STAR WARS: RETROSPECTION- Diplomacy
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In a dark room, a group of men stand around a table. A single glowlamp sits in the middle of it, casting a faint light across an old paper map. It is an architect's map of a very old structure.
The men are pointing out various points on the map- entryways, access tunnels, windows, etcetera. They are very familiar with the map by now, but they need to be sure.
"So we're agreed then," says one of the men. "It happens tomorrow."
There is a call of "Aye" all around the table. All of the men are dressed in curiously well-designed blast armor, and armed just as well.
"What are we going to do once we get what we're after?" asks another.
"We make our demands," says another. "We get what we want. Equal treatment under the law, and protection from the schemes of the rich. For freedom!"
"For freedom!" say they all.
Welcome to "Diplomacy," a game from the Retrospection series. These games are meant to provide a fun plot based upon the backgrounds of player characters, while giving players themselves a chance to gain experience- both in points and in practice with the system. This time, Retrospection takes a look at the scholarly Jedi Knights known as Jelena Bendu, a linguistics and languages expert, and Jovan Wiecko, a man well-versed in alien cultures and the ways of the Galaxy.
Both Scholars are currently developing themselves to adapt to dangers they encounter on their missions abroad, and Jelena has a Padawan to look after. But their backgrounds are very solidly in diplomatic relations, having the social talents required of being a successful negotiator on a galactic level.
It is for these talents that the Jedi Council will be requesting their presence, to help with a diplomatic breakdown on the frozen world of Fest...
Rather typical of a Jedi Knight who is not on assignment, Jelena and Jovan are currently at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
The Council has arranged an appointment with the both of you. Though you have never worked together, you have heard of each other, having worked along similar diplomatic lines and leading parallel careers.
You both have some free time before the Council summons you, so you have a little free reign until then.
All that has been mentioned to you by Trorn, the Council's representative, is that there has been a breakdown in negotiations between Mantooine and Fest, and then some civil strife on Fest itself.
As a true scolar, I would like to go to the archives to brush up on my knowledge of Mantooine and Fest.
Are they at war, how did the war start? What have they already tried and why did it fail? Which languages do they speak and are there customs I need to know so I don't upset them from the start?
Jumping right into it, then! Access to the Archives means that Jovan does't have to roll for this information, he can just download it and read away.
Fest and Mantooine are not presently at war, but they have warred off and on over the centuries. Their skirmishes are usually brief, and usually end in some sort of uneasy truce or a battle in which neither side wins. It generally causes suffering for both sides and a rash of casualties. The reasons for initiating these pointless battles are myriad, normally relating to resources.
Mantooine is a moderately wealthy world concerned with the preservation of its own environment. As such, it finds no problem with squandering the resources of other worlds. The Mantooinians tend to be slightly xenophobic.
Fest is a frozen rock that is plentiful in mineral resources. The Festans are a rough sort, ruled over by a paranoid corporate entity that serves as their government.
The Mantooinians and the Festans hate each other actively.
As far as customs, safe to say that Jovan could carry himself accordingly! The Mantooinians are very calculating and shy, whereas the Festans are a little more rowdy and excitable.
As for languages, they can both speak Basic, though the Mantooinians pretentiously prefer to speak in their old dialect.
Jelena is going to be reading up on the Mantooinian language and see if it is something she will be able to simulate.
Old Mantooinian shouldn't be too hard for you, Jelena. At the very least, it is composed of sounds that a normal human mouth can make (as opposed to, say, Wookiee or Geonosian languages). It is very lofty and soft sounding.
would it be possible to master some basic sayings in those tongues?
It could help break the ice if it shows we have done some effort in understanding their culture and language.
Jovan can speak Old Mantooinian decently enough (says his Language roll). Jelena has a near-perfect handle on it, but you won't have to count on her by any means.
The Mantooinians dislike outsiders, but making the effort may make you look good here.
What do you mean with "not have to count on her"? That I can pull along fine enough?
Are there habits I need to know? Slavery or something?
The Mantooinians don't do slavery these days. Not literally. Their government is more of an aristocracy that expects total fealty from the poor. They do occasionally steal resources from other worlds unapologetically.
They are starting to sound like bad people.
Jelena will make sure to learn some phrases that she can use and become conversational with her old Mantooinian.
If the Mantooinians have a problem, it is their sense of entitlement. But essentially, they are not overall unsavory like the Lamellans or Neimoidians tend to be made out to be.
Jelena will have zero problems with Old Mantooinian, that much is certain!
I can't find anything else to think off what I should check out.
