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Andalla

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Andalla last won the day on September 22

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About Andalla

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Makati, Philippines
  • Interests
    Aviation. #avgeek

NationStates

  • NS
    Andalla
  • Capital
    Arkhavn
  • HoS
    Klaus Johansen

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    nationstates.net/nation=andalla

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  1. Andalla

    Flight 371

    Ivan Petersen International Airport, Terminal 2 Departures November 30, 2018 01:44 hrs After half an hour on the road, the Gordo rounded a turn onto the Departures ramp of IPIA Terminal 2. The airport was unusually quiet at quarter-to-two in the morning; for such a family that flew often, it was a very interesting sight indeed. Without any second thought, all four adults quickly set to work unloading the bags as soon as the van came to a stop along Bay 4. Jans followed suit, gaily hopping off to retrieve his little backpack from the trunk. Twenty meters away, a large family was also unloading their luggage. One could wonder how a family of eight, with all their baggage, could all fit into a little @Fulgistani minivan. They were merrily rushing about — the father and presumably eldest son running off to find pushcarts to carry all the luggage. The others handled the bags, carrying them one by one onto the curb while chatting away amongst themselves. Such was a very typical scene at the airport, especially during the Christmas season. After bidding their goodbyes, the Cheng family headed for the entrance. A blast of cool air from inside welcomed them as Robert placed each bag onto the X-ray rack. At peak hours, it would have taken up to five whole minutes from the start of the line until one could finally enter the terminal building. Today the airport was eerily desolate; all entrances, gates, and counters open all for operating procedures' sake. What usually was an emotionally- and physically-challenging ordeal turned into a breeze — looking for the check-in counter. There was always a special exception for this family; after all, the three were high up Andallan Airways' frequent flyer program. Combine that with the lack of congestion that early morning, and they were on their way to the gate in under five minutes. "Mama, let's buy some chocolates," Jans nagged, motioning to the duty-free store they passed as they were walking along. On a golden rack were displayed the finest Argic delicacies from @Iverica and @Prymont, among others. Anna could not decline. Their flight was scheduled to leave at 3:25 AM; there was much time to spare. IPIA Terminal 2, Gate E6 November 30, 2018 02:31 hrs After 30 minutes of strolling around Terminal 2, Jans was happily asleep in his mother's lap. They were seated at Gate E6, awaiting the pre-boarding call for frequent flyers. Anna was deep in thought, trying to recall what she had seen before leaving the house. There had to be something. It was on the floor, giving off a subtle shimmer as moonlight bounced off the mysterious object. Was it a coin? A hairpin? Perhaps her keyPhone charger? Hopefully not. Robert was busy sending some final messages on Yibber. An investors' meeting as soon as they returned. The unveiling of a new Alfaland project right after. He was lucky to find a small gap in his busy December schedule, and he would grab every last minute of it to snag a quick getaway with his beloved wife and son. Three seats away sat an Argic man, who appeared to be gazing off into the distance. In reality, however, he was only marveling at the unique and intricate design of the gate. When the airport first opened in 1991, it was one of the best modern marvels of the world — a groundbreaking design pushing architecture to its very limits. A confluence of the finest architects and engineers from Andalla, Argis, Alharu, and Europa, IPIA was designed to kill — kill the stagnation in the Andallan tourism industry, of course. One among the many wonders of the 1986 Urban Infrastructure Development Plan, the airport was intentionally designed in such a way that would provoke a rise in public interest and therefore tourism. The first two terminals were opened in 1991 and 1995, respectively. Though Terminal 2 was slightly smaller than Terminal 1, structurally they were mirror images of each other. The main terminal buildings formed two semi-circles, both facing away from each other to form a circular shape. Radiating outwards from each terminal building were three leaf-shaped structures, each of which contained seven gates at the tip of the leaf. Interconnected by a system of walkways and bridges, the large spaces within the leaf structures were carefully terraformed to resemble a tropical rainforest. All in all, there were six concourses with seven gates each, three concourses in each terminal — a total of 42 gates. Each gate was an architectural marvel in itself. Based upon the traditional Andallan hreggsþak design, each concourse resembled a small "village" of seven houses, which were the gates. The hreggsþak ("storm-roof") traces its roots to Giokto and @Selayar, where it is sometimes known as the joglo. The pinnacle of early Andallan architecture and a national symbol, the hreggsþak design of IPIA's gates was met with much applause during its construction. The man's contemplation was abruptly cut short by a ding from the terminal PA system. "Attention all passengers. This is the pre-boarding call for Andallan Airways flight three-seven-one, bound for Altaria. We would like to request all passengers of Andallan Airways flight A-L-three-seven-one to please proceed to gate E6. Boarding will begin in ten minutes," came the voice. "For passengers accompanying infants and little children, as well as those requiring special attention, we would like to request you to proceed to the boarding counter immediately. Business class passengers and ALplus members may board at their own discretion. Thank you."
  2. Are you sure you want to have a host that will churn out a post every 2 months? Jokes aside, I'll try my best to accommodate the conference. Maybe a little inactivity here and there. Might also explain how Andalla has good diplomatic relations despite being a tiny island chain in the middle of nowhere.
