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Cornellian VIP Intrigue (Cornellia Only)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]

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New Othman
Diplomat
 
Posts: 626
Founded: Jan 11, 2005
Ex-Nation

Circle the Wagons

Postby New Othman » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:45 pm

Othmani Ministry of Defense, New Ankara, New Othman,
0834 hours, 8 July, 2017


Hamit Aykut cleared his throat as he signed off on the latest purchase order for additional IFVs, a sign of the times these days. The pendulum had shifted again, with years of defense cuts since the Lazodirian War replaced by recent increases in the defense budget to respond to the growing “existential threat to our national survival from an increasingly hostile and militant Christian bloc.” Loose gossip and rumors about “crusades,” false accusations of the Republic by the Ecclesiastical State, and growing ties between the Ghantar and the SBC…..and the Papacy, all of them colluding to pressure Rietumimark over Deweden, all of it smacked of a Christian push to smack Muslims and other non-Christians around a bit.

Hamit wasn’t a nobody, of course. He was Undersecretary to the Minister of Defense, responsible for equipment procurement, both weapons and noncombatant equipment. His job was extremely important of late. For Hamit, it was a simple matter of this: New Othman was being blamed falsely for things that were not its fault, by a theocratic Christian power that was notorious for lies and propaganda about its enemies. This was no joke to them, and it was no minor insult. It was, to his way of thinking and that of those in higher office, especially Defense Minister Lieutenant General Recep Borek and Premier Akonder Tufan, an early shot being fired in a likely series of volleys aimed at one end: a crusade to “Christianize” New Othman and other non-Christian states. Rietumimark might be first, followed probably by Akai, and soon enough, New Othman. This was more than a little disturbing and Hamit was more than a little spooked.

True, New Othman was constrained by the Treaty of Beaulieu, but this was all about national defense, not offense, and so the weapons that he procured of late were of the sort perfectly compatible with the aforementioned Treaty. This was stuff like new IFVs, new anti-tank artillery, new interceptor fighter jets, and yes, new hunter-killer submarines, more missile boats, and more corvettes. Yes, this would come at the expense of other spending or perhaps higher taxes or maybe even deficit spending, but this was necessary. The more the Pope and others like him kept mouthing off at and rattling the saber at everyone from Rome to Rietumimark to New Othman, the more that the Othmani Government and those inside it had to be nervous and the more that it had to act to protect its populace.

Internal memos, if leaked to the outside world, might well shock some of New Othman’s neighbors, but they made perfect sense to the Othmanis. In these memos, the Papal denunciations and other such vitriol all fit into the historical context of theocratic, hegemonic ambitions, to put it mildly, in the eyes of Premier Tufan, a known atheist who found any kind of clerical power unnerving, as well as General Borek, a lukewarm Muslim, and General Nabopolassar Esarhaddon, a Chaldean Christian from the very same sect now that was excommunicated by the Pope, who currently served as Chief of the General Staff of the armed forces, and who was married to a Shia Muslim in fact (not that Bicimli Dolunay was all that devout). These internal memos made it loud and clear that the Othmanis were now in a state of heightened alarm, their hackles raised by this growing Christian belligerence.

This state of alarm had led to the growing defense budget, which wasn’t a huge increase, but as it was the first such increase since the founding of the Republic, it was likely to draw some attention once it became known. It was certainly important in spite of its modest nature, as after so long of cutting defense spending, it was a reversal of an existing policy of emphasis on domestic, non-military spending and especially social services. As far as the Othmanis were concerned, though, it was hard cheese. They did nothing forbidden by the Treaty of Beaulieu and they were responding to the loose and irresponsible talk by the Pope and others in his camp. If New Othman’s neighbors didn’t like New Othman beefing up its military, they could always put more pressure on certain countries not to alarm the Othmanis.

Those days were done, the days of New Othman trusting entirely to the “guarantees” from Adiron and the others, given that Ceti was far away and Adiron had bigger fish to fry these days. New Othman would always comply with the Treaty of Beaulieu, and would thus avoid offensive weaponry until given permission to purchase, but it would get as many defensive, compliant arms as it could afford and still have decent social services and not raise taxes too much. With each purchase and procurement order, Hamit confirmed this with every signature. The munitions makers would be happy, at least. The diplomats, especially foreign ones, perhaps not so much, but screw them. They needed to soothe New Othman’s fears if they wanted to discourage such an increase.

Hamit was in no mood to coddle hypocrites, such as those who wrung their hands over the idea of New Othmani purchasing more arms while shrugging off Papal proposals for crusades and Christian bullying of Rietumimark and false accusations against New Othman’s secular government. New Othman didn’t just bristle at this accusation…..it was responding how any nation that had been suddenly singled out that way might…..treating the comments as a possible pretext for an attack on itself. If people didn’t like it, they should try walking in New Othman’s shoes. No wonder that the Rietumish and Akai were taking umbrage of late. Perhaps it was time to improve relations with both, to increase New Othman’s options, but that wasn’t Hamit’s purview…...procurement was.
Last edited by New Othman on Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It is high time for ballots, and not bullets. For bread and butter, not tanks treading on foreign streets. For reform, for schools, for more police on the beat, instead of building up a massive war machine used only to bully our neighbors. The only armed forces that the new New Othman needs are those which defend the nation itself from aggression. We don't need the trillions that we used to spend for that." - Udan Varcar

"Radical feminism in the west is less about womens liberation (and that's fair - women in the west have been largely liberated after all), and more about authoritarian thought policing." - Hirota

"The function of our social services is to discourage sedition." - Premier Bayazid Izmirek, 2005

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The Shrailleeni Empire
Minister
 
Posts: 2755
Founded: Oct 06, 2011
Mother Knows Best State

Postby The Shrailleeni Empire » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:07 pm

Chambers of the Curia, Magus Civitas
Imperium of Arbites Materia


"The Matriarch Empress of Deadora has already been informed of Her Enlightened Majesty's decision," Ambassador Della replied to the Cardinals with a passive expression and tone. The two Cardinals had slightly misunderstood the nature of the decree, but she was pleased to hear that they were interested in a mutual defense pact. Cardinal Roberston's hard stare suggested that he expected a deception, but the truth was in fact far stranger.

"This decree does not represent an agreement between Shrailleen and Deadora, or one between Shrailleen and the Imperium, but rather my government's final warning to Bryn Tegna. Too often in the recent past Deadora has acted in ways unbecoming of an ally, initiating military operations detrimental to Shrailleeni interests without first offering clear and proper communication. The Matriarch Empress has been informed that such adventures as the invasion of Dengali or an invasion of Krutongo, which directly effect Shrailleeni interests, will no longer be tolerated."

The Deadoran invasion of Dengali had been portrayed in much of the regional press as a collusion between the Shrailleeni and Deadoran governments to annex large portions of Dengali between themselves. In truth, the two nations had nearly come to blows over Deadora's attack, which Bryn Tegna had not seen fit to inform Shrailleen of beforehand. In the heat of the moment the Mother Empress had managed to avoid a war, but the incident had hardened her heart to matters Deadoran.

In the time since, Shrailleen had moved to put increasing amounts of pressure on Deadora by demanding better treatment of the Leenic community there, and fostering its development. The Shrailleeni had also insinuated themselves next to the Matriarch Empress, playing on her rivalries with the powerful Nadirii noblewomen in an attempt to directly overhaul the Deadoran government.

"The Deadoran nobility are not pleased with this decree, but the Matriarch Empress has accepted it without threat of hostility," Della continued. "It is understood that Shrailleen and Deadora cannot remain allies so long as Deadora continues to act exclusively in her own interest. If Krutongo is attacked by Deadora without clear evidence of provocation, the definition of which you have already read, the Enlightened Matriarchy will take this as an act of ultimate disrespect and will respond with all necessary force to defeat such an invasion."

In this case, clear provocation amounted to an unmistakable attack by Imperium forces on Deadora or her allies, proven through data acquired by military sensors or satellite. No room was left for vagueness, trickery, or insinuation. The Shrailleeni were well aware of the Imperium's penchant for sneak attacks, but in this case bringing Deadora into line had been deemed more important.

"I wish to make clear that this decree does not necessarily represent a commitment to mutual defense between our nations. If Krutongo is attacked then Shrailleen will respond to defend it, but Her Enlightened Majesty could not, by necessity, guarantee that your government would offer the same response to an invasion of Kurungarra. I was asked to present this decree to you as a gesture of goodwill and proof of Shrailleen's commitment to peace in Acheron."

Now in the amidst of negotiation, Della felt empowered by speaking the Mother Empress's words, and felt a true calm fall over her.

"If Your Excellencies are truly interested in committing to a defense of Kurungarra as Her Enlightened Majesty has to Krutongo, then the combined strength represented by such a mutual defense would not only act as a deterrent to Deadoran aggression against the interests of the Imperium, but would also let the Thralls know that Shrailleen is deadly serious in our position. My government is confident in the ability of the Shrailleeni military elements in Kurungarra to face a Deadoran attack long enough to allow for re-enforcements. With the pledge of Krutongan forces as well, our Matriarchy of War believes that the chances of this increase yet further."

"As we are both so willing," she replied after Long had advanced the agenda, "I agree that this should be done. A formal announcement shall be made when such exactitudes have been concluded."

While in between topics, Della commented only briefly on Acheron.

