Part 58: Bonus Chapter 9: Alternate Ending - Martial Law
Bonus Chapter 9: Alternate Ending - Martial Law
What happened on May 4th, 1996 was the enactment of martial law all over Novistrana, tailored by Piotr Prokofiev and the Novistranan Coalition to suppress Vasily Karasov's movements and clamp down on all dissenting activity in an emergency maneuver. Hiding the truth of the rouble's worthlessness would keep the nation together while they could desperately fix it behind the scenes. Many of the Coalition's supporters feared the decision, however, as a military coup could have disastrous consequences for liberty.
Unable to mobilize the military alone, Prokofiev had to once again turn to Ivan Alexashenko, the war hero, for assistance. Heavy-handed and liberal use of the military would be necessary to disable Karasov's palace. If Alexashenko's charisma could lead his units to rebellion, then it could spark a chain reaction within the ranks and cause everyone else to follow along too.
Of course, repealing martial law after its imposition was a bit like trying to get water back in a bottle after it spilled. Alexashenko would have unparalleled power if the rest of the army followed his steps, and so men like Boris Churnyeav and Vikenti Anisimov would need to pull all strings possible to prevent that...
* * *
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-sixty-eighth Entry: 03/05/1996
We can't reveal the truth of our economy. As much as it pains me to admit it, Anisimov and Churnyeav are right. The nation would tear itself in half if we were to pursue that path, and I'm not sure we could, alone, prevent the damage from escalating. The rest of the world would watch as we burned to the ground, and who would be willing to help us that didn't have ulterior motives in mind?
No. We must hide the truth and fix it from the shadows. As for Karasov, we need to use what we have: a vast and unhappy army. The working-class is my power base, and who is more patriotic than the men and women in uniform? The laborer and the soldier are the hammer and the sickle. Together, they can achieve great things.
It's time to seize the army and turn their weapons back against their master, the dictator Karasov. This will be the final step.
* * *
"Sir!" saluted Churnyeav, seeing the visionary return to the main room. "What are your orders?"
"We are going to impose martial law," announced Prokofiev, his face unreadable. "The military, we can control. The fallout from destroying the economy, we cannot."
"The man speaks sense," nodded Anisimov in clear relief. "Covering up the truth means we can fix it before anyone notices anything wrong. We can only control money to an extent, but we can fully control the people."
"I don't know about that," cautioned Nasarov, looking at Prokofiev and feeling a knot of apprehension tighten in his belly. "Everyone's different. We don't all believe in the same thing."
"And that's why we've just made the wrong decision," Vilnov said, angrily slamming his wizened fist on the table. "Are we going to force everyone to think the same, speak the same, and look the same despite their individuality?"
"This is indeed a slippery slope," Nazerov said, anxiousy wringing his hands. "Political power can't come from the barrel of a gun. What are we going to do with Parliament and the courts?"
"We will have to worry about that while we paralyze Karasov," answered Prokofiev. "Have an emergency broadcast air to the nation through the National Broadcasting Building, then impose a media blackout. I'll contact Alexashenko and the armory to begin an immediate crackdown here in Berezina. Following that, we start one throughout the nation."
"And what of the people, Piotr?" demanded Vilnov, clearly hurt by his student's decision. "How can we look them in the eye again and say we stand for democracy?"
"We'll have to put our minds to the task at hand, Tresori, and address the people later," growled Prokofiev, his heart turning to stone. "Overthrowing Karasov is our first priority, but we can answer to the people later. Those with the will survive. We will use the military to subvert his rule and bring the people freedom from his tyranny!"
The table, with the exception of Vilnov, agreed with grim cheers.
* * *
: I hear you loud and clear, kiddo.
: Looks like I didn't need the UN after all, but I do need you.
: What is it?
: Your duty to the nation is about to get biblical.
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive - Video Compilation of Martial Law Footage: 04/05/1996
*NNN logo pops on-screen, then cut to footage of martial law.*
"This is NNN, the Novistranan News Network. Today, shockwaves have rumbled throughout the nation after martial law was declared by Piotr Prokofiev of the Novistranan Coalition! The rogue general Ivan Alexashenko has taken a number of regiments in Berezina and set up numerous checkpoints and curfews throughout the city, brutally removing a number of pro-Karasov supporters from their homes and shipping them to the Secret Police Headquarters.
