Vetra had successfully managed to convince the waring actors in the Hutt/Imperial war to come to the Corporate Sector for peace talks. The meeting will take place in the grand halls of the Governor's Office in the casino city. It will serve as safe neutral ground for the two warring actors to facilitate communications to and terminate hostilities.
The city of Canto Bight is as majestic as it is magnificent, easy on the eyes. It's away from the hustle and bustle of planets Etti IV and Bonadon, which is a plus as well. Security is also strong the finest of the Canto Bight Police are on the job. Security is assured.
Vetra would already be in the meeting room. Delegates from both sides, upon their arrival and exit from their respective transports, would be ushered to this place via Canto Bight Police. As Canto Bight maintains a strict no weapons policy, security would ensure before entering that the both parties delegation and their respective entourages have no weapons. If either side tries any funny business during these talks, it will not bolde well for them.
There would be a big long table in the middle of the meeting room. It would have seats, for humanoids and ones for the Hutt species.
Will these talks bring peace? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Vetra would stand ready, wearing her neatest Blackwell uniform. She was prepared and had gone to good lengths to have this set up. Vetra has also requisitioned a protocol droid for translations, in case the Imperials are not able to understand Huttese. The Blackwell Liasion knows her role. It's to mediate, keep order, and nothing more. She will not take sides in this, as Blackwell, the Corporate Sector and by extension Vetra herself are a neutral party.
Looking at the chrono on her wrist, it's almost time.
Otto von Bastion was a man amongst the ranks until this conflict reared it's ugly head. Drawing him in as both a combatant and something of an influential figure. Having recently met with a number of the branch heads in the Empire to from a plan of action. Issuing statement on the attacks made against Imperial Czerka, and re-instating the wartime provision for sanctioned piracy against the Hutt Cartel.
It was not at all what this Lieutenant had envisioned for himself, in fact it was quite the opposite. He had planned to take his leave from the armed forces after devoting the last 10 years of his career to it. Leverage his family name and imperial service to land a role in the corporate sector? The diplomatic corps? Maybe even go smaller and help further his family ambitions on Bastion or Murkhana. But that all changed the day the Hutt Cartel attacked. He was now emboldened by the unprovoked and in his mind, clear power grab in light of the passing of their Emperor. Otto was on a new path that he planned to serve in whatever capacity the Empire needed.
These thoughts bounced around in his head as the Upsilon III-Class Command Shuttle trundled through the air destined for docking in Canto Bight, Cantonica. Gliding through the air towards it's resting point alone, defiant and without escort. Showing the Hutts that the Empire was not afraid to stand against their advances in a combat arena, or a political one.
Standing from his seat in the passenger berth Otto would eye his armor sitting atop a crate carrying his other personal effects. No, entering this negotiation in combat attire would betray his versatility and show he was but a soldier. Today he would remain in his pressed grey-green Imperial Army uniform. With boots shined and clasped below the knee, rank plaque on straight and cover pulled low over his eyes the Lieutenant would slide into his fur collared overcoat. It was waist length and showed the same rank plaque, and was the same issued grey-green.
Otto would in time exit the craft after it made landfall, getting an update from the crew that scanners had yet to pick up Hutt vessels in proximity. Good he thought, first to arrive.
Stepping from the craft and towards an awaiting figure (@The Good Doctor) he would stow his datapad in a belt pouch and check his wrist chrono as he neared. "Greetings, I am Lieutenant von Bastion - one of the Imperial representatives. My colleague should be joining us momentarily." He offered with a respectful bow to the woman in Blackwell attire. "You must be our mediator, no?" He questioned while extending a hand to shake after recovering from his bow.
This conflict happened suddenly and fiercely. Alistair had only just been appointed to office when the showdown on Ossus happened, and now this conflict with the Syndicate had reared its head. While one chapter had ended with the Senate's failed motion, another had presented itself with these peace talks. Alistair was not angered by this turn events; opportunities left, and new ones presented themselves. He would bide his time and play his cards carefully.
Stepping off of his personal S-161 Stinger, the Decree, he stepped towards the two figures ahead, extending a hand first to his compatriat. "Lieutenant von Bastion, a pleasure to be working with you. And thank you for hosting this meeting, miss Solaris," he offered a hand to their host in turn, "Senator Alistair Blagden, as I'm sure you know. It's an honour to meet away from the Floor, adverse circumstances aside," Though both present at the recent Senate, this was their first time meeting face-to-face properly.
