NATION

PASSWORD

WFF: Tsion Life [PRIVATE, IC]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Turmenista
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Posts: 5718
Founded: Apr 09, 2014
Left-Leaning College State

WFF: Tsion Life [PRIVATE, IC]

Postby Turmenista » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:31 pm

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Important Assets //



OP Speaking //

This is the IC thread for the Without Fear or Favor thread, Tsion Life. Relevant information is in the OOC thread.

OOC Notice //

This thread is for events and happenings that do not follow the main storylines in the main threads. In other words, this is miscellaneous happenings related to your WFF in a narrative format instead of a news format. This is useful for smaller nations and smaller-scale events outside of the main story. In other words, this can be considered a "daily life" thread, intended for canon-relevant things. This thread is also functions as the supernatural/esoteric intrigue plot hub. In short, If you think it won't fit in the larger arcs, chances are you can post it here.

Crazy Noisy Bizarre World
Often times, we find ourselves wondering over existential questions, such as, "What is going on in this specific nation, at this time time, on this specific day, during this specific year?" Other times, we might wonder, "When will this animated fantasy TV show hero finally get off the boat?" Or, conversely, "What's something interesting that's going on in Kikowani, Avalon, right now?" This thread serves to answer those questions—it functions as a repository for events parallel to the main story and those “daily life” moments, which simply may not be major or ground-breaking enough to be put on the main threads.

Of course, there are also more esoteric events in this story, particularly those related to the supernatural plot at large, so this thread will also cover that. In short, daily life happenings and supernatural happenings will appear in this thread.
Last edited by Turmenista on Tue May 21, 2019 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:17 am

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Evolution; Chapter One
Green Jacket / Black Sheep
January 5th, 391 A.C.


The woman dreamed of gears. Not the kind of things that most people would dream about, just hundreds or even thousands of gears. The gears were all different shapes and sizes, but they fit together. Insignificant in isolation, but when they were put together, they could power anything. Sometimes, the woman didn’t just dream about gears and her dreams also had more complex objects. Engines, vehicles, sometimes even something massive like a hydroelectric dam. There were never people, at least not in the dreams that were significant enough that she remembered them when waking up afterwards. In a way, the people weren’t needed. The common theme throughout the dreams was machinery, and being with the machinery and nothing else was peaceful enough.

There were gears turning in her head right now, as she gazed upon the open hood of the car in front of her, trying to break down where things had went wrong to cause it to stop running. It was something of a natural talent for her. Some people would have to analyze every part to figure something like that out. This woman just had to take a look and she was generally pretty good at figuring out where the discrepancies were. It made a job like this much easier, that was for sure. The gears only stopped turning in her head when she looked to the customer that was gazing towards her from the side of the room.

“It looks like the engine is mostly dead, I can probably fix it up and keep it running for a bit but you’re going to want to look for a new car after this. Sorry,” she said to the man, Pedro Casco. She’d feel bad charging full
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Rose Romero, 24
year old mechanic
(Circa 388 A.C.)
price for the repairs, considering she knew Casco lived rather simply as the owner of a small farm on the outskirts of Villacorza, one that he mostly tended to himself. Then again, most of the people in the small town to the southwest of Soloara lived simply. It wasn’t the kind of place that anyone would come to on vacation, even if it wasn’t a complete shithole. It was just… Empty.

“I see. Is it even worth repairing at this point? Or should I have it scrapped and see if it covers getting a new car?”

“You’re not going to get that much for it. But I might be able to use the parts in one of my projects,” the woman said, looking back to the engine block that was just about dead. The rest of the car, though, wasn’t in the worst condition. “I can fix the engine today if you let me keep the car once you get a new one, but it’s not going to last that long. It’s more like slapping a bandage on it, to be honest.”

“Mmm. Sounds like a deal to me,” said Casco. “Unfortunate that I need a new one. I’m sure you can tell already, but profits aren’t the best right now. Doesn’t help that it feels like half the town is moving away, either to Soloara or just out of town.You don’t notice it until it’s your customers that are packing up and leaving.”

The woman nodded, closing the hood of the car and lowering the thing on the jacks. “Can’t say I haven’t considered leaving, but I always end up sinking my money into other things,” said the woman, gesturing to the
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The 1st Combat Wing, otherwise known popularly as the Golden First, is the oldest and most prestigious Air Force unit in Daimiel. Today, it is involved in patrols of Daimiel's territory as well as counterinsurgency operations, and generally flies both multirole and light aircraft. This differs from other Daimielese units which typically focus on ground attack or, more rarely, CAP missions.
area behind them where there was an armored fighting vehicle in a state of disrepair, the wheels missing as well as other, less notable parts. Still, it was in a better state than it had been when it arrived in the shop. “I’m not going to make that large of a profit, selling this back to the Guard or to someone else. I could definitely make more with other things. I’m just doing it because I like it, unfortunately that doesn’t help me with getting to Camilea if I felt like doing that. Fucking housing bubble…”

“It will pass. Eventually,” said Casco, standing up and turning towards the exit before looking back in the woman’s direction. “Oh, and Rose. I was just thinking, you remind me of my son. But he’s a member of the Second Attack Squadron, not the Golden First. Less impressive, perhaps, but I know he flies air raids over the south every now and then. Is that what you do when you’re not here? You two carry yourselves the same way.”

Rose stopped to think about what was being said to her, and then froze up slightly as her hand traveled out of instinct to the golden patch on her jacket. “Oh. That. I haven’t been with the First Combat Squadron in about a couple of years. Was never a pilot there, I just worked on the planes. It was nice, and then, well… I fucked it up by being a complete dumbass, but that’s another story for another day. Did learn enough about working on jets while I was there, though.”

She turned away, shuddering slightly at the memory and walked back towards the rear part of the shop. “I guess technically you could say that I shouldn’t have this jacket right now. But I keep wearing it anyway because it’s the last thing I have from that time. Other than some pictures and a few old friends I keep in touch with. Never knew how much I’d miss it until… Until it all came crashing down on me.”



Where was home? Was it where you were born, or where you lived, or was it, as they said, where the heart was? Villacorza might have been home in one sense for Esteban Romero, but it was hardly a home in any other sense of the word. Yes, Romero had been born here. And yes, Romero also owned a small house within the town. But was this where the heart was? Not at all. It was hard for a place like Villacorza to win hearts, really. At some point, you could have said that the place at least had charm.

That it didn’t have any of the things that the big cities did but at least it was peaceful and a tight knit town that had natural beauty and many places that had been passed down through the years across multiple generations. The stores in the ‘downtown’, which could hardly be called that, all had stories behind them. The farms had remained in the same hands for years and years, and the families that owned those farms were all familiar with one another. When someone held something like a holiday celebration, it really felt like the entire town was turning up. Perhaps because there were few strangers in Villacorza. You either knew someone or you knew someone else who knew them.

That charm had worn off. They didn’t know how long ago it had worn off, but it was clear looking at the town in the current year that things had changed. As Esteban drove back into town, coming in from the east through one of the poorly maintained dirt roads that seemed to send the pickup truck bouncing with potholes every minute or so, there were more and more abandoned buildings or ones that were simply for sale, their owners absent. Once the exodus had started for some people, it had spread quickly to others. Entire neighborhoods that had felt vibrant in the past were nearly empty now, with boarded up windows or signs in the yards saying that houses were for sale.

For someone that had grown up here, and who knew the families that these houses belonged to, it seemed… Sad. There were few other words that could describe the situation. It was enough to move someone a bit even
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Esteban Romero, 30
year old criminal
(Circa 390 A.C.)
if they were the type of person that had a tattooed face and never left the house without a gun. Esteban was that type, but it didn’t mean that this wouldn’t invoke any feelings. Those feelings did, however, make Esteban glad to be one of the ones that had gotten out, so to speak. Even if getting out was more like jumping out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. And oh were those flames hot, sometimes. The criminal life in Camilea wasn’t an easy one. It paid enough to remain in the expensive capital city full time, but it came at the cost of having plenty of hardships and risks.

“Another town proving that the Alvarado government doesn’t give a shit,” said Javier Chicas, from the passenger seat of the pickup truck. While the two had met in Camilea, Chicas was also from a smaller town that was suffering a similar fate to this one. The Alvarado regime hadn’t lived up to that of its predecessors, and while it had inspired nationalism just like they had, it hadn’t done much to inspire the economy to do better. If anything, Alvaradist policies about opening the country up slightly had only hurt the small towns like this that depended on the domestic market being strong.

“Alvarado does give a shit,” started Esteban, chuckling darkly as they turned onto one of the main roads and continued through the downtown area, heading en route to the outskirts. “But he gives a shit about Camilea or the other large cities, not us. They get their nice foreign things, and places here either go out of business or move to work in a city. Then again, I can’t say much about that.”

“Town is still dying whether you’re loyal or not, might as well get your money. And hey, everyone in Camilea has the opposite problem, it seems. Getting forced out of their very much alive city because they can’t fucking afford to live there. Don’t know which one of the two is worse.”

“Least the ones in the capital could enjoy it more while they were there. Didn’t have to move drugs to make it work, either. Or get shot at.”

“As if you would trade that in.”

Esteban was silent for a moment as they passed through downtown. “Maybe. I’d rather not settle down but I also would prefer not to die. I’m just waiting for something to come along that lets me check both those boxes.”

“You either die in this business or you live long enough to see yourself become a paper pusher in some big northern city,” scoffed Javier, staring out the window. “I would rather take the former than the latter if we’re being completely honest.”

“I feel you.”

They arrived at their destination eventually, the house that had a rather large garage next to it that had been turned into a mechanic’s workshop. In the large yard that was attached to the property, there was also a barn, which was what they drove towards after they arrived. Parking on the lawn in front of the barn, Esteban hopped out of the pickup truck and waved for Javier to follow. “Things might get slightly heated, but keep your mouth shut,” Esteban warned. “I can deal with my family better, even if it seems like things aren’t going my way. At least, I always could in the past.”

“You some kind of black sheep?” asked Javier, tucking a pistol into his waistband and covering it over with his sweatshirt before following after Esteban.

“You could say that,” Esteban answered, walking to the closed garage next to the house and knocking on the front door. “Didn’t earn many favors by running off to Camilea for years instead of being around in Villacorza, but like you said, things were going to go south for this town either way. Was better to get out ahead of the curve, even if they want to act like it was some kind of betrayal-”

The door to the garage rose and the figure standing behind it was a familiar one to Esteban. Not just any person, but his own sister. “You want to come back after all these years and you have the nerve to come to my business that I built up myself, and knock on the door to interrupt my work? Let’s talk. Because you’d better have a damn good reason to be here.”
Last edited by Forest State on Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

for: the anime right
anti: catgirls & people who step on snek

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Valefontaine
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 357
Founded: Dec 18, 2017
Democratic Socialists

Postby Valefontaine » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:03 am

S1E1

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Arcadia is a place one must see to believe. Some would say it's Torch City, but smaller — but to that, a Turmenistanian native would correct you. It's got the density and size of Torch City, in a space comprising less than a tenth of Torch City proper. This makes it all the more a nightmare to curious newcomers, as the myriad electronic signs, tightly-packed buildings (some more ancient than others) and sheer diversity of the place can be almost overwhelming.

Some would say it's like going to a whole 'nother country, and they'd be right— Turmenista had been a sovereign nation before its annexation into the Federal States of Euphemie in AC 141. However, even as a proud state of the FSE, Arcadia — and by extension, Turmenista as a whole — suffers some of the worst class division, political polarization and race relations of any other state. Hardly a model for the Euphemian dream, this beautiful dystopia is a constantly breathing, moving environment.

Political intrigue is a constant background tune to this city's life-breath, as the National Republicans and Federalists politically contest the future of the Euphemian state, some in ways dirtier than others — indeed, this city is the center of the state's politics, and by extent its corruption.

Life in Arcadia is fascinating, indeed. In a city like this, one could say the sky is the limit.
Arcadia, Turmenista
1 March, A.C. 391

Image Dana Matthews

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International Academy
The International Academy in Arcadia has much in common with its sister academies across the globe, bustling with transfer students from across the globe — and many native Arcadians as well. One of the largest and most well-funded private schools in the city, the International Academy is rather 'elite' in comparison to the other schools in the Academy District. Various scientific sights of interest are hosted in the Academy, including a particle collider and a simple artificial intelligence tech demonstrator called SADIE.


A happenstance transfer order to the International Academy in Arcadia had come as a surprise to Dana, who'd been long accustomed to the usual sights of Torch City. All of her Torch City homeroom, 11C, had been affected by this transfer order, and were settling into their dorms accordingly. It was part of the IA's policy, they said — encouraging more diverse schools abroad. Dana wasn't sure if that really was the case. Perhaps their grades were too low, or perhaps this school's grades were too low. Either way, she was here now — a surprise, of course, but a pleasant one. It was barely her second day in Arcadia, and she hadn't even gotten done unpacking.

The campus was impressively large, even by the standards of the neighboring schools. Walking around, Dana could get a general feel of the environment. The main building had existed before even the war itself, so she'd heard — it'd been one of the few buildings in this part of town that had survived the nuclear blasts. Of course, it'd been built over and improvised over the centuries, but it still bore semblance to ancient brutalist once-weres.

"Real old, huh?" Sam Sykes was Dana's best friend, the second in the original 'trio'. He nonchalantly stood beside her, looking on at the school. "Huge, too. Y'know, what if there's ghosts lurkin' around this campus or somethin'... you never know with these real old places." The paranormal was one of Sam's many odd fascinations, along with conspiracy theories and computer hacking. It contrasted strangely with his athletic build — he'd ditched football before joining the IA out of boredom. He was eccentric in some regards, but they'd been friends since childhood.

"And that must be where the magic happens," Sophie stood by them, though she was pointing to the rather unsightly slab of concrete and assorted scaffolding that constituted the science building. Given it housed some rather unconventional things, it was natural for it to be bulky and large. "I wonder if it's got any pre-War relics.." Matters pertaining to military fields, the sciences, and the remnants of the bygone periods of mankind had always been her forte.

Dana shifted her focus away from the various annexes of the elephantine, almost monolithic school campus, looking westward to downtown Arcadia. The many skyscrapers of the city extended far into the sky, looming above almost ominously. One building was the tallest, of course — the Stratotower. 45,000 people inhabited the colossal structure — which was a lot more than it was designed to sustain. Crime and poverty came with it, of course. The concrete and steel facade of the building, which presumably had been innovative and beautiful in its heyday, now stood as a giant eyesore, rot and decay evident upon the structure.

A Federal Navy aircraft flew overhead, noticeable by its distinct markings. Sophie would've probably commented on which exact model it was — a P-39 Euronyme II maritime patrol aircraft — had they all not been in a rather intriguing moment of awe at the Arcadia skyline.

"We've been walking around this campus long enough, I think we've seen everything at this point. Let's get outta here— I dunno, find a pizza place nearby." Dana said. "Probably not as good as they make it back in Torch City, though."

"Huh?" Sam raised an eyebrow, confused for a moment. "Oh, yeah. I guess I could do with some pizza.."

"Hopefully it's within walking distance— or do they have a subway nearby or something?" Sophie questioned. The group had no clue as to the state of Arcadia's public transport — Torch City's public transport system was incomprehensibly massive, reaching levels of byzantine intricacy that could be paralleled by no other due to the city's size.

"Most likely. Whatever. We'll ask around or something." Dana shrugged, leading the way to the exit — a grand pair of brass gates leading out of the campus. Stopping and glancing back to the school building, she thought for a moment about the mysterious girl she'd befriended back in Torch City, Bianka. The girl was in 11C as well — by sheer luck, she simply hadn't run into her yet. Perhaps another time. Leaving the school campus behind, Dana looked about, wondering just where they'd find such a place.
Too many old nations to count. NS user since 2013.
"War is the continuation of politics by other means."

only difference between a negotiation and a battle are the rules of engagement
both are fundamentally based on maneuver
put that in your quote book
-The Enclave Government
-Carl von Clausewitz

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Turmenista
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5718
Founded: Apr 09, 2014
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Turmenista » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:34 pm

This was written as a collaborative post between Valefontaine and Turmenista.

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Because Turmenista was a sovereign country before its annexation and establishment as a state of Euphemie in AC 141, it was already a fairly developed country constituting the main archipelago itself, as well as Kole Island, Frederick Island, Smith Island, the Coral Islands, and Styx Island, a strategic launch site. Arcadia had its own public transportation network, international airport, and nuclear reactor; the city of Louisa, the former capital, was well-regarded as an intellectual and academic hub; and Alainor cranked out military hardware at a constant rate. By the time of the annexation, Arcadia was a diverse city with numerous Imalako-Turmenistans and Alvimian-Turmenistans well-established in the city, along with a growing number of Euphemian nationals. Some saw the annexation as inevitable—before and after the fall, Turmenista was seen much in the light as Manae is to Aenara today, minus the hegemonic influence seen with Aenara. It often collaborated with Euphemie on construction projects like the Stratotower, while Styx Island itself was used to base Euphemian vessels and missiles before The War.

