Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

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Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:59 am

09 am, Shen embassy, Hutizica, Xiomera.

Zhu Qing knew that it was going to be one of those days. He was already on his third cigarette and his second cup of coffee and it wasn't even 11 yet.

The 51-year-old ambassador to xiomera, from one ancient empire to another, always felt like he had some innate sense of when something bad was going to happen. Those feelings started with something small. He forgot to set his alarm. The drive to the Embassy was marked with more traffic. Or he couldn't shake the morning funk with his usual routine of a single cigarette and a cup of coffee, having to resort to a much higher dose of the two stimuli to keep his brain working. But whenever small little things, started to go wrong it was an omen. Something far larger was just on the horizon.

The Ambassador was just sitting at his desk editing a small speech he was going to give at an electronics trade show when his premonition came to be.

As he was editing and rewriting the last few lines of the speech, his bad omen came to pass. The sound of loud voices yelling, with tones of shock and confusion filled the building. The shouting rattled the steel supports of the embassy.

The sound of high heels against wood came clicking down the hallway. The Ambassador closed his laptop and adjusted his glasses as the doors burst open. One of the younger people on staff, a recent graduate named Sun Yuan, burst through the door.

Any groggy tired feeling in the Ambassador disappeared in a moment as he stared at the young woman's face. Her face had all the color drained from his. Ghostly pale. Like staring at the surface of the Moon. Her eyes were dilated. A vivid green ring shrunk to the lowest diameter. Orbiting around black balls awestruck in there Stillness.

Her mouth was agaze. Her jaw still open from whatever had put her in this state. She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment, calming herself.

" sun… what's wrong?" the ambassador said, his face beginning to mimic her expressions. shock becoming a contagion spreading on its own.

" It's the Emperor! He's been shot!"

"What!?" The Ambassador said shooting upward, adding his voice to the cavalcade of chaos that the embassy was rapidly deteriorating into as the news spread from bureaucrats to bureaucrat.

" what happened? Is he alive?"

" I...I don't know sir. The stories were getting are Inconsistent. All we know is that he is being rushed to a hospital right now"

The Ambassador nodded. he took in one single deep breath, holding it for a moment to relax. His face grew stern. A sneer of cold command directed outwards towards the young bureaucrat as he reached down for the phone on his table.

As he typed out a phone number, he looked back up to Sun.

" Get in contact with the Cultural Ministry, Bureau of news and information, television branch. Use my identity code to get to the people in charge of the Morning News broadcast. Tell them what's happened and pass on any relevant information to them."

He picked up the phone and put it to his ear. Waiting till he heard a familiar voice, asking why she was being called at this early hour.

"Foreign minister, I'm sorry to wake you, but there is a situation developing in Xiomera "

6:31 am, heavens palace, Celestial Palace complex, shen Empire.

Shi Riue sat in the hallway outside of the east sitting room in the heavenly Palace. The most important Palace within the complex of palaces, temples and other buildings known as the Celestial Palace. For this Palace served as the home of the reigning sovereign.

The foreign minister looked down at her cell phone. Seeing if any new messages were coming in from her office or the embassy in Xiomera. None so far. The situation hadn't changed. The Emperor was in the hospital and there was no word on whether he would live or die.

The assailant was apparently in custody. While that brought the promise of Justice the foreign minister didn't think that would bring much ease of mine to the empress. Her friend dying in a hospital bed wouldn't be softened by the knowledge that the man who put him in there would also die.

Her trial of thought was interrupted when the door to the sitting-room finally opens. One of the blind servants of the Empress emerged, an old man without a single spot of hair on his head.
" the empress will see you now, "

The foreign minister put her cell phone back in her handbag, adjusted the outer layer of her black silk robe and then finally walked in.

The sitting room was a relatively small (one could even say cozy) room compared to the others found within the Heavenly Palace.

There were several couches arranged in a semi-circle around a coffee table. behind the couches were three Windows which looks out on the Grand River and the Jade Gardens directly behind the palace.

Directly opposite the semicircle was a slightly raised platform with a large lounge chair. And in that lounge chair sat a woman wearing green flowing silk. Lightly wrapping around her old and skeletal frame. A Black Crown rested on her head. The crown rose up a few inches and was held in place by a haircut. there was a short flat extension to the top, and hanging off of it was a piece of gold silk, obscuring the face of the woman.

The god empress, Wu Zhou.

Foreign minister shi dropped to her knees in front of the raised platform. Resting her rear against the back of her knees in a sign of respect towards her sovereign.

" My Empress. I apologize for waking you this early"

" If this matter is as urgent as you would have me believe we have little time for apologies minister" the woman replied, her voice coming from behind the silk sheet. An old and raspy voice. Cold and stern, as a breeze in a blizzard. Quiet but still very much in command, even after 83 years of life. 65 of which had been spent on the throne.

"So speak"

" yes, my Empress. " the minister responded as she bowed her head. “Emperor Topilpopoca has been shot”

“What?” she said in a harsh and sudden tone, that face obscured behind a silk screen twisting into a look of horror. Dilated eyes and lips pursed slightly as a shocked exhale caused ripples to form in the silk.

"... tell me what happened."

" as we briefed you yesterday your majesty, emperor Topilpopoca was meeting with a group of environmentalists. He was making a press statement in front of the Palace of flowers when an assailant pulled a gun and shot him"

The empress was quiet for a moment. She turned her head to the window staring out onto her Jade Garden. Inside where 12 large statues each depicting the 12 animals of the zodiac. From her window, she could see the top of the Towering Jade Dragon that watched over the garden.

"...damn fool. I always told him that he was most vulnerable during events like that” she shook her head and turned back to the minister

“Is he alive?”

“Yes, Empress, but...barley. He was taken to the imperial military hospital. We have no other news on his condition, but ambassador Zhu has tried to get information on his condition. That's really all we have so far."

Empress Xu, nodded in affirmation.

"... this is a most concerning development. I assume that you've authorized the ministry of culture to disseminate the information to the citizenry? "

" yes, Empress. The story is scheduled to be released at 7 am. It'll be the top story for the hour with continual coverage as more information comes in"

" Good...good… I'd like to draft a statement to be released. Topilpopoca may be a stubborn bastard, but I considered him a friend, and have for many years. I'm going to draft a statement on the issue. Have it read aloud during the broadcast.”

She returned to looking out the window, staring at the jade dragon, the symbol of the power of the monarchy, the world over.

This world was once filled with dragons. But over the years more and more of them had pasted. And in this morning one of the world's last dragons stared out the window silently praying that the world wouldn't lose another one.

7 am, sea salt coffee house, Sing Se, Shen

The morning rush was just beginning in earnest, as the clocks finally struck 7. the morning symphony played on as shoes scuffed across the floors, warm coffee flowed from one container into another, men and women quietly nibbled on their pastries and donuts between sips of hot tea. And behind all of it was the simple white noise of the television playing the morning news. Some minor story about flooding causing a delay of a few cargo trains bringing materials from the mines in the south of the country to the factories in the center and North.

The story only got a few heads paying attention to the screen. It was ultimately irrelevant to the vast majority of people. A few hours delay on a shipment of minerals wasn't going to affect anyone who wasn't working at the Mills and refineries.

But soon all the heads began to turn towards the television as the news came on.

" We have breaking news coming out of Xiomera. There has been an attempt on the life of Emperor Topilpopoca. I repeat, Emperor Topilpopoca has been shot. Reporters at the site of the incident said that he was shot from the crowd during a press event. He was rushed to the hospital where he is believed to be in critical condition. at this time there have been no official statements from the Xiomerian about the emperor's condition. The God Empress has which I will read to you right now." The woman in her pink dress unfolded the small piece of paper laying it out over the tables before reading it

" the news of the assassination attempted, against Emperor Topilpopoca, shakes me to my very core. In our years of rule, I have come to know the Emperor, as a friend, and trusted ally. His life of devout service to his nation has been a model, that many would do well to follow. I pray that heaven sees fit to open its Gates and shine blessings upon the Emperor during his roads to recovery and that its divine fury finds its way onto the coward who would strike down a leader like this. when we come across moments of struggle, it's important to remember what makes a nation strong. And one of those things is loyalty. In this time of crisis for the people of Xiomera, the Shen Empire stands beside them as their loyal Ally.

Signed her Imperial Majesty, God Empress Wu Zhou.”

The customers and vagrants in the coffee shop, all stared on with distress, at the screen.

Someone had just tried to kill one of the Dragons. And to them, it made the world outside of Shen seem a little less safe.

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Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:35 am

Imperial Committee meeting, 9-16-2019

Post by Shen » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:07 am

Li Kurasan sat calmly on the soft cushion of the birdcage elevator as the ancient iron machine slowly ascended the floors of the Golden Tower. The slow piece of late 19th-century technology marching upwards as it brought the first minister to the 3rd floor of the Tower.

Although the tallest building within the Celestial Palace complex had gone through numerous renovation since the installation of the elevator in 1893, none of them had gutted the birdcage elevator and replace it with something more modern. Something that wasn't so slow.

Of course, the First Minister understood why. There was a symbolic meaning to the elevator being kept in its original condition within the Golden Tower.

The tower itself has been constructed at the height of the Empire's power. The Liu Dynasty was experiencing a golden age. The nation was at its greatest territorial expanse, and it seemed like an era of prosperity that would never end. In order to celebrate that prosperity, the Emperor had ordered the construction of a massive tower. Made up of a large base and 11 equal octangular floors stacked on top of each other, the 101-meter tall building had its exterior roofing covered in thin sheets of gold, giving the tower its name.

It was a dynamic contrast from the state to the Empire was in when this birdcage elevator had been installed by foreign engineers in 1890. By then, the ones indomitable Empire had gone through centuries of decline. Its distant provinces abandoned as the political core grew weaker. The Zhou rebellion of the mid 19th century, still in living memory when this elevator had been constructed, had driven the empire to ruin. Strapped with debt and completely devastated. And yet at this time of desperation, the corruption and decadence of the bureaucracy had also reached its zenith. They had spent a fortune renovating the Golden Tower for their own convenience. Installing this elevator system so they didn't have to face the struggle of walking up three flights of stairs to the meeting room.

