Monster

Open roleplaying at the Nemesis' lounge. Open scenario locations are not restricted to the lounge.
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Open roleplaying at the Nemesis' lounge.

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The Lounge offers a wide variety of foods and drinks from all over the galaxy while looking on the breathtaking view of the stars above the 20-km long arrowhead hull of the Federation's most elite battleship.
Kyp Baker
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Re: Monster

Post by Kyp Baker » 2011-09-10 04:19

“Sir?”

Kyp glanced away from the viewport he had been staring out of and at the source of the question. A female staff sergeant was standing just behind his left shoulder, the state of her uniform suggesting she was off-duty. Kyp flashed her a smile. “And you are?

“Staff Sergeant Hartford, sir. High Colonel Dieter wanted me to tell you he will be in the ship’s chapel. I can show you if you’d like.”

Kyp nodded and motioned for Hartford to lead the way. It was a short trip, probably to better facilitate the after service lunch rush. He had been caught in it plenty of times in his career. He thanked Hartford, who seemed more than happy to leave. Wolfgang was waiting inside the chapel. Kyp had never been the most religious person, unless the Omega Order counted for a religion. Still, he respected the faith others were able to show and chapels such as this one held a special place in Kyp’s heart. In fact, it probably had something to do with why Wolfgang wanted to meet him here. The man never did anything without a reason.

You know, this chapel looks very familiar. Almost like the one aboard the Apocalypse, but I think you know that.” Kyp gave his friend a lopsided grin. Of course he knew where Kyp and Thess had been married. “I can sense you have something to say to me, but there is something I need to say first. I need to apologize for my…outburst on the Nemesis. There was absolutely no excuse for that, but I can assure you I’m a different man now, thanks in no small way to you. You saved me back there.
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Blitzkrieg
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Re: Monster

Post by Blitzkrieg » 2011-09-10 05:39

The chapel was a simple one, much like the sparse chapels that very rarely were installed in other Imperial military sites. Religion as a general theme was not looked upon fondly in any circles of Imperial society--save, of course, for the times when one looked on the Dark Side and those who commanded it as a religious order--and the mere existence of these rooms at all was attributed specifically to their intervention. The high-colonel was sure that there were things done within them that he'd rather not know about, but that wasn't important to him at the time. Here, on the Presentable, he at least knew the room would be kept clean and holy, to standards to which he was not privy. The nature of their existence, these benchmarks, was more attributed to the ship's commander, a man who the high-colonel knew was deeply religious and risked his neck every day by following his faith even in the service of the Empire. Wolfgang did not follow the same faith, but in some way, it felt good to have someone of some sort of noble religious following somewhere in the Empire.

Two distinct burners of incense allowed their scents to permeate the room while the high-colonel was inside. The first one was the simple, acrid scent of dried earth, the hallowed ground of war; the second, however, was the ungodly, sickly-sweet scent of blood. This combination of the two created the perfect atmosphere, at least in the director's mind, and in it, he knelt before the altar consecrated to the Father of Light, and sent up prayers to his own lord, He who watched over the valiant souls of both the living and the departed.

The silent prayer was broken some time after, and Wolfgang simply remained there, kneeling low before the altar in the calm, still silence of the room. Kyp's presence was one of the rare few he tolerated, given the nature of his distaste for the Omega Order. It was a cultural thing with him that brought about this displeasure, though there was also the fact that the Army itself was beginning to distrust them more and more as a general rule. Kyp's wife had, unfortunately, done much to contribute to that, though she was by no means the sole culprit...and hopefully, her return to the Empire from wherever the Hell she'd gone would be the start of some efforts to mend that damage. Not turning to look away from the altar, Wolfgang raised his head, his mechanical arm holding a rifle close to him; the way the weapon's barrel was concealed, it looked almost as though a staff holding him up as he offered up his worship. "I was wondering if you'd show," he said at last.

Remaining on the ground, the high-colonel chuckled. "Today is the first time I think I've had the chance to speak with you since that day, Kyp... I knew at the moment that incident took place that something was wrong. Couldn't remember my old friend ever losing it like that." He snickered. "I owed it to you and your wife to get you back to her...to help you heal, not to worsen the wounds." There was a brief pause, the soldier choosing his next words carefully. "That being said," he resumed, "you do not need to apologize to me...and you have no doubt apologized to the others for it in the months since then. Knowing you, it probably happened within a day's time. As to thanking me...don't." Another chuckle. "I did it because you are my friend, Kyp; I would have done it again in a heartbeat."

Yet the man did not rise; did not turn to regard his friend, instead still staring at the altar. Perhaps, as the sudden slight tug of nervousness alluded to, he didn't want to look his friend in the eyes and say what was next; perhaps it was easier to look away and say it. "It's fortune's favor that you showed up at my quarters when you did, old friend; I could use your help with something. ...But...you are not alone; I've called in your wife as well. I wanted to let you know instead of just blindsiding you with it, because I'd heard of how she..." Here, he paused to find the right words again. "...how she vanished, just out of thin air, and came back just the same." Slowly, the high-colonel rose from the altar, turning to face his friend calmly, and cradling the rifle by the barrel, like the staff it had appeared to be earlier...absolution, at the barrel of death. "I need you both...though if you're uncomfortable with this, I understand."

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Laurel WinteShrine
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Re: Monster

Post by Laurel WinteShrine » 2011-09-10 07:18

Laurel practically jumped out of her seat when a soft knock fell upon the door, and she couldn’t but laugh gingerly, nervously at her reaction. Inwardly she scolded herself; Aquila had been quite observant to her lie, and her mind reeled over what she was going to say next. You‘re becoming careless, her mind berated. You‘re going to give yourself away. Use your head. The knock sounded again, and Laurel cleared her throat.

“Milady? Laureleiden? May I have a brief word with you?” The voice requested, in House dialect. Laurel responded in turn that she would be there in a moment, and got up and nodded to Mydnyte and Aquila in turn. “Please excuse me for a moment, I will be back shortly. Should you need anything, I will ask an attendant to standby outside.” Nodding again, Laurel went back outside into the corridor, her irritation inflamed, livid within her. She had made it strictly clear that she was not to be disturbed while the two women were visiting, and was wondering what could have possibly made them diverge from this simple order.

The ensign must have had some sort of telling look on her face that betrayed her deteriorating mood, as the attendant outside smiled apologetically. “There is a gentleman here who says that he must see you straightaway.. Given the urgency in which he spoke, I thought it best to inform you as soon as possible. He is currently waiting for you out on the courtyard piazza, and assures that he will be brief.” Laurel was taken aback for a moment, then nodded knowingly. She had told him to come later, much later, when her impromptu meeting had been properly adjourned. She was quite displeased that he had taken it upon himself to arrive early, and would be very succinct in telling him as much. “Thank you very much. Please be sure to keep to check on our guests if they need anything.” With a curt bow, the attendant complied and Laurel fought down an urge to literally dash off down the hall to meet her contact.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The balustrade of the piazza was slowly starting to rid themselves of the lilies it had adorned itself with during the warmth of the summer, the weather now too cold for them to live as they slipped away to hide from the oncoming winter. Autumn leaves painted against the marble here and there, leading to a gentleman leaning against the railing. He looked up at her expectantly as she approached. “For someone who stated that he conducted business in a strictly professional matter, showing up several hours earlier than the time we had discussed is a clear deviation of this claim.” He smiled at her wolfishly as she glared frostily back at him, hardly anything but amused. “You may have very well just single-handedly ruined what has taken months for me to plan.”
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{One should never confuse duty for loyalty. One either purposefully serves, or serves a purpose.}

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Mydnyte Syn
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Re: Monster

Post by Mydnyte Syn » 2011-09-10 23:48

Mydnyte agreed to destroy the documents. It was the least she could do after everything Laurel and her family had done to help her out a time or two. But while Laurel and Aquila were enlisted members of the military, Mydnyte was not. She wasn't sure what was going on, what those vials Laurel produced were for, or even what the woman's plan was. All Mydnyte knew was that her friend needed help, seemed to either be in trouble or about to get in to trouble, and that it would be very dangerous.

