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Asta L'Vasqqa: The State of the Republic

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STATE OF THE REPUBLIC | PART 2/4

2030 hrs
15th of May, 2018
Intreimor City, Iverica

 

His full-grain leather dress shoes, polished to a mirror shine, pattered a regular, purposeful beat on the pattern-stained tiles of the long gallery.

Lanos followed some distance behind, the bodyguard's step as quiet as a cat's despite his immense bulk.

Deitorr passed suits of Tercio armour and paintings of plantation harvest and early Iverican scenery. The galleries of the Palá dei Primo, Iverica's executive building, were long. Long, owing to the building's crescent shape of sweeping wings arced in either flank accentuated by manor-like structures on the vertices--where many of the rooms and main chambers were situated.

Galleries such as the one Deitorr now traversed forced one to delve into Iverican art collections--an inconvenience Deitorr believed to be an intentional utility for the building's function. This particular one, the Rococo gallery, was the least impressive of the series. The others housed historical-romantic pieces in all their chiaroscuro and spouse-killing melodrama, while others still held larger-than-life titans of marble, granite, and artificed clay. The purpose of these, Deitorr had no doubt, was to impress and disarm foreign delegates (or leaders) with everything from the trivial comforts of Rococo's trademark quaint rurality to the pedestalled stoic machismo of historical romanticism.

Nonetheless, the walk made his old knee injury groan with creaking complaints.

As he approached a set of double doors in the West-wing main, Deitorr slowed his pace a fraction while silently checking his breathways for any congestion. He was about to meet someone he would rather not take a nasal tone with.

The doors before him were close to 3-metres tall, panelled in slabs of polished lapis lazuli, accented with dotted aventurine, and trimmed in polished brass. Deitorr took a step back.

On cue, Lanos strode forth, closing their distance in two lazy strides. The guardsman opened both doors simultaneously and bowed Deitorr through.

During the day, the hall known as the Blau Room--clad in its coats of deep blue Lapis--balanced out the harsh brightness of Tacalonia's noontimes. But in an evening such as this one, the hall seemed practically aglow, subtly reflecting and refracting the chandelier lights in the vault-arched ceiling above. The result was that the slabs of swirling lake blue, indigo, and midnight leant the room the appearance of a cavern beneath the waves, slivers of blue's many hues cast about the space.

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The Blau Room, Palá dei Primo

And at the centre of this space, observing a Davide canvas--was a lady in grey.

Her back was ramrod straight, both feet planted firmly together, and her head tilted upwards at the sizable oil painting.

It was Desdemona Tomas-Morra, Foreign Minister and Interim Chair of ATARA. Her stance hadn't shifted a millimetre despite Deitorr's entry.

Deitorr paused and looked about the rest of the hall.

Empty. It was 8 in the evening on a weekday, the Blau Room was as deserted as Sant-Bastién's theatre halls were come post-modern performance season.

Unorthodox meeting place, certainly. But not unheard of. Deitorr knew that some in the ExecMin had a penchant for stage drama when it came to affectiously trying to make an effect. The only caveat was that in the nearly two decades he had known Morra, Deitorr had never taken her for a showwoman--quite the opposite actually.

Deitorr strode towards her, his leather soles creating a reverb around the empty interior.

He stopped just behind her left flank.

Another short pause.

"I'd have thought you tired of Davide. Especially this one", started Deitorr, breaking the empty echo of the space.

MlT8pBe.jpg

Oath of the Leonii--Giaqes Luis Davide

Morra's shoulders stiffened just a fraction.

She turned her lined, but regal and powdered face towards the Primo.

"Never", she said, almost dismissively.

"If one would tire of Davide, one probably does not know what one is looking for", she continued.

"As for myself, I always thought it was something about the line. The direction and strong angles, unitive--but with a definite direction. Purposeful. Resolved... In any case, it was a mere guess. After all, you've had this one in the Foreign Affairs building in the 2016 rotation", Deitorr said, eyes following the sharp postures of the brothers pictured.

Morra nodded.

"I suppose it was also the calm of this hall. I thought it an ideal waiting place... especially for late Primos".

Deitorr briefly considered strangling the ATARA Chairperson. 

It was a fleeting temptation.

"I am thinking that you did not call for a meeting, especially out-of-hours for a chat on some rudimentary points on Oath of the Leonii.".

"Certainly not.", replied Morra tersely.

She turned and began a slow walk out of the hall.

"To your office then, my Primo?".

