Log Title: Meetings in Trucial Abysmia
Date: October 08, 2012
Summary: Cobra Commander takes meetings with several high-level leaders in Trucial Abysmia.
As logged by Cobra Commander - Monday, October 08, 2012, 9:19 PM
Trucial Abysmia - Western Asia
- Trucial Abysmia, officially known as the Kingdom of Trucial Abysmia, is a state in Western Asia, located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in the east of the Persian Gulf, sharing a border with Oman to the south, and sea borders with United Arab Emirates to the west and Benzheen to the east.
- The emirate of Trucial Abysmia covers an area of 1,700 square km. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Trucial Abysmia. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city has two main sections, Old Trucial Abysmia and Nakheel, on either side of a creek. It is served by the Trucial Abysmia International Airport. Apart from the northern part where the city of Trucial Abysmia is situated, it also has one large enclave in the South near Hatta, and a few small islands on the Persian Gulf.
- Trucial Abysmia has larges oil reserves and is a large oil exporter. Oil accounts for more than 90 of exports and nearly 75 of government revenues, facilitating the creation of a welfare state although the share of the non-oil economy is growing recently. It has also large natural gas reserves.
Cobra Commander has been given the royal treatment... (after Saud ended Cobra's contracts a few years ago). For the past few weeks, Cobra Commander has enjoyed TA slowly imploding around Sheikh Saud. Saud is in another room with his wife well out of earshot from Cobra. Hana puts on a scarf before going out. "OK - like we said - Cobra is far more trouble than they bring to the table. I'm going to talk to a few women who are organizing a voting bloc for next year... I'm going to try to get them from siding with your more moderate opponents. They can criticize you, but how many could have done what YOU have done with women's rights in the past 3 years?"
- Cobra Commander
- Cobra Commander is an imposing figure, his face hidden behind a dark black hood. His voice sounds somewhat digitized and hissing, as if slightly modified to further conceal his identity. The rest of the Commander's paramilitary uniform is also a crisp, deep black, with a variety of weaponry held tightly against his body with black leather belts and straps. The commander's hands and feet are also covered in black leather, in the form of supple gloves and steel-toed Army boots. A large red Cobra sigil dominates the center of his chest; a smaller one forms the buckle of his military web belt.
Sheikh Saud smiles and kisses Hana. His is still sidelined with the distractions about his son's arrogant attempt to grab onto power. However, as Hana said - Sheikh Mohammed has always been lazy. The moment he starts to even form a campaign and realize all the work that will have to go into it... he'll cease this spectacle. Now, he looks himself in the mirror, adjusts his cuff links... and heads out in the lush board room to meet...Cobra Commander.
In the boardroom, Anwar Assan can be seen giving an interview to BBC. Assan smiles and says in a neutral tone, "Look... I am a devout Muslim, and no Western influence can tell me that homosexuality is not a sin. But so is pride. So is being jealous. I am guilty of being both jealous and prideful at some times. However, this is the 20th century. We ... as a civilized culture, should NOT execute people for sins." When asked about Sheikh Mohammad, Assan smiles and waves a hand. "I will debate his wise, and very capable father. I am not interested in turning TA's election process over to the more cartoonish factions of our government."
Sheikh Saud shoots a dispirited frown at the television before opening his arms and approaching Cobra Commander. "Cobra Commander! So wonderful to see you! How are your accommodations?!"
Cobra Commander rasps, "Ah! Your Majesty! Quite excellent, I must say." Cobra Commander gives the sheikh an Arabian-style greeting.
Sheikh Saud smiles warmly and waits for Cobra Commander to take a seat. "I hope the suites are up to your standards."
Cobra Commander rasps, "Oh, yes. The accommodations are top-notch. How are things for you, Your Majesty? I understand you've had some trouble."
Sheikh Saud thinks. Dissenters. Unruly son. Moderates who are capitalizing on his own achievements. Sheikh Saud shakes his head. "No... I mean, it's a country with its growing pains... but nothing no more than any other country's problems." Sheikh Saud clears his throat. "Again, I thank you for coming in lieu of our previous end to our... business arrangement."
Sheikh Saud folds his hands and doesn't say anything. Sheikh Saud says, "Our people... are different. We have a very proud culture - steeped in tradition."
Cobra Commander rasps, "You can't let Trucial Abysmia be next. In spite of our... previous difficulties... I, too, am a Central Asian leader now." Cobra Commander rasps, "It's in my best interest to keep the peace in the region."
