Phantasms of a New World (Komnor)
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 4 2014 4:38pm
S12 Shadowcaster Phantasm One, Komnor System

“Hit the brakes, let's let the droids draw the first blood,” decided Captain Lemaire, slowing downy he throttle of her interceptor.

Dozens of Piranha drones surged past the ranks of stealthy interceptors to charge into the coalescing formations of the Viscount de la Triellus's starfighters. She eyed several flights of the warlord's Cloakshapes and Headhunters rise out of the wispy white atmosphere to engage the Confederation droids. That's almost a fair fight, the Piranhas might be a little less well-armed, but they'll fly circles around those older craft. She pushed her throttle forward again and brushed away a strand of her red hair to readjust her headset.

“All right folks, let's steal a few of the Piranhas' kills.”

Her own fighter darted ahead into the dogfight. She immediately selected the nearest fighter, a brown Cloakshape doggedly chasing a pair of Piranhas making opportunistic potshots as they sped through the entangled fighting. She lined up the barely exposed engine nacelle of the Cloakshape and squeezed off a few shots. Twin streams of dark blobs slammed into the rear of the fighter, igniting a few brief flashes of light and magenta lighting. The Cloakshape wobbled as its engine began to malfunction. Frak the clean shot. She held her trigger, sputtering out steady streams of hybrid-pulse fire into the rear of the fighter. Most of the shots connected, causing the opposing craft to wobble and slow down even more. Sparks flashed out across the engine nacelle as the starfighter's engine died; the craft began to plummet towards the atmosphere in an uncontrolled dive. She saw a brief flash of light emanate from the front of the starfighter as its pilot ejected. Lamaire quietly swore as she watched the Cloakshape pass the point of no return. Damn things hull is so thick, that they're probably not going to count that as a kill...

She banked her interceptor around back into the dogfight. The slower S16 Prowlers had now entered the fight, drawing most of the opposing fighters into individual duels. But the drones still nipped at the Headhunters and Cloakshapes as best as they could, distracting the opposing pilots as they fought the well-armed Confederate starfighters. He picked out a Headhunter that was attempting to swoop in on the rear of a Prowler making a head to head run on Cloakshape. She wryly smiled. Looks like we're not the only opportunists. She lined up her brackets on the craft and held the trigger. Twin streams of dark fire smashed into sides of the Headhunter. As its shields flared and magenta lightning sprayed across its left side, the warlord's fighter quickly rolled away from its unseen assailant. Lamaire took her craft in a climb that kept her on the tail of the opposing starfighter. She lined up her shot and let her guns loose again. Her weapon's fire rapidly picked apart the ship's quad engines. Blue ion trails from its rear quickly faded out of existence as the engines began to shut down. But the redhead continued to hold the trigger, sending dozens of bolts into the craft before it exploded brilliantly. A mixed wash of triumph and regret flooded over her body at the ship's destruction, but she quickly stilled the emotions and shunted them off to concentrate back on the fight. A quaking voice filled her comm.

“I'm hit bad leader...”

“Hold on a second Seven,” shot back the woman, eying the sensor display of where Seven's ship was.

Of course. The interceptor, partially bisected by a collision with a Cloakshape, was hobbling away from the fight, but hounded by a quartet of the warlord's fighters, all too ready to finally have the chance to see and destroy one of the stealth fighters that had been ambushing their own craft. Thankfully, one of the flight controllers back on one of the galleons had designated two somewhat depleted squadrons of drones to cover Seven's retreat from the battle. The Piranhas nipped away at the headhunters and the one Cloakshape with sputtering bursts of blaster fire and the occasional missile fire. But while that had kept the thin-skinned Headhunters busy, the Cloakshape had shrugged off the attacks, determinedly chasing the fleeing Confederate starfighter. She pushed her throttle full forward and narrowed her eyes as she stared at the Cloakshape. You're mine...
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 16 2014 1:29am
Phantasm Seven jinked and juked around the red laser fire from the warlord's starfighter, barely evading the twin red streams. But Lemaire ignored Seven's erratic dance, watching her target reticule flash from yellow to green. The instant it did, she pulled the trigger. A single concussion missile dropped out of her starfighter and jetted off towards the Viscount's starfighter. The Cloakshape dropped its attack on Seven, banking to face the missile head on. It spat out more laser fire at the orange blob surging at it. It detonated brightly, mere meters in front of the Cloakshape. Bernadette let out a quiet curse and pulled another set of triggers, flooding the space between her and the warlord's starfighter with hybrid-pulse cannon fire. The blobs smashed into front half of the aging starfighter, quickly tearing away at the shields and short-circuiting many of its flight systems. As their fighters passed over each other, she watched as magenta lightning spread from the ship's cockpit and radiated out towards the engine nacelle. She pulled her yoke hard up and performed a classic Immelman maneuver to immediately get herself on the vessel's tail. The Cloakshape continued in a straight line forward, it's flight system's locked down by the ionic attack. She lowered her throttle, setting her fighter's acceleration to pace the aging fighter and held the trigger of guns. Dark blobs pounded away at the starship until its rear shields turned red before collapsing. It's engine failed and the enemy pilot promptly ejected out of the craft. Despite the ship's exit from the fight, Lemaire continued to hold the trigger down until her fire finally pierced through the craft and ignited several powercells and a fuel line. The ship exploded in a bright fireball. Well, at least that one's a kill.

