The Stories of Olympus (SoL/1 Offs) [Greater Olympus]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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GO Archive
Posts: 59
Founded: Feb 06, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The Stories of Olympus (SoL/1 Offs) [Greater Olympus]

Postby GO Archive » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:57 pm

Stories of Olympus

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Welcome to the Stories of Olympus. Here you will find a collection of independent stories about the nations in Olympus. Their focus can really be on anything but usually fall under the broad categories of a slice of life, history, or a one-shot. The stories being told can be from a variety of perspectives and mediums and can be contemporary or historical. If you are making reference to another nation please make sure any involvement is discussed with the owner of the nation. In general, follow the regional etiquette, and you should be good. Happy Writing.

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Last edited by GO Archive on Tue May 26, 2020 8:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Posts: 59
Founded: Feb 06, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby GO Archive » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:03 pm

Looking for a decent RP region to join? Try Greater Olympus.

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Greater Olympus is always looking for more dastardly democracies, maniacal monarchies, contemptible commies, and glorious failed states of all sizes to join our group!

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Founded: Mar 29, 2017

Postby Riscelnia » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:07 pm

Copied from the other SoL thread, where I posted after copying from Ecelea's SoL.

Seeker VI Launch

Disclaimer; I know much of this is unrealistic; Countdown, manual launch, rocket-not-already-on-the-launchpad, that stuff, but to be frank, I can't be bothered to rewrite the whole thing.
Skald National Space Centre
Republic of Sydfält
November 15, 2017 I.S.
13:52 ERT (CTZ+9) local time

The Skald National Space Centre was buzzing with activity, with various people rushing in and out of the Rocket Assembly Building (RAB), whilst in the Communications and Control Tower (CCT), silence and thin but noticeable tension hung in the air as the leading operators awaited communications from the lead engineers, who were busy overseeing the state of the rocket they were planning on launching today. One of the operators, Tobias Hansson, went over the mission planning as he waited.
Seeker 6's mission was simple enough, in theory; Fly to Ares, orbit the planet while taking pictures of the surface in an attempt at locating locations suitable for colonization should the day come, then land a rover on the north pole and take samples of the surface, then continue from there. The mission would then be to travel around the planet and continue taking samples as long as there was enough power to the drone.

A radio transmission through the loudspeakers set up around the CCT broke the tension.
"Engineering to Tower, repeat, Engineering to Tower, come in, over."
Tobias, being the chief ground coordinator for this mission, scrambled to get to his post, rushing past various people and even accidentally knocking one over before he got to his post where he sat down, picked up his headphones, switched the loudspeakers off in favor of his headset, and activated the microphone.

"Engineering, this is Tower Ground, go ahead, over," Tobias said anxiously as a couple others operators started grouping around him, awaiting the news from Engineering whether or not the Seeker VI was ready to launch yet or there'd be a second delay.
"Tower Ground, Seeker systems check are complete, Engineering reports clear for launch."
"Copy that, Engineering, Seeker is go for towing," he answered, the tension on his shoulders falling noticeably. He glanced at the operator responsible for the transportation of the Seeker Vi to the launch pad, nodded to him, who nodded back in return and began talking into his headset. "Ground Transportation Team has been notified, they'll take it from here."
"Tower Ground, copy that. I wish us all luck with this launch. Engineering, out."

And with that, Tobias shut off his station, took off his headphones, and resigned to watching the launch on the big screen erected at the front of the slightly angled room from his booth. Pre-launch preparations went by rather quickly; The Seeker was moved to the launch pad without any complications, the weather was clear, and morale in the space center was high. All in all, the launch was expected to go as planned.

At 14:24, loudspeakers spoke for a second time that day.
"Tower Launch, this is Engineering. All launch systems green, personnel evacuated, ready to launch on your mark," the same voice Tobias had spoken with before said. "Tower Launch copies, Seeker is ready for launch," the operator assigned as Tower Launch, Elias Wasserweg, responded. He then nodded to the Vessel Launch Operator (VLO), who initiated a 60-second count-down to launch. For 30 seconds, the room as almost completely silent, until the 30-second mark came up, when everyone's attention turned back to their stations, including Tobias'. At the 15 second mark, the VLO flipped open the lid covering the launch button and started shivering in anticipation. With 10 seconds left, the loudspeakers started counting down vocally as well. On the 5 second mark, the VLO's finger was almost entirely on the button.

At 0, he pressed it, and the Seeker's rocket engine fired, lifting the rocket off the ground in a massive cloud of smoke. CCT immediately became a massive a hive of activity, with various operators looking over their station to make sure all systems remained operational until the rocket had been confirmed to have left the atmosphere. For Tobias' part, he simply stared at the screen, which focused entirely on the rocket, as his task was over for this flight.

A while later, a shout rang out throughout the CCT from the Seeker project director, Alvar Lynnbäck.
"The Seeker is on the path!"
Allied Republics of Nori (called Riscelnia mainly because I don't want to make a new nation) is currently a work-in-progress. All you need to know is:
- Swedes that unified in a loosely tied together series of republics in 1923.
More will be added as needed.

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Founded: Sep 27, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Meronnia » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:27 pm

Ça Ira
By: Mèronie

Smoke filled the air, and blocked out the sun with its heavy influence. Faces were marred and blackened. The sky glowed red, and crackles and distant screams ensured there was no silence here. Senone was burning.

In Obsidienne Square, the centerpiece of Le Palais Glorieux, thousands of bodies pressed against each other, squeezing towards the Great Guillotine stand that the Communal Council had set up. The attempts of criers to announce the word of the Communal Council were entirely futile, as even the distant sounds of death were drowned out by the crowd's chant of "Ça Ira!" The ironic mantra, written by Fabien Robiquet during the First Mèron Republic which was later brutally suppressed, translated to "It'll be fine."

The Provisional Directorial Army, clad in their bright blue, were trying to force their way into the square. Director Matthias Rousselot had ordered that nobles be imprisoned in the Château de Coulomb, just outside the city, in case they were of use in negotiations. Opposing the blues were the Revolutionary Guard, the Blackcoats, the loosely organized militia directly answering to the Senone Commune, in their clusters on the outskirts of the square. "Ça Ira!" suffocated the yelling between the blues and blacks, only occasionally interrupted by the crack of a rifle when someone on either side gave in to their first impulse. On the north side of the square, blues and blacks were having a shootout. The crowd seemed not to notice.

In the center of the square, screaming and crying Comtes, Marquis, Chevaliers, noble wives, even some children, were being dragged to the Great Guillotine stand, with six blades. The nobles were being slaughtered at an impressive pace, with the line of prisoners never even having to pause as they were pushed by the crowd towards their ending. Those in the crowd lucky enough to get somewhere along the line used the opportunity to strike out with instruments blunt and sharp. Every now and then, a nobleman would be knocked unconscious by the assaults, and dragged towards the stand only by the chain that connected them all.

The mood in Obsidienne Square was not merry. Comte Duret's army was approaching the city rapidly, and the National Committee in Rochel was too preoccupied with burning down the churches to render any aid. No food had entered the city in more than a week, and stocks were getting low enough that there was some temptation to replicate the cannibalistic Feast of Le Palais Jaune, news of which had only reached Senone yesterday. Nonetheless, stoic, blank-faced commoners repeated again as they stared at the murder they were performing, "Ça Ira!".

In the end, the revolution would succeed. The defeat of Comte Duret by Fabien Derocles' forces in the fields outside Senone would be the beginning of the end for the royalists. The Blackcoats, later transformed into the Revolutionary Army, came to supersede all other parties of the revolution, crushing the Provisional Directory quickly and later even occupying Rochel. The Communal Model, as established in Senone, would become the basis for the constitution of the new Federal Republic. Mèronie joined Carelia, the "Sister Republic", in overthrowing the influence of Kings forever.

The Slaughter of Obsidienne Square would become a controversial mark in the history of the revolution, but the Great Guillotine still stands today as a historic monument. The chant, "Ça Ira", would be the national anthem of Mèronie until 1822.

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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lykens » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:47 pm

A Breath of Fresh Air
By: Lykens

Green: Principality of Lykens | Red: Principality of Cidra| Orange: Principality of Viques | Yellow: Principality of Arecibo

Aibonito, Arecibo
June 19

The city of Aibonito had stood for over 400 years, a testament to its longevity was the decennial etching of the year on its southfacing wall, the one at the very fork of the rio esmeralda. Upwind from the city, in between a group of rolling hills sat el castillo esmeralda, named for the river it guarded rather than its color, which was a dark grey. This defensive citadel guarded the river fork, which broke off into two directions, one northward and one to the east, essentially serving as the highways for those parts of the province. It also doubled as the winter home of the royal family, the Santcliment branch of the Zaya dynasty, which ruled over Arecibo. Serving as the administrative capital of the Principality of Arecibo, Aibonito was a bustling hub of nearly 250,000 thousand people, although many lived outside of the city's walls in the ring of villages surrounding it, commuting to the city for work or traveling to the vast fields of crops just a few miles away.

As the sun set on a hot and humid day, laborers and artisans alike began streaming into the many bars and pubs, determined to unwind from the stress of the day, as well as attempt to get away from the heat and humidity. Martillo de Hierro was one of the older pubs of the city, named for a long dead Sheriff who was nicknamed the ‘Iron Gavel’ for his harsh punishments for crimes at a time when crime was rampant. It was mostly frequented by field laborers, but there was a sizable group of local artisans who attended the pub due to its close proximity to their shops.

Cayetano Macías was a relatively prosperous cordwainer who was very well known throughout the city, firstly due to the quality of the shoes he fashioned, and secondly as the head of the cordwainer’s guild. He had been commissioned on four separate occasions to create different shoes for the Santcliments, and he had been paid handsomely for it, enabling a modest expansion of his business.

Antonio Chaves was a struggling cobbler who was currently down on his luck. Having inherited his store from his father, Chaves was having immense trouble filling out a client list from which to draw his income, forcing his wife to get a job cleaning the city’s administrative hall at night. While she insisted she didn’t mind working, he hated that he couldn’t provide for his family and had to rely on his wife working outside of the home.

Brothers Felipe, Elpidio, and Raul De Rio were agricultural workers who toiled for hours under the beating sun planting, tending, and harvesting the different crops on land owned by a ranchero who administered nearly 35,000 acres of land owned by the Prince a few miles away from the city. They rode out before the sun rose every day and journeyed almost an hour to their employer’s fields before spending 12 hours working without a break. They were becoming increasingly fed up with their work conditions, and were discussing switching employment to the new factory opening up just a few miles from Aibonito.

As the quintet entered the bar, none of them realized the monumental impact they were about to have on history. Osvaldo Sastre, the pub owner, was wiping down a glass mug, as bartenders do, as Chaves came up to the bar and sat down. He ordered his usual, rum with ice, and finished the entire tankard in only a few seconds before ordering another. This was followed by a third. Macías was seated nearby, and could see the cobbler becoming increasingly inebriated. Shooting Chaves a glare, Macías waved over Osvaldo.

“I think our friend the cobbler has had enough, Osvaldo, I’ll clear out his tab for him.” He shook his head in disgust as Osvaldo raised his eyebrows.

“Trying to stop trouble before it happens tonight, Cayetano? Good luck, he’s been in every pub on the southside of the city getting kicked out left and right.” Osvaldo grimaced in Chaves’ direction.

“Why’d you let him in then? Make us deal with him?”

“I expected him to pay for his drinks, money is money.” Osvaldo chuckled, joined by Macías a few seconds later.

A few feet away, the De Rio brothers were noisily venting about their workday and the poor conditions they toiled under. The eldest, Felipe, was griping about his supervisor.

“I’ve been working those fields for ten years, and he has the gall to appoint his son a supervisor? My supervisor? I know every damn person on our team, I know the most efficient ways to plant, to harvest, to work the team, and he puts a 19 year old in charge of me?” He slammed his tankard on the table in anger, waving his hand in apology to Osvaldo.

“Just because his daddy owns the land entitles him to lord over you and your boys, didn’t you know that, Felipe?” Elpidio jumped in, waving his tankard for emphasis.

Chaves had tuned into the conversation after Felipe had slammed his cup. He decided to share his two cents.

“The world would be better off boys, if we did not have to be subservient to those who are entitled by their birthright.” Chaves slurred the words and dropped his empty tankard as he spun around on his stool. All of the patrons stopped their conversation to look at the commotion, and the youngest De Rio continued the conversation.

“He’s absolutely right! Most of the goddamn land in the country is owned by the Prince and his family! Ran by bureaucrats who have zero care for us! They work us like dogs and expect us to be happy!” He angrily lifted his cup to his mouth and took a long drink.

“It’s not fair to those of us who weren’t lucky enough to have ancestors who killed and stole from others, it’s not.” His brothers nodded with him, and Chaves was now standing close by, listening intently.

“Now listen here,” Macías had tuned in and became agitated, “I inherited a lot of things from my father, but he built everything for himself, his business, his home, and his prosperity, it’s not fair to say that about people like him.”

Chaves became belligerent, having had a pretty mediocre businessman as a father, he was left with relatively nothing and his current predicament was the result of it. “Not fair to say that about people like him, but about people like you!” He had marched over to Macías as he spoke and jabbed the cordwainer in the chest. “Pompous and lording your success and wealth over everyone when you yourself did little to earn it.”

He jabbed Macías again. This time, Macías swung his right arm and connected his fist to Chaves’ jaw, sending the man flying back before thumping into the ground. He looked contemptuously at the De Rio brothers.

“And you lot had better learn quickly to ignore your drunk little friend there. The Prince provides very well for you and you should be grateful that his stewards allow you to work his lands, especially before they become aware of you words.”

The threat sent the three slightly inebriated men into a rage and they leapt to their feet before charging Macías. Having realized his mistake, he kicked the stool at the trio charging him, knocking Raul to the ground before Felipe and Elpidio were upon him, raining down blows as Macías brought his forearms in front of his face. Osvaldo began shouting for the men to stop before Chaves drunkenly got to his feet, helped up Raul and came over to assist them in pulverizing Macías.

A few teamsters on the other end of the bar who had been listening were drunk enough to also get involved, especially angered by the exceptionally, at least to them, denigrating remarks about fealty to the Prince, whom they viewed with contempt. About half a dozen cordwainers who were in various locations around the bar leapt to Macías’ aid, engaging with the teamsters while one smashed a tankard across Chaves’ head. His inebriated state seemed to shield him from the pain, as he whirled around and began raining blows on the unfortunate cordwainer. In all of the yelling, punching, kicking, and other forms of violence, Sastre finally decided to open the drawer under the bar and retrieve a revolver. Muttering under his breath about having to repair the damage being wrought upon his bar, his shot twice into the roof. All of the men fighting immediately stopped and retreated away from one another.

“Get the hell out of my pub, all of you. I’ll be calling the Sheriff so you had better get the fuck out of the vicinity.”

The Brothers De Rio ran out with Chaves and the other Teamsters while the Cordwainers lingered. After helping Macías to his feet, they helped drag him out. Osvaldo immediately ran from behind the counter to lock the door. He looked at the mess in front of him and simply turned off the lights before going upstairs to see what he had shot in his living room.

Outside, Chaves and the De Rio brothers were drunkenly discussing the unjust situations they toiled under. Increasingly angry, they decided to carry their message to others, wandering to several different pubs. Unbeknownst to them, after they entered the fifth pub of the night, they came upon a group of men who were quietly plotting to end the monarchy in Arecibo.

They called themselves the Knights of Aibonito and their ranks were mostly split between factory workers, field laborers, artisans, and teamsters. They’d been meeting for the last fifteen months, stockpiling weapons, converting close friends and associates to their cause against the Prince, meeting once every week in different pubs to update one another and exchange information. Today was a grim day for the organization, believing that their paltry 300 members would not be enough to overcome the city guard.

