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2022 Rythenean Presidential Election [IC][Levilion][Closed]

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Rythene
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Civil Rights Lovefest

2022 Rythenean Presidential Election [IC][Levilion][Closed]

Postby Rythene » Sat Jan 01, 2022 3:32 am



Every four years since the inception of the second republic, Rythene has held a democratic election to decide who becomes president and form the government. In the elections of 2014 and 2018, People’s Party candidate Edward Hådirssen won and held office for eight years. However, since a president of Rythene can only hold office for two terms, a new successor will be determined in the upcoming vote, and due to tradition will be inaugurated on the 1st of September. The election process follows a two-round voting system, whereby if no party wins a majority of the votes (50% or more), the top two with the highest number of votes will face off in a second election. The democratic process has always been highly valued, and despite the overbearing nature of the campaign season, Rytheneans view themselves as the benchmark of republican values. Rythene operates under a semi-presidential system, which consists of; a president who is the executive and head of state; a vice president, who runs on the same ticket as the presidential candidate; and a prime minister, who is nominated by the executive and confirmed by parliament, following a seperate legislative election held six months later.

The Candidates

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The candidate for the People’s Party is James Preston. At 42 years of age, with a successful and varied career in politics, it’s safe to assume the comparisons between Preston and the last two presidents aren’t coincidental. Whilst these similarities may have helped him secure the party nomination, Preston isn’t convinced that the current president approves of the choice. The People’s Party platform is a branch of social democracy, and their policies over their recent terms have reflected beliefs inspired by popular movements. It is historically the most successful Rythenean political party, and has won the last four elections consecutively.

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The candidate for the Liberal Conservative Party is Kenneth Elmer. He is the youngest child of former president Charles Elmer, who was responsible for the 1986 constitutional amendment which established the third republic. The Liberal Conservative Party hasn’t won an election this century, the last time being 26 years ago. However, they are hoping to rectify that this year by nominating an Elmer, which is a family name that is synonymous with Rythenean politics.

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The candidate for the Greens Party is Eleanor Lalonde. Of the four candidates we will be following, she is the only one who was born and raised in Continental Rythene, and as such is a popular option among Casmirean voters. The Greens Party itself has held the presidency once, with Travis Ward winning both the 2000 and 2004 election. During their terms, a number of social reforms were passed, such as the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2005.

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The candidate for the National Party is Robert Langdon. The party was recently reformed in 2019, as a tribute to the original National Party founded by former president William Moore. Langdon’s vision for Rythene’s future is to be less complacent within the international order, and see the country reassert itself on a global scale.



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Last edited by Rythene on Sat Jan 15, 2022 4:11 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Rythene
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Founded: Aug 03, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Rythene » Sat Jan 01, 2022 3:48 am

New Year’s Eve Ball
31 December 2021

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It was the final night of the year, and the persistent rain slicking the dark roads didn’t perturb the celebrating crowds. Eleanor Lalonde, presidential candidate for the Greens Party, was seated in the back of a modest SUV, surrounded by a light police escort. Despite sharing the back seat with her campaign advisor, the ride had been predominantly silent, with the exception of the rifling of papers pertaining to a number of hypothetical budget numbers. The motorcade began to slow as they approached the venue of the ball; Gaudin University, renowned as one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country. Lalonde — having grown up on the mainland — always had found it ironic that the islanders named it after a Casmirean.

Eleanor dumped the paperwork onto the seat beside her, and turned to look out the tinted window as the car pulled to a stop. Checking her watch, she was satisfied that it read a few minutes before nine-thirty. Whilst candidates weren’t expected until ten, a number of undecided campaign donors were to be attending the ball, and for a member of a minor party, additional funding was essential for any shot at a fair electoral race. Noticing a crowd of press huddling under umbrellas, Eleanor took a moment to collect herself before stepping out into the storm of both questions and rainfall. The driver hurried out of his own door to hand her an umbrella; dark green to match the formal pantsuit she was wearing, the same as the primary colour of the national flag.

