Post by Empire of Ezria on Feb 28, 2012 19:22:49 GMT -5
Orbit over New Sovereignty:
The Revolutionary Workers Union. It was a strange concept and one that the Republic had wanted little to do with as the Ayar squabbled amongst themselves in a war that threatened to destroy them as a species. But since the dust had settled, rumors had reached Eshara of the opportunities that the RWU presented. A cheap labor force and new markets always meant opportunities for a savvy merchant people such as Eshara. It was with that in mind that Senator Drussus had been dispatched to make contact. After a brief overlay in Hai, they were off once more for New Sovereignty. The Senator himself was leery of any nation that despised capitalism but that hadn't stopped Eshara working with its foes before. The fact that it had maintained a trade relationship with the Graal Hegemony was testament to that. After arriving over the orbit of the planet, the ship's communications officer would attempt to hail the local port officials so that a landing was possible.
C>RWU Control> '' This is the REN picket ship Aurora, carrying diplomatic representatives from the Republic of Eshara. The Senator is requesting permission to land and a meeting with government representatives of the Union. ''
Last Edit: Jun 30, 2012 19:50:34 GMT -5 by Theopolis
Post by Revolutionary Workers' Union on Feb 28, 2012 23:41:56 GMT -5
The Republic of Eshara. Of all the nations of the known galaxy, it was perhaps the only of which there was a positive statement to be said in Leneruist ideology. The republic had its heritage in a revolution against Monarchy, it had maintained for over one thousand years a more or less transparent representative democracy despite periodic "emergency" dictatorships, and it even exercised, at least on Nicopolis, certain restraints on the authoritarian and exploitative nature of capitalism. But these partial similarities and incomplete advances were as liable to make Eshara a hidden threat as a friend.
Hence, when an Esharan government vessel was detected approaching New Sovereignty, sending a transmission requesting permission to meet with RWU representatives, the response was friendly but cautious.
"This is New Sovereignty Port Authority to the REN picket ship Aurora. Your request for permission to land and meet with representatives is granted, and your recognition of the rightful sovereign status of the Revolutionary Workers' Union is appreciated and acknowledged." The latter point was particularly important: The fact that the Esharan transmission had recognized that the Union government existed had already made this diplomatic contact useful, if for nothing other than the audio files that would remain afterwards. "Instructions are being sent to you presently for landing in the city of Esharkar."
The choice of city was obviously calculated. The Senator's party would find themselves in a port filled with as many ethnically Esharan humans as Ayar, signs printed in Esharan and Ayar both, and remarkably familiar architecture. There would even be merchant shops lining the hallways, owned of course by local cooperatives, not the corporations that placed them in nationally Esharan ports. If the Senator was astute, he might be mindful that this was not meant to be comforting: The Esharan faces he would see were those of -or of the children of- former fellow citizens, sold with the blessing of entirely legal contract to Antoviyan slavers by their countrymen.
Just as important, however, was the proximity of the city to the village home of the famed "Leneru of the Humans" and founder of Esharkar, Field Marshal Kazamar, a hero of the Revolution second-generation Esharan slave who had taken an Ayar name but was a symbol, nonetheless, of the synthesis of Esharan culture with the principles of the RWU. He would represent the Union in the day's negotiations.
Post by Empire of Ezria on Feb 29, 2012 13:42:08 GMT -5
Whether to recognize the RWU had been something that had already been discussed and debated amongst the Senate. The eventual conclusion was that the Royalist Faction had little in the way of strength and a return to power was impossible if not unlikely as the current government continued it's campaign against it. The RWU would therefore be treated as the legitimate representative of the Ayar people. The Senator had detached himself via shuttle with a small crew to the directed landing coordinates. If the presence of the Esharan's was meant to make him feel more at home, it failed but Drussus suspected that the Ayar were simply trying to get him out of his element. If that was the point, then they had succeeded.
