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 Best Laid Plans

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Rek Jaiga

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Posts : 61
Join date : 2011-09-10
Age : 27
Location : DC

PostSubject: Best Laid Plans   Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:34 pm

"We have the people, the assets, and the space. Most importantly, we have the will."

An older Ni-Kunni man, perhaps in his fifties, looked out the window onto his Holdings. The field he beheld was packed with workers moving about and filled with the din of harvesting machinery in operation. Off in the distance the Khankenirdian sun was swooping gently towards the horizon, painting the lands with a yellow-orange glaze that matched the fruit products being harvested just outside.

The older man turned towards a young Sebiestor youth that was seated before him, and spoke with an air of both nobility and calm. "So you understand, then, what it is I'm doing? What it is House Lankaan is doing?" The Sebiestor youth nodded and swallowed, with a thin film of oily sweat barely forming on his brow. The Ni-Kunni man, Lord Lankaan, smiled with that sort of warm smile a grandfather might to his grandson. "You needn't be so nervous, either. There are only a few people who know these plans, notably your mother and father. It would be a shame and a waste to not include you in the plans. If you've any concerns, voice them now before your Lord." The young Sebiestor man looked at Lankaan and spoke meekly: "Won't the Consulate spies find out? We both know they're watching your every move, mi'Lord."

Lord Lankaan turned back towards the window, his eyes focused far off in the distance and his mind in a state of contemplation. Outside some kilometers away, workers were constructing what appeared to be a factory. Lankaan spoke witih the calm voice he had gained with years of leadership as a Holder. "Ah, you needn't worry about the Consulate. We have told them that we are taking on more slaves in order to build and operate a fruit processing factory, and their people will indeed see a factory being built and filled with slaves. What they won't know is that building's purpose, at least until it's too late. More importantly, though, I need you to focus on the duties I've assigned to you, Rek".

Rek brushed one of his dark bangs aside, breathed in deeply, and repeated from memory his orders. "I am to 'Protect the future Lord Lankaan and heir to the Lankaan holdings in the case of the current Lord Lankaan's unfortunate and untimely demise.', mi'Lord. This is what you've told me, but how am I to understand my duties if I don't know the big picture? Your plans? Do you expect to die soon?"

Lankaan half-turned back towards Rek and looked at him through his peripheal vision. He spoke gravely: "You ask too many questions. I expect nothing, but plan for everything. You know this better than perhaps any of the others, even your parents. Krea, your mother, covers the books for me and ensures the auditors find nothing. Your father, Jotus, is in charge of the work gangs building that facade of a factory. The only thing the Consulate perceives is that they're slaves, like you, and that they work for me. Even so, if they have any deep-cover spies among us they will eventually find out and bring the Ammatar Fleet down on House Lankaan. That's where you come in, to ensure that House Lankaan goes on, even if it must become a rogue House."

An awkward pause ensued, and Rek sat in the plush seat, looking at his Master and Lord with an expression of disbelief. How could he, some fifteen-year-old kid, possbily do these things? Lankaan almost seemed to read his thoughts, and spoke up again: "It will be nothing for you to pilot a shuttle, Rek. You have the reaction speed for it, and all the aptitude tests prove this. You will continue your false duties of a slave-electrician so the Consulate people suspect nothing, but you will in secret learn how to save my children. If that golden Fleet raids this House, you must be ready to fly off into Republic space as quickly as possible. The Security Services will know what to do with you when they see the colors of House Lankaan on the shuttle's hull. Do you understand?"

Rek nodded his head in the affirmative, and sighed a bit. The amount of information and implications that had just been thrusted onto him was massive, and his mind swallowed it all slowly. Lord Lankaan smiled lightly and turned towards Rek directly. "Good. Now, feel free to go back to your quarters. But on your way take my overcoat to the laundry area. If any of the other 'slaves' see you walk out of here without ostensive duties they will suspect that you've either been reprimanded or are being rewarded. We mustn't brew rumors, particularly right now." Rek bowed slightly at his waist, the sort used for saluting a person just above you in social status: "Yes, mi'Lord".

