Log:Black Squadron: What Lies Beneath
Night settled over the peaceful forest and swamp of Naboo. Fireflies fluttered and drifted between the large shadows of trees, amphibians croak, insects churn, and the water shifts. Black Squadron and Chani Tahn meet at a sacred meeting spot organized by the proud Gungans. Water craft await them, and the group is escorted below the surface and deep into the crushing depths.
For awhile, all they saw through the orange protective barrier was blue. Then it became darkness. Their ears popped, and the pressure of the sea began to test the tick-tick-ticking integrity of the vessels.
And finally, a source of light shown through the bubbling water. At first it was only a hint of orange but it grew. When at last clarity afforded them a wonderous view of the underwater city, Otoh Gunga. The light in the sea made it possible to view the sea's floor, and massive orange bubble shaped structures occupied this space for as far as the eye could see. There were towers, and corridors, massive atriums and households. Gungans even swam by the squadron's craft as it made for one of the docking arms that allowed the group to enter the sacred place of the Gungans.
As the vessel went through the ritual of docking, Captain Kare' 'No Joy' Kun glanced back at the team briefly. It looked like she might say something at first, but then it seemed more like she was counting. When she did speak, it was low. "Ms. Tahn, we ask your help here.. I know rekk all about Gungans. I'll try not to.. " She trails off as the ship shakes violently, the docking arm locking in place and whining loudly, creating a seal.
"Captain, as this may be a situation of most delicate nature I might make suggestion that thee delegate to those of us more attuned to the matter of diplomacy and the courts lest thine capable tactical acumen be of use to us in any consideration." Bors offers, bright faces and smiling as he rests a hand on the bulkhead to steady himself. Adjusting his sword hangar on his hip and the lines of his flightsuit with the care and precision of one clearly attuned to the natures of being a preening peacock per required circumstance.
"All due respect, of course, Captain."
The Alderaanian takes one more moment to adjust his monocle and even runs a hand through his hair - because first impressions and all that. We learned -that- lesson when we got our callsign.
The weapons have been left behind and the hope is, at least, that it won't come to that. Her knowledge of the Gungan people is very, very limited. Perhaps more limited than even Kare's, but politeness and etiquette are interplanetary. Almost all races and creeds know from a deep bow and a friendly smile. Except those species where showing teeth was either invitation for a brawl or a marriage proposal.
In the submersible, Ulani's eyes are glued to the sprawling, underwater city as it fades into view; drawing closer and into fuller view. She draws in a breath of awe. "This is incredible!" She cannot stop from voicing her enthusiasm but is quick to clear her throat and try to compose herself.
As they descended through the depths, Rune could only think about the trek he had recently had across the water above. Fortunately, it seems travelling under was a bit easier on the stomach, less shaky, less wavey, less gut wrenching. Decidedly much more beautiful as well, especially when the lights began appearing and the majesty of the Gungan city became clear.
Rune's hazel eyes grew wide and he nearly pressed his face against the protective barrier that kept the water from pouring in on them. His regard tried to see anything and everything, snapping from one point of interest to another, a smile gracing his lips as Gungans themselves swam by the emissary craft as it moved in to dock.
Finally they pulled into where the vessel would berth, the shaking of the ship causing his hands to flash out to the side to maintain balance while it settles into the dock. He nods at the Captain and the smile confirms her thoughts, he too is terrible at diplomacy though he certainly is working on that aspect.
Ektor is enjoying the underwater jaunt in a way that might make one wonder whether he's high, or just really enjoys boats. Could be both. As Bors is talking about Bors things, the reformed (?) pirate wonders while peering at a Gungan swimming alongside, *Do they even drink? No lie, that might be one of them... what's the word? Philosophery questions, yeah? Like. Do they ever drink, or do they ever NOT drink. Drek, I hope they got alien booze."
The violent shake of the craft when it docks after surfacing into the bubble dome of Otoh Gunga doesn't seem to disturb Chani Tahn, who has spent the entire ride beneath the surface of Lake Paonga in silence. She only moves when the canopy of the craft starts to raise. Her nostrils flare with the new scents permeating through the cabin and her dark gaze casts itself over to Captain Kun. "The Gungans are a proud people. Interact with them on a ground of mutual respect and all should go well." The atmosphere in the bubble city is humid rather than stale or dry. The Gungans rely on various forms of plants to scrub and produce breathable air instead of the kind of technology found on starships, and that difference shows. There's added benefit for its amphibious dwellers.
