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Our Maine Destination


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Rockland, Maine was a small town on the coast of Maine, south of Bangor and around halfway between the border with New Brunswick and the edge of former Massachusetts state. Among other things, it was the home of the annual Maine Lobster Festival, and since the festival wasn't in season, it was also a rather boring, quiet place. Since the Festival was the main event for miles around, the mayor of Rockland wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary, and had settled himself in for another quiet two months until the festival began and he had to deal with the increased traffic from all the tourists. Certainly not a headache on the order a foreign diplomatic expedition coming to his shores.
So it was that the town's small police force had been informed by a local fisherman that there was a military vessel out in the harbor, and it wasn't flying anything resembling the Federation flag. Moreover, it had launched a boat that was coming for shore. Once the police chief informed him of this, the mayor was confused. "Come again?"
The police chief explained the situation to him again, and after considering the situation, he called his secretary in. "Brenda, I want you to call Augusta for me. Yes, the governor's office. And make it quick. Meanwhile," he continued, addressing the police chief. "Have a couple of your men meet this boat when it lands. Better yet, phone the paramedics in town to get ready. They might be in distress...just better hope they don't have the plague." The local police came out to meet the boat, rather stumped as to what to do, but hoped they could contain the situation in a peaceful manner, or at least pass the buck to their superiors so they wouldn't have to make any difficult decisions.
Meanwhile, in FFB Halifax, the largest naval base of the Federation, the crew of Skjold-class corvette FNS Cyclone were settling in for several days of uneventful maneuvers and equipment checks when they got a call from the base commander. It appeared that an unidentified vessel had made itself apparent in Federation territorial waters, and they were needed to go check it out. Since the Skjold was among the fastest classes of armed vessel when it was built nearly fifteen years ago, being able to reach upward of fifty knots in normal weather, it was felt among FleetCom that they would be best equipped for a rapid response, whether that response was to provide assistance to a ship in distress, or...something else. And since Cyclone was the only one out on maneuvers that day, they were picked for the task. So, after a few system checks, Cyclone sailed out of Halifax Harbour and toward Rockland.
[center][i]FNS Cyclone sailing out of Halifax Harbour[/i][/center]


The boat landed without a hitch on the sandy shoreline, to the bewilderment of several onlookers who had noticed it sailing in. One by one, the three men left their boat behind and stepped into North America. Speaking in English, they asked generally but politely where the Mayor could be located, to no immediate response by the local population.

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Soon enough, the foreign delegate was escorted to the mayor's office, a small ground-floor place with a view of the street outside. He seemed quite confused as to what an obviously foreign-looking trio was doing in his little town, but appeared affable enough as he sat on the edge of his desk, introduced himself, and offered them some coffee before continuing. "Might I ask what business brings you gentlemen here? I doubt it's simply tourism, or you would have waited until the lobster festival. Not to presume your intentions, of course."

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Mayor's Office, Rockland, Maine

The two soldiers sat their weapons down after exchanging a glance, before beginning to nurse their coffee. The diplomat, a tea person herself, began to speak. "Thank you again for having us. It's been quite some time since we left the mainland."

She fidgeted in the uncomfortable chair, before silently resigning herself to the literal pain in her ass. Continuing, she sought to pump the Mayor for information. "So, then, I've seen no American flags since we landed. Where, exactly, are we? This was once upon a time Maine, correct? We come from Brazil, and we're here to scope out the world and make friends in these dark times."

Coastline, Rockland, Maine

The Brazilian ship noticed something on the horizon. Without knowing the fate of the shore crew who had been out of sight for quite some time now, they readied their weapons at the unknown vessel and continued broadcasting their message of peace.

Edited by Hereno
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The mayor tried to be diplomatic, even though it was clear that the foreigners weren't too well-informed about recent goings-on in the region. "This is indeed Maine. Rockland, to be specific. I'm afraid you're a little too far north if you wanted the governor's office - that's in Augusta. Maine is no longer a part of the United States. It is a province of the Federation of the Atlantic, an equal member in the recently formed government in Ottawa - along with South Ontario, South Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.


I can't say I'm qualified to receive foreign dignitaries, but I will do my best to answer any questions you may have. It might be best, however, to arrange a meeting with the governor. He can set things in motion with the federal government and get you people some answers. In fact, my secretary has him on the line if you'd prefer not to wait?"


Meanwhile, out at sea, Cyclone approached to within visual range of the Brazilian ship and executed a ninety degree turn to bring her profile to face the Brazilian ship. This brought the foreign vessel out of the firing arc of Cyclone's 76mm cannon to display peaceful intent, but decoy countermeasures were prepared in any case. Radio contact was sought, but in any event Cyclone's signal lamp began to flash the following message: "Advise you have entered Federation territorial waters, are you in distress? If not, recommend you withdraw."

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The diplomat was perplexed by these happenings. She leaned back in her chair, taking a few long moments to process what the Mayor had told her. "I think I'd prefer to talk to someone at the national level, rather than a Governor. I don't know what he could help me with that you couldn't...."


