The Emperor's Address

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The Imperial Senate. Where the fate of the galaxy is decided.

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Kane
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The Emperor's Address

Post by Kane » 2014-01-31 21:56

Emperor Kane rarely spoke in public, but when he did, he was known to be able to rekindle the Imperial spirit, and to direct that energy towards new and far-reaching endeavours. It was no small part of the abilities that had propelled him to become the undisputed leader of a galactic superpower.

Many questioned the direction the New Imperial Federation had been taking, and since the formation of the political party infamously named the Rebel Alliance, those questions had been raised ever more boldly. It was an understatement to say that many people would be watching today's speech live, many excitedly wondering what the Emperor would address; the new war tax, the partial conscription, the successes or rather lack thereof in recent campaigns? Perhaps he would focus on the partisans and those delinquents that seemed to question the very order of things, calling for action or trying to vie them to change sides?

The Emperor calmly stepped up before his podium in the centre of the giant Senate hall, grasped the edges on both sides firmly and looked over the assembly, piercing eyes from his giant hologram hovering over them all. His voice spoke with conviction, his posture of confidence, his mannerisms assured.

"Ladies and gentlebeings, citizens of the Empire, honourable Senators. I have come before you to address the concerns of our day. Some of you worry that your national concerns are set aside before the greater need of the Federation. Others would rather withdraw than give a greater effort as it has become required. For this reason I would like to remind you all of certain things that we often take for granted.

"Humans are flock animals. Morality is the set of rules that allow us to live together in relative harmony. When you break morality, you are no longer fit to live among fellow human beings. What is true for humans is true for most species in our galaxy.

"War is a state of conflict between one flock and another. All the rules of the flock still applies, but the rules for how you treat the other flock changes. We accept this order of things because the alternative is arguably worse - a police state in which the rules no longer states what you cannot do, but states only the things you are allowed to do.

"The free society is better equipped to solve conflicts peacefully. The authoritarian society is better equipped to solve conflicts of force. Which is better than the other? The true answer is neither, which is why conflicts persist to this day. But ask yourself this: when conflict comes knocking on your door, which government would you rather have? A strong one or a weak one? It really comes down to whether you are fighting for the government or against it.

"We stand together. We are our brother's and our sister's keeper. If you are not, then you are not one of us. So, friends, fellow Imperials, citizens and honourable Senators of the Empire... whose side are you on? We are at war. Our enemy is strong. Our very existence is being called into question. Is our way of life not worth defending? Would we rather submit than fight to the very bones, tooth and nail to defend what is ours? Our homes, our life, our loved ones, our friends and family?

"I say nay - and all who stand with me say nay. We will fight to the very last drop of blood that we have, and as long as one of us is left standing, we will never be defeated! We did not choose this war, nor did we start it, no matter what our enemies claim. But we will finish it, so help us the Force.

"This is our resolve. I have full confidence that if all do their duty, nothing is neglected, and the best arrangements are made, we shall once again prove ourselves able to defend our lives, our ideals, and our territory. We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in the blackness of space, in the void between the stars, above worlds of trees and waters and cities. We shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.

"Is it then, too much to ask for some mere coin to give our brave troops, be it frontline or home front the best tools possible to achieve our common purpose? Too much to ask that a few of our able-bodied youths support our veterans where they are able? I think not. It is a pittance to give so little to those who defend our way of life. Our purpose is your purpose; it is not they who fight, it is we who fight. It is we who must step up to the call of arms. I do not ask you to support foreign masters and distant goals; I ask you to support your very own future, your very own people.

"Rest assured; we do not stand alone. Everywhere in our galaxy, people are looking at us with wonder in their eyes. Some wonder why we fight at all. Some wonder why we refuse to stand down. All of them wonder where we get our resolve. To these people I tell; our resolve come from the same place as your resolve. In the very core of our beings, to stand up for what we are. We make no excuses. We make no exclusions. We want the same thing as you do; the freedom to live our lives as want, in safety, in progress, where putting in the extra hour, that extra effort, is justly rewarded. Where loyalty is a badge of honour, where duty is a sacred call, and where trust is the strongest bond we can forge.

"Everyone who wants the same is welcome in our ranks as a true friend. Together, we stand. Separate, we fall. And we shall never fall."

The Emperor quietly stepped down backwards. If anyone objected to his speech, they were drowned out by the standing, thunderous applause of Imperial supporters that soon began to shout out his name in chorus. There would be many discussions following the address, all pertaining to the questions of what the Emperor meant with his speech and what would follow in its wake. Because something always did. Emperor Kane was not known for mincing words.
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Moira Drakengard
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Moira Drakengard » 2014-02-04 19:06

The echani sighed and took a moment to remember how she had gotten there today. Director Endivain had called her in as an extra hand to gain an idea of where ISIS' end of the security preparations may have been weak, though in the end her observations had been referred to a man wearing the red cloaked armor of a sovereign protector. While courteous enough, the experience had spurned her memories back to her youth, and the stories her father and mother had told her of their's and her grandparents personal efforts involving echani helping to train a few of the last empire's olden guard.

She related that bit of information, after the royal guard seemed apprehensive of her presence, and with Crystala had taken measures to reassure him that her loyalties were now solely to the Federation. After all, the other woman had helped her discover the truth about her parents killers being caused by elements of her old organization who had been sleepers in the federation's midst. It had been a wake up call, that half her life she'd been used by her own family's murderers. Even more she related that since the Emperor, and Crystala had ensured her a pardon she felt she owed both a debt that she could never repay.

The guards after that had been a little more receptive to her observations about the security issues she saw. Or at least more assured she wasn't going to end up more of a security concern then it seemed the Guard already thought she was. Though at the end, she asked a few of them for a spar or two after all, she wondered if her forms differed from theirs.

They had been polite as they declined; but said that later if she wished to to direct her inquiry through their offices. Her benefactor had just shaken her head, given a suffering sigh, and pulled the small echani away at the time. It was obvious she had intended to leave and not be present for the Emperor's address.That had been hours ago, and only the girl's pleas that she wanted to at least hear the man who signed her pardon in person. It had downright descended into a squabble with an offered bribe of paying for chocolate ice cream to her 'Mum', as in "Magnificent (Director) of Under-appreciated Mysteries".

Honestly though, the word 'Mum' at first a few months back had irked the other woman, but Moira thought it grew on her when Mikka and herself went to use it. After all, even though they were pardoned Crystala had kept them close by. When not let off the reservation of the Observer they tended to get themselves into more trouble then most other bored teens.

But being stuck on the ship was a nightmare at times, and they often got into trouble by playing pranks on the crewman. It was only natural as they were still teenagers, who while being born nineteen years ago had lost about three years in carbonite. When they had learned Crystala had a sister named Luciana, the pair of mischievous teens started mentioning they wanted to meet "Aunty", as in the "Awesome Unimaginably Nice To You" person they had only briefly heard about.

Then Mikka had whispered an overheard question to her if it was okay for them both to adopt the Director and her sister into Moira's clan. Moira had simply smiled at her companion and nodded.

It was at that point , it seemed to get across to the Director that the pair were actually quietly expressing their affection towards the only 'mother-figure' they still had left in their lives. After that every 'mum' or 'Aunty' comment would be met by a rueful shake of the other woman's head followed by a slight smile. Though in all truth, they tended to give the woman more headaches then they were worth. It wasn't her fault that Mikka was probably certifiably insane and that she had the most rotten and best luck for finding trouble rolled into one.

It wasn't their fault when they were given leave to go pursue a few jobs that things usually ended with explosions, massive mobilizations of planetary defense forces, and altogether more messes than one could shake a lightsaber at.

... right?

That had been hours ago, and a quick negotiation of two scoops being payed for had netted her the right to see the emperor's speech. Along with a wry smirk from Crystala.

That was when the torture began as Crystala had whisked them away to a local parlor to get their hair done, curled and primped, nails painted, and a professional cosmetologist to do their makeup all while Crystala picked out an outfit for herself that could only be described as 'head turning, and slinky' while Moira was given a more modest affair, 'for photogenic reasons just in case.' the Director had said.

