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Bothawui


Tarrian Skywalker
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Zalis had timed everything down to the last second. The entry was rather awkward, but it was sufficient for what was needed. The daycare had only a few entrances and exits, and all of which were heavily guarded due to the heavy traffic of city officials that dropped their children off. It was a smart move, and by her standards, seemed rather child's play if she wanted a forced entry. But she wanted in and out quickly without being noticed, and it had to be efficient enough to have children in tow. Jumping up into a side tree, she made quick use of her acrobatic skills and swung herself into a single vent duck that held no wirings or tappings. Her slide allowed of her to fit, just barely though. She had to stop herself for a second to make sure that agents Paulsen and Greckoino knew where they needed to be and with what. They were after all on a time crunch to do this side job. Once she was sure they understood and were on the move, she wiggled herself to an opening and bust down the vent covering into a room.

 

The room, which she scanned as quickly as she could, held seven children, two staff from the looks of them, and three cameras. Quickly, she pulled out her weapons and began firing away. She quickly went with the blaster in her left hand for one of the staff working while the other in her right hand went for the prime camera which would collect her frame. Making her trigger finger happy, she shot fast to remove a clear shot of the stormtrooper being a woman. Once the sparks flew from the first camera and the muffled sound of the Bothan staff member dropping to the ground in pain, it became a free range practice for her skills. One by one, she made her shots count, bringing some mayhem and havoc to the small childcare center. After only a minute passed by, all cameras were destroyed along with the staff. Most of the children ran to the other side of the room, as she landed right in the doorway, which blocked an escape from them. Turning around to greet them, she was met by a female Bothan standing with a blaster aimed right at her. The alien's body was shaking with terror and tried to sound very intimidating.

 

"Don't move. I'm a high ranking official with the city. My death will result in your own death, and I have no fear of pulling the trigger..."

 

Zalis tilted her head just lightly to the left to show some confusion. In the Bothan's poor judgement, hesitated and lowered the blaster just slightly. It was then that Zalis used her background as an assassin to slightly lift one of her own blasters and pull the trigger as she moved towards the right. The blaster fire caught the female Bothan in the upper right arm and she fell to the ground. Zalis quickly ran up to her and pulled out a vibro dagger and held it to her neck.

 

"You're also a witness. I don't DO witness..."

 

With that, Zalis slit her throat and let her bleed out. Standing up, she made a comm to the two agents to stand by near the south window of the childcare center. After sending the text off, she leaned down again and pulled the Bothan's badge off her dead body and glared at it.

 

"Public Water Works is not a high ranking official, dumb shutta."

 

Zalis then quickly got the children on the move and threw them out a window that she opened and into the arms of the two agents waiting for her. Once she cleared the room, she set an EMP mine to go off exactly in a minute. She then jumped out the window herself and had the hoover sled rush to Delta's location, which she was now sure they were late. As the hoover sled pulled up to the shield generator, she found Delta finishing up a slaughter of his own. Jumping off the sled, she walked up to him.

 

"I see you started the party without me. It's alright though, I had some fun of my own. Here, have this," Zalis tossed Delta the ID badge of the female Bothan. "The dumb fierfek shutta claimed to a be 'high ranking official'"

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With a flicker of pseudomotion a Galactic Alliance MC90a Star Cruiser appeared over Bothawui, accompanied by a Quasar Fire-class carrier and a Nebulon-B frigate. Several squadrons of fighters were launched and drop ships laden with GA marines, many of which were veterans of the Galactic Civil War, were sent down towards Drev'starn to put an end to the ongoing terrorist attack.

 

The captain of the Star Cruiser decided to be merciful and give the aggressors a chance to live. "Corvette Star Divine, this is Commander Aegis of the Galactic Alliance Star Cruiser Paladin," the man said over comms. "You will surrender at once and your crew will face a fair trial in Galactic Alliance courts. You will likewise order your strike team to cease hostile action and surrender. If you refuse, you will be destroyed."

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There were many reasons for a woman to love a man. He could be charming, he could be witty or funny, he could be dedicated to family, he could be wealthy or excessively appealing to the eye, or he could be kind and gentle. Qaela could hardly care less that the man she loved possessed those reasons. Instead, the largest reason why she loved Ca'Aran right now was because of his extreme proficiency when it came to ending the lives of other sentient beings.

 

It wasn't long after she sent her message that she began to feel it: the souls of the recently (and violently) dead. Through her link with her man, she could feel them, and, with a bit of the darkest of Nightsister spells, she could use them. Locked in her room with Telperiën, she began to chant the words to spells she had only rarely seen performed. She had a grimoire in front of her that helped, but she didn't dare practice the silent Sith taught usage of the Force with something so tricky. The room began to grow darker as she began drawing in the many souls of those Bothans her love killed and using them to fuel the spell.

 

Her chanting grew louder and sweat began to drip off her face as the Force began to hum throughout the small room. When the time was right, she began to direct the assembled energies toward her young daughter. The new spell was drawn into her daughter's soul, but from there, was immediately sucked in by the curse the Nightsisters placed on her. When her daughter was consumed by the darkness, Qaela undid her own spells holding back the curse and allowed it to do what it was meant to do unabated. Being extremely careful to control and guide the powers at play, she fed the curse all of the energy from the innocent souls Ca'Aran had sent to her, sating it and filling it to completion. With its dark purpose complete, the curse fizzled out and disappeared leaving the girl alive.

 

As soon as the curse was lifted, Qaela drew back all of the dark energy she had used. It couldn't be just released without causing damage to this ship, so she contained it within her, intending on slowly bleeding it out over the next few days. Telperiën, though free of the curse, reacted as her mother suspected she would. Violent thrashing, confusion, and vomiting were reasonable responses to what her young body had been through. While Qaela was containing the remnant of the dark energies, her daughter managed to hurt herself, breaking her arm.

 

As soon as she was able, Qaela grabbed a small vial from her collection and rushed to hold her daughter. "Why am I alive when they are dead?" her daughter asked pitifully.

 

Qaela wiped some tears from Telperiën's cheeks and said quietly, "Because the Galaxy is cruel to the innocent and helpless. I am truly sorry they used you as a weapon, but they shall never do so again. Here," she said soothingly as she opened the vial and put it to the girl's mouth, "drink this, it will help."

