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Anna's moves (7579 to present)
01-05-2018, 04:16 PM
Post: #1
Anna's moves (7579 to present)
Östervallen palace, September 23rd 7579

"You asked for me, majesty?"
Arimu entered Anna's working office. It was nearly 18:00 and the end of a working day that had been way too long for Anna. Arimu expected that her arrival only was a signal to end all meetings. Indeed, Anna did send out most of the attendants, she only asked Moa to stick around.

"Dinner time?" Moa asked, recognizig the trick Anna just pulled.
"Not yet. Please sit down. There is something I would like to discuss with Arimu."
The Kakuri immigrant had an idea what this was about, but Moa had no clue. Not even when Anna opened a folder containing six stapled sections of manuscripts.

"Thank you for confiding in me," Anna addressed Arimu, "this work is... exemplary."
"Did you enjoy it?"
"I most certainly did."

"What is this?" Moa asked.
"Arimu handed me six stories she wrote herself. Something more light and distracting to read when I had to lie down."

Moa looked at Arimu. "I know you were testing to write something, get better in Wortsproke. I said you could always as me for an opinion, suggestions or corrections."
"There's a reason why she did not let you read it," Anna replied on Arimu's behalf. "Is it OK if I show her?" Anna asked the author, who nodded in agreement. Anna handed the first section to Moa.

'Kakuri Mu-Wa - Moa and the isolated' it said on the cover.

"What is this," Moa said once more.
"It is part of your future biography," Anna supplied as answer.
"This is what you have been writing?" Moa asked Arimu, who in her turn looked down and nodded hesitatively. The subject of the story opened the section halfway and started to read somewhere in the middle. She looked up, but did not meet Arimu's eyes, so she continued reading. The silence was deafening. Arimu looked up when Moa turned the page. They quickly made eye contact.

"You have a nice way of storytelling," Moa complemented her lady-in-waiting, "and the use of our language... creative, but mostly correct. I'm impressed... and a bit embarressed."
That feeling only increased when Anna started handing over the other sections.

'Aka Pansa - The red panther sister'
'Kinzoku - A relation in metal'
'Tensho - Master of the weeping box'
'Ny Skiöldavik'
'Urashin - the new back'

"Where did you find the time?" Moa asked. Arimu laughed.
"Did you expect I laid idle in some doll's box whenever you are here in Östervallen?"
"No, of course not... but this must have taken ages!"

Moa started reading 'Urashin' from the start.
"Hang on, this happened only two months ago... And how do you know all of this? Most of the times, you weren't even present..."

"Let me tell you something," Anna addressed Arimu directly, thus cutting the discussion with Moa short. "You are a part of the story, and you have a... typical relation with most of the people presented here. Your stories are... balanced. I know you have a history with Kirisaki, and yet your portrayal of her is rather... neutral."

"Thank you," Arimu replied, "that was the purpose. This is about Moa and her relation with the Kakuri people. All Kakuri, myself included. The story only has value if it is fair."
"I am deeply impressed. I know you write songs and lyrics, but this is something different, and in a language that is new for you. You are a writer in an Orkanan tradition, yet you are not from an Orkanan tradition yourself. Remarkable..."

Arimu did not know what to say. Suddenly Moa got a hunch. She picked up 'Ny Skiöldavik' and flipped it open near the end.
"How... you were not there... how... it is pretty accurate. Someone has been informing you."
But Arimu wasn't going to answer that one.
"Hang on, this is not what happened. There are only two persons who could know what really went down there... This is fiction. And you let Anna read this?"
"But it could have happened..."
"You let Anna read this?" Moa asked rethorically once again. "And call this balanced?" Moa now addressed Anna, who wanted to know what the fuss was all about.

"Ah, right... that's an interesting bit. Well, I knew Arimu could not have been there, and that no one would have updated her. But the action is pretty much in character. It could have happened... Or do you want to tell us what happened between you and Flower that night."
"No," Moa snapped, "none of your business. Nothing happened."
"That's basicly how Arimu describes it..."

