A Bingolian Invitation: United Malordian State Visit to Packilvania

6 October 2022,

Somewhere, Packilvania

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: Alright Team the Prepetrators has been dealt with lets go and come Boris we are safe. he calls The bingol Royal palace

They picked it up

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia:  i am president Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia we’re moving now we continue the talks that we can conclude the economic negotiations i am also with the vice president and my team we are all okay he gets in the armoured vip car with special presidential guard division.

He, The vice President starts moving to the bingol royal palace through hours through descreet roads they finally arrive at the front door of the palace.

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: He steps out of the vehicle with guards and the vice president with him.

7 October 2022
Bingol Royal Palace

The chaos and confusion of the previous night had largely been calmed. Police checkpoints were gradually removed. Internet speeds began to normalise and a lot of the rubble that had arisen from the explosion had been cleared away. Explosives experts were collecting soil samples and pieces of the bomb to study its construction and origin.

The bodies of the deceased soldiers were washed and prepared for burial and obituaries were read during televised memorial services commemorating their valiant service to the nation. Prince Thumim would personally attend their joint funeral in the succeeding days, having sent letters to their respective families.

Drakhnam, Jafar, Fareel and Thyfos whose virility and fortitude were marvels to behold had been drained from their bodies which lay in a mortuary in Bingol in various unnatural configurations.

The home affairs department had tracked their identities and contacted their families (who would inevitably be brought to police headquarters for questioning). Military officials throughout the Bingol-based hierarchy were being questioned.

Prince Thumim gathered with his security team in the Bingol Royal Palace. This included government ministers, intelligence directors and military officials. They had made the journey from across the city and wherever they were vacationing or posted to congregate at the Bingol Royal Palace to account for the serious lapse in security during an important geopolitical show.

Prince Thumim proclaimed, “I am still dumbfounded. You have attempted to reveal the practices of these assailants, the potential vehicles and tools they employed and so on and so forth and yet we still don’t know who these men were working for or what faction they represent. I find it incredible that the source of the intelligence that led to their capture is non other than that scoundrel, Prince Kujil”.

He took a sip of water and continued, “It is utterly humiliating that my exiled cousin should possess information material to resolving a serious threat to my life and the lives of our Malordian guests. This is information that seems to be completely out of reach of the supposedly powerful agencies and bodies arrayed before me like hollowed and seriously rotting stumps”.

Interrupting the silence that ensued, Prince Luwadeen asked, “Have you decided where the meeting with him will take place?”

Prince Thumim answered “Blueacia”.

6 October 2022
Prince Harm International Airport

Jubrayn Airlines Flight J457 had flown from Tilden to Prince Harm International Airport in Blueacia. Buoyed by the mighty Royal Redrugus engines of the Allegiance A900 aircraft, it carried tens of passengers on board, most conspicuously Prince Kujil who enjoyed the fine wine and impeccable views afforded from his business class seat. Despite his plush flight, it was a significant downgrade from the private jet he would charter on air trips. But given the financial constraints created by the government of Packilvania, he was forced to experience something much more meagre.

Despite a minor grazing of his pride, so egregious was his hubris that he delighted on and relished the chance to meet the Prince-Regent and parly for his right to return home. Months ago, he had come to the conclusion that Prince Thumim would never let him back into the country except clad in iron chains unless he did something grand to prove his value and sweep their previous fall out under the rug.

Furthermore, he felt that Prince Thumim was goading him with his family after he received a post card from his wife with Prince Thumim playing with his children. The clarity of the picture was so excellent, it looked as thought it was rendered with professional photography. Prince Thumim had made the point that no one was above him, except the Sultan of course. Yet even with his seemingly vast powes, Thumim struggled to get his claws on Prince Kujil, leaving him to wonder whether the Prince-Regent was indeed as powerful as he appeared or whether constraints had been placed on his ability to act.

As the wheels of the planed touched down on the tarmac, he focused his attention on meeting with the contact from Packilvania who would meet with Prince Kujil. Prince Kujil had been wary of the intensions of his cousin and thus decided to meet the contact at the Great Morstaybishlian embassy in Labia Cue. To further make it more difficult for Packilvanian authorities to intercept and reach him, he had obfuscated his arrival and departure and used a fake identity.

After leaving Prince Harm International Airport, he left for the Crystal Hoteliers Hotel. He checked into his room and was escorted by a porter. On opening the door he found 6 muscular men wearing black suits and turtlenecks sitting comfortably in his room. He tried to turn back but another of the men stopped him from behind. The man simply put his finger on his mouth. Prince Kujil looked to the porter to call for help but the porter was preoccupied with stuffing an overstuffed brown envelope into his jacket.

“Your Imperial Highness”, one of the men said, “It is such a pleasure to meet you. I hope you had a pleasant flight. Please come in!”

The man behind Kujil closed the door and sat him down on the futon.

“Now”, the man said, “You are welcome to scream but no one will hear you. You’re going to answer my questions. First up, who are these men?”

The man showed him photos of Jafar Thyfos, Drakhnam and Fareel both in the mortuary and in their Packilvanian Expeditionary Force Uniform. As Kujil opened his mouth to answer, he felt the sharp pain of an electric current surge through his body. So sharp and sudden was the pain that he fell on the ground as tears streamed from the wide open eyes of his petrified face.

“I would suggest that you tell the truth”, said the mysterious and frighteningly charismatic man.

“I do- do-don’t kn- kn- ow!”

A second electrical current surged through him and he tried to scream but the sensation of the current seamed to freeze his jaw closed and all he could do was feel the current course through his body, exciting his nerves with excruciating pain.

“I hi- hi- hired th- the- them!”

“Good boy”, the man said, “Who are you working with?”

Prince Kujil opened his eyes widely and said, “Wh- wha- what?”

“I- i- w- work alone!” He continued, “I- I- j- just w- wanna go b- back home!”

“Boys”, the man said, “This is going to be a long night!”

7 October 2022
Kilionite Royal Palace, Yukader, Kharyat

Trees thick with large emerald leaves grew wildly and joyfully on the grounds of the Kilionite Royal Palace. Sapients had been careful to cleave paths under the brilliant canopies without disrupting the natural chaos and order of nature. Under these leaves, Sultan Namdun III enjoyed taking long strolls as he convalesced. His health had taken a significant knock and it was unlikely he was to return to his full strength bringing into question whether he would return to his duties.

Despite handing over most of the duties of governance to Prince Thumim, he had placed limitations to circumscribe the extent of his son’s authority and carefully preserving his own position in the nation. And therein lay Prince Thumim’s irritation which he had flown from Bingol to convey.

Upon arriving in Yukader, Prince Thumim was welcomed at the Palace but was informed by the staff that his father was out in the forest taking a walk. Usually his father would go away for hours so Prince Thumim would have to find him himself. He ordered a search party to traverse the labyrinthine passageways that weaved chaotically under the brush like the tentacles of an octopus.

“We’ve located the Sultan, sir”, a servant said over the walkie-talkies that were used to communicate here.

Thumim met Namdun sitting on a bench in a random non-descript part of the forest.

“My son”, Namdun said, “I see you have your hands full”.

“And yet you did not even call or ask what was going on?” Thumim asked rhetorically.

“Well, my son”, Namdun replied, “I was confident that whatever had transpired would be securely dealt with in your capable hands”.

“How high and mighty your trust in me seems to be and yet so restrictive is the leash you have placed on me that I am constrained in my ability to effectively tackle the situation”, Thumim stated.

“Is being the de facto head of state not good enough for you, Prince Thumim?” Namdun asked mischievously.

Thumim replied, “Sir, I have proven myself to be a loyal son and capable Regent. Why do you continue to put limitations on my ability to act? I cannot appoint and dismiss Ministers and Governors as I see fit, I have restraints on the extent to which I can deploy and wield military and security power. At this time, our family, my life has been threatened and the rumblings of an uprising within the family are brewing. If you continue to limit my powers, it will make it even harder for me to assert my authority and maintain obedience from the other Princes”.

“I heard that it was Prince Kujil who revealed the nefarious plot”, Namdun said, “Will you not congratulate him for a job well-done?”

Thumim replied, “We were supposed to meet in Blueacia. I have been informed by my men that despite his resistance, his interrogation is yielding fruit”.

