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and owned by Lucas Film Limited’s Expanded Universe. Neither
infringement nor monetary gain is intended by the writing of this
work. Story treatment, The Turning Tide: An Indictment of the New
Republic, and all original characters, are ©2002 IE Ries. All
Background for this piece:
This excerpt comes from part of an online role-play game. The
setting is the Barchest system in the Outer Rim that both the
New Republic and Empire would like to gain in their corner; it
occurs during the post-Endor era of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
During the part of the game when this entry was posted, the political
situation on the planet Dreo, where the seat of the system’s
government was located, was still being debated and forestalled
by various elements; in response, the New Republic began landing
forces on the planet’s military bases under various pretenses.
The leader of the Galactic Solidarity Party, who favors Dreo
and the Barchest System becoming an Imperial Protectorate, has
met with Imperial military leaders and told them of his intentions
to bring the system into the Empire, and they are doing everything
they can to support him.
Now the New Republic forces, on their way into the system to
counteract any Imperial influence they fear might be building
in the Barchest System, have encountered Imperial forces, waiting
just outside the system. The Imperials are about to land a ground
force to help the special operations team already down on Dreo.
In the meantime, the Imperial-leaning politician has just given
this speech in the parliament, a damning indictment of the New
Republic and its true past...
The Turning Tide: An Indictment of the
©2002 IE Ries
The Delegate sat in his study, crafting an appeal that would
either force the Parliament into action to move forward, or backfire
in his face. His plan was to use the brewing political dissention
to call for elections of a new Prime Minster, and in so doing,
additionally bolster and garner further popular support for his
Galactic Solidarity Party. He hated to oust the present Minister,
who was an experienced and well-meaning soul, but the parliament
had become nearly ineffectual under his leadership.
“Delegates of the Dreo Parliament,” it began, “I
come to you today with a weight in my heart, and an issue that
can be no longer debated ad infinitum. We have three paths down
which we may collectively go as a society…” and the
Delegate knew which path he intended the system to take. It was
the only logical choice, and now, more then ever, it had to be
Rhett Kuraden would never accept the rebels and their tactics
to usurp a legitimate government. As a matter of fact, he had
himself personally witnessed Leia Organa meeting with various
officials, both elected and appointed, during her visit here some
time ago, insistent upon convincing them that they were or would
be “oppressed” by the Empire. Delegate Kuraden had
lived long enough and widely around the galaxy to know when he
was and wasn’t being oppressed. While he did not personally
feel any particular liking for Emperor Palpatine or even Darth
Vader, people like Grand Admiral Thrawn or General Veers were
an entirely different matter. They were the true flesh and blood
of all the things that made the Galactic Empire a great and worthy
institution. And these were truly the embodiment of all that the
Empire stood for, even if it’d had a cantankerous monarch
and a glorified enforcer leading it.
Just thinking about Leia Organa and her outlaw companion made
his blood boil. Rhett combed a hand through his thinning brown
hair, feeling the heat in his cheeks. He was going to find a way
to pull out all that anger out and insert it into his address,
and expose the troublemakers for who they really were.
That led him down another path of mental ire: his contacts in
the Imperial establishment brought him the shocking news that
Leia Organa was, in fact, the daughter of Darth Vader, murderer
of the Emperor! And now this person had been to Dreo recently,
spreading her poisonous propaganda around an already twisted and
confusing set of events. Additionally, there were implications
that another person had been involved with Palpatine’s murder
and Vader’s death, and that person was alleged to be no
less than Organa’s brother, a man named Luke Skywalker.
Kuraden didn’t quite know what to make of all of this, and
it just frustrated him that much more. If he had his way, he would
have dispensed with Palpatine and Vader and installed more reliable
leadership to begin with, and this present situation would not
be happening if...
He sighed and reigned in his propensity to travel down The Road
of What If. Absentmindedly, he checked his chrono again for the
ninth time in the past thirty minutes. He didn’t know exactly
what the Colonel had in mind, but since they had crash-landed
and nearly been discovered, he assumed this probably changed the
He sighed again and resumed preparing his speech for tomorrow
morning. With any luck, the parliament would be forced to vote
on the issue, finally, and settle the status of the system, once
and for all.
His private communications line unexpectedly pinged at the console.
He keyed in, his hand moist with the perspiration of anticipation.
Kuraden’s eyes widened as the Prime Minster called for an
emergency session of parliament. Now. Tonight.
He stared out the window for a moment, considering; now was the
time. He would have to make the most of it, prepared or not.
“...that we should not be like other systems ruled by fear
and tyranny but free to choose. Only a few scant years ago, the
Rigel and Bakuran Systems were freed from the Imperial grip...”
Delegate Kuraden had entered the parliament chambers prepared
to take his place at his console and attend to the crisis he thought
would be discussed. Instead, he was greeted at the entrance with
an emotional appeal dripping with deception and propaganda, so
much so that it stopped him in the middle of the isle, halfway
to his appointed consular station. He stared at the speaker, a
man from the Luradi District, with disbelief and anger.
