Ask [Manaan] Waves of Change

Ryssa Kalayli

Character
Consortium
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Governor, Ryloth

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Sicadorito
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Outside%2BDepths%2Bof%2BManaan.jpg

Manaan. A newly independent planet simply brimming with opportunity for those who knew where to look. It had been the galaxy’s sole supplier of kolto ever since its discovery millennia ago, and the healing substance was no less valuable today than it was before. As Ryssa descended from the ramp of her ship onto the sparkling white landing platform built just above the ocean, accompanied by her protocol droid, the business side of her couldn’t help thinking what a waste of an opportunity it would be if the Selkath chose not to accept the consortium’s offer today.

Fortunately, she wouldn’t be alone in pitching the deal to the senator. Governor Lassiter of Brentaal would be taking part in the negotiations today, and though they hadn’t met before, she hoped that they would be on the same page for most of it.

“Welcome to Manaan, governor. We’re glad to have you.” A well-dressed Selkath greeted her warmly, dipping his head into a respectful bow. He looked tired, however, and she briefly wondered if Manaan was as well off as they let on.

“It’s an honor to be here,” Ryssa responded, giving him a polite nod in return.

“This way to the waiting room, if you please. The shuttle will arrive shortly.”

She followed the Selkath into a pleasant waiting room for the ISC representatives to meet before they would descend into the underwater city to begin the discussions. The plush seats and sofas were adorned with gold-lined pillows, and there was even a drinks menu sitting atop the glass table in front. After Ruusan, however, Ryssa had grown a little more suspicious of drinks she didn’t see made right in front of her, so she decided not to test her luck. When she saw Sybil, whether she had arrived earlier or later, she smiled.

“Governor Lassiter, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” she said, walking over to greet the woman. “You look good today.”

@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

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Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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While the blue ocean that covered Manaan’s surface made the planet look like a sapphire from space, Sibyl wasn’t very happy to be here. The sight could be beautiful, but the entire place smelled like rotten fish. Even its inhabitants, the Selkath, smelled this way.

When the ship that she had used to travel to Manaan landed in the city and she descended the ramp, Sibyl needed to control herself to not turn back and leave immediately. The place smelled exactly as she imagined, rotten fish and brine. If it wasn’t for the strategic resources that the planet had, the Brentaalan would never have accepted coming to this place.

Once she left the ramp, the Brentaalan was welcomed by a well dressed Selkath. Or at least well dressed in a way that a sentient fish would be. Unfortunately, his good clothes couldn’t hide his hideous smell. “Welcome, Governor Lassiter! It’s a pleasure to have you on our planet!

Thank you! It’s also a pleasure to be here!” Sibyl gave the Selkath one of her false smiles. After this brief presentation, the sentient fish guided her to where the meeting was going to happen. The room was still empty, apparently Governor Kalayli still hadn't arrived. While the Selkath went to wait for the Twi’lek, Sibyl sat in one of the cushions to wait.

After some time, the Selkath finally returned with Governor Kalayli, who was dressed poorly. Being honest, even the clothes of the sentient fish were better than what the Twi’lek politician was wearing. However, she wasn’t surprised. It was exactly what she expected from a being that came from the fringes of the Outer Rim. Few of her fellow Governors had the ways to afford clothes like the one that she was wearing at the moment.

Hello, Governor Kalayli! It’s a pleasure to see you today!” Sibyl said, while raising from her seat. “You also look very good!” if the Twi’lek was going to a grocery shop, of course. “I hope that everything went well during your trip.

@Sicadorito
 

Ryssa Kalayli

Character
Consortium
Rank
Governor, Ryloth

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Sicadorito
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“Thank you. My trip was just fine.” Ryssa gave her colleague an appreciative nod. Before Sybil would have a chance to respond, however, the Selkath cleared his throat in a manner in which he probably thought was subtle.