 

It took some gentle persuasion, but the girl did drink the sedative and drifted off to sleep--the first natural sleep she had had in a long time. Getting up and wiping her face off with a towel, Qaela summoned the ship's doctor to tend to her daughter's broken arm and other minor injuries.

 

When he arrived, he was not alone, there was a midshipman who quickly (and with noted apprehension) told her of the Galactic Alliance fleet that had jumped into the system. Frowning at this news, Qaela rushed to the bridge to find Commander Krales getting in touch with Ca'Aran for orders. She assessed the situation and, still on quite the power buzz from the spells she had performed, had a particularly nasty idea.

 

"Stall them, however you can. Negotiate, bargain, quibble, make excuses, strip down and moon them for all I care!" she said. "I need time, but not much. If it goes as planned, you all will live to free to fight another day."

 

Grabbing her secure comm, she opened a link to Ca'Aran, "My love, our daughter is free of the curse, your effort was not in vain. I can attempt to rescue you and all of us may perish together, or I can use the Force to escape with the Marie. I will not abandon you again, so I leave the choice to you."

Qaela Sig

Send PM's to Travis.

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Delta’s commlink beeped furiously in his helmet and with a double blink it activated. “Lord Vigo, we have GA ships exiting hyperspace, orders?” It was a no brainer and since the ship was not in orbit above the planet and not in any gravity well, “Jump immediately to hyperspace, we will go to ground. Do not attempt a rescue. May the force be with you.” And with that the Marie took a few seconds to activate the hyperdrive and microjumped jumped blindly into open space. When they exited a few seconds later, they would be jumping towards the wayward planet of Korriban. As much as Delta knew that this action would piss off Qaela it was safer, and he would not risk losing his ship. Or the kid. Or even Qaela.

 

He looked towards Zalis. “Looks like we are all well and truly I am Grooted. Let get going to a highly populated area as soon as possible.” He loaded up with his remaining men into the Sled and the ship rushed towards the crowded city center. Delta looked at the Bothan children tied up in the back of the sled and had a brilliant idea. Grabbing some duct tape he strapped the squirming children in a mix on his chest and legs. A final bargaining chip. And if the GA decided to negotiate, the only thing those kids would fear is the adhesive pulling of bands of fur. Otherwise he had some good ‘body armour’ for the time being.

 

They unloaded the sled and forced their way into a crowded mall, shooting as they went. He activated his comm to the GA forces “I will negotiate. We have multiple high level hostages.” He deactivated it and sent a prerecorded message to Qaela. "I don't mean to abandon you, but your safety as well as the kids is my main priority. Don't hate me too much and dont take it out on the crew."

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Commander - Darkhand Brigade - Sith Empire

Blood Prince

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Zalis had a smile grow on her face, although hidden by the helmet of the stormtrooper she was wearing. Delta made it seem like there was about to be fireworks to the extreme, as she for one was glad that there would be. Although, it was a shame to her end that they still had the cover of the Imperial Remnant, as she would rather Black Sun take full glory for these events. But she also knew the value of framing. And with that, they had to go down swinging.

 

Jumping onto the sled with Delta, shooting as she went, she was now prepared for the stand that they would make. Delta had strapped the children to him as a cover shield, which was smart for a bargaining chip. It was also smart as it would cause the GA to think twice before shooting at him, as killing him condemned the children to die. Liking the idea, but not having anymore kids to spare, she quickly stopped shooting so that she could grab a city official on their way towards a highly populated area. She leaned off the sled and found her target and yanked on the shirt of a Bothan as hard as she could so that he would be brought on the sled with her. As she got it on the sled, she used one of her E11's to slam something hard into he side of the creatures head. Once she knocked it out, she looked at the ID badge and saw that it was another female Bothan who worked for Parks and Recreation. Feeling slightly upset at the low level, she still tied her up and planned to use her as cover as she grumbled.

 

"Why do I always get the low level idiots..."

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"Sir, shall we attempt to track the corvette?" the sensor officer asked.

 

"Let them go," Commander Aegis said. "It wasn't an active combatant. Do try to get a better ID on it, though. The real situation is on the ground."

 

"Comm from the surface, sir. It appears the terrorists are attempting to negotiate."

 

Aegis nodded and listened to the comm. "Let's keep this by-the-book," he told his crew. "Disperse several squads into the city to secure affected locations, but converge several -- as well as a sniper team -- on the source of the transmission. Open a channel in response."

 

He drew himself fully upright. "We are open to negotiation, and there's no need for anyone else to get hurt," he said. "Might I inquire who it is I'm speaking with, and what your demands are?"

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Delta kicked in the changing room door within the large shopping complex and dispatched its lone occupant with a quick plunge of a vibro-dagger. It was unnecessary to kill him of course, but it still felt good. He plucked the knife out of the bothans skull and held his hand up to his helmet as a comm transmission came flying in. "We are open to negotiation, and there's no need for anyone else to get hurt, Might I inquire who it is I'm speaking with, and what your demands are?" Delta wiped off the flat of the blade on the fur of the bothan toddler strapped to his chest causing a squeal of disgust and fear. He held his other hand over the bothans snout and replied. “Hello yes? This is Mango Fett of the cult of Morthos. I am happy to negotiate-” A howl of fear came screeching over the comm from the bothan kid strapped to Delta’s back. Delta rolled his eye and leaned his back against the wall, cutting off any further protest from the child before continuing “-For free exit from this planet and free transport to the royal palace of Naboo.”

 

His men fanned out at the entrance to the mall and liberally used explosives to rig the building for the eventual firefight. They of course killed anyone that tried to protest. Leaving a thick trail of blood and fur in their wake.

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Commander - Darkhand Brigade - Sith Empire

Blood Prince

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--- Comm for Delta under the guise of Darkknell Shipyard Industries ---

 

 

Ca’Aran,

 

I am looking to hire a Bounty Hunter to help search for Emily Zsahra-Skywalker. She has been abducted from Coruscant and her ship was destroyed. Her escape pod was picked up by an unmarked freighter with a stolen transponder ID which vanished into hyperspace. Moments after that, three Black Sun fighters emerged from hyperspace, destroyed the Shadow’s Shine and disappeared again.

