Let's Dine

  • President Kligenberg smiled greatly. She remembered the exuberance she had when meeting others for the first time, especially if she wasn't familiar with their home nations. She took it as a great compliment to both Poland and her that Lana was so warm and friendly. Alenka, Marlena, and Ian were also very keen on meeting this lovely woman. Estergon had already proven themselves to be full of very kind individuals.

    "It's lovely to meet you; we did just get here from Estergon via Poland. This is my husband, Ian Syzmanowski...also, this is my mother Marlena Kligenberg. Don't mind her accent; she actually comes from London but married my father, who is at home in Poland still very ill. This is Alenka, the former Duchess of Lithuania, and...oh..." Karolina responded to the greeting. She looked behind her and saw Fryderyk and Renata talking to each other.

    "Don't mind them. They warm up to people in their own time. My cousin Renata is a fashion designer, and spends her time in Inquista as a result. She's standing next to my brother Fryderyk. He's named after one of Poland's greatest heroes: Chopin," Karolina continued, making an opening for further conversation.

    "Nice to meet you," Alenka said, towering at 6'2" with her heels on. She couldn't help being such a tall woman, and she couldn't help but feel as though the dress she had on was a bad choice of attire for someone who was an abnormally tall woman. It reflected in her statement: as confident as she appeared to be, there was a miniscule wavering of self-doubt. She also was uncomfortable being in Europe so soon after essentially failing at her job as Foreign Affairs Commissioner, and was embarrassed to even be seen.

    "My wife was telling me all about Estergon and how beautiful it was. How much of the country did you get to see growing up?" Ian began making light conversation. Marlena simply smiled, knowing that at least three of the younger delegation would not embarrass Poland on this night.

  • Lana smiled and nodded throughout the introduction, doing her best to remember all the names, even though that was never hard for her to do. And amongst all introduced, the one who caught most of her attention was Marlena. "Ah, I see, it looks like both of us have married well. You know, people say that behind every great man stands a even greater woman, so let us not shy away from proving it tonight." Lana then winked at her, afterwards glad to see that Ian bothered keeping the conversation going.

    "Estergon is a wonderful nation indeed, but I spent most of my time in Burdighan rather than on the countryside, even though I'm trying to give my children a different cultural experience. The problem is that I was first a debutante in a rather conservative family before I started to host my talk show, and both of those things were very time consuming. I thought that upon marrying into royalty, such things would no longer be a problem, but I can't help but feel a constant need to be productive, which is why I do as much as I can to assist my husband in his work."

  • Marlena grinned as she realized that Lana was very much shared her sentiments. "Oh, yes of course," Marlena answered.

    Ian, Karolina, and Alenka seemed saddened by that fact. At least Alenka and Karolina understood the constraints of childhood in a royal family.

    "Goodness, I can only imagine," Karolina responded. "This is why I'm glad I'm President and not Empress. The life of a royal is constrained in terms of personal freedom. Having experienced both life in a monarchy and life in a pure republic, they both have their pros and cons. You'll be looking to help your husband, while my husband will be helping me somewhat. I think I can do this without him now though." Karolina said the last with a bit of a chuckle.

    Alenka looked at Lana and asked the question, "What would you like to accomplish in your own right?"

  • Lana took a deep breath, thinking for a brief moment before putting a smile back up. "I'm not sure do I want to acomplish anything noteworthy. I want to be as good of a mother, wife and monarch as I can be, and that's about it for my ambition I suppose." The woman then forced a giggle, finding herself in quite a awkward situation right now, and even though she was moments away from drinking from her glass of wine, she stopped a near waitress so that it can be taken from her.

    "Now, shall we go and take a seat? Me and Chancellor Earlstone would love to share a table with you, as I doubt that we'll find company that's more pleasant. I believe that we might even be eating soon, as the Emperor of Inimicus made a detailed meal schedule. With him as Inimicus' leader, it's no wonder that their entire state seems to be rather well organized, but that might be just my impression of it."

  • "That sounds divine," Marlena replied. She turned around to see her son still only speaking with Renata, before Alenka made a motion towards him to get closer to her so that she could be on his arm.

    Fryderyk seemed much more together the more time he sat with Alenka. The jealousy he had was not quite as evident, though he'd much rather be a hermit right now than be in public anyway. Renata seemed to be inspired by the surroundings and immediately took out a sketchbook as she sat down, waiting for the rest of the Estergon party to sit with them.

    President Kligenberg grinned happily as she sat with her husband, beaming brightly.

