just a meeting of the Board..
<Board Meeting, PrattCo Conglomerate>
In New State City, capital of Santa Barbara, the nerve center of the Conglomerate's global network of profit, Chief Executive Bob Pratt stands behind his polished leather chair at the head of a very long, polished synthetic wood table. He looks outside toward the magnificent view of early morning New State City business district, the golden sunlight
making the massive buildings glow and the glass refracting the light throughout the cityscape.
He adjusts his reading glasses, on more for impression than necessity, and slowly turns around. He fixes the Board of Directors with a stern, appraising look from steely eyes in his balding head. They are all here, more or less. He nods slowly, and then breaks out into a suddenly less heavy aura, as his patented smile breaks out. Nervous titters of
laughter, unmoved glares from others.
"Hello, hello. Greetings, Chairman Abadas; Vice Chairman of the Board Ms Chang, Mr Fernando, Mr Pon. Members of the Board," he says quickly, nodding briefly at those whom he addressed. His brother, Toby Pratt, sits silently at his chair, reading over a lengthy document, his eyes squinting critically.
"Well," Bob Pratt says, "As you can see, before you all we've given you a copy of an Overview of the Regional Orbital Defense Network, proposed by strategists in Los Bananos del Fuego. This is the condensed version, mind you; the more important of you will have already reviewed the full document in all its government-style bureacratic glory."
"Now, I'd like for PA Department to write up our official response when done. This will be a Santa Barbarian Government action, supported naturally by-- you guessed it--the Conglomerate. Fully supported, that is. This is about regional defense, and that means we can't let any more of this go out of our control than we need to."
Bob Pratt pauses a moment. Several board members have begun to read various bits of the document, while others skim through briefly, and still others sit sullenly. Behind the Members of the Board are key attendant staffs of the major players, who lean up against the wall, smoking cigarettes if they got 'em, looking bored, looking interested, looking asleep or alert.
Peering up over the document in his hands, Chairman Heinrid Abadas raises a slightly quizzical eyebrow at Pratt while covering his mouth in a thoughtful pose, critical pen in hand. "Why is this a Government action, if its for the defense of our assets?" he asks.
"That was Marketting's decision. It looks better internationally for a nation to sign documents than a Conglomerate. At any rate, the articles specify nations, not corporations."
"We could fight that, surely?" Abadas goes on, tilting his head slightly to the right as he does.
"Yes, Mister Chairman. But since the PCC is shouldering the muscle in either case, the specifics don't matter. Our assets are included in those of Santa Barbara's."
"What is this drivel in the beginning?" demands Sonya Chang, the young, upright and beautiful new Vice Chairman. She points coolly to Psalm 46 on the second page.
"More marketting," Pratt answers, nodding in agreement as to her assessment.
"Yes, that is so," Sven Alexander, Market Planning Department head says through his thick accent. "Spiritual advertising, effective socionics," he says, and attempts to go further, gesturing with his big hands, but is at a loss for words.
"We've agreed to allow religious baubles like this," picks up Ron Zhou, Chief Director of Central Sector. An important man, but two tiers below Bob Pratt. "As long as they sell. In this case it seems harmless enough, just a matter of ... bad taste."
"The Primary Focus, as according to this," Bob Pratt continues, "includes utilising the most advanced technology and providing a constant operational quality. It seems to me that this is right along similar lines the ITDO has been going, is that not right?"
Toby Pratt, Supreme Strategic Commander of the PCC Integrated Theatre Defense Organisation, looks up. "Yep, Bob," he says in a drawl, "And from what I can tell right here, the advanced technology had better be ours, or else this whole operations just a crapshoot, if you know what I mean."
"Clearly there's allowance for that, even a need," Bob agrees. "And if you're worried about cost, look at the estimates given."
A ruffle of papers. "Pretty damned low, I'd say. Compared to the Orbital Fleet, a drop in the bucket. OF ships cost more than this whole thing combined."
Heads bob in agreement. Toby Pratts nostrils flare imperceptibly.
"What about leadership?" Toby asks his brother flatly.
"What about it? That's covered down here at-"
"I know its covered in that. But who will lead our boys into battle," Toby stares at his brother as he talks, but his voice raises to the entire room, "Who will lead our boys into battle, out there, when this little project is done?"
Bob Pratt is thoughtful a moment as he fends off his brothers unexpected hostility. "The Regional Defence Council. Our commanders will be given equal share in the direction of this force."
"Equal share, but we pay all the costs- We go to war by a vote- Key commanders elected, Bob? Elections?"
"I see where you're getting at, Toby, but it's not like that. Our forces remain under our own control. If it gets to be bad, we drop out."
"Yeah, after twenty damn years!"
There is silence for a moment. The brothers' argument has as usual quelled the normally buzzing-with-sound of the Boardroom. "I would have expected a more mature comment from you, Toby," Bob says quietly.
"Population units are insignificant. The individual is a statistic. My life, your life, anyone's life is meaningless. All must eventually serve the Conglomerate, because the Conglomerate is what makes the world what it is," Bob says, more loudly, while casting a look back and forth amongst the Board Members.
"One thing I was wondering and isn't clear," pipes up Vice Executive Julia Bennings, breaking the silence with her stubbornly positive and calm attitude. "These platforms and systems-- Reciprocity, Thunderhead, et cetera-- its clear we will be producing and operating them for this. But do we have production or distribution rights for ourselves?"
"That's something we'll want clarified. Miss Timothy, I hope you're keeping track of everything we've come up with," Bob Pratt says, ignoring the fact that they've come up with very little so far.