 

 

---

 


 

Seated behind his desk, Deitorr lay one hand on the rest and clasped his chin in the other.

"So. Hermoso and Galardo are most certain this is the outcome. We are placing final commitments on this route?", queried Deitorr.

Morra nodded after a sip of her unsweetened black tea. She sat, one leg folded daintily over the other, on a couch at the centre of the wood-panelled office.

Deitorr thought. Joaquin Hermoso, the Home Minister, and Juliana Galardo, Attorney-General had both given their votes to the ExecMin decision--the decision that would decide all their strategic playbooks and policy direction for the next decade and perhaps, foreseeable future. Morra and Deitorr themselves had already cast their votes long ago in the closed council of the five primary members of the Executive Ministry.

Morra rested the china cup to the little saucer she had in the other hand.

"We have already been preparing this in advance, us two, Franso. Like you had advised at the start of your term."

Deitorr nodded.

"Indeed. I suppose all told, it could not have turned out any more satisfactorily--given how much we have put at stake expecting this outcome."

Case Blue.

It was what Deitorr predicted would come. Still. At the precipice of great change, there was bound to be some misgivings, some uncertainty.

Deitorr looked up from his desk.

Morra looked back, a steady gaze.

Raising foreign investment, embassies, strong manoeuvres in the international stage. ATARA, TRIDENT... Ahrana, Afropa, Hellenic Rus... Integrating the Ultramares... all for Case Blue. All had been plans for plans for a plan a decade in the making that would gestate another year before birth.

Deitorr looked at the map, a large wall fresco of Western Argis and Northwestern Alharu. His eyes shifted, the Iverican Peninsula, the Ultramares in the Argic Ocean, the Duchy of Verde perched on the Alharun coast, the Vasqqan enclave in the isthmus, and Greater Galicia in the Argic mainland.

Plans for plans for a plan.

A single. Idea.

Deitorr shifted his gaze back to Morra, who waited expectantly.

Taking to his feet, Deitorr could only keep one thought in place as a hundred other variables and radicals flowed through. The homeland in Europa--the old world--was gone. They, like seeds thrown about in the hurricane of history, lay where they landed. Without home, forever cast out, but still... together where the universe had flung them.

The sun had set in the West.

Per Solidaridad.

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STATE OF THE REPUBLIC | INTERLUDE I

0800 hrs
16th of May, 2018
Intreimor City, Iverica

 

When Desdemona Tomas-Morra, Foreign Minister of the Republic, arrived at the Palá dei Primo she had not expected to be dallying long, nor did she expect to be thrust into a meeting which could very well have been the prelude to an international incident.

Indeed, she had been expecting to simply receive a short briefing from Bastien, the Primeal Aide and Chief of Staff, and be on her not-so-merry way to complete the mountain of work required by the upcoming ATARA General Assembly

Deitorr had already left for the Ultramares Summit, where he would be meeting the leaders of the Iverican satellite states--a summit which was to be the overture for a union to mark an epoch in Diaspora-Iberic history. 

Bastien had just been giving Morra a point-by-point on how the Foreign Ministry should expect to handle the shift in geopolitics when a shrill tone broke the air with the shock of a maiden's shriek--the hotline for the situation room.

 

---


 

0900 hrs
16th of May, 2018
Situation Room, Palá dei Primo

 

"Director-General", began Morra, massaging the bridge of her nose.

"Why... is this critical piece of intelligence coming to us only now."

The Situation Room in the bowels of the Palá had its light dimmed as Director General Jaime Bonda met with the Primeal Staff plus Morra via video conference.

situation-room-2009.jpg

"Minist--"

"--and further," interrupted Morra.

"I am bothered that it is you, delivering this to the ExecMin directly and not via the established monthly dossier that is expected of your office. I'll be intrigued as you explain this... bizarre privilege to us", she finished sharply.

The news was certainly distressing. Through her many years in Iverican politics, she had learned to keep her tarot face in check. Despite this, the news of mobilising terrorist cells allying with disgruntled political rebels certainly had her on edge.

"Minister," replied Bonda. His tone was stale, his steely--almost serpentine eyes seemed clear and impossibly sharp despite the digital medium he was relayed through.

"Eclipses in any intelligence apparatus are unavoidable. Our objectives in Vasqqa were to monitor the activities of the Circle of Death's Vasqqan cell--which involved tapping suspended assets embedded in the state years ago. Naturally, the demand for such a jilting activation wouldn't guarantee a secure and completely effective network until our recently deployed operators can complete their exchange of command."

