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Saltbrook Channel

5:32PM

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. I am pleased to welcome you to Saltbrook Channel, @Pentium. We have landed at Ancaster International Airport and the local time is 5:32PM. For your safety and the safety of those around you, please remain seated with your seat belt fastened and keep the aisles clear until we are parked at the gate. I hope you had a pleasant ride.

Alexandra looked out of her window in first-class, observing the area around the airport. It was already quite dark outside, but she could still make out the Adlantic Ocean to her left. The plane parked at the gate smoothly, and soon her delegation were gathering themselves hastily to get their documents off the plane. They still had a 120 km journey to Whedon's Row to complete before they could settle down. But at least they got a hotel to sleep at — and a fairly luxurious one close to their meeting space with the Pentian representatives, if their hosts were to be believed. As she walked through the airport, she certainly found it impressive. Hisera's only international airport, Parlahaven Airport, was small compared to this one, and it reminded just how far Hisera still had to go. As her delegation exited the airport flanked by guards that Elric had posted to them, they didn't have to wait long before a long line of vehicles pulled in to take them away. By her estimates, they should get to Whedon's row by about 8PM if traffic didn't interfere much. She certainly couldn't wait to lie down on a bed and go to sleep; she would need it for tomorrow.

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Whedon's Row

6:43 PM

“Mr. President, the representative for @Hisera had a successful landing at Ancaster International, she is en route currently towards the capital via a motorcade.  She will be here within a few hours,” 
spoke Huscarl Creed“Are you prepared for the meeting?  We've done what we can to fill in the roads towards the capital building from the shelling and clean up the barricades and wrecks.”

“I am prepared, Huscarl.  Thank you for your report on the situation.  What about the destroyed Battle Tank still out front?”  Callahan asked.

“Immobile, we couldn't get a crane or recovery vehicle in for it yet, but the motorcade should be able to get around it.”

“Very well.”

Ian Callahan and his last Huscarl left the relative comfort and warmth of the offices built into the mountain.  And stared out to the balcony that still housed a few unloaded Starbreaker Anti-Tank cannons.  Since the battle, they had been turned to face the sky and the area had been prepared the best that it could under the circumstances.   Callahan donned his blue stately garb, as was tradition for any foreign dignitaries visiting the city. A collection of fine meats, wines, and bread had been prepared in advance, as well as a small honor guard for the welcome ceremony. Although the sun had fallen further beneath the crest of the hills, the lights of the city still shone brightly.  Callahan looked down at the destroyed Flood tank still residing on the yard and recalled the brave young officer who had given his life valiantly.  He found himself suspecting, it would make a good monument.  That would have to wait, for the rehearsal for tomorrow was about to begin.

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Whedon's Row

The refreshments had been quite good, she had to admit. Alexandra sat at a fairly large round table, still thinking about the rather militaristic welcome from the Pentian honor guard. It was impressive, no doubt about it, and she felt it strangely similar to the sight of soldiers back home, but it still unnerved her slightly. Maybe it was just the commotion of it all. She collected her papers and re-arranged them orderly, and she looked at the man in front of her. Ian Callahan, President of @Pentium and an older man, sat on the other side. It was about time to begin, she thought.

“President Callahan. It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person. I believe you have already been sent the introductory documents for this meeting, but for the sake of recollection, I will quickly summarise them. We are here to discuss the lucrative potential for both of our nations from mutual investments into our economies, especially regarding Pentian Monetary and Industrial Investment into Hisera and the investment of Hiseran expertise into the Pentian economy. Topics for discussion may revolve around any economic or industrial sector, as well as investment for the sake of diplomatic relations. If it is possible, I would like to start. Hisera is currently aware of the Pentian move towards the modernisation of the military. Hisera is heading in a similar direction, as can be seen through our negotiations with other Argic nations regarding the sale of military equipment. Hisera's initial question would be this: Since both Hisera and Pentium are heading in such similar directions in terms of the military, do you see co-operation between Hisera and Pentium on the subject of military production and innovation a possibility?”

