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Kestevan 79
Coalition Victory Station
Lor time mark 1482.4 [April 2, 2016 (Terran Calender)] 

The slightly over a year that had passed since the Battle of Kestevan 79 and the defeat of the Communion had seen the former Communion mothership converted into a thriving center of galactic trade and politics.  Multiple city sized sections of the former Communion mothership had been converted into living areas, markets and commercial districts, ship yards, industrial facilities, and all the other amenities one would expect of advance spacefaring societies.   

The station had become a truly cosmopolitan collection of the various galactic civilizations that had made up the Coalition that had defeated the Communion. Within the station there could be found representatives from all the races that made of the former Coalition members, and beyond.  While it was not uncommon for tensions to exist between those that had long been enemies, those feeling were somewhat offset by the promise that the station represented, when those former enemies had come together to face a common foe and ensure the survival of all.   

But today, the normal routine of the vast space station had been disrupted, at least for the organizations aboard with sensor equipment that scanned the area around the station and monitored the traffic at the nearby wormhole which connected the remote system to other parts of the known galaxy.  Just a short while ago, a Stellar Khanate cruiser had emerged from the wormhole, quickly causing the many smaller transports that were flying to or from the wormhole to scatter from its path. 

The Khanate cruiser approached CoVic Station at a steady pace, not making any overtly hostile movements.  As best as the many sensors scanning it could tell, the cruiser had not charged any of its many weapons. 

Then, a transmission was sent from the Khanate cruiser to CoVic Station, focused on the channels used by the various governmental embassies, the station peacekeepers and administrators, and the Praetorians.  "Greetings, I am Ambassador Draan Raal of the Stellar Khanate."  Stated a stern and confident Zultasian noble in GalStandard.  "I am here on behalf of the great Kinan Khan and request an audience with the ambassadors of the Lor Republic, Grue Unity and other governments that made up the Coalition Council which have official embassies aboard Coalition Victory Station."

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Inside the command center in the heart of the Praetorian headquarters aboard CoVic Station, Amara Val-Ren looked at the image of Draan Raal that appeared in the air along one of the walls.  The young Naram know as Paradigm, and current leader of the Praetorians considered the brief message the Stellar Khanate ambassador had just delivered before she glanced over to one the Praetorians with her in the command center.  "Cancel the general alert, but have all members currently on CoVic Station remain on standby.  Then, get me a channel with Ambassador Th’emme." 

While she waited for the channel to be opened with the Lor ambassador aboard CoVic Station, Amara glanced over at Elite who stood near her.  Elite was among the Naram's closest friends among the original Praetorians, and one of her key advisors as the group adjusted to their new roll in this new time.  "Well, what do you think?"

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"You think it's a trap, of course," Diena Th'emme observed as she turned away from the Khanate ship's broadcast to address the man standing at military attention near her desk in the Republic embassy. The dark skinned Lor had tried on numerous occasions to convince Jilinson-08 that he could hold himself more casually when they weren't in public until the clone soldier had made it clear that straight-backed and squared-shouldered was his most comfortable posture. For now she steepled her fingers and raised an eyebrow.

 

"I try not to tell you things you already know, ma'am," he replied flatly, some of the scowl the transmission had brought to his face still present. His dress armour was polished and tidy as always but he'd taken to leaving the jacket undone just enough to display the strap of the side holster underneath it around the same time he'd grown the forest green beard. On CoVic Station announcing you were armed up front was just considered good manners and it wasn't as though that was the weapon he'd go for in a firefight anyway. "You won't hear me saying the Khanate worlds didn't pull their weight during the incursion but you don't hear them introducing themselves 'on behalf of the Khan' anymore, either."

 

"Kinan, yes. But are they merely using the shadow of his name or has he actually managed to cheat death?" The ambassador stood from her desk, looking regal even in her minimalist black under-suit, with her golden blonde hair done up in a way that looked effortless and simultaneously as though it had taken hours to achieve. She reached for a shimmering teal wrap that quickly transformed the outfit into something suitable for affairs of state. "There is a question we cannot afford to leave unanswered."

