"Write down every joke I say!"
Xiahe, MineLegotia and Equestria
01:32 MCT - 9/6/2389 ALB
"Well then, it's nice to see everyone here today," Medical said with a monotone voice, not betraying any emotion from his dull bureaucratic stereotype. But the hint of excitement in his eyes was committing high treason to his facade. Giving a tell to anyone with enough experience with him, that he was excited. It was certainly an occasion to be excited about. After five months of appointment to Imperial Regent, a proper Empire-wide meeting could be called. A fourth-wall-breaking reader might think, wait wasn't there already a Commonwealth-wide meeting? Well, that was Commonwealth-wide, not including all the various unimportant Colonies, minor Commonwealth nations, and other various states under the Empire's umbrella.
He could certainly spot the delegate from the Senjacus Mesinis dominion. The delegates' red robe and haphazardly installed digital eye and tubes made it easy. Medical noted that he was muttering something, at the sight of the delegate from the Citadelitien Twilightinis, or more commonly known as the Twilights Citadel, drabbed in their soft purple uniform. The two gave each other stink eyes. It was a schism between the Mechanists and Arcanists dating back to the founding of the nation itself, growing in strength till a separating of dominions by the Kaisar was needed.
The Mechanist and Arcanist debate was a debate isolated within the Citadel, with more conventional ideological debates taking place across the Empire. Such as the Preventusist doctrine of Decentralisation against the… also Preventusist doctrine of Centralisation. This is what happens when you have three people named the same names and all roughly indistinguishable from one another.
Those three counterparts were sitting next to one another. They colloquially went by ‘Governor’, ‘Executive’, and ‘Director’ respectively. The ‘Governor’ was the first of the three to join the Empire, and was known for his classical liberalist ideals. The ‘Executive’ followed behind, more known for his economic ideas which were interventionist in nature. The ‘Director’ was known infamously for his brutal methods to reconstruction. If you can’t tell, one of them was a disgusting Keynesian, and the rest were normal, decently sane, leaders of the Empire.
Medical knew they were trustworthy. Their ways may be corrupt and decadent in the eyes of the church, but they were the few that the Kaisar trusted to hold back in such ways. They were the most high ranking of the Imperial Hierarchy to have violated the Manehattan Convention on Wars and Prisoners, but in comparison to the many others in the Empire’s history? Practically saints.
His eyes panned over the meeting room, spotting Princess-Governor Snowflake along with her husband, Red Hammer. The two were inseparable, like all immortals were. If he remembered properly, Jason had made a deal with them. Their service, for both of their lives. Intertwining their lives with… something. He didn’t know what it was, but he shuddered to think. Jason was a demon… a horrific monster. Something he didn’t want to think about too much since he was technically related to him.
But other than that, they were a normal power couple. Princess-Governor Snowflake held power through her vast economic power, and Hammer through his command over the army and the weather control arrays. It was hardly different than Snowflake’s father, who held control of the weather and subjugated the nation as a whole. But unlike him, Snowflake actually gave a f*ck about her citizens.
Medical’s eyes travelled around the room before spotting the Calavarian detachment. Princess-Governor Lina Emin was there conversing with the East Maconian delegation. The East Maconian diplomat Jonathan Lemin Zhong von Kartäusermönchen-Tauerer Zhai Fan Girata Shilage Balcerzak-Könner, was supposed to be the additional Commonwealth Emissary for the Confederation Senate. However, the reshuffling of power by the entry of him as Imperial Regent had slammed down on pre-Regent era settlements. And with the deterioration of the Confederation’s Senate, Jonathan was soon retracted.
On the topic of Calavaria, Lina’s nation had been restructured in order to try and copy the MineLegoEquestrian model. Gone were the old solar courts, and in with the more modern and distinctively more boring secretarial offices.
Medical noted that the anarchists had actually sent a representative. But there was not much to note from them, especially with the various River nations representatives scattered around them. Two River Swirls there, a Tea Drip there, and a Nova Whirl way over there, it was interesting how similar yet different a single change in a timeline made.
The entire Empire was here, that was certain. He could see various minor dignitaries from Prysidia and Dystritum, and a couple more from the Empire’s tributary states. In total four hundred and eighty seven Imperial states had sent representatives to this grand Conference. A rare sight that only every bi-century.
“It’s great to be here too,” Preventus I spoke up, Medical nodded as he took a seat at the main table. A seemingly long table that was to fit Minister Stylus of Foreign Affairs, Minister Inesinch von Rechvaren of Colonial Affairs, Minister Timofei Semen Ukin of Commonwealth Matters, and all the other ministers on one side. Such tables were merely sixteen different types of tables, covered with a really long piece of cloth to make it seem like one. A good metaphor for the Empire if one wished.
“Well then, gentlemen and ladies, of all manner of political positions under the Kaisar himself,” Medical started, getting everyone’s attention. He held back a gulp, reciting the speech he and Stylus had made and revised endlessly last night. “Today, and for the next week or so, we gather here to discuss the important topics of the Empire. For almost all of its life, the Empire had been led by a single man, the Kaisar. But months ago, that changed and I-”
He said, standing up. It was intended for dramatic effect, but he noted several raised eyebrows and chuckles from the older cast of the Empire. It was amusing to them. But the reactions of the other dignitaries showed it had his intended effect.
“ -am now in charge. And many had said I shared many similarities with the Kaisar, but that isn’t fully true. I intend to fix this Empire, better than he had left it. Corruption reeks our halls and bickering prevents us from advancing forward and creating a better future.
