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The Political Process

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
It was said that great politicians make history, and failed ones write history. Thus it had ever been in history.

Aurelia Saelari, however, felt that she was both. That was the only logical reason she could be writing an account of recent years. She was certainly not a failure. No, time and again she had been betrayed, undermined by little people, by worthless grasping worms! Ahem...she focussed.

Her tome; "The Betrayed Hope: The Life and Times of Aurelia Saelari", was before her. Apparently the publishers were sending someone to see her today. Damn fools. They'd already had her edit portions deemed 'inflammatory'. Everything she had written was the truth, and if people could not accept that Ardak Serifan was a talent-less traitor, that was their problem.

There was a ring at the doorbell, and she went to the security station to see who it was. Through the video intercom she saw a woman waiting to come in. "Yes? You are?" she demanded. She hoped it was not one of those 'Ferrano Witnesses' again. It wasn't her fault the last one had run off crying when she'd simply tried to explain a few things to them!
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

One could certainly not accuse Maelion and Moira of lacking ambition. Purging the entire Galaxy of organics and processing the worthy that survived was a colossal endeavour. The first step had been made through the acquisition of Archangel and the deal with Baktoid to become a subsidiary, thereby gaining the tech and the capital.

Droids did not sleep, did not eat and did not need to be paid, so the machines laboured constantly to build the HRDs they would spread across the Galaxy in key positions. The processing machine had been constructed and now they would embark on testing it on their first high-value target. Aurelia Saelari, former Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and incidentally Moira's boss back in the day though they had obviously never met, former Chief Minister of the Omega Protectorate and in her eyes the woman who could have saved the Galaxy. Some people still whined about Cato Neimoidia and Contruum, this confirmed Moira in her opinion that organics were pretty dim!

On a practical level they needed a supply chain for the metals for the HRD's chassis...and through Saelari Mining and Minerals Aurelia had a monopoly on Pylos. On another level their calculations indicated that processing Aurelia would be...devastating. Moira found that she liked this equation.

"Armio Sladki. I have been sent by Corellian Publishing and News Network to help and examine your memoirs, Supreme Chancellor. May I come in?" Moira queried politely, putting just a bit of sense of awe in her voice at the prospect of meeting the great woman. Now obviously Aurelia was no longer chancellor, but it was High Galactic custom to still refer to a retired head of state by their title. Unless one found the person was too disgraceful to qualify for the emeritus title. Besides, it was better than Chief Minister! She was dressed in a conservative but fine business suit with a skirt and high heels, in which she had no problem walking in unlike a certain other character of this writer, and only carried a bag.
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
Aurelia was flattered by the use of her former title. To her it was a title which she had made great, and which had been unfairly stolen from her. She let Armio in, then went to sit behind her desk, as if she was receiving supplicants in the Octagonal Office on Coruscant.

"Well, Ms Sladki? I hope this is not another attempt to censure me. I will not back down on my comments that the politics of the Republic at present resembles a termite nest. Nor will I back down on my comments that the institutional vacancy of will in the Protectorate borders on anarchy!"
She leaned forward, eyes staring intently at her guest.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

Moira showed no sign of being intimidated by the great woman and met her gaze, which could be described as piercing. One could easily imagine Aurelia metaphorically and literally demolishing a rival on the Senate floor as these eyes bore into them and her words tore them to shreds. Once she had commanded a powerful empire, her face had never been far from the holonews, her speeches filled the holo screens. She had been loved, hated by many as well, but no one could deny that she had been a presence.

But even the most glittering reign must come to an end and the Galaxy had moved on. Something the former leaders of the Protectorate were experiencing as well. "I seriously doubt anyone could successfully censure you if they tried, Chancellor," she spoke softly. She would probably send them home crying after ripping them apart with her words!

"It's not our intention to stifle you. Indeed recent galactic events should in parts make the public more open to your perspective, and make your experiences in both the Republic and the Protectorate more important again. It is merely about providing assistance in its presentation."
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
Aurelia was mollified by this conciliatory stance. She preened herself just a little.
"I'm glad to hear that someone understands the importance of my message," she said pompously.

"The Republic has fortunately turned itself around recently, though they seem to be steered by the Jedi above all else. This is most dangerous. As for the Protectorate...matters have gone from bad to worse. Whilst Cira was no genius, and Alcori and Kerrigan were little more than errand girls, Cater is a dangerous non-entity. I predict their total destruction within two years. Mark my words!"

