fighting_mad: (medium - two-faced)
War, Plourr decided, was worse when you weren't doing any of the fighting yourself.

Every day, she received a briefing on 'the situation,' and every day, it was worse.

Nental was bad enough; she and Rial spent days there after the fighting ended, appearing, meeting with city leaders, rebuilding. Plourr spent a morning sifting through the rubble alongside volunteers. Her aides scheduled it as a public relations stop but she felt better than she had for days during those couple of hours spent hefting rocks, sorting debris, carrying wounded. She'd always felt better when there was something to do with her hands. But there was too much to be accomplished globally; she couldn't stay and focus on one city.

The royal couple made more than one stop like that as time went by.

The Priamsta kept attacking and the guard kept fighting back, and intelligence kept failing to infiltrate, to follow to map to do anything useful. The nobles shouldn't have been able to vanish like ghosts, but they did. The people stuck by the crown, which surprised her until Rial pointed out that they were sticking by her. They trusted her, for whatever Sithforsaken reason, and they were sure she'd find a way out of it all. She built up the guard, inspected the Royal Navy, beefed up defenses wherever she thought they could be improved. Kriff, she even called on the New Republic, though she got the exact response she'd suspected she would: apologies, Princess, but the New Republic simply cannot interfere in internal crises. The woman she spoke to said 'internal crisis,' but Plourr knew what she really meant: civil war.

The one thing she'd never expected to feel if she returned to take the throne was helpless.
fighting_mad: (medium - regret)
Plourr had been vocally against the official goodbye, informing the cabinet that she didn't want a committee at the spaceport to see her off, no matter how small. She's a strong-willed princess, but she lost this one. Mostly because of the lack of state reception when she had arrived.

And so there are a princess and a count quietly walking the corridor, Plourr in a flightsuit with her helmet tucked under her arm, Rial with Plourr's duffel bag thrown over his shoulder. Two uniformed guards move with them, one several meters ahead and one trailing behind. As they reach the end of the hall, Plourr waves the two women on, gesturing to the door leading to the garages. "Go ahead," she says. They do.

She looks to Rial, tightening her grip on the helmet. "This is probably the last chance we'll have to talk without fourteen courtiers and your father pretending they're not listening."
fighting_mad: (medium - eyeing)
When the X-wing sets down in Eiattu's capital's spaceport this time, it's alone. There's no fanfare; just the lone snubfighter tearing into the atmosphere, slowing at the last moment and settling down softly on repulsorlifts and landing gear. The seal on the canopy pops and the canopy itself lifts, and the pilot takes a deep breath and starts running an efficient post-flight checklist.

It's not long after that there's a princess stepping down from the fighter, onto the ferrocrete. The changes are subtle; the snubfighter has more kill markings, more dings and scraped paint. The princess has longer hair that she's running a hand through, a walk that might just be a touch more graceful. Of course, she's wearing the traditional orange flightsuit and combat boots and carrying a duffle bag over her shoulder, so there's not too much grace.
fighting_mad: (flygirl)
After deciding, it's only a few hours before Plourr finds herself striding across the hot duracrete, duffel bag slung over her shoulder and helmet tucked under her arm. The flightsuit is baggy and the same old eye-searing shade of orange, the white flak jacket stifling in the heat, her boots heavy, straps dangling and threatening to tangle her legs-- and she feels more comfortable than she has in a long time. She moves quickly, easily through the bustle, ducking Headhunter wings and fast-moving techs and pilots.

Once across the capital's tiny spacesport's airstrip, she shoves open the hatch on the lone X-wing, still painted with row upon row of fighter silhouettes and the Rogue red stripes, and she stuffs the duffel bag into the small storage compartment. Up above, settled into its place behind the canopy, her R2 unit tweets at her, its top spinning every which way, and Plourr has to smile for a second as she slams the compartment shut. "Yeah, Vapebait, we're going to fly." Vapebait squeals.

She has a sharp, one-sided conversation with a tech who's fueling the X-wing, and then she's gone, ducking under the nose of the snubfighter to shout for the pilots to gather up. She notes rather disapprovingly that it's not 30 seconds before the group of men and women in blue jumpsuits are standing in front of her; they're overeager, nervous. Very, very green.

