Nov 16 2013 12:30am
Delaborde-class Star destroyer Themis, Jospro Sector
Frowning, Commodore Valeska leaned over the man's shoulder, watching the comm's officer holo-screen replay the garbled message. The Sy Myrthian in the recorded message rapidly stroked his short beard-like stub protuding from his carnivorous-looking chin. The comm's officer quickly punched in a few commands, prompting the message to start from the beginning, but the message still only came in bits and pieces.
“...Sy Myrthian liner...severe portside damage to our...setting out into the escape...cutting out all...going down with the...”
The message abruptly cut out, forcing the woman to sigh.
“It is a distress signal,” agreed the Abhean woman, “but we do not know much. If there any Reavers passing through, I'd be willing to get that they got it as well...”
Captain Viuso, standing on other side of the comm station's chair, shrugged, “We don't know that, not everything is about the Reavers, and even it is, the last thing we need is another Reaver convert.”
“I don't disagree,” defended the Commodore, “it sounds like that at least some of the were heading out to escape pods though. They're sitting ducks, unless they meant that they're cutting the emergency transponders...I'd be willing to bet that they're not that stupid to leave them on with Reavers possibly nearby.”
“But stupid enough to broadcast a general distress signal?”
Valeska weighed her hands, “Or smart enough, if they moved the ship out of the way from the pods...”
“Any idea where the ship went down?” questioned Viuso, patting the comm's officer on the back.
The other man cleared his throat, “Sir, I really can't say for sure. We've only go the triangulation data from this point. I'd need some more declination and a better signal strength to get a good triangulation. I can say with certainty that the other ships in the fleet also received the message with some variety of signal strength, with our rearmost ships getting a slightly, very slightly weaker signal than those closer up, which suggests, well, you know.”
“That it's closer to Sy Myrth, and probably broadly between here and Sy Myrth” filled in Valeska, “which makes sense. All right, here's what we're going to do. I'm going to highly suggest to our diplomatic liaison to go to Sy Myrth itself to see if we can get any more info about the ship's supposedly flight path and possibly get some better comm signal info so we can hopefully triangulate their position until we've found it. Lieutenant Adde, see what you can do with the data and get to work. Flight control, begin to dispatch recon flights, and let's see what we can find.”
Nov 21 2013 12:26am
Roonta City, Sy Myrth
“Our people are already rescuing your own. I think the very least you can do is provide more information about the liner.”
The confederate diplomat checked his anger, falling back to one of the office's chair. At forty-seven, the man had already seen chaos rip through the galaxy: civil wars, the Wraith Virus, and now the Reavers. Yet he didn't understand how peoples had not managed to evolve past the stage of denial. Order could only come to last in a galaxy among like-minded cooperative people. Yet the Sy Myrthian bureaucrat in front of him seemed to take some amusement in not cooperating with the man. The being's almost rodent-like face peered up from a datapad to dully gaze into the eyes of the man.
“Ambassador, I only wish it were so simple. But the liner's owners filed a statement of privacy about the ship and its whereabouts. I cannot rescind it as merely the starport administrator, even if it is for emergency purposes. You will either require a lawyer or you will personally have to talk to the holding company to get that sort of information....”
Like the Diplomatic Corps doesn't catch enough flak from the military about being able to do our jobs. He suppressed the urge to sigh. A holding company sounds like another great place to catch a ton of bureaucratic messes and meetings. Unless...He straightened his face.
“Sir, can you tell me who owns the holding company? It is a holding company for a reason, isn't it?”
The sy myrthian peered at him curiously, “I suppose you are an offworlder. The Sy Myrthian Far Horizions holding corporation is an investment vehicle for the Serdin clan. I must warn you though, you may not be able to directly get a hold of them. Some of them were slated to be on the Far Horizon liner itself. They made a very big show of it, since it was their first venture into space.”
“What were they previously involved in?”
“The entertainment industry,” supplied the bureaucrat, glancing at his chrono, “and they still are. I do have another appointment starting shortly ambassador. I regret that I could not fulfill your request, but I hope that I was of some use to you nonetheless.”
“Ah, yes, thank you,” stammered the Confederate, “thank you for your time.”
Well, it's a start at least...
Juaire-class Corvette Fleur de Treppok, Jospro Sector
“That's another two dozen,” noted the ship's young lieutenant, chalking another series of lineso n his datapad, “we're going to start to run out of deck space for them soon.”
