Dec 27 2013 9:44pm
Styria-class Galleon Warley, in high orbit via Gizer
A quartet of Piranhas buzzed past the viewport of the galleon, briefly obscuring the world before them. Lydia spared at a glance at Gizer, eying the swaths of emerald green forests, the amber sands of its deserts, and the sweeping cerulean expanses of the world's oceans. Ahead them, tiny pricks of starship hulls grew larger in their viewport, resolving themselves into a swarm of the native built L-6 freighters going to and from the world along a commerce lane specificially set aside for the Gizer Ale company. Can't say I've ever seen so many Gizer freighters before, nor probably that much booze either...A voice to her side interrupted her thoughts.
“We're getting hailed by the Scepter of Fulton,” announced her communication's officer.
“It looks like it's moving to intercept us.”
She rapidly flipped through a series of screens on her command console, finally settling on the familiar profile of a Belgardi-built Punisher Pocket Cruiser. I guess they haven't quite gotten to the part of making their own warships yet, but that's probably a good thing. Lydia slapped a button on her command chair, pulling up a holo of a lean man wearing the uniform of the Royal Gizer Navy. Judging by the elaborate insignia pinned on either side of his collar, she guessed that he was a higher ranking officer, likely the ship's captain if not an actual flag officer. Her warm brown eyes glossed over the man.
“Greetings,” saluted Lydia, “I am Line Captain Nevaere of the Confederate Merchant Fleet.”
“Commodore Bryns,” stated the Gizerian officer bluntly, “I've been ordered to escort your ships into geosynchrous orbit above Moelfre.”
Lydia blinked. Did we do something wrong? The soroyan woman spared a glance at her navigator, who shrugged. That's not the city our approved flight plan had us going to...A befuddled grin washed across her face.
“I'm sorry Commodore. I don't understand what's going on...”
Bryns cocked his head to the left, “You will follow the flight path we're transmitting to you.”
“Of course we will,” agreed the woman, “I just don't understand why there's been such a sudden change. Our flight path was approved weeks ago...”
“Lord Fulton has personally changed your flight path,” informed the Commodore, “I am supposed to personally relay his wishes that you visit his palace for a...talk...at your convenience, of course.”
“Of course, I'll be certain to do so Commodore. Can I ask why?”
“I do not know.”
“Nothing at all?” questioned Nevaere.
The Commodore shook his head and cut the transmission. Well, that's just great. I hope Lord Fulton is more friendly than he is. But why? Nevaere's mind skipped to her previous journeys. While it had become more common to meet higher ranking politicians, even heads of state, since her promotion, she still found the experience to be unnerving. Typically they wanted something from her, or rather the Confederation, and the stakes were rather significant. The CMF needs to change their recruiting message. See the stars, trade with people, fight the Confederation's enemies, and get continually harassed by politicians.
“So are you going to go down and see Lord Fulton right away?” questioned her XO.
Nevaere sighed, “It's probably best that I do. You can take care of the final negotiations with the ale company. You're comfortable with that? It's a time thing...”
“Not really,” stated the kashan man, “but I can do it. I've seen you do it enough that I should be fine.”
“That's what I like to hear.”
Jan 1 2014 3:08am
Nevaere coughed into her arm. What is that smell? The soroyan woman wrinkled her nose at the acrid smell that seemed to suffuse Gizer's atmosphere. Her chestnut-colered eyes darted around the landing pad as she strode off the ramp of the CG-10. From above, the city had looked like a core world in the making; several of the city's skyscrapers looked as if they were about to turn into monolithic buildings which dominated Coruscant's landscape. The fading sun let golden rays bounce off the many glass-paned buildings and onto the streets below. Even in the landing pad, she could see the streaming lines of airspeeders flitter nearby and the din of landspeeder traffic just outside the duracrete walls of the star port. They might have the whole mini-Coruscant look going, but apparently they haven't gotten the atmospheric scrubber system quite down yet. Sighing, she strolled forward to pass through a delicately carved arch and straight into a customs station. She immediately pulled out an identification card to present to the 3PO droid manning the station.
“That won't be necessary,” stated an oddly filtered voice.
She glanced to the side of golden-plated droid at a pair of white armored men. For second, she thought she had somehow managed to land on the wrong world. But a second glance at the men revealed that they were not wearing stormtrooper armor, albeit their armor did seem derived from it or one of its ancestors. She glanced at a blue insignia emblazoned on their breastplates. The House Guards of the Fulton Family...of course. The confederate glanced at the bulky blaster rifles in their hands, noting a variety of attachments seemingly strewn on them. Lydia tilted her brown eyes upward to stare into their black visors. A little conspicuous for an escort...The soroyan woman slid her ID card back into her pocket.
