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Mars, GNHQ General Assembly Chambers
Azunn's response was about what the nisi expected, so they didn't feel too disappointed. Obviously they would've preferred open support from the union on their protest, but it was understandable that the Sirian Union wouldn't do so for diplomatic reasons; for the time being, Bykata and Bykosi assumed that the Union did actually support the protest, but just wouldn't say so openly.
Azunn's clarification of the Sirian Union's stance on the international task force, seemingly almost in contradiction to his previous statement, made the cousins glance at each other briefly, each with a raised eyebrow. "You don't think he heard us, did you?" Bykata muttered.
"Shouldn't have with his natural ears, but that doesn't eliminate other possibilities" Bykosi responded, likewise hushed.
"Well if he is getting what we're saying, then he should know that if he wants to join us, I think he'd look good in some blue and orange boxers" Bykata added jokingly.
After that, Munbeem went up, and the nisi remaned rather neutral during his speech. "Hmm, think he's talking about us, or about the izerans and saktans?" Bykata thought aloud quietly.
"I think the answer to that would be, 'yes'" Bykosi answered.
Bykata just gave an apathetic, "mm" sound and shrug of one shoulder, looking a little bored now.
Edited by FirockFinion on Aug 23rd 2019 at 4:49:03 AM
[C.S.S. Horizon] (Interior, bridge)
“An interesting perspective,” commented MACI.
The replacement processor board could be found easily enough, having been placed in the storage container under the console with a modicum of care and attention.
Heavy footsteps could be heard from beyond the door to the bridge, followed by voices and then by the sounds of creaking metal.
“I believe the intruders are attempting to pry open the doors,” said MACI. “I strongly recommend that you increase the speed of your repairs.”
[Deneb Convention Center] (Factory of Chocolate, Waiting Room)
Yuki frowned, apparently not amused by Tyoni’s questions. “My name is not ‘Mises First Mate’,” she said, flatly. “I don’t have a relationship with the deceased, the last time we spoke was on the space elevator, and the topic was his livestock and how they had nearly eaten the captain.”
Navina shuddered at the thought. “Those ‘chicken’ creatures are monsters. Absolute monsters, I tell you!”
Samsudu, meanwhile, nodded to Erruan’s request. “Most certainly,” he said. “The droid is here in the room with us, just over there.”
Billy Wonkers’ assistant robot, apparently named Jetty, was a peculiar construct up close. Its head seemed to be little more than a metal box with two blue lights out front, while its body was clearly some sort of small oven with some extra bulk on the top, presumably to house all the various components that a non-oven-based robot body was supposed to house. Its limbs looked robust and expensive, however, with very sturdy-looking arms leading to long, articulate fingers. Its legs looked equally sturdy.
Jetty’s strangest feature of all was probably its paint job; the droid was dotted with painted pictures of various sweets and candies, all over its body, while its head had been painted to look as though it was a very large, boxy chocolate bar.
“Oh dear, oh my, oh goodness me,” the droid fussed as Erruan approached. “I am terribly sorry for all this, valued guest and/or customer! Is there something I can help you with?”
To Headcase’s question, Samsudu smiled and twirled his moustache. “That is a very interesting question,” he said. “You see, there is a security camera in that room and indeed, it was at an ideal angle to see the murder committed! However…” He waggled his bushy eyebrows. “The footage from the time of the murder has been mysteriously erased! Quite a twist, wouldn’t you say? Perhaps a conclusion or two to be drawn from that? Hmm?” He chuckled then, and straightened out his suit.
[Mars] (GNHQ, General Assembly Chambers)
“You may propose such an idea for this body to debate,” Mnhiri said to Munbeem. “But you shall have to do it when you are next called up to speak. For now, your time is expired. And also…” She glanced at her watch. “It’s lunch time. Ambassadors, we are in recess for one hour. Go in peace, everyone.”
(GNHQ, 4th Floor Lobby)
If anyone had been expecting a peaceful lunch break, their expectations were quickly shattered. Ambassadors and their staff tended to be a well-informed bunch, but even if they were not, there were holo-screens scattered around the lobby, all tuned to prominent news networks. And the news was not looking good.
Every few minutes, something new and exciting — or anxiety-inducing, depending on one’s perspective — seemed to be happening at the Izeran-Saktan DMZ, leading to other stories, like Nisi outrage, Sirian scientists receiving a major award, a Woglindian mayor being assassinated, and even the reports on Yohzhu activity, being largely overshadowed.
Ships poured in to either side of the DMZ, flotillas were formed, maneuvers were performed, hangars and air-space bases were put on alert, planetary surface-based defences were activated, civilian traffic was turned away, towns and city districts were advised to prepare for evacuations, accusations were hurled, rhetoric was spewed and nobody seemed to want to back down.
Almost as though there was a lengthy history of animosity between the two sides.
