M U I R: Foundation

2 years prior to The Force Awakens...
A persistent and interactive galaxy set shortly before the events of Episode VII

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Mir
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M U I R: Foundation

Post by Mir » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:37 pm

A few months after the Destruction of the Second Death Star

Coruscant

Disarray wracked the city-planet. Nothing so violent that one would consider rioting in the streets a common sight, but a riding undercurrent of unrest ruled over the populace. After all, the Empire was no more, not the way it had been only a few short months ago. No, everyone lived in a brave new galaxy and the fight for survival had taken an interesting turn. Felt with more ferocity here than anywhere else, there was a sense of determination amongst those who had felt oppressed, that soon, one day, their time would come. A feeling that had always been present, not it was effervescent, dancing in the air.

A perfect snapshot of the galaxy. Whatever happened on Coruscant, whether it was economic, political, social, cultural, it happened to the rest of the galaxy. It took time, but it did. Melting pots of everything, they tended to do that. After all, Coruscant wasn’t only an intersection of life.

It was the intersection of life in the galaxy.

And if you wanted to make a fortune, you needed to be the guy selling the bottles of hydro on that street.

“The meeting will be starting soon.” A voice said, and he recognized it as that of his personal aide.

The man opened his eyes, though he didn’t lift his head, so his view encapsulated a floor crafted from Durosian marble. He studied one of the black lines that ran through the white marble. His plans thus far had been very carefully kept and quietly worked out behind the scenes. A mistake was simply something he refused to afford at this junction in time. The path he was on was too lucrative to allow any missteps. “Everyone accepted the invitations?” He asked, grunting slightly.

“They all did.”

“Good.” He said, and slowly rolled over, shifting underneath the sheet.

All he cared about was the art of the deal. Negotiating, finding the other side’s weak points and pressing them there. Shattering their positions and bending them to his will. He was good at it, always had been. That was how he had become as rich as he was now. But there was always the next step. The next step, the next evolution of who he was and what he wanted in this life.

The masseuse, a lovely little Togruta thing continued to go about her work, simply switching to his chest, no knowledge of the thoughts that churned through his mind as she continued her job.

His skin was flush, as they were in one of the rooms of his Coruscanti home, and this room had a temperature control that allowed it to go hot and humid. Sweat the toxins out. The red skin was beaded with sweat, and he turned his head slightly, to be able to see her.

She was visible, barely, in the steam that curled through the bathroom of his home.

“You’re new, aren’t you?” He asked. “I’ve never seen you before.”

“Yes, sir.” She replied.

“You’re quite skilled.” He said, leaning back and closing his eyes. “I wonder, why are you this skilled?” He asked and adjusted his head slightly. ”What’s your name?” He asked, and she paused.

“My name is Oroolia. I had good teachers, I suppose.” She said, pressing into the red flesh of his chest. “I always wanted to do this, to help people with their stress.”

“Do I seem stressed?” He asked.

She blushed, though his eyes were closed and he did not see. The woman was having a hard time breathing. Was it the humidity? She wasn’t sure. “No, but you do seem tense.” She said.

“Why did you want to help people with their stress?” He asked.

“I wasn’t born with much wealth in this life.” She said. “I wanted to find a way out and the struggle made me realize that other people were in the same situation that I was, so I figured I could help them focus on other things in their lives.”

“Now, you’re a masseuse to the rich and powerful.” He said. “That hardly seems like helping out the poor and downtrodden.”

“Everyone needs help whether they want to admit it or not.” Oroolia replied, smoothing her hands over his chest. Her hands moved down and pressed into his hips. Something in room made her want to tell him the truth and she licked her lips. They felt dry despite the humidity of the room. Shaking her head and trying to clear it, and continued. “It’s something that I always try to help my clients with. I suppose that’s why my salary is what it is, so I can worry about such things.”

He smiled. “An interesting assessment of compensation.” He said. “How much are you getting paid?” He asked.

“I live comfortably enough, if that’s what you’re asking.” She replied.

“What if you didn’t have to worry about ever living uncomfortably?” He asked, reaching out and taking her wrist in his hands.

“I…I don’t know what you mean.” Oroolia said.

“What would you do if you never had to worry about living uncomfortably?” He asked.

“I would try to help as many people as I could.” She replied after giving it a few moments of thought.

