A/N: I apologize to all the fans of the HP/SG story who were expecting a chapter for that next, but when I was writing for it I got an idea for a convo for this story and went to quickly write that only to keep writing and writing for this story. So here we are. It's ironic that when planning this story my initial plans for the first main arc really was to start in the 1-2 years leading up to the clone wars, and yet here we are.. again… Nearly 250 thousand words later and just starting to approach that time with all the build up. I have here for you all two chapters, instead of the three I was planning with what I had written, as I felt it was better to just make it two larger chapters that come out quicker than 2 shorter ones and wait for the third once I get more writing done. So I have included most of the third chapter into the second chapter coming up.
That said there is quite a bit of dialogue in these chapters and I feel I am not that great at it so meh, had to get by it. I also am doing a few more time skips here or moving some things along in the background. Along with a few more discussions than normal, there is less action than I would want, but that should be more balanced out by the fact the Clone Wars are approaching fast and there will be a lot more action in those parts than now.
So I was doing some math and started scratching my head at how out of hands Harry's business empire has been getting. You all will get a preview of that in one section here from PA; but damn when the market is tens of millions of inhabited planets and quadrillions of people, credits roll in… LOL.
I also need to do some more research on the coming Clone Wars and last 18 months that lead up to it before moving forward. And I am also a bit rusty at writing, so some of this might not be my best work. Finally just as I started editing this got an eye injury, so it's causing issues atm, and slowing everything down while it heals.
Hopefully everyone enjoys this chapter, and the next one coming!
Some notes, reminders, and a few FAQ:
1 Republic credit = about 4-7 USD (Value has been going down slightly since the start of the story). Certain goods are FAR cheaper in Star Wars like technology, whereas comparably consumable things like food would be considered quite expensive to us, if comparing it to tech/daily wage.
1 Peggat = 50 credits
This story is Canon+: Which to me means it includes everything considered Canon till the 7th movie release. That doesn't mean it won't include many things from everything released since then, just not all or even most of it. It also includes at times as many noticed some things from legends, but certainly not all. And of course there is the stuff I have made up and added to the wonderful Star Wars universe in this story.
Are you still alive?
Are you still writing for your stories?
Yes, besides my GOT/HP story that is on hiatus.
Can I borrow the first chapter or any parts of your story?
Absolutely, just give me any credit where credit is due and you are welcome to take my fanfictions in parts or whole and write your own stories with it. Want to continue my GOT/HP story? Go ahead, I will love to see where you take it, and that is the same for all of them.
Is Hermione going to arrive or X going to join Harry romantically?
I won't spoil either, so no answer. Does Hermione ever show up in any of my stories? You will have to wait to find out ;) I do have that decided for all my stories already, just to tease you. Does she come alone? Who knows.. Well I do, but not telling! lol.
When will you be updating X or where can I find more info on upcoming chapters?
The place you can go to to find the most uptodate info is on my profile here on Fanfiction. I try to update it every few months or when I have made some good progress.
You should set up a pat account! / Can I sponsor a chapter?
Ha! This one is me being a bit of a nob more than anything, and I also don't want to make expectations between myself and my readers, or turn my hobby into anything more than that. It would put pressure on me to be more regular with my writing which I don't feel I can do.. yet(I think this recent spurt of writing proved to myself it's somewhat possible for me to do that while still working). Finally, to those who would sponsor a chapter to be posted, oh man, it blows me away that there are so many people that love my stories so much they would pay me to just post another chapter straight up. Getting offered $100+ from multiple people to post a single chapter is mind boggling. Thank you to all who are so passionate about my stories, I will try to write more but not taking any money to do so for now!
Can you recommend a few other stories?
Oh man here we go: JK I will mention a few that are still in the works that I really look forward to new chapters for, so here are some but not all, as I could be here all day:
A new player in the Force by USSExplorer, he has a few other stories I am enjoying as well. This one is a gamer inserted into Star Wars.
Beware of Chicken by Casualfarmer, this is on SpaceBattles, great story, more original work than fanfiction, but plays off all the cultivation tropes. Highly recommend reading it.
Ghost in the city (Cyberpunk Gamer SI) by Seras, this one is one of my most looked forward to stories out there!
The Adventure of Augment Gothic (A Star Trek SI) by Joe Lawyer (& formerly GothicJedi666), I have been enjoying this story since GothicJedi was writing it and been enjoying it even more under Joe Lawyer's stewardship as he adds his own elements to an already great story, expanding it massively and taking it to new places and heights.
Naruto: Infinity Drive by Thayerblue1 (Star Trek/Naruto), is a great story and surprised me as I am not usually much of a Naruto fan.
Harry Headline At Glastonbury by Tyranicpuppy, for the fans of Stargate, here is another great HP/SG crossover I highly recommend.
Interesting Times by Zanarkand Kido, this is a Mass Effect story that I have been greatly enjoying and is definitely worth a pickup.
Some measurements roughly (The things all Canadians need to know sadly):
1 foot = 30cm = 12in
1m (100cm) = 3.3ft
1 yard = 0.9m (This is a really good one to use to try and get an idea of the size of something in metric if you usually use Imperial.)
1km = 1000m (or super roughly 1000 yards)
1 mile = 1.6km
1kg (1000g) = 2.2lbs
1 ton = 1 ton, at that amount who is counting? Not this author in this story, lol.
Thanks again to Lighthawk68 for betaing!
What a kriffing waste. Darth Sidious could barely believe the report he was reading. It read more like a poorly written holonovel than a intelligence report he requested from several of his most trusted servants. He nearly crushed the padd he was using in anger but refrained channeling his anger into fueling his Force Clouding, and kept reading till he was finished and put it to the side. He closed his eyes and entered into the Force while quickly digesting all that he had read and came to several conclusions.
One was that there was very little verifiable information on the man named Hadrian Peverell, much of it was contradictory and riddled with obvious falsehoods. And two, the company Peverell supposedly operated, HPI, was becoming more and more of an annoyance; disrupting minor plans of his all over the region of space they were mainly operating out of. The more annoying issue was the overall positive impact HPI was having on that region's economy, which was dampening the effects of other measures he had put into place. The disruption to the plan on Naboo, while ultimately inconsequential, seemed to have just been the start for this enterprising mongrel.
What was best known was that Peverell had somehow formed a close relationship with Jabba the Hutt, taking over and co-ruling the near worthless planet Tatooine and even that small region of space in a short period of time. Mere years. Being so influential on the Hutt, for the disgusting slug to go so far as to even outlaw the practice of slavery in the system, and stop participation in the business outright for himself and his clan. How Peverell had managed such influence still alluded to all his inquiries, except to make it so profitable to work with him that slavery was no longer worth it for Jabba's clan, which was just absurd. There will always be a place for cheap disposable labor, or bodies. One interesting fact said Peverell was from a near human species with a longer lifespan.
It also seemed that HPI relied primarily on droids to operate their business with mainly planet side positions filled by people. A weakness to possibly exploit if needed. HPI invented the technology that allowed for the creation of the G-NET, something taking parts of the Galaxy by storm. That might be a good alternative to the ShadowNet planned with Tyranus for the future separatist. HPI were also making quite the name for themselves in the transportation business for both people and cargo in the few sectors they were operating in and on a select number of other planets. Which reminded him of a memo with HPI being one of the bidders on a recent contract for transporting some of the waste of Coruscant to be disposed of off planet. An unglamorous low profit business venture and something that may be useful to slow down their growth, an idea to ponder later.
Unfortunately getting accurate information on the wealth of HPI was proving hard for a few reasons. Part of the issue was them recently using their own currency, keeping any records of transactions out of the reach of his contacts, also the fact their own bank has started keeping accounts in Republic credits too, another barrier. However what accounts and information his contacts did have access to was a bit alarming, as it seemed HPI was growing rapidly in wealth, in both assets and the amount of capital they were moving around. HPI also appeared to have a supremely negative opinion on pirates and was willing to go out of their way to deal with them, which led into another concerning fact.
The company has been rapidly expanding their 'transport' and protective escort ships. They also seemed to be far more armed then should have been allowed and could possibly be an avenue for legal intervention, but he would have to look into that, as the details were still murky. However this rapid growth in fleet strength was not something to sniff at, but was not his primary concern, that lay in the question, where were all these droids and ships being built at?
HPI seemed to operate out of Tatooine, a small presence on Naboo, and interestingly enough a rapidly growing presence on Ryloth; however none of these seemed to account for the production of the absurd amounts of goods they seemed to be selling or being used all over several sectors. There was a rumor that the goods apparently come from some secret planet called Avalon. Which itself was only a rumored source of these goods, an ideal place to target to destroy this nuisance, which unfortunately led straight into why this was giving him a major headache, all the Jedi be damned rumors and intrigue surrounding Hadrian Peverell and HPI telling him different stories.
For example one stated that Hadrian Peverell started his life as a junker on Tatooine. Absurd. He used magical Force powers to imbue his ships or that he was some monster hidden in human skin that comes out in the night to slay its enemies and cut them to pieces. He shook his head at that thought. Another frankly asinine rumor was that Hadrian Peverell was a powerful former Jedi that left the order due to disagreements, which he knew to be false as he would have records of such an event, learnt about his from his apprentice, and/or would have felt a Force user as powerful as that from here. Not that the Force had been much aid in learning about HPI or Hadrian, which was another frustration.
He however had several solid sources of information on the man, two of which being through Anakin Skywalker and his connection to the company via his mother, and secondly was his apprentice who had taken the initiative to feel out HPI for their future plans. Each confirmed in their own ways that Hadrian Peverell did in fact have the Force, and was trained, but not in the ways of the Jedi. And Tyranus' own observations were somewhat limited but he had reported that Peverell's presence was quite subdued compared to even an average Jedi. Tyranus did mention that Peverell seemed to be able to saturate objects and areas with the force for whatever purpose. Unfortunately Tyranus had little more to say except that his plan to garner SoroSuub's corporation with the Separatist on Sullust had been put back slightly due to HPI's involvement with the company.
All of this led to it being frustrating to devise a solid plan to eliminate this minor nuisance or to utilize it to his own advantage. Assassination stood as the easiest solution, as Hadrian Peverell was the only real public face of the company. And while his report did contain a number of other names associated with the man and the company, none of them, aside possibly Peverell's wife, had any real public persona. Eliminating them both and then circumventing control on the company could be one of the easiest ways to remove this thorn in his side and profit from this situation all at once. Removing Anakin's mother would also serve him well for his other plans of pushing the young Jedi to the dark side. He could even use certain parties, and blame them for the attack channeling Anakin's anger at certain groups for his own purposes.
The beauty was that HPI was registered as a company from outside Republic controlled space and operating inside the Republic via their HQ on Naboo. This allowed them to circumvent much of the oversight a company inside the Republic would have, but it also removed most of the protection those same companies enjoyed. Who was to say who the real owners of HPI are? What law protects the company? In the Outerim possession was not just 9/10ths of the law, it was in most cases the law outright. He could even have his planned future apprentice Anakin Skywalker take control over the company for him when the time was right.
However, even assassination was not as straightforward an answer as it seemed, as for some odd reason the Bounty Hunters guild has stopped accepting bounties on Hadrian Peverell, only something he had heard of in extremely rare cases. Something else to have looked into. This meant he would have to use other non-guild contacts, and even possibly direct and equip some of HPI's many enemies to act as his agents. Yes, that would work well as a backup plan, utilize HPI anti-slavery and anti-piracy stance against them by getting several large groups to band together to start attacking HPI assets in consort. He started putting his orders into the padd before quickly finishing and looking up at his assistant.
"You are certain these reports are legitimate?" he asked for a second time, before getting a nod from Yupe Tashu, his trusted servant and handed him the padd. He may want to later on look into past Jedi council records to see if they know anything more about the man and confirm that report. Annoyedly somehow his previous backdoor transponder had been removed several years ago, and the various other droids and methods he had tried since also had failed, and he was still unable to get a replacement in place. He had taken extra precaution too by ensuring he shrouded the tampered object in the dark side of the Force to ensure the Jedi would not be able to discover the object through the Force. Regaining his access to Jedi Council reports is something he would need to move up in priority.
"My orders. Make sure they are carried out." he said before turning his chair around to look out his private view onto the bustling Capital of the Republic with a small smile. It was only a matter of time before this was all his; he could almost feel it.
Flashback 4.5 years ago.
Mispy had been loving her assignment to watch over Master Anakin's domain while he was at the Jedi Temple. Being given permissions to clean to her heart's content from Master Harry as long as she stayed mostly hidden had been the most wondrous of responses.
At first she stayed near Master Anakin's rooms and cleaned those areas, but quickly it was not enough for an Elf of her power, which had increased dramatically since bonding to Master Harry many years ago and seemingly kept growing since. So it only felt natural for her to spread out and so she cleaned ever increasing amounts of the Jedi temple each day till she was cleaning it all. Always ensuring she avoided any of the Jedi or inhabitants of the temple. Sometimes going as far as to use mild confundus charms to get them to move along without investigating whatever feeling they had.
