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Table for Two

Odinson

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A last-minute encrypted phone call was made from the Lord Chamberlain of Norway's royal court, K.P. Norgard, to the Marshall of The Court of Sweden. The call was made at nearly 10:00PM on a Wednesday night.
"I'm sorry for the late hour of this call," she would explain at some point, "but His Majesty the King has decided that he will be travelling to Stockholm on Friday morning. He would like to make a brief press statement with King Carl Gustaf - the nature of which I was told to say will simply be a surprise. In my time of being Lord Chamberlain, King Oskar has never held any kind of formal press conference with any other head of state... I promise, it will be a pleasant surprise. After this brief meeting, His Majesty has requested that he and King Carl Gustaf be able to get lunch somewhere in Stockholm to discuss a few other private matters... Again, I'm sorry that this is on such short notice. We will assist in any way we can," she concluded her short rant. K.P. also gave details on how the King would be travelling to Stockholm, via his motorcade, and that they would be travelling with armed Royal Police and two armed King's Guard.

::::::::::

"Unit 1, Odin is on the move," said a Royal Police Officer as King Oskar walked by him. The King's motorcade, which included two limousines with bullet-proof windows, two SUVs filled with Royal Police and King's Guard, and finally two marked patrol cars of the Royal Police Escort, one in the front of the motorcade and one behind, as well as two marked motorcycle units of the Royal Police Escort on either end. One of the police officers opened a door to the King's limousine and allowed him to get inside. He thereafter closed the door, looked around one last time, and patted the top of the vehicle.
"Odin is secure," he snoted, "Sleipnir's rolling," he said, Sleipnir being the code-word for any vehicle the King was in.
The motorcade would take the most direct route to Stockholm. Shortly before it crossed the border at a predetermined spot, the Swedes would be informed, though this likely wasn't necessary as some preparation had gone into the visit. The Royal Police Escort would continue on with the motorcade, however they would allow Swedish police to begin blocking traffic at intersections and securing the road if they chose to do so. The motorcade continued on to the Swedish palace in Stockholm, and was running only a few minutes behind schedule.
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Connor

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Coincidentally Mats Nilsson, Marshall of the Court of Sweden, had been working late and upon the telephone ringing he would immediately answer in his standard almost call-centre style greeting "Good Evening, Marshall of the Court..." before recognising the voice at the other end of the telephone. The content of the telephone call amuses Mats as he expects the beginnings of which to have been a prank, especially this late in the night. "A press statement... what am I supposed to tell His Majesty?!" concerned about public humiliation Mats immediately begins making a scrawl of notes criss-crossing the pre-printed lines of the sheet of paper in front of him "I'm going to have to let the Security and Intelligence Community aware to have some form of regional suppose for your motorcade... and the press.. I need to make the press aware... and television... and food, where does he want food? Does he have allergies? What about parking?"... Panic, sheer and utter panic only minutes before Mats intended to go to bed. Now he has a whole host of things to sort out prior to the Norwegian kings arrival.

Within less than an hour Mats Nilsson had telephoned every media outlet and senior Swedish Security and Intelligence Community officer available to him to make the necessary preparations for a royal visit within Sweden. Mobilisation was rapid and armed Diplomatic Security personnel were deployed to the Royal Palace in Stockholm where media outlets had began setting up lights, cameras and barricades around the stairs at the rear of the Eastern Row, overlooking the water.

Amendments to His Majesty King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf's agenda for the following day were made through his sleep whilst they continued to set up the meeting. Where they would head for lunch was still to be arranged but Mats simply did not have the time or facilities to begin contacting restaurants nearby, not at this time in the night anyway.

The Norwegian's were directed by national police towards the centre of Stockholm and of course the Stockholm Palace.
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Odinson

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King Oskar was travelling in a modified limousine to account for his exceptional height. While en route to Stockholm, he continued to read a book on the Kalmar Union which he had been enjoying for a few days now. K.P. Norgard, the Lord Chamberlin, was of course travelling with the King as well. She was a former officer in the Royal Air Force and was still interested in the happenings of the armed forces. She was reading a weekly periodical published by the RAF while she sipped black coffee from a thermos. They could faintly hear the sirens from the Royal Police Escort as they sped down Norwegian and then Swedish highways. The security detail remained in constant secure communication with the Royal Palace in Oslo, as well as with the headquarters of the Royal Police Escort and the King's Guard. Representatives from Norway's largest newspaper, Aftenposten, as well as some other Norwegian news outlets requested permission from the Swedish government to be able to cover the press briefing.

King Oskar was not known for making constant press statements or making his voice known on policy initiatives. However, when he did address the press or the public, it was usually to make a clear point in a typically unconventional or notable way.

