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Vignettes / Re: Tytorian Vignettes
« Last post by Tytor on Today at 06:46:37 AM »
Stuck in the Middle with You

Highway 26, West Crownlands
August 11, 2022
2:15 PM

Well I don't know why I came here tonight
I've got the feeling that something ain't right
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs

The 2004 Tri-Star Viper convertible raced north along the seaside highway, top down.  The Viper was Tri-Star Automotive's flagship sports car, comparable to the best foreign muscle car in a one-to-one match-up.  2004 was a particularly good model year across Tri-Star's whole line-up, and the Viper in particular had greatly profited by the company's burst of creativity that year.

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you

Of course, that wasn't terribly important to the occupants of the vehicle, all of whom were singing along to the song blaring from the radio.  Mark was driving, which made sense as it was his car.  Sitting shotgun to his left was Jeff, his best friend, who had his left arm sticking straight out the passenger side window.

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you
And I'm wondering what it is I should do
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face
Losing control, yeah I'm all over the place

In the backseat, behind Jeff, was Mark's girlfriend Kasumi, sunglasses on, long black hair flowing in the wind behind her.  To her right, behind Mark, was Jeff's sister, Annie.  Annie and Kasumi were dancing in time with the music.

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you

The afternoon sun glinted off the distant skyscrapers of Williamshaven, just visible ahead and off to the right, just beyond where the highway curved with the land and disappeared from view way off in the distance.  Jeff's arm was pointed out toward the Kyne, which lay sprawled out like a deep blue blanket off toward the horizon beyond the cliffside.

When you started off with nothing
And you're proud that you're a self-made man
And your friends they all come crawling
Slap you on the back and say

The road trip had been Mark's idea, really.  It was a warm summer day, and the quartet had left his home around lunchtime.  The remains of the burgers and fries they'd picked up at In-N-Out on the way out of town had been stuffed into the wastebasket on the floor in the backseat.

Trying to make some sense of it all
But I can see it makes no sense at all
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?
'Cause I don't think that I can take anymore

Mark fell silent as his friends kept up their singing.  Kasumi was the daughter of Rokkenjiman immigrants who'd fled the Federal Republic back in the '90s, and while she'd been born in Tytor, her accent was still fairly distinct.  Didn't stop her from singing at the top of her lungs, of course.

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you

Mark smiled.  Kasumi really couldn't quite hit all the notes, but she still sang better than Jeff, who sounded more like a wounded buffalo than a human singer.  Annie, though, had a great voice.  She sang choir at high school.

When you started off with nothing
And you're proud that you're a self-made man
And your friends they all come crawling
Slap you on the back and say

It was bittersweet, really.  This was likely the last time they'd all be able to all pile in Mark's car and go barreling down the highway without a care in the world.  Jeff was going to be enlisting in the Marines at the end of the summer, and Mark and Kasumi were going to different universities.  Annie, meanwhile, still had another year at high school ahead of her.

Well I don't know why I came here tonight
I've got the feeling that something ain't right
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs

No use ruminating, though.  Mark shook his head and started back in singing along with the others.  Summer break wasn't going to end for another few weeks, so it was best to enjoy it while it lasted.

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you

And, hey, who better to spend the rest of summer with than friends?

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you
Stuck in the middle with you
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

The 2004 Tri-Star Viper convertible continued on its merry way down the highway, top down, filled with friends who didn't have a care in the world right now.  Life was good.
Diplomacy and Events / Re: FOS Sail Meeting No.2 - Holmvik and East Moreland
« Last post by Holmvik on August 11, 2022, 11:26:32 PM »
 Sigmund thought "what would make the gap disappear?" it was a question he hadn't really given much thought of in the discussion or at least not in the way that King David had worded it. "We're a nation that is heavily reliant on the old agricultural, forestry and fishing industries. As the 21st Century begins to progress we need to do likewise. I know we have a spot of what you'd maybe call a "Brain Drain" with younger folk leaving. We've also still got some loyalists of the former royals wandering our nation causing problems from time to time. We need to do something about them. I think the issue is though that no nation will ever be perfect though. Now in terms of us being here and taking steps towards that we'd like to be able to utilise some of the networks you've established to be able to build up our own diplomatic networks. Do you have any ideas that could aide us in that regard?" 
Sporting Hub / Re: Cycling season 2022 OOC
« Last post by paralipomena on August 11, 2022, 08:59:10 PM »
Registration for September cycling events for the Mundus Cycling Cup is open now. Last day to register will be September 11th.

