Holonet transmitters throughout the Churnis sector abruptly freeze and begin to sound a militaristic anthem; signifying an announcement from the local authorities is imminent. With many users sighing at the interruption, crowds begin to congregate around the larger devices. Those with display screens flicker slightly and restart, this time involuntarily playing a report from the state`s news agency.
Background sound begins to fade out as viewers see the familiar face of a neatly attired young male reporter. His initial intake of breath just audible above the blasting opening theme, he reaches under his desk for a datapad - placing it where he can easily reference text - before fixing his gaze on the cameras and beginning to speak.
"Citizens of the Churnis sector and beyond, welcome to this important address from the Mercenary Guild. We tune in today with news of a press conference being held by Warlord Myn Kuat himself!" The reporter beams at the screen for several seconds, clearly thinking this to be a momentous occasion, before continuing on. "Though the nature of the conference remains a secret, we are about to go live to Ansion, and expect an exciting broadcast to be made from there in the next few minutes. This story comes as..." The reporter trails off, trying hard not to frown at the distraction as a voice speaks into his earpiece. After a few seconds, the reporter seems to nod slightly before grinning widely, obviously eager to continue with the programme. "News has just arrived that we can now go to the site of the conference at Ansion to hear the announcement. Tha-" The reporter is cut off again as the screen begins to blur and change. He takes the opportunity to smile yet again, though at closer scrutiny his eyes reveal a deeper mild frustration.
The scene soon changes as a busy hum of journalists, officials and politicians emits from the display. The room revealed is brightly lit, and several windows show it to be overlooking a fairly large city. Decorative Sith sculptures line the room, providing it with a dark feel, whilst in contrast several pleasant-looking plants are dotted along the walls. A hastily assembled array of chairs takes up most space, while a large podium stands at the head of the room. Attendees suddenly fall quiet as Warlord Myn Kuat strides into the room, flanked by a quartet of bodyguards. The Warlord steps onto the podium, briefly casts his gaze across his assembled guests, and speaks. "Greetings to my fellow Mercenary Guild members, and to representatives of the galactic press." The Warlord seems to stare into space thoughtfully for a moment before resuming his speech. "I would like to announce my stepping down as leader of the Mercenary Guild, with immediate effect. Power henceforth lies with my second-in-command, Pietre Henimun."
Warlord Kuat takes a moment to gesture towards a robed Diathim flanking him. "I have decided to spend more time on my vessel, meditating on the nature of violence and its relation to my Force powers. Galactic events have of late told me that the Galaxy is changing; deteriorating in stability. I have recently foreseen that war is looming around the cosmos, and I suspect I will have my part to play in it." The Warlord`s expression hardens. "When I return, I will be ready for battle, and to lead the Mercenary Guild to new heights." The Warlord then nods and steps back slightly, allowing the Diathim to glide onto the podium.
"My thanks Warlord Kuat," Pietre says as he waits for applause to finish, smiling. "Be assured that the Mercenary Guild will continue on in your absence. We will continue to grow prosperously, and I look forward to seeing what we and the people of the Churnis sector can accomplish. Together." The crowd`s applause rings out again, thunderously, bringing another smile to the lips of Pietre.
As seemingly over-joyous scenes unfold at the press conference, the screen once again begins to blur and change as the sound of applause begins to rescind. The news studio reappears and the juvenile reporter seen earlier quickly sets down his datapad, giving the audience his familiar beam, before concluding his report. "This is certainly tremendous news for both the Mercenary Guild and the Churnis sector," the newscaster continues. "Warlord Kuat`s temporary departure has paved the way to usher in a new era under the illustrious Prince Henimun, a move I am sure you will all share equal delight in!" The young man chuckles for a few seconds, apparently overcome by cheer, but quickly remembers himself. "Further updates on this story will be posted live as it develops on our holosite, as well as our permanent holonet broadcasts on channel nine-nine-zero-two. I`m Talen Modessit, and thanks for tuning in, Churnis."