At least it was more modest by Crystala's standards. Her features had blushed pink when she saw certain elements of it seemed to be scandalous.

Even with the rushed preparations, they had almost been too late. The ride back to the Senatorial building had been brief, with her only remembering vivid beams of light streaking past. The city life of Bilbringi's capital had a pulse of motion with people far below conversing while others were at their jobs earning a living. Events of daily life were taking place in different areas of the city, but on a few screens she saw how the pundits and political commentators of local channels were building suspense on what might be addressed by the Emperor. Their hovercar had deposited them at a private entrance to the building and she was helped out of the aircar by a steward as one helped Crystala out at the other side.

The other woman started to ask the men a question or two, "Are you sure you got the seats that I asked for? Right in the front row of the visitor's gallery?"
"Yes madame."
"Good."

She stopped to stare pensively out at the vivid flickers of light, as their transport was beckoned to leave. Just staring out at the hustle and bustle of the crowd. Amidst the city's beauty she couldn't help but wonder if tonight would harbor an inkling of things to come. A shiver traveled down her back at the thought.
"Is something wrong Moira?"
She jumped a little at the other woman's words, before turning her head towards the woman in the black and purple dress. "I don't think so Miss Endivain, just a bad feeling came over me suddenly. It's probably just nerves."

The young woman had put on her long white coat to avoid the cold gusts of wind against her thin dress; which left her shoulders and arms exposed. The top part of the dress showed some skin, but not enough for any cleavage. But in the back was a very low cut 'v' stretching down to the small of her back. Though she never know how had been convinced to wear the dress with the long slit up her thigh so the dress would be able to breathe along with her walking and not be tight on her. Perhaps the other woman had played a bit of a mind trick on her? But no matter, a matching pair of white high heels with platform soles for extra height and her mother's pendant at her throat rounded out the ensemble.

Forcing herself to show her gratitude, the echani smiled impishly at the other woman. "So what now, Director?" The echani wasn't going to address her by her personal nickname for her in public, that had been one of the connotations the other woman had hammered through, along with a few choice comments that she was too young to have children yet.

"Now we go inside and sit and listen to the Emperor's speech." the other woman said before turning on her heel to lead Moira inside. A few aides stopped to bow their heads as a royal guard walked them to the balcony. After they had been seated Crystala had asked a question in the interim of time before the Emperor took the podium,"So what was really wrong back there? I seem to remember you being the one who wanted to be here."

"I dunno, I just." Trying not to displease the other woman she tried to focus on having a good time. "You're right, I'll try to have a bit more fun, Lady Endivain." she said while her true feelings were somewhere else. Deep inside she was conflicted, she was finally going to see, even if it was from afar, one of the three people she literally owed her life too. One being that dark jedi who had set her straight, the other being the woman beside her, and the third the Emperor who had to sign off on her pardon.

She wondered if she owed a life debt to them all.

In truth she was a jumble of nerves. She was still trying to see why she had come to this event as if something had called to her. The woman just looked at her and rolled her eyes in disbelief of her words. It was pretty obvious that the woman could sense her emotions, even without the force.

"Relax, now it's about to start." the woman said with a bit of patience as the senatorial hall hushed in anticipation. They had a clear view of the podium, and for once she saw the elusive leader in person.

His stance and actions , and very presence seemed to scream power at her, and for a moment she thought she had to blink away bits of darkened spots from her eyes. The federation leader's speech was short, but she allowed the tones of the man's voice wash over her. The man was a powerful orator, and seemed to have an even more powerful presence of a leader and she wondered vaguely when her people would be gifted with such an individual to pull them out of the darkness of scraping for everything they owned they now resided in.

Moira politely applauded as she heard the Emperor make the last vestiges of his speech and step down. Turning towards Crystala, Moira waited patiently for her to speak, or choose not to as her eyes flashed through a myriad number of colors. Biding her time to let the Director marshall her thoughts, all Moira could do was wait patiently upon at the woman's side and attempt to calm her own emotions so as not to throw off the Director's own. Perhaps the Director in the slinky black and purple dress was trying to identify further threats? Or just lost in her own thoughts? Whatever the case, Moira just stood there patiently. Just an island amidst the sea of die hard fans chanting for the emperor, and the doubtless tumultuous emotions of those among the rest of the crowd who did not like what the Emperor had said.

While the emperor stepped down off the podium and surveyed the crowd she couldn't help but feel that his gaze was staring into all their souls. Hers included, though intellectually she knew that politicians tended to have the same trick. But despite this, the echani felt she had to ask her "Mum" a question, "Are you alright Crysta?"

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Crystala Endivain
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Crystala Endivain » 2014-02-06 00:06

It was a rousing speech, though Crystala had never any doubts it would be anything less. Kane was something of an oratory master, always able to say the right things at the right times to rally the troops, officers and, now as Emperor, people to his side. It was a gift, one of many, though few in the room fully understood how close the Federation was teetering on the brink, especially with the last attack. It left Crystala room to be concerned but, hearing the speech, even she found herself moved. Was there a subtle manipulation through the Force that she had felt when he gave it? Or was the power of his oratory simply that good?

A voice demanded her attention and she looked down at Moira. The girl was becoming something of a pain, mostly because someone had seen, in their infinite wisdom, to entrust her to look after the orphaned teen, having come from marginally similar circumstances, being an orphan herself. Reluctantly, she had agreed, but only until a proper home could be found for the girl and Mikka. It was taking an obscene length of time and Crystala was beginning to doubt the people responsible for the task of searching were taking their job seriously.

"I'm fine," she replied as the crowd slowly dispersed into groups eagerly discussing the Emperor's words. Many in attendance were from the political realm and a couple faces she recognized, Moffs and Grand Moffs who were making names for themselves- not to mention some trouble that required constant investigation- in the political arena. Many of the military brass were also in attendance, though Crystala noted more than a few absences, mostly of officers from the First and Second Fleets, unless they were in the back somewhere, which was a strong possibility.

The least surprising absence, however, was Surface Marshal Ambicon, though Crystala had to glance around at the various elevations and dark corners of the senate hall just to make sure the woman in question wasn't tucked away with a sniper rifle in hand. Not that it would have done her any good either, the royal guards would be able to respond before the shot was ever fired, plus the invisible force fields around the podium and stage itself would block anything short of a turbolaser. And the Marshal wasn't an idiot, or so Crystala liked to believe. Despite her hatred towards the Emperor for everything that he has so far done, she wouldn't kill him, at least, not as the current situation stood.

And like Emperor Kane said, they were at war with a foe that was now willing to pull out all the stops, a statement that rang out more truth than anyone else present could ever begin to imagine. No doubt the Commissariat thought the same thing and were smirking away from whatever holes they hid in and called home.

Shaking the thoughts out of her head, Crystala spotted a familiar face and, bidding Moira to follow, approached a group of officers who quickly scattered and broke away as soon as she got within earshot. Only one officer remained, smiling warmly and not running away like a womprat with a light being shone on it. "Admiral, I'd have thought you'd be rebuilding your fleet," Crystala began with a slight smirk.

"If the New Republic would stop poking around and give me the chance to stop engaging in skirmishes, I probably would be," he chuckled in response, rubbing the back of his neck. Smiling back as though he had just found a long lost friend, he said in return, "Or should I be the one surprised to see you traveling all the way out to this corner of the galaxy?"

Shrugging it off, Crystala said plainly, "So far as I'm concerned, there are no corners, only holes, tunnels and a never ending list of places to search." He laughed once, though Crystala could tell it was more to humour her than out of genuine amusement, nevermind the Force speaking to the contrary. He nodded, accepting the answer and took the opportunity to see what she was wearing which was a far cry from the black, white, olive and grey uniforms sported by near everyone else here.