Mydnyte hadn't said anything during the time in which Laurel explained things more clearly. Nor had she said anything as Laurel responded to Aquila's questions. In fact, Mydnyte sat there on the couch until Laurel excused herself from their presence and went to see someone else who had come to visit. She waited for the servant to close the doors, sealing both she and Aquila inside.

"What just happened?" Mydnyte asked Aquila, feeling a little like an idiot for even having to ask it but the entire situation had Syn very confused. "Am I right in assuming that Laurel is about to do something stupid and dangerous? Because if I am, I think I'm going to be rather stupid right along with her. She can't do this -- whatever it is -- by herself."

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Aquila Slyphs
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Re: Monster

Post by Aquila Slyphs » 2011-09-11 03:57

Aquila couldn't keep the worried expression from her face when she looked over at Syn who spoke up at last, it was reassuring to see the feeling wasn't an isolated thing. Nodding slowly, Aquila glanced back at the door Laurel disappeared through. "I... I think you're right. But..." Her voiced trailed off as she fought with herself between respecting Laurel's wishes to keep themselves safe and the shared feeling of doing whatever she could to help beyond what Laurel expected (or wanted). Of course, Aquila had before asked people to not get involved and they did, so it was easy to agree with Syn as she nodded, the worry giving way slightly to a confidant nod. "No, it does sound dangerous and... I don't think I could live with myself if I don't find a way to help her." Nibbling some more on the sandwich, Aquila was now left with trying to figure out how best to help Laurel beyond transporting her in a rented ship.

Getting to her feet, she ventured to the window, hoping that perhaps she might get some idea where Laurel went off too. The trees outside swayed ever so gently in a slight breeze that kicked up, causing more leaves to shake themselves free from the branches. Fidgeting with her hands nervously, she felt as though she were about to steal something from the house by going beyond what Laurel wanted. Looking over her shoulder at Syn, she asked with a slight tremble in her voice, "What should we do?" It didn't help that Aquila had no idea how Syn fit into all of this but she didn't feel right asking that particular question. If I'm meant to know, I would have been told.

This isn't some black ops mission though...
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Spyker Katarn
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Re: Monster

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2011-09-11 05:09

"What do you think, Sergeant?" Keyes asked after the High Colonel had left. The man's office was secure, so it was as good a place as any to begin planning. As it was, they would be planning blind. Without any known destination, much of what the operator would have to do would be off-the-cuff and on the fly. Luckily for the director, however, he selected the man best able to do that.

"I think it's doable, sir. If we can Dust her or otherwise get some sort of track, I can follow her to the end of the Galaxy. Until then, though, trying to deploy would be inadvisable," Spyker said. "What do we have available for new gear?" Spyker was always looking for new tech; anything that helped him do his job better was always a plus in his book. His study of the Force was one such additive, with the precognition warning him in advance of ambushes or other problems in the immediate future.

"I think we might have a few things. Come with me." Keyes led the way out of the Director's office and down to the armory temporarily dedicated to their use. Inside were crates of equipment, some final products, but many of them prototypes ready for field-testing. The Federation had several contracts with defense corporations to put new equipment through its paces, and more often than not it was the irregular forces who got the new toys long before they filtered down to the regulars. Spyker watched Keyes as he pulled out a datapad, ostensibly containing a list of the materiel in the room, then set off to find a specific crate. "Give me a hand with these, will you?"

Spyker grabbed a prybar off a nearby table and walked over to where his handler was moving a couple small boxes. Waving the senior officer away, the noncom jammed the flat end between the lid and wall of the crate, then pushed down, forcing the lid. Inside was a set of small remotes, of a type Spyker hadn't seen before. He picked one up and turned it over, inspecting it before looking at Keyes and arching an eyebrow. "It's a new droid, from IDS. They call it the "Saw Whet Owl." Don't ask me why, but they work pretty damn well. Gamma took a pair, and they apparently work pretty well." Spyker turned the cylindrical droid over in his hand. The old spherical remotes were quite useful in their own right, but this would serve as an additional means of recon.

"I'll take two as well. That it for new?"

"That's all we've gotten recently, at least for our use. SOCOM got some 'Katipo' rifles from IDS, and they're deploying the R-90 to regular army MOUT teams for testing in the arms modernization program, but nothing more here. Our contractors have been a bit on the slow side in providing new gear." Spyker nodded; the increased pace of the war was proving tricky for the researchers on both sides to keep up. Spyker had already acquired a couple of IDS weaponry as partial payment for jobs he'd done recently, so he didn't need any new armament. "I guess there's little else to do but wait. Commander Riinuuk is on a leave right now, and Commodore Vareshi is out with Vigilance on patrol in the Outer Rim. Maybe we can snag something from Third Fleet."

Their errand done, the two men set off to the Communications section of the Presentable. A holocom awaited them.
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“I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.”

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Diri Tiberia
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Re: Monster

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2011-09-11 05:16

"Huh... Now why do you figure they'd go through all the trouble to hire me to deliver two bottles of this stuff when I'm sure they've got enough servants to travel to Zeltros and buy the Essence themselves." Diri stared at the gargantuan mansion. It was gorgeous in design, as all mansions were, especially the ones found on her home world where art and beauty was found in everything. The tall stone columns that supported the balconies combined with the arches that were featured so heavily in the design made Diri stop and admire the architecture for a while. She also noticed the mansion servants, both the visible ones and the ones more discrete, unable to hide their emotions and feelings from the brightly dressed alien who finally started walking up the steps to the grand set of wooden double doors.

Rapping her left hand against one of the doors, Diri waited patiently for someone to answer. To her surprise, the door itself opened and a well dressed servant regarded her for a moment, his right eyebrow raising ever so slightly as he regarded her. It was hard to hide the surprise and disdain that Diri easily sensed, the butler clearly unimpressed with all the company arriving at the mansion lately and less impressed with the pink-skinned woman who's bright yellow and green outfit showed far too much skin than anyone in such a noble house would have dared been allowed to show. "Yes?" he asked disdainfully as though he would sooner slam the door in her face, as though Diri were one of those bubble-gum chewing teenagers with a complete lack of respect towards others and a devil may care attitude. Of all those things, only one of them were true though only because she didn't have any bubble gum with her right now.

"Hiya! I'm here to make a delivery to a Laurel WinteShrine," Diri said pleasantly, her brilliant cheerful smile doing little to improve the butler's disposition though that could easily change in the next five seconds. Looking past him inside the mansion itself, Diri could see the rich decor befitting of people with more credits than they could possibly spend in one life time, a fact that wasn't lost on her. To help emphasize her point, she held up a small gift bag neatly done up by the wonderful workers at the boutique she frequented back on Zeltros, the bright foil wrappings and blue bow making it look like a gift. She prided herself on going the extra mile, especially when it came to dealing with rich people who could easily afford to appreciate the extra effort. Unless they're those stuck up rich snobs who pinch every credit...

Inside the bag were two bottles marked as the "Essence of Zeltros", a blue perfume that gave the wearer the seductive abilities of the species who lived on the world. Diri always loved watching people try to use the stuff, most of them always going overboard and applying more than one dose and sending an entire room into a frenzy of lustful desire, all directed at the one person wearing the essence. Even if they did apply the right dose, there was still no guarantee the target individual (or individuals) would respond in the manner the wearer anticipated. It wasn't an unusual request for Diri though she was puzzled why a noble needed the stuff if they had credits enough to buy whomever they wanted... Or was slavery abolished on this world too?