She turned her attention back to Seven. Another damaged Shadowcaster from her squadron had joined it in its return to their carrier vessel. Bernadette sighed. We're down two already, and yet we haven't even made planetfall yet. She tapped several buttons on her fighter's controls, pulling up the tactical overlay feed. Swarms of blue dots, representing the Confederation forces, had forced almost most of the angry red dots back into the world's atmosphere. The viscount's sole capital ship in the engagement, an aging blockade runner, had run afoul of both the Juaire-class Corvette Deux-Amis and the Suffren-class Cruiser Varquex, flagship of the task force assigned to remove the Viscount de la Triellus from power. The two Confederate starships had quickly outran and intercepted the runner before it could escape into hyperspace with whatever cargo it was carrying. She tapped a button on her comm.

“Eight, how are you hanging in there?”

“Twelve's got me covered good One, now that his partner had to leave the fight.”

“Good to hear it,” mumbled Lemaire, “We're going to have to change a few things around. I want the rest of third flight to join first. We'll try to take both of our objectives down together, all right?”

“Pushing it a bit ma'am?” shot back a strained voice.

She snorted, “I'm not seeing any better options at the moment, but get back to me when you do.”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 16 2014 10:25pm
Half a dozen minutes passed as the Confederate interceptors slowly disappeared from the engagement, letting the expendable drones and heavier Prowlers continue to fight the Viscount's starfighters. Finally, the rest of Phantasm squadron fell in behind her fighter. She goosed the throttle forward; Phantasm One shot away towards a mottled world of blues and greens. Instinctively, Bernadette moved a gloved hand to wipe away a bead of sweat from her brow, only to be blocked by the clear visor of her helmet. Tossing her head to try and move the droplet away from her eyes, she swore. The horizon of Komnor began to fill up the bubble canopy of her starfighter just before her fighter pierced the clouds of the world into a misty white. She toggled her comm.

“This is the most vulnerable part of the op people. We might be pretty good at blending in the depths of space, but we're going to stick out like a soar thumb here. You can assume we don't have any stealth capabilities now...”

The Confederate ships shot forward to a rising set of mountains whose snow-capped peaks were just barely visible through the gray-white clouds. She spared a glance at her sensor board, but none of the warlord's fighters had disengaged to pursue her own, if they were even aware of their disappearance. She turned her eyes up again to a distant mountain peak, watching it rapidly grow and coalesce in her viewport. It was almost beautiful with its gray-blue slopes ringed about by trees at its skirt. Despite it's apparently pristine beauty, she knew better that it hadn't been untouched. A green overlay began to outline their targets on the mountain side. She tapped a button on her headset.

“All right, everyone break by pairs and engage your designated targets.”

Her formation of fighters rapidly disintegrated, with their black rectangular hulls fluttering away to peel off on attacks across the Viscount's mountain fortress. Their cannon fire began to scorch the sides of the massive landmass, destroying camouflaged anti-aircraft emplacements, sensor stations, and other military targets in preparation for their invasion. She noted her one of her own targets, which appeared to be nothing more than a grounded boulder at a first glance. Lemaire held down a trigger, sending dark pulses of charcoal-like light to smash into the concealed FST dome. The sensor exploded far more violently than she would have thought possible. But she ignored it, focusing instead on her primary target, a ridge jutting out in front of her. She tapped a different trigger, releasing one of her few concussion missiles out of her bottom bomb bay. The orange-sheathed missile jetted out to smash into the gray wall of rocks, triggering an avalanche that descended upon to block the concealed entrances of the Viscount's hangar facilities. A warning siren began to shrill, indicating an enemy target lock on her. She quickly yanked the yoke of her fighter up, taking Phantasm One in a steep climb to face the old Incom-built airspeeder attempting to shoot her down. She frowned. You'll have to try harder than that...
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 17 2014 9:38pm
The next day...

