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Empress Teta


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EMPRESS TETA

 

Astrographical Information

Region: Deep Core

Sector: Koros Sector

System: Empress Teta System

Orbital Position: 4

Moons: 3

Grid Coordinates: L-10

 

Physical Information

Class: Terrestrial/Temperate->Arctic

Atmosphere: Type 1 Breathable

Primary Terrain: Urban, Forests, Mountains, Plains

Points of Interest: Cinnagar Royal Palace, Core District, Great Library of Cinnagar, Hyperspace Navigator’s Guild House , Monument to Lost Navigators, Core Mining Guild Headquarters, New Iron Citadel

 

Societal Information

Indigenous Species: Humans (71%)

Immigrated Species: Variety of alien species (29%)

Primary Language(s): Galactic Basic Standard

Faction Affiliation: Galactic Alliance (Capital)

 

JediRP Canon History: 

A near ecumenopilis, Empress Teta rivaled Coruscant in its prime. Boasting a strong military presence and defensible position, Enoress Teta was left relatively untouched from the galactic conflicts up to this point. As the galaxy lay in shambles post-Imperial Sith Apocolypse, this stronghold of military and economic might has emerged from the treachery of the Deep Core to serve as a crown jewel of lead worlds in the galaxy. From a newly reconstructed Iron Citadel, leadership of the Galactic Alliance oversee the governance and defense of the known galaxy and all worlds that ascribe to their alliance.

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  • 2 months later...

The perilous course deep into the core was guard enough, or so one would think. Even so, when The Bespin Storm dropped out of hyperspace, it was met by a fleet of home guard warships that would rival the entire capacity of the Sith armada or Alliance navy. Vangar Longfang stood on the bridge adorned not in his titanium power suit, but in the finest the Imperial Remnant and the wealth of Bespin had to offer. The Aeien silk cloak of blue and unique silvered belt buckle denoted his rank of Baron Administrator, his rank pip atop his crisp black Imperial uniform; but none of that compared to the air of authority with which the Barabel carried himself, a ferocious predatory aura that radiated outward encouraging al around him to naturally redouble their efforts for fear of failing the newly appointed leader of the free galaxy. All about him, the crew worked tirelessly. Wing Guard, Imperial navy men, former Republic sailors, and Rebel-aligned spacers worked together flawlessly since being assigned to the newly minted The Bespin Storm outside of Cloud City.

 

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The holocomm fuzzed to life filling the viewscreen overlooking the bridge. On the display was a single Tetan Marine Commander. “Captain Xero Han,” the soldier stated by way of introduction, “It is an honor to welcome The Bespin Storm and her cree to Empress Teta. On behalf of His Royal Highness the Emperor, we are prepared to authorize the immediate landing of your envoy and to offer you escort to the Iron Citadel.”

 

Vangar Longfang stood up even taller and straighter if that was possible. He returned the brisk salute, nodding in acknowledgement. “Thank you Captain. I and my men will plan to arrive planetside  within the hour.” The Barabel pointed a flawed finger to his comms officer, a clear signal to cut the feed. After the relay was stopped, Vangar turned to face @Qessax Jal Todda who had been standing nearby. “Commander, prepare an attachment of our finest commandos and attachés. We want to look the part should we meet the Emperor.”

 

_________________________________
 

“Commander Blane you have the conn,” Vangar called out before spinning to leage the bridge. “We will send for the rest of the gear when a base is established.”

 

”Aye sir.”

 

The Bespin Storm could carry enough men and supplies to besiege all but the strongest holdout world for months on end. Empress Teta was one of those worlds it could not. It did not matter because that was not why they were they and it was not for what the Storm was loaded. Of course it still stood battle ready on the edge of the system; but it was packed to the pods with all the necessary staff, soldiers, computers, and supplies to set up a completely new base of operations. In essence, if the people were the heart of the Alliance, The Bespin Storm carried the  makings of the Alliance’s spine.

 

_________________________________
 

The shuttle was worn but pristine, an Outer Rim dignitary’s property seized by the Wing Guard when it was found to be smuggling polstine spice. A pair of burly Whipid Wing Guard stood guard, watching the loading of the initial supplies that were to be planet-bound. A Rebel supply clerk checked and double checked every grav-sled and supply crate before it was moved aboard.

