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[AP] PRODIGAL SON, A Rogue's Tale - Book II
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Coupaholic





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PostPosted: Mon, 9. Apr 12, 18:05    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Lookin' good so far peoples - I will continue to lurk!

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the_chalk_outline





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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Apr 12, 15:06    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I should read more carefully!

Welcome back (even though you wrote the start to this before I last posted on the From Nothing thread) Confused

I've had technical problems of my own with X3TC and haven't played for a while. I may just bite the bullet and buy AP myself.

I think we've heard the last of Preacher unless a situation presents itself at some point in the future.

I look forward to the rest of part 2 Smile Don't get blown up too quick!


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Maxwell Jones





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PostPosted: Tue, 17. Apr 12, 00:54    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

You sure can build suspense SD.

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Scion Drakhar



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PostPosted: Sat, 21. Apr 12, 11:54    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hey folks. Sorry for the delay. I'm actually posting this from the local library. I had a problem with my computer; a problem involving a cup of coffee, a dog, gravity and delicate electronic equipment. It's being worked on, the hard drive wasn't damaged, but it will be "another few days" - says the guy at Circuit City. Apparently they're waiting on the new motherboard I want. So I'll let you know when I know and we'll be underway as soon as possible.

Cheers.


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stads





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PostPosted: Sat, 21. Apr 12, 13:23    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

sorry to hear about the loss of the coffee Crying or Very sad
hope the cost of replacement parts wont be that high

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Triaxx2





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PostPosted: Sat, 21. Apr 12, 13:46    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Been there, done that. Mine was soup and there was no dog involved.


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Gosnell





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PostPosted: Sat, 21. Apr 12, 14:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Lucozade and a open window with mine.

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the_chalk_outline





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PostPosted: Tue, 24. Apr 12, 14:01    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Angry Wife!

Evil or Very Mad


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Deeparth





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PostPosted: Tue, 24. Apr 12, 21:08    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

the_chalk_outline wrote:
Angry Wife!

Evil or Very Mad

Laughing
Angry Dad.


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Knucles2





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PostPosted: Wed, 25. Apr 12, 03:28    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Angry cuppa joe!!!

i hates me attitudinal joes

Very Happy


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Scion Drakhar



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PostPosted: Wed, 25. Apr 12, 18:24    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Alrighty then! Thanks for your patience, folks! Last time I dog-sit, I tell yah. Anyway, here's the next installment.

Note: Installed NPC salvagers to compete with me for abandoned and bailed ships.





5. Terran Conflict

Nathanís Voyage was more of the same. One or two stations had opportunities for employment but nothin' I was interested in. Although I did discover that someone has gone and slapped a name on the Ďunknowní sector in between Nathanís Voyage and A148. Theyíre callin' it ĎEnduring Lightí now. I donít know why but I found that funny. Of course that might just be the stress gettiní to me. In any case I led the way through the gate into Black Hole Sun.

Now I donít know if it was that big ole Argon Military Base sittiní right in front of us or what but for some reason the instant I was in Black Hole Sun I felt good about it. A few moments later, after the Endless came through the gate and shared her sensor data with me, I found two great big reasons for why that might be. The first one was an Argon Express in really bad shape, but still sellable, even if just to scrap it. On my way in to claim it, though, and I noticed somethiní else. Yeppers. That would be one Mercury Super Freighter XL, and with almost half itís hull Iím tempted to keep it. After I claimed it I discovered somethin' even better, though. Namely three 25mj shields. Hell, yeeah. I didnít even wait. I had that Mercury dump two of those shields out into space before headiní for the Military Outpost. After pickiní Ďem up I spent the time it took for the Mercury to get to the Outpost installiní the things myself. Afterward I scooted on over to collect the Express. I never quite got there.

Did I say I felt good about bein' in Black Hole Sun? I did? Yeah? Well that was before I heard the missile lock engage and started listeniní to Betty stutter over lettiní me know there were way too damn many missiles pointed at me. I used the external cameras to try and find the source. When I did I swear before the holy light of the creator that I nearly pissed myself. There was a massive tunnel of flail barrage missiles leadiní from just over the Military Outpost back to a Split Cobra near the south gate. Now I knew Iíd never be able to shoot íem all down, and I wasnít sure Iíd be able to outrun íem beiní out in the open as I was but the west gate was only about twelve klicks away so not seeinĎ any other option I hit the boost, cursed that I didn't have one of those Split Turbos available and ran like the devil himself was breathiní down my neck.

