Rain covered paper

(Jointly Written with Jessie and Norgs!)
[1st September 2023]
[Christie Island; UCCS Ambassador, Joseph Barron’s office]

José Plessis, the security council ambassador was a tall tiefling of non-gender descriptive descent. Their outfit being all so common in the Federation, a black suit, white undershirt and a red tie. Most importantly the Federation pin on their collar, less anyone would suggest they are from any other nation than the most esteemed Federation. They scheduled a meeting, though the accident in the lounge came before it. They didn’t bother checking in with the assistant or the staffers as they walked in the Corporate States of Concord embassy, simply walked straight back towards the respectable Mr. Barron office. Not to gloat or anything but a simple discussion about the situation with the CSC.

Joseph Barron, still quietly fuming, looked up at Plessis and simply said, “You.”

Plessis gives a warm smile, taking a seat in front of Barron’s desk. “Me, indeed. I hope we can come to an agreement. Settle things diplomatically and such.”

“What agreement? There’s nothing to discuss now is there? You just outright implicated yourself in the deaths of the 407 service members across the whole of South Hills!” The South Hills ambassador sighed, rubbing his eyes in exacerbation. “And of course there’s no evidence to prove such, I’m simply assuming based on basically no data.” The ambassador looked at his Federation counterpart, studying a face known to be notoriously difficult to read. “Nonetheless, I admit I am very emotional right now and I’m much too riled up to remember what our meeting was about, please remind me.”

“I am simply here to give my government most sincere wishes to the survivors of the attack. It is a shame the treaty the Federation and South Hills couldn’t come to agreement, and we, the Federation, are saddened to hear that the independence movements felt so betrayed and hopeless that it came to violence. We only hoped for peace in our time but, at last it slipped in our gasp. As many things do.” Plessis gave a flat, neutral face. Their reputation was not unearned, Plessis was known for their empty tone, void of emotion and face of stone.

Barron’s eye twitched in resistance to his tendency to conduct business in a more physical nature. Clenching his fist, he asked Plessis, “And where did you hear about the internal workings of the separatist movements? How could you, an ambassador of a foreign country, know of such dealings?”

“Mr. Barron, everyone with an interest in the matter knows about the separatist movements in Concord. It is hardly secret information.” They gave a flat look, following Barron’s angry motions. “I have some information about the treaty that your president destroyed about guaranteeing autonomy to certain regions, but that of course is all I know. It is a shame, truly but if I could know then surely the other movements would know as well.”

“Was it my president? Was it really? I’m pretty sure it was yours who physically tore the document apart, if Minerva Todd is to be believed. Bana was a no-go, that is all there is to it. To make such a rash decision about another nation’s choice in foreign relations is folly. Alliances shift, that is geopolitics. And yet the Federation refuses to see that, and now there are 407 people dead because of a decision your Federal Prime Minister made to throw away years of diplomatic work. Because what? We disagreed with the decisions made by the Federation of Bana? Deplorable diplomatics, Mx. Plessis.”

“Forgive me, if my memory falls on me but, Bana wasn’t a no-go and it was not discussed in the three years of negotiation. It was not a no-go until your president decided to make a jerk decision about a close mutual ally we both had. Which would not be the first time your president made a knee-jerk decision on trading allies now is it? Even when a nuclear weapon is in play, or SH bases are in effect. Not to mention your president acted against advice from their own Chief in Commander on the subject. Just because your president’s corporate overlords suddenly decided that a dying colonial empire was worth it.” Plessis kept their flat tone, keeping it cold and flat but still well meaning if one could pick up on it.

Corporate overlords…’ Barron thought on that phrase for a moment. Economic policy was hardly something he personally placed much weight towards when negotiating agreements such as the one that fell through due to his President’s choice, but evidently the lack of free market policies must have been something the cadre of South Hills’ most influential CEO’s took issue with, and steered Minerva accordingly. The meeting with the Tavari Prime Minister certainly sealed the deal; revelations about some of Bana’s operations were eye-opening to Barron, and morally speaking he believed Tavaris was the better option of the two. It made sense to him, but the speed at which the President uprooted the Bana-SH relationship was cold and unfeeling, a move she didn’t typically make. Being so familiar with Minerva, he smelled something was up, but that was a hunch. He would need to talk with her soon.