Crystala was wearing a little strapless black form fitting dress that was just three finger lengths away from her knees. The front was split in a long 'V' down to her belly button but overlaid with sequined stitching of gauzy black lace that crept up to a choker at her throat that contained a small krayt dragon pearl. Within the lace the dressmaker had taken the liberty of patterning a pair of Duinuogwuin in flight among tiny jewels of stars. Whether it was in combat, or in a mating flight Crystala didn't care to dwell on. It just looked good to her and that's all that mattered in the end. Under her right arm a long rift with inter-stitched crystal accents stretched from upper hip to the floor as the other side of the skirt dangerously came close to showing more then a bit of thigh. But the real accent was a purple sash about her waist that drew the eyes to her figure. She hated the standard uniform, especially the orange one synonymous of her position made popular by a certain Intelligence Director.

"I wasn't aware it was a formal event," he mused with a smile, glancing at his own white Grand Admiral uniform as though it somehow wasn't right for the occasion. It was a clean pressed outfit with nary a wrinkle or thread out of place, the gold epaulettes on his shoulders further denoting his status within the military hierarchy, as though the large rank plaque on his chest didn't do a well enough job of that to begin with, or the numerous ribbons on the opposite side showing off all his service awards in the line of duty. He glanced over at Moira, as though becoming aware of her presence for the first time. "I wasn't aware you traveled with company either." he mused, the grin on his face making it hard to not smile back, as uncomfortable as it was to both be put on the spot like that and be forced into giving an answer that would be awkward no matter which one she gave and how she gave it.

Moria glanced up at Crystala, the look in her eyes speaking volumes about how she viewed her. So much so, in fact, that Crystala didn't even have to respond any more as the Admiral nodded knowingly as though able to perfectly read the situation. Knowing he was going to screw it up, and not wanting others to overhear, Crystala said, "She insisted actually, coming here I mean."

With a nod, Moira revealed how she offered ice cream in exchange for the chance to hear the speech in person. McFini looked at Crystala with one of those you-can't-be-serious looks. Her eyes reddened slightly, not from anger but more from embarrassment.

"Sounds like you've got your hands full," McFini chuckled.

"You have no idea." Shifting her weight, she put an end to the awkward questions by changing the subject. "What did you think of the Emperor's speech?"

Nodding, McFini said, "Not quite the one I gave to Third a day ago though I suppose trying to crack a joke would be poor form in this situation wouldn't it?" Shaking his head, he added, "Still, it helps for him to make an address like this to the Federation." He glanced around and looked as though he was going to add more but thought better of it though Crystala already knew his thoughts. He harboured doubts, strong doubts, about the coming months and somehow didn't believe Kane's words would be enough in the end.

"A lot can be achieved through words alone," she began, smiling a little when he looked at her with a startled look before something in his mind reminded him he was talking to a Dark Jedi and DG of the ISIS. With a blue gaze, she added softly, "I'm surprised I have to be the one to remind you of this though."

Accepting the response at face value, McFini again turned his attention to Moira and Crystala found herself cursing his persistence. Then again, I knew this was going to happen anyways but agreeing to let her come.

"I take it you know Crystala," he began with a sheepish grin, knowing he was walking a thin line by using her first name so casually like that, especially amid such a large gathering of other Federation officers. Extending a hand out, he introduced himself. "Tavish McFini."
"Dagger of the ISIS? No, I am the hand that wields it!" - Director-General Endivain
"The quickest way to find the needle, burn the haystack!"

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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Moira Drakengard » 2014-02-06 16:01

The only thing in Moira's eyes while she watched the byplay between the Admiral and Crystala was barely restrained amusement. She thought any other observer in earshot would have been able to recognize the ... tension between them. It was enough to make her wonder if it was something professional, or personal that was between the two.

So far the admiral's flippant congeniality made her wonder if the Admiral was one of those types of officers who loved to turn on the charisma to woo a woman's heart. Then she had to wonder if crystala his next target? After all from a certain point of view it seemed the Grand Admiral had turned on the engrossing attention and was flirting with Miss Endivain. Such thoughts were quickly dismissed and transformed into an assumption that the man was just a pleasant individual as it was only a matter of time before the same appeal was brought to bear upon her.

She quirked the corner of her lips up at his introduction as her mind leapt and placed the name and the face with an old dossier from when he was one of her prior caretaker’s targets.

Grand Admiral Tavish , long time officer of the Federation. He was the current commander of Third fleet, and all around infamous for his parties. In fact, the easiest way to assassinate him would be when he was behind a bar. All it would take would be a quickly served drink in a glass smashed onto a counter, and a stem of the shattered makeshift weapon planted into the jugular.

The chances of survival with current medical technology close by would be approximately Five-point-six-eight percent. Less if a follow up strike was given. Of course the real challenge would be getting close to him.

But that was her old life, not her new one; unless Crystala or the Emperor wanted him... disposed of.

Noticing Crystala's gaze on her she simply relaxed and allowed herself to simply enjoy the moment.

Taking the officer's offered hand, the echani gracefully curtsied with all the poise of her assassin training as the ingrained courtly manners of her youth her parents had ingrained in her had came to the forefront. Straightening up after a moment, the girl's eyes flashed with amusement as she commented. "Why aren't you a charmer, Mr. Grand Admiral Tavish McFini?"

Peering at the man, she quickly assessed his unblemished uniform and noticed in the back his collar was a little ruffled and turned partway in. "Hold still a moment, please."

Coming a little closer to the charmer, she fixed the Grand Admiral's collar with an efficiency all women seemed to have. Circling around him to ensure it was perfect until she was facing him again. Taking a moment to survey her handiwork, she stepped back before commenting. "There we go, much better. Now where are my manners, my name is Moira, Moira Drakengard of the House of Yusannis of the planet Eshan. A pleasure to meet you."

Off to the side Crystala seemed to arch an eyebrow at the formal introduction. It wasn't really Moira's concern, she was just trying to show she could behave when she wanted to. She didn't want to embarrass Miss Endivain or anything. Well, not anything truly embarrassing anyways. That wasn't her style.

The admiral seemed a little amused at her actions, keeping his brows raised before quipping, "Well it certainly is a pleasure Miss Moira, Moira Drakengard of the house of Yusanis of the planet Eshan. How are you doing this evening?" Pausing, he added with a glance at Crystala, "And how exactly did you come to accompany the Director?"

Oh, the man was laying it on a little thick, but it was fun to tease Crystala, but Moira thought it would be more fun to turn it around a little."Oh you know, she's currently just my quasi-legal guardian in the Federation. Nothing big. I'm fine by the way."

The admiral arched an eyebrow, obviously reassessing her reason to be here. Perhaps he had thought erroneously that Moira had come along with Crystala as a companion of sorts. Not that she ever knew the woman to prefer the same gender. She seemed to think Crystala was just waiting for the right guy to come along, was all. Though Crystala remained stonefaced, the red in her eyes hinted that there was actually some truth behind the words. He smirked and looked as though he wanted to burst out laughing but, through a great expenditure of effort, managed to refrain himself from drawing undue attention. "Is that so? I take it there's something of a story here?"

Fidgeting, Moira glanced demurely down at her feet before anxiously muttering an answer that might make Crystala realize the problem of why she and her companion had hung around so long. "That’s probably because there's nowhere else for me or Thells to go right now. The people who were - ah- our caretakers before were not very nice people. If I was placed with anyone that couldn't defend themselves from them my presence would only bring them a bit of danger."

Straightening up the young girl looked at the Admiral and gave him a wan smile, "Besides, not many people would feel comfortable with someone trained since birth to ah- terminate the life signs of others enough to allow them to straighten their collars much less be in their home. It's also offsetting to most others to know that you could take them out rather quickly."

Moira noticed a surprised look flashed across the Grand Admiral's face, followed by an uncomfortable clearing of his throat. He seemed pricklier about how to continue the conversation then a pole cat dancing on a hot tin roof. Still she had to give him points for aplomb as he simply nodded once and said, "I see. That's rather unfortunate." Another quick glance at Crystala hinted that he was beginning to grasp at why the woman would actually agree to such an arrangement.

Before an uncomfortable silence set in, Moira crossed her arms behind her back, and tilted her head, straining to be as chipper as possible. "Well enough about me, let's talk about you."

