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Gran-Occidentia

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Puerto Angeles
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Boro
Gran-Occidentia's army might not have the level of equipment that the major powers had but it worked it's soldiers harder than almost any other. The deserts of the Gran-Occidentia's far west made for a decent simulacrum of Northern Himyar with its baking heat and arid landscape the soldiers on maneuvers were becoming acclimatized to the desert, marching in full kit under the midday sun, learning to find sources of fresh water. Of course there where casualties mainly to heat stroke and rattlesnake bites but soon Gran-Occidentia would be able to field a taskforce capable of outfighting any other.

General Agustín Salgado inspected the ranks upon ranks of men as they stood to attention in the full glare of the sun. Very impressive, that is if they ever make it to Himyar, most likely it will end up like another Zara. But perhaps, perhaps not. He stood before the assembled men and shouted " Very impressive, I'm sure they'll make Ivan and his amigos tremble, you have all made your nation proud, dismissed!"

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" Mounir Nezzar, before your request for resettlement is finalized I have one more question to ask. Would you be willing if to serve in the military of Gran-Occidentia in order to reclaim your homeland"? The government official shuffled the paperwork in front of him and looked expectedly for an answer.

" What would happen if I say no? I have a family I do not want to go to war. Anyway I am not a soldier".

The official sighed at this " Well you see if you enlist you would automatically become a citizen and your family fast-tracked for housing and schooling, of course if you choose not too then I'm afraid you may have to wait in one of our interim facilities for an period of time until your application is finalized".

" Okay, where do I sign to enlist?"
 

Gran-Occidentia

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Puerto Angeles
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Tierra del Sul, Gran-Occidentia

Headquarters of the Comité para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia Profunda

General Victoriano Landeros-Briseño looked out at the former workcamp, it had lane abandoned but for some time but with some modifications it would be serviceable. The first thing to be added would be air conditioning, this whole province is too fucking hot . He wiped his brow in vain and continued his survey, yes the former camp would be very suitable, far enough from prying eyes but still importantly connected to local infrastructure so men and materials could be easily moved.

The scientists and engineers had provided him with blueprints for what they wanted, underground chambers, air tight rooms, all manner of esoteric equipment that whose use he could only imagine. It would take crews of men working around the clock to create such an environment, but the Caudillo had assured him that provided he came up with results then money would continue to not be an issue.


 

Gran-Occidentia

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Puerto Angeles
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San Benito, Gran-Occidentia, San Miguel School


Bernardo gasped when he saw the scope of the fortifications surrounding the polling station, sandbag emplacements and barbed wire everywhere full of Brigadistas cradling assault rifles faces covered with balaclavas staring impassively at the crowds of voters lining up and down the street. Bernardo was there with his camera man Luis to cover the election for the Underground Press, one of Gran-Occidentia's premiere purveyor of independent news. They had been doing vox-pops all day but the closer Bernardo and his crew got to the polling station the more intense the scrutiny from the Brigadistas became. As he and his Luis neared the entrance one of the Brigadistas blocked their path " Turn that fucking camera off, you aren't coming it with that fucking thing". Bernardo was affronted at this, and to the surprise of everyone including himself he spoke back to the brute standing in front of him" Hermano we are members of the free press covering the election, you can't stop us coming in and filming we have rights". This seemed to take the Brigadista back...if only for a second before he hit Bernardo right in the guts with the stock of his rifle leaving him winded and gasping for air, the Brigadista crouched down and whispered in Bernardo's ear " Listen you little shit, you have exactly as many rights as I let you have, now disappear before I make you disappear".

Luis pulled him up and together they hurried away, behind them the crowd began getting agitated. Bernardo could see Brigadistas searching the line of voters and systematically beating and dragging people away, soon bottles and rocks were being thrown at the Brigadistas who responded in kind spraying the crowd with water cannons and engulfing them in tear gas. " Luis please tell me you're filming this". Luis only gave him a wry smile and a thumbs up, Bernardo did his best to tidy himself up before he started his broadcast.
 

Gran-Occidentia

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Puerto Angeles
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Palace of the President, Puerto Angeles.

El Caudillo sat transfixed as he watched the news come in, it was on every channel the Internal Security Brigades turning on crowds of voters beating them senseless through clouds of tear gas. His closest advisors sat around him some where as shocked as he was, others he saw looked on with an intense almost hungry expression, only one man was impassive and detached the Foreign Minister Francisco de Rosas lounged in his chair feet resting on the coffee table in front of him. " What are they fucking doing! Who ordered this WHAT ARE THEY DOING?" The various ministers and officials simply shuffled and looked away except de Rosas who sneered back " The Brigades are winning you your precious election...I thought that was obvious stop the opposition from voting, honestly I knew you were naive but I didn't think you were this dull. I am not prepared to have you piss away all we've built by giving it the the Autenticos or that fat fuck Ortega. Look I was with you with the reforms but you cannot think this election was actually going to happen did you? " At this de Rosas stood up and the Caudillo found himself pressed down into his chair by one of his bodyguards " Sit down shut up and let me handle this, maybe have a drink to calm down and when its over I'll let you make one of your pretty speeches, oh and don't try and leave you aren't that important not anymore". And then de Rosas was gone walking out of the room along the majority of the Caudillo's advisors. The rest looked sheepishly around suddenly aware that the security detail surrounding them were not in fact staying for their benefit but in the service of their new master.

