Brown Coats

Heart Break
RATED R, CONTAINES MATURE CONTENT VIEWER DISCREATION HIGHLY ADVISED

Noir carefully leapt from one asteroid to the next, she ducked as a small piece of debris shot passed her quicker than her eyes could follow. This had been the third day that she and Mace had been out scouring the asteroids for crystals; she suddenly had a new appreciation as to how dangerous this was. She stood in an environment where everything was constantly moving in different directions, if you got sloppy you got killed, this was a good test, a good use of her skills, she liked it.

  • * * * *

Lucien sat on the bridge of the Isabella, it was in low orbit over Silverhold now and he enjoyed the comforts of his ship, over those of the palace when Sarah insisted on being at “work”. He chuckled to himself, he had tried to convince her to take a few days off so they could be together, but he was well out matched, and had hurried out of their before she convinced him to have his Sons of Plunder digging new sewer drenches.

“The things we do for love Tic Toc” he mused as he turned back to his companion, remembering the businesses at hand. He still couldn’t believe it, Tic Toc wanted to work on Belinda’s radio station, wanted to recite the novels and stories he had memorised for the people of Whitefall so they could cheer up a little, Lucien was so proud of his little friend, humanity was more than flesh and bone he decided. As he gave Tic Toc his full attention to hear out his proposal

  • * * * *

Sarah put her welding mask down again and slipped under the main terminal. Expertly she soldered the appropriate wiring, if she worked hard today then she could have 6 of the platforms ready to begin transport construction, which would mean a lot for Silverhold. She shifted uncomfortably, that is, she amended to herself, if she could work for ten minutes without needing a pee break. Carefully she worked with firm dedication, so focused was she on her task that the rest of the world, the rest of her problems just began to melt away.

“Your Eminence?” she was startled to hear the muffled voice and looked up, the sun was setting she could see, but she could still get another forty five minutes of work in before she had to leave to meet Lucien, she looked at the Clone Commander who had addressed her

“Yes… uh…?” she halted, it was harder to remember clone names

“Lucky your Eminence, Commander Lucky of Purple Squad 7” the clone supplied

“Yes, of course, forgive me Commander Lucky, What can I do for you?”

“There is a bit of a disturbance brewing down the street your Eminence, with your permission I would like to send six of our troopers down there to settle the dispute before anything turns violent.” The Queen smiled, and nodded her permission. She looked back at the work at hand and then over to the window where she could see the sun setting.

“Lucky?” the clone stopped and gave her the full attention “I think the rest of this can wait till tomorrow, I’m going to do two more lines and then pack it in, why don’t you head up to the roof and get the ship warmed up, If you could, please contact Captain Calgori, and inform him I will be a little early for our dinner arrangements” the clone nodded and gave her a stiff salute

“Of course your Eminence” with that she turned and jogged towards the stair well, leaving Sarah to finish her work.

  • * * * *

Noir smiled as she looked over to Mace, they had found a large cluster of blue crystals, she called upon the force once more and stopped an incoming asteroid, Mace keeping complete trust in her abilities maintained his focus on cutting the crystals free. It was then that she noticed, her heart was racing, she didn’t know why, her hands began to tremble and tears began to well up in her eyes, what was happening. The Master sensing her apprehension looked up

“Is there a problem Noir?” she could barely stem the tears pouring from her eyes, unadulterated fear coursed through her very being

“Yes… I mean no but…. I don’t know… oh my god… SARAH!”

  • * * * *

Lucien nodded ending his transmission from the planet, “Sorry Tic Toc, we will have to discuss this later, I have an important dinner with an incredibly beautiful women." The robot seemed a little crestfallen but was understanding, the two walked together towards the captain’s quarters, when Lucein received another hail on the com; it was a private channel, one used only by the Sons of Plunder.
“Lucien, it’s Koth! I have Harren, but we must get him to the planet immediately, and it must be done very quietly, our ship has just jumped into the edge of the sector, it has no sublight drives left, we are adrift… do you read?” Lucien spun on his heels and jogged back to the bridge, Tic Toc, knowing his captain, quickly took the com and call Renevie to the bridge

“Loud and clear my good man, I will pick you up myself, should be there in about 6 minutes friends, hold on tight.” With that the Isabella’s mighty solar sails furrowed and the ship quickly left orbit to collect Koth and Harren, this would be a joyful day.

  • * * * *

Clang

Sarah looked up, the light was getting dim in here, and it had taken longer than she thought to finish the last coupling, what kind of bastard seals a fusion inverter anyway? She stood and dusted off her clothes. Her back spasemed a few times as blood flow restored itself to her norm.

