Coalition and Confederation: Intertwined Destinies (GC)
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jul 5 2008 4:30pm
“When your neighbor’s house in on fire, it is your business.”
~Quintus Horatius Flaccus


Atlas Hall, Brandenburg, Genon

“This is dangerous; it puts the entire Confederation at risk...”

Another argument resonated throughout the paneled walls in the Council Chamber, and Lucerne found himself more at ease. When any group of people congregated and talked about an idea, there would be some disagreement, either expressed or not, whether about a major dogma or in the finer details about an otherwise accepted idea. But the fact that people were expressing disagreements reassured Corise that freedom of speech still existed within the Confederation.

Leaning on one of the room’s back marble pillars, newly promoted Admiral Lucerne gazed at the speaker, Councilor Vimtonne Dte of Genarius. In the room of well-dressed men and elegantly-clad woman, the hard-talking merchant from Tolque Bique was the last one Corise would talk to about foreign affairs, let alone agree with. But for once, the younger Lucerne felt a certain kinship with the balding man in bantha hide armor. Another voice rose up to counter Dte’s, one more erudite and refined: that of Gabon Dondall of King’s Galquek.

“We cannot continue on this journey completely alone...it is not a question of if the Empire will return, but of when. And if they do, and hostilely, who can we turn to if we need help? Let me remind you that the Coalition is serving as a buffer state to many of our constituents, so it is in our best interests for the Coalition to flourish; at least for the moment…”

“We have the issue of their Cooperative too,” reminded Thorn coolly, “you’ve all seen the holonews. Charros IV, right next to our Proper’s western border, joined the Coalition through the Cooperative. We will have to talk to them at the very least so that traffic from the Kasshyyk system and Serendivius can pass through to us without having to resort to alternate, and detouring spaceways.”

“Talking to the Cooperative about these practical matters is all fine and well in and of itself,” suggested Harding, “but we must remember that they are a part of the Coalition, and things between our two governments in the past have not been entirely smooth, even if they are cordial…”

In the shadows of the room, Corise nodded in agreement. While relations between the two nations had not been the best recently, it was more from a lack of trying on both sides than any issues or disagreements between the two since the secession. At one point, the Contegorian Confederation had been a part of the Coalition during the first government’s infancy. But things had changed, and consequently, the Confederation had expanded over fivefold since those days. And while the Confederation had grown up and evolved separately from the Coalition, its parentage still showed; the Empire was still a government to be suspicious about, if not disliked. Freedoms and rights were to be celebrated, cherished, and defended. People in need were to be helped out, whether a single beggar or a group of displaced refugees. Perhaps it was because the two governments shared so much in common simply from their ideologies, while differing, could be traced to that of the Old Republic. The rise of tyrants such as Palpatine and Hyfe and their star empires like the New Order and the Black Dragon Empire worried the two states, if nothing else joining them in their fears. They shared other, lesser problems too; from dealing with pirates to holding elections. No, despite their differences in structure, the Coalition and the Confederation were joined together in their embrace of a common set of ideals and the problems presented to them now, and in the future.

“Admiral Lucerne, could you please step up.” beckoned Pro-Consul Thorn.

The blonde-haired man quietly paced into the presence of the councilors, most of whom gazed at him with a mixture of respect and suspicion.

“It is my question, Admiral, since you’ve had some experience with the Coalition military, if working with the Coalition in the future could aid the Contegorian Defence Forces in their duties…”

Corise pursed his lips together. “There could be certain, otherwise unattainable advantages to working with the Coalition, such as shared intelligence and possibly, more troops and war material if we’re facing a common foe. But I somewhat reluctant to espouse the view of joining hands with the Coalition purely for those reasons; I have full confidence in my men and material as they currently stand that we could effectively deal with the vast bulk of threats which could likely encounter…”

“So you’re saying that a defence treaty between our two nations would not be a wise idea, Supreme Commander?” asked Dte curiously.

