View Full Version : By Right of Blood

Tarek Avesca
Mar 22nd, 2019, 10:47:57 AM
It had been months since Tarek had set foot in the throne room of the Fountain Palace. He had not been forgotten in his absence, however. Though he wore the dark tunic and robes of his faith, his lightsaber at his hip, time away from the Cluster, working alongside the Consortium’s allies within the First Order, had not changed him. The silver-haired commander of the Chume’doro gave him a grim nod of recognition and respect as he approached the huge, gilded doors.

“Tarix Protecteur,” said Major Lecavalier. “Ereneda awaits within.”

Two of her guardswomen drew the doors open, revealing the vast throne room, silent and empty but for the distant figure sitting upon the throne itself.

“Major,” was all he said in thanks, his white eyes never straying from the throne.

As he stepped into the hall, the doors closed with a heavy thud behind him. Sealed within the silence of the room, he felt his pulse quicken as he stalked towards the throne.

Beatrix Alastor
Mar 22nd, 2019, 03:21:20 PM
It did not matter where in the galaxy his travels took him, Beatrix could still feel her brother. As surely as if she were a lodestone at the center of the universe, she could feel the magnetic pull of Tarek across star systems.

There were precious few people, even within the borders of the Consortium itself, that were permitted private audiences with the Hapan Queen. Protocols. Safety measures. Traditions. None of them applied to Tarek Avesca, her Lord Protector, as their father had been before him. At one time it had been Salem Ave's clawed hand curled about the throne of the Consortium, and now it was his son's.

Chume Beatrix sat enthroned like the goddess queen she had been raised to be, still and calm, waiting on her brother to reach her. Her hands at rest upon her lap, feet and legs straight beneath the skirts of her gown (https://i.pinimg.com/564x/f6/9a/82/f69a82d03206bfaa36e29babef3389c6.jpg). When he was almost to her, the first sign of any emotion from her was revealed in the form of a curling up of one side of her mouth.

"Tarix Protecteur."

Tarek Avesca
Mar 22nd, 2019, 03:36:06 PM
Protocol dicated that a petitioner of the Chume should wait at the base of the dais her throne sat upon. The short staircase that lead up to the royal chair was not to be climbed, not even one step. Tarek was no petitioner and so walked, unerring, up onto the dais, halting only to take a knee in front of the Queen Mother.

“Ereneda,” he said, dipping his head, though his white eyes still watched the face of his sister through a tangle of hair.

While it was the relentless expansion of the First Order that most often pulled Tarek away from his home and the Hapes Cluster - to the side of his mentor Xaanan, or to investigate the husk-worlds of the Jedi - something more personal had grasped his attention most recently. The whereabouts of certain artefacts belonging to their parents: the missing Sith, Anxia and Callidus.

“I have news… about our inheritance.”

Beatrix Alastor
Mar 22nd, 2019, 08:35:33 PM
A teasing ripple of emotion passed over the Queen Mother's serene face, much more than she would have revealed in other company. Her attention was suitably ensnared. Sitting forward upon the throne, Beatrix reached for her brother's hand where he remained just before her, taking it in her own with an insistent squeeze.

"Tell me.."

Tarek Avesca
Mar 30th, 2019, 03:17:05 PM
Tarek pressed a kiss to the back of the Chume’s hand. Having offered the proper respects, he rose to his feet and stood a step to the side of the throne, looking down at the Queen, his sister.

“I am close to finding father’s mask and mother’s sword.”

Razielle and Salem Alastor had left a great deal to their children, but for Tarek more than anything else what they had left behind was questions. Where had they gone? What had consumed their attention so fully that they had entirely abandoned the Consortium and Cluster for it? Tarek sensed that there were some answers to be found in the foci of their power, the talismans that had marked them as Sith. If he found their foci, he was certain he could use them to find his way to Anxia and Callidus themselves.

“You should be there with me, when I find them.”

Beatrix Alastor
Apr 4th, 2019, 04:00:40 PM
While Beatrix remained as she had been, perched on the very edge of the throne, her eyes followed her brother as he moved to her side. With her face angled toward Tarek, her hands came to rest upon the golden arms of the throne as she considered the objects he spoke of. Naturally, she knew them well. The pink pads of her fingertips lightly brushed across the bottom of the ornate curvature at the end of the chair's arms. Her gaze dropped down briefly. There were indentations, cresent-shaped grooves, pressed into the design.

