"I can enter my name in the drawing for this rabbit, right?" The president of Syria has presently succeeded in getting rabbit fur all over his suit, which embarrassed his military attaché, General al-Sarifah, greatly.
Adna Pilov, a young woman with shoulder-length brown hair and wearing a dark-blue sweater with black pants, smiled at the group of important men marveling the rabbit. "Of course you can. The drawing is random, so, no favoritism."
"Good." President Golahman's bodyguard, a grumpy man with white hair and a freshly pressed uniform, Commander Vershenov looked at Sarifah, silently begging him to not pester Assad with formalities. "General, I can assure you that sometime today, we will get to the discussion about selling you some ground-air missiles."
Sarifah was younger than Vershenov by about twenty years, with thick dark hair and a thin beard and mustache. He bit his lip, knowing Vershenov didn't back down on his word. "Alright, Commander."
President Golahman, a skinny young man with ice-blue eyes and a nervous demeanor, was trailed by a small, unusual creature on a leash--a Tine, from the Free Lands, named Luminous because of his sparkling ruby eyes. He wanted to oversee the progress of this experiment, as well as showing foreigners coming that he was open and didn't like hiding behind a desk.
Corporal Evanu strolled into the large tent, saluting everyone present, before handing Golahman a slip of paper. "Sir, personal notice for you."
Golahman looked at the sheet, his eyes widening before looking at Evanu. "Fiona and Gwen?"
"Oh my God, that's wonderful! When will they arrive?"
"Not sure, sir."
Assad handed the rabbit back to Adna. "Your girlfriend and her mother?"
"Yes, you big dork!" Golahman laughed. "This'll be great! You're here, Fiona will be here, Gwen will be here, I brought Luminous--hopefully Fiona brings Sio . . ."
"Sir," Vershenov said, clearing his throat, "I understand that Fiona and her family mean a lot to you, but this fair is a big deal for us all. We need to show the world that we are capable of hosting tourists. It's a good way to generate income and give our best businesses a chance to sell their products to places other than Syria, so, we will need you to be at least walking around and talking to people."
"I can do that . . . I think. Yes, I can . . . I can . . . talk to people." Golahman paled, reaching down to pick up Luminous and caress him while the Tine cooed in his face.
Vershenov turned to his Syrian counterpart. "General, how about you and Kalif ride with me into the city. I have to pick up my wife and then we're coming right back, hopefully in time for this sh*tshow to start. We can talk along the way."
"You're sure Assad is safe here?" Sarifah asked, following Vershenov.
"I didn't order six squadrons of dogs for nothing, now, did I?"