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Project O-Mēga

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Thursday February 4, 2021
Hanzei Plaza, O'polis

Early morning in O'polis. The traffic around Hanzei Plaza was a lot less noisy than usual because the traffic was diverted. City workers were busy repairing the sewer and drainage systems ahead of next summer's rainy season. Government staff crossed the Plaza on foot, heading for the stately old building in white marble where another meeting of the Hayili was about to begin. Defence councillor Toren was one of the few holdovers from the previous administration. He'd gotten along with Chairlady Pristo, and continued the same approach under the new Chairlady.

CbOtZDKs.jpg "Nearly two years ago our latest Oshun-class submarine successfully completed its initial alpha and bravo sets of sea trials. These trials confirmed that HLAMS needed better guidance and targeting systems. And so our engineers dedicated extra research and development to improve its accuracy. The Navy spent nearly Φ2 million on repairing and upgrading these systems. The budget includes minor repairs after the submarine suffered some 'operational defects'."

That's to say: there were a few leaks in the submarine. But Toren saw no reason to admit this detail. It's not the kind of information you want to put out there. A seal had burst, causing a large quantity of water to pour from a pipe. Admiral Ramius confirmed it was safe and that in his experience leaks were a weekly problem for warships.

"The Oshun is scheduled to set out from Vega this week after picking up supplies for its last round of trials. These last trials will see include advanced simulations of anti-submarine warfare. The combination of a dozen ships, specialist fixed-wing aircraft and EOS Helios satellites will be used to try and track the Oshun. Once this last round is complete, the Oshin will begin her inaugural operational deployment to the Azure Sea and Oriental Ocean."

It was about time the Oshun was allowed to begin its service. More than a decade of development was costly enough as it is. Not to mention the apparent developments elsewhere on Eurth. In the northern Occident, the Peryan shipyard seemed able to improve their navy at a much faster pace. What was the secret to @Haruspex's efficiency?

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Thursday February 18, 2021
Hanzei Plaza, O'polis

The air around Hanzei Plaza was hot and sticky. At 11h in the morning it was already 29°C with a 84% humidity. Rain wasn't predicted for today. At least not during the day. The four members of the Hayili coming again for their bi-weekly conference. Unlike previous meetings which were mostly focussed on military matters, today's agenda was about broader, more strategic policies.

VvEomOas.jpgAfter the usual pleasantries it was Foreign Councillor Anna Hackney who began the morning by expanding upon the recent offer of aid to @Cashar. "This looming humanitarian disaster presents us with an opportunity to improve trans-oceanic relations. The Cashari can become an important industrial partner. From a strategic perspective it makes sense to invite them into the greater Oriental network." Hackney used this situation in Alharu to make an the immediate connection with the next EOS session on new and potential members. "It's been a privilege to work behind the scenes with our new partners from @Esonice. And we should definitely followup on the 'hand of friendship' we extended to @Mauridiviah and other Alharun nations."

1wMMWEVs.jpg"Speaking of Alharu," interrupted Dame Nijo Kujo-Michiie, the councillor of home affairs who usually remained more on the background, "What's going on with that long-announced Manamana canal? I keep reading all sorts of conflicting gossip in the foreign press. One week everything is going well, the other week it's a complete mess. Do we need to form a strategy on this? Is this even something we should get involved with?" The councillors discussed the many trade benefits and competitive disadvantages of the canal if it was ever finished but agreed to ignore the issue for now.