It's no wonder that just over 20 years later, the last Liu emperor, his first minister Chiu Xizu, and much of the upper levels of the bureaucracy were purged in the Red November coup. And the current Wu Dynasty ascended to the Heavenly throne.

That was the symbolism behind this elevator. It was meant to show what happens when the state bureaucracy, became corrupted. The price of decadence. Wasting a fortune on foreign convenience when the nation was suffering.

The First Minister thought the message had been well received. Every week ministers traveled up and down this elevator, reminded of the fate of their predecessors.

Li Kurasan though it kept a little bit of fear of abusing their power in the back of their mind. The Empress was smart to make sure the ancient machine was still in working order so it could continue to scare them.

That was what was on his mind when the Birdcage finally came to a stop on the third floor of the tower.

The third floor of the tower was divided up into two parts. One third of it was occupied by the committee chamber where the weekly meeting took place. The rest was a large open-ended room in which the Ministers would freely socialize while waiting for them all to gather to start the meeting. There was also a single door leading to the balcony that surrounded the entire third floor and overlooked the celestial Palace complex.

" First Minister. It's not like you to be the last one to the meeting" a man sitting at a table right by the entrance to the elevator replied, in a voice like a teasing whisper.

Li looked over to where the voice was coming from, seeing the wrinkled old smile, obscured only by white wisps of his unkempt facial hair.

The Energy Minister, Lin Zexu. Lovingly referred to as the father of the committee because of his advanced age, sat beside an olive-skinned man who had shaved every hair off of his head. Sonyam Gyasto, the nation's infrastructure minister was staring down at the board in front of them, a game of Go, already well underway. Gyasto was holding a black Stone in between his thumb and his middle finger, his eyes laser-focused on the board as he attempted to find life in clear defeat.

" I'm not late yet Zexu" the First Minister responded as he looked over the game

" quite the predicament you found yourself in Sonyam. Perhaps you can think of how you're going to get out of it, during the meeting"

" no need, Li" he responded, putting the black stone back in its box, before running his hands over his bald, giving off a defeated sigh." there's no way I can win. I guess that's another game to you Zexu."

The eldest gentleman amongst the three of them beamed. A proud smile crossing his face as he went to clear the board " I still got it. "

The First Minister walked away from the table and made his way to the center of the octagon.

" Alright, I'm here. Let's all head into the meeting room and get this started. We have a lot of things to cover today"

"About damn time" a snarky older voice snapped from across the room. The First Minister didn't even have to look up to know who it was coming from. The sound of gold clicking against gold obnoxiously signaled the amount of jewelry this person was wearing. The tapping of her gold-plated Talons against the furniture as she walked up behind the first Minister. And finally the overwhelming odor of her perfume.

" Minister Gao. I thought you were going to miss this meeting"

" Unfortunately for you First Minister, the meeting I had was postponed until tomorrow. Now can we get on with this meeting?"

The first Minister nodded " yes we can. Alright everyone let's head in"

The first Minister quickly walked in and took his seat followed by the other 15 individuals. Each one either a minister, in charge of one of the ministries of the government, or another important department like the central bank.

The last one to walk in was, of course Zhao Leji, commander of the Imperial Guard. Tradition dictated the captain of the Imperial Guard locked the doors to the council chamber and was allowed to silently observe the meeting in order to make sure no one was plotting against the Royal Family. After he orbited the table closing down the two doors to the trapezoid-shaped room, as well as closing the blinds to further isolate the Imperial Committee, he took his spot behind the first minister at the head of the table.

Once everyone was seated the Li Kurasan

" Alright, everyone. I call this meeting of the Imperial Committee to order. It is currently 12:04 p.m. Monday, September 15th, 2019 standard international time. Would someone please mark that down in the minutes? Thank you. let us get right into it. I yield the floor to the keeper of silver Wu Bingjing"

The first Minister sat down and the man to his right stood up.
Li Zhi was a frighteningly skinny man, dressed in simple and faded green robes, the least opulent of any of the ministers. He pushed his thick round glasses up his nose, as he pulled out a small piece of paper from the folder in front of him.

" thank you, First Minister. All right well we are halfway through the month and I can say that most of our departments are within acceptable parameters for the monthly budget proposals that were all submitted to the treasury at the beginning of the month. With the exception of Minister Sei and his Ministry of Agriculture "
Sei Weng looked up from a piece of paper he was looking at to give a confused look to the keeper of silver

" yes, you. That environmental impact report you authorized put you 7% over your monthly budget proposal. Could you please annotate your monthly budget proposal to include expenditures like that"

The agricultural Minister shook his head, giving the keeper of Silver a dismissive wave before nodding " fine fine."

"Thank you… anyway, we are currently projected to have a budget deficit of 2% of the GDP for this fiscal year. Let her bring our national debt to 28% of GDP. I would like to propose a motion, to form a committee to investigate unnecessary spending or potential Revenue opportunities to bring us back into the black for next year?"

" all in favor of the proposal?" The First Minister asked looking around the room

Everyone raised their hand

" alright motion passes. I believe you're more than capable of forming a committee, keeper Li?"
the keeper of silver knotted

" yes, I'll get right to that first Minister. All right I yield the floor to Minister of agriculture, Sei Weng"

He sat down and the man next to him stood up.

Sei Weng, dressed in his clean blue tunic and matching pants, and fiddling with his wedding ring, was an odd sight at the meeting. But he quickly began to speak
" Thank you. As the keeper of silver was....kind enough to point out I authorized an environmental impact report, regarding the expansion of irrigation in the Blue River Valley. I did this to preempt environmental protests like the ones going on in Lauchnoria. "

" oh yes and an environmental impact report. I'm sure that'll satiate the hippies" Gao Xiaoyan responded which caused some light chuckling amongst the assembled guests. Except for the captain of the Guard. He was stone-faced as ever

" order. " first Minister li quickly shouted to bring the room back to order

" Please continue minister".

Minister Sei nodded " I've been working with the Commerce Ministry to try and secure private partners to purchase the Farmland once it's been irrigated. Actually, I'm going to yield to the Commerce minister to just let him talk about that."
Dai Kun, the nation's Commerce Minister ran his hands through his graying thinning hair slicking it back before rising from his seat. That cheap smile and fake look of optimism gave him the appearance of a used car salesman as he took a look down as a gold wristwatch.

"As minister Sei said, the number one priority for the Commerce Ministry has been trying to find some willing partners for our new agricultural land development scheme. Now usually this is pretty easy but ah… you know how the winds are going right now? Environmentalism is in vogue and a lot of foreign companies are spooked. They don't want to deal with consumer boycotts if some bleeding-heart types make a big deal. But I think we'll have a return to normalcy pretty soon, especially once the media attention moves onto something else." The minister looked down and shuffle through his papers as he muttered" Xiomera really kicked the Hornet's Nest with their development plan. " quietly to himself before looking back up

" anyway once the world find something else to be angry about I suspect we'll be able to attract partners to purchase developed land"

" I think you're being too optimistic" a soft feminine voice spoke out interrupting the hopeful boasting of the minister. Lan Ping the nations interior minister was making her voice heard

" I think the push towards environmentalism is a global trend. One that we may benefit from embracing, in part” she said looking around the room to gauge the other committee members opinions. There didn't seem to meet much enthusiasm for her proposal

"... or I guess we can just continue on the path," she said letting out a sigh.
Dai Kun nodded “well with that, I think ill yield to General Chang”

The general quickly rose up after the minister sack down. Adjusting his olive uniform and his sam brown belt before taking off his hat, and held it under his right arm is he began to speak. " Thank you. As any of you who read the security briefing is aware we've had an increase in Rebel activities in the Yan province. A full 7% increase in arrests for suspected terrorism over the past months. We're stepping up security patrols into villages that we suspect our hiding dissident elements. This new security sweeps should help to dissuade anyone else from engaging in terrorist activity. Well, that's everything I have. I yield the floor to the justice minister.”

Phan Hien nodded to the general. The tall, cloaked figure, with skin tugging against his skeleton, sunken eyes surrounded by dark circles. His Shadow black robes completely hiding his skinny frame.

"... thank you, General…." He said weekly. Those inhuman almost black eyes traveling across the room "... there has been no… the Justice Ministry. I yield the floor"
As he sat down in his chair people could almost hear the creaking of his bones

Compared to the creaking skeleton who ran the Justice Ministry, the rosy-cheeked, and energetic Zhang Cheny, the minister of Education couldn't have been more different. She quickly shot up from her chair with a burst of energy and went right into speaking. Carrying the same energetic cadence that she had brought to her classrooms when she had just started her career in the bureaucracy as a teacher before eventually becoming a principal, then superintendent and eventually Minister of Education.

" Thank you, Minister! The ministry has just been compiling the results for the second trimester and it's looking good. I know I discussed in May during the first trimester break how students seem to be underperforming compared to last year. But these current trimester results show that students are back on track. I think that once they return to school in mid-October they will be prepared to finish the year out strong and have good reports to give back to their parents when New Years rolls around. Also, we have started to print this year's civil service exams. The date for the exam is set for November 18th through November 22nd. All right that's everything for me. I yield the floor"

Lin Zexu, the aging energy Minister slowly raised his rotundity up from a sitting position with an extreme amount of effort. His gruff groans made everyone uncomfortable with even a few of The Minister's motioning to get out of their chairs to help him. But a quick raising of his own hand dissuaded anyone from offering the stubborn old man any assistance

"... I pray to the gods that all of you have the good fortune of not living as long as I have. Everything becomes so hard. Anyway, I do have something to say but with the First Minister's permission, I'd prefer to Say it as a sort of closing remark. That okay with you Kurasan?”

“Yes of course Zexu. I assume you yield the floor?”

“Yes I do,” he said, as he lowered himself back into his chair, with as much effort as it took to raise himself out of it.

