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A Game of Thrones

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Yohannes
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A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:56 am



Image




A Game of Thrones


A prequel to The Archbishop and His Mission











About the book



Change has come to Yohannes.

The 2018 presidential election sends ripples across the Nineteen Countries. Newly-elected conservative politician Marion Maréchal-Le Men presents herself as the agent of change to become the eighteenth Yohannesian Emperor. Many believe her to simply be a pawn of the GOP establishment, and there are pejorative rumours that Marion is just a puppet of the Freedom Caucus inside the beltway.

The formidable bible belt Emperor is regarded by her evangelical base as the saviour that would make Yohannes great again, yet many rainbow politicians and prince-electors knew of her inexperience and seek to weaken the powers and privileges of the imperial government during her reign.

Desperately uninitiated in the game of thrones, Marion paints herself as a champion of the Fifth Amendment and LGBT rights. Outside the continent, employing high-powered diplomacy and neutrality by trade, she oversees her nation’s strongest economic expansion since the Gholgoth days of 2012 by keeping rival nations friendly.

Marion is a complex figure. She is of the Freedom Caucus yet is open to the cause of the rainbow movement. A poster-girl of the Yohannesian far-right, she is devoted to her African Yohannesian husband and is a loving mother to her two biracial daughters. Formidably astute, she plays one of the most dangerous political games the nation has ever seen — the multicultural rainbow inner cities love her family and leafy suburban middle Yohannesians like her Yohannes First political platform. She promises so much to so many.

Marion’s game of thrones in her realm is played out amidst an increasingly fractious and turbulent International Incidents background.

The web of alliances and informal networks of yore are increasingly being replaced by the empires of the future. Beyond the borders, World Assembly activists have started to criticise her move to align the Nineteen Countries closer with the increasingly dangerous and powerful military hegemons of the Santiago Anti-Communist Treaty Organisation — culminating in her government’s decision to form ever closer economic relationship with Greater Nifon and to ignore Inyursta’s human rights issues in favour of trade.



1 A Game of Thrones
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The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
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2018 had been my most productive (IC) NS year since 2011 — I won’t be as active on NS now due to RL obligations :)

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Yohannes
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:19 am



About the author



Image
Author: Claudia A
claudia.a@tratimes.co.yo
@claudiaa

Claudia A is one of the underpaid interns at The Royal Alexandria Times. She is a Macroeconomics postgraduate student and professional procrastinator in between lectures by day. She has previously attempted green policy analysis and social justice reviews, but was suck at both. These days you can find her in her natural habitat — writing for the Parliamentary Analysis Archive and The Royal Alexandria Times in her leisure time. She can sometimes be found tweeting together with her friends Baxter W, Erica B, Yohannes D & co. at the Maxtopian social networking website NationStates.




2 A Game of Thrones
The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
Government Archive Act | Reichstag Parliamentary Debates | Tales from Yohannes | I Beg my Realm
Currency Intervention | A Game of Thrones | The Archbishop and His Mission | Homofront Yohannes | My competition
Embassy Exchange | VMK Industry | Bank of Yohannes | NS Hacking | Our posting history | Player information
We love NationStates! Do you? \__(^.^)_//
NS military project: Tank | Armour | Bomber
All In-Character things I’ve written on NationStates are open-source/Creative Commons that you can use :)
2018 had been my most productive (IC) NS year since 2011 — I won’t be as active on NS now due to RL obligations :)

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Yohannes
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:20 am



1. The Kingdom of Burmecia




The Münchenmôtier family came late to the deportation.

They had donned their Make Yohannes Great Again hats for the occasion. Even though they would hoot with laughter at seeing the browbeaten aliens, they must appear humble to portray all the trappings of a respectable small town farming family—the entire village was there.

The sun was not yet up when the first five or six of the Asians arrived, herded like goats and sheep by the big guard. Quiet and beaten, none of them looked up when they passed the family. The youngest of the boys threw a stone at one of the passing aliens. “Illegal!” he said, “Eat banana, monkey!” His mother slapped the small boy hard on the back, knocking his MYGA hat half off. Behind them, the entire village looked at the illegal aliens with distaste. The mood of the crowd was one of unusual anger. Normally they would not be here—the ironworkers would instead be at the nearby factory; the butchers at their shops; the farmhands and sheepherders busy making their farmgate contributions. But this time it was different.

“Bloody orientals, coming here taking our jobs and stealing and killing”, said one of the villagers behind the boy. He spat at the leading deportee, and the deportee looked at him with hate in his face. There was no love lost between them—caught in one of Yohannes’ most conservative heartland counties, the deportee could not expect any political correctness. And the villager who spat on his face was not raised to offer any. There were mocking and whistling as the aliens entered the military truck, but the abuse had by then subsided.

More and more villagers left, until there were only a few left standing in that open field. They converged on the military truck, by now ready for departure to Alexandria. From there, the deportee would be sent back to his birthplace. The big guard took out a piece of paper as the last of the deportees, walking very slowly, entered the truck. He looked at his captive: misunderstood, shunned and treated with contempt; one year for the wage, two years for the illegal entry, and three years for the misery. They would be better off anywhere but here, he decided.

“A job well done”, came a voice from his back. Surprised, the big guard turned around. Old, well-attired, and dignified, “You must be the Mayor of Münchenmôtier. I have the paper here ready to be signed.”

The elderly man looked impressed. “I wish my councillors had your ability to think ahead and plan accordingly”, he signed the paper. “I take it”, the mayor looked at the blindfolded and bound detainees inside the truck, “that’s all there is to it?”

“For now, yes”, the big guard replied reservedly.

The driver approached, trying to avoid looking at the blindfolded aliens now crying dejectedly inside the truck. “Ready for departure uce?”

The big guard said: “Yo, we’re ready, ye—”

“There is one thing that I want to give you before you go”, the mayor showed him an envelope. “They’re not going to be registered under my village...”

They both looked at the blindfolded detainees inside the truck.

“Yes?”

The big guard looked at him and said: “Are you trying to bribe me, sir?”

3 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
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Yohannes
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:27 pm



The mayor stood there for a second or two before he spoke: “God bless you, my child.” He turned and said, “Before I go, if I may ask: what is your name?”

“Oskar, sir. Oskar Schindler of the far north.”

“A rainbow operative, eh?” the mayor turned around one last time to face the man who had rejected his offer. “I’m surprised you’ve got the heart for doing this kind of thing down here.”

He said in half a whisper, “Oskar, you’d know they have children born here… right?”

“I’m surprised you know about it”, Oskar replied.

“It took us a wee while to locate them all, of course”, the mayor chuckled, looking him straight in the eye: “Men and women—hard to be identified, these chinks.”

Or you simply want their cheap labour, Oskar thought. He said: “Well, may God bless us. We will have to go now. Lord Mayor, thank you for your hospitality.”