“Meh, they'll fit,” replied 1st Lieutenant Suole, “We'll have to head back to the Themis and the rest of the fleet. There probably aren't many more, if any more here given how the passengers are talking.”
“What do you think it was? Accident or sabotage?”
Suole considered the question. It was incredibly rare for all of a ship's life support systems to suddenly entirely fail. He had never heard of such on thing on such a new ship like the Far Horizon. Yet at the same time, he found himself having a hard to explain it as sabotage, since there supposedly weren't any explosions onboard the vessel, at least before the ship jumped away yet again to drop off more passengers into deep space. The liner's captain probably was right; by jumping away, the liner was luring any potential reavers or other opportunists away from the passengers towards the ship itself. Yet the young naval officer couldn't help but feel that if he were one of the passengers, he would have felt abandoned; dumped into the middle of deep space with Reaver vessels prowling around the route. He hesitated.
“I've got nothing. Could be anything,” said the Wroonian, scratching his chin, “my guess, and it's only my best guess, is that's a computer glitch of sort. For all I know though, maybe they were secretly carrying around some random Jedi or Sith talisman that decided to curse the ship. Maybe it was the Cree'Ar, hell, who knows, maybe the Reavers themselves have evolved well enough to start infiltrating our own ships.”
“Like with bodies, or with computer viruses?”
The blue-skinned man shrugged, “I don't know, maybe either? It's all conjecture...well, it looks like you're right there...there's way too many of them now. We'll have to call in another ship to take a look in the area. Let's get back to the bridge and plot a course back to the fleet. I want you to plot this jump, I'll double check it of course... ”
Nov 21 2013 11:49pm
Serdin Mansion, outskirts of Roonta City, Sy Myrth
“Nice,” muttered Roman Allegriante, running a hand through his hair.
The Confederate diplomat stepped out of his rented landspeeder and gazed across the width of the mansion. It was a surprisingly squat, light gray building, yet it seemed to be fairly long with its outer branches flowing to disappear among the distant woods. I wonder if they don't like stairs so much because they're gastropods...maybe that's why it's so...short. Shrugging the thought away, the man approached the gates to the mansion. They swung open at his approach. His eyes firmly glued on the front door, Roman fingered a diminutive device on his pocket.
The confederate diplomat reached the door and sharply knocked on it. The door quickly opened to reveal a middle-aged Sy Myrthian wearing a sharply cut tunic that covered most of his body. He stroked one of his tidy beards.
“I'm sorry,” started the alien, “I thought you were one of our delivery boys. Please-”
“Uncle Roonta!” cried out a voice from behind the Sy Myrthian.
A adoslescent Sy Myrthian launched itself towards Roman. His eyes darted down just in time to see the flabby arms of the child wrap around his legs. Seconds later, another young Sy Myrthian had clamped her arms around on his other legs. What...the...Hell...Allegriante plastered one of his holo-camera smiles and gently patted the children on their backs.
“It's good to see you,” stated the man.
Where do I know them from?
“I'm sorry kids,” informed the eldest Sy Myrthian, “but with your parents away, we can't have guests over.”
“But he's not a guest,” stated the female Sy Myrthian, “he's our uncle. And you said it itself that family was the only type of guests we were allowed to have.”
“You promised,” reminded the young boy, “and we always keep our promises, right Uncle?”
The elder Sy Myrthian stared into Allegriante's eyes, “I don't believe we've met before. How are you-”
“Now Uncle Toonta, let him in already. It's not Uncle Roonta's fault you've never met him since you and Aunt Toonta are always wandering around the galaxy looking for grandma. Besides, I've been waiting to show Uncle Roonta my collection of Gandeliafly collection, that's why he's here, isn't that right Uncle Roonta? I caught one with very pretty blue wings.”
Allegriante silently nodded in agreement. Are we playing some sort of game here? Yet for children, they are playing this game of make-believe very, very hard...still, they're obviously trying to get me in...so why? Well, I guess there's only one way to find out...
Delaborde-class Star Destroyer Themis, Jospro Sector
“Which brings up the total passengers recovered to four thousand and five hundred roughly...wait...five hundred and sixty two,” reported the communication's officer.
