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The hand that stabs you can also feed you


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Bureau 33, one of the scariest within Het Apparath. The Identity Replacement Department did exactly that, they replaced your identity if you didn't play along, if you were deemed a risk. Over the years, they had perfected the art. You didn't agree to their plans, to their advice, to their aid? No worries, enjoy the rest of your life. Until, you know, something gruesome happened like your caravan exploding with you in it, your motorcycle's front wheel suddenly getting a mind of its own while you're doing one-hundred-and-fifty kilometers on a strangely empty piece of highway or that stripper you hired for a private dance suddenly starts choking you with her amazingly muscular legs. And then boom, you're dead and Bureau 33's replacement is already taking over your place, having studied every bit of your life. You're still alive? It happens, not every plan is entirely foolproof. Not that it matters or that you're better off. That ambulance? It's a loaner from Bureau 10 or 68 and it's taking you straight to the insane asylum, preferably a maximum security one where your only interaction with people will be the orderly that shoves your pills and food through a small opening in the door. No one will believe you and your rambling story about secret agents, meetings and what-not, thinking it's just another delusion. You'll need the insane asylum as well, after Bureau 33's cronies in the ambulance have pumped you full of psychedelics, hallucinogenics and anaesthetics. You'll have more bats in the belfry than a guano factory!

Those that accepted their plans, their advice and aid, however, found themselves in a more favorable position. Most of the targets were criminals, as 'one who controls the black market can protect the white one in a direct way' remained one of the mantras of Het Apparath. Suddenly, they found minor nuisances disappearing, struggling cartels that previously lacked the connections to import large-scale product were finding that their new friends were able to provide them with high-quality drugs, security received proper weapons and supplies... And sure, that meant that the organization had to follow Het Apparath's line and advice to the letter. But criminals are, generally speaking, simple people. Simple people happy to make larger amounts of money than they thought possible, happy to look like the boss to his cronies, happy to survive without a doppelganger taking over and spending the rest of your life hugging the walls, happy to have a chance to die from old age instead of being riddled with bullets by some upstart doing a drive-by on you while eating at your local fast food branch.

Of course, there had been people who thought the smart approach was to gain power and wealth and then screw over Het Apparath, say f*ck you to the hand that feeds you. But as the hand that stabs you can also feed you, so can the hand that feeds you also stab you. Or your children, your parents, siblings, extended family, wife, dog, best friend, mistress, anyone. Maybe your wife was stabbed and changed with a doppelganger, who knows? From a nation that likes to describe itself as a happy paradise of a party, these methods would seem particularly heavy-handed but for Bureau 33 and many of the others, the choice was simple. The burden of keeping the nation a happy paradise of a party was to be on the shoulders of the few, the few that had to do the dirty deeds that no one else wanted to do, the dirty deeds that kept the gears running smoothly. There were nations that could do this through military means, through a repressive regime, through technology but in Het Huisselant, where the colonist mentality still reigned supreme in some ways, this was done through surgical strikes. Surgical strikes that the Bureaus were trained in, experts in. Let the HAP and it's proud men and women be the visible protectors, let Gillofan V of the Church be the protector of the people's soul but Het Apparath remained the protector in the shadows, making sure to the best of their abilities to protect and benefit the nation without any noticing their hand in it.

Within Variota, just the shadowy reputation and conspiracy theories about Bureau 33 were often enough to make the targets cooperate. When faced with the choice of success on a leash or death and doppelganger in the best case, insanity and doppelganger in the worst, the choice was not a difficult one. This target, however, was not from Variota but instead from the nearby Argic minor state of Lukinagrad, situated a short distance from Variota. Counting a mere thirteen-hundred square kilometer, the minor state counted a whopping population of three-hundred-and-fifty thousand inhabitants, most of which lived in its capital, only port, and namesake Lukinagrad while the seventy-five thousand others lived in small, quaint villages where time seemed to slow down. Except for a lack of sales tax, meant to and working at luring foreigners and primarily Variotans to take the short trip to buy things such as locally-made cigarettes, alcohol and canned goods, the state was most known for a 90's marketing campaign aimed at single Variotan males to meet sexy and alluring Lukinagrad women and the local brand of vodka, LuVodka, which had managed to acquire a small but profitable market share in Variota through a viral marketing campaign called 'I LuVodka'.

Normally, Het Apparath would have given very little attention to such a place, a small spot on the world map. But the state had been given special priority, seen as a way for Het Huisselant to close down access to the nearby strait in their favor. Additionally, the influx of single Variotan men in the 90s had led to a reasonable Variotan minority, one that was reasonable affluent and connected for Lukan standards, and what would Het Huisselant be if it wouldn't act in the best interests of its people? Obviously, the Lukinagrad Variotans were to be protected, especially if something would be able to be gained.

And Het Apparath was in luck. The Lukan state was relatively stable, politically at least. It's many governments were formed between or from one of two reasonably centrist parties while smaller opposition parties existed but generally lacked the funds and people to gain traction. Economically, the state was in a slightly worse state. While the, primarily Variotan, visitors to the state enjoyed shopping in its shops and dining in its restaurants, hotels remained empty and foreign investments had been made difficult by the succession of governments. Thus, it's primary industries, cigarettes, the LuVodka distilleries and it's canned food plants were slowly showing their age and reaching their production limits.

Most of the restaurants that the visitors ate at were Variotan owned, serving Variotan cuisine or a fusion between the Lukan and Variotan kitchen. The best shops also kept at least a few Variotan staff members, able to speak to the shopping tourist in their own language. This caused resentment, not helped by the fact that the Variotan and partially-Variotan citizens had a more western appearance compared to the more Slavic Lukans. And as such, there were always some lower class Lukans that thought they had the right to appropriate wealth from the Variotans, putting them into the sights of Het Apparath. One of these gangs, the Dimitrovskici (Dimitrovski's), had been selected to get the special treatment. And this was not due to the fact that the gang had one of the least creative names ever but rather due to the fact that it's leader, Romeo Dimitrovski, and many of its members had been part of the Lukan military combined with Het Apparath's intelligence that they were dangerously close to starting a gang war that they would lose. People with discipline, a code of conduct and yet utterly doomed. This made them the perfect one to make an offer they cannot refuse.

And this brings us all to here. A basement room somewhere in a cookie cutter building in the ass-end of Variota. One of those towns where the only supermarket was just about large enough to stand in with ten people and where you would visit the local farmers to pick up fresh produce. You know, one of those places equally suited for bungalow vacation parks and bringing kidnapped gangsters to. Fun. The interior of the room was sparser than a prison cell. A metal table, three chairs, one lamp right above said table and a camera in the corner. Not even one of those mirrored windows like in an interrogation room of a television police show. And why would there be? If they had to clean up after a declination of their offer, that mirror would just require more work and glass cleaner. And no one likes cleaning up.

The person on the other side of the table was quite clearly Romeo Dimitrovski, hands tied behind his chair and a black sack over his head. A short, stocky and hairy man with a big gold chain around his neck wearing a half-open tracksuit. Big lined tattoos that were both obscured by age and aforementioned abundance of hair. Almost an exact stereotype of a gangster. The two agents, sitting next to each other, were dressed identically and looked nearly identical. This was a deliberate choice, supported with prostheses from the make-up department and the mandated official work uniform consisting of only one certain type of black suit, as it enabled the agents to do their job without having to risk getting recognized.

Romeo looked confused as the sack was removed, rightfully so as the last time he was able to see was when he was going to bed. And in reality, everyone would get mad when they were kidnapped from their bed and suddenly saw themselves in a bare-bones concrete room, no sounds of outside or of activity.

A1: ''Are you Romeo Dimitrovski, inhabitant of the city of Lukinagrad?''
RD: ''Who the f*ck are you people? Where the f*ck am I?''
A2: ''What, what? I'll stab your father while I do your mother. What, what. I'll stab YOU right now, you little b*tch.''
RD: ''...What the f*ck is wrong with you? Did your mother drop you on your head as a child or something?''

The agent that had decided on acting like a wannabe rapper opened his briefcase, likewise identical to the one his colleague had, and pulled out a large combat knife. Looking at it intently, the agent could be seen smiling sadistically before putting it down.

A2: ''Let me slide this up his urethra. I'll let him scream like a pig!''
A1: ''Okay, seriously. Now I'm wondering what is wrong with you.''
A2: ''What can I say? I've always been special.''
A1: ''Let's try again. Are you Romeo Dimitrovski, inhabitant of the city of Lukinagrad?''
RD: sigh "Yes, yes I am.''
A2: ''You've been a bad boy. But luckily for you, we're looking for a bad boy.''
RD: ''..What?''
A1: ''Let me put it simply, mister Dimitrovski. You have exactly three options right now. We know of your operations, we know more than you know and we can do more than you can. And I know that you know that, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to grab you from your bed.''
RD: ''And what are those options?''
A1: ''Option one, you accept our... offer of assistance. You do what we say when we say it and we'll make sure to make you a wealthy and powerful man. If you step out of line, we'll let the entire house of cards crash down on you and no one around you will end up dying of old age, just for good measure. Option two, you decline our offer and you'll be found in your bed, dead. Your second in command takes over and he'll be given the same offers. Do you think he'll accept? We think so. Option three, you decline and we murder you right here and now. Your children will call another man daddy, a man that looks exactly like you. We can do that.' We have done that before.'
A2: ''I like option three. It's so simple, so easy... No hassle, just fun.''
A1: ''Dude, seriously. You're insane.''
A2: ''Thanks.''
RD: ''And if I... accept, what would that entail?''
A1: ''You do a little job for us once in a while, you follow our lead. We say jump, you ask how high. Maybe you'll need to throw a couple of men under the bus, who knows? In return, we'll supply you. Weapons, drugs, intelligence. We'll even take care of Nikolai Radomir for you. Did you know he is planning on hitting your warehouse soon? Our analysts say you have a chance of maybe five percent to end up alive at the end of a war with him. Yet, if you say yes, poof. Gone are your problems. A chicken without it's head can only run around wildly, you could even take over the Radomirci. Interesting stuff.''
RD: ''What is the catch?''
A2: ''No catch. Just the never-ending threat of us ending everything you love while you are forced to watch if you betray us. The usual.''
RD: sigh ''You leave me no choice. I accept.''
A1: ''Good. There's some paperwork you need to sign.''

Taking a bundle of paperwork and a pen out of his briefcase, Agent One slides it to Romeo. Of course, a tied up man can sign about as well as a man without hands and as such, one hand was cut loose by the combat knife-wielding, possibly-insane second agent. Papers were quickly signed and put back in the briefcase, replaced with a small business card.

A1: ''You'll call this number when you are back home. You will follow the instructions on the phone to the letter. Good luck, mister Dimitrovski. We're watching.''


Romeo's instructions had been clear. His warehouse, usually used to store his counterfeit cigarettes and stolen goods, had been delivered a gift by his mysterious benefactors. Inside were Varinco-made but unmarked AG-81 and AG-56/59 assault rifles, a couple of GW69 RPG's and knife-resistant vests. While guns were far more common in Variota, Lukinagrad had only a small amount of firearms among its criminal elements and as such, they had been given knife-resistant vests instead to protect them. His opponent, Nikolai Radomir, was a rival crime boss and used car salesman. Where Romeo's gang controlled the counterfeit cigarette market and did some burglary once in a while and thus had remained relatively low-level, Nikolai controlled the cocaine and marijuana market, shipping it in and out through his used cars, and had managed to acquire enough wealth to have his own compound in the countryside. Payments to key politicians and the police commander had ensured Nikolai was able to do his business without too much hassle.

The team that had brought Romeo back to Lukinagrad had also been assigned to resolving his problem. When you control a gang like Nikolai does, through sheer wealth, you don't create loyalty. By having morals, a code of conduct and a genuine sense of brotherhood, as Romeo and his fellow ex-servicemen had, you did manage to create loyalty. If everything you care about is wealth, you don't care if you work for Boss A or Boss B, so long as you receive your slice of the pie. And there was the solution to this problem. The instruction had been clear: Arm your men, move them to the Radomir compound in the middle of the night and blow the sh*t out of it with the RPG's. Use all of them, make it a grand show of force. We will ensure that the message gets out that his men can join you and continue operations as usual or die horribly like their boss did.

 

Tl;dr and other information (OOC): This is the first half of stage one of a small Variotan expansion that I have planned out. In total, there are three stages (the first of which is the smallest, the third the longest) before I reach the point where Het Huisselant takes it over. This part of the first stage is kidnapping the leader of a gang of ex-servicemen turned gangsters, who is then made to follow the lead of the Variotan secret service. Below is Lukinagrad (simply erase that Hong Kong in your mind and replace it with Lukinagrad). It's a tiny Slavic state (to keep in line with the local culture, which is Slavic as far as I know), 1.300 km2 and 350.000 people. Most of its economy comes from selling cheap products to Variotans, who take day trips to its capital and namesake Lukinagrad and whom additionally make up a small minority of 25,000 (less than 10% of the total population) that are mostly part of-or-descendant of the men that came here in the 90s to seek a wife, of which Lukinagrad had too many. People outside of the city earn their money by working in one of the three main industries, cigarettes, alcohol or canned foods, or by working the land. Due to strict rules, the three industries are showing signs of old age as outside capital cannot be attracted.