When the old man finally came to rest Ge Hong, the nation's Health Minister finally rose, holding a piece of paper " Thank you, minister. Well, I just got to say that I know you dismissed the anti-vaxxers that we're trying to get around the mandatory vaccination program last year as a non-issue but I have some distressing news. There have been three cases of measles in Biaking. Looks like a woman was somehow able to skirt the mandatory vaccination requirement and now her three children all have measles. They're currently isolated as a hospital, but this is what I was talking about. I would implore the Justice Ministry to increase vaccine avoidance from a misdemeanor punishable by a fine to a Class 1 offense punishable by 1 months in prison for the first offense"

"... prison sentencing for not vaccinating your kid? I mean you're the health minister so if you really think it's that much of a problem then I suppose I could issue an order to the Judiciary. " minister Hein replied in his soft crooked tone.

"I would... it's better if we put our foot down now rather than wait for a full-on pandemic"

The Justice Minister nodded " well on the recommendation of the health Ministries we will increase the punishment for vaccine avoidance"

" Thank you. Well, that's all I have to say for this week. I yield the floor"

As the health Minister sat down, Gao Xiaoyan the nation's Cultural Minister finally rose. Her vivid prussian blue robes reflected the light of the ceiling, twinkling off the delicate embroidering that produced Vivid shapes on the expensive silk robes. She rested both of her hands on the table. Her golden talons on her pinky and ring fingers tapping against the aged mahogany. The middle finger and her index finger on both her hands covered in two rings a piece. And finally one ring on each of her thumbs.

the embroidred image of a great green dragon partially covered up by the necklace she wore with a large Medallion coming down over her chest. Her gray hair, done up and held with a clip.

" Thank you. Now I'm sure you can all read the paper I submitted showing the ratings for The Falls, it looks like the ratings are up from the previous year. not unexpected considering more people own registered television sets then this time last year but it still good to note. Besides that, I've decided to expand the necessary criteria held up by the international review board. Of course, it will make it slightly more difficult for foreign movies to enter our market, but I think the added effect of having more control over what our children are watching in cinemas will help us promote orthodoxy. Besides that, the collection of Cheng dynasty artwork, from the Imperial collection has officially left the country on its planned Museum exhibition tour. Anyway, that's all I have. I yield the floor"

Lan Ping set up Justin the cultural Minister was sitting down. The nation's interior Minister cleared her throat before picking up a piece of paper " alright let's see. There has been another set of delays in the construction of the uranium mine. Some of the on-site staff were afraid of another containment breach so we pushed back the opening of what we're classifying as pits 23b, until at least November. I don't have an exact date for you on that one. Now besides that little hiccup, everything else seems to be within the acceptable margins of error for mineral production at state-owned mines. That being said I still would advise against the privatization plan for sites 21b and 21 c. I understand that's ultimately at the discretion of the Commerce Ministry, but I would just like my objection added to the minutes for this meeting before we finalize plans for privatization"

" your objection has been noted minister" the Commerce Minister replied as he rolled his eyes

" well with that I will yield the floor. It's all your minister Chin"

Chin Huang nodded, slowly extending upward from the chair. Towering above all in attendance at over 2 meters tall, his broad shoulders and enmouse frame was only slightly concealed by the loose red robes he had chosen to wear. His nose was crooked and his face scarred. The results of his early career as a resolution officer in the department of workers dispute. Little more than a government gangster breaking up strikes and intimidating organizers. But he had been effective. And he had worked his way up to the position of minister.

So when one of the most effective labor ministers in the nation history first words were " we have a problem " the whole room suddenly became very quite, and very focused.

"... last week I brought up the fact that there seems to be some organizing activity on the Sing Se docks. One of our canaries had sung about getting union pamphlets on the job. But upon further investigation, it seems like the information we got wasn't quite accurate…"

" what? Is there not organizing going on at the dock?" The minister for justice asked in his slow crackle tone

" there's organizing. It's just… it appears that whoever is behind this seems to have a lot more resources than we are used to dealing with. We've identified organizers on every dock in Sing Se and they all seem to be working towards the same goal. Strikes to shut down the whole port."
A sudden silence descended over the room. Everyone knew what could happen if a major dock strike occured. it would be impossible to cover that up in the media. And the foreign ships and their crew would certainly make sure the whole world knew what was going on.

"... how close are these people to actually organizing a strike?" General Chang spoke up considering this an issue of National Security

" Not close. We should be able to dissuade any actual action with a simple show of force. But I'm more worried about who this organization is, that they have enough people to have this many organizers, they definitely could classify as a threat. I'd ask that I be allowed assistance from the Shingz Ren, but I think it's a fair assumption that if I know about them that they know about them. I don't suppose you could convince them to pass along any useful information?" Chin said, lookinv at first minister Li

"... I can make a suggestion to the Empress. But you know damn well I have no power over them. They don't even have a representative at this table. I'm sure if they think you need to know they'll tell you"

" of course. Why keep us in the loop, we only run the goddamn country?" The Labour Minister muttered under his breath before nodding to the first minister

" well with that other way I will yield to my Chrome Dome friend over here," he said playfully motioning towards Sonam's bald head, with a smirk

Sonam Gyatso himself just rolled his eyes as he stood up " Everything I need to say is in the briefing. It's honestly just basic maintenance. So unless you'd like me to ramble on about train tracks getting repaired, or roads getting replaced I think it's better if I just yield until I have something to say" sitting down as quick as he had to stoop up

The chairman of the Imperial Bank, looked over his papers for a moment before he stood up. He was an oddly dressed man. Wearing a three-piece business suit in navy blue. A well trimmed Pencil Thin Mustache and light brown hair that almost looked red in the light of the chamber. And if his name didn't give it away his facial features made it obvious. Chairman Cartwright's mother might have been a loyal and proud shen buracract, but his father was a foreign businessman. His mixed heritage always being a point of contention with the certain members of the Imperial committee.
" thank you. I don't have much to say so I'll just say quickly. Over the next month, the bank will be gradually decreasing interest rates, causing some light controlled inflation, witch should weaken the Yuan against foreign currencies. If this works out, by the time foreign companies will begin to place manufacturing orders for their winter solstice or Christmas product line, our weaker currency will incentivize buying from us which should promote further investment. We project 6.6% GDP growth for the fourth quarter of this fiscal year based on mid-range projections from this strategy. That's all I have to say about that. I yield to foreign minister"

Shi Riue, felt like her eyes were about to snap shut when the chairman had called out her position. Honestly, she had every excuse in the world to be exhausted. The week had been hell for her. So totally and utterly filled. She nodded as she summoned up the energy to stay awake for at least another hour to get through the meeting and get back to her chambers before getting some much-needed rest.

" of course, well… what can I say that hasn't already been said on the news? I suppose I should start at the top. The earthquake that hit Zamastan has a confirmed death toll of 4300 with more expected to be found in the coming days and weeks. The Diplomatic posturing of the corporatists in Shuell has not exactly endeared many to them, but that is hardly our concern and we obviously won't be taking any action one way or another. The protests in Lauchnoria seem to be going as strong as ever. say what you want about them, but they're experts at marching around and yelling thinking it'll change the world."

She paused for a moment as a couple of light Chuckles from a few of the ministers disrupted the meeting before she continued

" Going back to the irrigation scheme proposed by the agricultural Ministry I'd prefer if I was kept in the loop for that. If protests like this break out in response to our own development projects I'd like to make sure that any of our citizens currently in Lauchnoria are not harassed. To facilitate that I'd like to have the council vote on whether we should attempt to reopen negotiations to normalize diplomatic relations with the new Lauchnorian government. Perhaps open up an official Embassy and exchange ambassadors."

" all in favor?" The First Minister said taking a vote

Everyone, except for the Cultural Minister and the Agricultural Minister raised their hands

" motion passes by a majority. Now continue"

" thank you… now going to be domestic affairs of a nation of Interest, I know there has been some discussion about skin whitening ban currently going into effect in Laeral…"

" Why are we discussing the internal issues of a foreign nation at the Imperial committee meeting?” Gao Xiaoyan snapped at the foreign minister

“What happens in that, best forgotten about state is absolutely none of our concern”

“...the north dragon and the south dragon flew together, holding up heaven as one…” cartwright said interrupting the cultural minister

“What?” she said confused

“The Dragon of the North, and the Dragon of the South holding up the sky together. Certainly, our illustrious cultural minister has not forgotten one of the greatest pieces of poetry written in our language?"

She sneered at Cartwright. Cold Venom in her words as she spoke " of course I haven't forgotten. I don't think I could ever forget the history of Laeral. How those colonists massacre the dragon of the North. Wearing his scales as War trophies. I also haven't forgotten that those colonists...the Arrivée, lead an army into our nation when we were at our weakest and demanded tribute to leave. "

Cartwright was calm as he collected his thoughts. Not wanting to say the wrong thing as the temperament between the two ministers began to boil

"...the Laeral of Saivigné is not the nation we are dealing with today. they're trying to come to terms with their past and rediscover who they are. Maybe as a nation that shares their language and whose history with them goes back Millennia we should not be so hostile" Cartwright said calmly hoping cooler heads would prevail

" of course you would stand up for that corpse of a Nation. You can't see this for the meaningless performative action it is. The north dragon is dead. The Laeral that was spoken about in that ancient poem was massacred by colonization. But I would suppose that you would have us go follow in their footsteps, and abandon Orthodoxy like your mother"

The last comment received distraught looks from the entire table. And it sparked a look of absolute Fury in the chairman

" Are you questioning my loyalty to the Empire because my father wasn't shen? How dare you. I have spent decades as a loyal servant of the empire! I have nothing to prove to a B..”