Dame Kujo-Michiie continued the discussion. "When it comes to home affairs, there are two essential cornerstones to the the success of Project O-Mēga. Those are prevention and preparation. You all know Ahuni is approaching and the Chairlady has urged everyone to increase our readiness during the holidays. As a security precaution we have already outlawed the operating of drones near airports. And as you also know, our Strategic Petroleum Reserves are significantly being expanded and will allow us to maintain a supply for 100 days. It is still unfortunate that Mr Petirosi leaked some of those details. When will that unpatriotic devil finally be sentenced for his disloyal behaviour, Amuh?"

okSg36Ls.jpg"Well I personally know the judge who is handling this case," said Justice Councillor Lady Amuh Nideba, "And he clearly understand that this is a matter of national importance. Leaking government secrets must be discouraged. And Gari Petirosi will be made an example of. We are considering any potential media backlash so the verdict will be announced during the Ahuni holidays when nobody is paying much attention. If there does turn out to be some news chatter we can easily divert attention away from it. The press absolutely loves a fresh story on our criminal prosecution of those captured KBI pirates."

CbOtZDKs.jpg"Oh please don't start talking about the Bainbridge debacle again," thought Prince Toren to himself. He leaned back into his chair, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself. His job as Defense Councillor would have long been over and done with if he wasn't the empress' brother. So at least he had that going for him. But leaning back didn't absolve him from participating. When Amuh finished her update, everyone in the room turned to look at him. "Thank you very much fellow councillors for your excellent progress," Toren began his update. "Two weeks aren't nearly enough to complete the latest Oshun trial we discussed last time. That trial needs at least another month. There are also some delays with our plans to reverse-engineer the Concorde technology we bought from Lysia. We may need to hire some assistance. But the number of experts is limited. And the number of experts we can trust is even smaller. Fortunately we have some good EOS allies and preferred partners. We learned that during the 5G spectrum auction where we so far have found no hidden backdoors. These are some friends we can trust."

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Tuesday, 20 April 2021
Hanzei Plaza, O'polis

The usual playbook was thrown out of the window with the extraordinary events occurring in the @Sunset Sea Islands. Unlike the regularly scheduled weekly meetings on Thursday, a special emergency session of the Hayali was convened within 12 hours of the events. Schedules were emptied and fundraising dinners cancelled. Unsurprisingly, the press had gotten wind of this flurry of activity. Social media network Wittier was abuzz as well. By noon the next day, under a sunny sky with 31°C and a 60% humidity, the entrance gate outside Hanzei Plaza was absolutely packed with cameras and photographers. Some well-known reporters had strong-armed their way towards the front of the pack and shouted one question after another, with increasing noise. The four councillors, however, walked right past them and into the building without so much as a comment.

"Would someone please shut the windows," demanded Dame Nijo Kujo-Michiie, the councillor of home affairs, "The only effect this shouting has is it's disturbing my train of thought." An aide quickly saw to it that the windows and shutters were closed. "Well what a night that was," she continued, without much else to contribute. After all, the reason why they were gathered had little to do with domestic matters. Front and centre in this emergency meeting were, yet again, the foreign and defence councillors. Always the same duo, always with new problems...

Defence councillor Toren began by thanking everyone for gathering so promptly. The Prince had decided to lean on information from one of many service branches. A spook from OSIS, the Orinese Secret Intelligence Service, was brought in to explain the situation. The stocky, grizzle-haired man in plain-clothes briefly introduced himself only as Mr Rikari.

Colonel Ishijima

"Let me begin by offering you a brief summary of what we know so far. Last night at 22:59 SST, a military coup was announced in the Thalassan island nation. The military detained First Speaker Gao He Ping together with all members of the SSI High Council and other senior officials from the Radiant Republic. It appears that power is now in the hands of Colonel Ishijima. Not much is known about the Colonel. We only managed to find this single photograph of him, taken during the most recent memorial event for the 2017 Sorrows. Our sources on the ground claim the 19 April coup is quickly escalating, with the military violently cracking down on anti-coup protestors. But we need to further confirm this with our local sources on the ground. Suffice to say that the situation remains very volatile and can still change from day to day and even hour to hour."