Sheikh Saud nods slowly to Cobra Commander. "Congratulations are in order, by the way. You've done an excellent job maintaining peace in that region." Sheikh Saud says, "My people... will not throw me out next year. If anything, it will be a validation of all that I've accomplished."
Cobra Commander rasps, "I do hope that is true. However, should you need additional security, I want you know that Cobra remains an ally."
Sheikh Saud smiles politely at Cobra Commander. "Thank you... but we are doing fine." Sheikh Saud perks up "Our... oil exports are up 7 percent over last year. And that is WITH the flood taking into account."
Cobra Commander rasps, "True, but my sources tell me your production is down, and that the exports are out of your reserves."
Sheikh Saud thinks and then shakes his head in a poker face gesture. "I hate to insult the source of that information, but it's absolutely false."
Cobra Commander rasps, "Must be the flood effect, I'm sure."
Sheikh Saud looks out at the window and smiles on his land. HIS land. "Under my rule, our economy is growing at 3 percent. Women are going to school. And we are just building another cancer center. So... things are quite good."
Cobra Commander rasps, "Yes, I heard of your strides in business and health care... as well as your difficulties with domestic issues."
Sheikh Saud raises his eyebrows and smiles. "Difficulties? Like an election? The occasional protest? That's typical in ANY advanced, civilized country!" Sheikh Saud grins and laughs, hoping to tease Cobra Commander. "If you can't handle THAT, I'd suggest another line of work!"
Cobra Commander rasps, "Oh, yes, and never results in regime change in this area..." Sheikh Saud says thoughtfully "If you are referring to Professor Assad - I have great respect for him, but have him try to enact ONE of his reforms in a cabinet dominated by traditionalist clerics. My change may be slower, but it produces results!" Cobra Commander nods slowly.
Sheikh Saud says, "The people of Abysmia love me... as much as I love them."
Cobra Commander rasps, "For your sake, I hope you are correct. In the meantime, if there is anything I can do to help, please, but assk."
Sheikh Saud shakes his head. "I think we're done here." He gets up and shakes Cobra Commander's hand. "As long as you're here, try the Magnolia restaurant. It is indeed, a treasure."
Cobra Commander rasps, "As enticing as that sounds, it's best I keep a low profile. I wouldn't want you to have any more bad press."
Outside, General Alawi, who enjoyed a lengthy friendship with Cobra until Sheikh Saud kicked Cobra out of TA, waits for Cobra Commander to appear. He has some things he wants to bounce off CC's dome...err - head.
Cobra Commander rasps, "Thank you again for your hospitality, Your Majesty. I hope one day soon I can return the favor."
Sheikh Saud says tersely "A small segment on Democracy Now is NOT what I call bad press, more of an annoyance." He nods to Cobra Commander.
General Alawai paces, waiting for Cobra Commander to appear.
Cobra Commander returns the nod, and sees himself out, trailed at a distance by his Crimson Guard.
Sheikh Saud gets into his study and frowns. He mutters "Hana was right. We are better off without them."
General Alawai waits to get within eyeshot of Cobra Commander as he tries to get a view from the Crimson Guard posse.
Cobra Commander spots the General and smiles beneath his mask. He alters his route to intercept the general, signaling his guard to allow the military man to approach.
General Alawai smiles and approaches Cobra Commander and then gives him a hearty Arabic style greeting. "Cobra Commander! It's been too long!"
Cobra Commander rasps, "Indeed, General. You're looking fit."
General Alawai smiles and walks with Cobra Commander. "As are you! How are you liking your newfound responsibilities for governing?"
Cobra Commander rasps, "I find it suits me, General, although I feel we have similar problems with insurgents and those that would threaten our rule."
The General nods. "Well... I am here to serve my king." He looks at Cobra Commander and clears his throat. "However... I - feel guilty even asking you this - but I have a person who may benefit from your knowledge of how to rule effectively."
General Alawai walks with Cobra Commander. "It is Sheikh Saud's son. Now... don't automatically assume that he is a spoiled brat because of his age. He has had... what religious leaders would call a 'crisis of faith' - and he feels like Allah is calling him to a higher office," he adds casually "Still, Allah can only do so much in terms of education...and support." General Alawai continues to try to sell Cobra Commander on Sheikh Mohammed "In the weeks I've had the pleasure of mentoring him, he has shown maturity, yet he still arrogant to a fault. I believe... Allah forbid Sheikh Saud would lose his position, Sheikh Mohammed would focus primarily on being a charismatic leader... and not a micromanager."
Cobra Commander nods slowly, listening to Alawai's words but focusing more on the implied subtext.
