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Destiny Awaits No One

Tarusa

Regional Actor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
Location
Middle of Nowhere USA
Capital
Kremlyov
Nick
JJ
Kispest
Flashback, 2 months after end of Csengian crisis

The city had been laid to ruins in the weeks of the civil war first by the Csengians and then once again when the Tarusans had pummeled the communist rebellion in the city relentlessly in the aim of finally crushing it once and for all to resecure the capitol for their new Csengian Queen. In the aftermath the city had begun the process of planning to rebuild and build the city back to its glory that had been washed away in blood and destruction. With the amount of destruction the city had faced it would be a new start where new city planning and architecture could be planned out by the new Queen as it was something she enjoyed, and it would be a way for her to mold the capitol to her own image leaving her own legacy to last for generations to come.

The Inquisition was in its infancy, and with that it had brought with it secretly members of the Okhrana and the military intelligence directorate from the Empire. These men and women that had been discreetly brought in were to help the agents of the new Kingdom of Csengian hunt down and disappear elements of resistance, outliers, and fundamentalists who did not share the same values as those now in power and would be seen to potentially cause problems. The help they were able to offer was from decades of experience back home making those who were a threat to state security either dead or just simply vanished into thin air to never be seen or heard from again. They would be assisting directly and indirectly in the carrying out of the Inquisition and establishing a lasting security apparatus to further the interest of the Empire within the Kingdom.

The Tsar had big plans for the Kingdom, this was just the tip of the Iceberg. Fate had gifted him a legacy to leave behind by the expansion of Tarusan influence.
 

Tarusa

Regional Actor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
Location
Middle of Nowhere USA
Capital
Kremlyov
Nick
JJ
Kispest
Flashback, 2 months ago

Konstantin had arrived in the city via commercial aircraft to take up his post, his new assignment since he had graduated recently from tank school and been given the honorary promotion to Major. As a member of the Imperial family he was trained in many disciplines of the military, his first assignment had been getting his licensing for rotary aircraft, then field artillery, and lastly that of learning to be a tank commander. He was the youngest son of the Tsar, but not the Heir apparent, he had two older siblings whom were ahead of him in the line of succession, even if rumors were true that one of them would not take the throne if it happened to become his turn.

There was no fanfare, he had kept a low profile in family affairs, so his arrival into the country would not be some big surprise. Those whom commanded him and those whom would serve under him would know of him, but the common Csengian or stranger in the street of this foreign country, he was just another Tarusan. Eventually, from the right connections and events in this country, he would become a known man. Whether he was to be hated or loved, that was yet to be seen. He would eventually take the time and honor of meeting the Queen and her consort once he was settled into this country. He was after-all a representative of not just the nation, but personally of his father and family, a further show of commitment to this future relationship.
 

Tarusa

Regional Actor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
Location
Middle of Nowhere USA
Capital
Kremlyov
Nick
JJ
Kispest
Flashback, 1 month ago


Sitting in the dining room of his new home in the Csengian capital Konstantin was enjoying a drink. He had settled into the city that was undergoing reconstruction still from the ravages of the battles fought for control of the city from the socialists. Many were still without homes, living in temporary structures or with those whom did still have roofs over their heads. The efforts of reconstruction were only matched by the efforts to hunt those who stood against the Kingdom in intensity. Most of the officers remained on bases with their soldiers, some had taken their high authority and found themselves accommodations off base, Konstantin thanks to his royalty was permitted his own residence.

The sun had barely set and he heard the doorbell ring. No company was expected, but he did have random visits from members of the intelligence services who were always keeping tabs on him and his safety. He swung open the door and standing before his eyes was the small figure of a woman, few would ever think of someone like her that could be a danger to a man except with her tongue.

"I'm Varvara, I'm from section four of the Okhrana. I must come in and talk"

It was highly unlikely that this was in fact her real name, given its meaning and her profession, but Konstantin stepped aside from the doorway and let her step inside closing the door behind her as she took her jacket off. He proceeded to lead her back into the dining room where they could talk, and he could finish his drink.

"I had been instructed to await for your settling into a routine, getting comfortable. Letting you meet the Queen and her consort, and partake in activities with our figurehead. I've been watching, keeping you under my watchful eye not for the reasons many others here are being watched and whisked away, but for the opportune time to bring forth our work and preparation. You have been kept in the dark for long enough, your role in this will never be questioned if you keep playing your part while we do the dirty work."

This last part had drawn the attention of Konstantin, what did they mean dirty work, and his role in whatever was being planned. He was here under assignment as this is where the unit he was assigned to was stationed.......an order that was most likely at the hands of his father, he was after all the youngest yet he was the only child stationed outside of the Empire.

"The situation in Csengia had never been planned to go down as it did, the Empire benefited greatly from the happenings of the Pannonian civil war. Things turned out far better than any had hoped for. Your father wishes to see you married, the Queen is young, attractive, and bringing the crowns of Csengia and Pojazerna into the fold of the Imperial Crown would be the next step in making the greatest dynasty seen on this continent. I've seen how he have behaved, you are attracted to her no doubt. You keep doing what you have been doing, we will handle the rest."

She stood up walked back to the door putting on her coat, helping herself out the door. Konstantin still sat at the table processing what he had just been told. Perhaps, perhaps his father was right. She would make a beautiful bride, but would she ever take him? What were they going to do? How were they going to arrange this? He had many questions, and concerns, but behind those concerns he also had his own ideas and visions.
 