Even close as I was to that gate I still took some hits from the nearest flails as the event horizon of that gate filled the world. They kicked the hell out of my shields and had I not stripped the those two 25's from that Mercury I'd have been done. You know I donít think I ever realized before just how fast those bloody flails are. Holy shit, that was scary! At the very least the Endless was safely wrapped up inside the Military Outpost's shield, my people were safe, I had a new freighter - sort of - and I even managed to max out the shields on this Tenjin.

Of course the instant I exited the event horizon into Treasure Chest I discovered that I wasnít much safer than I had been as the target of that flail tunnel! The instant I exited the warp tunnel both a pair of Terran Scimitars and a Saber seemed to be barrelin' down on me! Now I think I've mentioned before that I don't believe in the concept of a fair fight. There are winners and there are losers and if you've got to pick one I know which one I prefer. So I certainly don't sit around waitiní for someone to punch me in the face before takin' a swing myself, at least not when I know it's comin'. So I opened up into the face of that Scimitar without so much as blinkin'. He passed me and I fell in behind him. I beat the snot of that fighter with my HEPTís and dropped his shields down low before the Saber got behind me and ran me off. I even managed to admire how hard those Terran ships are to kill and wondered if I was gonna survive the fight before realizin' those two fighters were already part of a scrap and had been when I arrived. Some Argon military fighters had already engaged them and fortunately the Argon never let up. Between myself and the Argon, in two Discos, one Buster and a beat up old Nova, we managed to destroy the Terrans, but not before that Nova got itís ass kicked by those bright blue swarm missiles the Terranís use - Poltergeists, I think - and the pilot bailed. Afterward there was a moment when the remaininí Argon seemed to be confirmin' my IFF signature but I apparently passed the muster cuz a moment later they were flyin' away and I was takin' deep breaths tryin' to remember what it felt like to be able to swallow.

Hoo, yeah. Crazy how fast things can heat up out here in the dark. Either way Iím still breathiní. I don't have any unnecessary holes in my ship. My people are safe, and somehow I managed to come out ahead. While I was sittiní there catchiní my breath the oddity of what just happened made me look up. For a moment all I could do was stare. I could see skirmishes takin' place across the whole sector. There was even a decent sized cloud of Xenon layin' into another Argon fighter patrol less than ten klicks from me and one hell of a rumble goin' on near the far gate involvin' three Boreas destroyers with a Titan movin' in to help out. I couldn't see what they were all worked up over but consideriní what Zíppt told me and what just happened with those Terran fighters Iím pretty sure it involves the Sol system beiní somewhat irate about their Torus Aeternal beiní used for fireworks. I couldnít help but wonderin' if maybe I'd made a mistake gettin' out of bed this mornin'. But then I remembered stealiní a Teladi Casino right in the middle of a Xenon attack and it occurred to me that I do seem to have a talent for turniní mayhem into profit. Which is when I found myself lookiní at some of the goodies floatiní in space around me, not the least of which was that Nova.

Hmmm. Well, all right. When life gives you lemons, right?

So, I made a call back to Black Hole Sun, and not wantiní to risk the Endless or all those people, I had the Mercury transfer anything of value over and then stick itís head out to see if anything took a shot at it. While waitiní to see if Iíd lose the freighter I scooted in and got close enough to that Nova to make a quick EVA over to claim it. While waitin' on the Mercury I watched those Boreas destroyers mop up whatever was irritatiní íem over by the west gate and then scoot on through, Iím assuminí over into Omicron Lyrae to whoop on some more Terran backsides. The thought of which made me smile. At the same time those Xenon were poundin' the bejeezus out of the trade lane, leaviní another pilot-less Mercury and few missiles floatiní around just waitiní for me to scoop íem up. By that time nobody'd killed my freighter and I felt comfortable lettin' the Endless undock to jump to me. So after sendin' Gin a burst transmission tellin' her to do just and another to the Mercury SFXL tellin' it to get back under cover. Then I jumped out of the Tenjin and reprogrammed that Nova and when Gin showed up I sent it on to meet her. Then I went to claim that Mercury and sent it over to a nearby Silicon mine to wait for me to be able to do somethiní with it. After that I hoovered up the odds ní ends I can use or sell from the trade lane and made my way to the far gate. Before headiní on through I did agonize for a moment about leaviní the Endless unprotected. After a few moments I decided Iíd rather spend the e-cells and have Gin and the Endless safe at the Military Outpost than floatiní in space without so much as the ability to even shoot back.

