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The Diplomacy of Unrest [CLOSED/att'n North American Union]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Ezmwalia
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Founded: Mar 01, 2021
Left-wing Utopia

The Diplomacy of Unrest [CLOSED/att'n North American Union]

Postby Ezmwalia » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:47 am

Pitla Street, Nkētown District
Kwenkoseve, Capital Region
Ezmwalia


The Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs had overseen the ambassadorial row known as Pitla Street, within the Nkētown District of Kwenkoseve, since they had moved into the next street over, Lusenkovo Street. It was an important stretch of road, being close to some of Ezmwalia's closest allies, dearest international partners, and some new nations who had only just begun to trickle towards the large Adralian state as Ezmwalia opened up her formalised Embassy Program. The colourful flags of various nations adorned the numerous new buildings that would become embassies or diplomatic centres. Any local citizens who passed Pitla street and its menagerie of cultures and nations would recognise some of these flags. The Central Adralian State, for example, maintained its new embassy on the first portion of Pitla Street. Others, like the newly contacted Union of Nobelia, with their intricate flag of sky blue, white and red, with gold ornamentation, would have not been recognisable to many. Though perhaps the flag which caught the most attention on the new street was somewhat familiar. Dark blue, with a fly of red and white and a constellation displayed on the main field, and in the canton, another flag made of crosses and saltires - the Union Jack.

It had been 55 years since a Union Jack had flown in any official capacity within Lower Byopo, a portion of the former nation of East Ezmouria which broke away from the United Kingdom in what they termed the 'Ezmourian Emergency', but what the Ezmwalians termed the 'Just Revolution'. The presence of this Union Jack at 27 Pitla Street drew more curiosity than anything else. The story of the Union of British North America opening an embassy in Kwenkoseve, or as they termed it, a 'legation', had made the rounds of first the national and then the capital's own news services. The North American Union attracted more curious stares and confused laughs than anything else. The idea of an independent nation that would voluntarily still retain its allegiance to the British, or at the very least display their symbols on its flag, was confusing. But the government had released a statement on the construction of the new legation. This, said the government, was a way of burying the past, moving forward into a new future, and forging new relationships of prosperity and international goodwill, and most within Kwenkoseve, perhaps despite differing opinion, understood and recognised that as a matter of the state. Yet others understood the opening of diplomatic relations between a British-aligned nation and Ezmwalia as the recognition of Ezmwalian sovereignty - this perspective was perhaps helped by the fact that the NAU recognised Ezmwalian sovereignty over East Kwesse and the Non'go Corner. That level of goodwill was a sign of changing times. Perhaps some who had memory of the Just Revolution might more vocally disagree, but they might be forgiven for Anti-British sentiment. For the majority, it was a neutral or a good thing.



Cwāskala Street, Boto District
Mōledyeve, Ntyanga Ankoseve
Ezmwalia


The same could not quite be said for the diplomatic row in Ntyanga's capital city of Mōledyeve. The flurries of movement at the new Nobelian and Stalliongrad consulates continued relatively unhindered. The location of the North American Union consulate, however, at 32 Cwāskala Street, was not so quiet. Police surrounded a wall at the southern edge of the building, and had put up tape around a section of the wall. Sprayed onto it in blue and black spray paint, the words "Sswibliti mwan'ga!" - 'Semi-Brits - go away!' Ntyanga has always been a hotbed of anti-British sentiment, even when compared to the rest of the already anti-British Ezmwalia. Ntyangans had been the most vocal and active opponents of British colonialism. Ntyangans had fought three wars against occupation by colonial authorities prior to their eventual independence in 1963, and had been planning to overthrow their semi-loyalist government in 1973, had it not been for the unilateral agreement of full integration into Ezmwalia in '71. If any group within Ezmwalia held a grudge against the British, it was the Ntyangans. But, as a major trade hub and seat of national importance, Mōledyeve was a prime location for consulary activities. That said, Cwāskala Street was in the very centre of Mōledyeve, and walking past it on commute to work, or during lunch breaks, was a regular occurrence. The large pedestrian traffic around the Premier's residence further down the street ought to have made it easier to find out information about the mystery graffiti, but most residents of the city were remaining silent. But one act of vandalism would not stop the progress, and after the investigation had concluded with no significant leads, a team of cleaners set to work cleaning off the message.



13 Demokladya Street, Nkētown District
Kwenkoseve, Capital Region
Ezmwalia
11:02am


President Jordon Mole gently opened the door to her office. While privately she was feeling somewhat flustered, she took every effort to hide it and appear professional. Her appearance at two minutes past the allotted meeting time might have given away some of her feeling of business, but she did not mind letting the man already waiting inside her office know that she had many matters of state to attend to. Jordon Mole always had time to meet a parliamentarian, a citizen and a veteran of the Just Revolution and the Lower Ntyanga War, but she made no secret of the fact that her time was often taken up with important things.

The old and likely ailing man sitting in front of President Mole's desk had white hair, the remains of a stubbly beard, thick-rimmed glasses that were probably in style during the 1980s and a somewhat scruffy-looking but otherwise formal black suit, with a red tie, a gold star on the collar - typical of members of her own party, the Popular Socialist Front - and an impressive rack of medals on the lefthand side. Each one was a medal conferred onto this man. Jordon Mole had not had that much to do with Mbeyi Meceye prior to that, and though he was respected by a niche group of intellectuals, state functionaries and pariamentarians, he was perhaps a little over-estimating of his own importance within state affairs. He looked around towards the president and began arduously to stand.

"It is alright, Comrade Meceye, you may remain seated if you'd prefer," President Mole spoke while standing in place, a sign of respect.

"Nonsense, Comrade President," Meceye continued, finally standing and placing his stick onto the ground with a loud tap, "I may be old, but I can still stand to honour the leader of my nation."

The President smiled, receiving his own sign of respect graciously, before moving around to sit behind her desk, "I do thank you for coming, Comrade parliamentarian, it is always good to see men of your impressive credentials."

Meceye resumed his seated posture, "I thank you for the honour, Comrade President. How is your aunt?"

"She is well, though a little tired. She has a great many meetings to attend to. How is your brother?"

"He is well, though life tends to seem more fleeting at this end of it," Meceye laughed, "Though I won't have you pitying an old soldier."

In Ezmwalian social custom, asking a person 'how is your brother', or any other family relation, conveyed a set of social respect protocols that had been active in Ezmwalian custom since ancient times. The speaker generally was not actually asking after a cousin or a sibling or an aunt, but instead asking, in a round-about way, after one's own health. 'How is your aunt' might be used to ask after someone who is not well known to the speaker, while 'how is your brother' might be used to signify respect for one's achievements. 'How are you' is generally only reserved for two instances - discussion within a close family unit, or between individuals with a romantic relationship. There were other examples of this, though Ezmwalians did not expect outsiders to know much about their intricacies.