"So what is the purpose of all this?" Moa tried to steer the discussion into a different direction.
"First of all, I wanted Anna's opinion. I thought she might enjoy my efforts, even though they're not really good. It might get her mind off if things."
"Well, that worked," Anna added.
"Secondly, at some time, I would like to see your story, about the crown princess of Vittmark and an isolated culture in the tropics, to be told. Published maybe."
"This is not going to be published," Moa cut the discussion short.

"Of course not. It is not ready. It is raw material. I am bad at writing..."
"No, you're not," Anna interrupted, "this is good. And you are right, at some point Moa needs a biography. Then this episode will be a centrepiece. But there is plenty of time. Maybe Moa wants to give you some insights on events where you weren't present?"
"This is not going to be published," Moa repeated.
"My dear, at some point, a biography will be written and published. Maybe 30 years after you die. Then you have nothing to say about the contents. Now you can."

"Can I read all of it?" Moa asked Arimu.
"Of course..."
"I have one request," Anna intervened. "There is a piece of the story missing. I never understood how the Nokumo Nobono came to power in the first place. You don't have to write this, but maybe you can tell it as a story..."

"Right now?" Arimu asked.
"Let's eat first."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
01-15-2018, 11:45 PM
Post: #2
RE: Anna's moves (7579 to present)
After dinner, Anna directed Arimu into the side room, where there were some couches. Tea was served here with some light dessert. Palne, Moa and Teres joined.

"Now you can tell," Anna addressed.
"Now?" she replied. Anna nodded. Arimu looked at Moa. But Anna cut that shot cut off.
"Moa does not know how your leadership is chosen, not even how it functions. She's just... there... But you do."

Arimu now put down her cup of tea, knowing that it would be stone cold by the time she was done.
"Where to begin... well, I could not have told this before, since I didn't understand how your leadership worked. For me, the Kakuri way is as natural as walking on two feet. But maybe... your history... the written accounts, they are formulated from the winner's perspective, in hinesight. Kakuri leadership works in the same way, but then in the present."

"You write history... in the present," Teres interrupted. This gave Arimu a moment to sip her tea.
"Palne understands. Kakuri leadership explains the current events, gives them context, they actually tell how it should be interpreted. New leadership could mean new interpretations, but that seldomly happens, because the old leaders play a role as well."

"That does not explain how your leadership works. Are they chosen, appointed, and if so, by whom?"
"Leaders must come from the same birth blade, it provides cohesion. But not always. Sohoko of the Oto was an outsider. Just like Urashinu..."
"And Moa..." Anna added.
"So it seems. That's really outside. No offence."
Moa indicated that she did not feel offended.

"Usually, the largest blade group of generations in child-bearing age provide the leadership group. They are in the middle of life. The middle is good... The birth blade group itself determines who can tell their stories. These people get training so they can claim a leadership role on behalf of the blade."

Arimu took a sip again and decided to elaborate a bit more.

"Sorry to say this, Moa, but the Nokumo Nobono is an accident. They were not supposed to become leaders. There were two separate groups within the blade, and the group had decided to put the best together in a single group. Kirisaki was axed, but didn't leave quietly as most people who got cut do. She decided to gather the other axed girls and kept performing. Koyubi and Sitchi Dai joined later from the main group."

"But how do you claim leadership?"
"Leadership is given... by the people. Groups perform, tell events as stories, songs, dance, plays. Some groups are more popular than others. That's the basis of power... That's how Kirisaki managed. Her group was more appreciated than others, especially outside her blade."

"So it is a cultural, artistic meritocracy," Palne conformed an expression the conductor of the city's philharmonic orchestra one had uttered.
"If you provide the narrative of today and yesterday, you are in power."
"And is it handed over, or claimed..."
"Both. The Oto handed it over to the Nokumo Nobono about a year after I was forced to leave. The Oto provide continuity, routines; while the Nokumo Nobono provides the present."

"And how is that combined with administering services? Because that is central."
"Arisu and Midori take care of that, with help of the Oto. Until Arisu was replaced by Nenne."