While the meeting was being hosted by a third party, Alistair was sure not to let his guard entirely down, all too aware that Blackwell was ultimately a business that enjoyed war and profit - both of which the Hutts would be able to provide. However, his suspicions would not be shown in his facial expressions or body language, excellent as he was at a poker face. All speculation, of course; for now, it was best to wait for the rest of their company and see how events would unfold.
"Let them marvel at our splendor ... let them cringe in our power ... let them feel the weight of our chains as they serve their rightful masters."
―Jabba Desilijic Tiure
As Nor'baals sainted Grandmother had always said "If it shits like a Bantha, it probably is a Bantha.". She wasn't wrong then, and she sure as hell wasn't wrong now. There was absolutely no way at all he was going to head halfway across the known Galaxy in order to enter a room on a world he didn't control, without guards, and treat with strangers. No.
Therefore, Nor'baal would still be sat in his throne room on Nal Hutta as the Imperial represenatives arrived. In his place a Gamorrean would saunter in, oink pointedly at the Corporate Sector represenative, and slap a holoprojector down on the table. Within moments the puck would flicker into life, revealling the figure of the Supreme Mogul in all his holographic splendour, he glowered at the two Imperials that made up the negotiation party.
He had no idea who either of them claimed to be.
Where was the Grand Moff? The ISB Director? The Grand Admiral? Literally anyone of more senior rank that these two? Nor'baal was offended already, if the Imperials valued peace so much, why had those chose to send two of their most junior rank-holders to make a bargain with him, the actual ruler of the faction the Empire was at war with?
Nor'baal did not hide his dissappointment as he spoke in his native Huttese <I see the Imperials take these talks to seriously, that they send to of their most junior staff to make deals. Are they even authorised to make a deal on behalf of the entire Imperial ruling council?> he began, signalling for his Gamorrean to present Nor'baals own credentials for inspection.
The Gamorrean did so, presenting a holotablet, which he opened to read saying "Representing the Second Great and Bountiful Hutt Empire, Imperator Nor'baal, Supreme Mogul of the Clans, and of all he surveys, Undisputed and Absolute Ruler." the Gamorrean stepped back, and closed the tablet, before presenting it, and the identifying codes and authorisations to the Corporate Sector represenative for confirmation that Nor'baal was vested with the powers needed to negotiate on behalf of the Hutt Cartel.
Finally, Nor'baal spoke again. <Provided you two are here with the required powers to hold these talks, and decide here and now on an outcome suitable to myself, I recognise this summit as one between two Galactic and Senate recognised Governments, between your Empire, and the undisputed Soveriegnity of the Hutt Clans, both as legitimate Governments.> his holographic form nodded serenely, statesmenlike even, as the crown atop his holographic head seemed to glint, showing the sigil of the Hutt Clans in pride of place.
<Your Empire and mine negotiate here, as equals on a galactic stage, and whilst your masters send their servants to do their bidding, to negotiate with an Emperor, I am wiling to ignore this slight, in the interests of securing peace, a peace we Hutts must strive for, in a bid to end this war, started by your aggression, but ended I am sure, by mutual agreement between our Governments.> he concluded, his opening remarks drawn to an end as he waited for the Imperial party to speak.
Shaking Senator Blagden's hand Otto would then turn his attention to the proceedings. Seeing the lack of physical presence gave Otto pause, he was disappointed the Hutt who started this whole conflict couldn't even be bothered to physically join the negotiations. Unsure if the Empire's opponent was arrogant or just bold, Otto would respond after giving the Hutt time to speak. Once the droid had completed translations from Huttese to GSB.
"Senator Blagden and I have been sent on behalf of The Empire, and we are here to speak on her behalf." Otto stated plainly as he produced a code cylinder and handed it in Vetra's direction, if she cared to check. Otto would listen to the Gamorean proclaim Nor'baal's accomplishments and accolades. He was no doubt someone of renown, but Otto was not sure if he was someone with an appetite for a long drawn out war. He would squint his eyes and pinch his brow together momentarily as he tried to read Nor'baal through the hologram.
An outcome suitable to myself Otto recounted the Hutts words in his head before turning and leaning in to whisper to Senator Blagden at a level of noise only he would hear "We are being painted as the aggressor? Terms suitable to the Hutts? We need to turn this around on him before it gets out of hand." Otto whispered calmly before pulling away and turning back to the hologram of Nor'baal.
Not looking to speak for his compatriot in these negotiations, Otto spoke in the singular, hoping Senator Blagden would chime in. "I look forward to both parties arriving at a resolution to bring a cessation of hostilities." Otto paused before clearing his throat to continue.