“Enough! Both of you!” Li Kurasan shout it out bringing silence to the chambers

" God's in heaven both of your acting like...Kerllian Councilors. I will not have this chamber devolve into that level of bickering childishness. Not while I am the First minister. And I would remind the cultural Minister that's the only place on this planet outside the Empire, where anyone even so much as shed a single tear for the brave men and women of the golden flag Rebellion, was the Rén people of Lareal. Your opinions are noted, but I remind you that the empress, the foreign ministery, and the rest of this committee certainly do not share them."
his green eyes turned back towards the foreign minister who had sat down during all the commotion giving her an apologetic look. She just raised her hand
" if it's all the same to you I think I'll just yield the floor I only have one more thing I wanted to talk about and I know you want to bring it up too"

The first Minister nodded and stood up, before taking a step back and turning around to the map of the world that had been painted on the wall behind him

"... yes. The attempts on Emperor Topilpopoca life. Gods in heaven help us if he dies”

he turned back towards the committee specifically focusing on the foreign minister

" I don't suppose you could tell me who would take over if he passed? “

“Not with any certainty Kurasan. Elections for the Emperor are a quick process. There are several candidates who I believe have the resources to rapidly maneuver themselves to the top position. I could get you there files to look over. Some of them would even be potentially beneficial to the Empire since they believe in maintaining the current relationship or even strengthening it further. "

"I would like that Riue. As I'm sure you are aware, the Empress is quite distraught over what is happening in Xiomera. The Union of masters is holding a special ceremony in the black temple for the Emperor recovery at 7. I'll be going, as will her excellency. We invited the Ambassador from Xiomera, I think it would speak volumes about what we think of our alliance if the entire Imperial committee was also in attendance.”

Sitting back down in his chair he let out a sigh.

" well, I think that's everything for the week. Zexu I will yield the floor to you. You can make that announcement and then I'm going to close out the meeting for this week"

Once again be profound rotundity of the Elder amongst them found itself as sending up words. With labored breath the old man good upright and looked over the table.

" I know we haven't always agreed on everything but I like to say that I have had more fun with this Imperial committee than with any Incarnation that came beforehand with your predecessors. That being said I think maybe it would be better if I went the way of those who came before all of you and resigned from the Imperial committee. This morning I handed a letter of retirement to the empress and she accepted. As soon as I find an appropriate replacement I'm going to take a long-overdue vacation and then find a nice quiet patch of land to settle down on."

The reaction across the room was mixed. There was little surprise since everyone had assumed that he would retire soon anyway. Instead, there were only mixes of hopeful smiles and indifferent expressions for those who wish he had retired a year before

" I guess it's a little early to wish you good luck since you still have to get a replacement. But I'm sure that won't take too long" the bald-headed infrastructure Minister said as he smiled upward as his friend

" No, it won't. In fact, I already have the perfect candidate in mind. But I will keep you all in suspense until it's confirmed. now I yield the floor back to you first Minister."

" well, then this Imperial committee meeting is officially adjourned. I hope I see you all tonight at the Black Temple. If not then I'll see you all next week"

The captain of the Guard who had been silently waiting throughout this whole meeting walked over to the doors and unlock them allowing the committee to slowly make their way out to the main hall. A few of them broke up into small groups and walked out onto the balcony. A couple more were chatting directly outside committee Chambers. And a few more form to queue for the elevator.

The cultural Minister gave one last Death Stare to the chairman of the Imperial Bank before the elevator finally lowered her back to the ground floor

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:57 pm

12:55 AM, Local time

Sovereigns apartment. Heavenly Palace. Celestial Palace complex, Sharanfo, Shen Empire.

The harsh gales of September had crept into the first few days of October. Blowing hard against the ancient walls of the Heavenly Palace. The whistling of the wind heard through every crevice and corridors of the ancient and mostly empty building.

Silence violently interrupted by the screeching and Howling of Mother Nature letting her fury be known to those who would consider themselves above other men. Screams of Mother Nature Echoing throughout the palace, keeping anyone who wasn't a heavy sleeper awake well past when they normally would.

One such sleeper sat alone in her large bedroom. A single lamp by her beds being the only source of Illumination in this dark hour. Casting twisting Shadows against the sturdy Oak walls. The only source untill a sudden small flicker of a lighter ignited the end of a cigarette adding to the light. It was lightly grasped between the old lips of this woman. Breaking from her reading for just a single moment to take the first long drag of the cigarettes before exhaling

Wu Zhou knew she should have given up this habit
years ago. The empress had taken up the habit shortly after she ascended to the throne, and despite constant requests by her husband, children and so many of her ministers over the decades to quit she had not. But at 83 such a large life-altering decision felt completely pointless. Her mortality was becoming more apparent every day as it became harder and harder to do basic tasks. A sharp mind trapped in a rapidly decaying shell. And after the events of the last few weeks mortality had been a constant subject of her internal thoughts.

So she kept smoking. Sucking down those toxic vapors into her lungs for the simple relaxing sensation it brought to her. A relaxing feeling Amplified by the book she was slowly turning through as the night relied on, and a new day grew ever closer.

As 1 a.m. was about to be upon her and the tiredness she felt, slowly started to get the point where sleep would overcome the whistling winds, she elected to try once more to get some shut-eye.

The woman took what was left of her cigarette and put it in the ashtray setting it on her bedside table. Slowly her ancient skeletal figures reached up to yank on the chain, plunging the room into darkness as the light went out. She closed the leather-bound book setting it next to her ashtray and began to lay her head down on the pillow expecting sleep to take her in just a few moments.

But just as she closed her eyes she heard scurrying of feat outside of her Chambers.

Someone running into Royal apartment from the twisting hallways of the rest of the Heavenly Palace. At this hour of the night?

There was only one reason to enter the Royal bed Chambers at such a pace. So the empress let out an annoyed sigh, before sitting back up. She reached over and once again turned on the light but also retrieved the silk mask to hide her features.

A conversation between the man and her guards broke out just as she finished putting it on. One of the guards was talking to one of her blind servants telling him to go inside and wake her up. But seeing as she was already very much awake she just shouted out into the hallway "let him in"

The guards opened up the door as soon as the command was given and a man wearing black robes entered in. His Footprints didn't seem to create any sound as he walked. Silent like the bed Chambers usually was at night.

His face was calm and stern. Unmoving and without expression as he came close to the god empress.

" yes?" She said, expecting him to quickly inform her of what was so important before leaving. But instead, the man just kept walking forward. his chiseled face illuminated by the dim light of the Lamp.

He got down on one knee and moved his lips closed to her ear. At this point, her own lips curled into an expression of surprise. Her eyes hidden beneath that mask we're staring blankly into the darkness as her mind went through a million possibilities at once. What was so important that not only had the privacy of her personal apartment but now he was not even saying what he had to say out loud.

Finally, he spoke softly though those Stone lips, parting them ever-so-slightly as words that the empress hoped she would never have to hear were spoken

Three words she had been terrified of hearing since the news of this nightmare had begun

" Topilpopoca is dead"

At that moment the world stood still for the empress. The howling winds became nothing more than a small whisper as she retreated into her mind for a moment.

How long has it been since you first met the man who had become her closest friends in these trying times that they both lived in? It was in 2001 if her memory was correct. He had just been elected Emperor and was making his first state visit to a foreign country in that position. Their ancient Ally Shen was the first, an honor that had not gone unappreciated by the empress, who had thrown the new Emperor a lavish State dinner. The two heads of state had gone into that meeting as allies. But they had left as friends. So similar in conviction. So compatible in personality. And that charming woman he bad on his arm, Yauhmi.

The few days that he had spent as her guest in the Imperial Palace had resulted in a friendship that has lasted nearly 20 years. They had often spoken since then. He and his wife had both made several more visits to shen. The two had offered each other Council from an outside perspective on multiple occasions.

And Topilpopoca and Yauhmi had been there to comfort the god Empress when she had lost her own husband to a brain tumor, while her children were busy morning the loss of their father in their own private ways.

But that was all over now. Three simple words and her friend was gone.

The man stood back up is the howling wind seemed to get worse. terrible screeching as If Heaven itself was reacting to the news.

News that was clearly only meant for the Empress.

Moving at the speed of a glacier the God Empress looked up at the man. She only had one word to say to the harbinger of such soul-crushing news.

" leave"

Without another word he has had and made his way out. Leaving her alone.

As the doors to her personal bedchamber finally closed the empress felt a single solitary tear form, and slowly descend down her cheeks. Soon another joined it and then another.

The winds wouldn't stop until the early morning hours. For the entire nights the celestial Palace was subjected to gusts that blew through every Corridor and crack, and Alleyway in that complex of Offices, Apartments, Temples, and Palaces that acted as the nucleus of the government

It was almost impossible to hear around thoughts during that horrible night. But if you had good ears and listened carefully, on that night you could hear a God weep

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:16 am

When the Sun finally went down the whole city just seemed to get louder. The filth poured out of the factories and into the streets, it yelled and howled. Screamed and ranted. The sound of it breaking glass. Swinging fists outside of dimly lit bars bathed in the warm glow of neon. The sound of pigs bashing away at the filth whether it had done anything or not, just to keep the filth in line.

Yes the city got very loud when the sun went down. And Bo knew it.

The stench arose as it tried to drag out its meager existence, passively submitting to command by those that are conditioned to feel Superior. A stench Bo desperately tried to drown out by filling his nose with nicotine. Smoking down cigarette after cigarettes as he desperately pushed pens to paper.

Bo was not like them. Not part of the filth that flowed out of the rapidly constructed concrete mausoleums known as apartment buildings, and traveled by the sewage canals known as Subways down to the factories and then back to their tombs with a machine like regularity, so precise that you could set a watch to it.


Bo was smart. Not smart enough to have been able to get out of his unlucky status at first. Not smart enough to pass the civil service exam and be accepted into the bureaucracy. No nothing so lucky. He was smart enough to be in the worst position anyone could be in the Empire. Smart enough to dream but not smart enough to have any path to achieve it. The only thing he could do was push his pen to paper. Bo fancies himself a writer. Carving out individual segments of the filth and giving it personality and purpose beyond simple servitude in his fiction.

It was his only means of expression. His only way of silently resisting the world he found himself in. Bo lacked the intelligence to get into the bureaucracy. He lacked the sociopathic single-minded ambition to move to Biaking, and end up behind a desk. Being another cog in this machine personally offended him. Not another generation in quiet servitude like his father. A man who silently sneered at his worthless son who wouldn't go out and get a job and start his life like everyone else his age was supposed to do. Only protected by the overt compassion of his mother.

Their nightly screaming matches we're just another part of that disgusting symphony that rose out of the filth and assaulted his ears. Only stopped when fascist goons dressed as officers of the law pounded on the door demanding to be let in at ungodly hours of the night because of noise complaints.

