[Quietly on a hot mic.]
Gods and spirits people, who died?
[Some laughs from the Assembly, some groans. Galm looks down at the podium, furrows his brow, then adjusts the microphone.]
Well, damn, I guess rumors out.
On behalf of Varyazi Clade, I speak for all of our comrades and allies when I say we are deeply remorseful for the loss of the Sisters of Eve mission on Skarkon II. The fact that when we received the news of the incident Varyazi was working toward coalition building to contain the conflict and an reach amicable agreement between third parties fills me with equal parts dismay and, frankly, suspicion. But unlike certain actors I won’t claim to speculate on the events and motivations leading towards the attack. Not yet anyway, there will be time in the days ahead to examine the situation and make my case based on evidence at hand. Any amount of baseless speculation can only harm my case and detract from the point I’m about to make.
[The Red Knight reaches into his breast pocket, pulling out a thin cigar and lighting it from the podium as he speaks. Warden Thaddeus Reynolds shows a twinge of disapproval as smoke starts to cloud the air around him.]
As warclones, our primary occupation has always been offering our service as military contractors to the cluster. It should surprise no one then that Varyazi was formed principally to offer our services to the new and emergent opportunities offered by working alongside the Triglavian Collective. Until recently attempts at establishing direct contact and dialog with the Collective has been, at the best of times, difficult to fully discern. With the continued war against the Krullefor and Seykal marauders commanding Efrit’s corrupt militia as well as the rapidly expanding inter-clade conflict between Svarog and Veles, Triglavian regulars and the Internal Triglavian Revolutionary Organization has been keen to watch us work and evaluate our potential through Proving. That changed recently, with the advent of the Varyazi GLAIN AI network. By leveraging everything from HUMINT infiltration to OSINT market data, we succeeded in creating a robust datavault service for our allies to accurately track and study AEGIS forces in Pochven and identify military targets in the region. GLAIN, when paired with an experienced Varyazi specialist, has elevated us from already dependable and effective warriors to a formidable intelligence agency in our own right and a force multiplier in Triglavian territory. Its no secret then that we offered our services to the Collective in their ongoing conflict against EDENCOM, and elation at the program’s success cooled once it became evident that intelligence passed from Varyazi Clade may have played a hand in the offensive that resulted in the deaths of SOE service members. In that, I accept partial culpability and intend to submit myself to GLATISANT so they may investigate our conduct and present their findings before the Round Table Assembly.
[Some paper shuffling from the Varyazi delegation. Draugr Division security forces rise from their seats to block the exits to the Assembly armed with “officer-grade” weaponry and dropsuits. Galm notices the armed guards then rubs the bridge of his nose, slouching slightly to take several draws of his cigar and regaining his posture.]
What I cannot accept, however, is the assumption based on the assertion of a man like Kril Efrit that Varyazi intentionally targeted Sisters of Eve members nor that the Triglavian Collective was the sole actor in what, based on initial reporting by international sources, was an unfortunate case of collateral damage between two armies. Nor will I accept, without evidence, the assumption that Sisters of Eve personnel were wholly innocent and clearly marked as non-combatants from an organization that regularly deploys Fire Cell paramilitaries alongside their science teams. I will remind everyone of the Khumatariate’s regular efforts to baselessly slander the Bosena Accords under my Wardenship as slavers and sabotage any attempts at peaceful negotiation, ultimately resulting in loss of millions of lives through their negligence and malus. There is no evidence that Varyazi Clade knowingly targeted the Sisters of Eve, and any action taken to collaborate and provide intelligence in the Collective’s war against EDENCOM is ultimately justified under the neutrality clause of the Bosena Accords as if this were a military contract carried out at the behest of the Empires’ militia organizations.
[The Assembly is split in response, with several “here here”s and more than a few scoffs and jeers.]
I understand, truly, the drive to reinstall faith in the Accord’s institutions and mission. However I recognize that the world that the Bosena Accords were written under is not the world that we inhabit now or the world that Avalon can flourish under. I recognize that because I was the one who suspended its enforcement because I recognized that they were ill suited to meet the challenges faced on Skarkon. It is my utmost hope that in submitting myself for tribunal, we might use this case to facilitate a review of our protocol and revise our policy to better serve this new era of the warclone community. I welcome the opportunity to work with our Warden to complete this task.
[Galm takes one more puff, then motions to the stone in the center of the assembly that holds each current and former Warden’s ceremonial sword.]
Therefore, not only do I submit myself for Tribunal. I also wish to formally state my intention to renew my support for Thaddeus Reynolds as Warden of Avalon and abstain from Warden elections for the current year.
[The Assembly remains silent for a moment, before unsure applause grows into several cheers. The Assembly is called into recess while Warden Thaddeus Reynolds is seen forcefully ushering Galm Fae aside into the adjoining committee room.]