The Mercenary Guild`s emblem gradually fills the screen before the network`s holonet details are shown. With that, the screen blanks out and the broadcast comes to a close.
Today on Ansion, the major election which had been turning the Mercenary Guild for quite a spin ended. All the candidates were present today to face the election with their highest hopes, but only one could walk away with the title of Lord Regent. To the suprise of the Churnis Sector their first Lord Regent was actually the first Lady Regent as well!! The Mercenary Guild congratulates and welcomes its new Lady Regent, Jossette Ironside with its highest regards. Having first rights to an interview, our team was able to gain a brief meeting with the Lady Regent after her appointment and ceremony. This is what she had to say.
Lady Regent Interview
(TMG STAFF) Lady Regent! A shocking victory today as you are not only the first Lord Regent, but the first Lady Regent as well! The entire Mercenary Guild, and people of Churnis want to know! What can we expect out of our first Lady Regent in the future?
(LADY IRONSIDE) Well that is a loaded question good sir. I can not say what to expect specifically but I can make a garantee that what is coming will be of benifit and growth for us all towards unity.
(TMG STAFF) In a more direct question, with the expected up coming drop in taxes galaxy wide - can we expect your efforts to primarily be focused on combating the decreased income from taxes?
(LADY IRONSIDE) While many would expect that be the case that is not my focus. TMG is a bastion of financial power. We never relied in taxes for our income and thus are not severly harmed by tax decreases. My priority will be defense of our space from marauders and bandits out to attack our wealth primarily. Secondarily we will continue to develop our financial empire through consolidating in activities we know to be profitable.
(TMG STAFF) And what of your plans for larger threats such as Black Sun, or even the Galactic Empire? With the recent display of the New Republic's leader being executed it has been made aware that security of systems and sectors may not be enough. Do you feel we will need to strengthen our Internal Security against possible threats?
(LADY IRONSIDE) To address your first question and second together I will say this for now. Strategic Services will be given to the leadership of a close friend and trusted peer of mine. This person has years of experience in actively securing an organization. While I make no promises for our future as the future is never certain. I can personally garantee I will do whatever I can to protect our interests and more importantly our people.
(TMG STAFF) With Strategic Service being mentioned, it is also rumored that the former Kuat Society has been reborn - and further more that our own Tahkee Noie has assumed Knight Commander. The word is that Kuat Society has sworn the society to the protection and preservation of the Mercenary Guild, the Lord Regent, Space Lord and Warlord at any and all costs. There are also tales that Kuat Society is being used to perform special operations both in and outside of Churnis. Can you confirm these rumors?
(LADY IRONSIDE) I can not confirm something that is not my place to comment on. However, if these rumors are true then I welcome the Kuat Society with open arms.
(TMG STAFF) Lady Regent, TMG wants to know what kind of leader you are? Should our forces never speak against you and your decisions or are you an open leader to work with your forces, despite the rank?
(LADY IRONSIDE) Our forces as you called them are not just numbers. They are people with ideas and opinions. I intend to carry an open door policy on all my activities and decisions. If you feel you have something to add then it will be considered. If included credit will be given where it is due.
In the other side of the card, should you feel that my decisions are poor and you do not like them. Please explain why and how you feel they could have been made better. I am nothing but a leader of the people and if they people do not trust my leadership I quickly will become null in my position. While not all members will get to vote on policy or decisions, I will take into account every opinion on any matter provided it is given through the correct channels.
(TMG STAFF) Lady Regent, to end this interview do you have anything directly you want to say to your brothers and sisters in The Mercenary Guild?
(LADY IRONSIDE) Keep Calm and Carry On. Greatness is enroute.
