Monarchial Meeting (Fremet-Inimicus summit)
Emperor Artabanos and His Imperial Palace
It had been rather a long while since Emperor Artabanos had received foreign dignitaries in the Inimician capital city, Telum. In a sense, He had missed meeting the creme of European politics, but He also had a lot on His mind at home. The founding of the Triumvirate and the preceding unrest in Inimicus had struck the Emperor hard, both in His own psyche and in His love life - Richard had all but abandoned Him. But today, He would have a break from this all, as He received the newly-powerful monarch of Fremet. It was always good to meet fellow monarchs: it provided Artabanos with a good indication of what He did not want to be like. He was a constitutional monarch, oh yes, but a constitutional monarch whose Constitution granted Him absolute power. A constitutional monarch whose subordinates were - more or less - loyal to Him. Although of course, He couldn't openly display His power-twisting and shadowy practices, nor did He want to encourage such behaviour with His Fremetian counterpart.
In the traditional Imperial Lounge of the Teluminan Aerodrome, He sipped the evenly traditional double espresso, awaiting the Fremetian plane. He looked out over the runways, and thought about the turbulent times He had so far gone through to remain in this lounge. Disappearances, briberies, murders: all covert, but all clear as glass. The foreign plane touched the tarmac where many foreign planes had landed over the past two years, and Artabanos went outside to meet His guests.
His Majesty's personal air transportAs his Airbus A320 came in for landing at the airport in Telum, Gustaf was actually quite nervous. This was his first foreign meeting with him as full leader of Fremet. His country was in a stage of transition, but the show must go on. Inimicus has pulled out of this crisis quite well, he thought to himself, or was that just on the surface? As the pane landed, he reminded himself that he was on foreign soil and that this nation was far greater than his own. Much can be learned from the follies of others. He looked out the window and up to the Emperor's lounge. Up there he would meet his counterpart. He became quite excited, as he remembered what his wife and queen had reminded him: "He is of equal stance to you. It is not necessary to put on a show." A show. That had been his political career until now. Wasting away as parliament gave him speeches to speak in front of his people, smile in front of the cameras like he didn't give a damn what was going on– and it was of no matter if he disagreed with his government– they would simply remove him. However, now, now things were different. Parliament still had a right to exist, yes, but he, too had a right to exist, and real, tangible power in government. For the first time those who wished to have the royal family abolished had to respect him, and he commanded this respect into obedience. As he stepped out of the plane and greeted his Inimician counterpart, and knew that a whole new chapter just opened in his life as His Highest Majesty, Sovereign King of the Kingdom of Fremet and head of the Fremetian Orthodox Church.
"Ahh, Your Majesty", Emperor Artabanos greeted his counterpart as he entered the Aerodrome, shaking his rather sweaty hand, "Welcome, welcome, to My Empire. I trust your flight was comfortable. Or, well, comfortable... long flights seem never satisfactory. Let's just say I hope you've not experienced any discomfort thus far. And I can assure you, you shan't experience any during your stay here! You shall be staying in My own Palace, in quarters much resembling My personal home. But of course I will discuss the visit's plans with you in the car to the Palace. Shall we?"
The two statesmen proceeded into the Aerodrome to the traditional press scene, where Artabanos again shook Olav's notably sweaty palm and smiled in front of both Inimician and international cameras. It had been a long time since the Emperor had received foreign dignitaries in this place - and it certainly had not been expected, given the current political climate in the country. The two other Triumvirs had insisted on acompanying Artabanos on this visit, but He had politely - or maybe not that politely - declined their request. He was head of state. He was head of government. He was the state. Not Hugh Doyle, not Nicholas Benfield, not Maximilian Barrington or any of this seemingly uncountable brothers. He was Inimicus. And He was sure Olav knew it, or at least he should.
Chatting, they walked over to the Imperial motorcade, Imperial Standards and Fremetian flags on the bonnet. "It's only a short ride to the Palace, Your Majesty. Now, when we get there, we can have a small chat about what we want to get out of this summit, then you can get all settled in to your quarters, and dinner will be served. I'm afraid the guest turnout will be rather modest, as for security reasons I cannot allow too many envoys into the Palace at this point in time. However, rest assured, the food shall be exquisite. If, by chance, you have any dietary requirements, do let Me or any of My staff know."
Artabanos realised He had done an awful lot of talking and Olav had done an awful lot of being silent.