"The aftereffects of the martial law have rippled through other cities in Novistrana as regiments loyal to Alexashenko or Prokofiev have been ordered to do the same, ruthlessly crushing dissent and dispersing protests at this sudden squashing of human rights and basic freedoms. Prokofiev himself has declared that the martial law is for the people's protection and to remove Karasov from power, but he has demanded that the army be careful in its enforcement."
*Cut to footage of media poster and Prokofiev exiting limousine near the armory.*
"A massive media campaign by the Novistranan Coalition was unveiled earlier today to get as many supporters on board their plans for freedom. Piotr Prokofiev simultaneously planned a meeting with Major Makar Karimov outside of the Berezina Armory to discuss further details regarding the military takeover of the city. Major Karimov is thought to be a known associate of Boris Churnyeav, the new head of the Secret Police."
"However, when they realized that our news crew was recording them, they took their discussion into the armory and barred us from asking questions about the future."
*Cut to Maxim Nazerov rally in the Chersonesus Estate.*
"The Novistranan Coalition has kicked into full gear as they have forced Parliament to declare a state of emergency by using Maxim Nazerov, a well-known member of Parliament, to push the bill through with a minimum amount of votes. Quorum was barely reached as many Parliament members loyal to Karasov were detained or arrested in the military checkpoints around the square. Maxim Nazerov himself took to the streets after the emergency session and began to proclaim that Novistrana was preparing to enter a new era."
*Cut to soldiers marching out of the armory.*
"This is the final footage our news crew in the Chersonesus Estate managed to capture before they were detained due to filming confidential information. Our offices received a notice from the army accusing us of attempting to undermine national security, and so we cannot report on further developments around the nation until we receive word from Prokofiev himself."
"This has been the Novistranan News Network reporting, your fair and balanced station. Please do not adjust your TV set."
* * *
"Churbanov! They just set up three checkpoints leading to the casino! This is going to cripple my business!"
"Oleg, Oleg, Oleg. Don't worry about it. I bet this is old Piotr's doing."
"What the hell is he doing?"
"I think he's making his move on that old fart Karasov at last. Let's get a good bottle of vodka and watch the show, eh?"
* * *
"Mr. Federov, what happened?"
"I'll... I'll be fine, Father. Looks like them soldiers don't like backtalk or passive protestin'."
"But you're bleeding! Oh dear, hold still while I get the first aid kit."
"'Preciate it... Ow! Careful with the mercurochrome, man!"
"This can't be Prokofiev's doing, can it?"
"I think it just might be, Father. Karasov didn't have no pull with these guys."
"Then what's he planning?"
"I'm thinking he just decided to take Karasov out by any means necessary."
"Ah, Mr. Prokofiev, is this really the way? I pray you haven't doomed us all."
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive - CIA Agent CENSORED 's Daily Report to Langley: 04/05/1996
Aw, fuck. Prokofiev decided to take up the sword and he's just mobilized the army. CENSORED and I are unable to meet. Military checkpoints and barriers are being erected everywhere, but it seems geared more to preventing anyone loyal to Karasov doing anything.
I'm requesting immediate advice. What do the CENSORED have to say about this? It may be something for the President himself to consider. I think we're witnessing a new dictatorship in the making here, but Prokofiev doesn't fit the profile and what we gathered on him. Could he have just decided to drop everything and go for the gold?
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - A CIA Agent's Farewell: 04/05/1996
I should have known your thirst for power would have meant taking your entire nation under your control. I was entertaining the thought you were different from other revolutionaries, that perhaps you really meant what you said about bringing Karasov down to free your country...
I was wrong. I don't always admit it, but this time I will. Looks like you are going all-out in your little revolution. I won't contact you anymore. Not as a possible friend, anyway.
~A little bird from the West.
