Meeting with Chancellor Pieter von Juppertal
(Collab between Luxlein and Candanadium)

Ambassador Luis Miguel Sanhueza checked his watch. Neither he, nor any of the President’s top advisors, had gotten much sleep in the past 24 hours, nor were they likely to anytime soon, and tensions were running high. He called the President, huddled with his National Security Council in the Executive Office, via a secure connection. It was the third emergency meeting in the last twelve hours, and National Security Advisor Gael Castrillón made a short briefing to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Sergio Valdés and President Ferrant.

“Mr. President, Mr. Secretary, based on what we know, the Chancellor’s reason for setting up this meeting is largely due to the arrests of the Conservative Party’s Senior Leadership a few weeks ago. I just completed a conference call with law enforcement officials to brief them on how to continue carrying out the responsibilities since the arrests. Everything is up to you now, Sanhueza. We are counting on you.”

The call ended, and he was escorted to the Chancellery.

The Embassy of the United Republics of Luxlein to the Court of Wilhelmus the Conqueror was not at all far from Deepwood Hall, the seat of the Chancellor of Candanadium. It was located on Prince Henry Avenue, sandwiched between the Hykkogwa and Mortasian embassies. The most prominent buildings were the Akarean and Trefjalli embassies, which stood tall at the intersection of Prince Henry and New Konigstadt’s famous Bayview Avenue, proudly flying the blue eagle of the Kaltach Union alongside their national flags. Kaltach nations, of course, held precedence in Candanadian foreign policy, and the placement of embassies along Prince Henry Avenue was a testament to that. The only exception was the Edofasian embassy, which stuck out like a sore thumb between the Jokullheime and Welkan embassies, having originally served as Edofasia House, or the liaison office of the Dominion of Edofasia in New Konigstadt. Of course, at the end of the Second Crisis, it became the property of the Confederacy, and since then, it had been renovated and excavated and torn up in every manner to rid the building of its colonial iconography but also to remove any potential listening devices. The location, however, remained the same.

The Luxerian embassy was at the far end of the avenue, which ended in a cul-de-sac, reserved for nations that Candanadium had little in terms of actual diplomatic ties with. It seemed, however, that Luxlein was desperately trying to break free of that descriptor, at least judging by the attention it stirred up in Candanadium as of late.

The Ambassador’s route took him down Prince Henry Avenue, onto Bayview and through the entertainment district into the government district, the borough of Deepwood-Magnarplatz. Deepwood Hall was, as ever, shrouded by its ancient grove of pines and oaks and guarded by policemen in bulletproof jackets, toting rifles and holding their Kanadiaans shepherds on a short leash. The Ambassador’s car, with the blue diplomatic plate and the Luxerian flag on the hood, was waved through summarily, and within fifteen minutes of leaving the Embassy, he had arrived. 

The Chancellor had informed the Ambassador to meet him in his office, located on the top floor of Deepwood Hall. An attendant led him there, through maze-like corridors and up a grand staircase, then a smaller staircase, until he arrived at a pair of dark oaken doors. The attendant knocked three times, and the door was opened on the inside.

“The Ambassador of the United Republics of-” The attendant began.

“Yes, yes. Thank you.” The Chancellor shooed the man away dismissively.

“Sir.” The attendant bowed slightly and spun on his heels. 

“Come in.” The Chancellor opened the door wide, revealing a spacious office under a stained-glass dome that spilled various shades of colour onto a ring of couches surrounding a mahogany coffee table before an ornately carved desk. The Ambassador took a seat gingerly, and the Chancellor did the same, directly opposite him.

Ambassador Sanhueza, still nervous, made sure to stay strong. “Mr. Chancellor, what a pleasure it is to meet you. I hope I was not too late for our appointment. I was told that the Kingdom shares some concerns over the recent developments in Luxlein, particularly the arrests and imprisonment of the Conservative Party’s Senior Leadership.”