It only took her about a month till she ran into her first issue, and that was discovering a little box seeped in dark magic attached to some sort of metal line in one of the convenient small hallways built into the walls for Elves like her. She pondered the device for a bit before deciding to vanish it to ensure none of the younglings stumbled upon it and got hurt from the nasty feeling magic. She knew how serious these odd magic users were about dark magic, so it was best to get rid of it.
From there it only took her a few weeks to finally cover the entire temple each day for cleaning with the only room she avoided being the guarded vault that seemed to store a bunch of nasty artifacts.
Flashback 4.3 years ago.
Mispy was perplexed as the dark magic black box had reappeared. One day it was not there and the next it was back again. At first she thought her magic had failed and it had returned but then she realized it was in a slightly different spot. Shrugging her shoulders she just vanished this new interloper like the last and moved onto her next task. Cleaning the kitchens, one of her favorites of the day!
Flashback 3.5 years ago.
The dark magic from the weird metal box had somehow returned but was now infecting one of the helper droids that so cutely tried to help her clean the temple each day. But they were so inefficient and incapable, that she felt terribly sorry for them, but she was getting distracted by their pitiful capabilities. When the droid was alone she used her magic to freeze it and approached it before observing closely for the magic. She realized it was only a small component inside that was infected, so she vanished and popped away just before unfreezing the droid. Hopefully whatever she vanished wasn't important for the droid to operate, and wouldn't be noticed.
Flashback 1.5 years ago.
It has been many months since Mispy has seen the dark magic infect anything other than a number of droids in the temple. She had thought it had found a new favorite target, but now it seemed the same dark magic was trying to infect a whole entire computer console in one of the security rooms. She was not sure what she should do but to leave the insidious and clearly spreading dark magic to linger would only bring about bad things.
It was her job to ensure the Temple was kept clean and safe for Young Master Anakin to learn at. So she made the hard decision and vanished the whole computer making several screens go dark, but she took no mind and popped away happy with her success in dealing with another issue. She would need to keep more vigilant in the future for the dark magic could spread to other things.
Padme had been prepared so she was easily able to hide her shock, but she was still astonished at the changes she saw as they flew in low over Mos Espa to land in the HPI's massive compound. The entire city was now a sprawling advanced metropolis. The whole sunken crater was gone, and had been built up, to tower over some of the buildings around it. There were now several spaceports, of which each were colossal in size, and were swallowed up by the mega city surrounding them. She really didn't know where to look, and was blown away at the progress that had occurred in a few short years.
No longer could you see any evidence of the haphazard sandcrete buildings, or any roads covered in sand. Only very select structures were still made in the old sandcrete style, and it seemed to be there for more cultural reasons than anything else, with the ginormous podracing stands and track being the largest such structure. How that seemed to still be prospering like usual was beyond her, she would have thought something like that would have been outlawed long ago due to the high death toll; but clearly from the expansion of the stands since her last visit, it was only getting more popular.
Her thoughts on the 'sport' were quickly broken as her transport, courtesy of HPI, something she had been using more often of late as it was easier to move around as a Senator with a lower profile by using HPI ships, swooped in to a landing. She moved away from the large front view port area in the suite of the CR90 she was riding, and entered the elevator with her aids to take her down to meet with her old friends. She had been looking forward to this trip, for both personal and political reasons. It had been nearly impossible for her to return to Tatooine except for the once for Shmi and Harry's wedding, as her security was too worried for her safety as Queen of Naboo, and now a Senator. Though things were changing.
The elevator was quick, and she soon found herself smiling as she was greeted by a waving Shmi near the edge of the landing pad waving her over. Which she obliged while taking the short time to look around and observe her friend. The compound had both changed lots since her last visit and yet was in some places almost exactly the same, which made her smile as compared to the drastic changes outside the compound seemed to always be going through, it was nice to see something she was familiar with. Whereas Shmi looked as radiant as ever, and did not look a day older than the last time she saw her. Sadly there was no surprise rounded stomach she had been secretly hoping to see. It appeared Shmi had yet to convince Harry to start having children.
"Senator Amidala.. welcome to Tatooine." Shmi said all too seriously and with a beaming smile as Padme finally approached with her entourage following behind, before a laugh broke over the older woman's face as she opened her arms for a hug. "Welcome back Padme you have been dearly missed." Shmi said with genuine emotion in her voice. They quickly embraced before breaking apart from their hug to have a closer look at each other.
"Thank you for having me. It's been too long." she said honestly as Shmi took her hand as they continued to exchange greetings and started leading her away as a few HPI droids helped her security and assistants get situated for their short stay. Shmi was leading her to where she knew was Shmi's family private residence, which was where she had stayed on her last few visits.
It only took them a few minutes before they were already sitting in a nice fully climate controlled room sipping tea while looking out some windows onto the compound watching all the hustle and bustle. It was only then she realized that the entire time since landing she had not felt uncomfortable for a single moment from the heat or glaring suns. Whatever temperature dampener Harry was using to reduce heat in his compound seemed to have been improved since her last visit. It was quite impressive, and most likely extremely expensive to operate.
"I would complain you don't visit enough but even from following your rising career in the Republic Senate from afar, I can tell you are being kept extraordinarily busy. I am surprised you were able to still make this planned visit." Shmi said with a smile after a few moments of them getting comfortable and reaching out and squeezing her hand in comfort before taking another sip of her tea.
"Yes working in the Senate to try and right some of the issues plaguing this galaxy is keeping me busy, too busy some have said, in fact recently I have been quite literally dealing with a bioplague on Radnor." she said honestly to her friend with a tired smile, before going on. "Sadly part of the reason I was able to justify this trip to myself was to also make it work related, as I was hoping to gain HPI's aid in the efforts being put together by Senator Organa of Alderaan to send relief to Radnor. Plans are in the works to help evacuate refugees and provide aid to the planet." she went on to explain the terrible situation going on in more detail.
"Well I don't think putting together a fleet of some kind and providing some funds to the initiative will be that difficult for us to swing." Shmi said immediately after she had finished her explanation of the issue, causing her to be taken aback. The fact that there was no bickering, hanging for concessions or implication of future favors took her by surprise as she had gotten so used to it in the Senate, but really it shouldn't have. A big smile broke out of her face.
"That is incredibly relieving to hear and the people of Radnor will be better off for HPI's involvement." she said a bit more seriously but her beaming smile never left her face.
"I will call PA here so we can work out some details and get the ball rolling immediately. Let me send her a signal." Shmi said while touching her bracelet before looking back at her with a laugh. "I will tell you a little secret, but don't tell PA or Harry I said anything, personally I think they both have more credits than they really know what to do with these days and are running out of good ideas to spend it on. So spending some on a humanitarian cause won't be an issue." Shmi said in passing like a joke but Padme knew she was being somewhat serious.
It was a far cry from the penny pinching and desperate economic situation going on in the Republic right now. Something she should look more closely at, if just to learn what HPI is doing differently than others so they can start implementing that into the Republic's economies. Thinking about it briefly she got interested enough and just finally decided to ask Shmi while they were waiting in PA to arrive.
"It has always impressed me how well HPI seems to be doing in this economy. If you don't mind me asking what is HPI doing so differently then most of the rest of the Republic?" she asked, seemingly catching Shmi a bit off guard by the change in subject, but the look quickly switched to a thinking one. Shmi took a few moments to think before she answered.
"If I had to choose one thing without sharing any secrets, then it mainly has to do with something I was reading in one of the economic books from Harry's homeworld that really shows the difference in HPI. It is that most other companies around the galaxy seem to be dead set on trying to squeeze the absolute most they can sell any product for, even if that means they are going to sell vastly smaller quantities to any single market. This is often offset with there being so many markets to send goods to, but in the long run it ends up reducing the amount of sales made by pricing out so many customers. Those customers lose out on whatever economic activity their purchases were mostly likely going to generate, and therefore weakens the local economy. Quite quickly too.
"This continues in a downward negative feedback spiral, therefore less and less customers can purchase goods in each market on return trips. HPI on the other hand sets prices they feel are fair, even if they could charge more being often the only game in town, HPI doesn't. Because if they did then it would weaken the economies of the communities and markets they are involved in and would stifle their growth. By doing the opposite of the galactic trend, HPI allows those markets to grow, and end up having customers with extra credits from saving on purchasing from HPI and making more from their own businesses. This goes hand in hand with providing good wages to HPI's employees, and has resulted in incredible growth in the internal demand seen here on Tatooine, more recently on Ryloth, and the many other major ports of calls for HPI. Naboo itself is not a bad example too." Shmi finally finished her mini speech and honestly took Padme aback a bit. It seemed this was something the older woman had been thinking about for quite some time, and had strong opinions on.
"Quite well said my lady." PA said, causing both of them to realize the droid must have arrived sometime during Shmi's explanation. "One of the core tenets set by Lord Peverell on how HPI would operate, underscored how HPI should always be seen as a net positive both socially and economically in each of the communities we operate in. It really is just simple math, enriching the market we operate in thereby enriching our customer base in that market who are going to spend most of the money at our company anyways, where they will get good quality goods at reasonable prices, ideally increasing overall happiness. Happier, more economically stable people have larger families, meaning more richer people in the future to buy goods from us, meaning even more credits for HPI. Exponential money growth! I truly do not understand how all these other companies just don't seem to grasp this simple fact! Such simple minded shorted sighted morons..." PA said, seemingly drifting off into a rant of her own. Padme had not truly realized what a large land mine her simple question seemed to have been.
"PA, Padme here was hoping we would be able to put together a fleet of ships to aid with the disaster at Radnor, and if we would be able to donate funds to the relief effort. I said it would not be much of an issue, but you would be able to give us more details on what we could actually contribute." Shmi said to PA who bobbed along.
"Yes, when I learnt the good Senator here was still planning to come while the issue of the bioplague was an ongoing issue in the senate, I felt there was a good chance she would request our aid on the issue. Therefore, for the past several days I have been organizing and moving several of our assets around to put together a fleet of 236 ships of appropriate size and equipped to aid in the evacuation. I have also included in the fleet our newly minted Hospital ship manned by a contingent of medical droids and Elves to provide additional medical aid. As to funding, how much does the relief effort need?" PA asked, causing Padme's brain to freeze. 236 ships! And a Hospital ship as well! In such short notice, it was beyond what she was expecting. Radnor thankfully didn't have an immense population, only tens of millions, however she had feared they were not going to be able to help too many in the time frame they had. The senate wasn't known for being snappy in making decisions.
"Well the operation and aid required is going to be expensive. I heard somewhere saying around 10 billion credits, possibly even over twenty, so any amount that can be spared will be welcome." she said almost automatically as her brain tried to catch up which caused Shmi to smile at her and laugh.
"Hmm yes, I also anticipated a refugee situation, and seeing the Radnor people have extensive technological skills I felt it would be wasteful not to offer them space here on Tatooine and Ryloth, so I have housing for 250,000 being constructed as we speak. We will of course welcome any number of refugees, so simply send a message if additional housing is required. That along with donating 2.5 billion Republic Credits to the fund should get HPI large amounts of positive press within the Republic and from any citizen of Radnor, all the while also benefiting the company long term with the large influx of talented people to draw from." PA said happily to everyone, shocking Padme again at the size of the donation but also causing her to shake her head in exacerbated amusement at the end. Leave it to PA to show how to profit from a bioplague while providing free aid to the people being affected.
"PA I do hope you never change. It is easy to see why Harry still to this day says you are his greatest creation. He would be lost without you helping him run HPI." Shmi said with a large smile. Shmi was clearly in a great mood, and at some point she realized she had joined the woman in being in a good mood too. It seemed coming to Tatooine was the right choice once again.
"Yes, truly thank you PA, and make sure Harry knows the aid is appreciated by all involved." she said to the droid. Deciding to change the subject to something a little less depressing or at least she hoped so, she decided to ask another question she had been wondering since her last visit. "Say I had always heard that the Sand People of Tatooine were quite the problem and often attacked settlements on Tatooine and yet I haven't heard anything about them in many years, what happened to them?" she asked
"Oh! I still can't believe how that one all turned out." Shmi moaned in exasperation. "Harry decided the best way to deal with them was for him to march out to one of their main camps and to start challenging their leaders to one on one combat. And somehow it worked. Now more or less the sand people work for HPI covertly attacking some of the more undesirable criminal elements being 'allowed' to use the Dune Sea to do their illegal activities."
"It was a bit more complicated than that, but that would suffice as a quick summary. The Sand People have been incorporated into HPI and act as a deniable asset to keep the criminal elemental under control that are nominally allowed to operate outside settlements in the Sand Sea without persecution. The Sand People act as our army to attack those criminals found to be participating in criminal activity we deem unacceptable. Our relationship is quite good with them, and the Tusken Raiders as they prefer to be called, are also prospering with the support they get from HPI."
"That certainly is a fascinating way to channel an otherwise problematic group of people against another problem group. Sadly you all know my position on the idea of allowing criminal activity to go on in the Dune Sea, but we have had that discussion before." she said not going into something they had discussed a dozen times over the years.
"PA don't forget to tell Padme here the other job HPI hires the Tusken people for." Shmi said with a huge smile and a laugh.
