The tech's arms scrambled to reach around and grab the assailant. The nimban drew out a comlink and quickly chattered into it. Ladislav smiled and shoved the man into the alien. As the nimban caught his co-worker, the CSIS agent closed the distance and snap-kicked the alien's knee. The nimban struggled to keep his balance. Better. Ladislav forcefully shoved the gasping man forward, toppling and entangling the pair into a tangled mess on the floor. Alarm klaxons began to sound followed by a forceful voice in huttese barking words unknown to the CSIS agent. He ran from the scene. Well, hopefully that is the guards issuing the alarm that the Nimban called in. That should send security over here shortly. And I have a date to catch with a certain Zabrak...

He rounded a corridor sharply and smacked into a beefy gamorrean wielding a vibro-axe.The CSIS bounded off the alien, who grunted and swung his vibro-axe to where the man had been seconds earlier; the axe crashed through the side of the wall. The gamorrean pulled, but the axe did not come out. Ladislav used the opportunity to grab the bulky alien's tusk and sharply twisted them downwards to the wall. Moisture from the alien's mouth lapped onto his fingers. Last time I ever try this one. He let go of the struggling alien and repeatedly banged the alien's left eye with a closed fist. Ladislav seized the belt of the creature, pulled it forward, and as the alien resisted, quickly changed it to a pushing motion; the alien fell back flat on his feet. Ladislav turned, lifted the axe out of the dent it had made and swung it downwards in a quick chop that fell solidly in the creature's midsection. The guard let a out a disturbingly poignant grunt and huddled up into a ball.

Cradling the weapon, Ladislav continued forward deeper into the station and to Project Brightstar.
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:40am
Bootna Holding Corp Office, Ootbootana, Boonta

“You've received the confirmation that he's dead.”

“They found his shell in the building,” replied the CEO, referencing the Shell-hutt's characteristic snail-like shell, “I don't know how you managed that, and I'm not sure I want to know how you managed to take him and most of the Kasdics out. But I don't know...”

“Now is the time to act,” stated the kon'me, “we only have a limited amount of time before the Hutts send in replacements, though they should be busy for the next couple of hours.”

“Why's that?” frowned the man.

“A little project of theirs in orbit is having some difficulties,” replied the alien curtly, “it took a lot of work to get one of our people of there to turn it into the disaster to give you more time to make the changes. I will be with you every step of the way. Once you transmit the preapproved application, we can summon in the waiting Confederate fleet, and you'll be safe.”

“You'll stick with me for the rest of the day?”

“I have been assigned to protect you until our navy lands a protection detail.”

“All right, I can do it then. Where's the document?”

Ngải handed a data chip containing the document to the trembling hands of the man. He wondered if the man knew how much legal research, side deal-making, and Sarkan credits had been poured into the document to make it pass the muster of Confederation law on such short notice, but the alien quickly pulled himself back to the reality of making the president safe. He rechecked the locks of the doors and windows, rechecked his blaster, and began to recheck the security feeds within the building itself.


Brightstar, Ko Vari Shipyard, Ssesswe, in orbit via Boonta

“Smaller than I thought it'd be.”

Kashi quickly turned to face the voice in the rear of the converted freighter's cockpit. Before the woman could react, Ladislav swung the back half of his vibro-axe's head into the woman's face. He heard the crunch of one of her vestigal horns breaking and then the sickening thud of the metal smashing into her skull itself. She went limpt in her seat. Whether she was unconscious or dead, Ladislav didn't know, didn't care. He set the axe down and quickly began to check the Brightstar's data boards. The modified Gallofree transport, made famous by the rebel's evacuation from Hoth during the civil war, seemed almost just like every other one still managing to limp the starlanes. However decrepit and helpless it looked on the outside made it all the more dangerous. There still all there. Thank the maker. He thumbed his comlink.

“Trojan, I've got the...uh, bridge, control pod, of the Brightstar under control. All of the nuclear missiles are still present according to the readout.”

A disembodied voice answered him, “Good. You don't happen to be carrying one of our plug and play datapads, do you?”

“Not yet, our triple agent is supposed to be dropping it off shortly.”

“He's dead.”


“Recon watched the Dancing Rancor get torn apart by Hutt security ships when he tried to escape the Ssesswe. I'm sorry, you have my apologies. Better sit tight...wait...I've just received the membership treaty. We'll be there shortly. If anyone is about to get control of the ship, well...”