When she looked back up, the decision had already been made. Ereneda ruled without hesitation. Second guessing was for others, people who made mistakes. She was the Queen Mother. There were precious few moments in a day that her attention was not required for the affairs of the Consortium. Yet, inside her veins, Beatrix could feel which issue held the highest importance to them both. It would be managed.

"Of course."

The moment she gave her assent, Beatrix could not stop the feeling that a dark shadow had passed over her. Their father perhaps?

Beatrix doubted it.

Tarek Avesca
Apr 5th, 2019, 07:14:40 AM
There had been no doubt in his mind as to his sister’s answer. The Consortium may have revolved around the Chume, but it also bowed to her. Doubtless, there would be many a Ducha who would not understand why Beatrix placed so much value in the items that Tarek believed he had uncovered, but they knew better than to question her decisions.

“The Fantome is refuelling. When it’s ready, we’ll go,” he said, as if drawing a line under the matter of whether she would come. The Nova-class cruiser Fantome was part of the Hapan Royal Navy, though the Admiralty had effectively signed command of the vessel over to the Lord Protector indefinitely for his personal use. If Beatrix came aboard, there was every chance that the size of the crew would double, as a protective escort of the Chume'doro would surely expect to travel with her. If nothing else, the Major would probably appreciate a chance to stretch her legs.

Looking down, Tarek saw how his sister suddenly tightened her grip on the arms of her throne. What could he feel from her? Tension, anticipation… A smile twitched briefly on his lips.

“You should change into something you don’t mind getting dirty.”

Beatrix Alastor
Apr 14th, 2019, 11:47:29 AM
She could feel the watchful gaze of her Tarix Protecteur moving over her. Beatrix knew when she was being observed. The majority of the time she had her feelings, thoughts, and everything personal to her locked down tight. Showing the rest of the galaxy only The Queen Mother, but that was not who she was with her brother. For a brief moment, she let the shields around her drop. Like a breeze blowing open a curtain, for a moment everything that made Beatrix who she was there, exposed and brilliant, before the moment passed and she was again impenetrable as an alabaster statue.

The jeweled fingers of both of the Queen Mother's hands drummed once on either side of the throne before she flattened her palms, rising to stand. "I have just the thing.", she replied casually.

It would the act of a fool, to take the appearance of Chume Beatrix at face value. The Hapes Consortium was a mighty power to wield, but it was not the only one she commanded. A hint of a smile also teased at her lips as she alighted from the throne descending the steps in one airy, graceful motion. The layers of white silk surrounding Beatrix giving her the illusion of floating down, feather-light.

"Would you like to tell the major, or shall I?", she smirked.

Major Lecavalier might not see it quite the same way, but Beatrix saw the woman as family. Some people had been such a constant presence in her life, and the lives around her, that it was inevitable. They were part of her life and always had been.

Tarek Avesca
Apr 15th, 2019, 10:41:00 AM
Tarek fell into step beside his sister, his dark robes a striking contrast to her brilliant white gown.

“It will be more... palatable coming from you,” he said, with a smirk of his own.

As the throne room doors parted open before them, he saw the old Major was still at her post, just beyond the threshold. Marine regarded the Chume with a look that Tarek had seen many times before. She had known the royal siblings long enough to know when to be wary of their intentions.

Beatrix Alastor
Apr 24th, 2019, 02:54:30 PM
"Do you think so? Hmmm." Emerging from the throne room like a matched set, the Queen Mother was still retorting to her brother with an unguarded expression of levity. Obvious to any observer, Beatrix appeared happy.

The minute her eyes fell on the major, her smiling expression turned just a little more devilish. Marine would know the look. It was bad enough when Beatrix alone made up her mind about a thing, being the Chume had many benefits, but this decison came from both of them. With the Lord Protector and her Queen Mother in harmony on the matter, it was concluded.

Knowing the rumpus such a quick decision like this would create, Beatrix almost had pity for Major Lecavalier. Almost. About as much as she had for Tarek just then.

