Destination Vey

The Imperial State of Constancia: Benevolent hereditary dictatorship, constitutional monarchy, laissez-faire technocracy, aristocratic corporate state, organized crime family syndicate or liberal autocracy? It depends on the day.

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Sarah Dravot
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Destination Vey

Post by Sarah Dravot » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:59 am

Somewhere east of of Alrodey, the LZ-008, a Kestrel gravship in the Eastern Armada, maintained a steady course on a south-easterly bearing. The first light of the morning was beginning to break, casting the rays of Atos over the darkened hull of strange, heavily armed, armoured vessel as it cruised at a height of 14,000 metres above the waves of the Raynor Sea.

The hours drifted by as the LZ-008 continued on its course. The onboard sensors were able to feed the discreet details of an electromagnetic sweep into an onboard panopticon node as the gravship passed parallel to the outer edges of the air defence zones of Vyktory, the Mysterious Isle and Etourney. Somewhere onboard the ship was a Dokhtar-e Ahriman, the living receptacle of the live panopticon feed, bred across generations specifically for this purpose. It was a thought that filled Sarah Dravot with a subtly nauseated dread.

The hours drifted by as Sarah, ensconced in the gravship's ready room lounged in an armchair alternating between reading her briefing notes and a tattered magazine from the 1630s on, of all things, women's fashion – apparently there was a roaring drag-queen circuit in the Imperial Navy. For this reason, amongst others, Sarah kept her own council as various junior officers and ESB company personnel drifted in and out of the room on various errands. The only times she was really obliged to acknowledge her surroundings was whenever the galley steward brought over a fresh pot of coffee. At midday she was presented with a tray of fried breaded-pork slices, biscuits, a dollop of saffron rice and gravy, which she eyed suspiciously. She began to understand, she suspected, perhaps why the navy had been lacking in motivation to take the fight to Jingdao during the somewhat abortive recent war.

Mercifully there were no weevils in the gravy-softened hardtack, but the breaded-pork proved to be even more indestructible than ship's biscuit. After a tentative attempt at cutting into it, and a few furtive nibbles round the edge, she'd pushed the slices to the side and focused on the marginally more appetising dish of rice and gravy.

At about 17:00 hours, just as the caffeine overdose and the ruminations of protest from her digestive tract were beginning to make themselves known, the klaxon had sounded and the interior lighting of the ship had shifted to a dark luminous red. The approach to the coast of southern Eura had begun. She glanced down to her attache case, which contained the two crucial documents for her forthcoming audience.
Finally.

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Primo de Aguilar
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Re: Destination Vey

Post by Primo de Aguilar » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:12 am

Jaime Augusto Joaquin Primo de Aguilar was leaning against the official car, enjoying the beginnings of a typical Constancian sunset as the rays of Atos played on the horizon of Vey International Airport.

It was rather like Luthoria, thought Primo de Aguilar, who had visited the former Alexandrian province several times, and even envied its once (relatively) state-of-the-art airport, which also doubled as the Air Force base. He recalled with a rueful chuckle how his orders to disperse the assets of the Alexandrian Air Force had almost resulted in a practically cramped airport at Geneva, full of air tankers and cargo aircraft.

In the air, the gravship was met by a Buccaneer and Fulcrum in Constancian livery, part of the combat air patrol, who identified themselves via the guard channel on radio, and escorted the vessel inbound.

On the ground, the assembled welcoming party was at parade rest, and there was a collective sense of awe and quiet dread as the massive vessel made its appearance, a stark contrast with the almost gaudy trappings of the Constancian state and the silent utilitarian gravitas of the ship.

As the vessel landed, the band struck up a classic Constancian tune, and the troops in their dress uniforms stood at attention.

Why all the panoply for a corporate official? As a Dravot, Primo de Aguilar had insisted that she possessed the protocol and diplomatic rank of a member of the Imperial family.

Besides, it was part of repaying the massive debt of honor that the Free and Associative Kingdom honored, what with the Imperial Republic and the ESB having assisted Constancia at its hour of dire need.
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Jaime Augusto Joaquin Primo de Aguilar, PC, GLH, GCNM, FSM, OGKC
Autokrator of Constancia and Co-Ruler of the Kingdom
Kanikleios to Basileusa Megaliótate Cleo, Autokrateira of Constancia
Strategos of the Thema Oranjēsiōn
Minister of Finance, International Trade and Industry and Kyvernítis of the Basileusian Bank,
Sýmvoulos of the High Court of the Free and Associative Kingdom of Constancia
Secretary-General, Micras Treaty Organization
Penultimate De jure Consul for Defense of the Empire of the Alexandrians
Alexandrian exile
Son of Santiago, Santander

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Sarah Dravot
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Re: Destination Vey

Post by Sarah Dravot » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:33 am

It was a relief to be on the ground but somewhat of a surprise to be greeted by a full dress band. The parade was certainly an impressive one, the Constancian precision in drill had become justly famed, but now, under the full glare of the sun, Sarah, dressed modestly in a black Salwar Kameez and shawl, cast her eye about for the lead dignitary of the welcoming committee.

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Primo de Aguilar
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Re: Destination Vey

Post by Primo de Aguilar » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:02 am

The lead dignitary of the welcoming committee was attired in the full dress uniform of the Home Guard, bearing the insignia of a Strategos, and his personally-designed insignia of the office of Kanikleios. He stepped forward, set his right, white-gloved hand to the peaked cap in salute and welcome, before ushering the guest to proceed along the red carpet, flanked by the honor guard, the color guard, and the band, which gave their own respective salutes. No ladies and gentlemen of the press were present, at Primo de Aguilar's express orders.

