Keeper of the Converters
- Feb 27, 2009
Alexios runs into the Senate hall, accompanied by Varangians who were more heavily armed than usual.
Senators! The Cult has struck again! My father is missing!
He had...my father had just been going for a walk during the break. I heard him shout suddenly and then go silent as if something had happened to him.
I looked over...and he was gone. His gun was lying on the ground, along with a small note.
He pulls out a piece of paper with Cyrillic script on it.
It reads as follows:
"To the incompetent and arrogant senators and your pitiful Empress with her harem of little Mexihcan boys:
Your dead god will not save you from the wrath of Chernobog. We warned you that there were twelve senators within your ranks serving the Black God. You did not heed our warnings. So, we gave you a better warning.
It was quite easy to steal your Minister of Security, as you call the Duke. That old buffoon never knew what hit him. By the time you read this, he will no longer be in your dying empire's borders.
Don't think about offering a monetary ransom; we have no use for your money. Don't worry, we won't sacrifice him to the Dark God...yet.
We offer the following terms in exchange for the life of your precious senator:
You will stop persecuting our cult and let us live in peace.
All investigations into our cult will cease immediately.
All members of the Favero and Doukas families (no, not the Imperial House, you traitors) will be stripped of their various titles and barred from public office.
The following will occur should you refuse to meet these terms or if you attempt to send in your army:
We shall trigger a war with Germany, Russia, Bavaria, Mexihco, Iraq, and Hedjaz...all of them at once.
The sleeper agents we have implanted in the Senate will kill all of you and your royal family.
The Ecumenical Patriarch will be assassinated.
We shall fund and lead separatist uprisings in all parts of your empire.
Of course, we shall sacrifice your Minister of Intelligence and Minister of Security to Chernobog.
Do we have a deal? Good.
What do we do, senators?
I shall mourn for the loss of poor Yevhen.
I hope that the war with Deccan went well. I heard so little of it from my home in Venice.
I can only hope that we have seen the last war between the UTA and Mexico for now. Their constant warring is quite exhausting.
We do not negotiate with cultists. I will have all the resources of the Ministry of Intelligence put towards finding the Duke. For the moment, I suggest that the Empress and Ecumenical Patriarch be protected at times by only the most loyal of guards. Their safety is paramount.
- Senator Michelangelo "the Artist" Favero
I am sorry for your loss, Empress. The entire empire mourns.
Bavaria's expansion is quite worrisome. Perhaps we should put those upstarts in their place once more.
The Suez Canal is truly the greatest wonder of our time. Now we can control the east-to-west trade, especially when we are victorious against Deccan.
Your loss is our, Senators' and citizens', loss aswell, Empress.
That note was written by some mad man. He's acting like a child giving us threats that can't be accomplished. You won't really believe that they have the power to make coalition that involves all those countries. Germany and Bavaria attacking us at the same time? I can't stop laughing. If one of them will be at war with us, the second one would attack our enemy as they are weaker, not us. Separatists in all parts of Empire? Considering that most of our citizens are Greeks I can't even think about what could make them turn against the Empire. I'm sorry to say that, but I think that Senator Doukas was prepared for such situation and he is more than anyone willing to sacrafice his life for safety of the Empire, and our Empire won't be safe if we will let those mad murderers live on. With a bit of luck we will be able to rescue Senator Doukas before they will do something terrible to him.
- Senator Alexios Damaskinos
As Alexios shook the hand of the senator who had just arrived, he noticed the hand of another senator dropping into his pocket, as if to draw something...a gun!
Shots rang out throughout the senate room. He charged at the gunman before he could target the Empress, but the gunman turned his gun on himself and shot himself in the head.
Outside, they heard numerous explosions coming from downtown.
"Kyrie eleison!" says Kyriakos Angelos angrily. "I'm getting too old for this! Firearms in the Senate, even after the Rus assault on the Chrysotriklinos?? If it wasn't such an affront to our dignities, I'd motion that all senators are searched before entering the palace!"
As the body of the gunman is taken away for analysis by the Ministry of Intelligence, Alexios speaks up.
Well, actually we did institute harsher security measures after the attack. Somehow this senator--I mean, cult sleeper agent--managed to sneak in an unauthorized firearm.
After what seemed far too long, members of the 1st Constantinople Guard arrived, escorting General Kanaris.
As we expected, the cult revealed their hand in this session. This has allowed us to track the traitors within the Scholai Palatinae and remove them. Your person and the city should now be secure.
Unfortunately, the cult leaders have escaped with the Senator. We thought we had them trapped in the harbor, but their ship exploded before we could board it, as well as several other ships that had been booby-trapped. And then suddenly they were taunting us from a ship outside the Great Chain. It is unfathomable how they could have slipped the noose.
Centurion Doukas, I task you with rescuing your father. Your century shall go with you. We've arranged passage on some merchant ships, Ukraine is sending a Frigate to meet you and continue the chase, and one of the Light Fleet's commerce raiders is sailing from the Canary Islands to carry you wherever you need. Orders have been telegraphed to every garrison in the Empire to help you to the end of their abilities. With the transatlantic cable, we were even able to send orders to Guayana, and to request assistance from the UTA and England. You can go anywhere in the world and receive assistance.
Your majesty, the world is growing ever smaller, and the cult will have fewer and fewer places to hide. They will not survive much longer.