“And therein lies the reason why I do not hand more power to you”, Namdun said, “Your cousin has come to redeem himself and aid you and yet you have him detained? You have disinherited thousands of Princes in the name of consolidating your own power under the veneer of cutting expenses and disentangling our family’s economic interests from the governance of the country when our economic interests are the purpose of governance”.

“In that, it seems we have diametrically opposed views about what the purpose of governance is”, Thumim said, “For Your Majesty’s information, it was Prince Kujil who hired those thugs to attempt to assassinate me”.

“Oh my son”, Namdun said, “I think there was enough suspicion that Prince Kujil was either the conspirer, or his enabler, given the public and embarrassing feud between the two of you. However, you are giving the other Princes the impression that you have no mercy or love for them in how you are going about dealing with the matter of Prince Kujil. Were I to hand over further power to you, how much greater would the rift become that you are cleaving into this family in the name of naive ideology and your own lust for power”.

“Your Majesty’s hypocrisy is incredible”, Thumim said, “You were more than happy to hew your rivals and strengthen your own band of brothers and their authority”.

“I would be remiss if I did not express concern for my own wellbeing as well”, Namdun said, “Whether you will admit it or not, under your dutiful and unyielding obedience to my command, you resent me. Not only because of the past trespasses I have committed against you, for which deep in your heart you have not forgiven me, but for the deep gulf in beliefs and attitudes that has formed over the years. If a simple difference in belief is enough for you to do what you have done to your cousin, I cannot imagine how much harder your axe would fall upon me, one against whom you have even greater cause to revile”.

“It’s incredible how even after years”, Thumim said, “You cling to this bizarre image of me as your enemy”.

“The irony is that through the passage of all these years you allude to, I am even more wary of your designs, Prince-Regent”, Namdun said, “Your Highness, I will pass away eventually, by the natural course of my own life, and you will have all the strength and might of the Crown at your behest and command to shape the nation in whatever vision you have in your mind. However, for the time being, I see no cause to enable your machinations any further than I have”.

“F- father”, Thumim said, unsuccessfully stifling the disgust as he said the word, “It is time for you to trust me for whatever my grievances against you, I am your s- son”.

“Hah!” Namdun bellowed, “Your manipulation is unmatched. I am sure you were grasping at the ends of your will to say those words. My heart would blossom with joy to hear you say them but it is transparent that they are laced with the venom of an asp”.

“Why do you insult me?” Thumim asked, “I have shown my forbearance and you suggest that I am manipulating you and you call me an asp?”

“I apologise for offending you, Prince-Regent”, Namdun said, “I am rather proud of you for putting your ambitions so highly above all other interests that even your vows to cut off all sentiment and semblance of a father-son relationship between you and I can be broken in pursuit of them. But I stand by my word”.

Prince Thumim was flustered and barely kept his composure. In his mind he asked himself, What exactly did I expect from this dotard? We have had this discussion numerous times and still I cannot get through to him.

He replied to the Sultan, “We will speak again when you are prepared to be reasonable and to abandon this bout of paranoia that accompanies your ailment”.

Thumim left his father to call him mom, “Mother, I need you”.

Mebri replied, “What is it, my son?”

“You told me to be patient”, Thumim said, “But this man resists me. I need you to help me”.

“What exactly would you have me do”, Mebri asked, “Would you have me plead with him to give more power to you?”

“I need to ask more. I know you have as much cause as I do to maintain this rift between you and him but the facts are that maintaining that rift is no longer the instrument by which you rally to my cause. I need this man to not only hand me power, but to abdicate so I can scrub his rule from this nation once and for all”.

“My son”, Mebri said, “You cannot be serious! I will not do any such thing”.

“Mother”, Thumim said, “I am begging you. The time for pride and principle must come to a close. You saw, just as everyone did, how close I came to my end. Youth alone is not enough to forestall death. My enemies are numerous, and my assailants are preparing their devices and gathering their strength against me, this is not the time for you and I to be working in opposition when our cause is the same”.

“For many years you have asked very little of me, my son”, Mebri said, “And now you ask for something that is nigh impossible for me to do. I shall give it some thought and get back to you”.

“Thank you, mother”, Thumim said, “I ask that you do not tary as you apply your mind this this situation. This is something for which haste is required”.

7 October 2022
Labia Cue, Blueacia

How could I have been so naive, Prince Kujil asked himself.

Of all the people in world, why did I think I could exchange blows with Thumim

After hours of interrogating, Prince Kujil was forced to sign a written statement admitting that he had orchestrated the attack on Behayeen Bridge. The men who held him packed his bags, helped him take a shower while he winced from pink bruises on his body. They seemed to escorts him from the premises of the hotel like a body guard and flew him back to Packilvania.

On arriving at the https://tep.wiki/wiki/Bingol_International_Airport, he was arrested by the police. Footage of the arrest proliferated on social media. The government was uncharacteristically permissive in allowing the videos to reach the public.

People gasped in awe and wondered what the situation could be about. Message boards, discussion forums and conversation threads were abuzz with speculation on what the arrest could mean.

In the meantime, Prince Abuyin and the United Malordian President were busy finalising the details of Packilvania’s military presence in that nation.

“Mr President”, Abuyin said, “The base we want to build should be on a coastal city with a deep natural harbour as we intend to house naval vessels of the Concordian fleet there. We want this base to be treated the same as an embassy in that. We intend for the facility to have capacity for 30,000 personnel, 50 to 100 aircraft and 10 to 12 naval vessels including an air craft carrier. Our nation’s Department of Defence will be responsible for managing the construction and maintenance and operations of the facility. Do you agree to this?”

7 October 2022
King Yamhad V of Bingol National Prison, Bingol Packilvania

From the outside, it was almost surprising that King Yamhad V prison was in fact a prison. Surrounded by Japonica trees with big pink flowers, the prison
was fairly small and built in a traditional architectural style. The towers and barbed wire atop high brick halls quickly quickly disabused the onlooker of the idea that this was anything but a prison. This prison was not designed for the common rabble. This is where the state kept relatively affluent and high ranking members of society who had committed crimes such as money laundering, intellectual property theft, counterfeiting, perjury, driving under the influence of alcohol, and other minor crimes.

This was in stark contrast to the brutal re-education camps which were typically located in remote areas and subjected their inhabitants to strenuous physical labour, psycho-emotional abuse and hunger. By contrast, King Yamhad V Prison seemed fit for a Prince. And it was. Despite the government pretending otherwise, these facilities were designed to hold people who still controlled economic power outside its walls. These were people it wanted to prove it could control but did not want to rough up too severely especially if did not intend to keep them for long.

Prince Kujil arrived here still dressed in his formal robes. He held his head up high as he was processed through the facility. He was given a change of clothes, his pictures and fingerprints were taken and he was escorted to his cell. Unlike the other prisons were the economically dejected and violent criminals were detained, the men here had rotund bellies and graying hair from the longevity and comfortable lives their wealth had afforded them. He was given his schedule and locked in his hole. People in this prison were prone to be more civil because they knew that once on the outside, tables could easily turn. Many leveraged the opportunity to build economically advantageous relations with each other and occasionally to settle old rivalries.

Not long after he had arrived, his wives and lawyer, Ramad Subkhaniel, had arrived. He was put into shackles and escorted to the visitors room. On occasion the officials glared at him or said something rude or pushed him with a baton, but for the most part it was theatre to remind the prisoners that they were indeed in a prison.

On arriving at the Visitor’s centre, his first wife, Wasalea leapt towards the glass pane that separated her from her husband and grabbed the telephone that allowed them to hear each other and she squealed, “You scoundrel! What have you done to deserve this?!”

Before he could reply, she declared, “Nothing! Nothing at all! That mad cousin of yours has gone too far! This place is absolutely sordid! You do not deserve this! I will not allow it!”.

Despite being the more quiet of the two, Faziah pried the phone from Wasalea’s hands and pushed her aside. In a calm voice, she said, “Husband, what can we do to help?”

Before Wasalea could take the phone back, Ramad, the lawyer, stepped in and said, “Sir, we are already preparing your case. When we heard of your arrest on the news, we approached the Southeast Bingol Magistrate Court and filed for a court order based on Hadra luJasad to see you. Hence why we are here”.

“I have kept a record of my travels and dealings with Sabine”, Prince Kujil said.