  3. BREAKING: HUNDREDS MISSING AS FERRY SINKS OFF GRAESØ By: Oskar Norgaard | October 18, 2019 | 11:58 PM AST The M/V Monica Alma docked in Langestrand. PHOTO COURTESY OF: Ellen Shanke HØSVANGE — Hundreds of passengers are missing after the Svena Line ferry M/V Monica Alma sunk off the coast of Graesø at around 8:27 PM on October 18. The vessel departed the Port of Enshavn at 2:30 PM on a routine crossing bound for Brumundvik. An estimated 1,728 souls were aboard, among them 1,581 passengers and 147 crew. Six hours into the voyage, a large explosion ripped through the left (port) side of the hull right below the waterline. The vessel capsized and sunk in just over 40 minutes, amid widespread flames and thick smoke. No vessels were present in the area at the time of sinking. Coast Guard helicopters arrived within 20 minutes of the first distress call to assess the issue, followed shortly by rescue craft at 9:04 PM. As of 10:11 PM, a total of two Navy warships and eight Coast Guard vessels have been deployed to the area to assist in search-and-rescue operations. In a statement released 9:28 PM, Svena Line announced that it was "aware of the recent incident involving the M/V Monica Alma" and will "take immediate action on the issue". Quick response The M/V Monica Alma sent its first distress call at around 7:28 PM, followed by a second at 8:09 PM. The signal was detected by the Andallan Coast Guard office in Høsvange. Helicopters and rescue boats were rushed immediately to the scene. Two ACN vessels were docked at Høsvange, and were dispatched to assist the Coast Guard in search-and-rescue operations. Local fishermen and small boat owners soon followed suit. The combined civilian, Navy, and Coast Guard task force reached the area at approximately 9 PM. A desperate situation Survivor accounts state that the vessel capsized to the port side, taking only a minute to do so. Upon arriving, Coast Guard helicopters were unable to assess the situation properly as thick, black smoke obstructed the sky around the Monica Alma. Coast Guard personnel could only recognize the underside of the ferry, which was slowly sinking stern-first. Numerous life-rafts dotted the area around the sunken vessel, while hundreds were floating on the water with life vests. Initial reports estimated the number of survivors at over a thousand passengers, with hundreds supposedly still trapped aboard the vessel. As of 9:21 PM, nearly 800 passengers and crew members are still missing.
  4. What a bummer. From his seat on the far-right of the first row, Alexander Bendtsen felt a sudden rush of indescribable anxiety. It wasn't exactly anxiety per se. As the Andallan Foreign Minister, it was his duty to preserve the dignity and honor of a small, insignificant island nation before the international community — and Bendtsen was exactly the right person for the job. The current situation, however, presented a vastly different issue. Seated among his colleagues — respected diplomats representing countries of all backgrounds — Bendtsen felt small. Having co-authored the very document that founded ATARA, Bendtsen was more than qualified to be seated on the front row. Yet what truly mattered was not where he seated, but with whom he seated. Across the aisle sat the honorable Gary Truman, delegate of @Girkmand. He and Bendtsen were the only two delegates seated on the first row, which was reserved for founding members. With Nordeng and fan Ollefaieer on the Panel, Truman was virtually his only companion in every ATARA meeting. Of course, directly before him sat the renowned Desdemona Tomas-Morra, interim chair of ATARA and the delegate of @Iverica, flanked by representatives of the other four founding members of the Association. Bendtsen had made it a point to be extra careful around her; not out of fear, but rather out of respect. She was the most venerated person in the chamber, owing to very authoritative and imposing figure. And of course, after all, Iverica was Andalla's closest ally in all respects. In addition, many other very important figures sat behind him. Delegates from the among the greatest nations on Eurth — admired, democratic, prosperous... large. Andalla was everything but large. In terms of diplomacy and global contributions perhaps a bit, but never had Bendtsen been offered the seat of honor in an international convention. And here he was, about to present his game-changing resolution — the General Common Tariff Scheme Agreement. Of course, expected of any multilateral trade organization was the inevitable free trade agreement. Yet even then, of all the possible nations represented by the honored delegates in attendance, it was the delegate of the smallest nation who had undertaken to bring about the largest change. Straightening his collar and tie, Bendtsen rose from his seat. He had been preparing for weeks and was nearly late to the assembly; Bendtsen was ready to take on anything. ... Not just yet. A rush of dark, murky nothingness flooded his vision as soon as he stood up. Must've been that "iron deficiency" thing that he kept seeing on Wittier memes. As he regained composure and walked to the podium, he took a glance at his digital watch. The screen read 10:23 PM, October 14, 2019. What?! No way his watch could ever be that late. Was he dreaming? He looked up towards the lectern, and back down at his watch. 10:39 AM, June 14, 2018. Back to normal. Atop the podium, Bendtsen took a good long look at his audience. Colleagues in the first three rows, with all sorts of non-delegate observers and aides positioned around the rest of the grand hall. It was stately and spacious, shaped like a half-circle, with a large balcony wrapping around the circular end opposite the podium. Glancing at the desks, Bendtsen could see that a copy of the GENCOTS had been given to every delegate and observer. A hundred eyes were poised at him, awaiting his first word. "To my fellow colleagues, the ATARA Panel, delegates, observers, and guests," Bendtsen began. "Good morning." "The Commonwealth of Andalla is pleased to present the General Common Tariff Scheme Agreement, which stands before the ATARA General Assembly this morning." "This agreement aims to effectively reduce all tariffs between member states to twenty-five per cent, by the year 2023. While tariffs may be a temporary boost to internal trade, ultimately they will become a hindrance to economic growth — both inside and outside the nation implementing such tariffs." "Owing to their highly restrictive nature, tariffs and the like are often the underlying causes for the internal monopoly of certain corporations and businesses. The lack of sufficient foreign competition ensures that domestically-produced products remain the most popular, and as such businesses do not need to improve their services. In line with our constant striving to improve economic growth, however, the government of Andalla strongly recommends the reduction of tariffs in order to stimulate healthy competition between businesses." "It is understood that healthy competition brings about changes in the economy, through the constant struggle of businesses to gain a larger market share. This, in turn, influences the entire economy as a whole, as businesses prosper as a result of this healthy competition. New ideas are made and exchanged between nations, and all are given the chance to stimulate their own respective economies." "This agreement also aims to promote cooperation between member states, through breaking down deterrents such as tariffs which restrict businesses from interacting with each other on the international level." "Citing Clause 3 of the ATARA Charter, the Association encourages mutual cooperation in order to achieve peace, freedom, and well-being. These ideals can only be achieved with the reduction of barriers that separate people, whether tangible or abstract." "Through the establishment of the ATARA Economic Council, the Commonwealth of Andalla aspires to encourage and to stimulate more economic cooperation between all member states. The government of Andalla shall actively participate in the establishment of such machinery, as called for by our universal desire for cooperation." "The Commonwealth of Andalla wishes for your sincere consideration of the goals set forth by this Agreement. We believe that through restricting restrictions, the ATARA community can work together in one unified spirit towards our ultimate shared goal of actively creating a peaceful, prosperous world for our member states and beyond." "Thank you," Bendtsen muttered as he stepped down the podium. TL;DR — too much bureaucracy: 1. Keep your tariffs below 25%, you selfish fool. But hey, you have until 2023 to do so. 2. Things to read: Article 4, Section 1 Article 4, Section 5 Article 6 Article 7, Section 1 Article 8, Section 3 3. Yep, that's basically it. The only actual important part is Article VII, "Administrative Machinery": Establishment of the ATARA Economic Council, to be overseen by the Chairperson and composed of the economic/trade ministers of every member state. More cooperation between the ATARA National Secretariats and their delegates. Article VII is the only majority original-work section of the GENCOTS 4. Special thanks to the ASEAN CEPT agreement. I'm praying you don't notice any similarities between this one and that.
