Based Upon Role-Play By: Armand Banooni, Dora Furlong, Patrick Furlong, Renee Gunn, Heather Melville, Dana Terry, and Ginna Wilcoxen A hazy morning sun broke through the windows of the palace's main hall. Several hundred representatives, guests, and courtiers assembled there now, curious to the day's agenda. Silence fell across the room as the doors near the dais opened and the Shardakourian party entered. The Royal party entered and took their places. Tara Alderson, ruler of Shardkour stopped and remained standing in front of her Chair. She looked around noting the presence of Daniella Elorie and the Princess M'lissa. The queen found it ironic that Daniella's installment as the Shardakourian Military Caerdon should be witnessed by one of those whom the military woman had previously served. With ingrained ease Tara gave the signal for everyone to take their seats and spoke up once the rustle of fabric ceased, "We wish to welcome the Princess M'lissa from nebula." She indicated the visiting Princess and her party. M'lissa bowed her head slightly in respect and look around at all those attending. "We have begun discussions through our prime minister on arranging for Embassies on Nebula and one here for them...as we have with Valass." Tara continued. "Lord Du'Cruet you and your party will come forward." Tara watched as the party of Telosian's approached and knelt. First was Xanatos and Christine followed by their fosterling, Karon Zelek. She smiled to herself upon seeing Alida resplendent in her formal red dress trimmed with gold and black, her short hair swept up. The queen hesitated before speaking, watching as the Jedi Knight Rory Ultan, now dressed in formal doublet knelt along with the group. "Rise." She nodded to the group, then focused her attention on Xanatos. "Lord Du'Cruet Telos has come under a great deal of scrutiny of late and suffered from a direct attack now as well as other indirect attacks upon your holdings....this has caused much concern among the other worlds...what do you have to say in regards to this?" Xanatos and his small group rose. The Telosian ruler settled his gaze on Tara. "We've had enemies who know of Telos' background and how to slip through our security measures. The training for the guards has been increased and Planetary security is working with them to make sure the procedures are strict and enforced. We also know that one of the groups targeting us is quite old. It is called POWER. We are using our intel to find where they are getting their information as well as how to recognize them." Tara listened to Du'Cruet, then glanced at the others around her noticing that the Prime Minister of Shardakour, Derek Ionsoch frowned. Before she could speak up a representative from one of the allied worlds stood, "And how soon do you expect to have all of this under control? Can you keep it from affecting the rest of us? Drysani and Arridor were dragged into the middle of this once....why shouldn't we vote to send in troops and bring down martial law until this is straightened out?" "The people have pulled together to aid the military we have and have been instrumental in the capture of many who were there that would like to see Telos fail. To send in troops now would undermine the stability of Telos. Arridor was attacked because of an error my representative made in communicating with the Jedi, and the rumor of Jedi heading to Arridor is what attracted the Imperials, the people who blew up the damn have been caught and the threat has been removed. Arridor city is rebuilding as well as the space port again with strict security clearances." "Exactly." The man retorted, "A mistake by one of your people...I do not see how you can continue and run a security operation like this when the past actions have exhibited such potential for disaster? Who knows where else or what could happen to one of the rest of us in the confederation...even the trade partners." he indicated M'lissa, "Could be attacked or affected." "Representative Vertan." The Derek stated softly. "Yes minister?" The burly man turned his pale brown eyes on Lord Ionsoch. "Have you such little faith in the confederation then?" "In the confederation? No." he blustered, shaking his head, "But this man and his world pose a risk to the rest of us." "You judge the worth of a man and of an entire planet based upon one event?" "Hardly the worth of one man or planet prime minister." Representative Vertan retorted, placing his hands on the edges of his formal coat, "I merely state his...inexperience at handling such matters and the risk it represents to us...I am hardly suggesting we toss him on his ear...but he poses a risk to us right now...there are those who have attacked him merely because of his past and those who seek revenge or control of telos....this trend appears to continue and we have already seen the lengths to which these people...these organizations are willing to go...right down to factions of the empire what is to keep the empire from coming after us if he brings their wrath down upon us?" Vertan glanced between Du'Cruet and Ionsoch as he spoke. "Representative Vertan," Xanatos interjected, "I admit I have made mistakes and they have been dangerous ones. I cannot erase my past, and my desire is not to harm the Confederation, Telos is stronger as is her ability to overcome and face these dangers. But I do believe if we shut Telos down, enforce martial law at this time, you will bring the attention of my enemies as well as the Empire. That is something I do not wish to see." Amalie stood, "I have spent much time on telos and I can tell you if we sent people en