Forth into the Fold (Singapore Conference, People's Earth)
Above the Pacific
Brian Randall was contemplative as his private aircraft sped along over the deep blue waters below, 20,000 feet above sea level. he still had another hour to go on his aerial trip from Melbourne International to Singapore City's main airport, but he was already planning out his strategy to appeal both to the world diplomats in attendance and the Singapore people themselves. They had already shown some interest in entering the Union, but Randall knew he would still need to utilize all of his diplomatic saviness to win the day over. It wasn't easy to convince a nation to suddenly join a foreign faction-though he had some wild cards to present.
In addition, Randall knew his nation's image across the world wasn't the greatest. Since he had initiated contact with Singapore, many across the international community had felt reprehension to the actions of the Union-percieving the nation to be imperialist. It wasn't exactly that, particularly in the political sense-Randall simply was in the quest for the almighty dollar-and where better in the South Pacific to start then Singapore? The aquisition of the country would go a long way to solidifying the Union's economic power.
Randall glanced towards his Premier, Gunter Fasani, who was reviewing a brief. As happy as Randall was that the Indonesians had joined the Union...half the nation's problems were attributed to them. The nation had been in a state of disrepair and bad standing, and the other countries of the Union had strived-were still striving-to fix that. It was the focal point of improvements and aid.
But Randalll would leave that for another day. His aircraft continued to fly over the blue water, across the light blue sky...towards a brighter frontier.
Above the Indian Ocean
The Military Airbus A400M Aircraft flew at over 500mph over the deep, vivid blue ocean below. Onboard were a cluster of worried looking diplomats and bodyguards, and a folded up Eurocopter BK-117 Helicopter and a BMW X5 for various transport duties for the delegation.
Scheduled to land at 1600 at Singapore City, where the delegation would be driven to The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, where they would sleep ahead of the following conference.
At 1530, the aircraft began to descend, and requested permission for approach. The loadmaster told the passengers, who began gathering together their laptops and briefcases. Their slick, smart suits struck a contrast to the harsh metal of the aircrafts hull. The Head Diplomat, Iser Nabrenk, nodded to the Aircraft crewman, and consulted the future of this theatre, an area embroiled in expansionism.
The C-12F Huron was on final approach to Singapore's Tengah AB. Inside were none other than Rilir Alarion nos Carthir, Wagdog's secretary of State, and General Secretary Horridus himself; with their needed staff of course. In charge of things back in Tailville was Deputy General Secretary Christine Friedrich, Horridus' common-law wife (with her maiden name) ever since dropping out of college with him and joining the Pacific revolution he'd led, almost as an absurdly elaborate lovers' suicide pact, to vent their shared ennui over the Bush Administration way back in 2004. That lark had succeeded beyond the then 22-year-olds' own wildest expectations, considering both more or less had felt Bougainville Island would be their shared grave. Especially considering its coincidence with an attempted Indonesian invasion of Papua New Guinea, that backfired equally massively and ended in their utter ejection from the island, pursued by the couple's forces joined with the mutinied Royal New Guinea Regiment and Free Papua Movement as the core of the new "Wagdoggie Red Army." Thus had two disaffected American college lovers been catapulted to lead a large country when most their age were just barely setting up small households themselves.
The General Secretary beheld his Elven comrade; tall of build like most of his kind, and indeed with a face much like Legolas' from the popular Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, which the Elves had been surprised to see their culture portrayed in so accurately upon their still-unexplained appearance from out of the Papuan forests and seas in late 2006. Of course, the full beard and red hair made the resemblance no more than superficial, one of proportion only; as did the deeper voice.
"So we're landing at an ex-British Royal Air Force base, you say?" Rilir was always curious about Earth's history, even calling this period the "Fifth Age" often, as if Middle Earth really had been the same world some many millenia ago. It amused the General Secretary, a fair-enough fan of Tolkien and fantasy in general; and he didn't particularly feel like questioning it anyway since that would of course be rude, calling a friend a fibber and all.