Suffren-class Cruiser Varquex, in orbit via Komnor

“He's going to beat us this round.”

Captain Nicolau of the Varquex glanced up at the speaker, an older man wearing a wrinkled brown business suit cut in a style popular several decades ago in the area. The former president of Komnor quickly flipped through the various holo-projections of the Viscount's fortress. Gentle wafts of smoke continued to rise up from some of the wreckage the Confederation had wrought on the Viscount's headquarters. Yet despite the work of the Confederation starfighters and the limited orbital strikes of the Varquex, the warlord was still safe and secure behind layers of hardened rock, duracrete, and durasteel. Nicolau cleared his throat.

“He's not winning.”

“Neither are we,” shot back Xurxo, “and well I'd like to think that some of your Councilors would like to see me back on the ground, restarting Komnor's legitimate government, I don't see that happening if you all get pulled back again. It'll just end up being me and the rest of the resistance. We'll go back to begging for your assistance, but you all won't want to get involved until de la Triellus commits some other atrocity or political error to your Confederation...”

“I understand we haven't always been there for your movement...”

“And you're just going to co-opt us when it's useful for you?”

“Have our operations not been useful to you for hurting the Viscount's stranglehold on your world?” questioned the Confederate, “I like to think that handing you over the blockade runner was a pretty good symbol of my commitment to your cause.”

The other man wagged a finger and sighed, “Look Frederick, I know you're not like the rest of them back on Genon, wining and dining with the upper crust of galactic society and only doing stuff when they have to, but I don't think you can really tell me that you can guarantee they won't move your little group of ships out of here within a month if the fortress doesn't fall. The prefecture here is too poor to really throw down all the forces we'd need to take the fortress in an assault...”

Nicolau sighed, “You're probably right. And there's no chance he'd come out for a fight? Nothing we can use to piss him off enough to do that?”

Xurxo shook his head, “No, not that I can think of. He's a ruthlessly detached individual. If it came between him shooting his own daughter to rule another world, I'd wager that he'd shoot his daughter.”

“He has a daughter?”

Xurxo nodded, “Yeah, two of them, actually. You only knew about the son?”

“Well,” started Nicolau, “only after we captured him on the blockade runner.”

Xurxo slowly shook his head, “You tried to negotiate with the Viscount over his son, did you?”

“I can't deny it. But not even an automated response when we sent the signal down to him.”

The former president winced, “No surprise there.”

“But tell me about the daughters. Everything you know.”

“You think there's an angle there?”

Nicolau sighed, “I really hope so...”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 19 2014 5:38pm
Several hours later...

Nicolau and former President Xurxo found themselves facing a holo of a woman in her mid-twenties, with high cheekbones and dull blue eyes. A bed of built of thin golden rails and covered in crimson sheets occupied most of the room behind her, yet the two men could tell that there was also a window casting light down on the back of the second daughter of the Viscount de la Triellus. She eyed them curiously.

“Why are you talking to me, and not my father?”

“Your father does not want to talk,” replied Nicolau, “we were hoping that we would be able to work out something with you to avert more bloodshed. If you father continues to hold out, I will blast several holes into the mountainside via an orbital strike, and then I will let the thousands of battle droids coming from Boonta come and take over the fortress itself. They are not always the best at discriminating civilians from soldiers.”

She glanced down, “You know I cannot surrender the fortress, even if I wanted to. But there must be more to it than that. You surely can't expect me to do this only to prevent bloodshed from both of our people.”

Xurxo nodded, “I will grant you and any cooperating family members of yours immunity from prosecution, and see to it that your ancestral lands remain in your hands.”

She frowned, “And what of those who don't? My father?”

“Trial,” suggested Nicolau, “we'll let the people of Komnor decide his fate.”

The brunette frowned, “In Mr. Xurxo's court?”

The former president nodded, “I guarantee you it'll be a fair trial, your father can hire whoever he wants to represent him.”