The eyes of the galaxy were on the Izera/Sakta border, and it was quickly becoming apparent that the place was a mess. The various news networks were abuzz with analysis calling in from all over, and brave or foolhardy reporters trying to see how close they could get to various areas that looked important.
The analysts offered a variety of thoughts on the matter; in one particular panel, a political scientist from the Infinite Burrow claimed that “flare-ups” were often seen along high-tension borders like the Izera/Sakta one, but that a full-scale war was extremely unlikely, due to how diplomatically and economically beneficial peace has been for both sides.
A retired Martian general, however, refuted that argument, claiming that data showed each successive “flare-up” was exponentially more severe than the last one. A former defense analyst for the Sirian Union did not directly comment on either take, saying only that “lingering resentment” between Izera and Sakta might outweigh the potential benefits of peace, to say nothing of the perks either side could gain from taking or retaking systems from the other.
Reporters managed to get long-distance shots of various Izeran or Saktan ships cruising through space, or of a few different military bases abuzz with activity, a variety of personnel and vehicles rushing this way and that way. They didn’t actually have much to report, however. Neither military seemed to want to talk to them.
And then a new story started popping up. It was on only one or two news channels at first, but within five minutes it was everyone’s top story. A Wassingtowne station, Union Broadcasting Corporation, possibly put it best:
Inside sources suggest negotiations between Izeran Empress, Saktan First Minister have broken down
All this, and the lunch break wasn’t even over yet…
(GNHQ, General Assembly Chambers)
Mnhiri frowned at her personal device. Not even her day planner had good news for her today. The various VIPs had arrived at the GNHQ rather discreetly, with very little pomp and circumstance, preferring to get things started as soon as possible. Negotiations had formally begun a few minutes before the General Assembly had convened, and that was right about when all the day’s plans had gone straight out the airlock.
The Assembly had decided that it would much rather discuss the Izera-Sakta issue than whatever had originally been scheduled for the day. Unsurprising, but these discussions did tend to be rather lengthy. After lunch, the VIPs had been scheduled to smile for the cameras a little bit, and the Queen of Mars was supposed to give a speech here in the Assembly Chambers. Now those were listed as ‘postponed’ for some undefined amount of time, and it didn’t take a genius to know why.
Most new channels had since changed their tune, going from ‘talks have broken down’ to ‘talks have been suspended’ or ‘temporarily tabled’ or whatever sounded a bit less scary than ‘broken down’. Regardless of the exact status of the negotiations, it seemed as though things were not going well, and now everyone knew it.
Mnhiri put her device away and tried not to think about what would happen if talks really did fall through. After all, the Empress and the First Minister were still in the building together, so far as anyone knew. Maybe they were just taking a break. Maybe the so-called ‘inside sources’ were wrong, and things were proceeding just fine. Maybe there would be peace after all.
Maybe she should call up her family, she thought. Just in case.
Mnhiri cleared her throat and stood up as the last delegates settled into their seats. “The General Assembly is now reconvened,” she announced. “We will be continuing the debate on the matter of the Izera-Sakta dispute.” She glanced down at the speaking queue. “The Chair recognizes the honourable ambassador from the Ankara Principalities!”
Ambassador Bossak Kron made his way to the podium. “Friends, let us not strike around the proverbial foliage,” he began. “The situation on the Izera-Sakta border has worsened over the course of the day. If we wish to stop this from boiling over into a proper, perhaps galaxy-spanning war, then we must act now. I hereby motion that we begin formally discussing the formation of an official, multinational peacekeeping force to be deployed in the region as soon as possible! Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.”
Ambassador Kron’s motion, like any motion put forth before the Assembly, would require the support of at least two other ambassadors to be considered, at which point a vote would be held on whether or not to change the subject.
“The Chair recognizes the honourable ambassador from the Infinite Burrow!”
Ambassador Melacaura Genisatia took his turn at the podium. “Esteemed colleagues,” he said. “Tempting though it may be, I do not believe that now is the time to rush to force or to military options. The situation is very much in a state of flux at the moment, but I believe that gives us an opportunity for peace. If a majority of us agree to stand together, I strongly believe that we can keep the Izerans and Saktan at the negotiating table for more than just another short-term treaty! With the backing of a supermajority of the GN — let’s say, around 70% of us — we can effectively pressure both sides into a truly long-term peace agreement! Please, ambassadors, I ask you… Do not let this opportunity for true pace in the galaxy pass us by. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.”
“The Chair recognizes the honourable ambassador from the Kingdom of Mars!”