The Ayar choice for their representative nearly made Drussus walk back to his ship in disgust. A lowly son of a slave sent out to greet him? A man of the Patrician class? While class movement was not impossible in Esharan society, the natural way was through several generations of hard work and merit. To rise from the son of a slave to a General..was quite the leap to say the least. Drussus however didn't let any of his immediate discomfort show on his face. Like the practiced diplomat he was, it remained carefully blank and devoid of all emotion. The Senator was alone except for two Naval Armsman who formed up around their leader as he marched to meet the RWU Emissary.
'' Hail, I bring greetings from Princep's Alexandros Kommenous and congratulations on your victorious struggle to overthrow the chains of tyranny that have kept you bound under the yoke of authoritarianism! '' He said, making the rehearsed line sound completely convincing somehow. '' I am Senator Drussus. The Princep's has dispatched me to meet with fellow..comrade's in arms to discuss the possibilities of trade and military alliance between our folk. '' The piracy epidemic originating from Graal space and the increasing likelihood of war between Eshara and the Hegemony had the Senate scouring for new allies, both in the military and financial sense.
Post by Revolutionary Workers' Union on Mar 5, 2012 17:11:43 GMT -5
Field Marshal Kazamar grinned a smile that seemed almost a smirk at the Senator's contrived greeting. He might have been convinced by Drussus' heartfelt tone if it weren't for the sheer ludicrousness of hearing such words from an Esharan patrician.
"And hail to you, fellow comrade in arms," Kazamar replied, playing along, "and greetings on behalf of the Revolutionary Workers and our President Premier Jawalir Leneru." Of course, the two humans were clearly anything but comrades: The senator's opulent garb had nothing to do with the Field Marshal's simple military uniform, distinguishable only for the single medallion on his dark green greatcoat, the row of red stars across his helmet, and the assault carbine hanging at his side from a sling. Even their statures were at odds: Kazamar was far shorter, far darker, and far stockier than Drussus.
"I will be honest, your Princeps' friendly overture in sending you in the name of trade and military alliance is a surprise," the Field Major admitted ever-amicably. "On behalf of my friends in this city, I must regretfully inform you that the RWU will not be able to provide the special arrangements and services Antoviya managed for your merchants." Kazamar's grin widened. If the choice of location had not been enough to bring the specter of the old slave trade to light, his comments would do the trick.
"Now, shall we move to a more comfortable location for our negotiations? We have a conference room not three doors down the hall." The room was spacious, comfortable, and well-lit, with large chairs and three walls of glass offering a pleasant view of the Esharkar cityscape. The size and splendor of the mix of traditional Esharan and avant-garde architecture, emerged so soon from a near-apocalyptic war, would give the Senator an idea of the capabilities and resolve of the new nation he was dealing with. Kazamar promptly took a seat facing the city center and motioned for Drussus to do the same.
Post by Empire of Ezria on Mar 5, 2012 17:28:32 GMT -5
Impudent wretch! He should be back in the fields like his ancestors bleeding and sweating for the profit of his betters! Without so much as batting an eyelash, the polished diplomat gave a nod of his head. '' But of course, the fact that such a trade has existed for so long has been..a blight. One that the Republic has been attempting to reform for the last several years. '' The slave trade was officially banned on the homeworld of Eshara and numbers were limited on Nicopolis. However, their were plenty of loopholes for the enterprising slaver to exploit in the legislation. Up until the rebellion, what was now known as the RWU had been a prime location to bring Esharan flesh to market. Sadly, that opportunity would now go to waste. A pity but one that Drussus didn't particularly care for, the Senator had long ago sold his stocks in the slave trade when he read classified intelligence reports on the state of the Ayar Rebellion and the imminent overthrow of the Monarchy.
The Senator followed the Field Marshal to the conference room where he eased himself into a seat. Slowly beginning to relax as he settled in, confident that he could wipe the floor with this dribbling moron. After all, a slave, a man who could probably scarcely read, going toe to toe with his brilliant intellect in negotiations? Drussus hadn't managed to rise through the ranks of the Esharan bureaucracy without learning to wheel and deal, even if he was reduced to cutting deals with those beneath him in every sense of the word. The Senator immediately moved to the point of his visit.