He sighed and released her hand. “Pity. There are few things I find sadder than a waste of talent. A waste of money is one of them. Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘ruthless pragmatism’?” He asked and when she shook her head, he stifled a grimace. “I’m not surprised. It’s a simple concept. You are responsible for yourself and your advancement comes directly due to the work that you are willing to put in and the steps that you are willing to take. No one else.”

The Togruta woman shook her head, with a mild look of disbelief. To her credit, it didn’t affect the rhythm of her hands, and she kept the alacrity she had possessed before. “You’re saying I shouldn’t help people?”

“Only if you want to live your life as one of them.” He replied. “Are you destined for something more than simply being a masseuse?” The red skinned alien asked. “Maybe, maybe not. But the only way to find out is to put yourself first.”

“Well, I am. You asked me what I would do if I were able to live uncomfortably.” She said, and he rose to a seated position.

“It’s not simply a matter of making sure you didn’t have to live uncomfortably. It’s ensuring that for the rest of your life and the lives of your progeny. No one is given anything in this life. You have to take it. That’s how the game is played.” He said, lifting himself off of the table and heading to the shower in one corner of the room. He had realized that she was too far below him, on a mental level, to fully understand his words’ impact. Pity. She could have been so much more, if she would merely open her mind to the possibilities.

Oroolia watched him, unsure of what to do next. He could tell, even though she was out of his line of sight at this point. “My aide will see to your payment.” He said, and like that she was gone from his thoughts. His mind was back to work, the mental calculations resurfacing at the top of the waters that were his thoughts.

An idiot, she might have been, but a useful distraction at the time. He had more pressing matters to concern himself with.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The doors to the skyhook’s conference room opened. The stage was set and it was time for the main player to make his presence known to the rest of the room. Fully dressed now and resplendent in his robes, the green skinned man strode into the room and looked at the seated people in attendance. There were even more in attendance through holo display. All of them were waiting with bated breath to hear what he had to say. Honestly, it was amazing that they had remained silent for this long. Luckily, he knew as soon as he started speaking that silence was going to be something that would be in short supply.

After all, most people bucked against progress, at first.

“We have much to discuss.” He said.

“That’s probably why you shouldn’t have been late.” A blue haired woman said from the other end of the table. Her hair was up in a tight bun, but it was clear that her hair was long from the size of the bun. She was wearing a solid red business suit with a white satin shirt underneath. The red was an interesting contrast to her purple skin. Eyes the color of the ocean pierced him, almost to the wall.

He shook it off. He had practice with that.

He smiled, genially. There was only one way to play it and he placed the first card onto the field. “I gave myself some good odds on how long it would take for me to receive a lashing from that tongue of yours, Lana Basa, and you did not disappoint.” He said, as he sat down. He continued speaking not wanting Lana to continue her interruption. Once she was on a role, often times anyone would be hard pressed to stop her.

“Now, we all know that there are going to be a wide number of changes to the galaxy now that the Empire has had its head chopped off by the rebels. Free trade and capitalism is going to be able to reign supreme. But one has to be in the right position in order to take advantage of these opportunities.” He said. “Alone, each one of us can make profit, sure, but allied we’ve got a far better chance at it, as well as in influencing the system to get what we want. What I propose is that we pool our resources together.”

“You mean like working agreements?” Someone asked.

“No.” He said, with a small laugh as he shook his head. “I mean like mergers and acquisitions.” He said.

“You want to try to acquire us all?” Lana asked. “Kashi, what madness is this? You may have more money than most of us, but you definitely can’t pull off the nonsense you’re spewing.”

Kashi Kato rose from the table and started walking around the room. Slowly. Methodically. At the right pace for the holocameras to track his movements, so that everyone around the galaxy who was taking part in this conference would be able to see him. This was the point of the dagger and he had to make sure he drove it home, straight to the heart of everyone watching him.

“Kuat Drive Yards got fat on the Imperial decicred.” He said. “BlasTech made a fortune. Mer-Sonn, Corellian Engineering Corporation, all of them. Their time has come to die.” He said. “We’ve been held back by restrictive Imperial law that protected the Emperor’s cohorts and those that promised to fuel his war machine.”

“My profits have never been able to rise above four percent of my net after payroll.” A Duros shipping magnate said.

“Precisely.” Kashi replied, pointing at the Duros. “We need to form our own lobby, our own special interests group, our own political action committee. Owning elected officials is going to be incredibly important and incredibly realistic soon. No one else is going to look out for us in this galaxy. We have to do it ourselves.”

