Alliances of Convenience, Part I

OOC - I'm making a slight tweak from the intro post, with the Consul only winning slightly in the last election.

Republic Core Space
Arkhal Prime//Arkhal Alpha System
Date - o1.455

Arkhal Alpha, the crown of the Grand Arkhal Republic, the capital system of the mammoth Republic and one of the most developed solar systems in known space.
Arkhal Alpha being the crown made Arkhal Prime, the true capital of the Republic, the crown jewel.

Arkhal Prime was largely an artificial construct; the natural biosphere having long been eradicated, the planet was one big creation of its inhabitants. Areas that weren't covered in the utterly colossal capital city of Antirea were artificially maintained biomes, not quite terraformed, yet not natural in any way. The biomes, managed by orbiting satellites, were home to resorts, luxury amenities, and sprawling estates for the absurdly wealth and the political elite.
Land in these biomes was so expensive that not even some CEOs and merchant lords could afford it, the lands of Arkhal Prime being a privileged for only the most wealthy and affluent Republicans.

Antirea, like many megacities, stretched far across its continent, even reaching into the ocean, artificially extended the continent for miles. The absolute core of the city was the Bhura, a towering complex that served as the Republic's capital.
A self-contained city all to itself, the linked buildings that served as the capital possessed the various headquarters of the ministries and sub ministries, offices for countless bureaucrats and government officials, alongside restaurants, clubs, and other luxury amenities. Quarters for top officials were placed throughout a massive residential district. The quarters of the Consul were the pinnacle of the district, the colossal quarters rivaling some luxury estates in size.
Closer to the top of the central tower were the various meeting chambers for the government. At the very top was the chamber of the Tribunal, where currently, the 144 seat council was in session, locked in debate over the agenda of the Republic.

Spread throughout the chamber were the Tribunes, easily distinguishable from the numerous interns and aides by their flashier, more opulent clothing. A chorus of murmuring echoed through the chamber as the Tribunes debated, bargained, and shouted above one another.

At the head of the assembly laid the Council of Ministers, and in the tier above them, the Consul, Secretary of the Assembly, and the Secretary of the Ministry.

It was the first meeting of the new administration; the recent round of elections had seen new Tribunes appointed, and Consul Arcaeon appointed for a 2nd term.
The election season had left its mark on the Tribunal, a divided people had further diversified the assembly. The Nationalists, growing in number, had the largest number of seats of any part, but not the majority they needed for total control. This mattered little, however, the Consul had gotten his agenda through with a mixed Tribunal last term, he could do it again.

The meeting was coming to a close, most Tribunes were anxious to go home.

"Any last statements before we put it to a vote?" the Secretary of the Assembly asked, her amplified voice booming over the murmuring.

An Almari Tribune stood, nodding to the Secretary.

"Tribune Preius" the Secretary said, acknowledging him.

The Tribune turned to the author of the current petition, a Krogg Tribune standing across the room, and smirked smugly.

"Yes, Secretary, I was just wondering when it ever became appropriate to put treasury funds towards a terraforming project, especially one that's creating a swampy hellhole that most Republic citizens wouldn't be comfortable living on!"

The Krogg Tribune snorted, raising his hand.

"Tribune Achok" the Secretary said.

"I was just wondering if the Respectable Tribune Preius could pull his head out of his ass, is that okay with you, secretary?" the foul-tempered Krogg said with a sneer, baring his fangs and chuckling derisively. Several Tribunes around him chuckled.

"Strike that from the record, please" the Secretary said, rubbing her temples out of frustration. "Tribune Preius it is permissible under Republic law for the treasury to dispatch funds to support Oversector projects, includng terraforming. We'll now put it to a vote, petition to provide a subsidy to the Atkos Beta terraforming project"

The Tribunes, using holographic controls, voted. The vote took only scant seconds before the result was tallied.

"The motion passes" the Secretary said.
The Krogg Tribune looked to his opponent and grinned smugly before sitting back down.

"If all matters are attended to, this meeting of the Tribunal will come to a close. Are there any remaining petitions or requests to have the floor?" The Secretary asked.
A single Tribune stood, "May I have the floor to address the Honrable Consul Arcaeon?"

The Consul perked up, recognizing the voice of his long-dreaded opponent.

Tribune Thae Axximarrus, the leader of the Progressive Party and the Consul's rival. The Vhuul woman and he had an...interesting relationship, their rivalry often bordered on a hostile friendship, with the two coming together quite often for joint projects, though they just as often tried to shoot each other's projects down.