 

Vangar Longfang approached the ship with a smile. The hustle and bustle of the crew even without his overwatch spoke volumes to the dedication of those who had been handpicked to crew the vessel. As he approached those less in the know offered salutes. Those of the Wing Guard that knew stayed focused on their work.

 

He could board the ship and wait for the others; but Vangar knew how cramped such a vessel would quickly become. As such, he remained outside waiting for Qessax and the hand-picked finest the Alliance had to offer.

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Sometime during the trip Qessax was able to acquire a new uniform. Back in pressed black and field plate, Qessax couldn’t help but feel a bit more in charge. There was something about the imperial uniform, tailored to his odd body type, that made him feel more in charge. He wasn’t naked without it, but he did feel like he was missing something when wearing something else. Contrary to many of his people, he liked a uniform, even if it meant his mask was at his side again. 

 

Now if only they could do something about the kriffing boots Qessax inwardly groaned as he adjusted his footgear again. No matter where he went or who he talked to, no one could make boots fit for a Kaleesh. 

 

“Yes sir” Qessax nodded to Vangar and quick set to do just that. 

 

Among those chosen were the clones. They had proven their worth in combat. Now was time to see if they could prove their worth in a more social setting.  “Dress sharp men, You may be meeting the Emperor today, and I want to make a damn impression worth our souls. Make sure that armor shines”

 

Qessax hand-picked the rest of the company to come along as careful as a guard preventing an assassination attempt. He only selected those he had first hand knowledge on, and even then, only those who showed promise of making a good impression. A few he considered chancing on despite his lesser knowledge on them, but when he realized that they could be meeting the Emperor, he decided against it. 

 

Normally such tasks would’ve bored him. He would’ve preferred the thrill of tracking and hunting down potential enemies of the State, not meeting officials and higher ups. But even this event made him nervous and thus, excited. 

 

Qessax raised an eyebrow when a familiar pungency hit his exposed nostrils. He turned and faced the group of Kaleesh warriors, the two female leaders in front. All were in modernized Kaleesh gear, with a traditional animal skin cape, gold-encased charms and Bone Masks that actually made them look a bit regal.  

 

“You were dismissed and told to return to Kalee” Qessax pointed out. He knew the best way to talk to a fellow Kalee was not to beat around any bushes. “Why are you still here?”

 

The leader, who carried an electrostaff on her back, a modernized take on the ancestral shoni spear, and lig swords on her belt, spoke just as straightforward, if not a bit more stern. 

“Your father ordered us to make sure you are protected at all times.”

 

Qessax started to glare and snarl, a clear sign of disapproval, but stopped short when he noticed a few details. One, all of the Kaleesh were much too well dressed for simple soldiers and raiders. Two, all of them had a similar scent, indicating they belonged to the same tribe. Three, and most importantly, all of the Kaleesh’s masks bore a very specific marking over the left side, and the two females had a deep red dash just above the right eye that went towards the back. 

 

I see…” Qessax said as he tapped his own mask, an identical mark as the females on them. Qessax took another sniff. “Shoni tribe?”

 

The other female chuckled. " You have been gone for too long. Qogoth, but good try” She earned a glare from her older sister, and silenced herself immediately. 

 

Qessax stayed silent, tapping his mask  in thought. After some moments of rapid thinking, he eventually came to a decision. This was not the time he wanted to deal with this. He knew it was coming, but he figured he would head home first instead.  

 

“You will not speak unless spoken to. The moment I hear you disagree or go against my will, I am shipping you back to my father to become bedmates in waiting. What i say goes.  As representatives of Kalee, you are expected to uphold both our traditions and the laws of the land. You are both now soldiers of the Alliance and Raiders of Kalee. Become a problem, and I will find and exexcute a swift solution.”

 

Qessax stepped forward, nearly three breaths away from his two mates. 

 

“Is that understood Qogoths?”

 

The two thumped their chests once in unison in agreement. 

 

Qessax turned and indicated for the group to follow. 

 

_____

 

Qessax gave the order and everyone marched to the ship. Once arrived and made to halt, Qessax presented everyone to Vangar with a sense and air of pride fitting for his race. The clones, the commandos, the attaches, everyone. 