The butler looked at the bag and reached out to take it but Diri pulled it away before he could grab it. He raised his eyebrow more at the sudden gesture.

Wagging her finger, Diri smiled at him as if commending him on his efforts for trying. "Nuh-uh. Nice try but the contract specifically states I'm to give this directly to Laurel herself."

The butler finally nodded and stepped aside. With a sweeping gesture of his arm, he allowed Diri to enter, saying plainly, "If you would care to wait here, I will inform the Lady of your arrival."

"Why thank-you!" Diri responded cheerfully as she entered the foyer, the butler cracking a smile before striding off to find Laurel, leaving the brightly dressed alien to admire all the sculptures, vases, paintings, tapestry and rare flowers. There was a painting that was worth more alone than everything Diri possessed, and there was, hanging on the wall in the foyer, guarded by one butler. The things I could buy if I could steal and fence but one of these paintings!
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Kyp Baker
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Re: Monster

Post by Kyp Baker » 2011-09-12 07:33

Wolfgang, you know have my lightsabre regardless of the circumstances. I would follow you to the Senate Building on Coruscant.” Kyp gave him a lopsided grin.

True, it was an awkward situation for him and Thess to be working together, but he owed it to his friend. Not just because Wolfgang was his friend, but because he was able to salvage his life thanks to the soldier. It was scary for Kyp to think where he would be now without his friend. Kyp thought that maybe working with Thess would prove to be a help. It had been a long time since they had been able to spend any time together without having to focus solely on their relationship.

Besides, it won’t be a problem. Thess and I…made a breakthrough on the Gorgon a few days ago.” He didn’t elaborate any. It was a long and personal story and difficult story to explain. He didn’t think Wolfgang would believe he talked to a phantom image of a dead man that convinced him his wife loved him, so it was better he didn’t know at all. Talking to dead people made you seem crazy for some reason. “I love her. I really do.

It was the first time since Thess had returned that he had told anybody but her. It had taken what he assumed to be the Will of the Force to get him to admit that to himself. The fact that he was admitting it openly now was a big deal. But he wasn’t the only one with a woman on his mind. Wolfgang presence in the Force betrayed that his request was personal. And it involved somebody, somebody he was concerned about, somebody who was in trouble or soon would be. After a brief few moments of contemplation, Kyp’s grin turned into a sly smile. “So, who is she?
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Tavish McFini
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Re: Monster

Post by Tavish McFini » 2011-09-13 04:35

"Admiral, Major Malcolm Keyes wishes to speak with you." Ensign Hales glanced over at McFini who was on the bridge of the Reaper, casually reading through another status readiness report. "He says he needs to requisition a vessel." McFini hadn't heard the name before and he figured he knew just about everyone in Third Fleet. Ensign Hales, seeing the searching expression on the Grand Admiral's face, added helpfully, "He's with some army group called SPECWARCOM."

McFini had even less of an idea of the significance of that but he would be able to inquire later as he walked over to the comm terminal. With a curt nod to the Ensign, McFini waited for him to unmute the microphone before addressing the Major. "Major, I hear you want to borrow a ship. You have one in mind?"

"I do," the Major returned, forgoing any sort of greeting or pleasantries.

"Okay," McFini began, letting himself smile while holding back a chuckle. "I'll inform the crew aboard the Scinfaxi to expect you."

There was a long pause before the Major finally spoke, sounding confused. "Uh... With respect, that ship is a little big for what we need it for Sir. We're looking for a smaller scale operation, something less overt."

"Oh... So I take it you would rather not take the Reaper?" The negative response was a little dejecting though such was the problem with being a Grand Admiral, McFini was stuck handling the logistics of a fleet and his flagship and unable to command smaller vessels and go out on every little assignment that popped up. "So what did you have in mind?"

"The Osprey would be ideal for our operation."

"Consider it done. Try to bring her back in one piece. Reaper out." Turning away, McFini walked to make the preparations to assigned the ship to the Major as he realized Eri had a point about what she said that one day in the lounge not all that long ago.
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- Admiral McFini and Ensign Hales discovered why Executor-class Star Destroyers seldom ram anything.

Blitzkrieg
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Re: Monster

Post by Blitzkrieg » 2011-09-13 05:09

Wolfgang's face spread into a calm smile as he listened to his friend. There was something to be said for a friend's loyalty, and this moment had turned into something that the high-colonel considered to be a prime example of said loyalty. An eyebrow arched calmly at the remark of the Senate building, though he held any replies to it in check; perhaps he found it over the top, but who was he, after all, to question a friend--at that, a Dark Jedi--on matters of faith and strength? It took a calculated measure of willpower to fight the urge to scowl at the thought of holding a Dark Jedi in such high regard, however; what with the culturally-ingrained hatred towards Force-users in general, it was a miracle of the galaxy's inner workings that the SPECWARCOM director could count even one among their number as 'friend', and he regarded two as such.

Very calmly, he allowed the disciple's words to bring his thoughts back in time for a moment. Gorgon had a certain significance to him, stretching back to a party that had been held many, many moons back. The picture was still clear in the high-colonel's mind as he recalled a moment that brought a certain warmth to the smile on his face. The dance that he had seen them sharing...nothing, he figured, could have been sweeter at the time than watching that moment, and he could distinctly remember himself thinking that the two were meant for something more than just a solitary night on the dance floor. At the time, he had caught himself thinking that the duo would end up at an altar together; he'd been pleased to be right. That memory, too, was why he'd chosen to hold this particular part of the meeting--why he'd chosen to see his friend--in a place of worship. It would have been better to do so aboard the Apocalypse, but he at least had found a chapel somewhere, and that had helped quite a bit in adding a more refined, disciplined atmoshpere to the meeting. Everything felt...just a touch calmer, perhaps, than usual.

"So, who is she?"

Well played, you old bastard! Wolfgang thought to himself, stifling a chuckle. He'd forgotten, for just a second, just how easy it was for a Dark Jedi to pry into someone's thoughts. There were a few ways he could have gone about answering the question, but the simplest and easiest way to do so was to be honest; after all, with a friend, what was there to hide? "The Angel of Salvation," he began, smirking. He didn't need to say anything more for Kyp to get the idea; after all, everyone had their own angel, the person whose very existence made the galaxy bearable. "I know it probably sounds foolish," he admitted, snickering softly, "but I swear I won't let her come to harm. That's why I'm getting ready to do this, and why I've called in so much help."

Not one to leave any stone unturned--and certainly not one to let certain things slip his notice--the high-colonel smiled. "Speaking of knowing people...how was it you knew Spyker?" He had deliberately refused using the operator's codename; that was part of OpSec, and even though this wasn't a formal mission, blowing that cover was a damning strike against the Circle of Trust. If that circle was ever broken, there would be harsh ramifications to deal with internally.

Kyp Baker
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Re: Monster

Post by Kyp Baker » 2011-09-14 03:26

Kyp didn’t skip a beat. He figured Wolfgang’s question about Spyker would come sooner or later. He had felt the soldier tense through the Force as he greeted him at Wolfgang’s door. It was possible the man didn’t want his colleagues in the Army to know about his apprenticeship under Kyp, which was wise given the distrust of Dark Jedi throughout the military these days. Spyker had never mentioned it to him in their few training sessions, however, so he had no idea until after he had uttered the greeting. His apprentice would have to come to grips with his role in the Omega Order sooner or later, but Kyp was willing to play along for now.

