Minister Bowen was shocked at the offer being so open. He nearly dropped his fork onto the ground. Hillary and Tony looked at each other and giggled.
"I think we know someone is on board now," Tony joked.
"Yes, it's quite an amazing offer, Paul, and I can't see how any Australian Government, Progressive Alliance, National or Labor, could say no to that," Hillary said to Cracitus. "We of course would be delighted to enjoy a free-trade zone between Australia and Inquista across all of our sectors of the economy. It will be the start of a huge boom in both of our economies both on the side of competitiveness and consumer choices."
The dinner continued and as Hillary continued to tuck in to her caprese, she remembered Cracitus' comment.
"Well, Australia is a huge country of immigrants, and our chef tonight came from Inquista. In fact, Inquistans make up a huge part of Australian immigrant community and greater society, as many came in earlier decades and have left a remarkable impact on our nation. I'm just glad that this, the Australian winter technically, has been warm enough for us to do this outside but not so hot as to make it unbearable," Hillary commented. Bill pat her on the shoulder, a twinkle in his eye. He was enjoying his wife's turn as Prime Minister, a job that he wanted for so many years and was beaten out of existence by Paul Keating when Prime Minister Hawke retired, giving way to the right of the Labor Party following Bill and making their own political party, the Progressive Alliance. Now, what started as a few rebels of the Labor Right in 1992 turning into a government in 2018.
"Paul, I don't know if you've had a chance to visit Australia like this before, but I hope you don't have to go back quickly. I recommend touring Queensland before you go home. It's the heart of Australia. Yes, New South Wales and Victoria are better known in the region thanks to the success of Sydney and Melbourne, but Queensland is really where you get a true sense of Australian life. Even Pauline's hometown of Ipswich has a charm to it, despite our difference in politics," Bill offered. Hillary brought the wine to her face and held it to her lips for an uncomfortably long time.
'Pauline...that bitch...' Hillary thought to herself. 'The one who is a menace to her own gender most of the time.'
Tanya stamped her foot lightly on Hillary's as if to get her to put the glass of wine down.
"Something we've found, Archbishop Cracitus...I hope it's alright if I call you Paul as well," Tanya began, "is that Australia and Inquista both are keen to work on environmental issues together, and I think an alliance on that front could show real progress. For example, our dinner tonight is being powered by solar panels and the produce and livestock were both organic and responsibly farmed. It is absolutely a key tenet of this government to grow international action to act on climate change. We only have one planet to live on, so we ought to take care of it."