Chani disembarks after the others, robes spilling around her lower torso and legs and sweeping about her dark leather boots when she takes her first steps onto the dock. She adjusts the fit of them with her hands lifted to her shoulders to shake out the kinks and crumpled up feyd-cloth. They are met by no shortage of escorts bearing tall staves. Chani bows deeply after stepping forward. Deep enough that her hair spills from her shoulders and hangs in a curtain around her face because of the angle taken at her hips. "Greetings. I am Chani Tahn of the Naboo. I am here on behalf of Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of Naboo. With me are representatives of the New Republic. We come to speak with His Eminence, Boss Jar Jar Binks."
The crew is faced with a staircase to help with disembarking, putting them on a solid floor. The interior was wide and tall, the shield technology used by the Gungans oddly silent and powerful. Even the crushing depths of the sea had a hard time imposing pressure here, albeit still present in a subtle way.
Chani's words earn a nod from Kare', who then turns to Bors to acknowledge him. She doesn't speak to him until they're disembarking. "..follow her lead. We're not sure what the Royal court has shared with them, so assuming they know anything might be bad. I can't take another bad report upstairs.." Kare' makes a gesture to point up high, meaning the Pantheon. Still, Bors was raised to politics as a Lord, and his insight could help Chani as they negotiated with the Gungans.
When Chani addressed the party waiting for them, Kare lightly nudged Bors ahead of her and toward Chani to join her in the greeting. Even though it sounded like a native tongue, Kare' suspected it was a respectful greeting that introduced them all. She followed the Jedi's lead by bowing slightly, her blonde hair falling out of place to hang over an eye and scarred cheek.
"WEEEEEEEEESAH...WELCOME YOUUUU! DIIS is Otah GUUUNGA, our PROUD city. DA NABOO /and/ DA REPUBLIC are welcoooomed with OPEN ARMS!" Bellows out the young looking warrior, jovial with floppy ears and leaning on his spear until he lifted it to widen his arms in a gesture of 'Eyyyyyyyyyy.
Kare elbowed Xer in the side, and harshly whispered.. "Stop looking for a bar."
"BOSS BINKS is DEESA way...come now, follow meesah!" The guard walked casually, his spear THUNKING LOUDLY against the floor. "MEESAH Lo Con Tass, Meesa Lo for short. Captain in the GRAAAAND Army. STAY CLOSE, weesah pass through the central atrium to reach the HIIIIIGH tower. BOSS BINKS waits for yousah there!"
Moved as directed and directing himself as Chani moves, Bors's bow is measured for the company present - given for a ranking warrior and a matching grin to follow. "Captain Lo Con Tass, it is my supreme honor - I have oft read in the history books of the masterful defensive action that the Grand Army performed prior to the start of the Clone Wars. It is too bad none had sought out such to aid the Rebellion. I hope I have the terminology correct, for all that I've studied your people are Bom-Bad Warriors."
Left arm folding up to rest his forearm against the small of his back as he walks and his right instinctively going to grip the centerline of his flightsuit, as if to hook his fingers into the lapel of robes or tunic. Opting to step to the left hand of the Captain, right hand moving again, "Would you be offended if I wished to shake the hand of one who commands ranks within ere so lauded an army?"
Laying it on so rich and thick, it could be used to frost breakfast rolls. Though there lacks insincerity to his tone.
To say Ulani is a tad overwhelmed by what's going on around her would be quite the understatement. If reaching Chandrila and meeting new people was a trip, then traveling miles under the water to meet an aquatic race of floppy-eared folk with BIG VOICES is like an entirely new star system.
To her, anyways.
Not part of the first-contact delegation, Ulani hangs back near Ektor; mainly to try to keep the man in check and also to keep herself out of the way. A deep, courteous bow is offered with the rest and a genuine smile accompanies her as they head further into the city. Blue eyes do make it a point to check on Ektor. "Have you ever been done here before?" She asks him very quietly. "Quite the opposite from flying in space."