We’ve run a couple missions together. By chance really. We always seem to be where the action is. I’d love to tell you more, but those missions are classified well above your paygrade.” Wolfgang raised his eyebrow at Kyp. The Dark Jedi gave him a smile and chuckled. “Fine, fine. I guess I’m not technically part of the Federation anyway, so nobody will shoot me for telling you.

The first time we met was during a botched mission in the Unknown Regions. I can’t really give you specifics on the enemy, but he and a small strike force helped me take an enemy ship. Now that I think about it, I rechristened that ship when I took command. I don’t think IMEXCO took notice, though.” Kyp laughed inwardly to himself. He needed to check with somebody if they actually used his new name for the ship, wherever they had it. “The second time we met was a more personal issue. I’m sure you remember the string of terrorist attacks by the group called the Directive a few months ago? Well, the bastards had the gall to steal my children from the Nemesis. Supreme Commander Wesiri had ordered a fleet-wide lockdown, but you can image how much I respected that order. I forced my way off the ship, but not before Spyker and a few other troops managed to get on my ship. It turns out I was lucky they came. We wound up in a huge Directive base on Cinnagar. My…arrogance and anger got most of the team killed. Only four of us made it out of the base alive. The good news was I got my daughter back and the base was destroyed. Crystala and Eri managed to save my son from another base.

Kyp shook his head. “You’ve got a good soldier in Spyker, Wolfgang. My family owes him a debt I could never repay.” Kyp gave him a lopsided grin. “The least I could do was say hello.
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Laurel WinteShrine
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Re: Monster

Post by Laurel WinteShrine » 2011-09-19 00:36

“Milady Winte’Shrine. Such a pleasure.” The so-named Crannon Swift. She was sure that the name was a fake, but Laurel could care regardless if he could at least deliver what he promised. Certainly, there was a moderately-sized, neatly folded package laying at his feet, and she nodded in approval. “I trust that you found the credits already transferred to your account by this morning. Trust me, I will have it withdrawn should I find this a less than satisfactory transaction.”

The man knelt to open the package, Laurel eagerly walking closer to inspect the materials within shortly and gave him another curt nod.
“Strong and flexible, just like you specified. And you also mentioned that you tumbled? This right here, will conform perfectly to your body, to deter any of the material from getting in your way..” The leery gaze he gave her at this was not missed. “..and the bracer opposite to your dominant hand should help with guarding. Nothing heavy, mind you, but can withstand blows from hand-to-hand combat or a vibroblade.” A secondary item was revealed, and Laurel couldn’t help but exhale softly at the sight of it. “It’s a bit older than what you wanted, but still a masterful piece of work.” Indeed- it certainly wasn't as beautiful as the one that had been made when Thess had lent her a similar blade, but a gorgeous work nonetheless.

He laughed, a harsh sound against the gentle rustle of the dried leaves against the marble as errant breeze rustled them restlessly about. “You know… one would never think that someone of your station would have need of such things! Hmm. Does the little lady wish to play commando? Something.. more for a secret lover, perhaps?” He attempted, trying to appear conversational and managing an arm around her shoulder as she stiffened against him. “If not, it would seem that you have quite a bit of innate talents, Milady.” He chuckled.
“A man like myself could use your… touch on a certain asset of mine.” Laurel swept herself from beneath his arm, her eyes bright enough to invoke fire within their gaze.

She suddenly moved seamlessly behind him, pressing a leg between his to shift her weight to press his chest uncomfortably against the balustrade, fisting a handful of his hair to pull his head upward uncomfortably and moving forward to place her lips centimeters away from his ear; the action making her hair brush over them in a silken curtain over his shoulder. “Let us make something crystal clear. My anything is not going anywhere near your assets. You ought to never speak to myself or any woman as such, and you befoul my maidenly ears with such talk.” She smiled, tauntingly, and ground him into the stone of the railing a bit more. “A lady may get the wrong idea, and you wouldn‘t want that, would you? Do not disregard my femininity for frivolity, good sir. I can, and would, hand your assets to you if I so deigned to.” Where in the suns had this forcefulness, such language, come from?

She pulled away, letting him fall unceremoniously against the railing and watched him pathetically gather himself back up from the floor, eyeing her warily. “I graciously thank you for delivering what I needed, and you have already been paid. But I daresay we are finished here. Leave. Now.”The scoundrel was more than happy to oblige, muttering epithets beneath his breath as the door slammed behind him.

Wolfgang would have never treated any woman in such a fashion.

The young woman thought long about this, long after the man had left, consternation glazing her eyes. She had just walked out on Wolfgang earlier so he could not get a word in edgewise about her leaving- not that she didn’t know what he was going to say, anyhow. He.. could not, did not feel the way about her as she did him. A little sister he felt some obligation to protect, perhaps.

…As for my own family… couldn‘t tell you; haven‘t had one in years.

Yes, this was it. That’s all it was.

She took in a deep breath, and suddenly she was far away, away from the countless hours of planning what was probably to be the most complex inevitability of a suicide. If things had gone differently from this afternoon, if he were here, right now…
What, if anything, would she say?
“Wolfgang...”

“These feelings.. Even I am not sure what they are, if I have ever been able of capable feeling as much. Were you here to actually listen, would I know what to say? I‘m scared. I am scared as much of what I am about to do, where I am going, and I will possibly discover. But I am terrified of the fact that I am going without you knowing that I.. feel. For you.”
She placed her hands over her heart, smiling gently at the thought of him, unable to do anything else whenever he crossed her mind. “Earlier, when I was talking about Fate.. It was true, I‘ve never put much thought into it. Sometimes though, I feel as if I were born to meet you. Is that strange? Is it… bad? If that isn‘t fate though, I can‘t think of anything else that would be.”

Truly, what would be keeping her? She could go in, right now, call him right now and just tell him.
Everything. Spend one more day with him. A day, a night; a moment, a heartbeat.
“A thousand words, Wolfgang. Unsaid perhaps, but truth nonetheless, just for you and me if things could be different. I just.. If only I could be brave enough to tell you three.

Laurel suddenly straightened and cleared her throat, her tone taking on a more serious edge. “No wonder you‘re so worried about me.. I sound pathetic.” She gave a short, derisive laugh at this. “How could I very well expect you to have faith in me when I have had so little in myself?” She settled her hands to clasp behind her back and managed a small, determined smile.

“I am coming back, Wolfgang. If only just for you, I will. She laughed again, brightly and genuine this time.

“You do, after all, still owe me my first date.”

Laurel coughed and ran a hand through her hair when the door behind her opened once more, an attendant poking her head curiously out. “Milady? There is someone else here to see you… my, so many visitors today! Is there something special going on, Lady Laureleiden?”

Her mistress smiled, walking back toward the main house and nodded gently. “Yes, Elleid. You could say that.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The ensign quickly traversed the halls, hoping to get the last of these little business matters settled promptly so as not to keep Mydnyte and Aquila waiting any longer than they already had been. The parcel tucked securely beneath her arm was quickly secreted away in her closet by an attendant, and now she wandered back outside to see a beautiful young woman dressed in bright, lavish clothing yattering brightly to one of the attendants. “Miss Tiberia, I believe?” She eyed the little wrapped package in the Zeltron's hands, and couldn’t help but smile. “Is that for.. me? Its so cute!”
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Re: Monster

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2011-09-19 01:36

"That's a Galvaini." an attendant had observed Diri staring at one particular painting hung on the wall, an intricate golden frame around a well dressed woman who sat in a very ladylike picturesque pose, the ever so slight upward tug at the corner of her porcelain face, brown hair done up to the nines, accenting the notion that the person in the portrait was a noble, as if the bright blue dress that left her shoulders just a little exposed didn't hint that already. The green eyes of the woman were like emeralds and had Diri not known any better, she might have guessed someone had simply cast the lavish gem into the irises of the picture. Perhaps what really made the painting stand out was that it was as big as she was tall, as wide as Diri's full width with her arms stretched out on either side of her, and that was without the 3 inch thick solid gold frame. "That picture is of-"

The servant started to trail off with the next part as someone else approahced. "Lady Winte’Shrine." He bowed quickly but the way he sounded, it didn't dawn on Diri that he was still finishing his previous sentence. It took her but a moment as she looked over at Laurel from the painting.