"Fair enough. What did you want to know?"

She gave him a knowing look before shuffling her eyes between him and Crystala. A mischievous wink was ushered in his general direction. "Now I know your dossier said you're married but separated and I know there's no way to bring up the subject tactfully so I'll just blurt it out. I wondered if you were ready to strike out into the dating field again. The reason I'm asking is I've never seen Miss Endivain entertained at a dinner before, a working one or otherwise, and I hear Bilbringi has some of the finest restauran-"

"MOIRA!" the director hissed in outrage, her eyes flashing in the Echani's direction.

The young girl ignored it to whisper behind her hand to the Admiral, "Don't let her temper put you off, if you play you're cards right I'll bet she'd turn into the biggest softie you'll ever meet."

The Grand Admiral let out a nervous laugh before schooling his features, "Playing matchmaker now eh? Well, the Intimidator is always open and I know a few places here on Bilbringi that may be interesting." Evidently he was taking the diplomatic route in his response, both to humour Moira and to avoid incurring any ire from the other woman.

Moira could see Crystala palm her face for a moment as a faint blush colored her cheeks. Smiling at her her partial success Moira continued seeking to get the point across to the Admiral. Looking up towards the ceiling she ruminated out loud upon the past. "Oh I know about that much at least, no matter what the Director is certainly interesting. Whether at dinner, or even when she’s a little miffed. You should have seen Miss Endivain after Mikka and I bleached all the bridge officers uniforms on the Observer and tie died them with orange coloring. I thought it was an improvement, but she took away our washroom privileges for a month and made us clean dishes in the galley for six weeks. Now besides that, I hear you make a nice drink, what was it called a blue wave? I'm sure the Director would love a bottle or two, I wouldn't mind one as well to save it for my birthday."

Crystala put a hand on her arm hissed, "All right, that's enough." A sudden sense of dread washed over Moira, a warning of sorts. It seemed Crystala wasn't above using the Force to help get her messages across and Moira read that one loud and clear.

“Sorry, ma’am .” Looking towards the floor with a crestfallen face, Moira simply nodded at the Director's proclamation and stared at her toes. Silently cursing her own inadequacies, she muttered a soft "I said I’d save it for my birthday, sheesh" before she petered off into silence.

The grand admiral seemed more amused than ever as he turned towards Crystala, "Sorry, I was the one asking after all, but I can see that you've got you've got quite the job ahead of you, nevermind galactic intrigue and politics, you've got her to look after."

"Don't remind me," Crystala sighed.

"Though you really should stop by this cor-" he cut himself off, remembering her earlier statement. "This hole of the galaxy more often."

With a long suffering sigh, Moira heard the director mutter some apology for her charge's behavior before gently pulling Moira off to go bother someone else. Though before that she could have sworn there was something whispered in between them that sounded half a threat in tone, but maybe it was him offering her a bottle of blue wave for her headaches.

She couldn't tell.

Politics and tension between the two be damned, Moira had only been trying to get Miss Endivain a date with the rather nice individual of the Grand Admiral. It was obvious that the man at least challenged her a little, or was it the other ways around? Maybe she had been too forward but it wasn't her fault this entire situation was outside of her comfort zone. But she had asked to come here after all.

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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by DraaygoRiinuuk » 2014-02-09 19:56

Kane's words rang through to the core of everyone watching his address, both in person and on holoterminals galaxy wide. The man had always been good at captivating an audience and that was no less true today. Kane's conviction and ideals were the reason Draaygo had joined the Federation in the first place. He was looking for someone, or something, to follow, to pursue justice, and rid the galaxy of those who preyed upon others, and the people who allowed those predators to flourish.

So now he sat there, watching the man he believed in finish his speech and once again encourage someone to follow the path of justice. At the moment Draaygo wasn't technically on duty, he was on medical leave while he got used to his cybernetic leg, but as a Fleet Commander he had gotten the invite and had decided to come see the speech in person. It was the first time he had left Yag'dhul since his return, it had only been a few days since the Apocalypse had come back from its voyage and he had been medically cleared to leave.

As Kane finished and stepped from the podium, Draaygo stood and applauded with the rest of them. As usual, he sort of stood out among the rest. His cybernetics generally assured that, coupled with his stature and career in the Navy, he was kind of an odd man out. Most who saw him and didn't know any better assumed he was an army soldier or some other kind of close in your face combatant. They were then shocked to find out he was in the Navy, most Navy personnel didn't share his physique and numerous cybernetics, not requiring them as they weren't generally in the fray. Currently, he was dressed in his newest dress uniform and had a new cane to help him walk, as he hadn't fully adjusted to using his new leg, which only added to the effect.

While he agreed with Kane's basic message, it didn't wholly pertain to him. The war with the New Republic would always fade in and out, but Draaygo and those he commanded were always at war, even when there was peace for the rest of the galaxy. The various pirates, slavers, mercenaries and other riffraff kept him very busy. As long as there were people in the galaxy willing to make credits at others expense, he would always be in conflict. That's not to say that war with the Republic wouldn't affect him, he'd do his part to help his comrades and defend against any incursion, but it was just another enemy to add to his list. Then, when it was over and the Republic was defeated, he'd return to his war with the underworld.

When the fanfare died down and the onlookers began to disperse, Draaygo did the same, although a little slower than the others. Still getting used to his cane, much less his new leg, it took more work than he was willing to admit to get going. He looked around and, while seeing a few faces he thought he knew, decided it would be best if he just left and headed for a nearby exit.

Then he saw someone out of the corner of his eye that he knew he recognized, and even called the man a friend. He changed his direction and headed toward his friend and mentor, Grand Admiral McFini. The man's white uniform made him pretty easily stand out in this crowd of darker blues greens, and blacks. Draaygo was almost near his friend, barely a few meters away, when something unexpected, yet well within his realm of terrible luck, happened. The cane he used to help support himself on didn't land on the ground right and when he leaned on it it gave way.

“Shiiii-!”, he almost cursed out loud and within a few short seconds Draaygo's literally came tumbling down as he flailed wildly for a second before landing hard, face first, onto the floor. Son of a-, why does this stuff always happen to me. The poor man started to slowly open his eyes and was surprised to see two pairs of high heeled women's feet in front of his face. What the? Of course, why wouldn't I fall embarrassingly right in front of someone? Well, it could've been worse. At least I didn't fall right on them. Dang, that one hurt, too. He rubbed his forehead lightly as he looked up to see the two women's faces and almost immediately regretted it. Perhaps his worst fear had happened as he recognized one of he women to be Crystala. Briefly a memory of their last encounter, their shared kiss as he escorted her to her room after the Imperial Ball, entered his mind and he tried to shoo it away. Now is not the time to think about that!

He hung his head in shame, forgetting he was still on the floor and once again hitting his head on the floor. “ow,” he mumbled, then once again raised his head and awkwardly smiled up at the two women. While he knew Crystala, he didn't recognize the other young woman who accompanied her.

“Oh, um, hi Crystala. It's nice to see you again. Sorry about the whole apparent death, thing,” he said, not knowing what else to say in this strange moment. Way to think on your toes, idiot, he thought, berating his lack of ability to come up with something better to say.

“And it's nice to meet you, Miss...?” he asked, switching attention to the young lady beside Crystala.
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Open up your eyes and you'll see,
That I'm not perfect,
That's what I'm trying to be,
Cause I know you're worth it.
These new demons are changing me inside,
Changing me inside.
- I See Stars "New Demons"

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Moira Drakengard
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Moira Drakengard » 2014-02-11 04:26

When the unknown man fell , the people around them seemed to stare rudely at him. Many seemed to cough and look unsure what to do. Moira could see the man had been using a cane, and had some cybernetic replacements. Including an arm and eyes. No matter what happened, it made the echani's blood boil to see others be so disrespectful to a person who had lost so much already. Judging by the uniform, most doubtlessly in combat in service to the Federation in some shape, way, or form. That really got her goat up and she stared balefully at those staring at the down man.

