A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

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Doren Vassyl
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A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:37 am

***Eshan System, Inner Rim, Grid Coordinates N-8***

***Capital City of Yusanis, Central Plaza***


The crisp Echani air had not known peace for a good hour and a half. The thundering tumult of hundreds of boots, working in tandem with the methodical thunk of machinery had rendered silence all but extinct. An endless multitude of Imperial Military personnel flooded every street and major roadway, and there was nothing- or at least, no one left to obstruct their march to the royal palace. Several bold pockets of spectators cropped up from time to time, come to gawk or jeer at the occupation force. None were so brave to offer physical resistance or fling deterrents into the white-gray sea of plastoid and plasteel, however. The Ultimatum had delivered its bargain, and despite the planet's martial traditions, its populace were not want to follow in the wake of the nascent quiet.

Despite all the time spent drilling in the academy courtyard, Doren Vassyl did not find many opportunities to march parade style. Nonetheless, leading the front of the formation alongside other key naval officials, the ceremonial gait came back to the young officer in no time at all. What's more, with the entirety of the lauded 155th Stormtrooper Battalion at his back, the weary Jaeman could scarcely afford a tired dip in form. Still, nerves were running high, and Vassyl could almost feel the heated and hostile glare of many a citizen burning down upon him. Nonetheless, while anxiety crept into the Line Captain's heart, his reaction was not fear, but pity. A madman, caring only for power, might as well have put these masses on the chopping block with his own two hands.

It was not the Echani's fault for falling prey to such a cretin, Vassyl felt, as high-class traitors like the former lord regent were never lacking in a potent, twisted charisma. Regardless of concerns for Doren's own safety, he could not even begin to imagine the unspoken terror that was likely forming a vice-grip over the spirits of so many. The Empress' own people deserved something better- something more certain than all of this. It would take some doing, but hopefully, with a level-headed politician leading the charge, graduated, peaceful reintegration would be achieved. For the remainder of the dread procession, Vassyl's thoughts became preoccupied with guessing which of the more tactile Moffs would be put to the task. As a Special Envoy, it stood to reason Doren might still have work to do, if only briefly.

This line of inquiry did not perpetuate for long though, as the sheer architectural majesty of the palace snapped Vassyl back to reality. It took some minutes to corral and detain the various attendants and household staff, but at last, the foundations for administrative dominion were put in place. The Saturnalian Orb proudly streamed from every available pillar and palisade. Individual portraits of the Queen Mother and the Empress were painstakingly recovered and relocated, while the treacherous likeness of the former prince and his father were stealthily tucked away or otherwise destroyed. Vassyl, for his part, found an opportunity for rest and recollection as the sordid techs began to manhandle communications centers, surveillance nodes, and all other manners of consoles.

Then, not unexpectedly, a call came in on an encrypted channel. Doren braced himself for a holographic conference with a representative of the admiralty, or even the Lord Regent himself. And yet, the wrinkled visage that appeared was not that of Vassyl superiors or mentor, but another lead figure of the Ruling Council. "Moff Retwin!", Doren choked with surprise, whipping his arm up in a firm salute, "We were not expecting you: this is truly an honor, Sir". "At ease, Captain", the elder governor of Muunilinst insisted, striking his ornate walking stick on the unseen floor beneath him, "I shall not bother you for long". "Hardly, Your Excellency", Vassyl chirped with mechanical cordiality, "How may I be of service?".

Aeron Retwin was a man of nonverbal tells. Presenting the young officer with a knowing glance, the older representative nearly flashed a sympathetic grin, but restrained himself for the sake of decorum. "I am here", the Governor continued, "To update the status of the occupational taskforce, and assign its de facto leader". "Ah", an oblivious Vassyl nodded with misplaced understanding, "An appropriate candidate has been selected then?". "From what I know of them, I think so", the aging councilmember conceded, before announcing in a louder, raspy tone, "By the Empress' Decree, the Special Envoy for Independent Powers shall henceforth serve as acting potentate of the Eshan System. Until such a time that he proposes a permanent successor, the Envoy shall serve in this capacity with all of the powers and resources owed a Regional Governor".

If Vassyl were any shorter, his lower jaw might well punched clean through the tiling at his feet. Taken completely by surprise, Doren's lips fumbled about, attempting to mouth some sort of protest. Not in any mood to wait for the Captain to regain control of facilities, Moff Retwin carried on, "Your term as Interim Executor begins immediately, Mister Vassyl: I had best leave you to your work". "B-but", Doren desperately squeaked, "I- you! Isn't there anyone-?". With a rap of his cane, Aeron cut the sputtering officer off, and bade his farewell, "The Lord Regent has every confidence you will fulfill your task to the utmost. Best of luck, Captain". Within the blink of an, the feed cut out, and Doren was left alone to panic in private. What had already been a long seventy hours, was, indeed, about to prove much, much longer.

[Accessing Citywide Broadcast System...]

[Activating holobillboards...]

[Override Clearance Initiated]

Imperial Proclamation 1273-E1: It shall be known, from this day forward, that Line Captain Doren Vassyl, Acting Executor the Third Defense Fleet's Second Battle Group, and Special Envoy for Independent Powers, is to be elevated to the rank of Interim Governor of Eshan and Thyrsus, effective immediately. In this capacity, Captain Vassyl will exercise direct power over the local constabulary, the media, the law courts, the planetary treasury, and any other major civil and political organs. By the powers vested in him by Her Most Illustrious Majesty, Empress Alissa Karn, the Interim Governor will set about righting the wrongs of the previous regime, and aiding the Echani peoples in transitioning towards an orderly, prosperous society.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP...
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Doren Vassyl
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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:39 am

Imperial Proclamation 1275-E2: It shall be known, from this day forward, that evening curfew is to be put into effect immediately. Each day, at precisely nine o'clock, post-meridian, all citizens must return to their private residences. Loitering in any place of business or public space will not be tolerated in any capacity, unless individuals apply for special permissions from the Ministry of Commerce. The curfew will be lifted each subsequent morning, at exactly six o'clock, ante-meridian. Failure to observe the curfew will result in a single warning, at which point further misdemeanors will incur detainment and minimum prison sentence of seven standard days. Her Majesty is not unsympathetic to the plight of her people, and fervently wishes that this measure will remain in place as briefly as is possible to restore order to the streets of Eshan and Thyrsus. The Empress has great faith in her people, and is certain they will weather this inconvenience with the fortitude and grace for which they are so well regarded.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP...


Doren's feverish meticulousness had only magnified over the past day, while proportionally, his penchant for sleep had rapidly diminished. Vassyl knew not which politico-military magnate he had angered with his various failures and misdeeds, but surely this posting was meant as some sort of underhanded punishment. While there were countless officials better qualified to fulfill the task of transitioning Eshan back into an Imperial power, Doren had reached the conclusion that it was a labor none had particularly desired. And in truth, why would any career politician in their right mind revel in such an undertaking? Any misstep- or overstep in policy could precipitously see Vassyl branded the most hated man in the system. At least, if he wasn't already.

No! The Captain could not give way to such despairing! The Lord Regent would undoubtedly have been integral in placing Vassyl in this predicament: surely Doren's former mentor would not do so without good reason. Argus had his expectations, there was no denying it. And, ultimately, Doren could rise to meet them, or shrink from his responsibilities. Not unexpectedly, he steeled his nerves as much as possible in order to attempt the former. Still, despite the temporary swell in gusto, the charge to reform an entire civilization- indeed, an entire culture overnight was intensely complicated. More than anything else, Vassyl had spent many hours sitting silently in thought, mulling over potential legislation again and again, all in the interest of finding the path of least resistance.