"It's logical," a growling, old but firm voice booms E.P Forsythe, head of the Financial Department of Central Sector; a long-time member of PrattCo- "That we will have production rights but limited distribution. It is also logical that our more efficient fusion-electric generator technology will be used to power many of them. Financially speaking, the ITDO budget is such that we can cover all the operating, construction, maintanence and supply costs ourselves. By incorporating foreign troops with our own, we reduce our national losses per combat day with comparison to the allotted budget. In short, this is a low-risk option monetarily. It will even aid the OOTG and reduce the ultra-strict defensive requirements of our mobile orbital assets."
Many heads nod in agreement. "That's financially, gentlemen," says Toby Pratt. "I am still concerned that another nations so-called 'representatives' will be dictating the use of our armed forces."
"Leave that to me and the Public Assets Department," Bob Pratt says. "That's political in the classic sense; if I can pass a resolution in the United Nations, I can see to it that our forces are fairly represented and not slaves to someone elses whim."
"Now, any other suggestions before I hand it over to CCCTG for analysis on integration with the ITDO?"
"So, we'll be shouldering most of the resources here," Chairman Abadas says, "With the goals of having the most control?"
"Yes, to a degree. But also, we must insure quality and efficiency. We have the largest orbital military presence, and it makes sense," Bob answers.
"These systems statistics seem to indicate entirely foreign weapons systems," points out Vice Executive, Harry Barns. "Fighters, propulsion, coilguns. We've got an edge in all these fields. Will we be forced to rely on these unknown competitors' products for our defense?"
"A fair question, Barns. No, we won't be for our own defense, but whether or not the DRDS system overall will be using our own products is a mystery. Which we will have to address directly to them."
There is much talk, excited now in the development of what the PCC developed best-- weapons and technology and things that went boom. Bob had made sure this was the priority, as it had been the key driving factor in the PCC's rise to success, and to protect his golden empire.
"Very well then, I will confer with some of you later to clarify our response. As for now, let's move on to other business, and if any of you CEO's have some sort of issue to bring up, now is the time..."
The room breaks down into the fast-paced conversations of Corporate interests as the subject changes. Toby Pratt, however, is silent for a while, his part in the meeting done, sitting in calculating quiet, forgotten by his brother.
<Encrypted response to the Ministry of Offensive Defence and to the President of the
Dominion of Los Bananos del Fuego>
We have received and reviewed your proposal regarding DAM-RDPP-1-1. To summarize our response, the Nation of Santa Barbara will gladly ratify the Damocles Treaty. However, we have certain requirements and questions regarding technology and systems interactions.
The PrattCo Conglomerate has offered generously to cover any, including all operational, costs and bear much of the financial and technical burden of creating such a large defense network. In certain areas, it is undeniable that the PCC has developed more advanced technologies than is stated in the example DRDS components. With regards to space-capable combat vessels we have pioneered the way with high-powered, sturdy and maneuverable superiority and fire support vehicles.
Moreover, we have a significant foothold in orbit as a result of continually increased funding to the Orbital Operations Theatre Group and its support networks. This has lead to the conclusion of our analysts that it would make the most sense to use Santa Barbarian vessels in resupply, construction, transport and combat in conjunction (if possible) with such systems as Fighter Launch Facilities and other platforms, as well as space-capable munitions and microgravity produced (foamed or woven) alloys.
We feel that as the focus is to provide the most advanced technology and the most efficient defense, using tried and tested systems, many already partially in place, is the best route to serve our collective security needs.
In these matters it is suggested they are decided before actual production begins, by consensus and/or vote as per Treaty stipulations. There is much conference work to be done. But, in short, we affirm and approve of the Treaty and look forward to collaboratingfurther on Defense for a new era.
Jenna Timothy, Spokeswoman, Santa Barbarian Government
Director, Public Assets Department
Central Sector, PrattCo Conglomerate
OOC: Don't get involved if you're not involved, please. None of you have spies in the PCC leadership. You can try sneaking them in but let me know so I can have an IC response at least.
Deep within the earth ...
Soft pale light flooded the room filled with the Chiefs of Staff of the Ministry of Defence, and delegates from the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Life and the Arts, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The long-awaited DAMOCLES document - previewed by the Ministry of Defence, who had been one of the original proponents for a regional defence setup - was the cause of the excitement.
Well, excitement for three of the four Ministries. The Ministry of Trade delegates didn't look so happy - they knew where the bill would end up, of course.
And then the meeting came to order, as a voice boomed in over the communications system.
"Ladies, gentlemen. Welcome to the DAMOCLES prelim-discus. You will all have read the document - now it's time to hear your opinions. Air-Commodore Catalina Jensen first."
A thirty-something woman with hair pulled into a tight bun stood. "The Ministry of Defence plans to fully back the DAMOCLES project. We've been pushing for one since soon after the region's formation, but only recently has enough interest been garnered in other nations to see it through. There are a few concerns with the document - but at least one of them is due to our not giving full capabilities out of the Wisp that will be in production by the time DAMOCLES is initiated. It's currently capable of space operations, and by then will be categorised as a space fighter."
She looked around at her military colleagues, and nodded. "Other than that - yes. All for it. We had prior knowledge, and we've set aside funds. A significant amount of our share of the Roanian booty, for starters."
"Thank you, Air-Commodore Jensen. Now Purchasing Minister Sanderson, your views please."
Sanderson was an elderly man, steel-grey shot through his hair, and ruthless calculating eyes - the perfect money manager. He smoothed his tie a little self-consciously as he stood in front of the gathered group.