“I am saying that it should be carefully considered and constructed if one is to be made. From my experience and in my opinion, the greatest gains to be talking to the Coalition would be purely economical…”

***


La Galissonière-class Star Destroyer Marquis, Soroya

Clad in the brilliant whites of the Confederation’s elite White Fleet, the Marquis drifted among the trading stations around Soroya. Shuttles, freighters, and liners of all sort jetted by the star destroyer, embarking or disembarking from the wheel-shaped space stations. Most of the time, this traffic and in itself would occupy the Marquis; coordinating starships to avoid collisions, inspecting ships and their cargos to make sure everything was legal, and rarely, to beat off some criminal interlopers. And for most of the Marquis’ crew, it was a day like any other; save for that of the ship’s command crew.

“What will they look like?”

Captain Ante Dark shrugged and pulled out a glass from her cabin’s cupboard.

“I don’t know,” replied the woman, setting the glass down on the table, “I’ve just heard rumors from the passing merchants. Most seem to think that it will be some old Trade Federation battleship. And High Command has been oddly silent.”

Her XO shook his head. “I can’t see it being a battleship of that size. It just seems…ridiculous.”

Dark pulled out a bottle from the cupboard. “I don’t think it can be, or if it is, it’ll have to have a smaller shuttlecraft with it.”

“Oh?”

“Well, the only orders I have from High Command is to receive the Coalition delegation on this ship when we receive a set of transponder codes from them. After which, we’ll be headed to the Kirkanian Star Chamber groundside.”

“Never heard of the Star Chamber.”

Ante flashed a smile. “But have you ever heard of anything from the Kirkanians?”

“No, they’re so isolationistic that it would be surprise to hear much about them at all.”

She nodded. “I think that’s part of it. Command wants to keep this quiet, at least for the moment.”

“Security reasons?”

“Why else?”
Posts: 826
  • Posted On: Jul 6 2008 4:42am
Varn, Cooperative Council Hall, Chambers of the Combined Council

Many faces had changed since the activation of the Cooperative Senate, but some had remained the same. This much was certain, however: there were fewer faces in the room now then there had been since the Cooperative's founding. With the first layers of provisional decrees now stripped away and replaced by hard law, much had changed, but the Combined Council knew its function. . . and its duties.

“Wha's this all about?” Giles Rhade asked, yawning and rubbing his eye. “Who called this meeting?”

“I did.” The voice permeated the room, and most of the Council realized that they should have seen this coming. No one bothered asking why, they just waited for him to continue. “It would seem that our estranged brothers in the Contegorian Confederation have extended an invitation to . . . talks.”

No one seemed to want to be the first to respond to that statement. “Why?” The X'Ting's translator droid finally asked after the briefest burst of insectoid chatter.

“It doesn't really matter, does it? We are the Cooperative. This is why we exist.”

The Council, dumbstruck, found themselves looking to one another for clarification. With the exception of the Onyxian Commonwealth (which wasn't “officially” a political organization by the time the Cooperative had gotten to them), this would represent the Cooperative's first meeting with a major interstellar power. The Combined Council was rightly uncertain in how to proceed.

“Alright,” Giles finally said, nodding uncertainly. “How would we go about doing this?”

The ceremonial hinged doors at the Chamber's main entrance burst open, and a friendly face greeted them all. “It's a good day to have decided to stay home.” Ambassador Traan Shi returned the mixed gazes with one of supreme calm and confidence.

“Do you have a plan?” The Human representative from Ord Cestus asked.

“Of course, good sir,” Traan responded cheerfully. “We're going to go . . . talk . . . and see what happens.”

“Sounds good to me,” The Squib representative said.

“What do we hope to gain from this?” Halmad's member asked.

Smarts kept his response simple. “I have no answers for you. But I will go and get them.”