Geo-politically, this will change very little on the world stage. Variota/Het Huisselant does gain a foothold on Argis but with the territory containing and being less than 1% of Het Huisselant's current people and area, it mostly just enhances our grip on the strait we're located at (which we have at the moment anyway since we're the only RP nation situated there at the moment). I plan on taking over this territory through underhanded but fully non-military means, which is possible through the small size and population count of the nation. Of course, all three stages work towards the goal and I plan on making them detailed, so the work will be in there to make it realistic as well. If you have any questions or issues, please feel free to send me a message here or on discord and I'll gladly go over it with you, take your issues in consideration or relieve them if possible.

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Edited by Orioni
Spelling of "it's" replaced with "its" (see edit history)
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Have you ever gotten that feeling that something bad is about to go down? The way that it sinks to your stomach, makes you feel as if a stone has been dropped in your stomach. Or, in some cases, as if you're hungry even if you've already had something to eat. That tingling feeling in the back of your skull, tingling and tingling because you know that something is happening but you haven't the foggiest idea what. You can't explain it, maybe it's a guardian angel watching you, maybe it's the ghost of your prankster Uncle Ted who decided to mess with you because he has little less to do in the afterlife. Those feelings, ever had them? Yes? Good. Our unfortunate gangster, used car salesman and drug pusher Nikolai Radomir felt them too, this very evening.

As with any other day, Nikolai didn't cook. Of course, he didn't, he was the man of the relations, the provider, the boss. No respectable crime boss cooks, cooking crime bosses was something for those pansy Europans or Variotans. Nor did his wife, a petite 20-something barely-legal trophy wife whose ass-length bought-on-the-cheap fake hair extensions almost seemed to want to ignite in flames when around heat and whom, if you stripped her down to her natural self, would lose about half of her body weight in fake hair, fake nails, fake eyelashes, make-up and what not. If someone would ever release a cheap knockoff of an Essex barbie, it was almost guaranteed that this doll would look like Nikolai's wife.

With his wife being primarily interested in Nikolai's large amount of money and his readily available supply of narcotics, it was obvious that they didn't eat in their gaudy mansion. Who eats dinner in their home? Plebs! Not a wealthy and powerful crime lord like Nikolai, he ate at the best Lukan restaurant that served Lukan cuisine. Nikolai wasn't a man of genuine tastes and as such had always disliked the Variotan cuisine that many of the upscale restaurants in Lukinagrad served. Luckily for him, restaurants were also a great way to launder money so Nikolai had simply made his own upscale restaurant.

And now, he was seated on a table in the middle of the restaurant, depicting his status as if he was the sun around which the planets revolve. A table for four, although only him and his wife were seated. His two children, his daughter of twenty and his son of sixteen, were late. They were always late, the fools. They never wanted to drive with their father and presumably rightfully so as Nikolai himself also loved a sniff or two once or twice and then went on a speeding rampage that had, thankfully, never led to a deadly end.

Downing his fourth shot of LuVodka, he felt his phone vibrate. Hoping that it was his son, calling him to let him know they were parking, he saw that it was his daughter instead that had called him. She almost never called him as she drove and didn't like breaking the rules as much as her father did. Swiping it to accept, Nikolai tried speaking until he heard her.

''Papa, papa!''
You could hear a hand being held over her mouth to keep her from shouting further. 

''Don't give them anything, dad!''

A young man's voice could be heard in the background now, presumably the son of the aforementioned Nikolai Radimir. The panicked cry-scream of the young woman and the defiance of the young man was replaced with a deep male voice.

''Are you Nikolai Radimir?''
''What the f*ck is this?''
''ARE. YOU. NIKOLAI. RADIMIR. FULL. f*ckING. STOP. Answer the question.''
''I am.''

Bang!

''Aaah! They shot Svetlana! Sveti noooo!''

Bang!

''You're next.'' click

The click that Nikolai heard at that moment was one of the softest and yet hardest sounds he'd ever hear. His cocaine and alcohol-fueled brain went on a rampage and the only way he could act out was in anger, anger at the insolence of the murderers, anger at his incompetence to protect his children, anger at the tarnishing of his position as a crime lord. The table that he had sat on received a quick and harsh punishment from his fists but didn't break as it was made out of solid wood nor did Nikolai feel the pain that was associated with punching such a table with your bare knuckles. Some would have figured Nikolai to be a stupid and somewhat courageous man, one who would have collected all his men and went on a rampage to avenge his children. Het Apparath had known better, Nikolai was almost as smart as he was cowardly. Why waste your own time and risk your life when you can simply send your men away?

And that was what he did. From the restaurant, he raced straight home to his mansion with his security trying to keep up with him. His resolve was even further set in stone to avenge his children when he saw the wreck of the car that they had driven, burned out completely just a mere kilometer or two from his mansion. If these murderers were bold enough to grab his children just barely a stone's throw from his base of operations, then he would be bold enough to cut off all their fingers and toes as the starting torture for when he caught them. Nikolai was so filled with anger that he never even saw the men in wait surrounding the hills of his mansion. Not that the chance would have been high for him to spot them even when he wasn't angry as Nikolai was a simple gangster, one without military training or any training at all.

Thus, he made the fatal decision to send out all but a crew of his most 'loyal' men to find out who did it before retreating to his personal office to mourn alone. His wife was glad for this, as it meant an easy night with a bath, some cocaine and having the bed all to herself. While she was attractive, at least in the eyes of some men, she wasn't exactly known for her empathy.

Thanks to the lack of an adequate amount of security, the team from Het Apparath could sneak in without issues. Some might call this a great accomplishment but then again, drug-fueled gangsters weren't exactly known for their security measures. Either way, the team was now in. And like any good team of Het Apparath, they knew exactly what to do in order to pull off the surgical strike in such a way that the Radomirci would turn over to the Dimitrovskici. Nikolai was to be made a symbol, something to fear to turn into. His wife, while not being an accomplice and simply being there at the wrong time, was also to be cleaned up.

The wife was easiest. As she sank into her tub, headphones plugged into a nearby stereo and window open, an agent of Het Apparath scrawled through the open window. With her head turned to the door instead of the window and music blasting, she never saw or heard anything. While he could have simply held her underwater and be done with it, the agent decided to have a little fun and took out his lighter. Her cheap hair extensions caught on fire quicker than even cheaper polyester hit by fireworks. However, thanks to her love for cocaine and the fact that she was almost bald if she didn't have the extensions, she only began feeling it when the entire extension was caught on fire. Without thinking, she pulled her head down into the water with such a force that she pushed the nearby stereo into the bath, hitting her square on the head and electrocuting her.

Nikolai was harder but barely. With his office containing only one window and no way out of the mansion beyond that window or moving through it, the plan had been to throw him out of it and grab him along. The agent assigned to him first had to wait until the few remaining security guys had moved towards the front of the house. Naturally, they would as the only genuine entrance to the mansion was a large gate with the perimeter protected with a thick stone wall. Once they had, it was as simple as climbing up and putting yourself in such a position that allowed to pull a person out of the window. Well, simple... Nothing about it was relatively simple but for Het Apparath and/or serial cheaters that were often almost caught, this was part of the normal workday.

A tap on the window sufficed to lure Nikolai, who opened the window to see what had happened and was promptly thrown down unto the grass below. Knocked unconscious, Nikolai was quickly dragged along to a third agent that was waiting with a car nearby. The next morning, Nikolai would be found in front of his, then burning, mansion with his mangled body crucified on a cross made from scrap metal. Each body part had been detached from the torso before getting pinned onto the scrap metal cross and his head, with nails through his eyes, had its mouth held open by a roll of paper on which his various crimes stood and the politicians that he had supported with it.

Times were changing in Lukinagrad.

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Prime Minister Vladimir Ivanov resigns, Radomir murder-scandal involvement claims another; Courts and Military take control!

 

Today, standing on the steps of the Grand City Hall in the historic center of Lukinagrad, Prime Minister Vladimir Ivanov of the¬†Partija za Podobruvanje na Lukinagrad¬†(Party for the Betterment of Lukinagrad) declared that he would resign after widespread discontent among the people. While large-scale protests that not yet begun, the general consensus among citizens was and remains that the situation¬†was one that could not continue on. Prime Minister Ivanov was one of the many names mentioned in the Radomir murder-scandal and one of the primary participants, both as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lukinagrad and in his position as party leader of the PPL. While it remains unknown if Ivanov will be indicted, radical vigilantes¬†among citizens in the economically-slumping¬†rural and industrial areas have called for his trial or his head, a call that has been encouraged by the¬†Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata (Brothers of Justice Party) and it's extremist leader Gjorge Aleksandrov.

The Radomir murder-scandal, which saw disgraced businessman and crime lord Nikolai Radomir, his family and his accomplices murdered in gruesome and brutal ways, remains on everyone's mind. While the act itself would have been enough to shake Lukinagrad, the information that was released after the murders ensured for the fall of the current government and cabinet. Initial reports stated that Radomir was found with a list of names in his mouth, although the list lacked any evidence and was unable to be confirmed until anonymous figures dropped off documents that were able to be easily confirmed at Radio Televizija Lukinagradska. These documents, seemingly from Radomir's accountant Aleksander Arsov, contained dates, payoffs and strategy papers. Remains belonging to Arsov were found in the smoldering remains of the Radomir mansion.

The first person to be indicted was Minister of Industry Nestorov, who was revealed to have taken regular bribes in order to prevent the opening of the automotive industry to foreign corporations. This allowed Radomir to buy and sell more second-hand cars, through which he smuggled narcotics, as only the upper class was able to import foreign cars due to the costs. Nestorov, the leader of the Socijalni Konzervativci (Social Conservatives), was caught attempting to flee over the border in his car, a trunk filled with Lukan Dinar and a motor that stopped and didn't want to start again. Ironically, Nestorov's automobile was a luxury second hand one from Radomir's business. He is currently under the surveillance of the Lukan military awaiting his trial for treason, taking bribes and fraud.

With Prime Minister Ivanov resigning and very little politicians of the two reigning parties maintaining a clean slate, the cabinet has been left insufficiently capable to continue on. As such, the three High Judges of Lukinagrad have asked the Lukan military to aid them in temporarily taking over control of the nation while elections are prepared. General Vasily Lukashenko has been selected as the face of this temporary government. While elections are being prepared, no date for the said election has been mentioned as of yet due to the new government needing to take control and settle things first. All eight parties in Lukinagrad have shown their intention to run in the coming election, although it is yet unknown if the PPL and SK are allowed to run or will be disbanded due to their heinous and grievous crimes against the Lukan people.


 

Current parties in Lukinagrad:

Left-wing:

  • Socijalistite za Nova Idnina (Socialists for a New Future) - Received eight percent of the vote last election
  • Agrarnata Reformska Partija (Agrarian Reform Party) - Received ten percent of the vote last election

Center:

  • Partija za Podobruvanje na Lukinagrad (Party for the Betterment of Lukinagrad) - Received thirty percent of the vote last election - Possibility to get disbanded
  • Socijalni Konzervativci (Social Conservatives) - Received twenty-five percent of the vote last election - Possibility to get disbanded
  • Lukinagrad Napred (Lukinagrad Forward) - Received five percent of the vote last election

Right-wing:

  • Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata (Brothers of Justice Party) - Received three¬†percent of the vote last election - Extremists
  • Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti (Union of Variotan Immigrants) - Received seven percent of the vote last election
  • Narodna Revolucija (People's Revolution) - Received twelve percent of the vote last election
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  • 4 weeks later...

The warehouse that the Dimitrovskici owned and operated was a hustle and bustle of people entering and leaving. While the operations removing Nikolai had made the gang stronger than ever, they had remained level-headed enough to understand that real power isn't gained from just pure power or pure wealth but from a combination of those. Throw money at a problem and it doesn't disappear? Try bullets. Between one of those two, the problem either disappears or you find out it is large enough that you weren't able to solve either way and it's become time to flee. Let the army or the police die, you're a criminal and your smartest choice is to run to fight another day, not die in some faux-heroic hail of fire and damnation. You're the rat, outliving everyone by crawling into dark, little corners and survive by eating the rotting eyeballs of your fallen enemies. You know, the usual.