“What, exactly are you asking of us?” A Wookiee asked, with help from his translation droid.

“We merge all of our companies together. Shares are determined by current net worth of the companies. We have a board of directors that determines the moves we make and we all share in the profits.” Kashi said. He paused, waiting a beat. Silence ruled the room in that moment, dominating the air as everyone considered the words that he had uttered. After all, these were heavy considerations. He was asking them to put all of their faith and trust in him. “By now, you will have received communications to your personal devices that have attachments with preliminary statements and balance sheets. I’ll let you all think about it, and I’ll be in touch.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

One Day Later

Kashi was in his office, going over the latest reports from his company, Makesh Staryards, when there was a buzz on his dataport’s communications channel. He looked up to see a message from his aide. This was a meeting that he had expected to be scheduled shortly after the conference and he had not been proven to be a man with misjudgment. It was also a meeting that he had been looking forward to ever since it had been scheduled. The leather of his executive chair eased backwards as he leaned back and set his feet on the table. The green skinned alien watched as the doors opened to his office and the Near-Human, from what he knew, woman walked into his office, a look of annoyed determination on her face.

“Lana-“ He started with and she leveled a finger at him.

“You’ve got arrogance, I’ll give you that.” She said in her blood red silk dress from Bothawui. Red had always been Lana Basa’s color and she knew that she looked good in it. If she was going to war with Kashi Kato, as things looked like she might, it was best that she was dressed for it. Besides, she had seen the look that he’d given her when she’d walked in. He’d blanked and one of the few times she ever did see him blank was always the first time that she saw him for the day. Well, except for yesterday. What ever was the correlation? “What kind of an offer is that, anyway? You know that the many of them won’t go along with it. They don’t trust you.”

“That’s patently untrue, and you know it.” He said. “They only have to be shown their personal benefit to the proposal and they’ll go along with it. I don’t care if they trust me, I care if they want to make money with me, that’s all.” Kashi said. “Besides, once they know that you’re on board with it, then the last holdouts will come around. It’s all part of the plan.”

The look on her changed to one of amusement and incredulity now. “Why would I be on board with it?” Lana asked. “This is not what I came here to do today, to throw my lot in with you.” She said.

“So you came here only to see me?” He asked, and she smirked. “I’m touched, really, I am.” Kashi gave her a smile that mirrored her own. “I think you’d be on board, because we’re very similar people. Ruthless pragmatism. You know as well as I do that this is the best way for many of these smaller companies to survive, in one form or another. Otherwise the leveraged buyouts are going to start. The derivative actions, if the boards don’t take advantage of the acquisition offers, they’re going to be tied up in the courts for years.”

“As if the Imperial courts hold any power anymore.” Lana said, rising and starting to walk around the room.

He nodded and smiled. “Even if they did, the Rebellion is going to establish their own government now and they’re going to restart the old courts systems from the days of the Old Republic. We both know that this is the wisest move for the smaller companies and we, the larger ones, can absorb the merger costs and the overhead until everything gets sorted out.”

“Obviously you’re going to be the one in control.” She said, from where she stood, back turned to him and looking out over the cityscape that was Coruscant. She could feel the turmoil that gripped the city, the uncertainty. It was not unlike the same feelings of all the business people currently tempted by being under Kato’s thrall. Many of them were businesses that had been started by their ancestors and had been built up over the years. Selling all of that into a conglomerate like the one that Kato was talking about, they would lose their identity, their uniqueness.

Is that really what they wanted? Was survival that important?

“I will be the chairman of the board and the CEO, yes.” Kato said. “I have the strongest company out of all those I extended the offer to join to. That’s how the game is played, Lana, you know that.”

“If my accounting department worked over the numbers correctly, Iktotch Intelligentsia would be the second most powerful on the board, naturally?” She asked, referring to the company that she owned and ran, a powerful artificial intelligence and droid production corporation based on Iktotch.

“Naturally.” He said. He knew damn well what everyone’s percentage shares of the company would be, and Lana was right. She would own the second largest portion of the final conglomerate.

“Ruthless pragmatism.” She said, repeating the words. Her fingers ran though her long blue locks, the hair down today and down well past her shoulders. “You really took a lot of what we learned in B-School to heart, didn’t you?” Lana asked.

