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Peace is a Political Weapon (IC, Closed)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Altane
Diplomat
 
Posts: 766
Founded: May 21, 2009
Ex-Nation

Peace is a Political Weapon (IC, Closed)

Postby Altane » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:23 am

An Old Family Townhouse, Bevaryn City, The Kuritan Empire in Altane
14:32 hours, 22 May 9E 15C

Raesid couldn't stay still, he'd felt like it had been hours since he started pacing about the house. Every time he made a pass he was constantly annoyed by that particular creak in the floor board near the end of the hallway. He turned around again inspecting that particular spot from a distance with an assessing squint in his eyes. He clenched his fists, the want to hit something was building in him like pressure in a can, the want to punish something for how he felt, but he couldn't bare going out unless he ran into someone who for the umpteenth time would try to tell him everything would be 'alright'. It wasn't alright, none of it has been for some time and nothing he could do would give him some damned sense of peace. For all the help his friends were trying to be it felt as though they were 'babying' him and that thought rotted like a pit in his stomach.

"Och!". Its not their fault..

The withdrawal of Imperial Forces from Lizardiar was a couple years back now. It was the most disgusting and humiliating experience of his life that seems to have taken over everything he cared about. It was all made worse without Desva beside him... Oh she would understand, she would feel it as bad as him, no worse! She always worried more than him and for whatever reason he felt more calm in himself when she vented his frustration for him and could comfort her and laugh about how it was him who was frustrated in the first place. Her ability to empathize made her so lovable but it was also her struggle..

He would smile if that memory too wasn't tainted with its own sense of grief and loss.

Again he paced about midway through the hallway until he heard that creak again, in his head it was as though that noise was like a loud piercing cry and then CRASH! He stamped on it as hard as he could in frustration until he got on his knees and beat it with his fists. Tears flowed in fierce grunts and cries as he kept pounding that One. Damned. Spot. BAM. BAM. BAM. BAM. BAM. BAM. bam. bam. bam.. bam... This war weary soldier had no 'peace' as they called it. His strength faded with the anger until it all turned to the sorrow he struggled to express...



Bevaryn Fiefdom Palatinate HQ, The Kuritan Empire in Altane


"Wasn't this well and truly settled ages ago? Seriously, this file is so annoying and keeps popping up SO much it may as well be Unmar from Human Resources! Seriously though, that guy doesn't take a hint"

Yurople a young woman working the Bureaucratic circles in Bevaryn brandished the file in one hand, bracing the other on her superior's Desk while she confidently locked eyes with the Under-Palatiness. The Under-Palatine was an older woman herself with the air a school principal racing all around her, glasses seated on nose, grey hair in a tight bun and everything. Especially that derisive look her eyes gave back without her so much as moving her head while only stopping that incessant writing of hers for the briefest of seconds. Boy was that intimidating. This environment suited people like her, as wth most Altanians they were by nature big on ceremony and custom. These kind of jobs were caked with it, even their office outfits required white ribbons on both shoulders of their suit coats which for men reached down to their knees. Women still wore more professional dresses with the same ribbons with belt worn across the shoulder to hip in addition to the already large customary ceremony belt worn around the waist. Yet there were still more informal moments like these which were certainly liberating for people like Yurople.

"You said you wanted to advance. People who want to advance do the dirty and boring jobs without complaint". The Under-Palatiness said it with such parental authority it did feel like being at home with her parents again. Let's just repress that feeling for a second..

"I get that! But what do I even do with this one? When the peace was struck it was a mutual parting of ways where there would be no further recriminations, certainly not trials!"

"Do you ever pay attention to the news?" sighed the Under-Palatine. "Things always change, especially in democracies where government policy can shift like wild moods. People used to keep women like us out of jobs like these on that basis and yet evidently that's how some people seem to like being ruled."

Yurople shifts to a seat carefully noting how many files currently sit on the Under-Palatiness' desk had already carefully processed. She did in fact work like a machine. Which might explain her difficulty with 'other' machines like her computer, she snickered. The Under-Palatiness either didn't notice or bother to comment on the snicker before passing over a printed article from an online news service.

It read:

Protests call for War Tribunal!

125,000 protestors appeared in the Lizardian Capital for the second year in a row marking the anniversary of the Imperial Withdrawal from their Nation. The protestors followed their pledge from the previous year to 'besiege' the Kuritan Imperial Embassy in an attempt to pressure the Kuritan Government to respond to demands to allow alleged War Criminals to be placed on trial for crimes committed during their service in Lizardiar and further Imperial restitution for the Occupation. Heralds of the Imperial Throne have responded by seemingly repeating their statement from last year announcing that "The Will of the Kuritan Emperor is for the Empire to continue to honour the Spirit of the withdrawal agreement with the Sovereign Nation of Lizardiar as it was made at that time". The Statement which was unchanged from last year led to increased frustration from the protestors who reacted angrily to what they called "continued Imperial denial". The resulting riot was quickly contained by Federal Riot Police before it could result in damage to the Embassy or injury to its staff. Imperial Minister for Protocol, Liod Fare warned "Should such an incident occur against our Emperor's Sovereign property or His Subjects it would be the responsibility of the Lizardian Government and could not by any means be ignored. We urge the strict restraint in these tense matters".

Again, this statement, claims Protest organizer Rick Orsoun "is completely in line with the rhetoric that resulted in the Occupation in the first place. The Kuritan Empire must take further responsibility in order for their to be a true peace between our two countries". Government sources continue to put forward the fact that the Imperial Government has kept every term of the Withdrawal Agreements since its signing including Compensation payments from the Imperial Treasury but called the response overseas a clear symptom of "an unwillingness to forgive".