Before they had managed to get their slice of the pie in regards to handling and transporting drugs, the gang had been known for buying and selling stolen goods next to their counterfeit cigarettes, which were deemed of a higher-quality than those of the others. And as such, the warehouse was almost like a criminal bazaar, a myriad of goods as far as the eye could see. In a stroke of genius some years ago, Romeo had gotten his wife and the wives of trusted gang members to staff the warehouse as sales staff, handling sales and taking in money. Between the women watching out and his men providing security, sales were both boosted by the fact that the warehouse was almost similar to a regular store and thefts were down, not that they were high to begin with. Only a fool tries to steal from criminals, it's like slaughtering a butcher. It's just not done.

The full warehouse additionally helped Romeo with his new business, as the crates of drugs could be easily hidden among the many crates of cigarettes and hot products. Police wouldn't search further if they came upon a crate of the best counterfeit cigarettes on this side of the strait. They'd take the cigarettes as a pay-off and then simply f*ck off, the thing most police officers were best at. Not that Romeo really cared, better to lose a couple of cigarettes than lose a couple of kilos of the finest cocaine, marijuana or ecstasy. While Nikolai originally also had a side business of selling horse, heroin, brown or whatever you'd like to call it, the higher-ups had quickly made clear that Romeo was not to meddle in that. For het Apparath, heroin was a step too far. Too many casualties, issues and what not to make it worthwhile. A person snorting your coke could be plied into doing some work and were deemed at least somewhat reliable when not full-on addicted, a person on heroin was only interested in getting his fix and withered away, only good to use as a decoy body in a fire. While this view was often seen as particularly harsh, it was one that had been formulated between multiple bureaus that had done research on it and when the chips were out of dip, het Apparath was all about results.

Romeo himself was standing in a small back room, inspecting the newest shipment of white, yayo, cocaine. This new shipment wasn't Variotan cocaine, though, which was sometimes seen as being of a slightly lower quality due to the coca leaves being imported. Through scheming, usage of existing connections and opportunities arising perhaps somewhat related to the probable income tax hike in Iverica, het Apparath had been able to acquire a solid flow of pure, highest-quality Argic cocaine, often deemed the diamond among the different types of cocaine.

Random Thug: ''Is this the cocaine, boss?''
Romeo: ''You know it, Mo. Pure, delicious, tongue numbing Argic cocaine, straight from the Sphincter.''
RT: ''So, what are we going to do with it? I mean, how are we moving this?''
Romeo: ''I can't tell you much but let's just say that the Lysians like more than just wine with their dinner. Prymontians have to keep warm in the snow. Them Sunset Islanders also love a good snort between being oppressed by computers. And don't get me started on the Orionians... Orioni's? Those Europans. I'm surprised they even have septums left. Too bad the Ahranians are commies nowadays, can't buy cocaine with pickle juice and beets.''

At this time, a knock could be heard on the door of the back room. As any good military, law enforcement or criminal man would tell you, you always need a lookout. In Romeo's case, the lookout had just given him the signal that someone was coming. One knock was friendly law enforcement, two would have been the press, three would have been unfriendly law enforcement and if the military really wanted to barge in? Well, then Romeo would have simply been alerted by the sound of gunfire and either his men or the soldiers dying. Either way, he would have been royally f*cked at that point. While het Apparath was providing all its help, the Lukinagrad military was not yet part of this.

Romeo and the random thug, presumably named Mo, had barely managed to put the lid back on the crate before a slightly chubby police officer barged into the room. As usual in areas such as Lukinagrad, the rank of a person was determined by the size of his hat and the medals, if any, he wore. The sight of this man, who was running the risk of his head becoming more hat than an actual head, seemed to promote his own idea of being one of the most important figures of the law in these parts. A messy figure? Of course, the easily recognizable stain of garlic sauce and fatty meatballs on his shirt didn't hide the fact that this man could just as easily perform in an eating competition as well as be the head of police.

R: ''Boris! So glad to see you, always a pleasure. Are you here for the information I needed? Still enjoying the garlic meatballs of Mama Petrov, I see.''
Boris: ''Of course I am, there's no better restaurant in the entire city. Been eating her food ever since I and Ana started dating, didn't stop even after dumping her. Remember Ana Petrov? The things she could do with pickles! She made a delicious pickle salad, it had these little bits of potato, cabbage, pickles...''
R: ''Oh yes, I remember Ana. Fond memories. Do you have the information I wanted?''
B: ''Ho ho, easy cowboy. Do you have my... gift?''
R: ''You're my good friend, of course I have your gift. Thirty cartons of the best Variotan cigarettes. Real ones too. They will be delivered this evening, only the best for my friend, you know that. Isn't Josif enjoying his study at the university? Isn't Trena enjoying her flower boutique? Sure, I move some stuff through it but she's never had trouble and we pay the rent, do we not?''
B: ''Yes yes, I know, I know. So, elections. You're lucky that one judge owes me big time after he got caught with the webcam thing... You know, the one that... Nevermind. Anyway, I cannot think of a way for you to influence elections except through brute force, the military is going to be in control of the voting stations. Remember Vlad, the guy that lived down the street back in... 1988, I think? He got arrested for keeping those girls in his basement, you know. The one with the creepy eyes. He kept offering to find us a wife, that guy.''
R: ''I remember, yeah.''
B: ''So, he's apparently a lieutenant in the¬†Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata. Did some probing and if you can get him enough cigarettes to last him awhile, he's willing to send his men to stab Ivanov, Nestorov and such. Get the PPL and SC leftovers scared enough and they'll disband on their own, force their hand. That's fifty-five percent of the vote that needs to float to other parties, that shakes up the election.''
R: ''When's the campaigns starting? Have the courts given out permits to campaign already?''
B: ''Not yet, it's not far though. I expect them to sign permits at the end of this week, begin of the next one at the most.''
R: ''Thanks Boris.''

Once Boris had left, Romeo quickly gave orders to his henchman Mo to move the cocaine to a reasonable place in the warehouse, preferably one where no police officers would be able to find it easily. The cigarette for Vlad were taken from different crates pretty soon thereafter and between the groundwork that Boris had done for Romeo and the low wages that correctional officers received in Lukinagrad, they were delivered the next day to a very happy, sadistic, right-extremist kidnapper and his cronies.

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  • 2 months later...

Preliminary notes on the Lukan Parliamentary Elections and Events surrounding it - Code 1-LST-18 - Agent W12-33 

Pre-Election:

  • Operative R.D. proved inventive and effective, available, able and willing to pull strings beyond the current capabilities of Het Apparath within the Lukan state. Agent notes that most of these strings are due to growing up in the same general neighborhood, instilling a sense of loyalty among them.¬†
  • Providing the operative¬†with firearms in a criminal environment used to knifes was a risk but one that paid off due to the large amount of military training within operative's group. Analysts state that chances were large that groups outside of Het Apparath's control would have imported black market firearms within 6 to 12 months to retaliate against N. Radomir's expansion plans, we have now managed to keep that isolated to groups under our control..
  • Operative R.D. remained loyal to Het Apparath, whether this is due to greed, the possibility of additional power or threats of death is not known. Respect for the chain of command due to military training and career may be part of this.
  • N. Radomir's removal was violent but accurate. Agents involved in this operation are to be commended. The aftermath, handled by Operative R.D. and his group, erased traces of said operation. The loss of eighteen lives was within operational parameters and proved vital in regards to paving the way for N. Radomir's group to fold into Operative R.D.'s group.
  • Media, including governmental ones, were quick to jump on the evidence and anonymous tips given. This, regretfully, removed any options towards blackmailing influential Lukan politicians but did speed up the Lukan justice system and ensured elections.
  • Takeover by the military and the justice system was not the optimal option but was included in the analyses by other bureaus. Operative R.D. proved resourceful through pulling aforementioned strings, has shown secondary connections to one of five Lukan judges. This agent advises to seek out current filth or¬†fabricate or stage new filth in order to ensure primary connections to said judges.
  • Takeover proved useful for establishment of trade node. Operative R.D. and his group have managed to quickly turn around N. Radomir's facilities for themselves. Increase in counterfeit cigarettes and stolen goods within Het Huisselant has been deemed minor and acceptable. Analyses shows that some domestic importers of said goods may be used at a later date.
  • Minor economic¬†uncertainty in friendly area ensured rapid supply of cocaine towards trade node at prices lower than domestic production. The¬†supply was able to quickly be turned into usable funds and remains available, if at random times and random amounts.
  • Addendum to previous point: This agent advises the usage of trade node and supply from friendly area¬†to naturally subsidize programs¬†aimed at increasing markets in areas deemed negative. Bureau 69 may be of additional help in this regard.
  • Political parties¬†P.B.P. and S.N.I. deemed risk for post-election period due to large amounts of anti-Variotan elements. P.B.P. seems unwilling to change due to general anti-foreigner stance, S.N.I. holds belief that Het Huisselant is hostile to their socialistic ideology. Analyses shows that inserting a Walensian or Neo-Walensian puppet party may steal enough vote from the P.B.P. to disable them from being a threat. S.N.I. will have to be dealt with through political means.
  • Operative R.D. moved on his own and pulled strings to enable the removal of negatively corrupt politicians that were incarcerated. This proves limited¬†usefulness of the P.B.P. party members, if only within the Lukan incarceration system. This removal ensured the disbanding of political parties P.P.L. and S.K. and ensured a large amount of undecided voters able to manipulate through campaigning.¬†
  • Justice system and military leadership had talks in regards to establishing authoritarian regime. Military leadership declined then attempted to establish one among their own. Infighting and anonymous hints given to military intelligence in regards to the criminal element within the nation not accepting such an ending ensured the end of their plan. This agent advises the removal of certain members of the military leadership once control is set over the area.

Lukan campaigning:

  • Chaos in political system due to removal of P.P.L. and S.K. political parties led to formation of a political bloc. The Podobra Idnina (A Better Future) bloc formed between the L.N., S.V.I. and N.R. political parties on a platform based on lowering taxes, nationalizing and improving the cigarette manufacturing industry with funds from privatizing others and increasing ties with Het Huisselant, which remains¬†the biggest importer and exporter for¬†the Lukan nation.
  • G.¬†Aleksandrov of the P.B.P. got arrested for fighting with S.N.I. extremists. This worked advantageously as G. Aleksandrov maintains a charismatic personality, his short term imprisonment ensured his removal from the election campaign¬†on a personal front.
  • S.N.I. leaders attempted to condemn the fighting of their extremist members. Through the clever manipulation of social media and blogs by agents of Het Apparath as well as general condemnation by all other political parties, in an attempt to steer voters away from P.B.P. and S.N.I., this backfired on S.N.I. and made it seem as if they approved of the violence. Additionally, they lost the support of their extremist members for not supporting their actions.
  • A.R.P. made it known that they would be willing to work with the Podobra Idnina bloc if funds were provided for the modernization of the agricultural sector. Members loyal and/or friendly within S.V.I. state that this offer will be accepted by the Podobra Idnina bloc and have been advised to indeed do so, as it increases the ability to push through reforms needed for the end goal of this operation.
  • A.R.P. campaign mainly focused on the rural areas, where their support was already large, and the canned goods industry, which relies heavily on the rural areas. Analyses of the events and support shown towards the Podobra Idnina bloc leads this agent to believe that the A.R.P. will play a secondary and harmless role in post-election Lukinagrad.
  • S.N.I. campaign was an all-round one focusing on receiving votes from leftists previously part of S.K. and P.P.L.. Due to previously named incident, this generally failed with many of the leftists deciding to vote A.R.P. or L.N..
  • L.N. campaign attempted and succeeded at convincing many of the centrist voters that they were, in fact, the way forward. Thanks to the formation of the Podobra Idnina bloc, the party was able to use resources of the others and vice versa.
  • S.V.I. campaign focused on Lukinagrad city dwellers and the few Variotans living in the rural areas. While originally a catch-all party for Variotan immigrants, S.V.I. has slowly turned itself into a party following and adapting center-right and¬†right-wing ideas from Variotan parties such as the Laagher Party. This has allowed them to grab some centrist votes as well as the votes of the moderate right-wing voters of the S.K. and P.P.L.
  • N.R. campaign focused on industrial workers, less moderate right-wing voters of the S.K. and P.P.L.¬†and those disenfranchised by the actions of P.B.P.. Due to the relatively poor state of the industrial capacity of the Lukan state, this campaign went well. However, due to the position of the N.R. between the S.V.I. and the P.B.P. and N.R. already having a solid voting base within the industries of the Lukan state, the effects of this campaign were somewhat dampened.
  • Some sections of the Lukan justice system and the Lukan military declared support for the Podobra Idnina bloc. Operative R.D. was able to provide information in regards to the support of said sections of the military in the form of taped conversations with said operative's ties within the Lukan military. Due to the failed attempt at establishing an authoritarian military government, these sections have now decided to throw their support behind the political bloc in the hope of furthering their own careers in post-election Lukinagrad. This agent advises caution in regards to these sections as they have proven themselves to be pragmatic at a dangerous level.

