Adjuvant Honor (Quas Killam)
Posts: 8
  • Posted On: Oct 29 2009 5:51am
Roughly fifty kilometers from Solace, Kashan

Rain steadily poured down upon the ground like an orbital bombardment; reducing the ground to a muddy mush; felling down the shafts of crops to tainted chaff on the ground. Only a single, massive automated combine dared to jut out from the field. But it was no better off than the field which it had tilled weeks ago, with massive holes riddling its body. Life had fallen out of here in this shrouded pocket of the galaxy, with no witnesses to reveal the alien assault to the galaxy at large. The Cree’Ar still reigned as the dominant force over all of Kashan, save for the burnished city of Solace and a scant few estates just outside of its limits. From them rolled a pair of heavy tanks with several dozen Paladin IIs marching in their tracks. Mud had splattered the armor of all of the Confederate war party; warping grandiose achievements of technology into things akin to postmodern art.

“The combine looks like a nonthreat…hold, right here,” ordered Trutzig, glancing through the scope, “send the Observers forward to check it out.”

A pair of the droids lifted off from the back of the Ares tanks and floated towards a set of distant buildings. General Trutzig toggled the scope on the tank, viewing the buildings in various spectrums along with the other crew members. The private next to him sighed.

“No life signs…no survivors again.”

“But there are active electronics in the buildings,” murmured Trutzig, “could be droid survivors…the Kashan make everything so automated around here…probably had a family with a hundred droids running this operation…”

“The drones are taking fire sir.”

Plasma fire streamed out of the buildings and tore up the Confederate droid, reducing it to a pile of molten scrap in mid-air. Trutzig glanced at the feed from the other droid as it widely dodged more enemy fire from various buildings. It’s utterly infested. Just like the last homestead…and more ripped up agri droids…apparently the invaders aren’t that great at understanding what is and isn’t a threat…

“Recall the drone,” ordered the Audacian man, “and call the place in. It isn’t worth the hassle to retake it; especially with dead owners.”

“Yes sir.”

The droid spastically shot away from the building amid converging showers of plasma and water. A plasma bolt made a glancing hit on the droid, stripping away its armor and igniting a chimney of smoke. Trutzig snorted. Another one going to repair bays again…The ground shook, causing the general to glance up at the building as emerald thunder struck down on the set of buildings in a flurry of turbolaser bolts. A handful of the spiders managed to scurry out of the buildings as they were incinerated. The Cree’ar machines turned into soggy ashes right alongside the wreckage of the Observer drone that had destroyed.

“Good thing we’ve got the navy up there to help us out with things like this,” rambled the private, “you’ve got a daughter in the navy, sir, don’t you?”

The Audacian glumly nodded, “Holly just took her first command.”

“You don’t seem to be too happy with her.”

Trutzig paused, “Sometimes people don’t live up to your expectations. I’m not sure if that’s my fault, or hers...”
Posts: 40
  • Posted On: Oct 29 2009 5:52am
CCDF Complex, Genon

Jungle mist still clung to her alabaster garments as the Pro-Consul strode into the Soroyan man’s office. The soldier abruptly rose and stretched out his hand. Christina daintly clasped the outreached hand and abruptly drew it away. She plastered on one of those public smiles that those acquainted with the halls of fame always wore. He gestured for her to take a seat.

“Madam, it is a real pleasure to see you again? What may I do for you, assuming that still aren’t interested in my offer of lunch?”

She wryly shook her head, “How you find time for a private life as a PR representative, I will never know.”

He grinned, “It’s tough at times, but I manage to sneak away from the spotlight now and then. And so you have you now, it would seem. Right now, I don’t see your typical phalanx of reporters and admirers like a pack of rabid dogs. What? Are they just behind those doors? You’re trying to protect me, aren’t you?”

The Kashan woman shook her head, “I can’t be that mean, even if it is to you. I only managed to sneak away from the council to information on the Drahcir Cartel operations.”

“And you couldn’t just request a report?” questioned the man.