After that he had left, the last bit of his Creative Energy was usually worn up. The would be wrighter would remove a brick from his wall and carefully slide his unfinished fiction inside. Hiding away unorthodox ideas about how those on the bottom were forced to live. Preparing for another day living amongst the filth

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:30 pm

(( written with Lauchnoria))

Productivity collapsed at every Embassy the Empire operated during Olympic seasons. The internationally-minded bureaucrats became enamored with the international sports competition. Promoting shens athletic prestige was part of it. But most people just loved the spirit of the games and it was a time when the whole world just seemed to get so much closer. And that made their jobs as diplomats so much easier. Fu Ying was no exception to that rule. She was sitting at her desk watching a rerun of the opening ceremony while absent-mindedly eating reheated sweet and sour pork for lunch.

A knock came on her door here is the ambassador turned her attention towards this instantly.

" yea?" she said, still wtih food in her mouth, witch she quickly swalloed down

The door was cracked open slightly as one of her secretary's peaked in.

" sorry to disturb you Ambassador but you have a visitor who has requested see you immediately" a young girl, with the vague expression of shock said to her boss

" someone thinks they can just demand a meeting with me? She better be the president." the ambassador said with a small chuckle.

" well..."

Yings eyes went wide in shock.

" president arnott is here?!"

"No ma'am. President greenwood"

That shock was now confounded by the look of absolute confused

"...send her in" the Ambassador said as she put the lid back on her tupperware and turned off the pre-recorded broadcast

As former President Joanna Greenwood of Kerlile entered the room, she made sure to tone down the vibes of superiority she had liked to give off when she had been President. She was here to make a request, and so she would treat the Ambassador with respect.

"Ambassador, thank you for taking a meeting with me. I apologise for the lack of notice, I did not wish any phone call to be intercepted, and you know how my successor has increased surveillance recently," she said, then allowed a slight smirk to pass over her face. "Despite, I may add, her promises of reform."

" I make a habit of not commenting on domestic policy Madam President you know that." She said quickly and diplomatically changing the subject back to the reason she was there.

" and I always can make time for a former president, just as I made time for you when you were serving as president"

She leaned back in her chair slightly reaching up to scratch her chin. Without her sense of superiority she almost seemed like a completely different person.

" how can the empire be of service Madam president?"

"Well," Greenwood swallowed slightly nervously. "I will confess I am uncertain how to proceed in such matters. This is... outside my realm of experience. You see... well, I'm rather afraid it pertains, in a way, to Kerlian domestic policy."

She laughed nervously and squeezed her hands together tightly to stop herself fidgeting. "You see, my successor has these grand ideas of reform, of completely wiping out the years of work we have put in to building our feminist society. And, the thing is, I fear that she wishes to... remove any opposition to her plans. And I fear she considers me a threat."

"I wish to..." Greenwood closed her eyes, having to force out the rest of her sentence, almost as if it pained her to make the request. "I wish to seek the protection of the Empire. I no longer believe I will be safe remaining in my country. I realise this is a lot to ask, but I assure you that President Arnott will be no friend of Shen. I hope you will consider my request."

As she finished speaking, she watched the Ambassador nervously, fearing what reaction she may receive.
The audacity of the request floored the Ambassador. She never would have expected in her entire life to have president Greenwood walk into her office and ask what she thought she was asking.

" Madam president are you requesting political Asylum from....the Shen Empire?"

"Well... yes. Yes, I suppose I am," Greenwood responded, looking down. She could feel a flush in her cheeks as her embarrassment increased. She hated that her life had come to this. Never in a million years did she think she would ever consider leaving Kerlile.

Yet it had all changed, first with the threat of the TRC, then the utter, utter relief when it was over and she was safe. Now the threat of her potential imprisonment loomed again, she could not - she would not - stand idly by and let it happen. She knew now that she would rather die. Yet, if at all possible, she wished to avoid that fate as well. So it all rested on Shen.

The Ambassador was still in shock. She still couldn't quite believe it. This had to be some kind of sick joke.

But every second made her realize just how real this was. The embarrassment of The Proud woman finally nailed home just how serious she was.

"... Madam president it is not up to me to grant asylum. Especially not to someone of your status. I'm going to have to contact my superiors at the Celestial Palace. Until then you are free to stay in the embassy and make use of recreation facilities and the staff kitchen as you see fit."

She got it from her chair and directed the president towards the door

" as soon as I get a definitive answer I will let you know"

"Thank you. I knew you would need to contact people, of course," she said, trying to reclaim some of her self-respect. "I do not believe I'm in immediate danger, luckily. Unless, of course, they have realised what I am doing."

" Even if they do your safe within these walls. Now please try and relax. I'll be with you in a few hours"


Every second felt like an eternity to the terrified president. Any moment she could walk out and say that her request for asylum had been denied. That she would soon face her own government's wrath.

It was three hours before the Ambassador finally came and found her. She walked up to the president and spoke very clearly, and calmly

" after an emergency session of the Imperial committee, the Empire has decided to grant you political asylum effective immediately. We are currently preparing a car to the airport, where you will board a plane, and begin to travel to the Celestial Palace"

Greenwood exhaled in relief. Despite her claim she did not think herself in immediate danger, she'd had one of her younger daughters, who worked in intelligence, keeping her eye on President Arnott's dealings with the police departments. She had feared an arrest warrant imminent, and this was good news.

"Thank you, I am most grateful for everything your great nation is doing for me. I promise that, should the so-called reformists be defeated and my family gain favor in the Matriarchy once more, that we will return the favour."

The Ambassador nodded. The odds of that happening were effectively non-existent and she knew that, so the promise was as valuable as a 50-pound paperweight.

She just nodded her head and bowed slightly for the president

" of course Madam president. An unmarked car will be arriving shortly to take you to the airport. But before you go I do have one question"

She stood up straight again

" why us? While you've never been anything but a professional when dealing with me and other embassy staff the Empire has always rated low on your rankings of pro-feminist countries. Not to mention you've criticized us relentlessly over the years. Most people would describe our relationship as neutral if not cold. Why come to my Embassy and not say, Xiomeras?"

Greenwood's cheeks flushed red with embarrassment once more.

"Xiomera has an extradition treaty with Kerlile. The democracies would not hesitate to either hand me back or imprison me themselves. And, well, Shen is less patriarchal than Shuell or Gonhog. I realise I was not the, uh, warmest towards Shen when I was President. Truthfully though, you are my last hope."

The Ambassador knodded "... if we really are your only hope, then I would suggest following protocols down to the smallest detail while you stay within the palace. For now just listen to your handlers. They will make sure you get there safely."

The Ambassador heard the black van come to a halt outside of the embassy

" your ride is here Madam president. I wish you a safe journey."

"Thank you," Greenwood said, though the Ambassador's words had made her more nervous.

As she stepped outside and glanced around at the street, she had to bite back tears. The thought of leaving Kerlile, probably permanently, hurt her more than she thought it would. Yet, she had no choice.

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Lauchenoiria » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:02 pm

(Joint post with Shen)

Former President of Kerlile Joanna Greenwood tried not to stare too obviously at the five-story red granite wall which surrounded the Celestial Palace complex. It was decorated with elaborate details painted onto the wall, and Joanna found it hard not to stare.

The buildings in the Kerlian capital of Grapevale were smaller than average for a city, these days, so she was not used to large structures - especially not the length of this wall. It reminded her more of Maytown, where Daughters of the Council were educated and where men rarely ventured. But the walls of Maytown were shorter, and far more boring than the magnificent red wall around the Celestial Palace.

She was led to one of the gates, where an Imperial guard asked her for her papers. The whole time she was gazing at the wall whenever she could without it looking too obvious. She was trying to forget the fact she had been forced to flee her country, and gazing at the wonders of Shen would hopefully help take her mind off things.

She would shortly be meeting the Shen Empress, and she had to make sure she got all the protocol correct. The woman she was about to meet held Joanna's fate in her hands. Shen was her only hope, everywhere else would have extradited or imprisoned her. This had to go well, or Joanna feared she would meet a similar fate to Anita Patel, rotting in a cell and crying each night.

As soon as she passed through the portal between Sharanfo, and the anointed ground of the celestial Palace complex, she was immediately greeted by a short woman with thick round glasses and Raven hair. Her young face and her enthusiastic smile greeted her as her white robes glistened in the early morning sun.

"Welcome to the celestial Palace complex President Greenwood. The empress has requested your presence at the golden Tower. Please come with me."

The young woman wearing her white robe led the president up a staircase on to a monorail platform. The two boarded the first one that arrived and the president was greeted to a bird's-eye tour of the complex.

Ironically the first thing she saw was the flag of her Nation as the monorail passed by the international Gardens for the embassies of foreign nations were hosted, including Kerlile.

From there the train travels in a straight path down the main Boulevard. Passing over the parade route with the Imperial Guard Armory and then heading down the Main Avenue flanked on both sides by palaces occupied by bureaucrats doing their job. The monorail came to a stop on the other end of the celestial Palace complex just in front of a golden Tower. The 100 m tall Stone building glistening in the light as the gold on its roof reflected the light.

"... do you need me to go over the protocol with you president Greenwood? I can't remember if you visited the empress during your time in office or not"

"I did not, so a lesson in protocol would be most appreciated," Joanna said, smiling at the woman, giving her best impression of being calm and collected.

She had never been to Shen before. In fact, no sitting President of the Matriarchy had ever laid eyes on the Golden Tower. Kerlile's relationship with Shen had always been somewhat strained - although, that wasn't saying much given the Matriarchy's tendency to anger everyone. Joanna had no reason to believe, alas, that the relationship would improve anytime soon.

The palace protocol agent nodded and directed the president to follow her. They began to walk up the polished White marble stairs through the enormous front gate and walking down a long hallway, flanked on both sides by enormous golden pillars each one intricately carved with images of the mythology of the Empire as well as its history. The walls were covered in Gold Leaf also shaped into intricate design until they entered the waiting chamber. The protocol agent turned to the president.

