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Every Beginning Has Its End

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

Seeing her reflection in the gleaming tower that contained the offices of all major military personnel, Delila groaned. Dressed in her standard BDUs, holding two large cafs, dark circles under her eyes. She looked liked death warmed over. Too many drinks of Idlewil liquor on the rocks. It was an expensive brand of liquor imported from the Shashay people and Delila had drank enough to get her fill for the next decade. She would have liked to blame her excessive drinking on her cheery new liver unable to process alcohol for the first time. In reality she had been trying to drown her emotions in amber-colored liquid. Siobhan wasn't the only one at a crossroads now.

The pleasant chime of the lift indicated her arrival. Walking down the hall, Delila came to the office of one Colonel Siobhan Kerrigan. The sun was rising over Fondor, glittering off of all the towers and industrial spaces on the planet. It was beautiful and a high contrast to the sight in front of her -- boxes strewn across the floor as the personal contents of her superior were being prepped to go to their new location.

Giving a brief knock on the open door, Delila entered without waiting for an acknowledgement,arm outstretched with the steaming hot caf.

"Morning Colonel. Your caf prepared to exacting specifications." Delila slid into the chair across from the large desk, taking a sip of her caf and sighing. This was her last time doing this. Last time bringing the Colonel her morning caf, last time giving the reports of potential enemy activity across the territory, last time the Colonel would bark down the hall in request for her presence. "Some shindig last night, huh?"
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]

It's Exarch now, the thought was almost automatic in her mind, but Siobhan did not bother correct her XO...subordinate...and close friend. Strictly speaking still a subordinate, hopefully still a friend, but no longer the woman under her with whom she would work closely. The new title felt foreign, undeserved. There was so much wrong about this that she did not know where to start. But she had made her bed and would lie in it, she intended to keep her promises. For her part Siobhan was nursing an annoying headache. Apparently she had drunk more than she thought.

As disagreeable as the new station was to her. "Guess that's the last time I'll be called that, huh, Major?" she spoke, trying to sound casual and lighthearted, gratefully accepting the morning caf and taking a sip before she turned slightly to gaze upon the industrial city beneath her, the sun glittering off of all the towers and buildings.

"Been seven years since I came here. Had the same office throughout. Well, Clockwork sort of thrashed the whole place. Heh. Elevator took a jump down back then. Remember the first Pyre mission I came up with back. Nothing too big. Go to a third world planet, kick a warlord in the nuts and thrash his goons," she said almost wistfully, taking another sip, then shrugged. "Well, you gotta adapt and all that." It sounded almost like a mantra she had rehearsed.

"I'll be over on Eriadu. Lots of work to do...gotta familiarise myself with everything. You're a hell of a soldier and a great friend. It's been an honour working with you, even if I still haven't gotten you hooked up," she smiled. "I'd like to chat, but there's also some organisational matters we gotta go over."
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

"I doubt it. You'll always be Colonel to me, not Exarch."

Eriadu? Delila wanted to scoff. Seemed like such a waste giving Siobhan control of that planet. At the edge of their territory and so far away from Fondor. The only upside was that it was along the Rimma Trade route, a lifeline in Protectorate territory. Instead of speaking, Delila sipped on more scalding hot caf. Siobhan spoke of work and goodbyes. Today she would rather focus on the work than the sentimental feelings stirring around in her. Delila found it unsettling she was going to be without her friends again -- first Thessa Kai, now Siobhan.

"I've enjoyed working with you Colonel. I have hooked up twice....which is.....Well compared to previous years I'm on fire."

Enjoying the chance to go about work,Delila dove right into it.

"Organizational matters? You can trust me to keep the soldiers safe and sound while a new Colonel is being sought."
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]

At least someone who gets it, Siobhan thought regarding the Colonel not Exarch comment. "Well, I did conquer it back in the day. That was fun. Led a column of AT-SEs and infantry. First fully independent command. Lots of explosions," she spoke. Gods damnit, she was getting sentimental and nostalgic, prattling on about the good old days.

She had to look forward, face the new challenges, adapt to changing circumstances.

Adapt...like Tegaea did so well. If Siobhan even really knew her still.

"We'll always be friends, Dells. And it's not like I'm going be over there the whole time. Clubs are less fun. Details are being hashed out, but I might get some sort of general command for wartime." She did not know what to think about regarding that. Siobhan seemed distracted in her thoughts, shifting from one topic to another. "Far as I'm concerned I'm talking to the new Colonel," she said bluntly, affixing her eyes on Dells.