"Major." Beatrix stood, hands just before her, once more as calm as still water.

"It is required that I accompany my brother to..", she glanced to her side for a moment, lips pursed. They had not discussed the finer points of where it was they were off to. "My Tarix Protecteur will enlighten you.", she said.

It did not matter where. She would go.

"I must go prepare." Requiring no approval, the Queen Mother continued off in the direction of the Royal Residence.

Tarek Avesca
Apr 25th, 2019, 02:06:35 AM
Both Tarek and the Major watched the Chume go, but when Tarek return his attention to the Chume’doro commander, she was already looking directly at him. “Is this in aid of the Consortium?” Marine asked, her head tipping back a fraction as she regarded the Lord Protector. There was something of his father in the inscrutability of his white eyes, and the quirk to one corner of his lips.

“It is in aid of House Alastor,” Tarek said, implicit in his words that the two were indistinct. “And it is the desire of Ta’a Chume.” That last point was the final one, of course. For all the circles of security that surrounded Beatrix Alasor, all of the sources of wisdom and guidance she could consult, the Hapan people would never deny their monarch anything. Just the thought of it was unconscionable. In much the same way, it was out of the question that the Chume should travel without her royal guard near at hand.

Marine’s lips pressed into a thin line. “Where ereneda goes, I go. You know that, tarix.”

“Of course. Bring your family, Major. I’m certain ereneda would be glad of their company aboard the Fantome.”

With that said, and the matter resolved to his satisfaction, the Lord Protector gave a nod then turned on his heel. There was a shuttle in the palace’s hangar, waiting to return Tarek and any other passengers to his ship.

“And where exactly is the Fantome going, my lord?” Marine called after him.

Tarek didn’t look back to answer.


Beatrix Alastor
Apr 28th, 2019, 10:27:51 AM
Once more in her own private rooms, Beatrix was surrounded by attendants who efficiently saw to the details of her travel. Seated before a gilt-rimmed mirror, the Queen Mother divested herself of her jewelry. The first piece to go was the Headband of the Chume (https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Headband_of_the_Chume) settled upon a bed of Hapan blue velvet, before being whisked away. Each subsequent piece likewise taken, displayed for her future selection, and then locked away until her return to the Fountain Palace. The only piece that remained was by far the most simple in design, but it was her favorite. The petals of a nebula orchid (https://theholo.net/forum/showthread.php?15102-CSI-Iziz-(complete)&p=197376&viewfull=1#post197376), encased in a drop of crystal, suspended from a white ribbon around her neck. It had belonged to her mother. Razielle had almost never taken it off, and yet it had been among Beatrix's own jewels for some time now, since the disappearance of her parents. Now Beatrix never removed it.

She was not exactly taking her time about her preparations, the Queen Mother of Hapes obeyed no schedule but her own. Eyeing the waist deep plunge pool of fragrant waters floating with fresh petals from her own gardens, Beatrix knew she would not have this opportunity for a while. Stripping out of the white gown, the pieces of her ensemble fell discarded to the floor one at a time, picked up like sacred relics by the lovely ladies in her service. When she emerged naked and dripping, Beatrix was dried off by more than one pair of hands bearing soft, plush towels.

Beatrix had not been exaggerating when she had said she had just the thing to wear, as Tarek would know. Chume Beatrix Alastor was unlike any Queen Mother that had come before her. It had never been her fate to sit around passively, she had always taken an active part in her own protection. Some years before, the Chume's armor (https://imgur.com/M6wSPp6) had been created with all of the best parts of Hapan endara.

When everything was as she had willed it, Beatrix departed her rooms, entourage in her wake. Her escort including Major Lecavalier's family, Ta'din Lira and Tarix Renart Lecavalier, both the Major's wedded spouses by special dispensation of the Queen Mother. The procession moved from the Royal Residence, through the Queen Mother's Special Salon and from there, into the Royal Hangar.

Tarek Avesca
Apr 29th, 2019, 10:55:09 AM
There was no missing Tarek, who waited beside an Express-class ambassadorial shuttle. The hangar was, like so much of the Fountain Palace, a gleaming space full of machines and people in similarly shining attire, and in his dark cloak Tarek stood out like a smudge of ash on an otherwise polished piece of glass. While some of the Chume’doro climbed aboard the shuttle to inspect it’s safety and security, Tarek smiled at his sister and the Lecavaliers, who looked like a matching set in their armour. While much of his childhood had been spent away from Hapes, the memories he had of growing up in the palace often featured either Lira, Marine, or Renart.

