Title: Smoke Filled Rooms
Description: A meeting with the Mandalore...
Ixtren - November 29, 2008 06:55 PM (GMT)
Keldabe may have been the capital of Mandalore, but it was still lacking anything in the way of a proper office for the Mandalore. It had been a long standing tradition for the Mandalore to perform all his meetings face to face either on the field of battle, on the helm of his battleship, or in the local pub.
And so the new Mandalore found himself in a smoke filled cantina sitting with his ambassador. Only days before he had been standing on Felucia speaking with the exiled Mandalorian High Command. It was there that Beviin official proclaimed him Mandalore the Sanguine. Upon Ixtren's return to Mandalore, the word spread fast. In keeping with his new duties, his first act as Mandalore was to meet with his recently appointed ambassador.
It was time to make a game plan.
"So Kitana, what would you propose for a our 'political strategy' with the Galactic Alliance? On the one hand we have Chief of State Haan who played us a favor by not executing our High Command. On the other hand we have Grand Master Grae who can't even keep his Jedi together. And last but not least, there's the Imperials wanting to play Empire again. Thoughts?" He waited silently, helmet propped in his lap, feet kicked up on an adjacent chair, for a reply from the ambassador.
Kitana Motrous - December 1, 2008 05:43 AM (GMT)
Kitana was new to her position as the Mandalorian Ambassador as was the new Mandalore sitting before her. She had been slightly nervous about the meeting from the moment it had been set up, but she also felt that she was prepared to handle whatever might come at her. Besides that, she had remembered meeting the Mandalore, Ixtren, once before durring the war. Her and her squad had been teamed up with another squad and they had tagged along when the other squad reported in to him. It had been a while back though and she wasn't sure if he had remembered the incounter or not. She hadn't spoken to him or anything because he had been pretty busy, so she doubted that he did and shrugged the thought off.
Earlier she had told her squad, that she was still in command of, that they could wait in a cantina down the street and she would meet up with them later to fill them in on her next moves. For now though she had her helmet resting to her left and a tihaar in her right hand. She took a sip of her drink thinking for a moment before answering Ixtren's question.
"Sir, I believe that with the planet in the condition that it is, we need to get the Gallactic Alliance to trust us once again. If nothing more than to just make sure that they become less of a possible enemy that might attack us at any time. If I went before the Senate and plead the case of the people still on the planet, especially the children that lost their parents in the war, than I might be able to work care for our people into the hearts of some of the other planet's leaders." She paused sitting up straighter in her chair and taking another sip of her drink.
"That way I might be able to gain us some allies and possibly even some retribution for the genocide commited against the Mandalorian Fleet." Jus those few words started to make her muscles twinge and swarmed her mind with memories. Suddenly she was no longer in the cantina with the Mandalore, but she was at home at the age of 5 and was 'playing' with her brothers with their practice swords. Her mind started quickly whipping through memories of her with her brothers ending with the memory of getting the news that they were killed and the entire fleet had been destroyed after surrendering. She forced herself to return from her thoughts and quickly finished off the second half of her drink before lightly placing the empty glass off to the side of the table. She looked up from the empty glass to Ixtren as she waited for his response.
Ixtren - December 1, 2008 06:29 PM (GMT)
Allies. That was the key word he wanted to hear. However, there was a lot that he knew and she didn't, and because of that, he knew an alliance with the GA would be a waste of their time.
"I'm going to be straight with you Kitana. I don't want an alliance with the GA." He gave her a moment to let the shock of the statement set in. "However...I am looking for allies. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to make it appear as though we are looking to rejoin the alliance."
He leaned forward in his chair placing his arms on the table. "But rather than directing all your efforts at rebuilding old bridges, I'd like you to concentrate and shifting through Alliance member worlds and seeing if there are any who might be interested in an 'un-official' alliance with us." He allowed a smile to play across his face. "A year has passed and the High Command is still in exile. Our fleets are gone. But the home system is as it was. Untouched. That means we can be back on our feet and back in the game...all we need is time. And that is why we need allies...and why it wouldn't hurt if the GA thought we wanted to be back on the team. If we can burn up enough time we can get our fleets rebuilt. We still have all the men to operate them, even the materials to produce them and the manpower for their construction. It's just a matter of time."