"So, to the matter of hand, Comrade President," Meceye continued, gripping his stick upright, "I have come to ask after the construction of a British embassy within Ntyanga Ankoseve."

President Mole smiled towards the old man, understanding his concern but not wishing to continue it, "Comrade Meceye, the embassy of note is within Kwenkoseve, and belongs to the North American Union, a new diplomatic partner of ours. The building within Mōledyeve is a consulate of the same."

"North American Union," Meceye chuckled slightly, "Call them what you will, Comrade President, a Brit is a Brit, even if he is only a semi-Brit. If he flies that flag and loves that old Empire, he is definitely still a Brit. Why are they building in Ntyanga?"

Mole sighed. It was to be expected that a man such as this might hold some anti-British sentiment, but it revealed its prevalence, the fact that he was speaking to her about this right now, "I was not the only one responsible for approving the placement of said consulate. You could ask Comrade Thwaja during parliament business, or Comrade Joshua Gwamwagwa about the embassy project at any time... Why me?"

"Ah, well Gwamwagwa is simply a functionary," Meceye spoke candidly, "As am I, it is true, though he does not approve anything any more than his rubber stamp is a Minister. And Thwaja, well, he gives me the same response as the rest of them - that this is a 'healing of old wounds', something like that."

"And, that answer doesn't impress you?" Mole knew the answer, of course, but she had to ask. Meceye straightened his head as he spoke.

"How old do you think I am, Comrade President?"

President Mole did not know how to answer, so she rallied up the tact that she had to give a respectful response, "Old enough to serve your country honourably in many conflicts and many years of other service."

Meceye smiled, "I'm seventy-two. I was all of fourteen when the Just Revolution broke out. I left my parents' farm in rural Ntyanga and I joined the revolutionaries in Nthwassa. From there I helped to retake Cwēdyeve, was promoted, and I helped to attack Imperialist forces in the south."

"You led that attack, if I remember correctly," Mole spoke calmly. She had done some research. In fact, she legitimately respected the man sitting opposite her, despite his short-sightedness and prejudices.

Meceye smiled again, "You are right, Comrade President. But in all my time in that war, I had never met a Brit who fought with an ounce of the honour, decency or courage that we did. All I saw were Brits who had forced, coerced, beaten or tricked my own countrymen into fighting on their behalf and fighting against our own interests as the common men of Ezmwalia. When I returned to my home, in Ntyanga, I brought with me a Union Jack I had ripped from a flagpole in the southern mountains. The children of my village ripped it apart and then we burnt it," Meceye appeared somewhat nostalgic for those days, his eyes seeming to look back into that distant past, "The children then will be men and women now, and their children may be men and women now, some of them might even have children. Ntyanga is an Ankoseve that has not forgotten or forgiven what the Imperialists have done to us. We are loyal to Ezmwalia, but we know a mistake is being made, letting the Brits come here again."

Mole sighed again. She recognised what he said, but she had her mind made up. It was the decision that she had helped make that stated old wounds needed to be mended. She stood by that.

"Comrade Meceye, I am sorry that you feel this way. But Ezmwalia, Ntyanga included, has to think of her own position on the world stage. The North American Union is not the same as Britain, but they do offer a chance, for them to right their wrongs and for us to forgive them for what the British have done to our land."

Meceye seemed downtrodden at this response, but before he could speak again, Mole spoke first.

"I have a diplomatic meeting I must attend, though I intend to continue unless things get out of hand. I am meeting members of the NAU's delegation. Believe me, if they are indeed the continuation of an old empire, and wishing to continue that here, I will make my choice to stop them. But until then, trust the party and state's line. We must move forward together, as we always do."
Last edited by Ezmwalia on Sun Mar 07, 2021 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Union of British North America
Diplomat
 
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Founded: Sep 03, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Union of British North America » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:58 pm

The skies of Naaland, Naaland-Ezmalian border region
NAU General Government Flight 785


The very first Envoy extraordinary and Minister plenipotentiary Dame Helen Irving OTG felt and saw the aeroplane bank slightly to her left as she glanced out of the little window to her right, seeing nothing but clouds, reminding her of the vanilla ice cream she had when she was a child. The head of mission of course put such thoughts to rest. As an adult, indeed a grown and professional woman, she must not let childish interests and proclivities occupy her mind while the task at hand demanded her full and undivided attention; but she did hear that the manifest did have a particular brand of her favorite flavour in storage for the rather warm days in the capital of Ezmwalia as well as official functions.

She dwelled on why she was being sent to this landlocked country that most people never seemed to care about back home. This was nevertheless an extraordinary opportunity for the NAU and the United British Commonwealth of Nations. This was the first time in over 50 years, since the independence of East Ezmouria and the rest of Ezmwalia uniting, that a nation not only aligned with London but also had His Majesty the King-Emperor as the King of a Nation of the United British Commonwealth, the head of state, have diplomatic representation in this former colony; Carvieta, which had more British and Anglo-American settlers during its colonial period, managed to weather the storm of independence across the Adralian continent and instead pushed for a multi-ethnic republic, as a compromise between the Carvietan National Congress and the Imperial Unity Party of Carvieta, and external association with the United Commonwealth. Just north of Carvieta, however, things were different.

The East Ezmourian Emergency, the Triple-E, also called the Ezmourian Emergency, a rebellion and revolution against the British colonial government; despite its catchy nickname it was called the "Forgotten Emergency" by historians. The time frame and distance from the rest of the United Commonwealth contributed to its hard recollection by most North Americans, even people who were in their formative years during the Triple-E. While starting before the Burma Emergency, which was seen by the UC as the more important conflict to combat Japanese and Co-Prosperity Sphere interests, it was overshadowed by the expansion of the conflict in Burma and the subsequent Pacific Missile Crisis with Japan and Russia. Atomic war was narrowly avoided and a neurotic first minister of the NAU removed by the Princess Regent and other moves to save face on all sides, so it is easy to see that the East Ezmourian Emergency easily went to the revolutionaries. No political capital or sufficient military forces to stop it, but it was still bloody. From what she read, the King's East Ezmourian Rifles were divided, some serving the Crown and others supporting the Just Revolution, and the British-North American garrison at Mbejeve held out for three weeks against the East Ezmourian rebels.

And then the Mbejeve Campaign happened after that, and many bad things happened at the time.

Decolonisation in Adralia was more accelerated than in other continents for the UC. While many colonies went with becoming Nations of the United British Commonwealth, legislatively independent but aligned with London and had the King-Emperor as their constitutional monarch, or were States in External Association with the UC, fully independent as a native monarchy or a republic but retained an associated relationship in defence and trade matters, many new Adralian nations were birthed through the fires and demands of total independence and wanting nothing to do or relate with their former colonial masters and mother countries. East Ezmouria and the whole of Ezmwalia included.