 

When it came to the Kaleesh, he simply said “Commander, these bodyguards and representatives of Kalee were hand-picked by Khangan Han himself. I trust them with my life and my reputation. With them are Sgt. Wren Kar, a soldier I served alongside before I transferred to intelligence, as well as my secretary. All here have both proven their worth and usefulness” 

 

At this, a small human saluted, decorated in his finest gear, as well as Qessax’s personal astromech droid who beeped a salutatory greeting.  

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Vangar turned, his clawed hands clasped in the small of his muscled back, to surveil the entourage @Qessax Jal Todda had compiled. Rebels in their earthen brown uniforms, the starched pleats of several local militaries who had contributed greatly to the cause of freedom, the contrasting blacks and whites of polished Imperial plastoids and cloth, even the cloud blues of Bespin Wing Guardsmen stood assembled in columns. His eyes passed over them all. Most were strangers. The few he knew, the Baron Administrator would trust just slightly further than he could throw them. Still, for what they were facing, this lot would do well. Professionals, soldiers, each of them; trained in combat and excelling in intelligence and other areas of forward command set up and creation.

 

Vangar looked at Qessax and nodded curtly before spinning on his booted heels and walking into the waiting ship. As soon as the entourage had bordered and stowed their gear, the ship would take off accompanied by a small fleet of supply vessels. Everything that would be needed to establish a new base of operations.

 

——————————————————

 

After receiving appropriate clearances and flanked by a small squad of TIE fighters and sleek Tetan local defensive craft, the lead freighter bearing the Viceroy of the Galactic Alliance and his retinue descended to a formal landing pad. Thunder pealed across the sky as the craft swept through the storm. A pair of fighters streaked overhead  across the thunderstruck sky as the remainder of the craft were escorted to nearby landing areas to begin offloading their gear and supplies.

 

As Vangar’s freighter touched down, the landing ramp lowered seamlessly. At the edge of the platform, rows of rigid armed soldiers standing at attention in polished green and gold, the royal colors of the Empress Tetan Dynasty. At their front stood Captaib Xero Han.

 

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Removing his helmet, Captain Han offered a brisk salute as he stepped forward to meet Vangar as the Barabel descended to Tetan soil and advanced between the ranks of Alliance forces and operatives. Stopping at the end of the Alliance colums, Vangar returned to salute before stepping forward to offer a firm handshake. His hand completely enveloped the alien Captain Han’s. “The Emperor regrets that he is unable to meet you upon upon arrival. Pressing matters of State.” He offered as his only explanation. “He has instructed that we are to see you and your team to the New Iron Citadel, which the Tetan people offer up for use by Alliance Command for as long as it is deemed necessary. It is an honor to serve the galaxy in such a way.”

 

Vangar nodded in understanding. The Emperor had a kingdom to oversee. He had sent his emissaries to offer aid to a fledgling Alliance born from the amalgamation of a sprinkling of failed, rebuilding, planetary, and rogue groups. His generosity more than made up for his lack of meeting. His gift enough to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Alliance’s claims. “We look forward to the start of a long and prosperous alliance.” Vangar gestured for Qessax and his few top level commanders to join him as they fell in alongside Captain Han. Flanked by a phalanx of Tetan soldiers they began to move through the winding windswept streets of the city-world.

 

”The original Iron Citadel was home to the Krath, dark sorcerers of yore. The royal palace now sits atop its remains containing the dark histories and lingering curses beneath layers of specially sealed duracrete.” Han described, “The New Iron Citadel is built in the tradition of classic Tetan culture. The fortress is heavily fortified. We have the means to have the slabs of stone wired as you have need. Currently we have a team of Imperial Marines securing the facility. All offices were moved offsite weeks ago in preparation for your arrival. The Mining Guild Council is anxious to meet with you Baron Administrator; once you are settled of course. They are currently in board meetings.” The commanding officer explained as they moved, dual columns of Alliance soldiers falling in amongst the Tetan forces.

 

Continuing on, the looming shadowy walls and towers of the New Iron Citadel materialized from the horizon, large, imposing, and powerful. Thick walls, towering spires, crenellations, imposing gargoyles all of it led to an aura of command that oozed to everything that was overshadowed by the Citadel. “All of this,” Captaib Hans gestured, “Is at the disposal of the Alliance.”