Rune takes a cue from the others and bows to those that meet the group, the words foreign but the gesture understood. Respect, no funny business, and staying on the best behavior. The novice Jedi straightens and follows along, his head tilted at the thundering words from the young warrior. This was a people he'd never met before and the culture, the technology, all of it was awe inspiring... even if the timbre and tone of their common was a little comical. But hey, his native speech may sound ridiculous to some, who is he to judge.
Though this is a peace mission, and Rune wears his normal robes of cream and chocolate brown, his lightsaber remains clipped to his belt the hilt never far from his person if the young man can help it. Still, the mission doesn't seem like it will be necessary and thus he doesn't feel the need to stray his hand near the black cylinder. In fact, though odd and nowhere near his normal element, the affair seems entirely casual and he gives a light chuckle at Ektor's insistence on locating a cantina of some sort, even deep under water.
Ektor does his best to pull off a bow without falling over or looking like an idiot. At least he doesn't fall over. When Kare elbows and scolds him, Ektor mutters back with undiminished good humor, "Listen Joy, cockpits and bars are the two places where everything makes sense. Well," he amends with a crooked grin and wink, "Two outta the three, yeah?" Back to the Gungans, he too throws his arms wide with a grinning 'Eyyyyyyy!' of his own. "I like this Lo guy. Nice guy, easy to hear." Aside to Ulani, he looks with a lazy shrug, "Techie I've done and been done lotsa places, yeah? No lie, but this place would be a first. Why you ask?" Ektor is half deaf, he must have misheard the innocent question.
Rising to height, Chani's left hand drifts up and sweeps her dark hair behind her ear. "On behalf of Her Royal Majesty, we appreciate your hospitality, Captain Lo, and that of your people. It is an honor to be allowed into your grand, beautiful city." As the Captain in the Grand Army and his cadre of guards begin moving deeper into the city, Chani casts a glance over her shoulder to the others and gives a gentle nod of her chin. She sets off, then, at a languid gait that is in no more rush than that of the Gungans, and the soft footfalls of the soles of her leather boots are kept hidden underneath the staccato taps of the guards' staves. Chani spends most of her time looking elsewhere. She allows her speed to gradually place her with those she arrived with.
"Otoh Gunga has been here almost as long as my people have been on the planet. The Gungans initially built it when the wars fought between the original Grizmallti colonists and the Gungans led the Gungans to isolate themselves. The structures themselves are built out of the plasma in Naboo's core and bubble wort extract, meaning they're organic rather than synthetic. The only thing synethetic are these hydrostatic force fields." Chani gestures to the actual bubble facet of the dwellings. "There are many cities like this. You can reach all of them without ever breaching the surface. They're all connected by the hollow caverns that allow almost all water on the planet to be part of one giant body. Many run under the continent land masses. I don't think all of them have been explored, but the Gungans are masters of navigating them."
"Weesa GuuunGANs have a PROUD history. Weesah warriors ALWAYS ready to do OURsa part. Da NABOO and da QUEEN ALWAYS welcome in Oootah GUUUUNGAH." Lo replies, answering both Chani and Bors in turn. Lo offers his hand/arm out for Bors when prompted. "Weesah been to da Naboo MANY times.. da SHAKE is a time old tradition. WELCOME and be WELCOMED friend.." Shake concluded, the Captain turned suddenly slinging his ears about and began to walk forward, if not a bit flatfooted. Mounted warriors rode ahead to clear the crowds that lingered in the open atrium with shops and vendors, and all manner of things to see. Young Gungans ran by, trying to get a view of the visitors, having seen few in their short life time.
Captain Lo seemed aloof entirely, walking proudly with a preen for his task was given by none other than Jar Jar Binks, among the most venerable of their Gungan ranks. THUNK, THUNK, THUNK, goes his spear with each step.
Kare is quiet when Chani shares the history of Gungans and their unique technology. Rather than be in a hurry, Kare' walks casually and turns her gaze in each direction Chani points out. When the children go by, she watches them. Ektor's talk with Ulani isn't heard, or she might have popped him upside the head for being.. Ektor. She almost popped him when he winked at her!
Ektor's eyyy gesture from earlier had left a grin on Captain Lo's face.