"Actions taken by Hutt mercenary forces on Murkhana, Mygeeto, and Ossus have proven your proclivity for violence through proxies. Which seems to be echoed by your use of proxies in negotiations here today Imperator Nor'baal... I had hoped you would have joined us with evidence of this supposed attempt on your life by Imperial forces. Being that we have been long standing trade partners and ultimately two non-adversarial galactic parties." Otto concluded his opening statement turning to Senator Blagden as to indicate he had the floor if he wished to speak.
With everyone gathered, some in the flesh and others in holographic form, Vetra would return all gestures of respect and courtesy's towards her with respect of her own.
Now then, negotiations are getting started. Opening statements have been made. Vetra would be in the middle of this. "Alright. Thank you for attending" she looked at everyone who attended. "Lets get started. I will now ask each of you. What are each of your terms?" she would look at both parties, Hutt and Empire.
Nor'baal nodded as he checked the Imperials credentials. Indeed, they did have the power to negotiate on behalf of the Empire. Clearly, Raxus was far more trusting than Nal Hutta! He started a little as the Imperials insulted him, and further that, he demanded 'evidence' of attempted attacks on his person.
He chose not to reply and instead move to the points indicated by their mediator.
There was always a reason to declare a war, and Hutts never did so rashly. Bloodshed was bad for business, as the saying went - war was only to be announced when 'your side' could win it. It was why he had declared war on the Empire when the Emperor had been pronounced dead. With no foci for their leadership, Nor'baal had looked at what he had seen happen to the Empire since he had ascended as Supreme Mogul.
A war with the Consortium had led to severe losses for their faction; failed attempts on his life had forced him to retaliate and destroy an Imperial fleet with a convoy of fuel tankers. Some suggested that the Raxus Prime shipyards had even lapsed from the control of the Empire.
The Sith had been forced out; they had left Imperial space in their droves - and whilst the Empire had taken considerable steps to rebalance in the wake of their departure, some scars were still there.
In the meantime, Nor'baal had grown the Cartel in a very literal sense. He had cemented control, reopened shipyards, established new borders with new planets, and enjoyed peace and stability for decades.
His plan had been a simple one. Send a range of 'shock attacks' onto Imperial planets, alongside swathes of bribes to Imperial political and military leaders and payments to those in the 'rank and file' who chose to defect. For the Empire to the table, and if they refused a deal, send in the main force to take them out and force surrender.
It looked from the off to him and the Hutts that the Sabaac hand was favourable to them.
Now, here he was, metaphorically at the negotiation table, a deal within his grasp.
He had heard that an attempted attack on Kessel by the Imperials had failed, with rumours the entire attacking force had perished in the attempt. Yet Nor'baal was not sure - he knew the attack had not succeeded; he could not be overly confident about the state of the Imperial forces.
Ossus had come under attack from the Sith Order at the same time, and as their discussions here raged, so too did the battle there. Mygeeto had come under attack from a force of Gamorreans, which Nor'baal was now hearing from his advisers 'off holo' had failed. He had cut the man off before he could tell him his beloved Lomrokk had died in the attempt.
Murkhana had come under attack in a botched raid by mercenaries in the employ of the Clans, and Imperial Czerka had seen its HQ levelled in a bombing. All in all, the 'opening hand' of the Hutt invasion showed that they could do immense damage to the Imperial machine without deploying a single Hutt war asset of his own.
Nor'baal felt confident that he would keep his hand strong as the dance began.
And, whilst the talks were underway, the fleets, armies, mercenaries and slave legions of the Clans made ready for the second wave of attacks should they fail. Nor'baal hoped they would not.
There was always a deal to be made.
<Indeed.> There was no word in the Hutt language for 'thank you', so he pressed on <Our opening demands in this negotiation are simple; we have two offers to make.>
He took a deep breath. On the one hand, he could demand the complete subjugation of the Imperial war machine, the 'Eastern Dominion' turned over to the Clans, but would the Empire agree? Nor'baal felt they would not - after all, they still had a navy and an army.
<The Hutt Clans have much to bring to the galaxy. Perhaps so, too, does the Empire?> Nor'baal mused out loud <What we want are assurances that our territorial integrity will not be impinged upon, that our business may resume and prosper, that our way of life shall go on.> the Hutt continued, rolling out his terms.
<So option one, we could demand a more hostile way forward, in which the Empire hands over its Eastern Dominion to the Clans, inclusive of all military assets in those sectors - that you withdraw to the west, and we live in peace -but -> he held up a hand, silencing any attempts to interrupt.