"Alright. You've all got the coordinates for the jump, right?" Twelve heads nodding. "Recheck them, make sure you ordered them into your navcomputers right. Once we're out there, I don't anticipate too much trouble, but if we do run into any, you stay in your wingpairs, you watch out for each other, and above all--" She glares at them. "You don't do anything stupid. Got that?" She receives more nods and quiet assents. "Force be with you. We fly in a few," she says curtly, and she turns on her heel and walks away, helmet dangling from her hand.

Plourr hears them talking once again behind her; wishing each other luck, saying their goodbyes to techs and a family member or two who were allowed on the airstrip. She looks around as she makes her way back to her X-wing, awkwardly carrying the helmet and trying to roll her flightsuit sleeves up to her elbows around it.
fighting_mad: (short - butchy mcfab)
Diplomatic receptions are highly necessary, especially for Eiattu. The planet spent years under the yoke of Imperial control, and now its neighbors are cautiously testing the mettle of its new princess and her husband. Plourr knows this.

Of course, the necessity doesn't stop them from being unbelievably dull.

You'd think an event that lasted this far into the night would at least be interesting. Sadly, however, it was not, and Plourr is now sitting in a (to be specific, Rial's) ground-floor private office, still in full royal regalia with her shoes kicked off. She has her bare feet up on the desk and a much-needed bottle of lum in hand.
fighting_mad: (special - wedding closeup)
The city is bustling, buzzing with excitement and happy voices and visitors. The palace is even more busy, stuffed to bursting with distinguished visitors and distant relatives and staff scurrying about. The Great Hall is bright with flags and ribbon streamers and rows upon rows of seats.

You would think it might be difficult to miss a six-foot-tall princess in a wedding dress in all that, but Plourr has managed to escape the maids, the bodyguards, the well-wishers, the soon-to-be mother-in-law. She is sitting in a little-used back stairway. It leads down to a small kitchen that is gathering dust now that the kitchens are staffed by 'droids; it's one of her favorite hiding places.

Of course, she isn't doing a very good job of hiding right now; the wedding dress sees to that. The bride herself has one muscled, bare shoulder pressed against the wall, a single pale yellow flower tucked behind her ear. Plourr had lost on the dress, but won on the no-veil; auburn hair is cropped close to her head, as always. She has been poufed, primped, perfumed, and made up to the nines, and now all there is to do now is wait.

A full, small silver flask dangles from her fingers (with polished fingernails). She waits.

Plourr hates waiting.
fighting_mad: (stubble - smile)
Plourr hums quietly under her breath, pulling the bit out of her thak's mouth and the bridle from her face, rubbing her forelock. The thak noses her princess with her big head, and Plourr smiles and pulls the pieces of bluefruit she's been saving since breakfast from her jumpsuit pocket and feeds them to her. The stableboys could handle grooming for her, but she'd rather do it herself. Besides, the stable is nice; it's quiet and smells like hay and thak-feed, and the stablehands leave her alone when she comes in to take early-morning rides.

As Koer happily eats, Plourr starts the process of unsaddling her.
fighting_mad: (facepalm)
It's all a game among the elite of Eiattu nobility, Plourr thinks sometimes. See who can be more viciously polite.

"Isplourr, this shade would look lovely next to your skin."

"No," Plourr says icily, glaring at the baby pink swatch being held up, then at the soon-to-be mother-in-law doing the holding. "It would not. And it's Isplourrdacartha."

If it really is a game, Plourr is winning at the vicious, but losing at the polite.

"Come now, Princess, don't be surly," says the Grand Duchess Synna Pernon, sitting elegantly in a chair by the door. "This is your wedding gown, after all."

She bites back a harsher response and says calmly, "I had entirely forgotten; thank you for the reminder, Duchess."

One of the two dress-makers diplomatically interrupts. "What about this, Princess?" she asks, holding up a bolt of shiny fabric.

Plourr just looks at the brilliant white for a moment, then shakes her head. "Nothing that" retina-burning, virginal "white."

"What if it were trimmed with this?"

Plourr doesn't want to look at whatever the Duchess is holding up, but she glances over and holds back the face that she wants to make at the sight of the filmy, delicate lace. This is progress. "No, thank you, Duchess."