The high tower, as Lo had called it, was ascended by a large lift. When they stepped into its room, they were confronted by a view of many seats, those most prominent were also dominating, signifying the power of the Gungan people. A few Gungans sat in these, but a humble and slightly bent, matured Gungan awaited them. Jar Jar Binks was easily past his seventieth name day, and looked it. Once youthful skin showed age, enthusiastic eyes lost some energy, and a once tall presence was hunched with the aid of a cane. He walks forward to greet them.
"Weesa welcome you to Otah Guuuuuunga, friends. Meesa Jar Jar Binks; erm, BOSS Binks if weesa doin business." Jar Jar points at them and smiles. "Who are yousa..?" His pointing hand sweeps to the group.
Quiet for Chani's explanation of the people and their technology, Bors stride takes on the languid pace set by Lo and his hands soon become linked behind his back with right wrist held by left. Eyes often dragging when his head slowly turns, left brow up with the right fixed due to the pinch holding his monocle in place.
The sight of the venerable page of history leaves him a touch thunderstruck, but the noble drops down to a kneel that brings his knee an inch from the floor, holding it there for respect though it would appear only his Princess can bring him to touch the cool surface. But the gungan leader gets close.
"My Lord Boss Binks, I am Bors. Son of Vix and Bayii. Brother to Uypiia of The House of Thul, of Alderaan, warrior of the New Republic and I might beg forgiveness that I am admitted to being giddy to be in the presence of so great a figure as yourself." standing only after he finishes speaking, leaving any of the 'business' to Chani.
The answer she gets from Ektor is initially quite confusing and it shows in the scrunch of her face as Ulani tries to make sense of it. Then a wave of realization washes over her and turns her face a few shades of red. "Oh... uh..." She is speechless as she tries to fight the mental images flooding into her mind right now: a valiant effort yet a battle already lost. "What I meant was--"
Oh, look! They're heading into the High Tower!
Pausing with the group, Ulani goes into another deep, practiced bow at the sight of the venerable Boss Binks. "It is a pleasure to meet you," she offers to the Gungan leader. "I am Ulani Kalgaav of the New Republic. This is an absolute pleasure." Stepping forward, she offers to shake Mister Bink's larger hand with both of her smaller ones. "I love making new friends and I feel so welcome to your lovely city. It's absolutely beautiful."
Rune doesn't have the ease of spirit to shake the Gungan's hand, nor does he have the charm and wit to return a gesture like Ektor, instead his hands are folded politely in front of him, buried in the sleeves of his robes as he walks. The former savage listens to the brief history of the Gungans that Chani gives, his head swiveling from one bit of notice to another as she talks, wide eyes taking in all the grandeur of their surroundings. "Thank you." He mutters once she is finished with delivering the information, that quiet smile slipping to his lips once more.
The Ysannan produces his hand to wiggle fingers at the smaller Gungans as they walk by, a grin and a wink given to a few as they scurry past. And then they're onto the big lift and the Atrium shrinks below them as they ascend. Rune watches it all calmly before they move into the room of seats to turn to the wizened Boss Binks as he greeted them. The Jedi bends at the waist to bow to Jar Jar in kind, waiting his turn to speak and lifting his voice when he does. "I am Rune of the New Jedi Order, it is an honor to meet you, Boss Binks. I have heard many stories of your adventures and thank you for welcoming us into your home."
Ektor walks through the underwater city with an easy swagger marred slightly by his familiar limp. Noting the attention they draw with a small chuckle, he whistles idly as the band is escorted to the lift. He hasn't met many species who whistle, maybe the locals will find it interesting. The melody is from a vulgar piece of music popular on Jelucan. Simple enough to remember and catchy enough to stick in his head. The whistling ends when the lift doors open again. When it's his turn to do introductions, he regards Boss Binks with his good eye and states, "Ektor-Xer Apollyon. Xer if you're easy, Lieutenant if you're pissed," a crooked grin bends his lip with that last.
The circular room they enter presents a breathtaking view of many of the city bubbles that make up Otoh Gunga. Schools of large fish swim by and dance in schools. The room is round, like the bubble its contained in, and made up of a split level. Two sets of steps branch off from the entry of the room and go to the higher platform. At the curve of the bubble opposite of the door, Gungans representing the most important figures in their society are all seated. An empty seat in the middle, meant for the Boss, is elevated highest. Chani and the others would normally move forward onto a jutted bridge that sits lower than all the Gungans gathered as part of the council to address them. It is an effective strategy to convey power, but the Boss they are here to meet is on the same level they are.
