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Cmdre. Sara Auenzelle

8 Zephides, Uential, Maquisador, 137
1 October 2032
114 Uia Albon, B2 Suite 12

D'Azur, Haydez, Monteangelo

Commodore Auenzelle arranged her teacup, pith helmet, and tablet in front of her on the table, waiting for the rest of the conference to arrive in the well-lit, but non-descipt hall two floors beneath the streets of Haydez. Flanked on either side by two members of her committee, Auenzelle watched silently as staffers from both her own branch as well as representatives from the gendarmerie and the state all in black, blue, and khaki full dress, each carrying their pith helmets under their arms. The room was filled with the white noise of murmurs and shuffling chairs occasionally interrupted by pouring liquid from carafes circulating around the group. Auenzelle poured her own cup in turn but otherwise sat in silence, waiting for the clock to strike 16:00 and the final seats to be filled. With two minutes to go, the room fell silent as eyes shifted between the three empty chairs heading the opposite end from Auvenzelle and the door.

On cue as the minute struck the hour, the door opened and Nelson Mitrail, Governor General; Dauid Ennes, General of the Gendarmerie; and Gaultier Grissons, Admiral; filed in, the last taking the time to close the door behind him before taking his seat and laying out his own tablet in front of him. The trio had entered the room in silence. As the trio passed the carafe between them, Auenzelle rose and addressed the room:

"Commodore Auenzelle presenting. Good afternoon, my superiors and colleagues. I thank you all for attending and trust you are all briefed on the report which my committee is now conferencing. Before we proceed any further, I just want to outline the conference. We will begin by proceeding through the document with inter-branch input, then proceed to amendments, feasibility, and finally implementation. We hopefully will conclude the first step... tonight," she said as she glanced at the clock, "at least assuming things proceed smoothly though as you all should be aware this conference may extend over several sessions. With that said, are there any comments or remarks before we address the document?"

Auenzelle stood and glanced around the mute room, noting the three chiefs at the other end of the room; the admiral with a bemused look, the general glancing back despondently at her, and the governor general reclined in his chair, holding a poker face. After a moment, she wordlessly retook her seat and nodded to the adjutant beside her who proceeded to stand, clasping his tablet and scrolling to the top of his document before facing the room.

"Adjutant Bastienne presenting. We will proceed through the document through the following measures: firstly, capabilities of the Monteangeline fleet at present; secondly, remedies to the state of the fleet; thirdly, the capabilities of Monteangeline marine infantry; fourthly, remedies to the state of the marine infantry; fifthly, national commerce as they relate to foreign affairs and our doctrine of defence..." as the fourth and fifth items were listed Auenzelle caught a hint of a snarl flash across the face of the chief of the Gendarmerie before he settled back to a despondent gaze.

Running through the sections of the report lasted for another solid five minutes. Having focussed on the report for the past months, Auenzelle knew it front-to-back by heart and took the opportunity to scan the room and nurse her cup of tea. Most of the servicepeople at the table were gazing at their tablets and scrolling in synchronization as they followed the explanations of the adjutant, but there were several exceptions as gendarmerie officials began to murmur to each other, seemingly covering their own notes. While Auenzelle had known that the report and its implementation could not be expected to go smoothly, the reality of a long and arduous negotiating process sank in. At least she would have the weekend before the next convening.

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Cmdre. Sara Auenzelle

3 Eurides, Uential, Maquisador, 137
15 October 2032
114 Uia Albon, B2 Suite 12
D'Azur, Haydez, Monteangelo


Commodore Sara Auenzelle pressed her fingers to her forehead, hoping that stroking her temple would alleviate what appeared to be the onset of a headache as the Gendarmerie officer droned. As the conference entered its second full decade, the report had proven to be extremely controversial among many, failing to garner support or endorsement from the three branches. While she knew that elements of the report were radical, she had been more keen to examine the feasibility and had hoped for a warmer reception to her ideas.

"With the utmost respect for your branch and service, the error of the RosCom debacle falls at the Armade's feet. It is difficult enough for us to tolerate the shame your branch has incurred, but to argue for expanded jurisdiction as a consequence is absurd-"

"No one is calling for expanded jurisdiction," Admiral Grissons interrupted, "Our jurisdictions, duties, and responsibilities remain clearly delineated."