"The Shrailleeni government is committed to peace in Acheron above all else. Together with our New Edomite allies, we have helped to stabilize many troubled regions, particularly Dengali. We have not forgotten the lessons of the Great War."

Then the topic of the Magi in the empire. The two Cardinals appeared predictably interested, and Della knew that she would have to downplay the importance of the Navaretta and their continued devotion to a foreign religion despite centuries of persecution.

"You are quite correct Your Excellency," she replied to Cardinal Long. "The last Cetian members of the Magi faith fled the final Shrailleeni unification of Sevreen. However, many of the native converts to this religion chose to remain in their ancestral homes rather than leave. Before the Great Enlightenment the Imperial Matriarchy attempted many times to destroy them, but they survived in deep jungles and through the secret practice of their beliefs."

"For the last three hundred years they have been permitted to practice their faith, but they remain suspicious of all outsiders and their long isolation has produced an...unorthodox variant of the original Magi tenants." She struggled to keep calm, but talking about such a formerly taboo subject brought a flush to her dark face.

"They follow local wise men who they refer to as Keepers of the Code, who share the knowledge passed down orally through many generations. There are other eccentricities as well."

Then Cardinal Robertson spoke. His answer was expected, as it was the Imperium's standard line. The facts, though, were that many Shrailleeni had migrated to Old Ceti looking for better opportunities during the 20th century. That the records of them were gone did not necessarily reflect the truth of their continued absence, but the Shrailleeni themselves had no proof that such people had kept their faith or were even still alive.

"That is understandable," she responded to Cardinal Robertson. "The Civil War was a most tragic event, Her Enlightened Majesty was greatly pleased and relieved to see it reach its conclusion. You will remember that Her Enlightened Majesty was one of the first to offer official recognition of the Imperium upon its foundation."

"Her Enlightened Majesty sees no reason that a nation of the Mother Goddess and a nation of Magi cannot act in peace and cooperation. Each of us believes in the siblinghood of human kind, and in working for the betterment of all, is this not so? Her Enlightened Majesty would be greatly pleased to tend to the spiritual needs of any who require it within your lands," she said, making eye contact with Cardinal Long, "just as I am certain that you wish to tend to the needs of the Navaretta. Surely both of our needs can be met in this regard?"
أدرس اللغة العربية وهي لغة جميلة
Mother of One, Mother of All
Ask Me Anything IC
Come to the Mother's Embrace
New Edom wrote:Elizabeth Salt remarked, "It's amazing, isn't it, you rarely see modern troops that wear their 19th century uniforms and gear so well--they must drill all the time. Is this a guards outfit?"

Sif said to her, "This is a modern Shrailleeni Empire military parade. Like as in this is what they wear, this is what they use. This is it."

User avatar
Tericio
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 108
Founded: May 12, 2014
Ex-Nation

Subtle Schism

Postby Tericio » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:35 pm

ignore
Last edited by Tericio on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Estoni: "Tericio is just a happy foreigner in a panama hat and aviators throwing food at us."

User avatar
Arbites
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1629
Founded: Mar 10, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Arbites » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:18 pm

Chambers of the Curia, Magus Civitas
Imperium of Arbites Materia


"Our mutual allies in Fineberg were gravely concerned about Dengali as well. It was with much relief that we received word that a settlement had been reached," Long said. The Imperials knew far more about Dengali than they were letting on. In cooperation with the Edomites, Imperial Templars had in fact infiltrated Deadoran-occupied Dengali, moving cross-country on foot through rough terrain to reestablish contact with anti-Deadoran intelligence sources and monitor Deadoran movements. The Curia had been concerned that the invasion of Dengali might indicate a shift in Deadoran foreign policy which might represent a renewed threat to Krutongo, a concern which at the height of the crisis last year appeared fully vindicated with the announcement of a blockade.

"Well, Ambassador, if the intent is to send a message to Deadora, only a binding, mutual agreement shall suffice. If Krutongo does not reciprocate, it would leave Kurungarra vulnerable, and that would leave Krutongo vulnerable in turn," Robertson said, having looked over the agreement. "Ambassador, I would amend this language to include an agreement that Krutongo shall similarly come to Kurungarra's defense should it come under unambiguous Deadoran attack. Brother, for your Order," he said, turning to Long and handing him the copy of the agreement, who creakily leaned over and took it for a full review.

"I think it would also be prudent, Ambassador, to anticipate a Deadoran response to this," Robertson added, turning back to Della. "You mentioned the ever-restless Nadirii nobility, who are of concern to us as well. For all their criticism of the kingdoms of men, the Deadorans behave similarly to those same feudal kingdoms a thousand years ago, with none of the mechanisms to curtail rebellious nobles short of violence."

"And no civil service to reduce the Matriarch Empress' dependence on those same nobles for administration, either," Long added. "Too independent, too unpredictable, although to be sure the dynasty was rather unlikely in the first place, a union between tribal pagan rivals."

"My thoughts are that we complete a gradual or, if possible, largely covert buildup of forces in both Krutongo and Kurungarra prior to this agreement's public announcement," Robertson said. "I cannot say how many troops or what type of forces off the cuff, but my Order can determine what will constitute an appropriate deterrent and will hopefully be in more regular contact with your government."

"The embassy should be up and running before the process is completed, I should think," Long said, smiling at Della.

"Yes, unorthodoxy developing in isolation," Long mused. "We have dealt with such matters before. It is not always an easy thing, but so long as they still call us Brother, we have a duty to them, just as you have a duty to yours. But if your government shall help us reestablish contact with our Brothers, so shall we help you with your Sisters. We shall conduct an inquiry of our own, starting with those documents which have survived right down to the families. Emperor willing, there must be some reference to your co-religionaries."

"I do feel I should give the Ambassador a realistic assessment, though," Robertson began. "Those Cetans of the Leenic faith, while not hidden deep in the jungles, may be similarly difficult to find. It was the tendency of immigrant families, after all, to assimilate, especially past the first generation. Speak English and Latin, dress as Cetans, marry Cetans..."

"We each face our own challenges, but we shall do so together, Emperor willing," Long said amiably. "Now, Ambassador, was there anything further on matters of state? Or shall we officially move to the next chapter in our nations' history?"
He who stands with me shall be my brother

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The Shrailleeni Empire
Minister
 
Posts: 2755
Founded: Oct 06, 2011
Mother Knows Best State

Postby The Shrailleeni Empire » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:35 pm

Chambers of the Curia, Magus Civitas
Imperium of Arbites Materia


The Shrailleeni woman sat quietly pleased as the mutual agreement was signed. This portion of the agenda had gone quite well, better than Her Enlightened Majesty had hoped. The Imperium's willingness to agree to the mutual defense of Krutongo and Kurungarra had been an unknown factor, but they appeared very willing, almost eager, to do so. Maybe more suspicious minds back in Imperial City would mull over the Curia's decision for a while, attempting to glean what they stood to take advantage of. But that was above Della's pay grade, at least for now.

The Shrailleeni knew much about the Imperium's activities as well. It was no secret that the Inquisition had been responsible for the assassination of Governor Smith in Gloria Regis, although time had played that activity into the hands of the Shrailleeni. Shrailleeni Imperial Strategic Intelligence also suspected the Imperium's activity in Dengali, but had little more than anecdotal evidence. These spy games, and any SISI operations reciprocated, were something for another time.

"Her Enlightened Majesty is intimately aware of the Deadoran situation, Your Excellencies," Della responded to the suggestion. She seemed a bit more relaxed now, though still very formal. "And there are contingencies in effect to neutralize the more troublesome of the nobility before they can become a problem. The Matriarch Empress," she wondered how much information she should reveal here, "has shown an interest in following Her Enlightened Majesty's example in how to control quarreling nobles."

In truth, the Shrailleeni agreed with the assessment of the Cardinals, viewing the Deadorans as troublesome and tribal sisters at best. The Shrailleeni had been carefully insinuating themselves into all levels of Deadora for a decade now. Despite the iron grip of the Deadoran nobility, there were populations in the south of the country who followed more Leenic local customs. These had been sought out and cultivated, although Leenism was still illegal in the country. The young Matriarch Empress had also become a confidant of the Mother Empress, and the Shrailleeni ambassador to Deadora was a common sight in the palace. The Shrailleeni represented an external factor that could be used against the Matriarch Empress's rivals, and they had been happy to play the part. Having the ear of Deadora's ruler, savage as she was, was no small advantage.

The Shrailleeni had also taken to both subtly and not-so-subtly building up forces in Kurungarra already. There was a worry that factions supportive of Deadora within Kurungarra would represent a problem if war were ever to break out between the two matriarchies.

With all of this fresh in her mind, Della continued by saying "however, there is wisdom in your words. It is apparent that we share a philosophy of preparation," she nodded to Robertson. "I will advise Her Enlightened Majesty toward this plan of action. A secretive movement of our assets would be ideal, but may be difficult. Our agreements with the Deadorans include updated information on the movement of our military forces in Kurungarra, it seems logical that they would notice discrepancies quickly. We have hitherto justified increases in stationed forces as responses to threats on the Krutongo border, but that seems less likely to work now that they will be wary of our new relationship."

"If Her Enlightened Majesty agrees," she allowed the hint of a smile returned to Cardinal Long, "then we shall certainly be able to discuss this process in greater detail. The benefits of this restoration."