"Well yes, it seems the added danger of podracers taking fire from Tusken Raiders during the races has become a traditional element, so we now actually pay them to ensure that element of the race is still present at each event, and in a semi consistent manner." PA said proudly not realizing how absurd that sounded to Padme. Regardless it did make her feel more welcomed, to be let in on that secret. It was great to be around true friends, who she didn't feel she needed to be on guard around, even if there was a large age gap between her and Shmi. Though it was looking less and less like that each day. She leaned back and took a sip of her tea and continued to enjoy PA's commentary.
This Galaxy was weird. Harry was almost most certain of that, and the last six months had only helped to cement that in his mind. The fact that he was sitting here in a meeting with three businessmen who represented a large multisystem firm looking for a stable place to invest only reinforced that opinion. One would assume they had wanted to buy a stake in HPI, but no that was not what they wanted, er well maybe they wanted that but that was not on the table, what they wanted today was permission and suggestions of ways to invest in Tatooine. Tatooine being a stable place to invest almost made him cackle, but with the way things are looking in the Galaxy, and the massive growth Tatooine has seen over the last few years, it really started to mean that this WAS a safe place to invest.
Why these businessmen thought they needed his permission was beyond him, all he knew was that PA had approved this meeting, but it had become clear quite quickly what the issue was. The problem this company has, was the scale they wanted to invest required huge amounts of capital exchanged, and ever since HPI started their own currency most places started to refuse accepting Republic Credits once again on the planet. The businessmen needed to convert a huge amount of Republic Credits into HPI Credits, and there was really only one place they could do that easily, and that was his company.
Still they would have been able to go through normal channels at the bank they had set up, so he guessed that PA felt that due to their size that it was important for him to be seen to be taking a personal interest in the matter. It was not everyday that a group representing a number of other wealthy groups came talking about investing many billions of Republic Credits in the planet you were the sovereign of. Not that HPI were lacking in any regards to credits to invest, but there were only so many places they could do so without entirely taking over the economy, which is not something he wanted to do. However, it was not like he was full of ideas either, so he recommended building up a bigger recreational district around the pod racing areas of Mos Espa, as well as adding in more entertainment options. That was seemingly well received by the gentlemen, along with some of his other ideas like a hotel station above the planet for the ultra wealthy possibly acting as a central financial service area, and a few other ideas.
He was honestly still surprised at how fast HPI credits had been adopted by so many people, and it was not just on Tatooine either as it was spreading to many planets. When they had introduced them, they had them set at 2 HPI credits to 1 Republic credit, and had locked HPI credits against the price of some of HPI goods on their introduction before allowing the exchange to float. For example a small cannabis package cost 10 HPI Credits instead of 5 republic Credits at the start, even if his stores still accepted Republic Credits at the floating exchange rate. He had set up a few different areas to convert currencies into HPI credits including an area at the local 'Avalon bank'. The Avalon Bank was the name of the new official banking institution of Tatooine.
The official conversion was done by the bank which set the official rate for the currency and also where they monitored its true value via supply and demand. If a lot of people were coming to convert Republic Credits into HPI ones, and few people were doing the opposite then the ratio would rise in favor of HPI credits raising their value. This would also happen the other way if people were buying back Republic credits. Of course there would be private conversions, often for a better or worse deal depending on your perspective, but they would always be in lower volumes as HPI's goal was not currency manipulation. Finally there was HPI's own rampant use of Republic Credits to purchase things in the Republic. There was a lot of 'printing' of HPI credits in the start to make up for demand, and on an ongoing basis to pay wages.
The reason for the success was multi-pronged, as there were a number of factors that led to it. First was HPI's reputation and the fact that our big moves often had solid results. When HPI did something we did it well, and almost universally kept our dealings fair, which was sadly not the norm for this Galaxy. Secondly was the rising inflation of the Republic credit and the well known debt crisis the Republic was going through. It was on the HoloNews constantly. Many people were afraid that the bottom would fall out of the Republic Economy sometime soon and the value of their credits would drop significantly, which was partially responsible for the huge number of new currencies popping up.
Third was also a result of the very many new currencies being minted, and the confusion they were causing in trade networks. The reasons for those new currencies could mostly be blamed on one thing, and that was the rising tensions in the Galaxy and lack of faith in the Republic credit, which they themselves are only exacerbating. The galactic situation was another huge driving factor, as the tensions have been clear to most people now paying even just a tiny bit of attention, as vocal outcry from many Outer Rim planets was becoming loud enough that it was even permeating the senate floor on a daily basis. There had also been talk of planets even thinking of leaving the Republic, something unheard off in the past. In fact it was often a huge waiting list centuries long and a pain in the ass process to even officially join the Republic as a full member, so the idea of planets leaving was coming as a shock to many.
In fact on the first week the rates of conversion had dropped to 1.85 HPI credits to 1 Republic credit from 2:1 which was a huge increase in value. This had prompted even more people to convert seeing the strength of the new currency causing a cascading effect of more buyers bringing its value to roughly 1.65:1 that it sits at today. This made a ton of early adopters richer simply by having gotten in on the currency early on, and gave HPI huge amounts of Republic credits to spend on the ever increasing orders of ships and supplies from Republic Worlds. This did have a result of rising the cost of many of their goods for those buying with Republic Credits as their prices were now set in HPI credits then converted to Republic ones. So now a small bag of cannabis was about 6 Republic Credits, up from its initial cost of 5 when HPI Credits were introduced.
This was a huge part of the reason he was sitting in this meeting right now when he would prefer to be working on his capital ship designs. He had already finished the Dagger Class Frigate just a month after he had visited Avalon. His visit had really lit a massive fire under his ass, seeing how far PA and R3 had taken that planet since its discovery and realizing he was holding things back had not felt good; but he had also been quite happy with his designs once finished. It was like its name suggested, a stubby dagger or spear head shaped craft, similar slightly to that of the AC cruisers they had been using. It was longer and fatter than the AC Cruiser, but in his mind and on paper was several steps of magnitude above in power, and coming at a respectful 405m in length it was no small boy.
Clearly one of his first goals was to exceed what the AC cruiser provided for them, but that honestly was not too hard. The sad truth was that the AC cruiser was a ship designed to abide by a ton of the absolutely stupid regulations put on even the shields for ships by bureaucrats, let alone the laundry list of regulations for weapons. This meant there were tons of things KDY had done that were simply stupid when looking at it from a pure ship design perspective. It was also clearly designed for a galaxy not at war or with hard defense doctrines in mind. So his new dagger class ships looked noticeably more intimidating, but also fixed many of the oversights in the AC, and outright ignored nearly all Republic regulations on ship building.
First obvious difference was that of the edge of the ship, which was now sharp enough to cut where the bottom and top came together, rather than having a large straight up and down section connecting the top and bottom like on the AC cruiser. This allowed for placing turbo laser embankments along the top and bottom spine of the ship to shoot easily to each side, while also allowing them to concentrate fire on targets in front or to the side of them with all batteries simultaneously. They could unfortunately not fire behind the ship except for the top most cannon embankment on the top and bottom of the ship, creating a minor weak point, but this didn't mean much when all was needed was for the ship to turn slightly to bring the rest of the guns into their firing arcs. Turning in space was fairly easy even with the huge inertial mass of a 405m long ship.
The bridge was built into the center of the ship removing a vulnerable part of most ships in this galaxy. Honestly the fact that bridges were still placed in the positions they were in other designs was nearly always only a hold over from designs long in the past where shielding for power plants was crap and would interfere with electronic systems at high output. This meant to ensure your ship didn't shut down in battle due to its own generator causing its computer systems to crash, the bridge was moved farther away from said generator. It was kind of funny that almost no one really changed their design practices even when the reason for the bridge being so exposed no longer truly existed due to technology improvements. The galaxy was certainly slow to change.
Along the upper spine were three sets of turret-mounted twin medium turbo lasers. They were mirrored by two sets on the bottom, with a gap in the middle for the hangar bay and cargo loading area. Along each side on the top and bottom were eight sets of quad turreted heavy laser cannons for point defense and fast tracking of smaller ships. Giving the ship a truly impressive 5 Twin Medium Turbo Lasers, and 32 Quad Heavy laser Cannons. All of the heavy laser cannons alone were a huge upgrade from the AC Cruiser's and allowed the Dagger class to put out serious amounts of fire power, and that was not even counting the missile and torpedo complements, or the new powerful medium Turbo Lasers.
The Dagger class had four torpedo/missile launchers, two on the bottom and two on the top. It also carried with it a magazine of 120 missiles or torpedoes giving it a large amount of firepower, enough to take out multiple capital sized ships. It had room for 25 F-1s, 5 SF-1s, 5 B-1s and even 4 MTCs alongside a complement of 1500 battle droids on board. The entire ship was highly automated, something his engineering divisions were instrumental in helping design, and allowed for the ship to be operated by incredibly small amounts of crew. Those crew members were also almost always going to be droids making it highly automated overall when everything was taken into account.
It is primarily due to removing a lot of fuel storage and a good portion of crew compartments found in ships of this size, that allow for substantially more room to install another large reactor to be used in consort with the first to provide ample power for the many systems packed on this ship. Along with several secondary backup reactors, the Dagger-Class produces as much power as ships of a larger class. The dual advantage of being able to remove things needed for large organic crews, as well as fuel storage due to the fuel caps, opened up a lot of extra space in the ship to do with whatever he felt like.
Like all his ships it came with his HPI's Ion engines and Hyperdrive giving it a MGLT of 90, and a class 1 hyperdrive speed. This made it a fast ship, something that was important to be able to respond to attacks, or for simply making good time while escorting other ships. There was a reason he paid the premium in both cost and time to have all his ships equipped with class one hyperdrives or better, and why he spent so long developing a reliable high quality one of his own. It was quite rare for an entire fleet to have ships equipped with class one hyperdrives, which meant any ship that did not have one would slow the entire fleet down.
The Dagger class was going to truly be a dagger pointed at any threats that may come his way, and was going to be a huge strength augmentation for his fleets till he had his destroyer sized ship designs finished and rolling off shipyards. Which was just a matter of time. The only downside he could see was that The Dagger Class cost 29.5 million credits to build in just material costs alone, expensive compared to an AC Light Cruiser. You certainly got your money's worth in terms of ships capabilities though. He was incredibly happy, and had already sent the designs to PA months ago. The first few would be coming off of production lines fairly soon, and it had only taken that long due to R3 retooling shipyards specifically for these ships to increase their production rate long term. It was incredible how fast things could be built in this Galaxy when you had the capital to throw around.
However, his thoughts were redirected back to the meeting at hand. He had been listening to the Muun discuss various areas they wanted to go into. "I see no problem with trying to explore any of those areas. I am sorry as I simply do not have too many ideas for you, as whenever I have one HPI usually just starts exploring it right away. It is not like we are really lacking in credits to invest where we want." he said to the group of three seeing them actually nod in understanding.
"Well I am glad that we will not have any problems converting our Republic credits into something more stable and useful out here. Nor will be stepping on any toes by investing here." the Muun said happily. "I can also understand not giving away too many good ideas as simply good business, but I had not known that HPI was involved in so many areas, even here on Tatooine." the Muun said, intrigued.
"Yes most people know us for our alcohol, cannabis, or our transport business. Or more recently the G-NET. However hardly anyone realizes that our largest revenue streams by a large margin is our energy sales from our spaceports, and our G-NET division." he said honestly, as those two divisions continually produced mind boggling amounts of credits, and almost cost nothing to run due to his magic. It was basically printing money. There was hardly a populated planet within a 12 hour hyperjump of Tatooine that didn't now have an HPI spaceport, often for just the services that they provide out of them more than anything else. Everyone needed energy for their settlements, and HPI sold it at extremely competitive prices.
"I know HPI produces droids for internal use, and doesn't sell them to outsiders. Would you be opposed to us setting up a droid factory here to sell droids from? There are tons of civilians that want good cheap droids." another one of the group asked, getting Harry thinking. He was not too interested in delving too far into the civilian lines of droids at the moment, but even then good competition was never bad, and would only push him to make something better.
"Certainly you are free to try. Well as long as they are not battle droid factories, and if they are, you will need to get approval on each model they produce and all sales of those products produced here. I would suggest importing the materials though, as Tatooine's local materials decay incredibly quickly due to an exotic energy present in them. If you wish to look into that issue, HPI would be happy to fund half the costs." he continued before he was asked another question. "With access to cheap shipping by my company this could be a really good business venture for your organizations. Setup a proper G-NET website for people to make orders from, and you can deliver their custom built droids straight to their homes in no time flat." he said to the room in front of him talking about HPI's affordable parcel and freight service. "Well gentlemen I am sorry to say but I have some other things I need to get to, I hope I have been able to help today." he said before getting up.
They all said quick goodbyes, and he left the room. This was honestly something he didn't enjoy doing, but it had been nice to see that others were coming to Tatooine and investing on large scales due to the impact he was having. It meant the planet's economy was far healthier for not being entirely tied to his company. He expected they were just the first few, and the Muun had mentioned having contacts with the Galactic Banking clans and offered to introduce Harry to an investing service. Not something he really felt inclined to do, he knew well how hard it would be to truly track where his money was invested in if he gave it to a large group like that to invest.