Eleanor politely waved at the flashing cameras whilst making her way toward the entrance of the building, where she hoped to seek refuge from the weather. Once past the tall double doors which were cordoned off with a velvet rope, Lalonde handed her umbrella to a doorman’s outstretched hand and thanked him, before an usher led her to the back of a queue forming just inside the doorway. Taking her place in line, Lalonde turned her attention to the excessively decorated main hall. The pristine, art deco exterior of the building was offset by the more contemporary styled interior, which is a part of the constantly evolving nature of the building. Multicoloured, low hanging lights were suspended from the ceiling by thin wires, giving off the impression that they were floating in mid-air. The lowest bulb was just out of arm's reach for most, but some taller attendees were warned to watch their heads as they mingled. The lights caught Lalonde’s eye; each one was noticeably unique — handcrafted, without a doubt — and expressed a different tone compared to the next. Past the main entrance, other modern art pieces were presented along the left facing wall, accompanied by the artist themselves. It was a tradition at the New Year’s Ball for the top art students at the hosting university to present their best pieces, and it is often a possibility that their career may be launched if their work creates enough interest at the event. Hanging along the opposite wall were the portraits of famous alumni. From where Lalonde was standing, she could make out the pictures of author Ermina Arlette and the incumbent president Edward Hådirssen. Hopefully “my predecessor” in a few months time, she thought to herself.

As Lalonde cast her eyes across the room, she reflected upon the last time she was at the university. It was nearly fourteen years ago, and she was chosen to represent the Gaines Institute in an academic based tournament. Typically, Gaudin University held the edge in intellectually focused competitions, but in this circumstance it was the Casmirean school which had taken victory. Lalonde and her peers were not particularly welcome on the grounds afterwards. Pulling herself out of her reminiscent daze, Lalonde cast her eyes toward two men having a whispered argument at the front of the line. They were dressed as event officials, and both kept looking up at her between sharp comments to one another. They quickly broke apart, the elder of the two bee-lining towards the back of the queue. The man gestured for Lalonde to step out of the line. “My apologies, Miss Lalonde,” he mumbled. “My associate wasn’t aware that the guests of honour for the evening are not expected to wait in line.” The official cast another dangerous look at the now sheepish usher. “No harm done,” Lalonde said diplomatically. “I can assure you, waiting in a line for a few minutes is the least of my worries.”

Finally setting foot inside the boundary of the party, Lalonde began to scan the room for familiar faces, ones her campaign advisors had highlighted as potential donors. Recognising one, Lalonde took a breath to compose herself, and began her approach through the mingling crowd. “Excuse me,” a voice cried out. Lalonde glanced back over her shoulder, and suppressed an urge to roll her eyes. Great, now I have to waste time talking to the man least likely to donate to my cause. Turning on her heel, Lalonde feigned a polite smile for the National Party candidate, Robert Langdon. “A little late, aren’t we?” he jeered, tapping his watch. “I’m afraid everyone has already signed me a cheque, so you don’t have to worry about trying to beg for charity.”

“Yes, I’m sure everyone was eager to help fund the well-off millionaire to dismantle our country,” Lalonde retorted. Langdon raised his hands in mock alarm, chuckling to himself. “Please, Miss Lalonde, save something for the debates.” Grabbing a glass of champagne from a passing waiter, Langdon turned on his heel and left.

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Hopefully that will throw her off a bit, Langdon thought to himself, as he narrowly dodged a hanging light. How complicated does it need to be to light a room? Mental note; decrease funding for university art students.

Disengaging himself from the lights, Langdon took the time to scout out the ball for potential political connections. For Langdon, funding his campaign was not an issue; however, his recently reinvented party lacked substantial clout. Therefore, his focus was instead turned toward making pivotal relationships with reputable “big names”, to boost his party’s credibility. Feeling a hand slapping the back of his chest, Langdon pivoted to come face-to-face with a former associate of his, Steven Willow. “Robert Langdon, how have you been? Are you also here to throw away your money at these lousy candidates like the rest of us?” the CEO said, now extending his hand. “As a matter of fact,” Langdon began, shaking his old friend’s hand. “I’m one of those “lousy candidates”. Perhaps you can help me out?”