"Well, really, Isplourr, you are being exceedingly difficult. What do you want?"


The other three women go silent, staring at her.

No? No. Okay. "Something slinky."

More silence.

"Something that isn't so big that it looks like it's going to eat me," she says, and it's almost a hopeful question.

One of the dress-makers turns away and coughs to try to disguise a laugh, but there is no other response.

"This is my wedding," Plourr says, slightly incredulous and beginning to feel a pounding at her temple. "I don't get any say?"

The Grand Duchess looks at her a moment, then says disdainfully, "Apparently not."
fighting_mad: (stubble - combat baby)
It's the middle of summer on Eiattu, but it has been one of the rainiest months in the planet's history. The cavernous royal chambers are damp and drafty, and there is a decidedly grumpy princess sitting at a desk in the inner living area (the smaller, less formal one). She is surrounded by beautiful things; rich tapestries, a few paintings, sleek furniture with smooth lines, everything in warm shades of gold and cream and yellow. The glowlamps are turned down low, besides the one burning brightly on the desk, and she is adrift in a studious sea of datapads and flimsi scraps, bare feet planted firmly on the floor.

Of course, it would be a much more elegant scene if the aforementioned princess wasn't wrapped up in a huge comforter, her head in her hand. And if she weren't sneezing, blowing her nose, swearing, and occasionally flinging styluses in abject misery.
fighting_mad: (medium - hell hath no fury)
Princess Isplourrdacartha Estillo is in a Mood.

She has been pressed into wearing a dress. This is bad enough in and of itself, but the green gown has a train that she keeps nearly tripping on, and also involved are: makeup, earrings, high-heeled shoes, and some sort of weird styling substance in her short hair. She looks beautiful; she feels a fool.

Train gathered up in one hand, she stalks through the palace, two members of her Guard following at a safe distance. She hardly notices the startled palace staff and assorted courtiers that she passes as she makes her way down several levels, toward the Great Hall. She was already annoyed enough to have to take time out of a very busy schedule for a formal supper with assorted nobles and high muckety-mucks, and this evening seems to be intent on raising her blood pressure by the second.

She veers from her path; throws open a set of old-fashioned wooden doors and steps out onto the small balcony, into the heavy Eiattu night air. She whirls back and barks, "Come out here and I'll vape you!" at her bodyguards.

She doesn't have a blaster--can't fit even a holdout anywhere under this kriffing clingy thing-- but they don't know that. The man and woman glance at each other, then hurriedly close the balcony doors to wait in the corridor inside.

Plourr leans on the railing, looking at the bright lights of Eiattu's bustling capital city through the low-hanging leaves of a courant tree, and she grits her teeth.
fighting_mad: (bald - white)
Plourr likes this small section of the palace roof. It's quiet, for one thing, and it's flat which means that walking on it isn't too dangerous, but most importantly, she's never seen another soul up here. Solitude's getting hard to come by.

She slips off her shoes and makes her way past the glass of one of the Grand Hall's skylights, bare feet contrasting sharply with the formality of her clothes. She sets the shoes down and sits at the edge of the roof, letting her feet swing out into space. The courtyard is far, far below, but Plourr is a pilot; heights have never bothered her. She watches the capital city spread out before her. Her city. It's looking better; after nearly a month of work, it's becoming difficult to see signs of the fighting that had taken place. Most buildings have been rebuilt, the streets cleaned up, debris removed.

Still, Eiattu is not entirely healed. Plourr knows that.

She sits quietly, leaning back on her hands, and watches the sun set over the city and the jungle beyond.
fighting_mad: (flygirl)
Flashing through the explosion cloud that was once a TIE fighter, Plourr feels like she's doing the right thing for the first time since she came home. Furious, too; she has always been a top-notch pilot, wouldn't be in Rogue Squadron if she weren't, but she has never flown like this before.

One TIE, two TIE's down, and she barely even hears the other three voices over the comm because she's watching the tiny figures running on the ground. She can't tell who is a member of the People's Liberation Battalion and who is royal security and who is a civilian - but the white of stormtrooper armor is easy to spot even from the air. The PLB solders and security personnel and civilians-- they're all her people. And she'll she damned if she'll let the Empire hurt her people anymore.

