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Sarah Tintagyl
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Richard Bronzer had a problem, he had a big problem. The balding CEO sat at the head of the table of the Cannon Corporation Australian Branch, sweating like a pig as other board members and other executives stared him down. He just wasn't used to this kind of thing, he wasn't used to seeing everything blow up in front of him and by the arrow on the graph that had been placed beside him, nothing was going to right today. He had graduated from Boston University twenty years ago, with a major in business and a minor in photography. Richard loved cameras, he always did, even when he had found himself behind a very large desk he had always loved cameras. Then combine that with his love for fun in the sun and life was perfect. Well...life was perfect until things had gotten a little messy in Brisbane.

He had been away on a business meeting in Vaule at the time for the Cannon Corporation setting up offices with some small companies in the north, when the missiles had hit Brisbane. When he got back, everything seemed to go south. Not only did the Australian branch lose over forty percent of their employees to sickness and death, but sales plummeted and the Board of Directors wouldn't care if a nuclear bomb had hit Brisbane. They wanted to see sales up, or it was Richard's job.

"I just want to say that we're doing everything in our power to bring sales back up to where they're supposed to be. Promise." He said wiping his brow with a sweaty handkerchief. "Its been hard that's all. But seriously, things are going to get better. Brisbane is already booming again and we have access to so many other places to market."

"That's not what we asked Rich." Said an elderly man directly across the long table from him. He had a stern Welsh accent and dark brown eyes. He was the CEO for all the Cannon branches and he hated Richard. "We asked if sales had gone up, they haven't, that's why you are up for termination."

Richard sighed. "Please, you gotta give me a little more time. I'll think of something for sure, I just need a little more time."

"You've said that already."

"What about a week. If you give me one more week I'll have a catch that will ring in so much cash you'd be amazed."

"You've said that before. To no avail."

"Nah, don't worry this time though. I'll have a stoke of pure genius."

"You'll have a stroke all right." Said another executive. "You look like you're about to have a stroke now."

"Please, ladies and gentlemen, you have to believe me. Seriously, if you give me a week, I'll have everything pulled off. Australia Branch will be raking in money, we'll have a great sales pitch," He looked at the chart to his right. "and this arrow will be going up." The board laughed, smiled, and shook their heads. "All I need is this one last chance."

The old men and women on the board turned to each other and consulted with hushed voices. Finally after five minutes of quiet talking, the elder man at the end of the table stood up. "Fine Bronzer. You get a week and not a second less from this point. But we want the commercial in three days time, so I wish you luck in finding someone to act in it. Cause they're going to have to be amazing to pull you out of this slump."

The other members began to climb out of their seats as Richard waved to them good-bye and a successful meeting, finally once the door closed he collapsed back into his seat and sighed. "Man, I really need a drink."

---

The bar stool seemed to sway back and forth and back and forth as Richard threw down his fifth shot of rum that night. He checked his watch. One o'clock in the morning and let his head fall down to the banister. "Dammit all. I have nothing." He almost felt like crying, normally alcohol made him think better, but now he just felt like !@#$. He needed an idea, he needed a catch, he needed a miracle and he didn't have any of them or a combination of one or two. Lifting his head up again, he turned to the TV that was held on a pole at the end of the bar. "HBC News? Christ." He looked over at the bartender. "Hey, buddy, can you turn this !@#$ off. I can't stand listening to pundits talk about stuff like economics."

The bartender glared at the drunk. "So then what do you want me to put on?"

"I don't care. Anything, anything that isn't this."

The bartender grabbed the remote control off the table and tossed it to him. "Just don't put on anything stupid all right. I still have customers."

"Yeah, yeah, don't worry." Slowly Richard began to flip though the networks. News, news, cartoons, news, news, commercial, news, ne-. His eyes narrowed in disbelief. The commercial that had been thrown on the television screen had the Lady Protector, their ruler, Sarah Tintagyl in the flesh in a blue gown, being washed over in sapphire waves. "Sapphire Resolve?" He said barely audible. But loud enough for the bartender to hear him.

"You got a crush?"

Richard shook his head. "No, but since when does Sarah Tintagyl do commercials?"

"I don't know. That's a while back. Sapphire Resolve's been on the shelves for a few years now. I can't believe that commercial is still on the air. But then again, I've seen the Supermom commercial for S&B Root Beer and that was when Brisbane was still under New Cymru."

