The Road to Marmaras

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Pelasgia, Dec 18, 2019.

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  1. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Highway A7, Optimatoi Theme, Pelasgia

    Alexandros could feel his heart racing as he pressed the accelerator, the speed of his car climbing above eighty kilometers an hour. Every now and then, he would suddenly decelerate and then rapidly accelerate again, tightly making turns and curves on the highway hugging the coastline between the cities of Daphni and Marmaras, on the Propontis-Kerasond segment of Highway A7. Making another turn, Alexandros turned into a large stretch of straight road, heading straight into a peak and then turning widely around a rest area with a few mostly empty buildings. On the other side of the turn was a large steel bridge, which would bring him closer to Marmaras. As he prepared to accelerate, he caught sight of a series of dark blue shapes on the road ahead. A dozen troopers of the Politarchy, Pelasgia's paramilitary gendarmerie, had set up a roadblock with a pair of vans and an armoured personnel carrier, all painted in the dark blue colours of the Politarchy.

    "Shit!" he cried out, realising what had happened: the General Directorate for Public Security, the city cops, had probably tipped the Politarchy off about him. Without hesitating for a second, Alexandros pressed the accelerator once more, aiming straight for the space between the two vans, the weakest point in the roadblock. On the other end of the blockade, the Politarchy troopers, dressed in blue, brown and grey camouflage and full paramilitary gear, along with their signature gas-masks, noted his presence. "Control, this is Xiphos Four at Hardpoint Petra Nine," said one of the men on the radio, "We have a possible sighting of that 129a, preparing to verify." The Politarchy troopers took aim with their assault rifles, shotguns and submachine guns, while one of them motioned the rapidly approaching car to stop. The car, however, did no such thing, speeding even more and heading directly for the hoods of the two blue vans, before which two troopers stood. "Five, Two get out of there! He's not stopping!" the commander, distinguished by a yellow stripe around his right arm, cried out. The men managed to evade the red automobile crashing into the vans behind by mere seconds, jumping to the sides, while their colleagues proceeded to light the van up with bullets.

    "Control, we have attempted 270 times 2 at Hardpoint Rock Nine," the commander shouted on the radio, "Moving to apprehend." Just as the blue-clad man finished his sentence, Alexandros exited the car, pistol in hand, and shot at the two troopers to the left of his car. "Apprehend this, you cunts!" he shouted, firing repeatedly. One of the men, still on the ground from evading the crash, was struck in the back plate and his upper arm guard, while the second took three shots in the front plate of his body armour. Within a moment, the troopers had responded by unleashing a hail of fire, shooting the man no less than eleven times with bullets of various calibers. "Control, we have confirmed 270 times 2 and 10-47 times 2. Priority request 11-41 times 2. Subject is 11-80, multiple gunshot wounds. Please advise."

    Control came back only with one word: "Amputate." The commander copied the order, aiming his shotgun at Alexandros' head, and then pressed the trigger. A second later, the chase was over, and the sound of an ambulance could be vaguely heard in the distance, rapidly approaching the scene of the event.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  2. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Propontis, Optimatoi Prefecture, Pelasgia

    Petros walked through the cold room of marble and steel, wearing surgical overalls, looking for one specific number on the large metallic drawers on the wall. Finally, he stopped before his objective: B9. Opening the drawer, Petros exposed the cadaver of a man, finely preserved in the Propontis Central Morgue for the purposes of a police investigation. Petros examined the tag attached to the man's toe: ELEUTHEROPOULOS ALEXANDROS, 27 YEARS OLD, MALE. The coroner sighed, disappointed at the premature death of a man so young, and lifted the sheet covering Alexandros, exposing his bullet-ridden corpse, which was missing most of its head above the chin level. Without any hesitation, to an almost mechanical degree, the seasoned coroner took a scalpel a begun cutting a Y-section into the chest of the unfortunate young man. The cause of the death was rather obvious, but a coroner's report was nonetheless needed, for formality's sake.

    An hour later, Petros had completed his macabre task, covering the cadaver once more, rolling the drawer back into the wall. As he walked out of the medical examination room, Petros met a man wearing a dark blue uniform with a peaked cap featuring a golden double headed eagle surrounded by a laurel wreath, the emblem of an officer of the General Directorate for Public Security. On his shoulders were the three silver stars of a Captain. "Good afternoon, Doctor Christopoulos," said the officer, a tall and sturdy man with broad shoulders and piercing blue eyes. "Good afternoon, Captain," replied Petros, himself much taller though more slender and of a darker skin tone, "I was expecting someone from the Politarchy; it was their bullets that did the deed after all." The officer followed as the Doctor continued his normal routine to the changing room. "Well, they certainly wanted to keep the case for themselves, but YPES* thought otherwise. They wanted to keep this in Propontis, for whatever reason."
    *The Pelasgian initials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    Petros was quite certain the Captain knew what the reason was, but he was smart enough not to inquire. "Well, the cause of death was bullet wounds," Petros said; "That and a missing head, caused by a shotgun from what I could deduce." The officer caught up with Petros and stood by him as he was about the enter the changing room, getting his attention before he could enter. "And his hands? You found traces of gunpowder, right?" Petros momentarily betrayed a smirk; "Of course. God forbid troopers of the Pelasgian State would ever shoot an unarmed man. Though the positioning of whoever fired the final blow was suspect... almost akin to an execution." The Captain laid his hand on top of the door as Petros moved to enter, interrupting him; "A coup de grace perhaps," he said. "Perhaps," Petros replied, "though whether that is legal is a question for the courts." The officer knocked nervously on the door, interrupting Petros again. "This is why I came to talk to you," he said; "The report is to not be circulated outside of the justice system for any reason whatsoever. Once it's completed, the Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation will take possession of the report; no copies will be allowed, and the original will be returned to the morgue's archives once the case is complete, on condition of confidentiality."

    Petros stood still for a second, staring at the door without uttering a word. "Is everything clear?" the Captain asked. "Yes," Petros replied, "it is. I assume the actual order will be served later?" The officer nodded in agreement. "Momentarily, though I wanted to let you know in advance, so you don't make any mistakes." Petros finally opened the door before him and moved to walk in; "Understood," he said, "good day to you Captain." The Captain responded in kind and started for the exit. His job was done.
     
  3. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Undisclosed location in the Long Sea

    The sound of metal contracting could be heard as the submarine moved through the deep, cold waters of the Long Sea in the heart of winter. Near the top of the submarine, right in front of the tower, a sonar operator found himself listening to the sounds of the sea. Nothing of interest had come up yet: a couple of dolphins, some fishing trawlers, and some shrimp deep down below. The submarine's sonar operator was careful to follow the orders of the ship: no sound made unless absolutely necessary, merely observe the surrounding ocean. In terms of a sonar operator's job, this was simple: no active sonar pings, only passive sonar; that is to say, merely listening in for any traces of activity. Suddenly, the operator, Leading Seaman Kyriakos Eleutheropoulos, picked up a reading that seemed all too familiar: a submarine rotor. Faint at first, though increasingly clear, it was exactly as heard in training. There were only to possibilities: either the submarine was of a very old model, which modern sonar could pick up from quite far away, or it was very close. Either possibility was not very encouraging; most Long Sea nations had rather modern submarines due to their maritime nature, so an old submarine would have to belong to a nation outside the region, which was sending its boats far too close to Pelasgian shores for comfort. Alternatively, a modern submarine could pose a realistic threat to the Pelasgian Delphin-class nuclear attack submarine.

