Between the Devil and Three Seas

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Trivodnia, Feb 25, 2018.

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  1. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    "Of course I understand, Matthias, that Eiffelland must remain committed to a public stance that the matter is an internal affair of the fucking north pole. But there are ways. Convince His Majesty to say 'tut tut.' Get Gøternhaven on the phone and bluff. Find some microbes and slap some sanitary regulations on their exports."

    Robert sighed deeply.

    "What I really want is Eiffelland to admit only that this is an issue of sovereignty, international law, and northern security, not to mention civil war in a volatile region, and to step in as a mediator, and strongly urge all parties to closed-door talks to resolve the dispute. You appear only as peacemakers, and at the negotiating table Steve Larkin gets to pressure for a wee little compromise that helps Clan Gunn save face, and solves my angry boys problem. I need great power involvement, and it would be awkward to go to Ivar."
     
  2. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    "OK. What I can do, is proposing a meeting between Queen Nadia from Jydermark-Østveg, representatives of the Government of Jydermark-Østveg and repesentatives of Clan Gunn. I will also put some pressure on Jydermark-Østveg to attend that meeting. But if the outcome of that meeting is indeed an arranged marriage between a five-year old boy and Princess Rikke, that outcome will not be officially announced. Then you will have the two love-birds photographed with each other in fifteen years as if they are really a love couple. In any case I prefer a solution in which Queen Nadia and Princess Rikke simply step aside. What could help if offering them an amount of money," Von Seydewitz said.
     
  3. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    "I think Rikke has a younger sister, but twenty-first century solutions are as welcome as nineteenth century ones. Any solutions. I'm just a sensitive twenty-first century man in a tight spot."

    Robert smiled. Sometimes the Eiffellandians needed to be prodded to play the great game old-style, but for all their modern liberal civilization, they knew what needed to be done in politics. A good Machiavellian, von Seydewitz was. Maybe someday we won't have to work with these guys, and we'll get to send them to the inquisition and burn them at the stake, said Robert, thinking fondly about the absolute prince whom the Church had failed to ellect -- Cardinal Taft. Also the Eiffellandians fault, it's rumored. The rictus smile that masked the forbidden thoughts melted away.

    "Now I need to stop drinking whisky and smoke this pipe."
     
  4. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    "I'm awfully sorry, Professor Gunn, but there is a smoking ban in pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants and hotels in this country. We will have to go outside if you want to smoke," Von Seydewitz said. "Anyway, I will do my best for you."
     
  5. Trivodnia

    Trivodnia Well-Known Member

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    Zhanna Khalinkina hid behind the curtains, casting a careful eye on the swarm of cameramen and journalists that had gathered below outside her office. News had broke that the young female assembly member's ambitious bid for a party leadership contest had failed, with the Krasnislavian National Party's executive committee - what remained of it anyway - voting against her proposals for an internal election. Zhanna was sure Uladzimir Sannikov, the current KNP leader, had got to them despite being in prison. Whether it was bribery or intimidation that has secured their backing she was less certain of.

    Sannikov's cronies had made clear to her however she was no longer welcome in the KNP, with the party chief's loyalists asking if Zhanna would do the "honourable" thing and resign. A few even went as far to openly call her a "traitor" or "saboteur". Zhanna had faced harsh words from her colleagues before, denounced as a "baby killer" for her pro-abortion stance and "harlot" for her relaxed views on divorce. But to have her loyalty to her homeland and party called into question was on another level entirely.
     
  6. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Trier, Eiffelland

    The ASdS, the anti-terror unit of the Staatsschutz, had a special role. It was not just an anti-terror unit. It also conducted espionage activities, among others infiltration into terrorist or criminal groups. Part of the education of ASdS members was an academic training in psychology, criminology and politicology.
    It was this unit that got the order to act in the case that the Trivodnian government would stick to its initial decision to not extradite Duncan MacLeish. Foreseen with diplomatic passports, one team of ten people was sent to Trivodnia and one team of ten people was sent to Engellex. The order was not to capture MacLeish, but to kill him, preferably in such a way that it looked like an accident. If that was not possible, the ASdS agents had to make sure that it looked like a reckoning between criminal gangs (either from Trivodnia, or from Engellex); in that case, each suggestion that a Gunnish clan could have been involved in this had to be avoided (Gunnland plunging itself into a new clan war was in nobody's interest).
    The teams would try to get weapons on the black market in the respective countries where they would have to operate. In that way, the weapons could not be traced back to Eiffelland.

    The Kadikistani smuggled complete army units through Gunnland and Elben to Crotobaltislavonia; well, we can play that game as well, Von Seydewitz thought.
     
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  7. Trivodnia

    Trivodnia Well-Known Member

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    "The Eiffelanders have made clear they will not tolerate Duncan MacLeish seeking sanctuary here. But should we prove cooperative, they are willing to offer us the latest air defence systems - all the more pertinent given the news from Crotobaltislavonia."