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - The Russian Federal Security Service's Congratulations: 04/05/1996
To Piotr Prokofiev, Head of the Novistranan Coalition,
The Russian Federation is impressed with what you have managed to do with your small nation in such a short amount of time, and we extend you our most heartfelt congratulations. We of the Federal Security Service are happy to see that one of our old "friends", Vasily Karasov, is ready to be removed from power by your hand.
We know you will succeed in your revolution. Contrary to what some may think, we have no interest in re-annexing your nation or your territory. These are troubled times for all of us, and we must all have friends of some sort or another, don't you agree?
Mikhail Ivanovich Barsukov
Director of the Federal Security Service
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - The Chinese Ministry of State Security's Warmth: 04/05/1996
To Piotr Prokofiev of the Novistranan Coalition,
We of the Ministry of State Security of the People's Republic of China, in cooperation with the State Council, believe you have made a wise decision in overthrowing that fool Vasily Karasov. We are most impressed with your willingness to use your resources at hand, and we applaud your conviction to communism by backing it with force of arms.
Should you manage to take control of Novistrana, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always looking for new friends and warm neighbors, especially with a new millenium around the corner.
Minister of State Security
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-seventy-first Entry: 04/05/1996
Alexashenko's rebel army has performed beautifully. It was almost surgical in precision: Karasov's strongest points were targeted and checkpoints were raised according to Secret Police records showing where Karasov's toadies lived. I don't relish having to catch innocent people in the net or muzzle the media, but it's a necessity to make sure Karasov can't wriggle out of this one.
It looks like the West has given up trying to play an angle with us. My decision to follow a martial bent has apparently given them a sour taste in having to deal with a possible future dictator... but that won't happen. I'm sure they would be cynical and would have changed their minds eventually. Their history with nations like Chile prove as much.
Oddly enough, it looks like my decision to overthrow Karasov so strongly raised the East's awareness of our struggles. I'm sure that the Russian FSB and the Chinese MSS were following along like the CIA, but they probably didn't think we would succeed. Now that our will to survive has rung so strongly throughout the nation, they are hearing the melody of new beginnings. Maybe that was a flawed metaphor: the point is that they want to be my friends. I can accept that. God knows Karasov has left Novistrana an island in the middle of the continent.
But my more peaceful lieutenants are getting cold feet at what's been happening, Tresori the worst of all. He looks... deflated. Like all we've done was for naught. I tried to explain to him that this is only temporary, but he refused to talk to me. I fear that he's seen something horrible in his mind's eye, and he can't break from it. Nazerov is also antsy, worried about the future of the political institutions of Novistrana.
Churnyeav is the only one who is really excited about my decision, and is quickly and efficiently acting as both Chief of the Secret Police and armchair general of the army. Seeing as he'll probably become Commander-in-Chief after the revolution, this is as good practice as any. I do wish he'd stop demanding everyone else call him "sir", though.
Anisimov's only emotion right now seems to be one of relief at us keeping the rouble's worthlessness under wraps, and he's doing what he can to prop it up before it explodes in his face. He also warned me that Karasov knows the rouble is worthless, so he's prepping false documents to prove him wrong. I hope they'll hold should some nosy analysts raise objections. The worst possible situation would be for us to hold martial law and then have the country fall apart under our feet.
Lastly, Josef is strangely neutral about the entire ordeal. He doesn't like having to rely on the force of the army to hold the proletariat's revolution, but we can't always get what we want. He promised me that he'll stay by my side no matter what happens. Maybe he's still feeling guilty about what happened in Pugachev? Regardless, we've made our decisions. Now, all that we have to do is work a new constitution and deal with Alexashenko before he becomes a problem.
The Novistranan National Archive - Pugachev Post Satirical News Column by Felix Lavanov: 05/05/1996
THE PARTING ON THE LEFT IS NOW PARTING ON THE RIGHT
I think, sometimes, we were denied the pleasures of listening to some Western music under Karasov's rule, and while we were still a part of the Soviet Union. Sure, it would have meant having to brave New Wave or disco music, but we can't always have nice things, now can we? Some music, though, is surprisingly revolutionary in nature, and others coincidentally highlight the failure of revolution.