The plane's intercom announced to the legation staff and diplomats about the remaining time to the capital of Ezmwalia: 30 minutes to Kwenkoseve. Dame Helen, a former Crown attorney for Wellesley, Oregon and former Minister to the East African Federation, now a legate of the leading nation of the United Commonwealth to a former colony with a terrible history, checked over her itinerary with her charge d'affaires and talked with her Minister-Counsellor on the upcoming speech to the audience at the Presidential Palace. "Healing old wounds, fostering new dreams, a time for second chances..." she whispered to herself. She read and re-read the speech until she felt the plane land on the tarmac, decelerating and moving her forward. She remembered that she never unbuckled her seatbelt.

One of the legation staff, an interpreter, looked out of the little window to Helen's left. "Here we are. They have a crowd out there. Press, and some protestors, but not too many by the looks of it. Gosh, it's been over 50 years..." began Nathan Truman, a recent hire and graduate of the NAU Diplomatic Service Examination School. He's from Michigan City, Charlotina, vaguely remembered Helen. "Yes, it looks like what it looks like: an uncertain but somewhat optimistic chance," began her Minister-Counsellor, Clark Davidson. "The agreement to host our legation took over two years to secure. They need our trade and our security and sovereignty assurances for the East Kwesse and the Non'go Corner disputed regions, which is under wraps right now, so your interpretative services are limited to aiding passport, visa, and other documentary services for Ezmwalians wanting to go to the NAU. Don't go blabbering about anything until you get approval from the Minister,"

"Yes, sir," grumbled Truman. He did not like the second-in-command of the legation mission. He sat down in his seat and pulled out a foldable map of Ezmwalia and began staring intensely at certain sections, turning it around here and there. "Ma'am, the first thing, once you step off the plane, is shaking hands with the Prime Minister, a Mister Kwekwezu Mye, followed by a speech for the gathered audience, a few brief words for the cameras, and then onto the Presidential Palace to meet with the President. Accreditation will take place, with a photo op, and a state dinner. Now, this is common standard diplomatic protocol, even if we are a legation and representing only His Majesty's North American Government, but everyone pulls out all the stops for both embassies and legations nowadays. If this goes well, soon a British legation will be in the capital. You are the only representative of the United Commonwealth here," explained her charge d'affaires, Devin Jones. The NAU's status as an autonomous, subsidiary realm of His Britannic Majesty meant that she was only entitled to legations to other countries, but this was not the slight or diplomatic limitation as it suggested. The NAU was the leading Nation of the UBC. Securing its support for anything meant securing the whole UC's support, or at least the UC's acquiescence, for anything. Even Britain, the mother country herself, could not withstand holding out against the NAU for long in UC common foreign policy.

"Well, it is rare for one to be the first, but it is necessary," she told her immediate staff. The plane door made its loud opening noise and opened out, letting in the Ezmwalian sunlight into the cabin. It looked like late afternoon. "All right, let's go," said Helen.

She unbuckled her seatbelt, got up and grabbed her purse. She walked to the aeroplane's door, and looked out. The sun was intense, but she resisted the urge to put on her sunglasses. She began down the stairs of the motorised disembarking vehicle, with her husband right behind her, Mark Irving, and saw the flanking of local police on both sides of a corridor marked off by velvet ropes, and a dark carpet from the stairs' end to the dais and stage. A man walked up to the end of the stairs and helped Dame Helen down from the last few steps; she was in heels after all.

It was the Prime Minister. "Hello, Prime Minister. On behalf of His Britannic Majesty's North American Government, it is an honour to meet the head of government of Ezmwalia, how are you?" began Helen.

North American Union Consulate
Cwāskala Street, Boto District
Mōledyeve, Ntyanga Ankoseve


Chief Trade Commissioner Robert Davies was not happy, not happy at all. Rumours abounded among the service staff hired in Philadelphia and who were transported to Moledyeve to help set up the consulate offices that there was graffiti on the outer wall of the consulate, right next to the metallic, engraved sign that said "NAU Consulate". Local police were called, but given the lack of leads, or lack of willingness to give leads on the part of witnesses, the investigation was stuck before it even started, from what he was told by the local senior inspector assigned to the case. But at least there would be public cleaners on the case for the graffiti.

He got word from the advance diplomatic team in Kwenkoseve that he would be appointed as Consul-General to Ezmwalia in addition to his professional duties as Chief Trade Commissioner to Ezmwalia. The Counsellor who made the phone call, the temporary head of mission until the Minister arrived, seemed to take delight in Davies' rather unexpected promotion, as Davies' voice had that slight hesitation to indicate disapproval of such an appointment. "Thank you, Mr. Branson, tell the Minister, when she arrives, that I will make it my aim to advance the mutually beneficial trade and commercial relationships between our country and this one," concluded Davies' phone call with Branson.

He looked out of the second-story window of his soon-to-be office, after ordering some of his Philly furniture movers to put the wooden desk in the middle of the room. He walked over to a window (he was on the second-story), and pulled down some of the Venetian blinds with his hand. There was a crowd, keeping their distance from the consulate. He saw the NAU flag, the Jack, Stars, and Stripes waving in the left-hand corner, close to the wall, from where he stood and was observing. A bit early as he had to get his accreditation in the capital from the Ezmwalian President before he was consul-general. "Damn NAUPmen," whispered Davies. He was referring to the advance security team that consisted of Special Branch members of the North American Union Police, the federal police. Their SB status meant they handled special assignments, including protection of VIPs, but they were just being stupid right now, thought Davies. They also knew about the graffiti incident.

"Sir," began Sergeant Daniels, the head of the NAUP team. "Sergeant," began Davies, "why in God's name do we have that bloody flag up? I know you got word from Branson I am to be made CG but this is premature--the locals don't like it. This is hurting our diplomatic position, and before we had the main show in the capital set up. Philly is not going to like this," said Davies sternly. "Well sir we could take it down..." started his security chief, coyly. "No, no, it's too late. It's one thing to cause a scene but taking it down will look like weakness. We can't have that before the Minister arrives," Davies disliked the NAUPman was creating potential trouble already. Damn Special Branch agents.

