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The Mother of Invention (Open to Mandalorians)

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Sundari city, Planet Mandalore
Mandal Hypernautics Headquarters Building




Feet propped on his desk, Rygel Larraq leaned back against his chair and watched the recordings play on the viewscreens that covered the far wall of the room. Beside his chair his pet Vornskr rested, ear twitching slightly as it dreamt of their last Shatual hunt together in the forests near the Kelita River. It had been far too long since Larraq had taken Talyn out on a hunt, but his business demanded far to much of his attention for such pastimes. Demands such as his current task.

Each recording showed a different aspect of the recent battle for Yaga Minor. Cameras built into the helmets of troops or into the viewport of a tank showed the battle for the ground as the recordings from fighters and warship sensors showed the battle for the skies. One screen showed a MandalMotors fighter chasing a Sith fighter past an enemy warship. Another showed the two massive flagships locked in combat from the view of a dropship returning to get a second load of troops. On the ground, recordings showed two armies clashing over control of the planet, tanks and troops and creatures bred for war battered eachother with all their might. Even the dead rose to fight for control of the planet at one point.

Larraq watched it all. Focusing on one screen at a time, his eyes danced across the wall as he made mental notes about the effectiveness of one weapon or another against Sith troops and the effectiveness of various infantry armors against the weapons and armies of the Sith. Larraq watched as monstrous abominations shrugged off weapons fire and continued to tare through Mandalorian forces and civilians alike. He watched as tanks, droids, and massive mechanized walkers assaulted one critical location or another. He watched as a massive antimatter explosions decimated two miles of dirt and rubble, and he watched as the Sith fleet brought one reinforcement after another to the battlefield.

The Mandalorian forces on the ground could have held out for days. Weeks even. There was likely still to be guerilla forces on the planet fighting and dieing bravely to subvert the influence of the Sith that now ruled the planet. They had simply failed to adequately prepare the planet to defend itself from a naval assault. Their defensive fleet was inadequate and poorly used. Their stationary defenses were virtually non-existent. And someone, somewhere, had overestimated what a ground army was capable of.

It would not take much to correct the mistakes of Yaga Minor. A few more ships, a change in policy, and better planetary defenses. Regardless of which direction the current Mand'alor took in protecting his people from invasion and subjugation, there would be a lot of credits to make. A company simply had to have the right product to sell, and the right salesman to whisper in the Mand'alore's ear.

Pressing a button on his desk, Rygel Larraq spoke to his secretary over his office's intercom. “Schedule a meeting with the R&D department. Tomorrow at 0800 sharp. Brainstorming session.”

“Yes sir, 0800.”

Rygel Larraq reached down and rubbed his hand over Talyns head. The pet vornskr had been awakened by his sudden conversation with his secretary and didn't look all to pleased at being torn from whatever dream he had been having. “Sorry old friend. You know the drill though. Business calls.” he said to the loyal animal as he returned to watching the recordings, hand still petting the grumpy predator at his side.
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Passively watching the images of war flicker along the wall of monitors, Larraq tried to come up with a plan. He knew that he had a team of engineers reviewing the datalogs, time and date stamping each frame of video, and trying to synch each video to each other. On his datapad, he could see the progress they were making with the holographic battle-map that would display the course of the battle from start to finish. They were even going so far as to cross reference video data with measurements taken from the damaged ships that had managed to retreat from the battlefield. By dawn, his company would have an estimated speed, maneuverability, and weapons loadout for each class of enemy ship and vehicle that had participated in the battle.

Once the data had been compiled and organized, developing a line of products to counter the Sith threat would be easy enough to accomplish. What wouldn't be easy, however, would be convincing the Mand'alor to trust his input and buy his products. Let alone his advice on how to make better use of the equipment they already had. The only way that he would be able to convince the Mand'alor would be to present proof of concept to the man. Prove the quality of Mandal Hypernautics products to the man. Prove their effectiveness against Sith armies. Prove the effectiveness of Captain Larraq's tactics. He would likely have to take his security forces and lead them directly. A skirmish of some sort would be called for. Eventually anyway. For now, he needed to get his engineers to prove their brilliance. After that, he'd have to find a way to scale up his production capabilities with new factories. Though, costs were going to be through the roof if he didn't get the struggling mining subsidiary out of the gutter with some new technology.