Surely no one enjoyed the thought of an unexpected military regiment suddenly revoking their agency at sunset, but for the virulent few that harbored dreams of violence and revolt, such things were necessary to minimize any major outbreaks. This was the great balancing act: the knife's edge difference between a gentle, open hand, and a mercilessly tightened fist. "Has the news circulated?", Doren dryly inquired of a nearby ensign. "Aye Sir", the younger officer answered in kind, "The message has seen three full broadcasting cycles on both Eshan and Thyrsus". "There's some good news at least", Vassyl mused in earnest, "And what of Colonel Eliah? Is he returned from touring the city perimeter?". "I'll look into it that now, Sir", the antsy aide announced, before bolting for the door.

Left to his devices for the time being, Doren let loose a candid sigh, and sank some into the finely-upholstered seat. Staring out the lone window in his makeshift office, the Special Envoy squinted at a pair of birds in flight off in the distance. One of the two winged travelers was smaller than the other, and visibly juvenile. Vassyl could not help but compare this struggling creature to the greenhorn officer who had only just departed. Apart from the more seasoned army officials, many of Doren's improvised 'staff' were as fresh as it got. A follow-up missive from the Ruling Council alleged that more experienced advisors would arrive to assist the errant Captain in due course, but they had yet to make any appearance at this time.

Doren continued to observe the afternoon sky for a time, until an unfriendly buzz from the main desk rang in his ears. "The Colonel is here to see you, Sir", the absent voice announced over the intercom. "Very well", Doren glumly relented, "Send him in". A tall, well-built man sauntered forward thereafter. He looked to be somewhere in his forties, and the sheen of his freshly shaved head was rivaled only by the icy glimmer of his pale blue eyes. Gyordon Eliah was the veteran of countless campaigns, and had won honor and glory for his unit time after time. And yet, for all of his clout without the army, the man did not hesitate to greet Doren with a humble salute, nor deny him his recent, albeit fleeting title, "Governor, what can I do for you?".

"Colonel", Vassyl started, standing up out of respect for his quest, "Thank you for indulging me on such short notice. I know the patrols have been back to back up until this point, and I applaud your resolve to establish our presence here". "Merely part of the job, Sir", the Colonel shrugged, "At least we can cut back on the night shift now". "That is precisely what I wanted to see you about", Doren confirmed, gingerly offering a dataslate to his battle-hardened collaborator, "I have outlined a new set of protocols for the evening guard, and I would be most grateful if you would make the parameters known before the stars peak out". Gyordon's eyes flashed across the readout, and Vassyl watched as his eyebrows furled in mild confusion.

"Force pikes and flechette tazers Sir?", the Colonel questioned, "Polearms may look impressive, but they hardly send the same message a blaster rifle". "Indeed, Colonel", Vassyl calmly conceded, "They certainly do not. That said, our message, in spite of appearances, must be one of peace whenever possible. As I have outlined before, you may employ lethal force if presented with no survivable alternatives- but I want that to stand as the last resort, not the first". "So much for an easier time", Eliah commented hoarsely, in what Vassyl guessed might have been an attempt at sarcasm, "In any case, I'll spread the word per your instructions, Governor". "Much obliged Colonel", Doren concluded, and offered a small, genuine smile, "And please, we are both cut from military stock: 'Captain' is more than sufficient".
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

Zuno Drallac
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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Zuno Drallac » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:47 pm

A four man patrol of Imperial Army soldiers marched through the moonlit streets of the city Yusanis. They were out to enforce the recently instated curfew and keep an eye out for any signs of unrest.

“But seriously, I was told I’d probably never handle an electrostaff again after boot camp,” one of the soldiers complained as the squad walk along. “I barely passed training, I’m suppose to be a rifleman.”

“We get it Krelain,” the squads sergeant spoke up. “Orders came straight from our newly appointed governor.”

“Yeah but could I have just kept the E-11 and set it to stun, would be just as effective, I mean these things have a lethal setting too.” Krelain motioned a bit wildly with the electrostaff.

“Yes, but we know you couldn’t hit the broad side of a Gundark with it,” Private Drallac joked. “The Governor did this to purely spite you.”

The sergeant snickered before cutting the Privates off. “That’s enough, we have a job to be doing.”

“Halt in the name of the Empress!” A voice shouted from around the next bend. The squad recognized it as the clear shouting of a Stormtrooper. The squad all glanced at each other before sprinting towards the corner where the shout emanated from. As they approached they heard jeering and further shouts and orders.

The army soldiers came around the bend to spot two Stormtroopers with E-11s raised towards a group of six Echani local, clearly the stormies hadn’t returned to the garrison yet to receive their Force pikes. The Stormtroopers usual pristine suits of white armor were tainted with some sort of blue and purple fruit stains. The situation looked like it was on the brink of turning violent.

“Sergeant, orders?” The fourth soldier in the patrol asked.

“Back up the Stormtroopers,” Sergeant Lemsy replied.

“Sir, the Stormtroopers blaster aren’t set to stun,” Private Drallac spoke instead of immediately following the order.

“What?!” Lemsy questioned.

“Drallac’s right, those E-11s are set on lethal,” Krelain confirmed, all sense of frustration gone from his voice.

“Sith spit, this won’t end well, but my orders still stand!”

“Sir if I may, give me a chance to stop this before we have a riot on our hands.” Drallac pleaded but before even receiving a confirmation the Falleen darted towards the confrontation.

“Damn it Private,” the Sergeant grunted. “The rest of you, get behind the Stormtroopers and let’s hope Zuno doesn’t get us all killed.” The squad immediately rushed forward, their staffs crackling to life with electricity.

Zuno himself ran up and positioned himself between the Empires finest and the Empress’ people and unknowing to the two group began releasing his Falleen pheromones. “Stop!” The grey armored soldier commanded, his staff remain disengaged as his looked back and forth between both groups.

“Out of our way Private, these dissidents need to be shown the error of their ways,” the lead Stormtrooper spoke.

“Yeah Private,” one of the Echani ‘dissidents’ jeered at what they thought to be another faceless Imperial human soldier. “Let them show us so we can show you all that you don’t belong here!”

“We are only here because of your foolhardy choices!” The Stormtrooper Captain rebuttaled.

“Stop,” Drallac commanded again. “We aren’t enemies here, we are all subjects of the Empress and you are her people! All of us betrayed by the same individual, Silas Karn!” All the eyes were now fully affixed on Zuno, all unknowingly drawn to him by his alien pheromones. “A coward of a man, a warrior who once betrayed his Empire! Now he’s betrayed his own daughter, our Empress, your Empress!” Drallac’s helmeted head turning towards the crowd and then towards the Stormstroopers and back again, making it clear he’s talking to everyone. “And where is he now, answering for his crimes? Facing the consequences of his actions? No. Instead he’s abandoned his home, thus betraying yet another group of people!”

His vision focused directly on the crowd of Echani.

“You.”

“His own people, he abandoned his duty’s, he abandoned his own daughter and her Empire. We aren’t your enemy, we are merely enforcing your Empress’ will, and that’s the protection of her people, you just need to allow us to do such.” Drallac’s helmet slowly turned away from the Echani who were visually calming down and back towards the Stormtroopers and his squad. “And we need to remember why we are here and not do anything that would upset the Empress.”

“Your words, they hurt us more than your weapons, but we can see truth in them,” one of the Echani spoke, stepping forward with arms raised. “We apologize for our outcry.”

Drallac smile underneath his helm. “It is okay, it is hard on all of us. You are free to return to your homes before any of us do something we regret, isn’t that right Captain?”