"You're a great soldier, you served under me, hell, you're better at the organising than I am and don't charge tanks and a talking Warthog. You're the one I want for the job."
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

Trying to follow Siobhan's train of thought was like trying to a wandering bantha through the desert. Instead, Delila nodded where needed and added in the appropriate 'hmms'. There wasn't much she could say honestly. She had not been there in those first days. With so much changing perhaps Siobhan was trying to weave some tale. The very least she could do was drink caf and listen.

Until it was mentioned she should be the new Colonel. Choking, Delila managed to get the hot liquid down her throat before coughing. Cheeks turned bright as her hair color as her body tried to suck in much needed oxygen and cough at the same time. It took a minute to get herself under control in order to answer.

"I want the job too. Yet I am going to decline."

Delila paused, letting the weight of her words sink in.

"I am not the Colonel. You are. I could never fill your boots and I wouldnt want to try. I'm not prepared for it. I havent been in the Protectorate long enough. In three to five years...It would be a different story. I'm not fit to lead a line, let alone the battalion....Besides...other....situations have become a force in my life."
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]


Siobhan just stood there, mouth hanging open, unable to believe what she was hearing. She felt a stab of anger at being denied. She had chosen Delila as her XO, ergo she was qualified! Did she not see that this was her chance? Dimly a part of Siobhan remembered her own situation with Tegaea and the fact that she was being rather hypocritical...but still!

The more petty part of her felt that since she was being pushed into position she found disagreeable, it was not right for Delila to deny her. Moreover, the fact that her friend would do this to her hurt her. "You're my Battalion XO, you organised the unit, trained recruits, led it in combat, so you're damn well qualified. Otherwise I wouldn't have chosen you." Siobhan said more harshly than she had intended, face reddening.

"I got made an officer almost right off the bat after joining and only training I had was Jedi. I had to learn everything on the job, you went to the academy. So don't start the self-pity 'I can't lead anything' party. Is this about...Roche? I was there as well, I threw my troops straight into the meat grinder and buried them under rubble. Hell, do you honestly think I'm qualified to be second in command of the Protectorate? You're certainly better trained to head the Pyre than I'm for that," she trailed off. Whatever her thoughts on her unearned promotion, she would not talk bad about Tegaea behind her back.

She took a breath, trying to control her anger. "What other situations, Dells?" she asked in a softer tone. She soundes less angry and more...disappointed and confused, perhaps hurt.
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

Delila sat quietly, letting Kerrigan rage on. Thoughts drifted to the blaster at her hip and briefly wondered if she would be worried enough to hide it. Yet would good would it do? This was the woman who brought down ceilings. Hiding a blaster certainly wasn't going to stop any wraith from befalling her. Perhaps she was capable enough to be a Colonel but there were more qualified choices within their own borders. One who didn't have a brand new project on her plate.

"A small guerrilla-style resistance movement." Pausing, it was a debate on how much to reveal."There is no one central location. The Protectorate does excellent works. Yet we can't be totally altruistic. A government costs credits. The safety of our citizens is a paramount concern. A war cannot be started due to the collateral damage that could be done"

There was a brief and forced smile.

"So don't lecture me on responsibility and leadership. I know what I have chosen is right for me" Another pause and Delila went at the heart of the issue."Just because someone guilt-tripped you into your position doesn't mean I will be swayed as easily."
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]

Siobhan gave Delila a cold look as she absorbed the information. "Castillon, you're out of line and treading on very thin ice. My reasons aren't up for discussion," she snapped very harshly. The voice of the woman who tore roofs down, threw tanks around and butchered her way through Bando Gora. It was her 'don't mess with me' voice.

I saved your arse and you run off to join the plucky rebels. Pyre not give you enough explosions? Well, I did fine before you, she thought scathingly.

"I see. Good for you. Against whom is this 'insurgency' directed?" Siobhan asked gruffly. "You know the drill on ending your contract and losing all the benefits it gives you." This included Delila's apartment on Fondor, since presently it seemed to Siobhan like Delila was quitting Omega services entirely.
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

"Directed towards groups that could harm civilized and peaceful galactic interests. The Protectorate is not on the list."

Frowning, Delila was confused as to what the big deal was about the resistance group. Denying the Colonel rank was one thing. Being a total and complete...witch...about the entire situation was another. Perhaps it was the fact she basically called out the reason why Siobhan had accepted the Exarch job due to internal pressure. Or perhaps Siobhan was a witch in disguise this entire time. Why go out on a civil note? Why try not to act like an adult for a few more hours?

