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Tears for Zamimbia (Western Atlantic Only)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Zamimbia
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Founded: Nov 11, 2011
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Tears for Zamimbia (Western Atlantic Only)

Postby Zamimbia » Fri May 11, 2018 9:55 am

New Hope, Zamimbia

Some countries seem to exist in a world where every obstacle is surmountable, and every challenge merely provides the stage for men and women of skill and virtue to demonstrate their determination. A world where the arc of history bends towards justice. Other countries seem to exist in a parallel dimension where every success ends in failure, and every virtuous man and woman falls to corruption. A world where the arc of history bends towards chaos. Zamimbia is one of those countries where good intentions seem to come to naught.

Brigadier General Joseph Duna, who arrested the would-be dictator Field Marshall Mabuza and resigned his commission to serve as Provisional President of the National Unity Council, was supposed to be Zamimbia’s Becka Harrison. He was supposed to lead the nation back to democracy and progress, as Harrison had in Upper Virginia. However, Becka Harrison only had to deal with one insurgency, not multiple ethnic separatists. It was not only the Boers in the Southwest Province pining for union with Southern Epheron who resisted Duna’s central government. The Muslim Hansa harbored deeply-held suspicions of the Christian Jariahans, Nalu and Buta. The Buta, in turn, always suspected that the coastal elites - mostly Jariahans and Nalu - were enriching themselves at the expense of the interior. For their part, the Nalu still considered the Jariahans - whose ancestors came from Ajuba - foreign occupiers, as alien in their eyes as Boers.

Becka Harrison also had the advantage of remaking a wealthy, developed nation. Zamimbia was neither. Of course, the Great Powers had been full of promises when the National Unity Council was inaugurated - new ports, new rail links, investment, schools - everything the nation would need to successful. It must be said that not one of them reneged on their commitments, but their commitments proved to be inadequate to the task, and not one of them had the appetite to offer more.

So, Provisional President Joseph Duna found himself the leader of a country intent on dissolving itself ino ethnic enclaves, where few trusted their neighbors. A country mired in poverty with an infrastructure that was just close enough to being sufficient to be both an obstacle to development and a source of frustration. A country than increasingly saw him not as its saviour, but as just one more ineffective leader in a long line of the incompetent and corrupt.

* * *

Presidential Palace, New Hope

Provisional President Joseph Duna frowned. “What is this?” He threw the neatly bound report on the table and stood, drawing shocked looks from his cabinet.

“Sir,” the Minister of Education said pleadingly, “it is the best we can do with the resources at hand…”

Duna bit his lower lip in anger. “Then, you need to better, Abarran! Or do I need to find a new Minister…”

Abarran Mbala stood. “I am one of the few Butus on this committee! If you dismiss me…”

“Calm down, Abarran,” the Minister of Water Resources said softly, “the President is venting…”

“Provisional President,” Mbala sneered.

“Yes,” Duna said, turning angrily, “Provisional because you and your colleagues can’t do the jobs that we were charged to do to make this country ready for democracy!” Duna slammed a fist on the table. “You’ve all failed!” He sat down and slumped in his chair. “I have failed.”

Mbala’s face turned from anger to sadness as he, too, slipped back into his seat. “No, Joseph, you have not failed. You… we… all of us have done our best.”

Duna nodded. “Your people suffer the most from the lack of education,” he said. Mbala nodded sadly.

Duna took in a deep breath. “Then, we take the resources we need to help them.”

The Provisional President was met with questioning looks. “We close half the schools in Southwest Province. They are already over provisioned. Many of their schools are two-thirds or half-full with computers collecting dust, while Butu children sit under trees and share slates. We close those schools. Move what can be moved to the interior… including the teachers.”

Mbala’s mouth dropped open. “There will be opposition…”

“That will be too bad for them,” Duna said flatly.

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Uncle Noel
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Uncle Noel » Sun May 13, 2018 8:30 am

Ahuatzi Quequexquia shuffled the paperwork on his desk and read through the morning’s reports. The Anahuacan Ambassador to Zamimbia, “Our Man in New Hope” did not have an especially taxing job. Few of his fellow citizens chose to visit the country, and those that did were often part of wider international aid efforts that required little in the way of involvement from the Fiefdom’s diplomatic services. As such the Ambassador’s chief occupation was writing reports to those back home on the declining situation that would never be read or speaking to those media outlets keen to report on foreign calamities.

What Quequexquia could not know, being so far from the centres of power, was that a quiet revolution was taking place at the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, prompted by and acting in the slipstream of the recent return to the international scene of the Holy Empire of Excalbia. Resources were now being spent for the first time in years on the various remnants of Anahuac’s diplomatic missions, old friendships were being renewed, new relationships founded. It was widely rumoured in Itztlan that the venerable People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs was shortly to retire, whether he wanted to or not, so that a more dynamic person could be assigned to this increasingly important role. None of this was known to Quequexquia; not yet, but it would be soon enough.

The room was hot and stuffy as the single ceiling fan circulated the warm air rather than cooled it. There was no point opening a window, however, for even across the distance of the scorched lawns the incessant noise of New Hope made any attempt to work impossible. Quequexquia pulled at his shirt collar, still bound by a tie as standards had to be maintained, as Lenin, Engels and Marx regarded him contemptuously from their portraits above his desk.

The Ambassador attempted to read the report again when his telephone rang. This was not a common occurrence. “Hello?” he asked the old-fashioned bakelite receiver.

“Quequexquia,” asked a gruff Ostgoten voice, “This is Gainas.”

The Ambassador thought for a moment. “Gainas? I can’t say I’ve heard of that before, what sort of a publication are you?”

The voice on the other end of the telephone sounded confused. “Publication?” it asked.

“Yes,” replied the Ambassador, “I take it you’re calling for a brief verbal digest of the current situation here in Zamimbia, but obviously it really depends on whether you’re one of those weekly journals that looks at politics in depth or whether you’re one of those lifestyle magazines that just wants a general overview.”

The silence of the telephone was deafening. “This is the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs,” said Tulga Gainas.

Quequexquia dropped the receiver which clattered onto the desk. “Oh by the gods,” he muttered as he retrieved it, “Oh I’m so sorry Comrade I..I didn’t realise.”

“Have you been drinking?” asked Gainas.

“No no Comrade, it’s only ten in the morning here, I swear I haven’t touched a drop.”

The People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs did not sound impressed.

“How, er, how is it that I can be of assistance?” stammered the Ambassador.

“Humph,” grunted Gainas, “The Central Committee is taking a more active interest in Zamimbia, this recent development about the teachers…”

“Oh don’t worry about that Comrade, there’s a harebrained scheme like that every other week, I’m sure nothing will come of it, I…” The Ambassador’s further thoughts on the subject were spoken over.

“Be quiet,” said Gainas in a level-voice that was more frightening than if he’d shouted, “You are to monitor it closely and report back to me in the next few days.”

“Of course Comrade.”

“If you can stay off the Amarula for that long.”

“But comrade..” began Quequexquia but it was too late, for his response was simply a dial tone.
Last edited by Uncle Noel on Sun May 13, 2018 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Snefaldia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Snefaldia » Sun May 13, 2018 11:27 am

The Snefaldian presence in Epheron had never really decreased in aftermath of the crisis; the Ren Dirh Chancellery had appointed a minister to help build relationships in the region and strengthen Snefaldia's hand in the area, but the instability of his government, later disinterest from the Woelmey Chancellery, and then the Hantili coup had left a very large question mark next to the Epheron policy.

The new government had rectified that in the last year, reviving the position of State Minister for Epheron and appointing Hartappa Aššuaswa, a hard-nosed administrator and former army general to the post. Since then, the Minister had made nearly two dozen trips back and forth between South Epheron, Zamimbia, and the other key states in Epheron, ostensibly to show the Snefaldian commitment to peace and security, but also to build essential economic, cultural, and political links to Sargedain.

From the steps of the Snefaldian embassy in New Hope, Minister Aššuaswa was flanked by Ambassador Barsalnuna, United Front Commission Deputy John Shendy-Mauriyas, and Loremaster Bode Ajunwa, the representative of Aatem Nal to the Zamimbian community. Aššuaswa, a thick-necked man in his late 50s with close-cropped grey hair and grey suit, was just wrapping up the initial niceties of his speech to the news crews and was getting to the meat of the press conference.