“No kidding,” Willow said in disbelief. “Well, I suppose you never did know how to settle down. Listen, I have a packet of Mesonesian cigars waiting with my assistant outside. Why don’t we go light ‘em and catch up?” Sensing that leaving the university grounds wasn’t a sound idea, Langdon shut him down. “I’m afraid I don’t smoke anymore,” he lied, thinking of the lighter in his jacket pocket. “Why don’t we find you a drink though, and we can talk business.” The pair talked details for several minutes, but the party seemed to have gone to Willow’s head, and Langdon knew he was wasting his time. Drawing his eyes away from the conversation, Langdon spotted the figure of James Preston. The People’s Party pick for president. Excusing himself, Langdon reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a phone.

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Preston carefully swung the door to the restroom open, shutting it promptly behind him. A quick scan of the room indicated he was alone. Slumping his shoulders, Preston paced over to the nearest sink, turned on the water, and grasped the edges of the basin. When stressed, he would usually splash some water on his face. It had been a habit of his for years. However, doing so tonight would only lead to washing away the makeup his stylist had put on, and would reveal the prominent bags under his eyes. A mask to cover up my weakness. It doesn’t fool Edward, and it won’t fool the voters. The thought of the current president filled Preston with a petulant rage. Typically, the sitting president of the republic would attend the New Year’s ball and deliver a speech to the candidates. However, Preston had just been informed by one of his advisors that wouldn’t be the case this year. Whilst presidents were usually impartial during their address, they can hold significant sway by giving an endorsement to a candidate whilst mingling. Preston — who belongs to the same party as Hådirssen — was partially relying on this endorsement, and his lack of an appearance was detrimental to the People’s Party campaign.

The restroom door opened quickly, and a man with a phone pressed to his ear meandered toward the nearest stall. At his entry, Preston turned off the tap and straightened his posture. Once the stranger was in the stall, Preston used the mirror to check his appearance, and walked back out into the party. Hanging just outside of the door was one of the art student’s lights. Creative, he thought. I wonder if they’re up for sale. My lights are way too boring. As Preston moved to rejoin the festivities, he took no more than a step before he heard a voice call out to him. His eyes immediately found Langdon, who was making his way toward him. Why me?

Langdon put his phone back into his jacket pocket without saying a word as he approached Preston. “I’m surprised someone from the People’s Party bothered to make an appearance tonight,” he mused. “With Hådirssen’s absence I assumed you thought you had this election stitched up?”

Preston placed his hands behind his back, fiddling with his wedding ring; another old nervous habit he was instructed to break. Langdon knew just as much as anybody that Edward’s lack of attendance would stir waves in the press. “I always have to make time for the little people like yourself Robert,” Preston said, in an attempt to match Langdon’s smugness. As Langdon opened his mouth to clap back, a loud commotion at the front door caught both of their attention. Strolling in with an entourage of reporters trailing behind was Kenneth Elmer, who was dressed as the spitting image of his father. “Look at him,” Langdon scoffed. “Acting as if he’s already won.” Preston nodded in rare agreement. “He seems pretty confident for somebody representing a party who hasn’t won an election in twenty years.”

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Kenneth Elmer smiled at the cameras flashing in his direction, as he adjusted his cufflinks; a learned trait from his father he had spent the afternoon practising. He strolled further into the main hall, and was approached by the dean of the university. With an outstretched hand, they greeted each other warmly. “Welcome Mr Elmer! I speak on behalf of Gaudin University when I say your attendance is an honour.”