Commodore Valeska stroked her chin. That's not an insignificant amount...there should only be a couple hundred other ones left somewhere in space, given what a ship normally that size carries...Still, somethings not quite right. We should have found at least some of the crew, or at least have had more of a status update on what was going on with the vessel. Something besides everyone suddenly being ordered to abandon ship...
“Report from the Toontien,” started another communication's officer, “They've found another six pods. Another two dozen passengers. The odd part Is one of the pods they found was empty.”
In the past several hours, much of the Sy Myrthian Guard had showed up to assist with the search. Their own ships flooded the space along with the Confederate vessels, quickly scooping up any escape pods they had founded. With the extra resources they provided for her search, the rescue operation was proceeding much quicker than she had actually planned. The only thing troubling her was the lack of knowledge on the ship's fate. For all she knew, the ship could be trapped in hyperspace or already destroyed in a collision, or simply drifting off somewhere in space with lifeless corpses, ripe for an infestation of Reavers. Yet the worst fate was simply not knowing where the vessel was itself and the lack of closure that would provide to both the Confederation and the Sy Myrthians. She shook the thoughts of crying Sy Myrthian children on hand and thought back to her starship designs fundamentals class. What could explain the empty pod?
“Accidental misfire,” suggested Commodore Valeska, “or maybe someone was trying to pull a Princess Leia. They kept the pod, I hope?”
“They did,” reported the communication's officer.
“See if you can persuade them to send it to us. We have better scanning capabilities than they do. Maybe there's a clue in there.”
Nov 22 2013 10:35pm
Serdin Manor, Sy Myrth
“So, uh, why am I really here?”
Allegriante stared at the female sy myrthian's Gandelia fly collection. Dozens of the brightly colored insects fluttered up and down in the containment field. The sy myrthian quietly shut the door to her room, letting her brother play just outside of it with his toy landspeeders. He was fairly certain that Uncle Toonta didn't buy the fact that he was an uncle either, but luckily the kids had stalled long enough that when an allegedly important Holo-Net came for him, that he had scurried off to take it. Using the Holo-Net for personal calls was typically an exorbitantly expensive affair, so Allegriante wasn't too shocked to see him move so quickly. Still, it made him wonder just how close he was to his neice and nephew.
“Because Mom and Dad are gone,” replied the girl, “and Uncle Toonta is not a good one. You're here to protect us from him, right?”
“How is Uncle Toonta a bad man?”
What am I getting into? I can't babysit these kids...
“Uncle Toonta said that Aunt Toonta was going with our mom and dad, but that they wouldn't ever be coming back, ever. He said that we'd get to have him here now instead. But I like you. You're nice and different. And you didn't shoot Fluffy with your blaster.”
Allegriante easily pieced together the blatant picture of a schemer sending a family to their doom to enjoy the fruits of their labor. But not everything made sense then. There had to be easier ways of offing the parents, and maybe their aunt, to do that. As simple as hiring a pair of hitmen or street thugs to kill them in a random act of violence. Frowning, the man pulled out a cylindrical device from his pocket and handed it to the girl.
“Do you see this blue button at the top?”
“Push it if you think anything bad is going to happen to you or your brother,” said the man, “if you do, in ten or so minutes, you will have dozens of soldiers coming here, ok? I'm going to go have a chat with your Uncle Toonta, ok?”
The confederate man slipped through the bedroom doors and attempted to creep along the hallways where he thought he had seen Uncle Toonta go. Roman began to hear a voice talking from a door down the hall, though he couldn't understand it, though he wasn't sure if it was simply distance or if the alien was speaking Sy Myrthian. He slowly walked up to the side of the door frame and stopped. He heard a stream of unintelligle words come out of Uncle Toonta's mouth. It's definitely Sy Myrthian...
Allegriante briefly peered into the room.
It was a wide circular room, with a holo-projector growing up from the middle of it, projecting an image of another pair of Sy Myrthians standing on the deck of a starship. These ones wore blue uniforms that he had seen at many of the world's governmental buildings. One of them quietly chattered something; Uncle Toonta managed to somehow flip on his one foot to face the man and drew his blaster. Allegriante slowly edged out of the doorway and raised his hands.
“You're not one of their real uncles,” stated Uncle Toonta, “who are you, really?”
“Ambassador Allegriante of the Contegorian Confederation,” stated the man plainly.