Perhaps recent history so I can already look up some major political players and how they behave?
Maybe familiarize ourselves a little with past conflicts in greater detail? So that we know how they fight or what they fight with?
Jelena also wants to get to know some of the major political players. She'll be doing that when she gets to Fest/Mantooine of course. Better to know things ahead of time.
yeah, who are the big players, what's their stand, what's their history?
Jovan can use his contact in the Senate to get some detailed information here.
Mantooine is an aristocracy that tries to pass itself off as a democracy. The wealthiest citizens of Mantooine generally spend explosive amounts of money on campaigns and bribes to keep themselves in power in their Parliament.
Mantooine is represented by Senator Vimus Nide-Fals, an intergalactic businessman with lots of investments around the Galaxy. He always votes in favor of acts that benefit his homeworld and is fairly unyielding.
Fest is controlled by a corporate entity called, simply, the Fest Corporation. They are responsible for all mining operations on the frozen planet as well as all distribution of resources. They are extremely paranoid about threats from the Festans and the Mantooinians.
The Festan representative is Senator Lobs. He is always pushing for defense contracts for Fest, trying to use Senate funding to support his goals.
does this mean I have used my senatorial contact for the game already?
I'm out of ideas so I propose we just browse stuff till the Council summons us?
You can use your Senatorial contact as often as you like! He is someone that you have a connection with, and maybe know well.
That being said, feel free to start developing him as a character- right now, we just know that you have a contact in the Senate.
I strategically want to wait with that till the moment I really need him/her/it and then accidently make him the head of the commission or something
Hah! A Contact is more just for information anyway, rather than being able to help you in a situation. It's Allies that can directly help.
sorry, it's been busy on my side.
I'm going to check out some planets to see on which planet he could be senator. I want someone with connections
But I don't want Naboo since that would be overkill... I'm more thinking of Bothanui but those Bothans aren't considered playing nice I believe?
The Bothans are out-and-out good guys (and eventually join the Rebellion) but they are known for playing dirty to get what they want. Not necessarily a bad thing in the current political atmosphere. Things are steadily becoming a little tense.
yeah, but I don't know if I want to be associated with people who play dirty... could indeed come in handy though
Hard not to be, these days. The Senate is rife with corruption. At least the Bothans are fundamentally good-natured, unlike, say, the Neimoidians.
In any case, your Senatorial contact- most likely an aide to the Bothan Senator- will be blunt with you and say that he dislikes the Mantooinians.
Jelena is ready to meet with the Council whenever they're ready to see us. I think we've done as much research as we're going to get without actually meeting them.
"Try seeing what the last war was fought over," Jelena says to Jovan, regarding his Senatorial contact.
I'll relay that question, recent history should be well understood if we want to solve this conflict
Glad you agree! I feel like this will be along the same lines.
The last war between the Festans and the Mantooinians was, as usual, over resources. The Festans were trying to establish a trade route to help develop their economic potential. The Mantooinians responded with a blockade, claiming that the trade route was already established.
Trorn, the wise old representative of the Council, informs you that the Council is ready to see you.
I think we are ready with prepping?
If anything else comes to mind, feel free to ask- you haven't left Coruscant yet.
thanks, you're giving me the feeling I'm forgetting something terribly important
Not at all!
The Council is not in full attendance when you enter their chamber. About half of them are present, led by Master Windu. He has rested his chin on his hands when you enter, musing about something. The other Councilmembers simply watch you enter without a word.
Trorn closes the doors behind you.
"Welcome, Jovan, Jelena," Master Windu speaks. "I believe Trorn has informed you that you are being brought in to resolve a dispute between Fest and Mantooine. And I presume that you have been doing your research. You are both studious Knights and I would be surprised if you had not."
I'll bow to Windu.
"We have tried our best to understand the situation but I am unsure we have covered all of the aspects, master."
(I'll wait for Jelena to say something, otherwise I would have asked if he could inform us what's going on)
"Even so, our research was very thorough," Jelena says. "I believe I will be able to speak the honorable language of the Mantooinians, should the necessity arise. Or at least be able to translate it.
"And, of course, the history of the conflict. What new developments are there?"
"Currently both factions are meeting to seek some sort of peaceable solution to their problems," Master Windu explains. "As well as a lasting one.
"I am sure you are aware that the primary factor in these conflicts are over resources. The harvesting of, the shipping of, the use of, by either side, has at some point triggered a clash between the Festans and the Mantooinians."
"Yes, we learned as much," Jelena says. "What has prompted the currently conflict?"