“Professor Harding, you’re too kind.” soothed Elmer. “I hope I have not missed your speech?” The dean shook his head. “No, I wouldn’t dare have started without you. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll grab my notes.” Elmer spread out his arms in a gesture that said “be my guest”, and the dean scurried off to his office. Walking further into the main hall, Elmer spotted a number of minor party candidates hastily trying to secure campaign donations. He saw Mathis Basile of the Cuscaire Unity Party attempting to convince a well known fashion tycoon to donate to his cause, with very little success. Elmer saw similar scenes occurring all around the main hall, although one did spark his interest. Near toward the stage where the dean was soon to deliver his goodluck address, Elmer noticed Eleanor Lalonde laughing and shaking hands with multiple smaller donors. So the Greens Party will be competing after all, he thought. She’s good, but she’s no Travis Ward.

Two figures approached Elmer, causing him to turn his attention. He recognised them immediately. “Mr Preston, good to see you.” Elmer offered his hand to Preston, and they shared a firm handshake. “Let us both enjoy this evening, and may the best man win.” The comment seemed to shake Preston, who simply nodded. Ignoring Langdon, Elmer started to make his way across the main hall toward the stage, where Professor Harding was now standing. On his way, he brushed past a set of hanging lights, not giving them a second thought.

On the stage, an amplified voice began to speak. “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s truly a pleasure to see you all here tonight. As most of you know, I am the dean of Gaudin University, and we are ever grateful that our institute is hosting one of our more modern traditions in our fair democracy. As we welcome in the new year, we also must welcome the responsibility that comes with living in a free country such as ours. Yes, the seemingly endless debates are tedious, as are the rounds of voting that follow them. But without them, are we Rythenean? We view ourselves as the leaders of the world when it comes to democracy, and I think it’s well earned. We lit the fire that started a global revolution. Our founding fathers fought nobly to earn our liberties, and they won. When the tired monarchy attempted to overthrow our democracy, our common people rose up for our homeland; for once their rights were realised there was no turning back. This year, it is our duty to continue to realise those rights, and each have our say. To quote President Richard Matthews, the first time he addressed us as a freed nation; “yesterday we suffered, today we rebuild, tomorrow we thrive.” Today, we do thrive. To our guests of honour, the candidates competing for our most distinguished office, I wish you luck. It is the people of this country who hold ultimate power with their vote, may you represent their interests well. Thank you for your time, and enjoy the New Year!”
Last edited by Rythene on Sat Jan 01, 2022 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rythene
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Founded: Aug 03, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Rythene » Sun Jan 02, 2022 3:01 am

Room 202, Seabreeze Hotel, Bashaven
2 January 2022

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“Is he in there alone at the moment?” A security guard nodded his head, and instinctively pulled out a key to unlock the room door he was stationed at. It was Preston’s chief advisor, Renauld Haddock, who had asked the question. “He hasn’t left all day, sir. Room service said he was napping. Not that I asked, or anything.” The guard promptly opened the door for Haddock, who paced into the room to see Preston lying horizontally on a leather couch. Next to his head sat a coffee table, with an assortment of magazines and newspapers sprawled haphazardly. They all shared similar headlines to one another, each article discussing the notable absence of President Edward Hådirssen from the New Year’s Eve ball. Reaching into his shoulder bag, Haddock tossed another publication onto the pile. “Who is it this time?” Preston intoned, not shifting his gaze from the ceiling.

“Beauvoir Quarterly. To quote the Casmirean socialite herself, you and Edward apparently ‘had a falling out when you insulted his wife at a Tribulation Day dinner.’” Preston snapped his head toward Haddock in complete disbelief. “I’ve never once had dinner with the Hådirssen’s,” he protested. The senior advisor raised his hands slightly in an effort to calm Preston. “That’s probably not something we should leak to the press. In any case, Ms Beauvoir was at the New Year’s Eve ball; she should have been someone we spoke to. Hell, she ended up signing an exorbitant cheque to Basile of the CUP simply because no one else bothered to approach her.”