“The Masters in Business program at the University of Calidna is second to none.” Kashi replied. “We always were in competition back then, weren’t we?” He asked, walking over to where she was and standing next to her.

“Never forget, my dear little Kato, who ended up number one in the class and who ended up number two.” She said, eyeing him. She turned, leaning against the transparisteel window and looked at him. “Is that why it never worked out between us, the competition?” Lana asked.

The green skinned man smiled, looking down at one of the lower levels of Coruscant for a moment. “Maybe. I refused to allow weakness back then and our relationship was a weakness. Clearly, since you ended up ranked higher than me.”

“What about now?” She asked. “Or are we too far apart from where we once were?” She asked.

The look he gave her showed what he thought about that. “We’re not far apart, we have different goals in life. The potential creation of this conglomerate is the only thing we have in common.”

“For now.” She replied. “If this brilliantly mad plan of yours goes through, I’d be the second most powerful shareholder of this new venture. Our goals would be far more realigned.”

“Except you don’t know my end goals.”

“I would if you shared them with me.” The blonde woman said. “That’s always the problem with you, you never give me the details. You never trusted me. Your cards never leave your chest when you play Sabaac.”

“I do like my Idiot’s Arrays.” He said and then mouthed along with her as she spoke.

“That’s because you are an idiot.” Lana replied. She folded her arms over chest and looked at him. “You were the first loser in B-School, though, you have that. You want my help on this?” She asked and he nodded. “Then level with me. What’s your end goal here?”

The green skinned alien reached out and lightly pressed into her arm with his finger. His claws were always trimmed into a more humanoid appealing way. He watched the trail he made on her skin, as he leaned in to whisper in her ear. Lana placed a hand on his chest and held up a finger of her own. Pressing it into his arm, she dragged it across his skin. Green turned to red and she rolled her eyes, knowing what he had been trying to do. “Without pheromones, you Falleen bastard.” She said.

“I can say the same about you, you Zeltron bitch.” He replied with a smirk. “Play it simply, Lana, I’ve been smelling the pheromones coming off of you since you walked into my office.”

“Answer the question.”

“Simply give you my plans?” He asked, and laughed. “Lana, do you really think I’m going to do that, without something in return?”

“Fine. What do you want?” She asked.

“Two things. The first is that you hear what I have to say with an open mind.” He said, looking out over the city.

“You already know I’m going to do that. The second?” She asked, expecting something related to promising to being open minded. Kashi did like to be sure of things before he committed to anything.

“Dinner, a week from now, to discuss it further.”

If she was stunned, she held it well, he had to give her credit. Kashi watched as she demurely pressed a hand to her chest. “Why Kashi, are you asking me on a date?” Lana asked.

He didn’t miss a beat. “Yes.”

The pause was audible. She stared at him. “What game are you trying to play?” She asked. “You just said our relationship was a weakness.”

“Our goals weren’t aligned. As you pointed out, if this goes through, soon they will be.”

“You would try to string me along to get this deal in place? Ruthless pragmatism at its finest, I suppose.”

He shook his head and sighed, walking back towards his desk. The Falleen leaned against it. “Your point earlier was valid. I’ll be the largest shareholder, followed by yourself. Together, we would be very, very close to a majority, and we can easily accumulate the shares to obtain one.”

She took a breath. “No.” She said. “I’m not going on a date with you because you want to convince me to throw my lot in with you. That’s not how relationships work, you cold blooded bastard. Besides, why are you telling me your plan in advance, that’s so out of character for you.”

“It’s called trust, maybe you’ve heard of it?” He asked. He closed his eyes. “We’re very alike, you and I. We’re sharks in an ocean of minnows, and we consume whoever we want, when we want to. Combined, we’re unstoppable, divided, it’s a waste of resources.” He said and opened his eyes. He saw the look on her face. “What do you want from me, Lana?” Kashi asked. “Do you want flowery words, half hearted gestures of romance? You’ve never struck me as that kind of woman. I know what you want. I know what both of us want.” He said.

“I want some kind of emotion.” Lana replied, and the smile on her face was predatory now. “I think I’m owed some back pay for everything, all those years ago.”

“You are a weakness.”

“Believe it. You can do better than that.”

He was silent for a few beats. “Why don’t I tell you over dinner?” He asked, walking towards her.

She smiled. “Well played. I’ll let you off the hook, for now.” She replied, as he stopped in front of her. “You going to whisper it into my ear, Falleen?” She asked.