September cycling events include Petrograd GP (Men's), Ktsamdinare Classic (Men's), and Jangju Classic (Women's)

Registration for the Tour of Ardia (both men's and women's), the last cycling stage races in the calendar. The Tour of Ardia, will be held in August/September. The deadline for registration in the  Tour of Ardia will be August 15th.

For applications, just complete the following as a reply:

Note: If any of your riders is 25 years old or younger (U25) please indicate so they can be counted for the Youth classification prize. If you have previously applied for teams in this season event, you can just indicate which ones (if any) of your riders is 25 or younger (the same if you are not participating for any reason, of course).

Reminder that's the last days to register your teams (or suggest any changes) to the Tour of Ardia (men's and women's). Remember to indicate if you have any rider Under the age of 25 (that age included) to assure they are counted in that category.

The events will be likely held at least about one week or two weeks after the last cycling event in the Mundus Games.

International News Networks / Re: Djabidjan's News Aggregator
« Last post by paralipomena on August 11, 2022, 06:44:09 PM »

DJUN | Djabidjan-Weekly Newsletter| 01/08/22 - 07/08/22

Djabidjan News Agency
Djabidjanian Times
Djabidjan football team prepares for Mundus Games
Concern about increasing number of disappearances

Related articles

Djabidjan national football team finished their preparation for the Mundus Games, with a 3-3 draw against Jugland in Sandberg, in the same stadium where they have been training for the last five days. They will have their debut match in the Azavrelia Mundus Games in the EMAC-SK Stadium in Albrektberg, not too far where the Ardian team has been training.

There are high expectations for the Djabidjan men's football team, particularly after Djabidjan finished runner-up in 2021 World Cup in Vinitsia. Therefore, many expect that men's football could be one, although the only, of the highest options for Djabidjan to obtain a medal in the coming Mundus Games.

Primeiro Forte, Djabidjan's national coach, has declared that they are confident about their changes although that expectations should be reasonable. "There will be many good teams", he declared. "Our boys will do their best but it is not going to be easy to advance to the semifinals. We're prepared to do our best effort and do a good tournament, but it is difficult to predict".  Forte, who also heads Djabidjan's Under 23 national team argued that their team is a young one, so it should be avoived to put too much pressure on the team. "I understand the fans", he declared, "but we will be facing a tough tournament. Whatever happens, I hope they will be able to recognize that the players that they will give all the best during the tournament".

Although Djabidjan's national Mundus Games will include only nine players who were part of the Djabidjani team which surprised the world in the last World Cup, fans are hopeful that they will continue to amaze the world in these Mundus Games.

Djabidjan's Justice Foundation, a NGO focused on legal reform, has expressed their concern against the increasing number of people disappeared in the last months, and the failure of police authorities to offer results to their families.

"We are aware that police has to face a tough job", spokesperson Dumisani Yoong-Soo declared, "as there are sadly too many crimes in our cities. However, families are increasing to feel that the government is not doing enough, as these cases have increased without much progress on police or judiciary investigations".

"We have already two dozens of these cases", he explained, "but in the last weeks, more and more families have contacted us with with similar situation. They have started to organize, to demand transparency, and we are trying to help them with the legal costs. But it is not easy." Dumisani assured that most of these recently missing person did not have anything that could be described as suspecting or illegal activity but law-abiding citizens who, in some cases, were very active in their communities.

Dumisani, who recently had met with officials of the Ministry of Justice to demand more transparency regarding people who were arrested and sent to Centres for Personal Surveillance and Social Integration without families being informed at least until three weeks, has declared that he is hopeful that the government will act to avoid a generalization of a feeling of impunity and abandonment for the relatives of these people.

