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Star Wars: The Fringe Worlds (Closed)

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Cheye
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Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Star Wars: The Fringe Worlds (Closed)

Postby Cheye » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:16 pm

STAR WARS
The Fringe Worlds

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...


Image
'One thousand years of peace!’


These are the words that Supreme Chancellor Finnis Valorum cannot wait to declare.

Indeed, the galaxy has never known such a peaceful and prosperous age. However there are some who would say this time has been too prosperous. Wealth flows dramatically from the outer rim in towards the core, towards the elite on worlds like Coruscant, Fondor, Corelia and Hosnian Prime as yet more systems on the edge of the galaxy flock to join the increasingly bloated Republic.

On top of this, Corporations hold more power than ever before, competing to take advantage of this tide of credits. Some of them, like the Trade Federation, have grown so bold as to manufacture their own military forces, in order to guarantee their stranglehold on the galaxy’s financial arteries can never fade.

In response, the Galactic Senate of the Republic has passed Proposition 31-814D, a measure designed to increase taxes on these burgeoning corporate powers by taxing the free trade zones in which these entities have arisen. It is a dispute yes, but one that does not look likely to upset the long period of peace the galaxy has grown accustomed to.

On the outer fringe of the mid-rim, many worlds have attempted to thrive despite this ongoing struggle. Their wealth pours away, either off towards the core or into the hands of the corporate powers. Yet for a few there is opportunity to be found there, there are worlds with resources to sell and bright optimistic populations ready to join their Supreme Chancellor in celebrating a thousand years of peace.

Nestled between the Bortele and Suolriep Sectors, on the very boundary between the mid and outer rims, sits the Aasimyr Fringe, a small region of clustered star systems basking in the ethereal glow of a nearby nebula. The systems of the Fringe; Vardania, Rothstantooine, Ullinor and Teraxi are all members of the Republic, and find themselves caught, like many worlds, between the competing interests of the core worlds and those of the looming corporate giants.

As those competing interests begin to grow into something uglier, the citizens on these planets go about their daily lives. Whether it’s gas mining on Vardania’s Tempest Hub or overseeing the mundane droid-run farms on Ullinor, grinding away in the factories of Rothstan-Gamma or scavenging the wastes of Teraxi Prime. Life goes on. And as the calendar creeps forward, ever-closer towards that thousand year anniversary, Valorum’s Thousand Years of Peace, few have either the time or the inclination to wonder...

How much longer can it last?...

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This is a Star Wars RP for the nations of Latica, the non-canon (player invented) factions in which have been agreed collaboratively. It is currently closed but may open more widely in the future so feel free to TG if interested in taking part. This thread will not be used for OOC posts of any kind. If you wish to discuss any element of this RP, please reach out via TG.

As an aside this RP may contain some themes in keeping with the Star Wars universe including very mild sexual references and violence. Please go away if such themes might offend you.


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This RP will be following the canon Star Wars timeline, the below mural shows which episodic era it is currently in:

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Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace - 32BBY
A Time of Tension

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


At present all player created factions are resident within the non-canon (player invented) sector of the Assimyr Fringe, at present they include:

- The Vardanian Lunar Assembly - Cheye
- The Teraxi Conglomerate - Sarrin/Czenikov
- The Rothstantooine System Congress - Greater Latica
- The Ullinor Governing Council - Pageon

A map of the Galaxy including the Assimyr Fringe:

Image
Last edited by Cheye on Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Sarrin
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Founded: Dec 21, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Sarrin » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:20 pm

Teraxi Prime Orbital Station - 32BBY

No one could identify the blood stain, it was just one among the many that Teraxi knew better than to question. The blaster bolt aside it told some of the story, the large board outlining the ‘key laws’ gave another part. The clean picked bones that had been discretely swept into the corner seemed to give a final conclusion. For a species known across the galaxy as war profiteers and cutthroats there was a strange irony in the Teraxi treatment of smugglers, to treat those who work through galactic loopholes as criminals when their own economy was under constant threat of copyright lawsuits that seemed to have as little effect as the bloodstains on the station wall.

There were few foreigners in the station, with those unfortunate representatives and merchants tending to stay in the colourful Hutt-ran cantina from which they could get easy travel to shuttles to and from Teraxi II whose pleasure palaces allowed one to pretend they were doing business with a more respectable people.

For the two Jedi, this meant there was little hope of blending in.

Humans were uncommon, but a Selkath was unheard of, and Yesha was under no uncertainty that the glances he was receiving were kept civil only by the pretence of civilisation expected of a republic member.

His Master, a tall elderly man whose athletic build was beginning to show its age beneath the slightly armoured robes he kept on at all times. Their task had been typical of the Republic but even then seemed off, as if part of a larger problem that no one was willing to speak of publically. As the pair looked silently at the bloodstain, Yesha finally spoke, ending the quiet that had seemed to briefly relax around them.

“So the Republic don’t want to be involved because it’s between Hutts. The Hutts don’t want to be involved because it’s in Republic space.”

“Ask the question...” Master Theradathis said stoically his voice speaking with a gentle harmony completely in discord with the world around them.

“Why send us to do their dirty work when we’re as much a part of the republic as the corrupt senators?” Yesha asked a reserved irritation lying bare behind his tone.

“Emotion, yet peace. My padawan, your irritation will get the better of you.”

Yesha exhaled briefly closing his eyes as he attempted to release his annoyance into the chaos of the station around them. As he reopened his eyes a sense of peace filled him through which he echoed the question: “Why send Jedi?”

The elderly master smiled, turning away from the stain and gesturing towards the hanger down the corridor where Teraxi were attending to a selection of crudely designed starships. “The Jedi have the experience to create a peaceful outcome… We also have enough distance for the Republic to deny responsibility if it all goes wrong.”

“Wouldn’t a Hutt thrive off the chance to kill a Jedi? Add a lightsaber to their trophies?” Yesha asked more driven now by curiosity than anger. Theradathis opened his mouth ready to speak as an automated voice consumed the station.

“Mandatory Sector Announcement Inbound. The Chancellor Will Issue A Statement.”

Across the station holoprojectors stuttered to life revealing a well dressed Teraxi with brightly shaded cyan, seafoam and strawberry facial scales and short bones that accentuated his reptilian features.

“That’s not the Teraxi Chancellor...” Yesha said curiously turning towards the nearest holoprojector beside which several Teraxi mechanics had assembled. Theradathis didn’t reply his eyes scanning the projection for any revealing signs. The ceremonial robes too fine for Teraxi producers and the subtle gold trim on the neck spoke volumes, it was Hutt woven.

“Chancellor Daxil has been killed by pirates on the unsafe hyperlanes of the corrupt republic he so loved.” The voice was raspy but refined coming with an unexpected command from such a slender framed Teraxi. The figure paused as if waiting for the gasps across the system to subside. After a few moments he raised a hand gesturing for silence and on cue the gathered Teraxi obeyed unthinkingly.

“Our allies from Nal Hutta tracked down and destroyed the pirates responsible, alerting us to their plan to send back an imposter to imitate our departed friend and ravage our stockpiles. We have apprehended this imposter who has revealed himself to have been recruited on Coruscant, confirming the ‘agreements’ previously reported were not agreed in our interest.”

As he finished speaking the projection shifted to a beaten Teraxi whose cracked scales oozed green blood making recognition difficult. An attempt to scream revealed a torn tongue and several removed and chipped teeth before a light flashed and the figure collapsed dead onto the ground. The projection hovered on his bleeding corpse for several seconds before returning to the initial speaker.

“To ensure we are not subjected to any further assaults on our sovereignty I will be assuming the role of Chancellor effective immediately. Return to your stations.” As he finished the holo projection stuttered off and the Teraxi as ordered dissipated returning to their various tasks.

“...That wasn’t an imposter...” Yesha said after a long pause processing the information he had seen.

“It was not.” Theradathis responded thinking through the major players he had studied in the archives prior to his departure from Coruscant in an attempt to identify the speaker.

“We just saw a coup.” Yesha thought out loud, the weight of the projection slowly dawning on him as the words left his lips.

“They’ll have eaten him by the time we arrive, likely scrapped his ship as well so there won't be any proof to the contrary.” Master Tethadaris responded automatically giving fuel to his padawan’s thought process.

“Eaten him?” Yesha queried clearly having ignored everything that came after the remark.

“Teraxi have practiced cannibalism for millennia, it’s cultural and in our case highly inconvenient.”

“Do you recognise the new Chancellor?” Yesha asked quite content with knowing less about the Teraxi’s grizzly practices than more.

“Crex Thanex.” his master replied calmly. “The Minister of Hatcheries.”

“We weren’t briefed about him...” Yesha said warily, stroking his cephalic lobes.

Tethadaris chuckled, resting a friendly reassuring hand on his padawan’s shoulder; “We’re outer-rim jedi Yesha, our briefings never include anything useful.”

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Cheye
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Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:26 pm

Republic Executive Office, Senate District, Coruscant - 32BBY

Image


The champagne flowed liberally in the Office of the Supreme Chancellor. As the silvery-blue doors hissed open, glasses clinked, hands clapped and voices cheered as the packed room sought to display their gratitude to the sovereign of the Republic itself.

But the tall, alien frame of the figure who entered did not belong to Chancellor Valorum. Instead the Vice-Chair of the Senate, Mas Amedda strode into the packed room and raised his blue hands for calm.

“Unfortunately there has been a change of plan in the Chancellor’s schedule and today’s celebration marking the successful passage of Proposition 31-814D will no longer take place.”

The room suddenly fell silent.

This was typical Valorum, Representative Ilaria Doria thought, as she glanced about the room; fret indecisively for months on end about the consequences of passing a certain piece of legislation, then agonisingly back a plan, win a few allies from some of the loudest mid and outer rim voices in the senate, only to then spurn them in what should be their moment of triumph.

The dejected looks on the faces of the senators around the room spoke volumes. Valorum had just lost what little goodwill he had built from them.

“Please, clear the room.” Mas Amedda ordered sternly.

There were open grumbles from the politicians as they irritably filed out past the towering Chagrian, many of them taking their champagne with them.

Ilaria glanced at the Vice Chair. It was also classic Valorum to hide behind a lackey such as Amedda instead of delivering the bad news himself. As she watched, the Chagrian seemed to smile. He was enjoying this.

She had heard the rumours about him being on the payroll of the trade federation. They all had, but that smile seemed to confirm it. He was enjoying depriving the senators who had organised and passed Proposition 31-814D, the law that would finally impose taxes on the Federation’s precious free-trade zones, of their victory party. How petty of him, Ilaria thought.

As if sensing her thoughts, the Chagrian turned in her direction and stepped forward. “Senator Raam and any other members of the Aasimyr delegation should remain here.” He said, as stern as always. Though the senate delegation from the Assimyr Fringe was sizeable, including not just representatives from the Vardania System, but also Ullinor and Teraxi Prime, at this event - only Raam and Ilaria were present.

That was because Representative Charon of Ullinor had been recalled following the election of their system's new Prime Councillor, and would likely be replaced. While the Teraxi Representative, Varxis Jax, had been busy with a host of matters on behalf of his alien homeworld.

The room was draining to just a handful of politicians now, though those few left perked their ears and other equivalent hearing organs at that, some glancing in the Vardanians’ direction as they departed.

Senator Denatin Raam had represented Varadania for a few years now. He was unique, as one of the first Democrats from Vardania’s Lunar Assembly to be appointed to the position, which had previously always been held by a member of one of the Assembly’s Great Houses.

Raam was a large and overweight man, with a taste for the finer things in life that might have been acceptable back on Vardania among the so called Great Houses, but here on Coruscant, among the true elite of the Core Worlds, among people who knew that the difference between opulence and arrogance rested on the edge of a coin, Raam was seen as positively gauche.

“What is the meaning of this?” Raam asked curiously, placing his hands on his wide hips.

Amedda ignored him, instead glancing around the near empty room. “Is Representative Jax not present?” The Vice Chair asked.

“Varxis had a prior engagement, as the Teraxi so often do.” Ilaria answered, cutting in.

“That is a pity.” Amedda sighed.

“Why? What business does the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic have with the Teraxi of all people?!” Raam sneered. For a man who hadn't come from one of Vardania’s aristocratic Great Houses, he had perfected that arrogant and belittling sneer well.

“The business of avoiding humiliation.” A soft yet lofty human voice answered from the doorway. It was the voice of Chancellor Valorum. He glanced to the remaining stragglers and quietly added; “If you would please give us the room.”

Ilaria glanced at them, among their number were Senators Yarua of Kashyyyk and Sheev Palpatine of Naboo. The former grunted something in the native Wookiee tongue and bowed his head to the Supreme Chancellor. The latter also nodded politely to the Chancellor before striding from the room.

When the four of them were finally alone, Valorum moved over to his desk and Raam and Ilaria moved to take the seats across from him. Amedda hovered like a Vardanian Gusthawk nearby.

“Have you seen this?...” Valorum asked, pressing a few buttons on the console of his desk. An image appeared. A holographic projection of a Teraxi. Valorum pressed another button and the image flickered to life.

The Vardanians watched in silence as the Teraxi proclaimed himself Chancellor of the Teraxi System, and then again as the real Teraxi Chancellor, the one they had spent the last few months organising and successfully conducting a diplomatic visit to Coruscant for, was executed in front of them.

Valorum let the silence hang in the room as he flicked off the holo recording.

“Chancellor Daxil was a great man…” Raam said, he had been left almost speechless by the violent display. “...A memorial service must be organised here on Coruscant.”

“Of course.” Valorum nodded quietly, “But I want to talk with you about the political consequences of his killing…”

Raam shot Valorum a look of abject mistrust.

“We are all ears, Chancellor.” Ilaria said, matching the Supreme Chancellor’s tactful tone.

“My public appearance with Chancellor Daxil, his speech to the Senate floor our interview for the holonet… it must all be scrubbed from the record.”

“Excuse me, Chancellor?” Ilaria frowned.

“We are all aware that the Teraxi Chancellor who met with us was no imposter.” Valorum sighed; “But the galaxy won’t know what to believe. I cannot risk a scandal with the mood in the senate as it is at the moment.”

Ilaria bit back a laugh. At least the Chancellor had some self-awareness, she thought, even if it was minimal. Poor Daxil though, to be executed so brutally and then to have his crowning political achievement scrubbed from the Republic’s archives… that was tragic.

“I understand… in truth the visit did make some of my constituents uncomfortable back home. Vardania and Teraxi Prime may share a senate delegation, but we also share a troubled history…” Senator Raam nodded, his chins wobbling below his solemn expression. “I thank you for informing us in this way.”

Ilaria nodded in agreement, knowing it was time to put her dislike of Valorum aside and do politics; “I also thank you Chancellor, especially for taking the opportunity to discuss this with us in person. Though I hope that wasn’t the only reason you cancelled the party.”

There was a small barb in her words, though it would be lost on Valorum; “If events on Teraxi Prime were the Republic’s only concern we would live in a better galaxy. No… There is another crisis developing that I must address.” He rubbed his head and sighed tragically before nodding to Amedda.

Amedda keyed his personal comm and barked; “You can send Senator Palpatine back in now.”

Valorum rose from his seat behind the desk and nodded once more to the two Vardanians; “Thank you again for your understanding.”

The two of them rose in unison and nodded back respectfully before Amedda ushered them towards the doors.

Like Valorum’s office, the corridor outside was also decorated with blue and silver, and the two Senate Guards flanking the office doors in their ceremonial gowns almost faded into the walls.

“Senator.” Raam nodded to Palpatine as the thinner man marched towards the Chancellor’s office.

“Senator.” Palpatine nodded in reply as he passed. His expression was one of grave concern, not too dissimilar from Valorum’s.

Everyone knew Naboo’s Senator was an honest politician, much like the world he represented, Palpatine was known to have little time for the deceptive machinations of Republic politics and he was well-liked for it, on top of that he had recently become a champion of the fight against the Trade Federation, which made him even more of a good man in Ilaria’s book.

If there was an ongoing crisis that made Senator Palpatine looked concerned, it had to be a serious one, especially to get him a one-to-one meeting with the Supreme Chancellor. Then and again, these were serious times.

As the doors to the Surpeme Chancellor’s office swooped shut behind Palpatine, Ilaria followed Raam out of the office suite.

As they walked out towards the landing platforms, Raam muttered; “Something bad’s going on…”

“Obviously.” Ilaria replied, though she didn’t mean for it to come out so harshly.

“On Teraxi Prime...” Raam said thoughtfully, muttering almost to himself as he lurched along. “We will need to tell Varxis, if he doesn’t know already… I can only imagine how well that conversation will go down…”

“And Naboo?” Ilaria asked curiously. “If Senator Palpatine is meeting for crisis talk with the Chancellor…”

“Yes. I trained you well, Doria.” He chuckled, it was as much of a compliment as she would ever get from him. “Why don’t you do a bit of digging… If Naboo is really in trouble, we could find a way to make ourselves useful, gain some more influence with Palpatine and his people.”

“Of course… Because leveraging situations for selfish political point scoring should be the first concern of every Republic Senator.” She let out sarcastically. She knew politics was a dirty business, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.

“Exactly!” Raam said firmly, choosing to ignore her sarcasm. “I’ll deal with Varxis, you let me know what you find out.” He said, turning back as he reached the private transport airspeeder that would take him back to the delegation’s apartment complex.

“Sure thing boss.” She said, rolling her eyes and turning away, she knew really that beneath the surface, Denatin Raam wasn’t all that bad.

The transport’s landing ramp hissed as the large Senator ascended it, disappearing inside, and then its pistons wherred and retracted as the airspeeder pulled away, rising into the afternoon sky behind her.

Then a thundering BOOM sent Ilaria tumbling to the floor.

Her head spun. Darkness consumed her vision as silence deafened her ears after the blast. She regained her vision, turning around where she now lay to see the smoldering wreckage of the airspeeder strewn about the landing platform.

Senate guards in blue armour ran towards her from further down the platform, but Ilaria turned away from them, forcing herself back to her feet as her ears still rang.

Fire raged across the platform, and Ilaria knew then and there, Deantin could not have survived the blast.

Amidst the other plots and unfolding crises… The Senator for Vardania and the wider Aasimyr region had just been murdered in cold blood outside the Supreme Chancellor’s office...
Last edited by Cheye on Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Pageon
Envoy
 
Posts: 349
Founded: May 21, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Pageon » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:38 pm

Ullinor, Juvenis Corxs’ Estates, 32 BBY

Juvenis calmly set his glass of water down, he had just returned home from a long excursion to the capital city of Ullinor, Alterra, and had been finally sworn in as the new Prime Councillor of the system. The campaign had been an uphill battle against the conservatives of the planet, settled on their farms tended to by the PK droids that had become popular of late, their utilitarian design and cost attractive to the still fledgling world. Well at least to the upper echelons of society.

Juvenis cast his eyes over his own fields the slowly growing wheat off in the far distance and much more scenic jogan fruits nearer to his home, all being tended to by paid workers, humans who had been offered jobs of varying grades all to help reduce the growing unemployment issue plaguing the planet. He knew that his campaign promises were going to be hard to keep, the other oligarchs were going to resist limiting their droid workforce, an extra cost to their deep pockets was anathema to them. However he knew that change was needed, with the slow colonization of Coloniz, how creatively his predecessors had named that world, there were shortages of employment opportunities all around.

He sighed, clearly this problem was going to be the greatest battle of his tenure and he had yet to factor in the Vardanians. Their ‘great houses’ would also have their say in the politics of Ullinor, for the oligarchs so wished to emulate the Vardanian upper classes, reaching for his glass of water these thoughts all weighed heavily on him. After taking a long drink, he lowered the glass again and decided his first act had to be to appoint a new representative to the Republic who would be his advocate within the Fringe’s Senate Delegation, it would have to be someone he could trust implicitly, not someone from the established orders.

A young man came jogging up to the main home of the Corx family, he was strong built, having been working in the fields for a decent amount of years now, having been hired at the age 17. He was shorter than your normal human but not by a terrible deal, topping at 5’8” with a mess of curly blonde hair on his head, his blue eyes as quick as ever.

“Master Corx, You are home!” The young man bellowed out, Juvenis smiled he had a soft spot for this young man, in another life born to a higher family he may have been able to attend the Ullinoran Military Academy as all oligarchs’ children were expected to do.