“Miss Tiberia, I believe?”

Diri nodded. "Heeeey, you look exactly like the person in this portrait." She glanced back at the painting, as though she hadn't fully made the connection though, in truth, she did but it was always a lot more fun to pretend to be slow, it threw people off more often than not and set her up perfectly in a position she could easily spring forth from the instant those she were speaking to tried to suddenly assert some unreasonable advantage.

Laurel spotted the gift bag in Diri's hands and smiled. “Is that for.. me? Its so cute!”

"Why thank-you," Diri smiled in return, bowing a little in the presence of the noble lady. Despite popular belief, she did know how to conduct herself in front of different people of different classes and social standings. The only reason she might opt differently was if they set up a poor first impression but Lady Winte’Shrine was already hitting all the right notes. Offering her the small bag, Diri watched Laurel take it and peer inside, like a kid peeking at their presents before the holidays. "I feel I should warn you that each bottle only holds about twenty applications, assuming liberal use but..." She trailed off and raised one shoulder just a little while dropping the other. "Be careful how you use it because once you apply it, it's going to last for a few hours and, unlike me, you can't stop or reduce the scent at will." Winking, she gave her most useful tidbit of advice. "Less is more in this case, trust me on this one."

Humans didn't usually have empathic abilities so it was hard to know just how close someone was going to be before taking that fateful plunge into their base instincts. But the lady appeared to have a good head on her shoulders, though it struck Diri as strange that the lady thought she would need the Essence in the first place. Laurel was lovely, by human standards at any rate and having all that wealth and the family name meant she should have no problem finding potential suitors. The happiness Diri sensed at the parcel was overshadowed only by some deep rooted determination that Laurel's brilliant smile didn't at all convey. There was also a hint of tiredness, perhaps having had to wake up this morning and do all the nobly things rich people did being very draining.

I get the distinct feeling she's in love above all else, Diri thought, having been around enough humans and reading their emotions and feelings often enough to know all the symptoms. With a sly smile, Diri said knowingly, "Forgive me for speaking out of turn sug, but I don't know what someone as pretty as you would need this stuff for..." Trailing off purposely, her added wink hinted that she had it all figured out but was being kind enough to not actually go revealing that fact in front of the servant. Not many people knew about the Essence beyond the confines of Zeltros so however Laurel found out about them, chances were the rest of her servants didn't know and would likewise not know about her secret amore. All the makings of a good romance holo! It was a thought that made Diri feel all warm and fuzzy inside, the noble lady wanting to catch the attentions and affections of the man she loves but needing a little help from the world and people who knew things like love, emotions and beauty the best. She wanted to wish her the best of luck now, but that would look out of place and the butler was still standing there, Diri knowing well enough to not say anything more least she spoil the whole thing.
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Laurel WinteShrine
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Re: Monster

Post by Laurel WinteShrine » 2011-09-19 03:27

Laurel’s face quickly pinkened at the mention of the portrait behind her, and managed a small, bashful smile. “Thank you very much.. Its.. well, it’s a rather recent picture, actually.” An advertisement, to put it bluntly. Many noble families visited the estate- more specifically, nobles with eligible sons -and since her declaration at the ball her parents had literally emblazoned her visage all over the house, much to her dismay.

“Indeed… that was me.” Laurel was not sure why she referred to it in the past tense, but it just seemed right. After all, the way things had been going, it may as well have been a different person. She thanked Diri for the beautifully-wrapped package, peering curiously inside and cocking her head to the side at the small bottles therein. Certainly, the reputation of the perfume preceded itself; but how unassuming they looked! Perhaps two bottles was a tad excessive, but Laurel had to be absolutely sure that she would have enough. She nodded and listened intently as Diri explained about the more elaborate qualities of the toiletry, blushing brightly once more at the mention of her not needing it..

“Oh, no dear, none taken.. Its just that..well, truthfully… ah..” He thoughts muddled themselves again, and she gave her a sheepish smile. “As you could imagine, a lot of suitors that are interested in me only do so because of the standing it would give them if we were to marry. You understand that this makes me a little wary in choosing a potential husband.” That, at least, was far more true than she would have liked to admit. Still, her own words scared her. In any other regard, that was all she was afforded: A choice in a husband; Not a partner, a soul mate, a potential father.. just… a husband, and nothing else that entailed after vows were spoken. A spouse was just a spouse after all; a partner, someone who loved and loved in return was an entirely different matter. “There is someone, its.. just.. well.. it‘s not for that.. purpose…” Laurel erupted into peals of nervous laughter, telling the awaiting attendant that she would be in momentarily between breaths and feeling like she was going to die from embarrassment.

A sister, right? Like a sister. Nothing more. And even if there were an inkling of something else, she would want to know that it were… real. Nothing fabricated or merely present because she had used something to forcibly make it spontaneously appear. Nevermind the possibility of anything intim-

Again, she fell into more nervous laughter, and quickly dismissed such an unladylike thought from her mind.
Gods, she was more tired than she had previously realized.

“Please excuse me.. I‘m just a little tired and my thoughts are running away with me. But.. I trust that you found the credits already deposited into your account this morning? I just wanted to make sure that you know how greatly I appreciate all this trouble.” Suddenly, a thought came to her, and Laurel gave Diri another small smile. “I suppose.. If I did need help with this,” She gestured toward the wrapped perfume again, “I could contact you? Perhaps, I could interest you with something a little more than just credits…?”

A broad smile crossed Diri’s features as she grasped what Laurel was getting at, and the two quickly bowed their heads together in intense conversation.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Laurel sighed deeply when she walked back into the sitting room with Aquila and Mydnyte, running a hand through her hair and desperately trying not to look like she had spent the better part of half an hour running about the estate like a crazy woman, practically assaulting one visitor and making yet another deal with the next. “I apologize, ladies.” She brushed her bangs behind her ears, and was grateful to sit back down in her position on the chaise once again. “Just.. Very busy as of late. Are you hungry? Thirsty?” When they both shook her heads, Laurel managed a tired smile and was determined to wrap this up so as to not keep them waiting any longer. Even so, there were a few more things she had to take care of before returning back to her quarters on the Annihilation where she planned to bathe and practically die of exhaustion in her bed.

“Just.. lastly.. Again, Mydnyte, please be sure to destroy those files.. And Aquila, I am asking for you to be here at oh-four-hundred hours the morning after tomorrow… I know that it is terribly early, but I could have breakfast prepared for you, if you‘d like. And I will have a ship provided for us, there is no need to worry. That‘s.. that is all I can think of, right now. Please, is there anything else that you would like me to explain?”
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Diri Tiberia
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Re: Monster

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2011-09-19 04:34

"Not sure what's better than credits, but I'm sure I could figure that out pretty quickly," Diri responded jokingly, a lighthearted smile on her own face. "But sure, if you ever need help using that stuff sug, just give me a jingle. You know my number but, in case you forgot, I included my business card in there." She winked again, knowing her business card was little more than a piece of pink flimsiplast cut into a small square with her name and contact frequency in bright, contrasting blue scribbled on it in a legible and fancy manner. Cursive was a lost art in the galaxy and Diri, like with everything else in life, believed anything and everything done should be as attractive as possible. With a playful giggle, she added with a mock wag of her finger, "Just don't go using all that on one place all at once ya hear?"