“Of course.”

The mayor turned around and walked away, leaving him standing there with his driver, Petyr. They were by now speaking in High Alexandrian, the tribal language of the far north that not even many born-and-bred north Yohannesians would understand.

“The old man was insane, eh”, he said.

“Racist motherfucker uce”, Petyr replied succinctly.

They certainly would not be able to report the old man to the greater regional council around here. The sick heartlanders occupying those council seats were probably just as bad as him, Oskar thought gloomily. They were going to have to go straight to parliament and take their chance with the president pro tempore.

It occurred to him that the blindfolded deportees inside the truck had been here long enough to maybe know a thing or two of the mayor and his dealings. “Should we ask one of the Asians?” he asked.

“I’d recommend not to go there—can they even speak Yohannesian?” Petyr replied.

“Well”, he got into the truck, “we’ll see, won’t we?” He removed the blindfolds of the deportees one by one. One of them looked up at Oskar with tears in his eyes and almost in a whisper said, “Have I, five-year-old, five-year-old, son, back home, please, no go back me. My son, citizen by birth. Yes.”

So they can speak pidgin Yohannesian after all, Oskar thought. He looked down at the man. He was a pitiful sight, smelling like a pig and looking like one too—dirty, unkempt and unwashed. “You have been here how long—year, years, what year; yes or no? How old, you, you?”

The man replied: “Me. O-o-o-o. Fifty. My age. Fifty. Yes.”

The deportee had relaxed a little, knowing that the person he was speaking to is on his side. But now he looked like he was penetrated with disquietude. And he would know why: can he trust this seemingly friendly stranger? Is it not true that every Yohannesian dislike his kind? No. Only heartlanders and the bible belt, Oskar thought. He said: “Your secret is safe. With me. Yes. Safe. No harm. Your birth citizen son—good boy. Now, you come with me. Yes?”

The man looked up to study Oskar’s face. He hesitated, not sure what this seemingly friendly stranger is trying to do to him.

He then shifted his gaze at Petyr, still watching outside the truck. Oskar looked on impassively as he turned and climbed out of the truck. He knew what they were thinking. It’s going to be a long, long day.

4 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
Government Archive Act | Reichstag Parliamentary Debates | Tales from Yohannes | I Beg my Realm
Currency Intervention | A Game of Thrones | The Archbishop and His Mission | Homofront Yohannes | My competition
Embassy Exchange | VMK Industry | Bank of Yohannes | NS Hacking | Our posting history | Player information
We love NationStates! Do you? \__(^.^)_//
NS military project: Tank | Armour | Bomber
All In-Character things I’ve written on NationStates are open-source/Creative Commons that you can use :)
2018 had been my most productive (IC) NS year since 2011 — I won’t be as active on NS now due to RL obligations :)

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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:27 am



Feng Jiahao was a born entrepreneur.

He had once been the owner of a launderette and a dairy shop in his adopted village of Münchenmôtier, and it was easy to see why the people of Münchenmôtier had been envious of his wealth. A short, pudgy man from the Chinese province of Guangdong, he had a perceptive intelligence and a boastful manner, and he believed in the importance of working hard. When he first immigrated and started working in the factories, he had done twelve hours a day and saved more than half of his minimum wage paycheck every week.

He disliked “blacks” and “brown Yohānnesi.” He said that they had been very racist to him on the factory floor and they had always been lazy—just like the “blacks in China.” However, to his surprise many of the “Yohannesian” factory managers had been very friendly with the “blacks and brown Yohānnesi”, and over the years they had grown to dislike him too. He concluded that they had disliked him because he was a much better worker than them. They were envious of his work etiquette. And so he left to set up his own dairy shop across the street.

He began by selling lollies and fizzy drinks to the local primary and secondary school students. He would work from six in the morning down to nine in the evening every week. The local students loved his sugary confectionery—their teachers not so much. They began to make life hard for him by lobbying the mayor to close down his shop. He said that they had been very racist to him too, just like the “blacks and browns” and the “Yohannesian” factory managers.

The locals had grown to dislike Feng because he was a racist himself, Oskar thought as they drove back from Münchenmôtier to the capital city of Burmecia at lunchtime. The few “blacks” he saw this morning were lean and taut, and they were in fact Yohannesians: they spoke with a thick heartland accent, the oldest of all Yohannesian accents. But still Feng spoke of them as “blacks”—just like “blacks in China”—and he seemed to believe that they were not locals, unlike the “Yohannesian” factory managers he had worked for. Oskar thought this was the main reason why many Yohannesians had grown to dislike Asian immigrants: they refused to integrate and they brought their cultural baggage with them here.

Predictably, Feng had not been able to hide his prejudice—in fact, he told Oskar that he thought that by working hard, he would have been accepted as an equal to any Yohannesian. By any Yohannesian, he had, of course, meant white Yohannesians: not African Yohannesians or native Yohānnesi. As a citizen of the Middle Kingdom, he believed that he was superior to “blacks and browns.” He could not understand why there were so many African Yohannesian and native Yohānnesi cricket, rugby and basketball players, and why they had so many adoring fans—the majority of who had always been white Yohannesians. He could not understand why a “beautiful” Yohannesian such as the eighteenth Yohannesian Emperor, Marion Maréchal-Le Men, would marry a “black man” and had “black children” with him.

“In China blacks and browns are the bottom of the food chain”, he had told Oskar and Petyr this morning, when they were taking a break, sitting under a large oak tree on the outskirts of the capital city.

“Because it’s the capital city of Royal Burmecia, there are heaps of African Yohannesians and native Yohānnesi—what do you think of that?” Oskar looked over at Petyr as they both thought the same thing at once: it was very sad that Feng should be like this. The man was a victim of heartland xenophobia, and he had a fine mind and great work etiquette. But he seemed to have an irresistible need to be supercilious and be noticed as the equal of any white Yohannesian; and this drove the very people he had worshipped to dislike him. He was proud and vain, but Oskar admired him still for what he had accomplished as an immigrant—for Oskar could see, behind the sad story, a troubled mind who did not really believe that anyone could really appreciate him as an immigrant in his adopted country.

“The Founding Monarchs of the Nineteen Countries had said that all men are created equal,” Oskar said, paused and shifted his glance to Petyr for a moment before he returned to Feng. “How old is your son?”

“My birth citizen son. O-o-o. Yes. My son—good son. Must study hard for good grades. So go to good schools when older”, Feng replied.