“Ah Janis Hoert a pleasure it is to you see you again, my boy.” Corx replied as the young man neared and came to a slowing stop himself smiling from ear to ear, his optimism and good humour were infectious.

Janis blushed a little, embarrassed at being referred to as a boy by a man not much older than himself. “Sir I am 23 now, and you are only 30, and I know being referred to as boy by the other Senators always frustrated you.” Juvenis thought back to when he had just graduated from the Academy, he never had the chance to serve aboard one of the three Corvettes that Ullinor had managed to purchase many years ago, his ill father had passed away during his final year of study.

“Yes I am sorry Janis, so how are the farms going? Is the crop strong and healthy?”

“As healthy as ever sir, only a few more months until we can harvest the wheat and by next month the Jogan Fruit should be ready for harvest next month. Should be a larger than normal harvest this year sir.”

Corx slowly nodded his head, trusting the man who had spent 5 years working the fields and who had learned all he could from cultivating wheat and jogan fruit.

Suddenly a thought jumped into his mind; one that would, if taken to it’s logical conclusion, absolutely frustrate and annoy the upper echelon of the oligarchs and intrigue the masses in equal measure. It would ensure that someone with his best interests in mind was planted in a key spot, one that could influence the outcome of his plan to grow the colony on Coloniz and dramatically reduce unemployment for the inhabitants of Ullinor at large.

A new future could just be on the horizon for the fledgling system...

“Janis my boy, how would you like to go to Coruscant?”
Last edited by Pageon on Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Allies:Othileon, Greater Latica
Pageon Statistics:
Notable for large advances in technology, and a military with numerous autonomous weapons and drones. The nation is led by Emperor Callum Carmichael and his Arch-Lectors. The nation worships a Pantheon of Gods led by the warrior God Allenstag. The populace of Pageon are highly educated and due to intelligent investments by the government the economy is currently running a surplus, although civil liberties were curbed to aid in this. The people are extremely apathetic and the elected portion of the government is filled mainly by merit over popularity. Pageon's closest ally is Greater Latica despite the divide between economic principles their cultures are similar enough that their populations are able to mix with surprising ease.

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Cheye
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:22 pm

The Chamber of Unity, The Lunar Assembly Tower, Val Vardan - 32BBY

A lavish gold mural dominated the upper walls of the Chamber of Unity, the home of Vardania’s sovereign legislature. Wrapping itself all the way around the hallway, it depicted the story of the Great Revolt, a conflict that had been put to bed only 25 years prior, but which had defined Vardania dramatically.

At one end of the hall, above vast clear windows that looked out over the moon-wide city of Val Vardan, the mural paid homage to the conflict’s origins, displaying the unsafe, rickety metal mining platforms of the Gas Giant that gave their system its name along with small carved miners falling from them. Other carved figures sustained injuries from lightning strikes, hurricane winds and acidic storms, each depicted in equal ferociousness in glistening gold.

As it arched up the left and right walls, the mural took two different paths before culminating at the other end, above the large jewelled throne of the Assembly Convenor.

On the left wall, the mural followed the story of the assorted miners and democrats, displaying their peaceful protests on Val Vardan, the forming of the coalition between both groups, the bombing of their demonstration by the ships of the Lunar Defence Fleet, and then their transition into an organised militia, marching on to the end of the wall.

Opposite, on the right, the visual story followed the perspective of the oligarchs. It showed them providing relief to the miners, holding tribunals to punish the houses responsible for whipping up the unrest, carrying out the exile of House Viadine and the execution of it’s patriarch, and depicted the Lunar Defence Fleet in a heroic light, with numerous uniformed figures looking to the sky in awe as ships and soldiers paraded to the end of the wall.

The final wall, above the Convenor’s throne, was the most opulent of them all, with jewelled and hand-painted frames surrounding the final scene. Various leaders from both sides of the conflict, alien and human alike stood crowded around the centre where the four gold carved Jedi stood proud, two human on one side, a Besalisk and a Vurk on the other, all with their lightsaber blades lit up by lines of carefully-stretched emeralds and sapphires each symbolically pointing down towards the equally opulent throne.

Between the two sets of Jedi, and hovering over the throne were the words: ‘Unity through Peace, Freedom through Democracy’ were hand-carved into the mural in fine aurebesh script.

It was a fine thing, Vieron Doria thought, as he gazed up at it from the Convenor’s Throne. Priceless probably, despite its relative newness. For centuries prior to that Great Revolt, the oligarchs of the system had ruled unchallenged, ruthlessly driving their workforces into more challenging mining zones.

The gas giant Vardania had provided of course, it's Tibana-rich upper atmosphere welcoming millions of entrepreneurs before the oligarchal Great Houses even formed. They had been the one’s to turn Val Vardan into the ecumenopolis it now was. The small life-supporting moon transformed into the bustling system capital on an industrial scale that was rare in this particular arm of the galaxy. Then the Great Houses had pushed into the gas giant’s volatile lower atmosphere, and that had been where the trouble had started.

Above the mural, the vast ceiling stood high above, and between it and the benches of the Assembly Members, a misty pale-yellow gas hung in the air, which coloured the room in the same aura as the great gas giant itself. A pertinent reminder of the world that had provided such great wealth and opportunities for all present, even if they now sat far from it.

Vieron Doria glanced down, in the centre of the hall, over the large gilded wroshyr-wood table at which sat the four Assembly Clerks, the holographic projection of his daughter Ilaria stood, life-size, floating over the hall, her short blonde hair glowing blue in the light of the holoprojector, its static hiding the lines that were appearing on her face as she approached middle-age. Vieron was so proud of her, she had chosen to build a political career off-world, giving up the chance of having her own family in order to do so. In her line of duty as a Senate Representative on Coruscant she had strived to help some of the most vulnerable in the galaxy. She had a charitable heart, a rare thing for a Vardanian, and that made Vieron even prouder.

“THIS IS COLD BLOODED MURDER!” The booming voice of Krastor Karak howled from the benches on the left, half way down the hall, snapping Vieron Doria back to proceedings. “There must be consequences!”

Karak was a towering Besalisk, and even from here his figure loomed large over the room, his upper-left arm had been replaced with a hefty mining tool while his lower-right was now a mechanised droid arm, giving him a frightening ramshackle form that caught the eye from any distance. He had been one of the miners who had started the Great Revolt and one of the Union Corps’ fiercest military leaders during the conflict. Now he was a respected politician and served as the de facto leader of the opposition in the Assembly.

“Consequences!? You speak of consequences - but the killer has yet to be identified! What consequences could you possibly have in mind while the Senator’s body is not yet cold?” The cold, sneering voice of Kai Leonus hawked back from the benches opposite. Kai was the patriarch of House Leonus, one of the oldest and most powerful oligarch families in the Assembly.

“Denatin Raam was a loyal servant of Vardania, he was a good man, a friend, and a true Democrat! He was the first from our side of this chamber to ever serve as Senator! I need not remind the chamber that on this side of the floor, our members are chosen legitimately by the people of this star system. And the people will not just demand justice, but that his replacement also comes from these benches!”

The Convener glared at Karak, the old rabble-rouser knew exactly what he was doing. Although he was entirely correct, Raam had been a leading member of the Democrat faction in the Assembly, there was no constitutional precedent that the position should always fall to one, nor even that the Democrats should have a guaranteed member of the delegation, let alone the senatorial slot.

“The Senate Delegation will make its recommendation for a replacement after the funeral ceremony.” Ilaria’s hologram said diplomatically, trying to sideline Karak before the Besalisk could stir up more trouble.

“Are we to trust them?!” Karak cried. “Ullinor do not have a representative in place… We will never approve a candidate just on the word of a damn Teraxi and some oligarch’s daughter!”

“Order!” The Chief Clerk cried from the table directly below the throne, the bulbous-headed Bith banging the table to calm the loud-mouthed opposition leader. Once calm returned to the room, he added nasally; “It is most unparliamentary for the Assembly Member to refer to the Senate Representative for Vardania as ‘some oligarchs daughter’, I ask him to withdraw the remark.”

There were loud jeers and taunts from the oligarch benches. Vieron knew they couldn’t stand Krastor Karak’s tone. The constant implication that just because they hadn’t been elected to their positions like those opposite, that they were somehow less legitimate.

“Order!” The Chief Clerk cried again, silencing them.

“I withdraw it.” Karak said, standing taller, his lower arms, one fleshy, one mechanical, rested on his hips and he smiled as he added; “But, I stand by my point… As things stand we will vote to reject the delegation’s recommendation.”

“I have received word from Ullinor that their recently-elected Prime Councillor Juvenis Corx has appointed a new Representative who will arrive on Coruscant shortly.” Ilaria’s hologram said, turning to address Karak directly. “Then, as constitutional convention dictates, we will make our recommendation to this chamber.”

Now it was the turn of the Miners & Democrats to jeer and taunt and Karak raised his good upper-arm as if to encourage them, his smile widening.

The oligarch benches didn’t seem much happier however. Ahtaraza Raya, the Zygerrian leader of the Valentyn Company’s bloc rose to her feet and called; “So… we are to trust some newly elected peasant from a planet full of jogan-farmers to determine the calibre of our voice in the Galactic Senate?!” She didn’t raise her voice as loudly as Karak, but she didn’t have to.

There were cries of ‘no’ now from both sides of the chamber and the Chief Clerk found himself banging on the table hard, though his cries of order were drowned out from all the jeering. It continued for a long time before Vieron Doria finally sat up in his throne and raised his hand for calm.

As the Assembly Members noticed his gesture one by one, they begrudgingly complied and gradually the room fell silent.

“This administration will not be bullied into breaking precedent.” He began slowly. “The Democrats have no inherent right to have the next Senator come from their number any more than the Great Houses have the right to go on governing as they did before the formation of this assembly!” Vieron rose as his words quickened, he was not a young man, but still not so old as to make standing up dramatically too difficult for him.

He pointed up to the mural above his head as if to make his point clearer.

“We will wait for the delegation to make their recommendation, and then we will vote on their preferred candidate as we have done for twenty five years now, each and every time the position of Senator has been vacant... And we will work together to find a candidate that we can all get behind. That is the kriffing procedure, and this administration and this chamber will follow it to the damned letter!” He roared.

There was a pacified silence in the room, even the Chief Clerk, who ought to call him out for cursing, simply eyed the Convenor with his small Bith mouth agape. That did not deter Vieron; “I called this extraordinary meeting so that we could honour the late Senator Raam… And I intend to do so now!”

“As an Assembly Member for House Doria, I sat opposite him through many debates in these halls, and as Convenor I actually found myself coming to rely upon his sage advice and shrewd insight, which transcended the petty politics of this place. I was delighted when he was nominated upon the resignation of Senator Caspi four years ago, even if he came from a different political background to myself…” He raised an arm to the opposition benches, physically inviting them to stand down and reflect instead of constantly bickering.

“And let us not forget, Raam was suggested by Caspi himself for the wise counsel he had also provided to him, to House Caspi and the other Great Houses over the years.” His other arm went up in the direction of the oligarchs, inviting them to join him in mourning also.

“As Senator he proved even more capable, and stood resolute in defending our interests from the vultures of the Trade Federation, the Commerce Guild and Mining Guild alike, who have all sought to infringe upon the sovereignty of our great system at one time or another. He was a loyal public servant and a champion of everything we have sought to build here on Vardania, and will be sorely missed.”

As the Convenor spoke, there were nods from each side of the house, then when he finished there was even some light, respectful applause. It seemed reminding the Assembly Members why they were here had done the job.

It didn’t change the fact that Senator Raam had been murdered though…

“We will be launching a full and thorough investigation into his assassination at once!” Vieron added, and the applause grew louder. The faces of the Assembly Members solemn and resolute in equal measure.

Ilaria's hologram clapped along and Krastor Karak caught Vieron’s eye before nodding respectfully to the Convenor as his lower-arms clapped away.

At least they could all agree on that...
Last edited by Cheye on Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Greater Latica
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Posts: 508
Founded: May 14, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Greater Latica » Wed May 01, 2019 12:43 pm

Galactic Senate Complex, Senate District, Coruscant - 32BBY

Senator Birith Sundar watched out of his senate office’s panoramic glass window at the setting Coruscant sun. Or at least what vaguely passed for a view anyway. Rothstantooine wasn’t considered important enough to be given one of the more luxurious senate rooms higher up in the building, so he made do with the gentle orange glow seeping between the towering structures in front of him.

The blankets draped over the chaise lounge at the side of the room gave away the fact that the senator had not been back to his personal apartment for some time. The recent ‘incident’ with Senator Raam concerned Sundar, as did developments in Teraxi. He was worried that he might become another target, either by whoever coordinated Raam’s assassination, or by someone who was trying to exact revenge.

Relations between Rothstantooine and the rest of the Aasimyr Fringe were a complicated affair, Rothstantooine’s successful push for political independence during the Vardanian Great Revolt had been a kick in the teeth at a time when the Great Houses of Vardania were already on their knees. It still caused animosity to this day between many in the two systems. It wouldn’t be a stretch for someone to think that Senator Raam’s assassination was a Rothstani plot, or that it was part of a greater scheme to destabilise the region, either one could lead to him becoming the next target.

Frustratingly no one else seemed to take him and his plight seriously, he had appealed to the highest levels for better security, but then again so had everyone else. He hoped that those calls would be received better back home, the senate had increased its guard patrols, but the vast majority were allocated to wealthier and more powerful worlds and their senate rooms. Nonetheless he’d feel safer with Rothstantooine stellar guardsmen at his door.

The video communicator built into his desk chirped, drawing his attention. Even in times like this, his work did not stop.

The hologram hovered a few inches off his desk, lighting the room with a diffused blue light. Sundar recognised the thin spindly outline of the Muun instantly, it was one of the Banking Clan’s senior Representative’s here on Coruscant.

“Good evening Senator Sundar, what can the Banking Clan do for you and your fine system today? As you’ve been on track with your payments we can offer you some excellent interest rates.”

“How nice of you to finally return my calls...” Sundar responded, making no effort to hide the sarcasm in his voice, “You know exactly what this is about.”

“I’m afraid I do not Senator, would you care to elaborate?”

“Gunray told me to contact you about our deal”

“And what deal would that be?”

Sundar pinched the bridge of his nose, “Don’t be coy with me, we both know what I’m talking about. Where are our Cruisers? I was promised Banking Clan Comm ships in return for Rothstantooine’s vote on 31-814D. I upheld my end of the bargain, now it’s your turn to uphold yours.”

“As you might have noticed, our joint effort to defeat the motion proved... unsuccessful…”

“And that sounds awfully much like a you problem, and not a whole lot like a me problem.” Sundar interjected becoming increasingly infuriated, “Where are they?”

“As I said…”

“I don’t care. If I don’t get my ships, I will have to take action.”

“Are you threatening the banking clan? What are you going to do?!” The Muun’s smile dominated the lower section of his thin face. “ Will you go to the Senate? The Judiciary? Or perhaps you have higher ambitions, like the Jedi? They’d all punish us for corruption sure, but I can guarantee it’ll hurt a lot more for you. It looks mighty suspicious for a small independent-minded system to buy heavily armed warships, they might think you’re... up to something... See, I can make threats too.”

“Oh no, I’m not threatening the banking clan at all. I’m threatening you. It’s an awfully dangerous time to be involved with Senators, with Senator Raam’s recent passing and all…”

“What are you insinuating?”

“Okay, I’ll put it in simple terms that even you can understand. I have a blaster. I know where your office is. So give me my ships and you won’t be involved in an accident. Understood?”

The Muun recoiled uncomfortably, his earlier smile gone; “You wouldn’t dare!”

“I don’t even need to pull the trigger. The banking clan has its own enemies. Some upset enough to do it for me. I think my assistant might be just about to contact them now…” To emphasise the point, Sundar glanced to his right, as if checking on his assistant.

The Banking Clan Rep also glanced off-camera, no doubts making the same assessments about the lack of Coruscant security that Sundar had earlier. The Muun turned back; “No need to go that far… I was just joking.” He nervous laughed, “How many ships was it? Six?”

“Eight.”

“Eight, eight, right, I’ll get them dispatched right away.”

“Excellent, a pleasure doing business with you,” Sundar ended the communication, and chuckled to himself, “coward.” He had no idea Sundar was alone in the room. He didn’t own a blaster either.

It wasn’t the first time Sundar had had to intimidate someone before, especially not from the banking clan, the Muun were almost as easy to play as the Neimoidians. Cowards the lot of them, but their unwillingness to lose face, meant that he could really push them and they wouldn’t even squeak about it to anyone else. He was almost certain that they did this on purpose. The banking clan liked to make Sundar work for what they gave him. It was just a shame he couldn’t intimidate the terrorists in the same way.
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Sarrin
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Posts: 116
Founded: Dec 21, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Sarrin » Sat May 04, 2019 1:31 pm

Raxanathak, Teraxi Prime - 32BBY

The Teraxi capital had a unique smell. Somewhere between a Rancor’s nest and a Geonosian factory. In the enormous jagged obelisks that emerged from the bunker to make up the city’s residential district Teraxi tended to their daily duties with an automated energy at times appearing near indistinguishable from the droids that aided them.

Unlike other worlds’, Teraxi droids showed little polish or elegance with those few that had once been purchased from off-world vendors now modified with spare parts after years of wear and tear. Worse still than all this had been the continued stares, not of xenophobia or even fear but of hunger, that had landed on Yesha since he had arrived on the surface hours ago. He had dwelled on the thought of finding a safe haven as they waited for their rendezvous but the doubt that such a place existed had kept him routed in place.

“You’re sure this is a Republic world?” Yesha asked in a low voice not wanting to draw any ire from the few Teraxi that passed by them like drones on command.

“Are you surprised?” Master Theradathis responded with his usual stoic voice leaving Yesha unsure whether this was some Jedi test he had ill prepared for, though that in itself was nothing new.

“It’s...different” Yesha replied turning to his master who raised a lone eyebrow that seemed to send ripples across his wrinkles echoing that Yesha should elaborate. “These people seem to have all the demeanours of the poor of a hutt world, desperate for any scraps, ruthless for opportunities… but there are no slave collars on them, they’re free to leave this life.”

“And yet they remain.” His master remarked, gesturing for Yesha to complete his thought as they paused by a large window in the bridge that overlooked the great open wastes that lay beyond the city confines.

“They don’t know any other life?” Yesha said hopefully. He hated these tests, martial challenges were easy and even using the force had never been too much of a challenge, but these ‘deductions’ as Theradathis called them were worse than Deraxi fruit.

Theradathis smiled slightly pausing in hope for more remarks before giving his padawan the information he so desired. “The Teraxi culture is based on a caste system. Those we see here know of the other lives they could live but view them as we might view choosing to live life as a soldier or a general in a great war. They are parts of a machine, and as a gear cannot be a lever, their merchants cannot be anything, or anywhere, else.”

“They also execute and feed on those who stray out of line but I imagine that doesn’t suit your analogy.” A refined voice spoke from behind lacking any of the subtlety the Jedi had been speaking with. As the pair turned they saw a young human woman with blonde hair braided into a long ponytail that served to accentuate her striking green eyes. The foundation of her attire identified her as a Judicial but the suit showed little sign of the wear that stained the native Teraxi’s garments.

“Our contact I assume?” Theradathis said unmoved by her sudden appearance.

The young woman nodded slightly, eyeing up the pair in their Jedi robes and chuckling slightly before replying in a slightly more casual tone; “Well we’re certainly not inconspicuous are we.”

“We’re two humans and a Selkath on a planet of reptilian cannibals, would you prefer we paint ourselves green?” Yesha replied, his voice finally releasing the discomfort he had been feeling.

The judicial raised an eyebrow at the selkath checking him up and down before showing a weary smile and lowering her head in a slight bow. “Jasana Endori, at your service. It’s about time the Republic sent me some backup, the Hutts have nearly taken over the whole planet and the only support I’ve received is a strict data-packet that says I can’t harm anyone. Of course the notion that I might get funding to ‘lubricate’ some natives into talking was out of the questio-”

“Is it wise to discuss such things in public?” Theradathis interrupted lowering his voice slightly as a Teraxi mechanic passed the bridge paying them little heed beside a brief hungering look towards Yesha.

