An Evening in Souchon [GO Only, Closed, IC]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
User avatar
Posts: 101
Founded: Sep 27, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

An Evening in Souchon [GO Only, Closed, IC]

Postby Meronnia » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:05 pm

Souchon, SOC
Thursday 25th June, 2020

Any other First Deputy might have gotten tired of so many conferences. For Maximilien Sardou, co-opting Meronnia's foreign affairs was something of a passtime, one shared with Secretary Beaudouin. The Grey Eminence surprised even him sometimes - he hadn't expected it to be so easy to get the Chairman here.

Chairman, Sardou had mused. The Tanayans seemed ever-focused on subversion. Economics, politics, linguistics. Stepping out onto a balcony overseeing the rolling shoreline, Sardou sipped at a wine. Certainly the place was geographically convenient, but that wasn't the only reason the island Commune served as such a popular location for conferences. Good weather, good spirits, good food. A little piece of Meronnia plucked from la Terre Natale and cast under the shining sun. Two living First Deputies had retired here, and a Premier as well. Sardou might have done the same, if he ever planned on stopping.

Sardou checked his watch. He'd been informed that the Chairman had landed a short while ago. She was greeted by the Premier; a formality. She'd be here quite soon indeed, and then the real meeting would begin. While the First Deputy had a good claim to have met more Heads of State and Government than just about anyone, it would be Sardou's first meeting face-to-face with the Tanayan leader, a singularly fascinating individual. She would be firm, he expected. More functional than Carlo - she was in her position on some manner of merit - but by no accounts prey, just a different sort of predator.

Still though, Sardou was confident. His administration had the most healthy relationship with the TSPR in decades, and for good reason. Sardou had read plenty of theory in his University days, and knew the Tanayan constitution quite well. He had a few friends who'd made the trip he once considered. Sardou considered himself to understand the Socialist Peoples' Republic. He would not be dealing with humans, emotional and soft. He would be interfacing with a machine, an engine constructed to forward the international revolution. They can not be halted, perhaps, but they've been shown to act for the long term. All manner of obstacle can be designated acceptable, provided it comes labelled "Temporary".

Sardou was about to review the documents surrounding the secondary purpose of this conference, when a staffer peered out of the door to the balcony and whispered some words. Setting down his wine, Sardou deftly navigated the halls of the small state-owned retreat. He readied himself at the entrance for what, he was certain, would be a memorable conversation.
Last edited by Meronnia on Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 51
Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:46 pm

Souchon, Federal Republic of Meronnia.

It's hard to be a director of a Tanayan institute. Of course there are some collectives that formed strong corporate bonds and solid traditions, staying very much away from politics, but some institutes are more like the forefront of battle. Alexandra Stamboliyskaya was once a director of the latter one. To complement that, hers was the leading economical institute and one of the largest and best-equipped, assembling under itself a whole division of programmers and economists complemented by supercomputers and data centers. That was a political, not a scientific appointment, where one has to deal with councils of all levels, the Assembly of Soviets, the Republican Economic Council and the Central Executive Committee of the AoS.

One could wonder if her master was wiser than he seemed in his later years in that appointment.

It was the first time Chairman had a visit anywhere to the east of the Mid-Inoran Meridian ─ or to the west of Kuvongrad Meridian, for that matter. Chairman-Director of CIME was a domestic occupation, involving a lot of traveling within TSPR but not many foreign visits. In fact, she had precisely seven visits during her eighteen-year tenure. True, when she ascended to become the Chairman of the Presidium, she had to travel much more but she still never had any visits further than Tewah, where she was not long after the Cyclone Yue and then right after Magnostria-2020.

And now here she is, in Souchon, walking to the hall where the negotiations would take place, and all alone. As per tradition, Tanayan trenchcoat-ish formal suit was her attire and her long wavy black hair were held to her back by a black ribbon, tied to resemble a butterfly.

It would be the first time of her dealing with Meronians, though she didn't harbor any prejudices. For her, those were just another people navigating through the murky ocean of the capitalist world, occasionally pretending that they know what has to be done. For her, only Tanayans knew what had to be done. In fact, not even Tanayans knew what had to be done ─ but they had the most educated guesses of what had to be done. Whatever the truth was, the Champion of Detente, comrade Kalafatova, did very and very well during her tenure. This was the first time in years the detente was to be put to the test.