 

”You and your emperor have our eternal gratitude,” Vangar responded in deference. “The Emperor’s generosity is only rivaled by his goodness.”  


Captain Han nodded. “I will

leave you and your men to it. These soldiers will ensure that you and your men remain unbothered by any of the local rabble.” Han saluted and the with his personal entourage set off.

 

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Turning to Qessax, Vangar did not take his eyes off of the Citadel. “Begin your analysis of the area. We need to know any weakness inside or outside the walls. See to it that the intelligence officers are established in the lowest levels near the holding cells.” He pointed to a pair spiraling towers each isolated from the main sprawling stone keep. “Those will be for the Imperial Knights and the Jedi respectfully. Offices are to be assigned under standard Imperial protocol Osk-Orenth-3. I have a meeting with the Mining  Guild. With any luck, this arrangement is more than an attempt to secure better trade agreements with the Bespin Mining Guilds.”

Edited by Vangar

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The work Qessax endured on Empress Teta was busy to say the least. Coordinating, assigning, judging and analyzing, not to say including those of what duties remained of Imperial Intelligence. All the entire time with now his two wives as bodyguards looming over his shoulders. They performed their duties rightfully so. They were silent and restrained, though more than once Qessax saw Lor’s hands go for her blades.  Still, she restrained herself each time.  

 

To say the least, Qessax actually preferred Imperial Intelligence over the more paper-pushing and coordinating efforts. Everything here on Empress Teta was so by the books and formulaic. It wasn’t that the Kaleesh couldn’t perform these tasks, far from it. His training in Intelligence required him to be able to follow procedure. It was just boring. At least with matters of Imperial Intelligence, there was the feel of a hunt. There was intuition and approximation. There was gathering and sifting. There was the unknown, pushing the boundaries and looming threateningly. 

 

Still, Qessax continued his work thoroughly. If it wasn’t for his secretary droid, he would have been hopelessly lost with much of the minutia. The R-8 was customized from the ground up to be able to handle vast amounts of data, more than what the standard droid could handle, as well as being able to perform long-range communications. Everything that went through the droid was recorded, encrypted  and stored on data chips, leaving a clean trail for those in the know, but impossibly convoluted for anyone else.  

It was because of ‘secretary’ that Qessax felt a pinch in his stomach. At some point during his work, Qessax had an idea of summoning the crown Regent’s clan mates to Empress Teta for a sort of private, closed from the public celebration. During all the chaos lately, he knew that Vangar hadn’t had a chance to actually celebrate his new position, and like many reptoid species, clan-mates were important for such a thing. 

 

It was in his requests to Secretary that Qessax discovered that almost all of Vangar’s clan-mates were deceased. The first two didn’t surprise Qessax. Mining accidents were common after all. But after the sixth one confirmed to be dead via imperial records, Qessax raised more than an eyebrow. 

 

Perhaps he should have let it be right there. He had enough tasks on hand to be concerned about Vangar’s dead siblings. But this task felt less boring than the rest. It felt like something was off. Like something needed to be sniffed out. No, Qessax couldn’t stop himself. He delegated certain tasks to other people beneath him to make room. While his wives didn’t complain, he knew they disapproved of his action when he had to cancel a holo-meeting with his father.

 

 Digging deeper, Qessax found some more details. His rank carried weight, and people he contacted within Bespin’s local government recognised it and gave the information willingly. 

 

The details he found did not make Qessax feel better. Each clan mate that died, according to official reports, occurred after Vangar was thrust into the position of Baron Administrator. At first, Qessax reasoned that with Vangar’s new position, mining regulations temporarily became lax. But the records showed that Vangar was notorious for making sure safety regulations were followed. 

 

No, there was more to this than met the eye. 

 

More digging. More investigation. More doubt. The interviews became more difficult over holo-feed, but Qessax persevered like a seasoned spymaster. People were hiding details. Cover-ups were being done. The clan-mates who did not work for the government directly were the most difficult, their bosses claiming that they knew nothing. The ones who did work in the government had some of their records the weeks following their deaths missing. Someone was hiding something. 