Wasalea yanked the phone from the lawyer and demanded, “You impotent jackal! Have you been seeing another woman while you were away? Is that why you refused to have this woman and I come to you?! Oh so help me…”

“No, no”, Prince Kujil said cowering and pleading, “No my dear, she is just my assistant. She keeps a diary of my day and has a record of it over the time I have been away so it can be used as evidence in a case. She also has a record of documents”.

Turning to Faziah, he said, “Faziah, my love, I need you to gather support from my cousins for my swift release at once”.

“I have already sent out invitations to Princes Imhadil, Erahan and Jamhood for a dinner later this evening at the Royal Ashafan Hotel”.

“Excellent work”, Prince Kujil said.

Wasalea chimed in, “While Miss Perfect over here and the walking paper towel in a suit are busy, what should I do?”

“My dear”, Prince Kujil said, “I need you to keep calm, watch the kids and take care of your blood pressure. Everything will be fine. Faziah, Sabine and Ramad will handle this”.

“As we often do”, Faziah said quietly.

— Begin quote from ____

7 October 2022
Labia Cue, Blueacia

How could I have been so naive, Prince Kujil asked himself.

Of all the people in world, why did I think I could exchange blows with Thumim

After hours of interrogating, Prince Kujil was forced to sign a written statement admitting that he had orchestrated the attack on Behayeen Bridge. The men who held him packed his bags, helped him take a shower while he winced from pink bruises on his body. They seemed to escorts him from the premises of the hotel like a body guard and flew him back to Packilvania.

On arriving at the https://tep.wiki/wiki/Bingol_International_Airport, he was arrested by the police. Footage of the arrest proliferated on social media. The government was uncharacteristically permissive in allowing the videos to reach the public.

People gasped in awe and wondered what the situation could be about. Message boards, discussion forums and conversation threads were abuzz with speculation on what the arrest could mean.

In the meantime, Prince Abuyin and the United Malordian President were busy finalising the details of Packilvania’s military presence in that nation.

“Mr President”, Abuyin said, “The base we want to build should be on a coastal city with a deep natural harbour as we intend to house naval vessels of the Concordian fleet there. We want this base to be treated the same as an embassy in that. We intend for the facility to have capacity for 30,000 personnel, 50 to 100 aircraft and 10 to 12 naval vessels including an air craft carrier. Our nation’s Department of Defence will be responsible for managing the construction and maintenance and operations of the facility. Do you agree to this?”

— End quote

7 October 2022

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: “we demmand very very very very very small ammount of packilvanian military presence there to not make Norgs goverment not mad. sure the naval vessels are small enough i knew they’re not gonna be happy i have plans going there, anyways could the personell ammount smaller? and the ammount of aircraft? sorry were trying to be neutral.” (ooc: neutral lmao has morst bases near honor city greater metropolitan area).

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia:  “So what other things that you propose to me without making the norgsnyveldet goverment not angry?, sorry to mention them we kneow you guys are not in good interest with them.”

— Begin quote from ____

— Begin quote from ____

7 October 2022
Labia Cue, Blueacia

How could I have been so naive, Prince Kujil asked himself.

Of all the people in world, why did I think I could exchange blows with Thumim

After hours of interrogating, Prince Kujil was forced to sign a written statement admitting that he had orchestrated the attack on Behayeen Bridge. The men who held him packed his bags, helped him take a shower while he winced from pink bruises on his body. They seemed to escorts him from the premises of the hotel like a body guard and flew him back to Packilvania.

On arriving at the https://tep.wiki/wiki/Bingol_International_Airport

— End quote

, he was arrested by the police. Footage of the arrest proliferated on social media. The government was uncharacteristically permissive in allowing the videos to reach the public.

People gasped in awe and wondered what the situation could be about. Message boards, discussion forums and conversation threads were abuzz with speculation on what the arrest could mean.

In the meantime, Prince Abuyin and the United Malordian President were busy finalising the details of Packilvania’s military presence in that nation.

“Mr President”, Abuyin said, “The base we want to build should be on a coastal city with a deep natural harbour as we intend to house naval vessels of the Concordian fleet there. We want this base to be treated the same as an embassy in that. We intend for the facility to have capacity for 30,000 personnel, 50 to 100 aircraft and 10 to 12 naval vessels including an air craft carrier. Our nation’s Department of Defence will be responsible for managing the construction and maintenance and operations of the facility. Do you agree to this?”

7 October 2022

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: “we demmand very very very very very small ammount of packilvanian military presence there to not make Norgs goverment not mad. sure the naval vessels are small enough i knew they’re not gonna be happy i have plans going there, anyways could the personell ammount smaller? and the ammount of aircraft? sorry were trying to be neutral.” (ooc: neutral lmao has morst bases near honor city greater metropolitan area).

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia:  “So what other things that you propose to me without making the norgsnyveldet goverment not angry?, sorry to mention them we kneow you guys are not in good interest with them.”

— End quote

7 October 2022.
Bingol Royal Palace, Bingol, Packilvania.

Prince Abuyin replied, “With all due respect, Mr. President, I am dumbfounded by your sycophantic relationship with Norgsveldet. List of countries by GDP (nominal) - TEPwiki. Our List of countries by military expenditure - TEPwiki and List of countries by number of military personnel - TEPwiki dwarf them. There is no comparison, and yet you are more worried about their opinion of your foreign relations than ours? Over and above that Mr. President, Packilvania has offered your nation access to our markets, aid, affordable credit, and investment. We have bent over backward to give you the best trade deal any country has ever had access to, yet you remain hesitant. I understand that there might be differences in opinions over our political system, but we have Treaty of Culoria - TEPwiki. We have Pax-UCA Trade Partnership - TEPwiki and Commercial Cooperation Partnership - TEPwiki. Our ambassador to the International Forum, Prince Faijil, https://tep.wiki/wiki/International_Convention_on_Climate_Changeto show our commitment to the issue of climate change and environmental degradation. We have demonstrated our shared interest in and willingness to work through diplomatic channels with other nations. Yet, you remain reluctant to accept our comparably paltry request. Mr. President, I cannot compel you to do anything that you do not want to, but I implore you to reconsider your position and have a more balanced view of the situation”.

7 October 2022

Bingol Royal Palace, Bingol, Packilvania.

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: “Well… then sure i accept your terms for your naval installations in our country, we are trying to keep all major nations satisfied as like of yours.”

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: “Well then what other propsals do you like to give out for the economic cooperation?.” his phone vibrate his head “it must be them… as expected.”

— Begin quote from ____

7 October 2022

Bingol Royal Palace, Bingol, Packilvania.

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: “Well… then sure i accept your terms for your naval installations in our country, we are trying to keep all major nations satisfied as like of yours.”

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: “Well then what other propsals do you like to give out for the economic cooperation?.” his phone vibrate his head “it must be them… as expected.”

— End quote

Prince Abuyin was so delighted with the President’s response that he chose to overlook the fact that he glanced at his phone during their meeting.

He replied and said, “I think that will be all, Mr. President. These talks have been extremely productive. I would again like to apologise for the incident with the bridge”.

After the meeting was concluded, a press briefing was held at the Sultana Jumayma Hall in the Bingol Royal Palace. Prince Abuyin and President Susanto Sudjawardia stood at different lecterns and were flanked by their respective nation’s flags.

Prince Abuyin started the briefing, “I would like to thank President Susanto Sudjawardia for visiting our nation over the past fews which have proven to be both eventful and productive. We agreed to lower tariffs on goods being traded between our respective nations, to coordinate on health and safety, to open up our respective markets to investment from our business, to open up our respective ports and air spaces to our nations’ ships and commercial aircraft respectively, and we agreed on a framework for rules of origin. Furthermore, Packilvania will be providing Malordian traders with access to affordable credit for importing goods from Packilvania. Moreover, we will be provide aid to the people of Malordia. In addition to the economic partnership, we have made a strategic partnership through agreeing to a non-aggression pact. Additionally, the Malordian government has graciously agreed to host a Packilvanian naval base that is set to house our Concordian Fleet. Unfortunately, His Imperial Majesty, the Sultan, and His Imperial Highness, the Prince-Regent are preoccupied with other matters but they asked me to convey their deepest gratitude and will wishes to President Sudjawardia and his delegation. As a gesture of friendship, I would like to bestow the Order of the Jovian Gate upon President Sudjawardia at the rank of Knight”.

Prince Abuyin walked over to the President and pinned a badge onto his suit and handed him a light weight case with the certificate and collar of the order. He shook his hand and gave him a kiss on the cheek as was customary among men in Packilvania.