"I appreciate your honesty, Excellency," the Ambassador spoke again to Robertson. "The truth of the matter shall be made known with time. It has not been so long since some Shrailleeni came to Ceti seeking a better life, there may yet be some of the second generation, or even elders of the first, who still call your lands home. But," she turned again to Long, "we are prepared to help you to contact the Navarettan Magi, and we shall do this to the best of our ability."

She looked at Cardinal Long as he spoke. She wondered much about these elder men, and their Curia. What politics lay outside of her vision? What would the future hold for her, a Shrailleeni woman and the Mother Empress's hand living in the Imperium of Arbites Materia? She could not at this time say.

"I believe that concludes all state business set forth by Her Enlightened Majesty at this time," she replied with genuine warmth, feeling that whatever lay ahead, this meeting at least had been a success. "As you have so well phrased it, let us turn to this next chapter, and may it be a chapter of peace."
أدرس اللغة العربية وهي لغة جميلة
Mother of One, Mother of All
Ask Me Anything IC
Come to the Mother's Embrace
New Edom wrote:Elizabeth Salt remarked, "It's amazing, isn't it, you rarely see modern troops that wear their 19th century uniforms and gear so well--they must drill all the time. Is this a guards outfit?"

Sif said to her, "This is a modern Shrailleeni Empire military parade. Like as in this is what they wear, this is what they use. This is it."

User avatar
Novitera
Diplomat
 
Posts: 904
Founded: Jul 14, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Novitera » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:15 pm

Palatine, State of Welster, Novitera
Kyonakyota Headquarters


Kyonakyota is a large pharmaceutical and biotechnology company headquartered in Palatine, Novitera's third largest city. They produce a wide number of prescription and over the counter drugs to treat common illnesses.

The elevator to the 35th floor opened up. Jeffrey Tabin had been here before and always appreciated the quiet. This was the executive floor containing the offices of the highest officers in the company and it was large company at that. Today he was meeting with Declan Knox, the boss, the CEO. Here he would find out the fate of his career and what the last 21 years he put into the company would amount to.

"Good afternoon. I have a meeting with Mister Knox. Jeffrey Tabin, Vice President of Sales." He said to the middle aged secretary at the front.

She smiled and waved him through. Knox was typing on the computer with the door open when Tabin arrived. He looked at the office. Spacious with a good view of Palatine. There were decorations of diplomas and certificates on the walls along with some family pictures. Stacks of papers littered Knox's desk. "Jeffrey. Have a seat."

Tabin sat down. Knox took a deep breath then put his palms on the desk. "There's no easy way to say this Jeff. The board will not be confirming your appointment to President of Sales. You won't be moving up." He let that sink in and waited for Tabin to speak.

The news was difficult to digest. Tabin adjusted his classes, lightly hit the arm of the chair with his fist then tightened his tie while he ruminated on it. "May I ask why?"

"You didn't quite hit your numbers for sales in your regions so the Directors are punishing us by demanding an outside hire. If it is any consolation, I was with you. I told them it's not your fault. That you've hit your numbers the past three years but they want to make an example." Knox sighed. "I'm sorry Jeff. But that does not mean I did not secure you an opportunity for advancement." He said with a grin. "The company recognizes what you've done for us and we take care of our own. I put your name out there and there's someone who wants to take you out to dinner."



The Evergarden

Despite its name, Evergarden was not a vegetarian restaurant by any means. The owners had found creative ways to fuse different ethnic dishes with Noviteran cuisine. Tabin had ordered a side of Edomite style falafels, a side of onigiri, and some kind of Chacano creamy chicken as the main course. Feeling a bit disenfranchised, he decided to splurge if it was on someone else's dime. The man sitting across from him was about the same age and from what Tabin could tell, very energetic. Willie Yukihira was slim with a shaved head and enjoyed talking to anyone who would listen. Once their food had been ordered, Yukihira began his pitch.

"You know who I am right?" Yukihira asked.

"Your email said you're a Strategic Coordinator for the NNP. That's really all I know." Tabin responded.

"I look for and screen potential candidates to run for state and national elections for the Noviteran National Party. I'm also a campaign manager. " He answered.

"I see." Tabin responded. "So..."

"That's right. I want you to run for a seat on the National Directorate on the National Party ticket. Specifically, the Consumer Protection seat. I'll be your campaign manager." Yukihira interrupted then smiled. "You're good. 21 years in the private sector, great performance record, executive level position and with a big company like Kyonakyota....you're a top tier candidate on paper at least."

"But...I don't know anything about....'consumer protection'. I've spent the last 21 years in sales and coordinating sales initiatives." Tabin responded.

"Who gives a fuck? Doesn't matter." He said while waving a dismissive hand. "You're going to be a politician not an expert witness at a trial. You don't need to know a damn thing. You just need to know how to cut deals. You've been a salesman for 21 years. Plus you do know the technical crap. You gotta know the side effects and risks of the drugs you're selling when you're selling them. There you go. You've got consumer protection in your blood." He set down his glass then spread his hands out. "Look, the game is the same as any other broker, dealer, salesman job. You've got clients. They want certain things. You make sure they get it. You keep the clients happy."

"Clients?" Tabin asked.

"Yeah, you got two. One is Joe Schmoe. This is a democracy so you have to appeal to the people that voted you into power even if you're not running for a second term. If you don't do what they want they blame the Party. If they blame the Party then the Party loses the seat next election. If the Party loses the seat, our backers get pissed. You get shafted when you're out of office. No seven figure salary job waiting for you. The second client is the Party and its corporate backers. Pretty much the same thing. Where's the fucking food?" Yukihira looked around to try to get a waiter's attention but then thought better of it.

He continued on. "Your job is to cut deals so the clients get what they want. Push through the legislation they want. Cut or raise funding in the budgets they want. Whatever. Now, if you win, you'll be the Officer of the Consumer Protection Committee. You'll be overseeing the Consumer Protection Administration. Since you're a National, your job is easy. Our platform is fuck regulations. Fuck them in her fat ass. We're the most capitalist bastards in the most capitalist nation in region. So just block any new proposed regulations as best you can. Defund regulation agencies. Confirm appointments in the civil service only if they're a lackadaisical, listless, don't give a fuck about anything, imbecile. Anything that undermines the national government's ability to tamper with the free market, do it."

Tabin smiled and realized he was starting to like this guy. "Certainly I won't be able to do all that with the opposition I'll be facing."

"True, that's why you have to make deals. Compromises. You won't win it all. Say one of your corporate clients wants to get rid of a line in a new bill being proposed. So you go to several fellow Directors. You figure out what they want in exchange for voting yes on the revised bill. Maybe you offer to ease up on CPA investigations for one of their corporate clients a bit. Maybe you offer to confirm one of their picks as vice deputy of the CPA or whatever. Maybe you tickle their balls for a bit. Whatever you have to do produce results for your clients. You're a broker. Not of goods and services but of government policy, appointments and legislative votes. You already know how to be a broker and a fixer. I've seen your performance record." Yukihira explained.

Their food arrived at that point. They ate and the topic moved away from business to discuss their families and hobbies. Tabin found out that Yukihira liked to play billiards and go hiking trips. When they were finished they both ordered a single malt whiskey. "So what's the process? What would I need to do if I accept? "

"You're looking at a 5 and a half year commitment. The first year is you building your book of business. Your client base. We'll be going out to meet with people. People who control a great deal of money and influence in private sector. CEOs, general managers at the biggest law firms, heads of associations, heads of NGOs, current National Directors and anybody important. Your clients are not just the corporations themselves but the people who work in them. You don't just make friends with the CEO. Get to know the CFO, the board of directors, the Director of R&D, the fucking foreman. Build trust, tell them what you're going to do for them if you get elected, get them on your side and ultimately get them to cut you checks for your campaign rather than some other National Party candidate running for another seat. 6 months of campaigning, 4 years in office. You're 47 now. You'll be 52 when you get out. Still plenty of years left in the private sector at that time." Yukihira explained. "I won't lie to you, it is tough. First you'll be competing for campaign donations with other National Party candidates. Not only at the national level but state too. These companies have to be judicious about where they put their money. They can't put too much into one candidate so you gotta convince them that you've got the biggest dick. Then you'll be competing for votes against the Patriot and Commoner Party's candidates in the actual election."

"Doesn't the Party have money to fund my campaign?"

Yukihira shook his head. "The Party has plenty of money. But we don't use Party funds for an individual candidate's campaigns like the Patriots or Commoners. National Party candidates have to go directly to the source. Just the way we do business."

"What if I don't win?" Asked Tabin.

"I talked to Knox, you'll have your job back at Kyonakyota. Ask him yourself. But we both know you aren't going upwards anytime soon there." Yukihira said with a shrug. "I went around asking the National Party's biggest corporate supporters for recommendations for this seat you know. Bank of Novitera put up their guy. Colonial First put their woman. You're the best. Most electable and best chances to perform once in office."

"What do you get out of this?" Tabin asked wondering.

Yukihira grinned. "I get a nice base salary and an appallingly large commission if my candidate, you, wins." He said then rubbed his fingers together. "It'll fucking rain. I'll be in Valcarlos for a month drinking mojitos and playing grab ass with Chacano senioritaaaaaas!"