“I had some private business to attend to as well.”

“So you do have a private life somehow,” smiled the colonel, “don’t worry, I won’t let Lucerne know about this secret. In any case, the Killam allied task force under Hotspur completely wiped out the cartel’s station. He’s taken many prisoners, including their leader, but he’s refusing to send all of them to the allied courts in the Mytanor Sector.”

Thorn’s face darkened, “It’s unacceptable. We all came together to destroy this organization before it corrupted our peoples, we have all worked together to this end. And yet he seeks to strip us of our rights as agreed upon the treaty?”

The liaison officer shifted in his seat, “At least he is willing to send their chief to Kashyyk for justice.”

“Who else is he sending?” questioned the Pro-Consul.


The diplomat rolled her eyes, “Well now, we have an exception to his disregard to our negotiations. How are the other governments taking it?”

“Madame, I do not know for certain. Some do openly side with us. Some of them are quietly agreeing with Hotspur, albeit not to the public eye.”

Thorn sighed, “Are they still not over our forces we sent on the mission?”

“They repeat that it’s too little-”

“It’s more than any other single entity in this regional project,” interrupted Thorn rashly, “sorry Fred…this whole project is just getting so frustrating. Especially after it started out so well in the beginning. Where did we go wrong?”

“I am not sure,” said the man, “perhaps in sending the General’s daughter as part of the mission.”

Thorn paused. “Holly? How does she figure into this?”

“Apparently her corvette is rumored to spend more time in a shadowport than on patrol or with the allied fleet. She’s the object of derision among the higher-ups.”

Thorn let out an exasperated sigh, “And let me guess. No-one wants to openly remove her from service because of her father.”

Fred snorted, “If you were a regional government, would try to tick off or insult the leader of a forty world plus army? It doesn’t seem smart.”

“Hans is very down-to-earth man though, always leading from the front…” mused Christina, “he wouldn’t do something like that, even if he did have that power. If what you said is true, I’m surprised that Holly’s his daughter.”

Fred leaned back. “You aren’t not the only one…”
Posts: 40
  • Posted On: Oct 31 2009 5:23am
Killam-class Destroyer Goblin, Deep Space

“We’ll get them this time. I swear it on my honor,” growled Hotspur, leaning precipitously forward.

“They’s a coming about…they’re spoiwling for a fioght my liege capt’n.”

“Lock all weapons and give them justice.”

At his whim, countless megajoules of energy spun out of the Goblin’s saucer-shaped bow as rusty red turbolaser bolts. The Goblin's sisterships added their own fire to the Goblin’s concentrated salvos; their combined firepower smashed into a diplidated corvette’s flank, suffusing in reds and yellows even before that ship’s reactor went critical. The starship blossomed into thousands of superheated shards like a star going supernova. As a round of cheers rose up around the bridge; Hotspur hastily cut a knotch into his armrest. Another kill. He grimly smiled.

The bridge suddenly shuddered, knocking Hotspur’s vibroblade out of his hands. He cursed as the starboard of the Beastmaster cut across the Goblin’s bow. Weapons sounded off from both starship; Hotspur nearly blinked as a turbolaser not even a hundred meters away from him attempted to end his life. Among the chaos of the battle, Hotspur roared.

“All ships, focus all fire on that conduit covering underneath their bridge.”

Concentrated light tore through the shielding and armor of the frigate with a ferocity worthy of a Sith knight. Flames and sparks flickered across the Beastmaster's hull, then the conduit’s armor melted in a blaze of lights. Running lights across the Drahcir cartel warship faded into the blackness of space. Weapons fire and shields from the Beastmaster quickly perished. The frigate was nothing more than a drifting hulk in space. Hotspur loudly cleared his throat.

“Inform the Beastmaster that I will accept their surrender now,” stated Hotspur, “Men, long have I-”


A voice yanked him out of his reverie.

Hotspur shook his head. “Yes?”