However, after the war and during the annexation, the city saw a sudden decline in quality from the bombs, many of which annihilated old sections of Arcadia. Things seemed bleak as the Euphemian Star replaced the Turmenistan Peacock... until the arrival of a young Federalist republican from a little town in Canten, Euphemie, called River Gorge. That man was Jay My-Beautiful-Dark-Twisted-Fantasy-Naylor, a Turmenistan-Euphemian who, upon returning to his homeland, became the first black mayor of Turmenista—and the first of any state in Euphemie. Serving six terms, he started numerous public works projects; made a drastic overhaul of the city's public transportation network, METRARC (now considered one of the best in Euphemie); created the Arcadia International Airport (now Euphemie's second-busiest airport); created Turmenista State University (now Jay Naylor University); and greatly increasing minority business participation in the city. After his death, the city re-named the airport Naylor-Evans International Airport, after Tristan Evans, his long-time associate.

Many saw Naylor's actions as pragmatic and aimed towards appeasing to the public, while others praised his focus on diversity and improving the city. One thing is for sure, howerver: for a city as dense and as large as Arcadia, his work has assuredly paid off.

Arcadia, Turmenista
1 March, A.C. 391

Image Tony Williams
JNU Class of 394 A.C.
JNU NORPRO Battalion 241 A.C.

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Fovam Station
Located not too far from the Academy District in Sugarcane, Fovam Station is one of many major underground stations of METRARC, and is widely-considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing. Designed by the rather unhinged brutalist architect Dr. Reverend Fovam Johnsinsky from Imalakia in Particular, it connects to Line 28 of METRARC, and additionally connects to Bus Lines 15 and 69, Trolleybus Line 80, and Tram Lines 2, 46, 46B, 46C, 48, and 49. Johnsinsky himself demanded that the station be named after him shortly before its completion..


“And here comes Queen Bitchass L-X-V-I-I of Etoile Marin,” As usual, Rick began his greetings with a little bit of some banter, referencing the joke that he had made a little over a week ago. Unlocking his arm from Darby’s, Tony reeled his arm back, as if he were preparing a punch, beginning to speak in an overly-dramatized voice to his friend, in an accent one would find from someone who lived in Torch City way too long. “Weelll, I oughta..”

Instead, this punch transformed into a powerful handshake, which was quite honestly comical to view from afar due to the campy nature of it. Tony snickered, prodding his friend jokingly with a finger. “I see you have got quite the noodle-arm there, bud. What’s wrong? CS classes got you pushing too many buttons on a keyboard?”

It was true. Rick was just as well known in their little friend group for his antics in his computer science class as he was for being a wimp, often chickening out last-minute on missions related to the Horsemen. He was often the target of hilarious jokes by Darby, who took her time and advantage of the situation to make witty remarks about things and people, often on the spot. Perhaps that related to her largely psychology and education-related classes.

Right now, she was preparing for yet another one of her jokes. Barely able to hold in her laughter, Darby poked Tony with her elbow. “Tony, you shook his weaker arm. All CS nerds have one strong arm, remember.”

Crimson flushed Rick’s face as he scowled at them, flustered and angry at the same time. “Well.. I—you know what? Fuck you, man. What are we doing here anyways?”

“Same thing we do pretty much every night, I guess.” Tony shrugged. Fridays like this consisted of usually going to the most popular pizza place in their area—Pizza Smut[1]—then, after hanging out there for a while, they’d go do something Horsemen-related. If time permitted, that is. The Horsemen met rather irregularly and only contacted their members via cryptic phone calls at wherever they were, giving them the impression that they had eyes and ears everywhere. They could be given a call when they were at Pizza Smut asking for “Help moving someone’s stuff,” which usually meant beating the hell out of a drug dealer or cultist. Or, they simply wouldn’t be called at all.

“Great. We’re going to Pizza Smut.” Rick flailed his arms in the air. “Why would we be taking the subway again?”

“Why don’t you ask yourself that again, slowly, and think about it real hard, buddy?” Tony suggested, beginning the walk down into the station. The Pizza Smut that was closest to the Academy District was too far of a walk away from school and went straight through one of the busiest parts of town. Rick either had terrible memory or was just too incompetent to realize this.

Upon reaching the island platform of the station, they all waited for the next train, which was due to arrive in a couple of seconds. When the high speed train actually came in, they first noticed the sheer volume of people that were on the train. Right now was rush hour—the millions of people that lived in the city were all trying to get to their own destinations at the same time.

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Don’t miss the train!
Scores of people poured out of the train as an equal amount entered, with the trio barely squeezing into the tight enclosed space. An artificial male voice over the speakers announced they were leaving Fovam Station and were headed for Enfield Station[2], as per usual. Tony knew Enfield Station just as much as he knew Fovam Station, from the many times they’ve been there in the past. It was built under the square of the same name, which was known for its shop life and restaurants.

Feeling rather unnerved from an unhinged-looking man with dreadlocks reading a black book nearby, Tony motioned for his friends to squeeze their way over to the doors, in anticipation for the train stopping.

“I’m not gonna be on here for much longer. Excuse—excuse me. Thank you.” Rick was much more obnoxious in his shoving and squeezing, quickly reaching Tony and Darby once they began to exit. The crowd in the train spilled out onto the Enfield Station island and began making their way up the escalators, but Tony’s group was far ahead of them at this point, making their way back above ground to the markets.

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Stuff to buy? Well, you know... a little bit of this and a little bit of that...
Shops of varying size lined the marketplace, which was partially built into the old train station itself. Outside, there were, Enfield Square bus and trolley stations, as well as much larger restaurants built nearby, such as the one they were headed to.

Tony saw that most of the tourists were Utsanji and Tangaliroan, a huge demographic shift from the majority Imalakian and South Ophiric tourists he saw when he was younger. Most of these people were attracted to the more “touristy” places, like “Traditional Turmenistan” restaurants, old Mederum-style buildings, and, of course, massive shopping malls. Places like the location of their local Pizza Smut were much more quiet and less-inhabited by tourists, meaning they had a relatively peaceful walk to the pizza place.



From the outside, it was like most Pizza Smut venues: medium-sized and built in the fashion that it resembled a house. Out front, a sign usually displayed what was most popular or on sale, and Pizza Smut cars were given priority parking in the front of its normally medium-sized parking lot.

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A little bit of cozy, a little bit of nostalgia, and a lot of pizza.
“Well, here we are. The fortress you’ve all been waiting for, folks.” Rick assumed his sporting announcer impression and entered the building, with Tony and Darby soon following close behind. At this time of day, most people were focused on having pizza delivered rather than just staying in and eating (which only further added to the traffic problems of the city), so much of the restaurant was relatively empty of customers. A small arcade in the back had a few popular games, while TVs around the establishment were either playing the latest sporting event, footage from Qarik, some cheesy 380s history movie from Akhmanar, or playing runs from the animated series Summer With You.

Tony personally knew a lot about the series from his own viewings with Darby: it was a classic, well-animated and well-directed girl-meets-boy story, but with a twist, and a rather abrupt fucking one at that. The last five episodes devolved into World War 4, with the final episodes being very abstract in quality from the others. The enigmatic director, Daniel Lymnch Hiatus Kaiyote, had directed several avant-garde and very popular shows in the 380s, but Summer With You was one of his more controversial works, due do its depictions of bleak, depressing themes and “bait and switch” nature of the show in general.

“We ain’t the only ones in here. Look.” Darby subtly tilted her head up towards the other group, who were in the middle of a conversation. Judging by their uniforms, they were from the International Academy, which neighbored Jay Naylor University. They looked a little younger than them, too — by a year or two. "Anyways, I heard there was like, a serial killer or somethin', you know— absolutely brutal, from what they say. They say—" A teenager, who seemed close to Tony's age, leaned back in his seat, interrupted by the black-haired girl that sat from beside him.

"Oh, shut up with that crap. I'd rather not worry about getting murdered in my dorm.." The girl said, visibly annoyed at his attempt to scare them with gossip.

"Can we tour the city or something after this? Downtown Arcadia, I mean— we could visit the old war museum I've been hearing about. Maybe we'll even see some of the stuff in Arcadia Air Force Base—" The blonde in the trio seemed the youngest, which made her seem almost out of place in the group.

"Are those military machines all y'ever think about? C'mon, there's other stuff to do here... let's go to the mall." The boy replied. "Or, perhaps we can go to the museum and the mall. Compromise. I'm a negotiator, a dealmaker, y'know?"

"Money doesn't grow on trees, Sam." The dark-haired girl commented.

"I mean, it does— for you. We could take some pictures at the mall. You brought your Solaroid camera, right Sophie?" He glanced over to the blonde girl.

Tony nonchalantly watched them, holding his hand in his jacket pocket. Most of them he had seen before, but only briefly and outside of classes, when they were on their way to the next class. He folded his arms, looking to the side. “Hey, uh, Rick. Unknown contacts, bearing 224. See ‘em?”

Rick gawked at the group, then at Tony, mouth agape. “What the fuck, dude? I don’t speak NORP, you know.”

“I’m talking about the other CS nerd sitting yonder at our table.” Tony explained. “Isn’t he in your class?”

Rick was about to answer with “Yes, he is in my class,” but was cut short when the waiter arrived. He was a disgruntled-looking man in his early 20s, but looked very much out of place compared to the rest of the Pizza Smut staff. For one, he didn’t reek of marijuana, but his body build was unusual as well: Tony figured he was probably 210 pounds and 6 feet tall, a good balance of height and muscle... that you could only find in a soldier or professional athlete. Why the hell was a guy like this working at a place like this? Moreover, why was he so damn familiar?

He stepped over to them, his eyes partially closed with visible bags underneath them. His name, “Will,” was written on his nametag in messy black permanent marker. “Hello guys. Welcome to Pizza Smut. We have the best pizza in town.”

“Do I...” Tony paused for a moment, assessing the man. It seemed way too coincidental that he was here, given his familiarity with him. Still, he couldn’t simply grasp what was familiar about him. “Do I know you, uh, Will?”

Will looked at him crossly. “So, how many’s it gonna be?”

“Oh. Uhh.. just the three of us.” Tony shrugged. Will moodily wrote something down on a notepad and guided them over to their booth, which was situated just in front of their old, usual booth. Rick clumsily flopped into the seat first, undoubtedly getting the attention of the others behind him.

The younger teenage boy — his name was Sam, judging by the earlier conversation in the adjacent booth, shot a quick, curious glance over. His eyes glanced over to Rick, immediately recognizing him as 'that rando from CS class'. He did a light wave, as if to say 'Yo!' as he usually would. They were recent arrivals from Torch City, and Arcadia had a lot in common — and uncommon — with Torch City.

Rick waved back at him. “Sam, was it? Y’all transferred to the IA here, right? I think there’s some dual-enrollment thing that’s done here.” Soon enough, Darby became invested in the conversation as well, though Tony remained silent, either out of shyness or because he was too busy waiting for the usual to arrive.

"Yeah. Came outta Torch City to this place. The IA's got a knack for random transfers. 'Helps break barriers,' they say. You the one from JNU?" He asked.

“All of us are.” Darby said. “Well, if you’re from Torch City, how are you liking it here? I barely know my way around that damn city. Everything here’s much more local.” It was a bit of a silly thing to say, considering both Arcadia and Torch City were major urban areas, but one could easily find minute details in the difference of living in a place like Torch City for a year and living in Arcadia.

Sam chuckled. "Don't get me started on public transportation in Torch. Shit's a maze, even if it's probably the fastest system around. Get lost and you'll be wandering the city's underbelly for hours."

“That’s the beauty of METRARC, man. Line 28’s beautiful. Probably the cleanest in Euphemie!” Rick giddily said, expressing his rather obscure interest in...public transportation. Tony found it quite silly, to be honest. Finally letting up on his silence, he unfolded his arms and looked at the group before them. “I guess we should get introductions out of the way, so I’m just gonna do that unannounced. I’m Tony,” he gestured to himself, then Darby and Rick. “That’s my girlfriend Darby and my friend, Rick. I know you’re Sam, so who’re you two?”

"Sophie Reid. I think we share Euphemian History?" She said, looking to Darby. Indeed, she was probably among the best students of that class. JNU and the International Academy were closely affiliated, so many classes were shared — interactions between students of the two schools naturally arose. There was, of course, a playful sports rivalry that also existed between the schools, to which the IA typically had a bigger budget for advertisement and self-promotion. What a bunch of boojies. These didn't fully seem to fit that image, however. Perhaps it was how Torch City folk acted in comparison to the rich kids from Arcadia.

Another one of the trio spoke, this time the black-haired girl seated beside Sam. "Dana, Dana Matthews." The last name certainly held some significance that hadn't yet dawned on Tony.

“Dana, huh?” Rick asked. “Your name sounds kinda familiar. I dunno. Nice to meet you all.”

Darby smiled. “Likewise. Sophie says some pretty funny stuff in that class, but you’re one of the smartest people in there.”

Tony nodded. That trio seemed like a well-rounded enough bunch, at least, in his eyes. Of course, they were blissfully unaware about the Horsemen aspect of their lives, as well as their masks. For their sake, it was better off that they didn’t ask any further about it. Changing the topic, he looked at Sam in particular. “So. I hear y’all’s NORPRO battalion is a bunch of pansies. Ours has been ranked Top 5 in the country for the past 10 years. Is it true?”

"I ain't a NORP, but I've seen enough of those smug types around school thinkin' they're hot shit n' all. That's how it was back in Torch. Probably the same at Arcadia's IA, too." Sam gave a light shrug. "Me? I just hit the gym once a week. I don't plan on dyin' for this country, at least not yet. I wanna live a little, y'know?"

Tony chuckled. “Shit, man, you ain’t got a clue what we do here. PT at 0430 twice a week out in the fuckin’ boonies of Haven Island is nothing compared to..I dunno, running around the streets. I’m doin’ this because it’s easier on me financially. I hear our country’s special forces train in some cool martial art—that’s what I’m interested in.”

"Yeah. Central Bureau of Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence— they've all got something going on. All the manuals are classified, though." Sophie said. She seemed to know quite a bit about the intricacies of military matters, history — perhaps it had something to do with her career goals?

“Yeah. That’s around where I was lookin’ at. Just gotta work on improving my grades.” Looking back towards the entrance, Tony saw the door open once again.

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Looks can be quite deceiving... is this woman who she really says she is?
A woman had entered, obviously Akhmanari by descent just from her looks alone. Most of her white hair had been covered up by a head wrap that Tony usually saw on most of the Akhmanari girls that were international transfers. He wasn’t sure if it was part of their religion or culture, but someone like Darby or Sophie, who were both history buffs, probably knew their meaning. Will once again came out, giving his usual “Welcome to Pizza Smut” line—though he paused, looking at the white-haired woman for a long time.

“Hi. I’m just looking for directions to the Stratotower. Do you know the fastest way?” Despite being Akhamari, she spoke fluent Euphemian, almost as if it was second nature to her. Maybe she was a diplomat... but why would a diplomat need to go to someplace like the Stratotower?

Will shook out of his trance. “Oh. Er.. uh, it’s Line 110 at Enfield Station, that goes to the Stratotower after like two stops. I think it’s like $3 for one trip if you buy a ticket, or if you have a Transitcard[3], you can just put money on that, I guess.”

“Got it. Any good restaurants there?”

Will paused to think. “Uhh... not really, no. Actually, there’s a good Akhmanari marketplace on the ground level of the Stratotower—not that I’m trying to...trying to..y’know..”

“I get it. I’ve had my share of your food too.” Turning to left, she smirked, brushing a strand of white hair away that had come down in front of her face from her head wrap. “Thanks a ton. I’ll be back a few times—I like pizza, after all. You can call me Ramun. This mean we’re friends now, uh, Will?”

He froze up instantly, murmuring something beginning with the letter “B,” from his mouth, but she didn’t seem to notice. “See you around.”

Tony looked closely at Will, who seemed to become “unstuck” in time as soon as Ramun reached the door, waving at her. “You.. you—” He gulped loudly, as if he were swallowing something. “You too.”

He ran for the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. Once Tony and Rick deduced that the coast was clear, the latter burst out into laughter, causing Tony to quickly follow suit. “Did you see the fucking look on his face? He just froze up lookin’ straight at her, man.”

As usual, Darby came in with the funniest joke. “He wasn’t lookin’ at her face, that’s for sure.”

"What a creep.." Dana looked to the now-vacant host section, moderately unsettled. "Enough of those types in Torch City."

"Dude's totally gonna shoot up someplace." Sam added in a hushed tone.

Tony frowned, still remembering how familiar he looked. “I dunno, man. He reminded me of someone I met briefly last week, but I dunno. I think he’d probably beat up someone. He’s a big guy.”

“For you.”

“Shut the fuck up, Rick.” The introduction of the smell of pizza caused him to turn around to the kitchen. Sure enough, a waitress had brought out both of their pizzas on trays, quickly returning to refill any drinks or plates. This seemed to trigger Tony’s “hunger” response, as he immediately remembered how hungry he was before coming here.

“Damn. Am I glad this came now, am I right?” Tony laughed awkwardly, waiting for the others at the table to take their slices before he reached for his. “Say, IA folks. You all wanna do something after this? We usually do something fun on Fridays. I hear there’s a new movie out by Daniel Kaiyote.”

