Meeting between the Mahre Collective
and the Undefeated@Raylah
Commander Jim Harlowe was waiting in the docks to receive the delegation from the Mahre collective, nervous about the first big negotiation he was about to lead on his own. He went through all the data Julianna compiled for him - results from various sensors, scans, and cameras. The ships truly were a magnificent sight, hovering peacefully near the Meeting Place, their body parts, if you could call it that way, constantly moving ever so slightly.
When the visitors arrived, Jim had to focus on maintaining a neutral expression. The two people from the recording were already exotic enough, but the third one they brought along, no doubt as a display of strength, was something totally different. Jim wondered whether such a thing could still be called a human but wasn’t so stupid to let such a feeling show on the outside.
He was standing there all alone and even though he was slightly taller than the green-haired woman, he felt small and defenceless. Maybe he should have brought some guards along after all? No. Sometimes the best display of strength is to not show any sign of fear or insecurity even in a potentially dangerous situation.
“Please, allow me to welcome you to the Meeting Place,” he greeted them with a smile, speaking to the woman who seemed to be the leader of the delegation, even though he knew she wouldn’t understand him and would have to wait for a translation. “I’m Commander Jim Harlowe, representative of the Undefeated nation of the planet Ellara. If you please follow me, we have designated a room where we can talk in private.”
Soon enough they would find themselves in a docking station nearby and would be met with a single individual. who would greet them. Zephina had to admit it was strange to find someone that looked like the ancient humans did before but he seemed to be in military garb. The question was why and if this was just standard for all their leaders to wear. Zephina had to admit that it was impressive that the human male didn’t flinch even though the third she brought with him was no doubt an intimidating sight. Seems she would need to be careful with them, if they didn’t think that one of their warriors was intimidating then it meant they had better training then she realized.
After he spoke Richard translated for her before she spoke to him again and he said “Thank you for welcoming us. As you know I am Zephina, my associate next to me who will translate for us is Richard. This one to my left is Zephyr, one of the warriors in our escort ships. Forgive us if this seemed rude to bring along protection to negotiations.” she said since it was only logical that one bring some semblance of protection to meet an unknown race since they didn’t have firearms a warrior was the next best thing. Neither Zephina or Richard were trained for combat Richard might be able to hold his own but that was it. Zephina bowed to him a bit before they all followed him to where they would have their meeting.
“It is absolutely understandable that you feel the need to protect yourselves in an unknown place, meeting with unknown people whom you have no reason to trust.” Jim eyed the silent warrior while they were walking through the hallways, wondering how strong the creature might be. Obviously, he would stand no chance against it unarmed as he was right now. But he worried that even if he was wearing his exoskeleton, the chances would be even at best. The thing looked way stronger than a regular Screecher, in fact it looked strong enough to bring down trees with a couple of punches. At least the guard wasn’t carrying any weapons, or at least not any visible ones.
Jim took them to the meeting room, realising just how bland and inhospitable the simple room must look to these people who seemed to be in a strange deep connection with the nature of their planet. “I know our name and appearances might come off as militaristic or even admonitory, but I assure you we pose no threat to you and your people. Just like you we have no ambition to dominate the galaxy. But just like yours, our world wasn’t very hospitable, causing us to live in a constant struggle to survive and keep our nation from being destroyed.”
Zephina smiled as he said that it was understandable to be protective of themselves in an unknown place. She was glad that they didn’t see her bringing a warrior as a threat as they were walking towards the meeting area. When they got there they saw how bland it seemed compared to their own home but then again anything without enough plant life would seem bland to them. He then explained that his people came off as militaristic but like them they didn’t seek to conquer the galaxy which was a load off their minds. The last thing her people wanted was war after their first attempt at seeking out their roots. He then explained that their planet was hostile as well which Zephina couldn’t help but be interested in hearing mainly because it was another planet that seemed inhospitable which meant that they may even be able to help them out.
She then nodded before she signaled Richard and he nodded giving her the sealed box before Zephina started to once again speak and Richard translated “We are sad to hear that you had similar difficulties in your planet. However before we begin talking in earnest I wanted to present you with this. This is a native plant from our home world. This is not a poison plant but we thought it best to keep it sealed. It produces a fragrance that is meant to help relax the body and help with sleep. We believed that in seeing new people it is best to offer a gift in the hopes of earnest goodwill and cooperation” She said with a smile handing him the see through box that looked to made of a glass like substance that revealed inside a purple and blue potted plant that looked like the old world nightshade but it was seen even through the glass that its flower tips were producing said fragrance.
Once they had given their gift Zephina and Richard took a seat in some chairs nearby in order to get comfortable while the guard took his stance at the doorway. Zephina then said “I would love to hear more about your planet. We are taking a vested interest in inhospitable planets like our own. If possible we would love to work with you to see if anything could be done about it” she said with a bow.
Jim accepted the gift, carefully holding the glass-like container in his hands. The plant looked beautiful, but despite Zephira’s assurance it was harmless he certainly wasn’t going to open it outside a controlled environment in a laboratory. You can never be too safe with alien wildlife, every person on Ellara knew as much. Even an innocent plant can kill you in a hundred different ways.
“Thank you very much for this gift,” he smiled at Zephira, bowing his head in respect and setting the plant on the table. At least something was pretty in the room now. We should really get some decorations around, he thought. He wasn’t exactly sure what he could offer to the guests in return, exchanging potted plants and gardening tips wasn’t really his strong side, so he settled for fetching a bowl with a selection of Ellarian fruits. “I’m afraid I don’t have anything nearly as beautiful and useful to offer you as a gift in return, but perhaps you would like a sample of the fruit we grow on our planet? There are some kinds that are native to our planet.”