"How many appallingly large commissions have you received so far?" Tabin asked squinting his eyes. He had realized that Yukihira was not just trying to recruit him but would also be his partner until he gets into office. This would be critical to his success if he chose to accept. "Getting someone in the Directorate pays more. I've gotten in one as a campaign manager. Miles Bryson, the biggest cokehead in office right now. One as deputy campaign manager. Three state senators as campaign manager."

Tabin stroked his chin. "Now comes the big question. What's in it for me?" He realized that this issue had not been raised so far at all. This was one of the first things he should have asked. Yukihira was good.

He leaned in and said it quietly so Tabin would to pay close attention. "Hundred ten k from the party until the election. Campaign donations must get paid to the Party. They are put aside for your campaign and your campaign alone of course. But get this, the Party kicks you back five percent of all donations. That's five percent in your pocket before the election whether you win or not. Anyone who gets elected raises at least 5 million. You're salesmanship combined with my management, you'll get to 5 million. It's work but I'm confident we can get to 8."

"Wait...I get a commissions on campaign donations I get for MY campaign?" Tabin asked.

"Fuck yeah brother. The Party wants you to win. Winning requires a truckload of cash so they want you to go out there and get as much as you can. See the National Party is different. The Patriot and Commoner Party backers pay into the Party then through their proxies in the party, decide how much money each their candidate gets. That turns into quite the squabble. We don't do that. We make our candidates raise their own money and there's you're incentive." Yukihira had a devious grin on his face. "But all campaign expenditures have to be signed off by me. Full disclosure." Yukihira had a devious grin on his face.

Tabin looked like he was deciding whether he was ok with that arrangement. "I get the money but you get to spend it. Hmmm...our interests are aligned so I can live with that."

"Exactly! I want that vacation in Valcarlos. Hundred fifty k salary from the taxpayers once you're in office. That's standard. Then after that, it's the things you can't really put a price on. Let's just say the corporate clients you serve well in office will remember what you did for them when you get out. But that's really up to you and you're own...conversations with them. I get my commission then I'm done. For you, sky is the limit."

"I was already planning to have a talk with Knox about what Kyonakyota is going to do for me once I get out. But maybe my future after public office is not with Kyonakyota. They did shaft me." Tabin responded then pondered for a moment.

"Sky is the limit my friend!" Yukihira exclaimed.

Tabin laughed. "Alright. I want to meet your team before I make a decision. You've got a crack team right?"

"Absolutely! World class. Analysts, publicity experts, speech writers, the works. I can't wait for you to meet them." Yukihira responded.

User avatar
Neue Regensburg
Envoy
 
Posts: 231
Founded: Jan 19, 2019
Ex-Nation

Inquiry

Postby Neue Regensburg » Fri May 10, 2019 10:30 pm

The College of Electors
Kronstadt, Neue Regensburg


The President of Neue Regensburg presided over the College of Electors: He had his regular business in his office, with a live stream of the proceedings therein. However, he started and ended proceedings and votes from a seat in the main chamber. Today, he would watch over the proceedings directly, since they were about to start a series of hearings into corruption in the the corporation, Gallinium Technologies. Frequently, the corporations of Regensburg had used the civil war as a shield to bribe officials without consequence. This led to an unsustainable system that had warranted a purge of the civil ministries of the government. Gallinium had been an international embarrassment to Neue Regensburg, and now their due had come to answer for the corruption left in their wake.

"All rise."

The entire College rose. "Meister-Kurfürst, Erster-Kurfürst, esteemed members of the College of Electors. Today, we commence the hearings on Gallinium Technologies, as the men responsible for letting this company go to attempt and do business without a proper permit in San Carlo have been arrested. Their testimonies have directly implicated Gallinium Technologies in at least 5 counts of bribery. The shareholders of other corrupt companies have done well to clean house, but Mr. Samuel Saarberg owns 100% of his company. As Gallinium Technologies supplies most of the government's technology, our investigation will begin immediately."

The Erster-Kurfürst now took over, the Volkskur responsible for running legislative hearings, the Bundeskur responsible for delivering the verdict. When applicable, the verdict would go to the High Court for deliberation. "I call to the stand Mr. Johann Strichen, the ringleader of this department of corrupt officials. He has agreed to testify in return for a reduced sentence in jail, dependent on the veracity of this testimony."

"Erster-Kurfürst, thank you for the opportunity to speak. Today, I will speak on the matter of the most importance in our glorious Kingdom. The Gaul, Adam Saarberg, has exploited myself and the men under my supervision, knowing our meager salaries. We were paid 125,000 thalers for the free passage of Gallinium Technologies to San Carlo, without government interference thanks to the permits they were given. This is indicative of the insidious nature of the Gallic people, who instigated the Red Revolt. The Gallic-Capitalist and Gallic-Socialist are in league together in a plot to end the glorious Latin-Germanic culture of our nation! They want to penetrate our women, to enslave our men and corrupt our children in their evil ways. These untermenschen must be removed from our society, no matter the cost! The Nazi Party had it right, WE SHOULD HAVE EXTERMIN-"

The President rose. "STOP! GET THIS FASCIST OUT OF THE CHAMBER NOW!" Two members of the Sovereign Guard CPF (Collegium Protection Forces) picked him up and dragged him out."

The Erster-Kurfürst said, "We will now call this man's subordinates to the stand, we will verify whether he told the truth or was desecrating this chamber of justice for the sole purpose of hatred and unrecht. Ashus Licus, please come to the stand.

"It is an honor, sir. Despite the the racism inherent in the person of Mr. Strichen, and the fact that he overexaggerated the amount of money payed us, we were used to procure safe passage for Gallinium. After being paid 50,000 thalers, we issued the permits without second thought. Many of our families are poor, and we needed the money. We were approached by a man asking for several travel permits. He had only the normal fee for each, but he seemed suspicious, so we turned him away. He tried several times over the next few days, until he finally gave up..." It went on like this for a while, and then the damning piece of evidence came. "Mr. Saarberg then came in. We realized that it was both the disguised man and the CEO immediately. He asked for several travel and business permits without verification of intent, and we gave them to him upon the payment of our bribes. I have the evidence on a flash drive in my apartment, which I removed from the security archives later that night."

The Erster-Kurfürst nodded. "We have the flash drive in evidence. Mr. Brichsen, please play the tape."

A projector went down over the wall, and the surround sound speakers were activated. Saarberg's face appeared on screen. "Hello, I would like to acquire business and travel permits for myself and several members of my company, Gallinium Technologies." Strichen responded, "All due respect, sir, we cannot do that without sending the request up the ladder to verify intent." The man said, "I can compensate you and your department generously for your trouble." Strichen's eyes perked up, "Is that so?" Saarberg produced 5 checks of 50k thalers each. Without another word, the men got to work issuing the permits, and in 1 hour, they were richer and Saarberg was on his way to San Carlo.




Saarberg sat, fuming. If this half-baked intel operation to infiltrate Carlano security hadn't been planned, he wouldn't have suffered the humiliation of a kangaroo court in front of his country and the world. The Erster-Kurfürst spoke. "Does the defendant wish to make his case?" Saarberg was dejected. He could grandstand all he wanted, but he would prefer a 20-year jail sentence for corruption than execution for revealing a classified intelligence operation... treason. "No. I change my plea to guilty." Gareth sat next to him, ready to go down with the ship.




The President spoke now. "Ladies and gentlemen, we now must commence to a vote on two matters. One, does the government sever ties with Gallinium? Two, does the government move to have Mr. Saarberg brought up on corruption charges? Meister, you have the floor.

The Meister-Kurfürst spoke. "Debate is now to commence on item one of the agenda."

Both houses would debate item one, a matter of legislation. After an hour of debate, the time for the vote came. The signs for the separation came from the left, the Solidarists and the Traditionalists in both houses, outvoting the liberals and market minded Christian Democrats.

"Measure to disavow all government contracts with Gallinium passed, 68-32 in the Lower House and 61-32 in the Upper House."

Then, time came for the Bundeskur to vote on the second item. This time, only the most die-hard Liberals raised dissent. The measure passed 80-13.




Der Höhegerichtshof (The High Court of Justice) consisted of 9 members, three appointed by each region and ratified by the College and Executive Council. The Gauls on the court voted to sentence the man. The Latins were split 2-1, and the Germans likewise. With a vote of 7-2, Gallinium Technologies was without a leader, and Regensburg had taken a large step in the first stage of its anti-corruption campaign. That being said, even once all the corruption was eradicated, safeguards would have to be installed to prevent it from happening again. The votes wouldn't be so one-sided when it came to that.
Last edited by Neue Regensburg on Fri May 10, 2019 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Solisian Union
Diplomat
 
Posts: 636
Founded: Apr 22, 2018
Corrupt Dictatorship

Face The Music

Postby Solisian Union » Sat May 18, 2019 8:35 pm

During the night, a car arrived at the residence of the Queen of Solisia. A quiet man who was shorter only by three inches compared to her, he was the representative of the government in Azenyanistan. His name was Arturo Amaro and he was a veteran officer during the old wars of the Empire. On the day of his visit, he was already 48 years old, and he was still strong enough to march over ten kilometers in an hour without any ill effect on his health.

When the Queen received him, he told her: 'Your Majesty, the stability of our great home is decreasing. I have come to beg you for your help and for you to listen to us."