"The dispute is regarding a shipping lane used by the Festans to move their resources into the inner worlds of the Republic," Windu says. "The Mantooinians are laying claim to the route using old documents."
I'll mentally check up on the info I got from the last war, since it seems to be the same thing.
"Excuse me master, it would seem this is related to the last war. Are they claiming the same route again?"
(how did that last war actually end?)
The last war ended in a battle in which the losses were equal. It was a draw.
"A good deduction, Jovan," Master Windu says. "Yes, they are attempting to claim the same route."
I'm not going to say this out loud:
are they openly planning for war or something? They know how this will end!
"Master, they must understand that this will lead to war. Would it be frank to think the council wants us to mediate the situation?"
(or am I wrong and can a commission still do something?)
"I assume that we are being sent to mediate indeed," Jelena says. "It is a sensitive matter and it will obviously lead to conflict yet again unless something is done to keep the tempers and pride of both sides under control."
"Mediation is indeed part of your assignment," Master Windu says. "The Council wants to ensure that this conflict between the Festans and the Mantooinians comes to a close. We also want to see a more complete solution implemented, if possible.
"Unfortunately, it is not the only reason you are being sent."
darn, I read that as "meditation" and I was like "what the ****?"
I"ll tilt my head as I'm curious about the other reason... I could have guessed the first part and the hope for a lasting treaty... but what now?
"Of course, Master Windu though I must admit I am curious about the second reason."
"We are concerned about the intentions of the corporate entity that has brought both sides to negotiations, this time," Master Windu says. "Normally the Festans and Mantooinians will declare some sort of truce after a pointless, bloody skirmish, or at least a cease fire. This time, a third party has entered the fray."
have I seen something in my research that indicates a possible third party?
The only other group that participates in these conflicts is the Senate when they try to make a solution.
"The Trade Federation has volunteered to assist the Festans and the Mantooinians in reaching a solution," Master Windu says.
(Mind you, this is before The Phantom Menace)
(what's their reputation?)
They a corporate entity that controls an immense number of shipping lanes and contracts, both legally and militarily. They haven't been involved in many scandals due to keen business savvy, but they are considered to be a shady group.
There is a call of "Aye" all around the table. All of the men are dressed in curiously well-designed blast armor, and armed just as well.http://www.infoocean.info/avatar4.jpg
"How does the Federation's involvement affect the situation?" Jelena asks. "Why does it concern the Council that they are assisting with negotiations?"
"We are concerned about the Federation's motives," Master Windu says simply. "This is the first time that a body other than the Senate has tried to resolve the conflict. And, from past experiences, it is clear to us that the Federation is motivated by one thing."
"I understand master. I am afraid their objectives will only further complicate matters."
"What is that one thing?" Jelena asks.
"Money," Master Windu says, simply.
"We want to know exactly what they intend to do in this situation," he continues. "You will go under the mandate that you are observing the negotiations. Thankfully, we have an in- the Festan Miners Union has called for assistance from the Jedi Order. Normally, they have no say in the matter. The Fest Corporation controls the planet in totality. They hope that bringing the Jedi to assist the matter will change things.
"But please keep in mind that we are not sending you to Fest to overthrow the current establishment. You are going to observe, and discover what the Federation is doing getting involved in the situation."
I'm not good at home with jedi orders and anakin "adapting" them isn't helpful
so we go just to sit there, watch and stay silent or are there "red flags" after which we can act and mediate?
The Council is anticipating trouble in the negotiations. Given the violent relations between Fest and Mantooine, they also request that you use your status as peacekeepers. You are authorized to use force if necessary to prevent wider conflict.
ok, so we are passive until we see someone getting screwed over or, of course, if attempts to kill are made?
Precisely. Though Windu does say that you should not expect such. Just be prepared.
If there is nothing else that you wish to address with the Council, they say you can depart for Fest whenever you are ready. Fest is hosting the negotiations in their capital city.
I'll look at my companion, I can't think of something immediately...
"I believe we have everything we need, esteemed Council," Jelena says. "We will depart as soon as my ship is refueled. I will fly us to Fest and we will make an assessment of the political atmosphere. If anything is amiss, you will be informed and we will handle it from there."
Jelena offers a stiff bow of respect to the Council, then turns to leave with Jovan.
"I hope you don't mind riding in my fighter," Jelena says. "You may find it a little cramped but it will get us there."
You can pretty much move to depart whenever you deem fit! Nothing is keeping you on Coruscant presently.
Did either of you wish to use predictive powers?
"Thank you, Jelena. I am very happy you offer me this ride, as for the leg room, I'll survive."