“My apologies for cutting you off, but I wanted to let you know that the shuttle is ready and the senator is ready to meet you,” he said. Ryssa could practically feel the embarrassment radiating off of him as he looked from one governor to the other, and she decided to move along for his sake.

“Don’t worry about it. Let’s get going then, shall we?”

Soon after the short trip on the shuttle, the two representatives were guided into an underwater building that housed the senator’s office, where the negotiations would take place. The room itself had a back window wall made entirely of transparisteel, revealing the marine life outside, and in front of it was a rectangular conference table with a holoprojector at its center.

Upon seeing the governors enter, the Selkath senator gave an easy smile and gestured towards the two empty chairs across from him.

“Please, ladies, have a seat.” Once they did, he would begin almost right away, his piercing gaze landing at first on Sybil. “Now, I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t have an inkling on why you’re here today, but I want you to explain it first. What do you have for me?”

@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

Character
Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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I’m happy to hear that your trip happened well.” to be honest, Sibyl didn’t care. The Brentaalan was only saying that because she wanted to maintain a good image with a fellow governor. The Twi’lek could have collided against an asteroid or ended up leaving hyperspace inside a star. Perhaps it could be even better, because she would have all the glory for the success of this meeting.

Before any of the two could say anything else, they were interrupted by the Selkath. “Of course! Let’s go, we can’t leave the Senator waiting.” Sibyl said, before following him toward the shuttle. The Brentaalan couldn’t avoid thinking about how infernal it was going to be to stay inside it with a fish.

After a brief trip, which seemed to be an eternity for Sibyl, they finally arrived in the underwater building that housed the Senator’s office. While there wasn’t fresh air, at least the place wasn’t closed like the shuttle, which smelled like a fish can. The Brentaalan wondered if the Selkath weren’t aware of how bad their smell was. They risked making visitors throw up.

When they arrived at the office, the Selkath Senator was already waiting for them.Sibyl would take a seat, while looking directly at the politician. Like his servant, the Senator looked like another sentient fish. Perhaps a bit more wrinkled, but the smell was the same.

It’s a pleasure to meet you Senator. We came as representatives of the ISC to discuss the possibility of Manaan joining the Consortium.” like the Selkath, Sibyl also decided to be direct. Perhaps this way she would be able to leave this place fast.

@Sicadorito
 

Ryssa Kalayli

Character
Consortium
Rank
Governor, Ryloth

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Sicadorito
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Ryssa watched the senator’s reaction carefully as he leaned back in his chair, lacing his fingers together after Sybil’s response.

“Mm. I figured as much.” He sounded disappointed, as if he’d heard the offer a million times before. Ryssa was about to respond when his gaze flicked over to her and he continued. “There is nothing that the consortium can offer that Manaan does not already possess. Our primary export of kolto and the perpetual demand for it, as you know, guarantees us the economic freedom that many other systems do not have. Forgive me for being so blunt, but I will not give it up lightly.”

As he spoke, Ryssa couldn’t help thinking that this man had much faith in his planet and the kolto trade— maybe even a little too much. Granted, it was something she could respect, but his decision to dismiss their offer before they’d even gotten started was only going to hurt him down the road. She decided to take the chance to remind him of a few minor details that he’d forgotten.

“Nor would we expect you to,” she began. “We are well aware that Manaan has a history of independence— the Selkath are a remarkable people.” As much as she hated being on the receiving end of it during business deals, she had a feeling that this particular senator would respond well to some flattery. The hint of a suppressed smile on his face as she went on confirmed her suspicions.

“However,” she continued, “while you may have an economy to be envied by anyone in the galaxy, the ISC can help you protect it.” The Selkath narrowed his eyes, but Ryssa pressed on. “I’m certain you’re aware of the war between the FWA and the Sith Empire. I am also certain that you know that war is expensive.” She paused for a moment. “And what would either of these warring factions like more than to take over a neutral system with one of the best economies in the galaxy, standing on its own with no major military to back it up?”

