August 19, 2018, 04:18:23 AM

Author Topic: Eagle News Report Top Secret Rescue Mission  (Read 690 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Eagle News

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: Ghosts of Nox
Eagle News Report Top Secret Rescue Mission
« on: February 10, 2018, 05:38:31 PM »
*****


EAGLE NEWS



Christina Daily here for Eagle News, reporting from the Free Worlds League Central Bank!  Later tonight we will bring you a report on the hard-working men and women of the Central Bank and how they help keep the FWL economy humming!

But first, Former President Naterist of the Outworlds Alliance has recently been spotted at a charity gala on Atreus in the Free Worlds League. Sources say that he is consulting for the Duke of Oriente as a specialist in Political and Military affairs. We hope to bring you an interview with Naterist soon.




Now, a special interview for our viewers. Eagle News has been contacted by a confidential source who offered secret information on recent events in the Free Worlds League, including the appointment of Duke Halas of Oriente as Deputy Captain-General of the FWL, the placement of Blackthorns Dragoons officers in critical positions of authority throughout the FWL Military and more recently arrival of the Ghosts of Nox.



The interview with that confidential source follows.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 06:29:28 PM by Eagle News »

Offline Eagle News

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: Ghosts of Nox
Re: Eagle News Report Top Secret Rescue Mission
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 05:42:02 PM »


This story is pretty insane, but I'm going to give it to you and let you decide what to do with it. Here goes...


Part 1

The meeting took place in a well-appointed conference room at the hotel that had been secretly reserved by the Duke’s staff. Puggs Hunter sipped nervously at a glass of scotch while Coyote and the CO of Blackthornes Dragoons, Ray Razer quietly chatted as they waited.

   After a short while the three men heard someone speaking with the guards posted outside the door and then one of the Duke’s footmen entered the room. “Gentlemen, please rise for his Grace the Duke of Oriente. The three of them stood and made small bows from the waist as the Duke entered.

Christopher Halas III, Duke of Oriente and the Deputy Captain-General of the Free Worlds League was as slender man in his late fifties, with salt-and-pepper hair, a well-groomed goatee, hazel eyes and an aristocratic mouth that always seemed on the verge of twisting into a friendly smile. Right behind the Duke was his Comstar advisor, Maradek, whose robes swished softly as he entered the room. Maradek was constantly in the Duke’s presence and although he was seldom heard to speak whenever he did even the Duke himself listened. A tiny silver Word of Blake pendant glittered on Maradeks’ chest as he came to a stop beside the Duke, looking over the assembled officers with an appraising glance.

“Please sit everyone” said the Duke, smiling. “There need be no formalities among friends.” Despite this, they all waited respectfully for the Duke to be seated before they returned to their own chairs. The Duke settled into his seat with easy grace, dismissing his footman with a gesture, while Maradek perched on a stool in the corner of the room, taking out a small dataslate and laying it atop his crossed legs.

The Duke began. “First let me say that I am very pleased that the Ghosts of Nox have agreed to take service with my Household. As you know the Captain-General has been convinced to place military matters in my hands as we navigate these troubling times.” The Duke glanced briefly towards Maradek, then continued. “There are critical matters which must be attended to on behalf of the Free Worlds League and due to the unfortunately divided state of our government it may at times be impractical to use FWL military assets to achieve those ends. It is my hope that you will work closely with Blackthornes Dragoons. I am sure they will tell you that loyal service to House Halas is amply rewarded and that you will find the tasks laid before you both honorable and challenging.”

Ray Rayzer politely nodded his head at that but did not interrupt as the Duke continued speaking.

“Next, please know that I am deeply troubled regarding the status of your good friend and beloved leader, former President Naterist. Puggs Hunter, what do you know of Naterists’ whereabouts?”

Puggs set his glass down and cleared his throat, looking first at the Duke and then at Ray Razer and Coyote. “Well your Grace, although we are currently exiles from the Outworlds Alliance we still have good contacts in the Alliance Military as well as the clandestine services. Thanks to those sources I finally have found out why President Naterist went dark. Forces loyal to a political group with terrorist leanings, Women of the Outworlds Alliance, or “WOWA” infiltrated Naterists’ estate on Alpheratz and seized the former President. We don’t know where they have taken him, but we are gathering intelligence and weighing various options to secure his release.”

