I was going over "The Towne" forums, and there was thread on there where everyone RPed their characters. I thought it was a great idea, so I thought why not implement it here. On this board, you can RP your character and his/her story :)
It had been a long day, and I was tired. Really, really tired. First, it was the meeting over at the new school site, where discussions over the budget allocated turned into a heated argument by men working on the project. Initially, it was supposed to be $500,000 project, much like the Rawa'a Primary School over on Drift Lane, but I was satisfied. We needed something bigger, something better, something that was more in tuned with our ambitions and what we were trying to accomplish here. After some screaming, some shouting, and some intense arguing, I finally gave the confirmation for $1,000,000 to be put aside to make the Treelane High School possible. Complete with a football field - my idea, of course. I love that game.
From there it was off to tour the farmlands to the west of town, taking the time out to see our own locally produced products and the ground that grows them, even meeting some of the farmers that make sure they work their way to our markets. Our initiative that granted land for discounted prices to farmers had been a reasonable success, but our people in charge of our road network were not working fast enough. Edward Ezamsi Street needs to keep expanding west, and we need more farms. The less products the government has to import to meet the demand of the public, the better. Plus, it would eventually drive the prices down - that was the real aim.
The afternoon saw me take a trip down to central Rawa'a, stopping by stores for some meet and greet with the people of the town. The bustle of traders and shoppers was starting to die down, replaced by the energy and enthusiasm of the night owls who were coming in for dinners and drinks. Its been interesting seeing the development of central Rawa'a - I remember when it was just the Bank of Dunya and, well, nothing else. Now, stores lined up Main Street, and had worked their way up Corner Street and Alma Lane. I was, however, concerned over the future of our commercial sector - there was no more space around central Rawa'a. Residential plots had surrounded the area, and that had caused land prices to hike up. Recently, the Woynitsch family had put up their land behind my residence for sale - that could be an interesting land to acquire back, because the Bank of Dunya had overgrown its limits, and its building.
I kind of regret expanding the Rawa'a Port right infront of my house; I shouldve given the approval for a different land site. The noise of trucks and ships gets a little too much in the early hours of the morning, and my wife, the Queen, nags about it constantly. I love her to bits, but sometimes, a person just needs to relax. Before I did that, however, I had to meet with my advisors. The Treelane High School was not the only project we had going on. Our largest project to date was blueprinted, and after much deliberation, I gave my approval. While I cant divulge the details of it yet, I guarantee, the people of Dunya will be very happy.
It was a beautiful morning in Rawa'a. As Adella was walking to the GeoThermal plant, where she works, she finally got that SMS she was waiting for a couple of weeks now. Today, she has a meeting with the king himself. The topic is, what else than the 1.000 sqm of Edward-Jalmi land. Adella's negotiations skills have not yet been developed to the highest point, but she hopes she won't get confused standing in front of the king and asking for $25.000 for the land ($5.000 more than the current value).
So after the work she walked to her farms to speak to her workers and see if there is something they needed. The crops look fantastic and it appears to be a good year for farmers. At first she was skeptical about growing fruit in the dessert, but looks like there are lots of water reserves in the ground and those sprinklers are doing fantastic job. Adella also took a round with her newly acquired tractor. That was fun! Standing by the borders of her land she was daydreaming of the 2.500 sqm of land that she will surely buy if she strikes a deal with the king that day. She said to her self: "One day I'm gonna feed the whole island and then i'm gonna get elected for the Minister of Agriculture". But that is still only a dream...
"Still no offers on the four lands on Main Street?" I said, looking up from the stash of paperwork in front of me.
"No sir, nothing yet." replied one of my assistants, Mark Tate.
I sighed and signalled for him to leave my office - it was another one of those days. The lands, with each having a house built on them, was not one of my smarter ventures. They were constructed at a time when decent housing was at a premium in the town, almost 5 years ago, but save for a monthly rental here and a yearly lease there, there hadn't been much success in recouping the investment of their construction. Nowadays, Treelane was filled with quality and affordable housing, and everywhere you look inside town you could find a nice home. I wasn't complaining, but I wanted to get those houses off of our backs, cut our bad investment and look elsewhere. We had them on the market for the valued price, although they were probably worth more. In any case, I didn't expect them to stay on the market for this long.