"Hate to inform you but I'm not leaving the Protectorate. Sorry to disappoint Exarch..."
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]


Siobhan glowered at her for a moment, evidently the use of the title had pissed her off. "Would miss me too much to leave? Well, I am amazing. Means I still get to boss you around and drag you out for drinks in lesbian bars. Good. I don't like losing redheads," she said. As for Siobhan being a queen that was true - a terribly insecure, possessive one who had allowed herself to be pushed into a job where she would most likely be over her head.


She walked over to her desk and retrieved a cigarette from the package lying on it, lighting it and taking a deep drag. Judging by how full the ashtray was, she was not exactly listening to doctor's advice. Hopefully she would keep her drinking down. "You were right by the way about the Republic, shouldn't have bothered help them. Yes, savour that rare admission of me being wrong for all it's worth."


But if she'd done her job properly on Metalorn...she banished that thought. She could not afford to start feeling guilty again. It had not worked out well before, what had happened had happened.


"Stirring up trouble in the Empire then? Fringe crazies? You know that we're not at war and thus I don't 'know' about any guerilla resistance force and thus could not know of any members in the Protectorate." Perhaps Siobhan was not as totally clueless about practical politics as she thought. Much as Siobhan loathed Sith the Protectorate could not get involved in a big war right now, especially since the Republic and the Sith were friends now. Far as she was concerned the Republic was not a friend and she did not trust the chancellor one bit after her anti-OP ravings.

"I'd like to raze Dromund Kaas to the ground and put the Emperor's head on a pike, but we can't get sucked into a war. Not with us being surrounded and the Republic a Sith buddy," she said firmly, her tone becoming more civil. "With that in mind what are your goals? Contruum and Metalorn slave rebellion done right? Screw with the bad guys with lots of explosions?"
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

"Can't drag me to those bars if you're on Eridau, now can you?" Talk about mood swings. "As for the Republic, when am I not right? They are in bed with the Sith. Idiots. I'm waiting to wake up one morning and learn the Sith have taken over their territory. Which is excellent for us. Let their territory fall and let ours expand."

A small smirk crossed her features. Delila was eager for a fall of the Republic. She felt it was getting closer. A teenage girl for a leader. Alienation of their large Jedi population. Shady dealings. It was only a matter of time.

"I doubt we have the resources to raze an entire planet. Striking at their buildings, eliminating key leaders, causing chaos and confusion is more of the operative for now. In the future...who knows? People may feel passionate about the cause. The only real issue is the group is technically a terrorist organization. Cuts down greatly on who wants to deal with us....publicly."

"Nothing you should be concerned with. Our quarrel is not with the Protectorate. Many in our ranks also are members of this great territory..."
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]

"Won't be on Eriadu the whole time. Got a military to run and wifey will miss me," Siobhan replied. Though Delila's barb did score a hit...she would be away from home.

"With it all neatly planned out like that, why didn't you run for Exarch?" she asked rhetorically. "Right now we'll work with them to find and kill Velok," there was a flash in her bionic eye. "But I wouldn't be surprised if things went south and they concluded that we're the 'Evil Empire' and a 'threat to peace' once he's gone. It's not a shiny happy friendship. With us encircled like that, we gotta rearm. We've been way behind for far too long."

She pondered Delila's words. Ironically enough just a few days before the destruction of Rhommamool and Osarian had changed everything the idea of helping insurgents had come up. Siobhan had been sceptical, for one because chances were that once the heroic rebels had thrown off their oppressors they would turn on their backers.

"'One's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter' and all that. I'm a realist, Dells. War's bloody, it's not won by being chivalrous. Honour's a fancy word to excuse stupidity. Only good Sith is a dead Sith, everyone less is of the good. I can imagine quite a few people in OP who'd answer your call," she held up her hand. "I don't need names. I know I can trust you, don't know the people you'll wind up with or who they'll rebel against in the future. I know what characters Contruum attracted." Like the queen who instigated it and runs intel now, she thought, then shrugged.

"Publicly, yeah. What do you say about being the Pyre's..contact, liaison, whatever you want to call it? Under the table," she suggested. "'We don't deal with terrorist groups, we don't endorse assassinating Sith lords. Just duelling them,' she made little air quotes at that, apparently thinking that looked tremendously witty.
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

"If I ran for Exarch the Protectorate would be thrown into war and an entire differently direction. I'm not one to listen to our political leaders. At least you can play the game. People will listen to you."