 

I know we’ve not started on the right footings, but I need to find Emily. I would like to hire you to find her and bring her safely back to us.

 

Alora

 

---- end comm. ----

 

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Darth Alraune

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Zalis kept her eyes looking over the may ways in and out of the spot Delta had picked for their stance. Most of the men were working to protect and lay the ground work for what would be needed in the event of a large scale entrance. She took a moment to observe the many different Bothan's running and fleeing from the danger, except those who were grabbed for extra cover and support by Black Sun. She just happened to overhear Delta's response to the Galactic Alliance and she almost immediately blurted out upon him finishing.

 

"Delta! Naboo? Really-that swamp hole that creates Gungans? Are you taking Death Sticks?"

 

Out of nothing more then pure frustration, she took her E-11 and shot a random Bothan trying to get out of the mall area that they had now taken over. As he rolled and died near a store, it so happened to be a store that she had some interest in, an alcohol store. She walked in, dragging her hostage with her, and began to raid the expensive stuff, which to her own surprise, they had a single bottle of Whyren's Reserve. She opened it up and walked back out. She quickly re-hit the hostage to make sure they were out, then took her helmet off and took a giant swig of it.

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GA aircraft swarmed over the mall where the terrorists were holed up with hostages and could see that there was still shooting going on inside. Troops approached on foot and through the air, surrounding the building. Snipers located their targets, finding shots through windows and skylights when possible while others trained their weapons on every possible exit.

 

"Terms accepted, Mr. Fett," the Commander said over comms. "On the condition that you do not kill another individual. You'll come out and board the transport outside, which will convey you directly to Naboo."

 

He cut the comm and opened another one. "The only way they're leaving that structure is in body bags, am I clear?" he said to his forces. "Terrorism doesn't pay in the Galactic Alliance. If they agree, take them down when they leave. If they refuse, take them down quickly and minimize civilian casualties."

 

"Sir, our eyes down there report that they may be planting explosives around the structure."

 

Aegis frowned. Perhaps the terrorists had resigned themselves and everyone in the building to death. Swarming the building with troops just became a risky proposition. "Train turbolasers on the structure," he ordered.

 

"Sir?" the weapons officer asked.

 

"Do it. One way or another, that scum is dead."

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Delta looked over at Zalis a sad smile on his face. “There is no frucking way they let us out of here darlin. We died the moment we stepped foot on this furry world. Now we choose how we go out.” He slapped one of the bawling children strapped to his thigh to shut up the furry whining, and listed to his comm. One of the ARCs at the edge of the system had made a report. He looked back to Zalis and activated his comm back to Aegis, “You know we have nearly a thousand civilians trapped in here with us Commander, I would deactivate your turbolasers and come and kill me face to face instead unless of course-” He activated the holo part of his comm and shjowed the seven children of high level bothan senators that he had strapped to himself, and with a flourish he showed the huddled masses of civilians that were under riflepoint in the center of the sprawling mall complex. He noticed that Zalis had run away like the little bitch she was and he sighed. “So what are you gunna do commander? You going to let us all live or kill us all? Either way your career is probably trashed. Sorry about that.”

 

He cut the holo part of the transmission and He ducked back down out of the way of snipers, and his men barricaded themselves for a siege. He noticed Zalis had reappeared and was drinking heavily. Nice. Maybe hot? He chalked it up to crazy.

 

He palmed the detonator and glumly sent a text message to a few contacts. Somewhere off in space Qaeal would be getting a whole lot of death to save that little girl. He grinned and looked up to the ceiling.

"Glad to be of service."

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Commander - Darkhand Brigade - Sith Empire

Blood Prince

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Ultimately, Commander Aegis knew he and his troops needed to do their best to minimize civilian casualties, and the men on the ground would be willing to put their lives on the line for that shot.

 

"Ground teams go," he ordered.

 

Snipers opened fire. Marines burst through doorways and rappelled down through skylights, opening fire on any active combatant they could find. Gunfire was exchanged. They couldn't save all the hostages, so they did the best they could. From where Aegis was standing, all he could do was wait and listen while the troop commanders on the ground oversaw the operation and be ready to act if things got out of control.

 

Several minutes later, it was over. The Commander looked down at the scene and the bridge crew was silent. Casualty reports were coming up from the surface. The threat, including the ringleaders, were reported neutralized at the cost of good soldiers. "What a mess," he said. "Report back to command. Begin cleanup. We might be here a while."

 

He started to walk back to his ready room. "Oh, and look into this Cult of Morthos thing."

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  • 3 years later...

“What you speak of will put the Bothan people into the sights of the Sith War Machine.” The representative from the Combined Bothan Clans shadow government ruffled his fur in protest. The grey patterns showing brightly against the dark of the rest of his fur. The Imperial Exorcist raised a hand to speak but was once again cut off by the old clan chief. “We cannot afford a war, even if you did defeat the Sith Fleet at Corellia and ‘put the Sith on the back foot’ we will not advocate the Bothan people join you in this ritualistic suicide.” The fur ruffled again. ”And you do not fool us, we will not trade our independence for another Empress of a different force tradition. We are an independent people. We will not bow before your ‘good empress.’” 

 

The Imperial Exorcist lowered her head in acknowledgment as a red furred bothan took her turn at the lectern. 

 

“I do see the plight of the Rebel Alliance, and Clan Kir’jess, has long assisted the Galactic Alliance. Even in the darkest hours of the old rebellion the bothans were there to help against the Sith.” The Bothan turned to the rest of the council raising her hands. “Did not the Sith Empire send their soldiers to attack us not so many years ago? Do we not remember the bloodshed and violence? Do not the deaths of trillions on coruscant raise your fur in a lust for vengeance? The Sith Lords have to be stopped. They must be stopped.” She held out a paw to forestall the inevitable cry of contrition from the shadow government who were crouched at the edges of their bench. “I am not calling for an Ar’Kai. But we must see that if this Rebel Alliance falls there will be no one left? Should we not throw our weight against the last scraps of freedom that this galaxy holds?” She shook her mane and looked to the majority members of the government who nodded. 

 

“As such, the government would like to offer Bothawui’s cooperation with the Rebel Alliance. In exchange for membership and a position in the Galactic Command Structure.”