The Stormtroopers lowered their blasters before the Captain spoke up. “Yes, return to your homes and observe the curfew from here on out and we won’t have any trouble.”

As the crowd dispersed the Stormtrooper stepped up to the Imperial Army soldier. “Thank you for your assistance Private.”

“I’m here to serve sir,” Drallac replied. “Though you might want to make sure your blasters are set to stun for the rest of your patrol.”

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Doren Vassyl
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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:49 am

Imperial Proclamation 1277-E3: It shall be known, from this day forward, that all voluntary or involuntary emigration to Eshan 2, formerly known as Exibil, is to be halted immediately. Amongst various other crimes of infrastructure, the previous administration brazenly defied Imperial Zoning Laws by authorizing the deportation of citizens to this otherwise uninhabited satellite. This cannot stand. The Empress is aware that many of her subjects may have already made the long and arduous journey to this neighboring star, and while those individuals must return to their former homes, Her Majesty will ensure their passage is safe and unencumbered. For any who still reside on Eshan 2, let it be known that the Ministry of Transportation is standing by to supervise your repatriation to either Eshan Prime or Thyrsus. For any construction representatives or contractors wishing to remain for the purposes of the aiding the realization of future military sites on Eshan 2, please visit contact the Ministry of Commerce post-haste. As always, Her Illustrious Highness appreciates your patience, and continued support.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP…

Five hundred and seventeen arrests, fifteen small-scale riots, and eighty-seven confiscated firearms. Such resistance was to be expected. Still, for those bold enough- or foolish enough to plot and scheme in the darkness, the evening watch was proving to be a most effective apex predator. And, by the handsome charity of Lady Fortune and the Captain’s military protocols, the occupation had yet to encounter a single fatality. Even then, any physical wounds perpetrated against the locals had been superficial at best, and those who met with temporary incarceration were greeted with medical treatment in a fair, timely manner. Alas, the deepest injuries, in this case, were far more than skin deep. Families of all cuts and classes had seen Eshan Two as a new beginning, only to have their promised venture torn away.

In time, perhaps the proposed civilian settlements could be made a reality. For now, however, Vassyl was at wits end keeping tabs on two satellite’s worth of Echani: a third planetary census would be totally out of the question. Instead, those with practical use would remain on the distant edge of the system, and ply their craft towards a modern, secured combat facility. Yes, as the inflamed Commodore Yawehb was hard at work remapping the sector quadrant by quadrant, and slowly filling gaps with sensor nodes, so too would Doren take steps to ensure a sustainable, reliable garrison. Thankfully, many of the previous sovereignty financial records had remained intact by the Imperial’s arrival, and the more economically-minded members of Doren’s staff had created a concrete game plan.

Simply put, what had once been the local militia’s defense budget was to be gutted without delay. What’s more, portions of the public trust funds that had lent their coffers to great migration would be deducted and added to net sum extracted from the military treasury. The rest would be refunded back to the banks and other entities, or frozen and stashed away until another worthy civil pursuit reared its head. Already, the Captain had reached out to his own corporate contacts, as well as the Imperial Engineering Corps in the interest of inviting foreign technicians and architects to aide in the new works project. And, though the local Echani construction teams would have the opportunity to participate in this early stage, security observances would be as tight as was needed to dissuade saboteurs and the like.

As days trickled by, despite the shadow of this arms initiative, Doren’s thoughts never left the average, lay citizen since the obligatory exodus was announced. To be sure, the Captain could not risk a large group of seditious extremists clustering down outside his disciplinary sights, but that didn’t mean the interim governor would ignore the plight of the everyday Echani. Much of his time became absorbed by combing through older deficit reports, gross domestic profit margins, and other financial terms that screeched for offerings of tea and caf patches before they could be properly internalized. Though he had been offered the royal suite as private quarters, Doren had flatly denied the idea, and had holed up in the servant’s wing when not tucked away in the chancellor’s office.

However, so fixated was the Captain on generating a positive housing program for the wayward and underprivileged locals that, in a bid to maximize his readings, a futon was requested and set to rest beside Doren’s desk for the occasional power nap. Indeed, for all intents and purposes, the office soon came to double as bedroom, much to the shock of the wealthier officers and well-to-dos that remained on site. Many work hours passed in this harried, disorderly fashion, until finally, a monetary air pocket or two was extracted from the depths of the Ministry of Culture. A streamlined chain of ideas bobbed to the surface of Doren’s mind, and he wasted no time in calling his committee together. The interim government was going to see a change of scenery- but not before it cleaned house.
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Doren Vassyl
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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:30 pm

Imperial Proclamation 1279-E4: It shall be known, from this day forward, that a contingent of no-fly zones will be put in place for the upper and lower atmosphere of both Eshan and Thyrsus. To better illustrate acceptable travel parameters, hoverbuoys will be dispersed, and publicly-sanctioned flight routes will be made available through the Ministry of Transportation. In regards to urban, lower-stratosphere traffic, private flightcraft may travel no higher than four hundred feet above the average city skyline. Failure to obey these parameters will result in the immediate extraction of any pilot or passenger from a given hovervehicle. Persons found guilty of violating these guidelines may be imprisoned for a minimum sentence of fourteen standard days, while their transport may be impounded for a minimum period of one standard month. The Empress understands that these parameters may prove cumbersome at first, but she earnestly hopes that, in time, her people will come to understand that this new system is being implemented for the sake of their own security and well-being. In time, she is confident her citizens will adjust, and continue to lead their lives in glorious service to the Empire.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP...

The whining screech of ion engines bitterly broke Vassyl from an already faltering bout of sleep. This was poetic justice, he felt, rolling over onto his side to glance at a wall-mounted chrono. Five-thirty on the nose. Of course that’s when the Commodore had felt it best to let loose the reserve wings. Yaht had been less than cheery to hear that Vassyl intended to scrap the measly six-ship defense fleet for raw materials, and, in his own browbeaten manner, perhaps this was a sanctioned act of revenge. Still, there was little use groaning about it now. Slipping swiftly out from under synthcotton sheets, Doren gingerly parted the viewport shutters, and looked down into the streets below. The faint beginnings of morning light had begun to peak beyond the horizon, and a handful of citizens were making rounds.

Though Vassyl had yet to announce what would become of the royal palace, the interim governor had clandestinely reflagged the temporary government from its vaunted halls to a tucked-away resort several blocks away. While the Handmaidens’ Hostel certainly had charms reminiscent of Doren’s own business estate, the Captain ultimately selected it for the remarkably accessible floorplan. It had taken little more than a single night to complete the transition, and though the primary focus was logistical capacity, the comfortable atmosphere of the new headquarters put many a nervous heart at ease. Upon a second and third urging, Vassyl had reluctantly agreed to occupy one of the higher-end suites, but it proved more of a sleeping space than a living quarter.

Still, on this particular occasion, the young officer earnestly wished to remain beneath the covers for the rest of his pitiful existence. One of the acting governor’s so-called ‘helpers’ was set to arrive this day- but it was not the sort of personality he desired not enjoyed. Indeed, Doren had but a few precious hours to sip his tea and take breakfast in the company of his cherished colleagues, before the announcement rang out over a controlled line, “Lord Gratineau’s shuttle has entered the lower atmosphere, Sir. A hovercar is ready to transport you to the military landing strip at your leisure”. “I’ll depart immediately”, Vassyl dryly answered back into his wrist module, “But believe you me- it's hardly at my leisure”.