The entrance of the drunken and bloodied quartet sparked fresh hope however, and they moved quickly to capitalize on their discontent. Inviting the men outside for smokes, they began weaving their tale of anti monarchy sentiment and pro democracy.

“Wouldn’t you prefer to live in a place where you could choose your leaders? People who’d make your lives better? And if they failed to do that you could get rid of them?” Becoming more animated as he spoke, Rolando Salinas, the self styled Grandmaster of the Knights of Aibonito, became more and more excited as the men nodded along.

“The Prince? Who chose the Prince? Not us. Not you. Not my father. The Prince was put where he is because of who his father was, and so on. They have no right to rule over us, they don’t!”

Chaves and the De Rio brothers heartily agreed, nodding vigorously.

“How can we help you, more people feel like this than us, we can get them, we can do something!” Felipe absentmindedly wiped a trickle of blood off of his cheek as he stood enraptured by Salinas.

Salinas’ eyes widened and he looked to his deputy, Natanael Herrero with glee.
Herrero stepped forward to speak, “If you gentlemen have more people who agree that we need a change in Arecibo, you should get them, bring them to the barn on the left bank of the eastern fork. We can bring real change to our country tonight.”

There was a hunger in Herrero’s eyes that for a few seconds unnerved Elpidio, but he quickly brushed it off as the quartet bade farewell to the Knights. They immediately set off for their neighborhood to assemble as many people as they could.
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Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Fri May 08, 2020 1:30 pm

How To: Gift A Battery Of Heavy MLRS
And Do It Quietly In Broad Daylight

Act I.
Plamen, TSPR.

"The meeting is over."

Within a minute from that being said, members of the Presidium left the Chairman and her secretary alone.

Leonore Amalia Wohlgenannt (Tanayan People's Army, service category K-12) was going to her cabinet when her pager rang. An urgent affair ─ a message from her colleague, Jozef Zajac: "There is a matter to talk." Curious, she headed straight to his cabinet.

"Comrade Zajac?"
"Come in, comrade Wohlgenannt." He gestured her a chair.

She took a seat, Zajac did the same across the table.

"I trust you've heard the news about the situation in the Isthmus?" He asked. She nodded. "What do you think?"
"The den was doomed from the start. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. We should sweep in and have that damned Union see what happens if their states fail!"
"As expected of you, Leonore. Let's see if TPA is ready to help the people of Bonporton."

Wohlgenannt leaned slightly forward. "How exactly?"

Zajac stayed as he was, ready for polling. "Let's start with infantry equipment."
Catching the vibe, the woman replied immediately. "Possible but impractical. The Isthmian army uses different ammunition for their line weapons. Complementing is a priori out of question."

"What about fire support? I've heard Tanayan army has some good platoon- and company-level fire support."
"That is an option. But would that be enough to entice them to go on the offensive?"

Amazing woman. Zajac thought and smiled briefly. We definitely think of the same now.

Seemingly ignoring her question, he asked one of his own. "Does the Army have something for... serious, substantial fire support?"

Now it was Wohlgenannt who chuckled. "That's a Supreme Military Council Reserve level we're talking about. That would be conspicuous, comrade Zajac." She ended, smiling.
"Well, I don't know how, but it is up to you to make it inconspicuous, comrade Wohlgenannt. So does the Army have anything of that scale they can spare or not?"

The message was crystal clear. Still, Wohlgenannt thought a little before replying, not because of any surprise or shock but because she was crunching numbers in her head.

"I think we can spare a battery of Cyclones from our Rosel command. Can sixteen 300-millimeter rockets over 30 seconds pass on as a 'serious' and 'substantial' fire support in your eyes?"
"Yes," Zajac said without much thought. "Both 'serious' and 'substantial' indeed. Now, without further ado, on behalf of the people of Bonporton, I would like to ask you to make all the necessary arrangements."

"Will do." She stood up and headed to the door, but stopped at it. "Anything else?"
"I think we will not need to go gun-blazing but having a division prepared would not hurt."
"I know. We have it handled."

Zajac nodded. Wohlgenannt left.

Act II.
Air Base Silver Fox, somewhere in Velkanika.

Expansive Tanayan Revolutionary Air Force needed extensive bases. Wherever they stood, those bases were geographically grouped into air districts, and air divisions there were grouped into air armies. And wherever were planes were special land formations tasked with their security ─ mostly, Air Defense Corps of several brigades with anti-aircraft weaponry and facilities.

As for where those armies existed, a policy of non-aggression and no first strike in Mu-Kal had two consequences crucial for understanding TRAF disposition. First, uneasy alliances made on the continent meant there was no need to keep the bulk of the planes at home. Second, those same alliances, including membership in the Mu-Kal Union, diverted Tanayan operations elsewhere, inviting them to seek more bases abroad. Add to that Tanayan membership in the IRP and you will get the broad idea of where to look for Tanayan planes.

The most prominent of all air armies was Air Army Sepura (AVS or AIRSEP), poised to strike any country its planes can reach in the broad area of south-east Nori with 14 air divisions and 10 independent air regiments ─ about 600 bombers out of slightly more than 2600 aircraft. Sepura, the only IRP stronghold in south-east Nori, was so important politically and militarily that it housed from about a third to about a half of TRAF and with 11th Mechanized and 9th and 16th Air Defense Corps on guard its personnel totaled up to 240 thousand men.

Only one army abroad had an equally important position and enjoyed attention close to that of AIRSEP. Located in Lovanika, it was important not because TSPR had a political interest there, in Lira, ─ on the contrary, Tanayan politics were centered around marching east, towards the dawn horizon. Air Army Rosel (AVR, AIRROSEL) was Tanayan contribution to Velkanika, one of the founders and one of their closest partners in the Pact. Five air divisions and four independent air regiments were guarded by 4th and 6th Air Defense Corps; while far less intimidating that AIRSEP or AIRHOME ─ Air Army Homeland (AVT with "T" from "Tanaya") ─ it was a capable force for its task nonetheless.

Curiously, while not having any mechanized corps attached to it, Tanayan contingent in Velkanika had a unit usually used to strengthen such formations ─ 2nd Heavy MLRS Battalion with several dozens of BM-50/300 Cyclone launchers, the backbone of Tanayan heavy MLRS batteries. When Wohlgenannt mentioned sparing "a battery of Cyclones from our Rosel command", it was this unit she had in mind.

It was 1000 Velkanikan Time and Pavel Andreev Gordov (TRAF, service category K-14) was in his cabinet, skimming through reports from his divisions. Another ordinary day.

Another phone call, not too extraordinary of an occurrence either.

"Silver Fox, COMAIRROSEL."

It was only when he picked up the phone the voice of steel from it had broken the routine flow of time.

"Wohlgenannt, AoS Presidium. You have heard about the situation in Bonporton, right?"

Indeed, Gordov had heard about it since commanders and staffs of air armies were among the recipients of daily reports on the international situation.

"Perfect," Wohlgenannt noted. "We have decided to support the Commune. You will transfer a fully equipped battery of Cyclones from the 2nd Rockets to Bonporton. Questions?"

Tanayan commander was slightly surprised. The first question to pop in mind for any ordinary person of ordinary intelligence would be What are they even thinking? ─ and Gordov, being just another ordinary K-14, indeed had that question for a moment. But then realized it was probably one of the ways of showing support ─ to give something convincingly powerful, a sledgehammer that may not hit fast, but surely hard. Or at least it was Tanayan way.

Meanwhile, Wohlgenannt was silent. Realizing that things are serious, Gordov moved to more practical matters. And the first one was in the air ever since Zajac and Wohlgenannt had this idea.

"Do they even know how to operate these things?"
"We will make sure they will be in trained hands there. But maybe you can find some men to volunteer?"

Cheap promotions. Commander thought. And where are those Isthmians going to get trained hands for rocket batteries, I wonder? And won't others-

"Are you certain they will be able to defend the launchers? One airstrike and-"
"The entire Isthmian aviation fell under the admiral controlling the Canal. He already knows we are backing Bonporton. And I'm pretty sure he also knows better than acting rash-"

"His forces hold the Canal, comrade Wohlgenannt." This time, Gordov interrupted her. "They blow it up, the world blames 'communist aggression' for that and-"
"Our paratroopers are ready to seize the canal before they blow up the locks, comrade Gordov." "Your concerns are baseless."

Well, very confident of her. It wasn't the end, however. Yet another matter was at hand.

"How will I get those vehicles to Bonporton? I'm not sure if we can do it by air."
"Indeed, we can't interrupt the Air Bridge. Go by ship, it should take about four days to get there."

Base Polar Fox on the far north had an artificial harbor where a container ship should have arrived on 26th and both Gordov and Wohlgenannt knew about that. It was scheduled for departure on 27th; in total, that gave Tanayan commander three days to move both launchers and equipment. Thinking about that, Tanayan commander found another matter to raise.

"When will the replacements arrive?"
"No later than three months from today. Most likely within 40-50 days."

Good. Velkanika was not about to go to war and the 2nd MLRS was out of place in the purely defensive posture of Tanayan contingent anyways.

Gordov rapped fingers on the table. There were no more cases to solve and matters to raise.

"Good. Launchers will be delivered in eight days. Silver Fox, out."

Commander hanged the phone, deeply inhaled, exhaled sharply, and shook his head. Whatever they were thinking, it was time to carry out the order. And so, he took the phone and typed the number of land detachment headquarters.
Last edited by Volga-Dnieper on Fri May 08, 2020 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Founded: Dec 03, 2019

Postby Gifftan » Sun May 10, 2020 8:12 am

Internet - Away!
By: Gifftan
IC Year: 1994

18th of September

It was midday, and the Gifftanian parliament had just dispersed for lunch. Soon, a large crowd of somber-suited polititians emptied out onto the tree-lined courtyard which lay before the large and impressive parliament building, and then into the street where they scattered in groups, pairs, and alone.

A few minutes later two men walked into the Meirion Hotel, a fashionable, expensive place, popular with film-stars and other celebrities. Stepping from concrete, to carpet, to marble floor as they walked from the lobby to the hotel’s palm court. The room was busy, and men in white jackets hurried to and from the cloth-covered tables, as guests ate, spake, and smoked from comfortable wicker chairs.
The men were seated by a table at the back of the room. They were M.P.s Edward Vaughan and John Morgan, both members of the traditionalist party—Vaughan being the leader. They had come to discuss the seats lost to the Liberal party in the last election, and to concieve a way to win them back.

“Cigarette?” asked Vaughan, holding open a flat, silver case.
“Thank You,” he replied, as he folded his newspaper. “Did you hear about that business with the government computers last night?”
“You mean the hack?”
“And do you remember those smugglers who were using the Internet to sell illegal drugs?”
“Yes, but I don’t understand how this is relevant.”
“I was thinking we could use it to our advantage,” He said, smiling. “Convince people this ‘internet’ is dangerous and unpredictable and tell them the only way to get rid of it is to vote for us.”
Morys seemed unsure, he paused for a while, nodding, then taking two long breaths from his cigarette before extinguishing it and looking up at Morgan.
“You really think it’ll work?”
“Of course, We can tell them it’s unpatriotic, or goes against the Theoist teachings, we could tell them anything.”
Morgan was smiling broadly now, left hand flat on the table and gesturing with his right, sending cigarette ash flying onto the floor.
“Alright. We’ll do it.”

26th of September

As the election draws nearer, posters declaring the Internet “harmful” “immoral” and “un-Gifftanian” multiply and can be seen pasted on almost every blank wall, and graphs showing support for the Traditionalist party climb further by the day.
In the Liberal party head office, leader and current advisor to the king, Thomas Castell paces up and down his office, he stops by his desk and pounds his fist on its surface.

With that, the door opened and in came Myrddin Jones, his assistant.
“Hello Thomas, how are you?”
“What? Oh, fine.” He replied, still arched over his desk. His face reddend. “Here, sit down.” He gestured towards a chair.
“I thought we should discuss the election.”
“Mmm, yes, what are your ideas?”

Jones pulled a wad of papers from his jacket pocket and rifled through them.
“Well, the people seem very keen on the Internet issues, that survey from last week showed at least 64% of the population was in favour of banning it outright. And about 30% were completely indifferent.” He stood up and handed Castell the papers.
“You think we should get on this as well then? Try and steal some of their votes?”
“Exactly, it could work, we have to do something if we want to win the next election.”
“Alright then,” he sighed. “We’ll start our own campaign, that’ll show them...”

2nd of October

King Eric is sitting in his office. Feet on the desk, pipe in mouth, and newspaper in hand, he reads over the latest news in the political world.
There is a knock on the door.

“Come in.”
A palace footman enters the room holding a tray, on it stands an arrangement of fine china and silverware.
“Breakfast, your majesty.”
“Thank you, just leave it on the desk please.” Replied the king, looking up from his paper. “What do you make of this Internet?”
“Well, from what I’ve read it doesn’t seem very good.” Replied the footman, “In the papers they say it’s unregulated and uncontrolable, Sir, full of-” He went on eagerly, but was cut off as the King raised his hand.
“Yes, well, that is all. Thank you, you may go.”

King Eric sat and thought for a moment. The Internet, which at first seemed such a good idea was now beginning to make him unsure.

The 15th of October

Election day had come and gone. The Traditionalists had won by a substantial majority. Edward Vaughan was now the King’s advisor.
“Mr. Vaughan, I understand you have a proposal for a new legistlation?” Said King Eric from his throne, overlooking the parliament hall.

“Yes your majesty.” He began, and cleared his throat. “I propose that we make the use of the Internet illegal, for it is an unruly place, an immoral place, a place of vices, and things unmentionable in this setting. It is a thing that goes against everything this great nation stands for, and against everything the teachings of Theo have told us. I propose that we put an end to this at once.”

Cheers and murmurs of agreement filled the room as he sat down, from both the Traditionalists and the Liberal party. From a small corner of the room came boo-ing and cries of disapproval. After a lengthy period of arguing back and forth, and a short break for tea, the issue was put to vote.

Tension filled the air as the King read through the results, each M.P. eagerly hoping for their preffered outcome.

“The results are, four hundred and thirty four in favour, sixty six against.”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Irpan » Wed May 13, 2020 5:43 am

The Raid
By: Irpan
IC Year: 2020

13th March 2020

The Shapeshte insurrection was into its third week and the fighting was proving difficult. Street by street the men of the Imperial Guard were fighting the Brotherhood of Sacred Flame soldiers. Soldier? Is that the right word for these cultists turned rebels? Jack didn't know, what he did know is this wasn't Shapeshte this was a city to the south of Irpan and he could already make out its most distinct feature, the White Mountain. The White Mountain had been a tourist hotspot several years ago, with children and adults climbing its steeps slopes, exploring the tunnel networks the old settlers had dug and having to be rescued when they got lost. But that was three years ago before the arrival of Jericho and his cult. His followers had grown in number since he had first spoken on the slopes of the mountain and the Mayor of Amog had been one, shortly arrested after the Shapeshte insurrection, but not before he had gifted the mountain to Jericho who had built a temple into the mountain.

The helicopter had dropped them three miles from the target but the ten troopers of A Squadron Alpha Group were ready for a long march. Jack Nichols and his other squad mates all looked at each other as they checked their equipment before giving a thumbs up and leading the march towards the distant mountain. Even from here the majestic structure of Temple Prime could be made out. Its spires of black and gold shone in the moon light as the men drew near. As far as intelligence was concerned the temple was empty but that hadn't stopped the UAVs that regularly scanned the area seeing the trucks moving back and forth between the building and the wild steppe that surrounded it. "Movement!" Someone hissed and they all dove to one knee looking round. They had covered the three miles quickly and now were underneath the outer wall of the temple. They could hear the three men above them walking and talking. From there they couldn't see the ritual burns on the bodies of the men, or the three automatic weapons they carried. "Think we'll get to use this stuff?" One man asked above his voice carrying down to the squad. "Sure chemical weapons are a shame to let go to waste you know! I don't know how Jericho got it but he did good. It's being saved for an attack on the capital i think." Said another voice. The voices carried on talking then began to become faint as the men walked away. The squad let out a collective breath then began to set up their breaching charges on the wall.

