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Preparations & Revolution


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*Classified*


Administrative meeting room five was brightly illuminated by the sharp halogen lights directed at each of its glossy black granite walls. It was furnished generically, and based on its placement deep within the labyrinth of bureaucratic offices on Avalon, it gave one the distinct impression of security and anonymity. Viktor had been seated for some time, and their host was due at any moment. Examining the others that were present, he recognized a few from his time on the mainland. Beyond himself the meeting appeared to be a gathering of key positions throughout the Kingdom. Nationalist Party leadership was there, along with Key officers of the Seraphim, and the army. Avalon’s leadership council was also present, as were representatives of the Ministry of Internal Security and the Royal Treasury. He wasn’t sure what the intentions of the Prince were, but he knew this sort of critical mass could only mean one thing- a coup.

The door opened, and after a moment of pause the royal entered the room followed closely by a secretary of some kind. As he entered the room went silent, and the audience quickly saluted him, a gesture he returned before taking his place at the head of the long wooden table. “I would like to thank you all for coming on such short notice, I am grateful for the faith you have placed in me by accepting an anonymous invitation bearing only my name. From what I now know, there are clearly few among our country men that I can treasure so closely as supporters and friends alike, for that I am delighted to see you all again. That being said, I have gathered you all here today to resolve three fundamental threats to our existence. First, I would like to explain my absence. As you all know, I have been gone the last four years, lost to our cause at a time when perhaps I was needed most. I deeply regret have abandoned you in your twilight hour and for that I hope my explanation can resolve many of your questions and unresolved grievances. The truth is, I was kidnapped- the last four years for me have been a hell on earth, I was held hostage, interrogated, tortured, and there was a time in that interval when I truly thought I would die. For a long time the indentity of my captors alluded me, I knew only I was in the UFE, and that my captors had connections to the government of Pacifica. That uncertainty however is now gone, as I can say now with absolute certainty that the ‘liberals’ of our government, the Pacifican Freedom Party that is, were complicit in my kidnapping. Their chairman James White, the missing High Magistrate visited me frequently, and was present at many of the later interrogations. It seems his own party had aspirations of abandoning the constitution and that they wanted me to abdicate my crown as well as name those among my countrymen I could rely on for support. As evidence of this the Chinese can confirm recovering his body at the site of my rescue, they can also confirm his attempt to murder me- an act that would have been successful had it not been for the prowess of the Chinese.

Which brings me to the second matter- it goes without saying that every Liberal in the government is complicit in White’s treason. It also seems that the very institution and attempt at parliament itself was a mistake, one we must soon rectify. Without the responsible leadership of a man like Thomas Devereaux, the government in its vision of neo-liberal capitalist reform it has driven this country’s economy off into the abyss of their dark ideology, in its attempt to weaken the nationalist power base it has slashed deeply into the military, and now out of its institutional avarice for power it has moved to violate the very laws empowering it by murdering me and instigating revolution against the ailing King. It is for this reason that I have brought you here today. As the last vestige of responsible government, it falls to us as the true conservatives of this nation, to purify the state of its corruption.” The prince paused, “For that I require two things. I am the only legitimate ruler this country can have, and I am the only one capable of delivering us from the darkness of our economic collapse. You all know this, especially those of you who invested with me. I am also the only one possessing the legal legitimacy of being the Crown Prince, and I will have personal rule or none. The charter of the parliament will be abolished, and the PFP disbanded. A new convention will be held, and only the conservative elements, the nobility, the nationalists, and our monied class will have a voice in crafting the next government. We will not make the mistake of instituting government built on incompetence and unaccountability again. To accomplish all of this I will need the support of the Nationalists, and by that I mean I will need to be recognized as the party’s leader. Given my story, and the reality of what has transpired this is best for everyone. It is the only way to capture the support of the people behind such a move, and it is the only way you will ever re-obtain power.” The nationalists slowly nodded. He now turned to Marc Stephens and the senior members of the Seraphim “Marc, you have always supported my family, and we have always been close. This is for the good of our people, and I need your support if it is going to happen. What I envision is a unified monarchy, its personal forces, and the party, a single integrated network of support, and at its nexus the genetically competent blood of the Atrevier dynasty. Can I count on you and your forces for that?” Marc sighed heavily-

“Of course your Highness, but I have one reservation.” Michael nodded, “you cannot act until the King is dead. My men answer to one figure, and that is the King. We will fight to the death to see you sit on the throne or at the very least slaughter all who stand in your way, but we will not act until that throne is rightfully yours.” Michael pursed his lips for a moment.