I guess we are off now?
(sorry for being offline for so long, I've had it busy with stuff :s)
Jelena will use Foresight if she can.
Jelena will get her fighter and they'll be off!
Then off you go! Jelena's elegant fighter takes off from the Temple's hangars and swoops over the cityscape of the Senatorial district before climbing higher and escaping Coruscant's smoggy atmosphere.
Fest is a little of a lengthy flight. It is on the otherside of the Galactic Core from Coruscant, so Jelena must detour around it before jumping straight to Fest and Mantooine.
But eventually you arrive. Fest is not terribly unlike Hoth in its appearance, a white sphere spinning space with a faint blue tinge caused by its atmosphere. It has streaks of brown-gray across the surface; Festan mountain ranges, where the mining corporations work. And signs of civilization- a few cities.
Before the planet, though, you notice that there appears to be numerous capital-class cruisers hovering in orbit around Fest!
"Have we heard of a blockade? This will complicate things."
do we recognise the ships?
"I suppose I should have expected this," Jelena says. "So many factions throwing their weight around..."
Jelena will steer her ship toward the planet, deciding not to try anything rash in case this is indeed a blockade. She waits to see if anyone tries to reach her and monitors her sensors to see if there is any fighter activity nearby or anything dangerous happening amidst the ships.
"We do have our diplomacy-tags on, I trust?" I ask nervously.
Can I scan the ships to see who's who?
Is it only the Trade Federation or are there any others involved?
If there are two factions blockading, how is there stance underling?
Jovan- it is a Savoir-Faire roll to determine the differences between factions in the blockade around the planet. Seeing as that is your specialty, it is a no brainer that you can identify them easily. It is Observation to notice anything of interest amidst the fleets... and you roll sufficiently to get some good information.
Particularly the massive orb-in-a-half-circle Trade Federation freighters. There are only a few present, though they are surrounded by small swarms of droid starfighters.
Closest to the planet is a fleet of outdated war frigates that have seen better days. It looks like a privately-owned fleet, due to the mish-mash variety of ships. You assume it to be the Fest Corporation's defense group. You don't see any fighters, but you do spot their flagship in the center. It is probably the oldest ship present; a Republic assault dreadnaught used centuries ago by the Republic fleet.
Farthest from the planet (and closest to you) are four very modern vessels that are narrow and chisel-shaped, with a main cluster of engines toward the rear and a series of turning thrusters along the sides. They are bristling with guns. They are Mantooinian in design, Jovan, so you are pretty sure you know who they are.
The Federation ships are in between the Festan defense group and the Mantooinian destroyers.
Jelena- your sensors begin to detect a series of target locks as soon as you come near the blockade.
a bit of everything thus...
I relay my insights to Jelena
You begin to receive a series of incoming hails! Either of you can respond.
I'll leave it up to the pilot
Can Jelena get them all on at the same time and announce who she is? Because she will do that if she can. Better than delaying and answering one at a time.
"This is Knight Jelena Bendu of the Jedi Order," Jelena states clearly. "And my associate, Knight Jovan Wiecko. We have come to attend the negotiations! Please, lower your target locks. We come in peace."
She gets ready to take evasive action nonetheless.
It will be a Fix-It roll to link up all those calls! You have multiple ships hailing you.
Could Jovan just answer calls to help with that?
perhaps with savoir-faire?
I think you just need to answer a call!
Otherwise Jelena actually does have Fix-It at 2. She can try linking the calls so that Jovan can do the talking so she can focus on her piloting afterward.
I meant a savoir-faire for connecting the calls.
But I'll pick up the phone.
It is a technical situation, so Fix-It is appropriate. Jelena can link them all at the expense of her flying, if she so chooses.
Jovan answers a hail! A die roll means that he accepts the call from the Mantooinians.
"This is Commodore Silas of the Mantooine Task Force. Identify yourself and your intentions!"
Jelena- will you take a call or link the calls?
Jelena will take a call if it means she can still pilot!
"I am Jedi Knight Jovan Wiecko of the Jedi Order, my Jedi Knight sister Jelena Bendu is flying the ship. We have come to attend the negotiations. Please, lower your target locks. We come in peace."
(yeah, a bit of copy-paste from above, but why change something good?
Jelena answers the call from the Festans!
"Who's this flying in?" asks a surly voice. "Give your name and purpose!"
"The Jedi?" Silas responds. "Why were the Jedi summoned to Fest? This does not concern the Order. This situation is under control."
