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The Blues

March 30th, 1971

"Perhaps I've made a few mistakes in the past," said Mario Almansa, also known by most in the nation as "El Rey" since his older brother Ricardo II had kicked the bucket. The limousine made a turn unto the Boulevard Real, Mario's favorite street. By this hour of the night, it was full of bright and happy lights, and bright and happy people populated the streets. It represented all the progress that had been made since the wars that had filled most of his life. It was the light at the end of the tunnel. And while he did not know it, he was very close to the end of his tunnel.

"You know that's not the problem. You know that they think that your mere existence is a problem," replied Alirio Moreno, his close friend and trusted advisor. "They will reject this 'olive branch' as they've rejected all the other ones. Your daddy is simply not their daddy, and that's that."

"But their male line died! That's how succession works! It's been so many years, so many arguments, so much bad blood. I'm tired of all of it. Are you sure this won't do? The mansion has THREE swimming pools!"

Alirio snorted. It was now very clear that Mario was not trying to convince him that this move would actually work, but himself. "Wow, only three? You're practically leaving them to starve. Give it up, Mario. Your cousins will never like you. Just accept it and move on. Once you stop making a big deal about it, I assure you that their influence will go away quicker than alcohol in your heir's bottle."

Mario gave Alirio the stink eye. "How can you be so sure? I'm not. Perhaps your perspective would be different if you were a father..."

"I'm happy without a personal hellspawn, thank you," interrupted Alirio. The car stopped at a weirdly lonely red light. Mario looked out the window. He thought he saw a dark figure emerge from an alleyway, and they were carrying....


April 7th, 1966

Mario didn't even cry. He and his brother had been about as close as two old farts can be, sure, but the death had been expected. More importantly, however, the death of his brother meant that the throne of the entire country was his. He was afraid that he was going to die before he got his chance to rule. He'd been dreaming of this moment. However, he knew that it'd be scandalous if he just excitedly squealed upon hearing news of his dear old brother's death, so he just shook his head stoically.

The messenger asked if he wanted him to call a car so that he may meet with family. Mario waved him away. He didn't want to see family right now. His cousin Teotiste had always been bitter about the agnatic succession. He didn't really want to defend his claim in front of her for the fifth-millionth time, so he minimized the amount of time spent in family meets as much as possible. Besides, he didn't have time for that. He had a country to run.

Mario walked to the phone and punched in the number of the only person he trusted to get everything arranged. "Halo? Fernando?"

"Maaaarriiiooooo! Congratulations, errr, my condolences, err.."

"Don't worry about it hombre. Listen, I need you to help me out. I'm appointing you my Chief of Staff, and I'm ordering you to fire that marico Alvarez, and replace him with the old guy, Paez. My brother had many talents, but how to run the Treasury was not one of them. Oh, and the army! May God have mercy! We'll start by demoting Carmen and promoting Moreno. I also think that we should cut down on the officer class, it's getting more bloated than me after eating a bowl of carabotas--"

"Llanero! Llanero, slow down! We'll get to it all in its time. You won't be king for a week, remember? Tradition. We'll meet then. Enjoy the funeral.... err..."

"No way I'm gonna let a little funeral get in my way! Fernando? Halo? Did you just hang up on me?!" Mario stared at the phone for a moment before slamming it down. Fernando was right. He was rushing and not thinking clearly. He walked to the fridge and got himself a six pack. This would clear his head.

After all, he had plenty of time.

Edited by Mauridiviah
Bolding, names & dating (see edit history)
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  • 8 months later...

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Mortuus Est, Vivat Rex!

March 31st, 1971

"Señor Detro! Señor Detro! Is it true that the Council of Ministers will intervene in the dispute? Who are you considering for the role? Will it be decided by the entire assembly or a committee?"

The questions seemed endless. The media's obsession with the affairs of the royal family had led to this quickly becoming the scandal of the century-- indeed, The Feudal Times has already branded this as such. But Prime Minister Detro did not care about that. He couldn't care about that. He had to stop a civil war.

He cut through the Charybdis and Scylla of reporters with his entourage of parliamentarians and aides and squeezed into the Legislative Palace. Entering the chamber, he quickly took his seat at the rostrum, and he was once again surrounded by reporters. Thankfully, after banging his gavel a few times, they dispersed, slowly making their way to the back of the room. After a while, the room became simultaneously filled with legislators and noise. The politicians looked around anxiously, worried about a potential shooter or bomber. They murmured of fictitious threats and actors. Finally, Detro banged his gavel three times, prompting a heavy blanket of silence to settle unto the room. 

"I know this is a very difficult time for all of us, and for the nation, and I know many of you do not want to be here today. However, gentlemen, it is our duty to be here today. We all swore an oath to be here today. We must deal with this horrific tragedy today, swiftly and decisively, or risk our nation's fall into ruin..."