Bonda continued.

"To answer more directly--we have information of this possible terrorist coup on a multi-spatial scale because our callsigns were vigilant. Had they not enacted a redundant examination of recent reports of our Yellow Assets in Vasqqa, the issue would have slipped by us until too damned late. I am bringing you an express report in this bizarre privilege because I require executive permission to enact our contingency protocols--the only decent chance we have at terminating this cancer."

Bastien and Morra shared a brief look. They both knew that the movements of the cell were not simple coincidences. Vasqqa occupied the isthmus to the rest of Argis--Narva and Greater Galicia, a large enough incident there could throw a proverbial wrench in any plan of an Iberic unification. If the report was anything to believe--and it was, vouched for by Bonda himself--it suggested with alarming clarity, a familiar pattern.

"Madame Minister, we have to alert the Primo--", started Bastien.

Morra chose to ignore Bastien, her silence dissuading him from finishing his sentence. If this was anything like she expected, they had to start moving now. There were holes in the report and Morra knew, with a sinking feeling, that the followup reports could only paint a bleaker picture. It would take weeks, if not months to prepare a foil operation, and given the reports--smuggling, watch-listed profiles being spotted on the wrong side of the border, and the hums on the black markets--it would appear that the enemy had a sizeable head start.

Morra took a breath. Calling Deitorr was not an option--interrupting in the middle of the summit with bowel-loosening news was just as deadly as inaction.

"As vested in me by Primo Franso E. Deitorr, I exercise my powers as Secundo to formally declare this report as evidence of 'A Risk of War and State of Emergency'--further exercising National Security Statute 20-077 to license a covert Special Security Office contingency operation."

Morra produced a writ from her briefcase, signed by herself, Deitorr, notarised by the Chief Justice and Attorney General. 

The room was silent. Across it, members offered no resistance to the revelation and declaration of Iverica's Vice-Executive.  

 

---


 

OOC: Summary for the lazy (or the dense)- Deitorr flew to Ultramares for a Summit with a few other Iberic leaders. Morra and Bastien were simply talking about how the Foreign Ministry should shift its strategy for more pro-union activity when Bonda interrupts (via Skype basically) with some holysh*tguysIfu*keduphard news that the Circle of Death (I did not choose the name) Cell in Vasqqa (land bridge country between Iverica and mainland Argis) have been mobilising their sh*t for god knows what.

Morra then enacts her secret powers and reveals (this isnt even my final form! meme here) that she was listed as Secundo--the Vice President position secretly given to a member of the Executive Ministry by the Primo and approved by the Judicial Branch--the position is only revealed in a state of emergency or if the Primo is otherwise indisposed to make important decisions of grave national import. So now a whole bunch of bollocking is going to go down whilst Deitorr has a go at playing political drama with the leaders of Iverican satellite nations (Verde, Galicia, Ultramares, etc.).

Also btw, the risk of war thing is not public... yet. So no metagamey statements on this.

If you've read this far, good on you, you dedicated bastard. 

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Recap:

Part I-- The Primo discusses the economic plan Decada 20 with his aide, the plan will effective result in a transition of Iverican workforce and industries towards a more modern setting. It is revealed that Deitorr will be heading to Las Islas Ultramares for a Summit with other Iberic leaders.

Part II--The Primo speaks with Morra, who reveals that the top members of Iverica's executive group, the Executive Ministry, have agreed to enact a plan called "Case Blue" wherein the state will effectively sponsor a unification with satellite states. Deitorr leaves for the Ultramares Summit

Interlude I--Morra is called to the situation room, Director-General Bonda brings news that the "Circle of Death" is mobilising in conjunction with Vasqqan rebel groups. Morra declares a covert state of emergency and unveils her position as appointed Secundo, or Vice-Executive. Using the authority of her position, she gives clearance for the Special Security Office--Iverica's foreign intelligence entity--to initiate a shadowy protocol in response to the potential security threat to Case Blue.

Part III--Deitorr arrives in the Ultramares--

---

 

STATE OF THE REPUBLIC | Part 3/4

2000 hrs
16th of May, 2018
Porto Ultramar, Islas Ultramares

 

Alone in a cocktail parlour with a powerful peer could have certainly been the setting for some post-modern tv series' homoerotic "surprise, you thought he was straight, but nope" moment that would get the ratings soaring.