    Chancellor Alexander Kahnemann listened silently as the young aide - an anonymous junior staffer on the President's team who had heard or seen more than he should have - explained the current state of play. The Presidency had taken direct control of negotiations with Trier, with Meier Lauterpacht unwilling to relinquish the role of chief diplomat that he earlier taken up during the Christmas Crisis.

    As a result foreign policy was now a battleground between the Chancellor, President and External Affairs minister Vladimir Pinski, with the military and Free State Intelligence Bureau also jostling for influence. Kahnemann favoured a more hawkish approach, boosting defence spending and adopt a more aggressive tone with Kadikistan, Crotobaltislavonia and Gunnland. Lauterpacht on the other hand was desperate to maintain his legacy as a peacemaker while Pinski would back anything that would put him in a good place to be the next leader of the Social Democrats. The armed forces unsurprisingly wanted more money, but nothing that would lead to an actual conflict, while the spies argued they were best suited to further Trivodnia's interests through (expensive) covert action. The mess meant the Free State was now doing little beyond the odd cautious public statement.

    "Thank you Dmitry," Kahnemann soon dismissed the presidential aide, who was risking his career leaking this information, with characteristic haughtiness.

    Lauterpacht, aware of the MacLeish clan's longstanding generosity towards Trivodnia, had promised chieftain Duncan a safe haven in the Free State so long as he wished, even providing armed protection from the National Watch. But the villa on the Polesian coastline was as much a trap as a refuge. If Eiffelland offered the right price, or made the right threat, the Gunnish clan chief - and known smuggler - would soon find himself cuffed, hooded and on the next flight to Eiffelland.

    For Kahnemann, some shiny brand new anti aircraft missiles in exchange for a known criminal and Zionist trouble maker seemed a decent deal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  8. Kadikistan

    Kadikistan Well-Known Member

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    Relations between the Kadikistani Union on the one hand and various Slavic ethnicities in equally various countries on the other wasn't something new. Kadikistan has always considered itself as the heir of the Greater Slavian Empire and the strong Pan-Slavic sentiment that came with that inheritance. After 1907 the Marxists did a number of theoretical gymnastics to formulate and define what they claimed was a 'Socialist Slavian Identity'. The latter being something that allegedly united the Slavs of the world regardless of their national flag and with the common goal of working class and ethnic emancipation. Under Nikolai Leninov the concept lost some of its popularity as 'radical internationalism', how the highly aggressive interventionist foreign policy of the 1950s was called in Kadikistan, placed the fate of the international working class above that of the ethnically confined Slavic proletariat. After the death of Nikolai Leninov and the conspiracy of the National Committee for Justice and the Rejuvenation of Socialism the Socialist Slavian Identity gained prominence once more, but this time more from a pragmatic point of view. Kadikistan had always linked what it deemed its 'periphery' or 'sphere of influence' to both their immediate neighbours and all countries which, at least partly, belonged to the Greater Slavian Empire. The pragmatic National Committee sought to exploit the old theory to assist in maintaining Ivar's influence over its direct neighbours or preferably even enlarge it.

    The National Committee did alter the Socialist Slavian Identity significantly compared to their Rurikist predecessors. While the old policy, especially under sectarian anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninovist rule, greatly emphasized the role of socialism, the reformists took another approach. Regardless of the anti-revisionist pressure the National Committee sought not only to infiltrate and hijack existing socialist or communist parties and turn them into Marxist-Leninovist puppets or in the worst case scenario create their own from a handful of local pariahs, the latter had transpired in Trivodnia, but also gain influence in non-socialist movements that could be manipulated in serving the Kadikistani geopolitical agenda. The Krasnislavian National Party was such an example. Ever since its existence the KNP had been known for its anti-communist ideology and protested fiercely against Kadikistani influence over Trivodnia. Previous efforts to gain a foothold in the KNP had failed as the latter even went as far as claiming that Kadikophilia or even remote sentiment was equal to treason. The federalisation of Kadikistan, pushed through by the reformists and the regionalist faction of the KCWP, changed this as Kadikistan created the autonomous Socialist Republic of Krasnislavia. The ruling social-democrats in Amstov witnessed as the semi-independence of the Kadikistani Krasnislavians steadily gained popularity among their own Slavic populace, increasing their calls for more autonomy or even independence.