 

Jilinson-08 let out a silent sigh, understanding that the 'trap' portion of the conversation had been swept aside without recourse. "Suppose not. Incoming channel from the Praetorians, ma'am."

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Before Elite could answer Amara's question, the channel to Ambassador Th'emme had been established.  "Greetings Ambassador Th'emme, it is Paradigm."  Amara began as she turned to regard the Ambassador on a holoscreen that had appeared in the air.  "I am sure you have reviewed the broadcast from the Khanate cruiser by now.  I had been preparing to lead a number of the Praetorians currently on the station out to intercept, but given the transmission, I am holding any action for the moment until I had contacted you and the other embassies to determine if there was any intention of granting the requested audience."

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"Let's not be overly aggressive just yet," Th'emme cautioned, raising a curved knuckle to her chin contemplatively. "Your Praetorians present a degree of deniability in these matters, of course, but we have the perception of the Station as a whole to consider. Might I suggest a smaller, politely respectful 'escort' for our new friend Ambassador Raal? Some of your more... visually remarkable people. The Khanate has traditionally respected a show of strength but not to the point of meeting an offered lïccë fruit with a closed fist, as they say."

 

"Which might leave some of the subtler Praetorians free to look out for any surprises in the mean time?" Jilinson-08 spoke up, visible just behind the seated Ambassador from Paradigm's perspective on the other end of the transmission.

 

Th'emme's polite smile turned thin lipped and perhaps a little bit dangerous. Paradigm was reminded that while Th'emme was no soldier, certainly, she had been instrumental in the coordination of the Coalition forces during the incursion. The Naram woman was wise enough to suspect that she was only ever aware of some of the Lor's maneuvering on the Station. "The Khanate has also traditionally been a loose alliance of backstabbing pirates. We're all agreed that this is almost certainly a ruse, I think, but let's see a little more of their hand before making a play of our own, shall we? We don't want any confusion as to who the aggressors are."

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"I certainly would not want to do anything that might hamper any of your diplomatic efforts, or those of any of the other former Coalition governments, when it can be avoided.  Although as you point out, it remains to be seen whether this is truly an attempt to establish diplomatic relations."  Paradigm replied.  "While Seresk is not currently on the station, I believe I can arrange an escort for Ambassador Raal that will convey the appropriate show of strength." 

She then nodded at the ambassador’s suggestion of letting things play out some.  "I will make the arrangements for the escort and leave the official grant of the audience to you ambassador." 

After getting off the channel with the ambassador, Paradigm focused back on the Praetorian at the communications station.  "Call Mater Vyrdna up here.  The put me through to Galvanic.  She is currently on CoVic Station."

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For many cycles, after her consiousness emerged from the Devotion's computers and she had materialised for the first time, Vyrdnaya Solnys-kori Milareth had completely avoided sleeping. After experiencing an eternity of reliving the same memory of her and her family, over and over again, only to learn that she had lost them to the passage of time, the Akarnean woman had avoided doing anything that would bring her subconscious to the surface. That involved spending all of her time working, to the point of exhaustion. It was with great reluctance, and at the insistance of her fellow Praetorians, that she should sleep, at least once a week, lest she completely loses touch with her empathy, her livingness, her <humanity> for lack of a better word. But she'd found, to her dismay, that she felt uncomfortable sleeping anywhere, unable to put her thoughts to rest. That is, until Sitara Shashikala , the Traveller, had suggested that she slept in the Devotion.

 

One of the premiere spaceships of the Praetorians, that had housed her consience while the ship had been put in stasis by the Curator, the Devotion had become unofficially Vyrdnaya's <home>, or at least, her resting place. Completely fusing her body with the ship, and allowing her consciousness to submerge, she was finally able to sleep, and along with that, to dream. To dream of past memories, when she had been the happiest, living her life alongside her three kids and her husband, working for the Delaztri Empire. A dream she'd been dreading at first, no less due to the backlash it caused her when she was first faced with reality, but as time went by, she'd come to yearn the dream, to seek it out, to embrace it. Because it was the only time that she felt happy, that she felt alive, and not a grotesque fusion of flesh and metal.