The three exchanged some glances at each other. Certainly more interesting than what they'd been trying to plan earlier. "Uh... sure." Sam shrugged, semi-interested in watching a film by the eccentric director. It served as a brief reminder for him to look at the mounted television at the front, which was still playing Summer With You. It was visibly on Episode 24 now, judging by the animated violence and destruction displayed onscreen.

“I guess we’ll figure out what we’re watchin’ later.” Rick said, hungrily reaching for another slice. “For now, I’m starving. Let’s eat!”


CONTEXT NOTES


1 - Pizza Smut - Pizza Smut is a Euphemian pizza restaurant franchise founded in 340. Its namesake derives from a feud between its founders, the brothers Alex and Tito Vici, in naming their original tiny pizza restaurant in downtown Arcadia. Alex named the restaurant Pizza Smut after losing a bet to Tito, and the rest is history. The restaurant soon exploded in popularity and grew into something that exceeded its Turmenistan borders, quickly expanding into a huge multinational chain in just 50 years. It is perhaps best known for its signature pizzas, which it also delivers with its own fleet of vehicles produced by a deal with Pontillac, as well as a variety of other foods like salads and pastas, in response to changing consumer tastes. It has partnered with universities and even Euphemian military installations to provide “Pizza Vending Machines” to schools and bases worldwide.

By revenue, Pizza Smut is the third largest restaurant chain in the world, behind Euphemian fast food giant MacArthur’s and Oesterran fast food chain Burger Kong.

2 - Enfield Station - Enfield Station is a subway transfer station on Line 28 and 110 on METRARC, the public transportation network of Arcadia. It is located beneath the eponymous square, named after Rupert Enfield, an important figure in Euphemian-Turmenistan relations and history, and one of the first Euphemians who visited the islands.

3 - Transitcard - Transitcards are a payment method for METRARC, applicable on all bus, trolley, rail, and ferry routes. They take the form of a thin plastic card which the customer can load funds onto to pay for fares. They were introduced in 380 to reduce the burden of carrying tokens and revamp the transportation grid, and are expected to completely replace tokens by 392.
Last edited by Turmenista on Tue May 21, 2019 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Etoile Marin
Secretary
 
Posts: 38
Founded: Sep 10, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Etoile Marin » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:22 pm

The Beginning of the End, is also the End of the Beginning

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There were Gods in those days - a primeval, bygone era lost to mankind’s comprehension. They ruled with almighty authority, tasked by an absolute force to mold creation itself to an ideal image in which they could prosper with concepts of sentience and, in some philosophies, discover the meaning of life themselves. These same Gods, though now given countless various depictions, are the ones that mankind has worshipped in every instance of its being. They enshrine this pantheon through “visions,” and “prophets” who claim to have spoken with them, having heard their guidance and setting on to preach their message. And sometimes, they’d be right.

After their era had come and gone, and their legacy had been left in the hands of man, their sons and daughters: Angels came in unto humanity. Some became angels of renown, and others angels of might and fame. Few went unheard of to some form. The Gods would be oblivious when retribution came, and their angels were cast down upon the world, convicted of their immortality and left exposed as man would be. It would be the beginning of the Gods’ reckoning.

This pantheon was far from benevolent however. It was warped from the aeons it has practiced on creation, fluctuating as if they themselves were mortal. They held feelings, opinions, emotions for their works. Generation after generation passed, consistencies established and others unravelled, all by this one sect of god-like beings. No matter what face they went under, few mortals had ever come to know their true identities. They acted from just beyond man’s comprehension, lingering in a thin layer stretching infinitely between each reality’s outer reaches and the unknown beyond. An “Interstice,” they claimed it was. The “home” of such beings.

Archons, so they were known, could no longer find themselves in such a place. The Interstice had imploded after an unknown catastrophic event, stranding these peculiar beings into their latest creation: Tsion. To them, they fully knew how this had come to be. Each Archon took a different mindset with how their new, so-called “mortal lives” would unfold. They sought for business, power, luxuries and splendor. Others aimed to guide or govern man here, so as to prevent recreations of their past attempts with life. For few, they simply remained unknown.

If only they’d known how to stay concealed forever, they could have averted fate from befalling this world once more...


"Son Lieu Sûr," Lieu Inconnu, Le Près de Monte Pennet, Principality of Etoile Marin
Le lundi, 12 Janvier 391 AC (Après la Calamité)

Image Galla “Riva” Lumieré

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Monte Pennet
A remote town in rural Etoile Marin, kept aloft from most of the seaside features the island is most noteworthy for. Many of its resident monarchs were known to live here in their early lives, and it is the current home of the Côpetian Dynasty, the post-Calamity ruling family. Even predating that, old homes belonging to the prior dynasty, the Lumierés, can also be found in more remote parts on the outskirts of town. Though, these have noticeably been neglected and have since begun to decay, being reabsorbed by the natural spirit of the island as it slowly reclaims its painful history...


The black-tipped pen slowed, etching along the paper the final words of its beholder before stopping on a point - the period. The slender, white toned hand holding it scribbled another word beneath the author’s last words,

“And so would they rejoin the rays of this lonely Star once more, 
just as their ancestors had. Not a soul, nor legacy left for their
spirits to call their own. The tragedy, and yet hopeful conclusion, to
an epic to last for eternity. It was the death of the Star of the Sea..
but not its first. Nor would it be the last.”


It rose, elegantly folding into the crease of the wielder’s palm. It bobbed there, rising back and forth upon the soft skin, as if the writing device was thinking. Eventually, it found its home in a basket filled with others just like it - the author had finished writing, and its job was done.

“Another morbid anecdote as ever…” A feminine voice filled with melancholy commented from above the finished paper, slowly bringing it upwards in her hand and intricately folding it fourfold, then setting it down somewhere to linger. Perhaps it would become a reference in the future, or a descriptor for the author to apply when someone needed information.

Her name was Galla Lumieré, though she had a third given name: “Riva,” it was a secret kept between few, of them many far apart from one another. The blonde haired woman sat in an office chair, seemingly alone in a fairly darkened flat. Some luminous rods dangled from a chandelier above and from a few candelabra lay around the place. Books from tomes and ledgers of all sorts and sizes to folders stacked atop one another, each with a varied seal or cover filled the flat where furniture did not. It was a living space, but in reality it was a full size office. A rich mahogany doorway led to the outside world on one end, and a darker spruce one down to a basement level. The only sounds that filled the office space were the soft tuned flow of air from three ceiling fans spinning. Three windows, spaced apart before her with thinly closed shutters allowed limited light to shine upon her form.

A closely fit gown of white in a blouse of black clung to her body, catching the light shining on it. It was decorated in golden lining, depicting some esoteric pattern[1]. At her neck, a single shard of some unknown crystalline material lay just above her neckline, bound to a platinum necklace. The crystal[2] resonated with a faint hum against her body. Above her smooth features, her crimson eyes drifted away from the desk and onto one of the windows. It’d been some time since she’d seen what it was like outside, having spent most of today in her office space. Slowly, the woman rose from her seat and went over to open a window.

Like angel’s feathered wings unfolding, the gentle falling of snow painted a white haze upon the otherwise mountain canvas that was her flat’s view. It had begun to accumulate, likely having been snowing all day. She crossed her arms under her chest and leaned against the side of her windowsill, captivated by the simple yet pleasant scene. Snow had always been her favorite.. along with another’s.[3]

Normally, man’s own vision could not see through such a wintry haze. They simply weren’t that adept at being able to see through obscured conditions. However in Galla’s case, it was another story. Her crimson eyes were not just an abnormal coloration - like some people abroad tended to show. Rather, they were one of few signs she was an unnatural being. So it would be no issue for her to gaze beyond the fog, and notice in the distance a simple cruise ship sailing around the coasts of the island. It seemed to be decorated in the livery of the main tourist service in Nouvelles Lunes, the capital city. An iconic sight.

”It used to be gold and blue...” Her thoughts idly critiqued of the vessel as she observed. Unbeknownst to most, Galla’s unnatural capabilities extended far beyond what the average human would think of her. Was she on some sort of advanced drug? Perhaps she was biologically experimented on.

No, she was an Angel sent from the farthest thing from Heaven. No matter how one looked at it the result was the same: she didn’t belong here. Her very presence, in fact, made no sense.

“Another inconsistency catch your eye, Madame Lumieré?” A secondary voice spoke from opposite the flat. It was just as feminine, but bore with it an exotic tone - likely not of the same dialect as the Marinians spoke.

Galla’s eyes shifted away from the snow to look upon the arrival; she’d been expecting her visitor for some time now. Cécilia Ann, a migrant from Gallia who had found herself in Galla’s employ lately. Her use of ‘inconsistency’ let on plenty to remind Galla that she was a trustworthy aide - Cécilia was fully aware of her identity. Why? Because she didn’t have anyone else to go to about it. But that would be a story for another day.

“I suppose…” The angel responded reluctantly. “Just a minor one this time. The cruise ship is in a different livery than I’m used to. Is the snow that bad?” She asked, glancing down to the newcomer’s shoes - they were covered in snow, including her overcoat it seemed; her aide dressed formally when she was on business.

“It is almost a foot now, Madame.” She answered, making to unbutton her overcoat and hang it up to dry. Beneath, she wore a simple long sleeved polo and vest. “But it won’t be too much a problem. Our defense[3] is still unphased by this weather.”

“Well that wasn’t precisely my concern, Célia.” Galla grinned. “I was more referring to you. How did your venture go?” She inquired, referring to her recent business.

“As you’d expect, Madame.” She responded. “The fruit[4] appears to have just left Les Sargeras last week. It has taken some time to make arrangements to arrive in Grande Harmonia, but it appears that Codex is proceeding as you have discerned.”

Galla’s features furrowed from this, and she looked away in thought. “...She’s trying to spread it around. There’s no doubt about it.”

The two were united in a less than public effort to investigate the happenings of a particular group in the world: specifically revolving around the mythical ‘Tree of Life,’ which had appeared just after the dawn of the Calamity in what is now the center of the Indegalande Nation. Most of mankind was appreciative of the divine creation’s efforts in breathing new life to a wartorn, devastated region of the world. It had even brought on global butterfly effects: the prosperity of these affected states had spread worldwide, enabling the growth of new states after the Calamity’s conclusion. Every state that was in some way directly responsible for the protection of the Tree of Life - and its custodian, the archon “Codex” - was united in a sphere known only as Awenyddion. The term was esoteric, but loosely translated to “the Circle of Life.”

However it was labelled, it had caught Galla’s eye for a different reason. She, being an Angel of Codex herself, was fully aware of just how supernatural the creation was. What she hadn’t initially been aware of though, was the ramifications of its conception. Effects onset by the plant life had settled into its populations, causing them to hold… for lack of a better term, bizarre adoration for the Tree. There had been no wars between any of the Awenyddion states for each of the 391 years since the Calamity concluded. There had been no conflict, no disagreement. It was a blissful harmony.

It was unnatural.

“How did you come upon this information?” Galla asked. “Did you use my gift[5] at the Gallandean Embassy?” The expected response came, a firm nod from Cécilia.

“Indeed. Their memories are as telling as their minds are open. It’s been more and more apparent each time I do it that the taint is only worsening. Do you believe that the Tree may be… acting soon?” Her aide inquired, taking a seat on a nearby couch. Much of the flat was filled with pieces of Galla’s nostalgia, recovered relics of ‘her’ family in this world from paintings to sculptures.

“Possible.” Galla agreed, starting to pace. In all the time they’d been looking into the affairs of the Tree of Life’s influence on man, they’d come to only several conclusions: it possessed one of Codex’s abilities that it should not, and it was using this ability on its victims. The bulwark of their efforts largely lied in why it was doing this, and more importantly…

Could it be stopped?

“Madame, if I may ask…” Célia inquired, glancing towards her benefactor. “Whatever became of you and your fellow Angels?”

She couldn’t blame her naivety from the question - she was still mortal. So, Galla decided to entertain her question. “I wouldn’t really call them fellow. Few of them are special in the same way I am. They have their own ambitions, some of them. Ones I don’t agree, or sympathize with really. You know mine, I.. want to try to return to the normalcy I once had. Ensuring what happened in my time does not happen again is a fitting path for me to take for now. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Her aide nodded. “Indeed, Madame.” Célia said. “You know my family has been a close affiliate with your legacy for some time. It’s an honor to be able to live up to the same noble cause my ancestors have done for your relatives. Or, well.. your relatives in this world, at least.”

“And I appreciate all the more.” Galla smiled. “Well, all the same I do appreciate your report. It means the Tree is once more in motion, and I will study what I can to ensure we’re on top of its happenings. Good work, Célia. In the meantime, why don’t you take the next couple days off?” She offered. “You deserve a break in case I need to call upon you for something more taxing in the future.”

Célia rose and gave a polite bow to Galla. “I’m thankful for the offer, Madame, and will gladly take you up on it. I do have family I’d like to visit, if you don’t mind. Please, take care while I’m away.” She smiled, moving to fetch her overcoat and such. “Oh, and do try not to brood too much while I’m away!” She added with a teasing grin before departing, leaving Galla momentarily dumbfounded.

“..I don’t brood that much..” She muttered to herself, before turning around to face a bulletin board behind her. It was propped up against the wall, and on it were a dozen or more notes, pins and informatives describing what she’d gathered thus far on her own maker: Codex, and her new creation. Strings connected events she’d compiled over the course of her investigation, and not far from it was a map in which she outlined ‘afflicted’ regions.

Carefully pulling a new string out of a box to include Tangaliro in the mix, Galla sighed. “And so the mighty giants fell, leaving only mighty men to watch over their charges..” She quoted. “..If only you knew the extent of what you were playing with, Cordelia.”

With every second Galla’s ascended mind worked to unravel the mysteries of her creator’s intentions, the clock would keep ticking on. The world unbidden by her quest to stop once.

All the while, she’d remain committed to understanding just what was the Tree of Life really doing with these powers.


CONTEXT NOTES

1 - Esoteric pattern - It is stylized in the iconography of an ancient, now forgotten world’s seal from her homeland. Most residents of Tsion could relate it to the shape of a dove if they looked at it from the right angle.

2 - Crystal - In reality, it is a component of Codex’s very own being. The mythical object remains a crucial token of Galla’s capabilities as a supernatural being. While it is no longer in direct communion with its host, the artifact provides Galla with extended benefits beyond her physical form’s apparent immortality as an Angel. She is the only known Angel to utilize a gift from her benefactor; it originates from how she came to be an Angel at all.

3 - Defense - Thanks to Galla’s presence in Tsion spanning most of the after Calamity era, she has procured plentiful amounts of pre-war technology to augment her own intentions. One such case was a fusion between her abilities and an experimental cloaking device, something that now completely obscures Galla’s remote base of operations from untrained human eyes. Essentially making it so only other supernatural beings could discern her whereabouts.

4 - Fruit - The Lifefruit from the Tree of Life. Shaped like apples of gold and bearing seeds of creation, these objects are capable of projecting the Tree’s influence beyond the confines of the earth it roots into. They provide great insight to those who consume them - at the cost of their own mental sovereignty.

5 - Gift - One of Galla’s capabilities was a small lended effort to her companion, Célia, that allows her to discern specifically what is on the surface thoughts of those around her. It is similar to an experimental pre-war technology, referred to as a “Dreamjacker,” but less intrusive on the mind. It is unclear how Célia came into possession of this gift, but it is her only otherworldly capability she can perform.

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Etoile Marin
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Posts: 38
Founded: Sep 10, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Etoile Marin » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:41 pm

Following a new story, started by Etoile Marin.
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Telegraph Mine, Winchester, “Aenara”
30 June, A.C. 393

Image Duncan E. Oldman
Corporate Finance Manager
Centerfire Timber Products

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Telegraph Mine
Telegraph Mine is a historic seaport and township of North Ophir, built and founded by the First Republic of Siedunland in the late 20th Century C.E. Prior to its formal settlement, it had been explored by arctic Victorian explorers as early as the 18th century C.E. It sits primarily on Wire Cove, an inlet island leading to the North Sea. When the city was established, it was intended to be one of Siedunland’s major North Sea ports, though this role was soon relegated to Flagpost shortly after the Calamity. Ever since, it has become one of the top North Sea tourist destinations, known for its unique wildlife species and strong going fishing community; both sport and private fishing ventures are promoted, earning Telegraph Harbour the nickname of “Trollyport.” The town was victimized during the War of Siedunlander Aggression – colloquially known by its residents as “Rand’s War,” when the Aenarans dropped explosive ordnance on indiscriminate civilian shelters. An unfortunate 1,200 residents died as a result of this. Ever since, the town has struggled to get back on its feet as it was annexed into the subsequent Sixth Aenaran Republic in 391 A.C. Many of those who survived the war have since been forced into laborious industries just to make ends meet, and the town has been in a state of decline for the past 2 years…


Confederation Concert was just around the corner in the quaint town of Telegraph Mine, an event many of its residents had been anticipating. In recent weeks, locals from the area had been pitching up an event that would try to help ease the troubles of the northern port; a charity-run festival of live music and song, seeing performances by various community – and nationally known artists from their home country: Siedunland. A partnership between the National Reconstruction Development Association (NRDA) and the Cross-national Music Organization (CMO) ensured the event’s proceeds would go to supporting those in dire need in the state of Winchester, a state of a country not like Siedunland that had seen better days; Aenara. It resonated well with locals to the area, as 1,104 of the 5,593 residents of Telegraph Mine had already pre-paid to enter the event. Many had come to volunteer for the event, most taking or even being given the day off from their employers to contribute however they could.