He nodded and leaned in.

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Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Re: M U I R: Foundation

Post by Mir » Fri May 20, 2016 10:48 am

"There's a difference between proving you're right and embarrassing someone." Roman said, shaking his head at his younger sister. "Delicate balance is something that we always must strive for. We hold ourselves to a higher standard, Miranda."

As he spoke, his younger sister sat and listened, her back ram rod straight in the chair by the small breakfast table. They were in the apartment that the two of them shared, at the University of Calidna. He was in the graduate program, going for his Masters of Business Administration, whereas she was still in her undergraduate studies, not fully decided on what she wanted to study. "If someone is wrong, I'm not to correct them? Father and Mother always correct inferiors when they're wrong."

"But they choose quite alternative means than you did today." Roman replied, as he twirled a knife around his fingers. It found purchase in a small piece of fruit, and he sliced himself off a portion. Offering it to his sister, he shrugged and took a bite when she declined the piece. "It is not only with words that we remind others of their inferior status, but with everything we do. That’s how we maintain our superiority and remind others of it. You stooped today, Randi, never forget that." Roman said, using the nickname that his sister was fonder of.

His parents had not raised the two of them to behave in any manner other than the one that put them in the best chance to succeed. A driving force behind their actions, the pursuit of power was the sole reason for their existence. Admittedly, their father, Kashi would have been beside himself if Lana Basa had ever married another, but that was something that was guarded more deeply than other secrets owned by the Kato family. Roman eyed his sister who had remained silent through all of this. "You understand that, yes?" He asked.

She nodded, though her face told him that she didn't like it. "I don't agree with it. Father would have gone for the professor's jugular vein." Randi replied. "I've never seen anyone attempt to embarrass him the way that that professor, if he thinks he can call himself that, attempted to do to me, and be successful."

"Father is quite good with words and actions." Roman admitted. "This is why you should learn from his example."

They were half-Falleen and half Zeltron. Roman had taken more after his father, inheriting more Falleen traits and genetics, while Miranda had taken more after their mother. She had purple skin, he had green skin. Truth be told, if one didn't know that they were siblings, one might have been hard pressed to tell that they were related at all. But related they were. Both had definitively inherited their father's reptilian cold bloodedness, and their mother's ability to read people. Before Miranda had the opportunity to reply, there was a knock on the door of their apartment. "Well, this should make your day better. Brighten up some of that insufferable gloom." Roman said as he walked towards the door.

“Who is it?” She asked, as she looked at the door in confusion. “You didn’t tell me we were having any guests today.” Miranda added, as she surveyed her clothes.

Presentable enough, but that depended entirely on who it was that Roman had invited to their apartment. It was one thing if it was a friend or a family member. But her brother often times had state senators and business people from around the galaxy come to the apartment so that they could discuss the goings on of the world.

But when she saw who it was, Miranda smiled, jumping off of from her chair as an old friend of Roman's walked into the room, a smile on his face as well.

"Captain Mors, what a pleasure." She said, and then blushed. "If my idiot brother had told me you were coming, I would have made myself more presentable." She said.

Aeorn Mors shrugged before enveloping the much smaller young woman in a hug. "You look fine, Miranda." He said, before turning to his friend from their mutual time as an undergraduate. "I see business school has been treating you well."

"When did you get in?" Randi asked, interjecting before Roman could speak. "Are you on leave for a while?" She asked, her eyes roving over the New Republic Army dress uniform, resplendent with the awards that Aeorn had won during his short time after he had graduated and had been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the infantry.

"A little while ago." Aeorn said in his traditionally quiet voice. "I'm here for a few days. Not too long. We're getting deployed to deal with a border skirmish in the Outer Rim." He looked around the apartment that the two Kato children shared. His eyebrows lifted slightly. "Having lived in the shit for so long, I forgot just how rich you two are." He said.

Roman smiled, looking pointedly at the bar in one corner of the large open living room, made of reclaimed Mon Calamari driftwood. Aeorn nodded and Roman walked over to pour his friend a gin and tonic, using some of the gin that he’d gotten from Naboo. He handed one to Aeorn before intercepting Miranda’s attempts to grab his, as she was still underage. It was a fun tease, but one that was ultimately pointless, as he made her a drink of her own. “How’s life in the New Republic military?” He asked.

“Just about as cracked up as they made it sound in ROTC here.” Aeorn replied, sipping from his drink. “How’s business school?” He asked.