"And this flags represents our strength, sir. It's our pride and joy. You Whigs may like sensitivity, but the tough Tories believe in presenting ourselves with strength, to know we mean business..." said Daniels. "Enough! You are not the diplomat, I am. No matter one's political preferences, we need to have a united front for this mission. This is a rare opportunity, and you are jeopardizing it with your displays of Crown and Country patriotism, and this is a country that does not look fondly on either. This requires tact, Sergeant,"

Davies was of course referring to the comprehensive trade agreement that was proposed last year during the preliminary talks between the Graves ministry and the administration of President Mole. For the last three months, limited and unofficial exchanges of lesser diplomats in each country's capitals were made in the process of establishing formal relations. Now, Dame Helen was going to Ezmwalia to be the first head of mission in over 50 years here while her counterpart, would be fast-tracked to accreditation before Dame Helen arrived in the Ezmwalian capital, after more negotiations took place. While diplomatic relations are important for the political side of things, and the Ezmwalians are pleased to have support for their disputed regions with other regional nations, trade was the next important thing to secure. Investment, tariff reductions, quota raises, some UCMF (UC Monetary Fund) loans, and a deal to drill oil. Davies' plan was for a 40-60 NAU-Ezmwalian split on the oil, with 20 percent of the profits of both sides to invest in a NAU-Ezmwalian wealth fund for regional development, with gradual transfer to a sovereign wealth fund for Ezmwalia and controlled by Ezmwalia in the end. With Ezmwalia having a socialist bent at the moment, perhaps his neo-physiocratic ideas on natural resources would be appealing to them, and the Whig government in Philly embracing neo-physiocracy at home and for their international development plans.

But now he can only wait. He was disturbed in his scolding of Daniels by a phone call. "I'll talk to you later," said Davies. Daniels saluted and left the office, leaving the office door open.

"Hello? Branson, is that you did the Minister arriv--" began Davies. "Heellllooo there, Bobby! It's me, Roger Galloway, of Galloway Enterprises? North American Fuel?"

"Hello, Mr. Galloway..." said Davies, incredulous that a vice president of the largest conglomerate of the NAU, of the largest petroleum subsidiary in the NAU, and the second eldest son of the Galloway family was speaking to him at this very moment. "...What can I do for you?"

"Well Bobby, you see, I'm coming down to Ezmwali-whatever to assist you with the trade deal," said Galloway.
"What? Why?"

"Well, Bobby, you see, NA Fuel is gonna be doing the drilling. You didn't know?"
"No, sir, I thought that detail was still being worked out. An Ezmwalian state company already surveyed the area, and a bidding process for the North American company to assist with the extraction..."

"Well, Bobby, you see, NA Fuel won that bid. Just yesterday. Hello? Heellloo?"
Davies was stunned. "Ah yes, yes sir. I'll see you when you get here,"

"I'll be in Kwenko-something tomorrow morning, 10-ish. Anyway, it is late here in Michigan City and I have to leave in three hours, so I'll see you tomorrow with the President and the state oil company boss. Good night Bobby," finished the oil executive.

It already dawned on Davies that his trade deal might be derailed, politically or by a diplomatic faux pax.
Last edited by The Union of British North America on Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:59 pm, edited 9 times in total.
An alt-history version of an America that peacefully avoided the American Revolution and remained connected to Britain (Turtledove's "The Two Georges"), mixed with some of Sobel's "For Want of a Nail" and a lot of the anthology "Columbia and Britannia".

Tech level: MT+
IC/RP name: North American Union (NAU).
IC/RP main supranational IGO: United British Commonwealth of Nations.
NSverse organization member/agreement signatory: CAPINTERN, IFTC, ICDN, ECO, IBA, Amistad.

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Ezmwalia
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 64
Founded: Mar 01, 2021
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Ezmwalia » Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:45 pm

Kwenkoseve International Airport
Kwenkoseve, Capital Region
Ezmwalia


Prime Minister Kwekwezu Mye sat in the shade, away from the glaring afternoon sun, just outside of the terminal building of the Kwenkoseve International Airport, gently swirling a glass of water with rapidly shrinking ice cubes. Humidity wasn't desperately high today, but the ambient dry heat was still quite something to behold. Not that Kwekwezu Mye particularly minded, of course. The 48 year-old had done his fair share of outside labour prior to becoming a minister of the Parliament and, later, Prime Minister of Ezmwalia. But it did seem to the Prime Minister that the temperatures were getting hotter, the plants browner and the climate more unstable. He took a sip of the cool but rapidly heating water. Of course, the Prime Minister had worn clothes of style rather than functionality - a completely black suit, obligatory gold star on the collar, with a red shirt and black tie beneath. He wore sunglasses, and had trimmed his beard for the occasion. Being an official, the Prime Minister did need to have someone around him who knew what he did not about personal appearance. Luckily for Mye, his wife Valerie knew a great deal more than he. She sat in a muted blue dress next to the Prime Minister - stylish, classy, but not too flashy. She had the foresight to bring a personal fan with her. To his other side, a state functionary who evidently wished he had done the same - Joshua Gwamwagwa, Embassy Program Supervisor, was a smart man, in many ways a genius, but often allowed simple matters of personal care and social protocol to slip his mind. He adjusted his collar, red tie seeming to constrict the neck it was around, and found many new ways to sweat. The 28 year-old was the youngest of the welcoming party. But he wasn't the last of them.

"Right, thank you comrade," a calm and collected woman named Major Catelyn Clark-Mwan'ga, dressed in a smart green military uniform, closed her flip-phone and strode towards the remainder of the welcoming party, "I've just received word from the air traffic controller. They say the North American plane is inbound."

"About time," Valerie Mye spoke, as the remainder of the welcoming party rose to their feet. Joshua Gwamwagwa, his suit clinging to his body, stood up slower than the rest, cursing the heat and exhaling loudly. Prime Minister Mye waited for his wife to finish fixing up her dress, and looked around at the remainder of the airfield. The welcoming committee had set up a large stage with tall flagpoles in front of it, with Ezmwalian colours of blue, red and black decorating the podium. The Prime Minister recalled a particularly heated discussion between him, James Thwaja, the Minister of Diplomatic Affairs, and Phenge Mboto, the head of the JMA, where Ms Mboto had mentioned that using any flags, either of Ezmwalia or the North American Union, would either cause an international incident or an internal news story. The best compromise? The Ezmwalian colours were roughly analogous to those of the North American Union, and the United Commonwealth as a whole. As such, the Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs had signed off on it - the colours were acceptable for such a diplomatic event. Beside the stage stood two sedans, one in blue for the NAU delegates, with their flag on the bonnet, one in black for the Ezmwalian group, similarly decked out in flags. Behind them, a few military utility vehicles in khaki, and a military brass band to the side. Once standing, the welcoming party began to move toward the stage.

The reason why the military ran point on this one, rather than perhaps the JMA or some agents from MpweMō, and acted as security for the visiting delegates and the Ezmwalian group, was largely one of public relations also. To be seen as pulling any punches in regards to these, as some within the country were calling them, 'Semi-Brits', would have been an awful appearance for the public who were more cautious with them. As such, Major Clark-Mwan'ga's small unit of troops, driving their vehicles around the two sedans which comprised the motorcade, would look after all security concerns. Obviously full diplomatic honours would be extended, but as it was a delicate matter for Ezmwalians as well as the foreigners, it had to be dealt with delicately.