 

It was during such a dream that the alarms in the Coalition Victory Station sounded, as the Khanate ship emerged from the wormhole. The alarms sounded in the Devotion as well, which brought Vyrdnaya's dream to an abrupt end. Emerging from her fused state and materializing her familiar form, a hodgepodge of Meso-Akarnean flesh and robotic parts, and covered by what looked like clothes but where in fact more technoorganic matter that was simply shaped to resemble clothes, Vyrdnaya needed only a few moments to gather her bearings and go to the spaceship's bridge, whereupon she remained on standby. Soon enough, the Praetorian on communications duty called her up, at the behest of Paradigm, and informed her that she was being summoned. "Understood, base. I'm on my way. Over."

 

Once again she submerged into the ship, only this time, it wasn't in order to sleep; rather, she transferred her consiousness to the ship's hull, whereupon she rematerialized. Having exited the Devotion, she repeated the trick once again, this time merging into the CoVic station itself. It took here mere seconds before she had mailed her consciousness to the command center, where Amara Val-Ren and Lady Tatiana Gaius Libera had been awaiting for her. Vyrdnaya rematerialised once more, saluting her comrades. "Mater Vyrdna, reporting for duty. What do you require of me, Imperiatrix Paradigm?"

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Tatiana is content to let the ambassador make assumptions about her conclusions, and almost smiles at the level of presumption.  But it is an argument she cannot win over this venue, so she remains quiet.

 

Once the call is over, and Mater Vyrdna has arrived, however, she can speak freely.

 

She returns Vyrdna's salute.

 

"Thank you for coming," she greets.

 

"A short time ago, a Khanate cruiser has approached Coalition Victory Station.  One Ambassador Draan Raal on board hailed the station, and insisted on a meeting with several key ambassadors in the name of Kinan Khan," she explains succinctly.

 

The recap complete, she looks to Amara and asks, "Would it surprise you if I said I suspect this may not be a trap?"

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While Paradigm waited for the channel to be opened to Galvanic, she turned to regard Mater Vyrdna as she rematerialized in the command chamber.  Returning Mater's salute as Elite provided a brief explanation of the situation, Paradigm turned a moment to regard the image of the Khanate cruiser that was on a holoscreen toward the front of the room.   

When Elite turned back to her and asked her question, Paradigm looked over at her friend with an arched eyebrow.  "Interesting, most everyone else suspects there is more to this than just a desire to engage in diplomacy."  She stated, although she knew it was wise to consider Elite's suspicions in matters such as this.  "What are you thinking?"  She asked.

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"We've considered the Khanate to be The Enemy for far too long.  It's become difficult to think of them as people with their own society and culture instead of as a collection of villains."  She, too, looks to the screen.

 

"They are a militant culture to be sure, but there are many subtle variations in how this is expressed.  They come showing force, yes.  Enough to be a threat, but not a peril; they know that if they were to engage with that cruiser, they would be destroyed.  The cost to us would not be negligible, but their defeat is assured.  Yet it is enough to show their strength, and show that they recognize us as a power to be reckoned with.  This is a sign of respect.  I suspect they are in need, and are here to ask for help, but must do so in a way that does not betray weakness."

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So much had been lost in the Communion invasion. So many worlds, so many homes, had been destroyed or irrevocably transformed by the malevolent AI hive mind, and Aya K'zan had faced that same tragedy. The former Communion flagship was the closest thing to a home planet she or billions of other Lor had; it wasn't surprising that there was a thriving civilian life on board, living next to the military presence. When several of the Praetorians had returned to the station after their latest patrol through Republic space, she had decided to spend some of her built up vacation time and be a civilian for a little while.

 

She had found a little bistro near what could arbitrarily be termed the bottom of the station, with windows that looked out onto space and seafood dishes culled from half the galaxy. The Lor agent had decided on a black cocktail dress that came down to her knees and a calamari dish sauteed in wine, and before the meal arrived a handsomely-built Lor with purple skin and broad shoulders had already started chatting her up. They were halfway through a bottle of wine when the alert came through on her communicator.