"Hang on..." Teres asked or some thinking time. "Arisu, you say... that's not you..."
"No, Arisu is a younger member with junior performing tasks."
"Then I had it all wrong in my head. I thought Arimu and Arisu were the same person. They were in and then they were out..."

Arimu laughed. "Easy mistake to make. But I left a year before the Nokumo Nobono became leaders, Arisu joined at about the time they did."
"Sorry..." Teres apologized.
"Not a problem."

"I still don't get what the Nokumo does as leadership."
"The Kakuri do whatever they want to do, but always in a strict framework of taking care of each other. Only if you need something your own group can not provide, you ask the leadership to set up a fair trade. It will be administered."
"Sounds like a lot of work."
"The administration is the basis for what you would call the law, the ways things are being dealt with, the do's and don'ts. Defining the law is an evaluation, so the Oto is doing that. But the Nokumo Nobono is ultimately responsible."

Arimu sat back and took her cup of tea in both hands. This was an indication that she was done talking for the moment. Moa recognized the gesture and started a different topic of discussion.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
02-02-2018, 03:49 PM (This post was last modified: 05-30-2018 04:02 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #3
RE: Anna's moves (7579 to present)
Östervallen Palace, Östvallen, Vittmark - November 27th 7579
(OOG - edited to make it fit the timeline better)

”Please, have a seat.”
Queen Anna welcomed Frania av Lårsten into her work office. As chancellor for federal affairs she was used to be invited by the queen quite often. But as soon as she sat down, she felt that this was not a standard meeting. First trigger of unrest, the other people left the office and Anna and Frania were sitting there, just the two of them.

”So, how's the cabinet doing these days.”
Such an opening line would trigger all alarms. Frania decided to play along, knowing that Anna usually had some sort of scenario in her head.
”Is it just me,” Anna continued, ”or has the cabinet grinded to a halt somewhere?”

”We have a mandate for a five year plan from parliament. We don't get any complaints there.”
”Of course not. Four target areas... how many have we landed?”
”Three, I would say.”
”And the fourth...”
”Working on it.”
”How long do you want to continue? It's been nearly six years now.”
”Is her grace referring to me as a person or us as a group?” Frania replied with a question of her own. ”If her grace is not satisfied with my output...”

”Frania”, Anna interrupted her, ”always using the 'your grace' thing when you're defending yourself. There's no need for that. I was referring to the cabinet as a group. Everyone is working parallel. It's working, but we have reached a point where we don't make any progress anymore.”

Frania sighed. ”Are you asking me to resign?”
Anna laughed. ”I can not ask you that, that's not how this country works. Beside that, I would like you to do the exact opposite.”
Frania frowned. This had caught her by surprise.
”Would you be interested in building a new cabinet? Or reshuffle the old one, that would be up to you...”

Then Frania remembered the talk she had with Moa, back in September. She had indicated that it was time for a reshuffle as well. Frania knew that Moa had a grudge against Ödebo since their visit to Anisora, which had resulted in a vote of no confidence in parliament. Which Ödebo easily survived. Moa's two weeks in power had not been enough to get Ödebo removed, but she had made Frania starting thinking about the next step in federal government.

”You just said that this is not how our country works,” Frania replied once she had let the message sink in.
”Are you up to it or not? Because I only set the gears in motion if you're in.”
Frania remained quiet for a while.

”I need to think about that. I do not want to sound disloyal to Ödebo, but I am pretty sure I could be a good cabinet leader. I just need some time to assess the impact on my life this would have.”
”Of course, it is quite a commitment. But I can't wait until eternity, you understand...”
”I understand completely. A couple of days, tops.”
”Fine. I am glad you're considering this.”

Frania left the working quarters without discussing anything else. Once outside, she took a deep breath. 'Who am I kidding,' she thought to herself.