We interviewed...


Yurople thought honestly there was no point reading any further, it was more of the same. The point was clear, the consequences of the Occupation are going to stick around for a while.

"Well so what? Nothing is really changing and there's no need to investigate this file any further than we already have. We investigated the claims of war crimes, we identified the soldiers and we keep regular tabs on them regardless." Yurople couldn't help saying that with a bit of an attitude, seemed a natural occurrence when talking with her. Ok..maybe not just her.

"There's a man from the Imperial Ministry of War coming to the City. That alone should tell you something."

Indignant she was probably going to say something she'd regret but before Yurople could even respond she cuts her off before she got the first syllable off her tongue.

"But in case it doesn't, if an official from Raultome comes all the way here to deal with something like this instead of a local War Ministry bureaucrat like yourself then that might mean that our Kuritan Emperor may be considering all of his options." That dull look that rested on her face as she lifted her face to finally look at Yurople just made her feel small. Diminutive in her eyes. Ah well, she was getting tired off this conversation anyway.

"So you'll go over the file, do your part, report everything necessary to the official and then when it is done I'll give you your next job". The Under-Palatiness finished her document with a signature that almost looked like she paper should've recoiled in pain.

Yurople rolled her eyes and stood. Bound by custom, she nodded her head with a small curtsy.

"You should see an optometrist about that". Yurople didn't see but she swore that Under-Palatiness smirked as she said it that snarky b...

OOC: At the moment, I'm just doing these points for my own amusement. If anyone happens to be interested in doing RP with me, send me a TG and include references to previous RP's you've done.
Last edited by Altane on Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Altane
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Founded: May 21, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Altane » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:20 pm

Lizardian Embassy, Raultome, The Kuritan Empire in Altane
07:20 hours, 23 May 9E 15C

Two walked together through the glamorous halls of the Embassy building covered end to end with cultural art almost as though it were an art museum. They walked close as if like friends although there was a tension to them that only expressed itself in their hushed exchanges between each other. It was the cool of the morning outside and the Imperial Minister for Foreign Affairs, Worun Eshajen had elected for a warmer coat and scarf along with the standard Imperial embellishments. The man with him was the Lizardian ambassador Norman Trur, an old friend of Worun's who was instrumental in the peace that the Empire and Lizardiar currently enjoyed with each other. However those were more conciliatory times..

Worun shudders with a chill "You really ought to turn on your heating earlier in the day. Surely even your staff have complained about it". Norman merely raises his head with a smile. He too wore something a bit warmer and Worun had noticed other staff members had elected to do the same. Smart.

"We've learned it warms up fast in Raultome once the day really gets rolling. Besides, the homeland is trying to save money while we rebuild. So I've been kindly told to cut 'unnecessary indulgences' in order to show solidarity with those still doing it tough after the war." He looked about as they slowly paced forward, there was still barely anyone around before the main shift comes in at 8am. Which is how he liked it, it was the calm before a busy day where people were up but the real work was still to come. "Even so, it really doesn't bother me as much as it bothers others. I find the cool quite refreshing".

Worun's arms remained firmly crossed and allowed a moment of silence pass, then another before shooting a side glance at his friend. "Can we talk about the protests?"

"Aren't I supposed to be the one asking that?"

Worun stops to face Norman properly. It was friendship that motivated him to do this and a rawness over a tough subject for both of them. "We made an agreement that worked for both sides, it was to pull a curtain on a very terrible set of circumstances. The Emperor himself decided to apologize for the actions that led to the Occupation. We agreed to the indemnities.."

"Which your Government cunningly refers to as 'Foreign Aid'" Norman retorted perhaps more jovially then anything else as. He took a seat on a nearby bench in this great hallway, looking upon his friend as if he were an executive listening to a new pitch.

"But we also both agreed that prosecuting supposed War criminals would be explosive. Both of us have our sides of the story and people who've committed evil things. So the best way was..for us to discretely handle our own people and leave it at that." Worun searched Norman's eyes in hopes of understanding to be found looking back at him. Their friendship had been one forged in fire and war and the fact that Norman called him friend was a testament to what he had thought of him back then. Even when Worun was briefly Imperial Governor of the Lizardian Capital... clearly Norman did not consider him to be one of these war criminals.

Another pause passed in these now almost unbearably quiet halls. It was a familiar feeling, like the other employees hear were listening in.

"This is only the second year where the protests have taken place and the wounds from the occupation are still raw..." oh please don't say that word though, please don't say it Worun's mind desperately cried in prayer.

"But..."

F*&#

"..we don't think these protests are going to end anytime soon. In fact, they are still going on. The protestors have decided to maintain the siege of your Embassy until your government changes its position." Norman raises his head unable to look directly at Worun. "The decision we made was in the Spirit of allowing these things to pass away and forgiveness to take place but...I'm beginning to wonder whether it was a mistake. Whether...in order for there to be reconciliation we can't possibly keep ignoring the demands of the people."

Worun sat down next to him, unable to look at him either. A secretary comes by and passes them both store-bought Coffees. Still so warm that you can see the heat rising from the lip of the lid so Norman takes a careful sip.

"You know, it may not make it better. It may only cement the divide between our nations." Worun raises the cup to his lips and takes a deep drink. That was not a great idea hindsight had told him. But his friend still didn't say a word, as if in deep thought or just lacked the words to say. "Let's at least consider a compromise? What if we tried and punished our own war criminals?"