 

The Imperial Exorcist nodded. And a mixture of boos and applause met her ears. 

 

The Rebel Alliance would grow, slowly at first, but what began at the fall of Kuat and Onderon was now beginning to take its first steps. 

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Cassandra Vinalian - Exorcist -  Champion for Empress Raven Nasra

 

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  • 3 months later...

It took all of thirty minutes for it to become clear why Captain Bryce and her Talons had been dispatched to the Outer Rim.

 

Upon setting foot on Bothawui and being shepherded to a fortified room about ten meters below the surface of Drev’starn, it took all of thirty minutes for it to become clear why Captain Bryce and her Talons had been dispatched to the Mid Rim. It was an enclosed, hermetically sealed chamber in which she received her briefing from a Colonel Dun’nosu. But it was more than the sound-proofing and hermetic seals that secured the chamber. The shock trooper felt strangely… buoyant on her feet, and every step seemed to require a moment of calculation. She allowed herself to wonder how else this briefing room might be secured--perhaps suspension in a vacuum by miniaturized tractor beams?

 

But that was speculation regarding the stereotypical paranoia of the Bothans, and the fact that the cream-colored hackles of the Bothan Colonel were raised suggested that her liaison was almost terrified at the prospect of imminent invasion.

 

“You see, Captain, there has been a significant build-up of Sith fleet elements in the Arkanis sector for some time. Personnel transports and escorts have recently gone missing from this staging, leading us to believe that an invasion of the sector has begun.”

 

“If I remember correctly, Geonosis and Tatooine sit on the intersection of the Corellian Run and Triellus Trade Route.”

 

“Accurate. Despite the poor development of those two systems, they command a dominant position over that sector’s trade. And from there, the Sith have easy access to Ryloth. Or Naboo. Rodia. Bothawui. And even Nar Shaddaa,” Dun’nosu stated with a knowing look on his long face. At least, that was the approximation that the human imagined.

 

“Well, last on my update, the Galact--the Rebel Alliance had made significant strides in blunting the Sith advance through the Core Worlds. They’ll need to divert resources least they risk losing control there. We may have time. Before our situation becomes untenable. My lads have some unusual specializations that may help break up the Sith advance here--zero-gravity maneuvers, capital ship sapping.”

 

“Our own developments have advanced along these lines. Once your Galactic Alliance fell apart, we were left to defend our territories without heavy capital ships--your MC90s and Star Destroyers, for instance. We have had to become somewhat adaptive in our own fleet elements. For instance… our Koth Melan-class Stealth Cruiser.”

 

The holoprojection between the two officers disintegrated and bloomed again into a hazy image of the bulky, blocky Bothan Assault Cruiser. However, this particular vessel had been stripped of most of its armaments--most notably the array of proton torpedo tubes that made the ships so dangerous in a close-quarters brawl--and had been festooned with a forest-like array of comms antennae. Johanna squinted at the ship. To her untrained eye, those rails and towers had almost no value at signal reception--they were almost entirely transmit-only. The jutting bridge superstructure of the Bothan Assault Cruiser was also shortened and the armor plates on its flanks were replaced by thin skirts of an unfamiliar design. She leaned forward and examined the side skirts.

 

They were composed of thousands of linked holoprojector cells.


“You… you made a stealth hacking cruiser?”

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  • 2 weeks later...

For the next few hours, Koth Melan and a host of escort spacecraft were descending into the upper reaches of Bothawui’s atmosphere. Not that Captain Bryce could see the fourteen vessels that were preparing to receive their transports, as the ships were hundreds of kilometers above them. She and Colonel Dun’nosu stood over the bleached walls of the military base, looking over the roofs and towards the snowcapped peaks of the Kurual'grast Mountains to the east.

 

“For our own part, we’ve made substantial progress in our lighter units--especially coordination between our corvettes and fighter-bombers. The new Senth-class corvette from Naboo is death on interceptors--excellent firing angles over a very broad flying wing. Unfortunately, the Sith have made their own advances. In particular, there’s a new class of Star Destroyer with upgraded turbolasers that our fleet has had quite a bit of difficulty with. We’ll be sending you its specs… for mypart…”

 

Bryce turned a half-circle, displaying the mass of a light jetpack module that was attached to her armor. “We realized after our raid on Kuat that our capabilities in zero-gravity operations were significantly lacking. My Talons were tasked with disabling a Golan platform… we took higher casualties than necessary because the hangar was seriously damaged on our approach. Solution: develop zero-gravity sapping and assault maneuvering units, as you see here. We found the heavier jetpacks favored by other units unnecessary and excessively heavy--and maneuvering in zero-gravity is a matter of planning your moves, and firing in short, disciplined bursts.”

 

The Talon Captain turned and focused on a distant rooftop at the periphery of the base. “Standard fuel mix for the primary engine--but we’ve added a microrepulsor array for making fine adjustments in flight. We equip soldiers with heavy weapons and demolitions with more powerful units, obviously, but the controls are otherwise identical.”

 

The Bothan Colonel stroked his cream-colored beard. Or whatever the Bothan equivalent of a beard was, considering that the species was covered from head to toe with short fur. “These new capabilities in extravehicular sapping would obviously synergize with our new stealth technologies.”

 

“My thoughts exactly. If you’d like a demonstration…”

 

“By all means.”

 

Bryce took a deep breath and donned her helmet. As the atmospheric locks engaged and she began to breathe recycled air, a head-up display appeared with pertinent information for flight: fuel and atmosphere supplies, atmospheric temperature, pressure, wind speed; distance markers to vantage points and watchtowers surrounding the base; ammunition reserves and a miniature map which would normally display the locations of her squad. It was a lot of information for a green soldier to manage, but zero-gravity was not a notoriously treacherous environment to fight in. That data would keep her alive during maneuvers.