“Well, I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this, but- the King is already dead.” Marc’s eyes widened.
“What-“ Atrevier nodded heavily.
“I am certain PFP collaborators took his life years ago, when he ceased all contact and totally isolated himself. His doctors and personal attendants are all members of their party now, and your men are barred from direct contact with him, isn’t that true?” Stephens was at a loss for words. “I was as distraught as you are now when I first learned of it. They killed Thomas, they killed my mother and father, now at last they took my grandfather. You see what we face Marc- justice- must be served.” The Lord Marshall of the Seraphim stood still for a moment before becoming abruptly cold.

“I will- kill them all.”

“In due time.” There was silence in the room. Michael returned his attention to the group, we make our move in one week, until then, I’ve made arrangements for you all to stay here in Avalon, we may need to make changes quickly so be prepared at all times. That is all”.

Off to the side, Konrad held back a smirk, Michael was still as sharp as ever, and despite his absence, it seemed as though he continued to plan and control everything around him. He wasn't sure what had happened to the King, or if the neo-liberals in parliament were actually responsible for anything, but at this point it no longer mattered. As the prince left the room he made eye contact with Viktor and with a single swift hand motion made one of their private signals for conference. It seemed everything was underway.

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An evening sun hung over the marble city of Wellington, and with it a lingering sense of uncertainty. The future of the nation was by all accounts- blind. The inspiring message of the PFP had since tarnished proving impotent in the face of calamity, the apparent failure of the neo-liberal project in Pacifica called into question the very workability of civil society.

Along the northern border of the financial district an incendiary bomb detonated in the offices of a non specific law firm. Publicly it was renowned for its corrupt practices in lobbying the parliament and for its role in seeking the acquittal of various PFP connected financiers who were implicated in the downturn of the decade. Privately they were conducting a PFP sponsored investigation into Nationalist organization and finances. Bursting through the plaster internal walls of the office, small cylindrical canisters of thermite followed closely by a mist of arasolized petrol derivative, erupted from the bomb casing converting the room into flaming tinderbox.

Meanwhile across the academic quarter a series of malfunctions occurred in the transportation network. In the north and west there was a systemic malfunction in the traffic lights causing a series of vehicle accidents. In the south a magnetic malfunction in a monorail threw a train from its tracks causing it to derail into light traffic and surrounding buildings. Fuel fires started and began to spread across the isolated part of district within minutes.

Perched atop in the penthouse suite of banking conglomerate, Royal Group’s executive offices, Michael’s gaze penetrated the city. He could sense the tension that lingered like a bad odor over the people. All knew there was a problem, but the origin remained obscure. The seemingly integrated monolith of socio-political order was in fact only a mosaic, or perhaps instead a junk heap. With the ubiquitous pressure of the day, once indistinguishable gaps were becoming irreparable fissures and chasms, and now after years of slowly cultivated misery- the weight was such that collapse was- imminent.

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Feeling the characteristic vibration and hearing the familiar jingle Alice removed her extravagant state of the art phone to check for the new message. It came from one of her friends, a signal she had been waiting for all day, a time and a place- walking over to her father’s luxury car she opened the trunk and removed from it an aluminum bat and a mask. Slamming the trunk she briskly walked several blocks before cutting through an alley and waiting in the shadows of the next street over. Situated between the academic and financial center this avenue was host to numerous boutiques and upscale homes making it the epitome of the bourgeois influence she and her fellow awakened revolutionaries opposed. After a few minutes she checked her Rolex one last time counting each second as the moment approached. 2-1-0. Lifting the mask to her face she raised the hood of her designer sweatshirt , and proceeded to lift the bat. In a wave of distilled synchronized mayhem- a Molotov smashed through a storefront five hundred yards away, and flames erupted throughout the small clothing store- a gun man opened up on patrons, a bomb went off, and all the while a wave of hundreds of youths surged onto the street with clubs and bats beating down people and property in their path. Setting fire to establishments throughout the city this performance was repeated bringing the already reeling capital to a grinding halt.

