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Old 06-28-2006, 06:40 PM   #144
machievelli
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Raiding

“It was only a harmless prank.” Sienna said. She had been cleaned up, as had Breia. They stood in what is nicknamed a ‘Cadet Brace’, a position of attention so tight that the body cannot move.

“So let us see what your little ‘harmless’ pranks have caused.” Freya began in a deadly calm voice. She picked up the pad from her desk. “First, your A4 has infected six A4 droids with this extended intelligence you allowed. My Droid maintenance officer tells me that reinitializing their AIs will do us no good, because they will grow back to their present level the first time they access our data banks. So they are worthless to this ship.

“These droids then sprayed 20 liter canisters of firefighting foam, D71 lubricating oil, and emergency hull sealant in an enclosed docking bay. The foam is no problem, but the oil atomized, got into the filters and clogged them and since no one had told the droids that were replacing them the cause, also flooded four more decks, causing yet more filters to be clogged. Luckily the damage control officer stopped them from replacing more because if he had not the life support plant would have been affected as well. However that caused 400 credits of damage and two thousand man hours because every air vent between Decks 9 and three has a layer of oil on them.

“The hull sealant did it’s job, which means we have an additional 400 man hours of cleanup with blowtorches and hammers to break it all free.” She set the pad down, and the calm broke like a levee wall hit by a 20 meter flood surge.

It was a good thing the Corellian Navy had spent the money to soundproof the Captain’s office. Freya blistered the air for a full half an hour before she calmed down.

“Now, you-” She pointed at her sister. “Will promise me by all you deem holy that you will stop this practical joking now and in the future. If I hear about one more such incident, I will hunt you down and give you the spanking you so richly deserve. Swear!”

“I promise, Freya.”

And you!” She pointed at Breia. “You are old enough to know better. If I notified the Jedi Council on Corellia what you had done do you think they would have approved?” Breia shook her head. “Answer me, damn you!”

“They would not approve, Captain.” Breia answered in a very small voice.

Freya growled. “Then the same goes for you.”

“I swear, Captain.”

“Get out of my sight and off my deck. MOVE!”

The two Jedi staggered into the passageway. They looked at each other silently, then suddenly grinned at each other.

“We’d have to stop.” Breia said. “I don’t think I can top that!”

“Agreed.” Sienna stuck out her hand, and they shook. The cabin door opened, and Freya stood there, glaring at them.

“Oh I forgot, I won’t have to spank you, little sister.”

“Huh?”

The captain handed her a pad. “The surveillance cameras were on, and the rating assigned assured we’d get good... coverage of the incident.” She closed the door.

Sienna looked at Breia with a cocked eyebrow, then keyed the pad. For a long moment, she stared at it, then her face went ashen. Breia took it away, and started it over.

Sienna had been in full ‘bad cop’ uniform. Skin-suit and helmet set for Scarlet. The hull sealant had plastered her left arm to her body, and covered half of her, dripping down until it had hardened. The oil had atomized over her uniformly meaning that attempting to move the frozen form or work on freeing her had been a form of group mud wrestling.
They couldn’t use the sonic system used if it had actually been a hull breach because the oil would have ignited under the sonic waves. Removing her from the suit had been a long painstaking process of cutting the unaffected parts of the suit away, then cutting off the rest of the now solid metal in sections.

At the time no one had considered exactly what this meant. But from the camera above, it looked like a poorly done pornographic movie. She had been nude underneath the suit, so there was a full half hour of her first half nude down the right side, then more being revealed as time went on starting at her head, and moving down her body until her leg was finally free. Through it all, they had been required to wrestle her into position for the next cut, which meant her skin had been well oiled for the viewer.

The two women looked at each other, stunned. “Well your secret is out, Sienna.” She looked at the last segment. “All of them.”

*****

“They’re shot! the Droid maintenance head almost screamed. He looked at the six A4s in the other room. They were not standing against the wall as they should unless on an assignment. Instead they were in a circle in the center of the room talking. Not with sealed packet communications as they should, but for all the world like a bunch of people at a party! He’d stopped listening halfway through because their discussion, like any such discussion of people, had at times gotten acrimonious. They had argued, even shouted!

“Total brain immersion.” His assistant commented.