The motorcade was identifiable as Norwegian primarily due to the Royal Police Escort vehicles with flashing lights and sirens that were clearly labeled in Norwegian and had the emblem of King Oskar on them. Also, the two limousines in the motorcade had, on the front hood, two small flags: the King's royal standard on the left, and the state flag of Norway on the right. Previous arrangements were made with the Swedish Security Service and the Swedish Royal Guard so that King Oskar could depart from his limousine facing away from the public. Due to his height, it was a bit of an awkward affair for him to get in and out of vehicles.

The Royal Police Escort, who were dressed in dark suits and conservative ties, got out of the SUVs in the motorcade and made a small perimeter around the motorcade. Once they determined the area around the palace was secure, one of the officers opened the door to the limousine. King Oskar got out first - it took about a minute for him to exit the vehicle - followed by K.P. Details of what the King would be wearing - a black three-piece suit - was sent to the Royal Palace in advance so that one of them didn't out dress the other. Oskar's thick, snow-white hair was neatly combed and styled. As he walked towards the doors of the palace with his black cane, the 8-foot tall man briefly turned back towards the street and waved to the Swedish people if any curious onlookers had gathered outside. K.P. accompanied the King, as did two Royal Police officers.

The King's Guard, who were heavily armed, would remain inside one of the motorcade's SUVs. If Oskar was visiting any other country, at least two counter-assault teams would have been deployed to said country in advance and the motorcade would be full with a small army. Visiting Sweden, however, was like visiting your best friend at a neighboring farm. Trust in the Swedish government and their security services were high.

As Oskar stepped up to the palace, he checked his gold pocketwatch and smiled, "Only four minutes behind schedule!" the giant boomed to whomever was before him. He was in the hands of the Swedes and waited to be brought to King Carl Gustaf.
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Connor

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Without doubt the Swedish Government, given the necessary nudge by the Royal Court would permit the access of Norwegian media professionals in order to report on the arrival of the King of Norway and the upcoming speech. Given the notable and unprecedented attention of the Norwegian Royal Family within the Kingdom of Sweden the moment, despite causing an unbelievable amount of stress in the organisation of logistics and security, was one of historical value.

Upon the arrival of the Norwegian motorcade, His Majesty King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf would walk from the doors of the Stockholm Palace to greet Oskar. Carl, considerably shorter than Oskar, was wearing his military Swedish Royal Navy uniform tucking the head under his arm in a sign of respect to the Norwegian. A white sash complements his uniform which in itself is decorated with various medals and ceremonial broaches. The two Kings would be directed to the top of the staircase where various media outlets had left their microphones, turned off for the time being and controlled exclusively by staff of the Royal Court, Carl would immediately extend his hand in order to shake with the Norwegian King.

"What a pleasure it is to see you, this has certainly come out the blue!" Carl says, having to look up at the behemoth of a human.

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Odinson

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King Oskar, who had never physically looked up to anyone since he was in his 20s, smiled once he saw his friend. Before they would make the press statement, King Oskar asked for a few minutes to get changed in a private place, if possible. He wanted to wear his military attire as well, especially seeing as Carl was in his. "I was told not to wear it for the journey on the way here - last time I managed to smash one of the medals!" he noted. The Lord Chamberlain, K.P. Norgard, discretely brought the King's uniform and its adornments and ribbons into the palace in a large suitcase. King Oskar would briefly make use of some of the Swedish King's footmen as he changed into his military uniform.

He eventually exited out of the private chamber he was afforded to change in, and rejoined King Carl, and gave a strong handshake to his old friend. "It's a pleasure to see you as well. I know it's on such short notice, but it had to be now or this wouldn't be possible. I literally snatched something out of one of my minister's hands!" he said, booming with laughter again. Oskar slightly leaned on his wooden walking cane, which was nearly as tall as Carl.
"I'm looking forward to lunch after this, there's a couple things I can't wait to discuss with you," he said. "Thank you for having your people set all of this up."

If Carl was ready to meet the press, Oskar was as well. He would of course allow his friend to go first.
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Connor

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Carl winces as Oskar begins to laugh, thoughts of some form of Nordic ogre run through his head before reluctantly joining in the laughter "Politicians have no idea what they're doing most of the time anyway... I do sometimes reflect upon the times the kings of our nations would just..- behead people. I'm told that Mats has arranged a lovely restaurant for us to visit afterwards, I'm intrigued what brings you to Sweden... don't embarrass me will you" Carl laughs for a second time and without making eye contact a second time walks to the podium littered in media microphones, which would immediately be activated and a small red light built into the podium, unseen by the public, would indicate that they were active.