"I'm well aware that my Ministry is alone in thinking this, however. The DAMOCLES project - at least as costed here - will have significant required regular expenditure - and as we all know, defence costs are sunk costs. Every time we use the system, or test it, we'll be spending billions. Every time we upgrade or rebuild the system, it'll be trillions. That's fine - as long as enough other regional countries sign up. If they do, the costs will become bearable. Otherwise, I'm going to have to give a big thumbs-down from us."
"Thank you, Mr Sanderson. Next Miss Macini, Ministry of Life and the Arts."
Miss Macini was clearly a spinster. She put down her knitting needles and yarn on the table, and stood with a creak in her back - aged despite medical treatment.
"Thank you, young Scott." Her voice was quavery, and her addressing of the Commander-in-Chief if the Ministry of Defence who was speaking via voice synthesis brought a few chuckles - not least over the speaker system.
"Now, boys and girls ... we're fully behind this project. Despite the expenses brought up by Mr Sanderson, it's still going to be long-term cheaper than competitive military development with other nations in the region. We can go as we have been - stealing technology and concentrating on bio-technology, and making upgrades here and there - or we can work in regional partnership, making both ourselves and our neighbours a more powerful gestalt than the sum of our parts. Like your Wisps, young Jensen. Clearly the best defensive aircraft in the world - but of limited use given the comparitive decrepitude of the Migs and Surokovs they're deployed with. Knootoss can teach us that we need to upgrade all our technology, not just specialised areas. Of course, reducing our research costs by further specialising and then combining technology with other nations will work perfectly with our goal of a standardised regional space fleet, and free up valuable money for arts. For example, a museum to hold whatever's left of the Indra Prime culture if they attack us would be good - and a basic level of welfare state would also not go amiss."
"Thank you, Miss Macini. Now, Mr Gerhard?"
This man was young, handsome, and had a charming smile that almost made everyone present believe he was talking for their benefit alone - it quite put some of the soldiers on edge.
"Now, ladies and gentlemen, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports this totally. It'll not only give us even further leverage when dealing with relcalcitrant idiot regimes like Indra Prime, but also help bond the region together for the better. Indeed, although it's only polite to push for a DomLBeFian to take the position of first Chair of the Regional Defence Council, we support investing enough funds to guarantee a Whispering Voices Air Commander-in-Chief. That should be arrangable, if we contact our allies - Santa Barbara, and Austrin-Ontis and persuade them to donate heavily. We're also working to help a more-peaceful government come to power in Anaxa, so they can be included - fortunately, a combination of smooth diplomacy by Yerwaht and the return of the Inarli-government-in-Exile makes this entirely possible."
"Thank you, Mr Gerhard." The young man sat down, flashing a smile about the room. "Votes, please, for adoption of the DAMOCLES system."
The voting was - in the end - unanimous.
Govenor Jeremiah Williamsuncle of Yerwaht sat down in his chair at the head of the council table. In front of him sat the full council, last gathered togther at the time of the Inarli war.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered to discuss one of the largest developments, if not the largest, in regional defense history. I hope you have all read your copies of the Damocles treaty and are ready to provide your comments."
A round of nods and other affirmations came from the gathered councillors. The Govenor stood holding a sheaf of documents.
"First of all I have a report from the Chancellor. In brief it says that the Yerwahtten economy is the best it has ever been and is able to support large scale spending, as it also looks reasonable stable. I also have a report from the foreign minister, saying this thing is big. It originates, of course from DomLBef, but it looks like all of the big players could be involved: Whispering Voices, Tarrican, Autrin-Ontis and Santa Barbara are all included." He pauses, taking a sip of water.
"As well as the spending, here is what I see Yerwaht providing. First resources in the forms of the metal and plastics that are abundant in are mountain mines and off our coast, to be shipped to DomLBef. Second, the upgrading of our computer plants to full optical technology, rather than the couple we have now. Third, the clearance and massive engineering work to build a drop trooper dedicated relaunch and recovery site, probably somewhere between the Woodholme and Felltop provinces. Fourth, the upgrade, expansion and the use of the old outer sea monitoring system to back up the command network for this thing. Fifth, the dedication of military personnel to this training, rather than the more generalised military training our citizens get. Sixth and last, the production and allocation of Mountain Lion units to improve the capability and effectiveness of the drop troopers, units which will be upgraded and improved, improvements which will filter down to or main units. To address the first point I invite the councillors of the northern cities to speak.
A young, blond woman stands p a short way down the table.
"I, Sasha Williams, councillor for Nothingfjord, declare that I speak for all three of us. Our production capacity will feel the impact of this but we are fully confidant that we can handle this. We fully endorse this point." I believe the next point falls to the councillor for the secure cities to speak on. She sits and Damian Gorain stands, a distinguised looking gentleman stands up.
"With the assistance of DomLBef we will be able to upgrade all our computer plants, and with that our computer technology. Not only will this benfit our contributions to the project, it will be of untold benefit to this country. The industy is greatly in favour of this point." He sits and Nicole Seiger, Councillor for Woodholme, takes the floor.
"Recently, a fire cleared a ridge of hills in the Woodholme province close to our border with Felltop. Considering our vertically inclined geography, this is probably our best bet for a site for a launch station, plus we don't have to clear any trees. We may have to airlift most of the construction in, but I am sure it will be possible and viable to construct a facility at this location."