"So she does commercials?"

"Yeah ya idiot!" The bartender lashed out. "What did I just tell you. She does commercials."

Richard only smiled, threw twenty Hanseatic Marks on the banister and ran out of the door. He had a phone call to make...

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Richard stared up at the imposing black gate and could already feel the sweat coming on, even if it was only a seventy degree day in Brisbane. The brilliant "S" and "T" that were emblazed on the gates stuck out like a sore thumb and made the walk towards the guard house even more daunting. When the chamberlain on the phone had told him that Lady Sarah had to agreed to at least meet with him, he nearly fell out of his chair. Now he was giving a security pass, to two Hanseatic marines as the gate opened slowly and Solidor Manor was stretched out in front of him. He walked up the gravel pathway, slowly, as Lillian Guards eyed him suspiciously. 'So these are the mythical female guards of the Lady Protector.' He thought, in all honestly, he had never laid eyes on one in all his time in Brisbane. Nevertheless, he journeyed bravely up towards the doors as two guards bowed to him and opened it revealing the mansion inside.

Beauty wasn't a word that could describe what he say. Marble floors shown brilliant in the afternoon sun, shining through tall glass windows and frosted glass doors. Immediately after entering, two maids came forward and bowed again. "Mr. Bronzer, Lady Sarah is in the parlor waiting for you. If you would follow us, she's right this way." They led him through the glistening hallways to the frosted doors of the parlor as they opened and he laid close eyes on the leader of his country for the first time. "Your Ladyship. Richard Bronzer, for an audience."

"Thank you girls, you may leave." Sarah said as she turned from the table bringing with her a cup of tea which she handed to Richard with a smile. "So Mr. Bronzer, I hear you are in the camera business. Please, sit." She said pointing to the couch.

"Yes Miss Sarah, I am, but sales have been extremely bad recently and we need something to get at least the company to give us more funding. Like a pitch that people would deem to be successful."

"Well you came to me for help, but I should let you know, that the government will not give out money to private investors. We have no business in the camera industry."

He opened his collar. "Um...well that's not really what I was thinking. I was hoping that you could help me personally."

"Personally?"

"Well, you released Sapphire Resolve for the perfume industry. Your commercial is still being played nowadays and I know if you were to help with the Cannon Corporation that sales would definitely go up."

"Mr. Bronzer, people aren't going to just go by a camera cause I'm in a commercial."

He sighed. "No, but the Board of Directors would be willing to at least give me more time to raise sales. My job is sort of on the line right now."

Sarah shook her head and chuckled. "Well, I'm not much one for commercials. But you seem genuine enough in coming her to ask me, so I guess we could get something together if you want."

His eyes boggled out of his head. "Are you serious Lady Sarah?" He jumped out of his seat, spilling the tea all over his pants. "Oh I can't thank you enough." He grabbed her hands and shook her violently, so that her entire body bobbed around in her seat, making her terribly dizzy. "You're saving my life you really are. But I have to go then and get everything prepared. Please, tomorrow, if you could come to Area 11 in the cultural district we have a film depot set up for taping the commercial. Thank you Lady Sarah! Thank you so much!" Richard blasted out of the frosted doors of the palor, leaving a confused Sarah still sitting on the couch with tea stains all over the floor and the sounds of Richard finally feeling the pain as he walked down the hall. She could only chuckle and drop her face in her hands for another hard day ahead.

---

Richard stood once again at the head of the table at Cannon's Headquarters in Brisbane, but this time he wasn't sweating, he wore a fine green suit jacket and he stood with a video in his hands with a television at his side. Smiles all around. The rest of the board was not nearly as approving, as they looked sternly at the television.

"So I'm guessing you've done some work then Richard if you call the meeting early." Said the man with the Welsh accent.

"Yes, actually I have a pitch that will definitely lead to a rise of sales. I have an ace that no other company besides P&T has had." As he slid in the video. "Please, ladies and gentlemen. Feast your eyes on this."

---

The board sat with their eyes opened, but still with stern looks on their faces. But the tension had definitely subsided.

"So, what do you think?"

Quiet chatter filled the room for a moment. Then the Elderly man spoke. "Well, you definitely have something that we can use. But we'll have to see about sales if you can stay in business. But thank you for bringing us in Richard. This will be interesting to watch." He said as the board members began to leave their seats. Leaving Richard again, alone in the room. Though much more hopeful than last time.

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