THUMP

Instinct told her to leave, decorum told her to stay put, she followed with what she had learned from years on a Sons of Plunder ship, she drew her gun.

“Lucky?” She called out; she wracked her brain for a moment to remember some of the other clone names who had been stationed with her “Cut Up? Fivers?” she began to feel nervous, and thought perhaps it was time to head up to the roof and her ship.

She approached the lift she had fixed herself last week and was surprised when it opened, seven tall men walked out, two of them were bloody, one was holding a clone helmet and looking it over. She reached for her com, only to find the signal dead

“Well, well, well… What have we got ourselves here fellas? Looks like a spring peach, in full bloom no less” the men spread out and began to surround her, her heart was racing. They were armed with old AK’s and rusty looking knives, one of them seemed to have a Clone Blaster rifle. “Told fella’s didn’t I…” the man continued “them clones only protect food and other worthwhile items, and I am thinking that even if we dont find food, this little peach may be worthwhile” the large man leered at her as he and his men fanned out. Sarah took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down before speaking

“I am Queen Imperialis, ruler of Silverhold, you will leave this place now, defy me at your own risk” she levelled the gun at one of the men who was getting a little too close and fired, missing him by millimetres. Some of the men slowed at this, then there leader spoke again

“This one’s got some fight in ‘er, never had me way with a Queen before. Hey Jacks, you ever tumbled with royalty?” the one assumedly named Jacks just chuckled stupidly as he shook his head no.

They had surrounded her now; Sarah took another deep breath before speaking again “I’m pregnant!” there were laughs and cat calls to this a few of the men moved closer “These babies,” she pointed to her stomach, “belong to the dread pirate Lucien Calgori, death would be a kindness he would not grant any of you, if you continue” several of the men stopped laughing at this, they all had heard of the Dread Pirate, it was a well-known fact that his ships were in orbit of the planet right now, no one wanted to have that kind of trouble come down upon them. Glubber had taught the verse well, DO NOT CROSS CALGORI.

“Come on Badger, we don’t want no trouble from no Dread Pirate, and she’s his whore….” The one who had spoken first looked at the man “Bitch be lying, she said she`s the Queen a minute ago, now she`s the concubine to the Dread Pirate… nice try Peach” two men slowly backed off, entering the lift and heading back down to the ground floor, the other five moved in closer.

  • * * * *

“Noir, NOIR! Listen to me, you need to hold it together just a little longer, we’re almost back to the ship” Mace’s voice came over the com as he ducked and dodged through the asteroid field working their way back to the ship. Her face was tear stained, she hadn’t be able to form coherent words in the last while, all she could do his curl up and hold her stomach protectively, she had to protect the babies, she had to protect the babies. She flinched feeling a burning pain, feeling Sarah’s pain as something hit her face.

Mace looked at the pain on his companions face and reached deep within himself, he had not wanted to expend this kind of energy, but he could tell that this could not wait. A pulse was sent out from his body that scattered the asteroids in the area shooting them out from his location. His ship in the distance became visible, once again he reached deeply into the force and pulled the ship towards them; stopping it within a few meters of their location. His hands again began to shake but through mastery of will he opened the air lock and cycled it. The two leaning heavily on each other worked their way towards the bridge so that they could reach the hyperspace transceiver and help.

  • * * * *

Lucky had been waiting in the ship for the last ten or so minutes, he had informed Captain Calgori of the change and plans and had warmed up the ships engines, She was now just waiting for the rest of the patrol to join her. The minutes ticked away and still nothing, eventually lucky began to get an odd feeling about the situation

“Fivers, what’s your ETA?”

No response

“Cut Up? What’s going on down there?”

No response.

In every Clones life there comes a moment, a moment that will define them as an individual, and it is based on the decisions that they make in life. Luckynew that it was strictly against orders to leave a shuttle running and unprotected, but still, she sensed there was a danger, she dialled up the ships com.
“This is Commander Lucky, designation 163-577-0IPR8, purple squad 7, The Queen may be in danger, please send immediate back up”

“We read you Lucky, backup will be there in T-6 minutes and 34 seconds, hold for support” the voice came back from the com. Lucky paused a minute before responding

“That’s a negative command, I’m going in now, have backup join me asap” the clone grabbed her two blaster pistols and raced down to the lift, to check on the Queen she had been charged to protect.

  • * * * *

Sarah lay on the floor as another blow connected with her face she reeled in pain, but fought to stay conscious “little peach has some fight left in her eh, well guess this peach is bruised now” she felt two men grab her arms and hold her over a computer console while the one named Badger moved behind her, she heard the click of a jack knife and felt her belt being sawed through at the small of her back.

