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Help us help you [Silencia/Republic]

Ayden Cater

Grumpy Goat
Writer
@[member="Lady Silencia"]

Tensions were still high with the Republic. The Osarian system, previously home to collaborative works between the Republic and Protectorate, had been vaporized by the Sith. The conflict at Polis Massa with the ancient Sith device had greatly soured the relationship between the two galactic superpowers and even begged the question of a Republic-Protectorate war. Though things had relaxed somewhat in the wake of Cira's disappearance, things were still no where close to the cordial nature they had once been. And Ayden attributed a large part of that to a lack of collaborative efforts between the two.

A shared border connected the two powers, but they seemed so far apart. No intelligence was shared, no great works were made between the two. They were more like strangers to each other than the friends they had once been. To that end, Ayden sent a missive to the CEO of Kuat Drive Yards, Lorelei Darke, inviting her and a delegation from KDY to discuss a possible collaborative work with Corellian Engineering. Though they were two of the oldest shipwrights in the galaxy, and some of the scant few companies to continue existence after the Four Hundred Years of Darkness, there had been little work between the two, and it wasn't extremely hard to see why. CEC had always favored smaller ships, freighters and frigates, while KDY specialzed in the gargantuan Star Destroyers. Add to that their allegiances during the Galactic Civil War of old, and it wasn't so strange then that they hadn't worked together before.

But times were changing, and as Ayden sat at a table on Corellia with seven of the top heads of Corellian Engineering, he hoped that this effort could signal not only a turning point between their two companies, but a turning point for relations between the Republic and the Protectorate.
 

Quietus

Hunting Again
Writer
The last time Lady Silencia had stepped foot on Corellia she was the Mistress of the Emperor and set to rule what had then been one of the largest and most powerful Galactic Empires known to date. Corellia had been their selected Capital and the royal pair had enjoyed all the luxuries the planet had to offer.

That was a very long time ago, and in present day there exists no woman by such a name.


The last time Lorelei Darke had stepped foot on Corellia she was still the loving wife to the very alive and healthy CEO of the Kuat Drive Yards, Salvador Darke. The pair had arrived in their newest luxury yacht design looking fresh-faced with his primly appointed suit of midnight blue and her flowing gown of silver. She was a High Lady of the Kuatian Aristocracy and she shared with her husband the diminutive hands of their six year old son, Amadeus Darke, who traveled happily between them, blue eyes wide and thirsty for the new and unknown.

This, the woman mused as her personal ship touched down, felt still as though it had been centuries past. In reality it had not been so very long ago. It was curious what a simple visit could do to dredge up old memories. Today she traveled not with a husband or a son, but the Director of Operations of the KDY DiVanca Leonari, a retinue of the highest caliber Kuatian Royal Guards and a single Noghri warrior. The party traveled in utter silence, met by a man of the Protectorate who would guide them to the chamber that would host this historical meeting.

Lorelei Darke was a woman known for her no-nonsense approach to business - a terrible card shark that had taken the opportunity to seize fledgling competitive corporations and devour them whole. It was often said one could not look her directly in the eye without feeling their self-worth drain through their very heels. That she was a beast on her good days and on her bad? Well, no one spoke of such things. So when the woman swept down the hall and through the doors opened for her, striding fierce and beautiful into that chamber, it would likely come at no surprise the piercing green gaze she afforded the congregation before her. It was not one that spoke of human pleasantries and oh how lovely to finally meet you wonderful people, but a professional gaze that stung and stabbed skillfully across the faces before her, picking out the nuanced hints of weakness and fault.

It couldn't be helped - such a thing was in the blood of predators.

The Kuatian Guards fell into rank against the walls to her left and right, two of which remained stationed both within and without of the entrance. Behind her and slightly at her right, the Director of Operations peered quietly, non-judgmental, at those who would presume to become partners of business. The Noghri guard shadowed the Queen's movements as she strode forward, robes of red and black and tasteful gold embroidery sweeping along, to greet the man seated at the head of the table.

"Good evening, Lord Protector," her voice, sullen and smooth, rang clearly, "I have been wondering when this day would come."
 

Ayden Cater

Grumpy Goat
Writer
@[member="Lady Silencia"]

Ayden smiled politely, even as armed escorts came into the room. He wasn't at all surprised to see them accompany the CEO. After all, he had heard many of the rumors about the head of KDY; from the cold, efficient settlements to the calculated 'diplomatic' meetings. Already the other CEC heads had been advised of this likelihood and had been reassured that no harm would befall them. The Noghri bodyguard was a bit of a surprise, but not one that Ayden deigned to mention or react to. Instead, he gestured to the silver pitchers of wine that sat along the table, making a subtle scene of pouring his own glass while holding it up. "Good evening to you, Queen Darke. I bid you welcome to Corellia and I wish to extend my gratitude for agreeing to meet here."