Tarusa

Regional Actor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
Location
Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
Nick
JJ
Sankt Viet
Flashback, 2 weeks ago

A former prison in the city had been converted to a detention camp for those soldiers whom had surrendered during the Csengian incursion into West Zara. Originally the hope had been for a brief detention before releasing them back into Zaran custody but things did not always go according to plan. The lack of any official governing body in Zara with various parts of the country essentially being ruled by local warlords had forced the Csengian government to further detain these prisoners for the long term until something could change in its neighbor.

In a special wing of the prison complex was those whom had been more unruly and difficult to deal with. They had been more radical and fervent in the Zaran breakaway from Pannonia and still carried that fervent ideology with them. These men were treated with the coldest and cruelest of punishments, the cells were dark, they never left them. The heating, what heating the only way they could attempt and keep warm was huddling together with the cellmates. They would either be broken or killed, either way it didn't matter to the inquisitors that had been assigned here for these special few as they did not look at them in the same light as equals.

It was evening, or maybe it was daytime? None of them knew as they could not keep track of the time. They heard an explosion, how close was it?


Another, this one sounded as if it was a grenade........and the sound of gunfire.

The prisoners were looking around at each other confused, attempting to figure out what was happening. Then there it was, a thunderous explosion against the outside wall of the cell sending several of them hurdling thru the air and others attempting to cover themselves from the flying brick. It was the night sky, they had not seen the stars in months. They were not even given the chance to grasp what was happening as they were drug out the hole in the wall and quickly rushed towards the back of the van under the cover of the submachinegun fire. Leaving them to wonder, who had came to rescue them?

Six men had escape, there was another dozen or so left wounded or dead in the cell from the break out.
 

Tarusa

Regional Actor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
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Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Kispest
Present

The six Zaran men found themselves holed up in the basement level of what appeared to be an apartment building. In fact it was an Okhrana operations center that had been utilized for multiple purposes, and now it was the temporary home of these former Zaran military personnel. Looking around one could see the operation that had been planned and carefully laid out, the executioners were to be these escapees.

The board had several detailed maps of parts of the city with photographs, the picture of the target, the Queens fiancée, and his daily itinerary and any special occasions that had already been planned for the near future. Another section of the basement had small arms and ammunition that had been captured during the Csengian recapture of West Zara, to provide familiarity with the weapons, as well as aid in providing some factual truth to the action that would soon be undertaken. Varvara then appeared thru the door and the men took their seats for another round of briefings.

"Gentleman, we are prepared to take action this Friday. He will be leaving the palace for his typical monthly poker game with his old friends and his new friend Konstantin. As you have all been promised, you will be paid handsomely in euromark and smuggled out of the country back to Zara. This is your easiest and most effective way of getting back at the Queen and the Csengian people for the actions they have undertaken. This is your second chance to have some fight and strike at the Csengian nation, do not let those who died down."

She proceeded to retreat from the room and resumed her own tasks at hand. The Okhrana had laid the ground work, they had even made these former prisoners believe they were an underground resistance that needed more people with skills such as their own. The Tsar had just turned the zarans into another target for revenge after carrying out his own dirty work.
 

Tarusa

Regional Actor
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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
Location
Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Kispest
Present

The sun had recently set on the horizon giving the sky a nearly majestic orange hue. The assassins had recently moved themselves into positions with the lookout herself having been watching from the rooftop above the city street appearing as if she was setting up to stargaze, in reality she was watching, waiting to see the target leave the premises.

The sun continued to set, blackness consumed the sky, and she waited patiently. Headlights were seen pulling up to the gate, two vehicles, one was the target and the other his security detail. She took a moment to ensure the target vehicle as they began pulling away heading towards his destination. It was in fact the target, the Queens fiancée. As the target pulled away from the royal residence she radioed the two teams to execute the plan. For now, her part was over. She turned towards her chair on the roof and took a seat, to drink, and hopefully hear the fireworks.

The sedans rolled thru the streets, as they did every month down the same route. They passed the first team of three men who were laying in wait within minutes of leaving the residence, they were not the team designed to carry out the attack, they were the secondary assault team and the extraction for the first team should they succeed.

Blocks away the sedans rolled up to the intersection preparing to hit the on-ramp to the freeway. The second group of Zarans as the primary assault team waited, waited........and then a grenade bounced across the hood of the first sedan, the security team vehicle. One of the Csengian security detail opened a rear door brandishing is rifle firing in the direction the grenade had come from. Another appeared out of the other rear door moving to the limited cover behind the railing, he as well began to fire allowing the first to change his position for a better vantage point on the attackers. A firefight had ensued as two men of the security detail engaged the three attackers, the two sedans reversing down the street away from the exchange in an attempt to return to the palace grounds. They sped off into the distance, as the two groups exchanged fire.

As the Sedans raced away attempting to return to the Royal Residency they were drastically on the open wave requesting assistance of law enforcement to shut down traffic to allow the rapid return to security for the VIP. They would not openly announce who the VIP as they themselves did not know if he was the intended target or the Queen herself who had not been in the vehicle. The second group of Zaran assassins waited, the sound of gunfire had all but silenced now and they had not been requested to aid in extraction, they now were the assault team and they prepared themselves alongside the buildings waiting, the third man across the street as the lookout. They came, two sedans, weaving in and out of traffic clearly the targets. He signaled for them to be ready as he braced himself on the bench with a fixed location to target.