    Without hesitating for a moment, Kyriakos notified his superior, who came by his station, and pointed to the line on-screen. He explained the dilemma before him, and added a question: should the Pelasgian boat ping the unidentified signature's approximate location for a definite reading? The question was complicated: on the one hand, such a ping would give them a certain picture of what they were facing, and its bearing and distance; on the other hand, it would give out the Pelasgian submarine's location to the pinged target. If the target was placed more advantageously to strike or, even worse, was joined by other boats or surface vessels, the Pelasgian boat would be a sitting duck. Of course, Pelasgia was not at war, and the Pelasgin submarine was in international waters near its home shores; nobody could reasonably attack a Pelasgian submarine in the Long Sea, going about its business of patrolling. But, then again, giving out a boat's position to a foreign navy was never a particularly good idea, given that a submarine's rotation and position was meant to be kept secret. Several more minutes passed, of the opposing submarine's rotor being periodically heard. As night drew closer, the heavy seas above made it difficult to tell whether any surface ships were present, but so far no other submarines had been heard in the area. Finally, the boat's Captain made the decision: the tubes would be loaded with torpedoes and decoys, and a single ping would be used.

    Modern sonar made pings not akin to the old "beep" sound known from movies, but more akin to those of whales and dolphins, long, screeching and painful sweeps. A single such sound emerged from the submarine, akin to a single "shout" of a very loud whale, and directly reflected from the position of the submarine. The sonar operator read out the location and the most likely match: "SUBMARINE, BEARING [...] DEGREES, DISTANCE [...]. CLASS: TEUTHIS III, PELASGIAN". Everyone in the room sighed in relief; they had spotted a Pelasgian ballistic missile submarine returning to port from its rotation out at sea. Soon after, a ping from the Teuthis III-class struck the Delphin-class, giving the other Pelasgian crew the other half of the story. "Merry Christmas, boys," said the Warrant Officer in charge of the sonar room. Somewhere across the cold, deep waters of the wintery Long Sea, the other boat's sonar operator must have said the same. The Warrant Officer was quite happy and relieved, for a returning Teuthis III meant a low Titan warning level, and thus the promise of peace on earth, at least for this year's Yuletide. For his part, Kyriakos was more fixated on returning to land, so he could meet his younger brother Alexandros. He had heard some rather concerning talk from their parents about his brother's getting acquainted with anti-regime groups, and wanted to nip any delinquent tendencies in the bud, before it was too late. His brother was a smart man poised to be a Navy officer, not some hoodlum beaten by the local politarchs like a dog.
     
  4. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Sindos, Pelagision Theme, Pelasgia

    Sindos, known to most Pelasgians as the Pearl of the Long Sea, was the second largest city of Pelasgia. Often referred to as the "co-capital" of the country, its population numbered slightly under six million people (slightly over a third of Propontis') and its economic importance was only second to that of Propontis. A city of immense beauty and wealth, it was considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Pelasgia, due to its neatly organised urban grid, which it owed to multiple reconstructions following fires, and its perfectly preserved monumental 19th-century architecture. Defined by river canals which reached all the way to the open sea and large public squares of pure white marble, Sindos was a decidedly western city, lacking many of the oriental influences trade had brought to Propontis, despite its being geographically further to the east than the Pelasgian capital. The massive Cathedral of the Dormition of Mary, which was more akin to a neoclassical museum than a traditional Pelasgian church, towered over the city, as did the acropolis (the fortified citadel) of Akrosindos further inland, dominated by the great Leucoteichon Fortress.

    It was only natural that such a large city would be divided into wealthier and poorer districts, along with districts of various kinds (academic, maritime, business, residential, commercial, industrial, office and so forth). Located near the eastern end of the city, on one of the canals forming part of the delta of the river Mavropotamos (the main river of the Sindos valley), was the suburb of Kalamos. Kalamos was built on top of what was previously a swamp covered in reed (which granted the locality its name); in terms of income it was a poor area, in terms of usage it was partly industrial, part cargo and part residential; and in terms of density it was very densely populated. Though a simple grid and rigid regulations assured smooth traffic circulation throughout the suburb, the sight of green was rather rare. It was in this hub of industry, in a dimly lit apartment on the third floor of a large apartment building, that a small group of friends found itself. Drinking their woes away on the otherwise joyful second day of Christmas, the group was mourning the death of a close friend. The friend was none other than Alexandros Eleutheropoulos.

    "He was barely a man," lamented Georgia, an olive-skinned twenty-something year old pharmacology student in the city's prestigious university. "We're partly to blame," she added in between tears, "He was there trying to get us a link with the group in Pyrgos when they got him." Theodosios, a large man of similar complexion who worked in the local urban planning bureau and a close friend of Georgia's since childhood tried to comfort her. "We couldn't have known, Geo. Yes, he might have gotten caught, but this? These rabid dogs went far beyond the pale." Giannes, who sat across from both, loudly set his empty shot glass back down on the table. "You bet they'll decorate them for it," he said, throwing a copy of the Propontios Logothetis onto the table. "His body's barely cold and what passes for independent journalism in this country's already trying to make it look like these dogs were justified in executing him."

    The television set of the apartment was playing a broadcast of a football game between two popular teams from Gallia, when it was interrupted by a breaking news broadcast of Pelasgian Public Television (PDT). "They've nominated Sakellarides for the title of Ethnarch. Clearly, being president-for-life and Marshal wasn't enough for the Chief of State," Giannes remarked bitterly. With a moment's pause, Theodosios voiced a stray thought: "Why? Why now? They've already consolidated their power. Such a blatant display of authority is pointless." Georgia responded rather quickly, having wiped her tears away. "They need a show of force, because they aren't as strong as they'd like us to think. It's the same reason Sakellarides' Christmas message was all about the 50 years of greatness since the April 15 Coup: after 50 years in power, the regime's stagnated. A dictatorship isn't a normal form of government; it can't last very long. The old guard's dying out, and they know they'll have to return to a Republic sooner or later."

    "How about we accelerate this process," remarked Theodosios, who had been staring at the television set in the meantime; "It says Sakellarides is coming to Sindos to inaugurate the new metro expansion. Let's give the new 'Ethnarch' a welcoming gift." The room fell silent at his insinuation, though everyone's fiery gazes made it abundantly clear they shared his resolve. They would try to assassinate the Chief of State, no matter what it took. A fitting way to send the regime into chaos, and accelerate the return to a Republic... or so they thought.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  5. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Propontis, Optimatoi Prefecture, Pelasgia

    The Grand Palace of Propontis was one of the jewels of the Pelasgian capital, second perhaps only to the Patriarchal Cathedral of Hagia Pronoia (Divine Providence). Located right at the heart of the old city centre, a stone's toss away from the Forum, the Hippodrome and the Senate, as well as the Cathedral and Patriarchate, the Palace served as the residence of the Pelasgian Emperors, and the Chief of State of Pelasgia, who was an Emperor in all but name. Decorated in the splendid golden banners of the Laskarid Dynasty, deposed for over half a century but still having left a profound impact on the country, the Palace stood ready to welcome countless guests of honour. The occasion? The celebration of the Year of Our Lord, MMXX. Located in the Great Hall of the Palace, a large, circular room covered by a glass dome supported by countless pillars, the Throne of the Pelasgian State stood empty but unmoved, a symbol of Pelasgian Sovereignty. In front of it was the ornate chair upon which the Chief of State sat, a step above the guests but a step below the vacant throne, symbolising his near-Imperial status.

    The chequered floor of the Grand Hall was teeming with life; Senators, Generals, Admirals, statesmen, Bishops, magnates of shipping and industry, academics and other persons of interest, rank, and prestige stood, sat, danced and enjoyed themselves as the year drew to a close, in what must have been the most distinguished réveillon in all of Pelasgia. Closer to the font rows, one could find the leading personalities of the major factions of Pelasgian politics. For the Party of April, the regime's hardliners, General of the Army Stylianos Leontopoulos sat among a group of business magnates and other Army officers. Designated as the current Chief of State's successor as a concession to the Party of April, Leontopoulos was seen as a man who could (at least in theory) bridge the gap with the currently dominant Constitutionalists, while keeping the hardliners in check. For their own part, the Constitutionalists, the governing moderate and reformist faction of the regime, were represented by Admiral of the Fleet Laonikos Laskarides, a member of a cadet branch of the old Imperial House of Laskaris, and a descendant of the last Kadikistani Tsars (on his mother's side). Surrounded by navy officers, diplomats, shipping magnates and some of the Bishops, Laskarides led a toast to the health of the Chief of State, newly designated as Ethnarch by the Senate.