He returned back to the present, and in front of him was Mx. Plessis, awaiting his response. He took a deep breath for a moment before saying, “I regret that the choice of the President has made tensions flare up, but we both know we will still need to operate on the international stage. So, what can be salvaged from this falling-out? There is nothing I can do about my President’s choice, but certainly there is something that can still be worked on jointly?”

The Tiefling only signed in response, “I am afraid not, but I will be trying at least, regardless of my opinion on the manner. FPM Pierre, made it clear to the diplomatic committee and corps. The Corporate States of Concordia, are to be treated as Gusanaszna Export Corporation.” They took a moment to think about the situation, “Her declaration on the matter wasn’t an unpopular one either. She was the only one in government actually rooting for the deal to go through, more than the Rochefortists even and she doesn’t turn around lightly.”

Barron scratched his stubble. Relations with the Federation were certainly a promising idea to him, but it would seem that some time may need to pass before any progress can be regained in UCCS-Federation relations, but that was all dependent on the shifting sands of geopolitics. ”Very well, if nothing can be done from our level, then we must leave it up to our leaders. I would like to extend my apologies for my hotheadedness earlier, the death of so many fellow Concordians struck a nerve with me.”

The tiefling was used to the alternative ways of thinking when it came to death. Regardless of religion in the Federation, Côtois culture always treated death as something to be spent in the service of a greater cause. “It is, as it always will be. I have to apologize for my own comments, I was deeply invested into the treaty myself, I negotiated parts of it myself.”

Plessis being so directly involved in the treaty made it clear to Barron why they had acted in the way they did. It reminded him again that the diversity of opinions and passions was a regular thing in diplomacy, something his brickbuilder family struggled to instill in him and something that he needed to remind himself of once in a while. “Of course. I understand your sentiments, despite our difference in opinion. I hope we can meet again to discuss something both our nations can work together on. Until then I believe it would be best for us to return to our work and manage this situation as best as our nations are able.” Barron stood up, and with a slight bow said, “Adieu-adjø, Mx. Plessis.”

Plessis stood up, giving a respectful bow in return. Then outreaching with their hand towards Barron. “Adieu-adjø, Mr. Barron. May our future discussions be far more calm and peaceful. Peace of Urth and all that.”

A smile rose on Barron’s face at the nonchalant reference to ‘Peace of Urth.’ He took Plessis’ hand and replied, “Indeed, Peace of Urth and whatnot.”

[1st September 2023]
[Christie Island; Norgsveltian Ambassador, Tane Fiocte’s office]

Tane Fiocte closed the door behind him as he gestured to the Côtois ambassador to sit down on the chair in front of his desk. “You have a lot of explaining to do.” He walked behind his desk sitting down as he gave a serious look towards Louis Brugière. Feeling frankly highly irritated at Plessis attitude earlier.

The middle aged (for kemonomimi) sat down, giving a respectful nod towards the security council ambassador. “I can only answer a few things, most of it. Well, all of it is above my paygrade. Would you mind having coffee brought in?”

“Oh please I brew myself coffee here.” Fiocte said letting out a small chuckle as he poured a cup of coffee to both himself and Brugière. “Well first I want to know how connected the Federation is with the recent strings of terrorist attacks in Concord?” He handed his fellow ambassador his cup of coffee and took a sip from his own as he sat down.

The kemonomimi took a sip of the coffee, “Thank the spirits, if you forget my religious speech.” Leaning to the chair, “First and foremost, the Federation is not connected, nor has ever approved of terrorist actions, in Concord or any other nation. But we suspect, however, after President Todd knee-jerk decision to ruin the Sherlow treaty. The independence movements, primarily in Tano acted in its self interest after it was shown that their autonomy would not come from the treaty.”

“I suspect there is more at play but I will not question that. I do not get paid enough for it nor is it my government’s interest.” Fiocte took a sip of his coffee as he studied the kemonomimi’s body language. “Though I advise you to hold Plessis in check. It is far harder trying to hold any non-connected connections a secret when you have an ambassador bragging about it through poorly done dish metaphors.”