Jim was taken aback by their offer to help the Undefeated with their ‘inhospitable’ homeworld. He was fairly certain that turning the entire population into some kind of strange hybrids to fit the environment on Ellara better was not a solution the High Command would be thrilled about. “I’m afraid that there isn’t much you could do in regards to our planet. The main cause of its inhospitality are the aggressive natives, primitive alien tribes that keep attacking our people. Yes, we have had diseases and problems with both fauna and flora, but we have worked through all that using science and determination."
Zephina smiled as the plant was taken and he thanked her for the gift which only made her nod glad that he seemed to like it. Soon she was given some fruits from their home planet and mentioned that it was grown from their world. She made sure to give one to Richard first since he had a stronger digestive system he could tell if something would be harmful to her. Once he took a bite with his razor sharp teeth leaving a noticeable hole in the fruit and tasting it he nodded to Zephina. She then took a bite herself and nodded at the taste. It seemed fairly sweet, nothing like their own fruits that were in the extremes of flavor but it was tasty nonetheless.
She then listened as he explained that the problem they were having was more because of aggressive natives rather than the environment trying to kill them like their planet did in the beginning. She then thought for a moment before saying “then would you prefer us to help by helping your people with a different issue? I am afraid that our greatest skill is adaptation to its extreme, our scientists, as Richard could attest, are able to manipulate our bodies to suit any environment. Maybe there's a certain material or mineral you are trying to access but are unable to reach because of where it is? Our people are explorers at heart and wish to expand our influence to worlds with harsh environments that most wouldn’t wish to live in, so in theory if we worked together we could mine said material you would like. In exchange for your protection and permission we could mine the resources and send you the majority of it in exchange” she said, giving her first offer of the table. Their greatest skill was as she said adaptation so anywhere they can’t go is somewhere they can. That’s what she hoped to get across to the man. They were invaluable despite not being as strong as their guard made them out to be.
Jim was surprised at how determined the Mahre collective was to assist them with something. And after all, why shouldn't they accept it? A foreign presence on Ellara would be problematic, but they weren't asking to settle in the middle of a populated area. On the contrary, they wanted to explore the most inhospitable and dangerous areas of the planet and Jim already had one such spot in mind. The Undefeated had barely anything to lose from this and a lot to gain. The mined minerals, while they could prove useful, were circumstantial. The main idea was establishing a good relationship with a new nation and opening a way to a potential new alliance.
"I would have to take this to my superiors," Jim started carefully, "but I think we can come to an agreement. There is a large area on our main continent that is basically a volcanic wasteland. The air is hot and filled with toxic fumes, the ground unstable. According to our scans, there might be some mineral deposits that could prove useful to us, but the threat to our people was always too big to outweigh the potential gains. If such an environment interests you and would like to explore it, I could suggest it to the High Command. There would have to be some strict security measures though, I'm afraid my people aren't very keen on having strangers move freely around our planet. I'm sure you can understand such caution."
Zephina listened as the man seemed surprised by their offer to help but the truth was they wanted to explore and find other worlds with harsh environments that others can’t manage. It would be another step in discovering their own abilities. He then mentioned talking to his superiors which made her curious since she didn’t know she was dealing with someone that couldn’t make such a deal happen. He then explained that they had a place that they couldn’t traverse themselves but had minerals that were valuable to them. Volcanic wasteland and toxic fumes as well, the toxins wouldn’t be an issue as their own bodies were already hard wired to handle all forms of deadly toxins but the heat would be something interesting. After a few moments listening Zephina thought for a few moments thinking about what this would mean to those back home and if it was a good plan.
After a few moments of thought she opened her eyes and nodded with a smile saying “Of course, we would be grateful to be given the chance to study and provide a stream of resources. We would only ask that in such a land we could make an outpost for our scientists to study the environment as well as provide the miners and traders that would give you said resources. You will of course have a majority of what is mined there and we will conform to whatever security measures you deem necessary so long as they don’t interfere with the study or the mining we would provide. I am glad we could come to an arrangement and I hope to speak to your superiors so we could put this all into writing of course”
Great, his very first diplomatic meeting and he was already making friends. Jim was quite proud of himself, even though it hardly took any effort on his side. “I’m sure we can work out the numbers later. I am authorized to make trade and basic diplomatic agreements, but a foreign presence in our territory has to be sanctified by our leader, the Grand General Oscar Pawlowski and the rest of our command. But since you are requesting to explore a very secluded area far from our settlements and are willing to conform to our security measures, I’d consider it just a formality,” Jim smiled. Of course the Grand General might still put a stop to it, but honestly Jim didn’t see any reason why he would do such a thing. “I have to say I’m very happy our meeting has proven so fruitful. If you don’t have anything else to discuss, I will have you safely escorted to your ship while I inform the High Command of our agreement, so we can get things moving as soon as possible.”
She gave a nod as he talked about how they would work out everything later and that he was only sanctioned for certain acts. Since they want to come planetside they understood the need to go to a higher power in this regard. She also learned that they fall under someone they call the grand general which was good information for later. As he said they had nothing more to discuss she stood up and she bowed along with Ricard and said “I believe that is everything we need to discuss. Thank you for being the first ones to welcome us here. We hope this is a start of a long friendship. There is no need to escort us as we can find our own way back but thank you for the kind offer. Also the flower needs to be watered and place in sunlight or it will wither” she warned with a smile reminding him of their gift before she made a motion and both Richard and the guard left ending the meeting there.
summary: set up an agreement between the two nations where the nation of the undefeated would allow The collective to send scientists, traders, and miners, to a hostile volcanic and toxic sprewing area to mine for minerals in a 60/40 split in exchange for following the rules set by the undefeated and to only populate the inhospitable zone where they would mine as nothing more then an outpost with no real foothold