April 15th, 1966

"This is a national disgrace," Teotiste Almansa said, whilst sipping her tea. "The ceremony was terrible. The arrogance! I can't even imagine thinking so little of your dear family that you have a lawyer go over the succession laws one more time, just to make sure that they get that a piece of paper says it is legal to steal our throne and honor. It was humiliating! What were our fathers thinking when they signed that wretched pact?" she continued, on the brink of tears.

"Indeed, Señorita Almansa, your cousin is one of the most vulgar people that I've had the displeasure of meeting," Gabriel Carmen replied, lazily mixing sugar into his coffee. "He didn't even weep for his brother. He has trampled all over his wishes, it is frankly disgusting."

In a flash, Teotiste's posture and composure changed. She had gotten the reception that she'd wanted, and now she revealed her true self. Smiling deviously, she sprung her trap.

"What are you planning to do about it, General?"

General Carmen's throat snapped shut. He fumbled with his cup, spilling some of its contents before managing to set it down on the table with a loud clank. Avoiding eye contact, he sat there uncomfortably for a moment. 

"Well... Señora... you know that my oath is to the king--"

"An illegitimate king. A fake man. The last thing he deserves is a crown."

The general stood up, shellshocked. He thought they were just venting and gossiping, but this... this was treason. "My lady, please... let us speak no more of this." he pleaded.

"Look, general, I know you think this is dangerous. But think of the nation, think of your children. Wouldn't it be better for it to rest in my hands, rather than his?"

He swallowed hard. She locked eyes with him, a determined look settling on her face.

"I... I'm afraid I'm going to have to arrest you, ma'am..."

 

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  • 1 year later...

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The Trouble With Being Royalty

April 1st, 1971

The heat was suffocating. Today of all days, Maurotopia had been cursed with the most humid heat seen in generations, a heat so insidious it was fit for the deepest pits of hell itself. The sun beamed relentlessly in the cloudless sky, soaking people's clothes through with sweat. Combined with recent events, this heat was the straw that broke the camel's back. The city exploded into riots as hungry people began breaking into supermarkets and took whatever they wanted. Soon enough the city was in pandimonium, with the police and national guard being completely impotent in the face of violent street clashes between supporters of the Davidios and the Albertaños.

In the middle of this, two agents of the Agencia Investigatoria Nacional made their way through town to complete their mission, given to them personally by the Prime Minister himself. They simply couldn't fail.

It took the agents three times longer than normal to make the drive to the La Blancaseda Estate, which lies in the very outskirts of the city and is surrounded on three sides by untamed tropical vegetation. Upon arrival, the senior agent first used a hankerchief to wipe down the front windshield from any residual vegetables that had been thrown at them on their way across town. He briefly contemplated attempting to make the rest of the car look presentable, but decided it wasn't worth trying. He gestured to his partner, and they both headed to towards the front door. It was imposing and huge, as if it had been made for giants. The mansion it was a part of was built in the neoclassical style and was meant to invoke the look of a slave plantation. Usually, there would be servants going about their work at the front of the house, but today there was nothing. The building stood silent. The senior agent knocked on the door four times, firmly, and then waited.

No response. Despite it being the afternoon, the sun was still high in the sky, and the men were beginning to sweat uncomfortably into their dark suits. The senior agent's partner lit up a cigarette to try and get some relief. "Why don't you knock again?" he asked between puffs.

"There's no point. If they haven't opened the door on their own by now, they're not going to. Put that out!" his partner responded, unholstering his gun. The junior agent dropped and stepped on his cigarette, and followed suit in unholstering his gun. The senior agent nodded, took a step back, and then kicked the door with as much force as he could muster. To his surprise, the door barely even moved. "This place is a damn fortress" he muttered under his breath, "I guess we'll have to go in like a common burglar". He then turned around and went back to the car. After a few moments, he returned, hammer in hand, and headed towards the nearest window. Winding his arm back, he brought the hammer down unto the window, shattering it into thousands of little pieces, eliciting screams from several places in the house. "AIN! We have warrants for the arrests of Teotiste Almansa and David Almansa!" he shouted, stepping into the house. His partner followed. Inside they found a maid who had dropped the tray she was carrying at the schock of the windown breaking. "Where are they?" asked the junior agent, looking around. The maid opened her mouth to respond: "They're--"

"Right here!" a voice came booming down the hall. Both agents turned their heads to the right and saw David and Teotiste, arm in arm, walking towards them. David was dressed in his full military regalia, and Teotiste was wearing a puffy white dress. "Sorry we're late boys, I had to finish my makeup" said Teotiste, flashing a smile. "Where's our ride?"

The agents stared transfixed for a moment. Muttering something under his breath about not being a taxi service, the junior agent went and opened the door, revealing their station wagon covered in what appeared to be a whole garden. David gave a heavy sigh, "Even in death, my cousin can't do anything right".

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