She seemed to remember someone else was there. "Well, what did you wish to discuss?"
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

One could certainly not accuse Aurelia of lacking an ego! Of course, Moira was convinced that she and Maelion were inherently superior to everyone else, so much that the only beings they deemed worth surviving were pretty much clones of themselves. Except...very few worthy organics. Like Cora Passk. She would process her last.

The irony was that their analysis was not that different. The peace for our time gospel preached by the Girl-Chancellor had been...unnatural and the Protectorate was on the road to the pyre. Moira found it illogical that their neighbours had not tried to devour it yet. She would have done so! Silly organic inertia, needed to be beaten to get anything done. Even blowing up a planet did not seem to suffice these days.

"Indeed. I hear the Grand Admiral is a Jedi and even the police action on Nar Shaddaa was led by them, as glad everyone is to be rid of the criminal leeches," Moira commented. "The Protectorate has always been dependent on a few leaders keeping it together, none of them trained for government."

At Aurelia's question she turned to business mode. "We are eager to get your message out, but for it to get the hearing it deserves it would be advisable to...tone some of the rhetoric. Serifen's image has been rehabilitated in recent months. After the total failure of 'peace for our time' people get nostalgic at his 'tough man' image. They say 'he would have never let Sith destroy the senate' - their words - so calling him an 'overgrown man-child playing with star destroyers and people's lives, seeking a fight wherever possible to satisfy his ravenous appetite for glory' would be taking things too far and dilute your message and leave you open for detractors. Same goes for calling the Jedi a 'corrupt and wicked cult of kidnappers and theocrats'. Somehow the public has convinced itself that the Jedi are its only defence and their power has weight."
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

Aurelia sniffed as Armio spoke. It sounded a lot like censuring to her!
"That is your company's final opinion, is it? Those are your hard limits? Well I suppose you must shield yourself from the criticism of the 'public'. We cannot have the truth be outlined too strongly, or else what might people think? Very well, I will remove those statements. I will even throw out the comments that the CIS is an 'ideologically blank emptiness of talent and drive', since we must be so politically correct these days."

She presented a datapad and handed it over. "My latest version. I will send these minor corrections soon. When can I expect distribution to begin?"
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

"The truth is so precious it must be secured in a vault with a lock to shield it from unprepared eyes," Moira spoke gnomically before turning businesslike and giving Aurelia a nod, her features mimicking an apologetic look at the great woman being forced to keep some of her wisdom out of her great opus, which would reveal that she could have been the Galaxy's saviour if it had not been for the backstabbers.

A good diplomat Aurelia was not. But then neither had Cira been. And unlike Cater she did not randomly throw datapads around. "On the plus side the invective against Ijet and the 'Betrayal of Metalorn' is most welcome and appreciated. It's clear for everyone with a mind to see that she was a naive little girl, even the Jedi have removed their blinkers," she spoke softly, reaching out with her hand to take the datapad. "Distribution shall begin two weeks after the final draft is submitted, Chancellor."
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
“That is good,” Aurelia said, then looked back to her notes. “Do not hesitate to leave. I must prepare my legal documents. I am suing the media outlet who dared insult me. I have assumed direct control over proceedings. I will hurt them, and my techniques will tear their defences apart. The judge will dismiss their claims, I am sure.”
Having combined the most meta into a paragraph ever, Aurelia went back to work.

@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]
 

Moira Skaldi

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Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

"I am certain. Make them bend to you so that they comprehend their place in things," apparently the virus of meta had infected Moira as well. "We will be in touch. The company will get back to you soon. Good day, Chancellor," she said politely and turned, departing out of the room. The first stage of the assignment had been achieved, while they had been talking she had scanned the place and made note of the security systems. She would actually not be leaving the area, for she conveniently had 'acquired' an appartment opposite this one under another alias.

Come night fall she would strike. Aurelia's life would never be the same again afterwards, The former chancellor thought herself perfect, the technology Moira and Maelion had developed would make her so. Under their control.
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

Aurelia paid no more heed to the woman once she was gone. She had her speech to prepare, and if there was one thing Aurelia Saelari liked, it was speeches. She could practice for hours to get the right pitch, tone and phrasing.