Can I understand your first post on page 3 as that the Jedi Council is the one who "ordered" the mission on their own (instead of for instance the senate ordering it)?
Yes, the Council sent you as their representatives.
so they are responsible for sending us? It didn't come from the senate or something?
"This is Jelena Bendu, Jedi Knight, coming as a representative of the Jedi Order," Jelena says. "We come as observers for the negotiations!"
No, the Senate did not mandate this.
"Jedi?!" says the Festan. "I didn't know the Jedi were going to join the negotiations. Why weren't we informed?"
Jelena, your radar starts to blink. Starfighters closing in fast!
Urgh, good going.
"We respectfully ask to halt your star fighters so we can discuss this without additional pressures which might envoke hasty decisions. Perhaps a talk face-to-face would be suitable?"
"We have not launched fighters," says Silas. "How dare you presume that us Mantooinians would open fire on the Jedi!"
Indeed, they are reading as vulture droids- the Federation's fighters.
I signal to Jelena to focus on steering.
"Indeed it was hasty of me to presume the fighters were yours. Please understand we have to contact the Trade Federation to ask them to retreat their fighters or our meeting will never take place."
I'll wait till he agrees and immediately call up the federation.
"This is Jedi Knight Jovan Wiecko with fellow Jedi Knight Jelena,
We respectfully ask you to halt your star fighters. We come in peace to assist in the negotiations."
"I'm not sure, I would've thought the Order would have called ahead to inform you," Jelena says. "I do apologize. May we be cleared for landing by the Festan fleet?"
Jelena puts power into the shield and prepares to take evasive action unless Jovan is able to get to the Federation in time.
"You must obtain our clearance before you can advance to the planet," the Mantooinian officer states. "Do not dare to place me on hold! If you pass our strike team without clearance codes, we have probable cause to detain your vessel."
Jovan- he's a difficult one...
"That depends," says the Festan officer. "Are you just here to observe or is there more than I need to know?"
Jelena- the fighters will be upon you shortly! Those things are fast.
Jelena makes sure the shields are powered and will take evasive action!
"Hurry up," Jelena says with some urgency to Jovan, but politely.
"We are concerned about the current political climate on Fest, and the involvement of a third party in the negotiations. We are here to confirm that all is well. That is all. Do we have clearance?"
Perhaps we should get clearance from one of them, hug their fighters while talking to the Federation?
"Would it be possible for you to clear our vessel? We come in peace."
(not sure what to say here)
Jovan- not a bad suggestion
The Mantooinian wants to know why you should be granted clearance, and why you are observing the proceedings.
Jelena- the Festan's answer is drowned out by the sound of your ship's shields whining as the first volley of laser fire scratches past. The vulture droids have opened fire and are swarming around your vessel.
Sunlit Dancer (P7/T3/M5): 60
Vulture Droids (P4/T6/M6) x12: 1
Ahh! Jelena will take evasive action, twirling the ship into a hard spin to throw off any target locks the droids make. She won't pass the Mantooinian ships until Jovan has gotten clearance from them.
"Can you repeat?" Jelena asks the Festans.
"It is obvious it is a tense situation here, otherwise the Trade Federation wouldn't be shooting at us for just trying to land here. As Jedi we can remediate and cool things down making it easier for you to be heard."
(and now shut up, let us pass and let me talk to those trigger happy noseless idiots!
The Festan repeats that you are cleared for landing, Jelena.
You attempt your twirling maneuver as you bomb past the Mantooinian cruisers and toward the Federation freighters, the droid fighters close on your tail. Lasers ping and pop across your shields at a blistering rate. Being much faster than yourself and slightly more maneuverable, they have a hefty edge. You take 20 damage as a bolt goes through one of your ship's wings! The ship shakes horribly.
The line to the Mantooinians is quiet...
Sunlit Dancer (P7/T3/M5): 40
Vulture Droids (P4/T6/M6) x12: 1
Jelena sends her thanks to the Festans and immediately cuts contact with them, so she can call the Trade Federation and explain their situation!
She tries to evade the droids again as she closes on the Federation cruiser, hoping to keep a clear signal.
You get through to the Federation! A Neimoidian in flowing purple robes and wearing an odd trader's hat answers your hail.
"Who dares try to run the blockade that the Federation has put in place?"
You roll much better this time, Jelena- last turn you scored no success, this turn you manage three! It acts as parry as you weave around the incoming cannon fire. You only take 8 damage.
Still, alarms are blaring. You haven't subjected your elegant ship to this sort of engagement in some time!