Duncan E. Oldman was one such individual who had been fairly optimistic about the event, though his main reason wasn’t purely to contribute to the charity fundraiser. In reality, he’d just wanted a break from his workplace out in Kinistino, another township in Winchester where his employer, Centerfire Timber Products was based from. The commute was as much as pain as the labor, and being a blue-collar ‘wageslave’ in post-War Winchester meant he, and all his co-workers, had to make every cent count. Winchester was actually his birth state, and Telegraph Mine where he’d spent most of his rural life in general. Naturally, he was all too familiar with the ramifications his homeland had felt from the aftermath of ‘Rand’s War.’

It wasn’t easy work, especially with less and less access to machinery to help alleviate the dangers of logging – no, these had long been monopolized by greedy Aenaran corporations seeking to capitalize off the Siedunlanders’ plight. People like him were, by the major suppliers of domestic wares, treated like second-class citizens in practice. No matter what ‘Constitutional’ rights President Atton Rand had bestowed to them, the treatment he saw people like him subjected to was clearly far from the truth the Federal Government preached.

Now it had come to resorting to other alternatives to convey the case in point him, his daughter, and many of the residents of Winchester held of their new ‘country.’ The transition of knowing your home was annexed into another country had devastated families in the north, especially ones who were split across former Siedunland. Duncan was fortunate to know his daughter, Suâwake – an adopted native – was still safe and sound with him.

He was not fortunate, however, to be on the wrong side of the border after Rand’s War.

What I would give for more days like this..’ Duncan let loose a puff of calming smoke from his cigarette into the bright blue canvas that made up a rare, unimpeded summer sky above. This far north in Tsion, it was rare to experience a summer quite like this; especially with how many Catastrophes – or rather ‘Calamities’ had begun to surface across Tsion. Duncan himself wasn’t much in the know about how the weather had been acting up this past month, but he’d noticed that.. something hadn’t been right in his area. Today may have been fine for now, but he still worried of what lingered ahead if worldly events progressed as they were.

He drew in another relaxing dose of the handheld vice while reaching into his overcoat’s pockets, fishing for a copper-forged watch he kept around. It was an old antique of his father’s that he’d grown attached to ever since his passing. Flipping it open, it gave him a quick informative of the current time:
11:44
The event would be starting in a matter of minutes, as if the noticeable increase of traffic in front of him hadn’t been enough a clue.

“Out fra’ smoke ‘fore the big gig, Boss?” A voice Duncan couldn’t quite decide if was welcome or not chipped in from beside him; decadent self-proclaimed ‘revolutionary’ Wesley A. Haynes had joined him at the park station he was smoking at. Neither of them were far from the venue the concert was being held at, and – prior to being disturbed – that distance was why Duncan was enjoying himself where he was.

“You always know how to make yourself known when I least expect it.” He grunted, a bit dismayed to have his smoke break interrupted. He fished for his full pack and popped another cigarette out from it towards Wesley, who accepted the silent courtesy and lit it himself. No amount of Aenaran doctors could convince a Siedunlander to stray from vices like these; a little known fact was where the cigarettes came from(1), after all.

“So, whod’ya think is playing in’ere?” Wesley asked as the two savored precious minutes before they’d be called to their duties within. He was a volunteer to the event too, but for his own reasons. Supposedly, the man had nothing else to do in his spare time.

“I heard Grant McEntire would be playing today.” Duncan noted. “Came all the way from Fort MacMillan to give the peers here some spirits – both in song and in liquor.” The two chuckled over the subtle nod to that particular artist’s addictions.

“S’ya heard? Well, I got’em i-tem-ary fra’ the whole show raight’ere! So we got.. Roadmen first’en Grant McEntire after. Tidbit fra’ LC20 during th’intermesshun, and’en Esol Manafest and David August Campbell to wrap it up.”

“LC20 is doing the Intermission performance? I think my daughter’s been listening to them lately.” Duncan chuckled. “Seems like it’ll be a blast for everyone. Can’t help but feel we almost don’t belo–” He was cut off abruptly by a firm nudge from his compatriot.

“Ey! Nona’them nega-tenv talk from you, Boss. Ya know what we’re here fra’, and eve’we gotta unwind even’tally. So lighten up’n enjoy yourself!”

Duncan snuffed out his cigarette under his boot firmly, and gave Wesley a nod. “Sure, sure. Let’s get going then – Alf’s probably fuming at how much time I wasted.” The two men laughed as they made for the venue together.

The venue was being held in an old theatre originally built well over a hundred years ago in the town, but had since been rebuilt by the community after the War: Steinnaway Theatre. The locale was easily able to fit twice the number of people that would be participating in the charity event, but given the state of things it was understandable only a portion of it would actually see use today.

Duncan and Wesley’s walk there was a brief one, with five-to-noon to spare as they were welcomed by the Organizers. Neither them nor their third partner Duncan was looking for was actually involved in setting up the event in the first place; that honor went to the recent big-shot politicians of the Unification Party, a term that got thrown around quite a lot around Telegraph Mine.. by Duncan, more than most.

Inside, they found what they were looking for: the amphitheatre, where most of the citizens who’d come to watch were assembled before a modest stage being bathed in stage lighting – a station Wesley in particular would find himself at. Duncan was just supposed to ensure everyone of the attendees had what they needed, acting as a general ‘guide’ to the audience as needed. Just as they were about to part, they ran into a familiar face the two knew.

“You are late!” Alfred D. O'Malley, a co-worker of Duncan’s with Centerfire, berated as he lugged a box of sound equipment behind him. “You might as well have been fifteen-past! Where in Ouriel’s name did you two run off to?”

“No need to fret so much Alf,” Duncan chuckled, having expected the ‘boomout.’ “We’re not even late, we’ve got five minutes to spare–”

“You’re late for the prep meeting you mong!” Alfred sighed. “Snowe[2] won’t be happy unless you can still do your job. Wesley, that goes for you too; no funny stuff out there.”

“A’ight! I got you Alf, let’s get a move on then!” The youthful loose cannon complied, Duncan bidding the two off as he made to check on the other volunteers; out of all the roles needed to make the concert go off smoothly, his was by far the least important; at least in his mind. He’d heard of two others he’d gotten to know more recently: Gerald K. Ridgewell and Hartley J. Chapman were busy helping the various performers backstage. He’d probably get to run into them after the event played out, and if he did he’d be sure to pass on his congratulations on a job well done. Little did most know that Duncan was quite in-the-know with most passerbys in Telegraph Mine. He’d even gotten in touch with a particular businessman of the Henderson kind: Thomas D. V. Haly-Simmons. He’d paid handsomely to contribute to the venue, and was no doubt one among the audience now. Aside from those individuals, Duncan himself wasn’t that noteworthy among the public. He’d kept his personal life away from most to protect his daughter, and his business life – well, a logger has to keep his trade intact in the end.

ANNOUNCING THE BEGINNING OF THE CONFEDERATION CONCERT. ALL ATTENDEES PLEASE BE SEATED, AND BE SURE TO PUT YOUR PHONES ON SILENCED!

Lamenting not ending on a pleasant smoke, Duncan made for his post on the left-hand side of the amphitheatre. The lighting inside soon dimmed, and the audience quieted. The show would begin without delay it seemed..

That is, until Duncan heard the sounds of rushed footfalls behind him. He glanced past the main doors into the amphitheatre, and saw a ‘blacksuit’ – a classic Hendersonite in suit and tie attire – rushing for the entrance with a suitcase flailing about. With ease, Duncan stopped him in his tracks to deal with the latecomer.

“Show’s just starting, you got a ticket right?” He asked the blacksuit; oddly, the Hendersonite was completely out of breath before him. Had he run this entire way just for a concert?

“Oh, yes yes! Just one moment.. I’m.. I’ve come a long way, you see.” The businessman composed himself with a deep breath, shaking his head vigorously of sweat before perking up. “Ah! I’m afraid I err.. don’t quite have a ‘ticket,’ you see.” He laughed nervously to himself as he received an unwelcome stare from Duncan. “But just you wait! I’ve got something else for you.. In particular.”

Duncan’s gaze alleviated somewhat, his suspicion replaced by intrigue. “..Go on? You’re not here for the concert?”

“Oh I am! I have multiple reasons for being here–” The blacksuit responded immediately.

“No ticket, no concert.” Duncan iterated.

“Oh come now, surely you can sell me a ticket now that I am here? I have the money to spare–”

“No ticket, no concert.”

“..Aren’t you just a brute. Very well, my second reason for being here, Corporal, has to do with certain connections of yours. You have a bit of a reputation from what I’ve heard from your.. Benefactors, let’s call them. Duncan, Corporal Duncan was it?”

The mention of a very closely guarded aspect of his ‘employment’ being brought to light resurfaced his distrust of the blacksuit in front of him. “If you’re going to play word games, spit out what you want with me. I don’t have time for suits.”

“So rude!” The blacksuit feigned being astonished, before getting to his point. “The name is George Howard Amo-Bishop-Roden M. Brooks. Mister Brooks, if you would.. You’ll find I’m as Hendersonite as they come, as you northerners love to call us. Well, half-Hendersonite; Father’s Euphemian, you see– Okay okay! I understand. I’m here because I have, put bluntly, a ‘job’ for you.”

Duncan’s eyebrow rose in interest. “You were in talks with them, couldn’t they have just passed the word on to me? What do you need me for?”

“Precisely everything, as a matter of fact!” Mr. Brooks answered. “To put this out in more detail, I’d like to briefly explain my situation to you. I worked with the Henderson Charter – those shipping goons that handled getting goods from point A, to point B. Simple enough? Good, now I was also a top notch executive for the Corp. Yup, so high I was practically raking in money… that is, until the War came.” His tone turned serious, which surprisingly made Duncan sympathize with him. Just a little bit.

“And the job?”

“It’s simple really – I want you to ‘take out’ somebody who I know all too well; the person who put me and my business out of order was an Aenaran monopolizer, you see! Those southern pests are always wrought with corruption, and it was only a matter of time before all our producers were bought out by him… who could’ve thought when the common citizen was turned into some of the wealthiest men in the world, their hearts turned as black as coal!”

“..That technically includes you too, Sir.” Duncan jabbed, much to the blacksuit’s exaggerated shock. “But I understand what you’re asking of me. My only question is; what does Siedunland gain by helping your business?”

“Oh, well connections of course!” Mr. Brooks flaunted with a smug grin. “I do know the corporate ‘playground’ of Henderson inside and out, and many branches abroad that have weathered the storms of war and played into handsome investitures with the West. I’m sure if you had need for any… human resources… funding… contacts… you name it, I could certainly provide some means of hooking you up. After all – you can’t rely on those Reps’ forever.”

The offer did entice Duncan in one sense; what Mr. Brooks was referring to was an aspect of both his life, and by extension the Unification Party, that hadn’t quite come to fruition yet. It was still in its infancy, and he was in need of many things if he wanted to hold true to the promise he made to his benefactor – a close friend of his, no less. Mr. Brooks, whether he liked the flaunting blacksuit or not, would have to suffice as a starting place for his goals ahead.

“Where do I sign?” Duncan asked.

As if on command, Mr. Brooks unveiled the suitcase in his hands to reveal the contents of it; a formal contract and all, pre-approved by Henderson Charter Shipping and the Unification Party. The only real choice he had was choosing to accept the deal or not. “By any means is fine, so long as we can establish a formal signature here. You must forgive my hasteness, but it pertains to this job after all. Now now, I can understand if you are hesitant! I’ll be sure to– wait did you actually sign it?”

“Yes.”

“...Heavens save my coffers, I knew I made a worthwhile donation!” Mr. Brooks practically cheered to himself, and seemed about wanting to vent his joy with an embrace – one Duncan firmly denied the shorter blacksuit.

“Right, so forward me the details after this event and we’ll see what we can arrange. The UP has my contact information, so if that’s how you found me.. you know how to reach me.”

“But of course, Mister Oldman.” Brooks grinned, extending his hand. “May the Market bless our fortunate relationship ahead, and I will see you whence the time comes!” A bit weirded out by Brooks’ habits, Duncan just begrudglingly shook his hand.

“Now bug off if you seriously aren’t attending. This is a charity event, after all.” Brooks didn’t need further encouragement to be on his way; already Duncan could tell the man was one of intellect, not strength. Still, he seemed to hold his own usefulness, and this mysterious hitman’s ‘job’ he’d been given raised one, rather large question that left him no answers.

What will go wrong?



CONTEXT NOTES

1. – Henderson Whites – A local cigarette company based from Henderson; they won a bid to be the official endorser of the Siedunland Army during Rand’s War, and ever since the “Warforged Whites” have become a colloquialism for the packs of wartime Whites that survived the conflict and are still in circulation, mostly with former Siedunlander personnel. They are, in some ways, almost an heirloom to some.

2. – Cameron W. Snowe – Chief Logistics Executive of Centerfire Timber Products, Duncan and Alfred’s immediate boss due to the lack of intermediate officials, and a particularly grouchy executive. Most try to stay on his good side, as he can actually be quite rewarding to those he likes.
Last edited by Etoile Marin on Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Forest State
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:33 am

Image



To Live And Die In Daimiel
Mojarras, Daimiel
July, 393 A.C.



The current state of the Democratic Republic of Daimiel depended entirely on who you asked. Some would say that the nation had fallen and that this would be the end of it. They would say that having a cartel leader sitting at the head of a junta was a farce and that the nation would never again be taken seriously by the outside world. Then again, when had Daimiel been taken seriously for anything where drugs and guns weren’t in the picture? The rest of the world already knew Daimiel as the place with cheap guns and cheap drugs and cheap women and whee one could hide from the law just about anywhere else, since out of all the countries in the world, there wasn’t anywhere about as indifferent to the law as Daimiel was. As long as you didn’t get on the wrong side of someone in power, you could do fine in Daimiel.

And that reputation was part of the argument of the other crowd. The others had never liked Daimiel in the first place so why care about what they think. It would be stupid to reject a new leader that could end the stagnation under the Alvarado regime just because that leader came from a bad background. Hell, could you really even say that dealing drugs in a place like Daimiel was a bad background? People did what they had to do to survive. And in Daimiel it just happened that for a lot of people, that was turning to the things that the country was known for. There were few good people in Daimiel if you went by strict definitions. This wasn’t a country for good people. At least that was what the supporters of the new regime said. Esteban Romero had been embraced by the people, had captivated the Army into banding together with his powerful cartel to seize control of the country, because Romero was more representative of the average person in Daimiel than the former leader had been.

Sure, Alvarado had served in the military and had a long career and had a jacket full of medals. Sure, Alvarado had been in the seat of power for a long time and at one point had seen the country improve from firmly third world to slightly less third world with some potential to improve. But how many people could see themselves in someone like that? The average person in Daimiel, even the average soldier, was just trying to survive. The military wasn’t something as illustrious as it was in other countries. While the powers of the world were duking it out, Daimiel was sitting neutral. They didn’t have stories of conquest and victories abroad. Didn’t have a nuclear arsenal that could blow another country off the face of Tsion with just a few bright flashes. Their navy didn’t even have anything more than gunboats and river craft for patrolling the immediate area around their islands, and their air force wasn’t even capable of conducting long range operations in the way other countries could.

Being a war hero didn’t give someone much street cred in Daimiel because for most people, that was meaningless. They weren’t high up enough in the world to worry about crushing some enemy abroad. Even the one nation that just about everyone was united against, Alvimia, the one that had occupied them in the past before they gained their independence, they knew they had no way of beating in a straight conflict. So they didn’t even think about it outside of the occasional flare up of tensions. Thinking about things like that just reminded everyone of what they couldn’t do and that was a bad idea when you were just trying to get through the day. That was the case for most of the people in Daimiel. They were just trying to get to the day and they could relate more to the person that had also had to resort to dealing drugs just to be able to do that.

Esteban Romero was not a good person by any means, having killed plenty of people through his cartel, but he was the face of Daimiel in a way. The scary thing about Romero was that, beneath the extravagant appearance that Romero had taken on since becoming the leader of the country, and despite all of the facial tattoos which distinguished him as a long time gang member of the Camilea Cartel and eventually his own Soloara Clique, there was a face that could belong to any young Daimielse male once they grew older. If they even survived long enough to grow as old as Romero was despite picking such a dangerous path. Living into your thirties was an achievement for someone in the criminal underworld - or maybe it was an overworld, since it was so out in the open - of Daimiel. And Romero had managed to not just do it, but to ascend past power on the streets and into true power.