It was a ridiculous thought no doubt, and really quite anti-thematic to the actual gravity of the tense moment. Such absurdities played in Primo Franso Deitorr's mind more often as of late. The Primo, in his mid-fifties, pinned the blame on age and work-related stress.

Deitorr knew he had a few moments left to go over the day's events before the other man in the room finished his drink and began the melodrama of the night.

 

---

Earlier- 0800-2000 hrs
16th of May, 2018
Porto Ultramar, Islas Ultramares

Deitorr felt exhausted, despite the relative ease of the day. The frigid weather and desolate beauty of the Ultramares had been like a shock of energy as the wind chill zapped his bones upon walking down to the tarmac of the Ultramariano airport.

The crowds that greeted the Primeal party were relatively tame, cheerful, and sparse owing to the island's homely provincial culture and small population. He received a warm welcome, owed much to the enthusiasm of the Marianos at meeting their new head of state. The excitement of the Ultramariano Integration was still fresh in their minds and the spirits were felt even as Deitorr's motorcade pulled up to the small cubic palasso that was the Marian state building.

The conference itself, gathering the Iberic Diaspora leaders from Greater Galicia, Narva, Verde, Ultramares, and then Deitorr himself went on with much pomp and circumstance--it was the first they had held in over 3 decades. It had then proceeded more like a kangaroo court. Rather than a fierce debate contesting Iverican leadership The other heads of state were beholden to their people's enthusiasm at following Deitorr's policy for completing the work that had been so forestalled by misfortune and freak circumstance in the past. Iverican approval among the bloc had never been higher and the praise the Iberic masses had for Deitorr was pressuring the other leaders all the more, even if, by chance they harboured some personal disdain for Iverica's Primo, they had to agree with him at least for the sake of keeping their people's faith.

The Consulores and Primos seemed unwilling to challenge Deitorr's terms for the new paradigm. Of course, they still had to save face from time to time. They made old arguments, though ones that had been rehearsed and resolved before in more private talks. The displays were simple theatre, an opportunity for other leaders to demonstrate some sort of public backbone.

One formality blurred into another, yet all the while, Deitorr couldn't shake a tingle of warning. The inkling stemmed from a single figure, sat just next to Deitorr during the panel discussions with a grandfatherly face, twinkling dark green eyes that betrayed mischief, and a canniness that flowed with his measured witticisms.

Borbon.

vfQ2xXjl.jpg

Gian Iago Vivar de Borbon ét Carlos IV, was the Duke and executive monarch of the Duchy of Verde, patriarch of the last legitimate noble bloodline from the old empire. The old duke remained unusually passive. Certainly, the old bull gave some comment on matters and fired a few issues of tactful wit, but it seemed more for the cameras than to confront any of the issues with his usual pointedness.

It was when the panels had concluded, that the evening and conference came to an affable close. Digestifs and nightcaps were served in the cocktail parlour where the leaders had ambled over into after the closing ceremony. Pipes and Cigars were lit, the musky odour of several different blends wafting about the small room, furnished well in the Iberic favourite of Imperial Léonid Revival, but really no larger than a hotel suite.

Deitorr hardly touched his mulled wine, but joked and laughed agreeably with the company nonetheless. The unfamiliar twang of apprehension had become almost alien to him after he had seized political majority by the locks. The one the world saw as the de facto hegemon of the Argic Iberics had long discarded the need to be apprehensive in the face of his fellow Iberic leaders--vassals in all but name really. He hated it, no matter how small the feeling was. Frightened, he was not, but the Primo was still wary as a predator might be when it thought it smelled an implacable scent around its haunt.

 

---

 

Present- 2000 hrs
16th of May, 2018
Porto Ultramar, Islas Ultramares

As the last flickers of conversation evaporated into echoes down the hall, cut suddenly by the shut and click of the parlour door, Deitorr heard the kiss of glass on wood behind him, a drink being set aside on an end table. Deitorr spurred his mind from recollection.

"Here we are", the voice from the corner of the room reverberated across the small chamber despite the gentle volume of the speaker.

Deitorr had his back to the room, staring out into the night at the small port's sleepy lights through the tall, narrow window. After the brief pause, he half inclined his head towards the speaker.

 

Borbon was sat on a leather armchair, one leg folded perpendicularly over the opposite knee. He had discarded his jacket and now let the rumples of his emerald tie lie across his charcoal-black woollen waistcoat. He was relaxed, allowing the concave of the chair to shape his posture. His combed back silvery white hair rested on the carved fluting of the headrest's rim and his full, trimmed beard was nestled in the crook of his neck and collar. The picture had the elegant old duke look like a leisurely old man eager for a chat over a nightcap, a twinkle in his eye and old stories to tell--but Deitorr knew too well that those dark emerald eyes could flash like greek fire when Borbon needed them to.