“Please, please stop” she cried struggling again in vain, and only receiving a back hand for her trouble

“Hold her still boys” Badgers voice called from behind her

  • * * * *

Noir was in a fit now as she set the Hyperspace Transceiver to broadcast, Lucien hadn’t picked up on the first two calls, he was probably trying to do something quietly. Noir didn’t care, she knew the Isabella’s systems better than most, and quickly set up an override, within a few moments her voice was broadcasting over the public com of the Isabella.

“Lucien!” She screamed into the com “…LUCIEN!!!!!” the rest was all but gibberish, between the crackling of the coms and Noirs sobbing tears it was unintelligible.

“Noir?” Came Lucien’s voice “Is that you? Are you in trouble?” again another bout of sobbing came over the com, Noir couldn’t get the words out, couldn’t decipher the difference between her relief at reaching Lucien and her fear for Sarah, she couldn’t stop crying. She looked at Maceand watched as he put his hand on her shoulder, suddenly she felt calm, felt as if Mace himself had stepped within her and for a brief moment was holding back the tidal force of the oncoming emotions, Noir did not hesitate

“Lucien its Noir, Sarah is in danger, they’ll kill her! GET TO SARAH NOW!” she hung up, she didn’t know anything more and didn’t want to waste his time trying to answer questions. She turned to thank Mace as she plotted a hyperspace course for Silverhold ; she had to go home, that’s when she noticed. Mace was curled onto the floor shaking violently his eyes rolled back into his head. Quickly as she could Noir turned the ship towards home and then turned to do what she could for her fallen friend.

  • * * * *

Sarah struggled one last time, she couldn’t let this happen, she felt the last of her cloths ripped away, felt the heat from the man behind her. “Lucien, please” she whispered a prayer

“Come on Peach, just may be that we have a spot o fun with this” came the vile voice

DING

The lift door opened

Lucky couldn’t believe what she was seeing, in a second anger coursed through her veins, IT WOULD BE OVER HER DEAD BODY THAT THIS HAPPENED TO THE QUEEN ! The clone drew her weapons and fired at the men. The brutes were caught unaware at first but were still well armed and quickly the sound of gun fire filled the air.

Lucky felt the bullets rip through her chest plating as she charged forward, but God himself would not stop her, she fired as quickly as her fingers would allow, she knew she could not kill them all but her hope was she could at least scatter them, give the Queen every chance.

Sarah felt more then saw the distraction, she did not hesitate, as soon as the men let go she grabbed the screwdriver from the table and turned to attack her assailant, the shot was true as the tool pierced his eye. He screamed in rage backhanding her and sending her spinning to the floor. The gun fire lasted only a few seconds longer until there was a resounding thump.

“Another one of them damn Clones boss!” there was some mumbled discussion until she heard Badgers voice again

“Them Clones are more akin to cockroaches, where theirs one theirs a dozen more, let’s git outta here,” he stooped and leaned down leering at Sarah once more

“Until next time, Peach” he smearing his bloody fingers over her cheek. With that she heard the footsteps of men running.

She didn’t know how long she lay there, how long she just sat there crumpled into a ball behind that console clutching the screwdriver. Eventually she heard a voice
“SARAH! SARAH! Oh God SARAH!” she felt Lucien more then saw her, her eyes had long since swollen shut, “Stay calm Sarah, there is a clone contingent on the way, they will have medics, I’ve got you now, your safe” his strong arms wrapped her in a protective embrace.

“No” she said, almost too quietly to hear “I don’t want the clones, I don’t want anyone to see me like this, take me to the Isabella Lucien… Please” Lucien looked at her for a long moment before deciding

“As you wish” he said scooping her up and carrying her towards the lift.

“Lucien…” Sarah said, a little panicked “Lucky, the clone commander, bring her too” Lucien looked down dubious if the clone was even alive, that didn’t matter right now.

“Garrick, grab the clone, load her onto the ship, we’re leaving… NOW!” Lucien didn’t wait for Garrick’s response; he headed to the lift and quickly departed to the Isabella.

