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A Visit to an honourable Leader


King Kevz
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The flight was nearing its end as the private jet that belonged to the High General made its last course change towards the Hanseatic Commonwealth where the High General was to meet the Lady Protector. From what information that had been gathered and from seeing the Lady Protector's comments and actions it was clear that the young Sarah Tintagyl was a very strong and able leader and yet unlike a lot of nation's around the globe she still possessed the heart and soul of a noble person and this intrigued the High General as she had long since given up on feeling emotions. Well not every emotion she thought as she glanced at the small photo she held in her hands, she fought back the tears as one of the flight attendants walked over. "High General we are approaching the Hanseatic Commonwealth and will be landing shortly" said the young man before saluting and leaving the High General alone to her thoughts. The plane began to descend as it headed for the Hanseatic Commonwealth's main airport.

"Hanseatic Commonwealth flight control this is Helzan flight Niner Two Zero requesting permission to land. Over."

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"Helzan flight. You are cleared for entry at Brisbane International Airport. We are looking forward to your arrival."

Sarah stood a good distance away on the tarmac along with a contingent of guards and ministers. She had really only woken up a few hours ago, from a long day in the office, but as soon as she had heard that the High General had sent correspondence to arrange a meeting, she had brushed away her other meetings and reports for the day and had cleared her schedule just for this. Taking about four hours, she took a long shower and wired herself up on a few cans of soda to recover from the lack of sleep and by the time the plane touched down she was more than ready. Once the airport operators had given her the clear, Sarah walked along with her ministers towards the landed jet and as the door opened up she smiled as the High General walked from inside the fuselage. She was finally able to meet the great leader of the Helzan people face to face.

"Your Excellency." Sarah bowed. "Welcome to the Hanseatic Commonwealth, I hope you enjoyed your flight."

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As the private jet had touched down the High General had waited paitently for the aircraft to taxi to a stop and once it had came to a final halt and quickly stood up from her seat and tried to smooth out the creases in her clothes and cloak. Both her cloak and her clothes were all black her favourite colour and she had already flipped the hood up over her head to hide her face from sight. Very few people in the world were priviliged to the knowledge of what the High General looked like and she preferred to keep it that way for as long as she could. Following the flight attendant ,who stopped to collect the High General's small amount of hand luggage, the High General made her way through the body of the aircraft and stepped out into the sun which she had to block with her hand as the glare took her by surprise. As her eyes slowly recovered she noticed that a small procession of people had turned out to meet her and as she looked them over she noticed the Lady Protector instantly from the rest and it was she how spoke to her first welcoming her.

"Thank you Lady Protector for allowing me to visit your great nation. I have hoped to visit you for some time now and I must say it is much warmer here than at the Antartica. Oh the flight was as to be expected of everything else that you recieve in office" replied the High General as she descended the stairs and onto the tarmac below. She waved for the aircraft crew to stay onboard whilst she conducted the visit and they complied without question. Turning from them she looked back to the Lady Protector and her ministers and decided that she could trust them and lowered the hood of her cloak revealing the High General to be a young seventeen year old woman with albino like skin. "Please call me Valierie" said Valierie with a small smile.

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Sarah's eyes widened at seeing Valierie's youth, she had often regarded herself as perhaps the youngest leader in the world at twenty-nine, but this was truly unexpected. Nevertheless, she was a beautiful girl and Sarah smiled offering her a hand in greeting. "It is a pleasure to finally meet you, I do not know much about the nation of Helzan and I am hoping that you will do much to fill me in on the nature of your people while you are hear." A harsh breeze blew through the runway on the airport, whipping Sarah's hair behind her. "But first we should get off of the airport's runway. Please follow me, I have a limousine waiting for us just a few yards away."

Sarah led Valierie to a black limousine parked near the gates of the airport as they were let in and escorted by two Hanseatic marines. The Lady Protector's ministers had since withdrawn to their own ventures in different cars, as this was as much of a personal meeting as it was political. Once inside the vehicle, the driver took off towards the downtown section of the city. This was always customary for Sarah to do something like this, she loved to show off what made the Hansa tick and it was no doubt the capital, the city which she had invested so much time and money into building as the self-proclaimed cultural center of the South Pacific. They passed by, the various conservatories and cafes that was the center of Hanseatic social society and Sarah hoped that Valierie was enjoying herself, perhaps after dinner they would be able to get into the city itself for a few hours of recreation.

