Path to the Senate (COMPLETED)

Image
Forum rules
The Imperial Senate. Where the fate of the galaxy is decided.

Image
Post Reply
User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Path to the Senate (COMPLETED)

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-05-29 05:07

PASSENGER AREA, LAMBDA-CLASS SHUTTLE VOICE OF REASON,
POLAR ORBIT, PLANET PHAEDA, PHAEDA SYSTEM, CADEMIMU SECTOR,
OUTER RIM TERRITORIES



Ambassador Jubar Bavvet and Captain Ersel Malloy had been through a great deal together over the last few months, not the least of which was flying the Voice of Reason down to the planet Bogden’s surface to perform an operation for ISIS. That had been a couple of months ago, when Jubar’s legs hadn’t been working, before he had gotten a hold of fresh, new legs that were clone/cybernetic hybrids made from unique techniques and cutting-edge technology from Arkanian scientists.

That had been before a lot of things had happened.

Captain Malloy was an ex-ISIS commando himself, and a pilot trained in dropping soldiers off in combat zones, and then defending them while they spread out before coming back for them again later. Malloy was one of the best, and had been given the detail of protecting both Jubar and Goru Notombis after the ordeal on Nefaris, when Notombis had been recruited.

My, how times do change, he thought, watching Phaeda’s dayside crest towards him. Here Malloy is now, protecting me while I go to Phaeda and announce my candidacy for Senator of Cademimu Sector. And now, my opponent is one Goru Notombis, his ex-charge. Jubar wondered how Malloy felt about that. Certainly, Notombis would be a formidable and dangerous opponent, because he had always been (and Jubar suspected he still was) in the pockets of representatives from every major criminal syndicate in Cademimu sector. And Cademimu had lots and lots of syndicates.

And that wasn’t the half of it. Jubar had been told by Kane, the Reborn Emperor, that Ambassador Mastrof Tughan, his old nemesis from the Imperial Remnant, was going to enter the Senate race for Cademimu as well, and stars if Kane hadn’t been right about that. No more than thirty-six hours ago, Tughan had made a public speech on the HoloNet—one of many this election season—to announce his candidacy for the same Senate seat Jubar and Notombis would be vying for.

Notombis had already thrown his name into the hat. Jubar was the only dark horse candidate here. Entering late, and having a reputation for both dishonesty (some people still quietly equated him with Kutannin’s supposed treasury) and, duplicitously, a firm do-gooder’s personality (having come to Cademimu months before to lure Notombis away so as to allow the NIF to get a better footing in Cademimu and run off some of its syndicates), Jubar was undoubtedly going to be the underdog.

“Sir?” said Captain Malloy.

“Yes, captain?”

“We’ve got clearance to land. We’ll make Chinesti in fifteen minutes.”

“Very good, captain,” he said. Chinesti, the capital city of Phaeda, was sometimes seen as the capital of Cademimu sector, more than even the planet Cademimu and its cities. Phaeda, as a world, was also symbolic because it was still so embroiled in struggle and strife, despite the positive pushes the NIF had made recently throughout the sector to rid it of pirates, smugglers, thieves, killers, rapists, and terrorists.

Off to his right, just out the transparisteel window, Jubar could see a massive Star Destroyer near one of Phaeda’s two moons. It was no doubt on patrol throughout the entire system, a presence that many around Phaeda weren’t yet used to.

Some will greet me with enthusiasm, Jubar thought. They’ll see the NIF’s influence as a positive one, and will want a NIF politician representing them in the Senate. Others will want a true Cademimu native, and Notombis will fit that bill more, so he already has a distinct advantage over me. And, of course, he couldn’t forget Notombis, who some will undoubtedly see as the most seasoned politician amongst all three candidates.

“Make that work for you,” Neslinger, Jubar’s campaign manager, had told him. The tall, skinny fellow had said to him, many times on their first meeting, “Remember, always turn your weakness to an advantage. They say you’re too inexperienced, then you say that it’s your inexperience that makes you outside of the ordinary corrupt political system. They say you’re too young, then you say that’s what guarantees you’ll bring fresh ideas. Remember, everybody says they hate politicians, but at the end of the day they all root for one, even if they don’t actually go out and vote on it. And everybody—bar none, everybody—loves an underdog.” Then, when Neslinger had asked Jubar if he had thought about security concerns, Jubar had said that he had and dropped it with that.

Currently, Neslinger sat just a couple of seats behind Jubar, speaking with his own assistants about how he wanted this announcement to go, and exactly how he wanted the speech to sound. Jubar was used to writing his own speeches, but Neslinger had insisted on his own speechwriters. Jubar had acquiesced, not wanting to make a big deal out of it at the moment.

He glanced outside again at the fading image of the Star Destroyer, ever vigilant. Then, Jubar glanced to his right, and tried, for the eleventh time since the trip began, not to stare at the droid seated across the aisle from him. The droid had proclaimed itself “Thirty Seven.” It had been (loaned? given?) to him by John, the leader of the fledgling but rapidly growing droid civilization on Patch-4, also a part of the Cademimu sector. The droids there had a vested interest in seeing Jubar become Senator, because they needed him to assist the One True Kane in his return, and for their services to Jubar and the effort in general, they would get sovereignty over themselves and potentially the entire Patch system, since it was mostly worthless anyways.

It occurred to Jubar that Kane “Ace” Roscoe had manipulated the situation to utter perfection. In fact, he wondered now how much had been foreseen by the Dark Jedi in the first place, since it was said that Force-users could see and manipulate so much in the future. Hmmm.

Jubar, realizing he'd been staring at the droid, looked away from Thirty Seven the instant it turned its head in his direction. “Something…troubling you, Ambassador?”

“No,” he said, trying to sound as casual as he could. “No, nothing at all.”

“You were looking at me.”

Jubar hesitated, then figured why lie? “I was spacing out there for a moment.”

“What does this mean, really? Spacing out? I’ve heard it before.”

“It’s a saying, it, uh…it means I let my mind wander too much.”

“I see.” It was not simple confirmation. Was there intrigue in the droid’s voice? Jubar couldn’t fathom if there was. And, as the old saying went, Who knows the mind of a droid?

The ship jostled. They were touching atmosphere.

The captain was saying to his co-pilot, “Start the landing cycle.”

Down below was the planet covered in cities—not quite wall-to-wall cities like on Coruscant, Nar Shaddaa, or Denon, but perhaps in another four or five hundred years it would be that way. The only thing that broke up the cities were occasional stretches of desert and mountain ranges, like those of Collo Fauale. But, as some had noted before, This is Phaeda, and on bad days it actually makes Nar Shaddaa look classy.

“Chinesti ahead,” called out Captain Malloy for the record. “We have clearance to land.”

Here we go, he thought.


* * *


Jubar had contacted Addensko, an old friend and the former security chief for all of Kutannin’s work in and around the Phaeda-Ithor Corridor. Addensko had been on so many jobs for the two of them that the poor fellow had, for a time, become suspect in that whole affair with Kutannin and his suicide during the Battle of Sarapin.

At the Chinesti City Spaceport, Addensko was waiting, along with the six members of his brand-new security team. As the Voice of Reason set down gently, Jubar looked out the window to his right to spot the old fellow dressed in sharp, charcoal-black suit and gray tie, holding a callused hand up in front of his eyes to protect them from the dust the shuttle’s thrusters were kicking up.

They landed on Platform 331, and the ramp hissed as it was lowered. Jubar was up, Thirty Seven right on his tail, and Neslinger looking a little dismayed about being way in the back. Jubar glanced over his shoulder and said, “You ready?”

“I was built ready,” said the droid. Jubar smirked, but then the smile quickly faded. He wasn’t entirely sure that was meant as a joke at all, because it sounded rather matter-of-fact, and yet it was the kind of turn-of-phrase humor a sentient creature would say. Protocol droids sometimes had an adroit sense of humor programmed into them, although it was classified little more than mimicry of other anecdotes and jokes they had heard, but a security droid? Never. There was no point in a security droid having a sense of humor, that’s not what they were for.