“Well, at least an article published in a magazine can’t have much credibility,” Preston said, trying to lift his spirits. “You’re currently wearing their staple winter jacket,” Haddock pointed out. “If you’re seen wearing it, that gives them more credibility than you would realise.” Jumping up from the sofa, Preston whipped the jacket off and flung it on top of the coffee table, covering the pile of growing issues. Desperate to change the subject, he asked to hear his schedule for the coming days. “As you know, tonight you will be delivering the keynote presentation at the Youth Society, followed by a Q&A with students from various schools here in Bashaven. There is something I wanted to bring up with you, in regards to your speeches.” Without waiting for confirmation from Preston, Haddock continued. “Some members of the team brought a good point to my attention today; you’re lacking crowd interaction. Or more specifically, you’re ignoring the spontaneous moments that do arise, like with that heckler last week.” At this comment, Preston couldn’t help but raise a question. “I thought people in the audience were supposed to listen to me speak, not the other way around?” The advisor simply shook his head. “How do you expect to lead those people if you won’t listen to them? Regardless of that heckler’s intentions, how are we supposed to earn his vote if he feels ignored? And not only does that thought come to the heckler, but it spreads to everyone else within earshot of him.” Finding himself nodding in agreement, Preston sat himself back down on the couch. “Fair enough,” he said. “That makes sense. But how can I rectify that?”

“When you’re speaking, listen to the crowd. Listen, respond, and play off their reaction. Your opponent, Ken Elmer, is a master at it. Study him if you have to.” Preston frowned slightly. “I never was good at improvisation.”

“Well you better get good, and fast. The first debate is in less than a month’s time, and you can bet they’ll target you if they know you can’t think on your feet.” Lost for words, Preston found himself fidgeting with his wedding ring once again. “See the power one statement can hold?” Haddock remarked solemnly. Noticing Preston’s familiar habit, the old advisor softened his tone. “Listen, kid, I’ve seen what you’re going through before. The self-doubt, wondering if you could ever be worthy of our republic’s highest office. Every candidate I’ve worked for has gone through a similar thing. Bennet. Hådirssen. The lot. Whilst some hid it from me better than others, we all knew what they were thinking. Coming to terms with the responsibility that a president holds isn’t easy, but it’s our job to ease the burden ever so slightly. There comes a point in every campaign where you’re either fully committed, or your left broken. As the People’s Party candidate, you’re already the former.”

Preston met Haddock’s eyes, acknowledging the truth of what he had said. He was the nominee for the most prominent Rythenean party in modern history, and he had already long passed the point of no return. Let’s hope I shape up fast then, he thought tensely.

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Rythene
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Rythene » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:21 am

Green Church, Garchester
11 January 2022

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A Perendist priest, dressed in simple, cotton white vestments, was standing at the front of the green church, conducting a masking rite for Kenneth’s newborn grandchild. Typically, this form of rite isn’t performed until an infant’s first spring; however, it has always been an Elmer tradition to have it done during summer instead, which has been honoured by the local church for every new member of the family since Charles Elmer first moved to the rural town prior to his presidency. Kenneth watched from the front of the pews as his son, Scott Elmer, passed his child into the hands of the priest, who set the baby on the ground in a bed of seedlings. Next to the child was a handwoven basket, which was holding loam soil; representing the foundation of growth, and all things that are to follow. The priest reached into the basket, and in each hand he took a generous amount of soil, before applying it to the cheeks of the newborn Elmer. “Today, a new connection has been forged between God and his faithful,” the priest said, standing from his kneeled position. “Scarlett Elmer, daughter of Scott and Danielle, has begun the pilgrimage of life. May Perende’s path guide her safely.”

The priest retrieved the baby, and handed her back over to the father, Scott. He then bent back down, removing one of the seedlings from the floor, and gave it to the mother, Danielle. Clasping the handle of the basket, the priest began to lead the way out of the church. Kenneth moved to walk alongside his son, hand in hand with his wife. Scott nudged his father with an arm, offering the child for Kenneth to carry. “What are you doing?” Kenneth asked, slightly perplexed. “The press,” Scott urged. “Won’t it look better if you’re carrying Scarlett?” Suddenly remembering the entourage of media gathered outside the doors of the church, Kenneth lightly chuckled to ease his son’s concerns. “Don’t worry about them. If the press have an issue with a father carrying his child out of a masking ceremony, that’s their issue, not ours.” And to himself, he thought of the rising resentment he felt towards the media for interfering with his beliefs. My faith is not a token of my campaign; it’s private, not something that should be sold out for votes. Regardless of his feelings on the matter, once the church doors opened, Elmer greeted the flashing cameras with warmth; smiling and waving openly, whilst visibly congratulating his son. The crowd of reporters, armed with cameras and crew, seemed unnatural set up on the grassy mounds next to the grounded church. As waves of press tried to shout questions at him, Kenneth couldn’t help but think of his father. I wish he could still help me out, make some sense of all this craze. At this thought, Kenneth turned his head away from the cameras to hide any sign of suppressed emotions.