The Queen and he retreated into her study. She closed the door and when she was certain she was alone with Arturo, she told him: 'I am afraid what you say is true, my dear. The stability of the country is, indeed, coming apart. It reminds me of the Republic.'

Arturo waved dismissively at the Queen's mentioning of the Republic. He, after all, had a part in the downfall of that regime of corruption, socialism, and deception.

He told her: 'We will not be like the Republic, Your Majesty, but we must avoid anything that comes close to that,' and then he paused, just so that he could look at his watch. It was getting late. He came late because of the delays at the airport back in Azenyanistan. He sighed and continued to talk to her. He told her: 'Your Majesty, your servants are requesting you to break the backs of the protesters. We cannot allow the deviants to make more trouble. They will bring the Reds back.'

'The Reds,' she told him, just as she took a book off the shelf above her desk and opened it. 'are not going to come back. We will never allow them to. We cannot let them. They are angry and their anger will mean revenge.'

Arturo agreed with her quietly. If he could only get her to start giving more orders to the security forces to—

'But, my dear Secretary, I cannot always fight. There is a time to fight and there is a time to stop fighting. This is, I think, the time not to fight.' she told him. She motioned to him to come close and he obeyed. She showed him a few pages, which he read, just as she continued to speak. 'The fact is that we have put an end to the lives of many of the children of the people. I have received many letters and I cannot bear to read them all again. I feel guilt for the lives that are now gone. I must face the music.' she told him.

Arturo stopped reading and he gave her a horrified look. The queen shook her head at him and told him: 'Do not give me that look, my dear. I know what I must do. I do not mean giving myself up to a mob, but I do mean giving myself an audience.'

She walked across her study and picked up a brown envelope, opened it, took the papers from it, and gave it to Arturo. He read it for a few minutes, from the front to the back, and then he said, with a voice that betrayed his concern for her: 'Your Majesty, you mean to call a summmit? An Imperial Summit? This would be the first summit you'd call! You are not experienced for th—'

"I am not!' she said loudly. Arturo stopped speaking so he could start listening. The Queen gave a harsh sigh as she returned to her seat and rested her chin on her hand as her elbow rested on the top of the desk. She told him, "I may not be, my dear, but I must be diplomatic. I cannot afford to shed more blood. To do so would mean that if a civil war comes, then it would be our fault and the world will see us more darkly than they would see the Reds.'

She thought for a moment of what to say. Then she picked herself up from the seat and told him, 'I cannot bring back the dead children on the streets and I certainly cannot live to see the infants who perished in the hospital after the gas attacks. What I can do is to stop the escalations. The tensions must stop, the violence must stop, and the fear that embraces us now must let go.'

Arturo, disappointed, simply said, 'As Your Majesty declares.'

The Queen noticed this and told him, 'I know you. You want to fight and I know you do this because you want to please me and the people in your homeland. I know. Arturo, I stand by what I said I'll do. It is important not only to me but to the fate of everything and everyone we treasure. Even the Reds know that this is the best thing that I can do.'

Arturo nodded.

Then the Queen said, 'Before you return to Azenyanistan and share what we have discussed with your colleagues and the men above you and the men below you, I want you to make a promise to me that you will not ask your people to make any hostile action first. Defend yourselves if things go too far but do not condemn yourselves by attacking the enemy first.'

Minutes later, after they spoke about other things, especially about their health and their families, Arturo left the residence of the Queen. When his car vanished from her property, the Queen looked for a telephone and used it to call her personal secretary. She told her: 'I want the Prime Minister, the Vice Secretary, and the military chiefs in my residence before this hour passes. I also want to meet with the chiefs of Azenyanistan, Nannasia, the Elizaran Islands, Ashia, and Sayaria — I want them all to come here and wait until my first meeting is over. Later, I want preparations made for a summit as soon as possible. And tell the police — don't even forget the Guardia Civil — tell them that I want to see no more arrests, no more beatings, and no more nonsense. Send invitations to Lady Julieta Arce, the Legacy Group's Chairman, and the UPSA's General Secretary — invite the other parties as well. Do it.'
^_^

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The Shrailleeni Empire
Minister
 
Posts: 2755
Founded: Oct 06, 2011
Mother Knows Best State

Postby The Shrailleeni Empire » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:38 pm

Valley of the Eye, Western Home Island
The Enlightened Matriarchy of the Shrailleeni Empire


As the sun began to rise over the valley, the eye of the Mother Goddess shone down upon the quiet town.

While the slopes to the north and south rose into the gentle, evergreen forested mountains typical of the island highlands, millions of years of wind and rain had carved the eastern peaks of the box canyon into jagged points. At one particular place near the top and center of the crags, these forces had carved a nearly perfect circular hole. And just before the sun rose over those peaks it shone through that hole like a beacon.

The Order of the Eye of the Mother Goddess was founded at the exact place where the light focussed on the valley each morning. At that place the first temple had been constructed in a time before recorded history, a stone circle hewn from the grey rock of the crags. The culture that had built it was no longer distinguishable from the rest of the Railti, having integrated into the Shara'i'leena'i when the tribes had first unified. That was, except for their particular interpretation of the Mother Goddess. The Order of the Eye was therefore one of the oldest sects in all of Mother Goddess Worship, but also one of the smallest.

The original stone circle still existed, although it had been knocked down and rebuilt countless times. However, it now existed at the heart of a large temple complex. The Temple of the Eye sent its spires high into the air above the valley, carved to mirror the eastern peaks. When the sun shone upon it, crystal covering glimmered and glinted in the light. The entire valley was endowed to the temple by the Mother Empress, its people paid no taxes except to the temple and this brought them relative prosperity. Broad, layered rice paddies climbed the slopes, and a herd of kalkos clucked and flocked in a large farm near the entrance. The homes were all fine structures of stone and wood, most covered in modern plaster. A modest downtown of three-story buildings held a variety of shops. This was good, because the Valley of the Eye was one of the empire's most isolated places.

Today was Friday, and in the Temple of the Eye the majority of the town's nine hundred inhabitants gathered for communal prayer. The surralleeni of the temple was the center of the stone circle, around which had been built rows of seating in the style of a stadium. Linked by hands, the people of the valley raised their faces to the high ceiling of the temple and listened to the words of the Priestess.

They were blessed in many ways, not least because their Priestess was one touched by the Goddess Herself. She stood at the center, her bushy, graying hair held up in a tight bun. Her arms and legs were much shorter than in most people, but her hands were raised high as she recited the prayer.

Mother of the Light, may Your eternal eye rest upon our souls.
Be present for us now and in every moment of eternity.
Take our hands and lead us to the Birthing Light within us,
for there shall we find our purpose in life revealed.
Mother, greet us at with the dawn,
embrace us in Your loving countenance and smile gently upon us.
As Your lost children, give us assurance that Your grace is with us always.
All streams spring from the font of your heart.
Your eyes shine as the mother star into our hearts,
and You forever find us worthy of Your love.
In the spirit of this revelation, I offer to reveal myself fully to you,
who is my Divine Feminine being, at all times and in all ways.


Afterward, the crowd dispersed, speaking warmly amongst themselves. The Priestess spoke with some of them, offering personal blessings or advice, and then as the time came went about her duties to the temple.

The Priestess walked the long hall of the temple's upper level slowly, aided by her cane. The doors that she passed contained well-lit rooms filled with beds for the sick and infirm. The temple had long functioned as a place of healing for the town, in fact they were somewhat famous for it. Becoming an ordained Priestess of the order carried with it the weight of a medical degree throughout much of the islands, particularly among those who favored the old ways. Those of her patients who were alert bowed their heads and murmured words of respect as she passed, and she smiled warmly and greeted them all. She took time to stop and speak with more than a few, asking them how they were feeling and leading them in prayer.

Eventually, she made her way to the end of the hall. There was a single door there, which until recently had been a closet for supplies. It was now shut, and outside of it on a chair sat a young acolyte who was quietly reading a book of prayer. She was so engrossed in the book that the priestess, even with the tap of her cane upon the stone floor, was able to startle her with a soft greeting.

"Wisdom in the words, My Child," she said, mirth in her eyes.

The girl started and looked down at the Priestess, eyes flying open and then softening. "Oh! Greetings My Mother. That is, yes, there is."

The Priestess nodded and tapped the door with her cane.

"I am hear to see our special guest. Has there been any change in his condition?"

The acolyte got to her feet, gingerly reaching over the Priestess to open the door. She shook her head, her expression becoming unreadable. "No, he is as he always is."

"I expected as much. Still, we must hope for the best."

The Priestess entered the room. it was small but not cramped, with enough space for a bed and a trunk. Much of the original shelving was still in place, though it was largely empty now. A small glass window which could open sideways a crack was the only source of natural light. The Priestess walked over to the bed, and climbed a step stool which had been placed near its head for this very purpose. There she looked down on their most unusual patient.

He was a man in a terrible condition. Bandages covered most of his body, where burn scars still required some healing. The bed might have been too short for him, if his right leg had not required amputated below the knee and his left above it where they had been crushed. His left hand was likewise missing digits. His face was severely scarred, particularly on the left side, and bandaged as well. His revealed right eye drooped noticeably and made no stir, and his mouth hung open with lolling tongue. She tutted and patted some drool away from his face with a nearby cloth.