The wall exploded in with such force that the three Cultists on the other side of it were thrown twenty metres across the courtyard. The sound of gunfire filled the air as the Alpha Group troopers moved in dropping targets left right and centre. The sound of bodies hitting the floor and suppressed weapons caught the guards as much unawares as the explosion had deafened them. The Special Forces cleared the courtyard. The courtyard fell silent and Jack watched as his squad leader took the delta team to enter the temple whilst he was ordered to search the trucks. His gut dropped the minute he got the scanners out of his rucksack. He and two other troopers entered the trucks whilst the fourth stood guard. "Shit!" Came the collective cry as the biological weapon scanners and Geiger counters began to roar into life furiously. "Dirty bombs." Jack said his face dropped low. As he began to radio the report up the chain. It was too late though as he watched a canister being dropped into the courtyard. He reached for his gas mask but it was too late the lethal gas expanded quickly and though the wind carried some away it didn't stop the lethal dose entering Jacks system. As he lay on the ground he saw six men exiting the temple building dragging the bodies of his squad leader and fellow troopers. "Good work my brothers. Now leave them where they can be found, our crusade will begin soon." The voice of the preacher, a sort of commissar type cultist troop, filled the air muffled by the gas mask he wore. As he reached Jack he looked down at him, "You will lose this war." He said then pulled Jack gas mask away looking at it, "A good mask mind if I have this?" He jokingly asked as he left the troopers of A Squadron to die.

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Wed May 13, 2020 9:55 am

How To: Gift A Battery Of Heavy MLRS
And Do It Quietly In Broad Daylight

Act III.
Staroyaroslavl, TSPR.

It is true that, technically, the matter can disappear in a black hole ─ but Bonporton wasn't one. As such, if 20 vehicles and 700-something rockets moved to Bonporton from Rosel then 20 vehicles and 700-something rockets should be moved to Rosel from somewhere, else it would weaken the most important asset of TSPR forces in Rosel.

Every member of the Presidium could request a service car and technically there were enough cars for all members. In practice, however, Presidium members varied in that regard: for example, Zajac and Tikhomirov voluntarily refused this privilege, using cars from the reserve pool when commuting on public transport was not an option. On the contrary, Stamboliyskaya accepted it readily, though she had a good excuse for that. Wohlgenannt was an interesting case: while she would refuse the privilege if she could, her duties in the Central Military Council of Tanayan People's Revolutionary Army de facto obliged her to use one extensively: one won't commute on public transport with secret documents.

And so she left the Palace of Councils for her today's destination.

Staroyaroslavl was in not like Plamen. Though still a fairly regular city, it was divided on rectangular districts rather than on octagonal rings and somewhere those rectangles did not fit each other smoothly. Not like Tanayan city planners were perfectionists in that regard but they faithfully followed other guidelines including those on automobile roads. However, Wohlgenannt met no difficulties in reaching her destination. And that destination was the facility that assembled Cyclones and other BM-50-based vehicles and one of the key industrial enterprises in the city ─ the Nikhrom plant.

She was stopped near the secondary gate for vehicles. As a guard approached the car, she put out her passport. "Wohlgenannt, Presidium of the AoS." She said plainly. "I have a meeting with representatives of the Nikhrom workers council."

The guard signaled OK and the gate opened in front of her car. "They are waiting for you in the Negotiations Room #5, comrade Wohlgenannt. Block 10, third floor, first door to the right from the first elevator."
"Thank you, comrade."

After parking the car, she proceeded to the Negotiations Room #5, Block 10, third floor, first door to the right from the first elevator. Entering the cabinet, she exchanged salutes with about six more people awaiting her. Without much further ado, she went straight to the point.

"Comrades, I hope you understand that helping our comrades in arms in the Isthmus is an honor and an obligation for us. I am glad that you have agreed to cooperate and I thank you for that. I'm ready for negotiations."

A man in his 40s with Nikhrom slowly raised himself and presented the Lunder a paper. "Being short," he stated, "we will need to work two hours overtime to replace launchers if the plan is not changed. Our councils demand payments for each hour overtime for everyone working overtime on 125% of the wage rate until all replacements are produced and accepted. You can see our calculations of the new payment fund in the paper."

Wohlgenannt skimmed through that paper while plainly stating "From our side, the Central Military Council demands no plan assaults ─ but I believe you can accomplish that without further warning." The man responded with plain "We do not assault plans, comrade Wohlgenannt. We fulfill them in time."

She signed the paper, stood up, and offered a hand. "Then we are in agreement?"
"Yes, comrade Wohlgenannt. We are honored to help."

Their handshake set the deal in motion.

Act IV
Isthmus, somewhere near Bonporton.

A Cyclone battery had 11 BM-50 chassis, of which just four were BM-50/300 Cyclone launchers themselves. Four were BM-50/TZM-R unified transloaders, another two were BM-50/MTO maintenance vehicles and the last one was BM-50/KM Magnolia HQ vehicle, a unified command center for tube and rocket artillery. Two smaller trucks carried a meteorological radar and some equipment for topographic works bringing the vehicle count up to 13.

4th Battery, 2nd Section of the 2nd Heavy MLRS Battalion of TPA was now the first rocket battery of Bonporton Commune and Ivan Belov (K-4) was now advising Bonporton commanders. The past five days were spent in learning how to operate massive vehicles in separate and today was the first time they operated as a battery.

The firing position was set to the north of Bonporton but today only three vehicles were there. Command vehicle and one of the launchers were standing 100 meters apart. A small meteorological radar van was to their back, monitoring air masses ─ an important thing to do in long-range artillery, both the tube one and the rocket one. Several soldiers from the Peoples Liberation Army and militia groups were on guard on the safe distance around the position.

Now Belov was in the command vehicle, observing Isthmian preparations for firing.

"Here, we got the meteo data." He calmly noted. "Go ahead."

"Cyclone 3, this is Magnolia 1, here's the firing data." A young officer with a headset clearly said. "Distance ─ 22-500. Bearing ─ 04-70. The wind is 10, eastern, humidity ─ 30."

Could've done it automatically but okay. He thought. "For future reference: this one relays the firing data to vehicles off-hand."

A Cyclone slighty raised its rocket pod, revealing 16 tubes arranged in 4-by-4 block.

"Magnolia 1, this is Cyclone 3, we are standing by!"

The isthmian officer looked at Belov. Tanayan commander glanced on the screen and nodded.

"Cyclone 3, initiate firing sequence!"
"Three, two, one ─ firing!"

The first rocket left the pod. In two seconds, the second one followed. One by one, 14 more projectiles left the pod, two seconds between each shot, all accompanied by raucous cheers of soldiers and militiamen on guard.

"This is Cyclone 3, all rockets away!"

Belov pressed a button and rockets became highlighted on the map, heading to their destination, ready to unleash their deadly cargo.

"Now watch closely."

One by one they disappeared from the screen. And the instance the second one did so, the short-wave radio creaked loudly.

"Hey, rocket-men! You got 'em! You got 'em!"

Belov smiled as everyone in the staff vehicle cheered. Everything went smoothly. Soon they will learn to use the battery to its fullest and one that day the military landscape of the southern Isthmus will be changed forever. Tanayan Soviet People's Republic has tributed the Commune with a destructive power no other contender could even dream to match.

This will show 'em we're serious!
Last edited by Volga-Dnieper on Wed May 13, 2020 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Hovoske » Thu May 21, 2020 9:40 am


Zviad stepped off the bus with his family and a handful of others, pulling his jacket tight against the morning breeze. When they were all off, the transport wordlessly left them. Before the group was a small city, mostly referred to as "Gak". Surprisingly few people realized this was an acronym, "G Azgayin ashkhatank’ayin k’aghak’", or National Labour City G. A few clusters of grey five-story apartment blocks, surrounded on all sides by completely nothing. Presumably, the Excavation was on the other side of the city.

Directly in front of them was the bus station. It was large and modern, and conspicuously surrounded by armed militia. Somewhere overhead, a helicopter passed. An officer, identified by his armband, stepped forward with a megaphone. "ԲՈԼՈՐ ՔԱՂԱՔԱԻՆԵՐԸ ՊԵՏՔ Է ՄԱՍՆԱԿԵՆ ՄԱՍՆԱԳԻՏԱԿԱՆ ԳՈՐԾԸՆԹԱՈՒՄ, ԱՅՍՏԵՂ ԿԼԻՆԵՔ ՁԵՐ ՔԱՂԱՔՆԵՐԻՆ:"

Forming a line, the families slowly presented their documentation and filed into the building. When it was Zviad's turn, he passed over his and his family's Identification Cards, as well as his MNA Membership Documentation. "Levan Nakashidze," he said to the man crossing names off of a list. The hair on the back of his neck bristled as he said it, still uncomfortable with his legal name. Nonetheless, he was crossed off, his papers were returned, and he and his wife Nestani shuffled their daughters along.

After a brief and uncomfortable process of searching, the family was walked to their new dwelling by a quiet militiaman, who said little other than pointing out essential locations such as the grocery warehouse and the emergency clinic. He also noted that the Nakashidzes were lucky, their apartment building had recently had refurbished electronics installed, including a telephone (though only numbers within the city could be dialed).

When they got up to their four-room apartment, they were left alone to unpack what personal items they had brought with them. Trying to settle in, Nestani started trialing the kitchen equipment while Zviad helped his daughters set up in their room, and more importantly make sure they did not argue over who got which bed. He was interrupted by a knock on the apartment door.

Answering it, a balding man smiled and offered a handshake. "Levan?" Zviad nodded, and shook the man's hand. "Bartev, I'm your Custodian." Zviad nodded again, and was about to respond when Bartev continued. "You'll love it here. Good hours, good pay, and we take good care of our own. If you ever have a problem, I want you to come to me about it." As Zviad was about to affirm the notion, Bartev again continued. "You start tomorrow at 30/00. We'll get you all set up then. Take care." With that, Bartev was gone.

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Postby Hovoske » Tue May 26, 2020 5:31 pm


The first time Zviad laid eyes on the Excavation, he was taken aback. Not only by the sheer scale of it - it could easily swallow the town behind it, and much more - but the strange visual appearance of it. The colour of the rock was consistently grey for dozens of meters down, before seemingly switching to a patchy reddish colour, and while the sides were for the most part smooth and diagonal walls broken up by the downwards spiral, there were occasional and seemingly random chunks of discoloured rock jutting out from places, and holes going into the walls several meters in diameter.

Bartev had, true to his word, set Zviad up at 30/00 sharp. He was introduced to his work crew, given a short lesson in tool operations, and then was right to it. It took them nearly half an hour to walk down to their designated site, and when they got there it was time for a day of harsh manual labour. Soghomon and Mher operated the jackhammer, loosening hard rock and creating valuable cracks to gain purchase on, while eight others worked at the ground with picks and shovels. Vanig watched over them wearily, sometimes helping lift a heavy boulder but otherwise simply observing. Unlike previous foremen Zviad had worked for, Vanig barely said a word, even if one or two of them slacked off.

A separate crew, which Zviad didn't envy, operated the wheelbarrows. They pushed the tons of rock up around the spiral and out of the excavation for hours on end, driven only by muscle-power. There was apparently also a medical truck, which Zviad learned about when he heard shouting from the other wall, hundreds of meters across from him, and saw the vehicle drive down the spiral to pick up an injured worker on a different digging crew. That looked like all the different groups working at the site (aside from the armed guards at the top that no one acknowledged), until halfway through the work day the crew was interrupted by a small cart that brought water, and a hearty lunch. Riding with the cart was Bartev, who exchanged a few words with their foreman before letting them be. He nodded with a smile to Zviad before the cart carried on.

As they hammered away, one of the men who had introduced himself as Antog sidled over to Zviad while they hammered away at the ground. "It's Levan, right?" He almost sighed before wordlessly nodding. "Right, yeah. Welcome to the dig. Look, the crew usually gets a drink together after the shift, and it was Vahe's turn to buy the first round before... well before you replaced him." Zviad glanced to the weaselly man for a moment, before turning back to his work. He could see where this was going.

"Alright, I guess it's my responsibility to cover it then." Antog grinned and nodded. Zviad paused for a moment, before turning to him. "Why did Vahe leave?" The question drained Antog's happy look very quickly. He shrugged before responding, "Eh, he ran out his three years and decided not to re-enroll. Took his pay and left, nothing else to it."

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Postby Gifftan » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:49 am

Gifftanian Holiday
By: Gifftan
IC Year: 2020

Tomás stepped out of the plane and at once felt the warm subtropical air against his face; as he stepped down the metal stairs onto the tarmac he fixed his view on the large mid-century terminal building. It was built of red brick, steel, and glass, and surrounded by tidy lawns and exotic looking trees; It seemed to encapture the prosperity and optimism of Gifftan’s past.

Waiting for his luggage at the baggage claim, Tomás noticed something rather strange — riding along on the carousel was a surprising number of non-wheeled suitcases, and although he always understood Gifftan was a fairly backwards country the sight of pastel-coloured leather cases dotted amongst the more usual wheeled plastic or fabric cases was still very much a novelty.
Upon retrieving his luggage, Tomás headed for the bright and airy concourse which — like the exterior — was a relic of the jet age; underneath a set of stairs was a row of brightly coloured telephone kiosks opposite a small news-shop. Dominating the centre of the space was the seating area, comprised of long, sleek, bench-like sofas, faced on all sides by shops and cafes. Hanging over the vast space was a large angular chandelier.

After visiting the currency exchange he Tomás found another facet to Gifftan’s unwillingness to move with the times — an incomprehensible currency. Nondecimal, and split into three subdivisions. And to make matters worse, many of the coins were marked with words rather than numbers. Despite this, he managed to purchase a bus ticket to Caerwydn centre, and within an hour he stood on the pavement opposite his hotel. Caerwydn was a large city, with many historic stone and brick buildings, with green parks and squares interspersed throughout. The road traffic was very low for a city of its size, and earlier Tomás had stood for several minutes watching aging vehicles circle a roundabout, with only a few modern imports scattered amongst them.

Tomás entred the hotel. The lobby was wide, light, open, and fairly busy, with carpeted floors, colourful chairs, and high ceilings. He walked towards the long, front desk behind which a man and three women stood in dark green uniform.
“Prynhawn da, sut allaf eich helpu?” said the man.
“I’m sorry, I don’t speak...”
“I’m sorry. Do you have a reservation?”
“Yes, it’s under Tomás Marques.”
The man checked a big book sitting on the desk.
“I see, you are in room number 305. You will be shown the way now.”
The man pressed a button underneath the desk wich made a buzzing noise, and in about a minute or so a boy in a dark green jacket arrived at the desk.
“Dos a’r dyn ma i ‘stafell 305.”
“Iawn,” Answered the boy as he picked up Tomás’s luggage and gestured for him to follow.

There were two small lifts at the back of the lobby, near some phone kiosks and a cigarette machine. The boy opened the door to reveal another boy leaning on a hand-rail whilst smoking.
“Tyrd, deffra. Llawr 3.”.

Upon reaching his room, and giving each boy a coin of unknown value, Tomás was feeling rather tired. By now it was about six in the afternoon and he wanted to sit down. The room was rather small, and had a bed, a wardrobe, a television, a chair, and a desk. Tomás sat down on the bed and took his shoes off. He decided to watch TV, and looked for the remote — before realising that there wasn’t one.
“What a strange country.” He thought to himself, as he got up to turn on the TV.