In the mean time Anna had sat herself behind the desk, trying to decide which of the dossiers really required her attention. She heard a quick knocking on her door.
”Come!” she replied without looking up. Frania only popped her head through the half opened door.
”I'm in...”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
02-08-2018, 02:51 PM (This post was last modified: 05-30-2018 04:05 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #4
RE: Anna's moves (7579 to present)
Östervallen Palace, December 4th 7579

”Can I help you?”
Teres Ståhlvik addressed someone who clearly was lost in the corridors of the palace complex.

”I think you can, mylady,” the woman replied. ”I had an appointment with fru Av Lårsten, but she had to cancel at the last minute. Her assistent told me I could wait, or that I could report at her majesty's office.”
”Then you came to the right place. This is the queen's office.”
”Well, I was aware of that, but I was hesitative to go in. I mean, I have an appointment with the chancellor, it seems unfitting to look her up at her majesty's office.”

Both women went through the open double doors that led into the front office. There were always some clerks or assistents working here. The doors to the back office, the queen's working quarters, were guarded by two armed court security officers.

”I think you understood wrong, the chancellor is not in a meeting with queen Anna,” Teres explained.
”Oh... then why was I sent here?”
”Excuse me,” Teres countered, ”but who are you?
”I apologize... I'm a bit out of my territory here. I recognize so many people, it's like walking around in a newspaper. Pleased to meet you, governor Av Ståhlvik.”
”And you are...”
”Ah, ehm... Kassandersdotter Bilanda...”
”Marey, the executive from Mivö,” Teres interrupted.
”Indeed, how...”
”Just follow me,” Teres cut her short once more. She opened the door and entered the working office. A very mixed company had sat themselves in the central sofa arrangement.

”Anna... your grace,” Teres interrupted, ”it's Marey Bilanda, the executive from Mivö, without an appointment.”
Anna rose from her seat and approached the new arrival. She grabbed both her hands, not leaving any room for Marey to make any mistake when it came to court etiquette.
”Welcome, welcome... I've been wanting to meet you. Glad you dropped by.”

Anna looked at Marey. This was Frania's wondergirl from Mivö? She was rather small, thin as well, had her hair in a simple ponytail and round glasses that made her eyes appear larger. She had clearly tried to dress for the occassion, a meeting with a chancellor, but Mivonian fashion was about 7 years behind that of the capital. Her sheepish glance might be the result of the unexpected welcome in the heart of Vittmarker informal government though.

”Have a seat, have a cup of tea, listen in and if you have anything to contribute, please do.”
Anna introduced the rest of the company, a governor, a senator, two MP's, an alf and a couple of assistants and clerks. Teres had to pull up some chairs for herself and Marey to join the group.
”Where is you assistant?” Teres asked half whispering.
”He had to stay at the chancellor's office. Now I understand... Kind of... Her majesty wanted to meet me? Why...”

”What was the topic of your appointment with the chancellor,” Anna asked from across the table.
”It wasn't explicite, but I assumed that it had to do with the 37,500 crowns Mivö contributed extra to the budget this year. The state has something to say about spending it.”
”And how did her ladyship manage to do that?”
”Business is booming, there is a lot of building activity going on, so the state received more taxes through the sockens. A part of it is earmarked for federal spending.”

”The federal budget is not chancellor Av Lårsten's responsibility. We have a treasurer for that...”
Anna was fishing here. She knew Frania av Lårsten wanted to have Marey Bilanda as the new treasurer. She tested if the newbie would take the bait.

”I'm not sure if I'm supposed to tell this... not in this company...”
”We're all friends here,” Anna lured her in more.
”OK then... Mivö would like to be the seat of the Financial Works. We're one of the few states without an own currency, so it's an excellent, more neutral location.”
”That's still the Treasury Department,” Anna replied while winking.

”We're all friends here,” Marey continued, ”such a proposal would have to pass both houses, so I'm testing the first responses from the senator and both representatives here. I don't want to spend my time dragging around a dead horse, I want to know if our reasoning falls well.”
”Relocating federal institutions to smaller cities within a three hour radius of the capital has been our policy for a while,” the MP from Ådalen countered.
”I agree,” the senator from Laxholm added, ”Östvallen is top heavy from all the federal jobs.”

