Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Among Equals (Edric)

An Uukaablian Tahree-class cruiser was a beautiful thing, and an uncommon sight outside of the Kathol Outback. Navigating this ship from Kal'Shebbol to Zonju Five to Kesh had been an honor - and would have been even if he wasn't transporting high-ranking representatives of all the Coalition's most powerful species and civilizations. The alien controls felt familiar now, and he found he liked them quite a bit.

Several years ago, the Underground had forged an agreement with King Solan Charr of Kesh - a defensive presence, mutual aid in times of crisis. That agreement had served both sides well. The Underground had benefited from Keshiri refueling and repair sites, while investigating and warding off nearby troubles.

Times had changed, and not for the worse. The new king, [member="Edric Vanyan"], was known to be young but level-headed. The planets once protected by the Underground had come together to craft a formal government, a loose coalition. Diplomatic talks and events had been arranged, in hopes of strengthening Kesh's position and role within the Coalition.

Apart from all of that, though, Judge Jorus Q. Merrill had been tasked with meeting privately with the new king, on Judge business. As he steered a diplomatic shuttle down toward the surface, chatting with a Keshiri air traffic controller, Jorus thought back to what he'd known of the king's father.
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

Unlike his predecessor, Edric had no intentions of relaxing while he was busy with the statecraft that came with his place now, groaning internally while he listened to people continuously comment about he might help them in their society. Unlike Solan, the people did not look on Edric and see a powerful force user, one who could deal with them in no longer than a snap of his fingers. Instead, Edric had to consolidate his power in a way more common for those of the galaxy, refusing to use what force powers he did have on these people no matter the circumstances. Not that his predecessor had done so, but with Solan, the threat of such was enough to put people in their place.

As such, Edric was forced to clean up the rather feudal situation that still existed in some places. While their feudal-like system had worked in the past, they were coming to a point where the galaxy was uniting around them and as such rogue factions could be muscled into disrupting the peace on Kesh. While he did not expect the Outback, or rather the Outer Rim Coalition to do such there was still the very real chance of a group within the First Order or the Galactic Alliance to send one of their manipulators to Kesh. Edric did not trust other force users, worried about their intents even if they were the peace-loving Jedi. He had read the collected histories he could get his hands on in regards to the Galaxy, and he had read more than enough texts talking about the Jedi and the Sith and their countless wars to outdo the other.

Which was why when he was informed of the arrival of [member="Jorus Merrill"], he became a bit more surprised than he had wanted to. He had not expected the Coalition this quickly, and while he had meant to approach them, this allowed for a much easier meeting. His hand waved off those already in the room, choosing to have set up an office rather than meet people from his throne a great deal of the time so that he can use what he has collected in terms of material to keep negotiations in order. There was a lot that happens in the galaxy, and a lot that happens on Kesh. With Slaves still being sent here as a safe harbor, the influx of visitors and expansion of the corporate sector, and more progress made on the driveyards that were being funded, hoping to create an outer rim base for ship production to suit the need of prospective buyers, he had a lot to process most days.

"Ensure our guest is escorted to here, and allow him to bring what he wishes, though him alone. Id rather not have too many people running around right now." He told his closest guard, a Keshiri male who nodded before leaving and letting Edric sit and wait for the arrival of his guest.
[member="Edric Vanyan"]

An awful lot hung on this one meeting, on this one impression. Jorus had shaved.

He'd also take the time to read up on the new king, not that much was known. Escaped slaves called Kesh something of a promised land nowadays, so that was good. Unlike his father, His Majesty wasn't believed to be a Master of the Force or tainted by the Dark Side, and that was good too.

Various dignitaries on the orbiting ship offered Jorus advice as he steered the shuttle down to the palace. He listened without committing to anything, though these well-informed career politicians had a worthwhile point or two. They'd all wanted to be the ones to make the handshake that could bring Kesh into the Coalition. Now they were mostly content with being the voices in his ear.

He left his comlink in the shuttle and went out alone.
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

Waiting for Jorus was the woman who had been made Commander of the Shadow Legion long ago, one Nida Vaal. The Keshiri woman stood with two others, though they remained unarmed and were merely there for formality to have some show that was deserving of a member of the Outer Rim which Kesh fell under the influence of. While Kesh was still sovereign, that did not change that the Outer Rim were the ones with whom it most closely connected itself to and for that fact Edric himself would not wish to sour relations because of the expectations from whatever diplomat should arrive.

Nida spent no time holding up Jorus though, giving him a quick bow with a hand clasped over her chest while the second hand found its place at the small of her back. Once done she would speak and beg for him to follow with her hand. "A pleasure, if you would follow me we can get you to the king without delay. I am sure you have other things to attend to and we have no intention of holding you longer than need be."

For most, that would not be the case. Even dignitaries on the planet would need to wait a day or two upon arrival to ensure security and to get plenty of time set up but Edric had made sure this would not be the same for whoever came. He did not know the temperament of these people, nor how far they had built up weapons or soldiers. He was unsure how they would view his rulership and unlike his predecessor who was not here this day, he could not remove any significant danger on his own power, and at the time Kesh had withdrawn from its intervention policy having suffered some damages to its main line ships with a group of slavers the previous month. The dockyards were also geared into an economic focus, leaving the ships to be repaired as a secondary priority.