Delila didnt want to bring up they would most likely only listen to Siobhan due to her wife but the Major was sure it was in the back to Kerrigan's mind. No need to make the newly minted Exarch angry again. At least not right now.

"I can be a contact...a liaison between our groups. However I don't think my title can be 'Terrorist Coordinator' " Dells stopped to laugh a little "How about we push myself into a slightly more diplomatic role? We can both suffer. Officer Liaison for say...what? Officer Liaison to Allied Groups? Sounds like a nice official title..."
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]

"Well, I can tear down walls and throw tanks. I guess that's an incentive to pay attention," Siobhan responded dryly. But in the back of Siobhan's mind was the nepotism involved in her promotion. She did not care about what most people thought of her, but she was still conscious of it and was dimly aware of all the lucky breaks she had gotten because of who her wife was. Partly because Siobhan knew that she was...not a stable person.

"Yeah, best make it sound nice and friendly. Linna would approve," she agreed, remembering that back when she had been helping Tegaea organise the intervention on Dahomey her contact in the Republic Ministry of Defence had been 'Head of Procurement'. "The Pyre's Officer Liaison to Allied Groups it is then. Working in our Communications Department."
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

"Officer Liaison to Allied Groups....Hmmm....I do like the title. Even if it does mean a step back from fighting on the Protectorates front lines constantly."

It wasn't as if she was completely stopping the fight. Just a change of duties and the Protectorate to focus on the resistance group. Not that they needed much help. With the rag-tag group assembled there was enough talent and drive for the group to be leaderless for the most part. Delila just had enough experience to where it was natural to try to herd everyone in a certain direction. Or help with an issue. Either way their presence would soon be known throughout the Galaxy.

"Who is our next in line for Colonel and Major?"
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]

"If you at some point you want to go back to active service, there'll be a battalion command waiting for you," Siobhan told her. Of course she did not expect Delila to suddenly change her mind and leave the freedom fighters of the Galaxy, but the offer was there. She frowned at Delila's question. "List of candidates with enough experience to lead the unit and who can be trusted grows a little thin. There's no way I'm putting Liates in charge and even if Skaldi wasn't at Intel I don't trust her," she said bluntly. The antipathy she felt for Moira was absolutely returned by the Butcher of Contruum. Maelion was no doubt brilliant at organising and logistics not to mention an awesome fighter, but Siobhan did not trust her.

"Corek and Taldir do good work but aren't experienced for full command yet. Well, Taldir might be tempted to set malelings on fire! It means bumping him up several ranks, but if you don't want to run the show I'd say promote HK. He's successfully formed and led his own company, he's practically been third in command on most missions." Of course he was a droid and his personality somewhat...quirky. Siobhan had not forgotten the stunt with jumping on top of bombs to save to hostages and her opinion was clear. But he seemed the best choice, and was renowned as a great fighter.
 

Delila Castillon

#OldRedheadsReign
Writer
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

"I appreciate that but it is uncertain what the future holds at this point."

Their list was smaller than Delila had thought. Not everyone could be trusted with command of large groups of soldiers. They had highly capable people, many just lacked an experience for the job. Experience was needed to perform such an undertaking. No one needed the entire Protectorate fighting force wiped out in one single blow. Shifting in her chair, Dells thought of their options.

" @[member="HK-36"] is the best...er...man for the job. Promote him up. While this is happening I say we start burdening the shoulders of Corek and Taldir. Capable soldiers who need to start getting in their leadership experience."
 
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
Writer
@[member="Delila Castillon"]

"Always in motion the future is," Siobhan quipped, unable to resist the urge to get a lame one-liner in. She nodded at Delila's recommendation and made a few notes in her as usual poor handwriting. It had gotten a bit better. These days protocol droids categorised it as an extinct as opposed to an unknown language. "I agree. Just need more independent experience as leaders. Taldir showed the right instincts at Bespin. I'll clue in HK that he's getting jumped up. They might all get the chance to show what they're made of very soon. Reavers have caused us enough trouble and they're pissing me off. That 'dramatic' speech - have I mentioned how much I hate speeches - about going to their homeworld was meant seriously. It'll be a hell of a fight."
 

HK-36

The Iron Lord Protector (Neutral Good)
Writer
Somewhere out there,
HK would dramatically turn away from a window, as he muttered
"Suddenly.. I got this feeling that soon I will be able to make lives of a lot of people.."
Camera zoomed in on him slowly
"Much more miserable.."
 
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