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Council Chamber, The Capitol
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Star Wars: Unity Forum Index » Corulag » Council Chamber, The Capitol
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Borsk Fey'lya

Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 3

 Post Posted: Mon, November 09th 2009 10:51pm    Post subject: Council Chamber, The Capitol
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“I reiterate, my friends, is this not an issue better suited to the Senate?” Questioned Minister Borsk Fey'lya. The delegates before him seemed bewildered at that suggestion.

“This is a matter that affects the stability of the Union,” arose Ares Valure, the Chief of State of the New Republic member state. “It should be addressed here first and foremost.”

“Yes, it would only be held up for months in the Senate, when it needs a resolution now,” growled the Hapan Mistress of Xenic Affairs, Natromi. She underlined her point with a firm fistbang on the conference table.

Borsk's fur ruffled at the unpleasant clank. It echoed around the stately room, between the busts and expensive wooden furniture, off of the bright marble flooring, before being absorbed into the extravagant tapestries lining the walls. All in all, politics consisted of adults behaving like children in an overblown playpen.

Gathered before the Bothan was a congregation of a couple dozen beings. They ranged from human to Hutt and beyond. The Representative Council was rather exclusive, the head of state per member serving to embody their factions. Sometimes the heads of state were unable to attend, and proxies were sent in their places, such as Natromi replacing the Queen of Hapes this particular day. However, everyone who was in the room, right now, was treated as an equal.

The key to the success of the Galactic Union was its flexibility. Between the Union's galaxy-wide system of management and its provinces was a thick layer of abstraction. Member states chose how they elected their leaders, whether it was by general election, like the Republic, or oligarchical selection, like the Empire, or even by monarchy like the Hapans. The Galactic Union's own senators were elected by its member states, one vote per faction, but within those states existed different ways of determining for whom the vote would be cast.

Over all, it allowed autonomy while preserving unity. And that was the key.

Even with all of its importance, the Council could not make binding resolutions in its own right. The Union would not reinforce any decisions made in this room. The Representative Council was effectively the chamber of galactic commerce, by and large consisting of all the leaders of the galaxy, but it was not a ruling body of law in and of itself. It maintained, as an entity, a permanent spot on the Judiciary, which embodied the chief of all court systems in the galaxy, but in its purest form it was merely a forum for intergalactic negotiation. It was convened only when needs must.

The Ministerium also maintained a presence in the Representative Council. The Ministerium consisted of two beings, nominated by the Judiciary and elected by the Union Senate. In theory, the ministers were from each of the two most populous member states, but in practice, one was always from the Empire and one was always from the Republic, and it didn't seem like that would be changing any time soon. The Judiciary was allowed to nominate anyone from those factions, but a hefty amount of input was always entertained from the state governments, the Senate and the Representative Council. Regardless, Borsk was chosen to represent them today; the Imperial minister was occupied elsewhere.

Minister Fey'lya let those thoughts slip from his mind. He so loved political theory, but he disliked squabbling more and more in his old age. He slumped into his chair, flattening his coat and sighing. “Then speak,” he said with resignation, eyes going to the Corellian emissary, Bolr Grisson.

“Thank you,” Grisson bit out. He was tense, under pressure from his own government to resolve this. The Corellian Prime Minister was also unable to attend. Sometimes, the lack of presence annoyed Borsk, but he realized sometimes, with the sudden, unexpected meetings, it was tolerable. “While we are well known for being anything but a poor system, the Hapes Consortium nonetheless seems fit to fix outrageous taxes upon many of their most essential exports,” Grisson accused, addressing all of the other heads of state.

“It has not exactly been the best of times for us!” Natromi bit back. She was a fierce woman, tall with lucious strands of sparkling amber hair. She was fairly typical for a Hapan, but by human standards she was a beauty, and she probably didn't even realize it. “We are not without sympathy, but the rate of taxing you have imposed is simply unacceptable.”

Fey'lya realized these matters were of utmost importance to their respective governments, but sometimes he couldn't keep track of all of it. He recalled, as the conversation continued, that the Hapans had imposed higher tariffs on their exports to the Corellians, in reciprocation for higher Corellian duties. It was a typical problem, one that came up many times in the Union, but not frequently between two such powerful systems.

“Please,” Valure interrupted diplomatically, after he had removed a soothing hand from his temples. He was a good negotiator, hailing from the Republic. He was Borsk's type of person, and they had an interconnected business relationship. If Borsk ever would retire – not likely – he would personally recommend Ares as his replacement. He knew how to manage people, and he did it even when he was not the chief among them. “This is not the time nor the place for such outbursts.”