After a short rest, Tomás decided to head downstairs for dinner. The restaurant was not unlike any he had seen before, although there was a faint cloud hanging over the room as there are very little smoking laws in Gifftan. He surveyed the (rather unexciting) menu and placed his order. Tomás looked around the room — the food all seemed to be either beige or brown and seemed to consist mainly of meat, potatoes, and some sad looking vegetables.
After dinner, Tomás retreated to his room to watch some more Gifftanian TV.

When Tomás woke up the next morning the TV was still on — although nothing was playing —, he must have fallen asleep watching it. He turned it off and walked to the window. He looked down at the street below and watched, through the trees and the trolleybus cables, the activity on the street below. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry, and car horns were seldom heard — which was fortunate considering the windows offered no sound proofing whatsoever.
After washing and having his breakfast Tomás headed outside, camera in hand, onto the tree-lined street and started walking. He didn’t know where he was going, but as this was his last night before heading to the countryside he decided to explore.
Caerwydn is a colourful city and, despite being in a relatively poor nation, has no shortage of grand buildings. Tomás encountered entire streets made up of grand collumned townhouses, and rows of smart and expensive terraces with streamlined, aerodynamic limousines parked outside. There were also luxurious hotels and grand department stores, art deco cinemas and classical museums.
The domed Caerwydn cathedral, the tallest building in the city is a popular tourist spot, as is the centuries-old castle in the centre of the city. But perhaps the most resplendent sight is that of the royal palace, where uniformed guards are a spectacle in their own right.

Cutting through the city is a busy river, along which boats sail serenely and accross which span great bridges of stone and steel. At the very end of this river are the docks, where large steel cranes load and unload goods onto the ships. Here too arrive many comfortable passenger ships. Surrounding the docks is Caerwydn’s industrial section, and the large slender chimneys from it’s many factories can be seen clearly now.

It was growing steadily darker now, and so Tomás took a walk through Caerwydn’s main park. It was quiet, and he only saw a handfull of people. But the silence gradually faded as he reached the end of the park into the street adjacent and a large crowd could be heard.
Tomás emerged at the other end and was greated by bright lights and a rush of people out for the evening. Neon signs denoting theatres, cinemas, nightclubs, and other such entertainment beamed from almost every building, and the noise of vehicles and voices carried through the streets. A stark contrast to the all but deserted park.

Finally back at the hotel, Tomás packed his things ready for tommorow, and wondered what Gifftan’s countryside has to offer...

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Meronnia » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:17 pm

Le Gourmand, Senone
7:02 PM, 25th July

It was, by all accounts, a quite dingy establishment. Poorly lit, cramped, and devoid of even such simple comforts as a table cloth. Nonetheless, it had to be conceded that Le Gourmand was clean, it's staff efficient, and the food itself - beyond any quality deserving of such a place. One other boon to the well performing restaurant, it was the favourite of the First Deputy. In the 1990's, when he governed the Senone Commune, it seemed like every other week reporters were catching him for interviews in, or just outside, this den. Nowadays he was far too busy to be eating out all that much, but it was an occasional treasured victory when he could combine business with the pursuit of such personal goals.

This fact was known, and occasionally employed, by one Étienne Jacquemoud. A very successful agent of commerce, currently in the employ of Brunelle I.C., a man with a curiosity for politics, and a colleague of Max from Duiselly. It was still strange (and a little jealousy-inducing) to see where he'd gone - Étienne had always thought he'd stay in the DSRS, he certainly never seemed like the type for public service. Étienne himself had at least interned for a Deputy's office, even if he was never brave enough to enter the fray. Ah, there he was now.

Entering through the cracked glass door, the First Deputy. A few restaurant-goers noted his arrival and murmured. Étienne smiled and stood, shaking Max's hand before they both sat back at the table. A few moments later, a handful of suited gentlemen entered the restaurant and stood in a corner. Subtle.

"Max, it's good to see you. It's been months!"

Sardou winced a little, and nodded. "Yes, quite busy months. But we're here now. How have you been?"

Étienne leaned back a little, and waved his hand in the air. "Fine, fine."


Étienne nodded, but was dismissive again. "Good."

"The company?"

To this, Étienne shook his head. "Business later Max. Brunelle is fine."

Sardou bowed his head and sighed, before looking Étienne in the eye. "Alright then. Go ahead."

Étienne grinned, and was about to go into a tirade when a waiter glided towards the table. Before he could get a word in, Sardou turned and smiled. He didn't need to say a thing, as the waiter murmured, "the usual for Monsieur Sardou..." he jotted down some scribbles on a notepad. Only then did the First Deputy speak, adding, "The same for Monsieur Jacquemoud." Étienne nodded. With that, he glided away.

Turning back to each other, Étienne began. While he'd never been able to breach the political arena himself, it was something of a personal obsession for him. His rarest and best indulgence was grilling Max on legislation in the chamber, interparty arguments in the coalition, even some foreign affairs. Sardou had joked a number of times that Chagnon's party was always looking for more rich narcissists to make Deputies, but Étienne found it less funny. The banal conversation went on for some time before at last Étienne hit on something interesting.

"You know, your brinksmanship is starting to scare a few people, Max. Parthonopia, now Irpan..."

"Nonsense." Sardou waved it away, "I'm only speaking in the language his Majesty understands best. And Irpan is nothing of the sort."

Étienne tilted his head, and probed a little further, "You even involved Carelia..."

Sardou shook his head. "The Tanayans, despite their best effort to appear otherwise at times, are just as sane as us. They're not fanatics thumping their socialist theory like the Diash." Sardou moved a little closer. "Have you ever read the Tanayan constitution, Étienne?" He shook his head. "Did you know it's written into their Constitution to support international socialism?" He paused a moment. "It's not the current administration's policy, it's the founding document - if they don't get involved they're committing treason. They're trapped." He shrugged. "I'm confident we'll come to an amenable conclusion soon. For now we must continue the dance."

They sat quietly for a moment before Sardou seemed to have a thought. "Who?"

Étienne looked confused. "Who?"

"Who am I scaring?"

"Well," Étienne looked into space for a moment, before responding. "Brunelle for one..."

"Valentin Brunelle?"

Étienne nodded.

Sardou seemed almost amused. "Come on now Étienne. He's not exactly an expert in... anything. He nearly destroyed papa's company before BNO bailed it out. You're welcome, by the way."

Étienne sighed, and shrugged, surrendering the point. "Did you hear about Lafida-Marcomer?"

Sardou nodded. "Winst shipping in mustard gas. Going to be a mess, I imagine."

Étienne furrowed his brow. "Mustard gas?" To his surprise, Sardou nodded. "Is this the Olympic War? They could have at least bought some surplus Tabun."

Sardou was about to respond, when the entrées arrived. Étienne accepted his glass of wine, and offered it up to Sardou to toast. "To business, then?"

"No." Sardou grabbed up his utensils. "We eat, then business."

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Meronnia » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:58 pm

Le Gourmand, Senone
7:53 PM, 18th July

The First Deputy dabbed his mouth with the paper towels, and sipped at his wine. He sat back, in a rare moment of contentment, before making eye contact with his counterpart who was still picking at her dessert. Pascaline Périer, a rising star in Chappuis Avoirs. Also, a person the First Deputy shared... a history with.

She looked ready to sigh, but calmly lowered her fork, and leaned her elbows on the table. "I'm assuming this was not a leisure meeting."

Sardou smiled, and came right out with it. "I want to refinance."

The words sat in the air for a moment. Pascaline furrowed her brow, and laid her chin in her hands. "If you're having money troubles Max, we can arrange for an accountant to-" He waved the suggestion away.

"Not my debt. I want to refinance the national debt."

At this, the financier was incredulous. "You want to refinance the national debt. What are you talking about... can you even legally do that?"

Sardou shrugged. "We issue new bonds - with below market rates of return - and use them to repay the principal on higher interest debt. We took on a lot at medium-term during the recession that doesn't have a mandated maturation date." Sardou was not a financial expert, but he listened to plenty before such meetings.

Pascaline nodded sarcastically. "Uh-huh. And who is buying these below-market bonds?"

Sardou didn't speak, but he raised his eyebrows slightly. At this, Pascaline seemed taken aback.

Leaning back in, she tersely replied, "Are you fucking crazy? Chappuis Avoirs holds more than ten percent of those medium-term bonds. We buy your gutter bonds, you use that money to cash out anything decent we hold, the company loses fucking billions over the next ten years." As she spoke, she grew a little agitated, leaning in closer. "How the fuck do you want to explain that to the board? Or all the other companies you want to fuck over here... are you trying to call in a FAVOUR? If anything you owe me after that shit-" she briefly paused and glanced over her shoulder, returning to speak more quietly through gritted teeth "- after that shit we pulled for you in the stock market. You owe me, Max." Her final words were punctuated by a finger pointed fiercely towards the First Deputy.

Sardou remained quiet for a few seconds, letting her catch her breath and return to her seat.

"I do owe you," he finally answered, "which is why I'm doing you a favour." Nostrils flared and eyes glared, but he continued.

"We're going to make this deal with someone. Honestly, my first pick would have been Nouveau Groupe but, and they're interested, but I'm giving you the chance to cut in. I'm not asking to refinance your company's bonds with your company. I'm offering you the opportunity to be the company that does them all. You can take the deal and pick up bonds with half the interest rate but ten times the principal value you currently hold, or you can decline and we go somewhere else, sell the new bonds, and cash out your high interest debt anyway." He paused for a moment to let her think, before continuing. "The debt you hold right now is going away, that's not up for discussion. Do you want Chappuis Avoirs to hold the new debt, or should I call Katia from NG?"

She stared at him silently, for a few very long seconds. He, the fucker, had a point. Whichever company took the deal would add significant revenue, and everyone else gets screwed. Pascaline didn't like the chances that the financial sector would stand in solidarity against new profits.

"Alright, Max. I'll talk to Jacques in the morning." Sardou smiled and clasped his hands together. "I am curious though. You're going to make some new enemies doing this, so you must really need the money. What are you spending it on?"

The First Deputy stood. "You'll see soon enough. Announcement around the end of the month."

Pascaline rose from her chair, and wrapped her jacket around her. She extended a hand, which Sardou took and kissed. "Always a pleasure, Madame Périer."

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Postby Yuzhou » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:45 pm

One to Zero
By: Jashnagar
March 31st, 2020

"A patio table, please." Enri said to the host as he guided his wife forward with his hands placed gently on her hips. The trio moved through the slim aisles of the restaurant before them. Enri glanced around the side of his wife to find his path, unable to look over her higher shoulder, and examined the scene before him. Even on a Tuesday night, the Shambara was packed.

It was a small place, with small rose wood-colored tables, and three walls made up mostly of glass framing an outside view to Yuram bay. Enri smiled at people as he passed by. Though the Shambara was far from the finest dining in Yuram, it was upscale enough to warrant a visit from the Prime Minister, and so the clientele were important enough to be noticed by him as he moved along.

It took little time for the host to seat them outside on the deck overlooking the water. Here the night was dark and warm, as it was expected to be in March. The surrounding city blinded all view of the stars, but it could not hide the bright, white moon that hung in the sky. It did, however, cast long dazzling reflections off the black waters of the harbor, which seemed to dance to the gentle rhythm of waves lapping against the wood of supports below and the quiet conversation of the dinners nearby.

The Prime Minister and his partner sat and received the waiter who came in-tow as the host left with menus. The Shambara was a thoroughly Jashnagari restaurant, which was useful to shake up dining in between Meronnian or Produese clubs when it came to date nights for the Tale'vas. Despite the food being domestic, the scene was not, and in many ways the eatery seemed undecided if it should be Jashnagari or exotic. Enri did not care.

"Tea, darling?" Annabelle Tale'va said to her husband in Soliçian.
The language, in Mèronais dialect, was their way of speaking more privately in public spaces. It was a habit they picked up officially after university.

"Why not?" Enri replied.
Every evening meal in Jashnagar started with tea. Usually, Enri skipped it, especially when dining on foreign cuisine, but if he was going to be eating Jashnagari food, then he would be following Jashnagari custom.
"Bankara black?" he asked.

"Hmmm... Inzali. Green."

With that, the waiter eagerly returned attentive to take the tea order.
"Any wine for the evening?" he asked, completely on script.

Annabelle took the lead and with a hint of deviousness replied with "A Meronnian red. Whatever you have in stock."
She looked at her husband, placing an elbow on the table in front of her and pushing up the glasses that threatened to fall off her nose. "And white for my husband?" she inquired.

Enri quickly shook his head in negative and saw the waiter off. It was, overall, better not to drink when he could avoid it, least he be butchered for the luxury. As Prime Minister, he needed to keep the front of a perfect Maist, and so alcohol was mostly stuck behind the doors of his home. His wife, however, had her weaknesses. Luckily for him, he had a menu to peruse and distract from the whole thing.
Enri's eyes scoured the selection front and back. He knew immediately he wouldn't be eating anything Pa'ea. Rice and pork were not the order of the night, and he didn't want his main meal to be sweet, as the food of his people so often was. He also knew his wife would feel the same way. Food of the Loa too, would be left at home. It did not take him long to settle on a Mahkeen dish of catfish, fried in flour, with a salad of local vegetables on the side, finished with a small bowl of spicy noodles. For dessert, the pair agreed on an oxmilk cheesecake, topped with fresh fruit.
Their tea arrived just as the order was placed.

Enri sat sipping at his cup as he looked out across the water. Yuram was massive, and glowing, and a symbol of the times. He never once dreamed he would be living in it as the leader of the nation. Frankly, he never dreamed he'd be living in the capital even as an ordinary citizen. In the distance, he could easily make out the black silhouette of Rastan I, immortalized in stone and gazing out towards Sepura. He pondered his dealings with the second Bas'kan with such a name as his wife recounted her legal work.

"Anyways, how did your meeting go yesterday?" she asked, snapping him back into the moment.

"As good as it could. We've gotten the palace ready."

"So Ranaman really is the spot?"

Enri nodded in confirmation. At that point, their food arrived. Typically, higher end establishments in Jashnagar were exceedingly quick at cook times. It was a feature of the nation and higher prestige was to be won by spots that could produce fresh food as fast as possible. The smell of his plate mingled with that of the fragrant tea and the scent of palm carried across the bay. Enri began to eat, not saying much to his companion. The two often said little on their dates, as the weekly events were more a time to unwind from the hectic schedule of work. It was not a discomfort that talk was small and infrequent during the meal.

After some time, the waiter returned to check on the guests.
"Is there anything I can do at your pleasure tonight?"

"Yeah." Enri said, "Can you get me to score on the Sa'pua game playing right now?"

"Of course sir, give me one moment to find that for you."

Annabelle smirked when he glanced at her.
"Really? Football?"

"What?" he asked. "They're playing Jasharan. You can't expect me to miss that."

They both laughed. It was true that if Samratan sunk into the ocean tomorrow, Enri would still find a way to keep tabs on Sa'pua's performance. Failing that, he'd tab on Namoa's football team. As he waited, he stopped eating and zoned off into thought, staring at the ripples in the water below. His wife began saying something, but he didn't hear her.
"You'll never guess what happened today."...."What?"...""Excuse me? What did she say....repeat that again...."...."Enri."..."Enri."...

"What?" he snapped away from his mind.

"You're biting your nail again."


"You're bored."

"I'm not bored, just, I've got a lot on my mind."

His wife sighed as the waiter returned to the table, refilling his wife's wine glass.
"Sir, the game is 0-1 Jasharan lead."

"Oh, you've got to be kidding me. The Pa'ea are losing to Jash. Unbelievable."