I looked outside my window out into the ocean. It was becoming tiresome working and living in the same place, and with all the government adiministrative employees coming and going. My sanctuary of peace was not a sanctuary at all - sometimes, I'd leave my own home for a moment's of peace. There was some empty land near the Central Mosque that I was strongly consideing turning into a base of sorts for my employees. I would finally be able to reclaim my home as my own, but unfortunately, I was working on a limited budget, and right now, it was all about to be committed to a project that was going to make some significant changes in the dynamic of our little country.
The Verdi family had put their farm up for sale in hopes of getting enough money to invest in a new one, and quite frankly, I was pleased. Their land was very close to the center of the town, just a little bit to the noth, and there was small commercial district developing on Berg Lane just to the east of it. If the land is sold, I could see more stores opening up, with the close proximity to Desert Town and the developing residential neighborhood in the north.
Desert Town, now that was an unexpected development. We were not doing enough, obviously, in providing decent housing to the people of Dunya if that slum continues to grow. I at a bit of loss, considering there has been so much residential construction in Rawa'a. The past six months alone, Clearview Properties and Salford Construction were responsible for the development of eight family homes, while the government had constructed six more. I had to think of a better of providing for the people, because this living a shack out in the desert thing was not working anymore. We had the means, now we needed the strategy.
I was happy that there was been a rise in salaries steadily over the past couple of years. The new Treeland High School was sure to open more doors for the people. I had taken the land on Plant Road, between Oline Street and Brecken Drive, and officially put the not for sale sign on it. I had plans for that land, although it would have to wait a little while.
We had bought back the land on Edward Ezamsi from the Woynitsch family, and given them land further inland, next to the farm they owned. The farm they operated there had shut down, and I already knew what I wanted to do there. The Bank of Dunya needed expanding, and that was going to be the new location for it.
"Oh, this stupid sand. I didn't even open the windows yet, and my eyes are full of it", I thought as I was getting ready for work. This shanty is not a place for us anymore. We didn't come all the way to this island to live in a shanty, and besides we already have profitable businesses. Also Adella is frustrate as there is not enough place for all her shoes and cloth ()stsfd() .
So, today right after the work I went to Rent-a-House agency to see if there is something available except those expensive government houses. Unfortunately, hackers disabled the agencies networks, so I couldn't get any info. Good thing is that, the girl that was working there was very polite and she filled up an inquiry and promised me she will let me know on all special offers this season.
After that I met with my wife and we went to Seaside Restaurant (Jim Howard's) and had some oceanic specialties.
Treelane High School is officially open for business! I just spent the morning giving a speech there, and enrolled the first ten students myself. This was a project close to my heart - I will cotinue to emphasize education to our youngsters, and even adults. While a university might not be in the pipeline just yet, it will not be long, budget permitting, before we begin construction on one. From there, it was off to the GeoThermal Plant for some rounds, meeting with a few employees, including Adela Woynitsch, Jordan Jordan, and Alex Meade, who recent graduated from the Rawa'a Primary School! I gave them my blessings, they truly have done a fanstastic job.
I had to get back to the office after lunch for a meeting with my advisors - we have three large projects that are ready become reality, and I needed to approve the final plans for them. The Bank of Dunya will be getting a new building on Edward Ezamsi Street, on the land bought from the Woynitsch family, and the Dunyan government will finally be getting their own offices (and getting out of my house!) on First Street, just north of the Central Mosque. The third, and by far the largest, project is still a secret, but it will be revealed pretty soon!
The sound of the small outboard motor winding down to idle jerked Ainsworth out of his reverie. Its steady growl and the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean had lulled him deep into his own thoughts.