"...and that is why Snefaldia has undertaken to become an even better partner in Epheron, and especially in Zamimbia. Today, I have the pleasure to announce, for the first time, the "Continental Common Destiny Initiative," or CCDI, on behalf of the Snefaldian government. Starting with Zamimbia, and eventually extending to other parts of Epheron, Kartlis, Kasakia, and beyond, Snefaldia will invest in the future. Through the Common Destiny Initiative, we will provide funding for new infrastructure developments, work to strengthen banking and finance systems, aid in the construction and development of new industry, ports, railroads, highways, and other projects essential to building a prosperous future, and perhaps most importantly, bring to bear the great Snefaldian love and passion for education, an ancient and integral part of our culture and history, on improving the educational futures and outcomes of children and adults everywhere."

He paused for heavy applause, mostly generated by overseas Snefaldians and a scattering of ethnic Zamimbians listening to the speech.

"As we begin this great work, to which my government will provide guaranteed loans, construction expertise, and technological knowhow, I commit on behalf of the Snefaldian people the funds to construct, furnish, and staff at least twenty-three new primary and secondary schools here in Zamimbia, and provide funding for university training in the STEM fields for Zamimbians here in their homeland or abroad in Snefaldia. I am gratified to have received the valuable input and advice of so many members of Zamimbian society on these programs; that is why I am standing today besides Mr. Bode Ajunwa, who deserves congratulations on his new title of Loremaster of Aatem Nal, who will serve his homeland of Zamimbia as official representative of the Faith here, and work as a liaison with existing institutions to promote education. I am also indebted to the work done by Mr. Shendy-Mauriyas, a 9th generation descendant of Taxilhan traders, in his work on the United Front, promoting peace and stability in Zamimbia. I also bring to you the well-wishes of Snefaldia's Supreme Council, and I speak today for them and all the people of Snefaldia in frienship: today, we take the first steps into a bright future, together. Thank you."
Welcome to Snefaldia!
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Zamimbia
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Postby Zamimbia » Tue May 15, 2018 7:54 pm

Winburg, South-West Epheron, Zamimbia

“You can’t close our school,” Arnoux Molen shouted angrily. He pushed against the police barricade shaking his fist in the face of the Nalu officer behind the plastic shield.

“Our children need that school,” Caaren Visser pleaded, pulling at the arm of the Jahrian Ministry of Education official overseeing the removal of equipment from the Winburg Elementary School.

“There’s another school just 20 minutes away. On good roads,” Sunday Ayewole assured Visser. “And you have the buses to make the trip. In the villages where this equipment is going children walk for hours and have nothing save for slates.” He tried to pry the woman’s hands from his arms.

“Keep your dirty hands off her,” Eon Visser shouted as he reached for Ayewole. The Ministry official pulled away to dodge Visser, and his wife fell to the ground. “You’ll pay for that!” Visser balled up his fists and charged.

As the officer holding off Molen turned towards the new commotion, Molen reached out and knocked the officer down. Several people in the crowd cheered and rushed the gap in police lines created by the fallen officer. Someone pulled out a piece of metal and waved it threateningly. One officer shouted, “Gun!”

Ayewole stumbled, backing away from the growing chaos and tripped, falling down and pulling Visser down with him. Unfortunately, the fall coincided with the shout of “gun” and both sides began to shout that someone had been shot. The white demonstrators cried with rage and charged at the police, who began to open fire.

Ayewole crawled away shouting, “Stop shooting your fools! For the love of God stop!” But by then several Boers had produced their own rifles. No-one could hear the Ministry official.
Last edited by Zamimbia on Tue May 15, 2018 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Uncle Noel
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Uncle Noel » Thu May 17, 2018 9:25 am

Anahuacan Embassy, New Hope

The ceiling fan spun lazily as Quequexquia continued his telephone conversation with the consul closest to Winburg. “A protest you say? Goodness me.” The room was silent save for a ticking clock and the sound of the consul’s voice through the receiver. “A physical altercation? Gracious..” continued the Ambassador, “And shots fired, goodness gracious, I never thought they would be so intemperate as to attempt it.” There was another pause as he listened to the consul. “I see, well thank you very much for letting me know Leander and do please thank your wife for the charming cakes she sent through, we were very appreciative of them here.” Another pause. “No no, it was entirely unrelated I can assure you, I think we traced it back to contaminated soda water, but no, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.”

Outside the noise of New Hope could still be heard.

“Well thank you for calling me, I shall certainly pass on your regards to the bridge club. Goodbye Leander.” The Ambassador leaned across and replaced the receiver. He shuddered briefly at having been reminded of the recent lavatorial unpleasantness, before returning to the letter he was writing on his computer. He had been trying to organise a meeting with someone, anyone, in the provisional government who might be able to tell him what the devil was going on. He wasn’t having much luck.

‘Dear Abarran,’ he wrote, ‘I do hope that you are well. I was recently received a case of vintage Excalbian brandy and wondered if you may be…’

The intercom on his desk buzzed. “Your half ten appointment is here for you sir,” said his secretary.

‘Funny’, thought Quequexquia, ‘I don’t recall any appointments for this morning.’ He assumed he must have agreed to it but forgotten. “Please send them in Citlalic.”

He stood as the door opened. The man who walked in was Nāhuatlācah like himself, and about as tall as the ambassador (which was not saying much, Quequexquia’s people were not routinely blessed with height). He was broad-shouldered, with a ramrod-straight posture that testified to time spent in the armed forces. He wore a pressed linen suit in a light grey colour together a bold red tie. Upon his lapel was a badge bearing the hamer en uictli (the hammer and traditional farming stick) of the Constitutional Socialist Party. He walked briskly across the office and shook the ambassador’s hand with a grip of iron. “Good morning Ambassador Quequexquia,” he said, “My name is Ueman Xonacatl, I’m the new rezident.”

If the two men were speaking Valdrician then they might have referred to the new man as an inwoner spioen, if they were Russian легальные резиденты, and if they were American as the station chief. Either way he was to be the VKS man working from the embassy.

“Oh a rezident,” replied Quequexquia, rubbing his hand after the vice-like handshake, “We’ve not had one here since old Vulk retired. Please take…” Before he could continue Xonacatl sat down, “A seat,” finished the ambassador redundantly.

The Ambassador shuffled the papers on his desk. “I must say Comrade that I am surprised that I was not informed before…” The man opposite him interrupted. “Things are developing quite quickly,” replied Xonacatl, “And it was decided to expedite my arrival. The formal confirmation will no doubt follow shortly.”
Quequexquia pulled a face. “I suppose, but someone could have telephoned is all I am..”

“How long have you been posted here?” interrupted the spy.

Quequexquia was flustered. “Oh, er..six years now.” Xonacatl nodded. “Would you say you have a firm grasp of the situation here in Zamimbia?” he asked.

“I would like to think so,” replied the Ambassador portentously, “One has to have one ear’s close to the..”

Xonacatl leaned to his side and picked up the folder he had carried into the office with him. “Because your report of a few weeks ago stated that the proposal to move educational equipment to the Butu areas to be, and I quote,” he fetched a piece of paper, “ “Unlikely to materialise into solid action.””, he looked up from the report, “What would you say in light of the recent violence?”

The Ambassador shifted uneasily in his chair. “Well I…” he began, but Xonacatl had already moved to the next subject, for he now held up a photograph of a thick-necked man with close-cropped hair. “Do you recognise this man?” he asked.

“Who him? That’s Hartappa Assuaswa, Sargedian’s man in the region. Why do you ask?”

“What is your assessment of his activities in Zamimbia?” pressed the man from the People’s Commissariat for State Security.

“Nothing much, it’s tailored development work really, new schools in exchange for new mines, that sort of thing. I mean I don’t think it’s especially ethical myself but it’s not unheard of. I..” The Ambassador’s further thoughts on the subject were cut off.

“No!” exclaimed Xonacatl, slamming his fist into Quequexquia’s desk with such fury that the other man flinched, “Forgive me Comrade Ambassador but you are entirely wrong! What you see as innocuous development work is just another part of the jade necklace.”

The phrase “jade necklace” had emerged from the more paranoid sections of the Fiefdom’s military and intelligence community to describe the theory that Snefaldia was extending her military and commercial links and facilities across the major shipping lanes of the region as a means of projecting her power across the Western Atlantic. Such logic had already lead to the conclusion that Aerion was, alas, ultimately doomed. In the more fevered imaginings of men such as Xonacatl and his superiors the jade necklace was designed primarily as a way of challenging Anahuac in the Ratnakra Ocean with a hope to finally to choke the Fiefdom.

All this formed part of a great game; perhaps all the more cutting for the fact that the competition was probably only seen as that from the Anahuacan side.

Xonacatl stood. “The rot has set in further than I thought,” he said, eyeing the ambassador suspiciously, “The rest of my team…”
“Team?” queried the startled Quequexquia.