'' The Graal Hegemony has long been a thorn in the side of the Republic. The wretched aliens have continually raided the border, just not last year over a hundred Esharan servicemen were killed in a brazen attack on the moon colony of Dis. We recently signed a trade deal with them in hopes that access to Esharan society would civilize them, but in light of these atrocities we cannot let this relationship continue as the Graal have no interest in stopping the brutal raids on our frontier. Naturally, we would wish to substitute..any lost source of revenues with another. Our trade agreement with the Graal is set to expire and Eshara will not renew it. Does the RWU have interest in Esharan merchant goods? ''
Post by Revolutionary Workers' Union on Mar 5, 2012 20:01:34 GMT -5
Field Major Kazamar was growing to dislike Senator Drussus already. Referring to Graal as "wretched aliens," bemoaning "brutal raids" against Esharans while refusing to question the wisdom initial trade agreement or the brutality of the Hegemony against its own people, taking pride in the mission to "civilize" supposedly inferior others, and finally bringing this heart-bleeding account to the conclusion of a request to dump "Esharan merchant goods" onto a new market. It seemed like the very caricature of all that was wrong with Eshara had come to negotiate with the Field Marshal after nothing but a crash-course in RWU history and jargon.
Kazamar decided to imagine that he was looking at the patrician down a gun-barrel: He was comfortable negotiating with arrogant aristocrats that way.
"Your people have my condolences for their suffering at the hands of hegemony," he replied, feigning sympathy with the fabulously wealthy nobleman who had likely never felt a hand across the face, let alone a raider's bullet through his chest. He chose his words carefully: "hegemony," not "The Hegemony." The Esharan Republic itself was complicit in every oppression its people faced, as far as Kazamar was concerned. "And the RWU may have an interest in trade, under certain conditions:
"We are but a three-year old nation, risen from the ashes of a devastating war. The UPC's First Year Plan* has managed to forever eradicate only so much poverty and squalor, and to build from nothing only so many magnificent cities and thriving industries." The Field Major was careful to emphasize the new nation's amazing success without downplaying the continuing burden of reconstruction. "Hence, any trade agreement must understandably take into account our situation: A 15% tariff on goods flowing into the RWU, without the self-defeat of a retaliatory tariff on goods flowing into the Esharan Republic, will be necessary.
"Furthermore, in order to ease our natural fear of ever again being pulled into the despicable trade you have mentioned already, and of seeing the workers of the Esharan Republic with whom we stand in solidarity sapped of strength and dignity to work for foreign overlords, we will require as a condition to any trade treaty an absolute ban on the slave trade in all Esharan territories, without exemption under any circumstances. Naturally, accompanying such a ban must be a public apology on the part of your Princeps to the former slaves now citizen-members of the RWU, which I am certain a man of such integrity as he will be more than willing to provide.
"Finally, in respect for the principles of the Revolution, any Esharan establishment made on Union soil, should our increasingly prosperous workers of field and factory have an incentive to sell it, must abide by RWU law, including the mandatory worker cooperative business model." He stopped short of requiring any change on the part of existing Esharan businesses: They could simply establish a separate, cooperatively-owned branch in RWU space that worked for the greater corporation.
"And one more thing: As a corollary to any trade treaty, we must add a statement of obligation for both parties to seek out through commerce and through general policy the improvement of the general welfare and dignity of their citizens of all races, cultures, sexes, trades, and forms of employment.
"Can the Esharan Republic abide by these terms?"
*UPC: The Union Planning Commission, responsible for national economic planning efforts.
*First Year Plan: The first comprehensive plan released by the UPC, centering primarily on the distribution of old Antoviyan gold reserves through the National Reserve Bank as capital to budding agricultural and industrial cooperatives, the establishment of local credit cooperatives to better distribute said capital, a combination of direct government orders and subsidies for infrastructure and industrial and farming machinery, and the organization and massive funding of xenophite mining cooperatives under the government-directed Union Federation of Xenophite Mining Cooperatives.