“I would like to hand over to the President to share his thoughts”…

7 October 2022

Bingol Royal Palace, Bingol, Packilvania.

President Handoko Susanto Sudjarwadia: “Thank you very much Prince Ibuyin, yes it has been productive i’ve accepted their proposal for a naval base there may had been an attempt at assasination but thats nothing to worry because as of right now its under heavy investigation some of the perpetrators has been aprehended  what i heard and we both agreed top both of your nation’s terms on economic cooperation as the prince said we agreed on lowering tarrifs of goods produces coming in and out of our respective countries it went smoothly with no problems.”

9 October 2022.
Bingol, Packilvania.

With the closure of the press conference and President Susanto Sudjawardia’s departure from Packilvania, the state visit had come to a close. The respective Departments of Foreign Affairs of Packilvania and United Malordia would spend the next few months hashing out the technical details, but for now, the groundwork had been laid. While Abuyin was celebrating his triumph, a careful and dangerous dance was taking place in the halls of power of Packilvania.

Faziah and Ramad were sitting in the study of Prince Kujil’s compound working out the legal and political strategy that they were to deploy. In contrast, Wasalea was busy cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Barefoot, wearing an apron, and covered in sweat, she worked with the cooks to knead the dough, chop vegetables, and stir the pot. She was exceptionally worried about Prince Kujil and made sure everyone knew how bitterly angry she was. Her lady-in-waiting had given up trying to tell her that she should stop calling Prince Thumim “the Mad Prince”.

Every so often Wasalea would enter the study where Faziah and Ramad were working and ask them if they needed more tea or coffee or dates or a leg of lamb smothered in gravy. Because she had been uneducated except in good homemaking, socializing and childbearing, Wasalea felt terribly out of her depth as Faziah and Ramad spoke of the Imperial Procuratorate, and legal precedents and statutes and whatnot. So, the best she could do, in her mind, was to make sure they were well-fed. She made sure to visit Kujil as often as the prison would allow and send as much food as was physically possible. She said to herself, “Even though Kujil is a jackal of a man, Noi would sooner strike me with lightning before I let him starve in that hell that those monsters have locked him in”.

Faziah, in contrast, was perfectly calm. She seemed like she was in control. She knew who to call and what to say and where to be and at what time and seemed to always know what was needed. When Kujil had asked Wasalea if he could marry one of the most powerful female lawyers in Packilvania, Wasalea had been infuriated and she had envied her education and intelligence. Nevertheless, she consented to the marriage after Kujil’s entreaties. Despite often insulting her, she was extremely fond of her and Faziah seemed to carry the political and legal aspects of her husband’s affairs. Frankly, Wasalea was happy to have the help. With the crisis around them, Wasalea was pleased that someone else was dealing with things.

“What time is your meeting with the Princes?” Ramad asked as he looked over the documents that Sabine had sent from the Free Pax States.

“Our meeting is at 6 pm”, Faziah said, “I do wish I hadn’t eaten all the caek Wasalea baked. I fear I shall not have much room for anything else tonight. But it seemed to delight Wasalea when I ate her food, so I suppose it shall have been worth it”.

“I am amazed that the two of you get along”, Ramad said, “You’re like oil and water”.

“When the Prince asked me to marry him”, Faziah replied, “I was worried about giving up my career. But, it was clear that my detractors in the legal field were rising against me. So I took the leap of faith and joined Prince Kujil and Princess Wasalea in the apparent circus that they had erected in the middle of Kemer”.

“Does it feel like you married them both?” Ramad asked.

“It seems I have”, Faziah said, “Wasalea might be somewhat undercooked, but I’ve come to like having a sister wife”.

“I honestly don’t know how you do it”, Ramad said, “I mean, I can’t imagine marrying someone and they already have another partner”.

Faziah seemed to think about this before replying, “I suppose you get on with it really”.

“It’s a bit out of date if you ask me”, Ramad said.

“Luckily, I didn’t ask you”, she said in a teasing tone, “I am a woman in Pax. I just get on with things”.

“Do you ever feel like you put your bets with the wrong horse”, Ramad asked, “I mean between your career and marrying a Prince”.

Faziah replied, “Sometimes, I wonder what I got myself into. I love him, don’t get me wrong, but I sometimes wished I was back at my firm. Ironically, trying to get criminals out of jail was easier than being married especially being in a polygamous marriage of all things. What would the younger me say if she saw me? Well, lucky for me, her opinion hasn’t been informed by the experiences she would go on to have in the future. To answer your question, no, I do not think I put my bets on the wrong horse. Look, Ramad, we’re going to get him out”.

“I hope so, Princess Faziah”, Ramad replied, “I hope so”.

9 October 2022.
Royal Ashafan Hotel, Bingol, Packilvania

The sun was setting on Bingol, but rising on Faziah’s plans. She set of for the Royal Ashafan Hotel to meet Princes Imhadil, Erahan and Jamhood. They were all children of cousins of Sultan Namdun III and occupied senior positions in the government. Prince Imhadil was the Director of The Tashkar Procuratorate. Prince Erahan was the Chief of the Zukaril Police. Prince Jamhood was the Speaker of the Kemer Legislature.

They were seated in the cafe of the hotel overlooking the gardens when she came in.

She said, “I am so sorry I’m late. I was stuck in traffic and…”

Prince Jamhood replied, “It’s okay Faziah. With everything going on, we figured you were probably quite busy”.

Prince Erahan added, “Don’t worry about it Faziah, we understand that you’re probably really stressed right now”.

Prince Jamhood said, “Let’s move to the restaurant. Bar tender, may you please get the lady a glass of wine?”

Prince Imhadil pulled out the chair for her as she sat down.

“Thanks so much, gentlemen, for being so kind to me and for agreeing to meet with me”, Faziah said.

Erahan replied, “Of course, no problem at all. We’re family and good friends of your husband, so you can call us if you need anything”.

Faziah replied, “I am so glad and deeply honoured to have your support. It means so much to me. As you all know, my husband has been detained under rather unfortunate circumstances”.

Jamhood asked, “How’s he holding up?”

Faziah replied, “He’s keeping a stiff upper lip. He’s a man of course. If he’s having any challenges, he won’t show it to me, but I think one can imagine that prison life is not comfortable”.

“What can do to help?” Imhadil asked.

Faziah replied, “I do not wish to conjecture, but I have it on good authority that Prince Thumim himself has orchestrated this situation”.

Erahan looked puzzled and asked her, “If I recall correctly, Prince Kujil was charged with corruption, but fled to the Free Pax States and he had a interview on the Defiant in which he insulted Prince Thumim and called his punishment unjust”.

“Well”, Faziah said, “That may be true, but there is more nuance to the story beyond Prince Kujil’s personal and business affairs. Regardless of what this means, the reality is that what is happening to my husband is a sign that of the cull that is being prepared against Princes in this family from the Royal Palace”.

“Now Faziah”, Jamhood said, “I’ve never known you to be hysterical or a conspiracy theorist”.

“Prince Jamhood”, Faziah said, “It was in 1995 that the then Prince Noi became Sultan Namdun III. He was quick to summarily depose many of his cousins from their positions or put them in prison. Given that Prince Thumim has already prevented thousands of Princes from passing on their titles to their children and cut them off from government support, it is rather telling that he is on the same path”.

“I won’t lie”, Imhadil replied, “I was taken aback by the law he signed. But to call it Prince Thumim’s design alone would be unfair. Prince Binhamin, the Finance minister, was a major advocate of the law and he said that he felt like Packilvania was being a run like feudal state”.

“That may be case”, Faziah said, “But everytime a new Sultan comes to power, people in this family suffer needless disruption to their lives. Prince Thumim is the de facto Sultan and given his Imperial Majesty’s ailing health, may he live long, I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon heard that Sultan Thumim V would rule over us”.

Jamhood replied, “Faziah, you know that’s a taboo topic. We cannot speak about the Sultan in that way”.

“But Jamhood, surely you can see what we all see and we need to prepare as much as anyone”, Faziah said, “I would bet that Prince Thumim is not ignorant to the fact that you have all been friends of Prince Kujil’s. What plan would he concoct for you”.

Prince Jamhood got increasingly uncomfortable and began playing nervously with his fork then he replied, “All the more reason for everyone to be on their best bwhaviour”.

