Post by Valandra Shaa'Ven on Aug 9, 2015 20:06:14 GMT -8
The cloak again? Damn that thing… Vala fixed him with a stare usually reserved for slimy bugs that find their way into her clean bed. "You just cannot take the mystery, can you?" She had no desire to follow his request, but the drapings had outlived their usefulness. The point of them had, frankly, backfired a bit, and the princess had no desire to waste more time. So, holding his gaze, she removed the pinnings and flung off the heavy blue shroud without ceremony, folding it over one arm. Vala tried to look bored. "May we proceed, or do you have any further stupid requests?"
Post by Killian Raithe on Aug 9, 2015 20:08:59 GMT -8
His smile only grew as she spoke, the arrogance that bled out of every word making his next demand all the sweeter. "We're almost ready, but there's one more thing first." He crossed his arms in front of his chest, spread his legs evenly as his stance shifted to one clearly designed to gloat, and watched her like a predator about to pounce. "The dress stays with the cloak."
Post by Valandra Shaa'Ven on Aug 9, 2015 20:10:31 GMT -8
Shock hit her, but she reigned it in before it had time to show. Vala raised a single eyebrow. "You must be absolutely out of your mind." She was a confident young woman, and she prided herself on her composure, but walking almost naked through a ship full of pirates was definitely beyond the limits. Her mind whirled, scrambling to come up with another bargaining chip, and she was once again reminded of why her female ancestors did what they did all those years ago. That she was lowering herself to negotiate with this male barbarian at all made her sick, but her image must remain intact. "What could parading a bare royal through your ship possibly prove? I'm sure all your men have seen so much female flesh, the shock value would be nonexistent."
Post by Killian Raithe on Aug 9, 2015 20:11:12 GMT -8
"Oh, but princess..." His words were smooth, almost like a caress for the ears, as though he was explaining something to a child. "It's not my crew I intend to shock." He moved closer, and reached out a hand to tilt her chin up, then move her head side to side, as though inspecting property. "No, this is for your crew, and yourself." His lips split into a smile. "And for me, of course." The smile faded and his tone grew darker with his next words. "You will remove the dress, highness, and then you will remove the jewelry, and then you will remove the remainder of your garments. Only then will you be allowed passage on my ship."
Post by Valandra Shaa'Ven on Aug 9, 2015 20:13:51 GMT -8
She thought seriously about turning around and going down in flames rather than giving this scum any further delusions of power. The idea of disrobing entirely at HIS request in front of a ship full of unseemly males was, in fact, terrifying. What would people say if they heard of it back in the Cluster? What would her future as Empress look like after such a scandal? If she did this, and it became public news, her rivals would have more than enough ammo to tear her apart, and her family name would be tainted forever.
But if she didn't do it…
Vala slapped his hand from her chin, face a dead mask of royal indifference despite her inner turmoil. "So unoriginal. But, your ship, your obscene rules, Raithe," she said sharply, "but do not touch me. Peh. And the galaxy wonders why we keep your sex on a leash." Her mind raced, turning the situation over and over, trying to find some way she could salvage the whole thing once this was over. Ah, there. She'd found it. There WAS a way she could use this to her advantage back home. Hapes loved the beautiful, but they also loved the dramatic. It was all about point of view and steel of nerve; after all, retaining your composure under fire was something every royal practiced. Vala drew in every bit of contempt, every thread of hatred for the male in front of her, and held onto it under her expression of superiority as she slid the sleeves of her gown down her shoulders and let the outfit slither down her frame to the floor. Off came the undergarments and, regrettably, her crystal wrist band. It was actually a disguised personal shielding unit, and if she could keep it close, it would make things easier for her later. "Here," she snapped, handing him the sparkling cuff. "A souvenir." Vala stood just a regally as she had in her garments, back just a little straighter, snooty little nose just a little higher, perhaps. She met his gaze squarely. Oh, if looks could kill… "Well? Are we going to stand here all day? Lead the way, or get out of mine."