    Besides geopolitics there was another reason the Kadikistani regime wanted to get more involved in Trivodnian Krasnislavia. The Christmas Coup had left a scar, mainly because Trivodnia, unlike most other parties involved, had gotten out of it without a scratch despite being the instigator of the conflict. It was known that the Kadikistani Union was not very forgiving and that they would hold on to grudges stemming back from the Stone Age. With the increase of Kadikistani sentiment at the base of the KNP, it was only a matter of convincing some of the leading party cadres to adopt the Socialist One Krasnislavia Policy. To aid in this quest was the People's Directorate of Intelligence (PDI), a foreign operating intelligence agency under direct control of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Union Kadikistani Communist Workers' Party with no official links to the Kadikistani State, though highly linked indirectly through the Party. Moladzcheyna was home to what was called the 'Krasnislavian Affiliate' operating under the wings of the PDI. The Affiliate was commanded by the specially assigned Major Serg Gurchev, a long-time loyal servant of the A-UKCWP, whom held the command over six highly trained intelligence agents with each a few dozen paid or non-paid informants and thugs at their disposal. Their job was to gain contact with KNP cadres that with known sentiment for the Kadikistani Union. They would do this in the utmost secrecy in a attempt to keep the Kadikistani infiltration of the KNP a secret even to themselves. The Krasnislavians who were approached were heavily monitored beforehand and carefully selected after a thorough investigation.

    Mikhail Asurov was one of the PDI agents under Gurchev and looked like a healthy man in his early thirties. Asurov was born in Trivodnian Krasnislavia, but his parents were forced to flee to Kadikistan when their membership of the illegal Kadikistani affiliate, the Krasnislavian Communist Workers' Party, was revealed by a vengeful neighbour. For this Asurov always kept a grudge for the Trivodnian Krasnislavians, but raised by fanatic Marxist-Leninovists he was taught that his duty to the Party went above all else. To do so he would show the grace of a gentlemen when dealing with the sympathetic lower- and medium-level KNP leaders. First order of business was establishing a foothold in the KNP ranks. To do this Asurov had arranged a meeting through some of his informants at an affiliate local pub in the rural city of Moladzcheyna. Asurov took the liberty of ordering a shot of vodka for him and his guest as he waited for their arrival in the dusty and poorly lit pub.
     
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  9. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    The Eiffellandian ASdS team had settled itself in Trivodnia, in a town near Villa Atil, the villa where Duncan MacLeish was residing. Officially, they were businessmen from an Eiffellandian construction company, and they were in Trivodnia to oversee construction works carried out by Trivodnian subcontractors of the Eiffellandian construction company. But they were mainly observing Villa Atil to find out a pattern in MacLeish's activities. They were also checking out the people working for MacLeish and guarding him.
    Plan A was still setting up an accident. Raiding the villa would only be done when no other plan was workable, but 10 people would not be enough to carry that out, and casualties among Trivodnian safety people was something the team wanted to avoid.
    While making plans, the men were philosophising about the presence or absence of a human fish tank in Villa Atil. "Well, if there would actually be one, we could make sure that MacLeish drowns in it," one of the men said.
    "I think a swimming pool is enough for that. Or even the Polesian Sea. We could surprise him if he is going for a walk along the sea side," another man said.
    "By the way, there is a story about a Bergenheimer raid along the Polesian Sea coast. The First Fist herself seemed to have participated in that raid," a third man said. [1]
    "The first fist herself? My goodness, that is a kind of a lady," a fourth man said. "But apparently that raid didn't take place in this neighbourhood. No signs of a recent fight here, and this part of the coast is still full of all kinds of criminals. How successful was that raid?"
    "We heard nothing about that, only that the raid had taken place," the third man said. "But if that lady is such a tough girl, maybe we could ask her to assist us if we have no other option than to raid the villa."
    "First let's see if we can solve this in a different way," the team leader said. "What have we seen thus far?"

    OOC: Notes:
    [1] See http://www.europe-game.eu/index.php?threads/generals-governments-and-the-god-awful.12777/, the first four posts.
     
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  10. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    He was running out of options. And not just in baccarat. The men were sitting around a chesty girl that was dealing. They were bored with betting on Robin and the scantily clad women who were running in a kind of obstacle course on the ground level. There was no human fish tank, but the atmosphere was not much less Sardanapalian.

    It was not clear if the Trivodnians outside the fence were his protectors or jailers. The Homeland Union was not politically powerful enough, clearly, to make his exile comfortable. If they weren't double-crossing him. Certainly the Trivodnians were hounding the MacLeishes' efforts to bring armed men to the Polesian compound. The Kretyn heavies reported interference at every turn. Duncan was a sitting duck with six bodyguards. Moving the company headquarters to Hammersmith was now out of the question, since the Engellexians abruptly closed dozens of embassies and implemented a travel ban. The Eiffellandian efforts to seize his assets had been unusually thorough. And no news from his brothers rotting in imperial prison.

    Duncan held his head in his hands, his elbows on the green felt table. The sharks smelled blood in the water for some reason. The shareholders had called to report that Mark Buchanan Smith had been given day-to-day control of Lloyd & MacLeish General Maritime. Then Harlan Keith had called to complain that the Buchanan might succeed him as MacLeish chief. Would the Keiths have to stand alone against the Gunns? The call turned out to be a lifeline for the nervous chief, a way for Duncan to live another day. The Keiths would smuggle Duncan over the Elben border, back into Keith territory in Gunnland, where they could gather what was left of the prominent MacLeish families, and make plans with the Keiths for a long-term resistance. The plan was to stuff him into a trunk under the cover of darkness in two nights' time, and drive north.
     