Bowing slightly after the good lady bid farewell, walking away with no small amount of glee- intertwined with tiredness and a few other emotions- Diri turned to the butler and searched him for any signs of what might be going on. He regarded her with a slight smile, his normally aloof and professional nature crumbling before her subtle might. "Lovely lady." He nodded and Diri inquired jokingly, "Any chance I could get a job working here?"

"That would depend," he answered as he gestured for her to follow, the business concluded for the time being. "Can you cook? We are currently looking for an apprentice chef."

Diri lit up a little though she was only doing it to humor the man at this point as she had zero intentions of actually letting herself ever get tied down to one place for any real length of time, too much galaxy still too see. But he doesn't need to know that. Putting a finger to her cheek, she pretended to think about the idea for a moment. "I know how to make a few dishes, mostly cuisine from back home like rizatoni a la mode. I'll consider it though. Thanks."

He nodded in return as they reached the main doors once again and, bidding a quick farewell, Diri was walking down the stone steps to the street in front, her mind quickly drifting back to what Lady Winte'Shrine had hinted at. She had heard people drop those sorts of lines before and they usually implied that the future work would usually be a lot sooner rather than later though her final statement about being interested in something other than credits was an amusing thought if taken out of context. I wonder how far she'd be willing to go with that...

Diri didn't normally think about what people did with things she knowingly delivered, and in fact, that was the very reason why she preferred to not know the contents of the packages, but everything she had seen and heard thus far, it really didn't add up. Who deposits credits before the delivery was made? Was Laurel that naive to think Diri was an honorable person- which, thankfully, she was- and would uphold the agreement and not take off upon receiving early payment in full? And though Laurel said one thing, her emotions betrayed her words but Diri had a great sabacc face, though her little knowing grin was used in all sorts of situations so maybe it wasn't as great as she liked to think. Either way, if there was more work to be had, she was all for it and the fewer details she knew, the better as detailed only complicated things and created conflicts of interest and those coasted too much.

Reaching her ship, Diri walked aboard and was greeted warmly (though it could have just as easily been coldly) by Squeaks who announced in its usual chipper tone that the credits were indeed in the account, adding in basic that the credits had arrived even before the two of them reached the planet itself. "That's fine. Hey, what's say you and I go get a bite to eat. I think I noticed a decent little cafe on the way in."

"BEEP, BEE-OOOP?"

"Oh, just a hunch but I don't think we're done here just yet. If I'm wrong, I'll make it up to you." She winked at the droid who squeaked its displeasure at knowing how tDiri planed to "make it up to him". It rolled off ahead of her into the cockpit, prepping the ship for departure, not really caring about where they went since the R3 had all its needs looked after and there was one things Squeaks had to admit, there was no shortage of pampering with the Zeltron so putting up with her flighty and over-personable attitude was tolerable.
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Re: Monster

Post by Blitzkrieg » 2011-09-20 03:25

Wolfgang sighed, nodding once calmly. He'd received the same information from the sergeant-major, which allayed his suspicions of deceit...to some extent. Still, he couldn't shake the nagging feeling that between the two, they had managed to cut out some important information. Knowledge, after all, was power... ...guard it well, he had constantly reminded himself; that, they were, and it seemed that the more he probed, the less he found, save more questions. All the same, he'd received enough information to piece together an important detail about the sergeant-major, and it wasn't unflattering. "High praise," he remarked at last, "coming from a decorated hero such as yourself. We can speak more of it at another time." Nodding again, he reached for his communicator, fighting to hide the slightest bit of disappointment as he spoke into it. "DDI, update."

The comm was silent for a second before Coordinator Desjardin's voice came over the line. "Sir, we have Black Queen arranging for the pilot to reconvene with her at 0400 Neelanon time the day after tomorrow." She sighed, pausing briefly. "Two individuals arrived to drop off packages; it'll take me some time to determine what the contents were; I'll update you as I find out."

"Understood," Wolfgang said, shaking his head. "Over and out." With a sigh, he left the chapel, the Dark Jedi close behind him as he made his way through to his office. Silently, he came back to the room, and smiled as he watched Kyp walk off after a final short bow. The former fleet officer had other things to deal with, himself, and Wolfgang wasn't going to stop him; besides, it allowed him to take care of something else...something personal. Calmly, he pulled out a simple pen and a small piece of flimsiplast, his brain already racking itself trying to find the right words. Idly, he tapped his communicator, dialing Katarn's handler. "Major...status?" The director calmly listened as he was informed that a Marauder Mk-III had been secured from Third Fleet, and smiled. It was something...and something pretty good, given the nature of the organization. Maybe, after this was over, they could try and get it on a permanent basis... But that was something to consider later.

Calmly, Wolfgang ordered the major to be ready for 0200 the day after next, and then killed the call. His focus shifted immediately to the letter he wanted to write, and he looked at the blank sheet of flimsiplast with a frustrated expression. The words did not want to come at first, and he wound up going through at least four sheets before finally coming on the right words to start the message. It took another seven before he was finally satisfied with all of what he'd written.
Dearest Laurel,

These words are difficlt words to pen, and I hope that as I write them, I am able to present them and their meaning clearly. Please understand that I do not wish to confuse or alarm you with what I have written; rather, I wish to explain something that has become more and more obvious with each passing day since you and I first met.

Life can be a wonderful thing: joyous, full of life, and teeming with wonders to explore and share. However, it can also be replete with sorrows and grief...also best shared, lest we be overcome by their burdens and crushed by the isolation that we so swiftly inflict on ourselves. I am perhaps more guilty of this crime of loneliness than I would like to admit, and have had little reason to share anythig with anyone.

And then you came along, and somehow, it felt as though an angel touched lightly upon the world. More specifically, that one finally had the mercy to grace my life...with you. I know not how to properly explain these feelings, and they still press against me each waking hour, clawing at my soul and aching for release. Since we met, I have found it difficult to sleep, waking up to images of you...and in rare cases, images of us together, in a future some indeterminate time away.

I know this must sound strange to you, perhaps even unwarranted and unprofessional; I do not ask for acceptance, as that must come from within your own heart...but I do ask-nay, hope and pray-for acceptance. I feel as though, in writing this missive, I have at last found the right words, buried amidst all of these. Dearest lady Laurel'eiden...

...I love you.

Faithfully yours,

Wolfgang
Gently, he tucked the letter into a small envelope, and grabbed from his desk an odd-looking device, meant to press the envelope shut with a wax seal. The imprint was in the design of the Federation seal, and the wax itself was scented with a particular aroma: the pungent scent that came from blending fresh-pressed ink with heated rose petals. Pressing the seal to the envelope, he allowed it to fully imprint itself; after a few extra minutes to let the wax dry up against it, he pocketed the letter, venturing once more from his office. The ship's florist was a few decks away in the botany lab, and the colonel had a special acquisition in mind. It took no more than a quarter of an hour to arrive at the lab, and another quarter of an hour to conclude his transaction, and he was on the way to the Annihilation, with a letter in his pocket to tuck into the bouquet in his grasp; a small handful of long-stem roses sat in the outer edges of the bouquet, ringing a cluster of lotuses and liles. Calmly, the high-colonel thought of what to do to get this done quickly, and resolved that he honestly wanted to get this done and leave this gift at her quarters before she returned for the day.