“It makes no difference.” Jasana replied gesturing for them to continue along the bridge “The oligarchs and the Hutts both know we’re here and why. If a local is seen talking to us he’ll be taken in for questioning, probably executed and served with a side of jogan fruit...”

“You’re sure this is a Republic world?!” Yesha asked again, this time not concealing his voice behind any pretence of formality.

“So the new Chancellor will be expecting us then?” Theradathis asked ignoring his padawan’s question.

“He is and I’ve been asked to join you in your meeting.” Jasana said with evident caution.

“Is that a problem?” Yesha asked, slightly louder than his last question, knowing his master’s questioning raised eyebrow might have been missed by the young Judicial.

“In the six years I’ve been here only Chancellor Daxil made so much as an effort to speak to me, let alone actually work with me. The Minister of Hatcheries is up to something and from what I’ve been able to tell we’re not the only ones in the dark.”

“Then let's see if he would be so kind as to indulge us with his plans.” Theradathis said cordially, a wry smile creeping across his face as he began striding towards the turbolift to the Chancellor’s Office.

‘Another day in the outer rim’ Yesha thought to himself, ‘just another day’.

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Pageon
Envoy
 
Posts: 349
Founded: May 21, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Pageon » Sat May 04, 2019 2:11 pm

Aasimyr Fringe Diplomatic Shuttle, Above Coruscant - 32BBY

Janis turned to look out of the window he was seated beside, his eyes wide with wonder at the sight laid out below him. A whole world that was a city! He had barely even seen the cities on Ullinor, but this, this was on a whole different scale. First seeing his homeworld from orbit and now a cityworld!

He looked around the cabin for what felt like the hundredth time since leaving the Ullinor System. There were a few support staff that had been sent with him and this old looking protocol droid, he struggled to remember it’s name something along the lines of BT? BT-7274? Yeah that was it.

“BT, can you come over here?”

“Why of course Master Janis.” The droid wandered over and cocked its head to the left, it’s outer casing was the colour of dulled iron. But for all intents and purposes looked humanoid with a few pistons to move it’s arms.

“BT what can you tell me about this world, it seems absolutely amazing!”

“Well Master Janis, as well as being the capital of the Republic for several thousand years, Coruscant is considered by many individuals in the xeno-historical field to be the original homeworld of the human race!”

“Really? Wow to think we started here and have spread so far! Sooo I suppose I should ask about the other members of the delegation right?” Janis sighed, he had been a farm hand until recently and now Juvenis had made him the representative of Ullinor! Him! Nothing had prepared him in life for this. But he owed it to the Prime Councillor to do this.

“Yes Master, the Aasimyr Fringe Delegation is led by Senator Denatin Raam of Val Vardan, a lovely fellow who has always tried to be fair to the representatives from the other worlds of the Fringe.” The droid paused, it’s lifeless visual receptors seeming to flick to Janis to make sure he was still listening before continuing; “The other Representatives include Varxis Jax of Teraxi Prime and the daughter of Vardania’s Convenor; Ilaria Doria. You will of course notice that of the systems of the Fringe, the only one not represented by the delegation is Rothstantooine, which successfully applied for its own independent senate group during the Vardanian Great Revolt… Causing no small amount of tension between Vardania and the Rothstan people, I might add.”

At that moment the shuttle began to slow, gracefully gliding to a resting position on the Aasimyr designated landing pad. Janis slowly rose from his seat, giving one last large sigh before making his way from the cabin to the airlock and exit.

He now had to deal with whatever a Teraxi is and a couple Vardanians. From what he knew of Vardanians they would be pompous and look down upon him when they find out his history. Well time to brace oneself he thought, and descended purposefully down the landing ramp to meet the other Representatives.

Amidst the towering grey blocks of the city, Varxis Jax stood out with his bright blue and yellow scales. He was wrapped in the ceremonial formal robes of a senator adding a soft humility to the otherwise towering lizard whose keen eyes studied the young representative as if a hunter to prey.

Beside him, cutting a far less-intimidating presence was Ilaria Doria, whose blue dress was elegant, but in a subtle Coruscanti way, unlike the resplendent fashions Janis had come to believe were customary for Vardanian nobles. The middle aged human woman had short-cut blonde hair and an inviting smile that almost hid the way her eyes also studied him, almost…

Behind the pair of them, on the opposite end of the landing pad, another sleek looking official ship sat resting. It was protected by a line of ceremonial-looking soldiers sporting chromed armour, long-flowing capes and force-pikes that stretched across the platform to where a roofed airspeeder waited nearby, with several more guardsmen mulling about by the ramp.

Janis slowed to a stop at the bottom of the ramp and lowered his head a tad “It’s a pleasure to meet such… distinguished individuals... I hope our… work together is fruitful...”

“You’re showing weakness, don’t. You weren’t appointed here to show weakness, you were appointed to show the strength of Ullinor.” Varxis responded with a degree of warmth that sought to put off the natural snarl of a Teraxi’s voice, a snarl that was only intensified by the incumbent sounds of galactic basic.

“Oh, don’t mind him! Representative Hoert, you’ve had a long journey and shouldn’t feel you have to behave any differently just because you’re on Coruscant.” Ilaria smiled, stepping towards the young man before nodding her head respectfully. “May I be the first to welcome you, and offer Vardania’s formal congratulations on your appointment as Senate Representative.”

Janis was taken aback for several seconds attempting to gather his wits at the combination of responses he received on the one hand the aggressive yet not hostile Teraxi had certainly thrown him off track in his mind, yet the Vardanian had been kind, suspiciously so for the reputation the Vardanians held.

“Ah thank you um, I assume Ilaria Doria? And technically I am actually Janis Corx now.” Janis chuckled a little bit “I was formally adopted by Juvenis Corx the day I left Ullinor. It must not have reached Coruscant yet.” Janis cracked a small smile, it was fun being able to deliver news that might even shock people.

If Ilaria was surprised her face didn’t show it, she merely nodded again thoughtfully before replying; “I understand, your new Prime Councillor is a pragmatic man. I imagine that by doing so he was able to circumvent the objections the other Councillors would have had to your appointment? Clever...”
“Ah yes it definitely did, no one tried to kill me my entire flight here, haha” Janis smiled brightly “So where is Senator Raam I thought he would greet me, is he busy on other business?”

“Dead!” The Teraxi representative exclaimed before glancing over to his Vardanian counterpart whose awkward glance seemed to encourage some elaboration. “It is imperative we give our recommendation for his replacement, there are several bills coming to the senate that we must have a strong voice on.”

Ilaria raised her hand; “Please Representative Jax, let us see Senator Raam’s remains off Coruscant before we get down to business.” She flashed an apologetic smile at Janis before gesturing both of them to follow and setting off solemnly across the runway towards the line of guardsman and the other ship.

Janis stumbled forward still aghast at what he had said and in disbelief of the situation “I’m so sorry I didn’t... I mean I never would have guessed it had happened, there were no reports on Ullinor of him in ill health?”

“He was assassinated, clumsily I might add. It would have been far more efficient to reroute his hyperdrive to cause an explosion as he lept into hyperspace. At the very least an explosive smuggled into his droid or blaster rifle during a hunting trip...” The Teraxi remarked with some degree of pride until the noticed a gesture from Illaria to stop before he scared the boy.

“The Senator’s airspeeder was ripped apart in an explosion with him on board. I was also meant to be aboard at the time, so you will forgive me for not sharing my colleague’s morbid fascination with the incident.” Ilaria said factual, before turning her head slightly to smile reassuringly; “Do not worry though… You are perfectly safe.”

Janis nodded dumbly back in a state of shock unable to comprehend what he had been told, he now was more afraid than he had ever been in his life. He now understood partially why Juvenis had sent him to Coruscant; he would be loyal. But could he be loyal under threat of death? He didn’t know. He didn’t even want to think about such a thing anymore. So he resigned himself to keep his thoughts to himself for now, lest it earn him another scolding from the Teraxi.

The trio reached the line of guardsmen who parted to let them join the line, the other Vardanian Lunar Defence Forces ceasing their mulling about by the speeder as two officers in naval uniforms emerged from within, pushed a sealed casket atop a hoversled. The solemn expressions of everyone around him told Janis that the casket contained the Senator’s remains, though judging by the small size of the casket, there couldn’t have been much of him left after the explosion, and that thought terrified him further...

The trio lowered their heads respectfully as the casket passed by before it floated up the ramp into the Vardanian ship and a large cadre of the armoured soldiers and uniformed naval officers followed it in somberly.
When the small ceremony was complete, one of the uniformed men who remained on the landing platform gestured them towards the airspeeder, and flanked by four of the chrome-armoured guards they entered and were quickly speeding through the skies of Coruscant once more.

As the spires of Galactic City whizzed by, the other Representatives sat in silence and Janis once more looked out the windows, but now the wonder was now matched by a sinking fear in his gut.

He was a long way from the pleasant fields of Ullinor, and for the first time, he really felt it...
Last edited by Pageon on Sat May 04, 2019 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Allies:Othileon, Greater Latica
Pageon Statistics:
Notable for large advances in technology, and a military with numerous autonomous weapons and drones. The nation is led by Emperor Callum Carmichael and his Arch-Lectors. The nation worships a Pantheon of Gods led by the warrior God Allenstag. The populace of Pageon are highly educated and due to intelligent investments by the government the economy is currently running a surplus, although civil liberties were curbed to aid in this. The people are extremely apathetic and the elected portion of the government is filled mainly by merit over popularity. Pageon's closest ally is Greater Latica despite the divide between economic principles their cultures are similar enough that their populations are able to mix with surprising ease.

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Sarrin
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Founded: Dec 21, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Sarrin » Sun May 05, 2019 5:45 pm

Office of the Teraxi Chancellor - 32-BBY

There was always something of a culture shock upon entering the upper levels of Teraxi Prime where only a few obelisks scraped the sky each with a wide open view of the wastes, often with their own landing pads built in for ease of transport. Even by these standards however the Chancellor’s office was something to behold with a decorative carpet winding through the ornate pillars that were more suited to a Vardanian oligarch’s estate than the war-torn planet. V-13 Droids attended to various screens or stood guard along the perimeter but perhaps most notably in the chamber was the small congregation of dark scaled Teraxi that seemed to loiter outside the chancellor’s private room. Their darkly coloured garb was different to the mute colours that Teraxi usually wore and vibroblades sat confidently on their backs waiting to be drawn at the slightest incitement.

“Greetings Jedi Master Theradathis. Jedi Padawan Varlo. Republic Judicial Endori. The Chancellor is in a meeting but will be with you shortly.” A protocol droid stuttered approaching the trio whose bright gold plating did little to conceal his place as a repurposed older V-7 unit.

“I hope we’re not interrupting, we can come back later if it’s important.” Jasana said sweetly, taking care to be discreet as she eyed up the Teraxi for any other hidden weapons.

“Judicial Endori. The Teraxi chancellor is currently occupied but will be with you shortly.” The droid echoed before gesturing towards the gathered Teraxi who were obviously in the programmed waiting area.

Yesha looked to Theradathis, a clear concern on his face. The Teraxi before them were clearly unlike the others they’d met on the planet and now had all turned their heads towards the off worlders.

As the space between the groups began to thicken, each waiting for the other to speak, the door to the Chancellor’s suite opened revealing a tall athletically built Teraxi in an ornate blood red gown with a roughly sewn hood attached. On his back the blade of a large axe could be seen peeking out just enough to warn off any questions. He cracked his knuckles and hissed at the Teraxi, turning as he did so to reveal the claw marks that littered the right side of his face adding a softer fleshier colour to the pale ash like scales.

Yesha turned back to his master again hoping to get an idea of how to react but only saw his master’s keen focus on the scarred Teraxi as he left the suite, paying little heed to the offworlders as his cohort had.

“The Chancellor shall see you now.” The V-7 Droid stuttered gesturing into the office without any regard for the tension in the air.

The private suite had no less opulence with the lush carpet being replaced by an ornate marble floor that reflected the trinary suns light onto the golden coloured walls and the artwork upon them. Behind a large semi circular desk was the chancellor whose slender frame was contrasted by the ornate throne like chair upon which he sat. It’s armrests shaped to the grooves of his fingers and the decorative metal and silk backing weaving in and out as if like a raging fire. The Chancellor himself had unusually fine attire for a Teraxi with the plain brown robes the oligarchs wore in public resting upon a hanger in the corner. Instead he wore a rich fur coat embossed with assorted jewels that highlighted his own bright scales. His eyes focussed on the Jedi as they entered before briefly darting to Jasana.

“Are you here to save us from the Hutts?” His voice rasped as the door behind them abruptly sealed.

The trio paused in their stride. Considering how to respond before Theradathis spoke up in his usual stoic form. “We have been sent to mediate the fighting between Bodra and Velsa. Any assistance you can offer would be extremely helpful. I believe an aud-”

“Mediation will not remove the tumour in our society Jee-dai.” The Chancellor interrupted his eyes now focussed on the older Jedi that now stood before him.

“You’ve never spoken against the Hutts before Chancellor, why the sudden change?” Jasana asked with a restrained diplomacy her eyes darting around the room for any hidden cameras or recording devices the Hutts had installed. Finding none she looked back at the Chancellor whose fierce gaze now locked onto her pupils.

“Only a fool challenges the Hutts in public. Draxil challenged them and now he is dead. You will challenge them and you will likely die too. At least die trying to fix the cause not the symptom.” The Chancellor retorted, tapping at a pad on his desk from which emerged a map of a ruined cityscape. “Hutts have a project in our old city, you will go there and stop it.”

The trio exchanged unsure glances. None had expected an ally in the Chancellor and certainly not a lead on their investigation. Sensing Yesha may be about to break the silence Theradathis spoke again: “With respect Chancellor our mission is to stop the Hutts fighting not attack their operations here, the senate won’t like it if we start a war in the Outer Rim.”

The Chancellor snarled slightly standing up from his chair. He was smaller than most Teraxi but at just under two meters he still had a powerful presence. “You are here at our pleasure Jee-dai, if I tell you to stop the Hutts operation in Xanarax, you will stop it.”

“Would you have more assistance if we were to intervene? After all a single attack won’t remove their presence...” Jasana asked hoping to calm the rapidly escalating tensions. Yesha gave her a sympathetic glance as he turned back to the Chancellor who briefly flicked his eyes to the young Selkath before staring again at Jasana.
“If you survive I will arrange for a meeting with the Hutts on your behalf.” The Chancellor finally said after a moment's consideration. “I have a ship waiting for you.”

“I suppose we don’t have much choice.” Yesha said quietly, receiving a side eye glance from his Master.

“You are a wise one.” The Chancellor remarked; “V7-X12 will debrief you on what we know during the journey, now leave me I have business to attend to.” As the final word left his mouth the door to the office opened and he sat down opening up a holopad that he began to read.

“Thank you for your time and cooperation.” Master Theradathis said respectfully to no response. Yesha glanced at his master, he could never tell when he was being sarcastic but this certainly seemed like it should be one such case.

“I’ve a feeling this is a trap...” Jasana muttered as they passed through the doors and turned to the shuttle pad.

The Jedi glanced at each other before Theradathis spoke calmly and quietly.

“Then lets spring it.”

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Cheye
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Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Mon May 06, 2019 3:18 pm

Slum District G17, Coruscant - 32BBY

Artificial neon lights illuminated the dingy walkways and back alleys of the Coruscant slums as the metallic blue Vardanian Patrol Speeder continued its vertical descent between them, its own luminous headlights further adding to the artificially lit aura on each passing level.

Xander Doria sat in the pilot seat, his expression as opaque and hard to read as his sister’s so often was. The difference between them was that Ilaria had practiced that skill, Xander was cold enough to just never give anything away, and Malkassa Darona knew that for a fact.

The purple-skinned twi’lek tried not to smile up at him as the speeder lowered into place next to the walkway she waited for him on, in truth she had been looking forward to this reunion, but she knew that business would probably have to come first - that was part and parcel both in her line of work and with anything to do with Xander Doria.

“This the place?” Xander asked without glancing at her as he powered off the patrol car and rose to stand in the small craft’s open cockpit.

He wore a neat indigo blue naval uniform that Malkassa knew to be the native uniform of the Vardanian Lunar Defence Fleet. A black shoulder cape sporting spiralling ice blue patterns partially concealed his rank badge and epaulette bars and, no doubt, his under-arm blaster holster, for a meeting like this one.

“This is the place.” Malkassa said nodding, her lekku bobbing up and down behind her. She didn’t need to hide her blasters behind a cape, she thought, as she rested a hand on the pommel of one of the two Blurrg-110 pistols that sat comfortably in their holsters at her belt. She had had those pistols since Ryloth, and she was proud of everything that she’d done with them.

Xander hopped down from the speeder and strode towards her purposefully. She noticed the slightest of frowns that creased his brow below his short-cropped brown hair, which meant something definitely had him concerned.

“What’s wrong?” She asked warily, though the pained look he gave in answer told her everything she needed to know, his gaze rarely expressed such powerful emotions… “Nara?” She asked, her own eyes falling awkwardly to the durasteel walkway platform beneath her feet.

“They wouldn’t let me see her.” Xander grunted.

“I wouldn’t have thought so, I tried more than a few times myself before giving up.”

“Yes! But you’re you!” He snapped coldly, gesturing at her shabby outfit and glaring at her.

She didn’t let her eyes meet his gaze, but she felt the anger building within her...

“And I suppose you are Xander Doria! Prodigal heir of grand Vardania. A man who can open every door and every pair of legs he comes across!” Her eyes met his, matching the intensity of his glare. “...And you thought the Jedi Temple would be no different!”

For a few seconds he stood there, taken aback by her outburst. Along the walkway a couple of nearby aliens, who had turned to observe the raised voices, now shuffled away.

Xander then reached for her throat, hard and fast. An act that might have caught her off-guard had she not been tensely waiting for it. As he physically pulled her by her throat towards him, she drew one of her pistols. She jabbed it into his gut as he… kissed her?

Malkassa stood there dumbfounded for a moment before that warm familiar feeling rushed over her again, for the first time in ages, and she passionately returned the kiss. She reached up to hold him tight against her body with her free hand, the other one still fixed in place with the business end of her blaster pointed at his belly.

They kissed for what seemed like a very long moment until he finally pulled away with a smile and glanced down at the weapon; “Really?” He scoffed.

“A girl can’t be too careful.” Malkassa smirked, stowing the weapon and taking a step back herself.

“But I’m-”

“You’re you?” She grinned, echoing both his earlier words and tone. “Exactly! You are the Republic Judicial who ran off with a naive young girl from Ryloth and fathered a child with her in blissful secrecy...” She paused, shaking her head with mild irritation before continuing; “...Only, you are no longer a Republic Judicial, I am no longer a naive young girl, and the nature of our child’s existence has not only caused a major political scandal, but also led to misery and hardship for both of us! So you’ll forgive the… precautions...”

“Well when you put it like that, I can’t argue with it…” Xander sighed, his frown returning. “I’ve missed you though, Kassa.”

“I’ve missed you too.” She nodded. “But you didn’t contact me to rekindle that old flame, did you?” As the words crossed her lips, she began to question herself in her mind. Perhaps that was why he had reached out now; though the Senate assassination was real enough, it was all over the holonet afterall, but why would Xander Doria, son of the Convenor himself, be the one sent to investigate it? Something didn’t add up.

“I… I needed the best.” Xander answered, his expression returning to its usual unreadable cool. “And so I thought of you…”

“You mean you got nostalgic for those days we spent hunting down slavers together on Ryloth. Me whipping up the leads and you charging in with the big guns?”

“Something like that.” He nodded, deadly serious. “There is also the matter of trust. Kassa, you’re far more reliable than any other common street informant who for all I know could have had something to do with the assassination.”

“I suppose that’s true.” Malkassa nodded and stroked her chin thoughtfully. “So you’ve explained your reasons for my involvement in this mess, now what about yours?”

Xander shrugged. “Call it an… unofficial assignment. The Lunar Defence Force is obviously working with the Coruscant Police and Senate Guard to work out what they can, but that takes time, and my sister was nearly killed in that blast. My father wants me to make sure our family is not in any further danger.”

“And yet here you are, charging into the Loth-Wolf’s lair, putting yourself in the very danger your father wants you to avoid...”

Xander shrugged. “You remember that I can handle danger, right?”