He gave the woman and her entourage a toast before standing up and beginning a slow walk. "Kuat Drive Yards and Corellian Engineering have existed since near the formation of the Old Republic thousands of years ago. Ours are ancient, powerful shipwrights that have perfected our crafts. Yet the closest we have ever come to a collaborative effort was during the Clone Wars some eight hundred fifty years ago. We produced troop transports and frigates whilst you produced the heavy warships." As he spoke, a holoprojector came to life and slowly cycled through ancient ship designs, both CEC and KDY in design. "It seemed as though the galaxy was just beginning to recover from the Gulag Plague when ruin came to us in the form of the Omni Invasion and the Dark Harvest. Corellia was laid to siege for over a month, and I'm told Kuat was the site of a desperate struggle from a surprise assault."

"With the galaxy in turmoil, and with the dangers of the Sith Empire on the rise, it seems that this is a time for new leaders and new innovations. To that end, I propose a joint initiative between KDY and CEC to produce a new ship, or shipline, for both military and civilian consumption."
 

Quietus

Hunting Again
Writer
"Thank you," Lorelei returned when the man had finished, taking the seat at the opposite head of the table as it was pulled out for her by her Noghri guard, "for that marvelous recount of our history," the smile she gave him was short and sharp, eyes narrowed by the stinging reminder of the damage dealt during the Clockwork Rebellion. Now, nor ever again to be sure, was not the time to dwell on those things.

The Queen exhaled as she eased into her seat, hands clasping on the table before her, "I am ever ready to receive fresh thoughts and ideas, Lord Protector, and I have studied your products at length just as I am sure you have studied that of KDY. There is a brilliant equation here, somewhere, between CEC and KDY, whose solution I am eager to see. What did you have in mind?"
 

Ayden Cater

Grumpy Goat
Writer
Curt as ever, Ayden figured that if all the heads of the Kuat Drive Yards were this tempered, it was hardly surprising that there were so few collaboration effects. Still, he was not easily dissuaded. "What exactly is the name of the game." He switched the holoprojector to several cross sections of ships. "Starship design philosophy remains virtually unchanged from thousands of years ago. Larger and larger ships are built to destroy the smaller ships. A frigate vs a Star Destroyer-sized ship is a no-contest. I want to challenge that notion. I want to design a frigate that could go toe-to-toe with a Star Destroyer." There it was; the challenge was laid out on the table. Already he could see that several engineers from CEC looked incredulous. "We have the expertise with cramming small-end capital ships with as many things as we can. You have the expertise of large-end capital ship fire power and defenses, as well as their inner workings. I can think of no better partner to co-develop this ship."
 

Quietus

Hunting Again
Writer
"Mm," it was a sound between tasting something delicious and rising intrigue.

The Queen considered this challenge, brows aloft, as the clockwork whirred within. Something of that design could tip the scales of power in the galaxy if one were to tightly leash distribution to any certain particulars. She never thought for a moment it couldn't be done, unlike the engineers sitting at the table the Queen was not bound by notions of impossibilities.

"A tall, complicated order," came her reply, expression dubious, "the power required for what you envision would be monumental. You would need to take the core of the great ships of the galaxy and shrink it down, not exceedingly difficult to accomplish but the end result would place the ship and its occupants in a great deal of danger should it take any significant amount of damage. You'd have to plate the thing in Mandalorian Iron and good luck getting enough of it, or any for that matter. " This was not unlike any behemoth vessel crafted by the KDY, but those cores were far harder to get at, with more meat to tear through before any real danger.
 

Ayden Cater

Grumpy Goat
Writer
"As the saying goes, if it were easy it wouldn't be worth doing." Ayden grinned, glad to hear someone else was up to the challenge. She was, of course, quite right. Larger ships could afford their larger weapon armaments due to their larger reactors. Unfortunately, such reactors were notorious for cause cataclysmic explosions if they took damage. Smaller ships tended to have thinner hull plating, as well lacking the interior space for such large reactors. They could probably design a frigate-sized ship with a cruiser-sized reactor, maybe even a heavy cruiser if they wanted to push their luck. But such power plants would carry all the benefits and downsides inherent to their design, and a smaller ship would have a hard time keeping such a reactor safe.