* * *



Lucrehulk-class Core Ship Smarts, en route to Soroya

It was indeed a motley crew: Beta, a refit ASP-19 labor droid; Traan Shi, a renegade Togruta ambassador; Elder Ruto, a weary Ryn soul who had found herself among the leaders of the Ryn Nation; and the Xi Charrian Prelate, who had been added to the team at the last moment. It was a small group, and there were many other individuals whom Smarts and Traan would have preferred to have with them, but the leaders of the Cooperative were spread far and wide, drawing in new allies and fighting the ceaseless battle against the forces that sought to tear the Coalition apart.

These were the souls who would speak for all the voices of the Cooperative. They just hoped they had something worth saying.

Reversion

They were already waiting in the docking bay, ready to set out as soon as Soroya's traffic control confirmed their presence and assigned them an approach vector. Smarts brought the overly large “diplomatic” vessel to a stop, holding position and broadcasting its diplomatic transponder codes. Yes, it was a good day to be a ridiculously oversized supercomputer.

Transport away

Smarts just hoped the Confederation knew not to jam his signal to Beta, or his part in this meeting would be extremely short indeed.
Posts: 40
  • Posted On: Jul 8 2008 2:27pm
La Galissonière-class Star Destroyer Marquis, in orbit via Soroya

For being stored in tank for months at end, the air in the bridge was surprisingly crisp and fresh, and unsurprisingly, uncomfortably cold. Ante pressed herself deeper into her command chair, as if its padding could act as some insulation. She tapped a few buttons on her console, and the chair’s right holo-projector coalesced an image of a deckhand’s current monitor. It was a local map of space, and on it were series of moving blips which tracked starships traveling through hyperspace as per the Confederate Defense Grid saw them through its hyperwave sensor stations. Dark beckoned the said crewman over and gestured at the largest dot on the map. The man shrugged.


“Tracking from hyperwave sensors indicate that the vessel’s hyperwake is indeed similar to that of a stock Lucrehulk-class Container Transport…but its speed appears to be faster than normal.”

Ante leaned back in the command chair. “Perhaps the rumors are true then.”

“Rumors about what? This entity called Smarts?” questioned the deckhand.

She shrugged, “Perhaps, I don’t really know. But we are expecting some valuable cargo coming on a Lucrehulk, and I can’t really say more than that.”

“Yes ma’am.”

She pushed off with her left leg, and in the process her chair swiveled over to the right to face her XO. The scruffy man looked at her with an air of bemusement, to which she ruefully shook her head.

“They’ll be here any second. Are the fighters ready?”

He nodded. “It doesn’t exactly take much to ready a bunch of droids…”

Several minutes passed, and rather suddenly, a massive sphere hundreds, if not thousands of meter in diameter surged into realspace straight towards the Marquis. It was a rather uncomfortable sight to Dark, as if Smarts had come out too late or sped up in sublight, he could have easily rammed the Marquis by pure accident. The fact that he did not confirmed if nothing else that the supercomputer was at least precise in his actions. From around the white-clad destroyer’s hull, several dozen of the Confederation’s Piranha Drones zipped towards the Core ship to escort its transport over to the Marquis. Across the bridge of the Marquis, crewmembers murmured and mumbled about Smarts, especially as rumor spread throughout their ship that Smarts had sent diplomatic codes over to the Marquis.

“They’ll be here any minute,” noted her executive officer, gazing at the flight control monitor.

“And they’ll be off just as quickly,” replied Dark casually, “What? You’d actually think we’d do negotiations here?”

Ten minutes after the Cooperative transport had landed in the hangar bay, a pair of Lambda-class shuttles exited from the star destroyer, and soared down to the icy planet’s surface

***


Kirkanian Star Chamber, Soroya

Kitty Hawk and Pro-Consul Christina Thorn quietly paced within the Star Chamber. Artificial lights gently illuminated a host of minute crystals which hung suspended on the cavernous ceiling, giving off the impression of stars. Decades ago, when the Kirkanians had been cut off from their civilization by their cataclysm and trapped underground, they had built to remind themselves of their lost past. Now, it served as a different reminder; that of an isolated past when they could never actually see the stars. But today, the Kirkanian isolation served to protect the delegates and ironically, open up the Confederation to the outside. A pair of Kirkanian guards in their black battle dress uniforms opened up the doors to the room, and admitted the Cooperative delegates into the dark marble-encased room. Thorn, with Kitty trailing in her wake, strode over to them and offered her hand to each of the delegates.