The explosion was fierce as the car turned into a flaming heap that continued rushing forward except it wasn't under any form of control. It was aflame from the Lethonian provided anti-tank weapon they had supplied to aid the Zarans in their war against Csengia. The second sedan attempted to keep pushing the first vehicle forward as it came under intense rifle fire before it too ceased movement. The three men rushed to investigate, ensure the target was dead. He had been in the first vehicle that had been hit, but for good measure one of them fired several rounds into his chest.

As fast as it had all began, it was all done. Silence minus the sounds of the sirens of emergency vehicles, the men disappeared back into the darkness abandoning most the gear in a nearby dumpster in the alleys as they would vanish into the night. Their compatriots lay dead on the side of the off-ramp, the original site of the assassination.
 

Tarusa

Regional Actor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
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Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Pressburg/Dravania Border

The assassins had been smuggled across into Pojazerna where the plan had been laid for them to escape across the border and make their way back to Zara via third party country. That was the plan they had been told, but not the truth. They had been transported to another safe house in the Pojazerna capital that was operated by the Okhrana where they had been in hiding awaiting instruction upon how they would escape and return to their Zara. Initially they had been allowed small amounts of time in public, but when the Okhrana had learned of the Whitaker plan and its passage they saw an unfolding of events that would cause issues to the plan and restricted them to the safe house, the excuse being they authorities had identified them and were looking for them.

Patience had begun to run thin, they were anxious, they were tired of being held into the small apartment and the Okhrana agents keeping them safe could tell things were looking like they would fall apart if it was allowed to drag out for much longer and so the call was made up the chain to the operation commander Varvara, she approved the movement of the men to occur. Varvara in the meantime made another tip herself to the inquisitors of the Csengian Kingdom tipping them off that the Okhrana had located the targets.

The handlers gave the assassins a stolen car, and forged papers giving them instructions claiming to have paid off border guards and contacts in the zaran refugee camps in Dravania. The plan was made to look legit to keep the suspicion as low as possible, even the handlers were led to believe that these statements were true. They had led these former prisoners to believe this had been a zaran operation the entire time with multiple sources of help from zarans and those disgruntled with the Queen. Varvara would leave no loose ends.

As the three men drove away into the night they saw the last of the city lights they would ever see. They approached the border crossing, unsuspecting as they were greeted by what they had believed would be a welcoming sight, instead they drew their final breaths as the machineguns tore thru the thin metal doors of the car. As it had begun, so it had ended. They were gunned down in the dead of night by the Inquisition.
 

Tarusa

Regional Actor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
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Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Kispest

Ever since Queen Elisabeth had ascended the throne and brought a Csengian to be the absolute authority over the land instead of a monarch from Germanic descendance she had maintained a doubt in her mind while staying loyal to what had been her long time boyfriend. Her family had history of nobility, while she had lived the life of a commoner as had her father and those before him for generations, her boyfriend was to have been believed to have always been a commoner. While it was good for the image it also was hard to press legitimacy for the future. To secure the future of the nation and her line she had been troubled for a long time. That could have been partially a reason they had never found themselves married, as she found many reasons to keep it extended out, her priority being the rebuilding of the nation, for her fathers sacrifice and legacy of their family and her own place in history.

It had been some time since the untimely demise of his, while it greatly saddened her it also made her life a little easier not having to delay something that she had known he wanted greatly. She had spent a great deal of time with Konstantin in the months before and she did fancy him a bit, but always brushed it aside as infatuation with an idea. However things had changed and some time had passed, the dust had settled and those responsible had been removed from play. She took this time to invite the Major to the residency for dinner for the first time in a long time since before the assassination had occurred.
 

Tarusa

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Jun 18, 2019
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591
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Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Kispest/Kremlyov

Young Konstantin had been courting the Queen for some time. He enjoyed her company and was quite fond of her himself, beyond that, the union that would be created by joining the two houses together. He had discussed such things with the young Queen herself just nights before but first he would need for them to both fly to Kremlyov to ask for the blessing from his father Yuri. She had agreed to come, to pay her first official visit to the Imperial Palace and meet the man responsible for elevating her family to the highest authority in Csengia. The plans had been laid, a small jet chartered to fly the couple to the Imperial City.

As they descended upon the military airfield just outside of the city the jet crossed over the shipyards of the Empire that were in the process of working on two of the nations guided missile submarines that were deep into their construction phase. Showcasing the immense power of the family she was potentially marrying into. A helicopter was already awaiting the two as they scurried across the strip and jumped into the helicopter, briskly lifting them off the tarmac and across the city to the Imperial residence. The city had some glamour to it, with many parts still keeping the architecture of the 18th and 19th century Imperial design, but other parts had tried to be modern while staying true to the classical imperial feel of the city of the Tsars. Building in the city was much more strict than in other parts of the country, and more money was spent from the government coffers to maintain the status as the greatest urban center in the Empire aswell as keep the destitute outside of the city. Kispest could, no it would she thought, someday be a city that could be like Kremlyov she hoped.

The helicopter set itself down on one of the laws outside the Imperial Palace where they were greeted and escorted inside by the Imperial Guard. Konstantin was watching the face of Elisabeth as they entered into the Palace and made their way towards where his father was waiting. Her expressions could show that she was still impressed by the grandeur of the place, that she had not grown up in such residences before being thrust into her own. They made their way towards his fathers chambers, Konstantin opened the door letting Elisabeth enter first;

"Hello father...."
 