Speking of the military unit assigned to the event, looking over to them, two of the soldiers were leaning against their vehicles, smoking. Wordlessly, Prime Minister Mye looked toward the Major, who scowled and broke from the group, shouting madly at the soldiers, who soon put out their cigarettes at the sight of their commanding officer's anger. Mye looked back around to the other side. In front of the terminal building, a very small collection of individuals standing with signs and slogans. They appeared mostly older, some upwards of 70, and some wearing old militia uniforms and flying socialist flags. The group was small and old enough not to cause too much of an issue, maybe one or two younger than the others. As they reached the podium, Major Clark-Mwan'ga returned to their side, the issues with the soldiers sorted and the remainder of the motorcade set up. Next to the two formal sedans stood four soldiers in full dress uniform, blue with black trim and white gloves, and peaked caps. These were the soldiers tasked with opening the doors for the delegations. Finally, two soldiers stood, one with the flag of the NAU and one with the flag of Ezmwalia on their shoulders.

"Major," the Prime Minister began, "Did Commissioner Mboto sign off on the flying of the North American flag at this event?"

"She did," the Major recalled, "It turns out that the Ezmwalian flag code has much stricter regulations for hanging flags than flying them. As long as our flag is on the left, it's showing precedence to the host nation."

"But the left from which angle?"

The Major paused for a moment, looking at the crowd of protestors and then the stage. She swore under her breath. There was a news camera set up basically next to the podium. From one angle, the orientation of the flags would be wrong. Seeing the aircraft, the last one coming in on Runway 3 for the day, fast approaching, and knowing that there was no time to bring in another flagpole, or indeed another flag, the Major set off toward the flag-bearers, muttering something about the JMA and refusing to set things up properly.

"This is going to go well," Valerie Mye spoke reassuringly to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister appreciated the lack of the sarcasm that Valerie often reserved for occasions like this. The Prime Minister, unlike the newer President Mole, did not always get involved in diplomatic events. This was rather a step out of his own comfort zone.

"Now remember," Gwamwagwa said as the plane approached, nearly ready to touch down, "It's quite possible that even the most knowledgeable among them don't know the most of our customs."

"Who visits a country and doesn't pay attention to custom?" Valerie said, before looking over toward the blue sedan, with the 'Jack, Stars, and Stripes' on the bonnet. The Prime Minister registered her thoughts - Perhaps the British...

The plane landed, and came to a halt at the other end of the third runway. It taxied back towards the group and the welcoming party readied themselves. They already knew which order they would approach - first the Prime Minister, then Valerie, and finally Joshua Gwamwagwa. As the plane came to a halt, the brass band next to the stage began to play the NAU's anthem. The press who were there began to take photos, as the door opened and the Union's envoy stepped out. Kwekwezu Mye noticed that the steps stood just enough off the ground to be a potential hazard, so approached much closer, assisting the dame off the last few steps. Once she had reached the Ezmwalian ground, she began to speak to the Prime Minister.

"Hello, Prime Minister. On behalf of His Britannic Majesty's North American Government, it is an honour to meet the head of government of Ezmwalia, how are you?"

Ignorance. Not the greatest first impression upon reaching another country's soil on a diplomatic mission. Kwekwezu put it past him. The Envoy would probably learn at some point, but until then, patience. From his own reading, and the watchful eye of Thwaja and Gwamwagwa, Mye had learnt that many English-speakers used 'how are you' as a phatic expression, unlike the actual question posed when Ezmwalians themselves asked, wishing to hear details. But Mye would answer in kind. Though it felt rude to him, perhaps the guests would become more at ease that way.

"I am well, thank you Envoy. Welcome to Ezmwalia," his wife and the Embassy Program Supervisor both approached the plane with a smile, Joshua's perhaps a little more awkward than Valerie's, "Allow me to introduce my wife, Valerie Mye," Valerie held out her own hand to shake the Envoy's, "And the head of the Embassy Program, Joshua Gwamwagwa, who I believe has been in regular communication with your government over the preceeding two years," Gwamwagwa stepped forward in turn, his hands somewhat clammy. The welcoming party expected the Dame to introduce her own delegation prior to formalities commencing.



Philadelphia, Duchy of Philadelphia
Pennsylvania, North American Union
Three months earlier


Nikole Luth had recently moved into the new Legation building in Philadelphia, within the North American Union. The North American Union had performed many of the preliminary activities for setting up legations within Ezmwalia, and as part of some agreement or another that the North American Union had with most or all of its diplomatic partners, when the NAU set up a legation elsewhere, the recipient country would get a legation within the North American Union. Ms Luth was that diplomatic officer for Ezmwalia within Philadelphia. The new building which would act as her home and office for however long as either group would have her there. There was a small security division there, a few diplomatic officers, but for Nikole, most of her activities would be only hers. She would run point with the NAU directly.

As such, there were many things needing to be sorted.

The Union had mentioned a number of agreements that they wished to make with Ezmwalia. Trade agreements, oil drilling explorations, diplomatic exchange, many more things. In fact, she had been given a notice that she was to represent Ezmwalia to the Prime Minister later that day. It was her first independent diplomatic appointment, and she did not want to mess up. As such, the time was approaching fast, and a security agent rapped on the door of her office.

"Yes?"

The door opened, "Ambassador Luth, are you ready to leave?"

Luth flinched slightly. Was she an ambassador? Or was the term 'Envoy', or 'Legate'? Either way, it was not a term that Ezmwalia regularly used, "I am ready."

They descended the stairs, left the building, and entered the diplomatic sedan used as standard within Ezmwalian embassies in other countries. What the Prime Minister would say, what she would suggest and what trade deals Luth would have to sign off on, well, that was all to be decided here.
Last edited by Ezmwalia on Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Union of British North America
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Founded: Sep 03, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Union of British North America » Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:06 pm

Lambton Palace
Philadelphia, Duchy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
North American Union
Three months earlier


Prime Minister Dame Felicity Graves and Minister of External Affairs Dean Fairchild were sitting in a rather large waiting room just outside His Excellency the Right Honourable President-General's private room that was next to his office. He was getting ready and dressed in special court dress, as suiting the viceroy of North America. Dame Felicity and Mr. Fairchild were wearing slightly new but typical dress as working politicians. She was wearing a red blazer with black slacks while Fairchild wore a navy blue three-piece suit with a checkered tie of white and blue; his dress-shirt was white. Dame Helen entered the waiting room followed by one of the equerries of the viceregal household, a Captain Henrikson from the Charlotian Dragoons, who was the personal equerry to the President-General and to the King-Emperor when he was in the NAU.