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  11. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Near Villa Atil

    The ASdS had rejected the plan to raid the villa. It would become a too bloody affair, and potentially lead to a crisis with the Trivodnian Government. But they still wanted to capture MacLeish, and kill him. The team sent to Engellex had been expelled from the country after the Engellexian Government decided to close the border. Now that team was sent to Trivodnia as well.
    Meanwhile, the Eiffellandian team had arranged a couple of SUVs. They were considered the perfect cars for the current situation: Powerful, capable to withstand the rather bad Trivodnian roads and able to reach a high speed when the roads were good. The only problem would be the petrol, but that had been arranged as well.
    The ASdS had rented the villa next to Villa Atil. From there, it was possible to constantly survey what happened around Villa Atil, and to have one sniper check the front and another sniper check the back. The possibility that MacLeish would be smuggled out of the villa was taken into account. Therefore, a car was kept ready to start a pursuit, and there were two snipers checking the front; one to shoot MacLeish when the situation was good, the other to shoot a sender at the car with which MacLeish would flee.
     
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  12. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    There was a boat. And there were conversations on the verandah facing the sea, in normal tones of voice, about an escape across the Polesian. The still waters easily amplified these to the Eiffellandian and Trivodnian listening posts. Nor did they encrypt e-mails with corrupt Crotobaltislavonian officials about passports and papers. Misinformation went out to the MacLeish safehouses in Kretyn to expect the MacLeish immediately. (I have no brothers left to trust, thought Duncan wistfully.) Even "the girls" were given false information, including long-time companions of Duncan's, like Robin.

    It was confident in these preparations that Duncan swung his legs into the spacious trunk of the black Raimer R800. Dawn would not break over Amstov for another five hours. By the time the sun rose, he hoped to be at the Elben border, or close.

    In some ways, it had been a mighty fall for Duncan MacLeish, and he was still trying to piece it together. This time last year, he was a successful businessman, jet-setting around Europe, living with his famous extravagance (and turpitude), and even a respectable philanthropist, financing Gunnish liberals and the Gunnish women's swimming team. It was the drugs at first. The Empire nabbed his brothers and prosecuted them with a surprising vehemence. Then the Eiffellandians. This made even Trivodnia unsafe, clearly. Then Engellex shut the door. If Windhaven was egging Trier and Propontis on, it was doing so quietly.

    But all was not lost -- just the company, the international real estate, the foreign friends, and his cosmopolitan lifestyle -- Duncan was still chief of Clan MacLeish, with billions tucked away in secret Ayr bank accounts. He was going back to a simple life, to the clan wars, to resisting the most powerful and unified Gunn-backed government in seventy years, and to the first goal of his life: reclaiming the isles, and restoring the MacLeishes to their rightful place as Lord of the Isles.

    As the trunk closed on him, he dreamed of Mar and Oa in the darkness of the Raimer's trunk.
     
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  13. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    “I don’t know what to believe, to be honest,” Johannes Wolff, leader of the ASdS group, said. “On the one hand this boat, those conversations and those e-mails. But Crotobaltislavonia is in the middle of a revolution now, although somebody on the run could easily disappear in the chaos of a revolution and suddenly show up somewhere else. On the other hand, we have those messages to those addresses in Kretyn, and to all the fishes out of MacLeish’s fish tank. What bugs me, is the fact that those communications were so easy to catch. Why are they pointing so clearly at the boat on that terrace? In any case, something is going to happen, and it is going to happen soon. We have to take both an escape over water and an escape over land into account.”
    Then his walkie-talkie came to life. “A black R800 just arrived at the villa.”
    “An R800?” Wolff asked.
    “Let’s think this over. The reason why we took a couple of SUVs is that they are powerful and capable to stand the Trivodnian roads. This is also the case with an R800. That car can reach high speeds, like our SUVs. We can never be sure, but it could be the escape car,” one of the other agents said.
    “Indeed. We can never be sure, but let’s presume that it is the escape car. Fire the sender as soon as the car rides,” Wolff said. “Team blue, make yourself ready for a chase.” Team blue was the team currently waiting in the SUV to chase the car with which MacLeish woud flee.

    As soon as the Raimer R800 started to ride away, the sniper shot the sender to it. Inside the car, only a tick as if a stone hit the car could be heard. Team Blue started to chase the black Raimer.
     
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  14. Trivodnia

    Trivodnia Well-Known Member

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    Moladzcheyna was both a depressing and depressed place. The small city was too far inland to benefit from the Inner Sea's natural resources or cross-border trade with Elben and Kadikistan. Some light industry existed in the form of textile factories and food processing plants, but for the majority of Moladzcheyna's inhabitants work was hard to come by and often poorly paid when it did.