Post by Empire of Ezria on Mar 6, 2012 9:16:33 GMT -5
'' Bold terms, but one's that I'm afraid are unrealistic if you want a true economic partnership with any nation. '' Senator Drussus said, refusing to become flustered by these conditions that the Field Marshal put forward and instead sought to counter with his own. He saw the judgement in Kazamar's eyes. It was so easy for the slave to sit back and cast Eshara as the great villain of capitalism. But who was it that provided the rebels with markets to sell their goods? Who had given them access to Esharan credit and banking? Not to mention who had turned a blind eye when the RWU had come seeking weapons on the black market? Eshara, neither representative sitting here was a Saint in any respect. The seeds of the Revolution might have been sewn with the blood of the workers but it had been paid for with the credits of the Free Market that Eshara had opened to the Ayar.
'' The first condition of this..'proposal' is unacceptable. It will never pass in the Esharan Senate and any trade agreement will never be ratified to begin with. Which in the end will benefit no one. Eshara insists on free and fair trade between both of our nations. We understand the fact that your country is undergoing a period of transition, but Eshara will not see her own self interests damaged to benefit the RWC. '' Not to mention the merchant houses would practically riot.
'' As for any mention of apology, the Princep's has done more than any other to reduce the slave trade and most of these slaves were sold to the Ayar generations ago under legal practices at the time. A statement of 'regret' will be offered from the Esharan Consulate over the slave question but apologies from the Princep's himself is not warranted. The government never condoned the sale of slaves nor does it today, it was done via private enterprise.'' Drussus said, already digging in his heels for the fight to come before continuing.
'' It will take time to completely ban the slave trade and in phases as it has been. This will continue. Perhaps in the next five to ten years the trade will be completely..dealt away with but Eshara's economy comes first. As to Esharan companies operating on New Sovereignty, we agree. And we expect Ayar companies to follow Esharan Law when operating inside our territory. '' The last point was given away as a face saving offer for Khazamar to come away with in light of the repeated Esharan's rejections of his terms.
'' If you cannot compromise on these terms you have offered, then I am afraid for the moment the question of trade shall remain moot. '' The diplomat sat there utterly composed, hands folded (not a callous on them) as the picture of calm.
Post by Revolutionary Workers' Union on Mar 6, 2012 17:26:43 GMT -5
The Field Marshal half-smiled wryly as the Senator rejected his terms one by one. Drussus' response was impressive for its calm, but unsurprising in its content.
"Perhaps, then," he replied, adopting a conciliatory but no-less condescending tone, "I can bring myself to feel for the despair Eshara's merchants feel in the face of anything but an entirely laissez-faire framework. If I am to extend this courtesy, however, I ask that you take a moment to empathize with the Workers of the Revolution, hardly out of the ashes of a war no less horrific for being a victory. What will it mean to them to see the fruitition of their blood and sweat come in the form of a flood of imports choking them off from the hard-won constitutional value of Workers' Privilege? Thus, the 15% tariff will be necessary. But, out of consideration for your own traders and their hallowed tradition of doctrinaire corporate-libertarianism, the RWU will limit this tariff to the first year of trade between our nations, and will levy no tariff on Esharan imports thereafter.
"As to the second point, the RWU is not content to leave the relief of the oppressed to the relaxed timetables of the wealthy. Our request is quite meager, after all: I have put forward no demand that Eshara abolish its long-honored practice of hereditary slavery altogether, but simply that it abolish the trade of Esharan humans to masters unfettered by family ties to the slaves. The Union Council will not ratify a treaty without demonstration that our partner-to-be is making steps beyond the status quo to rid the galaxy of the horror that so many of us have suffered personally. If immediate abolition is too much to ask, incremental abolition over five years is certainly too little. Perhaps total abolition could be reasonably achieved over one year, so as to coincide with the dropping of the tariff?
