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A Monarchical Tribute [Lady Kay]

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#1
Eye of Solomon

Eye of Solomon

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Rachuk Sector

Commenor

 

A Harrower III-class Star Destroyer listed gently through space, flanked by several Dreadnaught heavy cruisers adorned with the markings of the Commenor Systems Alliance. Designated as the Abrogate, the Star Destroyer disgorged a single Omicron-class Imperial Shuttle flanked by a trio of Sith-Imperial TIE Fighters that began their slow descent through Commenor's atmosphere, angling on a trajectory towards the capital city. They were quickly joined by a squadron of Maia-class Interceptors as they passed through the cloud cover over the capital and were given commands to land at the assigned coordinates near the palace annex.

 

The shuttle came to a gentle rest upon the durasteel platform, while its escorts continued to buss through the air on a simple patrol vector until given further orders. A hiss of hydraulic air accompanied the descent of the debarking ramp, followed shortly by the emergence of three beings from the interior of the ship. All three were droids of varying caliber, the first to emerge being slightly shorter than the two that flanked it. All wore heavy cloaks emblazoned with the crest of the Sith Empire and were of exquisite make and material.

 

They walked as a single unit towards the palace entrance, handing over the appropriate identification cylinders to the guards and waiting patiently as it was verified. Once granted entry they would be escorted to the chosen chamber that the Lady of the CSA had picked for their meeting, entering with all the confidence and authority that would be afforded to any well-respected member of the Empire. 

 

Once the Princep's photoreceptors had registered Lady Kay's visual and biological presence, its form would extend and grow in stature until it was a flat two hundred and fifty centimeters tall. Then its body would be enveloped by a cerulean haze that sparked with static and holographic warbles before finally stabilizing into the spitting image of the Sith Emperor, rendered utterly lifelike by the advanced holographic technologies integrated with the droid's chassis.

 

"Queen Arenais, I am immensely pleased that you have granted my envoy the privilege of meeting with you."


Edited by Eye of Solomon, 09 June 2018 - 12:21 PM.


#2
Lady Kay

Lady Kay

    High Queen of Commenor Systems Alliance

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Kay had gotten the message a few days ago. The Sith Empire wished to hold a meeting with her. The two governments have had very little contact. Outside of going to a couple of inter-government meetings with the other powerhouses in the Galaxy, they had never been in the same sector. At least not since her release from captivity.

So why now would they reach out? In the eyes of some, the CSA was weak and Kay herself had no voice among the other leaders that quarrelled. All of that was fine as it left her more of a chance to grow her own little Empire of sorts. And grow she did. If anything, the constant conflicts elsewhere had helped.

So now what?

As the Sith envoy entered into the Palace, they were escorted by uniformed guards to Kay's office. She didn't have a throne room anymore and as she didn't want this meeting to be broadcasted to everyone, she instead chose to conduct it somewhere private.

Kay stood against the front of her desk, waiting with her tea cup in hand as the trio of droids arrived. Her brows furrowed as one of them studied for a moment and then grew to quite a height. She kept her tea in one hand, while the other slid down to rest on her desk, glad for the support. What was stranger still was the holographic image that covered the droids entire body, making it appear almost lifelike.

Well that was certainly new.

"You're welcome. And I must say that your request has caught me by surprise....To what do we owe the honour of this visit?" Kay glanced to the other two droids, reminding herself that wars were often started by misunderstandings and disrespect, so she was going to tread carefully.

Eye of Solomon

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#3
Eye of Solomon

Eye of Solomon

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The droid clasped both of its hands in front of it, the Emperor's face shifting slightly to mimic subtle joy. "As you know by now, the Galactic Alliance is no more. Treason from within and pressure from without has caused its collapse, and all of its territories is forfeit.

 

It had truly been a masterstroke of deception. A carefully laid plan and unparalleled cunning on behalf of Taeli Raaf had sown the seeds of their own annihilation deep within their very infrastructure so that when the time came for the Emperor and his legions to strike out against the decadent Alliance there would be little opposition. And it had worked perfectly. By the time the Sith Armada appeared over countless worlds in the Core and the Trailing Sectors, the Alliance was fighting amongst itself and was too weak to resist.

 

"My fleets will black out the light of the Jedi from Borleias to Bpfassh, bringing destruction to the ancient enemies of the Sith wherever they choose to appear. Unfortunately, the Commensor Systems Alliance is perched precariously close to the killing fields. So I have come to offer you a choice, Queen Arenais. I would rather my warriors concern themselves with the Alliance exiles than with your own people, should you agree to pay my Empire a tribute comprising fifteen percent of your intergalactic revenue and your resource caches. In conjunction, the Empire would like to extend a non-aggression pact between our two nations, as long as the Systems Alliance agrees to pay its tribute."