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Bandaids

Belinda felt exhausted from her confrontation with Pierce the man could be so infuriating. She made her way toward the ICU where they were keeping an eye on Dean. The cracked ribs the busted jaw, and the rainbow of bruises would all heal but he had a fever they just couldn’t seem to bring down. She shouldn’t have left him, she came to the window in him room he was still sleeping fitfully, she needed to be with him. Billy looked both ways and upon seeing the hallway was deserted she slipped into his room.
His skin felt hot and dry to the touch. He began trashing about franticly muttering ineligible words. She was worried he’d pull out his IV. She grabbed his large arm as hard as should could with both hands in an attempt to keep it still. Suddenly he grabbed her and flipped her onto the bed she was under him with his forearm pressed against her neck chocking. His eyes were blind with rage and blood was trickling from his arm where the line had torn out. Billy fought franticly hitting and scratching anything she could reach, her lungs screamed and her face felt purple. Dean was breathing heavily pressing down harder until she was afraid he’d snap her neck. As her vision began to go dark she made one last effort, she reached her finger tips to his face and ran them along his jaw up toward his ear as she had a thousand times before. His arm released abruptly he sounded confused “Billy? Shit what happened, Oh God I’m sorry.”
She gasped for breath his worried glassy feverish gaze holding hers. “It’s ok I’m ok, you had a bad dream.” She wiggled out from under him rubbing her sore neck, “I need to fix your IV, lie down and hold still.” She took a couple of deep breaths trying to slow her racing heart and steady her hands before sliding a needle into his arm. “I’m going to give you a mild sedative along with these antibiotics; I’m worried you’ll hurt yourself.” Dean just stared at her shivering, “I’m sorry Billy I don’t know what happened.” He reached out to touch her arm and she couldn’t help it she jumped. She saw the pain in eyes as he withdrew his hand. She couldn’t stand it she grabbed his strong fingers in both her small hands and held them to her heart. He gave her a small smile, “don’t sedate me I need to know you’re here. Please stay with me.” She could see what the pleading request cost him and didn’t hesitate she moved to sit on the side of his bed. He gently kissed the red on her neck. Belinda stiffened feeling heat course through her veins at his touch knowing that he was too ill for this to go anywhere. He lay back down and pulled her into his arms. “Your ribs, I’ll hurt you.” She protested.
“You could never hurt me,” he whispered. She carefully settles against him her head resting on his shoulder keeping an eye on the line coming out his elbow and her back pressed along his body. She breathed in deeply underneath the slightly antiseptic smell of all hospitals was Dean, powerful and intoxicating. His other hand was stroking down her body to rest on the curve of her hip. His lips working their magic on her neck working his way up to the sensitive flesh of her ear. Deans hand slide to the juncture of her thighs pausing just a moment before gliding up her flat stomach under her shirt to cup her full breast through her bra. Billy sucked in sharply her body singing causing a ringing in her ears. “You have to stop.” She gasped, “You’re hurt, you’re sick and we are in a hospital bed with a window and a large glass door that someone will be coming through any minute now to check on you!”
“You talk too much.” Dean teased her nipple through the black lace causing it to harden almost painfully, with his hips cradling hers it was easy to feel how much he wanted her. Dean leaned over intending to capture her soft lips with his, when a sudden shape pain shot through his chest dampening his desire instantly. “Tian fuhn di fu!” Dean’s frustration warred with his pain for dominance the pain won. Billy carefully turned towards him and took his face in her hands she gently kissed his lips and each of his eyes, “its ok I won’t leave you but you need to rest I’ll be right here.” She gestured to the uncomfortable looking she beside his bed. “No,” he stubbornly held her tight; the searing pain had faded back to the all over achy feeling.
She couldn’t refuse him anything, “ok I just need to get one thing.” He let her up raising one eyebrow when he saw her filling a syringe and placing it carefully on the bed. She couldn’t quite meet his eyes, “just in case it’ll knock you out cold.”
He nodded it hurt like hell that she needed to take such a precaution but given what happened he couldn’t blame her. Her safety was more important. Billy curled into bed with him once more being careful of his injuries. He rested his chin on her head and inhaled her scent, she smelled like home. He drifted into a deep and healing sleep since they found him. Billy felt uncomfortably warm in his fevered embrace. For the first time in what felt like years she wasn’t worried about him. She saw Sarah pass outside the window looking like she was dressed for one of her projects around Silverhold. With a sudden stop Sarah turned and saw Billy. She gave the sleeping arrangement a once over and wagged her finger disapprovingly. Belinda closed her eyes and pretended not to see her. When a few minutes passed Sarah didn’t come in Billy new she understood.

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Missive to the Queen of Silverhold from the Jedi Council

To:

Sarah Imperialis
Queen of SilverHold

From:

The Jedi Council of Masters
Lilac

Queen Impialis, the Jedi Council sends greetings. We send this missive in the hopes that you will allow the Jedi Order to set up an Embassy on Silverhold. These Jedi would act as advisors, negotiators, and would be willing to assist in the rebuilding and law enforcement efforts of Silverhold. They would be under your direct command, or your appointed representive, and would follow the laws of Silverhold. They would follow orders and commands unless they would directly contradict the Jedi Code or the orders are particularly questionable. The Council is also willing to assist Silverhold if the need is Great. This is a service the the Jedi have been willing to provide for centuries.

