Part 28: Pugachev's Freedom
Chapter 28: Pugachev's Freedom
There is goon participation in this chapter!
The destruction of the Red Mafiya elevated Piotr Prokofiev and the Novistranan Coalition to the level of heroes of the city, if not the nation. Combined with the disbanding of the New Peace Party and Josef Nasarov serving the Coalition once again, Pugachev was as good as theirs. To celebrate his enormous surge in popularity and recognize his services to the city, Grigorii Antonov decided to give Piotr Prokofiev the highest honor a citizen of Novistrana could strive for, the Freedom of the City.
The title was made to reflect an individual's utter commitment to Novistrana and the town in question. Given that Prokofiev had started a popular, wide-reaching charity trust and removed one of the most nefarious crime syndicates to plague Pugachev, the honor was arguably well-deserved. The ceremony was overseen by Mayor Antonov himself, and was televised across Pugachev and any cities that decided to risk giving airtime to an outspoken revolutionary.
With all of Pugachev supporting them, the Novistranan Coalition was ready to move to Berezina and continue their path to revolution. Just in like in Ekaterine, Prokofiev would have to decide on who to leave behind...
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The Novistranan National Archive - Video of Pugachev's Freedom of the City Ceremony for Piotr Prokofiev: 07/04/1996
*The video begins with a reporter talking on his earpiece.*
"Hold on, hold on, what's that? ... You aren't in position yet? Well get in position! We start the recording in one minute! I swear, I'm always working with amateurs."
"Hey, uh... Gradinko? I think we're live."
"We're LIVE? Why the hell didn't you say-!"
*The reporter clears his throat.*
"Welcome back to NNN, your fair and balanced news network. I am Gradinko Koppelov, and today, we are outside of the Pugachev City Hall, where a Freedom of the City ceremony is being held for an underground revolutionary for his services in destroying the crime syndicate known as the Red Mafiya. We go live to the scene with Sasha Serov."
*Cut to celebrations, shots of the crowd cheering wildly.*
"Yes, this is a momentous occasion for Pugachev and Piotr Prokofiev, leader of the Novistranan Coalition, an Ekaterine-based underground faction. The energy with the crowd is sizzling and electric, and all are waiting for both newly-selected Mayor Antonov's speech with Prokofiev. And here is an aide to the mayor, opening the ceremony!"
"Welcome, citizens of Pugachev!"
*The crowd cheers.*
"Welcome to this glorious occasion where our new mayor, Grigorii Antonov, recognizes the efforts of Piotr Prokofiev, a great man in many ways! The Freedom of the City is an award that only the most-valued of Novistranans obtain in recognition of their services for their city. Here in Pugachev, we have great reason to reward Piotr Prokofiev with such honors, for all his services in dealing with the Red Mafiya and starting a fine charity! The Office of the Mayor wishes to congratulate Prokofiev for all his work!"
*The crowd cheers.*
"Thank you, thank you all! It warms my heart to see so many supporters of the Novistranan Coalition and people that live better now that the Red Mafiya is a thing of the past!"
*The crowd cheers.*
"I came to Pugachev with the goal of changing things for the better, as I had done in my home town of Ekaterine! And today, you see the fruits of the Coalition's efforts: a strong charity trust, an united people, and the end of Pugachev's dark days!"
*The crowd cheers.*
"Today, I recognize the city's great gesture and thanks for the work I have done, but this is not a reward for one man, this is a reward for all Novistranans who seek to change their country for the better!"
*The crowd cheers.*
"I accept this reward, but only because it is the will of the people that I receive it! They have shown the will to survive against all odds, and because of that, I can stand here today and take this magnificent gesture of appreciation for all who have supported me and the Coalition!"
*The crowd cheers loudly and continuously as Mayor Antonov shows off the key and offers it to Prokofiev. Prokofiev looks ecstatic. A second aide takes the podium for a moment.*
"With this ceremonial passing of the Key of Pugachev, Mr. Prokofiev has received the Freedom of the City!"
*Prokofiev poses with the mayor and the key for photos, then taps the mayor's cheek appreciatively as the crowd cheers loudly.*
*Mayor Antonov waves to the crowd and walks off the stage to a nearby tent.*
"This is for Ekaterine's echo and Pugachev's freedom!"
*The crowd cheers wildly as Prokofiev and the mayor's aide walk offstage and into the same tent.*
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Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-fourth Entry: 07/04/1996
The ceremony today was wonderful for publicity and for solidifying our support here with legitimate backing from the government. In an ironic twist of fate, I was told that the Red Mafiya was destroyed by a Presidential Alpha Squad, this time certainly overseen by Karasov himself. I don't know what to think of that, but it certainly is a relief that the Mafiya is gone permanently.