"Okay when meeting the God Empress, you must walk through the doors. Look down at the ground. It's first going to be white marble. When you see the white marble turn into black Maarblel you're going to have to get down on your hands and knees and crawl the rest of the way to the throne. You know how to kowtow right?"

Joanna Greenwood's false smile, the one she had used so often as President, so well-practiced that it could even pass for genuine, faltered and became fixed and clearly fake. As if her humiliation at even needing to come here hadn't been enough! She wished so desperately she had never been foolish enough to resign from her position - and that she'd never been foolish enough to allow her country to sign the damn Haven Accords in the first place.

"I cannot say I have had much occasion to do so," she said to the protocol agent.

"Oh really? I guess they must honor you in a different way. Well it's not that hard"

The protocol agent demonstrated. First getting on her hands and knees and then pressing her nose directly to the ground. Her rear end extended in the air.

After a few seconds the protocol agent sat down on her legs still sitting in a submissive style.

"... when you get to the surround do that but wait until the empress tells you to rise before you sit on your legs."

Joanna watched the protocol agent, wondering for a few moments that if she was having some kind of terrible dream, and she would wake up in bed in January 2018 and the entire Lauchenoirian affair never happened. Alas, that was not the case, so she was going to have to swallow her pride and do as instructed.

"Got it," she smiled her false smile at the protocol agent. "Anything else I should know?"

"Oh, nothing too major." The protocol agent said as she slowly stood back up.

"Don't speak unless spoken to. If you have a question keep it short and sweet. Oh, and Could you tell me how you want to be announced?"

She said as she adjusted her glasses.

"I... well, tradition is that a Kerlian President holds her title until death. Of course, most of them remain in the position until then," Joanna laughed nervously, and falsely. "But, yes. President Joanna Amalie Greenwood."

The agent nodded and walked through a small side door.

The president was left alone for a minute. Left alone with his thoughts. But suddenly the massive bronze doors opened up.

"President Joanna Amalie Greenwood" was announced loudly through the throne room.

The throne room itself was just as magnificent as the rest of the palace.

It was 10 meters high. With twelve large black marble pillars flanking the path to the throne, with the Gateway on one side and the throne itself on the other Series in front of each one was a golden statue of one of the 12 Zodiac signs each statue standing about as tall as an average man.

In the back against the wall with a massive carved symbol in the shape of the Imperial standards. The flag of the empire what's a great Dragon directly behind the throne.

Throne itself with elevated above the entire room by series golden steps. And sitting at opposite was the shadowy form of the god empress.

Joanna had no choice but to swallow her pride as she did exactly as the protocol agent had instructed, fearing the consequences of any breach in protocol. She could not have both her pride and her freedom, alas, and she knew which one she preferred. So, she kowtowed to the Empress, waiting for permission to move or speak.

The empress let her sit in submission for almost a minute. But finally, she heard that voice. Old and wrinkled. Yet even in old age so commanding. It was the voice of a woman who knew that she held the power of a God within her borders. And who knew that the woman kowtowing before her had no choice but to submit

"... sit up president Greenwood"

Relieved, as being bent over had been beginning to hurt, Greenwood sat up on her legs, mimicking the submissive posture the protocol agent had shown her. She suddenly understood why Councillor Chiu had always told the Council to never travel to Shen - Kerlian Councillors were not known for their submissiveness.

"... between your time as a counselor and your time as president how many years have you spent helping to lead the matriarchy president Greenwood?" The calm but commanding voice asked from underneath her golden silk veil.

"Twenty-nine years, my empress," she said, somewhat nervously.

" 29 years?" She said before staring off to the side of the room and chuckling.

She stared back down at the woman. She began to speak at first calmly but the tone of her voice getting sharper and more aggressive with each syllable. Striking directly into the heart of the president.

" and in those 29 years have you ever come to visit me? Ever called me or tried to get into contact with me in a personal way? Did you even so much as send me a birthday card?"

With every word of the Empress, Joanna's fear increased. She was terrified, terrified that the Empress would refuse to let her remain, would send her back - or do something to her in Shen. Yet she knew that Empress Wu had a right to be angry with her.

"I... I can only apologize for my lack of contact. The Matriarchy was isolated for so long before the Lauchenoirian war that foreign affairs were never a priority for us. I am deeply sorry, my empress."

"... I could maybe look past your lack of friendly demeanor Madam president..." Sea Empress replied through gritted teeth. But as she spoke all pretext of calm disappears as a fiery rage came out of her mouth. Breathing fire.

"... if your government propaganda, even when you were the president, wasn't so directly insulting. How many times should you refer to my Empire as a nation ruled by patriarchal values? How often did you refer to me as an agent of the patriarchy? Me? Who has eliminated starvation within her borders through my food though. Me? Who has extended maternity leave to every woman expecting child. Me who has spent every waking moment since I was 18 improving the lives of the men and women of my nation?!"

The empress is fuming rage subsided for a moment. Letting it all sink in.

".... not only have you never extended me the courtesy of visiting me in person until this very day. You have actively insulted me with your propaganda. Why in the name of every God in heaven should I extend my Hospitality to you madam president?"

With every fiery word that came out of the mouth of the Empress, Joanna's heart sank further. She was utterly convinced with each second that went on that she was doomed. So many tears had begun to well in the corner of her eyes, out of fear and despair, that she had to blink repeatedly to stop them falling.

"We have been unfair to you, I realize that. It was wrong, I must admit my mistake. Our... our power in Kerlile is based off - or at least was, before Arnott's reforms - of terrifying the female population into believing they would be unsafe elsewhere. But it was so wrong of us to criticize a great female leader such as yourself. I promise you, I will instruct my daughter to make sure that it never happens again, my empress."

A pair of hypnotic green emeralds hidden behind a golden Veil, of the finest silk glared down at the president, as she knelt there on the verge of tears reduced to cowering in fear.

The empress set back in her chair. Resting her head on her arm. And then the chamber was filled with a new sound. Laughter. The Empress was now laughing at this pathetic woman in front of her. The ministers and advisors and aristocrats standing in the shadows throne room silently adding as their own cackles to the laughter of the empress

"... president Greenwood. The woman who was brave enough to lead her Nation to war. Who attempted to conquer Lauchenoiria... the feared Master of the matriarchy... I expected so much more."

The empress extended her finger towards those Shadows. Motioning with one finger for her guard to walk over

"... president Greenwood will be hosted within the Royal chamber of the Ruby Palace for the time being. Till we can find a more permanent accommodation for her. She used to have a personal guard escort her at all times. And prepare her a stipend appropriate for someone of her status"

The empress looked back down towards Greenwood.

"... the Empire will protect you President Greenwood. You shall enjoy all the rights and privileges as any member of a great house"

Greenwood's cheeks flushed with embarrassment once more at the whole affair. She hated what she'd been reduced to, hated everything about the person she had become and the situation in which she found herself. She had so, so few choices left. She mentally cursed Hale, Sanctaria, Arnott, everyone who'd played any part in where she found herself. But outwardly, she composed herself and blinked away the tears, letting the relief sink into her bones.

"Thank you, I am most grateful, my empress."

The empress nodded her head, raising her hand upward Spirit as soon as she had raised to hand the doors opened up allowing the president to leave

"... I hope you understand Madam president but I will expect a token of that gratitude someday. And given the alternative I would heed the warning of a God. Now go... you're no longer required in my presence "

"Thank you, my empress," Greenwood said, before exiting, relieved.

As soon as she was out of the room she let out a breath, not realizing she'd been partially holding it. She had felt intimidated and frightened, two emotions she was not used to, and two she did not want to feel again. She would have to call her daughter. She would have to make sure that Letitia did something to show Shen she was grateful. After all, she never wanted to see the wrath of Empress Wu again.

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:06 am

In all of his years of faithful service Grandmaster Lee had never heard a God yell.

The flames of Rage that echoed out from the Heavenly throne we're never in the form of words. The worst he had ever received was watching a pair of hypnotic green eyes pierced through there silk Veil and stare directly into the soul of those who had displeased them. Brought out the deepest fears from the people who had been forced to lay themselves at the feet of the god empress.

He had watched those eyes bring proud people to their knees. People who had seen the hell that was War. Who had commanded armies. Who had led in Nations. All brought to the point of Tears by harsh words and cold eyes.

But never did Wu Zhou yell.

But her daughter?

When the Grand Master has finally explained to her what was going on she had torn open the gates of heaven and left every god and goddess in their entire Pantheon Empower her with such a fierce and bellowing yellow of anger and rage that it was surprising that fire wasn't coming out of her mouth. The echoing of her voice off of the walls should have brought the palace down on all of their heads.


The man pushed his knee into the black marble in front of the throne

" forgive me my Empress. I underestimated the resolve of the matriarchy. I didn't think they'd commit so much of their limited resources to this scheme…"

" underestimate. Underestimate is correct. All you seem to do is underestimate. You underestimated Lauchnoria and allowed them to plant those vicious rumors questioning Yahumis devotion to her husband. Now that poor woman will have to deal with doubters thinking she's some kind of harlot in the back of their minds until the day she dies. If that wasn't enough you underestimated Tepilcayotl resolved and Desperation for the obsidian Throne. If I had an ordered an agent Infiltrate The Palace of flowers we would have never been able to get the warning to the empress about the impending assassination attempt. She would have been killed in her own bed! Now you underestimate the matriarchy. They're fanatics. They will spend any amount of their limited resources to protect them from what they view as a world trying to destroy them. You really don't think they would have sent their sleeper agents into the empire? One of the counselors has a blood Feud with my house that has lasted for Generations! What do you have to say for yourself Grandmaster?! What do you have to say to defend all of your incompetence!"

The Grandmaster kept his nose pointed at the ground. Desperately trying to think of some way to justify his failures. To apologize for them. But all he gave the empress was 30 seconds of Silence. But in those 30 seconds that dragon that sat on the throne atop steps of gold calm down slightly. Her rage muted but still there as she spoke a little more calmly.