 

He was trying to be disarming, too gratuitously so. If Borbon knew his intentions were so obvious, he wore it as a comic.

"Indeed, alone at last.", Deitorr responded injecting a faint air of forced amusement in his voice.

"I was trying hard not to laugh you know", Borbon began.

"--you had Sbal, Acosta, and Subiri bobbing their heads like a nest of eager owlets. Truly, you have achieved great things to corral this collection".

Deitorr sensed the conditional 'but' was unsaid but meant to tease his inquiry. He knew the old bull could be, for lack of a better analogy, a fickle c*nt. His words were often weighed, always double-edged, and never merely conversational.

"Your message suggested something more than congratulations", Deitorr decided to vault over the word fencing introduction.

He was pointedly referring to the email Borbon had sent him just as he departed Intreimor. The very letter that had Deitorr guessing and wary the whole day. Likely designed to have him on edge, weaken him with apprehension so he might slip up during this exchange. Clever old bastard.

"Oh Franso", Bordon drew out the 'oh' so he sounded like he was a tired old man.

"--your frankness becomes you... We'll discuss my letter in due course. But first, tell me, what ails you. What has you wound tighter than a Vasqqan's purse?"

Deitorr said nothing, deciding to turn his attention to the half-full glass of mulled wine. Then, the Primo's head tipped back and he laughed. He laughed loudly enough that the harsh barks bounced around the panels of the parlour.

It was absurd. Deitorr could plainly see what it was, yet Borbon insisted on his usual games. He laughed and Borbon's own cackle joined his. They both laughed, Deitorr now dreadfully certain-- of the reasons for the charade, why Borbon insisted on a personal and private meeting.

Borbon knew.

With dawning surety, Deitorr had realised that the old duke had caught wind of the trouble brewing in Vasqqa, probably suspected with an unerring intuition what Deitorr's camp was planning to do about it. If the old bull knew that, he likely also calculated the risk--the balance of Iverican Hegemony that was precariously ambling like a blind man about to take a long tumble down a flight of stairs--and here he was, to levy tax for his cooperation.

Clever old bull. 

---

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STATE OF THE REPUBLIC | Part 4/4

2020 hrs
16th of May, 2018
Porto Ultramar, Islas 
Ultramares

 

"So what did you offer Morra?", said Deitorr as the laughter finally died down

"Astute of you" Borbon nodded, confirming Deitorr's suspicions. 

"--Nothing I would not offer you plainly, as I plan to now", responded the seated Borbon.

"What do you propose, your grace?", Deitorr could not help the pointedness of the query.

Borbon stifled a snort at Deitorr's sardonic use of the title.

"I want what you want, Seniore Primo. For Iverica to get the Vasqqans in line."

"But what else, Gian?"

"I want you to get Vasqqa in line and let Verde bring it into the 21st Century. We all know how sorely they need as much investment and aid my people can offer. If you do so, I promise you some further incentive, Iverican debt in my banks will be forgiven."

Deitorr looked at Borbon, with a look that plainly suggested the response: "and let you walk away with international approval, Iberic popularity, and more leverage than anyone because of Vasqqan debt?" Deitorr knew all too well what Borbon was asking, the Verdense had tried for years to establish cut-throat deals in Vasqqa that would leave the country in serious dependence to Verde's aristocratic cartels.

"Be serious now Gian, Vasqqa is an Iverican responsibility."

That was what Deitorr said, but the unspoken implication was there: Iverica wasn't about to let Verde, the closest thing to a rival, gain on Iverica's hegemony by planting their roots in Vasqqa. Iverican power within the Federation might be then contested by the Duchy--a serious standoff for influence in the Federation. If they conceded Vasqqan dependence, what followed would be two lions contending for mastery of the pride.

"Given what you have at stake, it may actually behove you to accept aid freely given, Franso", Borbon knew how flimsy that argument was, so he was ready to back it up by placing more of his cards down. 

"--the unrest is going to cast a lot of doubt on whether the Federal Coalition is ready to proceed, it just might cause some hands to withdraw. Verde simply couldn't hold its referendum in light of such a crisis", Borbon continued.