Chani bows deeply. "Greetings, Your Eminence, Boss Jar Jar Binks. I am Chani Tahn of the Naboo and the Jedi. I come here on behalf of Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of Naboo. With me are representatives of the New Republic led by Captain Kare Kun. They are here at the request of the Naboo to help with the concerning rise in pirate activity on the surface. Her Royal Majesty extends her own greetings and begs that we be allowed an audience before your great council. We come to ask if you and your people have also been affected by this rise in activity, and if so, we humbly ask that we be allowed to aid you, as you once aided the Naboo. Though nothing we can do will ever be able to repay the Gungan's bravery in full, we hope that this request will serve as a reminder that the Naboo have not forgotten their allies.."
Rising from her bow, Chani brings her hands together to tuck into the sleeves of her robe so that one wide arm blends into the other and there's no finding whether either starts or opens. It is, perhaps, a hearkening to a distant time, when another figure in brown robes and cream garments once stood in this very chamber before the High Council. The view now, however, is quite different for the venerable and aged Gungan, and Chani herself does not realize the echo of a memory she may convey to the Boss with her attire or her bearing.
Boss Binks addresses each guest personally, taking the time to listen to them, smile, and offer a kind shake.
"Mesa call yousa Bors, mesa tinks. Yousa have a long name, PROUD name. Mesa likuh dis. Mesa remember the dark day of Alderaan. Mesa remember the dark times. It warms mesa heart dat Alderaan still lives..." The older Gungan pats Bors shoulder, "..in yousa." He smiles and moves to Ulani next.
"Mesa call yousa Ulani. Da pleasure is moole (mine). Truly. Otah Guuunga shines brighter with yousa presence." Jar Jar moved to Rune next, smiling with the young man bowed.
"Yousa Jedi?! Looky looky.." Jar Jar called back to the other councilors who sat up a little straighter when his eyes fell to them. "Hesa Jedi!" He looks back to Rune and smiles. "Disa Hisen Jedi maken mesa remember OLD friends... /dear/ friends." Jar Jar was both happy and sad at the end of that statement, but he moved to Xer next.
"HA! HAhahaa! Mesa likuh dis one. Xer, is it? Mesa know what yousa like! After wesa meetin, wesa visit the bomBAD drinkery. Wesa talk to palos and SWAP war stories. Welcome.. WELCOME, HAhaaha."
Lastly, Binks walks to regard Chani, using his cane and pausing. He closed his eyes to listen to her Gungan tongue, the words spoken with such elegant practice. He answers in basic.
"Yousa carry da Naboo's words well, Jedi Chani. Forgive mesa, yousa clothing, it takes mesa back MANY years. Mesa stood just..dalee (there). Mesa in deeeeep doodoo with Boss Nass, but mesa friend Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon...what yousa spake?..umm --theysa saved Boss Binks from terrible fate. Theysa Jedi, too!" Jar Jar moves away from them to climb the stairs to the seat made specially for him. It takes some time, his age showing, but he manages, and sighs after all the effort is made and done.
"PIRATES, yousa say. What are dis..PIRATES doing as to disturb da GuuunGANs?" Jar Jar lightly taps his chest with his fist, indicating the Gungan people.
It's not the mention of the death of Alderaan. Nor is it the Dark Times. But Binks's mention of where it is that Alderaan thrives that threatens the composure for Bors following the touch to his shoulder. The only tension there is when Jarjar ascends to his seat - ready to spring if age tries its hand at toppling the elder gungan and then fleeing from him once seated.
For a wonder Bors is quiet, small quiet smile tucked into the corner of his mouth and his posture slipping into a courtly stance designed to distribute weight and allow him to rest, more or less, where he stands to reduce the onset of weariness from extended standing. This could take some time, or it could be met with expedience. Whatever the truth; best be comfortable just in case.