“We have arrived at the alliance headquarters. Sir, we have received multiple requests to speak with you, as well as dozens of congratulatory messages. However, the Confederates are less than pleased with the, well…the prisoner issue.”

Hotspur shook his head, “There is nothing to be said for those wanton dregs. Schedule their execution for tomorrow. Come up with something spectular and painful. I will set the standard by which we purge this vermin.”

“By your honor, sir.”

“Indeed,” said Hotspur, idly watching the man pace away.


Brandenburg, Genon

His eyes darted over her like fast-tracking laser cannons. They bore into her like turbolasers. They sought something; something sought them. Her own eyes rested on his face, betraying equal parts of derision and intrigue. Thorn shook her head.

“You coward.”

If he felt something, the man did not show it. Instead, he merely tapped a button on his remote; the tropical sunshine rapidly fled through the closing blinds; leaving the two of them in artificial shade. She never knew what to think of him; that man that lounged on her couch, in her villa, in her heart. How he could so casually wear his pajamas in her house was beyond her. She knew what he wanted. Thorn entered his orbit, immediately catching scent of the classical, woody cologne he always wore in her presence. The Pro-consul curled up to the man, allowing him to rub her scalp. He snorted.

“How do I resemble a cow?”

“Corise, I’m not in the mood for your wordplay,” lightly rebuked the brunette, “particularly after you’ve been hiding the whole Hotspur-Trutzig affair from me.”

“If you would prefer, we go back to my other place for this. Nothing like the Revanche’s cabins…”

“Except a complete lack of discretion,” retorted Thorn, “but don’t change the subject on me. You’ve known, and you never told me?”

“Who told you?” replied the younger Lucerne, “a little bird.”

“Fred at the CCDF complex.”

“Ah, there you go again,” chided Corise, “abusing your wiles again. I bet he was more than happy to see you.”

“At least he’s honest with me.”

“And I am not? I did not lie to you…”

Thorn shook her head, “No, you didn’t. But you weren't up front with me either. It’s the same effect, even if the means are different. Why?”

“Because she’s Hans’ daughter,” replied the Admiral, “I can’t just yank her off service and switch her with someone else. Besides, Trutzig is a personal friend of mine. It is hard to find fellow gentlemen officers in the Confederation, and I don’t mean those chivalric Knight Generals from Till Chorios.”

“You’re letting personal feelings get in the way of the job?” said Christina, raising an eyebrow, “that’s rather unlike the Corise I know.”

“No,” defended the man, “I am being pragmatic. I would rather not anger the man who controls millions, if not billions, of soldiers, battle droids, and you name it…”

“He’s your subordinate, they’re you’re-”

“The army is loyal to him,” cut in Lucerne, “more so than me. Not that I’m saying that he could cause a civil war or anything, but rather that an action that could be perceived as a political move by me could create some discontent among his people, particularly among those Audacians that are right now in the process of reclaiming Kashan from those alien droids…”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Nov 5 2009 6:43am
Pin pricks of light lighted up the void filled path for the travelers; a pair of saucer like patrol craft fresh from Hotspur’s victory, and a dozen, haggard drone barges that looked like they were about to pull apart at their welded seams. Yet they all moved at a plodding pace that bored hotshot pilots to tears and kept even the most nervous, fledging pilots comfortable.

“So who set us up for this?”

Rogern let a smug grin flourish across his face, “Kid, you got too many kills last battle; you’re going to make Hotspur jealous. And you know that means. A personal duel.”

“That’s somewhat less terrifying than watching over these old tubs. At least I can defend myself in a duel…these drone barges would fall apart if a bug smacked into their viewport.”

Rogern shook his head, “It could be worse.”

“How so? What does the side of that barge say? Oh, that’s right, munitions. They go, and we go with them. I’m telling you, if this becomes a war zone, this nice little escort mission is going to be a one-way trip to a fiery hell,” complained the junior pilot, “and I won’t stick around for that.”