The Duke nodded thoughtfully, then turned briefly to where his Comstar Advisor sat in the corner.

Maradek spoke without looking up, slim control wands dancing over the screen of his dataslate as he accessed files. “WOWA is indirectly controlled by High Councilor of the Parliament Janilla Binton and the operation to kidnap your former President was carried out using intelligence that Binton accessed through her role as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Impeachment Board. Naterist is being held in a complex owned by Binton on her home planet, Trimaldix Prime.”

“That bitch..” said Puggs “everyone knows she had it out for President Naterist but this is too much!” His face took on a pained look. “Part of me wants to load up a dropship with some mechs and grab the first jumpship that can get us to Trimaldix, but thanks to Binton half the Parliament believes that President Naterist was planning to overthrow the legal government and appoint himself Emperor. If we show up with Ghosts of Nox battlemechs, we will end up fighting the Alliance Military and I can NEVER do that.” With that Puggs covered his face with his hands, fighting back angry tears.

Duke Halas leaned across the table and laid a hand on Puggs’ shoulder. “These are trying times that we live in, but there is a way we can help your friend without you having to compromise your honor. Maradek, tell him.”

“Comstar is in possession of intelligence that can bring Binton down, causing her to be removed from the OWA Parliament. It is doubtful that she would lose her position as Hereditary Matriarch of Trimaldix Prime, but her power would be greatly diminished and you would be able to get former President Naterist out of there.” He paused and looked directly at Puggs Hunter until the other man removed his hands from his face and met the Comstar Acolyte’s eyes. “But there is a price.”

Puggs Hunter swallowed hard. "If the price does not harm the Outworlds Alliance then we will pay it. What do you want?"

“A series of Comstar delegations from Terra recently arrived at several HPG Stations in the Outworlds Alliance with new Chief Adepts who are to take over administration of these Stations. However, the existing Chief Adepts have told local authorities that their replacements are not authorized and have requested support from the OWA Federal Police to keep them locked out of Comstar facilities. The Federal Police on several planets have complied, prohibiting duly-appointed Chief Adepts and their staffs from taking over administration of HPG Stations.” Maradek paused to let Puggs consider what had been said so far, then continued.

“If you accept the intelligence then we believe that you will be in a position of sufficient influence to get the OWA Parliament to tell the Federal Police to stand aside and let Comstar elements loyal to the Word of Blake resolve this internal matter in our own way. And let me assure you, unseating Janilla Binton is in the interests of the OWA.”

“As one of the five High Councilors deciding policy until a new President is elected, she has a lot of power. But unknown to the rest of the Parliament, Binton is blackmailing two of the other High Councilors with information about their salacious activities and she has bought a third Councilor outright. For all intents and purposes SHE is controlling the OWA for now and you can rest assured that she has no plans to allow a new election for President to happen any time soon.”     

Puggs sat up straight in his chair, still looking right at Maradek. “So you want us to help you consolidate Word of Blake control over the HPG network in the Outworlds Alliance. I know you Blakists will do anything to bring the rest of Comstar under your control, but I really don’t care about you religion - that’s your business. But that snake Binton trying to worm her way into controlling the OWA? And the fate of my friend Naterist? Those are MY business. I accept.”
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 09:22:12 AM by Eagle News »

Offline Eagle News

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: Ghosts of Nox
Re: Eagle News Report Top Secret Rescue Mission
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 05:44:07 PM »
Part 2


The Grand Hall of the Outworlds Alliance Parliament was only partly full for the special session. A recess was to begin the next day and many members of Parliament, including High Councilor Janilla Binton, had already departed for their home districts and planets. But since the Parliament was still meeting, a Special Session could  be called and there were enough lawmakers present that bills could be voted on.

The person who had requested the Special Session to discuss a vital security matter was the senior General of the Alliance Military, Durian Halforth. Halforth was a distinguished-looking officer in his late sixties, erect in bearing and even in his later years extraordinarily handsome. He was also renowned for being extremely stupid but utterly loyal to the OWA. After the resignation of President Naterist and the departure of his trusted military advisors, Parliament had settled on the none-too-bright Halforth as the perfect choice to lead the Alliance Military.