General Alawai flatly statues "I cannot help him dethrone the king. But I believe he would... greatly benefit from your guidance." General Alawai finishes his pitch. "As purely an educational endeavor."
Cobra Commander rasps, "I see. Well, I have always been willing to offer wisdom to youth."
General Alawai smiles "Sorry the first thing that came from my mouth was a plea for help. But if you were to meet with this Sheikh Mohammed, you'd see he's... special." Special as in a puppet that you'd only need to feed money, women and cars to and he'll look the other way.
Cobra Commander rasps, "I would be happy to meet with the future of Trucial Abysmia. Lead the way, General." Cobra Commander makes an 'after you' gesture.
Cobra Commander and General Alawai travel via military caravan to one of the newly developed skyscrapers. During that time, General Alawai and Cobra Commander make small talk and catch up. Finally, they arrive at the new suite of Sheikh Mohammed on the 115th floor of the newest skyscraper in TA. General Alawai knocks on the door of Sheikh Mohammed's suite. "Your royalness!"
General Alawai smiles politely at Cobra Commander. "We need to catch a football game sometime."
Sheikh Mohammed answers his door in just a gold-trimmed silk robe, his hair wet from a recent bath or shower.
General Alawai quickly gets in "Again...thank you for this..." before Sheikh Mohammed opens the door.
Sheikh Mohammed says, "Cobra Commander! What a surprise!"
General Alawai smiles at Sheikh Mohammed. "Your excellency, I bring forth a very honored guest." He looks at Sheikh Mohammed and Cobra Commander. "Shall I get some water or tea?"
Sheikh Mohammed says in Arabic, "Please, come in. Yes, General, please fetch us refreshments."
Cobra Commander strolls into Mohammed's apartments, as his guard spread out to guard every entrance to the building and floor. "Very nice," he says, looking around. "Lots of space."
General Alawai bows politely and heads down 30 floors to a high-end supermarket that's contained in the skyscraper to get some refreshments. Mineral water, assorted cheeses, crisps.
Sheikh Mohammed says in Arabic, "What brings you to Trucial Abysmia, Commander? I thought my father made it quite clear you were no longer welcome in our country."
General Alawai returns about 10 minutes later and makes a stealth move to the kitchen. An opportunity like this comes rarely - and Sheikh Mohammed should make the most of his alone time with Cobra Commander as possible. Still, he feels good that the young son has shown Cobra Commander the level of respect he deserves.
One of the Crimson Guard looks on at a television on low volume. It's ANOTHER interview with Assan. The professor blanches slightly at a question asked by a reporter for Al-Jazerra. "Why is the concept of freedom thought of as strictly Western?! THAT is the problem facing so many of our cabinet. It's not a Western belief. It's a universal belief. As the great Optimus Prime even said famously 'Freedom is the right of ALL sentiment beings!"
General Alawai turns into a capable maid. Bringing mineral water, some assorted crisps and sharp cheeses for Sheikh Mohammed and Cobra Commander to snack on.
Cobra Commander replies with a heavy accented Arabic, "You're sorry - my English is still a little rusty."
Sheikh Mohammed chuckles at Cobra Commander's predicament. Switching to English, Mohammed summarizes, "It's an... unexpected sight to see you once more in our country, Commander."
Cobra Commander rasps, "To be frank, I wasn't expecting to ever return... however, the General here feels I may be of some use to your efforts to restore Trucial Abysmia to its former values and glory." Cobra Commander politely refuses the offers of drink and food.
General Alawai walks back and watches the interview with one of the Crimson Guards. Out of earshot of Sheikh Mohammed, he looks on at Assan and mutters in Arabic to one of the crimson guards "There is a deep, dark cell waiting for you when this election is over, Assan."
The Crimson Guard doesn't react verbally, but the General somehow senses silent approval.
Sheikh Mohammed glances over at the General. "Oh, really?" he says evenly.
Cobra Commander rasps, "Yes. As much as he supports your father, he believes you must be prepared for your inevitable future rule... whenever that might be."
General Alawai folds his hands and puts them behind his back and looks out at the ever expanding, yet poorly maintained Abysmia - from the lookout of the most luxurious skyscraper in the land, again, giving Sheikh Mohammed all the space he needs.
Cobra Commander chooses his words carefully.
"I see," Mohammed responds with equal care, keeping his face and voice neutral.
Cobra Commander studies Mohammed's reaction, the Commander's own expression hidden behind his mask and his voice hard to parse through it's slightly digital amplification. Cobra Commander rasps, "I understand you want to lead from strength, as opposed to your father's constant capitulation to decadent outside forces."