Most of them were staying silent, but a few politicians were looking on with a sense of disapproval that such a disgraceful scene should happen in the halls of the senate. Many probably had wrongfully assumed the stumble might have been on purpose from the angle the downed man was looking up at them both.

Even if he could be a possible pervert for landing right where he might have viewed up Crystala's dress. the guy seemed enough on a first name basis with the other woman that she'd leave any consequences up to Lady Endivain. The onlookers were just a bunch of shameful, tight stitched old farts that needed to be taught a lesson in humility. Though somehow behind her she could feel the silent approach of the charmer of a grand admiral. But that was probably just her instincts. At least it meant there was at least one decent male here.

Traipsing forwards, ever mindful of her dress, the echani woman quickly settled at the man's side to help support Draaygo at his right elbow to steady him enough to get him to his knees. Though, judging by the difference in height she didn't think she could lever him to his feet by herself."Oh wow, are you okay mister? Don't worry about the introductions yet, I'll get you back on your feet... somehow As for the rest of you, you should be ashamed to just stare at the good ma-"

The first words of her venemous tirade stopped suddenly as she heard the crisp sound of boots striding across the Senate's expensive marble flooring.

Another man, with a lower ranked officer's uniform came to rest quickly at Draaygo's left side. Like clockwork the man nodded to the two women, obviously uncaring who they were at the present time but still he somehow remained cordial enough to say a few words in a polite tone of voice, but loud enough for the crowd's eyes to focus their attention on him. "I'm sorry for the interruption ladies, but I must see the Captain about a question of some importance."

Without another word, the lieutenant knelt down at the captain's left and offered his arm for the man to use to help stand himself. The angle was just enough for the echani to read the name on his rank placard as 'Rancor'. That was a funny name. Right? What was funnier was how he pitched his voice low enough whisper for only Crystala, Moira, and the good Captain to hear.

'Fancy that, a captain was comfortable enough to call Miss Crysta by a first name. Her gossip sensors were tingling, As if detecting some sense of intimacy there among all the static filled regions of space that might exist within the undertones of that one fact. Who was this new man, anyways?'

"Are you alright , Sir? Can you stand? Or do you need me to get you a chair or someplace to rest?"
"No, I'm fine right now Abraxes. Just get me the hell up before I make myself look more of a fool."
"With all due respect sir, the only fools here in my mind are those who cared enough to simply stare at the situation."the now identified man hissed as he helped lever Draaygo back to his feet with his upper body strength. But if you need anything else don't hesitate to give me a signal. I'll be working on some requisition forms for Fourth."

After his captain was on his feet the officer seemed to step back and give them all a slight bow but spoke loud enough for the onlookers to hear his words. She noted he cleared his throat for good measure to keep their attention focused on him and off of Draaygo. "I'm sorry for the intrusion ladies. Captain, I'll get back to work now. The answer you gave me should be most helpful in these requisition orders."

With parade ground precision, Moira saw the Lieutenant nod his head once again, as if dismissing himself before turning purposefully upon his heel. The man seemed uncaring as the eyes were upon him until he reached the chair, sat down, and promptly pulled back out a datapad to start typing again. As if nothing had ever happened. A few politicians grumbled, some looking a bit more contrite then they had.

Without a verbal tongue lashing from a sixteen year old.

As she thought about it, Moira realized that probably wouldn't have gone over real well in the long run.

Feeling that justice had been meted out, though maybe not in as direct a manner as she would have liked, Moira couldn't help but let out a beaming smile towards the Captain as she stepped back slightly behind and to the right of Crystala's left shoulder. As if nothing had happened at all, she answered the man's original question while reaching out to shake the hand he wasn't using to lean on the cane. "Hello there, our good captain. My name is Miss Moira Drakengard. A pleasure to meet you. Gesturing to the woman in the black dress to continue, her eyes flashed with a bit of curiosity shining in them."It seems you know Miss Endivain as well I presume. But just how do you two relate anyways?"

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Crystala Endivain
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Crystala Endivain » 2014-02-12 00:30

"Back from your sojourn I trust?" Crystala began, seeming to ignore Moira's question. The corners of her lips curled upwards slightly as she asked, "That's, what, your third one in so many months?"

Draaygo shifted his weight and shrugged, still recovering from everything that had just happened in such a short span of time.

Looking at Moira, Crystala raised her shoulders just a little. "The Captain and I have worked together in the past." Looking back at him, she added, "Though I see your uncanny luck is getting the better of you as usual." Her smile widened just a little and she opened her mouth as though struck by an afterthought but decided against it and closed it again.

Moira didn't seem very convinced at her explanation, but Crystala dismissed it as the girl thinking there would always be more to the story than she would ever let no matter what she said so at least leaving it vague meant there was a lot more guesswork left versus being more specific and letting the kid's imagination run wild with even more outrageous and scandalous thoughts. Not that Crystala doubted she was already drawing up those conclusions right now anyways.

Draaygo on the other hand seemed to wonder why Moira was so interested in their relationship. "You have to forgive her for being so forward," Crystala began with a shake of her head, "But I suppose you know enough about war orphans to understand where she's coming form. We're in the process of finding Moira a proper home and foster family to care for her but, in the interim, she wanted to see the Emperor in person so..." She lifted her arms up a little as to say 'here we are'.

"I trust you're back for good now, or do you have more travel plans in the future?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Because, right now, I would strongly suggest you finish up any unfinished business that might be outstanding before strapping yourself in. Things are going to get very, very bumpy from here on out." He probably knew what she was referring to, not least of which the battlestation his recon drones had discovered during the effort to find the Surface Marshal. With a brief yellow flicker, she added, "Regardless, it's good to see you back Captain."

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DraaygoRiinuuk
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by DraaygoRiinuuk » 2014-02-12 04:35

'Worked together in the past' eh? I suppose that's not entirely false. Not really the whole truth either, but I suppose she probably doesn't want to broadcast her personal life. I can respect that. To be honest, he wasn't sure himself what the whole truth was. They had shared a moment, but since then hadn't talked or anything. He intended to try and remedy that, sooner rather than later.

Draaygo returned the young woman's handshake. “Well then, it's nice to meet you Miss Moira,” Draaygo said giving the young lady slight bow. Captain Draaygo Riinuuk, commander of Fourth Fleet, at your service. Thanks for the help back there. Seems my luck's just as bad as always.” The young woman was surprisingly courteous, he made a mental note to repay her kindness someday.

“Yeah, I do seem to be getting into a lot of trouble lately,” Draaygo said, turning his attention to Crystala. Reflecting on the past year, tt had been pretty hectic and he supposed it probably wasn't going to get much better. “Although this last escapade was a favor to ISIS, so I was glad to help... even if I did loose more then I anticipated,” he said sullenly, indicating his new cybernetic leg. “It seems every time I leave I come back with less of myself than I had when I set out. I should try and stick around more. Which shouldn't be a problem, I have no plans of heading off any time soon.”

Draaygo finally took a moment to realize what Crystala was wearing. Oh my... The the fairly risque dress was definitely unexpected. Although, come to think of it, he rarely saw her in her actual uniform. “And as always it's great to see you. You look...”Ravishing, exquisite, beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, magnificent, divine, mesmerizing.“wondrous,” he said, after a second. He knew the woman could read his mind, having spoken to him as much before, so he found it rather silly that he tried so hard to say the right thing. After all, she probably knew everything that raced through his mind. He looked over at Moira who was also in a luxurious dress. “You look quite lovely yourself, Miss Moira. You two certainly brighten the room.”

“Anyway, on a more serious note, I suppose it's a good thing I returned when I did. Things sure have escalated rather quickly in my absence. We're all really going to have our work cut out for us. Emperor Kane made a nice, rousing speech, but there was a dark overtone to it that worries me some. This war is going to be really bad,”
Draaygo said, then gave a soft chuckle. “Although I guess all wars a bad, but this next one seems... different... I don't know, I guess I sound rather crazy.” Shrugging, Draaygo scratched the back of his head.