His Excellency emerged from the private room. He was wearing something out of the 18th century--the reason it took him twenty minutes to change, even without refreshing himself. The recently appointed Sir John Cabot-Lodge of Boston, a baronet, adjusted his glasses and then his red sash's bow that hung to his left hip. He had his court sword hanging on his left hip as well, a small rapier that descended from Prince Edward, the first President-General and the brother of King George III.

A modus vivendi was arranged in the last three weeks between Ezmwalia and the North American Union. Such an agreement was made with Ms. Nikole Luth, the chief diplomat for the exploratory diplomatic mission to Philadelphia. This agreement led to a mutual exchange of Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary, commonly called Ministers and addressed as Their Excellencies, and who rank second in diplomatic precedence. As the NAU and the United Commonwealth still rely on a treaty made in the early 19th century that governed diplomatic relations and slightly modified over time, this meant only the Kingdom of Great Britain could send Ambassadors, and only to other Great Powers. While the NAU itself is arguably a great power, it had the British monarch as its sovereign, and thus was limited to this secondary rank. However, ministers can meet the head of state. And the NAU was the major player of the United British Commonwealth of Nations. Underestimating the NAU meant underestimating the UC. But the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister were not usually dealing with a tyranny or oligarchy that tries to push around the UC. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make amends.

"Ms. Luth will be here in 20 minutes, Your Excellency," said Dean Fairchild. "Ah, good. She'll soon be 'Her Excellency, Ms. Nikola Luth and so on," remarked the President-General. "Yes, Your Excellency. This is a step in the right direction and a milestone for our two nations, indeed for the whole UC and Ezmwalia and others in Adralia," stated Dame Felicity, the Prime Minister of the North American Union. Dame Helen introduced herself to His Excellency, as they had not much time to meet earlier when he was named PG. "Yes I agree Prime Minister, this approach is good and will help develop not only a rapport between their officials and ours, but also embrace each other's populations to increasingly interconnected trade and diplomacy; the General Department of Global Development will busy this year with aid grant development." She turned to her viceroy. "Your Excellency, I am honoured that you have summoned me for such an occasion. On behalf of the entire Diplomatic Service, I...". "Ms. Irving, you are going to be named Minister to Kwenkoseve," flatly stated His Excellency. Dame Helen was surprised, but it was a pleasant one. She always liked a challenge, and this was a challenge that was one from start to finish, rather than a particular problem that emerged during the mission. "Thank you, Your Excellency. I will be the Crown's most obedient servant in promoting good relations between our two countries," said Helen.

The President-General of the North American Union and Commander-in-Chief in and over North America is the Union's de facto head of state (since he is North American and filling in the roles of such a position) but he is also the viceregal representative of the Crown in the Union, ensuring that His Britannic Majesty's Dominions in North America are having peace, order, and good government and having the right to warn, the right to encourage, and the right to be consulted in all matters with His Majesty's North American Government. And today, he would be acting as the head of state on behalf of His Majesty, Charles III--King of the North American Union and the other Nations of the United British Commonwealth, Head of the External Associations of States with the United Commonwealth, and Emperor of India.

The group followed the President-General to the rotunda of Lambton Palace, where major affairs of state were held. An elevated platform in the middle of the rotunda held the 'throne' where the PG would sit, along with a few chairs for the Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister, and the recently appointed North American Minister to Kwenkoseve. Captain Henrikson left the rotunda to head to the entrance of the Palace, where Ms. Luth and her entourage would arrive. The President-General took his seat. The Viceregal Consort could not make this occasion but would meet with the Ezmwalian delegation at the state dinner after the North American Minister was sent on her mission.

Indeed, Ms. Luth would be meeting the Prime Minister but also the representative of the Crown and her counterpart in Kwenkoseve.

Captain Henrikson left the rotunda through a set of large doors that led to the entrance hall of the Palace. A few minutes later someone knocked twice and opened one of the large doors. He bowed from the neck. In came Ms. Luth and the North American Master of Ceremonies, Colonel Avery Jacobs (Ret). "Your Excellency, Ezmwalian Minister to Philadelphia, Ms. Nikole Luth," Jacobs announced.

"Thank you, Colonel. Please approach, Ms. Luth!" said the President-General in a normal voice though sounded somewhat loud. They were far from each other, and the rotunda had excellent acoustics. The equerry and Master of Ceremonies bowed and led Ms. Luth to the President-General. Pomp and ceremony for even such a small event.

There was a large red carpet that led from the door to the platform. The rotunda was about half full, judging by the seats for the audience, aside from the mentioned inhabitants there were Ministers and Minister-Counsellors from the other Adralian countries such as Carvieta and Chutwana, some important civil servants from External Affairs and Global Development, and the British High Commissioner to the NAU, There were two servants and two members of the President-General's Foot Guards, with one of each on either side of the platform. There was also a photographer who was hovering by a large painting of Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany.

The equerry and the Master of Ceremonies bowed once they reached the bottom of the footsteps of the platform. The government ministers rose when His Excellency the Right Honourable President-General did. "Welcome, Ms. Luth, to Lambton Palace, and to the North American Union. I know you have been staying here for some time already, but you have not been welcomed in any official capacity given the sensitive nature. I hope this will make things start off on the right foot," remarked the President-General. While he must stand for ceremony for the dignity of the Crown, he was something of a casual, informal man.

"Welcome, Ms. Luth," said the Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister, and Dame Helen in that order. Of course, the former two have already been meeting with Ms. Luth regularly until now. This was the first time meeting Nikole Luth for Dame Helen.

"Now, let's get to what we have all been waiting for," said the President-General. The Master of Ceremonies and Ms. Luth ascended the five steps to the level where the North Americans were.

"Your Excellency, I present the designated head of mission, Her Excellency Ms. Nikole Luth, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Ezmwalia to Philadelphia. The letters of credence from the President of the Republic for Ms. Luth to represent the Government of the Republic in the North American Union," stated the Master of Ceremonies, first in English, then French, and finally in Spanish. Excellence and Excelencia were uttered as forms of address for the President-General and the Ezmwalian minister-designate in accordance with the Official Languages Act. Ms. Luth gave her letters to the President-General with both hands, indicating her instructions and desires to represent her government to the NAU, and he accepted them with both hands. "On behalf of His Britannic Majesty and on the advice of His Britannic Majesty's Government, I accept your letters of credence," said the President-General. The photographer took some more pictures and applause emanated from the audience.

Two clear plastic podiums were brought in, one on the left with the coat of arms of the NAU and one on the right (both podiums on the right side of the rotunda room, close to the doors where the President-General entered) with the coat of arms of Ezmwalia. A row of flags, alternating between the NAU and Ezmwalian flags were behind them. The Prime Minister of the NAU and the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Ezmwalia took to their respective podiums for speeches.