So that was how the country ended up split. One side of it bought into the person that might as well have been the face of Daimiel and their lost youth, someone who had survived going down the wrong path and come out on the other side more powerful because of it. On the other hand, there were a decent number who wanted to buy into not a person but an ideal of what they wanted Daimiel to be. The image that Field Marshall Macario Alvarado had put out to everyone about the country, that they were a sleeping tiger that was to be reckoned with and that all of the problems in the country were exaggerated or just didn’t exist. True reality versus the reality they wanted to be true. Facts versus the fiction that could make life a bit less depressing in a place like this, even if it wasn’t true. Alvarado hadn’t been reliable in improvements but he had sold the image of improving and for some people that was worth it.

Because if Romero was the leader, they would have to acknowledge just how depressing things were that they had ended up with a drug dealer and a cartel leader as the one in charge of their entire country. Their figurehead? Missing, his status unknown. Any international ties that had been built under that regime? In chaos. Their fiction had been shattered in front of them. And for many, that was the reason why they stood against this new government. Either being throwing their support in with the Guards militia, who had pledged their support for the old government, or simply in their hearts.

One of the military units to go off the radar following the coup and pledge their support to the old government were the First Air Force Commando Team, also known as “Sombra”. Of course they had put their support behind the old government. The reason they were in the Air Force in the first place was because they were less of a risk to be lured by their superiors into attempting a coup there. Other than working with airborne operations, they hardly had anything to do with the Air Force in the first place. And yet Alvarado hadn’t trusted the Army and that had been a good assumption. The Army had helped the Soloara Clique with their coup and the two had formed a junta while the commandos had simply gone off the radar and into the jungles in the south of the country, where many political outcasts, foreigners running from the law, and others ended up going when they needed to move somewhere they couldn’t be traced. Following these commandos wouldn’t be easy. Not only was it the jungle, but they were all trained quite extensively in this kind of thing and were doing whatever they could to cover their tracks.

The first order of business was securing a spot to conduct operations against the new government and to coordinate with both foreign powers and elements of the Guards militia forces to plan the retaking of their country. Easier said than done and even this first step wasn’t easy. But had any of them joined a unit like this for easy? No. They were some of the more combat experienced units within the Daimielese Armed Forces because they had been involved in the fight against both cartels and insurgents within the country. Now, though, those fights were becoming more irrelevant as a bigger one appeared.

Sergeant Orianna Iglesias was one of the ones in Squad A that had been assigned to help secure a base of operations for the unit, and as it turned out, the best option they had in this case was taking over one of those insurgent bases they had already clashed around before. This time, however, they didn’t have restrictions. Didn’t have to rely on leadership which wasn’t as competent as their own skill. They had… The best way to describe the fight was that it had been a stomping. And as the fighting died down, Orianna found herself stopping and staring at the scene. She had a smoking gun in her hand, she’d just shot two... Maybe three insurgents within the span of a couple of minutes, on this night where they had conducted the raid without taking a single casualty. These rebels had been socialists that were rebelling against the Alvarado regime. Now, they found themselves being hunted more aggressively not just by the new regime under Romero, but by defectors who had similar ideas about claiming their jungle bases for themselves.

“Clear,” Orianna announced to the rest of the unit, as squad leader First Lieutenant Hector Nicodemo came over to take a look at her handiwork. There were indeed, three bodies in the immediate area. One of them had been in the middle of the camp and had been one of the guards that they went for in the initial push, and the other two had been rushing out of the wooden barracks building but had been gunned down before they could even see where their attackers had went. It was nighttime, but even then she could see the blood through her night vision headset. Perhaps it was the… Rawness of it all, the fact that there was real blood here and not in the training they often did, that made her take a pause.

But they had both taken the risk by picking up arms in the first place and she had to remind herself that they would have no problem exploding her head onto the ground if it came to that. It was something that she couldn’t forget, even if it had been a little while since they had last been in combat against these insurgents. “Get your head out the clouds, Iglesias,” Hector said, gesturing towards the middle of the camp and guiding Orianna back and pointing to the radio unit they were setting up. “We’re making contact with the Guards soon, but first…”

Hector tossed a video camera to Orianna after picking it up from the ground. “We have something to record and send off to a potential ally. One that may decide that the old regime’s stance was favorable enough to them that this situation warrants intervention,” he stated. “Can you hit the record button on that thing when I give you the signal and start it rolling?”

Orianna held up the small camera and looked at the controls for a moment before glancing at Hector through the screen, who gave a thumbs up. She turned the knob to record mode and pressed the button to start. Hector began speaking, looking directly into the camera. “My name is First Lieutenant Hector Nicodemo. As a member of the First Air Force Commando Team, Squad A, I have put everything into serving the Democratic Republic of Daimiel and so has everyone else in this unit. Unfortunately, that very Democratic Republic is in danger thanks to the actions of traitorous units within the Army as well as the Soloara Clique, which rose last year to become the most powerful cartel in the country. That is why it is my wish that the Federal States of Euphemie will support our cause just as the true government of Daimiel continues to support Euphemie on the Alvimian Question…”
Last edited by Forest State on Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:27 am

Collaborative post with Tangaliro


_________________________________________________________________________________________
    Independent Incident: “合 纵 连 横
    Daernel, Federation of Kael
    JANUARY 24th, 422
_______________________
Our dream is to make Daernel first the capital of Central Ophir, and then Ophir in general.

—Ceannasai Maura Tsaoir




The city of Daernel was an impressive work of engineering. Not just the buildings within the city, although there were plenty that were seemingly miracles of modern technology and design, but the city itself. Built up post-unification as the capital of the new unified country of Kael, the city had served faithfully in its role and its status had only increased each decade, becoming more and more luxurious and advanced even as other parts of the country remained in a past age where dynastic warfare, the agricultural lifestyle, and industry were still large parts of daily life. It was fitting, then, that when foreigners came to the country, Daernel was the city that they were advised to travel to - especially if those foreigners were not regular people, but diplomats on important business.

The Kaelic delegation was waiting at the airport when the ESAC KF420 touched down at Daernel International Airport, which itself was one of the largest projects the city had undergone. With seven runways and two towers, it was a place that drew the attention of aviation enthusiasts across Tsion. When important people visited the country, it was often the first place that they saw. And right now, the group of Kaelic officials from various parts of society waited and prepared to escort the foreign delegation from one luxury to another. The starting point, however, would be the airport.

“So… Do you believe it will be enough?” asked Kaelic leader Maura Tsaoir, looking to one of her top advisers. Well, adviser might not be the right word. Kingmaker was a better term to describe Niall McAllen, who was affiliated with the always powerful Capital Guard, and was also one of the ones to help put her in power in the first place. Having him, one of the top powerbrokers in the country, on her side, was part of the reason why she had lasted long enough in the position to have such a meeting in the first place.

“I believe that if they aren’t impressed enough by what they see here,” Niall started, watching the plane closely as it landed not too far from them. The group was standing on the apron next to the runway. As soon as the delegation from Sinica stepped out, they would only be a few feet away from the cars that were already waiting for them. “We have multiple fallback options. We’ll be fine regardless of the outcome here. I think.”

The Sinican KF420 slowly descended onto the runway and eventually came to a slow but steady stop. The door of the plane opened, with the Sinican delegates stepping out from the plane, waving hands at the welcoming crowds on the sides. The head of them, Wang Qingyun, approached the two, extending both his hands with a friendly smile. “An honour to meet you, President Tsaoir. On behalf of the People’s Republic, We would like to send Sinica’s best regards to the Federation of Kael and its dignified people. I am sure that through this visit, we can lay the framework for a bright future for both our countries through cooperation.”

Maura bowed slightly after shaking Wang’s hand, a brief smile appearing on her face. “Yes, I’m sure this meeting will be productive… And there’s no need to be so formal, I’d like to consider myself rather relaxed for a politician,” she said, before her accomplice in formal military dress added on an explanation to her last statement.

“I believe what my superior means to say is that she’s had something of a hard time getting out of the… Soldier’s mindset,” McAllen stated with a slight chuckle. As he spoke, aides on the ground prepared the vehicles. They weren’t driving a long way out but it didn’t mean they weren’t putting effort into making sure their visitors were impressed. The trip from the airport to the capital district would be conducted via limousine, and as the doors to the limousines were opened, it became clear that there was a strong attention to detail here. Both the outside and the interiors of the vehicles were spotless.

“Really? I used to be a soldier too. In that regard, perhaps we can say that we used to be peers by occupation.” Wang chuckled. “No wonder why everything is so orderly and well-organized here, just like a soldier’s way.”

“Many things in this country can be traced in some way or another to soldiers. Not just the state kind, either. The Ceannasai was formerly a mercenary who saw action in the Zone. I myself am part of the Capital Guard, which is… Not the same thing as the Imperial Army. Of course, there’s plenty of other armed groups in the country, most of them harmless and employed to private parties,” McAllen continued, with a shrug. “I suppose the Kaels are a bit of a fighting people.”

At which point one of the aides came over and gestured towards the limousines. “The transportation is ready,” the aide informed both groups, and it was clear where they should all go. The limousines, after all, were only sitting a few feet away from them on the concrete apron.

“A fighting people indeed. I’m sure more of these armed groups will become harmless in the future. International cooperation can bring a lot of opportunities to a country. Perhaps, with these new opportunities, they would have better incentives to put down their arms and pursue a different life, one that is beneficial to the Federation.” Wang nodded. “Sinica, as a trustworthy partner, would be more than willing to help bring forward these opportunities.”

“I’m sure you will all have some good ideas about that,” Maura said, before inviting Wang and the others into the limousines. It was only a minute or two later that the ride began, the luxury cars drowning out the outside noise somewhat impressively. They were, after all, traveling through a busy airport at the moment, but the cars had been designed to have a quiet interior even in areas like this.

They moved quickly to the highway, heading down the main path that would take them from the airport to the capital district. Before they could reach that spot, though, they would have to cut through downtown. On either side of the highway running through the neighborhood, tall buildings rose around them. Some of them were more nondescript looking, with basic designs made of steel and concrete. Others were truly inventive, with designs that looked like they’d fall down or ones that included optical illusions and fancy tricks. And then there were a couple of buildings that they’d passed which were simply big, such as the national arena, which had size as its most notable attribute.

However, the steel and glass and concrete of the downtown area would eventually turn to marble and other such regal materials as they entered the capital district, which itself had been modeled after other more famous such districts such as those from Euphemie. The area had been renovated in the early 400s from its Victorian roots, and was designed to be the kind of place that would appear on postcards, and the kind of place that travelers would want to visit. In a way, it was just like the rest of this city and its core. It was just a slightly different style from the more modernist buildings of the rest of downtown.

The limousines stopped in front of one such marble building, and the Kaelic delegation moved to climb out. “This,” started Maura. “Is actually the Oireachtas meets. Or the parliament, to those of you who aren’t familiar with the local words. The other rooms, though, are used for different things. Meetings included. Come on, I think you’ll find that the interior is just as nice as the outside.”

“It was a fascinating view along the way.” Wang climbed out of the limousine. “I’m looking forward to seeing the interior of where the Oireachtas meets.”

The groups moved inside the building and Maura led the way to one of the meeting rooms. She seemed to be popular enough around here, there were plenty of rumors about what the politicians and military really thought of her rule but, at least in this instance, plenty of people within the building greeted her or said something, and she seemed to return the warmth. Eventually they were in a large conference room, one that had a long table and two TV screens - one behind either end of the table, fixed to the wall. The screens, for now, didn’t display anything more than a looping image of a waving Kaelic flag.

“The advisers handed me a large folder with all of the talking points that I’m supposed to go over,” said Maura, as she sat down at one end of the table. “Thing is, I think that would be kind of boring and would take more time than what’s needed. The main thing I want to talk about is what we can provide each other. Because as you know, the land inhabited by the Kaels is valuable for someone looking to travel eastwards from Sinica to Ophir. Our port cities such as Kilman are suitable for moving cargo through, and the Daernel International Airport has been built up as a hub that can move people and goods anywhere on the continent. Coming from the far east, Kael is one of the first nations on this continent that you will run into.”

She paused, smiling slightly. “So you can surely understand why there’s multiple nations seeking closer ties with us. We’ve survived for some time as a non aligned nation that for the most part has stayed out of major world affairs such as the Transatlantic War. It’s safe to say that if we stray from our policies that have been held for a number of years, it should be in a way that… Also benefits Kael rather than just the nation aligning with us. Whichever that nation is in the end.”

“Indeed, a relationship benefitting only one side is unsustainable, as history proves it.” Wang nodded with a smile. “Making changes can be hard. We will make sure it is worth it. As you said, the land of Kaels is an invaluable place to us. It is an important trade node for those who want to access the Atlantic from the Pacific, and a land with great potential. From what we hear, the northern part of your country has been...well, as people say, falling behind in development. People call it falling behind, but I would call it holding space for improvement. It may be suffering from de-industrialization, but being de-industrialized rather than undeveloped means that it still holds a lot of industrial infrastructure that can be utilized in a revitalization of local industry. Sinica has enough keen entrepreneurs that are keen on finding a place to invest in. Perhaps with a little money and reform, we can turn the northern half of your country from a rust belt into a great industrial hub of Central Ophir. Imagine it, utilizing the great logistics and trading resources of Southern Kael to be a hub for goods manufactured or assembled inside Kael, by the Kaelic people to flow through the Pacific and Ophir.”

He paused for a little, his usual smile on his face. “Kael can become a great trading partner to her neighbours and Sinica. With a more stable and legitimate choice to earn a living in the factories again, perhaps people would be more willing to abide laws rather than, say, risking their life and work with the Bangor syndicate. By establishing economic connections with your neighbours, it would also provide your country a safer environment in Central Ophir, who would want to murder their business partners if they are bringing them profits, after all? Northern Kael can serve as a middle man where Hesperian or Sinican goods can be assembled before flowing to the other side through or from the South. When people’s livelihoods are guaranteed to improve, they are less likely to think of breaking away.”

He thought for a second, then decided to add something to his offer. “Of course, should you need any help in the field of national defense, security or reforms, we are willing to offer aid such as advisors, training and weapon sales at a better price as well. We have had our own share of experience fighting insurgencies and poverty within our borders in history, I’m sure these experiences would prove helpful for your country as well.”

He paused again, letting Tsaoir process his words. “Now, you may ask, why us? There are other countries that may be able to, and probably had offered the same thing. In the aspect of offers we may be similar, but our capacity, and the opportunities we offer are different. Say, the Federal States of Euphemie, they indeed are one capable nation, having defeated the Union 30 years ago, but they don’t need anything from you. Their market is already occupied by their own corporations and other countries’ foreign enterprises, they are a supplier, not consumer, at the energy market. Even if a pact has been reached between Kael and Euphemie, you lack the mutual importance required to ensure that they will not backstab you when given an incentive by another nation. In the case of North Ophir, how big of a market can they offer you? None of them really needs the help of Kael to access anywhere. Euphemie is bordering rest of Central Ophir, holding wide and undisputed access to both seas while North Ophir is focusing fully in the Atlantics. We, on the other hand, will and have a reason to treasure you as a great partner in achieving a higher status in this world. We have a large market for Kaelic good to access, and we have a trade interest that Kael can benefit from.” Wang was finally finished with his talking, he paused, waiting for his Kaelic counterpart’s response.

The explanation of the Sinican plans seemed to trigger a slight emotional response in the Ceannasai. “On the subject of the north… How do I put this? They’re northerners. They don’t like us, many of us don’t like them. No amount of building more factories up there is going to placate them. If anything… Just gives them more assets to try to take with them if the ALN becomes more popular up there and starts making moves,” she said, her voice rising for a moment before it lowered once again. She had to remember that not everyone here knew the exact context of the situation between her nation and the north. Not her nation as in the nation of Kael, but her nation as in the Lowlanders, the minority that she belonged to that was officially a part of the north but culturally very much different from the rest of it.

“But, sending our goods westwards is an interesting proposal, I have to admit. I will say that industry is something that Kael has tried to move away from in recent decades, but industry has stuck with Kael more than Kael would like to stick with it. I can’t say that these plans have been entirely successful. Perhaps more factories, more trade partners… Perhaps it would make a difference in cutting into the wealth gap,” she added, sitting back as McAllen and the other advisers around her watched her response.

“I believe that as someone from a minority that has a long history of clashing with the north, my leader may have a slightly clouded mind on the subject,” added McAllen, gaining him a glance from Maura. “However, there is one thing that I would like to mention. The nation of Kael already considers itself to have a first world military… Our military is not large, but it does have technology that can keep up with some of the more powerful nations in Tsion. Our level of technology is still behind nations such as Euphemie but not by as large a gap as other nations. Some of our forces have already been proven in combat, not in conventional wars but as mercenaries of sorts in other conflicts, such as the ones happening in the Lawless Zone. If a deal is made, will Sinica be able to help with the advancement of this military force rather than treating it the same as the typical military of a smaller nation?”

“Firstly, I must apologize for my recklessness. While we’ve already received knowledge about the north-south tension inside your country before visiting, we were not acknowledged of the seriousness of such tension. It is indeed unthoughtful of me to not make an inquiry for information before making such proposal, but please do understand that we provided our offers not with intent to offend, but out of genuine hope in helping with cutting down the wealth gap and resolving the disputes for your country and people, Miss Tsaoir.” Wang subtly leaned forward, resembling a bow of apology, then returned to his normal position.