Lukan Elections:

  • For the sake of ease, this agent has combined all voting districts into three general ones namely Lukinagrad West, Lukinagrad East and Lukan Rural Areas. The total amount of possible voters count 210.000, an equivalent of sixty percent of the population.

Lukan Rural Areas

The Lukan Rural Areas make up the smallest amount of voters, holding just above one-fifth of the Lukan populace. The Rural Areas primarily maintain agricultural businesses, although the canned goods industry also maintains its factories in this area. Voters (45.000) within this area are generally extremely loyal to the A.R.P. although a small amount of voters go for the S.V.I., generally due to ethnic reasons. S.K. and P.P.L. parties previously found some voters in this area, albeit far less so than in Lukinagrad the city.

Voter turnout:
90% - 40.500

Votes (rounded):
Agrarnata Reformska Partija - 30.500
Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti - 4.000
Lukinagrad Napred - 3.000
Narodna Revolucija - 1.500
Socijalistite za Nova Idnina - 1.000
Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata - 500

Actions taken:
No actions taken. Voting turnout and voter preferences remained similar to what was estimated.

Lukinagrad West

For simplicity's sake, Lukinagrad was divided into two voting sections for these notes. The western part (75.000 voters) is the lesser populated of the two and generally the richer part. Variotans in the 90s and beyond mostly moved into this section of the city and started their restaurants and other businesses. West is the pretty part of town, luring in day trippers and other tourists with its pretty sights and buildings while East is the working part. S.V.I. always found a large section of its votes here as did S.K. and P.P.L. whereas A.R.P. and P.B.P. saw almost none.

Voter turnout:
95% - 71.250

Votes (rounded):
Lukinagrad Napred - 30.000
Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti - 25.000
Narodna Revolucija - 9.000
Socijalistite za Nova Idnina - 6.000
Agrarnata Reformska Partija - 1.000
Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata - 250

Actions taken:
Operative R.D.'s group ensured that some P.B.P. and S.N.I. extremist members were kept from the voting booth by playing these two groups against each other. Analyses beforehand shows that said members were intending to influence the elections themselves.

Lukinagrad East:

For simplicity's sake, Lukinagrad was divided into two voting sections for these notes. The eastern part (90.000 voters) is the larger populated of the two and generally the poorer part. The east contains the factories fabricating cigarettes and the LuVodka distilleries, the shipping docks as well as a multitude of regular shops, lowbrow bars and other such businesses regular folks need. Laborers work in the factories and distilleries, dockworkers move the goods and other workers either toil in the shops and businesses here or commute to the western part of the city. Due to a large amount of lower class citizens, S.N.I., P.B.P. and N.R. generally saw a large amount of votes here whereas A.R.P. and S.V.I. saw little.

Voter turnout:
85% - 76.500

Votes (rounded):
Lukinagrad Napred - 30.000
Narodna Revolucija - 21.750
Socijalistite za Nova Idnina - 11.500
Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti - 6.500
Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata - 5.000
Agrarnata Reformska Partija - 1.750

Actions taken:
Operative R.D.'s group persuaded friendly anti-P.B.P. and anti-S.N.I. vote counters to lose some of the ballots, thus ensuring that the influence of these two parties remain within the reasonable spectrum of expectations. Estimated voting ballots lost is 2.500, an amount small enough to not arouse suspicions while enabling a reasonable amount of influence on this voting district.

Final count and election ending:

Voter turnout:
89.6% - 188.250

Votes required for a seat:
3.765

Votes (rounded):
Lukinagrad Napred - 63.000
Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti - 35.500
Agrarnata Reformska Partija - 33.250
Narodna Revolucija - 32.250
Socijalistite za Nova Idnina - 18.500
Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata - 5.750

Seats granted (first round):
Lukinagrad Napred - 16 (2.760)
Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti - 9 (1.615)
Agrarnata Reformska Partija - 8 (3.130)
Narodna Revolucija - 8 (2.130)
Socijalistite za Nova Idnina - 4 (3.440)
Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata - 1 (1.985)
Total: 46 seats

Seats granted (second round):
Socijalistite za Nova Idnina - 1
Agrarnata Reformska Partija - 1
Lukinagrad Napred - 1
Narodna Revolucija - 1
Total: 4 seats

Seats granted (total):
Lukinagrad Napred - 17
Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti - 9
Agrarnata Reformska Partija - 9
Narodna Revolucija - 9
Socijalistite za Nova Idnina - 5
Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata - 1

Government formed:
Podobra Idnina bloc government with tacit Agrarnata Reformska Partija support, 35 seats (44 incl. A.R.P.). With Lukinagrad Napred lacking politicians experienced enough to take on the position of Prime Minister and Narodna Revolucija politicians not being deemed 'likable' enough for the position, the choice has fallen on the Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti party leader Wiktor Nicolai fan Lukansestatt. With an extremely comfortable majority, the government was formed quickly and instated by the Lukan justice system and the military, ending the temporary rule by said sections of the Lukan society. Both Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt and his government remain adamant about keeping to the campaign promises, stating that they 'are not just wanted by the people but needed, these changes and promises will ensure a Lukinagrad that we can proudly pass on to our children and their children' and that 'closer relations with Het Huisselant are the best option in this case as they remain the largest and majority trade partner of this nation, a position that we can use in our endeavor to improve upon the nation'.

Special actions deemed needed by this agent:
None. The choice of fan Lukansestatt as the Prime Minister of the new government is better than we had expected. Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt has previously shown great respect and loyalty towards his homeland. This is¬†presumably tied to the fact that the fan Lukansestatt family is one of the oldest and richest Variotan families in Lukinagrad, deemed rich even by Variotan standards,¬†and remains extremely proud of that fact and their heritage. While this agent deems the Narodna Revolucija,¬†Socijalistite za Nova Idnina and¬†Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata to be against far going¬†efforts towards unification of the Lukan state within the federal framework of Het Huisselant, attempts will be successful due to Lukinagrad Napred and¬†Sojuz na Vartotanski Imigranti, both deemed in favor, having a slim majority of the vote with or without support from the Agrarnata Reformska Partija.

Operative R.D. has been notified of the need to throw several of his group members under the bus for the sake of raising approval for the current government and, primarily, Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt. Influence within RTL and the possibility of a nearing privatization of RTL will ensure that Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt will be seen as the main member and figurehead of the government during these times, enabling a higher approval and a more fluid transition towards unification when the time comes.

This agent advises the establishment of special funds to ensure the ability of the government and/or Het Apparath-backed businesses to purchase important Lukan businesses whenever possible. According to analyses by Bureau 68, many of the businesses are profitable but aging and are suffering from a lack of capital. These issues, while existing, are not of such a magnitude that they need to be avoided. Taking over the three main industries will ensure increased amounts of cigarettes, alcohol and canned goods will enable that prices for these goods remain within acceptable levels and increase wealth levels within both the Lukan state and Het Huisselant. Additionally, the purchase and control of these industries will allow for a quicker pace towards unification if the need arises for heavy handed and aggressive tactics, as we can threaten to pull them out of Lukinagrad. 

- Agent W12-33

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Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt: 'Start of this joint venture will ensure increased self-reliance'

In his first public address, Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt declared the official foundation of the Lukinagrad Munitions Corporation. The LMC will become a joint venture between the government of our fair Democratic State and the Geemeiner Fereinigung fan Waafen Fabrikatie Asosiasjies 'Varinco', generally better known only by Varinco, of Het Huisselant Variota. While locations are still being searched for, current plans for the Lukinagrad Munitions Corporation include the hiring of fifty workers to manufacture ammunition for the Lukan Armed Forces among others.

This foundation includes the signing of a contract that enforces the Lukinagrad Munitions Corporation as the first and foremost supplier of munitions for the Lukan Armed Forces. In case of demand turning out higher than expected, the Lukinagrad Munitions Corporation is allowed the right to purchase ammunition required to fulfill orders of the Lukan Armed Forces at cost from GFWFA Varinco. Part of the plans of the Podobra Idnina political bloc, the establishment of the munitions manufacturer will enable the economy to remain strong and increase ties with nearby friendly nations. The underused railroad system will see additional usage as raw materials will be brought in from surrounding nations. While the amount of improvement remains unknown, Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt had this to say:

''This is truly a good day. With the establishment of a true and non-corrupt government at the head of our Democratic State, things can finally improve on a level that is beneficial to all within the nation. Already, we have received and accepted a generous offer from one of the largest and most well known corporations of Alharu and, I dare say, the world. When this government was selected by the votes of the people, we made it clear that we would do what we have promised and I believe that this counts as the first step of showing that the future of Lukinagrad is bright.

Not since the days of King Branko III has the Lukan military been supplied by its own men and women. With the foundation of the Lukinagrad Munitions Corporation, we have returned to the days of our former glory in regards to the supply of our brave soldiers.This joint venture will ensure all of its workers receive solid positions in the workforce as the rising tension in the world allows for a steady market. The conditions for this deal are fair and the benefits we seek to have with this have been deemed realistic and achievable in nature.

While we have had our rocky times throughout history, it is clear to this government that the businesses and government of Het Huisselant are some of the best around and our best option towards revitalizing the nation. No person ever wants to admit that he cannot improve on his own but as it stands, everyone needs a hand at some point in life. I, for one, am looking longingly towards the future and the closer relations between our fine Democratic State and Het Huisselant, through business and hopefully diplomacy.''

Edited by Variota (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

The Pink Pony, the self-proclaimed sleaziest nightclub and bar in Grootwaterflakte and some would say Het Huisselant. Its velvety walls, marble tables and tiger print couches were the stuff that had turned boys into men, girls into women and had been the setting of more than one 'amateur' style adult movie. Of course, there were also other reasons for coming here. Depending on the night and the time of year, the Pink Pony was stuffed with tourists, looking to spend a night partying with the Variotan stars that they would normally only be able to watch through a screen. This fact was widely used and abused by the company that owned it, the adult movie production company 'Sizzling Bacon Productions' of Greta Spekkentaal.

Giving their stars the ability to drink for free at the bar and get a cut of every drink they'd sell or referred, the Pink Pony had grown into a tourist destination during the high season and a spot for the locals during the low season. Not that there was really a difference between seasons, the nightclub and bar was open 24/7 and generally filled with enough people to make it a great, exciting chaos of a party. This chaos, next to earning bucket loads of cold hard cash for the club, was also advantageous for Het Apparath. The party and the crowd of people looking to fulfill their vices was a perfect way of hiding in plain sight. Why go through the hassle of having an additional shell company when one could have confidential discussions for relatively next to nothing?

And thus, the director of the Economy bureaus sat there on one of the tiger print couches in the corners of the club's glass mezzanine. The 'VIP' area, it really was just an area where one would get served at their table instead of having to go to the bar. For meetings such as this, the VIP area was the standard place as it was still somewhat secluded and the staff of the club had extremely tight confidentiality agreements, which was more a feature giving fake security than any real security but still a nice thing to have.

Dressed fully in a loose silk suit, chest hair puffing out on top and a pair of sunglasses that were visibly fake from close-by, the director looked like an 80's adult movie star and just the right amount of sleazy that wouldn't get him kicked out but enough to deter any sane person from engaging him. The kind of person that would offer you something 'yummy' in your drink, which if you accepted would leave you waking up the next day with a severe case of cotton mouth and rope burn while removing your ability to walk right for days and any memory of the previous night.

And yet, slowly but surely a person neared his couch. A slim, young man dressed in a pair of hot pants with the buttocks cut out for the most part, a t-shirt that clung to his muscles and a lollipop that he sucked in a way that suggested that he was a regular towards certain acts of man-to-man love. To the unknowing eye, a rather feminine person that would be deemed somewhat on the more extreme side of things within Variota as well. Of course, this was all a front. One couldn't meet in a nightclub known for it's sleaziness as two regular-suited agents, one would stick out like a sore thumb. The lollipop was a code, depending on the situation the color would change. Red was an emergency, green was a regular report, yellow a special one and so the list went on. For this meeting, a yellow one was shown.

''Hey you, sweetcheeks! You're just the type of meat daddy likes! Come sit on my lap!''

For the unknowing listener, this was just all in character for the person the director was depicting. The man was a sleazeball, he wouldn't be nice and introduce himself. He was to be a pig, a guy that coasted from guy to guy on a mix of luck and daddy issues in his conquests/victims. The agent came close to him and so a form of a warped mating dance began, some small talk being made to ensure the front was kept. Sentences like 'I love what you're doing to that lolly, boi' and 'I love my daddies sweet, if you know what I mean' were thrown around as if they were as normal as asking for a pound of ham at the butchers. Finally, when a waiter passed by, drinks were ordered and the agent giving the report sat on the lap of the director.

Sitting on the lap obviously gave them an advantage of being able to whisper stuff in each other's ear without being deemed suspicious. This type of practical solutions had made Het Apparath as effective as it was, even if it seemed too simple to be true. Once the waiter had brought the drinks over, the true report began.