5 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
Government Archive Act | Reichstag Parliamentary Debates | Tales from Yohannes | I Beg my Realm
Currency Intervention | A Game of Thrones | The Archbishop and His Mission | Homofront Yohannes | My competition
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All In-Character things I’ve written on NationStates are open-source/Creative Commons that you can use :)
2018 had been my most productive (IC) NS year since 2011 — I won’t be as active on NS now due to RL obligations :)

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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:01 am



Petyr drove the truck up the quiet road to the OEE headquarters in Royal Burmecia. Helped by three assistant officers he led the deportees to their cells. Oskar put Petyr in charge of their interrogations, for despite being one of the most experienced OEE agents in Yohannes, Petyr had a gentle touch with the underdogs that could win over even the most unruly dogs.

Feng was interrogated by Oskar himself. He was keen to know what the Mayor of Münchenmôtier had done to freeze Feng’s visa expiry in exchange for money. He dropped hints over the course of the interrogation, but Feng did not respond to further cross-questioning than otherwise required before the law, and Oskar had to suppress his curiosity. He decided that he would have to give Feng his freedom in exchange for more information. And Feng had expressed his willingness to work with them—the alternative was deportation.

Before teatime it was paperwork hour. The OEE headquarters in Royal Burmecia was small and underfunded. They had no proper space to safely hold all of Oskar’s confidential documents here, but with six Secret Service agents on the premises he should have nothing to worry about. Feng seemed to enjoy his newfound freedom. He was allowed to go into the kitchen from time to time to interact with Oskar and his assistants while they watched the latest news from across the Nineteen Countries. As Petyr was about to tell Feng of the Founding Fathers and their historical significance, Oskar turned the monitor because he could not believe what he was hearing: “King Freya has died in a hunting accident.”

Everyone stopped completely still. The King of Burmecia—head of House Griffin—is dead. They had not expected that.

The news presenter continued: “His Majesty died at his Münchenmôtier hunting lodge, attended by Physicians to the King, after being badly wounded while trying to kill a boar.”

“Badly wounded while trying to kill a boar.” Oskar looked at Petyr. “How is that still possible in this day and age?”

“How old is Princess Sansa?”

“Today is the eleventh day of November, so she would be just a wee bit older than twenty-nine. Certainly nowhere near thirty just yet. She’s not ready, and parliament’s Regency Council will rule the Kingdom of Burmecia on her behalf”, Petyr replied.

Oskar was quite stunned, not knowing what to think. Freya had been king since before Oskar was appointed to become one of OEE’s select agents. In fact, he had never lived through such a mysterious death of a king, but he knew it meant trouble, at least in the heartland. The news presenter confirmed his worst fears: the eighteenth Yohannesian Emperor had once again painted herself as a champion of the Fifth Amendment by refusing to intervene, while Chancellor Annabelle Thorndon-Stevensonn was too preoccupied with the upcoming General Election in December. “This is for the working groups of the Kingdom of Burmecia to solve by themselves”, they said. The message was clear: it’s a problem to be solved at the national level—not imperial.

“What happens next?” Oskar murmured.

They resumed their silence. Petyr said: “The problem is that the young princess is the king’s only heir to the throne, and she will encounter strong opposition from those Burmecian lords who feel that a woman should not inherit the throne of their kingdom. You’ve never served the king in his court, Oskar, so you might not know it, but Burmecia is a much, much more conservative country than Alexandria.”

“I can see that.” Oskar needed no reminder of the heartland kingdom’s deeply embedded conservative tradition—the way Münchenmôtier’s villagers and mayor had treated Asian deportees was still fresh in his mind. It was the first thing to shatter his naive belief that Yohannes was a land of tolerance, and it had made him aware of the stark differences between the rainbow north and the bible belt south. The Queen of Alexandria, Garnet Til Alexandros of House Stark, was herself twenty-four years old when she ascended the throne, but Oskar had no illusion that Princess Sansa would receive the same treatment from the lords and parliament of Burmecia.

“And, of course, there are existing contenders for the Burmecian throne”, Petyr went on. “One of them is a strong-willed person to whom I was entrusted to protect with my life once.”

“His Royal Highness Akarana the Ninth, The Grand Duke of Donata, Duke of Nordland, and Lord of Halbjerg. The head of House Baratheon who sits on the Valyrian Throne—the prince-elector who dreams of one day becoming a king.”

6 A Game of Thrones
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The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
Government Archive Act | Reichstag Parliamentary Debates | Tales from Yohannes | I Beg my Realm
Currency Intervention | A Game of Thrones | The Archbishop and His Mission | Homofront Yohannes | My competition
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We love NationStates! Do you? \__(^.^)_//
NS military project: Tank | Armour | Bomber
All In-Character things I’ve written on NationStates are open-source/Creative Commons that you can use :)
2018 had been my most productive (IC) NS year since 2011 — I won’t be as active on NS now due to RL obligations :)

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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:38 am



I




It depends on whether they’re Yohannesian or not, surely?

He had of course meant cultural differences making them unsuitable to work for him. But certainly that was untrue. Nothing less than a Yohannesian-born and bred would have satisfied him—they can be pale white just like him, or charcoal black just like the eighteenth Yohannesian Emperor’s husband, or yellow just like the second generation non-Occidentals. Oh yes, he knew deep down that he was not a racist. He just believed that Yohannesians must come first. They can be black, white, or yellow—so long as they have the accent then they are all good.

“My son recently met one from a Korean culture. She was the ideal wife: pliant, submissive, and willing to learn and absorb like a sponge. But as a worker”, he looked at the photos of male applicants in front of him, “they just won’t do.” He threw one into the bin. It read: Mr Ton Byung-Chul, University of Yohannes Bachelor of Business Administration International Graduate.

“See what I mean, Erwin?” he chuckled, “As a political journalist you should know this thing a wee bit more than me; you can’t even pronounce his name properly?” He stamped the rest ‘Overqualified.’ “Well, we just simply can’t have someone like that working as public relations officer round here. Maybe as taxi driver or shelf cleaner, yes—but not for a government office.”

The Realm Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Media was about to finish his tea when someone opened the door. “Mr Heinrich Henzler…”

“Esther Ma! What a pleasure to see you looking so fresh this morning. What has brought my favourite secretary here inside?” the minister gave Erwin the good ole wink and the two-finger sign. They meant: ‘second generation beauty.’

“Are you like this every morning, Minister?” Esther said.

“Like a prowling liger”, said Heinrich. “A big animal struggling to get out of his cage.” He touched his secretary’s fingers.

“Minister… please,” Esther laughed, a soft and polite one—trailing off into an awkward silence and embarrassment made so obvious even to Erwin; who sat next to them and watched in disbelief. Heinrich made his way to his seat and sipped his tea. He closed his eyes to fully absorb the infused aroma. “I gather it’s yet more news from Münchenmôtier?”

“It depends on which side of the door the liger will open, Minister”, Esther smiled.

“Please don’t mind our friend here, Esther—he’s with us, no need for the code”, Heinrich laughed. “Esther, meet Erwin Pommel from Breitfart News Network. Erwin, meet Esther Ma: the most beautiful and hard-working secretary of the whole ministry.”

