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Carrick

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Consortium
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ISC Secretary of Defense

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Nefieslab
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Druckenwell was a hellscape of trade negotiations between despicable people and industry designed to further warfare for the sake of profits... and it was probably why he felt so immediately at home. His adopted home of Tinnel IV was a hive of scum mascaraing as a polite, Core, society and it seemed to him like Druckenwell was basically trying to accomplish the same thing. They were a planet of arms dealers, ironmongers and businessmen so shady that even the Hutts thought they probably needed to have more oversight.

So they were perfect.

An entire planet that could help him build up the ISC military while gaining enough oversight to at least pretend to be civilized people? They were perfect to join the ISC and the only reason that he could think that they hadn't was that they had decided they were better off on their own. Which he would be happy to work with Sibyl Lassiter to ensure they received a comprehensive education on why that was not the case.

One thing he had insisted upon for the meeting however was the ship he and Sibyl would arrive in.

Arriving into atmosphere aboard the EM-1 Corvette, "The President's Favourite", sent a message that he was very happy to send. A reminder to the people they were there to meet, who could see them from the meeting room's windows as they approached the landing pad he was certain, that the ISC had a navy that could showcase firepower and elegance. So they could see it as a symbol of the power that they could be a part of.

And?

If he was being honest with himself?

As he waited for the ramp to come down upon landing, he turned to Sibyl and admitted it aloud.

"Always wanted to show up in one of these. Damned if Naboo doesn't make military ships look like limos."



@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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Sibyl was in a bad mood and struggling to hide it behind her neutral face. She preferred to be relaxing at her home rather than going with Carrick to Druckenwell on a diplomatic mission. It was for situations like this one that she had Tristodd, it wasn’t her who should visit a hellhole planet in the Mid Rim. This was such an undignified thing for someone of her position.

Unfortunately, when Ordalos sent the message for her to go there, Sibyl had already dispatched Tristodd to meet with Senator Graves on Thyferra. Now she regret having done it, the Brentaalan woman preferred to deal with a dumb Zeltron rather than going to a planet full of scum like Druckenwell.

Without any other choice, she accepted. Since the planet was a den of trade and corruption, perhaps Sibyl could arrange some deal for herself. Of course, for that she would need to find a way for her partner not to see what she was doing.

She barely knows Carrick, so she has no idea how the man operates when doing diplomacy. Or what was his position as a politician. Hopefully, he wasn’t an idealist. The Governor would go crazy if she needed to deal with someone like that. At least the Secretary of Defense had chosen an impressive transport for them. Arriving at an EM-1 Corvette would really cause an impression on the people of the planet. This she approves. Sibyl loved to impress, she had even bought new clothes for this.

The trip happened without any problems. While she waited for the ramp to come down, Sibyl heard what Carrick had said. She wondered how old the man was, because he was looking like a teen speaking about cars with his friends rather than a Secretary of Defense. Anyway, she decided to give him an answer. “Yes, it’s really impressive. I never thought that I would travel in this type of ship.

Since she was going to stay with him for some time, Sibyl decided that it would be a good opportunity to know more about the Secretary. “I think that we never properly talked before. It’s a pleasure to work with you, Secretary Carrick.” she smiled at the man.

@Nefieslab
 

Carrick

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Nefieslab
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Sibyl was new to Carrick as he was to her – they hadn’t even so much as talked during their time as “opposition” in the Galactic Senate. Having their first meeting be during an active diplomatic visit was less than ideal but he wasn’t going to let it deter him or his good mood. She seemed to be in a rather foul mood from what he could see (he didn’t need the force to recognize the face of ‘civilized’ disgust after all).

“The pleasure is all mine.”
He returned her greeting with a small smile, “Forgive my excitement – this world reminds me of Tinnel IV when I found myself there the first time. Riddled with corruption and an utter contempt for moral business practices… and that’s going to help them fit right in.”

Even though it was technically a mid-rim planet, it was run like an Outer-Rim planet. And if they wanted to make money? Well he had a military complex that needed some more Industrial complex adding to it.