Why am I being so oddly honest about all this and talking about Western tastes? Because our current taskmasters-that-be have decided to pull the plug on a revolution of the people and go straight for the guns. Not that I am faulting them for picking the easy way into power, mind. Guns are surprisingly light to carry, while carrying around the average Novistranan means having to put up with their bellyaching about unions and the Secret Police.
I don't think our planned emperor has his wardrobe picked out, either. He may just be streaking into the Presidential palace naked. Here's a tip, Mr. Prokofiev: maybe you can hide your manhood with a little red book from this Chinese guy I happen to know? You've sullied the dignity of your movement by deciding to be Karasov two-point-oh. Might as well preserve what little dignity you have as well as the dignity of that majestic throne you are going to inherit.
Sometimes I worry about the West or the Russians trying to take bites out of Novistrana when we aren't looking. I shudder that someday we might lose our sovereignty. And then this kind of stuff happens, and I think that perhaps it would be for the best.
But don't worry, Novistrana! This is of course but a momentary destruction of our freedoms and our liberties, and as soon as everyone is nice and settled into the trappings of Eurasia, we'll be given power again. We just need to wait until Hell freezes over. Clearly, we won't get fooled again.
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-seventy-third Entry: 06/05/1996
Alexashenko has set about closing down the city with wonderful efficiency. This will prevent any remaining members of Karasov's government from acting against us. We have severed all phone lines and removed any possibility of satellite communications.
The people of Berezina are safe in their houses under curfew. Karasov is isolated and cannot call for help. He has a small number of elite guards with him in the palace complex, but they present no real threat. If I bend my will to it, Karasov could be dead before the week is out.
But... should I kill him? The man is a murderer and a tyrant, but if I were to take out my frustrations and Novistrana's wrath on him so thoroughly, I may be only replacing the dictator rather than removing him. Perhaps I ought to imprison Karasov or give him a trial rather than taking him out in such a move...? It's something I'll ponder.
As for Alexashenko, the man worries me. With but a word he can mobilize the army even with the armory under our control. His own faction is completely abandoned, but he commands respect and has built a cult of personality around him. If we continue to do business with this snake, we'll have to sever his head before he decides to bite us and kill us all with his fanatical followers.
It would also be a bad idea to maintain martial law. I must rescind it as soon as possible and cut all of our ties to Alexashenko. When that is done, Novistrana will be truly free. I must speak to my inner circle about this.
* * *
: I'm glad you could all make it, comrades.
: Sir, how are you liking our work? Alexashenko may be a scumbag, but with me and him working together, check out the results we've got!
: It's quite surprising, to be sure. I would have expected you to bungle it up partway and end up getting us shot.
: I ain't rising to your shit, not today! I'm feeling good!
: Maybe you, Churnyeav, but this is a travesty!
: Now don't you start...
: I did not sign up to see what little remaining freedom we had under Karasov get crushed by jackbooted thugs!
: Aw, Mr. Vilnov, it hasn't been that bad...
: It's the principle of the matter, damn it! We are meant to be seen as compassionate liberators, not oppressors of the people!
: But Piotr's not like Karasov! The man doesn't make the dictatorship!
: Maybe not, but in case you've forgotten, we aren't in full control of the army here! All it takes is one little tweak in that pinhead Alexashenko's brain and he may try to seize power from under our noses.
: We're here to talk about this today, Tresori.
: Then let's hear it. What are we going to do about Parliament and the courts?
: Tresori, Nazerov... You're both right. We can't let Alexashenko or this martial law go on for much longer. We'll rescind it as soon as Karasov is ousted from the palace.
: Sir, might I propose we just rush in there and put down anything that moves?
: For a soldier, your head's not that good for tactics, is it?
: Fuck you.
: Boris, we go in with guns blazing, and we're going to lose a lot of support.
: Bah! Any support we'd lose wasn't going to be worth having anyway!
: No. If we attack Karasov like that now, we'll be opening ourselves to retaliation. We need all the support we can get before moving in... permanently.
