Part 4: Karasov's Legacy
Chapter 4: Karasov's Legacy
There is goon participation in this chapter!
Few surviving records implicate Vasily Karasov as the man directly responsible for ordering the elimination of the Democracy Now Party, and even these records are more speculative than factual. While it's entirely possible that Karasov was, in fact, overseeing the DNP's destruction personally, a common question that is voiced is why Karasov couldn't do the same with all other factions?
This question is usually aimed at the successes of the Novistranan Coalition, especially regarding its successes in Ekaterine and Pugachev. Political scientists and historians at the time believed that Karasov was using a lot of clout and exposing his special forces far too strongly in this move, and he didn't have the same ability to do so again in such a systematic, nationwide level. Despite his desire to see other factions crushed before him, his past policies and maneuvers in the past ten years left him weakened and unpopular. It was the basic equivalent of a mad king ordering his subjects about while the invading forces destroyed his castle.
Nevertheless, the DNP's death emboldened him to further his grip on power. This coincided with the Novistranan Coalition branching forward and hiring a third man...
* * *
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Eleventh Entry: 19/02/1996
Josef and I have spent all of yesterday and today canvassing and scouting the city, respectively. Tresori's advice to find a third member for the Novistranan Coalition's inner circle was at the forefront of my mind. I used what pull I had with my associates in the factories and tenements to ask around for suitable candidates while I did the same, and results have been fruitful. Despite the fact that many of them are in the employ of other factions, the capture of Tarasov and other DNP members has shaken their faith quite a bit. If I can convince them that the Novistranan Coalition looks after its own, they will join me.
Karasov, despite butchering my Novistranan comrades, celebrates his birthday tomorrow with full fanfare and a presidential declaration here, in front of Ekaterine's Town Hall. Doubtless he will continue to revel in his ill-gotten riches and continue to bleed the proletariat dry while whipping them down into submission shortly thereafter.
"Birthday surprise", the Echo says... I must find some way to arm Josef and myself. If yesterday's events were any indication, the surprise will be a platoon of Alpha Squads systematically hunting us all down. I cannot risk sending anyone to the declaration. Security will be tight and anyone not associated with the media will likely be thrown in jail. I'll have to wait until the news hits tomorrow, but this doesn't mean I can just sit around. Josef will continue his canvassing and I will continue my investigations.
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive - Video of Vasily Karasov's Presidental Declaration: 20/02/1996
"Ladies and gentlemen of the Novistrana National Press Corps! Let me be the first to welcome you to this wonderful occasion, and to thank you for being able to witness it in person. Our President is now sixty years old, and I am told that a momentous event in the history of our nation shall be unveiled here in Ekaterine tonight! My fellow countrymen, the President of Novistrana, Vasily Karasov."
*The media crowd gives Karasov a standing ovation as he takes the podium.*
"Thank you! My fellow Novistranans, I stand here before you not only as your President, but as but one citizen of Novistrana. This shall be brief, but as always, of great importance. Before I give my nation-wide declaration, I wish to take a moment to address the matter of my statements yesterday regarding the banning of other political factions."
"There are many subversive, and now illegal, elements in our society that claim I had something to do with the arrests and the deaths of many leaders of the Democracy Now Party. I wish to make it clear, in the home city of the ex-faction, that the only involvement I had with the matter was to enforce the law passed by Parliament. Namely, that factions that ignored the new regulations would face the consequences of treason and attempting to undermine the fabric of our nation."
"I stand here tonight to make it known that, while I admire the grit and the will of Novistranans everywhere, I will not stand for attempts at domestic terrorism. Our nation is not the playground of petty factions to carve and divide amongst themselves as if it were some kind of giant cake. We are not a people to be set against ourselves. We are Novistranans, and we shall stand together against anyone, fellow countryman or foreign entity, that tries to pry us apart."
"That said, I have a great announcement to make regarding my role as Novistrana's President. Today is my birthday and my government has named me President for life. Such a great gift will be used for the good of all Novistranans, however, I will not tolerate opposition or insurgence against my party. I therefore declare that tomorrow be a day of festivities to celebrate this wondrous gift, and to celebrate the continued success and sovereignty of Novistrana! God bless Novistrana! God bless all Novistranans!"
*The media crowd gives Karasov a standing ovation as he leaves the podium, and remain clapping even as he enters his limousine.*
* * *
"Piotr, Piotr! Wake up!" Nasarov was shaking Prokofiev awake from the couch, clutching the morning edition of the Ekaterine Echo.