Ambassador Tebigon Smith stepped up. “My friends, please,” he said. “Believe me when I say that I am keenly aware of the stresses and dangers presented by this situation. As are Queen Amelia and Prime Minister Shulo! Tense negotiations like this are frequently fraught with trouble, but I firmly believe that all parties involved are wise enough to overcome them, and I firmly believe in the mediation skills of the Queen and the Prime Minister. My friends, we do no one any good by getting caught up in this media frenzy, spurred on by anonymous sources. The negotiations are not yet over! Let us not endanger them with good intentions and clumsy efforts. Patience, ambassadors. Please. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.”
“The Chair recognizes the honourable ambassador from the Interstellar Empire of Izera!”
Ambassador Chaeset D'Nera took his turn to speak. “Ambassadors, I feel we may be overlooking a very simple, straightforward solution to this issue,” he said. “And that is for the GN to officially lend its support to Izera in this conflict and to finally restore it to its proper condition.” He had said that all so matter-of-factly that it had actually taken a few seconds before a few other delegations had started to complain. “Although some of you would prefer to think otherwise, the actual truth of the matter is that Izera is the rightful state and that the so-called ‘Saktans’ are nothing more than an insurgency. Sakta is not a state. It is a rebellion; a criminal organization that ought to have been dismantled long ago! Ambassadors, Izera humbly asks for your support in this trying time. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.”
D'Nera concluded his speech before the Assembly could fully erupt into heckling and arguments, and soon they had all quieted down again.
“The Chair recognizes the honourable ambassador from the Dominion of Sakta!”
Even before ambassador Arel T'Khianye had reached the podium, a few delegations had already begun to grumble, apparently anticipating more disruption and inflammatory remarks. Ambassador T'Khianye, for her part, was obviously fuming as she took to the podium.
“It is my firm belief,” she began. “That all people and all nations should strive to live in peace and harmony with one another. But equally firm is my belief that such a life is impossible so long as the Empire of Izera exists! They are a force for tyranny and injustice in the galaxy! We need only look at their pre-Occupation, pre-Sakta history to see a pattern of mass surveillance, authoritarianism, police overreach and imperialism. The time of emperors and empresses has past! What the people of Izera truly crave is liberty! Equality! Democracy! That is how Sakta was born! Do not be misled by this monarchist!” She spat, venomously, pointing an accusatory finger at D'Nera. This rankled a few other delegations and led to a more groans. “Anyone who supports freedom and justice must support Sakta, or else how can this organization claim any morality at all?” She levelled a challenging look at the Assembly, taking a moment to just breathe. “Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.”
Kuz-Plak-To rubbed her head with an exasperated sigh after finally managing to show up at the actual center. Had she not compound eyes, she would have rolled them right now. Though, despite everything she was finally in front of the meeting room, looking back to her two guards "Please... never let me get near such puddles again. That was a horrible experience all around and I don't want to be late because of this again." With that said, the emissary checked her watch a last time before opening the doors - only to find chaos, for one, a whole delegation was wearing what seemed to be... swimsuits? From memory, those should be the savages, with Ambassador Bykata at the head. Second off, eventhough Kuz-Plak-To had missed the first round of votes, she was only all too aware that the most important matter - that of the renewed violence between Izera and Sakta was probably unaddressed by now. and this assumption was soon proven right as when she came in, the debate was already in full swing. As quietly as possible, the Rak-Girz went over to her seat, well, what passed for a seat for a quadruped anyway, really it was more of a cushioned board in her case. With a silent sigh and an audible clicking of her manidbles, the emissary listened to the current debate. Like before, Kuz-Plak-To made ready to listen moer than she'd actually talk - the stakes were just too high right now and the Rak-Girz did not like to get into a war.
Sorry for not posting earlier but ahh... there has been a series of events IRL, some of them shitty, some really good, that I'd rather not get into here, though, the effect of them all combined is that I was pretty much off of TVT for a few months and am just now really cathing up on stuff again.
C.S.S. Horizon, bridge
Mesi glanced back at the door with a sort of almost impressed look. "Intruders already to door? Impressive for so dumb that chose robbing this ship" Mesi thought aloud, taking the replacement processor board and starting to place it into the panel. Mesi worked more quickly now, trying to get the minimum connections necessary and doing a couple of direct bypasses to try to get the work done faster; it was kind of sloppy, even by tinkerer standards, but she was in a time crunch now.
If she got it working quickly, then she'd grab up her things and rush back over to the vent, and see about hopefully slipping inside before the intruders finished getting through the door.
If she could not get it working quickly, and it seemed like the intruders were going to finish getting through before she could finish, then she'd grab her shotgun and dive for cover behind whatever bridge console looked sturdiest. Then she'd aim the shotgun at the door and go ahead and fire once into the opening as soon as it was just a few inches open; she'd figure that even if that didn't hit any of the intruders, it would hopefully deter them.
The whole Savages group dutifully got up and went out when the time for the break came, though on the way to the fourth floor lobby, Bykata and Bykosi went ahead and did some quick poses for any photographers taking pictures. They knew full well those photos would end up on the Mars internet, which should cause more embarrassment for Mars than it would the Savages, or the Scarslayers personally.
