Nov 24 2013 6:11pm
Vandalar City, Reaper’s World
“We both know it's a fair price to pay, for well, something so valuable.”
Governor Bentinck stared a the stocky individual in front of him. While shorter and slimmer than him, Bentick guessed that she had probably almost twice the muscle mass of him, the byproduct of growing up on the high-gravity world of Emmer. Her steel gray eyes stared back him expectedly, but the governor merely let out a quiet sigh and rapidly typed on his office desk's console, creating a rapidly holo between the two of them. The light finally stopped flickering to settle on a world of covered with rocky mountains and verdant valleys only interrupted by an occasional land-locked sea. Bentinck stood up and marched around to the side of the desk and gestured towards the holo.
“Do you know this world?”
She shook her head, “I can't say that I do.”
“This is one of the worlds where we get most of our foodstuffs,” replied the aging man, “it's called Till Chorios. It provides the foodstuffs that we can't get more locally from Dalos IV.”
“Dalos IV barely provides much if any foodstuffs,” scoffed the woman, “I'm not an idiot, and even with the more poor of your citizens settling there to sudden take up farming because of the crisis, I know their output isn't even close enough to make up a majority of the foodstuffs. Look at my offer this way, in exchange for a reliable, local supply of foods, you're simply investing in securing it.”
“Too risky,” replied the man, shaking his head, “all of those credits, and if you build up the defenses you want to buy to protect against the aliens that took Coruscant or the Reavers, or whatever else is plaguing us now, there's not guarantee that you'll end up paying them off. And if your world defaults, what? I am expected to send a war fleet out to fight and hopefully destroy the defenses we paid for? Certainly not.”
She stared at him, “So how do the Confederation worlds you loan to do it then?”
“They're part of the Confederation,” replied the man exasperatedly, “the federal government guarantees their loan, and typically our councilors-”
“So what if Emmer joined the Confederation,” interrupted the woman, “then could we get the loan?”
“I'm not sure if they're be a need to,” mused the man, “this is all hypothetical, of course...but that would work out well for us. Both of us, I mean. We, and by we, I mean Reaper's World, could use a stronger partner on the council besides that of Dalos IV or Talcorra.”
“What do you mean?”
“They're economically not very strong,” replied the man, “so they can't bring a lot of influence to our area, in fact, Reaper's World mostly does, especially since we don't have our own prefecture yet. But if we can get Emmer in, along with maybe a couple of other worlds, we can get enough to start our prefecture and finally get out of the Meridian's grasp.”
She snorted, “You were just bragging to me about how they supply your food...”
“We are still close, as we are with the rest of the Confederation,” admitted the Governor, settling back down in his desk chair, “but we could become a bit more independent from them. That'd let us lobby a little better to our own satisifaction...Tell you what, talk to your Governor about it, and if you can get it passed through whatever your congress, we'll be in business.”
She shook her head, “Just like that? Aside from Reaper's World being our frequent creditor, the people don't know much about the Confederation, and you just expect them to vote for it?”
Bentinck wobbled his head from side to side, “Fair enough. I'll get actions in motion to make more understandable for your people.”
“I don't like this deal,” replied the Emmerian, crossing her legs, “and I want you to know that. Don't think you can pull a fast one on us, like we're some desperate borrowers that can get overwhelmed by a glitzy advertising campaign.”
“I think you misunderstand me, miss, at least I hope you do. Because I'm talking about building a unified foundation to build our local power base for our mutual benefit in the future.”
“As long as it's mutual.”
Nov 28 2013 4:03am
“I don't think he even caught my name,” muttered the emmerian woman.
Governor Brywell half-shrugged at the idea. The Empire had left the human man in charge even after it had crumbled, yet many of the former Imperial governors remained in control of their worlds simply because of their fair rule and connections. Once, he had rivalled Governor Bentinck in terms of influence over the sector, but the man's new Confederation contacts allowed him to bypass many of the strings that still held Emmer and its people. Brywell gestured for Christi Downs to take a seat.
“Ms. Downs,” mused the lean man, “Bentinck was never very gracious, unless you clearly had something to offer him with no strings attached. It's nothing personal, he's more of a technocrat than a real governor. His understanding of the finiancial market will likely keep him in control there for a while now, and will continue to do so for quite some time. But I know he likes to make counteroffers, which is what I was banking on.”