Jedi Hoshi, with whom you are familiar with, is one that has put forth the idea to open a embassy on Silverhold, and is one of the Jedi Knights that would be willing to be stationed there. We and him hope that this would facilitate open relations with the Jedi.

We of the Council of Jedi Masters, look forward to your response.

Jedi Council of Masters,
Lilac.

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Mission Requests

Up Coming Mission Requests to your party

- Gold Heist on Londinum, we have tunnels under the gold repository, but could use tactical support and pirate aid in the execution, could mean a lot of gold for the dominion, and some to make the support worthwhile for the sons of plunder or Whitefall

- There are problems with negotiations with the Metis, on Lilac, we would like to set up some farming land, and they keep attacking out people, the Jedi are stretched pretty thin right now, with their move, missions and talks with other tribes, but if we want a crop in this season we will have to figure something out

- Beylix has yet to respond to hails or communications of any kind, perhaps your team could being talks with them and figure out what is going on there.

- Wallace is preparing to push forward, a decision needs to be made on our level of support, and are you willing to accompany him yourselves.

- Information about the bomb in the corrilian salt mines points to a bomb builder who may live on Sihnon, and have connections to the Wo Shing Wo. A team should go there and investigate further, sounds like your kind of mission.

- Senetor Brutus has not reported in and is a week overdue, a team should be sent to check on and possible extract him, this has moved dominion worlds to a yellow alert defensive wise.

- The skills of your group could be used on Silverholds rebuilding projects, your presence would be an aid to their recovery and defenses.

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Silverholds Mines

“Your Majesty” the Jedi Knight bowed deeply to the Queen, it had been only sheer happenstance that he was here at all, the Council had sent him on a mission to Muir but once they had heard about the happenings on Silverhold in the province of Accalia they had diverted him to Silverhold to investigate the matter more thoroughly. First he had stopped in to check on Master Windu’s young apprentice; the boy had indeed been lucky that the Queen had seen fit to personally tend to him; there was a reasonable chance that the arm would take. Shortly after that business was settled he had gone and searched about the Diamond Mines, not much had been left there save a few tunnels that eventually led into the local sewer systems. He had however noted that the entire area brimmed as if infused with the dark side; he hadn’t noted it when he first approached, but the longer he had spent there the more pronounced the feeling had become. He had tried twice to cleanse the area, and twice he had thought he was successful, but each time within a few hours, the feeling would slowly and insidiously creep back.

“It is my recommendation that you keep the mines closed for the time being, and keep all none essential personal from entering, there is darkness about this place that is beyond my skills to understand. With your permission I would send a Master back to see if he can determine what the cause is and how it may be neutralised” the Queen nodded hearing the Knights council, she had not decided yet if she would follow it, perhaps some of her own people may have more luck, perhaps not, either way starting the process of having a Master look into the matter seemed prudent.

“So be it, thank you Jedi Hoshi for diverting your quest so quickly to look into this matter, Silverhold sends its gratitude to you and your order” the Knight bowed once more to the Queen and took his leave. Sarah sat in contemplation for many moments, she did not like that this had happened on Silverhold, Why had Arturo been here of all places? Was his goals truly so narrow as extortion? Perhaps she had overestimated the man, or perhaps not? It would be wise to remain cautious; this would not be the first time they had thought the man dead. She stood and stretched as a warm smile found its way to her face, at the very least some good had come from all this, Lucien was here, safe and sound. She would be sure to take advantage of the time she had with him.

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Trust earned is Truth Learned

Pierce was reclining on his bed in post op in the palace at Saturna, reading an old fashioned book that Lucien loaned him. The other beds in the room were occupied byKa’at Quynn, Alexia, 2 clones and Mal and Natalia who appeared to be sleeping rather deeply. Belinda had left Dean resting in the ICU where he was still recovering from his ordeal. Pierce was grateful he’d had the forethought to have someone fetch his own clothes so he didn’t have to face her in one of those ridicules gowns. He sat up; Billy stopped an arm’s length away from him taking everything in assuring herself that he was ok. Then she threw herself into his arms not noticing his brief wince. She hugged him tightly and whispered, “thank god you’re ok.”

Billy didn’t even realize she was crying again until Pierce was stroking her hair. “Shh shh it ok Lindy my dear it’s all over now.” He kissed the top of her head, lingering there for a moment, he inhaled deeply grounding himself in the scent of her hair. Billy allowed herself to be comforted by the familiar feel of his embrace before she stepped back to compose herself. With a flourish Pierce produced a handkerchief from her ear; she smiled and blew her nose. “Sorry I’ve become quite the watering pot lately.”