The engine cut out as the 20-foot aluminum cruiser glided through the swells. Ainsworth looked back past the boat's driver at the sliver of Dunya still visible, five miles back over the calm ocean, then back at the Dunya Star, a 110-foot fishing vessel with cranes hanging out over the water like the legs of a spider in fight-or-flight mode. The smaller craft sidled up next to the larger ship, coming under one of the cranes.
Ainsworth looked up at the man silently mending a net, shielding his eyes against the afternoon sun, then lowering his hand as the boat bobbled into the shadow of the Dunya Star.
"Mr. Davis, sir!" Ainsworth called up. "Permission to come aboard."
"Ah. OK." Ainsworth looked back at the ferry man, who hid a smirk. ""I have some business to discuss."
"So discuss," Davis replied as he tied off a section of netting.
"Well, through the end of last quarter, you brought in $59,040. That goes into the Davis Fish Company general fund. Your expenses were the same as they have been."
"Then there's this business deal. When are you going to respond to Mr. Woynitsch?"
"Tell him it sounds good."
"OK," Ainsworth said, pushing up his glasses. He held out a sheaf of paper. "There are some zoning issues to work out before the deal goes through. Here are the points the office of the King has given us."
Davis stood, hoisting a coil of rope.
"Take care of it."
"Don't you want to read the requirements?"
Davis knelt down, looking Ainsworth in the eyes for the first time.
"You're my financial manager, aren't you?"
Davis picked up the newly-mended net and headed off toward the crane on the other side of the Dunya Star, leaving Ainsworth staring up at empty sky. After a minute, Ainsworth gestured toward the distant island and sat back down on the uncomfortable seat for the ride back to shore. The boatman pulled the cord, and the outboard rumbled to life.
"There's been some complications, your Highness."
I looked up from my desk and directly into the eyes of one of my advisors, Jaleel Hazem.
"Yes, your Highness. Initial costs for the project are above ten million dollars."
I took the glasses off my face and rubbed my eyes. Ten million? We had estimated six, maybe seven, but ten? We did not have the money, not would we be able to come up with it before the deadline we had set for ourselves. Truthfully, this was the largest project we had undertaken since the inception of Dunya into the United Nations as a fully recognized, independent state, and perhaps the most important one. For our economy, for our future, for our development - this project would catapult all three.
"So what do you suggest, Jaleel?"
"I suggest we cut out the extras and work towards the bare minimum. We set a budget of eight million, and we can get the minimum done in under that amount, we use the rest for some extra touches."
He was young, but he was confident and he knew what he was doing.
"Alright then. Bring me the paperwork to sign. We begin construction in the next few months."
I sat down on my couch and switched the laptop on. After a day of hard work, nothing made me relax like a quick surf on the internet, catching up on news and visiting some comedy websites. It was something I looked forward - I had my iced tea next to me, and I was ready for a few laughs. I hit enter - and everything went black.
What in the world? I screamed out to my assistant, and after crashing around for a couple of minutes, he finally turned on his cellular phone and walked over to me.
"What the hell is going on?!" I screamed.
"I don't know, Your Highness. I will get on the phone with your electrician right away," he replied.
I sighed and shook my head. It took the electrician about ten minutes to get to the house, and another ten minutes to tell us there was no problem with our electricity circuits. The problem, he insisted, had to come from the source, the GeoThermal Plant.
It turned out that the plant had officially surpassed its capacity, and electricity rations were to be implemented, with potentially up to four hours a day power cuts per area. This was easily the biggest oversight we had since becoming a country, and how it got to this point, I did not know.
Plans for our airport (since everyone knew) were going to be delayed - this a more pressing matter, and we simply did not have the budget to develop both at the same time. I called in my advisors for an emergency meeting which was sure to head deep in to the night, trying to figure out how to solve our electricity problem.
"Thank you for your help, Mr. Terrell."
"Anything for you, Hale. Beers are on me tonight," I replied to my friend of 6 years.
He smiled and walked out into the Dunya sunset. I had just finished helping Hale with a loan from the bank, and with the sun about to set over the Indian Ocean, my shift was nearing an end. I've been working at the Bank since I moved here from the US with big dreams. Living in the capitol city was everything I had dreamed of. I had a beautiful wife and 2 children. My job was stable, I was paid well, and I looked forward to every part of the day.
