Outside, huge celebrations were going on, cheers that the Cassids had voted to remain within the Maza. A gigantic sigh of relief bounced around the main parliamentary chamber, ignoring the vague cries from sore Cexiters that the thing was rigged or something was wrong or whatever. They were staying in the Maza. Economic disaster was abated.
Prime Minister Aesop was also very happy with the results. It had been a pretty decisive victory, 54% voted remain, while 46% voted leave. It suggested that 46% of the Cassid population was too easily swayed by lies and fear, but that didn’t matter. He needed to call the leaders of the other races and tell them what was going on.
He’d already had chats with a few of the leaders. The Queen Prime seemed indifferent to everything that had transpired. Vice General Elkay seemed glad but clearly had other matters on his mind. Mavri Thyra of the Thanatians seemed incredibly pleased.
Up next on the list was King Ver, the leader of the Vrekans. Ver was not the friendliest Vrekan, he was considered by many outsiders to be incredibly aggressive. But oddly, the Vrekan populace believed he was quite progressive, and he had done quite a lot of work in his short time in power.
After a little more procrastinating and calling for a small glass of wine, Aesop finally turned on his telecommunicator and sighed.
It took a while for the King to answer. Aesop assumed they were just getting him on the right ‘line’ or something. The Vreka weren’t exactly the most developed race around.
“Good evening, Prime Minister.”
“Good evening, King Ver! How are you today?” Aesop did his best to be friendly and open. “I have some good news, if you are interested!”
“You are staying among us Maza races. Good. In some ways. Better in others.”
Aesop leaned back in his chair. Vrekans were never very talkative but Ver had a tone in his voice that suggested he had other things on his mind.
“May I ask, Prime Minister? How are your metal supplies? Basic metals. Not the fancy stuff. Dug from Rethan mines.”
For a moment, Aesop wasn’t sure what Ver was going on about. They’d had a trade embargo on Vrekan metals for a hundred years, ever since it was discovered just how many beings died every month. Rather than wait for the Vrekan king to explain, Aesop just wanted him to get to the chase.
“What are you on about?”
“We have cleaned up. You buy expensive metals for years. Now you can get a cheap offer. I have spent my own time. My own money. Fixed up our systems. Much, much safer now. I wish to start new trade deals. Now is an ideal time.”
“But you need my help to lift the trade embargo.”
“Exactly. You tour our new mines. You see that it is all safe. Other races fall in line. Rethans are nice but they make too many profits. Mostly from energy. They do not need all their money.”
“Are you suggesting that you want to cut into Rethan metalworks profits?”
“Yes. They are well off elsewhere. 95% taxes do that. But we must move now. Get the deal done before year’s end.”
“Rethan elections next year. Photeianos and I have good relationships. A new High General will not. Am untrusting of little Threan.”
Aesop smiled, glad to know that he wasn’t the only leader who didn’t quite trust the Vice General. Photeianos wasn’t quite as quick as his assistant, and Aesop and other Prime Ministers had managed to squeeze some nice deals out of the ageing Rethan. That abruptly stopped twenty five years ago.
“Very well. I assume, if I help you get the embargo lifted, the Cassids can get something in return?”
“Yes. First access. And if you are nice, a little extra off. Only if the embargo ends. Otherwise you get nothing.”
“Fair. I shall pass this on to the respective sectors and start preparing. Have a nice evening, King Ver.”
The telecommunicator fell silent.
Aesop grinned, made a few notes, then got up to join the celebrations outside.