“But can you handle a sniper rifle blast through your chest as you fly your fancy Vardanian patrol-car around the dirtier parts of Coruscant?” She jabbed a finger towards him scathingly. “May I suggest ditching the open-cockpit speeder until the threat is neutralised?”

“Point taken.” Xander frowned, glancing back at the speeder before turning towards the nearby cantina entrance and pointing. “This is the place though, right?”

“This is the place.” Malkassa said again, nodding. “And yes, the killer is inside...”

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Pageon
Envoy
 
Posts: 349
Founded: May 21, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Pageon » Mon May 13, 2019 2:13 pm

Prime Councillor’s Office, Alterra, Ullinor - 32 BBY

Juvenis Corx sat in his chair and swivelled around to look out of the grand glass window that took up where the wall should have been behind him, looking out at the small but visually impressive capital city of Alterra below him. The Capitol Spire was the tallest building in the city, and it would have dominated the skyline if it were not for the orbital elevator that protruded up into the heavens from the other side of the city. The elevator’s own central column dwarfed even the impressive Capitol Spire, and the rest of the city spiralled out around both towering structures in a visually appealing figure of eight, with the grassy plains of Ullinor visible across the horizon.

Alterra had formed originally around the construction of the orbital elevator, the main thoroughfare of goods to and from the surface of Ullinor. The construction of such a grand piece of machinery and material was the brainchild of some of the first settlers of Ullinor, back when rival Vardanian Great Houses hoped to make it rich by colonising other worlds within the Aasimyr Fringe. They had hoped that by building the elevator they would speed up the growth of the colony, but instead they went on to discover that Ullinor had little to offer beyond soil that was only slightly above Galactic-average fertility, and so they turned their attention to other more profitable endeavours. At least the elevator they left behind now made their world in some small way unique.

In an arcing circle around the orbital elevator sat industrial plants, warehouses and homes for workers - along with all the utilities and entertainment that such a dense urban centre would require.

Eventually the landowners who had remained on Ullinor has decided that this population centre should house the offices of the governing council, but it was determined that a larger and more majestic building would need to be built in order to host them. So up went the Spire; grander than any other building in the burgeoning city, built close enough that people could get to it without too much delay, but far enough that it could be seen from most parts of the urban rings arcing out from around the orbital elevator.

From this new centre the upper echelon of Ullinor built their own arcing rings of estates and shops to cater to the super-wealthy of the planet, many of whom built and bought themselves homes to be as close to the centre of power as possible, all hoping to influence the politics of the system in their favour. This included the regional offices of the corporations on the world or in trade with Ullinor as well as the embassies of other systems most prominent of which was the embassy from Vardania, given their own smaller tower next to the Capitol Spire.

Alterra may not have been as grand as the city wide moon of Val Vardan, neither was it as pretty as the picturesque Hanna City that served as capital of Chandrilla in the core worlds, nor as imposing as the sprawling Raxulon, on Raxus, but it was a still an impressive city worthy of being Ullinor’s capital. And, as with each of these other impressive capitals, it had become the hub of all traffic in its system, and as such held more economic power than anywhere else in Ullinor space.

As Juvenis turned around to read the report on his desk he grimaced in dismay, it was a report from the major colony bubble on Coloniz, authored by the man in charge of geo-engineering the world to be more habitable by humans, however a certain block of text caught Juvenis’s eyes.

-along with the progress made, an unfortunate accident occurred in the workers barracks resulting in the loss of life of those within at the time. It would appear a glitch in the automatic environment system temporarily vented all the oxygen in the rooms and when the system recognized the issue it created an automatic lockdown resulting in none of the workers escaping the rooms affected and being unable to reach hazardous environment suits. The cause of the glitch has yet to be determined but in the meantime we have swapped to a manual system. Sabotage has yet to be ruled out.-

Juvenis closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, this was bad…

The development of Coloniz was crucial to his plans and any setback could result in a disaster far worse than this one. He desired for the system to gain its own political independence from Vardania, hopefully as much as Rothstantooine had, and to grow the system defence force even more. He reclined as far back into his chair as he could, wondering who could have had the motive to cause such a disaster or if there was any way he could improve the situation. He would have to recruit and send more workers to Coloniz, perhaps even increase the overall workforce by a larger number to speed up his plans… But the living conditions within the colony were already reaching maximum, anymore would certainly cause issues and resentment with a lack of resources...

No matter… They would have to complete the terraforming of the world and turn it into a productive hub sooner rather than later. They needed the resources and industrial potential within the colony to begin establishing themselves as a force the Republic needed to pay attention to, not just some Vardanian vassal-state.

He quickly withdrew from one of the draws a datapad, and opened two documents on it, side by side, before detailing two individual orders.

The first was to increase the workforce on Coloniz and to hire the necessary people required to fulfill such an order, giving full opportunity to all who wanted a better life, along with benefits for their accompanying families, once the colony was fully operational.

The other he typed out detailed an increase of funding and a directive to create several new divisions of the Planetary Defense Forces along with the purchase of one more corvette, ever since the destruction of the SDF Danger Zone in quadrant Y-39 of the asteroid field under mysterious circumstances seven years ago, the previous Prime Councillor had never approved the budget for the defense forces to purchase another Corvette.

He stopped before writing that they were to purchase another corvette. The Ullinor council currently had hoarded a vast sum of credits, money that each Prime Councillor had for years stored away for who knows what, it was the benefit of a government run by those with business savvy, even if they were just farmers to the rest of the galaxy - they were farmers with credits.

He had heard of a certain cruiser design, it would not be cheap but hopefully it would deter many people from attacking his world and maybe make the other systems in the Aasimyr Fringe look up and recognize Ullinor’s self-sufficiency, most importantly it would distract people from the problems that continued to beset Coloniz, at least until he could fix them…

Just as the Vardanian settlers had distracted everyone from the fact Ullinor wasn’t going to become a powerhouse by building that orbital elevator...

And so he wrote down one last line.

And in exchange for 4.5 Million credits from the Council Treasury, he ordered the procurement of one Rendili Dreadnaught Class Heavy Cruiser on behalf of the System Defence Fleet.
Allies:Othileon, Greater Latica
Pageon Statistics:
Notable for large advances in technology, and a military with numerous autonomous weapons and drones. The nation is led by Emperor Callum Carmichael and his Arch-Lectors. The nation worships a Pantheon of Gods led by the warrior God Allenstag. The populace of Pageon are highly educated and due to intelligent investments by the government the economy is currently running a surplus, although civil liberties were curbed to aid in this. The people are extremely apathetic and the elected portion of the government is filled mainly by merit over popularity. Pageon's closest ally is Greater Latica despite the divide between economic principles their cultures are similar enough that their populations are able to mix with surprising ease.

User avatar
Cheye
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Mon May 13, 2019 2:40 pm

Trueping’s Cantina, Slum District G17, Coruscant - 32BBY

The Anacondan bartender was the first being to catch Xander’s eye as he strode confidently into the bustling cantina. The slithering alien had wrapped himself around a rack that hung above the bar and busied himself pouring shots with his tail for the row of patrons who clamoured below him for space at the bar, club music drowning out their specific orders.

He should have expected a place like this to be heaving by night, but the run-down exterior and quiet walkways outside had lulled him into a false sense of security. His inner strategist reminded him that a room packed full of civilians wasn't the best place to be if If their quarry proved to be troublesome or worse; violent.

Xander gestured to Malkassa, indicating his discomfort. She nodded slightly in agreement and adjusted her path to avoid the crowds gathering near the bar. She always knew how to read his little gestures and slight facial expressions, Xander thought, like no one else.

The pair moved deftly through the crowd, rounding the small and over-capacity dance floor as Malkassa guided the Vardanian towards a slightly emptier section of the room at the far-side of the bar.

A Weequay slumped across a nearby chair unconscious, his half-emptied bottle of vile-smelling alien liquor resting in his lap. Xander’s eyes widened as Malkassa seemed to approach him; ‘him?!’ He mouthed silently as she glanced back to make sure he was still following.

She smiled and shook her head, thumbing a door switch behind him which caused an inconspicuous door beside the drooling Weequay to hiss open.

“He’s just supposed to be the lookout.” She said as the dimly lit corridor beyond the door came into view. They stepped through the doorway and Xander punched the switch behind him, ensuring the door shut swiftly, muting the deafening club tracks.

“And what ‘ave we ‘ere?” A gruff voice came from the shadows further down the hallway.

Xander noticed as Malkassa rested her hands on her blasters instinctively.

So did the stranger; “Now, now m’dear. Just bein’ friendly.” The voice said, footsteps coming closer… multiple footsteps.

From the shadows further ahead the speaker, a Nikto, appeared, a blaster rifle resting in his hands. He smiled menacingly towards the pair, his grin interweaving with the line of scars that ran down the left side of his already crusted face. Behind him a Gotal cradling a stun baton also stepped into the dim light, and behind him the outline of a spindly four armed alien that Xander assumed was probably a Xexto.

“Three guards for a few run-down old backrooms.. How odd.” Xander let out, allowing suspicion to creep into his voice.

“Four if you count sleepyhead outside.” Malkassa corrected.

The thugs exchanged cautious glances, the Nikto stepping towards them, raising his blaster, just slightly, and barking; “Ain’t guardin’ nothing. We’re just mindin’ our own business back ‘ere.”

“Really… so you won’t mind if we commandeer the room at the end of the corridor? Kassa here has missed me terribly and I do have a thing for the head-tails.” Xander said, feigning obliviousness.

The Gotal shook his head incredulously and muttered; “She’s too well armed for a club-goer.”

The Nikto nodded in agreement and raised the blaster rifle further, pointing it squarely at Malkassa’s chest as the Gotal levelled the baton at Xander. The Xexto stepped forward into the light as well now, and Xander realised that she also sported a blaster pistol.

He didn’t fancy their odds. He watched Malkassa’s hands ease around the handle of both her blasters, and he clutched instinctively at his own holstered pistol under his shoulder cape.

“I’m gonna’ count to three.” The Nikto said slowly; “If you’re still ‘ere on three, we’re gonna’ vaporize you where you stand!”

Xander rolled his eyes; “So much for ‘ain’t guardin’ nothing!’”

“One!”

“We aren’t leaving....” Malkassa hissed; “...And you are the ones about to get vaporized!”

“Two!” As the nikto barked, the Xexto stepped in closer, her gun pointed at Xander’s face.

“Do we have a plan here?...” Xander muttered, though the question came too late for Malkassa to answer.

“Thr-”

“Wait!” A gravelly alien voice commanded from the doorway at the end of the corridor, behind the thugs.

There was a long moment of silence, but the thugs did as they were commanded.

“Someone said ‘Kassa’?” The voice let out curiously.

“Yes…” Malkassa answered, her hands still gripping her weapons tightly.

“You the lady that’s been following me around? Asking about the murder of that fat Senator from Vardania?”

“I might be…” Malkassa let out, her expression somewhere between confusion and concern. She thought she had been more subtle.

“Good.” The voice rasped back; “I was waiting for you to catch up with me.” Footsteps signalled the speaker was moving closer down the dark corridor.

“You were?” Malkassa asked, still not understanding.

“Let me be more specific.” The speaker said, footsteps coming closer down the hallway. “I was waiting for you to bring your boyfriend there to find me.”

“That’s funny.” Xander spoke now, attempting to project confidence. “We’ve clearly both been wanting to meet one another!”

The thugs parted as the speaker approached from behind them, their weapons were still fixed on the pair.

Xander looked up to see a large pair of bright red eyes coming down the corridor; “I don’t want to meet you Vardanian... I want to kill you.”

Xander remained rooted in place as he comprehended the statement, silently drawing the pistol from under his shoulder-cape. The speaker now loomed into the dim light. He was a Duros, with bright blue skin, a long brown leather trench coat, an improvised contraption wrapped around his wrist, and above those large red eyes he wore a distinctive wide-brimmed hat.

“Killing me won’t end the investigation into the Senator’s murder.” Xander said calmly, staring those red-eyes down; “All you’ll do is get yourself and your friends here killed. I have half a battalion of Lunar Defence Forces setting up a perimeter outside this place.”

“Liar.” The Duros spat. “If all your fancy soldiers were here you’d have already sent them in to drag me out.”

“You’re right.” Xander nodded. “That was how I wanted to play this when Kassa told me you were in here, but then I realised that some lowlife bounty hunter wasn’t worth getting men killed for. I want who put you up to it. But if I don’t get that… those men will come charging in.”

The duros stopped under the dim spotlight and raised his hand to his chin thoughtfully. Xander took the opportunity to glance at the thugs, who seemed to be a bit shaken by the possibility that soldiers could come bursting in at any moment.

“Fadrila, go check it out.” He nodded to the Xexto, who nodded in turn and hurried past the pair of them, pushing Malkassa aside with two of her four arms. “Wake Avar up while you’re out there, that damn pirate is no good to anyone asleep!”

Xander shot Malkassa an awkward glance as the door to the cantina opened and the club music filled their ears for a short few seconds until the door hissed shut again. He didn’t have a plan if this went wrong, but she gave him nothing in response.

“We’ll just wait and see if you’re telling the truth…” The bounty hunter said, smiling wickedly.

Xander began to panic, but he didn’t let it show...

“That’s fine. But I wouldn’t expect your friend to make it back in one piece.” Malkassa spoke firmly and forced herself to smile, matching the bounty hunter’s grin.

“Explain…”

She even let out a chuckle; “As you said; I’ve been following you around. I’ve gotten to know your crew. They’re all marked… If one of them even pokes their head outside the door while we’re still in here, those Lunar Defence Forces are going to assume we’re dead, then they’ll start shooting.”

There was a long silence as the Duros seemed to weigh up his options. It was only broken when the Nikto turned and said; “I ain’t dyin’ over ten percent, Bane!”

“Shut up.” The Duros, the hunter replied flatly, still thinking.

“We already cashed in on the Senator, no point bein’ greedy.” The Nikto growled, wheeling on this Bane.

“I never welch on a contract, and this one was given to me personally.” Bane retorted, jabbing a blue finger up towards the Nikto’s face. “Now shut up.”

“We just want to know who gave it to you, Bane.” Xander said firmly.

“The same person who told me to kill you, and your sister for that matter.” Bane shrugged, turning back. “Vardanians are an endangered species on Coruscant at the moment.”

The Nikto growled; “For frag’s sake Bane! Just tell them and we ca-”

A blaster shot rang out.

Xander flung back his shoulder cape and levelled his blaster at the bounty hunter. But he wasn’t the one who had fired. Bane clutched his own blaster pistol, deftly drawn without anyone noticing. Smoke drifted from the barrel as, at the same moment, he swung it round to face Xander.

The Nikto wailed and slumped over, clutching his scorched collar as he expired on the floor between them.

“You think I care about these guns for hire?” Bane sneered. “If your fancy soldiers are outside they can shoot Fadrila dead and it’ll save me her cut of your bounty.” The Duros tightened his grip on his blaster.

Xander stood defiant, his own raised in Bane’s direction. Malkassa and the Gotal stood off to each side respectively, each trying to remain inconspicuous as the tense showdown continued.

For a long moment the pair continued to stare each other down, then the door hissed open behind Xander and his heart sank. He didn’t need to look to see that the Xexto thug had returned, and brought with her the drunken Weequay.

He felt the blasters pointed at his back and knew their ruse was over.

“Well?” Bane hissed.

“No soldiers.” The Xexto, Fadrila, spoke in a high pitched voice as the door shut behind her, trapping them all together. “But…” She continued, now stepping level with Xander and Malkassa, her blaster pointed not at the two intruders but at the Duros instead; “...We heard everything that went on in here, Bane!” In her lower-right hand she held a flashing commlink.

Xander recognised that commlink. It was Malkassa’s. She must have set it up and planted it on the Xexto when she pushed her out of the way… Which made Malkassa’s lie about the ‘soldiers’ being ready to blast anyone even more clever. She knew that Fadrila would hear and hear Bane’s reaction as well. Xander bit back his smile as the Weequay, Avar, also raised his blaster pistol at Bane as he joined their line.

“You killed Kando!” The Weequay spat. “You just want our cuts! And after we got you onto the Executive Building and rigged up that bomb for you!” Avar didn’t seem so drunk now.

“You’re making a mistake.” Bane warned.

“The biggest mistake we’ve made is working with Cad Bane.” The Gotal added softly but sharply, having worked out that the balance of power had shifted, as he took a step back from Bane to avoid being in the line of fire if everything erupted. Then he ignited the stun-baton.

While Bane was distracted, Malkassa drew her pistols and slowly raised them. The Duros now faced a line of blaster pistols and a crackling baton, and like Xander had just about managed earlier, it was now Bane’s turn to try not to show fear.

“We just want to know who hired you. Who wanted the Senator dead? Who is coming after my family?” Xander pleaded. He didn’t want to kill their only lead.

“And we want to renegotiate our cuts from the senate job!” Fadrila squeaked, the Weequay and the Gotal nodding with her.

“You think you’ve got me outnumbered? I’d say we’re just about even.” Bane smirked, red eyes flashing between them... “Well, I guess you’ve chosen your partners... Now it’s time to dance.”

Xander didn’t see where the smoke grenade came from, but in an instant the corridor was completely obscured. He fired through it, towards where Bane had been standing. They all did. But the single precise blaster shot that returned through the cloud came from a different angle, and Avar the Weequay fell, dead before he hit the ground.

The Gotal charged forward into the haze, the sparks of the stun baton lighting up the clouded corridor as he swung it forward. There were sounds of hand-to-hand combat as the baton swung back and forth, a groan from the Gotal, and then a burst of light as flames ignited the corridor ahead.

The Gotal was covered in fire and ran screaming back towards them as more flame arked out in a line from down the hall.

Xander tried to get a shot on the origin point, which he assumed must have been the device on Bane’s wrist, but the inferno grew too rapidly and he was forced to dive out of the way as the Gotal staggered past.

“In here!” Fadrila squeaked, her spindly arms trying to pull him into a dark side room as the burning Gotal collapsed onto the switch that opened the door back in to the main cantina. The stench of burning fur and flesh filled Xander’s nostrils as his ears were filled with club music again and he darted inside the side room as more fire burst forth from Bane’s direction. Malkassa covered him as he moved, firing both blasters into the cone of flame in vain.

The screams of the cantina patrons quickly grew louder over the blaring club music as the arcing flames grew closer, pouring through the corridor and into the cantina proper. Then Bane’s return blaster fire also came bounding through the inferno, hitting the wall beside Malkassa and then landing another shot hard in one of Fadrila’s left arms. The Xexto yelped and punched a switch with her right, which shut the door to the side-room with a hiss, cutting off the sounds outside. Another switch-press locked it, though the fire would probably melt the locking mechanism before long.

Then the sound of the flamethrower stopped beyond. Xander considered why Bane didn’t just burn the backrooms down around them, then realised that the hunter needed to make an escape himself, especially as now the patrons had been alerted in the club, the authorities would be coming...

There was a long quiet moment in the side-room as Malkassa and Xander squatted apprehensively with their blasters levelled at the door. Fadrila cradled her wounded arm in the corner by the control pad.

Then suddenly they heard Bane’s voice, up close against the door; “I guess I’m just going to have to kill you another day Vardanian...”

And then… silence….

They squatted there for what felt like an age. Xander had seen death before in his time with the Judicials, but to see it, and smell it up close and personal like that had shaken him to the core. His confident exterior, like his lie about the Lunar Defence Forces being outside, had been just a ruse. He wrapped an arm around Malkassa as they waited in silence.

Eventually they heard the tale-tale sirens of the Coruscant Police and Fire-ships approaching.

That prompted Fadrila to break the silence, the wounded Xexto muttering; “I don’t know who told Bane to kill you or your Senator.” She grunted. “But I know where they met to pay him for it, I flew him to the meeting!”

“Where was it?” Xander asked, a glint of hope in his voice upon discovering that his investigation might not be dead after all.

“A Senator’s apartment…”

“What Senator?” Xander asked eagerly.

“What apartment?” Malkassa echoed, equally so.

“I can give you the address.” Fadrila squeaked. “The place belongs to… Senator Sundar of Rothstantooine...”