Tsaoir nodded, seemingly accepting this response. She did feel as if an oversimplification had been made, but… The fact of the matter was that the situation was something of a highly localized and even personal one, of which it would be hard for a foreign faction to understand completely on their first time showing up here. And so, she didn’t hold it against the diplomat on the other side of the table.

“As for your military, please allow me to clarify that I have no intent of belittling your country’s military in my words of offers. If I happened to give you such impression, I sincerely beg for your forgiveness. As for the help we can offer, yes. It depends on what you need, but as a former soldier of Sinican military, I hold confidence that we are capable of providing the aid you desire in bringing your military a further step up even from your current capacity.” Wang handed Tsaoir a small stack of documents. “We have done some research regarding your military within information currently published, while we do not know if the actual situation of your military may be different, we did come up with some potential military cooperation programs that can be beneficial to both of us and organized them into these documents. You may take a look.”

Immediately, Tsaoir started looking through the documents, also passing some of them to McAllen, who was more experienced as an officer in the military even if both of them had experience in some way or another - she tended to defer to her General of the Capital Guard on issues like this, as while she had experience as a mercenary, McAllen was the one who was more familiar with research and development, hardware, and the like. Tsaoir, on the other hand, was the type of soldier who was better off relying on instincts.

“These offers are acceptable. I’m sure our nations will be in touch again in the coming days or weeks. We intend to meet with a couple of the other nations pursuing closer ties - But I can say that as you’ve put together a well thought out plan and made a convincing offer to us, there’s a good chance we’ll be talking again soon,” Tsaoir stated. “A partnership between east and west seems to benefit both sides economically more than a connection between two western nations, after all.”
Last edited by Forest State on Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Valefontaine
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Valefontaine » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:36 am

Collaborative post with Forest State
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    T S I O N L I F E - "N E G O T I A T I O N S"
    President George Charles Fern Airport,
    Serondequot, Torch City, FSE
    JUNE 29, 422
    0730 HOURS


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    __________________________________

SECSTATE 129 Enri New-World-Order Peace-Through-Strength Z. Whitbender was the face of Euphemian politics at home and overseas. One of the closer figures of the Camden administration, he'd served in the Oesterran Army prior to the Unification — and had quickly risen to a position of considerable clout and influence in government. The tribulations of the Transatlantic War had elevated the image of a President — even one in office — to one that needed messengers. Where the President was not capable or otherwise too preoccupied to assess things, Whitbender was always present. Today was a little different, of course. Rather, he was handling the negotiations — meeting the President himself would come later for the foreign dignitaries about to arrive in the heart of the sacred city. Past the glass he could see the giant highrises in the far distance, albeit distant from the serene, almost antiquated design of Serondequot.

It was an entirely different environment from the megacity bustle of Torch City, Serondequot almost divinely serene in comparison to the vast, unending concrete jungle that comprised the massive megacity that spanned most of Euphemie's eastern seaboard. It wasn't the worst place for sure, given that the population density of Torch City was fairly; dispersed over its rather vast area, but it was a monumental city. In comparison to the monotonous misery of Datong, flooded with smog and filth, Torch City overall was a monument to Euphemian achievement — humanity's achievement, a melting pot with people from every corner of the globe, perhaps even the most diverse city in the world. Yet Serondequot was, despite being part of Torch City, a much different affair — building regulations ensured that it remained a reminder of Euphemie's origins, albeit glorified and almost romanticized by the neoclassical architecture that comprised much of the city. It was a living, breathing monument to Euphemie — its heritage, its history, and its future.

The holy city of Euphemianism, Serondequot — all across the great city were flags of the Federal States, marble busts of past presidents, regarded now as godlike beings, incarnations of the genderless, transcendental deity that was God. Today he would serve as a tour guide for these dignitaries, as he'd served as a guide for many visitors before. There was much to see in the confines of the city of politicians along the vast avenues and neoclassical marvels of the Euphemian capital. Fern willing, they would achieve a deal mutually beneficial to the Federal States of Euphemie and the nation represented by those about to arrive... a smile made itself apparent on the edge of Whitbender's features as he awaited the foreign aircraft on the tarmac. Beside him were a simple detachment of two Secret Service officials, though Presidential Order elements had already ensured that every vestige of their planned path was entirely secure.




The KAC-420 that Ceannasai Maura Tsaoir and a few of her closest advisers were flying on, meanwhile, was practically an extension of Kael - the model had been altered to have what amounted to a flying office which was just like the one that Tsaoir would have back on the ground, complete with internet and with similar furniture and decorations. That office was also home to the reports that Tsaoir had been studying over the past days, comparing the three nations that were courting the Federation of Kael - Euphemie, the FRNO, and Sinica. She had continued her studies even as they were on the way into the nation of Euphemie for the third of the three meetings, but she finally lowered the folders when the city came into view. It was worth getting a good look at, from thousands of feet in the sky. They had, after all, modeled their own capital district after Serondequot in hopes of gaining some of the prestige that came with the original city and nation that had produced these designs.

“Would have thought that the world would have fallen over before Kael had a diplomatic meeting here of all places,” Tsaoir remarked to her advisers, referring to the neutrality policies of earlier governments. “But here we are anyway. It’s a nice view, if not a little surreal.”

“Kael is a relevant enough player to take part in international affairs without being exploited,” commented the General of the Capital Guard, Niall McAllen - who was also the main kingmaker in the country, currently. “Holding back from beneficial relations because of the nation’s past position would be foolish.”

“Which is why I decided that a shift in policy would be necessary,” Tsaoir replied with a nod. It was one of the positions that had likely gotten her elected. Then again, there was no official criteria and the electors didn’t reveal how they had voted. Even the leaders of the country themselves didn’t know the margins they had won the election by, nor did they know the criteria the voters had used to select them. The exact reasons that Tsaoir had been picked as an underdog candidate were still perplexing to her. Or rather, they were an unknown completely. The fact of the matter was she didn’t know why she had been picked, other than the support from McAllen. She just knew she wanted to do a damn good job now that she had her hands on the position.

The two conversed a bit more and eventually, they were on their final approach. The aircraft - which was all white in traditional charter colors with the exception of the black text that marked the sides and read ‘Federation of Kael’ - touched down on the runway at President George Charles Fern Airport, and eventually came to a slow stop before taxiing off from the runway to the apron, where the plane would come to a full stop before the doors were opened and Tsaoir and her delegation made their way out.

Greeting them, small groups of approved press attaches aside, was the Euphemian Secretary of State, Enri New-World-Order Peace-Through-Strength Z. Whitbender. Immediately he gave a light cordial wave, his other hand extended for a handshake. He'd seemingly picked his security detail to be an incredibly light one — Tsaoir could see two gentlemen among the press attendees were armed under their suits and wore the almost stereotypical suit and sunglasses that came with the 'Men in Black' myths of the Federal State's high-level security personnel.

"The Federal States offers the Federation of Kael and her dignitaries fair welcome to her capital." He smiled, giving off a generally calm demeanor to his persona. The man seemed to be in his late fifties, early sixties perhaps, his features having aged relatively well, his hair a kempt silvery grey. Anyone politically active on the foreign side of things could recognize his face. President Camden's third in command, practically, he was among the guiding hands of Euphemian foreign policy, ensuring the Federal States upheld its commitments sensibly, and maintained close ties with its allies, trade partners and friends.

“It’s good to be here. I’ve seen this place in a fair number of photos before. Didn’t think I’d ever get here, growing up in Northgrove,” said Tsaoir, in her usual casual demeanor. Sometimes, she really did act like she was just someone from Northgrove. Someone that had experienced international conflict before and gained experience as a mercenary, yes, but still someone that wasn’t used to the world of politics and formalities. Maybe that was the reason she had been picked. Sometimes, the outsider option was the refreshing one for a world that was used to one thing.

“After two productive visits from other nations to Daenrel, I’m sure things will go just as well now that our nation is the one doing the visiting,” Tsaoir added, offering her hand to Whitbender as her delegation left the plane - her own small security detail wearing more formal outfits which weren’t quite ‘formal’ in the typical sense, even if they were traditional for Kael. In contrast with the black suits, her own men wore blue and white face paint to go along with leather clothing.

"The President is already anticipating your arrival. The State Department, myself, and, quite frankly, even the President expect this will be a fruitful round of negotiations for both our nations." The Euphemian SECSTATE began his way to the black Pontillac™ Pharaoh that'd been prepared for the drive to Collis Palatium, the palace of the Federal States President. Two more secret service agents were waiting there, opening the passenger doors and respectfully bowing as the group of diplomats boarded. A similarly black Pontillac™ Sirius II had been arranged for the transit of security personnel, accompanied by two more Sirius IIs that would guard the two-vehicle motorcade front and rear. Seating himself comfortably on the grey leather seating, Whitbender leaned back, making himself comfortable, albeit with a formal composure to his demeanor. "Security's been well-arranged in anticipation for this visit. There'll be no.. unforeseen difficulties while you are in Serondequot." assured the Secretary of State, offering a respectful nod as if to answer unasked questions.

“Hah. On one hand, I’m glad it will be tough for the ALN to try anything - their reach extends beyond what one would expect from a relatively small insurgent movement, seeing one of them here would hardly be surprising. On the other hand, it means I’d lose a chance to shoot the one that tries to try something,” chuckled Tsaoir, referring to the Army of the Liberation of the North, the organization which was responsible for a vast many attacks on Kaelic government officials. Mostly back home, but as Tsaoir had said, their indirect reach was far, and seeing one of their hitmen abroad somewhere wouldn’t be very shocking.

“My superior may be somewhat unprofessional, I have to admit,” McAllen stated, referring to the casual speech and general demeanor of the Ceannasai, who sometimes still seemed like she was just the mercenary soldier that she had been years ago, before the concerns of the position had been pressed on her by her clan and eventually by the nation itself once she was elected. “She may have spent a bit too much time in the field as a mercenary rather than working in the offices as a politician.”

"It is much the same here in the Federal States — the heroes of the past war lead our nation now into the reins of tomorrow." Though his statement was rather ambiguous to his own record, it was more than common knowledge that President Camden had served in the Transatlantic War as a fighter pilot, and scored an extensive record in the process. Almost all Presidents of the Federal States had, indeed, seen a form of military service in the past. It was, by this point, an almost unspoken requirement.

Which was somewhat comforting to know for the leader of Kael. Tsaoir’s past was, after all, sometimes a slight point of controversy back home. Not because Kael didn’t support its military, but because it was wondered by some if she even had enough political experience to lead them into the future, even if her accomplishments in the Zone were respected.

The motorcade had begun its way out of President George Charles Fern Airport, named in honor of the first President of the Federal States of Euphemie, revered now as the forefather of the nation. As their Pontillac passed the various security lines leading out of the airport, they were greeted by a grand limestone statue of George Fern riding atop a horse, a grand sword in one hand and a scale in the other, figuratively representing the 'strength' and 'justice' of his leadership. Fountains and lights illuminated the statue's figure, giving it an aesthetically pleasing look amidst the morning sun's casting of orange into the sky.

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George Charles Fern, Founding Father of the FSE


"That's the first President, George Fern. In our religion, he is an 'Aspect of God' — a divine incarnation of God in the flesh. It was he who fended against the Victorians and gave hope to the subjugated, colonized peoples of Ophir... the hope that they could become the masters of their Destiny." explained the Secretary of State as they passed the statue by.

Tsaoir stared out the window at the different sights as they went by. Of course, the story of Fern was one that even she was familiar with - the Victorians had also been an enemy of the Kaels, the nation that had conquered their own region and the one that was responsible for the colonization of both halves of the Kaelic lands. That fact was one tie that the Federation already had with Euphemie.

Flanking opposite the grand statue was a sign welcoming visitors into Serondequot. Rather than a sign, it was more akin to a mural, marble depicting a panoramic replica of the capital with the words 'WELCOME TO SERONDEQUOT' etched above in square capitals. Driving by a few overpasses, the land seemed to slightly decline as they found themselves in a depression lower in altitude than the rest of the relatively flat landscape of Torch City. It was perhaps the most hallowed place in Euphemianism, the rather obviously-named Valley of the Presidents.

"On the way to Collis Palatium, we pass the Valley of the Presidents. Every past Euphemian President that has lived is buried in this district, resting peacefully in their mausoleums." noted the Secretary of State.

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Fern-Hughes National Cathedral.


They passed a grand structure more akin to a legislative building than a religious site, limestone statues of its eponymous presidents standing boldly before the steps of the sanctified structure. It had much a story to tell, too. Whitbender looked to the building, nodding to himself as if knowingly. "The Fern-Hughes National Cathedral, where our first two Presidents are buried. In the darkest hours of the Transatlantic War, after the island of Etoile Marin was utterly overcome by the Tangaliroan terror bombings, its people had scattered in a terrible exodus. President Neworder welcomed them with open arms, consecrating the Cathedral a site not only for Euphemianists, but for Polarists seeking a new home."

It did seem to be a site of religious significance, given the sheer amount of pilgrims that walked about the grand plaza park situated before the grand structure. At the peak of the Cathedral's dome was a marble depiction of President Fern, clad in a robe as he held high the sun symbol — the symbol seen on the Euphemian flag.

“Impressive,” Tsaoir said, her mind traveling back to the capital district in Daernel, which was modeled after the most notable parts of this city. However, she was able to see now that the real thing was better constructed, more impressive and well put together - she had noticed certain details that were lacking from Kael’s own capital, better and more varied materials and more attention to detail.

Next to grace the diplomatic motorcade was the Langdon-Ackerman National Cathedral, situated symmetrically and exactly opposite to the Fern-Hughes National Cathedral. Its grand marble structure was capped by a dome layered in 14 karat diamond, the precipices of the structure arranged sharply and roughly, almost akin to the decks of a vessel of war — as if to symbolize the struggle, conflict and greatness of Langdon's term.

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Langdon-Ackerman National Cathedral.


"This Cathedral is built in honor of James Langdon and his successor, Howard Ackerman. They guided Euphemie through the Calamity, and the Euphemian Civil War which followed. It was in their tenure that the religious revival that brought about the Presidential Pantheon came about." noted Whitbender as they passed the structure by.

The religion that the Cathedral was built for was an exotic one to the Kaelic delegation - the Kaels were a mix of areligious types, Stigmatic Ourielists, and followers of more local religions which could be considered pagan to some extent, even if most of them had been modernized and adapted for the current day. Euphemianismm was a different thing altogether, and Tsaoir and the others generally had a neutral stance on it. They didn’t practice it - it wouldn’t make sense for a nation unrelated to Euphemie to follow it, anyway - but they did have to admit it was interesting in a certain, foreign way. After all, in Kael, there were many revered men and women… But not ones that were looked up to as gods. Or as the incarnation of god.

The avenue transitioned from asphalt to smoothened quartzite brick, the motorcade approaching a grand structure that towered above the group of vehicles. It was an arch of limestone and cobblestone composite, grandiose murals on the sides depicting patriotic portrayals of Euphemian soldiers — fighting on the shores of Gallia and Fuxia in ancient wars long predating the Calamity itself.
This triumphal arch seemed a tribute — not only to the men and women who'd fought and died for the armed services, but to all citizens of the Federal States, patriots by blood. The sight left the Secretary of State in an almost solemn silence for a brief moment, before he cleared his throat and nodded. "..this is the Arch of the Republic, dedicated to the Armed Forces and all citizens of the Federal States. It was commissioned to emulate a similar Gallian design, albeit much larger."

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Arch of the Republic.


As they neared the triumphal arch further, the words 'PEACE IS OUR PROFESSION' welcoming them as they passed it by. Almost in sync with their passing through of the structure, a flight of F/A-130 Chiangshi aircraft soared past, symbolizing the close vigilance by which the capital was guarded.

It also symbolized where Euphemie was compared to Kael. They had their own program that was supposed to produce a fighter comparable to the Chiangshi in terms of capability. However, it was noticeably less successful than the Chiangshi program. Where the Chiangshi had went on to become a successful fighter, the Specter was grounded completely at the time of the visit, because of the many technical problems with it. Perhaps, a potential partnership with the FSE would result in the development of the struggling project being saved by allied help and investment.

The road ahead was flanked largely by cherry trees, which beautifully complemented the orange and pink hues scattered about the sky with the morning sun ascendant to the east. "Ahead of us is the tomb of President Neworder, perhaps one of the greatest men to live in the past century. It was he who forged the more perfect union we live in today." noted the Secretary of State.

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Here rests the forefather of modern Euphemie.


Proudly standing at the end of the avenue was Neworder's Mausoleum, which seemed to have about it the most pilgrims, carrying about flags and praying in the presence of the grand structure. Some brought their copies of the Euphemian sacred texts: the Constitution, to read at the steps of the holy site. Indeed, it was a place for many to remember a man who not only defeated the global menace that was Tangaliro, but unified Euphemie with its western brethren, Oesterra, securing a more perfect union and affirming Euphemie's role on the global stage. For many the memory of the Aspect of God's peaceful passing was a solemn one, and a real one above all. He was a man who garnered the respect and adoration of not only Euphemianists, but Atomicists and Consumerists alike — the former for his responsible handling of the Atom, the latter for his vast wealth. Regardless of faith, race, or creed, Neworder was a man who seemed to command respect from almost every Euphemian kneeling before the grand mausoleum's steps.