 

The final detail, and the smoking gun as the humans would call it, came in the form of casino-host turned manager. The manager claimed that while he was a host, his friend, one of Vangar’s clan mates, had received a gift of an all expense paid trip to their homeworld of Barbel. His friend was excited to see his home again, especially after the deaths of his other clan-mates, and hoped to bring back a mate of his own. However, when the host became manager, he discovered that Vangar had bribed the previous manager to let Vangar’s clan mate go on the trip. 

 

Sure enough, Qessax confirmed that the ship taken to Barbel exploded due to a leak of Tibanna gasses, despite proper procedure of the gas being sealed in carbonite. Had this been the first death by ‘mining accident’ Qessax would have brushed it off. But this was the sixth dead clan-mate, and Vangar, with all of his power as Baron Administrator, did not bother with any form of investigation, at least not according to records.

 

Qessax pondered over all this. At the very least, Vangar had covered up vital information. He was certain that if he went to Bespin itself and performed more intensive interrogations, he would find that the missing records were expunged on Vangar’s behalf. 

 

But at the very worst, Vangar ordered the deaths. Spirits above, with his experience and Barabel drive as a hunter, he may have killed them himself. Qessax had no idea why Vangar covered the information up. What reason Vangar could have was beyond the Kaleesh at the moment. It could range from paranoia over his new job to fighting between his clan-mates inflamed by new positions of power to some discovery that needed to remain secret. Even if he didn’t cause the deaths, was he then ordered by someone else to cover the information up? Did that criminal organization of Black Sun have its tendrils on Bespin and on Vangar?

 

Qessax pondered more and more. He couldn’t help but wonder if Kolchak knew about this. Did Qessax’s mentor have something to do with the fact that Vangar was only in charge of one sector and never anything greater? 


None of this he shared with his new wives. He wasn’t sure he could share such information with them. After all, Qessax was the one that made Vangar’s ascendancy possible. And it was Bespin that currently helped Kalee surge forward into the future with factories and managers. How would they react if they found out that their planet’s benefactor was not as benevolent as they believed? After Kalee’s long history, Qessax could easily assume that his father would not take the news well. He wasn’t a fool, he would still accept the help, but Kalee’s relationship with the Alliance would be harmed to say the least. 

 

Qessax rubbed his eyes and looked out the window. The sun had long set, but the lights of the ecumenopolis world made the skies outside clear as day.  It was long past any kind of meal time, and nearing a time of rest for most people.

 

“Bring me those bottles I know you brought” Qessax ordered his wives. “And prepare some of the Shoni meat as well. Prepare a dining place for me, you two and Vangar. Secretary, send an invitation to Vangar. Tell him…”

 

Qessax stopped and scratched his tusks in thought. 

 

“Tell him that I want to spend a meal with him to discuss the future. He will not deny me. Its time I conduct an interview with our leader. ”

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The meeting with the Mining Guild was, in truth, a series of meetings and negotiations with several different factions. Bartering, wheeling and dealing, and sometimes outright shows of force were all par for the course. So when Vangar was interrupted going to and fro by a droid emissary claiming to have a request from @Qessax Jal Todda, he nodded in agreement more intent to get the droid off so he could return to his tasks at hand than actually ponder the bot’s request. His tasks would not conclude until well into the evening when at last the entirety of the board had assembled alongside representatives of the Tetan Royal Court. From there it was a mere matter of pomp and circumstance as the backroom wheeling was formalized. 
 

As the Baron Administrator of Bespin, Crown Regent of the Imperium, and Viceroy of the Galactic Allie stepped out of the grand meeting hall under the cloudless sky, he felt the cool breeze against his face. His stomach grumbled, a deep rumble that sounded more earth-hewing than anything. He was hungry, having not eaten at all since they had entered the system. It was only then that he recalled the invitation from Qessax. Fishing out his comm unit, he radio’d the Kaleesh intel officer to see if the offer still stood. Seeing that it did, the hulking lizard smiled and set off into the night.

 

Finding his way back to the New Iron Citadel, Vangar was pleased to see how well it had come along in just a day. Offices had taken shape, security measures customized to Alliance and Imperial protocols, and the new home of the Alliance born anew in the safety of a strong allied world and still, as he moved though the fortified city within a city, he was pleased to see that given the late hour there were still those hard at work.