Annabelle nearly spit out her sip of wine in humor at her husband's indignation.

"Hey." Enri said, suddenly retracing a line of thinking. "Your cousin isn't ending her visit early is she?"

Annabelle looked confused.
"No, why would you think that? In fact, she's been really talking about staying for another week. I told her she ought to just stay for the month and keep her grandkids with her too."

Enri gripped the table for a moment. He suddenly broke a sweat and could feel a bead run down the side of his head. He glanced around in confusion, finding words caught in his throat. The sound around him become blocked by the increasingly loud beat of his own heart.
"Darling?" he could barely hear his wife say. A pain gripped his chest, and the Prime Minister stood, bracing himself against the table, knocking over a glass. He tried to stabilize himself, but he could feel his legs give way. Shouting. A white film overcame his vision. Falling.
He hit the deck.
I have been previously known as Apfeldonia and Thimbyrland

Oh way down south in the land of cotton...

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Posts: 140
Founded: Sep 27, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Meronnia » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:07 am

Asphodèle Palace
22nd October

The First Deputy swung the doors wide open as he paced into the President's private study. There, sitting at the desk, he found him.

Oh, Pierre. Sardou clasped his hands behind his back and stepped up closer, inspecting the man now leaning limply back into the chair. What a mess you've made. Two Republican Guards entered the room and stood either side of the doorway, soon followed by several cleaners who started wiping surfaces down. One collected the papers strewn across the President's desk.

Another set of footsteps entered the room, and Sardou glanced to the side. Beaudouin. The Grey Eminence. It figures he would be here already. They exchanged a wordless nod, and the Foreign Secretary entered the room to stand beside him observing the body and the cleaning process. "When did you arrive?" Sardou queried without turning.

"Twenty minutes ago."

"Any outgoing calls?"


Sardou nodded. "And, the tapes?"

"Being destroyed."

Tilting his head slightly, Sardou pointed towards the now cleared desk. "Where is the weapon?"

"Republican Guard handed it over to DRSD already. For forensics."

Little need for that, Sardou considered. "We won't be able to keep this quiet for long."

"The general idea, no. The specifics, maybe. Either way, there will be new considerations once it hits the news."

Sardou nodded again. "We need to find a candidate."

"I need to make a few calls." With that, Beaudouin stepped out, leaving the First Deputy to make his peace with what laid before him.

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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lykens » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:39 pm

The Secretary-General is In
By: Lykens

19 Condado Street, Lykens, Lykens
1:43 PM

Kenneth Diaz finished reading the data sheet on provincial unemployment numbers for the previous week. The numbers were holding in an uncomfortable but manageable place and he could breathe just a little bit easier, wincing however at the likelihood of billions of dollars of debt being added to the balance sheet of Lykens.

The other people in the room stopped sifting through papers as the door opened. Matilde Elizondo, Kenneth’s Cabinet Secretary, poked her head into the conference room.

“Mister State Counselor, the Secretary-General is in, she’ll be up here momentarily.”

Kenneth nodded and the door clicked close. He gathered the papers in an orderly pile and sat back to gaze around the room.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Eneida Villalobos sat to his right, a longtime ally who had seen Kenneth through several crises. Beside her was the Undersecretary of State for Economic Sanctions, Valero Holguín, a man whom Kenneth considered a rising star of the party. Seated next at the table was the Secretary of State for Defense, Abril Toledano, a protege of Kenneth’s. The entire Defense portfolio was at the meeting today, save the Under Secretary of State for Nuclear Policy and Nonproliferation. Arcelia Castellano of the Millennial Democrats, Under Secretary of State for International Security, Under Secretary of State for Intelligence Tulio Robledo, a drinking buddy and competent spy administrator. Under Secretary of State for the Armed Services Azeneth Obando, a quiet but piercing woman, sat across from Tulia and one of his closest allies, Under Secretary of State for Acquisition, Logistics, Preparedness and Readiness Ysabel Alejandra Escarrá who had been with Kenneth for years sat to her right. Cipriano Cortez, Under Secretary of State for Mu-Kal and Nori and Candelaria Velásquez, Under Secretary of State for the Mu-Kal Union took up the two spaces next to her.

Rounding out the table at his direct left was Amelia Mendoza, the Millennial Democrats’ leader and Deputy State Counselor. Kenneth had expected to work well with Amelia, as they agreed on many things and had both worked as Chief Whips at the same time, oftentimes working together during votes. He had been overjoyed when the two hit it off and blossomed an amazing work relationship that Kenneth believed enhanced his government’s ability to accomplish tasks and goals. Always offering valid and well thought out input, Amelia’s stock with Kenneth had only risen since she had come aboard. She had pressed Kenneth to conduct a principals’ level meeting to discuss the Baskan of Jashnagar’s demand that the MU force the Tanayan’s Soviet People’s Republic out of Sepura and Southeastern Nori, rather than addressing it at the quarterly meeting of the Mu-Kal Assembly.

The door opened again and the shuffling ceased once more. Arecelis Belmonte entered the room, every bit the southern Arecibeña debutante that she once was, gracefully entering the room and setting down the folders she carried.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for waiting for me,” Arecelis pulled out her chair and sat down before opening a folder.

“The Secretariat has been conducting fierce debate on this matter the last three days, and we’re no closer to coming up with a consensus solution than when we started. It’s a complicated and convoluted mess that they have going on in Southeastern Nori. The IRP maintains a hefty presence in Sepura to defend against Jashnagari aggression, which one can’t even say is unwarranted considering all the meddling Tanaya did in the 60s. But the conundrum is Sepura would be defenseless if the IRP pulled out, and Jashnagar will crow that they are being threatened by TSPR by their ‘imperialist’ presence in the region.”

Tulio leaned forward to interject, “Madame Secretary-General, the Tanayans have already made projections in the region, with their naval display back in the spring, and as Lira heats up so does Nori, I’m afraid the situation is getting perilously close to a powder keg. Tanaya has yet to cut their military budget like the rest of the Union for the recession, they’re planning something and we don’t want to be in the way.”

“I’m not naive, Under Secretary Roblando, I’ve tangled with the Tanayan Lion many many times before. I understand mostly what they’d like to do, it’s simply a matter of if they can.” Arecelis sifted through several folders before settling on a blue one. “Any military obligations the MU has at this time to defend Tanaya are related to shipping or naval disputes in the waters surrounding the continent, SE Nori isn’t covered, and therefore anything that occurs outside of that zone is fair game. We wouldn’t get involved.”

There were some mutterings as the assembled Secretaries and Under Secretaries conversed amongst themselves. Kenneth fiddled with a pen he was holding between his hands. “I’m not going to leave a member of the union behind, but if TSPR runs into trouble because they overextend themselves and fall flat, that’s not on the rest of us.” He sighed.

“It would be very helpful if they could keep their international showboating and saber rattling to a minimum, but these are unfortunately the cards we’ve been dealt. Jashnagar is a major trading partner of Lykens, however, and their trade will benefit the Union as a whole.”

Amelia tapped the table with her finger tips. “Well, as much as I agree with you, State Counselor, we need to look at the interests of Lykens, the interests of the Union are for her to pursue,” Amelia uncomfortably gestured to Arecelis as she realized the entire room had gone quiet. She turned to find Kenneth giving her a peculiar look.

“You are correct, Amelia, however it is our job to guide the Union when the going gets tough, this transcends party and country, this is about the future.”
“We depend on Tanayan imports for way too much of the Union’s domestic exports, we can’t upset that dynamic without shedding thousands if not hundreds of thousands of more jobs. We’re in the middle of a recession as is, sanctions would backfire immensely.” Valero gestured to Ysabel, “Are we even prepared to fight in a war? We’ve gutted the military budget the last 11 months, we’re not going to stand much of a chance if we poke that bear, or lion rather.”

Ysabel waved Valero off, “I think you’re being exceptionally overdramatic about the situation, we have warm enough relations with the Tanayans that we can head off potential conflict before it arises. Bonporton and the Commonwealth in the Assembly, for example.”

Eneida shook her head, “I’m not usually inclined to agree with Valero but our relationship with the Tanayans works so well because we both get what we both need from the agreements we make. It is an alliance of convenience. But I believe Tanaya holds the upper hand. They import too many things to be shunned from the club, we’ve backed ourselves into a corner.” Exasperated, she shook her head.

“Madame Secretary, I have to disagree, the Tanayan situation is a delicate dance, but it’s a simple ideological exchange.” Cipriano had worked with Tanayan diplomats for nearly 10 years now, and felt like he had a good enough read of the stoic people. “Democracies and Socialists have to stand together against fascism and the like, because under fascism neither can survive.”

“You can’t honestly be calling the Jashnagari fascists are you?” Ysabel interjected. “The Jashnagari have had democracy for decades, Tanaya is a cesspool of human rights abuses. Furthermore, you overstate the reliance on Tanaya that the Union has, the Tanayan markets are simply markets which are currently accepting large volumes of goods, that does not make them the only markets.”

Cipriano nodded along as Ysabel spoke, “I absolutely agree about the over exaggeration occurring regarding Tanayan imports, but I wasn’t referring to Jashnagar, more a big picture. But regardless, I would say that we need to keep our current alliances dry and not look to reshuffle the world order when most of the world is sitting on a box of dynamite!”

Smatterings of approval reverberated around the table.

Arecelis turned her head to the side as Cipriano spoke, and then looked at Kenneth.

“Well, why not do what we do best and make both angry?”

Kenneth’s eyebrow shot up.

“Request Tanaya scales back the military forces in Sepura without taking all of them out.”

“And what if they don’t?” Valero shot the State Counselor an incredulous look.

Kenneth turned to the younger man, “Well we’re obviously going to have to threaten sanctions to get our way. Tanaya buys a lot of Lykensburgish foodstuffs, and they need those to drive the machine of a country.” Kenneth steepled his hands on the table in front of him.

“This was a good discussion, thank you. Everyone is dismissed except for Arecelis, Amelia, Valero, Eneida, Cipriano, and Candelaria.” The dismissed members of the cabinet collected their belongings and slowly exited the room.

“Cipriano, have the Ambassador to Tanaya reach out and secure a phone call with Stamboliyskaya. Valero start drafting a sanctions package. Eneida, Amelia, and Arecelis will work with me on what I’ll be discussing with Stamboliyskaya. Candelaria, begin reaching out to your counterparts in Oceania, Larkonia, Sierra Ilautó, Ascolla-East Ternev, and Storsnia, if the Tanayans call our bluff we’re going to have to have the Assembly behind us.”
Last edited by Lykens on Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vienna Eliot
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Founded: Feb 16, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vienna Eliot » Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:38 pm

By: Oceania, Lykens
June, 2020

Oceanian State Visit to Lykens
Santa Clarita National Ranch | Arecibo Province, Lykens

Alison Ricardo looked out the window as the car, all black with diplomatic plates, as it rolled down the dirt road toward the stables. Her Cabinet Secretary, Hazel Ledlow, finished reading off their schedule for the day and Alison stared down the sun as it rose over the horizon. She looked down at her white pantsuit.

"I'm oughta give that cocksucking son of a bitch a run for his fucking money," said Alison. Hazel nodded cautiously.

She was talking, of course, about Lykenscian State Counselor Kenneth Diaz, who she couldn't seem to get away from for the past twenty four fucking hours. Since she arrived at Condado Street the fanfare didn't seem to stop, and Kenneth's presence loomed over her like a national shadow. Even when he wasn't around, his staff were. The State Dinner the night before had been outright exhausting; Alison felt like she was tiptoeing around landmines the entire night.

"Who does he think he is? He's a motherfucker. He didn't even want to get off on the right foot, first with the fucking report bullshit. Let a panel fucking do it, like we didn't have somebody lined up to run it. And then he blames us for the trade fiasco, which I'm the one who fucking fixed that, like, are you kidding me? It's a fucking joke. He blames us for that, he shoves us at that MU meeting, he fucking, he — what was it? — yeah, he calls it horrible, he said they were horrors, like he's ever had to deal with a fucking food shortage. Fat fuck."

Hazel nodded. "And you know why he does it, too."

"Of course," Ricardo said, "and that's what you get from a country—"


"—that's what you get from a country that hates women."

"They've never elected one, have they?"

"I'm not sure. I doubt it. I fucking doubt it. Misogynist cunts."

The motorcade pulled up to the front of the welcome center, where Kenneth was already waiting at the top of the steps. Alison shoved a smile between her lips as the chauffeur opened the car door, and kept it on her face for the duration of the tour of the stables. Too many members of the press, from both countries, to let her disdain for Kenneth show. Beside his relentless disrespect for the greater of the two democracies, Ricardo found him arrogant, snide, sarcastic. Nothing befitting of a world leader.

But she couldn't help but be impressed by the stables. Alison had grown up around horses, riding and caring for them every summer at her family's vacation farm. For a short time, in her youth, she even foresaw herself being a professional equestrian. Perhaps one of the highest privileges of her time as Foreign Secretary was visiting stables worldwide — and perhaps one of the highest privileges of the presidency was her right to visit the State House stables whenever she pleased.

"Here," said the tour guide, "are our Thoroughbreds. Crossbred in 17th century Tumbra..." As he gestured to some horses, Alison and Kenneth took their spots, standing proudly and stoically as they watched one horse walk past them, shitting in the process.

"Oh, oh my," an aide said, backing them away. "I'm so sorry about that. Mr. State Counselor, Madam President, I am so sorry."

Alison laughed. "That's what horses do, love." She looked up at Kenneth, who was a bit taller than she was. "These are some lovely horses you have, Kenneth." Just then, a thought popped into her head: Kenneth knew how to ride a horse. Should she ask? Probably not, but...

"You wouldn't happen to have a dressage arena here, would you?"

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Founded: Apr 13, 2013
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lykens » Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:29 pm

A High Level Call
By: Lykens & TSPR

19 Condado Street, Lykens, Lykens
12:23 PM

Kenneth scribbled a few more notes onto the legal pad in front of him. On second thought, he scratched out several lines. He absentmindedly tapped the pen against the table and sighed. He looked over to Arecelis.

“I can’t say that it feels good having the wield the stick in diplomacy when the Tanayans have so far been very cooperative. Grimy almost.” He grimaced.

Arecelis shrugged. “World diplomacy just doesn’t leave everyone satisfied at the same time. Hopefully we won’t even have to mention any sanctions, and their Presidium can come to easy and agreeable terms with us.”

Tulio grunted further down the table, “The Presidium is probably divided between a compromise position of withdrawing some of the garrison and then they’ll have Wohlgenannt on the other side ready to lead an army group up through Mu-Kal to Lykens.” A few chuckles scattered around the table.

“I mean we joke, but from my understanding of it before the Tanayans and Meronnians came to an agreement over Irpan, she was ready to simply lead the forces they’d landed in Irpan to take the country.”

“He’s right,” Eneida put down the folder she was reading, “We were fully expecting Irpan to be taken by the TPRA, when it was discovered that the Meronnians were working with the Tanayans we were shocked.”

“You can’t play around with these people, Kenneth, Tanaya moves for one goal, international revolution. I can’t understand how you’ve managed to work with them for so long.” Tulio shook his head.

Arecelis rolled her eyes and Kenneth waved him off, “A few of you have to really reconcile your anti-socialist tendencies. Socialists are valid and equal partners in statecraft, you all seem to have grown accustomed to the privilege of not dealing with fascism, which is a much bigger threat by far.”

Tulio passed around a green folder, “Speaking of fascists, here are some reports about Tia Regnessian moves on Palai, which is in the midst of its own crisis, yet again. We’re planning on opening up a dialogue with our Storsnian counterparts to assess the situation and how they’re fairing with it, considering the recession.”

Kenneth nodded as he leafed through the folder. “Sounds good, coordinate with Candelaria and Arecelis so that the Union is appraised of the situation. In fact, Candelaria add that to our agenda for the Assembly meeting.”