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The emergency responders in the capital were rapidly overwhelmed, and the capital police had soon found themselves unable to manage the seemingly systematic deterioration of order within the city. Within the first day of riots they had withdrawn their general presence from the financial and academic districts choosing instead to guard key structures and concentrate their energies on maintaining order within the government sector. Unable to call in the military without a direct order from the King or the High Magistrate, neither of which could be found, the state was paralyzed under siege. The Nationalist party had issued a minority statement of no confidence in the PFP led government and had abandoned parliament calling for Monarch led reform of the system. The PFP, in the absence of their unifying leader, had appointed a provisional Magisterial council each member of which represented various factions within the PFP coalition. Given that none of these factions could fully agree on what measure or action should be taken, no decisive solution had been found. Radical anarchists among the council had sided with civil libertarians, and classical liberals to ensure that no request to the military could be made, and all the while moderates and hawks had boycotted meetings. The leading party was cracking under pressure, and it appeared it wouldn't survive the week.

Jack Venter, a capital police officer and member of Squad 02 had just returned from the financial district. Glad to be back on peaceful streets he lightly tapped his heels against the old stone of the General Directory's main wall, allowing the light ash of burning financial paper to fall from his dirty boots. Looking up, the sun was obscured by columns of soot rising from the south east and west, the city had gone to hell. In a deep moment of despair he stood there wondering where his family was, and what the situation outside the city was like. The capital police had within the week been transformed from traffic cops to riot controllers, and as systems failed their rank and file had been slowly starved of information. As he stood there he slowly weighed his options, considering even abandoning his orders and leaving the city. It was in this ambivalence that he suddenly realized something was amiss, a swarm of birds approached seemingly from all directions, and carrying them he could hear the distinct thunder of helicopters. As they passed over the city they broke off into a flurry of organized swarms each converging on various points throughout the city. There was gun fire, and the ominous hiss of light missiles impacting with targets of unknown composition. Several clusters approached the government district, one of which came to hover above parade ground. As the intimidating shadows imposed themselves upon the faces of citizens and bureaucrats who had left their homes and offices to investigate the noise, the swarm performed a rapid synchronized landing depositing hundreds of distinct recognizable Seraphim- the King's personal Guard. Rapidly a group of them formed a perfectly circular perimeter as others tore off in teams of six into each of the significant state buildings. As the helicopters retreated to the air only one remained, out of which another group of figures climbed. Though not all of them were among the ranks of the Seraphim they unmistakably were of the royal court, one the Lord Marshall, another a royal's personal knight, a few clerks and one... Jack rubbed his eyes. Abandoning his post he briskly walked closer to the mass removing his personal hand scope to get a better look at the unknown. Holding his hand steady he made out each of the features, and denoted the undeniable patches on the field officer's uniform: it was the Crown Prince.

--------------------------

Walking up the steps of the parliament Michael firmly gripped a pistol and was closely followed by Konrad, and the core enablers of his police action. The wind blew through his golden hair, and the sun radiated off his piercing blue eyes, this was the culmination of the last five years. Entering the doors to the great house, Seraphim had already locked down the facility and all members of parliament present had been sequestered in the primary chamber. Proceeding across the antechamber Atrevier threw open the doors to the chamber and discharged his pistol into the ceiling. The room went silent, and media cameras quickly turned to focus on the Prince.

"In the name of the public interest, and for complicity in high felonies against both private and public individuals this body is hereby dissolved in accordance with the law. Its members are hereby detained as material witnesses pending further investigation."

Edited by iamthey
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A brief investigation of the King’s private chambers had proved the validity of Atrevier’s claims. The King’s body had long expired and had his body covertly cremated. The doctors who had falsely attended to him for so long confessed almost immediately pinning blame on various high profile PFP members. Upon request they produced the King’s ashes and tests confirmed their identity. This was but one of many sources of evidence pouring into the Seraphim directed corruption taskforce investigating the PFP in the wake of the Prince’s assumption of power. The body of James White and various associated memos were found connecting the PFP to the kidnapping of the Prince, economic analysis was drawn up connecting the economic collapse to liberalization policies, and financial records were uncovered pointing to significant lobbying efforts on the part of financial interests to shape the ELA 70. Any investigator would have considered it a slam dunk but Michael himself was only just satisfied. People want information that confirms what they already believe, five years ago people voted the liberals into power, and it would take more than just one example to persuade them of their error.