“I take you're here to take me to Lord Fulton?”
“We are,” answered the second guard, “if you'll just come with us ma'am. We have a transport ready to take you to him now.”
Nodding, Lydia fell in beside the lead guard while his subordinate trailed behind them. Peoples parted ways for the guards quicker than the podracers jolting forward at the start of Bootna Classic. Her brown eyes wandered through the crowd, but most of the eyes weren't on her. They were on the guards. Odd. You'd think they'd be more interested in a uniformed stranger...unless the guards have a bit of a reputation...She watched the guards closely, but they were nothing but professional to her or the people around them. As they exitted the building, she turned to face the sergeant.
“Forgive me sergeant, but I couldn't help noticing that people seem a bit on edge here.”
“Part of it's the Reavers...”
She nodded in understanding. It was true that several Reaver strongholds had been discovered nearby. Fortunately, those at Taanab were be driven away the efforts of Rob Stellar and his corporation, but those at Contruum still remained close. The Confederates had been launching random stealth starfighter raids from Lantillies in order to keep those Reavers off balance. That seemed to keep them occupied from striking out any other nearby worlds, yet she guessed that hadn't fully soothed people's fears, not that she could blame them. Still, the people seem afraid of the guards specifically. There's something going on here that's not on the holo-news channels but is as plain as day to everyone else. Perhaps I need to talk to the local CSIS station and see what's going on. The household guard sergeant beckoned into the air with an armored gauntlet. Seconds later, a modified Gaba-18 airspeeder lowered itself down to rest onto the road. A door slid open to which the Household Guard made a sweeping gesture to enter. The line captain did so and glanced at the sergeant. The door promptly slid shut as she did so, but he could see the soldier waving down another speeder behind them. Not rid of you yet, I guess. The woman turned to the pilot, who wore a blue jumpsuit with the same insignia as the guards imprinted in white over his breast.
“How is your day sir?”
He spared a glance from his HUD to gaze at her, “Well enough, I guess.”
“Well that doesn't sound very confident.”
“How so? The Reavers?”
“That's the half of it, but they don't even bother me now,” replied the man, easing the craft forward in a gentle climb, “I'm more worried about a war breaking out.”
“What do you mean?”
“You don't know?”
“Sorry, I don't,” apologized Lydia, “but the tenion is...well, apparent everywhere.”
“There's a bit of conflict going on between Lord Fulton and some of the higher merchant families. The families are wanting a bit more power or influence because according to them, they're the ones who've really made Gizer what it is today. And of course, they're claiming that Fulton is growing...ah...ill, mentally ill.”
“That's not my place to say, misses. Especially not to a stranger about to see him.”
“Sorry, I don't mean to get you in trouble or make you feel uncomfortable. I hope it's okay that I asked...It's just that, well, I'm just curious about the truth of things here...”
“Aren't we all...”
She turned her eyes to gaze out of the bubble-canopied craft. They soared by lofty towers and a dense city growth below them. Even the smaller buildings clawed higher towards the skies above to join their more developed brethren. Lydia noticed that her pilot had taken their craft out of the established skylanes with its scores of airspeeders, suggesting that they were flying on a restricted military route. Apparently my meeting is more urgent and of a higher priority than I thought...I wonder if that's what this is all about. A possible civil war, perhaps. Watch, he'll want to buy a bunch of weapons or something like that. I'm not even sure if I could sell them to him even if he supposedly had a good reason for them, even it is Reavers. If news got out that we supplied weapons to a monster slaughtering his own people in a civil war, well...it'd create a political crisis that in the long term wouldn't be worth it to us. At least in terms of exchanging credits for political capital. The city vanished from beneath their feet to turn into gentle waves of an ocean washing up against duracrete piers filled with drone container barges. Several kilometers passed before she sighted a large island villa illuminated with a web of shimmering lights.
“Well, that's not what I was expecting.”
“It's one of his vacation houses,” murmured the pilot, “the old ancestral home is too...well...far away from the star port for you to visit easily.”
The pilot rapidly decelerated the airspeeder and let it glide down on its stubby wings to a landing pad. After thanking the pilot for her ride, she slid out of the craft onto the landing pad, where a quartet of House Guards awaited her, all similiarly equipped to the troopers that had met her at the star port. She offered a polite smile to them, but they remained as motionless statues. A door swung out behind them to reveal scrawny man with a crown of salt and pepper hair. Striding towards her, he offered a wan smile and stretched out a hand towards her.