“..Will be here over the next few days. We can then start active measure to limit of that criminal regime and their running dogs in the country………..If we’re not too late.

Xonacatl looked around the room as though his vision alone could find Snefaldian listening devices. He glanced up at the portraits above the Ambassador’s; the triumvirate appeared to quietly encourage him in his sacred task. He nodded at them, and then looked at the ambassador. “I will seek out my offices here but I would be grateful for a fully debrief from you at sixteen hundred hours today.”

“Four?” said Quequexqui, looking at the clock out of habit, “But it’s the New Hope Real Tennis Association luncheon this afternoon.”

Xonacatl cocked his head to the side. “There’s a Real Tennis Court in New Hope?”

The Ambassador looked down sheepishly. “Well, not exactly, but there is an association.”

The rezident shook his head in disgust. “Whatever it was, I got your secretary to cancel it. I will see you later.”

“I say, you can’t do that! I am the Ambassador here and..” But it was no good, for he was talking to a shutting door and an empty room. “Gods the bloody cheek of it,” he sulked.
Last edited by Uncle Noel on Thu May 17, 2018 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ajuba
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Founded: Feb 18, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby Ajuba » Thu May 17, 2018 12:00 pm

New Hope, Zamimbia

Ambassador Kristaps Harouna did not fit the stereotype of an Ajuban diplomat. His height, light-coloured hair and blue eyes spoke to his mother’s Excalbian ancestry. His maternal grandmother was even said to be a descendant of Alsgood, the Great. His accent marked him a graduate of one of the elite secondary schools in Abadan, the capital of Jariah, yet his rich sandalwood skin tones pointed towards Zatsinan heritage. Indeed, his father was from the northern Sultanate of Zatsina - a rare Christian among the Muslim majority. Those who knew him well even claimed to see a bit of his father’s Edwoan grandmother in his broad nose. Ambassador Harouna, however, liked to think that he reflected a little bit of all the elements of the Ajuban Union.

Like the ambassador, Ajuba’s embassy in New Hope was a bit surprising. It was a large, modern building - larger even than most of the great powers’ embassies in Zamimbia - and was nestled beside the much more modest Excalbian Embassy. A rare reversal of the usual situation. Despite the size difference of the two embassies, one thing they held in common: the large portrait of Emperor David IV that looked down from the wall behind the ambassadors’ desks.

Today, that portrait looked down Harouna as he huddled with his senior staff.

“I am disappointed that the Ministry is not being more forthcoming, Edgar,” the Ambassador said, steepling his fingers in front of his chest.

“I’ve tried ever lever I have, sir,” Edgar Okafor, the Embassy’s Political Counsellor said. “The Minister won’t take any calls and the senior staff is being surprisingly tight lipped.” He shrugged. “I even conferred with Alex,” he said referring to the Excalbian political officer next door, “but even the Holy Empire’s cheque book isn’t buying a phone call at the moment.”

Harouna frowned, then turned his head towards his Public Affairs Counsellor. “Charity?”

Charity Iremide gave a wry smile. “I suppose that little success is better than none. Mbala was at least willing to meet for lunch, as long as we were paying. He confirmed the incidents but said President Duna is trying very hard to keep a lid on details.” She frowned. “The most troubling thing is that Mbala says the President fears that leakage of the details of either incident could inflame passions to the boiling point.”

A man in the khaki uniform of the Union Army shook his head. “There is worse news, Mr. Ambassador,” Colonel Adamu Shehu, the Ajuban Military Attache said slowly, “my contacts in the army tell me that all leaves are canceled. All bases have been ordered closed. Troops and equipment are being moved around.”

Harouna frowned and leaned forward. “What is your analysis, Colonel?”

“I’ve conferred with Major Pavlis next door and took a look at the Excalbian’s satellite images to confirm. Troops are being concentrated here, just outside New Hope, and within easy distance of all the coastal ports, and at Iwongo, near the South-West Epheronian border. It presents two possibilities, I believe. First, President Duna is at least preparing for the possibility of martial law. Second, Field Marshal Amupanda is at least preparing for the possibility of a coup d’etat.”

Harouna leaned back in his chair. He sat in silence for a moment. “Edgar,” he said at last, “let’s try to set up some meetings with the rest of the diplomatic community. Let’s at least see what everyone else is hearing.”

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Snefaldia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Snefaldia » Fri May 18, 2018 7:21 am

Begin Encrypt
0515 CMT+
ISITMA MAVAT
v
via STS+
ISITMA MAVAT

Vulcan ZE23644


TO: Mavateisnya Bureau
FROM: Vulcan Station Zamimbia

Report code QZ5454876Δ45 situation in Zamimbia has potential to escalate into further violence; ethnic tensions may result in large-scaled communal violence unless central government can organize quickly; machine analysis suggest 15% likelihood of this course of action. Intelligence reports army bases closed and possibly preparing for action; possibility of martial law, action by armed forces to maintain security. Further inflammation will likely result in population movement. Border proximity increases chance of refugee crisis; recommend activation of Southern Military Region protocol PAL-23 for border defense and possible incursion.

Recommend continued high-level involvement and engagement to stabilize situation; if propping up government ineffective more drastic measures may be required. Anahuac involvement possibility estimated at 90% by machine analysis; recommend counterintelligence active measures kunandu-kurur. Excalbian and other commitments not yet clear.

If situation destabilizes enough, opportunity is there for full-scaled activation of planned Operation Heavy Spear.

Best wishes for the Feast of Ta'us on Monday

Vulcan Station
+
ISITMA MAVAT

Vulcan ZE23644
VVVV
T

End Encrypt
Last edited by Snefaldia on Fri May 18, 2018 7:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Zamimbia
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Founded: Nov 11, 2011
Father Knows Best State

Postby Zamimbia » Mon May 21, 2018 11:48 am

Government House, New Hope, Zamimbia

“No,” President Joseph Duna said crossing his arms over his chest. “We shall not go begging scraps from the Great Powers,” he continued, voice dripping with sarcasm. “If they wanted to help us, they should have done so by now. We will not sell our policies for their generous assistance…”

“Your Excellency,” Jacob Oladeli, the Minister of Development said, leaning heavily across the table, “they provided what they said they would. Is not our responsibility to ask for what we need?”

“Why do you care, Oladeli?” The President stood. “You can run home to the land of your ancestors in Ajuba.”

“Joseph,” Field Marshall Amupanda said rising to his feet, “we are all Zamimbians. That is the purpose of this National Unity Council. To bring together all Zamimbians. Regardless of ethnicity of origins.”

The President dropped his head and rubbed his eyes. “Yes, of course, you’re right, Lwazi.” He turned to the Minister of Development. “I apologize, Jacob. It has been a hard few days...”

“I understand, sir,” Oladeli muttered.

“Perhaps we best adjourn for now,” Duna said as he turned and headed for the door.

As the other members of the National Unity Council became to drift out of the room, Tuilika Nkosi, one of the few women on the council and the Foreign Minister, caught Oladeli by the arm. The Minister, dressed in a modern suit paired with a traditional head wrap, nodded towards the green uniformed Amupanda, the Defence Minister. “Wait a moment, Jacob.”

After the room was empty except for Nkosi, Oladeli and Amupanda, the Foreign Minister crossed her arms and began to speak in hushed tones. “The President’s disposition grows worse.” She turned to Oladeli. “Jacob, how do you assess our resources without further international assistance?”

“Poor,” he said sadly. “Everything that has been given has been spent.” He shrugged. “Of course, corruption took some of it. But it is hard to ask a man struggling to feed his family to see millions in Atlantic Ducats pass through his hands without feeling the temptation to take something for his own hungry mouths.” He sucked in a breath. “Even so, most of it has gone where intended. It’s just that the need is so great…”

“And the willingness of the international community to give more?” She pressed.

“The Snefaldians are publicly suggesting that they have more to give. So are the Ajubans…”

“And,” the Foreign Minister interjected, “if the Snefaldians become more deeply… engaged, the Anahuacans will certainly look to counter. If the Ajubans push them hard enough, the Excalbians will engage. And if they engage, the Knootians may wish to increase their presence to counter.” She looked at the two men beside her. “This was my point to the President: now is the time to gather more resources for our nation. The eyes of the region are once again turning towards us. We must take advantage of the situation.” She frowned. “Yet, he refuses. And accuses. Just as he did with Jacob.”

“What can we do?” Oladeli looked from Nkosi to Amupanda.