The ‘priest’, a representative of the Pacifican spiritual cult, stood at the center of the grand atrium. The atrium was generally a museum of sorts, a great hall marking the legacy of the old city, but today as it had for centuries it was furnished for the occasion of the coronation. Standing with the priest was the Lord Marshall, Marc Stephens and Anders Mathus, the current chairman of Royal Group, each bearing respective symbols of office that had been developed specially for such grand performances.
Mulling over the political calculus which would determine the outcome of the coming weeks, Michael proceeded down a path which was surrounded on either side by first the college of barons and approaching the core his earls and dukes. Holding the absolute stillness of his face, his internal mood devolved into one of utter contempt. To him the nobles were parasites, anachronisms created out of a modern political madness called tradition. They participated in such ceremonies of submission by virtue of the sword held over their head by the Seraphim, and they held far too much power in local government and the military than they merited. Allowing the corner of each lip to curl Atrevier held a smirk, knowing that such a role would soon come to a close- parliamentary reform was not the only subject on his agenda.

As he reached the center he came to stand before the font of purification, the first of the coronation rituals. Juxtaposed to him was the robed priest who held a sizable glass orb containing filtered sea water. Lifting the orb the figure recited the stale lines. [i]”The oceans are the origin of all life before us, the beginning both in the real, and the symbolic; may their creative energies purify us.”[/i] The Prince had altered the rhetoric of the procession, omitting all but a hint of the original religious element, and rewriting the responsibilities entailed by his vows to better fit his own ideological preferences. Emptying the orb into the font, and signaling, he stood awaiting the Prince. Lifting his arms and allowing the loose white sleeves of his immaculate robes to slide, Atrevier dipped his hands into the basin and ceremoniously washed them. As he finished the priest dried each one and continued. [i]“Lord Michael Atrevier, Crown Prince of Aotearoa, her territories, and hier apparent Rex Pacifica, do you invoke the name of Re, and do you seek the consecration of the mantle?”[/i] Re had always seemed like an interesting choice of patron to him, in the spiritual pantheon of pacifican cultists, Re functioned much like the greek interpretation of physis, or Dionysus might. A god head, or anthropomorphism of the infinitely creative and contradictory energies of nature. To represent Re didn’t really mean much of anything, simply that one wielded power.

“Yes”

[i]“Do you hereby testify that your capacity and deeds deem you worthy of this responsibility?”[/i]

“I do.”

[i]“Do you hereby pledge and swear that so long as you bear the mantle you will do all necessary and proper to safeguard, preserve, and empower the Pacifican nation?”[/i]

“I do.” Satisfied the priest lifted the large chain of office from the alter and laid the large amulet on the shoulders of Michael.

[i]”Your highness has invoked the name of Re; and taken his solemn vows in accordance with the requirements of the Mantle; I therefore by my authority vest the responsibility of the Mantle into you.” The priest then lowered his own head. ”You are now the representative of Re, and shall remain so unto death.”[/i] Concluding with the vestment of the mantle the priest stepped back allowing his secular counterpart to take over.