: I'll rope in Parliament to get them to pass an emergency edict of some sort. Impeachment or something. Karasov may be a dictator, but in the books, he's President.
: The more official we make it, the better. I'd rather not taint our future relations with the world with a martial reputation.
: And yet, we still managed to get China and Russia to open their hearts to us when we put our foot down. And with open hearts come open markets...
: That's today, but tomorrow is another day. Times change, and we can't afford to leave any weaknesses.
: Okay, the part about removing martial law I can understand... but how are we gonna do that if we have to deal with Alexashenko?
: We could always send an Alpha Squad to-
: But that way we could-
: Will you stop inter-
: No. Churnyeav, I don't think you understand our situation at this point, or what killing Alexashenko would accomplish.
: It would remove him from the equation!
: And it would also paint a big target on our backs. The military worships the man, as I'm sure you know. What do you think would happen if he were to die in any way?
: The old man is right, Boris. I like your way of thinking, but we'd just be screwing ourselves if we were to do that.
: How about we just drag his name through the mud, then?
: A much better idea. Alexashenko thrives on his reputation. If we were to seize his smuggling ties and reveal what he's been doing after Karasov is out of power, we could defuse the situation.
: And if that doesn't work?
: ...Then do what you must.
: Tresori, we must do what we can to bring about a new Novistrana, even if it means removing a man like Alexashenko so he doesn't cause any problems.
: Well... I...
: Don't worry about it, gramps. If your words don't bring him down, you can bet my men will.
: Then it's a plan. Comrades, do what you can to maintain support and keep the people calm. Karasov will be removed from power very soon, and we'll need to plan a new constitution before he's out of office.
* * *
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-eighty-fourth Entry: 09/05/1996
Everything is ready for the transfer of power. The nation is looking to see what happens to Karasov. I have allowed the NNN to record the final moment of our triumph: the storming of Karasov's palace complex.
I have managed to tone down Alexashenko's influence with Major Karimov's help. While I have to maintain an illusion of alliance, he is an active enemy of our plans. Parliament has been presented with the working constitution we have established, and have accepted my terms as ruling President after Karasov is overthrown. They have given me official authority to take down Karasov in any way possible. The UN and the West have washed their hands of us, so only thing that's left is to maintain good relations with our new friends to the East.
What upsets me is that we must maintain a capitalistic society, at least at the start, to prevent the rouble from crashing. Anisimov explained he's taken the necessary steps to keep the economy propped up even if Karasov drops the bombshell himself as a parting gift to the nation. I wonder what it would have been like if I outed the truth? Perhaps this is for the best: I cannot put further strain on my fellow countrymen and women. Their freedoms have been compromised enough as it is.
I have instructed the regiments storming the palace to capture Karasov alive. In the days leading up to this, I have realized that the only way Novistrana can heal is to destroy any trace of Karasov's presence. I am going to deal with him myself, even if it horrifies Josef or Tresori, but showing mercy of any kind now would invite Alexashenko's opportunism and paint us as weak. I cannot afford that.
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive - Video Footage of Karasov's Overthrow: 09/05/1996
*NNN logo pops on-screen, then cuts to footage.*
"Ladies and gentlemen, the military has begun its coup!"
"Tanks have rolled up to the palace and soldiers have been seen massacring Karasov's lieutenants with impunity."
*Footage cuts forward.*
"A tank has rammed the gates of the palace open and the army has secured the courtyard. Karasov is... is being marched out."
*Footage cuts forward.*
"We are witnessing an exchange between Karasov and Prokofiev. The two are arguing hotly about something, but we have not been allowed closer to listen in. We think they are talking about the coup..."
*Footage cuts forward.*
"A soldier has given us information on the developments. Prokofiev has declared that Karasov must be punished? Karasov certainly seems nervous..."
*Footage cuts forward.*
"Prokofiev... Prokofiev has ordered Karasov to be executed by firing squad on live television. Karasov has been bound and thrown against a wall, but he's still able to speak..."
"This is the end of your tyranny, Karasov. Get on your knees!"
"No! Prokofiev, please! Don't do this!"