Again he paused in thought, wondering how much he could share with her. In the end, he felt it best to play it conservatively. Besides, there was always the possibility things might change.
"Specifically we need to consider allies who have a lot to offer. The Imperials and the Hutts come to mind, but there are others. We have a lot of Mandalorian ore, and that's something everyone wants, even the GA. Use that as our bargaining chip. Everyone knows we can offer much in the way of military support, at least not yet. But the ore is something we do have and something we can offer."
He took a few sips of his drink as he let Kitana think about her response. The Imperials could help them in a lot of ways, most importantly production. They had a lot of shipyards. It wouldn't be hard to shift production of Mandalorian vessels to Imperial shipyards. The turnaround on warships would be at least halfed. And with all the incomplete hulls still lying around the Mandalore system, they could have a tidy little force by the end of the year.
The Hutts on the other hand had a powerful little fleet of their own. Ixtren had been keeping an eye on the slugs and their little pet project. He also knew that essentially the Hutts had a fleet for hire. What better way to compensate the Mandalorians current lack of naval power than to purchase one from the Hutts.
Yes. One way or another we'll be back in the game. And then the GA and the Jedi will have to listen to us once again.
Kitana Motrous - December 2, 2008 03:46 AM (GMT)
Kitana slightly shifted in her seat as Ixtren leaned on the table, resting her chin in the palm of her left hand. She listened closely to his thoughts and nodded in acknowledgement every now and then. As he finished she took a deep breath and considered all of the information he had just given her. Frankly, even though she was a little surprised that he didn't want to form any kind of an alliance with the GA, she was also very releaved about it. She personally held a grudge against the GA for the deaths of her brothers, and wasn't easily willing to let that grudge go, but she was also trying her best to look out for the people of Mandalore. She gave a slight nod laying her arm down on the table, adjusting in her seat once more and sitting up a bit straighter.
"I agree... We can't possibly allie ourselves with the very people that stood back while our troops were ruthlessly slaughtered. Though, like you pointed out, it would be good if they believed that we had forgiven that act and wished to be a part of the Gallactic Alliance once again." She paused for a moment collecting her thoughts before she spoke again.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to hear your thoughts of how best it might be to approach the Hutts and Imperials about making an alliance. We do have our ore to offer them, yes, but I don't think it would be wise for me to try to set up meetings with their people at the capital, so do you think it would be best for me to go straight to their leaders?" She wasn't sure how he felt about this thought and she needed to know. She herself was a little warry about it, but she trusted her squad and knew that her men would never let anything happen to her. Though, she would prefer to meet on neutral ground, she didn't know if that would be possible. After all, these meetings would need to not attract too much attention and thus needed to be kept as quiet as possible.
Ixtren - December 2, 2008 03:24 PM (GMT)
"Good point." Ixtren set his glass down on the table. "I can set something up with the Imperials..." He noticed Kitana's eyes narrow a little, "...I have a contact with them. It won't be a problem setting up a meeting with them. We'd have to work out a meeting place, not sure where they'd prefer...alas the Hutts I'm not so sure about." He leaned back and crossed his arms. "We definitely don't want them in Mandalorian space. Those slimy Hutts are crawling with spies...but I'm not sure it would be wise to meet them on their home turf either. Their egos are big enough as it is. You should be able reach them through the normal consular channels. I'd suggest a meeting on some neutral world, both sides bringing their own security. Probably someplace lavish but public. Somewhere where they wouldn't feel tempted to bring their fleet as some bullying tactic."
Ixtren took a moment to finish off his drink. "Right now the Hutts have a duel leadership going on which presents some problems. Technically they're still ruled by the Hutt Council, but now that they have a standing fleet, they also have a Military Triumvirate. I'm not sure if they have an ambassador of their own or not, it's something to look into."
