Jump to content

The Laptop


Recommended Posts

Tamäj Köseg - Chief Consul of Stedoria
Djjurad-Françwa Delvau - Second Consul of Stedoria

 December 7th, 2021 (07.12.2021) 

Djjurad-Françwa knocked fervently on the door of Tamäj Köseg's main office with his free hand; not waiting for a reply, he let himself in and quickly shut the door.

"Citizen Köseg." he said, formally addressing Tamäj whilst walking towards the desk at which Tamäj was sitting.

"Françwa." Tamäj responded, acknowledging Djjurad's presence, though continuing to keep his eyes down on his bureaucratic pen-pushing documents.

"There's been an… unexpected development regarding our little diplomatic 'incident' in Ceris; see for yourself." Djjurad said, placing the laptop and paper on Tamäj's desk, facing towards him to read. Djjurad had already read the document, and thus new its contents. He was unsure of how Tamäj would react; in all the they pair's discussions of Ceris, this had never come up.

A small expression of surprise came to Tamäj's face as Djjurad placed the letter; Tamäj was a rather emotionless person, at least from an outwards gaze. Though Djjurad had known Tamäj for over fifteen years, Djjurad had never come to understand Tamäj's emotions in-depth; it always felt odd and off-topic to ask about his emotions, so he never bothered with it. As soon as Tamäj's eyes laid upon the sender of the paper however, his expression became much more pronounced; he quickly snatched the paper, reading silently but rapidly to himself.

"The Sentists…" Tamäj trailed off. Of course, he knew that with Stedoria's original criticism of Ceris's occupation, there'd be damage diplomatically between Stedoria and the nations involved in the occupation. This however, had caught him off guard; considering the @Sentist State's isolation after Ceris's invasion, he expected them to remain relatively silent. He hadn't started this whole diplomatic row to get the attention of the Sentists, but rather as a show of diplomatic resistance against the nations currently occupying Ceris, especially considering Ceris's proximity to Stedoria.

"This is a good thing, if anything, Tamäj. It shows that our—Stedoria's concerns have been heard by Ceris." said Djjurad. "Obviously, as they said, our contact with them will need to remain confidential as their reputation is a dumpster fire to put it mildly, but this will give of some legitimacy when our relations are revealed; they're a Ceriser nation—they speak for Ceris's people, not these damn foreigners in Ceris." he continued.

"Indeed," Tamäj responded "they could provide a potential location for us to become active in Ceris's affairs. Though they aren't guided by Reason, but rather by some ridiculous octopus-god." giving a small chuckle as he thought about cultists prostrating a giant octopus. "They're not as… nutty as the northern Sentists; I haven't heard reports of mass-killings like in North Ceris a few years ago, although I still wouldn't expect the best out of them in regards to the way they treat Cerisers. Although this is unexpected to say the least, it appears a new opportunity has arisen, an opportunity not just to strike a blow at the imperialists, but to bring closer together our two related peoples: of Ceris and Stedoria—two birds with one stone." Despite Tamäj's open enthusiasm to the idea, he personally remained suspicious of Sentism itself—Reason does not guide people to commit senseless and pointless massacres and killings. 

"I couldn't agree more; these imperialists—they… they think the wurld is their playground, their sandbox, that the people of Ceris, and of other parts of Eurth won't fight back, that they won't resist. They shall learn; when we pointed this out in Ceris, they of course ran behind the guise of stopping the Sentist massacres—that's not the point! The point is that they act as if they are Ceris!" Djjurad's voice rose as he spoke, becoming close to shouting, his Alzian accent becoming heavier as he spoke. Though he and Tamäj of course shared the same politics, Djjurad was much more passionate when it came to speaking—a firebrand of sorts, despite not actually taking part in the civil war nor the revolution. Understanding he was getting heated, he cleared his throat to partially but abruptly change the subject; he pointed to the small, primitive-looking laptop. "The laptop they mentioned is here. I'll leave it here for you to deal with."

"Alright, you go draft a response letter to them while I continue examining this. Notify me as soon as one of those codes for the computer arrives." Djjurad was already heading out the door as Tamäj finished his sentence "Oh! And Françwa," Djjurad looked back at Tamäj, the former being halfway out the door "This is pretty obvious, but be very careful with this information; don't share it with anybody without my approval." As Djjurad shut the door behind him, Tamäj's eyes rested upon the laptop.

Edited by Stedoria (see edit history)
Link to comment
  • 7 months later...