Post by Killian Raithe on Aug 9, 2015 20:28:20 GMT -8
Heh. She still thinks she's in charge. "Sure thing princess." Though he moved only enough to motion behind him, beckoning a soldier forward. "Bind the princess before she boards, and send a team to retrieve her personal guard." He stepped aside so the man and his cohorts could pass, throwing the princess a wink as the binders clicked closed around her wrists. "They're still armed, so be careful. Feel free to throw in a threat about their princess, and if that doesn't work there's always stun grenades."
Then with no further ado he let his eyes slide lecherously across her highness' naked flesh, snapped a high-res holo, then spun on his heel and headed deeper into his vessel. "Come along now, dear, I've got something I want to show you. And try not to lag behind, I'd hate for my men to have to punish you." The gleeful smiles and hungry looks she received from the crew as she passed would hopefully make it perfectly clear exactly what that punishment would entail.
Post by Valandra Shaa'Ven on Aug 10, 2015 19:40:01 GMT -8
Whatever sympathetic outrage stung Commander Lydin's heart as she watched the stripped Princess walk down the hallway had nothing to do with Valandra herself. From the corner of her eye as she knelt in the corridor next to the rest of her crew, hands bound, she caught glimpses of their expressions, almost identical to her own. Fury, that any woman of Hapes would be treated in such a way, regardless of their station, and a sort of painfully unforgiving, darkly satisfied narrowing of the eyes and curling of the lip. She knew what they were thinking as Valandra moved past them one by one, head held high, eyes vacant, her arctic, merciless beauty on full display. The bindings on her wrists were not there to restrain her, they were simply harsh decorations. She'd not been forced to bare herself, she'd chosen to. She was not ashamed or cowed by the jeering men, they should be bowing down to her in gratitude that she let them view her naked flesh. That was not fear quivering at the corner of her ruby lips, it was just a smirk as she pictured their inevitable death at her hands.
A few of her younger, more inexperienced crew seemed to buy into all of it, gaping in awe at the strength and majesty of their sovereign heir even in the face of such indecency, and Lydin understood their feelings. Valandra wore it well. But she, along with most of the others, knew the Princess too well. Yes, she knew exactly what they were all thinking.
Valandra deserved worse. The bitch deserved much, much worse.
If Lydin had no hope of rescue and a firm guarantee that she'd never see home or any of the Hapan people again, she'd have stood and spit in Valandra's face, and she knew she wasn't alone in that desire. Lydin had been raised military, born and bred for one reason: to serve their sovereigns in whatever capacity allowed. She followed her orders, she recognized the chain of command, she honored her oaths. But she could not, with good conscience, respect this woman, and if she didn't face the death penalty for refusing, she'd certainly never lay her life down for such a malignant, arrogant person. Lydin understood the need for royalty to have some measure of pride and, to an extent, indifference, so they might clearly separate themselves from the common in order to make harder choices for the good of their people. But this one was beyond anything Lydin had encountered in her years of service. The depth of Valandra's cruelty, her selfishness, her contempt, it was unsurpassable. Years of being ground under her heels, treated like a brainless speck of dirt on a painting, and of enduring her brutal condescension had squashed any compassion or reverence for the Princess. Whatever she was about to get, she had earned it.
Being publically cut down and enslaved by a man was considered a huge and instant disgrace. And if anyone in this universe deserved it, it was Valandra Shaa'Ven.
Lydin's gaze followed the Princess all the way down the hall. The commander stared at the doorway even after she'd disappeared, the men's vulgar words and obscene suggestions loud in her ears. The tiniest of gratified sneers twitched on her face.
She fucking hoped he made her suffer.
It was cold. So cold. Her feet were numb.
Vala felt her skin prickle and pucker the deeper she moved into the pirate ship, the sensation made worse by the clammy sheen of fearful sweat she'd accumulated. Suppressing another shudder, the princess rounded a corner as she followed Raithe, the disgusting celebratory hooting and lewd commentary from the entrance corridor still ringing in her ears. She still wasn't sure how she made it down that hallway. It was all one long, excruciating blur, muddied by the electric rage she'd thrown over her thoughts. She could feel it, there, under that seething blackness; that shaking, mortified, sobbing girl she wanted to melt into. But she couldn't. She wouldn't. Not ever, even when she was alone. Royal heirs didn't break down. They had no emotions. They had no fears. They felt no shame. At least her crew saw her face it all with the backbone of a true leader.
