February 8th 2017
SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): Welcome back, everyone. This meeting of the Senate Subcommittee on the Interior is back in session. Senator Suj Kossi has requested the first slot following our recess. Senator Kossi?
SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): Thank you, Madam Chair.
SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): The floor is yours.
SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): Senators, during the last congressional session, this committee passed #4688-IAUY, also known as the Kabal Historic Preservation Initiative, which was subsequently approved by a vote of the full Senate. The initiative was created to stop the looting of Tevarin artifacts from the Kabal System by establishing a special Advocacy task force to investigate alleged smuggling cases and allocating funds for the Navy to increase ship scanning patrols within the system.
Despite the best of intentions, the Preservation initiative has failed to curb the problem. The Advocacy has yet to arrest anyone for participating in the systematic pilfering of the Tevarin people’s cultural history. Although the Navy’s expanded scanning protocol has nabbed other illegal goods, artifacts from Kabal III are somehow still finding their way into auction houses and antique stores around the Empire. Considering that Kabal is a military classified system, and completely off limits to the public, this situation is nothing short of an embarrassment.
For these reasons, I have drafted an amendment to the Kabal Historic Preservation Initiative that freezes all UEE activity within the Kabal System until the Advocacy completes a thorough review of all procedures and personnel. The amendment also installs a new inspection team to oversee the ruins themselves. This team will include prominent Tevarin historians and archaeologists, as selected by this committee, and will catalogue all artifacts found within the Kabal System to ensure their provenance can never be questioned. This, more than anything else, will keep irreplaceable items of archaeological importance from being freely, and illegally, sold throughout the Empire.
SENATOR JUNGER RIES (C – Lorona – Banshee Sys): Senator Kossi, your intentions are admirable, but also excessive and unnecessary. As one of the authors of the original initiative, I’m quite familiar with the situation in Kabal. Bringing all activity to a halt over a few misplaced items would be detrimental to the good work being done there.
SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): With all due respect, Senator, this issue’s much more pervasive and it’s the obligation of this committee to stop it.
SENATOR JUNGER RIES (C – Lorona – Banshee Sys): I think you’re overdramatizing the situation. The lost artifacts that triggered this entire situation were recovered by the Advocacy and promptly returned and as you noted, since then there have been no further incidents reported.
SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): If that’s the extent of it, Senator, then how’d I get my hands on these.
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SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): Githian’Cor of the Tevarin Preservation Society and I purchased all of these ancient Tevarin artifacts from sellers right here in New York City.
SENATOR JUNGER RIES (C – Lorona – Banshee Sys): What makes you so sure they’re from Kabal?
SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): Most of them contain the same marking. Based on where it appears, Githian’Cor believes it’s the Tevarin name for Kabal III. Also, have you noticed the one thing all these artifacts have in common?
Look at the material they are carved from. Very similar to some of the artifacts that the Advocacy recovered and returned to the Kabal System. Githian’Cor did a geochemical analysis on each one of these pieces, and this specific mineral composition is known to exist on Kabal III but not on Jalan or any other planet with known historical Tevarin ties.
SENATOR JUNGER RIES (C – Lorona – Banshee Sys): I know and greatly respect Githian’Cor, but how do we know that these pieces aren’t from a private collection that someone decided to liquidate?
SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): And did so piecemeal across the Empire? What seems more plausible to you, Senator? That some secret, massive and utterly unique Tevarin collection is slowly being sold off at spots all across the Empire? Or that someone is looking to make easy money by smuggling these pieces out of the Kabal System?
SENATOR JUNGER RIES (C – Lorona – Banshee Sys): Enough with the hypotheticals, Senator Kossi. How about we debate the merits of your initiative instead? Let’s say that these items did in fact come from Kabal III. Then they should be handed over to the Advocacy for further investigation. That is their job and I for one feel that we should let them do it. It is hardly necessary that we authorize a complete shutdown of operations. The cost alone —
SENATOR SUJ KOSSI (U – Jalan – Elysium Sys): It is absolutely necessary. These are some of the most valuable remnants of my people’s history and at this rate, more of them are destined to wind up in black markets than in the museums where they belong. Is it not worth a minor inconvenience to see a people’s culture preserved? And even if you care little for the theft of history, then the fact that UEE property is being stolen while under our supervision should be enough to give any Citizen pause.
Madame Chair, with your permission, I would like to call Githian’Cor to testify and provide her expert opinion on exactly how the review process in the amendment would ensure this never happens again.
SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): Very well. Let’s hear from her.
< indistinct noise >
SENATOR YANN ISHER (C – Angeli – Croshaw Sys): I see that this is going to take a few moments to set up. Let’s take a quick, five-minute recess until Githian’Cor is prepared.
< gavel bang >
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