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For Whom the Ballot Polls


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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."

Hoja Korig chuckled richly before politely puffing on his cigar, continuing:

"The polls are coming for party support on BLNN, and I think we know where it's going."

"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."

Korig drew again from his cigar and let out a slow cloud.

"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?

Hoja Korig could sense victory in by Askosow's change in demeanor.

"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:

Kozakstal Oil Reappropriation Act

"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.

 

 

OOC:

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!

Edited by Bulgenstaz (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

Khenkhourt

Adrik Koróv stared out the large window gloomily. An unexpected storm had rolled into the bay at the Khenkhourt harbor, blocking the view of the shipping docks. The unexpected storm sinks the shipper, his father had always told him. Adrik was currently ashore, so he doubted the phrase held any weight to him.

The television had only described the coalition hours ago. However, hours were days to Korów as he watched the droplets through the large glass wall. They crashed hopelessly into the glass and yet it remained: strong, unyielding. There was a certain sympathy Adrik had to the droplets, he too felt hopelessly crashed against a wall.

Why would the Kozaks give in to the nationals?

Adrik was still very new to his office. Only a year prior, his father, John, had commanded the docks from the very office Adrik was currently in. Admittedly, the place felt more homey when John was minister, not when Adrik had taken up his father’s mantle. His father's name hadn’t always been John, but it changed as business changed. Vladyslav Koróv was baptized at a Salvian church where he took his new name, John. It was distinct. It was foreign.

Adrik had been baptized too, though he kept his name. He had grown up in a bureaucrat's family: the only son of a Minister, nonetheless. He learned from a fine ‘Gorod School: his life plans decided by his father and the State. For a while afterward he had learned of the duties of a minister, before inheriting his father’s position.

That had been a little over a year ago, and yet the ministry and the staff felt foreign to Koróv. His office was inherited with many notes and references to alien concepts; were they old charters or convenient notes, Adrik was too proud to ask. In truth, the bureaucracy was intensely boring to him, but the status, it was worth the tediums of his job.

Until now, Adrik had made a point to never ask for advice from his father. His health had begun failing him at 52, and it had meant a change in management far sooner than anticipated. Even through his sickness, the man had been harsh to his only son in his later years, and Adrik resented him for it. Still, he had not seen his father since he gave up his position. Since then John had retired to a seaside manor to live the rest of his days in relative comfort. Better he stays there, he thought, he would have made this even worse than it already is. Still, Adrik wondered if the coalition would have happened had his father been in office, if the National Sovereigns would have grown the way they had. Certainly father could not have known this would have happened to me.

There was a sudden knock at the door. Adrik glanced to his phone, which indicated no missed calls. Curious. “Damn secretary probably forgot to warn me,” Adrik muttered. The arrival was yet unexplained. Could this be John? Adrik had asked him to come at seven, but the time was three and surely the sudden storm had kept his father at home.

Regardless, Adrik gave a courteous “come in” to the surprise visitor.

The door opened and a gaunt figure marched dutifully forward. He was dripping with storm water and clad in a large cloak which covered the entire figure, obscuring his face.

Adrik rose from his desk, “Whoever you are, I’m sure the staff had a very good reason to let you in. Please, identify yourself before the Minister of Trade.”

A wizened hand doffed the hood from the robe. At first the man at Adrik’s desk was unrecognizable, but suddenly he saw his dad.

Or rather his ghost. The proud man, who had been in great health only years earlier, had suddenly contracted leukemia. Adrik was under the impression the disease would have largely passed, his father was a strong and willful man. It seemed strength had been little help against the sickness. His hair and mustache were completely gone, no doubt from chemotherapy, and his size and strength had all but left his body. Where he had once looked strong and youthful, John Koróv now looked pallid and aged.

“My god, father! You… I… “

Suddenly Adrik felt a wave of crushing sadness; by avoiding his father, he had been entirely unaware of the rate of his decaying health.

John spoke, gravelly and weakened, but with much of the remnants of his father, “I heard the news of your neglect. I had thought you would have been better than this. Leaving your father to rot in his house while you steered my party to the ground!”

“Father… I…”

“Enough… I am not here to lecture you on how you treat your old man as he dies from this confounded blood disease. What did you need me for? I really should not be making these trips, even the summers are cold for me now.”

“You are not actually dying though, father, are you?”

“The doctors say there is hope for my condition to improve, you may not believe me if I told you I had been in worse condition some few months ago. Perhaps if you had visited me then you would never had made this meeting in the first place.”