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Diplomacy and Events / Re: FOS Sail Meeting No.1 - Abertone and East Moreland
« Last post by DaveIronside on August 11, 2022, 04:27:54 PM »
To David's knowledge port fees were not exactly in the millions and so the idea of giving Abertone some discount on military exports in return for the use of the ports was not going to be an issue, especially if they were getting two ports for the price of one negotiation. "I think that's an excellent deal" David concluded. "Hopefully we can continue to help you defend your nation. I think we've done a good days business here so far. We've a potential broad economic deal, some cultural events lined up and an educational exchange to organise. Add to that some kind of reciprocation for port use for our pre-positioning fleet and I think its been a good day. Do we have anything else to discuss?"
Diplomacy and Events / Re: The Emirs Future
« Last post by DaveIronside on August 11, 2022, 01:09:15 PM »
The Seleucid Minining Company had been present in Waddan since the two nations began their relationship several years ago. When the workers were informed that a pocket of gas had potentially been discovered there was the natural expectation that a significant number of workers from Seleucid would come in and assess whether it was viable. The company had a small airfield that allowed them to bring the diamonds and precious metals back without a complicated overland journey and this made it easy to esnure that 300 Seleucid soldiers had been brought in with their equipment. The workers had been paid to stay at home and so it would take a while for the military build up to get noticed. At the same time the Waddan Blue project had brought an "expo" of Seleucid engineering into the country and while hundreds if not thousands of boxes had been brought in to showcase products and goods very few of them were actually full of engineering products and instead were full of military equipment. It meant that around 800 Seleucid soldiers had infiltrated the country and unbeknown to the Waddanites the aircraft carrier Epiphanes its escort and the Balas with 600 more troops on sat off the coast. When the time came they'd be ready. 
Diplomacy and Events / Re: Cherno-ball
« Last post by Achkaerin on August 10, 2022, 09:07:00 PM »

To Professor Jozef

The Achkaerinese Government extends its warmest congratulations on the landmark that this plant has reached. Representing Achkaerin at your event will be Crown Princess Serenity and Energy Minister Maggie Anderson.


Kumiko Arkwright
Chief of Staff for Emperor Peter
Sporting Hub / Mundus Games 2022 - Azavrelia
« Last post by paralipomena on August 10, 2022, 08:09:29 PM »

Mundus Games 2022 - Azavrelia

More than ever, the day which not a long time ago was unthinkable or at least unexpected had arrived, and Azavrelia prepared to receive the Mundus Games. The ceremony started with the Azavrelia National Orchestra welcoming the Mundus Games. As soon as the last ended, the Azavrelia National Stadium was suddenly  covered by diverse number of lights and colours as a swath of dancers and performers invaded the scenario.

The Azavrelia National Stadium

The opening ceremony started with 100 drums sounding in crecendo accompanied by an all-female polyphonic choir. The core of the opening ceremony was the unity between tradition and modernity.  The first performance was a depiction of the  “Pirveli Katsebi”, which some may describe as the creation myth, combining acrobatic dancing with horsemen, symboling, according to the well-known legend, the birth of the Mktvartvelian people. The performers wore a large variety of folk costumes and dresses, and folk music played an important role during the ceremony.

Many of the dances and performance depited other national myths and legends, particularly those associated with the Order of Simartlea, the national religion in Mktvartvelo, as well as festivities, both secular and religious including one slightly similar to the Khishsuli festivity and their well-known whirling and twisting movements and dances, which was performed by young dancers from the Azavrelia Ballet Academy, one of the most prestigious of its kind in the country. Still, the performances attempted to avoid anything that could be seen overtly political or a show of banality and trivialization of real traditions. Even when some of the performances may depict stories or historical figures from more controversial historical events such as the Abydos invasion or contemporary history, those chosen were light-hearted ones, even if the foreign public was likely to ignore those references anyway. In a general way, the ceremony focused to be entertaining rather than educational. As the ceremony advanced, it included references to past Mundus Games or important achievements in sports by sportpeople from many countries, and technology played an increasing role in show, compared to the early choreographies where basic elements were used prominently, such as fire and torches, giving way to a wide use of LED technology and a variety of fireworks.