Vala swallowed, mouth dry as the Tatooine desert, and stabbed her gaze into Raithe's back. "Your ship reeks of grease and sour men," she said, somehow managing to pull out her bored, lazy royal tone. "Don't your pirate dogs know how to bathe? Or wash floors, for that matter?"
Post by Killian Raithe on Aug 10, 2015 20:20:15 GMT -8
He almost chuckled at her attempt to insult him and his ship.She probably doesn't even know what you'd use to wash a floor. "Oh, I'd never force them to lower themselves so much as to actually scrub the floors." He tossed a grin over his shoulder at her as they walked, once again letting his eyes slide over her body with a satisfied "mmmmhm" before speaking again. "That's why you lot are here. Well... that and the entertainment." His eyes shifted forward again as they reached an intersection in the halls and he headed for the turbolift. "You're gonna love what I've got in mind for you..."
He slapped the call button for the lift and spun to lean on the doorframe while they waited, his eyes lingering on her breasts and hips and ass and... well, pretty much every part of her he could see, which was all of her. He was starting to find the self-restraint particularly difficult. After so long planning and anticipating and waiting, here she was, helpless and exposed and his do do with as he pleased. Forcing her against the wall and proving his dominance right here in the hallway was starting to look like a very appealing possibility when the lift chimed and the doors slid open to reveal four more of his crew, though these hadn't participated in the raid of the hapan vessel. Their whoops and jeers as they exited the lift were an echo of those she'd heard in the boarding tube, and one of them even reached out to grab her breasts before Raithe stepped in and nearly crushed his wrists with a grip any wookiee would be proud of. "Yours are waiting in the boarding bay."
"Meant no harm, cap'n! Ah ain't even thinkin' of touchin' her again, ah swear!
"Oh I never doubted it." Raithe gave the man a tight smile before releasing him, then grabbed Valandra's arm and pulled her into the lift behind him. The moment the doors closed, he rounded on her, the hand on her arm sliding higher to grip her throat as he forced her back against the doors and the lift began to move. His other hand found her hip as he watched her eyes, rough skin sliding against silken smooth on its way over her hip, then up and over her ribs until his thumb caressed her bosom. His own eyes were dilated, and his heart thundered in his chest as he watched her, drinking in every twitch and shudder of her reaction. He inhaled sharply, savoring the scent of her delicate royal perfume, and the fear that permeated the air beneath it. She may be putting on a brave face for herself and her crew, but he knew full well the effect he truly had on her.
Post by Valandra Shaa'Ven on Aug 12, 2015 22:41:47 GMT -8
The lift moved, thrumming through the doors pressed against her back.
She should've remained quiet, perhaps played the scared princess (not so hard to do, actually), put on a contrite show to try and stave off that dangerous fire burning in his eyes. But those five little words had scalded her royal ego, and now their meaning blistered furiously in her gut. How dare he. How dare he! That this insignificant cretin thought to lay claim to her!! That ANYONE thought to possess her!! Her pale face flushed with contained rage, nostrils flared, plush lips curled back in a hateful scowl. Vala forgot her situation entirely, forgot the heady rush and sudden but undesirably pleasant plummet of her insides as he'd touched her, forgot that she was prisoner, forgot the paranoia that had sprang into her heart as his fingers neared her hidden birthmark.
She could sense he was waiting for her to fire back.
Vala was too livid to not take the bait.
"Saying it out loud does not make it so, Killian Raithe! Do you really think that destroying my vessel, storming my ship, and removing my clothes makes me anything you could possibly have? Your male need to assert your delusional dominance through the physical is pathetic!!" Vala sneered at him, nose crinkled in distaste, eyes narrowed in judgement. "You're not even fit to look at me, much less touch me," she spat at him. "Do you think my ancestors spent decades putting your kind in their place without learning how to deal with you? Were my hands not bound, you would be swiftly shown, pirate scum!!" It was a foolish boast, one she definitely could not follow through on, but the Princess was beyond worrying about that.