“Time consuming, but time that must pass.”

“What about you, Randi?” Aeorn asked, turning his attention to the younger woman.

“Still haven’t decided.” She said, sitting back down in her seat. “Mother wants me to pursue a legal degree, but that only covers what I would do after I get the bachelor’s degree, not what the degree itself would be. She basically wants me to follow Roman, getting the law degree and then the masters in business.” She said. “Father refuses to pay for anything that he deems won’t be useful, which, as it turns out, is quite a narrow list.”

“That doesn’t sound like Kashi at all. He makes a use out of everything.” Aeorn said.

“Speaking of which, have you considered his offer?”

Aeorn turned back to the friend that he had graduated with. He looked into his drink. The offer, quite a lucrative one, had been something that he had been considering every day since the elder Kato had sent it to him. It was the natural progression of things, according to the way that Kashi thought, and Aeorn had to admit the man had a point. He wasn’t going to stay in the new Republic Army forever. He had to eventually look to the future. It was twenty six years after the Battle of Endor, and the military conflicts were starting to wind down even more than they had before. The life of an infantry officer was one that needed conflict, and needed men to command.

There were a number of Senators who were looking to see that that never happened again. Aeorn didn’t love war. That was partially a lie though. He loved the art of war, the way that someone could out flank and out strip an opponent, and beat them that way. It was one of the many reasons why he and Roman had gotten along so well during their time at the University of Calidna. It was also one of the reasons why Roman had felt comfortable enough to properly introduce Aeorn to Kashi Basa-Kato and Lana Basa-Kato, two of the most powerful and wealthy people in the galaxy. If there was one thing that that husband and wife duo did well, it was the art of war.

They were master painters, master sculptors. They understood the dance so well, and they played it without trying to let fall a single drop of blood. Aeorn could appreciate that, as a poor boy who had ground up in the slums of Coruscant and who had seized on the military scholarship as his chance to make it out of the ghetto. His life experiences had been nasty and brutish. But it was a testament to his grit and his upbringing that those experiences hadn’t been short as well.

“I have.” Aeorn said.

“What offer?” Miranda asked.

“Father wants Aeorn to join the MUIR, once his contract is complete with the New Republic, which should be relatively soon. I believe he made you a lucrative offer to be one of the commanders of the MUIR Security Forces.” Roman said, lifting his snifter in a salute. “How many zeroes were in the offer?” He asked, with a smile.

“We’ll say that I lost count.” Aeorn said with a small smile. “The signing bonus is more than I think I’ve ever made in my life. Combined.”

“That’s wonderful then.” Miranda said, her eyes lighting up. “You’ll join us at MUIR and then you’ll be even more a part of our family than you already are.” She said.

But it was Roman who had been actually studying his friend’s facial features and body language, his sister too caught up in the moment. He knew what he saw there, the look and feel of a man who was on the fence about a decision. “Something tells me that you’re going to turn him down.” He said, lifting his glass up and eyeing his friend over the rim as he took a sip. “I wouldn’t blame you. A sense of duty is a powerful thing.”

“It’s the first place that I felt I belonged.” Aeorn said, hoping that the simple explanation would suffice. It wasn’t something that he was planning on getting into at the moment.

Miranda opened her mouth to speak, but this time it was Roman’s moment to cut her off. “It’s his decision, Miranda. We shouldn’t try to influence him.” He said. There was a twist of humor at the end of the sentence. Everyone in the room knew that it was exactly what Roman was planning on doing.

“You’ll come with us to a party tonight?” She asked, knowing the right time to change the subject to avoid any non-pleasantries.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been to a college party. I don’t think they’re quite my speed these days.”

“You’re not going to say no to my sister, are you?” Roman asked. “You know what happens when someone says no to her.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Aeorn was sure that he didn’t want to be at this party. He was also sure that he didn’t want to leave the party, no matter how politely he tried to, for fear of upsetting Miranda. She played coy well, but the young woman knew exactly how to get what she wanted, and how best to play people. Pragmatism at the end of the day was how the Katos accomplished their goals. He held a beer in his hand, something cheap from a galaxy-wide producer. It was warming in his hand, and he knew that he would have been ragged on a bit had he been with his unit. He also knew what happened when he drank, he had a tendency to drink to excess. Something that was not good for him, in the setting he was in. Control was something that he prided himself on.