  5. Andalla doesn't even have any "mountains" by Eurth standard, so I'll just have my highest peak on the map. Storvitinden, located on the fourth main island from the north. The island right below the three small ones and above the huge "n"-shaped one.
  6. This is truly so appalling. As someone who has interacted with Rihan, Kipan and Tikva, this is both very shocking and disappointing. I understand the nation of Rihan will be retained as an NPC. But how about Kipan? In terms of lore and history, I'm estimating more interactions have been made with Kipan as it was, and still is, our only Japan-analog. Definitely a good chunk of lore surrounding @Fulgistan's Huang Empire would have to be sliced off. Not to mention occasional connections with the histories of surrounding nations, Andalla very much included. On another note - with such a large amount of power in our hands, I feel it would be unwise to completely turn Rihan and all associated nations into NPCs or disintegrate them. As I've said, Kipan holds quite an important place in Eurth's lore. Perhaps we could just decrease the nations' sizes and have them run by the community? Neutrally-aligned, inactive in current affairs, but continuing to be written about just for historical purposes. Either anyone can contribute, or we can group into committees. We have gained too much to throw away at this point. The sheer magnitude of this incident would be enough to cause a noticeable disruption in our worldbuilding. Every step we take as a community in handling this must be very carefully deliberated.
  7. Steam Locomotives The ASB Class I was the first Andallan locomotive to enter into commercial service. Locomotive No.1 ("Helga") commenced operation in 1889 to much fanfare, with the inauguration ceremony being attended by King Christian VI. Though not as powerful as the @Iverican-bought locomotives already operating on Andallan rails, it demonstrated the ability to domestically-produce one that could eventually replace the foreign locomotives being operated at that time. A narrow-gauge, 2-4-0 steam locomotive, it ran at a speed of around 40 km/h. Three units in total were built across a span of 2 months, with all three being decommissioned in August 1930. Specifications Maximum Speed: 40 km/h Gauge: 1,067 mm Narrow Gauge (3 ft. 6 in.) Configuration (Whyte): 2-4-0 Configuration (UIC): 1B, 1'B The ASB Class XIX was the first truly successful domestically-produced locomotive. Entering service in 1902, the Class XIX operated primarily in rural areas, becoming a key factor in the expansion of the Andallan rail network to cover less-populated towns in need of transport infrastructure. 23 units of the type were produced, most serving until the 1940's and 50's. Three locomotives are preserved, with one (No. 11 "Bjaere") still in operation along the Mosby-Røyknes Heritage Line in Sudholm. Specifications Maximum Speed: 40 km/h Gauge: 1,067 mm Narrow Gauge (3 ft. 6 in.) Configuration (Whyte): 2-6-2T Configuration (UIC): 1′C1′t n2 Length: 8.31 m (27 ft. 3 in.) TBA
  8. FORMER PRESIDENT NEDERGAARD AWAKE FROM 6-MONTH COMA By: Jørn Tandberg | September 17, 2019 Mr. Nedergaard has been confined in the ICU since 21 April. ARKHAVN - After nearly six months in a coma, former president Lars Nedergaard has regained full consciousness. Mr. Nedergaard, now age 82, was rushed to the St. Mark's Medical Center in Bonskøbing last 21 April after suddenly entering into a coma without any prior signs. At around 6 AM on the morning of September 17, a nurse attending to Mr. Nedergaard noticed him mumbling. Within an hour, the former president was fully awake and conscious. Mr. Nedergaard's recovery has been hailed as a miracle. "As much as we were hoping for the best, coma patients rarely make it after a few months," neurologist Christoffer Aagard told ABN. Doctors were astonished at Mr. Nedergaard's good health. "[Lars] has the strictest diet and health routine in the family," said a relative. "Fruits and vegetables, plus regular physical and mental exercise, since he was in his 40's." In February of 2010, Mr. Nedergaard, 73, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. "Patients usually develop Parkinson's in their 60's," said Dr. Aagard. The onset of Mr. Nedergaard's Parkinson's disease a decade after the usual has been linked to his healthy lifestyle. In recent years, however, Mr. Nedergaard's health has been slowly worsening. "President Nedergaard was never quite the same since he was diagnosed with Parkinson's," former senator Bjørn Breland told ABN. The two have been good friends since the late 1990's. Individuals diagnosed with Parkinson's tend to have severely limited motor skills due to the deteriorating of nerves in the brain, a condition known as neurodegeneration. "Neurodegeneration is one of the leading causes of comas," Dr. Aagard explained. "Patients with diseases involving neurodegeneration are also at a higher risk of entering a permanent vegetative state or PVS, where the coma lasts longer than 4 weeks." If no further issues are found, Mr. Nedergaard will be moved out of the ICU within a week. "Awakening from a months-long coma is a rare and delicate case, especially at 82," said Dr. Aagard. "We will monitor him closely, run a few tests, then we can move to a regular room." President Klaus Johansen, accompanied by his Cabinet, will be visiting Mr. Nedergaard on Thursday, September 19. A civil engineer by profession, Mr. Nedergaard began his political career in 1971, aged 39. He was elected to the presidency in 1984, and held office until 1990. It was during his term that the Andallan economy experienced rapid growth, a period known as the "Golden 80's". Because of this, Mr. Nedergaard has been regarded as one of the most influential Andallan presidents. Of his many accomplishments during this time, Mr. Nedergaard is most-known for the Urban Infrastructure Development Plan (UIDP) of 1986, also known as the BU (Byinfrastruktur Udviklingsplan). Through the UIDP, the government addressed rapidly-worsening infrastructural issues such as traffic and public transportation, as well as undertaking other construction projects around the country in order to lessen concentration in Greater Arkhavn.
