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07.02.2012 , 11:24 PM | #2
CHRONICLES PRESENT, 1: In which Nalenne defends Quinn's job

Time period: In the first few weeks after Quinn's return to life

Nalenne strode down the main thoroughfare of Kaas City in what she hoped was an imposing and Wrathful way, rather than just a frantic power walk. Quinn kept pace, and he looked pretty good doing it, so Nalenne figured she was probably fine.

Note to self. Get Kaas city ordinances amended to allow speeders. Kaas City was a network of skyscraper islands separated by gaping chasms that fell hundreds of meters into mist and jungle. This was a very exciting city layout, but after several high-profile accidents, they had banned ground vehicles entirely. It was a betrayal of the very "survival of the fittest" principles the Empire stood for, but try telling that to the Committee on Public Safety (a standing insult to the Sith if there ever was one). At least the offices Nalenne was hurrying for weren't in the Citadel proper. They were in the first island of Kaas City's great high rises, so a fast walk would get her there.

She just had to beat her sister Niselle.

General Daman kept austere offices in the military headquarters of Dromund Kaas. Technically the armed services had some space in the great Citadel, but the general was notorious for his dislike of ostentation, so here he stayed, a harsh grey man in a harsh grey building issuing harsh grey commands to a harsh grey people. He was, to no one's surprise, a personal hero of Quinn's.

Nalenne didn't bother with the receptionist, and the guards had the sense to get out of her way. Her angry face was good for something after all. And perhaps Quinn's crisp uniform and air of dutiful determination placated the functionaries who might otherwise make a suicidal stand against a Sith.

She kicked General Daman's office door open and found the elderly soldier sitting at his desk, angled to face three officers lined up against the right-hand wall. Irrelevant. "General," she said. "I trust you've kept our last holocall in mind."

"My lord Wrath," he said through his harsh grey beard as he stared at her with harsh grey eyes. "Of course I respect your command, but you understand I am in a most difficult position." He bowed in place, then cocked an eyebrow at Quinn. "Captain."

Quinn saluted. "General." Nalenne got the impression that this was what qualified as warmth between these two.

"Darth Niselle has contacted me more than once demanding that the captain be stripped of his rank and dishonorably discharged," Daman told Nalenne.

"I'm aware of this. You will ignore her."

"When the Emperor's word is split like this..."

"Don't let's pretend the Emperor comes into this, yes?"

Only an eye trained by dealing with Quinn would have detected the subtle relief in the general's stance. "Yes, my lord."

"But he does," drawled an overly familiar voice. Niselle straightened from where she had been lurking against the far left wall. "Dear sister, how could you ask this poor man to defy the Emperor's will?"

"Show me someone who knows the Emperor's will and I'll show you a drooling cretin who could use a good slap in the face. Hi, Nis."

"Hello, Lenny. I feel it's in everyone's best interest for your captain to step down."

"My crew put you up to this, didn't they."

"What, I can't sabotage your husband's career on my own? Quinn's going down."

"Too late, hon. I got him back in the service and you won't knock him out again."

"Tsk, tsk. Let's respect the chain of command on this, shall we?"

"Rank-wise I am every bit your equal."

"I was more referring to the general." Niselle turned to Daman. "You'll find I'm a much more rewarding mistress than this one. Obey me. Simply discharge Quinn."

"Ignore her," said Nalenne. "Let the man who has served well, and been the first man in the history of the Imperial military to volunteer for active duty while dead, continue his career."

"The service through death was most impressive," admitted the general. Quinn glowed a tiny bit.

"Having the sense to do what I want is most impressive, too," said Niselle. "Honestly." She reached out and blasted lightning across the room, raising an acrid smell and rapidly killing the first of the officers standing by the wall. "Does that alter your decision at all?"

"I will not be bullied," said the general. "But if this is the Dark Council's decision...."

"Oh, it is," purred Niselle.

"Is not," said Nalenne. "You, general, you would listen to your own men, right?"

"I trust their judgment."

Nalenne turned to the second of the lesser officers. "You think Quinn should stay. Right?"

"I-I don't even know him, my lord."

"I can vouch for him."

"I won't," volunteered Niselle.

"Shut up."

"I - I - " said the officer.

Not helping. "Too late." Nalenne drew her saber and cut the useless man down. "Have you reached a decision yet, general?"

"I cannot just discharge an officer without evidence," he said. This was a bald-faced lie, but then, there was no safe thing for him to say here.

"The evidence is that as long as Quinn is in your service with a mostly flattering record, I'll be killing your people." Niselle zapped the last of the lesser officers. She drew this death out in a theatrical spray of lightning. "Do as I command."

"I think the first two established he won't be swayed that way, you dolt." Nalenne put her saber away, raised a hand, and started Force choking the general. "You. Let me know when you start seeing things my way."

"My lord, please," said Quinn.

"I am trying to make a point here, captain," said Nalenne, but she released the general.

Daman coughed hard, and then made an effort to sit up straight. "My lords, this behavior is - "

"If your next three words aren't 'Yes, Darth Niselle,' you will die," warned Niselle.

"Knock it off," said Nalenne.

"My lord, please," repeated Quinn, this time to Niselle.

"You're all insane," growled Daman.

"None of those words were correct!" screeched Niselle, and blasted the general before Nalenne could get an interrupting Force push into motion. "Nobody here is any use at all! I need to find somebody who's willing to fire your pet, Lenny. Who's the ranking officer left alive around here?"

Nalenne grinned. "Thanks to your efforts, dear, that would be Captain Quinn."
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