Rikari's description of facts had left many people confused and bewildered. Next, Foreign Councillor Anna Hackney leaned in to comment on the diplomatic side of events. "Well my team has already gone and immediately provided an updated Foreign travel advice for the Sunset Sea Islands. This includes next actions for both our diplomatic staff as well as any Orinese residents living or working in the SSI. The little public information that leaks from the Radiant Republic is heavily censored. International communication is suspended and internet access is restricted to domestic sites only. Adding to that the very violent descriptions which Mr Rika just gave, it is more than obvious to conclude that situation for our people is very unsafe." Hackney looked around the room. Concern was showing on everyone's faces. "I also like to remind everyone that the SSI are a full member of the Entente of Oriental States. We need to coordinate with the alliance to decide what happens to SSI vessels in foreign ports and our own ship in SSI waters."

While her colleagues presented their view the Justice Councillor Lady Amuh Nideba had remained quiet. The serious, analytical councillor always took her time to think things through. When it seemed as if the Cllr Hackney was finished, Amuh tapped her hand on the big leather binder on her side of the large conference table. "From what I hear there's a lot we don't know or can't do. But what are our options here? Should the EOS get together and restore the legitimate government of Sunset Sea Islands? Or should we reach out to Colonel Ishijima and hear what he has to offer in return for recognition? And let's not forget about the unique trump card we hold: Princess Selena, the youngest child of late King Tomasso and the last remaining royal heir to the Kingdom of Sunset Sea Islands, is living in asylum in our country."