After a short walk, Jorus would be led to the room where Edric sat, looking over some papers and glancing upwards with a smile while his eyes focused on the man. Nearby was already some tea, having been prepared and kept warm for when the man would arrive, the latter of which Edric did on his own with the same tricks that Solan had taught him. He rose slowly and smoothed out the clothes he wore, moving around the table and holding out his hand to the man. "A pleasure to meet you, I am sure you know but I am Edric Vanyan, Heir to Kesh."
[member="Edric Vanyan"]

Jorus thanked the Keshiri officer who'd escorted him. He met her eyes briefly: still youngish, but a seasoned professional, and one who wouldn't hesitate to put him down if he appeared to be a threat to the King.

"Good to meet you, Your Majesty," he said, entering Edric's study. He shook the offered hand firmly but without competition. "Or is it Your Highness, or do you prefer another title? I'm General Jorus Merrill of the Underground, a Judge in the Outer Rim Coalition. Father of one, modder of ships, and that's about all there is to me. Thanks very much for meeting with me."
Edric smiled when Jorus began with the titles and silently sighed as he hoped it would not run on like most others. He enjoyed his place most times, but when he had to hear people list off some practiced line, it felt dull to him. Something told him that it was not something Jorus did often, and likely purely for formality so that much made Edric rest his mind. He was not dealing with some greedy politician looking to be re-elected or to win favor with a financial backer. Instead, this man was here for the simple reason of ensuring that the relation Kesh had with the Outer Rim continued or even grew, something his predecessor had wanted but did not think was right for what was then a small connection of worlds.

Now though, they were turning into a more centralized government which would need to protect itself, and Edric needed Kesh protected. He had continued the efforts in putting to work the numerous peoples who were brought here by Solan's actions or on their merit. Having a group of immigrants and refugees sit by helped no one so he organized a system to get them working when it would help Kesh and grow the planet. He still had plans to expand the drive works around the planet, rely less on foreign companies and pull the industry to Kesh itself. Unlike solan, he had no obligation or connection to people like Taeli Raaf; he could operate without owing people debts or gratitude for them helping him.

Which is why he looked at Jorus with a bit of interest. This man could prove to bring more wealth and power to Kesh, while also strengthing the Outer Rim itself and protecting valuable worlds that helped Kesh too.

"A pleasure General, as for my title choose whichever you are comfortable with. Worrying about it will only divert attention away from our meeting. Would you like some tea?" He asked this while turning and heading to his chair, letting Merrill take a seat on his own.
[member="Edric Vanyan"]

"Your Majesty, then. And sure, thanks." When dealing with a monarch, you picked their most significant title and accepted their hospitality, or you really had no business being in a meeting like this. Jorus took one of the study's comfortable chairs.

"Your time's valuable, so's mine, so I'll cut to the chase. Your father let the Underground refuel and repair in this system, and shared intelligence with us, and we did our level best to return the favours. Now that the Outer Rim Coalition's a stable thing, the diplomats up there are looking for a stronger bond. There's talk of shared markets, lower tariffs, collective defense agreements. I'm not here to hammer out details, Your Majesty: I'm here to get what we call an agreement in principle. A handshake deal that we're friends and we'll stick together when things get tough. We're not out to go to war with anyone or drag your people into anything like that, and we'd hope for the same from you. All defense, all partnership, shared access to intel and patrol resources. You'd be able to call on our patrol boats to keep convoys safe going to and from this system, though again, the details would be something to hash out another time.

"In principle, are you open to the kind of thing I'm talking about?"
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

The use of the title made his mouth tinge, erasing the smile for a half second before it returned. He knew the man did it out of respect and due to the formality of the meeting. He was far happier to accept the titles with the same amount of thought that was done in using them, but he asked the gods far too often that someone would be defiant one of these days. With the twitch gone, he relaxed a small bit more and listened to Jorus as he spoke. The man wanted to get this done fast, whether out of a urgency to get to somewhere, to give Edric the respect of not dancing around an issue or simply to be able to relax more quickly. His words at first were simple, mentioning Solan and what the past had achieved, and finally he got to what the others wanted.

He could care less about what others wanted, what mattered was what would be most beneficial to Kesh. Standing alone had its benefits and he had been raised up in that situation but he had also been taught that you cannot always let the status quo remain as such. Stagnation can leader to complacency and worse the halting of the progress that had been made in improving the importance and strength of the planetary government. The largely unused fleet his predecessor had gathered only grew with the production of a few new cruiser classes kept in orbit waiting to be used or sold. The benefit of the company being controlled by the planetary government. He was unsure when this change would come but it was clear that things were speeding up.

This caused him to go over what was said and think about it more clearly. He had been hearing rumors of increased tension but wasn't sure why he had been told of them. Now it was becoming clear, although barely.

"Your proposition is lacking General. You are offering my people protection, our growth and yet what we can offer you is minuscule. You can't expect me to see that as fair?" He smiled, this time genuinely and with his eyes looking to the window he spoke again. "You have more than my government's friendship. For as long as I stand on that throne you have the people of Kesh, natives and newcomers as friends of the Outer Rim. I'm sure you know about the laws passed by my predecessor and consider any army of Kesh to be happy to help defend the outer rim and its own conveys as well." Edric wanted to repay the man for offering what to Edric had seemed one sided at first. The Outer Rim had little to gain from a simple offer of friendship and defense, but Edric could help push for a bit more if it meant that Kesh would experience growth.

"Oh, right. I will also be there to help in whatever way I can, whenever I can. Consider me the friend of the Rim." His hand outstretched, not needing to worry about formality or the time they would take. He would have plenty of time to get the details fleshed out, regulating the trade that might come and getting his people stationed where they would be needed while making sure things remained calm and fruitful.

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