General Frederick Halsguard, C-in-C of Yerwahtten armed forces, remained seated in his place opposite that of the Govenor. "The remaining three points are mine to address I believe. Plans to upgrate the old centre were already being made, now we have a real use for it. As soon as optical technology is available we can start work. As for personnel, our policy of conscription has meant we always have a surplus of trained people, now we have better uses for our 'just in case' thinking without affecting much our existing forces. The only real impact it will have if we are under serious invasion, we will be able to mobilise less militia." He paused and looked around the table.
"Now for the Mountain Lions. Councillor Gorain informs me that we can increase production, and we do have people we can dedicate to working on drop Lions: tactics, training and even first piloting. They are not exactly all powerful, superior technology; quite the opposite, they require careful deployment and tactics. I believe allwing other signitories access to them for drop purposes if they so wish and ask of us is not a threat to our national security."
Govenor Williamsuncle stands once again. "So there you have it. I ask you all to vote on whether to sign up to the Damocles treaty with those additional commitments in mind. Remember you are elected to represent your provincial concerns as well, so your vote will not be taken against you as always."
The council raised their hands in vote. The councillors for Felltop and the Farming League abstained, all others voted yes. "Very well, a message will be sent to the Dominion of Los Bananos El Fuego this afternoon. I hearby declare this meeting of the Council of Yerwaht closed. Now how about a drink?"
(OOC: I'm assuming I am involved, as I am in the region and have posted about it on the regional forum (well, a little bit) Anyways, if this is a problem I'll delete the post).
<<Secret location, Queldas, Nikea>>
The hanging lights were the only source of light that partially filled the otherwise dark room. The room was quite large, mostly covered in electronic equipment on the walls; screens, tracking screens, and other assorted devices. The room was usually manned, but at this time, the room was being specially used for a meeting between key Nikean government officials.
On the left side of the room, a large table covered most of the length of the room. Around the table were many padded chairs, all occupied by Ministers and delegates from various Nikean ministries. Each had a monitor in front of them, and keyboards were placed in front of these, no other equipment being needed due to the touch-screen interface of the system. Seated in the middle of one of the long sides of the table was Nikean President Solarin Tinuviethel.
"Thank you all for coming. For the official records, this is the official meeting to discuss the possible ratification of DAM-RDPP-1-1, the Damocles Treaty, proposed by Los Bananos del Fuego. All parties present will now indicate their presence at the discussion."
The many members around the table, including the President, pressed their screens three times, and the confirmation was completed.
"Now, I'm assuming you've all read the document," Tinuviethel began. "It is a very large proposition, as I'm sure you all can tell. Can it be implemented? Please begin, Isterin."
"It is entirely possible," Defense Minister Isterin Terenel said. "Especially if more and more nations sign on. We have been aggressive in our technological developments, mainly in the military, thanks to the increased spending over the last few years. We in the Ministry of Defense believe that we are fully capable of providing large-scale assistance to both the development and construction of the system."
"Large scale improvements in space weaponry have been made," Brigadier General Markuin Osteritel interjected. "The Department of Space and Military Development has been quite successful in preliminary testing of space capable weaponry, as well as their adaptation to be both ground and space based. By the end of the year, we are scheduled to have our main laser projects completed, along with the new prototype space fighter."
Solarin nodded. "Yes, I have been receiving reports on your progress, and let me congratulate you on your success up to this point. To confirm, the Ministry of Defense has no major concerns about the implementability of such a project?"
Terenel shook his head. "No, we are fully in favour."
"I'd like to hear from Lirinae," Solarin continued, turning his chair slightly to look at the woman at the end of the table.
"Well, it's going to cost an awful lot," Minister Lirinae Resteriel, Ministry of Finance and Trade said after a brief pause. "We have enough money to do it, but I'm afraid that we may have to cut back on some of our more low-class projects in the regular armed forces. The new submarine project is definately out, but I've received assurances from Admiral Eresiuene that his current fleet is quite well-off for the moment. It should not take us long to return back to normal operations again though, we have had a substansial surplus for many years now. No objections from our end."
"Rakurain, any thoughts?" Solarin asked.
Rakurain Nirstiterel, Minister of Foreign Relations, began flipping the pages of the hardcopy of the the document. "All seems alright to me. It will give us a bit of a boost in negotiating power. Simply knowing that the system is there would make any nation slightly nervous. Plus with our advanced military, we'd be able to be a significant part of the effort, allowing us even more leverage. Also, it will improve relations with our regional neighbours. The Ministry of Foreign Relations supports the Damocles treaty."
"We appear to all have no concerns at the present time," Solarin summarized. "Let's discuss some of the specifics. Mithrinen?"
Lord General Mithrinen Tilindel, overall commander of the Nikean Armed Forces, shuffled some notes. "Well, we'd be committing a good deal of forces to the Regional Defense, but in discussing this with Minister Terenel and the SMD Department, this is acceptable. I am a bit wary of the foreign command element, but we should be able to at least get a decent place on the Regional Defense Council, as to hold some sway. Our regional neighbours have been quite friendly in the past, so I do not see any conflicts arising between Nikea and other nations in the region."
"The Ministry of Finance and Trade is able to front many of the needed funds almost immediately," Minister Resteriel said. "As I have stated, the large surplus that we've had for what seems like forever will be helpful here. Plus, the various contracts required for the construction of the project that our companies may take part in will be good for the internal economy as well."
"The only remaining I have left then, people, is how long it will take for all this technology we'll need to display to be taken seriously to be finished," Solarin said. "General Osteritel, can you provide us with any kind of estimate?"
Osteritel thought about this for a moment. "Prototypes of the lasers have already been a success, although the maser technology is a bit trickier to use on this kind of scale. The lasers should be completed by the end of the year, the masers perhaps in a couple years time, before they are complete and ready for use."