Countdown.
23:30, December 12th, 2021 (12.12.21)

With each day that passed, and the key never showing up amidst files and letters, it seemed that the chances of beginning a diplomatic relationship with the infamous Sentist State seemed to dwindle. Though, eventually, half an hour before the midnight deadline, a black letter with a red outline found its way to Djuråd-Françwa Delvaux's office. The letter was standard size, and had almost no weight to it. The only item in the letter was a single strip of paper with one line of text:

KEY: 121221_190520_250321_121518_051421_111514_149700

There was no time to contact the Chief Consul, the clock in Djuråd's room ticked away every second that past closer to midnight. Upon opening the laptop, a blank red screen illuminated Djuråd's face with a small black key logo in the middle and single password entry field beneath it.

Jse3RWd.png

With haste yet care to ensure each number and underscore was typed in exactly how it was sent, with each number added tension grew. There was no way to know if Djuråd has a second or third chance to get the entire key correct, for all he knew one wrong number and this opportunity would melt away from his hands. Eventually, all 42 numbers and 6 underscores were strung across the entry field, and with one click a loading screen appeared on the laptop. Had he typed them in correctly? Was the laptop verifying the numbers or possibly bricking itself?
Moments led to seconds, and seconds led to a whole excruciatingly long minute. An entire minute. The clock behind Djuråd continued to tick and tock, each second leaving behind a sharp echo. Finally, the loading buffer faded into the red background, soon followed by the entire screen going black. For a split second Djuråd had thought that the computer might have shut itself off, but soon several different apps begin to pop up on the black screen and the Second Consul could finally sigh a breath of relief and contact Tamäj Köseg.

They were in.
 

 

Examination.
16:00, December 13th, 2021 (13.12.21)

For 16 hours, not counting some much needed sleep, Delvaux and Köseg were able to go through every available app and file. Most had obvious use, basic drawing apps, simplistic text reading and writing software, even a sticky notes app. The one of greatest intrigue was the Virtual Embassy app. A simple neon red circle with a white speech bubble inside with three black dots, its start up screen was rather similar to the start-up key page, but the colours reversed and the Sentist foreign affairs office logo above the entry field instead. Trying to input the original key failed, as they could only submit 10 characters before the screen spat out a pop-up error. Examining the other apps gave no such 10 character long key. It was only upon the clock striking four and a single email from an unknown address somehow slipped through Delvaux's spam filter that they were able to access the application:

VERIFICATION: 14-4025-14

The only thing they had access to was a single chatroom labelled '14', which they had 'no permission' to type in, with a large timer set for 12:00 on December 15th. Punching in different numbers for different chatrooms came up with only error pop-ups. They were going to have to wait.

 

Second Contact.
12:00, December 15th, 2021 (15.12.21)

Eventually the timer hit 0 and their permissions were updated.  A whole text document was submitted into the chatroom before they could type their own greeting into the chatroom. Upon opening the text file, it read:

TvN15sI.png

Who was H Konnig? The Speaker's advisor? Foreign Affairs associate? They were a priest, but God knows what that means to the Sentists.
The chatroom remained open, open for them to respond, open for them to accept or deny the deal. Open to begin a dance with the devil. The ball was now in their court.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Djjurad-Françwa Delvau - Second Consul of Stedoria
Ernö Bartok - Foreign Affairs Minister of Stedoria

12:05, December 7th, 2021 (15.12.2021)

Djjurad continued to stare at the screen over Ernö's shoulder, looking all around it to see if he missed any small details, after reading the newly received although unexpected message from the @Sentist State. He was surprised that the Sentists had dared to send such a thing for contact purposes in the first place. Whilst Stedoria was aware of the atrocities committed by Sentist forces against Ceris's population during the conflict on the island, the Gemotamists also desired to seek and exert their regional influence over Argis further; they only had to look near Stedoria's backyard at Seylos's and the North Adlantic Union's presence on the island to easily point to a scapegoat. Although the diplomacy exchanged between Stedoria and Seylos were simply just words, the pen certainly isn't a harmless tool. By the third day of not receiving any messages or information from the Sentists through the laptop, Djjurad had assumed that the Sentists had given up their plans of contacting the Stedorian government; at Ernö's insistence, however, they continued to keep the laptop around, albeit securely—this was something that even the highest levels of Stedoria's government could not know about, with only Tamäj, Ernö, and himself being aware of the laptop's very existence.