"There are several tricks we could employ then. The first that comes to mind would be exotic metals, such as Mandalorian Iron. As you already pointed out, they're not particularly fond of just handing it over, and we'd need a lot of it. We can attempt to find some kind of alternative metal, but the density we're looking for likely doesn't exist in quantities we need. So we're left then with the last option; we compress hull plates between powerful gravity fields. Compress a one meter plate to tenth of that size." One of the Corellian engineers balked at the notion. "That's impossible! Even if we could do it, the cost alone would probably put the vessel in the same league as a Star Destroyer."

Ayden turned to the man and smirked. "Of course it won't. This ship will cost a great deal more than a Star Destroyer." The other man seemed to hesitate at the ease with which Ayden agreed. "In fact, the cost of this prototype design will probably exceed the cost even of the Starfall. The cost is irrelevant. The list of things we're looking to put together, simply put, could not be put together with the present construction doctrine and capabilities with anything approaching the average cost for a ship of comparable size. This is the cost of pushing boundaries. We're rewriting the playbook, so to speak, for starship construction. If we succeed, we will have developed a cutting edge ship that will ensure technological dominance for decades, if not centuries."
 

Quietus

Hunting Again
Writer
"A sound idea," Lorelei nodded, "that would also help to cut down significantly on weight, giving us higher threshold for speed and maneuverability."

DiVanca, having been standing to the left of her CEO's chair, leaned down to murmur something to the woman.

"Yes of course, alternatively there are fusion crystals that can be used to amplify the power of a smaller core not unlike the use of a crystal in a Jedi's lightsaber. The trouble with this is their own cost and rarity in the size required, not to mention instability. It is something to keep to the forefront of possibilities, however, as research continues on them. In this way it would be possible to make directing power to key modules charging shields, thrusters, engines and weapons more convenient and accessible. Have you had any experience in this technology Lord Protector?"
 

Ayden Cater

Grumpy Goat
Writer
"I confess myself ignorant, m'lady. The technology we've focused on primarily on things like hull plating and energy networks." He turned and brought up a new schematic."Assuming we can increase the hull durability without sacrificing space or power, and assuming we can generator the levels of power we're looking for, the next question becomes what sort of weapons do we arm this ship with." The holoprojector slowly cycled through a number of options as Ayden spoke. "We could arm it with a pair of railguns. Suspend a dense liquid metal inside a electromagnetic field. It would potentially have the ability to rend ship hulls like cloth, but its power wouldn't lend itself well to secondary damage. Alternatively, we could scour a few locations for a rumored type of gas that is superior to the gases traditionall used for turbolasers. Combined with the power core, we could arm the ship with dozens of turbolasers that pack a punch every bit as strong as a Star Destroyer, but on a nimble frigate frame."

Ayden shut the projector off and turned to face Lorelei. Her face was ever the total mask and unreadable; a fact that made the Corellian slightly annoyed, though he refused to show it. "This project will be unlike anything the galaxy has seen undertaken for centuries, if not millenia. I ask you, Queen Darke, for your support in this endeavor. Will you help me change the face of the galaxy and continue to uphold the legacies of our two great companies?"
 

Quietus

Hunting Again
Writer
"It would required a smaller secondary armament," Lorelei explained, "as this isn't a Star Destroyer that can deploy a couple thousand fighters to protect it, it will need to provide it's own offense against smaller vessels. Railguns would be best used for rending larger targets - chasing after bees is hardly worth its ammunition cost. DiVanca, if you please," the Queen motioned to her assistant who held up her datapad and engaged the holoprojector. Above the image of the old VCX-820 Escort Freighter gleamed in electric blue.

"I believe we can look to outdated ships and older technology for a good basis on what works and what does not. This model, ancient though it may be, still survives today as a well-appreciated fighter ship. It's systems are tried and true for centuries, including its array of autoblasters. Now, obviously, the technology since then has made great leaps and bounds, but if we examine that it was not necessarily the tech, but the number and positioning of the autoblasters that made them most effective, we can employ the same with newer, improved blaster cannons, and make it better. Smaller and more compact sizing allows us to affix them in more vulnerable areas of the ship, further guarding it against what would otherwise be a detrimental nuisance. These take considerably less power while still capable of packing a punch. Automatic targeting systems will cut down on the necessary crew numbers. If we managed to form the hull plating to your design, thinner and lighter, it would afford the ship room for a larger load of, say, missiles or torpedos to give it a longer range of destruction."