<How would you 'sell this' to your people?> Nor'baal thought out load <So we make a second offer for you to consider as well. Option two.>
The Supreme Mogul paused, allowing a sense of dread to seep around the call. What would the Hutt demand now?
<You look the other way.> he chuckled softly <We agree an immediate and lasting cessation of hostilities, and in return, the ISB and your security services issue a new clearance code - one which allows every single Cartel member, contractor and employee to head into your ports, unchecked, unsearched, and unmolested - it will enable our ships to travel between your space and ours, unchecked, Hutts to invest in your planets, unhindered, to move to your worlds, unmolested.>
He smiled <You keep your space, your planets, and your Empire. I expand mine below the surface, every Imperial world, its underworld, the dodgy bits of your economy you'd rather sort of forget about, you just - do. The Hutts keep the filth from bubbling over, we keep the blood from running in the streets, and you carry on as you are.> he added, before drawing his remarks to a close.
<Hutt Space remains as it is, Imperial Space, East, West and all dominions to come to operate as they are, with the only change that your security services grant leave for my Empire to take over your underworld, invest in your economy, move to your planets. You win - I win.>
He sneered at the Imperial negotiators. <Do we have a deal?>
While keeping his unconcerned expression, Alistair was grinning ruefully inwardly at the Hutt's unwillingness to appear in the flesh at the peace talk. Was it a lack of respect? Agoraphobia, perhaps? The Senator could only guess, but what was clear was that a third party mediator and host was hardly required if a hologram would be their means of communication.
Just like the Senate representative, Nor'baal was attempting to paint the Empire as the aggressor in this conflict. Come now, we both know the truth of the matter, Alistair chided inwardly. Unless you're just trying to convince yourself of this delusion. His compatriat noted this as well - to which Alistair nodded slightly. Not the first time the Senator had addressed this statement. The Hutts weren't fooling anyone but themselves.
Listening intently to the options presented before them, Alistair mulled over courses of action. While he was confident in the Empire's ability to weather a long, drawn-out war, that was not a favourable situation for its citizens to be in. Plus, being the Senator of a trade hub world, he knew to recognize a business deal when he saw one.
"Our governments certainly do bring much to the Galaxy," he began, not specifying his thoughts on the Empire bringing stability and the Hutts the opposite. All with his poker-faced mild smile, of course - the mask never comes off. "Your second offer is much more favourable, for both your empire and ours. We are willing to move forward with this path; however, some conditions must be made. Along with the cessation of hostilities, the Empire is willing and able to provide these permissions to Cartel members - but we will not issue a unique ISB clearance code to them. We will work with the Hutts, but such close integration into our government is not a privilege we will grant.
Additionally," he continued, "any conduct of slave trade within Imperial space is forbidden. Moreover, while the Cartel will be given freedom to operate within our underworld, Imperial law must be adhered to. Murder, kidnapping, assault, and theft will be punishable at minimum by permanent expulsion of the offenders from Empire territory. Finally, any war operations within Imperial space will not be tolerated."
Concluding his proposal, Alistair extended a hand in a gesture of offer. "As an act of putting this conflict behind us, we propose an exchange of prisoners. Are these terms agreeable to you, Supreme Mogul?" While the scale and impact of this proposal was vastly different than the everyday exchange, business was business - a language that Alistair and the Hutts understood well.
Flanking Senator Blagden, Otto would remain silent after delivering his opening statement. Listening intently to the hologram of Nor'baal provide his two options for the Empire.
Making note of his own expressions and tells, Otto would do his best to remain deadpan and unreadable. Leaning in to listen as Senator Blagden countered with what he believed to be more than reasonable tweaks to the initial second option. Otto nod respectfully before chiming in one the final note of prisoner exchange. Something he could provide a talking point on.
"Thank you Senator." he said politely, then turning to face the hologram of Nor'baal "Your forces sent to Mygeeto have been defeated and of your mercenary leaders present - one remains among the living... Your mercenary force of Kordans sent to Murkhana have been repelled." Otto would clear his throat in an attempt to calm his emotions before they could flare and show his anger at the fact the Hutt had sent mercenary forces to assault his home world. Otto would then continue.
"We are prepared to exchange POWs in neutral space and retract all letters of marque against the Hutt assets once terms have been agreed to and signed by both parties." Otto concluded, turning his head to nod at Vetra indicating the Imperial delegation was finished for the moment.
Perhaps the Empire was tyring to be funny? Nor'baal sneered to himself as he drummed the fingers of his right hand on the arm of his throne. Their counter offer was quant in way, the last thrashings of a newborn Bantha trying to squeel its way out of suffocation on a Hutts naming day. What they appeared to be offering was a ceasefire, and that was it - the lack of the clearance code and 'intergration' being pulled from the offer, making the deal as worthless as the breath with which it was uttered.
