Opening Japanese Negotiations

July 26, 2016:

The Japanese Government reaches out to The Blue - seeking to open negotiations.

Tokyo - Japan


NPCs: Falanesti, Nakamura



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The documents weren't difficult to recover from the russian agents. More difficult was figuring out a way to do so without opening themselves up to more trouble. In the end the simplest thing had been to approach the drop site with a printout. One that detailed all of the civilian and military traffic going into and out of Russian operated ports on their Pacific coast. The suggestion was that the Chinese and Japanese might find that information very interesting and it was most certainly not hard for the Blue to gather, but in return for documents the Blue would be willing to forget about that for the time being.

It worked. In those stolen documents was something interesting. The Japanese were making rapproachments to the Blue delegation there. They had recently reelected a 'prime minister' who was seriously looking at rearming the nation - something that had not occured in several decades. The new government has signalled it's willingness to engage the Blue on 'talks of mutal benefit'. No doubt defense oriented ones.

This might occasion a trip to Tokyo.

Repose without typo's

A trip to Tokyo, oh good. More questions about tentacles … Ulani's sure. And she's been doing some research on the Internet and now understands a whole lot more. She might have shared that knowledge with Rowan, or she might not have. One thing she knows though, Surfacers are strange.

"I'm not sure, Rowan." the Blue Envoy leads them through the Minato ward in Tokyo, the diplomatic area, towards the building they're to meet in. Surprisingly, the Blue delegate to Japan has been given lodgings there. "The Blue aren't likely to want to share their tech with the surface." In fact, factions in The Blue government had already spoken out strongly about that. "We're going to have to play this one very carefully." Even more so than they have before.

Of course the propaganda that's been used against The Blue and their 'warlike' tendencies hasn't helped, not at all.

"The Council will also want to avoid seeming to 'take sides' on the surface, I think. Though I don't know how easy that'll be considering how fractured the surface is." Rowan's studied this a bit, as it's different from his own world. The UN is the closest thing to a 'world body' for the surface and it is a squabbling, fractious collection of nations divided by ideology, economics and self interest.

So it's a mess.

On the other hand, it's also an opportunity. If they can get a surface nation with as much political presence as the Japanese to recognize them and normalize relations it would put pressure on other surface nations to do the same, especially if the Blue can work out something of benefit that doesn't send their own political system into a tizzy.

They're early, in any case. The Blue Envoy is an Elite named Falanesti, middle aged man in his early 40's still quite fit and trim. He opens the door to his very Japanese accommodations and gestures the two inside. "Envoy Ulani. Rowan. Glad you both could make it."

"That too but really, with the state of politics on the Surface, I'm not sure that's avoidable." Much like Rowan, Ulani has done her research on this. Particularly since the end of the war. "But, they want to talk and it's an opening for us. We might find leverage we can use. Recognition as a Nation amongst the Surface is important."

As the door open, Ulani waits for Rowan to enter and follows him in. "Delegate Falanesti." she smiles warmly. He's a little than her but she's spent time with the older diplomat over her years. "It is good to see you again. I hope all is well. And please, just Ulani." And not the nickname he used to use for her.

Looking around the accomodations, she takes it all in - spartan in nature, with a low table and cushions on the floor as 'chairs' to the sliding paper doors that separate the sleeping quarters. "They seem to be looking after you, here." It's a nice apartment, really. "I'm sorry it took us a little longer than it should to arrive. A slight problem we had to deal with in America. But still, it's interesting news you sent and I'd like to know more…"

They've some time and Falanesti can brief them, quickly, before anyone else arrives.

"I received a message from Ambassador Nakamura today that he'd like to speak to us regarding potential partnerships. I expect that they will at least make a request for access to some of our technology. I understand our government's stance on this but I would strongly urge the council to consider some token gesture we could make in that direction. Something we can give that can't be used as a weapon against us or their fellow surfacers."

"Most things can be used as weapons given a little ingenuity." Rowan murmurs. "But… medicine and energy are probably the two hardest to convert. Still risky, but there must be some medical advance, some old power plant design that they're close to getting anyway that we might offer them." Rowan knows the council still might not go for it, but…

"That's good news, at least. And I expect a similar request." She shakes her head slowly "I was saying as much to Rowan on our way here." Moving around the apartment, unable to settle for the moment, the Blue Envoy listens as the two men speak. "You're correct, both of you and I've been speaking to our Scientists… asking them to make recommendations."

That had been almost as bad as speaking to the Military.

"There's some medical techniques we can share that won't advance the Surface too far. Most of the scientific community seems to support that." Which means there's some support in the Government. "Power plant designs are a little more tricky. We've certainly got something that we could share but there's concerns that the Surface will adapt it for military purposes. They do have a warlike mentality, after all."