It was an honor to speak to our new Lady Regent, and she has the support of all of our loyal Mercenary Guildsmen. Let it never be forgotten by any member of this Guild that Lady Ironside is the "chosen" Regent, by popular demand of our brothers and sisters. We thank her for her service and for those that participated in voting and expressing their voice in TMG, we appreciate your participation.
Last week it was announced that the noted racing contest Krieg`s Run will be running for a third season, with races scheduled for dates around the year. While there is no doubt that this event will be thoroughly enjoyable for participants and spectators, it is by no means the only racing event on offer. A viral holonet video recently brought to prominence another race that sentients should consider partaking in along with, or even instead of, Krieg`s Run.
The Grand Galaxy Tour, presented by the Mercenary Guild and the Corellian Society, is new addition to the racing scene. Offering literally billions of credits in prizes, the Grand Galaxy Tour has been openly endorsed by organizations around the Galaxy - the Hapes Consortium, the Aurodium Legion, the Avance Coalition and the Krath Dynasty all sponsor the Grand Galaxy Tour, along with the likes of Mandalore, the Tion Hegemony, the Confederacy of Independent Systems and Veritas Press itself.
Reporters spoke to Vesh Oleander, leader of the Corellian Society, to talk about the race.
The Grand Galaxy Tour (GGT) is an event co-organized by the Corellian Society, of which I am the High Regent, and the Mercenary Guild, of which I am the Fleet Admiral.
After an unfortunate period of inactivity, the Corellian Society has been relaunched and we recently reached a landmark one hundred and fifty members. We needed an event to mark this occasion. At the same time, the Mercenary Guild became a sovereign government and also had cause for celebration. I thought about it, and the GGT was born. We expect a great number of pilots to race, all struggling for personal and collective glory. All of them will be engaged in what may be the biggest racing event ever; the Grand Galaxy Tour.
Sure, there are numerous other races in the Galaxy. So what makes this one special? Well, unlike most other races, the Grand Galaxy Tour is totally free. No participation fee will be required.
In around two standard months, racers entering the Grand Galaxy Tour will follow a route dotted with checkpoints to mark each stage of the race. With thirteen of these checkpoints over as many sectors, the GGT is hoping to attract dozens of skilled pilots; all of whom will be undertaking a most difficult journey which is expected to last around a month. These pilots will be expected to take possession of droids as they fly from checkpoint to checkpoint, all of which will be outfitted with tracking devices to ensure each racer follows the GGT`s designated flight path.
Interested to know how a racing circuit on this scale was prepared, we returned to Vesh Oleander for more information.
As you know, participants will have to pick up some droids at checkpoint. Some friendly governments have agreed not only to give access to their systems for the race, but also to provide these droids and place them at checkpoints.
I`d like to thank the Anzatan Commonwealth, Centrepoint Station, the New Republic and the Triumverate Coalition for doing this. I`m also grateful for each sponsor for agreeing to open their systems for the race; though I appreciate some may be too busy to actively involve themselves in organization. Without help from sponsors, setting up checkpoints would have been quite an issue.
Starting in the Churnis Sector, (headquarters of the Mercenary Guild) the first four participants to complete the Grand Galaxy Tour will receive over one billion credits between them in prizes- making the Tour one of the most lucrative public events of the year. As consolation for those who do not complete the course, racers will be permitted to keep the droids they pick up from each checkpoint, ensuring there is something to gain from simply taking part in the GGT.
The GGT will accept racers regardless of political affiliation, with the only limitation for entrants being that modified ships are strictly prohibited. Though organizations around the Galaxy are expected to enter their own pilots into the race, freelance pilots are equally welcome to participate. And with prizes being donated generously by governments, corporations and charities, the Grand Galaxy Tour is beginning to take shape as a galactic event that could set a new racing standard for years to come.
A GOVERNMENT RISES : MERCENARY GUILD CLAIMS THE CHURNIS SECTOR
After three days of combat in the troubled Churnis Sector, the Mercenary Guild is now in place to announce its status as a sovereign government.