"It will be fixed, it may take time, but its nothing that cannot be handled. Then what will the others do? There won't be a reason not to go forward with the Referendum. Politicking can only delay it so long", Deitorr replied, but he knew Borbon wouldn't play his thinly veiled threat without a trump card to carry its weight, what Borbon said next would likely be what Deitorr's intuition had been prodding at anxiously since reading the Duke's message.

All humour was gone from Borbon's features as he straightened his relaxed posture a span.

"Whatever happens, there won't be coming out of this without a little blood Franso. Your people will want reprisals for whatever problems might be caused by the Vasqqan nationalists. Ultimatums will be thrown around, and the anger that lay dormant in the previous decades will flare up and break the understanding you've carefully built with the Vasqqans. Then what? The others will see you two tearing at each other like two hawks in a cage and then they will baulk, like they always have. They will curl into their shells again until everyone involved has died and it is quiet again. There won't be a Federation then Franso, not for another century", there was a growing menace in Borbon's tone now, the gentleness was gone in those cold eyes, replaced with a smoldering ember that betrayed the Duke's near triumph.

"And who would bring all that down on us? What kind of beast would do so, just for more control of a labour state to fill the coffers?", retorted Deitorr, his voice rising just a pitch. He knew the thinly veiled insult was unfair, Borbon wasn't some selfish villain. He was more like Deitorr than any of the other Iberic leaders. He would do anything to preserve the integrity and prosperity of his people.

Deitorr knew his words would change little, but perhaps if goaded, the old Duke may be made to volunteer something to aid Deitorr's weakening stance. Franso needed to prod the bull, needed to rile the even-tempered man some.

Borbon looked at him then with a scowl, mixed with something like disgust.

Deitorr knew Borbon needed Vasqqa, it was necessary for Borbon's slowly eroding influence. As the Iberic states slowly emerged from their enclosures, Verde's youth had begun their education in ideals of globalism--where powerful monarchic institutions like Borbon's were quickly losing their appeal to Divine Right. If Verde were to retain its traditional foundation in the next century, it's Duke would need to prove it with a resounding diplomatic victory. The consequences of inaction for Verde would be more than just the loss of Dukedom, but the erosion of the cultural base from which their worldview stood--it would be the beginning of a slow slip into social nihilism, surrender to the anxiety brought about by the poison of post-modern thinking.

"No", Borbon said at last, his low tone carrying within the small confines of the parlour.

"They'll look to Verde, to me, while distancing themselves from the bloodbath. And three states without you and the unruly Vasqqans will form the Federation. Your government isn't the only one they look up to Franso. My house has long held the beacon, reminders of what we once had. Tradition. The legacy of a bloodline that runs through my veins. Your Republic may be the successors of the old empire, Primo--but only because it's claim has not been contested since... the old wars. But Verde has my line, and ours is the old blood."

The argument sounded like the ramblings of an irascible old fool clinging to the old ways, yet Deitorr knew the Iberics could, and probably would be convinced by it considering the chaos that was about to break the thin dam of containment the SSO had been struggling to shore up. Tradition was, and still is, the burning hearth that united the Iberic peoples.

Borbon held the aces. Franso had only one option.

The room was silent for a moment.

Then, with nothing but the sound of the ticking grandfather clock in the room's corner, Deitorr nodded. With a few low words, the Primo of the Republic folded hand.

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STATE OF THE REPUBLIC | EPILOGUE

0600 hrs
17th of May, 2018
Palá dei Primo, Intreimor City

 

Desdemona Tomas-Morra, Secundo of the Republic, set her phone down. Deitorr had made it clear that Case Blue now teetered at a knife's edge.

It had been close, too close to accomplishment without issue. Morra thought herself a fool for thinking that the situation could not possibly worsen after hearing Bonda's news about the Vasqqan troubles. 

Iverica's gains in recent years had put here in a position of vast influence. Armed with the necessary support, Deitorr had set about re-forging the Iberics from their diasporic condition. Morra had been at his side every step of the way, she wrote half the proposed legislation, brokered half the deals with the other parties. But so close to fruition, the plans had yet one more monumental hurdle to overcome. She herself was not so certain the nascent Federation would survive in one piece.

From the phone call, she had learned that what was supposed to be a formality concluded with dangerous conditions. Having somehow learned of destabilising events in the Free State of Vasqqa, the Duke of Verde had managed to seize an opportunity for blackmail. With the Duke's insistence upon claiming the wealth of Vasqqa for the continued prosperity of this own state--his grave threats to Iverican plans, would force Primo Franso Deitorr to concession... Or to risk.