“Welcome to Gizer, captain.”
She offered a brief bow, “A pleasure to meet your, my lord.”
“Why don't you come in. There is much that I would like to discuss with you,” said Fulton, “have you eaten yet? I can have a chef prepare a fine meal for us...”
Jan 1 2014 5:31pm
Half a world away, Commander Giles Retrac stepped through an industrial door, following in the footsteps of a man wearing an unusually cut business suit. While the kashan man wasn't typically fashion conscious, he remembered that that sort of blue business suite was one of the many fashion trendings sweeping through the Core right now. I guess this man intends to follow in their more 'cultivated' footsteps right now. Pter Wealcan shuffled around to face the confederate.
“This is the part of the brewery where the barley gets fermented with our special strain of yeast which gives our ale it's distinctive hue ,” informed the CEO, gesturing over the catwalk's railing to the rest of the vast room, “I know it doesn't seem really like a craft process here, with all of the droids and the massive vats, but our Gizer pale blue ale still continues to beat out so many of those craft beers in the competitions.”
“Your ale is legendary,” agreed the executive officer, “which is why we are so pleased to be able to purchase it.”
Pter slowly shook his head and smiled, “And straight to the point. I can do that. Well Commander Retrac, prices have gone up a little since we've last talked. Some of our supplies have been disrupted by the Reaver incursions around our area lately. But I think I can get you a lower price per unit if you're willing to exchange our typical currency for, oh, something else. You interested?”
Retrac briefly paused, looking over the vast array of brewing equipment from their vantage point on the cat walk.
“What kind of something? Hard currency? Gems or precious metals perhaps?”
“Not quite,” replied Wealcan, “I hear Quas Killam makes an awful lot of blasters these days.”
Retrac turned and stared into the man's hazel eyes. Blasters? What does a brewing company want with blasters? CSIS will be interested in this....The kashan man turned his eyes to watch a massive binary loadlifter dump a container full of barley into one of the silver vats.
“Why?” questioned the Kashan man, “moreover, are you willing to pay all of the importation fees Lord Fulton would likely levy on them?”
“Well, that's one of the reasons for the discount, part of the good old fashioned barter system.”
“I see,” replied the commander, “I can't guarantee it, but I'll have to talk to my commander a bit about this. I have to ask, what makes you think we'd be willing to do this sort of arrangement? It's a little bit under the books compared to what we normally do...”
“Please,” scoffed the man, pulling out a data chip and handing it to the confederate, “I know your Confederation doesn't always do the most legal things. But it always does seem to try and do the right thing. Did you hear about the Regensburg protests at Lord Fulton's gates?”
Pocketing the chip, the kashan man shook his head.
“Of course not,” replied the CEO, “because Lord Fulton silenced the press on them after his guards opened fire on the protesters. But they can't stop people from talking about it by word of mouth. Nor videos or holos from being shared. Lord Fulton himself came out to talk with them. Do you know what happened?”
“He had a brief verbal exchange with a protester and then he punched the protester in the face. People began to swarm the man, and that's when the guards fired. Most of them had their blasters set on stun, but a couple of the more zealous household guards did not. There are six people dead because of their actions. Two of them were my employees. That chip shows the videos and other material relating to their deaths.”
Retrac frowned, “And so what if we give you blasters? Are we going to help start a civil war?”
“I hope not,” replied the businessman, “but it's time for Lord Fulton to remember the early lessons of the Rebellion. You can't continually demand more of people and suppress their wishes. Change comes. Regardless if the Confederation helps or not, we will get our blasters from someone. If not through me or the my company, through the shipbuilders and their contacts. And I don't care if you tell Lord Fulton that I'm trying to get blasters. He probably suspects as much already, and there isn't much he can do about that, because Lord Fulton can't touch us.”
“Because I have his son.”
Jan 1 2014 11:04pm
Palentor Villa, Gizer
“They have your son? As a hostage? But why?”
Line Captain Nevaere set her fork down. The spiced wine still burned her throat a little. She spared a glance from her encrusted nerf cutlets to glance up at the man. Lord Fulton glanced around the room, but aside from a waiting droid, there was no-one. At least no-one she could see. There's probably household guards everywhere there, maybe even monitoring us now. The nobleman looked at her and glanced down.
“I've upset many people here recently.”
