X305: The Burning Goddess

   
"Ehh," Renk shrugs, "It can only go a little worse than our Hoth debacle...and that turned out okay."

Naru shrugs, "Nah, we're the logical choice. What with the cloak and all, we can slip in and maybe actually figure out what is going on. Besides, if Rynah told him to send us, that goes a long way in my book. I'm in. Let's send an encrypted message to Abid Leechi and see what we can learn. What information do we want to give away? I trust her enough to let her know we are coming... everyone agree on that," she looks at Rotta mostly for an answer on that one.

She sits up in her chair and pulls up a view screen all can see with the holoproject and begins composing.

Ok, really anyone can help compose this
Message to Abid LeechiGreetings Abid Leechi from the crew of the Midnight Express,
We hope this message finds you well. We come bearing information in exchange for information. There is a cloning facility in Umbaran space controlled by one of the two Empires. Significant Republic forces were sent in and lost all contact. Subsequent scouting parties also failed. We intend to investigate and not only wanted any intel you might can offer but to give you warning of our operation.

Several hours later, a reply comes through from Abid Leechi, in the form of a heavily encrypted transmission relayed through the closest Alliance frigate.


The faint blue hologram of
Who was, incidentally, male, but is now retconned female...
Leechi was as true a recreation of her natural tone as was possible on a hologram. Dressed in a heavy, multilayered, two-toned coat of a feathery quality, the Umbaran bows her head slightly until her lips met her two hands, palm-to-palm, and adorned with many rings.

"A pleasure to meet you all again, I hope your endeavors go well."

When prompted, she gets right to the point.

"The Umbaran government is well-aware of Imperial activity in that sector, in fact, we facilitated the initial mission and the Empire continues to operate in that sector with our permission and in exchange for a repeating and lucrative sum. The location was chosen for it's...unique properties."

"Before I disclose any more, we need to come to an understanding. The Umbaran government is willing to support the new Alliance, however, if this facility, in our sector, is attacked, the Umbarans will face the might of the Empire as traitors. Umbara is an easy target, and we cannot survive a war of attrition with the Empire."

"We need a weapon of our own. The Umbaran government is prepared to extend our full allegiance to the Alliance in exchange for the ADAM prototype."

Tag leans forward and hits the mute. Then he turns to everyone else, his face deadly serious.

"I told you. This is how it's going to play out, from now until we get rid of that thing. Every planet, every government, every two-bit pilot with delusions of grandeur is going to try to get their hands on it, and they're not going to stop. Ever. Because controlling it means power over everything in the galaxy.

"We could play kingmaker, sure, but we'd only be starting the war to end all wars. And frankly, I'm not sure whether I'd rather see the Umbarans wiped out to get the prototype or every other power in the galaxy die trying to stop them from achieving domination. I know what I'd like to see most of all, which is that thing destroyed, but for some reason you all don't see this like I do. It's a fancy hobby, or some kind of a joke. Well, to me it's the kind of thing that makes me think about strapping it into a fighter and flying it straight into a sun.

"If you want to keep it, keep it. I can't fight all of you on this. But we can't give it to the Umbarans any more than we can give it to anyone else."

"Consider my interest piqued. Can someone explain what the ADAM prototype is?" Renk asks with thinnly veiled enthusiasm, "I mean, not that I want to be in the middle of some sort of galactical scrabble for it - I just want to know what it can do."

Dorat nods and says "I'm with Tag here. I just don't think that 'we'll help you if you give us the tool to destroy you all' is an agreeable deal. My first inclination would be to make a passable fraud and give them that. By the time they realize something is wrong they're already neck deep in empire."

The twi'lek shrugs, "It is the design specs for some super AI learning computer thing that I won in the secret spy sabacc tournament earlier this year." She shrugs implying that she doesn't know any more than that about it really. She says, "I hate to destroy it, but whatever. No amount of technology has taken over the galaxy in all the ages past. Not a death star nor a star forge. There is no way to count out or factor the capabilities of exceptional sentients and the will of the living force." That last part kind of startles her a little, looks like Rane and Rynah's hokey religion might be getting through to the sexy con artist and gambler after all. But there is still no way in hell she is wearing those awful robes.

Darion

Like Renk, this is all news to Darion. He says "So it's some kind of big control system or something? Like the old Droid command platforms from the Clone Wars? What good is that without troops?"

He can't quite fathom what would make a fancy bit of slicing so valuable.


Grey

Replying to Darion, Grey says, Wookiee: "Or, you could hack into the defense grids of an enemy and turn the weapons on the crew, or even into a video game, which I incidentally did once. Imagine having a Super Star Destroyer at your command, and then someone comes into your computer, learns all the systems in a matter of a few seconds, and then vents the entire ship, seals in whatever crew survive, and then turns the weapons on nearby ships. ADAM could probably do that."

Grey shakes his head, Wookiee: "I'd melt it down before I'd give it to her. Or, we could do what I did before, and make a copy that is missing all the important bits and foist that on them. However, that deception would probably negate their desire to join us. I say we don't give it up, and they can choose to join us or not."




-5 Force Points


Rotta the Diplomat

Rotta glares for the longest time at Grey, sparing a bit of glare for Leechi. Huttese: "The cost for their assistance is too high. Negotiate a better bargain. This is merely the initial bargaining position, she'll come down to a lower price eventually."







 

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