The alien's eyebrows fluttered, “I knew the Serdin clan had friends in high places, but I didn't think they were that high, or even that broad in reach. I've never heard of them leaving the world before. Have you been discussing business ventures with them?”
“You don't sound like much of a family member yourself, Uncle Toonta.”
“That's because I'm not,” replied the alien, lowering his weapon, “Agent Korloon at your service.”
“Sy myrthian security?”
“Close enough,” muttered the alien, “do you know what happened to them? Or what's going on with the ship?”
“That's why I'm here.”
“That makes two of us,”started the sy myrthian, “I was just talking to our defense forces; there isn't any new news on the ship or the rest of the Serdin clan.”
“So what? You just happened to come here? Little Renyr thinks that her parents aren't coming back...”
“I told her they might not be. Truth is, she asked, and I told her the truth as best as I could. But you're right, I just didn't come here by accident. There have been a few odd signals coming out of the mansion as of late; I came here to investigate them.”
“What kind of signals?”
“I can't say for sure,” reported the alien, “they seem to be using some code obviously inspired by the late Senator Toonta's actual resistance group. Confederacy of Independent System stuff, and it all started happening with the arrival of their real aunt Toonta.”
“Related to the same Senator?”
“Indeed,” confirmed the sy myrthian, “which makes this all the more unusual...”
Nov 23 2013 2:32am
IPV-1/h Patrol Craft Toonta's Defiance, Jospro Sector “New contact. Correction, two new contacts, ma'am.” Hopefully another one of the pods...The sy myrthian turned from the holo feed of the conversing Confederate diplomat and Agent Korloon. Their little patrol craft was one of nearly a dozen warships scouring the area for the Far Horizon's escape pods. But Captain Yaroova was confident she had finally found the last of the pods, if her sensor operator's scans were correct. She turned her head to gaze through the narrow slit that served as the patrol craft's bridge viewport. A large starship closed in on her. The Far Horizon? A series of bright beams washed over her entire craft, and she knew no more.******Delaborde-class Star Destroyer Themis, Jospro Sector “We've lost communication with the Toonta's Defiance now too,” reported her communication officer, “I know, I'll try and get them up again, but I think it's going to be like the last two.” Valeska frowned. That's the third Sy Myrthian craft that's gone missing. Now we suddenly have ships disappearing where the Far Horizon went down too? That's no coincidence. The sy myrthian patrol ships the world's defense forces had deployed were not terribly battle worthy, but they still should have been capable of escaping most of them with their high sublight speeds. Her first thought drifted towards the Reavers, but they weren't far from areas where the Empire had also operated until recently. Perhaps we've stumbled onto something of their's they don't want people to know about...and it wouldn't be the first time they've done some commerce raiding. Or it could be pirates, but what kind of pirates intentionally go after their hunters like this? None large enough we would otherwise likely knew from now... “I'm getting a communication from Sy Myrth itself,” reported her other communication's officer, “it's Ambassador Allegriante.” “Put him through to my console only.” Her command chair's tiny holo-projector transitioned from sheet after sheet of information to a full holo of the confederate ambassador and a Sy Myrthian, standing in an amber room. The man looked at her and slowly walked closer, as if they weren't close enough to talk. The sy myrthian trailed in his wake. “Commodore Valeska,” reported the man, “we were just conversing with the crew of Sy Myrthian vessel before it suddenly cut off” “The Toonta's Defiance?” “The same,” replied the man, “do you know what happened to them?” “No.” “We heard a voice on the other end report that there was two new contacts right before they disappeared...” It isn't something a comm's blackout or equipment malfunction. Something's out there actively hunting them down. Her cold eyes turned to the rest of her bridge crew. “Helm, take us to the last known location of the Toonta's Defiance. Communication's, signal the rest of the fleet to join us there.” “All of them?” questioned the ship's captain, “what about the other pods?” “Call it a hunch,” stated the Abhean woman plainly, “we'll have to get back there if things don't work out there.” The lines of superluminal travel began to flow through the windows and suffused the large room in an cool shades of blue. She turned her eyes back to the Confederate diplomat. Valeska offered a nod to the sy myrthian standing next to Ambassador