"All the travel arrangements have been made!" proudly proclaimed Jenn Lammer, Erik's Drammen's new Secretary for the Office of State. "The Gallic delegation will be flying into Blackstone International Airport and then be escorted to the Metro Underground. A special reserved G1 train with no other riders will then take them directly to Federal Citadel Station, we're choosing to skip all the traffic.
A maintenance team is in the rail tunnel now taking down the flipbook style advertising that is usually displayed in there and changing it to scenes of various beautiful places in Gallorum."
The Master-General certainly appreciated her energy and drive at a time when the Office of State was overwhelmed and badly needed people who could handle logistics quickly. She also had great attention to little details like the tunnel scenes that could make an experience more immersive for their guests.
"Thanks Jenn, you're awesome!" he replied.
With the Steward spending most of his time gambling down at the casino or doing who-knows-what drugs in celebrity mansions, there was effectively no one at the helm of the country much of the time...as the first Master-General in the constitutional chain of succession after the Stewardship, Erik found the federal government increasingly looking to him for de facto day-to-day leadership. The military didn't even hesitate when he basically directed them to do things that an Aelir or Steward really should be doing instead. What a mad world...he had to handle that whole URR statement himself, too - Steward Maximillian signed it from inside a casino...like come on, man...probably didn't even read it.
Erik hid his frustration with the Steward from his staff, calmly directing them in how to setup the room they'd be using for the summit. He had multiple meeting rooms on hand for different flavors of guest, this time they'd be using the southwest bastion. It was a modern space in an ancient building, a place where 2 month old furnishings and the internet co-existed seamlessly with 2,000 year old walls.
The bastion included large windows on 3 sides, letting in plentiful natural light, which he figured the Gallic representatives would like. Refreshments on the table featured hand-grown fruits from his own garden, cheese and crackers from an upscale Kaumbrennian farm, ice water from a famous Varian spring, and wine of varieties that would be very familiar to someone from Gallorum.
There were still a few preparations left that only he could do. Erik dialed into the power department to make sure they would switch the color of the entrance lights on schedule. The Citadel, the seat of the executive branch and a real former fortress, had a very unique main entrance - visitors walked across a drawbridge below two massive turrets to enter. Instead of a moat, there was simply a bottomless void of a dropoff. Both the void and the Citadel walls were jet-black, having been made with Duxburian blackstone, so illuminating that space gave it quite a look that visitors wouldn't forget any time soon. The void glowed menacing red during times of war, orange during high alert, and eerie green most other times. It needed to be white, the color of diplomacy, for this summit. Erik also had to make sure the flags of both countries would be flying on the turrets, Gallorum's on the right in the position of honor. The parade grounds outside the Citadel also had to be blocked off to the general public and the secret diplomatic exit from the train station, unblocked.
As Erik finished up with these tasks, there was an eccentric knock on the office door, a pattern he knew very well.
"Come in, Andres!"
"Erik! Look, I'm early for once!"
Erik sniggered...Andres Marian, Master of Sleep and Laziness, was never early to things...
"Jenn, you have competition! Andres is early...which means he's eager to take your job!"
Being new and having no idea who Andres was, Jenn was terrified.
Of course, he wasn't secretary material...he was the lead IT admin of the City of Niko beneath their feet. Erik needed Andres' tech expertise for these negotiations. Wild rumors had it that Andres was an OG engineer of the internet and built the world wide web with Brandeus Devoy. Other rumors had him developing the modern personal computer, but never claiming the riches or the credit. Whatever was actually in his knowledge base was...formidable...so yes they needed him.
Everything seemed to be ready now, so all there was left to do was wait for the Gallic delegation to arrive...and to practice translating for Andres, as he spoke nothing but High Aelirian.