“I raised corporate taxes, more so than many would like, to help raise up our world's defenses against the Reavers.”
“That sounds reasonable enough. But how did they manage to get your son?”
He sighed, “I was talking to a couple of the protesters near my official residence. One of them was rather unpleasant, and I admit that I lost my temper. I shoved the man away from me, and a whole group of them came at me. My guards dispersed most of the protestors, but in the confusion, one of those villians grabbed my son and made off with him. He's eight, and well, you know. He's still a kid.”
“Have you heard from him?”
“I have,” sighed the lord, idly inspecting his wine glass, “his captors have sent me holo-feeds of him. They have a nursing droid taking care of him, and he seems well enough. I even know who has him. Pter Wealcan, the owner of the world's largest and most influential brewing company. He's in league with the stockholders of the Gizer Shipyard company, who I can't really afford to offend right now.”
“They control Gizer's most important exports,” mused the brunette, “but that's hardly your world...”
“The shipyards have a navy of their own, mostly picket craft, but if they were to go to war with the Royal Gizer Navy...well, I can't say I know who would win for sure, but regardless of who won, we'd be slim pickings for the Reavers and whoever else would like to run us over.”
“And you want the Confederation to solve this? How?”
“However you can,” stated Fulton, “within reason of course. I do expect to have my House remain unbroken, of course. But I think you our Gizer's best hope. My people and I respect your nation, and even the corporations opposing me have to respect you for your economic clout.”
Nevare sighed, “One of my men is actually talking to Mister Wealcan. I'll see if we can all sit down and talk at the very least.”
Fulton nodded, “That's all I could expect from you, Line Captain.”
Jan 3 2014 2:39am
Hours passed before two Confederate officers found themselves back aboard the Warley. Commander Retrac related his findings to the line captain. The kashan man had insisted on seeing Fulton's son before discussing any deals, just to ensure that the boy was being cared for properly. He found the young boy paired up with both of Wealcan's own kids, doted on by a staff of droids and private tutors. The young noble seemed tense, but unharmed. Lydia nodded.
“Well, that matches at least what Lord Fulton has said,” sighed the woman, lounging in her chair, “while you were still on your back, I got in contact with the local CSIS station chief. There's a lot of social unrest going on. Not only are Fulton's taxes and isolationistic tendencies alienating from his people, but it sounds like the Corps themselves are doing a lot of astroturfing to help build up that sentiment to become more serious.”
“Hence the want for weapons,” corrobated Giles, scratching his chin, “which is going to be a dead deal, I'd assume. You mentioned earlier that the airspeeder pilot thought Fulton was crazy...CSIS have anything to shed on that?”
“Propoganda from the corporations, and since Lord Fulton hardly sees or talks to anyone, it's not too hard to pin it on him, especially with the taxes. But his home continent's people are fairly loyal to him, unlike the rest of world, which makes it pretty tough to find or hear any actual reports of insanity one way or the other...”
“As unpopular as he is, I think we should side with Lord Fulton on this one...”
Nevaere shook her head, “Blatantly siding with isn't going to help any. We can certainly shore up the monarchy, but the core problems still remain, and the corporations are going to eventually to stage something one way or the other. We've got to reconcile them, and while Lord Fulton seems like he's going to be fairly cooperative with us, but I'm not so sure about the corporations.”
“We haven't talked to Mr. Wealcan's partner.”
“The Gizer shipyards? It's worth a shot,” agreed the woman, rapidly punching buttons on the conference room console, “They seem to be mostly ground based, making smaller freighters and the like, but they do have one orbital facility that serves as a refueling point for their corporate fleet and a bit of direct-sale dealership. I'll have helm take us in and see what we can do. You should study up on the shipyads. I'm going to have a little chat with some of the higher-ups about our options here.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
The kashan man stepped out of the room to head to the bridge. In the meantime, Nevaere attempted to contact her superiors, only to get static back. They must have taken down the satellite net coverage because of nearby Reaver activity. She sighed. Which just leaves us with basic options that we've always had. The soroyan pulled out her code cylinder from the console, locking it, and strode out into the corridors of the galleon. Few people ran back or forth in the gray corridors, as it was third shift. She only encountered a marine accompanied by a pair of C1s before reached the bridge of the vessel. By the maker I'm tired. Maybe I can get one of the junior officers to grab me some caf. The pair of C1s at the bridge foyer recognized her and promptly activated the blast doors, allowing her easy access. Commander Retrac spared a bewildered glance at her entrance.