The Field Marshal smiled. “Too many of my men remain loyal to Duna.” His smile grew. “But there is another possibility.” His gaze turned to Nkosi. “Duna is President and Chairman of the Council, but he is not the Council, is he?” The two ministers shook their heads. “Nor does he have a veto over his co-equal members, does he?” Again the two shook their heads. “I have spoken with Justice Minister Cibane. Every Council member is free to act in the best interests of the nation, until or unless they come up against the laws of the nation or the express instructions of the Council.”

Nkosi turned to Oladeli. “I think we should begin meeting with the interested members of the regional community. Don’t you, Jacob?”

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Excalbia
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Excalbia » Mon May 21, 2018 12:00 pm

The Chancery, Citadel Excalbia

“Finally,” Lady Christina Freedman said, opening a blue, red-bordered folder, “we need to dicuss Zamimbia…”

Lady Ashley Gordon-Robb, the Chancellor, frowned. “Indeed, we do.” She placed a hand on the table. “I’ve been informed by the Imperial Chamberlain that the King of Jariah and the Sultan of Zatsina have written a joint letter to His Imperial Majesty. The Imperial Governor has asked for an audience. Presumably to discuss the situation in Zamimbia.”

The Minister of State frowned. “The Ajuban High Commissioner could at least have the decency to tell us these requests are coming.”

Lady Ashley nodded. “I agree,” she said, “but the King and the Sultan are the Emperor’s tributaries. As such, they presume direct access.” She shrugged. “And the Governor General is the Emperor’s personal representative in Ajuba, not ours.” She looked up at Lady Christina and gave a weak, half smile. “So, what good news to have from southern Epheron?”

The Minister of State sighed. “Nothing good. The Ajuban General Staff is convinced that Duna is about to declare martial law or that Amupanda is about to stage a coup… Imperial Intelligence is less certain, but considers both on the table.” She shuffled the papers in the folder. “There’s been an increase in both Snefaldian and Anahuacan intelligence activities. Snefaldia, in particular, seems interested in a solution…”

“Their solution would invasion and occupation?” The Minister of State shook her head and the Chancellor gave a dry laugh. “It will be tricky balancing Snefaldia and Anahuac…”

“Not to mention Knootoss,” Lady Christina said. “It will only be a matter of time before their South Epheronian affiliates draw them back into the picture.”

The Chancellor sat in silence for a moment. “So, can we recommend to the Emperor?”

“We have the capacity to significantly ramp up our foreign assistance,” Lady Christina said. “Also,” she nodded to Dr. Anders, the Minister of Defence, “we could dispatch a small flotilla to Ajuba, make it available to the Union for humanitarian response in Zamimbia, if needed. That might calm their nerves. And, we should begin engaging diplomatically with the Snefaldians and the Anahuacans, for starters.”

The Chancellor nodded. “Very well.” Her eyes narrowed. “But this time, before we send in any ships, let’s make sure we adhere to the letter of every agreement. Invite the interested parties and those required by treaty to consult about the situation and the deployment.”

“Understood, Chancellor.”

* * *
The following Diplomatic Note is sent to the embassies of Pantocratoria, the Caldan Union, Knootoss, the Socialist People's Fiefdom, Snefaldia, Brasland, Balthorvia, Kartlis, Upper Virginia and the C.S.S.:

His Imperial Majesty’s Ministry of State presents its compliments and has the honour to inform you that, in response to requests from His Imperial Majesty’s Union Government of Ajuba, the 17th Carrier Strike Group of the Second Expeditionary Fleet of the Imperial Navy will shortly be dispatched to waters off the coast of the Union of Ajuba, placing them in position to respond to any humanitarian crisis that may develop in the Republic of Zamimbia. In accordance with our standing agreements, the Ministry stands ready to consult with you in regards to this deployment, and in advance of any subsequent actions.

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Postby Uncle Noel » Mon May 21, 2018 2:41 pm

The scorched lawns of the Anahuacan Embassy, New Hope

There had been some debate over whether to invite the press into the embassy itself but the building itself was not quite ready for the querying eyes of foreigners. Quequexquia had done his best but there is only so much one can do with a skeleton staff and a diminishing budget. All that had changed, and where once the Ambassador’s perambulations had taken him through empty offices and shuttered meeting rooms, now the embassy was alive with activity. This, the Ambassador kept telling himself, was good. He had argued for years that Itztlan needed to devote more resources to the region and, finally, his pestering had borne fruit. That said, he also missed the tranquility and his quiet life.

So no, until such time that the embassy was fit for visitors a marquee was erected on its once substantial lawns, it being such a nice day and all. Plus the air conditioning was being repaired next week.

The ambassador straightened his tie before stepping out and walking towards the lectern. He hoped that no one would notice the small step behind it that hopefully would serve to make him look taller. “Good morning everyone,” said Quequexquia cheerfully, though he was still slightly bemused that people were coming to listen to him after having been ignored for so long. “And thank you for coming. I hope that you will see from our expanded embassy staff that The Socialist People’s Fiefdom takes seriously it’s obligations to Zamimbia and our work over many years to establish and strengthen those ties between our two countries. We in Anahuac take seriously our obligations to those who suffer under an unfair allocation of resources.” The first draft’s reference to class was having been removed. “To that end, I am pleased to announce the creation of a new fund, the Titus Spode Co-Development Fund, named in honour of the glorious memory and legacy of the founder of the Socialist People’s Fiefdom, to assist our brothers and sisters in Zamimbia, for we are all poor when one of our brothers lies in poverty. To explain this in greater detail please allow me to introduce my colleague and attache for economic affairs, Mr Ueman Xonacatl.”

Xonacatl strolled across to the podium with the assurance of a cat that had not only got the cream but also the entire dairy. “Thank you Ambassador Quequexquia, and let me also extend my thanks for you coming today. The Titus Spode Co-Development Fund, which was authorised yesterday by an extraordinary meeting of the Council of People’s Commissars at the request of the Central Committee of the Constitutional Socialist Party, has been designed to provide the maximum possible benefit for the ordinary Zamimbians by providing direct, monetary assistance to enable the creation of worker cooperatives. In this way the fruits of the labour of all Zamimbians can stay with them, rather than be lost like rain on dry soil, instead of those profits flowing out of the country. In its first act, the Fund will provide the necessary outlay of capital to allow for the creation of the Zamimbia-Anahuacan Development Bank, details of which will be found on the press release on your chairs when you came in, to the tune of thirty million shillings. This money will go towards community projects that are of genuine benefit to Zamimbians and not just those foreign nations that fritter their aid in exchange for the neo-colonial exploitation of this proud country’s bountiful natural resources.”

Meanwhile in Itztlan

At the same time that Xonacatl was speaking in New Hope, the General Secretary sat in the pre-dawn darkness of an Itztlan night. He looked at the clock on the wall and calculated the rough time difference to the destination of his imminent phone call. Satisfied that his subject would already be awake and long into the day, he leaned across and picked up the new telephone that had been installed and which sat separate from his usual telephone. He listened for a moment. “Yes Comrade General Secretary,” said the telephone operator, “Where do you wish to be connected?”

Hoogaboom check the clock again. “Citadel Excalbia, the Imperial Chancellor.”

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Postby Excalbia » Mon May 21, 2018 3:29 pm

Uncle Noel wrote:Meanwhile in Itztlan

At the same time that Xonacatl was speaking in New Hope, the General Secretary sat in the pre-dawn darkness of an Itztlan night. He looked at the clock on the wall and calculated the rough time difference to the destination of his imminent phone call. Satisfied that his subject would already be awake and long into the day, he leaned across and picked up the new telephone that had been installed and which sat separate from his usual telephone. He listened for a moment. “Yes Comrade General Secretary,” said the telephone operator, “Where do you wish to be connected?”

Hoogaboom check the clock again. “Citadel Excalbia, the Imperial Chancellor.”


The Chancery, Citadel Excalbia

Lady Ashley Gordon-Robb looked up from her desk at the sound of light rap on the door. “Yes?”

The Imperial Chancellor’s personal assistant, Jon Astonizivs, opened the door and took a half step inside. “My Lady,” he said with a slight bow, “we have Chairman Hoogaboom on the phone for you from Itztlan.”

The Chancellor laid her pen on the desk and folded her hands together. “Really?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Astonizivs said. “State Operations has a translator on the line standing by. And Lady Christina has been informed.”

“Well,” Lady Ashley closed the folder she was reviewing and pushed it aside. “Let’s not keep the Chairman waiting. Put him through.” She swivelled her chair, putting her directly in front of the bank of phone at the end of her desk and allowing her to see some of the mid-morning sun streaming through the windows behind her.

The light for her secure line blinked and the Chancellor picked up the phone. “Good morning, Mr. Chairman. It’s a pleasure to hear from you. What can I do for this morning?”