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Sarrin
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 116
Founded: Dec 21, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Sarrin » Wed May 15, 2019 11:39 am

Assimyr Fringe Senate Office, Senate District, Coruscant - 32 BBY

The office of the Aasimyr Fringe delegation wasn’t as large as some of the wealthier systems but they had done well with the space they had. The Vardians of course had taken the lead in its decor, dressing their suite with the gilded sigils and motifs of their Great Houses. Ornate sculptures adorned the walls, and even though the opulence had been slightly tempered under the guidance of Senator Raam, it was still pronounced compared to the spartan offices of numerous other delegations. For their part, the representatives for Teraxi and Ullinor had offered small adjustments and the occasional art piece, along with more practical alterations, such as Varxis’ own Teraxi-made V-10 droid serving as a general purpose aid.

In the centre of the main lobby an ornate fountain sat bubbling water, the statue at its centre depicting two long serpantoid sea-creatures entwined beneath an orb. It had originally been installed by the office’s prior residents, the statue at its centre depicted two long serpantoid sea-creatures entwined beneath an orb. When the office was reassigned to the Aasimyr Fringe It had been deemed to be considerable work to remove, and after the renovation was repeatedly delayed, one of Senator Raam’s predecessors took a liking to it and decided to keep it.

Around this lavish circular lobby, four offices sat, with one substantially larger than the others reserved for the sitting senator. In the smaller offices the representatives created microcosms of their homeworlds in the little space they had, though it was telling of the sector’s politics that the Teraxi and Vardanian delegates had the offices closest to the Senator’s own.

“I reviewed my probe’s footage of the Rodian delegation, my threat seems to have convinced them to step up and have the Labour Census Bill thrown out... Even got them thinking I killed Raam!” Varxis exclaimed with what seemed an honest attempt at humour as he entered Ilaria’s office wiping oil off his fingers with a dirty rag, looking up after a pause to see that the office was empty.

“We’re in here Varxis!” She called from the larger Senator’s office causing the Teraxi to chuckle to himself as he turned on his heel and moved towards Raam’s old quarters.

“I suppose we should make time to discuss which of us is really moving in here?” He quipped resting the rag over his shoulder as he entered the room.

The Senator’s office was supposed to have been left unchanged since Raam’s passing, but adjustments were appearing where Varxis and Illaria subtly seemed to be making their mark. First Ilaria had taken to using Raam’s large wroshyr wood meeting table for her meetings, then Varxis had begun setting the holoboards to respond to treat him as their primary operator. Today Varxis noticed that an ornate vase with colourful flowers from Hosnian Prime had been placed on the Senator’s desk.

Ilaria glanced up at him from the meeting table. She sat at the head of it, a row of datapads and holofiles laid out in front of her, the seats immediately down the table were occupied by the head of the delegation’s security detail, Commander Petyr Leonus of the Vardanian Lunar Defence Force, and Raam’s erstwhile and energetic political assistant Sufi Danitus.

They were just two of the staffers who served the delegation loyally, their own small offices adjacent to the entry corridor that led into the central lobby, keeping the people who did the real work out of sight and out of mind for the most part, in true Vardanian fashion.

“We probably should...” Ilaria nodded. “Though I think it’s unlikely that the Lunar Assembly would ever allow it to be either one of us.”

“The Miners & Democrats have put on the record that they will vote to veto the delegation’s recommendation for the position of Senator, whoever it is, unless the nominee comes from their ranks.” Sufi explained, ensuring both Varxis and Commander Leonus were both up to speed on the Vardanian political situation. “They control exactly half the seats in the Assembly and so it'd only take a single member from the Great Houses to vote with them or abstain and they then have a majority.” Sufi shook her head. “Really it's quite unheard of for them to vote as such a united bloc, but that is where we are…” She sighed.

“I think it's clear that you want the position Varxis.” Ilaria said cooly. “But, do you think you could win them over?” She asked, her tone decidedly neutral as her eyes locked on to the Teraxi who towered over the far-end of the table.

Varxis smiled pacing past the staffers towards the back of the office as he spoke “I’ve already begun making arrangements to deal with your assembly. I’m afraid to say that our new Chancellor has taken a similarly stubborn position on the topic. With Raam’s weakness on matters with the Trade Federation he wants a voice the Teraxi can rely on.” As the last word left his lips he arrived at the majestic windows overlooking the fierce midday traffic of Coruscant. Varxis crossed his arms behind his back allowing a momentary pause to rest in the air before he turned his head slightly to look at the staffers “Leave us” he commanded.

Sufi rose obligingly, Commander Leonus turned to look at Ilaria and frowned; “But, the security briefing?!” He protested.

“Can wait.” Ilaria nodded to him.

The Commander’s ceremonial chrome breastplate shimmered as he rose slowly to his feet, darting a sideways glare in Varxis’ direction before turning on his heel and marching out, Sufi following in step.

“I may remind you Varxis, that the Trade Federation and the Mining Guild have repeatedly threatened Vardania’s gas mining rights, and that on Val Vardan, Senator Raam’s positions were only ever viewed favourably.” Ilaria said calmly as they left, spinning her chair around to face the Teraxi without rising.

Varxis followed a speeder with his eyes watching as it faded from view behind a building before turning to lean on the glass his arms now folded over his chest. “It’s unfortunate then that we are not electing the Senator for Vardania but instead the Senator for the entire Aasimyr Fringe. My people have consistently stood aside on your issues out of respect but with tensions rising we will not allow a single slither of ground to be given away to corporate threats!”

“Are you suggesting that myself, or another Vardanian, would oppose the Trade Federarion any less sternly than Senator Raam did?” Ilaria said, reclining in her seat and pondering his words.

“J6 jam any bugs and play some music in the Foyer.” Varxis proclaimed as a small probe droid activated in the corner of the room letting off a quiet crackle for a moment before a classical piece could be heard faintly from outside. Content they were alone Varxis turned his attention back to Illaria “Shall we avoid playing politics and stop pretending this isn’t about one of us furthering our careers?”

Ilaria opened her mouth but didn't respond immediately, she looked both insulted and intrigued in equal measure. Then she rose to her feet; “Is there an offer coming Varxis, or are you toying with me like you Teraxi would with your dinner?”

Varxis chuckled, there weren’t many members of the Senate he would take quips about his species from but after over a decade together he had grown fond of Ilaria’s ocasional gibes. “A Titan Class Warship, no time wasted on mining lasers, it’ll be fitted for war. We’ll leave her on your junkard moon and pretend she’s a scavenger post till the Doria’s need her. In exchange I’d expect you to whip the other oligarchs on side… Unless you’d prefer I send some of my people to have a nice dinner with their younglings…” A wry smile crept across his face as he finished the thought. Intimidating a few pompous oligarchs did have a strange appeal especially after the mundane exercises in fear he found himself performing in the capital.

“I can see the advantages for Vardania in what you offer… But you just mentioned my career, something I'd take umbrage at if it wasn't for the fact that you know how long I've worked here and how badly I would have liked this position.” She paused, eyeing him for a moment before stepping closer and continuing; “So, if I help you with this, I want to know you'll endorse me to replace you when you step down? And I'll know if you're lying.”

“Bring me the oligarchs and I’ll have the next Chancellor veto any other candidate when I step down. Bring me Vardania and I’ll even remind the miners who they owed their victory in the your civil war too, come the ocasion.”

Ilaria smiled and shook her head; “You don't need the oligarchs.” She raised a hand to her chin in thought; “Sufi is right. The Miners & Democrats have already pledged their half of the assembly to vetoing our recommendation. If we nominate you, there’ll be no shortage of Great House members who join them, and they’d only need a single additional vote to win.”

She smiled, a plan forming in her mind. Politics was what she did and she did it well. “But if we nominate a dud-candidate, who’ll be vetoed anyway, and then get the Democrats to suggest you as the alternative, then we might just steal enough votes…”

“Unless they vote your idiot in, but I can always just have him assassinated if that happens.” Varxis said matter of factly. For all the years he had spent on Coruscant slowly working towards higher office and the power within it, he still had a distaste for the democratic system and its inefficiencies.

“Very funny.” She said without laughing. “And besides, they won't… Krastor Karak isn't the kind of man to break a promise. If he says they'll veto whoever we recommend, they will.”

“I am aware, I’m sure he’ll remember his debts as well. I certainly didn’t give the Union Corps favourable rates out of kindness.” Varxis added thinking back to his younger days in the Ministry of Arms when he use to smuggle crates of blasters on and off Vardania and its moons. Back then he’d never even thought of permanently leaving the wastes of Teraxi Prime, now he could barely stand the thought of going back.

“I'll set things in motion then.” Ilaria nodded. Varxis knew she was giving up a lot here, but he had been more than generous in return, and she knew it too. “Our allies in House Caspi will take delivery of the Titan once the votes are in, they own Diir Vardan after all, and of course I will await your glowing recommendation in the future.” She exhaled sharply. “Now we just need to find us a dud candidate…”

There was a moment of silence as they both considered the matter.

Then the door opened suddenly and the new Representative from Ulinor, Janis Corx, entered the room.

“Uh… Hello.” The boy said innocently, entering the office almost cautiously. “There was music playing loudly in the lobby and nobody was in their offices, so I wanted to check you were both alright?”

“I’m glad you’re here Corx, we think it’s time we have a chat about your place in all this…” Varxis said with a wide grin. Fifteen years of planning, he thought. Fifteen years and he was now just a missile launch away from a seat in the Galactic Senate...

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Greater Latica
Diplomat
 
Posts: 508
Founded: May 14, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Greater Latica » Thu May 16, 2019 3:27 am

32 BBY
Rothstantooine Volunteer Stellar Guard Corps (RVSGC) Orbital Station Beta (RS.B.S-1)


The two men stood in the cavernous forward storage chamber of the newly delivered banking clan comm ship as members of the Volunteer star corps combed every surface, torch light flicking around in the dark.

“There are signs of heavy use, but so far it seems perfectly serviceable,” commented the first man, he wore the dark burgundy red uniform of the Beta detachment of the RVSGC, accented with golden coloured braiding, marking him out as a staff officer.

“You sound surprised?” replied the other man, he was dressed in long flowing robes, commonly worn by those in the Rothstantooine Congress, in a poorly disguised attempt to emulate Coruscant and the Republic Senate.

“Have you ever been to a used ship lot? I’m making sure this isn’t just an opportunity for them to offload useless junk onto someone desperate and in need.”

“These ships were built to last, they were made to transport the galaxy’s most valuable resources, they’re solid, it’s cheaper to build decent ships than having to give our refunds and paying out insurance,” he bent down and ran his hand through the dust on the floor, which sparkled gently in the torch light, “besides, I’m pretty sure they’ve left some things of value lurking around in here. Senator Sundar has worked wonders getting us these. The ravagers aren’t going to know what hit them. They’ll make us the dominant power in the cluster”

“And even after all that, this stunt won’t be enough to curb the rising popularity of the People’s Party.”

“Them? Nothing we could ever do will satisfy them, they complain that the volunteers are underfunded so we’ve bought them eight warships, and they’ll say they would have bought ten, and built them for less money and better quality here at home, even though it’s impossible. We just don’t have the capacity. They just lie through their teeth.”

“That’s not even the worst of it, have you heard Vandhire’s new line?”

“I tend to ignore him when I can.”

“He wants to be elected Governor so he can press for Rothstantooine to become the capital of the Galactic Republic.”

The congressman laughed, the sound echoing in the black, “has he even been off world?! The Republic would rather one Coruscant than a thousand Rothstantooines, he truly has no idea how the Republic works.”

“The worst part is that he’s an Abyssin, think about the trouble he’s causing now. Imagine the chaos he could be causing in 200 years after our great grandchildren are dead and buried. If we’re lucky someone will put a stop to him and just shoot him.”
Valiant Supporter of the creation of a democratic Federated States of Europe.

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Cheye
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Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Thu May 16, 2019 11:11 am

The Convenor’s Office, Tower of the Convenor, Val Vardan - 32 BBY

“Please, tell me you aren’t serious!?” Vieron Doria’s voice almost broke, struggling to contain the bubbling concoction of emotions that overcame him. He turned his back on the two holograms that stood in front of him.

The lights in his penthouse office had been dimmed, and shades lowered over the expansive windows that typically revealed a commanding and beautiful view of Val Vardan’s endless city-scape. Before him, projected as if they were standing just across his desk, were the two people he trusted most in the universe - his children; Xander and Ilaria. Despite a turbulent upbringing during the Great Revolt, they had both grown into fine adults.

Xander’s formative years with the Republic Judicials and Lunar Defence Fleet had turned him into a shrewd tactician and had honed into him the strength he needed for leadership. Vieron hoped that he would use that strength one day to follow his own footsteps as Convenor, as holding together the thin balance of power between the Great Houses and the Miners and Democrats took all the fortitude he could muster.

Ilaria was different. She was both kind and empathetic, and had used her time interning and working in the Senate to grow into a political representative Vardania could be proud to send to Coruscant. She was no pushover, her political education there had been thorough and she had grown very good at trading favours, outmaneuvering her opponents and playing the great galactic game that dominated the political arena at the heart of the Republic. He had always wanted her to become Senator after Raam, he thought she wanted that too, but now here she was, telling him it wasn’t going to happen.

“The Titan will come retrofitted for warfare, it will be perfectly equipped to defend House Doria from these circling threats.” Ilaria said flatly, continuing before Vieron could get a word in edgeways; “And I have Varxis’ word that when the time comes I will replace him in the Senate.”

“A Teraxi Senator representing Vardania… It’ll never happen.” Vieron finally turned back, shaking his head. “Even if you pull off your stunt with the Ullinor boy, the Assembly will just deploy veto after veto.”

“I am disappointed by your lack of faith in me, father.” Ilaria replied, the eyes of her hologram downcast.

“It isn’t that I lack faith in you my dear, it’s that I simply don’t see how they could be persuaded otherwise…”

“They will.” Ilaria said, a fiery confidence in her voice.

“Well… you are the future of our House... It is up to you of course.” Vieron nodded, his expression somehow both supportive and disappointed at the same time; “I will do all I can to aid you from the Convenor’s throne.” He paused, chewing his lip as he wondered if he should say what was really troubling him, then he decided to go ahead; “My main concern is this Teraxi, Varxis… You’re taking his promises on good faith. Both the ship and the endorsement of succession. What’s to stop him reneging once appointed?”

“Varxis is a shrewd man.” Ilaria said placing her hands behind her back, her calm expression telling her father that she had anticipated the question. “He is power-hungry, but he knows the Teraxi alone do not have the influence to give him that power. He will always need Vardania on side if he wants to do anything with it... And Vardania remains ruled by House Doria.”

“For now…” Xander, who had been silently listening throughout their exchange, interjected sharply. “If the bounty hunter is to be believed, we are marked for death by the same people who killed Raam. People including the damn Senator for Rothstantooine, if the Xexto’s word is anything to go by.”

“Yes, the word of a criminal….” Vieron scoffed, running his hand through his slicked-back silver hair with a sigh.

“A criminal who saved your son’s life.” Xander corrected. “And who is willing to aid our investigation.”

Vieron shook his head, smiling wryly; “Both of you have gone soft!” He chuckled, though there was steel in his voice as he added; “One cavorts with Coruscant street-thugs, and the other would invite a Teraxi to speak for our home!”

The two holograms exchanged eye-contact for a moment, both well aware that their father was annoyed with them, even if he was being gentle in his choice of words.

Xander spoke first; “There will be nothing soft about my investigation father, that I promise you. I will investigate Senator Sundar and his apartment, and I will bring him and anyone else involved to justice.”

Vieron nodded, glancing at Ilaria; “And you?”

“I think with the potential threat posed by Rothstantooine’s involvement in this plot and with the ongoing tension in the Senate, the benefits of House Doria acquiring a secret warship should be obvious. I will see it through.”

“Ullinor have also ordered a new flagship for their System Defence Force.” The Convenor said with another sigh.“The Lunar Consortium will be facilitating the deal.” He had been sitting on that news since Doria spies in the Consortium had forwarded him the service order earlier that morning.

“All the more reason then.” Ilaria nodded firmly.

Vieron frowned, creasing his brow as mixed feelings ran through him. Any open military build-up would attract the attention of the Republic, who strictly regulated the size of system defence forces. Numerous systems had found ways of skirting those laws, Vardania included. Their Lunar Defence Fleet included several huge Sky-Tamers that far surpassed the size restrictions imposed by Coruscant. The Assembly had paid well to have them classified as gas mining ships, and in fairness plenty of them still served in that role, but not all of them…

Publically increasing the number of retrofitted Sky-Tamers would no doubt attract attention, and even doing it privately would still involve going to the Valentyn Company who couldn’t keep a secret. Gaining a new warship from the Teraxi was a good solution to that issue, but still the thought of an increased military buildup in the sector concerned him. The more warships in the Assimyr Fringe, the more likely it was that there would be trouble…

“I will formally deliver the delegation’s recommendation to the Assembly in person, immediately after the Senator’s funeral. The funeral should also serve to provide a chance for the other politicians to meet Varxis and Janis and draw their own conclusions. Or rather, the conclusions we want them to draw.”

“If the Teraxi behaves then the the funeral would be a good opportunity to start winning Assembly Members over.” Vieron conceded.

“Has Sundar been invited to the funeral?” Xander asked, folding his arms thoughtfully.

“There are several senate delegations who have been invited to send dignitaries. Rothstantooine is among the number who have yet to respond.”

“His reaction might give us a clue as to his involvement.” Xander’s voice was cool as he added; “Let me know when the response comes in, father.”

“Of course.” Vieron nodded, still unused to being given orders by the children he had raised. He smiled to both his son and daughter proudly; “Go now and see that you succeed in your endeavours! Trouble me as they might; you will always have my love and support.”

The pair then said their goodbyes, and the holograms vanished, leaving Vieron standing there in total darkness.
Last edited by Cheye on Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Sarrin
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Founded: Dec 21, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Sarrin » Thu May 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Titan 1, Kellux System - 32BBY

There was something authoritative about a cape; the majesty of its flow, the nobility of its trail, the subtlety of volume it added to one’s attire. For Admiral Pex these were all important considerations when choosing what to wear. As he gazed into the mirror to examine how the mauve inner lining of his otherwise gold cape matched his shirt and trousers, a smile crept over his face. This was the look.

“The captains have gathered in the mess.” Commander Nix said with a bite from the corner of the room. She had been watching her captain try on capes for thirty minutes, putting little effort into hiding her displeasure. Of course Pex didn’t care, he knew well that she had developed few of his offworld tendencies, demonstrated almost vocally in her choice of dress in the standard plain garb of a Teraxi naval officer.

“First impressions are hard to change my dear, these humans don’t have the same blandness as our kind. Besides, I told you, it’s a cantina now not a mess, we’re to be far more than just a mining ship...” Pex replied. Down to his voice every mannerism had changed in the admiral over his long tenure as ranking officer on the Titan 1, at first it had been subtle changes in common terms and how he gave orders but then more sudden shifts, how he dressed, what he did for pleasure. Some had embraced the change dressing and styling their own demeanor in a similar way. While others, like Nix, had rejected it stubbornly.

“You’re actually going ahead with this plan?” Nix asked. She remembered a time when she could have been executed for questioning her commanding officer, she missed those times.

Admiral Pex turned, smiling at the commander before gesturing for her to follow him as he made his way down the spiraling corridors of the mining ship. “The neimoidians lose money, we gain scrap and all the while become a notorious travelling hub for scum and villainy. What’s not to admire?”

Nix snarled her face echoing the distaste she had for the plan far better than her words ever could. It wasn’t the Teraxi way to get involved with offworlders, it wasn’t right...

Outskirts of Xanarax, Teraxi Prime

“It’s obviously a trap.” Yesha said with a sigh. His master’s cryptic answers had proven entirely unhelpful as they flew across the wasteland planet leaving him with little clue as to why they were springing whatever it was the Teraxi Chancellor had planned.

“You would prefer we ignore the wishes of our host?” Theradathis replied distantly looking out over the endless wastes as the ship began to slow its descent towards the ruins of the old Teraxi city of Xanarax.

“I’d prefer we not get ourselves killed.” Yesha muttered realising he was about to enter the same cycle of questions he’d been trapped in for the rest of the journey.

“The ship’s not been sabotaged, so you can provide air support... if you’d prefer?” Jasana remarked from the other side of the ship, flicking through notes on the old ruins on her holopad.

