fighting_mad: (bald - gone rogue)
It helps, Plourr has discovered, to think of trade negotiations as a series of dogfights. Just like going head-to-head with a particularly stubborn eyeball, you juke and feint so the enemy can't figure out your true path until it's too late.

There are more formal receptions involved, though, in trade negotiations.

When the wine is as fine and the company as decent as it's been at the negotiations on Medth, Plourr can't even complain. These things tend to be stuffy and painfully polite, but Medth has been different. Two of the most influential councilors on the planet's ruling council were elected to their positions following decorated military careers in the Republic Armed Forces. Those two old battleaxes were sensible, blunt voices at the negotiating table during the day and, by night, are hungry for first-hand news from Rogue Squadron. They weren't the only guests who wanted to hear stories of Endor and Brentaal. Plourr, with a glass of Rydonnian spicewine in hand, is happy to oblige.

By the time the party breaks up for the evening, Plourr is feeling more cheerful than she has since arriving on Medth straight from a deployment with the Rogues. In record time, she exchanges her ceremonial clothes for something far less attention-grabbing, ditches her Medth honor guard, and goes in search of Rial.

She's whistling.
fighting_mad: (bald - eyes dark)
The gathered advisors and aides look very, very wary and are very, very hesitant when Isplourrdacartha calls them inside; they saw the emperor's expression and his bloody mouth when he stormed out. It isn't difficult to put two and two together, particularly after noticing the unnatural bent to two of the empress's fingers.

The look that she skewers the admiral on when the older woman asks if she is alright is more than enough to prevent any further questions.

Plourr finishes the meeting.

Afterward, the admiral pulls her aside and requests further discussion of the speculative points of the Kuati shipyards' bid; she says that she knows that the empress is terribly busy, but asks if the empress will walk a ways with her and debate it.

It isn't til they're nearly right on top of the infirmary door that Plourr recognizes Admiral Almied's diabolical genius; she stops and lowers her eyebrows at the officer, but Almied only smiles and bids her farewell.

Plourr takes the hint.
fighting_mad: (medium - yeah huh)
"Thank you, Zema," says the empress. She can be gracious, when she needs to be; when she wants to be. Zema's a sweet kid (kid, she's older than Plourr is), sharp, knows her shavit, gave the facts short and sweet -- just the way Plourr likes it. "We've got a lot to discuss. This is one hell of a lot of money, people; the contract's got to go to the right shipyard. For now, though--"

Plourr leans back in her chair at the informal table.

"Take five."

A ripple of chuckles moves through the assembled advisors and aides, and then the low rumble of conversation lurches to life.

Plourr turns in her chair, arm tossed casually across the back, and props a boot up on Rial's knee. "Kuat's sounding more and more like they're lagging behind in the competition."
fighting_mad: (mama said knock you out)
It's a nice day out by the lake, unlike on Eiattu.

(Plourr loves her planet fiercely, but the rain season is not her favorite time of year.)

The sun is shining, the breeze is light and warm; light sparkles off the lake. Ianna, seven months wise as of 0537 this morning, is sitting on a blanket (several blankets; extra padding for when she inevitably falls on her face. Plourr likes to say she inherited Rial's sense of gravity), propped up by several pillows that look suspiciously like the ones that are usually on the couch by the fireplace inside the bar. She's wearing a very fine floppy hat over her bright red hair, the hat secured under her chin with elastic, and she's currently squinting at her mother, a handful of ripped-up grass clutched in one small fist.

To be fair, a lot of people would probably be squinting at Plourr right now. She's dressed for an audience, her only concession to the nice day the removal of her long-sleeved outer tunic, and she's doing push-ups in the grass. Swift, sharp push-ups with military precision, to be exact. Life's a little busy, these days. You exercise when you get a free minute, or you don't at all. Plourr has worked hard to get back to the shape she was in before a certain princess turned everything upside down and inside out; she isn't about to let that all that effort (or these biceps) go to waste.