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Postby Snefaldia » Mon May 21, 2018 6:16 pm

After consultations with his government, Ambassador to Excalbia Welend Šarrukitni dispatched an official letter to the Excalbian government:

In the name of the Government and People of Snefaldia;

We have received thankfully your government's notice of intent to dispatch a naval carrier group to the territorial waters of Ajuba, in the Lawata Bay. It is the understanding of my government that this move was prompted by the security situation in Zamimbia.

Given the proximity of both Zamimbia and Ajuba to Snefaldian territory and her territorial waters, the security situation in the Epheron region is of paramount concern to the Snefaldian government. It is with grave concern the situation in Zamimbia and South Epheron has been observed, and it is the intention of Sargedain to take every action necessary to ensure the peace and stability of the region.

To that end, I must express a fear on behalf of Sargedain that any dispatch of armed forces to the area may only serve to exacerbate the already tense situation, and could be construed by elements within Zamimbian society as evidence of a so-called "neo-colonial coup" enacted by your government. While my government puts no stock in such ridiculous lies, it is a fact that this could be an animating factor in further violence.

We therefore propose a summit involving Excalbia, Snefaldia, and Zamimbia, as well as relevant parties, to prevent the further outbreak of violence and lend the international community's support to the continuation of unity government in Zamimbia. It is our government's opinion that we cannot allow the groundwork laid over the last five years to be undermined.

We request, at your convenience, a formal response to the proposition of a summit.

Yours,

Welend Šarrukitni
Ambassador


Additionally, the ambassador addressed a personal note to Lady Christina, attempting to draw on the personal connections he had cultivated during his long tenure in Excalbia:

Lady Christina,

Things are really quite bad down south in Zamimbia it seems, but it would really be a shame if things got out of hand too quickly, before responsible states got the chance to sit down together at the table and talk things through. I am sure your can appreciate our position; Snefaldia shares a border with the Epheronian states and can you imagine the refugee crisis if there was to be an actual, full-blown civil war? By the gods our countries managed to put a lid on it the last time, albeit at the cost of far too many lives.

I must say that we are all concerned about the spread of communism, too. The Daytans are still in control of Westbund territory and we are hearing some very threatening things from Anahuac. Destabilizations like this are always a target for radical actors looking to stir things up. That is the fear in some circles back in Sargedain, so I've heard.

I think we ought to give a summit a try, and if there is a failure, by the gods, we can say we tried.

Yours Very Truly,

Welend Š.

P.S. Sahuru and I have not had the chance to get to the theatre with you in some time. You might join us at our box some night soon!
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Postby Excalbia » Tue May 22, 2018 9:52 am

Ministry of State
Citadel Excalbia


His Imperial Majesty’s Ministry of State presents its compliments to the Embassy of the States-Federation of Snefaldia and has the honour to reply to the Embassy’s Note of this date.

The Ministry acknowledges and recognizes Snefaldia’s legitimte concerns for the security and stability of the region, and wishes to assure the Embassy that the 17th Carrier Battle Group is being deployed solely at the wishes of the Union Government of Ajuba as a concrete demonstration of the Holy Empire’s treaty obligations to provide for the security and defence of the Ajuban Union and her citizens. Imperial Naval forces in the region will operate solely in international waters and the territorial waters of the Ajuban Union. If Imperial Naval forces are called upon to assist in any evacuation of Ajuban citizens and other foreign citizens resident in Zamimbia, the Ministry will consult with the Holy Empire’s friends and allies and other nations in the region, including the States-Federation. Any entry of Imperial forces into Zamimbia, in the event of crisis and at the request of the Ajuban Union, will be carried out with the consent of the Republic of Zamimbia and within the parameters established by the Republic.

His Imperial Majesty’s Government has been contemplating the need for a broad regional summit to consider the situation in Zamimbia, among other issues. The Ministry wishes to request the States-Federation’s support for such a summit and its recommendations for topics and a venue.

The Ministry wishes to take this opportunity to assure the Embassy of its highest regards.

(Great Seal of the Holy Empire of Excalbia)


Dear Welend,

Thank you for your personal note. I understand that this is a tricky situation. No one wishes to see a repeat of the first Zamimbian crisis. In addition to those assurances in our formal Note, I want to personally reassure you that the Imperial Navy is not being dispatched to intervene in Zamimbia. It is there, primarily, to calm the nerves of the Ajuban government. Since we share the same sovereign and maintain a compact of free association, the Ajubans have certain rights to our protection and military support cannot be easily denied on our part. However, I again stress that there are no plans to intervene militarily in Zamimbia.

As for a conference or summit, the possibilities of such have been in discussion for a while. Snefaldia is not the first nation to approach us about the need for such a meeting. You may recall, however, that the last time we attempted to host such a summit, our efforts met with failure. A failure so grand that it pushed Excalbia to the brink of war with Knootoss and brought down Sir Sterling’s government. Neither I nor Lady Ashley wish a repeat performance.

Nonetheless, we are willing to lend our voice to those calling for a summit. It would help if the call was broad and came from several countries. As to venue, we are willing to host, but would suggest either New Excalbia - our exclave in Ajuba - or the Skralins Islands, rather than here in Excalbia proper. In any case, I would welcome your frank thoughts in a summit, including a proper venue.

On a personal note, Niles and I would love to join you and Sahuru at the theatre. I understand that Skaista Dziesma is showing at the National Opera on Thursday.

Regards,
Lady Christina

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Postby Zamimbia » Tue May 22, 2018 11:34 am

Presidential Palace, New Hope

“Come in, Mr. van Beek,” President Duna said rising from his chair. “To what do I owe this great and exceptional honour?”

“Your Excellency,” the Minister of Trade said, sounding somewhat confused.

“It is a particular honour to receive you,” Duna said through gritted teeth. “After all, Mr. van Beek, we have served together on the Council for what? Five years now since you joined? And in all that time, this is the first time you have asked for a private meeting.” The President gestured to a thickly upholstered chair. “Take your seat, sir.”

As van Beek eased himself into the chair, Duna took the chair across from him. “So, what special event causes the only white man on the Council to seek my audience?”

“Well,” van Beek said nervously, “there is also Ricards…”

“Half Excalbian and half Jariahan,” Duna said waving his hand as he referred to Culture Minister Ricards Abiwole. “By the definitions of your countrymen, Mr. van Beek, he is, at best, coloured.”

“Not my countrymen, Your Excellency,” van Beek said, regaining his courage. “My country is Zamimbia.”

“Ah, of course,” Duna said. “The reason you did not join so many of your fellows in running to that so-called South-West Epheron Republic.” He gave a grim, humourless smile. “But I bait your, sir. So, why are here? To plead for me to reverse the education edict?”

Walter van Beek shook his head. “No. I actually support the idea. Even if the execution might have gone better.”

Duna chuckled. “Yes, yes it could have. Of course you support it. Your children are here in the city, no?”

“Yes, sir,” van Beek replied, “but their school was also closed.”

“Oh,” Duna said, his bitter facade slipping just a bit. “I… I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright, sir. As I said, I understand and support the goals of the repositioning. There is another school 15 minutes from our home. Our children are happy there. And I’m sure that the children in the rural areas will appreciate receiving books and computers.”

Duna nodded. “Very well then, Mr. van Beek. What is that I can do for you then?”

“Sir,” van Beek nervously rubbed his hands, “I hear rumours….”

“Rumours?”

“Yes, sir.” The Minister let out a long breath. “Rumours that troops are camping on the borders of the Southwest Province.”

“Hmmmm.”

Sir,” van Beek leaned forward, “if I may be so bold. The people of the Southwest Province chose to stay in the Republic when they could have broken away with the rest of the Boer region. They are, at least, willing to work with the government. I know that some extremists remain. Hate and fear runs deep in the province. But as one great civil rights leader once said, hate cannot drive out hate; only love conquers hate.”

“So,” Duna said, looking agitated, “I’m supposed to go and hug men who riot against the police and murder a school boy to conquer their hate with my love?”

“No, sir,” van Beek shook his head, “I know it’s not that simple. But sending in the army will only make things worse. We - the government - can talk to the leaders of the province. No hugging, as you said, but talking. That’s the only way forward and that is really all I’m asking for.”

Duna stood. “You’re a braver man than I thought, van Beek,” the President said. “Many of my predecessors would have shot you by now.”

“But you’re not a tyrant, sir,” van Beek said forcing a smile as he came to his feet. “Don’t let circumstances make you out to be one.”

Duna put out his hand. “I shall consider your counsel, Mr. van Beek.”

The Minister took the President’s hand and gave it the firmest handshake he could at the moment. “Thank you, sir.”