“What brings you here dear Lindy? Isn’t there some poor unfortunate wounded soldier that you should be nursing back to health?” Pierce’s casual tone was belied by the intense light in is blue eyes.

“The Doctors say he needs his rest,” Billy pulled up a chair. “Besides I needed thank you , if you hadn’t been along I don’t think Dean would have survived. You could have been killed and you didn’t hesitate, I can never thank you enough.”
“Let’s not make a saint of a sinner now, just wait until you see my overtime and I will be logging danger pay on this one.”

“All the same, Thanks.” She touched arm gently, ushering him to lie back down. As one of the few people who wasn’t fooled by his poker face she could feel the fatigue radiating from him. This conversation would have to be brief.

“My secrets are out now I suppose a few of them at least.” He murmured, “Working directly with the High Chancellor will be all but impossible now, what with his distaste for trained force users and all. Do me a favor darling; please remind me to arrange a new liaison to Whitefall, someone that appeals to his psychological profile. Perhaps a woman this time.”
“Actually that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Really Lindy? We’ve been over this; it’s not sexist to have a woman use all of her assets to achieve the desired ends.” Belinda just rolled her eyes,

“What I was going to say was if you ever withhold important information from me again, I’ll turn you over to the Alliance myself”. Pierce fixed her with a hard stare, she’d done it now; his shields were up, his face betrayed nothing, all signs of injury and fatigue vanished from his features in an instant; Belinda hurried to continue before he could rally any more defenses.

“You had no right to make assumptions on what I can and cannot deal with, I pay you to collect intel, you deliver that intel to me, that’s how this works, remember?” Pierce took a deep breath; he held it for just a second to long before letting it out in a long patronizing sigh.

“Lindy, Lindy Lindy… my dear Lindy, you have spent far too much time with the soldiers haven’t you?” Belinda tried to control her breathing, but nothing could stop the red from going to her cheeks, how did he always do that? Pierce continued “that’s not how it works, or how it is said for that matter, but we will leave your atrocious abuse of the English language for another day, you pay me to ultimately dissolve the Alliance government, I also pass information along to you when I feel it is pertinent. Because I care for you I protect you. You don’t want the Intel I get, no one wants to live with the knowledge I have, or the decisions I have to make. Why on earth would I pile on more weight when you can barely keep your head above water as it is?” he ended with a long piercing stare, the cut straight to her soul.

“YOU’RE NOT MY HUSBAND PIERCE! YOU DON’T GET TO MAKE THOSE DECSIONS, GOT IT!” she roared at the patient oblivious to the clones beginning to stir. He gave her a bemused look for a moment, and in an instant she felt silly, perhaps she had been spending too much time with Bruce and Mal, quickly she changed tactics.

“Look Peirce…” she said in a softer tone” ever since the day I found you out we have had an agreement that we are honest with each other, that we don’t hold back, is that gone now? Is that relationship another victim of this war?” she could tell by his slightest of winces that she had struck a chord.

“Lindy, you don’t want what you are asking for, I live in the shadows, with the secrets many hide, that is no place for a lady of the light, please Lindy, don’t ask me to give you something that will hurt you, I don’t want to be the person who ruins you” he said, his tone somber, eyes unwavering. Damn him she thought, she just couldn’t tell if he was sincere or not, that is why it would never have worked between them.

“Look Pierce, I am a Journalist, I need the truth, and you would do better with a little more light in your life. You trust me or you don’t, it’s that simple, if you don’t, then get out of here, I have no need of someone who doesn’t trust me, if you do, well that you will have to open up a little. It’s time to decide” She let the words hang out there, and a long silence proceeded, she desperately wanted to add something more, but knew instinctively that he had to be the first to break the silence, and so they waited, each playing a game that they didn’t quite know the rules of. The seconds ticked by into minutes, she was about to turn and leave, when he finally he folded

“you know I trust you Lindy, if this is how you truly wish it to be, then so be it, but I warn you, there is no second chances in this game, and the consequences of losing are quite permanent, if you can see all the cards I will no longer be able to protect you” he looked at her longingly, hoping she would recognized his wisdom, but knowing she couldn’t. Belinda leaned in and kissed him gently on the forehead,

“Get some rest Pierce, we have plenty of work to do, and the Alliance waits for no one”

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The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Erick walked down the pathway between the crosses slowly, his power armour leaving heavy footprints in the hard packed dirt, beneath which rested so many of his country man. Tombstones stretched as far as he could see, some bigger, some smaller, all to tightly packed. He inhaled deeply, the face-plate of his helmet popping open.

