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Constantinopola Conference


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  • 1 month later...

Chapter 2.1

Room XIII, Hotel El Paseo

At nine AM sharp

Muffled footsteps on the carpet. A knock on the door. Mrs Hackney and Mr Rikari expectantly looked over at the door. It swung open. In walked an unfamiliar face that wasn't the moustached, bespectacled Sir Algernon Edgeyton IX.

“Good morning. You must be Mrs Hackney. It's a pleasure to meet you,” the man said with a pleasantly welcoming voice. He extended his right hand and introduced himself: “I am Ekwueme Okorie. I am here to represent the Occidental-Azanian Pact.”

A charming man, with a soft yet firm grip. It was clear why the OCA selected him as their Foreign Affairs representative. We mustn't underestimate this Okorie, thought Hackney. We have almost no information about this man, thought Rikari.

Both delegations spent the next dozen minutes exchanging pleasantries and getting to know each other.

Hackney was the first to get down to business. “It is the position of my government that Orioni was and remains ready to talk about ceasefire and peace. This is our constant position.” She eyed Okorie, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of any emotion behind his expressionless face. Nothing. Hackney continued: “The sooner this peace process begins, the more chance there will be to restore normal life.”

Okorie sighed. He turned away from Hackney, and faced a large window with a view over the bay. After some thirty seconds of silence, he turned his gaze towards Hackney and squinted his eyes. “There seems to be a large misunderstanding between us, Mrs Hackney.” Their eyes locked. Okorie pointed his chin forward, and continued: “Your media continues to call this an escalating conflict. But nothing could be further from the truth. We are not on a path toward destruction. Far from it. The OCA is helping the West rise from its slumber and reclaim its rightful place in the wurld. We, the South and West, are young and vigorous and strong. Meanwhile, the East has become complacent, weak and old.” Okorie stood firm, rolled his shoulders, and raised his index finger as if teaching an important lesson to a child. “It is as with the farming we do in Azania: before sowing the new seeds, we first burn down the old and dead plants. For Azania to grow strong again, the old and dead structures need to come down.”

Now it was Mrs Hackney's turn for silence. Mr Rikari, however, appeared less impressed and much more worried by this obvious bravado.

OOC. Okorie is laying it on thick. It seems like he is trying to impress the delegation with his history lessons, and it's working. However, in his underlying message, it sounds like he is saying that Europa needs to be destroyed so that the OCA can rebuild it. Is that what he actually means?

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Chapter 2.2

Room XIII, Hotel El Paseo

“And what exactly are you proposing, Mr Okorie?” asked Mrs Hackney, while scribbling something down on her notepad. The Orinese foreign councillor kept her cool.

Mr Okorie, confident in his oratory, continued: “Orioni has been small and weak since the end of the Long War. Our grandparents remember those times well. The ruin scared the living daylights out of them. The OCA ensures that we can take measures to protect our borders and our interests.”

“For example,” Okorie said, “we are re-aligning our political and economic relationships with the old democracies of Azania. We have signed a series of free trade agreements with our OCA partners. Our new friends in the Occident have become our biggest trading partners. Our trade with the rest of Eurth is worth many billions, and will continue to grow every year.”

“We are also preparing a series of bilateral treaties with our neighbouring countries. We have established diplomatic relations with former foes.” Okorie pointed to a nearby window and said: “Our neighbour and host, Red Iberos, is smart enough to accept our friend. You, as our other neighbour across the seas, are welcome to reopened your embassies in our capital.”

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Chapter 2.3

Room XIII, Hotel El Paseo

“I am intrigued by this suggestion, Mr Okorie. But what exactly are you proposing?” asked foreign councillor Hackney.

“We ask nothing less than a new era of friendship between East and West,” Okorie said. “Azania and the Occident include many great civilisations, with many cultural and scientific accomplishments. We have common grounds to build on, and our peoples can live in peace and prosperity.”

“I don't know if I follow you,” said the foreign councillor. “If I am not mistaken, the OCA does not speak for all Azanian countries.”

“Not exactly,” Okorie said. “The countries you have in mind are all part of the Unaligned States of Azania. Our countries may have different political systems and economic models, but we are all members of the same area. It would be a diplomatic tour de force if the OCA were to invite our neighbours to join their ranks. All they need is a little push.”

“That is quite an audacious proposal,” commented the foreign councillor. “I am not sure these independent countries would agree.”

“Let me put it like this,” said Okorie. “We are not asking our neighbours to change their flags or their names. They just need to realise they are part of a bigger family of countries.”