He pressed his screen a few times, looking for more details. "As far as space assets, in five years, we will have fully capable space fighters en masse, if the estimates provided by JAA and their contracts are accurate. While we will have many fighters, they will originally need to be launched off of stationary stations. In 15 years time, we will have a minor space fleet, but one self-sufficient to a respectable degree. I'm afraid a fully capable fleet will not be a reality for at least 50 years, by which time we will be a significant force in space."
Solarin nodded and readjusted his position in his chair. "It's time to vote, people. Please indicate whether or not you are in favour of DAM-RDPP-1-1, Damocles."
All the Ministers at the table pressed their screens, while the other delegates re-read the document for what was, for a good deal of them, at least the tenth time.
"There is a 100% majority in favour of ratifying the Damocles Treaty. An official response will be prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Relations. We're done here, everyone can head back to their positions now."
MODESTO NEMIT TRANSMITEL
Nikeaeleth Dominiu, A Queldi Anai
Et: Rakurain Nirstiterel, Derotinuvisorinisteleth Ministriel
Anet: Los Bananos Del Fuego
The Dominion of Nikea has received the proposed DAM-RDPP-1-1, or Damocles, proposal, and we are willing and able to ratify this treaty.
However, there are a few things that we wish to discuss with all signatory nations, and Nikea suggests a meeting between all nations who ratify this treaty at the earliest convienience, to discuss things such as cost burden, etc.
Dominion of Nikea
Minister of Foreign Relations
First, thanks to all who have posted thus far, and thanks to those who I hope will post later - getting responses makes all the effort put into the proposal worth it.
Second, mechanics of discussion and change. Individual responses have or will be sent to nations who post queries in this thread or telegram them to LBeF. I also encourage you all to talk to each other to forge alliances for prospective changes :-) In a few RL days, when we believe everyone who wishes to come on board at the start has posted a response here, we will convene (in another thread, or on IRC if we can all be there at the same time - TBD) a Preliminary Council in which the interested nations shall discuss the proposed treaty, make any alterations, and then all nations present will sign it. 1 RL week after that, the signatory nations will ratify the treaty (if they choose to do so) and it will become international law within the region.
Chamber of the High Council, Imperial Palace, Ichidou
The chamber of the High Council is a small room by the standards of the palace, barely large enough to hold the long, oval table at which the members of the council sit and the desks behind at which sit secretaries scribbling furiously. It’s tall, vaulting ceiling is highly decorated with gold over the white marble forming patterns whose significance is almost forgotten in time.
At the head of the oval table sits a woman in a golden throne. Her clothes are robes of white silk made stiff by the shear amount of gold embroidery in similar patterns to the ceiling, held closed by a golden sash. Her age is impossible to judge due to the golden mask which completely covers her face, although the mask shows the face of a woman in her middle ages.
Throughout the bulk of the meeting the woman is motionless and silent, distinguished from a statue only by the slight movement of her chest as she breathes. Such matters as are necessary to the running of the country are discussed, with little discussion of significance.
To the left of the masked woman is another woman, of about 40 years of age. She is dressed in a similar fashion, although the gold of her outfit is limited to a single flame on the left breast of her robe and the golden sash. A staff rests by her chair, pale wood topped by a golden flame with gold scrollwork running down to the floor. She appears to be the chair of the meeting, and eventually after a heated discussion over animal rights is finally resolved she stands and strikes her staff on the floor.
“Let it be recorded that by the grace of the Eternal Flame it shall be done. We now come to the final item on the agenda, the proposed “DAMOCLES Project”, Lord Arton, I believe you have elected to speak on this matter”
She gestures towards a youngish man halfway down the table.
The man stands, bows to the woman in the mask and gathers a sheaf of papers before him.
“Your Holiness, Esteemed members of the Council.”
He clears his throat a couple of times and shuffles his papers nervously.
“I am sure you have all read the documentation provided and familiarised yourselves with the proposal contained within, so I shall not waste the council’s time repeating it needlessly. The proposal would require a great investment on the part of the Empire, a large portion of the military budget for the year would have to be dedicated to this endeavour, lessening the strength of our sovereign armies. I believe it all comes down to the trust of our closest neighbours. If we are indeed secure from attack then turning out eyes outwards is indeed a worthy goal, however the situation which almost arose between Yerwaht and Anaxa leads me to believe that the council should consider this matter with caution.”
The young man sits down in a hurry and looks relieved. Loud discussion breaks out between all of the councillors, with the majority seeming to be tentatively in favour of the proposal.
Abruptly the masked woman stands, and the chamber falls silent immediately.
“I believe that it has escaped the notice of Lord Arton who is spearheading this proposal. The Dominion of Los Bananos el Fuego has always held out it’s hand in friendship to us, and I do not believe we need to fear a proposal so strongly supported by them. I see no need for discussion here.”
Her voice is a pleasant soprano, combined with her height suggesting a woman much younger than the face of the mask.
“Our relations with Los Bananos el Fuego have always required careful handling, I will handle the matter myself. Sophia, please attend me directly to resolve this.”
The secretary behind her nods. She then turns to the woman on her left.
“Your presence will also be required Muriel. I believe the floor is now yours.”
The masked woman sits back down in almost exactly the same position as before. Muriel stands and strikes the floor again.
“Let it be recorded that The Empress Sar’iel has ruled on this matter. Is there any other business?”
Slight shakes of the head come from all of the councillors.
