September 2nd 2015
NEW CORVO, AREMIS, VEGA – Today concludes our three-part series focused on Aremis’ bid for recognition. Previous installments are available on the Aremis Post Archive.
The sun has yet to rise on New Corvo, but Gail Ouamouno is already hard at work. She runs her Constellation through a routine maintenance checklist in preparation for a busy week. Ouamouno, a local freelance pilot, has been hired to fly a team of UEE Senatorial envoys around the planet for the next week. With multiple stops on the agenda for each day, Ouamouno comes off as both excited and anxious about her role in the planet’s pursuit of recognition. “I’ve gone over every detail for this week about a dozen times just so I can anticipate any and all issues,” said Ouamouno. “At this point, the only thing out of my hands is whether or not we’ll have clear skies.”
Five years after starting the process, Aremis is on the verge of receiving official recognition in the UEE Senate. Most Aremis residents welcome the opportunity for representation in the Senate and, in general, a more prominent role in UEE affairs, though some argue the payoff is too small compared to the price paid in increased regulations.
Governors Council member Derwin Paek strongly believes that UEE recognition is essential for Aremis’ future. “Being in a border system makes it vitally important for us to have a say in the Empire’s security,” said Paek. “We are on the front line of the Vanduul conflict, yet have no influence over the UEE policies that protect us.”
Before Aremis can receive recognition, it must adhere to a long list of standards set forth by the UEE. Over the last few years, the planet has worked hard to reach those benchmarks. They included restructuring of municipality boundaries, increased environmental regulation, and an official audit of the Governors Council financial records, which led to last year’s emergency budget changes.
“I believe it’s a good thing that the standards are set so high,” said Derwin Paek. “Aremis is a stronger planet because of this process. It has inspired and motivated people to pull together to make this a better place to live.”
Critics of recognition argue that the UEE is being too invasive and that the mandated changes are draining Aremis of its identity. Local entrepreneur Conrad Gordon believes the detractors are failing to see the bigger picture. “Full integration into the UEE won’t cost us our souls. Sure, it may mean there are a few more Casaba Outlets around, but that doesn’t scare me. I see it more as an opportunity to bring Aremis to the rest of the Empire.”
Gordon’s store Aremis Xpression specializes in selling clothes made by local fashion designers. It is also a stop for the UEE’s Senatorial delegation later this week, one that is meant to highlight the strength of local businesses. In preparation, Gordon is putting the finishing touches on a new store layout. “I’ve paid out a lot of overtime to get it done on schedule, but you’ve got to spend money to make money. This is such a great opportunity to show the esteemed members of the Senatorial delegation exactly what Aremis culture and style is all about. Wouldn’t be surprised if we saw people wearing a Corvo wamus in Sol next fall.”
While on Aremis, the Senate’s envoys will be concerned with more than life in New Corvo. Deep in the countryside, Hamid Schroeder walks to the top of a small hill overlooking his land located in the northern groves just west of the Plantock River. This is the spot to which he plans on bringing the Senate envoys when they visit. The owner of Schroeder and Sons Farm smiles and takes in the view. “This land has been in my family for almost 300 years. Never imagined there would be a day where every last bit of it could be used for farming, but that’s looking like more and more of a possibility.”
Aremis’ recent population boom and trendsetting culinary science scene has motivated farmers to develop more of their land to meet both the local and interstellar demand for their products. This trend, Schroeder says, can also be attributed to the recognition process. “Everything started to change once officials focused on reducing the crime rate. Once we got a handle on that, people felt safe about moving here and bringing their families.”
Aremis’ population boom may just be beginning. According to some estimates, the population could swell by twenty percent within a decade if the planet receives UEE recognition. More mouths to feed means Aremis must be in a position to continue increasing food production. Senate envoys will be visiting Schroeder and Sons Farm to see exactly how Aremis plans on meeting that demand.
“Things are different around here,” said Schroeder. “Most of the farms are family-run instead of being big, corporate operations. Guess there was some concern ‘bout us being able to keep up, but I’m happy to help put those worries to rest. On land this good, there’s plenty more growing to be done.”
Back in New Corvo, the UEE envoys have arrived. Gail Ouamouno sparks the engines of her ship as the delegation climbs aboard for a sunset tour. According to Ouamouno, “It wasn’t something on the original agenda, but I offered it to them as a complimentary service and they jumped at the chance to go.”
As she slowly circles the city, Ouamouno plays tour guide. She points out landmarks and areas of the city that the envoys will be visiting later this week. It is impossible for her to hide her love for the planet. With a smile stretched across her face, Ouamouno tells the envoys, “Planets like this are few and far between. Hopefully, I can help convince you just how wonderful it is.”
Following the brief initial tour, Ouamouno asks the envoys about Aremis’ chances to receive recognition. The delegation only smiles in response. Officially, they are not allowed to comment on the process. They do, however, feel free to debate what trendy restaurant to eat at that night. Even though they have just arrived, it is obvious that Aremis’ appeals have already gotten to them. A hopeful sign for Aremis residents who support recognition.