Allegriante. “I don't believe we've met-” “My apologies,” interrupted the ambassador, “this is Special Agent Korloon of Sy Myrth. He is investigating a mysterious CIS-esque signal that came from the Serdin Clan mansion,...er...the owners of the Far Horizon.” She raised an eyebrow. This was CIS space during the Clone Wars. There's probably still some Confederacy hardware floating around here, but why is it activating now? Maybe the Reavers stumbled across it, or the refugees fleeing their worlds...Her blue eyes bored into the beady ones of the alien agent. “What have you found, Special Agent?” “The code is similar to ones used by the late Senator Toonta during her stand against the Galactic Empire. The only part we've been able to decipher so far is “Defiance's Banner calling to”...and we haven't decoded the rest of it yet.” She frowned. Growing up not too far away, she knew the name of the senator's flagship. It was the largest space battle and series of campaigns in the area before the Confederation came into existence. But the Banner was destroyed years ago, along with Senator Toonta...The lines of hyperspace travel came to a halt, revealing a massive spindly vessel roughly the size of the Themis herself but sporting a series of large round engine nacelles at the back of the ship. The Great Recusant-class Destroyer immediately began to fire on the Confederate. To the side of that imposing CIS-built vessel, she spotted the Far Horizon itself, crawling with Vulture droids. As the Confederate fleet began to return fire, the tiny droid fighters took cover by crawled up into the many holes where the escape pods had once sat. Mere seconds the two starships rapidly rotated and jumped into hyperspace, leaving behind several escape pods and the remains of the Toonta's Defiance in the grasp of the Confederation fleet. She frowned. “Trajectory of their jump?” “Sy Myrth.” Of course, the escape pods were a trail of crumbs...they just didn't expect the Confederation to start picking them up...if it had only been the Sy Myrth defense fleet, well, there wouldn't be one now...
Nov 23 2013 4:28pm
Styria-class Galleon Dieppoise, in orbit via Sy Myrth
“You'll forgive my skepticism if I don't think this is going to work, right?”
Ambassador Allegriante spared a glance at the sy myrthian agent. The Confederation had scrambled the closest ships it had to the world, resulting in a blend of smaller Confederate warships formerly searching for the Far Horizon's escape pods and a handful of Confederate Merchant Fleet galleons forming up in orbit around Sy Myrth. The few Sy Myrthian vessels available, mostly customs vessels, joined up with their planet-based starfighter squadrons to join the Confederate fleet in defense of their world. Yet for all their scraping, Allegriante too questioned their combined ability to hold off the Great Recusant-class Destroyer dubbed Toonta's Revenge headed towards them. He forced a smile towards the alien, who nodded in agreement.
“I would,” admitted the sy myrthian, “but I think your Confederation won't lose too many vessels before they arrive.”
“Well,” started the agent, “the main cannon on a ship like that takes a while to charge up. So there won't be too many single-ship destroying shots out there, especially with the phalanx formation your fleet commander wisely put us in.”
“Then why are you here if not for solidarity?” questioned the man, frowning.
“Because this is the safest ship I'll be able to work on once the Destroyer does get here.”
“That's almost reassuring.”
Delaborde-class Star Destroyer Themis, hyperspace
“We can maybe cut off a few parsecs here.”
“But that puts us a little too close to that black hole,” muttered Captain Viuso, drawing on his electronic astrogation chart with a stylus, “I'm not interested in risking that, but if we cut that parsec just by one, we'll still have a gain in travel time and not risk getting swallowed by the hole.”
Valeska conceded the point in agreement. The Toonta's Revenge and the Far Horizon had a greater headstart in their journey to the Sy Myrth, simply because they had their course already plotted out from that point in space. Valeska thought that the more modern and faster hyperdrives of the Confederate Fleet might allow them to make up some of the lost time, but they needed something better than the clumsy route they had quickly slapped together to lessen the amount of time the Toonta's Revenge would have by itself to slaughter the impromptu defense fleet the Sy Myrthians and the Confederation had slapped together. She turned her blue eyes to peer in Viuso's.
“Let's do it your way then; you're probably right. Helm, take your next coordinates from Captain Viuso's chart. Captain Viuso, I am going to trust your judgement here on out for making our course. I am going to go study the data we have on the Revenge.”