Now the question isn’t of what I intend to do, but what you are willing to do for the Empire and its people as a whole! You all have your own nations to tend to, but I might need to remind you, who were the ones that helped build your states, and who built the foundations for the future… it doesn’t matter if you don’t help, that’s on your own choice. But all I ask, is that you help cooperate, and pitch in as we try, to make a better world for all of us.”
Medical let his speech hold the air. For a moment, and not for a minute longer he continued.
“And thus… may this conference begin!”
“I heard your friend in the SUF got arrested,” Stylus Pen commented, her voice barely above a whisper in the chatter filled conference room. Various bureaucrats and dignitaries exchanging advice and various documents. Once every detachment had stated their goals and what they had done since their previous goals a couple centuries ago, the exchange began.
The exchange was when leaders exchanged ideas and plans between the various states. Having foreign views on common problems was a regular way to solve things in the higher echelons. No one wants to admit they have all the solutions, lest they get swamped by some smart upstart among them to smack them with something they don’t know of. Something, which in Tailspin’s opinion, the Confederation Senate needed if it were to survive.
“Yeah, tried assassinating Bombardone too,” Tailspin noted with a shake of his head, a wing holding up a canteen. “That woman finally snapped, I suppose.”
“You tell me, HORSE’s now in charge of the SUF. At least that’s what I gathered from the panicked bureaucrats. Asking for form 9283-394/ADE to be filled out so they can get more bureaucrats in to handle such a transition of power,” Stylus shrugged, taking a sip out of her own canteen. Apparently military habits die hard in MineLegotia and Equestria. “So then… you have a new powerbase, what now?”
“No Goddamn clue,” Tailspin’s eyes scanned the room, Octavia was over there talking with Snowflake. She had planned on asking her about how to incentivise more economic growth among a consumer based economy, and last Tailspin heard, Snowflake wanted to ask more about the trains MineLegotiponyians were so fond of. “I just want to finish my damn University proposal.”
“Politics move, seas shake, nations rise and fall. Great leaders rise in hard times, in hard times comes the Men of God, to set things as according to His Plan,” Stylus recited, Tailspin’s mind supplied the information that it was a citation of The Sixty Points, a book long worn with age that challenged the age’s theology about God.
“Amen, Stylus, amen,” Tailspin said with a nod. He wasn’t religious, but it was a bit respectful. “So then… what should I do?”
“I’m barely seven months into this job, and you’re asking me for advice?” Stylus looked at Tailspin with a look as if he said something nonsensical. Tailspin responded with a raised eyebrow.
“Barely seven months?”
“Medical wanted to solidify his control, what better than making me, Minister for Foreign Affairs. A former Anarchist and now Social Democrat,” Stylus rolled her eyes at the thought. “I protested, but I had spent about twenty years in MiniAdmin, so no one rose to challenge my appointment… I swear, MiniAdmin’s the nobility of the Empire.”
“I heard rumours, probably true in some way,” Tailspin shrugged, “But still, my original question?”
“Watch the players, who’s shaking and who’s responding. Like here,” Stylus gestured to the room. “You see the East Maconian delegation?”
“Yes?” It was standard practice to look away from where you wanted to see. Equine eyes were large, they had a larger periphery vision than humans and griffons, being primarily prey animals and all that. “What about them?”
“They’re offering a steel export deal to the anarchists…” Stylus began, Tailspin’s ear turning to her as his eyes wandered the room. “In response to a rumour that Mleocunese Equestrian importeers were seeking to diversify steel imports, due to Calavarian steel production going down for a period in the last few months, but restored to normal capacity recently. Mostly interpolated by looking at the data.”
“Knowing you MineLegoEquestrians, you’re expecting me to say that the Calavarians are the shakers, but they aren’t,” Tailspin quipped and Stylus nodded.
“Correct, it went down because of a strike. Response to Mleocunese legislation passing for proper compensation for overtime work. The line stops there as far as I can tell,” Stylus shrugged. “Relative to a phenomenon, the phenomenon is always responding, and the one before it, shaking. Simple logic. But you need to figure which shaker causes the most phenomenon.”
“Find the mastermind… eh?”
“Indeed, and the Senate has the Not-so-in-the-shadows-emperor and Bombadrone as the main shakers. Try and figure out if Bombadrone is the responder to the emperor, or if the emperor is shaking the Bombadrone. And with that, you should know how to control the Senate,” Stylus sighed. “Or don’t, resign, and let it all burn down.”
“You say that like I’m a lynchpin in ensuring the survival of the Senate,” Tailspin said, unwilling to believe Stylus’ proposition.
“Eh, it’s always nice when you romanticise a situation, you create a story… easier to digest,” She took another sip. “And the next few weeks might define the future of the Senate.”
“The cards are in your hooves…” A new voice made Tailspin yelp and turned around to see the newcomer. Stylus, for her part, looked at Praktino with a raised eyebrow. There were also myths regarding how one’s position impacted one’s abilities. For her, well it meant that she was more knowledgeable in all matters diplomacy and foreign. The position of Director as MRIS? Well it just meant that a man can easily not be noticed, a primitive antimemetic shrouded over him.
“Yes, yes, very ominous Praktino, any useful information?” Stylus said with a hint of annoyance.
“Other than a Cult the Ridnezians are involved with, I can’t really help you with blackmailing people,” Praktino paused, he quietly pulled out his phone, scrolled a bit before shaking his head. “Yep, nothing useful for your Confederation politicking.”
“Luddite…” Tailspin huffed, smoke escaping his nostrils. “Well then, seems like I have no map to go up a river.”
“It seems so…” Stylus said, frowning as she realised her canteen was empty. Tailspin sighed to himself as he backed away and into the crowds of the conference. Praktino disappeared along with him, and Stylus sighed, looking around for Medical.
He did always hide a bottle under that jacket.