“So, I suppose your life's certainly gotten rather busy? Especially having to look after Miss Moira there. I think it's nice that you're looking after her. Being alone in this galaxy can be terrible. You don't give her too much trouble, do you, Moira?” he asked the young woman who up to this point had conducted herself rather well. However, Draaygo knew that looks could be decieving, and young ones around her age had a reputation for being mischievous. He wasn't much different when he was her age, being an orphan himself, sometimes you didn't exactly make the right choices, especially with no one there to guide you.
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Open up your eyes and you'll see,
That I'm not perfect,
That's what I'm trying to be,
Cause I know you're worth it.
These new demons are changing me inside,
Changing me inside.
- I See Stars "New Demons"

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Moira Drakengard
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Moira Drakengard » 2014-02-14 04:14

The echani's cheeks colored a little at the compliment, but she noticed she wasn't the only one affected with Crystala's eyes flashing to a different color. All she could do was lift her shoulders in a shrug and look down at the floor abashedly until the Captain asked her a direct question.

Furrowing her brow, she opened her mouth to speak, but quickly closed it as she pondered the loaded question with a sudden bit of detachment. 'Had she been causing too much trouble for Crystala?'

Slowly she would speak her thoughts out loud, trying to piece together fragments of a reply to what was meant as a general question into a serious vocal rumination." You know, I've wondered that myself." She whispered while bringing her right index finger to tap against the side of her chin. "Normally, I'd be the last to make trouble for anyone, but these last six months have been decidedly different from the status quo. At first it was small things. Like not being able to for more then fifteen minutes, when I could for days before. Or being restless and not sleepy at times I would have been forcing myself to a schedule. Or how I've been meshing so well with 'Thells' is scary. That's the other one Crystala's watching, her name is Mikka Thellis, but she didn't come with though.

I think two of us here would have driven Miss Endivain a little nuts. If you don't know what I mean, trust me you will.

Take the pranks Mikka and I have been doing. The salt mixed in with the recaff mixes was deliberate enough to show that not changing the codes on the storage rooms in sixteen months was a bad idea. It could have easily been something else but salt that could have poisoned half the observer's recaf addicts. We only got in trouble when Miss Endivain's present secretary fetched the recaff from a pot already made and not her personal store like they should have. We got sent to wash dishes without an explanation on our part for that even though we wanted to show the laxness in that security left an opening.

Then there was that modification to the training holovids from across the ship, with reverse engineering a protocol to get a dumb image from the holostand's display to tell if an instructor's profile was turned away from the monitor. Every time he was turned away we plastered several images of funny images we received from the holonet. We actually enjoyed hacking that from halfway across the ship, but later after punishment in the galley again we mentioned the reason why to Miss. Raine, she cursed loudly enough to startle everyone in hearing distance. The mere fact that we hacked part of the holodisplay system in real time through a secondary firewall meant an onboard enemy agent could possibly real time hack the security footage feeds, at least well enough to make a corridor look clear of any personnel at any specific time. She upgraded the physical security on the internal nodes to where maintenance had to log in an actual code with sensors that could tell if someone breached the casings of the node's structure. After that she added a data buffer for any incoming images from ISIS personnel.

But the real kicker was that during the time Mikka was hacking the data buffers, she found one of the crewmen was court ordered to pay some alimony and child support by the justice department. Yet somehow the crewman had abused his privileges to circumvent the automatic deductions from his paychecks. We reported that corruption to Mr. Tibbs anonymously hoping we weren't going to get chewed out. But after we did that Miss Raine found us out from the mail system certiori routing code that we had tried to scrub, but she was too good at countering Mikka's vectors through the system.

Then there was the bridge personnel fiasco where we tie died their uniforms. If that had been a slow acting contact poison, it would have been able to have taken out the entire bridge crew of one shift with no one the wiser. Especially since the preceding prank had been to ensure their uniforms had been majorly inked so they had few spares to choose from."


Moira shifted her weight uneasily, "As pranks go, they are not malicious but every one of them has been kept well away from Miss Crysta and Mr. Tibbs. All except the salt and coffee one. Thanks to the darn secretary."

The echani seemed to be curiously staring at nothing, "All the while we've been quite prone to some more emotional outbursts then previously had in our lives. Some could say its the stress of simply adjusting, but we thought it was more then that. At first we didn't know why we targeted certain groups of people on the Observer, but eventually we questioned why when we were meeting certain people that we instinctively had a like or dislike to them without knowing who they were before we were introduced. Then we traced the days back to the origin of when we having these problems, like I mentioned before the lack of ability to meditate."

Looking forlorn, she wouldn't meet Crystala's general direction with her eyes as she continued, "It all started on the days we were mind dived to ensure there was no hidden programming remaining. I know I was told the Director had to piece together some memories that had been erased from both Mikka and I's long term memory. Sometimes even piecing things together, as she broke down the walls and tried to restore our natural personalities. So last week , we went to the Observer's doctors to get scanned to make sure their was no lasting brain damage. Thank gawd there's none, but the doctor postulated the reason I was so off the wall was because of some personality bleedthrough, both from Crystala, and Mikka. Like my mind was having too much data in the debuffer cache so to speak.

Since then, I've tried meditating again, and have gotten up to thirty minutes, but the doctor cautioned me it will take time to return to normal. I was told I could ask Miss Endivain for help, but that might just make the problem worse. I do however know that I wouldn't have been this involved with Mikka's pranks and mischief if it was six months sooner. Social shocks aside of course. If I keep meditating and questioning things outside of what my instincts tell me, it should right itself at least."
She glanced up with a wan smile in Draaygo's direction, ever to make sure not to meet Crystala's eyes. Fearful of what she might find there; the echani was trying to hide her discomfort of what the doctors had said.

Putting a bit to much cheer into her tone, she cocked her head to the eyes and blinked as she forced the smile on her face to grow wider. "But hey, at least I'm not dead yet, you know?"

Then her nerve failed her, and she seemed to have a sudden urge to flee, or at least head to the restroom to compose herself. Bowing to the Director, and to the Captain she made an excuse to get away. She didn't want to see if they had any reactions, or even worse- pity. "I'll be back in just a minute. I need to go and freshen up." Then she turned on her heel and strode away. Leaving the two alone for a few minutes to talk.
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Crystala Endivain
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Crystala Endivain » 2014-02-14 15:15

Watching Moira walk away, Crystala pressed her lips into a thin line, violet eyes betraying her emotions though not her thoughts. "She's fast becoming the biggest headache of my life," she began muttering as an aside to the Captain, "And quite willing to shoot her mouth off to people. Everything else wouldn't be so bad if she didn't go telling that same story to near every person she met." Shaking her head, she wondered what was it about the agency that seemed to attract the most accident prone of people. Sure, security flaws were found and rectified, but did it always have to be in the most slapstick of ways? Moira was helpful, though only when she was being a nuisance.

Draaygo glanced at her and she could tell what his thoughts were easily enough. "If it wasn't for the fact I think she could prove useful against the group responsible for her in the first place, I'd probably have tossed her to an orphanage already. She knows how they operate and I have the sinking suspicion that they're still alive, if only biding their time." By now, she realized she had both lost him and piqued his interest about this new organization. Folding her arms across her chest, Crystala hung her head at the subtle ironies of life. "It's no enemy you're aware of Captain and believe me, you have enough to deal with defending Federation space without having to get involved in this mess. Hence why I let her stick around."

Easily connecting the dots, he expressed some level of concern about using Moira and Mikka.

"The galaxy isn't as black and white as I'd like it to be. I discovered this fairly early on, but I tried to remain steadfast in not having to resort to such means. Our enemies no longer fight with a sense of honor or moral code and I cannot afford to keep the moral high ground while our enemies continue to pick us apart." Exhaling a gentle breath, she wished there was another way, and perhaps there was, but they were all paths she didn't want to tread down.