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Re: Monster

Post by Mydnyte Syn » 2011-09-23 00:50

Syn's expression mirrored that of Aquila's, whom she watched walk toward one of the windows. Her legs crossed, Mydnyte shook her right foot anxiously as she ran the long, perfectly manicured fingernail of her left ring finger against the soft flesh beneath the tip of her thumbnail on the same hand. Blue eyes as bright as an electrical current arcing between two charges, slid from Aquila to the door, as if by doing so, Laurel would magically re-appear. Alas, this was not the case.

Impatient, Mydnyte stood from where she sat and folded her arms as she began pacing the room. When something caught her eye she paused to examine it closer, sometimes even picking the item up to do so. Silence fell between the two in the room, leaving Aquila's last question to hang heavily in the air. It wasn't that Syn hadn't heard the woman. Nor was she ignoring her. She needed to think and everything she was doing right now was one method Mydnyte went through, completely unaware of what she was really doing, whenever she fell deep into thought.

Mydnyte had been privilege to many confidential documents while hunting down information for Laurel. Much of what she saw had to do with scientific experiments, some of which made Mydnyte's skin crawl as she read over the information. Some even gave the woman nightmares.

"Aquila," the raven haired vixen finally said as she scrutinized an odd looking collectible that appeared to be quite old, wondering just what in the hell it was. "I think I know where she's going." This last part was actually spoken in a tone that clearly denoted just how perplexed Mydnyte was by the little statue she was examining. "What in the hell is this thing?" She asked a little louder, her perplexity now quite evident in her expression.

When the documentation from one very out-of-the-way facility produced several data disks containing scientific equations, chemical algorithms, and mathematical equations the likes of which Syn had never seen before, that's when she decided to play the role of bumbling simpleton.

Everything she had dug up was well-organized for Laurel and turned over, no questions were asked. Mydnyte still wasn't sure why she hadn't been questioning her friend during the time she spent scouring every source she possibly could to find what Laurel was looking for. Luckily, Syn had been given access to a privately funded account to pay for some of the information that could only come from less than legal sources.

Laurel hadn't known it, but Mydnyte knew who to contact and where to reach them from the years she spent enslaved by the now-dead retired Senator Krayn. The mere thought of Krayn brought up images of the bloodbath that had occurred in Syn's living room. A bloodbath brought about by her own hands. Immediately her hands started trembling and she nearly dropped the artifact in her hand.

Laurel returned, startling Mydnyte and making Aquila turn from the window. Mydnyte fumbled with the statue in her hand, catching hold of it once more before it could slip through her quivering fingers. Syn hoped that the sense of urgency and secrecy surrounding Laurel's pending adventure would be enough to overlook the fact that the color had drained from Mydnyte's face and she was trembling. "No, dear, we are not hungry. And yeah, there are a few things you can explain. Let's start with .." Mydnyte held up the old artifact. "What in the Emperor's black bones is this?! It's a bit creepy."

Laurel's pretty almond-shaped eyes shifted from Syn to the idol held flippantly in her hand. Her cheeks flushed a soft hue of pink and, after moistening her narrow, pursed lips, she replied, "It's a fertility idol from the ancient Hapan culture. Suppose to be very powerful. Whomever lays their hands upon it, winds up giving birth within two years."

Laurel bit back a chuckle as she watched Mydnyte drop the carved stone idol to the floor and swipe her hands against her thighs as if she were dusting dirt from the garden or ridding herself of a contagious germ. "Of course, that is merely what the ancient Hapans believed. These days its nothing more than an expensive, albeit rare, piece of art."

Mydnyte's cheeks flushed, the hue a bit darker pink than Laurel's. "Oops," she said sheepishly, then squat down to pick the thing up and return it to its rightful place. "Laurel, listen." Syn said, walking over to take Laurel's hands into her own and look her friend in the eye. "You're my friend. My best friend, in fact. Yes, I will do what you asked of me. But honey, if you think you're running off to do -- " Mydnyte wasn't one-hundred percent certain of what Laurel was going to undertake, but her gut was telling her strongly that it had something to do with the information Syn located for her.

"-- well, whatever it is you're about to do -- alone? You can think again. I'm going with you." Before Mydnyte continued, she glanced over her shoulder toward Aquila whom responded with just a simple, single nod of her head. "So is Aquila," she stated as-matter-of-factly as she turned back around to look at Laurel.

Laurel looked as if she were about to protest, but Mydnyte squeezed her friend's hands firmly, not to harm or cause pain, just enough to let her know that this was going to be the way it was. "Let me put it this way, my friend. I love you. I'm -- we're -- going with you. And if you try to ditch me, I'll tell your parents, I'll not destroy those documents but will turn them in to the authorities instead, and I will hunt you down. Besides," she said, smiling a bit now as she leaned in to rest her forehead against Laurels. "I'm pretty sure I know where your final destination is. Either way, you're not going through this alone."

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Aquila Slyphs
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Re: Monster

Post by Aquila Slyphs » 2011-09-23 02:17

Aquila was inclined to agree with Syn, the strange little statue was a little strange looking but she also knew art took on many forms so she only laughed softly at Syn's revulsion towards the strange little thing. It was enough to distract Aquila from being able to ask the woman where she thought Laurel was going. How she managed to figure that out so quickly was impressive but Aquila was always better suited to flying around than piecing together puzzles. In the back of her mind, the gears were already spinning as another part of her was struggling to figure Syn's angle out on all this. Before her burning curiosity could get the better of her, however, Laurel returned to the room, asking if either of them would like refreshments before handing out the instructions.

Before Aquila could respond in her usual demure and timid manner, Syn stepped forward, the idol still in her hands. It was hard for Aquila to not giggle at Syn's sudden reaction when Laurel revealed what the idol was. Remaining off to the side, she nodded emphatically at Syn's statement about coming with Laurel. "I... I'd like to think I'm your friend too and I want to help you beyond just shuttling you somewhere."

Then Syn proposed an ultimatum to Laurel, one that made Aquila gasp in shock, both her hands going up to her mouth as if she were the one being blackmailed. It was a little extreme but it it worked, Aquila wasn't going to complain too much, though she sincerely hoped Syn was only bluffing. Whatever this information was, it sounded quite dangerous though it only intrigued part of her more. She's very well informed... I wonder if-

"Please," Aquila began to plea, finally stepping forward with a sad look on her face, "Don't make this any more difficult than it already is. If... If you're trying to protect us, you're only putting us in more danger by having us chase you down instead." She put her hands together, pressing her lips together into a thin line as she tried to keep the fear and concern out of her bright blue eyes. "I know... I know I don't look it but I can take care of myself." Some people might argue against that, especially those in Fenrir squadron, but Aquila knew she had come a long way since first arriving to the Federation and while she held no illusions that there could in fact be something very scary ahead of them, the drive to help would help her overcome that fear.

If Laurel insisted on being stubborn, Aquila would trust Syn and her hunch about wherever Laurel was going and would gladly fly wherever their travels would take them. If that were to happen, Aquila was tempted to perhaps contact the few other people she knew and ask for their help. She was tempted to bring up the idea that Devan might bring a fleet of ships from Second Fleet too just to put an underline on Syn's little threat. Instead, Aquila said, "And if you ditch me, I'll..." she trailed off trying to think of a suitable consequence.

You'll what? Cry?

"I'll also tell your parents!" Surely they might know something about where their headstrong daughter is disappearing to even if she wasn't entirely convinced of that.