This was all speculative, of course, and balanced on their ability to produce a ship to these specifications. Lorelei would not be dissuaded by the impression of doubt on the faces around her. The Queen looked to the Lord Protector as he made his offer to officiate the project and nodded. A smile of interest grew on her face, "I will eagerly help you endeavor to bring about the future, Lord Protector, and I will toast to that."

@[member="Ayden Cater"]
 

Ayden Cater

Grumpy Goat
Writer
"Certainly a possibility. I'm not discounting anything for possible armaments, though I think you might be on to something with those autoblasters." Ayden vaguely recalled that a number of older CEC designs had employed such technology. "The challenge on the table is great. The only failure to be had is to get nothing done. Even if we don't create a Star Destroyer-killing frigate, the experiences here will be extremely valuable to both KDY and CEC, and that alone will be worth the cost." He looked around and was pleased to see that most of the engineers from both sides had seemed to accept the looming challenge. Already a few were muttering to themselves over schematics. A pair had already formed between the companies, something that brought a smile to the Corellian's face.

On his data pad, Ayden tapped out a discrete series of commands to start holonet searches for any relevant technology firms that could be acquired for use on the project. A galaxy of thinkers and tinkerers, surely someone had found some pieces of puzzle. "I want weekly reports, sent to both myself and Lady Darke. As soon as a basic framework can be agreed on, construction will begin on the base framework. After that, priority goes to the power plant. I'll forward some relevant files so we're all on the same page. After the reactor, we'll break up into two teams; defense and offense. All options should be considered. Nothing is off the table for consideration. We go at this with everything in our arsenal or not at all. Let's get started then."
 

Quietus

Hunting Again
Writer
"Lord Protector," Lorelei spoke up once he finished with his orders. She needn't say anything to her own associate, DiVanca had already begun acquiring the people and information they would need once it had been decided. Say nothing of their shrewd and often unkind business management, but the KDY was fast, effective, and efficient.

The Queen stood from her chair, waiting for Ayden's attention, and momentarily pondered what @[member="Avadreia Lacroix"] would have said about all this.

Ahead of schedule and under budget! had been the DO's mantra, though the budget for this likely would have made the woman turn in her grave.

Lorelei approached the man, looking him over in earnest now that the formalities had been completed, "Mustafar, to my knowledge and experience, is an ideal place to find crystals of the sort we'll be having need of. I think a visit to the mining facility is in order."
 

Ayden Cater

Grumpy Goat
Writer
@[member="Lady Silencia"]

Tapping the datapad a few more times, Ayden brought up a map of Protectorate space and zoomed in on Mustafar. It had been a fairly recently acquisition, as far as Protectorate history was concerned. A number of mining operations had indeed been setup and mining efforts were well underway. "It would certainly be worth a look." Ayden said in a rather non-committed fashion. "Though I think if it were so easy to find the crystals we needed, we'd probably already have some." After a moment, he offered a small shrug. "Though, I suppose it is entirely we do already have some and simply haven't gotten around to testing them in such a fashion."

A brief glance around the room indicated that collaboration was in full swing before Ayden gestured towards the door and began walking. Once they were in the quiet hallways, Ayden seemed to relax some. From an inside pocket, he pulled a cigar and set it between his lips though left it unlit. "I hope you won't hold this against me. Board room meetings are rather dull." His whole demeanor had shifted, from what one would expect of a leader, to one perhaps more at home with a ruffian. "Now that we're alone, tell me what you really think of this project, Lady Darke." There was a certain bluntness in his voice now that had been missing earlier. Perhaps they had more alike that it seemed.
 

Quietus

Hunting Again
Writer
They were not so alone as the Lord Protector might've liked - the Queen's Noghri bodyguard shadowed her, saffron eyes keen on the man just as they aught to be. Lorelei seemed to think nothing of Kefka's presence. He was always there and he would always be there. The pay was worth it for him, yes, but his loyalty ran far deeper than simple credits.

"I think the galaxy is craving something of this caliber and magnitude," she began, her own gaze having grown a degree easier if for no other reason than a cold appreciation to be rid of the ceremony that was required of group sessions.

"After Omni and his Clockwork Rebellion everything pales in comparison. What was once innovative and forward thinking has become transparent and backwards. How did we ever overcome such adversity that took this galaxy by storm within a fortnight? We needed this project yesterday. Ten years ago. You might agree, we both saw enough first hand to come to the same conclusions. But the standard progress has become redundant and normal. This project will mark the beginning of a surge in advancements. This project ...should we succeed, will turn the tides of power in the galaxy. It could very likely start a war. I don't know about you, but war time has always been my best time for progress."

The things people came up with when their lives were on the line...
 
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