Almost like a light-switch Carl goes from his friendly tones to speaking before the masses as a leader... a king.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, member of the press, thank you for joining us this morning. After an extensive amount of planning I am very pleased to host the King of Norway, His Majesty King Oskar here in Sweden, reaffirming the undebated and unrivalled historical bond between our nations... For years now Sweden and Norway have worked arm in arm developing the Scandinavian region with initiatives such as the Nordic Council and projects in defence, infrastructure, trade and investment; the relationship between our countries is one of the most sought after on the globe. Please, join me in welcoming His Majesty King Oskar..."

Carl stands aside to allow the Norwegian mammoth to take the podium.

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Odinson

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Oskar had to use a walking cane due to injuries he incurred from World War Two and due to the medical condition that caused his giant height. Over the years, however, he learned how to walk gracefully with it. Incredibly, he'd managed to look more distinguished with it than without it. In public, Oskar's smile and jovial attitude was much more suppressed, though he was still known among the common people for being a friendly king. Oskar's formal uniform was adorned with medals from orders he was the Grand Master of, and from awards he had earned in the field of battle decades ago. A bright red sash was adorned across his chest, and on his collar were four stars on either side, indicating that he held the rank of full-General - the only officer in Norway to hold the supreme rank. He stepped up to the podium and adjusted some of the microphones before taking out his reading glasses. He unfolded a blank sheet of paper in front of him on the podium, and cleared his throat.

"Your Majesty, thank you for this opportunity... King Carl Gustaf is correct: Norway and Sweden are ancestral brothers, and the bond between our countries is stronger now than it has been in many, many years. I trust your King, and his government, as if they were my own. It wasn't until recently that Norway's armed forces were significantly under-equipped - I was told that some soldiers were not able to train with bullets, as it was too expensive. That was at a time as the world started to spark, and now we see it almost ablaze in Belgium, in Iraq, and major changes occurring in France and Eastern Europe. At this very moment, Norway is embroiled in a war on the side of other western states against the nation of Iraq...

"But what allowed us to become prepared for these uncertain times?... King Gustaf's government very generously lent 6-billion kroner to my government, to allow us to restore our armed forces in order to protect Norway. Half of this loan has been repaid, and today I am happy to announce that I have the other half..." Oskar looked up from the blank piece of paper before him. He reached into his inner-jacket pocket and pulled out a large, golden check. The check was made in a way that any sensitive information between the royal treasuries couldn't be revealed.

"King Gustaf, thank you and your Government for lending us a helping hand when we were in need. In Norway we have a saying which I imagine some of you may be familiar with... 'United and loyal until the mountains of Dovre crumble' - that is how I see our national friendship."

With that, Oskar folded the blank white piece of paper on the podium, and returned it to his jacket pocket. He walked the check over to King Gustaf and handed it to him as he offered his other hand to shake. "Don't spend it all at once," he joked as they smiled and looked at the cameras.

With that, King Oskar had nothing else to say, and since they were royalty they of course wouldn't be taking any questions. Oskar was ready to go out for lunch if King Gustaf was.
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Connor

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Carl's face lights up as the Norwegian king announces the repayment of the loan, whilst he was of course kept up to date in his weekly audience with the Prime Minister, this now-distant memory of the gesture of good will and friendship had drifted to the back of his mind - now formally in the public spotlight, he nods impressed by the courage of the Norwegian leader, not afraid of the views of the masses but much rather appearing to promote the strength of the Norwegian-Swedish alliance to the world. An unrivalled relationship.

A grin bestows the kings face as he happily poses for the worlds media holding the cheque with great prestige. He laughs glancing up to the Norwegian "how on Earth am I trusted with three billion dollars in my hand?"

Before long the staff of the Royal Court of Sweden usher the royals towards and awaiting Volvo 960 Executive limousine surrounded by Swedish Security and Intelligence Community Volvo S80 unmarked law enforcement vehicles, equipped with the appropriate armed officers supporting the motorcade through Stockholm - their trip would be short and suite, only to the other side of the river bank to Mathias Dahlgren at the Grand Hotel - fortunately the entire restaurant had been booked out for the royals to ensure their safety and security during their mean, the staff within the establishment had been briefed on the appropriate etiquette, primed and ready to serve.

Upon arrival they'd be guided inside and taken to a seat in the centre of the room, a subtle yet relaxing jazz is played across speakers within the restaurant. Allowing for some ambience.

"This is one of my favourite places to eat, it's just across the water from the palace yet the food is fantastic. It's great to have you in Sweden, you know me, I love the Norway-Sweden relationship..."

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Odinson

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"You and I have similar taste - I love eating on the water to. There's this great place in Oslo that the Prime Minister likes to take people," Oskar said as he sipped his water.
"Thank you again for hosting me on such short notice. There's some things I wanted to talk to you about more privately," he said. He'd wait to discuss this until they had ordered and were alone. When it came to food, Oskar was quite simple: he loved seafood. Because he was a larger-than-life individual, he normally asked for a double-portion, but he didn't want to give the wrong impression to his Swedish friend - "Men of excess usually aren't reliable," his father had told him long ago.

