(Co-written first part of a role-play between respective nations and characters. Ateenia in green, Haru in blue for speech text)
Somewhere over the Haruspex skies.
Ena is awakened from her slumber by the “Royal Dragon” pilot’s announcement.
“Royal Dragon, this is your captain speaking. We are approaching the destination, please prepare for landing in the next 10 minutes.”
The Queen continued lying on her comfy bed for a few more minutes and then finally decided to get up and get dressed for the occasion. With no time wasted, she decided that the dress covered in the snow-white fur of Ísbirn, from the northernmost Ateenia was the right dress for the day and put it on along with boots made from the leather and fur of the Oslandi reindýr and the pants made from the skin of the same deer. As she was about to leave her cabin she remembered to take the ceremonial axe “Drottvendari”, meant to be by the queen’s side always, while also putting on her golden crown with the shape of 3 tree roots twisted around each other, with a flat surface with the emerald Trélíff carved into it, in the front.
When she was finally dressed, she exited her cabin to her office to get seated and wait for the landing. As she sat down she noticed Torvi, her minister of Foreign Affairs, rushed to her seat in the same room and quickly buckle her seatbelts as the seatbelt lights turned on and the plane began descending. She took a moment to gather her breath and looked at the queen,
“so… any idea what to expect once we land?”
“No, but looking out of the window, I'd say they are ready for our visit, certainly know how to greet us.” the queen responded, pointing towards the escorting fighters of the Haru air force. “Hopefully once we’re there, there will be more walking involved, tired of sitting on the same seat for hours.” Torvi continued.
“You didn't sleep?”
“No! I can't sleep when this damn plane keeps shaking as if Hilli herself was trying to hold us back.”
Ena laughed, “ha ha, you really need to fly out more often, the turbulence in this flight was barely noticeable and if anything I’d say Hilli was giving us more speed.”
Torvi started looking out of the window and sat quietly for the rest of the trip, mumbling to herself, the greeting speech she was gonna give upon arrival.
Once the wheels of the “Royal Dragon” finally touched the runway’s of the Prathen International Aerodrome, the queen packed her bag and left her seat, to stand at the exit door, waiting for the plane to stop and open the door, She made the last adjustments to her outfit and advised the minister of foreign affairs to do the same.
When the plane had taxied into position, it would be at the precise placement of a long, red carpet, stretching for nearly twenty meters to a convoy of ebony vehicles waiting in a line. At either side of said pathway, in a row of twenty, six deep, were legionnaires of the Imperium, fully adorned in military attire as if they were to be deployed at that minute. Men and women alike, heads cocked to the left facing the Ateenian royal aircraft, berets of a light blue hue. A few hundred boots clicked in unison at the appearance of the queen and her entourage, and in the center of the carpet, waiting before the steps that came down from said craft, were two very high ranking individuals.
On the left, that of General Elena Yars Orn, overall commander of the Imperial Royal Guard - IRG, and on the right, Duke Sias Hu'yan, highest ranking official of the Third Circle, a ministry that focused upon Foreign Affairs exclusively.
Elena, for her part, looked very much what one might expect a Haru legionary officer to appear as. She was fairly tall at just under one point eight meters tall, angular features suggesting a Cussian heritage, more than likely that of Black Augustine. A neither thin, nor thick build of frame, short, auburn hair with a shave on either side, a style of cut known as a Very Short Pixie. A long scar that ran from left eyebrow, across the bridge of nose and stopped just at the cusp of her right cheek finished off the look under sweltering watery-green eyes. As befitting one of the military, the woman wore as those subordinate officers under her command did. A double breasted coat with sleeve stripes worn with ribbons, medals, badges, and a black dress belt. A raised collar white shirt with black neck-tie was worn underneath. with highly notable awards such as the Imperial Honor Mark, Chosen of the Imperium Cross, and or various service medals. The uniform was colored black and the double-breasted jacket had ten brass buttons and a matching peaked cap.