It would be her first time meeting Maximillien Sardou as well. Of course she met a couple of state leaders before, yet this one was a very different beast. From what she knew, he was not another elected mediocrity like, for example, Bonadeo of Produz. He was the one who handled that volatile Parthonopian buffoon in Senone, and that said something to her, for if she had been handling that, Lira would already be ablaze in white flames.

It was time to start, however. She entered the hall.

"Greetings, monsieur First Deputy. I trust our meeting to be fruitful." She extended her right hand, putting her cane into the left.
Last edited by Volga-Dnieper on Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 101
Founded: Sep 27, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Meronnia » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:01 pm

"Indeed, Madame Chairman", Sardou smiled politely as he shook Stamboliyskaya's hand, "I believe there is a great deal of common ground for us to arrive at today." He turned and indicated forward down the hall, decorated finely but with more subtlety than the palaces in the homeland. Walking with the Chairman, careful to match pace with her limp, Sardou approached the door to a private meeting room. As he opened it, he queried, “What do you drink, Madame Chairman?”

“Ah…” Describing what happened in the momentary pause would take a bit longer than that pause lasted.

The question came out unexpectedly. It wasn’t common to dine before the event in Tanaya; on the contrary, a dinner usually followed the event. For her it was usually work before dinner as well ─ or work and dinner, if the REC was involved. Either Kalafatova forgot to tell her about that or she simply forgot or it eluded her mind for a moment.

Then a meeting from way back in 1989 with what was once the 7th Presidium of the AoS, the “ZVENO Presidium”, ─ Cherdenko, Plamenev and Koryagin ─ emerged in her mind. There were those three, her and the incumbent Chairman of the REC, and there she first tasted wine. The answer clicked in her head.

“Red wine. Fortified.”

The First Deputy smiled and nodded, swinging the door open and inducting the Chairman into the meeting room. There was already a table set with a light meal, and Sardou strolled past it to a short cabinet to collect and pour himself and Stamboliyskaya a drink. His fingers danced over several bottles before settling on one labelled Vignoble de l'Homme Mort. A good Merlot; perhaps simple but classic and certainly easy to drink.

Sardou whisked the wine towards the table, and poured a sip’s worth into one of the glasses before them. He sat the bottle down and offered the glass up to the Chairman. Accepting it, she took a sip, paused for a moment and handed the glass back to Sardou, nodding with a slight smile. He grinned, pouring a full glass for the Chairman, and then one for himself.

The First Deputy pulled out the designated chair for the Chairman. Maneuvering around the table, Sardou sat in his own chair. When Stamboliyskaya herself was comfortably seated he raised his glass to her, nodding in a wordless toast.

Chairman nodded and raised her glass as well. The wordless toast was enough for now. They proceeded with the meal in silence.

User avatar
Posts: 51
Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:31 am

It was nothing if not a fine dinner. For an entrée, a Foie Gras pâté, with shallots and figs. The plat principal, a Chateaubriand steak with demi-glace, paired with mushrooms. All, of course, complemented by some of the best wine Meronnia could offer. The two leaders made a few idle comments, but mostly dined in a more-or-less comfortable silence. Moving on to dessert, a small crème brûlée, which in the First Deputy’s case vanished quickly.

Sometime through the dinner Chairman glanced at her wrist watch, worn in a manly fashion. I see. They should already be landing in Fallou. Three reinforced corps and that hound in command… Aiming for an overkill, aren’t we, Lenore?

All the better, though. She would never mind a stronger position for negotiations and in the long run it would be the troops that would matter. Far more important actor, personified in the Plenipotentiary Committee by Nina Andreeva, was in the “dressing room” preparing to come on the stage.

She finished her crème brûlée with a subtle smile on her face.

“Well, I thank you for the meal, monsieur First Deputy.” She said in a good disposition. ”My colleagues who were in Meronia always said you have a fine cuisine but I guess the experience says more than hundreds of words.”

“Quite so, madame chairman. I must admit I am relieved to hear this,” the First Deputy said with some humor in his voice. “I can take no credit for the Foie Gras, but the steak is, I confess, de Sardou.” The TSPR’s analysis of foreign leaders was extensive, but even they might have missed a detail so vague as the First Deputy being the son of an unremarkable chef.

Chairman looked surprised. “De Sardou?” After a brief ─ through which she couldn’t recall if she saw the First Deputy’s skills or ancestry in the files ─ she added, “It was good. I’m not the finest connoisseur around but I have nothing but compliments.”

