The Prime Minister looked around the city as they took what felt to be a deliberate scenic route. The architecture brilliant and a shining example of its period. The aides were in awe. Many of them had seen Saint Dominico in pictures but never in person. The Most Blessed State of Inquista truly was a spectacle to behold.
"Magnifique," gasped one of the aides.
"Oui, I thought so myself," the Prime Minister smiled. She was even more impressed by the escort of the Inquistan National Guard. The crowds outside were a sight to be seen. "I am very flattered to be given such a wonderful welcome."
The masks, the famous masks of the Inquistan Renaissance, were vibrant and lively giving everything such delight.
"La Renaissance était à Inquista ce que l'Illumination était à Gallorum," another aide, this one male, said out loud. "I always read that the stretch of our nations began there. Two Orthodox nations in splendour with each other from one era to the next."
The limousine stopped and Prime Minister Baschet and her aides were greeted by more national guard before seeing the laity and the red carpet. It felt right; not only because she knew of what they were singing but why it is she knew it. Orthodoxy was something that Catholicism never could be. It was the blend of representation through ceremony and piety through action.
Archbishop Craticus took the Prime Minister's hand and she shook it back.
"D'accord, Archevêque Craticus. Le plaisir est à moi et à Gallorum," the Prime Minister answered. She stood for the national anthems, feeling a strong sense of national pride as she heard the opening fanfare of the Gaulois national anthem. She remarked that Inquista's had a timeless beauty to it. Well, she did so in her head. Lizzo and the choir performed remarkably well. Once the anthems were over, Baschet smiled as Lizzo moved into formation.
'Yes, this is a culture of excellence and finery,' thought Baschet.
She obliged to follow the Archbishop once he moved towards the Palace. The Prime Minister was genuinely interested in the history of both Inquista and the Church, but she was careful to be quiet. She wanted to take in as much as she could. Never in her life.... from the girl growing up in the mining community outside of Passages to the marine academy to becoming the first female Marine Commando to a candidate for her local party to Prime Minister...never could she imagine she'd be here.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I am absolutely enthralled by everything. I may have a title of high office now but I too dreamed of being somewhere like this. In fact, the Queen of Gallorum often comments that I attend our weekly visits much like a girl in a sweets shop that knew she couldn't touch."
She lit up at the prospect of a rugby match.
"Oh, that will be great fun! Les Gallos should be up to face the famed Inquistan side. I heard you did quite well in the last Rugby World Cup!" the Prime Minister smiled. They walked down the famous Golden Hall, a place she had seen great leaders walk down. The Prime Minister returned to Earth once the Archbishop mentioned the relationship between the Most Blessed State and the Kingdom.
"Yes; I found myself saying that several times in preparation for this meeting. Our people could and should see each others as brothers in Christ. A proper Orthodox alliance. '
Once the topic of trade popped up, the Prime Minister opened her bag and pulled out her government folder and also a piece of iron.
"We do believe that we can do business with Inquista. We are very aware of your economic prowess and trading expertise as a nation. It seems like nothing has changed since the Renaissance about that. What Gallorum can offer you is raw materials, educational industry, and an advanced workforce. We are known for having plenty of coal, iron, copper, potassium, nickel and sodium. We also have plenty of natural gas. Now, we have cut down on emissions quite a bit but we have enough to power our factories should the time arise. Our manufacturing base is cheaper than the average advanced economy, thanks to economically friendly monetary policy that keeps us comparable to the larger economies but gives our citizens more competitive edge. We are also punching higher because we are productive. Education and culture, in particular, and the industries that surround that like publishing, visual and digital media, we thrive in. Most of all, our workforce is very adaptable. Gallorum prides itself on discipline as national ethos. We value people who have great self-discipline and can fill their roles and do the right thing without being asked. When you ask something to be made in Gallorum, there is a quality that is competitive right across the world. Forgive, Archbishop, I do get passionate when describing my nation."