The acolyte stood behind her, a look of disgust on her face that she tried piously to hide. She seemed to struggle with something, though the Priestess did not see it, and finally spoke in a timid voice.

"My Mother...I was wondering...that is, I had, uh..."

The Priestess turned around the clucked her tongue.

"Come now, speak clearly My Child. Knowledge cannot be gained with such wasteful use of words."

The acolyte flushed, her dark skin reddening, and then said sheepishly, "I had just heard that he might be..." she fell silent, unable to say the word.

The Priestess sighed. "You are new here, yes My Child? Ayari isn't that so?" The girl nodded. "Well Acolyte Ayari, let not the secrets of mundane politics be secrets between Sisters. You had heard that this man is the former King Lucian of Gavinium Magnus, yes?"

The girl nodded again, her eyes widening.

"Well this is truth."

The girl gasped in spite of herself. "But, why? How? How can we keep such a...such a monster in our midst!"

"Hush now My Child, remember yourself," the Priestess admonished. Then she nodded her herself. "It is time for a lesson. Come, help me to change his bandages."

The Acolyte nodded, and together they began the laborious task. The wrinkled her nose at the foul smell, but the Priestess seemed not to be bothered. Instead, the holy woman began to speak.

"I am sure that the Mother Empress has her own reasons for his being here, for not giving him over to the New Edomites or the courts. Perhaps she thinks it better for the other nations to live in uncertainty. The Goddess demands truth, but at times what keeps us safe lies in murkier waters. Ultimately that will be for the Mother of All to judge. But to bring him here, that is at least the Enlightened Path."

"But," the Acolyte said, placing soiled bandages in a small bucket near the foot of the bed. Her eyes avoided the red, putrid flesh of what had been his groin. "Surely justice demands that he be put to trial?"

"Trial? In this state?" The Priestess chuckled. "I think not. But what is justice? If we sought revenge, I think the foreigners would understand that. Indeed, if we sought the justice of men they would understand this as well. But we are the Children of the Mother Goddess, and we are above such things."

She looked upon him, with an expression like pity on her face.

"He committed many heinous crimes, yes. Killed our Sisters, and many others. But would putting him before a firing squad, or sealing him in a dungeon, correct those wrongs? No. What we seek, My Child, is to bring him to the Enlightened Path. He deserves the chance to put the rest of his life toward a more noble cause. Then, perhaps, he may one day return to the Mother with some good to show from his wretched life, even if it may be slight. And perhaps he might yet know peace."

She turned to the young girl. "You see My Child, we are Shrailleeni. We do not hate our enemies, we forgive them. Indeed, we must love them, for they are the Children of the Mother, just as we are. Our siblings, however lost, and just as loved by our Creator. And that is utterly beyond the understanding of the barbarians."

"Think upon that as you gaze upon this wretched, broken man. And if you feel it within you, perhaps include him in a few of your prayers."
Last edited by The Shrailleeni Empire on Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
أدرس اللغة العربية وهي لغة جميلة
Mother of One, Mother of All
Ask Me Anything IC
Come to the Mother's Embrace
New Edom wrote:Elizabeth Salt remarked, "It's amazing, isn't it, you rarely see modern troops that wear their 19th century uniforms and gear so well--they must drill all the time. Is this a guards outfit?"

Sif said to her, "This is a modern Shrailleeni Empire military parade. Like as in this is what they wear, this is what they use. This is it."

User avatar
Novitera
Diplomat
 
Posts: 904
Founded: Jul 14, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Novitera » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:21 pm

Life Capitalism
Part 1


Avantine, State of Soletrek, Novitera
Binky Town HQ


In one of the Avantine high rises sat the headquarters of Binky Town, a well known company that sold supplies for infants to young children. This included clothing, shoes, bottles, breast pumps, binkies, toys, books, pacifiers, cribs, strollers, baby carriers and other products associated with the raising of young children. The company also operated a subsidiary, 9Wear, a maternity clothing line that often had their own stores in malls. Being adaptable, they had shifted their business model through the rise of e-commerce to offer many of their products online as well. As far as a company, Binky Town was a cash cow. If the human race kept reproducing, Binky Town would have customers.

Cooper Boone's tenure as CEO was only two years in. He was young for a CEO and hoped to stay in his position for at least another decade. The job itself was not a difficult one. All Boone had to do was make sure the ship sailed straight and all would be well. But he was far more ambitious than that which was why he was chosen by the Board to take the reigns. Boone's high minded ideas quickly became bogged down. Expansion was more difficult than he imagined both at home and overseas. He had tried looking at crafting new age products like learning games for tablets. They had hired software developers and writers to make electronic educational games. That market had turned out to be more competitive than he predicted so Binky Town was quickly beaten by the smaller game developers out there. So when that failed, Boone had a few acquired but those were little successes in the end. Nothing that was game changing for the company.

So it was every week that Boone read economics reports to gain inspiration and would spitball ideas on growing the company. One day, sitting at his desk, Boone eyes went wide. Little did he know that one line in a routine economic report written by one of the company's own junior marketing associates would set him on a course to make sweeping changes to Novitera's moral and legal fabric. His eyes went wide and he began to punch in a number on the phone.

"Ricky! Get in here!" He exclaimed.

A few minutes later an bald and bespectacled man arrived. "What's the problem?" Asked Ricky Powers, Binky Town's Chief Marketing Officer.

Boone held up the report in his hand. "Who the hell wrote this? I mean, who is this guy...Ethan Carey?" He said looking at the author of the report.

Powers shook his head in response. "Some junior associate in my department. Economist and statistician. Is it trash? I'll have the guy pack up his desk today."

"No, no. This is...this is interesting. Call him up here." Said Boone.

Another fifteen minutes later a young man, only in his 20s, walked in wearing a suit. He did not seem athletic in the slightest. Boone imagined that Carey who was the type too uncoordinated to play sports. The man seemed anxious and hesitated when Boone told him to sit down. Powers was leaning against the wall looking menacing. It seemed as if Carey was about to get fired then blackballed from the industry.

"You wrote this?" Asked Boone holding up the report.

"Yes Mr. Boone." He responded.

Boone began rifling through the pages and began to quote Carey's writing. "It appears that several factors are hampering growth of the market at home." Boone paused. "You then go on to list them. Elementary observations at best. Then here you write, 'the practice of abortion'. What the hell do you mean by that?"

Carey shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Well...sir...umm....a not insignificant amount of pregnancies across all socioeconomic strata in Novitera. Those are fetuses that will never be. Market share that is lost to us."

For the next 20 minutes Boone had Carey explain the numbers asking pointed questions to make the young man even more anxious. according to Carey, the pregnancies that end up getting aborted in Novitera would happen anyways no matter what the law was. People had wide access to contraceptives and sexual education. But nevertheless, there was plenty carelessness and ignorance to go around. At the end, Boone seemed excited and angry at the same time. He paced around the office a bit pounding his fist repeatedly into his other hand.

"So you're telling me all that cash is getting slurped out of a woman's vag down a tube when it could be going into our company's coffers?" He asked Carey.

The young economist gulped and nodded. "I...I suppose so sir."

"You suppose?"

"I...the numbers check out sir." Carey answered.

"Well fuck that!" Boone shouted.

At that point, Powers entered the conversation for the first time. "Kind of useless to know this though, don't you think? I mean, there's nothing we can do about it." He said with a shrug.

Boone shook his head. "Or is there?"

"What are you going to do? Get the National Directorate to ban abortions? We wouldn't win that fight against the healthcare sector. No chance." Said Powers.

That made Boone sigh. In Novitera, retail was a massive sector but Binky Town was a subsector of that and a small one at best. They would not rally to Binky Town over this. A few moments of quiet came as Boone leaned against his desk to think. "Why should they fight us on it?" Asked Boone. Power looked at him incredulously.

"No think about it. Some slut goes into the clinic and gets the brat in her tummy flushed out of her. One procedure, one sale, one patient. But if he's born...well...that's a fucking lifetime of medical expenses for another person. Checkups, prescriptions, immunizations, injuries, surgeries and geriatrics. That's where the real money is! Abortion procedures are a nickel and dime business compared to that. Little Jimmy has a cold, little Jimmy needs a shot, little Jimmy sprained his ankle...you see? " Boone explained with a devious grin on his face.

"I don't know Coop..." Powers said looking dubious. Although he had to admit it made some sense.

"Well, I'm not hearing you coming up with any good ideas on how to grow this company." Boone said accusingly.

That made Powers hold out his hands. "We got some new products in the pipeline. Opening stores overseas..."

Boone waved a hand dismissively. "Chump change! The market is here. Novitera! Where even the poor have money to spend on bottles and breast pumps. Fucking disgusting by the way. I remember having to watch my wife pump her tits. Right in our fucking kitchen. Ewww!" He pointed at Carey. "You!" That made Carey jump in his seat. "I need you to put together projections for the healthcare industry if abortion is made illegal and make a report. I need some hard numbers to convince them to get behind me in politics. Go!"

"Umm...yes sir. I'll get started on that right away." Said Carey then marched out of the room.

"I also need to know who else will fight us on this so we can outmaneuver them. Ricky, who's our best proxy in the Directorate?" Asked Boone.

"Director Wade Setsuko I believe." Answer Powers.

"That fucking drug addict?" Boone asked.