The First Deputy nodded in thanks. “Merci. I get little practice these days, though I can tell you you will have no more loyal a security guard than one you cook for.” Sardou laughed, and glanced down to a small device he pulled out of a pocket - a pager? “Perhaps, though, I can take your notes another time.” He returned the pager to his pocket, and moved his empty plates aside. “Let us discuss matters of importance first.”

“Indeed.” Chairman moved her plates aside as well. “And let’s not prevaricate about the bush.”

“Right now we have a civil war already starting to rage in earnest in Irpan. The Central Military Council of TPA believes that we’ve reached the tipping point when Moga was liberated two days ago ─ and that means the time is out.” A pause. “For the Irpanese to resolve this peacefully by themselves, at least.”

“It’s good that we assembled here today.” Stamboliyskaya produced a notebook off her inner pocket, did a rough drawing of the compass rose and the country of Irpan, conveniently shaped as a blob, crossed by a line, and turned it to Sardou.

“This right here is the frontline between liberals and socialists. And at this very moment,” she carved out a semi-circular bridgehead to the east, not turning the notebook to herself, “Tanayan forces are landing there, at Fallou, near our carrier station.” Promptly depicted further to the east. “Sections of three corps of TPA, complete with a helicopter regiment and a heavy artillery brigade. Commanded by one bitter and notoriously hawkish Lunder expat, a member of the Presidium. And more are to arrive, given time.”

The notebook disappeared in the internal pocket again. “Right now both Meronia and Tanaya are in position to shape Irpan and the events unfolding at their discretion. In the end, we’re here for this. Tanayan interests are perfectly known…”

She remembered the pile of reports from all the kinds of Tanayan governing structures, institutes, commissariats and councils alike. Proposals, requests, demands. Taken together ─ interests. Tanayan interests.

“… but since we desire to come to an understanding worthy of our detente, we should make things perfectly clear to each other first.”

Chairman leaned forward and glanced above her glasses.

”What are Meronian interests in Irpan?”

The First Deputy, who had been silent through the Chairman’s overview of her position, smiled. He stood up from the chair and stepped over to one of the drawers on the far wall. As he did so, he said, “Before anything else, the moral matter is that the Federal Republic is opposed to the violent deposition of democracy.” Sardou withdrew a fistful of manila folders. As he returned to his seat, he continued, “We have no ideological determination to defeat socialism, but our national spirit is that of the defense of freedom.” He said the line akin to reciting from a prepared speech. Sitting back down at the table, the First Deputy opened the top folder on the table.

“The real answer to your question - Sasuri is one of the largest congregations of Meronnian lives and livelihoods in Meridiq, and recent events have shown they are insufficiently protected.” He withdrew several photographs, showing the very recent terrorist attack on Sasuri’s airport. “Any long-term solution to the question of Irpan must come with allowances for continued Meronnian involvement in the region, particularly in terms of security action in the city of Sasuri.”

“Further,” the First Deputy carried on as he flipped through to some printed charts of Meronnian financial investments within the nation. “Meronnia must remain able to engage economically in the region. And of course,” a map of Irpan with dozens of small patches in several colours was produced, marked with the icon of an eye in the corner, “the extirpation of organized terrorist groups within Irpan - a goal I believe our governments share in principle.”

Leaning back, the First Deputy raised his hands. “Beyond this, Meronnia is nothing if not flexible.”

User avatar
Posts: 51
Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:00 pm

Spare me of all these banalities, please...

Stamboliyskaya looked at the photos of the terrorist attack. Sasuri was of the least concern to her: what role could a little trading outpost of old play in this struggle? Only sparking it ─ but for her, it would not do so again. Similarly, the extermination of the religious terrorists was an important short-term goal but for that she had Irpan Expeditionary Army Military Council. No, both of those were peripheral to her.

The future economy of Irpan, on the other hand, wasn’t peripheral.

“Yes, we share the goal of extermination of those fanatics, as you said; and the faster it is done the better.” Chairman stated matter-of-factly. “After that, however, there will be nothing to threaten Sasuri and that stands for any government that survives the war. Nonetheless, should you desire to fortify the city, you are free to do so ─ but that should be decided with the government in question, not here.”

Indeed. If it would be purely liberal Irpan, then TSPR would not be in position to decide anything other than the mean of its downfall. But she said nothing about the communist Ipran ─ yet.