My pocket vibrated, jolting me out of my thoughts. I looked at the caller ID to see it was my wife.
"I'll be home in a few, Hannah" I answered.
"Great, but guess what? It's official, Nick!"
"What's official?" I asked, confused.
"We have moved into our new house!"
"Umm, we've been living there for more than a year."
"Yeah, but I finally unpacked the last box! You know it's not official till the boxes are unpacked!"
I laughed. That's Hannah for you.
"I'll be home in a few, OK?"
I hung up and walked out into the warm sunset. It was 7:00 PM and 80 degrees outside. Very pleasant, considering the average climate. The days get a little hot sometimes. Especially in the summer, when daytime temps can reach 120 degrees. One of the reasons I love my job so much is, King Ed pays for half of my Utilities Bill, which believe me can get extremely high when I'm running the Air Conditioning 24/7.
I walked outside our brand spanking new facility and hopped onto my longboard, crossing onto the west side of Drift Lane. It's a short 10 minute walk to our house on Treelane. Though most of the roads in Rawa'a are paved, a lot of people still walk, bike, or skateboard simply because the town is so compact. That's another thing I love about Rawa'a, it's very walkable. We could afford a car, but we don't have one, simply because we don't need it.
It can get a little awkward sometimes, going to school with my children. We all go to the same school, so I can imagine it's weird for them having their Mom and Dad do homework with them at night, and sit with them in class. It's pretty much the same situation for everyone on the island though, so we've gotten used to it.
The sounds of the docks disappeared into the calm breeze wafting through the leaves of the trees and children playing outside. It's amazing, really, that the city has this much greenery considering the climate and soil. Ed does his job well, and I applaud him for that, considering all the stress in his day. I've heard rumors around the bank about a huge megamillion dollar project for which the cost was underestimated, and the fact that our power plant is overcapacity. I don't know if these are true, but I have faith our leader will figure it out. He's a good guy.
I stepped behind the podium, and fidgeted with my paper. It was going to be a short speech, but an important one nonetheless. I had invited whoever wanted to attend over to the driveway of the Royal Residence, and about 400 Rawa'a residents had shown up.
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm sure you are, by now, all aware of the electricity rations we have implemented. The simple matter is, our station is over capacity and can no longer handle the entire town on its own. We had, of course, anticipated growth, but this is far more than what we had hoped for, but this had also put too heavy a burden on our GeoThermal Plant.
Over the past few days, my advisors and I have sat together, crunched numbers, and devised the best possible ways for us to overcome this headache which has befallen us. That we need a station with a bigger capacity is clear, but how, where, and when are the burning questions. Expansion of the current station was considered, but it would have been limited. In a few years time, we would have faced the same issue, but by then, there would be no more space for expansion on the current premises.
Instead, we have opted to develop a brand new station, capable of powering a city of 100,000 and more, to the north of Rawa'a. I am sure alot of you have heard reports of a new airport, and some of you have in fact seen our preliminary developments on that project, where we have been flattening the land. The new power station will be constructed near that area. Unfortunately, we do work on a very limited budget, and this unexpected event has thrown our entire plan for the next five years off course.
I hope you believe me when I say we have only the best interest of Dunya and its people at heart. We cannot bear to have these power rations go on for too much longer. In the next few months, we will begin constructing the power plant, which should take two years to finish. In the meantime, we have implemented some short term solutions at the GeoThermal Plant in hopes of limiting the power rations as much as possible. Thank you and good day."
"...I hope you believe me when I say we have only the best interest of Dunya and its people at heart. We cannot bear to have these power rations go on for too much longer. In the next few months, we will begin constructing the power plant, which should take two years to finish. In the meantime, we have implemented some short term solutions at the GeoThermal Plant in hopes of limiting the power rations as much as possible. Thank you and good day."
"Well, that's gonna put a wrench into things," Hannah said to me as we exited the Royal Palace.
"No kidding," I said,"you'd think they would have seen this coming."