"Naga hada hoo?" asks Ianna, opening her fist and letting grass rain down on her chubby legs.

"Yeah," Plourr grunts, barely out of breath as she levers herself up and down. "You said it, Monster."
fighting_mad: (long - fierce laughter)
Plourr's teal dress is long and slinky, perfectly fitted to every prodigious Estillo curve. It's a halter top with a moderately-deep V in the front, along with a lacy touch or two at the bust, and a low back, and while it's (very) flattering, it also showcases more of her cleavage, her muscled shoulders, her back, and the general fabulousness of her breasts than the court finds appropriate. The scandal-factor may or may not be why she chose the dress. Her grin is flashing bright.

This may have something to do with the mostly-finished glass of wine in her hand (when you are empress, you can steal the serving-ware), and the number of glasses that came before it. This may also just be due to the anecdote that Rial has just told. You never know.

She's laughing as she steps through the door, holding up the skirt of her dress in her other hand, the color high in her face.

"That," she says, "is not true. The ambassador never told you that he wears women's clothing and traipses around in high heels."
fighting_mad: (medium - obnoxious grin)
The bar's kinda quiet, today.

It's a change from a certain establishment on a backwater planet, anyway; for a moment, as the door opens, there's something of a general roar. Glass shattering, shouting, wood cracking as people are thrown into tables and chairs are broken over heads -- then the door shuts.

Plourr can taste blood in her mouth and her lip is starting to swell up; she's grinning wildly, though, as she weaves through empty tables to the bar, a tall, improbably muscled woman in boots, fitted trousers, a vest, and a tunic with the sleeves rolled up, a heavy blaster strapped to her right thigh. A small bundle of ice appears before she can say a word; she takes it, with only a light kick to the bar, and takes a seat on a stool. She presses the towel full of ice to her left hand's knuckles, which are ugly and split and smeared liberally with blood.

Not all of the blood on her knuckles, and none of it on her forearms, belongs to Lieutenant Ilo. (The rest of her is blood-free; she is good enough, by now, to avoid the worst of the sprays.) This is likely the cause behind her good humor.
fighting_mad: (medium - plourr does not giggle)
Ideas for threads to dramatically read from! Go!

Comments screened for maximum hilarity.
fighting_mad: (obnoxious grin)
Give me a pup of yours. I will tell you:

1) how [insert pup of your choice here]'s opinion of the named character has changed over time, or
2) why [insert pup of your choice here] does or does not get along/like/other with the named pup.


Your options are:

Plourr Estillo ([livejournal.com profile] fighting_mad)
Riley Poole ([livejournal.com profile] shortofcrazy)
Dennis Doyle ([livejournal.com profile] fatboyrun)
Hawkeye Pierce ([livejournal.com profile] yankeedoodle_dr)
Maya Antares ([livejournal.com profile] joiningyousoon)
Father Mulcahy ([livejournal.com profile] cheerychaplain)
Tycho Celchu ([livejournal.com profile] twostandingby)
Iella Wessiri ([livejournal.com profile] nodistresshere)
Peregrin Took ([livejournal.com profile] tookfoolery)

(I still owe Plourr-Finn and Riley-Ben from the last time around; don't think I've forgotten! Please remind me if I have forgotten any others, though. >_>)
fighting_mad: (medium - plourr does not giggle)
Plourr is in what has become a normal position, these days -- sitting with reports and a datapad and a plate of dinner, Ianna in a carrier on the table, Plourr's hair tied back and a blaster at her hip.

She isn't doing much work, though, or eating much in the way of dinner. Instead, she has become distracted by a new game. It involves poking Ianna lightly in the belly, and then grinning like a maniac as Ianna laughs a big, delighted, baby laugh, beaming up at her.

Poke. Baby giggles. Proud beam.

Poke. Baby giggles. Proud beam.

The Estillo(-Pernon) women could go on like this all day.
fighting_mad: (flygirl)
Six days after Ianna is born, Plourr goes for a run.