”Recognizing the purified state of our to be sovereign, and his divine right to rule we must hereby vest the authority of the state within him.” He paused as four attendants approached this time bearing a scarlet robe, and a number of other ordainments. The first two clothed him in the Red robe (which rested over the thinner white robe beneath). Another tied a black sash around the waist of the prince, while another placed a light weight cape of matching color and material on the shoulders of Atrevier. Lowering himself onto the throne Michael held a fixed distant gaze which penetrated the walls of the chamber itself. Looking to Stephens, the speaker proceeded. [i]“We begin with the vestment of a sovereigns right to force, and it’s a quality of strength symbolized in the sword. From this the King shall come to enforce his righteous judgments.”[/i] Stephens approached until he stood before the Prince, kneeling he lifted the elaborate long blade one hand resting beneath the hilt and the other beneath the blade. With outstretched arms mimicking the delicacy of Stephens he accepted the sword, and turned to hand it to an attendant who would then position it on the alter. Once Atrevier had accepted the sword, the Lord Marshal rose and resumed his previous position at the inner core of the formation. From there the speaker looked to Mathus, [i]“We now turn to the vestment of law; symbolized in the scepter. Recognizing that he can do no wrong, we now turn to acknowledge this reality in the fixture of law and the sovereignty of the monarchy over it serving both as the source and judge of those beneath it.”[/i] Mathus then approached the Prince, and like Stephens kneeled before the Prince. Bowing his head, he offered up the scepter, the symbol of rule by law. Accepting it Atrevier again handed it off. Once Anders had returned the speaker continued. [i]”Before you our Crown Prince now stands both in blood, strength, and law; we now merely need anoint him with the final act of coronation.”[/i] He turned to look at the crown bearer who approached him. Accepting the small cushion upon which sat both the crown and the signet ring he approached the Prince. Lifting his right hand and spreading his fingers, an attendant lifted the ring from its cushion and placed it on Prince’s ring finger. Lowering his hand the Prince’s eyes remained fixed on the Crown. Slowly he lifted his right hand extending it fully until his fingers barely touched it. Slowly he grasped it and lifted it from the cushion, upward he lifted, until it had left his vision, he then positioned it above his head and slowly lowered it until it came to rest upon his own brow. Holding it for a moment the room seemed to hold its breath, growing more quiet as the silence reached its climax. At last he lifted the crown and replaced it on the cushion, accepting the collective sigh as a suitable ovation. The Speaker then returned the cushion to the attendant, and at last reached the conclusion. [i]”Before you, body and mind is your King, His Majesty Michael Atrevier, King of Aotearoa, her territories, and Rex Pacifica.”[/i] As if on queue the room collectively erupted.

[i]“Long live the King.”
“Long live the King.”
“Long live the King.”[/i] Once the hailing had concluded each of the dukes formed a line, and each kissed the signet ring of the King, before returning to their spots. With the investiture effectively concluded, the procession reformed and exited exactly as it had entered. As the King stepped through the threshold, the chamber and halls around it erupted in applause.

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Michael followed the coronation ceremony with a few hours of introspection, he had much to consider moving forward. Having grown up navigating the intricacies of the administrations and bureaucracies of others, the newfound authority and power to act openly had yet to lose its novelty. He had shrewdly selected his regalia for the scheduled speech from the throne, wearing only an immaculate white robe and the signet of his office. Economic destitution had made the people cynical, no longer trusting a prodigal figure lavishly adorned in extravagant symbols, they would appreciate the austerity of his attire and its simplicity would appeal to a higher sense of honor. Followed closely by his attendants and a personal seraph he entered the throne room. To his specifications the guest list was predominately composed of his primary backers, nationalist industrialists and urban professionals. Lacking the pomp of a noble audience, the broadcast would simultaneously honor his favored social class while allowing the masses to believe he represented them rather than the archaic noble cliques. Taking his seat on the throne, Viktor Konrad, his personal operative, stood to his right with seraphs flanking on either side. His clerks took their own seats among the first row of guests. Holding silence for an extend moment Michael sat and lifted his head closing his eyes as if to plea to god itself or acknowledge some great anguish. Unsure of what was happening the audience focused ever further on their host, puzzled by the eccentric gesture. It was as if a spell had been cast upon them and for what must have been a minute nothing happened, no one talked, no one moved, and no one averted their gaze from his majesty. At last he lowered his head and opened his eyes beginning his address.

“Esteemed guests, members of the nobility, soldiers, and subjects alike, it is under bittersweet conditions that I come before you today offering my address from the throne as newly crowned King of Greater Pacifica. I never imagined I would inherit a nation in such distress as the one I now have come to possess, but nonetheless such is the unfortunate nature of my inheritance and like any responsible son, I will do all that I can to honor the legacy of my family and my people.” He paused.