 

Finding bis way to the private quarters of the Kalee representatives, Vangar knocked loudly. Once allowed access he looked around, noting the two women with  Qessax and took the offered seat.

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The setting for the dinner was made as traditionally Kaleesh as Qessax could muster. While most of the room’s entrapings were imperial, including the table, chairs and paintings on the walls, Qessax was able to decorate the room slightly. His fur cape from home had been laid over the center of the table, a traditional compliment to the guest, while his wives’ capes were over the back of his own chair. Several necklaces ringed with small bones dangled off the table in a purely aesthetic sense. 

 

Various bowls had been laid on the table, filled with milk, leaf and salt blends, cheeses and breads bought locally, or a small amount of an aromatic tobacco-like substance. Plates had been set out for the four of them, but no silverware was to be seen. Three cups were near each plate, one empty, one with a light alcoholic drink and the other filled with water for some unknown purpose. 

 

Qessax greeted Vangar with a slight smile like an old friend. While he still wore his imperial uniform, expected to work at any time, here he kept his uncomfortable boots off and tucked near the doorway. Mask still at his side, he actually looked slightly out of place with his wives who both wore masks and more traditional Kaleesh clothing.  

 

“I believed you would appreciate something from my homeworld,” Qessax explained as he gestured to the chair for Vangar to sit, explaining the decorations. “As it is, this is both a celebration of the alliance as well as a personal one for myself.” 

 

Qessax took an opposing seat to Vangar while Lor and Bolda went back to a private room where the food was cooking, allowing the two to talk privately. 

 

“Part of the deal I made with my father to get Kaleesh forces at Nar Shaddaa was offering my marriage exclusively.” Qessax explained as he took a small pinch from the snuff-bowl before him to inhale, demonstrating its use. “In exchange for their service, I can only take wives from the Qogoth tribe, a small but fierce group of individuals. And since Nar Shaddaa, my father has seen to it to showing that the deal was not made in poor spirit. Those two are as you can guess, from the Qogoth tribe. The older, taller one is Lor and the younger one is Bolda. Both warriors in their own right.” 

 

After taking a sniff, Qessax rubbed his nose slightly before taking a sip of water. “I honestly should’ve been expecting these marriages , but honestly I was surprised it happened so soon. Goes to show you never know what the galaxy will throw at you” 

 

At this point, Lor and Bolda returned with the meal. Bolda, being the youngest, came in first, carrying plates of Dacho noodles, a well-made substitute for the various kinds of non-meat dishes served on Kalee, enhanced with several Kalee native spices. The noodles steamed slightly as they were placed on the table before the two. Following Bolda, Lor entered carrying the prize of the meal: Shoni fish. Easily three and a half meters long, the grilled swordfish sizzled with oils from being soaked in the spicy juices from home. A male, its short, pointed bill dripped with juices that leaked from its 5 black eyes as its rich red coat almost shimmered in the light. 

 

Qessax salivated  slightly at the sight and smell. “Shoni fish is becoming a rarer delicacy sir” Qessax explained as the fish was placed at the center of the table. “Despite my father’s best efforts, my people see it as a right to hunt down the Shoni for both food and for the right of passage of hunting down a Muumuu. The fact that there are only three different sea-creatures edible on Kalee makes it more difficult to prevent hunting. This is one of the few times you will taste Shoni off world.”

 

Lor placed the fish at the center and slowly but surely, began her work. Taking a bone knife from her hip, she carefully sliced off large steaks of meat and placed them on two plates. Once a suitable amount of meat was on one, Bolda took the plate and moved to Vangar, placing a large amount on the plate before him, almost to the point of overfilling the plate. 

 

“Back on Kalee, the women dictate how much the men are allowed to eat.” Qessax explained. “If the husband has treated his wives right, they will reward him. If he has mistreated them, he may not eat till the next day. The men may be masters of the hunt, but the women are leaders of the house. More than once I saw my father go without a meal because of an ill-placed comment.” 

 

Once the Shoni was carved and served, eating was allowed. With no silverware, Qessax showed that it was custom to eat with hand and claw. When he needed to clean his hands, he would simply dip his fingers into the cup with water. More than once he cooled his tongue with the milk and salt mix.  Lor and Bolda sat opposing each other, at the center of the elongated table, closer to the Shoni. If anyone needed more, they were able to offer it, while eating whatever they desired. Unlike Qessax, they kept their masks on, slipping the meat underneath while glancing at both Vangar and their husband. 