    "Long may he live and lead our Nation," exclaimed the Admiral, joined by those around him. "May he... for as long as possible," remarked Herakles Stergiades, a distinguished diplomat from the Constitutionalist faction, speaking quietly with Aristeides Palatinos, a shipping magnate from Propontis and one of the richest men in Himyar. "I fear that that might not be as long as we would wish," replied Palatinos, as discreetly as he could. "And I fear for what will come after," he added, as the two gained a bit of distance from the group. The duo looked at General Leontopoulos, the Designated Successor and de facto Despot (Heir-Apparent) of Pelasgia. "A return to 1969 would not be in anybody's interest. Except perhaps the Army and arms manufacturers'," Stergiades said, voicing his concern. "And what of our own side? Do you think that Admiral Laskarides could live up to his lineage if... when the time comes?" he heard Palatinos ask, before taking a sip of wine. "One can never know such things in advance," Stergiades responded, as if speaking to students at the Diplomatic Academy, "But I have high hopes for the Admiral. He is a good leader and good officer. And, more than that, a good man who loves his country. He knows that Pelasgia is a people with an army, not the other way around. I hope that our leadership can remember that, when the time comes."

    "Yes, so do I," Palatinos remarked, "A river can never remain static, so we can at least hope it will flow in the right direction." The room went silent, as the Chief of State stood, dressed in the dark blue ceremonial uniform of a Pelasgian marshal. "My friends, my compatriots, women and men of Pelasgia," he proclaimed, raising his glass, "let us drink one last toast to this year, and the 50 years of prosperity proceeding it. And let us wish for a happy 2020 and 50 years more of health, joy and prosperity! Eis hygeían!" All glasses in the room were raised, and those gathered responded in kind: "Eis hygeían!", a Pelasgian toast meaning "To [our] health!". The sounds of glasses clinking together was succeeded by that of Church bells and of cannons roaring from sea and land, as the Church, Army and Navy welcomed the new year. The exchanges of kisses and the wishes of "Khrónia pollá!" or "Unto many years!" filled the room, at the same times as countless fireworks illuminated the midnight-sky with bright lights of various colours, followed by their well known sounds. The band started playing celebratory waltzes and marches, adding to the noisy excitement of the room. Across the capital, such music, along with popular and folk music in the less affluent quarters, gave voice to the inexpressible joy of millions as another year started. One that would bring with it many highs and lows, inscribing for itself an inextinguishable signature in the collective memory of the Pelasgian Nation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  6. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Plesti Naval Base & Naval Radio Station, Pelagision Prefecture, Pelasgia

    It had been almost ten hours since the PN Proteus, a Delphin-class nuclear attack submarine of the Pelasgian Navy had docked at Plesti, a seaside town hosting a naval base for anti-submarine frigates and submarines near the port city of Trapezon. While his colleagues were out celebrating, Leading Seaman Kyriakos Eleutheropoulos found himself alone in room, his eyes red and wet and a glass of strong whiskey in hand. A couple of hours ago, he had been informed of his brother's death at the hands of the Politarchy. Kyriakos could not help but blame himself for the demise of his younger sibling, the man whom he had loved the most and the most purely in this world, like a brother can only love a brother. Had he returned from sea a bit sooner, had he not gone out to sea since the last time he saw him, he thought, he could have prevented all of this. He should have trusted his hunch and should have put more effort into talking Alexandros out of spending time with those radicals while studying in Sindos. Or so he thought at least, burdened with a heavy emotional load and the loss of inhibition brought about by alcohol.

    As he sat contained within his own thoughts and regrets, Kyriakos took a good few moments before the sound of his cellphone ringing registered in his mind. He picked it up and saw an unknown number, his heart racing even more. Who could it be? The cops? The court? Relatives? He tried his best to calm himself, and answered the phone. "Oblige," he said, using a polite Pelasgian greeting. "Is this Mr. Kyriakos Eleutheropoulos?" he heard a young female voice say. The voice sounded like it was trying to repress grief almost as much as he. "Yes," he answered, "who is this?". "My condolences, Mr. Eleutheropoulos," the woman responded, "My name is Georgia Draveskiotou. I am a friend of your late brother's." The name struck Kyriakos like a dart: Georgia he'd heard of before. She was a student at Alexandros' university, whom Kyriakos had more or less understood his brother to be dating seriously in the last few months. It was her influence, at least as Kyriakos understood it, that led Alexandros to increasingly identify with radical left-wing republicanism. First the political chats, then the books, then the events... and now whatever he did that got him killed. Kyriakos' blood boiled, and he would have lost all composure, where it not for his training as a submariner.

    "You have quite the nerve calling at a time like this," he said, as calmly as he could; "What do you want?". Georgia was taken aback; a few moments of silence elapsed before she responded: "I wanted to talk to you about what happened. And why these... people killed your brother the way they did." Kyriakos was having none of it. "I know what happened very well," he said "I've read the coroner's report." He knew a guilty conscience was not all she was calling for; radicals lacked such courtesy. "I think there's a way for you to help us avenge your brother," she said "for you to contribute to what he died fighting for." Kyriakos had had enough; he finally lost his composure and raised his voice in pure rage. "How dare you?" he demanded, more as an accusation than an actual question; "His body is barely cold and you're asking me to help you bring about more deaths? Have you no shame? You might as well have shot him yourself!" Enraged he hung up, slamming the phone on the table.

    Taking a few moments to calm down, he looked at the papers in front of him and noted the number of the police inspector who had explained the events of his brother's demise to him. He dialed the number and waited for the man on the other end to pick up. "Good evening. Am I speaking to Lieutenant Vyronas?" he asked, "Yes, this is Leading Seaman Kyriakos Eleutheropoulos, please excuse the lateness of my call. I have some urgent information about my brother's case: I was just contacted by a member of the group that might have led to his death."
     
  7. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Kalamos, Sindos Province, Pelagision Prefecture, Pelasgia

    Unlike its usually busy and loud weekday life, the industrial and working class suburb of Kalamos in the northeastern outskirts of Sindos was remarkably quiet on this cloudy and moisty Saturday. Most locals awoke peacefully in their beds after a long week of work, living in the whitewashed concrete housing units provided for them by the authorities due to their low income, or similarly structured apartment buildings of private ownership. One could scarcely hear a voice or the sound of a motor on the narrow streets of Kalamos, in between the singing of the few birds that had remained in the area for the rainy and humid winter and the barking of the occasional stray dog. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a whole host of vehicles rushed through the industrial suburb’s streets, with a helicopter flying overhead.


    The cars were painted in the white and blue livery of the Sindos Directorate for Public Security, the local civilian police force, which feel under the General Directorate for Public Security, the overarching national policing agency. As the cars cordoned off a block in the centre of Kalamos, squads of police special weapons and tactics forces, the MEK*, and the elite anti-terrorist unit, the EMAD**, entered a large apartment building. Once they reached the third floor, the police officers stood by the door and prepared to enter. With ease, they kicked in the old wooden door of the apartment and threw flashbang grenades into the first room, shouting “Police – Search Warrant!” as they moved in. Just as the officers confirmed that the living room behind the entrance was clear, they heard a gunshot from one of the adjacent rooms.
    *(Μονὰς Ἐπεμβάσεως καὶ Καταστολῆς, “Intervention and Suppression Unit”)
    **(Εἰδικὴ Μονὰς Ἀντιτρομοκρατικῆς Δράσεως, “Special Anti-Terrorist Action Unit”)


    Immediately, they spread out and begun searching the apartment, six of the officers stacking behind the door of the room from where the gunshot was heard. Repeating the same process as for the apartment’s main entrance, the officers breached the door and flashbanged the room, entering with weapons aimed and ready. However, once inside they merely found a single woman lying face-down on an office desk. Gun in hand and still hot, she had shot herself in the head. Once the apartment was confirmed to be clear, an officer, dressed in the uniform of a Lieutenant of the Main Directorate for the Protection of the Constitution entered the apartment. The man, who was no other than inspector Epaminondas Vyronas, entered the unfortunate woman’s place of death and took a good look at her face. “This is Georgia Draveskiotou, alright” he thought aloud, recalling her picture from the police archives. In front of her was a computer which she had evidently wiped with the strong magnets next to it, and a stack of papers which were indented for shredding, which she never managed to get through entirely.