Tarusa

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Jun 18, 2019
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591
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Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Summer Palace
Tsarskoye Selo

The day was fast approaching, and the preparations had been painstakingly prepared to the smallest of details for one of the grandest weddings to take place in the Empire in over a century. The summer palace had been chosen for its sumptuousness in the different venues of the palace. It would give the prestigious glimpse of the Imperial families vast wealth and power and that of the Empire to the outside world as many of the worlds current and former leadership would find themselves walking the halls, feasting in the White Dining Hall, and witnessing the matrimony and the festivities in the Grand Hall.

The couple themselves were maintaining a separate residency during the preparations with the Queen remaining at the Summer Palace to oversee the affairs of the staff and army of planners that were carrying out the preparations. Konstantin had remained back in Kremlyov in the Imperial Palace of his father taking the train between the two as he wished and was needed, the royal line, a track specifically for the royal train between the capitol and the royal city would be the transit source for the foreign dignitaries to the venue, the lower level staff that would no doubt accompany many would not be treated with the same level of granduer and were prohibited from the participation of the wedding.

The couple had already begun to plan for their future. The rumor was of a wedding present from the Tsar was a Frankish estate around Saint-Maurice was in the planning stages of being purchased for the young couple amongst others. They would of course return to Kispest for the Queen to continue her rule over her Kingdom, Konstantin was himself third in line for his fathers crown, this however did not change the fact that Konstantin had in recent times become his fathers favorite, some could claim it was due to the fact he had won over the Queen and was bringing about the families dynasty to another part of the continent while his brothers had married amongst other nobility at home, making his marriage the most prestigious in the family, some would argue he had always been since he was the youngest of the three brothers.

((OOC: Little preparation for the wedding, just to get something posted to get back into swing of things. I figure I will do the main wedding thing, limiting the whole arrival/chitchat thing that happens with meetings, leaving room for others to do some character Rp if they wish of their characters view of it and other affairs of the wedding))
 

Tarusa

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
591
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Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Summer Palace
Tsarskoye Selo

The time had come for the ceremony. Many of the guests had arrived early taking in the tour of the palace grounds being offered to them to see what they had dubbed as the eighth wonder of the world. Many of the guests were either in the Frankish gardens or near the Great Pond and Pavilion while they waited for the ceremony to begin. The Tsar himself was sitting in the Frankish gardens alongside Emperor Paul I engaging in conversation and relaxing after his recent accident. Exploring along the grounds were diplomats from the Federation and ScanLaw with their wives, the Regent Ferdinand von Detmold-Liepen from Rheinbund, President Olivia Harper Poole and President Constanza could be found together in the Great Pavilion for the time being as that was but one of the locations were drinks were being dispensed. The event had even brought guests from Radilo, a weird sense that the Pope would be in the same building as the Patriarch of Kremlyov.

An announcement was made for everyone to begin seating. The guests began filing into the Palace with the Ushers showing them the way to the Grand Hall and their seating. None of the guests had seen the Grand hall before this as it had been kept off limits in the final preparation for the ceremony. Many were taken back by the spacious airy room with the painted ceiling and ornate lighting and fixtures around the room. There was a piano towards the front of the room and on a platform just above the Piano was where the bride and groom would be standing, elevated above for all to see.
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Patriarch Nikon II stood in the entry way with Grand Duke Konstantin and Queen Elisabeth with Grand Duke Mikhail and Tsesarevich Alexander and two of her friends forming the wedding party behind them. Patriarch Nikon II blessed the couple lighting the candles for each to hold during the ceremony before leading them to the elevated alter to begin the crowning. The ceremony went as planned with his brothers holding the crowns over their heads and the confessions to be with each other. Towards the end of it Patriarch Nikon II led the couple with his stole wrapped around their hands out of the Grand Hall and outside for the releasing of two doves with the guests watching.

The couple nor the wedding party would leave the site instead with the end of the crowning ceremony and the two now being wed they were all ushered into the White Dining Hall for the feast of a lifetime. It was a celebration and a party that had not been rivaled in the Empire in centuries. The Tsar himself was intermingling and shaking hands with other world leaders and chatting.


((OOC: Feel free now for your leaders to do their viewpoints and some other character Rp, take some liberties if you wish @Radilo @Natal @Rheinbund @The Federation @The Ottawas @San Jose . Have some fun with it, Jose & I have some details on the death of the Tsar to work out now. No hurry on anybodies part, its open ended))
 

San Jose

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Oct 31, 2006
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7,355
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Los Angeles
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Palmira
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Jose
THE SUMMER PALACE
Tsarskoye Selo, Tarusa


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He was nowhere near drunk enough for this event, at least to El Presidente's liking, but at least the day was young, and the food and drink being offered promised more revelry.