“I say we hit them right where their hearts are – their profits. The ISC can make them richer and they’ll drool over that.”
As he spoke they were led away from the landing pad toward the meeting conference room by a protocol droid, “Do you want to be the good Ranger or bad Ranger?”

Hey… it was simple but it worked.


@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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Sibyl heard Carrick talk about his excitement about being on Druckenwel. She really didn’t care if the man was excited because this place reminded him of his homeworld. He could have been born in Tinnel IV or taken out from a cloning vault, the Brentaalan wasn’t interested in what he was talking about. However, she said nothing and remained listening to what the Secretary was saying.

There was no need for her to antagonize him. It was the first time that they were working together, the last thing that she wanted was to turn him into an enemy. "I never visited Tinnel IV, but I heard about its reputation. What is it like to live there?" she asked. Since they were going to work together, Sibyl had decided that at least maintaining a conversation could be good.

Carrick was right, the benefits of being part of the ISC would be irresistible for corrupts. She knew that it really works. Sibyl saw how some of the corrupt Brentaal Houses quickly supported their defection from the New Republic when she explained to them how the Consortium offered more economic advantages.

While they were guided out of the landing pad, Carrick explained what they should say during the conference. Sibyl needed to agree with him, announcing that the ISC could make them richer would be captivating for anyone. "I'll be the good Ranger." she smiled at the Secretary. Better not risk with being the bad one, the Governor could get carried and end saying things that could ruin the meeting.

@Nefieslab
 

Carrick

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Consortium
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Nefieslab
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“Terrible – that’s why I moved to Naboo.”

Bad Ranger is was for him.

He didn’t exactly hold it against Sibyl for wanting to play the Good Ranger – most political figured liked to present the air that they were reasonable. Carrick was already at a disadvantage for most politicians because he was the Secretary of Defense. They expected him to be an aggressive warmonger and, for the most part, he had found he could lean on that preconception.

“Feel free to ‘send me away to cool down’ if you think it’ll work.” He offered his political ally before growing quieter as they approached the meeting place, “I’ll stand outside until you buzz the com-link for me to come back once you’ve capitalized.”

The doors to the conference room were opened ahead of them and the board meeting to reveal three people sat on the opposite side of the table from where they would be sitting. From the briefing they had received on the way to the planet, the three were representatives of the ruling elites of the planet.

The technical governor of the planet, Thaddeous Chambers, sat in the middle, flanked on the left by Felic Grace the cathar representative of the Importer’s Guild and on the right by Ibacca Uband, the kiffar representative of the Blastech operations in the sector.

None of them seemed to be apprehensive about the meeting overly much, though the governor (10) looked to be less enthusiastic than either of his aides. Ibacca (17) seemed to be on the edge of her seat and Felic (15) was very attentive as soon as they entered.

“Esteemed representatives of the ISC! How shall we do business together today?”


Carrick would let Sibyl take the lead as the softer touch – already two of the three seemed mostly on board after all so it would do well to be the foot they led with.


I rolled a d20 for each of them to see their initial disposition to us

@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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Sibyl wasn’t surprised by Carrick’s answer to her question. A planet like Tinnel IV wasn’t a place for someone to live on. At least someone like her. If she was in his place, the Governor would also have escaped a place full of corruption and criminal scum. It would be terrible for her image to be associated with it. Although, she would probably maintain some secret business there. Corrupt planets were reputation killers, but they were always the most lucrative. Perhaps she should visit Tinnel IV at some point.

While they walked toward the conference room, Ephiny heard the Secretary's suggestions. She thought that it was exactly what a character from a holomovie would do. First the Good and Bad Ranger, now this. The Brentaalan wondered if Carrick was going to have the entire strategy of this meeting based on it. However, she decided to agree with him. “I’ll do it.

When they finally entered the room, Sibyl felt disappointed. The decoration was so bland, lacking anything that showed the status of the people that used it. It was a stark contrast with the conference rooms of Brentaal, always with its opulent decorations.