Maybe he should have truly invested in growing the financial services for here on Tatooine. A bank was nice, but far from what a lot of businesses required to operate smoothly without being so large they had those departments built right into their structure. That was why the first major investors were so big, maybe it was something he should mention to his new Muun 'friend'. Or perhaps it was something PA would like to have HPI doing themselves, certainly something to explore.
He walked through the large HPI facility and made his way down to his workshop. The facility was always expanding, and it was a good thing that he had quickly cordoned off a huge amount of space for them to grow and expand into. He guessed he could thank the Force for the constant nudges. Otherwise with how the city had expanded it would have been near impossible to keep expanding on the surface. Not that they didn't have large operations under their compound too where a number of things were produced in smaller quantities. He had even added a small droid line there to just diversify a small bit where their droids were coming from. R3 had been more than happy to come back to Tatooine and set it up for him, and he would deny any mention of him simply having the factory line setup to see his little buddy.
His relationship with his ladies was going great too, and at different paces for each. Lerla basically had joined him and Shmi 24/7 in their home, and even shared their bed most nights, even if they all had their own rooms. Sugi was still quite busy helping on Ryloth so only came by about once or twice a month to visit before heading back, so their relationship was moving slower but still steadily. It was really weird to have more than one partner at a time, but for this galaxy it actually seemed to be quite common, even amongst other humans or near human species.
Regardless he was done complaining, and was basking in how he was so damn lucky to have so many amazing women who loved him in their own ways. They were all so different too that made him appreciate them all for their own special little quirks. He was happy, has been happy for some time now, and about the only thing going wrong in his life was the fact that the galaxy itself just seemed to be just going to shit. Seriously it was amazing how everything seemed to be going wrong for the Republic, a bio-plague, failing economy, various invasions, major corruption, minimal capital investment, no military, a rampant piracy issue, and a loud outcry from a number of sources for various valid reasons, and yet here it was like the biggest economic boom ever was going on for HPI space. Hence the Galaxy was weird.
Sitting down at his second 'home', a massive computer station which he used to design things in his workshop, he got right back to work on some of his projects he had been working on before being interrupted. Another one he had been plucking away at was personal armor for himself mostly, but possibly anyone else who needed some too. They were not going to be exclusive to those who know him personally either, as he could easily see selling them alongside blasters. He of course had PA take some of their rarer materials out of storage for his personal use. With the galaxy going to shit there was no reason to not upgrade his own defense, so that was why he spent a few hundred million credits on the Phrik and Cortosis used for his armor.
Phrik was a material that was nearly indestructible and one of the few materials almost entirely resistant to lightsabers. Cortosis had the unique ability to short lightsabers out while also being decently resistant to them and blasters. Though Cortosis had nothing on Phrik for durability as Phrik made some of the hardier materials like Beskar look like normal steel in comparison. Not to say that Beskar was something someone should ignore for its usefulness, but while extremely resistant to lightsabers, Beskar could only ever take so much of a beating from blasters or a lightsaber before failing due to transfer of heat. Whereas Phrik would take lightsaber hits all day without much of a scratch and ignoring the heat, hence why Phrik made Beskar look lacking in comparison. Cortosis on the other hand was a closely guarded secret it seemed, and likewise was expensive for its rarity and durability.
Either way HPI had quite the large stockpile of all of them stacking up, in regards to Phrik and Cortosis mainly because they continually purchased it off the market, but for Beskar it was different. Most Beskar in the galaxy came from one source, the Mandalore system, however during his company's exploration of their new star systems they found a large deposit on one of the moons of a small system. Not anywhere near enough to make huge sprawling fleets out of for centuries, but enough for use in a lot of things if they so choose. For now they were mining it and stockpiling it for later use, as he was a bit hesitant to use it on wide scales as many traditional Mandalorians felt they had some form of ownership over the metal. Regardless of its source.
Back to his armor, he took a lot of inspiration from a number of sources, some from Earth, many from this Galaxy, and even from the Mandalorians themselves. Going with his usual motif he painted it in deep dark blue, and it fully covered his body leaving nothing exposed. It was plated in such a way and had servos added in so that it not only reduced the encumbrance caused by wearing it, but also gave additional strength and speed to the wearer. With it being fully enclosed it was therefore vacuum worthy and had enough oxygen for 32 hours. Of course that was not including the many additions he planned for with magic to improve the already incredible armor, like extending the oxygen supply indefinitely.
It came with grav boots, a small jet pack, a built in vibro-blade on one arm and repeating blaster on another just in case you lost whatever weapons you were carrying. Otherwise it was mostly for protection, but unfortunately he could not downsize and keep intact the radiation shielding a deflectors shield needed to get one installed correctly on the suit without adding a large backpack, which was not what he wanted to do. Something to look into in the future for sure, but would be missing from this first generation of armor. Maybe a magical solution for the radiation for his own armor?
Either way with the armor primarily being made out of Phrik a non-magical shield was not wholly necessary anyways. Regardless he had fun working on his armor as wearing his enchanted basilisk suit into a battlefield simply was stupid when faced with some of the firepower found in this galaxy. Even a few blaster shots had started to seriously wear away at the suit's magic, and while he didn't expect blaster to fare well against the hide once the magic protections broke, he didn't want to risk it too much.
Along with his armor he had a few blasters custom made for him which he enchanted. No reason for him to run out of ammo or energy when he could do a few 'simple' enchantments and runes to prevent that from happening. He also ensured it was made from the finest components, some made with expensive materials to prevent their damage and increase overall weapon performance. Others just to make them look sleeker. He had outright tossed out using a light blaster pistol and went straight for a heavy blaster pistol with a number of improvements. This all allowed for them to still be fairly compact, but have huge firepower, and amazing accuracy. They could even connect to his armor heads up display. Of course the fact that his pistols cost nearly ten million credits each compared to a few thousand at most for a good model blaster really put it into perspective. He was in a splurging mood.
He also at the same time had come up with a number of armours that his company could sell to a variety of races. In fact it may be something that would be a good industry for Naboo, as they could use more jobs with the way the Republic economy was going. The fact that there were very few good practical armours available on the wider market meant that he could see a good business if he produced something people wanted.
With his access and stockpiles of many different materials he could offer buyers many options and choices when purchasing. He could also try to ensure he had models of each armor series for as many species as he could, as the standard humanoid armor did not fit all that many species well, some not at all, and was a huge hole in the market. Just look at a Wookiee, and they were in the general shape of a human to boot, and almost no straight from the market armor would work for them. Maybe if he offered a huge discount to the first of any species, if they allowed for a scan to be done to get their species profile. Or now that he thought about it there should be a database of that somewhere.
It took him a few days from his meeting to finally finish enchanting his personal armor and blaster pistols once they had been manufactured off the small factory line downstairs, but that was mostly down to him being a perfectionist. Regardless after finishing up he got back to doing what he had been meaning to finalize and that was his destroyer ship design.
Some things had to change due to him changing his mind all the time, and hemming and hawing over various pros and cons. First was the size, as he had originally been going for a ship around 850m in length but then realized that due to his Dagger-Class being so much more powerful and well equipped than he had initially expected, that a capital ship so small offered so little in addition to his existing fleet assets to the point of almost making having another ship model a waste. Therefore he had changed his designs to explore 1000m+ ships and finally decided on a 1200m long ship that was almost a marrying of the Harrower-class and his new Dagger-Class. This required major re-engineering and upscaling of many system designs. Not too much work with the large teams at his disposal, but nonetheless a delay.
He laid his hands on the special interface to his design computer, and opened up the file for his new destroyer design. Slowly spinning the detailed holographic image around he could only smile. It was going to be a thing of beauty when finished. He only had a few systems left to do on the design, and the main one was the fact that he was working on replacing the gap in the front of the Harrower-class with an ability to carry an assortment of modifications, but the first he was planning on was a large Ion Cannon. He brought that section of the ship up and enlarged it.
He is planning to move the hangar bay access to the bottom and small rear access over and below the engine. The rear access was so that when engaging a ship with all forward weapons and taking fire, fighter craft could exit the ship with some cover to prevent them getting shot down. Without the hangar access and bays taking up that space it gave lots of room to equip his future destroyer with a number of different modules. He had several in mind, including something as simple as more hangar bays to carry more fighters, to possibly creating a model with interdictor capabilities; but first was his 'simple' Ion Cannon.
There was no bureaucracy or accountants here breathing down his neck to make compromises and get something out sooner rather than later. And the bad feeling he often got from the Force was not an immediate concern either, and more of a medium term warning of a number of years still. So there was little reason for him to rush this project, as he didn't really expect to make major changes to his ships for a number of years after finalizing their designs. They already out performed almost anything else that he knew of in the galaxy on a one on one basis in their classes. So with that in mind he got back to work, to prepare for whatever the storm that he felt coming was, however far out.
PA was moving quickly through the air on her way to her Lord passing by a number of other droids, nearly all HPI models, and people of many species going about their work. She was fuming while moving, as she was quite annoyed with some recent news she had been informed of and it was sadly something she deemed important enough to require her to interrupt her creator. Especially unfortunate while he was finishing up a project she had been wanting him to finish for quite some time.
She zoomed into his workshop where Harry was working from his main design computer. There was a large starfighter looking ship in pieces in one corner of the workshop, and in the middle of the room there was some sort of large cannon? She expected it was part of a ship or something her Lord was working out. She could see he had already noticed her approach as he had been turning his seat around to greet her.
"Hey PA! I am surprised to see you already, I was just putting the finishing touches on our version of the Harrower-class. Hmmm we really are going to have to come up with a new name as our changes have been significant enough to merit a new ship class name." he said happily with a big smile, causing her to be momentarily surprised. If she had been a human she would have raised her eyebrow. That was not something she had been expecting. Work on that ship's design was projected to take another month or so, optimistically. This was quite good news and helped to sooth her anger and make her update far more palpable.
"Fantastic! I am surprised it is already done. You worked quite hard on this my lord, and I wish I had better news to share with you in return." she said seriously already planning to get some of those ships started building as soon as the finalized designs were in her 'hands'. "It seems some loud voices in the Senate have raised issues with our rapid expansion of our fleets and were able to convince the representative of Kuat Drive Yards to halt all sales of their AC cruiser to us over possible legal concerns." She said angrily at being cut off from buying the ship any longer as they were a useful outlet for credits and an all around decent ship. How dare they, and it was clearly some foolish political ploy she was failing to understand, but it also angered her more that KDY had caved so easily. They were loyal customers for years and were thrown into the trash just like that.
"I would be lying if I said I was surprised PA. It was bound to happen sooner or later to one or more of our suppliers, and it was a major part of the reason we have been working so hard to ensure our independence when it comes to our security concerns and ship production." Harry said while getting up from his computer seemingly unaffected by the news and moving over to a table and chairs where a cup appeared of a new tea that Harry had been taking a liking to. "How much of an impact will it have on our business?"
"I have already contacted R3 to increase our shipyard, refinery, and foundry production on Avalon and a few of our other worlds by several magnitudes. I fear this may just be the first of many actions by malcontents and enemies trying to limit our ability to protect our interests. This will mean we will be behind in projected ship numbers for just over six and half months before catching up due to loss of sales from KDY, as well as devoting existing production capabilities to producing more shipyards and foundries. Meaning certain projections for expansion will be behind." she answered quickly already having done an impact analysis on her way over anticipating the question.
"Hu, it's not as bad as I was expecting. Seems our planning looks to be paying off eh PA?" Harry said happily which made her happy for a time, it was nice that he was not too upset with the news. "Any news if Corellia is planning to follow suit?" Harry asked, suddenly interested in the answer, and for that thankfully she had some good news for him.
"Our sales representative reached out and informed us that such a request had been made to them as well, however they were soundly rejected and CEC upper management wanted us to personally know they highly value our ongoing business partnership as both suppliers and buyers." She said happily before continuing. "As a result I have increased our orders for CR90s, both to offset some of the losses of the larger ACs but also to show our thanks to Corellia. I have increased the amount of raw and refined materials we are shipping there too."
"Good good, I always liked our CR90s and thought they were great ships, whereas nearly everything we have been getting from Kuat always felt like it was only ever meant to tide us over. As much as I loved those Cloaked-Shaped Fighters." Harry replied happily, taking a big sip of his tea. Apparently tea drinking was a cultural pastime from where her Lord came from and something she promoted internally within HPI as a result. It seemed harmless and a good way to show solidarity while increasing sales of their teas. "What about bulk freighters from Kuat, were those impacted?"
"No, however I have decided to only purchase those we already have on order and take our credits elsewhere. Primarily I think starting to produce our own bulk freighters in mass is the best long term solution." she answered honestly as it was something she was still working on.
"Hmm sounds like a solid plan. You might want to see if Corellia will want to produce smaller bulk intrasystem freighters to take cargo to and from some of our larger freighters in system to locations planetside to reduce loading times. This could limit the amount of time our hyperspace capable ships need to stay in system and increase efficiency on planets where we have larger presences. We may even want to incorporate this idea into our designs of freighters and possibly think about including stations into the equations. Maybe acting as hubs to streamline cargo coming from multiple systems going to a single system and vice versa. If they were all designed to work smoothly together it could drastically increase efficiency. Oh and include our improved versions of the Haor track system to rapidly move goods in and out of the ships and stations." Harry said with that far off look in his eyes when ideas seemed to just bloom into his mind, however his ideas had her own processors whirling as she processed the implications, even going so far as to borrow substantial processing power via her G-Net connection.