 

The tall Bespinian set off across the bleach-white roof at an easy trot. As she neared the edge of the room and nearly fell into the street traffic of the base, Captain Bryce triggered her thruster unit with a sharp burst, propelling her nearly fifty meters into the air. After she reached the apex of her thruster-assisted leap, she was essentially guiding, drifting towards a vehicle depot on the gentle propulsion of the unit’s repulsorlifts. But merely making a leap of a hundred meters and returning would be a mediocre demonstration of her unit’s capabilities, she decided. Halfway through the jump, she altered course in a sharp ninety-degree turn, instead making for a slender communications tower at the center of the base. Her boots instantly magnetized upon contact with the slender steel-and-fiber tower, and although the entire structure swayed a few centimeters upon landing, the shock trooper remained fixed to its side as though she were welded to it. Her push-off sent her gliding over the base and towards a collection of parked cargo speeders--several of the Bothan mechanics were glancing up from her work and pointing curiously at the armored figure drifting in their direction.

 

A second micro-burst gained another ten meters of altitude, and the Bespinian used the extra space to return to Colonel Dun’nosu, drifting from side to side over the rooftop until she finally touched down.

 

She removed her helmet and realized that had been grinning throughout the entire demonstration flight. “As you can see, our lighter design lacks the speed and endurance of the heavier units you might be familiar with, those favored by the Mandalorians, for example. But our goal wasn’t long-distance flight; it was short bursts for rapid redeployment--or maneuvering in null-gravity.”

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  • 4 weeks later...

The next several days were spent surveying the highlands surrounding Drev’starn. Under normal circumstances, Captain Bryce would have found the thin air and fierce winds of the mountains refreshing--almost like the platforms that were suspended in the upper atmosphere of her homeworld, Bespin. However, these circumstances were while carrying a heavy load of communication gear--even heavier than her typical combat load of twenty kilograms of armor and weapons--and surveying positions to protect Bothawui’s anti-orbital emplacements.

 

In no less than eight crags of the Kurual’grast Mountains, the Bothans had already fortified their capital city with planetary turbolasers. Bryce shouted orders to four of her Talons to deploy their MANPADs not at the peak of the nearest hill, where there was a risk that their position could be silhouetted against the horizon even in spite of the tree line, but just slightly under it. The Bothans’ sensor arrays in these mountains would provide valuable targeting data even in absence of line-of-sight.

 

Sweating under a load of communications gear, Johanna took a moment to breathe and studied the turbolaser emplacement behind and about fifty meters below her on the rocky trail. The massive, cylindrical cannon resembled the W-165 cannon developed by Kuat Drive Yards--perhaps too closely to have been obtained through legal means. It was likely a stolen design, she reflected. At two more locations closer to the enormous cannon, the fleet’s engineers were building small bunkers of durasteel-reinforced plastoid for repeater emplacements--as were the Talons and Bothan marines at the other seven turbolaser cannons.

 

Captain Bryce sighed and returned to a jogging place up the side of this particular mountain, scattering gravel and dust down the trail below her. This communications gear was intended to synchronize the entire defensive operation, to share tactical data between Bothawui’s orbital platforms, the local sensor arrays, and the multitude of portable missile batteries that were being emplaced all over the mountains. Their position would not be unassailable--this terrain was treacherous and the mountains were riddled with hundreds of goat paths so narrow that only a single person could walk through at a time, as Bryce was discovering as she trudged up this mountain. No position was unassailable--and she and her Talons only had a few weeks, or even a few days before the notice finally arrived that contact had been made with the Sith.

 

But it would be costly to attack these batteries, and would force the Sith into directly assaulting Drev’starn.

 

____

 

The notice came at midnight that day and took the form of an urgent pound on her cabin door. Groaning at being awoken from recovering from several days of nonstop activity

 

The notice came at midnight and took the form of an urgent pound on her cabin door. Groaning at being awoken from recovering from several days of sleepless activity, Johanna rolled over with all the grace of a sleep-deprived bird of prey and stumbled towards her door, blindly donning a shirt. She attempted to growl a pithy complaint at her rouser, but it merely came out incoherent and mildly obscene.

 

“Talons are diurnal animals,” was what she thought she said as the door to her cabin opened. “Sir!” The Talon followed with a crisp salute, upon realizing that her visitor was the cream-furred Bothan colonel.

 

“Get your gear, Bryce. We know where the Sith are going. Koth Melan will leave the moment that we are on board.”

 

Ten minutes later, Bryce’s squadron had fled into hyperspace.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As Brith exited hyperspace, Genesis was knelt amidst the meditation chamber, the Force flowing through the sensitive crystals attuned to the Force. His eyes opened and with a flick of the wrist, he opened up a comm to the planet of Bothawui below while transmitting his Rebellion Clearance Code.

 

"This is Jedi Pada...." He briefly pauses at the realization that he was about to demote himself and had never truly called himself by his new rank yet. "Jedi Knight Genesis Stormhelm. I've been sent by Grandmaster Armiena Draygo."

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  • 2 weeks later...

“Get away kid. I got nothing to say to you.” The elderly bothan tried to shoo away the youngling while carrying a large bag of produce. 


Noto unfortunately didn’t seem to know better then to listen, but instead continued to follow. 

 

“Come on, you’re the great Hiera! I know you are!” Noto said, struggling to keep up with the elderly male.


The bothan shook his head. “No idea what you're talking about kid. Get away.”

 

The elderly bothan, grey hair flowing in annoyance, dropped a couple of fruits. A curse in Bothese came from his lips, and then was  quickly cut off for swearing in front of a child. Noto didn’t seem to notice though, as two ‘hand’ appendages reached out and grabbed some of the wayward fruit. 

 

“No I know it! I got a memory like a...um...like a Bothan! You are the one who brought the great Sun Reveal to the Republic!”

 

Noto looked at the Bothan as he held out the fruit. Despite his face plates showing no emotion, his eyes showed desperation. Not to mention, alonside the growling stomach, hunger. The kid obviously hadn’t eaten for a while.

 

 Hiera sighed as he denied the fruit, unable to see a kid starving. 

 

Noto saw his opportunity. 

 

"Hiera, please! You're...You’re the only person who can help me!”    

 

Hiera turned and tried to walk away. “With what kid? You want to know where the Jedi are? Last time I heard, that was Coruscant.”

 

Noto fumed a bit as once again he tried to chase after the elderly being.

 

 “Ya...until Hesperium crashed and war broke out. Now no one seems to know where the Jedi are, and I need to find them!” 

 

“Listen squid head....” The bothan started again, but was cut off as the child rushed in front of him and stood his ground. 