“‘Concerns’ is putting it mildly. Ambassador, I’m sure that you’re aware of the composition of my government coalition and of the parliamentary opposition.” The Chancellor’s tone wasn’t impatient, but it was brusque and matter-of-fact.

“Of course, Chancellor. The United Republics is very understanding. However, the President himself has told me that he hopes this does not affect our current relations and potential organization of the Santangel Summit.” 

“My party isn’t exactly what you would call left-of-centre, and our Conservative Party is the second largest party in Parliament after my own. While it’s true that I have forged a coalition with the Democratic Party, this can possibly end my government. There is no way that we can participate in any Luxerian organization, not when conservatives are being rounded up and jailed. Parliament will not permit it, and I will not permit it. I’m sure His Majesty shares this opinion. My question to you is: what the hell is going on?”

“Chancellor, the situation in regards to recent events is currently under the investigation by our Justice Department. The acting Secretary of Justice is hoping to conduct an investigation soon into the possible actions that transpired the day we arrested the Senior Leadership of the Conservative Party. I do not know why the investigation is being opened, since we have not yet nominated a new Secretary of Justice, and the previous Secretary has not been seen since.”

“What happened to the Secretary of Justice?”

“Well, the Federal Security Service arrested Brais de Herrera and his partner, Aida Siurana. She was the CEO of Góngora Mosenka. They were detained in an undisclosed location. The Prime Minister sent out an urgent message after the news came out. It said that we should not be alarmed, and that he was involved in the Luxlein Papers leak. No one has seen him since.”

“You mean to tell me that not only have you arrested the political opposition, you’ve also cleaned house? And this was all sanctioned by the President?”

“The acting Secretary of Justice has told us that there is sufficient evidence to prove without a doubt that they are guilty. However, a trial date has not been set up, and no testimony, witnesses, or evidence has been provided to the courts.”

“This is absurd. Luxlein claims to champion international peace and development, yet this is how the Luxerian government conducts itself? Tell President Ferrant that Candanadium will take no part in either of his projects until he reverses these totalitarian actions and submits himself to investigation by an impartial authority. He can expect a statement in Parliament soon.”

“Of course, I will relay that message to him immediately.” He stares blankly, shocked by the response. “Is there anything else that I should tell the President?”

“Tell him to turn on RBS if he wants to hear more from me. Get out.”

“Very well. Have a great day.” Remaining polite, the Ambassador nods, and leaves.

“Mister Speaker, last year this Chancellor-” The Leader of the Opposition stuck his pointer finger and pointed it at the Chancellor, who sat, sulking, across the dispatch box from him. “This Chancellor announced to the House that he had agreed to attend a proposed summit with the President of Luxlein to foster, and I quote, ‘international peace and development’ through a ‘World Congress’. Now, Mr. Speaker, we know that this summit was called off due to the Luxlein Papers and uncovered the government’s inaction in regards to the activities of the King Emeritus. But even now, as conservatives and other supporters of democracy are being rounded up and imprisoned without trial or sentence, the Chancellor has still refused to renounce his ties to the corrupt megalomaniac known as the President of Luxlein. So, Mr. Speaker, why is the Chancellor silent? Does he no longer support the liberal democratic order forged by our fathers who resisted tyranny and brought an end to one-party rule in our own nation?” As soon as the Leader of the Opposition resumed his seat, the Speaker rose to his feet, and seemingly on cue, the House erupted in cries of “hear, hear”, boos, jeers, and other expressions of support or disgust.

“ORDER! Right honourable and honourable members on both sides of the House must compose themselves! Order! Sei Ordentlich! Order in the chamber! The right honourable Chancellor has the floor!” The speaker’s voice boomed and echoed throughout the chamber, and the collective roar off the opposition faded to a din of murmurs and grumbles.

“Mister Speaker, I-” The Chancellor was cut off by shouts and jeers from the opposite side of the House as soon as he opened his mouth to speak. He resumed his seat once more. 

“The honourable member for Tiroletal-South must come to order! The right honourable Chancellor has a right to be heard in the House. Mr. Chancellor!” The Speaker intervened once more.