General Alawai stands at rapt attention, looking down at all the ants from the skyscraper view. Those hardworking, hungering for strength and direction ants.
Cobra Commander glances at the General's back.
Sheikh Mohammed says in Arabic, "This is true. What business is it of Cobra?"
General Alawai doesn't slouch or slump his shoulders. His spine is almost perfectly straight - and at attention. As he is himself - as ready to take orders as he is to enforce them.
Cobra Commander doesn't let Mohammed's switch back to Arabic phase him. Switching as well, the Commander responds, "What to do? Obviously has security under control. I just provide guidance from my years of experience."
Sheikh Mohammed smiles at the Commander's struggle with Arabic, enjoying his petty upper hand. With his back turned, General Alawai allows himself a small grin from Cobra Commander's masterful handling of the young prince.
Cobra Commander rasps, "Of course I do not think that interfere in matters of state. However, if you want to lead this country, you will need strong alliances."
General Alawai blinks twice at the window. His own version of a 'nod'.
Sheikh Mohammed arrogantly smirks. Switching back to English, he says, "I appreciate your offer of fealty. I'll consider the offer and get back to you. General?" He makes a motion to show the Commander out.
General Alawai turns around and approaches Sheikh Mohammed. "Yes, excellency." He then gestures Cobra Commander to the door. Trying to lead by example, he bows his head "Thank you again for donating your time, Cobra Commander."
One of Cobra Commander's Crimson Guard reacts visibly to the Sheikh's words, and takes a step forward, as if to show the punk the error of his attitude. Cobra Commander, however, stops him with the slightest of gestures, and merely replies civilly in Arabic, "I very much appreciate your attention, Your Majesty. You must decide to take my offer, your know how to contact me."
Sheikh Mohammed nods with a lopsided grin of victory, once again over-estimating the effect of his skills, similar to his experience with the boxer.
General Alawai nods to Sheikh Mohammed "Remember, you are due on the military base later this afternoon. Reporters may be there, so you may want to wear your militaristic garb."
Cobra Commander bows his head slightly in respect, and heads out with his guard. "Thank you for making introductions, General. I'll be sure to be in touch."
Sheikh Mohammed says, "I will. I was about to dress when you brought by the Commander. In the future, please call ahead."
Out of earshot of Sheikh Mohammed, now in the elevator, General Alawai looks at Cobra Commander. His eyes pretty much reveal a 'well...what did you think?' look.
Cobra Commander heads downstairs with his entourage
General Alawai apologizes. "Excellency, I apologize. He has much to learn." He adds "However, he does have charisma."
Cobra Commander rasps, "True. He has potential. What do you think, General? Can we speak frankly?"
General Alawai smiles at Cobra Commander. "Of course..."
Cobra Commander rasps, "What is your interest here? Do you feel Mohammed will restore Trucial Abysmia to its former glory, or are you just covering your bases and preparing for the future?"
General Alawai relents "He's been spoiled his entire life. He's not served one day in combat." He adds "Still...with the right guidance, I believe he would make a great ally to Cobra...whenever he assumes his rightful place as king of this land."
Cobra Commander nods slightly. "I appreciate you initiating our involvement now."
General Alawai plainly states "I will proudly serve ANY regime, but my proudest... came from when I was serving Sheikh Saud's father. It is that style of rule that I believe the people of TA can best...handle."
Cobra Commander rasps, "Yess.... I can see that. Your kingdom appreciates a strong rule. This weakness before foreign powers... it gives hope to insurgents, and before you know it, another centuries-old dynasty has fallen."
General Alawai relents "In this climate... Sheikh Saud gives a woman the right to go to school, the first thing they say is not 'thank you' but 'what about my right to vote?" He makes a fist, but keeps his arms to his side. "Strength... Sheikh Saud's father had that asset in unending waves."
Cobra Commander rasps, "Yes."
General Alawai walks Cobra Commander to his vehicle. "If you were to lend support - the young prince WOULD appreciate it." General Alawai bows to Cobra Commander. "I must go now - I am due back at the palace."
Cobra Commander rasps, "A failure to respect the traditional values of your country is what undid your king's brother... I would hate to see the same thing happen to His Highness Sheikh Saud." He pauses, and then concludes, "It was good to see you again, General. Feel free to contact myself, my military advisor Major Bludd, or our accounting department heads Tomax and Xamot should there be anything we can do to help."
General Alawai parrots, "As would I.."