Her voice trailed off as she became enveloped in thought.


Sparking again, she continued. "Then again, we didn't really come prepared to spend days or weeks on each diplomatic mission. Perhaps I should take you up on that quick chat with the Governor before heading back to Brazil."


Grabbing the phone lightly, as though she didn't want to touch it, she brought it up to her ear and asked "Hello?"




Off the coast, the crew members of the ship looked at each other in bewilderment.


"Federation, huh?" the captain thought to himself. "I bet the away team is having quite the adventure right now."


Moments later, a communication would reach the Federation vessel, identifying the ship as Brazilian and asking for permission to dock.

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The mayor shrugged and handed the phone to the Brazilian diplomat. "Fair enough."


"Good day," said the voice on the other line. "I trust the good mayor hasn't overly inconvenienced your party, madam? Only you see, we're not used to having foreigners landing on our shores, so I hope you will forgive any disorganization on our part...although I presume you wanted to see things for yourself regardless of what our government tried to present, no?" The governor chuckled. "You don't have to answer that. I believe I can point you to the proper authorities to answer any questions you may have about the Federation, but I'm afraid you'll have to go a little further afield than Maine. The national capital is in Ottawa."


If the diplomat was willing to listen, the governor did expound on a few points, such as the precise territorial makeup of the Federation, its system of government, and the current heads of state and government and how they were elected.




After a brief conference with his command crew, the commander of the Cyclone agreed to allow the foreigners to dock. Given the unpredictable state of the ocean, however, they'd have to send out a boat or risk damage to both ships if the waves kicked up.


The commander took a few men from his small crew to form a welcoming party, and ordered the Cyclone's weapons secured until further notice - although the countermeasures remained ready for use.

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The diplomat listened with waning interest as the Governor gave a thorough explanation of the various workings of the Federation, trying to write everything down as quickly as she could without having to ask for any repetition. As his monologue drew to a close, she re-focused her attention on her goal of fostering a relationship between the two countries. "Thank you very much for all of that, Governor..." she began, smiling. "I'd like to invite your government to open an embassy in our capital city of Salvador da Bahia, so that we can discuss more properly those concerns which are of mutual interest to our nations. Could you make this happen?"




With this in mind, the ship ceased sending out radio broadcasts after sending out a simple "We'll see you on the shore." Several crew members from the Brazilian destroyer who were particularly interested in mingling with the foreigners got into a small boat, and soon enough they had reached land for the first time in days. After the first man made his way out of the boat, he reached out to shake the hand of the nearest Federation sailor and smiled, giving a healthy "Hello!"

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"I'm afraid that the provinces have no direct say in foreign affairs, madam, but I will relay your request to Ottawa for what it's worth. You have a good day now."


The governor would indeed relay the diplomat's request to the Foreign Ministry in Ottawa, as well as report on the rather bizarre encounter. After a few days, Brazil received a formal letter from the Foreign Ministry requesting an embassy exchange, and an ambassador would be sent to Salvador da Bahia to present his credentials.


Off shore, three men, including the Lieutenant Commander in command of the Cyclone, climbed into a rigid-hulled inflatable boat and went to meet their counterparts on the shore. Once the boat ground to a halt, the commander stepped out, along a Leading Seaman who gladly accepted the offered handshake, while the other man stayed behind to secure a mooring line to a nearby tree.


"Good afternoon," said the commander politely, although he looked as if he didn't wish to spend too much time ashore - indeed, he had taken nearly a fifth of his small crew from their duty stations. "Lieutenant Commander Jeffries, Federation Naval Ship Cyclone, at your service. I'm aware that you're here on a diplomatic mission and my superiors can be understanding, but my orders are to see that you depart from the Federation's territorial waters in a timely fashion." He turned his attention to the man securing the mooring line, who had just finished and was bringing a small package over to the group. Taking the package from the young seaman, he offered it to the senior Brazilian officer; it was a small bottle of craft beer from the Federation. Contraband to be certain, but the Commander pretended he didn't notice. "A little welcome gift."

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The sailor's eyes lit up as he realized what the gift was. A recovering alcoholic, this day was to begin the sailor's descent back into alcoholism, which would in just a few years cost him his job. Although, for the time being, he was simply happy to make the acquaintance of his Federation counterparts. With a smile and a quick thank you, he took the bottle and began to explain the troubles in Brazil which had led to such an offbeat meeting. Although the sailor seemed mildly interested from what he could tell, the tale was cut short by the arrival of the away team back at the shoreline. Noticing the vehicle, he laughed, saying "Well, it looks like you'll be having your mission complete here soon."

After a quick meet-and-greet, the Brazilians hopped back in their boats and went back to the destroyer, quickly leaving for Brazil to tell the continent the news they had heard of the Americas. An embassy was hastily but properly prepared for the incoming Federation ambassador, and a Brazilian ambassador would likewise be sent to Ottawa.

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