And to try to treat him with the promise of exchanging prisoners! Nor'baal would not part with his precious peggats to save the freedoms of a bunch of chattel. He rolled a peggat about over his stubby fingers on his left hand, the features of his own face carved into its surface glinting in the dim light of his halls as he mulled his answer.
<You certainly have an interesting interpretation of events, Lieutenant von Bastion.> he started <I hear your homeworlds finest warriors where nearly defeated by four mercenaries?> Nor'baal chuckled, adding <The Imperial Navy had to be drafted in to help you deal with a collection of men I paid less than a score for!> the Supreme Mogul spat out a laugh.
<You are not in a position to make demands of me. We are an organisation that has existed for centuries, whereas your last major schism occured mere years in the past - I could count them on a single hand.> Nor'baals reply was venomous. <Now look at you.> the large Hutt continued <Struggling to defend yourself from a score of apes.> Nor'baal shook is head in dissappointment.
This wasn't even sport.
It was a mercy.
<But, your counter offer is one that could yet bear fruit. We agree to the terms, on the condition that it is the Laws of the Hutts that are used as the marker for your agents and security services. We will have freedom to operate, but Hutt Law shall be adhered to.> Nor'baal said with finality, looking at both the negotiators for their reply.
Alistair listened intently as Nor'baal continued to berate the Empire. The Senator was not too perturbed - he had heard this was a standard affair when negotiating with Hutts. The fact the Mogul was continuing to negotiate could almost be seen as a compliment, even.
Hearing out the Cartel leader's amendment, Alistair nodded in response. "These are agreeable terms, Supreme Mogul. We have an accord." An interesting turn of events that would shape the future of the Empire and the Cartel, for better or worse.
Clearly Nor'baal had yet to hear the attempted raid by the Kordan's had been repelled before they could inflict any lasting damage to Murkhana or it's people. Or he really thought four mercenaries was going to do the trick, who knew for sure.
Under his breath Otto would retort loud enough that only Alistair and maybe Vetra may hear "And yet you concede to these demands." Standing beside the Senator, Otto would nod and smile cordially "Aye, we have an accord."
A sound erupted from the Hutts maw, slopping wet and - like a slurry pit being emptied down the side of a muddy hill.
The Hutt was laughing?
Nor'baals arms spread wide as he nodded his head <A grand bargain!> he slapped his tail on the floor with glee, a deal having been reached <We have an accord - I accept this deal.> he waved forward the Gamorrean in the room with them, who presented a datapad to Vetra with the terms agreed.
It was a good day to be a Hutt.
Negotiations concluded, with the deal reach on both sides as follows (please correct if wrong, so we can make sure there is a record of the final deal).
Hutt-Imperial War ends, hostilities stop immediately.
Hutt Cartel members, contractors and employees to be allowed unchecked access to all current and future Imperial planets.
Hutt Cartel members, contractors and employees to be able to conduct business and invest into all current and future Imperial planets, without restriction or checks.
Hutt Cartel members, contractors and employees to be able to move goods, services and more into and around all current and future areas of Imperial Space, whilst not being subject to standard checks by Imperial Security, breaches to be reported to local Hutt 'Lord' for judgment.
The trading or slaves not to be conducted in Imperial Space.
Hutt Cartel members, contractors and employees alleged to have carried out murder, kidnapping, assault, and/or theft to be held and tried, by the local Hutt Lord. Sentances and punishment to be decided and carried out by the local Hutt Lord.
Imperials to retract all letters of marque against the Hutt Cartels assets.
And that was it. The terms were agreed on with both actors, they were on the datapad that was passed to her. Vetra has just been the firsthand witness of a war ending before her eyes. “Well done everyone. With this, this conflict is over. Thank you all for being here.” The wrean woman said. “With this, this summit has concluded and we look forward to this lasting peace.”
A few hours later, Vetra would then be speaking at a press conference. Cameras flashing as the triumphant and ascendant Vetra smiled before speaking. “Everyone. We now have peace, the Hutts and Empire have reached an agreement. Fighting has concluded.” More cameras took pictures “This peace will be known as the Cantonica Concordat. The details of the agreement will become public soon. “ it shall. It’s implications will make themselves apparent in due time no doubt. In Hutt Space and the Empire. End of statement
Also the following terms are part of the agreement
1. No slave trade in Imperial space.
2. Hutts cannot conduct war operations in Imperial space.