“I am Pro-Consul Christina Thorn of Kashan. And you are?”
Posts: 826
  • Posted On: Jul 8 2008 6:19pm
They felt unprepared. They had no Onyxian representative; they had no official military representative, though Smarts was fully qualified to answer any question in that regard; the Prelate had been chosen almost at random; and it already seemed apparent that the Confederation (like most of the galaxy beyond the Cooperative) didn't fully understand Smarts' role or authority within the Cooperative.

The doors opened before them, and the four beings stepped into the subterranean meeting place. The ceiling shone like a night sky, and the unexpected sight caught Traan by surprise, bringing the small delegation to an unexpected stop.

Traan recovered quickly, focusing his attention on two approaching women. The forwardmost extended her hand, and Traan took half a step forward to shake it as she offered her name. “I am Ambassador Traan Shi of the Cooperative of Systems,” He replied cordially, then gestured to his side.

Beta had stepped forward, and offered his mechanical hand to the Pro-Consul. “I am Beta,” He stated, his voice obviously designed to be as cordial and non-confrontational as possible. “I will serve as the mouthpiece of the Overseer.” The woman nodded, releasing her grip on the droid's hand. Beta continued, however, his posture and the tone of his voice shifting to convey some greater authority. “I am the Overseer, the one known by some as 'Smarts,' an unfortunate title issued in a past life." He paused for a moment, fighting the ever-present urge to degenerate into existentialism every time the issue of his origin was alluded to. He finally continued, successfully subduing the compulsion. "Your security force was kind enough to set up a signal relay to both allow my continued participation and conform to your security requirements. I offer my apologies: I seem to have underestimated the diligence with which your people conduct themselves.”

Traan had moved aside and allowed the Ryn representative to step forward, taking her turn at offering an introduction. “I am Elder Ruto of the Ryn Nation's Council of Elders, Keeper of the Ryn Fleet.”

The Prelate, with no hands of his own to peak of, remained where he was, actually retreating half a pace as the Ryn Elder broke her grip with the Confederation woman. The insectoid clicked away in his unusual language, and Beta turned slightly in his place to recapture the Pro-Consul's attention. “This is Prelate of the Xi Charrians,” He said, his tone having returned to the cordial and accommodating “default” setting.

“I assure you,” Beta continued, now speaking with a new voice, one more grave and nuanced, “though my people exist naturally as a hive, I am fully capable of representing them as an individual.”

Traan felt the need to offer some slight explanation. “Pro-Consul Thorn, The Cooperative is a unique organization, and our diversity is our chiefest component. We function because we choose to focus on those ideals which we all do share, and because we strive so diligently to gain a greater appreciation of one another. We are missing people from this group today, people whose voices carry the will of the Cooperative's diverse followers, people who embody the collective heart and soul of this organization. We cannot replace them, and so we do not try. All that I can do is offer you my sincerest word: that we who are here will conduct ourselves as though we were not alone.”
Posts: 18
  • Posted On: Jul 9 2008 5:09pm
Thorn offered a polite nod of recognition to Traan and with a sweep of her arm, gestured to them over to a central conference table of sheened dark marble. Kitty strolled behind the Pro-Consul, acting in a typical subservient manner as befitting her role as Thorn’s “aide”. And while the Pro-Consul introduced several other lesser Councilors and minor Confederate dignitaries, Kitty focused on the Cooperative delegates. She eyed Traan out of the corner of her steel blue eyes, and immersed herself into the Force. Hawk pushed a part of herself out and probed around the Ryn elder. There was nothing particularly notable or threatening about her emotions or the thoughts which floated on the surface of Ruto’s brain. Satisfied that the woman posed no threat, the Jensaarai turned her attention to the other Cooperative delegates and probed them; nothing appeared to be a threat, although it was rather impossible for Hawk to probe Beta or the Overseer. As the parties continued with pleasantries, Kitty took her place at the table alongside Pro-Consul Thorn. At the present, Councilor Harding of Audacia was welcoming the delegates on the behalf of the Council and asking them if they had any special needs or requests.