“Perhaps it should be,” Natromi argued. “This would not be an issue if Corellia had paid attention to our pleas in the Senate.”

“As we have said in the Senate, there is only so much we can do!” Grisson insisted.

“You are far more diversified than we are,” the Hapan returned with contest. “You can afford to compensate for price fluctuations, and everyone in this room knows it!”

Borsk brought a thoughtful hand to his chin. It was interesting to see the interplay between Corellia, possibly the most macho faction within the Union, and the Hapes Consortium, dominated by legions of feminists. Borsk had to believe that these facts played a role in the diplomatic relations between the two states. They just didn't like each other, most of the time.

Fey'lya was preparing to interrupt the exchange, but instead, he very obviously and astutely turned his gaze upon Ares Valure. He wanted the Chief of State to deal with it; it would be a good test, and would go a long way to providing substance for Borsk's faith in him.
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Ares Valure

Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 16

 Post Posted: Wed, November 11th 2009 03:05am    Post subject:
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"While I agree that we are certainly not in dire straits, do not forget that we have remained largely untouched by war for 20 years," Grisson was quick to reply with. His sudden sympathetic tone only took a moment to dissolve into bitter demand as he continued. "With so much of our economy riding on the building of new starships, you can imagine how this might affect us!"

"And I hope to remain without war for another 20 years, which is certainly not where this conversation is leading us," Ares interrupted, placing his hands on the table and leaning forward a little. He was quick to make sure Natromi didn't have a chance to reply, immediately jumping into his next sentence, "Now, while perhaps Corellia is being a little greedy on their end, it is still against regulations to increase taxing without proper notification and agreement by both parties."

Grisson's mouth shot open to add to Ares' statement, but a finger from the Chief of State quickly silenced him. "This does not mean, however, that the Consortium is not entitled to raise their prices. What this means is that you must come to an agreement or terminate your trade relations," Ares explained, which caused Grisson to slowly close his mouth and slump back into his chair in defeat.

Ares' eyes then began to float their way over to Natromi as a smile just began to find its way to his lips. Although it had been a slow start, he was certainly slipping into his groove. After all, Ares was always a lazy sort. He never really liked to work until he was good and ready for it, even if he sometimes needed a bit of a jump-start.

"I suggest a 4% decrease in the current taxing rate and full restoration of any and all non-delivered goods in Corellia's starports," he said with a finger now directed to the Hapan representative. She stirred in her seat a little, but kept her mouth shut for the moment while Ares turned his gaze back to the center of the table and clasped his hands together. As he carefully placed them on the surface before him, he gave a few glances around the room before finally adding, "And last, but certainly not least, hopefully a little less complaining."

A glance toward Borsk caught the Bothan staring daggers back at him, his fur ruffling with discomfort. Ares' smile grew a little wider at the thought of upstaging Borsk. He always did enjoy doing it, perhaps for no other reason than because he could. Politics were a battlefield unlike any other, and Ares was a master combatant. When he wanted to be, anyway.

After a bit of muttering, Natromi quietly conceded with a weak, "Perhaps so." The Corellian across the table took a little while longer, but eventually the two had reluctantly agreed to the terms. Who knows how long the shaky ground would last before giving way again, but at least it was dealt with for the moment. That was enough for Ares.

"Well, that's excellent," Borsk noted, emotionless aside from another slight ruffle of his fur. "Is there any other new business?"

Ares scanned the room, giving anyone present a chance to speak up, but no one did. There were a number of empty seats, which wasn't that terribly surprising. "After the holidays, I'd say we're lucky anyone showed up at all," he noted, his head eventually twisting its way around to face the Bothan.

"Yes, well, tell that to the Empire," Borsk replied. He gave a slight nod and glance toward one empty seat in particular, which Ares hadn't even noticed until that moment. The seat belonging Jagged Fel himself was as vacant as the others. It was an odd turn of events, given that he was rarely one to miss the meetings. However, Ares didn't think much more of it and simply cracked a small, sarcastic smile.

"Well, I'm sure he has a fine excuse."

"They always do," the Bothan noted, his fur twitching again before he stood up and placed both paws on the table before him. "Then I declare this meeting dismissed."