Nonplused but still eager to get this show on the road, Jubar nodded and turned to head down the ramp. Already, Addensko was approaching to greet them. He raised a hand, smiled, and went to meet his old friend.
Image

User avatar
Thirty Seven
Freelancer
Posts: 39
Joined: 2009-09-14 23:56
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Thirty Seven » 2011-06-01 15:06

Thirty Seven watched. Everything. The droid’s two forward photoreceptors, glowing a menacing red, swept across the docking port, taking in the few station personnel and droids that busied themselves at the far end of the terminal, as well as the seven members of the Ambassador’s security detail who stood, mostly passively, as Jubar Bavvet and his entourage approached. But that was not all the droid saw.

Two hidden photo receptors, one on each side of its head, slid back and forth along their concealed tracks. Each angling up or down as they scanned the surrounding. Thirty Seven maintained a nearly two-hundred and twenty degree field of vision, broken only when its hidden photoreceptors became fixed on distant targets.

The machine watched everything in a way that no organic could. It watched the motions of the dock workers as they moved to secure the Voice of Reason, the careful steps of one indicating a possible knee injury, the sluggish motions of another suggesting the onset of fatigue. It observed the tottering steps of a ‘gonk’ droid as it crossed the terminal, wavering slightly as awkwardly maneuvered around obstacles, its difficulty suggested a possible glitch in its routing software.

Beyond the mere physical spectrum, Thirty Seven scanned its environment with an array of components. Utilizing a military grade NeuroSaav Sensor Array and an Imperial Intelligence issue Electroscanner, it located all manner of electronic devices, everything from datapads to automatons, and it could interface with any of them wirelessly, or jam them, if it chose.

Thirty Seven turned its head slightly, so that Neslinger, the Ambassador’s aid, and his staff came into view. The human looked perturbed, as he briskly spoke with one of his assistants, making last minute changes to the Ambassador’s upcoming speech. As a professional Campaign Manager, Neslinger was very likely used to having unfettered access to candidates, and Thirty Seven caught the human glaring at him every now and then when the man thought the droid wasn’t looking.

But Thirty Seven was always looking, always watching. An experience the droid did not think organic creatures could comprehend. Even beyond its photoreceptors and modified sensorscopes, the droid watched from the sensors and cameras of the Onikage, which now slowly drifted in a geosynchronous orbit above the planet. The Slave Circuit installed on the YT-1930 was a custom build, incompatible with other droids, and its functionality greatly exceeded that of standard models. So long as the ship was in range, Thirty Seven literally ‘inhabited’ the ship’s systems, experiencing them as an extension of its main body.

Being almost seven hundred kilometers away, however, introduced a noticeable lag in Thirty Seven’s communication with the ship, which bothered the droid in a way it could not quite describe.

Addensko moved shake Jubar’s hand, but Thirty Seven blocked him by stepping forward and placing a metal hand on his chest. Addensko, a large, barrel chested man, grunted as Thirty Seven’s hand connected with him, recoiling slightly against the barrier. Addensko shot the droid a confused look; Jubar, on the other hand, was glaring daggers at the droid.

“Thirty Seven, this is-“ The Ambassador began, before being cut off by Thirty Seven.

“Rasutin, Addensko. Former Security Chief for Usten Kutannin, Imperial Ambassador to Phaeda. Yes, I know who he is.” The droid said coldly.

Jubar sighed audibly, and glanced back at Neslinger and then at the other six members of his security detail who were still standing a few meters away. He gestured off to the side with an outstretched arm, “I suppose we should get this out of the way then,” he said, motioning to the others to wait behind while the three of them walked just out of ear shot.

Thrity Seven stayed between Addensko and Jubar as they moved off several meters away from the rest of the Ambassador’s entourage. Not because the droid was suspicious of the human, but simply to make a point.

Addensko spoke first, with a mixture of confusion and mirth, “Ambassador, I think there’s something wrong with your droid.”

“No, my friend, I’m afraid there isn’t. Addensko, this is Thirty Seven, and he, or I guess it, will be in charge of my personal security during, and perhaps even after, the election.”

Addensko gave Jubar and uncertain look, and glanced skeptically at Thirty Seven, “You must be kidding?” It was more of a question than a statement.

“No, he isn’t.” Thirty Seven said, pointedly.

The droid’s interjection seemed to confuse the human even more. Not an uncommon reaction, Thirty Seven had learned, as most organics were not used to having droid’s speak out of turn.

“Sir, with respect, you simply cant trust your safety to a droid. The environment is far too dynamic for a droid brain to deal with, it wont be able to keep up.”

Jubar hesitated, as Neslinger was motioning in the air, one finger tapping the wrist on his other arm. A signal for ’check the time’. “Listen, Addensko, believe me when I said I understand how unusual this seems, but we don’t have time to discuss this now.”

“Master,” Thirty Seven said, addressing Jubar for the first time with the title, “my job is to protect you. I am content to let Addensko play the part of security chief, if you trust him to do so.” Addensko glared at the droid, silently mouthing the words ‘play the part’.

“Fine,” Jubar said with a tone of finality, “we’ll work the rest out later. Right now we have a schedule to keep.”

User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-06-02 06:41

Jubar stepped in between Addensko and Thirty Seven, to help avoid the awkward moment. “Addensko,” he said. “I understand you reserved a room for us?”

The old fellow glared at the droid a moment longer, and then blinked and looked at Jubar. “I did, yes. I also have security teams posted outside of the door, and I arranged rooms for Neslinger and anyone else who might need it…I suppose the droid can take one of those rooms.”


* * *


Addensko and his team had done a sweep of the hotel before Jubar and his entourage ever arrived, but he did a second one now and Thirty Seven did one of his own. Jubar left them to their work while he and Neslinger got to discussing exactly what it was that they wanted to accomplish over the next month of meetings, interviews, and public appearances. “Most politicians looking for the Senate seat need to wait to spend a lot of time making it clear which party they represent,” Neslinger said. “However, your circumstances are quite unique, Ambassador.”

Yes, Jubar was in a rather unusual situation. It was getting to be a well-known fact that he had been the rabble-rouser behind the scenes who had constructed the Rebel Alliance Party. Other Senators, such as Cabbatt and Yumb, had at first been the leaders of the party, but now they were seen more as figureheads for the overall design that Jubar had envisioned.

What had started out as a grass roots movement to call attention to details that hadn’t had any attention in a long, long time—such as the growing threat of organized crime and how the syndicates were profiting (as they always did) off of the growing malcontent between the NIF and the NR. Jubar had filled the gap, and had managed to attract only a handful of reputable politicians in the beginning, just to give the RAP a start. Things had picked up for them when the Little Guy, the people who had felt overlooked for so long, had started to nominate Senators based on their connection to the Rebel Alliance—that’s when Jubar had started to realize people were serious about RAP, and others in the political sphere were beginning to take notice.

“We’ll have to send out the press release that you’re going to make an announcement,” Neslinger was saying.

Jubar snorted. “I’ve always thought that practice was funny—we have to send out an announcement that says we’re going to announce something.”

Neslinger smiled courteously and nodded. “That’s how these things are done, Ambassador. It builds a degree of suspense, and ensures that the maximum number of people possible will be watching certain channels when they broadcast your announcement. These things are what you’re paying me for.”

Wrong, Jubar thought. That’s what the reborn Emperor Kane is paying you for. He still couldn’t believe how far he had come in all of this political intrigue. Ah, what the vicissitudes of fates do thrust upon us. “I understand, Neslinger,” Jubar said. “And I understand that you are one of the best campaign managers in the galaxy.”

“I got Senator Flos and both Chancellors Sor’sha and Nabin’ini’x to where they are today.”

“That’s what I hear,” he said, glancing over at Thirty Seven as he inspected a pair of vases closely. “And I put my campaign, and political future, in your skillful hands.”

“Then I’ll have the press release sent out immediately, and Bastiiam here will be your speechwriter. You and he will work closely together—he’ll have to understand what it is that you want conveyed. You’ll put it in your words, and then he’ll look for a way to better phrase it so that both the intellectuals and Luke Sixpack will understand it.”

In other words, it won’t sound like me at all in the end. “I understand.”

Addensko walked into the room at that moment, flanked by two of his own people—a Wookiee and a Duros—and he said, “Hotel’s been checked again, sir. All’s clear.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” said Thirty Seven.