“I’m not much of a pilot.” Yesha said with a sense of resignation realising the cost of all those skipped lessons on Coruscant.

“Jedi Padawan Varlo. Xanarax is considered one of the safest ruins on Teraxi Prime. Last years only 23% of Younglings suffered a mortal injury during their assignments here.” V7-X12 stated the blue light of its central processor suddenly activating as it came within range of the Xanarax node network.

Yesha looked over to Theradathis with a concerned look causing his master to slightly grin before turning to face the droid. “Can you tell us what the Chancellor wishes us to achieve here now?”

“Commencing Protocol 7GC-9FQ in 15.14.13…” The droid began to sputter slowly rising from the charging port to the center of the transport ship. It’s movements were clunky each exposing the age and wear the droid had suffered.

As it reached the center of the ship it jolted upright intensifying the blue light to reveal a holo projection of the city and knocking loose a panel on its chestplate.

Jasana and Theradathis looked to one another as they saw the concealed explosive at the same time. They looked to the open door of the cockpit.

“6.5.4..” the droid counted.

Titan 1

“Esteemed Captains, what a pleasure it is that you could join us” Pex announced as he entered the redecorated mess. The brutal efficiency of the old food hall had been retrofitted to appear as a Hutt-world Cantina with decor, tables and a bar all created from the scrap the ship had harvested. For the twelve assembled captains it was an unexpected sight, though being invited aboard a Teraxi ship had been a surprise itself.

“Jibba nawa, detana?” an overly armed Jawa chattered in his native tongue twitching his head slightly as he spoke. A bandolier of wires was slung across his shoulder over his traditional brown robe beside which the string of a sniper rifle, that seemed almost larger than the small pirate, loosely rested. Both of these served well to distract from the heavy ion blaster and modified blaster pistol that hung loosely from his belt, ready to be drawn at the slightest provocation.

“The Great and Ferocious Captain Wittik of the Crimson Dagger, Slayer of the Great White Acklay wishes to know whether the Hutts are aware you have stolen their decor?” the rusting head of a protocol droid announced triumphantly from the Jawa’s back, only a small shred of its old silver coating still visible amongst the blaster, burn, and battle marks.

“This is all by our design my mighty friend, though if you’re asking of their involvement in this operation?... Let’s describe them as unofficial but supportive observers...” Pex replied reaching over the table they gathered around to take the bottle of Corellian Whiskey they had been given and to pour himself a glass.

“No one told me this was a Hutt job. I am wanted by the Hutts!” A Koorivar exclaimed frantically, tossing aside some of his cloth gown to reveal a blaster rifle that he gripped with both hands.

“Do not worry Captain Yelsan. I have been informed that your work on this task may go towards paying your debt to Bodra so you do not need to fear your life next time you seek the pleasures of the smuggler’s moon...” Pex said with an unusual calmness for a Teraxi.

Yeslan calmed himself slightly loosening his grip on the rifle but keeping one hand on it even as he covered it once more with the ragged brown cloth.

“So what is this job? I assume we’re not just here to drink your whiskey and rob you?” A Klatooinian asked as he nursed his now empty whiskey glass.

“You are here because you are among the greatest captains in the region but you are also tragically lacking a place to celebrate your vices. I offer you access to my cantina to decorate with your spoils of war in exchange for first bid on any vessels you capture along Trade Federation hyperlanes, or if you’re feeling bold, within Federation systems. I’m particularly looking for anything containing new droid plans or sensitive information that could wound the dear corporation.” As he finished he glanced over to Commander Nix who from the corner of his eye he could see scowling at the door. She had made clear she thought this was a terrible plan but he also knew she wouldn’t question orders, especially ones that came from higher up the chain of command.

“It’s dangerous going after those neimoidians, they’re ruthless bastards. I assume we’ll be suitably compensated?” The Klatooinian asked, finally resting his glass on the table as he carefully studied the admiral’s brightly scaled face.

“You will be suitably compensated not least with our well priced refreshments and black market access.” Pex replied confidently.

“Assa chiga namooda wagga chissa danba, utini!” Captain Wittik said slamming his gloved Jawa fist onto the table, dramatically exposing a wrist mounted rocket launcher as the other captains paused, each ready to jump in the event of a malfunctioning detonation.

“The Great and Ferocious Captain Wittik of the Crimson Dagger, Slayer of the Great White Acklay believes Captain Varyunta to be a coward and revels at the opportunity to dismantle Federation vessels and droids. He also wishes to know how you can be certain the Federation will not attack us here?” his protocol droid exclaimed in the silence as the captains relaxed slightly.

A smile crept across the Teraxi’s face as he took a slow sip of his drink, relishing in the moment as he, a Teraxi Admiral, stood surrounded by some of the greatest pirate captains in the galaxy. “We will give each of you a unique code to access a frequency on which you can request our location, this will keep us out of their detection. If they do find us, however, they will only see a mining ship protected by the laws of the republic… and armed to the teeth with legally grey modifications.”

There was a great sense of satisfaction in his answer. Pex had practiced this moment in front of a mirror, he knew as he said ‘teeth’ he should have worn his emerald cape. Regardless he also knew the pirates would believe his story and not suspect the truth, that the ship’s discovery was an entirely acceptable outcome for the grand plan. Indeed for Nix it might even be the more desirable outcome.

The assembled captains looked to one another each one considering the offer, before a previously quiet red-skinned Devoronian raised her glass with a wicked grin that showed her array of sharp teeth only slightly better preserved than her vestigial bumps. Her sleek brown trench coat blended well to keep her looking otherwise unremarkable and now served further to hide any arms she was no doubt carrying. “To the Phantom!” she toasted, clearly proud of the name she had created for the ship.

“To the Phantom.” The others joined. “To the Phantom.” Pex finished. The seeds were set for the grand plan, now he needed only wait for word to spread.

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Cheye
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Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm

The Temptress, Ullinor System - 32BBY

The luxury star yacht glided out of hyperspace without so much as a shudder. Indeed, the only detectable sign of the transition from inside the ship was the sudden change in lighting from the viewports as the rippling star-lines that enveloped the Temptress were suddenly replaced with void.

Tasha Vanadantius couldn’t help but stare out of those clear glass viewports for a few moments. She had always enjoyed the thrill of space travel. Growing up in a very wealth-obsessed family who had always prioritised business and wealth over family or fun had meant she had had to seek her thrills where she could. Still, she thought, her family hadn’t been that bad. Her mother’s devotion to the Lunar Consortium had paid out tenfold, and it meant that Tasha had been spoiled rotten growing up. At least until she’d been old enough to join the business too…

Tasha turned then, not wanting to think back to her apprenticeship on Cato Nemoidia; that point in her life when she had had to do a lot of growing up fast. Instead she walked away from the viewpoint, across the spacious suite that separated her and her mother’s offices on board the luxury starship. She paused for a second by the door console, a sign above which read; ‘Chief Executive Officer’ and listened as she began to hear the conversation taking place on the other side - her mother was on a call.

“It is a pleasure Prime Councillor.” The older woman’s voice said cooly; “As you know we would not normally take such a keen interest in every transaction, but when your next door neighbour asks you to find him a new blaster, you’d be remiss not to check what kind of varmint he intends to use it on, lest the critters are found in your house too...”

Tasha smirked, was her mother being overly-folksy? She knew they were talking to a man who led a planet full of farmers, but still; that was the first time she'd ever heard her use the word ‘varmint’ before.

“Lorna Vanadantius, you are as resplendent as the rumours say. However I do take offense to being spoken down to...” Juvenis dryly replied before continuing; “Ullinor has been lacking system defences for a long enough time now, and with our growth I feel that with what little we have we are severely under-protected. As such, I have taken the prerogative, as newly appointed Prime Councillor, to not only replace what was once lost but to also gain a command ship for our system defense fleet.”

Tasha couldn't see her mother’s reactions through the door, but she could imagine them well enough; the apologetic false smile after his first remark, the polite nods as he explained what they both already knew, and the obliging grin that signalled that the real business discussion was about to get underway.

Lorna responded; “Indeed, our Vice President of Special Contracts has procured a fine vessel for you as well, based on your exact specifications, from the King of Onderon’s personal defence fleet.”

The voice of Ullinor's Prime Councillor was silent for a long moment, before he finally spoke freely; “From Onderon you say? That's marvelous! Is there anything else I should know about the vessel?”

“About the ship? Nothing.” Lorna began, her voice inviting speculation about what could be coming next; “But about the deal? Yes, there are a few developments you should be aware of. Indeed the Vice President of Special Contracts will be with you shortly to finalise the terms…

Tasha gulped, stepping away from the door. So that was why her mother had brought her along for this. It was another test, just like the tests the Nemoidians had been so fond of back on Cato Nemoidia; tests of loyalty, deceit and resourcefulness.

Which kind of test would this be? She wondered, as darkness seemed to creep in from the inky blackness of the void beyond the viewport.
Last edited by Cheye on Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pageon
Envoy
 
Posts: 349
Founded: May 21, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Pageon » Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm

Virtuti Station, Ullinor System - 32BBY

The Prime Councillor watched as the luxury ship, clad in glimmering black and bronze outer plating, touched down delicately inside the hangar bay.

Virtuti Station had served as Ullinor’s primary military hub for most of the last century and its large hangar bays and extensive docking arms had been intended, like so much of the architecture of Ullinor, to play host to a large quantity of starfighters and war ships to defend the system during the credit-rush that never materialised.

Now though, most of the hangars were under capacity, playing host to a few squadrons of fighters that supported Ullinor’s corvettes in their System Defence Fleet. Several of the docking arms had even had to be renovated in order to fit the smaller corvettes, but thankfully some of the larger ones still remained, and it pleased Juvenis to think that very soon, one of them would link up to a new flagship.

For now though, he focussed his attention on the luxury yacht in front of him, placing his hands behind his back sternly and watching as the ship powered down. Behind him a small line of his political aides and station officials stood in a neat line, which fell silent as a hiss of steam erupted from the front of the vessel and the bronzed boarding ramp descended dramatically.

Juvenis straightened himself waiting for this corporate Vice President to emerge. He had always been more progressive than the other oligarchs on Ullinor, but he still had never forgotten that credits made the galaxy turn around, and he knew that that was a fact the Lunar Consortium were well aware of too.

Eventually there was movement from inside the starship, and then a lone figure emerged from within. A young woman, barely more than a girl, descended down the ramp and strode towards him.

“Prime Councillor Juvenis Corx?” She asked confidently as she drew near, a slight nod of her head attaching a modicum of respect to what was otherwise a curt greeting.

Juvenis took a moment to respond, thinking back to a dossier he had taken the opportunity to read on the Lunar Consortium’s senior personnel after his call with their CEO earlier. The information they had was patchy at best, the Vice President of Special Contracts barely being mentioned in any of their files, but then and again; what kind of data trove was the leader of what was essentially a backwater system going to have at his disposal?

“Tasha Vanadantius, this is an unexpected pleasure to be sure.” his reply was cool with a slight hint of annoyance at having to deal with a young woman instead of the CEO or some other experienced individual.

“Indeed.” Tasha smiled. “Now, before we discuss the delivery schedule for the heavy cruiser, I should inform you that in response to the passage of Proposition 31-814D, the Trade Federation are increasing their charges on the usage of trade lanes around the Onderon System, so we will need to increase our pre-arranged broker fee from ten to fifteen percent…” The girl glanced up at him, her expression one of awkward discomfort, as if it somehow pained her to start their conversation on such a petty notion.

Juvenis very rarely enjoyed verbal sparring matches and even less so with what he considered children, perhaps with the sole exception of Janis. He had fought for many years against the deterioration of Ullinorian politics to get the top job and he wasn’t going to be tricked by some act from a naive child.

Clearing his voice he gave a pointed look at the girl; “So you were sent to make sure I wouldn't cause any trouble about this little… rate increase? How benign.” He paused. “Before I continue on with that discussion, I would like to know in detail what assurances you will give of the vessels condition, and if the Lunar Consortium would pay compensation for anything discovered to be amiss with said vessel either upon receipt or discovered there afterwards. It is a rather large investment for our burgeoning star system, you see…” He trailed off a little as if considering other thoughts.

Tasha smiled again, this time nodding more enthusiastically; “Allow me to personally guarantee the ship's quality, and know that further to that we will invite your crew to make a full inspection of the ship prior to flying it over from Onderon.” She bit her lip thoughtfully before adding; “Indeed, as my mother considers this to be such a vital contract for our company, we will also provide a full roster of technical droids and fly your crew out to Onderon personally at no extra charge… provided the adjusted rate is paid, that is.”

Juvenis cracked a small smile; “And what about during the ships transit to Ullinor, what if stars forbid anything were to happen during its journey along the space lanes to Ullinor?”

Tasha frowned, “And what, stars tell, do you expect to happen to a Rendili Dreadnaught heavy cruiser? With respect Prime Councillor, short of an entire System Defence Fleet or the Banking Clan showing up, your crew will be flying one of the most defensible ships for light years around.”

“With time you tend to learn that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And whilst it may indeed be one of the most defensible ships, it is certainly not indestructible nor impervious to any form of damage. It will, as you describe things, be a lone heavy ship operating with little to no support until it reaches Ullinor. That can represent a tempting target for some, and Ullinor does not have the resources currently at its’ disposal to deploy an escort force.” He finished with a slight frown, contemplating what sort of spoiled life a child of a rich family in Vardania must be accustomed to compared to one from Ullinor.

Tasha nodded slowly, it almost seemed as though she had read his thoughts when she spoke; “Prime Councillor, I spent my formative years training on Cato Nemoidia. I know how business works and my family have friends in the Trade Federation. Now, provided we pay their rates, they will ensure no harm comes to your ship… Besides, the ships we use to transport your crew to Onderon can fly back in escort with the cruiser, I can request they are armed if it pleases you?”

Juvenis leaned back contemplating for several moments. It certainly sounded like a good deal, one he should be happy for, however it was as if something was telling him in the back of his head to be wary of anything to do with outside his home system. As if the Force itself was warning him….

He put such thoughts to the side, only the Jedi could understand the Force not someone such as himself. “Well Miss Vanadantius I think we have a deal, I understand the difficult position the recent proposition has put you in and will gladly pay the increased rate for the security of Ullinor.”

“Fantastic!” She beamed, her entire posture shifting slightly as she seemed to suddenly relax.

He watched her carefully, now that their negotiations had finished he was able to look at her more objectively, and upon closer inspection he realised she was not as young as he had first assumed. Juvenis was only 30, though he often felt far older, and Tasha couldn't be too many years behind him, despite the impression she gave off from her slender frame, smooth-skinned face and youthful, fringed haircut.

“Now that our business is concluded may I invite you to dinner in the city below, I would be remiss to ignore this opportunity to show the potential of my system to a newfound business partner?”

“You may indeed Prime Councillor.” Tasha said sweetly. “I would love the chance to get to know Ullinor better… And it's Prime Councillor.” She added coyly as he offered her his arm and led her away across the hangar.
Last edited by Pageon on Wed May 22, 2019 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Allies:Othileon, Greater Latica
Pageon Statistics:
Notable for large advances in technology, and a military with numerous autonomous weapons and drones. The nation is led by Emperor Callum Carmichael and his Arch-Lectors. The nation worships a Pantheon of Gods led by the warrior God Allenstag. The populace of Pageon are highly educated and due to intelligent investments by the government the economy is currently running a surplus, although civil liberties were curbed to aid in this. The people are extremely apathetic and the elected portion of the government is filled mainly by merit over popularity. Pageon's closest ally is Greater Latica despite the divide between economic principles their cultures are similar enough that their populations are able to mix with surprising ease.

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Cheye
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Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:07 am

Outside the Galactic Senate Complex, Senate District, Coruscant - 32BBY

Senator Birith Sundar didn’t have the eyes of a killer. He was a well-built man to be sure, and his body moved in the slow, smooth manner of one who was no stranger to physical exertion, or perhaps even violence. But, the longer Malkassa Darona watched him, the more she was sure that this was not the man who had ordered the Vardanian Senator’s murder.

Watching the Senator hadn’t been easy; the man barely ever seemed to leave his office, in fact he had even taken to sleeping there, which might have explained why her sweep of his apartment had found it almost entirely deserted. That certainly seemed to suggest a man living in fear of something? But whether it was fear of being discovered for plotting another senator’s murder or fear of something else; possibly meeting the same fate, Malkassa couldn’t tell.

As in the distance, Sundar finally rose from his desk and left his office, she lowered her macrobinoculars and turned away from the ledge she perched atop. Coruscant’s afternoon air-traffic whizzed past in neatly organised lanes nearby, sending a noticeable breeze in her direction that brushed against her lekku coldly.

She keyed her comm, and raised it to her mouth to speak; “He just left.”

“Good.” Came Xander’s voice from the other end of the comm. “I've got things covered from here, go check on Fadrilla, see if we can't get a reading on where Cad Bane might be hiding out, he's overdue an appointment with the Lunar Defence Force.”

Malkassa nodded to herself and briskly walked back across the ledge of the towering skyscraper and with another click of her comm opened the cockpit hatch of her airspeeder. She jumped inside quickly, and within moments she was whizzing across the sky away from the Senate and out towards the rougher, lower neighborhoods of Galactic City.

Inside - 5 minutes later

Xander watched carefully as Senator Sundar meandered down the winding corridor. The Rothstan human walked alongside two others, one a Neimoidian; whose tall pointed hat marked him out as Senator Lott Dod of the Trade Federation, the other was a Gran who Xander didn't recognise but who he suspected was a member of the Senate delegation from Malastare.

They were no doubt exchanging political favours of some kind, muttering as they were to themselves as protocol droids and senate staffer’s shuffled past. Xander leant against the wall further ahead of them, his blue shoulder cape draped over him, concealing his body, and his weapon, as he watched and waited for his moment.

He grimaced at how easy it was to get the needler pistol past security. That the Galactic Senate of the Republic was so poorly guarded irritated him greatly, and he couldn't help but wonder; what if someone who actually intended to use a weapon on a Senator managed to get one in just as easily? What about that bounty hunter, Cad Bane? Was his sister even safe here?

He shook his head. Such thoughts were, for now at least, a distraction. Once his investigation had concluded he would share a full report with the Senate Guard and the Republic Judicials outlining their failings, of that he was certain, but for now he had a job to do.

“...And in return we will ensure you and your allies receive sufficient funds to prevent this People’s Party from ever taking control of your planet.” Senator Dod said quietly, though it was still said louder than a whisper. The trading of funds and favours had become commonplace, even in the halls of the Senate building itself and the executive lacked the authority to punish anyone for it, even if it had wanted to.

The Gran spoke next, his three eye stalks bouncing as he did; “The Congress of Malastare made a similar deal not so long ago Senator, I can assure you we have not looked back.”

Xander made a mental note to tell Ilaria that the Trade Federation were up to something. What that was, he couldn't be sure though. Could it have been linked to Raam’s murder? The Vardanian Senator had always been a vocal opponent of the Federation’s activities in the Senate, and Dod was said to be ruthless both in politics and in every other aspect of his life…

It was time to make his move.

With one hand on the handle of the needler, Xander stepped forward suddenly, right into the path of the trio. Sundar sidestepped deftly and Dod stopped in his tracks, but the three eyed Gran, ironically, didn't see him coming and collided with Xander, hitting him with a thud before letting out an almost comically high-pitched yelp. Xander buckled his step, and reached out to steady himself, catching Senator Sundar’s arm with one hand and using it to ensure he maintained balance as the Gran staggered backwards clumsily trying to do the same.

His other hand beneath his cape flicked up quickly while everyone was still reacting, and he pulled the needler’s trigger, firing a tiny dart at point blank range from beneath the cape into the centre of Senator Sundar’s torso.

At the same time, he released his grip on the Senator’s arm and stepped backwards. “I'm terribly sorry,” Xander said, dipping his head respectfully to the two Senators as he re-holstered the needler.

“You oaf!” Senator Dod barked gruffly, clenching a fist in what, for a neimoidian, was a meaningless gesture.

“I can only apologise once more.” Xander kept his head bowed low, he didn’t look to see if Sundar had noticed that he’d been jabbed by the tiny pin-prick dart.

He hadn’t said anything, so it seemed as though Xander was all clear.

