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Different Sides [Open]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Different Sides [Open]

Postby Farmina » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:19 am

We find ourselves on different sides
Of a line nobody drew
Though it all may be one in the higher eye
Down here where we live it is two

I to my side call the meek and the mild
You to your side call the Word
By virtue of suffering I claim to have won
You claim to have never been heard

Both of us say there are laws to obey
But frankly I don’t like your tone
You want to change the way I make love
But I want to leave it alone

The pull of the moon, the thrust of the sun
And thus the ocean is crossed
The waters are blessed while a shadowy guest
Kindles a light for the lost

Different Sides – Leonard Cohen, 2012



A flock of crows circled over the Farminan capital, Verica. The blackness of the birds stood out against the first light of the rising summer sun. President Joseph “Joe” Cohen watched the birds from his bedroom window.

A dark omen.

As he leaned back in his armchair, his focus returned to his tablet, where he was scanned over the hundred or so emails that had arrived during the few hours he had slept. A President’s work was never done. The emails covered a huge range of topics – ongoing religious tension between reformers and traditionalists; the Moralist opposition were planning to block his jobs plan to deal with the recession in the Parliament; the hospital waiting lists were down for the second month running; a Supreme Court challenge by the College of Cardinals as to whether the President had acted lawfully when he seized control of the Church...the list went on.

His eyes flicked over to the bed. His wife of twenty-five years rolled on to her side. Had he woken her? No – the mother of his children was just shifting in her sleep. He studied her soft white skin, illuminated by the golden morning sun that poured through the window onto the bed. Even so early in the day, the radiant heat of the Farminan summer sun was deliciously warm.

Cohen put down his tablet. Affairs of state suddenly seemed trivial as he watched Elizabeth’s chest move up and down as she breathed. She breathed with a slow, graceful rhythm. Delicate. Perfect.

A long thin shadow fell across the Liberal President’s room, passing over the bed and his wife. Cohen turned to the window to see what cast it. Through the window, a single albino crow stared straight back at Cohen.

And it was a long shadow for such a small bird.

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Farmina
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Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:54 pm

No man is above God. No man is above God’s teachings. And the heretic will soon learn that.

The heretic Cohen tried to break us – to break God’s preachers. He failed. And now he will pay.



Peter Gardiner sat listening to the radio. He was one of twelve – a collection of middle aged and elderly men dressed in crimson – the twelve Cardinals of the Farminan Catholic Church.

Through the airwaves, all the way from the capital, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court spoke to them. “...When control of the Church was given to the College of Cardinals, it was done by an Emperor, not the head-of-state per se. Therefore, equally – Joseph Cohen could not take control of the Church as President. To be President is not sufficient grounds to command the Church. Only an Emperor has the power to take and give control of the Church...

And it was done – Church and State were separate again. Cardinal Walter Bridges, the powerful and pragmatic elder statesmen of the College, patted Cardinal Gardiner on the back “Lady Durass is an exceptional lawyer. You did well getting her to argue our case.

She has an amazing legal mind. If anyone could free us from this autocrat president, it was her,” said Peter Gardiner. A pause – he adjusted his cassock, “Now we must capitalise on our gains. We must strike hard against our enemies, before the heretic Cohen moves against us.

Bridges didn’t disagree. Nor he did agree. The powerful are often quiet - and Cardinal Bridges did not say a word. But another Cardinal did. “You don’t want to consolidate the College’s autonomy,” said Cardinal George Nettles, clearly less than elated by the College’s victory, “You mean wage war against the reformers.

Reformers murdered Bishop Parsins,” snarled Gardiner. In his dreams, Gardiner still saw Thomas’ death...still heard Thomas’ terrible screams, “I watched the Inquisitor gloat as Bishop Parsins burned at the stake. No man of God should die like that!

That drew silence. Even Nettles did not dare defend the late Inquisitor and his zealousness. Gardiner surveyed his fellow Cardinals. The anger was still fresh on their face. He saw his chance. “The Inquisitor’s patsies are still among us. I say we purge them from our ranks!” That brought nods. Cardinal Nettles and his allies, Cardinal Gavin and Cardinal Troy, remained stony silent. It was going as Gardiner had hoped - his attack became more pointed, “In the west, where Cardinal Nettles presides – more churches were stripped than anywhere else in our nation. Yet the Inquisitor did not step in a single western Church. I say Nettles wanted his Church’s despoiled...

The cheers died down. There was quiet. Gardiner and Nettles – the entire College – looked towards to Cardinal Bridges – the godfather of the College. Bridges remained silent. Nettles’ face, his mask, fractured – he knew what silence meant. Perspiration made his cassock damp. Cardinal Gardiner stepped right up to Nettles, “I call an ecclesiastical court to try Cardinal Nettles for heresy.

I second the call,” said Cardinal Edgar Vance, a traditionalist hardliner of many years.

A show of hands,” requested Cardinal Bridges. Bridges abstained, but the motion easily passed.

Gardiner turned towards Nettles’ allies – Gavin and Troy. They were stepped back slightly. They broke eye contact.

I will avenge you Thomas.
Last edited by Farmina on Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Macisikan
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Posts: 996
Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:40 am

.I. .F. .I. .S.

You are listening to the Imperial Federal International Service. The time is 03:30 hours in Arn-Maciska.

Breaking news out of Verica, Farmina; in a possible setback for President Joseph Cohen, the Supreme Court of the Democratic Republic has ruled that the Farminan government does not have the authority to legislate with regards to the Farminan Catholic Church.

The Chief Justice has ruled that only a monarch, with the title of Emperor, has the power to take control of the Farminan Churches; this comes after the Cohen Administration enforced a reformation of the Church in a programme that appeared to resemble that of King Henry VIII of England.

The then-Premier, Margrave Merenre, deemed the situation an internal affair of Farmina, and refused to comment further.

Nevertheless, the Senate passed a motion of condemnation following the execution of Bishop Thomas Parsins. While Bishop Parsins was found guilty of inciting a mob to riot, the Senate felt the sentence – death by immolation – to be cruel and inhumane, and the Merenre Government forbade the issuing of visas to citizens the Democratic Republic, a ban that was lifted by Premier Sakir.

The Democratic Republic remains under an “Avoid All Travel” advisory that remains in effect.

The Supreme Court's decision is a possible limiter on the President's agenda, although there is no word yet of a reaction from the President.

The Rechtaire for the Argent Circuit has declined to comment.

Download this broadcast from http://www.ifis.co.var.fe/iview/news or http://www.ifis.co.mcn/iview/news
(c) The Imperial Federal International Service
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
--Everyone else: Sir Conradin Nuchani, HSM Vice-Minister for Subluminal Affairs


Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
“Terrible experiments. Unethical behaviour. Have I introduced you to my friend Macisikan? He’s something of an expert.” –Sunset

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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:29 am

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Statement by Joseph Cohen, President of Farmina
[STATEMENT BEGINS]
Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down legislation that named me, the President of the Republic, as Head of Church. As such, the status of Head of Church reverts to the College of Cardinals.

This decision is a major setback for religious reform. It’s a major setback for the fight against corruption. And again, the DRF will face the risk that priests will try to crown themselves as princes.

Regardless of my views on this decision, I will bow before the Court’s decision. I am, above all other things, a servant of the law. I call upon the College of Cardinals to behave in an equally lawful manner. No peace-loving Farminan wants to see a repeat of violence that surrounded the Reformation.

I realise that recent events in the DRF have caused concerns in the international community. No one is more concerned than me. But there has been peace in the DRF for the past six months. And despite this ruling, I believe that peace will continue.

My government is still analysing the full legal implications of this decision.

Joseph Cohen
President of the Republic
Democratic Republic of Farmina
[STATEMENT ENDS]

* * *


Samantha Durass, a lawyer in her late forties, was nearly completely covered by white silk. Though appearing feeble, the outfit was both strong and light – idea for the brutal conditions in the Farminan deep desert. Even her face was protected from the harsh sun and battering winds, covered by a white silk shawl and veil.