    Picking up the topmost sheet on the stack, Vyronas read through it. It was the cover of a local newspaper, referring to the visit of the Chief of State, Marshal Evangelos Sakellarides to that city on that same day, to inaugurate the city’s expanded metro. A horrible realisation dawned on the inspector: the dead woman’s confederates were planning to assassinate the Chief of State. Just as he rapidly turned to exit the apartment, he heard the police radio go haywire: “Attention all units: 10-80 at Akrosindos Metro Station. Repeat: 10-80 at Akrosindos Metro Station. All units respond code 3. Priority Warning: Civic Decapitation Effected. Code: Stabilise, Contain, Suppress […].” It was already too late.


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    Sindos, Pelagision Prefecture, Pelasgia

    Running through the wide streets of downtown Sindos, a motorcade consisting of a series of three limousines escorted by police patrol cars and motorbikes sped for the district surrounding Akrosindos, the acropolis (fortified citadel) overlooking the city of Sindos. Once at the edge of the city’s metro grid, Akrosindos connected lines one and two with the newly built lines three and four, nearly doubling the extent and coverage of Sindos’s metro network. Crowds lined the streets through which the motorcade passed and Pelasgian flags hung from every balcony, as the bright marble buildings of the city flanked the motorcade on both sides. The outpouring of popular excitement was partly genuine and partly the result of pressure by the local authorities, reflecting Pelasgia’s nature as a hybrid regime between an outright dictatorship and a constitutionally governed polity. Certainly, as Chief of State Marshal Evangelos Sakellarides exited the limousine at the middle of the motorcade, flanked by his wife, Penelope Sakellaridou (née Kalamiotou) nobody thought of doing anything but applauding, regardless of their actual sentiments towards the regime.

    Truth be told, Sakellarides did enjoy widespread support and acceptance among the populace, even among those who would have preferred a return to parliamentarianism. His reform of the regime and enactment of a new Constitution had returned the country to civilian rule and abolished martial law, guaranteeing relative freedom and comfort in a country whose populace had rarely known any form of government but autocracy anyway. On the social front, his reforms had enjoyed the support of the Orthodox Church and generally preserved the Pelasgian way of life, enabling the Marshal to play the role of a “family values” dictator. His greatest successes, however, were in the economy, foreign policy and the military: unemployment under the Constitutionalists had essentially reached near-zero and the economy grew at enviable rates, allowing Pelasgia to regain its place as a Himyari and even global powerhouse. The old widespread labour dispute had been replaced by cooperation that guaranteed the workers job security and living wages, and the employers a diligent and obedient workforce. Infrastructure projects, on which the government had placed wide importance, and the creation of a middle class of independent businessmen and skilled workers had elevated tens of millions out the misery and poverty that had characterised the Pelasgian working class for most of the 20th century. In terms of defence, the Pelasgian military was at its strongest since the times of the old Empire, and diplomatically, Pelasgia enjoyed peace and cooperation in all directions. The cession of Tephanon in particular was widely perceived as an ingenious way to end colonialism in Himyar (which was by now deeply unpopular among Pelasgians) and gain an ally in the process, while saving face.


    Sakellarides could be comfortable in knowing that a very good portion of the cheers he received from the crowds gathered to welcome him to Pelasgia’s second largest city were genuine. His wife, for her part, was equally popular among Pelasgians, at least much more so than his first wife. An educated and aristocratic woman from one of the most prestigious families in Old Pelasgia, Penelope had started her public life as a celebrated opera singer and had since dedicated her life to charity. Topics of particular interest to her were the needs of orphans, battered or abused women, and the poor, all of which she touched upon while cooperating with the Orthodox Church’s charitable establishments, satisfying both popular sentiment and the conservative circles of Propontine politics. An attractive woman even well into her fifties, she always dressed fashionably and gave no cause for any negative comment. If Sakellarides’ own deeds earned him the approval of the Pelasgian working man, the foundation of the Pelasgian state and economy, Penelope’s charisma earned him the support of the foundation of Pelasgian civil society: the Pelasgian housewife. A tall and broadly-shouldered man with pale skin, white hair and blue eyes, along with a characteristic Engell mustache, Marshal Sakellarides was a good match for his wife, a slender and elegant women of pale complexion, light brown to blonde hair and blue eyes.

    Surrounded by journalists and local officials, Sakellarides headed down the stairs leading into the newly renovated and expanded Akrosindos metro station. Standing in front of the main subterranean entrance, Sakellarides shook the hand of the mayor of Sindos, who handed him a large pair of scissors, with which he was to cut a large red ribbon that symbolically blocked entrance to the station. As the Marshal prepared to cut the ribbon, an explosion rocked the station, originated from the wall to the right of the Chief of State. The death of Pelasgia’s strongman, as well as that of his wife, the mayor and nearly thirty other dignitaries, journalists and bystanders was almost instantaneous. Many more were injured to varying degrees. As smoke and dust filled the room, and the sounds of police and fire brigade sirens could be heard in the background. Shouts of terror from all those assembled filled the air. Between rubble and a pile of corpses, what remained of the Chief of State and his wife would be found later that day. The Pelasgia of the last fifty years was gone. Its successor would emerge in the next few months, as the complex web of Pelasgian politics unfolded, all due to one single act of political terror by a group of naïve and desperate young radicals. They would not live to see most of it.
     
  8. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Demos
    Trapezon, Pelagision Theme, Pelasgia

    In the days following the murder of the Chief of State, the Pelasgian State mechanism had shown unprecedented brutality in the suppression of dissidents. The emotional outpouring of grief over the death of the beloved strongman, coupled with fear and uncertainty over who his successor would be, as the Senate deliberated, led to a wave of righteous fury directed at his assassins. The General Directorate of Public Security, and the Politarchy for that matter, had proven incapable of preventing the assassination; the Government's response had been rather simple: "Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war." The infamous State Security Service (YKA) had taken over the investigation, making use of its special paramilitary units, the Special Security and Prosecution Detachments (ETA and ETK).

    The main voices of Pelasgian dissidence had been quashed in the days since the Akrosindos Metro Attack. Thousands of intellectual, political and labour leaders who had taken anti-regime stances had been arrested without counsel or bail, as per the State of Siege declaration made by the Senate. No anti-regime dissidence would be allowed to manifest during the interregnum. The underground radical groups were none the luckier, their structure and networks having largely been exposed due to the University of Propontis Radical Group Scandal in December. The small group of terrorists behind the attack on Akrosindos Metro were no exception: one by one they had been picked off or taken their own lives after being cornered by the ETK. Georgia had shot herself in the head in the group's headquarters once Sindos police forces had discovered its location. Theodosios had set fire to an underground cache and perished within once the ETK came a-knocking.

    And Giannes... Giannes had run as far away as possible, leaving all those that he cared for in a hurry. He had taken a train to Kypseli, a boat to Pergomeni and then anothr to Iolcus, and had then hidden in a truck to get to Trapezon. Lying in wait in a local cell's underground safehouse, he had pondered at how badly everything had gone since Alexandros' death. He had hoped to rebirth the republic... and had seemed to only birth chaos and tyranny on an unprecedented scale. The moderates were out of the picture since he had slain their leader, and the regime's hardliners were having a field day. As he thus pondered, crawled up under an olive-green military blanket in a rusty bunk somewhere near a sewer entrance, he heard commotion from the room ahead. Shouts were followed by the sound of the door breaking and a loud bang. Then, the all-familiar sound of cries and gunshots. Giannes rose to his feet in shock and unlocked the sewer door behind him, running for his life. He never turned to look as the thunderous echo of gunshots and cries of pain drew ever closer.