When some fresh bread was brought out for the two monarchs to enjoy, Oskar reached out and grabbed a piece. The Masonic cuff-link on his dress shirt was loose and allowed the cuff of his dress shirt to slide back. King Gustaf could briefly see the beginning of a series of numbers that had long ago been tattooed onto Oskar's upper-forearm. Oskar buttered his piece of bread and took a bite of it.

Before speaking, he made sure the two monarchs weren't being listened to by any staff. "We've had moderate success in the past on influencing policy... only when it was most important to do so," he said, before taking a sip of water. "I was thinking this may be one of those times... I was smoking a cigar with the Chief of Defense a few weeks ago, and we got to talking. Europe, and especially us in Northern Europe, are quite reliant on the United States's military prowess for protection. I think we need to be more proactive in planning for the defense of Scandinavia. With the loss of Denmark from the Nordic Council and as a regional actor, I think that the Nordic Council should be slightly more inclusive... It's neither you nor I's place to make such decisions, technically, but I think that it would be in our kingdoms' advantage for the Nordic Council to consider allowing Britain in as an Observer State or partial member, but then allowing them to be a full member in the Nordic Concordant. With their strong spirit of independence, and the Scandinavian-centric focus of the Nordic Council, I doubt that they'd want to be full-members anyway. I think I could pass the idea along in a Council-of-State meeting. What do you think?"
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Connor

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"I love this spot, there's a beautiful view of the palace and just quiet enough for me to enjoy my meal in peace. It's a pleasure to have you here Oskar, it's about time we spent some quality time together, sometimes business of the real world hazes our direction in life... we deserve time to ourselves too!" Carl takes a sip of his water before sliding the menu to the left hand side of the table, ordering a prime steak with all the juices. Carl also grabbed a piece of bread, beguinning to dash a small amount of butter across the cross-section before darting his gaze towards Oskar.

"I am glad you have mentioned this, I too have had concern regarding the political power being retained within Scandinavia, now more than ever we need to ensure that we keep our cards close to our chest. The Nordic Council is an icon on a global scale and I intend to keep it right at the forefront as an influential superpower... at least as far as my power stretches..." Carl coughs a small chunk of bread from his gullet and back into his mouth, a sip of water limits the amount he overtly coughs however none-the-less quite obviously nearly choked "Christ... that went the wrong way I think!... where was I... oh yes, I would be intrigued to see how Britain could fit into the Nordic Council, have they shown any indication of their willingness to become an Observer State? It wouldn't be too far of a stretch as historically they have played an integral role in the Nordic region."

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Odinson

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"I'm not personally aware if they are interested. The only meaningful international relationship the British appear to have is their alliance with the United States. When it comes to the rest of the world, they seem to be riding off of their prestige and that's about it. Norway and Sweden are stable states, we're democracies, and we have respectable armed forces for our size. I figure they may at least consider it if we offered it to them..." he noted. A few of the medals on his chest jingled as he swayed his arm over the table to grab a glass of wine and take a sip.

"Anyway, I'm sure we can plant the seed in our Prime Minister's minds when we get the chance, if you think that'd be something worth trying... There's also something else I wanted to talk to you about. This is something that would be more between us, between our royal family's at least..." he said, leaning in a bit closer to King Gustaf.
"My son and I have been working on establishing an Order... and Order for the royalty of the world, especially heads of state, to be a part of. The primary premise behind it would be a dinner once a year where the Kings and Queens of the world - and perhaps their heirs - travel to one place where we put on a massive feast. It would be just us royals. It would give us a place to catch up with each other, but maybe it could also serve as a diplomatic back channel for the more... sensitive events that our civilian diplomats can't always handle. This Order would of course be shrouded in mystery and would keep a very low public profile. I was wondering if you would be interested in being a charter member? Princess Victoria could be as well," he said.
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Connor

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"Hm, you are correct, how do you propose they're invited to the council? I suppose the Secretary General could just send them an invitation as an Observer State and the rest can be thrashed out in meetings once they're formally apart of the organisation?" Carl lean back in his chair, waiting patiently for the arrival of his food whilst listening carefully to Oskar.

"An order you say... is this like that third world order that all the kids talk about all the time?" he chuckles before continuing "I would love to be apart of an arrangement where a conglomerate of royals worldwide come together, we are after all the fathers to several successful governments if you really think about it... and some not so successful governments. I'd be intrigued to see how that would develop, Victoria and I would love to be a member, of course! You know what women are like, any opportunity to throw a gown and some lipstick on! Do you have a name for this order yet?"

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