“All the more reason”, Faziah said, “For the family to start having discussions about this issue. The family needs to start taking the matter of Thumim’s succession seriously and discuss the kinds of policies that he is implementing and what their impact on the family will be”.

Prince Erahan replied, “I agree with you, Faziah. The reality is that if they are worried about it being run like a feudal state, we can’t have our country run like a tinpot autocratic dictatorship without any sense of law and order, with a head of state who acts on a whim instead of consulting with the Royal Family. What we need is an enlightened and benevolent despot not a cavalier capricious child”.

Jamhood pointed at Erahan menacingly and said, “Erahan, I am warning you. Watch your tongue!”

Faziah, “Gentlemen, there is no need to get aggressive or worry about being heard for that matter. I brought us here because this hotel is exceptionally good at keeping things discreet. We can speak freely here”.

Faziah said, “Whatever our feelings, Prince Thumim is the despot we have and the Sultan of our future. He needs to start hearing our opinions and listening to our voices, to the voice of the Imperial Family”.

“What would you like us to do, Faziah?” Imhadil asked.

“I want you to start speaking with the other Princes and expressing your concerns about Prince Thumim’s behaviour. You don’t have to support my husband”, Faziah said, “But at least let’s start talking honestly and openly about our legitimate fears and worries and if necessary hold a family conference to tell Prince Thumim that we are not happy with the way he is running the country. First and foremost, he should hear our cases, not the Imperial Procuratorate. Secondly, he should start consulting with all of the family, not just a few advisers and ministers in the national executive when making decisions”.

Jamhood said, “I will not be a part of this. Princess Faziah please send my thoughts and prayers to Kujil. But that is as far as I will go with him”.

And then he left. Erahan and Imhadil remained. Erahan said, “I will bring this up with Prince Harim. Perhaps he can through to Prince Thumim in Council of State meetings or he could talk to Prince Luwadeen about it”.

Prince Imhadil said, “I could reach out to my colleagues in the Bingol Procuratorate and see how his case is going”.

“Thank you, gentlemen”, Faziah said, “This means a lot to me”.

9 Kharaat 2022 (9 October 2022)
Bingol, Packilvania

The smell of old books and the texture of the aged paper against Sultana Mebri’s skin, calmed her down as she made the way to the Kilionite Royal Palace in Kharyat. As Sultana Mebri sat in her private jet, she read High Magister Benhadil Umkad’s book entitled “luPramaan aluGafira nadine luWamar” (The Path to Forgiveness and Love). She attempted to draw strength from his words, as she was about to meet her husband. As the words seemed to lift from the paper and plunge themselves like small razors into her flesh, she found herself asking," Whom should I forgive, Thumim, or Namdun?"

She landed at a nearby airfield and met Thumim on the landing strip as she walked out of the aircraft. She gave him a the kiss on the cheek and a big hug. For a moment, she had forgotten her bitterness and confusion over the whole affair, until she quickly returned to her thoughts. He opened the door to the car for her and entered on the other side.

“muSageer amin, luqalab nadine lufakir adun lebaytafi?” (“my Son, where do your heart and mind dwell”)

“Lebaytal welulakhat luidaween luHiva nadine luYasteriya”, (“They dwell between heaven and urth”) replied Thumim and then proceeded to ask: “oluKhravan aYuma lutijhamfi lubenaan?” (“Was Mother’s journey directed by grace”?)

“muLoheem munazra lumajum alexitar nadine l’ayne awan” (“The Goddess sees all our going-out and coming-in”), she answered. Without letting him continue, she said, “luQeer adun lushaklal luqalab amin lunafas luYasteriya weleyomos amuEsma Bilkalal. Minazra lubasishme aluqeer adun namisirna lurakhab adun khaluyadhaab wel’ubuv muYaba adun” (“Your request weighs on my heart like the world does on the shoulders of the Esma Bilkalal. I see the significance of your question and I know your derire to go above your father”).

Pleadingly, he replied to her, “Yuma, mirakhbal lunahdamayan aYaba nadine Yuma khalupajrafiya nakhaluikhtifiya mubayeet awan. omuBayeet awan lujahdal welushidi nadine welumunga. meMamlukumne meyadhaab me’khansta min nadine wan. luZawija adhun lubaytaqar weludushifiyishme, mubayeet awan nadine ludonihishme amin lusaqta lumustaf”. (Mother, I want the reconciliation of father and mother to reunite and to bring joy to our family. Our family is being assailed from within and without. The Princes rise against me and all of us. If your marriage remains cleaved, our family and my reign will fall").

“Ehe!” (“Wow!”), she said, “muSageer amin, mimuyuma adun. Miyamsam dun weluqoliy amin yeledool lenaan. Minazram dun yeleyoor lesool-taart nashvaan. Duneqanish muhijba lekharaf alufakir adun welumin. Mitahda khamuslamiya lutad adun khawayar minazra luyadaf luhadral welubeneyath. Midayma mubayeet awan murakhbal luikhtifiyishme amuShultan nadine muShultana. Khawayar, minazral lurakhab adun khaludonha lubasishme wedun”. (“My son, I am your mother. I carried you in my belly for 9 months. I have seen you grow for 43 years. You cannot veil the machinations of your mind from me. I choose to believe your words, but I see there is more underneath. I agree that our family desires the reunification of the Sultan and the Sultana. Yet, I see that your desire to rule is very important to you”).

“Yuma” (“Mother”), he said, “Mineshuglaporshalv. Mifakral nakhrafalpor mubayeet. Midayma ludonihishme amin lubenaanifiya weluikhtifiyishme adhun, khawayar luyadaf luhadra. Neluhadra muSageer murakhba muYuma namuYaba azun mebayta weludushifiyishme. weluKhron miyadhaabgaliqam lumawat amin, mimerfam leqasir weluraqam leshakil weluhayah lebas lenafas lubayeet”. (I am not selfish. I am thinking about and working for the family. I agree that my reign will benefit from your reconciliation, but there is more. There is no son who desires that his parents remain separated. When I came close to my death, I realised that there are very few matters as important as family").

They sat in silence as she pondered his statement. She finally broke the silence said, “Mihadel” (“I will do it”)

He looked at her and held her hand and said, “Shukraan, Yuma” (Thank you, mom)

Meeting between the Sultan and the Sultana,
Kilionite Royal Palace, Kharyat, Packilvania.
9 October 2022

The busy urban life, rife with loud vehicles and polluted air, surrendered to the country side whose verdant forests seemed to repel and obscure the metropolis.

Mebri and Thumim made their way to the Kilionite Royal Palace, one of the residences of the monarchy and imperial family of Packilvania. Sultan Namdun III had come here to convalesce after suffering an illness from which it was likely he would not regain his full strength.

Nevertheless, his mind was sharp and despite bequeathing his son with immense powers to rule the nation in his stead, he deliberately constrained the extent of the decisions he could make. Thumim had limitations placed on the kinds of laws he could pass, and he was prevented from removing Ministers, Judges and Governors, among other high ranking officials, from their place.

In part, the Sultan had hoped to prevent Thumim from retaliating or undoing his legacy. Thumim knew that despite the years of separation between his parents, his mother was still the key to Namdun’s heart. Despite her reluctance to pursue reconciliation, she felt that, as a mother, it was her duty to help unify and strengthen a family that was reeling from the divisions caused by Prince Kujil’s break with the family. Additionally, she felt that given that both her sons had nearly perished from an assassination attempt, she should protect them as best as she could, even if that included reconciling with her estranged husband.

Thumim and Mebri arrived at the Palace and were greeted by the Sultan flanked by his guards and servants. Namdun rarely displayed excitement, but today he was brimming with anticipation. Although he tried to repel the idea that the discussions between Mebri and him could yield the desired outcome, he was was nevertheless hopeful that something positive, even if small, could arise from them.

As Mebri stepped out of the door of the Royal Redrugus limousine that ferried them to the Palace, Prince Thumim accompanied her. The Sultan stepped towards her and gave a bow to her. She curtsied and he gave her a kiss on the cheek.

His first words were, “My love”.

She responded, “My husband”.

The two entered the Palace and Thumim followed. Much discussion about the weather, inquiries about his health, and the state of affairs at the Sultana’s Palace ensued, but Thumim gradually guided the conversation to the matter that had brought them all here today.

“Mother. Father”, Thumim said, “More than ever this family is facing internal revolt and external threats. My brother and I, your sole heirs, were nearly…”

He held his breathe barely able to say the word that seemed to hang in the air like a ghost. He continued, “Abuyin. The family. Everyone. We need you two back together”.