“And you think this Confederation membership deal will work?”
“I think it's doable,” sighed the former Imperial, “I've thought about it as an alternative to the loan we were seeking.”
“But it's a loss of our independence.”
“So would a loan,” replied the governor, pulling out a datapad, “but you are right, though, membership is in many ways less flexible than I would prefer. But I find it preferable to getting infested with Reavers or being dominated by those aliens who sacked Coruscant.”
“So you're just going to accept it?”
“Of course not,” replied Brywell, “not how it stands, and certainly not by merely talking with Bentinck. He's not the only high official in the Confederation in the sector we can talk to. I would have talked to Rimrunner long ago if she wasn't moving to muscle into our economic turf. No, I think the president of Talcorra will be our best bet. After all, he certainly isn't too fond of Governor Bentinck.”
“Nor he will be of you. You were an Imperial once.”
“Once,” admitted the man, “but I'm still not Bentinck who constantly is getting into minor scuffles with him. This will be a chance for him to curtail Bentinck's power, if we can play it to our mutual advantage.”
“Let him play his games,” replied the older man, “we will start working on the real process...”
La Galissonière-class Star Destroyer Resolute, in orbit via Reaper's World
“...and here is where we think Brasck will be moving his latest shipment, according CSIS.”
The Reaper's World commander gestured at dotted line criss-crossing to one of the hundreds of systems in the Nilgaard Sector. With only a alphabetic prefix and numerical suffix, all of the officers guessed that it was unihabitanted; probably little more than a red or white dwarf star and a string of barren worlds and asteroids; providing an ample amount of hiding places for illicit activities to occur. A young man raised his hand.
“Any idea what it is, sir?”
“You're referring to the shipment?” said the ship's captain, “well gunnery chief, we do know it's supposedly coming in modular conveyors, which suggests they won't be slaves. More likely than not, I'd be willing to bet that it's going to be spice. It should make a nice bust for the holo-cameras that are going to be following us around for a bit.”
“How are long are they going to be with us, sir?” questioned a junior department chief.
“Longer than you'd like, I know,” growled Captain Arias, “look, we should be doing things officially like this all the time, although I'll admit we play with the rules a little bit. Point is, the Governor wants this operation to be as clean and precise as possible. That's why we're involved. There aren't going to be any chances that something will go amiss.”
“Beg my pardon sir, except not knowing who he's going to be rendezvousing with.”
“It's a mute point,” said the captain, “Brasck is what the Governor wants, more than the spices itself. We catch him, and we're golden. Just remember that and we'll all be fine...”
Nov 29 2013 5:44pm
Lambda-class Shuttle Racehorse, somewhere in the Nilgaard Sector
“Think he'll show?” projected Downs.
“He's an idiot if he doesn't,” replied the pilot, “because if he doesn't, I'll go out and kill him after dragging you out here so far.”
The female Emmerian idly nodded, only half-listening to the other Emmerian. She took in a deep breath in of the heavily recycled air and crinkled her nose. When was the last time he put some fresh air in this thing? It's stuffier than Governor Bentinck's life...She waddled up to the front of the shuttle's cockpit, just behind the shuttlecraft's pilot. Their rendezvous point appeared to be in the middle of nowhere, and she half-expected a pirate or smuggler ship to drop out into the stellar moor and ambush them. Several minutes passed before another ship pop on their sensor screen. It was a YT-1760 with a Talcorran registry, but the transponder only displayed a series of aubesh letters and numbers instead of a proper name. The pilot muttered something about a transponder scrambler; whoever was approaching them didn't want to reveal their true identity.
“You don't think it's a trap, do you?”
“I wouldn't rule out,” muttered her pilot, rapidly flipping a series of switches, “I'm going to warm us up if it is...”
The co-pilot's console began to ring, so the female Emmerian slipped onto the left seat and hastily put the headset mike on.
“Are you Miss Downs?”
“I am sir, care to give your name?”
The President himself came? Her heart skipped a beat. Are they taking us that seriously? Won't the governor be happy...
“Mr. President, I'm so glad-”
“I'm not the president,” cut in the disembodied voice, “I am his son. My father wasn't able to escape without attracting any undue attention. And even I can only be gone for a little bit. You wanted a meeting, you got it. Now what's this all about.”