At the end of the red carpet were the official cars, where more uniformed men and women waited. The guests were ushered in and the small convoy proceeded to Nirytos House, stopping at the eastern entrance, where more guards saluted.

Finally, the cavernous banquet hall, where footsteps echoed on the floor. The table was set with a meal for two, of typical Alexandrian and Constancian cuisine, and as the doors closed, they found that they were alone. No guards to eavesdrop, and Primo de Aguilar had done what he could to ensure that there were no listening devices.

"Welcome to Nirytos House. Thank you for coming all this way."

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Sarah Dravot
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Re: Destination Vey

Post by Sarah Dravot » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:25 am

"It is my absolute pleasure, and on behalf of the ESB Group please allow me to say that it is an honour to finally be seated in this great building whose design and construction my predecessor and the company played a part in, however small."

She'd been rehearsing that line in her head for the entire duration of the journey from the airport, so it was no wonder that it had sounded a little over earnest.

"This is my first time on Eura. I didn't know what to expect." She added in a slightly more subdued tone. "I was half expecting to have to dodge radioactive dust-clouds, or man eating sandworms. You wouldn't believe the stories I've read in the Imperial archives." She smiled ruefully at the thought of her briefing notes and pursed her lips as she dabbed at them with the corner of her napkin. Before her was set a shallow bowl of anginares a la polita - artichoke stew. Pleasant and well seasoned, it had been presented with a side dish of spiced meatballs that appeared to be some kind of Constancian interpretation of Babkhan Kofta. Mercifully the spice was saffron rather than the chilli powder beloved of the Babkhi restaurants in Shirekeep.

"But Vey, indeed the Kingdom, seems like an oasis of tranquillity in the chaos and desolation of this land. I can only imagine what has been endured to make it so."

She was, in truth, still a little overawed by the suddenness of her elevation, the speed of her dispatch to Eura, the grandeur of her surroundings and, if truth be told, the fact that she was sitting down to a quiet meal with a man who was, by all accounts, considered to be 'the Great Survivor' of Micras; the man who had made his way out of the wreckage of Alexandria's fall to the heart of Constancia with little more than his jacket and an impatient mien, and there found the ear of the Basileusea and risen once again.

"I've read the proposals that the Board of Directors originally received. I can only apologise for the delays, but you know how Shireroth is. You never know who's head is going to wind up on a stake next." She laughed softly, but a little too nervously at her own joke, before making a gentle cough and resuming her line of conversation.

"I must say, it's evident that you are very determined in regards to your intentions concerning Jaris... I mean Oranje. The ESB Group values its longstanding partnership with the Free Associative Kingdom and is keenly interested in the projects that have been outlined."

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Primo de Aguilar
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Re: Destination Vey

Post by Primo de Aguilar » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:18 pm

"No apologies necessary," said he rather profusely. "We, too, have had our own internal...distractions. They've kept us rather busy as of late. Her Majesty, I have soon found, does not tolerate fools in her presence."

He took some time to examine the table and its contents.

"Your company is a great partner in our national development," observed Primo de Aguilar with a sincere smile. That much was true, though if truths were being told, the Free and Associative Kingdom needed all the help it could get.

"There are dust storms," noted her guest thoughtfully, before describing what he had once experienced. "They call it the Shamal, a sort of demon wind. I have never experienced before, but needless to say even the most unsuperstitious would soon discover the depths of their faith on seeing one," said he with a chuckle.

No doubt the typical Shirerithian fare was something she wished to avoid, so aside from the exotic Constancian cuisine, there were also servings of old familiars, such as a classic Alexandrian dish of beef braised in red wine and beef broth, with garlic, onions and mushrooms, with bread to soak it all up. The simple Constancian fare was all right, but this particular treat, he enjoyed with gusto.

He found himself laughing at her humor - either that, or it was just refreshing to meet someone different for a change. "When things have settled down, somewhat, I intend to take a tour of the Imperial Republic, visit the Kaiser. It's been too long, really, since I've had a real vacation."

Besides, recent developments were worth discussing with his counterparts overseas, he didn't say.

"The local ούζο is not bad, although we haven't really tried producing it for commercial quantity, for export, that is - something which we hope the ESB Group could, among others, help us with." He took a sip of a serving he had nearby, then choosing to douse his tongue with a chilled white wine whose provenance he'd quite forgotten. It had been highly recommended by the palace sommelier, at any rate.

"Constancians are a hardworking bunch, really. It's just unfortunate that they found themselves settling in this forsaken corner of the world. The new Theme provides much promise, and mutual profit for everyone concerned."

This was delivered with a straight face, honest and professional politician that he was. "Development for all is an enterprise we all work towards. My priority, for example, for the Theme Oranjesion is a working commercial port near what was once called Rasal, or Hatrecht. The bay and its anchorage is one of the best I've seen, worthy of a great new city."

He took another sip of the white wine, before taking a deep breath, and setting eyes to her. He knew very little of her background, and even less of her character.

"You are an honored guest of the Constancian state. All possible courtesies and considerations will be granted to you and your factotums. Please do let me know if you have any...problems. We aim to please."

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