Every organic in the room pause to look at him, and Jubar gave Addensko a look that told him to remain patient.

Neslinger cleared his throat and said, “I’ve also got hundreds of friends in the media sphere. We’ll have to get a media package together for you, a line-up of shows to appear on—you did well on the couple of occasions you were interviewed on Coruscant, and our preliminary polls show that NR sympathizers here in NIF space tend to like you, as do those calling for a ceasefire and a permanent peace between the two governments, so we’ll line you up with HoloNet shows that cater to that demographic.”

Jubar started to say something, but he stopped himself short when he saw a dozen men and women in business suits enter the hotel room with large durasteel boxes in their hands. They started unpacking immediately, pulling out holoprojectors and transceiver/receivers. Thirty Seven walked over to them at once and started inspecting all of the equipment, much to the dismay of these new folks.

“Are these are first campaign volunteers?” Jubar said.

“They are. The chief organizer is a Rodian named Pasht Forn, I’ll introduce you two later. This will be our first command center, but we’re already setting up another one in Bukkra and other cities throughout Phaeda. Your budget allowed for it, and you told me to use it to do what I felt necessary, and well…” Neslinger shrugged.

“They’ve got their work cut out for them. We’re entering this race late, and the election is not far off.”

“I’ve used most of these people before,” Neslinger promised. “Trust me, if it can be done, they’ll get it done.”

Jubar sighed. They better. Or else this speeder race is lost before we’ve got our bike out of the gate.
Image

User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-06-04 05:08

Jubar stepped up to the podium. An expectant crowd had gathered. Not too big, because who really cared about politics in a place such as Phaeda, or anywhere else in the Cademimu Sector, for that matter? This region of the galaxy had been so torn apart by crime, with only a few efforts put forth by the NIF to fix it recently and even those with mixed results, that it was easy to see why so many had lost hope. It wasn’t possible to clean up an entire planet in a single year, much less an entire sector. This sector would be under development and constant renovation and reorganization for the next 30-40 years, and even then, it still might not ever fully develop into something that could turn into a more tourist-friendly zone.

Jubar knew this, and Neslinger, his campaign manager, knew this. Everyone and their brother must have surely known this. Even so, he went up the stairs, one step at a time with his newly fashioned legs—in a way, he was already an underdog-on-the-rise story, since it was common knowledge that he had overcome a debilitating and very deadly disease, and was walking again. People watched him, a few of them with bored eyes, others with their mouths slightly parted, intrigued.

Behind him, Addensko and Thirty Seven walked up to the steps. The droid, obeying some logic known only to it, left Addensko and went about his own patrol, and perhaps to some other post. Jubar’s personal assistant, Hanna, had arrived in the night. After settling in, she had gotten together with Jubar’s speechwriter and they had discussed exactly what ought to be in his speech. She was by his side all the way up to the podium, and then remained just a bit back so that the cameras would not catch her in the same shot.

He smiled and waved to absolutely no applause. This was Chinesti, the capital of Phaeda, and not even here did people really understand how to treat a politician who hadn’t been nominated to a position that he hadn’t bought—well, that wasn’t entirely accurate, either, since ISIS had technically reinstated him just after Sarapin only to assist them on various errands, but still, at least he wasn’t bought off by underworld mobsters. Everyone here knew that just by the way he walked. Jubar didn’t walk like a guy who knew he’d already won the election, not like Goru Notombis had during his time as Prime Minister of Nefaris.

However, many political parties would be watching him today because they weren’t so sure he hadn’t been bought off. After all, this was Jubar Bavvet, the young loner who had apprenticed under Usten Kutannin, the Politician Who Shall Not Be Spoken Of In Polite Company, and had next apprenticed under Goru Notombis, who any idiot could see was in the pockets of the Cademimu criminals consortiums. Well, in just a moment, they would know that Jubar Bavvet wasn’t in their pockets—and they might just be shocked by his message to those criminals.

“Thank you all for coming,” Jubar said, his voice echoing throughout the public forum. “I think you all know why you’re here, and why I’m here. If you read the press release, then you probably guessed that I’m here today to make my formal announcement of entering the senatorial race. I, Jubar Bavvet, hereby submit my name into the hat, and ask the people of Cademimu Sector to help me help them by electing me as their representative in the Imperial Senate.”

A smattering of applause cropped up here and there, and died pretty quickly. Jubar didn’t take it as an insult. Again, these folks didn’t know to be excited. They had been promised salvation probably more times than Jubar had taken a swig of Whyren’s Reserve, which was a lot.

He would have to show them. He would have let them know they were worth saving, that their quasi-indentured servitude to the “Criminal Economy” of Cademimu Sector was not a given, that they were all free sentient creatures from their first breath and that they didn’t have to live in squalor-ridden neighborhoods where the criminals ran the show.

“Many will ask why chose such a challenging sector of space to represent,” he went on, making sure to look around the audience—public speaking lessons from years before had taught to never just look down at the podium and recite the words written there. He had to memorize the speech beforehand, and only glance down at it for brief reminders of direction. “Certainly, everybody knows that it would have been far easier to represent a sector that is more accommodating, less violent, and therefore less of a headache to deal with.” Jubar shrugged. “Well, to tell you the truth, that’s why I wanted to run for the Senate seat of Cademimu. I got into politics to help fix things. Why run for the Senate seat in any district that has a reasonably functioning economy when there are those such as this one that so obviously do not have a functioning economy?

“I enjoy challenges. It’s why I get up in the morning. It’s why I’m here today. If I didn’t enjoy challenges, I wouldn’t have made it this far,” he said. Jubar was saying this because Neslinger had specifically told the speechwriter to create that feeling in the speech of overcoming challenges—it was to be the “theme” of the campaign, he said. Jubar Bavvet had overcome the challenge of his false disgrace, the challenges of his disease, the challenges of entering the Senate race late, and now, he was taking on the challenge of cleaning up Cademimu Sector, a job no reasonable entity would want.

On the front of his podium, in fact, a banner read CHALLENGE THE FUTURE. It was the official campaign slogan, complete with his face on the front and center.

“And if anyone who represents Cademimu Sector doesn’t expect it to be a challenge, then they’re kidding themselves,” Jubar said. “This will not be an easy task. We have to be ready for the challenges ahead. We have to almost enjoy the challenges. If we don’t, we will never climb out of the filth that we see all around us.” This was harsh language, language that both Neslinger and the speechwriter had advised against, but Jubar had insisted that he wanted something along these lines because he was a realist, and Hanna had helped make sure that it all stayed true to what he wanted to say. “You all know what I’m talking about. There are the Hutt expansionists, not satisfied with their own piece of the pie away in Hutt Space. There’s the Crag’sisi underworld of Phaeda, the Bando Gora all across Cademimu Sector, the United Phaeda Pirates, the Uda Benq Marauders, the Tusogaan Pirate Group, and the Usurpers of Ballok. Then you have organized thieves’ clans, like the merrik yv makloz clan, and let’s not forget the obviously corrupt officials on Bazarre and the planet of Cademimu itself. There are the Xikarri of Bosmuf, the t’landa Til priests of Aerias, the slavers of the Mosu system, corrupt officials on Nefaris and the seemingly inexhaustible problems throughout all of the so-called Outlaw’s Run.

“These problems haven’t gone away. Indeed, they have only been made stronger. The Uda Benq Marauders, for example, are only able to thrive because of the chaos the Tusogaan Pirate Group and the United Phaeda Pirates create in your airspace. The merrik yv makloz are only able to fence their stolen goods and launder their stolen money because of the disgusting black markets on Bazarre and Smarck. These problems compound one another. The problem with this system is that, if just one fails, then the entire Criminal Economy that runs rampant throughout Cademimu Sector collapses. You all know this, and knowing that a transition will hurt you has made you reluctant to do something for so long.

“So, you have settled. You have endured. I know this is tough talk coming from an outsider like me. You’ll no doubt ask, ‘Who is this upstart to tell us we need to change?’ I can’t force you to think of me as anything other than an outsider. I absolutely am,” he said, embracing his non-Cademimu nativity. Technically, he was a citizen of Phaeda, but only because two years ago, when his career had really started going with Kutannin, Jubar and his boss had started working out of the Federation Embassy on the planet.