“A pleasure to meet you, Mr Erwin. I’ve heard so many good things about you. The Christmas season has come early down under I believe?”

Her voice had a tone that made Erwin realise that she was more politically in tune than meets the eye. He decided that he would have to tread very carefully from here on out. “If you mean the development in the Kingdom of Burmecia concerning the hunting accident, then yes—I mourn the passing of the heartland country’s King Freya, but I also find the late king to be a very partisan sovereign during his reign.”

Heinrich looked at Esther as if to say, ‘See, I told you he’s one of us’, and Erwin saw the delight in his eye. “I mourn his passing too, Erwin, but I agree with you: the late Burmecian monarch had overreached his constitutional authority by his tendency to support the Christian Democratic Party.”

“The liberal sovereign of a conservative heartland country—the late King Freya was an interesting one,” said Esther. She placed a letter on the Minister’s desk. “The Lord Mayor of Münchenmôtier had written this letter to inform you of the recent increase in arrests of undocumented migrants in his constituency.”

Heinrich raised his eyebrows and stared at the letter. “Is our favourite, good ole heartland mayor being caught in one of his… latest round of cheap labour shortcuts yet again?” he asked, raising his hand to read the letter. Erwin could feel Esther tense up beside him. “Oh dear Esther, this is what our Breitfart friend here is about to report on,” the minister said mumbling but standing up to reach Erwin. Erwin stood up, not to resent the command, but to accept that this was part of his job description.

The minister gave three letters to Esther and one to him. “See what you can do down there, will you?”

Esther smiled and withdrew, and Erwin did the same.

7 A Game of Thrones
The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
Government Archive Act | Reichstag Parliamentary Debates | Tales from Yohannes | I Beg my Realm
Currency Intervention | A Game of Thrones | The Archbishop and His Mission | Homofront Yohannes | My competition
Embassy Exchange | VMK Industry | Bank of Yohannes | NS Hacking | Our posting history | Player information
We love NationStates! Do you? \__(^.^)_//
NS military project: Tank | Armour | Bomber
All In-Character things I’ve written on NationStates are open-source/Creative Commons that you can use :)
2018 had been my most productive (IC) NS year since 2011 — I won’t be as active on NS now due to RL obligations :)

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Yohannes
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:39 am



Erwin spent that early morning with his new beehive acquaintance at the exclusive Library of Parliament café Tellamy. Esther Ma was a second generation Asian Yohannesian who had become a beltway insider by studying hard in school and working even harder during her later university years. Yesterday, they had briefly talked outside the Realm Minister’s office and then agreed, in the interest of making things as smooth as possible for their overbearing boss, to meet and plan their organised trips to the Kingdom of Burmecia today.

Tellamy’s luxurious internal decoration for the Christmas season consisted of legacy silver platters and dazzling gold paintings to reflect its prestigious bearing inside the beltway. The stern faces of the nineteenth century Field Marshals and private financiers watching over them reminded Erwin of the hall paintings at the Bank of Yohannes—there they showcased the institution’s luxurious arts and collections for assembled dignitaries and foreign merchants, but here they reminded civil servants of the hard work and sacrifice of the previous generations.

Esther and Erwin sat on a secluded Parliamentary staff area of the café and sipped their boutique Black Ivory coffee in privacy—although they could still see what’s happening outside the room through the glass window. On the other side, parliamentary guests and family members of politicians were attended by “guest employees” whose duties were to entertain them while they waited for their meals to arrive: as the secretary of a Realm Minister outside the Executive Council, Esther could ask for the window curtain to be drawn, but Erwin suspected that she had quietly enjoyed the fact that ordinary patrons could clearly see her sitting in one of Tellamy’s exclusive “beltway insiders only” rooms.

Now, as they began to eat their scrambled eggs, Esther asked Erwin: “I’m sorry for what’s happening yesterday? Inside the Minister’s office.”

“That is fine—look, it’s nothing big; all good.” The twin displays of sexism and casual racism he had seen yesterday morning were nothing in comparison to what he had personally seen inside Royal Alexandria’s multi-million dollar corporate boardrooms.

“The Realm Minister is actually a lovely person, once you’ve got to know him quite well”, said Esther. “Between you and me, he’s not that bad.”

“He’s quite simply a man of his generation”, Erwin explained. “Between you and me”, he smiled at Esther, “I’ve seen worse things inside Royal Alexandria’s finance boardrooms—in fact, I bet you’d find the Bank of Yohannes to be the worst offender in this regard.”

“To know that you’ve quit your lucrative old job only to land yourself at the heart of the capital city’s political debauchery: the Library of Parliament buildings. Voluntarily downgrading yourself from the multi-billion dollar finance industry to enter the political heart of the beltway!” Esther said. “This amuses me.”

Erwin chuckled. “Oh, I’m not sure I’d look at the whole thing as ‘downgrading’ myself.”

“But what have you gained—that is, what would you gain from this?” Esther asked, inquisitively.

Erwin hesitated. It was hard to explain. It was hard enough to listen to his ambitious old man’s two-hour ranting over the phone when he had revealed this plan after resigning from the Bank of Yohannes last year. Knowing the ambitious nature of most Asian Yohannesian parents—and their children—Erwin was unsure of Esther’s reaction.

“I feel like this is where I can make—no, contribute to change. To do my part—no, my small part—to help bring about change. Ever since I was a kid I had always dreamt of being involved in politics at the national level. And now I have the opportunity to make a difference at the imperial level. You and me; we’re from the Kingdom of Alexandria. We’ve seen Chancellor Annabelle Thorndon-Stevensonn’s awe-inspiring 2014 election to become the first lesbian Chancellor of the Nineteen Countries. And well—beginning of this year, we’ve seen how GOP’s Marion Maréchal-Le Men and her ‘Yes we can’ campaign could defeat the multi-billion dollar political machine of Christian Democratic establishment Member Abdullahi Lindström.”

“Do you understand what I’m getting here?”

“I’m not sure, actually!” Esther replied, honestly.

“Well—”

“And Annabelle… really?” Esther interrupted. There was a note of amusement in her voice. “Last time I check, you’re working for Breitfart News Network—not The Royal Alexandria Times?” She saw Erwin as the archetypal spoiled, Yohannesian suburban lad; and was incredulous to see him wasting his prime years to pursue an undefinable political pipe dream.

“You know; if you’re my brother my ‘old man’ would disown you already by now for wasting away opportunities not given to most people out there… right?” Somehow, Erwin knew that Esther was indirectly talking about the Asian Yohannesian community—her immigrant parents’ sacrifice.

“I mean, c’mon Erwin, are you even for real?” she said condescendingly, “Giving up a Bank of Yohannes analyst job to become a political editor for Breitfart and work with people like… the Realm Minister; more than 70 per cent pay cut and losing millions in future earning capacity? What are you—the secret heir of a promising multi-million dollar coastal high-tech company?”

