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The TGV That Could

2016/09/24

24 September 2016: SALT CITY, LAGO GRANDE 

Explosions fill the air of Lago Grande in the basin and range terrain east of the Sierra Nevada, but it isn’t a resurgence of Ouaren Gough and his junta. It’s leveling and clearing the pathways for a joint venture between Japan, Alta California and Louisianne, a TGV connection from Meidji-dò to Louisianne, with the intent of carrying passengers, but more often, cargo.

Since the beginnings of the Louisiannan-Japanese trade agreements, work has quietly progressed from Meidji City and the Alpes-Rocheuses, and in the last fifteen years work has progressed secretly, under guide of a simple freight line through the now economically viable Lago Grande, across the Central Valley of Montrei, towards a unifying meetup in the basin and range territory.

For a time this chemin de fer seemed to stall, as Montrei balked at the prospect, and plans were considered through Alta California instead. These were also fought by locals. For a year, no work was completed, until the powerful fruit lobby of Rancho Santa Rosa convinced Montrei’s parliamentarians that the opportunity to reach a wider market to the east for the fruits and vegetables grown in Montrei, if missed, would be catastrophic.

In about seven more months, the railway will be completed, and freight and passengers will soon be flying East and West, knitting together the American continent in a more peaceful coexistence.

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Asahi Ximbun: Louisiannan Expat Found

2016/09/01

RIUGOÑ, COREA Consai 10, Hatxigaçu 29 (29 August 2016)

An international mystery that has threatened on several occasions to cause a diplomatic incident has, at last, been solved.

This week, in a dusty farmer’s market of Riugoñ Japanese Security Forces successfully identified and spoke with a man very much out of place.  With his sandy blonde hair, and his European looks, he was not a match for those that surrounded him.  He identified himself to them as Park Min Ho, (박민호 / 朴敏鎬), a local farmer.  The security forces asked him to come with them for a few minutes to their station, assuring him he’d done nothing wrong.

There, in that station, Park Min Ho discovered the truth.  He hadn’t sprung into existence in the wilds of the Chinas some years ago, but had a rather more typical beginning.  When they showed him the family photos of his childhood, he wept, and yet couldn’t say why.  Park Min Ho suffers from amnesia. When his wife appeared at the station, he spoke to her in fluent, and nearly unaccented Corean, explaining the situation.

But who was he, you ask? A young Louisiannan man, one David Hiverdun.  Nearly 12 years ago, he had served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaching in this very region of Corea the Mormon beliefs.  After his two years completed in early Gacudai 1 (2004), he returned from his home in Romain, Omara, Louisianne, to visit those he knew as a missionary, and to travel the Far East.

This, it would seem, was his undoing.  He travelled to Canton, and, while warmly received, was ill-prepared to face the reality of travel in the borderlands of Canton. It would seem that some time between his arrival in Canton, and the following two months, he travelled without problem, climbing, hiking, and enjoying the sights the Chinas have to offer.  He strayed from his itinerary, however, and disappeared.

This was in Gacudai 1 — and his family, who later moved to Chateaugoutier, Alpes-Rocheuses, had no idea what had become of him.  They mounted searches, as best they could given the political upheaval in the southern Chinas.  All governments, despite repeated questioning by Louisiannan officials, and intercession by the Japanese, denied young M. Hiverdun’s having ever travelled within their borders.  When proof of his travel was presented in the form of photos and railstubs found in a hostel room he’d rented, they claimed that if he were within their sovereign territory, he had likely died in an accident.

The years passed, and the Hiverdun Family refused to give up hopes, even when they were rebuffed, practically chased to the Louisiannan embassies at times, and though they hoped he was alive, they began to give up hope that they’d ever find their son again. In the last year, however, with the coronation King Fùxīng of Hunan, records have been released, and the Hiverdun family were able to pick up the lost trail.

In the recent months they have retraced his steps from his last known stop.  David did indeed suffer an accident.  With his amnesia, he also lost his maternal tongue, Francien.

Knowing only Corean, kindly Chinese helped him and he managed to make his way out of Hunan, through Nan Han Guo, Bei Han Guo, until he finally arrived, sometime in Consai 1 or 2 (2007), in Corea.  Without documentation, he spent a number of years fleeing and avoiding the law, living in mountainous areas and small villages.

In Consai 4 (2010), he finally gathered enough friends and money to get himself a set of papers.  He took the name Park Min Ho, (박민호 / 朴敏鎬), married, and settled himself as a local farmer near Riugoñ.

Oddly enough, despite his amnesia, Park Min Ho remains a devout member of the LDS church, and serves as a Sunday School teacher in a local congregation.  His wife has recently converted to the LDS faith, and they plan on solemnizing their marriage in the “sealing” sacrament within the soon-to-be completed Riugoñ temple.