Before her stood a man strong and tall, his face bearded and his hair – long and tousled. The hot desert winds, full of dry sand, pelted the man’s unprotected face, as his long raggedy brown cloak flapped in breeze.

Lady Durass knelt down before him, “Milord.

Rise,” said Stemper Junior. He gave small, wry smile. “What news from Verica?

Durass returned to her feet. “The Supreme Court has ruled against Cohen – the Reformation is dead. The Church is already tearing itself apart.

Lady Durass studied the hard lines on Stemper’s face. His skin was dark with tan, dry and burnt. Creases sat around the eyes, and other lines were hidden behind Stemper’s unkempt beard and flowing brown hair. His lips were parched, bloody and cracked. Durass knew Stemper was in his mid-thirties, but he could be easily mistaken for far more. The Great Desert was never kind to the few who survived its harshness and its passion.

Yet, Samantha Durass found Stemper to be handsome. Behind the facial hair, lay a once beautiful face. His body was muscular, lean and tall. In his raggedy clothes, with his long hair and beard, and his cloak flapping in the sandy wind – Stemper looked messianic. There is beauty lost behind the rough exterior.

And the College doesn’t suspect anything?” asked Stemper, wiping a droplet of sweat from his brow. It was only early summer.

Durass nodded, “They believe I serve them. Their obedient lawyer.

The left corner of Stemper’s mouth lifted – a restrained smile on a stern face. “Excellent. The pieces are falling into place.” But the Church was always going to succeed in its legal challenge against Cohen. Some men play the odds; Stemper changed the odds.

Stemper looked away from Durass, focussing on the desert dunes and sands. He lovingly studied the inhospitable Great Desert that lay all around them, “War is coming. It will consume all in its path. Our enemies will be purified in the fire, and the righteous will bow before me.

She watched as he turned towards the sky. He spoke to the unseen, “And when it is done Father, I will give you this beautiful land.
Last edited by Farmina on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Macisikan
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Posts: 996
Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:22 am

Image
Official Statement

Classification: OPEN
From: Office of the Rechtaire for the Argent Circuit, VMER
To: FOR GENERAL DISTRIBUTION
Subject: Supreme Court Decision in College of Cardinals v. President Cohen

The official position of His Serene Majesty’s Imperial Federal Government is that this matter is and remains an internal affair of the Democratic Republic of Farmina.

The Imperial Federal Government is not revising or altering its travel advice regarding the Democratic Republic of Farmina at this time, which remains at Level 5: Avoid All Travel as the security situation is extremely dangerous.

N Khasek
___________________________
Dame Neith Khasek
His Serene Majesty's Rechtaire T’Argent
Vice-Ministry for Extraregional Representation
Imperial Federal Government
Federated Star Empire of Macisikan
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
--Everyone else: Sir Conradin Nuchani, HSM Vice-Minister for Subluminal Affairs


Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
“Terrible experiments. Unethical behaviour. Have I introduced you to my friend Macisikan? He’s something of an expert.” –Sunset

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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:15 pm

Director-General Malcolm “the Prince” Prince – the head of the Farminan civil service – sat in his wheelchair, perched in the corner of the President’s office. His body was frail and twisted, but his mind was strong and cunning. “No – I don’t think there is anything we can do to make other countries happier with the situation in the DRF.

Cohen muttered, just loud enough for Prince to hear, “Is there anything we can do to make me happier with the situation in the DRF...

Before the conversation could continue, the President’s guest finally arrived. She was escorted in. She took her seat. She looked at the President. She turned and glanced at the Prince. She turned back to the President.

Must he be here?” asked Lady Samantha Durass.

You asked for this meeting Lady Durass,” said Cohen in his level manner, reading several official looking documents as he spoke, “I need not of obliged.

The Prince cannot be trusted,” said Durass. Her tone was cold, “He may serve you in the light of day, but in night’s darkness he whispers in the ear of the Moralist Tobias Grey.

Cohen glanced up briefly from his work. “Enough,” said Cohen firmly, though he never raised his voice, “Lady Durass, please explain why you are here – I am a busy man.

Lady Durass leaned back, with a subtle but distinct confidence, “The College is tearing itself apart. Traditionalists take their revenge on the reformers. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed. What the Church needs is a firm hand to unify it.

Malcolm Prince’s thin, pale, twisted lips moved slightly. His subconscious was trying to generate a facial movement, but his muscles struggled with the command. His conscious mind focused on Durass. This woman is dangerous. Clever. Beautiful. But most of all dangerous. I must watch her carefully.

Prince typed on the keyboard attached to his wheelchair. An electric voice spoke for him, “Lady Durass, the Church had the President’s firm hand before you helped the traditionalists overturn the Reformation.

What’s done is done – now we must restore order to the Church,” said Lady Durass, maintaining an elegant calm. “The Supreme Court ruled that only imperial power can determine the Church leadership. Therefore, I believe that the Emperor, Justinian, must resolve this crisis.

Prince watched Cohen stop working. Prince watched Cohen’s eyes – reassessing, recalculating. Was this a ploy of the boy-emperor? Or was a deeper, more oblique strategy at work?

When Cohen finally answered, he didn’t raise his voice. His voice was rational and direct, as he always way, “Justinian is persona-non-grata. Therefore, he cannot be Head of Church. And I have no intention to lift persona-non-grata – million died because of the boy-emperor.

But...” began Durass.

No,” said the President, “My answer is no, Lady Durass.

The female lawyer, a rare thing in the DRF, stood up. “If you change your mind, I am happy to discuss this further,” she said, not showing any sign of reaction to the President’s decision, “I thank you for your time, Lord President. Good day.

The lawyer left. Prince watched as Cohen slumped slightly in his chair.

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Farmina
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Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:56 pm

If you were Joseph Cohen, how would you deal with the challenges facing Farmina?

Tobias Grey didn’t get a chance to answer. Horrific screams penetrated the hotel windows. Tobias was slow getting to his feet – his girth was large, his legs small and his health poor. The ‘vakom’ was not the man he once was.

God have mercy,” Ivan Backle, a journalist and Tobias’ biographer, was first to the window.

When Tobias finally reached the window, he saw flames reaching out into the black night sky. A flaming man was desperately rolling on the ground. The screaming...it was a wretched sound.

And then suddenly the flaming man stopped moving, stopped screaming.

Almighty Lord – save my people,” prayed Tobias, leaning heavily on his walking stick as he crossed himself. His voice was thick and heavy, with the wheeze of a life-long smoker. His tone was mostly dispassionate with just a hint of sorrow for the tragedy that had just unfolded, and the tragedy yet to come.

Who do you suppose he was?” asked Backle.

Tobias returned to his armchair, removed a cigarette from his jacket pocket and placed it between his lips. He went for his gold lighter and lit the cigarette. “His cassock was of a simple cut,” observed Tobias, who briefly paused to take a drag on his cigarette, “So I’d say some heretic reformer.”And that made sense to Grey – it was the traditionalists who were out for revenge. That said – earlier in the day, a reformer had discharged a shotgun into the face of a traditionalist priest who had taken over his parish. The killing had started.

Backle returned to his seat. A former war reporter, he was undeterred by the priest’s sudden violent death. He continued where he left off, “As I was saying; if you were President Cohen, how would you deal with the challenges facing Farmina?

The question hadn’t been about religion, but circumstances inform interpretation. “Well you just saw the terrible consequences of Cohen’s folly,” wheezed Grey, deliberately maintaining an un-emotive, professional tone, “Let’s not forget it was Cohen who seized control of the Church and launched the bloody Reformation. By contrast, I was responsible for separation of the Church from the State.” He hid his despair well.

But now that President has opened Pandora’s Box; what would you do?” asked Backle. Like any good journalist, he could meet nearly any answer with a question.