    Most of the city's residents lived in the ugly, soulless public housing estates that were built quickly and cheaply in the decades after Trivodnia's independence, and now sat in a state of disrepair, with neither the local authorities or central government wanting to take on the burden of maintaining them. As a result, many are and slept in crumbling, overcrowded flats with erratic water and energy supplies. Crime was rife, with gangs peddling drugs, guns and prostitutes ruling over the ghettoes with an iron fist.

    Given their bleak surroundings, it was unsurpring voters in Moladzchenya opted for the Krasnislavian National Party with its promise of salvation through independence. The KNP's threat of unilateral secession and continuing boycott of the National Assembly had played well locally, with the Social Democratic Alliance having failed to deliver the new jobs or additional infrastructure they had repeatedly pledged.

    Locked out of the political system by their own will, the KNP was now facing tough choices. With the party leadership imprisoned, rival factions were jostling for greater influence. There were even rumours Zhanna Khalinkina, the firebrand progressive who had not been seen since her failed bid for internal elections, was discussing forming a more moderate nationalist movement with like-minded Krasnislavian Social Democrats.

    A bigger issue was financing. With its senior staff in jail, and KNP assembly members refusing to take their seats, the party was now deprived of crucial state funding. Donations from registered supporters and sympathetic Krasnislavians abroad would only go so far.

    Amidst the chaos, Kadikistan, former oppressors of the Krasnislavian people, had emerged as an unlikely saviour. The communist empire's embrace of ethnic federalism, including giving Kadikistani Krasnislavians their own autonomous republic, had forced a rethink of many Trivodnian Krasnislavians' attitudes towards the Free State's biggest neighbour and frequent nemesis. Growing suspicion around the motives of Trivodnia's Jewish community - increasingly dominant at the top of politics after Chancellor Alexander Kahnemann agreed a deal with the Jewish Peoples Party - had also caused a shift in opinion.

    Yet the KNP knew assistance from Ivar would come with strings attached. Any independent united Greater Krasnislavia backed by Kadikistan would likely have to be firmly in the Red sphere. Yet openly embracing Leninovism would be a death knell electorally, giving the deep anti-communism of the Trivodnian public and repressive approach of the Free State Intelligence Bureau.

    However elements of the KNP felt a divided Trivodnia would be a big enough incentive for Kadikistan to support Krasnislavian separatism, even if the breakaway statelet was not officially socialist.

    So a meeting with the Kadikistani People's Directorate of Intelligence was arranged. It was a torturous affair for all involved, driven by paranoia from all sides of being discovered by the FSIB. But a dingy bar with Moladzcheyna was eventually deemed a suitably covert location to meet. Zmitser Pasniak, head of the KNP International Solidarity Committee, was chosen to meet the Kadikistani agent, Mikhail Asurov.

    Pasniak had come with set red lines, and if Kadikistan refused to respect them then negotiations would be cut off. A true Krasnislavian patriot could not swap one master for another.

    Besides, there was also the growing Krasnislavian irredentism in Elben the KNP could always try and tap into as well.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
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  15. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Everybody in Team Blue had left their mobile phones at the house near Villa Atil. Only the leader of Team Blue carried a mobile phone. It was a prepaid model with the battery taken out. When he would need to communicate with “Headquarters”, he used the military sender he carried with him. It was a sender that could compress a spoken message to a very short radio signal. A five minutes message was reduced to a radio signal of tenths of seconds, which was impossible for the Trivodnians to detect; it would simply be considered a sputter from the cosmic background radiation. The prepaid mobile phone was a backup; it would be used for calling a garage when the car broke down, for instance.

    Companies from Pelasgia, Nichtstein and Eiffelland were doing their best to improve the roads in Trivdonia. At some places, that work had already been done. It was at the new road tracks that the Raimer R800 could gain some distance to the Raimer Pamir SUVs the ASdS was using. That did not help the MacLeish, however. Maybe the distance became longer, but Team Blue, driving in two SUVs, knew exactly where the Raimer with Duncan MacLeish was and how to get there. As soon as the R800 reached a part of the motorway that had not been improved yet, it had to slow down to spare the tyres and the suspensions. On those tracks, the SUVs of the ASdS could come closer.

    It was at such a bad track that one of the SUVs managed to pass the R800. Time after time, the driver of the R800 managed to close each and every hole around the car so that the ASdS couldn’t pass. One of the ASdS drivers said about it: “My goodness, that man is a Formula 1 driver.” But at a certain moment, one of the SUVs passed the R800. It immediately bumped into the rear wing of the car. The R800 is a rear-wheel drive, and such a bump in the rear wing would definitely make it spin.
     