* * *

Uncle Noel wrote: Anahuacan Embassy, New Hope

The ceiling fan spun lazily as Quequexquia continued his telephone conversation with the consul closest to Winburg. “A protest you say? Goodness me.” The room was silent save for a ticking clock and the sound of the consul’s voice through the receiver. “A physical altercation? Gracious..” continued the Ambassador, “And shots fired, goodness gracious, I never thought they would be so intemperate as to attempt it.” There was another pause as he listened to the consul. “I see, well thank you very much for letting me know Leander and do please thank your wife for the charming cakes she sent through, we were very appreciative of them here.” Another pause. “No no, it was entirely unrelated I can assure you, I think we traced it back to contaminated soda water, but no, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.”

Outside the noise of New Hope could still be heard.

“Well thank you for calling me, I shall certainly pass on your regards to the bridge club. Goodbye Leander.” The Ambassador leaned across and replaced the receiver. He shuddered briefly at having been reminded of the recent lavatorial unpleasantness, before returning to the letter he was writing on his computer. He had been trying to organise a meeting with someone, anyone, in the provisional government who might be able to tell him what the devil was going on. He wasn’t having much luck.

‘Dear Abarran,’ he wrote, ‘I do hope that you are well. I was recently received a case of vintage Excalbian brandy and wondered if you may be…’


Private Residence of Abarran Mbala, Regina Island, New Hope

Minister Abarran Mbala had graciously accepted Ambassador Quequexquira’s kind offer to share a bottle of vintage Excalbian brandy, and had invited the Anahuacan to his home for drinks. Of course, Mbala had ulterior motives, inspired by his colleagues. He had rehearsed in his mind how the conversation might go. Now, all he could do was wait for the Ambassador’s arrival.

* * *

Snefaldia wrote:The Snefaldian presence in Epheron had never really decreased in aftermath of the crisis; the Ren Dirh Chancellery had appointed a minister to help build relationships in the region and strengthen Snefaldia's hand in the area, but the instability of his government, later disinterest from the Woelmey Chancellery, and then the Hantili coup had left a very large question mark next to the Epheron policy.

...

From the steps of the Snefaldian embassy in New Hope, Minister Aššuaswa was flanked by Ambassador Barsalnuna, United Front Commission Deputy John Shendy-Mauriyas, and Loremaster Bode Ajunwa, the representative of Aatem Nal to the Zamimbian community. Aššuaswa, a thick-necked man in his late 50s with close-cropped grey hair and grey suit, was just wrapping up the initial niceties of his speech to the news crews and was getting to the meat of the press conference.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Hope

Minister Tuilika Nkosi had waited until most of her staff had left for the day. She had not had to wait long. The long hot day and the prospect of driving in the capital’s notorious rush-hour traffic - or worse, dealing with its crowded public transportation - had inspired most of the staff to leave several minutes shy of their official closing time.

Now, with only her private secretary in the outer office, Nkosi picked up the phone. “Yes, Winifred,” she said to her secretary over the phone, “could you please ring Ambassador Barsalnuna from the Snefaldian Embassy on his mobile? Thank you.”
Last edited by Zamimbia on Tue May 22, 2018 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Ajuba » Tue May 22, 2018 2:54 pm

Abadan Union Air Station, Outside Abadan, Ajuba

The tiltwing V-22 gently lowered itself onto the tarmac, its now vertical propellers kicking up dust in their swirling wake. With a slight thud, the aircraft came to a stop and the propellers slowly wound down to a stop. The doors of the white aircraft bearing the blue and gold cross of the Excalbian Imperial Navy slid open. Vice Admiral Tom Parn, wearing a short-sleeved khaki uniform, stepped from the aircraft and approached the blue and red uniformed officer waiting at the edge of the tarmac.

“Permission to come aboard,” Parn said with a crisp salute.

“Granted,” the young Ajuban Air Force lieutenant replied snapping his own salute. He held his salute until the Vice Admiral dropped his. “If you would come with me, sir,” the lieutenant said, “Air Marshal Emiola and Field Marshal Alheri are waiting for you, sir.”

Vice Admiral Parn followed the young officer into a nearby building and then into a conference room. Several officers rose to their feet as the Excalbian entered. An officer in the blue and red of the Ajuban Air Force and the stars and sword emblem of an Ajuban marshal approached and offered his hand.

“Welcome to Abadan Air Station, Vice Admiral,” Air Marshal Alfred Emiola said, shaking the Excalbian’s hand.

“Thank you, sir,” Parn replied. “I appreciate the welcome.”

Emiola nodded and turned to his green and red uniformed colleague, who also bore the marshal’s emblem. “I believe you know our Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Latif Alheri.”

The Field Marshal nodded and offered his hand. “It is good to see you again, Tom.”

“Thank you, Field Marshal,” Parn said with a nod.

“We are glad that the Virtuous and the rest of your battle group are here, Tom,” the Field Marshal said. “The Chancellor and the Cabinet are getting nervous about Zamimbia.”

“So I understand, sir.” Parn crossed his arms behind his back. “We are, of course, at your disposal, if needed.” He cocked his head to one side. “But what is your assessment of that need, Field Marshal?”

Alheri chuckled and sucked his teeth. “About time someone asked the professional soldiers, Tom!” The Field Marshal gestured to the chairs around the table. “Sit, I’ll fill you in. But the bottom line is: the politicians are nervous, more so than we believe is justified. That said, it will be far easier to calm their nerves with an Excalbian supercarrier and a flotilla of ghost ships at watching their backs.” As everyone sat, he shrugged. “There is certainly the potential for widespread violence in Zamimbia, but we have seen nothing yet that would make us believe that anything is imminent or that a large scale evacuation will be needed.”

Parn nodded, looking relieved.

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Postby Snefaldia » Tue May 22, 2018 3:28 pm

Ambassador Barsalnuna, who like most Snefaldians from Allasha had no surname, never carried his own cell phone. In fact no Snefaldian ambassador did, according to Ministry of State regulations on high-level personnel using electronic devices that could be subject to hacking or surveillance. For some it was a huge inconvenience, especially long-time diplomats and civil servants who had gotten used to the way things had been, but for some it was an act of patriotic sacrifice. Barsalnuna's aide and official valet, a fellow Allashan, acted as gatekeeper to the Ambassador nearly at all times.

"Ambassador Barsalnuna's secretary. Yes? Yes. Just a moment. Please hold for the Ambassador."

The Allashan, a man of about 45 who had served in this role for only two years, took the phone.

"This is Barsalnuna. Minister Nkosi, to what do I owe the pleasure?"
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Postby Zamimbia » Wed May 23, 2018 8:36 am

Snefaldia wrote:Ambassador Barsalnuna, who like most Snefaldians from Allasha had no surname, never carried his own cell phone. In fact no Snefaldian ambassador did, according to Ministry of State regulations on high-level personnel using electronic devices that could be subject to hacking or surveillance. For some it was a huge inconvenience, especially long-time diplomats and civil servants who had gotten used to the way things had been, but for some it was an act of patriotic sacrifice. Barsalnuna's aide and official valet, a fellow Allashan, acted as gatekeeper to the Ambassador nearly at all times.

"Ambassador Barsalnuna's secretary. Yes? Yes. Just a moment. Please hold for the Ambassador."

The Allashan, a man of about 45 who had served in this role for only two years, took the phone.

"This is Barsalnuna. Minister Nkosi, to what do I owe the pleasure?"


“Good evening, Your Excellency,” Nkosi said warmly. “Thank you for taking my call so late in the day.”

After a pause, the Minister continued. “I would like to follow up with you about this new CCDI that you announced at your Embassy. I apologize that circumstances have kept my peers from being as responsive as we would like to have been to this initiative,” she spoke in clear understandment considering that Duna had forbidden the Minister for Development from speaking to the Snefaldians or any other foreign powers, “but I wish to know that we are very interested. In fact, I would like to set up a meeting with you to talk about how we can leverage these new investments on your nation’s part to do the most good in advancing development in the least developed parts of the country.”

Another pause. “Of course, I would be happy to meet at any time, but I am thinking that a… working dinner might be the most conducive to detailed discussions and planning.”

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Postby Snefaldia » Wed May 23, 2018 12:19 pm

Barsalnuna nodded as he spoke. "I am pleased to hear it. Yes, we would be happy to organize a working dinner. My staff will arrange the details, and Minister Aššuaswa will be certain to attend. We have already prepared a raft of investment and cooperation concepts that we feel might be appropriate, so we will definitely be able to discuss those as well as any topics your government feels is necessary."
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Postby Uncle Noel » Wed May 23, 2018 12:30 pm

Itztlan

Excalbia wrote:The light for her secure line blinked and the Chancellor picked up the phone. “Good morning, Mr. Chairman. It’s a pleasure to hear from you. What can I do for this morning?”