 

It was a generous offer in the eyes of the Emperor, all the CSA had to do was give the Empire a small slice of its wealth in return for the roaming treasure and hunter fleets in the Core to turn a blind eye to their territory.

 

Lady Kay



#4
Lady Kay

Lady Kay

    High Queen of Commenor Systems Alliance

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Kay nodded slowly. She had heard of the demise of the Galactic Alliance, although the details of it were unclear. It didn't really matter as the two bordering governments had no contact with one another despite her efforts. She was too small to be bothered with. But that was alright. She didn't need them anyways.

She kept her face as neutral as she could while Eye of Solomon spoke, but her eyes told a different story. If one looked close enough, they'd see the sense of foreboding within as the Emperor laid out his offer. Although it seemed more like extortion. Pay them a considerable amount to keep their people out of her territory. Such tactics were well in the same that criminals and gangsters would use. But the Sith Empire were far worse than any criminal gang.

With the fall of the Galactic Alliance, other seemingly similar powers were vying to band together to combat the Sith. Even Kay was invited and had attended those talks. Yet she wasn't there to condone actions that would lead to war. It just wasn't her way.

"That is...an unexpected offer. I do have a couple of questions. Would the same measures be taken and your warriors be kept out of my borders even while those borders extend into former Galactic Alliance territory? And also, how would I know that you won't renegade from the deal? It's easy to assume that I can uphold my end given that we have never participated or began a war. So I would need some kind of insurance to keep you to your word. A long time ago, opposing governments would take a hostage. I am not suggesting that that be what we do. But if there was some...artifact or something of value that you wouldn't want destroyed or harmed, that could do well enough for a compromise."

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#5
Eye of Solomon

Eye of Solomon

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Ah, the eloquence of a statesman. 

 

The Emperor of the Sith often left such haggling to those who were truly suited for the task, but he felt that a more personal touch was required when dealing with the Commenor Systems Alliance. "The legionnaires of the Empire are a well-oiled machine, Queen Arenais. They are not prone to disobedience unlike the brigands that fought for the Galactic Alliance, you will find little evidence of unsanctioned acts of mass destruction among their ranks." Sanctioned acts of mass destruction, however, were well evident by the Empire's ferocious and merciless attack on the Alliance's capital, with a good deal of Coruscant's surface city being subjected to orbital bombardment by the Sith-Imperial Armada.

 

"And as for reassurance that I will keep my end of the bargain? It is simple. You are the aunt of Yasha Mantis, an individual who has come to know my promises as trustworthy and unbroken. Family means a great deal to the both of us, Queen. As for something more concrete, the Empire is willing to provide defense against the mounting insubordination of the nearby Silver Jedi Order, an enemy that has constantly attempted to undermine our authority, kidnap our civilians, and sabotage humanitarian relief efforts."

 

Carnifex steepled his fingers, "I have good intel that they plan to inflict the same injustices on your people, Queen."

 

Lady Kay



#6
Lady Kay

Lady Kay

    High Queen of Commenor Systems Alliance

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Kay sipped her tea as Eye of Solomon began to speak. He didn't really answer her first question. Like a sly politician, he skirted the subject and gave a different sort of answer. "I mean no disrespect, but you didn't answer my question. Would the same kind of measures be taken to ensure that your warriors leave old Galactic Alliance territory should those territories become a part of my jurisdiction? The Systems Alliance territory is a sanctuary, Your Grace. Refugees come from all over to escape the wars ravaging the Galaxy."

She set her tea cup down beside her on her desk to address the other comments that he gave, and his bid to entice her with his offer. More than likely she'll havd to confer with Yasha Mantis to get a better sense of his character. Their only meeting many years ago didn't go so well. "And again, no disrespect, but taking our credits and then bringing your forces in to 'defend' us, doesn't do enough to prove to me that you won't use those forces against us. In this agreement, you have everything to gain, while I have everything to lose. Do you understand where I'm coming from?"

Kay clenched her jaw, furrowing her brows as he told her of the Silvers potentially going into Systems Alliance territory in the same manner that they invade others. "I haven't yet heard of such a thing. I will need to verify that with my own sources..." It could be a trick. Using fear as a tactic for negotiations was used far more often than people think.

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#7
Eye of Solomon

Eye of Solomon

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"You misunderstand me, Queen Arenais. You stand on the precipice of a new galactic era. The Alliance lays broken and the Coalition has been dismantled."

 

Every powerful state in her vicinity had been destroyed, with the exception of the Silver Jedi Order and the Mandalorian Empire. Sith-Imperial forces were currently spread throughout the Core and Inner Rim, extorting the local governments that were left behind after the Alliance's destruction and stripping worlds bare of resources to fuel the ever-expanding Sith-Imperial war machine. All that remained of Coruscant's surface was a smoldering wreck, fallen skyscrapers, and gaping wounds filled with the countless bodies of those who thought they could stand against his Empire.