Propus Gratineau was a tall, spindly man who, despite a mere age of thirty three, had seen significant gray areas sprout on the side of his scalp. A feature which, according to the Tepasian noble, was hallmark of his many labors in service to the Empire. “Governor Vassyl!”, Propus exclaiming, whipping his hands overhead as if he were aboard some hovercoaster, “What a pleasure it is to finally make your acquaintance in person!”. The Younger Lord Gratineau then let his arms fall out at a forty-five degree angle, before inclining his head and upper body forward into a traditional bow. Doren mimicked the act shortly thereafter, but kept a clenched fist over his left breast, in archetypal Jaeman fashion, “The pleasure is truly mine, M’lord. We are honored to receive you”.

“Please, Your Excellency”, Propus styled with a wink, “It's not every day I get to leave the stuffy sand-pit of the main office: this is truly a delight!”. His Lordship clasped Doren’s right hand in both of his own and, though his arms bobbed about like fishing lines, very little movement was actually accomplished as a result, “If you would, allow me to express my sincere congratulations for your recent promotion”. “A temporary one, to be sure”, Vassyl countered, hastily retracting the errant arm behind his back, “But in any case, you must be tired from your journey. Allow me to show you to your chambers: I believe the penthouse we’ve furnished will be quite to your liking”. “Goodness no!”, Propus waved a dismiss hand, “There will be time for resting later: do show me about the capital! I’m so very curious to meet- the locals!”.

The sickly radiance of the nobleman’s smile was more than Doren could bear, and it did not take much prodding before he eventually capitulated. While the Captain and his lanky ward were flanked on all sides by armed guards throughout the brief tour, it was as if the highborn of Tepasi didn’t notice them at all. Yes, his murky blue eyes were fixated on one thing, and one thing only- the gaze, snarl, and sneer of every Echani or Thyrsian the procession came across. This was especially true of any children or youths the party came across, and Propus would often request they halt their progress simply to observe the next generation as they went about their work or play. Though some might argue this was but a facet of Gratineau’s position, it only served to magnify Doren’s discomfort.

“So full of life”, the jubilant lord would sometimes exclaim in a giddy whisper, “So full of potential”. Upon finally reaching the hostel, Propus suddenly bade Vassyl farewell, much to his momentary relief, and retired to his suite without delay. Without a doubt, Doren was totally convinced that the seemingly innocuous man was already busying about his work; phoning back to the main branch, drawing up public programs, and ordering clothing and paraphernalia marked with a single ominous acronym- COMPNOR. Propaganda and civil education were soon to be on the rise, even more so than when Vassyl first went about fulfilling his cumbersome task. For now, Doren only hoped it would prove, at best, a calming stimulant. And at its worst, a suffocating, soul-blotting anesthetic.
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Doren Vassyl
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:58 pm
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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:05 am

Imperial Proclamation 1281-E5: It shall be known, from this day forward, that the royal palace of Yusanis is to be stripped of all politico-military responsibility, and shall be retrofitted to serve as a cultural heritage site for the Echani and Thyrsian Peoples. Similarly, the royal heritage museum, located in the Northern Federal District, is to be decommissioned immediately, and all of its contents transitioned to the old palace in due course. A new designation for the building will be determined at a future date by representatives of the Ministry of Culture, pending approval by the SEIP. All former palace staff must report to the Ministry of Commerce as soon as possible to receive one month’s monetary compensation. At the same time, regististration for corporate reassignment will also be available to all servants and serfs previously employed under the royal family. Though the economic setbacks are not to be underestimated, the Empress fervently wishes to restore this landmark to you, the People, such that all might remember and revere the splendid accomplishments of your forebears. As always, Her Majesty maintains your best interests at heart, and is confident in her citizens’ perseverance in this difficult times.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP…


With the arrival of Propus and his team, Doren could not help but feel begrudgingly grateful to have some of the social heavy-lifting removed from his shoulders. While the COMPNOR staff set about preparing reeducation and infomercial campaigns, Vassyl was freed up to continue molding ground assets, and slowly working towards producing his no-strings attached housing initiative. What’s more, security measures remained well-checked and in-place. Arrests continued to come in by the hour, but the numbers were not so high as to betray the notion of an organized revolt. While dissidents were likely to remain in hiding for the foreseeable future, the hopes of their misguided leader returning were not probable, and prolonged absence of the once-lauded sovereign was beginning to set in.

For once, Vassyl had found an excuse for some leisure in the guise of a property inspection. It was rare for the Special Envoy to the leave the Handmaidens’, and while his intentions were the objective evaluation of possible build-sites, the promise of fresh air and a little greenery did much to bolster the young officer’s spirits. And yet, as he made his way down the antique stairwell with bordered with fine stone, Doren could not help but pause to observe a large potted plant that had come to rest on the plateau between the second and ground floors. “What’s this then Ensign?”, Vassyl inquired in earnest, “I don’t seem to recall an order for more decorations”. “Looks to be a Vatruvian Everbloom, Sir”, the unsuspecting aide answered back, “I hear they’re popular gifts in the local cities”.

The Captain opened his mouth to question who on the system would bother with such a gesture, but quickly lost the opportunity to voice his concerns. In an instant, the vine-like flesh of the plant began to flex and shake, until it burst open, revealing an older Echani male with a fine-trimmed goatee. With a thundering battlecry, the pale ambusher charged at Doren in a full tuxedo, only slightly tarnished by soil and sap. Vassyl, having been caught completely off-guard, was immediately bucked onto his back, as the pair proceeded to take an unpleasant tumble down the remaining flight of steps. Thankfully, the duo was not too far removed from ground level at the time of their hasty exit, but the encounter was sure to have its share of bruises.

Regardless of the opening bout, neither man missed a beat as they launched back onto their toes, exchanging blows and trying to weasel a tripping maneuver from time to time. The long-forgotten Ensign quickly rushed down after their recently-departed superior, only to watch on in embarrassed silence. For reasons he had yet to disclose, the good Captain had recently hired on one of the newly-jobless palace attendants as his personal assistant- with one bizarre stipulation. If not otherwise forewarned to back down, this local butler was free to attack the Special Envoy at any time of his choosing, and was encouraged to strike out when least expected. Needless to say, the assaults had become frequent, and successfully unpredictable in their time and place.

The first Ensign, having resigned himself to observe the melee to its close, was soon joined by a Sub-lieutenant, who quietly offered to start a betting pool. The original aide was about to quip back, when a sun-soaked military secretary dashed onto the scene, exclaiming, “Sir! Trouble- in the square- Ensign Fernov- requests”. The tanned official paused to indulge their panting without interruption, only to look up and catch the martial episode at its midpoint. Straightening up, the confused office worker softly finished her debrief, “Ensign Fernov requests your presence in the main square- something about the visiting Lord”. The last word finally broke Doren’s concentration, as he turned to look upon this new voice, only to be rewarded with a clean left-hook to his lower job.

Reeling back some, Vassyl fought to center himself, and hastily spat at his eager opponent, “Kernaan! Now is not the time!”. The elder gentlemen, so embroiled in the heat of the pair’s ‘discussion’, was practically deaf to his employer’s plea. Thereafter, Doren found himself grappling the taller man to the best of his ability, and repeated his urgent request, “Stop it! Stop I say!”. Again, no attempts were made to conclude the duel, but out the corner of his eye, Doren managed to catch his ticket home. With a forceful, wordless shout, the Captain threw the last of his strength, and the sum total of his weight into the veteran servant. Shoving the man back a good foot and a half, Kernaan was caught unawares, as the wall at his back gave out- only to take shape a sizable laundry chute.