My Presidency was not without religious violence,” said Tobias, taking another drag on his cigarette, “But I put down the fanatics with a firm hand. There is nothing more dangerous than a terrorist dedicated to a messiah...

The boy-emperor...Tobias’ thoughts wandered to his wife Elaine. Fifteen years gone. It did not seem that long.

Tobias maintained his perfect poker face, “...Ivan, I’m quite tired. Shall we retire for the night and continue tomorrow?

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Macisikan
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Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:48 pm

.I. .F. .I. .S.

You are listening to the Imperial Federal International Service. The time is 12:00 hours in Arn-Maciska.

Tragic news out of the Democratic Republic of Farmina where the sectarian unrest that has plagued the country ever since the Cohen Reformation has turned to violence. Vigilante killings of clergy have taken place in at least one major city.

The IFIS has eyewitness reports of a priest, allegedly of the reformer sect, being burned alive by unknown parties. The brutal act was committed in public, before horrified guests and staff of a nearby hotel. The event took place mere hours after a traditionalist sect priest was murdered. Analysts are predicting that, unless domestic security services act soon, the DRF will be in the grip of a wave of sectarian terror and bloodshed.

The Rechtaire for the Argent Circuit, Dame Neith Khasek, told reporters that this development vindicates the Imperial Federal Government’s decision to retain the Level Five Travel Advisory on the DRF. Dame Neith has stated that the Democratic Republic is simply not safe for Macisikani citizens at the present time, and all Macisikani should avoid the country. She added that the Imperial Federal Government does not intend to evacuate the Embassy at this time.

Download this broadcast from www.ifis.co.var.fse/iview/news or http://www.ifis.co.mcn/iview/news
(c) The Imperial Federal International Service


Office of the Vice-Minister, Catherine Court, Arn-Maciska, Home Province, FSEM

“...but Farminan domestic security has always been fairly pedestrian,” Dame Neith was saying. “By rights, the former Emperor should have been well aware of what was happening long before Grey deposed him. Frankly the Tal Dumat-” the Empire’s external security service “-isn’t even remotely surprised that Cohen’s security services are unable to contain the violence. Granted, they are still recovering from the war with the Militia Enforced State, but the weaknesses are deeper than what can be explained by the war damage.”

“Do you think that their domestic intelligence has been compromised?” Sir Akaan asked; the man’s attention was focused on the dossier in front of him.

“Personally? No,” Khasek replied. “I think it’s still loyal to the administration, it’s just not very good. But we are comparing them to the Dyellian Cheka. What is of greater concern is that sections of the police force may turn rogue or desert,” she looked at the room’s other occupant, the Ambassador-General.

“Possible,” he said. “Quite possible where religious tension is concerned.”

The Vice-Minister leaned back, pondering.

“Look, if they want to tear themselves apart like rabid dogs over who’s best friends with an invisible sky-fairy, let them,” Sir Akaan allowed his irritation with the whole business to show. “I only care insofar as it affects Imperial citizens and interests. Ambassador-General; if the security situation in the DRF continues to deteriorate, evacuate the non-essentials from the Embassy. If the police start going rogue, or worse, the military, then I want you to prepare to evacuate Ambassador Koryel. Put a Gendarmerie cordon around the Farminan Embassy; just a thin line at the moment.”

The other two looked surprised at that last instruction; the Gendarmerie were only ever called out if there was a risk of violence to an Embassy in the Diplomatic Precinct.

“It’s throwing a visual bone to the DRF government,” the Vice-Minister waved a hand, interpreting their silence correctly. “Letting them know Lady Machina won’t be dragged onto the street by a mob and set alight, as if that would happen here,” he added with a snort. “Dame Neith, I’m leaving this in your hands. You’ll have my authorisation to evacuate the non-essentials or Ambassador Koryel at your discretion. Now, moving onto the Vaadians...”
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
--Everyone else: Sir Conradin Nuchani, HSM Vice-Minister for Subluminal Affairs


Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
“Terrible experiments. Unethical behaviour. Have I introduced you to my friend Macisikan? He’s something of an expert.” –Sunset

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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:10 am

Macisikan has provided additional security for our embassy,” said Joe Cohen as he passed his wife the gravy boat. He savoured the moment – family meals are precious.

I didn’t realise the embassy was in danger,” said Liz, taking the gravy.

Its a gesture,” said Cohen. “And it’s a good gesture. I have asked Lady Machina to pass on our gratitude – and my government appreciates any support.

That was enough work at the dining table. “How was uni?” asked the President, turning towards the elder of his two daughters.

I got the politics lecturer angry. He said ‘Tobias Grey’ won the war. I said ‘Farmina won the war. Tobias Grey didn’t fight in a single battle’. And he went ‘don’t peddle your father’s politics here’.

Cohen laughed softly. Mary was strong-willed and clever – a modern girl who would make an excellent wife in modern Farmina. And she was beautiful, tall and slender with her long golden hair in a delicate braid – not unlike Liz, all those years ago.

I was thinking of studying History,” said Rose, his younger daughter, who would be old enough to attend university next year.

Ignoring his phone vibrating angrily on the table, Cohen frowned at his younger daughter, “Tobias Grey studied History.

Rose looked sullen. Liz gave a polite, restrained laugh, “Your father is joking Rosie. You can study whatever you want.” Cohen had been joking – mostly. History was full of war, revolution, bloodshed, intolerance and hatred – just like Tobias Grey.

I was also thinking of maybe doing Law,” said Rose. Rose Cohen had brown hair, like her father had twenty years ago. It was long like her sister’s but unkempt – neither brushed nor bound.

President Grey also studied Law,” laughed Mary, “You’d better study Economics like father and I.

Economics is so boring,” retorted Rose, “I want to do something interesting.

Economics isn’t boring,” said Mary. The Cohen girls normally carried themselves with a calm adultness...normally, “Father, tell her it isn’t. History is boring.

History is full of battles and wars,” said Rose, “Economics is just a bunch of numbers and theories.

Joe raised his hand, and the duelling sisters fell silent. With order restored, Cohen spoke, “Law is an interesting topic. You’ll fight battles in the courtroom, so you won’t need to fight your sister any more.”. His mind turned to Lady Durass, “And the people who study Law are certainly interesting.

There was no mention of Medicine at the table. Any topic that came close to discussing Martin Cohen was avoided.

Joe Cohen picked up his phone. It had stopped vibrating sometime ago. The caller, Richard Taylor – the President’s chief of staff, had given up and left a message. Traditionalist mob attacked a reformer. Badly beaten but expected to live. Cohen sighed – there was no escape. Liz’s eyes met her husband’s, “Another one?

He’s expected to live,” responded the President, in a melancholy tone. He switched to sardonic, “‘And in the news, celebrations as our beloved President managed to go a whole day without getting someone killed, although one person was savagely beaten’.

Cohen looked over at his daughters. They were old enough to hear their father speak frankly. He wanted to protect them as best he could – but he could not save them from gossip, or worse, the bitter truth.

What did his beautiful girls think of him? He knew they loved him – that was more than could be said for Marty. But did they blame him for the violence and death that was taking hold in Farmina? And if he had a way to stop it, would they forgive him for not taking it? His mind turned back to Lady Durass.



OOC: I promise I will get to the point...eventually.

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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:57 pm

The whirr of Malcolm Prince’s electric wheelchair filled the private gaming room in Casino Verica. Tobias Grey turned to see who it was, and then turned back to his poker table. His voice echoed around the small room, “Every time I hear that sound, I still expect to see my father.

Malcolm Prince drove his wheelchair up to table. Tobias played against a foreigner of one sort or another. Prince typed into the computer that spoke for him, “Lord Grey – the previous Lord Grey – was a great man. He will be hard to forget.

Doesn’t stop one trying,” said Grey, downing a scotch, “Do you suppose anyone actually liked my father?