Larraq finished scruffing the Vornskr's fur and sat up to pour himself a drink. This was going to be a long night. And tomorrow was going to be no better. Returning the bottle of clear liquid to the cooling unit, Rygel Larraq leaned back in his chair, propped his feet back on the desk, and took a sip of the harsh liquor. Somehow, by the end of the night, he had to come up with a plan of attack. Increase the effectiveness of his mining operations, open up new mines, find or build new factories, and plan out the general outline for the direction of a new generation of Mandal Hypernautics products.

Larraq was going to need another drink...
 

Arla Ordo

Mandalorian Redhead
Character
What to do, how to do it, and by what means. She was trying to absorb information as quick as she could it was important information was valuable and kept you alive to fight another day. She knew she needed a job, something that would put food in her mouth. She still felt single, felt alone it often creeped up on her and took away her independence. But it had been a few months now since Arrbi Betna had taken her away from Tatooine and brought her home.

Home as in Mandalore. Home where she still looked for a connection to someone, a family member. She was beginning to believe they were all dead and that she was as much an orphan as there was. No One. There were companies all over Mandalore she needed to be able to use her skills to talk and listen to find a job. She walked slowly, looking through the want ads. Gods let me find something. She needed a drink and food, she looked around there was a place up ahead.

"Why not" she said to no one and headed towards it, she would think better on a full stomach. She laughed she had to watch what she ate this abundance of food and drink would make her fat unlike her days at the Jawa where she got little of either. Arla quickly brushed those thoughts away, focus on now, focus on present. She slipped inside to find a seat.
 

Arla Ordo

Mandalorian Redhead
Character
The menu had a few items she could afford, she looked at the droid as it waited, "Broth and tea" She smiled, and gave it the menu back. That was quite a diet there Arla, all liquid, and the wrong kind of liquid at that.

She smiled though and took a deep breath, any place was better than where she had come from. Still she needed a job, aside from keeping @[member="Arrbi Betna"] company when he couldn't find anyone else. He was a strange man to her still.
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
The smell of coffee and a rapidly approaching floor greeted Larraq as he woke up. Tumbling through the air, his body reacted before he was aware of his situation. Striking the floor with both palms down, he managed to avoid bashing his face against the expensive carpet that lined his office. Sighing, Larraq rolled onto his back and looked up at his secretary. This had not been the first time she had woken him up by kicking the chair out from under him. But so help him, it would be the last. He hoped.

She stood there with a coy smirk on her face and a mug of coffee in her hand. A fresh set of clothes and a neatly pressed uniform waited for him on his desk. “0720. You have forty minutes to get showered, dressed, and down to the briefing room.” Said the secretary as she sat down the coffee and walked back to her desk. Some days Larraq hated that woman. But he knew he'd never keep this company running without her.

Several minutes later, Larraq was clean shaven, freshly showered, and wearing a crisp uniform. The mug of coffee was gone long before he had reached the briefing room. Yet, as he opened the doors and stepped into the briefing at exactly 0755, he couldn't help but notice the second mug of coffee waiting for him at the head of the table. God bless that woman, she thought of everything.
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Making his way to the front of the room, Larraq took stock of the men arrayed before him. Nearly two dozen men and women sat at the table, and each had one or more assistant sitting in the chair which lined the walls of the room. And all of them had their eyes locked onto Rygel Larraq as he took his place at the head of the table, sat in the rolling, leather chair, and picked up his mug of coffee.

Taking a deep draw from the mug, Larraq spared himself a moment to take in the aroma of the coffee and the warmth that it provided his hands and his insides. Absently, he was aware that the entire room had come to a pause as they waited for him to start the meeting. But he said nothing. Silently, he continued to bask in the warmth of his coffee as he watched the timekeeper on the wall slowly tick down to 0800. At 0759, Larraq set his mug of coffee back on the table and squared his shoulders. Hands held together on the table in front of him, fingers interwoven, Larraq made his intentions to speak very obvious. “Let us begin.” he said.