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Whedon's Row — Conference Room 3

It is a pleasure to meet you as well, Minister Alexandra.  It has been a long time since Pentium had a foreign representative in the halls of parliament.  I thank you for coming.  I see the opportunities laid out in front of us are numerous and have the potential to aid both our people vastly.  I believe that it is in our best interests to move forward as quickly as possible to negotiate a comprehensive agreement on the subject of Military, and Civilian innovation, production, and construction.  As well as what lies between those measures.  You may have the floor to discuss what matters are most concerning to Hisera, and I will offer what we can.”

Callahan sat back in his chair a bit more and shuffled papers about in front of him.  They had summaries of what they could offer and what they needed.  As well as parameters that parliament would be willing to accept from a deal.  The room itself was a comfortable and modern space, complete with a projector if the representative had any media to display.  

The Huscarl was stood outside by the door, in parade uniform.  A simple black and gold uniform.

“Whenever you are ready.”  Callahan nodded.

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“We can start possibly with the most pressing issue and one that could be of interest to Pentium. That is Hiseran Infrastructure. The Ministry of Finance and Business has been as kind as to prepare an encompassing summary of Hiseran plans for infrastructure, which is to become public knowledge soon.” A delegate hands Callahan a fairly thick folder, with easily hundreds of post-it slips extending out of the front. “However, I believe that going over every project in detail could take us days, and as such I will provide a brief summary.”

“Firstly, the most ambitious plan that we have is the construction of new railways connecting Szlescagrunt, Talenar, Marna and Talord. Phase one of this railway line, known as the MH1 would span about 576.7 KM with an approximate cost of 5.36 Billion ADS or 278.72 Billion Hiseran Sen. It would greatly improve the connection between West and East. This would allow for more effective cooperation between Hiseran Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sectors. A potential Pentian investment in the construction of the MH1, as well as potential investments into state-owned companies CargoHisera and HiseraRail could bring about great returns over time to Pentium. Use of this line would only grow larger and larger as time goes on. This would also potentially open new opportunities for private Pentian Train companies to expand into Hisera, as they would see their government's confidence in Hisera as reassuring. This further traffic on the MH1 would then not only strongly improve Hisera's West-East links and ease the lives of Hiserans travelling from one side of the country to the other, but it could also bring about significant returns to Pentium over time.”

“There is also a similarly ambitious plan in the making for the reconstruction and renovation of the E12, E27, C5, and E14 highways. These would travel mostly along the coast and connect some more isolated central towns to the more urbanised east. This project would greatly improve the lives of many consumers and would improve logistical links between the northern city of Parlahaven and the Capital of Talord. The potential monetisation of these renovated highways could come in the form of massive advertising potential down the coast, as well as the massive lowering of cost in bringing items from one city on the coast to another. Should Pentium ever have plans to expand state industry or business into Hisera, or even simply encourage the spread of Pentian private businesses to Hisera, this project would become an extremely powerful tool then. The limited use of toll roads could also bring about a constant source of revenue. This would be much smaller than the potential gains from the MH1, but they would be nigh-immediate upon the completion of the project.”

“Another thing to consider is the link between industry and infrastructure. While I will first allow some time for consideration before continuing with other project proposals, it would be wise to have some sort of idea of the general direction Pentium wishes to engage in investments into Hisera.”

“Oh, and before I forget, this is a project hand-picked for this meeting by the Prime Minister herself, Miss De Sera. While pure foundations for transportation are important, it is also vital to not neglect the things that will be using them as well. As such, Miss De Sera is proposing a special opportunity investment into the city of Parlahaven. As the city grows rapidly, the infrastructure of the city cannot be underfunded or overlooked. Miss De Sera, as Member of Parliament for Parlahaven Central, has her specific focus on this in particular. As such, she is presenting Pentium with the option of investing in ParlaFirst Bus Company, the city-owned tram company Trammic, and the booming car industry of Parlahaven with independent companies such as FutureMotors and Luxe. These are working in close partnership with the Parlahaven Council and the cities MP's. This would be a more inexpensive, smaller investment than the major projects already listed out, but Parlahaven is a city known for remembering their helpers, and as Parlahaven moves rapidly ahead of the rest of the cities of Hisera, it's a deal that is certainly interesting to look at.”