“A lifetime of excessive earning potential is nothing in comparison to the opportunity to bring about—no, helping to bring about change for the future generations to come,” Erwin replied pleasantly. He had warmed already to Esther’s frank personality and open honesty, and pretended to not notice her tone.

“Take a look at this room; this café; this building. The Library of Parliament. The previous generations fought to make democracy happen—if they had given up on change, the Realm of Yohannes would not be here today. The Nineteen Countries had modernised through the Wilhelmine Restoration years… 1871, 1914, 1933, and had resisted the bullying influence of the English-speaking Occidental powers; their opium; their iron, gun, and steel, because the early unification oligarchs had decided to bring about ‘change’ and adopt the superior technology of the Occidents. We are here today because of change—change that can happen; change that happened.”

Esther stood in her exasperation. “I bet you voted for Marion Maréchal-Le Men the moment she had said ‘yes we can.’” She picked up her ministerial folder.

Erwin watched her expression: it was the exact same expression that his old man had shown last year and it made him laugh.

Esther took a moment to set her eyes on Erwin’s sparkling blue eyes. She said: “it’s half past eight—it’s time to work, Change boy.”

8 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:42 am



Beyond the Tiergarten Park Esther and Erwin were reading the last note. Erwin’s voice made a chirping sound that seemed to come from outside, but Esther’s produced only the smallest murmur. Esther grew up learning that an Asian Yohannesian should speak quietly and bow their head down; when she was young her father had told her the importance of rising above discrimination to be a successful “model minority.” She had kept her father’s advice with determination. It’ll all pay off in the end, Esther then believed, and then she’d be able to look after her parents when they’re old.

Erwin was the complete opposite of who she was—the Realm of fiords and mountain had given him all the opportunities that one could ask for; his father was a corporate bigwig and his mother was a private school teacher. He was raised in one of Alexandria’s upper-class suburbs and was educated at Royal Alexandria Grammar, one of the country’s top private schools. Esther wondered what they had found to say to each other.

She drew back from the breeze of the air conditioner, poured more water into her glass, and went around to the other side of the room, which overlooked the large park down below.

Erwin had finished reading his note and sat next to her.

“I meant to tell you”, he said, “that you can travel with me on the same train to make things easier for us.”

“That is a good suggestion, actually. It’d provide us with more face-to-face time to coordinate things through.”

“It would. I guess it’s a way for us to save on first class train fares too”, he chuckled, looking around at the vintage paintings in her office. “Not that you’ll need it.”

He was looking more and more intriguing by the minute. Blue Yohannesian stock, Esther had thought. His blue eyes had the force of caricature. Those muscular arms and untested confidence—in typical upper-class upbringing—could not betray his naivety and lack of experience with the harsh realities of life for those not born in the right place and in the right family with the right citizenship and accent, but he was filled with optimism and a general feeling of well being commonly lacking from those of his station.

“I will, actually. I’m not one to accept frivolous spending.” She looked at him. “It goes against my upbringing.”

“Of course.”

Her office boy had brought new butter baguette with cheese and two cups of tea. Erwin found he was hungry and thirsty, and he tucked in. Esther, still deep in thought, ate nothing.

Through a mouthful of bread Erwin said: “One of your sealed letters will go straight to the Grand Duke of Donata’s desk, I’d guess?”

“The Grand Duke has not released any public statements concerning the throne of Burmecia—yet. You know as well as I do that I couldn’t read the Realm Minister’s mind, nor those of his superiors.” Esther looked on the ground a second, and then her eyes met his again with that cool friendliness which so enthused him. “There will also be the question of Princess Sansa. To be honest with you, I don’t think the Grand Duke will try to push his claim—the legitimacy of House Griffin will rest with Princess Sansa, and so long as Princess Sansa is alive that won’t change.”

“Good. The last thing we need is a conservative monarch to sit on the throne of an already deeply red, bible belt country.”

“The Realm Minister would disagree with you—and your employer too, for that matter.”

“He’s probably trying to offer his political support to the Grand Duke of Donata.”

“Now I see why you work for Breitfart,” she smiled. “My boss is just a—he is the Realm Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Media. He is not the eighteenth Yohannesian Emperor. We’re talking about the office of the third most influential Prince-elector here: not a low-ranked member of the nobility.”

Erwin nodded, though he had a feeling he knew what was coming. His spirits had sunk before the breakfast at Tellamy, but now they rose again. He swallowed the last bite and put away his plate for the office boy to take later.

Esther went on. “I’m more interested with the sealed letter handwritten personally as evidence of personal support for the Mayor of Münchenmôtier. I never like him—the last time he received handwritten political support it was because he had apparently breached the Health and Safety Act by personally employing undocumented migrants in his ‘community farms’ without adequate gear and protection equipment.”

“What do you think he’s up to this time?”

“Who knows—but it probably has something to do with illegal immigration and cheap labour, yet again.”

“Possibly.”

“Tigers don’t change their stripes.”

It was true. Working for Breitfart News Network, Erwin had realised that some politicians just did not care about the consequences of their actions and the corruption they could have committed along the way—so long as they’re barely legal. The Realm Minister’s reaction yesterday morning strongly suggested the Mayor of Münchenmôtier had done something serious enough so as to require an intervention from a political ally at the imperial level.

Ignoring his silence, Esther continued her thoughts. “What could it be?”

Erwin chuckled. “A handwritten, personal political support is a very rare thing in this day and age. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. If I’m going to say what I’ll say here, promise me you will not laugh?”

“Yes.”

“Well, think. King Freya’s hunting accident and him dying at his Münchenmôtier lodge—the timing with this whole personal letter; no, three letters. One to the Mayor of Münchenmôtier and two to God knows who else. And finally, we both have known for quite a wee while now that the Grand Duke of Donata has a reasonable claim on the Throne of Burmecia.”

This time, Esther giggled. “Breitfart alternative facts boy—honestly? Erwin, you should stop while you’re still here.”

He was indignant. “You want my honest opinion, I give you my honest opinion. I’m telling you, it clicks. Esther, I can see what’s happening here.”

“Of course you’d know, of course.” She sighed. “Anything else, Breitfart alt-facts boy…?”

“I think I can guess what’s going to happen next”, said Erwin.

9 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:15 am



The Grand Duke of Donata met Josef Trendele and General Beatrix of Alexandria at Halbjerg Palace, in the heart of the southern grand duchy’s capital city. Halbjerg was more inconspicuous than Royal Burmecia. In Burmecia there were too many people watching the Grand Duke’s every move: political pundits; royal followers; lords and members of the Burmecian nobility. Here in Halbjerg members of the populace were far removed from the political maelstrom up north, and here in his own palace no one would know who Josef is.

