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Kaitaine

A New Mother

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Queen Julia was nervous, this was her first real overseas visit as a Head of State and she was unsure what was going to happen. She remembered speaking with her mother when she was younger about some of her visits and they had always been rather simple affairs, fly into somewhere, pose for photos, shake some hands, then do your best to be nice to your hosts in the hopes that it'd give you and the people of Morheim a new opportunity or something. This was however different by the end of today she would be witnessing the birth of a new Head of State as well as a Head of a religion. Julia had tried her best to find out about the faith when she first had the invitation and had made a visit to her old tutor at Royal Thale University, he'd been an expert in religious history and if anyone could give her some insight into this foreign faith it would be him, but even he was struggling to give her any concrete answers, what he did do though was introduce her to a student called Jessica Meakin, a 21 year old Undergraduate who just so happened to be a member of the Bene Gesserit's Missionara Protectiva. Julia had invited the Kaitainite to the Palace and enjoyed hearing about this faith, it seemed strange that such a structured religion could have developed while having no real orthodoxy in its teachings. Julia had tried to make the most of every insight she'd been given and had even considered inviting Jessica along as some kind of cultural adviser but then considered it may be bad form taking one of their own people along as her staff. Instead she had selected to bring along one of her old school friends, the eldest daughter of the Duke of Ruddesheim, Charlotte Brandel. The pair had been classmates all the way through grammar school and Charlotte had then gone off to join the Air Force as a fighter pilot, or that had been the aim until she'd been diagnosed as having low blood pressure and as such found herself now flying helicopters, Julia still saw Charlotte as a kind of sounding board for things and so had relished the chance to have the Pilot Officer with her. 

As their aircraft touched down Julia checked her appearance in one of the state rooms onboard, she selected a black tie with thin yellow diagonal stripes and checked the note and length ensuring it touched the top of her belt buckle perfectly. She slipped the black suit jacket on and returned to the cabin just in time to see the aircraft's door open. Charlotte stood aside holding Julia's briefcase, for the purpose of appearences Charlotte would be filling in as the Queen's aide for this visit and so followed her monarch down the short flight of four steps and onto the tarmac of Kaitaine. Julia heard the Morheim national anthem begin and stopped still placing her hand on her heart with her thumb tucked in, a sign of her Elementium faith, beside her Charlotte held a salute, no doubt the press would be somewhere taking their photo and Julia new back home the importance of patriotism. The music faded and she strode forward with her "aide" beside her, the large military turn out looked impressive and Julia extended a hand towards Duke Niklaus as she approached, she had learned the faces of the Holy Houses and smiled saying, "Duke Niklaus, thank you for such a warm welcome" 

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From : Benjamin Delasse, Ministre des Affaires Diplomatiques et Commerciales

To : Chief Scholar Abigail Hallam of @Kaitaine

My sincere salutations and condolences to the Theocracy of Kaitaine,

It is with a deep heart that I am full of gratitude for the long reign of the former Reverned Mother Hannah McKey, and give my most sincere regards to your nation and the Bene Gesserit faith.

We are honoured by the invitation to such exclusive, and important ceremony for your nation, to allow us to observe and discover most deeply your faith is an engagement of trust, that we shall respect. I shall, therefore, attend the ceremony, with a deep gratitude. Our hopes of establishing further relations with a better understanding of your culture shall prove to bear fruits. I will also attend with the new UPR Ambassador, which shall have the task of ensuring safe and truthful communication between our respective nations in the future, introducing the new Ambassador will be my pleasure.

Again, my condolences,

Cordially and sincerely yours,

- Monsieur le Ministre des Affaires Diplomatiques et Commerciales Delasse

 


 

Much was said about the far away Arrakeen, a myth. Even if tourism was allowed, it was far from being the first destination of UPR citizens. Such worship of personality, after the death of one person, was intriguing the public opinion, and even more knowing the very particular Republican ways of the UPR, which were everything except religious. If it was a Mécra at the head, respond to such invitation would have been clear, however, the young Protectrice had rather informal manners, and strategies certainly far from being explicit to the opposition Parties, which were mourning their defeat.

Given the great inspiration of the Republican and Open society which was the UPR, Raphaëlle Maréchal certainly couldn’t prevent herself from sending somebody to this ceremony, who better than the new Ministre des Affaires Diplomatiques et Commerciales, Delasse. This man, of an already advanced age, had seen many countries and shapes of structures, and he clearly was the man Maréchal needed to reform the UPR diplomatic influence abroad, that never been the same since 1945. Promoting culture and trade, this was and remained to this day the core of the Diplomacy, at least for the UPR, and through culture, the culture of a Republicanism foolproof, equal relations and friendly ones may be started.

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To prove Maréchal’s intentions to show how important this first international meeting, which was under the form of a ceremony, she didn’t hesitate to commission the Concorde to carry Minister Delasse for representing the UPR abroad. This plane from the 70’s had seen many figures passing on its board, and even more countries and this mission may be one of its ultimate ones as the plane was to soon be replaced by the Concorde NGAM.