''Sir, I always feel like such a slut when having to give a report.''
''YES, YOU ARE DADDIES LITTLE SLUT, AREN'T YOU? I will take your comment into consideration. What is the report?'''
''Fan Lukansestatt is in, Sir. Says that he is more than happy to help his ancestral home so long as we ensure he's able to maintain his businesses and local importance after the merging. OH HAHA, DADDY. YOU ARE SO FUNNY."
''IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A GOOD TIME, I HAVE SOMETHING TO SHOW YOU. Anything else?''
''The report is waiting for you at the usual place.''
''Good, dismissed. HEHE, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT BABY?''
''UGH, YOU PIG!''

As quickly as it began, the agent left and presumably changed before continuing his duties. The director, however, remained seated. Between this agent and the three others he was still expecting, he would remain within the Pink Pony for a while. And thus, he ordered another drink and settled into the long wait. The report would have to wait until the evening, presumably to be read during his meal. Being a director of the Economy bureaus was a lonesome existence, a grey lifestyle that sometimes turned as dark as the acts the bureaus engaged in. Between fleeting encounters with meaningless people and being unable to tell even half of the truth to his family, he often cried himself to sleep. This life was no life worth living for yourself, no life for a selfish person.

The thing that kept him sane was the drinks and drugs he could occasionally use during his position; the fact that his family was taken care of with his parents in the best nursing home in the land, his nephews and nieces being able to study anywhere with the costs being paid, his brother being able to work as an artist even if his work was sh*t and only being bought by Het Apparath's people and businesses; the fact that his work helped the entire nation even if most people would never know it.

Edited by Variota (see edit history)
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Repeal of Automotive Recycling Act applauded by citizens as affordable vehicles enter Lukinagrad

The recent repeal of the controversial Automotive Recycling Act has finally turned reality for the citizens of Lukinagrad as a vessel filled with Altvarna Automotive vehicles arrived in the Lukinagrad harbor today. This first shipment, consisting of Altvarna Miwaggie models, will be one of many according to Hugo Nallerplat-Lantboer, CEO of Altvarna Automotive. Nallerplat-Lantboer was present at the celebratory opening of the first Altvarna dealership in Lukinagrad, where he could be seen happily discussing business with the owner of said dealership, Romeo Dimitrovski.

Mr. Dimitrovski, a locally well-liked legitimate businessman having made his money through import and export, declared to Radio Televizija Lukinagradska that the repeal of the ARA was the best thing to happen to the citizens of Lukinagrad in regards to quality of life, stating that there was a severe need for new vehicles in the nation as years of government interference have depleted the amount of viable automotive vehicles to a figure that required replenishment in order to keep citizens mobile and happy. He additionally noted that while the ARA did not prevent the importation of second-hand vehicles, the person with a near-monopoly on said importation had other interests than importing quality vehicles. That person was, to no surprise for many within the nation, the extremely dead crime lord Nikolai Radomir that had used his connections to the previous governments to ensure the continuation of this near-monopoly.

Whether the entry of Altvarna Automotive will see additional car marques enter the Lukinagrad market is the question. While Altvarna Automotive has ties to the Prymontian KAG Group, which includes a large percentage of the world's automotive production and sales, many of the products by the KAG Group remain outside of the purchasing possibilities for Lukan citizens due to their listed costs. Additionally, there remains the issue with non-commercial vehicles such as tractors, trucks and specialist vehicles. Mr. Dimitrovski was quick to note a solution for this problem:

''The way I see it, there is a great party available and willing to offer the Lukan market the non-commercial vehicles that we need. That party is already increasing their economic position within this nation and I am sure that, if given the choice, they will jump on this. The party that I am referring to is, of course, the Geemeiner Fereinigung fan Waafen Fabrikatie Asosiasjies 'Varinco'. From my time in the Lukan Armed Forces I still remember that we used a lot of their equipment and it is both durable and easy in its maintenance. There is no reason why we cannot end up around the table with them and go: Listen, we need trucks, we need this, we need that. What can we work out?

I have already sent out feelers among my import and export connections to see if the interest is there within Varinco. If there is, I am sure that there will be no issue towards getting said needed vehicles here within a reasonable amount of time. The Variotans have shown themselves willing and fast-working business partners and there is no reason to expect them to be any different in this endeavor. All in all, I am just glad that the fan Lukansestatt government has opened up its arms towards fair business practices and has genuinely gone ahead on their campaign promises to improve the lives of the regular Lukan citizens. Under the Ivanov government, this had never been possible.'' 

 

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  • 1 month later...

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Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt: Pegging of the Lukan Denar to the Variotan Waarttemun provides needed stability

In his weekly address to the nation, Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt made it known to the citizens of Lukinagrad that there was a high chance of economic change in the form of pegging the Lukan Denar to the Variotan Waarttemun and allowing both currencies to be used within the nation. fan Lukansestatt acknowledged that this situation would take away some independence in regards to currency control but stated that the change would be better for the international economic situation of Lukinagrad, both for citizens and business alike.

''The issue that stands here is a multiple one. When our citizens travel to other nations, what do they hear? They hear: Lukan Denar, what is that? Is that a crypto-currency? Our businesses lose money when foreign businesses request payment in their own currency or one with a wider international presence as the exchange rates are skewed against us. How many banks take our currency? Far too little! The Variotan Waarttemun is an internationally respected currency, one that one can exchange anywhere, any time at an exchange rate that is fair. Additionally, Het Huisselant is the only nation in the area with the economic prowess, the economic size and the stability that is needed for us to peg to the currency without enabling worries that at some point, the currency might collapse.

There are talks underway at the moment between myself and Variotan equivalents in order to ensure the pegging of the currency. Parliament has already voted to allow the possibility to peg our currency to another. If the talks go well, I would not be surprised if the pegging goes quickly, smoothly and without issues. As it stands, there is already a fair amount of Waarttemun available within our businesses and citizens that could be used to accelerate the official presence of the currency. By pegging to it and introducing it as a secondary currency within our territory, we ensure that we are able to do business on a fair and equal level, even when compared to giants such as Het Huisselant's Varinco or the Vooters Food Group. Our citizens will no longer need to cry shameful tears when people ask if their currency is the same as some silly code stored in a computer, our currency will finally be one of pride, of value. And when our citizens exchange their Denars for Waarttemun before going on vacation, they'll feel that pride. Right in their hearts.

The Podobra Idnina bloc is here to help all citizens and we feel that this will bring us all a step closer towards a new and brighter future, one that will see Lukinagrad rise to the top as one of Argis' most productive economies, one of Argis' best nations. We all already know that we have Argis' best people, now it's time to make use of that.''

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Varinco to offer trucks at cost price in return for old GFF-69 MBTs; LMC to join AADE

In a surprise visit to Lukinagrad, Chairman J.D. Karrewasser of GFWFA Varinco visited the Lukan Army Headquarters and met with General Petrovic. While Radio Televizija Lukinagradska was not allowed into the meeting room to take footage of this event, Chairman Karrewasser was more than happy to share information with RTL:

''Well, it's quite simple really. As everyone knows, the coming Alharun Armaments and Defence Exhibition is planned to be a big one with representative from all continents and a lot of developments that are coming to fruition. And what makes a better show than a nice big boom? A nice big boom and exploding vehicles! So we have been scouring around to find interesting vehicles. Imagine my surprise when I find out that the Lukan Army still has original GFF-69's! So we did a bit of tit-for-tat, hitting two birds with one stone.

In exchange for ten GFF-69's, we will provide the Lukan government with fifty GTRF-94 Falk trucks at cost price. This is a great win-win as it allows us additional show pieces of the Alharun Armaments and Defence Exhibition while the Lukan government receives some highly needed trucks to replace some of the aging fleet within Lukinagrad. Between our joint venture, the Lukinagrad Munitions Corporation, and this deal, the Lukan government has shown itself a fair and reasonable trade partner. 

I can additionally share publicly that the Lukinagrad Munitions Corporation will be joining Varinco as one of the Alharun Armaments and Defence Exhibition's vendors, providing visitors with first-hand views of their high-quality munitions. If they can end up signing clients beyond the Lukan Army, that will be a great boon for the local economy. I, myself, see a great niche market for the LMC with civilians looking for military-grade rounds at a civilian-grade price. Lukan labor is cheaper than surrounding nations and this is something that we can use to provide civilians with the true military firing experience.

The first-hand view of their high-quality munitions will be done both through a booth and through a special sculpture, to be made by a local Lukan artist, namely a peace sign made from a variety of rounds. In this time of change, our weapons and munitions can make the difference between war and peace and that is something that I find so symbolic, so lovely. It really shows the wanting for peace through the stockpiling of weaponry and munitions, the pacifism gained through jingoism. That's says it all, if you ask me.''

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LuDistilleries sold to Vooters Food Group and Employee Co-op; PM fan Lukansestatt: 'This will benefit the entire nation!'

Radio Televizija Lukinagradska has received first hand evidence from employees of LuDistilleries, whom have received a letter today stating that the state-owned enterprise has been sold to new owners. This was not an unexpected move however, as the Podobra Idnina bloc had campaigned for the privatization of state-owned enterprises in order to fund the nationalization of the cigarette industry and the renewal of the nation. The letter states that all positions will be guaranteed for three months, after which a performance review will be done, and that the employees will now fall under a new VFG pension fund. All work continues as originally planned.

Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt gave out a statement:

''Yes, we can proudly say that LuDistilleries has been sold to private owners. As one of the state-owned enterprises that maintained the highest profits, it makes sense to let it go in order to be able to invest those funds. An amount of fifty billion Lukan Denar has been raised through the sale of this enterprise, an amount that we will seek to invest in the renewal of key infrastructure such as railroads and harbors, subsidize green energy solutions to increase passive energy production gains and provide funding for several governmental programs we have lined up, including the nationalization of key industries such as the cigarette industry. We have also protected the positions of all the employees and ensured that they will be able to draw from a pension plan at a similar or higher level than it was before.

This is truly to the benefit of the entire nation. The new owners, Vooters Food Group and the LuDis Employee Co-op, are ready to bring the business to new levels. The minority owner, the LuDis Employee Co-op, is a new entity. The Vooters Food Group has graciously decided to give a set share of 10 percent to this entity, which pays out a divided to each employee as a bonus on top of their regular salaries. The aforementioned Vooters Food Group owns the full rest of 90 percent and is known for successful business ventures such as the Vooters restaurant chain, SnelKoop gas station mini marts and the Kippervos Distilleries, which produces premium vodka. LuDistilleries just fits in this line up, if you ask me. I am entirely sure that this business will be able to grow even more under the capable hands of the VFG and the LDEC.

These funds and this sale is one of the biggest steps towards fulfilling the goals we promised you, our fateful voters. We, proud politicians of the Podobra Idnina bloc and true-blooded Lukans, remain as faithful towards our task of building a Lukinagrad that we can proudly pass on to our children and their children as the day you elected us.''

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Sojuz na Vartotanski¬†BrakŐĀata to hold first 'Night of Variotan Culture'

Bogdan Vladimirovic, chairman of the Sojuz na Vartotanski¬†BrakŐĀata, revealed to Radio Televizija Lukinagradska that they would hold their first Night of Variotan Culture soon. The Sojuz na Vartotanski¬†BrakŐĀata, a club¬†of Lukan businessmen and women with ties to Het Huisselant Variota, have invited Variotan artists to perform while Variotan food will be made by local Variotan¬†chefs. The purpose of the Night of Variotan Culture is to promote Variotan culture while also raising funds for programs by the SVB. The proceeds of this first evening will go towards funding free Variot courses for children. The headline of the evening is Helemaal Variot, who will be uplifting the dinner with their vocal abilities. After dinner, there exists the opportunity to gamble or enjoy performances by authentic Variotan showgirls, imported straight from the Heerefal Casinos.¬†

Tickets remain available, starting at 12,500 Lukan Denar, and include a four course Variotan-style dinner, one free drink and 500 Lukan Denar worth of complementary chips. Tickets can be bought at Vladimirovic Import & Export, ask for Bodgan, or online through sojuzvartotanskibrakata.lkg.


Dina Diva to visit Lukinagrad? Fans say 'Yes!'

Lukan followers of Dina Diva have reported to Radio Televizija Lukinagradska that the possibility exists that Dina Diva might visit Lukinagrad. Showing as proof parts of her reality tv-show and Wittier, self-proclaimed Dina Diva expert Nicolai Georgiev declares that this is an obvious sign that the Variotan leader, inspirational figure, veteran artist and owner of the World's Greatest Diva title will be coming to our little nation. Nicolai gave us the scoop, meeting up in a small coffee shop near his home as his mother would not allow visitors.