Any threat?

No. They all appear to be clean. Aside from the droids; I can’t exactly probe them…

A pity too. They may have some more interesting thoughts and detailed information.

We'll do it as usual then?

Yes. If they're consciously hiding anything, I'd like to know...

Thorn cleared her throat to interrupt Harding.

“Forgive me Councilor, but I would like to inform our guests that we do have a team of our best chefs and well-stocked kitchen to make any dish or drink that anyone would like. I imagine it’s been something of a journey for all of you, in one way or another. Forgive me, Beta, I do not know what would be refreshing or useful to you, but if it's in our power, we will do it.

If you don’t mind me asking, how long was your journey, and how was it? I trust our border patrol guard wasn’t too much of a hassle?”

It was a simple question; one might even assume it was another pleasantry being exchanged between the two groups. But as with so many diplomatic exchanges, it was a question that probed for information on several different levels. While Thorn truly wanted to know how their journey was, she was also probing to find out how they thought how the state of transportation between the Confederation and Cooperative was.
Posts: 826
  • Posted On: Jul 9 2008 7:11pm
So this is how we're doing it? That's okay; I suppose it is to be expected.

“We departed from Varn three days ago,” Smarts said through Beta. “After a brief stop at Charros IV, we set out for this meeting. Coalition and Confederation hyperspace routes within the region are rather intricately intertwined―or perhaps deliberately disassociated―but we were able to plot a rather expedient course using a combination of the two. Your patrols, of course, were fully accommodating once they confirmed our diplomatic status.”

Traan had been considering Thorn's comments carefully. The old fill them up with food and pump them for information trick, huh? We aren't that backwater. Traan preferred to keep distractions to a minimum during official meetings, Elder Ruto had pretty much consigned herself to follow Traan's lead, and the Prelate . . . well, no one really knew what the bug was thinking. The point was: none of them were hungry. Maybe it seemed rude to turn down the offer, but they didn't much care. The Cooperative had never been in the habit of going out of its way to fit political and social roles, and now didn't seem like the best time to start.

Traan was careful to keep his face neutral as he quickly considered these things, waiting for Smarts to finish the intentionally “mechanical” response. He decided to go ahead and get this moving. “I'm sure you're aware of the Cooperative-led effort to construct a trans-Coalition hyperspace route? While we've seen substantial success between the East and the West, our efforts to forge north and incorporate the Cooperative's core has ironically been met with substantial setbacks.” Traan stopped, no longer able to keep himself from smiling. “If that is the piece of information you were looking for?”

He stopped, considering what he had just said. Maybe he was taking that bit about representing those Cooperative leaders who weren't present a little too seriously. Either that, or a little bit of Kerrick Arkanus' “fight the system” sentiment had rubbed off on him.

Either way, the Confederation seemed to own the covert (what with their star caves, layered defense grids, independent trade routes, and conspicuously useless assistants), but the overt was firmly in the Cooperative's hands.
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jul 9 2008 8:01pm
And in that brief exchange, the differences between the Confederation and Cooperative became painfully apparent. But that did not so much reveal the differences between their core values than their backgrounds. For the Cooperative, if anything, seemed to embody freshness and an unbridled idealism. For not only did it unite peoples of diverse background, but it tended to build nations anew. The same could not be said of the Confederation at present. While the Confederation burned intensely like the Cooperative right after its inception, being attacked several times by the New Order and the threat of the Black Dragon Empire had changed the nation. For since it could not resist such stronger forces through pure force alone, the Contegorians turned to the only option left to master; covert maneuvers and mastering the strategic advantages afforded to them on their own. But in everything the Confederation government did, a mixture of paranoia and the will to survive pervaded their every move.

