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A Moonlight Meeting | Natasi Fortan

Prefsbelt Commander
Character
Location: Hydian Defence Station Platform | Executive Quarters
Time: 01:45 Local Time
VIP: Grd.Mff [member="Natasi Fortan"]


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The stormtrooper guards, who sat outside the Grand Moff's quarters stood rigidly to attention at the approach of the Imperator. The jurisdiction they sat in was undeniably the realm of the predatory droid, with his blue, glowing visage, and the ghostly white cape which trailed him. The naval officer paused before them. His face painted no emotion. He was blank. Unreadable. "The Grand Moff has requested my presence." Rausgeber coldly informed the plastoid attired sentries. The artificial tone, which clung to his tone, cut the air like a knife.

The chief stormtrooper, identified by his red pauldron as a captain, saluted, "As you wish, Grand Admiral," The woman barked. Her authoritarian tone seemed to have an edge. Something the dead man found rather pleasing. To keep everyone a little aloof. Those who grew complacent, failed. Those who lived in fear, otherwise, no? The captain jammed a keycard into the security lock, and the door hissed open.

"Thank you," Carlyle politely mused, bowing his head before proceeding into the quarters of his master. His repulsorlift generator melodically humming as he entered. Now, it was time for him to feel a sense of dread. Natasi Fortan, was not one to be trifled with. The woman, had a fearsome reputation. One which was well earned, if you asked Central Command.

The apartment afforded to the First Order's Head of Government was comfortable. Luxurious even in comparison to the soldiers and officers barracks. There was a small living space, with a heater, and a large, reinforced viewport. One which showed the myriad of star destroyers circling the station, along with the squadrons of TIE fighters, exercising. And there she was. Silhouetted against the deep, burning blue of a Resurgent-Class Destroyers engines.

The door hissed shut, and the Grand Admiral saluted, "Grand Moff Fortan," The senior commander began, in a formal, and reverent tone, "How may I serve?"
 
long have I waited
Writer
Natasi's quarters were dimly lit, the better to view the beauty of the starscape beyond the maneuvering vessels in the foreground. She stood like a column, straight and unyielding and still, her trim figure silhouetted against the viewport. The Grand Moff, whose cares were many and whose trials were great, looked much different in person than she did in the propaganda posters and videos bearing her face. Her features were drawn and angular and harsh, her skin paler -- almost translucent-- and her eyes tired and dull. In her hand the Grand Moff held a metallic mug, billowing softly with steam, conveying the scent of the caf from within. She didn't react for a moment; in the stillness, she could hear only the sliding shut of the door over the soft sound of big band jizz, music playing too softly for the brassy style.

"Grand Admiral," Natasi said finally, lifting her remote to turn off the media center. She set it down and wrapped both hands now around the mug. Her voice was tired but pleasant as if greeting an old friend. She set the mug down and crossed behind him to engage the privacy locks, ensuring that the conversation would remain sub rosa. "Thank you for taking the time. I apologize for the hour. I've not yet become accustomed to local time. It's only been a few hours, after all." She turned back to the room at large, with the bizarre mechanical reconstruction of Carlyle Rausgeber standing -- standing? she glanced down at his structure to confirm whether he was hovering -- and paused before breaking into an unexpected smile. "I almost offered you a cup of caf. Can you drink caf? I'm happy to brew you a cup."

When the refreshments discussion was settled, the Grand Moff went to the lone armchair in the simple quarters and smoothed her skirt. "I've been away, Rausgeber. Too long; I'm afraid my husband's death rather knocked the stuffing out of me, and at the worst possible moment. Things on Dosuun came to quite a head, and once I'd settled them, I needed to get my son out of there. They were killing Vitalises, Grand Admiral, do you understand? My husband, literally. Me, figuratively -- politically. George had to be protected." She sipped her coffee and then cradled the cup on one hand in her lap. "But I'm back now, and I will not be challenged again. I will not leave the First Order unattended."

She picked a non-existent piece of fuzz from her skirt, then looked up at Rausgeber again. "In any event, I need an update. Not some sanitized report from the Home Office or a cherry-picked dissertation from the Ministry of Security. I need information from someone trustworthy and reliable and most of all, non-political. I trust your judgment. I'd like to get your views on where we stand since I stepped away." She smiled sardonically over the rim of her cup. "Without screaming, if you please."