“We can promise that the new government of Irpan will allow it. We can promise nothing about the extent by which it will be allowed. Should we be in agreement on this, we can proceed to much more… interesting question at hand.” She placed a particular emphasis on “interesting”.

Sardou simply nodded. “Please, go ahead.”

Chairman rapped her fingers in rapid succession and without much ado proceeded on.

“Then, allow me to start with a little observation. Six months have passed and the trading activity around the world is still in decline, no exceptions. Our IWEIR reported a 26% decline and as for me they are very optimistic to think it will be at most 40% by the end of the year.”

A brief.

“But. This recession presents a great opportunity for enterprising economies that weaseled its way around it or skimmed over it. For less developed victims it presents another kind of opportunity, one to restructure their economies with foreign aid on any model of their discretion.

“Of course I exaggerated a bit. In the end, someone has to pay for restructuring and who pays, decides. Right now Meronia and TSPR are probably the only ones eligible to pay. The rest is obvious.

“It is also painfully obvious that with power comes responsibility, pardon me being trite. We should consider the interests of a common Irpanese in our decision. Let me be frank, Irpanese economy right now is a poor excuse for an independent country, a mess of feudal and capitalist modes, spiced with some nomads. No wonder they have this damned terrorist cult on a rampage. Any activity we undertake must strive to bring Irpan on par with other countries should we want troubles to end.”

Another brief. Everything was unveiling smoothly, facts and logic.

“And here is where I have significant doubts in Meronia. Not to offend your… audacity in handling the recession, there are certain things we cannot allow by our socialist values. And some that I myself cannot allow by my economic sense.

“First, this recession showed yet again that speculators are a serious threat wherever they are. Speculative investments and unbridled growth of stock companies will not do well for any economy. Look at the Isthmia, or whatever there is left of it. The Federation only managed to come into being because of some very generous Lykens donations ─ and some extensive restructuring, back to the point mentioned.

“Second, Irpanese economy must not be used as a dumpster for low-tech industries with high labor demand feeding a couple of dozens of compradors at the expense of 60 million Irpanese. Irpan must not be used as a periphery and this is our principal position, as you well know. No further words there.

“Third and last, we cannot trust the security of your investments because your geopolitical situation is highly precarious. We have reports of Parthonopia using Aridite funds to procure heavy weaponry by… unofficial channels as well as employing their newly-acquired military industry for its intended purpose to the fullest extent.” Chairman leaned forward. “I’m sure you understand where I’m going, monsieur First Deputy.”

She leaned a bit back again.

“Apart from that, we do not have any problems with Meronian investments in Irpan. Invest to your heart’s content and be free to do so, for the good of Irpan, Meronia, TSPR and the Detente as a whole. Our conditions are the following: first, all investments in the Irpanese economy are to come only from the governments and whitelisted organizations from the Federal Republic of Meronia and Tanayan Socialist People’s Republic. That white list would be negotiated separately. Second, no other state party is to use our countries as proxies for their investments and interests. Third, there will be no operations via hedge funds, there will be no investments via offshore zones and no speculative operations over real assets will be allowed. Fourth, investments must be balanced across the sectors of the future Irpanese economy with particular attention to building a solid infrastructural, industrial and intellectual foundation.”

“It will be our countries, side by side, united in building a better Irpan for the better of the Irpanese. What do you make of this, monsieur First Deputy?”

Sardou, who had silently and intently absorbed the Chairman’s words remained quiet for a moment, before smiling. “I would expect nothing less. Let it be so, madame Chairman.”

User avatar
Posts: 101
Founded: Sep 27, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Meronnia » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:11 pm

In shaking hands with the Chairman, something of a gentleman’s agreement was forged on the future of the Irpanese economy. Now, all that was left was to establish a viable political construct, and Tanaya and Meronnia would have a united front to present to violence and terrorism in the nation. Chairman Stamboliyskaya had directed much of the discussion, which Sardou was perfectly happy to allow. Now, he intercepted.

The First Deputy probed, “With the economic matter squared away, the last point of significance to come to an arrangement on is a governing structure that avoids violating either of our states’ guiding principles.” Continuing, he laid out some of Meronnia’s position. “It is of course fundamental that no political division of Irpan into competing states takes place, such a carving up of spheres of influence would be an egregious display of imperialism which I am certain we both agree should be avoided. Is that assumption correct, Madame Chairman?”

Stamboliyskaya nodded. “Certainly correct, monsieur First Deputy. Yet the question is how to reconcile tendencies that are normally in opposition and that have already exchanged some serious gunfire.”