  9. In recent weeks you might have [not] noticed that I have fallen off the radar. I don't even recall my last proper RP post. But what I'm about to say next, well, it's only about time I said it. It's been a good long time since I should've said this. Before anything, I'm going to keep this simple because I have seen how those long preachy posts affect this community. I'd hate to waste your time, so read at your own discretion. And please do forgive me if it does get too long. I'm also going to try writing this raw, the way I feel like expressing it, coming straight from my heart. So allow me to just take this time to apologize for my bad grammar in advance. Anyways. Here goes. I joined Europa in search of, well, something to kill time on a boring summer afternoon. Little did I know that it would change my life, or how it would change my life. And I really, really don't want to be corny on this, but some of you have probably seen how I came to Europa inexperienced, immature, and awkward. Not that I feel people do notice, but I have changed. Those who have known me for the longer time have probably seen how I started out as Andalla: the guy who literally chose a random good-sounding name that popped out of his mind. I didn't even know what I was doing. And at that time I had this funny little interest in Oceania, so I initially intended to be some sort of Pacific Islander nation. Anyway. That one evening was still fresh from memory, when I was talking with @Orioni about worldbuilding. I recall he mentioned something about how "Andalla" fitted a more European-like nation. We were just throwing ideas around, really. Informal talk. Nothing serious. But that was when the first realization came. I absolutely did not know what I was doing. That, and several subsequent events, pushed me to improve. I had to research. "Let's just accept it," I said to myself. "You're inexperienced. Better read up." And so I did. Now I won't go into detail about this, but before long I was basking in the glory of my posts. I valued high quality writing. Only accurate research and the best writing were enough to pass my standards. And I could see the fruit of all my labor - I was becoming more and more influential in the community. That's where everything else came in. I co-founded ATARA, joined TRIDENT, became some sort of regional diplomatic heavyweight. I was with the big boys now. But something was missing. I didn't know what it was, nor did I even care about it. And that's where the big mistake arises. Success after success. When we came to the new forums and reactions were introduced, I could see how much likes my posts were getting. I was receiving so much positive feedback and compliments. I myself felt good about all my writing as well. Then suddenly I became an RP Mentor, one of the three selected to join a new program known as The Academy. "This is it - I'm successful." But something was still missing. I wasn't the best. Month after month, I was only putting more and more effort into my writing. An occasional jerk from school would put me off a bit, but soon after I resumed pumping out all my content. Posts became less frequent, but much, much longer and definitely more high-quality. But I wasn't the best. Because month after month, new members were coming in, displacing the positions of older, more established members. And it all happened so fast, because technically I wasn't even "old and established" considering Europa's 15-year history. Not that I hold any grudge against any new member, or any member for that reason really - you guys are all awesome people and I just love how you add so much vibrance to this community. But deep, deep down there was that unbreakable, unexplainable sense of competition. So month after month, I would only find myself disappointed because I wasn't the best. Because all those posts weren't giving me the recognition I "deserved". Skandinavisk, Flight 371, the Mr. Simizi travel guide, that Pandemic post, that person in the Academy who I helped, my ATARA resolution attempt, you name it. I was giving so much effort yet getting so little in return. Now before anything else - allow me to say that I'm not complaining. Again, I hold no grudge against anyone. Because what happened next is what really changed everything. Slowly, little by little, it occurred to me that I was fighting the fight that I couldn't fight. Let's call it insignificant. I was "insignificant" in this community, not because I wasn't getting what I wanted, but because I was "wanting" too much. Let me say again that I'm not complaining. This is all my fault, my mistake of doing what I thought I could do. At that point I just felt so inflated. Inflating myself with all that hidden ego that pushed me to believe that I was important. I find it hard to say this in any other way, but yeah. It's my mistake and I've chosen to accept it. Anyway, there I was. Inflated. So full of myself. What better could I do but just keep on writing and writing? Then, after all that struggle, it finally struck me. Right now I'm on my last two weeks of school. Which meant that I was nearing the end of the school year, and right now I'm on the final leg. Lots of work to finish up, lots of requirements to complete. I had no time to write. But did people really care? What I noticed is that my absence did not disrupt the natural flow of events. Members came and went. Other new members established themselves. Europa was vibrant and full of life as usual. I'm actually laughing as I write this because I sound like some hopeless, depressed brat. We have a term for this in Tagalog: KSP (Kulang Sa Pansin), which simply means "Lacking in Attention". Please let me assure you again that I've accepted it and I don't feel any negative feelings toward any member, or toward Europa as a whole. Moving on. I finally realized that I really could not do anything more. I was exerting effort at my full capacity, so much that I would stay up very late even on weekdays just to finish writing my posts. And at the same time I was getting all the recognition that I really deserved. The real problem did not lie in the fact that I was "under-recognized". In fact, I was "over-recognized". Thing is, I was dreaming far above what I really could achieve. And if, in terms of effort, that was the furthest I could go - the proper solution was not to do more, but to accept what I really deserved. So here I am. I've fallen silent to reflect on what has been happening for the past [almost] 2 years of my stay in Europa. Many people say "ups and downs", but for me it was like both "ups" and "downs" at the same time. You ever split your body in half to ride two different rollercoasters? Yeah... that was probably me. Now don't get me wrong - from time to time, I did post things. And I was often online on Discord as well. But that was only because I was in denial. I had accepted it all, but another problem arose - what