“Emmer is about to join the Confederation, and Governor Bentinck is planning to use that to start a new prefecture, of which he would be the guiding voice. A certain high official from Emmer is interested in working with your father to undermine Governor Bentinck's influence in this new unit.”
“A new prefecture,” repeated the man, “while Bentinck certainly is power hungry enough to do that. What's your plan for dealig with it?”
“Form a coalition against him.”
“Ah, no,” informed the man, “not that simple. There's a reason why Bentinck would have so much influence. How many of us would openly speak up against him?”
“Who ever it said it be open knowledge we were working against him?”
“All right. If we're not publically opposing him in the Council, how are we undermining him then?”
La Galissonière-class Star Destroyer Sémillante, YGW200321 System, Nilgaard Sector
Captain Rodrigo Roi quietly strolled down the bridge's walkway, glancing down into the semi-recessed crewpit of the star destroyer. Various black-clade crewmen quietly chatted with each other. Roi's dark almond-shaped eyes stared quietly at the sensor operator's console, which displayed the Preneuse's four artificial gravity wells set up around the likely entry and exit vectors around the alleged rendezvous point. He turned his eyes to the viewport to look at the orange and purple swathed gas giant before them, as well as the other Reaper's World forces scattered among the the system to pounce on their suspects. A voice rose from among the crewpits.
“The Defence Web has picked up multiple ships headed our way,” announced the woman, “several with capital-scale drives. Unknown signatures.”
“Move to red alert,” announced the captain.
Roi crinkled his lips. A slave ship is probably a capital-scale vessel, but there shouldn't be multiple vessels..that's not what the briefing said...He quietly walked back to his command chair and pulled up the various sensor outputs being streamed from the defense web. And there aren't any pulsemass mines around the route to trigger...but I suppose that's true for most unused routes, because who really travels here these days anyways?
“Contacts reverting to realspace. Two groups...they're...they're firing on each other.”
Roi quickly toggled through his screens to bring up a holo of the vessels. A single CR90 labelled Syren with a trio of escort shuttles composed the first group: Brasck's ships. The second group lay almost a hundred kilometers away, comprised of a pair of Rapier II-class gunships and what appeared to be heavily modified Quasar Fire bulk transport acting as a carrier vessel of some sort. Several dozen Z-95 Headhunters and Cloakshapes shot out of the converted freighter's hold towards Brasck's ships. Various burning claws were splashed upon their hulls. Pirates.
“Sir, the second group...they're Reavers.”
Roi took a double glance at the piratical ships. They don't seem infected. The sensor operator began circling various areas of the pirates capital ships on his holo-screens, along with adding various notes. Roi sighed. Newly infected...
“Signal Brasck's ships,” decided Roi, “we're going to work together until these Reaver vessels are gone. After that, we'll have to figure things out.”
Nov 30 2013 3:43am
“So then it is settled,” stated Governor Brywell, “Councilor Kaj of Dalos IV will spearhead our movement within in the council to get Emmer inducted, since his world is in the best situation to withstand Bentinck's wrath if he turns hostile. But I'll admit to not like relying on his efforts alone. Governor-General Rimrunner, I would appreciate it if you would allow the Talcorran councilor to work with him as well.”
Getting these two to work together is harder than I'd thought. Brywell stared at the pair of holo-projections in front of him standing on his desk. Each was only a quarter of their real size, and despite that and knowing that each of the other head of states were light years away, he still felt like a fistfight was about to errupt. Governor-General Rimrunner seemed to glare at him through the holo, while President Chadwick idly spun a datapad stylus between his fingers.
“Kaj does best by himself,” rebutted the woman, “for this sort of thing anyways. It's going to be a lot personal go betweens. No offense President Chadwick, I think your boy is best out doing something else.”
“All right,” said the talcorran, “how about Councilor Erlend does some work with some more corporate concerns which could potentially help us out if things go south. Maybe use some of Talcorra's more military contacts to put a little pressure for the induction too.”
“Fine, as long as he doesn't get in the way.”
“As long as you both are satisified, I will defer to your judgement,” mused Brywell, steepling his fingers, “I regret that I do have an appointment now. I wish you both the best of luck in your affairs.”
“Good night Governor,” drawled President Chadwick, settling his stylus down, “I believe my work is done here as well. Signing off.”