Before the man could continue, Kuraden raised his voice, cold
and hard like a stone flung from a great distance, and declared,
“Prime Minister, I invoke my right of direct challenge.
I have yet to use my allotment for this session, but I will do
it here and now.”
He had not taken his eyes off Delegate Terigo, and now the younger
man’s head turned abruptly as he mouthed inaudible words.
Prime Minister Rijat, a mild-mannered man in his late seventies,
merely nodded his head in acknowledgement and replied into the
amplifier, “So recognized.”
For a moment Kuraden didn’t move; he locked eyes with the
other delegate and then said coldly, “If you are going to
talk about Bakura, then be prepared to tell the truth...all of
Delegate Terigo blinked, and attempted to ignore the angry challenge
and continue his speech. “...how the inhabitants of those
systems were rescued from the rule of...”
“Enough...how dare you?!” Kuraden’s eyes bored
into those of his adversary. He had been walking with slow deliberateness
up to the podium, each step bringing him closer and making him
more angry. When he reached the dais where speakers addressed
the assemblage, he glared at Terigo, and through clenched teeth
demanded, “Get off this podium.”
Delegate Terigo took a step backward, the emotions of surprise
and confusion on his face desperately trying to work into those
of indignation and defiance.
It became a momentary glaring contest, and one Rhett Kuraden
was far too angry to continue. He turned his back on the other
delegate and looked out over the assembled parliamentarians.
“For too long now, I have remained quiet. I have heard
lies packed upon propaganda and served up to the people of this
system. I have tired of it. I will no longer temper my platform
with quiet hopes for resolution.”
Here, now, he slightly turned to catch Terigo as he was slowly
retreating from the podium.
“To those of you who would offer lies and misinformation
about Bakura, let me ask you this: who was it that defended Bakura
from the Ssi-ruuk to begin with?” His voice began to boom
now with fierce conviction, and he slapped his open palm on the
podium. He looked down into assemblage at the heart of Independence
Party, and its leadership.
“How dare you misrepresent the facts here?” he demanded,
hands firmly gripping the edges of the speaker’s small podium.
He was livid now, and going to expose and topple its leader, Delegate
Xanui. This was something that needed to be done a long time ago.
“I will tell you the truth about Bakura, now, for those
of you who aren’t on the leash and still have the ability
to think independently,” and here he glared pointedly at
Delegate Terigo. Delegate Xanui looked at him sourly and turned
her head away to whisper to a colleague.
“Bakura was a far-flung settled world which the Empire
brought into the mainstream. Yes, the manufacturing going on there
was needed by the Empire, and yes, the Empire benefited immensely
overall. But they certainly gave back much to Bakura, and in many
ways. The Empire created a stable government, eliminated and reformed
a self-serving oligarchy which abused citizens and let them starve.
But, most of all, it protected them.” Now his voice strengthened
and rose in volume as the perspiration began to bud on his flushed
face. “When the Ssi-ruuk attacked, who readily gave their
lives to defend that system?!”
He waited. There was silence.
“The Empire did. How dare anyone here belittle and minimize
the loss of thousands of service personnel who fought and died
to defend the people of Bakura! Embattled, outnumbered and outgunned
by the damned Fluties and their horrendous contraptions, they
fought back and held that system.”
Kuraden took a deep breath and swept through the hall with his
eyes. It was time to expose the guilty.
He pointed down toward the section of the room where the Independence
Party delegates sat. “Delegate Terigo would have you believe
that the rebels - for that’s what they are and always will
be - offered their help out of the goodness of their hearts. But
that’s not exactly true, is it Delegate Xanui? Not three
hours after arriving in the system under the guise of assisting
the beleaguered Imperial Navy, Princess Leia Organa was down on
the planet’s surface, preaching insurrection against the
very government who sought to protect the Bakurans!” he
accused, now pointing directly at her.
The hall erupted in buzz of gasps and whispers, heads turning
and questioning looks being exchanged. Delegate Xanui sprang to
her feet in reply, “I will not be made to answer for...”
She never got to finish.
“And now I am told that the very same person was here,
not five months ago, doing the same on Dreo. Notice a pattern
here, Delegate?!” he stormed, angrily, slamming his closed
fist down on the podium, eyes flashing.
“The Imperials, cut off from the main military corridor
because of the rebels, now accepted an offer of military assistance
to save Bakura and its populace from the horrors of Ssi-ruuk capture,
and what did Organa do? She fomented a rebellion and created such
treachery while the Imperial government was yet charged to protect
her, as well!”
“How do you know all of this is any more true then what
Terigo said?” Delegate Xanui, who had recovered her composure,
“Because I have relatives on Bakura!” Kuraden thundered
back, furiously. “And if it were not for the leadership
of Commander Thanas, I would probably have none left there at
all. How dare you sully the service that man and his crew gave
to defend the helpless population?!”
Delegate Xanui’s eyes flared widely as she slowly lowered
herself down into her seat, her face clearly stunned.
“And so you see, my fellow electeds, there’s more
sides to that story. The rebels only offered their help insofar
as they could hurt and cripple the legitimate government, and
that, colleagues, was their true aim all along.”
The words fell from the Delegate’s mouth like a death knell,
and he watched a moment while the buzzing and whispering in the
chamber grew louder.
“And there’s more. This same person, Leia Organa,
is alleged to be the daughter of the late Darth Vader. It’s
interesting that along with her arrival comes a push to join her
rebel alliance. How twisted are her real objectives here? Who
and what is she supporting, aside from a consolidated bid for
power for herself and her family?”
“Look around you, electeds; you have been lied to and used.
Have any of you taken notice of what’s sitting at our military
installations?” he rumbled, accusingly. “Scores and
scores of rebel armaments, vehicles and battalions. And how did
they get there? Who invited them?” he demanded.
He looked directly at Delegate Xanui now and pounded his fist
down onto the podium over the rising murmur in the assembly hall.
“I want to know, here and now, who invited them to Dreo?
Who authorized this invasion on the sovereignty of Dreo and went
around official channels?!”
Kuraden watched as Xanui glanced up in panic at Prime Minister
Rijat. Rijat glanced back, the accusation now realized and supported,
and bowed his head, saying nothing.
“Aaaah,” Kuraden continued, mercilessly, “So
Delegate Xanui maneuvered around all of us and pressured Prime
Minister Rijat into bringing them here? It is no secret that I
support Dreo’s entry as an Imperial protectorate, be even
I know my limits.”
The damage was done, and the truth was laid bare for all to see
now. Where Rhett Kuraden had intended to present his party’s
overall platform in a series of addresses in the morning, he had
instead fully vented all the pent up mistrust and accusations
he’d been piecing together for some time now.
“I will admit that I did not personally place great faith
in Emperor Palpatine himself, as a monarch. But the governmental
and military establishment is another matter. Those people have
done a remarkable job in settling wars, reducing crime, and stabilizing
whole systems. And I will not allow lies and misguided insurgent
propaganda to undercut those accomplishments here.”
Here, an image Wilhuff Tarkin flashed in his mind's eye.
Delegate Terigo, attempting to salvage the situation, rose and
snidely countered, “Then I suppose you think Grand Admiral
Thrawn’s tactics are acceptable?”
Kuraden stared him down, replying: “He is defending a legitimate
government, what would you have him do?” That silenced Terigo
“Please appreciate how any of us would feel were we defending
our own duly elected government from clever, trouble-stirring
terrorist insurgents,” he continued, the condescension clear
in his voice. And I might add that other systems have, under Thrawn’s
leadership, continued their status or rejoined the Empire; if
you know anything about this commander, you must know how capable
and fair he is. And before anyone makes slanderous insinuations,
I remind you that he is now, for all intents and purposes, both
its military and civil leader, and he is not a mainline, Core
Human. Let us put to rest charges of Imperial bigotry once and
He looked around the room, shaking his head in disbelief. He
couldn’t believe how the net of deception had so totally
blinded many of them, and they readily accepted. Almost.
Kuraden began to step down from the podium, knowing that nothing
more was needed. The damage was done, and it was more compelling
then any speech he’d ever composed in his life.
Unexpectedly, the leader of the swing-block Referendum Party
rose to her feet. Delegate Rayelle, whom he respected enormously,
rose to her feet above the din. Her face was deadpan as she stared
straight ahead. Kuraden stopped where he was to listen to her
“Under the current circumstances, I call for three measures.
Madame Clerk, do we have quorum in the Parliament presently?”
The Clerk of Parliament, sitting in a seat beside the present
Prime Minister, punched her console and examined the screen. “We
“Then I call for an immediate investigation into this matter,
and recommend dissolving the present Parliament to elect a new
Prime Minster.” She looked at Rijat, his head now bowed
in his hands. “I am sorry Lord Rijat, but you have seemingly
left us no other choice here. I further call for the suspension
of Delegate Xanui until an investigation is completed. Lastly,
I nominate Delegate Kuraden for Prime Minister, and demand a vote
now. No more delays; this has been costly enough.”
Kuradan’s mouth hung open with both surprise and shock.
Rayelle was both personal friend and occasional professional adversary;
they’d worked together and debated each other in the parliament
from time to time. But this was more than he was ever expecting.
Either by shame, guilt, embarrassment, or anger, the delegates
now began to prepare for the vote.
The tide had indeed turned.
Outside on the streets, in shops, in business of all types, and
in homes across Dreo, people had just witnessed the emergency
session in entirety as the planetary news service interrupted
regular programming to air the session. Some were furious, while
others felt defensive. Some felt betrayed.
From every quarter, the populace now poured out into the streets
to march and demonstrate. The news service carried the events
from beginning to end: and in the end, the Clerk of Parliament
tallied the votes and officially announced the outcome. She went
on the air to announce that in an emergency session, Delegate
Rhett Kuraden had garnered 531 votes to 138 opposing, and this
with quorum to make the elections binding.
She congratulated Prime Minister-elect Rhett Kuraden.