It wasn't every day you found yourself in the same building as your greatest rival, the arch-conspirator of the
Conspiración de Explotación Global. The sheer audacity of El Presidente's snap decision to attend the wedding and oversee the de facto submission of the vassal Csgenian Kingdom to the Tarusan Empire through an obsolete royal wedding surprised many in San José and likely the world over, perhaps even the Tsar himself. Yet paradoxically it was also absolutely in character with the impulsive Occidentian statesman, who as always attempted to out-peacock everybody there with his stark-white presidential suit with the colorful presidential sash, complete with fedora he had taken off where religiously and ceremonially appropriate. He hadn't quite out-dressed the groom, Grand Duke Konstantin, but had come dangerously and notably close enough to cause the mildest of stirs among the more traditional and proper of the guests, much to El Presidente's silent delight. Even the quietest barbs and insults against agents of the Conspiración de Explotación Global were joyful to President Constanza.

He managed to maintain juuuuuust reverence and decorum through the ceremony though, mostly because he knew the sooner he got kicked out the more food and drink he'd miss, and so his hedonism overrode his ideological principles. Plus, Il Papa was present, and he didn't want to embarrass his spiritual father and secular friend too badly today (plus, the more moral Josefinos back home likely wouldn't appreciate any embarrassment of the Holy Father, even tangentially, an unacceptable outcome). So, through some backroom negotiations, President Constanza found himself seated relatively close to the holy delegation for the feast and within conversation distance.

"Padre Santo, it's so good to see you again. I hope El Vaticano has been treating you well and not been too restrictive." A mild, polite translation of what El Presidente really wanted to convey: "Tibur must be dreadfully boring compared to where you came from: Palmira."

@Radilo
 

Radilo

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Jan 5, 2010
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Cleveland
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Nuovo Porto
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Nutty's better half
"Constanza, mi hijo, always looking out for me. I'm doing well, even if my knees aren't what they use to be. I can't tango anymore, sadly. Luckily the the Holy See, has... hehe... given me a wide berth. You would be suprised, how easy a bit of donations from liberal or socialist sources smooths things along."

He took a pause and his expression went a bit dower. "Things that we thought were only rumors, seem that they might be dreadfully true. That's why I'm here. There are a great many Catholics who may be in great danger... along with the innocents of many faiths. I fear, as I'm sure you do, that the ongoing grand global exploitation conspiracy is better positioned now than it was when Pope Gregory died."

He sighed again, "the reforms I will soon announce will cause a great deal of controversy... but they are necessary."

His demeanor softened, "I know the last few months have been hard for you." El Presidente opened his mouth to respond, but the pope pushed forward, "you do not have to justify anything to me, Constanza, know that I am praying for you... and we will have to revisit the most recent futball match."

The two men hugged.

@San Jose
 

San Jose

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Oct 31, 2006
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7,355
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Los Angeles
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Palmira
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Jose
THE SUMMER PALACE
Tsarskoye Selo, Tarusa


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El Presidente held Il Papa close, the warmth of his embrace real as was the smile on his face, though perhaps both were a bit exaggerated for the press who were undoubtedly nearby. This was gold for the Catholics, both Tiburan and Communionist, back home in San José, and could only help El Presidente's popularity soar to new heights. But he was genuinely pleased to see his friend was doing well, and as mischievous as ever beneath all the pomp and circumstance of his Holy Office.

"Gracias, Padre Santo." The man always had a way of seeing through El Presidente and knowing, somehow, what was troubling him. It was one of the many reasons why the Josefino statesman loved and respected Il Papa. "Perhaps soon, along with that futball match, you will find the time to take my confession in the near future? It's been some time, and the current Archbishop of Palmira is... not as forgiving as you are of my antics."

In fact, he was an absolute pain in the ass. A traditionalist through and through, and would normally thunderously preach from his pulpit that El Presidente would ride straight to hell, except for a couple of generous donations during mass to keep him quiet. He was otherwise unpleasant, intolerant, and a dogmatic idiot. "He makes me occasionally regret your elevation to the Papacy, no matter the good it does for the Church." Constanza concluded with a tired grin, that collapsed into a worried frown.

"As for the rumors, this is most concerning indeed... though I do not think neither of us should be surprised. The refugees we have taken in San José have told consistent stories of persecution and oppression reserved for the Dark Ages, not these times, and I'm sure those in la Serenissima Repubblica di Radila have done the same. It is clear la Conspiración de Explotación Global is getting bolder, more brutal, and more vicious, and they must be opposed at every turn. That is why I'm here, to show we're not afraid, and am willing to confront the arch-conspirators in their own home. I wouldn't have dared to pray that you'd join me in this effort, for fear of asking too much. Regardless, know that once you announce these reforms, whatever they are, the faithful of San José shall stand by your side and support you, including me. You have my word, and my trust that they shall heal and rally Holy Mother Church against the forces of darkness."

@Radilo
 

Tarusa

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591
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Middle of Nowhere USA
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Kremlyov
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JJ
Summer Palace
Tsarskoye Selo

The wedding, the party, it was all a big success, the Tsar was thrilled to see even those that could not stand him were seemingly enjoying themselves. He would take advantage of this momentous occasion and slip in a little diplomacy for after the party.

First he made his way over to Olivia Harper Poole, as he would much rather have his chat with El Presidente last. "I am glad that westernesse and some of its highest and most iconic leaders have found their way into my palace. A toast to changing the political climate of the world from this moment forward"

Both the glasses together and each took a sip of their drinks before he continued; "I request your presence in El Presidentes suite back in Kremlyov late this evening when those whom may be most nosy of our affairs will be sleeping. One cannot squander this political opportunity." She nodded in agreement as he bowed himself away and began his slow waltz towards President Constanza, stopping on his way to mingle with the other guests. He could see in the eyes of Constanza that he knew already the Tsar was purposely making his way towards him, it was a gleeful look as if he was a child enjoying the show, as he had the Tsar making an approach to him and not the other way around.