It hurts like hell, but it's worth it.

Two and a half weeks after Ianna is born, Plourr picks up invoices, petitions, and reports again; she reads with one hand while holding close a little girl in a green hat with the other.

Three weeks after Ianna is born, Plourr throws herself back into work with gusto. The Cabinet, petitioners, and figures in local government become accustomed to the sovereigns conducting business with Princess Ianna in a sling at his or her side; the two of them trade off, depending on who has a committment that shouldn't be interrupted by crying and every-two-hour feeding breaks. Visiting foreign dignitaries are always startled.

What's anybody going to do about it? Plourr says, practically. I'm the goddamn empress.

Nynie was good to her when she was growing up, and she doesn't have anything against accepting outside help, once in a while. But no nanny 'droid is going to raise her kid.

Besides, it's not half bad having a cute, very audible excuse to get out of budget hearings.

Four weeks after Ianna is born, Plourr takes great pride in dumping several armloads of grossly oversized clothes in the bin. Rial laughs at the vicious glee with which she rifles through the wardrobe, and sensibly points out that she'll set off an alarm or five if she lights the pile on fire, like she threatens to.

Four weeks and three days after Ianna is born, Plourr rolls on top of Rial and kisses him soundly.

Very shortly, it's over before anything began, and Plourr is curled in a swearing ball that smacks Rial whenever he worriedly tries to apologize.

It is decided that the doctor might just know what she's talking about, after all, when it comes to patience being a virtue.

Four weeks and four days after Ianna is born, Plourr pulls on the baggy orange flightsuit for the first time in eight months, removes her helmet from the shelf where it has been waiting, and she claps a woeful-looking Rial on the shoulder as he tries in vain to convince the baby to stop crying.

You'll be back in a few hours? he asks, Ianna's thin wails filling the apartments.

Yeah, says Plourr, and she doesn't even try to hide her fierce smirk as she turns back to him.

He eyes her, standing with her helmet under her arm and her hand on her hip as she is, and then he sighs. You're lying to me, aren't you, my princess?

Yeah. She grins at him ferociously with a flash of white teeth. Don't wait up. She tugs his ponytail, easily dodging the half-hearted return swat, and she takes the back staircases and hidden passageways down to the hangar bay.

The sun is sinking below the level of the sea, activity in the bustling bay drying up for the night, and Plourr stands in the huge doors for a long moment, just looking at the lone X-wing resting on its landing struts behind a merchant freighter. It isn't the battered starfighter that she flew with the Rebel Alliance. She gave up that craft over a year ago now; left it to Rogue Squadron, who needed it more than she did. She misses that bird.

She got this one after returning to Eiattu to stay. After she'd come in from an afternoon flight, griping about the inferior qualities of the Z-95 Headhunter she'd been flying, rather than arguing the point as he so often did, Rial asked why she didn't just see about getting an X-wing.

Two weeks of wrangling with Incom later, Plourr was forced to admit that the man she'd married could occasionally be something of a genius.

She'd spent months with this fighter, working on it every chance that she got; coming down to the hangar bay when she couldn't stand one more second of hearing news of Priamsta guerilla attacks, of reading civilian casualty figures, and later, after nightmares in which hands held her down and the stuttering whirr of a dull vibroblade sank deep into her brain.

She spent hours maximizing thruster power, fixing the inertial compensator's settings just the way that she likes them (low), taking apart and putting back together the servos that open and close the S-foils. The onetime lieutenant allowed no one to touch her starfighter.

When she had the time--which wasn't often--she spent hours flying, screaming low over treetops, racing huge sea-borne avians, and impatiently dodging the slower-moving traffic that didn't have the sense to get out of her way. She rocketed out of the atmosphere, and if, on the bad days, she felt the inexorable pull to turn the X-wing's nose toward the stars and punch in coordinates to points unknown -- she always made the long, lazy loop back to the planet's surface.

