What's new

Blood in the Olive Grove

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
2,929
Location
Athens, Greece
Capital
Nymphaion
Nick
Demos
Kotto Ngrebada looked out the glass panel windows of the skyscraper in awe. "I do not understand the Pelasgians," he told his colleague, Firmin. "Half this city looks centuries old; the other half looks like it came out of the future." Indeed, from his spot near the top of Pegasos Tower at the very heart of Propontis's Galatopyrgos International Business District, Kotto could see both the old, historic centre of the city, with Hagia Pronoia, the Hippodrome, Forum, and other classical Propontine works, as well as the glass and steel spires of the mercantile port districts.

"Half of it is how they want others to see them," Firmin answered, while he fixed his tie. "The other half is how they really are."

Kotto shot a glance at the Grand Palace of Propontis, right beside the National Gardens. He had heard that the Pelasgians were moving their capital to the "Federal City" of Nymphaion, a historic regional capital several miles outside of Propontis. They could move their capital to the moon for all he cared; Pelasgia's heart was still Galatopyrgos district and the three ports of Propontis. It was there that one fourth of global trade passed through; and it was there that the Pelasgians acted as the gatekeepers and intermediaries of most Himyari commercial activities--as the "Pimps" of Himyar, as his father had once said.

"Perhaps," Kotto replied. "Though I don't know which is which." He turned around and faced the steel door of the conference room. "Come. We need a loan for our own capital--if that slum is to ever be a true capital."

Firmin nodded and followed his colleague into the large conference room. There, around a glass conference table, sat a dozen Pelasgians, dressed in various suits that matched their varying olive complexions. At their head was the man himself: Aristotelis Dologos--the current head of the Pegasos Corporate Conglomerate, and, with it, the most important Pelasgian business clan. To his right, no doubt, Kotto noticed a somewhat paler, shorter man, with closely cut hair and a dark suit. A bureaucrat if I ever saw one, he thought. If the Pelasgian feds were here, negotiations would be more complicated than he had thought.

"Please," Aristotelis said, standing up. "Make yourselves at home. Take a seat." He shook the men's hands, as did all of the Pelasgians, and then offered them a refreshment. "Would you like anything to drink? Something to eat, perhaps?"

Kotto shook his head. "Thank you, but the water bottle on the table will suffice."

Aristotelis nodded. "Very well. Let us begin, then. I take it you are here about the loan?"

"Yes," Kotto answered, nodding. "The Republic of Central Himyar requires a... considerable sum to develop its capital city district. We had hoped to turn to you for preferable terms, as some of the former colonial empires in Gallo-Germania are quite... controlling. Not to mention the domineering relationship they seek to cultivate with our people. Any more reliance on those powers, and Central Himyar might as well be a colony again."

"Oh, but of course," Aristotelis answered. "The National Bank of Pelasgia and our partners in the Industrial Bank of Northern Himyar would be more than glad to aid in the development of Central Himyar. We can offer you preferential repayment terms, in addition to any expertise that would be necessary to oversee the loan's implementation. As many students from Central Himyar study in Propontis, we have quite a few specialists of your own nationality."

"That would be excellent," Kotto admitted.

Firmin was not so enthusiastic. "What's the catch?"

Aristotelis smiled. "Catch? We aim to be completely candid with you. You would need specialists to help you utilize the funds, correct? To build bridges, develop ports, plan districts. Pelasgian firms can provide those specialists exclusively, in exchange for preferential terms."

Firmin pointed at the bureaucrat. "And what about him? Why is he here?"

Aristotelis leaned back on his chair. "Mr. Papastavrou here is merely present to oversee the transaction. Our bank accounts for a significant part of the Pelasgian financial sector; the Union Government would always like to ensure that our overseas investments do not jeopardize the bank's stability."

"And does that oversight extend to the implementation of overseas investments?" Kotto asked, frowning.

Aristotelis smiled again. "Naturally."
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
2,929
Location
Athens, Greece
Capital
Nymphaion
Nick
Demos
"Your All-Holiness!"
Grigoris' voice echoed pierced the garden's serene silence, much to Michail's annoyance. Still, the grey old man continued his advance unaverted--a fire burned inside his dark brown eyes, a fire of impatience, which was only made hotter by the burning heat of the summer sun.
"Your All-Holiness!"
Once more, Grigoris' cry interrupted the quaint singing of the birds and the smooth flow of the fountain's water. All in all, Michail found his loyal manservant to be even more annoying than the thick black vestments that covered his body on such a hot day. Finally, he turned around to address him.
"What is it, Grigoris? Can't you see I'm in a hurry?"
Grigoris ran up to the elderly cleric with amazing speed and joined his hands as if he were begging for absolution. "Your All-Holiness, forgive me, but this is precisely why I followed you!"
"Oh?" asked Michail, frowning.
"I fear that you are hurrying to your own death!"
Michail scoffed annoyedly. "Young man, worry not for me--I have made my peace with the Lord. Worry for yourself. Now I must go, for, if I am late, all of Pelasgia might descend into mindless slaughter."
"But they'll kill you!" Grigoris protested.
Michail's brows shot up in rage. "Kill me? Who? The Patriarch of Edessa? Not even the bloodiest tyrants of the dark ages dared do such a thing! Now leave me be! This is my cross to bear, and I bear it willingly. I shall not sit about, hearing cries of 'master you keep not the words that you used to teach.'"
With that, Michail continued on his way, exiting the elegant gates of the Patriarchal gardens and heading straight for the local regional headquarters of PERT (the Pelasgian public broadcaster). A small olive grove separated the Patriarchate from PERT Tower, as the latter had been constructed on the edge of a park jointly owned by the City of Edessa-on-the-Orontes and the Church. Despite the oppressive heat and the incessant noise of cicadae, Dionysios found this small distance to be rather convenient, for it allowed him to reflect on the words of his speech. In truth, he already knew what he intended to say: he meant to condemn the mindless slaughter of a sitting President of Pelasgia and of a Metropolitan of the Christian Church, and to call for peace and calm among all Pelasgians. Yes, the meaning was clear; it was the words that needing some tweaking. Fortunately, he always worked best when pressed for time.
"Halt!" a stern masculine voice ordered him.
To his right, Michail saw a small platoon of federal policemen--their dark blue uniforms were unmistakable, as were their insignia. Most peculiarly to the aged Patriarch, the officers bore automatic weapons and had their faces covered. It was a most frightful sight, and one that he had not grown accustomed to in one of Pelasgia's most peaceful and safe cities.
"What is it my child?" Michail asked.
"I'm no child of yours, heretic," the leader of the men--who could be told apart by a yellow armband--said.
"Heretic?" Michail demanded. "Know ye the meaning of the words you speak?"
The commander did not answer; instead, he pulled out his sidearm and aimed it at the cleric's head. "'Have faith and inquire not'. Isn't that what the Church teaches?"
Before Michail could answer, the commander pulled the trigger. A loud bang ripped through the quiet olive grove, silencing and scaring away all the birds taking shelter in the verdant refuge's shade. But a second later, a loud thump sounded, as the Edessine Patriarch's frail old body slammed against the ground. As Michail's blood wet the ancient ground beneath him, dying it red, his eyes gazed into the sky. His soul, however, was already there. How many of his countrymen would follow him remained to be seen.
 
Top