“Well that was quick. Did you just end up leaving a voice-mail ma'am?” half-joked the man.
“The subspace net is down,” replied the woman, settling in her chair, “probably the damn Reavers getting too close to Lantillies again.”
Retrac nodded, and gestured at a space station that was rapidly filling up their viewport, “Well, we're almost there. I hope you've got some ideas.”
“I do,” yawned Lydia, resting her neck on the back of her chair, “and I really hope you do too.”
A new voice filled the bridge, “Galleon Warley, this is Administrator Tonth of the Gizerian Shipbuilder Corporation. Please state your attentions, as I'm assuming you want to dock with our station based on your ship's approach vector...”
“Administrator Tonth, this is Line Captain Nevaere of the Confederate Merchant Fleet. I have some business dealings I would like to propose to the appropiate authority. I realize this isn't a scheduled meeting, but the timing makes this, well, a time-limited offer.”
“Could you be a little more specific ma'am?”
“I'd like to discuss ordering a hundred starships to be constructed by your yards, but I need to discuss the specifics of the deal with someone in production, I'd imagine...”
That order should be big enough to attract the attention of their upper management. And with them comes the leadership or at least the contact points to get in touch with the rest of them. Silence briefly greeted them before Tonth's voice came back, along with a slight shake of the hull as the station's tractor beam projector grappling their vessel.
“Ma'am, I'm pulling in your ship with our tractor beam projectors, I've placed a call in to someone who should be able to assist you in your purchase, but I regret they'll be coming from planetside, so it may be a few minutes to an hour before they are present to conduct business with you.”
“Thank you for your time Administrator, please just hail us whenever they are available.”
Nevaere spared a glance at her comm officer and briefly nodded. After returning the gesture, the communication's officer cut the radio link between the two vessels. Lydia turned to Retrac.
“You have the bridge again. I'm going to take a quick nap before our talks. You should try and get a little sleep while I'm gone. If things don't go quite as I plan, I may call you in for backup.”
“Sounds like a plan ma'am.”
Jan 3 2014 2:40am
One hour later...
Gizerian Shipbuilder Corporation Station, in orbit via Gizer
“A hundred ships?” questioned the company president, a bland-looking brown-haired man, “I'm assuming they're talking about our freighters?”
Administrator Tonth shrugged, “I don't know. She just said a hundred ships, and that it was time-limited offer.”
“But why?” questioned the corporate leader, gazing down at the ovoid galleon docked at the portside of his station, “the Confederates have plenty of their own shipyards to get craft at. Heck, the Lantillians just a hop and skip away over would be screaming if they knew she was proposing to take away their business...”
“Maybe it's for someone else. Maybe they have to have ships that won't be associated with their own nation.”
“Possible,” said the man, “but I'd bet it's more internal politics, or they're buying them for someone else who wants our specific model. I suppose it's time we find out. Give the Line Captain a call, and let's talk business.”
Fifteen minutes later, Line Captain Nevaere found herself striding through an airlock accompanied only by a pair of droids, a silver-plated business assistant and a gray-clad C1. She knew that neither were truly necessary for the meeting, but their presence would help prepare an image of her importance that the company officer would have little choice but see. She despised showiness or pageantry, yet she could not see any realistic alternatives. A golden protocol droid waddled up to them on the either side, immediately eying the other droids behind her.
“Welcome aboard Line Captain Nevaere, I am K-14, human-cyborg relations specialist. President Utra has ordered me to convey you to his presence for business negotiations.”
Nevaere muttered some thanks and followed the droid as it hobbled its way around the station's corridors. The hallways were surprisingly open, and she wondered if the Gizerians received a lot of business from some of the larger species in the galaxy, or if they rather open so that binary loadlifters could move heavy equipment throughout the station with little difficulty. They rounded several corridors and ascended a turbolift to the apex of the station, which at first glance, appeared to be a tiny observation lounge. Her brown eyes settled on an average-looking man dressed in a plain black business suit. He almost seemed to vanish among the starry background. Staring into her eyes, he stretched a pale hand.
“Welcome onboard our modest station. I'm President Utra, in case K-14 didn't inform you.”
“He did,” replied Lydia, stretching out a hand to meet his, “doubtless you've heard of the order which I wish to place.”
“A hundred starships,” mused the man, “rather vague. Did you want one of our freighter lines, or perhaps you're interested in our picket ships.”
“Both,” said the woman, “roughly a fifty fifty split.”
“Well then, please take a seat, and let's talk business. This order placement is time limited you say?”