“I gather it went off as planned”, Grand Duke Akarana said. News of the hunting accident had spread all around the Nineteen Countries in no time.

“Your Royal Highness—it was no great problem”, Josef said. He was a bit let down by Grand Duke Akarana’s muted response. After all the trouble that had been removed to infiltrate the hunting ground, Akarana might have shown some delight.

“The Secret Service has launched an investigation, of course”, Josef said sullenly.

“And…?”

“The Secret Service has so far failed to find anything—they’ll fail to find anything directly related with the event.”

“No one was recognised?”

“Our agents did it well. I did say directly, however, because…”

The Grand Duke of Donata looked at Josef darkly. “I did hear of the arrests of a dozen or so aliens in your constituency. I hope that this ‘directly’ problem has nothing to do with that?”

“One very unlikely, but still possibly vulnerable piece of evidence of my probable indirect involvement”, Josef said. “It was unknowingly held by an illegal old chink who had recently been put under the custody of an OEE agent from the Kingdom of Alexandria.”

The dark look intensified. What was the Grand Duke thinking? Was he going to pretend to be upset that Josef had inadvertently butchered his ambition? If so, Josef was ready to point out that Akarana was complicit in everything that had happened on the hunting ground—he had been the planner. He had no right to complain. Josef waited for Akarana to speak. But, after five seconds or so, all he said was: “Let’s read the King’s will and testament.”

“This alien problem and his handler can be taken care of quite easily.” The Grand Duke looked at General Beatrix. “I believe you will take care of this ‘Alexandrian friend’ of yours?”

A look of confidence came over Beatrix’s face. “Your Royal Highness, I am at your command.” She raised her Save the Queen sword to formalise her knightly contract.

The General of the Nine Alexandrian Knights left the room, and Akarana and Josef approached the bookcase. The Grand Duke took out a thick folder and placed the Will and Testament of the King of Burmecia onto the desk. Akarana made himself comfortable and began to examine them. Some pages were handwritten badly, others typed out perfectly, while a few scratched out with a pencil. He read one, read a few lines in the weak winter sunlight coming through the windows, then put the page back onto the folder and read another.

Josef had no idea what the Grand Duke was searching for. He had only said that it might put the late king into disrepute. Josef could not imagine what kind of embarrassing information the folder might have that would hand the Grand Duke his much sought-after prize of becoming a king.

He felt weary and impatient watching Akarana read, but he was not going to stop standing there. He had given what the Grand Duke asked for, and he was going to stand there until Akarana delivered on his promise and confirmed it verbally.

The portly monarch worked his way patiently through the pages. One caught his eyes for more than a minute or so, and he read it to the last paragraph, but then he smiled before putting it back in the folder.

Josef and General Beatrix had spent most of yesterday in his office. It was not likely that they would be asked to comply with the First Amendment by the Secret Service. But there was still a very small probability of risk, and the Alexandrian General would soon erase that probability. They might be OEE agents or possibly former Secret Service operators—but they’re no match for her and her team, Josef thought. She was, after all, the head of Alexandria’s covert special assassination and tactical knights.

Finally, the desk was empty and the folder was closed. Josef said: “Your Royal Highness, I believe that everything is taken care of?”

“Yes”, the Grand Duke replied.

Josef could see a piece of paper in his left hand.

“So you’re satisfied?” Josef insisted.

“Yes.”

Slowly the drawn tension left his face. “And the Kingdom of Burmecia will be yours?”

“Oh”, the Grand Duke smiled quizzically. “Don’t you worry—you’ll have your title, Lord Mayor.”

The answer filled him with savage ardour. “Thank you, my lord king,” he bowed.

“And to find the answer to your question”, the Grand Duke said, “turn on your television tomorrow morning.”

10 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:38 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:53 am



The 2019 storytelling series from the creator of the Realm of Yohannes on NationStates



Image

Sansa Lovebright, Princess of Burmecia

“... Sansa is King Freya’s kind and intelligent daughter and the next in line for the throne of Burmecia. After it was revealed that the King of Burmecia was in fact her adoptive father, the Grand Duke of Donata challenges her legitimacy and declares himself pretender to the throne of her kingdom — promising to favour the socially conservative Burmecian nobility and church if he is to be crowned as the next King of Burmecia.”




Image

Oskar Schindler, Office of Elimination and Extradition Agent

“... Originally working for the elite Office of Elimination and Extradition of Immigration Yohannes, Oskar meets Feng Jiahao in the village of Münchenmôtier and discovers some of the deepest held secrets in Burmecia and is consequently embroiled in a battle to save his life and his new friend amidst a Game of Thrones...”




Image

Feng Jiahao, Entrepreneurial Immigrant and Father

“... A hardworking and entrepreneurial immigrant from the Chinese province of Guangdong, Feng strives to create a successful business for the future of his young son. He travels across the Nineteen Countries with Oskar to secure his freedom and their survival amidst a Game of Thrones not of their own making...”




Image

Josef Trendele, Lord Mayor of Münchenmôtier

“... Lord Mayor of Münchenmôtier, Josef is later nominated as Emperor’s Counsel by the Grand Duke of Donata. Josef believes that it is the will of God for him to rise through the ranks of the nation to fulfill the dream of his late wife, and for this reason believes that he should use every possible means to achieve that end...”




Image

Beatrix of Alexandria, General of the Nine Alexandrian Knights

“... General Beatrix is the head of the Kingdom of Alexandria’s covert special assassination and tactical knights: the all-female Nine Alexandrian Knights. She was a Commonwealth Navy ship-of-the-line captain and had served alongside Oskar during the Osthia and Hippostania World Assembly Condemnation Wars in 2011 and 2013....”

11 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:05 pm



Just after dawn, when most of the agents were in the study rooms preparing their report drafts for the day, there were only two people in the common kitchen: Petyr Daelish, sipping his coffee at one end of the table, and Feng, standing next to the television at the other.

Oskar paused at the foot of the stairs and watched Feng. He was a much older man than him and had been discriminated against for much of his new life in Münchenmôtier, but he held on to that eager optimism that charmed everyone. Petyr had given him his own OEE uniform without Oskar’s permission. He would have to talk to Petyr about that later. This morning Feng was pretending to give a speech as a Minister from China, giving language lessons to Petyr, who had always been eager to learn Mandarin from a native speaker. “Mandarin is no harsh-sounding language!” he said enthusiastically to Petyr. “No dumplings for you if you no learn Chinese this morning!” They both laughed at the self-deprecating joke. Oskar smiled fondly. Feng had faced many tribulations, yet he had worked hard and made his contributions in his own way as a long-suffering taxpayer of the realm for years; and Oskar, though he tried to conceal it, felt guilty for the unfair treatment hard-working immigrants like Feng had received at the hands of judgmental Yohannesians.

