Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

With one disaster after another, the crew of the Edward Deming are stretched thin after another incident places their friends and family in danger...Some will go to great lengths to achieve their goals, though others may not be so eager to make a Faustian bargain.
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Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by uso » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:22 am


IAS Edward Deming,
Private Diplomatic Room,
During the International Summit


This was certainly more tense than Wazu had hoped for.

The Gartagens and himself had a rather long history. He certainly was as close to them as anyone here at the summit. Bronzi had saved his life move times than anyone, and Wazu had repaid the favor a few times. He was on a first name basis with their Empress Vishta... maybe more.

But he wasn't going into this meeting with great positioning. He needed to secure the planet Paradise for himself. Going to the Gartagen Ambassador and asking to have their best bargaining chip wasn't going to be an easy sell.

To further compound issues, this needed to be done quickly. He had hired the PMC 'Fortunate Son' to help the Adlet. A ship was already on its way... the whole thing was assured to kick off an international incident of Taipan arrived. If they brought more than a single ship then it would be an international incident AND dead Adlet.

But having Paradise to hang over their heads would be more than enough to save everyone.

He'd take a deep breath before entering.

Time to save the world.

Again.

"Greetings," Wazu would start, knocking on the doorway to the Gartagen Ambassador's private room, speaking as best he could in the Gartagen tongue. While it wasn't his native language it was certainly good enough to get by, if a bit formal. "I was hoping you had some time to talk now that the main event is over."
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by Tony » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:43 pm

Wazu heard the soft coo of the Ambassador's voice call out in Sharani. "Allow him to enter."

The door to her makeshift quarters hissed open. The first thing Wazu would notice was that the room was at a sweltering 105F. The Ambassador clearly had the same markings and jewelry of the Empress. Though she was not as Ornate. Her scant robes revealed her figure, and since she was no longer buried in ceremonial attire(mostly to keep her warm) Wazu could see this woman was clearly related to The Empress. Though she was far younger. To his right, was a member of the Royal guard, clad in a suit of white enameled power armor. He noticed a second in the room, standing behind the Ambassador. They loomed over the room silently, like statues. Which really set Gartagen power armor apart from the other's Wazu had seen. Alliance power armor was noisy, cruder.

The Ambassador sat behind a desk and was reading over a datapad. She looked up at Wazu as he walked in, and held out a taloned hand indicating for him to sit before her. "About that meeting. Am I to assume that your alliance superiors do not know of your....dealings with the Empress?"
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by uso » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:54 am

The heat was intense, sudden, and just a bit too much. It certainly felt like the warmer seasons back home. It felt absolutely oppressive while still in his suit-jacket.

And it also seemed like everyone wanted to show off their weapons. This ambassador was at least confident enough not to wear it herself.

But that was just a distraction.

"I am not certain how much they know. I tend to move quickly... and independently."

He would take the seat offered. The statement was true enough, he didn't actually report on what he did on his own time.

"I am going to have to write up quite the report for today though. Taipan is moving towards another war, or wars.

Everyone is desperate for the resources coming out of paradise too, not just Taipan. I was expecting you to set some terms, or make some requests. Your people currently have the strongest bargaining position.

Casus Belli to push TaiPan out of the system anytime you want.

Resources desperately needed by the other powers.

And one of those powers is allied with TaiPan... for the moment at least.

Cutting a deal with a power allied with TaiPan would let you set the terms, kick TaiPan out of your star-system, and use TaiPan's own allies' forces to enforce your will in the area."
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by Tony » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:15 pm

The ambassador sat back in her chair and listened to everything Wazu had just said. Most of it was reasonable and rather true. But his situation with the Union personally was complicated. So the Ambassador remained silent for several moments before speaking. "We haven't set any terms because we do not want any. The trade treaty with the Alliance is a pleasantry, as is the open border travel policy. We were trying to avoid wiping out two species. However, and this is me being polite to you; The Gartagen Union does not want a trade treaty. We do not need a trade treaty. My ancestors told the Dominion of Ersutu the same thing centuries ago. We want our worlds back. The worlds you call home.

Luckily, you have a friend. A friendship that shocks many, and caused her much political turmoil. Now you came for the Empress when she needed you...you and that...oddity. For that, you have both earned her patronage. But not mine, or that of my house! Many in the Union desire your blood and that of A'soongao."

The Ambassador paused. "Where is she? Sura A'soongao. If you can give her to us, I will give you Paradise. Returning a rogue core prospect is more pressing of an issue that infantile mining and trade agreements."
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by uso » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:39 am

Low blow.

Wazu couldn't even hide that slight wince when the Ambassador asked for Sura. She'd personally saved his life at least once. Turning her over was a non-starter. He was willing to pay a high price to get what he wanted here, but that was asking too much.

However,

The Gartagen Ambassador was willing to deal. Terms of the agreement were unacceptable for both sides, but that could always be negotiated to something more suitable. Unfortunately Sura was an all or nothing request. There seemed to be little that could be walked back in that regard. He would need to find something else that the Ambassador wanted. Similarly, all of Paradise wasn't appealing for the Ambassador. That was an easier deal to cut. Wazu didn't need the planet, he just needed the flow of resources. It didn't matter where the resources went either so long as he could stop them from going to Taipan... though considering Taipan could buy the materials from other nations if they left the Paradise system that may end up being a much more complex problem than at first glance.