But what didn’t occur to them was that Halforth was loyal not just to the OWA, but also to the many officers he served with during his long career. Years before, when Halforth was a Colonel in charge of a task force dispatched to deal with an incursion by Pirates he’d had a hard-charging young Captain named Puggs Hunter reporting to him. Although it was Puggs who led the final attack that defeated the Pirates, the young Captain had been careful to give credit for the operation to the Colonel who was in overall command. And General Durian Halforth was not the type of man to forget loyal service.

When the General stepped up to the podium and cleared his throat, the buzz of conversations in the Parliament gradually subsided. Then, without saying a word Halforth stepped to the side and the nondescript aide who had been behind the general stepped forward, taking off the polarized comm-helmet he had been wearing. The assembled lawmakers immediately recognized Puggs Hunter.



“Gentlemen and Gentle Ladies of the Parliament, please forgive this unexpected address. After I brief you on this vital security matter, I will of course surrender myself into the custody of the Parliamentary Master-At-Arms if you so wish. The issue that I am here to bring to your attention is much more important than one man, or even many - for it has to do with protecting the freedom of the Outworlds Alliance and the survival of it’s democracy.”

“As I speak, your terminals are downloading intelligence gathered from an absolutely reliable source, guaranteed by Comstar. Although you can read this for yourselves, I will brief you on what has been going on. High Councilor Janilla Binton has conspired to prevent the lawful election of a new President and has attempted to corrupt the proceedings of the High Council by threatening to spread lies about three of her fellow Councilors. We also have evidence that Janilla Binton is involved in the operations of the terrorist group WOAW and orchestrated the kidnapping of Former President Naterist.”

“I humbly propose that you introduce a bill to remove Janilla Binton from the High Council and to take steps to utterly suppress the falsified information that her organization has concocted to intimidate other members of the High Council. In conclusion, I also ask that you provide authorization for measures to free former President Naterist from his unlawful detention on Trimaldix so that he can begin his planned retirement to estates that he owns in the Free Worlds League.” Puggs paused and looked down to the High Council seats at the front of the Parliament.

While others began opening and reviewing the Comstar-provided file on their terminals, the four High Councilors present were leaned in close to one another and having a very animated conversation. Given the escape route that Puggs was offering the three that Binton had corrupted, he had a pretty good idea what the result of that urgently whispered conversation would be.

The sole High Councilor not being blackmailed or bribed by Binton was a long-time political adversary and the only other woman on the High Council, Alena Kuriles. Kuriles rose from her seat and approached the podium at a dignified pace, with two husky officers of the Parliamentary Master-At-Arms following close behind her.

Puggs Hunter stepped away from the podium and respectfully bowed to the High Councilwoman, then moved aside. The two officers moved in on either side of Puggs and each man took a firm but polite grip on his arm as they waited to see what Kuriles had to say.

“Fellow Members of Parliament. It grieves me to hear these egregious charges against our respected colleague, High Councilor Janilla Binton. However, it grieves me even more to state that having reviewed the provided documents and upon consultation with other members of our High Council, the charges appear to be true. Certain members of the High Council have corroborated the charge that Janilla Binton attempted, unsuccessfully of course, to blackmail them using trumped-up evidence of indiscretions and falsified financial records that would imply their acceptance of bribes.”

Puggs felt the grip of the hands on his arms loosen then drop away entirely as Kuriles continued to address the Parliament.

“Therefore it falls to me to verbally introduce a bill for your vote, with provisions to match those requested by former Vice President Puggs Hunter, but with two additions. Firstly, I would like to add a provision to the bill that upon being freed an honor guard and transportation will be provided to immediately transport former Vice President Puggs Hunter and former President Naterist directly to the former President’s retirement estate in the Free Worlds League.” With that she briefly turned to face Naterist and saw his tiny nod in response. Turning back to the podium, Kurile continued. “And secondly, I would like to add a provision that Puggs Hunter be recognized with the Order of Heroism from The Outworlds Alliance, in recognition for his steadfast loyalty to the OWA and his commitment to preserving our democracy!”

Kuriles waited a moment for her proposal to sink in, then spoke again. “In light of the urgency of this matter and imminent danger to the democratic governance of the OWA I formally bring this bill for a verbal vote on the floor of the Parliament. What say you?”

The roar of approval nearly shook the lofty rafters of the Grand Hall of the Parliament; Janilla Binton was feared and hated by most of her fellow Members of Parliament and with the High Council clearly stating that she was guilty of trying to blackmail other MPs opposition was almost nonexistent.