Sunlit Dancer (P7/T3/M5): 32
Vulture Droids (P4/T6/M6) x12: 1
"My Mantooinian friends, are you still there?" I'll ask but if they don't respond right away, I'll take over the line to the Federation.
"This is Jedi Knight Jovan Wiecko and my fellow Knight Jelena Bendu. We come in peace eventhough we are now fired upon by you. We come to observe the negotiations. Please halt the fighting immediately so we can discuss this in more length and without pressure from your Vulture droids."
(is this set BEFORE TPM?)
The Mantooinians appear to be deliberating, so Jovan can definitely jump over to help Jelena with the Federation.
"My humble apologies, Master Jedi!" the Federation representative says. He shouts to someone you cannot see in the hologram. "Call off the vulture droids! It is the Jedi!"
And, just like that, the blasterfire from the vulture droids ceases, and they peel away, back into space.
I would love to get into agressive negotiations with them!
This certainly is not the greeting you expected. Things must be tense indeed if the Federation was willing to sic its fighters on you.
Shortly after, the Mantooinians declare that you are free to land on Fest.
The way on to the planet is clear.
I do suggest that for this part we keep our lightsabres at our belt instead of tossing them at the couch.
Perhaps the best option is to ignore the shooting? I dislike the Trade Federation and their shooting only heightens this but everyone should be given a fair chance.
Jelena certainly won't let hers out of sight.
I'm willing to ignore the fact that the droids shot us up. Obviously this is a tense situation. We are here to mediate, not encourage conflict.
Jelena has a brief moment of panic when she sees that the Festan cruisers are now deploying fighters. Fortunately, it is only for the fighter escort that the Festans issue to the newly-arrived Jedi.
You are being directed to land in the starport at Fest City, the capital. Within moments, the Sunlit Dancer reaches the atmosphere. It is a crisp day on the planet's snow-blanketed surface.
Jelena, you are having some trouble controlling your descent. That hole in the wing is giving you problems.
I wonder who will be waiting for us. If any...
and if the Trade Federation will pay for the damage?
can I help in the descend?
I'd hope they would send a welcoming committee. A passive one, at least.
We can find out about that too.
If Jelena can do anything to stabilize her descent, she will do so. Fly slower, route power to the engines, anything...
It is nothing dangerous (for now). You are certainly glad that the attack stopped when it did. You could not perform anything daring in this vessel right now.
You find that flying a little lower helps, below some of the upper atmosphere turbulence that comes with an ever-frozen world. You glide a little less gracefully over hills of snow and around large rock formations, before coming to Fest City.
Fest City was founded in a valley at the base of a small mountain range. You are approaching the south end of the valley at the direction of your fighter escort. Much of the buildings are large and squat gray blocks, nothing notable. The starport is at the south end, and the city sprawls out behind it.
The most notable thing you see is to the right side, to the west, where the mountain range looms. A comprehensive mining operation is at work there, including a large structure that almost appears to be a gate into the mountainside.
Jelena takes note of the giant gate in the mountainside, intrigued by its sheer massive size.
Is she going to have any problem landing with her ship in this state?
You also note the dam at the north end of the valley, beyond which is a frozen lake.
There should be no problem. The starport is aware of the situation and preparing for your touch-down.
Jelena will guide her ship into the starport then. She will take a look around once the ship has come to a stop, making sure that all is clear in the docking bay or on the landing pad or wherever the starport directed her.
I hope the Trade Federation will pay for the damages.
The dam is around a frozen lake? So it is not used for hydro-electricity?
You can't be sure from this distance, but you don't think so.
Jelena- the starport actually directs you to one of the largest docking bays that it possesses, near the top of its block-shaped structure. You wobble into the bay and set the ship down without any issues.
The hangar bay is empty currently.
"A warm welcoming committee."
We would best lock off our ship, it wouldn't surprise me they would strip our plane or at least look through it.
I hope they at least show us where the meeting is taking place.
"Oh, quite warm," Jelena says. She releases the cache on the cockpit bubble and frees Jovan and herself from the ship. She disembarks cautiously, keeping her senses open and hoping that nothing like their original greeting happens.
Can she sense anyone nearby?
The hangar has a permanent stink of rust and decay, something not masked by the sharp cold of Fest. The moment you leave your ship, you both need to wrap your robes tightly around yourselves.
In the inner wall of the hangar is a large freight door that grinds open shortly after you land. Beyond, you both sense a large contingent of people coming to greet you.
greet...shoot... all the same.
I suggest we slowly move towards them, if it's a welcoming committee it would be a bit arrogant to let them go all the way to us.