Bloody hell, but I need people. I need gunners and techies to man that ship and make it so the guns work. I need mechanics to repair these fighters Iím findiní. I need a helmsman and a navigator and an engineeriní crew. I need ... Right. I need to get my head in the game, scoot through this gate into Omly and see whatís what.

*****

So Omicron Lyrae is pretty hot too. Itís just fighters but I canít shake the feeliní that the Terrans are just feeliní out the sector defense and maybe gettiní the Commonwealth to tip our hand.

Huh. I donít know if I like what my brain just did. I said Ďour hand.í

I mean consideriní what they did to me Iíve certainly got enough reason to hate the Terrans, well most of Ďem anyway. Ginís terran. But sheís got at least as much reason as I do to want to kick the hell out of some GEOSS ass. But either way I certainly donít have any bloody intention of joininí the crusade and beiní some kind of idiot hero! I just want my damn money! I want some good card games and some pleasant company and some good weed and some fine drink and ... frak!

Bloody hell. Iíll never be able to let it go. These assholes destroyed everythiní I built and I canít help but feel like maybe I need to return the favor. I need some bloody payback.

Frak. Whatever. There's nothin' I can do about it, now. What I can do is capitalize on some other folkís misfortune. Thereís a lot of stuff floatiní in space from all the skirmishes and I think Iím just gonna scoop it up. The Argon sec def does seem to have everything well in hand at the moment and I think Iím gonna bring the Endless in so I can use her sensors to help me see whatís what. Right. Time to make some money.

*****

Bloody hell! Note to self. Keep an eye on the angry Terran Corvette! Good frakkin' God, that was stupid. I saw this ATF fighter, beat to hell but still with a shield in place and that frackiní reflex kicked in. ďOooh! Shiny!Ē Thinks I and then get all sorts of bloody tunnel vision, thinkiní about what kind of nifty Terran tech might still be aboard and wonderiní how fast it goes and how much shieldin' it'll carry and whether I can get my hands on any guns to bold onto it. I even hopped right outta my ship, claimed it and had it flyiní on back to meet with the Endless before I saw that frakkiní Katana! No thatís not true. I didnít see that frakkiní Katana! Not until after it started tryiní to kick my head in anyway. Bloody frakkin' idiot I am!

It shook me up so bad that before I realized what I was doiní I'd tumbled end over end hit the thrusters and dropped in behind it, weaviní and dodginí itís EMPC fire as I lay into it with my HEPTís. It wasnít until I looked down and realized I had no shields and the occasional ping of those electromagnetic plasma cannons was actually teariní into my hull! At which point I decided that I was outta my mind, whipped the ship around and hit the booster. Sheesh!

I managed to get away. That Thor that lured me into the bloody mess in the first place is now confetti but at the very least I didnít lose any equipment from the Tenjin. Iíve got a lengthy repair session ahead of me but as I was runniní away the nearby Argon Military Titan seemed to take as much exception to that Katana shootiní at me as the Katana did to me claiminí that ATF fighter. And I must say I weathered the Katana betterín the Katana weathered that Titan. Heh heh. PPCís apparently hit pretty hard. So, I didnít get the new toy, but Iím still in one piece and my enemy is dead. Iíll consider it a win and see if I can make sure I donít get distracted again. Bloody hell, Iím as bad with starships as I am with women. I canít help but look and Iím almost always distracted by the pretty ones.