“He'll be convicted,” stated the daughter.”

“Probably,” admittedly Nicolau, “but that doesn't mean the punishment is set.”

“No,” said the daughter flatly, “grant amnesty to my entire family, and I will work something out.”

“Amnesty is a large order,” quickly replied the former president, “do you really think you can get your father to surrender on that promise alone?”

“No,” replied Catalina, “but I can let your people into the fortress itself and take it over at night, when no-one is prepared. It would be far less bloody than a full-on assault.”

Xurxo hesitated, “I want something more than just that full for amnesty, though on that alone, I'd grant full amnesty to everyone in your family except your father...including your brother, who we hold now.”

She eyed him, “I will, but I want this all written down and stamped with something official.”

“You don't trust us?” questioned Xurxo.

“You have every right on that alone,” interrupted Nicolau, “our words are cheap. I will have holo recordings of us, and perhaps even a pair of our Councilors, stating the details of our arrangement. If we don't fulfill our end, if your somehow unable to take us to the courts, you can set up any number of ways to release it to the media...the damage to the Confederation's reputation would be...pretty bad.”

“That is acceptable. Mr. Xurxo, what else would you have me do?”

 Mr. Xurxo spared a glance at Nicolau, “I have one idea...”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 20 2014 3:22am

Durdenfall, Komnor

“What the hell are you suppose to be? A battle droid? Or maybe you're a stormtrooper?”

Sergeant Isowe, clad in the armor of a Audacian shock trooper, spared a glance at the freedom fighters. In dark, he had difficulty telling the resistance fighters apart, but judging from the voice, he guessed it was either Ralph or Waleh. The armored man shrugged as he slung his blaster carbine.

“Maybe a bit of both,” suggested the Audacian, “but let's get to it. The droids are already at the secondary doorway, ready to go. As soon as we get the signal, we're to fall in behind the battle droids...”


“Do you want to get shot first, or would you rather have it be a droid?” questioned Isowe, glancing at his chrono, “No takers? We're set to go in three minutes. Go ahead and make your last minute checks, make sure you got everything, and we'll meet up behind that boulder near the blast door.”

As the warriors double-checked their equipment, Isowe strode towards the boulder, noting a pair of shuttles quietly gliding up from near the mountain top. Odd. I wonder what they're doing up there...or who they're putting up there. I guess no-one's shooting at them though, which means they're ours. He reached the boulder and double-checked his power pack. Still good. He slapped the prism back into the weapon, tapping it several times afterwards to make sure it had no chance of coming loose or misfeeding. His fire team and the Xurxo's men fell in behind him. The doors nearly twenty meters in front of them quietly whirled open. As they did so, an assortment of Droideka Mk II and C1 battle droids quietly, at least for droids, entered the door opened by Catalina de la Triellus. As the men fell in behind the platoon of battle droids, blaster fire began to whine through the bunker. Oh hell no. Already? Confident in his armor, he led the fire team forward into the mountain and into the battle. Smoldering husks of nearly a dozen C1s littered the floor, along with more than several bodies of fully equipped soldiers in the Viscount's service. Most of the other C1s had fell behind the shielded Droidekas, which had driven away most of the defenders from the hall way, but every once and a while, a particularly well-aimed blaster bolt or a hurled grenade would emerge from the darkened corridor to stop the Confederate advance to a standstill. Glancing at the dozens of bodies and the makeshift barricades around them, he swore. The bitch told them when and where we'd be coming...

One of the droideka's managed to shoot a grenade being hurled out them, but not out of skill, but by sheer volume of fire. It exploded violently in a flash of light that blinded the non-Confederate combatants. He pushed his way past a C1 so that he was just behind one of the immobile droidekas, now little more than automated gun turret. Bringing his blaster up to his chin, he peered through the scope down the darkened hallway, noting more bodies than he'd ever wish to see littering the floors. And I can't tell which of them is living, or where they're popping out of...He sighed and turned to face the majority of the C1s.

“Gas rockets, down the hallway, now!” shouted the infantryman.

Half a dozen C1s briefly shuffled out from the behind the protection of the droidekas to fill the hallway with streams of micro rockets. The dumbfire weapons smashed and exploded randomly throughout the hallway, filling the air with an ivy green mist. He brought his weapon up to bear and held the trigger. As the emerald bolts discharged out of his weapon, the man briefly sprinted forward, followed by other shock troopers and the lesser skilled C1s. The resistance to them slackened under the chemical assault. He waved the C1s to push on. Dozens of fresh C1s from the outside flooded the corridors and began to push further into the corridor to fight more battles, but his mission, to secure the entrance into the fortress, was complete. He toggled his comlink with his tongue.