Emperor's black bones... The mental groan was lost on Aquila who was determined to help, no matter the cost.
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Re: Monster

Post by Laurel WinteShrine » 2011-09-23 04:40

Laurel sat, expressionless and as still as marble as her two friends stood before her and in no uncertain terms stated their determination in helping her. “Yes,” She began slowly. “You are my friends. My treasures.. That is why.. I need to keep you safe. There are people who love you, myself included, who need you to live. I need you to both trust me. Please.” She smiled, beautiful and radiant, though held a sadness within of great measure. “You may tell my parents of what I am doing, if you so wish. That is up to you. But.. I am resolute in this. I will not endanger your lives for mine. It is out of the question. I‘ll understand if you‘ll no longer want to help me in this.. But know, I will find another way. If it means protecting you both,” she looked warmly at the two women, turning her back towards them so as to keep them from noticing that she had begun to cry. “Then I‘ll do it.” Laurel laughed softly. “They say the mark of a good leader is measured by the love of his men. To know that I am so fondly cared for just makes me.. so.. happy. True happiness is a gift that I have been bereft of for a long time. Thank you. So much. But.. I am going to have to ask you to leave.” She turned back around, eyes dry, weary as she fixed them with a serious gaze.

Laurel’s typically polite and warm demeanor had all but dissipated, leaving this cold, apathetic woman in its wake. “I.. I need to go back to my ship.. I need to rest, not here, I can‘t..” Gods, if she had been sounding crazy before, she winced inwardly at how she must have sounded now that the beast of her exhaustion had so deftly taken hold of her. “You both must leave now. I‘m sorry. I‘m.. so sorry.”
She hated to sound so distant, but she couldn’t do this, not now. She was just too spent. “G..goodnight. Just.. Give me until tomorrow, here, at sixteen-hundred. You have my word that I shall come back to meet you.”
She looked at the two women pleadingly, defeated for now.

“Please.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Laurel nearly stumbled as she made her way toward her quarters on the Annihilation, her senses focused solely on a bath and rest. She traversed the halls as if of the dead, smiling weakly at the concerned looks of the various passers-by milling about the corridors. She must have looked like a mess, yet she was unapologetic- there was no possible way of telling them of what she had been planning, nor would they understand the burden that hung like pendulum- or guillotine -over her head. Laurel had practically stumbled headlong through the door of her personal rooms until something caught her eye: A bouquet, beautifully, delicately wrapped at the threshold, a small note folded beside it as companion.
Never had anyone had surprised her with such a gift, and she blushed at what its sudden appearance could possibly mean.
She picked both up, looking around herself curiously before making her way inside and going to sit on the chaise in her sitting room to observe more closely in private.

The flowers themselves were stunning, a vivid and richly-scented riot of lilies, roses, and even more exquisite, lotuses, proud and beautiful and strong; she placed them gently, carefully across her lap as she fingered the seal on the note, a faint scent of something rich, elegant, familiar filling her senses as she undid the seal deftly with her nail. Carefully, she pulled it open, holding her breath, her face blooming into a soft pink blush as she began to read.
….felt as though an angel touched lightly upon the world….
Why was this.. So familiar.. angels? A memory, not from long ago seized her heart.
“So you believe in angels, then?”
…that one finally had the mercy to grace my life...with you…

A dance. A kiss. Long ago, a fairy tale.
….I have found it difficult to sleep, waking up to images of you...and in rare cases, images of us together, in a future some indeterminate time away…
“Oh, Gods.
Dearest lady Laureleiden...

...I love you.

Faithfully yours,
Oh Gods, please. Please let it be-

The world, the galaxy in its entirety, stopped.
“..Wolfgang.”

Something bright, winged, alive arose within her as she read the note over and over again, tracing over each letter with her gaze in increasingly loving detail, finally satisfied to run hesitant fingertips over those last, immortal lines. So it was true, then; a sea swell of emotion swept through her heart when she finally knew and understood that these feelings lived within Wolfgang, too. Furtive hope, lingering memories and an unyielding wish had been forged into something more between them, and now together they knew.

Laurel clutched the fragrant bouquet against her bosom, a look of pure, unadulterated happiness slid a smile across her lips. He loved her. She chanted it to herself, an aria that now held a power in her small world, palpable now that it had been exposed, unsealed.
He loves me.

I love him.

Alit, Laurel quickly took a shower, glowing as she brushed out her hair and selected one of the blooms, a pale pink lotus, neatly picking it from the stem and setting it down on her nightstand. She dressed in a simple, though beautifully-cut dress in an elegant purple, shades of black and dusk, dipping low in the back and gently embracing her form as she moved back and forth, anxious. Her hair fell about her shoulders, down her back with the lotus tucked into the dark tresses, still a bit damp; a mermaid having arisen from the evening waves. Heartbeat, feelings tremulous within her being, she left her quarters and made her way towards the lounge of the Annihilation, toward him.

“You can tell him, three words.”

A thousand words. She only needed three.
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Re: Monster

Post by Blitzkrieg » 2011-09-24 06:06

The Annihilation and her crew were, for Wolfgang, a constant source of surprise; where he had expected the ship's lounge to be full of poeple, even late at night, the spacious room was almost completely empty. Perhaps that was for the best, though...his most recent actions had brought a new voice into his mind, and he was grateful to be alone with his thoughts as it invaded them, questioning him, seeking truths where he had barely been able to think of the words before to make them. "What's wrong with you, Wolfgang?" it asked him, the sound far too familiar for him to adequately bear. "What in the Hell is wrong with you?"

"I swear, Anja," he began, shaking his head calmly, "I do not need this right now." It dawned on him, vaguely, that he was actually responding to her out loud, despite the fact that her words were heard only in the deepest parts of his inner thoughts; with how barren the lounge was, he wasn't particularly upset with the notion, and were anyone around, they could easily just attribute the antics to some sort of trauma-related stress disorder, and explain it away from there. "What are you trying to get at?"

"You love her."

"And there's something wrong with that?" he asked in response, already almost to the point of snapping as the subject shifted to Laurel.

"Nothing, in and of itself," the phantom voice continued. "But why are you so nervous about it?"

Sitting himself down at one of the far tables from the door, the high-colonel turned his attention to the stars, looking at them through the expansive viewport and suppressing a sigh. "Nervous? Hah!" Me, nervous...preposterous." No, it wasn't a state of being nervous that got him at those points...not that at all.

"Then what is it? This should be flowing smoothly for you; instead, you hesitate. Why?" Silence reigned for a bit, so the spirit-voice that was Anja persisted. "You can tell me, Wolf...what's the matter?"

Calmly, the colonel let out the sigh he'd kept in earlier. He didn't want to admit to it, but in the end...it would be better if he did. "I'm afraid," he said at last, his voice low. "I mean, look at what's happened before. What happened to you...to Kelsati...to Shawna. I don't need that happening again..." He turned, as though he could see her ghost somewhere in the room, and face it, shout it down, cast his fear into some abyss with it. "I don't WANT it to happen again!" His outburst drew the attention of the barkeeper, who simply regarded him for a few seconds. The colonel didn't take the time to notice, and instead sat back down, forcing himself to calm down. "...And I won't let it happen again," he continued. "But what if it does anyway? What then?"

"That, my dear, is a bridge you must cross when you get there. I don't think you will. ...At least, I hope you won't."

"And what if she's refused? What if that loneliness I fear is my destiny?"

At this, the voice chuckled. "Nein... Destiny, dear, would be if she barged into this lounge right now and walked over to you."

"I don't remember you ever saying anything like that," Wolfgang remarked, finding a chance, for once, to laugh a little. "Since when do you start yammering about destiny?"

"And since when,"she shot right back, snickering as she began to fade away into the mists of the past, "is the man I once loved afraid of anything?"

"Bullshit," he said, snickering softly at the idea and finally fighting the dread down; once more, he turned, looking for her as her voice faded away. He hadn't expected to see anything...but a brief glimpse of Anja appeared in the viewport reflection for the briefest of moments, the image of her just as he remembered from the ball at his graduation, so many years ago. Farewell... he thought, smiling softly at the image as it disappeared from his sight.

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