“I understand. Can't have Hutts nuking rebellious worlds...Captain goes down with his ship.”

“Indeed, Captain Ladislav.”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 28 2013 3:41am

Brandenburg, Genon

“I didn't think I'd every be seeing you in private again,” noted Pro-consul Thorn quietly, “what crisis has pulled me back into being back in your circle. I thought you had enough councilors under your sway. How many take their unofficial counsel from you now? A dozen? I heard you're becoming a bit of a politician, some would even say a puppetmaster.”

The Supreme Commander quietly shut the door behind him. The Pro-Consul's suite in Atlas Hall hadn't changed much since the last time he had been present. There were fewer holos of them together, and more of her with random diginitaries of the Confederation and foreign powers. She did always like to change them up.

Corise shrugged the woman's comments away, “How did the Sarkans do it?”

“I'm going to assume that you're talking about Boonta, since everyone seems to be talking about it today...but why are you here with me, truly. Harding can tell you everything about this, and I know the two of you still have your monthly dinners. You could have dropped by on him.”

“I could have,” acknowledged the younger Lucerne, “but he doesn't have the subtle interpretation that you do of situations.”

Her brown eyes stared hard at him, “He's a bit more straightforward and to the point, kind of like someone else in this room.”

“I don't deny it.”

“Then you won't mind telling me straight out why we're suddenly talking again. Let me omit a few excuses for you first: it's not for old time's sake, it's not because we were almost sort of thing, and it's certainly not for you to flatter me into anything at all. The hard truth, like you always wanted from me.”

He hesitated.

“I won't deny staying away from you these past months,” admitted the man, “because you revealed a side of you that I didn't appreciate when you revealed it to me. You said you were politician, and I've always known that, but it always seemed to easily coexist with that precious little school girl I grew up with in Solace. You were somehow cleaner, more pure than the other politicians. But the clone incident, whatever you want to call it, it took that perception and idea I held of you and destroyed it like Skywalker did to the Death Star.”

“People aren't clean and straightcut, aside from you, Mr. Droid Supreme Commander,” mused the woman, pouring up a cup of caf, “we're all messy, and I'll admit this is the messiest I've ever seen you. You're almost emotional. Maybe you've spent too much time around politicians now. But in all seriousness, Corise, I never liked that double life I lived behind your back, or should I say mine and the clone, er...clones. But it seemed like the bright future for the Confederation. The one that would help all our people, and once I thought they had accomplished that, I thought you would accept that the ends justified the means...”

“Sounds like a certain Empire founder that I remember reading about, one alive when we were still young.”

“And he was a great politician,” defended Thorn cradling her caf, “as much as we loathe Palpatine, he was successful at what he did, and his methods and reasoning were sound...admitteldy more in the beginning than the end.”

“You're getting offtrack.”

“That's one thing I didn't miss,” muttered the woman half-heartedly, “everyone else doesn't seem to mind the diversions of thoughts...”

Corise shrugged, “It's that I don't dislike them, it's a matter of time...”

“Then you'll have to promise and come talk to me sometime else this week, nothing professional, only personal. I've missed you, Corise. Promise?”


“I'll get to the point then,” said Thorn, “as far I've been able to make out, the Sarkans threatened the head of our legal committee with funding a study group to look into how the cloning experiment ever made it past that committee without certain moral safeguards, or something like that. In any case, they twisted his arm to get the necessary framework in place to get several of these prewritten membership treaties in place, just awaiting signatures. I won't get too deep into the legalese, but it's one of those temporary emergency approvals that provides the basic alliance until a more formal treaty can be signed.”

“It needs to be regulated.”

“But it is a nice trick to have in the tool bag,” replied Thorn, 'and those councilors who liked having that tool to deal with sticky situations, along with those councilors swayed by Sarkan credits, easily outweighed that coalition of right and just councilors that you seem to be trying to form.”

“I think the Council needs an oversight body,” admitted Corise.

“You've always thought that. Whatever supreme court idea you've been trying to hammer needs more work too. But that's something we can start working on, when you know, we're meeting on a more regular basis, and having some fun together. That's what I call what you call torture. You know you can be productive without doing work, right?”


“Absolutely. See you at 1730.”