“Since you were so courageous to take this first step in aligning with the OCA, we are also prepared to offer something in return,” Okorie teased. “My colleagues and I drafted this proposal. You need only sign it.”

Hackney glanced at the document title, and began leafing through the proposal.

TOP SECRET//COMINT-UMBRA

Agreement on measures to ensure the security of Occidental-Azanian Pact and member states of the Entente of Oriental States

The Occidental-Azanian Pact and the member States of the Entente of Oriental States (EOS), hereinafter referred to as the Parties,

  • reaffirming their ambition to improve relations and deepen mutual understanding,
  • acknowledging that an effective response to contemporary challenges and threats to security in our interdependent world requires joint efforts of all the Parties,
  • determined to prevent dangerous military activity and therefore reduce the possibility of incidents between their armed forces,
  • noting that the security interests of each Party require better multilateral cooperation, more political and military stability, predictability, and transparency,
  • reaffirming their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the Assembled Nations,

agree to the following:

 

Article 1 • Cooperation

The Parties shall guide their relations by the principles of cooperation, and equal and indivisible security. They shall not strengthen their security individually, within international organizations, military alliances or coalitions at the expense of the security of other Parties.

The Parties shall settle all international disputes in their mutual relations by peaceful means and refrain from the use or threat of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the Assembled Nations.

The Parties shall not create conditions or situations that pose or could be perceived as a threat to the national security of other Parties.

The Parties shall exercise restraint in military planning and conducting exercises to reduce risks of eventual dangerous situations following their obligations under international law, including those set out in intergovernmental agreements on the prevention of incidents at sea outside territorial waters and in the airspace above, as well as in intergovernmental agreements on the prevention of dangerous military activities.

 

Article 2 • Consultation

To address issues and settle problems, the Parties shall use the mechanisms of urgent bilateral or multilateral consultations, including the EOS-OCA Council.

The Parties shall regularly and voluntarily exchange assessments of contemporary threats and security challenges, and inform each other about military exercises and manoeuvres, and the main provisions of their military doctrines. All existing mechanisms and tools for confidence-building measures shall be used to ensure transparency and predictability of military activities.

Telephone hotlines shall be established to maintain emergency contacts between the Parties.

 

Article 3 • Dialogue

The Parties reaffirm that they do not consider each other to be adversaries.

The Parties shall maintain dialogue and interaction on improving mechanisms to prevent incidents on and over the high seas (primarily in the Meteorolas and the Konstantinopoli Sea region).

 

Article 4 • Security

The Occidental-Azanian Pact and all the Parties that were member States of the Entente of Oriental States as of 1 March 2022, respectively, shall not deploy military forces and weaponry on the territory of any of the other States in Europa in addition to the forces stationed on that territory as of 1 March 2022. With the consent of all the Parties, such deployments can take place in exceptional cases to eliminate a threat to the security of one or more Parties.

 

Article 5 • Arms Limitation

The Parties shall not deploy land-based intermediate- and short-range missiles in areas allowing them to reach the territory of the other Parties.

 

Article 6 • Enlargement

All member States of the Entente of Oriental States commit themselves to refrain from any further westward enlargement of EOS, including the accession of Ayubi, Damak Var, as well as other States.

 

Article 7 • Operation

The Parties that are member States of the Entente of Oriental States shall not conduct any military activity on the region of Azania as well as other States in Western Meteorolas, Central Amutia and Marenesia.

In order to exclude incidents, the Occidental-Azanian Pact and the Parties that are member States of the Entente of Oriental States shall not conduct military exercises or other military activities above the brigade level in a zone of agreed width and configuration on each side of the borderline of the Occidental-Azanian Pact and the states in a military alliance with it, as well as Parties that are member States of the Entente of Oriental States.

 

Article 8 • Arbitration

This Agreement shall not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting the primary responsibility of the Security Council of the Assembled Nations for maintaining international peace and security, nor the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Charter of the Assembled Nations.

 

Article 9 • Ratification

This Agreement shall enter into force from the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification, expressing consent to be bound by it, with the Depositary by more than half of the signatory States. Concerning a State that deposited its instrument of ratification at a later date, this Agreement shall enter into force from the date of its deposit.

Each Party to this Agreement may withdraw from it by giving appropriate notice to the Depositary. This Agreement shall terminate for such Party [30] days after receipt of such notice by the Depositary.

 

This Agreement has been drawn up in Anglish and Oharic, all texts being equally authentic, and shall be deposited in the archive of the Depositary, which is the Government of ...

Done in [the city of …] this [XX] day of [XX] two thousand and [XX].

 

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  • 6 months later...