 

“Please...I know I’m supposed to respect my elders, and my parents would kill me for being so far away from home."  Noto began, wrapping four tentacles in front of him like the humans used their hands when begging. "But I must find the Jedi. I...I just must! And I have no idea where else to go...” The emotion in his voice was almost heartbreaking. 


“Crab! Listen…” Hiera sternly stated, trying not to get sucked into the kid's emotional pleas. “Look, even if I was who you think I was, which I am not, I’d be retired. For at least ten years. There would be no way I’d still have all that information you think I’d have.”


“But I thought a spy never truly gives up his work. Even after death. ” Noto stated in response, earning a silent moment of shock from the elder.

 

Hiera looked the kid over.  It was obvious this kid had done his research and then some. While the current spymasters of the Bothan Spynet were secret, Hiera was famous for coming out with all the information he had on Black Sun.  That exact quote was something he had stated to several judges concerning those who died on the front lines of the network.


The bothan sighed again. Despite how he could just walk into his lonely home and lock the child out, he couldn’t fight his own words. 


“Alright, kid, alright. Last I heard, their actual base of operations wasn’t on Coruscant when Hesperium fell. But there’s no way I’m telling you where that is now…”


Noto started to speak, but stopped at the raised hand. 


“However, I have it on good authority that a Jedi Knight is arriving here today If you head over to the spaceport, you might find them. But you have to promise me one thing… if you can’t find him by the end of the day, you are leaving the planet. First flight to anywhere. Here take some credits, that’ll get you somewhere.”


Noto didn’t smile but he did smell. A whiff of a foul stench left his chitinous plates and tentacles. True, it smelled like dead fish left out in the baking sun for three days, but he didn’t seem to mind. 


“Oh thank you! Thank you so much!” 


And with that, Noto was off. Hiera shook his head

 

“Just remember what I said about leaving if you can’t find him!”

 

_______________

 

Through the bustling streets, past market vendors, factory workers getting off work, and  families enjoying their days off, Noto raced. Sights of people being busy with their every day life became a blur as the youngling made his way towards the Spaceport. He knew where it was since he had arrived there only a day ago. It was there where the Jedi was suppose to be.

 

People waved their hands as Noto passed by, his strong smell of excitement following him with each step. While it wasn’t making him popular, it was giving the Krevaaki space to run forward. Probably even better since Noto had the tendency to run into objects when he was excited.

 

Finally, Noto came to the spaceport, where officials were overlooking ship cargos, identifying passengers and conducting other official business actions. Noto looked around, hopeful to catch a sight of the Jedi. He didn’t know exactly what to look for. Brown robes? Lightsabers? A squad of rebel soldiers? 

 

Still, he had a chance to find a Jedi. He had a chance to grow as he believed he needed to. Wasn’t that what he needed to do? He had the force flowing through him, so shouldn't he find the Jedi? 

 

Noto found a place by a wall and sat down. His simple robes, loose fitting to hide all of his tentacles, draped about his red chiton. He leaned forward, pulling out one of the fruits Hiera gave him to eat, and watched every single person eagerly. Was that a Jedi? No, he was carrying a blastor. Ooh, how about her? No, look at all that gear. Maybe….no, no…

 

Noto’s excitement didn’t die out however. With each bite of the juicy fruit, Noto continued to stink up the area around him as he studied each individual, hoping beyond hope for a clue of who the Jedi knight would be. 

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"Hangar 10-22-73, Bay 12" Blurted out a feminine voice across the air ways, silence lingering before and after. Air traffic seemed a bit slow, but it was likely due to an overworked Spaceport. Either way, Genesis reached out in the Force and as the Force flowed through his ship, he angled it for atmospheric entry. Within moments, he had arrived at Drev'starn.

 

At first glance, Bothawui smelled and felt much like Dantooine, albiet with more sophistication. But for Genesis', whom had never been here, the smells and the echo of the Force upon this planet were beyond any he had yet to encounter. It was a wellspring of life, both light and dark, and the balance of it swung in tandem with it's opposition. Exiting the bay, he walked up to the small information desk when he noticed a young child excluded on the side.

 

The child, draped in simple robes, huddled against the wall eating fruit. At first, Genesis' disregarded him as a fellow traveler likely in the company of it's parents. But the Force flowed eagerly from him and peaked his curiosity. He watched for a moment, and noticing that most disregarded the child and attempted to stay away, Genesis began to wonder if perhaps he was lost, or even like himself, orphaned. So he made his approach.

 

"Are you lost child?" He questioned as he knelt down, offering a sweet dew melon from his own satchel with a peaceful smile. "Perhaps I can help you find what you're looking for?"

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“There is a Jedi Knight here and no one kriffing told me?”

 

Godfrey shook his head, absentmindedly scratching at his greying beard as he walked beside the representative from clan Blackmorne. A sickly looking female bothan, whose black fur was criss crossed by shaven patterns of the high forest clan. Perhaps it was malnutrition, or just poor breeding that made her fur look so lank and lifeless, but Godfrey dismissed the thought. The Blackmornes were an important radical faction on Bothawui, so the Rebel Alliance would court them, no matter how ugly their diplomat was. 

 

Godfrey shouldered his way through the spaceport until he saw the young edi talking to a younger child and stopped. He adjusted his suit and then strode forward a few steps to give the Jedi knight a bow of respect. 

 

“I am glad you could make it to Bothawui Master Jedi.” He gave an equal bow to the young child. “And a young apprentice! We at the Republic Military will watch your career with great interest!”

 

Godfrey was a semi famous face in the leadership of the ex-Galactic Alliance factions within the Rebel Alliance. Once a firebrand senator, and outspoken critic of the Jedi Order, he was now just happy to see one of the powerful force users on this strategic world.

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Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Godfrey d'Outremer

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"Are you lost child? Perhaps I can help you find what you're looking for?"

 

Noto looked up and was startled a bit. He exactly wasn’t used to seeing other species that often. However his shock quickly disappeared. He attempted the equivalent of a human smile, but for a Kravaaki, that was simply a shifting of a few faceplates, and only one of them near where his actual mouth was. 

 

Still, Noto accepted the fruit and tried to explain.

 

“Oh! Um, no sir, I’m not lost. Heh, well I don’t think I am. I’m just looking for someone. I’m told they were arriving today by...um, well I can’t tell you who... But I’m looking for someone! Though I don’t know what they look like. I..uh…um...”