Attempts at diplomacy within the region, intending to unite the various local governments and authorities of the Churnis sector under the Mercenary Guild's banner, were reported to have failed two weeks prior to the move - after almost seven months of discussions - because of the widespread reluctance of leaders to hand over control. Until recently, the Mercenary Guild had found itself limited in how it was able to proceed - its presence in the Churnis sector was a contract limited to policing the Ansion system alone. However, the situation quickly escalated beyond the constraints of politics, as a Mercenary Guild facility on Ansion was attacked by a local band of militants. The attack claimed the lives of twenty-three Guild Marines and twelve members of the Ansion Separatist Movement, leaving forty combatants and eight civilian workers severely injured. It is believed that the assault was prompted by the public execution of a well-loved Ansionian politician after he was found guilty for several counts of war crime.
Responding to the attack, Myn Kuat - owner and commander of the Mercenary Guild - called his forces to arms, declaring martial law over the Churnis Sector. He condemned the assault as an outright act of war, perpetrated by the entire sector against the Mercenary Guild. Lord Kuat gave the Churnis sector a standard day to transfer regional ownership to his Mercenary Guild, and warned the alternative would be an immediate invasion of all noncompliant territories. Amazingly, the majority of leaders quickly decided to submit to the demands of Lord Kuat and welcomed the Mercenary Guild as legitimate governors of the Churnis sector. Those who decided to ignore the ultimatum were swiftly eliminated. Of the three systems in the Churnis sector, Dbari saw the most action - with casualties amounting to around eighteen thousand rebels and nine hundred mercenaries, though several hundred more have since been confirmed dead or wounded. When victory seemed inevitable, Lord Kuat moved the Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator - his flagship - into Ansion's orbit, whereupon he and First Space Lord Henimun gathered several imprisoned militants and executed them - broadcasting each death live to the entire Churnis sector.
Following this violent display of power, Lord Kuat was joined by several other warships in orbit above Ansion. Landing on the planet, Lord Kuat and First Space Lord Henimun decided to once again transmit a message to the people of the sector. The message covered the signing of the pre-prepared Guild Charter, which defines the laws and regulations in which the Mercenary Guild will now be expected to act as a government. Those present to sign this document were mostly high-ranking members of the Mercenary Guild; Myn Kuat, Pietre Henimun, Garm Munin and Corey Vildras - along with the defeated collective of Churnis sector warlords deciding to comply with Lord Kuat's previous demands.
"The Mercenary Guild is an organisation that exists to ensure that only the strongest, wisest, and most cunning hold sway in the galaxy. They are aware that sometimes the wisest do not necessarily have the strength to ensure people can benefit from their wisdom, and that the even the most cunning are sometimes beset by troubles impossible to predict. It is with this ideology in mind that the Mercenary Guild’s charter had been drafted.
As well as the ideology, members of The Mercenary Guild are entitled to live their lives according to the Five Rights.
THE FIVE RIGHTS
The right to pursue one’s own goals.
The right to safe harbour.
The right to fair payment.
The right to justice.
The right to sound leadership.
It is from the Five Rights that the wider rules within the charter are based.
The right to pursue one's own goals : Every member has the right to lead their own life in the way they choose as long as their lifestyle choices do not enfringe on the lives of others. This right extends only to personal goals and personal life choices. A member must act in a civil way at all times when fulfilling Guild contracts.
The right to safe harbour : Every member has the right to live without fear within The Mercenary Guild's home sector's. Every member has a duty to ensure that The Mercenary Guild's home sector's remain as such.
The right to fair payment : Every member has the right to a fair wage determined by the type of work carried out. Loyalty, selflessness, and dedication, is to be encouraged.
The right to justice : Every member has the right to be treated fairly, and all five of their Rights are to be respected.
The right to sound leadership : Every member has the right to receive orders that are reasonable, and in the sole interest of The Mercenary Guild and its ideology."