"Yes, whereas under the sea it's all peace and love and puppies and rainbows." The last two are rather distcintly surface terms, a sign that Rowan has spent a lot of time up here.

Falanesti simply moves past the warriors wry observation. "The Japanese are a very reserved and polite people. I hope you had time to read my briefing but there is one thing you should keep in mind even if you did not - an outright refusal to a request is considered rude. Western surfacers would appreciate the honesty or at least be irritated by demurring. In this case it is best if you simply promise to speak to your government if they make a request that you can't approve, even if you know our government will hear none of it. Do you have any questions before the delegation arrives?"

Ulani stops her pacing and turns to face Rowan, giving him a somewhat fond but exasperated look. "You know well it is not" She knows he was being ironic, but she'll answer.

"I am aware that saying 'No' is out of the question, Falanesti." Ulani had skimmed the briefing he'd provided. Had she had more time, she would have digested it more fully, but she didn't - and now they are here. "But I thank you for the reminder."

"We will be meeting Nakamura, I assume. What of the others who will be with him? And the correct form of address." That, Ulani has been finding, is interesting - each nation has its preferences.

"We will. He is coming here. Should be a few minutes. You arrived in good time." Falanesti smiles. "But then I knew you would. I will defer to you unless you need information. You need to be seen as taking the lead. Another… cultural thing."

Rowan chuckles softly.

"And you warrior. Extend your spear."


"Your spear. It'll evoke images of their past."

"Anything else I should do?"

"Look intimidating. They're almost here."

Knock knock.

Ulani is used to that style of negotiation - having to take the lead, as it were. Her preference is more collaborative but she knows how things happen.

"Yes, Rowan. Extend your spear." she can't help herself. She actually smiles impishly before adopting a mien of seriousness. She does like to tease the Blue Warrior, though.

At the knock on the door, the Blue Envoy looks to Falanesti and then sighs softly "Open the door Falanesti. If I'm to be seen as taking the lead, it starts now."

When the delegation enters it is three people, two men and one woman. Rowan is a half drake by the time they enter with a very, very large spear. The warrior gets a look, a fairly impressed one by the lights of it, and then the delegation turns their attention to Ulani as Falanesti goes to prepare tea.

"Hello Emissary. It is good to see you. Thank you for coming to this meeting." Ah the niceties. There'll be a few of these.

Ulani casts Rowan an approving smile before she turns her attention to the visitors. "Ambassador Nakamura, I am Envoy Ulani." the Blue female folds her hands in front of her and inclines her head. A traditional greeting. One of equals. Letting her eyes meet the Ambassador "It is my pleasure. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me. May I present, Rowan." she gestures to the half drake "Warrior of the Blue. We are gratified you wished to speak to us. I am eager to understand to more."

That … should do it … shouldn't it?

That should so, yes. Rowan certainly seems to be having an effect. Tea is served and apparently it's one thing Falanesti has learned to do well.

"We in Japan find ourselves at a crossroads." Nakamura begins. "We find ourselves considering our place in the world. It is a good time to consider our friends as well. Your people, Envoy Falanesti tells me, are ancient and proud. But they are new to the surface and could use friends. The people of Japan have a long history with the sea. It has been our way of life for centuries. This seems most auspicious to me. Perhaps there is a way for us to be of benefit to one another."

With Falanesti addressing himself to the 'tea ceremony', Ulani is free - somewhat - to focus on the Japanese diplomat. Still, when Falanesti pours the tea, she turns her attention to the cup - turning it and then holding it out to the ambassador only waiting till he takes it.

"Indeed it does, Ambassador. The Blue have an ancient history and we are proud." the Blue Envoy modulates her voice accordingly "And as I'm sure Ambassador Falanesti has apprised you, we are keen to take our place on The Surfacers stage."

Other cups of tea are poured and the Blue Envoy looks to Rowan … he's playing guard … for now, she'll leave it as it is. They need this advantage.

Rowan remains rather quiet. He's watching though. Taking everything in. When they're done, Ulani might want to debrief him. For now he'll play the dragon. They seem to like it.

"Yes. Keen to begin relationships with us on the surface. We are eager to begin trade, to have a relationship of mutual benefit. There are things we could offer. But we do not know what it is you would wish. We know what would be of use to us. Perhaps we should begin by revealing these things?"

Ulani will want to review this meeting with the Blue Warrior. He has insight that she lacks. That's what makes them a good pair in many ways.