More or less, they had a plan now. Kitana would meet with the Imperials and the Hutts and try to broker an alliance of sorts, meanwhile she would also sooth the GA and make it appear that the Mandalorians wanted back in to their good graces.
Ixtren seemed to think of something. "I'll have my aides..." Ixtren nodded toward two Mandos sitting at the bar, one in a suit of weathered, rust colored armor, the other in civilian fatigues, "...provide you with anything you might need. Ship, credits, extra security, whatever. Just ask and they'll get it for you. I'll also have them contact you about the meeting with the Imps. You'll be on your own with the Hutts."
With that out of the way he waited to see if his ambassador had any further questions or comments. If not, he was meaning to find out a little more about her personally.
Kitana Motrous - December 4, 2008 02:03 AM (GMT)
Kitana sighed as Ixtren told her that she should meet with the Imperials first. She wasn't really sure that the potential 'allies' that he had chosen would work out the way that they really needed, but she would do as she was asked. She thought about what was before her as she looked down at her drink before taking a sip and looking back at Ixtren.
"Alright, Sir. And as far as support I already have four squad members and two fighters under my command. I trust them to handle these situations, and most of all I trust them with my life. They should be all the force I need for these meetings." She thought about her four other squad memebers and slightly smiled. They were all very talented, all men, and all very protective of her, especially as their commander. However, she quickly pulled herself from her thoughts and sat up straight.
"Is there anything else, Sir?" She didn't want to keep him if he had other things to tend to, but staying didn't bother her, as she really didn't have anywhere else to be. She took another sip of her drink and waited for a response to her last question. She glanced over at a little disturbance off to the side of the room but seeing as it quickly settled down she didn't linger on it and turned her attention back to Ixtren to wait patiently.
Ixtren - December 4, 2008 02:23 PM (GMT)
"Actually there was...I was hoping maybe we could talk a little about 'other things.' I'd feel better knowing just 'who' my new ambassador is, and I'm sure it would help if you knew me a little better too. We'll working together a lot in the future. As our only ambassador, you're are contact to the outside world, to every other government and leader in the galaxy. You're role we'll be as much a hostess as it will be a spymaster because I'm sure you'll learn a great deal as you meet with these other groups. Even these 'allies' are never to be fully trusted. The only people we can truly trust is each other...and for that to happen, we should know each other, so..." Ixtren ordered another round of drinks, "...where at on Mandalore did you grow up on? Me, I grew up near Enceri. My parents had a sizable farm, both of them retired mercs. I always did like working in the fields. So peaceful."
Kitana Motrous - December 5, 2008 12:59 AM (GMT)
Lexy had actually been prepared for him to ask her about her past. However, she was a little surprised to hear he had grown up on farm outside of Enceri. She nodded and took a sip of her drink before slightly smiling.
"Ofcourse, Sir. I actually grew up here in Keldabe. My mother died when I was born, so my father and two brothers, one being 3 years old when I was born and the other being 6 years old, were all I had." She took a deep breath and sighed.
"My father died during the first couple years of the war and my two brothers were among those killed in the fleet after the surrender." With this thought her eyes dropped to her drink and gritted her teeth tightening all of the muscles in her jaw. She had wanted to be with her brothers when they went out with the fleet, but she had be ordered to stay on Mandalore. She felt furious about their unjust deaths and slightly guilty that she hadn't insisted on remaining with them more diligently. Her frustration with the GA and the actions that they allowed to happen were obvious to anyone who looked into her eyes as she continued to stare into her drink.
Ixtren - December 5, 2008 05:18 PM (GMT)
"We all lost alot that day. Jas-" He cut himself off before he said her name, but it was too late. Memories started flooding back. Jasmine. She was the one. Not many knew about them. It had all happened so fast.
But now...now she was gone. Forever.
I'll never forgive the Republic for taking her. They'll pay. All of them.
He tried to wash away the hate with a long gulp from his drink. Soon he was chugging it. When he put the glass back down it was empty. He looked over at Kitana and knew he'd just raised a lot more questions than he was willing to answer.
Change the subject.