"Welcome, Ms. Luth, to our Union. This is a great moment in history for our two countries. A second chance," began Dame Felicity. She continued her speech, highlighting the lows of the NAU/UC-Ezmwalian relationship but also indicating the few highs, such as shared values to democracy and parliamentary governance and, for a more concrete example, the NAU/UC-Carvietan-Ezmwalian humanitarian mission to treat outbreaks of a strain of bird flu in the Nytanga southern region that shared a border with Carvieta. The North American Medical Response Team, a nonprofit and affiliated with the New Day Agency of the Department of Global Development, worked with Carvietan and Ezmwalian authorities on containing and treating the disease in 2017.

The Prime Minister finished and the room waited to hear Ms. Luth's own remarks.
---
Kwenkoseve International Airport
Kwenkoseve, Capital Region
Ezmwalia
Present Day


Dame Helen exchanged pleasantries and smiles with Mye's wife Valerie, the Embassy Progam Supervisor Mr. Gwamwagwa. "This is my husband, Mark Irving, and this the Minister-Counsellor, Clark Davidson, the deputy head of mission. And this is the charge d'affaires Devin Jones," she began. Nathan Truman, on his turn as intermediate level staff, spoke in nearly flawless Standard Emzwalian to the Prime Minister. "Your Excellency, it is an honour to meet you. How is your cousin?" Nathan Truman, of course, when at the Diplomatic Service Exam School, also had to develop his cultural competencies with advanced linguistic instruction. Language is more than just the spoken or written word that you interface directly, it also depends on the dialects, slang, idioms, and cultural references that make it unique and give it true meaning. But he should have advised the Minister on such things, to adapt her first words to the head of government with this cultural point in mind. He'll tell her just before her speech for future references. His messy, dirty blond hair indicated he was not aiming to be a big wig, but a unique type even if working for the government.

The entourage of Ezmwalian and North American officials began making their way. The NAU anthem, a rendition of God Save the King, was not that original when in its instrumental form, as it shared with several other Nations of the United British Commonwealth. Dame Helen noticed the podium and the flags. From where she walking, the Jack, Stars, and Stripes and the Ezmwalian tricolour were flying with a good breeze. The latter was to the left, as is customary usually for the hosting nation to have that precedence from left to right. She noticed the protestors about 50 yards away, behind a fence, holding up signs and they just started a chant.

The head of government and the head of the mission ascended the stairs of the stage set up for them and headed to the podium. The Prime Minister spoke first, a welcoming with somewhat tepid applause from the assembled audience. The first impression is always important, and even before Dame Helen began her first public remarks she sensed a great feeling of just not being an outsider but also someone who will be looked at askanced. Understandable, she was the de facto representative of the whole United Commonwealth, even if she technically representing just the North American government here.

After the Prime Minister spoke, she took to the podium. The microphone made a rather loud ringing sound, but it passed. "Good afternoon. My name is Dame Helen Irving. It is an honour to meet for the first time the Prime Minister of Ezmwalia, Mr. Mye, his wife Valerie, and Mr. Gwamwagwa of the Embassy Program. I hope our two countries will build a great friendship and address common issues. This is the start of a new era for our two countries..." she began her speech, when she started hearing shouting, first from one individual, and then several. It was a chanting. She noticed some of the security personnel, military types, scanned and moved towards the source of the chanting.
An alt-history version of an America that peacefully avoided the American Revolution and remained connected to Britain (Turtledove's "The Two Georges"), mixed with some of Sobel's "For Want of a Nail" and a lot of the anthology "Columbia and Britannia".

Tech level: MT+
IC/RP name: North American Union (NAU).
IC/RP main supranational IGO: United British Commonwealth of Nations.
NSverse organization member/agreement signatory: CAPINTERN, IFTC, ICDN, ECO, IBA, Amistad.

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The Union of British North America
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Posts: 542
Founded: Sep 03, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Union of British North America » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:59 pm

---FLASHBACK---
Mbejeve, Crown Colony of East Ezmouria
A mile away from Villiers Garrison
11 April, 1963


Lieutenant-Colonel Abram Benson of the Royal North American Provost Corps was napping in the motorcar ride from a small village about 12 miles south of Mbejeve. The top of the Chimp Military Pattern Car was down and his provost cap, a red covering over his standard-issue officer cap, was covering his face to keep the hot sun out of his eyes--near high noon in East Ezmouria. He could barely nod off as the road was bumpy, shaking the vehicle sometimes violently and suddenly.

His platoon of Yankee red caps was assigned to the United Commonwealth Forces Strategic Reserve Adralia Central Adralia Field Force. The Strategic Reserve was a multinational forward presence of United Commonwealth troops in an important global region, such as the continent of Adralia. The Central Adralia Field Force was a provisional field command of British and North American troops to provide internal security in this part of the continent; in fact, it was one of two such formations. The other one was in the southern part of the continent, cozying up to the imperials and fellow American colonials in Carvieta. As of the end of the tumultuous global conflict of the middle of this century, world powers and their overseas colonial empires were struggling to remain relevant. The rise of non-European powers like Japan and China and the expense of blood and treasure from the war, along with the German atrocities have made everyone realize, governor and governed, that this arrangement cannot continue. The age of empire is dying. That is why the British Empire is changing into the United British Commonwealth of Nations. From a colonial empire to a new system of partnerships with free and equal member and associate nations.

In the Central Adralia area of the continent, there are several British colonies and protectorates. Some are directly ruled by Britain, others are indirectly administered by British residents in native capitals. Not only are non-European powers are losing control of their colonies, but they also vary as to how to salvage what they can from the decline of their empires. Others are cracking down, others are accommodating with self-rule or independence with strong economic connections. The UC is doing the latter approach. The National System, set up by Britain and with the support of the major UC Nations like the NAU. It sets up schedules for autonomy or independence, setting up the necessary political capital and economic development conditions to move away from colonial or protectorate status to autonomous kingdoms in personal union with Britain or as states in external association with the UBC (and having the King-Emperor as Head of the External Association). India went through it after the war, and so did many African colonies. Now it was Adralia's turn.

Gwaland, Carvieta, Ntyangaland, East Ezmouria and Chutwana are crown colonies while Non'go, West Ezmouria and Marawal are protectorates, the first and last seized from the Germans during the last war. Non'go was returned to its state of independence and is a close ally of the UC, even accepting External Association status and having the King-Emperor (a child of 3 years who has his aunt as the Princess Regent until he is of age to take the throne) as Head of the External Association. The other lands are currently under different schedules for autonomy and independence and their level of relationship under the National System. There are several debates as to what the details entail. There is a growing argument for a federation of Central Adralia, while others favor independent nations of the major ethnicities. Pro-UC factions and ethnicities, and ideologies such as nationalism and socialism are heavily involved in this great debate of this time.