“Control, be advised, the Viscount's men were expecting us. They had us all set up for ambush.”

“Thank you Red Leader, we noticed as much through the C1s. Any casualties?”

“That's a negative, at least for our guys.”

“And their's?”

Isowe frowned inside his helmet, “We'll get to that once the area is certainly in our hands, and we're not taking any enemy fire...”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 22 2014 2:58am
His suit pumped a wash of cold air down his sweaty face, keeping face cooler than otherwise would have been possible given all of his activity, yet for all of the miniature technological marvels incorporated in his suite, a tiny bead of sweat still managed to assault Sergeant Isowe's right eye. Quickly blinking to absorb the liquid, the man slammed himself against a ferrocrete pillar as he fought it. Several battle more Confederate battle droids advanced deeper into the fortress, spreading more Null gas deeper into the reaches of the fortress, suffocating many of the defenders, but also forcing Xurxo's guerillas from entering. Instead, the freedom fighters fanned out across the base of the mountain fortress to provide a security cordon to help prevent any of the warlord's troops from escaping. A blast buffeted several cylindrical-headed C1s past him; the droids clattered on their backs onto the floor, scraping their paint and jarring their servos. He popped up from behind the pillar and peered down his optic into the gas-filled hallway to see an armored figure striding towards him, wearing a T-styled helm in the style made famous by the Mandalorians millenia ago. Without thinking, Isowe squeezed the trigger of his weapon, flooding the corridor with bursts of vibrant green light. The other humanoid snapped off a few wild shots and took cover behind another ferrocrete support column.

“Ah hell no,” swore the man, toggling his comlink, “Two, did you see that?”

A whimsical female voice popped in, “The next Fett, it would seem. What ya thinking sarge?”

“Grab a walking shield, and let's get on him before he gets any smarter...”

The Confederate soldier helped pull up one of the struggling C1s to its feet, and promptly took cover behind it. To his right, the slimmer figure of Two did the same and propped the barrel of her blaster rifle over the shoulder of the droid. The two Confederate soldiers advanced up the hallway under the cover of the hapless droids. Their opponent popped out briefly to fire a few shots that slammed into the droids before the Viscount's man fell under a hail of fire from the battle droids and the Confederate soldiers. Isowe unclipped a frag from his belt, activated a timer, and skipped it across the floor to clatter next to the pillar where the Viscount's man hid. It promptly exploded, spraying shrapnel everywhere, though the droids took the brunt of the attack. Two's voice came back strong and flooded his comlink.

“Damn it Sarge, let me know when you're gonna pull a stunt like that...”

“Sorry Two, I saw the opportunity, and I took it.”

The neared the pillar to see the man slumped down against the wall. Streams of blood ran through his trousers to and pooled up around the man's boots. Before Isowe could better evaluate the man's condition, the droid he was behind peppered the man with blaster and concussion fire. The body twisted and turned before tumbling onto the floor. A shudder ran through Isowe's body. Did I get him? Or did the droid just finish him off what technically was an noncombatant given his condition? I just thought of him as an it...He glanced at the corpse that only minutes ago had nearly shot him, but he couldn't make anything human about the body now in front of him.

Two began to squeeze off shots at targets further down the hallways. The battle droids joined in the fireworks, adding their own synchronized bursts of somewhat accurate fire in the same direction. Peering down his optic again, he could pick out several figures wearing castoff Katarn battle armor in the distance hunkered down behind an impromptu barricade of furniture. Their shots tore into the furniture, punching holes through upholstery and covering much of the surfaces in carbon scouring. One of Two's wild shots ignited a crimson couch. A fire briefly swept up the right hand barricade to cover it in a blanket of smoke and fire that stopped both sides from firing. He noticed one of the Viscount's soldiers on the opposite side of the barrier gazing at the sudden bursts of flames. Like a deer in the headlights...Isowe squeezed the trigger of his carbine, cleanly hitting his target's head with a pair of emerald bursts. The man fell down behind the barricade. Why do they keep on fighting? Defeat is inevitable by now. Come on Viscount? Why can't you just let your men live?
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Feb 23 2014 1:45am
Suffren-class Cruiser Varquex, in orbit via Komnor

“What happened down there?” questioned Xurxo, “the whole fortress was just waiting to fight us...”