Rimrunner nodded in agreement before muttering a quick goodbye. The twin holo-projectors died down, leaving his desk empty. Letting out a sigh, the lean man rose from his cushioned chair and walked to the giant plasteel wall that acted as a giant window to the outside world. Several airspeeders whizzed by him to descend to the lower levels of the government building. The rays of the setting sun flashed down and glinted off the beautifully sculpted white-washed formex and polished durasteel buildings. In the distance, the grass turned from a jaded emerald green near the fore to sparkle and glow in the far distance, almost blending in with the approaching night. Risks. Do I really risk all this based on the mere promises of men and my belief in believing that they'll do what's right, or even what is advantageous to them? It's logical, but people don't always work that way. He glanced at his wrist chrono. Where is Downs? She should be here by now...Brywell stumbled back into his desk chair and picked up his comlink. He flicked through several channels before finding the one he stared with his subordinate.
“Christi? Where are you?”
“Sorry Governor,” sighed the distant Emmerian, “ah, I'm trying to explain to Mr. Imrus that I can't have him come in with me.”
Brywell's lip twitched. I really can't ignore him. But still, a man shouldn't intrude. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to break him into what the future holds so early...but what's done is done.
“He can come in with you,” said the Governor, “I assume he has some items he'd like to discuss me with immediately?”
“Of course I do,” muttered a new voice through the comlink, “what you're thinking of is dangerous. Maybe even treason-”
“Let's discuss this in person,” cut in Brywell, “come on in. I'll be waiting.”
He shut the comlink off. I can't very well do this easily with him if he objects. Perhaps greed, no, opportunity was not the motivator I was looking for with this one. Treason...but treason to who? Certainly not to Emmer, would it be? Unless there is something I don't know about...His relverie collapsed as the doors to his office whisked open. Downs briskly strolled in wearing a thin-lipped smile, while a male Emmerian wearing an angular business suit slowly followed in her steps.
“Mr. Imrus,” stated the Governor, rising from his chair, “what are your concerns?”
“The same as yours,” replied the businessman, “if Emmer does enjoy the Confederation, things will become complicated than you think. I know you think, or maybe you just want me to think, that the Confederation will order our walkers for their military. Maybe that's what you're telling yourself to help your agri friends get some better deal for their economic concerns, but this could ruin my company and the lives of thousands of Emmerians.”
“I don't follow.”
“Then I'll just have to make you.”
Dec 1 2013 4:04am
CR90 Syren, YGW200321 System, Nilgaard Sector
Roi strolled down the polished corridors of the old Corellian corvette. A pair of Reaper's World's national guardsmen followed behind, wairly holding their blaster rifles at the low ready. His eyes wandered around the vessel. Unusual. It's surprisingly well kept for such owners...almost in mint condition. Can't really say the same about the crew. He saw more than a few being carried away on litters or haphazardly being transported to the sick bay. The Confederate captain held some regret that the Confederation hadn't inflicted those casualties, but he really couldn't fire on a ship that surrendered to them without firing a shot at the Confederates. A voice called out to him from a side corridor.
Turning his head towards the voice, Rodrigo gripped his dress sword, half-expecting an intoxicated pirate to charge at him with a vibro-rapier. Instead, a short, reptilian alien with green skin and apparently no neck quietly approached him. I know him...Brasck. His hand fell away from his sidearm.
“Brasck. You wanted to negotiate the final terms of your surrender.”
“Yes, but not here.”
“I don't see what there is to negotiate about.”
“You're only thinking about the immediate situation,” replied Brasck, lightly coughing, “but there is a reason why those pirates, reavers, whatever you wanted to call them, were after me.”
“Reavers tend to go after any weak prey,” noted Roi dryly.
“Fair enough, but before they were turned to Reavers, they were hunting me for something else. I have some information that you will want. But it doesn't come free.”
“All right, have it your way,” muttered the Confederate captain, “let's go talk somewhere more private and see what you have to offer.”
Brasck smiled, “I always have admired how your Confederates are so...practical.”
Roi offered a brief, tight-lipped smile to Jabba's former henchman, who led the man through several more halls and corridors in the little warship. Eventually, the two stood in the upper staterooms of the corvette, which Roi judged to be the alien's personal quarters given the faint desert décor spread about the room. After the alien had shut the doors behind him, the grubb motioned for the Confederate to a chair in the middle of the room next to a caf-colored table.
“So what are you bargaining with?”