now? I had high hopes for Andalla. I envisioned completing all the RP threads that I had began. I envisioned finishing my main IIWiki page and constantly adding to other pages. I envisioned becoming a core member of the community, helping to make Europa a better place. I envisioned too much. But I had already done so much in my futile attempt to attain the unattainable. So I tried to deny it. I was aimlessly writing at that point. Did you know I had my next installment of Flight 371 in the works? That, and so much more. I wanted to "revive" myself, but with a seemingly different goal. But my schedule was still hectic as usual. My Flight 371 draft was going nowhere. Everything was going nowhere. And the realization came to me again. Was I really doing what I wanted to do, or was I still fighting the "un-fightable" fight? Yeah. The latter. During the Holy Week I had the chance to travel to the province, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and away from the Internet. And that's where I realized how much my life had changed because of Europa. Of course, there was the positive side - I was so much more knowledgeable about the world around me. I had a very keen interest in learning new things. But I slept late. You could say it was becoming some sort of a sleeping disorder. Insomnia, if you will. And I had also developed a spinal problem due to sitting in front of the computer for prolonged periods of time. Mind you, that may sound funny, but the eye problem you were expecting from prolonged computer use had been lingering around since childhood (and for other reasons aside from the computer). Let's just say I'm using this really old chair and table which... doesn't fit me so well anymore. So there's that. I had also lost quite a good chunk of my social life. Here I was, a robot typing at a screen late into the night. And I had also lost time to pursue my other hobbies, specifically photography. I was putting that much time into Europa. That's why all this just struck me so hard after I realized it. But what am I doing right now but going around in circles? It's time to get to a resolution. And I promise you - I really don't know how else to say this one, because it pains me so much to say it. I'm leaving. Whew. Bet you expected that, after reading all this. But in all seriousness, I've seen how I've affected myself with this useless pursuit of glory. Now I'm never going to say it was Europa that affected me, because it was myself - my ego, my own personal mistakes - that was the problem. I just love this community and I'd hate to see it go. And I'm afraid I don't see any other way to stop this suffering, than to just leave. I know, it will be painful. The entire journey was painful. But I just loved it - I was in love with Europa. Just writing about Andalla - it provided me a way to escape the stress of life. I was in my own self-created paradise, where anything I wanted could be done. But deep down I was also in my very own self-created hell. And so all good things must come to an end. Especially if you thought it was good, but in fact it was just slowly eating you from the inside. Don't get me wrong - it's so painful to leave. It's not like I just made this decision to leave in an instant. I have been considering it since last year. And it's been a long, agonizing process. So rather than just making it worse, it's better that I just go. I hope you all understand. So I'd like to dedicate this portion of my long speech to the dreams I held, and still hold, for Andalla. I may never be able to accomplish them. I had hoped to fully establish my lore and history, as well as to paint a vibrant image of Andalla today at the hands of my writing. I had hoped to truly enjoy writing my long RP posts. I dreamed of seeing members of the community come together to participate in the Thalassan War. I dreamed to see Flight 371 as one of my greatest accomplishments, a long story that truly made Andalla come to life. And of course I also dreamed to see all those long, boring bureaucratic things achieve success. ATARA becoming a core pillar of Eurth. My aviation projects finally taking shape, in the form of our very own ICAO. I had dreamed all this. These dreams I must set down and forget. Now I'd like to dedicate this part to those who have walked with me along the journey of Andalla. Here's a special toast to my fellow Sea Negro brothers, @Iverica and @Selayar. And here's one to my ancient IC brother @Ahrana - the Sjadska civilization is in your hands now, don't mess it up (wink). And here's an equally-special toast to everyone else - the TRIDENT boys, the ATARA gang, the Mod/Admin Team, my fellow RP Mentors, and everybody else really. You guys are all awesome. I promise. A very, very, very special thanks to @Orioni. Long ago, there was once a post on r/NationStates by a young innocent Andalla looking for a region to join. You replied. And the rest is history. Indeed. It is about time that this happened. From the very beginning this was predestined to happen. And so, before I leave Europa, let me take this time to just try wiping it all off to a clean slate. I'd like to apologize for what I have done. Even if it may have not affected you, please do accept my apology. I tried to pursue what I could not pursue and so I have met the consequences. And I have accepted the consequences. I'd like to apologize to anyone I hurt, or anyone that I might have formerly held a grudge against. I'd also like to apologize for all my shortcomings, which did not necessarily provoke any negativity, but rather made people annoyed at me. Well, I must say that there have been times that I did make a mistake so big as to hurt someone or provoke some sort of negative response. So please, please do forgive me. I know I look like a coward, just quitting it all. And frankly I wouldn't apologize for that. I hope you do see how this is really the best decision that I can make. Because anything less than leaving would continue to bring the pain that this whole thing has brought to me since long before. So please give me some leeway. I can tell there are people who hold their own secret grudge against me. Maybe there are some who are even happy that I'm about to go. Perhaps I said something or did something irreversible in the past. But that is all the result of my own mistakes and my own wrong decisions. And so, I would like to offer a special apology for that. I wouldn't hold any grudge against you. Let us end all negative feelings. There is so much more that I have to say. So let me say again, all good things must come to an end. I regret to say that I will most likely never return to Europa, or to any worldbuilding group for that matter. Only time can tell if I will still choose to lurk around on Discord, maybe dropping by even on the forums every now and then. But for the next few days, I'll be completely silent - I need the time. And I won't be wallowing in my