“I hope you’ll all be able to keep up,” he said, looking between the three of them, his features taking on a more serious cast. “Once we reach Arkania, I can’t have any of you slowing us down.”

One of the Chume’doro ducked out of the shuttle, and called out, “Pre-flight checks are complete. We’re ready to depart for the Fantome, ereneda.”

Beatrix Alastor
May 12th, 2019, 10:08:23 AM
The Queen Mother's gaze found her brother, with no challenge, across the pristine and shining room. Her answering smile needed no accompanying explanation. Taking the Lecavalier's was rather like bringing the whole family along on what was not exactly a holiday retreat. Leaving the Lecavalier's though, that would have caused more of a stir than Beatrix wanted to deal with. For not being the Chume herself, Marine was a difficult woman to deny anything when she had set her mind to it, particularly when it came to the personal protection of the Queen Mother. Lira was slightly better about it, having put up with her mother for years before entering her service, she had the benefit of experience in dealing with the implacable women of House Alastor. Which seemed to leave Renart as the voice of reason between the two of his wives..

Beatrix smiled, imagining the tension that such a position must leave him in, the poor captain.

Tarek's words about being slowed by the very people that had been protecting the Royal siblings for much of their lives were received with the expected acceptance of the Lord Protector's wishes. None of them would outright argue with her brother, even if the words stung or made them feel.. less than in their prime.

The soles of her boots touched the ramp of the Express-class shuttle, Beatrix turned to look over her shoulder archly. "If you are all ready?"

She was eager to reach the Fantome, so that they could talk more about exactly where they were going. The more facts she had, the easier it would be to determine how she felt about it. Which mattered, greatly.

Tarek Avesca
May 17th, 2019, 03:34:09 AM
A chorus of ’Yes, ereneda’ answered Beatrix’s question and the Lecavalier’s followed their Chume into the shuttle. The boarding ramp eased into takeoff position and as the Queen and her escort took up their places in the passenger compartment, the panoramic viewport that dominated the room lit up as the interior of the hangar bay was replaced by the sky over Hapes. As the shuttle exitted the planet’s atmosphere, the imposing shapes of the Royal Navy clarified before them. Tarek smiled at the sight of the Fantome. With it’s inverted-V shaped wings, it had the profile and agility of a bird of prey. Though the Battle Dragon warships were the fleets most imposing vessels, it was the Nova-class that Tarek had always favoured.

The shuttle flew beneath the Fantome and into it’s hangar bay, clustered with starfighters and assault bombers. The cruiser’s on-board compliment of Chume’doro were waiting to greet them as Beatrix and Tarek left the shuttle behind.

“It will take us two days to reach our destination,” Tarek said, turning to address the rest of the group leaving the shuttle. “I’ll be holding a briefing later this evening. Until then, my crew will show you to your quarters.”

Beatrix Alastor
Jun 14th, 2019, 08:42:41 PM
Outwardly, the Queen Mother had spent the shuttle trip sitting, quiet in her thoughts but untroubled. Occasional glances toward the conversation around her let her company know that she was present in the moment, as always. On the inside, her thoughts were pensive, focused on the past. On their parents. She had so many questions. As many as her brother had, no doubt. Each question only brought another in it's wake, and another. Questions were not what was on her mind during the trip. Just memories..

Beatrix could easily spot the Nova-class battle cruiser as they approached. As a child she'd had a replica of the Hapan fleet, toy sized and buoyant, in her bathing pool. She recalled being upset to learn that the Dragon had been another, different shaped, ship. She had always believed the Nova looked more like such a beast.

.. and now she was in it's belly..

Arriving at the Fantome pulled the Chume from the past. With her attendants trailing behind her, Beatrix followed her brother aboard, not concerned with the days lost to travel. She would use the time to her advantage.

A knowing smile teased at one corner of her mouth. "Until later, brat."

