Seeds of the Tempest – Bloody 0700 [Rineeki]
  • Posted On: Feb 15 2014 6:40am

The sunlight flickered like dust through the forest canopy as the Engineer stepped gingerly over a fallen tree branch.   He had taken the time to step away from the meetings to think over the decision that was to come.   At least, that is what he told himself but the truth was, he rarely stepped foot on worlds anymore.   This was one of the more peaceful visits in his rather limited experience and so he decided to immerse himself in the environment.
It never ceased to amaze Gustinius what the word ‘pirate’ could illicit from lightside-loving peoples and factions.   A government like the Empire could enter a sovereign system and conquer the planet by burning the world’s resistance out to the condemnation of the rest of the galaxy.   But give those same actions the cloak of democracy and those same murderers voting rights and one would find only a silent holonet.
He wondered why he was assigned to this world but after meeting with what passed as the governing council of the world (a holdover from the Free Captain’s Table leadership pre-Republic), he began to slowly understand what was happening.
The façade was crumbling…
“Citizens of Rineeki. My name is Prince Kamon Vondiranach. I am the ruler of Tholatin, and the leader of the Tholatin Republic. We have come to liberate you from the injustice of the Pirates who ruled you before. Pirates have a way of using people for their own good. The Tholatin Republic is just that, a Republic. Everything is done through voting. Everyone has a say in matters.”

But was that actually true?   How could one function in a Republic and yet be a ruler of a planet?  So one fights for his world to have a vote in the galactic body politic but fight like a rancor with an ugnaught to ensure no one has a say in interplanetary politics?
Everyone has a say in matters?
So, did the Republic vote to have the families of this world labeled as pirates and butchered?
Was this Kamon truly the leader or was he merely the glove over the hand?
The recording from Ayren Nikkita from Tholatin had been enlightening.
"Today marks the beginning of a new era. As we speek, our ships are being prepped for a colonization attempt. Besides being a colonization, we will be eliminating some pirates. We are going to hit Airam, Anaul, and Rineeki in full force with some assistance from our Emperor. You have all already received your orders. Now, go to your ships and wait. I will begin our mission soon."
Everyone answered to an ‘emperor’ of their own, it seemed.
But what was the answer?  

“I believe in leading a just faction. I have seen the horrors that pirates carry out. They killed my sister after all.”
Did pirates have rule of law and governments?   One might consider unlawful activity to be piratical activity but according to who’s law?   The Rebel Alliance engaged in many unlawful practices (according to some governments) but did that make them pirates?
This Republic, who answered to an emperor, acknowledged that these pirates ruled this world.
Lawful pirates? 
This Jedi, who answered to a Shadow Jedi Master (self-proclaimed), who in turn found redemption in the arms of the League of Nations-turned-Commonality, found his sister dead but no witness as to who committed the crime.
But the tale does not dispute the fact that the Vondiranach sister was indeed imprisoned.   Was she sent to spy or undermine the local planet’s government from within laying the foundation for the takeover?
Perhaps she too was being used by ‘her emperor’?
“That upset me very much.”
That must was true.  For the Jedi went momentarily mad killing his own Phalanx Guardsmen.
But I have seen other things, most of which are worse than killing. I have seen pirates use species such as the Ryn for experimentation. They inject drugs into them in the hopes of creating a species of Ryn that is developed for fighting. And this is not limited to the Ryn. They will experiment on any and all species. I am here to end that.”

He did not say these deeds were carried out here?   Did the conquest of this world end dastardly deeds of pirates throughout the galaxy?
Perhaps the Ryn Jarvis Ragnar was one such experimentation?  The Alliance and Wandering Ones have yet to turn him in, however.
“I come before you now, asking you if you will accept my offer of joining the Tholatin Republic. If you agree, you will enjoy freedoms you did not have under the pirate’s rule. If you will join, please raise your hand.”
And just like that, with a show of hands, they were conquered.
Kamon strolled through the woods of the planet Rineeki. Forests were Kamon’s favorite places to visit. He could almost always be found in one. He walked up to the mound where he had buried his sister. A tombstone was there to mark the spot. Kamon had picked some flowers already; he placed them on the mound.
Gustinius followed the slivers of light to a leaf-covered mound marked by a darkened tombstone, the flowers of a bygone day having withered and blown away.   He took out a portable scanner from his utility pouch, kneeling down to stick the probe into the soft, moist earth.   After a few minutes, the readings started to take shape and the Engineer stared at them in undisguised astonishment.
This leader of Tholatin, this Prince, had been given a directive by his emperor but it was a colonization order.   Why this world?   What would push this young leader here?
He thought back to the holo-recording he had watched in his briefing, the grainy features flickering off and on, the picture playing havoc with message itself.
“My Prince, I bring you word of encouragement. One of our operatives infiltrated a prisoner facility before he died. He sent us a message saying that your sister is alive, but is sick and starving. The operative managed to slip her some nutri-bars, and that seemed to help…. possible to …. if ground…”
He remembered the white haired participant at the briefing laughing at the message.  “Kamon probably turned his entire fleet at the bloody world, his mind about as blank as a teenage boy fucking for the first time!”
It was amazing what the power of one transmission could do in the right hands.
The body in the grave was not a match for the Vondiranach family.  
Kamon must have charged with everything he had and upon seeing the dead doppelganger been beset by a powerful grief.  He had killed his own men in the throes of that grief, the guilt prompting a large building program on the world.   If his sister was dead, he would ensure that her death would have some sort of meaning…
But how?
When he reached the prison, he encountered a full squad of pirates that were on duty guarding the prison. He approached them with utter calmness. One of them gave a guttural shout, and the squad lifted its blasters to point at him. Raising one hand in what they determined was a halt signal, he fired for blasts from the palm of his hand. The blasts were a technique called Spark of the Lightside, and would sear through almost anything.