The space around them lit up like a thousand candles flickering into existence. Rusty freighters, hi-tech mercenary fighters built by Stellar Enterprises, battered assault shuttles, and a host of other small craft descended upon the Killam convoy from hyperspace like a jolt of lightning. Laser fire erupted from both sides in a multi-spectrum display. Rogern quietly swore as he targeted a freighter etched with the markings of a local smuggling group. As he tore away at the smuggler’s shields, an assortment of rebel compatriots returned the favor to the patrol ship, gradually stripping away the Killam craft’s own shielding.

“Hal,” swore Rogern, “get those barges away from here, I’ll hold these guys off until you can retreat. See you back at base.”

Hal didn’t bother to reply, but his patrol ship abruptly turned about to follow the portly drone barges towards their last nav point. Sporadic fire still erupted between the newcomers and Rouge Two, but it was not nearly as heavy as he was facing. Rogern glanced at the control board of his own craft. Rouge One’s shields at twelve percent? Frak. A blast rocked the ship, raining down a flurry of sparks from ceiling. His co-pilot muttered.

“There go are port deflector shields…”

“We’ve got reinforcements!” shouted Hal over the comlink.

A boxy, light gray corvette emerged from the other nav point upon the convoy. Rogern managed a glance at it before turning his attention back to the smuggler craft. One of those Confederate corvettes. About time they come around to do something useful…Thank the maker…I won’t die yet. Rouge two shouted.

“Rogern, it’s not ours!”

The patrol ship captain glanced out of the viewport again. Emerald quad laser fire rippled from the Juaire II’s sides, quickly tearing away the remaining shields on Rouge Two and stripping away the shielding on the drone barges. His co-pilot nudged him.

“This looks bad…that ship isn’t running any transponder codes, and it’s communicating with them,” said his comm. Officer, motioning towards the criminal craft, “I think we might lose this one unless Hotspur comes to our rescue.”

A bright blue flash enveloped Rouge Two, and Rogern sighed.


Terr'skiar Sector Alliance Headquarters

“How you have the gall to complain to me is beyond me, but by my honor, you can hardly say better. Where is your Captain Trutzig? Perhaps someone should investigate if the rumors are true, that she spends her time in the shadowports enjoying the fine company of the very scoundrels and low-lifes who we all came together to rid this sector of,” countered Hotspur, “not that the Confederates you’ve assigned to me have been much more helpful.”

Lucerne glared at the Killam, “Commander Bryant has followed your orders to the letter I will mind you. He has, in fact, received several commendations for your peers in carefully following their own wishes. As for Lieutenant Trutzig, she and her vessel were not assigned to you, or anyone else within the TSA. She is on a fact finding mission for the Council, and she will perform as all Confederate officers, which is to say, better than that rabble which you call the Quas Killam fleet-”

“And where are your fleet’s prisoners, O mighty one,” rebuked the Governor-Captain, “I have shed my own people’s blood for them. Your prissy pants crews will have no share in our glory and honor-”

“You’ve ordered my people to follow leads which are little more than fool’s errands. None of the other alliance members have had any success under your leadership, am I correct?”

The holo-graphic vision scanned the room, glancing at the dozen or so other officers who had kept silent during the exchange. Two New Apsolon officers glanced at each other, as if to question the wisdom in entering such a fight. None of the corporate officers from Pizilis said anything. Pure silence reverberated throughout the room; an occurrence as rare as Sith converting into a Jedi when both Lucerne and Hotspur were in the room. One of the protocol droids cleared its throat.

“I believe you are correct si-” stated the droid plainly.

“Shut up,” demanded Hotspur, rising from his chair to face the Confederate visage, “maybe no-one has my luck or skill in finding our enemies. Maybe neither of us can prove it one way or the other. But here’s something that I can prove: that you expressedly countered a motion to ransom back our first TSA fleet commander, my own uncle, when he was captured by the Ekobgnilob Cartel. If he isn’t dead, you’ve left him rotting in-”

“He was under investigation for treason for betraying fleet movements and government information to the said cartel,” interrupted Lucerne irately, “do not think that you can spin this one on us. Your uncle is a traitor, and once he caught whiff of our suspicions, he just happened to disappear to the very people that he was betraying us to-”

“I will not tolerate such abuse to my family’s honor,” said Hotspur, “I challenge you to a gentleman’s duel, if you have any honor left within you.”