Eyes the same shade of amethyst as their mother's were reluctantly drawn from her brother, to the waiting escort. Her expression turning expectant. With Major Lecavalier just behind her, and the other's a step behind her, the procession could move as directed, to the queen's quarters.

Tarek Avesca
Jun 17th, 2019, 01:28:26 PM
Later, two dozen of the Chume’doro crowded around the holo-table in the Fantome’s briefing room. “The shuttles will land here and here,” said Tarek, leaning over the three-dimensional display of Arkania’s ice-crusted terrain. With a claw, he singled out two points on a raised plateau overlooking a snowfield.

“I will lead the first platoon and Major Lecavalier the second. Our search will cover this region,” he added. “Our target is an access hatch to a tunnel. It will be well-concealed and almost certainly buried deep. Once we have located it, Major Lecavalier will form a perimeter around the entrance while my platoon conducts a reconnaissance expedition into the tunnel.”

Pausing, he looked up and around at the faces of the royal guardswomen. “Those of you who do not have the Force should remain on the Fantome under the command of Captain Valreaux.”

Taking a step back from the table, Tarek met Major Lecavalier’s gaze. If anyone had questions, it would be her. “And Ta’a Chume?” she asked.

“Ereneda will join me in the search, of course.”

Beatrix Alastor
Jul 3rd, 2019, 11:03:27 AM
In the quarters of the Queen Mother, the queen sat before her attendants, framed by views of the Cluster in the viewport behind her, no less resplendent in that setting than seated in the throne room of the Fountain Palace. Ta'a Chume held a briefing of her own. Her gaze drifted around the room, taking the measure of each face that had accompanied her on this quest. Her expressive eyes smiled serenely, inviting each person to relax, to let her know what was on ther mind, what they were feeling. There was no fooling the Queen Mother. She saw, sometimes too deeply, into a person's soul.

Among those gathered, Ta'din Lecavalier, sat close to the side of her long beloved Queen. The daughter of her heart. While the others were invited to voice any questions they had, Lira had remained silent. The details of their trip to Arkania were not what concerned her. It was something else, and her silence on the matter had been noted by the Queen.

"You are quiet, ta'din.", Beatrix was saying. The gentle, yet undeniable pull of her eyes drew Lira's up to meet them.

"Yes, my Queen.", Lira responded. It would be difficult to explain further, the source of her unease, but Lira also knew that with Beatrix, she would not have to.

The Queen Mother made a soft sound, almost a hum, reaching for Lira's hand to draw it into her own lap. Stroking it, as though her touch could bestow comfort, and perhaps it could. It had been revealed long ago that Lira was at least sensitive to the Force, if unable to wield it herself. Whenever there was ill news, or something was truly amiss, it was often Lira who had the accompanying bad feeling first.

That she had such a feeling now, did speak volumes to Beatrix, but the Queen only smiled patiently.

"There is nothing to fear. My brother will not let anything harm me..", she assured Lira, and the rest of her attendants.

Her final word on the matter.

Tarek Avesca
Oct 14th, 2019, 02:24:31 PM
Two days later, the Fantome loomed just outside of Arkania’s orbit. Two streaks of light shot away from the Nova-class and towards the planets atmosphere.

Clouds stretched as far as the eye could see, lightning illuminating them in fitful, erratic bursts. There had been no question as to whether the shuttles would navigate their way through the storm. The Chume’doro at the controls remained stoic in the face of what roiled ahead of them. Tarek stood behind the pilot of his shuttle, looking out through the main viewport, searching for any glimpse of the world beyond the tumult. He had memories, dim and distant, of visiting Arkania as a boy. Memories of biting winds and snow drifts up to his waist, of struggling across vast and frozen tundra with only the shape of his father ahead of him, a shadow quickly becoming lost in a blizzard.

At last the shuttle broke shuddering through the thickest of the clouds and the glittering surface of Arkania became visible beneath them. Tarek had only a moment to take in that sight, to be awed the desolate expanse below.

A huge shadow rushed above then ahead of them. Sharp and swift and undoubtedly larger than the shuttle. As Tarek moved to get a better look through the viewport, the shadow scythed through the air in front of the shuttle and let out a shriek that reverberated through the ship’s hull.

“Dragon (https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Arkanian_dragon)!”