    Lost in the dark and maze-like corridors of the sewers of the Pelasgian industrial port city of Trapezon, Giannes tripped on a pipe and fell into the dirty, stinking sewage. He was barefoot and only dressed in pants and a white undershirt. Completely unarmed, he gripped an old rusty pipe he had found for a weapon. Suddenly, as he tried to get back up, he heard the sound of steps behind him. Desperately, like a cornered animal, he launched forward and run as fast as he could, stopping to rest when he finally saw the dim light of the world above coming threw the bars of a sewer entry. As he breathed in heavily, he heard the sound of footsteps approaching before him. Looking up he saw a series of dark figures approaching, weapons drawn and with night-vision goggles. Similar sounds encircled him on all sides; he had nowhere to hide.

    These men, whatever force or organisation they belonged to, were hounds out for the kill and they had caught him. Closing his eyes he knelt and prepared for the inevitable. A single pair of footsteps approached him, until it stopped right before him. Opening his eyes, he looked up at the lifeless goggles on the man's covered face; covered in all-black tactical gear, the figure's only identifying mark was its unit number and blood type, both attached to the bulletproof vest next to the large lettering "ETK". The figure aimed its weapon, a large Type-36 assault rifle, onto Giannes' forehead. A moment later, it was all over: a hail of bullets riddled Giannes' corpse with holes, and a stream of his blood joined the sewer's stream. The would-be Pelasgian Revolution was over before it even begun. Now it was time for the machinations of the Propontine ruling class to determine the future of the Pelasgian State.
     
  9. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Propontis
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    Propontis, Optimatoi Prefecture, Pelasgia

    The Propontine State Gardens were a truly majestic sight to behold. One hundred and forty hectares (or one thousand four hundred stremmata) of green space, lined with quaint pathways and full of all sorts of lush plants, trees and flowers, located between the Senate House and Grand Palace of Propontis for all Propontines to enjoy. Walking through the section of the Gardens close to the Grand Palace were Admiral of the Fleet Laonikos Laskarides and Senator Tiverios Melissanides of the Party of April, along with a security detail which surrounded them at a distance. Formally, the two men had met at the Cathedral of Hagia Pronoia, during morning service for the holiday of Epiphany, and had continued on to the nearby Gardens, to discuss matters of personal importance, given the close friendship of their families. Informally, the two were quietly conducting a negotiation of much greater importance.

    “I think we both know,” the grey-haired Senator said, “that the issue is not just convincing me that your plan can work. It’s convincing the Aprilian senators to vote you way.” The Senator's remark convinced the Admiral that, at last, he was making some progress. “We only need three. So two, apart from you. And from there, the rest might as well not show up,” the Admiral responded, explaining how slim an addition of seats the Constitutionalists would need to acquire the 3/5 majority to override the Chief of State’s designated succession and substitute their own candidate. “And how do you plan to convince these two Senators?” asked Melissanides, “And me for that matter.” The Admiral pointed to one of the medals on his chest: “How would the Order of the Pomegranate sound? Along with an upgraded peerage?” Melissanides seemed receptive; him and two of the other aristocratic Senators on the Party of April side had long dreamed of a Restoration that would bring back their privileged position, and it was no secret; it was they who had pushed for the revival of many of the old Imperial tradition by the new regime. “Very well,” the Senator responded, “but we need to be sure that this plan of yours will work. Otherwise all of us, and our families will end up on the wall to be shot. How do you plan to deal with Leontopoulos, for instance?”

    The Admiral had already taken steps to neutralise the late Chief of State’s designated Successor. “The General of the Army is already on Prinkeponesos for his own safety,” he pointed out, “who’s to say he could not be kept there a bit longer? The Navy controls that isle after all, and ASDEN* is already inclined in our side’s favour, due to being staffed by high-ranking Propontine officers.” Melissanides was leaning on Laskarides’ side now, but he needed some more reassurance to be fully convinced. “And how do you plan to hold the capital?” he queried, “And to prevent a counter-coup?” Laskarides stopped walking and scanned his surroundings before outlining his plans with regard to that matter. “The Navy, Marines and Naval Police are set to take control of Propontis and the surrounding coastal and insular areas, along with forces under the control of ASDEN. We’ll arrest any officers loyal to the Aprilians before dawn and hold the vote in the Senate as soon as possible. The GDDA and Port Corps should be able to prevent a counter-attack by the Politarchs, while our higher officers will neutralise any attempted counter-coup by hardliner middle officers near the capital. I’ve got it on good authority that Sindos-led Army brigades are on our side too. By the time any hardliners further out realise what’s up, they’ll be faced with a fait accompli and won’t dare try to revolt against their own higher leadership, especially with the core Aprilian leaders out of the picture.”
    *ASDEN is the Supreme Military Command of the Interior and Islands, a corps-sized formation of the Pelasgian Army responsible for the security of the Propontine core region and the Pelasgian islands in the Long Sea.

    The Senator seemed satisfied and fully convinced, at last. “If you can keep military and police control of the core regions,” he told the Admiral, “then we’ll have the numbers to push your appointment through in the Senate. And any Constitutional Amendment you want to pass will surely get the opposition on board; the only thing they fear more than a Restoration is another 1969.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  10. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Propontis
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    Demos
    Propontis, Optimatoi Prefecture, Pelasgia

    Dawn had barely broken on the Pelasgian capital, the faint sunshine of mid-January and the sound of the few remaining birds announcing that fact. And yet, the Senate House was packed, filled with the fifty-five most powerful politicians in Pelasgia. All-around armoured troops of the Pelasgian Navy's Marine Corps and the Pelasgian Naval Police stood guard, armed to the teeth. Their colleagues from the General Directorate for Public Security and the First Army Corps under the direction of the Supreme Command of the Interior and the Islands (ASDEN) patrolled the capitals streets; in these hours, Propontis seemed more like some faraway city under Pelasgian occupation or a colonial outpost on Tephanon than the bustling metropolis that crowned northern Himyar. Inside the Senate House, the Senators, some rudely awaken and others well-prepared in advanced lined up before their seats. In the room, two factions had formed: the Constitutionalists, who had brought the vote about, and the Aprilians, who had rushed to the Senate House to block it once they had heard of the matter to be debated.

    Despite protests over the legality of the proceedings, ranging from the more positive legal arguments over the need to follow procedure to emotional appeals to the memory of the late Chief of State, the Constitutionalist faction seemed determined to proceed. Finally, as the clock neared eight, the Presiding Magistrate of the Senate ordered that the disputed motion finally be put to a vote, overriding motions for further debate. The text was loudly read out by him: "The Senate, by the authority vested in it by articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Constitution of the Pelasgian State, does hereby exercise its right of veto over the appointment of General of the Army Stylianos Leontopoulos to the office of Chief of State." Boos and woes echoed from the Aprilians, sitting on the right side of the room as viewed from the podium, as the Constitutionalists voted one by one, slowly reaching the Aprilians' seats. Certain that they could block the motion, as the Constitutionalists were three seats short of the 3/5 majority required by the Constitution, the Aprilians were determined to make a show out of the whole affair.

    However, the cries gave way to shocked silence as the votes of three of the first Aprilians to vote were heard: Tiverios Melissanides, son of Kriton, Senator and Notable of Kerasond Province, Euxenia Prefecture - AYE; Aristoteles Tiveriades, son of Ioannes, Senator and Notable of Pergomene Province, Kibyrrhaioton Prefecture - AYE; Themistokles Markopoulos, Senator and Notable of Iolcus Province, Pelagision Prefecture - AYE. These three old aristocrats had given the Constitutionalists their majority; just like that, the Constitutionalists erupted into applause, having deprived the Aprilian hardliners of their pick for the Pelasgian State's highest office. The Presiding Magistrate read out a second motion, introduced by Herakles Stergiades of Therisus Province, Khandax Prefecture: "The Senate, by the authority vested in it by articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Constitution of the Pelasgian State, does hereby appoint Admiral of the Fleets Laonikos Laskarides to the office of Chief of State." The Aprilians protested with all their might but could do nothing to disrupt the vote, due to the presence of the Naval Police troops in the chamber, as the same Senators voted in favour of the motion, ensuring its passing.