Norman looked up at him with a look that sarcastically screamed the question 'Really?'

"Well do you have any better ideas?" Worun retorted rather bluntly. But there they sat, both in silence as the time turned to 8am and yet neither moved. This was tough. This was personal. Either way it seemed there would still be a lot of pain before it gets better and thought sat with them like death.

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Altane
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Postby Altane » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:54 am

Main Street Bevaryn City, Kuritan Empire in Altane
13:02 hours 29th May 9E C15

Raesid and Yurople

Life just seems to go on at a pace that never stops for someone like me who feels like he's still standing in that place I found myself in only a couple of years ago. These streets are still packed with people, businesses pull money in, people are working and no one tries to think about the humiliation the soldiers came back with. He sat there in a simple but well looked after suit that looks just as good as he bought it. On it he wore his medals and rank insignia for all to see regardless of how they might have felt about the war. He filled the suit out quite well since the purchase though, he's never stopped his fitness routine and has kept a light scruff of a beard since leaving the military but kept the short haircut. Spinning a tea stirrer between the fingers of his left hand while he re-read the same article on his phone over and over again with his right.

"War Criminals.." he scoffed. "Many of their so-called heroes were war criminals" a scathing sentence that he pressed through tight lips. Is that what determines who the War Criminals were? Merely whether they belong to the winning side or the losers? There was no doubt in his mind, Altane had lost the war and he bore some of that responsibility. If he had been more vigilant, more decisive and hadn't missed a beat perhaps it could've been avoided. But even then...

"Captain Tyrill Raesid?" asked the young bureaucrat who approached his table. "You really do stand out from the crowd, sir" she jested with a sweet smile. She couldn't be 30 yet, he was only few years older than her he wagered. With natural bleach blonde hair that some women would just die for that suited her features. She struck him as possessing natural charm but experience has taught him to appreciate the complexity of people, even the ones he hated. The most boring kind of people to him were the two dimensional.

"Captain Raesid at your service, ma'am." he stood and saluted in quick fashion which wasn't unusual from Imperial Soldiers when meeting strangers or acquaintances. But she almost subtly flinched at the word "ma'am" which again wasn't unusual in Kuritan culture as she responded with an awkward smile. Interesting. She must be new to military affairs or just new to working in Kuritan society in general.

"I'm Yurople Nene of the Under-Palatinate of War here in Bevaryn, by the way." She took a place at the table beginning to organize her papers on the table just as the waittress came over to take an order. It was funny she didn't even look at a menu she just immediately knew what she wanted as if she's ordered it many times before. It was so specific too so he was guessing she may frequent this particular cafe.

"Sorry about that. If I might start, I know you've met with other Officials from the War Ministry before on this subject. But given this time of year the Throne is conducting a review of the details available to it so the Empire can best represent your interest and continue to care for you after the Peace Settlement."

That word again... does it mean the same to you as it does to me? At least it was better than that other word. Withdrawal.

"So I'm just going to confirm a few basic details first which I'm sure you are very used to before continuing with some more specific discussions. Will that be alright?" she unfolds the file in front of her taking a pen in hand. The very run of the mill tone and procedure of a bureaucrat seemed to strike him and it was almost like his mind already wanted out. He merely nodded attentively. She sighed with a quiet "Ok" under her breath as her eyes began scanning the file.

"Just tell me if anything here is wrong or incomplete. You were a Captain attached to the 31st Revoras' Own Pathfinders Regiment which was considered part of the popularly nicknamed "Imperial Headhunters" stationed in Lizardiar only after the initial occupation. Your primary task was originally tracking remnant Lizardian Federal Forces until the role evolved into the hunting down of Resistance leaders and breaking up guerilla cells in the countryside. Your particular service was acclaimed by General Riiken the commanding Imperial Officer in the Theatre for providing exceptional intelligence on the enemy campaign." She took a breath and turned to receive her order as she was about to continue.

"That's what the enemy called us".

She raised her head suddenly from her drink. "Hmm?"

"The resistance called us Imperial Headhunters. Some actually claimed we collected them, but don't let facts get in the way of a good story".

She tried to chuckle with that last comment as if it were some joke but for him it was a burn. In the end they happily took the name Imperial Headhunters, if their enemy wanted to paint them as some inhuman monsters then let them and they could run in fear when they came onto the scene.

"Your movements during the campaign were all over the place and records say its difficult to nail down exactly where you were at any given time to the point we've had to rely on old satellite images to...".

It felt like a dig, that's what some of his critics used as a dagger to stab him with. To create suspicion about his activities.

"That was the point! We were tracking ghosts, so we became like ghosts to follow their tracks. Not to tip them off which is in itself a bit blatantly obvious. Should we have been more obvious instead? I reject any assertion about that being some kind of questionable conduct!" his voice came across strong. He'd always been told he sounded like he was born with a firm General's voice.

She did not flinch or even seem hurt by it. "I'm sorry if I've offended, Captain". Yurople did look genuinely concerned but at not point did she seem to shy away from him.

"These are the questions with the answers I need to hear, sir. I believe Imperial High Command knows what it took to carry out your mission but for your sake we need to hear from you as well".

He looked at her without a blink for a moment, but he closed his eyes and nodded. "Sorry... that was unworthy of me. It's a sore subject. Please, do go on. Just try and get to the point, I know you must have something more particular you want to get to".

She skimmed through a few pages, licking her finger as he flipped through.

"There was another particular event, but I had planned on being somewhere more private by the time we got to it.." she said looking a bit perturbed with herself.