 

While there were many uniforms and battle armors in use throughout the galaxy, not many involved back pumps and a sequined handbag, so it wasn't surprising that Aya gathered more than a few looks as she stamped through the command center, nearing the knot of Praetorians. "The last time someone came through claiming to be from the Khan's court," she pointed out, "he was backed by dozens of AI-controlled cruisers and they came within a hair of destroying everyone." She stopped before the group, her shoulders set and defiant. "If this ship wants to be friendly, they wouldn't be invoking any Khan's name. And if they need help, there's proper channels for them to go through that don't involve taking a warship to this station."

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Paradigm listed to Elite as she explained her reasoning, which was as always logical.  Then Corona arrived, apparently having come straight from a social engagement, and spoke up with her thoughts.  With a slight inward sigh, Paradigm considered Corona's observations as well, although she wondered if they were not based on the same issues Elite had just discussed.  One of the advantages the Praetorians had during the Incursion when they had worked to help bring together the different powers that were fighting the Communion was they had no allegiance to any of the existing powers and also lacked any of the historical prejudices that were present as well.  Now she was wondering if they had not allowed themselves to become too influenced by some of those prejudices. 

"I understand the concerns Corona, but I would also note that during the Incursion Kinan Khan did not claim to be representing himself or the Khanate, he was a mouthpiece for the Communion.  How voluntary that may have been, is still not completely clear." 

"For the moment, Ambassador Th'emme's proposed course of action would anticipate if there is some deception taking place, while also allowing for the possibility for attempting to reach improved diplomatic relations if that is indeed what they are here for."  She then added, turning back to Elite.  "If you are correct, how do you propose we attempt to provide the Khanate with a means of asking for help that would not cause them to lose face?"

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"I see." Vyrdnaya responded to her debriefing by Elite. "So that's what all this commotion was."

 

Vyrdnaya listened carefully to Elite's thoughts on the matter, and was subsequently startled by Corona arriving like a humanoid typhoon. Corona made some points too, so she considered the possibilities. From what she'd heard, it was true that the Khanate Empire was getting a bad rep, but she wasn't quite convinced on how much of that rep was deserved. "History is often written by the victors." She commented. Honestly, the Khanate didn't sound all that dissimilar to Zaakis, Kharag's homeworld and former kingdom, before becoming a member of the Delaztri Empire.

 

When Paradigm finished, Vyrdnaya decided to speak. "Regardless, if you'll allow me, Imperiatrix. Working under the assumption of a trap is never not a prudent course of action, when dealing with an unaffiliated to the coalition entity, even if proven false. Those who want peace should nevertheless prepare for war. However, I DO find the Lor officials' stance on the matter suspect. No offense, Corona." She added with a side glance at her comrade. "It seems like we will be on the frontlines, conveniently placed to take the first hit, in case this proves to be a trap. I mean, I don't disagree that it's among, if not THE most tactically sound option in our hands. It just seems awfully convenient."

Edited by Vahnyu

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Galvanic's hologram flickered to life finally. "Apologysorry," she burst out, waving one hand in apology, the other smoothing down her rumpled coat. "Some uproarpanic commercial district." Sure enough, her holographic image had some black smudges on its cheeks, her hair sticking out in random directions. She was hovering about a foot off the ground, whizzing a few inches to and fro as she adjusted certain items just off the periphery of her image. 

 

Chlo'zel suddenly stopped, and looked straight at Paradigm. She looked somewhat older, despite the two having met only a year ago. Especially around the eyes. "People frightened. What can I do to helpaid?"

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"Being the first in the line of fire was one of the primary purposes of the Praetorians in the view of the empire."  Paradigm stated with a faint smile as she replied to Mater Vyrdna's comments about how the Lor were letting the Praetorians be in the immediate danger zone of this was some sort of trap.  "And now that is position we have continued to put ourselves in with the role we have elected to take in this new era." 