“Well don’t do it again.” Dod snarked, and Xander glanced up as the trio turned to move on.

“Senator Sundar!” Xander called.

‘Yes?” The Rothstan man turned, folding his arms, his expression suggesting he was far from pleased at the interruption.

“I am Commodore Xander Doria of the Vardanian Lunar Defence Fleet.” He said sternly, standing a bit taller. He noticed as Dod and the Gran exchanged a subtle glance behind Sundar’s back; “I was on my way to find my sister, but I have reason to believe you will also be coming to Senator Raam’s funeral ceremony on Val Vardan?”

“I had intended to reply to your sister’s invitation sooner, but with the current security risks, I will admit; I am unsure how safe it will be to travel to your system.” Sundar said, lowering his folded arms in a gesture of honesty. Good; Xander thought. That meant the serum on the dart was working. Truth Serum was hard to come by on Coruscant, and Malkassa had put a great amount of time and credits into acquiring some from her seedier criminal contacts in the capital’s underbelly.

“Well that’s why it’s good that I bumped into you.” Xander offered sternly. “I have been assigned as head of security for the event, and I’m on Coruscant to personally reassure delegates such as yourself.”

“Hmph… Barging into a group of powerful dignitaries like a crazed gundark will do little to reassure anyone of your efficiency Commodore.” Senator Dodd interjected from over Sundar’s shoulder.

“Well it is a good thing then, that two of those three ‘dignitaries’ are not invited to the ceremony in question.” Xander shot back coolly.

“Hmph.” Lott Dod repeated, before glancing at Sundar; “We can resume our business later Senator… in more agreeable company.” And with that, the neimoidian turned on his heel, his senate robes swirling around him as he departed, the subservient representative from Malastare trailing in his wake.

Senator Sundar let out a slight groan, his eyes following the Trade Federation Senator and his lackey down the corridor. That was clearly where his priorities lay. Xander’s eyes followed, wondering if that was the direction he should turn the focus of the investigation towards.

While the truth serum contained within the dart was potent enough to make a being’s real intentions as plain as day, such a small undetectable dart could only hold so much serum, and Xander knew he couldn't wait forever to be alone with Sundar to ask what he needed to, the all important question that may yet confirm his suspicions. His eyes darted up and down the corridor; he almost had Senator Sundar to himself, there were just a few other beings meandering around the corridor.

“So Senator, what can I say to reassure you?” He said, opting for a different question to the one on his mind and offering a cold smile as he maintained the charade while a Pantoran staffer shuffled past before disappearing through a doorway down the hall. “The Lunar Defence Fleet is on standby, and a legion of our finest soldiers will provide security for the ceremony itself…” He glanced around as the only other being present; a protocol droid, shuffled out of sight around the corner. “...Not to mention, we have found a new lead in our investigation into the killing.”

“Oh have you now?” Sundar asked, stroking his chin thoughtfully. Xander couldn't tell whether the question was meant to imply relief, or a challenge?

“Yes, we've discovered that whoever ordered the killing used your apartment to rendezvous with the assassins…” Xander’s eyes bored into the Senator’s as he asked coldly, it was time to ask the question; “...So, who was it Senator? You?”
Last edited by Cheye on Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sarrin
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Founded: Dec 21, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Sarrin » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:05 am

The Phantom, Admiral’s Quarters, Ambria System

There were often rules about contacting home, but with time the oligarchs of the ‘Three Engines’; the ministries of Starship Production, Armaments and Droid Production, had grown accustomed to the Admiral’s eccentricities. Still he didn’t see any reason to stir the pot keeping his attire neutral in palette with only a slight gold trim on his cape to demonstrate his magnificence. A feature he made sure to admire as the conversation swerved in and out of his interest.

“- prices have been set so once we deal with their mistake we should be ready to swoop in.” A brightly scaled Teraxi in a tyrian purple gown remarked, stroking the sharp bony ridges of his chin.

“Give them space before you move in Zarx. We can’t have Ullinor suspecting our involvement while I’m trying to win their support.” Varxis replied with a remarkable focus for someone who was simultaneously maintaining a probe droid.

“That shouldn’t be an issue, I’ve made investments with the right people. Pex, are you ready to fulfill your side of this operation?” Zarx replied with a sourness in his tone that spoke volumes of his emotions. Despite being hatch-kin Zarx and Pex had drifted further apart since they took high office, indeed Zarx often believed Pex sought his position as Minister and vice versa.

“I’ve already sent agents to Onderon to get schematics of the vessel. If everyone plays their part however I suspect we’ll be far from suspect, not least because some of my new ‘colleagues’ will be there to clean up any signs of our involvement.” Pex spoke with a pride that snubbed his hatch-kin slightly adjusting his cape to show its gold trim as he spoke.

“Enough of this jogan kriff, I didn’t come here to discuss the starship business. What are we going to do about that rodent who usurped the Chancellorship, my sources claim he’s killing the damned Jedi now!” The Teraxi speaking wore several of the telltale marks of a member of the Ministry of Armaments. The exposed bright scales on her body all scarred with blaster bolts and burn scars that seemed to merge into her dark sanguine robes.

“He’s certainly becoming a karking problem…” Another Teraxi cussed his slightly brighter sapphire robes blending well with the cybernetic implants that accessorised his radiantly bright scales.

“I’ll be paying him a visit on my brief return to the planet. Until then no one is to act against him, we don’t need a conflict. It’s bad for business.” Varxis calmly commanded still focused on his probe.

“That’s easy for you to say Varxis, you’re off world. If you were still here you’d see the danger he poses.” The scarred Teraxi snarled, causing a tense quiet to rest over the channel.

“If you disagree with how I govern our coalition Merix, you are welcome to make your own case.” Varxis replied dropping the Probe and standing for the first time in the call.

Merix paused as if considering her support among the others before begrudgingly responding “No…”

“Then I suggest we return to our affairs, Zarx you will have the completion of Titan 3 made a priority so it can be sent to Vardania, Pex you have your orders regarding the Ullinor problem and Merix and Vilx you will both ensure our interests remain protected at home.” Varxis’ authority seemed evident and radiant now he was offering his full attention, leaving a sense in the call that it would be futile to challenge him.

The various oligarchs nodded, one by one they disconnected from the holocall until only Pex remained, earning a curious gaze from Varxis.

“There is something you wish to discuss, Admiral?” Varxis finally asked.

“A discovery by one of our ‘affiliates’; the Jawa pirate, Captain Wittik.” He paused dramatically before continuing. “He has intercepted a Trade Federation shuttle en route to Malastare. The shuttle was boarded and its cargo and passengers seized…” Pex trailed off.

“I assume there’s a purpose to this?” Varxis asked casually cracking a knuckle.

“He found a Neimoidian dignitary, an attaché to Viceroy Nute Gunray himself.” Pex remarked with a great sense of pride echoed by the subtle grin he flashed to Varxis.

“Go on.” Varxis carefully asked, his gaze evidently more focused from the sound of the Viceroy’s name.

“Wittik, who interrogated the dignitary personally, managed to extract some key information from the attaché. Aside from details about unprotected starlanes, the Nemoidian revealed that the Federation is building-up on the edge of the Chommell Sector. Dozens of warships, if not more. An ‘Armada’ I believe was his choice of word.”

Varxis paused to think, the Chommell Sector was hardly at the heart of the galaxy, the Trade Federation could be up to anything out there… Then he remembered what Ilaria had said about Senator Palpatine of Naboo meeting Chancellor Valorum just before Raam’s assassination, and the pieces began to fit together in his mind. Naboo was at the heart of the Chommell Sector.

“Interesting.” Varxis nodded slowly. “We can probably use this, you’ve done well Pex. Where is the dignitary now?”

Pex chuckled. “Wittik proved so ‘innovative’ in his methods that the Federation attaché died after rupturing his bowel shortly after disclosing this information...”

“Good.” Varxis said as he sat back down picking up his probe droid “We can’t afford any loose ends on this…”

Outskirts of Xanarax, Teraxi Prime


Blurry shapes filled the area of the crash sight as Yesha slowly came to terms with where he was. His master had barely made it into the cockpit when the explosion rippled through the ship forcing it into what could only loosely be described as a crash ‘landing’.

‘What if he was dead? Would that mean I’m alone? Is there even a way out of this ruin?’ each thought raced through his mind as he tried to focus on the moving figure before him.

“Diagnosis: Alive. Dehydrated. Wounded. Recommendation: Kolto Tank ED39VQ41.”

Yesha looked up, a strange spider-like shape with a humanoid torso loomed over him. He looked to the side, the dry climate already beginning to weigh heavily on his amphibious body. Smoke in the distance. That must be the crash site.

He felt robotic hands grasp him slowly lifting him up.

“Commencing: Protocol GV72:9006398218”

Yesha looked down warily, an obscured needle slowly injecting into his stomach as the blurriness slowly turned to black...

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Greater Latica
Diplomat
 
Posts: 508
Founded: May 14, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Greater Latica » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:50 am

32BBY

Senator Birith Sundar re-entered his office with pace, he turned and keyed the door shut, his mind racing as he considered everything Xander Doria had said. He took a moment to compose himself. Wiping sweat from his brow, he noticed his head felt a little woozy and he stumbled forwards towards his desk, unsure whether it was the uncomfortable line of questioning that had brought it on or if he was coming down with a cold of some kind.

Suddenly a woman’s voice spoke from a far corner of the room, and he realised he wasn’t alone; “You should shave.”

He swallowed, attemting quickly to compose himself as he turned and faked a smile; “Do you think? I’m kind of liking the whole rugged look.”

“Sir, just because you’ve been living in your office for a fortnight, doesn’t mean you should look like it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Definitely. Especially since you’re planning on handing your response to the Vardanian Senate Representative personally.”

Senator Sundar grimaced, stroking his pained forehead as he thought back to how he had left the matter prior to Xander’s interruption. As he stood there, he caught sight of his reflection in the office window; his eyes were tired and puffy, and he was still sweating, but worst of all Lieutenant Caballa had a point; the beard he had initially been grooming had become a patchy mess that dominated the lower half of his face. He nodded in begrudging agreement to her.

Ultimately he respected Caballa and her opinion. She had served loyally as a member of his guard for several years now, not bad for a street urchin found lost on the streets of one of Epsilon 5’s domed cities. Collected to fill a recruitment quota, she’d taken to military life well, to the point that her charges for brawling during her training hadn’t stopped her from later earning her commission.

Her side cut hair was naturally purple and her skin had a slight blue-grey tint, hinting at an alien lineage, though specifically what was unknown having been orphaned at an early age. Working in the asteroid mines was a risky job, and people with similar stories were all too common.

Having conceded the point, he shuffled over into the side office that had been refitted into a bedroom and washroom. He crossed the room and looked more closely at his reflection in the mirror. Perhaps the beard didn’t suit him any more after all.

He sighed, taking some time to splash some water on his face to cool down.

The Senator tried to control the growing feeling of discomfort he had felt since his discussion in the corridor with the Vardanian. On top of the headache, he had now been left with a piercing tension in the pit of his stomach. The thought that one of your staffers might possibly be involved in the assassination of a fellow senator would do that he supposed.

It had to have been one of them who had worked with whoever plotted Senator Raam’s assassination, allowing the culprits access to his own appartment to conspire with the bounty hunters. He had told Doria as much as well, though looking back he wasn’t entirely sure why he had felt the need to be so honest and share the full details of this personal betrayal with the relative stranger who had accosted him in the corridor. Still, he had promised the Vardanian he would do his best to help investigate, and that had been enough to make the man turn away from him and storm off, leaving Sundar standing there dumbstruck to have to go and deal with the matter himself.

He had always felt that he could trust his staffers implicitly, but less so now.

Who could have been involved? What would have been their motivation? And was he even safe?
Valiant Supporter of the creation of a democratic Federated States of Europe.

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Cheye
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Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:16 pm

Calocour Heights, Coruscant - 32BBY

The speeders raced through the sky-lanes of Coruscant, slicing their way through traffic as rain lashed down hard from above.

Malkassa wasn't really sure how a giant city world like Coruscant could even have rain storms. It defied any natural logic she could think of, but right now she didn't have time to wonder whether it was all the result of someone sat in a control tower somewhere or just another natural anomaly. She had a target to focus on, and that target was Cad Bane.

“You’re losing him!” Fadrilla, barked irritably from beside her.

The Xexto was a funny little creature. Initially Malkassa had struggled to trust her, given the nature of her work as one of Bane’s hired thugs and the role they had played in Raam’s assassination, but Fadrilla had been personally aggrieved by the loss of her companions and now she wanted revenge.

Apparently the group had been quite the loyal crew of reprobates before Bane had cut his way through them, Fadrilla had said they used to look out for one another on the mean streets of Coruscant and even treated each other like family, pulling odd jobs and taking bounties when they could. Thanks to Bane’s ruthlessness though, their job working for him had been their last together, and Fadrilla; the crew’s sole survivor, was angry about it.

Malkassa understood that. She had wanted to work with Xander again because of the connection they shared, but now that she knew that he and his family, possibly even their daughter, were in danger, she felt compelled to help him on a far greater emotional level. She was itching to catch up with the killers, whether Bane or the plotters behind him, and the desire to put them down, to end the threat, tugged at her heart.

“Watch out!” Fadrilla cried as a large star-liner pulled up just ahead and the outline of Bane’s speeder cut in close to it, in a flashy attempt to lose them.

“I see it…” Malkassa said, dipping her own speeder down hard, almost vertically, and zipping under its bow, before bringing the vehicle up hard to regain their course, the bounty hunter’s speeder still far ahead.

“If you flew better he wouldn't be on to us right now…” The Xexto said snidely; “Hand me the controls!”

Malkassa laughed dryly and shook her head; “You think I'm letting you fly? I barely know you!”

“Hey, I started out in this life flying spice down to 1313. I've outrun Coruscant Police, Jedi, you name it. And I was picked to be Bane’s getaway driver on the Senator job! I think I know what I'm doing…” she cried, three of her arms raised upwards in frustration as she added; “I certainly wouldn't get much closer to tha-”

Suddenly the speeder jolted and spun upwards as Malkassa brought it out of the path of a passing freight-hauler, a line of bulky cargo containers hovering atop repulsor sleds trailing in its wake.

Malkassa wiped sweat from her purple brow as they stabilized, Bane of course having used the opportunity to widen the gap between them.

“Maybe you should fly…” She conceded as a line of airspeeders shot around them, blaring their safety horns irritably.

“Finally!” Fadrilla squeaked, her upper arms already reaching for the controls as they continued the pursuit.

Outside the Galactic Senate Complex, Senate District, Coruscant

Xander’s blood boiled as he strode across the wide, open concourse that dominated the central approach to the colossal Senate Building. Senator Sundar had confirmed what he had already suspected; another party was involved in Raam’s murder. And whoever they were, they were skilled enough to hide their involvement.

His gut told him it was the Trade Federation. They were influential and rich enough to pull off something like that and they had interfered in Vardanian affairs before; trying to get an angle on taking over the gas mining operations on Vardania’s Tempest Hub. Further still, Sundar had confirmed that his Senate office had been doing business with them, which meant that with the help of one of his staffers, they could have gained access to his apartment where they met secretly with Bane and his crew.

If that was the case, they had used Sundar as the perfect fall-guy. No formal investigator would be able to tell his defiant protestations of innocence were in fact genuine pleas of truth. Thankfully Xander wasn't formally investigating, and the truth serum Malkassa had sourced had proven its worth.

Leaving Sundar to head off back to his office to work out who had betrayed him, Xander had decided he would go straight for the source. Now outside, his cape billowed in the strong wind as he moved, a light spattering of rain beginning to fall around him, but he ignored it.

Up ahead Senator Lott Dod stood addressing a small crowd of officials who had just disembarked from an airbus that now once more took flight. Most of them were neimoidians like Dod, aspiring clerks and junior office staff from the way they were dressed, their unmarked black gowns and rounded hats far less intricate than the blue and black swirling patterns on Dod’s senatorial robe.

Normally Xander was cool and collected, he usually took his time devising a strategy and then executed it flawlessly, like he had with the serum, but now he felt different. Now he was annoyed. Annoyed that he was stuck here navigating the labyrinthine corridors of power as he investigated Raam's killing, annoyed that Cad Bane had so far eluded them, annoyed that his family was in danger and annoyed still that whoever was behind it all had set Sundar, and by proxy Rothstantooine, up to take the fall as if the conflict that could have sparked wouldn’t have been devastating for the Assimyr Fringe.

These thoughts and more ran through his head as he reached the crowd and raised his blaster; his proper blaster, that he had collected upon leaving the building, above his head and fired wildly into the air.

It was almost comical how quickly the crowd parted, eyes turning wildly towards him.

“Ahhh…” Senator Dod said dryly, though he kept his eyes on Xander’s blaster as the Vardanian began to move towards him through the crowd; “..Commodore Doria, I suspected we hadn’t seen the last of you today.” He turned to a silver protocol droid that hovered behind him and added; “Inform the Senate Guard that there is a lunatic out here firing off a blaster.”

Xander strode forward towards the neimoidian Senator, the rain was starting to pick up now. As he cleared the crowd of flunkies he levelled his pistol in the direction of the protocol droid’s head and fired before it could even acknowledge its master’s order.

As the protocol droid’s metal head flew off and its metallic body fell prone on the concourse ground, almost half the crowd went fleeing in terror. Nemoidians had never been known for their courage.

Dod eyed him cautiously, and Xander noticed as his right hand dropped to his side, where no doubts his robes concealed a pocket with either a comlink or a hold-out blaster tucked away.

“I’m not interested in a standoff with you Senator.” Xander said, lowering his own weapon passively. “I just want your full attention.”

“You have it.” The Trade Federation Senator replied glibly, his alien eyes locked on Xander’s own. Then Dod clicked his spindly fingers and gestured to the remaining flunkies; “Leave us. We will resume the briefing on the blockade inside.”

Once they had all scurried off, Xander went for it; “I know the Trade Federation is involved in Senator Raam’s murder and the bounties on the heads of my family members.” He began softly. “Now we can spend the next few minutes discussing exactly how I know, and I can tell you that with the evidence we’re in the process of accumulating - it’ll be a Republic Judicial, or maybe even a Jedi Master who’ll be asking these questions next instead of me, or we can just move on to discuss who else is involved and why, and keep the Republic out of this? The choice is yours.”

It was a gamble on top of a bluff, Xander knew, but it was all he could do without the threat of more violence at this point, and if he went any further in that department he might well end up falling onto the wrong side of the law. He trusted his gut though, the Trade Federation had to be involved in this.

He watched carefully as Dod weighed up his options.

“There is no need to inform the authorities.” Dod smirked, though it was a nervous expression. “Not at a time like this…. No, instead… I will give you something, for your efforts.”

Xander raised a curious eyebrow; “Go on.”

“Your little moons are not as important as you think Commodore.” Dod snarked, rising a little taller as he added; “Despite your people’s decadence and resistance to progress, we do not care about the petty politics of your government. We do not care who lives and who dies among the ruling families of your moons.”

“I’m not surprised.” Xander barked back; “You Federation types only care about credits.”

“From a certain point of view...” Dod chuckled, stroking his chin thoughtfully; “The Republic will soon be ours Commodore, we have no need to kill families and senators like yours when we own the trade you depend upon.”

“You expect me to believe you weren’t involved?” Xander asked sceptically, wishing he had some of that truth serum left.

“No. Just because we didn’t order it doesn’t mean we weren’t involved.” Dod flashed another smirk, this one wicked and wide, revealing his true cunning nature; “We may have been approached for assistance... and who are we to oppose those who share our interests?”

“And who shares your interests on Vardania?” Xander asked, a question to himself as much as it was to the Trade Federation Senator.

Dod remained silent. He merely smiled and turned to glance away to a pair of neimoidian officials who were returning from the direction of the Senate building, a trio of blue clad senate guards in tow, as rain lashed down around them.

“Good luck in your investigation Commodore.” Dod let out, and Xander wasted no time turning to leave as a rumble of thunder came from somewhere in the distance...

Calocour Heights, Coruscant

A line of blaster fire hit the cockpit viewport as Fadrilla brought the airspeeder to a sudden halt.