Chapter 2.4

Room XIII, Hotel El Paseo

Cllr Hackney read through each of the nine articles in this proposed treaty. She could not believe her eyes. Was this a bad joke, or did the Azanians really expect the Entente to just roll over?

Hackney: “What you propose in this document, Mr Okorie, goes against every moral principle. I could not in all conscience sign such a document.”

Mr Okorie turned to look at her. “I am not surprised to hear you say that, councillor. It means that you are truly dedicated to your cause. Now, I wish to know if you would consider a compromise.”

Cllr Hackney's eyes flashed. “There can be no compromise when it comes to these issues. I will not sign such a document.” She took a long, slow breath.“I'm not known as a war hawk. But let me make one thing very clear to you. Should your Pact cross the Saeida Strait, we will fight tooth and nail to protect the Orinese diaspora. This is tantamount to a declaration of war.”

Okorie: “And I cannot force you to accept our terms, can I? All I can do is to stop you from entering our country, or any other country, for that matter.”

Hackney: “I am not going to change my mind. If you have to resort to threats, so be it.” She turned to her assistant: “Mr Rikari, I believe we're done here. Please go and get the car.”

Battle lines were drawn. This attempt at a peaceful settlement was a clear failure. Both sides would return home empty-handed, with nothing to show for it except perhaps a much clearer understanding of how far each side was willing to go.

Chapter 3

Alley behind Hotel El Paseo

Cllr Hackney was about to leave the El Paseo Hotel, the same discreet way she got in. She exited via an unsuspicious door near the back of the hotel. The door opened on a narrow loading bay that led into an alley between buildings. Daylight couldn't reach down here. The door slammed shut a second time. Had someone followed her? She turned around to see Mr Okorie behind her. He quickly closed the distance between them and grabbed her wrist.

Hackney: “What are you doing?”

Okorie: “You're not going anywhere until you agree to my terms.”

Hackney: “What—?”

Okorie: “I need you to agree to my terms, and I need you to do it right now.”

Hackney: “You can't be serious.”

Okorie: “You have five seconds to agree to my terms, or I will hurt you.”

Hackney: “Stop it. I will not—!”

Okorie: “Four—”

Hackney: “I will not sign your treaty, and I will tell the world. This is outrageous!”

Okorie: “Three—”

Hackney: “You're a madman! You're a thug!”

Okorie: “Two—”

Hackney: “And I will not let you dictate terms to me!”

Okorie: “One—”

Hackney: “You are a madman. A madman and a thug!”

Okorie: “Well, I guess you're going to see this through.”

Hackney: “I—I can't believe you're doing this! This is an act of war!”

Okorie: “Nonsense. I will—”

Footsteps in the alley. Okorie suddenly felt something sharp stabbing into his side. He screamed and fell to the ground. The Orinese assistant, Mr Rikari, was standing over him, holding something that looked like a needle. Okorie writhed in pain on the ground, trying to reach his phone, but he couldn't. He felt as if she was going to die. His side was on fire. He writhed in agony for a long time, finally going limp.

Chapter 4

Somewhere in Constantinopla

Hackney and Rikari left the alley, making their way to a dark vehicle with tinted windows that was waiting on the curb. They climbed inside the high-performance government vehicle. The car took off at a high speed. Hackney sat in the back seat, still shaken up by the events of the day. She thought over what Mr Okorie had said to her. She had no doubt that he would carry out his threat. Rikari sat next to her, gripping a handgun while keeping a wary eye on the streets. Hackney turned to Rikari.

Hackney: “Thank you, Mr Rikari. You were great back there.”

Rikari: “Just doing my job, Ma'am.”

Hackney: “You're not a regular assistant, are you?”

Rikari: “No, Ma'am.”

The vehicle pulled up in front of the Orinese Consulate. The doors opened, and Rikari helped Hackney out of the vehicle. They took a few steps further and stopped in front of the consulate's main doors. Hackney turned to the large doors. She raised her right hand, and her left hand held a small glass sphere. She pressed the sphere against the side of the large doors. Purple light poured out from the sphere. A moment later, the doors opened slowly.

Hackney and Rikari walked into the consulate. The lobby was vast and adorned with beautiful carpets, curtains, and paintings. The air smelled of freshness and spices. They made their way to the reception counter. Rikari saw a pretty receptionist, probably in her late twenties. She was typing on her keyboard, her beautiful long brown hair falling down her back.

OOC. Wrapping up this story. The conference was a failure, which was my goal from the beginning. Nothing about this event was reported by any news media. Okorie went too far, but he will live.

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