Still, he was enough of an outsider that his political opponents, Notombis and Tughan, would no doubt use it against him after his announcement today. Neslinger had advised Jubar to use his weakness as a strength, and he intended to do just that. “I am an outsider, and thus I have an outsider’s perspective on Cademimu’s problems. Some will say that means I don’t know what it’s like to be ‘entrenched’ in the ongoing problems of poverty and crime here, but I believe it means I bring a unique perspective—I don’t think like the criminals who run Cademimu, and therefore I think outside of the box when it comes to Cademimu’s historically wicked approach to all matters of politics.

“I’m also sending a message to those criminal consortiums. You are my number one target.” This was going off the speech, and Neslinger knew it. From the bottom of the stairs, about twenty meters away from the podium, Neslinger looked up at him in surprise. Standing closer to him, Hanna masked her incredulity, but only barely. “Sure, I could be more diplomatic and subtle about it, but why dance around the issue? That would be an insult to all of you here,” Jubar said. “And all of you out there,” he added, pointing at the cameras watching him and broadcasting this. “I’m not going to lie. To either you the citizens or the criminals of Cademimu, even though they don’t deserve any honesty. I am here to eradicate you, to expunge all favoritism owed to the underworld. I will not accept bribes, I will not compromise with your sort, and I will not be intimidated.

“To you the common citizens of Cademimu, you who have been the victims of the various street wars, random violence, spice wars, and the impoverished lives these activities have forced on you, I say that I will be on your side. The whole way. Nothing can sway me. I fully expect the syndicates to try something, anything, to silence me and remove me from all Cademimu politics. Don’t be surprised if you hear of their attempts,” he said. This was another of Jubar’s own spice; in one fell swoop, he had just told the whole galaxy to watch for the syndicates to try something, so that if they did it would be very public and call a lot of attention to themselves, while at the same time he had shown daring in front of the people, and the people like daring men. It made politics, usually so boring, more exhilarating.

“People of Cademimu, I stand by you. I believe in you! I do not believe you are the cattle that can be herded forever, at the mercy of your syndicate shepherds! I believe that, sooner or later, they will find that you are all wolves. That you have teeth. That you will bite back. When that happens, when you decide to do that, I hope you will allow me into your pack. As a matter of fact, even if I am not elected as your Senator, you have my word that, if the day ever comes when revolution happens by the people against these criminal consortiums, then I will be with you on that day, regardless of how this election turns out. I thank you for your time, and for coming here to listen to me today.”

Jubar stepped away from the podium, and all at once he was hit by a thunderous applause he had never, ever received before in his life. Rodians, Mirilians, Humans, Zabraks and Wookiees howled and cheered and pumped their fists into the air. For a moment, Jubar was stunned. He didn’t know it until that instant, but he had been sweating. His armpits were soaking wet. Still, he forced a calm smile and a humble wave to the crowd, before he turned and stepped off the dais.

Well, Jubar, he thought he heard his dad say from way back when he had stumbled across a new recipe for Whyren’s Reserve. You certainly hit on a new flavor there, didn’t you?
Image

User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-06-19 01:02

PASSENGER AREA, LAMBDA-CLASS SHUTTLE VOICE OF REASON,
MID-HYPERSPACE, CADEMIMU SECTOR,
OUTER RIM TERRITORIES



An election campaign was run using seven main departments: the Field Department, the Communications Department, the Policy Department, the Fundraising Department, the Compliance and Legal Department, the Technology Department, and the Scheduling and Advance Department. Jubar was learning that all of these had to be balanced like a delicate ballet for a tight, concise, and cohesive message to come across to the public.

“Coming up on Smarck,” said Captain Ersel Malloy over the Voice of Reason’s intercom. This was the same man who had carried Jubar through their clandestine mission for ISIS on and off Bogden amidst one of the most explosive battles in recent galactic history. “Exiting hyperspace in seven minutes. Might wanna go ahead and start strapping in, folks.”

They all did, and a few minutes later, they reverted. They were in real-space, and moving about the cabin and the passenger area until they could get landing clearance for Rudost Spi, the capital city of Smarck.

“There are lots of other problems to be concerned with,” said Neslinger. The tall, skinny campaign manager was standing at a desk, poring over the computer monitor of one of his staff in the Policy Department of Jubar’s campaign. Neslinger was extremely pale, showing that he rarely got out except to run a campaign, and he looked like a hawk when he pored over documents with the eyes of a scientist looking at microscopic specimens.

“How do you mean, sir?” asked Hanna. Jubar’s assistant, who had slowly gained more and more of his trust throughout their short six-month business relationship, had been entrusted with running the Field Department. This put her in charge of more “on-the-ground” organizing that was required in order to personally contact voters through canvassing, contact calls, and building local events. Voter contact would naturally help to construct and clean the campaign's voter file in order to help better target voter persuasion. This would help them identify which voters a campaign most wanted to bring out on election day.

Jubar was only halfway listening to them. He was pacing at the center of the passenger area, looking into the latest polls. Behind, the droid Thirty Seven lingered not too far away. At times, Jubar wasn’t aware of him at all, and at other times, the droid seemed to be omnipresent.

“The people of Chinesti obviously like the slogan, ‘Challenge the Future,’ but the lobbyists for groups such as Elloro Electronics Company and the Pan’channa Builder’s Union are obviously not gonna like it, because they like the way things are right now,” Neslinger was saying. “The key here is, we make idea of ‘challenging’ the future palatable to even them—they have to see it as a business opportunity. I want you to dig up the local building codes and union regulations, see if there’s room to talk on that front, maybe get them talking about that particularly dilapidated part of Bukkra, what’s it called?”

“Rapallo,” Jubar said, looking up from the latest polls he was reading on a piece of flimsi—the polls currently had him at 17% up from just two days before he had made the speech in Chinesti. Not bad. “I tried to get Kutannin to be more focused on that area of Bukkra back when we first started our work here on Phaeda,” he said. “It’s where Adloo and a good deal of the Crag’sisi have made their home. If we target those dilapidated homes and apartment complexes—many of which have been condemned—we’ll be directly remodeling one of the prime areas in this hemisphere for shady spice trading, prostitution, hell it’s even the best place to dump a body, to hear the local cops tell it.”

Neslinger looked up at his boss. “How serious are you about cleaning up the streets?”

“Very.”

“I thought so. Just two days ago you made that promise to the people and the criminals of Cademimu sector to clean it all up—I personally would rather you have used more, eh, tactful language, but now we’re in this thing full-on and if you don’t want to look like a coward, you’ll have to show that you’re serious about this.”

Jubar nodded. “Oh, believe me, I understand that, Mr. Neslinger,” he said. “In fact, not only will renovating the Rapallo District rid many of the criminals of a good dark place to hide to do their business, the construction itself will provide jobs and affordable housing, since Phaeda can't even afford an EVS construction droid in its budget; meaning we'll need actually sentient workers doing all the work. That'll bring housing. Fewer homeless means fewer crimes.” He laid the flimsiplast with the polls down on the desk in front of Hanna, and asked, “Have you finally looked at the draft of my next speech? I’ve gotta give it in eight hours.” He tapped his chrono.

Hanna said, “I still need to edit it some more, so it sounds more like it’s coming from you.”

Neslinger sighed. “Mr. Bavvet…I’ve told you, my speechwriter is perfectly capable of—”

“Of writing something that’s policy-neutral, stagnant, and emasculated of any real substance. It might get me votes with humdrum folks who barely pay attention to politics, but those people don’t turn out in droves, especially not in places like Phaeda, Smarck, and Nefaris.” He shook his head. “The system is far too corrupt out here on the fringes, and nobody’s ever really cared. Even when the NIF took all of this over, it was pretty much with a policy of ‘It’s our territory, but generally speaking let’s let the animals wipe one another out, because we have bigger fish to fry.’ Well, Phaedans and others throughout Cademimu sector know that, they know they were left to their own devices, and Kutannin knew it, too. We never got to enact the kind of change he wanted initially, and the people here know all about empty promises. They need to hear something jarring ,and Hanna’s been around me enough to know what I want said. I trust your man to make some good points, but I trust her to make it sound like me. Got it?”