Pro-Consul Thorn winced at the comment, and took a sip of Jeru Tea from a crystal cup. She let the liquid slowly flow down her throat, not so much to savor the flavor as to produce a respite to let tempers cool. Well, at least we know that the Cooperative doesn’t do politics like the rest of the galaxy, for better or worse. Refreshing, yet annoying in that communicating with them will be a bit harder. Christina turned to Kitty and gestured at her. The Pelagian noble nodded in turn, and handed her a datapad. The Pro-Consul set it down quietly on the table and tapped a button.

“My esteemed guests,” began the Kashan woman, “we are, at least now, aware of Coalition’s plans to make a trans-galactic hyperspace route. If I, or anyone else among the Contegorian delegation has offended you, then I profusely apologize. What the Cooperative, no…the Coalition…is attempting is a most noble, if not profitable feat. Believe me, we would know. Nearly three years ago, the Confederation and the Gestalt Colonies established the start of what would be the Confederation’s internal hyperlane system. Elder Traan, we would be willing to help the Coalition out with mapping those routes which there seem to be problems. We have experienced scout crews and ships that we would be willing to lend to your cause.”
Posts: 826
  • Posted On: Jul 9 2008 9:00pm
Pissing people off seemed to have become the Cooperative's first national sport, but it was reassuring to know that the Confederation wasn't so easily offended.

I love this job. Traan smiled. Am I that old? he thought as Pro-Consul Thorn made the first of what was almost certain to be a long string of misplaced titles. Make no mistake about it: if there was one thing the Cooperative loved more than rubbing people the wrong way, it was coming up with new words to put in front of officials' names.

The unexpected and generous offer made the whole Cooperative delegation reevaluate why they were there. Traan looked to Beta, which caused Elder Ruto to look to Beta. Smarts turned Beta's head back and forth, taking in the expressions on everyone's faces and realizing that he had become the center of attention.

Setting the offer aside for a moment, the droid decided it was time to delve a little deeper into the Cooperative's plans. Of course, it was entirely possible that this was the kind of information the Confederation was trying to get by making such an offer of assistance, but that didn't really worry Smarts all that much. After all, who were they going to tell? The Coalition and Confederation shared the same enemies, held at their hearts the same basic values, and fought (though through different means) for the same goals.

"I cannot speak for the whole of the Coalition," Smarts began, Beta shifting slightly in his seat and folding his hands on top of the table. "I would not try. But I can share with you the inner workings of the Cooperative. The Onyxian Crisis has opened our eyes to the reality of this galaxy's harsh and unforgiving climate. Though we have not yet been forced to take up arms and fortify our borders as you have, we do not ignore the reality of the threats which encircle us.

"I can offer you no definite plans―for they have not yet been made―but events are unfolding throughout Coalition space which I believe will force us all to reevaluate our focus and renumber our priorities. Is the Empire evil? I do not know, though I am sure you would be more qualified to answer that question, regardless. But we cannot topple the Empire, and even if we could I cannot see the justice in such an act. What good is killing one evil man, if it gives power to a thousand evil men?

"But beginning such an argument is not not my intention. I believe that the Cooperative―and hopefully the Coalition―will be turning its focus to those battles which we can win. The battles against the swelling populations of refugees fleeing from the terrors of this galaxy; against warlords and would-be tyrants; against cruel men who find themselves in possession of the power to take life, but not the wisdom to preserve it.

"This is at the heart of the Cooperative's efforts to unite the Coalition, both socially and astrographically. Not to build mounds of wealth or move about fleets of war like pieces of some galactic game, but to construct a lifeline upon which all the castaway souls of the galaxy may seize a steady handhold.

"The Cooperative was born of one world's desire to change the galaxy for the better. We will not allow one untimely setback to ruin those idealistic dreams.