Once up in the lobby, the nisi went ahead and got some meat, while the gleep got some fruit and nuts, and watched the various holo-screens with a sort of dull interest. As if they only chose to watch the reports for lack of anything else to take their attention.
After again some more posing for photographers on the way back, the Savages settled back in, still in their swimwear, and once again listened with seemingly dull interest. Ultimately it was just an outer appearance though, as the situation was still of great concern to the Savages, but there were... Political complications.
Obviously, their connection to the Sirian Union came foremost, which made the Savages ostensibly allied with Sakta. However, despite their ties to the Sirian Union, Sakta had voted in favor of 611, which had made Warlord Hotspirit... Quite displeased, to put it mildly. Of course, the Savages couldn't just throw their backing in with Izera either, or else may jeopardize their ties with the Sirian Union. The whole situation made Bykata sigh with irritation and lean her head back, wishing she could go challenge, oh, about half of the other ambassadors in the room to honor duels, tear out their intestines or closest equivalent, and just be done with the whole thing. Would it be effective as diplomacy? Oh most certainly not, but at least it wouldn't be so infuriatingly complicated.
Well, when they can't just pick either side, why not pick, neither side, and instead take the chance to make a point about what the Savages cared about more? Bykata signaled for a chance to speak, though didn't bother walking to the podium when it came. Instead she simply stood from her seat, and said loudly in a somewhat joking tone, "how about we just annex them both? Force the collective will of the council on them without considering their opinion, just like certain other species in the galaxy!" Then she laughed heartily and sat back down, grinning cheekily.
Edited by FirockFinion on Aug 29th 2019 at 1:19:12 PM
General Assembly, GNHQ — Azunn & Cinder
Azunn had been keeping an eye on the news whilst he stretched his legs and grabbed a quick snack to fuel himself for the coming debates. The man may not have had much opportunity to practice his skills, but his ears definitely perked up as more news about the Izeran-Saktan DMZ poured in. Cinder, meanwhile, was keeping a close eye on a steady trickle of intelligence from various sources. Most of the messages were simply marked "PRIORITY", giving rolling updates on the situation in the DMZ. But as the situation deteriorated, it was replaced with "IMMEDIATE" and the updates accelerated.
And then just as the news of the latest escalations arrived Cinder received a message marked "FLASH". It tersely summarised events and ended with the words "We assess the potential for escalation as high". Azunn had been glued to the screens at this point until Cinder gently shook him by the shoulder. "It doesn't look good," she commented, passing her device to the ambassador. He took a quick glance and nodded slowly.
Not long afterwards, the pair had taken their seats in the General Assembly and were maintaining a considered silence. Privately, Azunn wished he could have had a kellsaran-style mask, even if he had plenty of experience in concealing what he really thought. Ambassador T'Khianye's hurling of "monarchist" as an epithet would doubtless cause some consternation among the more traditional segments of Efiemi society.
At long last, it was his turn to have his say. "My esteemed colleagues, I must confess that my sympathies lie somewhat with the honourable Ambassador Smith. Careless commentary and hasty action often cause events to take on a life of their own with grave consequences. However, I also believe that if the situation is as grave as it seems it only makes our responsibility to mediate even more crucial. Make no mistake: if we fail to soothe tensions and deescalate the situation, the only winners shall be hardliners - and even then, only briefly. I therefore believe our primary efforts should be poured into keeping the lines of communication open."
"I would hope that both of the parties to this dispute will note that the Sirian Union - among others - will not tolerate attempts to derail a peaceful solution for selfish gain. Reason must prevail over reckless aggression." He took a moment to stare down both the Izeran and the Saktan delegates as he continued. "I doubt I am alone in making this observation. Thank you for your time, Madam Chairwoman."
The intended purpose of his comments was twofold: firstly, it would serve as a timely reminder to Izera that if necessary the Union would intervene in some capacity. Secondly, it also reminded Sakta that the Union's support was not wholly unconditional and opportunistic provocation wouldn't be rewarded.
Factory of Chocolate, Deneb Convention Centre — Erruan & Headcase
Erruan paused as she tried to formulate a question for Jetty. Hopefully he would give a useful answer rather than fobbing her off with something vague (or worse yet, a complete irrelevancy). "Do you recall seeing anything suspicious earlier today?" Damn it, that wasn't precise at all! Erruan thought. It seemed that a career as an investigator would elude her.
For her part, Headcase seemed to deflate in response to Samsudu's answer. Now how was she supposed to solve the case?! Still, after a pause she came to a decision. "I'll go ask the rest of the crew what they think, I suppose..." She suppressed a shudder as she thought of the murder.
Edited by Flanker66 on Sep 5th 2019 at 2:17:06 PM
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