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“Even though I walk in the shadow of the valley of death…” He begin, but was interrupted bu a familiar voice.
“Getting religious here? Didn’t think you where the type. Always kinda against it if I recall.” He turned around to find another himself squatting beside one of the graves, sans armour. “Go away… Id. There’s no mirror here for you.”
“You’ve been talking to the good Doctor. Has he helped you?” Replied the other, then looked down at himself. “Huh, I guess not, I’m still here. Don’t really need a mirror Erick, see, funny thing about the human mind, it will do anything it can to preserve itself. To preserve the order it needs to exist. If it that order is threatened, it has all sorts of mechanisms to help itself. Auditory and visual hallucinations are just the beginning, but rather useful. They can help the mind sort things out, before anything more drastic is necessary. Even those locked up in the asylums are merely protecting their existence, by withdrawing from reality all together. Better be careful, you don’t end up there. That would be a rather unfortunate end wouldn’t it.” The illusion stood up, and sauntered down the row of graves.
“I am not in the mood for this right now.”
“Of course you aren’t, it would be rather surprising if you where.”
“Right. I’m going to ignore you now.” Erick said, and walked in a different direction, but Id merely appeared by his side again.
“You cant ignore me, I am as much a part of you as any other, and this seems like a wonderful place to chat, surrounded by the dead of your war.”
“Not my war.”
“Yes it is, you got the people riled up to begin with, if it weren’t for you, they could have lasted another generation or two before they sought independence by the blade. Maybe they would have been better prepared by then.”
“Nonsense, in another generation, they would have been squashed to near nonexistence, besides, everyone else chose to fight now.”
“So you will just follow the rest of the pack?”
“No. If we are to have a chance at victory, we need allies. If we stayed out of it, the rest of the Rim would be crushed… And when Whitefall stood up in a generation as you say, there would be no others, and the alliance fleet would merely be so much bigger and well equipped.” Erick knelt by a tombstone, the heavy gauntlet of his armour brushing the accumulated sand from the inscription.

Cindy J. Cantrell
Beloved Daughter, and Wife
31 Years old

“Ah allies…” Id sighed, sitting down on the tombstone. “One of the reasons why you started the whole Alluvium fiasco. You hoped to gain their assistance. You saved what the Jedi warned would be the species that wars with man to the point of extinction, and why? To get allies for a war.”
“No, not only. Yes, I did hope they would help us with the war, and I hope that the Jedi’s prophecy can be averted but… Also, it would be wrong to let the first true alien we encounter die, when it is within our ability to save them.”
“So you risk all of humanity, and an innocent, no TWO innocent children? Who will save humanity from your folly?”
“I would rather risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one. If I have made a mistake, I will do everything I can to fix it.”
“Really? What if you have to condemn more innocent lives? What if you have to betray more people? Will you do that too?”
“No, there is always another solution. I should have looked for it earlier, avoided this whole situation, but I did not. I was foolish, and so I will pay the price for that. Already some call for my head, perhaps they are right.”
“What was it you once said? The best government is a democracy tempered by an occasional assassination? Well you certainly seem to be getting the assassination point right, not sure about the results yet though.”
“If it where merely a question of myself, I would gladly give my life. But I am not alone anymore, Jessica and Aurora will need me.”
“Will they? Cid could take care of them well enough, and if you where gone, the danger to them would be significantly reduced.”
“Physical yes.” Erick replaced a wreath the wind had blown off one of the graves. “But what about Jessica’s mental state? Could she take another loss?”
“Can she take another goat head in her bed? You must know that was meant for you.”
“Of course it was… some incompetent fool merely screwed up big time. I will have his head for it.”
“Yes, threats against the High Councillor are treason aren’t they. Nobody could fault you for ending the one responsible.”
“Fuck that, let them make threats against me all they want. If I am truly deserving of their attempts at my life, I will give them a goddamn medal before I die. No, I will have their heads of being incompetent idiots and getting Jessica involved, endangering her mental well-being.”
“So then the question is who did it isn’t it. Its not the style of the usual suspect.”
“That…. is a good question, and I intend to find out. I’ve got a lot of people I can throw at this, the truth will be found.”
“Ah what a heavy burden, having a name so famous, not one, but multiple assassins. So what will you do hmm? The Jedi want to meet with you, likely someone told them of Shadow. They will not be happy. I wonder who tattled?”
“Humph. Not a hard guess that one, likely Bruce. Damn his eyes. Well let them want all they can, I have more important stuff to see to.” A large stone had been left in the field, now serving as a bench to any who came by. Erick sat on it, placing his head in his hands, the the endless list of dead names a litany pouring forth from his mind. For some time he sat there, brooding. Then he was interrupted again by Id.
“Why do you even do it all? You are already a wreck, if you continue, all you will achieve is an early grave, with, or without assistance. A life of misery, old age reached early, and what will you have to show for it all?”
“The love of the people. The knowledge that I was a good leader, and helped push humanity to new heights of existence.”
“Love of the people. Some hate you enough to kill you, and many others at least do not care much either way, else those who hated you would be forced to change their minds. No, only a small percentage of the population cares about you, they may remember you when all is said and done… but most will merely move on with their lives. As for good leader… Would it be impolite to laugh?”
“I see… Then… I do not know why I do it. Perhaps it is what that old philosopher once said, what was his name… Richard…. Richard Mohr. ‘Humanity has infinite potential… sabotaged by an overwhelming need to win.’”
“If that is so, then the right thing to do is to prove him wrong. Stop sabotaging yourself. Accept your loss, stop destroying you potential by clinging to a sinking ship.”
“We will see. There is so much to do… How can I give up without sacrificing all the progress I have made?”
“That is for you to find out, step boldly forth, do not fear the darkness around you, it cannot harm you. It is the darkness in your heart you should fear.”
Erick didn’t respond, merely listening to the sound of the wind blowing among the stones. It grew colder, as the evening set in, by the time he stood up. Id was no-where to be seen. Squaring his shoulders, looking around the graveyard once again, Erick walked back to the ship that had brought him here. It was time to take the reigns firmly in hand, and take responsibility for the actions of the past.