The old Lord Lankaan smiled a bit at Rek's gesture, then turned back to the window to take in the peach-kissed landscape of his properties. "You are dismissed, Rek"
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Rek Jaiga

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PostSubject: Re: Best Laid Plans   Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:03 pm

*A year and a half later, early YC109*

A Coercer-class destroyer marked with the green-and-brown coat of arms of House Lankaan thrusted its way slowly towards the Odatrik stargate in the Jark system. The captain of the ship looked stressed and was slightly unshaven. The ninety or so slaves aboard, some crew and others passengers, reflected the tension of the event on their faces and in their eyes. A message from the commander of a nearby Ammatar Fleet security battleship reached the bridge of the Coercer. "Are you certain you've the right stargate, captain? The Republic Fleet will likely not take kindly to a war vessel marked with the colors of an Imperial House Minor jumping into their space." The Coercer's captain tensed, but spoke the technical truth: "It is as Lord Lankaan commands." A brief lapse in comms layered the seconds in anxiety, and then the Ammatar Fleet commander replied "I must applaud your Lord's bravado. Godspeed, Captain."

The last transmission from the Coercer before it jumped into Odatrik was "Thank you, commander. May God rush us through to safety and glory."


Just a few seconds later on the Jark stargate in Odatrik, Republic Security Vessels came to bear on the Coercer. A few hours later, Lord Lankaan would receive the insurance payout of the lost destroyer and crew. Privately, he received a single, encrypted transmission from the RSS on his datapad: "Thank you, comrade Lankaan. These ninety souls have been taken to the nearest station and will taste freedom." Lankaan sat there at his office desk and smiled, knowing full well the Consulate would eventually piece together the suddenly-empty factory and logically connect it to the mysteriously-lost ship and crew. The tired man hardly noticed when Rek entered the office, the glaze of contemplation still frosted on his eyes. Rek, now seventeen and stronger, was the first to speak: "Mi'Lord. You summoned for me?". Lord Lankaan broke his intense thread of concentration and looked up at Rek, motioning him to sit down. "Ah, yes. Come in, lad. These are trying times". Rek obeyed his Master's gestures and sat down. The grand office was silent, save for the ambience of air conditioning and an old-fashioned analog click ticking. Sensing reluctance in Lankaan, Rek went straight to business. "Mi'Lord, is it done? Have you completed the first iteration of your plan?". Lankaan nodded and put on a smile, but the wrinkles beneath his eyes and the tiny stresses in his voice revealed concern. "Yes, Rek. Ninety slaves freed to the Republic, nearly a million Kredits of insurance money in the coffers of House Lankaan from the Consulate, and the condolences of the other local Houses Minor. Everything's been played correctly...". Rek noted the trailing-off of his Master's last sentence, which was unusual for such a normally explicit individual. "'But', mi'Lord?". "But...our feints will not fool everyone forever. Your mother is good at explaining away expenses. Did you know she explained the costs of the added life-support systems on that Coercer-class as 'capital consumption allowances' on the factory? It meshed perfectly well with your father's repair plans for the place."

Lankaan sighed, and finally drove to the core of the issue. "I don't need to give orders anymore. Everyone knows their place in this generations-long operation. The so-called 'slaves' are the ones running and organizing the ship-based operations. Rek...it's time for us to expand. Smuggling ninety slaves every month and a half is all well and fine, but we can do more. We have the resources." Rek nodded in agreement, but spoke hesistantly: "Absolutely, sir. But you yourself told me that the ambitious often fall victim to the daggers of their neighbors. One mustn't sacrifice everything to accomplish a task prematurely. What precisely are you planning?"

The old Lord Lankaan smiled, and placed a holoprojector down the desk. It activated and projected the image of a decently-sized squad of Ammatar ships escorting some Bestower-class industrials. "We're moving, Rek. I have done extensive negotiating and trading with one Lord Kherj'ik of Jark II and will be acquiring some land there in return for some of the revenue gained here from the Khankenirdia plantation. Tsula Plantations hasn't intervened, so they must not see a threat to their corporate profits if two nobles do some trade. Point is, we'll have a staging point just one jump from Republic space. Meanwhile, the move itself will force Consulate spies to pack up as well and generally be distracted from our real goal: import well over a thousand slave-workers and then free them to the Republic. I will be purchasing these 'slaves' with the stated intention of employing them as ship workers and crew. Make no mistake: our little fleet will require at least that many people, so no one will suspect a thing."