Alena Kurile turned to Puggs Hunter and extended her hand for a congratulatory shake. “Thank you for bringing this before the Parliament Puggs Hunter, now we can finally cut a cancer from the Parliament that has poisoned our deliberations for too long.”

“Thank you Madame High Councilor” replied Puggs, leaning in close to speak in Kuriles’ ear. “I am proud to act on behalf of our beloved OWA. But if I could impose on you for just a moment I need to beg your assistance in a small matter…” 

Kuriles looked at Puggs critically then put her lips close to his ear to reply. “Whatever it is, consider it done unless it is absolutely unreasonable. I know that intelligence like this surely came at a price and I will do my best to ensure that it is paid.”

Offline Eagle News

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: Ghosts of Nox
Re: Eagle News Report Top Secret Rescue Mission
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 05:47:53 PM »
Part 3   
     



Trimaldix Prime was a glittering white ice world with a green strip of temperate land at the equator that was home to most of the cities. The planet had been settled very early on in the Age of Exploration but had quickly dropped out of contact with the rest of civilization as the colony struggled to avoid starvation. Finally, early colonists discovered an abundant form of plant life that was edible for humans and rich in calories and digestible protein. The settlers initially relied heavily on this food source and it was only after several generations that they discovered that it was a peril.

Within 50 years of the settlement, male birth rates in the colony plunged to a tiny percentage of live births. Plenty of female children were born to the colony but without male children it was clear that the settlement was doomed. So the leaders of the colony declared a medical emergency and began working desperately to identify the source of the problem. They eventually discovered that the indigenous plant life was responsible and launched a crash program to find replacement sources of food, while instituting societal and legal changes to protect the dwindling number of male colonists.

By the time food sources were shifted and normalized, the planet had been living under emergency laws for almost eighty years. Out of the overall population of over 100,000 there were only a few hundred adult males under the age of seventy. Male birth rates rose in the following centuries, but the legal system and Matriarchal society persist up to current times. Men on Trimaldix Prime were granted the right to vote when the planet joined the Outworlds Alliance but males seldom exercise the right and the OWA Parliament is careful not to interfere too much in the affairs of member planets.
       
       

*****


Pandorah looked out the window of the dropship as it approached the glittering steel and glass transfer station in low orbit above Trimaldrix Prime. Unlike most planets, Trimaldrix required passenger dropships to dock at their transfer station to disembark passengers; the dropships themselves would only land on the planet surface if they needed to offload heavy cargo. Specialized shuttles owned by planetside firms carried all traffic from the transfer station down to Trimaldix.

The dropship docked and Pandorah stepped out into a bustling passenger terminal. Everything was gleaming white or polished steel and the people zipping by on the transit strips were mostly female, dressed like prosperous business women with interstellar interests or female vacation-goers, usually with a slender man walking behind burdened with luggage.

Pandorah glanced briefly at her shuttle ticket, then stepped easily onto a transit strip headed for the shuttlebays that handled planetside traffic. Moments later she stepped off the strip in front of the boarding gate for her shuttle and was immediately whisked down the transfer tube and into the rear of the cylindrical passenger compartment.

She was greeted by a slim, attractive man wearing tight slacks and a uniform shirt that clung tightly to his trim but well-muscled shoulders and arms. “Welcome to TrimAir miss, I am Roderick and it will be my pleasure to serve you on this flight!” He flashed her a brilliant, even-toothed smile and made eye contact as he reached forward and gently plucked the strap of her carry-on from her grip, then turned to lead her up the narrow aisle in the center of the compartment. “Please, let me show you to your seat.”

Pandorah arched an eyebrow as she followed Roderick up the aisle; whoever designed his uniform had made certain that it would be very tight in the seat and she gave an appreciative glance to his very well-toned rear.

“Here we are miss!” he said as he turned and gestured her into a comfortable leather flight seat with a porthole and video display. Pandorah settled gratefully into the plush seat as Roderick fussed over her, placing her carry-on in the overhead compartment and then producing a tiny pillow which he carefully placed to give her a little extra support for her neck.

“Coming through” said a businesslike female voice from the aisle. Roderick squeezed into the small empty space beside Pandorah’s seat as two female shuttle pilots passed, each turning to give her a polite nod and a smile. The second of the two said “Take good care of that passenger Roderick, she has a pass to debark at the Matriarchs’ Palace.”