"Yes Rilir. It's still a local military base; Singapore's most important military airfield in fact." Their fighters were practically all based there. "Hopefully it will yet remain a friendly one." Horridus was more optimistic about Chancellor Randall's intentions than he had been, for sure, but still hardly sanguine.
Being surrounded by 'imperialists' on all sides, and with a civil war brewing any minute in Fiji as Defense Secretary Iliescu had warned him in flight, could have that effect. "We must question Randall closely before we assent to any terms of admission for Singapore; and even then also secure free passage through FPU waters for us, and ours for them of course." Horridus then proceeded to stretch back for a final catnap before the plane hit the tarmac and landed.
"Of course sir." The elf didn't need his sheathed laptop to get to work on that one...
Randall was a bit of an odd Chancellor-many others didn't listen to American rap music like he did. But he was a contemporary, and in his limosuine en route fo the Singapore convention center (where, oddly enough, the government had decided to hold these monumental talks), he wasn't worried at all-more calm and chill than anything. So far, he hadn't talked to any of the government yet, quickly moving from plane to car.
The ride was uneventful, but the convention center was decked out nice in preperation for the talks. Randal was suitably impressed as the limo pulled up, nodding his head in appreciation and stuffing his iPod in his briefcase. It was all business time now. Stepping forth from the car, he nodded to several Singapore governmental officials, Gunter Fasani, his Premier, stepping out from the other side.
"Greetings, Chancellor Randall," Prime Minister Kuai Hu and his deputy, Luo-san Chao, both bowed properly for their guest in welcome. "Since the unfortunate death two years ago of our Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, this great country has been adrift. We are most intrigued by your offer to correct this." He decided the other shoe had to drop as well, "Every bit as much as by the decision of a communist to speak on our behalf, yes? Assuming he shall arrive in due time, of course."
Although hardly the most conservative among Singapore's Chinese community himself, in fact his grandfather had been summarily deported to China by the British during the Malaysian Emergency for his leftist leanings, Premier Hu found the idea of Wagdog's General Secretary taking up Singapore's cause so presumptuously quite disconcerting. Not least because the man doing it was both a college dropout and sarcely even half Hu's age; two things not likely to stick well with a traditionally-raised Chinese man, for sure. Still, Hu already knew his opinion on this matter, and now he wanted Randall's as well...
Imperial Japanese Airforce VIP Boeing 747-400 was landing on Singapore City's main airport. Imperial diplomat Torayasu Amari was not expecting any serious problems but he knew well that recently started Fijian Civil War could cause unexpected confrontations.
Having slept at the classiest hotel in Singapore, the delegation headed back to the airport, to be transported by Helicopter to the Convention Centre.
As it arced over the city, the BK-117's co-pilot pointed out key sights in the city, having visited before. Nabrenk gazed over the bast expanse, at the various new sky-scapers and high rise buildings, and considered what this was all about. Within ten minutes, the helicopter was coming in to land out front of the Centre, where it would drop off the diplomats. It landed softly on the cleared tarmac, and suited figures walked out.
The Convention Centre itself was impressive, Nabrenk noted, but an unusual place for such talks. The strode towards the entrance, entourage in tow.
The trip from the Singapore Grand Hyatt, where Horridus had slept after congratulating his wife on the boldness of her decision and the speech supporting it, had been uneventful. A pity. I'd half hoped Randall had picked there instead of the Ritz; if only to see the look on his face when he confronted me about Fiji with my wife still on the TV, HAH! But then again, perhaps that was just the juvenile fantasy of a national leader still barely 29 after all; even if he looked some ten years older than that, due to his obvious paunch, early balding and generally scruffy appearance. But I guess gamesmen like Randall and I just can't one up our peers like we could in our respective schooldays anymore, huh? Sometimes even he wondered how he'd ever been in enough shape to carve out a revolution himself...
Exiting the limo with Rilir after reaching the Convention Center, however, Horridus rethought that. Maybe Randall's sportsmanlike origins were playing a role in this choice of venue after all? Seeing the FPU leader being greeted some ways off by the Singaporean Prime and Deputy Prime Ministers, General Secretary Carolinus Horridus straightened his choice "Lenin Jacket" as he doffed his floppy hat of the same style.