Nearly a year ago, Plourr came down to the hangar bay--back when her arm was in a cast and her knee braced, back when she'd only just been released from the infirmary and wasn't technically supposed to leave her quarters--to find Rial putting the finishing touches on the final kill silhouette just below her X-wing's cockpit.

He froze guiltily at her throat-clearing, and then turned and said, ...Surprise?

Plourr looked at him, stone-faced, taking in the swirls of color dotting his strong hands, wrists, and nose; looking at the perfect Rogue Squadron colors now painted on her X-wing, and the rows of TIE fighter and capital ship silhouettes faithfully, impeccably reproduced from her old fighter. She saw the tiny, blood-red imperial crest marked just above one landing strut.

She one-handedly shoved Rial back against the landing strut, her face right in his, and she said, It's perfect, and if you ever irrevocably change my X-wing without permission again, Rial Pernon, marriage vows or not, you're a dead man, and she kissed him, hard.



Plourr stands in the doorway, watching the way that the proud red stripe across the nose and fuselage seems to shimmer under the day's last rays of sun. She closes her eyes, feeling the warmth of the light fade, and she smiles ever-so-faintly.

When she opens her eyes again, the stark artificial lights have switched on for the night, and she pushes off from the bulkhead. A tech is passing under the wing of her X-wing, his arms full of spare parts and face streaked with engine grease and blue-white light as he scurries across the bay, and Plourr shouts to him.

He starts and nearly drops his armload of bits and bobs in his haste to bow.

Quit it, Plourr tells him, looking him over for a moment before pulling the hydrospanner from his toolbelt. I'll get this back to you.

He stares up at her, and has the presence of mind to nod.

Go on, now.

The tech is still gaping.

She rolls her eyes. Shoo, she tells him, with an impatient flick of her fingers. He bows once again, and hurries on his way.

Plourr hefts the heavy all-purpose tool, closing her fingers around its familiar weight. She looks up at her X-wing, dark eyes bright, and she sets to the business of fixing the damage caused by eight months of neglect.



Three hours after Plourr left the apartments, a distinctive X-wing flashes through the black Eiatti sky. Sitting on the balcony in one chair with his feet propped up on another and Ianna curled up on his chest, Rial squints up at the high-flying craft, and he smiles as it waggles its wings.

That, he tells his daughter proudly, is your mother.

The lights--more visible in the dark than the snubfighter itself--take an abrupt, impossibly steep dive, and level off just above the ground. The triumphant roar of the engines as it buzzes the capital city and then flashes off across the sea is audible even at this distance.

She's kind of a show-off, Rial confides, once his heart has settled back into its chest where it belongs, and she's going to turn my hair grey before my 35th lifeday.

Ianna gums her lower lip in her sleep.

Rial curls his arm around her more securely and quietly kisses the top of her head. But we like her anyway.
fighting_mad: (i - likes to cry)
It's been an insane couple of weeks.

No, make that it's been an insane Couple of Weeks.

Things tend to take on extra capital letters, Plourr and Rial have discovered, when there is a newborn baby involved.

There were celebrations (public) and meetings (private; only Rial's parents and the pair's few close, trusted friends on-planet were invited to see the new baby princess), and a whole lot of sleeping (on both mother and daughter's parts).

Sleeping has definitely become less easy, in the last two weeks. These are two monarchs--two monarchs who are leaving the majority of their duties to Count Gror Pernon and the Royal Cabinet for another week at least--with tired faces and dark circles under their eyes. They are doing this themselves, despite the grand royal tradition of nannies and maids, and it is beginning to show.

Baby Princess Ianna Estillo-Pernon, cute and pudgy as she may be with a head of red-orange hair growing in, has revealed herself to be something of a screamer, even by the ordinary high standards of newborns.

