Covert Collaboration

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    Night had long started as Emperor Artabanos arrived at the Aerodrome. It was a cold night, typical for late Inimician winters, and Artabanos's thick winter coat could not protect him from the eventual shiver. His arms folded in front of him to preserve what heat was left in him, he waited nervously for the important meeting which was about to unfold. Him and the Davishirian government had never been the best of friends, especially not after that rather disastrous meeting in London not long ago, yet he thought King Hubert might be open to reasoning. If anything, he could use the unknown monarch to get Cameron out of the Prime Ministerial office. This, however, would have to take place in utmost secrecy, which is why this meeting was taking place at night, away from the view of prying cameras and press. Artabanos had attempted to censor as many critical news outlets as possible - though covertly enough for no one in the international community to notice - yet there was always the one journalist who spoke ill of him. His new constitution had been an excellent means of keeping the international and national community satisfied: freedom of the press, association, democracy, all of these values were documented in the 'first law' of his Empire, yet he unadmittedly broke them all - although he did rise to power through democratic means. The people? The people did not care. They were fine.

    All of these thoughts raced through his head as he attempted to combat the cold and wait for the Davishirian monarch's plane to arrive. 1.08 AM. The Davishirians were supposed to have landed eight minutes ago. Finally, after getting unnerved at the lateness of his visitors - he was, and had always been, an utter time freak - the Davishirian wheels hit the tarmac, and sooner rather than later, Artabanos's counterpart, for as far as one could call a King with only one power a counterpart of arguably the most powerful monarch in Europe, disembarked the plane. The two heads of state met.

  • King Hubert exited the aircraft. It was a Davishirian Military Transport, not an Atlas because that would be to embarrassing but an A330 Voyager. The crew had been sworn to secrecy. Unusually for His Majesty there was no press, this would help to ensure that this meeting which had not been officially sanctioned stayed secret.

    He walked down the airport steps toward the Inimican Emperor, it was very cold and His Majesty was glad he was wearing a coat. He could remember when the Prime Minister informed him of the failed meeting with the Inimican Prime Minister not too far in the past. He was very annoyed and was here to create talk with the highest power in Inimican politics. He did not know much about Artabanos, except that he was able to wield much more power than himself.

    He approached the emperor and stretched out his hand and had a friendly smile,

    "Good Evening...sorry Morning Your Majesty. I apologise for being late, we had to take a detour around some Duxburian fighter aircraft"

  • "Ah, of course, those pesky Duxburians. They've been rather threatening lately", Artabanos said to the King, who seemed a tad puny to him, but appeared as a nice man, someone you could spend the night talking with over a few good pints, "But I think they'll think twice about invading us. Even though they're the largest military power in the region, but surely they wouldn't just invade a sovereign state?", he said with a gleefull smile. He would have to be kind on Hubie, though. The King was not to be blamed for any of the calamities caused by Davishire lately. If anything, he was Artabanos's one hope of getting them solved.

    "I presume your flight was pleasant? Good. Let's proceed, shall we?"

    The two statesmen went through the Aerodrome - not met by the press, as usual- flanked by a significant number of security guards, to Artabanos's armoured car, which would take them through the city's outer roads, usually completely quiet at night, to the Imperial Palace. The building appeared in sight after about half an hour's drive, shrouded in a thin mist and illuminated, as always, with an impressive array of lamps, giving the entire building a very odd yet intriguing look. The car came to a halt, heavy as it was, smoothly yet slowly, and Artabanos and King Hubert were received by two stewards, taking their coats, before ignoring a direction to a conference room and heading off to Artabanos's personal quarters. "The seats there are way more comfortable, Your Maj, and there's only the two of us, so it'll fit", Artabanos said as he gestured to an extremely comfy-looking armchair next to a burning woodfire. A small end table was covered in bottles and some glasses, which Artabanos filled with a transparent liquid. "Right, Hubert, take this, and tell me all about your plans for Cameron", he said as he sipped his glass.