Utterly enchanted, Ulani's kind face lights up and she gives the Gungan's hand a squeeze before he moves onwards. Unable to follow what Chani is saying, she takes her cues from Jar Jar who exclaims of pirates. With nothing to add to that, Ulani moves up to stand next to Rune and gives him a slight nudge of her shoulders and a sideways smile. Otherwise, she doesn't interrupt the proceedings. This is, afterall, official business.
Hazel eyes shift to those around the room that straighten when Jar Jar looked to them, a light blush catching his cheeks at the attention drawn to his Order. But the claim of old friends returns his attention to the Boss before him and he nods solemnly before the Gungan moves on. Those friends, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, were legend and were mentioned often in stories of the days of old. Sadly, much of the history Rune had heard were in regards to the evil that rose in the time of their lives, regardless of their good intentions or tutelage... he supposes the Sith find ways even in the presence of light.
He too watches as Jar Jar makes the return to his seat, his muscles also tense in anticipation of his fall should he teeter beyond his capacity for balance. Thankfully none need spring to action as the Gungan settles and continues to address the audience.
Ulani's nudge brings him back to the moment, his thoughts having been alternating between what times of old must have been like to concern for the elderly Boss. A few blinks herald the return to the present and he shifts into a more comfortable posture, a warm smile returned to the woman who now stood nearby. Though the question was posed to all, Rune wisely determines it's not his voice that is needed to explain and he awaits the response from the one who will.
The DO have alien booze. "Knew it," Ektor cackles around a crooked smile. He glances aside to Kare. "Don't look at me like that, it's diplomacy, now. Would be rude not to get hammered, yeah?" Right, right: pirates, business, blah blah blah. Ahem!
There is no hiding the surprise that registers on Chani's face at the mention of the names Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. Her first instinct is to shoot a glance at Rune, but the rapid flick of her eyes to the side is dragged back a mere breath later to ensure respectful eye contact with the Gungan Boss. Her mouth works for a moment before she manages to find words that haven't been rehearsed so many times she can recant them in her sleep. "Forgive me, Your Eminence. I was not aware of your history with Masters Jinn and Kenobi. I am humbled by your recollection of them in the presence of my companion and me." She means Rune, without doubt. Lapsing into silence as Boss Binks winds his way up the stairs and approaches his seat, Chani waits for him to settle.
She steps forward, then, onto the extended bridge and extends a hand to brush against Lord Thul's sleeve in a quiet gesture that his position as a diplomat and a member of Black Squadron means he should join her out in front of the High Council. "Honorable representatives," Chani begins, and sweeps her gaze across those gathered in the seats. Her hands clasp before her and she stands tall, shoulders back and feet spread in a comfortable stance. "Most recently the Royal House of Naboo discovered a spy on the Royal Advisory Council. Her interactions with piratical elements in the system have led to scavenging operations in our forests and near your Lianorm Swamp. Prior to the discovery of this spy, the Royal Starfighter Corps and the Royal Security Forces were unable to stop this activity, but we believe it is in regards to one of the Resistance ships that crashed to the planet during the Battle of Naboo. We come to ask if you have experienced any troubles with these pirates in the underwater caverns, and further, what effect, if any, the crashed ship may have had on your habitats. We wish to offer aid with either issue, if you have them, Your Eminence."
The council members stir in soft chatter and Jar Jar addresses their questioning tone by pointing up with a shaky hand. "Shesa spakes of da BIG BOOMBOOM Skeebeetle dat freckled the GRAND light. -- Wesa tracked the, what yousa spake? Umm-- DESCENT of debris to wesa surface. Da Naboo, its land isuh brittle.." Jar Jar says, making a gesture like he was breaking off a piece of something. "Hollow, with water dat weaves onward. Lianorm isus not well traveled, but wesa have scouting parties there. Wesa find divers..wesa find machineeks! With bomBAD lasers shooting rock deep down below. It created a great messen (mess), not even da GuuunGAN can see through the murk. Wesa scouts see FLASHES, but wesa not go close. Wesa remember machineeks, wesa remember the dark times."
Jar Jar shifts and continues. "Dis fraidee frog (coward) spy. How are theysa...?" He joined his hands to gesture 'connected'.