As the others lining the room began to stand and shuffled their way around to the doorway, Ares kept his seat and let his smile slowly dissolve. His thoughts raced back and forth from as many different topics as he could count, and it likely seemed as if he had phased completely out of reality for the moment. He simply continued to stare off into space until most of the others representatives had already left. With a couple casual blinks, he forced himself back into the moment and eventually lifted himself to his feet.

He turned around to see if Tren was still awake, and was pleased to see the boy fiddling with his datapad. It didn't matter what he was doing, since Ares smile returned after seeing his patience. However, he decided not to keep him waiting any longer, stretching out an arm toward the doorway and simply asking, "Shall we?"
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Tren Drexel

Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 26

 Post Posted: Wed, November 11th 2009 04:23pm    Post subject:
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I lifted my eyes to see Ares approaching me. The meeting had ended; I paid attention and was even taking notes, but somehow Minister Fey'lya's excuse for a benediction had eluded me. I nodded and stood, folding the datapad up and placing it into the bag, which I slung over my shoulder. “That was a little livelier than I expected,” I smirked, following behind Ares as we passed through the archway entrance, between the Union guards.

“That's how it usually plays out,” Ares informed. “People in this galaxy are starting to get on edge. More than usual, even,” he was quick to add.

“Why's that?” I asked. I attended almost every meeting Ares would go to, where aides were allowed. But I wasn't always privy to the same information the Chief of State received. I collated the summary for this very meeting for Ares, in fact, but that was just a bunch of words. It wasn't decades of experience or first-hand knowledge of diplomats. I made sure to get all the possible information I could from Ares; if I didn't, I wouldn't have been a very good assistant. Ares didn't have a droid because he wanted more than just uninvested recitation, and I intended to fulfill his expectations the best I could.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Ares scoffed. Then again, sometimes even the Chief of State didn't have all the answers... “People just need others to argue with, I suppose, and when everyone is united, the only people you can really argue with are your allies.”

I nodded slowly with a quiet hum of understanding. Always insightful, at least. “I'm sure it doesn't help when half of the people in the room are edgy.”

“Not particularly,” Ares agreed as he stepped down a few stairs, throwing his head back in a gesture of self-disbelief. “I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but it would almost come as a prieve to have a little conflict,” he admitted. I looked at him with a bit of surprise, but he quickly turned to me with a wry smile and quipped, “I don't suppose you have any solutions, do you?”

I returned the grin, responding with something I'd learned during my time in the government. “There aren't solutions, only patches.”

He acknowledged, resonating quietly. “At least we have the Union now,” Ares finally renewed the conversation, after some moments of silence. “That has to count for something.”

I inclined my head and felt a smile come to my lips.

We two passed out of the hallway and into the main rotunda of the Capitol of the Galactic Union. It was a large area, capped with stained glass – not transparisteel – at its apex. On this site there had once been the residence and seat of the former Imperial governor, Ares had told me once. However, now Corulag was the sole property of the Galactic Union, like Denon, and was governed by the Ministerium solely; it wasn't a member of any faction. Its citizens were still represented in the Senate, though, but they were more or less the personal responsibility of the Ministers.

Beings of all sorts passed around us, from ambassadors to tourists. There were a few who recognized Ares, some running towards him only to be stopped by Union guards before they got too close. I noticed Ares smiled back at them; he did love the attention.

“At least one more meeting is over,” he continued after we passed into another, narrower hallway - it led to the New Republic's guest wing, if I remembered correctly. “Maybe we'll find Fel on our way back to the office,” Ares appended after a few more steps.

“He isn't usually absent, is he?” I inquired. In all the times I'd been to the Capitol with Ares, I'd seen High Moff Jagged Fel at the Representative Council meetings, and he usually was very convivial in discussing matters. I didn't recall him missing any meetings, and it was especially strange that no Imperial representative had taken his place.

“I'm sure he suspects that we plot to bring down the Empire behind his back, so no, he isn't usually absent,” Ares snorted, a bit of indignation in his voice.

“I didn't think he'd be the type of person to have that sort of attitude,” I reflected. Many older beings in the Republic, and other factions, held some distrust of the Empire, but I never really saw a reason for it. Still, Ares had more life than I, so I figured there had to be some truth behind it. Perhaps that was indeed the reason the Empire was so active in the Union.

“Like I said,” Ares prefaced. He held out an illustrative hand towards me. “People are edgy.”

I licked my lips and nodded slowly, indicating my comprehension. People were edgy indeed.
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