"I do not doubt that Ambassador Th'emme has dealings and plans which she does not share with me, but I believe she can be trusted to not view us as simply expendable pawns."  The Naram then added.  "The Lor have had far more experience in dealing with the Khanate than we have, so while their view may be somewhat hardened, we can afford to follow the Ambassador's lead in this.  I also believe that if she senses that the Khanate is truly looking for assistance or to repair relations, she would be willing to set aside her animosity to work with them to such a goal.  After all, during the Incursion, she and the Grue representative were able to set aside centuries of hostility and find agreement." 

Any further comments Paradigm had intended to make were interrupted as a hologram of Galvanic appeared near the small group.  "Greetings Galvanic, it is good to see you again."  Paradigm said in greeting to the other woman who had stood alongside her and Rock against Star Khan during the Incursion, and had in fact delivered the final blow that knocked the partially cybernized tyrant unconscious  "Yes, a Khanate warship has approached the station.  So far they are claiming they are here on a diplomatic mission and wish to meet with Lor Ambassador Th'emme, along with representatives from several other Coalition members on the station."

"I am organizing a small group to greet the Khanate ambassador when he arrives and act as an escort.  I was hoping you might be willing to be part of that group."

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"Perhaps it is as you say. After all, it was not the empire that saw me fit to serve as a Praetorian, but you did. Forgive me if I spoke out of turn, Imperiatrix Paradigm." Vyrdnaya apologised to the Naram. Back then, she would have trusted the empire with her own life. A fact that she did prove when she thought that she had sacrificed herself to save her fellow engineers and give her crewmates a fighting chance against the Communion. Now though... things were different. The Delaztri empire was no more. In the wake of their lost home, the surviving Praetorians sought to find a new one here, serving for the common good of the Coallition, and all those who would fly under its banner or seek its protection. But as for Vyrdnaya, her new home and loyalties lied quite a bit closer than the entire galaxy, or even the CoVic Station; it lied with her fellow Praetorians, especially the ones that came before her. Those were her home, her family, all that was left of her world. And she would gladly give her life for them, thrice over than what she did for the Old Empire.

 

It was at this point, that Galvanic's image materialized in the room. Truth be told, the static that the Tempestian was emitting was reacting with Vyrdnaya's own mechanical parts. In fact, she could feel her entire skin become electromagnetically charged, and not in a metaphorical way. She reflexively backstepped, as Galvanic came into view. "Eh, umm, greetings, Galvanic." she uneasily said. "You are, uhhh, most welcome to help!" She flashed the Tempestian a fake plastic smile.

Edited by Vahnyu

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Galvanic folded her arms and nodded, five times in rapid succession. "Course, course." The Tempestian looked thoughtful for a second. "Don't liketrust this. Would like to be there." She acknowledged Mater Vyrdna with a nod, noticing her discomfort. She understood that she was nervous of the possibility of her shorting out her cybernetics, so tried not to take it too personally. 

 

"Will meetjoin you soon." Galvanic cut the feed. And soon was an understatement, as a scant handful of seconds, everyone in the room felt a brief tingling sensation and a quick burst of ozone. For a moment, a sparking neon blue figure stood in the middle of the room, before coalescing into Galvanic's slim form, kneeling on the floor. She stood up, greeting everyone with a perfunctory handwave. "Have strategyplan?" she asked.

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Paradigm gave a small nod at Mater Vyrdna's reply.  "I welcome observations and thoughts of any Praetorian Mater.  I may be Imperatrix, but only because the group has selected me as such."  

When Galvanic appeared in the command center, Paradigm turned toward her, providing quick introductions to those the Tempestian did not already know.  "While there is certainly much to be wary about with the Khanate's presence, we are somewhat of different minds as what their actual objectives might be.  However, even Ambassador Th'emme is willing to play along for the moment in an attempt to learn what they may be after."  She then stated to the new arrival. 

"So, the current plan is yourself, Mater Vyrdna, Corona and I will met the Khanate ambassador's shuttle when it arrives on the station and escort him to meet with the Coalition council members currently onboard.  While we do that, other Praetorians will be keeping an eye on the Khanate cruiser."