“So, how do these projects sound? All the more complicated, non-summarised information should now have been handed over to the necessary authorities here in Pentium. So you should be able to look over them once more if you wish, or inquire into any further details later on. If one deal or more interests you, Mr President, that will be recorded, and we will be able to communicate about it at a later date. If none of these projects catch your interest as something Pentium would be interested in, we can move on.”

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Callahan looked at his notes in reference to the plans moved over to him, and checked the budget for the meeting. What seemed most interesting to Callahan for future ventures and investments. The second plan seemed to be the most lucrative for the future and was well within the budget allotted to the meeting. The third plan was a bit cheaper than the other two, as they were. However, Callahan reminded himself that this was a critical meeting, for both nations. The project cost was steep, but not outside the realm of funding each of them individually, my eyes may be failing me… Could you elaborate on the costs of the second and last projects?

“I am interested indeed in some of these projects, and interested in funding at least two of them at the moment. But before I commit to anything serious, I would also like to lay out the plans and needs that we have yet to discuss. Considering the large investment that we would be making. I will keep to the civil sector for the time being. For the most part, we require expertise for the extraction of several resources. Some simple things like Coal, Iron, Petroleum, copper, lead, and aluminum. There's much under the nation that we have yet to fully utilize, and we'd appreciate the expertise. The manufacturing are aircraft and their components is another interest to us. We can work off examples if need be, but technicians would be highly appreciated to oversee the construction of more civil aviation. This is what we would ask in return for the funding of the projects listed here. After our team goes through all the specifics, of course.”

“I believe it would be wise to hammer out the civilian markets before we handle military matters. But we can move onto that if you'd like, as well.”

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“I believe support in the primary 'Resource Extraction' sectors of the Pentian Economy is something that Hisera would be more than capable of providing. Hisera has a proud long-standing legacy of resource excavation and extraction, even if the pure amount extracted nowadays is far the below previous standards. Companies like Szlescagrunt Underground, Posta and Thull Excavations are long-standing trusted partners of the Hiseran administration, and have proven time and time again their expertise in the wide-ranging field of resource extraction. With the current state of these companies as part of the state-owned WielkWykopil Group, I am of the opinion that these companies would be more than happy to support the Pentian Government and Pentian Industry by supplying the necessary experts in these fields. Unfortunately, I am the Minister of Foreign Affairs and not the Minister of Development and Reconstruction, and as such this is not exactly my area of expertise, and as such I would be unable to provide any closer details at the present moment. However, you can be assured of my confidence in these Hiseran entities to be extremely effective at supporting Pentian extraction. Another thing that could be a concern for Pentium with the companies is their adherence to work safety laws and treatment of workers. In this subject, I once more can lay any doubts to rest and confidently speak in favour of the behaviour of the WielkWykopil Group. Hiseran workers and experts that would arrive in Pentium would be able to speak for their positive treatment working in these crucial sectors of the economy. Any Pentian workers and managers taken under the wing of these companies are sure to receive similar treatment to any standard Hiseran worker. Perhaps, if this co-operation between our nations went well, the future could see an expansion of the WielkWykopil Group into Pentium and the growth of Hiseran extraction in Pentium too. However, looking at the present, I believe this move between our nations could also restore international confidence in the Group and bring about a resurgence of these industries. Overall, I see that this will come out as a win-win scenario for Hisera and Pentium.”

“Regarding civil aviation, Hisera would be more than glad to support Pentium in this way, seeing as our countries are heading down similar paths in terms of the growth of our air forces and air fleets. While Hiseran production of civil aircraft is still moving slowly, this is no fault of the actual technicians and workers working on constructing them, but more an issue of actual industrial might placed behind it. As such, I believe a similar deal to the exchange of WielkWykopil Group experts could be seen with Hiseran technicians supporting Pentian ones as the skills of the Pentium workforce improve in these regards.”

“Of course, the experts and technicians that are transferred to Pentium would have to be limited in number, as they will still be required to help maintain Hisera's own growth and development. This could potentially slow down the process of improvement and modernisation in Pentium. Now, if a significant strain was taken off of Hisera in terms of development, with something along the lines of the funding of all major infrastructure projects presented. Surely we would then also be able to extend a much deeper and more-encompassing support in expertise to these Pentian industries, on a much greater, faster and comprehensive level. Simply another route for @Pentium to consider.”