    As the chamber's right side erupted into loud jeers, the elderly Senator Stergiades stood up once more to introduce another motion: "The Senate does hereby bestow upon His Excellency, Chief of State Laonikos Laskarides the title of Basileus and Autokrator ton Pelasgon* and decrees the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to modify the Constitution of Pelasgia so as to reflect that change." The motion passed with the same majority of 3/5 of the Senate, with the cheers of the Constitutionalist senators filling the room. Almost simultaneously, the thunder of naval canons and the First Army Corps' land artillery, as well as the noise of jets flying over the Pelasgian capital could be heard, with the pro-coup forces celebrating a historic event: the beginning of the Second Pelasgian Empire. As the news spread through the Queen of Cities, like a fire through a thick wood, the honking of cars horns and the chiming of church bells soon joined the crazed celebration. The Laskarid Dynasty had returned for all to see. And even Stylianos Leontopoulos could see that, from across the cold wintry waters of the Propontine Straits.
    *Sovereign and Emperor of the Pelasgians (Βασιλεὺς καὶ Αὐτοκράτωρ τῶν Πελασγῶν), the traditional title of the Pelasgian Emperors
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  11. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Propontis
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    Prinkeponesos Island, Optimatoi Prefecture, Pelasgia

    The isle of Prinkeponesos was as ancient as it was beautiful. Covered in lush flora and largely pristine and untouched from the massive metropolis to its east, save for the eastern coast, the Prince’s Island had served as a secluded refuge for Emperors of Propontis for centuries, being their personal property and the location of many of their tombs. The locals, a cultured and well-off but humble and hospitable bunch quietly went about their lives, leaving the large secluded retreats of the Empire’s most powerful alone and generally avoiding the tourist frenzy that gripped other isles of such beauty in favour of tranquil and stable existence. Through the centuries, their humble isle had hosted Emperors and Empresses, heirs and usurpers, triumphators and refugees, wouldhavebeens and hasbeens of every kind; and, it remained unaltered all the same. The locals knew better than to change the gift that God had given them: to be exempt from politics.

    It was in the Palace of the Laskarids, the largest and most beautiful of the island’s palaces, that Stylianos Leontopoulos, General of the Army and would-be Chief of State found himself secluded. A prisoner in all but name, Stylianos admired the lush nature of the island, which never really seemed to go through winter, and listened to the singing of its birds, famous for having inspired several Pelasgian poets through its sheer beauty. Forced to remain in this garden of ecstatic life, Stylianos knew all too well that his own death was drawing near. Such had been the nature of Pelasgian politics since time immemorial: one would win or one would die. Peaceful opposition was a concept unknown to the Pelasgian mind; to win was to dominate absolutely, to lose was to be crushed completely. Autocracy was indeed most suited to this peculiar race who had made northern Himyar their own in much the same way a few millennia ago. Maybe it was punishment, brought upon the sons of Pelasgos as a curse by the area's original inhabitants, whom they had crushed, assimilated and eradicated so many thousands of years ago.

    Hearing the sound of footsteps on the marble floor behind, Stylianos sighed before responding to a knock on the door: “Come in.” A single man walked in, in the uniform of a Major of the (now Imperial) Pelasgian Army. From his left shoulder, a golden aiguillette hung, while a blue and white armband inscribed «ΣΝ» was wrapped around his right arm. A peaked cap with a blue top sat on his head, the emblem of an officer of the Imperial Pelasgian Military Police. The man saluted and stood in attention, before Stylianos returned the salute and allowed him to stay at ease. “General of the Army sir,” the man said, “I am Major Konstantinos Papadopoulos of the His Imperial Majesty’s Military Police. I have been ordered by the Supreme Military Procuratorate to take you into custody, sir.” Stylianos, hardly surprised, responded without a hint of shock or hesitation: “On what charges?” The man took a breath to draw courage and continued. “On charges of treason, rebellion and conspiracy to overthrow the Government.” Stylianos did not respond. He turned around and looked at large pine tree in the Palace’s courtyard, said to have been planted by an Emperor in thanks to Saint George, the island’s patron. A small mockingbird sat on the tree’s largest branch, calmly singing in complete peace.

    “General of the Army, sir,” the man continued, “I must ask you to come with me.” Stylianos took a few more moments before responding, leaving the Major baffled and increasingly concerned. “Draw your sword, Major,” he responded, stunning the man, “if you are to kill me, let it be here; you may say to everyone that I resisted. Not that anyone in Propontis will want to hear otherwise.” The Major, stunned into silence could not move. “If not, then begone from here,” the General of the Army continued, “I want an honourable death, not for me, but for my family. So that they can walk around with their heads held high, as the issue of an honourable man, and not the spawn of a disgraced traitor.” The Major, finally understanding the General’s point, stood in attention and saluted. “I shall return in thirty minutes, sir. God be with you.” Stylianos returned the salute and greeting the man for one last time: “And with you, Major.” As the door closed behind, the once would-be Regent of Pelasgia took a fountain pen from the table next to him and signed his confession; his will, already signed, lay further along the table. Having acknowledged his supposed crimes and apologised to the Pelasgian people, he begged them for forgiveness. He then begged God for forgiveness for what he was about to do, saying that revolting against His Viceroy on Europe was a wrong he could only right in one way. Drawing his sword he turned the point towards himself and placed it on his chest. “Forgive me, Lord,” he said “that I only have one life to give for Your people’s polity*.” With his eyes wide open, he plunged the sabre deep into his own body, killing himself, like the Tiburans of old.
    *A reference to the last line of the Troparion of the True Cross, Pelasgia’s de facto anthem

    The body of General of the Army Stylianos Leontopoulos was found inside his temporary chambers at the Palace of the Laskarids of Prinkeponesos, with the General’s own sword forced deep inside his own chest. Having died in a dignified, albeit not entirely religiously appropriate manner the General was given the decency of a proper burial and was treated with respect, rather than public scorn or humiliation. His wife and their children, two daughters and a son, were allowed to quietly move away from the capital once the rites were complete, returning to his native town in the heart of Old Pelasgia. A widow’s pension, paid directly out of the Emperor’s treasury was to be provided to his wife, as a sign of forgiveness and goodwill by the newly enthroned Emperor. Equally the children were to be cared for at the Emperor’s expense until their majority and marriage. A largely tragic figure, Leontopoulos went down in Pelasgian history as a footnote in another man’s biography, having reached the threshold of greatness but having never attained it. Nevertheless, he did more to unite Pelasgia in death than he ever had in life: with his suicide, the Party of April begun to melt away, incapable of resisting the new regime. That would not, however, stop a few desperate holdouts from trying.
     
  12. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Marmaras, Euxenoi Prefecture, Pelasgia

    The city of Marmaras stood quietly and fairly on a quaint piece of land, located where a small peninsula of a fertile plain extended into the sea, being flanked on one side by the Marble Sea and on the other by the Zevgolates or Parorios river, sticking out from the mainland like a thumb from a fist. Named after its famed marble workers, the city was actually much further out than the mountains that housed the famed Pelasgian white marble that had given its name to the Marble Sea; rather, it had long served as the processing and export hub for this raw material, the area’s marble quarries being largely owned by the city’s affluent merchant class. The rich merchants often found themselves in conflict with the rich landowners of the nearby plains, with whom they competed for political influence. The former largely supported centralising, nationalistic, liberal and reform-oriented policies, hoping for freer trade and a protection from the abuses of local notables or subversive elements in the workforce; the latter supported conservative, reactionary and localistic policies of every kind, wishing to maintain their privileges against the central government and the industrialist business class. In the decades since the April 15th, 1969 coup, this manifested itself in a divide between supporters of the moderate Constitutionalists and of the hardline Party of April. Recent events had only exacerbated this tension, with the liberal merchants assured of their final victory following the Laskarid Restoration.