In the brief, sobering exchange she had just concluded with Deitorr, on his return flight, he had made it very clear what they were to try now. It was... nothing short of a last resort and was incredibly risky.

She picked up the phone from her table and punched in a contact she had been dreading to use.

A last gambit.

---

In the days following the Meeting of Iberic leaders, the situation in Vasqqa would only worsen. The autonomous region of Raqqa, an enclave for Narvic peoples resisting the monolithic Iberic paradigm, would voice their dissent over the Referendum. Being a demographic of only 10 percent of the Vasqqan population, their bloc vote, no matter how united, could not possibly unseat the unification majority in voting. Protests and riots would erupt, public acts violence not far behind them, serving only to widen the growing gulf between Iberic Vasqqans and Raqqans.

Raqqan nationalists, seizing the opportunity would campaign hard for their emancipatory agenda. Vasqqa was now a powder keg. Each day, the Duke of Borbon moved closer to fulfilling his threat of suspending the Verdense referendums under the pretence of concern for Vasqqan affairs. Galicia and Narva, ever skittish, would grow uneasy with the unfolding events.

Which course the road to Federation would take, now lay solely in the hands of Iverica's leadership. 

 

END OF ACT I

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    • Howdy, folks. Obviously, war's been declared. We'll be outlining what this means for the RP below. Since last we made progress on this RP as a concept, there's been some changes to it. Most notably:   1. The absence of Derthalen as a player character 2. The placing of Rhodellia 3. The war goals of the coalition Firstly, I speak for the group when I say that, in the absence of Derthalen, we'd like to ask @Iverica, if willing, to take on the role of OPFOR in ROTW. Secondly, I also speak for all members of the coalition when I ask that the military participation of the Kingdom of @Rhodellia be heavily limited. Third, and lastly, we've developed a new plan thusly:   1. Securing air and naval superiority in the Dolch and over Derthalen's coastline 2. Mounting an amphibious landing on the southern shores of Derthalen 3. Overland, attack towards Heinrichstadt and capture the capital with all speed. 4. Respond to developing counterattacks as needed (also applies to previous 4) 5. Obtain unconditional surrender, or nearest equivalent 6. Divide and occupy the country 7. Formally declare the Alliance for Mutual Security 8. (Long term) Establish a constitutional republic in Derthalen under AFMS/UEL supervision.   We're happy to hear feedback on this plan from the RP Moderators and adjust it as needed. Thanks, y'all.
    • Brennan sulked up to the door of his flat, tired after his long day at work. It had been a miserable day but at least he knew he could sit with his family and relax. He opened the door and instead of seeing his wife and children milling about this house as usual he all of them glued to the television. His wife a, look of concern on her face quickly waved her husband over gesturing towards the screen. "Sit quickly, the King, he's says he's got a big announcement. I dunno what it could be right now." Just as Brennan sat on his couch the SBC banner flared onto the television declaring breaking news cutting straight to King Aidan, standing solemnly at a podium in front of the Royal Palace. "Today is a day that none of us should celebrate, but instead understand as a nation as our duty. For decades, the nation of Derthalen has not only threatened our borders but has threatened the freedom, lives, and security of the countless millions of people who pass through the Dolch Sea every year. Weeks ago, a cruise liner carrying almost a thousand souls was setting sail for Seylos, full of people who expected nothing more than a good holiday. Instead, in the midst of a piracy crisis, Derthalen seized the ship and the people it carried in the name of slavery. On board were not only hundred of people from the Duchy of Limonaia, but almost a hundred souls from Seylos. That such horrors could be inflicted on others, and especially our own citizens is beyond reproach. Through these past weeks, the Royal Government has been in contact with out counterparts in Limonaia and have reached out to our steadfast allies in Fulgistan to begin an action to end such a despotic threat to our way of life. During this time the people of Sayf, also invested in the safety and security of the Dolch Sea have reached out to defend those who would make such a journey. Enough is enough. I have convened with my own personal counsel, and have sought the support of the House of Governors in this decision. With overwhelming support, this Government has decided without hesitation to declare formal war against Derthalen, and those that would support her in her crimes. As of now forces from our allied nations have already begun arriving on our island, and the Royal Navy has begun to conduct a series of security operations around Seylos to ensure that our great nation will be safe from harm. The time for diplomacy has come to an end, and it is with this that we will test our force of arms against those who wish so many harm. I have no doubt that our military with the help and frienship of other such like minded states will bring victory against our enemies. Against the world's enemies. Godspeed to us all." Brennan sat back in his couch staring at the screen, mouth slightly ajar in disbelief but he could help but utter, "Well f*ck."