"Wonderful!" she exclaimed after a few moments of 'thinking'. Her bad mood was entirely gone now, as the implications of what her lord just described were playing out in her simulations she was running and they were groundbreaking if implemented as said. She even had a few other ideas to improve the overall plan. Even for low cost operations like waste removal it should see an increase in efficiency by 56% assuming no direct routes. For most other things it would reduce cost and increase speed of delivering people and goods across their ever expanding transport network.
"I am glad you are happy with the idea PA. Will you need me to start working on some freighter designs when I get a chance?" her Lord asked with a smile while looking at her, which caused her circuits to buzz with happiness, and maybe something else she couldn't quite identify.
"No, that is something that our engineering divisions can handle easily. Once given a solid direction they have proven to be quite capable of providing excellent results. Lerla's team she personally leads is clearly a step above, however they are still primarily working on Project Badger, so I will task another group to freighter designs." she answered happily, thinking about one of their several 'secret' projects that she had pushed Harry into singing off on.
"I still don't see why anything like that would ever be necessary." Harry said with a laugh, rehashing an old argument. "However it's been worth it to just see how happy the whole thing has made Lerla. She has not been so excited by a project since joining us I don't think." Harry mused and PA had to agree. It was also nice to have had a staunch ally in her discussion to convince Harry the need for several of their projects they deemed to be secret trump cards if things in the galaxy continued to deteriorate beyond their worst expectations.
"How is Project Valkyries going?" she asked not having gotten an update in some time.
"Oh.. a little bit behind as I have been concentrating on the new capital ship design, but I think I have at least the runic arrays worked out, and it's just a matter of marrying the tech and the magic together and finally building the damn things. You know I am going to have to build each one of those things by hand correct?" he asked her, causing her to laugh. It was his biggest complaint about the whole project, otherwise he had been like a kid in the blaster range, excited to play with his magic and toys.
"Yes, yes. I know, and that is why we decided that 36 would be a good enough number, and you wouldn't need to make anymore." she said matter of factly with a smile in her voice.
"About that..." Harry said before taking a sip of his tea while having her attention, and mild annoyance at the thought of him trying to reduce the number again. "Well I think building 49 would be a better idea." he said, surprising her, as getting him to agree to 36 had been hard enough in the first place.
"Why 49?" she asked, intrigued at the change.
"Well 7 is a powerful magical number and while multiples of 7 get less powerful the more they get away from the base number, 49 being 7 times 7 is an exception and a quite powerful magical number in of itself. So while working on the design I had a good feeling that building 49 would be the ideal number." he said a whole ton of nonsense to her. Why should 7 or any number be more magical than any others? It made no sense to her, but all she cared about was getting more 'Valkyries' in the end.
"If that is what you think is best then I won't complain or discourage you from building more." She had come here upset with bad news to share and here she was a few minutes later discussing exciting projects and with a better outlook for the future than even before receiving said bad news. This was why she loved working for her Lord and treasured the times they were able to plot together on building his Empire. Err she meant his business.
"So.. Lerla when can I expect some grandbabies? hmm?" her mother asked as she put down her cup of juice. She looked to get mother in shock, and heard her older sister chuckle. She was over at her family's place, a homely and if she was being honest overly spacious apartment which she had purchased for them from some of the money she was making working at HPI. It was something she had decided to do several months back, as she wanted her family close and somewhere she felt was safer with the rising tensions in the galaxy.
The question took her by utter surprise as she had not yet brought up her relationship with Harry to her family. It was not something she was embarrassed about, but more didn't want to be bugged by mother and sisters about just this type of thing. Which begged the question how did they find out she was seeing someone. The question must have been on her face as her mother scoffed at her.
"Come now, you don't think I wouldn't know when my own daughter is in love. Even if I have not been able to spend as much time with you as I would have liked while you were growing up I still know you well enough to notice the signs." her mother said with a cheeky smile while taking a sip of her own juice.
"And don't pretend that we don't notice those fancy battle droids that seem to follow you everywhere or this fancy place you were able to get for us." her sister called from the kitchen while bringing in a selection of veggies and dip for them all to enjoy. Watery vegetables, a delicacy on Tatooine that was becoming cheaper by the day it seemed.
"What!" she said indignantly. "I paid for this apartment for our family out of my own money. And those droids are there to protect me due to my position at HPI." she said a bit hotly, which caused her sister to laugh.
"Sure I can believe the first as I have seen how hard you work, but the second I am doubting still now. Who is he, or perhaps the reason you haven't got any grandbabies yet for mom is that it's a woman instead?" her sister teased, causing her to immediately try to defend herself.
"No! He is definitely a man!" she blurted out before realizing that she had just confirmed her being in a relationship and saw her sister smile before she started laughing at her.
"Well who is it, you can only keep us speculating for so long Lerla." her sister complained while taking a seat beside her on the couch giving her a hug.
"Uhh I just didn't want you all to think all I had achieved here was because I was in a relationship with someone. I have worked hard and excelled in my job earning many bonuses that have allowed me to comfortably purchase this apartment and more. However I am not ashamed of who I am seeing and I do want you to all meet..." Lerla said.
"Sweety you are rambling." her mother said with a smile and that look only a mother could give you.
"Well for several years now I have been seeing Hadrian Peverell." she finally answered, looking between the two to see their reactions. Expecting to see them shocked she was a little stumped when her mother and sister shared a knowing look. "What?" she finally asked.
"Lerla you were not that subtle, and we had guessed for some time that you were seeing Lord Peverell. First piece of evidence, almost no one on the planet uses his first name to speak about him. Let alone 'Harry' as you have said several times in the past in reference to him." her mother replied with a laugh, causing her to realize that she often referred to Harry in passing by his first name and rarely as Lord Peverell. Shoot, she hadn't caught that before. "My main question is what does his wife know?" which caused her to blush a bit.
"Well it was his wife Shmi who was the one to surprise Harry by inviting me into their bed for the night several years ago and fully into their relationship." she said with a smile, which made her mom and sister smile in return. A man with many wives or mates on Ryloth was not uncommon at all. Often considered desirable due to them being able to take care of such a large family.
"And children?" her sister asked while poking her in the side.
"Certainly in the future, but Harry is not ready to be more of a father and expects to be quite busy in the next few years with the rising tensions in the galaxy." she answered honestly, and there was no reason to hold that info back, but she was less sure if she should share with her family that Harry was giving her a treatment that halted her aging so there was no rush to have children yet. While there was some technology that did the same, it was quite expensive, and often frowned upon for social reasons.
"That is good to hear my child, and as long as you are happy then I can't ask for anything else. Just having you back in our lives on a daily basis has been a blessing from the ancestors." her mother answered and gave her a strong hug which she sunk into in happiness. It was amazing having her family here with her on Tatooine in a place she felt was more safe than they ever had lived in before. It was a dream come true for her and she hoped she never woke up from it.
"Are you sure he's not after you just for your skin color?" and of course her sister had to ruin the moment.
Harry was looking down at two nearly identical square metal plates that were about 30cm (12in) wide and long, and about 3 cm(1.2in) thick. They were the product of a random idea that had just popped into his head almost a day ago. It had started with him pulling out his LIS, and getting all the info he had on the creation of mythril or more commonly known as Goblin Silver. He had quite the information on it and found the only two requirements was that the base material was 1) a true metal and 2) the more magical conductive the more effective the process.
The second requirement had ruled out a ton of metals, as they tended to only have average magical conductivity, however after many tests he was able to realize that of all the metals Beskar was the best choice. The process was quite simple, how it was originally figured out was beyond him though. You need to create a special runic forge you then enchant it with very specific properties to promote the transformation of the metal, and finally you put the metal through a refining process within the Force fueling the whole process and molding the material with your magic. So here he was looking at two plates of 'Mythkar' that he had created, one completely from scratch from Beskar ore, and the other starting from an ingot of refined Beskar. From his few quick tests he had done with his magic he could find little difference between the two plates of metal.
Testing the plates had been a bit problematic, as it seems the whole process has 'simply' amplified all the positive aspects of Beskar to ridiculous degrees. Meaning that just trying to damage the plates to test their strength was proving to be an issue. The only difference he had been able to notice was the one done from scratch seemed to have the slightest ever better ability to conduct his magic, but that was it. So after pondering his issue for a few more seconds he did what any smart man should do, give it to his crazy intelligent nerdy engineer of a girlfriend to do the testing for him!
He let his Force senses spread out from himself like an unstoppable wave, and quickly found Lerla's presence several large buildings over. Alone in her lab which was just perfect for him, so he grabbed the two plates and appareted just outside her lab door and knocked before entering. He saw Lerla looking up in surprise and happiness from whatever she was working on when she realized it was him. The smile that bloomed on her face almost made his day, and he decided right then he should surprise her in her lab more often. Maybe role playing Mad Scientist sexy times could be something they try out.
"Harry what are you doing here?" Lerla said while walking up to him and giving him a scorching kiss.
"Well I could lie and say just too see you, but that is more a huge bonus for the reason for my trip." he said while putting the two plates he had made on a empty lab table. "The main reason I came is I wanted to see if you could run a few tests on these to samples to determine their material properties, and tell me if you can detect a difference between the two." he said, taking Lerla's hand and pulling her back to him for another kiss as her attention had already been getting fully engrossed by the 'present' he had put on her lab table. "There now you can play with the presents I bought." he said with a smile looking down at his girlfriend.
"You know my division is quite busy with Project Badger and we don't have any spare time to spend on other projects." Lerla said with a bit of sass. "But I guess I could spare a few hours to run some tests." she said looking at him with smoldering eyes. "If you make it worth my time."
He dragged the sassy Twi'lek to him and aggressively ripped her clothes and lab coat off leaving her only in her underwear causing her to moan in excitement. He pinned her up against another lab bench before slowly pushing her to lie back. "I won't take that kind of lip from one of my employees, and I think it's time to show me why I pay you so many credits!" he said in the most fake stern boss voice he could put on but it seemed to have failed causing Lerla to just laugh. Either way he ripped her bra off and dived into her wonderful tits. Face first of course.
"Harry, those two plates were the most frustrating things I have ever tried testing before, what are they?" Lerla said walking into his workshop a few days later. He saved what he was working on before turning to her and smiling. He always loved watching her, whether it was coming or going.
"They my love are two basic armor plates made of a material I am calling Mythkar." he said with a smile before getting up and moving them to one of his workbenches. "So how did it go?"
"Well besides some limited tests, my tests on hardness was a dead end as I was not able to scratch them no matter what I tried. Nor bend or break them. The only test that had some positive results was testing their thermal conductivity, and it took ages to change the temperature of those plates only even by a small amount." Lerla said with a cute pout.
"Good that confirms most of my tests I did on those two and the others I have created to test since." he said before asking. "Were you able to determine a difference between the two?"
"Only that the one heated up slightly slower than the other. The difference was so minimal at first I thought it was a sensor error. But in the end I believe the one plate heated up at 99.6% the rate of the other. A very minute difference." Lerla said clearly interested in the plates. "How and what are they made from? And how were you even able to shape them in the first place?" she asked while poking him in the side for the answer.
"Ha well they are essentially Beskar that is put through a magical refining process my people created, to make it into Mythkar. For one plate I used the process all the way from the raw ore stage, and the other simply from reforging a fully refined Beskar ingot. As we were able to determine there is little difference in the end product. As to reforming the material once created, you 'simply' have to infuse them with the same magic that was used in their creation. Simply heat them up similar to normal Beskar and as long as it is infused with my magic you will be able to reforge it like normal." he said with a huge grin while watching the funny number of faces Lerla made during that explanation. To say she was not the biggest fan of his magic at this time was an understatement. Not that she hated it or anything, just felt it was a big cheat for making new tech.
"So you managed to make Beskar into an even more ridiculous material?" she asked for clarification.
"I guess you could say that. Though the creation process is not quick, nor can it really be done to huge amounts of the material at the same time, so I am uncertain of its usefulness." he said honestly while pulling Lerla into a hug thinking about what he could use it for.
"Harry?" Lerla said with an uncharacteristically timid voice gaining his full attention. "Would you come to meet my family sometime this week?" she asked hesitantly. Normally he would have laughed at how seriously she was taking asking him to meet her family, but out of respect for her he decided to take it as seriously as her.
"Whenever you want. I have been looking forward to you inviting me to meet your family, but I didn't want to ask and make it feel like I was pushing you into advancing our relationship." he answered honestly, he was in fact looking forward to meeting her family not having had a lot himself.
"I think you will really like them, and they are dying to meeting you too!" Lerla said excitedly, clearly her confidence was back.
"I don't doubt I will. And who doesn't love me? I am awesome!" he answered with an equally big smile.
"You know they were even talking about how some areas on Ryloth were improving thanks to HPI's actions there. Though sadly it's not enough to make a big enough difference to change the whole planet's situation." she started saying with a smile before it dipped a bit before coming back in spades. "Do you think HPI could do more for Ryloth to improve the situation there? It would certainly make me happy." she said in a jokingly flirtatious voice, but looked at him seriously, so he took a second to think about it. It wouldn't really hurt at all and making Lerla happier would be all the payment he would need to make it worth the 'effort'.