“Very well, then I declare this meeting of the High Council adjourned. By the grace of the Empress, may she live forever.”
The other councillors and secretaries repeat the phrase, then the masked woman stands and walks out of the room, to be flanked by guards as soon as she leaves the door. Small children run ahead, scattering flower petals and singing a complex hymn.
Muriel sighs, gathers up the papers in front of her and hurries out, a worried look on her face, followed closely by the secretary Sophia.
The remaining council members look at each other, and furious whispering breaks out.
“No Empress has overruled the council in centuries”, “What on Earth is she doing?”, “Can she still be trusted?”, “Did we make a mistake?”
Still muttering among themselves the councillors leave and disperse into small groups.
<edit to correct spellings>
Ministry of Foreign Intervention, DomLBeF
Joint Transmission, Encrypted DD-Diplo-1, Response to Santa Barbara
Ministry of Offensive Defence, DomLBeF
However, we have certain requirements and questions regarding technology and systems interactions
Queries are natural for a project of this size and we will do our best to provide information in this response. Should you need clarification on any matters, please contact us again.
The PrattCo Conglomerate has offered generously to cover any, including all operational, costs and bear much of the financial and technical burden of creating such a large defense network.
We are grateful at this expression of PrattCo Conglomerate generosity. We believe that nations of greater than 1 billion will have budgetary capacity to support their own commitments to the System. However, we do not feel that any one nation can or should support 28 times that without budgetary or income shocks, nor withstand the thousand-times operational costs which will be the construction costs of the entire system.
While we larger nations will undoubtedly have to pick up some slack for the smaller nations who wish to become part of the RDS, it is intentional that no one nation contribute excessivly. Since the object of the Damocles network is to foster co-operative defence, interdependence to promote peace, the single nation contribution and costing system has been deliberately created to prevent any one nation possessing excessive control or interest in Damocles System Assets.
In certain areas, it is undeniable that the PCC has developed more advanced technologies than is stated in the example DRDS components. With regards to space-capable combat vessels we have pioneered the way with high-powered, sturdy and maneuverable superiority and fire support vehicles.
DomLBeF commitment to space exploration and defence has been a core research principle of the nation since its inception, and we do not feel that there are areas of significant deficit in the DRDS component listing. Your assertation may be true of certain areas, though we cannot confirm it without a statement of examples on your part.
Moreover, we have a significant foothold in orbit as a result of continually increased funding to the Orbital Operations Theatre Group and its support networks.
We too have spent a significant and continuing amount on space technology and are proud of our achievements and large presence in orbit, a presence that has been very much furthered by our recent successes in large-scale low-cost orbital payload delivery through our Isla Meridia magnetic accelerator.
This has lead to the conclusion of our analysts that it would make the most sense to use Santa Barbarian vessels in resupply, construction, transport and combat in conjunction (if possible) with such systems as Fighter Launch Facilities and other platforms, as well as space-capable munitions and microgravity produced (foamed or woven) alloys.
Over the course of our studies of the proposal before its presentation, we spent time analysing the various capabilities the individual nations might bring to the system. With regard to orbital manufacturing of components, we believe that the low-cost launch prospects offered by our catapult system allows for planetary manufacturing to avoid the massive costs of orbital secondary industrial facilities operation and construction.
In addition, the scale of the project would require, were orbital manufacturing to be used, a large program of OMF construction which can be avoided through merely constructing the system in orbit rather than manufacturing it. This also allows for the smaller nations in the Regional Defence Community to contribute in a material rather than a mere fiscal way and tie them to us, and us to them, in a sharing of technology and a sharing of the nuts-and-bolts of defence engineering. Pride in national construction of a vital system can be a strong morale booster in times of conflict.
Some orbital manufacturing will be required for components which must be created in low gravity conditions, and we hope for your co-operation under contract for these parts. Our own orbital manufacturing facilities will also be diverted to Damocles requirements until the system is complete.
We feel that as the focus is to provide the most advanced technology and the most efficient defense, using tried and tested systems, many already partially in place, is the best route to serve our collective security needs.
In fact, a driving principle behind the Damocles proposal is that already-in-place systems should not form a part of the system itself. The Treaty clearly stipulates that the only national assets which are under the Defence Community Council control are those of the Damocles System itself, national forces remain under the control of their nation. This treaty is not intended to, does not, and will not merge our national forces, ground, air, naval, or orbital. Damocles Assets are intended to operate independantly of national forces, and it is expected and indeed a core principle that larger nations willcontinue to see to their own defense needs in orbit as well as on the ground. National Space Forces will remain under independant national control. Damocles is not intended to absorb national fleets, and indeed possesses no 'space warships' of its own, deliberatly, as stated in the Strategic Overview.
But, in short, we affirm and approve of the Treaty and look forward to collaborating further on Defense for a new era.
We are pleased that this is the case, and support the sentiments entirely. Once more, if you have further queries, we will be pleased to assist.
Minister for Foreign Intervention
Minister for Offensive Defence
blahblahbalh, blahblah, blahblahblahblahbalh, blahblah, blahblah!!!!
*repeat for 30 more lines, and you have got a post here*
*crawls along the floor, looking for water*
*crawls along the floor, looking for water*
Maybe you guys should not type for as long....
Maybe you two can avoid spamming other peoples topics. If it's too long for you to read, well okay then. You don't have to read it.
Edit: Hey it IS the devil 666! I even didn't post again just so my count would stay on this for a while.
hey, it's the devil 666
Maybe you guys should not type for as long....
OOC: Maybe you should at least read the one line about how if you aren't already involved, don't get involved. No one is forcing you to read it, you have no part in this, so don't try and bash us for posting intelligently.