Rilir stood impassively in his traditional elven robes; a mixture of gold, green, crimson and pure Eldar composure as he remarked, "Are you certain you wish to present this radical an appearance, Comrade?" He had been up late enough writing the position papers for the Singaporean and Fijian situations, and understandably didn't want their shared delegation to appear belligerent right off. That could cause all sorts of problems.
"Quite, Mister nos Carthir." Horridus had it all figured out. Why not use the problems caused in his favor? With luck, his old-school Bolshevik's appearance would only sucker Randall in for the quite businesslike deal to be struck here. That is, hopefully struck, if things weren't to go straight to the worst possible outcomes for everyone involved...
"Thank you," Randall said as he was greeted, "I assure you, I have a plan to make Singapore the shining city on a hill of the Eastern Hemisphere. With so much trade passing through the area, the abundance of those stopping at Singapore's ports will generate profits tenfold their current amount. But, of course, Ill go over more of my plans during the actual conference-I'm looking forward to it."
"Excellent, Mr. Randall!" Premier Hu beamed and guffawed at the prospect of a Singapore ten times wealthier than its already considerable prosperity. "As do we. Let us not allow the pleasantries to kill our business before it is begun. After the remaining delegations are welcomed, let us proceed; yes?" He was ready to greet the other delegations as swiftly as proper and move. Kuai Hu did not like being kept from a good day's work for any reason, however friendly the intentions behind it...
Nabrenk stood in front of the Premier, bowed slightly to show his respect, before getting straight down to business.
"Good afternoon, Premier. You have a fine city here. Perhaps we can talk more later, but for now, pressing matters are to be dealt with in respect towards several expansionist characters we know of too well."
Nabrenk grinned slyly, and his aide looked openly shocked at the forward-ness of his approach. He knew that would be the trick.
"Sounds good, we can begin moving full-speed ahead," Randall playfully said. He was in a bright mood, and he felt like taking a warm and friendly stance with the people around.
Fasani came up to Randall, briefly talking about some issue at the home front, but Randall dismissed it. The Indonesian never knew when to stop worrying! This was Game Time! Not time to be out of focus.
OOC: How is this place decked out anyway? I figure some mixture of pomp-and-circumstance with sport. I left the approval vague enough so you can detail it later. We should probably just exchange position papers and speeches, so as to minimise threadspam. What say you, Amazonian?
IC:As they walked into the convention center, noting the stately-enough interior setup, Rilir nodded in approval. At least this Fifth Age hasn't forgotten all propriety. Now if only the critical Fijian situation could be the same way. The Loyalists were on the verge of collapse, but the last elements of Wagdog's airmobile forces still had yet to arrive and help the rebels fully occupy Fiji's cities. It was coming 'down to the wire,' as the Men of this world so often liked to say.
The Elven diplomat looked at his country's position paper on Singapore's accession to the FPU. It was reasonable enough in light of the situation as it stood in theory. But would that situation last once the other powers' reactions to Wagdog's campaign abroad, which required massive aerial patrols over Guam and New Guinea out of simple precaution, became known? The paper's points:
1. Accession of Singapore to the Federal Pacific Union (Hence FPU) is acceptable to the United Socialist States of Wagdog (hence USSW) only if...
A. A fair referendum is held on the issue of accession, at a date convenient for the Singaporeans and them only.
B. Singapore is to remain an open port, with full access by merchant fleets and air traffic of all neighboring states. Supplementary pacts regulating this are most desirable, and can be detailed after initial agreement in principle for them is reached.
C. Although the FPU's right to project power in its own defense is not questioned, the USSW requests that notice of all military deployments to and through Singapore be made to the USSW's embassy in Sidney; with as much transparency as understandable operational security concerns will permit.
2. These conditions met, and the rights of all parties to participate in Singaporean local government as would be permitted under broader FPU law being guaranteed, either by revision of local law or invocation of any extant and pertinent supremacy clause in the FPU Constitution, the United Socialist States of Wagdog have no objection to Singapore's wish to join the greater Federal Pacific Union. In which case, said accession may be executed as soon as convenient for the two parties and agreeably without delay.