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Old 09-28-2006, 01:13 PM   #11
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Chapter X

''Who's the more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?''
Obi-Wan Kenobi

It was high noon on Bastion. It was the most beautiful time of the day for Marasiah Fel. The colors of the sky and clouds at noon were one of the few things that took the Princess' mind of this entire situation. Driven away from her own home on Coruscant, her father, the Emperor, now reduced to a leader of a guerrilla force. It was a real shame.

Marasiah stood on the balcony, staring partly at the sky and partly at the city below. She envied the people that lived there. Ordinary people. They don't even feel the impacts of this war. That's what it was in the end, war. Those people live their lives as if everything was normal, they were completely oblivious to the world around them. Marasiah wished she could lead a normal life again, no strings attached, but she couldn't. She was a Fel, the daughter of the Emperor. She had obligations.

The door ot her chambers buzzed. ''Enter.'' Marasiah said, still staring at the sky.

The door opened and a Twi'Lek young woman entered. It was Astraal Vao, sister of the Jedi Shado Vao and a close friend of the Princess. She was wearing the traditional white dress-uniform of the Imperial Mission. She slowly approached the balcony door.

''Are you alright, Princess?'' She asked with genuine concern.

''Yes. It's just... this war and everything.'' Marasiah replied.

''Your father and his Imperial Knights are doing all they can.'' Astraal tried to consolate her.

''My father is doing everything he believes is right, but that doesn't make it so. I know that there are a lot of Imperial Knights who don't agree with my father's choice of tactics and frankly, neither do I.''

''What are you saying, Princess?'' Astraal asked slightly confused.

''I'm saying my father made a mistake when he preserved the Empire and then another one when he allied himself with the Sith. I'm saying that now he doesn't have enough courage to clean up his own mess.'' Marasiah said with resentment.

''Princess Marasiah...'' Astraal was taken by surprise.

''Deep in your heart you too know it's true, Astraal. My father is afraid that if he attacks Coruscant now, the Sith will retaliate against Bastion. He's afraid that he'll die.'' Marasiah said, the resentment growing inside her.

''You aren't planning something on your own, Princess. Are you?'' Astraal asked with a genuine concern for the Princess. The door buzzed again.

''Ah, they are here.'' Marasiah said, ''Would you let them in, Astraal?''

Astraal nodded in acknowledgement and went to the door to greet the guests. The door opened and on the other side stood three Imperial Knights Antares Draco, Sigel Dare and Ganner Krieg. Astraal was utterly confused by all this, but she stepped to the side and gestured the three to enter. Marasiah entered back into her chamber too, closed the balcony door and pulled on the golden satin curtains.

''Astraal, I'm sorry, but I need to discuss something with my guests in private.'' Marasiah politely suggested her to leave.

Astraal took the hint. ''Of course, Princess. If you'll excuse me...'' She said, a quick bow followed and she left the room.

Marasiah now turned to her three guests. She gestured with her hand for them to sit down and they did. She followed suit. Her entire room was reeking of nobility. The walls were painted in mild silver, the furniture dressed with the most expensive fabrics, paintings of famous artists hanging on the walls, but all that meant very little to Marasiah.

''Princess?'' Draco said, breaking her trail of thought and making her refocus on the situation at hand.

''Draco, Sigel, I'm glad you came. Ganner, I didn't know you'd be here too.'' She said semi-formally.

''Draco showed me the data and I think it's worth the risk.'' The man with the long red hair tied in a tail said.

''Good. The more the merrier.'' The Princess said, ''Now, may I see the data?''

''Of course, Princess.'' Draco said and gestured with is head to Sigel who handed the datapad to the Princess.

Marasiah looked at the titles of the three files on the datapad - The Jedi Healer, The Unknown Threat and The murders on Coruscant. She took a moment to quickly read through each of the files while the Imperial Knights sat on the bright red furniture and waited. When she finally finished reading through it she raised her head and her look showed that she was interested.

''This is very intriguing.'' She said finally, ''The Sith attention is focused on these three things and on them only. The fact that they didn't do anything to reestablish their presence on Socorro, or retaliate for our attack proves this.''

''The question is, Princess, what are we going to do? How are we going to use this information?'' Draco said calmly.

''Your father dismissed the idea of attacking Coruscant and the Sith Emperor.'' Sigel said.

''Then we'll have to take matters into our own hands. My father is to stubborn, proud and... afraid. Leave everything to me. Once I get things organized I will inform you so we can work out the details.'' Marasiah said.

''Is there anything we should do?'' Ganner asked.

''Yes. Find out which Imperial Knights would be willing to join us and I'll do the same with the military. Be subtle about it, we don't want my father finding out until there's nothing he can do about it, except help us.''

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