"Now, I hope that you will not take my painful and extraordinary concessions to mean that I and the RWU are malleable, and that you need only reject every new set of terms to eventually turn out with our heads bowed at your feet. As a man of good reason and good conscience, you surely realize how little room I have left to give. We are willing to be open to mutual benefit in trade if only you will be open to mutual respect."
Post by Empire of Ezria on Mar 6, 2012 20:06:40 GMT -5
It seemed that each diplomat was fighting to retain every scrap of ground, it was a war of attrition and Drussus wasn't done wearing the soldier down. The exchange had brought about a certain wary respect for the man, the Senator had realized he had underestimated the Field Marshal. Drussus was quiet for a long moment, the only sound filling the room was the uncomfortable shuffling of feet of military boots as his bodyguards watched the tense exchange.
'' Eshara will agree to this fifteen percent for one year and will also introduce new legislation this year to..address some of your concerns. But the Esharan Senate does not work with a snap of the fingers. We lack the unity of the Workers I am afraid when it comes to political matters. '' In so many words, Eshara wasn't a one party state with one set political ideology. The Senators fought, wrangled, and made backroom deals before legislation was passed. It was the usual round of horse trading that functioned in a well developed Democracy.
''Let's stop pretending that this request is meager. Attempting to take rights from powerful men always has a backlash and is not an easy thing to accomplish. But, for the good of our..agreement concessions can be made. '' Drussus said with a mock sigh of defeat, his eyes gauging the slave before he continued.
'' The Princeps will introduce the bill this year, but it will take time to pass and time to garner support from the various parties. But the important thing for you to say is that Eshara has taken a step in the right direction. Surely this will allow you to retain your dignity and the spirit of this agreement. '' When he said it would take time to pass, he meant at least a year if not more. A bill like this would be buried, resurrected, killed, resurrected again, until some kind of deal was reached between the organs of state power. The Senator didn't like making concessions. He was used to clobbering his opponents during negotiations with threats, flattery, and intimidation. However, this kind of deal was give and take. Both sides could say they came away with something.
Post by Revolutionary Workers' Union on Mar 8, 2012 4:04:45 GMT -5
The field marshal gave the Senator a nod at his concession on the tariff question. The judgment in his eyes, though still laden with ill will, softened slightly; it seemed that the Esharan diplomat had some degree of good faith after all.
"The 'meagerness' of the request is a matter of perspective," Kazamar replied once Drussus had finished. "Your merchants, for whom profit is dearer than life itself, bleed inside at the thought of abolishing the slave trade. But again, please be mindful of the Workers of the Revolution. The pain of the old system is still very present and very real in our memories and fears.
"Thus, I will accept your terms if you will allow for these additional provisions: Esharan firms operating in RWU territory will be subject to RWU criminal prosecution for any practice of slavery in said territory, and all Esharan products entering the RWU market for which any element of the chain of production depends on slavery must be appropriately labeled according to standards approved by the Union Council." If Esharan law was an undependable means of ending slavery, perhaps consumer demand could do better.
Post by Empire of Ezria on Mar 9, 2012 20:30:26 GMT -5
Senator Drussus didn't want to know what Esharan firm would be stupid enough to use slaves in the RWU. If did it, and were caught then that fact alone made them deserve a prison term. Or at the least a hefty fine. The Esharan's preferred the latter for what was considered a 'white collar' crime but Drussus thought that the grim man across from him would disagree.
The Senator weighed his odds, gauging if he could wring further concessions out of him..the chances were that he couldn't. Drussus had walked away with what he had most wanted. There would be no admission of guilt from the Princeps, and tariffs on Esharan goods would only last a year rather than the entire duration of the trade agreement. He'd let further bureacrauts on both sides sort out the fine print of the details. Drussus cleared his throat before speaking, leaning closer like a Nemean Lion that had its prey within its sights.
'' We agree. '' Senator Drussus said finally, extending his hand. '' I hope this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship for both our peoples. '' Drussus said with the gleaming fake politicians smile.