Primary Office of Presidential Suite, Presidential Palace of Powder, Austrin-Ontis
The President-in-all-but-ceremony Nidien Sebridith sits behind the desk, studying a laptop intensely. Every few minutes she gets to her feet and walks over the window, looking out over the extensive gardens and mouthing words silently, before returning to her work. After a long period spent staring out into space trying to construct a particularly troublesome sentence she is just returning to work when their is a hesitant knock on the door.
A slightly weedy man opens the door a sliver and slides into the room, giving the president a slight nod of his head to recognise her status. The man looks distinctly out of place in the military uniform he wears, given his meagre figure and darting eyes.
“Miss President,” his voice every bit as slinking as his movements and character, “there is a matter of some importance that requires your attention. We would not normally burden you with such an undertaking on your first day, but the military minds believe that it is vital enough to risk dispensing with a little formality.” His hand reaches forward, placing a disk on the desk which Nidien could swear he was not holding a moment ago. “Thank you Miss President. I shall return before dark to acquire your response.”
The man turns and practically slithers away, leaving Nidien alone once more. Resisting the urge to look for some tweezers to pick up the disk with, she places it in the laptop drive and boots it up. The word DAMOCLES emblazons itself upon the screen, followed by reams of technical and logistical data. Pausing only briefly to make herself a coffee from the machine in the corner of the office, Nidien begins to read...
”Wake up Miss President”
The voice is strangely sonorous, resonating in unusual ways that would seem to come from no human throat. It is distinguishably male, though only just given it’s soft tone and low volume.
She does so with a start, throwing her head back from where it was resting on the table and sending her empty coffee mug off the desk to land on the plush carpet. Looking round confusedly in her semi-conscious state, her panic is emphasised by the fact that whoever is speaking doesn’t seem to be visible.
“Who, who are you?”
”There is no need to panic Miss President. It is merely I, Father.”
“Father?, Oh you mean Cadian? The new Cadian?”
”That is correct Miss President. I am the system implemented to replace the previous Cadian system. I was not aware that you had not been told that a sensor unit and broadcasting station was present in your office. My apologies”
“Oh, it’s okay. Really. It probably did get told, but these have been a hectic couple of days. I was just startled, that’s all”
”I understand. Have you finished perusing the DAMOCLES document?”
“Ummmm. No. I did try, but it’s horrifically technical. I really don’t know what most of the technology entails, let alone how easily we will be able to achieve what it says we can.”
”Do not concern yourself with the technical details. They have been extensively studied and proved to be entirely accurate. What is your opinion on the system as a whole?”
“Well, I’m just not sure we actually need it it you know? It’s going to be very expensive, and it’s just another weapon system to protect from an attack that is extremely unlikely to occur”
”You are correct in all your points. It will be very expensive, requiring a further boost to military budgets and the probability of such an attack occurring is slight. However, it cannot be denied that the possibility does exist, and the possible fallout from such an attack would be catastrophic. If you would examine your computer screen I will display a number of protected results of a attack if the DAMOCLES system is not implemented”
It isn’t clear what exactly is happening on the screen, but given Nidien’s expression it can’t be pleasant.
“Is that actually true?”
”Indeed. The first simulation accurately chronicles the predicted effects of a sustained ortillery barrage while the second shows the effects of a overwhelming nuclear assault. Casualty numbers assume best case scenario in each case, predictions indicate they could be as much as 200% higher depending on the effects of panic, prevailing weather conditions and after-the-event famine. The DAMOCLES system cannot entirely promise to prevent his from occurring but can make it all but statistically impossible to happen on this scale”
“What about the financial issue”
”That is not so much of an issue as you might think. We have not yet touched the slush fund obtained as compensation from Roania which amounts to several trillion dollars, easily enough to cover our contribution to this project. Furthermore, we have the personal to spare to make our contributions too due to your planned program of active military downsizing”
“So, you are saying there is no reason not to do it?”
”There are reasons we might not wish too, but they are insignificant compared to the possible benefits of the program in damage limitation, as well as the possible intimidation factor which could results in potential wars never taking place”
“Alright. I’m convinced, I’ll give the military the go-ahead. Thank you Cadi...I mean Father. I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to that”
”I except you will go used to to it in time. And time is a commodity we have in some abundance”
In a darkened room, three figures sit in shadow about a table... the document in front of them is illuminated by the faint light of dusk flowing in through the cracks in the half-open blinds. It reads DAMOCLES.
His face shrouded in shadow, the figure in the centre speaks. "This council is now in session, I trust we've all read the available documentation on the DAMOCLES system and associated pacts?" At the murmered confirmations, he continues. "To say that it is a big project is putting it mildly... what will it do for us diplomaticly?"
Two figuress turn to the third, who is almost entirely shrouded in darkness, this figure replies in a clear female voice that rings with confidence and experience. "Well, I hardly need to outline the recent upturn in intra-regional politics, caused by the return of the Inarli government-in-exile. This pact would bring the region together and provide a defence that is greater than the sum of its parts, applicable to the whole. The... how shall we say... mutualising of the defence establishment for this would give us more positive feeling between the nations, reducing the chances of an incident that could threaten us. On a more militaristic note it would give us increased intelligence on the other signatory nations, as well as the chance to observe and copy their 'best practices' for our own use. In addition the security provided is a paradigmic advance in numerous areas and would even allow us to cut back certain of our own programs which overlap... saving manpower for other projects. In all, it would be good on a number of levels if we can afford it."