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Callahan smiled a bit, the wrinkles on his face flexed. A reminder of his time in politics, while it would take some poking in parliament, there was much to gain from the deal even before the assistance with mineral extraction and aeronautics. Beyond that, the expansion of markets would greatly assist the sluggish export market for Pentium.

Nodding his head, Callahan put the folder down and closed it. Callahan took a long note and handed it off to an aide.

“If you believe that WielkWykopil Group is up to the task, then I will take your word for it. I am certain that more than a few industries in Pentium will be excited about the new markets available to them once we get this finished. It will be expensive, but I believe that we can squeeze out the required funds for each of the projects. I will see about putting some additional funding into the last project, just so you have some wiggle room on the project itself.”

“Of course, we can provide a plethora of experienced workers, technicians, and project managers with experience in rebuilding after war. There are still many who chipped their teeth on the reconstruction after the long war. Should you find the offer interesting, of course. I'd personally recommend Blemish Construction. They made that town stunning after its occupation and subsequent devastation.”

“On the topic of corporations, it may be wise to lower the barriers for international and multinational corporations operating in both our nations. Some tariffs and taxes. But that should be its own separate negotiation, lest we be stuck in these chairs for weeks on end.”

“How is the technological industry in @Hisera?”

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"The tech sector in Hisera is still quite small, however it has started to rapidly expand and innovate, with companies like GrapeVine and PMobile leading the charge with vOS mobile devices and Pindows home computers, which are starting to become more commonplace across the nation. State funding and close cooperation with government entities recently, such as the subsidy on phone purchases for state employees, as well as the recent contracts with PMobile Data on the expansion of 4G coverage across Hisera, have led to a recent boom in the tech industry. These companies, which used to be limited in their market to just Parlahaven, have been setting up large new complexes and offices across Hisera, with a steady increase of sales in areas outside of Parlahaven, such as in Talord, Marna, Talenar and even as far as Szlescagrunt. The sector itself is still quite small however due to the limited funds of much of the Hiseran populace, as well as an unfortunate lack of internet coverage over the nation. Recently however, a small tech boom is occurring throughout Hisera, as many Parlahaven-based companies are working tirelessly on expanding into the rest of the nation, providing many people with reliable, cheap and effective electronics. Recently, these companies have also started to appeal to some of the richer people in society, with the new VPhone from GrapeVine that has recently come out on the market selling like wildfire amongst the nation's richer groups."

“Perhaps, if Pentium is interested, Hiseran electronics companies could potentially expand into the Pentian market. With internet coverage being much more sufficient than that of Hisera currently, I am nearly fully sure that these companies would be delighted to receive an opportunity to expand to a fresh new consumer base. Perhaps we could even partially expand subsidies to these expansions into the Pentian market, providing electronics at a further discounted price. Should that option appear interesting to Pentium, all that we would require in return is an investment similar to the Pentian investment in infrastructure. It requires a much smaller minimum investment than even the prior mentioned Parlahaven Investment, with a minimum amount of 75M ADS that would need to be invested. Once more similarly to the Parlahaven Investment however, the larger the Pentian Investment into these companies, the larger the potential returns would be for both the Pentian Government as well as the general populace of both of our nations.”

“Another key part of the Hiseran tech industry is the recently emerging innovative market of robotics. As Parlahaven faces a recent shortage of blue collar workers, the minds at the Parlahaven Institute of Technology and Innovation (PITI) have presented a unique solution: robotics and automation. Early testing rounds have already begun on large-scale implementation in the manufacturing sector, as well as the potential replacement of many traditionally labour-intensive jobs such as mining, agriculture, construction and other forms of hard manual labour. A great recent example would be RoSolutions’ WipeBot, which has been implemented in some of the districts of Parlahaven as a replacement for standard Public Works Office human workers, and has greatly improved the effectiveness of the Parlahaven Cleaning Squads. And before any questions are risen in regards to their welfare, the workers that lost their jobs have been placed on an experimental UBI initiative, which the authorities in Parlahaven hope will encourage the pursuit of education and the arts.”