''Okay, so, I'm a great fan of her right, like the biggest, I'm like an expert on her. She's my spirit animal. Anyway, look at THIS bit here, in the Pink Pony nightclub. See how she looks and sort of tilt her head a bit, just then she whispers something to Hete Henk that I can only lipread as 'I'm going to bang Lukan boys'. And then, here, here, in her extra special bedroom broadcast that can only be viewed with a subscription that I have because I'm her greatest fan, look, look... She's sleeping and just here, right, if you listen closely, you can hear her whisper in her sleep 'Lukinagrad'.

And if that is not enough, just look at this wittier thing that Het Waarre Raket fan het Noorten sent out in which they say that Dina Diva's schedule is more open than normal. State visits, whispering Lukinagrad, telling a porn actor you're going to bang Lukan boys! If that isn't evidence, I don't know what is. I might actually have a shot at her! I'm a Lukan boy! I'm going to wear my nicest fedora, grow out my beard a bit more and practice a bit more with the katana, girls love a man who is good with blades! Actually, what's your number? You look pretty good girl, I'm sure you've been hurt by assholes. I'm a nice guy, you know, a real nice guy. I'll take care of you, treat you like a princess... Please?''

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Currency peg accepted by Variotan National Bank, Lukan Denar pegged 100:1 to Variotan Waarttemun

With the Prime Minister himself revealing that talks in regards to currency pegging had begun with Het Huisselant Variota, it did not come as a surprise to employees here at Radio Televizija Lukinagradska that said pegging might actually happen. Radio Televizija Lukinagradska has managed to come across a preliminary letter by the Central Bank of Lukinagrad that notifies all banks operating within the Democratic State of Lukinagrad to halt any currency exchanges of Lukan Denar for forty-eight hours until new official rates have have been released in accordance to new and updated legislature by the Lukan Parliament.

While there has been no official rate established yet and tourists have to temporarily scour the nation for currency exchange businesses that have enough stock to fulfill their demand or find businesses willing to take Variotan Waarttemun, RTL's man on the inside told us that the Central Bank of Lukinagrad and the National Governmental Bank of The Homeland (Nasionale Ohferheits Bank fan Het Huisselant) have decided to peg the currency at one-hundred Lukan Denar to one Variotan Waarttemun. Values nearing this one have floated around in the currency exchange businesses and the black market before and while experts declare that while this value may be undercutting the value of the Lukan Denar somewhat, it will ensure a better position for the export of Lukan products.

Extremists from the¬†Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata have given out a warning to the Lukan public, stating that this is the first and biggest step towards total economic dominance by the Variotans, citing the Treaty of Ferrefaaierhafen as a sign of history repeating itself. Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt has given out a statement rejecting the opposition by the PBP as being opposition for the sake of opposition, stating that his government has solely handled in the best interests for the people of Lukinagrad and will continue to do so according to the best of their abilities. Party Leader¬†Aleksandrov of the PBP had a simple retort: 'Look at who is saying this, fan Lukansestatt is a filthy Variotan himself. You can't trust him or his kind.'.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Embassy of Het Huisselant Variota & Honorary Consulate of the Democratic Republic of Bahinar to the Democratic State of Lukinagrad
The Office of the Honorable Ambassador and Honorary Consul Dr. Willem Naarestaar

The Variotan embassy in Lukinagrad was an odd one.The small size of the nation and treaties in place to arrange for free entry of Variotan citizens for short stays had meant that the embassy was only lightly staffed and lightly visited, even if it was the only one in the nation. Other nations still maintained some form of diplomacy with Lukinagrad however, due to the low amount of visitors and the relatively small amount of trade done with nations other than Het Huisselant, none was quite willing to spend the required funds to maintain an embassy and the few travelers from all over the world were advised to visit the Variotan embassy instead. Very few tended to see the small signage just under the large sign stating 'Ambasada na Vartotanski', denoting it's additional use as an honorary consulate of North Bahinar.

North Bahinar, or the Democratic Republic of Bahinar as it was officially called, maintained some trade with Lukinagrad. While the middle and higher classes of Lukinagrad would attempt to afford Variotan-made consumer goods, toys or other imports from wealthier nations, as they were deemed of a better quality, the lower classes generally had no such luck and for many, frugality and watching for a good deal was a way of life. One of the fields the Bahinese had managed to find success in was toys. For a fraction of the price, North Bahinar churned out similar toys to those made in Variota and many others. Wanted a nice set of construction toys? The Bahinese 'Letgor' brand featured sets quite similar to the main brands at a quarter of the price. For many of the Lukan lower class, the choice was simple and Bahinese toys found a willing market in Lukinagrad.

And as it goes, trade grows ties. For both North Bahinar and Lukinagrad, this had slowly become a good thing. Lukinagrad's only university, the King Branko I University, was internationally seen as a mediocre school, one used by Variotans with too much cash to spend and too little sense to get into a Variotan university. Yet, for the North Bahinese, mediocre was good enough. They didn't need a good foreign university on their curriculum vitae, they just needed any foreign university. And thus, KB1U saw a surprising amount of Bahinese students.

And similarly for the Lukans, North Bahinar contained universities that fulfilled their need. Many could not afford a university in Variota without attempting to gain financial aid from either the Lukan government or the various Variotan groups that offered financial aid to students. Yet, the same study in North Bahinar was affordable and acceptable for Lukan standards. With KB1U only maintaining a very basic amount of studies, this meant that many of the Lukans that had gone to higher education in the last twenty-five years had their diploma from a Bahinese university.

With each group of Bahinese students, issues arose that had to be dealt with by diplomats and paper pushers. Some large, some small but all to be handled, in the end, by the Variotan embassy. Whether they felt uncomfortable for taking up so many time and means or if it was simply a calculated move intended to cement the growing relations between the two nations, the North Bahinese ended up declaring the Variotan embassy an honorary consulate of the Democratic Republic and the Variotan ambassador an honorary consul of North Bahinar in the late 90's. Other than the North Bahinese sending two people, both general bureaucrats intended to deal with student issues, and a small sign, it changed very little. Variotan Ambassadors to Lukinagrad were automatically made Honorary Consuls and life went on.

Dr. Willem Naarestaar had never really intended to end up in the position of Ambassador. Originally an arborist that ended up specializing in state-of-the-art tree surgery, he had been invited in 1998 to attend to a large tree in front of the Lukan parliament that was reportedly planted by King Nikolai II. Heavily damaged by storms, the tree required extensive surgery beyond the means and knowledge of the Lukan gardeners tending to the parliament. As a charitable action and as an attempt to gain good relations domestically, Lukansestatt Tabbakswaaren sponsored the hiring of Dr. Naarestaar. The then twenty-eight year old, freshly graduated from the Ronald Q. Terpereier University in Finfishafen, was quickly put on a boat and rushed to Lukinagrad. Spending two days working on the tree, Naarestaar managed to save it and became a minor celebrity.

Why people made a celebrity from someone that saved a tree? Well, in a nation as Lukinagrad where the main industries are the main ingredients for a depressing single life, there wasn't really much to do. There was the yearly LuDistilleries vodka tasting day, the festivals on both the Lukan and Variotan national day, occasionally a restaurant or organisation would import whatever washed up former-regional celebrity they could get to do it on the cheap. People drank, people sat in the sun, people watched television. But when the twentieth rerun of a Variotan 90's sitcom about a Variotan-Fulgistani-Bahinese gay triangle relationship came on, the only thing RTL could afford on it's tiny foreign acquisition budget, people had enough and generally left the television alone until the news came. And when you only watch two things a day, you tend to remember things. With nothing major happening in the nation, Naarestaar saving the tree became the story of the day.

In gratitude, the Lukan people gave him a two-month stay as a gift, one he greedily accepted. Freshly graduated, anywhere outside of his sad little student apartment sounded pretty good. While studying the various trees of Lukinagrad, he was found by an intern of Radio Televizija Lukinagrad that had been told to make a thirty minute segment on a thousand Lukan Denar budget. Willem, his stay already paid for, agreed to help by filling a thirty minute segment by talking about the various trees in Lukinagrad for free. The segment, a short documentary-style piece was aired after the news in the morning and became a big hit with the Lukan population. Radio Televizija Lukinagrad, sensing a cheap way to regularly broadcast something other than the sitcom, offered him his own show. Eventually, the show expanded to the entire forest, including the animals, and provided tips to farmers and regular citizens alike on how to treat their plants and trees.

Running from 1998 to 2006, the show was still used in schools and occasionally re-run on RTL. With the previous ambassador stopping in 2005, deciding to retire to Reierferplattoterp, Naarestaar was asked to take over. And so he did. Even kept on doing the show for a year, giving his salary for the show away to charity. But in the end, being the only ambassador was a hard position. And with increasing Bahinese student numbers, it was needed for him to jump in and work on the paperwork once in a while. Since then, he had kept on being a bureaucrat, pushing paper. Except during his lunch hour, when he climbs into the tree in front of the parliament to eat his lunch. Once in a while, a new police officer would attempt to chase him off the tree until he told them to f*ck off and that he had diplomatic immunity. Of course, he had received permission from the gardeners of the parliament to do so but his way was far more enjoyable.

The Embassy itself was semi-detached, attached to a theme restaurant serving Variotan cuisine. Business cards, offering a 10% discount on the food, for the Meneer Smikkelbeer Buffet sat on the reception desk in the lobby. Ludmilla, herself a quarter-Variotan, had been with the embassy for forty years serving as the receptionist and security. A remarkable weight lifter and shot putter, even if she was sixty now, Ludmilla could remove any man that tried to force himself in. Once, she had to literally throw out a drunk guy and did so with ease. On a separate occasion, she threw a yoyo, impounded from her son, ironically at the same drunk guy but seven months later. The rest of the ground floor contained some uninteresting offices, filled with the bureaucratic ants and support staff an embassy needed. 

The one-story basement was mostly used for storage, although a small corner was kept aside for Leo's 'office', the armed security guard annex IT guy. First floor contained the two Bahinese bureaucrats and a Variotan one empowered by the North Bahinese government, generally busy throughout the day with various students, their archive and the server room for the embassy. The bureaucrats had an open office floor, splitting it up with some plants and a statue instead of a wall, and a small waiting area. The second floor was completely reserved for the ambassador, containing his living quarters, including a seperate exit leading to the Meneer Smikkelbeer Buffet parking lot, and his office.

The office itself was mostly wood furnished. One would imagine a person like Naarestaar to slowly become some tree-hugging hippie, thinking that trees should gain rights like people have. But Naarestaar saw the tree for what it was really intended to, to be used by the humans. And as such, a lovely wooden floor was adorned by a rug featuring a Variotan flag pattern, a large and heavy wooden bookcase contained knick-knacks and all kinds of books that he could need during his work and a large wooden desk adorned the back of the office. During meetings with important visitors, Willem asked Leo to come up and stand behind him. While an armed guard had never been needed, Willem had found out that visitors were far more willing to work with him if he had Leo behind him, as if it gave him some real power. As if he could have Leo shoot the visitor in the face. And sure, Willem had thought about it. Who wouldn't have thought about it in 13 years of ambassadorial duties?

He remembered one extremely fat, greasy and stinky Bahinese official. People say that money doesn't stink and that corruption can't be smelled but this man reeked as bad as his personality was. From what he could find on the computer, the man was the mayor of some tiny town. A man capable of a comfortable life in North Bahinar but not someone able to send their children to a foreign university. Of course, suddenly a factory is opened there and here comes a fat slob that's in possession of more cash than his whole family ever owned and thinks he's suddenly Dina Diva because he happens to be technically able to afford a down payment on a trailer in Variota.

The man screamed and shouted, his fatty under-chins neck combo shaking in the air, because he figured that, since the Bahinese were helped in the same building, the Variotan government owed him an educational grant for his son. Continuing on for two hours, Naarestaar had wanted to give Leo the command to shoot the man no less than one-hundred and fifty times. When the man left, all the furniture had to be deep cleaned at a cost larger than the educational grant would have been. For a while, Naarestaar had thought to send a bill but then figured that a bald chicken could not be plucked.

This meeting would go better however, even if it had been sprung on him without much notice. While there had been a time of official letters and what not, Naarestaar and fan Lukansestatt, the current Prime Minister, were longtime friends and fan Lukansestatt had simply instant messaged him to ask if he was in his office. Willem wasn't really sure what they were. Wiktor Nikolai had, on many occasions, given him flirty looks but had he really? Was the slow brush along his inner thigh during poker night meant as a flirty thing or just as a friends thing, making Willem relax? Maybe the time spent among nature and paperwork had made Willem dense to the attention. Or maybe his desire for such attention made him too sensitive to it. A champagne bottle with too much pressure will explode even if just grazed.

When fan Lukansestatt entered the office, it was clear that he hadn't come to ask to lunch together or otherwise be social. With a serious but happy face, Wiktor Nikolai entered the office and promptly deposited a large binder on the desk of Willem.