Stepping forward as subtly urged by Chani; Bors approaches to stand squared with her, head lifted and listening to Chani's commentary and Bink's questions. "The full story of their linking is not fully ascertained, but it is within good reason that this spy is attempting to utilize pirate forces to destabilize Naboo. Both above and below. This could make Naboo a ripe fruit to be picked by forces looking to subjugate as well as make outpost for themselves." Offered by the Alderaanian, giving a look towards Chani to indicate if she need to correct him in any part that he won't be upset.
A subtle uptick of the left brow, shift in stance, all those subtle tells of bodylanguage expressed so often on D'Qar that was and New Alderaan that is.
It's the best and worst way to have a history lesson. Yet things are being learned and in a hurry. Ulani looks over the others in the Gungan council as they get prickly and antsy in their seats. This is definitely a mission she won't soon be forgetting. Especially if Ektor runs off to get drunk with the Gungan Boss. Now that's true Black Squadron diplomacy right there. "I mean, that sounded like a clear invite to me. Though I wouldn't mind seeing what kind of gardens they have here." Most of that is whispered to those near her so to not disturb the much more important meeting overall.
Having been woefully unprepared for the struggle between Sith and Jedi when Rune had first joined the Order, he craved stories of the past times, who Rey's Grandfather was and her connection to Ben... especially after not so subtle mentions had been made on a number of the Jedi's outings. As such he was a less shocked to hear the names from Jar Jar's lips, but the reverence and respect that Chani felt, the look of history and awe that reflected in her eyes was shared by Rune when their gazes met, however brief.
Rune nods along when Chani delivers the meaning behind their visit, and he looks to the audience as the tale of the ship's landing and the possible trouble that has come is given. His gaze is on them when their questioning voices are lifted and his lips pull into a thin line. His hazel regard is only brought back to Jar Jar when the Boss silences their grumbling by connecting the story with experiences of their own. The thin lipped look shifts into a deep frown at the disclosure of the underwater activities, the pirates seeming to have delved into the deep to try and locate whatever it is they seek... and they're destroying the environment even more to do so.
The frown is lessened a hair at Ulani's mention, the corner of his mouth even turning up in the makings of a grin. "Having a drink with the legendary Binks, that is not something that I would be like to turn down." Rune responds in a hushed tone.
Ektor finds himself letting out a slow, savoring breath as the Gungan Boss speaks of the Battle of Naboo, and the grand light. The bomber pilot glances toward the only of his present squad mates who were at that desperate battle: Kare. "The big... Naboom," he mutters quietly. His expression relaxes as his smile fades. Not many of the old squadron left.
"Lord Thul is right, Your Eminence. We don't understand the full situation, but we believe it may have to do with greed or blackmail." Chani's shoulders move in a gentle shrug and her face conveys the uncertainty that comes with speculation. "Maybe both. The pirates are holding the Council Member's son hostage. They may have used this connection to secure funding for their operation. We are still attempting to locate the boy so that we may rescue him, though time is against us." She trails off for a moment, though it is no attempt to lend gravitas to the situation. Her dropped gaze is merely reflective of her dismay at such a situation. She raises it to Boss Binks after but a moment, however, and continues on.
"If your scouts are aware of any other unsual activity in the forests or the swamps, we would be most grateful for any information you wished to share. It may lead to his rescue. As it stands, I humbly offer you the resources of the Royal House of Naboo in dealing with these intruders into your domain. It would be an honor to help remove their presence from your sacred cities."
"Wesa see." Jar Jar says after Bors speaks, then the council look to Chani. One of the councilors seemed shocked to hear about the son being held hostage. "What monsters would hold a mama's hatchling hostage?! Outrage, wesa must take action! Boss Binks, sends---" The councilor is silenced with a subtle look from the wizened Binks who makes a gesture with his hands to lower, and calm. "To rush, is to ruin. PREPARE wesa must, work with da Naboo and Republic. Together, wesa can solve all." Binks says more diplomatically, and regards Chani and Lord Bors again.
"Wesa do a bit of flipflopping, okee day. No Naboo know disa swamps likuh da GuunGANS. Wesa send our scouts, look under EVERY rock.. wesa find these PIRATES and hatchling. Of THAT we promise. NO HATCHLING blood will stain oursa conscience."