Feng continued to speak in Mandarin confidently to a captive Petyr, who absorbed every word quietly and let it sink in for long, still minutes after Feng had stopped talking. To most Yohannesians he was just an Asian immigrant who was about to be deported yesterday, an unfortunate citizen of the world; but to Oskar and Petyr he was something more. Petyr liked him like a younger brother; and Oskar wanted the best for the hard-working immigrant and his young son. Oskar himself had been raised in a tolerant household, by a kindly priestly father and an open-minded schoolteacher; his mother did not believe in the claptrap that is the superiority of the Aryan race, and had always urged him to look beyond his Teutonic self at other cultures beyond the International Incidents. His priestly father did not lecture him the way many other indoctrinated priests did, but he told them of the forgiving nature of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, and how the Bible stories had urged for love and understanding across cultures—not hate.

He turned on the television, smiled at Petyr, and stood next to his new Asian friend.

“Ah… good morning, good morning, uce”, Feng said excitedly. Petyr had taught him a few native Yohannesian words and a certain amount of mocking attitude, Oskar thought ruefully.

He said: “Today we will depart for Alexandria for your freedom, old man—how about that?”

“He’s a free man already”, Petyr interrupted.

“Is he?” Oskar chuckled.

“Yes. Listen. You are a free man, now. Rainbow country best—bible belt no good. Again open up shop, private school for boy, study hard. Work hard. Superannuation set and many grandchildren guaranteed.”

Oskar tried not to laugh.

Feng made a mocking face. In his best north Yohannesian accent, he said: “That sounds like racism to me. Remember white man, Founding Fathers say we are all equal.”

“Wonderful!” said Oskar. “That escalated fast.” He stabbed the remote and switched the television over to the three news and current affairs channels back and forth as fast as he could. “Praise to the Lord in Burmecia! Give to Breitfart News Network! Give to Jesus of Nazareth!”

“Serve me right—Feng, you should show my man Oskar your next one—”

“Not just now”, Oskar said. He could not believe his ears. Using the remote he increased the volume and stood in front of the screen as the next stage in the saga concerning the Throne of Burmecia unfolded.

“Next on the five o’clock news”, the news anchor said, “The Royal Alexandria Times has learnt that the Princess of Burmecia was adopted by the late king. The Grand Duke of Donata will pursue his claims to the Burmecian throne.”

Oskar looked over at Petyr, who looked back at him, dazed and confused.

“Praise the Lord!” he shook his head. “That is just exactly what we need, my friend.”

Petyr went on. “The Office of the President of the Electoral College is safe. And your investigation and our new friend here will be safe too—”

“Not now”, Oskar said. “Listen to me for a moment, tell me: who is the current Collegian Lord Chancellor?”

“That’d be Lutz Palpatine. The old man’s goin’ to retire soon. And to be wee bit honest with you, it’s not like he can influence the president pro tempore anyway, unless…”

“Unless what?” Oskar replied. Petyr realised where Oskar was going to go with this.

“Unless the incumbent is from a neighbouring minor country.”

“And who do you think the current incumbent of that part-time office is?”

“Friedrich Furtwängler… the President of the Merchant Republic of Landburg.”

Feng looked blank. He was a stranger to the ways and dealings inside the beltway. But he asked anyway: “O-o-o, this be bad for us, no?”

“We have to depart for the South Gate now. Quickly, before it’s too late.”

“I think you’re being silly here, Oskar.” There were times it did not make sense to Petyr, but this time Oskar had to override his hesitancy.

“We don’t have time for this. You can come with us—Feng will be coming with me, that’s for sure—or you can stay here and watch the headquarters for any new changes on the ground.”

“I think you’re being too paranoid here, Oskar. But if you wish: I guess I’ll have to set aside some of my own funding for your last minute flight ticket too? And to think that it’ll be an expensive one on short notice, unbooked…”

“Yes, please!”

Petyr frowned. “And one for our new deportee friend here too?”

“I thought you knew”, Oskar said impatiently. He wasn’t sure whether Petyr was taking the mickey out of him here. “We’re going with plan B. It means mufti. Civvies. Anonymous, we’ve had this talk before.”

He wondered if he was right. Perhaps he was being too cautious, but good reasons or no, he could not get past the coincidence of it all happening in the same place and at the same time: the Mayor of Münchenmôtier, the king and his Münchenmôtier hunting lodge accident, and finally the sudden revelation that the Princess of Burmecia was in fact not the natural heir to the throne of Burmecia. Oskar knew what Petyr was thinking: You’re being too paranoid here. We’re safe. We’re the OEE. But his gut instinct told him something wasn’t right. During the Hippostania World Assembly Condemnation Wars five years ago; then, his gut instinct had saved his life more than once. Today, he would listen intently to what it had to say.

And that meant he had to go to see the president pro tempore now.

12 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:31 am



The South Gate was a gateway on a hill.

Esther and Erwin approached the border from the northeast, on an ancient and busy railway in the heart of the Aerbs Hills. Even from a distance they could see, at the top of the hill, the giant battlements and medieval stone walls of the South Gate—the southernmost of the three gates of The Wall—a colossal fortification which had once separated The Lands of Always Winter from the heartland. But they must still be at least four kilometres away when, to Erwin’s astonishment, they came to a border checkpoint. The border perimeter must be huge, he thought; the South Gate up there atop the hill, which they could see from down there, must be really tall.

At Christmas the South Gate would host the Hilda Garde, a helium-filled royal airship of a close friend of the Princess of Burmecia and the most powerful of the nineteen prince-electors, Garnet Til Alexandros the Queen of Alexandria. The Alexandrian queen had once voiced her support to seeing a Burmecia ruled by Sansa, but had since the adoption revelation kept herself away from the succession crisis down south. Now, Esther and Erwin had learnt as they approached the southern kingdom that Burmecia was in the peculiar position of having two living emperors—Marion as the eighteenth, and Garnet being her predecessor before her sudden resignation last year—both deciding to keep themselves away from intervening publicly to sway parliament at the imperial level to leave this matter for the southern kingdom to handle by itself, as Erwin had come to understand, at the national level.

The train was packed with people from all walks of life. The recent repeal of the Ban on Train Sales Act was starting to make its effect felt, and walking inside the train they were offered hot tea, cold forest cake, and an eerily familiar pair of Make Yohannes Great Again two-dollar hats by entrepreneurial Asian immigrant vendors. Parliament had said that the law would take effect only at the beginning of next year, but as Erwin could see now the Nineteen Countries was too large a nation for it to be enforced anytime and anywhere in the less regulated countryside, as always happened.

He opened the window and looked back across the darkening hill slopes they had come across. Far away through the trees and down the valley he could still see Treno City’s lights radiating from its downtown skyscrapers. Next to Erwin, Esther was still staring at the gigantic South Gate. They had left the Kingdom of Alexandria and were about to enter the Kingdom of Burmecia.