The First Deputy shrugged. “If there is one thing I learned leading a minority government, it was the art of compromise. This is an art that might be new to the tribalistic tradition of Irpan, but I imagine they will learn it nonetheless when presented with the united front of the international community.”

“And I’m sure you’d agree again, Madame Chairman,” Sardou leaned in slightly as he spoke, “on an ideological level there is no fundamental conflict between the socialization of an economy and the democratization of a government. Meronnia’s ideological drive is for the will of the Irpanese people to be represented in their governance, and that includes the socialists as well.”

Back into his chair, Sardou carried on. “A compromise government.” The words hung in the air for a moment. “Led by a committee of politicians from both sides. Oversight by Tanaya and Meronnia can ensure they work smoothly together, and aid and development spending can be directed towards building up Irpan as an equal member of the international community so that, when it is economically and politically ready, it may transition out of temporary committees into a system of government determined - peaceably - by the people of Irpan.”

Sardou handed over one of his folders, which contained a full proposal for a structure of a provisional compromise government. Reading through, the Chairman would find it heavy on cooperative details, and light on discussing an eventual transition to a new permanent system - leaving both governments able to make whatever assumptions are convenient as to the future position of an economically and politically developed Irpan.

“Assuming such a structure is acceptable,” Sardou started to round out his pitch as the Chairman flipped through the pages of the folder, “I believe the annihilation of theocrato-fascist terrorist armed forces in Irpan should serve as the perfect cradle for encouraging collaboration between the forces north and south of the current front lines.”

Chairman flipped through the folder. She reached the end of the folder, closed it and leaned back.

Pressuring ISSR for compliance would give Irpan City time and opportunity to react and to further their control on Irpan. Labour movement would be distracted, disoriented, disorganized and demoralized and more revolutionary elements would simply decry her as a traitor. As such, by agreeing to the idea of the compromise government she would commit an act of treason, no less.

She started flipping through the folder again. She needed an anchor, some fine exploit she could use ─ or claim to be using ─ to justify this abrupt breaking of the revolutionary process. An explanation to Wohlgenannt who was, without a doubt, ready to charge on the Irpan City all the way from Fallou in a manner resembling bold marches of Rayevsky in wars against Lykensburg Empire.

Then ─ a realization. And a bright idea.

“This is acceptable.” She noted. “We should also establish a board to coordinate operations against that cult. And I say we should have a reasonable freedom in means by which we bring the opposing sides to negotiation.”

Sardou smiled. He expected the Chairman intended to make full use of so-called reasonable freedom in her means. Nevertheless, “But of course, Madame Chairman. And we will see to it that such a board is established.”

Shuffling through the documents in front of him, the First Deputy noted, “That, I believe, is a satisfactory settlement on Irpan. It has been a pleasure to work with you on this exercise of détente.” A brief pause, and Sardou produced another folder, stamped with half a dozen seals of confidentiality. “While we are already meeting and in such good spirits, Madame Chairman, I thought it an efficient use of our time and travel to discuss a secondary matter.”

User avatar
Posts: 51
Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:14 pm

Chairman nodded. There were several other questions to talk about apart from the one of Irpan — and not just from the Meronian side.

"Very well, since I am here, maybe I can be of help." She leaned forward. "Don't expect too much if it's not from my domain, though."

The First Deputy wordlessly handed over the folder. Inside was in-depth analysis of Tanayan military equipment, extracts from assessments from what seemed to be the Meronnian armed forces, as well as intelligence agencies. Perhaps even more significant, there were provisional documents for the large-scale purchase of such equipment. Firearms, fighter jets, most prominently artillery. The scale of the proposed purchases was enormous.

“We’ve seen the results of the talented military engineers in Tanaya, Madame Chairman. Most recently I believe in the Malstrecigano Isthmus when those Cyclone batteries were… rediscovered in Bonporton. And of course soon enough in Irpan as well. The people who know much better than I,” he said as he briefly indicated towards the assessments, “have liked what they have seen very much.”

Surprised, Stamboliyskaya started examining the contents of the folder with great care.

Her 18-year tenure in the REC was marked by several exploits. One relevant this time was a successful campaign of the REC, IATE and COMEDU, one of the least likely coalitions around. They were united in pursuing reform of the education of engineers around ideas of the IATE and the entire campaign was centered around the works of Ivan Varshavskiy, Director of the IATE, particularly around his work A New Approach To Inventive Problem Solving. Against them lied the commonality and conformity of millions of engineers and thousands of development bureaus.