A moment of silence lingered as they absorbed his words. Despite Namdun’s suspicion of his son’s motives and the tense history of their relationship, even he could concede that he could never allow harm to come upon his sons. Thumim left them to speak.

Namdun said, “Many years have followed of a large chasm between us. I know that my treatment of you and my eldest son has driven this deep wedge between us. I do not believe that any apology can make up for that. But, I sincerely and unconditionally love you and I am deeply sorry, Mebri”.

Mebri replied, “I think you underestimate the severity of your past misdeeds, my husband. You weren’t merely a strict father or a strong-willed husband. You were abusive, a tyrant and a despot who put my son and I through hell. How do I look at you, touch you, and welcome you back into my life, knowing you are prone to anger and self-righteousness?”

Although Namdun had taken scathing rebukes and criticisms from Mebri, her words came off as her simply describing facts. She had delivered a clinical and unemotional assessment of him, bereft of hostility or malice.

He went down on his knees and held her hands.

“My love”, he said, “I am truly deeply and sincerely sorry. I will carry the weight of the guilt of my past actions until my judgement before the Most Beneficent, Herself. I cannot ask for your forgiveness, I have no right to it. But, I do ask that you give us a chance”.

Mebri said, “I will contemplate it, on one condition”.

“Anything, my love”, he replied.

She sat up straight and said confidently almost like a command, “You must abdicate in favour of my eldest son. If you do that, I will know that your commitment to reform and to reconciliation is real”.

He looked down and thought to himself, The proposition I have always dread has come upon me like a swarm of locusts…

After a long silence, he looked back and said…

Meeting between with the in-laws
Imkhadriel Palace, residence of the Governor of Shakar
Sharkol, Shakar, Packilvania

Princess Faziah was busy assembling a coalition of allied Princes around her husband Prince Kujil, her days being characterised by dinners and calls. She new that a war with the inner core of the family around Thumim and the Sultan was impossible to win. Instead, she aimed to sue for a truce and get mercy for her husband by fomenting and galvanising dissent on major and contentious issues within the Bedonite dynasty.

This included the prosecutorial immunity of Princes, the extent to which the Inner Core of the dynasty and the Council of Ministers were gradually pushing the majority of the family to the periphery, and the unwelcomed end of many of their ability to pass on the titles. Because her father-in-law, Prince Sajahal, was the Governor of Shakar, a member of the Council of State and a brother to the former Sultan, his line of the family was relatively secured. Nevertheless, Prince Kujil’s policy differences with and public criticisms of Prince Thumim had put that into jeopardy.

Prince Sajahal seemed uncharacteristically reluctant to support his son, but she hoped to tug at his heart strings to intervene on his son’s behalf. On arriving at the Imkhadriel Palace, Sajahal was excited to see Faziah who travelled several thousand kilometres to speak to him.

After all the casual conversation of children, the house, Faziah found a perfect segue way to the matter of her husband’s situation, through a flowery explanation of Wasalea’s dispendency over Kujil’s arrest.

“She sobs and pines for him so much, her sadness overwhelming the rest of the house”, she said, “Her deep sorrow and severe frustration at the injustices that my, I mean, our husband has endured at the hands of someone who should be his cousin, is deeply unsettling for all of us”.

Prince Sajahal rested his hand on his rotund belly and he said, “My dear, I am sympathetic to you, to Wasalea and your children especially given all the uncertainty that this situation that my son has created. But he is a grown man who knew what he was doing as he tussled with the Great Prince of Packilvania. Let me remind you that it was from his conscious choices to engage in shady business dealings and bizarre policy shenanigans that he landed himself here, things of which I am certain you were at best knowledgable about and at worst a co-coonspirator and enabler. I suspect that the latter is more likely”.

Princess Faziah almost blushed with embarrassment, but she tried to spear the conversation away from that, “But, father…”

"Yes, Faziah, I hear your pleas. Even though I think a good shaking down and some time to reflect on his loyalty to the family and obedience to the Throne of which Prince Thumim is the representative and regent in a jail cell will be good for him, I am troubled by the precedents that Prince Thumim and his supporter’s actions are setting. I will see what I can do…

Call from an uncle,
Kilionite Royal Palace, Yukader, Kharyat, Packilvania
10 October 2022

Earlier in 2022, Prince Kujil had been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to imprisonment. He fled the country and had an interview with a newspaper from the Free Pax States in which he not only questioned but openly criticised Prince Thumim’s competence and legitimacy. Given that Prince Kujil and Prince Thumim had notorious disagreements over policy issues, speculation arose that Prince Kujil’s conviction and arrest were part of a political witch hunt. The reality proved more complex than that.

When Prince Kujil fled, he broke a second law which forbade people from fleeing police custody or evading arrest. A trial was held in his absence in which the judge found him guilty of the contempt of court and evasion of justice, adding more years to his existing sentence.

When Behayeen Bridge was destroyed by 5 terrorists, Prince Kujil provided the information that the intelligence services needed to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of the attack. On hearing that it was the infamous Prince Kujil who had provided the information, Prince Thumim immediately suspected that Prince Kujil was behind the attack. The government had not yet gone public as they wanted to collect meaningful evidence that directly and incontrovertibly linked him to the crime.

Faziah and Ramad had solicited the support of the other Princes and prepared an appeal under the impression that his arrest was solely connected to the earlier convictions relating to corruption and evasion of justice. Nevertheless, Faziah was deeply worried that it was extremely coincidental that her husband had been arrested so soon after the attempted assassination of the high level dignitaries who were on the processional route from the Parliament to the Royal Palace in Bingol on the 6th of October.

It was strongly suspected that Prince Thumim had been the target. This suspicion was exacerbated by the fact that it was Prince Kujil who had provided the tip-off. Despite Prince Thumim’s desire to crush a political rival, he restrained his urge to pin the blame on Kujil because he was worried that there was much more going on than a disgruntled Prince seeking revenge for a few years prison sentence.

The family had long opposed some of the reforms that Prince Thumim and the rest of the Council of Ministers and Inner core of the dynasty were implementing at their expense. Thus, it would not be impossible for Kujil to have either been a co-conspirator at worst to an unwitting accomplice at best. That possibility had to be ruled out.

To do get to the bottom of this attempted coup d’etat and defend himself and the inner core of the family from a potential attack, Prince Thumim was desperate to wield the full power of the Sultan. With his father on the throne, constraining his authority and being himself reluctant to pursue the kind of scrupulous investigation that Thumim needed, Thumim pulled the trump card he had long held in reserve: his mother, Sultana Mebri.

Getting Namdun III to abdicate seemed like the only solution for Thumim. He waited in emotional agony for the discussions between his mother and father to conclude. While he awaited the verdict, he had to continue working to pull his mind from that.

His secretary came to him with a phone and said, “Prince Thumim, Prince Sajahal has urgently asked to speak with you”.

Prince Thumim replied, “Did he have an appointment or is this an emergency?”

“He had booked a five minute slot yesterday but you were busy so I asked him to call back”, the secretary replied.

Thumim took the phone and said, “Prince Sajahal, apologies for missing our call, I was preoccupied by incredibly important and unavoidable matters. How is your health”.

Prince Sajahal replied over the receiver, “The Most Beneficent provides. Ever as the Hive draws closer so too does my spirit rise higher. And with you, my liege?”

“The same”, Prince Thumim said, “What is the matter for which my secretary says that you require an audience”.

“If it would please you, my liege”, Prince Sajahal said, “I would appreciate a meeting in person with your Imperial Highness, to discuss the matter of the princely immunity that the arrest of Prince Kujil has drawn attention to”.

“Is this in your capacity as a father seeking to protect his son from the punishment he rightly deserves for flouting the law or as the governor of Shakar?” Prince Thumim asked, “For if you come in the latter role, you do not have the jurisdiction to discuss criminal law with me, and if you come in the former capacity, I do not entertain private pleas for pardon”.

Prince Sajahal swallowed and pressed on, “I come in my capacity as a member of the Council of State to request an evaluation of implications of princely immunity on the succession to the Throne”.

“Excuse me?” Prince Thumim said surprised, “Well sir, if you require a discussion of the Council of State, you must ask His Imperial Majesty to summon the Council of State. Frankly, Prince Sajahal, I am struggling to ascertain the justification for the meeting that you seek”.