 

"I am offering you a choice, one that is a matter of your people's continued survival. For the conflagration that rages in the Core will not be contained indefinitely, it would soon spread to neighboring systems until everything has been wiped clean of decadence. Your inclination to aid the refugees of war is a weakness, this sanctuary of which you boast is untenable. But, I think it offers both of us an opportunity for the betterment of our states and the galaxy as a whole."

 

The hologram of the Emperor flickered with laughter, dark and foreboding. "I will alter the deal to a measly eight percent tribute and a non-aggression pact between our people, on the condition that you allow the Sith Empire to take possession of any refugee hordes that may cross your border. The galaxy doesn't need their filth clogging the hyperlanes, draining worlds of their food stores, and draining your coffers to feed and house them."

 

Lady Kay



#8
Lady Kay

Lady Kay

    High Queen of Commenor Systems Alliance

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Kay fought back a chill that went up her spine as Eye of Solomon painted a picture of one of many possible future. So many times throughout the years people had told her that her neutrality and safety wouldn't last. Yet she had proven them wrong .

But even she knew that it wouldn't last forever. She'd be stupid to think that it would.

Two of her neighbours had collapsed. But they had little to do with herself and her government to begin with. Superpowers had come and gone. It was a cycle. One of these days the Sith Empire would fall too.

And so would her own.

"I can't agree to you taking the refugees that cross into my borders or any that are on their way to it. They are innocents that are trying to be spared from being collateral damage or enslaved. Having your people patrol the hyperlanes and trade routes that enter into CSA space will only keep business away." She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "And in doing that your....tribute as you call it will only shrink."

They were at a bit of an impass. But full agreements were never signed on the first meeting anyways. "Besides a three percent..tribute...Perhaps you could owe me a favour. If your word is as trustworthy as you say, then I should trust that when I ask for the favour to be fulfilled in a manner of my own choosing, you will do so. That could entail protection from attack, or something else, I'm not certain. But when the time comes, I will know." Kay was taking a page from the Imperial playbook here. Their Emperor had done the same to her. An open favour was a very useful tool.

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#9
Eye of Solomon

Eye of Solomon

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"There are no innocents, Queen Arenais. Such a thought is naïve."

 

The Emperor of the Sith held a deeply cynical view of the galactic populace and wrote off such terms as innocence as nothing more than fanciful words of political idealists who believed that peace was an achievable goal. Carnifex knew well and good just what exactly peace was in his mind, and the Code of the Sith reinforced his dark belief.

 

Peace was a lie. There is only Passion.

 

"I will lower the tribute to a measly five percent, and grant your request for a personal favor in return for a non-aggression pact and fifty percent of your refugee population. I will even ease the burden of your decision, Queen, by arranging a lottery of your refugee records to collect the allotted fifty percent." The HoloDroid clasped both of its arms behind its back, looking rather smug as it straightened its back and further exemplified the Emperor's intimidating appearance.

 

"It would be completely at random, sparing neither rich nor poor and ensuring that there is no bias. Utterly humane."

 

Lady Kay



#10
Lady Kay

Lady Kay

    High Queen of Commenor Systems Alliance

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Kay slowly shook her head. There were innocents; those that had never harmed anyone. Or harmed those that would attack or destroy them. Eye of Solomon was wrong. But his point of view was developed probably due to a mixture of the Darkside and betrayal.

She clenched her jaw as once again, Carnifex proposed taking refugees from her territory. It was absurd of him to think that she would folliw through with that. There were ways that she could go around it. One being that she could not have any records at all. Kay knew plenty of smugglers and given that it's her own security and staff monitoring the trade routes, she could have the people brought in.

But if Carnifex has his ships patrolling her borders, that would be a little bit more difficult.

Kay took a step forward, folding her arms across her chest. She was afterall, just dealing with a hologram and not the man himself. "That's not humane at all. I cannot allow you to take anyone from my territory, refugee or not. What are you afraid of? That they'll rise up against you and have you defeated? Wouldn't that be a story for the headlines..."

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#11
Eye of Solomon

Eye of Solomon

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"You again misunderstand me, Queen Arenais. There is no rebel force large enough or well-equipped enough to threaten my land any longer, all that remains are wayward sons and misguided zealots who think they can make a difference by striking out against order itself."

 

Much like Grayson and his insignificant band of rebels and converted cruise liners, they would soon be swept away by the dark tide that was spilling out over the galaxy.

