Deep inside the Imperial Palace in Urbem Sol, past vast, winding corridors and ancient rooms, four men stood brooding over a map of Terra Australis. Candles and torches that would have illuminated the lavishly furnished room stood cold and barren, the only light source coming from the sun which was slowly crawling towards the opposite horizon, casting long shadows across the floor and wall. Conversations in Eurasian drifted no further than the heavy mahogany doors, which were defended on the opposite side by two stern-looking Praetorian Guards who stared straight ahead, unmoving. The corridor down which they gazed spanned a decent length of the palace, ending at another room which housed the throne room.
From inside the room, the four men studied the map. One of them, holding a cane, jabbed it fiercely into the floor.
“What do we stand to gain from helping this idiotic rebel? Nothing! We’ll be exposing ourselves and for what?” He said, slashing the air viciously with a finger. Another of the men, smoking a pipe, pointed at him angrily with it.
“The Tarajanis will be gone! Is that not reward enough?” He said. The third man raised his hands as if to placate.
“Perhaps we should let His Majesty speak?” He suggested quietly, looking at the fourth and final man, who was leaned over the table as if to leap into it. He looked up and sighed.
“There is no harm in meeting the man. Perhaps he can sway those amongst us who are more skeptical.” He turned and gazed out the window at the setting sun. “Even you, Claudius, must admit that to be rid of the Tarajanis would certainly be a blessing.” Claudius sighed in exasperation.
“Of course it would be a blessing. However, we are only inviting war with them. Your Majesty, surely you must realize that war with New Tarajan will be disastrous for all involved.” Claudius turned back to the map and looked at it intently. The man who he had spoken to, who was clearly now the Emperor Junius III, turned back to the assembled.
“We will meet with him and see what he proposes. It is only proper that I greet our guests. Lepidus, please be so kind as to delicately take care of the more sensitive documents here. Lucanus, please come with me.” As he left, Lepidus spoke up.
“Guests? By the gods, they do breed fast. Yesterday there was only one.” The room erupted with laughter, and Junius rolled his eyes.
“Just pick up the damn papers, you idiots.” He said, laughing to himself as he walked out of the room, followed by Legate Lucanus. They opened the doors and hurried down the hallway, passing multitudes of elegant rooms. In the middle of the corridor a stairway branched down into the entryway to that wing of the palace, where at a table sat two tired looking men who were slowly observing the rooms of the palace. They occasionally spoke to each other in English, most of which Junius couldn’t understand. They looked up as he descended the stairs, and quickly stood when Lucanus announced:
“His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Eurasia Junius III!” Junius approached the two and extended his hand to the one who seemed older.
“Welcome to the Imperial Palace. It is a pleasure to meet you.” The man grasped his hand and nodded, then looked at the younger seeming man to his right.
“Thank you, Your Majesty. I am Vladimir Lenin. This is my assistant, William.” He said. Junius smiled and shook his hand. William, the assistant, seemed shocked that Junius would take notice of him. Junius turned and beckoned for Legate Lucanus to come forward.
“I trust you have already met the Legate.” Junius said. Lenin nodded. Junius turned and gestured for the stairs. “If you will follow us, we will go the the map room and continue our discussion.” Lenin nodded and followed Junius and Lucanus up the steps. As they followed, Junius spoke to Lucanus in a low voice.
“Why is he calling himself Lenin? I thought his name was Charles or something.” Junius said, turning back to Lenin and Will, who were observing the interior of the palace as they walked. “The map room we are going to is just this way.”
“I think he wants to distinguish himself from his Royal lineage.” Lucanus said quietly. Junius raised an eyebrow confusedly.
“Changing one’s name doesn’t change one’s heritage.” He said. Lucanus shrugged.
Behind them, Lenin and Will followed Junius and Lucanus, both silently taking in the elegance of the palace. Will turned to Lenin and pointed at the ornately painted ceiling.
“Remind you of home?” He asked. Lenin glared at him.
“New-Zealand is my home, will. I want nothing to do with such opulence any more. My place is with the people.” He said, shaking his head at yet another sculpture. He looked ahead as the Emperor and Legate had a quiet discussion in Eurasian. “Can you make out what they’re saying, Will?” He asked. Will shook his head.
“You know I can’t speak Eurasian.” He said. Lenin was about to reply when they reached the doors at the end of the corridor, and Junius pushed the doors open. They followed in and encountered two more men standing near a map, arguing about something or another.