“Please, sir”, Prince Sajahal pleaded, “I plead with you. Please let me make my case to you in person”.

Prince Thumim contemplated this proposition, Mayhaps I can extract something useful from this encounter .

He replied, “Alright Prince Sajahal, you shall have an audience with me at the Bingol Royal Palace in two days. Kindly supply my office with the agenda and my secretary will approve”.

They concluded their call. Prince Thumim thought to himself, Ever does Opportunity present himself unexpectedly…

Cooking a legal strategy
Kujil’s Kemer Mansion, Kemer, Packilvania
10 October 2022

What are you doing, my love? , Princess Faziah asked herself.

She stayed awake on the flight back from Shakar. The round-trip was exhausting despite enjoying the pleasure of the business class seats which provided substantial space and decadent food.

Faziah trembled. Am I doing the right thing? , she asked herself.

Why do I have the ever growing feeling that my husband is hiding something from Me? Is it mere coincidence that he is arrested a day after Prince Thumim’s near assassination. Here I am running around building this coalition and preparing an appeal of his cases, not knowing the full extent of his designs…

The flight attendant jolted her out of her pensive contemplation, “Ma’am! You’re shaking”.

Faziah has pulled for a moment from the crippling anxiety induced by this horrendous situation that sucked her in like a black hole. Faziah saw that she was trembling and sweating. She tried to reach for her anti-anxiety medication, but she was practically immobilised. She looked at the attendant and squeeked out a “Help me”.

The world became dark and her consciousness faded into a quiet hidden place in her mind. The flight attendant tried to shake her to elicit a response but Faziah had fainted.

An announcement at the palace
Kilionite Royal Palace, Yukader, Kharyat, Packilvania
10 October 2022

Prince Thumim had just gotten off a conference call with the Council of Ministers. They had discussed the opening of the country’s first and one of the world’s only long-term nuclear waste storage facilities. The facility was scheduled to open later in the year, but waste was already being moved there. This facility was incredible step forward not just for Packilvania but for the entire planet in making the safe storage of radioactive waste for tens of thousands of years possible. With Packilvania projected to grow to 2 billion people and 30 trillion KRB in GDP between 2050 and 2100, access to carbon-free and reliable base load power was crucial making the storage of highly hazardous waste it produced the more important. Despite criticism of its enormous cost and the incredibly long duration of its construction, it was worth every cent and every agonising hour to push it over the finish line. The country had amassed significant expertise during the time that it had taken to build the facility, expertise that could be used to benefit the rest of the world.

As he stretched his legs and arms, mentally preparing himself for the next raft of meetings and documents that demanded his attention, his parents walked in the room. He stood up so quickly, he nearly leapt out of his chair. He felt like a rock the size of his fist was lodged in his trachea, stifling his ability to say anything as he waited with apprehension on the verdict from his parents’ discussions.

Namdun III walked to him and held his hand. Silently they walked together to his mother. They held hands together in silence.

“My son”, Namdun said, “You have been a remarkable man. Through the many years that you have served this government and its monarch, you have been steadfast, and dependable. When challenges arise, or a leader is needed, you volunteer yourself to enter the fray where others would not dare. Even though others might construe your ascent as a matter of birth, you have proven yourself to rival any claimant to your seat by virtue of merit and exceed them still”.

“My lovely son”, Mebri said, “This family has experienced many times of pain and difficulty. Sometimes the weight of our sorrows seemed to weigh as heavy as an anvil of lead. We have waded incredibly stormy waters, you most of all. The resilience you have shown and the capacity for forgiveness you have displayed is incredible. When I carried you in my womb, I did not know what kind of man you would turn out to be. Over years of watching you grow like a strong and mighty cycad, I am convinced that you have grown to be a great man, one who will grow greater still in wisdom, and love for your country, your people and your family”.

Namdun said, "Your mother and I have discussed many things over the past several hours. But it has been decided. I shall live with your mother in the Sultana’s Palace. If it is your desire, you, and hopefully your future wife and our future Sultana, are to live in the Bingol Royal Palace because I have decided that I shall abdicate in your favour, my son, and you shall be the Sultan of Packilvania ".

Kilionite Royal Palace, Yukader, Kharyat, Packilvania
10 October 2022,

Thumim was bursting with joy and relief, he wanted to sing and dance all at once, but composed himself.

He asked his father, “I will ask the Lord President of the Privy Council to begin drafting the Articles of Abdication immediately, there is so much work to be done! Thank you so much, my parents, for making this decision. Surely…”

Namdun III cut him off before he could finish, “Now son, let us not rush things. Your mother and I felt that perhaps we ought to wait until the end of the year rather than jump into things too quickly”.

Mebri added, “Your father is right, my dear, there’s already so much to do as it is that maybe we can wait until the end of the year”.

Thumim took a moment. Bewildered, he asked them, “I’m sorry. I must have misheard you, but did you just say that you would only abdicate in the following year?”

Mebri tried to respond, “So, your father and I…”

Thumim interjected, “Forgive me, mother, I mean no disrespect, but I think I must be lightheaded as I simply do not understand. This is not what I expected”.

Namdun II was sensing that his son was getting annoyed and so tried to calm him down, “Son, you made many valid points however, you were correct in stating that the family is experiencing a lot of strain at the moment and cannot afford major disruptions, least of all a change in the head of the dynasty and the nation at large”.

Thumim feigned a smile, but his indignation and malice could barely remain hidden, “Sir, I would like to speak with my mother privately”.

Mebri and Namdun looked at each other quizzically. Mebri noddded at Namdun and he went out of the room.

“Mother, what is happening”, Thumim asked, “Surerly there must have been some miscommunication”.

“My son”, I know that this is not what you expected but I think this is the right thing to do", she said.

He replied, “I do not trust you. What ploy or ruse did he conjure to convince you of this? he will postpone again when the new year comes and again and again!”

“My son”, she said, “Remain calm!”

The start of the legal battle
11 October 2022
Kemer High Court, Kemer, Packilvania

The Packilvanian legal system was quirky. Most countries are either civil or common law. Rarely do they combine these features or possess characteristics that eschew them. Whereas the trial process is firmly within the remit of the Imperial Procuratorate in the inquisitorial fashion typical of civil law jurisdictions, the appeals process is adversarial.

Ramad, Prince Kujil’s lawyer had been preparing for this moment for some months and had anticipated that the authorities would catch up with him eventually. Nevertheless, he felt extremely nervous. The case he was handling was a rare occurrence.

He entered the courtroom wearing his formal court attire: a white robe and a long black overcoat. The Imperial Procurator who was representing the state, Masoon Bihlal, was seated from across the aisle looking through his notes.

Ramad made sure to carry a large stack of empty papers to make the other side think that he had documents or evidence that they didn’t know about. It was a small intimidation tactic that despite not winning the appeal on its own, could add a little fear into the Imperial Procurator’s heart and knock him off kilter.

As he entered, Masoon looked at him and simply said, "Ashamiliya " and looked down almost as if he had not really noticed his presence.

Ramad took his place and arranged his papers and documents. The judge entered the room and both lawyers immediately stood up and said, "Ashamiliya ".

The judge greeted them in return. To Ramad’s surprise, Judge Umdan Harkhib would be presiding over the appeal.

Sheikh Ramad Subkhaniel, I believe you are representing the appellant, Prince Kujil a-Sajahal Bedon, and Sheikh Masoon Bihlal you are representing the Crown, as the appellee”, Judge Harkhib stated.

"Yes, muIhtiramtan ", they both said, referring to the judge by the style of his office “Respected or Esteemed One”.

Ramad began, “muIhtiramtan , as per our written application to the court, we believe that the conviction against Prince Kujil was unjustified as he enjoyed Princely Immunity and thus the trial against him did not fulfill the procedural criteria required to be valid and thus we ask that the conviction against him be set aside”.

Sukraan, Sheikh Subkhaniel. Sheikh Bihlal, you may present your statement”, the Judge replied.

muIhtiramtan , the Crown would like to request that the conviction be upheld as the Prince-Regent accepted our request for a trial for the Prince, and a waiver of his immunity was granted”, Masoon replied.

“The appellant believes that the Prince-Regent did not have the legal standing to waive the immunity of Prince Kujil on the basis that according to the Decree 452 of 2021 whereby the Prince-Regent was granted his powers, the Sultan did not explicitly grant him the power to waive Princely Immunity”, Ramad stated.