Finishing up her point, she waited to see his reaction and glanced over at Sybil to see if her colleague had anything more to add. She didn’t want to use fear to coerce him to join, at least not in the beginning. But regardless of the likelihood of the scenario she was proposing, it was a possibility that had to be addressed sooner or later, and she hoped that it would get him to change his mind.

@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

Character
Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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Sibyl fought the desire to not roll her eyes at the fish’s answer. Nowadays, barely any planet uses kolto. Since the bacta was first made during the time of High Republic and was proved to be superior to kolto, Manaan’s exportation of this substance declined greatly. The Governor still wondered how these buildings could maintain themselves if the planet basically lost most of their income.

The Brentaalan was going to answer, but Ryssa ended up doing it in her place. She noticed how the Twi’lek gave praise for the Selkath and it made her wonder if she was doing that to win the heart of the sentient fish or because she really believed in what she was saying. If it was the last, then she was an idiot.

What the Governor of Ryloth said next confirmed that she was indeed trying to win the Selkath’s heart. Showing that their economy and sense of independence would guarantee their survival long term was really clever. Perhaps the Twi’lek really had a brain, which was a novelty for her species.

With the ISC, Manaan would also share the same benefits that Thyferra, including those related to trade, like easy access to the Core Worlds through Brentaal.” Sibyl knew that the idea of being capable of selling their product directly to the Core would appeal to the Selkath. “Perhaps there could be even the chance of the two planets working together. I believe that your scientists would be able to make a bacta-kolto product.

@Sicadorito
 

Ryssa Kalayli

Character
Consortium
Rank
Governor, Ryloth

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Sicadorito
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Sybil’s proposition of a bacta-kolto product seemed to spark an interest in the Selkath, and it wasn’t hard to imagine why. Kolto, compared to bacta, was less efficient, and a product that combined the two would make the former relevant again. As he seemed to be in thought, Ryssa took the chance to add on a little more.

“And it wouldn’t just be the Core that would be willing to increase trade with you, Senator Lantu— those in the Outer Rim would too. I can personally speak for Ryloth,” she said, glancing at Sybil. “With the consortium’s protection, there would be nothing disrupting your trade and all of us, especially you, would reap the benefits.”

Lantu seemed to ponder this. “Bacta-kolto, trading… you may be onto something.” Then he narrowed his eyes. “And what would the ISC get out of this? I am not so foolish as to expect you to give so freely to get nothing in return.”

There it was— he was asking for the catch. This was usually the most delicate part of negotiations, and they would have to tread carefully from here on forward. For now, Ryssa would let Sybil respond, seeing what the Brentaalan had to say on that matter.

@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

Character
Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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Sibyl noticed how Lantu became more interested when she mentioned the possibility of making a bacta-kolto product. She knew very well that the Selkath was aware of the limitations of the kolto and the opportunity of working with Thyferra would be excellent for their economy, and to give Manaan more relevance.

When the Selkath asked what the ISC wanted from this deal, Sibyl controlled herself to not smirk. Lantu seemed to have a brain, after all. Only an idiot would accept such an offer without even asking what the other side of the deal wanted in exchange.

Since Ryssa didn’t seem to be going to answer, the Brentaalan decided to do it herself. “The ISC only desires to have the support of Manaan’s economy and an easier access to the kolto.” even if they already had bacta, having the producer of another healing substance under their influence was something that could be really useful.

“In exchange, we offer protection, access to the most valuable currency in the Galaxy and the chance of working together with Thyferra to develop a new product. I believe that you have more to win with this deal.” Sibyl smiled, waiting for Lantu’s answer. He would be stupid if he didn’t accept it.

@Sicadorito
 

Ryssa Kalayli

Character
Consortium
Rank
Governor, Ryloth

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Sicadorito
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Ryssa nodded along as Sybil outlined the details of what joining the ISC would entail. It was a good offer in her opinion, and she didn’t see much reason to why Senator Lantu would refuse. However, he seemed determined to prove her wrong.