And now she was seeing the fruits of the hopeless fight of brave thousands against the conformity and commonality of millions. Ivan Varshavskiy, you’re vindicated.

She flipped the last of the assessment, one of the most comprehensive ones, covering even the latest generation of Tanayan military equipment. Most pleasing to know that her efforts were appreciated ─ even if those weren’t necessarily hers, she thought she could assume some credit as the former Chairman of the REC.

Then she encountered the purchase proposals and flipped them, at first slowly but then faster and faster. Closing the folder, she didn’t start right after that. Instead, she made a quick calculation in her head first.

“Amazing…” She uttered, looked at Sardou above glasses, then started. “You certainly don’t cease to impress me. I know that the Parthonopian Legion is the largest in the world but I’d never guess Meronian stockpiles are this low on weaponry.”

She flipped through the proposals again.

“I am not even sure what to make of this. The volume is four times of our entire Irpan Expeditionary Army, with its 80 frontline battalions. You can equip a whole army group with this. And it is a good sixth of our entire equipment reserve too! I absolutely do not believe the Meronian military industry has been… unable to catch up with Parthonopia in seven years ─ seven years,” she leaned forward and tapped her index finger on the table twice, “that it had since Carlo laid his claims.”

Sardou sensed the Chairman was not finished and so did not interrupt, though he had much to say on the matter of Meronnia’s unpreparedness and reliance on others to act in the recent past. Not any longer, he mused.

Stamboliyskaya was lenient to the Meronian military industry in her words ─ although going harder would simply be unjustified. Maybe in the depths of her subconsciousness she knew it well. So she continued in a usual composed manner.

“In any case, don’t misunderstand me.” She leaned back. “We are ready to sell even this much. And rest assured it will be in a pristine condition, as if it was fresh from the factory. But, a purchase like this usually has a price more than what money can pay.”

Although many of her thoughts were in Irpan, she didn't lose the grasp on the main direction of Tanayan foreign policy. And so she decided it may be a good time to discuss one particular matter.

“Incidentally, I have a thing of my own to discuss with you, Monsieur First Deputy, one that is painfully relevant to us in Plamen, TSPR.” Then she dropped a little hint. “And to our friends in the Air Base Skvortsov, Sepura.”

The First Deputy made a slight, curious tilt of his head to the side, before wordlessly nodding the Chairman on.

“I’m talking about Yashnagar, of course.” Chairman continued. “Day after day, this situation in SE Nori is becoming closer and closer to war and I will be very and very surprised if the peace persists for the next 18 months.” She noted skeptically and shook her head. “That’s simply not happening.”

“Normally, we would already have launched a preemptive attack. With Air Army Sepura outnumbering any air force in the region, we could. But the situation right there right now is complicated with Meronian involvement. So now I’ll present the situation as it is. Yashnagari are going to try to conquer Sepura and Taukemoniya. The religious genocide will follow, especially in Sepura, so we are going to defend our bastion to the last shell and to the last man.”

And maybe, if we are fortunate enough, we will be able to correct our little misfortune in the 1960s ─ but sweet dreams are sweet dreams.

“What I’m saying is that Meronia is in a poor position for its usual successful balancing between the sides, especially with Meronian Foreign Legion bases and Meronian capital investments in Yashnagar.”

Usually, some demand should have followed. Yet although the Chairman wanted to metaphorically slam Sardou to the wall, a more balanced approach could be more workable. The Meronian First Deputy was not the Voronezh Yards Council. So instead she fixed her glasses before carrying on.

“We do not want some insane dement clergy and its onhangers to drive our most successful detente apart, but this war in the South-East Nori will be total ─ no quarters and no mercy. And no truce, even if the worst is to come to pass. I am sure you understand our desire to take all the necessary precautions. And I am sure you understand that the more Meronia reassesses the stance on Yashnagar in the correct direction, the better for both of our countries."

“Of course, understanding connections between Meronia and Yashnagar, I am open to discuss this situation in general. I merely hinted on the more favourable position to us. One that, in the very best scenario, will make these proposed acquisitions trivial to accept despite their scale.”