Post by Killian Raithe on Aug 13, 2015 12:53:32 GMT -8
"Oh, that's precious." The hand on her neck released its grip and rose to lightly pat her cheek. "You prance around in your gilded halls, ordering your soldiers and ships about like its some kind of game. All the while, good people live and die at your feet and you can't even bother yourself with noticing them. You call me uncivilized scum, but you're the ones who butcher millions for nothing more than political gain. At least when I kill a man, I don't pretend he never existed in the first place." His words had the sting of venom as he spat them at her, and when the lift stopped, he grabbed her shoulder and spun her around to face away from him, wrapping the arm around her chest as he pushed her toward the end of the hall. He was none-to careful about where his hands ended up on her chest, smashing her breasts in his grip as his jaw tightened with barely restrained anger, though her words had little to do with his mood.
The doors at the hallway's end slid open without a sound as they reached them, and once they stepped inside it was a vastly different space than the crisp utilitarianism that the rest of the ship exuded. Deep red carpet trimmed in gold covered most of a wroshyr wood floor, and the walls were adorned with dozens of tapestries, paintings, and assorted artwork that would likely be the envy of half the core. The space of the room itself followed a similar trend with priceless sculptures spread throughout the space, though the central and most prominent position was occupied by a sculpture that was hidden from view by a rough cloth. When the doors slid shut and he roughly shoved her away, the cuffs that had bound her came loose in his hand, having been unlocked as he forced her along in front of him. He casually slid his coat off his shoulders as she recovered, then hung it on a nearby hook and turned to face her. "Your hands are no longer bound, princess, and yet you still belong to me... Just as assuredly as you did the moment I set foot on your vessel."
Post by Valandra Shaa'Ven on Aug 13, 2015 18:31:57 GMT -8
Vala was right there in his face as he turned back to face her.
She'd made up her mind the moment she'd felt his fingers work at the cuffs behind her back. A foolish, blinded boast it had been, but better to attempt to follow through with your threat, even if you failed, rather than back down entirely.
And this was where the damage of her paranoia and her short-sided, selfish arrogance was painfully obvious: battle.
Vala had never, ever been very good at it, by choice. All Hapan were taught how to defend themselves, basic hand to hand combat, with only the best instructors reserved for the highborn of the royal courts. It was a requirement, not an option, especially for those in power, but Vala hadn't any interest in the art of battle and often hurried through it impatiently without a second thought. In her spoiled mind, that's why she had guards. To do battle for her. After all, there'd never been any situation that she couldn't verbally manipulate her way out of. Besides, what if an instructor saw her birthmark while she was practicing? What if the makeup smeared? That would be no good at all.
Still too angry to feel vulnerable in her nakedness, Vala struck out at Raithe, raking her mind to remember years of ignored tutelage. It was no good. Her strikes were quick, but very sloppy and full of blind rage. Her inexperience showed as she went for his neck and head, completely forgetting to work in a kick or two, and mostly just massively embarrassing herself, but her only concern was keeping her mark covered.
Post by Killian Raithe on Aug 14, 2015 19:55:11 GMT -8
She was sloppy. Her strikes were quick and precise, but her footwork was all over the place and her balance and timing nonexistent. Even if she could hit him, she wouldn't have any power behind the blows. Her entire body was out of alignment, and she was constantly shifting her feet to account for strikes that left her wide open. It was pathetic.
He slipped the first three punches, shielded the fourth, then stepped forward and drove his right arm up and out, clamping his hand around her neck and lifting her a full foot off the ground. He was fully sideways to her, so any obvious targets for her legs were shielded from harm, and her fists lacked the range to reach past his arm and strike his head.She's little better than a child. "I've had enough of your false bravado and pretense, highness." The last word was punctuated with a sneer as he launched her across the room. He plucked the binders from where they'd fallen on the floor, then stalked after her prone form.
Post by Valandra Shaa'Ven on Aug 18, 2015 11:45:41 GMT -8
Her jaw shuddered as she landed hard on her side, teeth chomping down on the inside of her cheek, and Vala tasted blood. "At least I tried!" she spat in hatred, lips curling in disgust. She rolled quickly over onto her back as she felt her hair slip over her shoulders, eyes tracking Raithe from the floor as he came towards her, every inch the predator. She caught sight of the rest of the room behind him, briefly lamenting being unable to take it in at the moment. There was a certain slick beauty to the décor and architecture, and Vala wondered at the true owner of this vessel, for surely it wasn't this crude monster.