[member="Robogeber"]​
 
Prefsbelt Commander
Character
The droid raised a palm at the Grand Moff, "I apologise, I have nowhere to consume it." Rausgeber apologetically informed his superior. The dead man's voice, was rather harsh. Although he unmistakably sounded like Carlyle Rausgeber, the vocal synthesiser did add an artificial, nigh metallic tinge to the mans voice. "One of the few bonuses provided by my current form, is that I needn't concern myself with such biological functions." He elaborated, "Sleep, food? Such binary things." he added, a slight twinkle simulated on the holographic simulation of the man's former self.

The droid, followed the Grand Moff as she seated herself and resupplied her cup of caf. Given his body, he could not sit, but rather stood. His figure, rather ghostly with the blowing of his cloak, a byproduct of the repulsor jet which sat at the bottom of his mechanical corpse. The Grand Admiral took residence, opposite the woman, behind a leather chair. His black, gaberwool gloves tightly gripped it, and listened to her. The political developments in Avalonia, had been not beyond the Grand Admiral's interest, but the focus upon new campaigns against the Galactic Alliance meant his attention was drawn elsewhere. But that didn't stop him from nodding sympathetically, at her plight. As soon as Fortan finished, Carlyle spoke up, "And may I say ma'am, it is a pleasure to see you return to your rightful position."

He however paused again as she relayed her request. It was, not one he'd imagined he'd ever have to give to be quite honest. And with all that was going on? How could he condense it. However, he would endeavour, "Your leave of absence, was taken at a time of great turmoil, and upon your return, a great many things have changed in our Galaxy." Carlyle informed his superior, "The Galactic Alliance, is dying." The droid coolly informed her, "The great beast of the Galaxy, felled, by man hands." He mused. There was a sullen interlude, as painful electrons, filled with memories of what was lost, and who was lost, filtered within his computing system. Rausgeber's face physically contorted, and appeared to be pained.

"Successful strikes upon Coruscant, Fondor nd Lothal, saw to the Alliance's demise." He then attempted to elaborate on something else, something which personally troubled him. "But to say that it was all the Sith Empire and our own efforts, would be... a misnomer," He wasn't sure how to discuss this. "But from intelligence we have retrieved, it appears, a substantial portion of the Alliance's collapse can be attributed to insider interventions. A militant fifth column, which rose up, and turned on their fellow soldier." The concept disturbed Raugeber. The concept of loyalty was one true to any imperial, and it was but natural to a military man, that any demarcation from such tradition effected the man. And it showed, in the near tremble of a voice, he held.

"Most of the GADF has collapsed, either due to these assaults, or retreated, and splintered into smaller, more manageable defence forces." The Grand Admiral pontificated, "But we have recieved consistent reports, eluding to a possible build up in the Kathol sector." The droid glowered, "Convoys, and troop movements from outlying Alliance territories, into Outer Rim Coalition space." Rausgeber elaborated in a darkened voice. "I would bear not too much worry, but it appears that in some capacity, the Alliance may still yet fester." The droid then stood to attention, "But that is merely the situation here. Across the Galaxy, the Jedi, and insurgencies appear to be gaining ground against our allies."


"I fear although we may have won a peace, it will be yet short lived."

[member="Natasi Fortan"]
 
long have I waited
Writer
Natasi inclined her head thoughtfully, fixing the Grand Admiral with a steely gaze. "The Galactic Alliance has been dead for a long time. Perhaps since before Kaeshana. They just didn't know it then. I'm not entirely sure they've learned it now," she added dryly. "I was privileged enough to spend a great deal of time with Jaius Sovv, the Sullustan President, during his time in captivity with the First Order. He was a principled man -- more principled than some of our own politicians and certainly more principled than any of theirs. If anyone could have saved them, it was him. But even without this sudden but inevitable betrayal of some fifth column, the Galactic Alliance would have crumbled under the weight of its own false moral indignation sooner or later."

The Grand Moff sipped her coffee and studied the [member="Robogeber"] as he went on. He made a rather astute observation, but Natasi countered it with one of her own. "We have no allies, Grand Admiral. The galaxy reviles us, almost to a nation. Those who do not -- the Sith-Imperials -- want power and dominion; they do not view us as friends so much as the friendly livestock that they plan to eat last. The Emperor may be honorable -- I believe he is, anyway -- but one does not build an army of killers and expect them to stop killing when they run out of Jedi. And it would behoove the Emperor to find these killers something else to kill -- something that isn't him, or his."

"Perhaps you fear we are putting ourselves in a similar position," Natasi suggested to the Grand Admiral.
 
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