Sardou smiled and glanced down at the table, quiet for a few seconds. “I don’t expect us to reach much satisfaction on this point, madame Chairman.” Looking back up, he continued, “At the very least, know that our balancing act continues in earnest. Meronnia operates significant interests in South East Nori, and so long as those interests remain unthreatened the internal appetite in Meronnia is for the maintenance of our current position.” Depending on how one looked at it, Sardou’s words could be nothing more than affirming existing reality, or a slight hint hidden behind protocol that Meronnia intended to take a position of non-involvement in a conflict in the region.

For a slight moment Stamboliyskaya seemed disappointed. It didn't last ─ not outwardly at least.

As expected… Might have guessed it wouldn't work like that. Or maybe he didn’t understand? But I’ve put it as clearly as I can ─ there is a war on the horizon.

Should I perhaps reiterate? Ah wait, how could I forget I’m dealing with capitalists. Gotta maintain one’s bucks to the last, I guess? Well then don’t expect us to be picky in choosing targets. Yashnagari cannot protect your interests in Yashnagar and the faster you understand that, the better.

But, in the end, it won’t matter.

“Very well.”

She leaned back and finally started, slowly and coldly.

“I will take it as if you are adamant in staying neutral in the upcoming war. Good. I trust you what you are doing. Mark, though, that we in Plamen are not keen on the idea of our partners standing in crossfire in this conflict. And if I were you, I wouldn’t trust any guarantees to your interests ─ from either side. Consider raising this topic be my gesture of goodwill, a sign of my allegiance to our detente ─ and a food for thought.”

That would normally be enough, yet the Chairman continued.

“TSPR will not assume anything behind Meronia staying neutral in this war. However,” her voice became deeper and her speech slowed, “be advised ─ no ─ be warned,” she accented that with two finger taps, “that siding with Yashnagar will be the swift end to everything we have built.”

She pulled off her glasses and looked at Sardou for a couple of seconds with a particularly expressive look. Then she put her glasses on, leaned forward and finished in her usual tone and pace.

“That being settled,” Even if it is not, “I am ready to accept the weapons offer and I know the Republican Economic Council will confirm the deal. That settles it. Am I not right, monsieur First Deputy?”

Although Meronian position on Jashnagar was far from pleasant for her, the Chairman did manage to honestly try her absolute best to make something resembling a friendly smile.

Sardou, who had silently and non-expressively absorbed the Chairman’s strong words paused for a moment, before opening a wide grin. He leaned in to offer a hand to shake, and said “Quite right, madame Chairman.”

Stamboliyskaya shook his hand, her smile becoming somewhat more genuine.

User avatar
Posts: 51
Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:20 am

Plamen, TSPR.

Appointing Mirai as a guardian dragon for her chair has become somewhat of a habit of Stamboliyskaya. Technically, no one could stop her: for a member of the Presidium, appointing a deputy for the duration of their absence required nothing but notifying colleagues and adhering to a couple of rules like the candidate being eligible for work in the Presidium, which meant being eligible for the elections in the AoS. More informally, the deputy should, preferably, be known to the rest of the organ, and Mirai as a candidate had zero problems in that department.

Being a Secretary of the Presidium and her aide in all but name, Mirai had no problems replacing Stamboliyskaya, at least from a purely bureaucratic point of view. She did so several times, most notably in April 2020 when Tero Malstreciga went into meltdown. Yet this time, the Chairman appointed her despite leaving for less than two days. Mirai didn't mind ─ she could guess the reason.

The night has settled above Plamen when Chairman's business jet landed at Plamen Northern Aerodrome. Mirai was the only one to greet her there and she did so with a left-wing salute. Chairman, holding a cane in one hand and handrails with the other, nodded.

"Situation report, Mirai."

Mirai started. "Our forces have arrived in Fallou. Everything is proceeding as we planned and Wohlgenannt promised that the first wave will be deployed in five days. Reconnaissance battalions are currently clearing the city from the Brotherhood forces ~"
"Brotherhood forces? In Fallou?" Chairman interrupted. "I haven't been reported that; what's going on?"
"It appears they have mounted a raid on the city yesterday, with about a battalion's worth of troops. Poorly equipped and armed but as fanatical as expected. Details pending."
"The port must be damaged. Any news on that?"

Mirai waited a bit, scrambling fragmentary reports in her mind. "As far as I hear..." She started slowly. "The reports are fragmentary, comrade Chairman, but it appears there was only minor damage to the port itself. However, parts of the city were burned in fighting ~"
"I'd expect that from the Brotherhood of the Sacred Flame." Chairman quipped. Mirai smiled.
"It appears they are fighting to the last man wherever they are."