After passing through the city and arriving in the outskirts of town the limousine arrived at the gates of the Solidor Manor, Sarah's personal residence. The honor guard posted at the doors came down to let the two leaders out and directed them inside the Manor towards the parlor where they could wait for dinner to be prepared. Maids brought in cups of teas and a few light cookies for the two women and Sarah smiled as she pointed to a seat for Valierie to sit down on. "So please, Valierie, what brings you to the Hansa? And I have to ask. What are your first impressions?" Sarah said grinning.

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Valierie had followed Sarah to her limousine and had taken a slight intrest in it as back home she didn't have one herself the vehicle not exactly being useful in such conditions or very practical for her. The inside was even more amazing than the exterior and it was only thanks to her training and her father's lessons that her jaw didn't hang open in amazement. After she had got in and the limousine started its journey Valierie had ended up looking out the windows at the passing buildings and people and comparing how strnage and alien like it seemed to the harsh settings back in Helzan. Here the people walked freely on the surface and stayed outside becasse they enjoyed the weather and temperature whereas, in Helzan almost everyone used the service tunnels and only went outside in vehicles or when they really had to. Valierie also took in the various plant life that grew outside in the sun and it was all much more magnificant than the trees and plants that they grew in the Hydroponics labs in Helzan.

Soon the limousine came to the outskirts and eventually arrived at what Valierie could only guess to be a manor house which she guessed belonged to the Lady Protector. Her military trained eye of course picked up the immediate safety and defensive attributes and even started to calculate the best means of assualt on the building before she stopped herself. She allowed herself to have one last look at the outside before following Sarah and her guards into the parlor where she quickly took to the seat offered to her. Sitting in the chair alone felt strange as she was used to the rigid and uncomfortable chairs that they had in Helzan and she fidgeted slightly before getting settled. She watched as the maids brought in refreshments and she took one of the cookies and slowly nibbled on it as if it would vanish before her eyes. She looked up at Sarah when she was asked a few questions.

"It is a very strange place for me to visit, in Helzan we must constently fight against the elements and we spend most of our time underground and inside which is what causes the slight pigment loss of colour in our skin. But to see such freedom and choice is quite strange too as in Helzan we follow the military laws set down by myself and we give ourselves very little pleasures. I must say though I do envy you and your people to have such a vibrant land", Valierie took a small bite of her cookie before continuing, "as for my visit here I wanted to come visit you in person Lady Protector I have noticed that in this age fighting, violence and death are much too common and men and women scheme and fight behind each others back and yet through this you offer a soft, compassionate heart to the nations of the world even after the hardships you have faced and that to me reveals someone with a heart of strength and I would be honoured to meet such a person".

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"Your words are too kind to me and my countrymen. I have only been to Antarctica a few times and though the Hansa contains the colony of Niflheim it is much to cold, even for me who grew up in the cold of northern Scandinavia. Though I can only imagine what you and your people must deal with day in and day out, personally I wouldn't have the strength to go through with it and it takes a massive amount of courage to survive in such harsh conditions. If I was able to I would change the environment itself I would, but if it would be okay with you, in exchange for more personal freedom of your people, I would be willing to send a small amount of aid at least every few months or so, we should live in a world that helps each other out. When one country has a surplus of something, they should lend it to those that have a deficit." Taking a sip of tea from her cup she blew lightly to cool down the liquid then sipped. "But for seeing me in person, I must tell you Valierie, I am just as normal and fickle as any leader on earth, but I think that humans have a duty to one another. We have a duty to help and defend each other to help each other prosper. Revenge, warfare, conflict, they can all be conquered, perhaps with peace perhaps with war. But we have a duty to our neighbors that is my most firm belief."

She stretched and took one of the cookies off the plate and plopped it into her mouth. "I have been watching the news and I see that your nation hastened to Slavorussia's defense." Sarah smiled. "You have strength there that I wish I could possess and I haven't totally made up my mind about what is going on in this war and I wish your soldiers the best in their quest to end imperialism on earth. Forgive my nation's neutrality, but this war divides me in my heart more than you know." She chuckled. "Its funny that you mention the Hansa's past hardships which is why I am so hesitant to join. But perhaps one day, Helzan and Hanseatic soldiers will fight along side each other to hold the world together in peace."