Taking a moment to clear his throat, almost vomiting the words out of his mouth "El Presidente, I am glad you could make it to such an event, but I figured you would not miss a party given your reputation." Maybe it was more than vomit, maybe the Tsar really did want to vomit calling him El Presidente, "Late this evening, when all the revelry has ended, and we all retire back to our quarters I request to meet you in your room discretely with another leader of the west" He paused and shot a glance at Olivia so the josefino leader would catch the hint of whom the other leader was before he resumed "We have something important to discuss, a way to perhaps form a lasting detente and show that I am not as evil of a leader as can be interpreted. If you agree, we shall meet tonight in the darkest hour back in your suite in Kremlyov so prying eyes will be shut and we can discuss matters without worry of who can be watching and listening."

If one could describe El Presidente as already gleeful appearing at the Tsar approaching him, words would not be able to explain how the man looked now that they would be in his suite, not in the palace, not in a place of the Tsars power, but his suite to discuss an important matter that could lighten the political atmosphere after all the events that had unfolded that had polarized the world. Ofcourse he would agree to this.

Hotel Metropol Kremlyov
After party ((Time jump for this, people can still carry out other character Rp in the wedding timeline if they wish, no rush or hurry to end it))

Yuri stood at the door to El Presidentes suite, took a moment to breathe before he knocked, he quickly rapped on the door before looking around once more. The door opened and there stood President Constanza, his wardrobe for after hours relaxation was as pompous and flashy as the rest of his wardrobe, the man always liked to put on a show. Yuri glanced around once more before stepping thru the doorway and into the room quickly closing the door.

The two men made their way to the living area of the suite, already present was Olivia whom had arrived a bit earlier, as her presence was less conspicious than his own. They all sat down and began a casual chat, the simple political stuff first. Olivia was facing political uncertainty at home, the Empires invasion in Himyar and their own critical views of it, the Tsar began to steer it towards the topic at hand. Sankt Katherina and its future.

We all know what the referendum results showed, the first round was so heavily split the populace could not even reach a majority consensus between. The second round itself allowed a majority consensus to occur, but less people participated, and even then it was not overwhelming. The people of Sankt Katherina are divided, its why I view democracy as such a flawed concept as people will only ever do what they think is best for themselves. It is much easier for someone to decide for them then they will either agree with the decision or eventually just accept its reality. It is why I myself have decided that despite the results of the referendum, will be positioning to allow Sankt Katherina its independence in the coming weeks." He did not even take a moment to see their expressions before walking over to open the mini-bar fridge and helping himself to a drink, "anybody else like a drink?" As he closed the door, it was the last thing he would ever say or see.

An explosion tore thru the room, the Tsar was dead.
 

San Jose

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Jose
THE HOTEL METROPOL
Kremlyov, Tarusa
(Seconds before the Incident)


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Oh... he was enjoying this.

The visible discomfort of the Tsar as he approached
El Presidente at the party and, in a very hush-hush manner asked to meet with the Josefino and his Natalian counterpart Presidenta Poole in El Presidente's suite was utterly delightful, and exactly what the Occidentian wanted. It was subtle and secretive, and he played along in keeping things quiet as he accepted, but he knew the press were watching his every move and whoever he talked to, and this was better than gold, it was platinum. The arch-conspirator of the Corrupt Old World approaching the (self-proclaimed) leader of the Free New World, asking to negotiate? You couldn't buy that PR win.

Later on, in the suite, he had been pre-gaming a strategy with Presidenta Poole, ensuring they'd be a united front against the Tarusan autocrat in whatever negotiations took place. She had brought a significant quantity of booze herself, doubtless to ensure El Presidente's cooperation, and it was a bribe he'd gladly taken, especially given the excellent mood he was in. So much so he didn't even bother to bring out his own stash of drinks in the built-in mini-bar refrigerator. The only thing he did was place a wire on himself, to ensure the conversation was recorded and held by the Josefinos and prevent any shenanigans from popping up afterwards. The Tarusan Tsar, after all, was not fully trusted by El Presidente for what he considered to be very good reason. To ensure the wire remained hidden, an ostentatious robe, the Presidential Robe as President Constanza called it, was donned for this occasion. Like his suit, it too was stark white with red, gold, and purple linings and accents to ensure the Josefino colors were displayed in total style. It was informal, comfortable, and yet still projected statesmanship and authority, just the way El Presidente liked it. Also, it was very distracting, almost obnoxiously so. Again, just the way he liked it.

Then the Tsar showed up, and after some preliminary verbal probing and minor negotiations, he laid out the reason why he started these talks: Sankt Katherina. The referendum had not gone well for the Free New World, mostly because of Tarusan meddling (technically alleged meddling, but El Presidente knew ballot stuffing when he saw it). So now the Tsar, in what appeared to be a bribe to the Josefinos and Natalians, announced he would steer the Pannonian colony to independence anyway. It was both a bribe and a chance to once again trash democracy as a concept and show how autocracy and monarchy were clearly the superior, benevolent forms of government through this generous gesture. It was meant to be a poison pill, the Josefino knew it. Nonetheless, it also aligned with his policy of removing colonialism from the Free New World, and so the specifics could be easily overridden and the crowing of hypocrisy could be drowned out in populist celebration of yet another colonial slave nation freeing itself from the Corrupt Old World. Who knew how President Poole would respond to this, surely she saw the same problems from allowing this hypocrisy to be proclaimed, but she had her own electoral problems as well, and she was a talented enough politician where she could spin it as needed.