"Fair enough, we can finish here and then we go to my Townhouse. The only ears there will be yours, mine and the Inquisition's". She paused until Raesid let out a small chuckle to himself to which she also smiled and chuckled.

"Well I don't mind them though, I'm sure they are just really into reality soap operas". She expected that joke to be a bit flat until she heard him chuckle again whilst he stood up. He walked over to the counter and before she realized what he was doing he paid their bill with a tap of a card. That really wasn't necessary, things like this are covered by the Treasury. But soldiers were people of pride and principle and even if they didn't have a lot they would give it.

...

"Could this guy really have..."

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Altane
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Founded: May 21, 2009
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Postby Altane » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:50 am

21:32 hours...

They'd been talking for hours.. she could not remember how many times she had to get up and take a breather in between sessions with what little he had in his house in the way of food and something to drink. What little is was sustained her through the aggravatingly long conversations. One posting after another, he chased that lead and it came to nothing. Violent encounters with Lizardian partisans occasionally gave him another name for his list back to Headquarters and another bodybag. She guessed that hearing about war on the news was a fair sight different from hearing it from someone right in front of her who's face seemed drawn in by the memories as he recounted them.

There's still that one event. He hasn't gotten to it yet, he covered many of the charges made about him but even those charges were easily disproven or made with muddy details.

"We were running out of time however. The Emperor Revoras had just died and it was announced to us that..."

Raesid paused. He sat on his couch hunched over most of the time during this conversation illuminated by the nearby lamp resting on the coffee table. Yurople had also been leaning forward in her armchair especially during difficult moments where his voice got low and quiet and it became hard to hear. His fists were clenched and head bowed. The only movement she noticed was a slight shudder from him.

"That Lizardian...KAGEKI SAOTOME!" He cried the name like a curse, like a force of wind. "Was made Regent of OUR Empire by Imperial Decree". Another dreadful pause. "Our officers knew that given we occupied his country we likely were going to face the impossible situation where we may be ordered out. So General Riiken pressed down on us 'Capture the Resistence Leaders before its too late' he said. We were afraid that our nation had been taken from us so we pushed forward like the committed Imperial Soldiers we are to save it."

"That's when you traced Reardon Tacmir to..." leafing through a few pages Yurople searched for that dreaded name. "B-Beralo. The town of Beralo?"

Raesid nodded firmly. He unclenched his fists and leant back. It shocked her. His body seemed to relax into an almost cool calm.

"Beralo was where Tacmir was. He cut us off, our pathway back to the Capital was no longer possible, the only way back would've been long and our supplies would well and truly run out before we could get back to one of our outposts. So I knew this would be our showdown. Tacmir was drawing us in and I planned to make him regret that decision. My men were as determined as I was to save our Empire and put an end to this Resistance Leader. Tacmir was one of the best recruiters and co-ordinators we've ever seen and his removal one way or another would diminish the threat. It would be like tearing out the spine of the Lizardian Resistance. Where many contracted mercenary groups failed we were going to succeed. We had to."

Again silence fell over the room. Yurople checked the time and almost gawked at how late it was. She had been regretting for over an hour how long she'd let him talk and wondering whether she was going to be scolded by the Under-Palatiness for poor use of time management. But he finally got himself over to this subject which they've never been able to really go over since Raesid returned from Lizardiar. It was the one that shocked the Imperial High Command the most but they didn't want to talk any more about it than he did. Don't ask, don't tell.

She looked at him and he still said nothing. It was like he was in another world. Should she prompt him? How would he react? After all, this is the kind of experience that may have scarred these soldiers for life. But we can't leave it like this...

"Tell me, Captain. What happened when you got to Belaro? she said in a soothing and gentle tone. It wasn't natural to her as far as she was concerned but it surprised her that when its called her it somehow came out of her.

He raised his head and turned to make direct eye contact with her. His eyes seemed so full of hurt, pain.

"I was just recalling the details of the battle. They were prepared which was expected and made our job that much harder. Even though we weren't obvious or out in the open they were meticulous in their defensive plans. I was stumped for how we were going to overwhelm these bas#$@!s or take them off-guard and we didn't have a lot of time to do it in. My officers and I put together what seemed most right to us, we knew we may have been foolhardy and fallen into their trap but we didn't care. We were playing to win."

He reached for the beer he had resting half-drunk on the table and took a gulp or gulp. Thankfully it was only the second one and he was taking a lot of time with it until now. Any more than that and she would've left a while ago.

"I remember every motion of that battle, for me, it is seared into my brain as one of the most significant memories of my life. I watched my men die, but we advanced. The enemy fought relentlessly and without end, but we advanced. It dragged on for hours upon hours and I swore that I might just die of exhaustion, but we advanced. Until we won, and they finally surrendered. " Raesid shook his head with a glimpse of a smile

"My men did the Empire proud. We had little time, no escape, and a prepared vicious enemy. But we prevailed. We succeeded and all of that hard-earned victory would become the most bitter defeat" Raesid's smile fades away as his face soured. He looks to his watch and shook his head. "It's getting far too late to go on any further. You've got pretty much everything you need" he said dismissively standing up as he does. Yurople was worried, she finally got him opening up about it and now he's trying to cut her off. Dammit she's got to at least try! Screw the consequences.

"Tacmir was not heard from again after your attack. What happened to him?"

"He died. It didn't matter". That's it. Without so much as a beat Raesid gave that short, curt answer. Come. On. You've gotta do better.