  • It had been a hectic few days for the High President. Not only was christmas upon him and his family, but he was arriving fresh from several summits with important foreign leaders, both of which were represented here today. He was excited to be finally meeting with the King and Queen of Estergon, a nation he'd left only recently. Accompanying the High President was his long-suffering, as she would put it, wife Marie. This was the latest of a series of "parties" with foreign dignitaries that Marie and her husband had attended, and she seemed to enjoy them.

    Making their first appearance on the international political scene was the Eternal Guardian of the Commonwealth of Advenschun, Gayna VII. As was quickly becoming a kind of tradition in Thurston's foreign office, the Solomons were to be accompanied by a representative of the wider twelve commonwealths. Gayna, a hard faced woman in her mid-forties, was invited by Marie personally, the two having met several times in the past. Gayna, despite her inexperience in the field of international diplomacy, seemed to take everything in her stride. She walked in to meet with the other guests slightly ahead of the Solomons, taking carefully calculated steps. She had obviously enjoyed living her life as a lifelong absolute monarch.

    "High President, I'm going to go and find the nearest monarch and start up some kind of conversation," Gayna announced somewhat suddenly as they entered the large hall. There were groups of foreign leaders dotted about the place, and Gayna strode off towards the nearest one, which Solomon was sure included the Davishiran royals. "Both of them are in for a surprise,", he chuckled to Marie, who laughed in agreement.

    "Don't get me wrong, she's nice enough, but just a tad unstable", Marie answered. "Maybe if she wasn't as...", she searched for the right word, "...confident. She's not in Advenschun anymore."

    "Ah, there's our host!", the High President interrupted. "Lets go and see how he's doing. I haven't seen old Artie since that business with Triclops a while back!"

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    The Helicopter arrived carrying Lord Fredson Parsons and Lady Alice Parsons, sadly they had arrived late but the recent snow storms in North Poretos had caused delays to their flights and they were glad that they had been able to fly at all considering the situation.

    Lord Fredson received the salute of the Co-Pilot as was traditional for the First Sea Lord of the Fleet to receive.

    "Honestly we don't have time for this Fredson," complained Alice

    "My apologies Admiral, but the Lady President requested that I made sure everything was alright for you two, and that included the Salute" replied the Officer that was acting as Co-Pilot

    "You know I didn't really want to be here Dear" responded the First Sea Lord, Lord Fredson who really much preferred staying in the Safety of the Admiralty Command Bunker on the Coast where he didn't have to greet and meet many new people as surprisingly he was quite shy.

    "His Majesty chose us, I promise you we will leave when we can but at least enjoy the dinner, just try not to discuss the Navy, people find it boring - apparently, plus with what is going on it the region I am not exactly sure we should be releasing much information." responded Lady Alice.

    "I'll be fine as long as I have you here" answered Lord Fredson

    "You know I am not going anywhere, now come on, the sooner we enter the sooner we can loosen you up with some Port!" laughed Alice.

    _They both entered the Building, both were shocked by the utter Reality and Beauty of the Place, although the Admiralty Command Bunker was highly decorated and a beautiful building in its own right, but of course it was still a bunker, designed to withstand all attacks _

  • After Lana sat down, the only one joining them was Chancellor Earlstone, as he appeared to be the one escorting her rather than her husband. Seeing as he was not introduced to the Polish delegacy, he shook all of their hands and greeted them, glad to see that at least Marlena belonged to his generation. "It is a pleasure to meet all of you, and I hope that all of us will have a great time here in Telum. I see that the Queen had more time to get to know you, but I have done my research in a less social manner, and I must say that I'm impressed by the things all..." he then glanced at Fryderyk. "...of you have acomplished."

    The Queen then blinked at Edward's comment, following that by a giggle to attempt making the mood lighter. She too, in fact, did her research on the problems of the Polish royal family, but she didn't want to make them feel as if their privacy was being invaded, hence she refrained from stating it unless asked about it. "Now, I hope that the meals are going to be as good as I expect them to be. I told the Emperor to prepare cultural delicacies of Inimicus, so it's bound to be something different than what I'm used to."

  • A little overwhelmed, but pleased that pretty much all guests had arrived (well, the most important ones, anyway, although the Nicolezians were rather late, even by their standards), Emperor Artabanos gestured everyone to be seated and began a short speech: "My friends, it's very good to see you all here. And relatively on time, too! I am supposed to say we're gathered here to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, and blah blah blah, but I'm not allowed to be religious by Inimician law, so I'm not going to bother", some guests seemed a tad confused, but the Emperor did not care, "Anyway, I'm mostly here to have a good time with my foreign friends, and get to know everyone a little better. I hope you feel the same. I look forward to meeting all of you tonight and tomorrow, and hope your stay at my Palace will be satisfactory. Now, I won't blabber on for too long, let's raise our glasses to the European Union, and have a great time with good food!"