Anna smiled. Marey might look naive, but she was quick in setting the conversation towards the topic she wanted to discuss.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
02-14-2018, 12:15 AM (This post was last modified: 05-30-2018 04:08 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #5
RE: Anna's moves (7579 to present)
Östervallen Palace, December 18th 7579

"Sorry I'm late," Chancellor av Lårsten excused herself when she entered the queen's working quarters, "I was with Marey and it seems that she has taken her own staff from Skara to the Treasury, a whole stickball team..."
"Any problem with that," Palne asked.
"Not as such, it's just that it took a lot more time than expected, this inaugural meeting. Rågersson stood perplex as well."

Anna was intrigued by this. Federal government was pretty small in Vittmark. And even though there wasn't a real tradition yet, bringing your own staff was unheard off. There was only one thing to do: sneak out off this meeting and see for herself. She found the opportunity after 10 minutes or so.

"Majesty, the palace master wants a quick word," one of her servants whispered.
"Excuse me," Anna grabbed the opportunity, "but I have to take this."
She rushed out, talked 2 minutes with the palace master about some details surrounding the ongoing renovations and then set off to the North Wing.

The Treasury was housed in the Royal Palace itself, in old military quarters that hadn't been updated since the 50's. The Department building itself was being renovated at the moment as well. Anna pitied the clerk that spotted her first near the general meeting room where Marey Bilanda and her staff had gathered.

"Your Grace... if her majesty wishes to speak to Chancellor Bilanda, she just has to ask."
"I know, but she's in a meeting, isn't she? People tend to barge into my meetings all the time, but I seldomly get the chance myself. Could you announce my presence?"
"Of course..."

Marey Bilanda had the exact same response as her clerk.
"I'm not here as the head of state," Anna explained, "I'm here as your landlord. Just checking to see if the amenities are to your satisfaction."
"The palace master is seeing to our needs," Marey replied, "But let me introduce her grace to the new staff of the Treasury... Danne, natural resources; Frida, office manager; Nina, ordinance survey; Enna, fiscal planning; Gustav, building development; Emlin, chief of development; Henke, civil registries; Malin, currencies and finally Pärolof, infrastructure and transportation... I beg your pardon, majesty, but we are all at a first name basis..."
"Well, in that case, I am Anna. I only inherited this building, nothing special. So you're all from Skara?"

The group started laughing.
"A common misconception," Marey explained, "Malin and Henke live south of Skara, while the rest of us live north of town. Which makes us all Mivonians. Except for Pärolof, he's a 'knuslänning'."
Knusland was a border region of Liden, most of it was a part of the member state of Kram these days.

"It's a bit unusual to bring your entire staff, how did the other civil servants feel about it?"
"Actually, Rågersson saw an opportunity to take along some of his people to the Foreign Department. There weren't too many people left then, it seemed that the Treasury was like a hotel with civil servants checking in and out all the time. Most people here worked a year, year-and-a-half. I can't work with shifting people, so I brought my own staff."

"Then Mivö is helpless now?"
"To be honest," Marey said half seriously, "that is a national matter and if there are any repercussions, then that is my colleague Av Lårsten's problem."
"I'm just sitting in," Anna explained, "please continue with what you're doing. There's a new wind blowing here and I like to feel the breeze."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
12-02-2018, 10:18 PM
Post: #6
RE: Anna's moves (7579 to present)
Östvallen, Nov 8th 7579
(kind of mixing up the timeline above, but responding to the events in Aedeland)

Av Hagen was rushing through the corridors of the royal palace, trying to come in time for an improvised cabinet meeting.
"Gumpert," he heard a familiar voice from one of the side corrodors. Palne Kristersson wanted his attenton.

"I'm in an awful hurry..." he tried to excuse himself.
"I know. Tell me in one sentence, what did your evening session yesterday result in?"
Gumpert started with a quick update on how the cabinet was trying to respond to the events unvolving in neighbouring Aedeland. He did his best to formulate as precise as possible but was distracted by Palne trying to gaze right through him. He started stuttering and then fell silent somewhere halfway an endless sentence.