"All relationships should benefit all parties, Ambassador." the Blue Envoy demurs "We wish to take our place in the Nations of the Surface." that's esoteric enough to begin with with "But I would appreciate hearing what Japan would find useful. Perhaps we might find common ground, yet."

"The Japanese people…" Nakamura begins as his aide hands out several papers with helpful charts and illustrations all in Japanese. Someone will need to translate that later. "… are finding that in this changing world it is foolish to depend on the old ways of doing things. We seek, as would any nation, advantage for ourselves. Your people are known to be very technologically advanced. Perhaps you would be willing to share your knowledge of science."

Ah there it is. But that's not all.

"We also seek to preserve our traditional freedoms to move about the sea to conduct commerce and exploration and for defensive reasons." And there's the second big one. Most nations would be eager to not see their sea lanes closed. The Blue, fortunately, have bene less strident on that point than have the Atlanteans.

Ulani take the handouts with great respect, in both hands, turning her attention to them and taking her time to read each page. Yes, someone will need to translate but the illustrations and charts help somewhat.

"We may be willing to share some of science, Ambassador. What sort of sciences were you considering?" She's no fool. She'll let him lay down his currency to begin with. At the second, she nods slowly "Of course. I can appreciate that as can my Government. To clarify though, you seek open passage through waters that The Blue would consider their own?" Not whaling or fishing … the words are left unsaid.

"And what would we, as a Nation benefit from this?"

"We do. Freedom of the seas has long been considered a coernerstone of modern civilization. We would seek to preserve that as much as possible while being sensitive to your people's need for privacy and security. Anything that your people could offer us would be welcome. Of course, my government would see great potential use in defensive technologies and science but I'm sure any advance to the knowledge of mankind and my people would be seen as a gesture of goodwill."

As for what the Blue might get out of it, Nakamura seems to have given this some thought. "If we can arrange some manner of equitable trade, we would be of course more than willing to recognize our friends before the other nations of the surface, as well to smooth the way for other relationships. Trade, as well, might be a possibility. I understand the need for caution, of course, but I believe that our two peoples can learn much from one another."

It's a nice way of asking what it is the Blue want.

"I see." Ulani smiles a little at Nakamura "We can guarantee you continued access to your shipping lanes to a certain depth." that's her first offer. "And we could have some science around energy or medicine that you could useful. However, I would need to speak to my Government. I'm sure you understand."

As to what they what they want. "We wish to be recognised by the Surface as an independant nation." There's no secret there "Should my Government agree to your terms, we would seek your backing on the International stage as well as introductions to other nations who may feel similarly to you."

"In broad terms, I believe my government would find this arrangement agreeable. That is, if the particulars could be worked out to everyone's satisfaction. I trust your government would be amenable to a period of negotiations? There is a saying on the surface 'the devil is in the details.' We find this is often true."

Falanesti glances to Ulani. He certainly has no objections. It's a tentative enough step.

"It would be expected, Ambassador." Ulani responds, still not looking at Rowan. Poor warrior, escort duty can be rather … tedious. She'll find a way to make it up to him. "Envoy Falanesti can work with you on the details and if needed, I can return." She smiles then "But I'm sure that won't be necessary. We are, after all, working to similarly goals."

The Blue Female expects to have a strong discussion with her own people though. This is an opportunity they don't want to miss and some officials are just going to have to not be so hidebound.

"Is there anything, Ambassador?"

"No, I do not believe so. We will be in touch." The Japanese diplomat bows, as do his compatriots, then they rise and depart leaving the Blue alone.

"Well that was at least hopeful." Falanesti offers.

Ulani bows to Nakamura, with the just the right amount deference. There was a reason she'd been chosen for this role and this was part of it. She learned, and she learned quickly.

After the departure, she's quiet for a long while before turning and moving beside Rowan, placing a hand on his arm. "Yes … it was. Although, I've read the Surfacer histories. The Japanese were particularly aggressive in their past." Falanesti would know that. "I feel that I'm going to have more trouble convincing the factions in our Government that this is a good move. But I don't see that we have an option."

"We don't have one at present but I'll leave you to convince our people while I work on details with the Japanese." Falanesti nods. "Are you two staying or…?"

"Up to you." Rowan finally changes back. The way he rolls his shoulders suggests that being all stoic was uncomfortable.

"I think we should be going." Ulani looks to Rowan, considering. The Blue Warrior has a job and she's got work to do. She's probably going to have to take a trip to their capital. To argue their case, face to face. "It would be best too, I believe for the Japanese to see you have this under control. But should need me …" She's only really a Hydraport away.

"Shall we, Rowan. You look like you could with a swim." And Ulani needs to work off some extra energy.

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