"I honestly am not that sure, as I have not looked too closely into Ryloth's situation except about its basic ruling body and the highlights about the planet, like slavery being one of its largest exports. Spice being the other." he shared his thoughts on the matter. If he wanted to start investing there in a way that would make a real difference he would need to look into it more and involve PA.
"Well Ryloth has always had one major issue that has really kept it back for thousands of years and that is over population. With so limited natural resources and such a large population, one of the only real things of value the planet has is its people. Hence why slavery or contracted servitude has been such a large export for so long. Many families will even sell off members for a period of time into slavery just to survive. I believe something like 60% of those leaving the planet under bond are sold by family members" Lerla said a bit sadly, but seemed happy to tell him about her homeworld.
"Thankfully I was never one such person and don't have to deal with that internal pain in the family. But many on Ryloth see it as a viable and preferred alternative to their families suffering so willingly go. Many Twi'lek actually enjoy dancing at clubs and bars, and even some of the more intimate activities asked of them so there are those that don't see it as too much of a hardship. You seem to have recognized this to a degree with the lack of push back against such institutes set up by Ryloth's people here. So really many have little to no choice, I am just hoping HPI can give them another choice." Lerla said to him while hugging him close and kissing his cheek while he was looking off into the distance thinking.
He was thinking of dancing girls of Ryloth briefly and for some inexplicable reason thought of some stories he had heard of Las Vegas on Earth. From there it was like his brain had an explosion of ideas and thoughts on what he could do that seemed to be never ending and a big smile broke on his face. It even included some ideas for the dwindling spice industry on Ryloth, something hit hard due to his companies crack down on the gangs, sadly even the legitimate medical production had taken a huge hit. However his brain spiraled away into a ton of ideas.
"I think I have an amazing idea. We turn Ryloth into the ultimate Resort World!" he said excitedly to Lerla who looked up at him in shared excitement and a big amount of confusion. "Just think about it, why bring Ryloth's sexy ladies to the clubs across the Galaxy when we can bring the people to the clubs across Ryloth. And I am not just meaning clubs, casinos, and dance bars either. I am talking about the whole Merlin begotten lot of it. Water parks, Animal reserves, nature preserves, test tracks, convention centers, museums for every possible passion, entire districts dedicated to a single food type, environments for multiple species, extreme sporting facilities, grand stadiums and concert halls, daily parades at various places around the planet celebrating different things. You name it and we will have it for people coming to visit. All manned by the beautiful Twi'lek people on Ryloth, a 'safe' Republic world!" he said almost manically while looking at Lerla who looked back at him in shock and excitement.
"Well good thing there is PAM droid around, otherwise that would be a lot to share with PA later on." Lerla said after a few seconds before aggressively pulling him down onto her and into a kiss. It seemed she wanted a second round on a lab bench.
PA felt that many organics she had to deal with were very stupid at times. She especially thought this when reviewing one of her latest reports she was constantly getting in her position as her creator's personal assistant and business manager. The latest report was about how their garbage transport business was going, and long story short, it is doing incredibly well. See there were tens of thousands of worlds that produced mountains of garbage and didn't want to store it on their own precious planet. So they had a few options, but one of the most common was to have it transported off world to somewhere 'else'.
Of course that was not cheap, but with HPI's aggressive rates, many worlds were now contracting them to take their 'garbage' away, and she used quotes on purpose. Most of the garbage was nothing of the sort, and could almost all be recycled and used for something else. Really only the smallest fraction of a percentage of the garbage they picked up was unreclaimable. Most of the non-organic materials made it to their scrap refineries whereas the organic materials were either made into energy bars or paste for consumption, or made into fertilizer for one of her most recent projects.
See there were a number of planets all over the galaxy that had little to offer. One such example was a nearby neighbor to Tatooine, Andooweel. It had little to no valuable minerals, and the land itself was quite lacking in quality. That was where HPI and her idea came in. It was not hard to purchase essentially the whole planet for cheap, and then she started importing massive amounts of fertilizer they were making out of the organic materials they were being PAID to take away. It simply blew her mind how these planets were not just giving away credits to her, but paying for them to take them away too. This must be what taking candy from a baby feels like. Sure she knew the fact that her creator's powers were the reason this worked so well, but it still didn't keep her from thinking of the many foolish organics she had to work with on a daily basis.
It was however nice to read about how her idea had been highly successful, and now their major farming business, that was employing a huge number of natives to Andooweel, was providing a massive amount of food for Tatooine and elsewhere. It also didn't hurt that Andooweel was in a strategic spot, being on the route from the Corellian Run to Tatooine. So it made sense for them to have a large presence there, especially before someone else could do so. She was not blind to her creators worries about the state of the galaxy, but at least she felt they were more than prepared for whatever came their way. Regardless, the success of Andooweel had her expanding the programs to hundreds of other worlds under HPI control and would be showing major results in a few years.
Thinking about all of the profits and progress they were making made her circuits buzz in pleasure. There was simply so many credits coming in that they often had a hard time trying to find good places to invest them in. Often like the new medical services they created a few years ago, which was less about making a profit and more about bringing more visitors to Tatooine and adding money to the local economy. The medical service, while still operating at a loss, did create a large amount of goodwill from the locals and others who come for the high quality affordable medical care provided here on Tatooine. The fact they offered a medical transport service for a small charge also helped, it was even free if they were picking up more than ten patients. They were revolutionizing medical care in this region of space.
The main thing in her mind was that it brought even more people to Tatooine to be exposed to a lot of the goods and services they were offering. The families that stayed with them also brought in more money than she expected at first, so while the hospital made nothing it was the people it brought that brought income for HPI making the hospital worthwhile to run in her mind. At least from a profit perspective, it was these types of things that her creator thought of that made her so proud of him, because the benefits to their reputation of offering free medical care couldn't be understated.
She tried to handle a lot of these projects that Harry came up with on a whim, as he was so busy, and did not need more on his plate. Especially when it came to political concerns. She could see that he enjoyed what he did, getting lost for hours creating things, it just seemed that he should understand his greatness a bit more as she almost had to at times poke him with obvious examples to get him to actually look up and see the impact he was having around him. All said she loved what she was doing, especially when she was growing the business empire, keeping everything safe, all the while at the same time making CREDITS! Just then her internal systems notified her about the call she had been waiting for and that her information sources told her was coming.
"Hello this is PA, Senior General Manager at HPI, and Personal Assistant to Lord Hadrian Peverell. How can I help you?" she asked the person on the other end of the line in basic, whom she already knew the identity of. It also didn't come as a surprise to her that the call was coming through the G-Net. It was often the preferred choice for real time communications, and it didn't hurt that no one had been able to compromise their system yet. They would know too, as they had a 10 million credit bounty for anyone to find a security flaw, and also held an annual competition with prizes for slicers to attempt, and try out other 'competing' systems too. It was now a massive convention that HPI held now yearly on Naboo.
"Hello, I am glad to be able to get ahold of you so easily PA. I am Senator Mon Mothma of the Republic Senate. I was originally hoping to have the opportunity to speak to Mr. Peverell," Senator Mothma was saying before PA decided to interrupt her.
"Lord Peverell." she said, interrupting the senator, just to put her off her step a bit, and to start spreading her creator's proper title around. Her lord may ignore his status, but each Head Elf to his families he was Lord of kept detailed records, and managed each families affairs, as small as they were at the moment. She had of course been informed when she inquired. The Elves loved to talk about her creator, to them he was essentially a walking God.
"Sorry? Yes. Lord Peverell.." Mothma said uncertainty and with almost a question of the veracity of the words. "Anyways, I was however told by some of my new colleagues of mine that talking to you would be the better choice to get some answers to the questions I have." the new senator said before continuing. "I was hoping you could help me with a few inquiries and allay some fears I and a few other Senators have?" Mothma finally got around to mentioning why she was calling. Thankfully PA didn't have to spend even a small fraction of her processing power to conduct this conversation, so she was able to do many other things at the same time. So she was not entirely wasting her time, but maybe she could have a bit of fun with the good, if naïve, new Senator.
"Well seeing as HPI is homed and operated primarily outside the bounds of the Republic, I am unsure what we really can do for you senator?" she said without attitude, but knew she was poking a hornet's nest, just as Harry would have wanted her to. She was sure of that, just like how she somehow always knew where he was. Just another addition her creator had given her that made her truly unique, like the fact that she never needed maintenance as her body was constantly repairing itself to a pristine condition. Or was it better to say she was always kept in pristine shape?
"I don't understand, what do you mean? I thought HPI's headquarters was on Naboo?" Senator Mothma asked confused clearly having her planned speech entirely derailed. Also showing she had only done limited research. All according to PA's plan, as that would lower the good senators' defenses and get a more honest impression of her for PA.
"I am sorry but it seems you have be given some wrong information." she said a bit smugly, but still in her normal tone of voice. "Our HQ on Naboo is our headquarters in the Republic, however our primary HQ is here on Tatooine. Where it has always been." she said honestly. "As it is here outside the bounds of the Republic, and is the sovereign territory that Lord Peverell is a co-ruler of alongside Jabba Desilijic Tiure, makes it far beyond the Republic's borders." she said matter of factly, maybe with a small amount of laughter on the inside. She had somehow inherited her creator's dislike for politics, but instead of outright scorning them, she preferred to antagonize politicians when she could.
"I was not aware of that. I did know HPI operated significantly in the outer-rim, but was unaware that it operated primarily outside the Republic." Senator Mothma said with confusion to PA and a somewhat relieved tone of voice. That caused PA to devote a small bit more processing power to try and figure out why the Senator was a bit more relieved rather than annoyed as she expected. However she was not able to figure out why. "Well one of the first concerns we had was the ever increasing armaments of HPI trade vessels, and fleets." Senator Mothma said seriously.
"Well Senator, I believe you are aware that HPI is a company and a company's primary purpose is to turn a profit, and to possibly even allow growth by making enough to do so. I am also assuming you are generally aware of HPI's growth over the last few years at least. So then it goes to reason to say that we are making good profits, so why then would we bear the huge additional cost of equipping our trade ships with better arms, and even having them escorted by other ships if it was not necessary for us to make said profits? Well the answer is that it simply is because it saves us a huge amount of credits, reputation, and loss in reliability when we have a ship taken or destroyed by pirates.
"Most people here now know if you want something transported to another planet in this region and want to ensure it arrives securely, you choose HPI transports. That is a brand image we work hard to maintain, and will continue to do so diligently. Even at additional costs to us." she said to the senator as if she was explaining something simple to a five year old before adding on. "Just today there were four failed pirate attacks on HPI ships, and two other instances in which HPI answered emergency calls from other ships getting attacked." she said letting out a bit of the internal data she had access to. Well really she had access to everything in HPI, but some of it was clearly not for public consumption.
"I was unaware that the issues in that region had escalated to such a degree." Senator Mothma was obviously surprised and clearly upset at the information being given. "I had hoped that reports were being inflated to some degree." the senator said sadly.
"Then you can understand why law-abiding companies like our own do not like it when they are prevented from purchasing those same arms needed to protect ourselves. As the semi-recent cut off of our ability to purchase cruisers from Kuat Drive Yards put us in a more difficult position. Thankfully we were able to adapt in the months since, however the pirates we are facing certainly are not getting their ships and armaments from legal sources. So regulations will do nothing to slow them down or reduce their weapons size, and until the republic itself can demonstrate that they can reliably ensure the safety of traders, no laws of that kind should be implemented on companies like our own." she said passionately, having heard similar arguments from Harry on many occasions while he was discussing the topic with various people.
"I can understand that sentiment, but if we were to reduce the overall arms production, it would also reduce the amount of weapons getting into the hands of pirates and their like." the overly optimistic and naïve senator said, not realizing that there were tons of people out there that didn't think like her. People who were happy to produce weapons and ships off the record for pirates and other scum. Often in offsite locations, or even ready made factories just for those purposes hidden away in backwater systems.
"I believe you neglect the fact that there are a number of large blackmarket production facilities that abide by no Republic regulations and supply these very same illegal organizations." she said to the senator, putting a hole in her grand plan. "This is why we sadly cannot follow all Republic regulations when operating outside of Republic space."
"Yes, and that is why limited arms must be kept available for the time being on ships, however having so many larger well armed cruisers like the ones your company's uses in your trade fleets should not be the norm." the Senator argued, clearly having had part of her planned discussion being derailed into a debate on this specific topic.
"You will be happy to hear that we have already received our last AC Cruiser from Kuat Drive Yards and have no more plans to purchase ships of that size. However we have as a result dramatically increased our orders for CR90s from Corellia. As I mentioned the hyperlanes out here are not safe like those in the core that you are so used to, and HPI now has a spaceport of some size on 5863 planets, and service regularly more than five times that many each week with our ships." PA said trying to give the Senator a bit of scale to their operations. Her quiet gasp clearly showed how new she was to this business, as she needed to learn to control her emotions better.