“Much has happened in recent weeks and we have experienced for ourselves an unnatural regression to near anarchy, a state we have returned from only by virtue of my return to this great city. For most, I can imagine the experience is one of bewilderment and uncertainty for the future. Typically the past could guide us in explaining our present, or in determining our future- however our past has been one of unexplained decline, and our future is now shrouded by the shade of corruption and treachery. Most hard working subjects of the crown probably look upon my dramatic actions of late and wonder, why such action was necessary, and what causes guide my righteous anger. For that allow me to explain. My grandfather, Thomas Devereaux was assassinated just years ago, the underhanded work of elements within his political opposition the Pacifican Freedom Party. While this possibility always lingered in my mind, it was unproven until recently when certain confessions were secured and physical evidence uncovered linking the murder to the party’s governing committee. The same elements which predate that party’s existence were also responsible for the death of my parents, and now- now that illegal cabal has robbed this country of the late Ryn Atrevier.

“Until the ascendency of the PFP, and thus the empowerment of this elitist cabal, the pragmatic Nationalist government under the aegis of Mr. Devereaux guaranteed a sizable measure of economic and national security. While there were cycles of growth and deterioration, the certainty of a positive future remained, and with it this country experienced unprecedented growth and expansion. Since the assumption of power by the PFP, radical changes have ensured instability, and failed policies instituted on a foundation of crumbling ideological dogma doomed the realm to the internal turmoil of the last five years. Moreover in an unprecedented display of intrigue a conspiracy was developed by this shadow government, in which I was to be kidnapped and murdered, leaving this country without a King, and their opposition without a leader. While the first phase of their plan succeeded as I was sequestered and interrogated until may of this year- the treacherous designs of James White were foiled by the military and intelligence prowess of the United Federation of the East and its brave soldiers. This however does not absolve White or his party of their guilt and it is from my own personal experience that I am now fully cognizant of the depth of corruption to be uncovered within that rotten political party. However the failure of the last four years, and the nauseating extent to which officers of parliament pursued agendas of self aggrandizement and ambitions of personal power, speaks to a much wider issue than simply one corrupt organization. Because it has so utterly strayed from its guiding principle in representing the interests of the people and promoting the rule of law, and because the institution itself was so easily captured by unquestionably destructive forces- the experiment of parliamentary democracy in this kingdom can be said to have, without precondition: failed. I do not make this judgment lightly, as these few personal anecdotes describing how the parliament has failed to protect my family are but a few among thousands of cases where personal property and lives have been the cost of avarice among members of parliament. The scope and nature of it is sickening, and it is a national disgrace that a horrid regression from the height of just a decade ago could have occurred. For this reason, I see no other option than to immediately invoke my prerogative as Sovereign by making permanent my dissolution of the parliament and revoking its charter. Never again will such a predatory body be permitted to prey upon the people of this nation, that is my pledge and promise to you.

“Of course, I have not utterly lost faith in government instituted by men, and it is out of my eternal respect to my fellow man that I intend to launch a series of national reforms. The first reform will entail the calling up of delegates to a second constitutional convention. Here a new instrument of government will be drawn up and based on the lessons of the last seventy five years we will develop an improved legislative system. Second our hierarchal structure of nobility is archaic in nature. While my grandfather saw it fitting to honor the traditions of previous regimes, this reverence for stale idols is associated with too steep a social, economic, and administrative cost. Local and provincial administration will be redeveloped and the nobility reformed to best maximize the talents of our people while honoring our roots. Third, the economic liberalization act of the year 70 did improve efficiency in some areas of our economy, but it also opened the flood gates to profiteering, exploitation, market manipulation, and corruption. This is unacceptable. I intend to apply some of the lessons of this experiment while restoring older economic policies which ensured economic stability and security. Finally the government of the last four years has run up unacceptable deficits, squandering the surplus of previous generations. Its spending has been profligate and this too is unacceptable. Democracy has tied the time horizon of politicians to election cycles and while this served to make them accountable, it also blinded them from long term concerns. While the acquisition of money must be left to an assembly of the people, its management and ownership must be returned to my household. Only a leader with an indefinite time horizon and vested interest can be trusted tend to the resources of the state. History has demonstrated this to be true, and those who say otherwise deserve suspicion for indeed it is likely they wish to seize and make use of your property as their own.”