“Your honour, with respect to your office, these charges are heinous. The ‘Coruscant Sun’ has defamed me in a most vile and cruel way. These insults have earned them nothing but scorn, and normally I would let fools marinate in their own juices, but I was pushed to action by their contempt of my former office. Though the Supreme Chancellorship has fallen far since my time there, the office must retain some dignity, or else it is nothing but a laughingstock.”
“These peddlers of lie and scandal had the affront to call me a tyrant, a dictator, petty and arrogant. I say to them, you have no conception of those words. I know what a tyrant is, and it is not I, but the cruel and vicious Sith, their Fringe-anarchist brethren and the depraved criminal Black Suns. These are your tyrants and dictators, not I.”

Aurelia’s dramatic irony score was rising quickly.
 

Moira Skaldi

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Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

Night had fallen upon the City. Doubtless, there were many who turned the night into day, partying merrily in their bars and clubs, venerating the gods and goddesses of pleasure. Baachus would be well pleased. Calm and quiet also reigned in the apartment complex to which the penthouse of Aurelia belonged. Of course hers was at the top and both the biggest and most luxurious, with the best view of the city.

A guard made his rounds, for such an esteemed personage as the former chancellor required protection, and as such he was heavily armed, his heavy blaster pistol only discreetly hidden beneath his suit, which in turn hid body armour designed to protect him against small arms fire from blasters and keep out slugs altogether. His colleague was a bit overdue when it came to reporting, but it was just a minute. Nothing could have happened.

For a moment he stiffened as he believed he heard a noise, muffled and, for to be safe, took ahold of his gun and, after checking it was loaded, walked through the corridor. He came to a halt when he saw an...empty cigarette packet. Suddenly a gloved hand enclosed around his mouth, shutting it. He bit into it and struggled, pushing back with his full weight while he tried to spin around with his pistol but the arm put his neck into a chokehold and as he gasped his jaw was grabbed and spun so fast and with such force his neck was snapped. The guard crumpled to the ground like a hot potato, he would be dragged into the maintenance room.

Out of the darkness of the shadows emerged Moira Skaldi, her face hidden under a balaclava and dressed completely in black. With the lights out in the hall, she moved surreptitiously, her light steps making no sound upon the fine marble floors as she moved towards the entrance of the penthouse. She moved along the walls, avoiding any sensors that might be there to detect motion, then as she reached the door crouched down to remove an optic cable from her pocket, spreading it out and gently pushing it just a bit under the door. No one was there, Aurelia must be asleep, Moira waited for a moment then placed her hand on the security console while her other produced a camera jammer. Wirelessly she accessed the console through some quick hacking, overriding the mechanism that kept the door shut, the jammer was slowly moved into the room just a bit as the door slid open slightly, interfering with the camera's functioning.

She had a short window of opportunity before anyone became suspicious as she snuck in. That would be more than sufficient. Also to plant 'evidence' to put any investigator on the wrong track.
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]
Aurelia however, was not asleep. She was pacing restlessly, dictating notes into a communicator, occasionally making notes in a datapad. She was dealing with business. Finally her commlink buzzed. She listened.
“No, Lucius! You will listen to me; I want the new surveying to be done within two weeks, do you understand? I am not interested in excuses. If you can’t do it I’ll find someone who can.” She hung up. “Why does no one do what they’re told?” she groused.

The door opened, and Aurelia spun. “Who is there?” she demanded.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

A momentary miscalculation. It was rectified at the speed of a blur as she received the auditory input from Aurelia pacing and chastising the fellow on the other side of the comm line. Her light steps made no sound as Moira stepped out of the shadows. For just a brief moment Aurelia would see a masked form, identity and gender indistinct, as the shape brought up her blaster pistol and fired...it was armed with a stun bolt. The first shot missed and so Moira shot again, then once more until Aurelia was unconscious.

There was no time to lose while the electronic jamming was still blotting out surveillance, the former chancellor was gagged and expertly cuffed at her wrists and ankles so that she could not break free. Presumably if Moira had not been a killing machine there might have been an alternate form of employment for her in a certain Order. A medaillion was removed from her pocket and placed on the desk, along with a piece of paper that contained ranting from the 'Valkyries of Hapes'. She would have liked to blame it on Contruum rebels...but in a roundabout way that might be connected to her.