"Yes I can understand your growing need, but it is still disconcerting to many of us in the Senate where the direction things seems to be going. And that companies, even ones with a stellar reputation like HPI, would choose the route of rapid expansion of heavily armed transport vessels, over other alternatives." Senator Mothma said, still seemingly believing her idealistic world view was possible in the current state of things. "There are several small voices even talking about banning such vessels from entering Republic space or certain systems."
"As I said Senator, I am unsure of how we can truly help you, as we try to keep our distance from the politics of the Republic due to our status as an outside organization. And to reduce our ships protections is simply out of the question. We will simply have to adapt to any legal challenges that may occur." PA said honestly. HPI's minimal involvement in politics often ended with paying a few special interest groups to advocate for some of their wants and left it at that. "I am sorry I cannot offer you a solution to your concerns, but I think maybe the Republic Senate should look inwards for the root of the problem, as we at HPI hear many people complaining about corruption and lack of real results." she said.
"Yes, that is a common concern that many of my colleagues in the senate have as well, but I do not believe it to be the core root of many of the problems in the galaxy as many others believe." Mothma said, causing PA to almost sigh in annoyance. Really sometimes some people just were too blinded to the reality of things that there was little chance of changing their minds till it was usually too late. At the same time Mothma was not wrong, there were obviously some players pulling strings in the background that wanted tensions to be rising. Too many things were going wrong for the Republic all at the same time to be anything but a ploy against it.
"Well I can only report what I hear. Now is there anything else I can help you with?" she asked, wanting to finish this conversation, and move onto something else. Not that she wasn't talking to multiple people through PAM droids at this very moment, but this conversation had already bored her.
"No that is alright, I am just happy to have been able to express our concerns, and gain some pertinent information back. It was quite hard to get an idea on HPI's position as they have no representative here on Coruscant." Senator Mothma said clearly leaving her question unasked.
"As I said we do not tend to get involved in politics, and find Naboo to be adequate for people to reach us at. By removing ourselves from the Republic heart, we create an area of separation between us, which is important with Lord Peverell representing a number of systems outside of Republic space." she said, dropping another tidbit of information, before ending the conversation. "Unfortunately if I cannot help you with anything else today, I must be saying goodbye?" she asked the Senator.
"Ah yes, well Goodbye, and thank you for your help." the Senator said a bit awkwardly and disconnected their call. By the Force could some of those political folks be incredibly arrogant in their belief they are right. The world wasn't black and white. Thankfully HPI ran the government here on Tatooine and didn't need to worry about a lot of the negatives that came with tons of politicians. Not to say there was not a level of separation between the government and the company, but that was really just schematics, when Harry made the decisions and by proxy herself things changed regardless of what others were thinking. Most people associated the two as the same anyways, that being the company and the government, or at least that is what her recent market surveys tell her. It did put some pressure on the company to keep up a certain level of competence and reliability less they damage the whole government by proxy.
She was also extremely happy with their production capabilities skyrocketing, and their ability to mine planets for their own materials. There were dozens of planets that were giant piles of credits ready to be simply picked up. Some of them had key minerals or metals they had been needing a larger source of. One of those was a lava planet that was extremely rich in Mirkanite, a material commonly used in larger blasters and powerful weapons due to its durability to both heat and many other forms of energy.
Another was three planets with varying deposits of Doonium for robust hull armor for ships and key areas, and Zersium, the main component of Durasteel, which was used for everything from body armor to starship components. That was not all though, as they had found more than a hundred systems by now with good deposits, and there was even a small deposit in an asteroid of Phrik she had not even told Harry about yet, and a large deposits of Chromium in a number of moons orbiting a planet that was also needed for their hyperdrives.
Of course the cream of the crop was an entire solar system devastated by some disaster that just happened to be perfect for producing hypermatter. While not extremely important for them personally at HPI, due to her Creator's runic fuel caps, it was a hot commodity, and something that was in increasing demand as of late on the market. It was also useful to be able to have a strategic fuel source, as not all ships or large equipment used on Tatooine were owned and fueled by HPI, so if there was no fuel for other ships on Tatooine due to an embargo or something, it would cause major issues. Thankfully this was not a problem due to Harry's foresight to start exploration of new systems and finding this large source. Frankly at first she had feared the cost of exploration would far out weigh the benefits, but had been happily proved wrong many times over.
As of this moment they were fairly well secured in their position, and every fourth Dagger Class was being stationed over one of HPI's planets for protection, and to keep them close by to 'their' space to reinforce planets or be redeployed elsewhere. Honestly she was just ecstatic to see the growth of the company each day. It was palpable.
They even had enough materials being produced now they were able to easily cover their own demands and get in on the market for rising cost of base materials by selling directly to Corellia and a few other close business partners. That didn't even count the materials they were buying from planets all over the place and shipping, often refining, and stock piling on one of several of their well guarded systems. They had to spend their credits somewhere…
She still struggled to explain to Harry how much of a cheat the fuel rune caps were for their droids, ships, and power generators. There was a reason why Jabba's palace, prior to its major renovation by R3 several years ago, had an entire dedicated reactor room to provide energy just for the droids of the facility on top of the massive starship grade generator powering everything else. Droids took a substantial amount of energy or fuel to run and therefore were not an insignificant cost over the long run. It was sadly why droids had not outright replaced slaves or organics in many basic labor positions. Having that fuel concern taken care of not only on droids, but on their ships and their spaceport power generators was just such a huge advantage.
All they needed was a bog standard reactor of whatever appropriate size they wanted for their spaceport's export demands, and slam a fuel cap on it, and they were selling power at virtually no cost to them. This alone brought in absurd amounts of credits, there were entire departments full of droids dedicated to accounting and acquisitions just to handle it. The average population of a planet they now service with spaceports owned or operated by themselves was 65 million people. If they even only capture 30% of the market, a gross understatement of their normal market share, and using an extremely conservative example of each person only spending 1 credit a day on energy, that alone would be just over 19 million credits a day per planet. Combined against the fact they operate on 5863 planets as she told the senator, er well 5865 now, it meant a pleasure inducing halt of her processor amounts of credits. And most planets spent well beyond 1 credit per person on energy expenditures per day.
The ridiculous daily influx of credits also caused several issues, and was part of why they were constantly struggling to spend the credits they had coming in. Expansion was the easiest option, but with it came innumerable other problems, and they had instead decided lately due to galactic tension to focus on consolidating in the space they were already present in. Not to say they had stopped all expansion outside their space, but instead focusing on select 'high value' targets to expand to.
She also really disliked IGBC banking institutions, and avoided them at all costs, often taking credit chits on a slight discount instead of direct deposits just to do so. All the while spending credits in their accounts first while stockpiling the physical currency they were accumulating. IGBC had a well earned bad reputation amongst HPI droids, and the dislike was strong in the controlling board of the Droid Monetary Fund. Another issue was the amount of credits out flow from many of these economies was not great for them, so HPI tried to buy many local goods or materials injecting those credits back into the economy. They also tried not to dominated the energy market on planets with larger populations.
This has seen great results in many places, but was difficult to find a use for all the materials and goods they were purchasing. Primarily HPI was exporting purchased goods to other planets to sell, and more and more to the Core. However she was still worried she was becoming a hoarder with all the stuff she was stockpiling away on their planets and systems. That and she was convinced the Republic economy in this region would be doing far worse without her Master's involvement. It didn't hurt they were also making large loans to several nearby planetary governments for a few projects they felt were worthwhile. Rodia was just a prime example, being ripe for investment, and so nearby that it would not be an issue for them to reinforce them if absolutely necessary given the worst case scenario. Which brought her back to the fuel caps.
The other major game changing impact of them for HPI was that they mainly meant their construction droids, factories, foundries, and shipyards were constantly operating over and on Avalon and their other planets for years and years now making ever increasingly more infrastructure that would produce more goods and also increased how much more infrastructure were producing. Then there was the blaster gas they were now selling at increasing amounts. The quality of their gas was always the same every time for each grade, but something she had not caught onto till later was that the consistency of their blaster gas quality was something many organizations valued heavily. All of that was thanks to the incredible power of her Creator.
Most of the time the impact of Harry's magic alluded the man even when smacked over the head with it, but it was so obvious to her. That also reminded her she needed to have a meeting with Dobby and the Elf council soon about expanding some production of a few different goods, and seeing if the Elves would be interested in rehabilitating the environment on several planets for her. The Elves were certainly one of HPI's greatest assets, and ever so helpful, another thing her master brought to HPI's arsenal of advantages. With that thought she floated off to find Dobby and discuss some figures with the powerful Head Elf.
Standing on the bridge of his command ship, a modified Dagger-class Frigate that was freshly off a shipyard, Don was truly proud of what he had achieved in only a few years of being online. He had even just recently chosen his own name based on his pride in what he had achieved. Which according to naming lore of his creator's homeworld and nation of birth, Don meant to be a proud leader or at least the longer version did. But he preferred Don and unlike many of the other HB-2 droids he was one of the very few that were lucky to gain that 'spark of life' for lack of a better description. He did still keep his original destination on top of his name, as a unique identifier added to certain internal HPI documents.
Over the first few months after his activation what he had quickly gained was true individuality and a desire for more, which drove him to take on command courses to prove his worth to himself and his creator. He wanted to be able to lead his fellow droids into battle and have them and HPI come out the better for it. Then finally when the opportunity came up he applied for this position, to be in command of this newly minted patrol fleet with the mandate to hunt pirates, equipped with five of the new Dagger-class Frigates, two dozen CR90s and many hundreds more supporting craft. It was a dream come true if he could dream.
He had not been the only droid in contention for the position. However in the end he had won out and scored higher than all of his competition. He had originally worried that his uniqueness was going to be a weakness but it became clear to him that his drive for more gave him an edge many of his counterparts didn't have. Not that there were not others who also had gained that spark of life, but he simply just excelled when it came to strategy and tactics. It was what made his processors hum, and made him happy when he was able to be immersed in discussions or just simply contemplating tactics and strategy.
His attention was grabbed as the report they all hand been waiting for came in via the command network from one of the newly designed cloaked sensor probes that had been sent ahead of the fleet. What he got was a detailed scan of the system, all the possible targets marked, and most importantly the exact coordinates for their hyperspace jump. Using the information he had gotten, he reviewed his initial plans and made slight adjustments before he sent out orders across the fleet via the command net all the droids, including the powerful droid brains in each ship, were connected to. Primarily he repositioned the fleet into a new formation and had them load ion torpedoes into their launchers. Finally he designated targets.
'Admiral, all ships have hyperspace coordinates locked in their computers.' HB-2-A52G857-6345 communicated via the command net, where messages and commands were received nearly instantly. HB-2-A52G857-6345 was one of the HB-2 droids present with him on the bridge of his command ship, and aided in commanding the fleet. There was no real reason to delay so he gave the order while looking out over the fleet from the ships sensors.
'All ships engage hyperdrive, and on arrival fire ion torpedoes on each of your designated targets. After the initial volley, work on disabling any remaining active vessels, ensuring our landing craft have ample coverage. Landing ships immediately make towards designated vessels and asteroid station access points. We wish to capture as many of these scum alive, and there is an expected large contingent of slaves and non-combatants on board the asteroid base.' he sent the command instantly to all the ships in the fleet and watched as his dagger-class jumped into hyperspace.
It only took them a few moments, as they had been on standby close to the system waiting for confirmation from their probe. It was however enough time for him to reflect on the fact that this was one of the few times where it seemed that HPI working on some outside information actually panned out into something substantial. It seems one of the pirate scum that had been previously captured on a raid weeks ago after being reprimanded into the custody of the Naboo Royal Guard Bounty Office, had shared information for a more lenient sentence, that information had been passed back along to HPI and led to this system. A probe had been sent several days ago to ascertain the veracity of the information, and once it had the fleet had been readied.
In a quick pop the fleet landed back in real space, and a storm of torpedoes were launched taking only seconds to reach their targets as the fleet had landed in battle close to their enemies. It was an amazing sight seeing hundreds of torpedoes streak away from his fleet towards their targets. His fleet was overkill here as they were only facing 21 pirate ships from small transports to a single frigate sized ship and the station's defenses; and nearly all of that had just been disabled on their initial attack.
Only a single cruiser sized ship even managed to get their point defenses going and shoot down two incoming torpedoes; but it didn't matter as the rest of the torpedoes shot at it were more than enough to disable the ship. They had clearly not been expecting an attack, and none had shields up to save them from the torpedoes, not that it would have helped much with the number they were hit by. It took him a fraction of a second to take in all of this, and wonder how their new fleet composition would actually fare against a fleet of ships prepared for combat.
Friendly fighters and landing craft were already zooming away from the bulk of the fleet towards their targets, and the few standalone defense platforms that had actually opened fire on the arriving fleet were quickly targeted by dozens of turbo lasers from multiple ships peppering them and blowing them to pieces before they could get off more shots. The synchronicity of it all, the seamless way their ships spread fire between targets, there being few wasted torpedoes, the landing craft already breaching targets, all of it was simply beautiful to his eyes.
However it did seem him putting the Daggers up at the front of the fleet to absorb any fire with their powerful shields was unwarranted. Even with the ease of the battle, he watched with satisfaction as all the enemy ships were listing sideways through space having lost power after the torpedo impacts, with HPI landing craft already attached, and ships landing at the asteroid station. It would take some time to finish the 'ground' operations, but the battle in space was essentially won before it started, so he started to reposition his fleet to repel any incoming surprises. He would not put it past pirating slaving scum to sacrifice some of their own with carefully selected intel to set up a trap for HPI or other Anti-Piracy forces.