“I decline,” snorted the Admiral, “for the moment. I will take you up on the offer once you deliver the Drahcir prisoners to the TSA headquarters.”

Hotspur hesitated. Lucerne smiled.
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jan 10 2010 4:26am
“Out of my way.”

The Confederate technician nearly fell from Hotspur’s forceful push. The Quas Killam snarled; dozens of TSA mechanics, droids, and flight deck crew cleared their way out of the station’s cramped, diminutive hangar. If Hotspur could have been distracted from his rage, he might have heard the whispers comparing himself to a drunkard rancor. The Governor-Captain tapped a stub on his comlink, beginning his YT freighter’s automated pre-flight checklist. Next to it, his eyes caught sight of an all too familiar sight. With one fell swoop, Hotspur snatched a careless mechanic’s hydrospanner from the floor and hurled at the boxy shuttle next to his freighter. The tool smashed into the side of Commander Bryant’s shuttle like a stone through a steel window; which is to say, loud but somewhat ineffective to both parties. The YT-1300’s ramp hit the flight deck with a thud and the Governor-Captain strode up it. He entered the cockpit and immediately began to goose the ship forward out of the hangar. A clear voice emanated from his console.

“This is-”

“Freighter Loose Canon leaving the station’s hangar bay, Governor-Captain Hotspur aboard,” interrupted Hotspur.

“Ah, do you have a flight plan, for security purposes? Sir?”

“That’s none of your business. I am going for a pleasure flight if you must know.”

“Sir, I don’t need to know that. Just an approximate route and ETA so your people can find you if they need to.”

“They won’t,” replied Hotspur, “now then, good day. Hotspur out.”

The Loose Canon surged away from the station, nearly ramming a decrepit Z-95 which played sentry for the TSA base. Hotspur spared a glance back at the base. No-one had followed him. He rapidly entered a few codes into the freighter’s nav computer and the starship portaled into hyperspace. Lights flashed and faded into darkness in countless myriad of undescribable forms before his eyes in a light-show that seemed to last fifteen minutes before the Loose Canon reverted into a remarkably nondescript vista of rocks. Hotspur flipped several buttons on his subspace transciever.

“Dalek, are you around?”

Ten seconds passed before a gravelly voice answered, “I am. You know the way in. So come on in if you wish.”

The Loose Canon fluttered through the asteroid belt like a leaf on the wind. Hotspur’s scowl momentarily disappeared as he concentrated on dodging the rocks the size of his mansion back home to clouds of pebbles. Hotspur muttered to no-one in particular.

“He sure knows how to keep people at bay…”

The Loose Canon finally broke through a cloud of meteorites, which had banged up the freighter’s shields, into the orbit of a larger asteroid nearly the size of a Strike Cruiser. He gazed across the dead gray surface of the rock, finally spotting a quartet of neon lights which illuminated the entrance to the hideout. The freighter surged towards the lights to enter a tunnel filled with darkness; even with the freighter’s external running lights on, Hotspur could only see the roughly hewn walls half the time. More alarmingly to Hotspur, the tunnel seemed to shake and shudder as he flew through it; sheets of dust rained down on the freighter and obscured his view even more. He thought it a minor miracle that he hadn’t managed to scrape the side of the corridor. A minute passed before he caught sight of two beacons ahead announcing the magcon field’s presence, and the rough hangar containing a motley assortment Headhunters and a pair of transports one trip away from the scrap heap. Hotspur glanced at the Headhunter’s colors, surprised that Quas Killam’s blue and orange color color scheme still resided on the ships’ after all of this time. He hovered over towards one of the other transforts and abruptly shut down the repulsorlifts: the Loose Canon dropped onto the ground with a thud. His comlink buzzed.