The "Freedom of the City" award... The big golden key was taken away from me after the ceremony, and I was handed a smaller one as a little award to keep. Antonov and his advisers explained to me how I had access to numerous buildings in Pugachev as a distinguished guest of honor, but then they began to discuss politics regarding my works here in Pugachev. I told them I wanted to remain as neutral as possible with the city government's dealings, but it seems that our support network here is entirely on our side. If I am to leave for Berezina, whoever I leave behind will handle the charity trust as well as liaising with Antonov's government. It may be a job for two of my lieutenants, not just one. I need to speak to them about this.
* * *
: Hah, man, we watched the ceremony from here. It was awesome!
: Sir, you know how to give a speech, and it shows.
: All right, all right, enough of that, everyone. I didn't call you here for you to flatter me.
: How can we help you, Mr. Prokofiev?
: Gentlemen, Karasov destroyed the Red Mafiya, and that shows he is aware of our activities. Sticking around here any longer could be bad for us, and we've accomplished all we needed to here.
: Onward to Berezina, then?
: Onward, Josef. But we can't all go. I need to leave people behind as a support cell. I'm here today to hear and see what you all have to think about moving on... or staying behind.
: Sir, respectfully, I wish to follow you to Berezina. Ivan Aleksasheko's army is no joke, and you'll need a man like me to counter him. If you think I'm better left here, though, I'll hold down the fort.
: Piotr, I've made a mistake in leaving you. If you want me to stay here, I understand, but I want to prove I am still on your side. Take me with you.
: Mr. Prokofiev, I am willing to follow you to the end. If you would rather I remained here to oversee the charity and continue to preach the good word of God and of our Coalition, I will not complain, of course.
: Look, man, you may need me to stay here and keep an eye on the PIT and the government for ya. Organized Anarchy ain't dead yet. Still... the main chapter of Organized Anarchy is located in Berezina. If you need my help there, I'll come with ya.
: You all never make it easy to decide, do you? I'll have an answer for you tonight. Finish your work here and come back to headquarters as soon as possible, as we leave tomorrow afternoon.
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Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-fifth Entry: 07/04/1996
As I expected, everyone is willing to stay or go, depending on my say-so. Like in Ekaterine, I must consider this with care. Each of my trusted inner circle members is equally talented, with some variations here and there, but they are all loyal and will bring in much-needed resources for us in Berezina. Whoever follows me will further hone their skills there, and their presence will be crucial in determining my path.
According to Tresori, Berezina has been shaken up by Karasov's rule lately, and there are plenty of people that could be pressed into our service. However, this is our most dangerous hour. I have to be very careful about who I allow in our inner circle, lest somehow we destroy ourselves in our quest for revolution.
* * *
Pugachev is ours, comrades! Our next destination, the game's third and final city: Berezina, where we shall take the fight to the President himself. Like in Ekaterine, Piotr needs to leave someone behind to act as our support cell and supply us with resources each day. The special thing about Pugachev is that we have the option of leaving behind TWO party members instead of just one, thus doubling our bonus resources but having to sacrifice a second inner circle member to oversee our operations in Pugachev.
You have two tasks. The first is to decide whether we leave behind one or two lieutenants. Leaving behind one gives us about ~40-50 resources of each, but leaving behind two nets us ~80-100. I'd like to think more in narrative than in bonuses, but it's something to consider for gameplay purposes and extra characters to introduce and interact. So vote to leave behind...
One lieutenant: Leave behind just one man to supervise Pugachev, taking more of our core inner circle to Berezina.
Two lieutenants: Leave behind two men to maximize our operations, opening an extra space in our inner circle for potential Berezina candidates.
Now, your second task is to choose which lieutenant(s) will stay behind in Pugachev. Again, he or they will NOT return to our party for the rest of the game. Of course, we will have a lot of possible new allies to replace them in Berezina, and we get a free Academic-class character right when we arrive. Here's our current roster...
Josef Nasarov, our unionizer blood brother and lifelong comrade that has rejoined us.
Oleg Baturin, our saintly priest whose patience and goodwill has won the hearts of many.
Boris Churnyeav, our tough-as-nails army vet who's ready for duty in the revolution.
Evgeney Federov, our inexperienced but well-meaning student activist, and the new guy from Organized Anarchy. This picture is missing a star on Investigate, since he leveled up after I made this JPEG.
And in case anyone is wondering, here are Piotr Prokofiev's stats. No, he can't be left behind.
Again, I ran Resolve-boosing actions, so ignore the bright-green bars. Choose wisely...