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STATE OF THE REPUBLIC | PROLOGUE 1730hrs 15th of May, 2018 Intreimor City, Iverica "Pardon, seniore", came Bastien's voice. The man, who looked to be nearing his sixties was roused from his light sleep. His eyes opened slowly and came to rest on the aide in front of him. "It is almost time", said the aide, Bastien a man in his middling years with a soft chin and a receding hairline. He was currently holding a set of items, a pressed coat, vest, and tie by a hanger. From his position, reclined on a comfortable Restoración Imperiale style armchair, the man unclasped his hands and came slowly to his feet, straightening his cotton Ossenfurt dress shirt. He stretched his back, twisting it right and left, looking about the holding room. It was tastefully decorated in the same style as the armchair, echoing the theme of scrolled woodwork and tall imposing forms that was to be found throughout the entirety of the building they were within, the Cámra Nasional--better known as the Republic's Parliament building. Flexing his legs and feet, planted firmly on the swirling patterns of the red and tan Savonnerie carpet, he made for the grooming table and mirror mounted on the pinkish-hued walls of polished white limestone. His aide wordlessly followed, handing him the tie, one that was a silken Iverican blue with diagonal streaks of dull gold trimmed in faint borders of flat white. Bastien knew from long years of experience that his employer preferred silence when preparing, as he was occupied with the sorting of thoughts before an event. The aide thus waited at a polite distance, on hand but not intruding within the man's space. Tying the silken garment into a Balthus knot, he swept a small comb from the grooming table across his thin, but thankfully still full, head of silvery hair. The dull grey of his eyes stared back at him from the reflected face of lined and pulled skin, some very faint scars remained from his more exciting days, but nothing so horribly disfiguring. He had instructed his makeup team to allow some of the more seemly ones to remain visible, a little affectation that he was told improved his impression as a veteran amongst the public. Taking his coat and vest from the aide, he carefully slipped each on, buttoning and straightening the tailored, navy blue cashmere pieces equally. For a finishing touch, he picked his lapel pin up from the table and fixed it to his left. The blue diamond and golden star on a field of white was bordered in a blue ring that seemed to blend with the colour of his garment. Ensuring it wasn't smudged and that his shirt cuffs were the mandatory half-inch from the jacket sleeves, the man turned to face Bastien. "Alright", said Primo of the Republic, Franso E. Deitorr. "Best not to keep the gorrión waiting." The Cámra Nasional --- A knock came from inside the walnut double doors of the waiting room. Two guards awaited flanking the doors. They wore peaked hats and high-collared midnight-blue jackets adorned with the golden epaulettes and aiguillette representing of the Primeal Tercio Guardsmen. At the signal, they both snapped their jackbooted heels on the marble floor. The crisp crack of hardened leather on tile reverberated across the high-ceiling arched hall like a pair of gunshots fired in unison. Immediately, the press, kept at a respectable distance by roped barriers and Primeal Guardsmen in plain suits struggled to look over each other and over the towering height of the guardsmen. As the doors were opened in a single swift motion by the guardsmen, the ignition of flashbulbs and buzz of voices replaced the quiet intermezzo of anticipation left by the report of the guard's heel. The Primo stepped out onto the marble and once again upon the central carpet of the hall. The guards snapped a quick salute and fell into measured step flanking their First Citizen, left hands rested casually on the pommels of the ceremonial spada's dei lato hanging on the left hip, their right arms stayed still in position just behind the chestnut leather pistol holsters secured opposite the sword. Bastien stayed just behind the line-abreast of Primo and escort. They left the holding room behind them, walking down the hall and into another gallery, headed for the ante-room just before the Grand Assembly Chamber. The wood panelled walls and arches gave way to the slightly wider space of the ante-room, where more mediamen snapped photos, the clicks and whirrs of their devices resonating around the stony interior of the limestone and marble vaulted ceiling. Ahead of them, flanking the tall double doors to the chamber were a pair of similarly dressed guardsmen. Unlike the Primeal Guard, these men wore the grey livery of the Capitoline Guardsmen, the foremost unit of the Guardia Civil Regulars. The doors were opened in a similar fashion, revealing the cavernous space of Grand Chamber. The Grand Assembly Chamber Deitorr stepped through to a low rumble of applause. All eyes belonging to privileged spectators and Members of the Chamber bore down on him. From upper balcony galleries, mezzanines, and the circular benches tiered towards the chamber floor, they're heads all followed his path down the low incline of the descending stairs. The applause died as Deitorr reached the raised dais and podium at the centre of the floor. The Primo paused. He regarded the assembly with a slow pan, eyes sweeping slowly the collection of legislators and journalists before him. Maintaining his gaze and not dropping his eyes to the script discreetly hidden in the cloister of the podium surface, he opened his mouth. "Companiers, civios dei L'República, aures preistete..." --- OOC: Got tired of putting off my economic, political, and integration RPs, so I'm tying them together in this 4-5 Part RP. This should explain what I'm up to this year while also building upon some stuff established last year. I'm also taking this opportunity to showcase how Iverica looks like from within, albeit just from a single point of view.