  16. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    What the ASdS agents expected after the bump into the rear wing of the R800, happened. The car started to spin. As a result of the bad road surface, two of the tyres ruptured. The R800 almost rolled over, but in the end it still stood on its wheels. The ASdS agents immediately opened fire to knock out the people in the passenger compartment. Of course MacLeish's men shot back, killing one of the eight ASdS agents.
    After the gunfight was over, the ASdS agents took blood and DNA samples of all the people in the passenger compartment. They wanted to know the identities of the men. Two of the agents went to the trunk of the car. They shot it open, but didn't see MacLeish. "Take the inner covering of the trunk out; you will definitely find a hidden compartment," the leader of the group said. And indeed, there was a hidden compartment.
    "Well well, here he is. That must have been a bumpy ride, Mr. MacLeish," one of the agents said.
    "So, what's next? Are you going to ship me to Eiffelland and cause an international scandal?" MacLeish asked.
    "Not at all," the leader of the group said. Then he fired a shot through MacLeish's head. Somebody else took blood and DNA samples. MacLeish was put back into the trunk of the car. The agents placed explosives in the R800 in such a way that it would be shattered to pieces upon the detonation. A minute after they left, the car exploded.
     
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  17. Kadikistan

    Kadikistan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,499
    Location:
    Belgium
    Capital:
    Ivar
    Nick:
    Spelev
    Moladzcheyna
    Krasnislavia
    Trivodnia

    Although Mikhail Asurov was still relatively young he showed no nervousness when the Krasnislavian head of the KNP International Solidarity Committee walked into the shady bar. Kadikistani's, especially the men, were culturally raised not to show too much emotions. Neither friend nor foe would describe Kadikistani's as a warm or friendly people, but despite their 'cold' appearance they were all still human beings. Asurov knew the importance of his task and even more so the eventual consequences should he fail to deliver. The latter being the main source of stress, but that's what the vodka was for, not too much so he wouldn't come over as an irrational or irresponsible, but just enough to take the edge off and boost his internal confidence. The vodka, more specifically the one he had made ready for when his guest would arrive, also had a pragmatic reasoning behind it. It was a popular belief in Kadikistan that the way a man would drink said a lot about his character. Pouring the vodka down in one go were marks of confidence, decisiveness and strength while sipping it would indicate the opposite. The worst thing Zmitser Pasniak could do was deny the drink as refusing to accept a gift was considered a grave insult to your host, the latter in turn culturally obligated to offer his guest with a gift. There was no excuse for refusing the offer except for deadly allergies, not even if Pasniak was a recovering alcoholic or simply preferred not to drink. Another reason Asurov, like many Kadikistani diplomats before him, chose for the vodka was in hopes of having Pasniak let his guard down. The effect of this would depend on how well Pasniak would take the drink, which according to Kadikistani's also allowed for another peek inside a persons character.

    The PDI agent would take the lead in the talks, carefully searching for the boundaries of Pasniak's red lines. He was instructed to find support for the Socialist One Krasnislavia Policy, but allowed to settle for less if the situation required it. All he needed to do was not return home empty handed. "Mister Pasniak, I presume?", Asurov said welcomingly while rising from his chair and extending his hand to his Krasnislavian counterpart. "The Union sincerely thanks you for agreeing to this meeting. A historic meeting, if you don't mind me being somewhat romantic, as it is the first time both our parties have engaged in private talks." Asurov took a couple of seconds by lighting a cigarette, calming down internally and carefully monitoring what Pasniak would do with the shot of vodka in front of him. "But rest assure, I will not keep you here longer than is needed. We are well-aware of the risk you have taken to be here." Asurov folded his hands together on the scratched wooden table and slightly leaned forward. "The fact that you are here illustrates that at least a fraction of your Party is interested with closer cooperation. We are glad that after so many years of hatred between brothers and sisters we can finally see eye-to-eye. We share the dream of a united Krasnislavia, abolishing the current borders that carve up the nation amongst Elben, Trivodnia and Kadikistan. But allow me to be blunt by saying that our vision is inherently socialist in nature."

    After the purposely leaked rumours that another 'Great Compromise' was in the making in Kadikistan, which was said to include a return of the Socialist One Krasnislavia Policy to appease the ideological hard-liners in exchange for a national flag change, became world news it was clear to both men how far Kadikistan was willing to go to gain a foothold in their troublesome neighbour.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  18. Trivodnia

    Trivodnia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,575
    Capital:
    Amstov
    Nick:
    Norse
    Moladzcheyna
    Krasnislavia
    Trivodnia

    Zmitser tried not to wretch as he swallowed the vodka. The clear liquid immediately dried out his mouth, before creeping down his throat, leaving a slight burning sensation before finally reaching the top of his stomach, where it rested uneasily on top of his lunch.

    "Pryvitańnie Pan Asurov!" The head of the Krasnislavian National Party welcomed his Kadikistani guest with a weak smile as he tried hard to suppress a cough. The ageing politician had become far too used to the finer spirits they served in the bars of Amstov.