    It was thus in this quaint town, that Brigadier Meletios Skordilos had gathered his remaining forces of around five thousand five hundred men. To these was attached a small group of diehard loyalist commandoes, styling themselves as the Sacred Band. The Brigadier himself was a man of tall stature, with a stern masculine face and piercing black eyes. His balding head with closely-cut silver hair and protracted chin were complemented by a face that rarely betrayed emotion. Skordilos was the last son of a famed family of Pelasgian landowing nobles of the rank of Hypokomes, the equivalent of a Viscount in Pelasgian peerage. He had come to the army with a belief that the Propontine elites were incapable of properly ruling Pelasgia and protecting its traditions from barbarian encroachment, and his military career had only strengthened this belief. He was a convinced and unabashed supporter of the military regime, the Stratocracy, and was determined to keep it in power, in spite of what any Emperor desired. He knew too well, after all, that it would not be the Emperor, but some Propontine statesman turned Prime Minister who would guide Pelasgia hidden behind stacks of paper and endless committees, if the Fifty Years’ Regency were to end and the military were to relinquish control.


    Skordilos had quartered his forces at an old military resupply outpost joined to a Politarchy vehicle depot that his forces had requisitioned, without much resistant from the sympathetic local commander of what was now His Imperial Majesty’s Politarchy. Sitting in his headquarters, the base’s old command building, surrounded by maps and subordinates, the Brigadier received word from his chief of intelligence, Colonel Gregorios Natsinas. “Brigadier, sir,” the Colonel said, “General of the Army Leontopoulos has taken his own life.” Skordilos was beyond stunned at the news; the man whom he had regarded as his supreme commandant, from whom he had awaited the order to march on Propontis for so long had fallen on his own sword. “The Emperor has taken his family into his own care and has spared him public humilitation for his alleged crimes. His Imperial Majesty has ordered all dissident officers to surrender their arms and take an Oath of Loyalty to Him. Those who do not will be declared outlaws and be excommunicated by the Patriarchate.” Skordilos slammed his fist on the table for him in a fit of pure rage. “These rabid dogs,” he said “They have killed one of the few men still worthy of that title in this damn country. Damn the lot of them! This isn’t the Emperor proclaiming; he signs the paper and speaks the words, but Baron Platanias* pulls the strings. And he has probably ‘advised’ the Emperor to send some of his troops our way, in case we do not acquiesce?” Natsinas nodded in agreement, “Yes, Brigadier sir; a whole division of Marines and Regulars of the New First Army**. At this speed, they’ll cross the Zevgolates river in a day’s time.”
    *Themistokles Platanias, Timariotes (Baron) of Oaxos, the Prime Minister of Pelasgia.
    **The New First Army is an elite unit of the Imperial Pelasgian Army, composed entirely of professional soldiers and trained along Engell standards to serve as a basis for the modernisation and professionalization of Pelasgia’s largely conscript-based land forces.


    Brigadier Skordilos stood up straight and looked Natsinas in the eye. His face betrayed no fear, only determination and the wish for revenge. Energetic but collected, he pointed his finger at the large map behind him, directing the assembled officers’ attention to the river Zevgolates, which stood to the northeast of Marmaras and separated the Euxenoi and Optimatoi Prefectures. To its south was the brigade’s current location, at the outskirts of Marmaras; to its north was the incoming division-sized punitive force sent by the Central Government to pre-empt any chance of a prolonged resistance to the Laskarid Restoration, which might lead to a civil war. “Gentlemen,” he declared loudly and clearly “we shall meet them at the Zevgolates. Let this all end by Marmaras – whether we win, or we lose.” All those assembled stood in attention and saluted; “Yes sir!” they shouted, with equal determination. The First Special Mixed Brigade, this peculiar collection of unit remnants from here and there as well as sympathetic reservists and volunteers from local towns that was a Brigade in name and size only, and the Sacred Band, a similar hodgepodge of all sorts of special forces operators still aligned with the April 15th Regime, were determined to make their last stand and defy the Emperor’s decree.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  13. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Marmaras Province, Euxenoi Prefecture, Pelasgia

    Dawn finally broke on the lowlands of Marmaras Province. The rainy, cloudy sky and the humid atmosphere had fertilized the fields and forests of lowlands well, giving them the distinct smell of dump wood and ground, and the rich green colour of foliage after the rain. Through this scenery of tranquility flew the Zevgolates or Parorios river, on the border between the Euxenoi and Optimatoi Prefectures. It was in this scenery, right on the border between Old Pelasgia and the New Countries (as the lands outside of traditional Pelasgia conquered by the Empire over the centuries were known), that one of the most important battles in modern Pelasgian history was to take place: The Battle of the Zevgolates.

    To the north of the river stood a division of professional soldiers, drilled and equipped to the highest standards the Empire had to offer, supported by air and land vehicles, and led by one of the most reputable generals in the Imperial Pelasgian Army: General Ioannes Selymbriotes, Kleisourarch (Marquess) Selymbriotes of the Dytikon. Formally under the direction of the Diadochos and Despot (Crown Prince) of Pelasgia himself, General Selymbriotes had been given free reign to suppress the revolt in the Marmaras Province by any means necessary. Standing in his headquarters, a requisitioned stately home of a major Aprilian landowner, surrounded by maps and advisors and with the Despot sitting behind him on an elevated seat, Selymbriotes studied the map before him, showing the river Zevgolates. On the other side of the river, Brigadier Skordilos, stripped of his noble rank of Viscount, was doing the same. The latter man had a much humbler army, if one could even call it that: five thousand five hundred conscripts, militiamen, reservists, volunteers and defecting regulars of varying degrees of skill and equipment, from all sorts of local units and with scarcely and mechanised units, let alone air or significant artillery support. Their varying uniforms (some were civilian clothes) attested to their state of destitution. Attached to this self-proclaimed First Special Brigade was a similar hodgepodge of special forces operators, calling itself the Sacred Band, five hundred-song.

    Outnumbered nearly thirty to one, the rebels stood no chance. They had been offered every opportunity to surrender; Brigadier Skordilos’ response had been simple: “We shall relay your terms to General Leontopoulos,” the late would-be leader of the Aprilians. The defenders were determined to fight to the death, a wish the Emperor’s men would readily grant. The initial stages of the battle, if one could call it that, consisted of nothing less than an absolute slaughter. Torn to pieces by Imperial air and artillery attacks, the desperate defenders trying to fire on the attackers coming across the river found themselves overwhelmed. Some tried to retreat deeper inland, while others stood their ground, fighting until they run out of bullets, using knives, helmets, teeth and nails until they all expired. The mechanised regulars of the New First Army and the Imperial Naval Infantry Corps seemed unfazed, losing barely over a hundred men, to the rebels’ three to four thousand dead, wounded and captured.

    Proud and confident in the certainty of their victory, the Imperials begun chanting “O my Despot”, a popular song written about the revolt. The lyrics were thought to have been composed by a noble sympathetic to the Restoration, despite being written from the perspective of the common people of the Optimatoi Prefecture:

    Δεσπότα μου, ὠρὲ Δεσπότα
    O my Despot (Prince), o good Despot
    Στὴν Εὐξηνία τράβα καὶ ῥώτα,
    Go to Euxenia and ask,
    Ποιὸς εἶν’ ὁ Ταξίαρχος ‘κεῖ ποὺ τολμάει
    Who is that Brigadier there who dares
    Σ’ ἐσὲ νὰ στέκῃ, νὰ μὴν προσκυνάῃ;
    To stand before you, not to bow?

    Ὅρμα καὶ τράβηξε τὸ σπαθί σου
    Charge and draw your sword
    Καὶ ἐκδιδήσου τὴν τιμή σου,
    To avenge your honour,
    Κλεισουράρχης γιὰ σὲ πολεμάει
    The Kleisourarch (Marquess, i.e. Marquess Selymbriotes) fights for you
    Κι ὁ Τιμαριώτης γιὰ σὲ κυβερνάει.
    And the Timariote (Baron, i.e. Baron Platanias) governs for you.