The waiting barman diligently refilled Grey’s glass without hesitation, before asking the Prince “Drink milord?

No, thank you,” responded the Prince, who needed help to drink, “Lord Richard was well respected – he preserved your family’s wealth and power, as the five great families fell one by one.

Tobias took a long drag on his cigarette and then exhaled. The harsh smell of tobacco filled Prince’s nose. The scent of tobacco wasn’t the only one the Prince detected. A range of scents wafted from the former president – tobacco, whiskey, sweat, aftershave, deodorant and hair product – in order of strength. Prince’s spy training still worked at all these years.

I think I will raise, Mikael,” Tobias said, pushing forward ten thousand haren in chips, “How can I help you today Director-General?

Call,” said Mikael, matching the bet. Tobias laid down his cards – two pair. The foreigner showed no emotion as he placed down a three of a kind. Grey said nothing, as he took a drink.

What do you know about Lady Samantha Durass?” asked the Prince.

As Mikael gathered his winnings, Grey put down another blind. “Durass was one of the young tyrant’s lawyers,” Tobias paused after mentioning Justinian, “The tory bitch managed to evade the Purge following his downfall. And of course, there is her work for the College...did you know she is overseeing the prosecution of Cardinal Nettles for heresy?

Again the bets quickly piled up. The two gamblers were only up to the flop and there was already more money on the table than the most Farminans earned in a year. The turn card came down. Grey took a final long drag on his cigarette, before stubbing out the butt in an ash-tray. The former president pushed a handful of chips on the table – a raise of eighty thousand haren.

Without hesitation or expression, Mikael matched Grey’s raise. Mikael doesn’t blink, thought Prince, I’ve watched Tobias for twenty years and he makes everyone blink in the end. Mikael studied Grey for a reaction – but Grey gave nothing away.

The final card came down. Grey knocked back another scotch, “Why do you ask about Durass?

Not here,” responded the Prince.

Grey licked his fat lips, catching a few errant drops of scotch, “Then I best finish this. I raise – five hundred thousand haren.” The elderly Grey ran a hand through his greasy, jet black hair, then pushed forward an intimidatingly large pile of chips.

Mikael studied the massive bet – he needed to go all-in. Maths said not to call – but Grey exploited your reliance on maths and logic. Play the odds – when in doubt – play the odds. The foreigner tried to look the immense Lord Tobias Grey in the eye...those powerful Grey eyes. Mikael turned away, the intensity of Grey’s stare was too much. But everywhere he turned, those eyes chased him, until he could only look down. Like a vine, left in the harsh Farminan summer sun, Mikael seemed to shrivel and wilt.

Call.” Prince thought he had misheard at first. He hadn’t. Mikael was pushing his chips forward – calling Grey out. It was an amazing sight. This Mikael is something else, thought Prince, Even the boy-emperor broke under Grey’s stare.

The former president put down his cards, “Full house.” The foreigner dropped his cards in dismay – a lesser full house. Prince stared at the short, fat man as he collected his winnings.

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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:05 pm

Tobias’ bodyguards guided the former President and Malcolm Prince through the public gaming floor of the Casino Verica. At the sight of Tobias there were whispered words. “Its him.” Others stopped their games. Some stood up. And some bowed their heads. “Lord Grey.” A few even called out “Vakom! Vakom!” – the Farminite for ‘rescuer’.

Tobias both loved and loathed the attention. Tonight, he ignored it, leaning heavily on his stick as he walked, “You thought I was bluffing Malcolm. Your cold logic told you so.” He gave a deliberate dramatic pause, “You try to hide it – but you thought I was bluffing. I see it in your expressionless face.

Prince did not say anything – a contemplative silence. Prince doesn’t understand. Tobias stopped and his entourage followed suit. “See the man at roulette table.” Prince glanced at a middle aged, perhaps more than middle aged man, sitting alone, hunched over the roulette table.

Watch for a moment.” The wheel was spun. The ball bounced, rolled then stopped. The croupier collected up the gambler’s chips. And the sullen gambler just put down more counters on the same numbers. “What do you see? What does your logic tell you?

Prince’s electric voice responded quickly, “I see a man who is cannot learn his lesson.

Tobias chuckled laughed softly, his smoker’s wheeze making the chuckle sound slightly like a cough. “God owes him,” said Tobias, a hint of sympathy in his heavy voice, “He plays the same numbers again and again. Those numbers mean something...thirty three – the number of years in a loveless marriage. Twelve – the number of times his father hit him each night. Three – the number of children he is estranged from...

You cannot possibly know that,” said Prince’s computerised voice.

The croupier spun wheel again. And again he took away the gambler’s chips. The gambler looked up to Heaven, with a betrayed look. But yet again, the gambler bet on the same numbers. “God owes him,” Tobias said with utter certainty, “And he is waiting for that debt to be repaid.




Tobias and his entourage continued onto Presidential suite in the adjoining hotel, where Tobias and the Prince retired to the privacy of Grey’s study. “A drink, Malcolm?” asked Tobias.

Please,” said Prince. Tobias poured out two glasses of scotch. He took a seat next Prince’s wheelchair, and carefully lifted the glass to Prince’s mouth. Prince took a sip. Tobias went to take the glass away, but Prince made a strangled movement, which Grey knew to be a shake of the head. After helping Prince to take another sip, he put the glass down, before softly applying a napkin to Prince’s lips, cleaning up the little spillages. “Thank you, Tobias.

So we are alone,” said Tobias, lighting himself a cigarette and placing it between his lips. He picked up his scotch, “What of Lady Durass?

The Prince typed away at his keyboard, “She came to the President. She wants him to end persona-non-grata against Justinian – restore the boy-emperor as Head of Church. In exchange, the boy-emperor will set Cohen’s enemies in the Church to rights.

Tobias took a long drag on his cigarette, and a sip of scotch, “If Cohen lifts persona-non-grata, the boy-emperor won’t settle for being Defender of the Faith. He will not rest until he rules Farmina. And then it will all begin again...” He could still see her face... “This cannot come to pass.

President Cohen has agreed to nothing,” said Prince, “But he wavers. He fears the future. And while he hesitates, Lady Durass and elements within the Church fan the flames of war.

Durass...Tobias knew he should have eliminated the tory-bitch when he had chance. He looked at Malcolm Prince. They’d been allies for...what? Fourteen years? Still whispering Cohen’s secrets was quiet a betrayal, “Will Cohen break to Durass’ will?

Prince was quiet for a moment, “I don’t know.

We need to be certain,” said Grey. He stubbed his cigarette with great deal of force.

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Farmina
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Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:48 am

Lady Durass seated herself down. She noticed the editor scanning the length of her body. At her age, she took it as a complement...mostly.

Mister Greensly,” said Durass, “Our nation is in trouble. Recession, religious turmoil, a weak president and an unstable coalition government hounded by a ruthless Moralist opposition...

But what does that have to do with my newspaper?” asked the editor of the National.

This wouldn’t have happened under the Emperor,” said Durass, “He would have stopped this.

Greenly’s and Durass’ eyes met, “The Emperor is eighteen years gone milady...

Durass cut the editor off, “There are whispers. Whispers that his people are regrouping. They utter his name in dark places. Every day another blog mentions him. The people want their leader...

The mail-boy walked past delivering a stack of letters and parcels to Greensly’s desk. Greensly looked at the pile, grabbed a parcel, and looked at Durass as he opened it. “Of course I pray the Emperor’s return. And I understand why they mutter his name in the blogosphere. But to call for his restoration in a major daily newspaper – that is quite a different thing.

The Emperor was always generous to his supporters,” said Durass, speaking with a deliberate slowness.

This is dangerous talk milady,” said Greensly. He emptied the contents of parcel onto his desk, scanned them, and began to open the next parcel, “I will consider what you have said – weight the odds. But for now I have work to get on with.