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Aya folded her arms. "There will be at least one Lor alongside you, Mater. In fact, I don't intend to let the Ambassador out of my sight, especially not if we're going to take her to meet the council." She paused and looked down at herself, at the slinky black dress she was wearing, at the clasp purse in her hand, at her sensible black pumps. "Maybe I should take a few minutes to change, though." She paused and considered whether to take the time to turn into her armor, but after a moment's deliberation she decided that there wasn't much the Khanate ambassador could do that she couldn't handle anyway. "Paradigm" she said, turning to address the Praetorian, "I'll meet you and the rest of the team in the landing bay."

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Hearing Paradigm's comforting words greatly boosted Vyrdnaya's confidence, a fact she tried her best to hide, only managing a small nod. She frequently felt the need to address her senior fellow Praetorians by title, largely because she still felt she hadn't earned the spot, she hadn't earned the right to stand alongside her heroes.

 

When Galvanic transmitted her body to the room, she was taken aback by surprise. Given Vyrdnaya's own predelection of unnaturally appearing out of the floor or the computer or whatever other mean available she could use, it was a rare occurance for her to be on the recieving end of such a spectacular entrance. "Wow! You're here!" She stated, shocked. It wasn't often that she went wide-eyed. But there you have it. "Wel-welcome, Galvanic! It's, uhhh, we'll be counting on you!"

 

She nodded at Paradigm's plan, nevertheless, after catching herself. "Acknowledged, Imperiatrix. If there's anything you require of me specifically, please let me know!"

 

Corona's comment made Vyrdnaya smile wryly, and she responded. "And you've certainly proven yourself time and again that you stand with us, Corona. That's why I'm proud to have your back, obstinate though it may be." She then added, with a more cheerful tone on her voice, as Corona was about to make her exit. "But don't be too late, or we're leaving you behind!"

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Galvanic smiled sunnily at Corona. It was good to be working with these people again, even if it was under somewhat suspicious circumstances. Making herself comfortable, she floated up off the floor a couple of feet, crossing her legs underneath her, the tail of her coat dangling beneath. "Soooo... the ambassador. Bringing own retinue?" The Tempestian looked questioningly at Paradigm. "'Imperiatrix?'" Chlo'zel grinned even broader, finding the rank amusingly elaborate. 

 

In truth, she wasn't overly concerned about how many the Khanate Ambassadaor was sending. Bar Star Khan himself showing up, surely they could handle any problem sent their way. Although... "And will Praetorians watchguard the shuttle? No wish to be blindsided." Galvanic's smile faded a little bit at the thought of this.

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"We will meet you in the designated docking bay Corona."  Paradigm replied as the Lor office excused herself to go and change out of her evening dress.  The Naram then turned back to Mater Vyrdna.  "Only that you be vigilant Mater, and provide a suitable impression on our Khanate visitors."   

"Elite, can keep an eye on things from here and let me know of anything that draws your attention."  She added before starting toward the exit with Mater Vyrdna and Galvanic following alongside.  Turning back towards the Tempestian, Paradigm gave a small smile.  "Please, Paradigm is fine, or even Amara.  While Imperatrix may be my title, it is an old formality, and one even other Praetorians need not follow in all occasions."  She glanced over to Mater Vyrdna with that last before looking back to Galvanic.  "I would imagine the Khanate ambassador will have a retinue.  I do not expect their show of strength to end merely with the cruiser."

"We will certainly be keeping an eye on the shuttle."  She added.

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GM 

With the formal response provided to the Stellar Khanate ambassador and arrangements made, Paradigm and the selected escort made their way to one of the docking bays operated by CoVic Station's Peacekeepers, a multi-species law enforcement agency which was not tied to any particular galactic government.  Corona caught back up with the other Praetorians and Galvanic before the ambassador's shuttle arrived.  A number of Peacekeepers were present as well, standing off to the sides along the docking bay walls. 

Shortly after all of the escort was gathered, the Khanate shuttle craft came into view, approaching the atmospheric forcefield which covered the open end of the docking bay.  The shuttle's wingtip thrusters tilted on their axis as the vessel passed through the atmospheric forcefield and began to decelerate.  As the vessel moved toward the center of the hanger, it pivoted gracefully around so its aft ramp was facing the waiting escort. 