"So, your dad, what kind of work did he do before the war? Merc? Farmer?"
Kitana Motrous - December 9, 2008 04:04 AM (GMT)
Kitana knew that there was no forgiveness for the GA from any Mandalorian that survived the war. She also knew that even though Mandalore could never forgive the GA, there were those indaviduals that weren't all that bad, and maybe she could get some help from some of them as well as the major groups that Ixtren was asking her to contact. She took another sip of her drink and looked up at Ixtren as he spoke to her.
"He was a Merc, and my brothers both joined him when they became of the proper age. However, when I reached that same age my father was sure to do everything possible to keep me here on the planet instead of up in the stars with the three of them." She slightly shrugged and still felt a little annoyed at her father's decision and actions to keep her on Mandalore but she let it go.
"Thus, I ended up working military stations here on the planet. by the age of 17, two years after the war had begun and a year after I had lost my father, I was put into the possition of Commander and given my own squad to lead. They became extended family to me. Four extra brothers that I trusted with my life and that know they can trust me with their's, as well. Now, they're the only family I have left." She finished off her drink and ordered another from a waitress as she passed by. She had started out the night figuring that she would have one drink and call it a night. However, with the more memories that continued to flood into her head and fill her mind, she had a new feeling that she wasn't going to leave this cantina sober like she had originally planned.
Ixtren - December 9, 2008 05:26 PM (GMT)
"To those who have gone on to the manda." He raised his glass in toast.
"Enough talk of the past..." He again reclined in his chair, drink in hand. "Be honest...where would you want to see Mandalore...and I mean the planet, our people...not me...in the next five to ten years?"
It was a blunt question, but he wanted to get a feel of where she actually stood on things. Her answer could reflect a lot on her personality. Did she see the Mandalorians ruling the galaxy? Did she see them finally avenging their brethren in some way? Or did she want peace? To leave things as they were...undisturbed...
Kitana Motrous - December 11, 2008 05:00 PM (GMT)
Kitana sipped on her drink for a few moments before settling on how to approach Ixtren's question. She knew what she would like to see happen, but she wasn't sure how to best explain it. So she chose her words carefully and hoped that it came out the way that she wanted it to.
"To be honest, Sir... I would like to see the gallaxy find peace once again. However, I feel that the Jedi have been trusted with keeping the order in the galaxy for too long, and that the Mandalorian people are much better prepared and equipped to handle such a task. Even though there are those that I wish vengence on for the past war, I also know that there are far too many civilians that are killed in wars and that a full out battle is no way to handle a situation that can instead be handled by other means." She stopped there and looked across the table at Ixtren. She tried to read his eyes and face to best understand his reaction to her statement. Peace was what she wanted, but the way it had been handled in the past had obviously proven to be unsuccessful, so she was trying to offer another approach. Though, right now her only curiosity was what Ixtren thought of her ideas.
Ixtren - December 12, 2008 12:58 AM (GMT)
"Back like the good old days when we served Chief of State Daala. When Mandos kept the peace...men like Boba Fett and Goran Beviin...real Mandalores." He let the sentence trail off. He wasn't sure if he felt he wasn't up to their standards, or that they'd just set the bar so high. "There was a time when we worshiped war, Kitana. Some call those the glory days, when war was about warriors fighting warriors. I'm not so sure those days ever existed. Regardless, I do value life, and I'm not about to throw away our civilization of some crusade of revenge or a bloody coup for power against the Jedi. But...I do have an agenda."
Again he let the sentence trail off. He was not yet ready to reveal the details he had in mind to anyone. Not yet.
Hours passed as the two continued. Several other Mandos eventually joined them, people they knew, comrades in arms. Tales were shared of the war, the good old days, and liquor went down by the pints. By night's end everyone felt as if they were all old friends. There was something to Mando customs that allowed the souls of beings to be shared without shame. Among fellow warriors, all was shared, and all was protected. And a new beginning had been forged.
Now the leadership of the Mandalorians rested with a new Mandalore and a new ambassador. Together they would shape the fate of their people, for better or worse.