A slight grunt escaped Larraq's throat as he began to speak. “As I've no doubt many of you know,” His head slowly turned as he sp oke. His gaze shifted from one individual to another as he spoke to those assembled at the table. “The Mand'alor has recently suffered a terrible defeat at Yaga Minor. A defeat that Mandalorians can neither afford nor tolerate a second time.” His speech, stance, and mannerisms were perfect for capturing the attention of his audience and drawing them along. He had been commanding the hearts and minds of people through his voice for years now. It was how he had managed to acquire Mandal Hypernautics to begin with. “It is for that reason that I have called this meeting today. As of this moment, we will be developing the weapons and technologies all Mandalorians will need if we are to hold back the Sith that are at our doors.”
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Leaning back in his chair, placing his palms flat on the desk, Larraq continued. “I've managed to acquire access to the data recordings from the battle of Yaga Minor.” Noticing the assembled engineers lean forward as he leaned back, he knew that he had their attention. They were hanging on his every word, eager for the next. “Recording that many of you have been studying for days now.” Larraq said as he indicated one or more engineers with a hand gesture. Hand flat, palm up slightly. It was a calculated gesture designed to imply begging or thanks. He was trying to make his employees feel like they had a bigger part in all of this. And it was working. “Thanks to your efforts, and the efforts of numerous other workers, we now have a complete holographic display of the battle. We can review any aspect of the battle, be it in space or on the ground, as it correlates to the overall flow of the battle.” To accentuate his point, Larraq pressed a button on the edge of the table and an overhead projector hummed to life. Bursting into existence over the center of the large table was a hologram showing the planet Yaga Minor, and a cluster of ships resting silently over it. To those familiar with the events, this was just before the first shots of the battle were fired.

On cue, the woman that had woken Rygel Larraq this morning stepped into the room with a large bundle of files and began placing one in front of each engineer occupying a seat at the table. “What my secretary is handing out now are folders detailing the specific known information pertaining to Sith ships, vehicles, weapons, troop numbers, known tactics, and numerous other details we have been able to ascertain since the battle for Yaga Minor.” Larraq said as he awaited his own folder, his mug of coffee momentarily abandoned to the side of the desk. “Ship size, weapon loadouts, damage profiles for weapons, estimated shield strength. We have it all.” Larraq said as he picked up his own folder and gestured with it to accentuate his point.

“What I'm asking now... Is 'what are we going to do with it?'”
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Opening his folder and pulling out a number of bookmarked pages that he would use as specific examples in a few moment, Larraq continued his speech. “We need an answer people. When the Sith ask what we can do to stop them, our answer has always been to grab our guns and charge head first into the fighting.” He said as he waved his hand dismissively. “We cannot afford such antics anymore. We need a new weapon.” He said as he closed his hand into a fist and gestured with it. “A new technology that can hold the line against the Sith.” Pausing for a moment, Larraq let the idea sink in before opening his hand flat, palm up, and gesturing again as he brought up his final statement. “And I need each and every one of you to help me develop it.”

The assembled collection of engineers and assistants was a flurry of activity after that. They clustered around the table and busied themselves with reviewing the collected data held in the contents of the folders. Here and there, one of them would tap away at a control consul at the edge of the table and change the holographic display to show them a specific ship or vehicle. Larraq, for his part, had reviewed all of this information last night. Silently, he sat and sipped his coffee as he prepared for the next stage of the meeting.
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Two refills of coffee later, and Larraq was ready. He cleared his throat once and watched as the room fell silent. “I want ideas, brothers.” He began as he sat his mug of coffee on the table. “Our defeat on Yaga Minor began in space. So that's where we will start now.” He said as he pressed a few buttons on his control consul and the hologram zoomed in on the Sith fleet as it had appeared just before the invasion. “You've all seen the recordings and you've reviewed what we have on the Sith fleet. What can you come up with?” he inquired as he leaned forward and held his hands together on the table, fingers interwoven.

Slowly, murmuring spread across the room as engineer and assistant alike discussed one avenue or another with each other. Obviously, they wanted consensus and approval from their peers before they offered up an option for their boss's approval. Rygel Larraq understood this and waited patiently for the first man to speak up. A minor increase in the volume of conversation, followed by a sudden decrease signaled to Larraq that a group had come to a conclusion... but were still hesitant to present it. “You have something?” He asked as he nodded towards the group in question.