The Imperial Chancellor had been on loudspeaker whilst the General Secretary tried to light an Esperi cigar given to him by the Emperor. There was therefore some fumbling before he was able to reply to Lady Ashley.

"Good morning Madam Chancellor. My apologies for disturbing you unannounced, so early in the day and so soon after the signing of the Treaty of Amity, but I felt it prudent to speak to you directly regarding the developing situation in Zamimbia."

The General Secretary placed the cigar in a nearby ashtray whilst he fetched the diplomatic note. "For what it is worth, we fully concur with the deployment of the 17th carrier group to the region, and we would do the same if we thought it would serve to de-escalate tensions; which it wouldn't." He collected the cigar. "I am sure you will have noticed the recent increase in our presence in Zamimbia, this is a secure line and it makes no sense to be coy if we are to be friends, and yes it's true. But I want to be perfectly clear to you and to the government of Excalbia that our actions in Zamimiba, both now and in the future, are in response to Snefaldian activity. We in Anahuac have no interest in empire-building in Zamimbia or the southern areas of Epheron, I am not sure the same can be said of all parties involved."

The General Secretary puffed on his cigar and set it down. "You will forgive me for saying so, Lady Ashley, but I recall saying to both you and the Emperor that we had legitimate concerns over Snefaldian expansionism and His Imperial Majesty seemed quite sure that the strength of the ties between Citadel Excalbia and Sargedaín were such that our fears were hopefully unfounded. I hope that recent actions have served to indicate that we were not being paranoid."

Private Residence of Abarran Mbala, Regina Island, New Hope

Ahuatzi Quequexquia was grateful for the cool of the evening and the relative tranquility of Regina Island. If he'd had his way then the Anahuacan Embassy would have been situated here, but those fossils at the People's Commissariat were adamant that the facilities they had were more than sufficient. "Typical short-shortsightedness," said the Ambassador to the empty street outside the Mbala residence. He shifted the diplomatic bag he was carrying, a rather stout Gladstone bag with a rather impressive representation of the Fiefdom's rather dull national crest, which gave the appearance that worthy and important documents were being conveyed. It was only when the Ambassador moved towards the front door that the distinct 'clink' of glass bottles revealed it's true cargo.

"Good evening," said Quequexquia to the men on the door, "Ahuatzi Quequexquia, I believe Minister of Education is expecting me?"
Last edited by Uncle Noel on Wed May 23, 2018 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Excalbia » Wed May 23, 2018 9:05 pm

Uncle Noel wrote:Itztlan

The Imperial Chancellor had been on loudspeaker whilst the General Secretary tried to light an Esperi cigar given to him by the Emperor. There was therefore some fumbling before he was able to reply to Lady Ashley.

"Good morning Madam Chancellor. My apologies for disturbing you unannounced, so early in the day and so soon after the signing of the Treaty of Amity, but I felt it prudent to speak to you directly regarding the developing situation in Zamimbia."

The General Secretary placed the cigar in a nearby ashtray whilst he fetched the diplomatic note. "For what it is worth, we fully concur with the deployment of the 17th carrier group to the region, and we would do the same if we thought it would serve to de-escalate tensions; which it wouldn't." He collected the cigar. "I am sure you will have noticed the recent increase in our presence in Zamimbia, this is a secure line and it makes no sense to be coy if we are to be friends, and yes it's true. But I want to be perfectly clear to you and to the government of Excalbia that our actions in Zamimiba, both now and in the future, are in response to Snefaldian activity. We in Anahuac have no interest in empire-building in Zamimbia or the southern areas of Epheron, I am not sure the same can be said of all parties involved."

The General Secretary puffed on his cigar and set it down. "You will forgive me for saying so, Lady Ashley, but I recall saying to both you and the Emperor that we had legitimate concerns over Snefaldian expansionism and His Imperial Majesty seemed quite sure that the strength of the ties between Citadel Excalbia and Sargedaín were such that our fears were hopefully unfounded. I hope that recent actions have served to indicate that we were not being paranoid."


The Chancery, Citadel Excalbia

“I’m always happy to speak with you, Mr. Chairman,” Lady Ashley said in response to Hoogaboom’s apologies. She listened to his introduction and added, “Yes, Zamimbia. It is a cause for concern.”

The Imperial Chancellor listened in silence as Hoogaboom laid out his concerns. When he finished, the Chancellor leaned back in her chair. “I can certainly understand your concerns, Mr. Chairman, and I can assure that none of us consider them paranoid. No one, least of all His Imperial Majesty’s Government, wishes to see Zamimbian independence compromised by any outside agent. Nor do we wish to see the country fall into any other nation’s sphere of influence Our goal now, as it was in the earlier crisis, is to preserve Zamimbia as a free and independent state that works for all its citizens.”

She switched to the speaker setting on her phone and hung up the receiver and brought out a notepad and began to take notes. “We have noticed an increase in both Anahuacan and Snefaldian activity in Zamimbia. And other governments, including Snefaldia, have reached out to us with their own concerns about developments in Zamimbia.”

The Chancellor paused for a moment. “I also recall during your visit, Mr. Chairman, discussing the possibility of a broad regional summit. Perhaps the situation in Zamimbia opens the door to such a summit. A multilateral forum might just offer us the best opportunity to stabilise Zamimbia and provide it the assistance it needs without any one nation taking advantage of the situation to advance its own ambitions.

“Tell me, Mr. Chairman, how would you view a regional summit held in, let’s say New Excalbia, our exclave in Ajuba? Would you be willing to endorse the summit and attend?”

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Zamimbia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Zamimbia » Wed May 23, 2018 9:11 pm

Uncle Noel wrote:Private Residence of Abarran Mbala, Regina Island, New Hope

Ahuatzi Quequexquia was grateful for the cool of the evening and the relative tranquility of Regina Island. If he'd had his way then the Anahuacan Embassy would have been situated here, but those fossils at the People's Commissariat were adamant that the facilities they had were more than sufficient. "Typical short-shortsightedness," said the Ambassador to the empty street outside the Mbala residence. He shifted the diplomatic bag he was carrying, a rather stout Gladstone bag with a rather impressive representation of the Fiefdom's rather dull national crest, which gave the appearance that worthy and important documents were being conveyed. It was only when the Ambassador moved towards the front door that the distinct 'clink' of glass bottles revealed it's true cargo.

"Good evening," said Quequexquia to the men on the door, "Ahuatzi Quequexquia, I believe Minister of Education is expecting me?"


Private Residence of Abarran Mbala, Regina Island, New Hope

The short, dark skinned gentleman dressed in a loose-fitting suit bowed slightly to the Anahuacan Ambassador. “Yes, sir, the Minister is expecting you.” He stepped aside allowing Quequexquia to enter. Then, he closed the door and gestured down the hallway. “Please come with me, Your Excellency.”

The butler led the way passed what seemed to be an endless parade of sitting room and studies, some occupied and some empty, before arriving before a closed door. He opened the door and bowed into the room. “Sir,” he said still bowed, “His Excellency the Anahuacan Ambassador.”

Standing aside, the butler allowed Quequezquia to enter the room. Abarran Mbala stood and walked towards his guest. The Education Minister was taller than his butler and his skin was slightly darker. He wore a pair of khakis and open collared dress shirt.

“Good evening, Ahuatzi,” Abarran said warmly, extending his hand. He looked down at the case. “Ah, I see that you have delivered on your end of the bargain.” He turned and walked over to a wet bar. He took down two brandy snifters.

“I am glad that you could come this evening, Ahuatzi,” Abarran’s smile faded and his voice took on a more serious character, “and not just to enjoy a fine brandy.” He looked around and let out a breath. “The truth is that we are in need of friends. I and some of my colleagues on the Council read about your announcement of the Co-Development Fund and we are anxious to hear more about it and to see how we can work together to make things better for our people.”

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Zamimbia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Zamimbia » Wed May 23, 2018 9:14 pm

Snefaldia wrote:Barsalnuna nodded as he spoke. "I am pleased to hear it. Yes, we would be happy to organize a working dinner. My staff will arrange the details, and Minister Aššuaswa will be certain to attend. We have already prepared a raft of investment and cooperation concepts that we feel might be appropriate, so we will definitely be able to discuss those as well as any topics your government feels is necessary."


Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Hope
“Excellent,” Nkosi said. “Please contact my private secretary directly to make the arrangements. Some place private would be best, I think. Would tomorrow night be too soon?”