masse there it would also send those plotting further underground and bring just as much potential danger to us as if we did nothing." M'lissa stood and claimed the floor once the Shardakourian Princess finished speaking, "I am not extremely familiar with Lord Du'Cruet nor Telos's current situation, however, I believe if you were to send in armies and set martial law, you would only undermine the people's belief in Lord Du'Cruet's competency as a ruler, and in the future he would not be as effective as a ruler, and perhaps that is what his enemies are looking to gain. So by sending in armies you would only be giving them what they want." "And perhaps removing him as a ruler is what is needed...bring him here to shardakour or send him elsewhere where he can be more effective." Vertan suggested outright. The majority of the eyes in the room turned to Xanatos, including those of his aide and the former Jedi Master Alida Reineach, she glanced at Xanatos, wondering how he would answer such a thing. Du'Cruet stood straight. "It may be true that another could rule Telos better than I have since my return to this time, but to do so would open Telos to civil war and cause difficulty for those you would put in my place. Yet if that is what the confederation decides, I ..." Xanatos paused. "I will do what I can to help the transition so that the people of not only Telos but those of this Confederation are protected. Tara smiled slightly as murmurs spread throughout the room then died down. "There is hardly need to replace him..that is a bit extreme Representative Vertan." Amalie replied coldly, a frown etched deeply in her expression. "Princess Amalie." The representative stated, speaking her name and title with an obvious disrespect, "It is well known you will be marrying one of his lieutenants and the heir to a domain here...perhaps your judgment in this matter is clouded." Vertan replied. Amalie's anger rose, "Hardly a need to throw such words Representative." her words hard. The assembly began to mutter and speak amongst themselves, but fell quiet as Derek spoke up, "So your suggestions are whether to replace Lord Du'Cruet or martial law Representative?" "They are certainly possibilities." The representative nodded, "The fact remains...there is a threat." "So you seek assurances that there will be no threat of attack in the future?" "Hardly...we seek to mitigate this threat and find a solution as to how best to handle this...like any of us *should* be concerned with Prime Minister." The representatives piercing eyes met and held the prime minister's calm steady gaze. "Representative Vertan," Derek continued, "I realize your frustration in this matter, and your desire for a resolution to a potential threat. I would however urge you to remember yourself." Vertan went stiff, "Of course Prime Minister...but I urge you to actually recognize the threat." Once more the assemblage broke out in conversation. Some agreeing with the Prime Minister and others with the Representative. "You refer to the threat of being attacked?" Derek inquired, ignoring the many side conversations now occurring. "I do...and mostly because of one man...Xanatos Du'Cruet." "If you have suggestions on how to improve on what we have already done I am willing to listen representative. Perhaps we are too close to the situation to see the fast solution you may see." Xanatos stated calmly. "I did not mean to imply there would be a fast solution Lord Du'Cruet...and I thank you for your willingness to see and understand these difficulties." Vertan replied equally calm, not willing to risk the consequences of another insult. Xanatos gave a slight incline of his head. "Telos has made great strives, and accomplishments. The course is never easy for a planet that is growing and learning to adapt to new situations. Yet the technology is working for Telos, we have had the insight of many advisors to show where the defenses can be strengthen. It has been a slow process, but it is one that will last." Tara smiled to herself, xani had been doing well his voice calm and even throughout, "This is a mater that we will continue to discuss at the end of our session today... we have another whose voice will matter and it can hold for now." All eyes turned towards the now seated queen. She nodded at Du'Cruet giving him and his party permission to move off to the side. She noted the Jedi Knight among them was only too happy to do so. Tara watched them go then glanced around slowly at everyone assembled in the room, "A formal wife has been selected for my son." She looked over at Damien. Damien offered Anna his arm and glanced at the Padawan Rensime, now serving as his aide, then began to walk forward. Tara glanced over at Rory, noting his reaction to her announcement, a slight cough. She wondered if he was merely surprised, or if it was a more disapproving cough. Unlikely though that she would ever know. She rose as the group knelt, including the Jedi Padawan. The blue and silver dress complimented the teenagers coloring and the maids had framed her hair nicely with braids, all in an effort, Tara noted, to conceal the Padawan braid. "I hereby announce the formal engagement of State between Our Son Damien Alderson and Anna Woven...to be formalized in five months." Damien smiled back at Alida and Karon in spite of himself, ignoring the concerned expression Rory wore. "Rise...and take your place." Tara smiled at them ignoring the murmurs amidst the representatives. The formal announcement meant now the only hope of aligning a house with the crown of shardakour was to petition for a genetic pairing to produce