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Valierie sat back slightly in her chair as she listened to Sarah though she never slouched again a fact of her military training. As she listened she heard and felt the wisdom that came from every word that Sarah spoke and it filled her heart with even more respect for the Lady Protector and she felt a small measure of relief when Sarah mentioned supplying a small amount of aid to Helzan. The thought alone was worth a million words in Valierie's eyes and she knew that Sarah would continue to grow into a strong and great leader one day and may even be able to one day lead the world into an age of peace. As Sarah finished talking Valierie blew out a small sigh between her lips maybe one day their soldiers would stand side by side however, Valierie would prefer if it was Hansatic soldiers leading the world into peace as there was no place for the Helzan in such a world. Of course she would never admit this aloud. "I do wish for that day myself to stand with people of strong heart as yourselves however, I do not know if your people would accept mine. We are from a hrash land and it has made us a harsh people. Even our relationships are strained" replied Valierie as her mind wondered to a certain Colonel Radec in command back in Helzan.

"However, Lady Protector you should not doubt your position for it shows you have a stonger mind and heart than myself for I immediatly replied with violence and action as it is the Helzan way but you think with your mind and consider all possibilities and that is something you should never, never regret for that is what makes you different and better than the rest of us" said Valierie offering an encouraging smile to Sarah as she finished off the last of her cookie.

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"Milady." Said a maid walked out from a large room off to the right of the parlor. "Your Excellency." She said turning to Valierie. "But the dinner is ready, if you both would please follow me."

Sarah smiled. "Valierie, please join me for dinner."

The hall was finely decorated in the essence of the old dinning rooms of Versailles and the grand palaces of Europe, the setting sun shown in through the great long windows that ran along the walls and a chandelier offered more light to the both of them. Large portraits of figures from European history hung on the walls around the room, Catherine the Great, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon dominated the walls, but at the end of the room and though she found it herself extremely egotistical was a great portrait of Sarah herself at her ascension to the position of Lady Protector. She shook her head at the picture. "I do need to take that thing down." And chuckled taking her seat around the table.

Immediately the maids brought out various trays of food. Unfortunately, Sarah had not been able to tell her maids what exactly consisted of Helzan cuisine, so instead she prepared the best of European cuisine. Great plates of roast beef, pig, and lamb while potatoes and yams that she commissioned from the New Guinea holdings of the Commonwealth, in addition there was a great selection of white and red wine and if in fact Valierie had a strong taste for her alcohol, Sarah still had a great deal of vodka from her cellar.

"But as I was saying before Valierie, the world needs to change its outlook on how we treat each other in the world. Unfortunately I don't believe that peace will be able to be achieved any longer just by wishing for peace. I have been throwing around a few ideas around, I would like to see the creation of a Hanseatic Foreign Legion to be sent when aggressive nations try to steal and take resources and land from their weaker neighbors. Unfortunately, we will never have peace as long as leaders do not desire to share with each other, but they are all so greedy, it is this unchecked greed that has destroyed the world. I know that war does not solve anything, but perhaps with my Foreign Legion, in addition to the White Cross we will be able to help the world stay stable. But as to your harshness Valierie, you do not need to be harsh, I hope with the aid that your people will begin to look at more things than war. Culture is the way to true human understanding Valierie and I think with the aid you will be able to have that."

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When Valierie saw the food that had been brought out for her and Sarah she found that her defenses slipped and she became Valierie the seventeen year old girl rather than the High General of Helzan and she gleefully slipped a large amount of meat and vegetables onto her plate with a smile crossing her face, which must of made her seem even younger though she of course didn't notice. She started to eat the meal before her though she kept taking bites out of everything and she sighed softly after almost every bite as she couldn't believe that she was eating food that she had only read about in books back home. Eventually she had to slow for breath as she was eating far too quickly and Sarah' wasd also speaking to her and it would have been impolite to havekept scoffing all the food. Valierie listened to Sarah discuss her views and her plans for the a foreign legion which Valierie thought was also a great idea and one Sarah should follow. Then Sarah got onto the Helzan's culture and as much as she appreciated Sarah's words she knew they wouldn't be possible and she sadly shook her head.

"I know you mean great wisdom and caring with your words Lady Protector but I am afraid that it wouldn't be possible for us to change. For too long have we functioned as a military form, what was once our beliefs has infact now become what makes us who we are. You could say that it is the harshness that has given us our souls. Your words are appreciated though and that is what gives me hope for a better future" replied Valierie as she decided to pour herself a drink of wine. Not having drank any before she was taken by surprise by its flavour and its strength and a warm blush rose to her cheeks as she slowly coughed from its taste. "My this wine is quite strong I think I will stay with water for now" Valierie said with a short laugh putting the bottle of red to one side.