On the other hand, if they want to shoot us, we're not getting cover from the ship.
Can I sense their intents?
You sense no danger.
The large group that enters is composed of foot soldiers, securing the area. It is an amalgamation of the three parties' security forces- the spindly Federation battle droids, the Mantooinian guards in sleek elegant armor, and the Fest Corporation's mercenaries.
They all snap into a variety of salutes once the area is secured.
After, a second group emerges from the door. It can only be the Senators and their attendants.
Jelena tries her best to appear composed, but she is wary of the high volume of armed troops that just entered. Sensing no danger puts her at ease. Even so...
"Hello," Jelena greets simply.
well, at least they can do this together.
I kinda forgot senators would be in on this too, I hope they don't grill us on being present and thus not trusting their ways of working...
I'll also say a simply greeting and make a bow to them.
I'll make sure my lightsabre isn't overtly in sight, don't want them to get tense already...
Do we own a droid or something? (just checking)
Not that I'm aware of.
In the midst of all these guards and attendants are four figures who, being the studious and diplomatic Jedi you are, are pretty easily identified. Jovan is correct about the Senators being present.
Senator Lott Dod is the representative of the Neimoidians and the Trade Federation. His palid green skin and buggy orange eyes and odd merchant's hat and expensive robes make it pretty obvious who he is.
Senator Vimus Nide-Fals is identified by his smart maroon business suit and the decorative piece on his lapel that displays the Mantooinian government's crest. He is a younger man with slick dark hair.
Senator Lobs is a thinner man. His gray suit is not as snappy as Senator Nide-Fals'. It is shabby and well-worn. Lobs himself has a pencil-thin mustache that is going the same shade of gray as his suit, as is his hair. He looks tired.
A fourth man stands beside Senator Lobs. You're not sure who he is. He is a stocky, barrel-chested gentleman with a thick mustache.
"To what do we owe the honor of this visit by Jedi Knights?" asks Senator Vimus, smiling widely with perfect teeth. "It has been some time since I have made the acquaintance of a Jedi, let alone two."
The others remain quiet.
Jelena acknowledges the Senators with a subtle curtsy.
"Greeting, Senators," she says. "I trust you have heard from your respective starfleets at this time. I am Jedi Knight Jelena Bendu. This is my associate, Jedi Knight Jovan Wiecko."
She waves a hand in Jovan's direction to indicate him.
"We have been sent by the Jedi Order to observe the negotiations."
"I see," Senator Vimus says. He looks at the other Senators, then back at you. "Do you not find it awfully bold of the Order to send its agents without informing the parties you are meant to observe?"
"I am actually quite concerned about that," Jelena says. "After the greeting we received in the planet's orbit, I am now under the impression that the Order did not inform you at all."
"Not one of us was notified by your Council," Senator Lott Dod snarls.
Senator Lobs just nods in confirmation.
why are they shooting the messengers?
Do we have the right to be present at negotiations when and where we please or is our jurisdiction only there where the council/senate says we can go to?
Is that inner monologue or a question posed to the Senators?
"I find that particularly odd," Jelena says. "It is not the practice of the Order to spring unwanted observers upon Senatorial representatives. We did not mean to alarm you with our arrival. I am as surprised as you are to hear that no warning was given."
Jelena wraps her robes tightly around her again.
"That being said... do you have any reason to turn us away? Because I am frightfully cold and did not bring weather-appropriate robes."
"The Jedi are ever guests of Fest," Senator Lobs says tiredly. "If the other Senators will permit it, I have no qualms with the Order. Despite the strange nature of your arrival."
"I am suspicious of your intentions here, Jedi," Senator Dod voices.
"As am I," Senator Vimus states. "But we are the guests of the Festans as it is. If the Festans will allow it, then so shall I."
Senator Dod frowns. "Fine. Let them in, then." Dod snaps his fingers and walks back through the door, and his battle droids follow.
"I trust you will pose no threat to the negotiations?" Senator Vimus asks.
"Certainly not," Jelena says. "I am ever the diplomat and never the intruder. The Order wishes for us to simply observe and ensure that all goes smoothly."
"It will go as it goes," Senator Vimus says. "The Order need not ensure anything at this time. If anything happens and I can lay the blame at your feet, I will have you expelled from this world entirely. Is that clear?"
"Perfectly so," Jelena responds. "Rest assured, we do not mean to interrupt proceedings."
Senator Vimus gives a curt nod in response and follows Senator Dod out of the hangar, his Mantooinian guards following after.