By the time she thought about standing to retain her dignity, he was too close, and though her ego was wounded, her heart was still much too angry to let it end. Vala glared up at him, kicking her feet out towards his knees. His earlier words about her family and their lifestyle hadn't fallen on deaf ears, but the urge to hurt him physically was too overpowering. "Your efforts here are wasted! The Royal Navy knows what happened, a rescue is under way, and you'll be in chains in little more than a day!" she yelled, kicking at him again. A tiny smirk pulled at her mouth. "I think I'll keep you in a cage in my room, on display for all."
Post by Killian Raithe on Aug 20, 2015 15:56:07 GMT -8
"You'd like that, wouldn't you. Maybe I'll get a cage too, show you what it's like." He sneered as he sidestepped her kicks then simply continued on past her, evidently having changed his mind about snapping the cuffs back around her wrists. "As for your royal navy, they're a joke. I've been harassing their patrols at will for months, and they've never come closer than three hours to me. The only way you're getting home is if I allow it." He moved away from her to stand in front of the large covered statue in the middle of the room, planted his hands on his hips, and gazed up at it with a little half-smile that one might get when reminiscing about the good old days. "Besides, I have something I want to show you. Just picked it up in an auction, and boy was the competition stiff. Fortunately for me, there aren't many people who can outbid the threat of a turbolaser strike from orbit."
He reached out with one hand as he turned to partially face her again, then jerked the cloth off the towering piece of art to reveal what appeared to be a hapan noble carved from pure Aurodium. "Tada! You like?"
In hyperspace, a corvette-class minelayer dropped out of hyperspace early, putting itself in the midst of deep space. On board, it carried the three relay stations, some fifty non-mass transceivers, and thirteen relay satellites that the Quincy had harvested, modified, and directly programmed over the past year - the components that, in their entirety, would make up the Quincy SpyNet. Placing the satellites, transceivers, and relay stations, however, was slow and grueling work - the corvette had to travel by sublight to exact coordinates, whereupon it released a transceiver, satellite, or relay, and then initiated tuning and orientation procedures. In tuning, the onboard communications officers communicated with the dropped component with the ships onboard communication suite, verifying that it was receiving all frequencies, and even testing encryption algorithms and droid brain logic. If everything checked out, they proceeded to orientation - specific coordinates were given, and the component then oriented towards that position - the corvette then made a short hyperspace jump, followed by a several hour sublight flight to intercept that orientations path. From there, another test of frequencies and protocols was done, before, finally, the corvette made the several hour sublight flight back to the primary space land, jumped back into hyperspace, and then repeated the process - some seventy times.
It would take the better part of three months (one week RL) to set up the entirety of the SpyNet array - meanwhile, the disaster that was the primary Listening post would -hopefully - be resolved by the time the array was put into place. Then again, if something could go wrong...it probably would.
...The stars blurred back into long streaks, before The Lion's Pride entered into hyperspace. Before the view port, the blue lane of hyperspace rush by around them. It was then, and only then, that Lucian allowed himself to finally relax a little. He shrugged out of his coat as he rose from his seat, the auto pilot engaged for the time being, and tossed the jacket onto the seat behind his. He then walked over to where Selena was seated, gently placing his hand down atop her own as it rested upon the arm rest. He then took a knee next to the chair and looked at her directly upon the same level, his hand giving hers a gentle squeeze "Kiffu is behind us now, and so to, is your old life. No one will ever hurt you ever again Selena, I promise that I will protect you. I shall help you carry any burden you bear. You are not my slave. I will never treat you as he did... Because you are... Someone I care deeply for and I am no monster. You have my word..."
The relief of which she was feeling was indescribable, she could hardly sit still such was the feeling of adrenaline rushing through her system, she was excited and felt as if she had been reborn. Still at the back of her mind, however, was a slight feeling of guilt over what she had done. She had killed her father and felt joy and relief when doing so, but still the other emotions were giving her the over riding feeling of joy, she was sure that when the excitement of being given the chance at a new life had worn off, the guilt of her actions would claw their way to the forefront of her mind.