OOC: IVERICA ONE is still alive and still Iverica's main news agency. I just wanted to try something that would be fun and easy to write, while at the same time focusing on day-to-day things and culture more than the political backdrop on INBC's i1. Funny thing is, I see myself updating this more regularly because it's so much more enjoyable to write.
OOC: Continuation of this thread: The morning air picked up suddenly and lifted the peaked hat from a head of slightly greyed black. The owner turned around to pick it up, but was surprised when it was proffered by the outstretched hand of an Air Force Comandante. "Good morning, Vasques", said the older man, picking up the star-studded cap and sitting it more securely on his head. "Coron- General Mateo", returned the younger man, catching himself at the slip. Comandante Hermann Vasques was the AFI's chief consulting officer for aeronautics and Mateo's former adjutant in his junior years. He would provide the technical background for the delegation. Though still en route, they would also be accompanied by Ministry of Defence Undersecretary Pietro Cabré, serving as the legal consultant and signing representative for the ExecMin. "I was expecting them to use the airbase runways", continued the Comandante who was staring out, passed the balcony they were standing on, and passed the runway of Corregidor Airbase Civilian Terminal 1. The horizons were still empty. "Hardly reasonable Vasques", snorted Mateo. "Would you like to greet our business partners with a view of SAM sites and the PT yard?" Vasques gave a bark-like laugh. "No, I'm just not used to Terminal 1's opulence, nothing the like Airbase's dated facilities", he said, turning back to scan the satin seats, the currently unmanned bar, and finely carpeted floors. "High Command has to receive dignitaries somewhere we can plant the rag-scribblers and photographers", Mateo replied. "Indeed, we've seen better days", Vasques said knowingly. Mateo grimaced inwardly. "The air force has seen better days". That saying had unofficially replaced the AFI's motto in the previous decades. Sure, one could blame it on the fact that Toledo Aeronautics had all but reduced in size and manpower to the equivalent of a suburban garage run by 16-year old firecracker bootleggers. One could also blame the navy for draining the MoD budget on MCM's experimental Aegis system. But when it really came down to it, newly minted General dei Brigada Luis Mateo knew that all these incidents were the repercussions of a single administrative flaw: That the Brass lacked balls. His thoughts were interrupted by Vasques stepping back from the balcony rail. "Last time I was here was...", Vasques trailed off, looking about again. "After the Deitorr inauguration, three years ago, you brought that fine blonde thing with you. Hardly appropriate", tutted Mateo in mock disapproval. Vasques grinned and checked his watch. He turned towards the horizon again "Clockwork, our new friends are right on time", nodding in the general direction of the dot on the horizon. That would be the Slankstråle. Aamotech had been gracious, quick to respond and charter a special flight. Seeing as the Republican Armed Service had so rarely dealt with foreign corporations in recent years, Mateo was pleasantly surprised at the courtesy. Hopefully, if all went well, the AFI could replace its ageing fleet of TA-71 strategic lifters. A new age for Iverican foreign relations meant that something modern was needed. Modern and- BIG. If the Primo was so intent on pursuing foreign aid missions into Afropa and similar cases, something like the Whitebeard would be necessary. So far none of the other foreign manufacturers had anything remotely close the ballpark size and range of the Tungstråle. Mateo thought about how hard it was to get approval for purchases like this a decade ago. Back then, it had been nearly impossible to navigate the quagmire of MoD bureaucracy and inter-service rivalry. There was a reason Mateo fought tooth and nail for the Air Force Rep office. A fight which had taken the better part of his youth, some questionable calls, but most painfully of all, leaving his command of the vaunted 12th Fighter Group, for a corner office and a star stud. There had been painful decisions, but now he was in a position to bypass most of the administrative hoo-ha and whisper directly into Minister Ibanes' ear. The 68-year old Defense Minister hung on every word he said these days, trusting Mateo as his eyes and ears in the Air Force. Mateo's suggestions now had more pull than a Capitán-General's when it came to influencing ExecMin's prerogatives. It was Mateo that got the 2017 budget allocated in the Air Force's favour, Mateo that had pulled the strings to red-paper push the Modernisation Initiative, and now it was Mateo that Ibanes trusted to oversee the purchase of Aamotech units. His predecessor had pretty much bent over for the Armada's budget hogging, and his predecessor's predecessor that had lost the lobby for bailing out Toledo Aeronautics. The Slankstråle was now growing larger by the minute, on its final approach any minute. "Come on, it looks like the Undersecretary just arrived", said Mateo gesturing at the terminal doors. "We'll meet him in front of the jet bridge. We're offering refreshments while they do pre-flight, so behave, you're a Comandante now." Vasques grinned