They approached the car ─ a representative SUV ─ waiting for them and Chairman did one last inquiry on the Battle of Fallou.

"Casualties report?"
"None yet. My guess would be about ten to twenty dead and fifty to seventy wounded."

They entered the SUV as their conversation paused momentarily. Mirai requested over internal comlink to proceed to the Palace of Councils: Stamboliyskaya lived just nearby. As the Secretary got an acknowledgment, the SUV took off towards its destination.

After ensuring the comlink is disabled, Mirai decided to break the silence.

"What about the conference, comrade Stamboliyskaya?"

Stamboliyskaya looked at her absent-mindedly. "Conference?"
"Your meeting with the First Deputy of Meronia."

Chairman sighed. "Most exhausting. Civil and relatively amicable, yet most exhausting."
"Have you managed to propose everything you wanted to?"
Chairman chuckled. "What do you think? Easy deal with him barely saying a word most of the time! We came to a great agreement, mutually considerate of our interests."

Mirai frowned and squinted, piercing Stamboliyskaya with a glare. "Mutually considerate, comrade Chairman?"
"Mutually considerate, Mirai." She smiled, unfazed. "I have arranged that only Meronia and TSPR are to engage in Irpan economically. We will also stand against the Brotherhood in a united front until our victory. And in the aftermath, Irpan is to be lead by a coalition of liberals and socialists, on certain conditions we will bring up later. TSPR will have to play long-term, yes, ─ but in long-term operations, we win from the start."

She calmly watched as Mirai turned in her expression from an inquisitor into an executor.

"A coalition? With liberals? You're not serious, aren't you? What were you even thinking about?! This is treason, you will get shot for that! How are you going to explain it?"
"To whom?" Chairman tilted her head.
"To me, for starters."

Stamboliyskaya thought for a bit, trying to remember something.
"Well, ─ for starters, ─ have you seen the REC and Tanayan Mission plans on Irpan, Mirai?"

The Chairman smirked as the Secretary was momentarily confused. She did not allow her to reply. "Take a look at the next drafts you'll get. Since you are my deputy, I think you should have your clearance. Besides, Andreeva in an understanding one and I think Ira will be as well."

Mirai was totally confused. She hadn't violated security ─ reports were mostly "Top Secret" ─ and she didn't have any time since Stamboliyskaya appointed her on that a day ago.

"Point taken." She finally said. "I'll take a closer look. Now, what about the AoS? How are you going to explain it to them?"
"TRP will understand the trick. They will make sure the conditions of the coalition will be empowering the workers as much as possible, but they will understand the trick. TMRP will be a more difficult beast to handle, but manageable nonetheless. Swaying TPP and non-partisans will be trivial the moment we disclose the plans, say, 'for limited distribution'. That should be enough."

"And the general population?" Mirai finally inquired.
"They will be distracted by far more outrageous and controversial act, yet also very popular, very acceptable, and trivial to justify."

Mirai looked even more confused. Just what in the world could be worse than supporting counter-revolution, yet trivial to justify? "I shudder to imagine what else have you agreed upon, comrade Chairman."
"I have sold 350 battalions worth of equipment to Meronia. For a very and very good price, covering all our expenses during the recession ─ and some more."

The silence emerged in the air. Mirai deeply sighed.

"I trust you know what you are doing..." She muttered.
"I do." Chairman cut with confidence. "Inquire and the picture will open to you, Mirai."

The car turned on the Prospect of Volkov, one of the central avenues slicing the regular hexagon of Plamen on six pieces. It was leading straight to the Palace of Councils. The avenue was empty.

"What should I even make of you, comrade Chairman?" Mirai almost whispered. "Sometimes I'm not even sure if I should praise you or hand you over to the Councils' Court."
"Since both options are well in your power," Chairman noted, "either, really. Just make sure you don't have to regret the choice you make."
"You are not threatening me, are you, comrade Chairman?"
"I'm not in any power to threaten you, Mirai. But I am in power to demand an understanding of what is going on in the world. Especially from someone serving in the Presidium."

They made the rest of their way to the Palace of Councils in silence. Chairman looked out the window with a view of a victor, completely forgetting her mishap on the question of Jashnagar.
Last edited by Volga-Dnieper on Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Remove ads

Return to International Incidents

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aldarminia, Lykens


Remove ads