His eyes surveyed the people at the party and he felt as though he had nothing in common with any of them, even if a few short years ago, he had been one of them himself. Life changed when you saw war, when you held a man and felt his heart stop beating. It was hard to go back to this kind of carefree lifestyle.

“Who is that?” Roman asked.

“Who?” Aeorn asked, looking around, as Roman came up next to him.

“There.” Roman said, vaguely gesturing as Miranda came up to them, alcoholic beverage in her hand. She followed the gesture, as Aeorn’s eyes scanned the area to see who Roman was talking about. “Brown hair.”

Then he saw her.

“I know her. She’s a triple major. Archaeology, biology, and chemistry. Graduating this year, I think.” Miranda said. “Her name is Jaina Wyn.” She added, as both her brother and his best friend fell for the same girl at the same time.

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Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
Posts: 18579
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Re: M U I R: Foundation

Post by Mir » Fri May 27, 2016 11:32 am

Balmorra

The leather of the seat gave a bit, as the man sat down in it for the first time. He looked at the desk in front of him, his eyes taking it all in. The gravity of the situation was not lost on him. This was a moment, a life changing moment, and one that he would not forget as long as he lived. Slowly, painstakingly, his eyes drifted upward to the two people on the other side of the desk. There was a small smile on the woman’s face, but then again, she was always the more emotional of the two. The man refused to let emotions enter his judgment, save when it came to his wife. Even with his children, Kashi had been hard pressed to truly demonstrate emotion. But in this moment, he decided to give his son what he knew his son was looking for.

A rare Kashi Basa-Kato smile.

“How does it feel?” The Falleen asked his hybrid son.

“Good.” Roman said, after a few moments. It was the desk in the office of his first true position at MUIR. Senior Vice President of Operations. Men and women would have killed to be one of the SVPs, but Roman had the inside track of course. His parents owned the whole damn thing. He turned to his mother. “Was the press announcement made?” He asked and she nodded.

“Everything was taken care of. We don’t expect it to be covered that greatly, but all of the Core Worlds will know about it.” She said. “Everyone who is important will know who they need to be dealing with going forward.”

“We should talk about special operations. It will be one of the many aspects of operations that will fall under your purview and supervision.” Kashi said, sitting down in one of the chairs in front of Roman’s desk. “This is an important division and one that conducts more…clandestine tasks for the company.”

Roman nodded. “I’ve read some of the documentation.”

“A lot of that is simply words given to the media. You can tell the difference.” Lana said. “Special operations works on a number of projections, but one of the most important, the one that we want you to devote the most attention to, is Project: OOL. During the height of the Old Republic, the Jedi Order controlled and influenced a lot of public policy. They were able to detect Force sensitivity in children and abscond with said children in order to train them. But much of that methodology was lost when Palpatine took over. He instituted sweeping changes and the Jedi were obvious caught up in that tide.”

“The Jedi are virtually extinct.” Roman said. “If someone had survived Order 66, they would be almost fifty years older now. What does this have to do with special operations? Are we attempting to resurrect fossils?”

Kashi smiled. “We’re not talking about resurrection of fossils, but a resurrection of another kind. You studied some biology. What are midi-chlorians?” He asked.

Roman paused, remembering his biology classes. Microscopi, intelligent lifeforms that resided within the cells of all living beings. The Force apparently spoke through the Midi-Chlorians, allowing certain beings the ability to use the Force. The Empire had curtailed any research into Midi-chlorians over the years, and had destroyed a lot of the research contained in the Jedi Archives, so the knowledge on the subject was cursory at best. "Honestly, I don't know that much about them, outside of the fact that they give people the ability to wield the Force. Didn't Palpatine censor a lot of the research?" He asked.

"Indeed, he did, for his own reasons." The Zeltron woman said. "Since the fall of the Empire, we've started conducting our own research into Midi-Chlorians to see what we can find."

"For what purpose?" Roman asked. "After all, the Jedi were wiped out. Most other Forcer organizations were as well. We learned about them as historical fact not present day active entities." Roman said, as he looked between his parents.

"It's one of the reasons why we started sponsoring the archaeology and anthropolgy departments of the University of Calidna so heavily. We want first access to any information that they find regarding Force sensitive artifacts or research." Kashi said. "In addition, you'll remember that Midi-Chlorians are present in all of us. It's only a few that are able to use them to access the Force."