Durass took her leave – allowing the editor to finish going through his mail. She was only half way down the hall when she heard it. She felt the heat, the pressure. The building shook. Screaming. Then there was the smell of smoke and flame and blood...




FNN News
...in breaking news, there has been an explosion at the conservative ‘National’ newspaper. Three people have been confirmed dead – including the editor, Ron Greensly. We cannot confirm who the other two causalities were. Mister Greensly has been with the National since the fall...

...wait...we have reports coming in that the explosion appears to have been a parcel bomb sent to Ron Greensly. It is unclear whether Mister Greensly was deliberately targeted, or the target was the National itself.

We have no statement yet from the President...





It was not long until a message to the world appeared on the internet...

People of Farmina. People of the World.

The enemies of the DRF are becoming bolder.

The Imperial die-hards, conservatives, and even factions within our Church plot to restore the boy-emperor. They hide their plans – but if you watch, if you listen, you can hear them whispering. They say the boy-emperor will bring peace. They say the boy-emperor will bring prosperity.

They are wrong. The boy-emperor used death camps to ensure peace. A million dead. He brought war to our shores. He destroyed the social safety net – the poor and needy were left to be ravaged by his dystopian free market. But worst of all – he took away our right to choose our government. The boy-emperor he stole our freedom.

Today, we – the Defenders of Democracy – have struck a blow against the enemy. Ron Greensly and the National were the spokespeople of conservatism – they were the voice of the Emperor. Greensly had served in the young tyrant’s regime – his penalty was long overdue.

People of Farmina – defend your democracy. Strike at the conspirators wherever you see them. Strike first and strike hard. Do not hesitate.

People of the World – give us your strength. Send us your arms; your money; your men; your advisors. Preserving Farminan democracy is in the interests of the entire world. The boy-emperor will not settle for ruling Farmina.

President Cohen – you are our elected leader. It is your power we are trying to preserve. You are the embodiment of our democracy. But if you try to stop us – to prevent us saving the DRF – we will find ourselves on
different sides.

We are the Defenders of Democracy. And we are not finished yet.

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Farmina
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Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:34 pm

James Cromwell looked good in pinstripes. Looking at him, you could be forgiven for thinking he was born in them. He kissed his wife and headed out to the car. He stopped at mailbox. Just a few letters in the morning mail, no parcels.

He opened the car and put his case on the passenger’s seat. He liked his job – banking suited him. His previous career as a public servant had been interesting too – but it had come to a sudden end. James Cromwell put his key in the ignition.




Transcript – Joseph Cohen, Press conference

Today – there has been a bombing within our borders for the second time within a week.

The perpetrators call themselves the “Defenders of Democracy”. They are – simply
moralising murderers. I was elected by the Farminan people – I am the defender of democracy.

They say I should sit by and let them continue with their bloody mission.

The notion that I would sit by and let terrorists wage war on an imaginary imperial threat is outrageous. I will hunt down these terrorists and I will see them punished. Our security forces have already detained two people over the National bombing.

Any nation that believes in democracy, in law and order, and in peace – I say my government is here to preserve these things. Work with us – so that for the entire world, we can create a better tomorrow.

Thank you for your time. I will not be taking any questions.





How did it come to this?

President Cohen studied Lord Harcourt – the leader of the Conservatives, part of Cohen’s grand coalition – his face, his eyes, his posture. But it was Alex Reinoff – parliamentary leader of the Liberals who spoke, “We could not have foreseen the implications of...

Arnold Harcourt cut him off, “Dear God – terrorists are blowing up members of my party. Cromwell had four children.

A dead man is a dead man,” noted Peter Messenger, the Socialist leader – the third member of the ruling coalition, “Does it matter what political party he is from?

Would you say that if it was someone killing socialists?

You mean like your lot did?

Cohen gestured for silence, “What is done is done.” He looked around the small table in his private meeting room, at his ‘kitchen cabinet’. “We must decide our next move.

Punish the perpetrators,” said Harcourt, “There can be no quarter for terrorists.

Lord Harcourt,” said Reinoff – the voice of reason, “Punishment is easier when you can identify the guilty party.

Moralists,” roared Harcourt – the two people arrested so far had both been Moralists, “Who else?” Harcourt was always sharp and damning in his assessments, but he was usually calm. Today his hands were shaking – just a little.

Yes, lets round up every Moralist,” said Messenger, his voice laced sarcasm, “Set up camps. Slaughter them like dogs...hmm...reminds me of the last time you tories ran this nation.

Cohen again raised his hands, “Gentlemen, please, the Emperor is 18 years gone. It’s time to...

But the wounds were too fresh – Messenger cut the President off, “Lord President – you weren’t at the boy-emperor’s Carnival. I was. Pensioners slowly beaten to death – why, because they were socialists. Wives watched as their husbands were cooked alive –why, because they were socialists. Parents made to watch their children garrotted...you want to talk about murderers – what about your Emperor!

The allegations against the Emperor were always exaggerated,” said Harcourt, “Every man the Emperor executed was a criminal – as proven by court of law.

I do not think re-evaluating Justinian’s reign...” said Cohen, putting up his hands to call for silence, “...is conducive to progressing this discussion.” Cohen glanced between Messenger and Harcourt. He had to step carefully – without them, his fragile grasp on the parliament would collapse.

Perhaps this is enough for today,” said Reinoff. There was general agreement. Messenger and Harcourt left. Richard Taylor, Cohen’s chief of staff, poked his head in, “How did it go?

Get me the Prince,” said Cohen. Not raising his voice – he didn’t have to.

Ah,” said Taylor, hurrying off.

Joe – you cannot trust Prince,” said Reinoff, “He may be efficient and clever. But he is oblique. He is a spy, a trained liar. He has no facial expressions. No tone of voice. Nothing to give him away when he moves against us.

So people keep telling me,” said Cohen. He gave an exhausted sigh, “Alex – why aren’t you President instead of me?

Reinoff gave a bemused smiled, “Joe - I ran for President twice. You served me faithfully twice. I failed – twice. Then you cut me down and took the Liberal leadership for yourself.

Oh that,” said Cohen absently, as he looked down at his hands, studying little red specks that no one else seemed to see.

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Macisikan
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Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:11 pm

.I. .F. .I. .S.

Terrorists have struck the Democratic Republic of Farmina. At least four people have died in two bombings targeting Conservative party members and Conservative-leaning media outlets. A group called the Defenders of Democracy has claimed responsibility in a statement released on the internet, promising further violence.

Unlike the sectarian strife gripping the country, these terrorist attacks are politically motivated, with supporters of the deposed Emperor Justinian being targeted.

President Cohen has condemned the terror attacks, and two arrests have been made in connection with the bombing of the National newspaper offices.

The Rechtaire for the Argent Circuit, Dame Neith Khasek, has issued a statement:
It is the standing policy of His Serene Majesty’s Imperial Federal Government to regard domestic disturbances in other nations as purely an internal affair, taking only such actions as are necessary to preserve the safety of our citizens abroad. Yet this particular group, as with the Christian Warriors who attacked ViZion earlier this year, has issued a statement to the international community asking for a response.

To the group styling itself the ‘Defenders of Democracy’, the Imperial Federal Government condemns your senseless and brutal attacks. Your request is denied; the Federated Star Empire will not give you aid or comfort. You are instructed to refrain from entering the Realm; failure to comply will result in the full penalty of law.


The Rechtaire has confirmed that the Defenders of Democracy group is now classed as a proscribed foreign terrorist organisation.

The Ambassador-General’s Office has confirmed that the Gendarmerie have been put in place around the Farminian embassy in Arn-Maciska as a precaution against violence in the Diplomatic Precinct.

In Ceylon, the Tal Vreenak has begun strict security screening of Farminian citizens, amid rumours that the Vice-Minister is considering a complete travel ban on the DRF. The DRF has not been subjected to such a measure since the Merenre Government. Visitation rates by Farminian citizens to the Empire remain extremely low, even by Macisikani standards.