Glancing at Draaygo, her lips twitched upwards in the barest hint of a smile. A thought crossed her mind, but she didn't dare speak it, not entirely trusting that he would keep whatever she might have said to himself. Instead, she glanced past him, looking at a group of cadets who were brought to the senate hall witness the address personally. Seeing them, Crystala thought maybe enlisting Moria and Mikka into the academy would be the best route, she could create fake IDs and birth certificates to falsify their age easily enough. The thought about the academy brought another thought to mind. "You ever think back to the days when you were in the academy or just graduated from it and ask yourself what you could have done differently?"

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DraaygoRiinuuk
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by DraaygoRiinuuk » 2014-02-15 02:14

Draaygo let out a soft chuckle after hearing Crystala's question. While he knew she didn't mean it to be funny, it did strike him as sort of amusing. “I'm sorry, but that seems a rather silly question, given who you're talking to?” he said, jokingly stepping back and motioning as if he was presenting himself in a sort of tada fashion. “You know my past, all of it in fact. I find myself on more than one occasion wondering what I could have done differently at several points in my life, not just my early times with the Federation. I have several regrets, but also a few occasions where I've realized that sometimes I've wished I hadn't done something or done it differently but later, in hindsight, realized that it all worked out for the best.”

He let out a soft sigh, not sure whether to continue with the rest, but deciding it was probably best to tell the whole truth. She would tell if he didn't anyway“However, to answer your question. Yes actually, I think everyone does at some time. Lately I've actually been thinking about those times, funnily enough. I joined looking for a reason in living, something to believe in. Trying to find a way to put my skills and willpower to good use. While the reason is still there, I have lost many friends and comrades along the way. Some I had known for a long time, others for shorter then I had wished. There's things I wish I had done differently, times I had been around, places I had been. Usually more things I had done, people I had saved.”

Draago knew that what he was saying could be considered by some to be a loss of will, a loss of faith. However, he believed Crystala knew him better than that. Few had as strong convictions as he did, a willpower that was almost as much a force to be reckoned with as a Death Star. He wasn't worried about how his thoughts would be perceived.

“I've also found myself wondering if maybe I made a mistake about where I chose to serve. You know my history, I've always been more 'hands on', and I like it that way. It seems that as time goes on and I get higher up the chain, I get to do less my self and more ordering others to do. Perhaps I'd have been better off in a different line of work...” he said, almost whispering the last part. It was true, all his life he had done things himself, taken on several different enemies throughout his life. Now he did more administration than anything else.

“That's why I was happy to do that last mission for ISIS. I got to actually do things myself, put my skills to use, and personally carry out my orders. For the longest time a embraced my role as a weapon,” he said, looking down at his right arm and clenching his fist. “It was all I knew. All I could rely on. Now I've become more like the wielder of the weapon, than the weapon itself. It's a different perspective, one I'm not sure I do as well, but allows me to do what's right on a bigger scale, so I accept it willingly. However, I still like being the weapon, sometimes.”

Draaygo looked back up at Crystala. “A weapon that I can bring against the enemies who threaten my friends and those I care about. True, I already have plenty of enemies, but what is one more, especially if they want to hurt the people I care for. I'll be there for you, if you need me. If there's ever anything I can do, don't hesitate to ask. I may not wield the force or be a super agent, but don't underestimate me, many have and it usually ended bad for them. I could surprise you if given the chance.”

Trying to lighten the mood, he gave her a soft smile. “Enough of that, though that's a conversation for a later date. How about you? Was it always the plan to be the best agent and head of the galaxy's largest network of knowledge? Oh, and if necessary, Moira and Mikka are always welcome to stay aboard the Apocalypse for a time. You know, if they every start to be to much to handle on the Observer. Same with you, if you ever want, I'd be glad to host you. Although, actually, it would be the Hammer for the moment. The Apocalypse got pretty banged up while in the Unknown Regions. It'll be in the repair yards for a while unfortunately...” He almost frowned at the mention of the extensive damage to his beloved ship. It was his home, more then any planet had been for quite some time, and now he was forced from it for a time.
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Open up your eyes and you'll see,
That I'm not perfect,
That's what I'm trying to be,
Cause I know you're worth it.
These new demons are changing me inside,
Changing me inside.
- I See Stars "New Demons"

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Moira Drakengard
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Moira Drakengard » 2014-02-16 01:14

In the restroom, one echani teenager dried her eyes and took a deep breath before staring at herself in the mirror. She had managed to stop her makeup from running but she still had to consider that she was a hairsbreadth of losing her composure. She hated being weak, or showing weakness in any form, and then she had to go and run her mouth off like a bumbling block head. She'd never really even mentioned her problems around Crystala before, only in passing as she hoped to find a little more then what she was getting back from the woman these past six months.

Doubts were gnawing on her nerves like a pack of kath hounds after an unarmed chew toy.

Never in her life had she lacked a structure like during these past six months. At first, it had been a jostling to see if she could protect herself and Mikka. For the most part she had, securing them pardons from their horrid situation. Then had come the trialing time where the Federation had to ensure she wasn't pre-programmed to have something set off in the future. But that wasn't even the worst of it. These past six months, she had never been able to just have someone listen. Not condone, nor try to solve her problems or pity her. But just for them to listen.

At first, she hadn't opened to anyone, and the pressure had begun to build. Ninety - Nine percent of the people on the Observer still didn't know why Mikka, and Moira were there. As far as she was concerned it was need to know. In fact the echani had made sure not to gab out her circumstances to anyone really. She had erroneously thought her problems would solve themselves. So would her emotions. But things kept building, and building, first with finding out how few of her extended family were really accounted for. Many of them dead, or missing. Especially those that had seemed to make inquiries about where she was. In truth, according to the horrible record keeping of Eshan, outside her clan . Most thought she was dead. The only thing she had ever had to fall back on now was family when before all she had for the emptiness inside for revenge.

But revenge had been taken from her too.

She hoped things would change when Crystala consented to be hers and Mikka's legal guardians. But even that seemed to be nothing more then a faint hope. Some of Crystala's aides had kept her from approaching the woman, even when she noted something to try to be useful. But her opinions were dismissed so easily on the Observer. As if they hadn't cared. That was when the first prank had started , though truth be told, ninety percent of the pranks germinated from Mikka's side of the equation. She just put her better stealth skills to seeing they pulled through.

At least they hadn't made any pranks in the last week. Hopefully that would have been noticed by Miss Endivain, right? In fact, after the doctor's had figured things out both Mikka and Moira had sworn not to pull any pranks at all. Even Ms. Raine who had took their actions in stride enough to allow them to play a game of sorts with her every fifth day on her off day to hone her counter intrusion skills. Moira's had honed hers as well, but it was Mikka who had really shown through. But one could only train so much before doubts came back to them. And not talking to anyone in six months about her situation had made the pressure inside even worse.

Though it was all compounded by having to deal with Mikka's fears and memories of when that man had used her. Slapping her cheeks to stop that thought she stared balefully at her own reflection taking a once over of her appearance. She was pale, paler then she had been, and she could almost see where her clothes were almost hanging off of her body. She had been skipping a few meals as she wasn't hungry. Every day just trying to train the thoughts out of her head.

'Damn, she was back to her own thoughts.'

Today was the first time , she had spent with Crystala in at least six weeks. She had hoped to bring things up just between them after seeing the speech. Particularly , over ice cream. But then... she always did have trouble bearing her heart to almost strangers that seemed to keep themselves at arm's length. Especially female ones, while she had been clingy to her own mother in her early years, she had to turn elsewhere during the trying times of puberty's onset. Mostly to her Uncle for any form of familial comfort , or to her cousin Chiarka for the erh- more prurient questions girls have about the way things work. It was quite odd to get the 'talk' from a girl not even a season older then herself, but it worked. But both of those people were now missing. Looking down at the basin, she turned the faucet on and took some water and splashed it on her face.

It seemed, the echani didn't really have many people to turn to now, and hope against hope, she wondered if she ever would. With Mikka, it was she that had to be strong, to put off the stresses. To ignore her own nightmares, or when she woke up from a panic covered in sweat. Moira was coping, but not real well. In fact if she didn't find some way to work off some stress soon, she'd probably start cracking.