The priest continued to lead the group away from the church — as well as the prying eyes of the press — down towards a small wooded area, where groves of oak were planted at a distance from one another. Each grove represented a family of the church; a seedling is planted at a newborn’s first masking ceremony and cut down upon death, the wood from the tree usually used to construct the coffin in which they’re buried. The small group congregated around the Elmer family grove, where six trees stood upright, each one varying in height. Whenever he visited, Kenneth couldn’t help but look at the sole stump in the middle of the other trees. No matter how long it had been since the accident, it always brought back fresh waves of grief. To distract himself from the long-decayed stump, he shifted his glance to his son and his daughter-in-law, who were planting the new seedling in the grove. As they placed the plant in a pre-dug hole, the priest filled it in with the loam soil from the basket, muttering a silent prayer under his breath. Kenneth noticed his granddaughter fighting wildly in his son’s arms, the dirt applied as part of her spiritual mask causing a sneezing fit. Scott (who prior to having a child was a major germaphobe) shared a knowing look with his father.

Laughing loudly, Kenneth felt a light tap on his shoulder. Turning to see one of his senior campaign advisors, his smile unconsciously dropped from his face. “I’m sorry sir, but you have places to be.” Elmer nodded his head tersely. “I understand,” he replied. “Could you just give me one more moment? Please?” The advisor obliged, tapping his watch as he walked away. Elmer looked back at his family, who were sharing a laugh over a joke he had missed. So this is what it’ll be like to become president, he thought to himself. I’ll only ever be able to catch a glimpse of their lives, constantly prioritising the country’s needs over my own blood. Elmer sighed deeply. Just like dad.

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Rythene
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Founded: Aug 03, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Rythene » Sat Jan 15, 2022 4:09 am

Unification Day
15 January 2022

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Langdon was seated in a high backed chair in front of a mirror, his stylist applying some last minute touch ups before his speech. They were in a dim, gloomy dressing room, courtesy of exposed brick walls and no windows. The air in the room was still, despite the best efforts of a lone ceiling fan, lazily spinning above. Buzzing frantically around Langdon in his chair was his stylist, who for the past ten minutes had maintained a one-sided conversation. “I had a friend in secondary school with the same name as you, you know? Robert Langdon. He’s either a professor or a detective now, hard to tell, and when I found out I’d be working for you of all people, well I just had to look him up. Turns out—”

Noticing the stylist had finished up their work, Langdon cut them off. “That’s nice. Could you give me a moment to myself before I go out? I need to work on my speech.” Nodding profusely, the stylist hastily gathered their supplies and left the room in a dash. Standing from his chair, Langdon strolled over to the door, peering outside down the corridor before promptly locking himself in. Making his way over to a leather couch in the darkest corner of the room, Langdon retrieved a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from his jacket pocket, and was exhaling smoke by the time he was seated. In front of the sofa was a table, where slim manilla folders were neatly arranged in a row. Printed on the front side of each folder was a single letter, the only distinguishing feature between them. Reaching for the folder labelled with a “P”, Langdon reclined and flicked it open. Inside were a number of article clippings from early January, and he began to read one that had been published in the Hyreathe Herald.

Last night during a Q&A session with the Youth Society of Bashaven, James Preston (of the People’s Party) made a number of obvious gaffes when caught off guard by unscripted questions. When asked for his opinion on the state of the economy under President Hådirssen, Preston replied “I’m not much of an economist, I don’t really know how to plan budgets.” He appeared to become more flustered as the questioning continued, before his chief campaign advisor, Renauld Haddock, called an early end to the Q&A due to an alleged “emergency.”