" I have made an underestimation myself Grandmaster. Clearly I have underestimated your capacity for incompetence. From This Moment On I strip you of that title. No one who has had so many failures under their watch deserves to carry it. I expect you to formally resign from the shingzi ren. Take the pension you have errands with years of service and go far away from the capital. I never want to hear about you again…"

The man nodded as he began to rise to his feet.

" i... I am so sorry my empress"

" go! All of you leave."

The former Grandmaster and the handful of other high-ranking agents who had joined him for this briefing in the throne room began to make their way out of the room. But before they crossed through the portal at the front of a chamber, the empress called out one more time.

" except for you Director Hong. I need a word with you"

As the rest of the Shingzi ren walked through the doors that were closed behind them the single agent turned around. Pointing his head towards the ground he walked across the White marble and then crawled across the black marble until he was at the foot of the golden steps.

" how may I serve you my empress?"

"... I have read the reports that you made about the seriousness of the Aurora threat after the conclusion of the Civil War in Lauchnoria. I must offer you apologies that my mother and the former Grandmaster did not see the wisdom that you clearly possess. You were right"

" th...thank you my empress… although this is quite a hollow victory. I was a Harbinger that no one listened to"

" well you have the ear of the Empire now. In these coming weeks the nation is going to be at Great risk. I cannot even trust the Imperial committee anymore since it is clear that the Aurora's can make it incredibly far at the bureaucracy without being detected. I can only trust my Shingzi Ren… but I need someone in charge of that organization that I can trust. Director I offer you the position of acting Grandmaster"

Director hong raised his head. A look of shock directed up towards to Heavenly Throne. He had always been on the outside of the leader. Given Authority but only as an objective voice to balance out the choir of agreement that often formed amongst the leadership of these organization. Now he was being asked to run it

" i… I don't know what to say"

" thank you my Empress. I accept" Wu Zhao replied sarcadtically. Earning the tiniest of smiles from the usually stony-faced man.

" thank you my Empress. I accept. I will form a group of people who I can trust to handle this situation. We will begin to formulate a plan to eliminate the Aurora threat here and abroad"

" good... you are dismissed"

The empress look to her side as her new Grand Master walked out of the throne room

" send a letter to President Greenwood. Tell her she is invited for tea. She was so scared of my mother I don't think she would dare refuse"

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:36 am

Vulkar. Jan 2nd

Ambassador Yu Huan could barely even keep his thoughts together he was so hungry. The Imperial ambassador to vulkaria, had spent far too many hours last night reviewing last-minute shipment details about the food and fireworks that were being sent to the Embassy in preparation for their New Year's celebration. Not the international New Year already passed. The Lunar New Year celbrated by shen, and lareal.

The Diplomatic Services of both Nations usually work together to host a fireworks display in the capital of the nation the embassies were residing in. Most allowed it and vulkar was amongst that group.

For the vulkar new year Festival fireworks display, ambassador yu had volunteered his own Embassy to be the place where the fireworks would be stored until they were brought to a park in the city where they could be set off in celebration of a new year.

As he walked from his office down the second-story hallway that overlooked the street in front of the embassy he saw the trucks unloading the pallets of fireworks. Hundreds of pounds of low yeild explosives that would be sent up in brilliant displays of light in just a few short weeks. A small barely noticeable smile crept across his face as he watched the local Workforce and the Embassy staff acting in unison to quickly unload the packages and bring them into the embassy and then store them in the basement bellow.

This was the best time of the year In his opinion. The New Year marked new beginnings. New opportunities. A chance to begin again. And a chance to share his culture with the citizens of the city he lived in with food games and most importantly a large fireworks display. Through some shrewd budgeting the Ambassador has been able to acquire extra fireworks this year. It would truly be one to remember.

He didn't have long to dwell on the thoughg of this fireworks display until he heard a small amount of commotion from downstairs. Turning his attention back towards the window he looked out and saw a small white utility van had pulled up in front of the large white truck.

The driver of the smaller van was getting into a verbal altercation with the driver of the white truck and the embassy staff member who was overseeing the unloading. The three people were yelling at each other but it didn't last long. The man who had been in the van stormed off leaving his car parked in front of the truck and the driver and the staff member to exchange confused looks neither of them quite knowing what to do about suddenly having an unregistered van parked right in front of the embassy.

Security officials had walked out onto the street and we're talking with the embassy staff member and when the Ambassador turned back to walk towards the kitchen.

He was about to turn down the hallway when it all finally went to hell. At first there was a terrible shock wave. It rattled the wooden beams. Cracked the drywall. The glass first cracked into large pieces and then those pieces were shattered into specs no bigger than the sand that had originally been forged into the glass. The Ambassador was violently tossed forward. Landing on his chest as a secondary wave of fire and shrapnel burst through the air, like 1000 grenades. Ripping through every hard surface they encountered. The Ambassador himself let out a scream of pain as he felt his own body being torn to shreds. The sudden sensation of pain followed by a complete lack of any other kind of sensation where his legs had been a moment before. Not even being able to bring himself to look down at where the sudden sensation of nothingness was coming from he just continued to let out yells and cries of pain. But they were soon drowned out by the sound of cracking. The floor directly beneath him started to bend. The smell of burning wood rust up from the cracks and the crackling of Fire build the young man's years. He desperately tried to claw forward to carry himself away from the sounds but before he could the floor finally gave way.

The piece of wood that had been the floor just a moment before slammed into the ground below with him on top of it. He let out another deadly gasp filled with pain. He opened up his eyes just as a trickle of blood from his cut forehead rushed into his left one completely cutting off his sight. the piece of wood that had been the floor just a moment before slammed into the ground below with him on top of it. With his one good eye, he was able to look around as fire consumed the Welcome Center of the Embassy. The horribly mangle corpse is of his coworkers strewn about the floor. The smell of burning paper and wood.

He was overwhelmed with horror and pain. His mind was on the verge of completely shutting down. His mind only had enough thought to focus on the crate that have been blown open. The Ambassador stared on as one final thought of horror enter his brain. The fireworks. The fireworks were exposed to the flame. He looked out and saw the crate slowly being consumed by the fire.

The ambassador's last thought was one of fear. Those fireworks that had brought him so much joy would be the last thing he ever saw.

The primary explosion from the car and the secondary explosion from the fireworks Would end up killing 40 people and wounding an additional 200. The embassy was completely destroyed with with most of those killed being the staff.

Most of the body's too mangled to even identify without the use of DNA testing

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:42 am

((Written with LEgionas))

"Hello Empress Wu Zhou, as you know today was a dark day in our history. I also understand that The Shen Empire was also targeted
Today's events show the murderous intent of the M. L. F"

" yes. Our embassy was bombed. I have too first Express my condolences for the loss of your people. Shen morns with you tonight. But the more important issue at hand..." the empress said as her eyes looked towards the Gathering of military men that surrounded her in her office

Prime Minister Moretti cut her off, "The important issue at hand is destroying these M.L.F bastards. We can't let them continuously attack us without our retaliation. They need to learn that they've awoken the great powers of the IDU. " He scanned his office, registering the bewildered stare of the General Staff who had never heard Moretti so angry before. Admiral McRaven, Mr Moretti's best friend handed him a file. It contained the plans of the Naval third fleet which was to sail at dawn to the Traza Naval Base in Zerphique. "Empress Wu Zhou, as you may understand the situation over here is near chaos. The population is baying for the blood of the M. L. F. Amidst all of this we can count on you as an ally. Thank you for calling, even though I may sound overwhelmed. Your continued support is welcome and we offer the same support in these tough times"

Hearing the righteous indignation in the voice of the Prime Minister the empress looked over her own generals with a small smirk. This is waht she needed out of her allie right now

" I couldn't agree more prime minister. The Shen Empire Stands with you. We will join you when you embark on your quest. I already have the red banner Army preparing to leave for vulkaria. Now go focus on your people. I must prepare my Army for war"

The Prime Minister registered the beckoning look of his Defense Minister, Patricia Anna-Marie and waved a hand showing he would be finished soon. "Thank You Empress Wu Zhou, I will forever be grateful of the friendship between our two nations. Our third fleet is heading to a base in Zerphique as a defensive measure and we are coordinating with the Vulkarian government to increase our presence in the area. I am optimistic that the lives lost today have sealed the downfall of the M. L. F . Goodbye and thank you for calling." Prime Minister Moretti set the receiver down and scanned the room. He saw true patriots, die hard Legionites and even blood thirsty revanchists. He cleared his throat and simply said, "The M. L. F will not survive." and walked out, followed closely behind by Ms Anna-Marie. The sentiments were clear as day and everyone was on the same page. Everyone cleared out and entered the war room, hopefully to craft strategies that would ensure everlasting peace.

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Libertas Omnium Maximus » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:39 am

(Written jointly with Shen)

Presidential Manor, Litudinem
January 2nd, 2020 - 7:00 PM

President Brown quickly swallowed three ibuprofen tablets before answering the ringing phone. He felt horrible for walking out on his cabinet meeting but knew he would regret putting the Empress of Shen on hold much more. Actually, now that he thought about it, he just felt horrible in general. It was a kind of sickness in the pit of his stomach that only came from hearing horrible news. Brown felt his hands shaking as he reached for the phone. He composed himself before answering."

The voice of the 42 year old world leader came over the presidents phone. She was as calm and polite as always with her thick accent shining through every word of English she spoke.

"President Brown, It has been a while. I wish conversation was happening under better circumstances. Let me start off by extending my condolences. The Empire mourns with your people tonight."

Brown had expected this conversation since 5:00 PM, but was still dreading it to some degree. He knew he was about to commit at to a war that would doubtlessly take the lives of hundreds of brave Maximusians.

"My condolences go out to you, as well, Empress Wu Zhao."

Her response was prompt and jarring. Perhaps the empress could hear in Brown's voice that he was still in a state of mourning, and hadn't quite mentally prepared himself for talks of military operations.

"Thank you, Mr. President, but now isn't the time for morning. Now is the time for action. I have spent most of the day in meetings with my top military advisors. My nation is prepared to go to war. I assume you are doing the same?"

Zhao's words were just what Brown needed to pull him out of his stupor. It was the time for action! The rest of the world leaders were preparing for war and so should he. His response was firm.