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the honourable leader of the opposition for his question, and I wish that he would take comfort knowing that he has my support and agreement, at least in this matter. The recent events in Luxlein have, indeed, shocked us all, and I cannot, in good conscience, continue associating with the President of Luxlein nor his regime. One-party rule and dictatorship is something we have renounced since the end of the Second Crisis, and the new developments in Luxlein show that Luxlein has every intention of renouncing multi-party democracy in favour of a left-wing dictatorship. This is unacceptable, and, frankly, saddening, to see a nation that was poised to become a champion for human rights and cooperation worldwide betray those very principles by denying their own citizens of basic political and human rights. Indeed, just earlier today, I met with the Luxerian Ambassador and it has been made abundantly clear to me that these actions were sanctioned by the Luxerian presidency and government. The only appropriate course for us to take would be to renounce any intention of joining the World Congress and the so-called International Chancery of Justice while Luxlein attacks its own congress and judicial branch.”

“We, as a government, stand in solidarity with those in Luxlein who have been persecuted due to their political beliefs and strongly condemn the Luxerian government’s blatant attempts to stamp out domestic opposition. I hope this satisfies the concerns raised by members opposite, and I would like to thank the honourable leader of the opposition again for raising this question with me.” The Chancellor resumed his seat as cries of “hear, hear” replaced the jeering and boos that had been levied at him just moments prior.

A political firestorm was building in Santangel.

The Justice Department’s acting Secretary was on the verge of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the President’s alleged involvement in the arrest of the Conservative Senior Leadership. Former Secretary of Justice Brais de Herrera and Aida Siurana were nowhere to be found. Moderates were distancing themselves from the Administration, and even a number of the progressive members of the National Congress had voiced concerns on the news shows about the situation.

The cover of the latest Luxlein Insight asked, “The Ferrant We Knew: Gone?”

A new Luxleinfluent News poll found that 46% of Luxerians would disapprove of the President's conduct if the allegations that the arrests were politically-motivated were true, while 53% believed that he was “mishandling” the fallout in particular.

And no one wanted to upset the President at the campaign fundraising event he was attending. The Coalition for Progress PAC organized a brunch reception at the St. Milenia Resort. As the President excused himself from the event, he was escorted to a part of the resort that was still under construction. One of the bodyguards gave him the message from the Embassy in Candanadium. He was furious. He started punching one of the marble columns until his knuckles started to bleed.

“Give me the phone.” He said to one of his bodyguards. As he dialed the numbers, he started to calm down. The phone was ringing, and after the third ring, she picked up.

“What’s your call?” Neus Olloqui, his Chief of Staff, asked.

“This is getting out of hand. We need to sweep this under the rug. Candanadium is not going to work with us on the projects for the International Chancellery of Justice and the World Congress. We should never have arrested them in the first place.”

“It was a mistake, yes,” Neus said. “Do you want me to make the call to the Federal Security Service to release them?”

“Not yet. Let them rot in a cell for a few more days.” Ferrant smirked, thinking about how terrified they must be. “Contact Sergio Valdés. Tell him to recall the Ambassador and terminate his mission as soon as the Secretary meets with him. Organize another press conference. I decided on who to appoint as Secretary of Justice.”

“Ok, I will do that, but who is the nominee?”

“Neera Oronoz.” Ferrant knew he made the best choice. The woman had decades of experience in the Constitutional Court and as a State Attorney.

“Got it. I’ll contact the Secretary and the news agencies now.”

The Ambassador has not left his office since sending the message to Santangel. He was terrified. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. He knew he committed a mistake.

His phone rang, and it scared the daylights out of him. He recognized the number; it was his boss.

He picked it up. “Mr. Secretary?”

“Luis, you need to be on the next plane to Santangel.” The cheerfulness commonly heard in his voice was gone.

“Wait what? What happened?” He was astonished. I knew the President would be upset, but not like this.

“This is about your security. You need to come home immediately. You need to come home on the next plane.”

The line went dead.

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