"Captain, the accusations the Liza..." she was not quick enough.. Before she knew it he let loose what must've been building inside as they spent the long hours getting to this dreaded topic.

"Tacmir died and the Lizardians are pissed about it, so what? So WHAT! What does it matter?! Tell me what do they say, hm? What do those shameless pissants say?"

She did not flinch. She merely kept his focus. They always said this was a bad quality of Yurople's, she had a knack for pushing for her goal at the expense of upsetting them from time to time.

"The Lizardian account details that after you seized the town of Beralo, you gathered the town's people together and were unable to get them to tell you where Tacmir was. They say, you progressively got more unbalanced at their resistance to questioning and they insisted that Tacmir had never been stationed there. You screamed that they were liars and in a fit of rage you ordered that a citizen would be killed until they told you where he was. Every minute on the minute they were shot. Until they were all dead. You then stayed another day before moving out after an extensive search with no trace of Tacmir".

Raesid moved slowly toward her and almost looked as though he were sizing her up. His chest puffed and muscles tensed. Immediately she had already come up with a plan of escape, she would answer for the screw up later but for the time being she was all ready to bust the heck out of here. He only kept her gaze. It was almost as though something clicked in his mind and the tension relaxed although he kept his posture.

"Tacmir. An enemy of the Empire responsible for killing Imperial soldiers and getting the real innocents killed. I executed him for these crimes that day. He was the ONLY casualty after we took Beralo. There were no civilian casualties at any point. Remember that." he said firmly.

"But how do you explain the civilian deaths?" she protested.

Raesid points to the folder still resting on the coffee table with files all over the place. "That. That isn't worth the paper its written on. Not unless the government prints on toilet paper now. "

Yurople took the opportunity to collect her files as he dutifully stood aside after that. Not many words could follow that. Yurople respectfully bowed out and before long she was walking to her car. This man was doomed if he's taken to trial, she thought. The Lizardians weren't kidding around, Raesid may not want to hear it but the Lizardians gave evidence to support their strong accusations and the Empire was trying to keep them on good terms. Even the Kuritan higher-ups barely deny amongst themselves that civilians were likely killed. But now she knew Raesid maintains otherwise. One thing was clear, Tacmir was never heard from again after that day. Lizardiar's official explanation was that he died in a remote region far from Belaro after the Independence Referendum. Fear overtook her. How would it reflect on the Empire? They would paint Raesid as a mad dog who lost control after realizing he had made a costly mistake. There were other alleged war criminals being talked to as well, could the Kuritan Empire suffer the humiliation on top of the withdrawal?

As she drove through the quiet suburban streets under the clear night sky back home she pondered those thoughts concluding that the Empire wouldn't risk the possibility of a trial. It didn't matter now though, that was tomorrow's problem. She got home and happily collapsed into her ill-made bed still in her work clothes but she couldn't care less. She was just glad to have gotten what she did and earned her share of overtime as far as she was concerned. When it was time to make the report there didn't seem to be room for any other possibility. If he takes the stand it'll be devastating for the Kuritan Empire.

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Altane
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Founded: May 21, 2009
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Postby Altane » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:42 am

The Sanoch, Raultome Prime, The Kuritan Empire in Altane
10:52 hours 7th June 9E C15


Worun

The Sanoch is the centre of Government business in the Kuritan Empire. It had been built a couple of hundred years ago, unlike many Cultural Heritage buildings the Sanoch was routinely updated, renovated and added onto to suit the needs of the Imperial Government's service to the Monarch. It had the appearance of an Imperial Palace, because legally it was. Coloured in a smooth and beautiful White Gold across its halls and furnishings which themselves had rich assorted colours the Sanoch had draped everywhere the prestigious Kuritan Imperial banners, an ever present reminder of their Sovereign who is seated upon his Throne in the Great Monolith.

Worun Eshajen was milling about in one of the many hallways of the Sanoch occasionally sitting in one of the lavish cushioned couches before standing up and pacing incessantly even as many Court Officials passed by him going about their business with a low nod of respect in his direction. Great doors sat opposite where he placed himself. They hadn't opened in a while to his frustration, his appointment was 45 minutes ago but the Minister of Protocol insisted this meeting was needed and had pre-warned him of another important meeting taking place beforehand that could go overtime. He took out his phone from his waistcoat pocket and checked the time again. "Who the hell is he meeting with?" he pondered through his mind. If his own meeting with the Protocol Minister was important than whoever he's talking to must also have important business that he's made to wait this long. Worun let out a sharp tsk as he once again pivoted around to continue pacing. He had enough to worry about at the moment, Kuritan diplomacy was a difficult task as it was with trying to keep Lizardiar on good enough terms whilst also keeping a reasonable distance from their many other neighbours. Although for ages he's wanted, he's persisted on changing that policy. Altane was in a difficult place and their diplomatic 'isolation' as he called it was not helping their problems.

One of the great doors opens and Worun recognizes the Protocol Minister's secretary step out and close the door behind him. He makes brief eye contact with Worun before moving down the hall through another smaller set of doors. Worun initially resisted the urge to say something. That was stupid.

"How much longer am I going to waste time here!" through his gritted teeth he grumbled. Before the thought could convince him to follow the secretary he stepped back out and moved directly towards Worun.

"Apologies, Lord Minister Eshajen. His Lordship, the Minister of Protocol is ready to receive you now." the man said as he bowed his head, raising his right arm to direct the way through the Great Doors.