As the Concorde was landing on the tarmac, an impressive welcome committee would unveil itself through the porthole with Delasse’s eyes. This was the Morheim plane before them, Delasse, having a little experiment in air traffic, recognised the numeration system. The schedule was perfectly timed, as the Concorde effectively waited a few minutes in the air, and now the place was free as it seems the Morheim plane would move on, letting the place for the Concorde.

Modulable stairs would be advanced to the Concorde, letting the heavy door open and giving a formidable view on the parade? That wouldn’t be an appropriated word, however, this truly seems like one. It was an important episode of this nation, and respectful manners were the guideline. In those times, traditions were generally the strongest point, and the point the most enforced. Delasse would move out of the plane, but putting before him the new Ambassadrice, Ambassadrice Marginet, Claudine Marginet, as he was the one to be the link between both countries. The two would move on, the red carpet, as the new singular anthem of the Union Pan-Républicaine would be heard. The new guests of the Theocracy would walk, towards their host. Ambassadrice Marginet would extend his hand, « Duke of Seitch » would he first say, as he bowed, and would be followed by Minister Delasse, as Ambassadrice Marginet would also shake hands with Krystina Garner, and Minister Delasse would follow next, taking her hands, and bowing as much as just like if he was to kiss her hand. « Your Excellencies, thank you for receiving us » would start Minister Delasse, being grateful, « I am sorry to meet you in such circumstances » he marked a break, before retaking, « Let me introduce you to Ambassadrice Marginet, which shall represent the UPR here, and is at your entire disposal » he commented, putting his hand on his shoulder, as a reassuring gesture. « I know this may be considered as inappropriate, however back in where I am from, we have a custody, to take a box of the best wine of the year of the death of an important person to us, and to drink only those bottles a few decades later, to the health of this one, and to not forget her » he said, with a certain humility and emotion. « I allowed myself to transmit you a box of Château Pétrus. Please preserve it for long, and drink it while remembering with a strand of dogmatism the person, and thinking of everything she has made to give a better future. I believe this applies better than in many cases with Her Holiness the Reverned Mother Hannah McKey » he ended with a sincere tone, giving lots of compassion.

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Niklaus assessed the two groups of representatives before him, Ambassadrice Marginet and Minister Delasse were addressed first. "Welcome to Kaitaine" the Duke nodded as he shook hands with each of them. It was, however, Krystina, dressed in her Truthsayer uniform who then took over.

"May I explain something important" the officer began, "The days for sorrow have passed now, Mother McKey is at peace and we no longer mourn, we celebrate instead her life and give thanks for the knowledge she'll pass on. I do however thank you for your sentiment" she firmly gripped the two's hands as she spoke and accepted the Château Pétrus. Kaitaine was not a nation that drank much wine but she had no doubt this would make some appearance at a function in the future of the new Reverend Mother.

Next, they turned their attention to Queen Julia, Lidia Ericcson had reported back from the cultural talks in Morheim and had kind words about this young monarch, she seemed to value knowledge and the pursuit of it, therefore she was someone the Missionara of the Sisterhood would respect. "Your Majesty" Niklaus bowed before shaking the Pilot Officer aides hand. The two military officers exchanged salutes instead of handshakes and then the Duke motioned for the six of them to walk towards waiting cars. They moved down the row of Truthsayers each unmoving despite the day's heat. Krystina gave nods of approval to the two officers stood at the end of the ranks for a job well done and then waited for everyone to board the large limousine style car that was waiting. She watched as a Truthsayer security vehicle pulled away ensuring the route ahead would be clear, satisfied everything was in order she herself clambered inside. "If I may give you an outline of the event" Niklaus poured each person a glass of water, taking a cloth and wiping the jugs spout clear of drops between each pouring. "We will watch a parade formed of the four branches of the Sisterhood, this will see the current membership represented, however, some invited alumni will also be spectating much like yourselves." He took a sip of the cool water his mouth going dry from nerves as he'd never had to speak in front of a crowd before. "Next the Heads of the Orders will announce the successor and McKey's body will be disposed of." Niklaus used the word matter of factly.

"I should explain" Krystina interrupted, "To us the Reverend Mother's soul, if you'd call it that, has already left her body, we are simply today disposing of it. We will in effect free the water in her body and return it to the desert." She guessed that wouldn't make sense and so began explaining again, "We view water as vital, we are after all originally a desert people, not a drop is wasted and our teachings say that if we supply the desert with the water of life it will one day flourish. We view the water of life as being the liquid contained within every human body, today we have techniques making that easier."

"Of course" Niklaus blushed, he probably should have handled that better, "Once her water has been freed, the new Reverend Mother will perform a Spice Ceremony and omens will be taken. After that, we celebrate" Niklaus figured he could handle that part. "I know many of our ways will be foreign to you, but I suppose that is why we wanted the world to come here today, I suspect Your Majesty it builds nicely into your recent Treaty" Niklaus flashed the young Queen a smile just as the car swung up the schools drive, still groups were walking down the path to the schools mock castle gate, some people sat on blankets clearly awaiting word that the new Mother was here.