The mausoleum was one that Tsaoir recognized immediately. She wasn’t a follower of any of the local religions but the Transatlantic War was something that even neutral nations who hadn’t been involved were quite familiar with the effects of the conflict on the rest of the world. Seeing the mausoleum of one of the men who had been the most involved in ensuring that the war turned out the way it did was… Somewhat surreal. Especially as the Euphemian victory had also guaranteed that Kael wouldn’t be pulled into a conflict on Ophir.

Adjacent to the grand mausoleum was a memorial dedicated to the tens of thousands of men and women who'd given their lives in the name of the Federal States. It was situated across a vast reflecting pool complete with fountains, ornately decorated at its sides by beautiful cherry trees. As they passed the memorial, gaining a view of its steps, they were greeted by a grand statue within the chamber, depicting a soldier, a marine, a pilot and a sailor — all standing victorious atop the shattered remains of a Tangaliroan dragon. Indeed, the Fox had overcome the Dragon three decades ago. At the base of the pedestal were inscribed the words 'THEY TOILED THAT WE MAY DREAM', poetically symbolic of the patriotic men and women who'd given their lives in the name of the Federal States during the war.

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A memorial to the men and women who perished in the Transatlantic War.


"Many Euphemians died in the terrible tribulations of the Transatlantic War. This memorial is dedicated to them... it's said many of the stones used to make it were laid by President Neworder himself." noted Whitbender.

“Your former leader is one that’s well respected in Kael. I’m sure we would’ve had our own conflict with the far east had the result in the Transatlantic War been different,” remarked Tsaoir.

"Indeed." Nodded the Secretary of State. Symmetrically opposite to Neworder's mausoleum, just past the Transatlantic War memorial was that of an almost equally great man, Alexander Strickland — Neworder's successor. "Strickland. He'd continued his predecessor's policies and maintained Euphemie's dominance on the world stage, but on new century's eve, an assassin took his life. Defiantly his towering mausoleum stands against any who would do our nation harm."

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Strickland's tomb.


Towering above the other mausoleums was Strickland's own, its almost modernist touch to the structure depicting the utopian, almost futuristic view of Euphemie's prosperity after the war — something Strickland himself would've surely wished for the Federal States, too. As they passed it, a flight of Hierofalcons soared past, indicating furthermore just how protected the capital was from threats both internal and external.

They passed a smaller triumphal gate, indicating entry into another part of the Valley of Presidents. The words, seemingly a quote by Strickland, given his name was inscribed on the bottom right of it:

THERE ARE SOME WHO'VE FORGOTTEN WHY WE HAVE A MILITARY. IT IS NOT TO PROMOTE WAR, BUT TO BE PREPARED FOR PEACE.


Greeting them on a roundabout was a rather simple statue of much more primitive soldiers — perhaps almost a half-millennia past. "Of course, we do not forget our ancient veterans. This monument is dedicated to the men who fought and died in the First Alvimian-Euphemian War."

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Let our friends and those who may wish us ill take note...


They were seemingly entering a more governmental quarter, passing the outer reaches of the Valley. Various tall structures greeted them, their architecture an interesting matter to behold. Indeed, it was a sight to be taken aback by — towering at 176.6 metres (to the date of Euphemian independence) was the National Defense Pyramid, a great black structure tipped by a grand lamp chamber that cast a beam of pure light skyward into the heavens. It was truly symbolic of Euphemian achievement, housing the inner neurons of the Federal States' military and defense apparatus.

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The National Defense Pyramid.


"The National Defense Pyramid. Heart of our nation's military. It's among the Great Pyramids of Euphemie... there are three more." Whitbender looked on at the beam glimmering upward, as if to admire it.

“You do know how to build things around here, that’s for sure,” Tsaoir said with a chuckle, looking up at the light which was headed into the sky. She had the feeling that the Kaelic military would have constructed something like this… If they had been granted the funding and if they had the engineers to make it possible.

The next pyramid to greet them, past an almost crystalline-clear canal that glimmered in the morning's light, was a much more ominous one. Not as tall as the National Defense Pyramid, it compensated for its lack of flashy lights and grand skyward beams in its foreboding figure.

The SECSTATE took note of this, looking to the structure as they passed it by, being shadowed by its figure as they drove adjacent to the pyramid. "CBI headquarters. One of the nerve centers of Euphemie's intelligence community."

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The cold heart of Euphemie's intelligence community.


These types of buildings weren’t as unfamiliar for the delegation from Kael, which had been around the intelligence community quite a lot by now, with McAllen being from the Capital Guard - the organization which was responsible for operating the intelligence agencies of Kael, and Tsaoir herself having spent significant time around the organization. However, the pyramids here were obviously flashier than the rather plain but still, interestingly enough, neoclassical buildings of the Capital Guard HQ.

They were getting closer to Collis Palatium, though there were two more pyramids yet for them to behold on the way there. The next one did eventually come, differing greatly in structure to the previous two. The Internal Security Bureau building was far more cubicle, perhaps even vaguely neobrutalist in comparison to the other vaguely postmodern pyramid-structures.

The Internal Security Bureau were the Federal States' prime form of investigating and handling crime and conducting counterterrorism, many agents lurking outside the building presumably on-duty due to the motorcade, their signature blue jacket uniforms instantly recognizeable, especially moreso if one had watched a few crime thrillers.

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ISB Headquarters.


It was unmistakeable, to which Whitbender needed not even utter a word as they passed it by.

The agents were recognizable to Tsaoir and her group also, partly because of her own country’s primary intelligence service - the KIB, which was known for its green jackets rather than blue jackets. Still, the Euphemian agents looked familiar enough. It was a bit strange seeing them in person rather than in some show that had been imported and broadcast on Kaelic networks.

Past a rather lengthy stretch of avenue flanked at both sides by towering wawona trees, they were greeted by the final pyramid on the way to Collis Palatium: the headquarters of the Presidential Order of Patriotism. The mysterious paramilitary organization answered only to the President of the Federal States himself, and were involved in situations where it was otherwise unscrupulous for the Bureau or special forces. Their Action Branch was much akin to a foreign legion of sorts to the Federal States, welcoming any and all who could take the oath and pledge their life to the President — after a plethora of background checks, of course.

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Home of the Presidential Order.


Standing guard outside the Pyramid were men and women of every race, color, and creed — ever-indicative of the Presidential Order's diversity.

Tsaoir supposed it reminded her of the Capital Guard, the organization that she herself had worked with for a time and that her top adviser and confidant was from, but the Presidential Order took a less open role and was more shrouded in society than the Kaelic Capital Guard was - the latter didn’t shy away from acknowledging its role as kingmaker.

Finally they were on approach, Collis Palatium within view, situated directly opposite to the Capitol Building. The motorcade gradually slowed down as they approached the building, little more than a grand palace befitting the borderline divine role of President of the Federal States. True to its name, it was situated on a slight hill that gave them a direct view of the Capitol Building situated directly opposite to them with perfect symmetry.

The fence of the palace was made of solid gold, two secret service officers granting them access past the security kiosks. Situated opposite to the palace itself was a statue upon a fountain, depicting a nude woman representing the 'Nine-Tailed Fox' of Euphemian myth comprised of pure 18 karat diamond, holding a sword upward into the air representative of Euphemie's revolutionary secession from the Victorian Empire. Flanking this beautiful nude statues were depictions of cherubs, equally ornate and covered in diamonds as they held up depictions of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution respectively.

Towering above the palace was the flag of the Federal States, flying gracefully in the wind as the morningsun rose behind it. Collis Palatium was positioned so that the sun rose directly behind it, symbolizing Euphemie being the true land upon which the sun never set.

"Welcome to Collis Palatium." The doors were opened for them by Secret Service agents, Whitbender stepping out upon the meticulously-cleaned walkway of pure marble that led forth into the building. Towering atop a pedestal was a limestone statue of President Neworder, clasping in his hands a depiction of the Atom — symbolizing furthermore Euphemie's triumph in the second nuclear holocaust to plague Tsion, along with his mastery in 'kicking Tangaliroan ass'.

“It’s been an interesting ride so far. I’m sure the inside of this place will be just as impressive as what we’ve seen so far,” Tsaoir said, stepping out along with McAllen and looking to the steps of the building, her eyes traveling up to the pedestal.

Walking forth with the secret service detail as security, they were graced by a sight to behold as they entered the first grand chamber of the palace. Paintings across the ceiling depicted scenes of Presidential elections, wars, nuclear hellfire, the great Torch City metropolis, and various scenes depicting Euphemian history. The room was designed with acoustics in mind as well, ancient pre-Calamity Euphemian music playing from the variety of 14 karat gold synthesizers and automated instruments arranged about corners of the room. The way to the Presidential Office was straight ahead, down this grand chamber flanked by marble busts of every Euphemian president to date, the Rapture columns separating each marble bust decorated by the figures of Euphemian soldiers, more nude statues, and various paintings along the walls. One such painting situated directly at the chamber's end, depicted President Neworder bearing Angelic wings as he slayed the final leader of Tangaliro, Clayton, portrayed in a metaphorically and almost stereotypically demonic form. Nearing the multi-chamber that would lead into the Presidential Office, the diplomatic entourage could see at both sides two statues depicting holy Euphemian pasttimes — to their left, a depiction of the holy sport of Gridiron, diamond-covered football in one of the marble statues' hands... and to their right a depiction of the sacred process of voting. The cornerstones of Euphemian culture, truly.

Tsaoir looked through the different sights and listened to the sounds silently. There was something of a cultural difference here, the Kaels were proud of their culture but they had a way of showing it off that was… Different. They tended to be a bit more subtle, and while wealth was important, at its core, their boasting was often more about power, political or otherwise, than it was about great accomplishments or great wealth. Still, she had to admit it was quite impressive.

In the multichamber, where various other rooms and corridors pertaining to Collis Palatium met, lay the grand ornate door to the Presidential Office, glittering with diamonds and solid gold. Inscribed upon the doors in small etched text was the Constitution, and along the doorframe were etched the first few hundred lines of code comprising President Langdon's fabled grand stash of cryptocurrency.

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The Presidential Office.


Whitbender paused then, allowing their security detail to open the doors — and there they were graced by the surprisingly simple confines of the Presidential Office. Yet upon his leather chair the President was akin to a deity, especially to the Euphemian people. Flanking him at both sides were marble statues of Neworder and Lazarus, perhaps the man's own favorite Presidents.

"Ah, I see you've all arrived. Hope the trip was all right." POTFS 104 Dean Accounts-Receivable Credit Dollar Enterprise J. Camden rose from his chair to greet the new visitors, evidently pleased at their timely arrival. He was as most men in his post were — middle-aged war veterans — though his aura seemed to command respect from his subordinates. The President was quick to shake Whitbender's hand, before offering a hand to his new guests.

“There was quite a lot to see on the way over,” nodded Tsaoir, shaking Camden’s hand and bowing slightly. McAllen did the same - and there was a bit of a contrast between both of the Kaelic representatives in their demeanor and attire, Tsaoir looking and acting like the more casual one and wearing a plain shirt and skirt, while McAllen was in military uniform and moved and acted accordingly.

Seating himself opposite to Whitbender, President Camden was quick to pour the group four glasses of Augustan whiskey, situating the glasses in accordance with the seating arrangement. "Please, have a seat." He heartily offered — but it seemed he was already inclined on talking business, given his almost anticipatory posture.

The group sat down, and Tsaoir drank from the whiskey immediately while her partner from the Capital Guard took the glass but didn’t quite drink much. It was still too early in the negotiations for that, and as expected, McAllen was the more cautious one in that regard. “It’s nice to sit down with another leader that has proper taste in… Refreshments,” Tsaoir stated.

"Of course," Camden reclined back, chuckling as he took a sip of whiskey. "The Federal States of Euphemie and the Federation of Kael have an auspicious favor, given my Administration's unending aspiration that the nations of this great continent we call Ophir. I'm no faithful man, believe it or not— but I do believe a divine force set this continent aside for people of every race, religion, calling and creed to fulfill their dreams... and so we're all here today. I've had a dossier prepared for today to personally assess mutually-beneficial negotiations between our two states, and I'm certain it can be of significant, mutual benefit to both the Federal States and the Federation of Kael." It was almost fascinating that the President, the peak of the religious hierarchy of the Federal States, wasn't very religious himself. Maybe that came naturally from being what society equated to being 'close to God'.

“We’ve already done some of our own research and have some ideas about where this deal might take both countries, if it’s made,” said McAllen. Both he and Tsaoir had looked after pages and pages of raw data, as well as reports from various diplomats within Kael, each one suggesting different things to push for or to be wary of in negotiations. “But as the visitors, we’ll wait and see what you would like to offer before going into our own plans.”

"Of course. Whitbender," He glanced over to the Secretary of State, who produced an avila folder from his suit and set it down on the table, opening it. Within the folder was a document seeming to outline Euphemian diplomatic goals with the Federation of Kael.

"The Tradewinds Initiative," began the Secretary of State. "In it are outlined proposals and their benefits, I'll allow you to review them accordingly."

Tsaoir took the folder first, looking it over. Some of it was what they had expected, other parts were more unexpected, but overall, it looked acceptable to her. She passed it over to McAllen, who also took a look, before offering some opinions. “I think that the trade opportunities listed here look good - particularly in the fields of IT and aerospace. I’m sure you’ve realized by now that Kael is moving to a high tech economy, one which could work alongside the FSE’s,” he stated, moving on to one of the other sections. “And while I don’t think Kael itself is in much danger of a war in the coming years… I could see various ways which a partnership in defense would be useful. For both countries, rather than just the one that would be under Euphemian protection. You may or may not know this but our soldiers are, for lack of a better term, itching to do something in the world rather than sitting around and waiting for the next civil conflict, or for some deterioration with Hesperia or Floriana. We believe that based on our current standing in the world, this goal of doing something would be better accomplished alongside… Allies rather than by ourselves.”

"Certainly," Camden took another sip of whiskey, speaking up in the SECSTATE's stead. Setting the glass down, he chimed in. "Euphemie stands at a crossroads upon which her future — her destiny, even — lies. In this day and age, we require friends and allies: equals together with which we will tread forth into a brave new future. I see in your nation not numerical profit margins as the Sinicans do, or bulwarks against enemy influence as the North Ophirics do. I see in our bilateral relationship, rather, a benefit for both our nations. I am well aware of the Federation's own military aspirations, and I can't help but agree with you. The Federal States needs strategic partners in the southern hemisphere, now more than ever. We've all seen the news of what's going on down there: war, genocide.. if we are to prosper, we must look outwardly upon Ophir and process the weight of the situation. South Ophir is a powder keg... and at any moment, the Velezians, the Florians, the Canguarians, the Alvimians — stand ever-closer to setting it off. This great continent was largely spared the horrors of the Calamity and the Transatlantic War, yes, and I do believe a responsibility exists between both our nations, for our interests and the interests of millions of innocent lives across the continent, to prevent an 'Ophiric Calamity'. Now, this might sound wildly exaggerated, of course... but that is a worst-case scenario given the nuclear... pursuit of the Duchy of Canguari, along with Velezia's own nuclear predisposition..."

Camden took a well-timed pause to finish off his glass of whiskey. "But this is not to say that I merely perceive your nation to be a 'strategic partner'. To leave it at that would be simple-minded — where the Sinicans stop their naive rhetoric I begin my own. I intend to, by all means, act in the benefit of both our nations — I am more than aware of your nation's technological aspirations. Euphemie's involvement with military research and development and joint military projects with its allies and friends abroad have been more than fruitful, be it Zachod, Fuxia or North Ophir. We would also be willing to... act in your Federation's benefit in the southern hemisphere. I'm more than informed on the current state of affairs regarding Floriana. Of course, hearing can be worth much more than knowing... so I'm all ears about what you want from us — because the Federal States of Euphemie has plenty to offer its Ophiric friends in turn for mutually-beneficial negotiations."

“Personally I don’t think the next flashpoint is going to come from Velezia or Canguari but from Floriana - and I say this as someone that’s fought on the ground in the Zone for years. I’ve been around all of the countries there although I have to admit I’m slightly biased on the issue. My clan’s private military company was formerly the primary one working with the Canguarian government. I could say that it was a home to me for some time, but that also means I have a decent feel for the politics of the area and I think I know a bit more about the current situation than someone that might have just showed up for a year or two as a mercenary or an envoy without really staying and getting a feel for the area itself,” said Tsaoir, sitting back and lowering her glass. “The fact of the matter is that the event that may have escalated things most recently, the nuclear attack, seemingly only happened in the first place because Floriana overstepped the normal boundaries of a low intensity conflict such as the one in the Zone and pushed too far. I believe that the nuclear attack was an action taken in self defense by a nation that couldn’t protect itself by traditional means.”