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"That is a shame Valierie, but I understand. Culture, individual culture is something that can never be undone and it shouldn't be." Sarah smiled taking a sip of the wine up to her lips to wet her throat. "Be proud of what makes you your own person. We live in a very diverse world, the Hansa itself is full of various peoples from all walks of life and that has added to our power and our prestige. Since I became the head of state of this country, I have put an extreme amount of time to build our diversity. We have Europeans, New Cymreag, Marchar, and Fuyo. People have always been offered asylum here and I will continue to do that because it adds to our strength." Putting down the glass, Sarah sighed. "Two years ago, my country was weak, we were almost isolationists and we threatened to take on the world, it failed and we ended up in Australia. But that turned out to be a blessing as we have become a symbol of peace in the Pacific and I hope that we will continue building the philosophy of peace, love, and tranquility that has lent so much to the success of myself and the country as a whole."

Sarah looked at Valierie's face as she stuffed her face with the food and the disgust when she had her first taste of wine. "You deprived little girl." She chuckled. "Valierie, I'm curious. What is life like in Helzan? Like the day to day type lifestyle?" Sarah bent her hands against one another and looked into the girl's eyes. She was twelve years older than her, but she felt so much like a mother figure or an aunt figure at the moment. Sarah couldn't help but to laugh inside.

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Valierie sipped slowly at her water as she listened to Sarah speak and gently placed the glass back on the table before answering Sarah's question. "Our lives are in constantly busy apart from when we rest and sleep for everyone always has some task to perform as we constantly strive against the elements. There is always some section of the city that require maintainence or some class of children that requires teaching and so my people are always assigned different tasks that suit their abilities and so we spend little time in recreation. There are no malls or cinemas within Helzan, no plaza's to eat at and enojoy the view instead we have section's within the city which are more like military mess halls where most people stop for something to eat and to rest for a few miniutes before heading back to work. To see your people resting and relaxing and having fun is a very strange prospect to myself and I am wish that I could introduce the idea to my people but as we have discussed our culture would never allow it" Valierie said before taking a sip of her water again and then continuing. "I would guess that our culture would be most unappealing to yourself and I doubt anyone but ourselves would undertake it willingily but when life throws hardship your way, you do what you must to survive" said Valierie as she finished she looked outside through the nearest window at the scene before her one that she would cherish for possibly the rest of her life before she turned back to Sarah. "What of your life Lady Protector how does your lifestyle work out?" she asked.

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Sarah smiled and pushed her plate into the middle of the table. "Valierie, I will do much more than tell you." She said getting up from her seat. "I will show you."

Grabbing Valierie's hand they stormed out of the manor towards the limousine that was still parked near the door. Getting inside, Sarah mentioned to the driver to pull off towards the cultural district again. There was only so much they could do at the Manor, but in the city and countryside itself could keep them busy for the rest of the night. The limousine took them to the middle of the cultural district and all around them were the orange lights emanating from the lampposts running up and down the various boulevards. Though creativity had always been her strong point, Sarah had a soft spot for French architecture in general and the sides of the streets were home to various cafes and salons. As the Lady Protector and her guest walked down the thoroughfare they were greeted by the night coffee-goer crowd extremely to happy to see their head of state out and about. The first thing, Sarah took Valierie into one of the salons that she frequented, however it wasn't a salon as a beauty parlor, instead musicians roamed through the room as the sharp sound of the harpsichord and violin quartets played music from Mozart, Bach, and Handel to the philosophers and Hanseatic thinkers that could be found around the room. They both got a cup of coffee and talked to two elderly men about the Hansa's position in the world and their criticism of Sarah herself. On the way out, Sarah smiled looking back at the old me. "Something that I have always thought was important was to hear the people's criticism of your rule. I am nothing but a servant to them and I feel that if I don't please them then truthfully I am not doing my job."

After the salon, Sarah wanted to really impress the young Helzan as they headed to Brisbane Symphony Hall for another classical piece being offered by the symphony. It was a small production and tickets were tight, but there were bonuses in being with Sarah for the evening as no ticket taker would turn down the Lady Protector for entrance. Sitting in her private booth, Sarah explained to Valierie the importance that music had had on her childhood and for the country in general. "This has been something that I have tried to push more than anything, something that I've tried to inject into my country. The love of the arts. Universities in the Commonwealth put an emphasis on writing, music, art, and creativity in general and the beauty of this is Valierie is that everything falls under that umbrella. Mathematics, science, history, politics, everything that the ancient philosophers would study. What they had studied. I have never looked to conquer the world as most leaders in history have, but I will conquer the world, through culture. Because that is how you secure your country in the histories. Their achievements, achievements as cultural accomplishments and technological advancement and we are at the beginning of this. People may look at the the Commonwealth as a Third World country, because we do not have the military and sometimes the medical technology that say Canada and Aotearoa possess but we have much more heart." She pointed to the performers on the stage. "They are the heart and soul of this country, not its military or its power. Art is the power."