“I hope that answers your question. You are free to respond to my previous questions, as well as to the one I will pose now: what does the Agricultural industry look like in @Pentium?”

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“That is rather interesting for the field of robotics.  I ask because the field of technology was a thriving industry under the previous administrations.  They were even in the process of changing the nation onto a 5G network, but that project has been put on hold for a few reasons.  We would certainly be interested in having more market entries, as our domestic manufacturers need a bit of competition to keep things rolling properly.  Of course, plenty of our local firms would be more than happy to leap into a new market.  Operating systems will likely need a unified front, however, or at least a way of communication between PentOS and Pindows.  I'm sure that the IT people can figure that out.”

“Agriculture has been a long Pentian trade, the fertile lands by the River Mercy has given generations of our people food and water even in the earliest days of recorded history.  Irrigation and mechanized farming is a common and calculated process.  And our farmers have been the backbone of our nation since time immemorial.  In addition to their reputation, they produce a variety of foodstuffs.  Things like Rye, Wheat, Barley, as well as Cabbage, Carrots, Garlic, and Onions.  Not to mention the other staples.  Some of that is sold to livestock, though much of our farming is done by individuals on land owned for generations.  We do of course have our industrial farmers, who share the same expertise on a larger level and if needed, would certainly be able to assist in setting up and sustaining any operations needed on Hiseran soil.”

“In addition, the previous administration was very heavy on the encouragement of green houses to increase productivity and profits.  So many farms and industrial farmers have access too, utilise and have expertise on the matters of creating and maintaining greenhouses. There has been a noticeable up tick in less common foods, various fruits that are grown in greenhouses when they would otherwise be unable to thrive in the environment found naturally in Pentium.  In smaller quantities due to the cost restrictions, but they are available to most citizens.”

“Many of our young farmers choose to study at the Blemish Institute for Agriculture.  Which is a specialized school that teaches fields of Horticulture, Agriculture Science, Food Science and Agronomy.  Which they use in addition to their familial knowledge on the subject to maximize the efficiency and output on the farms.


“But to summarize, the agricultural industry in Pentium is strong and stable.”

“On that, do you have any more questions about the civil sector?”

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“Hisera's agriculture has historically been quite powerful, especially in the pastoral areas, and the recent downturn due to the civil war has not soured the confidence that the administration has in Hiseran agriculture returning to its once dominant position. That being said, a lot of education and expertise has been lost in this field, and it would be in both Hisera's and Pentium's interest to support a speedy recovery. Should Pentium be willing to support Hisera with an exchange in agricultural expertise similar to our previously-discussed deal in raw resource extraction, Hisera would be able to guarantee great returns to Pentium. Hiseran companies could provide further competition and cheaper prices for the Pentian populace, while limiting operations in order to keep the competitiveness of Pentian agricultural companies in the Pentian market high. This could also be a significant health boost for the Pentian populace. After all, a varied diet in great for health, and with the new Hiseran Food Standards Agency to be fully operational by New Year's Eve, we will be able to guarantee only the best quality for Pentians looking to buy Hiseran meat, milk, and bread.”

“Other than this, I have been personally asked by the President, Elric Fii, to mention a possible arms deal opportunity with the Pentian Navy. As the navy is looking for a significant expansion in size, an offer of potential interest is available to Pentium. Should @Pentium be willing, Hisera would be willing to exchange several key island ports in exchange for Pentian Ships. This scheme, nicknamed the ‘Elgan for Ships’ Scheme, would see several Elgan Islands in the Geltic Sea transferred over to Pentium, providing key strategic locations in the sea. In exchange, Pentium would provide Hisera with various ships, ranging from cruisers, to destroyers, to corvettes. Hisera would take over the maintenance, crewing, and upkeep of these ships, as well as be fully responsible for any needed modernisation. This opportunity is still open to discussion, however, so negotiations over this are fully open.”

“Other than these two final topics, I believe there will be no further questions from the Hiseran side as of the present moment. This is of course subject to change with your response, Mr President.”