Once inside the school the visiting guests where taken first to the Great Hall, "Here are the 1,000 chosen for the ceremony" Krystina whispered, on the bare wood of the Hall's floor women sat in neat rows were mumbling in unison, some visibly rocking backwards and forwards caught up in the religious fervor of the moment. "They are cleansing their minds ready for receiving the instructions of the new Reverend Mother." She then pointed to a raised platform surrounded by a red curtain, "Behind that the head of the Mothers, the Missionara, the Honored Matres and Truthsayers will be making the decision about who is to be the next leader... I suspect its a done deal" she shrugged before leading them outside to their grandstand seats, a large canopy sliding up above their seats to shield them from the Sun."

"Ah, Corrino I see your taking care of our guests" a voice called from behind them, a man of similar age to Niklaus, but with a sharper more fitted suit approached, "Bryce Harkonnen, son of Duke Richard Harkon..." his voice trailed off, "Oh please forgive me, I hadn't realised I was addressing royalty" He bowed spitting on the floor as he did so towards Queen Julia, almost instantly he could see surprise of people's faces and suddenly seemed awkward.

"Please Your Majesty don't take offence" Niklaus saved his noble fellow, "As I explained, water is important to us, therefore when meeting someone very important it is customary to spit at their feet, a sign that they are so important you will waste water for them." Bryce seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

"Either way accept my apology" Bryce bowed once more, this time without the spit, "Please come take a seat it's rather warm to be standing about" he pulled a chair out for Julia before extending a hand to the Minister and Ambassador from Fleur de Lys. "Don't worry I'll not spit this time" he winked at them, "When in a group we reserve that for the highest ranking, and today sadly I think a beautiful young Queen outranks most of us" he playfully slapped Ambassadrice Marginet on the shoulder before offering him a seat. "Hopefully we'll all get to become good friends before the day is out."

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For much of her political life, Lorraine Duval had fallen aside in her brother's shadow. While he had gone on to become President in the June elections of 2017, Lorraine was left to be elected as MP of a small constituency in Maplebank - one that, all things considered, was irrelevant to the running of the country. While the politicians of larger constituencies in Courtmarsh and Ostport carried a lot of influence in parliament, Lorraine often found herself on the back benches, her ideas and thoughts discarded to those considered more important. And so, when inducted as President, George Duval gave his little sister her time to shine, and handed her a mighty position in his cabinet.

The Foreign Minister hadn't attended any significant external meetings as yet; there had been minor discussions in @Iverica to renegotiate deals for manufacturing plants that were considered important to the economy, but so far, Lorraine had found herself underwhelmed. However, when news spread that Kaitaine's Reverend Mother, a holy and influential religious leader, had sadly passed, she wasted no time in organising a flight and clearing her calendar to attend the funeral. Being able to commiserate the loss of such a powerful, wonderful lady at the heart of a feminist country was one of the highlights of Lorraine's career yet.

A small private jet wouldn't be able to make the flight in time and the Presidential plane was reserved only for her brother, so Duval was left to book a business class flight on a Montair route to Kaitaine. When the rest of the passengers had disembarked, the plane pulled up to the terminal at which several key figures were keenly awaiting her arrival. Dressed simply in a black dress with a blazer, she handed over a bouquet of freshly cut flowers to give her condolences to the grieving. It then came as a pleasant surprise that, while the Kaitaine people had grieved, they were now celebrating the life that the Mother had led, and were enjoying the legacy that she'd left behind.

The trip in the limousine was enlightening, to say the least. Naturally, Duval had done her research before setting off to a country that held vastly different cultural beliefs than Prymont, but it was still a great lesson to learn from those living such a life. While water was considered at times to be a pain in the arse in Prymont, with flooding a regular occurrence in winters due to excess frozen water having nowhere to go upon thawing, it was a refreshing contrast to hear how these people held the necessity in high regard. 

Once inside the school's Great Hall, Lorraine took a moment to hold her breath and marvel at the ancient architecture. It was inspiring to say the least, that thousands of young girls would be educated in such a historic building, learning intricacies of their past and forging the foundations of a feminist tomorrow. She took the time to appreciate giant paintings of female leaders of yesteryear, telling a rich story of past Reverend Mothers and enhancing the experience. While most of the world held male-dominated societies, Kaitaine was quite the opposite, and as a woman it was only something to applaud. Lorraine had initially been sad at the loss of such a lady, but was now thankful for the work she'd done and the ideals she'd left behind. Prymont would certainly have to interact more with this wonderful nation in the future.

Unfortunately, her feeling of wonder quickly crumbled when Duke Niklaus spat at the feet of @Morheim's monarch. It was replaced with one of repulsion and disgust, and the cultural explanation and apology didn't remedy that. Despite the country being so obsessed with water, spitting to show respect seemed a little excessive. Nevertheless, this was not a time to be disrespectful and comment on how back home, the Duke would be ridiculed and considered childish; she was here to honour the life of a religious leader, and hid her emotions behind a warm, welcoming facade. 

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