 

It was at this moment that Noto realized how silly and stupid this sounded. A child, looking for a person who he didn’t even know what he looked like? How much more stupid could he have sounded?

 

However, something about the person struck Noto as familiar. Noto had met a few humans before, but they were so few and far between on Krevas. Surely Noto would have recalled a one-eyed human. And yet...

 

Suddenly another human approached. A man in uniform. Noto recognized the symbol of the Military. 

 

 “I am glad you could make it to Bothawui Master Jedi. And a young apprentice! We at the Republic Military will watch your career with great interest!”

 

Noto’s eyes widened 

 

“Oh no, I’m not his appren…”

 

Jedi!?!

 

Noto looked again at the one-eyed human, bewildered, now realizing what the other had said.  

 

“Oh! Um, you...a Jedi! Oh god, I...uh…sorry, sorry, I... um...Modo hodo kollstk...”

 

Words completely abandoned the youngling as he reverted to his native tongue. Noto dropped all the fruit he had so far and raised two tentacles and hid his faceplates and another two to cover his eyes, unable to look at the two humans out of embarrassment.

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Genesis chuckled softly and sincerely as the youngling attempted to explain himself, but the Force that flowed in waves of excitement from him was even more intriguing. His hand reached up to brace it's self resting upon the top of it's head as the Officer adjusted his uniform and made is approach. "I see." He murmured with a smile as he stood up to greet the Commander.

 

"Please. It's simply Genesis, or Stormhelm if you prefer Formalities." Genesis spoke, offering his hand in friendship. "And no, he isn't my Padawan..."

 

Suddenly the excitement pent up in the young child burst through it's exterior shell, Genesis smiling in confirmation as he spoke autonomously in his interruption, his emotions unintelligible through physical means, yet read perfectly across the flow of the Force. This child sought the Jedi, there was no doubt about it.

 

"Unless I'm the one he has been here waiting to arrive?" Genesis poised in his conclusion of his previous statement, hoping the embarrassed child would hear him properly. Turning back to the Commander, his tone turned serious. "Master Draygo-Darkfire sent me to meet with an asset. Do you have somewhere secure that we can chat?"

 

After all, Bothawui was known for its spy network, and this was something that Genesis felt uncomfortable with. 

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"Unless I'm the one he has been here waiting to arrive?"

 

Noto lowered his appendages, looked up at these words and knew that the Jedi understood what Noto was trying to do. Still, he was very embarrassed, realizing he had just been acting very immature. 

 

Noto wiped his deep red faceplates and his neck with one of his 'hands', a gesture of an apology on his homeworld, and stood up, a very swift and smooth motion since leg tentacles could bend in many directions. 

 

“Um, Jedi, sir, may I come with? I know I’m not an asset or anything, but I do need to talk to you. But it can wait of course! Um, I just don’t want to lose track of you and have no where else to go, so um, may I come along? Sorry, I don’t mean to, what you say in basic, be a bother, I just...um…

 

Noto placed another tentacle over his faceplate momentarily in embarrassment. Why was he so nervous!?! He had thought about this encounter over and over back home and now he was making a fool of himself!
 

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"Oh well if the Grandmaster sent you, you are most welcome.” He paused for a moment then gestured them both to follow him. “You say Draygo is grandmaster now? Do you rotate them out? I could have sworn last year it was someone else, but I have a lot on my mind. Bring the kiddo if you need to. I am sure the force will have willed it.” 

 

He ignored the child best he could, being that he never really liked the sniveling brats, but he was polite to him. But they sure got in the way of state business. How many meetings as a senator had he been cancelled on by representatives because of some problem with children…

 

But that did not matter. Blackmorne opened a durasteel door and they entered a plain room. The Bothan slipped in a earbud of some kind and began to scan the room with her datapad. Likely looking for listening devices so he ignored her. 

 

“Go ahead master Jedi.” 

 

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Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Godfrey d'Outremer

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"Of course child." Genesis spoke, the gentle smile returning to his face while he awaited the Man's response. "And it's no bother. I'm sure that our conversation will answer many questions that we both have."

 

"Thank you Commander. I'm sure of it as well." Genesis replied as his gaze turned back to the soldier before him in conversation, the hybrid motioning for the child to follow as well. "It's been three years. Feels like forever since Coruscant.... It was after Hesperidium when Master Trevellian left the Order and my Master was raised to Grandmaster. I was but a Padawan then, barely beginning my own journey."

 

His gaze and smile shifted back to Noto after voicing his own beginnings, hoping to settle the nervousness and embarrassment the child was emiting in waves. After all, everyone felt the same pit in their stomach during their first encounters. It was a natural reaction, and one that no one should ever feel shame over. As the Bothian opened the door, Genesis allowed Noto to proceed before him and when the Officer gave the go ahead, Genesis cleared his throat.

 

Spoiler

"The Sith Fleet has been active in the Arkanis and Sullust sectors according to the Grandmaster's Intel, and she fears for Sullust and Naboo and the colonies beyond if we're unable to stop their advance."

Genesis spoke, the horrors of Coruscant, Chandrila, and Corellia flashing across his mind. What he saw there were merely foreboding events for what potential this threat had.

Spoiler

"Problem is, is that we don't know where they are at nor where they are heading. I was sent here to make contact with an Operative named Klatchka, but no details of this person exists outside the name."

 

Edited by Stormhelm
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As the adults talked, Noto found himself sitting near Genesis, studying carefully. At the words of Coruscant, Noto couldn’t help but speak up, albeit softly. 

 

“Is that where you lost your eye...erm, sorry, I mean, uh, sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt”

 

Noto then became quiet again and studied the other adult as the two continued. He had to think for a while. The face and voice was familiar, but he couldn’t place it. Perhaps he was a famous soldier? No, that didn’t seem right. Noto remembered how the Krevaaki species pointed out that you knew a soldier by sight by looking at their side or their clothes on their back. Noto noted the pistol, but he had seen so many pistols on passing travelers that he figured everyone carried one. 
But the clothes were decent. Not too fancy, but still nicely dressed. Noto rubbed his free tentacles together, thinking. 