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“We would be more than happy to provide expertise in the field of agricultural development to Hisera. The aforementioned health benefits would certainly be a welcome boon in addition to cheaper prices. For that, we agree. However, we'd be more than happy to open the way on imports should companies find them interesting. We can also open up the Blemish Institute for Agriculture for Hiseran students to further their education on the subject and help to improve productivity and yield.”

“On the arms deal, the Pentian Navy still operates some older classes of ships that we have been struggling to modernize or use effectively since the end of the Long War, I can talk to the admiralty about transferring control of the ships and off into hands that can use them properly. Our older fleet contains…”
Callahan checked his notes, looking at the current roster and off-duty listings. “Three VK-Class Cruisers, Seven Lisek Class Destroyers and Twelve Defiant Class Corvettes. These are what we'd be willing to transfer over without much hassle or fuss on our end. They are all maintained up to a battle-ready standard and were commissioned around 1978, 1982 and 1981 respectively. I'm sure you can improve on the systems that we cannot.”

“That is all that we have from our side of the table as well.”

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“It’s great to hear the positive Pentian attitude regarding Hiseran agriculture, and I believe it would be an excellent opportunity for Hiseran students to interact with Pentian students in BIA. With regard to this arms deal, Hisera would be willing to take these ships off your hands and be responsible for them, and of course Pentium shall receive the Geltic Elgan Islands. The transfer will include the islands of Marruna, Fila and Potra. Marruna, the largest of the island trio, does contain a small civilian population, but this is entirely composed of the families of the soldiers stationed on the island, so it shouldn’t prove too difficult to prepare it for Pentian soldiers. Fila and Potra on the other hand, can be ready for Pentian troops in just a few short hours after this deal is signed. Of course, the easiest solution would be to simply declare it a free-travel zone between Hisera and Pentium, but this could cause possible legal migration issues. We can understand if this may not look enticing to Pentium, however if it is not a problem, then this solution is certainly on the table. Other than that one small bit to sort out, I believe this will be the end of our meeting. Certainly a productive one in my opinion, Mr President. The meeting has been recorded, and the deal will soon be drafted by the wonderkids at the Ministry of Business and Trade, with all the necessary legal jargon. I will stay for a week or two in @Pentium if that is alright, in order to be here for the signing of this deal.”

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“That should give us enough time to get the deal through parliament as well and prepare our people for the acquisition of the Islands, and people moving towards your industries for work.  In addition to the release and sending of funds to the necessary institutions.  I would recommend that you be careful if you intend to stay within Whedon's Row.  As efforts to remove all the lingering UXO, and potential land mines planted by the renegades.”

“However, there are rooms within the mountain that you may stay in for a time as we work with on our side of the deal and prepare to receive yours.”

Callahan nodded and stood up from his chair.  He extended his hand towards Alexandra, to fully seal and complete the deal.  He felt that it was mutually beneficial for both nations to move forward and address concerns between the two governments.

“I am sure that we will have a few more meetings in the future, but for now this has been an excellent opening negotiation.”

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Alexandra stood up as well, clasping Callahan's hand in hers. She felt some pride in herself at what had been achieved that day, a certain predictor of good things to come.

"That is excellent, Mr President. I look forward to my stay, and the future diplomatic and economic opportunities that shall blossom between Hisera and Pentium, and I am glad that the opinion of Pentium is the same."

Both delegations departed from the room, feeling pleased with the outcome and optimistic about the future.

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  • 2 weeks later...

22/11/23

Alexandra felt pleased with herself at the deal she had crafted along with the Pentian legal teams and the ones back home. It encapsulated all of the points that the @Pentiuman President Callahan and she had agreed upon. And the time had finally come to sign it. Camera lights flashed as journalists took pictures of the important occasion for their newspapers and gazettes.

She smiled at their cameras and looked back at the document in front of her, signing it.

"All that's left now is for you to sign it, Mr President."

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Callahan smiled, and nodded to Alexandra, signing the treaty between the two nations and peoples.  Holding the document up and displaying that the document had both signatures, he placed it back down on the table.  Looking over to Alexandra, smiling and shaking her hand as the fruits of their negotiation and work had come to completion and would help bring prosperity and opportunity to both nations.

"From today on, we move forward as two nations closer in spirit and in work."

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