At the very least these skirmishes are leaviní a pretty decent amount of salvage lyiní around. In both Treasure Chest and Omly Iíve collected a number of missiles, and even with the loss of that Thor there are ships just floatiní in space for the claiminí. Theyíre beat to hell but even if I just scrap Ďem I should net me a few credits for the trouble. Although I have to admit I was feeliní a bit iffy about this one Rapier. I found myself seriously debatiní whether the risk of becominí a new hood ornament for an incominí capital ship was worth the couple thousand cred I could net for that thing. I snagged it anyway of course, but I did do it quickly. After that I ran around grabbiní the missiles left floatiní around in the aftermath of the Commonwealth - Terran skirmishes. I even found something I might be able to make use of. Itís got some equipment on it at the very least and itís not in terrible shape. At the very least it merits a closer look when I get back aboard the Endless

*****

Right, so being that the sector was temporarily clear of the worst of the hostiles I decided to head back to the Endless to think things through. I need to get across X347 to bypass the Split, who have already tried once today to shove some high yield warheads into some places IĎd rather they not go. Being that the Xenon arenít likely to be any more friendly, and since the Terrans blew up my destroyer, Iím inclined to take a small, fast fighter through X347 in the hopes that Iíll either be too small to pay attention to or at the very least too fast to catch. Iíd prefer a Kestrel but if the Rapier I just obtained was repaired and fully tuned Iíd be williní to make the trip with it. So letís see what Iíve got that I can use to get the Rapier kitted out. Four heavy fighters but only enough gear for one. Two of which are barely more than scrap and will cost a small fortune to repair. The Buster is a bust as well and before I put any money into that Pericles IĎd rather get LegionĎs Mamba in fightiní shape. And I need money. Right. So Iím gonna strip and sell everything but the Mamba, the Tenjin and Rapier.

*****

Oh this turned out very nicely. That Rapier had an electromagnetic plasma cannon and, perhaps more importantly, a docking computer. That docking computer alone is worth itís weight in Nividium. With it if I can use the Tenjin to defend the Endless and if I get in trouble I can just beam back aboard the TL to take cover. The Pericles had a pair of particle accelerator cannons, one of which has already been installed in the Tenjinís empty turret, giving me complete cover, and a transporter beam, which Iíve also installed in the Tenjin. If for no other reason than I have nowhere else to put it. In addition, if I get into trouble while claiming or repairing a ship I can just beam back into the cockpit. So all in all Iím feeling quite a bit safer.

Iíve repaired the Rapier to the best of my ability. Itís not as good as a professional repair but then Iím not a professional. Sheíll hold together, though. I still need to take her on to the Equipment Dock and have her upgraded but I think Iím feeliní pretty good about whatís about to happen. The Rapier isnít as fast as a Kestrel but after I max her out sheíll do over 450m/s, which ainít half bad. Good enough to outrun any Xenon I know of anyway. Unfortunately Iíve only got a pair of 1mj shields for her, but I donít intend to get into a fight with it anyway. Her job is to run.

I didnít get a great deal on the fighters I sold at the shipyard, but considering it was all gravy Iím not complaining. Much. Itís hard not thinkiní about how just a couple weeks ago these assholes would have given me a blowjob just to make sure I thought of 'em if I ever had need of buyin' any ships in the future. Of course itís now unlikely that Iíll be spending three hundred million credits on new fighters any time soon. Either way Iím about ready to take that Rapier to the shipyard. After itís got everything I intend to bolt onto it Iíll see about gettiní us through X347. One way or the other it should be a pretty quick trip.

*****

Right. So I upgraded that Rapierís engine as far as it would go. Then I had boost extension installed, thinkiní that every little bit helps when somebodyís tryiní to introduce you to something that will atomize your bones. I had them bolt on a Duplex scanner and a navigational computer. It already had a couple things I didnít notice earlier, which I think I can make use of. A freight scanner, a mineral scanner and a CLS. So if just for the equipment Iím pretty glad I decided to stick my neck out to snatch this thing out from in front of that gate.

So, now Iím off and headiní into Nyanaís Hideout. Hopefully I donít die tryiní to scream in a vacuum.


