"All ready to go, Tiger?" Marina turned from her packing to her grandfather's voice. He had personally overlooked the preventive maintenance on the Mariner IV, at the family home estate hangar.
House DeVoe was located on Mt Cetril in Northern Alderaan which overlooked the pass to the Aeiden Mountains. The family home had been first erected as an outpost following the completion of terra forming a new Alderaan, over 450 years ago.
"I've got to admit, I'm both anxious and reserved on this venture, grandpa." Marina zipped up her pack and met him at her door.
"Don't fret over the details. She's just a girl like you, Tiger....only meaner." Her grandfather joked.
"No... it'll be alright. Think of this officer like one of ours, like captain Dezi. You've become fellow die-hard skiers, no...friends, as I recall."
"Yea, but she's Alderaanean...this one's-..." She caught herself. She knew better.
"I mean, she isn't going to understand... or like the idea of pairing with a pasifist as they seem to call us." Marina followed her grandfather out of the family living quarters.
"Your father don't understand either..still he's still proud of what you stand for." He reminded her.
"Has dad said anything about this to you?" She asked.
"Only that he's proud.Confided in me that it was about time." He chuckled.
"Didn't have the heart to tell him the Queen is on your side on this." He were meaning that her father, Duke Kyle DeVoe, who had taken up a military standpoint was under the impression his daughter had dropped her pacifist thinking and joined the Explorer Corp to help with the coalition’s fight for free worlds.
But on the contrary, the meeting with the Queen revealed that Marina was someone she wanted inside the Corps to keep Alderaan’s core values intact. The Queen herself was a traditionalist, like Marina but she had a duty to support and lead the Great Houses in their quest to defend Alderaan and support the Free World Coalition. And that meant fortifying and strengthening their military.
Marina on the other hand was a true Alderaanean pacifist, believing that peace could be gotten without bloodshed. For Marina to condone bloodshed, it meant that her ancestors and millions of Alderaaneans that had perished that day under Palpatine’s reign had all died in vain.For her ancestral spirit burned within her to keep to the core values of peace without bloodshed.
“So you haven’t told him that I’m under the Queen’s internship to watch over that our core values don’t diminish to the military?” She spoke as he accompanied her to the family hangars.
“I’m his father…I don’t have to tell him anything.” They arrived to the Mariner IV’s hangar. It were enclosed for there was snow falling outside.
Marina hugged her grandfather and went up the ramp. There the ship’s RU droid greeted her.
“I trust you have the systems up and running for me, TK?”
Sure he had, and the ship was as ready as it could be for the small flight to Alderaa. There she were to pick up a coalition officer, as it had been arranged by her Queen, and spearhead a joint military/civilian expedition to the Uncharted Sectors of the Galaxy...
The Mariner moved out of the hangar and with clearance from her on-board proximity sensors the snowy skies were open for her to take off.The windows were equipped with anti fog/icing, but there was still zero visibility. Marina flew the Mariner IV along the ridge-line of the Aeiden mountains on instruments, until she cleared the storm. Then it were just a mach-3 flight to Alderaa. The Mariner IV skimmed the lower atmosphere at a low altitude of 100,000 feet. After all, it were just an intercontinental 20 minute flight to Alderaa, no need to break atmosphere to just then descent.
As her instruments indicated she were approaching Alderaa, Marina suddenly realized that although she knew of the Coalition officer’s name, she had not asked of her rank.
“Oh great, Marina… lets go in with foot in mouth...” she uttered to herself.
This little detail had slipped Marina to ask the Queen. It was very unlike her, being a Duke’s daughter to not know proper ranks of persons whom she were to associate with. Well, that applied to proper daughters of the court…Marina’s father often argued his daughter’s disposition on his doctrines. But her grandfather thought different nowadays. He too was a traditionalist at heart but before he stepped aside for his son to take Head of House, he too took up arms for it were his duty to do so for New Alderaan, despite his own traditional beliefs that blood must never be spilled in pursuit of peace. For blood spilled for peace, would stain it’s essence.
“Mariner IV approaching Alderaa space port, over…” She opened up the comm to the control authority.
They had been tracking her and knew her destination, welcoming her to the port.
“Thank you control…making my approach to landing port 7....” She confirmed her arranged destination.
The Mariner had decreased her supersonic speed at 100,000 feet so as not to come down on Alderaa with a sonic boom. Rather, she pretty much performed a smooth one point landing.
With a hiss, the ship’s ramp extended down and Marina got up out of her chair. TK-1213 her ship’s droid which reactivated every time the ship landed, came up the corridor to meet marina as she left the cockpit.
“Keep the engines running, TK…” She said, passing the droid on her way to exit the ship.