“Yes Captain!” Roderick replied brightly, then he turned to fuss over Pandorah some more. He knelt by her seat for a moment, resting tanned fingers on the back of her hand and looking at her face. “If there is absolutely anything that I can do for you on your flight or while you are visiting Trimaldix, please let me know. We exist to please you!”

Pandorah took in Rodericks’ even features, liquid brown eyes and extremely earnest expression and smiled whimsically at him. “That’s very kind Roderick, how about a scotch and soda for the flight?”

He smiled back brilliantly. “Of course!” With that the flight attendant rose and turned to hustle up the  aisle to mix her drink. Pandorah was pretty sure she wasn’t imagining the little extra twist he put in his step as he walked away and she tipped her head out into the aisle briefly to get another look at his tight little rear end.

Smiling, she tugged her personal communicator from a pocket and typed a quick note to Coyote. “Babe, I think I know where I want to go for vacation the next time we take some leave!” She laughed out loud as she hit “Send” and the communicator passed the message through the station’s comm system, then to the massive Comstar HPG generator down on the planet and finally on to her man, hundreds of light-years away. By the time “Delivered” blinked on the screen, Roderick was kneeling by her chair offering a perfectly-prepared drink.

Pandorah sighed as she took the drink and sat back for the flight. Janilla Binton might be a crazy bitch but her home planet definitely appeared to have some interesting ideas...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 06:01:17 AM by Eagle News »

Offline Eagle News

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: Ghosts of Nox
Re: Eagle News Report Top Secret Rescue Mission
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 05:55:57 PM »
Part 4


The transfer shuttle settled to the pad with a delicate fluff of the thrusters that was so smooth that the ice cubes in Pandorah’s empty glass didn’t even clink. Roderick instantly appeared at her seat to take the empty glass and offer water or other refreshments.

Pandorah was beginning to focus on the job she had to do, what she was going to say and too worried about ensuring that timing was perfect to pay much attention. She waved the attractive flight attendant away with a flick of her hand and turned back to her communicator, checking to insure that it was synced to local time correctly.

When she stepped out of the boarding ramp Pandorah was greeted by a young woman in formal dress who bowed politely. “Greetings, I am one of High Councilor Binton’s aides, Zendora; I believe that you are the High Councilor’s two o’clock?”   

Pandorah gave a simple nod in return. “Thank you, that’s correct. Can you please show me to a washroom before we go to the High Councilor’s office?”

“Of course” said the aide "Please follow me miss".

The two women set off down the winding corridors of what appeared to be very elegantly-appointed government offices. A steady stream of women flowed around them, talking on communicators, looking intently at communicator screens or discussing affairs with a colleague as they walked. The only male that Pandorah saw was a hugely muscular man in green coveralls who was tending the many living plants in the space. He made brief eye contact with Pandorah then quickly ducked his head and shuffled away quietly murmuring “Your pardon miss”.

Zendora stopped outside an arched entryway and gestured Pandorah in. Bemused, the Ghosts of Nox officer strolled in, noticing that there was no sign of a parallel facility for men.

The understated luxury of the washroom almost took her breath away; everything was tasteful marble and elegant tile, softly-lit and featuring a mirrored wall to make it easy to check one’s appearance before exiting. Impressed, Pandorah entered the breezy confines of one of the large stalls and sat to piss. After she was done, she stayed in place, taking out her communicator and checking the time. Still a bit too early.

After a couple minutes, the aid stepped into the washroom. “Miss, your appointment is nearing and we still have a little farther to walk to reach the High Councilors’ office.."

“A moment please!” Pandorah called out, letting a little bit of an edge creep into her tone. The aide scurried back out.

Pandorah let a few more minutes pass and sure enough the aide came back in. It was almost 2 o’clock local and now a faint note of pleading could be heard in Zendora’s voice. “Miss, I am sorry to trouble you, but the High Councilor is quite serious about her schedule… please.”

Smiling, Pandorah rose, tugging her panties and skirt back into place. The toilet silently flushed as she slowly stepped out of the stall and to the sink to wash her hands. 

The aide watched, shifting impatiently from one foot to another as Pandorah washed and dried her hands, then carefully checked herself in the mirror. Satisfied that she had burned enough time, Pandorah turned to the anxious aide and smiled. “All set, let’s go see the High Councilor.”