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Last edited by Scion Drakhar on Sat, 1. Jul 17, 08:27; edited 1 time in total
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stads





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PostPosted: Wed, 25. Apr 12, 20:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

good to have ya back

love the story took a risk with the rapier but it seems to have payed off Very Happy

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Tohron



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PostPosted: Thu, 26. Apr 12, 01:21    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

We should start measuring your chapters in terms of "heart attacks induced"

Getting targeted by a flail barrage in a fighter in mid-sector with no turboboost, jumpdrive, or docking computer definitely sounds scary. If it had been me who got through the gate and saw those Terran fighters, I'd probably have just strafed back through since active missiles disappear once you leave sector.

REALLY think you should boost your Teladi rep (docking computer lets you dock, buy/sell 1MJ shields, undock/dock and repeat to boost rep) and get a Kestrel from PTNI rather than trying to run through X347 then pirate space in a 2MJ Rapier - both Wasp missiles and Flail Barrage missiles will outrun it - and Xenon regularly use wasps. It would be a real shame to see this run end because you weren't prepared for a missile barrage - and you've already had one close call.

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PostPosted: Thu, 26. Apr 12, 06:05    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

You might know this already, but a trick I use when ever I'm about to cross Xenon sectors is to get away from the ecliptic as fast as possible. Once you're through the gate, head straight up and place yourself at least twenty clicks above the gates. Unless they changed something drastically in AP the Xenon rarely stray far away from the "middle", and if they do they send maybe an M or a couple of Ns. It also helps to let a few freighters fly through first, to keep the Xenon busy. I haven't tried AP, however, so take that with a grain of salt.


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PostPosted: Thu, 26. Apr 12, 16:28    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I like a nice screaming climb at full power. I aim for the mid point and most of the slower ships can't catch me, and the faster ones can be avoided. Then turn and dive OVER the gate, and strafe in the back.

---

Log, Split Special Council: Rhonkar Presiding

"You told me he was DEAD! You said that the Terrans couldn't possibly have let him survive!" Tkr's representative was furious. The voice was at the top of his lungs. Rhonkar's representative remained calm, picked up the gavel and smashed it into the other Split's forehead. Tkr stumbled back, startled but unhurt.

From a lesser family, or lesser family member, such a blow would be an act of war. From Rhonkar's Representative though it was merely an insult to be tolerated. Still the blow was more than just an insult, but was in fact a reprimand. Rhonkar's representative had become a little less tolerant lately and no one quite knew why. Njy's representative, calmer than his counter-part from Tkr by far had remained seated as the other jumped to his feet. He'd been expecting a shouting match. It had been commonplace once they learned that only the fish had been killed in the attack on the complex.

Now that the captain of the Cobra had revealed that Drakhar was alive, as well as the disgraced captain, Tkr's representative was beyond furious. Njy's had been drug from his bed to attend this conference and despite his typical Split readiness to be prepared for battle at any time, he was not really interested in being here. He'd been given word that if there was an opportunity to break the alliance he was to take it. Sadly the insult wasn't stronger, or he could have taken Rhonkar's side, demanded a trial by combat and had Tkr dishonored, which would have been enough to break the alliance.

Taking a slow, deep breath, Njy waited, hoping Tkr would make more of the insult, but it failed to occur.

"Apologies." Tkr backed up to his chair. Rhonkar replaced the gavel without removing his eyes from Tkr.

"Ugh." Was all the response Rhonkar gave. "Our sources of information were incorrect."

"As I told you they were." Vo'l'nt snorted, entering through the large double doors. "I was on my way here to bring evidence of a sighting in Grand Exchange, when I heard the news."

"He moves quickly." Njy noted quietly in the break. It was the first thing he'd said the entire meeting. Vo'l'nt nodded.

"Rumor says that the Argon have granted him clemency for his past deeds." Vo'l'nt noted. The two representatives snorted almost as one. "I have a contact in the Argon government digging to find out the truth of the matter. He was allowed to pass their space without incident, at least without incident involving Argon forces." She didn't glare at Tkr. It was a Tkr ship that had opened up on one lone fighter with a full set of barrages. And failed to land a single hit.

"The Terrans also attacked him when he retreated." Tkr objected.

"And also failed miserably to terminate him." Rhonkar smiled, showing every single tooth in his smile. Tkr swallowed. "It would seem this one is as slippery as a Ch'thar'ok." Rhonkar sighed.