Youth was prominent during the ceremony, with hundreds of children participating, sometimes in highly skilled coreographies. One of the most celebrated choreographies, at least for the local public, was one involving a large number of performers and dances attempting to give life to a huge, colourful and sinuous snake (considered a sacred animal in Mktvartvelo). Finally, the moment came when a young woman in a wheel chair approached the podium and was offered a bow and arrow by women wearing white tunics. The woman looked up, as the final bearer of the Mundus Games torch lighted the arrow. Then, the archer shot the flaming arrow toward the flame cauldron. She did not miss, lighting the cauldron to the joy of the local public. Finally, a performance of a veteran local artist, singing a dreamy and cheerful traditional rural song, well-known for the Mktvartvelian public, was followed by another wave of fireworks just before the speaker announced the official welcoming of the Azavrelia 2022 Mundus  Games.

After the speeches of the authorities, including the Mundus Games authorities and Brzdmtsveli Ketevan, who expressed the welcome to both athletes and visitors, withing the best of luck for the formers and the happiest experience for the latter, officially declaring the Mundus Games as open. After that, the traditional parade of the athletes by alfabetical order followed, with a final musical performance by another well-known artist closed the night. The time in which it was the turn of the athletes to speak through their achievements and feats have finally arrived.

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Nuclear Security Test Request - Red Legion
« Last post by DaveIronside on August 10, 2022, 01:31:05 PM »

To:- Professor Thibaun

While this is not normally the kind of work Red Legion undertakes I have been instructed by His Majesty to offer every assistance.

As a result at some point in the next 14 days we shall undertake an undisclosed number of operations designed to test the security at your sites. We shall then report back to you on the outcome along with any recommendations. We wish your staff good luck.

May The Gods Be With You and Your Aim Be True
Brigadier Jim Corey
Commaning Officer of Red Legion
International News Networks / Re: Imperial News Service (Daitō)
« Last post by Daitō on August 10, 2022, 12:18:52 PM »

Imperial family makes announcement

Hisato Watase, Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency, held a press conference earlier today with regards to the Imperial family, for whom he has been charged with aiding since June 13, 2014. The steward first went through the standard array of topics, mostly relating to travel plans for the various members of the family, however, this was, by comparison to other news he had to share, unimportant. He read a statement to the press, saying "Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, have requested that I relay the following information to you. With great joy and hope, I announce that Her Majesty, Empress Mayumi, is pregnant with His Majesty's child. The couple has been aware of the pregnancy since last month, and the honourable Court Physician, Dr. Haruto Uchiyama, has stated that the child will be born sometime in late December or early January. The Imperial family as well as the Tachibana family are overjoyed at this announcement and are eager to welcome the new Prince or Princess. On behalf of the Imperial government, I wish to offer my sincerest hope that the mother and child enjoy good health."

Shortly following the statement being issued, crowds of citizens flocked to the gates of the Imperial Palace in Tenkyō to offer their best wishes to the couple and making offerings at shrines in the area around the palace. A similar display occurred at the palace in Shinkyō as well. Shrines and temples across the country have been reported to include prayers for the potential future heir to the throne in their repertoire, mostly those shrines backed by the Imperial family.
DNSA announces landing site on Nergal

Candor Chasma as pictured by Sky Sailor, 20 July, 2022
The DNSA has announced that, having reviewed data collected by both orbiters around Nergal as well as its recent Sky-Sailor mission, it has determined the optimal landing site for the 2024 mission to Nergal by the Sojourner spacecraft. This comes after photoreconnaissance performed by the vehicles indicated a site roughly in the center of Candor Chasma in the Valles Marineris canyon system to be optimal for a crewed landing. The DNSA also noted the potential presence of water ice just below the surface as a reason for their interest in the site, which, if present, could potentially support longer term missions to the red planet, not to mention that the soil could harbor evidence of past life on the planet. The agency also noted Melas and Coprates Chasma as potential secondary landing sites, given their unique geography and in the case of Coprates, evidence of seasonal flows along its slopes.
WEATHER --- Shinkyō Metro.: - 31.9°C --- Tenkyō Metro.: - 29.3°C --- Otsu Metro.:  - 29.3°C --- Yuzawa Metro.: - 28.9°C --- Shibetsu Metro.: - 29.1°C --- Urasoe Metro.: - 29.9°C --- Awara Metro.: - 30.3°C --- Goris Metro.: - 33.8°C ---
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