Enrique sat in the chair, there was little point moving, he was the Caudillo in name only now. Christ how had it come to this?


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San Jorge Military Base ,San Benito headquarters of the San Bentio chapter of the Comité Nacional de Soldados Trabajadores.

The canteen turned meeting was in uproar news of the riots and the brutality of the Security Brigades were everywhere. What was worse was news that the violence was spreading and amid it all the government remained silent. " Quiet brothers we need quiet! There has to be a vote on what we should do. All those in favour of remaining in barracks raise you hands". The room suddenly when deathly still of all the men assembled not one wanted to be the first to raise their hand in front of their comrades a few dared only to quickly lower their hands under the glares of those around them" Now all those in favour of taking action against the Brigadistas?" This motion proved more popular the room erupted into a cacophony of stamping feet and cries of " Viva Democracy! Viva la Committee!". The men flooded from the canteen and quickly armed themselves, no one dared stop them as they streamed out and into the city.
 
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Gran-Occidentia

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Puerto Angeles
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Boro
Palace of the President, Puerto Angeles

All through the night news was coming in from the Internal Security Brigades in San Benito. Army units acting against the orders of their commanding officers were taking to the streets and had pushed the Internal Security Brigades from their positions around the various polling stations in the city.
"Fuck fuck fuck call the generals again tell them to make their soldiers fucking listen!" he yelled a gaggle of green-shirted flunkies. Francisco de Rosa's endevour would crumble if the army didn't stay in line.. his allies in the Internal Security Brigades where formidable but their roles was primarily to hunt down insurgents and dissidents not battling armoured columns in the streets. So far however it seemed only army units in San Benito were in revolt but if that spread to the other military bases then all this would be for nothing.

Worse news continued to reach him, the opposition leaders Otilio González Ortega and Sierra Guzmán had eluded capture and gone into hiding and where now at large and now doubt planning their next move. " Grab the Caudillo now tell him its time for him to make his victory speech".


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San Benito,Plaza de la Constitución


Columns of tanks and personnel carriers wound through the city streets surrounded by jubilant crowds with many climbing up on top of the tanks and embracing the soldiers and joining them as they continued to chase the remnants of the Internal Security Brigades from the city. The fighting had been sporadic the Brigadistas well equipped to deal with the crowds of protestors but powerless in the face of the soldier committees. Most surrendered once they realized they could not win and meekly allowed themselves to be lead away and detained.
The polling stations were flung open and upon the discovery of bales and bales of pre-signed pro-government ballots massive bonfires where soon lit throughout the city. No one knew what the future held or indeed what was happening in the rest of the People's State but for tonight at least San Benito was a city of joyous revolt.


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Palace of the President, Puerto Angeles.

Despite the best efforts of the government or rather elements of the government news of San Benito spread and members of the Comité Nacional de Soldados Trabajadores, Movimiento por la Auténtica Revolución and Partido de los Obreros y Campesinos Integralistas were taking to the streets in massive numbers across the nation. Other army units not aligned with the CNST simply remained in barracks refusing orders from their increasingly desperate officers to mobilize and crush the protests. Not even twenty four hours had pasted and already the putsch was beginning to crumble. Francisco had noticed that throughtout the night and into the morning more and more of his fellow plotters had made excuses to leave or in many cases simply slipped away. Then from across the Plaza of Independence he could see a line of tanks emerge covered in soldiers and civilians waving banners. Soon the plaza was full and the crowd was demanding to be let in, the small detail of Brigadistas could not stop them even if they had tried. It was over.
 

Gran-Occidentia

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Puerto Angeles
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The Palace of the President, Puerto Angeles


The proposed economic reforms were well underway, bills were being drawn up and the palace was a hive of activity as clerks, economists and miscellaneous civil servants ran too and through in an attempt to bring some order to the chaos that was Gran-Occidentia.