The Confederate and Sy Myrthian ships flashed into realspace before quickly realigning their prows and shooting back into hyperspace. She paced over to her command chair and immersed herself in the sensor data of their last engagement. Preliminary data suggested to her that the Revenge actually wasn't any better armed than the original Recusant-class, though the ship's prow heavy turbolaser was likely significantly more capable of being super-charged. Instead, the larger variant seemed mostly concerned in actually having dedicated hangar facilities. Perhaps more worrying to the woman, the Revenge also had several large C-7797 Landing craft docked to it, suggesting that the ship's new owner, likely Loora Toonta, was interested in actually interested in conquering the world. Valeska hated ground engagements. Minutes passed as she analyzed the footage of the craft, and comparing it to data the Confederation possessed on the original Recusant-class, she formulated a rough estimate of the ship's abilities. The voice of Captain Viuso invaded her thoughts.
“We're almost there Commodore.”
She glanced up and nodded. The Abhean woman toggled her holo-screens again to her standard tactical presets. Letting out a deep exhale of air, she watched the elongated star lines converge into tiny pin-pricks of light. Some thousands of kilometers away from the Themis, the Toonta's Revenge clashed with the hastily gathered defense forces. She watched one Juiare-class Corvette break ranks from the embattled phalanx formation and flee into orbit, leading a trail of pursuing Vulture droid fighters in its wake. Clouds of ion tags drifted onto the Confederacy-built vessel initiating swathes of electric blackouts across the hull of the large vessel.
“Close the distance,” ordered Valeska, “and all ships, fire at will.”
Where's the Far Horizon? She flipped through her screens until she saw the sensor profile of the cruise liner, adrift in orbit around Sy Myrth. There were no lifeforms aboard the vessel, nor any activity aside from the ship's autopilot keeping the vessel on course. They probably just used it as an additional carrier once its role as lure was up with. She turned her attention back to the Toonta's Revenge. The longer range guns of the Task Force Justitia began to bear down on the vessel, with the Themis' own long-range ion cannons sweeping her hull aside from the several batteries dedicated to disabling the Revenge's enormous prow turbolaser. Suddenly the lights went out across the entire Great Recusant. A cacaphony of voices rose up from among the dull murmur of her bridge crew.
“The enemy has been deactivated-”
“Cease fire, cease fire,” shouted Viuso.
“What?” questioned the Commodore, rapidly scrolling through her tactical screens.
The hundreds of vulture drones engaged in dogfighting the allied Sy Myrthian and Confederate fleet simply tumbled through space. Activity onboard the Toonta's Revenge was minimal at best. Weapons fire across space halted to a stop. Viuso rapidly strode up to her.
“The sy myrthian's intelligence group combined with the use of our own technology were able to replicate the deactivation signal,” informed the man, “the enemy is vanquished.”
“Not yet,” grimly replied the woman, “send in the Paladins to secure the Revenge.”
Nov 23 2013 6:45pm
Roonta City, Sy Myrth
“You will be a witness in Loora Toonta's trial,” stated Agent Korloon, “after the treaty signing ceremony, of course.”
Idly nodding in acknowledgement, Ambassador Allegriante glanced upwards, catching a glimpse of the bloated Great Recusant-class Destroyer, now renamed Myrthian Courage. The ship quickly disappeared over the horizon, along with the rest of the visiting Confederate fleet. Part of the negotiations between that resulted in the aftermath of the battle was the transfer of the newly captured warship to Sy Myrthian's defense forces, in part because the warship wasn't standardized enough for federal use, and in part because Valeska worried that the otherwise weak state of the world's defenses would make it a prime target for the Reavers. But the world's attention was more focused on the trial of Loora Toonta, the Sy Myrthian that had managed to find the last remnant of her mother's forces to try and reclaim the planet for herself. Yet she was not nearly as skilled at intrigue as her ancestor, the late senator Toonbuck Toora. The self-styled “senator” was now in Sy Myrthian custody, while many of the members of the Serdin Clan entered the protective custody of CSIS pending the trial of the deranged sy myrthian woman. Allegriante himself would have been whisked away to a nearby CSIS safe house if not for finalizing many of the little details of the world's membership treaty with the Confederation. War made fast friends, which both comforted and discomforted the ambassador. Sure, the Sy Myrthians would likely remain loyal to the Confederation for now, but Allegriante wondered if they would be able to cement the alliance firmly in place in the future, or if someone later on would once again return to Senator Toonbuck Toora's legendary footsteps. Some legends are best left untold...