Hu’yan stood approximately the same height, and with a similar hair colouring as well, it was reddish of sorts, cropped very close to his scalp and shaved on the sides. He, unlike Elena, did not share in the same features however. His were slightly softer, rounded just a bit, yet even for his age, he was fit and well, his three piece suit was not ill fitting nor stretched from obesity. Neat and tidy. He bore no facial scars, though he did carry himself with a slight limp on the right side. A cane was leaned upon somewhat, and it was not ornate, just a simple black piece of lacquered wood. He was also older than the officer beside him. Elena in her thirties, he in his fifties.
As befitting royalty, especially related, however distant, both knelt upon one knee to greet the queen and her entourage, eventually rising up and each stepping to one side, gesturing at the automobiles in the distance. It was Hu’yan however who spoke first.
“My Lady, Queen of Ateenia, welcome to the Imperium. May your visit bring good tidings and cheer.”
“Thank you! I am glad to be here. I’m a little disappointed that the empress herself couldn't be here to greet me. I'm guessing she has other matters to attend to?” Ena asked, as she began walking towards the vehicles.
“Ah, she is attending to matters of the royal court, thus she could not attend. However she will be present when you arrive at the palace within Prathen.” General Yars Orn commented towards the Ateenian Queen as they strolled towards the vehicles.
An officer waiting, opened the rear door of the command staff car that lay in waiting between two SUV’s. Overhead a pair of Dymuh class gunships thundered overhead, swirling the air and leaves about as royal guard security officers slid into the SUV’s, and the more obviously military vehicles behind the three piece entourage. The general and the duke would also sit in the back of the staff car with the queen and her minister.
“Should be a pleasant trip, the old city has been well prepared for your arrival. The citizenry have just been informed of the link to the Kalinka bloodline. There is a surge in popular support for your nation, and for the visit.”
Ena looked out of the car window and looked at the city and all of its people, and responded. “That's good, I wish I could say the same about my people, the truth is, most Ateenians both fear and hate the outside wurld and all that comes from it. It’s been this way for at least a hundred years. I'm not really sure how well my people and my jarls will take this visit and the increasing relations between our people but I do hope that one day an Ateenian can call a Haru a brother or a sister. That is why I'm here, to bring us closer to that goal.”
She fell into thoughts for a bit and then looked at Torvi.
“How do you feel about this Torvi? And be honest.”
“Well my queen, I do believe we are moving in the right direction but I'm not sure how this will impact Ateenia as a whole, if you and our government keep pushing our people and our jarls too much, i fear all of our progress might come rumbling down as distrust and dislike for you and the government grows, i fear your brother can use it to her advantage and take the throne from you instead and i feel that he would not have the same vision as we do. Overall, I'm glad that we are building our relations with our lost brothers and sisters but must advise you to not rush this because all of it can come crumbling down faster than we are building it.”
Ena fell into even more thoughts with worry on her face. She knew that Torvi was right and that to get the desired result, she must take her time. While Ena was too busy in her thoughts, Torvi started her conversation with Hu’yan.
“So… how’s life as the minister of foreign affairs of Haruspex? I'm guessing you are as busy as I am with this profession?”
The duke smiled before responding. “I am busy with a great many affairs, not only the running of the ministry itself, the representation to a select few nations in person, but the training of those who are placed in positions of representation, and the managing of the city-state that my bloodline has ruled for nearly eighty years now. So yes, quite busy.”
A traverse of gaze to the protective windows, the crowds at the side of the road, the waving of small Ateenian flags by said people, the banners of the Imperium flying from some buildings above in the wind. Eventually, to not be impolite, attention was brought towards Torvi again.
“I warned my Empress, same as you warn your Queen however, that we must be cautious, the kingdom of the old line is quite far away, no telling how we as a people differ. For example, our two people speak different languages, despite being of the same heritage, our languages differ so much that you could not tell that they are related in any way based on words and letters alone.”
A slow lean back into the soft leather of the seat. A light tapping of the index finger against the cane for a moment. “We are at the crossroads, yours and mine, to determine not just the fate of the Kalinka line here, but of interactions in the future. It should prove interesting.”
Torvi lit her cigarette and nodded.