All his high hopes ground to a quick halt. Boone had Binky Town's Chief Political Officer meat with the CPOs of some large healthcare firms to present their numbers and get them behind Binky Town. When Boone met with Director Setsuko a few weeks later, he received bad news. They met in Boone's office.

"They'd rather have the bird in hand." Setsuko explained.

"Bird in the hand? I don't pay you to tell me Han parables. Speak some fucking sense!" Boone replied indignantly.

"Mr. Boone..." Setsuko started and chose his words carefully. "The healthcare bosses ran their own projections and decided its inconclusive."

"Inconclusive?! Inconclusive my ass. It's common fucking sense almost! Think of all the business from two people instead of one!" Boone replied sharply.

Setsuko made a pleading gesture with his hand. "Nevertheless, they think its inconclusive. They'll fight you on this. Maybe I can get them to come around. We'll bring in some third party econ consultants..."

"No vison!" Boone exclaimed and slammed a fist down on the table. "And they call themselves capitalists. Narrow minded and myopic! No guts! No vision!" He pointed out the window. "Can't they see that every snot nosed brat out there is a walking...or...crawling money bag?"

"I'll see what I can do but Mr. Boone, this is big. We don't really have any polling stats on the public position on abortion but there's definitely going to be backlash. There's not even any strong public movement one way or the other. For the Directorate to focus on this would be...out of nowhere. Any Director would be wary about voting for this!" Said Setsuko trying to talk some sense into Boone.

The CEO of Binky Town was not dissuaded. "Cowards then! I'll figure out another way."
Last edited by Novitera on Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 23241
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby New Edom » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:50 pm

Durkland

Mirroring the Edomite Christmas tradition, the Noviterans of Durkland decided to latch on to the festivity if only to celebrate the victory in the air. It was a lucky thing that the Edomite religious holiday involved the eating of fish as the Noviterans were self-proclaimed masters of seafood cuisine. Fresh fish had been flown in. The request had been put out by the Defense Department and it was paid for by wealthy philanthropists like Thomas Glass, the Ishukoni and Wiyrkomi Foundations, Rafe Beverage Company and other individual Noviteran magnates of commerce and technology. They also paid sushi chefs who went for the money and because this would be good publicity for them. Stands were erected where both Edomite and Noviteran were invited to receive a traditional Noviteran sushi dish. There was both nigiri and rolls available that was served with soy sauce, authentic wasabi and shredded pickled ginger. Hermengild and Hagar themselves were hand delivered pricey blowfish nigiri, a delicacy, unagi lathered in special sauce for the dish, along with other assorted sushi to enjoy.

General Count Dorian Hermengild received the blowfish nigiri with the solemnity appropriate to a regional commander and count at Christmas, the way he received the tribute of venison heart from the table of High Prince Findi Lamat, and privately thought it was equally strange and disgusting. He was a good actor, however, and ate it with every appearance of appreciation. He hoped it would not happen too often.

Hagar was also very courteous, though he did remark to Hermengild privately, “Raw fish? I don’t understand. I could as easily send for some fisherman and just slice into a cat-fish’s belly.”

Hermengild had replied, “It is a curious custom. I do not pretend to understand it, nor need we. My greater concern is that it can be poisonous. Confess your sins to God, and be ready to have made the final sacrifice for your country.”

“What!” had exclaimed Captain Hagar, outraged. To die for his country in battle, say, in a missile strike, was one thing, but from a fish?

In line at one of the makeshift stands, O'Neil was standing with his arms crossed waiting for his turn to receive some sushi. Behind, sushi chefs were preparing fish, carefully slicing them into the right cuts and rolling the rice and seaweed into them using a bamboo roller. An under-chef would slice the rolls into pieces and distribute them into different dishes. Only the finest knives were used to cut the fish that were specially made for sushi and sharpened with both coarse then fine grain whetstones by the chef's themselves. These were long and thin knives, elegantly made and designed to cut the fish in one stroke with minimal pressure as to prevent cell destruction. For some chefs, such knives would be family heirlooms and those chef's without them always tried to pick up an antique if they could. Blades tended to have the year it was made etched into it and came with a certificate of authentication when sold so older knives were considered to bring prestige to the chef that owned it. The older the knife, the more expensive it was reaching into the thousands of dollars when sold at antiques auctions. Everyone would get an assortment of rolls along with an allotted two nigiri pieces of their choice. Nigiri choices included salmon, yellowtail, sea urchin, scallop, mackerel, tuna, squid, eel (which went quickly), and salmon roe. The chef would them serve it up on a disposable platter.

The Edomites watching were impressed with the artistry of it, though it seemed abstemious and tiny in result.

"Come on...come on..." O'Neil said impatiently.

"It is an art O'Neil. Art cannot be rushed." One of his squad mates replied.

He grumbled in response. "That's why I usually get store bought."

Rafe Beverage Company also elevated their own promotions during this event throughout the entire nations of New Edom and Chaco. Advertisements were played in those countries of the company making a formal statement in support of Edomite or Chacano servicemen and wishing the country a Merry Christmas. There were even handouts of free sodas in the Plaza de Armas of Yanque and in Finebergin the days before Christmas with promotional representatives on megaphones (if it be allowed) declaring the company's support and holiday greetings. At Durkland, many more promotional materials like apparel and stickers along with beverages were handed out as well. Notes would be attached to drinks saying...

Rafe Beverage Company wishes you a Merry Christmas. Long live the Allies of Virtue!


One thing the Edomites loved was Rafe Cola. Not long after realizing that there was a constant supply, they couldn’t get enough of it, and it was causing headaches for supply sergeants and other superiors, for the base personnel complained when they did not have it. “Mint tea again? Why can we not have Rafe?” Or “Fizzy Lemon! It is simply not as good as Lemon Sunrise! That is delicious! We frown upon Fizzy Lemon!”

The Ministry of Police official, Lieutenant-Colonel David Hassena, sipped his Rafe Classic with his supper, commenting jovially to those who would listen about the eccentricity of the sushi meal, but pined for Sarah Wendt, who was professional and courteous to him, but in spite of a Christmas box of nougats with pistachios had just thanked him politely and demurred at sitting next to him in chapel. He imagined that her reputation was a set of foul lives, that she was a virtuous woman at heart and that others envied her because she was an intelligent woman. He imagined seeing her through difficult times, and love blooming like a rose between them. He was spellbound by the movements of her mouth, her big big blues, her sweet profile, and wanted to protect her. But sitting across the table from him, she might as well have been on another continent. And she often seemed distracted. She was sitting between Lieutenant-Colonel Magdiel and Rear-Admiral Lysias Dimon, and seemed to be often glancing at one or the other, murmuring quietly and modestly.

Magdiel was studiously ignoring Wendt, whom he thought of as common, being as he was a Halberdier Guards officer. He hated the food, thought that was common and some kind of Noviteran trick….imagine serving raw fish and seaweed and rice to people of quality...and doing his best to be polite for the sake of his commander.

Meanwhile, Admiral Dimon had put his hand on Wendt’s thigh under the table. He had been doing this sort of thing before that week. She let him, but tried to move his hand when it got too close to the hem of her skirt. As they were talking about the music and about Christmas, thigh. He moved his hands in circles over her thighs, moving closer to her crotch. When he grazed her crotch over her dress, Wendt jumped, and started to get up. "Excuse me," she said, "I need to go to the washroom."

“My wife is like that,” said the Admiral to the remaining folk at the table. “Bladder like a walnut.” There was some laughter at this, though Magdiel laughed as though his amusement was mixed with vinegar.

Hassena recoiled inwardly, both repelled and yet fascinated at the thought of Wendt at such an...indelicate...activity. The thought of her embarrassed and in personal need, so earthy and so soldierly yet so unfitting of so delicate a female haunted him. If only she would receive his love! Then he noticed the Admiral watching him with shrewd eyes and blushed; did the old man know his thoughts…?
Last edited by New Edom on Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

User avatar
Novitera
Diplomat
 
Posts: 904
Founded: Jul 14, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Novitera » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:13 pm

Directorate Center

Instead of a conference room, Thomas Glass decided to make the meeting more relaxed. He chose the lounge of the Directorate Center that was an arrangement of sofas, coffee tables and big screen TVs on the walls along with photographs of Noviteran scenery.

He was already sitting with his aide, Kenkichi and several other Directors and officials. Among them were Director Wade Setsuko, Director Harvey Gentry, Director Tianna Nikko.

An aide showed in their guests which were a group of older individuals dressed in suits. These were the CEOs of the Big 5, euphemism for Novitera’s five largest banking houses holding custody over the lion’s share of its wealth. First through the door was Ellis Brockett, CEO of Civic Bank of Avantine or just Civic. This was the largest and oldest of Novitera’s banks. Ellis, a bald man in his mid-60s, demanded a sort of respect from the other banking houses that was not entirely warranted. He took opportunities like this to one up them in things like walking in first. Ralph Hicks of Takeshi-Gallagher Bank came next. The tech bank of Novitera and bankers for Lai Dai. Thomas Glass knew him very well on a personal level so the two exchanged a knowing glance. Hicks although close to Ellis’s age liked to be more hip and wear colorful ties. Sentia Cathallain of Bank of Novitera was next. A shorter and now plump woman in her old age. She was Edomite born but raised in Novitera starting at a young age. Known for taking the time to read at least one chapter of the Bible a day and better known for having predicted the Crash of 97, making her small hedge fund at the time an enormous pile of money. Karsen Ieyasu represented Freeholders Capital Union which grew out of Novitera’s agriculture, mining and railroad industry. The bank was the strongest financial backer of Novitera’s War of Independence giving them perhaps the most illustrious legacy of them all. Jared Booker was the last who led Wallstryn Bank, the smallest of them all and least present beyond Novitera’s borders. Wallstryn tended to cater to wealthier clientele and liked the image that gave them. They also were more drawn to the luxury, real estate and entertainment business.