There's a turbolaser in the side of a tall building; it's doing significant damage.

Not again.

She hits the lasers.

"Never again."

The TIE spirals down out of control, slamming into the turbolaser and blowing a huge hole in the side of the building with its explosion. More congratulations over the comm and she really doesn't hear them this time, because there is a familiar figure leading the PLB soldiers into the building. The man who says his name is Harrandatha.

"I'm going in," she says, spinning the X-wing back.

[Dialogue from Lucasfilm's and Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: The Warrior Princess.]

[OOM] War

Jun. 18th, 2006 09:42 pm
fighting_mad: (grin)
Thaks are ugly creatures by anyone's aesthetic standards, big and scaly with long necks, four webbed feet, long tails, and sharp teeth. They smell and are grumpy and tend to have tempers.

Plourr loves them.

The wind flies in her face and clouds scud across the blueblue sky overhead, and she grins fiercely, staying in the saddle as her thak leaps a fallen log. She gives a wild shout of delight, finally reining the creature in to give Rial the chance to catch up.

She is surprised to look back and see him just behind. "You ride well, my count! Not many can keep up with me when I get going!" she calls.

[All dialogue from Lucasfilm's and Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: The Warrior Princess.]
fighting_mad: (any - asleep)
It was the middle of the night when Plourr woke suddenly. This was not her bunk it was too big where was her blas--


She sat up in the darkness, leaning her head back against the wall. She had been on Eiattu a week now; you'd think she could kriffing remember that. She opened her eyes and methodically untangled herself from the sheets and rolled out of the huge bed. She crossed the stone cold floor, but paused in the doorway and then ducked into the wardrobe, emerging with a short robe. It was hot pink and shimmery, unfortunately, but it would do for getting her down to the palace kitchens and back without causing any coronaries along the way. She pulled it on and belted it at the waist, immediately discovering that, just like most of her title-appropriate clothing, it was too small. Apparently, whoever had stocked the closets had assumed that the heir to the throne was of the same stock that her mothers and sisters had been – namely, delicate.

The reality of a six foot tall princess who could take out a zoneball team had left more than a few courtiers and servants in the palace scrambling.

Rolling the robe’s too-short sleeves up to her elbows, she went out into the dark corridor, fingers curled around the hold-out blaster in her pocket.

Dialogue in italics from Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: The Warrior Princess.
fighting_mad: (bald - lethargy)
Juke left, juke right, juke left, juke right; lure your opponent into a false sense of security, make him think he knows exactly what you're going to do.

Lasers flash by on the screen.

One last juke to the right, and there's the light-up of a targeting lock; she yanks the stick back and to the left, throwing the sim fighter into a tight roll that should press her back against the seat with its force. Of course, this machine isn't nearly complex enough for that.

She's got to find some way to throw the Priamsta off guard like that. To catch the rebels--the ones who say they're lead by Harran but they're not they can't be--off guard and--

The flash of an explosion and the screen goes dark.

"Sithspit!" Plourr slams an open palm against the overhead frame of the simulator, then lets her hand rest there, hooked on the frame.

She runs her other hand over her head in an unconscious motion; auburn stubble still foreign to the touch, too rough and scratchy. Hell, her whole body feels foreign; her tunic is smooth and skintight, eggshell-colored with deep purple, allowing every cord of muscle to show. She's not used to anything so fine, and she's definitely not used to the matching skirt, to seeing her legs bare in anything but athletic shorts. High heels. She'd drawn whistles from the Rogues that afternoon; joking whistles, yes, and ones that had earned several of them glares and thwappings, but she had caught admiring looks from not a few men at court, too. From the nobles at dinner.


"The tyranny of the nobles is at an end, Laabann. I will see to that. If you wish a place in the future of Eiattu, either stand with the throne-- or fall."

The crash of a breaking wineglass.

"The choice is yours."

Plourr hits the top of the simulator again.
fighting_mad: (bald - startled)
Plourr had never been overly concerned with cleanliness, but standing at the head of a receiving line, after an hour of greeting well-wishers and courtiers, she desperately wanted to wash her hand. Still, at least the Rogues were suffering alongside her.