The three representatives at the table also weren’t impressive. Much like the room, their clothes were bland and tacky. They were obviously trying to pass off the impression of being sophisticated like the people of the Core Worlds, but they were failing miserably. While Felic Grace and Ibacca Uband seemed to be interested in their presence, the technical governor of the planet, Thaddeous Chambers seemed to be far less enthusiastic. Perhaps the idea of a Bad and Good Ranger would be good after all.

Since Carrick didn’t answer, Sibyl took it as a cue for her to talk. “Hello! I’m Governor Sibyl Lassiter from Brentaal and this is Carrick, the ISC Secretary of Defense. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” she smiled at them, while taking a seat. “We are here today to discuss the possibility of Druckenwell aligning with the ISC. We hope to show you all the benefits that it would bring for your planet.” and for yourselves, she wanted to add. However, it would not be correct to say it, at least not for now. “Tell me, how is your economy going? I heard that there are some pirates doing raids on this sector. I hope that it isn’t causing problems for you.

@Nefieslab
 

Carrick

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Nefieslab
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Esteemed ISC representatives huh?

Well Carrick would be the first to admit that the ISC was a big step up from their current surroundings but they were laying it on a little thick for his tastes. He let Sibyl respond first, bowing his head slightly as he was introduced but otherwise not actually speaking up. His colleague had introduced him after all.

There were a few glances shared between the three representatives when the matter of their economy was brought up. Even the most welcoming of the representatives seemed to shy away from the topic for a moment.

“Well it is our pleasure to meet you – I am Thaddeous Chambers and these are my advisors, Felic Grace and Ibacca Uband.”
He turned to one of them, Felic, “I do believe the pirates are more Felic’s purvey than my own.”

Ah.

Importer’s Guild was responsible for it’s own defence while in space it would seem. Hence why the pirates would be more her own issue. Her ears twitched in a Cathar’s expression of irritation and Carrick could barely hold back a frown.

“The pirates have been troublesome but we have them in hand.”


Carrick raised an eyebrow.

“Is that why you’ve lost two squadrons of fighters in the last month?”
he asked, bluntly, eyeing the representative as she stiffened but Carrick explained before she could act offended, “Your supply lines run through ISC space. Either you needed to replace lost capacity after the recent pirate attacks or you were gearing up for a military operation against them.”

Judging by her reaction, it was clear that she did not appreciate his deduction.

“The ISC Navy works with local forces to help incorporate them within the overall structure of the armed forces of the ISC… we could be your supplier, trainers and wingmen.”


The offer was made and the Cather looked like she was considering it, though her irritation was twofold in that she was irritated he had showed her up and irritated at Thaddeous for throwing her under the bus. At least Carrick had the good grace to offer to assist her rather than doing it for her – he figured he earned some points from her with that.

“Speaking of our import crisis… what regulations does the ISC place on internal trade?”
the Kiffar advisor asked with a smirk, “And external trade with less savory types? Just so we know, of course.”


@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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Sibyl watched Governor Thaddeus Chambers present himself and his aides. The man didn't seem to be very happy with their presence there. Her question about the pirates also didn't seem to have pleased him either. However, it would not scare her. The Brentaalan was certain that she and Carrick would find a way to make him become more friendly.

The knowledge that the Importer's guild was responsible for its own defense could be useful. If what she heard was true, they were having some severe losses due to the pirates. Sibyl believed that it shows how the guild alone wasn’t being able to deal with the criminals.

Of course, the dismissive reaction of Felic was expected. Sibyl knew very well that they would never admit their problems. She was going to tell what she had heard about their problems, but Carrick did it first. The Governor remained in silence, only watching the reaction of the Importer's guild representative.

Felic seemed to be interested, but also annoyed. Poor Cathar, Governor Chambers had thrown her to face a very delicate question. It was obvious that she and the guild weren't being able to protect themselves against the pirates. With Brentaal's economy also dependent on trade, if she was in their position, Sibyl would also have considered Carrick’s offer very tempting.