“I don’t remember much of my early new life,” Park Min Ho said, “but I do remember knowing that everything would be okay, and that if I did my part, I could make a good life for myself.  I’m just happy to know where I came from, and that I have family beyond my lovely wife and children.”

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IBAP: Louisianan Campaigns in Full Sway

2016/08/04

NEW CORNWALL, Nauvoo-la-Belle (4 August 2016 / 18 Thermidor CCXXIV)

On every street corner there seems to be someone shaking every passersby’s hand. It’s a nearly ubiquitous sight on the streets of any city in Louisianne. Why are they doing it?

Campaign season, for local city offices, prefectural parliaments, departmental parliaments, and in one race, that of the perfect.

Here in New Cornwall, however, one party is facing a steep uphill battle. Droit et Droite surged forward five years ago with promises of moral rectitude and a return to the mores of yesteryear. In recent years, however they’ve lost ground. Some would say it’s due to the now peaceable Deseret, or Lago Grande, which had served them as a bugbear to incite the electorate. Some would suggest it’s the fading threat of Tejas, or Florida-Caribbea. Others would suggest it’s the scandals that have left many of the candidates in terrible shape in the polls.

Without delving into sordid details, the embattled Droit and Droite party may lose the seats it earned in years past as the voters see them for the one theme party they are.

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Rolling down the Rails

2015/11/12

Ouatchita, LOUISIANNE. 22 Brumaire, CCXXIV (12 November 2015)

At the border crossing between Tejas and Louisianne, King Juan Carlos and First-President Marie-Claire Gildersleeve jointly cut a ribbon across new high-speed rail tracks, the first line connecting Santa Fe to Paris-sur-Mizouri. The second line, connecting southward will inaugurate in January.

This rail-line will also carry high-speed freight, allowing Tejas faster trade with Louisianne and the NAL-SLC, and reciprocal trade arrangements. His Majesty expressed his support for this arrangement, “Too long have we had ill will with our neighbors. By connecting ourselves via rail we hope to knit ourselves into the patchwork of peace. Gad, that’s stuffy. Got to get myself new speech writers.”

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RepubliComm I Blasts Off

2015/10/31

Île Béni, SAINT-DOMINGUE: 10 Brumaire CCXXIV

From the recently completed spaceport on the île Béni, Louisiannan and Japanese scientists celebrated a double launch today. After years of successful launches with the Raidjù and Raitxo rockets, today’s successful attempt proved the final successful test launch of both the Mercure and Fuxitxò (不死鳥) rockets. Prior launches had not carried any payloads, due to risk of the rockets exploding.

Today’s launch carried the prototype of the Sarutahico III, a larger crewed vessel, capable of carrying and sustaining four bethinauts on longer, construction-focused missions. Long-shelved plans for the Çuxima station have been brought to renewed attention in the last year, and enough materials have accumulated in a parking orbit around the Earth that ATOE has begun to move toward full station construction.

To assist in protecting the bethinauts of Japan and Louisianne, as well as the wider world, two satellites were launched aboard the Fuxitxò rocket, RepubliComm I, a geosynchronous communications satellite to replace aging and failing Télétoile-1, which has far exceeded its original five year life-expectancy. 

Carrying the latest in Solas Teoranta’s integrated circuits and chipsets, and running on a proprietary operating system, RepubliComm I has two orders of magnitude more capacity for broadcast, and between aerostat uplinks and other satellites in the RepubliComm fleet, news and communication can now be transmitted consistently and continuously around the world.

RepubliComm I will serve the Western Hemisphere.

The second satellite, launched on a solar trajectory is VadOMS, le Vaisseau des Observations Météorologiques Solaire. It will travel to the Earth-Sun Lagrange point, and will hold in that position for the remainder of its functional life. This vessel has a series of observational tools that will allow it to forewarn space command of any solar storms that would cause harm to personnel in space.

The next launch is scheduled for December.

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Royal Rebirth: Revival King is crowned

2015/09/24

This is the final installment of a three-part series by native Louisiannan, Hiro LeFevre, reporting on the Hunanese selection of a new Constitutional Monarch.

It had been a long day of preparations for Huàng Fùxīng, Ki Fukko, 黄復興, the Revival King of Hunan. He and the Queen had spent the day being groomed and prepared for their final presentation to the Hunanese Parliament and immediately after, to the people of Hunan.

I watched as His Majesty signed away his hereditary rights in Japan. I could feel his trepidation, and yet, he knew the good that his presence in Hunan would be, more than he could ever contribute in all his efforts in Japan.

The new flag of Hunan had been revealed that morning, showing the Chinese dragon turned to face the East, and the red of the rising sun, on a field of white, a clear connection to the Yamatoan flag. The flags mixing Hunan and Mÿqan̊ Ðaij had been unceremoniously burned the night before under a heaping bonfire.

His Majesty had fretted a bit to me about the flag, saying simply that he hoped the Hunanese would know he honored them and their Chimese heritage, even with the clearly co-mingled flags.  His wife had not said a word, absorbed in the ritual preparations for the presentation of the King and Queen. Their children would be spared the public spectacle, this time.