“The last four years have been marked by mass expropriation, dishonesty, and insecurity. What I guarantee you is very simple, whatever the future holds, whether it be in war or peace, the nation of Pacifica will be prosperous, it will be stable, and it will be strong.”

Standing in a spontaneous act of rapture the audience and even the members of the media present burst into applause. The anguish of the last four years had been re-channeled into a wholesale acceptance of any seemingly robust proactive solution to the problems of the nation. Answering this as if in an act of defiance the King stood, and the room fell silent. Stepping forward his clerks, the seraphs and a few of the audience members formed a fist and lifted it placing it on the center left section of their chest. Catching on the personal audience inside the throne room soon mimicked this gesture, and in homes and schools across the nation and among the millions of audience members gathered outside of the palace in the parade ground the same gesture was echoed. The King nodded once in response, and all at once the gesture ended, satisfied he and his attendants resumed their previous formation and exited the room.

Edited by iamthey
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The reform of the nobility would be among the first of his actions as King. Looking over the short directive one final time, Michael pondered the possible implications. Inefficiency in the current system was already obvious, buffoons and criminals alike had inheriting positions of power, and political opponents to the crown had unduly influenced the parliamentary system by backing anti-monarchist politicians. The audit would serve to eliminate both, as corrupt nobles would be culled, and most of those bankrupted by the economic collapse were backers of the PFP. All that would remain would be honorable nationalists/monarchists who were personally indebted to him financially. And to ensure no similar regression in the future the nobility would be transformed into a struggle among its members for an amorphous sense of relevance. There would no doubt be outrage among some of the families, but it wouldn’t matter. The majority would be preserved, and the population would appreciate the implied next step of a merit based administrative system. Satisfied, he inwardly smiled before affixing his own wax seal.

[quote][b]Noblility Reform Decree of the year 75[/b]
[i](Affirmed by a unanimous consensus of the Royal Council)[/i]

The nobility is hereby stripped of all military and sub-national administrative responsibility. While this does not bar any noble form holding an office of trust, it does mean that administrative offices will no longer be considered inheritable fiefs, but positions of at will appointment under the executive function of the Crown.

To further streamline the system of administration the office of Archduke shall be merged with that of King, (as has been the de facto status quo for a generation).

The nobility is furthermore to be simplified and members shall be recommissioned under a new Order of Blood. The order shall have six degrees.

Sixth Degree: Grandmaster
Fifth Degree: Lord
Fourth Degree: Grand Officer
Third Degree: Commander
Second Degree: Officer
First Degree: Knight

All members of the nobility will adhere to the rules, procedures, and decrees set forth by the Grandmaster, and passed or initiated by the College of Lords. All members are fundamentally accountable to the Grandmaster of the order, who alone will judge and weigh matters of internal justice. Requests of higher degrees are considered absolutely binding on those of lower rank, however in the case of the fifth degree, special autonomy and consideration shall be extended. Rank within the order will be inheritable. Elevations and demotions in degrees one through four may be granted by order of the Grandmaster, and elevation and demotion to and from the rank of Lord may only be granted by order of the Grandmaster with the consent of a four fifths consensus of the College of Lords.

The title of Grandmaster may only be held by members of the royal family, and may only be transferred to the one designated heir apparent by the previous grandmaster. In the absence of a legitimate Grandmaster, the order shall be considered dissolved, and all title and obligations dissolved.

Finally to ensure the continuing relevance of the nobility as a measure of social position, the royal council prior to its dissolution shall conduct an audit of all nobles. Each candidate will be screened on the basis of financial competence, familial relevance, loyalty, and honor. Those found to be inadequate by a consensus of the council will not be commissioned under the new Order of Blood and must re-earn their titles by merit.

The Decree of Sovereignty shall be amended to reflect these changes. [/quote]

Edited by iamthey
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[quote][b]National Convention Decree of the year 75[/b]

To investigate and devise better schemes of national representation, I decree a gathering of the nation’s most able and capable thinkers to which the task of developing a national charter shall be committed. As it is imperative to the prosperity of any nation that the productive and creative among the population have a stake in the laws that govern them, the merits of republican government cannot be overlooked. Municipalities and townships alike are thus implored to send forth candidates to be delegates and observers to a constitutional convention to be hosted in the industrial city of Auckland.