Binks points back to the group. "Yousa investigate disa messen in da deeps. Wesa give you location. Mesa thinks there isuh GRAND machineek down there, digging..DIGGING and always digging. Stop da digging. Once GuuunGANs can see, wesa do oursa part to clear out disa..." Binks gestures lazily, trying to think of the word, "....debris."
"What yousa spake? Deal?"
Kare has remained quiet and has taken to standing beside the much taller Xer. When he utters Naboom, Kare's bearing does not change. She just shakes her head quietly, yet her thoughts go back to the hellish battle, the desperate effort to stop the First Order, and the sting of the Battle's failure. A slow shaking breath is released as her jaw lightly clenches recalling the sounds of those dying. Her hands fidget at her lower back, out of sight
"As a representative of the Republic as well as Alderaan, Isa saysin yousa spake a fair deals, Boss Binks." distasteful? Respectful utilization of the Gungan's own form of speak and cadence to their candor? More like intended for the second. How often can one get the chance to use such a language? Lord Bors himself is often thought to be tonguing some mythical dialogue.
"A bundle of sticks, if you will allow an antiquated allegory, is far stronger than one alone, Boss Binks; I think it would be a grand honor to work with you and I should make myself regularly available to your request. If I cannot directly aid I am sure I know others who can." looking to Chani momentarily, "I cannot speak for the Naboo; I leave that to Lady Tahn." bowing low at the waist again.
Ulani gives Rune one more slight, encouraging nudge then moves forward to stand near Bors towards the front of the group, but not quite the front. "Friends help friends," she adds on to the already stellar showing by the two voices of the group. "We've all seen too many wrongs, but together we can make them right." Maybe a bit out of place among the talks, but Ulani cannot help but feel moved by the whole experience. Such warm, welcoming people so eager to help. There's a kindred spiritual connection in there.
It all sounds like a good proposition to Rune and he shifts his weight on his feet in anticipation of the acceptance of the deal. But he doesn't have authority to answer for the group and thus remains silent, attention now focused on the ones that do. He nods again with Lord Thul's acceptance, wincing slightly at the choice of tone used at the end. He too isn't certain if it will be seen as mockery or flattery. Either way, the call has been made and all that's left is to await the fallout.
For his part, made to move by the encouraging nudge, Rune steps forward and bows respectfully to Jar Jar. "Indeed, and friends come from the most unlikely of circumstances, oft thrust together for some greater purpose that is many times yet unknown." he adds, dipping his head again in deference to the venerable Gungan.
"Wrecking big bad machines is a specialty, yeah?" Ektor drawls on the subject of stopping some unknown submarine drilling craft/device/vessel.
"Your offer is most gracious, Your Eminence. On behalf of the Royal House of Naboo, I accept your offer for a deal. With the Grand Army of the Gungans working with us, I, too, believe that there is nothing we cannot solve. Your knowledge of the waters and the swamps is unparalleled. We are truly grateful for your help and your wisdom." Chani bows low, again, with the motion performed at the hips and her hair curtaining to tease its tresses against the side of her face. What strands she'd slipped back behind her ear easily free themselves in the process. Once she's risen to height again, the mess of hair lays sprawled across her shoulders and the front of her robes rather than all pooled back against and into the pulled down hood.
"HAHaaa! Mesa likuh dis." Jar Jar says, clapping his hands. A subtle effort to rise prompts the other Gungans to help their Boss back to his feet. It's a display of team work, none bear any judgment in doing this for their Boss. Jar Jar leans on his can, still laughing, ears bouncing. "It warms mesa heart to join together again. Looky.. looky.." He points with his cane to a spot well above the archway the group had passed beneath. Above, a sparkling trophy of blue wreathed in the finest decoration the Gungans could find. "Wesa keep it in sight.. REMINDER, wesa part of da Naboo, of it ALL.." It all implying the galaxy. "Wesa shine brightest together. -- CAPTAIN TASS.."
"Yesa, Boss BINKS."
"PREPARE da GuuuunGAN scouts for mission, DIRE mission. Wesa have uh hatchling to find! GO.. at once!"
"Yesa Boss BINKs..right away!" Captain Tass turned with a flop of his ears and ran off, spear taken in hand as he took the lift and disappeared. Binks spared a look up in quiet contemplation, wondering if his good friends still watched over this deep location of history. His smile revealed his belief.