“‘Support of Manaan’s economy?’ I find that awfully vague, Governor Lassiter.” Lantu stroked his chin, and Ryssa stifled a sigh. “What are you planning to take, hm? I’m willing to bet a good percentage. You aren’t doing this for nothing.” The senator’s sudden switch to an accusational tone surprised her. It was fairly standard to look for some return in what would be an investment, wasn’t it?

“Senator, I am certain we can work out a fair deal and make this mutually beneficial,” she began, but he went on.

“Manaan is doing just fine on its own. We don’t need your currency, your military, or any of—” Just then, the lights began to flicker, and Ryssa’s eyes widened in alarm. If something went wrong today, she wasn’t going to take any chances. Not this time.

Before she could move, though, a voice came out of a comm, but it wasn’t hers or Sybil’s. Instead, it was for the Selkath.

“Sir, the power grid’s overloading again. The system can’t handle—”


“Alright, alright!” he yelled. “Switch to the generators and let the grid cool off. Not again.” His last two words sounded hopeless as he stared at the comm in his hand. The lights flicked off after that, though within a few seconds, everything returned back to normal. He looked so distraught Ryssa couldn’t help but feel some sympathy for him.

“I apologize for the inconvenience,” he said, regaining his composure. “But as I was saying, we don’t need your help. Everything is fine. Just fine.” However, even he knew that he was lying.

@LouJoVi
 

Sibyl Lassiter

Character
Consortium
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Governor of Brentaal

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LouJoVi
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Once again Sibyl needed to control herself to not roll her eyes. The Selkath was starting to get on her nerves. His apparent arrogance and blind faith in the wealth of Manaan was stupid. She wondered if he thought that the two Governors were idiots and didn’t know about the recent news about the possible economic crisis that was affecting the planet due to the crescent decline of kolto exports.

She watched the exchange between Ryssa and Landu, but didn’t try to say anything. Sibyl was going to allow the Twi’lek to deal with the situation for now. The infernal smell of fish and the annoying voice of the Selkath was starting to give her a headache. She wanted to leave immediately.

Then, another sentient fish arrived. This one was in panic, warning Landu that the power grid was overloading. It made Sibyl concerned. If this thing exploded, they were going to die in this place. The Governor didn’t want to become food for marine creatures, let alone share an aquatic tomb with Selkaths.

After Landu gave his orders to the other Selkath, Sibyl turned to the Senator. “It seems that things aren’t so fine as you are saying, Senator. The ISC could help you and Manaan with these problems.

@Sicadorito
 

Ryssa Kalayli

Character
Consortium
Rank
Governor, Ryloth

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Sicadorito
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“This is only a minor problem, and none of your concern.” Lantu’s eyes flashed at Sybil, and Ryssa struggled to stop herself from telling him off about his misplaced pride. There was a time and place for arrogance, and even Lantu had to know that no one was buying it.

“A minor problem it may be, but it’s a problem nonetheless,” Ryssa said instead, piggybacking off of Sybil. “Even if you choose not to join us in the end, I’d like to propose a second offer.” I hope this works… She waited for a curt nod of his head before continuing.

“As Governor Lassiter has stated, we would like to offer our help, regardless of whether you decide to ally with us or not. The ISC can provide loans for your infrastructure, which you can spend in whatever field you desire. It would only increase the living standards for your people, not to mention your profits.” Profits never hurt, did they? She wasn’t going to mention the interest that would be involved, not until he’d agreed to it already.

“It’s tempting, but I’d like to hear from you first, governor.” Lantu then turned to Sybil. “How has the ISC helped you, helped Brentaal? What have they done that makes you advocate on their behalf? Why should I take this loan?” The Selkath was proving to be more frustrating than ever, and she wondered if Sybil would be able to score a goal now that the ball was in her court.

@LouJoVi
 
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