Rek went wide-eyed. "Mi'Lord, surely someone will suspect. No House, particularly a House Minor, simply packs up and moves. There must be a reason...a purpose.". Lankaan pointed to the hologram and pressed a button. The holographic imagine changed to depict a small warfleet of Omen-class cruisers and smaller at a stargate. "We'll once again pose as warriors in defense of the Mandate and Empire, and send in a small fleet. I will announce that House Lankaan is shifting away from agriculture and towards war against the Matari. The others will have seen this coming after the Coercer incident. We will be applauded, rewarded even, and sent on our merry way. That's one weakness the Imperials have that you'll do well to remember: though they are patient their fanaticism leaves them vulnerable to spies and deep-cover agents. It is much easier to fake piety than prudence. Under the guise of fanatic devotion we will be aiding the Republic."

Rek nodded, still absorbing the information. The plan seemed sound: trade some kredits gained from the Khankenirdian plantation to buy up land near the Mandate-Republic border, then construct false warship manned with freedom-bound slaves and charge into the Republic. Once on the other side a combination of cloaking devices, smartbombs, reactive armors, and jettisoned scrap metal would make it look like they'd been destroyed by the Republic Fleet. The cloaked ships would then slowly move out of visual range of the gates and then be escorted to the Urban Management station, where the freed slaves would be offloaded. The RSS would cover it all in red tape and secrecy. It was essentially Lankaan's previous plan but on a much grander scale.

As Rek sat there and let the variables swim through his mind, Lankaan walked over to an armoire and retrieved a sheathed blade of some sort. He admired the blade, a kindjal, and then spoke. "Rek...your duties as protector of my Heir and the rest of my children will be vital here. This is a much larger operation, with potential tragedy around every turn. You must face that danger with the courage of a paladin and the will of a zealot." Lankaan held the sheathed blade out and Rek took it. "You must act as my sword in the case the formal forces of this House are overwhelmed and I am destroyed. Bow before your Lord."

Rek bowed and handed the kindjal up to his Master.


Last edited by Rek Jaiga on Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:44 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Typos, Additions)
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Rek Jaiga

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PostSubject: Re: Best Laid Plans   Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:06 pm

Lankaan unsheathed the kindjal and held the blade above Rek's left shoulder. Lankaan's voice boomed out in the sort of ceremonial practice of a religious ritual:

" 'I will honor, above all else, my fellow man. I will harm only to end harm, and love in order to propagate peace. I will unsheathe this blade only when I intend to use it. With it I shall defend the innocent, the weak, and the good of heart. I will be fair in judgment, proper in action, and humble in mind.' Do you swear to live by these words, Rek Jaiga?"

Rek bowed his head and said solemnly: "I swear to live by these words."

Lord Lankaan moved from above Rek's left shoulder over to his right. "And should you fail in these things, will you mark yourself in shame so that you my present your dishonor to your Lord?"


Rek peered through the odd slant of the question and responded in kind: "I will not fail." Lankaan smiled: "Then with this oath I commision you, in secret, to be a Paladin of House Lankaan." At this point the blade had been lifted off of Rek's shoulders, and Lankaan held the unsheathed blade out. Rek took it, and in so doing accepted his duties. He sheathed the kindjal into its scabbard, and rose. "I accept these duties and thank you, mi'Lord."

Lankaan did something terrifying at that point. He bowed to Rek! "No, lad. I thank you for what you've not yet done. The things which will come to pass will not be easy. Be prepared. You are dismissed."


Just a few months later, history would be made. A Lord would be found out and executed for his betrayal of the Empire, an Imperial Chamberlain would unleash his wrath in secret within Mandate borders. Meanwhile, a young Sebiestor man would be without a home to return to and would walk with a heart full of anger and dark passion.

((I will update/elaborate further as I get the time to do so!))
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