Brasck hesitated, “I am not sure how to phrase it. The futures of your worlds.”
“Well, that doesn't seem grandiose or vague at all...” half-sneered the man, gazing into Brasck's wide yellow eyes.
“Very well. You have enemies that you do not know about. I know of several, and I can help you deal with some of them.”
“Ones that CSIS doesn't know about?”
“Oh, I've heard of them,” replied the grubb, “but tell me, how many Swokes Swokes agents does it have? That is the first of my hints about the legitimacy of my information.”
“So you're hinting it comes from Makem Te?” mused the man, “that's still rather vague.”
“That's all you get until I get a promise for immunity and my freedom.”
“Do you know why there are two squadrons of ships here to take down one corvette and its escorts?”
Brasck stared hard at the man.
“It's blatantly obvious. I know I am high on the wanted list in these areas for what? Slavery? Murder? I don't remember all of the crimes. But not all of them are mine. Some they've just attributed to me. Not that I'll claim to be clean based on your laws, if that's what you think morality is.”
“Well, victors seem to dictate what's right and wrong these days,” muttered the Captain, “but I'll be blunt with you. The reason for the ships is that you're a high value trophy.”
“They want to make an example of me.”
“Exactly. You're going to have to have a hell of a good reason to dissuade them from that.”
“Fine. Take the ship, take the rest of the crew here. They're only hired help,” suggested Brasck, “and make an example of them. Say you only caught a decoy of me.”
“And what about you?”
“I go into your custody secretly, I know that reality. But you release me once I've played my part in helping your government.”
“I can't give that you to you.”
“But you know someone who can.”
“Sure,” stated Roi, “but you're going to have a hell of a time convincing Governor Bentinck about this.”
“Why don't you call him? This could help advance your career, you know. I know how much your government values fresh intelligence. My life is fairly cheap for what I'm about to give you.”
“Fine. But don't expect some grand deal to come out of this.”
“Understood,” replied the alien.
Dec 1 2013 4:26am
Atlas Hall, Brandenburg, Genon
“Councilor Kaj,” noted Lord Manten, “you may speak.”
The representative from Dalos IV rose up from the ranks of the seated Western Expanse councilors.
“I would like to fast track Item #16, to vote on the treaty to accept Emmer as new member of the Contegorian Confederation, giving them full membership with all of its rights and responsibilities.”
Lord Manten glanced at his datapad, “Are you certain you do not mean Item #4, Councilor Kaj?”
“This is a different motion,” announced Kaj, “without any of the preconditions placed on Emmer as suggested by the councilor of Reaper's World. Myself and several other councilors believe these preconditions to be unnecessary. Emmer is a respectable nation that hardly needs to prove its worth to its neighbors or the Confederation itself. Their finances and political affairs all in order, which negates the need for most of these preconditions-”
“I object,” stated another man rising, “my world knows far more about their finiancial state of affairs than Councilor Kaj or any of the other councilors here could possibly know.”
“Silence!” roared Lord Manten, “you will have your chance to speak, Councilor. But for now, Councilor Kaj holds the floor until I decide otherwise, which is not now. Councilor Kaj, continue. To the councilor of Reaper's World, shut up and sit down.”
“Thank you Speaker,” noted Kaj, “my fellow councilor from Talcorra has prepared a briefing along with the analysis of several private investing and information companies about Emmer, along with information gathered by CSIS. The report should be on available on the shared drive for your review before the vote, if you do have any questions about Emmer's truthworthiness. I can only speak from what I know, but Item #4 as proposed by my counterpart from Reaper's World is worded to give his nation much more power in our region by severely curtailing Emmer's rights until its list of precondition is met, of which some is highly arbitary. One example being a tax to paid to Reaper's World itself for use of its planetary navy in defending Emmer until its own fleet has been built to confederation standards. Yet this very precondition excludes the possibility of any other nearby fleet, or even a federal fleet, from performing this duty. Emmer deserves this protection not based on taxes alone, but by the virtue of its membership into the Confederation itself. I request a recess of a half hour, after my Reaper's World's counterpart has spoken of course, to review the material my partners and I have put together for your use, before a vote on Item #16. That is all, Speaker.”
“Granted,” decided Lord Manten, “now, Councilor Ludivicus of Reaper's World, you may speak your part.”
“Thank you Speaker. My fellow councilors...”