Bleary-eyed and half-dressed, Plourr sighs, carefully shouldering the nursery door open, mindful of the crying bundle in her arms. "You never give it a rest, do you, you monster?" she asks, her voice low and rough with sleep. The room is well-lit by the twin full moons, visible through the open window, and Plourr briefly glances out at the way that the light glitters on the ocean's dark waves before she settles in to the comfortable armchair, and the more pressing matters at hand.

Meanwhile, Ianna appears to be trying to breastfeed and cry simultaneously.
fighting_mad: (p - bigger bump)
Dinner over with, the sky outside dark and filled with stars, Plourr is sprawled across the sofa, her feet in Rial's lap. "I don't know how the idiot ever thought it was a good idea."

She shakes her head, but here's a rare thing, amid all this misery and restlessness and rampant boredom and discomfort and fucking helpless waiting: there's a thoroughly obnoxious grin threatening.
fighting_mad: (long - serious)
Plourr is in bed. That's where she is all the damn time now, besides regular trips to the 'fresher and the occasional excursion to the living room sofa. She is, as one might imagine, not well pleased.

But she feels uncomfortable; 'enormous' and 'ungainly' are two other words that immediately spring to mind, along with 'like shit.' It's reached the point where she feels better (for a given value of 'better') keeping her feet up than she does moving around, so in all honesty, she wouldn't exactly be running any marathons even if she hadn't been ordered to bed by the little old royal doctor.

That doesn't mean that she is any less cranky about the entire situation, though.

There is a stack of datacards and a reader in the bed beside her, along with a small holoprojector and another stack, this one of holos. A small stuffed bantha also sits on the Plourr-free side of the bed, a blue tie pinned to just above its mouth, the tie looking suspiciously like a set of droopy blue mustachios.

The bedroom is large and spacious, styled in golds and creams and yellows with a high ceiling, and manages to appear rich even with the simple decor, much like the rest of the apartment. There isn't much in the room; neither Plourr nor Rial are ones for clutter, besides the items in the bed. Two wardrobes, two closets, a dresser with a mirror over it, a (closed) door to the 'fresher, and the enormous four-poster bed, the bedcurtains tied back. There are a few holos scattered here and there--a group of Rogue Squadron pilots (including a bald Plourr) in orange flightsuits caught mid-laugh, one or two shots of Plourr and Rial together (and not a one of them is a proper, posed still-holo)--but few knicknacks. A painting, carried out by a hand skilled in oils, of the palace in summer.

The balcony doors are open. It is a beautiful day outside, the warm, thick air curling in through the doorway, the white roofs of the capital city laid out below the palace walls and the blue-green sea--dotted with repulsorcraft--stretching as far as the eye can see beyond.

Plourr sits in the bed, propped up by exhorbitant amounts of pillows, reading from the datapad resting on her stomach. She looks good. Very pregnant and almost as bored, but healthy, red hair loose about her face and her attention on her reading. She spends a lot of time reading. And informing the baby that if she doesn't quit rolling around and kicking her and causing her pain, things are going to go Very Badly for her.

Chances are excellent that the baby recognizes this for the empty threat that it is, because it has yet to dissuade her from driving Plourr out of her mind.

If you aren't Plourr's (admittedly well-meaning) mother- or father-in-law, chances are excellent that she is going to be thrilled to see you.
fighting_mad: (any - asleep)
Isplourrdacartha is cold.

That's the first thought in her mind.

The second is 'sunlight,' and the third (unrelated to points one or two) is '...ow.'

But it isn't like the movies; she doesn't forget where she is and what has happened until she rolls over and finds herself face-to-face with the man of her dreams. She remembers from the first second that she is awake, and it brings a smile to her face despite thoughts one through three.

She slowly opens her eyes.

She is curled on her side in Rial's enormous bed. The curtains are open and the late afternoon sun streams in; the blankets are down somewhere around her feet and she wears only her bra and the first pair of shorts she'd been able to find, which, judging by the fact that they're falling off of her, don't actually belong to her.

Her eyes flick up at a quiet breath.