The man fell in silence, while Vassyl listened for the expectant plop onto linens and mattresses down below. “Have a hovervan prepared immediately”, Doren boomed out to the assembly of low-ranking officers, “We’ll depart as soon as it's here”. “As you wish Sir”, the primary Ensign snapped back without hesitation, “Shall I have the Transportation Secretary clear a path for us?”. “That would be ideal”, Doren nodded in agreement, “See that it is done”. Dusting his tunic off, Vassyl turned to leave, but doubled back, and parted the cover of the luminous chute with his hand. “The plant gambit was most clever Kernaan”, Vassyl praised in a light, friendly tone, “I do commend you”. The Captain idled for a moment, before a genuine, “Thank you Sir”, echoed back up, and drew the match to a proper close.
-------
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"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:14 am

Imperial Proclamation 1286-E6: It shall be known, from this day forward, that a permanent field office of the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order shall hereby be zoned and constructed in Yusanis, effective immediately. Concurrently, loyal citizens of the Empire are cordially invited to volunteer and or enlist for the COMPNOR Youth, Sub-Adult, CompForce, and the various Civil Coalitions. Those that pledge themselves to the Commission will not only enjoy the pride of service and the admiration of their peers, but will also qualify for bonus ration stamps, increased tax rebates, and other privileges owing to this fine station. For those that are interested in taking the next step on the road to fulfilling citizenhood, please contact the Ministry of Social Affairs, or the field office proper. Her Majesty is very keen to invite you to join the trusted few, and she hopes to see many of her beloved subjects answering the call to serve their community, and their Empire.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP…


“This pair seems to have some fight left in them”, Propus commented softly, a less-than-amused look furrowing his thin brows, “Another round if you please, Gentlemen”. A bloodied and beaten Thyrsian couple looked up with anguish and fury as a trio of Echani with stun batons gave the pair another walloping. A fourth silver-haired aggressor watched on with a sneer, and held a petrified child of no more than six by the scruff of his coat collar. Another salvo of swift, electrical discharges, and the couple finally crumpled to the ground, eliciting screams of distress from the airborne youth. Only now did the young boy attempting to struggle and claw his way to his parents side, but it was to no avail. Thankfully, all it took was a slight nod from Propus, before the smaller gutter-rat was tossed to the pavement.

Landing uncomfortably on his tuckus, the child watched in sustained horror as a previous-hidden set of ration packs loosed themselves from the inside of his trousers. “Oh dear me”, the Lord Gratineau mewled with seemingly genuine concern, “It seems we’ve a whole family of troublemakers on our hands”. Propus had been delighting in the daily allotment of resources only an hour prior, doting on the aspiring and good-natured locals, when an elder had cried ‘thief’, and matters fell into disciplinary chaos. Much to the COMPNOR Chair’s relief, he had already garnered several able-bodied men for the Eshan Branch, and the posse gave chase without the slightest hesitation. Already, the filth of a once traitorous regime was being scrubbed clean by honest folk, and indeed, the man couldn't be prouder.

Still, change took time, and the recent shift in power structure had made the resurgence of criminals such as these all too easy. “Now Child”, Propus cooed in a knowing tone, “Surely your parents taught you that stealing was inexcusable. Consider too, that you have brought insult upon the supplies corps, and in effect, Her Majesty’s own generosity!”. “Please Sir”, the teary rascal whimpered, “My sister is sick- she needs more food!”. Clicking his tongue, the Tepasian Noble bobbed his finger to and fro in a scolding manner, and added, “My my, such willful insolence- and not a single effort made to apologize for your misdeed! It seems you are sorely in need of re-education as well”. Nodding his head over at the child, Propus sweetly invited his co-conspirators, “Gentlemen, if you would be so kind”.

The tallest and broader of the three Echani moved to claim the first strike as his own- until an unexpectedly powerful gloved grip caught him by the forearm, and the blow stopped short. “Governor”, Propus smiled nonchalantly, “How good of you to join us! I don’t suppose I could trouble you to let Mister Fenno finish up his work?”. “I don’t suppose that I can”, Doren answered back coldly, “In fact, I think your entourage, including Mister Fenno, had best continue your rounds elsewhere”. “Now now Excellency”, Propus chided in a soft voice, and pursed his lips some, “You should know better than anyone that we must abide by our legal code at all times: if we make exceptions for the few, public pressure will only insist on concessions for the many”.

“And we shall do everything in power to follow the Grand Charter, and instill its values in those we serve”, Vassyl conceded curtly, before turning the argument back onto his contemptible, “But what we will not do- is beat a near-toddler to a pulp in the streets. Nor will we cripple his entire family such that his ailing sibling has no means for survival”. “Are you convinced that excess softness will win them over, Governor?”, Propus probed in earnest, a slight intensity flashing in his eyes, “Were I in your position-”. “Yet you are not”, Doren calmly interjected, “Your job is to advise the Interim Government. I have heard your advice, and your concerns, and I thank you for those candid contributions. For now, I request that Your Lordship continue on his way, I shall see to the rest here”.

Gratineau’s cheerful complexion faltered for an instant, and his thin face all but retreated in on itself as Doren deftly shut him down. Silence blanketed the cobbled path, and a few bystanders that hadn’t stopped to observe the episode now let their curiosity get the better of them. Then, reverting back to his standard, bubbly posture, Propus inclined his head slowly and mechanically, and relented, “As you so wish, Governor. I shall send a copy of the first operational report as soon as we have returned to the office complex: until then, do enjoy the rest of your day”. Vassyl offered Propus a outwardly-appreciative salute, but said no more on the matter. The Captain then waited for the zealot and his goons to disappear down the adjacent street, before helping the weeping lad to his feet, and sending for a medic post-haste.
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:35 pm

Imperial Proclamation 1289-E7: It shall be known, from this day forward, that special grants for the advancement of public education are to be put into effective immediately. In their boundless magnanimity, the Empress has seen fit to award Imperial Funds to her home system, in the hopes that they may excel to greater heights in service to their sovereign nation. These funds will contribute not only to the repair and renovation of existing universities, but will also embellish existing programs in the fields of law and statecraft, as well as technological and engineering sciences. Furthermore, for those brave individuals wishing to aid Her Majesty on the front lines, military scholarships will now be made available for all citizens, regardless of economic or social consideration. All current and returning students wishing to apply are encouraged to reach out to their academic chancellor, or contact the Ministry of Education. Our Empress has high hopes for each of her beloved subjects, and is all too eager to see the fruits of your promised success.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP…


“Its him!”, a boisterous Thysian woman squeaked, “The Governor!”. Elbowing her way past the other sanctioned paparazzi, the shorter newswoman had nearly osmosed her way through the Captain’s guard unit, when one of the white-clad peace-keepers caught on, and took her by the wrist. Knowing full well she might be extradited in an instant, the intrepid young lady pressed a voice recorder out at the weary naval officer, and practically screamed, “Governor Vassyl, a word on your meeting with the board of regents?”. All voices fell silent, as Doren looked on the woman tired, steely eyes. The trooper that had all but detained the newscaster peered at his superior, waiting with baited breath for the ok to toss her aside- but it never came.

Instead, Vassyl raised a hand to halt the procession, and questioned in a stoic tone, “And who, pray tell, is asking?”. Excitedly, the nosy miss jerked her arm free, took a step forward, and presented a slight, courteous bow, [color=#BF]“Liera Konf, reporter with the Urban Rapport: our readers are dying to know more about Your Excellency’s new reforms”[/color]. “The new funds you mean”, Vassyl corrected, “As the formal statement makes clear, we are merely improving and nourishing what already is, Miss Konf. Rest assured, my office isn’t perpetrating any reorganization at this time”. Liera produced a dastardly twinkle in her ear, before pressing the issue, “But isn’t it true that Your Excellency’s meeting with the regents was to address the tenure of various teaching staff?”.

