Arrival on the Empress

By John Medkeff


Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 7:54 PM

    The elevator door opened and four black robed figures, stepped out onto
the command catwalk above the ISD Sapphire's bridge.  It took only a moment
for excitment to get the better of them and they ran over to the navigation
holo generator.  A fifth in civilian clothes followed them a moment later.
    "See, I told you it was time."  Tiri announced.  "We're already in the
Coruscant system."
    "Yes," Lonnie conceded, with a glare at his sister.
    Capt. Gemmon watched their arrival on his bridge with resignation.
"Teenagers."  They were part of the price he payed for the plum of
commanding Lord Taras Steele's personal flagship.
    "I guess even the Sith get to be young, sir," his exec commented.
    "I guess so."

    One of the Sithlings detacted herself from the group and walked to the
front of the catwalk.
    "Hello, Jan," Taras greeted her in Sitha.
    "Hello," Uncle Tor.   "Why are we going to Coruscant?"
    "For the Empress' cruise."
    "I meant the the reason, not the pretext."
    "Good, you're paying attention.  It is time for you, Lonnie, Tiri and
Attiles to see the capital,  and to be seen."  He smiled.  "And of course
someone has to keep an eye on Her Majesty's plans."
        "Is that all?'
        "Yes, I afraid so."  He laughed.  "Even we Sith aren't always
plotting."
        "I guess not."
        "Janel."  Taras turned and looked at her.  "Remember this, the slave
girl I bought on Gathros eight years ago, no longer exists.  You are are
Lady Janel Galthan of House Mathem.  Don't let anyone forget that."
        "I won't, Uncle Tor."

        Three days and two shopping expeditions later the Taras herded
his four apprentices into a shuttle at the Palace and on  up to the ISD
Empress.  All were dressed in civilian clothes.  Tiri, as usual was wearing
clothes just a bit fancier than was called for.
        As soon as the shuttle doors opened the four teenagers boted though
them.
        "Its not right ," Lonnie complained as he surveyed the landing bay
of the ISD Empress.  Azarra's handiwork was everywhere.
        "No, its not," Atilles agreed.
        "I rather like it," Tiri disagreed.  "Its softer, more confortable.
What do you think, Jan?"
        "I think its rather nice." Jan replied.  " Not very military, but
nice."
        "Its much nicer than the Sapphire's landing bay."  Melody Maurier di
Castro added.
        "Warships are not supposed to be be soft, or nice."  Lonnie snarled.
        Attiles nodded.
        "I don't think the Empress counts as a warship any more, boys."
Taras interupted.  "More like a cruise ship or an over grown yacht."
        "Jan, Melody, lets go see how Azarra has improved the rest of the
ship."  Tiri said as she ran though the door into the ship.
        Jan and Melody followed her.
        "Come on, boys, its not that bad."  Taras lead the way into the ship
and to their staterooms.



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