LtCol Benson woke up with the sudden deceleration of the Chimp. His hat fell off of his face and landed, red covering down, on the dry, dusty ground. They were here, at Villiers Garrison, the headquarters of the CAFF Internal Security Force. This was the unit responsible for maintaining the peace, particularly as some growing movements of nationalists influenced by the teaching of Karl Marx are gathering steam with newspapers and local strikes of farmers and light manufacturing workers in the more distant settlements. These nationalist movements' stated goals were at odds with the Central Adralia National System Programme, and the imperial authorities, as well as native governments and leaders, wished for the socialists to turn it down or at least hold them off from starting anything major, like a general strike.

Benson and his driver, a Lance Corporal Henry Adams, got out of the car. Benson picked up his hat. "Damn it, Adams, I was told you were a chauffeur back home, why are you so crazy with your driving," Benson chastised his driver. "Sorry, sir. This car is too bulky and requires lots of handling than a limo for my usual patrons," replied Adams, meekly. His former profession is what got him into the army as a driver and as a provost. He was a chauffeur for a prominent socialite back in Michigan City (ATL name for Chicago), and said socialite's husband caught his wife and Adams in bed together one afternoon. Adams ran away so far that he felt he had to be on a different continent to escape that husband's wrath. Now, this 19-year-old joined up to serve King and Country to prevent his hide or his life from being thrashed by a wealthy tycoon and their henchmen for bedding his wife. Adams even said that she would be waiting for him when he came back. Adams specifically joined the provosts as a way to hide in plain sight, as it would be less likely for anyone to investigate the military police, even goons looking for a skinny kid who grew up in Cahokia. And he requested a distant posting to "really set things straight for him and to see the world," according to the recruiting station chief. Benson thought he was just a troubled kid but he just kicked the hornet's nest and had to get away from some time. Sounds like a classic tale of moving to another part of the Empire, internal self-exile.

Benson and Adams walked into the Villers Garrison front gate and checked with the Guard Room. Cars were just parked outside the building as Mbejeve was largely quiet; no groups causing disturbances. They continued walking and entered the main hall of the Garrison. Some of the other provosts were drinking and playing cards, some were listening to the wireless. The latest music from America, a carefree garage beat played by a boy band that a weird name that Benson could not remember, was playing. He remembered the tune. It was infectious. The pair strolled to the CAFF Commander's Office on the second floor. They entered and saluted their commanding officer, Brigadier Harold Smith-Pyke, a British officer of the RMP. Benson and Adams gave their open-palmed salutes. "Sir," they both remarked. "Benson, Adams, at ease. This is merely a minor investigation, not a formal report we need for a court-martial, gentlemen," said Smith-Pyke. Benson sat down at his desk in front of the Brigadier while Adams stepped out of the office and closed the door. While currently Benson's driver and assistant, he was wanting to learn how to be a proper provost.

"Sir, our investigation turned out to be inconclusive. While there have been reports of truck transports being harassed by gangs of youths on motorbikes and horseback and armed with old breech-loaders and Hun bolt-action rifles, but nothing to the extent the EEPM operating this close to Mbejeve. Just a local bandit gang, military-age youths with nothing better to do than cause trouble to the innocent people of East Ezmouria and our interests here with implementing the National System," stated Benson. "Then, just double patrols for that part of the road then? What of mercenaries? German guns-for-hire operating out of Marawal and Non'go and aiding that warlord in the North?" asked the Brigadier. "I suspect they are contracted with him directly, but we haven't encountered any directly," said Benson. Smith-Pike sighed. "Then we'll just keeping doing this until something major happens. We get a lead on these Huns and the Marawalese and then we pursue them, and they go into hiding for a couple of weeks, and then slaughter a village because it is too remote for us and easy for them to hide, and the process repeats and the National System starts looking tepid and ineffectual," said Smith-Pyke.

The North Americans and British are not fond of the Prussians at this moment, even two decades after the war and Germany split north-south, Prussians and Austrobavarians, respectively. The warlord in the north is a man called the King of Snakes, but intelligence has not put an identity to this man yet. He arose two years ago, just as the National System was being implemented for Central Adralia. It is rumoured he has connections to the German mercenary companies operating from Marawal and Non'go, or is German himself, and is acting in the manner of the butcher Josef Heichller in South Africa during the war. The CAFF has been engaging his militia for two years now, and has been a game of cat and mouse with partisan warfare and search and enclosure of enemy camps with no end in sight and some rising casualties. Former Marawal native troops that served Germany are put through a propaganda regime to commit ethnic cleansing in the North of East Ezmouria and in Non'go. This conflict with the warlord has made the National System look bad in Central Adralia, though imperial authorities and local leaders still advocate it to keep the country from falling into civil war or revolution. The nationalists and socialists in East Ezmouria have taken upon themselves to form their own militias to defend the eastern part of EE from these bandit armies and therefore increase their political clout with the local population and now present a challenge to the incrementalist National System. So far, the East Ezmourian People's Militia has not officially requested assistance from the CAFF and CAFF is reluctant to work with them as this could hinder the National System schedule.

"Keep pursuing those leads, and maybe we'll get a break that will lead us to the King of Snakes. If those gangs are working for him, we can track them back to him and get the bastard," said the Brigadier. "Yes, sir," said Benson. That was the gist of the plan to take him down. But what of the EEPM? "Before you leave, give Adams this," said Smith-Pyke. It was an envelope. "Yes, sir," said Benson. "Dismissed, Lieuteant-Colonel,"

Benson got up and saluted. Smith-Pyke returned it. Benson made an about-face and marched out of the office. He reunited with Adams going down the stairs. He handed the envelope to Adams. "From the Brigadier himself," said Benson. Adams opened it and saw it was a letter for promotion, to take place tomorrow. He was to be a sergeant. And, there was instructions. Adams was to be the assistant to Benson and to aid in the investigation of the local gangs and their possible connection to the King of Snakes' army.

The two strolled out of the hall and went to their separate barracks for officers and enlisted. Right now, Benson needed to sleep for his next investigation. Adams needed a drink right now to celebrate. But that seemed to all to be put off by an explosion, just outside the Villiers Garrison.
An alt-history version of an America that peacefully avoided the American Revolution and remained connected to Britain (Turtledove's "The Two Georges"), mixed with some of Sobel's "For Want of a Nail" and a lot of the anthology "Columbia and Britannia".

Tech level: MT+
IC/RP name: North American Union (NAU).
IC/RP main supranational IGO: United British Commonwealth of Nations.
NSverse organization member/agreement signatory: CAPINTERN, IFTC, ICDN, ECO, IBA, Amistad.


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