Liera fully-expected a confirming scowl or a brief dismissal, but to her surprise, Vassyl answered her inquiry with a slight smile, “The staff were certainly a topic of discussion, you sources are correct so far as that is concerned”. “However”, Doren added a little more loudly, “The purpose of my visit today was to address the hiring of additional academics, such that we might better expand research opportunities for the applied sciences”. Miss Konf was uncharacteristically silent for a time, having been somewhat unprepared for this verbal pushback. In short order though, the inquisitive holonet personality regained her fervor, and pressed on, “And who might these new experts be? Scholars from Thyrsus? Or someone from outside the system?”.

“Your journalist instincts serve you well”, Doren commended, “A group of visiting scholars has been graciously volunteered offworld, and will be serving temporary terms alongside their Echani colleagues here on the capital”. “And from which world shall we expect these honored guests?”, Liera drove home, her light eyes glinting with excitement. “Arkania”, Vassyl delivered in a deadpan tone, “Their Scientific Community is very eager to create new connections in this system, and, alongside aforementioned services, they are also willing to provide paid internships for any local minds feeling up to the task”. Yet another unseen blow smacked into the aspiring communications buff. The Arkanians were well known for their mental facilities- less so for their sense a compassion and transparency.

Blinking, Miss Konf observed that the Captain was moving to depart, having seemingly concluded all was said and done. Still, the Thyrsian continued to itch with professional curiosity, and blurted out, “Excellency! Is this a move to quietly remove dissidents and older voices in the local community?”. That struck a chord, and in Doren’s mind, was a step much too far. Spinning about, Vassyl looked down at the foolish, if not courageous woman, and without raising his voice, sent a disciplinary finger out her way, “Who is or is not retained in the university circuit is for the regents to decide. And the regents, as well as the professors, are held to same standards of loyalty as any other citizen- such as yourself Miss Konf. No matter how promising or talented a mind, dreams of sedition will not be tolerated. Not now, not ever”.

The Captain then turned back, and suffered no further questions. The woman was lost amidst the small pool of chittered press, until the security detachment succeeded in cordoning them off back towards the main academy entrance. Finally left to his own devices once more, Doren let slip an pitched sigh, and strutted down a stone stairwell. It had taken hours of holocalls and direct messages to wrest economic support from the Moff Council, not to mention the countless sea of maze-like correspondence with the Arkanian Government. Only Vassyl’s staff would have any inkling of the work that had gone into delivering what ought be seen as a blessing. Instead, the lingering concern for the Old Guard was all the public seemed to care about.

Thankfully, Doren’s exit route led him through the Yusanis Academy’s famed botanical gardens. For at least a little while, the Captain had been presented with a golden opportunity to appreciate the local flora. Passing by many an artisan bloom and blossom, the young officer soon found himself drawn to a cluster of waterlilies, situated on a rustic, artificial pond. All but relaxed in terms of temperament, Doren chanced a closer look- only for a pair of finely dress arms to burst forth from the surface, and catch the Interim Governor by the shoulders! With a yelp, Vassyl found himself tugged down into the tepid pool, until he desperately managed to kick up against his would-be captor. Then, and only then, did Kernaan, like some monster out of a holodrama, emerge into sight, the rasp of an apparatus hissing all the while.

Just barely sliding astride a swift chop to the midsection, the now-soggy Doren leapt out of the basin, and took a basic stance on solid ground. The Captain very much wanted to know how and when his circumstantial butler snuck into the garden, as well as how long he’d simply laid in wait for Doren to arrive. Alas, this was not the proper moment. The two indulged another of their typical bouts, while Vassyl’s guard unit, having been briefed on the relationship, watched on with mild interest. After the ceaseless hours couped up in the Hostelry, Doren was secretly grateful for the impromptu exercise, and wondered if Kernaan could detect his raise in spirits on the receiving end. The pair continued to brawl for twenty minutes or so, until they were ultimately caught in a hedge of creeping vines, and forced to call a draw.
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:15 am

Imperial Proclamation 1292-E8: It shall be known, from this day forward, that a series of appellate courts shall be formed within the newly-reconstituted Ministry of Justice, so that the relatives and dependents of imprisoned individuals may handle matters of property and insurance claims. While those tied to criminals may have suffered by association in the past, the Empress, her benevolence unperturbed by the wicked acts of the few, has guaranteed amnesty to those with direct ties to the recently incarcerated. However, let it be said that Her Majesty’s Mercy has its criteria. Those found guilty of treason and pernicious intent to secede or rebel will be imprisoned for a minimum sentence of thirty standard cycles. And, in keeping with local tradition, these treacherous, once trusted citizens will serve their sentences off-world, forbidden to journey home until they have amended their ill-gotten ways. While the Empress takes no pleasure in such measures, she acts out of compassion and concern for you, loyal citizens, and it is her oath to sustain and defend you that forces her sorrowful hand. In this trying times, Her Majesty requests your understanding, and your continued cooperation throughout this long and difficult process.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP…


“It's been too long, Governor, Heiys cheerily announced, offering a sincere salute to his wayward colleague, “You’ve certainly been keeping busy”. “All thanks to you it seems”, Vassyl quipped back with a friendliness the ISB official had not expected, “Please, let me be the first to offer my congratulations, Colonel Brant. The report of your engagement over Vena was a gripping read to say the least. I am honored to keep your company once more”. “Honored?”, Heiys laughed, chuffing some as he did so, “How the Echani air has changed you, My Friend”. The last tease smacked into Doren like a trio of daggers. Certainly, the Colonel’s valiant defense of the border station was not to be discounted- but ‘friend’ was testing the limits of Vassyl’s tolerance.

“If you’ll forgive me, Sir”, Doren entreated, “You’ve arrived in the middle of a rather heated legal proceeding: could I trouble you to bear audience to a testimony?”. “Testimony!”, Brant lit up, “How did you know that’s my fourth favorite word Excellency? By all means, lead the way”. The Captain did not wait up having received the ok from Heiys. The interim governor snaked his way back into the bleak, gray halls of the temporary judiciary offices. The case in question was one regarding the deed to a small estate, formerly owned by a father and son duo who had made the costly mistake of voicing their approval of the former sovereign. Now, the two women of the house, an aging mother, and one particularly sour wife, had been locked in heated debate as to who would claim total ownership of the premises.

Doren for his part, had little to no functioning knowledge when it came to the Echani tongue. And, to his aides’ credit, translators were not always in excess. To make matters worse, the constant bickering and textual evidence was all over the place, which had confounded every inexperienced, officer-turned-judge until the matter had finally fallen into Vassyl’s lap. Throughout the messy, marital mess, Kernaan had stood firm as the Captain’s cultural and linguistic bastion. Still, Doren was not blind to the growing redness of his assistant’s countenance. He too was tired, and heated from what Vassyl could tell. Thankfully, Heiys was rearing and ready to bulldoze the conflict at hand, loudly declaring to the Captain’s chagrin, “Suppose we just had them take a swing at each other? That would be appropriate yes?”.

Beating his gloved fist into an open hand, the bickering women both got the message loud and clear- much to the elder’s horror, and the junior’s glee. “Truly, your familiarity with Echani customs is inspiring, Colonel”, Doren whispered in a low-voice, making no attempt to hide his abundant sarcasm, “But if you would, take a look at our older combatant: tell me what you see”. Somewhat confused, Heiys’ lips dipped and contorted in an only slightly-curved line- a sign that the Colonel was mustering all of his introspective and analytical facilities. Brant’s gaze, even though outwardly pleasant in construction, was unblinking. The mother stood petrified in its icy demeanor, and even the daughter-in-law, though not in the direct line of sight, was similarly unsettled.