Dec 1 2013 11:55pm
“Councilor Imrus, I wish you the best of luck at Genon.”
The stout emmerian grunted at Governor Brywell before hobbling up the ramp of the shuttle that would take him to the jungle world. How I just love promoting people out of the way. And hopefully that'll invest him enough into the Confederation that I won't have to deal with his whining about it any more. Downs will be far more tractable in his old position anyways...After watching the shuttle depart, the former Imperial strolled away off of the landing pad and back into the government building. Several turbolifts and hallways later, Brywell found himself back in his office. One of the holo-projectors displated a floating Unitas with a pair of numbers alongside it. The maker damn it. If I get one more new message congratulating me about the world's induction...I really hope R3-D234 was able to get those filters put in right...Sighing, the man collapsed into his seat and hit the play button. After seeing that the first holo was from the councilor of Budpock, giving yet another congratulatory welcome, he skipped through it. Downs can review that later and see if there's anything in it that I'll have to respond to...Several more messages appeared to be of a similar nature, so he simply skipped them and added them to Miss Down's workload. His eyes finally settled on one marked with a priority signal along with a black Unitas slapped alongside it. CSIS briefing? He quickly selected it and let it play.
The holo-projector formed the image of middle-aged woman sitting at a desk set in a rocky cavern somewhere. While he couldn't be entirely sure, Brywell guessed that it was on Talcorra somewhere, which he had heard was the hub of CSIS operations in the sector because of all its space traffic. Her greens eyes stared at him with a mixture of seriousness and focus he hadn't seen in years. Brywell tapped the play button.
“The operation targetting Brasck was a success. The fugitive was captured along with many of his associates. Doubtless, many of you have seen the holo-news documenting the trial and their summary execution of him and his crew on the Sémillante. Regardless of what you read in the news, Brasck was not killed immediately.
Instead, he was taken for further interrogation about information he supposedly possessed. He offered some information in return for his life. Unfortunately, in order to verify his information, the CSIS interrogator in charge of the operation injected him with OV600, which incurred an adverse medical condition on the source that suddenly culminated during the detailed interview about a potential threat originating from Makem Te. According to preliminary medical analysis, Brasck died of sudden neurogenic shock which OV600 is known to produce when the suspect is lying. While much of his parting gift has thus far proven to be mostly true, several of the conclusions Brasck drew from the information he gathered has not been conclusively proven. Nonetheless, it is advised that all Confederate nations within the area place appropiate safeguards in place for a possible attack that he described, most likely to be on concentrated on interstellar travel and communications infrastructure, as well as any commercial concerns connected with Makem Te...”
It's too late for this. He forwarded the message to his intelligence chief with a brief note authorizing her any powers she might need to deal with the threat, albeit he guessed she had already done so, under the auspices of previous standing orders. Yet his new instructions would likely give her more latitude in dealing with the threat. Brywell turned back to his inbox, locating one from President Chadwick, curiously sent without a title. He tapped a button, bringing a holo of the old man to life, seated in a similar room as the CSIS's sector station chief.
“Governor Brywell,” stated the Talcorran president, “congratulations on your world's membership to the Confederation. But that is not why I called, though I do admit to hoping you would pick up while I offered it. As you full know well, Governor Bentinck is not terribly with us for that last little maneuver, though he will well get over it with this new threat CSIS has supposedly discovered. I wanted to let you know from my mouth, that because of this threat I will not be able to send in elements of the Talcorran fleet to protect your world until the Abhean shipyards can complete your world's order of starships. However, I have stood by my promise to help protect your world. I have been able to get a detachment of the federal fleet and the Kashan Defence Force, to help protect your world until Emmer is fully ready to stand on its own. The federal fleet should arrive within a few days, and the Kashans several days after that. It is my advice that you talk to the Kashan and start building ties with them. They can offset many of the disadvantages thrust on to us by Governor Bentinck's hostility, and I admit to fully suggesting to them than a mutual understanding from your nation to theirs would be beneficial to them as well. This is their goodwill offering, do not waste the opportunity to get to know them from it-”
More advice. As if I didn't get enough of it already. Befriend the Budpockians they say, befriend the Sarkans they say, befriend the Kashans...though I'll readily admit that the Kashans seem to be among the more pure of this nation. Yet something is different about them. What could I possibly have that they'd be willing to send a war fleet in exchange for?