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Extra Extra Read all About it
Front Page of first Silver Lining Issue

Extra Extra Read all about it

Once again we watch in a police state as the Death Toll in Pandora continues to soar, Since Lord Carlisle recently took office almost 6 months ago, Pandora has had a reported 15,632 deaths that have been instigated under the command of the Magistrates. When asked how the Duke felt about these numbers he expressed “Great Remorse” but was firm that so long as the choice was his, and he felt they were needed, the laws would continue to stay in place.

“There is no reason this needs to happen, the rules are quite clear, so long as you work, you will be fed, so long as you work, you will be provided a safe place to sleep, homes are being built and training programs are in place, please stop! This killing does not need to happen” Lord Carlisle believes that within a few more months it will have become too costly to commit crime in Pandora and we should see a strong decline in the numbers as gangs leave the province. He also requested that we note that these numbers were provided by the Magistrates of their own volition and that currently there is no comparison as no other province tracks its police/military inflicted deaths.

Riotjudges

When asked if the Lord felt he was stepping on the rights of citizens by refusing to allow them to carry weapons for protection he replied “My people will have to have faith that I will protect them, that the Queen will protect us, if we do not have faith, then why have these people in power?” when asked if he felt answering a question with a question was a real response the Lord merely stated “No Comment” a request for comment from the Queen on the latest death toll was sent but no reply was received as of press time.

Clark Kent
Investigative Reporter
Silver Lining
Silverhold

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SPAM?

To: Antonio Morello, Lucian C. Calgori, Misha Nishka, Nicholas Fury, Operations Director Pierce Brosdin, Oyabun O’ren Takia, Robert of ISSA, Marcus Tier of Mark Tier, Khar of Argentious Oswearmous, Snake Charmer, Olsen Alloy of Incubi, Freddy the Vig, and the Council of Generals of the new Dominion.

From: Hank Scorpio

Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, Freedom Fighters, Pirates and Persons. I write this letter to all of us who have a single commonality, we are no friends of Alliance Law. In recent times some of us have chosen to war with others, the old rules are disappearing and new ones are being quickly formed. I would put forward a suggestion of a meeting, a time where territories and grievances can be made known. An opportunity to open the lines of communication before another pointless crime war begins. I think we can all agree that we would rather spend times on our own goals which may not be mutually exclusive rather than get into a nasty battle with another agency.

Here are the rules, if you send back word that you are interested, in two weeks time I will send word on where the meeting will take place… it will be neutral territory.

1) each organizations boss is to attend, he may bring up to four people with him, for all intensive purposes, droids, cyborgs and pets will count towards your total.

2) you may bring one ship to transport you to the location, no doomsday devices please.

3) weapons will be checked at the door, breaking this rule can result in death

4) everyone coming attending and leaving this event is under a seize fire, attempts on each others lives will be met with supreme force

5) any communications with the Alliance with result in immediate termination

Choice is yours gentlemen

Hank Scorpio
Genius
Soon to Be Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy

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Writting on the Wall
Painted Outside of the Council Chambers

Voltair,

The Writtins on da wall, your reign much like yer life is over, ya got this one chance step down now, and you’re da only one whose gonna die here. Get greedy; well let’s just say that da blood will be on your hands. It’s time to go to da mattresses.

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