Obvious relief shown on the aides’ face as she led Pandorah back into the hall, setting a much more brisk pace than they had walked at previously. Amused, Pandorah easily matched the younger woman’s stride.

A moment later they arrived at a glittering steel and marble credenza with a group of very fit, tough-looking women dressed in simple black suits that almost certainly concealed serious weaponry. The woman in charge stepped forward and briefly spoke to the Aide “You know you’re late, right? She in a fine mood today, good luck.”

Two of the other women approached Pandorah and with very professional but quick motions, swept her with small devices and then carefully checked their screens. One of them nodded to her politely and said “You’re clear ma’am, but please note that your personal communicator won’t work while you are in the High Counselors offices.”

Looking even more nervous, Zendora led Pandorah past the other guards and into a dimly-lit anteroom with a massive wooden door flanked by two more guards. And guards they clearly were - one of the two was the first man Pandorah had seen in twenty minutes, brutally ugly and openly carrying an evil-looking submachine gun with a massive drum clip. The woman on the other side of the door was at least six two and casually held a squat mob gun whose gaping barrel could vomit out a cloud of tungsten flechettes that would clear a room in seconds.

The two of them stared straight at Pandorah, keeping their eyes on her even as the woman tugged the door open. As strong as the big woman obviously was, the door swung slowly, indicating that it had a core of something a lot heavier than wood. Ignoring the two guards Zendora stepped into the door, gesturing for Pandorah to follow.     

A moment later they entered a sprawling office whose staggering opulence was enough to stop you in your tracks. Pandorah had delivered briefs to former President Naterist at his palatial home, so she had seen rooms gilt with gold, filled with wooden furniture from ancient Terra and hung with works of art that predated interstellar travel. But Janilla Binton’s office was stocked with an array of treasures that sent a clear message; this was a woman who had the wealth of an entire planet at her disposal.



And seated behind a huge mahogany desk, looking at the two women with a baleful gaze was Janilla Binton herself. The High Councilor and Hereditary Matriarch of Trimaldix Prime was a silver-haired woman of indeterminate age; she could have been in her eighties but thanks to to the anti-aging drugs available to the wealthy she could easily pass for fifty.

Without rising from her chair Binton gave Pandorah the slightest of nods in greeting. “Welcome”. Then she turned to Zendora. “We will speak later regarding the importance of maintaining my schedule, now leave us.”

As the young aide fled, Pandorah seated herself unasked. If the other woman wasn’t going to be polite enough to even rise, she wasn’t about to stand around waiting for an invitation to sit.

Binton turned back to Pandorah, her already sour expression turning a little more unpleasant when she saw that the other woman was sitting. “Well then Miss.. actually it is “Lieutenant Colonel” Pandorah, right?” without even waiting for Pandorah reply she pushed on, smiling nastily as she spoke. “Of course I knew exactly who you are and what you really wanted within minutes of you contacting my offices to request a meeting. You and the rest of your traitorous friends from the Ghosts of Nox regiment have been exiled, don’t you recall? So why don’t you see if you can convince me that I shouldn’t have you locked up right here and right now!”

Pandorah sat blandly, letting the other woman’s hostile words echo for a good thirty seconds before she replied. “No. Instead why don’t you try to explain why your office is so vulgar?”

Binton sat back in her chair like she had been slapped, looking stunned by the insult. “What are you playing at you little bitch!?” she snarled. “I am holding your life in my hands and you have the gall to insult me?”



Still holding her temper in check Pandorah simply arched an eyebrow at the older woman and waited again before replying. “Perhaps it is understandable for you to be on edge, with all of the communications problems that you have been dealing with for the last few days?” She left the statement hanging like the question it really was.

Binton’s expression darkened even more. “What do you know about that - I’ve never heard of anyone bribing Comstar to disrupt communications before, but if that is what you and your pathetic friends have done, it won’t last for long…”

Pandorah interrupted the other man’s tirade by laughing; it started just a hair forced but after a moment she felt genuine humor bubbling up from her stomach and the sound rang through the office. Finally the laughter wound down and Pandorah quieted, looking steadily across the desk at the High Councilor. The other woman was leaning forward, her face mottled with rage.

When Pandorah smiled at her, just a hint of predator crept into her look and again Binton sat back in her chair like she had been slapped. “Since your inbound communications have been… disrupted these last few days, allow me the courtesy of bringing you up to speed.” With that Pandorah produced a folded piece of richly-toned parchment, covered with holographic and wax seals, then tossed it softly onto the desk.