She looks to the man who has yet to speak, as does the man in the centre... "Well then. What does it look like from a financial standpoint?"
This man is more visible in the shade: wrinkled and ageing, his voice carries a relaxed strength and no sign of diminishment with age. "Expensive. Very expensive... the resultant cutbacks with our overlap will eventually contribute, but we'd have to double-spend fora few years before it became effective... finding the money for the upkeep would be challenging."
"But don't we still have most of the Roanian slush-fund?" queries the chairman, who is replied to h the tone of a man telling a astudent what he did wrong in an essay... "That will absore the construction costs quite nicely... but it is really not possible to just... dump... the best part of four trillion Gilders into an economy and expect to see a reasonable imrpovement... unless handled well it could potentially cause an economic disaster of unprecidented proportions. While subtly gaining and growing the economy with such an influx is possible, it takes time. And while taking that time people seem to be taking large chunks out of it... all for good causes of course. The new merchant navy is an excellent proposition, the new military one a neccessary investment... Project Longinus... is already near completion of the primary systems and can probably be deferred against our expenditure on DAMOCLES."
"Spare us the lecture, Gus, we're too old to swap fields here. Can we afford it or not?" Speaks the woman. The elderly man scowls and continues as if interupted. "By the time it is complete, we should have the funds available to meet its requirement. I said it would be a challenge, but I've never failed to meet such a test before and I don't intend to now. If we go for it, we can afford it."
"That leaves the internal matters, doesn't it?" returns the chairman. "We have no real need to consult the Elders in this matter, though I believe we would recieve their approval. This improves their security while not requiring them to lift the bloody sword, as it were. But as it stands, we really don't need their fiat."
"So we're agreed?" finishes the woman. "Then I'll get on the com to El Presidente and express our willingness to co-operate. Diplomaticly, it would also be good if we could host one of the more significant command centres, if you'd be amicable to that?" Nods greet her.
The elderly man stands, shadows swallowing his form as he leaves his chair "Well then, we are concluded... and I can get to making these numbers happen."
"On your way out," speaks the chairman as the others depart "Can you get someone to repair the lights in here?"
No, i swear, its a health hazard...
Ok, I will leave now
OOC look... its part of a build-up to a significant defencive program, so people don't claim we just pulled it out of our asses later.
Lots of us are just saying "I'm in" or "Me too", but after the challenge of the first one, we're doing so in a Role-Playing way that helps to show a little of how our nations work.
Bite us, its RP.
Emma Sarie knock and walked into the ornate office, as was her custom several times during the day. She carried with her a large dossier, in a burgandy folder, with the word DAMOCLES embossed in gold.
As she neared the desk, the young woman sitting behind it, raised her eyes in acknowledgement of Emma's entry. She indicated a seat without uttering a word. Emma sat in silence.
The Empress returned her eyes to an identical set of papers that she had been reading on Emma's arrival. After another couple of minutes, she closed the file and gave her full attention to the woman in front of her.
"I fully approve of this DAMOCLES project, obviously we need to know exactly what is expected of us. I have a meeting arranged with Marcus, Morgan and Oliver later today, to discuss our capabilities for funding and production, if necessary."
She began to scribble some notes on a bit of paper, which she handed to Emma. "Confirm to them the time. Then send word to the Region Council that we will attend the meeting."
Emma stood and left the room, while the Empress returned to re-reading the dossier.
<Transmission to Los Bananos El Fuego>
<From: Ministry of Defence>
We wish to begin negotiations as soon as possible, given the favourable outlook for peace and the return of the New Inarli government. Indeed, bearing those two aspects in mind, we would like to point out the benefits of discussing additional signatories to the systems as soon as possible. Anaxa's recent developments in "smart" munitions, and the already existing tried-and-tested efficacy of the Super-Skisn II Modular Space Fighter would greatly assist in the programme. Other interested regional governments have expressed a desire to sign up as soon as it becomes a more open treaty.
Stuff and Shinies
To: All members of Devils Desert Regional Ambassadorial Council
From: The Empress, The People's Republic of Stuff and Shinies
I wish to formally announce our support for the proposed DAMOCLES system. I feel that this system will ensure lasting peace for the region and virtually eliminate external threats upon our esteemed nations.
Any further communications regarding this sytem should be sent directly to The Department for Military Research and Spending for perusal.
To: All members of the DDRAC, and concerned parties
Re: DAMOCLES Regional Defense Proposal
First, let me reiterate the very positive responses the DAMOCLES proposal received here at the PrattCo Conglomerate, and the hopes it has instilled in our national leadership for a collective, mutual defense of the Devils Desert in a new and exciting age of technological development.
The Chief Executive Offices wish to extend our invitation to all concerned nations and parties to attend the New Winchester Canyon Conference on Regional Defense. The location was specifically chosen for its high security, tolerable climate and outstanding architecture, as well as the fact that it already serves as headquarters for many multinational interests (such as the Corporate Coalition).
The first day of the conference will include cake.
I urge all parties to gather, whether in person or remotely, to discuss the very important matter of regional security and the DAMOCLES proposal.
Jenna Timothy, Spokeswoman, Santa Barbarian Government
Director, Public Assets Department
Central Sector, PrattCo Conglomerate
DAMOCLES project construction now well under way:
To: Santa Barbara
Re: Conference on Regional Defense
DDRAC Ambassador Serinin Orkestel will be glad to attend on behalf of the Nikean government. The offer of cake was instrumental in convincing this young government official in attending.
Dominion of Nikea
Minister of Foreign Relations
the most non-invasive tag possible......