As Lucian came over and took her hand he snapped her away from her thoughts and drew her focus upon him.
Her right hand lifted and cupped his strong jaw as her thumb brushed against the bristle of his jawbone, she sat confidently in the chair, her back straight, her head held high as she looked into his eyes.
I know, I see none of that man within you, Lucian. You are different, I see that in your eyes. You have freed me and for that I shall be eternally grateful, you have my loyalty and my blade as we together, hunt down the killer of our mother. Please, I need to ask of you one thing, never ask me of my life with that man. Your suspicions can not even come close to the truth. There are many things you do not need to know. You need to give me time, okay? I need to adjust for I have never known a day without him being part of it. I do not know you, I remember a brother, a child whom I loved dearly before he was taken from me.
Her hand moved from his chin and up to the side of his head as her fingers moved through his hair before sliding back across his jawline.
My mind is currently a raging whirlwind. I killed our father, Lucian. With my own hands I killed him...and I enjoyed it, I am as bad as he is...was. I am a monster, he made me a monster!
She rose from her seat and marched quickly out of the cockpit and toward the back of the ship as she wrapped her arms across her chest as if hugging herself.
He smiled as her attention was place upon him, and her hand rested upon his jawbone. He leaned into her hand as it moved up to the side of his face, before sliding back ton his jaw. He listened as she spoke, not wishing to interrupt her. He had no intention of forcing anything upon her. But he could see her actions were gnawing away at her, which became more apparent as she voiced it aloud. He rose to his feet as she marched out of the cockpit, before following quickly behind her.
She'd barely made it halfway towards the back of the ship when he caught up with her. He reached out and forced her to stop. Forcing her to turn around, he enclosed her in his embrace, his arms wrapping around her to hold her close. He could not leave her alone in such a state "I had no intention of ever asking about what happened before now. If you wish to tell me, that is fine. But as far as I am concerned, your life begins anew now. In this very moment. The search for our mother's killer is but just the start of it. And whilst I will gladly give you time to adjust, seeing you like this... I cannot stand by silent. True enough, we do not know each other. Just as you have memories of a brother taken from you, I have memories of a sister I cared deeply for. But such days are far in the past. What matters, is the here and now, getting to know one another..." He leaned back a little to meet her gaze then "You are no monster Selena, that is one thing I will ever refuse to believe as a fact. And it was not you alone in that room. I should have acted sooner, stopped you from delivering that final blow. I am as complicit in that man's death as you are. But I assure you, he was not our Father. Our Father died long ago. What you destroyed, was a corrupted and evil soul. You are no monster. You only become one, if you let yourself believe that that thing succeeded. I could never love a monster, so therefore, you cannot be one..." He paused for a moment and just looked at her "Although you may need time, know that my mind is made up. And I will not let you remain victim to that creature by believing such thoughts."
She spun to him as he grasped hold of her, her natural instinct was to tense, for she was used to only the physical touch of her father, since the day her mother had left she had been shown no affection, no love nor consideration for her own feelings, to be touched had meant either pain and beatings or had been forcefully sexual in nature, both of which she reacted physically by tensing and sending her mind off to some far away place. She stared at him momentarily with her guard up and a vacant look in her eyes as if there were no one inside.
His words left her feeling awkward and unsure of how to act, they were full of love, consideration, feeling and honesty and that left Selena feeling awkward and unsure of how to act or feel. The only thought in her head was “what does he want in return for what he has done?”, was it what most men wanted, sex? That was what her father had told her for as long as she could remember, all men want sex and that was the only thing she was good for. She was grateful to him for giving her the strength and the opportunity to become free, so she needed to thank him, didn't she?
As he gazed upon her she automatically lifted her right hand and curled it into his hair at the back of his head and forcefully pulled him toward her and roughly pushed her lips onto his with her tongue trying to invade his mouth and seek his. She pushed her body firmly against his as she attempted to move him across to the wall behind him to pin him against it. Her breathes were deep and heavy as her actions become more ferocious.