 

“I hope you do not mind us being here Regent” Lor commented as she ate a handful of noodles. “If matters become of secretive, state-importance we can leave, but I insist on staying for everything else. As both wife and bodyguard, I have certain duties. Your kind, they have strong familial ties if I remember correctly, so I'm sure you understand." 

 

"Regent, I must ask" Bolda interjected, leaning a bit closer towards Vangar in curiosity "Did you have to leave your family on Barab?" 

 

Qessax made no sign that he noticed the question, when in truth he was listening intently.  For him, this dinner was a test of two things: his wives’ abilities as warriors on the both fields of battle and intrigue, as well as Vangar’s character. He had already gotten a sense of Lor and Bolda's characters. One was blunt and straightforward, while the other was eager but abrupt. It would be an interesting meal to say the least. 

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The husky Barabel bowed his head deeply in gratitude to both Lor and Bolda as he was served a dish of steaming fish. Taking note of how the others ate, he dug his clawed hands into the flaky fish, pulling it apart into bite-sized chunks that he scarfed down noisily. The pomp and decorum of formal state dinners was gone as lizard dined amongst lizards. The dainty silverware and customs of many squishy species were as painful to adhere to as @Qessax Jal Todda boots, but amongst a galaxy rules by the soft one adhered to them out of respect. Still, it did not mean that one did not think of them as quaint, antiquated customs that prevented the survival of the fittest and the adherence to the lowest common denominator. No, the people of Barab I treasured their kind and strove to ensure that their families were the strongest they could be.

 

Vangar raised a heavy brow at Lor’s words. They sounded lime the start of an apology. Swallowing the mouthful of fish, the Barabel went to speak, but the first of Qessax’ wives was cut off by the second, who was much more direct as she asked about his family. 
 

Smiling sinisterly with his hutting underbite and exposed fangs, Vangar sat back, dipping his clawed hands in the water and flicking them dry. He pondered for a moment, analyzing the question for ulterior motive or a desire to seek a weakness in the Crown Regent’s facade. Finally, after several moments of heavy silence he replied. “ My entire family left Barab years ago. For a lifetime, we have fulfilled our contract to the people of Bespin and even today, we serve . . . and thrive far from our home.” He added almost menacingly, his voice a low rumbling grumble. Leaving his brief explanation to hang in the air, he dug his claws into the mountain of fishy flesh before him and scooped up a bite to shovel it into his mouth.
 

 

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“Do you ever think of returning?” Bolda asked in reply, raising an eyebrow behind her mask. “Back to the home of your ancestors?” 

 

Qessax raised his head at this question as he dipped his fingers and grabbed a block of cheese, feigning interest, as if the previous question was less important than this one. It was an easy question to feign interest in. Anyone who knew an ounce of Kaleesh culture knew that ancestry was everything. To be buried where your ancestors were buried was more important than all the credits in the galaxy. Still, he kept silent, even as he broke the cheese into two in his hands and began chewing, feeling the odd texture in his mouth.

 

“You said you still serve…” Lor pointed out once the Barbel responded to Bolda’s question. “As in the people of Bespin? Or the people of the Alliance? Do your employers at Bespin enjoy your newly appointed position?” 

 

Qessax grunted at Lor, indicating for her to ease up. She was plain and bold, good traits for a bodyguard. Lor however pretended not to notice and awaited Vangar’s response.

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3 hours ago, Qessax Jal Todda said:

“Do you ever think of returning?” Bolda asked in reply, raising an eyebrow behind her mask. “Back to the home of your ancestors?” 


The question drew pause from the fierce predator as he paused mid-chew, his face recoiling in on itself slightly as thoughts and ideas, memories of his family flooded his mind. Vangar shot a sidelong glance at @Qessax Jal Todda before returning his gaze to Bolda. Swallowing the large mouthful of fish with a gulp he responded with a soft almost threatening chuckle, “You have never been to Barab I have you? The world itself tried to kill all upon it and if the world does not succeed, many of my more traditional kin have been gunned down by squishy beings compensating for their lack of power with weapons of absolute destruction. Someday I will return. Perhaps someday,” he turned to Qessax, “we shall return and put an end to these evil hunts.”