"Hah! Listen to him beg for mercy when he showed Novistrana none! Soldiers, raise arms!
"No, no! Don't! Please do-"
*Karasov's body slumps to the ground. Prokofiev orders the soldiers to lower their weapons and walks up to the dictator's body, pulling out a pistol as he does so.*
"That was for my parents. This is for me."
*A single gunshot rings in the air.*
* * *
Alternate Epilogue [Only characters with different endings were kept below.]
Novistrana as a nation today remains a capitalist democracy, the rare example of a modern revolution that did not destroy the country outright. Thanks to Anisimov's contacts and his position as Finance Minister, the Coalition avoided the dreaded economic crash with heavy investment from the Russians and the Chinese, who remain today firm investment partners and friends of Novistrana. The army had to be severely cut back and held in check by Churnyeav's acting as Commander-in-Chief, as they were loathe to relinquish power over numerous institutions of government in the name of liberty. However, the military coup was successful, and it cleanly removed Karasov from power by executing him on live television.
In the immediate weeks following the revolution and power grab, a constitution based on Western values of democracy and rule-checking powers was put in place with contributions from Prokofiev's inner circle. If the nation was to remain united and the Coalition a ruling power, they would have to account for all walks of life. Past members of the Coalition, with the exception of Felix Lavanov, participated in suggesting ideas and proposing how-tos to accomplish their goals, but much in-fighting over the details ensued that Prokofiev could not mediate successfully. The result was a falling out between the different lieutenants of the faction, but Prokofiev and Josef Nasarov remained the glue that kept the core together in the years to come. Prokofiev formed the Novistranan Coalition Party and served out his year as an "emergency ruler", but the past power that came with the army was hard to let go. He served a second year as an all-powerful president, but at the insistence of Vilnov and Nasarov, Prokofiev relinquished the reigns of power and propped up Maxim Nazerov as the new head of the party. Rivals from other parties ran as presidential candidates for the first Novistranan Presidential election. Nazerov won in a landslide.
The nation never did become a communist paradise, and it never really had a chance to. The rouble was stabilized with heavy doctoring from the Stock Exchange and foreign investment, so capitalism never had to be replaced with any new economic system. Ironically, China and Russia shared the wealth as they, too, exploited their natural resources and made a killing on the market. Prokofiev and his left-leaning men tried to remove the influence of capitalism as best they could, but met stiff resistance from their own party as Konstantino's previous allies threatened to withhold political support.
In Ekaterine, the support cell led by the journalist Artem Churbanov uncovered much of the fates of the exiled and imprisoned political prisoners during Karasov's regime, leading to the discovery of re-education camps and mass graves. Many prisoners had disappeared and their fates remain unknown. Churbanov himself kept the Morozov Casino in the spotlight of Novistrana, eventually bringing foreign interest in the workings of gambling in Eastern Europe as well as giving a recovering economy an outlet for fun and leisure. The result was a casino monolopy led by Oleg Brylin, who now owns casinos in many hot spots of Eastern Europe. Ivan Livingstone continues to be Mayor of Ekaterine thanks to his connections and an exception made by Prokofiev's new rule, and has expressed no interest in ascending to higher political circles.
Pugachev turned around in the following fifteen years after the revolution. The city lost its reputation as a crime-infested, chaotic center of underworld dealings, reforming itself as a strong community that cared for its poor and gave succor to the working class. Much of this was thanks to the charity trust that was formed with Anton Kamensky's philantropy and the combined support of no less than three Novistranan celebrities, headed by the ever-patient Oleg Baturin. Today the Pugachev Charity Trust is a shining beacon of hope for many of Novistrana's have-nots, and with the new millenium bringing more and more investment and opportunity for the upper classes, the poor of Pugachev need all the help they can get. Evgeney Federov led the Pugachev Institute of Technology to higher enrolment in the twenty-first century and made Pugachev one of Novistrana's most advanced cities.