To ensure the quality of delegates, a royal commission overseeing the approval of delegation candidates is to be created and to ensure its credibility, it will be staffed by relevant deans of the Wellington Academy. The chairman of the commission will be the president of the university.

Any product approved for my review should have the support of at least two thirds of the delegation.

[b]Guiding Criteria for filtering delegates will be as follow:[/b]

*Intellectual Competence
*Awareness of Public Affairs
*Mentally Rigorous occupational background
*High Level of Educational Attainment
*Respect and reverence for the law
*Solid record of tax contribution

[b]*Secret criteria & Directives*[/b]

*Delegates chosen should be members of the Nationalist Party, or have nationalist/monarchist leanings.
*Priority should first be given to candidates whose tax contribution falls within the top 1% of absolute sums.
*Priority should then be given to candidates whose tax contribution falls within the top 5% of absolute sums.
*A maximum of 40% of all delegates should come from families of top tax contributes.
*A maximum of only 30% of the delegation should derive itself from the nobility.[/quote]

Affixing his seal to the new decree, Michael could already see the desired outcome. Handing the delegate decisions to a credible academic institution would shield the fact that the commission had a decidedly political and classist slant which favored his own nationalist and industrialist preferences. Limiting the influence of the nobility would also force them to broker with the property concerned new wealth likely producing an outcome where they would have a veto but not utter influence in the legislature. And ensuring that a plurality of all present were of non-noble monied origin, his natural allies, he would ensure the absence of any pesky populist constraints on his power. Now it only remained to touch base with the university president and supply him with a skeleton of the desired charter.

Edited by iamthey
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*Wellington Times*

Today a wave of appointments took place as some of the best and brightest the nation has to offer were installed as a newly appointed cadre of national and sub-national administrators. Replacing the ages old system of noble administration, the King passed into law, with his most recent decree, a merit based civil administration which promises to streamline and tailor policies to localities while ensuring accountability and minimizing corruption.

[quote][b]Administration Reform Decree of the year 75[/b]

[b]Section 1:[/b] [i]Operating Authority[/i]

All sub-national administration shall be conducted by a hierarchy of quasi-councilor officials who will have a dual collaborative-administrative function. Each sub-national administrative authority derives its mandate from the body of the Despot, and all officials within the administrative hierarchy are fundamentally accountable to the Despot alone.

[b]Section 2:[/b] [i]Administrative Division and Function[/i]

By divorcing the nobility from the project of local administration, old administrative divisions organized around noble rank have been rendered absurd. To replace this dated system, a new set of administrative lines are to be drawn. The realm is to be divided into a number of sectors. The exact amount, scope of area, and location of these sectors is defined as needed by the Crown. Each sector will be placed under the authority of a Sector Controller, the responsibility of which will be to oversee, direct and manage the operations of the Crown’s executive function within his jurisdiction. Each sector will be further divided into a subset of prefectures, each directed by a prefect who will mirror the purpose of the controller at the local level. Controller appointments will be left explicitly in the hands of the Crown, while prefect appointments maybe made on the Despot’s behalf by the Controller of the Sector in which the prefecture is located. Both controllers and Prefects alike are authorized to take any actions necessary and proper to fulfill their obligations and duties to the Crown. Finally the Despot may ultimately review and or alter the actions of and dismiss/replace any officer within the administration at any time.

[b]Section 3:[/b] [i]Coordination and Accountability[/i]

To ensure synchronicity and accountability, all controllers will sit on a General Administrative Board. The Crown will set the schedule and agenda of each meeting, and the Board will be chaired by the Despot, who may call an unscheduled meeting at any time. Mirroring this at the sector level, all prefects under the authority of a given controller will sit on their respective Sector Administrative Board. Each controller will mirror the Despot’s role at the sector level by chairing and determining the content of each meeting. Both the General and Sector boards should be utilized as steering committees where each level of the hierarchy can discuss relevant administrative issues, pool resources, and coordinate policies. The beginning of each meeting unless otherwise specified by the chairman should begin with a general report from all members on the status of major programs and any significant events within their respective jurisdictions.[/quote]

Edited by iamthey
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