Senators Eyri, Tychus, and O'Keemi, Committee Meeting Room, Senate Building
Cᴏʟʟᴀʙ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ Sɪɴɪ, Aʟᴍᴀ, ᴀɴᴅ Bᴇᴀ
Tychus had grown up seeing a lot of aliens, had seen more during the war and more still after coming to Coruscant, but he had never got over the Amaran vulpine looks. They were very similar to the Coyn fox he had seen on holo-documentaries on Outer Rim fauna. This particular Amaran, O’Keemi T’Sombe, even had the same fur.
“So,” Tychus cleared his throat, sitting back in the comfy chair, “did you bring the twins?” His eyes flicked to the door of the committee conference room, as if trying to catch a glimpse of the blondes. Small talk, meant to amuse and confuse.
O’Keemi looked over at Tychus with a questioning eyebrow lift. “Those two wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if I hadn’t. They like to confuse people and probably would have created havoc back at the office.”
Her nails clicked together as she rolled her eyes at the antics of the Twins.
The Alsakan senator could think of a few things those Thormea aides could get into, with themselves or… a third party involved. “That means you don’t keep them on a tight enough leash,” said Tychus. Before the Amaran could retort, he moved on. “So, what’s this meeting about? The brief was… well brief. I don’t see how we can make any progress on the Pantoran matter with Pharliis in absentia.” Think those high-tech, expensive desalination plants can turn her bitter tears into potable water?
Not a charming thought, but that’s how Tychus’ mind operated. He still felt for his Pantoran colleague.
O’Keemi mock snarled at the word leash. “You go giving them ideas and they will be worse than when I picked them up off the streets. Leashes. Horrid thought. Pharliis will learn to pick her battles like we all did. Some of us sooner than others.”
O’Keemi fixed Tychus with an intense stare. “How much reading did you get done over your fancy coffee this morning Tychus?”
No chance that she had got wind of his holographic tête-à-tête with the CEC Chairwoman, Tychus surmised she was referring to his better known fondness of vine-coffee. “I did not realise my morning routines were of such an interest to you.” This time, a smidge of vitriol laced his town. Tychus was very protective over what little privacy he had left in his capacity as Planetary Representative. “But if you must ask, I do my best reading in the outhouse.”
O’Keemi smirked. “I’m just going to savor this moment that I know something before you then. But I need you up to speed more than I want to stroke my own ego.”
She handed him a data pad which showed the bill that Towler sent her. “See for yourself what Towler is plotting. If you take that out of my presence I don’t want it back. Fair warning it was one of the Twins.”
It only took a few moments of scrolling for Tychus to realise it was the impending bill of seizure the Senate would push in retaliation of Corellia’s Contemplanys Hermi
. “Seems I will have to let you down. I’ve known of this for a little while now. It’s hardly in the province of the migration and immigration committee.” He entwined his fingers and watched her with heavy-lidded eyes. This is highly sensitive. Play coy.
“What of it?”
O’Keemi nodded. “Not yet our problem, but it could be. Personally I’d love to hear your views on it.”
She shifted and leaned over and lowered her voice to a whisper. “It favors one party far too much but that’s before everyone gets their claws into it, so to speak.”
She leaned back and smoothed her tail absently watching Tychus with bright curious eyes.
“I’ll be candid. Personally, mark me: personally
, I believe the Corellians get what they deserve for having a cop-out. Corellia has its ‘Contemplanys Hermi’ and Kuat its ‘Inheritance Exemption’… Call it what you will – meditative solitude or dynastic bequest – these are privileges exploiting goodwill. Why does one party get an exception and the other does not?” Tychus shrugged, took a deep breath. “There is a lot to be said for both sides though. I understand the strategic reasons for needing to remain in control of the CEC Shipyards, but I also know the Corellians won’t ever stand for it. If this bill passes, Free Corellia will only gain traction. Have you seen the news-feed, the vids? Then, we’ll all be looking down the gun-barrel afore too long. The Senate’s playing with fire, O’Keemi, and we need to mind not to get burnt so I’m waiting to see which way the wind blows. I do not intend to go down in flames.” He looked at her for a time, letting it sink in. Tychus cracked his trademark charming smile then. “Officially? That’s another matter entirely.”
It wasn’t but a few minutes later when the doors to the committee conference room opened, and in walked Senator Pharliis. Accompanying her was her Junior Representative Barin Elwahs. Eyri held a datapad in her hands, one hand typing and the other keeping the device steady, as she approached the table to take a seat.
“You know you can work on that elsewhere, right? You should wait until the meeting is over.” Barin insisted, his eyes rolling, his tone reflecting his facial expression, annoyed.
“This is important, Barin.” she said sternly, sitting down one chair away from Tychus as she worked away at the datapad.
“More important than the meeting?”
“Not more important, just important.” Eyri huffed in frustration as she glanced up at her Junior Rep before her eyes moved to the table. “Good afternoon Senators.” she said, forcing out a sincere but weak smile as she looked at them both.
O’Keemi turned toward Eryi as the greeting was heard. “Looks like the mining bill is still on the table. You jinxed it Tychus. Good afternoon Senator. What can we do for you?”
Tychus saw the brittle resolve. “Senator Pharliis… Eyri… Should you even be here right now?” The reason why was left unspoken but clear for all presently in the committee conference room. “No one would fault you for taking some time off.” He had several questions, mostly pertaining to Pharliis’s security, and more still about the how and why of the murder. A chief of staff killed, even from a backwater like Pantora, was a big deal. It put them all at risk.
Setting the datapad down on the table, Eyri looked to O’Keemi and Tychus in turn. “There is still work to be done. I am a part of this committee, it would be highly improper if I wasn’t here to discuss the bill with you, we all have a job to do.” Eyri said. Her body language reflected confidence, yet her tone was obviously reflecting her emotions. It was weaker, and wavered from time to time, but Eyri kept on.
“You’re no good to us - or the bill - if you can’t think straight. Grief and mourning are a thing, Eyri.” Tychus remembered well the trauma of losing people close to you. Living on when others died could cripple the survivor with sorrow. “I am fairly certain your physiology is sufficiently similar to my own to know what you’re going through.”
O’Keemi watched as the two of them tossed the tense ball of emotion back and forth. “My condolences Eyri. I didn’t take the gossip as fact, or as close to fact as we get here. We can at least be that certain half the time. If there is anything you need just let me know.”
O’Keemi bowed her head and indicated that Eyri take a seat.
"Iri would have wanted me to keep going." Eyri said, although she knew that was a lie. Her friend was always saying that she needed rest, needed to get away, to spend some time to herself.
"Now can we please change the subject." she continued, taking a deep breath and holding a hand up to rest her head on as she rested one elbow on the table. "The bill, how far have we gotten on it?"