 

“Ah! You’re Senetor Godfrey! Hero of the battle of Death Star III!” Noto placed a tentacle over where his mouth was hidden after his outburst. “Sorry again, I just couldn’t place your voice, until I remembered your talk about the Jedi actions on Carida. You were in a couple of my datapad readings about the state of the Jedi back home and... and um...sorry again, I’ll shut up now.” 

 

With that Noto backed up and tried again to remain quiet as the adults talked. He had no idea about wars or battles, except what he had read. Truth be told, those were his favorite parts, but only for the heroics that occurred. Still, the stuff about Godfrey were a thrilling good read. 
 

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Godfrey grimaced noticeably, his beaded face cringing at the harsh tones the child was pumping out into the room. He looked back to the Jedi knight and then pointed to an overhead screen which was showing the scenes of horror of a full scale invasion of the resort world of Naboo. 

 

“It looks like your Grandmaster was right on the objectives, but wrong on the timing. As for your operative, I have no clue of anyone named that. Though the Spynet will likely answer for this task. Blackmorne bring your datapad over here. As for you young one.”

 

He looked immensely sad for a moment. Then looked at the young apprentice.

 

“I was indeed at the Death Star, lost many friends, and as for Carida, that was a separate organization known as the Imperial Knights. They are the jedi under direct control of the Rebel Alliance Leader. Empress Raven Nasra, of whom I fought at the Death Star. Alliances are like that, one day you want to kill someone, the next you want to hug them. And may your generation of Jedi Knights be stronger and more moral than the last one. Present company excluded of course.” 

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Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Godfrey d'Outremer

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Genesis smiled with a subtle chuckle as he looked down toward the child, an inquisitive nature in this one. A good sign for someone so young. Observant. That would always be a great strength to have. And knowledgeable. It would aid him in his path to wisdom. He lifted his eye patch, revealing the eyeless socket beneath before placing it back into place and stroked the child's head with an empathetic hand. "I am half Miralukian, like my former Master. My mother was Miralukian, and my father... Well, he was Mandalorian."

 

Turning his attention back to Godfrey, Genesis looked at the view screen in appalled horror. Naboo had held it's shares of trouble in the past, but never on such a scale. This resurrection of the Sith were bold and we'll groomed in the ways of war, much like the Sith of old such as Nihilus and Revan. This must of been why the Luka Sene and Scorpio sought him out and directed him back to the Order, the will of the Force ever present in its knowing sight.

 

However, Godfrey's words offered little comfort in the knowledge he was sent to seek out. With Naboo having been attacked, these Sith's conquest of the Core was all but sealed. Now the Rebellion Worlds were in immediate danger, including Bothawui. Genesis' brows furred with concern. If Naboo falls, it was only a matter of time before the Sith would arrive here. Perhaps this is why the Grandmaster had sent him here.

 

His gaze shifted toward Godfrey and Noto as they conversed, a brief reprisal from his grim train of thought. Godfrey had obviously seen his fair share of battle, and not only his scars spoke of this. His actions, his movements, his eyes, they spoke in volumes what words couldn't. Genesis' sighed. "We are all sentients attempting to Master ourselves, and the skills we are granted at birth or thrusted upon us in life. Sadly, we fail more times than we succeed."

 

His own mind drifted back to his own inner darkness and what led him to originally leave the Order, but he shrugged it off and returned to the moment at hand and his thoughts. After a brief silence, his gaze met Godfrey's. "Commander. If Naboo falls to the Sith, what's the likelyhood of them marching on Bothawui?"

 

After all, a man like Godfrey was well experienced in the enemy, and Genesis' was new to war. It was better to seek such council.

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When Genesis spoke and showed her eye, Noto cringed and shuddered a bit. Truly an aberration if he ever saw one. He remembered the word “Miralukian” but not much beyond that it was an alien species registered in some galactic data log. 


Still, a Mandalorian and a Jedi? Noto couldn’t help but scratch his head at that one. History was well documented on that relationship. 


“I was indeed at the Death Star, lost many friends, and as for Carida, that was a separate organization known as the Imperial Knights. They are the jedi under direct control of the Rebel Alliance Leader. Empress Raven Nasra, of whom I fought at the Death Star. Alliances are like that, one day you want to kill someone, the next you want to hug them. 


“Ah...um, sorry, Senator Godfrey, usually memorization is always my strong suit, as my dad would say. Must have got the names mixed up.” Noto apologized. “Though, um, if I may say so, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but that kind of alliance doesn’t sound very, um, lasting? Though if that wasn’t the jedi as was a different group, then I could see something better forming, but, uh, I never know”


Genesis asked about the possibility of the Sith coming to Bothawui.


“Oh! I was told that...!” Noto started to exclaim. “I...um...was told to get off the planet as soon as possible if I couldn’t find you, Jedi. He...my friend that is...um...I can't say who he is, but he is a Bothan and...uh...he didn’t say why, but now seeing all this...um...I think it seems...sorry, I’ll be quiet now, i promise.”

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Godfrey shook his head sadly. 

 

“If Naboo falls, and with all intel it will, they will come directly here.” He held up a datapad. “We have several plans to evacuate the Bothan council and the clan leadership. But with most of our assets scattered over a dozen systems we will need the combined arms of the Alliance to defend this world. For if this system falls, Nar Shaddaa and corellia are next.” He did not need to say what would happen then. The loss of life would be catastrophic. He looked back to the child.

 

“Alliances built on common ground will last generations. The Galactic Alliance was a hasty and shoddily built republic with little interest in actually protecting the people. Imperials that were promised a place in government in the peace treaty were shunned by longtime Republic allies. I was there and I saw the fractures before the signatories even finished drawing their pens.” His eyes glanced up, as if he were remembering a thousands sunsets. “It fell apart quite violently, and the Remnant were the only ones left standing after coruscant. If the Sith were to be defeated we needed to work together….” He grimaced. “And when we do achieve our final victory, I do not foresee a democracy at the end of it. And nor should I, all of the great leaders of ‘Democracy’ died in their ivory towers as the heavens fell.” 

 

He smiled suddenly. 

 

“Democracy died the death it deserved is the lesson to be learned from the Galactic Alliance. But come I wax poetic, perhaps its me just complaining about my pension fund dying alongside Hesperidium.” 

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Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Godfrey d'Outremer

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