One of them—Plourr didn't know which; she was too busy smiling at a plump woman and half-listening to her to notice—asked, “So tell me, which life do you prefer, princess or pilot?”

“Difficult question. I was born one, but made myself into the other.” Her voice grew quieter; the plump woman moved on. “I’ve spent so much of my life fighting, I can hardly remember what this life is like.”

Another hand took hers. This one was big, even bigger than her own, and callused and gentle. “It would be too much to hope you remember me, Isplourrdacartha,” said its owner.

She looked up at him, smile at the ready. Tall, broad-shouldered, long brown hair, mustache, dressed in the royal purple and gold of the Priamsta; looked like he’d be a formidable foe. Except that it was difficult to be intimidated by him when he was smiling so strongly at her.

“Why no, I’m afraid I don’t. You are?” she asked.

“Count Rial Pernon.”

Her eyes went wide. “Rial…”

Oh shavit.

“Ah, yes, I do recall…” She withdrew her hand quickly. “If you will excuse me.”

The big man nodded. Plourr fled before she could see his smile crumble.

Behind her, as she crossed the room, there were voices.

“She is beautiful, is she not? Even more beautiful than I remember.”

Introductions, Wedge’s and Pernon’s voices fading as she got farther away.

“I am her second cousin. We grew up together. I do admit, I am a little disappointed in her reaction.

You would think she would be happier to see her future husband.”

[All dialogue from Star Wars: X-Wing: The Warrior Princess, ©Dark Horse Comics & Lucasfilm.]
fighting_mad: (bald - angry)
They weren't expecting her to come down the nobles' staircase.

Plourr spotted several familiar figures in the crowd; white dress uniform jackets with red sashes were difficult to miss. She caught the tail end of Wedge and Tycho’s conversation as she descended.

“—oes someone raised surrounded by such opulence become such a fierce pilot? You’d think she’d be just another spoiled—”

“You obviously haven’t been listening to your squadron leader’s combat tales, Tycho.” Her voice rang out loud and amused. Every face in the hall turned to her. The music played by the quartet in a corner cut off abruptly. She ignored them all, trailing one big hand down the banister. She did, however, allow herself a small, triumphant smile as she saw the flurry of motion at the foot of the staircase that she should have descended. Her flat shoe set down noiselessly on the Great Hall’s marble floor. “If you had, you’d know that princesses have fought for the Alliance long before either one of us.”

“Wow, Plourr… You look tremendous!”

She rolled her eyes at Tycho, making her way over to them. “Thanks, but don’t let this outfit fool you.” She smirked. “I could still vape you out of the air with my eyes closed.”

They were talking, then, exchanging pleasantries, and she wasn’t listening to a word they said, or to what she herself was saying. Instead, she watched the ‘droids and the palace flunkies across the way. They were scuttling across the floor, toward her new position.

Plourr looked back to Wedge and Tycho. “But let’s not forget why we’re here,” she said. “This is a beautiful world, gentlemen—” Her voice started out low, but it rose fast and grew grim and she was absolutely sure. “And I will not allow the Empire’s presence to infect it any longer.”

A man waved to her, rather frantically, and she left the two pilots behind—hearing them talk quietly behind her—to join the courtier and a protocol ‘droid at the foot of the stairs.

“Presenting the Princess Isplourrdacartha, empress apparent-heir to the royal house.”

Her heart pounded.

“Long may she reign,” announced the ‘droid in its fussy voice, amplified over the hushed sounds of the crowd.

Long may she reign!” the crowd roared.

A sea of smiles and raised fists, ceremonial swords, and glasses. They looked hopeful. Her people looked happy.

Plourr couldn't let them down.

[All dialogue from Star Wars: X-Wing: The Warrior Princess, ©Dark Horse Comics & Lucasfilm.]
fighting_mad: (bald - inexpressive)
Plourr stood in the shadows, looking out over the Great Hall below. The crown of the building soared high above her head—you could fit at least two squadrons of X-wings in here, maybe two and a half, she noted—with more walkways and balconies winding nearly to the ceiling. There were no sharp lines to be found in all of the Hall; just rounded edges and graceful curves and she would feel so much better if only one or two things were delineated. The royal seal of Eiattu took up half the floor, coiling and twisting into the familiar red pattern that caused a sour pang in the back of her throat.