Hanna looked as though she were trying to hide a smile.

Neslinger sighed. “Got it.” At his side, his datapad twittered, and he looked at the message that was texted to him. “It’s from Coshley, I have to take this.” He walked away for a moment and started texting back and forth with Prim’we Coshley, their Head of Communications Department. Coshley’s job was to oversee both the press relations and advertising involved in promoting the campaign in the media. He was responsible for the campaign's message and image among the electorate. Press releases, advertisements, call scripts, and other forms of communication had to be approved by his department before they could be released to the public.

Jubar let his campaign manager be most of the time. Neslinger was well-paid, some of it from the money that the Rebel Alliance Party had originally put up to fund his campaign, but much of their efforts were coming from a mysterious donation, which was undoubtedly Emperor Kane’s secretive account, or one of his accounts.

Neslinger commonly busy with their campaign’s press secretary, who monitored the media and coordinated the campaign's relations with the press. He was also in charge of setting up interviews between Jubar and reporters, and briefed the press at press conferences. All of this, of course, had to be run by Thirty Seven; as Jubar’s “Chief” of security, the droid was given all the standard written and digital updates that were usually given to organics. Addensko, Jubar’s old friend and former security consultant while with Kutannin, did not like this arrangement, but had suppressed his discontent for the moment, it seemed.

“Hanna?”

“Sir?” She looked up from editing his speech.

“Did either Notombis or Tughan verify that they would be present for the debate? I asked Neslinger earlier, but he didn’t know.”

“Um, let me see,” she said, pulling up the latest messages she’d gotten from Besk’y L’ari, their Head of Scheduling and Advance Department—this department effectively answered to the Field Department, which Hanna was in control of. L’ari made sure that Jubar was effectively scheduled so that the team could maximize their impact on the voters. They also oversaw the advance work of the PPS people (Personal Protection Specialists) who went ahead to each event location far ahead of time to scope the place out for anything suspicious. “Yes, here it is,” Hanna said. “L’ari says that both of your opponents are on.” She looked up at him meaningfully. “They’ll both target you first in the debates, won’t they?”

“Actually, I don’t think they will,” Jubar said. “I think they’ll each try to take one another out of the race, thinking that I’ll be easy pickings once it’s just down to me and one of them. They’ll mock me as a kook, ‘failed’ politician and make remarks that’ll remind the public of Kutannin’s supposed treachery, or some such, I’m sure. They won’t think I’m anything special at the moment. I’ll be virtually forgotten, just background noise to them.”

“But your spike in the polls—”

“Yes, they’ll see that as nothing more than the natural boost a surprise dark horse candidate gets coming outta nowhere,” he said, chuckling. “They won’t take me any more seriously than the Death Stars would’ve taken an inconvenient asteroid.”

Hanna smirked and said, “But the two Death Stars still blew up.”

He winked at her. “Yes. They did.”

From up front, Captain Malloy said, "Okay, people. We've got clearance to land in Rudost Spi. Please take your seat, entering through atmo can be a bumpy ride in case ya didn't know already."
Image

User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-09-12 00:28

Chinesti, Phaeda
Zhellday, 54:4:22 (Unification Day)
7:00 PM, Galactic Standard Time



The debates had actually been rather polite recently. A very serious change was about to take place, though, Jubar had no doubts about that. The final debate would now take place in Chinesti itself, the capital of Phaeda (though, with so much turmoil in Phaeda of late, as well as all of Cademimu sector, the capital city was in dispute).

The E.P. teams were out in force, at least thirty assigned to each candidate. Jubar had the droid Thirty Seven with him, as always, and Addensko’s teams were fanning out into the audience in undercover dress. Even Jubar didn’t know who all was on his security team, so many were they and so good at their jobs of blending in. Hanna was beside him, giving the security droid a wary look, as she always did. Hanna didn’t trust Thirty Seven any further than she could throw him, but she had acquiesced to Jubar’s insistence that he remain.

Backstage, they all stood together, with Tughen and Notombis nearby—the Human wouldn’t even look in Jubar’s direction, while the big Twi’lek (his former employer) couldn’t help but look over at him and sneer from time to time.

The announcer for tonight’s debate was Rik’klu Yam’mbat, the popular Mirilian political analyst who’d been an announcer at such events in Cademimu sector for three decades now. He now announced, “Tonight! Live from the Kweherri Memorial Library, at a place dedicated to the political icon Ito Kweherri who, before his assassination a hundred years ago, had been on a roll making Phaeda a safer place—we gather here at this historic arena! We will hear from the three candidates who would like to claim his legacy!

“They’re all here tonight, ready to explain and defend their positions on spending, on job creation, on debt, on taxes, on the NIF’s costly wars, and the terrible gridlock that is the modern Imperial Senate! I am Rik’klu Yam’mbat, I will be your host and moderator for this evening.” Thunderous applause went up from the assembled crowd. “Thank you, and welcome to the candidate debate, here on the historic day of 54:4:22, the Federation’s recognized Unification Day! We’re going to get right to it because we have a lot to talk about!”

Jubar took a deep, steadying breath, and let it out slowly. It was his Isk Maega training that kept him from sweating, that kept him from fidgeting or growing nervous. Still, there was excitement in the air. He’d never in his life envisioned he would have made it this far. Even if he lost the election now, he still could hardly believe how far he’d come.

“By agreement, our candidates tonight will have one minute to answer!” Yam’mbat went on. “Then there will be thirty seconds for follow-up or rebuttal. There will be no opening or closing statements tonight. With that out of the way, we’re going to start with job loos and the economy, the very source of what most agree is behind the incredible criminal activity all across Cademimu sector. We’ll bring the candidates out now. Ambassador Goru Notombis, Ambassador Mastrof Tughan and Ambassador Jubar Bavvet!”

Applause went up as the three of them stepped out onto stage, and a few boos, as well. Bright lights flashed at their entrance. Jubar took his podium at the far right side of the stage.

Once all was settled and the applause (and boos) had died away, Yam’mbat continued. “Ambassador Notombis, we’re going to go ahead and begin with you,” he said. “You’ve touted the low taxes in the planet you once ruled over, that being Nefaris right here in Cademimu sector. You’ve also touted those low taxes, the lack of regulations, and tough tort reform as the winning recipe for the growth you saw on Nefaris, yet the planet itself ranks very low in education. There are only six other planets in Cademimu living in worse poverty, and Nefaris has more working at or below minimum-wage requirements. Is this what Cademimu would have to look forward to if you were elected to represent us in the Imperial Senate?”

Notombis cleared his throat. “Actually, Rik’klu,” he said, “you’re not quite right on a few of those claims. Or, they are at least misleading. Yes, there are more people working at or below minimum-wage standards, but what you failed to mention is that we increased the minimum-wage standard planetwide. We went outside of what the Federation deems the standard of minimum wage.”

“But, now that all of Cademimu is finally becoming fully absorbed into the New Imperial Federation, won’t those people on Nefaris have to resort directly back to the standards set by the N.I.F.?”

“Oh, certainly! And that will make things difficult for about a year or two for those used to their current wages—there’s no getting around that—however, being absorbed into the Federation is going to be altogether better for us, since our trade will be a bit more, ah, fluid with them, now that we will not only have their protection from pirates and the like, but also because there are now more opportunities for people in Cademimu to get more secure jobs, government jobs with the NIF, jobs that we would otherwise never have had.”

“And you think that will paint over any problems created by the transition, including the wage change?”

“Of course, it will.”

“All right, fair enough,” Yam’mbat said, turning his direction to the man standing at the middle podium. “Ambassador Tughan, over to you. You’ve opened the door on this topic. Despite your own private sector experience, though, you’ve had the least amount of experience Cademimu sector than the other two candidates on this stage. The obvious question is, do you have enough invested in the community of Cademimu to care about job growth and crime to the degree that our other candidates do?”