Lifting up the bound woman she sent a transmission to Maelion, who would be piloting the getaway vehicle. "Target secured. Request extraction." Moira would make her way through the shielded transparisteel of the window to save time rather than dragging Aurelia down the stairs or taking the lift, her partner in crime would be hovering right there with a speeder. The apartment where Moira had her time until now had already been cleared out.
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

This writer suspects that if Aurelia was not so self-absorbed with politics she would have made a fine Mistress of the 3rd Pillar. Alas it was not to be.

As soon as the door burst open, Aurelia’s eyes narrowed. She flung up her hands to unleash bolts of powerful lightning…before she realised she couldn’t do that. Yes, her foolish writer had decided not to make her a secret Sith Lady plotting control of the galaxy from within a pompous disguise.
So, dreams of unleashing terrible electric judgement on her enemy thwarted, she ducked just in time to avoid the first bolt.

The second bolt though glanced her, and she stumbled against a bookshelf as the third hit her. Slumping down, she was soon unconscious.

Her accomplice waiting below, Moira soon had her wisked away to an uncertain fate. Or rather, a certain fate for us, but uncertain for her.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

This one believes strongly that if Aurelia had been a powerful Sith Lady she would have a long time unleashed electric judgement upon the squabbling, childish Senate and thus made its debates a lot more interesting. Or fried a certain 'Grand Admiral Karrde', which in retrospect might have been a good idea.

Regardless with her captive securely bound and held in her powerful Moira opened the window and jumped into the waiting speeder, Maelion at the controls. No words were exchanged, organics might have wasted time with pointless platitudes to state the obvious, but that was why they would be wiped out. The speeder accelerated and took off into the air, speeding through the darkness as it quickly left the city centre, where bright neon lights still glowed and glowing ads extolled the latest products that capitalism had produced. The speeder soon took a turn and headed for one of the less well-travelled districts of the city where they had hidden their ship. The hangar had once belonged to a group of low-life smugglers. They were not in a position to complain about its misuse.
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

Soon the pair were on their way to Corellia where Archangel would be hosting its first transformation.

“Do we let her understand her new condition or keep her in the dark?” Maelion asked. The answer was important, as it determined what happened next.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

Moira went over the variables for a short moment, running calculations over in her mind before responding. There were arguments in favour of making Aurelia aware of her ascension to a higher form of existence, but control would be more easily assured if she was inhibited for now. Moreover, Aurelia was a very public person, even with infiltration protocols the shift in personality might catch attention. The microtransceiver would allow them to take control when needed.

"We shall leave her in ignorance so that she might continue as before until the moment comes."
 

Aurelia Saelari

Knowledge Is Death
Character
@[member="Siobhan Kerrigan"]

Despite not possessing Jedi powers, Aurelia was a very strong-minded woman. Thus, she managed to recover from the stun bolt earlier than expected and lay in the ship. She was securely bound and had a hood over her face, so she didn’t try and struggle or call out. Rather she moved slowly, carefully, feeling in her dress for her pocket.

Her kidnappers had not frisked her entirely, and her questing fingers found a pocket knife and eased it out. Now, picking locks was not something a noble aristocrat would normally do, especially since these locks were probably impossible to pick anyway. Still, she kept the knife ready to act….
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

With the details of how they would deal with the organic who would soon be the first processed unit in their army - mushy organics would have said their new sister - the vessel was drifting through hyperspace. Perhaps it was Moira being genre-savvy, paranoid or it was the fact that she had nothing to do presently.

"I shall check up on her." Beyond calculate how many processing machines would be required to attend to the entire population of Corellia, watch old episodes of Yes, Senator she had downloaded, listen to Hammer of the Gods or power down, but she got and headed towards the cargo hold where their prisoner was being kept. Her footsteps were light upon the ground, Aurelia would not hear anything, and the lighting was rather dim. After all, HRDs like Maelion and Moira had advanced sight and in-built night vision, so they did not need to waste electricity! A blaster pistol was on her hip, but she would not need it. Normally soon there would be the moment where the captive breaks free and stabs the captor, perhaps even getting the keys to the cuff. Normally your captor was not a killer robot designed to walk through salvoes of gun fire.

There was a snap and the heavy durasteel door to the caro hold opened slowly...
 
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