Mercifully, after that particular bombshell of a proposal was dropped, the Tsar decided to help himself to a drink at the mini-bar. The Tsar was closest to the fridge, a few yards away from the living area the leaders had placed themselves. President Poole was in between the Tsar and El Presidente, the coffee table in-between the Josefino and the Natalian. The gulf between the two rivals of El Presidente and the Tsar was physically immense, with many layers of obstacles, yet the two men were the closest they had ever been over this issue, it was ironic to say the least. President Poole was facing away from the Tsar and her expression was hidden, as she was looking intently at El Presidente with a very clear message: "I will handle this, just follow my lead." At the same time, the Tsar asked if anyone else wanted a drink. Finding opportunity in staying subtle,
El Presidente smiled and nodded in affirmative to both. Things were going we-

An explosion.

The world was fire, brimstone, and cacophony for a moment that lasted a lifetime.

When El Presidente drifted back into consciousness, he could hear the fire alarm raising a din, the sprinklers coming online to douse the room in artificial rain, and nearby Josefino security agents bursting into the room shouting incomprehensibly in controlled, professional panic. The Josefino statesman was staring up at the sky, almost lifeless at first glance even though he still drew breath, stunned by the force of the explosion. In the corner of one eye, he could see the mangled body of the Tsar, his mortal foe, slipping out of his mortal coil. In the corner of another eye was his fellow President, badly injured from the blast. He could neither see nor feel his injuries, but he could barely see or feel anything at the moment.

His consciousness began to fade again as the agents towered over him, pleading for him to stay awake as they demanded emergency medical personnel arrive immediately, calling in the Natalians for backup (the Tarusans did not receive the same priority in frantic calls for assistance, there were already suspicions that had no time to be aired). He'd comply and remain conscious, but that itself was debatable, as he wouldn't truly be aware of what was going on for the next few hours.
 

Radilo

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Nutty's better half
Summer Palace
Tsarskoye Selo
(main party timeline)


Doge Clemente had caught a fair bit of shit for comming. More than 1 out of 10 of his fellow Citizens were of Zaran extraction. And they were none too happy that he would be at a dinner to honor the people they blamed for their misery. The Doge had the good sense to have a whisper campaign launched that suggested that there might be a good reason for his attendance.

One subtle thing that would only be noticed the next day by observant Radilan politicos was that the Doge wasn't wearing his Corination Corno Ducale, which was his most elaborate gold and jeweled hedress that he wore to state functions. Instead he wore the Corno Estate, or summer crown. Still gold and bejeweled, it was lighter and less formal--casual, if you would, by baroque standards.

In short--this wasn't a truly important event.

He had been fortifying his will, a few not-so-discrete shots with El Presidente, and a few salutés with his fellow Italian city state leaders, with one poignantly for Dante Alighieri, the great Zaran poet and statesman who wrote La Divina Commedia, and who first spoke of brotherhood between Italiante speaking people.

A bit of schmoozing with other world leaders, the Doge made his way towards the couple of the evening: Duke Konstantin and Queen Elisabeth.

Sitting with their wedding party, greeting various dignitaries, some of which were enthusiasticly brown-nosing, the newly anointed couple were putting on their best smiles. They were clearly a bit exhausted by the time it was the Doge's turn to greet them.

"Benvenuto la tua Serenità," the Queen said as gracefully as she could.

"Gazie, vostra Maestà," he said, leaning in. "If the two of you are willing to take advice, I may offer some... enjoy being heads of state, stay away from governments at all costs. I've learned of the pleasures of political ambivalence. Let the people decide. See how much more I enjoy my station than your father..."

He smiled and then leaned into Queen Elizabeth where he whispered, in Zaran, "but for you, your highness, know this... you will need to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. Because a million of my fellow Citizens would happily drag a blade across your throat. Every maid, butler, carriage driver, courtier, body guard... you may, as the last thing you see, find them standing over you, grinning as they take your life... sleep well, your highness."

He made sure to draw eneough attention that an AP photographer there capturing thr Queen's reaction in real time.
 
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Tarusa

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JJ
Catherine Palace
Tiversk

It had been several hours since the explosion back in Kremlyov as it was now nearing the early morning hours as light could be seen across the sky turning from pitch black to twilight. The sound of two phones could be heard ringing loudly from within as brothers Mikhail and Alexander had retired from the evening back to the Latters residence. Each was awoken to the same news, their father Yuri had been killed in the attack on the hotel. Alexander was informed on the phone that he was now the new emperor effective immediately, that was until he himself informed them he did not want the throne and it should be the next in line, the younger and stronger Mikhail that should lead the family and the Empire forward.

They had a short time to get ready, the military was dispatching transportation to bring them securely back to the Grand Palace in the Kremlyov Kremlin as they would be doing the same for their youngest brother and his new bride, the new couples honeymoon would unfortunately be put on hold while matters of the state and the family would come first.

The Tsar is dead, Long live the Tsar
 

Radilo

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Summer Palace
Tsarskoye Selo
(main party timeline)


Patriarch Nikon II waited intently in a small salon, secluded away from the rest of the guests. After a few minutes, a somewhat hidden side door opened and the Pope stepped in.