Post by Revolutionary Workers' Union on Mar 11, 2012 23:54:50 GMT -5
"Likewise," replied Kazamar, his visage settling into a comfortable, wide smile. He considered the meeting a success: Any tariff at all, in addition to concrete, albeit limited, moves to abolish the slave trade were more than he had expected from an Esharan patrician.
*The Revolutionary Workers' Union and the Republic of Eshara enter a trade agreement with no time limit, and with the first turn of trade at a 15% tariff (1 credit) on goods entering the RWU.
"Now, before we conclude, there are a few more issues to address," the Field Marshal maintained. "In order to sustain contact, an embassy exchange will be necessary. The old Esharan embassy is still intact, but in dire need of repairs and located in the capital of the rightfully dead Empire, not the current Union. If you wish, we will provide you with the funds and manpower necessary to renovate the old embassy, but we will also provide for a new structure in Victory City. As for our own embassy, we feel that the old Antoviyan embassy grounds, any renovations thereof, and extradition of the former staff are all due to us.
"Secondly, on behalf of the Takudar* of Esharkar, I convey to you the request of a large number of Esharan families and individuals, who have requested that their relatives -mostly of the classes most marginalized by your merchants' dogmatic thirst for capitalistic profit- be allowed to immigrate to the RWU. There are also a small number of requests, few and far between and mostly from former members of the middling and upper classes enslaved illegally, to return to the Republic. Can these requests be accommodated?"
*Takudar: Ayar title for a local ruler, predating the World War that brought Antoviya to planetary dominance. Currently refers to the elected Municipal Council of an RWU city.
Post by Empire of Ezria on Mar 14, 2012 15:47:52 GMT -5
There was little to be politically gained from harboring the old Antoviyan embassy members and thus Drussus didn't try to fight it. As for the rest well, that would take some doing.
'' We will extradite these Antoviyan ambassadors, as soon as their requests for political asylum have run their way through the courts. As for the old embassy grounds, you are very much welcome to them. The grounds have been continually renovated despite the hiatus in our diplomatic relations. As for the requests on immigration, on a case by case basis this can be arranged. '' After all, if the Esharan's were accepting immigrants it would want thorough background checks...and ensuring of course that they weren't Ayar sleeper agents. '' I think that however can be handled by our embassies once they have been sufficiently staffed and need not detain us at this level. ''
Post by Revolutionary Workers' Union on Mar 16, 2012 20:17:14 GMT -5
Though he took the Takudar's request seriously, both at a personal and at a symbolic ideological level, Kazamar decided to let the issue of immigration wait. If the embassy encountered trouble, he decided, he and Leneru would step in.
"This is acceptable," the Field Marshal replied curtly. "So, if you have no other proposals to bring to the table, shall we conclude this meeting?"
Post by Empire of Ezria on Apr 10, 2012 16:40:50 GMT -5
Pretorian (Esharan capital) / RWU Embassy:
'' I am curious. '' Senator Drussus said, tapping his cigar on the ash tray in a puff of smoke as he leaned back in his seat. '' How does the RWU justify allying itself with a capitalist power, hellbent on boosting its own trade and commerce at the expense of workers for the sake of profit? Does it not go against everything the Revolution fought against? Greed, the rights of the worker? Apparently not. '' There was a dangerous flash in those eyes as he considered his opposite. Despite the fact that the protestors had been pushed back, even from the windows of the embassy the Foreign Minister could see the lines of picketers that had all but surrounded the embassy. A small army of policemen was all that stood between the Ayar and mob rule.
'' Thousands of Esharan's are dead, and your government is partially responsible. You didn't fire the shots but you were complicit in the murder by allowing the UCLC fleet to cross through your territory. Not a warning was sent, there not even a chance to avert this act of murder. '' Despite his relative calm, there was an undertone of rage that was clearly evident as Drussus spoke.
'' The Republic demands restitution, apologies from the RWU for its part in this massacre, and assurances that this war will not expand if you wish to keep our relationship strong and beneficial. ''