She continued. “Now, it’s no secret that the Federation has supported Canguari to some extent - we’ve sold them one of the more recent editions of the Super Phantasm to help replace some of their aging J-5s. Further deals might be on the table. I believe that our nation may be pulled into things further going forward when you consider that there is a… border tension with Floriana. Our country is surrounded by rivals to an extent, but Floriana is one that boxes us in on two sides - they control one side of the straits to our east, with the other side being controlled by Hesperia, and they hold the islands to our south. Which many in our country and our government consider a problem. That geographical tension because of those islands, it’s existed for a long time. The fact that trade is one of the cornerstones of our country doesn’t aid in that. And at some point, it’s going to boil over, you know? Because they might not like us supporting our ally, especially if some of the deliveries that I mention happen to cut over their own territory. And while our nation is… not the most prepared in the world at the moment, I can say that there will be hell to pay if they respond by closing their part of the strait or attempting to use their geographic position to box us out.”

Camden paused, as if to process her words. Something lingered on him, which had left him solemn for a good few seconds. Gesturing auxiliary staff out of the room to ensure the discreet nature of his next words, he continued once the ornate gold doors had closed once more. "I fought in the Transatlantic War, ma'am. Hundreds of millions perished in atomic hellfire because a nation could not swallow their pride. That is not to say, however, that I do not see eye-to-eye with you on Floriana. Conflict resolution is a noble goal for any nation and their people, and that is the ambition of Euphemie in the southern hemisphere. The first step towards the nuclear disarmament of a state that may be interpreted as rogue ... is the resolution of present conflict. And to that end,"

Evidently the President wouldn't utter words that damning if they were being monitored — not that there was any danger from within the office itself. SECSTATE Whitbender interpreted the President's quick sign language accordingly, continuing in his stead. "Your nation's intentions to create disrupt Floriana's plans would, in fact, be beneficial towards peace in the Zone. It creates an additional degree of pressure that urges the current sides involved to come to the negotiating table. Kael's ambitions towards territorial self-defense work fairly well with the Federal States' ambitions towards peace in the Zone."

“I don’t mean to dismiss your military experience. I simply mean to say that I’ve been in the Zone itself and have direct ties to one of the main factions involved, while having fought with the others. It adds a certain level of familiarity that’s hard to be gained just by reading reports, especially in a rather… Lawless and untamed area where what you see on the internet might not be the truth of the matter. As you’ve said, our goals are goals of peace - of protecting our maritime borders and opening a path to Miramar, while also helping to preserve the independence of Canguari against relentless Florianan aggression,” Tsaoir stated. “I’ve already talked quite a bit with officials from the Imperial Army about the best plan of action in this case, and we’ve come to a simple conclusion. Floriana needs to be brought to its knees within the first week of the war to gain the outcome that we want with the resources that we have, as well as the fractured military which we possess… One which has a number of non state actors pulling it in different directions as well as a navy which isn’t set up for offensive action against Floriana. This could be done in a variety of ways. Personally, I buy into the idea of runway and harbor strikes during the night to cripple Floriana’s chances of counter attacking before they are able to do so. But, going into such a plan without an ally capable of putting on more pressure, of causing the enemy to snap and break before they can muster the strength to punch back, is a risky idea, yes?”

The Secretary of State continued on Camden's behalf. "Of course it is. The President does not speak lightly when he speaks of aggressive action — he has witnessed the weight of bloodshed unimaginable in this modern, civilized age. Euphemie can provide the backing Sinica cannot. What Sinica requires three weeks to fulfill we can fulfill in three days — that is to say, the age-old art of diplomacy paired with the eloquence of naval posturing. Why rely on a second-rate military halfway across Tsion that can hardly grasp the nature of cultures other than their own? The President offers his backing as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces," He said, reading the President's sign language, before continuing. "and I offer my word as Euphemian Secretary of State."

“Then we find ourselves close to an agreement,” Tsaoir said with a smile - or maybe it was a smirk - on her face. Although, the negotiations weren’t over just yet. There was still a thing or two that was yet to come up, something that based on the priorities of the nation of Kael itself, was rather important. “And I assume the FSE will also be willing to take Kael on as a partner in development in this field? I believe another thing that Euphemie may be familiar with is the military industrial complex, and I’m not going to lie and say that it doesn’t affect foreign policy for Kael. Because it does. But really, it’s not necessarily a bad thing… Just something that’s a part of the national culture. And because of it, I’m going to have a hard time going home without some promises to make towards the domestic arms industry that their projects will benefit from this but won’t… Be challenged too much by any changes in foreign policy.”

"I intend not foreign competition of domestic industry," Camden spoke up once more, the subject matter evidently becoming a less sensitive one. "The contrary. While the Sinicans and North Ophirics offer proposals that will serve only to harm the ingenuity and insult the intelligence of your nation's proud military industries, I propose cooperation. It is.. unfortunate that the Sinicans' foreign affairs department cannot comprehend the asymmetrical, ornate nature of Kaelic internal politics. Put simply, the nature of your state has many similarities to our own — something that foreign speculators constantly try and fail to understand in depth." Pausing again, he continued. "—anyways. Military cooperation, big word: our corporations, your corporations... working together on the development and general advancement of Kael's budding field of military development."

“I think the companies back home will be happy to hear that someone isn’t going to come in and flood the market with replacements - of either the cheaper to buy and operate kind, or the ‘too advanced for the competition’ kind. And I think that, with this development, I won’t have to worry about my own life due to the nature of how these things tend to work. Piss off the wrong person, or people, and even the Ceannasai has something to be afraid of,” said Tsaoir. “I believe that, overall, these terms are agreeable. We could have this deal signed tonight if both parties believe that nothing more should be added or changed…”

"Certainly." Camden nodded, smiling as he poured himself another glass' worth of whiskey. "I've always been one to.. get to the point, so to speak. My mere interest is to see what else the Federal States of Euphemie has to offer the Federation of Kael before we get to signatures."

“Mainly things that are close to what we’ve already talked about. The tech sector is an area where Kael can be world class, and I believe that a closer partnership here would both benefit Kael and benefit Euphemian companies who choose to work with our nation. And of course, the advancement of technology is something which helps the entire world. Technology is also one of the main obstacles in the military field for the development of our fourteenth generation fighter, the Specter, which is plagued with problems relating to the avionics as well as the engines. I don’t know how interested Euphemie would be in the Specter project, but involvement in it is something on the table. I know it’d win me a hell of a lot of points back home to get things moving more than they have been, with that project. There’s a chance for investments to happen across borders, additionally, going back to what I said about technology and the tech industry growing out of Daernel, but it doesn’t just extend to technology. We have a number of growing fields including airlines, which should see skyrocketing profits if more routes with the FSE and with the far east are established, and in the field of defense, I believe Kael has one of the most unique systems in that there can be little distinction between ‘official’ soldiers and mercenary ones. I’m not saying that the FSE might want to invest in this field for things that it doesn’t want to jump into with full force, but I am saying not many countries are able to offer… Services as professional as our own in that area,” Tsaoir continued, offering a shrug.

"I'm certain that can be worked out. The involvement of big names like Lockreed-Eden, McLellan-Kuron, Federal Atomics... all surefire ways to remind concerned investors of the age-old phrase, 'the show must go on', and reestablish confidence in the project after the last incident. Which contractors are sought for partnership on these projects are entirely up to Kaelic companies, of course. It was exactly what I had in mind when I considered the matter of military cooperation in the field of development." Camden relaxed, taking another sip of whiskey as his attention returned to the document on the table. "Then I've got no issues with this deal. I'm sure it can be signed by tonight. To Ophiric prosperity," Raising his glass, he offered his Kaelic counterparts a toast, the Secretary of State promptly raising his glass as well.

Tsaoir and McAllen both raised their glasses. The deal was done, with both sides unanimously agreeing that it was good. And both Tsaoir and McAllen felt that this arrangement could boost their own political power, which interestingly enough, wasn’t something that they aimed to do out of selfishness. No, they aimed to establish themselves in a way that others in the top positions in Kael hadn’t managed to do in… Many years. Foreign help was one way of bringing stability to the nation, and stability was also something that had been lacking as well as a strong leader. If no one else was going to chase after that help… Tsaoir was glad to be the one to do so, and to secure them help that might just see the end of a border conflict that had lasted for at least a hundred years, as well as their advancement into the future.

Yes, this was a pretty decent way to establish her reign. Even if it wouldn’t win the ‘deep state candidate’ any favors with her rivals not in the corporate realm, but in the political one.

As for Camden and Whitbender, it was further demonstration to their own affinities towards international diplomacy — both of the gentlemen were dealmakers at heart, and sought not to exploit their neighbors and trade partners as assets in some game of dominoes, but pursue bilateral relations as equals. Yet for Camden, the sheer elegance and brilliance of his Secretary of State's proposal was impressive — he couldn't help but fancy the man a potential political ally beyond his role as Secretary of State.
Last edited by Valefontaine on Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Too many old nations to count. NS user since 2013.
"War is the continuation of politics by other means."

only difference between a negotiation and a battle are the rules of engagement
both are fundamentally based on maneuver
put that in your quote book
-The Enclave Government
-Carl von Clausewitz

User avatar
Turmenista
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5718
Founded: Apr 09, 2014
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Turmenista » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:29 pm

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S1E1 Another Story
"Road Trip"




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Turmenista has found itself in the middle of a dangerous predicament: The "capital" of the island state, Neo-Arcadia, has become a racial battleground the likes of which have never been seen before in Euphemie, pitting black against white, Euphemian against Euphemian, and neighbor against neighbor, all while the racist Turmenista National Republican Party, led by governor Kenny "Ken" Whitewoods Garden Piano-Man O'Donnell Degrassi, live posh lives far away from the increasing racial tensions in their own backyard. Increasingly separated from the rest of mainland Euphemie, the Federal government has debated for months now on whether or not to intervene in Turmensita, though no results have come out as of yet. In their folly, a new third party was allowed to rise up in Turmenista, right under their noses.




DATE: 2000 hrs. - August 1, A.C. 423 | INDIVIDUAL REPORT: Special Agent Bauhaus P. Floyd; Bureau of Lasers and Firearms | LOCATION: Serondequot, Torch City, Euphemie




Right now, BLF Special Agent Bauhaus P. Floyd was feeling a little helpless.

He felt helpless because his native Turmenista had become the metaphorical breeding grounds for a myriad of crime syndicates and quasi-political organizations that only exacerbated the already dire situation in the island archipelago. Open fighting between the native Turmenistan "witch magic lizard cults", Sinican triads, Hesslerist paramilitaries, Kirocentrist political groups, and Turmenistan government itself were as common as a simple mugging in the more decadent and crime-ridden areas of Torch City, meaning his visits to Arcadia for the occasional bust had to be short...lest the locals get jumpy about the "Feds" in their backyard. Hesslerist groups like the Nelson Mafia and Knights of the Southern Cross were the most involved in this open warfare, fighting their so-called "arch nemesis" group, the Pan-Kiric Weather Overground, an evolution of a student-led political party with ties to overseas groups like the Tayari Action Front, apparently a terrorist group of similar interests in Avalon.

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A typical Bureau man.


To make matters even worse for his work, the rise of these groups in Turmenista also brought about the rise in prominence of an unconventional superpower from South Ophir everyone thought would've been defeated by now by the Silva Regime: the La Zona cartel. Having outgrown their antics in South Ophir, the cartel had become the facilitators of a "triangle trade" network in the Atlantic, moving drugs, arms, and people between Mederum, Kir, and Ophir. Due to its location, Turmenista had, unfortunately, become the nexus of this trade—and, to make matters even more worse, Kaelic and Hesperian guns had been found in these shipments to Turmenista, bound for groups like the Nelson Mafia...meaning that there was, undoubtedly, foreign interference in this impending conflict.

Right around the time of the election, too. Special Agent Bauhaus could only sigh at that realization, faced with the very real possibility of Euphemie's so-called "allies" sponsoring an impending race war. The government had to make a choice on whether or not they would stomp out this sort of trade for good and confront Kael and Hesperia, or risk losing two crucial geopolitical allies in West Ophir.

To combat the epidemic in the meantime, the government had approved of the creation of a task force between three Euphemian government agencies: the Bureau of Lasers and Firearms, the Internal Security Bureau, and the Federal States Marshal Service, comprised of some of the best and most loyal agents, officers, and troopers each had to offer. Floyd was one of them, selected for his intuitive skills and experience in the field...as well as the fact that he had been involved in several of these cases in the past. They were due to meet at the brutalist ISB pyramid, one of the central organs of the Euphemian intelligence community...and one of the most imposing buildings in all of Serondequot. For obvious reasons, most of the other passengers on the bus were government workers...and pretty enigmatic ones, at that, all of whom scatted out to their respective buildings during their stops.

Outside of the building, he was met with a young-ish man standing underneath an awning to cover himself from the rain. He was wearing a jacket, hands in his pocket, then discarded his cigarette upon seeing Bauhaus. "It's you."

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Special Agent Biron Crystal-Castles "C.C." Badalamenti of the Internal Security Bureau.


"Agent Biron. I hear they call you "C.C." in the ISB. I'm Special Agent Bauhaus P. Floyd of the Bureau. That is, the Bureau of Lasers and Firearms." Bauhaus held out his hand to shake the ISB spook's after a light chuckle, but the man simply turned away, unceremoniously flicking his cigarette away and stepping on it. "I know which Bureau." Biron said in a half whispering, hushed voice. It was at that moment that Bauhaus noticed the man's accent...Victorian... Torch City—rather, Euphemie itself, truly was a melting pot of a country.

The two men entered the building without wasting any more precious time. They were met with a brutalist architectural masterpiece in the interior that gave it a larger-than-life, yet seemingly hollow presence on the inside, but they had little reason to remain in here for long. Biron guided the BLF agent to the elevators, where they took a lift up to the offices of the ISB Headquarters, walking past cubicles, secluded offices, and suit-wearing men and women moving to and from their workstations. At the end of the hallway, they saw their room—a secure. code-locked frosted door that led into a similarly-covered conference room that overlooked the city. It was covered in electric switchable glass that had adjustable opacity, allowing it to change from a clear, translucent screen to a frosted appearance with a flick of the switch, while also allowing light to pass through from both sides. In a way, it made for a perfect, secure meeting area, but the ubiquity of cameras in the building and fact that everyone people essentially knew why they were here meant that their little sense of privacy, if any, was effectively defunct.

When they entered the room, they were met with a long wooden table with multiple chairs on either end along with paper coffee cups and a coffee dispenser, as well as a closed box of donuts in the center of the table. They were also joined by a man sitting at the end of the table, who was partially leaned back in his seat. "Marshal Forsen." Bauhaus gave a friendly greeting to the man whom returned by tipping his hat. The BLF agent offered to pull out the seat for Biron, who simply took his own seat, muttering something under his breath.

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Euphemian Marshal David Phantom-Pain Tell-'Em-Ouriel's-Gonna-Cut-You-Down YSIV CCXVII Forsen.


The Euphemian marshal folded his arms. "Y'all've better got a good reason why I had tuh come all th' way over here from Saintcorpse. I hate this damn city." His voice was deep with a thick Oesterran drawl, his skin and especially his hands rough from years of manual labor under the tough sun. By far the most recognizable things about him had to be his fashionable belt buckle, cowboy hat, and Ourielist cross necklace he wore over his shirt and jacket.

"Just you wait until they tell us to go home until further orders." Biron sniffed and rubbed a finger under his nose, as if he were sniffing cocaine.

"Hell, I'd be mad as fuck for that." Biron chuckled.

The doors immediately closed behind them, clicking shut as the locks were put into place, and the room soon fell into a deathly silence.

"Or, better yet," Biron immediately reached into his pocket for another cigarette and placing it in his mouth, much to Marshal Forsen and Bauhaus's chagrin. "Why are we even having this meeting in the first place, right? The more... economically feasible option is to just invade Turmenista and take out the governor, then deal with the guns and crime and whatnot. Forming some sort of "task force" like this is too costly, too risky.." Emphasizing his point with hand gestures as he finally lit his cigarette and took a puff, he continued. "And, might I add, too boring."

“Gentlemen, please,” Bauhaus said calmly, “If you would. We've been called here because we're among the best of the best in our current agencies. The government believes that deliberating on the Turmenista issue and delaying action is the best plan of action for the future. Well, as we have seen...the Turmenista situation is being manipulated by foreign influence, something we, even in the BLF, never anticipated. We are faced with a multitude of threats to Turmenista and Euphemie in the form of these groups, most notably, the Hesslerist Knights of the Southern Cross that hold Turmenista in an iron grip, and the Nelson Mafia, who have been making deals with the La Zona cartel." He stopped for a moment, standing up from his seat. "To make matters worse, the leftists of Turmenista are, too, being influenced by forces beyond our reach—political groups in Avalon are supporting the Weather Overground..albeit, less blatantly than the Kaelics and Hesperians supplying their weapons, meaning we could have a potential proxy war on our hand soon. I fear that if we do not make action now, Turmenista—and other states in Euphemie—will suffer from this already terrible race war. That is why we are here: called by our agencies to do what our government will not, to alleviate the concerns of this war, and to bring stability to a chaotic state."

Pausing for dramatic effect, he suddenly clasped his hands together. "But, for now, we must plan. In the meantime, gentlemen, I offer you donuts and some damn good coffee."


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