"If you are about to ask we sue for peace again, do not. It will not..." The gavel hit him square in the face again. The throw was perfect, head striking exactly in the same spot as it had at close range. Vo'l'nt applauded. Njy swallowed a snicker.

"You do not tell us what will, or will not happen. If you are told to make peace, you will make peace. If you are told to attempt an EVA without a space suit, you will do so. Because Rhonkar commands. Obedience is a requirement, NOT a request." Tkr appeared ready to slide to the floor, but held himself by the table.

"Understood." His Ser'kavi was very deep, but also very shaky. He seemed half an instant from falling.

"Now, what I had been ABOUT to say was that he is very slippery indeed, and that tact may succeed where brute force has failed."

"The fish tried an assassin. He spotted and killed it before it got close enough to do more than die in a splatter of blood." Tkr objected. Rhonkar's eyes narrowed. Njy took an involuntary step back. Vo'l'nt leaned away, looking wary of getting blood on what was obviously a dress uniform. Of course, if the opportunity presented itself, she'd coat it in an opponents blood herself without thinking twice, but some Split considered it bad form to let a uniform get bloody from someone else's opponent. Njy filed that fact away. He also considered she might just not want to soil her uniform for no good reason.

"You are an imbecile. The assassin the fish used was a rank amateur, because she was not yet capable of fully understanding humans and did not recognize boasting." Rhonkar relaxed slightly. Njy fought the urge for another step. "We will chose our assassin more carefully. There will be no doubt about the chance of success."

There was the noise of a communications device. Vo'l'nt tapped hers and it chirped. "A moment." Rhonkar nodded and she stepped across a blue line in the corner of the room. The sound dampening field projected to the ceiling muffled her conversation, though it pulsed blue to show that there was a conversation occurring. After a few moments, she stepped back out and gave a Ser'kavi. "My contact called. The Argon have indeed granted him Clemency, though they are keeping tabs on his movements. A natural precaution for 'reformed' pirates."

"Then he now has a safe haven." Tkr snapped. "This is just fantastic. We had a chance to kill him and missed it and now we will have to fight the Argon for the chance to kill him! How can this..." The Jatra Split his head like a ripe Idkalda melon. Vo'l'nt deftly sidestepped the splatter of brains. Njy did the same in the opposite direction.

Rhonkar turned to Njy. "I charge you with the task of having this piece of filth delivered to the head of Tkr. And tell him to pick a more intelligent representative next time." Njy nodded quickly.

"It shall be as you say." He answered, as Rhonkar's representative reached for his Jatra and then paused. He considered for a moment leaving it in the body, then put his foot on the chest, and jerked the weapon free. He reached out without looking and took the white cloth Vo'l'nt held out to him. He wrapped it around the weapon and put it on his podium. He would clean it later, and the cloth would keep him from putting the weapon away.

"How open is Njy to peace talks with Drakhar?" Rhonkar asked.

"Very. But our agreements with Tkr prevent it." Njy answered, a bit more confident without his hot-headed counter-part to get him into trouble, but more worried to be the center of attention.

"If terms can be reached, Rhonkar will bear the terms to break Njy from Tkr. The Terran threat cannot be ignored, and we cannot make peace with the Argon while we still persecute one of it's citizens." Rhonkar took a deep breath and let it out.

"Shall we make overtures to him, under the table?" Njy asked.

"Not yet. At the moment he is only one man, and he does not yet have resources enough to be either a threat, or be worthy of our attention. Indeed, the universe may well take care of our problem for us." Rhonkar shook his head. "For now, watch him. Perhaps he himself will come to us. If so send him to Rhonkar, and we will deal with him. The Patriarch wishes to end the bloodshed. Perhaps that will be enough." Rhonkar reached for his gavel, remembered it was still on the floor, now beneath the body of Tkr's Representative and instead rapped his knuckles on the podium.

"Someone ensure I have a new Gavel." and walked out. Njy and Vo'l'nt waited a moment then started towards the door. Vo'l'nt touched Njy's arm. He stopped.

"I may have an in for you when the time comes to attempt peace. It will smooth the process."

"Thank you."


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