The Archbishop and I

  • Summit between Icholasen and Inquista 

    At the Nonet, Saint Regina, Icholasen.

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    Eilidh Whiteford had just finished an inconclusive voting session at the Lower House, the Nonet. The Nonet’s 9 members have public meeting sessions, but also approve, amende or reject laws relating to the entire nation. Whiteford had been trying to pass some education reform, a bill to streamline the systems of all the 9 Dominions of Icholasen together. But the Party of June was a broad church and it would require more than a Party of June majority in both houses to get through her education agenda. However Whiteford was always optimistic. She knew that she would get it done sooner or later - she wasn’t obligated to go back to the polls (and perhaps lose her majority) for 5 years. It was a waiting game, and she had all the time in the world. The recent months of leadership had been stable for Whiteford - and that’s exactly how she liked it. Some politicians are in it for the excitement, the fame and glory, but she was just content that she had managed to keep the ship of state afloat, and on course. 

    The Nonet session was over, she had made her case, so the agenda for the day had shifted to foreign affairs. She was to meet Archbishop Craticus at Romanov House, a château bridging across the Romain river. It is currently the residency of the Duke and Duchess of Saint Pierre, who are both in Europolis, as the Duchess is the EU Councillor for Icholasen. The two statespeople would meet in the Saint Pierre lounge, a rather twee room, with décor one might consider dated. This included commemorative plates, a portrait of Queen Anastasia, and objects of varying purpose (or lack thereof) made of brass and pewter. Duchess Poppy of course wanted to bin all of this miscellaneous junk, but it was protected by law. 

    Back in Saint Regina, Whiteford got in the helicopter in the lawn behind the Nonet, and she headed to Romanov House to meet with the Archbishop. 

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    Archbishop Craticus traversed across Icholasen by flying above in the Callaghacopter. The Callaghacopter was the former personal helicopter of Halsbergian politician Susan Callaghan, which was then later purchased Mikaela Kligenberg, whom then gifted the helicopter to Craticus on his 40th birthday. Cratcius personally found the Callaghacopter's bright pink colour to be 'sinfully indulgent' for his own tastes, and he found the entire helicopter in general to be very unbecoming of his ecclesiastical office. Nonetheless, the helicopter was diligently on its way to Romanov House, and Craticus was too busy enjoying the scenery of Icholasen to be self conscious of his vehicle. 

    Despite that almost all Inquistans consider Icholasen to be their country's closest ally, Archbishop Craticus has never actually visited the country. The last time the leaders of Inquista and Icholasen came together was for the Committee for Western Saharan Autonomy, which already seemed like a lifetime ago. Icholasen has come under new leadership since then, with the election of Eilidh Whiteford as their Premier. Craticus has some personal apprehensions regarding Premier Whiteford, as she is a close political ally of Inquistan Councillor Edward Firoux, whom Craticus personally despises. Unfettered by personal grievances, Craticus would nonetheless approach this upcoming summit with both an open mind and open arms. If Archbishop Craticus could meet Hillary Clinton and have productive talks with the Australian President, then he could certainly meet Premier Whiteford and enjoy just as much productivity. 

    As the helicopter approached Romanov House, Craticus just about fell out of the Callaghacopter. The chateau was beautiful. Craticus couldn't take his eyes off of it. Craticus demanded that the pilot keep the helicopter in the air and encircle the building multiple times just so that he could stare at it longer. After a while, the Callagahcopter finally landed. Once he finally departed from the Callaghacopter, Craticus very quickly made way into the chateau.

  • Eilidh Whiteford had been sitting in the Saint Pierre lounge for some time now, listening to the helicopter above her making loops around the château. She wondered if there had been a sudden storm. Why couldn't it land? She wasn't at all angry though, it gave her a chance to reflect on her talking points, reply to some emails, and also listen to the Nicoleizian entry for Eurovoice. ‘Assez bon,’ she remarked at the tune. 

    A few moments later however the doors opened and the Archbishop was welcomed in. 

    “It’s lovely to meet you, welcome to Icholasen and the Dominion of Romain. We hope you will enjoy our hospitality.” Whiteford said, intercepting his outstretched hand. Craticus took a seat facing Whiteford, an array of beverages was at his command, Whiteford waited for what he would choose, but she chose a fruit tea 'comme d'habitude'. They were sat on a rather plain, but antique dining table, and though it was not as grandiose as in some other palaces or function halls, Whiteford liked it like this. The former European Premier had organised it so that Craticus had a nice view of the Romain river as they talked.

    Mrs Whiteford took her chance to start the proceedings. “I think our first order of business should be visa free travel. In brief, my proposal is visa free travel for tourists and students, and a simple visa for workers, whereby they just need to register with the country they’re applying for and prove they have a job lined up.” Eilidh Whiteford explained carefully. “I welcome any additions to this, but my position is that our borders should be as free as possible, but within reason.” 

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    Archbishop Craticus selected a dark coffee that was prepared among the available refreshments. Craticus placed the coffee, which was still fairly hot, on the antique dining table. As the Royal Premier began speaking, Craticus suddenly noticed the view over her shoulder. Craticus could very clearly see the Romain river outside, which was flowing below the chateau itself. After losing concentration for a second, the Archbishop quickly refocused all his attention back to the Royal Premier. He politely nodded after the sound of each syllable she spoke.

    "Ah, straight to business? A much welcomed approached. I'm surprised that someone with experience in Europolis could move onto business so quickly."

    After making his snide remark, Craticus took a sip of his coffee and continued.

    "I find this proposal most welcome. As you say, it's only sensible that we should maintain borders that are as free as possible while also within reason. Thus, I find your suggestion perfectly in order. Besides, I have managed to catch a few episode of Border Patrol. I am well aware of how secure Nicoleizian borders are, and I believe that these visa changes will make the lives of students, workers and citizens much more free and efficient in both of our countries. Likewise, you should feel safe with Inquistan border controls.

    Security is always an ongoing area of concern for myself and Inquista. Inquista and Icholasen have a history of working together in regions like the Sahara, so our cooperation on the issue of security is already well demonstrated. Both of our countries support non-proliferation, and eventually seek to eliminate all nuclear arsenals. Despite this, Inquista has always support Icholasen's own nuclear weapons program. As I currently understand, Icholasen is poised to replace Halsberg on the ENAA. Not only do I welcome this move, but I look forward to us possibly working on the ENAA together. In terms of Icholasen and Inquista specifically, however, we are countries that are - militarily speaking, at least compared to Angleter and the Duxburian Union - only middle military powers. I suggest that, by working together, we could improve this position for ourselves. I suggest that Inquista and Icholasen establish a defence pact, so that we will come to each other's aid in times of military conflict."