“Oh, almost certainly,” Tughan said, smiling. “In fact, I think it’s essential that I haven’t stemmed from the historically corrupt political sphere of Cademimu. If I had, one wouldn’t know whether I was one of those in league with this sector’s underworld bosses or not.” That drew a few gasps from the crowd, their surprise at Tughan’s forthright suggestion that the other two candidates on stage with him might just be criminals. In this case, he was suggested that only an outsider could be trusted. “Furthermore, I’ve had a successful life as a member of the Old Empire, as well as with the Remnant, whom I helped convince to surrender,” he lied. “As well, I’ve been entrusted with many military intelligence operations, both before and during my time with the Federation, and so not only will I be able to make Cademimu’s new transition go more smoothly, but I’ll also be able to help on the ground floor of operations to weed out these other imposter politicians and corrupt local leaders I mentioned.”

Yam’mbat nodded, satisfied. “Ambassador Bavvet, you’re the youngest man on this stage, and with obvious controversy in your background, not the least of which is your own health problems, your long battle with Naranger’s disease, and your recent ability to seemingly overcome it. You were involved with an unspecified scandal with the Federation, during which the man you worked for, Usten Kutannin, killed himself and was posthumously labeled a traitor to the Federation. You’ve spent almost no time in any real political function, and were only recently elevated to the status of Ambassador. Your opponents on stage here have, over the last few weeks, constantly pointed to your inexperience as a blight on any message you send concerning positive change for Cademimu. What do you have to say to that? Can you bring jobs and alleviate some of the crime in Cademimu? Do you possess the skills necessary to do so?”

“I do,” he said, and left it at that. Yam’mbat stared at him for a moment, obviously expecting more to come. When none did, a nervous laughter rippled throughout the crowd, and Jubar continued smiling pleasantly.

“Could you…elaborate?”

A few chuckles from the crowd, and both Tughan and Notombis looked at him, shaking their heads and snorting with derision.

“Sure,” Jubar said. “I spent time here. I spent time…here. On Phaeda, and all throughout Cademimu. I wasn’t just on Nefaris, or involved with politics hundreds of light-years away in other wars. I was here, in Cademimu, conducting various meetings with members of Chinesti’s city council, with community organizers, with charities, with law enforcement, and, yes, even with gangs of Bukkra, Chinesti, and Yustol.” This gained him a few murmurs of intrigue. “That’s right, Kutannin and I met with members of the Crag’sisi at one point. He tried to teach me the lesson of how to do business with underworld bosses for the ‘greater good.’ In this, I’m afraid that I’ll have to cordially disagree with my old mentor.” It was lie. A lie told on his dead mentor, but he knew the ultimate lesson that Kutannin had taught him was to blend truth with fiction, and to admit to your mistakes in a way that shocked, fess up to them before anyone else could call you on them so that you could spin them first.

“What lesson did you take away instead?” Yam’mbat asked.

“That there can be no bargaining with criminals,” Jubar answered. “And that if you try, you only hurt the ‘little guy,’ you trample all over the justice system and what’s right, you start making concessions, telling yourself you’ll make one little deal with the devil over here, just so you could come back and be rid of him later. But that’s never worked out well for anyone.” He added, “Just ask Kutannin.”

That got another series of gasps. It was another lie, spun at Kutannin’s defense. Now that he was dead and no longer had a career to worry about, Jubar knew that his mentor wouldn’t take offense. Do what you’ve gotta do, my young friend, he’d say. Do what you gotta do.

The debates went on like this, back and forth, with a few rebuttals back and forth. They got a little tense at one point. Notombis even sneered viciously over at Tughan once, and Tughan had snorted skeptically at Jubar’s jobs plan. When it was all over that night, it was Jubar’s admission to having seen crime from street level, from having had the chance to make a deal with the devil and yet how he’d walked away, that ultimately captured headlines.

When it was all over, Jubar found himself back in his hotel room, his only companion Thirty Seven. Hanna was talking with Jubar’s campaign manager, Neslinger, and the two of them were coordinating two more speeches he had to give tomorrow. “How’d I do?” he asked the droid.

“Better that I would’ve done, Master,” said Thirty Seven.

“Oh, yeah? What would you have done?”

“Shot them both once in the head, then twice in the chest,” he said. “It’s the only way to be sure.”

Jubar nodded, and toasted his wineglass in the direction of Thirty Seven. “Happy Unification Day.”

“That’s a rubbish holiday if there ever was one.”

Jubar nodded. “You know something? You’re right.” He thought about the state of affairs in the NIF a the moment, about his secret pact with Emperor Kane, about the deception he’d entered into, and thought, Nothing could be more un-unified.

Hanna came walking up to him, excited. “It’s all still preliminary, but…”

“But, what?”

“You won the debate! At least, that’s what the polls are showing people think right now.”

Jubar nodded, and took another sip of wine.

“Can we shoot them both now?” Thirty Seven asked. Jubar and Hanna looked at the droid, and after a few seconds, the awkward silence passed. “What?” the droid said. “Did I say something wrong?”
Image

User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-09-15 19:26

Rudost Spi, capital city of Smarck
Benduday, 54:428
7:02 PM, Galactic Standard Time



“The election is in ten days,” Neslinger said. Jubar’s campaign manager had never looked more frenetic. He was pacing about their rented room at the Jorhalti Hotel, wringing his hands like he expected water to come out of them. He had been dictating to his assistant, a man named Soren who’d been juggling work with both the campaign’s Field Department and Policy Department, and together they were coming up with a plan of action to counter the claims that had leaked into the press concerning Jubar’s new legs, which had been a temporary solution to his Naranger’s disease. “I cannot believe they would try something like this,” Neslinger was saying. Then, he shrugged. "On the other hand, I've been doing this a long time, and should've seen it coming."

“Relax,” Jubar said. “None of it’s true. I didn’t use any money from my campaign or from redirected charities’ funds to pay for my legs—”

“You and I know that,” Neslinger countered. “Everyone in this room knows that. But do the people know that? Will they believe it?” He shook his head, sighing heavily. “You don’t understand, Ambassador. This is exactly the kind of conniving schemes that come out in the last few days leading up to the election day itself. This ‘story’ was merely a notion leaked by either Notombis’s or Tughan’s people. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t true, what matters is that it’s in the people’s consciousness now, some will suspect that it might be true, and we only have ten days to get a believable counter out there in the press to reverse all this damage. By the time everyone finds out it was a lie, it’ll be too late, the election will have come and gone.”

Jubar looked over at his assistant, Hanna, who was sitting cross-legged in her chair with her nose buried in her datapad. “Who’s in the lead right now, Hanna? What’re the polls saying?”

Hanna sighed. “Hard to say, boss,” she said. “It depends on which poll you’re looking at. The Peshter Poll has you in the lead by a hair, but it’s the only poll that has you that close. All other polls point to Notombis as the leader, but most of those are pollsters based out of Nefaris, his homeworld, so they could be doctored to make him look more favorable—many voters actually just go ahead and vote for the guy who looks like the safe bet, so maybe his old connections on Nefaris are just beefing up his public image.”

“If you were a betting woman,” Jubar said, “who would you bet on winning?”

Hanna didn’t hesitate. “Notombis, sir.” She shrugged. “Sorry.”

Jubar shook his head. “You never have to be sorry for giving me your honest opinion. That’s what I keep you around for.” He sighed, and stood up. “If you’ll all excuse me for a moment, I need to take a break. I’ll be in my room, meditating, if any of you need me.” They all just nodded, and Neslinger went back to fidgeting and dictating a counter-story for Soren to leak into the press.

The droid Thirty Seven moved aside to permit him to his own bedroom. Jubar stepped into the private bedroom, and the door slid shut behind him. He locked it. He closed all the shutters, shutting himself off from the grand view of Rudost Spi, and removed all his clothes. He sat naked at the center of the bed put his hands on his knees, and took a deep, deep breath, and then let it out slowly. He ran through the “small orbit” exercise, focusing on the point just behind his belly button and moving the energy of his thoughts down through his legs and up to his tailbone, then between his shoulder blades and then to the back of his head, then to the top of his head and down through his tongue touching his mouth, then down through his neck and chest, and, finally, back to his belly button again.

Jubar did this eleven times before he received a knock on his door. “Yes?”

It was Hanna. “Uh, private call for you, sir.”

“Who is it?”

“It’s from Ambassador Tughan’s office.”

Jubar thought that was odd. “I’ll take it in my room.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll redirect it.”