Requests for comment were referred to Dame Neith’s office, which has refused to confirm or deny the possibility of such a move. The Rechtaire’s office has confirmed that the few Macisikani citizens present in Farmina have begun leaving, with the last one due to return to the Realm before the end of the week.

You are listening to the Imperial Federal International Service. The time is 16:00 hours in Arn-Maciska.

Download this broadcast from www.ifis.co.var.fse/iview/news or http://www.ifis.co.mcn/iview/news
(c) The Imperial Federal International Service



Embassy of the Federated Star Empire, Verica, DRF

Akti mac Koryel sat in the garden of the Imperial Embassy. He had been reading a book, but it was fairly dull and his mind was wandering. It was a nice little contemplative area; a fountain tinkling gently, the water washing over white marble. Koryel, a Tuisech of the Uath order gave up on the book and allowed his mind to wander into history.

The two dozen people killed when the Messian space forces had struck the government sector of Verica, including the then-Ambassador, were each memorialised here, and in a memorial in Arn-Maciska. Personally the Ambassador doubted that they had meant to hit the Embassy, but it hardly mattered. Poor Ambassador Lukyelt had died of her wounds after three days on the operating table; it was a miracle she’d lasted that long, and it had been a closed-coffin funeral. There hadn’t been enough left of the Nuncio to actually warrant a coffin. The Messians hadn’t denied that they were responsible, had admitted it, in fact; they hadn’t offered an apology though, simply writing it off as “casualties of war”. It had taken a low-level probe team less than an hour to determine they were telling the truth, and the Cabinet less than a minute to decide that the damage was deliberate.

The then-United Imperial Kingdoms had reacted to the assault on their mission with the fury of an angry god; for the first time in history the Imperial Stellar Service, called Space Division in those days, had come boiling through the fractal rift armed for war. In less than a week the technologically-superior Macisikani stellar navy had systematically annihilated every last Messian space asset. The CSWS Ar-Akmadaas had turned the pride of the Messian space force, the Hurricane, into fine powder with a half-dozen shots, and every Messian satellite, civilian and government, had been blasted back into the atmosphere, burning to ash in the night sky. And then they’d turned their fury on Messian launchpads, missile silos, and air strips.

The Macisikani hadn’t displayed any great skill in their assault; they hadn’t needed to. Messian surface-to-space missiles had been almost casually annihilated or had been brushed off like mosquitoes, then the launch sites destroyed. The Covenant Space War Ships had destroyed the orbital assets before they’d had a chance to fire, or had simply ignored the return fire. It had been a simple exercise of overwhelming brute force, a display of naked power. It had also been remorseless, pitiless, and very thorough; there were no survivors, and the Messians had never returned to space.

Whether or not it had turned the war, he didn’t know. Farmina had been driving the Messians back, had been already on the front foot. Privately he suspected that the shock of having their space forces so casually annihilated had broken the mental stability of the Messian leadership... The Ambassador was broken out of his reverie as an aide approached.

“Excuse me Excellency,” the young man bowed slightly. “I have a directive from Arn-Maciska; we’re to evacuate all non-essential staff and non-service persons immediately. Authorisation of the Rechtaire.”

Koryel nodded. Of course; Arn-Maciska would want to ensure the safety of their people in light of the bombings. They couldn’t very well rain down fire on the civilian population of Verica if the Embassy was attacked by a mob or blown up. Well, they could, and more importantly, they would in a heartbeat if they thought it was necessary, but they’d rather not, so they were removing the reasons to do so. The cold logic that ruled the Empire these days was strangely comforting in its own way.

“Thank you. Will you inform my wife please?” he said, standing.
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

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Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
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Farmina
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Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:33 am

Tobias Grey leaned back and exhaled. His nicotine scented breath filled the air, “I am not sad to see that Greensly and Cromwell are dead.

His biographer, Ivan Backle, closed his notebook. “Few are.

Grey glanced at Backle’s outfit – the former journalist was dressed in Moralist black. “I always thought I was the defender of democracy – but it seems someone else has claimed the title...

Backle gave a small nod, “ I think we should be glad that your good work – the defence of democracy – is continuing.

Grey’s eyes – those intense eyes – met Backle’s, “These Defenders...they are playing a dangerous game.

The former war reporter looked down, “If what you told me about Durass’ offer to the President is true...you could expect anyone to sit idly by...

As I said, I’m not sad to see them dead...” Like a crab – Tobias Grey shuffled left to right. Right to left. Left to right. He avoided the matter directly – he avoided the risk. Good gamblers hedge their bets wisely, they hold their cards close to their chest and their faces show nothing.

Now Backle studied Grey. Endorsement? Disapproval? He saw both. He saw neither. Grey smiled an unseen smile. Grey, for the first time in some time, took a drag on his cigarette. It was a long drag. “The Macisikani – they are withdrawing. They were great allies once.” It was a major shift in topic.

What can you expect given recent events?” said Backle. He looked for a connection – beyond the obvious.

Cohen should be lobbying them,” said Grey. He licked his fat lips, “But part of him resents them. He resents the war. He resents everyone who was part of it. The Macisikani didn’t need to join the fight – so he thinks they shouldn’t of.

Backle couldn’t see where Grey was going. Grey had an idea – just hinting at it. Giving a taste of it. There are moments when you wonder if someone is brilliant or mad. Backle looked at Grey sceptically, “And...

The Macisikani have no love of Cohen. And they have reason to fear Durass and the Emperor...Hmm, perhaps, the Grey name still carries weight in Macisikan,” Grey stubbed out his cigarette, “I think I want to hold a dinner party...




To His Excellency, Ambassador Akti mac Koryel

Recent events in Verica distress me greatly – as I am sure they will distress any friend of the DRF.

However, in the light of these tragedies we should not let fear weaken our friendship. It is important to remember that our nations once fought side by side against evil and tyranny.

I am holding a small gathering at my country estate, Grey Manor, to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of West Liverson - a major victory in the Messian War. I have included an invite for you and your wife with this letter.

If you are concerned about your security – the violence of Verica has not touched the country. And you are also welcome to bring as many security personnel as you see fit.


Lord Tobias Grey
The First President of the Republic
The Seventh Lord Grey


The Battle of West Liverson?” asked Backle.

I’d never heard of it either,” said Grey, as he signed the invite.

Hopefully, we haven’t sent this too late.

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Macisikan
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Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:20 am

Embassy of the FSEM, Verica, DRF

Koryel sat placidly next to the fountain again; they were such useful features, the white noise killing off any attempt at eavesdropping. Now he was joined by the Tal Dumat’s local representative, the security attaché. In his hand was Grey’s invitation.

“He wants something,” the external security service operative said bluntly.

“Of course,” the Ambassador replied. “Leaving aside the fact that no-one of his stature has spoken to me since I presented my credentials, Tobias Grey doesn’t go to the bathroom without an ulterior motive,” the Ambassador allowed himself a slight smile; handing the invitation to the operative.

“You think he’s going to try to use us to keep the Emperor Justinian out of Farmina.” It wasn’t a question.

“I never said that,” the Ambassador replied mildly.

“Do you think his Lordship knows the problem with the idea?” the Tal Dumat attaché wasn’t bothering to mince his words.

“Arn-Maciska’s apathy, Saragova’s antipathy, your organisation’s aversion to manipulation, or the potential for it to all go horribly right?” Koryel replied, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes,” the attaché responded simply.

Koryel said nothing.

“So you’ll go then?” the attaché asked mildly.

“Of course,” Koryel replied. “It would be rude of me to decline the invitation of a former head of state unless I was being targeted, and I’m not.”



Image
Official Communiqué

Classification: Personal
From: Office of the Ambassador to the DRF, VMER
To: Lord Tobias Grey, of Farmina
Subject: re: Invitation

To my Lord Grey, greetings and salutations;

Thank you for your kind invitation to your estate to commemorate the Battle of West Liverson. While it would be my pleasure to attend, regrettably my wife has already departed Verica.