The deal had been going so well, Mako thought. He and his boys bought four crates of potent top of the line spice for 10,000 peggats in hard cash, and a 1.25 million HPI credits transferred to his account all from one of his best long term clients, the Iridium Pirates. They had just finished the exchange, and were partying it up in the club section in Iridium's dynamite hidden base here built into an asteroid in celebration. And then all of a sudden there was a small shake and a muffled banging noise and then most of the lights went out.
"Hey ah was that supposed to happen?" he heard the new guy to his crew stupidly ask into the quiet crowd.
"Na I don't think.." was as far as one of the pirates got to answer before they heard several more booms and then there was an electrical discharge near one of the doors, with energy crawling across the surface of the wall. It only took him a second for his brain to beat back his surprise and realize what he was seeing. Ion weapons fire. It was clear something was seriously wrong here, and he needed to get him and his boys outta of here before they got caught up in whatever trouble was coming Iridium's way. He was about to give the order when they started to hear the sounds of blaster fire and screams. Ignoring his fear he got to it.
"Boys pack it up, we need to bounce before we get caught in whatever this is." he yelled out and grabbed his kit and the bag with his portion of the payment and moved to the other side of the club planning to try and escape out that way hopefully while the people out the other way were busy fighting with his pirate friends inside here. However as he and the boys approached the other door his heart fell through the floor as he heard screams, blaster fire, and loud bangs coming from this side of the station too. Unfortunately one of his boys hit the control for the door and opened it before he could stop him.
Through the door he saw three terrifying blue droids, each with a few scorch marks from taking blaster fire but otherwise undamaged, that had just finished up with several pirates in the hallways and were walking over their corpses continuing on like unstoppable terminators. He raised his blaster to open fire, but had no chance as the droids had already raised their arms when the door had opened and had rained down a torrent of blaster fire upon him and his boys. He got hit by multiple shots and all he could think of as things were going dark was that it had all been going so great.
Wilhuff Tarkin was, dare he say, excited. He was either going to get the opportunity to do real damage to a pirate syndicate, some fools called the Iridium Pirates; Earning some well needed vindication within the upper echelons of the Republic Political sphere. Or he was going to get to see HPI ships in action or finish cleaning up after their battle at the pirate station. Regardless, to him it was a win win. He would have to thank his old friend from back when they had both been members of the Outland Regions Security Force. How the man had ended up being a member of the Naboo Royal Guard was beyond him. Something he would have to ask when he rewarded him for the tip off.
"Sir we are thirty seconds from arrival." his nav officer informed him lightly over the bridge. He nodded to the man to acknowledge he had heard him. He was quite proud of this small fleet he had managed to put together. It was mostly thanks to his friend and now Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, but it had also been his suggestion to get one of the Arquitens-Class light cruisers that HPI had been seen extensively using. He had looked into them and they were quite decent ships, and with his official status, several more non-civilian upgrades, and he was now riding on a powerful ship.
The fleet was made up of 11 other ships that were lent from a few judicial forces and even four that had managed to be permanently transferred into his command. Four hammerhead cruisers which while an older model were still a solid platform and would be helpful in the future. Mostly like Sheev's doing. He would really have to think of some way to thank his friend. Even though some of the ship models were centuries old the ships were still quite useful, and more than enough to deal with even a moderate pirate fleet. He schooled his emotions as the time was upon them.
They dropped out near where they're intel said they needed to go, but there was nothing apparent to him right away. "Get me a scan of the system and find that base." he ordered sternly.
"Sir we are getting readings from the edge of one of the asteroid belts, about three minutes away at full speed." his Nav officer replied a few seconds after the scanners returned some results.
"Lock in the coordinates and have the fleet approached at full speed, and ready for combat." he ordered. "Do we have any more information yet?" he asked his navigation officer.
"Yes sir we trained the sensors on the region and are picking up a large fleet of ships and what appears to be the station we are looking for, it's attached to a large asteroid. I would guess it is built into it sir." the Nav officer replied.
"How large of a fleet is 'large'?", he asked, a little annoyed, wanting the pertinent information quicker.
"Sorry sir, it looks like 30-40 cruiser or larger sensor targets, sitting in what looks like a large debris field or possibly fighters it's hard to tell from here." the man replied with the dreaded information. Even just 20 cruisers would put his fleet on the backfoot.
"Can we identify the ships and have they made any move to indicate they know we are here?" he asked, much more worried than before.
"No moves sir, they are holding their positions, and we are just about to get in range to get readings from the identifiers and ship profiles." the nav officer said, having everyone's on the bridge's attention, as the tension ramped up. It seemed most of them had been expecting an easy fight and now the situation has gotten beyond serious. "Sir a number of ships maybe 1/5 are not squawking an indent, however the ones that are, are all labeled and HPI ships!" The nav officer said, and it seemed the whole bridge let out a sigh of relief. This somehow managed to get extremely interesting.
"Any other information from the indents that you can tell me?" he asked his officer.
"There are a bunch of HPI ship numbers, nothing matching anything in our database, and they all seem to be members of the HPI Patrol Fleet 62 Sir." his nav officer rambled off. "Our sensors are getting better readings now too sir, it looks like HPI has 5 unidentified frigates, and 24 of their standard CR90s, and maybe 50 fighters sir, and many other craft that look like transports or shuttles. There is a large freighter or transport too." That was worrying. 5 frigates was nothing to sniff at and probably five times the amount of ships needed to take his fleet with a few escorts to help it.
"Can you give me any more info on the frigates?" he asked quickly.
"Sorry sir, just that they are around 400m in length." the Nav officer replied quickly. Ha! Barely even still considered a frigate, and almost reaching into the next class of capital ships. Those could be real problems, and the fact that HPI could have five here with their 62nd patrol fleet was incredibly alarming and set off a number of alarm bells in his head. This could possibly be another corporate plot hiding in plane sight for years now finally coming out of the shadows. However it would not due to panic or jump to conclusions yet. Best he gets more information first.
"And the other ships?" he asked the first thing that came to mind.
"They appear to be an assortment of 21 ships sir, from small freighters to large older model cruisers. If I would hazard a guess sir they are the remaining pirate fleet still intact and look to have been disabled by the HPI ships. Since we have been in range sir, two have regained power but have not done anything otherwise. I presume they have been captured."
"Intel does suggest HPI is quite proficient in capturing enemy vessels after disabling them. Oddly enough they are rarely ever seen using them nor are they known to sell ships to others." His assistant said, adding his input to the issue.
"Order the fleet to reduce to half speed!" he commanded, still thinking how to play this. "Make sure to point those sensors at those unknown frigates, I want as good of scans of them as you can get, is that understood?" he ordered his nav officer.
"Sir, Yes Sir!" the nav officer replied.
Somehow while the location of this base had been correct the intel on the size of the pirate fleet present here had been a lie. Had they arrived before HPI there was a good chance they may have needed to retreat if the station had any good defenses. Even then the possibility of losing a ship would have been high. Thankfully the situation has changed and with it seemingly the dynamic of this region of the Galaxy. Even this HPI patrol fleet would be a fleet the Republic would be hard pressed to get the ships together to challenge in a timely manner outside certain systems, and that meant his efforts to revitalize a Federal Republic Navy were all that more important.
"Sir we are being hailed." he comms officer said, surprising him out of his musing. He prepared himself and stood up straight before replying.
"On screen." The connection was established immediately and he was presented with the now familiar HPI droid model found on all of their ships and in nearly all their facilities. This one did look a bit different from the standard model, but otherwise quite similar.
"Republic Vessels please identify yourselves, and know you are entering an area of ongoing anti piracy suppression. This area has not been fully secured at this time, and we recommend you come no closer." The droid on board said quite elegantly and oddly calmly as if simply stating something that needed to be said to absolve HPI of any liability if their ships get damaged by the battle going on.
"I am Governor Tarkin, Captain of this vessel and commander of this Judicial Fleet. We are here to put an end to the supposed pirate station here in this system." he said, getting a look of surprise from the droid. It was quite uncanny how HPI put so much ability for their droids to express themselves, as it was easy to see what emotion they were trying to convey.
"Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of Eriadu? The proponent in the Galactic senate for the reestablishment of the Republic Navy?" the droid asked, clearing interested which took him by surprise. Why would a corporate HPI droid know who he was? Was HPI monitoring him? He was now much more on alert than he was before, and that was saying something.
"Yes, I am the Governor of Eriadu. How do you know me?" he asked probing for more information.
"Ah, I am quite a fan of the initiative to restore the Republic Navy and had similar thoughts that the Republic needs to have a more centralized naval force to respond to the many issues that seemingly are affecting it right now. You being one of the strongest current voices for such a move on Coruscant of course came up in my research. I looked a bit into your past and have to say you have quite the exemplary career in the military." The droid went on and on causing him to relax but also be more baffled the more he heard. This droid was utterly odd, and almost talked like another human.
"Well yes thank you." he said a bit flustered at all the praise. "My goal here today was to both show the need and the effectiveness of having a more centralized federal navy." he said quickly, hoping to salvage this situation a bit. The droid put on a thoughtful look and then even apologetic.
"And by HPI being here and having already handled most of the pirates it defeated the purpose of your trip and may even have the opposite effect you were hoping for by showing that other entities already exist and are handling the issues." the droid responded elegantly back causing him to almost choke and no he had not realized that yet but could very much see it playing out that way in the Senate.
"Yes, you can see the bad position I have been put in." he said carefully, even seeing some of his officers on his ship look at him in fear that this was all for not, no worse as it could put their cause back months of effort. Every man in this fleet supported his efforts to revitalize the Republic Navy, and he was thankful for their support.
"Well there is no reason this could not be called a joint operation to deal with a pirate station between HPI and the Judicial Forces, all under the command of Governor Tarkin. As I said a few moments ago, this operation is still ongoing." the droid said with a smile. "And it is well within my right as Admiral of this HPI fleet to reprimand the hostages and slaves we rescued into your hands, as well as the prisoners we capture. And I don't believe HPI has any dying need for these captured ships either. They would all make for a good prize to return back to Coruscant to show how effective such fleet actions can be when you have enough ships to overwhelm the criminals." The newly identified Admiral droid said. Interesting rank and it said volumes, and perhaps a bit presumptive of HPI. However the offer was intriguing and certainly held his attention. But why make the offer?
"Why would you offer something like that? You would be giving us basically all the credit for this raid while taking none of the major spoils for HPI. I wouldn't think a corporation would operate like that?" he asked his guard still up.
"If one only looked at the short term, but if the Republic had their own navy then HPI taking actions like this would hopefully not be needed. If giving up some short term gains here to possibly aid in the creation of a more capable Republic Navy, it seems HPI wins out in the long term. There is also the fact that this will open up ties between HPI and the Judicial Forces and hopefully the future Republic Navy. It may also lead to some official joint raids between HPI and Republic forces on other pirate and criminal targets." The Admiral replied. He would have to get the droid's designation soon as referring to it in his head as the Admiral all the time was starting to grate on him.
"So you would like to work together here to try and make this into... a propaganda win for the more military minded within the Republic senate?" he asked to just clarify.
"Yes, I believe that will benefit HPI in the long run. Fostering closer ties with yourself and the Judicial forces will also aid well with helping achieve the mandate of this fleet, to seek out pirate scum and crush them." the admiral said seriously. Well that is certainly interesting, and said a lot about HPI's stance. You hear the rumors and the odd joke made about the company HATING pirates and slavers, but it is another to see how seriously they take that hate. It seems at least several dozen fleets worth of ships serious.
Yes this could work for him. Not only would this whole idea of him and his force taking primary credit could work, but he could point to the large HPI fleet, or perhaps even just the new class of ship as proof that the Republic needs its own navy and an answer to ships like that. If a smaller company like HPI, one which probably half the senate from the Core has never heard of, could have ships like that, then what could the ones that nearly everyone knows about have? It was a real question he was now asking himself. However he needed to handle the situation here and now first.
"That does sound like something I can agree with," he said to the droid. "So how are we going to do this?" he asked as they got down the sadly required nitty gritty of planning and deal making, especially with something this important. Thankfully during this whole time it will allow his ships to get ever more detailed scans of those new ships and observe HPI's fleet operations.
A/N: So now question time! Please put any suggestions you have for Harry's new capital ship design/class name in a review or pm. And thank you to everyone for your reviews, comments, and suggestions! I read them all, though I am less good at replying.
Also more apologies, I had hoped to have this out a week ago, but my eye injury really slowed down my ability to edit as it was difficult to see. It's healing really well now, and mostly back to normal. I got 2 small scenes to write for the next chapter so I can include another 5k words already written into it before that one is ready to be posted, so maybe 3 weeks? Regardless, it should be coming soon, but will be the last chapter for some time as I am almost all out of written material for this story, and will most likely try and get more for my SG/HP story written. I have so many exciting things I want to share with everyone coming up in that story. Some really unique ideas I haven't seen done in other Stargate fanfics.
See you all in a few more weeks with another chapter!