Then the Kiffar advisor made a question regarding trade sanctions. “The ISC doesn't have the same bureaucracy that plagues the New Republic. It stimulates the trade between members with the purpose of aiding their economies and development. For example, if Druckenwell joins the Consortium, it could make an agreement with Brentaal where the products offered would have precedence over these coming from non-members.” Sibyl gave her homeworld as an example because she knew how tempting it would be for a backwater planet to have its products being sold to one of the Core Founders. “You can also still make agreements with planets outside of the ISC.

Regarding the Kiffar’s other question, the Governor had decided to let Carrick answer that. Doing business with unsavory types was always profitable, but she didn't want to pass the impression that Brentaal used to do it. After all, the man beside her was the Secretary of Defence. He would probably be furious if she says that her homeworld had business with criminal syndicates and even with Sith controlled planets. Depending of how Carrick reacted, she would say her opinion.


@Nefieslab
 

Carrick

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Nefieslab
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Carrick might not be here to be the kind and personable face of the ISC but he was still someone who knew when to offer someone a lifeline - even if they didn't end up joining, he had a feeling he would be receiving official requests to help train and support the local forces in the near future. Of course he would ensure to charge them for this if they weren't ISC members when they made the request. The ISC Navy would be more than happy for the experience but they wouldn't be moving a finger to assist non-ISC worlds without it being made worth their while.

He would make sure not to gouge the poor advisor too much but he would be clear that the only way the charges for assistance would be going away was with full ISC membership.

Sibyl was right to draw attention to the fact that membership of the ISC would tie Druckenwell and Brentaal closer than they ever would have been otherwise. As a Core world, there were businesses and, in rare cases, individuals with enough credits to double the economic output of Druckenwell with minimal effort. This captured not only the attention of Ibacca but of Thaddeous as well - it was nice to see that the Governor knew which parts he should very well be attracted to.

"Having such a fruitful relationship with your planet would be a delight, Governor Lassiter."
Thaddeous agreed with a small smile, "And not something we could really count on without membership. Even joining the New Republic or the FWA would not promise such close links with powerful trade partners such as yourselves."

Ibacca looked from Sibyl to Carrick when the Governor carefully did not answer the second part of the Kiffar's question regarding trading partners. Shuffling slightly in place, Carrick straightened.

"The ISC does not condone transactions with criminal elements either internally or externally. Cases of this made public will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
he declared formally as he very deliberately maintained eye contact with the Kiffar woman, "Of course not all crimes can be proven. But those that are? Are punished."

He had very deliberately worded both parts of his answer and the way the Kiffar's smile widened told him that she had caught it. If she was stupid enough to deal with the criminal elements and get caught? Carrick himself would arrest her. But he had gotten his own position on Tinnel IV through exploiting corruption... if she was able to do it without getting caught out and she didn't sell the ISC out?

She could do whatever she wanted.

"Our system is slightly apart from the ISC proper - would you see us become your buffer zone or fringe world?"
Felic asked, having calmed herself, "Or do you have designs on our neighbors as well?"


@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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Sibyl smiled with Thaddeus' interest. Of course a backwater planet like this one would want this opportunity. Making business with a prestigious world like Brentaal wasn’t an opportunity to be ignored. Beyond the benefits of having direct contact with one of the Core Founders, it would also allow them to have access to the other Core Worlds.

Carrick’s answer to Ibacca’s question was clever and was also an advice for Sibyl. Even with all the prestige that Brentaal had, some of the trade guilds of the planet also used to have business with unsavory groups. The Governor understood that they could continue doing it, but it would need to stay a secret. Hopefully the Kiffar would be smart enough to understand that too.

After hearing Felic’s question, Sibyl considered that this one she could answer. “For the Consortium there isn’t buffer zones or fringe worlds. All its members are seen as important.” she explained. “The ISC believes that its members are equals and must cooperate with each other toward a common goal.”