“Nephew, you have much explaining to do.”

Hotspur nodded, “There is much to discuss.”

“Let us start with your bombardment of my base.”


Juaire Mk II-class Corvette Arconit

“Another one.”

Four more Starflares leapt out of the Arconit’s tubes and disappeared into the void; only for to reappear as bright flashes of light on the asteroid’s surface, and the quartet of neon lights at the entrance to the tunnel were no more. Holly Trutzig stared at the increasingly scarred surface and let out a sigh. One of the Killam on the bridge came up and leaned on the railing near her.

“It is for the better,” said the near-human, “Hotspur must go for the balance to be restored. You say what he intended to do the prisoners he captured.”

“They owe you their lives,” mumbled the Audacian woman.

“And you as well,” said Caldwell, “I do not know many people would attack their official allies for the better treatment of their enemies. I know your Confederation is honoring its agreement by turning them into the local authorities.”

“I’m still not sure that was the right thing to do,” replied Captain Trutzig, turning away from the viewport, “but-”

“The entrance tunnel has wholly collapsed,” said an officer.

“-you also fought against your own people.”

“Ah,” said the Killam, “but we are not allies. Hotspur’s family suppressed many good people when they came to power. Turned many of us into criminals. There is little lost love between us all. When he and his family leave, the monarchy will go with them. Then democracy can return to Quas Killam. It has been a long time in the coming…”

“We are receiving a message from the base.”

Holly snorted, “Patch it through to my console. Come Richard, let us go see your foe.”

The two paced over to the holo-projector to portray the two Hotspurs in their TSA flag officer uniforms. Holly’s eyes narrowed at the elder Hotspur’s sight. But Richard merely snorted in contempt. The younger Hotspur stared hard at Holly.

“You are Holly.”

The woman brushed a strand of hair from her gray-green eyes, “I am Captain Trutzig. What do you want, Governor-captain?”

“Why are you bombarding my base?”

“Why are talking to a wanted man?” countered Holly.

“Indeed, why are you?” mimicked Hotspur, “Caldwell there is a wanted for treason. Place him under arrest and cease your bombardment at once. Wait till Admiral Lucerne and the rest of the Council hear about your criminal activities. Why I bet-”

“The Admiral already knows,” stated Holly plainly, “He’s the one that had the tracking device put onto the Loose Canon at the station. If you think you carry any weight in his eyes, think again.”

“Quas Killam carries much weight in this sector-”

“You know, you’re really round and large,” scoffed Holly, “but you need a better disguise to convince me that you are all of Quas Killam. I see Caldwell, I see Howe, and I have seen a host of other people exiled or driven from their homeworld merely because they want basic rights. I am sorry sir, but anyone who kills other people who don’t agree with you, even enemy POWs, has very little weight with me.”

Hotspur’s eyes flared up. “You…you’re the one…”

“I am one of many who took them from you,” said the Confederate, “but fear not. They are safe in the joint custody of the Confederation and the Free Quas Killam movement.”

“I will avenge my soldiers’ death.”

“No-one was killed in the rescue,” corrected Trutzig, “we disabled their ships and took them into custody. According to Lucerne, they will be charged as accessories in the War Crimes trials.”

“Ha! As if you would dare try to imprison a head of state and put him on public trial. Whose law would you follow? The TSA has no laws for this. My uncle here would know better than I.”

“What he says is true,” said Caldwell, “You are not serious about putting him on trial, are you?”

“No,” replied Trutzig, “Lucerne is a bit more of a pragmatist than to start a political riot. He has sentenced you to death. I am to carry out the execution.”

Silence permeated the bridge. Caldwell and the other Killam rebels turned to stare at Trutzig. The woman weakly smiled. She ruefully shook her head.