Jubar got up, threw on his robe, and stepped over to the holoprojector on the wall. A few seconds later, the image of Mastrof Tughan materialized in front of him. The rotund, scraggily-bearded fellow looked positively professorial these days, having cleaned up his image and trimmed his beard so that he could survive the public scrutiny in a bid for a Senate seat. “Ambassador Tughan,” Jubar said.

“Ambassador Bavvet,” he returned. “I’m glad you could take my call.”

I’m sure you are, Jubar thought. He already felt he knew what this pertained to, but he would let Tughan get to it in his own good time. “I’m happy to receive a call from a fellow politician,” he said. “No matter if we’re enemies. To what do I owe this pleasure, though?”

“I trust you read the story about your new legs having been purchased by ill-gotten funds?”

“We were just talking about it,” Jubar said. “I’m not too concerned about it.” I can’t speak for Neslinger, though, he thought.

“It’s already cost you two points in the polls,” Tughan said.

Inwardly, Jubar sighed. He’d once wondered how these people kept so up-to-the-second on such an insignificant drop in the numbers. Now, he understood fully. Numbers were their lives. Numbers were all that mattered to a politician. Numbers lent support or left you in the dust. “We’re sure we’ll gain those numbers back before election day.”

“And if you don’t?” Tughan said.

Here it comes, the offer of a truce, or else the offer that I bow out “gracefully” and ask all my supporters to throw their full support behind Tughan. It was only inevitable since Notombis was the obvious favorite to win. “If we don’t, then I suppose we’ll lose.”

Tughan’s holographic image shrugged. “Or…there could be another option,” he said.

“Oh?” Jubar said, playing dumb.

“Yes. There is almost no poll that has you in any commanding lead—besides the Peshter Poll, and those pollsters are a joke—so, if you wanted to bow out now, gracefully, and throw the full weight of your support behind me, and encourage your supporters to do the same, then, once I take office, I will have a job waiting for you that’ll pay you twice what you’re making as an ambassador.” He nodded appreciatively. "I could use a man like you on my team."

Jubar put his hands in his robe’s pockets. “Hm…interesting proposition,” he said. He feigned more interest, acting as though he was mulling it over, and then said, “Well…what don’t you throw your support behind me? I could offer you the same sort of deal.”

“My supporters wouldn’t go over to you,” Tughan said.

“Why not?”

“Because most of my supporters favor the old Imperial Remnant, and that’s why they’re with me, because of my record with the IR. None of them want the new policies of the NIF to affect them.”

“Ah, yes, that’s true.” Jubar sighed. “Well, Ambassador Tughan, I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass on your offer, then.”

“You’re sure about that, Bavvet?” Tughan said, dropping the “ambassador” title from his name. “I could be a powerful ally. And, working around my office, you’d have access to all sorts of movers and shakers, the kind of people who’d make your next run for a Senate seat somewhere more of a surefire thing.”

Again, Jubar feigned interest, and then shrugged. “I think…I think I’ll just take my chances, Ambassador Tughan. You know, see how the voting comes out in the end?”

Tughan’s voice turned toxic, all at once. “You can’t win with anything short of a miracle.”

Or a rigged election, Jubar thought. After all, the real Emperor Kane had promised him that he would have powerful friends all around him, helping to conduct the elections in a myriad of ways. If all went according to that plan, then as close as he was to Notombis in the polls, Kane ought to be able to pull out something. If not, I’m finished anyway. I couldn’t even have made it this far without Neslinger, who’s being paid with money I don’t have. It’s all coming from Kane’s personal finances, as a secret campaign donor.

“I’ll see you on election day, Ambassador Tughan,” Jubar said, and reached out to switch off the hologram.

“Bavvet, if you don’t take me up on this offer, I might not be so kind the next time you see—”

“Goodbye,” he said, and switched it off. Jubar stood there for a moment, pondering. Then, he removed his robe and went back to his bed. He crossed his legs, closed his eyes, and went back into “small orbit” exercises. His mind drifted far and away, and whatever threats Tughan had meant to issue him were out of sight, and out of mind.
Image

User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-11-22 04:38

ELECTION DAY

ABOARD THE SPACE STATION BAZARRE…


It was said that the Igrishi people, a little-known race from an insignificant world in Cademimu Sector, had an unusual tympanic membrane that allowed them to only hear sounds at frequencies at exactly 38.8 Hz. Therefore, nothing Jubar said to them made any sense at all, and would come off as obscenely loud were he not kind enough to speak to them through a special filter that broadcast his voice over the frequency they found more agreeable.

The Igrishi were a primitive people even to this day, despite the fact that they’d made contact with the Galaxy proper a couple of hundred years ago. Only recently had their chieftains permitted some of their people to leave their world of Hroghgar and begin building relationships with the rest of the empires that had ruled them (without them being much aware of it).

For Jubar, it made for one of the most peculiar encounters of his life. For one, the Igrishi people were no more than half a meter tall, they were green and scaly, with eyes as bulbous as a Rodian’s, and they had a miniaturized culture, but a culture nonetheless. They had language (that only they could hear), music (again, only that they could hear), art, clothing, unique architecture in their mud huts, and religion. In all those ways, the Igrishi had proven that they were sentient. However, neither Palpatine’s Empire, nor Kane’s new one, had acknowledged them much. Of course, they hadn’t done much to make themselves acknowledged, but both Jubar and the Igrishi chieftain were trying to change all that.

“So good to meet you,” Jubar said to the little green man through his voice filter. To him, he didn’t seem to be making a sound, his voice was so muffled in the filter. But the Igrishi chieftain bowed low. Apparently, they still believed that all the “large folk” of the Galaxy were the agents of some mysterious trickster deity they so believed in. “I am honored to meet with the Igrishi’s most esteemed leader.”

The chieftain—whose name was a sound that no creature besides them could make, and so they had unofficially dubbed him Shine, because he wore robes that contained shiny gold-and-silver stones—bowed low and moved the leathery flaps that were supposed to be the gateway to his mouth. Through his own vocabulator that someone at SoroSuub had worked up, Shine’s words came through in a modified Human voice. “This one is so honored by your presence, Lord Summoner,” the vocabulator said, in its closest approximation of what was known of the Igrishi language. “And we are gladdened that your Great Day of Voting is upon you, and that you have invited us to take part in these Great Void Shaping Events.”

This is the first time they’ve ever voted for a senator to represent them, Jubar thought. And the first time anyone has cared to ask them to vote. I’d better make a good impression. “It is time that the Igrishi people ascend to the stars, as well. It is time that you take part in this venture, in the decision-making process that allows you to have some say in the direction of your lives.”

“This is new to us,” said Chieftain Shine. “We are not used to the idea that our Fates can be controlled. We thank you, Lord Summoner, and the gods who’ve granted you permission to invite us into your pantheon.”

Jubar had been prepared by Neslinger, his campaign manager, to receive the words of worship from Shine. He’d been told by countless consultants that it was just easier at this juncture in the Igrishi’s development to have them continue to think of all other species as the harbingers of the Igrishi gods. “You are very welcome,” Jubar said.

Behind him, several cameras were hovering around on mini-repulsors, capturing every single moment of this tiny yet historic moment. The Igrishi had had contact with the greater Galaxy before, but they had been woefully ignored because there weren’t many resources to mine from their homeworld. Neslinger had suggested the meeting, and had set it up because he thought it showed the candidate Jubar Bavvet actually caring about the little people—no pun intended—and so underscored his campaign’s continuing message of connecting with the citizens and listening to every single voice, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.

I’ve come a long way, Kutannin, he thought. These days, Jubar thought of his former mentor a great deal. In just over a year, Jubar had gone from relative obscurity to the heights of galactic politics, and unprecedented exposure to the media. He thought briefly of his father, who'd paid for his education by making their own special brand of Whyren's Reserve, and encouraging Jubar to go far, even in the absence of any motherly figure in his life. Look at me now, Father.

He exchanged a few more words with Chieftain Shine, and then allowed the secret service to show him to where he could step to meet with other dignitaries. When Neslinger stepped up beside him, he whispered, “The Igrishi chieftain said he wanted to meet with you expressly. He said that he’d heard that you were some sort of revolutionary, that you will listen to the small creatures of the galaxy.” Neslinger beamed. “When your reputation has reached a tribal world as small as Hroghgar, you know you’ve done well.”