Steam escaped various exhaust vents once it had touched down, a brief lull falling over the docking bay before the ramp began to lower.  A small group of Stellar Khanate soldiers exited the shuttle first, moving out to form two small formations to either side of the ramp, ten soldiers in each formation in rows of five.  Unlike many Khanate forces, these soldiers were all uniformly dressed and equipped, each wearing teal protective bodyarmor with a white starburst of the Stellar Khanate in the center of the chest plate.   

As the two formations of soldiers turned sharply to face each other, three other figures began to descend the ramp. 

The lead figure was a Zultasian noble wearing long teal robes.  A wide navy blue stripe ran down the front of the robes and extended out to the shoulders.  A large, navy Khanate starburst ran along the outer sleeves.  Ambassador Raal walked with confidence as he moved down the ramp, he dark eyes casually scanning the hanger, and those gathered to meet him. 

Just behind the ambassador, and walking slightly to either side were two very different figures.    

The first, following on the ambassador's right, was a tall figured dressed in teal, navy and silver power armor similar to that worn by Star Khan.  Unlike Star Khan, this figure wore a helmet with a full facemask, a wide black visor over his eyes.  A teal and navy hood covered part of the figures head, going down to cover the shoulders as well.  A small, white Khanate starburst was located at the center of the chest plate.  In one hand, the figure carried a power staff. 

To the ambassador's left was an attractive Zultasian female noble, wearing robes similar to those of the ambassador, but without the large navy Khanate starbursts on the sleeves.  Her long white hair was in wide braid that she wore over one shoulder, and her lavender eyes quickly focused on the gathered Praetorians and Galvanic with an almost fierce intensity. 

As the ambassador and his two companions drew near, Paradigm stepped slightly in front of the others.  "Greetings Ambassador Raal, welcome aboard Coalition Victory Station."  She stated with a slight bow of her head.  "I am Paradigm, Imperatrix of the Praetorians.  Allow me to introduce my fellow Praetorians, Mater Vyrnda and Corona," the Naram gestured to each as she introduced them, "as well as a friend and ally, Galvanic."  Paradigm the gestured to the Tempestian before focusing back on the Khanate ambassador.   

Ambassador Raal gave a slight bow to the group.  "I am honored to meet you and your companions Imperatrix."  He stated was he stood back upright.  "Allow me to introduce my associates, Justicar Vor," the ambassador gestured to the armored figure, "and Lady Tal'gar."  He then gestured to the Zultasian woman, how gave a small bow of her own.

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Aya managed to run back to her quarters on the station and jump into a set of plain dress blues, then literally fly back down to the shuttle bay with just enough time to compose herself. She stood at attention as the Khanate shuttle settled into its assigned berth, automatically calculating how quickly it would take the vessel to rotate and get out into space, or bring its guns to bear, or...

 

She stepped forward next to Paradigm, watching the Khanate representatives step off the shuttle. "Agent Aya K'zan," she said smoothly. "Lor representative with the Praetorians. It's the Republic's pleasure to welcome Ambassador Raal and the Lady Tal'gar to Victory Station. If there's any help we can extend to the Khanate, then let us know." That didn't mean they would actually help, of course. The Khanate had still allied themselves with the greatest threat to galactic stability in generations.

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Vyrdnaya joined Corona, always making sure to stay a safe distance away from the walking electromagnet that was Galvanic, and introduced herself. "Vyrdnaya Solyns-kori Milareth, of the Praetorians. We've been dispatched to your escort, ambassadors, for the express purpose of ensuring that no harm comes to you or the people of the Station. Please rest assured that the Praetorians will do everthing in their hand to see that the talks with the Coalition representatives will take place, and that for the entire duration of your stay in this system, the sanctity of your diplomatic immunity will be respected, so long as you don't abuse it." The implication behind her words was crystal clear; the Praetorians would play nice, so long as the Khanate ambassadors returned the favor. Otherwise, all hell would break loose.

Edited by Vahnyu

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