“Normally, I don’t support a death sentence, nor would I execute such an order without a trial, either by a Confederate tribunal or a local court,” said Trutzig softly, “but you sir, are a special case. There is no court I could turn you in to for a fair trial. Your appointed judges on Quas Killam would free you in a heartbeat. If a TSA court was formed, it would as likely result in a mistrial as a conviction, and in either case, we would loose Quas Killam’s support; perhaps even go to war. If the Killam movement puts you on trial, it will divide a nation just barely formed, nor will I guess you will get an unbiased trial from the parents and offspring of those you’ve murdered and exiled. And all of these public options result in more violence and more lives spent. No, I can save hundreds, maybe even thousands, by ending you here with no witnesses. Real idealism is saving people rather than embracing sides of a black and white conflict.”

Hotspur growled, “Then I believe am I entitled to a final request.”

“What is that?”

“I want to go by firing squad. A soldier’s death,” said Hotspur, “you can give that to an old veteran, can you not?”

Caldwell nodded, “We may be rebels, but the Killam here would be honored to carry out your request.”

“No,” said Trutzig, “I’ve read your file Hotspur. Do not think that I would risk my allies or my men to first capture, and then kill you? Why risk something I do not have to? No, you will go as Lucerne pleases, though the Killam here may execute if they wish.”

The woman passed a small box over to Caldwell. The killam gently opened the lid to reveal several buttons along with a small grid with a glowing dot. Trutzig glanced up at the two Hotspurs.

“It wasn’t just a tracking beacon.”

Caldwell pressed a button. An explosion tore apart the inside of the asteroid and sent shards of rock flying in all directions. The holofeed turned to static as the transmitter on the other side disintegrated. Laser fire erupted from the Arconit as it intercepted shards of rock which came too close to the corvette. Several rocks passed through the screening fire and collided with the corvette’s shields. The ship shuddered under the impacts. Holly glanced at her console.

“There are no more life forms in the area, but just to be safe, Lieutenant, I want three spreads of Starflares in the base’s general area. If there is anything left of the base, it needs to disappear forever.”

“Yes miss.”


One month later…

Lucerne Mansion, just outside Solace, Kashan

“So this is what it was like growing up,” mused Trutzig, “trapped in a stuffy museum of worlds that you never knew...”

“And never will know,” said Lucerne sadly, reflecting on Alderaan’s fate, “would you care for another glass of wine?”

“No, I think if I have any more, my father will leave Kashan out of disgust,” grinned the woman.

“If you say so.”

“I do.”

“How is your crew taking their leave?”

“Well,” replied the woman, “I think they’re glad to be done with mystery missions for a while.”

“It never is easy keeping people in the dark,” agreed Lucerne, “especially those whose lives depend on you, and your life depending on them. But it is better for them if they never know what truly happened on that voyage.”

“I have done nothing wrong,” stated Holly, “my hands are clean. My orders were to deliver a war criminal to his executioners, and I did that. I have saved hundreds of people’s lives in the process.”

“And have improved the life of million’s more,” said Lucerne, tapping a button on a remote.

The holo-projector lit up to display one of the Confederation’s news networks, the Contegorian News Report, depicting scenes of the new elections on Quas Killam. A Mon Calamari reporter appeared in front of the visages.

“With the disappearance of the Hotspur royal family, newly elected Prime Minister Richard Caldwell and his cabinet have championed Confederation membership to the public in a referendum. They appear to have succeeded, and for the first time in sixty years, people are turning out to vote in the referendum, or to vote in protest of it. This sharply contrasts with the sometimes brutal and authoritian rule of the previous government, in which the expression of dissent with government policies was punishable by exile, imprisonment, or in rare cases, death. Caldwell seems to be applying the golden rule here in tolerating these protesters, having been one himself a dozen years ago. The young Caldwell was exiled upon pain on death for investigating the cause of his father’s death. His father was a prominent right’s activist was disappeared shortly after the missing Governor-Captain William Hotspur took power...wait….the preliminary results are just in, with slightly over seventy percent approving Confederation membership. Just fifteen percent voted to remain independent…I have been talking to many voters today, many of who came not to vote for the Confederation membership, but for the election of their local representatives to newly restored House of Commons…”