"Shall... I get Tamäj?" Ernö asked, his voice hesitant—unsure of how to exactly proceed. It was clear that he shared Djjurad's thoughts: that the Sentist would simply abandon their efforts, deeming it either too risking or simply a waste of time.

"No... It's fine; he actually believe that they'd eventually respond, so he told me that in his absence that if such a thing occurred, we could make our own reasonable and informed decisions and let him know after." Djjurad said, equally as hesitant as Ernö, but quickly regaining his confidence as he went along.

"Alright, we should reply with caution however; we still don't know exactly who we're dealing with her-"

"A Sentist priest. The Sentists are obviously some type of theocratic-monarchic regime as you know; it's obvious that this H Konnig figure is some sort of high-ranking government official within the ranks of the Sentists. If anything, I'd guess that they're trying to keep their contact with us as secret as we are with them. We can't wait around for Tamäj to get a decision from him; we don't know how long we have to reply to the Sentists, they might abandon their operation if we take too long. Sometimes you need to make a quick decision and just go with it. Type out the following message into the laptop."

Priest H. Konnig,

I thank you for your message. I understand your very reasonable concern and desire to remain in the shroud of secrecy by all means necessary for the current time being. It is clear that in the present, the attacks launched against your nation, organisation, and beliefs, both military and propagandic, have no parallel in history or even within our modern era. It is evident that the nations opposed to you have not had the wisdom nor reasoning to simply engage your nation peacefully through dialogue so that an understanding may be able to be reached. To develop a mutual understanding. I would also like to send my deepest sympathies to your currently suffering people, who have become victim to the North Adlantic Union and Seylos's violent actions against Ceris's people, and to the immense damage and economic suffering placed upon your nation's urban centres. The people of Stedoria can truly relate to your pain; the years of our civil war, though thirty years in the past, still at times seem fresh, and it something which nobody in our nation ever desires to happen to Stedoria again, or for any nation to suffer a similar fate, such as your nation has been unjustly subject to at the hands of imperialistic and opportunistic powers.

Naturally, my sympathies, as heartfelt as they are, simply remain words, and though there are times for words, there are times for action; your people's suffering is a time of action, a time in which Stedoria can extend a hand to help up a nation that is currently on the ground, the ground where other passing nations walk by, simply ignoring your suffering. With that being so, I am glad to say that Stedoria is able to fulfill your request for medical and alimentary aid. We shall allow you to determine the method by which this aid is transported to your nation, although it is certainly possible for agents of our intelligence agency, the Committee of Public Safety, to be responsible for transporting the aid from Stedoria to your desired location. I also would like to ease any concerns you may have by telling you that any agents responsible for transportation will be carefully selected and heavily surveilled. Our aim is to transport approximately 50 to 60 tonnes of aid bi-weekly for at least six months. I apologise that I'm unable to guarantee more aid; this request comes slighly unexpectedly to prepare more, but future accomidations can certainly be made.

I am positive that this is the beginning of a relationship in which both our countries and peoples will benefit one day from, and I hope that this may also be the starting path for your nation to gain understanding from the rest of the wurld of your nation's true character, free from any propaganda.

DF. Delvau

"Alright Ernö, I need you to inform the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Economics and Development to schedule a delivery of approximately fifty tonnes of surplus food rations and medical supplies to the spare warehouses at Fabian Lisenmänär Airforce Base for the purpose of foreign aid to Baltica, which is still recovering from their civil war. Following that I need you to inform the head of the Committee of Public Safety of the aid's true destination and purpose. Also tell them to inform me immediately if anyone questions the aid's true purpose" Djjurad said quickly, almost as if he had already planned what to do in an event like this.

"Very well, I'll go do that now. You go tell Tamäj."

"Don't worry, I was just about to do that... Oh- and make sure to tell the Commitee to remove any Stedorian labelling on the aid: flags, markings, symbols, text; anything that could identify the aid's source as Stedorian needs to be removed." Djjurad said, speed walking out of the room. Whatever path they started by contacting the Sentists, there was no going back after today.

Edited by Stedoria (see edit history)
Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

The Next Level
06:30, November 12th, 2022 (12.11.22)

Trains roared through the early morning bridge of Ashein City; carriages loaded with resources extracted from across the hermit state rattled and thumped against the recently rebuilt tracks. Rivers of smog and dust flowed through the cramped spaces between houses and factories, disappearing into the sickly orange and yellows of pollution that bathed the rising sun. The only structures that pieced the looming illness were spears made of the innards of buildings, ensnared in scaffolding, and the great shadows of coal power plant cooling towers on the horizon.