The Co-Chairpersons had taken over one of the many committee rooms as a joint office. Co-Chairperson was a title only reached with a great deal of argument, neither of the two wanted to be seen as a mere deputy to the other so the traditional Presidente-Vice Presidente relationship wouldn't work, also neither felt it was right to use the title given neither of them had been elected to the role. The title of Co-Consul was explored but was deemed " too foreign and la de dah" by Ortega. Eventually the title of Chairman or rather Chairperson at Guzmán's insistence. However as soon as one problem was solved another emerged. Who would decide who were given positions within the new government? Ortega favoured his own followers made up of dissident Integralists and Guzmán pushed for Autenticos and other leftists in key positions. Many of the key portfolios were still undecided, Ortega would petition for one of his people and Guzmán would veto and vice versa, however through hours of negotiation eventually a government was beginning to take shape. The Autenticos would have the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Education and Welfare, The Campesinos would take the Industrial development, Housing and Interior Ministries. So far neither of the Chairpersons where prepared to compromise over who should take up the roles of Police or Defense Minister.

Another contentious issue was the direction of the economy, Ortega argued for keeping as much of the Integralist command economy as possible, whereas Guzmán demanded the dissolution of the state corporations and their assets to be divided among local community cooperatives. Again a compromise of sorts was reached, the privatization efforts would continue as per Guzmán's policy however certain industries deemed vital to the nations security such as the energy sector would remain under state control. The issue of creating another floating currency was also raised but again no firm consensus could be reached for the moment.
 

Gran-Occidentia

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Puerto Angeles
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The el jaguar borracho cantina, Puerto Angeles.


Otilio Ortega disliked the Presidental Palace, it was too stuffy and restrictive he much preferred to politics here in the Jaguar. Free from too many prying eyes and without all those prissy rules and conventions. The Cantina was owned by a cousin of his brother in law who could be trusted to keep his eyes and ears shut should the need arise. He was sat in his usual booth in a shadowy corner at the rear of the cantina, drink in hand surveying his domain like one of the kings of old. It was a typical quiet Tuesday night just a few of the old regulars and of course members of his staff who were like him enjoying the atmosphere and perhaps more importantly the cheap drinks on offer.

He was waiting on a few old friends, like him an Integralist of old, although they hadn't had the good sense to split from the party when he did and no found themselves out in the cold. He looked his watch Periné would no doubt be the first to arrive, the man was a neurotic always in a rush, Panza would be late, he never moved any quicker then a saunter also puffing away at a cigar. The three of them has gone through conscription together, and had through thick and thin always looked out for each other.

True to form Periné the first to arrive, naturally flustered and twitchy he saw Ortega and waved rushing over, Ortega greeting him with a bear hug nearly crushing the smaller man" Mi Hermano, so glad you could make it. Please sit and tell Consuela what you want to drink". A young waitress came and took their orders while she was away Panza arrived, puffing away at a comically large cigar leaving trails of wispy smoke in his wake. Upon seeing Ortega and Periné he let out a huge bellow " you old bastards how are you?" drinks where ordered, and then tamales and more drinks.

" As nice as it is to see you pair of bastards again, I didn't invite you to shoot the shit. Panza I know you still have connections with all the industrialists, and corporations. We'll need that for the future, that and the money I know you've squirreled away over the years...tell me how properties do you own now? And Periné my old friend the policeman now we've disbanded the Brigades we're going to need loyal men in law enforcement, now I could be persuaded to put your name at the top of certain lists. We're looking at creating a new agency and I need men I can rely on". The meeting went on the rest of the night, the three friends plotting throughout the night.


 

Gran-Occidentia

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Belisario" Bell" Domínguez was a newshound and proud of it. Being a journalist for the Underground Press was not for the faint of heart. More than a few of his compatriots had ended dead or simply disappeared, but through it all Bell had kept on tirelessly working to uncover the truth wherever he could find it. Which was why he found himself driving up a deserted road in the arse end of Tierra del Sol reporting on "Operation Atlatl" the governments massive anti-insurgency program.

Rumours surrounded the operation but so far the government was staying silent which only made the rumours spread faster. News of convoys ambushed, of mass graves and even of sinister scientific facilities in the desert. What ever was happening in the south-west Bell was determined to find out. The Army wasn't exactly hard to follow, lines and lines of trucks and tanks blocked most of the roads with checkpoints set up in every town and village. A child of the Integralist regime like almost everyone in Gran-Occidentia seeing the mighty Gran-Occidentian army in the flesh was always an underwhelming experience, they had been told that their army was the mightiest in the Occident unmatched in terms of manpower and equipment...the reality was profoundly disappointing instead of broad chested heroes armed with the finest weaponry Bell saw skinny conscripts fresh from basic training and given a rifle easily as old as they were. All of the soldiers he interviewed where nervous and jumpy that combined with their lack of training Bell thought was a recipe for disaster.

"The radicals are out there in the hills and mountains but so far we can't catch the slippery fuckers, we advance they fall back, we fall back they advance its fucking pointless, and all the civvies can't or won't say a damn thing and we can't do a fucking thing without a warrant but I guarantee every one of those fuckers is a spy "said one officer he managed to get an interview strictly anonymous of course and only after a hefty bribe. A further bribe had allowed Bell to embed himself among the unit. Bell had a feeling this could be his biggest story yet.
 
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