    A small applause erupted from the guests as Artabanos sat down. "Now that's the way to do it, Michael" he said jokingly to the High President, who was sitting next to him. Servants started serving meals and drinks, the finest available in Inimicus. There was beef, lamb, fish, and for the vegetarians among the guests, asparagus, jacket potatoes topped with vegetable gravy. For this special occasion, Artabanos had even ordered some of the rarest and most dangerous fish to be caught, Inimicus filamentosus, a poisonous killer fish from the Persian Gulf, highly loved as a delicacy.

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    Prince Regent George and Crown Princess Theodora arrived. They'd had a pleasant flight, and were looking forward to sitting with the Havvenskarians, Prussians, and Deutschian at their table. They were welcomed by Artabanos.

    "Your Imperial Majesty," exclaimed George. "Merry Christmas!"

    "Inimicus looks beautiful at this time of year," added Theodora.

    The couple were led to their seats. They greeted those at their table.

  • The three Havvenskarians were enjoying their dinner. "This tastes rather good." Prince Aldrik said to his neighbour, who appeared to be a prince from Angleter. The King, who was rather enjoying his meal made an odd gurgling sound from his throat. "Behave yourself, please." said the Queen to her husband. When the sound continued, she glimpsed at her husband, who had turned a bit blue all of a sudden. "Husband?" The gurgling sound continued. "He's choking!" she exclaimed. She pushed her chair backwards, which fell on the floor and went to her husband. She clutched him and started pushing on his chest from behind. "Help! I need help!" Some of the other members of the table hurried towards the King. At that moment the bit of food that got stuck became unstuck and was flinged across the table in a nice arch and landed straight unto the plate of the Crown Princess Theodora from Angleter.

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    "My God!" exclaimed Theodora, staring at her plate. After a couple of seconds, she looked up. "er, I mean, thank God you're alright, Your Majesty!"

    The Crown Princess motioned to an Inimican imperial servant. He replaced her plate with a new, full one.

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    The Viscount arrived to the palace with his wife Sidse after delays with the flight from Aerodimus due to high winds. They looked at the palace with awe and smiles on their faces. 'You know darling I always love going on official business with you I can't help but smile to know my sweetheart is with me' he then kissed the Viscountessa. 'Oh Miltok you always were a romantic and you love dressing up for the occasion, I'm looking forward to practising my international etiquette and to finally meet the Groot Belgian Emperor you've spoke so much about him' Sidse replied. 'Well he is notorious at these occasions, to dine we go' the Viscotun declared with aplomb.

    They walked intot he dining room with great dleight admiring the breathtakign art and architecture. The Viscount walked up to Emperor Artabanos: 'Your Imperial Majesty it is such a pleasure ot meet with you.I bring greetings form my government and my people. As is Corelian tradition on such a day as today I present to you a liberty bird, a traditional decoration and a basket of our finest fish reserved for the flight in this cool case. May I also introduce to you my wife Viscountessa Sidse Hargadoon'

    The Viscountessa shook the Emperor's hand 'Most charmed ot meet you your imperial majesty'.

    They were then directed to the table where the Viscount found his dearest friend Horsten K?hler 'Horsten my dear friend how are you? It is always a pleasure to see you'. The two heads of state embraced.

    The Viscount then walked over to Lord and Lady Parsons of Poretos 'Lord and Lady Parsons a pleasure to make your acquaintance I am Miltok Hargadoon, Viscount of the New Parliamentary Republic of Os Corelia and this is my wife Viscountessa Sidse Hargadoon, we are enamoured ot meet you and hope to have you in our nation one day'

  • "Very Pleased to meet you Viscount Miltok Hargadoon, and your lovely wife, may I ask where you got that watch I have been looking for one like that," Responded Lady Parsons, obviously leading for her husband to follow due to his shyness. "Please to make your Acquaintance Viscount, we've always meant to visit Os Corelia but we rarely get time off considering what we do. But at least you can tell us all about what we are missing!" laughed Lord Parsons

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    Sidse smiled at the compliment: 'This watch is from a wonderful watchmaker in Os Corelia called Yosenvidei's bad in my home city of Port Harbour. Finest watchmaker in all our nation and was presented as a gift to me upon Miltok's swearing into office'

    Miltok turned to Lord Parsons: 'Well where do I begin, the luscious Eider Forest, the beauty of Last Point looking out across the ocean, the history of Haladon province, the splendour of the Aeroidion Downs. You will simply have to come and try it!'