Two staircases curved to the floor from this level; fairly innocuous, as far as Eiattu architecture went. The royal steps began on a walkway three above her; those stairs were ceremonial and pure white and beautiful— and Plourr couldn’t stand them.

She breathed quietly in the darkness, listening to her jewelry softly tink.

Pillars and columns stood tall and graceful, grand arched doorways dotted the Hall, and the windows at the ceiling showed a lovely view of the orange Eiattu sky, and none of that was what was bothering her.

There were people everywhere. Young, old, somewhere in between, ageless; the ground floor was a veritable sea of feathers and headdresses and gowns in every color of the spectrum; dress robes and long hair and turbans and impractical shoes walking all over her family’s coat of arms. They were human, for the most part, and they were rich. These were the crème de la crème of the palace elite. They were the nobles; the Priamsta and their wives and their mistresses. They were the few royal-related families who were allowed to escape the genocide.

And they were all waiting for her. For the princess.

Plourr took a deep breath, set her shoulders, raised her chin, and stepped out of the shadows.
fighting_mad: (bald - eyes dark)
It doesn’t feel weird when the girl slides it on the back of her head. For years, she’d worn the empty earpieces, and for years she’d worn braids where the veil should hang. It was a silent reminder of the responsibility that waited for her.

She thinks this should feel more different than it does.

Plourr stares at herself in the mirror. The maid rises on her tiptoes to peer over Plourr’s shoulder. “Oh, Princess,” the girl breathes, and Plourr is too startled to tell her not to call her that.

“You look beautiful,” murmurs the little maid, adjusting the veil.

Plourr is never long at a loss for words. “Shut up,” she growls, but her heart isn’t in it. She catches a glimpse of wide, hurt blue eyes in the mirror before the servant ducks away, and she grumbles a quick Huttese obscenity under her breath. “Malia?”

The girl pauses in the high, arched doorway of the chamber, her hands full of bright orange fabric. “Princess?”

She forces her voice softer. “Tell them I’ll be down in a few moments.”

A quick flash of a smile and a curtsey, and then Plourr is left alone with the unfamiliar woman in the mirror.

She doesn’t want to look.

Instead, she walks around the room, picking up the few personal items that she is left with. A blaster here, her helmet there; the bustling crowd of servant women left her with few of her own things after ushering her into the high-ceilinged bedchamber, styled in gold and cream and yellow.

Plourr pauses by the massive bed, brushing a yellow bedcurtain away and resting a hand on the smooth wood post. This room had been for guests, back when she had lived in the palace. She feels like a guest still.

Run, her father had told her. Run, and don’t look back. And, for the most part, she hadn’t.

Now, though, now? Plourr sets the helmet and the blaster down on the bed and stalks over to the mirror, listening to the swish of her train on the marble.

Now she has to look.

The gauzy pants are wide and of a style unique to Eiattu, gathering at the ankle. Her tunic is of the same fabric and allows bare, muscled arms to swing, wrapped tight at the waist in royal deep purple. A heavy red pendant weighs down her throat and bracelets jangle at her wrists; between the jewelry and the train trailing from her shoulders, she can’t move silently anymore. Her eyes are lined with dark kohl, and stare at her out of a face with high cheekbones and a jaw that doesn’t look nearly as masculine now that she has had makeup pressed on her.

She doesn’t recognize herself.

But maybe that’s good. If she doesn’t recognize Plourr Ilo in the mirror, maybe that means she’s Isplourrdacartha Estillo.

Hell, she doesn’t know. She just smooths excess fabric over her arm and then moves away from the mirror.

[OOM] Home

May. 29th, 2006 07:22 pm
fighting_mad: (any - don't mess)
The spaceport is bigger than Plourr expected (though not by much), and the jungle beyond is smaller, less tangled. But it’s still orange and purple and pink and smothering green, even if it is no longer as wild as she remembers.

The party of nobles and courtiers approaches tentatively across the landing strip, robes and hair whipped about by the hot wind, but she stands tall as Rogue Squadron sets down all around her.

No more running.
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