Chuckling to himself, Langdon closed the folder and threw it back onto the table, appreciating the way Preston was running his campaign. Keep up the work, lad, he thought. Makes my job easier. Picking up the next file marked with an “E”, Langdon looked on with a scowl as he flicked through a series of photographs; each one of Elmer at different venues, smiling pleasantly. One picture taken outside a green church did pique Langdon’s interest. It was partially blurred, and Elmer had begun to turn away from the camera, but the sour look on his face was unmistakable. A little resentful of the media, are we Kenny? Langdon left the unflattering picture out of the folder and on the table, and reached into his jacket pocket for his phone, dialling a number from memory. After a couple of rings, the other line picked up without saying a word. “Hello to you too,” Langdon said. “I have a picture for you waiting in my dressing room at a hotel just outside the Crown Palace of Eutavre; my chief advisor will give you the address. I want you to see if Ms Beauvoir will print it in her next issue. It’ll only hurt Elmer, so I don’t see why she wouldn’t for Basile’s sake, assuming she still is funding that waste of space. If Beauvoir won’t publish it, then sell it to the highest bidder.”

The voice on the other end of the line finally spoke; “what about Lalonde?” Langdon lifted the “L” folder off the table, and flipped it open. Slightly dismayed, he saw nothing that could be used against her. As a candidate for a newer party — and a more unpopular one at that — Langdon knew he had to find ways to make his opponents seem less appealing to voters, especially considering his own reputation prior to the campaign season. “Look into her more, dig up something. If you double your efforts, I’ll double your paycheck.” Without another word, the other line hung up. Not one for small talk, that PI, Langdon thought. A knock came at the door, and a voice shouted out. “It’s time for your speech, Mr Langdon.”

“One moment,” he called out in response. Gathering up the files on the other candidates, Langdon tossed them into a steel trash can, along with his half burnt cigarette. Pulling out his lighter, he set the contents alight, and stared mesmerised as the flames took hold.

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“Nine-hundred and seventy-two years ago to this day, Rytheneans from both the island and the mainland were united for the first time.” Langdon was stood on a stage in the palace gardens of Eutavre, speaking to a large crowd gathered on the lawns. “Islander and Casmirean, chained together solely by the will of a king. Alaric may have ruled over each entity under one banner, but it was a long time before we were a truly unified people. For most of our shared history, we have had our differences.” Thinking of Lalonde, Langdon continued. “And to this day, we still do.” The comment drew a knowing laughter from across the crowd, some turning to rib their friends lightheartedly. “The modern identity of a Rythenean today comes from a number of places; common hardships, similar beliefs, and a mutual understanding sustained by the sacrifices of our ancestors. A king may have introduced us, but it was a president who unified us.” Briefly pausing, Langdon continued. “The Tyrnicans thought they had it bad; we only hated them for two-hundred years, we hated ourselves for nearly a thousand.” Another light chuckle rippled through the audience.

“We are the incredibly lucky few. Every Rythenean, either born here or accepted as one of our own, belongs to the leading democracy on the planet. You can take pride in that. We are the leaders of the free world; today as part of the Commonwealth, and historically by ourselves. It is every human’s born right to have a voice, and to let it be heard. Before the first president, the average Rythenean held no freedoms. We the people had no vote, no say, and no choice. We were forced into a life of servitude, purely for the gain of one person. But we fought, and raised the torch that burnt that man’s home to the ground. And from then on, we the people were our own voice, who served no one individual, but each other. Modern presidents of our day aim to hinder our great nation’s growth, through excessive globalisation and trivial foreign affairs. I say, let’s put our own people first for a change. You have a vote, a voice. I say let it be heard. If the Liberal Conservatives or the People’s Party won’t hear you out, I will. I hear your voices loud and clear; put Rythene first.”
Last edited by Rythene on Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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