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bright_ephemera
07.11.2012 , 07:01 AM | #17
CHRONICLES PRESENT, 9: In which the Wrath dines with the Cipher (I/IV)

Time period: After Andronikos Revel comes aboard the Helicarrier

This entry contains spoilers for one possible variant of the Agent's Alderaan line. No information of significance to the overall class arc is included.


Dahlia and Nalenne, once Vector and Jaesa had talked them into disengaging from the Killik hive, assembled their crews to dine in a private room in House Thul. Vector seemed…strained…at the decision, but it was convenient and Nalenne could bully their noble hosts into excellent service and a few hours’ relative privacy, so House Thul it was.

Nalenne let the seating fall where it might. Vette settled at one corner next to Nalenne. Quinn took the seat opposite Vette. Young Ensign Temple squeezed in next to Quinn and started comparing uniform details before he could so much as open his mouth to speak. Down Vette’s side, Jaesa, Andronikos, and Pierce; down Quinn’s side, Temple, Vector, Dahlia, and Kaliyo. At the foot of the table Broonmark took Doctor Lokin in a firm headlock.

“Is this really necessary?” inquired the doctor.

“I don’t trust you,” said Nalenne.

“I don’t trust him either. He is my friend,” said Dahlia. “Keep him there if you like – that looks hilarious – but you should at least feed him.”

“Take care of it, Broonmark,” ordered Nalenne. “Anyway, Dahlia, where’s your robot? She never comes out to play.”

“I think she’s insinuating herself into the planetary holonet. She thinks we’re too dumb for her anyway.”

“That machine is a walking security catastrophe,” said Quinn. “I am dying to know what information she extracts during these outings.”

“And you’ll never find out, cutie,” said Dahlia.

The servants started laying out the first of several courses.

*

“So I’m told that the most recent handbook had several changes to the parade formal standard,” said Ensign Temple in a sweet breathy voice. “But I haven’t managed to locate a copy. Do you have one, captain?”

“I do,” said Quinn shortly, and took another bite of nerf.

“I would love to get my hands on it sometime, if I may. Perhaps aboard your ship?”

Quinn stared straight ahead and chewed.

*

Jaesa eyed Vector curiously. “So you’re a diplomat? And a…Killik Joiner?”

“Yes, we are Dawn Herald for the Oroboro nest. We maintain some individuality while still being part of the greater nest.”

“That must be amazing. To be so aware of, well, a galaxy of life.”

“The Joining is a gift.” Vector smiled. “We are told that in some ways, the resulting sensory experience is not unlike Force awareness of a living place.”

Jaesa went all doe-eyed.

*

“Andronikos, was it?” said Dahlia.

“That’s the name.” Andronikos carefully lined up a slice of roast manka between two thick slabs of grilled nerf, and only started eating once he was satisfied with the sandwich's construction.

“I have to say, I love, love, love the gun style. Nobody trained back home handles it like that.”

“There’s a lot of things trained Imps can’t handle.”

“Maybe. But some of us are fast learners.”

*

“You had some okay moves out there,” said Kaliyo.

“Hm,” said Pierce, eating.

She grinned, lifted a drumstick to her mouth, worked it luxuriously with her lips a moment before tearing off a bite. Pierce comfortably ignored her.

“Rifle’s in prime shape, too,” said the Rattataki. “I liked the paint job, very ‘macho tough guy who isn’t trying to compensate for anything.’”

“Hm,” said Pierce, eating.

*

Lokin carefully sipped from the glass Broonmark was thrusting in his face. The Talz’s other arm held the doctor firmly in a headlock.

Lokin cleared his throat in genteel disapproval. “No, no, the Cortess red. The flavor is quite unique. I want to enjoy it while I can. I don’t know how we’ll manage when the supply runs out, since the Killiks don’t seem likely to cede the vineyards any time soon.”

Broonmark burbled ominously, but dragged Lokin over to the sideboard to pour the correct vintage.
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