“Ah, yes”, Heiys spoke after a time, his tone dripping with victorious satisfaction, “I missed it when we first entered. The angle of her stance, and the way she puts weight on the left leg-”. “Suggests a previous injury”, Vassyl cut in, “And a serious one from what I’ve read”. Without looking away from the warring parties, the Captain passed a small datapad off to his freshly-promoted colleague, who mumbled aloud as he read, “Load-lifter accident eh? Fractures here… there… and- my word!”. Brant held a performative hand up to the ceiling, “It's a small wonder this woman survived at all”. “It is indeed”, Doren continued, “And needless to say, this poor lady has been forced to endure the burden of lameness on a world that prizes physicality for far longer than most”.

“So Colonel”, Vassyl drove the point home, “Would you have me throw this woman- this pariah out on the street? With no family left to defend her? With no one to offer even a moment’s kindness when she fundamentally stands for everything their culture is taught to loathe?”. “I would recommend declaring her a ward of the state”, Brant mused back, “Were that your housing solution was complete at this time”. “Yet is not”, the Captain sadly affirmed, “So we must make a decision”. “Kernaan”, Doren added, rising to his feet, “Inform these two that while the son was a cosigner on the primary mortgage, his father was the original holder of the title deed. As such, ownership will be passed to his mother in this instance”.

“And”, Vassyl held up a hand to delay his courier a moment more, “Do implore the young madame to make peace with her lawful matriarch- lest she desires to find a new place of residence”. The reactions were instantaneous: a dual aria of joy and disgust. However, much to Brant and Vassyl’s surprise, the mother soon began to weep in earnest, and prostrated herself before the two foreigners. Muttering a choked-up plea, the daughter-in-law, in a baffling move, then followed suit. “Kernaan”, the bewildered Doren inquired, “What are they saying?”. “They ask for mercy on behalf of their husbands”, the aged butler answered coolly, “They wish to speak to them if possible”. Vassyl was motionless for severals minutes, before finally declaring, “Inform them that they have already departed for prison. We’re done here”.

Hysteric wails followed thereafter, but Doren would have no further interaction with the sad family. “That seemed a touch harsh”, Brant cooed with amusement, “Even for you, Governor”. “You misunderstand Colonel”, Vassyl called out in a harsh, hushed tone, “It would be impossible for me to grant them either request”. “Oh?”, Heiys dug deeper, forcing Doren to come to a dead stop. “The criminals in question were concealing blasters at the time of their arrest”, Doren explained with a wavering voice, “They were shot dead in an alley no more than two or three city blocks from the royal gardens”. “And you didn’t bother to release the bodies?”, Heiys chirped with bated breath. “They were almost unrecognizable by the time the patrol was through”, Vassyl concluded so softly it almost didn’t register, “Traitors though they were, no family deserves to see that which they became. It is better to let them hope and dream. In this case, the truth is the last thing they need”. The two went on their way from there, and nothing further was said.
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Re: A Brighter Tomorrow (Ask)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Wed May 15, 2019 1:49 am

Imperial Proclamation 1295-E9: It shall be known, from this day forward, that the Hall of Grand Debate shall be reopened without delay. Furthermore, to better facilitate the colosseum's festivities and maintain local tradition, Eshan’s planetary curfew shall be redacted by an additional three hours. The Empress, out of love and admiration of Her People’s cultural arts, has pledged economic support to the upcoming tournament cycle. Entry to the initial matches will be free of charge and open to the public. Those that attend will receive a commemorative ticket chip, which may be redeemed for secondary ration privileges at any time within the next standard month. Only one ticket will be provided for each attendee, and attempts to scalp or abuse this allotment will result in immediate expungement from the event, and may incur a cycle-long ban from any future games. In the interest of expressing her commitment to the betterment of both Eshan and Thrysus, the Empress has also selected a representative from the Imperial Military to serve as a special participant and liaison in this hallowed contest of strength. It is Her Majesty’s sincere hope that this gesture will further bridge this cherished system with the larger galactic community, and the sovereign banner which heeds loyalty from one and all.

Signed,
The Office of the SEIP...


“Are you certain you want to do this, Sir?”, Kernaan questioned, a faint crease of empathy permeating his voice, “There is no guarantee you'll emerge unscathed”. “He’s got a point, Governor”, Heiys cooed with what Vassyl imagined to be feigned concern, “Once you're out there, you’ll have to weather whatever gets sent your way”. “I am well aware of the risks”, Doren insisted, in spite of the occasion tremble that took hold of his spine, “Though your shared concern is heartening. I’m no expert by any means, but thanks to my assistant’s noble efforts, I may yet prove more troublesome than they might expect”. “He isn’t the champion on the merits of honor and good sportsmanship”, Brant offered his quiet, final critique, “Do keep that in mind”.

Vassyl nodded appreciatively to his two collaborators, and took one last look at the distant exit. Then, without another word, the young officer made the solitary walk through a dark, narrow corridor. Arriving out in the open night air, Doren had no choice but to blink several times, and adJ to the harsh, silver light of Eshan’s primary moon looming overhead. Directly ahead, and on the periphery, Vassyl’s vision was dominated by thousands of locals, situated on bleacher upon bleacher of stadium seats. The Hall of Grand Debate, whilst invoking academic vibes from its lofty title, was as much a stage for athleticism as it was for philosophy. Both Echani and Thyrsians subscribed to a marital discourse, and as their primary form of communication, it was a mode of conversation Doren could not ignore.

And, while the Children of the Sun performed their sacred rites and battles by the light of day, Vassyl had unintentionally snubbed the nocturnal Echani by instating the immutable evening curfew. And thus, this display of combat, first and foremost, would serve as a sort of indirect apology for the Interim Governor’s original blunder. Far more important though, was the complicated dialogue Doren intended to open with the Empress’ own people: a monologue of solidarity, an in the end, an hand, open in friendship and collaboration. It for this reason that the Captain sought to employ Kernaan within his personal retinue. It was for this moment that he had demanded and endured the endless sea of ambushes, elbows, and cleft hooks to the jawbone. Everything was in preparation for the final repartee.

The older resident of Eshan had done all he could to ready Doren for the arena, and though many had pleaded with Vassyl to name a representative to ‘converse’ in his stead, the young officer would hear none of it. Still, despite his insistence, it would have been a mistake to think the Captain was without his worries. Aldebaran, simply known as “The Bull” by his doting fans, was roughly two-hundred and two pounds of pure muscle, and towered almost a foot above his Imperial Adversary. Upon entering the professional fighting circuit, the so-called Beast of Yusanis had proceeded to steamroll every opponent that crossed his path, and had taken to an early, lucrative retirement no more than two cycles past. His record had been spotless, and in the eyes of the public, it was going to stay that way.

As the two approached one another from the opposite sides of the arena, neither a glare nor sneer was shared between them. The Bull’s reputation was not lost on Vassyl, and he had no intention to belittle the man before his adoring public- not that he’d have the ability to do as much outside of breaking tradition. Much to the Captain’s greater confusion, there was no noticeable rage or malcontent upon the face of Doren’s contender. Still, his countenance was not austere like Kernaan’s. No, these silver eyes held intensity, focus, and perhaps even a flicker of excitement. Not unlike the young Jaeman, the lauded veteran had re-emerged onto the public stage for a very express purpose: and one way or another, his point would be made.

Meeting in the middle, Doren clasped a firm right hand onto the titanic Echani’s cloak, while his contender did the same. The pair The continued their march to the inner edge of the ring, throwing the fabric off each other’s shoulders, revealing their torsos to the swooning- or jeering audience. Barefoot, and now clad only in a pair of thick black pantaloons, the duo turned about, and exchanged a set of ritual bows. Saying nothing, each man then took his stance. In Aldebaran’s case, his posture spoke to ceremony rather than technical application. Lifting his right foot up every so slightly, and leveling it back against its sibling, the young master extended his arms out like branches, mimicking one of the sturdier hardwood trees native to the system.