Truth be told, she wanted to scream, and knowingly or not might probably duplicate the effects she had done to three agents that had been listening in to the conversations when Crystala had mind dived them. She didn't want to think of the permutations of that though.

The worst thing about it all, is the girl couldn't point to one thing that had gone right aside from the odd job or two. Their first handler before Crystala had told them they weren't allowed to enter the Federation's academy for awhile due to their circumstances. Nor could they really join in a conventional academy course, though getting shipboard training would be one possible option if they had someone high enough sign off on it. But that would only stop them from being in the academy proper, they'd still have to be trained wherever their legal guardian wanted them trained.

Of course, there was the option to go to the Republic. But that would only expose her to the latent dangers if she wanted to strike out on her own. She didn't have the resources yet, but that was part of why she was saving. The echani had the feeling she and Mikka were being kept around to be used by the Federation and when she was done she would be thrown in the trash like an old washcloth. But if that was the case, would Lady Crystala have ever taken them in at all? Even if it was only temporary?

The young woman didn't know, or rather she was scared of the answer.

"Come on Moira, you were trained to be better then this. Soldiers don't have doubts. You were trained to be one since you could walk. Come on: Doubt is the mind killer!" she hissed under her breath. "You shouldn't be feeling bad at all. Nor wanting a peaceful place to fit in. You need to remember: Peace is a lie, there is only passion." Feeling slightly nauseated by her thoughts, Moira shook her head and took another moment to splash her face with cold water. Just letting the cool nature of the liquid bead on her skin. Then she tried another round of deep breaths to compose herself and form a plan. She was good with plans. Even if Crystala wouldn't want to talk, she was going to demand some face time through Ms. Raine with a civilian shrink on Firro for Thells.

But she needed some other things set straight too. Where was her place in the Federation? How in hell could Moira ever repay a debt like owing her life to a few people? Without some of those questions answered she wouldn't be able to figure out where to go in a year, or the year after that.

Catching her thoughts going down another road she had avoided taken, the echani smoothed down the top of her dress and sighed again before making up her mind to keep focused on a single day at a time. That's all anyone could do right now, and she wouldn't want to make herself more of a burden on others.

That was the right way to go about things... right?

Turning towards the door, she stopped a moment longer to grab a towel to dry her face off and glance back in the mirror to double check herself again before closing her eyes to take another deep breath or two. When Moira thought she was in some semblance of control, she calmed her mind. A few opening images flashed as still as frozen waterfalls in her thoughts like when she started to meditate. When she was done, Moira opened her eyes before pulling open the door to face the big wide galaxy, and this gallant event where she felt far too small to really matter in...

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Crystala Endivain
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by Crystala Endivain » 2014-02-16 17:26

Glancing at Draaygo, Crystala offered him a fleeting smile. "Flattery will get you no where Captain though your offer is noted." Pretending to give it a moments thought, she glanced around the immense senate room briefly, making sure Moira hadn't feigned her discomfort and sadness just to go cause mischief somewhere else. "Given all the Observer has been through, I'm sure these two- short of initiating the self-destruct somehow- would have to get pretty inventive to find ways to cause any serious trouble. I imagine if they went aboard your ship, they would probably ensure it would be stuck in dry-dock for a period longer than the Intimidator has been since it's capture." She noticed Draaygo smirk a little at that one, glancing around to make sure Grand Admiral McFini wasn't within earshot of that remark, though even if he was, she'd have still said it, knowing him well enough that he'd simply take it in stride and probably make some remark like "batter the Int than any of the other ships in Third Fleet."

"But I know what you mean, about being in command and finding yourself responsible for those beneath you, taken off the wheel so to speak." She bowed her head down and let out a quick laugh. "It's a shift for sure and one that took a lot of getting used to, but you already know that. Still, if it helps to think about it in another way, you haven't removed your hands but instead you've simply changed where they are. As part of Fourth Fleet, you're not the shield of the Federation but rather the hand that wields it." She shrugged, having modified an adage she had come up with when asked about how she had viewed herself as Director-General of the ISIS. Looking back in his direction, she added softly,"Or weapon if you prefer, but either way, you've already proven your penchant for surprise and being a rather unassuming individual and trust me when I say that's not a bad thing."

There was a certain warmth in her turquoise eyes, the barest hint of a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. It was strange really, the two of them, heck probably a lot more people in the NIF than she would ever care to know, had come from such dismal circumstances and yet had managed to carve out their own niche within the vast military behemoth. Sensing Moira approaching, feeling somewhat better, at least on the surface, Crystala looked over at her and smiled a little more. "Feeling better?" she asked, breaking her glance for just a moment as a quartet of officers walked by, their eyes darting between her and Moira.

The girl nodded.

"Good, because I think we've stayed here long enough." The audience had almost completely dispersed by now and, with a quick glance past the stage where Emperor Kane had disappeared behind after his speech, she added as a poor attempt at humour, "I don't think he's going to give us an encore." Casing her gaze back on Moira, she pointed out, "Besides, I think I'm still owed that ice cream, am I not?"

Moira looked up, surprised at her sudden chance of heart. She looked over as though hoping to gain some sort of insight as to what the two of them had talked about while she was in the refresher to bring about this change. He shrugged, unsure of the answer himself and Crystala laughed upon seeing their puzzled looks. She could understand Moira's bewilderment, but Draaygo clearly wasn't giving himself enough credit for helping her see the other side of the credit, though she didn't often wear her thoughts on her sleeves either so maybe it shouldn't be so surprising.

Still, it doesn't mean I can let him get off this easily, especially if he's so interested in agency work.

Crystala raised an eyebrow. "I think you're starting to underestimate yourself," she observed, still smiling.

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DraaygoRiinuuk
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Re: The Emperor's Address

Post by DraaygoRiinuuk » 2014-02-20 01:33

Draaygo let out a soft chuckle and shrugged. He looked down, slightly embarrassed, not entirely sure how to take that. “That may be true. It wouldn't be the first time, and probably not the last. I think everyone underestimates themselves sometimes, even if it's over something little.” Then looked back up, into her magnificent turquoise eyes, he gave a smile of his own.

While Draaygo wasn't entirely sure exactly what he had done to cheer Crystala up, he was glad to hear her laugh and see her smile. It made him happy to see her this way, and he wished he could see it more. Maybe, now that he was back, he could find a way to spend more time with her. The thought did kind of scare him, though. Not because of her, but because of his terrible luck. Fate had a way of throwing ridiculous hardship his way for some reason, and he would hate if she got caught up in it and suffered. However, he also knew that she was a very capable woman, and he believed that together they could overcome any obstacle. He had to believe that, because she made him feel happy, and he would take out anything that got in the way of that. He doubted many would understand, but it didn't really bother him, you couldn't help how you felt. As long as she was in his life, there was a certain joy to living, and that's all that mattered. So, he decided to make an effort to see her more, and if it was within his power, make her happy like she made him.

Today was a good day, all things considered. He had met someone new and interesting, and he had a feeling young Moira would become one of the important people in his life. He had seen Crystala again after a long while, which was always good. Made even better by the fact he had seen her smile and laugh. Also, for once, nothing had blown up yet. There usually seemed to be some kind of threat at these kinds of things. This was apparently one of the few times there wasn't, which was good. He hoped that it would continue on this way.

“Well, I'm ha- wait... did you say ice cream?” While he didn't really want to impose, he also suddenly had a huge craving for ice cream. It's funny how that happens. You don't even think of something then Boom! Someone brings it up and it's suddenly at the the top of your mind. Now he was a little conflicted. He didn't exactly feel right trying to invite himself along, however he was also enjoying their company, and wished it to continue.

“So, any chance you might have room for one more? It's fine if it's just something between you two. I mean, I don't want to impose, or anything, but now I have a craving for ice cream, too,” he said.
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Open up your eyes and you'll see,
That I'm not perfect,
That's what I'm trying to be,
Cause I know you're worth it.
These new demons are changing me inside,
Changing me inside.
- I See Stars "New Demons"

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