  • "Well, as you are probably aware I have only one real power that I can use in Davishire. Whilst I am technically the seat of all power, I could do literally anything I liked that is unlikely to happen because it would lead to a removal of the monarchy and David Cameron has promised he would do that if there were any signs I may remove him which as it happens is the only power I have."

    King Hubert drank some of the liquid, it had an interesting taste and he wondered what it was. He didn't drink too much in case it was some kind of syrum.

    "However, that is my goal. But my concern is shall I do it, in a pre-emptive strike so to speak and remove him and possibly have him come back or should I allow him to trip on his own sword and get rid of him on a longer term basis when he does something else wrong."

  • "I would say, get rid of him as soon as possible", Artabanos replied, showing some of the utter disgust he had for the Cameron administration. True, he was not the most democratically-oriented ruler himself - although he had come to power through democracy - but Cameron's misuse of political power was something he found hard to bear, "I got rid of a Cabinet I didn't like myself, and the people accepted it, although that might have to do with the fact that I was elected by them. I'm sure that if your constitution permits it, your people will accept you using your sole power to get rid of this turbulent monarch."

  • "Well, if I did get rid of him, it would mean an election and there is no telling who would get back into power. It is highly unlikely he would resign as conservative leader aswell so he could theoretically be re-elected. And then, it would look even worse if I refused to appoint him. "

    At this point Hubert reached for a document,

    "However, looking at this the Conservatives are not doing very well in the polls. So it is likely that the Liberals may win any election, although it is likely they would need a majority to govern. Would Malcolm Tucker be a more suitable PM for you to restart trading with?"

  • Artabanos smiled, happy King Hubert was willing to reason with him, and said: "Anyone would make a better Prime Minister than David Cameron, Your Majesty, both for Davishire and the international community. I haven't heard much about the man you speak of, though I'm sure that Liberals are more capable of running a country than Conservatives. Inimicus can testify: both my predecessors were staunch Conservatives, and left this country in agony for nearly two years; I am a social liberal, and I do not want to brag, but Inimicus has not seen an age of greater prosperity and happiness than right now. If I were you, I would remove Cameron tomorrow, and host elections the day after!"

  • "Well I wouldn't be able to hold elections immedietly. We need at least a month and 2 weeks to allow for a campaigning period and the applications for new MPs to stand"

    Hubert drunk some more of his drink, he hoped it wasn't laced with cannabis

    "He was the Minister of Defence in the final weeks of the Mannion government last September. He was forced into the position that he was put in, but anyhow I can see us coming to an agreement that we should get rid of Cameron as soon as possibe and I will create that precedent and do so very soon I am sure.

    Is there anything else your majesty would like to discuss?"

  • "Well, Your Majesty, I hope you will find the courage and dedication to kick this lunatic out of government once and for all. My main concern, however, is my- excuse me, Inimicus's- money. Those A400Ms haven't built themselves, as you'll understand, and I was deeply distraught when I heard the Cameron administration had ceased payments. In their recent meeting with my Ministers, they refused to give one inch of ground, which was a clear sign of their misadministration. When can I expect my- sorry, Inimicus's- money, Your Maj?"

  • "well according to my Prime Minister he was offering an expedited payment plan which was not accepted by your Prime Minister, who was a very nice person I think"

    He re-opened the folder in his hand

    "The Prime Minister is prepared to make all payments to you over the next three months and I am prepared to sign off on the matter provided you agree to it. He has explained to me that the cessation in payments was only due to your government placing Inimican ships off my coastline and that he is fully prepared to continue payments"

  • "You will understand that our ships did not mean to attack Davishire", Artabanos said as he emptied the remaining half of his glass in one go, squeezing his eyes as he swallowed. After exhaling, he continued: "We meant to show what your government has been doing over the last two years of your membership of the European Union: uncoordinated, unannounced, unacceptable military action and threats. But you know my objections to your government's actions, I won't reiterate them. I would really like to stress that I want the money within two months from now. There will be a serious change in Inimician governmental administration soon, and I would want to close this matter before we begin new troubles."

    "But apart from that, I do not think there is anything else. I'm very glad we can finally work together again."