Catalina quickly brushed a strand of her dark hair from her pale face, “Look, I don't know what happened, all right? Maybe I tripped an alarm, maybe he somewhere overheard me. It's not like they didn't try to catch me too. Only your commandos were able to save me, for which I'm thankful...”

“Because you popped up where your father was supposed to be, according to you...”

“He was supposed to be there, not all of those guards. It had to have been ambush for us.”

“Look,” said Nicolau, raising a hand to ward off the oncoming barrage of words, “the only thing we know for sure is that the Viscount knew we were coming and where. Blaming Miss de la Triellus isn't going to help us, Mr. President, but Miss de la Triellus...”

“I know, I know,” said the brunette, “I don't blame you for not trusting me. But I swear I didn't let him know.”

Nicolau cleared his throat, “Most of the fortress is under our control now, after we gassed most of it out. It will only be a matter of time before the rest of the fortress falls. We need to figure out right now what happens afterward. I doubt the rest of the Viscount's forces will simply surrender without a fight, not if your father is as stubborn as you say he is, and from what we've seen...”

Xurxo raised an eyebrow, “Is there a chance you could order the royal guard?”

She crinkled her face, “Some might listen, if they cannot get in touch with my father, but truly, I have little influence in the military establishment. I've done most of my work in the civil bureaucracy, but maybe Edward could. He has a bit more standing with some of them being a guy and all.”

Xurxo raised an eyebrow, “He's been about as stubborn as your father.”

“Let me talk to him,” suggested Catalina, “maybe I can talk some sense into him. Besides, you didn't tell him about the arrangements of our agreement, did you?”

Xurxo frowned and wrinkled his lips, “”

“It can't hurt,” suggested Nicolau, “but after that, Miss de la Triellus, I suggest you and Mr. Xurxo here begin talks about forming a provisional government...”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Mar 1 2014 3:00am

Some days later...

Somewhere on Komnor...

“The newly formed Komnor provisional government has announced that primary negotiations between the Viscount de la Triellus government under the Viscountess de la Triellus and former President Xurxo's Alliance to Restore Komnor have been concluded. Under the agreement, the Viscountess will rule Komnor through a continuation of the royal government until elections are held in two months in which the Komnor Congress will be restored and from whence on Komnor will be a constitutional monarchy with the de la Triellus family at the helm of the largely ceremonial position. As part of the negotiations, Mr. Xurxo will represent Komnor in the Contegorian Council until replaced by a councilor elected by the Komnor Congress. While the news released thus far has been largely positive from both sides of the Komnorian Civil War, little has been heard about the Viscount de la Triellus, except that his daughter has taken reigns over the government-”

Catalina tapped a button on the remote, shutting off the holo-projector. She slipped the remote onto the kitchen table of the old family hunting lodge. She turned her eyes over to a large man shackled to the chair across from her. Their eyes met. The older man slowly opened his parched lips.

“I can't believe you...”

“You did this to yourself,” retorted Catalina, “after reading those the files, hearing the recordings that the Confederates took, and seeing the holos of what you have are no father of mine. I ought to turn you over to the families of those you killed. But if everyone knew what you had done. I'd be ashamed to be even related to you.”

His eyes hardened, “One day, when I am long gone, when you have seen what democracy truly looks like, you will understand. You will wonder how you could be foolish to throw so much power away to right our world. But you've ruined it now.”

Catalina snorted, “By undoing the coup?”

Her father sneered, “Which undid the revolution before it...governments do not last, Catalina.”

“I suppose power doesn't,” admitted the brunette, “but you're proof that. Ideals seem to though. I only hope people will pick the right ones.”

“And that is your problem. You rely on hope...”

“And yours is relying on people to have none,” said Catalina, “but how does it feel to be on the other end now? You wonder what I'm going to do to dear old dad...”

“You would have killed me if you felt so strongly about it. You don't know what you're going to do with me.”

“Didn't,” corrected Catalina, “but I talked to Councilor Thorn recently, and she gave me just an interesting idea. Apparently the Confederates have a fondness for marooning people like you in places where you have can have absolute dominion and freedom to live out a perfectly meaningless life where you can die in anonymity. No martyrdom, no fame, no control over everyone else. And I know just the perfect place for you, father, my father...”