sadness, so don't bother to do so either. Life goes on - the grass is still green, the sky is still blue. And so nothing changes, unless you yourself choose to do that change. I really don't want to do this because it pains me so much. Seeing everything about Andalla flash back before my eyes, and even my dreams and aspirations for this imaginary plaything of mine. But if you stop hurting yourself, the pain still lingers for a while, but the wound is soon healed. Either you stop, or you choose to have that pain continue to cause you much suffering day by day. So learn from what I have just said. Don't let history repeat its mistakes. I myself hope it will not - I've seen its destructive power and it's all just so painful. So again. Learn from the past and carry on towards the future. In my stay here, people have came and went - nothing happened. And so Andalla came and went, and I hope - his departure will not affect this amazing, vibrant community. Carry on without him. Keep mentioning him, but only if need be. Or perhaps, soon, remove him from the map and cease all references. Either way, it works for me. I sincerely offer my final apologies to those who may be affected by my leaving - I hope there are none. Rest assured, you'll see me around. I wish everybody all the best. - Andy
  10. Hmm. So apparently people do listen to music while writing. It's either just me or my Filipino blood, but I do often find myself singing along to the music instead of working...
  11. This is a great idea. Let me be the first to say, maybe Andalla could be one of the first "New World" nations to establish diplomatic connections with Haruspex. I mean it's always good to be friendly.
  12. Andalla

    Pandemic

    One hundred... Fifty... Forty... Thirty... Twenty... Ten... The two massive jet engines abruptly ground to a halt as First Officer Kristof Jensen instinctively pulled down on the thrust levers, reducing the engines to idle power as the aircraft's beastly roar suddenly vanished. His right hand was still firmly positioned on the yoke, making final adjustments to the aircraft's course before the landing gears would come into contact with the cold, hard runway. By a stroke of luck, his SK-6 was already perfectly aligned with the runway centerline, so all he had left to correct was the low pitch. Jensen pulled down on the yoke, prompting the aircraft's nose to pitch up slightly higher. All of a sudden, the jet appeared to be suspended in mid-air. For a moment, the 300,000-pound aircraft hovered at barely ten feet above the ground. All within a second, the jet transitioned from descending to hovering and back to descending again – the legendary flare. Now, the aircraft was descending once more, zipping five feet past the ground at nearly 300 kilometers per hour. The flare marked the point of no return, the final action in the landing process – a complex maneuver requiring immense concentration, all executed within a matter of ten seconds. Failure would result in disaster, even death. Luckily, every pilot was thoroughly trained in this intricate procedure. With over 5,000 flight hours on the SK-6, Jensen himself was very much accustomed to the landing process – it was just another day in a pilot's life. Captain Hans Borup sat next to Jensen, eyes glued to the altitude meter on the PFD (Primary Flight Display). Though as Captain he was superior to First Officer Jensen, today he was the pilot monitoring: his job was to assist the pilot flying by relaying useful data from the computers, as well as communicating with ATC. On the PFD, Borup quietly watched the altitude meter as the aircraft inched closer and closer to the ground. Finally, he felt a strong bump as he jerked forward in his seat. Everything began to rattle. "Spoilers up," he called out. Without waiting, First Officer Jensen had already pulled up the lever activating the aircraft's spoilers. A series of thin flaps extended up from the wing, further increasing the rattling as the wings began to shake violently. The aircraft was slowing down. "Eighty knots." Here's a nice video to accompany the landing... From his window at seat 22K, passenger Antony Wong watched as the delicate spoilers extended. The whole world rushed past, with brilliant orange tones of the Rihannsu sunrise shining in the backdrop. He shook up and down in his seat as the cabin roared and shook, vibrating loudly before finally calming to a soothing high-pitched whir. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to welcome you to the Dartha Cliperian International Airport. Local time is 7:07 in the morning, temperature is at 24 degrees Celsius. The @Rihan Republic is three hours ahead of Andalla." Typical of any Andallan flight, one could already hear the inevitable chorus of seat belts being unbuckled, even before the flight attendant had the chance to proceed. "For your safety, please remain seated with your seat belts properly fastened until the aircraft has arrived at the gate. Please wait for the seat belt sign to be switched off before standing up to get your bags or using the lavatory." "Please refrain from using cellular phones until the seat belt sign is switched off, or the aircraft has come to a complete stop. Before standing, please check your seat for any personal belongings that may have been left behind. Use caution in opening the overhead bins as heavy articles may have shifted around during the flight." "If you require any assistance, please remain in your seat until all passengers have disembarked, and our flight attendants will be happy to assist you. On behalf of the captain and crew aboard this Royal Air Andalla flight, 8U 522, we would like to wish you a pleasant stay in Dartha. Thank you for choosing Royal Air Andalla as your preferred carrier and we hope to see you again." Back at the flight deck, it was all business. As the aircraft finally came to a stop and passengers began reaching for the overhead compartments, the two pilots sat at the controls reviewing the last of the aircraft's checklists before leaving. The SOPs, or standard operating procedures, were in effect — all they had left to do was to read through the final two checklists, all diligently listed along with the other checklists, on a piece of laminated paper inside the cockpit. With the advent of SOPs, any two pilots qualified on the same aircraft could work seamlessly together — complete strangers, led only by a set of strict guidelines, effortlessly working together without error from startup to shutdown. With that small yet authoritative document in hand, Captain Borup began to read through the shutdown checklist. "Shutdown checklist. — Parking brake." "Set." "Flaps." "Flaps zero, set." "Taxi lights." "Off." "Nav lights." "Off." "Beacon." "Off." "Seat belt signs." "Off." "Anti-ice." "Off." "Fuel pumps." "Off." "Pitot heat." "Off." "Transponder." "Standby." "Weather radar." "Off." "Flight director." "Off." "Avionics." "Off." "Alright. Panel