"Yeah, but the King was getting pretty ambitious with his airport and whatnot," she replied. "I think this will be good for him, in a way. He needs to give as much attention to the present as he gives to the future."
I called the house phone. My 11 year old daughter, Kendra, picked up.
"Hi Daddy! What's up?"
"How 'bout you and Tristan ride down to the seafood place by the Palace and we'll have lunch?"
"That'd be awesome! See you there!"
"Bye Kendra. Tell your brother to behave."
I could almost feel her rolling her eyes as I terminated the call. Her 9 year old brother was all but well mannered and they were both very good kids. I thanked whoever it was that controlled the universe every day for them.
Amidst the clinking of glasses and chatter of people at lunch hour, we sat down at a table. I had to break this to my kids:
"Kendra, Tristan, listen up."
"Sure, what's up?" said Tristan.
"King Ezamsi just some mandatory power rations upon Dunya. Basically, we're running out of electricity. That means we have to use less power in our house. Anybody have some ways we could do our part?"
"I will open the windows and use fans instead of running the air conditioner all day," said Hannah.
I nodded. It was gonna get a little warm in the house, but we'd save a ton of Kilowatt Hours.
"I will turn all the lights off when I'm not using them," suggested Tristan.
"I'll watch less TV!" said Kendra, excited to do her part.
"Great job everyone. I've been living here since the beginning and I know the King will be very happy to see our going green."
A waitress arrived with our food, and we dug in. Things we're going to be a bit different around Rawa'a. Hopefully the change would be for the better.
Nemanya: "So, do you think your plan will work? This corporation thing"
Adella: "I certainly hope so... I'm in huge trouble at work. The GT crises"
Nemanya: "But it isn't your fault, relax"
Adella: "Easy for you to say, your not the GT inspector. It was my responsibility. I should have warn the king myself. I'm affraid I'm gonna get sacked as well, that's why I'm interested in this corporation so much"
Nemanya: "Oh, common, you can't be for really. Forget about that corp for another year or two and help the king when he's in need. I'm sure he won't blame you, and if you put more effort in this organizing this new plant, you might even get promoted instead of sacked. Trust me..."
Adella: "I hope you are right"
"Oh, and one more thing. Talk to the Grovers, I want the eastern end of that land. I looked at the map, and we can extend Hansford Street all the way up to Kearson Drive. I believe its about 24 plots...its 12 plots long and 2 plots wide. We'll split the land into 600 square meter plots each. Get it done."
I exited the room and headed off to the porch. It was nearing the end of the day, and the sun would soon set over the ocean, and quite frankly, it was a magnificent sight. The power cuts had really taken a toll on us, and while we were frantically trying to finish the new power plant, it just seemed it was not moving fast enough. Some maintenance work on the GeoThermal plant had it running more efficiently, but there was no escaping the oversight: somehow, we had managed to screw it up. I had to make sure oversights like this did not happen again.
We still didnt have a buyer for the land on Main Street, and that had also begun to weigh down on my mind. They were valued at the official rate, but we had not received one offer yet. I did not need it for any government agenda - I already had set aside a land near Treelane High School and just north of the Central Mosque for that. What I wanted more than anything was for a private party to develop the land for some commercial activity. It seemed our demand far outweighed our supply, but we were not getting enough investors into the country. There had to be a solution for that, and in my mind, it was the airport. Ofcourse, that was on a standstill till we could get our new $4 million power plant rolling. We had done some preliminary work, but nothing major - flattening the land and laying down the framework for the runway. We still needed alot more work, however.
I was happy with one thing, though - the construction standard was high. The houses that were being built were of fine quality, both aesthetically and technically. Salford Construction and Clearview Properties were meeting our most rigid requirements and doing a fine job at that. The Treelane neighborhood - you could not even tell you were in the desert. We had done our best making sure trees were planted and greenery was abudant, and Rawa'a looked like a beautiful small town.
"And this here will be the main burner, your highness. Its not green, but we've kept up your strict standards, and we're doing the best we can to make sure it does not emit more than your permitted amount."