“It is, and before we get any further, it does come with some preconditions.”
Utra cocked his head to the side and watched her closely, “Most business propositions generally do. You're saying this like it is not a typical one...”
“It isn't,” replied the woman, gesturing for the administrative droid to hand her a datapad, “I understand that you and Mr. Wealcan have an agreement going on in regards to some political dealings groundside.”
“You do, and there's not much denying it. Our local intelligence network was able to track some funding going back and forth between your businesses, and it wasn't done in the most legal manner, or for the most legal purposes. You entered your corporation into a business contract with Fermoy Security Corporation to supply them with a dozen picket ships, and another dozen freighters. The ones you earmarked for him are going to go to the Confederation instead. And you're going to do this for me because if you don't, I'll make sure your stockholders know what this is about, as well as the Royal Gizerian Navy. Something tells me that despite your corporate defenses, your station here won't last, especially if we decide to go against you as well...”
Utra's let out sigh and stared at the woman, “You are not a very good business woman.”
“I'm not done yet either,” informed the woman, “you're going to help me form a power-sharing agreement between yourself, Mr. Wealcan, and Lord Fulton.”
“Lord Fulton has given me the power to do so, as long as it doesn't quote unquote, break his house. So, part of this is going to be giving his son back to him. There is an upside though, for your cooperation. Besides not losing your job or imperiling your company, I really do intend to buy all those starships at the going market price. Secondly, I could lengthen these contracts to make a regular supply contract. Your company can continue to make ships for use by the CMF at a steady rate at a fixed price, ensuring that your company is never on the ropes. But all of this depends on your cooperation.”
Utra sighed, “And just how exactly do plan to keep this all enforced?”
“With a contract, of course. Besides, if you're all part of the Confederation, there will actually be a legal court system to keep you all in check, including a higher authority than Lord Fulton even if he attempts to renege on his word...”
Jan 4 2014 12:03am
Contegorian News Service report...
“As one of its first official acts, the newly formed Union of Gizer has opted to join the Confederation. All of three of the continents who voted to stay under the monarchy's control voted for it, as well as two of the new nations created by Lord Fulton's reforms. Only one nation, Cuhol did not vote in favor of the membership treaty. Cuhol, which is known for its sometimes shady tourist dealings and expansive star ports, had its representatives to the Union state that they wished to remain neutral in order to attract more business from various parts of the galaxy. Supporters of the Confederation, including royalists and corporationist, counter that more business coming in from and for the Confederation itself should more than offset in any loss of business due to Gizer's new nationality. The second acts of the union was to redeclare Lord Fulton Gizer's head of state. While it is a mostly ceremonial position, it does allow Lord Fulton to veto any laws passed by the Parliament if the vote is close. The third act to pass through the new Parliament was to designate Pter Wealcan, who recently served as the head of the influential Gizer Brewing Conglomerate, to become Gizer's new representative to the Contegorian Council. Councilor Wealcan-”
Nevaere shut the holo broadcast of and looked at the wispy hologram of the kashan couple.
“And not a mention of the CMF in the whole thing,” stated the soroyan.
Admiral Lucerne shook his head, “You mean, not a mention of the CMF yet. There's always the chance that an enterprising journalist or foreign intelligence agency will be able to figure out what exactly happened here...”
“But you did well considering the circumstances and the possibilities of inaction here,” interrupted Pro-Consul Thorn, “and that more than alone redeems any of the more forceful maneuvering you did here in my eyes.”
“I'm not saying she did not do well here,” defended Lucerne, “just that things will have to be smoother over a bit for tensions to come down some. It would appear that their main instigator will no longer live among them daily though, so let us hope that Wealcan will be sated enough by simply heading a more powerful position than the one he last had.”
Nevaere shrugged, “It was the only thing we could offer him to end the conflict quietly. Lord Fulton wasn't happy, but now he has his son back and most of the world is back to normal, even if some of his power has been eroded.”
“Indeed,” mused the Pro-Consul, “but at least he will not have their responsibility either. Hopefully that will give him more happiness and time with his son. I'm curious about Mr. Utra, is he really satisfied with how it turned out?”
“Perhaps less than the others,” admitted Nevaere, shuffling her feet, “but he didn't have much of a choice, and he has less of one now. We had more sticks than carrots to offer him, but his company should do well now with Confederate contracts, so it still should be a net gain for him.”
“I'm going to attach a few CSIS agents to keep track on these men,” decided Lucerne, “for what damage they could do in the future...”