By the time the symphony let out it was nearly two in the morning and Sarah had one last surprise for the young ruler as they walked the abandoned streets back to the limousine Sarah had the driver taken them the few miles to the Pacific to show Valierie the coastal beauty of Australia. There in the middle of the night, they sat in the sand with the water lapping up against their legs looking up into the starry sky above. The full moon shown bright into their eyes and onto the blackened water. But the sounds created an environment of pure peace. "It is a beautiful country isn't it?"

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Valierie was taken by surprise when Sarah said she was going to show Valierie her lifestyle and she didn't manage to put up any resistance when Sarah took her hand and pretty much pulled her along to the limosuine that was waiting outside. Once inside Valierie was again impressed with how nicely designed the vehicle was if impractical to her Helzan mind. She gazed out the windows at the passing lamp posts and was slightly taken back by how beautiful they seemed to make the surrondings appear and it had never occured to her until now but it was understandable as in Helzan beauty was not very high on the list of neccesities. She walked alongside Sarah and Valierie couldn't stop looking from one building to another. It was so strange and different to what was waiting back home in Helzan for her and she wanted to enjoy the trip as best as she could. They eventually entered a building where a band played music for the cliental which to her surprise she found that she liked it. It was nothing like the heavy marching music she regulary heard throughout the halls and tunnels of Helzan and she found herself quietly humming along to it whilst they grabbed a coffee and then sat down with two gentlement however, all that stopped when she heard the two men criticise Sarah and it took all her self control to not demand they apologise for their rudeness and to head to the nearest police station but then this wasn't Helzan and Sarah roved that when she told Valierie that she actually wanted to hear their criticism of her.

Next the visited a large hall where they played more of the music she had started to like and she was silently pleased that she was going to be able to listen to more of the beautiful music. Once they were seated and Valierie was once again humming along to the music again she listened to Sarah explain about the effect of culture on her life and how she wanted it to have such a great effect on her people. Valierie nodded as she listened before giving her own reply. "Your love for culture and its effect on you and your people are very much like why we the Helzan follow such a militaristic style of life. We don't hunger for war and violence but instead seek the order and disicpline that you get from following such a way of life". They continued to listen to the enchanting music before it finally grew to a close and Valierie couldn't quite keep the sigh of disappointment from escaping her lips. She expected to be taken back to the manor but Sarah again surprised her when she had the driver take them to visit the coast. She followed Sarah down to the water's edge and joined her there as they sat allowing the water to lap around thier legs it felt weird to be able to do so without being for into hospital for hypothermia and it felt good to just lie back and watch the stars. "Yes Sarah this is a most beautiful country lead by a beautiful and talented leader" replied Valierie with a smile.

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Sarah smiled and looked up at the stars. "We live in chaotic times Valierie and I am happy that I can say I have so many friends and allies in this world. I am proud to be able to call the Helzan as one of my closest and I hope that in the future our countries can continue to form stronger and stronger bonds, both in the wars that will come and the peace that I hope will be eternal. One day, one day when generations have passed I hope that the world will still remember that we are all brothers and sisters, that we are all humans and that there is no reason for war. Perhaps one day your people will be able to leave the wastes of the frozen south for the warm winds of the tropics and they can develop a culture of peace as the Hansa has done in Australia." She turned to her. "One day we will unite the world and there will be no more fighting, only peace and the monsters will be defeated." Sarah nodded. "One day. One day soon."

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Valierie turned to face Sarah and reached over and took her hand in her own, she wasn't sure why she felt that she should do it but it felt right. "Lady Protector I can promise you that the Helzan will always remain your ally and we will stand with you in your times of need. I also believe that you are right in that a new age of understanding will dawn upon and that my people will be able to settle in much better climates" replied Valierie as he looked out across the ocean before her. She took in both its sight and its sound before smiling and turning to Sarah again. "Lady Protector this time here has been even more invigorating than I thought and I wonder do you allow other world leaders to establish a home here?" asked Valierie hopefully staring into Sarah's eyes like the young girl she was.

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