"That is the plan, ma'am."

"Wonderful. Then we shall fight as allies. If we are to be allies then we should act as such. My ports will be open to your ships to refuel and resupply. And your Air Force may have free use of my air bases for either logistical flights or for the stationing of fighters and bombers."

Brown was amused by Zhao. She was truly one of the most no-nonsense leaders he had ever spoken to. When she wanted to get to the point she got to the point. Brown admired her, to some extent, for it.

"That's unbelievably kind of you. I'll be reaching out to the Zamastanian government to see what their plan of attack is as well."

"Of course. We must all coordinate together otherwise this will be a disaster"

This turn of events was shocking. Brown had not been at all confident that Shen would be willing to work with Zamastan closely given recent developments. He was very pleased by that, and it showed.

"Indeed. As you are aware, fighting terrorist groups is like fighting the wind. Even if you can block it or re-direct it, it comes back. I don't intend to fight an endless war. The only way to finish them once and for all will be to attack them from all angles. To do that you need all hands on deck!"

Zhao responded immediately.

"My nation has been fighting terrorists exactly like the kind that attacked us for almost a century. I will be sending my troops which have the most experienced fighting this kind of War. They will be commanded by an expert on dealing with terrorists. This war will not be long if we fight it right!"

Brown's mind began to race. He had so many phone calls to make!

"That is my hope. I will be coordinating with my generals in the coming hours and relay any necessary information back to you.

"Good to hear. Brigadier General Chang, his four brigades of the red flag Army, and a support flotilla of the Armada are set to leave in 3 days. We can coordinate further once your troops arrive"

Brown couldn't believe it, Zhao was already finished. Brown hardly ever spent this little time on such important calls. Again, though, Zhao was a women who knew what she wanted. When she got what she wanted, information on the Maximusian government's plans to deal with the Malvarian Liberation Front threat, she was done. Lucas Brown figured it was best not to keep the empress on the line much longer since she clearly wasn't one for pleasantries.

"I look forward to it - though I wish it were under better circumstances. The MLF must be eradicated for all our sakes."

"No disagreement here president Brown. I will leave you to coordinate your strategies. Until next time"

Brown half smiled before responding.

"Until next time, Empress."

Brown hardly had time to lower the phone back onto it's console when he was called into a meeting room by the National Security Advisor of Libertas Omnium Maximus. He had a war to plan. Pleasantries were of no use now. Now was the time for action.
Last edited by Libertas Omnium Maximus on Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:42 am

((written with laeral))

Presidential Office, Republic House, Laeralsford
With the entire international community, it seemed, reeling after the terrorist attacks of the previous day, Republic House was still full of activity late into the night. The Presidential Office was something of a sanctuary from the hustle-bustle outside, but aides and generals were still coming in and out. President Liu Mei-han had been taking phone calls all day, many of them condolences from foreign leaders, and placing calls of her own. She was in the middle of reviewing reports from the intelligence community when an aide entered.
"The Shen Empress is on the line, ma'am," said the aide. Liu took a breath, before picking up the receiver.

The forty-two-year-old head-of-state voice was calm and collected. Relaxed even. Seeming to have settled into her role as God Empress more so then at her mother's funeral a few months prior.

" Madam President. Thank you for finding the time to speak with me during this hectic and chaotic day"

"Your majesty, I can always find time for the leader of a partner nation with such strong ties to the Allied Provinces," said Liu. "I was greatly saddened to hear of the attack on your embassy in Vulkar. As a former diplomat myself, it's always heartbreaking to hear of such a tragedy. I mourn their deaths as well."

" and my condolences go to the families of those who lost loved ones when your ship was attacked. A cowardly strike against a nation that has nothing more than the continuing peace and stability we have enjoyed"

"Leading a nation in times of tragedy is one of the greatest burdens there is to bear," Liu said.

" agreed. The true test is how we respond to the tragedy. That's part of the reason I wanted to speak to you today"

"Is the Shen Empire planning a large military response to the attacks?" Liu asked.

" yes. Our Embassy was attacked. And an Ambassador who spoke in my name is dead. I've ordered 4 brigades of my red banner Army, under General change, to head to Vulkaria "(edited)

"A great many nations are preparing for war in Vulkaria," Liu said. "Opinion seems to have swung decisively towards intervention in legislatures and war rooms across the world. The Zamastanians, for one, seem set upon a full-scale intervention."

" i know. I have agreed to coordinate with them in their coalition. If we do not all works together we risk accidentally firing on each other as we target these terrorists. " wu responded, ask the sound of Flint igniting a spark indicating that she had lit up a cigarette

"... what about you madam president? Has your own personal opinion shifted towards intervention?"

Liu sat back in her chair. "Vulkaria has been an area of interest for me for decades. I served on my nation's National Security Council during the Second War in Vulkaria, and I supported Laeralian involvement in the conflict against the M.L.F. I continue to believe that the crimes, including ethnic cleansing, committed by MLF and VNA forces need to be prevented, and I believe that most of Laeral's government and society agree with me. I will support Laeralian intervention in Vulkaria, and the wheels of state are beginning to turn to make this a reality."

" I'm glad to hear it. I like to have more allies that I can trust. For the duration of this conflict feel free to use my ports to resupply and refuel your naval ships away from the war zone. And your Air Force may have free use of my air bases for logistical flights and to station military aircraft. How many troops are you planning on sending to join the Coalition against these terrorist?"

"Your offer is very generous," Liu said. "Under Laeral's system of government, the legislature has say over how many soldiers and how many planes are sent to join the coalition. It's likely that our contribution to the joint force will consist of several dozen aircraft, and maybe between one thousand and two thousand soldiers. Ensuring the safety of the people of northwestern Vulkaria will be a priority, as will rebuilding the infrastructure and institutions of that region, so there will likely be a substantial humanitarian force as well."

" 2000? Madam president I've sent 10 of my sons and daughters for every one child of lareal you propose sending. The more troops we can get the more we can pacify this Wayward territory of terrorism. I must employ you to try and make a case to the legislature about increasing your military commitment"(edited)

Liu pressed her lips into a firm line, the only outward indication of her irritation. Fine enough for the empress of an autocratic state to send 20,000 people to war with the wave of a hand, but Liu had not only a smaller military to deploy, but also greater political risk. She feared the war would bog down, become a quagmire and a never-ending anti-insurgency mission that she and everyone involved would pay for in lives and ill will further down the line. "I think caution is always warranted when it comes to war," she said. "It took Laeralites being rounded up in prison camps for us to intervene in Lauchenoiria two years ago. We're wary of sending soldiers without a plan to stabilize the region and ensure an orderly withdrawal once the fighting is done. I believe that Laeral's best contribution to pacifying this territory is through aerial support and rebuilding aid, rather than just through force of arms."

" I don't want to give these terrorists a moment of respite. Caution and proper planning are essential to this Mission being a success Madam president. But so is making sure we have the assets on hand to execute our plan in the most effective way possible. Ultimately it is up to you. But I must ask as your ally that you do what you can to send as much as you can to this combined effort"

"I can promise that I will do my best to ensure that the coalition can count on robust support from Laeral. Our commitment to the coalition is greater than can be expressed in numbers of front-line troops alone."

" that's all I ask Madame President. I should let you get back to what is no doubt the most hectic time since you have been bestowed the honor of serving as your Nations president. "

"Thank you for your call, your majesty. While our government may move more slowly than yours, you'll find that once we're set upon a course of action, we carry it out very thoroughly. I hope that the coming days are better for all of us."

" we can only hope Madame President. hopefully the next time I call you it's under better terms"

"Of course."

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Re: Behind the Red Wall. Tales of the Shen court.

Post by Shen » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:43 am

((written with Eira))

The Lancaster Twins sat in the Chancellor's Study, exhausted. The Senate had been debating endlessly over what to do about the terrorist attack, and even though everyone agreed that Eiria needs to crack down on Terrorists, but the way to do it was up in the air.

The Chancellor sat at his desk, putting down the 18th proposition from the Senate with a sigh. "This is getting ridiculous". He said, gesturing at the foot high stack of papers on his desk. Alice picked up a bill and skimmed it, nodding in agreement. Suddenly, the phone on the desk rang, and Will picked it up. "Ouiē?".

A voice with a heavy and recognizable accent came over the phone.

A woman. Middle-aged by the sound of it
"... you'll have to forgive me Mr Lancaster I don't speak French. " she responded back

"... I am speaking to the lancasters am i not?"

Will quickly pressed the speaker button. "This is. Am I speaking with God Empress Wu Zhao of the Great Shen Empire?".

" you have quite a talented ear Mr. Lancaster. yes its me. first id like to express my condolences, for the...greivess loss of life. Shen morns with your people tonight"

"Thank you, Madame. We mourn those lost in your embassy as well. It's horrific, and we will work to ensure these cowards are brought to Justice".

the empireYesterday at 9:19 PM"Yes im sure we will. that is what im calling about. id like to know how you plan on responding to this....cowardly attack. my armies are preparing to travel to Vulkaria, as soon as possible. i suspect you are doing the same"

"Yes ma'am. It's one of the only thing our politicians agreed on, actually. Our troops will fight along side yours with honor".

"good....then, if we fight as allies, let us act as allies. my ports will be open to your ships, to refuel and resuply as they make there way to the battlefeild. and my airbaises are open to your airfoce, to use to send logistical flights, or stations fighters and bombers"

"Thank You, Empress. That is very helpful, and will be even more helpful as the battles begin. I would offer the same, but regrettably Eiria is a decent distance away from Vulkaria, and it wouldn't be much help".

"You can thank me, by helping me honor those who lost there lives. we must win this war, for all of there sakes. " she let out a sight " may heaven watch oer your armies, Lancasters. may heaven watch over us all"

"Thank You. And may you and your armies be blessed by the Angels. We will win this, to avenge their loss, and stop the endless cycle of death and destruction".

thank you. now i must go, i have a war to plan. until next time....perhaps you two could travel to the empire, so way may meet facae to face"

"That Sounds Excellent, Madame. We will have to take you up on that offer soon. Have a good day, Empress".

"you as well"

the phone line cut off

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