"Strange times we live in, when Knights come unannounced," Senator Lobs says to you. "But as I say... Fest welcomes you. I will arrange for lodgings and warm clothing and food for you. You are our guests."
The stalwart man beside him clears his throat.
"Oh, yes," Senator Lobs sighs. "This man is Hardrew..."
The man beams and offers one of his large hands, at the end of a particularly beefy arm.
"Spokesman for the miners' union," Hardrew explains. "I think we should get a say in all this."
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance," Jelena says. She does not offer her hand. She gives a simple bow to Hardrew. "I apologize, but I am quite cold."
She turns to Senator Lobs.
"I appreciate your hospitality," Jelena says. "We do not want to be a burden on you. We can a little unprepared, it seems. I am going to call our Council and determine what was amiss."
"Please do," Senator Lobs says. "You've not been here more than an hour and already things are tense due to your 'dramatic' arrival. The sooner you can give us an answer there, the better."
"Of course," Jelena says. "I will call once we are shown to our accomodations and settled in. Nothing more will happen until I've spoken with my Masters."
Senator Lobs is happy to permit that. While he is having your accomodations prepared, he invites you to his Senatorial chambers so that he can entertain Fest's guests. He is starting to promise that you will be warm and appropriate garb provided when Hardrew interrupts.
"Just going to show them all your pretty things, are you?" Hardrew asks.
"Don't start, miner..." the Senator sighs.
"That's what's wrong with the Republic," Hardrew grunts. "It's blind."
Jelena is concerned by the outburst.
"What do you mean?" Jelena asks.
"The Senator is just going to take you on a whirlwind tour of Fest's highlights and what luxury is can offer," Hardrew states. "He won't show you how it's suffering."
"You exaggerate, sir," Senator Lobs sighs.
"Would that I were!" Hardrew snaps. "Were you going to take her into the mines yourself and show her the conditions my teams work under?"
Hardrew gestures at the Senator with two open palms. "See? That's what I mean."
"What are the conditions they work under?" Jelena asks out of curiosity. She bears in mind that she is not here to get involved in their issues. Only to make sure negotiations go well.
"Cruel ones," Hardrew says. "The mines are so cold that men freeze to death and nobody notices, and so unstable that other men disappear in collapsing tunnels. Medical supplies are limited, and the miners are worked to exhaustion."
"Mines have never been a safe place," Senator Lobs says. "Not on Fest, not anywhere in the Galaxy."
"I don't expect them to be completely safe, but I don't expect them to blatantly disregard those workin' in 'em," Hardrew says. "I've worked in mines before. This'n is 'specially awful."
There is not a whole lot that Jelena can do about that, is there? She is not here to help with workers' rights or anything...
Indeed, that is not your mandate.
sorry for being out, I got a foot injury I got from a holiday
But just like Qui-Gon Jinn in TPM we can perhaps do a bit?
Since mining is such a big thing on this planet and the arguements can be (partly) traced back to this, why not have a walk around the place?
(Feel better, Jovan!)
If we can somehow figure that into our agenda. We don't want to upset anyone attending the negotiations by getting involved with the mining situation, whatever it is.
A walk around the mines sounds like a good idea though. Do we both want to go or just one of us? I guess that depends on what else needs to be done. I could talk to the Council about the arrival and you could do the mines or vice versa.
You can talk to the council, I'll do the walking? I mean, you have been the peaceful negotiator till now so it's perhaps better to keep that up and stay "the good cop"?
That sounds good to me.
"It would be our pleasure for one of us to escort you through the mines," Jelena says. "While it is not in our mandate and we cannot guarantee that we can assist in any way, it may be beneficial for us to see what you refer to. My associate Jovan would be happy to go with you, when you are ready to receive him.
"I will remain here with the Senator and establish contact with my Council."
I"ll take a bow to the guy to indicate I'm ready when he is.
"I understand, Master Jedi," Hardrew says. "I appreciate your time. Both of you."
Hardrew has a speeder waiting, Jovan. It is an open-top landspeeder that has been adapted into a sort of lorry. A large compartment has been welded to the rear of the speeder with a second set of thrusters.
"After you, sir," Hardrew invites.
Senators Lobs simply sighs and beckons you to come along, Jelena. The sooner you contact the Council, he says, the more readily a Jedi presence will be accepted at the negotiations.
The Senator also has a speeder waiting, this one a sleek airspeeder adapted for the frigid atmosphere of Fest. The driver emerges to open the side hatch for you.
Senator Lobs steps in first and settles into the comfortable plush seating. He beckons for you to do the same.
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