Finally. The two men walked up to the great doors and the secretary opened the one he had just passed through to let Worun in. As Worun stepped in the secretary did not follow but closed the door behind him. Before him, stood the Protocol Minister in his fine and embroidered suit wearing the chains of office around his neck. But no sign of any guest. That was unusual. Is there something being kept from the Ministers?

Worun approaches the seats organized in a circle in front of the Desk bowing to his superior. "You summoned me, Liod. What is so urgent but can leave me waiting so long?"

Liod Fare bows his head in return and motions to take a seat. "Sorry, Worun. I was also surprised by how late I ended up being. You know me, I usually hate to leave my friends waiting".

Oh that was a lie. Worun got along very well with Liod as colleagues but they certainly weren't friends outside of work. He couldn't help but be a little sore these days. He often caught himself thinking like this, it just showed him how much their current situation frustrated him and led him to wonder what he could to try and change that. At the very least he could hope to find time to relax and bring a better attitude to work.

"Either way, I did bring you here with important business in mind". Liod leans back and interlaces his fingers. "At the moment, the pressure for 'further' concessions to Lizardiar is becoming harder to ignore especially as we hope to maintain what economic interests we still have in that country which regretfully requires their goodwill to us. God forbid that the Lizardian public turn their attention to the growing calls for nationalization of our assets over there or our economic woes will get worse. What I want to prepare you for, the reason why I called you here, is that I have advised our Most Exalted Master that in order to sustain ourselves in the short term we will need to concede to the Lizardian demands before their boycotts grow".

"What was His Exaltation's feeling?" Worun didn't even really need to ask. It was the Emperor's initiative that ended the war with Lizardiar and wanted to make concessions to achieve reconciliation after the invasion. Undoubtedly the Emperor was pleased to hear it.

"My guess is you'll be pleased to know that His Exaltation agreed with the advice but his mind is now turning to the future implications. He's beginning to feel that Lizardiar may not cease in their demands for further reparations despite his magnanimous stance towards them. Our Master knows this is only a temporary solution and a more permanent policy will need to be established." Liod said almost as if that wasn't all. Almost begrudgingly so. He fiddled with his watch as he spoke.

Worun crossed his legs and leant back comfortably in his own seat. "I'm glad that he appreciates our understanding of the situation."

"Do you?" the look Liod gave was rather critical to match the tone. They both knew Worun's friendship with the Lizardian ambassador and despite his earlier convictions when took an posting in the Occupied Zone he had softened to the Lizardians and even sympathized with him. Worun suspected that Liod had his misgivings about him. It seemed natural given the circumstances. Many Altanians felt strongly about the whole subject that it seemed expected that such unnecessary suspicions arose. Of course he remained loyal beyond question to the Kuritan. He sang Kuritan er Hama as loudly as any. Worun's concern was more for those whose anger over the withdrawal would be directed at those responsible for it even happening.

"Of course I do and I don't need to tell you that." Worun had said it with all the sincerity he could muster but Liod's eyes returned to his watch with a reaction that implied doubt. Who cares though. My actions will speak louder than words.

"So what is our plan for a 'more permanent solution' to our woes?"

Liod stands up and looks at the Etharian map, turning his back towards Worun and clasps his hands behind his back.

"That remains with our Exalted Emperor" Liod looks sidelong as if admiring the decor for a moment. "And our Master has decided to summon you to meet over that very question. In three days, you and I will go to the Great Monolith. His Exaltation will receive you at 10:00am. I will then be invited to join you at 11:30am..."

It suddenly dawned on him and he couldn't keep the instinctive snicker that followed the realization. Is that why he made me wait? Was he just grouchy that the Emperor wanted to speak to him privately without the Protocol Minister in the room? If that's it then waiting was more than worth it. It seemed like just desserts in a way. Very few in the Court Council spoke in favour of expanding diplomatic connections in this volatile world to secure greater security for the Empire. But Liod and the others are starting to look foolish and losing the Emperor's favour who is looking for other advice. This would be Worun's chance..

"I know your feelings Liod. This isn't what you want. But honestly, what better alternative is there?" Worun asked.

Liod shook his head. He turned again to the world map and then sat down but he hid his feelings well. He remained the bureaucrat but Worun was sure he knew the man enough to know this was a bitter pill for the old goat to swallow. They wanted to maintain the dignity of the Empire but it was misguided. They thought they were protecting the Kuritan Empire's prestige but they were also willfully giving advice that would keep it weak. That would force it to endure embarrassments like this.They did the right thing when Trekko and the others collapsed but now the had to advise the Emperor to make some gambles or possibly lose it all.

"Admittedly, it isn't clear. Perhaps it is more the fears I have, that our neighbours have become more and more alien to us over and that the world's direction is seemingly becoming more unpredictable. In the end it seems fortune will favour you, we should've engaged with our neighbours ages ago and reduced the effect this is having on us and curse the consequences" He tapped his right index finger on his knee rhythmically as if it was in time with the ticking of a clock. "What I despise most is what we must concede to our enemies on top of the concessions we've already accepted. The Trials of War Criminals they are demanding. They do not serve His Exaltation's interest. They serve to humiliate his goodwill."

A pause hung in the room.

"If there is a way around it Worun, we must avoid it."

"And if it can't?"