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    • By Batengdei
      Khaokhett, Kngaok District
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      She had been finally elected to the Minister’s Throne in Saphea Wat, the seat of power in Batengdei, or at least the seat of power the rest of Eurth saw. In truth, the whole system was designed around a bunch of ruthless, lazy oligarchs who monopolized a little too much of the economy to relinquish any real control. It was a sickening notion, even if she was considered harmless enough to be the Prime Minister.
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      Sang Pithu, Tonle Khlang
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      They’d called twice for a recount, twice… or, three times? They would have kept going until the next election had they not been silenced by Kalama Gian herself. Who did she think she was, a dictator?
      The radio on his desk which had been announcing the most recent rugby game now began playing some song. In Anglish, no less.
      Hoja lurched forward and attempted to adjust the station, however he couldn’t quite convince his fingers to cooperate, so he instead he swept the damnable machine off his desk, then made for his case of wines.
      Korig uncorked a new bottle of rice-wine and poured himself a glass. If his company was going to go under, he would race them to it. This would be the third bottle, and he had built up quite a tolerance. Admittedly, the company would likely survive. It was too much of an integral part of feeding the people. Korig’s ownership, however, that could change should the government rule his leadership as “unsatisfactory.” Krusken had been smart to leave him alone, Kalama on the other hand… she had a history of going after company owners who crossed her. Still, they couldn’t touch the mighty Hoja Korig if he wasn’t doing anything wrong, and as if he was… he was simply checking the quality of the rice-wine…
      “Well, I had better check again, in case this bottle is not up to standard.”
      Hoja raised the glass and cheered to the ceiling, “To us!”.
      The wine tasted really quite great, especially with the numbness of inebriation. “How could I lose my position, when I mae’ the best damn wine in the country. Hell, I mae’ the only wine in the country. Who wans to go buy wine … anywhrer elsse…”
      Hoja Korig was suddenly quite delighted to find the room was gently rocking; rocking him to sleep, most likely. So long as the rice-wine was good, there was nothing to worry about, really. . .
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    • By Batengdei
      Ovgorad, Nyeminsk
      "With all these shitty Fulgistani cigs coming in, you'd think the Libs would be a touch more interested in closing off trade lines. At least, certain trade lines."
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      "What are you implying?"
      Across Korig's polished mahogany desk, Boyar Askosow looked confused.
      "I still don't understand the purpose of your invitation: are you here to gloat? The Kozak's aren't shifting their support and, frankly, I had no intention of winning the parliament anyway. All I need is my interests - the Kozaki interests - to keep being served, and our current government does a fine job at that. Have you seen the legislation? We barely even have to care about your national government at this rate and we are quite capable of running ourselves."
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      "This isn't about bragging. I may be the most influential man in this whole damn country, but that doesn't change the situation of the Sovereigns."
      "The Sovereigns? Oh yes, they're winning alright: winning until the BRP and the LDP form a coalition. You know full well no amount of your patronage could get the Sovereign's out of that hole."
      Korig chuckled again.
      "Boyar, you humor me - puff - but listen, I want a change in management. Krusken has made all this and that, yes? But he has been doing me a disservice, one which has put me at odds with the current government. You understand! The market reforms, the shipping! It's trampling all my hard work! Look at these!"
      Hoja Korig took a handful of Fulgistanti cigarettes from a crate by his desk. He frantically unraveled one and presented it to Dmitrov Askosow.
      "The damn things! I took one trip to Khenkhourt earlier this month, and the damn place had more of this than the national! It's a f*cking disgrace is what it is! If we keep letting the Bulgen Rouge and the f*cking Libs trade around, we'll go under!"
      "I think you mean you'll go under. Your National Agricultural Company is going to be affected, sure, but I can't imagine Kozakstal will suddenly implode if the Bulgen Rouge wins again."
      Askosow looked bemused at the visible distress on Korig's face but still wondered what the purpose of the meeting was. There was obviously more to this conversation than Korig complaining about Bulgenstazi trade. Hoja Korig dropped the cigarettes back in their crate and started again:
      "The problem for you, Boyar, is your people. Do you think the new legislation exempts you from the National Agricultural Company? It doesn't, and even if it did, any attempt at a nationalized industry would flounder in the face of our own. Kozakstal doesn't have a port, there's no benefitting from trade, either! But wait, there's more to this than just industry: your precious Kozak culture. Do you think those foreigners in Fulgistan care about the Kozak? Because I can tell you right now, the most they could care about is if the Kozaki purchase their goods over mine. The foreigners, you see, will crush your culture if it means they can squeeze another drop of trade. What we need is protectionism, and I don't see it coming from the Rouge or the Liberals. Protectionism will protect my money, your money, and your culture."
      Boyar Askosow's smugness quickly dissolved. Hoja Korig was right, there wasn't much keeping Kozakstal from being overtaken by foreign goods, and the Okrug wouldn't see any of the profit from trade goods, unlike national goods. Perhaps the Boyar had been blinded by success to where he forgot the economic fragility of his Okrug; no independence could save the Kozaki from an economic crisis. Still, what did Korig want?
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      "Boyar, what I would like you to do is pursue a coalition with the National Sovereign Party. It certainly wouldn't be hard, they want as much support as they can get, and your party is just what they need. Besides, there may be more perks to this coalition than just having your party in the majority in Zalensk..."
      Hoja Korig reached into his desk and drew a stack of papers. Askosow read:
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      "You couldn't! The National Oil Company -"
      "The National Oil Company bows to the government! This would be entirely possible, given enough support. I'm sure if you and your little party jumped through the National Sovereign Party's hoops, they would be happy to lend you their support on such legislation..."
      Boyar Askosow rose from his chair smiling.
      "Excellent chat, Mister Korig. I'm hoping I can convince my associates to work with your party - erm - the National Sovereign Party, yes. You may not hear it from me first, but I will update you if we were to form such a coalition. Thank you for inviting me, and my apologies if I was to have come off strong at first. I look forward to future ventures with you."
      Hoja Korig smiled to himself, yes, this would be how the National Sovereign Party, Hoja's National Sovereign Party, would finally get their Prime Minister.
      Hey! This is the precursor to the future Bulgenstazi 2019 elections! It seems tensions are mounting as the country approaches July 16, election day! I will try to post semi-regularly with some exciting political intrigue! How will Hoja Korig, controller of the National Agricultural Company, secure the victory of the National Sovereign Party? How will the Bulgen Rouge Party and the Liberal Democratic Party react? This thread is currently a closed RP, but if there are groups which seek to meaningfully impact one side or another, please, let me know and I can make a full OOC Post. Thank you!
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