''What's this?''
''I did it, Willem. I bloody did it.''
''What did you do?'"
''In here, is a proposition to include the Democratic State of Lukinagrad into Het Huisselant in exchange for extensive economic help and rights. I'll have to call in favors like you wouldn't know but I know, I just bloody know that I can get the parliament to vote it in.''
''Wait, what?"'
''You heard me. Can you send it to Lopentlant?"
"I can, sure. But can't you do it too? Probably just as fast."
''Well, that's not all I'm coming here for. We're going out to dinner to celebrate, I'll pay. You'll soon be out of a job when we're under the same yoke, haha.''
''I'm still Honorary Consul of North Bahinar...''
''Are they paying you?"
''No, no they don't. I just get sent Letgor boxes. I don't even like construction toys.''
''Exactly."

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Het Kleine Kaffee aan het Hafen or 'The Little Bar at the Harbor' was a proper institution in Lukinagrad, a place where one could eat dishes that tasted and felt as if a Variotan grandmother had made them for you. And if you were lucky enough and Annie Heelfelt was working that day and liked you, it was literally made for you by a Variotan grandmother. Her and her husband had taken the leap of cashing in their pension funds, selling their house and anything that could not come along and starting a Variotan bar in Lukinagrad in 1978. Their children were old enough to take care of themselves and neither felt like working until they were sixty and then hoping they'd have enough to travel around.

Annie never lied about it being a cakewalk, however. The early years, with only a small amount of Variotans living in Lukinagrad during that time, had been rough and there had been many times when Annie had to break a bottle on the bar and threaten a drunk sailor to cut his jugular vein in order to get him to leave. She'd lived in the Fissershaak neighborhood of Ferrefaaierhafen, a true Folksbuurt, and luckily this had prepared her for situations such as this, a woman tougher than many of the sailors that entered her bar, a woman that wouldn't budge even if the man across from her was twice her size. But over time, people saw that the Heelfelts and their business were to stay, that they were honest people and that Annie knew how to make a mean uitsmijter or a beer-based hachee that had literally made grown men cry out in homesickness. And like Variotans, Lukans took care of their own.

Annie did not care who you were when you entered, whether you were a criminal, cleaned bathrooms, farmed or were the Prime Minister. For as long as you were inside her bar and behaved, you were her surrogate child. Came often enough to be deemed a regular? Annie didn't even need your order, your freshly tapped beer would find its way to you. And this familiarity, this homely feeling had ensured that everyone mingled among each other. The last time Annie had needed to call the police had been nearly ten years ago, her children were more than happy to help.

A drunk sailor refusing to pay his bill? 'Lukan Tony', a locally well-known football hooligan, and his boys would take them outside and lay out the options they had, leading to the sailor coming back with their tail between their legs and Annie's hard-earned money. Car, bike or moped troubles? It wasn't uncommon to see a parliamentarian work with a farmer or a police officer with a criminal to fix whatever issue you had and make sure you were able to reach a garage. Once inside, you were part of this family, part of the Heelfelts. Once, when Annie had had an accident with a large soup pot that had led to a broken foot, her regulars worked out a schedule in which they each took over a day until her foot was healed.

And this feeling of familiarity, this feeling of having some form of a strange bar family that one could call upon, had led Wiktor Nikolai to become a regular as well. Well, that and Annie's killer uitsmijters, one of the few things that he missed when he went on holiday to Het Huisselant. Sitting at the dark wood bar, Wiktor Nikolai looked at his breakfast. Just the way I like it, he thought, three eggs with bacon and cheese on two slices of lightly toasted bread. Orange juice and a strong coffee, what more could a man want? Taking his cutlery, he looked at Annie who was standing on the other side of the bar. Even in her seventies, Annie maintained the same spunk and love for life that she had when she opened the bar. Short but feisty, giving you the unsalted truth.

''You know, Annie, I think he might be the one.''
"Honey, do you want to know what I think?''
''You know I do, Annie.''
''f*ck him already, you've both been pussy footing around it. Oh, don't give me that shocked look. What? You'd rather continue doing random guys back in the home country? You do know you can do that with him as well, right?''
''But what about the voters?''
''f*ck the voters. If they have issues with you being with another person that wants you too, they'll have issues anyway. What's more important to a person? A good life or that their Prime Minister bangs dudes?''

At this point, Lukan Tony decides to pipe in, enjoying a cup of coffee two stools to the right.

''Besides mate, it's not like it's a big secret. Annie, remember that one guy Wik-Nik over here brought along. What was his name, the really feminine dude... Theo!''
''Oh yeah, Theo. I remember him, haha.''
''Wik-Nik, you were all like: Oh no, guys. Theo is just a friend of a friend. The dude looked like he had to clench his butt cheeks to keep from swallowing the bar stool!''
''You're not wrong there, Tony. The guy could take a whole arm up to the elbow in...''
''Let me just stop you right there. I want to keep my appetite for when Annie's chicken soup is ready.''
''But seriously, what about the PBP? Prime Minister dating a man is just fuel on their fire.''
''All scum anyway Wik-Nik, those guys aren't even liked in my circles. Oh no, the Variotans are evil, boo hoo. Cry me a river. If they had their way, we'd be living in shacks within a decade with our economy in ruins because they feel some misguided pride, too good in their own mind to know when you need help.''
''Yeah, I guess you're right.''
''You know, Wik-Nik, speak of the devil.''

The door to the bar opened and in walked a man in a track suit, sunglasses on even if the weather outside did not require it. Annie's friendly question in regards to what the man wanted to drink was responded to with a snippy 'coffee, black, and a cola, domestic'. In a way, this was a red flag on its own. Lukan cola, produced by LuDistilleries, was absolutely horrid compared to sodas made in Variota or other nations. It was not even a true cola, instead using a strange blend of leftover fruits and herbs. The only reason LuDistilleries continued production was because it had a massive shelf life, was extremely cheap to make and bars often used it for mixed drinks, when taste mattered little.

When Annie made it known that she did not stock the vile concoction that tried to pass for cola, the man made it known that he only wanted the coffee in a way that could only be described as boorish grunting. The three at the bar moved a bit closer to each other after Annie had brought the unknown man his coffee. Lukan Tony moved over to sit next to Wiktor Nikolai and Annie bent over the bar a bit so they could talk more privately.

''Tony, do you know the guy?''
''Not personally, he's a soldier for Aleksandrov. Big weirdo, he's been kicked out of the supporters group of his football club and all.''
''Well, I don't want that kind of person here! I'm going to tell him to leave!''
''Nah, don't worry about it Annie. I'll collect the money for you and then make it clear he shouldn't come here once he's had his coffee.''
''Aww, you're such a good lad. You're going to get a nice big piece of chicken extra in your soup for that.''
''Thanks Annie.''

And so, the trio stopped hushing their speech and continued on speaking like before while the strange man seemed both awfully focused on Wiktor Nikolai and taking his time with his coffee. Only when Wiktor Nikolai had finished his breakfast and left did the man finish his coffee. Lukan Tony tried to go to the man but he sprinted out of the door, seemingly in a hurry. Both Annie and Lukan Tony looked into each others eyes and knew their thoughts were the same.

''That's not good.''
''You're right about that, Tony. You don't have to grow up in Fissershaak to see that. You have any people you can call?''
''We're thinking the same thing. I think that guy only came for Wik-Nik and I don't think he's looking for a fun night. I'll call one of my friends.''


Wiktor Nikolai was not in his comfort zone, driving over the long stretch of road that would lead him to a collections of farms. The Agrarnata Reformska Partija had invited him to one of the farms to enjoy a light lunch and discuss some future plans that they had to rejuvenate the agricultural sector of Lukinagrad. Normally, he would have enjoyed it, a chance to be among people, look towards the future and get a free meal out of it. But this time, he had noticed something. Ever since he had left the bar, a car with tinted windows kept following him. If he went left, they went left. If he went right, they went right. Calling the police wasn't as simple out here in the rural areas of Lukinagrad. While they would come eventually, response time was far slower than in the city and Wiktor Nikolai couldn't see any police officer coming in on time to be of service.

In his mind, he could see himself end up like Nestorov but worse. Just a car on the side of the road and his dead body in a ditch, beaten to death by¬†Partija na BrakŐĀata na Pravdata members. Aleksandrov was not known for having tact, for being able to play the political game as it was intended. The moment in the bar, when he asked about the PBP, flashed before his eyes as the car following him sped up and passed him. For a moment, Wiktor Nikolai hoped that the car was simply some ARP member trying to be there before him in order to keep himself from looking bad. That hope vanished quickly, however, as the car rammed against his in an attempt to get him to stop.

While he wasn't the best driver, Wiktor Nikolai managed to keep the car steady after the first two collisions. A mix of pure adrenaline, fear of what would happen if he stopped and repeating prayers in his mind had kept his hands steady. The third time was the charm, as they say, and while he did his best to continue on, his car hit the guardrails and he stopped on the side of the road. His pursuers quickly followed suit. One final prayer and he got out of the vehicle. In his mind, he was dead already and when dying either way, one might as well do so with their head held high.

Out of the other car came four men, all wearing the same get-up as the man in the bar. Taking a double take of the four men, Wiktor Nikolai even recognized one of them as being the man in the bar. f*ck, he thought, this is a set-up. Naked body in a ditch, I guarantee it. f*ck, f*ck, f*ck. As the four men neared him, the stress and adrenaline had made it so that he could only say one thing, the sole thing on his mind.

''Aleksandrov sends his regards, fan Lukansestatt.''
''What's this? A robbery? A murder? You know who I am, right? You're not getting away with this, I have powerful friends.''
''Haha, that's what Ivanov said when I stabbed him in the prison showers. You are funny, Variotan dog.''

Receiving a hard blow to the stomach, Wiktor Nikolai fell on his knees. The men all drew knives and just as it seemed that they would carve him up like a Sunday roast, screeching tires could be heard and a van rushed to their location. The four didn't seemed phased, willing to carry out the will of their party leader even if there were witnesses. Each of them had been to prison and another stint would have just meant additional respect among the others. This attitude was quickly changed when the side doors opened up and the men saw the barrels of Varinco assault rifles aimed at them.

''DROP THE f*ckING KNIVES AND GET ON YOUR KNEES!''

Out of the passenger side of the van came a short, stocky and hairy man with a big gold chain around his neck. Wearing a suit that would be right at home in an 80s crime show, his chest hairs protruding out of his silk dress shirt, Wiktor Nikolai had seen him before but could not place a name by the face. The man seemed just as phased by the idea of the four men with knives turning against him as the men had been about the van arriving on the scene. For whatever reason, later revealed to be a stab vest, the man did not care.

''Drop the f*cking knives and get on your knees. My boys here know how to shoot and even if they didn't, it's not like they'll miss you at this range.''

The four quickly complied with the commands given by this mystery man and dropped both themselves and their knives to the ground. The mystery man's cronies, five in total in the back of the van and one driving, exited the van and surrounded the scene in a half circle while Wiktor Nikolai struggled to get back up on his feet. Unbeknownst to him, the mystery man had grabbed a baseball bat from the van and was now looking at the four PBP thugs in the time he took to compose himself.

''Prime Minister fan Lukansestatt, if you will be so kind to point out the man that attacked you.''
''Uh, that one. The one with the aviator sunglasses.''

Not five seconds had passed after he had pointed out the man that had punched him to the ground before the mystery man swung his bat against the man's face, knocking his teeth out. As the road turned a mix of grey, white and red from the blood and displaced teeth, the mystery man turned to the others. Two of the others hadn't even flinched but one, presumably the youngest, was shaking and seemed scared. A smile crept up on the face of the mystery man.

''You! You're lucky, you know that? You get to be the one to return to your boss and tell him that he'll receive parts of your friends in the mail soon. Or do you think he'll enjoy finding their severed heads in his childrens' beds more? Because that can be arranged.''
''Do-Don-Don't do that, please. Please.''
''Did you listen to our Prime Minister over here when he didn't want to be murdered?''
''N-no sir.''
''Exactly. Besides, you're the lucky one, remember. You're going to be alive. But first, Gregor! Shoot him in the groin!''

One of the cronies, the one seemingly called Gregor, shot off one round into the man's groin. A bloodcurdling scream could be heard coming from the man.

''That's for being such a dickless pussy. Ganging up four against one against a politician? Back in my neighborhood...''
''AAAAAAAAAAH!''
''Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. Here...''

The mystery man takes a small bottle of pills and bandages out of his pockets and throws it at the now-groinless PBP thug.

''That should last you just enough time to crawl back to Aleksandrov, if you're fast enough. Go, now! Run to the car, move!''

As if guided by supernatural forces, the thug was gone within a minute, leaving the others behind. Of course, when you're the only one with a chance of survival, it becomes a whole lot easier to rush off.