At the centre of the expanding city was the Ashein Assembly, a blocky U-shaped building with the bottom half inspired by Neo-Aroman design and the top half by Dolchic architecture, capped with a large turquoise copper roof. From one of the many cramped offices within the government building, overlooking the yellow horizon and the silhouettes of passing trains, an individual in their late twenties sat in an itchy well-worn green sofa chair hunched over a desk and plain black laptop. Their thick black rim glasses reflected the green and white text that stretched out along the screen, with each careful tap of the keyboard words were typed and retyped. Beside them was a stained white mug of gone-cold coffee, a brass name plate that read 'Hayden Lorenz-Konnig', and a phone on speaker with the name Der Sprecher as the caller. Inserted into one of Hayden's ears, hidden under their bowl cut brunette hair, was a Bluetooth headphone piece.

"Yes... I'm writing as we speak... Yes, I have your notes... No... I'll make sure to..." Hayden responded to the voice from the phone, continuing to type away at the laptop's keyboard. They momentarily glimpsed outside the window; the ambient ailing yellow growing stronger as the sun continued to rise above the great skeleton of scaffolding that encompassed the skyline. Raising the mug to their lips, they cringed as the cold sludge slipped between their lips and down their throat. No time to heat it up, every minute counts when Der Sprecher is on the line.
"Yes... Yes..." Slowly Hayden's responses to the speaker on the phone dwindled into mumbles and 'mhms'. 

Time continued to trudge on, as the sun continued to float further up into the sky, and the murmur of crowds outside reached up to Hayden's room. Der Sprecher had long left the call, yet Hayden continued to drink the cold coffee and keep a headphone earpiece in their ear, too focused on the laptop to care. Finally, they sat back in their chair and let out a sigh of relief. The document was complete. Now to just send to Der Sprecher for review before submitting...

Hayden's peace was broken by the quivering of their stomach. The sudden realisation that they hadn't eaten today, and it was already late afternoon, struck them. They quickly copied the pasting the document from the laptop into a shared drive, turning off the black laptop.
"It has been sent." They muttered to themselves, pulling themself out of the couch and rubbing the itchiness of the chair out of their arms.
"The canteen better have not replaced my favourite sandwiches with the Christmas ones yet..." They grumpily mumbled to themselves, finally leaving the room by a nearby door.

OaVJ4Sx.png

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Tamäj Köseg - Chief Consul of Stedoria
Djjurad-Françwa Delvau - Second Consul of Stedoria

16:15, December 28th, 2022 (28.12.2022)

Djjurad pondered as he continued viewing and pondering his response to the newly-received message from the Sentists. With the outbreak of war in Argis, the Djjurad had left the letter from the Sentists to be taken care of at a later time when hostilities with Dolchland began to intensify further. Now with all-out war across south-east Argis, this was the perfect time. Despite the large amounts of aid discretely given to the Sentists by the Stedorian government, communication between the two had, for the most part, remained relatively little throughout the past year, with any communication being conducted throughout this time being short and directly to the point. Though there had been little in the way of communication, the aid had undoubtedly contributed greatly to reconstruction efforts by the Sentists, something they had undoubtedly struggled with in the face of practical complete isolation by the international community.

Despite the extremely delicate and classified information regarding Stedorian-Sentist relations, Tamäj had for the most part taken a very hands-off approach regarding the Sentists, except for a few rules of what Stedoria could not provide to the Sentists. This had allowed Djjurad to primarily take the reins in negotiations and communications with the Sentists, with Tamäj being given occasional updates regarding progress with the Sentists. This is something that greatly benefitted the Sentists whether they were aware of it or not. Tamäj's personal traits of pragmatism undoubtedly would've hindered certain requests for aid, thusly slowing Sentist reconstruction. Djjurad's dogmatism, or rather radicalism, on the other hand, had allowed the Sentists to receive aid in much greater quantities than Tamäj would've given.

"Essentially, they're willing to provide Stedoria armaments and military support in the conflict against Dolchland. As for diplomatic affairs, they believe that now is the time to finally establish official diplomatic negotiations with Stedoria. Their plan entails requesting diplomatic recognition from other Argic nations in order to mask our true relations with them." Djjurad explained to Tamäj carefully. Whilst Djjurad had great flexibility in what affairs he could engage in with the Sentists on behalf of the Stedorian government, he felt that this was much more significant, and that Tamäj needed to know prior to a decision being made.