lights?" Jensen reached for a small button on the overhead panel, and with one little click all the lights inside the cockpit vanished. "Panel lights off." "BATT master switch." Again Jensen reached for the button, this time a small red switch between the two pilot seats. One flick of the master switch and all life would cease within the aircraft's systems. "Off." "Shutdown checklist complete." Both pilots could easily attest to the fact that they had already memorized each of the aircraft's 14 checklists by heart — the papers were only there to ensure 100% accuracy; after all, the SOPs were created only to guarantee everybody's safety and comfort while aboard the aircraft. For a moment, First Officer Jensen sat there musing about his overnight stay at a nearby five-star hotel. As a long-haul pilot, only one flight a day was enough to meet the mandated daily restriction for working hours. It was actually more efficient to have the flight crew stay overnight at Dartha and wait for the next day's morning flight to arrive, so they could relieve the operating crew and fly back to Arkhavn at noon. And just recently, a regional consortium of hotels had made a small agreement to accommodate Royal Air Andalla flight crew at lower prices. They were living the long-haul pilots' dream — short-haul pilots usually flew back and forth twice, thrice, even four times daily just to meet their quota, and still ended up back at their home base. Long-haul pilots had the chance to truly see the world, taking long breaks after each flight — that was the law. Only this time, Jensen wasn't exactly flying a long-haul route per se — Arkhavn to Dartha could easily fall under the medium-haul category, but airlines instead classified it as long-haul just to avoid such a bulky term. Anyway, now that Rihan was receiving more and more exposure on the international stage, Dartha was slowly becoming a powerhouse for tourism in the region. Change was coming to Aurelia — only recently, Jensen had been reading about Rihannsu history. And it would be such a pleasant surprise to anyone knowledgeable about Rihan to know that a nation as terrible and as dystopian as this one could transform itself into one embodied by the towering skyscrapers of Dartha. His thought was only short-lived as he suddenly remembered something that had completely escaped his mind — the secure checklist. Seemingly as though reading his mind and waiting for the right moment, Captain Borup began to enumerate the items on the final checklist. "Secure checklist. — Parking brake verify." "Uh... parking break set, check." "Throttle verify." "Throttle idle, check." "All switches verify." "All switches off, check." "Secure checklist complete. Good flight," said the Captain, extending his hand to offer a congratulatory shake. Jensen took the handshake and gave Borup a friendly pat on the shoulder in return. "Here's to you too — great flight. I was a bit hard on the landing though." "No, no, no, no, it was the wind," said Captain Borup as he stood up to fix his pilot's bag."At least the flare was on-point." Rule number one in a usual Andallan conversation was to counter any self-criticism with denial, followed by an unrelated compliment. As though still disoriented after forgetting the secure checklist, Jensen was at a loss for words. Glancing out the cockpit window he could see a small Rihannsu flag, and subsequently a single word popped into his mind to respond to Borup's flattering: "Heh." (Joke intended.) The last thing left on the list was a quick, informal debriefing regarding the flight and what the two pilots could improve. The landing was satisfactory, after all it was hard to achieve a bad landing on the SK-6; as the old pilots' saying went, landing a six is easier done than said. Immediately after debriefing, the aircraft was handed over to the ground crew as the pilots left. The flight crew still had to clean up the aircraft, so they would follow later on. Once outside the two pilots whizzed through immigration, passing through the special lane reserved for pilots and flight crew. Within minutes of leaving the cockpit, they were now at the airport concourse. This was a benefit each and every commercial pilot enjoyed, not only long-haul pilots. And all along, the very passengers they had flew just stood there waiting impatiently in line as their turn was delayed by the passengers of the previous Havrær flight. "I'll be back. Meet you at the shuttle?" Asked First Officer Jensen, who was indirectly excusing himself for a restroom break. "Sure. We're both connected to airport WiFi, so just call me on Yibber*," replied Captain Borup. *May or may not be the Andallan equivalent of Viber. The restrooms in Cliperian were surprisingly clean for a Rihannsu airport, or any Aurelian airport for that matter. Back in Andalla, airport restrooms were rather messy and smelly — only recently did complaints about Andallan airport toilets rise exponentially. The advent of low-cost flying went both ways — if more people could fly, then more unhygienic people could fly as well. It was all but a cultural thing, really — Andallans didn't really care for the meticulous little details of life as much as Argics or Europans did. By definition, Andalla was developed; yet by culture, Andalla was more like one big, happy rural Thalassan town. On the way out, Jensen bumped into a seemingly distressed man, causing him to stumble and nearly lose balance. "Whoa— uh, is everything alright, sir?" Jensen asked, concerned. The man was of average height, maybe in his early 20's. Jensen could tell he was a Rihannsu returning from abroad, most likely as a student; there were quite a number of such Rihannsu foreign exchange students back in Andalla. "Ah, uhhh, heh... Oh, yes, ahhh, fine sir," the man replied in a somewhat Rihannsu accent. His voice was slightly hoarse, and he was wheezing and panting — it even seemed as if he had some sort of sickness, but Jensen didn't mind. Suddenly, the man bent down, grasped his stomach, and let out a loud, raspy cough. He immediately regained composure and apologized. "Oh, ahhh— I'm so sorry. I better get going," he said. "Poor guy", Jensen thought. "Perhaps all he needs is a break. I should be going too." "Ahh— uh, no problem. You take care." "Alright thanks." With that the man stumbled into the restroom as Jensen dragged his trolley out into the concourse. He checked his smart watch — 7:42 AM, March 4th, Monday. The shuttle left at eight, so there was enough time to grab a snack at some Rihannsu convenience store. He noticed a droplet on his arm right next to the watch. Seeing as it was very small, he just wiped it on his chest. Only then did he realize that it was phlegm from when the man coughed. "Great. Looks like I'll be coughing tomorrow," he jokingly told himself. He had 52 hours to enjoy roaming around Dartha, and he wouldn't ever let a small cough ruin his stay...