“Claudius Servilius Caepio, Praeministrum of War, and Calpurnius Flaccus Lepidus, Praeministrum of Diplomacy.” Junius said, gesturing at the two men. “Gentlemen, Praetor Lenin and his assistant, William.” The two men shook Lenin’s hand. Junius gestured at the table. “Shall we sit?” He asked. Lenin nodded graciously and sat at the table.
“Again, I want to thank Your Majesty’s generosity in permitting us to come to Urbem Sol to discuss our revolution.” He said, nodding respectfully to Junius. “It is a great honor.”
“The pleasure is mine. Now, what sort of...aid, or assistance, where you hoping we could provide?” Junius asked. A servant appeared from nowhere and provided them with wine.
“Our primary concern is the Tarajani navy in Grand Haven harbor. As you know, we have no real navy to speak of.” Lenin said, gesturing for Will to provide him with a detailed map of the area, which he spread on the table. “The navy has been bombarding the city for some time and we have no way to fight back. Our cannons are not powerful enough to do any real damage.” He said. Claudius tapped the table in confusion.
“If I am incorrect, Praetor, have you not already destroyed one of the key Tarajani ships?” He asked. Lenin nodded.
“We did, but it was entirely accidental. We think that we accidentally hit a powder magazine or something similar.” He said. “I doubt it could be replicated purposefully.” Junius tapped the map.
“Lucanus, how many ships do we estimate they have?” He asked. Lucanus thought for a moment and responded.
“I believe around twenty-five.” He said. Lenin nodded in assent.
“Very well. What about a Tarajani counterattack in the west?” Junius asked, pointing at western New-Zealand, which was bordered by the open sea.
“That is a concern. However, I believe our primary goal needs to be freeing Grand Haven. Once that is taken care of other situations can be dealt with.” Lenin said. As he did so, a man in military dress entered the room and spoke quickly in Junius’ ear. His eyes widened as he heard the news. He turned to Claudius, Lucanus, and Lepidus and spoke quickly in Eurasian. Lepidus’ mouth fell agape at the news. Junius turned to Lenin and spoke quickly in an almost excited voice.
“I’ve just received news that changes everything. The Tarajani Landsraad has been attacked by the people and stormed. The government has apparently fled and the King is in Arveyres. More, their other government buildings have been attacked.” He said. Lenin was shocked. He knew things were bad abroad, but he never knew that there would be an open revolution against the Government.
“What do you suggest?” He asked quietly. Junius stood up.
“Return and rally your people. They will be confused without you at this point. Have them begin their revolution in earnest. You have the Empire’s support. I will instruct one of the Asticus legions to enter New-Zealand, where they will be at your command. This is a prime opportunity that we haven’t time to waste.” Lenin stood, surprised, and thanked the Eurasians for their hospitality.
As Lenin and Will left the Palace, Will looked at Lenin.
“Are you alright, Vlad? That was certainly surprising.” He said. Lenin nodded.
“Whatever the situation, they’ve committed, and we shan’t waste it.” He said, entering the carriage that had brought them to the Palace. “Let’s get back. Much to do.”
Back inside the Imperial Palace, Junius stood at the map, discussing the situation with Lucanus and Claudius. Lepidus had departed to find more about New Tarajan’s uprising.
“What if his revolution fails?” Lepidus asked. Junius shook his head.
“It won’t fail. If it does though, we’ve shown the Tarajanis that they are powerless here. That is reward enough.” Junius walked to the map and pointed at New-Zealand. “This colony is the key to breaking Tarajani power.” He said, tapping it lightly. Lucanus cocked his head quizzically.
“Sir?” He asked, confused. Junius looked up at him.
“The Tarajani people are revolting, yes? They’ve lost faith in their government fighting those Mohammedans or whomever, and they need something to show that the Government is still powerful. The Tarajanis are going to have to hinge their bets, so to speak, on New-Zealand. If they crush the rebellion, the people might see that rebelling is futile. If they lose, then they’ll prove to the people that they are incapable of remaining in power. New-Zealand will be the straw that broke the Royal camel’s back, and we are going to add that straw.”
The above story is the creation of several famous Eurasian historians using diary entries, records, and other archival sources to piece together what could have been the conversation between Junius III, his ministers, and Vladimir Lenin.