First, Wazu needed to establish how much less he wanted from this deal.

"Keep your worlds. I am happy to see them returned to the Union. I am just curious about what you're going to do with those exotic materials."

Second, he'd need to establish what he was willing to trade.

"Let the Gartagens mine it, that will create jobs. I would be happy to buy everything you are able to produce at a fair market price. We can even leverage our relationship with Taipan to get them out of there without a fight. I would think you would rather have someone else do the hard work for you, and honestly I have got people eager to make a Gartagen - Human room mates comedy based on Paradise Shenanigans."

Then present the deal. Something that the Ambassador couldn't turn down.

"Mine the materials on the planet and let me buy them from you at market price. I'll pay 2% ontop of the total buy order directly to your house. At that volume of material? You and your house will be set for generations." Kickbacks, a technique the Interstellar Alliance certainly wasn't familiar with. 2% over cost was quite a bit, but at the end of the day it should be something other nations could stomach. Certainly if not TaiPan, then the Reich would buy. Securing the funding for such a massive buy wouldn't be easy either... but he would much rather be dealing with that problem than with TaiPan. "I will go to excessive lengths for me and mine... that includes Vishta and Sura. While I do not think Sura wishes to be found right now, there may be an alternative we can explore?"
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by Tony » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:20 pm

The Ambassador listened on. But she got the sense that Wazu was more caught up in his own goals rather than what she was actually saying to him. She nearly interrupted him as he finished explaining his proposal. "Trade? This isn't about trade or who buys what. This is about legacy. This is about prestige. The Reich speaking up just complicated thing for Tai Pan and the Alliance. Sure they can go trade with The Dominion, but that strange Lemais First Republic will make that venture difficult. Neither Tai Pan or the Alliance are too keen on having two enemies to deal with. Paradise was a unique world. We weren't mining it in the first place. However, when Tai Pan and the Alliance attempted to do so without asking, a response was necessary to show them they are not the only force to be reckoned with."

She took a breath. "War is coming. I should not have told you that, but the Paradise mining agreement was only allowed so we could observe Tai Pan and the Alliance."

She then took a sip of the rootbeer that was resting in a wine glass. The glass had no ice. She shut her eyes and enjoyed the sensation making a pleasurable "hmmm" noise. "We got very good at watching you. Fleet movement, projected force response."

"Why would I tell you that? Well We know Tai Pan is not ready, we know the Alliance is not ready. We know the Ersutu are busy with their own problems. Yet as the Empress is of my blood and name, I must keep her will in mind. You personally can change this with a simple word. Tell her "Yes."

She sipped on her root beer again looking hard at Wazu. Searching for a reaction. "If you do that your will can be used to protect...the A'soonga----I believe they are the Du Rochons...now. Was that your idea? Sending them to Creature Du Rochon. With that ship the Charmander?"
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by uso » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:36 am

"Are they really with Creature?" Wazu asked, his hand covering his mouth for a moment. He would have thought Sura would have taken her leave. She should be keeping better company...

There were other things to consider. The 'war is just another tool' speech... after all it seemed unreasonable that the Union would choose to discard the advantage that control of the resources of paradise offered. This clearly wasn't just about what tools were available to the Union though, the ambassador seemed to downplay the worthiness of trade as a tool of policy. There were speeches for that too... it wasn't the warriors, that conquered earth. Then there was the question of just how confident this ambassador was regarding the Gartagen fleet. It felt like just a little bit of a personal slight that she was so unworried about war. He certainly felt just a bit undervalued!

This wasn't that type of negotiation though.

The Ambassador listed her price for what Wazu wanted. This time it was something he was willing to pay but he needed more information.

"And here I thought you were not the biggest fan of me. Is loyalty to the empress the only reason you are extending this offer?"
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by Tony » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:42 pm

"Yes. If you did not know that then I have misjudged your capabilities." She said calmly.

More silence soon followed. As Wazu internalized the situation he looked on this young Gartwoman she looked back at him. She wasn't posturing or showing off. She had cut right to it the moment Wazu had walked in. She was following instructions and was not happy about it.

"I am not a fan of you. Mostly due to your species and affiliations with them. That being said, you have The Empress quite smitten with you. I am loyal to the Empress, and so I follow her instructions in dealing with you. You also have precedence in your favor. You would be the third known Non-Gartagen Emperor in history. With that, you could on a whim likely do all the things you desire to do. Provided you do not get killed first."

The ambassador was spelling it out for Wazu. If he wanted the things he wanted he either needed to give himself up or give up Sura. Sura was business as Usual. Becoming Emperor.....that would change everything.
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Re: Chapter 16: The Gartagen Connection

Post by uso » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:47 pm

Wazu didn't need more people with a reason to kill him. Best case scenario there wouldn't be any of those people.

But the deal was pretty clear, and this time it didn't involve something he couldn't do.

"Well. I certainly don't plan on getting killed. Let me reach out to her. I will let her know my decision myself... but I do need something from you. Let Hoshiko know that their access to paradise ... and the state of the armistice for that matter... is now very dependent on my opinion of her."
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