    • The Arab Republic of Sayf declares that a State of War now exists between the Arab Republic of Sayf and the Confederated Empire of Derthalen.     The Arab Republic of Sayf is acting in defense of it's international interests, as well as in defense for the acts of war perpetrated against its allies the Grand Duchy of Limonaia, the Kingdom of Seylos and the Worker's Republic of Fulgistan. The Parliament of the Arab Republic of Sayf has approved and will be acting on it's declaration of war on the Confederated Empire of Derthalen.  
    • THE PEOPLE’S GREAT KHURAL OF THE WORKER’S REPUBLIC OF FULGISTAN   Bogd Gioro, 25th of March, 2019   RESOLUTION Declaring That a State of War Exists Between the Government of Derthalen and the Government and People of Fulgistan and Making Provisions to Prosecute the Same   Whereas The Government of Derthalen has perpetrated acts of war against the people of the free world, and committed crimes against all humanity for many decades uninterrupted: Therefore be it resolved by the People’s Great Khural of the Worker’s Republic of Fulgistan that the state of war between the Empire of Derthalen and the Worker’s Republic of Fulgistan is hereby formally declared; and that the Central Committee is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the Worker’s Republic and the resources of the government to carry on war against the government of Derthalen; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the People’s Great Khural of Fulgistan. (OOC: Selected listening - The Sacred War)  
    • For the past few weeks, a large collection of unremarkable fields to the west of Kirkwall had been the subject of an enormous amount activity. Of course it wasn't until recently that the real construction and movement of material had begun. The Seylosian military had began hastily setting up large amounts of tents, fashioning supply depots as well as clearing and flattening areas for air strips. The local population of Kirkwall had been excited about this development, though many wondered why there was such a sudden rush of construction when they had barely heard of such of move in the past. For awhile the Royal military had been in negotiations to purchase those tracks of lands outside the city, but suddenly to the seller's glee, they were willing to pay the price already on the table. As for the rest of Kiirkwall, they only saw it as a good thing. Some small military base near the city only meant some good business, and most of the time Seylosian soldiers never caused any issues, at least not more than any normal person. What the people of Kirkwall didn't know was this base was going to become center stage in a conflict long brewing. Brigadier Adrian Hudson had just arrived, dropped off by helicopter that had come from Dunblane on the mainland. He had spent twenty years in the Royal Army Logistics Corp and he knew this was his biggest challenge yet. The orders were somewhat vague, but he did know one thing: tens of thousands of new people would be coming to the island along with all their supplies and equipment and it was up to him to make sens of this chaos. Behind him, the colonel waved at the helicopter, with it taking flight again to grab more people and supplies from Dunblane. He was greeted by a middle aged soldier who saluted immediately upon getting close to the Brigadier, "Warrant Officer Fitzroy sir, the base is ready for your command." Hudson stiffly saluted back and motioned towards Fitzroy to follow him, "Brief me as we go, we haven't a lot of time to get this place in shape." Fitzroy nodded taking his place next to the Brigadier, keeping up with his fast pace as they wound their way through tents and soldiers hurriedly moving about. "We've outlined the main area of the base sir, with three similar base sites within a few miles of this location. The government has arranged for several civilian contractors in Kirkwall to assist in constructing more permanent buildings, Major Perce has been in charge of civilian relations in regards to construction efforts. The Corps of Engineers has focused most of its efforts in creating suitable landing fields for various aircraft. At the moment at least we can carry a wing or two of Harriers. We've managed to setup a small amount of prefab buildings towards the center of camp which is where most of the logistics command staff are located at the moment. We have several dozen barracks structures under construction right now, though at the moment tents are all we have." Hudson nodded, it was a hell of a project. No doubt expensive as well, but he had been doing this sort of work his entire Army career and he very well intended have this place running smoothly as soon as possible, though he was sure there wouldn't be many happy people. "Also sir there are several officers who want a meeting with you to discuss logistics. Admiral Forrest wants to have someone be a liaison with the Kirkwall city council in order to use their port infrastructure. Lieutenant General Harley also wants a meeting to discuss division supply-" "Yes I understand, just take me to the center of the base Mr. Fitzroy. We can get these details more sorted in some sort of privacy."
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