As is normal practice, I shall be accompanied by two members of the Tal Almak, the Consular Security Service.

Warm Regards,

Akti
___________________________
The Tuisech Akti mac Koryel
His Serene Majesty's Most Excellent Ambassador to the DRF
Vice-Ministry for Extraregional Representation
Imperial Federal Government
Federated Star Empire of Macisikan
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
--Everyone else: Sir Conradin Nuchani, HSM Vice-Minister for Subluminal Affairs


Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
“Terrible experiments. Unethical behaviour. Have I introduced you to my friend Macisikan? He’s something of an expert.” –Sunset

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Farmina
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Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:51 am

Cardinal Gardiner wriggled in the armchair. He tried to get comfortable. He couldn’t. Being summoned is never comfortable.

Cardinal Walter Bridges leaned back in his personal armchair. He was studying a small card. “The College will find against Cardinal Nettles – the man is a heretic. After he has had his fair trial – of course.

And so the College should,” said Gardiner, “After what his allies did to Bishop Parsins...

Bridges put down the piece of card, “We must make our next move cautiously. The President is not going to be amused as we tear down his work. If he finds evidence that Cardinals are fanning violence on the streets – then that may push him...

And what good are our gains if we do nothing?” objected Gardiner. He respected Bridges’ caution, diplomacy and political nous. But when you have the upper hand – that is the best time to play your cards, “Especially now – with his attention turned elsewhere.

We have made great gains already. Today I have, on behalf of the College, signed into effect new Articles of Faith,” said Bridges, “The Reformation is now completely dead. The relics and the cathedrals and the monasteries will be restored. We will be true Catholics again. We should not risk throwing all that away.

Articles of Faith are of no use,” said Gardiner, “If the clergy do not believe in them. It only takes one heretic – and then the rot spreads.

Of course,” said Bridges, “And Nettles will be defrocked. We will move against this allies. But above all other things we must survive. We survived the boy-emperor, by serving as he required. We allowed Tobias Grey to establish a democracy, and he allowed our Faith to flourish. Careful, calculated decisions.

Gardiner waited for Bridges to finish before he objected, “...“survived the boy-emperor” – we prospered under Justinian. He made us closer to God.

The Emperor may have elevated you to Cardinal,” said Bridges, “But he weakened the College. There was a time – not that long ago – when the word of the Cardinals was law.

Do you ever think of anything other than power and self-preservation? What about what is right and Holy?

I cannot serve the Lord if I martyr myself,” Bridges gave Gardiner a look – a look a parent gives an ignorant child, “It is better to bend than break. But it is best of all to rule...in God's name. If bide our time, if we play our cards right in the coming chaos, Cardinals will rule this land again.

Bridges smiled. Just a little. The rarity made it notable. Bridges’ eyes turned back to card – studying it as though it was written in code.




James - the valet – buttoned Tobias Grey’s tuxedo. Lord Grey studied the three piece tuxedo in the mirror. “Make sure my tailor gets a tip – another excellent job.

At fifteen thousand haren – you would be expect nothing less than excellent. Very thinly milled wool. Satin lapels. Grey’s body shape was...beyond flattery. But what could easily look like excess, instead looked like authority. Every inch of waist line – another inch of greatness. He, and his great carriage, was without a doubt – magnificent.

Grey waddled over to the window, looking out, down onto the circular driveway – James followed, trying to fit Grey’s silver cufflinks. The footman were assembled below. The sun was setting on the austere exterior of Grey Manor. His guests would be here soon.

Inside the Manor, a small army were preparing for battle, with pots and pans and fresh ingredients. Lord Grey was well armed – the best grocers were in his pay. His troops were well drilled. Tonight - he wanted victory and nothing less.

He opened the window – he preferred the summer heat to the coolness of airconditioning. He lit a cigarette and placed it between his lips.

The sun set. His cigarette glowed against the darkness. Moralists prefer to hunt in the dark – they like to strike when you can’t see it coming. Just ask the Emperor.


OOC: Probably won’t be able to post for a few days.
Last edited by Farmina on Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Macisikan
Diplomat
 
Posts: 996
Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:58 am

OOC: no problem. This is the first time I’ve been able to post since Thursday. Read? Yes. Post? No.

IC:
Grey Manor, DRF

The Ambassador arrived without fanfare; a nondescript black sedan slipping up the driveway, only the white-red-white flag of the Empire indicating the owner. There was no great announcement as it disgorged its occupants, the three men covering the distance to the entrance quickly.

The two members of the Tal Almak were clad in charcoal-grey suits, high mandarin collars on their light grey shirts. The fabric of Koryel’s suit was richer, but the style and colouring was the same. The only ornamentation he wore was a small lapel pin of the crossed keys of the Empire, and a silver medallion with the symbol of the Intellectual Integrity movement on it in black enamel. Given the obscene wealth of the Realm Koryel hailed from, there could be no doubt that this wasn’t the simplicity of poverty, but the starkness of intent.

Where his host was large, Koryel possessed a slim frame; something about the way the man moved gave the impression of a person who took care of his physical health and monitored his diet. Fairly mild in manner, with dark auburn hair that showed no signs of greying, the Ambassador’s face betrayed the faint lines of someone who smiled and laughed often. In other words, a typical member of the Macisikani diplomatic corps; genial, friendly, capable, with a soul made of frozen nitrogen.
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
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Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:55 am

OOC: Back from the coast.

IC:
Malcolm Prince sat quietly in the corner of Tobias’ sitting room. The guests were trickling in. Footman wandered the room offering drinks and canapés. The Prince watched the footman – handsome gentleman. Fit. Grey tended to employ beautiful people. Grey Manor had an element of fantasy - the perfect manor from a TV show or a classic movie.

He glanced towards Ivan Backle, who was sipping a glass of red, talking with Leon Valdez – the Parliamentary leader of the Moralists. Both were in Moralist black – wearing the party’s military-style official dress uniform. Backle was hard man – big, muscular – with a nasty scar on his throat, half-hidden by his high collar. Valdez had been a thin man – but he was gaining weight quickly. His gut looked out of place – as though someone had hastily sewn it on. He had also grown a small beard – very similar to Grey’s. He is trying to imitate Lord Grey.

So when will Lord Grey be joining us?” asked Valdez, “I saw his silhouette in a window on my way in.” There wasn’t any mistaking Lord Grey’s silhouette.

Backle laughed, “He will...make an entrance...soon.

Anita Valdez was attempting a strategic withdrawal. She had managed to get caught in a conversation between the historian, Professor Mayhew, and Cardinal Bridges. Prince’s eyes wandered to the hall. The Macisikani were emerging.

Prince wasn’t the only one who noticed. Backle walked over to greet the Ambassador – leaving Valdez free to rescue his wife. Prince moved his wheelchair forward, just a little closer. Backle bowed, “Your Excellency, Lord Grey has asked me to welcome you to Grey Manor. It is a great honour to have a representative from our Macisikani allies to help commemorate the Battle of West Liverson. Can I offer you a drink?

Prince’s concentration broke - he only detected Mayhew's approach at the last minute. “So,” began Professor Mayhew , “Master Prince, could you settle a dispute between myself and the Cardinal? How do you think Justinian would have dealt with the Messians? I think...

Now it was the Prince who needed to find a way to make a strategic withdrawal.

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Macisikan
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Posts: 996
Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:41 am

Koryel had glanced around with mild interest as he entered the sitting room; briefly noting who was standing with whom, who seemed uncomfortable, who seemed at ease, and so on. Lord Grey was conspicuous by his absence; back in the Empire, the absence of the host was an incalculable insult, but Koryel simply wrote it off as an exotic local custom.