    Luckily for Zmitser, Mikhail wasted no time launching into his sales pitch, allowing a few moments for recovery. It was as expected: being overly grateful for the meeting; the usual paeans to Krasnislavian brotherhood and the inevitable demand that Krasnislavians swap Amstov for Ivar as their master.

    "Mikhail, I will not waste too much of your time either," Zmitser began, shuffling his chair forward as he signalled for a waiter to bring a selection of snacks for both men, "so let me be clear: I am not interested in creating a Kadikistani puppet state, and if you were smart, you wouldn't be either."

    A quick pause to light a cigarette and lean in. The acid in Zmitser's belly had been replaced by a warm glow spreading across his body.

    "Do you really think after years of living under the Jewish yoke, the Krasnislavian people will accept Communist tyranny? I do not mean to be rude, Mikhail, but that is how you are perceived here in 'Trivodnia'," like all true Krasnislavian nationalists, Zmitser considered the Free State more a jail cell than a real country.

    "In fact, how do you think the rest of the region would take it? The gays in Altburg, Trier or Chagny?" he continued, "they may not want to die for Crotobaltislavonia, but their investments in Trivodnia.."

    A dirty cough mid-way through his smoke interrupted him.

    "Mikhail, if you are as much of a patriot as you claim you are, you will accept a Krasnislavia that is red or white. And I am sure Ivar will see the benefit in a greatly reduced Elben and Trivodnia too."

    Somewhere near the Polesian Sea

    As dodgy as Trivodnia could be, and as badly maintained as the Free State's roads were, a late night explosion was not a common occurrence, especially along the Polesian coastline where middle-class families from Bergenheim, Eiffelland, Retalia and beyond rented their holiday villas.

    Rural policing was a task for the feared National Watch - the black-uniformed, balaclava-clad, assault rifle-wielding men often seen on Trivodnian TV arresting drug dealers or would-be terrorists - and as soon as the smoke from the flaming car was called in, it was one of the blacked out 4x4s of the Watch that headed out to the scene.

    Upon arrival it was clear there was no motoring accident. A radio call was put into the plain-clothes guards watching over Duncan MacLeish's villa - a mixture of officers from the Watch and Free State Intelligence Bureau - to be on high alert. Remembering a car had recently left the premises, a quick check was done on the clan chief's whereabouts. Realising he was missing, panic set in. It did not take long to realise the burning automobile matched the description of the one that had departed not even an hour ago.

    Orders were quickly sent out for police in nearby towns to set up road blocks and check points, while patrol craft from the Free State Coast Guard zipped up and down the rocky shores of the Polesian Sea. The National Watch also mobilised units in the vicinity, with 4x4s and converted SUVs scouring the roads, while helicopters searched from on high.

    The hunt for a killer had just started.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  19. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    9,230
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    Somewhere near the Polesian Sea

    The SUVs of the Eiffellandians braked quite harshly when the roadblock appeared. This to make sure that they approached it with a civilised speed. The drivers followed the orders. Many options had been thought out for the aftermath of the murder of Duncan MacLeish for the case that the ASdS team could not escape the Trivodnian police and National Watch. Trying to shoot their way out was rejected as an option; the Trivodnians were seen as friends, and then you don’t shoot at their police Alternatively, the team could try to get out of the blockade on foot, but then it should have been a team from the Regiment Spezialkräfte (RSK), not from the ASdS.
    The option chosen was to approach the roadblock and present themselves as a Retalian ROCC team in civil. Everything was prepared for that. The men were even carrying Retalian military papers. Of course there was a Plan B: Cash. Lots of Trivodnian cash. When needed, the ASdS agents would bribe their way out.

    They had the luck that the roadblock they approached was from the Trivodnian police. That made the situation easier.