That’s what Kane’s money bought me, Jubar thought. The best marketing credits can buy. “We’ve done well,” was all Jubar said, “but the voting’s still hours away.”

“I’ve got a good feeling about tonight,” his campaign manager said. “A very, very good feeling.”

When they stepped down a hallway and away from the cameras, they were joined by two people who had been integral to the campaign trail, yet invisible all along the way: Hanna Sweruy and the droid known only as Thirty Seven. “What did you think?” Jubar asked.

Hanna looked up from her datapad long enough to say, “The blogs and the vlogs are showing good buzz over the meeting already.”

Jubar nodded, and glanced at the droid. “And you?”

Without hesitation, he got a prompt reply. “I predict that if anyone was ever going to assassinate you, there is an eighty-seven-point-four-four-three percent chance that they will try it tonight, with a margin for error plus or minus point-two percent,” Thirty Seven said.

Neslinger, walking beside him, looked aghast. Jubar smiled and said, “Relax, Neslinger. I appreciate the droid’s candor. What else is going on?”

Hanna said, “Both Ambassadors Tughan and Notombis are trying to make statements about their concerns for the preservation of the Igrishi’s cultural heritage, and Notombis’s camp says the ambassador is calling for their entire planet to be place under the Intergalactic Heritage Site protection status.”

Jubar smirked. “They see what we did had an effect.”

Neslinger nodded excitedly, and handed him a datapad with the latest polls. “They look like a bunch o’ johnny-come-latelys,” he said, laughing exultantly. “I’m telling you, Ambassador, we may have this nipped in the bud.”
Image

User avatar
Jubar Bavvet
Senator
Senator
Posts: 634
Joined: 2009-08-29 19:49
Custom Title: Politician
Organizational Unit: Rebel Alliance Political Party
Contact:

Re: Path to the Senate

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2012-03-24 05:49

Chinesti, Phaeda
Zhellday, 54:4:29
11:32 PM, Galactic Standard Time



He sat alone in his room, naked, atop his bed and meditating. The silence in his room was deafening. He had the sound dampeners on. If not for the dampeners, he would be forced to listen to the ruckus going on next door. The shouting. The endless shouting. There would be tears, of course, people who could not accept it, no matter how many times they read the results. The campaign had been long and hard, and often it served only to ruin marriages and hinder friendships.

But tonight was for the winners. Tonight was for the people who had done what needed to be done. Tonight was for celebration.

The results were in.

Jubar had won.

He was now Senator over all of Cademimu Sector.

Hanna had told him he ought to be there when both Notombis and Tughan gave their concession speeches, that he ought to listen to the two cutthroat bastards capitulate. But all he’d wanted to do was sit in his room and run through Isk Maega. It felt good leaving it all behind. It felt good to step back away from it all, gain a greater perspective, and realize that there was so much more greater than himself.

This is not my victory, he thought. I am not the center of the universe.

For the nonce, Jubar decided not to reflect too much on how this election was won. He tried not to think too hard on the veritable endless streams of credits that had been flung at him from the One True Emperor Kane, still out there in hiding someplace. He tried not to think of just how insignificant his own part in all of this was, and instead would focus on doing the best he could with the job he was being handed.

The Emperor’s Thorn. That’s what some in the press had started calling him. Jubar had made a few speeches on his campaign trail that had been controversial, a few that had called into question the activities of their Emperor, the man that only he and a select few others knew to be a clone, a phony, a charlatan. He and the Rebel Alliance (RA) political party had surely kicked up enough dust to be recognized by both friends and enemies of the Clone Emperor, including those in the New Republic sectors of space. They’ll be coming to me now, Jubar thought. New enemies posing as friends, and new friends posing as enemies.

An old curse said, “May you live in interesting times.”

The chime sounded at his door.

Jubar took one last breath, and let it out slowly. He finally opened his eyes for the first time knowing that he was the Senator of Cademimu—he’d learned the news by intercom, never opening his eyes as he acknowledged Hanna’s good news.

He stood and garbed himself, then answered the door. It was Thirty Seven. “Master,” he said, using the name sardonically as always, “Hanna says you ought to come out and say something to the ‘troops,’ although what troops can be called such without knowing bloodshed is quite beyond me.”

Jubar smirked. “I…don’t really have a reply for that. But tell Hanna she’s right. I’ll slip on some shoes and be right down.”

Ten minutes later, he was stepping down the stairs and into the atrium of the hotel where he’d been staying with his campaign manager and supporters, and he was met with a wave of applause, cheers, and whistles. He waved them all to silence, and as soon as he started speaking they applauded again, this time even louder. Hanna was nearby, taking her nose out of her datapad long enough to smirk at him and shake her head in wonderment had how far they’d come.

Shouts went up of, "Emperor's Thorn! Senator Bavvet, the Emperor's Thorn! The Thorn in the Emperor's Side! The Emperor's Thorn!"

“Friends. Friends! Please, I thank you! I thank you!” He waved them to silence again, and when all was finished he smiled and looked about the room. “Saying that you’ve worked hard is an understatement. You’ve shown resilience and composure, and helped to make it look as though I know what I’m doing.” This got a round of laughter and more cheering. “But next month is the swearing in, and that starts the real job. That begins a time when Cademimu Sector will have its first actual representative in the NIF Senate since the sector was absorbed by the Federation. Every single one of you will find permanent work in my office, if you want it. Or, if you prefer continuing your work on campaign trails across the galaxy, I wish you all the best.”

Go get ’em Senator Bavvet!” someone yelled from the back.

More laughter, and more cheers.

Senator Bavvet. That didn't sound so bad.

“Believe me, I intend to!” he chuckled. “And I hope you will all come with me. I’m going to need help if Cademimu is going to be heard. If we’re going to clean us this sector, bring jobs and prosperity back to it, and rescue our sons and daughters from a life of no education and having to join gangs just to survive, then we have to work together!” More cheers, more applause, even louder now if that was possible. “And I believe we can do it. No, I know we can do it.”

More cheers, but this time someone cut it short by yelling out, “What’s your first step, Senator?”

Jubar smiled. “Phaeda,” he said. “And then outward from there.”

“How you gonna handle the gangs, the pirates, and the organized syndicates?”

His smile grew wider. “Same way I always do,” he said. “Give them the old Cademimu Shuffle.”

Thunderous applause this time, and that signaled the end of the speech and the beginning of more celebration. Hanna appeared, pushing a glass of Whyren’s Reserve into his hand and saying, “Senator, may I have this dance.”

“I don’t hear any music.”

“Who needs music?” she said, winking. "Certainly not the Emperor's Thorn?"

From nearby, Thirty Seven replied, “I’ve been made to understand that music is a requirement for organics if there is to be dancing. Otherwise, such movements are a pretend-play at best, and a seizure at worst.”

They both looked at him, smiled, and then stepped to the center of the floor. Someone eventually produced some music and some speakers, and other couples joined them on the improvised dance floor. They spoke about the future, about where they’d been, and about where they were going. The future seemed boundless, as boundless as the void of space, filled with potential stars and new discoveries.

Less than a year ago, Jubar Bavvet’s legs had failed him, he was set to die from Naranger’s disease, his mentor Kutannin had committed suicide amid false accusations of treason and he was the most shamed politician in all the galaxy. Tonight, he had risen. Like a mythical bird from the ashes, he had taken down two old enemies—Notombis and Tughan—and was set to stand in the NIF Senate and speak on behalf of an entire people. The fact that he could even walk again, through the use of highly advanced synthetic legs, and could dance with Hanna was testament that anything was possible.

And now, I'm the Emperor's Thorn.

For today, the universe had swayed in his favor. Tomorrow, he might not be so lucky.

Isk Maega taught control, and moderation in all things. But didn’t a wise man once say, “All things in moderation, including moderation”? He believed so. And he believed it was Usten Kutannin.

“Here’s to you, Usten,” he said, toasting his old mentor while Hanna rested her head against his chest. He drank deeply of his Whyren’s Reserve, and basked in the present.

THE END
Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest