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Old 05-11-2006, 12:04 PM   #100
machievelli
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Investigations

Sienna walked toward the front desk, watching the guard watch her. Ever since she was sixteen, she had noticed that the male eye followed her like a tracking sensor if she was close enough to really see. Even the other Apprentices had that problem. If she were to pass by men would drop heavy weights, trip over their own big feet, or end up in hospital because they forgot to duck, or watch where they were going.

She had decided, like any woman with such exquisite and efficient sexual armament; to use it. While others just considered raiding the kitchen, she did, successfully.

If she had been a glutton she would have gone from size four to size 14 during her last year. Since her actual passion with food was Echani Fire tea and Hutt Sweet grass tea, she had kept that figure.

She had noticed that the females had just as many problems but in a different way. The fastest way to heat up one of her fellow apprentices, or chill them down to absolute zero if that was the way they dealt with it, was to have her around. The same effect she had noticed went through the Masters at her arrival. The older they were, the less likely they would react, but it was true.

What master (At least Male masters) would ever challenge her? But if she asked for anything from a female master, it would be a cold day in the hells before she got it.

She suddenly realized that Breia Solo had been different in that regard. She had been upset about the clothes of course. Sienna had chosen them after all because she knew Breia would look stunning in them. Not to mention that she expected the woman to go berserk after having to wear them. It was something she had started doing in self defense when dealing with fellow female Jedi.

But instead Breia had merely dressed, whispered dire threats, and gone on with the mission.

She found she liked that a lot. Besides Breia had something she didn’t. She looked down. The one part of her body she would have changed was still smaller. She sighed. Genetics be damned, she thought she would better looking if those changed.

No matter. On to business. She smiled at the guard, probably giving him a slight heart attack. “Sienna Dodonna to see Admiral Dodonna.” She said.

“Uh, yeah.” He punched at the panel in front of him. Since he hadn’t moved his eyes from her, he was just tapping the plastic to no avail.

“Why don’t you look down.” She grinned. “Or did you want me standing here all day?”

He blushed, finally tearing his eyes away from her. “Which Admiral Dodonna?”

“Siriali Dodonna.” She said. “My mother.”

That at least hadn’t changed. If she mentioned that her mother or father were Admirals, a lot of Military men lost their ardor immediately. Others seemed to draw strength from it, but everything has a trade off. He flipped through the index. “Admiral Siriali Dodonna is at lunch with Admiral Freigar Dodonna.” He said. He ran a chip through the scanner, handing it to her. “Level 35 section J.”

“I’ll tell them you were so helpful.” She looked at his collar. “Sergeant..?”

“Brasco, Ma’am.”

“Sergeant Brasco.” She repeated. “Thank you.” She walked past him to the lifts. “Level 35 Section J.” She said. The lift shot up and to the side, smoothly stopping at the station. She stepped out, and a sprite appeared in front of her, dipping once in midair then moving at a walking pace down the corridor. She followed after it until it flashed again, and vanished. The door read Flag Officer’s mess. She sighed, opening the door.

A Lieutenant looked up, standing. “You can’t...” He started, then the voice died. Right then she could have ordered the most expensive dinner in the place and he would have beggared himself to pay for it.

She took pity on him. “I came to see my parents, the Admirals Dodonna. They are expecting me.”

He fumbled for his pad, and tore his eyes away from her as he scanned. “Bondar or Siriali?” He asked.

“Bondar is my uncle.”

If anything he was even more flustered. Having one Admiral as a relative was bad enough. Should she mention that five of the present admirals were related to her? That seven of the retired ones were? She decided not to.

“Cubicle seven.” He turned. “That’s-”

“I know where it is, thank you.” She walked past him. She could feel his eyes like laser designators. At least that part of her body didn’t need any augmentation.

The door opened, and her mother leaped to her feet. The act would have astonished anyone who knew her. Siriali Dodonna had gotten the nickname Ice Princess when she had commanded the 4th fleet. She found herself sinking into the hug sigh a sigh of contentment. She wished other women could react at least partially like this around her.

“Welcome home!” Her mother whispered, kissing her on the cheek. “We were expecting you, but not this early.” She stepped back, taking her daughter's hand, and led her to the table. Her father stood and hugged her as well. He was a bit disappointed in her she knew. Instead of following family tradition, she had never trod a deck in uniform. The Jedi robes she wore, the most sedate set she had in fact, didn’t count.
“Well.” He held her away, making a visual inspection. “They’re still feeding you I see. Ready for some lunch?”

“If it can be a working lunch, Papa.” She said. “I came on Jedi business.”

The pair looked at each other. “It concerns the navy?”

“Definitely.” She sat, picking up the menu. “Remember what you once said Mama about not trusting the Breaker’s yards? Well we found something that might interest you greatly...”

*****

Across the city of Coronet, the same scene with slight variations was being played out. At the Headquarters building of the Corellian Special Intelligence Service, a young woman was having a bit more trouble.

“No, I don’t have an appointment. I have come on Jedi business.” Breia said. “I need to see Minister Solo, and I need to see her now.”

“If you could tell me your business?” She merely glared at him. The man shook his head. “I know all of you kids think we’re all out drinking at parties if we’re not seducing someone, but Minister Solo is a very busy woman. So unless you want to tell me why, I can’t even set an appointment for you.” He had the smarmy look of a petty bureaucratic frog in a very small pond.

Breia looked at him coldly. “Forrestal.” She said. Before he could react, the panel in front of him bleeped. He looked at it, then tapped another button. Behind her she could hear the blast doors slamming down. She watched him as he pulled up a ‘Room Broom’ and aimed it at her as a dozen men poured into the atrium. They stormed over, a bristling array of weapons aimed at her. Then one of the men lowered his weapon.

“By the gods, Miss Solo. Do we have to go through this crap every time you enter the building?” He asked. The men with him lowered their weapons, looking at the man that had spoken.

“As often as you have idiots on the front desk, Major Tori, yes.”

“She wouldn’t-” The secretary started to say.

“She doesn’t need to you twit.” Tori snapped. “That is Breia Solo of the Jedi monastery. Daughter of Minister Solo.”

Breia smiled coldly as the bureaucrat suddenly went ice white. She leaned forward. “Name.”

Uh, Brenner Foss.”

“Well Brenner Foss, I hope you like that desk. You may end up sitting there until you retire.” She looked to Tori. “Major I believe my mother is expecting me?”

“You’re right about that. Tori waved and the men with him headed back into the concealing panels. Breia walked past the desk, and under escort went to the lift. Tori tapped the button. “Executive A.” He said. “Have a better day than he did, Miss.”

“Thank you Major.”

Breia stood patiently as the left took her to the floor given. To the uninitiated, the building and offices would have been forbidding. There were no markers on the doors or walls. No way to tell where you were in the building, or whether you were above ground or below. If you didn’t belong in the building, you needed an escort.

Breia stepped out, walked right to the next corridor, left at the one after that, then right until she ran out of hall. The wall itself shifted, and she walked into an airy office. The windows showed only a night sky. Since it was broad daylight outside, it merely told her that the windows were actually view screens.

“I should have never taught you that code.“ A voice said from the desk. “And I had such high hopes for Foss.” Breia walked forward, and her mother met her halfway. They hugged silently.

“How is father?” Breia asked.

“Not to good.” Holani admitted. Only someone who had known her as long as Breia did could have seen the pain in her face. “Ever since the accident...” She wiped her eyes, turning back to the desk. “You could have easily called me for that information. What do the Jedi need of me this time?”

“Mother, we captured a Raptor class escort after it attempted to take our decoy ship in the Seldon system. It carried A Naboo A4 Streak. Two Corellian Rampants, and an Alderaani Night Hawk.

“We tracked it to Station Kroomerik where we also found that the local factor for the Cariali Chandler’s Company was supplying a lot of hardware they shouldn’t have access to. Including Bat class fighters.

“We took the ship after it took off from Kroomerik and it is at the Monastery right now.” She set down the pad. “They have a small squadron. A pair of Wasps and a Crasbashti along with two armed merchantmen. Very well armed ships.”

“May I?” Breia nodded, and Holani picked up the pad and read. Breia sat across from her. It took several minutes, but Breia knew it was because her mother read it more than once. She read it at least twice more, making notes on her own pad the second and third times.

“And cargo headed for Ando?”

“Some of it. The rest was going to the fleet. Iridian plague virus weaponized right here ten years ago. And the ship had an addition to it’s mutiny system. CN20.”

Holani watched her, then thumbed a contact. “Seela, contact the DSI. Tell him it’s an emergency.”

“Madam-”

“Tell him someone has sold CN20 and samples of Operation Firestorm.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“What did the other 200 odd cubic meters consist of? As if I didn‘t know?”

“Enough weapons to outfit a Raider Battalion.”

“So, the Aqualish are part of this.”

Breia nodded. Most times a first contact was relatively peaceful, though they could go horribly wrong. One of the worst first contacts had happened barely fifteen years before. A Corporate vessel had discovered the planet Ando, where two species, one aquatic, the other land bound, lived. The Quara and the Aquala, land and sea dwellers respectively had ended their generations long feud to join forces long enough to slaughter the crew of that ill fated vessel.

Using it, they had attacked other ships near their system, building a tidy fleet before one of them had been stupid enough to attack a Corellian liner. That ship had escaped, and a punitive squadron had arrived. the ships had been recaptured, the planet interdicted. Unfortunately the governments involved couldn’t justify such an expense, and had turned the blockade over to four corporations, three Corellian, one Coruscanti.

Holani called up the holographic readout. “Ando, full data.” She ordered.

“Non-cleared citizen in office-”

“Case Omega.” Holani snapped.

The computer mulled it over. She was after all DDSO, Deputy Director of Special Operations. The holo blossomed into a water world with about 30% land. Above it, ships in four colors moved. The planet had been divided into four quadrants as well in each of the colors. A massive station floated in a geosynchronous orbit.

Breia stood, walking over to stand beside her mother. “Which corporations are part of this?”

“The Corellian corporations are in red for Capistan, blue for Androin, and green for Kasmarak. The Coruscanti company is Wayfarer.”

“End Holo!” A voice screamed. Director Maron glared at Holani, then at her daughter.

“Bandying code word material in front of a civilian? Giving code word information over the net? I’ll have your job for this Solo!”

“Director, my daughter was reporting to me concerning all of that.” Holani replied levelly. “And the Jedi have samples of both sitting on their landing pad right now.”

“You dared to-”

“Oh shut up.” Breia snapped. The man’s face purpled. “Are you going to keep screaming false accusations or are you going to listen to the report?”

Moran huffed, then threw himself into a seat. Breia ran through it all again. He stiffened as she reported the mass of weapons the Cariali factor had in his possession.

“The crate might have had something other than the plague virus you claim.” Moran kibitzed. “A false trail to lead you back here.”

“No.” Breia merely looked at him. “We were able to draw off a sample. Meeri, my Padawan Learner is in quarantine until we are sure she is safe. But it is Iridian Plague. The nerve gas was installed in a Raptor class escort as a mutiny/boarding defense. Whoever did it wanted to make sure that the crew died. Enroute here we discovered three different explosive charges that were set to explode under specific conditions. Those conditions were if it came into the Corellian Coruscant or Ryloth systems. The radar returns that would activate it match exactly the defensive nets of those three planets.

“We took both of them from pirates pure and simple. Those are the facts. As for ‘Firestorm’, if I had merely delivered it to it’s destination...” She waved toward the now cleared holo image, “About fifty thousand people would be dying in that system alone.” She walked over, glaring at him from a two meter distance. “So if you want this ‘civilian’ to walk out and contact GTA or perhaps the press, keep blustering.”

He sputtered.

“Who else have you informed?” Holani asked.

“We have sent ships to Coruscant Ryloth and Ando.“ If anything his color got darker. Breia looked at him. “I would suggest you calm down before your blood pressure puts you in hospital.” She turned back to her mother. “I needed to notify you so an internal inv-”

“That is not her department!” Moran snarled. “That is Prentiss’ job.”

“Then perhaps we should call him up here-”

“No!” Moran waved it off. “Too many people already know about this. Including you people.” He glared at Breia. “Your order is under orders-”

“Director we do not report to you, or obey you orders!” Breia stood. “We answer to a higher purpose than any government you wish to name.” She turned, waving him away. “Now go about your business before I forget what my order teaches and give you the spanking your mother should have!”

“This isn’t the end of it, Solo.” He stalked out.

“I can see you do not have my knack for diplomacy.”

“When there is time, I could out-subtle that twit on my worst day.” She turned to her mother. “But I don’t believe we have that time. There is more.” She went over the captured colony, and the enemy squadron there.

“I think we may allow our brothers in the navy deal with this.” Holani said after some thought. “I will have to inform them.“

“No need. Sienna Dodonna is a member of our order. Her father is the JAG, and her mother is in charge of BuShips.”

Holani looked at her. “Is the order as well connected on Coruscant and Ryloth?”

“No. We have direct access to Admiral Lucas at Coruscanti ONI, but the director of Coruscanti Intelligence is new.”

“Maygar Phelp. Yes, lucky for you I am well connected there.” She turned to her computer, attached a whisper-mike to her throat, and spoke silently for several seconds. Then she popped out a chip, handing it to her. “I will send a message asking for some of his time for a member of your order. That is the bona fides to verify who it is, to get past his own layers of flappers. Will you need the same for Ryloth?”

“Unfortunately, yes. Their new Premier doesn’t like us.”

“What about their navy and Intelligence?”

“Her first cousin is in charge of ONI, and her younger brother was appointed as head of Intelligence as you well know.”

Holani considered, then made another chip handing it over as well. “Ever hear of Kalo Fortuna?”

“No.”

“He’s about three levels down from the directorate. He’s a ‘handler’ working for Twi-lek intelligence. He’s too efficient to be political, but he has a web of people in his own organization that have performed admirably. Have that delivered to him.” She turned back to the computer, then handed her yet another chip. “Bib Wanatagi is in their Office of Naval intelligence. As good, as apolitical. After contacting Fortuna, have him introduce your envoy to Wanatagi.”

She tapped an annunciator. “Seela, have Logos come in.” She released the stud. “Now if you don’t mind dear, I have an internal investigation to begin.”

Breia smiled. “What of our esteemed Prentiss?”

“Prentiss couldn’t find his butt with a complete map and a guide. Like our esteemed director, he is a political appointee. But he cleans up well, can quote the jargon as if he is intelligent, and unless you have gotten to know him, at least appears to know what he is talking about.

“Now shoo. Some of us have work to do.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 05-11-2006 at 12:16 PM. Reason: System loaded it before I was done
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