Kenneth looked at the clock on the wall, reading 2:29 PM in Plamenov, he began to collect his notes as Zoraida Rivera, his National Security Adviser, entered the room with yet more folders.

She took the phone out of the cradle and spoke into it, directing the switchboard to connect her to the appropriate channels.

She pointed a finger gun at Kenneth and passed the phone.

Taking it, he smiled as he brought the phone to his ear, “Madame Chairman, it is an honor to be speaking with you again.”

Palace of Councils, Plamen, TSPR

Alexandra Stamboliyskaya was blankly staring out of the window of her office in the Palace of Councils.

On her desk were several folders prepared by the Central Military Council of TPRA and several other councils. All of them were about one thing. Fortress Sepura, the principal IRP stronghold in the South East Nori. Yet right now she was not looking at their contents but instead on Plamen a hundred meters below.

The door to her office opened and two women entered, the younger one, about 25, and the older one, about the Chairman’s age.
“It is almost time, comrade Chairman.” Said the younger one, with shoulder-length black hair, piercing black eyes and skeletal look. Chairman continued staring blankly at the window.

She approached her closer. “It is almost time, comrade Chairman.”
Stabmoliyskaya didn't even glance at her. “I know, Mirai, and quite well.”

“The moment we have been waiting for a week.” Noted the last woman, slightly taller, with short brown hair, relaxed brown eyes and more filled up look, while taking a seat. “All aspects analyzed, all contingencies considered. It looks like we may get out of it without much harm.”

“I wish I had one quarter of your confidence, Irina!”

Chairman turned around and went to her armchair.

“But I don’t see any reason not to be confident.” Irina boldly replied. “The Union is in recession, Sasha. Economies are on decline. And if Ostojich and his bureau can be trusted they won’t begin recovering until April next year. For the MU, sanctioning Tanaya is like shooting out its own leg. For an agricultural exporter like Lykens ─ twice as much.”

“This is not the question of the economy, Ira.” Chairman started. “It is the question of politics, like Souchon five months ago. That was the test of the Detente; this one will be the test of the integrity of the Union. That monk gave us a test case and now we shall see how the command heights of Lykens will behave under it.”

“You sound like you don’t trust comrade Tikhomirov and his diplomatic achievements, comrade Chairman.” Mirai noted.
“Mirai, I thought you should’ve known better that it’s hard not to trust comrade Tikhomirov. Especially for someone he held his trust in, like me back in the REC.”
“Then there is zero need to be concerned.” Irina said, leaning back in her chair. “Not after the course of Tano-Lykensburg relations for the last 17 years have been set on rapprochement.”

After a pause, she added. “Not with your REC playing part in that course succeeding.”

A phone rang. Chairman switched on its loudspeaker. “Yes?”

A young communication specialist girl answered from the other side. “Secure communication from 19 Condado Street, Lykensburg.”

Three women glanced at each other. Mirai took her seat.
“They sure had us waiting.” Irina noted, raising herself forward. “Let’s see what news they will bring.”

Chairman switched off the loudspeaker and picked the phone.

“Salutations, Councilor Diaz, delighted to hear you. I hope you have been doing well.”

"I've been doing amazing, thank you. The autumn yields of wool were terrific, and the ranch is doing pretty alright all things considered. How is your latest book coming together?"

“Quite smoothly. If it wasn’t this load of… If it wasn’t this situation in South-East Nori,” She hissed the ‘situation’, “I’d already have the chapter on 1972 Plamenev’s reforms finished.” She smiled. “Something quite personal for me as the former Chairman of the REC ─ as you are probably aware.”

Kenneth chuckled at the Chairman's self censor, "It is quite a mess down there. A real situation you've found yourself in. I'm sure you'll give lots of good first hand accounts of the period, I have to say I quite admire the work you put into memorializing important parts of Tanayan history, the Soviet People's Republic is lucky to have you."

Chairman smiled. “Well, thank you, Senhor Councilor. I hope their legacy will be a foundation for something greater to be built upon. And it is already quite solid, wouldn’t you agree?” Her smile turned into a sneering one, granted she had a point.

"Truly, I doubt the Tsardom could ever have reached the achievements of Tanaya today, the Soviet People's Republic has done wonders. It's unfortunate that some just can't see that, like the Baskan in Jashnagar."

“Baskan, yes… I think not understanding us is something to be expected of a reclusive uneducated parasite. Sad and unfortunate, indeed, but what can one do? I myself am used to not being understood.”


“Yet, what is more unfortunate to me, Senhor Councillor, is that we will have to fight his damn zealots, on the islands half a world away, protecting a failed pseudo-socialist regime no one on the ground approves because otherwise one of the cornerstones of our foreign policy will just fall apart ─ and face his cowardly pleas to our friends in process. And to those of our friends we never wanted to drag into this mess in the first place, for more insult!” Chairman now sounded slightly disappointed. “Appalling, isn’t it?”

"It's never fun to have your plans shot out from under you, I can understand that annoyance." Kenneth scoffed, "It's funny when a theocracy with a historical propensity for," Kenneth lowered his voice, "cannibalistic expansionism…

The whole reason for Tanayan involvement is to protect from their aggression. But alas, they do raise a point, a hefty military presence can give off the impression of a menacing and oppressive force. Those aren't optics that reflect well on the Union, which is not good for foreign or economic affairs. I'm hoping we can strike a balance that satisfies a good representation of the Union and for Tanayan interests. I like to think we work good together, Madame Chairman, and we've guided our peers through several crises so far."

"You raise an interesting point, Senhor Councilor. Tanayan involvement there is done under the aegis of the IRP. I'm not aware of any member of the Union having any solid ties with Sepura." Beat. "And the REC is not aware either, so to say. It's entirely in the sphere of interests of the Pact and I don't understand why the Union would be concerned by actions at most barely related to it."

"As a leading member of the Union, Madame Chairman, you must realize that the opinion of the Union is related to Tanayan actions and opinions abroad. But you misunderstand my intentions, I only wish to provide assistance in dealing with the Jashnagari pests."

"If it is so, then all I can do is to apologise for my misunderstanding. Yet if it really is so, then I would like to know what kind of assistance you wish to provide. In other words, how do you formulate this obvious dilemma and what are you suggesting for solving it, Senhor Councilor?"

"Well it's quite simple, Madame Chairman, simply lie. The Baskan is not a friend of yours, and while Lykens has extensive links to the nation of Jashnagar, we have no loyalty to an aggressive theocrat. Announce the depletion of the garrison, move out some old or damaged planes to keep up appearances, and allow the Baskan to fall into a sense of security.

It's hardly proper to ask Tanaya to draw back on measures that guarantee its safety, and I hope you wouldn't think I would ever try to jeopardize that."


"That's… an interesting idea, yet I don't think it will give him a sense of security. Something tells me he won't feel himself secure even if we withdraw half of our air fleet from there. With all his friends, mind you."

Rare sounds of carefully flipped paper filled a small pause.

"That's not to say we haven't already been considering rearrangement of our forces in Sepura. Incidentally, the plan goes along with your idea well, Senhor Councilor, so I think we can set it in motion.”

"Of course it won't, he doesn't want security, he's simply trying to make fools of us both. Unfortunately for him, he's playing with two who are very adept at statecraft. I'm glad we've solved something so trivial so easily.

Moving on, there's also the Tero Malstreciganoj Question, which I believe would be best solved by the Assembly at our next meeting. It's time to get the Isthmus back at the international table."

“Good timing. I think the Isthmus is already good enough for that as well.

“Now, as far as I see it, the question revolves around the status of Bonporton. We both remember what it is and how it was born; and as for me, just going along with one representative for the whole Commonwealth would sideline the Commune. I say… we allow a special representation for Bonporton, however do we want to call it ─ a voice in the Assembly, maybe even a full vote ─ and certainly a full Secretariat representation to reflect Commune’s different economic position.

“Yes, I… think this is as good of a starting point as it is.”

"Due to Bonporton's nature, it's obvious that it'd need a separate voice in the Assembly or Secretariat from the Commonwealth, however I'm not entirely sure that it'd be feasible to grant a voting seat to Bonporton, however if the Assembly so decides I will abide by it.

While Bonporton is vastly different from the other Isthmian States, it is still Malstrecigano at the end of the day."

“Then I think we are in agreement on this one. And since we are here, we should discuss another matter, painfully close to our borders. I’m talking about Palai.”

"Of course, that poor little country. Horrible what's happened there, the Storsnian people have been so charitable to the Palaians. Might be best to consider sending a task force to steady and resolve the situation, before the entire country empties out. We've had intelligence coming in of potential Tia Regnessian moves to take advantage of instability. What're your thoughts on the matter?"

“You’ve read my mind when you mentioned Tia Regness.”

Sounds of shifting paper were heard on the other side of the line.

“We’ve been observing it since the recession hit and more closely since the situation in Magnostria started to unfold. We knew they’d want to take something over to cope with the recession. That would be Palai, as we know. And I have asked some of our structures to run a game to see what would happen if Tia Regness takes over Palai. Our conclusions are, let’s say, not too promising.”

Chairman started listing those conclusions of hers in a matter-of-factly tone.

“Immigration crisis to be aggravated. Exploitation for resources highly likely. Genocide through labor highly likely. Storsnian border lengthened… Storsnian border lengthened.”

Her voice turned back to normal.

“Right, should Tia Regness ever want to mount a diversion or threaten Storsnia, they will have more space for maneuver if they take Palai. And if they create a good enough launchpad, the Gulf of Salta and its section of the Trans-Mukalese Railroad are in 15-17 days of march ─ barely slower than the Union would be able to react, we believe.

“And if it wasn’t bad enough, this situation in Magnostria will tangle this knot even further. Right now we believe Jashnagar will align Tia Regness ─ and Beinan because the more the merrier. A very heartfelt union of the enemies of democracy, may I say. One that may survive, if we don’t deal with it.

“This is what we have, and there are two options in the end. Either Regnessian fascists take over Palai ─ or the Union. So, I suggest we raise this topic in the nearest session of the Assembly, but before that, we should discuss this situation with the First Minister Tamvere.

“There may be war, Senhor Councilor.”

oof. Kenneth thought to himself.

"Now, now, I'm not sure war is exactly a foregone conclusion, we may yet avoid such a nasty spat.

However, you raise good points about the Tia Regnessian threat, and the potential downsides of taking over Palai are obviously enormous.

A joint task force of the MU, under MU command but composed of several national armed forces, should move into Palai to stabilize the situation. We would not be seen as aggressors trying to conquer land, and we'd have a bulwark, not to mention an impregnable mountain fortress to defend from. We can assist the people of Palai in setting up a government that can keep order, as well as opening up new markets.

I feel like this could be a multifaceted win if we execute this correctly. And you're right about First Minister Tamvere, she'd be a necessary partner in this endeavor."

“Good plan.” Chairman noted. “I wouldn’t have much hope on Palai markets, however, for one-point-something-million subsistence farmers and miners do not give one a large market. But this is a question for after the operation.

“Other than that, it sounds like this one is settled as well.”

"Fair, though population grows exponentially, we can hope a future Palai returns our kindness. In any event, this was a most productive discussion, Madame Chairman, I appreciate you taking my call and assisting me in solving a plethora of issues. I look forward to seeing you in person next month, for the Assembly meeting. Our staff will be in touch to coordinate the agenda."

“True. It was a pleasure, Senhor Councilor.”

"Have a lovely afternoon, Madame Chairman."

Kenneth ended the call and sat back before looking at the assembled secretaries.

Arecelis spoke first, "That wasn't quite what we discussed prior to your call, but I understand things change in the moment."

Kenneth nodded. "The Tanayans have been very good to us, and so far for nothing in return, there is no reason to burn them. You get more with the carrot than the stick.

I respect the Tanyans, though I’m sure they’re hungry for a war to bring about the revolution, they’re working with me as I work to prevent war at any cost.”

Tulio cast the State Counselor a contemptuous look, “You know they’re going to use Palai to start the very war you refuse to accept will happen.”

Kenneth snorted before shaking his head, “The war will happen, Tulio, I have since accepted that, I will simply ensure that when it starts, we are in the most favorable position that we can be in.”

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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lykens » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:19 am

An Early Dinner
By: Lykens

Grand Assembly Building, Lykens, Lykens
Chief Whip's Office
4:35 PM

Kenneth gently placed the knife on the counter, placing the slices of cheese delicately on the oversized cutting board. Compared to his large hands and the large knife next to it, the board looking comically big and almost cartoonish. He looked at it for a few seconds before chuckling to himself and moved on to the crackers, ripping open the plastic sleeve and stealing one for now, savoring the salty and seasoned crunch. He had spent a little extra on the crackers, having been drawn in by the alluring idea of parmesan, rosemary, and thyme. The taste had immediately shown its worth and he made a mental note to buy more in the future.

He fanned the crackers out in a cute little semicircle above the cheeses he had just spread out, a nice young white reindeer milk cheese imported from Storsnia, an imported cow's milk cheese from Ascolla-East Ternev that had a deliciously rich yellow color, an imported smoked and aged cheese from Parthonopia with a greyish white hue, and lastly his own attempt at cheese making, made from milk from his own flock, and aged for almost 6 months and still the same pure white color as when it was first made.

For meats, he had brought more homemade goods, sliced sausage from a colleague who owned a pig farm near his own ranch, precooked but cold bacon from Produsia, a delectable smelling smoked prosciutto from Parthonopia, smoked salami and pepperoni, also from Parthonopia, and lastly something that he had contemplated and decided not to use several times before caving, smoked reindeer jerky from Storsnia.

With the cheese set across from the meats, it was now time to cut some bread, as his guests would be arriving soon. He took the cheese knife to the sink and rinsed it before placing it in the basin and grabbing a breadknife from a drawer to the left. He took the bread in his free hand and lightly squeezed it, crinkling the paper back and hearing a soft crackling of the crust as he walked back to the counter. He sighed contently and he slid the bread out and cut off the heel, and popped it into his mouth. He chewed it while he cut appropriately sized slices and arranged them opposite the crackers, leaving the meat and cheese in between the crackers and bread. A long but narrow dish sat off to the side, and he put the dish in between the cheese and meats before turning to his left and walking to the mini fridge. His office antechamber was lovely and had almost a full kitchen, but no refrigerator, he'd bought the minifridge a day after moving into the office to make sure he could keep his snacks and meals cold. He retrieved two jars of Parthonopian olives, one green and one black, and poured them into two strainers he had put into the sink, and moved the olives to the dish.

He looked at the clock, 4:43 PM, right on time.

He moved the oversized board to the large rectangular table near the door and then retrieved three glasses from the liquor cabinet, as well as his finest whiskey, Founder's Fire, which had an almost hot cinnamon flavor. He quickly retrieved three frozen whiskey rocks from a sealed box he had stowed under the counter, and put them into the glasses. He topped each glass off with a ten second pour and heard knocking as he finished and sealed the bottle again. He straightened up and smoothed out his shirt as he walked to the door, slowly willing a smile onto his face. He opened the door and greeted his guests.

"Valentín! Lorenzo! Lovely to see you both, please come in."

He moved aside and opened the door as the two entered, with meek greetings from both.

"Thank you, thank you Kenneth." Valentín made a beeline for the table, immediately sitting down and reaching for the glass to his right.

Lorenzo lingered at the door and shook Kenneth's hand, "I appreciate the dinner invitation, I can't say I've have the time to indulge in such a lovely bit of pleasure." Kenneth shook his hand firmly before withdrawing and closing the door. He turned around and beamed as the two made themselves at home, grabbing bread and crackers and meat and cheese.

Interesting to see these troublemakers have no manners, in addition to their behavioral problems.