“The Crown would like to argue that the Decree despite not mentioning the fact that the Prince Regent did not explicitly l have the power to waive princely immunity, he had the implicit power to do so, given the fact that the Decree in question contained information about what he could not do. It was therefore implied that he had such powers as he was bequeathed all the powers of the Sultan bar those precluded from him”, Masoon argued.

Ramad then said, “As a member of the Gurionic branch of the Bedonite dynasty, Prince Kujil is eligible to succeed to the Throne despite the fact that he is far on the line of succession as published by the Council of State. As such, he is technically eligible to succeed to the Throne. The Constitution grants the Council of State power over matters of succession. As such any Decree which the Sultan passes that grants powers to the Prince Regent must explicitly define the domain of his powers with respect to any action that could affect the line of succession, on which the appellant is represented. By virtue of the fact that the appellant is on the line of succession and enjoyed Princely Immunity, the Decree passed by the Sultan must explicitly confer the Prince Regent with the power to waive immunity otherwise the Prince Regent’s decision is invalid”.

"Thank you, meSheikh ", the Judge said.

Masoon rebutted, “The circuitous reasoning of the appellant’s counsel notwithstanding, the waiver of the princely immunity of Prince Kujil by the Prince Regent is not invalid simply because it does not appear on the Decree. The argument that the decision of the Prince Regent affects the line of succession is plainly false on the basis that the waiver of immunity cannot be legally or materially deemed to impact the line of succession or infringe on the powers of the Council of State to define and protect it”.

Ramad countered, “The waiver of the immunity of a Prince on the line of succession may prevent the Prince from accessing their rights as determined by the Constitution and the Imperial Succession Act. In the case in which the appellant is subjected to a civic court, the court could decide to administer the death penalty, thereby empowering the courts to amend the line of succession in practice if not in name. Ergo, the powers of the Council of State would be impinged upon. As such, the Prince Regent could not have had the power to waive Princely immunity without it being explicitly granted by the Sultan’s Decree to the extent that such a waiver is unlawful”.

The judge said, “Thank you Sheikh Subkhaniel. Sheikh Bihlal. I shall collate and present my notes to the bench. Should the Judge President approve the motion for appeal, you will have a case before either a full or partial bench of the High Court”.

The judge got up to leave and they bowed and said "Ashamiliya ".

Meeting with Prince Sajahal
Kilionite Royal Palace, Yukader, Kharyat, Packilvania
12 October 2022

The Kilionite Royal Palace seemed to be the temporary locus of the Packilvanian monarchy and broader political power. The Sultan, Prince-Regent, and Sultana were to be joined by the Governor of Shakar, Prince Sajahal, father of Prince Kujil. A few days ago, Princess Faziah had asked Prince Sajahal to intervene on his son’s behalf. One would assume that protecting one’s son is straightforward, but in Prince Sajahal’s case, he had many things to consider.

There was a personal side that Prince Sajahal was considering. Given the level of power that Prince Thumim was accumulating and the prospect of him becoming the Sultan, he did not want to put himself or his children in a precarious position for the sake of one rogue son. The other side was ideological. He disapproved of Prince Kujil breaking with the family and exercising the egregious corruption uncovered by the law enforcement authorities.

Nevertheless, he felt Princess Faziah’s pleas and considered that perhaps he could bring a moderating position to a topic with broader implications for the unity of the family.

Prince Sajahal’s plane landed at the Yukader International Airport and was driven to the Kilionite Royal Palace. He was greeted by the Sultana. He greeted the Sultan inside. After some casual conversation and inquiries on their respective health and affairs, Prince Sajahal and Prince Thumim met in the garden for tea and cakes.

“Your Imperial Highness”, Prince Sajahal said, “I am deeply thankful that you agreed to see me. I am not ignorant of the fact that my request to meet with you on the matter of princely immunity and its implications on the line of succession might seem bizarre”.

“Of that, you are correct”, Prince Thumim said, “The head of state is in the other room. He is the person to which matters of the Council of State are to be presented, not me. Furthermore, he has not granted my regency the remit of authority over the Council of State, as exemplified by the refusal to accept adoption in the creation of legally valid heirs”.

Prince Sajahal pretended like he did not hear the last part of Prince Thumim’s statement, and continued, “Given your role as the interim head of state, you retain the right to grant or withhold immunity as such you have an indirect power over the line of succession through the precedents you set by empowering the courts to conduct criminal trials over princes”.

Prince Thumim replied, “Prince Sajahal, I appreciate your deep concern for the line of succession, which I am certain is independent of your personal relationship with the subject of its prompting. But does it not bother you that the Bedonite dynasty, which is meant to be the ruling family of the nation, is engaged in egregious pilfering of the national resources? What you ought to understand is that when I allowed the courts to try Prince Kujil, I did not make a presumption about whether the charges that the Imperial Procuratorate raised against him were actually false or not. Through rigorous investigation and eyewitness and expert testimony, the entire nation was apprised of the fact that Prince Kujil perpetrated corruption in the course of governing Kemer. Now, I am deeply unsettled that your concern is not the fact that the business and economic interests of the family are so deeply enmeshed in state affairs that grand corruption and the looting of state resources are underway, but that a prince who rightfully deserves to be tried before a court of law is not”.

Prince Sajahal immediately regretted agreeing to Princess Faziah’s request to intermediate on behalf of Prince Kujil. He had already painted himself into a corner by stating that he was coming in his official capacity thus he could not raise a personal appeal to Prince Thumim regarding the personal relationship and kinship he shares with Prince Kujil and the filial ties that bind them (which Prince Thumim would have refused to hear, regardless).

Before he could express any further comments, Prince Thumim continued, “Forgive my repeating of obvious facts, but Prince Kujil evaded arrest and fled to the Free Pax States and slandered me personally on international radio. I can take a personal slight, but he flagrantly defied the authority and legitimacy of the office I represent and touted the laws on which this nation is built. Yet, to my utter perplexion, you are implying that I ought to protect his immunity and presumably other scoundrel Princes who behave as he does? Correct me, if I am incorrect in my assessment, Prince Sajahal”.

Prince Sajahal replied meekly, “You are correct, my liege”.

Prince Thumim carried on, “Right. What I find bizarre indeed is that Prince Kujil still has the opportunity to appeal his case all the way to the Supreme Court. If I am not mistaken, Prince Kujil’s appeal to the Kemer High Court has already begun. To my understanding, the Marquis of Jahalalgard is considering whether to add the case to the roll of the court as we speak. So, the implication that justice is not available to Prince Kujil and that his legal rights are being abused is flagrantly false. Does the threat to the succession to the throne lie in the fact that the courts can indirectly remove, even by way of execution, a member of thereof, or the fact that criminals are allowed to ascend to the highest office in the land?”

Prince Sajahal was stupefied by Prince Thumim’s elocution. He tried to rescue the situation by stating, “I agree, sir. Criminals are a greater threat to our nation than the immunity of Princes”.

Prince Thumim replied, “I am glad we are of one mind on this. Although I have been mum, out of respect for the investigative process being undertaken by the police and security services, I will take you into my confidence and confide a deeply unsettling suspicion that is being critically examined”.

Prince Sajahal swallowed hard and said, “What may that be, my liege”.

Prince Thumim said, “There are suspicions that your son was involved in some way in the explosion of the Behayeen Bridge and that there is increasingly clear evidence that the explosion was intended as an assassination”.

Prince Sajahal’s mouth was agape. He replied, “I am stunned, sir. I didn’t know this! This is deeply disturbing and shameful”.

Prince Thumim stated, “Well sir if this is deeply disturbing and shameful, I am sure that you can find it shameful that the Governor of Shakar and a member of the Council of State should personally ask the Prince-Regent to reprieve a criminal for the sake of preventing the courts from altering the line of succession”.

He leaned in and said to Prince Sajahal, “If I had made such a notion to the Sultan, I would have resigned my office, for my honor would not count me worthy to continue to advise him. My dislike for the gangster state that is embedding itself into the political fabric of our nation would unsettle me so deeply, that I would not have even raised the idea, even for the sake of the supposed preservation of the line of succession. Do you not agree”.

Prince Sajahal was shaking, realizing the magnitude of the disaster he had walked into. He replied, “I agree, my liege”.

Prince Thumim replied calmly and simply, “I am glad we are of the same mind”.