"Then let's make them regret it, before we do".
Last edited by Altane on Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Altane
Diplomat
 
Posts: 766
Founded: May 21, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Altane » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:22 am

Yurople
09:17 hours 14th June 9E 15C


It had been a couple of weeks since that tense talk with Captain Raesid. She had not really expected to talk with him again but she was 'reminded' that she had to conclude her report for the Ministry Official from the Capital and needed a comprehensive analysis. She honestly didn't think she would be able to get anything more from the stubborn ox. She knew he was a war vet and could respect what he went through but for her he was an aggravating pain! He most certainly enjoyed his cryptic answers. They had spoken over the phone a couple of times and even met once and he seemed perfectly fine. As in there was no problem although he was noticably more stale, like he was a soldier reporting to a superior officer which was far more formal than it had been at first. She had wondered whether that was because in the Army you had to get along with people you didn't like there either and you just did your best to be professional to make it easier. Meh. She'll take him sucking up to her as a superior officer if its what it takes. But none of those conversations really got any further than she originally did. He's done a fantastic effort to stonewall her at each step.

She sat in her office with a coffee that's now gone cold while she was too busy being distracted by the latest political headlines online. She had heard about the Funeral at Noremacia and the Kuritan Emperor had sent one of his heralds to represent himself. There was a gossip piece about life in the Forbidden City in Michu which intrigued her. It was weird that one of Etharia's greatest democracies also had an entire city governed by totalitarian laws. Although one could say of many government instituions, like the infamous 'Telvenee Gardens'... reputed to be the most advanced and terrible maximum security prison in the Kuritan Empire. Some legends even say some of the Red Decade's old revolutionary leadership are still imprisoned there for their crimes against the Throne.

Her office phone rings and after a sigh she moves to pick it up.

"Yes?" she said in a monotone voice. She had presumed it was one of the Office Administrators but as she looked at the caller id on the phone she recognized it...

"Hello Ms Nene. I've had sometime to think..." It was him. The Captain. Suddenly her stupor faded away and she was all too awake. All their previous contacts had been her initiative.

"and there are a few things I need to get off my chest regarding Beralo. Would it be possible to meet you at the Government Offices?" he asked. His voice was soft and almost dare she say 'vulnerable'. That's been a first, the closest to that had been during that talk...

"Uh yea, sorry you've caught me a little unprepared Captain buuut.." she quickly opened her calendar on her desktop. Ah screw it, nothing else on the agenda today is really time worthy. Besides it'll get the higher ups off her back if she went through with this.

"I can do later today if that suits you. 3pm?"

He agreed and time through the rest of the day seemed to take forever. She didn't look forward to anything else except her lunch break. Very few things excited her in this job but this was the sort of dream some naive teenager might have about the drama one might expect in one of those crime dramas or something. Being a lawyer and making a breakthrough in a case. Most people might still be daunted by things like this and she admitted to herself that she did find him intimidating but nevertheless there was some kind of anticipation of what she might learn that surpassed those feelings of fear. She felt resolved, excited, confident.


Yurople and Raesid
14:57 hours...

She had two more coffees since this morning and a new one brewed just in time for this meeting. She had told the administrators to see that he gets a drink and something to eat once he arrives. It was normal courtesy even if they rejected the offer. Before long there was a knock at her door.

"Afternoon, ma'am" he stated with a salute.

She merely nodded gently with a smile and gestured to one of her office chairs. A bit of a power move on her part and also just unsure how a civil servant like her should respond to a salute. The Kuritan Empire being more of an authoritarian culture tended not to see this as much of an offense as others. Although it was less usual for Imperial Officers to be bossed around by a low-level Bureaucrat. But he didn't show any sign of minding it, after all they've been all business lately so why should he be offended now. He sat comfortably and they locked gaze briefly before he looked away. Again, surprising.

"Suffice it to say, I should've done this sooner and apologized. The way I behaved when we last really spoke Beralo wasn't..it wasn't worthy of an Altanian Officer".

"Thank you. I'm sorry if I came across...inconsiderate or insensitive as well. I'm merely doing my duty" she formally responded. No use getting to chummy but she was sincere in her apology if a little begrudgingly. She knew what she was like but didn't have to like admitting it from time to time.

Raesid sat on the couch and leant forward but his eyes were fixed on his fidgeting hands. His posture was burdened, even after his opening apology.

"I don't know if I'll be made to stand trial and I'm sick of waiting to find out. Considering events leading up to today I wouldn't be surprised if it does. So I'm going to get to the point. Beralo...". He leans back and places his hands firmly on his knees with a slap raising his head to look at her squarely. "I don't care what happens to me now so I'll explain what you're having such a hard time figuring out". Yurople's eyes probably betrayed how interested she was in this sudden candour. She tried to slyly reach to the file that had been lost under a heap of other files, quietly pulling at it.

"So what am I missing? Tacmir you said was the only man you had executed upon capture of Beralo. The Lizardians claim he wasn't killed until later and that there were civilian executions."

Raesid took a deep breath.

"You must remember, our unit had been pursuing Tacmir for months by this point and working with the Nulilirieies to locate Tacmir based on his activities and trust me we were well aware that his activities were spread out. Many of them were deemed to be 'dummies'. Clear attempts to thwart our search. But in the months leading up to the withdrawal our activities had intensified in the wake of Emperor Revoras' death. We had used all military resources and otherwise to put pressure on the resistance and as a result they had far less room to move. It was becoming easier to track them as they prioritized their more valuable assets. Before the Battle of Beralo our forces had already captured Minaus and killed Hamde, two talented and impossibly frustrating guerilla commanders. Hamde had managed to hold off an Imperial assault with only 100 men so you can imagine the officers and I toasted the news when it came in."