Lorenzo took a lengthy sip of his whiskey, wincing as it hit the back of his throat.

"Founder's Fire?" He coughed lightly a few times, "I didn't think you would drink something like thi-"

"Kenneth come and join us, why haven't you sat down yet?" Valentín interjected forcefully and gave his colleague a dirty look.

"Of course, I apologize gentlemen, I have so much on my mind these days, sometimes I just," Kenneth brought his hand with closed fingers to his head before expanding his fingers as he brought his hand away. The two nodded as Kenneth took his seat.

Valentin knew Lorenzo was en route to a homophobic remark, and the pair had barely been in the man's presence for five minutes. He hoped that this meeting would be short on the dialogue and heavy on the eating so that his fool of a partner wouldn't jam his foot into his mouth instead of food.

Kenneth knew as well, but he wasn't here to be their friend, quite the opposite. As Chief Whip, Kenneth was tasked with keeping the government benches in line for important votes and making sure that the top of the caucus was apprised of the happenings lower down the rungs. The two before him were causing trouble and had become the ring leaders of a group of about 20 or so Assembly Members who were griping about the upcoming budget, even discussing voting against it. The government was short 23 seats of a majority, and relied on a group of troublemakers in the Progressive Front caucus to pass confidence bills, but with only 25 members of the PF able to be counted on by the government, the 20 rabble-rousers in his caucus could not be tolerated.

Kenneth took a sip of his whiskey, and made painful and uncomfortably long eye contact with Lorenzo. He set his glass down without coughing and turned to Valentín.

"I've heard through the grapevine that the two of you have some concerns regarding the budget? We're what, two and half some months before it gets handed down, so this is a good time to touch base and hear what the two of you have to say. You are both well known by the leadership for your principles," Kenneth emphasized and drew out the word a bit, "And while they are commendable, I would be remiss to not remind the two of you that this government operates with an effective majority of two. You are both very much aware that the Association only has 453 members, and the 25 members of the PF who can't stand Chavarría's tactics give us just the barest majority."

He paused to put some prosciutto, bacon, and the Storsnian cheese on a piece of bread, topping it off with the parmesan, rosemary, and thyme cracker. He watched the two eat sheepishly as he ate his concoction.

He wiped his mouth before taking a spoon and placing a few olives on his plate, and popped a few into his mouth. He enjoyed the uncomfortable silence as the two marinated in confusion. He flushed his food down with another sip of whiskey, and patted his lips dry before returning to the two.

"I have to admit, I'm quite a junior member of the Assembly, compared to the two of you, you're both in the twilight of your second terms, and I'm barely finishing my first. I have a long memory though, and I've kept up with politics long before I was elected, even as Chairman of the Arecibo branch." He paused again to sip his whiskey, swirling the glass which caused the rock to bounce around, making a distinct clinking noise that was different from ice cubes.

"I happen to recall two Assembly Members actually, the members for if I remember correctly, the national list, voting for a tax cut and business deregulation package some six years ago, when Julio Fontana was State Counselor, do you two know who I'm thinking of?"

Lorenzo had sat without touching his food for a few minutes and kept his eyes trained on his plate in front of him. Valentín stopped eating once Kenneth had mentioned the past vote.

Kenneth smiled at the two before he fashioned another sandwich and ate it. After wiping his mouth, he took his glass into his hand, tapping his nails on it.

Lorenzo spoke up, "Listen Kenneth, I have my principles and I stick with them. I believe that lower tax rates across the board can bring abo-" Kenneth slammed his fist onto the table and Lorenzo looked up in fright. Valentín cringed as Lorenzo began speaking again. "About better economic stimulus than-"

Lorenzo wilted as Kenneth stood up.

"You voted for a bill that caused a deficit because Fontana was too chickenshit to cut funding and be the bad guy. But he couldn't help rob the cookie jar on his way out, and squandered a surplus the Association had a hand in creating. The first government to add to the debt since 1993. You both voted for it, and faced no repercussions."

Valentín seemed to be trying to absorb into his chair, but felt that it was time to at least attempt a defense, for appearances at least.

"You can't punish us for something you weren't even in office for. The caucus won't abide by that, and I can't see Rodriguez doing so either."

Kenneth turned to face Valentín, who immediately looked down. "I can't punish you for a past vote, you're absolutely correct. In fact, 33 other Association members voted with the two of you. But they are not here today, do you know why?"

Valentín sighed deeply, "I assume it has to do with the budget."

Kenneth chuckled. "Yes it does, Valentín. An astute observation." Kenneth took another sip from his whiskey before turning back to Lorenzo.

"You're both going to shut the fuck up about the budget, the budget process, and how you're going to vote on the budget. A balanced budget that the two of you profess to worship. You're going to go back to your friends and you're going to make sure they get the message and don't need to get an invitation from me. This is the last time I will be speaking about this topic with the two of you, and when the budget gets handed down, you will both vote for it, and you will get your friends to vote for it. If you even think about voting against it, I will know. I will know before you do it, and you will pay the price for it, before the vote, during the vote, and after. I promise you that.

The ARP of the Fontana era was a different party, and we're noting putting up with stupid petty bullshit when we were elected to govern."

Kenneth reached forward to retrieve a few more olives and a slice of prosciutto. He wiped his mouth and put his napkin down.

"I think I've made myself clear, the two of you are dismissed. And Lorenzo, the next time you think to make a homophobic remark and your friend isn't here to save you, remember, I am not afraid to punch you right in the mouth."

Lorenzo gasped as Kenneth pushed in his chair and walked across the room to the door that led to his office.

Valentín sat uncomfortably for several seconds and then stood up, beckoning Lorenzo. The exited the antechamber and began to walk briskly to their offices.

"Can you believe that fucking asshole? Who does he think he is? Threatening us? Us?]"

Valentín shook his head, "He wasn't threatening us, he was promising us. We're voting for the bill, Lorenzo. We don't have constituency seats like he does, our positions on the list are not guaranteed."

Lorenzo guffawed, "What about de Santiago!? He has members that are placed on the list solely because he says so!"

Valentín looked at his friend incredulously, "And neither of us have a patron like him."

"Or like Diaz."

Valentín nodded forlornly as they came upon the elevator.
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Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:06 am

Fall Kristallwelle
Stage 3. Dai Hong Kui.


Kombrig Dai Hong Kui (service category: K-12) was sitting in his cabin aboard the troopship Komandarm Levchenko, steaming towards the distant land of Irpan. But on the table before him was a huge, well-detailed map of another country, that was much closer to TSPR. Ofrax.

Forty million people on the subcontinent of Belshek occupy this land of rampant, unrestricted, and unfettered capitalism. A well-known offshore zone, it passed by in People's Commissariat for Trade documents as "Financial Zone A1/3". Dimwitted and near-sighted bourgeois "analysts" blamed this country for yet another crisis of their glorious bourgeois world. What did they even know about economic cycles to blame a poor and suffering country for their financial woes? Nothing, evidently. Yet they were not quite wrong to blame it, either. While it was certainly not the main instigator, this country was the weakest link in the chain. In the aftermath of Cyclone Yue, it was the weakest link that gave in.

Dai was sitting in his field uniform, a beige steppe camouflage with a single brown star on two dark red collar patches. A markup pair of compasses in his thick, rough hand walked from one point of the map to another, carefully measuring distances on the roads between the cities and the villages of the country.

One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five.

Dai marked down the distance on a spreadsheet pinned in his clipboard. The planning was well underway.

One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five.

Ofrax had nothing of the sort of Tanayan military, just a pathetic militarized police force of no more than two hundred thousand total. However, this time they had an advantage. Whatever TRN was, it was totally inept in and unequipped for something as simple and trivial as marine landings. Apparently, another batch of guided missile cruisers was judged to be a better investment than a dozen landing ships. Whether it was a better investment or not didn't matter for Kombrig Dai: for him, it only meant which avenue of brute force was closed.

One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five.

Then, precision was the key. The map that Kombrig used had dozens and dozens of marks in OSVU-6A, a set of symbols developed and used exclusively by TPRA ─ dozens and dozens of hieroglyphs denoting everything from ports to military bases ─ and like that the entirety of the military Ofrax lied before Dai Hong Kui, straight from the Section 11 of the CMC of TPRA. But with the marine assault out of question, all that information made life only marginally easier.

One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five. Dai had to find another way ─ and he found it.

Air was the one realm Tanayans could claim as their own. Ofrax was very close to Tanayan mainland, where thirty five divisions of Tanayan Revolutionary Air Force rested at their airfields, quietly awaiting their turn, ready to say their word.

Dai knew those birds of steel would not have to wait long. With the marine route cut, air was to be his sea.

He pulled a notebook from a pocket and flipped several pages to find the one relevant to him ─ a full list of Tanayan airborne formations. Six paratrooper brigades could be brought up for the operation if the transport fleet has been prepared and rested. Dai then remembered the Bonporton Air Bridge. That was the greatest challenge Polyanskiy and his strategic transport aviation ever met. From two divisions under his command, the 10th Division, running its planes and men day and night back in April, now had men resting and planes on thorough maintenance. Would the 41st Division alone be enough?

Why bother? The plan won't be executed any time soon and when it would be executed both divisions would be ready to do what they must. And so, Hong Kui started marking the landing zones for four of six paratrooper brigades. Four ports on the west coast should fall. First, any meaningful opposition had to be eliminated with air attacks. Then, paratroopers are to sweep in, extirpate the rest and capture the ports intact.


Two brigades left. Dai's eyes slipped inland and his eyes trained in the General Staff Academy noted three junctions that would be better off in Tanayan hands when the main force was to arrive. Two brigades totaled up for six battalions. If one breaks them into two-battalion groups, those junctions will not be a problem.

Marked. That concluded the first stage of the operation. It was time to change the map.

The new map was, apart from the same OSVU symbols, blank, without any trace of the first stage. Hong Kui marked the areas that were taken by that moment, then took his markup compass yet again.

If he was to be successful in his airborne assault, he would be generously rewarded when the second wave would reach the ground. The 8th Front of the 5th, 7th, 11th and 14th Armies had 17 corps, 56 brigades and about eight hundred thousand men in total ─ slightly more than a half of the Tanayan People's Army 2021 Operative Deployment, and about two times more than in the ubiquitously mentioned Fortress Sepura, the name Hong Kui absolutely loathed.

His markup compass started running again, measuring distances between cities, junctions and air bases. One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five. Marked. One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five. Marked. One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five. Marked. One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five. Marked. And an equidistant line through the marks, a straight one for Dai planned no encirclement operations. From his point of view, Ofrax wouldn't be able to mobilize anything more than their pathetic militarized police that would be swiped from the air anyways, so why would he bother with complicated operations?

He kept measuring distances, marking points and plotting lines, measuring, marking and plotting and again and again. One ─ two ─ three...

Kombrig's eye found the capital city of Kahdura. He was going there.

Two days before he had to depart for Irpan, Dai received the following letter:

To: Dai Hong Kui (No. 213745-944351), K-12, 13th Mechanized Brigade.
From: Internal Communications Secretariat, Section 11, CMC of TPRA.
Secret. Personal. Destroy after reading.

Comrade Dai,

It has been requested by a specialist of the Section 11 that you meet them on 19.06.2020, 1200±0015 in Novgorod, Novgorod Military Institute, Building 7, Negotiation Room 6. The meeting is to be conducted in confidence. Please acknowledge you will be present.

Rot Front!

Curious, Hong Kui acknowledged he would come and departed to Novgorod the following morning. Receiving something like that was unusual for a line commander like him. It wasn’t prohibited or frowned upon, it was simply unusual. Section 11 rarely had any deals with line commanders.

En route, Dai caught himself on a thought that he knew who that specialist could be. He quickly discarded it; what was the point of idle guesses? Although with the destination being Novgorod, he might’ve been right.

And as it turned out, he was right. He understood it when he entered the Negotiation Room 6 in the Building 7 of the Novgorod Military Institute.

“If it isn’t Shinako.” Dai noted plainly as he proceeded to a seat across Shinako Hosokawa (SK-9), Belshek and West Nori Division, Section 11. 51 year old, just like him, an older sister to one of his colleagues in command and just a not-so-nice woman. Her straight charcoal black hair were let loose to her back, her blue eyes were, as per usual, relaxed and she seemed to be in a decent mood.

“Morning, Hong Kui. How’s your brigade?”
“In high spirits and ready for battle." Dai then cut to the main part. "Why did you bring me here?”

Shinako pushed a thick folder to him. “Take a look.”

Dai examined the contents of the folder. A criminal syndicate, operating in Magnostria. Sex slavery, child trafficking, arms trading, drug dealing… Dai was disgusted with this must-have set of activities but how exactly could it relate to him, commander of the 13th Armoured Brigade of Tanayan People’s Army?

Then he reached the dossiers assembled on the leadership of the syndicate. And from a glance at the very first one he felt the inner fire of fury awakening.

He remembered how the way he glared at Shinako had the woman shivering. Like her sister, she was a frail one but hardly a coward. The woman's look was, however, unfazed.

"Is. This. True?" He asked, rapping his finger at the name on the dossier.

Shinako nodded. Kombrig slammed his fist at the table, his face holding expression of disgust.

"Why did you have to show me this, Shinako? You know exactly how I feel about my background, no? Of what spite do you have to remind me I've been a son of a consigliere in a Triad group! And why do you have to show me..." He pushed a dossier to her. "...this, of all the things?"

"Hoped you would take it an honor to plan their downfall." As Kombrig was confused, the woman took out a folder as think as the one with dossiers and information. "And the downfall of that foul rotten bog as well." She pushed the second folder to him, then collected the first one.

"Here, the maps of Ofrax. Do your best, Hong Kui. Think of a plan that Rayevskiy and Calvet themselves would take as theirs." Shinako got up and headed to the door. "Good luck in Irpan too. And please..." Hong Kui looked at her as she stopped at he very doors. "look after Tamako."

... what was the distance again? Ah, yes… ─ four ─ five.

One ─ two ─ three ─ four ─ five. Marked. Kombrig took a ruler and a red pencil and plotted the final equidistant line, then marked the operational areas.

The operation plan was finalized.

You little piece of shit… I don't care if you survived. I’m coming for you!
Last edited by Volga-Dnieper on Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Vienna Eliot
Posts: 550
Founded: Feb 16, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vienna Eliot » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:32 pm

GOVERNMENT WARNING: The National Register is licensed under Noncommercial Public License 2.0. The unauthorized reproduction of this material is punishable by a fine of $2,500 and up to 90 days in prison. Pub.L. 101-503. | R.R. 15 § 1896.