"Your Holiness," the Patriarch greeted him.

"Your Holiness," the Pope responded.

"I'm surprised you came," the Patriarch said, walking over to a decanter and pouring himself a glass of wine.

"You should not be, my reason for being here is obvious."

"Is it?" The Patriarch said, pouring the Pope a glass, "does it have anything to do with the Holy Inquisitor currently harassing priests in Pannonia?"

Taking the glass the Pope responded, "he has no secular intentions, and last I recall he is only interviewing Catholic priests. No Orthodox priests have been bothered by him. Of course, I can't imagine why anyone would be so threatened by a fat old drunk and two bookworm nuns."

"So, then, if he is here on a purely spiritual mission, I assume you do have secular motives."

"Partially. With this arrangement reaffirming what the most recent conflicts on central Gallia-Germania have made real, there are now millions more Catholics under Imperial control, with no obviously safeguards. This may not be a new development, but this moment serves as an opportunity for dialogue."

"Your Holiness, with all do respect, what are you asking for? Cardinal Lombardi, the man you insist on harassing, is already one of her Majesty's closet advisors. He speaks for the Catholic interest in court. And the war is over--it is now time to rebuild--the Duomo in Gonzaga will be rebuilt--her Majesty insisted on it!"

"I'm sorry for wasting your time, your Holiness. It is clear that there is no request I can make that you have the power honor."

The Patriarch was visibly taken aback by the Pope's statement. "What do mean?"

"I could beg you to ensure the rights of Catholics are protected in this country... but you can't protect the rights of Orthodox, or any religion here."

"Leave politics out of this. For the sake of Christ, I don't care what you or that hedonist friend of yours think."

"We don't get to avoid politics. As much as we may want to. When was the last time you went to your emperor and asked him to help someone or some group of people? Do you even feel comfortable asking for his help giving aid to marginalized people? When was the last time you felt comfortable asking for something that wasn't a new privilege for the church or a condemnation of someone you didn't like?"

he paused for a moment, "it's all political, Nikon... and that's why you cannot help me, or anyone, because you have no power and are too comfortable to try... again, I'm sorry for wasting your time."


@Rheinbund Airspace
some time later

The Holy Father did not mean to stay long in @Tarusa , after speaking with the Patriarch and a few good-byes to other world leaders, he was back on a plane bound for Tibur.

Papa Juan José had always struggled to sleep during flights, and this time was no exception. Even though he was tired, and sipping his third Mojito, sleep would not come to him. He tried to read some, hoping to satiate his mind, when one of the pilots came to alert him

"Santo padre," he said, "the Rheinian air force has sent four fighters to escort us."

The Pope's face grew concerned, "is everything alright?"

"There was an attack in Tiversk. The Tsar is dead, the president of Natal is dead and... and... El Presidente was very badly injured. They're flying him to Palmira as we speak."

"Mi hijo," he whispered, he made the sign of the Cross and started praying, silently. As the pilot started to head back towards the cockpit, the Pope spoke up: "no, we are not going back to Tibur tonight. Reroute us to Palmira!"
 
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Rheinbund

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Headquarters Rheinischer Nachrichtendienst
(After the mass arrestments in Tiversk took place)

"So the Tarusans have their culprits," RND-Hauptdirektor Abt. Ausland Oliver Landauer said.
"At least that is what they want the world to believe," Heinz-Werner Heissler, one of his directors, said.
"Why do you say so?" Landauer asked. "Do you have information that indicates something else?"
"No, but I consider the story they tell a bit strange. The Suomi National Front assassinates a foreign head of state to lay the blame with the Okhrana and the Tarusan Empire. How could they expect that this would succeed?" Heissler asked. "They could count on it that each and every secret service in the world would go after the culprits after such a spectacular action. I consider the train of thought mentioned by the Tarusans too surreal. This is a conspiracy of the kind that a not too bright villain in a humoristic children's movie would think up, not something that a serious terrorist would think up, at least not when the terrorist is still in his mind."

Landauer cleared his throat. Then he started to think.

"OK, let's suppose that this is indeed not the correct story. Then why would the Tarusans tell it?" Landauer asked. He remained silent for some moments, and then continued: "From my point of view, that can have two reasons. Either the Tarusans want to cover the real culprits, or they have no clue yet who really did this but don't want to admit that, so they show strength and put the blame on an unwelcome group of people. Their Tsar has been assassinated; they can't let that happen unpunished, somebody must get the blame, and fast, guilty or not."
"And after that, they go after the real culprits and kill them silently," Heissler said. "In any case, the outcome must have been a surprise to the culprit. This bomb exploded in Constanza's room; he was the target, not the Tsar."
"And then we are at the 100,000 Marks question: Who did it?" Landauer said.
"Well, if it were the Tarusans themselves, I think it would be good to advice the future King and the government to have a severe stomach flu every time a meeting in Tarusa is on the schedule.," Heissler said. "In any case, if we want to find the culprit, we have to answer the following question: Who would benefit from Constanza's death?"
"Why benefit? It could also be somebody with a hatred towards Constanza. Very banally: An ex-lover. For instance," Landauer said.
"I'm not ignoring that possibility, Herr Hauptdirektor. Fulfilled revenge is also a benefit," Heissler said.
 
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