a child. Damien rose and offered his official bride his arm, the pair smiling slightly as they moved to stand off to the side of the King and Queen, their Jedi Padawan calm and collected behind them. "Daniella Elorie...you will come forward." An older woman dressed in Shardakour Uniform stood and walked forward. Her greying hair pulled back into a tight braid that trailed down her back. Her face was set and stoney, she glanced neither right or left as she approached the Queen. Tara walked to the bottom of the dais. " Daniella Elorie, I call upon you to swear allegiance and loyalty to Shardakour her Vassals and her allies. Will you do so?" "I will," she said without hesitation. "Then kneel." Tara looks at the assemblage as Daniella knelt, "I ask all who are assembled now to bear witness as these oaths are exchanged, if the energy should fade and a falsehood be spoken this day or in the future this oath proven false, I ask you now to bring justice the one who failed in their duty." Tara nodded to the force user off to the side and the blue energy field she referred to appeared and stabilized in the room. Tara looked down at the kneeling woman, "Daniella Elorie, Will you swear allegiance to Shardakour and this Council, and pledge your life to serve it? Will you swear to defend the honor of Shardakour in all just causes, and to amend all wrongs done?" "I will," she said again. She wondered what M'lissa thought of this, she had served Nebula faithfully for so many years, then they betrayed her. Her thoughts interrupted by the Queen. "I charge you Daniella Elorie, with the responsibility to lead our combing security forces of Shardakour and dedicate yourself to the security of our people, the people of Shardkour, her Vassals, and all of her allies." Tara looked at Daniella, "Do you accept this charge Daniella Elorie?" : Do you solemnly declare that to your knowledge you are fit to assume this responsibility?" "I do," she replied Tara glanced around at the assemblage, "If there are those who would object do so now." Murmurs rose, but no objections were forthcoming. Tara continued after the requisite pause in speech, "Daniella Elorie, know that I Tara Liriel Alderson do swear my own loyalty, that of the Crown of Shardakour, of our Vassals and of our allies in return." She reaches down to Daniella, taking the other woman's hands in her own, "Rise now and be welcome." Daniella stood, the barest hint of a smile touched her lips. A new chapter was starting today, but its words had not yet been written. Tara turned Daniella to face the council of Representatives and stepped back, "Be it known that we officially welcome Daniella Elorie as a loyal citizen of Shardakour and do hereby bestow upon her the title and office of The Caerdon...responsible for all of our military forces... and working with those of our vassals." She looked over at Daniella, "Caerdon...tell me your thoughts on this matter of Lord Du'Cruet." She turned and headed back up and sit down. "Your majesty... I do not feel that replacing Lord Du'Cruet would be prudent at this time," she was glad her voice didn't waver. "All the intelligence indicates that to do so would cause a great deal of unrest on Telos...such unrest adds a additional element to an occupation, at this time it is best for us to offer extra support to the Telosian forces" "Then you will make this decision when you visit telos on your tour...it will be your first stop." She nodded to Daniella as the newly installed Caerdon sat down. "Yes your majesty," Daniella returned to her set keeping her expression closed only by years of practice. Vertan rose and spoke, before Daniella sat down, "Caerdon you realize by this decision you take this responsibility and all of our safety into your hands." "If I understand my duties correctly I believe that was already implied," she said, her voice business like. "To send an occupying force would just add one more threat to the list" "Representative Vertan mind your place or you will be asked to leave." Tara warned him sharply. "The Caerdon is aware of her duties and responsibilities as evidenced by her oath just now." The man paled, "Yes your majesty." he bowed and sat back down. Tara nodded to Daniella, "Thank you..that will be all on this topic." Daniella nodded retook her seat. She let out a slight sigh, and relaxed ever so slightly, for good or ill the die was now cast. "Lord Du'Cruet." Tara called xani again. Xanatos stepped forward. "You have informed us of your intent to name your heirs?" "Yes, your majesty." "Good....this will assist in the stability of telos...when will the official ceremony take place and whom do you intend to name?" Xanatos looked at Christine. Christine smiled at him reassuringly and stepped forward next to her husband as he spoke, "The official ceremony is to take place in three months on Telos." "We will name our children, Rohana and Kennard and a regency until they are of age and the appropriate one selected to rule over telos." Christine stated evenly. Tara nodded, "Very good then...you will keep us informed of this progress and I commend the plans for the future good of telos." Christine curtsied deeply. "Yes your majesty." Xanatos bowed. Tara rose, "Then we are convened for today...trade issues will be discussed tomorrow." She proceeded down the dais as the assemblage rose. It had been a difficult enough morning for all of them. Once the royal party had all retreated safely the main doors were opened and the beings began discussing the events among themselves along with other business each had at hand.
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