  • "I thought I ordered the portions to be bigger", Artabanos said as he saw his third course consisted of one carrot and two leaves of lettuce, topped with a piece of meat no bigger than an inch, "I would love to see how Callaghan would react to this..."

    He looked around the dining room for a few seconds. The Havvenskarian delegation was choking, the Os Corelians and Poretisians were laughing "like farmers with toothaches", as the Inimician saying goes, the Angleterics had literally been spat upon, and that Halsbergian lady was bothering the Davishirians. 'A truly successfull occasion', Artie thought, 'If only the Nicolezians would arrive. Even by their standards, they're rather late'. He took a sip of wine, a fine Inimician vintage, but was then alarmed by a servant rushing towards him. "Sire, Lane has just made a Christmas speech", the servant whispered in his ear, "He has accused you of making up the corruption report.". Artabanos started laughing, making the guests at his table a tad uncomfortable. "Excuse me for one moment", he said as he stood up, "I have a hilarious speech to watch."

  • _The Poretisians looked at each other, they had made their decision _

    "I think next time we get some leave together we really ought to visit the your Homeland, when is the best time for us to visit? What do you suggest, we've always been looking for a really good getaway and Os Corelia sounds like a perfect place." Responded Lord Fredson getting quite excited.

    "And of course when we come I'd love to visit that watchmaker of your, I've always wanted to have a lovely watch, its one of the few pieces of jewelry that the Regulations don't prohibit." responded Lady Parsons, almost as excited as her husband but trying to be much calmer about it.

  • President Kligenberg didn't exactly know how to take the Estergonian chancellor's remarks, as did Marlena. They could feel the underhandedness of the conversation, and Lana's attempt to clean it up certainly made it more pointed.

    "Well...I do realize that we are notorious for various things, but we are all human. The Polish Royal Family did what it must for the good of its people, led by my daughter's lead to transform Poland-Lithuania from an ineffective, old monarchy to a modern federal republic. Everyone in Poland has benefited from this much more than I could have imagined," Marlena replied gracefully as Fryderyk poured a mysterious clear liquid into a cup and took it bizarrely straight to the head. Alenka gave him the "would you mind please" look before trying to hide the fact she was mortified by his behaviour.

    All Ian and Karolina could do was grin. They knew Fryderyk too well, and if he didn't want to be somewhere and would rather be doing a line of something, or a hit of something, or engaging in intimate behaviour with his fianc?e, they weren't going to be able to stop him from at least engaging in moonshine. Karolina passed him a note:

    'What proof is it?'

    Fryderyk smiled coyly, wrote on it without drawing attention to himself, and brought it back to her via a servant placing a glass of Sobieski next to the Polish President.

    It read: '180, would you like some?'

    Karolina suppressed her laughter before (unwittingly) saying out loud, "Not now...maybe in a few more moments."

    She brushed it off quickly by turning to her husband, who watched the whole thing and all he could do was smile.

  • Prince Tommy and Queen Anastasia burst through the regal doors, looking embarrassed, but also giggling, forcing back intense laughter they took their seats. T

    "This is nice," Anastasia thought to herself. "Fashionably late, I'd say." She continued to daydream, gargling and guzzling her intentionally alcoholic beverage. "They better not put any dairy products near me, or I'll go berserk." She thought she'd forgotten something. Then it hit her. She beckoned her brother who had winked at every attractive man in the room.

    "It's nice to see you, Artie," She said, playfully. "Happy Holidays!" She exclaimed.

  • "late, as usual, but fashionably so", Artabanos said as he greeted the Nicolezians, "please, be seated and enjoy some of that.... ahem.... great apple tea I had imported to Inimicus. I've made sure no milk will even come close to you..."
    Artie had always found the Nicolezians' obsession with avoiding milk rather queer. How could an entire country be lactose intolerant? Perhaps he should add some milk to Prince Tommy's tea and see what happened. Nah, he couldn't risk a diplomatic crisis. Some cognac couldn't hurt though, could it? Yes, he was determined to get all Nicolezians drunk by the end of the night...

    "My Queen Anastasia", he said, "surely you will raise a glass with me to the good friendship between our peoples?"

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