  13. Aw man, thanks @Orioni for keeping the forums up. I'd definitely hate to see the Dimension theme go, but, well... you're right. Gotta keep up with the times. Quick question - will this new theme bring back the ability to change font, color, and add the "letter"-style text box? I've been dying to have those back...
  14. I like that idea – we could do both planned and unplanned stories, depending on the situation. Also, I didn't really mean this to be a sort of "crime encyclopedia" presenting crime-related events in a formal manner, but an RP thread where we could all do these short exciting stories. Just for the entertainment of the reader or the writer, of course. Also, yes, this will all be in one main thread. If I remember right, "Affairs" is really where these kinds of stuff should be posted. For the subforum, well, we might need to ask the admins for that – unless this thing does receive a shockingly huge amount of support, we could stick to just a couple threads. Yep, that's what I thought too. It'd be better to loosely connect the stories rather than turning them into a series right then and there. Plus there would be a whole lot of other posts at the same time, so regardless of whether there are links or not, it merely adds chaos to the thread. As much as we want variety, it might be hard to connect the stories. Since again this is a free-for-all thing, we're trying to avoid as much chaos as possible. One solution around this could be to connect unrelated types of crime through organized crime, since criminal organizations do like to diversify. Also, look in the right places and you'll find out that white-collar crime can be fun too Same as the above – we could use this worldwide syndicate to justify diversifying our crime stories. For some reason "The Syndicate" from Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation comes to mind. Now that was a good movie.
  15. Alright. Looks like we've gathered a fair amount of support for this. So right now, let's decide how this whole thing would go. Basically, specifically what kind of content, how it will look like, posting rules, and all that. I've got a few questions here – feel free to copy/paste and voice out your own opinions: 1. How can everyone contribute to the thread? This is intended as a free-for-all thread, not just an exclusive RP wherein only a select group of people participate in. But first, how will the story progress? Will it be planned or unplanned? Will we even have a central plot, or should everybody be allowed to post their own short stories unrelated to each other? 2. What kind of crimes will we deal with? Obviously, we can't take on crime itself in general. Crime encompasses a vast array of topics that could contrast each other too much to be included in the same thread. For example, one moment there's a story about drug cartel street wars and the next moment there's copyright infringement. Don't get me wrong, but stories about nonviolent crimes such as corruption or fraud (See what I did there?) can be exciting too. To keep things simple, I've categorized crime into 4 categories that we could write about. Depending on what you guys want, we may not need these categories. But they're just here to help: White-collar crime or corporate crime basically encompasses those nonviolent crimes done by businesses and the "elite". For the purposes of this list I'll include political crime as a white-collar crime as well. So we have things like fraud, corruption, money laundering... you get the point. Violent crimes include your everyday violence such as murder, terrorism, and theft. Now this is a very vague category as there can be many kinds of theft or terrorism, for example. And of course violent crimes also include things like sexual assault, but we wouldn't want to go too deep into that, I guess. Organized crime is a special one since it's not really a crime itself, but instead it's a group of people committing a certain crime (or crimes) together. It's not too hard to give examples of this one – triads, drug cartels, mafia, even under-the-table political alliances. Organized crime can be really exciting, but one issue it might pose is that our thread would get too cluttered if everybody's writing about their complex mafia systems. Trafficking isn't really a category, but I'll include it here. Basically, trafficking is illegal trade. We'll include illegal consumption of the traded goods as well. Now of course the first thing that comes to mind is drugs, but there are lots of types of trafficking. Smuggling is synonymous to this. Under trafficking I guess we can also include illegal immigration, which is basically you trafficking yourself. Again we don't need to be restricted to a certain category, but we may need a general topic just to set the atmosphere. I'm depending on your ideas and suggestions, so don't hesitate to include your own thoughts. 3. How do we ensure the thread stays in order? Now I don't know how this would turn out, but I sense that a project on this scale might easily spiral out of control. What I'm afraid of is that some people might create their own "series" of posts despite the lack of a centralized story (again, depending on your decision regarding the centralized plot). I mean, if done correctly this wouldn't hurt at all. But people who might end their posts abruptly, or perhaps start their posts in such a way that you have to read all the previous posts, well... that's not really what I intend to do with this thing. But again, any ideas are fine. The initial concept of this thread was for it to be a collection of short stories. That means each post would already have a beginning, climax and end – all in one post. Don't get me wrong – you could connect two short stories even if you've ended the first one. Basically what I'm asking is the structure of the posts. Should we follow the short story format? Or should we instead adopt a central plot and have everybody chip in every now and then, like a never-ending story?
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