@Ryat: If there are any changes I need to make, let me know. And I swear my voice doesn't sound like that.
A communication comes from Lord Ryat, requesting Alexander to meet in orbit of Portage VII, with little doubt in Alexander's mind as to the nature of the meeting. He makes the arrangements to shuttle over to the designated location, ignoring the advise of his second in commander to take additional security. Although Alexander wouldn't trust the Vasari within an inch of his vessels, he was certain that Lord Ryat would hardly allow himself to become entangled in any form of deception. Even if Lord J'rah were to make the attempt at such a foolish plan, his forces were at the mercy of Lord Ryat in many ways. No amount of military production would change that anytime soon. So it happens that Alexander travels to Lord Ryat's flagship without incident and soon finds himself entering a comfortable room where Lord J'rah waits in a chair in the opposite side of a table from Lord Ryat. The admiral takes a seat, primary facing Lord Ryat, but as far from Lord J'rah as possible, creating an obvious triangle of discontentment.
Ryat takes the hard duty of breaking the air by saying, "Glad to see you again, Admiral Draakjacht. As you well know, we're having an issue with territorial claims in this system, which was promised to Lord J'rah when we first entered. It was agreed that you were able to borrow Portage IV for processing humans and as a temporary base of operations. There's a problem now that you have engaged Portage III and chosen to hold it for yourself, when it was suppose to be able to starve on the vine when the pirates run interference at the star. You moved before they did and now here we are. I will make every effort to keep you in loop in the future."
Alexander's tone is hard as he replies, "That would probably be well received in the future, Mr. Arnoldt. As for Portage III, the problem is the insecurity of being surrounded by a potentially hostile force."
J'rah inserts himself into the conversation with his surprisingly competent English, "I understand, I've been in that position before."
Alexander cranes his head towards Lord J'rah, "Well, the tables are turned very nicely now."
J'rah glares at the admiral, but holds his tongue.
"My men are hesitant to leave themselves surrounded," Alexander continues, "especially when we have only one way out and it's through a military planet with a targeting array, an object of human technology and one of a wartime nature.
"I understand your situation, but you put me in position that requires repercussions," J'rah replies. "I have those which I answer to and they are displeased with the situation. They must be satisfied."
"Although I do not necessarily have to answer to my men, I have lost many of them, including many who I knew very well. I am not in as compromising a position myself, but I we lost lives for this and we need to see some gain. If not on our part, on the part of those who we have our loyalties to. I'll be damned if I care about your superiors, much less how many you throw away for nothing," Alexander says with his voice raising as he lays out the last sentence.
J'rah leans forward in his chair and shouts with alien obscenity in a garbled language foreign to human ears. Although not understood for it's details, the facial expression and guttural way it's spat at the admiral carries across it's tone and meaning.
Lord Ryat's voice comes between the two as he extends his arms, "Whoa, let's calm things down and try to understand each other's point of view. We're here to find a common ground, not further the conflict."
Alexander turns to Lord Ryat, extending an open hand and shaking his head, "We're not after planets, we're after security. That's our big concern." J'rah's posture eases, visibly cooling as he settles back into his chair. Alexander continues, the direction of his words moving with each sentence further over until pointed to Lord J'rah, "Our issue is not that we wish to take over the system. Our logistics do not come from a civilian populace, but at the same time I need a staging point for my fleet and can not put the safety of my fleet into the hands of one I do not know. Outside of the words of Mr. Arnoldt, who I have only briefly known and have no loyalties to, I have no reason to trust you."
A silence overtakes the three as they each look about. Alexander's eyes move between the Vasari and the floor, his lips tucking in as they do. Lord Ryat looks at the two, steady in his gaze. The Vasari's eyes appear to float towards the floor, but Alexander never understood their anatomy and so wasn't sure of any meaning behind the movement.
Alexander picks up again, the tone of his voice calmer, "What if we trade? What if we are allowed to secure Portage III and make a very quick movement of the last civilians to the Eras System followed by an immediate evacuation of all Lions from Portage IV."
J'rah grumbles at the suggestion, his shoulders shifting about as he responds, "We can allow you to have one planet, but I need more to settle the tempers of my constituents. Portage III holds far more value to us and we need to know that you will not use the planet against us and that we are not cut from access to the planet or it's abilities to defend against outside invaders. As you said, it is a key location. Perhaps if we were to receive the material production of one of the four crystal mines and have access to the network, this agreement might work in both of our favors. As you say, you are not aiming to control planets in this system."