''You know, fan Lukansestatt, you're lucky. You really are. You're lucky that one of my poker buddies called me. I think you know him, Lukan Tony?''
''He did?''
''Him and that nice Variotan lady smelled trouble so he told me. And I obviously couldn't let the Prime Minister that enabled me to start my car business to just die, could I?''
''Now I remember, you're Romeo Dimitrovski, right?''
''Right in one try. Our kind of people have to watch out for each other, fan Lukansestatt.''
''Gay people?''
''What the f*ck did you just call me?''
''Well, you said our kind of people. You're not a politician, not of Variotan heritage, you're not a regular at the same bar so there's very little else left.''

Leaning into Wiktor Nikolai, Romeo did precisely the opposite of what one would normally do after falsely being called a homosexual.

''Let's just say we... know people in the same circles. Our apparath'n are working towards the same goal, yes?''
''I... Ah. I, um, get what you are saying. Yes.''

Looking at the three men still on their knees, Wiktor Nikolai couldn't help but ask about the elephant in the room or, in this case, on the road.

''Will they be alright?''
''Oh, no no no. They won't. But that's not for you to worry about. Have a drink, get yourself some random guy to sleep with. Do you like Viktor here? Viktor, you swing both ways, right?''
''I... I will. And sorry Viktor, but you're a bit too buff for my taste. I want to be the man in the relationship and all that.''
''Hah, did you hear that guys? Viktor got rejected by the Prime Minister! Hahaha. Fan Lukansestatt, I like you. Maybe, if our lives had both gone different, we would have been friends.''
''It could still happen.''
''No, no it cannot. We run in different circles, we are different men. Besides, I do not think our friends would be happy if such a thing happened. Drive safe and here...''

Putting his hand in another jacket pocket, Romeo threw a phone to Wiktor Nikolai. A small, older model phone, this was clearly intended as a burner phone.

''If you get threatened again or you don't trust the situation, call the number on that phone. Gregor and his boys will come to your aid. Guaranteed faster than the police and less need for paperwork afterwards, haha. Load these three up, boys! Yevgeny will have some fun with them.''

The three men were quickly forced into the van, their hands tied behind their backs with cable ties. With the three men loaded up, Romeo's cronies in the van and Romeo himself getting ready to get in, Wiktor Nikolai had just one thing left to say.

''Hey, Romeo?''
''Yes?''
''Thanks. You literally saved my life.''
''That's what allies are for. Just remember to buy Lukan Tony a nice bottle of something or give him some cigarettes, he'll get pissy otherwise.''
''Oh, I will.''
''Good, good man. Let's go boys!''

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The Perpetual Treaty of Friendship and Unification between Het Huisselant Variota and the Democratic State of Lukinagrad
The 'too long, did not read' version

 

1. In regards to the sovereignty of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

1.1. In regards to the diplomatic sovereignty of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad
1.1.1. In regards to the foreign missions of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad shall continue operating foreign diplomatic missions, including but not limited to embassies, for a period of three months or until the Variotan Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs releases their recommendations.
  • Citizens of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad may, after an initial period of one week after ratification of this treaty, make use of the foreign diplomatic missions of Het Huisselant Variota.
  • Citizens of Het Huisselant Variota may, after an initial period of one week after ratification of this treaty, make use of the foreign diplomatic missions of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad.
  • Workers of foreign diplomatic missions of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad that are deemed redundant after the release of the Ministry of DIplomatic Affairs' recommendations are granted unemployment benefits equal to those of their Variotan counterparts and receive a share in the Variotan governmental pension fund equal to the years they have worked.
  • Workers of foreign diplomatic missions of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad that are able to be integrated into existing foreign diplomatic missions of Het Huisselant Variota but remain under the contract of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad will receive a share in the Variotan governmental pension fund equal to half of the years they have worked.
  • Workers of foreign diplomatic missions of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad that are able to be used to establish new foreign diplomatic missions of Het Huisselant Variota will receive a share in the Variotan governmental pension fund equal to the years they have worked and will receive further benefits and salaries befitting their Variotan counterparts.

1.1.2. In regards to diplomatic treaties of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • All diplomatic treaties of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad will be fully continued and deemed lawful within the territory of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad so long as they are maintainable within the framework of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad as part of Het Huisselant Variota.

1.1.3. In regards to new diplomatic activity of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the full right¬†to implement new diplomatic activity with all states within Het Huisselant Variota and will not require authorization by the larger Variotan Parliament.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to implement new diplomatic activity with all states deemed allied with Het Huisselant Variota, only requiring authorization by the Chamber of Ministers and the new Lukan Chamber.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to implement new diplomatic activity with all states deemed friendly to Het Huisselant Variota, requiring authorization by the Chamber of the People, Chamber of the Nation, Chamber of Ministers and the new Lukan Chamber.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad does not retain the right to implement new diplomatic activity with states deemed neutral or hostile to Het Huisselant Variota, which retains this right instead.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to opt-out of new diplomatic activities implemented by Het Huisselant Variota with states deemed hostile to Het Huisselant Variota or the Democratic State of Lukinagrad in particular.

1.1.4. In regards to the diplomatic status of the citizens of the Diplomatic State of Lukinagrad

  • Citizens of the Diplomatic State of Lukinagrad retain the option to fully maintain their Lukan nationality, albeit within the federation framework of Het Huisselant Variota.¬†
  • Citizens of the Diplomatic State of Lukinagrad are granted the option to receive a dual Lukan-Variotan nationality, making them eligible for an¬†amount of welfare benefits and other programs.
  • Citizens of the Diplomatic State of Lukinagrad that are able to provide proof of substantial Variotan heritage, set at twenty percent,¬† are granted the option to revoke their Lukan nationality and automatically become Variotan nationals.
  • Citizens of the Diplomatic State of Lukinagrad that are able to provide proof of blood relatives with the Variotan nationality or permanent Variotan citizenship are granted the option to automatically receive permanent Variotan citizenship.

 

1.2. In regards to the military sovereignty of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad
1.2.1. In regards to the status of the military forces of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Lukan Armed Forces shall continue operation with the Democratic State of Lukinagrad retaining the requirement of fulfilling payments until the Het Huisselant's Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt has released its recommendation.
  • In the event the Lukan Armed Forces are retained in their current form, they will fall under the¬†executive command of the Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt but otherwise remain a separate force. The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the requirement to fulfill payments equal to fifty percent of the operational costs.
  • In the event the Lukan Armed Forces are integrated into the¬†Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt, the Democratic State retains the requirement to fulfill payments equal to sixty-five percent of the operational costs.
  • In the event the Lukan Armed Forces are fully disbanded, the¬†Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt will take the sole responsibility of protecting the territory. The Democratic State retains the requirement to fulfill¬†payments equal to one-hundred percent of the operational costs. The value of Lukan armaments and systems that are able to be used by the¬†Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt will be deducted from the first payment required.

1.2.2. In regards to the defensive requirements of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • In the event the Lukan Armed Forces are retained in their current form, detachments from the¬†Huisselikke Lantmagt and the¬†Fliegmagt fan'es HuisselanÔĽŅt will be stationed in Lukinagrad at no cost for the Democratic State of Lukinagrad in order to properly fulfill the defensive requirements.
  • In the event the Lukan Armed Forces are integrated into the¬†Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt,¬†additional forces from the¬†Huisselikke Lantmagt and the¬†Fliegmagt fan'es HuisselanÔĽŅt will be stationed in Lukinagrad in order to improve force parity and¬†properly fulfill the defensive requirements.
  • In the event the Lukan Armed Forces are fully disbanded, the¬†Huisselikke Aanfals en Protektiemagt will take the sole responsibility of protecting the territory. The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the responsibility to fulfill payments equal to ten percent of the recruitment campaign costs.

 

1.3. In regards to the economic sovereignty of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad
1.3.1. In regards to taxation of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to tax its citizens and businesses according to rates set by, both historically, currently and in the future, the Lukan Parliament and it's intended replacement, the Lukan Chamber.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the responsibility to pay a yearly amount as set forth by Het Huisselant. The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to tax its citizens and businesses in order to fulfill this responsibility.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the responsibility to ensure that its taxes remain fair compared to other sections of Het Huisselant.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to maintain a revenue service separate of existing services within Het Huisselant.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the right to hand over revenue intake to existing services within Het Huisselant.
  • In the event of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad handing over revenue intake, the Democratic State receives the responsibility to pay costs incurred while taking in revenue within the Democratic State¬†by the outside revenue service.

1.3.2. In regards to economic regulations of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the responsibility to ensure that economic regulations within the Democratic State are equal¬†or better compared to those set forth by Het Huisselant. The Democratic State receives a grace period of eighteen months in order to ensure compliance.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to implement, execute and collect¬†fines, restrictions and sanctions on entities not compliant with economic regulations.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the right to hand over regulatory compliance assurance and investigation¬†duties to existing services within Het Huisselant.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives an exemption for economic regulations that are deemed imperative to maintain at current levels in order to maintain and improve the economic situation of the Democratic State, including but not limited to minimum wage laws. This exemption is valid for a period of three¬†years, after which an independent commission of Variotan and Lukan experts will determine if the exemption requires extension.
  • In the event of the independent commission determining that the exemption does not require extension, the Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives a grace period of eighteen months in order to ensure compliance with previously exempt regulations.

1.3.3. In regards to the currency of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to maintain a currency, the Lukan Denar, separate of the Variotan Waarttemun.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the right to maintain the Variotan Waarttemun as their currency when it is deemed fruitful to do so.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the responsibility to ensure the acceptance of the Variotan Waarttemun as a secondary currency.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the right to request the acceptance of the Lukan Denar as a secondary currency.
  • The Lukan Denar shall automatically be deemed secondary currency in areas of Het Huisselant that contain a significant Lukan minority, set at ten percent of the total population in that area.
  • The Lukan Denar shall remain pegged to the Variotan Waarttemun at a rate of one-hundred Denar to¬†one Waarttemun.

1.3.4. In regards to the debts of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • All debts belonging to the Democratic State of Lukinagrad remain the responsibility of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad albeit within the federation framework of Het Huisselant.

 

1.4. In regards to the civic sovereignty of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad
1.4.1. In regards to the civil rights of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the responsibility to ensure that civil rights within the Democratic State are equal or better compared to those set forth by Het Huisselant. The Democratic State receives a grace period of six months in order to ensure compliance.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to implement, execute and collect fines, restrictions and sanctions on entities not compliant with said civil rights.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the right to hand over compliance assurance and investigation duties to existing services within Het Huisselant.

1.4.2. In regards to the justice system of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad retains the right to set forth and maintain its own code of law¬†so long as the laws maintained¬†are viable within the framework of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad as part of Het Huisselant Variota. The Democratic State receives a grace period of twelve months in order to ensure the viability of said laws.
  • After the grace period of twelve months, defendants deemed eligible¬†for transfer may request that their case be transferred to other sections of Het Huisselant.
  • Inhabitants of the Lukan penal system that were convicted under laws that are not viable within the framework of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad as part of Het Huisselant Variota will be released in a timely manner after the grace period of twelve months.
  • Inhabitants of the Lukan penal system that will be deemed eligible for transfer under Het Huisselant's internal transfer regulations may apply for said transfer immediately, although the Democratic State of Lukinagrad is not required to fulfill said requests until the grace period of twelve months has passed.

1.4.3. In regards to the state of religion of the Democratic State of Lukinagrad

  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives an exemption towards acknowledging the Variotan Christian faith as its state religion.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives an exemption towards the creation of Kerke territory within the Democratic State.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the right to, at any time, acknowledge the Variotan Christian faith as its state religion.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the right to, at any time, agree to the creation of Kerke territory within the Democratic State.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad receives the responsibility to allow for fair worship¬†by its citizens equal or better compared to the level of fair worship set forth by Het Huisselant.

 

2. In regards to special concessions by Het Huisselant Variota

  • Het Huisselant Variota shall provide an one-time bulk sum equal to 10.000.000.000 Lukan Denar upon ratification of this treaty.
  • Het Huisselant Variota shall additionally provide a yearly bulk sum equal to 5.000.000.000 Lukan Denar for a period of ten years upon ratification.
  • The Democratic State of Lukinagrad may request additional funds from Het Huisselant Variota for projects deemed necessary.
  • Het Huisselant Variota shall found and fund a special subsidy in order to promote competitiveness of Lukan businesses on the international market.
  • Het Huisselant Variota shall found and fund a special subsidy in order to expand LAF Base 'King Luka III' into a combined public/military airport at a level fulfilling the needs of the designation of domestic airport.
  • Het Huisselant Variota provides the promise to have NFMV fly domestic routes to the then-expanded LAF Base 'King Luka III'.

 


OOC: I apologize for the rather small second section, the whole thing feels a bit short either way. I got a case of the glazed eyes and I'm pretty sure I missed some important parts. If you think something is missing from this, please send me a PM here or on Discord and I'll look at it and add unto this post as I plan on this being a detailed list of stipulations and what not.

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