"So, basicly... nothing," Palne summarized.
"It's a precarious situation, that's why we're meeting again now."
"Do you want to sit with Ödebo, stay on the surface, or do you want to gain some inside information?"

Gumpert av Hagen tried to assess if this was a trick question. It was a public secret that the court no longer had much faith in cabinet leader Iodhann Ödebo. The way he managed the visit to Anisora had been the proverbial drop that made the cup run over. Sure, he had come back with a workeable deal about light cruisers. But in the process he had alienated MPs and he had let crown princess Moa float adrift in her attempts to explain the Kakuri cause to the only Anarian government willing to listen. A bit like the little kid that walks in with his muddy boots to show his parents the frog he has found in the back yard, not understanding why they aren't that pleased.

Palne felt the hesitation, so he continued. "Anna will not be attending the meeting. She has her own event. Care to join?"
"Which company? It must be quite a gathering if it could be more important than a core cabinet meeting."
"Only one way to find out..."

Gumpert decided that a little detour only would take a couple of minutes. He was curious to see who was at the queen's meeting. The crown princess, some court security officers he once met but could not remember their names, the Kakuri MP and some new faces. Not really an impressive bunch.

"Now we're about complete," Anna greeted, "have a seat," she continued, but she noticed that people were already standing.
"Your Grace," he replied, "could I enquire to what the status of this meeting is?"
"Of course. We are feeding you with the latest information and are setting root for our joint strategy, which you then will bring to the cabinet."

"Her majesty is not planning anything... radical?"
"These people are here to protect me from doing so. Svea Gefna is our contact for court intelligence with eyes on the ground in Aedeland. The same goes for a cell of Fjällsta Affirmation, Palne's team, represented here by Yuma Fukai..."
Av Hagen looked at the small, girlish MP from the Kakuri people. He had no idea that she was playing a role in Fjällsta Stift's paramilitary police forces. Yuma understood Gumpert's haze and put her index finger across her lips, then gesturing the closing of a jar.

"Are you saying you have intelligence that the foreign department does not have?" Gumpert av Hagen asked. It remained quiet for a while.
"Technically speaking," Palne took over, "if we are sharing with the chancellor of security and he brings it to the cabinet then the foreign chancellor has it as well."

"Gumpert," Anna continued, "Aedeland is trying to enlist a contingent of cannon fodder twice the size of our federal military. All of that to let them die for a company's cause in a far away land no one really cares about. What we fear the most is that the Aedelish will bring the threat closer in order to gain support for the impopular new policy."

Av Hagen took a while to respond. "Is Her Grace suggesting... Is Aedeland planning..."
"We have no proof of that. But we need to be alert. It is a logical possibility. Creating an enemy close to home is just the distraction the government in Ålesund needs right now. I would not put it past them that they would create such a conflict just in order to get the population on their side again."

"So," Palne continued, "we need to be on our watch, and we need to avoid to be lured into something."
"Also, we need the Aldsay population to know that the real enemies towards their future welfare are in AErilar, and with their puppets in Ålesund, not with the Ithrieni, the Amberians, Anisorans nor us."

"I see... so... concentrating our troops on the western border..." Av Hagenwas interrupted by Palne.
"Could and probably will be seen as a provocation."
"But we need to be alert at the same time, have a contingency strategy, readiness...."

"Chancellor," Anna was getting formal, "whatever Ödebo is coming up with, or trying to acchieve... Let's wait this one out, let's see what happens. I know this seems like an opportunity to him to try to steer events in a certain direction, but please stop him from doing so."

Gumpert av Hagen started to laugh. "I kind of was anticpating that Her Grace would take this opportunity to add to the imbalance..."
"Well, maybe I do, maybe I don't. But whoever is watching for us, maybe pushing for us, whatever cell or team we might have there, it can not be traced back to us."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"

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