"We are not looking to control all of the planets in this system," the admiral corrects. "We are in need of logistics and, although we get them from an outside source, we need a point from which to deploy them. Also keep in mind that my men are currently required to move from wherever they may find themselves back to this position in order to resupply and repair. For every missile we launch, that is one less missile we have and we can not make more without at least one planet to do so. The planet, at least one, is of importance to us. We can arrange the crystal, but can you embellish on what you are hoping for with regards to military access, keeping in mind that the gravity well around the star is still open to anyone.
J'rah explains, "If there are any attackers, we need to be able to jump in and assist for our sake as well as yours. This is a matter of self-defense as this is the front line any force would enter through. We need to be able to access the targeting array if our men engage invading forces."
Alexander nods, "Very well, but you will not have full access to the system. If we see you approaching when we are engaged by hostiles, we will automatically allow your men access, but we reserve the right to withhold it at all other times."
J'rah turns his head to the side and lets out a sigh, weakly speaking, "Granted."
"With the surrender of Portage IV and the increased security of gaining Portage III, I believe we have come to an agreement. Mr. Arnoldt, thank you for hosting this talk and please keep me in the loop to help avoid this situation in the future."
Lord Ryat replies, "I will certainly do just that. Again, I apologize for not having resolved this before it became an issue."
Alexander rises from his seat, "As you said, it is nice to see you again. Perhaps next time it will be under better circumstance. I hope you will forgive my quick departure, but I have matters to attend to."
"Completely understood. I wish you a safe journey," Lord Ryat concludes.
Without saying goodbye to Lord J'rah, Alexander heads out of the room, leaving the Vasari at his seat with Lord Ryat. He makes a quick path to the shuttle and has it take off immediately. As the vessel heads out, he dials up the David, receiving Lieutenant Commander Frishman's voice over the speaker, "Did it go well, sir?"
"As well as I expected," came the reply. "We're transferring ownership of Portage IV over to the Vasari in exchange for Portage III. I need you to arrange all Dunovs and Akkans to move civilians to Eras VII. Have we completed vessel production?"
"Yes, sir," Frishman says. "All vessels built and in orbit of Portage III."
"Good," Alexander responds. "Blow the frigate factory for security reasons, but you can leave the trade port and mining facilities for the Vasari to have. In the meantime, begin constructing an Argonev facing towards the star, a frigate and capital factory, and a trade port."
Frishman asks, "I assume the Argonev is for defensive purposes?"
"You have it. Outfit her with armor, guns, and gunships."
"Yes, sir," Frishman says.
"And have the Envoy Cruiser prepared for a long journey when I get there," Alexander concludes.
-- Stationed at Portage III --
Blue Fleet --
DLS David - Fleet Admiral Alexander Draakjacht
Tactical Officer - Lieutenant Commander Frishman
Communications Officer - Lieutenant Gross
Bridge Officer - Lieutenant Sokolow
Senior Helmsman - Ensign Karlin
Senior Engineer - Lieutenant Batson
DLS Elijah - Captain Robert Ermler
DLS Abraham - Senior Captain Borovsky
DLS Job - Captain Halevi
DLS Jacob - Captain Feldman
DLS Judah - Captain Oliver
DLS Solomon - Captain Perlman
DLS Moses - Captain Cohen
DLS Noah - Captain Dershowitz
DLS Rebecca - Senior Captain Walter Levin
Second Officer - Commander Maxwell
DLS Samson - Captain Adler
Red Fleet --
DLS Adam - Senior Captain Aronoff
DLS Abel - Captain Palatnik
DLS Daniel - Captain Ornstein
DLS Esau - Captain Mandel
DLS Jeremiah - Captain Leibowitz
DLS Jonah - Captain Kisling
DLS Joseph - Captain Jacobi
DLS Joshua - Captain Hyman
DLS Esther - Captain Heine
DLS Sarah - Captain Greenberg
DLS Eve - Captain Neuhaus
Second Officer - Commander Finkelstein
DLS Isaiah - Captain Eliad
DLS Ishmael - Captain Berkowitz
Green Fleet --
DLS Aaron - Senior Captain Siegel
DLS Cyrus - Captain Strauss
DLS Josiah - Captain Flohr
DLS Elisha - Captain Bar-Lev
DLS Bathsheba - Captain Liebermann
DLS Hagar - Captain Richard Zuckermann