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Sombras en el Paraíso


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Cavallia, Republic of Santa Serriffe, Southern Europa

 

The crowd gathered in the massive plaza, thousands of colorful banners waving in the tropical mid-day sun air as their owners danced and cheered at the festivities around them. The Republic was celebrating the wedding of the Presidente's daughter, and the peaceful transference of power that came with it. Although shaken by the recent rebel trouble deep within the central jungles of the island nation, Santa Serriffe was rising above the conflict and beaming with confidence. Presidente King Gueverra Norriega had led them through nearly twenty years of peace, prosperity, unity, and the people would felt that his new son in-law would be able to carry the torch into the next decade. But that is not to say that Gueverra would be forgotten, no, the man who had conquered his generals and had liberated the nation from the endless coup de'tats and oppression would be honored greater than any other leader his people had ever known. Already, construction of the memorials had begun, the large statue in the bay greeting travelers with a gentle smile and open arms, and the expansive gardens that were to take the place of the old military base outside of Cavallia, a last act of defiance against those that would rather seize power than be granted it by the people.

 

On the balcony of the National Parliament overlooking the massive crowd, the Presidente King, garbed in a robe of white with turqouise sashes, stepped out into the sunlight and was greeted with the unified roar of his loving subjects. If it had not been for the bright streaks of blue nor the man's deep tan and crop of dark hair, he would have blended in perfectly with the polished marble of the building. Gueverra raised his arms high above his head, and the crowd grew still.

 

"My people, today is a great day in the history of our great nation! Today you finally get rid of the old man!" Laughter rippled through the crowd, quickly followed by cheers and cries of praise before settling down. "I have had the honor of serving you all for nearly twenty years, have had the privilege of earning your votes through the elections and speaking for you on the grand stage of the world. I have come to view you not as voters, or subjects, nor citizens, but as family! You are all my brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, in spirit if not by blood, and it is only right that you see the joining of my beloved daughter and son in-law!" Gueverra turned from the crowd and waved towards the darkened French doors that led into the interior of the Parliament. Two figures stirred and came out onto the balcony, and the crowd cheered once more.

 

Serena Norriega, covered in a white gown that seemed lifted from a fairy tale grasped the hand of her fiance and smiled to the throng of people below them. She seemed to glow in the afternoon sun, her deeply tanned skin, long, raven black hair and shining brown eyes illuminated by the reflection of the sun off the walls of the Parliament. On her right, Manuel Gaspar Navarro stood tall, his broad face dressed with a smile that most likely stole the hearts of women all across the country, just as she was most likely doing to many of the men. They made an odd pair, a politician who had won her father's position through a fair and clean election, and a princess who had forsaken politics for the career of a singer. But she wouldn't have it any other way, and Serena knew that her beloved felt the same way. Her father turned back to the crowd, and again the crowd grew still.

 

"My people, know that Manuel is a good man, and that I would not surrender both my crown or office if I did not feel he could not serve you as I have. Know that he has the courage to stand against those that would oppress you, the strength to follow through with his promises and the sense of duty to fight for you like he has in the senate! Manuel has earned his right to serve both as Presidente and as King of Santa Serriffe not through force of arms but through the conviction to stand for what is right! I could not be any more honored that my beautiful daughter has chosen him as her husband. Speaking of which..." Gueverra reached into his robe and pulled out a small, leather bound book, the imprint of a cross too dim for the crowd to make out. "By the power invested in me by the Holy Word of God and the sovereignty of my throne, I will now bind these two in holy matrimony, both in the eyes of the Almighty and the people of Santa Serriffe!" And with that, the Presidente King turned his back to the crowd, opened the small bible, and began the ceremony.

 

The eyes of millions were watching. Those that could not reach Cavallia watched over television, and those too far away for the televised signal listened over radios both old and new. This was history, and everyone wanted to be a part of it, not matter how small. They watched and listened as both Serena and Manuel completed their vows, oblivious to the shadows that had appeared in the buildings across the plaza. They did not notice or hear the muffled cries of a guardsman as he struggled against the man that was choking him, nor heard his death rattle as the assassin snapped the man's neck and strode towards the window facing the Parliament. Only until it was too late did anyone notice a stray strand of light glinting off the barrel of the sniper rifle as the man rested it against the window sill, and fired two shots.

 

"Do you, my dearest Serena, take this man to be your lawfully wedded hus..." Were the last words Gueverra ever spoke. His head exploded in a shower of red, followed closely by that of Manuel's. The fountain of blood poured over Serena, soaking her magnificent white dress in the remains of her father and fiance's heads. The balcony was instantly transformwed as the blood of the two men splattered across the walls and pooled upon the floor. The pristine space was transformed into a nightmare in less than five seconds. Silence hung over the plaza before being shattered by the shrill cry of Serena, a long, unbroken scream of horror as she fell to the floor, clutching at the corpse of her father. Below, the crowd panicked as two more shots rang out, killing two stunned guards holding the Parliament building's entrance off limits. The mass of humanity pushed against itself, the weak, the old and yound, and the unsure were pulled under thousands of feet as the people broke and ran as more and more shots rang out, this time from other buildings surrounding the plaza. It was a blood bath as the guards that could retaliate, died, and as the mob crushed those that fell beneath them, before having sweeping gunfire cut through their ranks as well.

 

Less than ten minutes passed before the the last of the mob had fled into the relative safety of the city. All that was left were the dead, the dying, and the assassins. The politicians inside the Parliament were either gunned down by the snipers, or taken down by the team that had inserted itself amongst the building's staff the week before. It was a slow process, but not a single member of the Norriega administration stood after the first shots had rang out. The only survivor was Serena, clutching at the bodies of her father and former husband to be, their shattered faces and bloodied corpses being the last thing she would see as the assassins stormed the balcony and injected her with a tranquilizer. Then, as quickly as they had come, the assassins departed into the chaotic day.

 

OOC: Well, here goes. Obviously Serriffe is modeled after a number of Caribbean-South/Central American cultures and governments. The nation itself is located on Plot 0.19 and it exerts control (though does not truly own) over the rest of the northern islands. If this goes anywhere, I'd like it to keep a small profile and very local for the time being. And also the identities of the bad guys are currently unknown. Sanibel is the largest city and very crowded, and Santiva is the largest military base in the Meteorolas. If this goes anywhere, I'd like it to keep a small profile and very local for the time being. And also the identities of the bad guys are currently unknown. Sanibel is the largest city and very crowded, and Santiva is the largest military base in the Meteorolas since Damak Var no longer exists.

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