    Οἱ Ὀπτιμάτοι θὰ σηκωθοῦμε
    The men of Optimatoi shall rise
    Γιὰ τὴν Βασιλεία θὰ καταταχθοῦμε,
    For the Empire we shall volunteer to fight
    Μόνο μᾶς μένει ἡ ἐντολή σου
    All that’s left for us is your order
    Ἡ προσταγὴ καὶ ἡ σφραγίς σου!
    Your decree and your seal!

    As the attackers moved further inland, advancing over a sea of corpses and a mountain of ruined fortifications built on muddy ground, they started entering the forests of the northern Euxenoi Prefecture. Suddenly, hidden in foxholes and pillboxes scattered throughout the forest, the remnants of the First Special Brigade and the Sacred Band unleashed a hail of fire on the attackers, catching them by surprise. In the ensuing chaos, at least two hundred of regulars and naval infantrymen found themselves killed or wounded, and the advancing Division was forced to retreat. For the defenders, however, the victory would be short lived: soon, a barrage of artillery and air fire, incendiary or heat-seeking, pummelled the defenders’ positions. The majority of the First Special Brigade’s surviving men were killed or incapacitated, while the attackers’ armour begun moving forth, supported by infantry. Emerging from their hiding spots, the elite men of the Sacred Band made on last desperate charge; many of them, having run out of ammunition, used their bayonets. Of the five hundred charging men, merely thirty even made it to the attackers’ line, each taking an attacker with him.

    The courage and resolve of the defenders shocked and impressed the attackers; these were their fellow countrymen, traitors to be sure, and yet determined to fight to the last and with every fibre of their being, all for a cause that was surely lost. Shaken, the attackers moved through the remnants of the burnt-out forest on the far side of the battlefield, bayonetting any corpse they found for fear it would turn around and mangle them with its bare hands. With the sun nearly setting, the Battle of the Zevgolates was complete. All six thousand men of the First Special Brigade and Sacred Band lay dead, incapacitated or captured, in exchange for merely three hundred and fifty attackers. The entire field, scorched and pummelled with the craters formed by the impact of munitions, could attest to the brutality of the deed. Finally, General Selymbriotes emerged from his headquarters, looking for the remains of his enemy; his men found the defeated Brigadier laying in a bunker close behind the last line of defence, empty revolver in hand and with his own sword rammed through his chest. Inside his overcoat was a set of letters, a will and a confession, similar to that of General Leontopoulos and with the same last words: “Forgive me, Lord, that I only have one life to give for Your people’s polity.”

    The Marmaras Rebellion, which had lasted a few days at most, was finally over, and with it any true opposition to the Laskarid Restoration. The work of re-forging the Pelasgian Constitutional Monarchy and adapting it to the needs of the new century would be a much taller task and had only just begun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  14. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Propontis
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    MARMARAS, EUXENOI PREFECTURE, ON THE NINETEENTH DAY OF JANVARY, IN THE YEAR OF OVR LORD TWO THOVSAND AND TWENTY,

    THEODORE
    BY THE GRACE OF GOD
    EMPEROR OF THE PELASGIANS

    FAITHFUL-IN-CHRIST SOVEREIGN AND AVTOCRAT OF THE PELASGIANS, GREAT LORD OF PELASGIA, PHILISTAEA, LYCAONIA, KYPHTIC MEMPHIS, HIBERIA, HAYDIS, THE ARCHIPELAGO, NEW TIBVR, AND ALL OF SOVTHERN TIBVR, MASTER OF THE PELASGIAN SOVEREIGN BASE AREAS ON TEPHANON, GREAT LORD OF THE FAR SOVTH, SOLE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HOLY, CONSVBSTANTIAL, AND INDIVISIBLE TRIADIC GOD ON EARTH, AVGVSTVS CAESAR, DEFENDER OF THE ONE TRVE ORTHODOX FAITH

    Taking into consideration,

    1. The Declarations of the Senate and Legislative Council of Pelasgia from the 10th of January of this year on, and the authority Vested into Us thereby in the Name of the State and Constitution of Pelasgia,


    2. The offer of General Amnesty made by Us and published in Our Decree of the 12th of January of this year, and the general wish for peace, dialogue and unity present in Our Realm at this time,

    3. The Declarations of His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Propontis, and the other Great Hierarchs of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ encouraging respect of divinely-ordained order and forgiveness,

    4. The Resolutions of the Constituent Assembly of Pelasgia from the 11th of January of this year onward, and the manifest wish of the People and political institutions of this Empire for a return to Constitutional Monarchy, the most natural and meritorious of Constitutions,

    WE HAVE DECIDED AND DO HEREBY DECREE:

    I. We humbly accept the Titles and Responsibilities bestowed upon Us by the Senate and Constituent Assembly of Pelasgia, and do hereby take the Regal Name of THEODORE, as the THIRD of that Name under the HOUSE OF LASKARIS, and do establish the Laskarides cadet branch of the House of Laskaris as the main Dynastic branch of that House de novo, with Us at its head,

    II. That the Constitutional Proposal drafted and approved by the Constituent Assembly of Pelasgia under the title “POLITICAL CONSTITVTION OF PELASGIA” with the purpose of restoring Pelasgia to its ancient Constitutional Monarchy under Parliamentary principles shall be submitted to the People of Pelasgia for approval pursuant to the current Law on Referenda and the relevant articles of the current Constitution,

    III. That from this day hence, all political dissenters and other political prisoners held in Pelasgia under any Act of the Senate or under any Decree, to the exception of those convicted of aggravated sedition under the Penal Code or of sui generis offences under Special Compulsory Law 571/1971, before the 14th of January of this year shall be granted amnesty and released,

    IV. That from this day hence, all citizens of Pelasgia convicted of treason or rebellion in connection with the events in Marmaras shall be granted amnesty and released, provided they sign a statement vowing to not take up arms against the State or Throne ever again,

    V. That in the New Political Constitution of Pelasgia there shall be a lower house from which all legislative proposals shall originate, which shall be elected by all adult Pelasgians based on the principle of universal suffrage, save for those disqualified from suffrage by reason of grave offences or failures of public duty,

    VI. That in the New Political Constitution of Pelasgia, the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Pelasgians shall be respected and protected, inclusive of property rights, and that no Pelasgian shall not be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and law,

    VII. That no reprisals shall be allowed against those still supportive of Pelasgia’s previous constitutional order, and that any such reprisals shall be punished harshly and completely by the legal system of Our Realm; and that no nepotistic or factionalistic appointments to the judiciary or public service shall take place or be tolerated,

    VIII. That the Peerage of Pelasgia shall be preserved and restored completely, without violating the fundamental principle of the equality of Pelasgian citizens as per the Law on Peerage of 1889, as amended in 1922, and that there shall be no prejudicial barriers to any Pelasgian citizen based on their status as a Peer or commoner,

    IX. That respect for law and order, and for the generally established rules of international law, both customary and conventional, shall be a fundamental duty of the State, and that Pelasgia shall thus continue to uphold all its international obligations and shall maintain any and all rights and privileges afforded to it by international treaties with unbroken state continuity,

    X. That the Orthodox Christian Faith of the Great Church of Christ in Propontis shall continue to be recognised as the dominant faith of this Realm, with all the rights and privileges that accrue thereto as a result of this status, without any prejudice to the rights, freedoms and prejudices of other faiths, confessions and convictions in Our Realm;

    Our Minister of Internal Affairs shall publish and execute this decree immediately, with immediate effect. We have here below affixed Our Signature in Red and Our Seal in Gold, to signify the status of this Decree as a Chrysoboule, irrevocable and with the force of Law.

    Signed and Sealed,

    Θεόδωρος Γ’ Λάσκαρις, Βασιλεὺς Πιστὸς ἐν Χριστῷ
    Theodore III Laskaris, Faithful-in-Christ Emperor


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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020

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