 

"All war demands sacrifice, even the lives of your so-called 'innocent' are forfeit in the face of intergalactic conflict. Those homeless wretches serve no purpose in your hands, but I would repurpose their destinies to serve the greater good of the galaxy. Fire and steel will cleanse the galaxy of waste and decadence so that those in the aftermath can build a glorious utopia on the ashes of the past, is that not a worthy goal to strive for? Would you not desire to aid in the betterment of civilization?"

 

The image of the Emperor scoffed, "Or do you find such choices too difficult? The path to survival does not have any sympathy for worthless ethics or pitiful morality, it is a hard and merciless path."

 

Lady Kay



#12
Lady Kay

Lady Kay

    High Queen of Commenor Systems Alliance

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Kay tried to keep her expression neutral while Eye of Solomon spoke. Maybe at the moment there wasn't enough of a rebel force, yet that didn't mean that it would always be that way. And just as the Sith were stopped before, they could be stopped again. It was a cycle that never ended.

Her eyes closed while he spoke of cleansing the Galaxy and repurposing people, causing her to dip her head while she fought back a chill that krept up her spine. It was when he scoffed at her that she opened her eyes and look up at him, dropping her hands to her sides.

"I know all about sacrifice. Believe me. Don't think that I've had it easy." She hadn't. Even right now she's had to sacrifice her marriage for the sake of upholding the laws of the land, exiling her husband for his acts of violence, destruction and death on one of their worlds.

"I will give you two percent of my goods and resources as a donation. And if you believe that isn't enough, then don't stop the refugees and others from coming here. They won't be homeless, but will get jobs and help to grow the economy. That in turn will make that two percent seem even higher. Blocking the routes to my territory by any means will only shrink the economy down, leaving you with less." Kay took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I don't want a conflict with your people Your Grace, but if they come for the refugees and others then I will be forced to disable their vessels and have them arrested for attempted kidnapping. I'm sure that you'd do the same if it was my people invading your worlds to take your citizens away."

Kay was trying to be as courteous as she could, and maintain her composure. She knew very well what it was like to be held prisoner by his family. She had been tortured for months before being dropped off and left to her own devices, with her mind shattered. It was only with the help of Veiere Arenais , through his patience and love that she was able to find herself again.

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#13
Eye of Solomon

Eye of Solomon

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"Do not confuse those refugees for citizens, they are little more than a resource."

 

The Emperor didn't appear pleased at all, his face contorted into a disappointed scowl that was perfectly translated across space and time through his shimmering hologram. "Your ignorance in these matters continues to astound me, Queen Arenais. But perhaps there is still an opportunity for you to learn. I will give you one galactic standard week, six days, to reconsider my previous offer and come to a consensus on which is more important to you, the life of vagrants or your own people."

 

Carnifex's image began to flicker and distort, "Do not disappoint me again." Then the Emperor was no more, replaced by the holodroid which began to revert to its normal physical parameters with a whir of gears and gyros. 

 

What the Emperor didn't tell the Queen of Commenor, is that during those six days of reflection and reevaluation the Emperor's fleets that had remained moored elsewhere in the Core Worlds would begin to strategically blockade trade routes and travel lanes into her territory, utilizing a combination of interdiction cruisers and hyperspace tracking ships to harry and subject any bypassing ships to a thorough inspection of cargo and crew. With civilian registries they had taken from the core worlds the Sith had visited, they were able to identify refugees from the worlds plundered by the Sith Empire and properly detain them in accordance with Imperial law. 

 

The crew would remain unharmed, save for being stunned or subdued in non-lethal manners, and would be allowed to continue on their way after any refugees had been detained and a substantial portion of their cargo was requisitioned for the glory of the Sith Empire. The Imperial soldiers also made it abundantly clear that this kind of mistreatment was done so at the behest of the Queen of Commenor, and that if the traders wished to direct their anger and frustration at anything they should do so at the catalyst of their misery.

 

Lady Kay



#14
Lady Kay

Lady Kay

    High Queen of Commenor Systems Alliance

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Little more than a resource...

Kay found it hard to believe that someone could be so cruel. Yet she knew that they were out there, people that for them, killing was as natural as breathing.

She clenched her jaw and kept her expression neutral still while Eye of Solomon scowled and complimented her threat with one of his own. However his was heavily backed by a much larger military force than hers was.

As his image disappeared, her brows furrpwed. The way that he spoke, it was in the manner as though he ruled over her. But he didn't. The Sith didn't even have so much as a respresentative living on the Capital world, unlike so many others. And thankfully there didn't seem to be any spies either, nor anyone trying to pull her strings and make her bow down.

It was time to prepare for every eventuality.

"You may go now. I suppose that I'll see you again in six days." She gestured for the droids to leave her office, for she had little reason to think that Carnifex would arrive himself.

The news of what the Sith forces were doing along her trade routes from the Core would come within a matter of days.

But until then, this meeting was concluded.

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