The eradication of the Red Mafiya and election of Mayor Grigorii Antonov, an ex-policeman, meant an iron-fisted ruling with a strong anti-crime bent, driving away the lingering criminal elements by force. Grigorii Antonov was appointed governor of the Western District of Novistrana by Prokofiev, overseeing the cities of Pugachev, Ekaterine, Zamashkand, Vasilikov, and Burukan. His platform of fighting crime and eradicating corruption was extremely popular with traditional and religious blocs of voters in the coming re-elections.
Next to Pugachev's transformation, Berezina's own changes may seem minor but were no less important. The national strike run on April 16, 1996 underlined the sheer importance of unionizing and workers' rights in Novistrana, and Prokofiev's insistence on unionization were underscored by this vital event during the revolution. Even in the face of capitalism, unionizing remained strong and Novistrana enjoys a very strong union presence alongside their bourgeois, capitalist masters.
Tresori Vilnov's help to the Coalition meant the "old guard" of revolutionaries were more than ready to assist Prokofiev following the revolution, but the pursuit of martial law drove many away until Prokofiev held elections, leaving the Coalition even more dependent on other factions. Maxim Nazerov and his government connections smoothed much of the path to winning Parliament's support, while the small but timely involvement of the deceased Rostislav Petrov helped the Coalition's relations with the Church. Vikenti Anisimov's involvement as Finance Minister basically kept the country afloat, even though Prokofiev and the rest of the Coalition is loathe to admit it.
The true extent of the fraud of 1994 was never discovered: much of the evidence that could have locked away or lawfully punished numerous businessmen and economists had been destroyed during Eduard Ivanov's brief tenure as Finance Minister. Those who profited from the fraud had their assets seized and applied to the ailing economy. The checkpoints and the martial law imposed by Prokofiev saw these men captured and judged rapidly, and any pro-Karasov factions or supporters were silently removed from everyday life by the army and by the Secret Police. The order and fear caused by the military kept everyone in line, and such was the post-tyrant nervousness that nobody dared speak out against Prokofiev during his rule as "emergency ruler". The transfer of power had been, at least, bloodless and nearly whole. The only loose end to deal with involved Ivan Alexashenko, and a near second coup had occured, had it not been for Churnyeav's intervention alongside who he jokingly called "Churnyeav's Angels", his Grodnistan War veteran friends Deadeye and Woodstock. Alexashenko's coup failed.
Vasily Karasov's fate did not endear Novistrana to anyone, save perhaps the Russians: the fate of Karasov was left to Prokofiev's devices, and the man was nothing if not willing to indulge in his old revenge. Karasov was killed by firing squad, and Prokofiev himself delivered one final shot to make sure the dictator was dead. The UN and the CIA were pissed that Novistrana had taken such forceful measures in the overthrow, but Prokofiev and the Coalition were keeping their problems domestic. The rest of the world could watch as Novistrana reshaped itself according to the will of the strong!
So what exactly happened to the major players involved in the revolution? Well...
Vasily Karasov was overthrown via a violent military coup and executed by Prokofiev's soldiers via firing squad. His name and reputation reviled, Karasov was nearly given a Stalinesque treatment in the history books had Prokofiev not stepped in to keep the truth alive. Today his statues have been torn down, plaques with his name have been reworded to cheer for democracy, and his name is all but forgotten amongst the young.
Piotr Prokofiev became a legendary figure in Novistranan modern history, as well as a success story for revolutionaries around the world. Having overthrown Karasov and installed a new democratic system of government with the goal of bringing power to the people, Prokofiev met resistance from the established political hierarchies and Parliament, but it didn't stop him from imposing his will when he was the acting ruler of Novistrana for two years. Having a hand in the new Novistranan Constitution, Prokofiev installed term limits that would be enforced by Parliament and the courts, but never had a chance to become President due to the taste of power that martial law brought him. Today, Prokofiev remains a high political figure and adviser in Novistrana, but he began to travel the world and learn more of the fate of the working class in other nations. He has taken a very anti-imperialist view recently, and has shown distaste at having to deal with the oppressive regime in China.