“It sure will be. Hopefully things go well rather than bad, it's about time Ateenia got more involved in international politics, we’ve been rather isolated since my kingdom first fell almost a hundred years ago and well, a foreign affairs minister of an isolated kingdom is no real foreign affairs minister.”
She continued smoking in silence and just as she finished her cigarette, her silence was interrupted by Ena.
“Torvi, once I'm at the destination, I need you to continue on to the Ateenian embassy here to inspect their work and to check up on them. I believe they will be honoured by your visit. I trust it won't be much of a problem.”
“No, not at all, I was planning to visit the embassy at one point anyways, glad i didn't need to bring it up myself. I wonder how Björn is holding up, he sure didn't like the news when I assigned him here 2 years ago. Time to pay my old friend a visit.” Torvi looked at Hu’yan and asked. “Will I get to the embassy with this car once Ena gets off?.”
“Ah, yes, if you would be willing to keep an old man company, this vehicle will take you to your embassy. It is on the way to another destination of mine anyways.” His words coincided with a passing of a checkpoint, the Haru legionary with the half masks in place, the nearly universal sea-water green eyes focused and attentive to the passing of the vehicles at hand. As the SUV’s pulled to one side, the staff car proceeded up a driveway towards what could only be described as a castle. Passing through another checkpoint, this one at what was once a gate house, perhaps it still was. Then another, and another, the outermost rings, the innermost, and then the central ward, the royal palace loomed upwards and outwards. Everywhere were legionary, standing at rapt attention.
The vehicle slid to a stop before another carpet, the co-driver and a security officer stepping forth and acting as a valet, pulling open the suicide styled doors to either side to allow the passengers within, exit. More rows of legionary, though these were much different then those at the plane, these were the elite, the commandos of the House Renor Elemmiire, the primary bloodline of the Empress, and the current reigning house of the Landsraad.
Duke Hu’Yan remained within the vehicle, and spoke to Torvi. “Now the real dragon awaits, and with her, the Imperial Court.”
The National Courier
The Ministry of Finance suspected of corruption.
The Royal Security Agency has has concluded in their latest report that they found links, linking some of the staff in Ministry of Finance, to bribes and corruption. Such suspicions became apparent when the government started noticing more and more of the actual revenue disappearing from the expected revenue. The Konráðið, under the guidance of the Divine Queen Ena Kalinka, have instructed the RSA to focus more resources on tracking down the corrupt officials in the ministry, noting that corruption and bribery is heavily condemned in the government and such criminals will be hunted down.
The Minister of Finance Karl Jötunhöll, Deputy Minister Frida Sökölheim and Secretary of Revenue Brenda Björk, have all been arrested under the suspicion of corruption and incompetence. The RSA reports that the Deputy Minister Frida Sökölheim infact was part of the corruption conspiracy, after she made a clear confession, when being interrogated. The confession also gave light to new evidence suspecting to more people being part of the corruption, however the names are not yet revealed. It is however apparent that all three people arrested, are part of the corruption. The Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary of Revenue have been relieved from the Ministry and are awaiting court trial which is planned next Tuesday.
The Queen Ena Kalinka has openly announced that she regrets her failure to catch this sooner and that she will do everything in her power to catch and arrest each and every one, part of the corruption conspiracy. She quotes. "I apologize for my inability to track down the root of the weakening economy sooner and i regret that many fellow Ateenians had to suffer for my inability, but i promise, i will personaly see to it, that this problem is solved and that the corruption in our government shall be rooted out and eradicated. Corruption in the government is a crime that i cannot forgive, i cannot forgive the people that would abuse their office and instead of improving the life of all Ateenians, use their power to only improve their back pockets. May these conspirators seek forgivness from the gods, because they will get non from me. I promise you my dear sons and daughters, that i fight a battle every day to give you a better tomorrow, a better future, a better government. All i ask from you is patience."
In recent days it has become apparent that the royal government has increased their focus on rooting out corruption from all government institutions, which has been becoming more and more corrupt since the death of Divine Queen Aslaug Kalinka, 7 years ago.
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, two 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."