Yurople got the file out by this point and prepared to make notes. She felt a little jittery. In the distance from the corner of her eye she could see the Under-Palatiness absentmindedly approaching her office keenly perusing a file undoubtedly yet again destined for her endless pile until the Under-Palatiness peaks her head up to open the door but through the window glimpses at her guest with a look of recognition. She knew a fantastic amount on each of the people the files accounted for in order to remember each face. Well it may be that and that Yurople has been complaining a great deal about Raesid. The old bureaucrat stood at a distance but keenly observing as she took the attention of one of the administrators. But Raesid continued undistracted.

"The defense was fierce which seemed to make it more likely it was Tacmir's base...and so when we took it I breathed a deep sigh of relief. I began the search to bring the rebel out into the open after all we had sacrificed. Another to be crossed off our list and to make sure the Empire would keep a hold of Lizardiar regardless of what Saotome could try. Hours passed and you can imagine my frustration" his hands balled up into fists. Visibly the anger was coming back but his eyes looked to his hands as he seemed to moderate himself. The anger was still there but he was in control.

"One of the officers came up to me and told me he was no where to be found... I ordered questioning of the locals to determine what they knew. In the meantime I did a sweep of known possible hideout methods they might've used to conceal him in the event of an attack like ours. Popular tactics of the rebels we had learnt during the occupation. Nothing. But I did find an operations room, it was more than I imagined they could've put together. It was decked out with everything it might as well have been the Resistance HQ itself. Maybe it was"

"Tacmir was the only piece missing" Yurople said blankly.

"No he wasn't...he was there the whole time. Just..not in the way we expected. The officers and I pieced together what we knew. They defended this place like we were walking in on them in the toilet. They had an operations area that suited every task Tacmir was involved in. They were plenty of people, even in this rural nowhere town of Beralo so he could be hiding amongst them... concealing his appearance." Yurople tensed. Something deep within her was unsettled by where this was going.

"That was the answer as it turned out. You see Tacmir was already old by this time, 68 years old and our information said that he was struggling with cancer requiring constant observation and treatment. But the records of his treatment there were incomplete. Inconsistent would be a better word. Yet despite this he still maintained such efficient operations. We had thought that he was in remission at one point but we still received intelligence about his treatments. It perplexed us until that moment when I asked one of those civilians a question"

"Which was?"

"I went up to one of the women lined up in the courtyard and asked 'Are you Tacmir?'"

Confusion was practically painted all over her face. Yurople didn't understand.

"She didn't answer me right away. But I could see the fear in her face. I turned the man standing next to her and said 'And you. Are you Tacmir?'. His reaction was the same, he tried to stay silent and give nothing away but as I looked at them all it was plain. They all knew where Tacmir was. Because they were Tacmir. The real one was long dead and when the resistance was flagging..they carried on his name and his work. All the signs were there. You say the Lizardians have evidence, I realized then there was far more evidence that Tacmir was more than one person than there was of him alive. I told those people what I believed and I got my answer".

"So I executed 'Tacmir'"

User avatar
Altane
Diplomat
 
Posts: 766
Founded: May 21, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Altane » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:27 am

It wasn't clear to her what it must have been like to be in his mindset that day. If it became known the Lizardians would merely see his story as an admission of the murder of civilians and the evidence and circumstances were murky at best. He could probably argue diminished capacity if he wasn't so insistent that he knew exactly what he was doing. But it was what he said after that still gnawed at her.

"I want to go to trial. I won't get my peace until I say my peace."

He's likely walking himself to the firing squad and worse than that, why would the Government ever allow him to go to trial if he is likely to disgrace the nation doing so? When it came time to finally make her report to the Ministry Official that's what she told him. It's not her duty to lie for him.. but honestly? She made his case too. It doesn't make sense why he should but it was also constantly showing up in the news about how Altane had to answer for its crimes. Besides, if the man is truly unbalanced the court therapist would rule him so. His actions can be seen for what it is, a poor man who's struggled with circumstances most would never know or understand. It would also divest Altane of the blame, perhaps, over time...

Now what gets to her is that the Official doesn't feel 'confident' to argue the case to his superiors. What a joke! She was pacing back and forth on one of the Government building patios overlooking one of Bevaryn's boulevards. She breathed deeply and with a sigh turned and leant on the rails.

East is the Capital from here...

Worun Eshajen

Worun's audience with the Kuritan Emperor went better than expected. It was rare for him to have a one-to-one audience with their sovereign but he had come to know His Exaltation a bit during his service. It was as though he walked into that meeting and they had already come to the same mind before even entering the room. It's set, the Empire must reach out and make better connections with the other powers in the world and can no longer rely upon its limited markets as the economy slows and consumerism drops. Worun already has ideas for how it can be done for which His Exaltation seemed to place his confidence in. It's flattering really, the look on the Master's face that seemed to convey confidence and trust in him.

With the way things are going, chances are Liod Fare won't be Minister of Protocol for much longer. His best guess would be that Liod would be promoted to a Councilor to the Throne and become a personal advisor to the Kuritan Emperor. Worun would turn down the offer to be Protocol Minister though, his passion was foreign affairs and the role of Minister of Protocol was often one of a den mother of the Court Council. Not always an enviable role despite its close access to the Emperor as desirable as it would be.

The phone on his desk rings, he reaches out and presses the speaker button.

"Yes?" Eshajen said, almost giddy with himself.

"Lord Minister, your colleague Humn Huic, the Minister of War is on the line to speak to you. Regarding Caseload #112009-D and that he needed your advice."

Caseload 112009-D... the code for the governments investigation into allegations of War Crimes. Hooray..back to the neverending pain in the neck that is Lizardiar...


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