He gives a small cough, “Plessis, might be a tad personally involved. They helped make the treaty for autonomy in the first place but I will advise him to calm themself. Mx. Plessis was quite upset at the loss of the treaty.”

“Trust me, if there is something Norgsveltian ambassadors know a lot about, it is how personal some ambassadors can take things.” The tiefling said with a small chuckle shaking his head thinking about that joke. Before falling a bit quiet. “I’m not talking about the Torstein scandal to make it clear.”

Brugière takes a long sip of their coffee at that. “This is some great coffee, if you don’t mind me saying.” Giving an awkward tone.

“Look. I get Plessis’s personal emotions on it, but that’s it. Personal. Have them keep it on the inside. His attitude almost started a second fight within the lounge.” He said with a heavy sigh. “If the Federation’s ambassadors can’t act with professionalism over the issue the more likely more will connect the two.”

“Indeed they have never seen them like this before. In fact, it might have been the first time they ever acted in such a way. At least written on paper.” He gave a sigh, “Honestly if I didn’t hear it from you, I wouldn’t think it actually happened.”

“Understandable I’d have a hard time believing it as well if a coworker told me that someone has been using food and dish metaphors to talk about terrorist activity.” Fiocte had a small teasing smirk on his lips.

He didn’t smirk back, “Of course, I wouldn’t call it terrorism. It is a liberation movement.”

“If it wasn’t for fact that I had some personal sympathies to said movements I would have argued against you. But as it is according to international law it will be defined as such.” Fiocte to sip from his coffee before setting his cup down. “Though please try avoiding the mainland of the UCCS. Concord has been wrecked with major politically motivated attacks, in the eyes of my government. That is harder to ignore and will lead to further sympathy among my nation’s public to the UCCS rather than the liberation of Tano, which you have my government’s support.”

“Sadly, the Corporatocracy of Concord is riddled with such issues, completely filled to the brim. There was a lot more than just Tano’s autonomy being discussed in the treaty. The treaty was quite complex, and covered many areas. As such, it is impossible to control or hold sway over such a vast group again, even if the Federation wished to. Not to mention the corporations that control the CoC, having done irreparable damage to the world at large, which I added, created many enemies for them.” The Federation ambassador took another long sip of their coffee, “Which was another thing that would have been handled in the treaty.”

“Just try?” Fiocte lets out a deep sigh rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Look if you want to have Norgsveldet back your plausible deniability and even perhaps have NCIS help in your activity in Tano then the least you can do is lower the fear that stability of Concord in its entirety might be at risk.” He gave the Côtois a stern look. “My people already felt horrified and shocked when the Ishindale Bombings happened. Do you really think they are more calm knowing that even a superpower like the UCCS couldn’t keep terrorists at bay?”

He gave a sigh, “It can’t be stopped, the match has been lit and tossed into the hay bale. Even if the Federation allegedly caused or directed such action, you can’t stop a runaway bull without killing it. The only way to put out a massive fire, is to set off another fire next to it to suck the oxygen out and I don’t believe either of our nations are willing to commit to such actions.” Louis finished their coffee, “If it makes you feel better, this wasn’t the FPM Pierre’s go to plan, in fact she acted against her advisers and majority of the party to make the Sherlow treaty happen. Ignored many of the knee-jerks their president has made, but at the end. I do mean at the end, President Todd made one too many knee-jerk decisions for anyone to handle.”

The tiefling just took a major sip from his coffee, finishing it before speaking once more. “My hope is just that the Federation hasn’t accidentally started a fire that would burn my nations and its allies with it.” He stood up from his chair as he thought for a moment. “You will have my nation’s support in the endeavor to liberate Tano, just know. That my nation number one of focus on this will be the wellbeing of our Ulvrikian brothers, the second the groups you support go into far too dangerous direction is the moment we have to reconsider this.”

The kemonomimi stood up, offering his hand to shake. “If you ever had the time, and questioned my government’s words in this manner. I suggest you read Pierre’s plan for 2024 and on-wards, we did truly hope it wouldn’t have come to this.”

“Maybe later.” Fiocte said in a solemn tone as he shook the kemonomimi’s hand.