I nodded my headed and signalled for the team to keep walking. The power plant was coming along well, and it was on schedule. It about one year's time, we would have it up and running, and the power rations would officially be a thing of the past. I already had plans to disassemble the GeoThermal Plant and develop the land, but that would have to wait till after we got our other major project done - the Rawa'a International Airport.
I had passed by the airport site earlier before heading to the power plant, and I must say, I was impressed. Our engineers and architects had done well with the modest budget, but I did not want some run down terminal to greet our guests - it had to be something that was well designed. Right now, they had the runway paved, and they were working on the tarmac. The last thing would be the terminal building, but it would also be the one that required the most work.
It has been ten years! I remember how it all started - Rawa'a was nothing more than my palace and a few shacks for the laborers that worked on it and ended up staying. Now, the town was bustling with over seven thousand residents, and growing by the day. Projects were being implemented frequently, and someone who had visited it even five years ago would applaud the development. We had done a good job of keeping the town green and lush with trees, a nice contrast to the sweltering desert all around us. The architecture was very distinctive, no doubt influences by our western immigrants. The town looked great, if I could say so, myself.
It was not all pretty, however. We had faced a number of issues as it grew - most recently, an overcapacity power plant that forced us into introducing power rations of the country. The new power plant to the north of Rawa'a was a few months away from completion, and it had the power to keep atleast one hundred thousand people turned on. Next would be the airport - while the basics were almost done, we needed to start work on the terminal.
It was nice seeing residents invest in farming and fishing - we could have great potential in those fields if utilized properly. However, what was needed was the right government entity to be able to steer the investments in the right place, which sadly, we did not have. There was only so much we could do running the country out of my home office, which was why, pretty soon, we were going to start development on a new building that would be the base of the Dunyan government. It was about time, really, and I was surprised we had gone so long without it.
Overall, though, I must say I am pleased with the way things have been going. Our economy is tiny, yes, but it is growing at an impressive rate. Businesses have been opening at a faster rate now, which was good, given that the local demand was far higher than the supply. Sooner or later, it would even out, but for now, there was alot of opportunity to be had.
It had been ten years. Would you believe it? I took over the reigns of this country from my father, whose final act was to turn the island into an internationally recognized country before he sadly passed away. I was twenty-five years old at time - now, I was thirty-five and expecting my first born just a few months from now. I had led the Dunyan people out of their nomadic existence, forming Rawa'a from a tiny hamlet of a few shacks to the town it was today.
We had registered ten thousand residents a few months ago - now, by the final count, there was almost ten thousand and five hundred. Education was becoming the norm in Dunyan households, and the Treelane High School will soon be followed up by a university recognized now by the academic world. In the north, we were working on the aiport that was sure to open up Dunya to the world, and the new power plant was almost ready. The second phase of our initiative to hand over discounted land to farmers was a second, with no less than five farms and ranches opening up alongside Fairview Road to the northwest of the town.
The central business district of the town itself was becoming quite the sight - new buildings were popping up daily, as old residential houses were being bought out and new developments being constructed in their place. The old Bank of Dunya land - we sold that to an immigrant family from Saudi Arabia for four thousand dollars a plot; that is sixteen thousand dollars! They constructed a building named after their family name, the Jawad Building, and they've been doing fantastic.
All in all, I can honestly say that I am happy with the progress we've made. There have been some bumps along the road, but that was to be expected. The Dunyan people seem relatively happy, and it is my genuine concern to make sure they stay that way. Rawa'a is a full fledged town now - even Desert Town in the north has been reduced to nothing more than a few squatters here and there as we have created affordable housing in the Hansford neighborhood.
Recently, I had called for an exploratory team to see if we had any natural resources in Dunya. The company I hired are an American company, and it was just a basic exploration squad, nothing fancy. We cant afford anything major right now, but I do what to know what we have under our blessed ground.
The Update is being worked on! Im a few days late - just spending time with the wife - but I have all the pictures ready, just a matter of updated the Factbook and finishing up the story :)