As Backle approached, one of the Tal Almek whispered into his ear «Ivan Backle, Lord Grey’s biographer. A journalist by trade.» Koryel inclined his head slightly; he knew who the man was, but it never hurt to have it confirmed.

Backle bowed, “Your Excellency, Lord Grey has asked me to welcome you to Grey Manor. It is a great honour to have a representative from our Macisikani allies to help commemorate the Battle of West Liverson. Can I offer you a drink?”

“Ser Backle, a pleasure to meet you,” the Ambassador’s smile was polite. “And thank you, but not at the moment. The honour is mine to be invited to share in this commemoration, although I must confess I am not very familiar with the engagement in question. Somewhat embarrassing, given that Lord Grey’s invitation indicated it was a major engagement in the war, and is what brings us together this evening. Might I impose on you to tell me how significant this particular battle was?”

It was polite small-talk. Koryel had sought a briefing about West Liverson, and the search had turned up very little of consequence.
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
--Everyone else: Sir Conradin Nuchani, HSM Vice-Minister for Subluminal Affairs


Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
“Terrible experiments. Unethical behaviour. Have I introduced you to my friend Macisikan? He’s something of an expert.” –Sunset

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Farmina
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Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:02 am

As though pulled by a little string, Backle’s hand lurched up and grabbed a canapé from a passing tray. Cured pony meat – an unusual delicacy that had recently gained popularity in the DRF. The Government had felt there were too many little ponies in the world. At first, it had been hard to get people to eat the gamy meat – but the right chef can do so much. The waiter bowed slightly, silently offering the Ambassador the peculiar treat.

Backle took a short nibble before responding, “Lord Grey teaches us that all victories over tyranny are great victories.

Another nibble, “I know little of the Macisikani...but Lord Grey often talks about Ambassador Lukyelt. She was often invited to his parties and balls. Did you know her?

If the Ambassador looked closely, he would see little puppet strings attached to Backle’s hands and feet.

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Macisikan
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Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:27 pm

The Ambassador declined the canapé with a shake of his head and a slight frown. It wasn’t that horse meat was taboo in his culture, per se, but it wasn’t really eaten outside of times of extreme scarcity (horses and ponies were useful after all). And given that at the Empire had come into contact with a nation where they actually talked, there was increasing discomfort around the idea.

“While I cannot argue with the sentiment his Lordship expressed,” Koryel said, “I was speaking in practical terms; victories against tyranny are always welcome, and honourable, but there is sometimes a high cost involved, as the Messians found out when they attacked your capital. From their point of view, a great blow – showing they could strike at the heart of their enemy. But I’m sure you’d agree that the price was more than they could afford. No matter,” the Ambassador might as well have been talking about the weather.

“I worked with her Excellency on a few projects when I was younger,” he answered the question. “But we were never particularly close; she was several grades and a decade ahead of me in the career track. As you no doubt recall, my post was vacant for over a year after her untimely death. The then-First Minister didn’t want to risk another representative, considering that the Messians had shown themselves willing to attack embassies and envoys. And then there was Ambassador Sevisa serving here before I arrived. She’s currently representing the Court of Light to the Roman Kingdom.”

Koryel seemed content at the moment to continue to chat, but a more astute person would realise that sooner or later he would tire of the conversation. Probably sooner; Backle wasn’t striking him as a particularly interesting person.
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
--Everyone else: Sir Conradin Nuchani, HSM Vice-Minister for Subluminal Affairs


Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
“Terrible experiments. Unethical behaviour. Have I introduced you to my friend Macisikan? He’s something of an expert.” –Sunset

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Farmina
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Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:07 am

Backle would have responded – if not for the people emerging through the hall. Security came first. Then the guests. The room slowly fell silent as President Cohen and his wife emerged, arm in arm.

Cohen was dressed in a navy tuxedo. A simple cut – no unnecessary extravagance. It’s plainness seemed appropriate for a middle age man, of average and average build. Still – it fitted like a uniform – a soldier in enemy territory. Cohen looked around, using the same eyes he used in the Farminan-Messian War. Beside him stood Elizabeth – plump and beautiful, in a sequined blue dress. In her hands rested a wine bottle – presumably a gift for Lord Grey.

Cohen spotted the Macisikani ambassador quickly. He stepped up to Koryel and Backle. A small bow, “Your Excellency. What a pleasant surprise. Mister Backle. May I introduce my wife, Elizabeth.

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Macisikan
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Posts: 996
Founded: Apr 17, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Macisikan » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:51 am

Thank providence, Koryel thought at the interruption.

Farmina wrote:Cohen spotted the Macisikani ambassador quickly. He stepped up to Koryel and Backle. A small bow, “Your Excellency. What a pleasant surprise. Mister Backle. May I introduce my wife, Elizabeth.


“Mr President, a pleasure,” the Ambassador returned the bow, then bowed again to Elizabeth. “Sera Cohen, delighted to make your acquaintance,” he looked back to her husband, and inquired with a polite smile, “Mr President, are you well?”

Koryel assumed the President was aware enough of Macisikani etiquette to realise that the Ambassador had launched into a ritual; one asked after the health of the person, then their spouse, then their children, and so on, with the correct form being to answer and then reciprocate the question, until one person said that all of their family was well. Unchecked, it could go on for hours; Koryel was, more or less, smoothing over the fact that Grey was about to stop being fashionably late and start being downright tardy.
Please address your messages/threats/lies to:
The current cycle is: RKI:12ED

--FT Nations: Sir Ardri Trivkaal, HSM Vice-Minister for External Affairs
--Everyone else: Sir Conradin Nuchani, HSM Vice-Minister for Subluminal Affairs


Quick Overview | Full Factbook | Embassy Programme | Maintenance thread | The demonym is "Macisikani."
“You have taken my cute idea … and turned it into something cold and cruel.” –Solont
“Terrible experiments. Unethical behaviour. Have I introduced you to my friend Macisikan? He’s something of an expert.” –Sunset

User avatar
Farmina
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 194
Founded: Oct 02, 2004
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Farmina » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:52 pm

I am well, if a little taxed by these troubled times, Your Excellency,” said Cohen, “Thank you for asking. And how is your lady wife? I hear she has returned home...

As the Ambassador went to respond, the President became distant – he knew where the conversation went next. He glanced around the room – such a huge room, with just a handful of guests it seemed empty.

Liz saw the President's distraction. She knew his troubled mind. She intervened, “I’m also very well. And our daughters are very well too.” Liz didn’t mention of their son.

It was at that moment Lord Grey finally entered, flanked by two bodyguards. All at once, the room now seemed full. His presence was massive – between Koryel, Cohen and the Prince, you did not have enough flesh to make a single Tobias Grey. You could not miss him. Even when you were not looking, you could feel him in the room.

You could him imagine him descending marble stairs, or a grand spiral staircase in the middle of the room. Tobias probably would have – if Grey Manor had such a feature. Instead, he settled for walking in.

He moved slowly, supporting his immense weight on a walking stick. Cohen half-expected the stick to buckle. When one of his guards tried to help him – Grey gave a piercing look. Lord Grey needs no assistance.

My guests,” wheezed Grey, “It is so good to see you all. It has been too long. Too long.

You could taste the honey dripping from his words. Honey is sweet and simple and natural. But honey also comes in jars – stored away for when it is needed.

He gestured to the doorway he had just come through, “Please, the small dining room is this way.

Tobias Grey greeted his guests as they went past. Malcolm Prince was first up, his electric wheelchair giving him the speed to escape Professor Mayhew. Grey said something, Prince gave a strangled nod, then Lord Grey patted the Prince on the back. Prince proceeded into the dining room where an assigned seat awaited him.

His only power is that you believe he is powerful. If we stop believing, his power fails, thought Cohen, as he watched the other guests drift past the DRF’s elder statesman in no particular order.

Grey glanced at Cohen. The President stepped back, just a little. Hesitantly, Cohen gestured to the Ambassador, “After you.

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