As soon as they entered the government officials stood. Everyone exchanged handshakes pleasantly until Glass invited them to sit. Every Director referred to the people before them as “Sir” or “Madam”, even Glass.

“Thank you for coming.” Glass said as they got seated. Coffee and green tea was served. When they were finally settled he began to speak again. “Let’s get right down to it, shall we? You’re all cash poor. Bought up too many government issued bonds from the Allied powers.”

“Someone had to finance the war. North’s tax benefits on the interest of these bonds made it attractive.” Ellis Brocket of Civic stated.

“I thought we were doing our patriotic duty.” Sentia added and slowly took a sip of her tea.

“Patriotic duty? I did notice that Bank of Novitera is holding a larger fraction of Edomite bonds than all of us. Wise investment decision on behalf of your shareholders or a bit of favoritism for your mother’s country? Hard to tell.” Ellis asked accusingly.

“Check BofN’s earnings for last quarter then. Follow my lead Ellis. You might make some real money.” She replied.

One of Ellis’s hands clenched into a fist. Ralph Hicks of Takeshi-Gallagher played with his orange tie. “Tom, what are we to do? Huh? We are at war. Bankrolling other countries, especially CTO countries and using our money to shape the geopolitical landscape in our favor is just part of our business. Good business.”

“We’re the largest capital market in the region. There’s nobody to sell the debt we hold to. Not in any significant amount. They sell it to us.” Karsen added to that.

Glass held up his hands to stop them. “I understand that billions of dollars had to be poured into the Allied powers for the war. There was no avoiding that. I think you all made the right...”

“We’ll decide whether we made the right choice. Do not patronize us Tom. We own you.” Jared Booker of Wallstryn interrupted him.

Glass put his hands on his knees and looked at Jared inquisitively. He smiled. “Jared, do you think that just because I’m government that I’m somehow a fucking bench warmer now? That I’ve left the court to hand out towels and water bottles? I go public, say I don't like banking with Wallstryn for whatever reason and you lose thousands of clients. If I may flatter myself, I was the CEO of Lai Dai. Have you heard of it? I don't have corporate clients I serve like everyone else in the Directorate. I have partners and more money than I'll ever need. So fuck you, listen to what I have to say. You might learn something.”

Jared had no idea just how much influence Glass had now as result of stepping down from Lai Dai yet gaining the Prime Directorship. He scowled then crossed his arms. That made Setsuko giggle. Jared glanced at him threateningly to which Setsuko responded by clearing his throat and looking away sheepishly. “Now, where was I? Shortage of credit. Yes. That leaves us with a shortage of credit for business expansions here at home. We need to find a way to unload these bonds.”

“Sell it to the buy-side firms. Private equity. Hedge funds.” Director Harvey Gentry suggested.

“We’ve sold them all they’re willing to buy.” Karsen Ieyasu of FCU responded. “The returns aren’t good enough and debt securities aren’t traditionally a large portion of their portfolios anyways. Even if they were willing to hold 90% government issued fixed fucking income, it’d still be not enough. I mean, we’ll be able to unload a good amount to the Adirans but again, not enough.”

“Sadayori has the most money. I’ve been in talks with them. They’re stowing away their cash to fund the pipeline and optic fiber cable if I can get Fineberg and New Jerusalem on board.” Glass said, referring to the private equity firm that was funding most of Novitera’s share of the financial burden for the Trans-Acheron rail project at the moment.

“Pressure them to pay it back sooner. Oil fields in Kehrahn now under Edomite control. Then the wealth of Arcologia. Who knows how much resources are there yet undiscovered. Chaco controls Solisia now too.” Ellis stated.

Sentia snorted. “Oh, Solisia! Land of diamonds and furs.” She said sarcastically.

“Right! Let’s offer to forgive the debt in exchange for that.” Ralph Hicks added.

Ellis grumbled something under his breath.

“Let us not be silly. We have a problem to solve here. Real solutions or keep quiet please.” Karsen asked politely.

Glass held up a hand. “Arco and everything else is potential. Great potential. But not making the big bucks yet. It’ll take time. And it’s unwise to pressure our Allies to pay up sooner. Especially if they’re bearing a far larger cost in human lives. But you have something of value. Those bonds are valuable aren’t they?” He looked to Tianna Nikko.

“I’d say so.” She said in her high pitched voice then sat up. Tianna Nikko, Director of Securities and Commodities, was a petite woman and younger than the rest of them. “Mr. Brockett is correct in a sense. There’s little doubt that the governments that issued the debt will not default. New territories in Arcologia. The Kehrahni oil fields. Chaco and New Edom’s credit is solid. The rest of the debt comes from our own government. We’re in a strong position too. That is if we keep up with growth rate targets which we may not be able to do if credit is in short supply.”

“We have no oil, no great territorial conquests, not enough natural resources to sustain our economic growth demands. All we have are things that come from here...” He pointed at his head. “...and this requires capital to take out of the mind and make reality.” Glass paused to let them think on that. “But that’s the point I wanted to get at. You have something valuable. If you can’t sell it well...then you’re no merchant. You’re a sucker.”

“Oh fuck off with that!” Jared replied with hostility. “We can’t sell it because no market has the money to buy up that much debt except us.”

“That is so. We are the market. What should we do? Trade the bonds around with each other like hot potato as we did in 97 with corporate debt? We all know how that ended.” Karsen Ieyasu added.

Setsuko sat up. “Excuse me. Sirs, Madams, why not chop it up? Sell it in pieces and sell it to everyone. There has to be a way. Sell it like a stock?” He said. Everyone looked at him.

Glass pointed at him then stood up. He walked around tapping his finger to his lips. “He’s on to something here. We’re thinking too much B2B and B2G. We’re ignoring B2C where the real money is. An alternative to savings accounts.”

“What?” Asked Ralph Hicks, intrigued.

“People have savings accounts. They make what, 12 basis points if they’re lucky. Chump change. But they have it there because it’s safe and easy to access. Package the bonds into an ETF, a tradable derivative security. Four kinds. Noviteran, Edomite, Chacano and mixed. Sell it on the stock exchange. Using trading apps and fractional trading anybody with a phone in Cornellia can buy in for even less than a dollar. Even if they’re just buying a tiny fraction of a share. That adds up. Also allow them to move their money from savings into these ETFs on your online banking platforms.” Glass pitched to them.

There was a long silence. Ralph nodded. “Gotta admit, it’s not a bad idea.”

“You and Tom are in bed together. Lai Dai has banked with Takeshi since before its IPO.” Ellis said.

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea either.” Jared added. “I mean, we can also add these ETFs to our own proprietary funds for our wealth management divisions.”

Sentia smiled. “And we take a little off the top for our management fee. 25 basis points a year. That’s cheap and will earn us a tidy profit.” She said.

That made everyone nod. Glass was still standing. He held up his hands again. “Wait, wait, wait. You are all bankers. Bankers are great. But frankly, you’re shit salesmen because you don’t need to be. Everybody with a penny needs a banker.” They did not seem to appreciate the joke. “Sell it. Patriotism ETFs. Name it something marketable. Support your country. Help fund the war. Invest as little as...whatever...today. Middle class people all over Cornellia are parking cash anyways. Might as well do it patriotically. I mean really fucking sell it like you were selling a phone or a car.”

Tianna held up a finger. “Umm...one problem.” She said shyly. “Taking money out of the stock market and putting it in your bank account usually takes at least 3 business days. All trading apps make you hold the funds with them for at least 2 days after a sell trade as they settle the account and...and…”

“1 day. Guarantee the sale. Just for these securities. Guarantee the sale to the brokerages who run the applications. But get it down to 1 day and that’s how you’ll get people to see it as an alternative to savings instead of some investment they should be holding for decades. Trade, 12 hours to settle, another 12 to transfer. 24 business hours. That’s all it should take to move your money from the stock market to your checking account.” Glass proposed.

“A little costly for us to move money that fast.” Jared said dubiously.

“But consumers won’t want to.” Director Harvey Gentry chimed in. “They’ll want to draw from their savings accounts first because they’re generating better returns on these Bond Funds. And how often do people liquidate their investments anyways?”

“This is good Tom. I think we can swing this. BofN can bring this to market in...3 months I bet.” Sentia said confidently. It seemed that she was convinced.

“Ha!” Ralph exclaimed. “I can do it in 2 and half. Watch. Takeshi will be first to market.”

“First to market is not best to market.” Ellis said threateningly.

“Sure pays to be first though. Isn’t that right Tom?” Asked Ralph.

That Glass smile. “Every product I’ve put to market was first and still is, the best. Do both. It’ll make you richer. Trust me.”

Ralph laughed. Ellis and Jared did not seem to like Glass’s boasting but kept quiet.
Last edited by Novitera on Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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