Regarding your neighbors, we can also propose that they join the ISC. However, they will always be free to refuse. Like you are.” it would be very stupid if a bunch of backwater planets like these refuse this proposal. This was their best opportunity to at least have some aspect of civilization and development.

@Nefieslab
 

Carrick

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If Carrick noticed Sibyl's interest in his answer to Ibacca's question he was kind enough to his colleague not to mention it. There were some signs that she was interested but, as he had heavily implied, he would not care until they no longer thought to hide their crimes. At that point he would be forced to act and it would be because of their own failings as politicians as far as he was concerned.

It was just how the game was played.

As Sibyl answered the question posed to her, Carrick admitted to himself that he would be pushing for a stronger approach for their neighbors. The reason they focused on this planet so much was because it was a local hub - their neighbors were nobodies even when compared to other locals and they would fall in line by hook or by crook. And if they didn't it would be a simple matter to ensure their more powerful neighbors applied the right economic pressure until they had no choice but to change their minds.

There was always a choice but the ISC was not above stacking the deck in their favor. After the question, Thaddeus had a short moment where he conferred with his colleagues.

"Esteemed guests from the ISC - could we ask you to step outside for a moment while we deliberate? We promise we shan't keep you very long."


Carrick bowed his head ever so slightly in acceptance - he didn't care if they needed to come back tomorrow after all. So long as it all got done in their favor he was fine with whatever they needed to do to justify joining to themselves. Because at this point he was convinced that they would be joining. Carrick and Sibyl were escorted to a balcony overlooking some of the more affluent areas of the capital city while they waited.

Once the protocol droid that had escorted them stepped away, Carrick reached into his jacket inner pocket and retrieved a small flask of Corellian brandy.

"Do you think they'll have any conditions on their acceptance?"
he asked, taking a sip from the flask, "I'm assuming they'll accept but I think they'll tack conditions on it to make themselves feel like they've gotten the better part of the deal than us."


@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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Sibyl watched Thaddeus talking with his colleagues. She was optimistic, they seemed interested in what the ISC could offer to this backwater planet. They would be fools if they refused this opportunity. If they agreed with it, Carrick should praise her. The Governor was certain that her offer of easy access to Brentaal was what would win them over.

When Thaddeus asked the two representatives to leave them alone, Sibyl nodded and followed Carrick. The balcony to where they were escorted allowed them to see the capital of Druckenwell. In the Brentaalan opinion the place was horrible. It was worse than one of the poor areas of Brentaal. She would be ashamed if her homeworld had such a place as the capital.

After the protocol droid that escorted them walked away, Carrick started to talk with her. Like the Secretary, Sibyl also thought about this possibility. This meeting allowed her to make an opinion about these people and she was certain that they would want more from what was already offered.

I think that they will.” she said to Carrick, while looking at the capital of Druckenwell. It was depressing. They really needed to join the ISC, perhaps this way they could save this place. “They seemed to be very ambitious in my opinion. I think that they would want more than what we already offered.” anyone smart enough would do something like that. "Thaddeus also seemed to be the type of person that always want to end having the best part of a deal, don't you think?"

@Nefieslab
 

Carrick

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Carrick didn’t like the place either but it seemed that Sibyl was even more against the place than he was – the view wasn’t anything particularly impressive but from what he could detect from Sibyl he’d have thought the view was something he intensely disliked. The view wasn’t the problem but the people? He hummed a little bit in agreement as he eyed the skyline and tried not to let his more militaristic instincts takeover.

Visualising how he would invade the planet was probably a bad idea after all.

“The ambition of the desperate…”
he murmured in agreement with a small scowl, “I think they’re credit-grubbing fools one and all but they know how to weasel their way into a good deal. It’s only by becoming part of the ISC that they’ll be able to foster productive long-term agreements though because most people don’t appreciate dealing with such slimy company.”

The protocol droid sought out their return and they were escorted back to the room they had met the little triumvirate before. Carrick had long since hidden his flask away and looked every each the Secretary of Defense he was as they tried to make themselves look serious and presentable.