"What... What? What's the matter, Josef?" Prokofiev muttered, still half asleep. He sat up on the small couch of their faction headquarters, a double-sized apartment suitable for the operations of three office workers. The apartment building was located just across Nasarov's own home.
"Look at today's news!" Nasarov shoved the newspaper under Prokofiev's nose, clearly agitated. "We are banned, can you believe it? We are banned!"
"That... that heartless, spineless fuck!" Prokofiev snapped after reading the initial paragraphs and snatched the paper in a rage. "Declaring himself President for Life as if it was a good thing? After murdering so many of our comrades, pinning us to the wall with his secret police, enslaving us so he can grow fat and wealthy in his little castle in Berezina, and telling us that we cannot think for ourselves, now he tells us that we should be fucking glad he's there to protect us?"
"Comrade, please calm down," Nasarov pleaded with concern, laying a hand on Prokofiev's shoulder. He'd never seen his friend this enraged. "There may be someone lis-"
"I don't give a rat's ass if anyone is listening!" Prokofiev shouted at his second, shoving the calming arm aside and accidentally punching the wall, easily making a hole on the weak plaster. "Kasarov is dead, do you hear me? Dead! I'll kill him myself if I have to and I'll-"
Nasarov threw himself without warning at Prokofiev, attempting to shut him up before anyone heard his tirade and called the secret police. The two men rolled on the ground in a scuffle, and while Nasarov was strong and experienced in a brawl, Prokofiev's anger and his own youthful musculature made him just as strong. After about twenty seconds of fighting between them, Nasarov managed to pin Prokofiev's arms to the ground. Prokofiev attempted to break free and use his legs to kick or tug his lieutenant off of him, but to no avail. A few moments later, he resigned, relaxing and letting rage give way to tears.
"It's all right, comrade, it's all right," Nasarov muttered callously as he got off Prokofiev, unsure of what to do. Prokofiev sat up and hugged his old friend, heaving a few sobs.
"He has no right, no right," Prokofiev sighed as he tried to bring himself under control. "That man has no right to do this to me, to my paren... to Novistrana... I..."
"No, he doesn't," agreed Nasarov, patting his friend on the back, pretending he didn't notice the slip. He disengaged from the hug and held Prokofiev by his shoulders. "And we're going to be the ones who tell him that."
"It can't just be us, Josef," Prokofiev said, drying his eyes, calming his rage and pent-up grief. Standing up and helping Josef to his feet, he continued, "it's not enough for two union men to guide a movement of tens of thousands different minds. Not when there are so many willing to stab us in the back for a few roubles."
"So what do we do?" Nasarov asked, understanding that Prokofiev was now back to his old self, planning and calculating. Despite his bouts of violence and the outburst just now, Nasarov knew very well that Prokofiev was, in his own way, a genius.
"Tresori said we ought to find someone who can help us by attacking other factions, so I'll need to hire a second lieutenant to work on our level. I hate to admit this to myself, but all things considered, we may have to overlook a difference in ideology if it means securing the means to our revolution."
"What are you saying?" Nasarov inquired, narrowing his eyes. "Are you going to get someone on board who hates what we stand for?"
"No, I'll make sure they don't interfere with our plans for the workers," Prokofiev asserted, but deep down, he was troubled.
He had lost control of himself at a mere provocation from Karasov, and one done so dispassionately and distantly. Could a leader who carried his sheer hatred on his sleeve be rational and do what was best for the nation? Would he, in his quest to topple a nemesis, sell out his ideals and change his own nature to see it through? The answer to this was unknown to Prokofiev, and it terrified him. He did not want to trouble Josef with this, but it would be best if he recorded the thought in his diary. It would be a reminder that, no matter what he did and promised, he was still human, and like all humans, subject to change.
"Piotr?" Nasarov asked, seeing his friend deep in thought and with a concentrating, furrowed brow.
"Hmm? Oh, I'm sorry, Josef," Prokofiev started. He hadn't meant to show hesitation in front of his friend, but Nasarov seemed not to notice. "I was just thinking."
"Right," Nasarov said, his eyes frowning slightly more in concern than suspicion. "I'll go do my round of canvassing, then. Should I expect to meet a new face here when I come back at night?"
"Maybe, if I can convince him to join us," Prokofiev nodded. "I'll have to take a look at the dossiers I've prepared."
"Then I'll catch you in time for dinner, comrade. You'll buy the vodka this time, yes?" Nasarov grinned, taking the old clipboard on the table.