"Now, if you too wish to better the galaxy, and would still offer your assistance to our efforts, then we will accept whatever aide you give with outchretched arms and heartfelt cries of joy." Smarts paused for a brief moment, focusing specifically on Pro-Consul Thorn. "You have stood with us once before, and millions of Onyxians now owe you their freedom. That is the only face of the Confederation that we have seen, and until you show us another one it is the only face we know."
Posts: 40
  • Posted On: Jul 15 2008 12:43am
Pro-Consul Thorn sagely nodded back at Beta, and spared a slight glance at her glass of tea. Within a split second, she glanced at Kitty, who in turn picked up the nearly empty glass and scurried off to fill the cup. While the Confederation’s aid certainly would help build the new hyperlane, it wasn’t entirely out of pure selflessness. A hyperlane system meant increased trade between not only the Coalition’s internal members, but also with others who were friendly to the Coalition and aware of the routes. Thus, the Confederation’s trading opportunities with the Coalition would increase to the benefit of both nations; a plan which the Confederation’s economic and political leaders approved nearly whole-heartedly. But to do so would require another set of Confederate leaders. Thorn glanced at a dark-haired woman clad in the black and silver uniform of the Confederation’s Federal Navy. Valeska nodded at Thorn. Christina turned her gaze back to Cooperative delegates.

“We will always work to preserve the freedoms of the peoples of the galaxy. But doing so regrettably requires more than talking, but the implementation of mass quantities of people and equipment, at least in this case, along with practical order of operations,” mused the brunette, “and in such cases as this, I am hardly qualified to talk about the specifics. Commodore Valeska, would you kindly delineate?”

The woman with short, raven hair rose her seat and paced over to a recently installed holo-projector. She inserted a datachip into the machine, and it flared into life. An abyss spreckled with stars spawned in front of the delegates. In the midst of this star field, a quartet of staggered, angular ships hovered. Valeska cleared her throat.

“This ships are examples of the Suffren-class Cruisers, which the primary scouting and mapping ships of the Confederation’s Navy. Nearly a dozen of them have just finished their assignments in our space, and will be able to start operations on the Coalition hyperlane almost immediately. But,” informed the former instructor, “these are ships which aren’t entirely self-sufficient, which will require them to be accompanied by Juaire gunships or Styrias configured in a cargo hauler configuration. This is all internal logistics naturally, and while we will do our best to supply our own ships, we cannot provide everything. We will need the Coalition’s help in providing or opening up secure ports for our ships to make occasional repairs or treat injured crewmembers. And possibly, military help if a sizeable threat endangers our ships. I ask of you, can these be expected to be provided?”
Posts: 826
  • Posted On: Jul 15 2008 1:57am
Smarts was surprised at the speed with which Pro-Consul Thorn was moving this meeting forward. They had met mere minutes ago, and already she had dropped a variation of the always-popular "more than words" line and this Commodore Valeska had offered (somewhat) hard numbers to back up her offer. He was beginning to like the way the Confederation handled itself.

"They can," Smarts answered simply. "Experience is something the Cooperative has come to value more and more in recent months, and your experienced assistance―while admittedly unexpected―is most appreciated. I assure you that the resources and personnel allocated by the Confederation to this endeavor will be well taken care of."

Smarts was prepared to recall half the Ryn fleet if that was what it would take to be able to accept the Confederation's offer, though he was sure that wouldn't be necessary. In addition to the Cooperative outpost in the Ugor home system and Admiral Blakeley's continued efforts in the region, the Cooperative had built up substantial goodwill between itself and the East in recent months, and Smarts was sure he would be able to draw them into this endeavor in some capacity. One way or another, the Coalition would make sure to accommodate the Confederation's team.

"Now I have a question for you, Pro-Consul Thorn," Smarts added, turning his attention from the commodore and back to the woman leading the meeting. "What are you expecting in return for your generosity? Is the promise of access alone sufficient recompense for your efforts and expenditures, or are you expecting something more? While the particulars I'm sure can be worked out by committees and boards in coming days, I believe a general consensus on the direction we are going in would be prudent before actually going in that direction."