Holding more power than anyone else in Novistrana, Boris Churnyeav became Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces as well as remaining the uncontested head of the Secret Police to this day. His militaristic desires and past as a war veteran have made him quite popular with the armed forces, and people fear that Churnyeav has enough clout to hold a coup if he so wished. However, Churnyeav's loyalty to the Coalition, self-styled patriotism, admiration for Prokofiev's killing of Karasov, and his joy at having masterminded a coup has given him great satisfaction at keeping what he personally calls his own country. His contribution to the Novistranan Constitution called for a mandatory drafting of the young men (and women, in a gender-equal move) of Novistrana, so that anyone between the ages of 16-25 must serve at least four years in the armed forces.
Two years after the Third Glorious Revolution's conclusion, Tresori Vilnov died of bone marrow cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease after being able to travel to the West and see a doctor, but by then it was too late: the cancer had metastasized to other organs in his body, leaving him with few years of life left and wracked with pain. Vilnov was deeply upset with Prokofiev's decision to hold martial law, and even moreso when his student kept control of the nation as an emergency ruler after his one year was up. He never got to witness the true birth of democracy that he was waiting his whole life to see. Despite this, Prokofiev stayed by his mentor's side during these last days. The day of his death became a new Novistranan holiday, and his political works have been collected and published a number of times. His books are considered essential reading by budding Novistranan political scientists, and his contributions to the Novistranan Constitution are highly appreciated.
Maxim Nazerov's involvement with the Novistranan Coalition and overthrow of Karasov brought back his more extreme political views that were held back by moderate self-preservation. Being the author of numerous left-leaning laws in place today, Nazerov became a very popular statesman and became the leader of the Novistranan Coalition Party when Prokofiev stepped down two years after the revolution's conclusion. Maxim Nazerov has served as the President of Novistrana, and today continues to act in the nation's interest as a high-profile adviser.
Vikenti Anisimov remains the head of Stock Exchange to this day, and his own status as a tycoon has been unmarred by the weak antitrust laws that were passed during the years following the revolution. Despite wishing he could sever connections with the businessman, Prokofiev could not abandon the man who held Novistrana aloft during its economic weakness. Seeing a chance to prove his worth and break Prokofiev's hold on him on his own merits, he began to serve Novistrana and the government mostly out of duty. He remains as shady as ever, with rumors of his involvement in secret societies becoming louder and more frequent. It's said he has risen to the highest ranks of his secret society, as well as being invited in other secret societies around the globe due to his wide-reaching influence.
Artem Churbanov did not stop at becoming the head of the Ekaterine Echo: his ambitions eventually led him to take over the Novistranan News Network and begin a news empire and monopoly that draws admiration from media tycoons around the world. The weak antitrust laws passed in Parliament did nothing to stop Churbanov's consolidation of the media. Five years ago, he married Gina Barolov, a promising upstart writer in the male-dominated world of newspapers. Today Churbanov remains an influential media tycoon, but he has left the Novistranan Coalition Party to pursue his own interests in a new free-market Novistrana.
Evgeney Federov finished his studies in the Pugachev Institute of Technology, working from his own intelligence and resources rather than relying on his connections to the Coalition to get his degrees. A budding political philosopher and analyst, he has dedicated his life to bringing democracy to youth and taking other liberal causes such as environmentalism and sustainability. His constant activism have earned him honorary spots in many organizations, and his popularity made him quite popular enough to consider running as an opposition leader in a new party. However, after Maxim Nazerov served his goals as President, Federov decided to remain with the Novistranan Coalition Party and ran as President himself. Today, he is the acting President of Novistrana.
Being a war hero, Ivan Alexashenko kept a lot of control over the armed forces, even after martial law was rescinded. However, Boris Churnyeav saw in the man a threat to his power as Commander-in-Chief. He stepped up the takeover of Alexashenko's smuggling businesses and eventually left Alexashenko's Army starved of supplies. Following this, Churnyeav took a gamble and successfully revealed Alexashenko's ties to the underworld. Despite all of this, however, Alexashenko's history in holding the military coup kept him in power, and he has attempted a coup against the Coalition. He failed, and Churnyeav quickly made short work of the rebels in a bloody domestic conflict that saw many soldiers lose their lives. Alexashenko himself died in the conflict.