He was disappointed. He had not learnt much of Esther since Tiergarten Park. If she had played hard to get since then he would almost certainly have been able to call her bluff. He began to fear that she might have changed her mind about him.

They went through the capital city of the Noble Republic of Treno on their way to the South Gate, as everyone did; and there he saw a city suburb of thriving Asian Yohannesian and Muslim communities on the continent for the first time. There he saw a city of hope. He overheard Esther talking to one of the train passengers, a big, bushy-bearded Arab man with traditional Muslim clothing, and asked if he had ever visited the Kingdom of Burmecia before.

“I never stay long anywhere in Burmecia”, he said straightly in broken Yohannesian, before she had finished her question. “Bible belt Burmecians don’t like us Muslim immigrants.”

“Well, I come from an immigrant family too”, Esther said. “And my experience has been quite alright, actually. Right, Erwin?”

“Yes, has been alright”, Erwin said hesitantly, and turned away. He was hearing a white lie, and he would take no part in it.

“You’re not an immigrant though”, the man said. “You speak with northern accent and you carry yourself differently than most oriental women I’ve seen—”

“Perhaps,” Esther interrupted. She was surprised to hear him say ‘oriental women’ in such a way. She felt like she was an object—it made her feel uncomfortable.

“Well, we have to go now. Thank you for your time.” Esther indicated for Erwin that now is the time go.

“Of course. Fi amanillah. May you and your companion have a blessed and safe journey, woman.”

They silently made their way to their compartment. “Arabs and Muslims”, Erwin said straightly, “just couldn’t leave their cultures and religions behind with them in their birthplace.”

She chuckled and gave him a surprisingly frank look. “He reminds me of my own father—he was a very traditional man too, though in that traditional East Asian way. And he’s not an Arab nor is he a Muslim.”

He stared at her for a few moments and then asked, “I’m sorry? I wasn’t trying to be a racist there.”

“No you’re not, Erwin.” As they approached their compartment, Esther looked up from the door and into Erwin’s sparkling blue eyes. “You don’t have to justify yourself, you know. It’s not like I don’t know you well enough by now—Change boy.”

Her words gave him hope.

Erwin shrugged. “It’s going to be very hard for him to do well in Burmecia with that clothing, that accent, and that attitude with him. That said, I know of next to nothing about his struggle.” He looked at her, and he saw the doubt in her face. “I’m just a privileged Yohannesian man.”

Erwin watched as Esther’s questioning face turned into a smile.

“And I guess I’m just a privileged Yohannesian woman with a north Yohannesian accent?” she said playfully.

On impulse, Erwin said: “But more authentically Asian, of course.”

“Yes!” she said merrily. “More authentically Asian!” And she opened the door to their compartment, still laughing. “Thanks for ruining the mood!”

“I don’t get it?”

“Oh Change boy, you’re so hopeless”, said Esther.

Oblivious to her hint, Erwin extended his hand out the train window next to her.

He said: “It’s snowing.”

Winter is coming.

13 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
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Yohannes
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Re: A Game of Thrones

Postby Yohannes » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:49 pm



Crystal studied the two beltway insiders from her hiding place in the prostitution alleyway near the station. She knew them both. The tall blond man, who looked like a fairytale Norse Prince with his handsome face and dashing suit, was the new on-the-ground political reporter and editor for Breitfart News Network. The small, determined oriental woman who looked so pretty she would be worth more than a thousand bucks an hour working for her was Heinrich Henzler’s right-hand woman. She wondered what they were doing here.

Crystal had watched the tall blond man arrived first, looking around like most tourists who had never seen the Grand Citadel South Gate before, and then going in a last-minute taxi. She could not guess whether the Norse Prince had seen her looking at his delicious figure so intently from the other side of the road—he was there for only a minute or so before his lady companion reprimanded him for supposedly not hiring a pre-paid taxi before their arrival. She watched as they departed for the other side of the South Gate.

Crystal could tell by the way they were walking and their gestures that the oriental woman was being businesslike and the Norse Prince guarded. They were sent here by someone inside the beltway, she felt sure. However, she was not here to spy on them. Littlefinger had told her to come here to spy on his friend “Oskar.”

She liked doing this for Littlefinger. He always moved about her bed like a true lover. One time, he had tied her to her bed and put his hard cock inside her so good that she felt she was the customer—not him. He had paid her handsomely too.

Littlefinger preyed on her mind all the time, and through the years she had come to learn that he was an agent working for the Office of Elimination and Extradition. She was slowly drawn into his world. She was drawn into a heady game of politics and statesmanship. A game where you’ll either rise and reap your rewards or fall so hard to never come back up again, Crystal had come to learn. A game where lives had been lost; and names had been erased from history. Littlefinger had even told her of his brief participation in the game which ended the sixteenth emperor’s reign five years ago. A game so intoxicating that she would eagerly help him rise; and be by his side to claim her reward.

Crystal had become one of many players in a game of thrones.

She was a willing participant in it all. Living inside her head all these years, Crystal knew, were those images of unattainable riches for someone of her station. She was raised by a single mother in a drug-infested home. She was sold into prostitution from a young age, and had clawed herself up from the bottom to eventually run her own escort house. Littlefinger and the intoxicating game of thrones he’d partaken in came soon thereafter. She agreed to work for him and had never looked back since then.

But today she was unsettled. Something was not going according to plan. According to Littlefinger, Oskar and his “new Asian friend” were supposed to be here by now, but the morning train had departed already for the Alexandrian side of the South Gate—she had viewed the timetable for the other direction. Fortunately, she did not have to stay here long. Littlefinger had told her that his friend Oskar was probably departing for the Bohden Gate instead. And now she could tell him he was right: they’re going straight for the Regency of Lindblum from their original Royal Burmecia flight. General Beatrix was already there, and she would take care of Littlefinger’s problem easily for the Grand Duke. That one was more predictable than these two new arrivals, Crystal knew.

For a while she tried imagining what the two beltway insiders were up to, but she could not make sense of it. Nevertheless she knew they were scheming something. She decided to leave early to report what she had seen to Littlefinger in Royal Burmecia.

14 A Game of Thrones
Last edited by Yohannes on Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
The Realm of YohannesDas Yohannesische Reich
Government Archive Act | Reichstag Parliamentary Debates | Tales from Yohannes | I Beg my Realm
Currency Intervention | A Game of Thrones | The Archbishop and His Mission | Homofront Yohannes | My competition
Embassy Exchange | VMK Industry | Bank of Yohannes | NS Hacking | Our posting history | Player information
We love NationStates! Do you? \__(^.^)_//
NS military project: Tank | Armour | Bomber
All In-Character things I’ve written on NationStates are open-source/Creative Commons that you can use :)
2018 had been my most productive (IC) NS year since 2011 — I won’t be as active on NS now due to RL obligations :)


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