Advisors surrounded them, refreshing their memories on the protocols of the Chinese court.  Representatives of Japan bartered with Parliamentarians for accommodations to courtly behaviors and the rights of King, Queen and their children as constitutional monarch. The King asked them to discuss this at some other time in Japanese, and repeated himself perfectly in Hunanese, reproaching both sets of politicians.

The political clutch bowed and left the room, as did the advisors, leaving His Majesty, the Queen, and myself. The Queen approached him, consoling him in accented Japanese. I made to leave, but He asked me to stay, in Francien. “You are welcome here. It’s nice to have a familiar face.”

He gestured to take a seat, and sat next to me, accompanied by His Queen. “I thought I understood pressure, managing large companies. This is truly different.”

I found myself without words. Here sat a man, a titan of business, accustomed to the Impirial Court of Japan, but now, with the titular burden of a nation, and limited powers over the executive weighing on his shoulders, he seemed genuinely daunted. Likely for the first time in his life.

His wife stroked his arm, saying, “We embark on an adventure. My grandfather would be pleased to see a piece of his homeland cared for by a man like you.”

The King Fùxīng smiled at her, and at me. An aide appeared at the door beckoning them forward, and Their Majesties rose to meet Their people. As He walked past me, He laid a hand on my arm, a twinkle in His eye. “I find myself in need of an ambassador to Louisianne. Do you know anyone?”

He chuckled, not waiting for my answer, and I watched him leave the room. I stood, silent in the awesome transformation of Hiroyuqui, Prince Comaçu into King Fùxīng of Hunan.

Hiro LeFevre has recently received a posting as the Hunanese ambassador to Louisianne, serving His Majesty King Fùxīng. His contribution to TéléLouisianne has been invaluable, and the Editors thank him for this window into the selection process.

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Royal Rebirth: Final Decisions

2015/09/18

This is the second of a three-part story from Hiro LeFevre, assistant to the Ambassador of Louisianne.

The Japanese Princes were surprised at the turn of events, and the Hunanese offered no explanations. Prince Hiroyuqui and Lady Xiaolan weren’t even interviewed, but were assured of the Hunanese goodwill. The four accompanied me to the main avenue, where the wives returned via private car to the hotel, and we were left alone. We reconvened in an upscale bar with members of parliament and a few businessmen.

I asked the Princes why they’d accepted their position in this final stage of the inquest. They both demurred to admit that they are both very driven, and neither said that they were pleased at founding their own dynasty, or at the stability a dynasty of Japanese lineage would engender in this weakened region of the world — but the thought was clear to be seen as I asked the question.

The geopolitical implications are apparent to novices of political science to see. Hunan, a great production center of rice would have its share of trade with the Far Eastern markets. With a stable government and healthy trade tariffs appropriately set, Hunan could be set for a long and stable life as a nation.

With an Imperial on the throne, Hunan would have the cachet of Japanese protection. Bellicose neighbors such as Fujian, Taiwan and Hainan, and Canton would reconsider with eyes and ears of Japan so close to them. Nanhanguo would welcome the influx of currency in its neighbor that would inevitably come in some small part across the border.

But who would the Special Committee choose, I wondered aloud, rhetorically. To my surprise, each suggested the other.  Prince Haruhico suggested that Lady Xiaolan would tip the scales, being Hunanese, and their children being a guarantee of continued succession and cultural ties with Japan. Prince Hiroyuqui suggested that his wife’s ancestry could displease the Hunanese, she being a descendent of the Daoguang Emperor, whereas Lady Eri had nothing but quietly honest and upstanding ancestors amidst the Yamatoan nobility.

Neither said more and excused themselves, each receiving a summons to the palace near dawn.

I was left alone to reflect on their suggestions. Both seemed eager to return to their prior pursuits, and for the other to shoulder the burden of rule. Yet, it was clear to see that each was also eager for the challenge of leading this nation from its beknighted past to the brigh future that they could see awaiting. Both had a background in management, of strict expectations of their underlings. Both were fluent in Cantonese, both had a deep interest in the success of Hunan as a state after the recent war. Both had personal Face to protect, should they be chosen.

But was that enough?

I had studied their wives’ past, and they were not as simple as had been suggested. Lady Eri’s ancestors had sided with the Chinese time and again, at the expense of Japanese interests, though largely faithful to their country, even when their decisions were costly to Yamamto in the short-term. Lady Xiaolan was not merely a great-great-granddaughter of the Emperor Daoguang, she was the granddaughter of King Balhaijoñ, pretender of Corea, known as Zaitao, the uncle of the last Emperor of China. The facts were easily obtainable in public records. The Hunaese were certainly aware.

Would either of their heritages disqualify their husband from leading the nation? Only the meeting in the morning would put paid to the decision.