"I'll stop by the Commissar's and get some chicken too," Prokofiev laughed as he saw his friend out. "Don't worry about me, comrade. I'll see that our coalition grows strong enough to destroy Karasov. Believe in me."
"I always have, friend," Nasarov nodded once, and closed the door behind him.
"Now then," Prokofiev muttered to himself as he walked to the filing cabinet containing his scouting files. "Let's see who we have here..."
* * *
Piotr has finally come to terms that ideological purity may not be enough to carry the Novistranan Coalition, nor will simply worrying about the unions be enough to get support out of the citizens of Ekaterine. While he does not like it, he may have to hire someone of a different ideological slant than him. Your task is to vote on three characters of your choice, indicating who you prefer the most. There is no restriction on ideology, so vote on whoever you want. If the top character voted on does not join our faction (i.e. if I fail the headhunt), I will move on to the second most voted-on character, and so forth until I run out of characters to choose from, in which case I suck and should quit playing this game. In the unlikely event of a tie, the character who was most preferred overall gets priority.
Please realize that we do have a "Sack Member" command if we want to fire one of our inner circle members. Keep this in mind when we up our inner circle to four members in Ekaterine . When the inner circle is maxed out, every couple of updates I may offer the option to either keep our inner circle as it is, or fire a member and hire another in his place. Likewise, not all of these recruits are neutral. Some work for other factions, and it will piss them off if we steal them away!
Here are your choices...
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Pev Markov: Criminal
Pev had a hard upbringing in the state orphanages. Years of abuse and institutionalization have made him the hardened character he is today. Quick-witted and agile, he can more than hold his own in a fight.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Nestor Kamenski: Criminal
Nestor is a guard at the Ekaterine penal facility; a job that not only keeps him in close contact with the criminal fraternity, but also gives him the perfect environment for sharpening his violent and sadistic methods.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Konrad Belov: Union
A former police officer, Konrad Belov is a thoroughly corrupt individual. Sacked for brutality and a variety of protection rackets, he still has many friends in the job. Belov now leads the local Police Officers Union.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Semyon Titov: Politician
Semyon is a local politician and a recently retired farmer. He is new to the politics game and is just finding his feet at the grassroots level.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Bogdan Raczinsky: Academic
Bogdan Raczinski has quite a reputation around Ekaterine, mostly for being a nuisance. When he isn't studying he can be found somewhere in town, rabble-rousing for one cause or another.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Fr. Aloysha Karamozovv: Priest
Aloysha is a good man; in spirit, in humanity, in action. His intention is always to find a path to bettering the lot of his community. It is unusual to find one with this degree of inner moral illumination in so corrupt a nation.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Oleg Baturin: Priest
Oleg is a local cleric who busies himself with charitable concerns in his run down, local neighborhood. He is usually to be found handing out soup to the impoverished, or collecting old and unwanted shoes and clothing.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Boris Filatov: Business
Filatov is the son of a millionaire. A tearaway and a bit of a playboy, his exploits are only kept in check by the fact that his wealth is drip fed to him via a trust fund. This young man has yet to find anything with which to occupy himself; with a little direction he could be very useful.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Ivan Prochnow: Business
Prochnow is a local slum landlord and all round nasty piece of work. He owns vast quantities of slum housing and a number of commercial properties that he uses to run various dodgy enterprises.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Pavel Pavlov: Business
Pavel is a lifelong church-goer, and a generous one too. Over the years he has contributed considerable financial funds to local church causes.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Moriz Kalmakov: Media
Moriz is a newly graduated journalist. A fine and upstanding young man, he has returned to his home town to start his career. Moriz is staunchly conservative and never drinks. He is very popular amongst the well-to-do residents of Ekaterine who read his columns regularly.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Eduard Berezin: Media
Eduard is an enthusiastic young journalist, he has the veracious appetite for investigation that will doubtless make him very successful in his chosen career. He is just looking for that one big break.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Ilyin Radetsky: Celebrity
Retired FC Pallasovka football ace, Radetsky now coaches for his local team. His ambition is to set up a western style academy to nurture the next generation of Novistranan football stars.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Yuri 'Biggie-K' Kalinin: Celebrity
Yuri Kalinin is the new star of the Novistranan hit-soap Siberia Street. He is also looking to break into pop music with his Novistranan rap and hip-hop band, Biggie-K & The Mean Streets. He still lives with his mum in Ekaterine.