She is curled against Rial, her forehead inches from his bare chest. His hair has flopped into his face and he breathes slow, deep and even. He looks his age like this; young and carefree. She wants to reach out and brush his hair back, but she doesn't want to wake him, and she settles for smiling like the sun because she is in Rial's bed and they damn well consumated their marriage this morning.

And Force but it was good.

Slowly, carefully she stretches down to pick up the blankets--and she winces mightily as she does so, because that is painful, but a good sort of pain, a satisfied one--and pull them up over the two of them.
fighting_mad: (medium - smile)
Isplourrdacartha steps through the door first, wearing the less formal gown that she had changed into for the reception. Her arms are toned and a simple necklace with a purple stone hangs in the hollow of her tanned throat. Her shining red hair has been wound into a crown about her head, and she has a gorgeous purple flower tucked into it.

She looks around the spartan royal apartments as she steps farther in, seeing her new home for the first time since she'd married their current occupant, who is only a step or two behind her. The windows are open to the warm night air, and the sound of the nightbugs chirping several stories below can be heard.

She's smiling.
fighting_mad: (any - young)
The Countess Isplourrdacartha moves quickly down the corridor, an aide at either side of her, and two guards following and two moving ahead. For once, she is not dressed immaculately, her clothes rumpled and large chunks of her bangs falling out of her braid and into her eyes. Her hands have been bound up. Her face is drawn and exhausted, expression tight and pinched, and she is speaking quietly, giving rapidfire instructions to the aides.

One meeting to the next, one secure location to the next -- that is what life has been like, the past two days.
fighting_mad: (long - white)
Plourr takes a seat (slowly, bracing her hands on her knees) on the chest in the little room, taking a look around at their handiwork.

The room is light, cheerful, and airy in greens and yellows, the window open to the humid, sunny air of Eiattu VI, birds singing in the distance. There's a closet, a chest of drawers, a changing station, a chair, and a number of smaller items tucked here and there. A quietly proud someone (read: Plourr) has hung several cheery abstract paintings, along with a portrait. The six people in it share certain characteristics; Plourr and Rial stand together, and so do the other two pairs. One duo is elderly, with the white-haired and white-mustached, dignified man leaning on a cane, and his aristocratic wife standing beside him. The other pair are in early middle age, the man tall and broad-shouldered and handsome with brown hair and a broad smile, and the woman graceful and slight, her red hair wound up into a loose knot and her smirk mischievous.

(Plourr had looked at it for a long, long time, when Rial had first showed it to her.

"I -- thought it might be appropriate. The Pernons and the Estillos, yeah?"

"It's perfect."

"What?"

"It's perfect, Rial. It looks just like they did."
)

Plourr glances at the portrait, then away.
fighting_mad: (p - pretty)
Plourr may be on vacation -- (vacation; the word is still a foreign one, but this is the first break she's gotten since well before she left the Rogues, and she isn't about to begrudge herself it) -- but that doesn't mean she won't take any opportunity possible to fly, even if it's in a simulator. When the grand entrance of the country estate opened on Milliways rather than the front gardens, she'd grinned broadly and stepped right through.

Thus, upstairs in the simulator room, a pilot-turned-empress sits in a sim with the seat cranked back and the curtain drawn open, her hair pulled into a loose braid and a once-lovely flower forgotten and drooping behind her right ear. She's tan and her cheeks are awash with color, as is the norm these days, and she wears a loose tunic with the sleeves rolled up, wide-legged trousers, and her favorite battered boots.

Grinning from ear-to-ear, she sends the little image of 'her' X-wing into a tailspin through the space battle.

This is the most relaxed she's been in what feels like years.
fighting_mad: (any - young)
Plourr is sitting curled up in the windowseat, covered in file folders and disorganized sheets of flimsi. The rain patters down the outside of the window next to her shoulder, but her attention -- and the muttered, ugly Huttese cursing -- is on the folders.

She is going to finish this soon.

Maybe if she repeats it enough, she'll start to believe it.
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