That was true. But it didn't explain the sudden interest of MUIR into such things, unless they were trying to...Roman stopped and smiled. "You've been having the Special Operations division experiment on people to see if we can jump start their connectivity to the Force through stimulation of Midi-Chlorians." He said and Lana nodded. "That's genius. If we don't know how to find Force-sensitives, then we can make them ourselves. This is an excellent idea. The potential applications are incredibly high, and depending on cost, the profit margin could be quite large." Roman said. "I will definitely keep an eye on this project and-"

There was a ring on his desk holo, interrupting Roman's words. No one would have bothered him while the CEO and CFO were in the office with him, unless the issue at hand was something incredibly important and time sensitive. Reaching out, Roman accepted the call, putting it on speaker. He highly suspected that it was Miranda, calling from the University of Calidna to congratulate him and also to try to rib him on his new position. He would deal with her quickly.

"Roman Kato speaking."

"Mr. Kato, my name is Major Nelus. I’m a member of the New Republic Army Medical Corps. Do you know a Captain Aeorn Mors?”

Roman’s eyes narrowed as he listened to the man. “Yes, I do. I’m one of his medical points of contact. Is everything alright?” He asked. No one ever actually contacted him regarding Aeorn’s status and if they ever did, he knew that it had to be something medically related since he was a medical point of contact. Aeorn had no family, at least no family by blood. Roman, Miranda, and the rest of the Kato family were his family. “What’s wrong?” He asked.

“Captain Mors was deployed to a border skirmish. The mission has been going on for some time, due to the surprising well funding of the people challenging the New Republic for control of the planet. As a result, the deployment has been continually extended. A few days ago, Captain Mors was heavily injured in a battle.”

Kashi turned to Lana, shaking his head as everyone in the room heard the news. The look on Lana’s face was undoubtedly much more empathetic than that on Kashi’s visage. After all, the eldest Kato viewed people as assets to be used and exploited on the constant pursuit of bigger and better things. Aeorn had fit the bill in that regard and that was why he had given the man such a substantial offer to leave the New Republic Army and join MUIR. This piece of news while upsetting on a personal level, was far more insulting to Kashi’s disgust of waste. That’s what this was. Aeorn’s talents had been wasted in the New Republic Army and his ability to do real work constantly reduced. Now it seemed as though it had been taken away from the galaxy forever.

A pity, in Kashi’s eyes.

“How injured is he?” Roman asked.

“He’s lost a lot of blood. One of his arms was blown off by an improvised explosive device.” The doctor said. “As a result, he’s in a coma, and we need to know what option you’d like to choose.”

“The option where he lives, obviously.” Roman replied.

“With the budgetary restrictions, there’s been talk of not providing a prosthetic limb. I…I know you’re a man of means, Mr. Kato. Your family’s wealth is enormous. Helping Captain Mors will soon be beyond what the New Republic can afford, when there are other Infantry officers out there who can easily take his position. I know it’s crass sounding, but I have to give you the truth for you to make an informed decision.”

An informed decision was one that Roman was going to make, even as his face curled in anger at what the doctor was telling him. He knew it wasn’t the doctor’s fault. Kashi might have taught him to use people and to do what it took to get what he wanted, but Lana Kato had taught her son loyalty. A good master always repaid a loyal servant. “I want him kept in a bacta tank until MUIR Security Forces’ personnel reach this Outer Rim system.” He said. “I refuse to allow him to die and I refuse to let him languish any longer than he has to under the good graces of the New Republic. Who is his commanding officer?” He asked.

“His unit falls under General Scendi.”

Kashi’s ears perked up at that. The Falleen looked at his son. “Sepha’s husband.” He said, referring to Sepha Scendi, a powerful Senator who was another servant of the galactic Kato household.

“I will speak to General Scendi immediately. I think medical discharge papers will be reaching you shortly.” Roman said. “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.” He said, before hanging up. He turned to his mother. “We have prosthetics. Some of the best in the galaxy.”

“There are a number of models. I’m sure we can find something that will work for him.” Lana replied.

“It seems as though you’re going to get that special forces commander in the MUIR Security Forces sooner than you thought, Father.” Roman said, looking to find Sepha Scendi’s contact information.

“If there’s any value left in his body.” Kashi said, rising. “I told him he was going to let himself be wasted by continuing with the New Republic Army. He refused to listen to me.”

“Well, we’ll save him, and then, he’ll be MUIR.”

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