She stood out, even amongst the other Vhuul in the Tribunal. She was tall and slender, leafy tendrils hung from her head like hair, almost reaching the ground. Her plain dress set her aside from the other more ornately dressed Tribunes, and giving her a more 'down-home' appearance.

"You have the floor, Tribune" the Secretary said.

"Honorable Consul, first of all, congratulations once again on your 2nd term. I'm sure your compatriots are done soiling themselves now that you've squeaked by with just barely enough votes" she said, smugly.

Other nationalists in the assembly murmured angrily, while progressives and other opposing party members chuckled.

"Is this a casual conversation or do you have a point, Tribune Axximarrus?" the Consul said plainly, annoyed with her presence. He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms, anticipating her reply.

"Of course. I was curious about your foreign policy for the next term, you and your Nationalist brethren have pledged 'less aggression, more amiability', a...stark departure from your wildly unpopular platform of the last term. What does this entail, exactly? Are we going to continue with threatening those that oppose us, like the ever-present Okat'Siia tribals, or will we actually attempt more warm relations and attempt to resolve our problems amicably?"

The Consul leaned forward, and peered down at the Tribune.

"What it means is that we will take a more balanced approach. To those who are neutral and friendly to us, we shall take a warm, open-minded approach. To our allies, we will have nothing but warmth and friendship. But to those who wrong us, they will receive harsh treatment, and I will bring the hammer of the Republic down on them if need be"

"Talk is Cheap, Consul. I'd prefer if, unlike your last term, the non-nationalists in the Tribunal had more say over our foreign policy, instead of the constant blocking actions and blatantly ignoring our petitions. I want to make sure we get the results we need"

Many in the Tribunal spoke up in agreement. The veterans of the assembly remembered the actions of the nationalists of the last decade, and how they worked diligently to keep the Tribunal out of military and foreign matters. It was only partially successful and led to a drop in the party's popularity, leading to the more liberal policies of the current term.
The Consul had little wiggle room now that the Nationalists had lost so many seats. He had plans for the mouth little Vhuul, he'd need her to keep the rest of the Tribunes in check, and that is exactly what he planned to do.

"Tribune, if you're so worried, why don't we discuss working more closely? The last term was filled with mistakes, and in the best interests of our great Republic, I'd be happy to work with the Progressives, Centrists, Populists, and Nova Republikans to right those wrongs and foster an atmosphere of cooperation"

The Tribunes murmured, some scoffed, seeing through the ruse and seeing it as political grandstanding. Others talked amongst each other, pondering the worth of the Consul's words.

Axximarrus tilted her head and raised a tendrily brow, "Oh? Why don't we discuss matters privately then. I'm sure we can come to an agreement before the next assembly. I'll yield to the floor"

"Are there any remaining petitions or requests to have the floor?" the Secretary asked, getting no response. "Then I call this meeting of the Tribunal to a close"

Almost immediately, the Tribunes began clearing out. Outside the chamber halls, reporters, interns, and various government staff lingered. They were joined by the Tribunes, some of whom stopped to converse with reporters, or exchange items with interns.

The Consul, leaving through a back entrance, was greeted by members of the Nationalist Party.

"We're just going to capitulate to the Progressives, then?" one said angrily.

The Consul was unphased by the mouthy O'Chiik. The Consul turned to look at the small blue humanoid, having to look down due to his short stature.

"We're not capitulating. If anything, I hope to get them to see things our way" he said sternly.

"Axximarrus is stubborn, sir. She won't budge on anything" another said, dejectedly.

"She won't budge, that's true. But I can throw her a bone and get her to step in line with me"

"Oh?"

"Our previous foreign policy and our military policy were wildly unpopular, but if we can incorporate benign parts of, say, Progressive agenda, we can at least pretend we're working together. We'll keep the people happy and keep the Tribunal in line"

"I'm not sure I want to hand them so much influence over the Foreign Ministry though"

"That's not for you to decide. Let me handle her, I'm not going to let her walk over us, but I do need her if we're going to stay in control. The next round of Tribune elections will take place soon and I want to make sure we don't lose more seats"

The Consul walked past the small group, turning down a small access corridor that led straight to the tram station.

The short O'Chiik looked up to his significantly taller companion, "He's underestimating her again"

"I know" the other said, "I guess all we can do at this point is wait"

-To Be Continued

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