 

He had no more finished when Qessax’s second wife butt in with all but an accusation of disloyalty.

 

3 hours ago, Qessax Jal Todda said:

“You said you still serve…” Lor pointed out once the Barbel responded to Bolda’s question. “As in the people of Bespin? Or the people of the Alliance? Do your employers at Bespin enjoy your newly appointed position?” 


Vangar paused as his eyelids flickered across his cold eyes. Slowly he turned to face Lor. “Excuse me? I do not like what you are auggestint,” he hissed. The chair squeaked against the floor as he stood up, pushing it back, leaning forward heavily on the table towards Lor. 
 

“Do I, as THE Longfang, care for my tribe far from our traditional homeworld? As Chief of the Bespin Mining Guild did I care for the bottom line of the companies that employed me and for the safety of those who work the tibanna mines? Perhaps my track record can speak for itself. As Baron Administrator have I not done all in my power to see that all within the city I call home are safe and prosperous? Do I care about the ranks of Wing Guard who follow my every order, who put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the people that took them in? You have but to take a walk across the cloudy skies. As Guildmaster of Bespin, do I not serve and advocate for everyone who calls our skies and clouds home from Barabel to Ughnaught to Human? As Moff of the entire Anoat sector did I not see that stability remained when Black Sun was driven out? Did I not see that the ravages of the Sith Empire never scorched our people under my watch and that they were driven out from Ozu to The Ring? That the people’s of a sector openly defying the Sith lived in prosperity and wellness,”  Vangar’s voice rose as his irritation crescendoed, his slitted eyes squinted into a glare as his head twisted slowly toward Qessax. Barab and Kalee culture were similar in several ways, but differed in others. One of which seemed to be the image of family and Vangar realized this. “And you would dare to question my loyalty to the people of the Alliance? After the sacrifices made by the people of Bespin, of the Anoat sector, in defense of an alliance unable to defend itself! How dare your family, your father’s representative accuse me of such shallow weakness?! After all I,” he beat a fist against his chest with a thump, “have done for him, for your world, a world I have never seen.

 

“Look around, even now, in my brief tenure, the Sith have been beaten back and the peoples of the Alliance are being freed from the yoke of oppression. So yes,” he turned back to Qessax’ wives and snapped. “I still serve.”

 

“Everyone who places his or her trust in me.” He spat as the table groaned beneath his bulk as he pressed down on it angry at the implied smudge upon his honor.

 

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Qessax said nothing at Vangar’s visible annoyance, though his instincts almost made him stand up. Only the years of Imperial training and living among the more civilized races stopped him and forced him to remain watchful. He was in the hunting and pursuing state of mind, usually reserved for wild animals but now trained for more deadly kinds of foes. He was witnessing his Regent’s growing anger, and the cause of it. 

 

However, Lor was no so easy and when Vangar leaned forward, she gripped her claws into the table and almost snarled back. 

 

“You ended a war? Heh, with Kaleesh soldiers alongside if i remember right. 14 of my brothers joined my ancestors at Nar Shaddaa, and many more of my cousins. How many of your superiors’ work do you take credit for as well?

 

“Sister, maybe we should…” Bolda started to interject, but Lor continued 

 

“And for the betterment of my world, did you do these things for the betterment of Kalee, or because it made a nice profit for the mining guild? I heard a captured poacher tell us ‘war is good for business, but peace is good for business too.’ While my father-in-law might trust you, I have to wonder: When the factories on Kalee start to become unprofitable, will you leave it abandoned like the Empire left so many worlds before? Will your employers of profit tell you to pull out when it's not helpful?”

 

Qessax raised an eyebrow at this. He hadn’t realized that Lor was working from the assumption that the factories on Kalee were because of some trade deal. He glanced back at Vangar, curious on how he would react. Was he clever enough and cool headed enough to realize the point of view Lor was working from? Would he spill the noodles on the fact that he was regent thanks to the help of Qessax’s dealings?

 

Either way, he would control his wife later, but he wanted to see how this played out, so he gestured to Bolda to stand down. 

 

“If they must wrestle it out later to establish who needs to apologize, then we will let them.” Qesax muttered to her

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