Four of the pirates fell dead. The rest opened up with their blasters. Kamon drew his lightsaber, and moved in among them, blocking shots hear, slicing off body parts there. Soon enough the squad of pirates was lying motionless on the ground. Kamon had a couple of graze marks from blaster bolts, but he ignored them.

Moving into the building, he headed for the control room. The two guards in the room were easily neutralized by Kamon. The techs scrambled against the wall. Kamon motioned to them.

“What cell are you holding a woman named Leeli Vondiranach in?”

“C-cell 1-104,” One of the pirates managed to stammer.

“Thank you.”

Leaving the room, he followed the hall to a turbolift. He stepped in and shot up to the second level. Following the hall, he approached room 104. He drove his lightsaber into the access panel, and the door slid open. Kamon looked in, and fell to his knees crying.

His sister lay against the wall, dead. A single scorch mark on her chest suggested a blaster was the means of death. Suddenly, anger and rage seized control of Kamon. He stormed out of the building where he encountered two Pirates. They shouted and charged him. Kamon whipped his lightsaber up, and the first pirates head flew a full 15 yards down the street. Turning, his lightsaber sliced clean through the others head.

More pirates and a few RPGC charged at him for their own reasons. Kamons lightsaber sliced away, not caring where it hit. Suddenly, he managed to regain control of himself. The anger and hatred left him. He looked down and was mortified. Two of his Phalanx Guards lay dead by his doing. He shut down his lightsaber, fell to his knees, and cried.

Council Meeting
Gustinius looked at the footage again and frowned.   This world was clearly afraid of Kamon Vondiranach and was taking great pains to help him understand why.   He represented a power behind the resurgent Royal Phalanx Guard which had been instrumental in attacking the Rineeki years ago.
But how?
He rewound the footage and the Council members thought he just couldn’t believe his eyes that this Prince of the Republic, this Jedi, would be so blood-thirsty.  But he was looking for the clue.  
Why wasn’t the woman in the cell Leeli Vondiranach?
And then it hit him as the monitor displayed the years-old event…

“What cell are you holding a woman named Leeli Vondiranach in?”

“C-cell 1-104,” One of the pirates managed to stammer.

“Thank you.”

The image showed Kamon leaving the room, following the hall to a turbolift.  According to the numbers above the liftdoors, the turbolift rose to the second level.   The footage changed to the second level hall, which Kamon followed until he approached room 104.
On the second level!
“Room 104 is on the first level,” Drevell murmured.   He turned back to the Council with an appraising eye.
The transmission had forced Kamon to come blazing in…
At 0700 hours, the fleet left the safety of the twin moons, and moved to attack. It had been decided that this was the best time to attack because most of the pirates would be really tired. This was considering the fact that Rineeki did not go by Coruscant hours.

Apparently, at 0700, the Rineeki were not as tired as Kamon hoped or as tired as he felt.
“May I speak to Leeli Vondiranach?” he asked.
  • Posted On: Feb 25 2014 3:02am

A world forgotten.   A world that would have been overlooked if not for him.   Karnak Alpha.
As if the strands of the empty empire were being collected and even as empty as it was, there was still a smoldering power.
The power of the supplanted.   That had already been felt on Tholatin.
If Tholatin represented the power of the supplanted, Rineeki was the power of the forgotten.
So what did that make Karnak Alpha?
The power of change?
The Tri-worlds were to be the spark.   Wheels within wheels of mass colliders of both mass expansion and mass entropy locked in their embrace could not begin their delicate dance without the ignition.
The Tri-worlds were not the engine.   No, that was to come.
Mass expansion against mass entropy.
A dance called the Tempest.
“You asked to see me?” a brittle voice intruded on Drevel’s thoughts.   He turned and noticed a rather plain-looking woman with white hair.   He had heard of stress affecting certain people so but he had never seen its affect on a woman.
“Leeli Vondiranach?” he asked gently.
“You are clever than most but I only go by Lily now,” the woman replied, with appraising eyes.
“Well, Lily, I must say that I am pleased to meet you,” Gustinius stated with sincerity.  “There was a debate going as to whether or not you were still alive or not.”
“And you won?”
Gustinius shook his head slowly.  Sadly.   “No.  I am afraid that I lost.   I had hoped you would not be alive.”
The woman’s face registered surprise.   Most of the time, men of power would try to impress others with their prowess, strength or intelligence.
“Why?” she could not help herself.
“So I did not have to do this..” he replied as he slowly stood straighter.  Two red and silver armoured soldiers entered the room flanking the exit.
“Leeli Vondiranach, you are under arrest.” he added with a voice full of sorrow.
Her eyes flashed in anger.  “For what?!”
“You are Leeli Vondiranach.  Sister to Zerxes and Kamon Vondiranach.  Zerxes was the elder brother.   Kamon was the younger brother and therefore the throne passed from Zerxes to Kamon.   However, upon your birth, Leeli, as the youngest Vondiranach child, the throne should have passed from Kamon to you.   Imagine how much bloodshed could have been avoided if that had happened?
Just as Kamon had before, you had Tholatin Law behind you but you simply vanished and allowed Kamon to usurp your rightful place casting the fates of Tholatin, her people and her former Republic to the proverbial galactic winds.”
The Vondiranach woman stared for a long time at Gustinius, a hardness overcoming her features.    Plain features.
Without removing her eyes from his, she raised her arms for the Phalanx to approach and apply the manacles.