Thaddeus was the one who spoke but, judging by the slightly smug expressions of their faces, the words were from his colleagues.

“We would be delighted to join the ISC, pending the acceptance of two conditions.”


Called it.

”Firstly, we would ask that our trade routes be included within the ISC Naval patrol routes immediately upon entry to the ISC.”
he listed, ”And secondly is an assurance that Druckenwell and Brentaal specifically shall hold talks of arranging beneficial import and export agreements in the near future.”

Carrick nodded in agreement to the first condition after the barest moment of thought because it wasn’t as good a deal as they likely thought it was. Yes, he would be getting rid of their pirate problem for them… but they had also, essentially, ordered him to tie a noose around their necks should they try and harm the ISC. They likely only saw the benefits to them but he saw it as a win for internal defense as well.


@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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After hearing Carrick’s comment, Sibyl nodded in agreement. “Yes. They will use their prestige as being part of the ISC to convince other planets to make agreements with them.” this was the only bad part of being a rich member of the Consortium. You would be forced to work with these delusional backwater planets that think that they are one of the Core Founders.

Then, the protocol droid returned and announced that Thaddeus and the other representatives had finished discussing. After being escorted back, they were once again face to face with the three politicians of Druckenwell.

Exactly how Carrick had said, they had conditions for joining the Consortium. The first one was the responsibility of the Secretary of Defense and he agreed with it. The second one though, would directly affect Sibyl and the planet that she represented.

"It'll be a pleasure to arrange it." Sibyl smiled at Thaddeus. "Perhaps we could make a meeting between one of your representatives and the Brentaal Houses." in the end, the Houses would come on top of these agreements. The products of the Core were superior to what Druckenwell could offer and would enter like an avalanche in their internal market.

@Nefieslab
 

Carrick

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The locals were all suitably happy with the outcome, their emotions on the matter were loud in the Force to someone attuned to it, but it seemed that Thaddeus was slightly less happy with Sibyl’s response than his aides. He thought about it for a moment before smirking ever so slightly – the way that Sibyl had worded it, the way that her own economy worked, meant that one of the aides was far more likely to be involved than Thaddeus himself.

It amused him to be able to see the beginnings of a political coup as it was planned. The two advisors would be doing away with Thaddeus before too much longer and he honestly couldn’t find it in himself to care overly much. Still, Thaddeus himself was the one to respond.

“Governor Lassiter, we shall arrange for a representative to meet with your noble Houses as soon as possible.”


As far as Carrick was concerned, this farcical song and dance was over. He bowed his head to the locals.

“I am glad to see we shall be neighbors and colleagues but, I’m afraid, I must bid you goodbye. There are naval assets to manage in preparation of your joining.”


Any excuse to leave these petty people and their tiny victories. As he left his hand would itch toward the flask but he held himself back as he made his way back to the ship. If Sibyl journeyed with him (rather than stay to arrange more deals) he would turn to her as they arrived back on the ship and prepared for departure.

“Another planet, another people jumping to the ship that’s rising the fastest. Let me know if they get ideas about their new relationship with your planet – they’ve very politely given me the rope they’ve fashioned into a noose around their necks after all.”



@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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”Of course, Governor. I believe that we will be able to make great business together.” Sibyl said, a smile at her lips. She believed that one of Thaddeus’ representatives would be easier to manipulate than him. This way, the Brentaalan nobility would be able to protect their interests against the delusions of an Outer Rim rat.

With the meeting coming to an end, Sibyl rose from her seat and bowed. “It was a pleasure to meet with you all. I can’t wait for us to start working together.” needing to deal with these parasites was going to be annoying, but it would also be profitable. This was the most important.

Not wanting to stay any longer on this backwater place, Sibyl followed Carrick back to the ship that had brought them there. Hearing his comment made the Brentaalan smile. “The Brentaal Houses had their way of dealing with this type of situation, but I’ll tell you if we need more help.” while the shuttle prepared to fly, the Governor hoped that she would never need to return to Druckenwell.

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