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Zamimbia » Fri May 25, 2018 10:21 am

Government House, New Hope

The demonstrators were mostly young men from the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed. They were almost exclusively Butas and Nalus from the interior grasslands, drawn to the urban coast in search for opportunities that never seemed to come. Their signs were a mishmash of vaguely leftist demands: land reform and redistribution; nationalisation of foreign businesses; hiring preferences for Butas and Nalus; and economic redistribution.

The police surrounding the demonstrators were mostly young men drawn from immigrant Jaharian and Hansa families with a smattering of Butas and Nalus and even a few whites of Boer or Excalbian descent. They were content to hold their shields and let the demonstrators shout until the mob seemed to spontaneously begin to move. At first, the police moved with the mob, clearing streets ahead of them and keeping the demonstrators together in one group.

The atmosphere changed as the demonstrators began pushing the police up Marula Avenue towards the Hillside district. One of the Provisional Government’s few marginal successes had been eco-tourism. While most eco-tours ventured into the grasslands, they all started and ended in New Hope - mostly in the Hillside district. Here, modern, foreign-owned and foreign-operated hotels had opened to cater to the eco-tourists. Boutiques, upscale shops, even Sundollar Coffee Houses, had followed, making Hillside the go-to spot for foreign visitors and wealthy Zamimbians. Some likened it a piece of Excalbia or the Caldan Union in the middle of New Hope.

Once the police realised where the mob was headed, their resistance grew. They began pushing back with their shields and ordering the crowd to disperse. When their orders were ignored, the batons came out. Some demonstrators fell, but others pushed back. Soon rocks and bricks began to pelt the police. The police responded with rubber bullets. However, the pattern continued to repeat. The front ranks of the demonstrators would fall, then more would take their place pushing the police closer to Hillside.

Finally, demands from the loudspeakers that the crowd disperse were replaced with a single word: “Masks!” The police began pulling on gas masks. Some of the crowd turned and ran. Others pulled bandanas and scarves over their faces and charged the police.

With flashes of light and loud bangs, the tear gas grenades exploded over the demonstrators. Clouds of smoke filled the streets. As the protesters began to fall, the police broke ranks. The muffled sound of batons slamming into human bodies began to drown out the cries and whimpers of the young men on the ground.

The Mid-Day Report IZTV, New Hope

Independent Zamimbian TV - IZTV - was the only privately-owned television network with national reach in Zamimbia. Of course, television reception was still spotty in the interior, but smartphones and radios were readily available, so IZTV also streamed its programming online and simulcast over a network of AM radio stations.

The Mid-Day Report was the network’s flagship news program and was typically rebroadcast late in the evening. Today, host Nicholas Pandeni welcomed Winburg Mayor Mattys Timmerman.

“First, Mayor Timmerman,” Pandeni said in his dulcet tones, “I offer my condolences on deaths of several of your citizens in the recent disturbances in Winburg. Do you wish to offer yours to the police officers killed?”

“Of course,” Timmerman said, ignoring the implied taunt. “We regret any loss of life. I also offer my condolences to the family of the young student found dead on the borders. What a tragedy.

“But I am here today, Mr. Pandeni, to remind your viewers - and our leaders - that we in the Southwestern Province are not your enemies. Of course, there are some bad folks amongst us - just as there are everywhere - and a few of them have turned to violence. The violent, naturally, are criminals and should be arrested and tried as such according to our laws.

“Most of our citizens, however, are just like your viewers: God-fearing people, working hard to make a living for their families. We - those of us in Winburg and the surrounding province - voted to remain in Zamimbia. We see ourselves as Zamimbians.”

“Of course, of course,” Pandeni said. “But do you recognize the inequality between your citizens and the rest of the country?”

“There are inequalities, certainly,” Timmerman said, “but there are also inequalities between the coastal cities and the interior. Your TV station here is in a good neighborhood. The parking lot is full of expensive autos. Inequality is not just between the citizens of the Southwestern Province and the interior.”

“Yes. That is true,” Pandeni agreed reluctantly. “But do you see why the Education Ministry’s repositioning of resources is generally popular?”

“Yes, I can,” Timmerman said. “And I do not necessarily oppose it. What I would say is that it could have been done better. At the end of the term, not in the middle - that would have minimized the disruption for students. And, it could have - should have been discussed with local officials and the families at the schools involved.”

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Uncle Noel
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Uncle Noel » Fri May 25, 2018 12:39 pm

Private Residence of Abarran Mbala, Regina Island, New Hope

Zamimbia wrote:“I am glad that you could come this evening, Ahuatzi,” Abarran’s smile faded and his voice took on a more serious character, “and not just to enjoy a fine brandy.” He looked around and let out a breath. “The truth is that we are in need of friends. I and some of my colleagues on the Council read about your announcement of the Co-Development Fund and we are anxious to hear more about it and to see how we can work together to make things better for our people.”


Quequezquia raised an eyebrow. The bottle of brandy, having proffered, was now withdrawn. "Come on Abarran," said the Ambassador looking over the rim of his spectacles, "Play the game. You didn't agree to this meeting, and I didn't come traipsing across New Hope, to talk about a benevolent fund, and if I've held up my end of the bargain then it's time for you to deliver on your side."

Quequezquia set the bottle down on a side table next to him. "What the hell is going on? What is Duna doing? Is he mad? I know there were always rumours that he caught syphilis a few years back and wasn't having it treated and I just took these for what they were; vicious slander. But, by the gods, taking desks from the Boers? What did people think would happen? I've started to think that maybe he has caught something and it's started to affect his thinking."

The Ambassador paced the study. "And there are the troops on maneuvers. You know, Abarran, I have a full embassy staff now. I know! I've been arguing for years that my country needed to do more in Zamimbia and now they have. And would you like to know what the main topic of conversation is? How to evacuate them if there's a coup and it all goes south. I finally have the staff I've pleaded for and now they're planning on how many helicopters they'll need to get them to Ajuba."


Quequezquia turned and put his hands on his hips. "Now listen Abarran, the government has clammed up, you're the first person has agreed to see me in weeks. So I'll ask again; what's going on?"

Itztlan

The Chancellor paused for a moment. “I also recall during your visit, Mr. Chairman, discussing the possibility of a broad regional summit. Perhaps the situation in Zamimbia opens the door to such a summit. A multilateral forum might just offer us the best opportunity to stabilise Zamimbia and provide it the assistance it needs without any one nation taking advantage of the situation to advance its own ambitions.

“Tell me, Mr. Chairman, how would you view a regional summit held in, let’s say New Excalbia, our exclave in Ajuba? Would you be willing to endorse the summit and attend?”


The General Secretary shrugged but, this being a telephone conversation, it was an entirely pointless gesture. "Certainly Madam Chancellor, our view then is the same as our view now; that such a summit, a Congress for want of any wider framework, is probably our best means of preventing the situation from spiraling out of control. If, that is, all the interested parties attend, otherwise it would be a talking shop. I certainly think we should not countenance any propositions for the partition of Zamimbia, the last thing we need is a Epheron Sudetenland."

Anahuacan Embassy, New Hope

Their signs were a mishmash of vaguely leftist demands: land reform and redistribution; nationalisation of foreign businesses; hiring preferences for Butas and Nalus; and economic redistribution.


Ueman Xonacatl watched the TV news from his office, rubbing his hands together in glee. "This is exactly the response we're after!" he said to the empty room. The portrait of Cunincpert Indiemurr, the People’s Commissar for State Security and his boss, gazed down in triumph.

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Excalbia
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Excalbia » Fri May 25, 2018 6:40 pm

Uncle Noel wrote:ItztlanThe General Secretary shrugged but, this being a telephone conversation, it was an entirely pointless gesture. "Certainly Madam Chancellor, our view then is the same as our view now; that such a summit, a Congress for want of any wider framework, is probably our best means of preventing the situation from spiraling out of control. If, that is, all the interested parties attend, otherwise it would be a talking shop. I certainly think we should not countenance any propositions for the partition of Zamimbia, the last thing we need is a Epheron Sudetenland."


Imperial Chancery, Citadel Excalbia

“I agree with you completely, Mr. Chairman,” Lady Ashley said. “His Imperial Majesty’s Government will not accept any partition of Zamimbia. As for the summit, we would propose to invite the all the interested parties. We would, of course, circulate a proposed list of invitees to all our partners for their comment ahead of time.”

The Chancellor flipped the page in her notebook and briefly bit the end of her pen. “May I ask if there are any immediate steps that you would like to see us take to better demonstrate our commitment to seeing this crisis resolved promptly and peacefully?”

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