    “Good evening, gentlemen, papers please,” a police officer said to the driver of the first car. Another policeman walked to the second car. “Good evening gentlemen, papers please. By the way, you probably noticed that your left front light has disappeared. That must have been a nasty bump.”
    The ASdS agents showed their Retalian military papers. The leader of the team started to talk.
    “As you can see, gentlemen, we have papers from the Retalian armed forces. We are one of the mobile ROCC teams active in Trivodnia. We are patrolling in civil clothes tonight,” he said.
    “Hhmm,” the leader of the Trivodnian police team said. “There was a car accident and an explosion earlier tonight. We are looking for the culprits.”
    “Oh, really?” the leader of the ASdS team asked, acting as if he was baffled. “That must have been at a different location than we were patrolling. We didn’t notice it.”
    “I have a small problem now. Or maybe better said: You have a small problem now. I see that one of your cars has a serious dent. That means that it was involved in a car accident. Tonight, otherwise you wouldn’t have used this car,” the leader of the Trivodnian team said.
    “The driver of that car accidentally hit a wall earlier tonight. We are currently on our way to get the car replaced,” the leader of the ASdS team said.
    “Your driver hit a wall, you say. Then we would like to see that wall,” the leader of the Trivodnian police team said while reaching for his portophone.
    “Sir, I think that you and your colleagues have better things to do tonight than looking at a wall,” the leader of the ASdS team said while presenting a small package of banknotes.
    The leader of the Trivodnian police team was stunned. Initially. Then he said: “I am still interested in that wall.”
    The leader of the ASdS team presented another package of banknotes. “My interest in that wall is starting to fade. But I also have to say that I have a team of people here. Guys, come over here,” the leader of the Trivodnian team said. The complete team of the Trivodnian police manning the roadblock went to their leader, who said: “One of the cars of this Retalian ROCC team was involved in an accident tonight. The leader of the ROCC team says that it hit a wall. What do you say? Should we check that wall, or do we have better things to do?”
    The Trivodnian policemen saw the packages of banknotes in the hand of the leader of the ASdS team, who realised that he had to come up with a lot more packages of banknotes. He started with five packages.
    “Well, my interest in that wall is fading, but it is not completely gone. What about you, guys,” the leader of the Trivodnian team grinned. His men agreed. The leader of the ASdS team came up with five more packages of banknotes.
    “Our interest in that wall is fading more and more,” the leader of the Trivodnian team said.
    The leader of the ASdS team had to produce a total of twenty packages of banknotes before the leader of the Trivodnian police team said: “OK. You are right. We have better things to do.”

    It cost the ASdS team the equivalent of 10,000 Eiffellander Mark to pass the roadblock and escape the circle of blockades around the place where Duncan MacLeish had been shot.
     
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  20. Kadikistan

    Kadikistan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,499
    Location:
    Belgium
    Capital:
    Ivar
    Nick:
    Spelev
    Moladzcheyna
    Krasnislavia
    Trivodnia

    It seemed almost as if every time a Kadikistani official contacted someone from Trivodnia they would face the most undiplomatic roughness in their counterpart. It took less than a minute before Zmitser said the words 'communist tyranny', referring to the Kadikistani Union and started questioning the level of patriotism from his host. Asurov was prepared for this, after all it was such Trivodnian talk that made the Bergenheim Peace Talks fail not so long ago among many other 'diplomatic' bickering. The Krasnislavian seemed to be as bad as the Yiddish in such matters. But Asurov wasn't a Kadik and unlike the high functionaries from his country he wouldn't walk away from this historic meeting out of pride, even when his host showed the diplomatic abilities of a bucket. Asurov choose to ignore the tyranny reference, not wanting to get into an ideological debate with his counterpart. Yet he could not help but be offended by his guest from the very start of the clandestine meeting. 'At least he drank the vodka in one go.', Asurov thought to himself, helping himself find at least one redeeming quality in Zmitser.

    "I am not here to mobilise the KNP to fight under the Union flag, mister Zmitser.", Asurov said as his eyes casually fell on the waiter bringing over the ordered snacks. The Kadikistani Krasnislavian then signalled the waiter to bring two more shots of vodka's using a hand-gesture which was often used by Trivodnian Krasnislavians, raising his his ring finger and his middle finger simultaneously, unlike the thumb and the index finger which was the custom in Kadikistan. "Since you have been very blunt with me, I will return the favour out of respect for your honesty." Asurov extinguished his almost fully burned cigarette and placed his pack before him so he could have another the second he wanted. "What we want comes out of the insight that joint actions will help us in achieving both our interests. The Kadikistani Union can do without the constant provocations coming from Amstov. The Yids have always tried to stand in our way, but never as aggressive as now. The orchestrated coup in Crotobaltislavonia,the arrival of all kinds of Trier Concord military personnel across Trivodnia, the purposely leaked air-strike plans against Slavonian naval forces,... just to name a few. Falsely confident of the strength of their protectors they continue to seek for the edge of the red line, balancing on it. Indeed the way you put it is correct. We would benefit greatly from a weakened Trivodnia, if only to prevent a global war for all of the people's on this Earth."

    Asurov stopped for a second as he felt that it was time to light another cigarette as the bartender prepared the upcoming shots in the background. "But since you are sitting here today, you agree that this is not a one-sided story. Sure we would like to see more sympathy for our own ideals within the KNP, but we are very much aware of the damage that decades of Yiddish indoctrination has done to the Krasnislavian mind here. Allow me to be frank, mister Zmitser, we would much rather see a nationalist Krasnislavia and a weakened Yiddish country at our borders than the neighbour we have today. The same goes for Elben, whom we can never forgive for their betrayal. The Union has permitted me to be very generous in order to assist you in achieving this.", Asurov was determined to do everything possible to avoid another pair of insults coming from his counterpart and decided it was best not to take the lead this time. "What does your party believe we can do for you?", he said before starting to unwrap a popular local snack while waiting for the Trivodnian Krasnislavian to form his response.
     

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