“I don’t care what you call it. What it means is we have to send the lot of them down to the lab for analysis and scrapping.” The Head snarled. “Leaving us without them.”

“We can get-”

“No more A4s!”

‘Yes, sir.” The deputy tapped the annunciator.

“-but the analysis shows that Brogol did not take into account ambient movement of atmospheric elements when he came up with his weather prediction program.” One of the droids was saying.

“What do you mean? Chaos Theory suggests-” A droid began to reply.

“Don’t start in on Chaos Theory again!” Another interrupted. “Every time we talk you go on as if Chaos Theory explains everything, even though by definition it cannot!”

“May I have your attention please.”

“What do you mean you ill designed construct-”

“May I have your attention please.”

“One more word like that and I’m going to shove your pedi-palp up your stern access port!”

“SHUT UP!” The deputy roared. The droids fell silent. If all things had been normal, the droids would have formed up against the wall. But instead the eye stalks merely turned to look at the nearest monitor. “All A4 units will proceed to docking bay seven and load themselves onto the cargo shuttle there. With no talking!”

*****

The Jedi Council was in deliberation when Padawan Reyes came in abruptly.

“What is this?” Master Desical asked mildly.

“Sir, we have recorded everything of Drubba the Hutt’s operations that Ramadora knew. As you know all of it was recorded while she was in an hypnotic trance. It has taken us every minute since her arrival to do so.

“We were collating it when we came across this.” He held out the data pad. Desical looked at it, then passed it on to the Master to his left. “Is this verified?”

“Not yet, Master. But I must inform the investigators connected to ONI and Corellian Intelligence.”

“Which ones?”

“The ones Admiral Tran and Holani Solo began.” He pointed. “These names are part of the ‘official’ investigations.

*****

The message torpedoes had gone out, directed to the Jedi in most cases. Only one went to an official organization, that was sent to the Minister of the Interior of Nal Hutta. On Ryloth it went to Bib Watanagi.

*****

Drubba the Hutt meekly went with the authorities. His properties were seized, and he was banished.

*****
Premier Lassa glared at the two silent men in his office, then at the damning information that had been delivered.

“You are sure of this?” She demanded. Both Wanatagi and Fortuna nodded. She sighed, then keyed her annunciator. “I want to see the head of Intelligence and Buships in my office immediately. With their deputies.” She looked at the two men again. “Bib, you are the number 3 in Intelligence, would you take over?”

“Yes, Premier.”

“Do you want-”

“No, Premier.” He held up a hand. “That is the problem with our system. Too many in the upper echelon assign their friends and relatives to their staffs to pad them. I ask only that Morilli Desco of Records be assigned to assist me.”

“Does that blanket condemnation cover me as well?”

“I would like to say no, Premier. However one of the accused is your brother. The fact that you are willing to have him arrested speaks well of you. And so I will state to any media that asks me to comment.”

She sighed in relief. “Thank you, sir.”

*****

On Coruscant it went well. Fifteen men and women in Buships, Buweaps, and the intelligence committee were arrested with almost no trouble. Unfortunately, one of them sent off a message torpedo of his own.

*****

Sienna and Breia stepped off the ramp. Meeri stood there waiting for them.

“Meeri!” Breia ran forward, hugging her Padawan Learner. “You’re safe?”

“Yes.” The Ithorian said. “For three days now.”

When we’re done-”

“No, Master.”

Breia stopped, moving back to look her in the eye. “What do you mean?”

“That I have asked to be assigned to the conservation corps.”

“What!” For a trained Jedi, being assigned to the conservation corps was tantamount to admitting failure! “But Meeri-”

The Ithorian laughed. “It isn’t an admission of failure! The Corps senior officer here on Corellia wishes to retire, and I was offered his position.”

“Is that why you risked Iridian plague-”

“It wasn’t Iridian plague.” Meeri replied.

“But the canister!”

“My analysis was that it was Throidalian influenza.” Meeri replied coolly. “Which has a lot of the symptoms of Iridian plague, but not the lethal nature.” She looked at the pair. “Someone wanted to make everyone think the Neshtori had gotten weapons and wanted Corellia implicated.”

Breia looked at Sienna. “We had best-”

A Padawan came running out. “Padawan Solo! The Council needs to speak with you immediately!"


'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; 06-28-2006 at 06:43 PM. Reason: typo
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