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God Save the Empire


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To say Sate Pestage was beyond pissed off was a colossal understatement. Of the century, probably.
A proud and ambitious Imperial, Pestage had been enjoying a meteoric rise through the Imperial government, ruthlessly quashing his rivals and opponents along the way. From a lowly desk clerk in the Imperial Administratum to a Senatorial assistant to an Imperial Advisor to the Director of the Holy Inquisitorius, he had done it all. During that time, he worked hard to make the Empire great, and to preserve and defend its honor and values. Overall, he was proud to call himself an Imperial.
Then this happened.
The Bolshevik scourge reared its ugly head in Russia after several centuries' hiatus in the form of the Soviets that, frankly, appeared out of nowhere. Especially the Ultranationalist fanatics led by that scum, Markov, that now led the Government in Moscow.
Never before in his life had Pestage been so greatly insulted.
It was his strong desire to protect Russia from the Bolshevik plague, and to remedy the insult, that Pestage threw his support behind High Governor Wilhuff Tarkin when he [Tarkin] launched Operation Raan, the suppression of the Soviet in Tver. It was an astounding success, and it was truly glorious. In one devastating blow, Soviet power in Russia was utterly crushed for once and for all.
Too bad, it was not to remain that way for long. Like a plague, the Soviets began to regroup and then to rapidly spread across the Fatherland, rending Tarkin's cure an abject failure. With Tarkin's failure to provide a final solution to the Soviet problem, Pestage pinned his hopes on the Imperial ruling circles, particularly the powerful Tsar himself, to rectify the situation.
It was a hope that was to be misplaced. 
To add injury to insult, the Tsar and his ruling circles asquiesced to the Soviets, as if accepting their existance as a fait accompli. The way he saw it, a metaphorical dagger was pointed to the Empire's throat, effectively holding Russia hostage to the whim of the Soviets, just like it was between 1917 and 1991.
It was at that time that his faith in the Tsar and the Imperial high circles was severely shaken. Pestage would never forgive them for their cowardice.
And now the Ultranationalists were in power, having won an election with a large majority. Clearly, the Russian people were infected with the Bolshevik plague that undoubtedly destroyed their common sense and the ability to think for themselves. And Markov was leading the Government, perfectly in position to entrench the Ultranationalist tentacles deeply into the Empire with the nefarious intention of turning it into a Soviet monstrosity.
He had to do something about it, to achieve what Tarkin, his superior Kropokin, and even the Tsar failed. As head of the Holy Inquisitorius, an elite combat arm of the Imperial Security Bureau, the Imperial secret police and a component of COMPOC, Pestage had access to considerable resources and a massive social network extending through the Imperial Government.
Pestage promptly went to work, reaching out to like-minded government officials who were to help him achieve what he was now planning. 
He had a lot to do.
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News about conflict breaking out in Europe, especially the invasion of Yugoslavia by Romania, prompted Sate Pestage to accelerate his plans. Should the Imperial Military be placed on heightened alert, as is the norm when conflict breaks out so near Russia, it would jeopardize his plans, and he could not afford that at this critical junction of time. Not if it could help strengthen the Ultranationalists' position of power in the government.
Having already identified, contacted, and convinced many discontented Imperial advisors, officials, and administrators in the Imperial court, Ruling Council, Privy Council, and the Administratum to throw their weight behind him, Pestage proceeded to contact Imperial military officials, prioritizing junior officers over senior ones because of the latter's loyalty to the Tsar. After tenseful negotiations in secret locations, the junior officers - many which were young, ambitious, and contemptuous of the Soviets - agreed to participate in Pestage's plan. And so did the few key senior officers who were discontented with the status quo. He requested that they keep him informed of any new developments.
Dealing with COMPOC was trickier, given that many high-ranking officials reported to Pestage's superior Alexei Kropokin, who himself was fiercely loyal to the Tsar. Through tentative feelers conducted via anonymous contacts, Pestage managed to find a few COMPOC officials who were willing to change the status quo, and proceeded to work on winning them over. Although a couple of them demurred, the rest indicated their willingness to help the Grand Inquisitor out to the best of their abilities. As with the others, he requested to be kept informed about new developments.
During that time, a certain individual unexpectedly turned up in Pestage's underground office in the Lubyanka. High Governor Wilhuff Tarkin, who had arrived there through secret routes and on unofficial business, hinted of his awareness of what Pestage was up to, and stated in cryptic terms his willingness to join the plot. Since his humiliating public reprimand in the College of Governors, and his loss of prestige, for the failure of Operation Raan, Tarkin had been filled with a burning desire to restore his honor and prestige, rectify the status quo, and overall enact revenge upon the Soviets, and Pestage had provided him a golden opportunity.
Although apprehensive - Tarkin was something of a sleazebag - Pestage eventually inducted Tarkin into the plot, and the two of them worked out the details as much as time permitted them. They were assisted by Mara Isard, who held a key position in the Personal Chancellery - which controlled access to the Tsar - that would be crucial to the plot; General Boris Artyom and Air Marshal Dmitry Gerasim participated in as well. Speed was very crucial to the plot if it was to prevent a possible civil war, and Pestage emphasized that as much as possible to the others.
After much deliberations, and not small amount of doubts expressed by some of those involved, a tentative starting date was set.
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Somewhere in Moscow
Everything was falling to pieces around him. It was very surreal, and time seemed to slow down as he watched the chaos that was unfolding in front of his very eyes. It was something straight out of fast-paced action movies that he loved to watch.
Commander Pyotr Weavel found himself on his knees, scarcely aware of the blood that was cascading down his bruised face, his ears barely registering the hails of gunfire that sporadically reverberated throughout the command room, interspersed with the agonized screams that was abruptly silenced.
Similar to the millions of voices that suddenly cried out in terror, only to be suddenly silenced. Were not it for the situation Pyotr found himself in, he would have chuckled at the pop reference.
The room stank of death at this very moment, its floor splattered all over by the blood of the slain men that now lay across the room, its surviving HD screens illuminating the darkened room as if oblivious to the furious hails of bullets that had erupted but several moments past, its control equipment destroyed or damaged during the ensuing carnage, victim of collateral damage.
Pyotr didn't see it all. All his dazed mind could focus was a singular figure, adorned in heavy combat armor, that approached him, grasping what looked like a GSh-18 pistol.
The man smiled, baring his stained teeth, looking like he hadn't brushed in a long moment. Pyotr managed to drag his dazed eyes up to connect with these of his judge, jury, and executioner. 
What he saw was sheer darkness, a couple of black holes that masqueraded as human eyes. Pyotr found himself unable to look away, helpless as the figure raised his pistol at his forehead.
"The Darkness is coming," the man said simply, his voice thick with an accent that sounded vaguely familiar.
He pressed the trigger. 
For an instant that stretched on for an eternity, Pyotr was overcome with excruciating pain as his vision dissolved into eternal darkness.
Edited by JEDCJT
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