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the Senate is going to confirm Mr. Terrell is — well, a question for the Senate to take up. But I'm sure they will. He's qualified. And so other than that, I'm looking forward to taking your questions for today, as a president should. I reserve, Mr. Speaker.
The SPEAKER. The President reserves the balance of her time. The gentlewoman from Amherst, Ms. Ophelia-Eliot.
Ms. OPHELIA-ELIOT. Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I thank her excellency the President for climbing the hill today to hold herself to the account of the National Council. Mr. Speaker, we have dozens of questions today, and I hope the President will stick around to answer all of them, but in particular I think we ought to start off with foreign affairs. The precarious place of our Republic on the international stage is so important — and I'm sure the President agrees — and so it continues to baffle me why she continues to neglect perhaps the most important organ we have in the international sphere. The Mu-Kal Union held its quarterly summit for heads of government in late December, after the President had assumed office, and she was nowhere to be found at it. She was nowhere to be found. And we've heard every day her press secretary give us an overview of her schedule, but I've never heard, Mr. Speaker, I've never heard her discuss any calls with world leader, any meetings — there are none of them. She has asked the Senate to confirm Mr. Bonifaz Terrell to be our Foreign Affairs Secretary. I admit, and I apologize, but I've never heard of the gentleman, he's been in the Congress less than two months, and he has, as far as we can all tell, approximately no professional foreign affairs experience. So we're all a bit concerned! Madam President, with that in mind, would you please elaborate on your foreign affairs strategy?
The SPEAKER. The gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. The President.
The PRESIDENT. Mr. Speaker, I think that there's a lot you can say about all of that. First of all, I'm going to be honest, I don't think — the Mu-Kal Union, it's a bit of a — it's a waste of time for Oceania. It's not worth what we're putting in. We are not getting out what we are putting into the Mu-Kal Union. And it's driving this reliance on other countries that I don't think is a good thing. That kind of over dependence, on other nations, it's bad for the Republic. We have so much going on at home, we have so much going on, and frankly, we don't need all this help, and we don't need to be handing out money to other countries like this. Oceania can do it better on our own. We don't need big alliances to accomplish big goals. We don't need a globalist community when our focus should be on Oceanian citizens. That's what I will say about that. And you say — the leader says, she claims that Bonifaz is not qualified. I don't know where she got that from. He served in the military, was a captain in the Navy, and personally, I respect the Navy. Bonifaz Terrell ran an incredible shipping company before he joined the Congress, and I think he's going to do just a fantastic job as our Foreign Secretary. I reserve, Mr. Speaker. I reserve.
The SPEAKER. The President reserves the balance of her time. The gentlewoman from Amherst, Ms. Ophelia-Eliot.
Ms. OPHELIA-ELIOT. Absolutely fantastic words from her excellency the President, Mr. Speaker, and I


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would encourage her to elaborate on the apparent uselessness of the Mu-Kal Union to Oceanian interests. When I served as Secretary of Equality and Culture I had the privilege of working a great deal with my foreign counterparts, so I would appreciate the President's input on what, exactly, we give to the Union that we don't get in return, and I reserve.
The SPEAKER. The gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. The President.
The PRESIDENT. I am not sure what the — what Mrs. Ophelia-Eliot is thinking about, in terms of where I could clarify. But I think, when we’re looking at these types of multifaceted issues, I think it’s important to think about what lens we’re sort of looking at this through. Because the solution is then also going to have to be multifaceted, so when we’re thinking about these things and discussing them, and analyzing them and chewing them, and spitting them out, and wiping that up, and sanitizing that surface, I think it’s really important to think, okay, well if I’m looking at it in all these different ways, how can I bring those together. Right? Bring those together, and look at it from all directions all at once. I think that would ultimately give us a lot more perspective. And I reserve.
The SPEAKER. The President reserves the balance of her time. The gentlewoman from Amherst, Ms. Ophelia-Eliot.
Ms. OPHELIA-ELIOT. Right, okay. Madam President, Mr. Speaker, if she could tell the chamber: what does the Mu-Kal Union do? Do you know? Does she know? I'm not convinced, I'm not certain, and Mr. Speaker, if there is evidently such an enormous problem with the mutual aid processes that we participate in, then what is the answer, and what's the solution? Are we going to exit the Union? Are we going to vote on it? Is there going to be a referendum, or is the President going to sign us out with the stroke of a pen. Does the President have any sustainable solution to this perceived problem?
The SPEAKER. The gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. The President.
The PRESIDENT. Well, I can tell you that I can't speak to hypotheticals. There's a lot going on. And I'm not going to dignify the question with a response, as to whether I am aware of the Union does. I am aware. And I am aware that we are getting the short end of the stick. I don't know what the solution is because I am not a dictator. That is why I am in this chamber. But I can say that I do know the path forward will take a great deal of deliberation, and I reserve the balance of my time.
The SPEAKER. The President reserves the balance of her time. The gentlewoman from Amherst, Ms. Ophelia-Eliot.
Ms. OPHELIA-ELIOT. If non-answers are what we can come to expect from these sessions, Mr. Speaker, we may get more work done if the President stays in the State House. I yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from Providence, Mr. Hart.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Providence, Mr. Hart, is recognized.
Mr. HART. Mr. Speaker, thank you. In my home state, I met with a single father of two seeking health insurance. After the executive order limiting enrollment periods on exchanges, this father found himself in a

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:32 pm

Fall Kristallwelle
Stage 4. Tamako In The Void


What if the sun will never rise again?

It was a pleasant night in Southern Nikene. The moon was non-existent, preparing to be reborn in its full glory to light passing ships with its bleak, treacherous light. But while the moon was being reborn, thousands of stars took their place in the night sky, constellations upon constellations, figures of poetic thought bearing little relevance to the endless void of space. Their light was thousands or even millions of years old by the time it reached Olympia ─ and for many stars that light was little more than an echo of their long-past glory. For some others, it was just their sad obituary.

Tamako Hosokawa loved stars. The moonless night sky was captivating, staring at it was like staring in the infinite abyss. Since her childhood, she wanted to ascend to those stars but she was late by twenty years for the Tanayan manned space program. She decided to apply to aviation ─ but luck wasn't on her side there as well. Ground services only.

And her dreams of embracing infinite sky came crashing down in the most spectacular way.

The sun could never again shine for Tamako Hosokawa ─ but then it turned out to be merely a brief eclipse. For if she couldn't ascend to the stars herself, then perhaps she could at least make a day when the brotherhood of humanity would ascend to them together closer? That revelation was like the daybreak for her. Of course! If she couldn't reach the stars, then making the final victory of socialism closer with the best of her abilities so that everyone could reach the stars was the life worth living! And that's how, with renewed energy, she made her way to become a specialist in Section 8 of the Central Military Council of Tanayan People's Revolutionary Army ─ the Advanced Research and Development Agency.

Now Lead Senior Specialist Kombrig Tamako Hosokawa (SK-8, K-12) lied on a bench on the upper deck of the troopship Komandarm Levchenko. That ship housed the little staff of the 1st Armoured Corps and the engineers. She was admiring the stars littering the endless, moonless void. No telescope, no binoculars, just one trained Mk1 Eyeball.

Why was she there? Has her luck got the better of her again? In a way, no. The stars have aligned well to bring her there... It started a week ago, on the sunny day of 15.06.2020.

Tamako was walking the streets of Novgorod with a man one head taller than her and much bulkier than her frail frame. That was her husband, Rodion, a chief engineer in the OKB-249 based in the city. They were lively discussing something.

"That Wohlgenannt is a fool!" The man uttered angrily. "Who else can judge successful trials 'inconclusive'? It’s like she gave you a brigade just to make us look like fools on her home ground."
“Can see where you’re coming from, but no.” The woman countered. “She is a moron, yes, but giving me a brigade was her smartest decision. At least we can create and adapt tactics as we see fit─”
“And she can dismiss them as ‘inconclusive’, Tamako, like this time.”

They fell silent to gather their thoughts. “This time” was a month ago, on the trials of the latest creation of the OKB-249, the Aktau-7 robotic platform by the 22nd Armoured Brigade, commanded by none other than Kombrig Tamako Hosokawa.

“I don’t get why she is so skeptical on the project.” She carried on. “The fewer men on the frontline the better, they always say that in the CMC.”
“Don’t get it either.” Rodion picked up. “We give her a 30mm and 12 RPOs or 4 ATGMs, and all of that with just one operator.”
“She’s scuttling an entire area of research.” Tamako sighed. "If only we could test Aktaus in a real battle, that would prove our point."

Rodion laughed. "With what's happening in Irpan, I think you'll have your battle very soon, my dear!"
"I wouldn't be surprised─" She didn't finish, for a phone rang. The other looked at her as she picked it.

"Wohlgenannt." Responded the sharp voice on the other side of the line. "Irpan is hot; two days to prepare for action; out."

Tamako looked at Rodion. "Well-well, comrade Suprunov, it looks like soon we'll prove our point to her."
He smirked. "Then don't miss our chance and do your best, comrade Kombrig."

Kombrig... Who would've thought an ordinary specialist in an R&D section of the CMC of TPRA would become a Kombrig? Not Tamako, not until the summer of 2018. Not until she met Wohlgenannt.

As she started to remember it, still staring in the void, a familiar sharp voice got her up. "Admiring stars, comrade Hosokawa?"
"Comrade Wohlgenannt?" She got up to salute but was stopped by a handwave. The massive character of Wohlgenannt leaned on a bench beside her.

"This'll be an operation of maneuver, Tamako, endless and ceaseless maneuver."
"I figured. Chasing bandits in the steppe─"
"Not chasing bandits, Tamako." Komkor cut her. "Marching on the Irpan City, right after we set up an air bridge."

Tamako looked at her wide-eyed.

"Are you sure of that? But what about Meronia?"
"Stamboliyskaya handles it. I’ll have a word from her on the 25th."
"That’s right after we land."

Wohlgenannt nodded and then they both turned their eyes to the stars again.

They remained like that for a couple of minutes, admiring the void. Olympia was a tiny little dot in that massive void. On that tiny little dot, an invisible scrape marked the ocean of Nikene. On that scrape, no one could see the convoy going to a continent on the other side of that scrape.

But Tamako knew better than some wide-eyed idiotic idealists. For them, it was a pale blue dot, but for six billion people it was the entire world. And it was on that dot those people spent their lives in poverty and misery, safe for a few millions of the “chosen” ones drowning themselves in obscene luxury. For Tamako, that photo of a pale blue dot only strengthened her resolve to bring a better future, where people of the Olympia would stand together, equal and free and not limited to that pathetic dot.

And to bring this bright future a bit closer, the 1st Armoured Corps, forty thousand men, more than two thousand tanks and tank support vehicles, and three hundred Aktau-7 platforms were now sailing towards Irpan. In overall command was Leonore Amalia Wohlgenannt, the rabid hound. The 1st Armoured Brigade had Radomir Mladich, the operational artist. The 13th Armoured Brigade had Dai Hong Kui, the brute. The 15th Artillery Brigade had Gonzalo Montojo, the toreador of artillery.

And the 22nd Armoured Brigade? The 22nd Armoured Brigade had Tamako Hosokawa, twenty-two years in Section 8, two years of being a Kombrig in armored troops, and the command experience of naught.

"The stakes are high, Tamako." Wohlgenannt warned. "Don't let me down."

As Komkor left the deck, Tamako added "Not after your guidance, comrade Wohlgenannt." ─ and returned to admiring the void. Right now, she wanted to scuttle herself in it under the gravity of the task.

But that wouldn’t bring Olympia closer to stars, would it?
Last edited by Volga-Dnieper on Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Founded: Sep 27, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Meronnia » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:30 pm

Bureau du Président de la République
Correspondance du Président

January 12
President Augustin Lajoie
Asphodèle Palace, Pauturie
Federal Republic of Meronnia

To Kaiserin Elise of Lunderfrau

Your Majesty,

I write to you today as the new leader of my people on the global stage. It is eminently apparent to me, and has been for some time, that I am entering a very dangerous theater, and that those who act and lead with wisdom and consideration will come out alive and superior.

I am known in my country and abroad as a radical, a devout republican. I have advocated many times in the past, and likely will again in the future, for the growth of democratization where it is missing, and for the ending of unelected authority. I have even, on occasion, supported the use of violence for such a cause. I am acutely aware that my position on this matter is public and international knowledge.

My intent in writing to you today is to offer you my guarantee that while I may be a radical, I am not a fanatic. I am willing to see reason, to compromise, and to understand the complexities of individual situations beyond black and white.

Bluntly, your majesty, we in Meronnia see you. We see the difficult situation you are placed in, and we see the careful and cautious moves you have made towards the democratization of your nation. This gives my government and myself personally great hope that it will be possible to coexist and cooperate on a wider scale with your administration and remain in line with our ideology - provided these steps towards democratization continue.

So long as development of our national relationship remains acceptable at a moral level, I believe there is a great deal we could mutually gain from increased ties - in trade, and in defense. Should your administration be willing, I would like to send representatives to negotiate on such increased ties and build on the Comprehensive Relations Treaty signed between our nations last year.

In Service,
Augustin Lajoie

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Founded: Nov 14, 2017
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Produzir » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:58 pm

Rabo de Ovelha, Produzland

Amália laughed as her and her sister ran out of the forest back towards the house, leaves crunching under their shoes, the sun shining through the bushels of the trees. The two sisters' father called out to them again. "Cecília! Amália! Hurry up it's dinner time!" Cecília called out to their father telling him were coming. Eventually the crunching of leaves stopped and the two girls were able to run on concrete back to the house. They could hear the church bells ring signaling the hour had come to an end and it notified the girls that they were back in the town. They were coming off a walk to the coast which wasn't far from the town of Rabo de Ovelha at all, the beach and the town just separated by a small forest.

Running past a couple of houses, they finally reached the back door of their home. Amália followed in after her sister and their father shut the sliding glass door behind them. Their mother wore an apron and washed her hands as she pointed her head at the several plates of peixe frito and gaspacho on the kitchen bar. Amália kicked her shoes off onto the rug next to the sliding glass door and walked past the kitchen island to wash her hands by her mother. Cecília on the other hand went straight to sit in a bar stool to begin eating. Amália circled around the island to spit out a piece of gum before sitting down next to her sister. Amália greeted her sister and began eating.

"Hey Cecí!" Amália said joyfully.

"Hey kid", said Cecília before eating a spoonful of the gaspacho.

"Not gonna wash your hands dirty bastard?"

"Amália don't use that language, especially at the dinner table", the girls' mother scolded.

"Dad calls people that all the time on TV though Mom."

"That's because Marcelo Freitas is one", injected the girls' father.

"Is that really necessary Raúl?", said the mother.

"Absolutely. He shits on us every time we play Carta."

Amália turned away from her food to face the TV that Raúl was watching. A football game on the screen, FC Cartaganca against Quiás CF. Cartaganca wearing dark red and blue lined by yellow uniforms. Amália began watching the players. "I like that team", she said.

"I should slap you for that, we don't root for Cartaganca in the Guedes household. If you want to get into football kid, you're rooting for Quiás."

Amália seemed disappointed, but she kept watching the TV while her sister continued eating. Amália would take a couple bites out of her food, then turn back around to keep watching. Eventually, the camera zoomed in on a Carta player, a tan man with greasy black hair and a hipster style beard. "Who's that", she asked. "That guy? That's Nicolau Monteiro, plays forward for them, he's okay I guess", said Raúl.

"He's cute", said Amália.

Raúl groaned, "Ugh, honey should I let Amália root for Carta? I mean I'm glad she's liking football, but at the same time, it's Cartaganca".

"Well you guys can root for the national team together at least right?"

"You're right I guess. Fine, just finish your food first Amália, then you can watch with your old man."

Amália pumped her fist in excitment. "Sports aren't my thing", said Cecília. "So I'm going to head upstairs", as Cecília got up to put her plate in the sink.

Once Amália finished eating, she raced to clean her plate in the sink and went straight to the leather couch next to her father. Raúl immediately started talking to the girl about football, and both the negatives and positives of being a fan.

A bit later into the game, the referees came together to discuss a yellow card. The TV suddenly switched to a drone camera flying over the city of Cartaganca, in the Rodaves. "Wow, that city's pretty", said Amália. "It is, I've been there a couple times on business trips. Beautiful city. Polancos are a bit hard to stand but I still enjoyed my time there", said Raúl.

"I'd love to move there one day, it looks pretty and sounds great", Amália thought out loud.

Raúl chuckled, "Well don't know if I'd ever do that ha, the Rodaves is socialist territory. If you think you can make it there though Amália, go for it".

Amália proceeded to gaze off and dream about living in the big city. She'd always lived her whole life in Rabo de Ovelha. Which was a decently size a walk away from the coast, but it was also in the isolated forest of southern Turão. She'd been downtown to Quiás or even Maleta, but neither compared to Cartaganca. Amália continued to dream.



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