Vassyl, for his part, ducked low and long, sweeping his left leg out into an acute side lunge. Bringing his right arm back at a forty-five degree, Vassyl concealed his dominant fist behind the bulk of his body, whilst keeping a straight, fully-deployed left hand reaching out at his opponent. To the unexperienced eye, such a gesture might have come off as some sort of aerobic pose, or even an obscure dance move. However, for all its subtle eccentricities, Modified K’thri was as misleading as it was swift. The Captain had studied his defensive postures, and learned them well. Doren was soon to be single hydrolamp overtaken by the scorching light of a industrial reactor. The first move was Aldebaran’s: it fell to Vassyl to stand his ground when that fated maneuver was made.

And, not unsurprisingly, the Captain wasn’t kept waiting for long. With a strong, nasal exhale, The Bull made his charge. The sheer brunt of his initial impact hammered Doren to the bone. The young Jaeman could scarcely keep pace with Echani’s strikes, as the champion sustained his advance slowly and methodically. With each successive blow, Vassyl could all but feel the various bruises blossoming on his skin. He needed a window, but the undefeated juggernaut wasn’t likely to crack one open in the spirit of charity. Doren would need to make a trade, the economics of which would ultimately be in his aggressor’s favor. Electing to endure a terrific beating to the left breast, Vassyl finally managed to slip round the side of his attacker, and delivered a poignant elbow to the small of the titan’s back.

In truth, the lone hit might as well have been a gadfly stinging a bantha- but the measure of its value was hardly skin deep. It had been a precise, calculated hit, and one which lost on neither the reigning gladiator or the onlookers. Aldebaran halted for the briefest instant, as if to mentally register the development, only to about-face with a lighting kick aimed at Vassyl’s midsection. In a rather pained movement, Doren barely succeeded in catching the flying foot- its kinetic force wearing down his already-thin constitution. And yet, not to be undone by a lucky counter, the champion curled his captive leg up to the thigh, tugging Vassyl back towards him in ferocious display of balance and lower-body tenacity.

The Captain had two choices, with little time to consider the outcomes. He could try and hold fast fast to the fleeing limb, or he could withdraw and remain wary of a possible counter. Doren cast his lot with the latter, only to receive a harsh reproach. No sooner had Vassyl released the right leg before its twin caming zooming around in switch-hit. This time, the attack was directed at the Captain’s ribcage. To everyone’s amazement, Doren spread his feet at shoulder length, and steeled himself to take the assault head on. A flicker in The Bull’s eye betrayed a measure of shock at this development, as his bone-crunching gambit made contact with a furious crack. The initial trauma passed in seconds, but even to Doren’s adrenaline-flushed mind, it seemed like a small eternity.

With a guttural growl, Vassyl darted forward in spite of the fresh licking, nimbly advancing into The Bull’s guard. Aldebaran had only a moment to blink before Doren began his argument, peppering the hulking fortress of a man with swift, exacting blows to the stomach and kidney region. As the Captain had not tried to evade the previous gambit, his footwork was better situated for pressing the offensive. And, though the power behind his fists was nothing comparable to the champion’s, the unforgiving accuracy of his anatomical onslaught was enough to warp his enemy’s countenance. Indeed, Doren had nearly completed the entirety of the Guov Mel Aurek, when his opponent regained his center, and began to push back.

Much to Vassyl’s displeasure, the tireless fighter moved to grapple, and it was not long before the Captain was sent to the floor. Here too, The Bull was without equal. Wriggling and flopping about by a winded fish was the most that Doren’s strategies amounted to. It took all that the young officer had to avoid a game-ending hold; even more so to make his escapes appear as graceful as possible. Though the Imperial often reviled its theatrical origins, in somatic dance such as this, K’thri’s subtle movements worked wonders to paint a non-verbal picture. Even if Vassyl could not press under the present circumstances, he would defend himself- and look good while doing so. Every so often, Doren would send out a jab, but most were intercepted. The deadlock sustained in this manner for several minutes.

Eventually, Vassyl found the opportunity to log-roll his was to temporary safety. Returning to his feet, Doren made ready his defenses, only to garner a provocation from Aldebaran. Seemingly dissatisfied with his first encounter with the Captain’s technique, the champion willfully invited another flurry of strikes. Surely, he would not be caught off-guard a second time. Not about to play the same trick twice, Vassyl began the opening stances for Guov Mel Besh, hoping that the mix-up between high and low feints would bear new fruit. However, to the winded Vassyl’s dismay, the expectant wall of pure fighting spirit was well versed in a wide variety of blocks and countermeasures. Any hits the diminutive officer landed were superficial at best: minimal damage, catching small, insignificant targets.

Then came the turn. In a single, furious motion, The Bull swatted Doren’s hands up towards the vaulted ceiling, and began to lay into his nigh-helpless victim. It was a horrific display of raw, concentrated force- and one that threatened to rob Vassyl of his consciousness. With each thunderous impact, the Captain felt his stance crumble. His breath began to falter, and for a moment Doren teetered on the edge of his toes. Nonetheless, even given the might of his foe, this pain was nothing new to the loyal Captain. This exhaustion was not hard-earned like that born of battle after battle with the Sith. This agony was not the biting cold and unforgiving wildlife of Kashyyyk and Morikin. This was but a single man, and as lone challenger himself, Vassyl would fight to the last.

Just when undefeated warrior moved to perform a technical coup de grace, an inscrutable Doren, renewed by resolve alone, leapt forward, his hands locked at the fingertips. Like a barbed spear, Vassyl’s arms slipped deftly past the opposition’s, colliding against the man bulging windpipe with a sickening pop. Almost immediately, the man sputtered for lack of air, and now The Bull himself threatened lose his footing as a direct result of the surgical ambush. But, rather than send the behemoth toppling to the floor, Doren quickly circumnavigated around the faltering mass. Expending the last of his stamina, Vassyl labored to keep the man upright, until such a time he’d ceased his raspy coughing. Whatever happened after would be what it was, until then, Doren would not let the man fall.

The act was not meant to demean Aldebaran in any way, to be sure. This was the Captain’s final plea- a final offer of solidarity, support, and cooperation. And, as the two separated, Doren hunched over, prepared to receive the ultimate beating that, to his surprise, never came. Instead, The Bull merely looked down on the Imperial, his expression belying neither pity or contempt. A hand was raised thereafter, and Vassyl, in his delirium, feared for the worst. In spite of his worries, Doren’s eyes widened as he came to understand the meaning of the gesture. The Champion desired the match be called to a draw, or otherwise undecided. The audience was practically mute when the ceremonial arbiters arrived to reclothe the Captain and the Beast, utterly awestruck by the outcome.

Aldebaran himself said nothing, but before returning from whence he came, the mountain of a man imparted Doren with a single, auspicious gift: a nod of recognition, and what Vassyl interpreted to be the slightest of smiles. Afterwards, the Captain was all too happy to retire the infirmary, and his companions were full glad to find their interim leader remained more or less intact. The subsequent games and tourneys waxed well into the dark of night, the echoing cacophony of cheers resounding to the outskirts of the city. When the new curfew fell into effect, the stands cleared without incident. And, as the Ultimatum flashed from view on her early morning journey to the Core, the blood-earned tranquility persisted. No protests were raised, no revolts broke out. The Captain slept peacefully well into the afternoon.
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"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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