Janilla Binton stared at the piece of parchment like it was a snake. “What game is this that you’re playing?”

“There is no game dear” said Pandorah in a voice sudden dripping with saccharine sweetness. I can summarize for you if you can’t be bothered to read, would you like that?”

Binton angrily snatched the parchment up and broke the seals to open the document while Pandorah happily chatted away. “Let’s see I think the first thing is that you are expelled from the Parliament and of course you can’t be a High Councilor any more…”

All of the blood drained from Janilla Binton’s face as she incredulously read through the document, unable to fully comprehend or to believe what she was reading.

Meanwhile Pandorah was still happily running through the provisions of the bill that had been passed “... and next is the fact that you aren’t permitted to leave this planet unless you are willing to be brought up on charges of treason back on Alpheratz… Oh! I almost forgot, the government has issued court orders to media outlets prohibiting them from publishing anything nasty about those poor High Councilors that you were blackmailing and bribing. Of course a resourceful woman like you can get around that, but I don’t think anyone will believe it anyway. After all, you’re the one that has been branded a criminal, right?”

As the totality of her defeat began to set in, Binton’s face set into a permanent snarl and she tried to throw the parchment at Pandorah, but the loose pages fluttered harmlessly to the floor without touching the smiling woman. “You.. are..DEAD!” shouted Binton as she pressed a button under her desk. Instantly the office door flew open and the two killers posted outside surged into the room, coming to a stop on either side Pandorah with the barrels of their weapons inches from her head.

Pandorah calmly spoke, ignoring the lethal weapons to either side. “You know, you should have your guards carry more practical weapons. If either of them were to slip and hit their triggers you and I would both be killed.”

Binton looked at her, perplexed. Why wasn’t she sobbing and begging for her life? Or trying to make some kind of deal?



Suddenly a rending crash roared in the room as one wall of the office was abruptly torn away, sending two bookshelves full of priceless original prints tumbling through the sky outside the building. Massive metal fingers appeared at the edge of the gaping hole in the wall tearing it wide open in the other direction. Dust and plaster filled the air and everyone in the room coughed and choked, struggling to stay on their feet as the entire building flexed under the assault of a battlemechs’ tearing hands.

The two guards swayed like sailors in a storm, managing to stay upright and point their weapons out the massive hole. Screaming like a banshee the big female guard opened up with her mob gun, sending a storm of buzzing metal flechettes out the of the hole. An instant later her comrade began spraying bursts of SMG fire too, blazing away at whatever was outside.

Pandorah surged up and out of her chair and in one leap sailed over the huge desk and straight into the stunned Janilla Binton. Pandorah smiled grimly as she heard the crunch of a bone breaking beneath her as her momentum bowled over the other woman's chair and crushed her hard against the gilt wood-beamed wall behind the desk.

Binton struggled weakly beneath her but Pandorah ignored her flailing and easily held her down as a sudden blast of searing heat filled the room behind them. A ravening laser beam seared through the office, melting the armored steel core of the door and wall behind them and then sliced deep into the building, burning the people beyond. When the inferno finally faded Pandorah raised her head and saw that the ancient mahogany desk was warped and smoking from the heat but its’ massive bulk had protected them well enough. Through the shattered wall of the office she could see a Blackthornes Dragoons Phoenix Hawk battlemech, with two Warhammers and a Battlemaster standing in protective formation behind it. Not that it mattered much; Trimaldix didn’t have any mech forces and OWA Federal Police were already on the scene to make sure that local law enforcement didn’t try to stop the Dragoons from carrying out the mission that the OWA Parliament had authorized.   

Pandorah turned back to Binton who was clutching at what looked like a badly-broken arm and moaning in pain. “Well you old bitch, now comes the part where you either order whatever is left of your lackeys to fetch President Naterist from that cell in the sub-basement or my friends out there tear this building apart piece by piece until THEY find him. Now what’s it going to be?”

Twenty minutes later the Blackthornes Dragoons "cargo" ship lifted off with their mechs, Pandorah and former President Naterist safely aboard the dropship, leaving Hereditary Matriarch Janilla Binton to explain to her people how the disaster had occurred.


« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 06:08:04 AM by Eagle News »