General Ennes crossed his arms and turned to face the Admiral next to him with a scowl on his face as the Gendarmerie adjutant finally sat down, "Gault, you cannot make that kind of statement and support the recommendations of this document. The expansion of the marine infantry with greater materiel and arms, further involvement in R&D, and further involvement in land-based activities clearly cross the line. If anything, it demonstrates the failures of your branch which I maintain could have been avoidable had the Gendarmerie been involved in your North Punth escapade. We well would have set things right."

"You don't know that," the Admiral curtly replied, between sips of tea, "And I'll remind you that I have not proffered my own endorsement of the report at this time."

With no further reply, there was a brief period of silence which Auenzelle ultimately broke. "It appears to me that we have wandered from our previous topic which was the nuclear question..."

Governor General Mitrail perked up but maintained the stoic yet bemused expression on his face, "We can revisit the specifics of Uranium supply between amendments and feasibility. Refitting of the fleet is your concern and your jurisdiction, not ours, and if it's a question of resources rather than principles we need not get ahead of ourselves."

As General Ennes shook his head in silence, the Governor General continued, "If anything, we could break for an early lunch and return to continue discussing "philosophy" and "jurisdiction" before actually moving on with the real work."

With numerous grumbles, the assembled parties shuffled out of their seats before queueing off to leave the room and venture to the canteen for lunch. Governor General Mitrail and General Ennes were the first to quit while the Admiral retook his seat and motioned for Auenzelle to approach him, remaining mute as the room emptied. The last to exit was a naval officer who looked to start loitering in the conference room until he caught a severely stern expression from the Admiral and exited quickly, leaving the Admiral and the Commodore alone in the room.

Once they were alone, the Admiral's expression softened, as did his voice, "Despite my comments, I will proffer my endorsement of your report. We have to assert ourselves against Ennes and his hounds. You follow the news, right?" Auenzelle nodded. "Then you know what I'm talking about," he said as he stood once more, "Follow me. We're skipping lunch."

Admiral Grissons led the Commodore to the door only to be accosted by the would-be-loiterer as he opened the door. The Armade officer stood at attention and announced himself, "Adjutant Alois, presenting. May I have a word with you, Admiral - and the Commodore as well?" he swiftly added.

The Admiral stared sternly before glancing back to Auenzelle who was maintaining a poker face.

"Be quick," the Admiral replied.

"Absolutely sir," he replied, "It's just regarding the nuclear question. I'm addressing the issue on behalf of the power plant inquiry team for the report." In his peripheral vision, the Admiral saw the Commodore's eyes narrow and her head subtly nodded. "I think I can say with some confidence that we had expected a fair deal of resistance on the part of the Estat to our plans to appropriate the reserves of Uranium-"

"I said be quick," Grissons snapped. In of the corner of his eye, he could see Auenzelle fail to conceal a smile.

"Uh, yessir. Simply, the team actually had its own reservations about the complete retrofit and we... uh..." the Adjutant stopped dead as he met the glares of both Auenzelle and Grissons, "...we simply hope you'll take this under consideration before endorsing the report - and apologies for not bringing this up sooner, Commodore."

The Admiral turned fully to Auenzelle giving her the floor, who remained stoic and simply stated, "There are correct avenues for you to bring forth these sorts of statements. This isn't one of them." The Admiral then took his turn, "The course that I determine with my endorsement is my own. You are dismissed." The Adjutant sheepishly retreated down the corridor as the Admiral motioned toward the opposite way.

"Dissent in the ranks," Auenzelle stated somewhat mutely, "This begs further questions."

"If you only knew and definitely, respectively," Grissons replied as they arrived at an elevator door. "He was right though," he continued as he called an elevator.

"How do you mean, sir?" Auenzelle asked.

"Mittie - that is, Governor General Mitrail - did you a favour today and you would do well to remember it," the Admiral replied.

"Regarding the Uranium?"

"Yes, he could have debated you on principle like Ennes has for every point related to his branch and beyond. I doubt the Estat actually wants you, or rather us, to appropriate their Uranium reserves. We have bigger or at least other concerns right now and none of us want to be stuck here for another two weeks. We'll see though."

The two boarded the elevator and the Admiral scanned a card before selecting a floor. They rode together in silence before arriving at the fourth floor as the Admiral finally declared, "We have an important meeting right now."

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