“If this is too much for you this does not need to continue-”

“If this was too much then I would not have agreed to come here. Now, what is it you want my counsel on? You had been so reluctant years ago…”

If John had been harsh in the past, neglect had also made him blunt. Adrik had nearly lost his train of thought when his father revealed himself to him, but Koróv ships steer true, as they always have, so he remembered:

“It’s the politics, we… I… I didn’t see the national sovereigns playing the elections until it’s too late. I-I I don’t know what to do. Father, please, I need your help.”

Surprisingly, the apparition of his father formed a grin. A pained, strenuous smile, but a smile nonetheless.

“I knew you’d ask me eventually. I’ve been waiting a long time. I knew you would ask me how to do my job.”

Adrik was taken aback by the sudden change in demeanor.

“Yes, I have been keeping a close eye on what you have been doing. Arrogant and foolhardy of you to try doing this all on your own. But my people. Our people. They have been telling me about what you’ve been doing, yes. And I think I can safely say this was the smartest decision you’ve made since you took my office. Now, here's what we must do...”

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tamar Gregov watched the coastal town slowly fade away as the ferry pushed to sea. Some long ways out was a cluster of unassociated islands. Her job would be to act as an envoy of sorts to those developing islands, the Three Sisters. It was not unlike the negotiations in East Marenai.

The ship she and her team had set out with was relatively small. It had been chosen for ease-of-docking over spaciousness and as a consequence Tamar and her associates were rather cramped in the cabin. It had been a long 30 minutes, with much longer to go.

The man beside her looked to be attempting to grow a beard. It was scraggly and sad on his face, however, and he made no attempt at conversation.

Great, now I'm trapped for fourteen hours with a bunch of mutes.

Tamar had not chosen her team, rather she and them were selected for the mission. They had apparently been selected for diplomatic skill.

They must be saving their breath for the islanders. That's all.

Had Tamar had her way, she would be working with the Rouge to plan out her position. The only reason she had even agreed to coming was for a promise to be the Prime Minister should the party win. The importance that would have on her family, astronomical. The importance to Bulgenstaz, even greater.

There was only open ocean now. Tamar looked around: one envoy had fallen asleep, the unshaven one was browsing on his phone, and to others were staring dully at each other, or out at the expanding ocean. Quite a group.

However, the promise she had been told seemed almost a tease. It felt almost as though the party didn't want to win. The Rouge had made no real electoral plans outside basic promises of policy. It all felt rather insulting. Maybe they aren't trying because I am not worth helping.  That thought made no sense, there was nothing more important to the party than its stranglehold on Zalensk. Tamar had spent enough time there to understand why. If they hadn't have wanted her, they would not have even considered her for the position. Perhaps it is an attack on my House.

House Gregov had risen to prominence during the first revolution under Armitov. Having only been an Ichiman of the Ickgo Swamp before, Grigriov Gregov proved a key strategist during the beginnings of the civil war. Gregov had been promoted to Grand Marshal for his outstanding service. Their humble clan elevated to House Gregov by the man who eventually served as the villain of history textbooks. It didn't particularly matter to Tamar, House Gregov had only worked to solidify its standing since. And now I will carry on my grandfather's legacy.

Tamar watched through a porthole to the endless blue wastes surrounding them, interrupted by flocks of schooners, fishing and crabbing. She had never seen so many ships. The Sisters would not be for many knots, and the ocean would be all but empty before they would arrive.

There was no good reason to waste an election on insulting House Gregov. The Bulgen Rouge had other ways of attacking those who disgraced the party. There would be only loyalty from the Gregov's, they could not change sides as they had in the Second Revolution.

As she continued to gaze from the porthole, drowsiness overcame Tamar. The plan had been to arrive at the Sisters in the earlier part of the morning; it unfortunately meant the envoys would have to spend a night aboard the crowded ship. Tamar had already noticed the occasional nervous glance around as her associates contemplated how to best approach sleeping. In some stroke of luck, Tamar had landed a window seat, so sleeping would be as simple as resting her head upon the side of the ship.

As if to curse her luck, the ship suddenly jerked sideways, slamming her head into the side of the ship. Perhaps not so fortunate…

However, the will to sleep quickly overcame the occasional rocking of the boat. After they were served a quick meal of dried meat and crackers, Tamar decided to commit to sleep.

For what felt like hours, the ship rocked just enough to keep her semi-conscious. At this point some small talk had begun. Negotiations on sleeping, primarily. Tensions were high, but they wouldn't get higher. They couldn't get higher.

Eventually Tamar fell into a rocking, restless sleep, and dreamed of tiny fledgeling islands.

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