Several of the men glanced nervously at one another before one of them spoke up. A small man with ginger hair said to the now silent room, “The Sith fleet is bigger, there is no question about that. And there isn't anything we can do to try and match them ship for ship. We need to make better use of the ships we have.” Several nods of agreement were had throughout the room. The man had stated the obvious. Larraq himself could have sworn he had said something similar only a few minutes ago. Deep down, he was mildly annoyed that the man was trying to build up to his suggestion instead of simply stating it. Trying to hurry things along, Larraq spoke up. “Yes, but what can this company do to facilitate that?”
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Looking dejected by his employers dismissal of his statement, the small ginger fidgeted slightly as he continued. “Well, the best solution is often the simplest. We build a bigger gun.” he said as he held out his arms in a gesture of begged acceptance. The man clearly felt that the suggestion was an elegant one. Unfortunately, it was a simplistic proposal.

Rygel Larraq was not the only man in the room to cover his face with his hand at the suggestion of the small ginger. Fortunately for Larraq, he wouldn't have to speak up against the man. One of his employees, a chubby Mandalorian with a blue tie rebutted the man. “And how do you plan to power those bigger guns?” he said as he stepped closer to the table. All eyes turned to the new speaker. Noticing the attention that he had drawn upon himself, the man continued speaking. “It's not as simple as just strapping bigger guns to a ship, you have to consider power draw and strain on the hull.”

Larraq was happy to see that the debate was starting off well, but had wished that his team would be a little more constructive in their feedback. Picking up his coffee mug as he listened to the men argue amongst themselves, Larraq listened and watched. A short woman with light, mousey brown hair spoke up, adding to what the man with the blue tie had said. “Not to mention developing the weapons themselves. You remember how hard it was to calibrate the last generation of Heavy Turbolasers we produced? First they wouldn't fire at all, then they kept melting the fire control circuit.”
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
Larraq pause mid-sip. This was exactly what he was looking for from his engineers. Technical discussion. Not just 'maybe we can', 'maybe we cant' conversation, but actual back and forth about the technical challenges that they would have to hurdle over to reach their goals. Finishing the his sip of coffee, Larraq returned the mug to the table and waited anxiously to see if any of the other engineers would bite.

From the back of the room a large man with a thick mustache spoke up next. “I remember that project. The electromagnetic insulators were a nightmare.” More nods and murmers from the engineers and assistants. Larraq was just happy that he didn't have to wait too long. This meeting was quickly turning into everything he had hoped it would. He just needed to keep his people focused and pointed in the right direction. Technical problems had technical solutions. And the men and women he had assembled in this room were exactly who he needed them to be.

“Yes, and we overcame all of those problems.” retorted the small ginger who had initially proposed the idea. “We can do it again. We just need time and funding.” he said to the dismay of most of the room. For Larraq's part, he could handle the funding. It was time that they did not have. He could always rally up new financial support from one investor or another. There would always be some rich kid from Coruscant looking to spend his money on something exciting, or some corrupt politician that could be blackmailed into purchasing a contract. Time was at stake here. Whatever solution they could come up with, they needed to do it quickly. They needed to have a working prototype up and running for demonstrations while the Mand'alor was still feeling the shame of his most recent loss.
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
The other occupants of the room, however, were not pleased with the youthful optimism and outspoken nature of the small ginger-haired man. The sudden rise in volume that followed his every statement was an obvious enough sign. But the subtle movements of those around him as they tried to distance themselves from him was what truly betrayed their displeasure at him. To Larraq's trained eye, it was obvious that they assumed he was displeased by the man's statements. It really could not be further from the truth. While the man himself did not have much to offer the discussion, from a technical standpoint, he still managed to serve a vital purpose. He got other people talking. More importantly, he inspired them to work together to overcome his stupidity with logic and facts. As far as Larraq was concerned, the ginger was one of the most important men in this room.

As Larraq pondered the importance of the slight misfit, the conversation continued. “Who cares if you can get them to work, how are you going to power them?” Said the man with the blue tie, obviously annoyed that they were still on the topic of building larger weapons. “We have a hard enough time balancing power between weapons, shields, and support systems as is. Bigger guns won't make a ship better, they'll just bleed the reactor dry and leave her dead in the water.” He proclaimed as he drummed his finger on the table to accentuate his point.
 

Arla Ordo

Mandalorian Redhead
Character
Arla finished her meal and now fully supplied and her courage restored she headed across the street to the building to where she had applied for a job, and she hoped to get it. Slowly she walked inside, waiting checking.

As she approached the woman at the desk, she gave her her name, and she was told to wait. Arla smoothed her clothing and sat down. What was she doing here, could she do this? Work in here, she looked around. Maybe.
 
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