"I see… There's no doubt that even though their diplomatic effort will be disguised, we as a nation will still face consequences for even accepting any Sentist diplomatic representation; that's not to mention their extremely poor internation reputation, something that hasn't escaped Stedoria and the Stedorian public." Tamäj replied. Whilst he was willing to engage in official diplomatic relations with the Sentsits, he also wanted to be sure of all the potential consequences that could arise out of it, along with all aspects of how the Stedorian government would go about both international reactions to any relations with the Sentists along with actual diplomatic negotiations and affairs with the Sentists themselves.

"This is true. However, as with our plans in Gadutea, now is an opportune time; with war against Dolchland, many nations in Argis want to get as much help as they can. If we threaten to exit the war in response to our relations with the Sentists they'll back down. Once the corrective action in Gadutea is complete, this'll only further help us, as if we were to exit the war, then multiple nations would lose their basing rights in Gadutea's ports." Djjurad replied, already anticipating Tamäj's hesitance. He had already thought this out, and had discussed it with Tädrik Fogl, head of the Committee of Public Safety, Stedoria's internal and foreign intelligence service.

"As much as this war has been has without a doubt been and will continue to be devastating to Dolchland's and Iwenland's people, it's only proved to be a benefit to us. Very well, I believe we're ready now to officially establish diplomatic relations with the Sentists. I'll type the letter." Tamäj responded, already sitting down and staring at the bland black, white, and green screen. He quickly started typing his reply.

 

Priest H. Konnig,

I once again thank you for your kind message. I am equally has overjoyed as your Speaker in knowing of the great achievements of reconstruction you and your government have conducted with help from the Stedorian People's Republic. Your nation's reconstruction efforts show the that the Sentist State has finally begun its path to both economic recovery and the path of ensuring the people's welfare, which had been so cruelly denied to you by imperialists powers responsible for Ceris's occupation. It is my, along with the Stedorian government's hope, that this aid did and will continue to improve the quality of life for all of those who inhabit your nation's territory. A crucial aspect of our nation's ideology is to assist brotherly nations in need of aid, and it is something that our government hopes that the rest of Argis's Dolchic nations will learn from and will one day practise. Another crucial aspect for our ideology are the notions of Resurrection, Rebirth, and Renaissance, something which the Sentist State has truly exemplified and has shown the greatness of Dolchic peoples who work together.

We are most appreciative of your offer of military assistance in response to Dolchland's imperialist aggression, and we humbly accept your effort. Our co-operation and unity must not stop at aid; military assistance and co-operation will only further cement the qualities of brotherhood and unity between our two nations and the wider Dolchic wurld. Whilst our nation is not in need of armaments, your offer of naval aid is greatly appreciated and desired; the Stedorian Revolutionary Naval Defence Forces are undoubtedly and regrettably the weakest aspect of our Armed Forces, and, compared to Dolchland's navy, pose a large threat to Stedoria's naval security.

We thusly request that any naval forces at the Sentist State's disposable be focused within the Dolch See, close to your nation's naval facilities. However, if so your nation desires, Sentist naval forces will also be granted access to Stedorian naval facilities for docking and resupply purposes should your nation desire to conduct naval operations in the Morthal Bay. Regrettably but also temporarily, the capacity of our naval facilities our currently limited due to much of our nation's past facilities being located on the island of Gadutea, which has currently been occupied under the so-called and self-proclaimed Free State of Gadutea. Rest assured that the Stedorian government is taking corrective action to ensure future use of these naval facilities, allowing Sentists naval forces to expand their naval operations in the Morthal Bay.

Regarding your government's proposal of the establishment of embassies between our two nations, the Stedorian government gladly accepts. As you have stated, the presence of embassies between our two nations will undoubtedly allow for the establishment of a new level of relations between our nations. It is also our hope that with the official and public establishment of relations between our two nations, other nations of the wurld may become more receptive to your nation, and may finally understand the great turmoil your nation had been subjected to at the hands of foreign powers. It is also our belief that undoubtedly there will be nations involved in the Dolch War that will react with hostility to the relationship between our two nations; however, Argic unity forged by the Dolch War will triumph this.

The establishment of embassies between our two nations marks only the beginning of an unending and prosperous relationship between the Stedorian People's Republic and the Sentist State; it is our desire to show the wurld both the success of Dolchic-Buranic unity and, just as important, the success of our relationship.

Tamäj Köseg
Chief Consul of the Stedorian People's Republic
14th Year of the Stedorian People's Republic, Free and Independent

Link to comment
×
×
  • Create New...