The mercenary had proven herself to be a much better pilot than Malkassa had expected, the twi’lek had to admit to herself as she scrambled for her Blurrgs. Sure enough, Fadrilla had closed the gap between the two speeders, and now Bane was getting desperate.

Most shockingly of all he had just ejected from his own craft, allowing it to fly off unpiloted into the city below, while he was now flying up through the heavy rain towards a landing pad above them with a pair of rocket boots. It would have been a ridiculous sight, implausible to most, were it not for the hail of death that the bounty hunter was levelling in their direction as he climbed rapidly.

As another volley bounced off the viewport, Malkassa made a mental note to remind Xander that this was exactly why one never flew with an open-cockpit, and she had never been more grateful for that thin sheet of transparisteel that was the only thing stopping her being fried right now.

Fadrilla made some adjustments, and they began to climb at the same speed as Bane. Annoyingly the hunter had a head start on them though, and he was already level with the landing pad by the time they met his altitude.

Malkassa hit a button and opened the cockpit pod up, leaning forward to fire both pistols out the front as Bane touched down on the pad and quickly glided across it. A small starfighter sat upon it, rogue class by the look of it, and Malkassa knew from the way Bane was moving that this was his destination all along.

“Get us down on that pad!” Malkassa barked at Fadrilla, still firing her pistols in vain. But she knew it was too late, short of crashing them into the craft, there was no way to stop Bane from escaping now. Fadrilla brought the speeder in close anyway, and Bane turned back as he reached the starfighter’s gangplank.

“So long, ladies.” The duros called out, tilting the front of his wide-brimmed hat as if in mock-politeness, he added; “I guess I’ll be seeing you on Val Vardan...”

The senator’s funeral! Malkassa grunted, knowing that that was where Bane was headed next, knowing that more Vardanians, probably members of Xander’s family, were going to die if they didn’t stop him.

“Punch it.” She barked at Fadrilla, who nodded wordlessly and sped the speeder forwards towards Bane’s ship, she keyed the button to close the cockpit as they accelerated, retaking her seat and preparing for the impact.

A warning light lit up as the hatch jammed, failing to shut. The impact alarm blared at the same time… There was a tremendous bang as they hit the ship… She felt herself falling forwards, out of the speeder...

Then everything went black.
Last edited by Cheye on Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Sarrin
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 116
Founded: Dec 21, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Sarrin » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:39 am

Xanarax, Teraxi Prime - 32BBY

There were few signs of life amidst the ruins of Teraxi Prime besides the small clusters of hatchlings that scurried through the crumbling structures like gusts of wind. On odd occasions the TS-12 atmospheric mining fighters of the Ministry of Scavengers would loom into clearings to collect piles of scrap, destroy blockages or decimate hives of the assorted fauna that now called the ruins their home.

Beneath the city, remnants of the old world went on as ancient droids continued their aged programming like ghosts. While documented, and occasionally dismantled, by the Ministry of Scavengers these ‘Relic Droids’ functioned quite beyond the confines of normal Teraxi life often holding lost knowledge in their databanks and hidden protocols installed by young and ambitious hatchlings.

As the fluid slowly drained from his tank, Yesha felt consciousness return to him as his eyes adjusted to the dim light of the room. Before him an 8 legged droid with a rusty humanoid torso interacted with an old interface. Four arms emerged from its chest two with hands, one with a long prong that seemed to enter the computer and a final which had been severed at the elbow leaving an occasionally sparking wound.

“Where am I?” Yesha asked as the glass tank parted allowing the thick putrid musk of oil, sweat and rotting flesh to seep into his nostrils.

“Location: Vaxetharedox Medical Station. Information Request: Identification.” The droid responded removing one of its appendages from the machine to reveal a rotating set of points two of which seemed to be syringes ready with various fluids.

Yesha looked curiously at the droid which stepped back towards the brightest of the three light sources revealing several patches across its torso that had evidently been repaired by different metals.

“I..I’m Master Yesha of the Jedi Order.” He said cautiously standing in the tank as he processed the events that had taken him here. The explosion. The crash. The smoke. There was smoke.

“Processing. Information Request: Define Jedi Order.” The droid asked, several lights on its chest illuminating as it spoke.

“Define the Jedi?.. We’re the peacekeepers of the Republic.” Yesha replied before looking down to realise he was naked. He quickly darted his eyes around the room, looking for his robes which he just made out stashed in the corner.

“Processing. Databank Updated. Initiating Medical Scan.” A beam emerged from the droid’s chest modeling Yesha’s body as the Selkath wearily made his way to his robes reaching them as the scan completed.

“Processing. Information Request: Teraxi Subspecies Designation.”

Yesha picked up his robes before realising what the droid had said and chuckling. “I’m a Selkath, not a Teraxi. Are you connected to the holonet?”

“Processing. Species Catalogue Updating. Processing Medical Scan. 1 Match. Medical Similarity 100%. Patient Classification: Healthy.” The droid said ignoring Yesha’s question.

Yesha put on his robes, letting out a clear sigh as he realised his lightsaber was missing. “Do you have my lightsaber?” He asked the droid with a clear lack of expectation in his voice.

“Information Request: Define Lightsaber.”

Yesha sighed again, raising a hand to stroke his cephalic lobes as he considered how to get the droids assistance.

“It’s a Jedi weapon. Did I have any other possessions on me?”

The droid stood still for several moments before finally answering “Patient CVKX9823FTP3602 Equipment stored in locker J7”

Yesha’s eyes sparked with light. “Where is locker J7?” he asked with a renewed excitement.

The droid raised a hand pointing to the pile where Yesha had found his clothes eliciting a sigh from the young Selkath. Yesha took a deep breath thinking of all the ways he could still dismantle the droid before calming himself.

“Can you take me to where you found me?”

“Processing. Republic Grade Personnel Granted Tier 9 Authorisation in Update 7842231949309034983. Processing. Request Authorised. Engaging Escort Mode.”

Yesha smiled. At last this day was looking up and if he was lucky Theradathis and Jasana might be waiting for him… or at least alive.

User avatar
Pageon
Envoy
 
Posts: 349
Founded: May 21, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Pageon » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:55 am

Prime Councillor’s Apartments, Alterra, Ullinor - 32BBY

Sunrises were always beautiful on Ullinor, and from his penthouse apartment atop Alterra’s Capitol Spire, the Prime Councillor couldn’t deny that he had a fantastic view of them. Panoramic windows looked over both the city and the great plains beyond, designed to make the occupant of the apartment feel like master of all they survey.

Juvenis was still getting used to that view. It made the whole world feel so distant below him. He much preferred the more grounded views from the rooms of his estate on the south-western continent, where the tropical heat and the smell of the jogan fruit kept him in touch with the world he now governed.

Sure, he had deftly exploited the petty conflicts of the other oligarchs to get himself elected, he wanted to be here - to release the brake that the conservative oligarchs had placed on progress on Ullinor - but now he had reached the top, more and more he found himself longing for the simple, albeit privileged life that he had left behind.

His view this morning was much improved however, as his tired gaze fell upon his companion, who stood looking out of one of the bedroom’s panoramic windows, wearing nothing but a hastily-thrown on bedsheet, her hair a tangled strawberry-blonde mess that spiraled down her back.

Tasha Vanadantius, the young woman he had first mistaken to be little more than an over-promoted girl, had proven to be a whole lot more. First, she had impressed him with her knowledge of Ullinor’s politics and the circumstances of his election, then as they had toured the nicer districts of Alterra beneath the Capitol Spire, she had elaborated on her own background, and he realised the full extent of her keen mind.

In particular, her experience in training on Cato Neimoidia, having been sent there alone at a young age, was an experience that could have made her spiteful and cold, like so many of the oligarchs he had opposed here on Ullinor, who also grew up attending private boarding schools far from their estates. Instead though, she told him about how she had pushed through the ordeal and emerged with a desire to do something positive with her knowledge, just like he had.

From that moment on, he had viewed her differently, and when she had brushed his leg as they sat down together for dinner, he knew she had picked up on that connection as well, and there was no reason for them not to have a little fun while they waited for the arrival of the new warship.

Now here they were. Basking in the sunrise together on top of the world. He was glad his first impression of her had been so wrong.

He watched her for a while as she stood there, her back to him as she stared out over the horizon, the crumpled bed sheet folded in such a way that it dipped at the back, revealing more of her pale skin as his eyes shifted downwards and he suddenly began to feel more awake, which was quite something considering how little sleep they’d had...

“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” He let out, finally deciding to break the silence.

She turned her head to glance back at him without adjusting her position; “It certainly is.”

“I know you could watch it forever, but you could do that just as easily from over here..” He dared cheekily, patting the bed beside where he lay.

She smiled warmly, genuinely, Juvenis thought, before glancing back to the sunrise for a single moment. “Very well, if that is what the Prime Councillor wills.” She let out only half-jokingly, before spinning back around to walk over to him.

As she perched on the bed he leaned towards her, planting a kiss on her cheek. She leaned in to kiss his lips, and his hand reached up to paw at her hair instinctively, while the other moved to her side to hold her in place.

Then Juvenis’ comm bleeped loudly from where it rested on the bedside table. He tried to ignore it, concentrating hard as Tasha climbed into his lap, the bedsheet almost falling away. Then it bleeped again more loudly, and he growled irritably.

The Vardanian smirked as he pulled away from her and angrily stretched out to grab the comm.

“Sir, you have a priority one holo-call from Coruscant - Assimyr Senate Delegation frequency.” The static voice of a droid instructed through the device.

Tasha sat back towards the foot of the bed and cocked her head, mouthing ‘want me to leave?’

Juvenis shook his head to her before keying the device; “Put it through to the bedroom.”

Juvenis rose from the bed and picked up a silk robe from a hook nearby, wrapping it around himself as he moved towards a wall-mounted console and flicked a button to lower the shades, cutting off the room from that glorious sunrise and leaving them in darkness. He keyed another button and above a table near the foot of the bed, a blue figure suddenly materialised.

From the corner of his eye he noticed Tasha retreat back into the covers of the bed, keen not to be caught on the holocall in her current state of undress.

“Janis, my boy!” Juvenis grinned raising his arms welcomingly, he didn’t need to see the figure’s face to know it would be him.

“Master Co-” The boy caught himself. “Prime Councillor.”

“What news from the capital?” Juvenis asked, maintaining the friendly demeanour. He didn’t want the young Senate Representative to know just how inconvenient he found his call.

“There has been a development, sir.” Janis said, his expression gravely serious. “I should have told you sooner, but I had to be sure it was real first…”

“Go on?”

“The other Representatives… Ilaria Doria and Varxis… They, they want me to be the Aasimyr Fringe’s new Senator.”

Juvenis froze, his eyes narrowing suspiciously, it wouldn’t have taken a genius to work out that that didn’t make any sense at all.

He heard Tasha stir behind him, even she knew that couldn’t be right, and she was a businesswoman, not a politician.

“...Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Janis said confidently. “Ilaria has now walked me through the reasons why neither of them would be approved by their own governments, they say I could be the compromise candidate. The one to bring the Fringe together. I’ll be publically recommended as the delegation’s choice of replacement at the Vardanian Assembly after Senator Raam’s funeral, it’s only a few rotations away.”

“Right…” Juvenis nodded slowly, thinking to himself about the millions of ways this could go wrong, never mind the whims of Vardania and Teraxi Prime, he struggled even to gauge how the other oligarchs here would react. Many of them had hated Janis’ appointment to begin with, but then at the same time they would also relish the prestige of Ullinor holding the senate seat.

He stopped himself before he let those thoughts go further, remembering why he was different from them in the process; “And what do you want, Janis?” He asked.

“I had no such ambitions, as you know, sir.” The boy shrugged, there was a flicker of doubt there for a single moment, then he hardened; “But I will do my duty sir, whatever Ullinor commands.”

“Then accept it.” Juvenis said with a reassuring nod. “We can’t afford to look a gift-fathier in the mouth.”

Janis nodded back in response, and the pair exchanged political updates and pleasantries until eventually they finished on the call.

Then Juvenis flicked the shades back open and returned to the bed. Tasha lay there, eyeing the Prime Councillor expectantly. He shook his head, the interruption and the unexpected thoughts that it had brought with it distracting him from his earlier arousal.

She narrowed her eyes; “Are you okay?” She asked, concern creeping into her tone.

“I don’t know...” Juvenis said, with none of his usual confident facade; “I have a bad feeling about this…”
Allies:Othileon, Greater Latica
Pageon Statistics:
Notable for large advances in technology, and a military with numerous autonomous weapons and drones. The nation is led by Emperor Callum Carmichael and his Arch-Lectors. The nation worships a Pantheon of Gods led by the warrior God Allenstag. The populace of Pageon are highly educated and due to intelligent investments by the government the economy is currently running a surplus, although civil liberties were curbed to aid in this. The people are extremely apathetic and the elected portion of the government is filled mainly by merit over popularity. Pageon's closest ally is Greater Latica despite the divide between economic principles their cultures are similar enough that their populations are able to mix with surprising ease.

User avatar
Cheye
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 155
Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cheye » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:01 pm

The Grand Plaza, Viceroy’s Citadel, Cato Neimoidia - 32BBY

Lorna Vanadantius glided through the opulent hallways of the Trade Federation Viceroy’s Citadel, her long flowing black dress fanning behind her like a moving shadow.

Having dropped her daughter off on her mission in the Ullinor System, she had wasted no time heading on to Cato Neimoidia to meet with her key business partners.

Everything was in place now with the Ullinor contact.

Tasha had played her part and had successfully seduced Corx, which would ensure they were paid their broker fees without issue and would also have the leverage they would need to sign the next deal when everything went down with this one. Meanwhile, the Teraxi Ministry of Star Fighter Production had paid well for the privilege of information regarding the deal... And then they'd paid considerably more once she had worked out a way for the Consortium to benefit from what they wanted to happen to Ullinor’s newest flagship, and she had set things in motion on Onderon for them.

Better still though, her partners in the Trade Federation had just met with her and agreed to put up the collateral for the cost of the warship itself, which meant the whole deal had cost her nothing, indeed the Lunar Consortium now stood to make a tidy profit from this little arrangement. Best of all though; each party remained blissfully unaware of the other’s involvement.

Around her, predominantly neimoidian officials mixed with the occasional human, gran, duros and other subservient species who had ties to the Trade Federation. The citadel was abuzz with activity, which meant the latest rumour that the Federation was up to something big had some truth to it.

That was a good thing, she thought. The Republic had been too brazen in passing Proposition 31-814D and needed to pay for it. She had lobbied hard in the Lunar Assembly to get Raam to vote against it, but that fat fool and the Dorias and the others all cared too much about keeping Vardania’s mining operations independent to see reason and had shot the idea down, humiliating her on the floor of the Lunar Assembly.

At least now they were paying for that.

She smiled to herself at that thought, another example of her making the right deal with the right people. If everything shook out right with that one, then the Lunar Consortium stood to gain a lot more than just credits, if House Doria fell there would be a power vacuum on Val Vardan itself…

But it was still early days and she was well aware of the importance of keeping her many ambitions in check.

Ahead of her, towards the centre of the Grand Plaza a large crowd was gathering, behind them stood an opulent water feature, into the body of which several depictions of neimoidians in lavish dress had been carved.

She pressed towards it, curiosity getting the better of her, as she noticed the intricate gown of one of the Viceroy’s personal advisors standing before the fountain.

Several cam droids hovered, facing the advisor with their lenses focused on him. That was when Lorna realised that the bulk of the people at the front of the crowd were journalists and holonet reporters.

Something big was happening indeed.

“We can confirm that an economic embargo has been placed upon the planet of Naboo and that this blockade is a legal and necessary action in direct response to threats made against the Trade Federation by the Naboo government.” The advisor said, addressing the crowd as Lorna shuffled closer. “In order to demonstrate our commitment to finding a peaceful resolution of this dispute, Viceroy Gunray is travelling personally to Naboo to negotiate directly with Queen Amidala.”

A wall of noise erupted from the reporters as they each tried to ask their own follow up questions.

One of them, a red-skinned nautolan, managed to drown out the fray; “Some are saying that this is an act of revenge, because of the role Naboo’s Senator played in guiding Proposition 31-814D through the Senate. Is this true!?”

“The Trade Federation would never undertake such a serious action just to settle some Senatorial grudge.” The advisor replied, and to his credit he sounded wounded by the mere suggestion, it was quite a performance, Lorna thought.

“How do you respond to claims by other mid-rim senators that launching this blockade is an act of bullying against a peaceful world!?” Another reporter, this one a pink haired human woman shouted out.

“We are a peaceful organisation, set up to enhance the flow of trade and commerce throughout the galaxy. We are not thugs, but we have a right to ensure systems play by the rules when using our trade lanes and that they treat us with respect.”

“Is it true that one of Viceroy Gunray’s personal attachés was kidnapped by pirates recently? Do you suspect Naboo involvement?” A Mon Cala reporter asked loudly.

“That would not be for this office to comment on due to the ongoing investigation into that incident…” the Nemoidian paused, adding; “Personally I would not be surprised if the Naboo were involved though. The Trade Federation is a benevolent force in the galaxy, and we are wary of those who take advantage of that fact.”

The questions continued, but Lorna had heard enough of them. It was time to check in with the team on Onderon, to give them the go ahead now that everything had fallen into place.

This sudden blockade of Naboo would be a useful distraction for the Republic if things got messy with the Ullinor deal, not that anyone in the Senate would be in a position to cause a fuss anyway while the Assimyr Fringe lacked a Senator…

Hyperspace - 32BBY

Cad Bane reclined back in the pilots seat, having successfully jumped to hyperspace in a battered old stolen freighter. The loss of his own starfighter had been an unforeseen inconvenience.

He knew that that Malkassa woman was personally invested in this little Vardanian showdown, but now Fadrilla was on his tail, angry that he’d fried her crewmates. Angry, personally invested enemies were unpredictable, and they did unpredictable things. Things like crashing their speeder into his starfighter just as he was climbing on board.

For him this was all just another job, but it was hard to just take a move like that in stride. Fortunately the crash had done as much damage to their speeder as it had to his ship and neither of them had been in a position to give chase after he abandoned the flaming wreckage of the landing pad.

Now he was back on course, en route to Val Vardan, as previously agreed with his employer.

Speaking of which...

His comm beeped and he patched it through to the freighter’s internal communications array before answering the call.

A blue hologram fizzled into life in front of him, framed by the backdrop of swirling starlines beyond the front viewport.

It was a hooded figure, one he recognised from his dealings at the Rothstan Senator’s apartment, beneath the cloak, which Bane guessed was the same finely-tailored maroon one he had been wearing during their meeting on Coruscant, he wore a crisp uniform-like suit, one that if nothing else marked him out as someone with credits to burn.

“Bounty hunter.” The smooth, sophisticated voice of the man let out, the Duros couldn’t see the man’s eyes beneath his hood, but he felt as though they were boring into him.

“Vardanian.” Bane answered flatly.

“You’re behind schedule.” The man retorted with a sneer.

“I had to find a new ship after the twi’lek caught up with me.”

“Malkassa?” The figure crossed his arms with a sigh; “Did you kill her?”

“You never told me she was a target.” Bane leaned forward. “So no. But I doubt she’ll be causing us any more trouble after the crash I left behind.”

“Hmmm….” Bane’s employer mused. “If she has gone the way you say, I’ll add a 50% bonus on top of the next Doria bounty, if not - consider her name added to the list of targets you will be compensated for eliminating.”

“Very generous.” Bane nodded approvingly before raising a single blue finger; “But I’ll need more than 50% to replace my lost starfighter.”

“Well, you’re in luck.” The hologram mused, and Bane knew that he was smiling under that hood.

“Go on?”

“There’s a target of opportunity whose removal just became vital... and I’ll pay full price for this one.”

“Just tell me who it is and I’ll get it done.”

“I’ll send over the files, but there’s a limited window with this one, you’ll have to divert your present course. We’ll meet on Val Vardan as arranged previously when it’s done.”

“Fine, send the files to this frequency and I’ll see to it shortly.” Bane said flatly.

“Bounty hunter…” The figure in the hologram reached up to lower his hood, revealing a young man’s face with dark messy hair and a well maintained beard. A forked scar crossed his face from earlobe to nose and his dark eyes now met Bane’s red ones squarely. “Do not let this one slip away.”
Last edited by Cheye on Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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