Politics: A game best played with hidden daggers.
Range: ***Planetary/System Text Transmission***
Origin: Amethyst City, Assington, Atheist Empire, Earth
It has been almost a year since the tragic loss of President Calis and his brother Calin (http://forums.jolt.co.uk/showthread.php?t=433485), the Foreign Minister, at the hands of brutal religious extremists. Both men served the Democratic Dictatorship well as bright young leaders and the loss was truly horrendous.
As we all know, Security Minister Lepedius took charge of the nation with approval from the Cabinet of Ministers and has kept the nation running smoothly under their guidance. As Minister Lepedius promised, an election has come and it is time for the people of Assington to vote for a President once again.
All those that meet the voting criteria must vote for one of the three candidates that they believe would govern our fair nation fairly. Voting booths will be plentiful around the nation and even with our foreign embassies. Those that don't have access to a voting booth can access a secure transmission voting system upon contacting the government from wherever their location may be (assuming to be within Sol).
Consider your options very carefully as there will not be a second election unless there is clear evidence of fraudulent actions within the voting process. Whoever wins this election will be President for their remaining years.
Polls will be open for one standard week before the votes are counted and the results delivered by the end of the following week.
The candidates are as follows:
Name: Boris Lepedius (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c372/Assington/NationStates/BorisLepedius.jpg)
Occupation: Security Minister
Hair/Eyes: Blonde (Shaved)/Blue
Biography: Boris Lepedius has led a successful and dominant career as Security Minister of Assington for twelve years now and has shown no sign of slowing down. Before he entered the world of politics he was a Major General in the army and specialised in innovative technologies and strategy.
Throughout his time serving the nation in politics, Boris has created strong security foundations for the nation and dealt with many terrorist threats over his career in an efficient and professional manner. One word is used to describe the security manner of Assington. Ruthless. There has been a strong low tolerance fashion regarding threats to nation security and whilst some may complain of civil rights being violated, none can complain about the results.
There is no doubt that Boris has a strong support from the politicians of the nation, it is yet to be decided whether the general populous has a similar opinion.
Statement: “People of Assington. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving this nation as Security Minister and I would be honoured to serve this nation as your elected President. Of course the safety of the people will always be my number one priority, whether it be from foreign nations, vampires, criminals or any other threat. I will stand firm in your defense.
These have been tough times recently and I will be sure to get to the bottom of such and make sure nothing like it shall ever happen again. Assington is a strong nation of good people and competent ability. We shall make ourselves known to the world as a nation of peace, prosperity and friendship. No matter the cost!”
Name: Mark Kulstov (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c372/Assington/NationStates/MarkKulstov.jpg)
Occupation: Catholic Bishop and Businessman
Biography: Whilst not involved in politics, Mark Kulstov holds a relative degree of fame as one of the youngest CEOs in Assington, sitting at the head of a private arms manufacturing and distributing corporation. Despite stereotypes that may be attached to his position, Mark has maintained a distinct popularity amongst the people as a promoter of safety around weapons and public security.
Despite being a member of the Catholic Church as well, Mark has presented himself in a way to the people that distracts them from his unpopular beliefs and attracts them to his charitable deeds.
Marks father happens to be the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Assington but it is said they do not have a strong relationship. It was highly unexpected that Mark’s name would arise in the ballot but the notion of him being President has not been rejected.
Statement: “The recent loss of our beloved President and Foreign Minister is tragic and I certainly mourn their deaths. Now there is a void to be filled as leader of Assington and I feel I am capable of filling that void and leading Assington into the future with prosperity, growth and an improvement of our civil laws.
I intend to changes things for the better, the people will gain more freedoms, the vampire problems will be dealt with efficiently and the strength of our economy will be maintained. The people make Assington and it is the people I intend to serve.”
Name: Julia Thatcher (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c372/Assington/NationStates/JuliaThatcher.jpg)
Occupation: Founder of Feminists First
Biography: Whilst Julia happens to be a prominent figure in the third most unpopular organisation in Assington, there is no doubt that she does possess some political prowess and could certainly attract many votes from the women of Assington with her abstract and usually ludicrous ideas regarding power relationships between men and women.
Julia is a very wealthy woman with the intelligence to make her money go a long way and has been in the media spotlight for years, albeit sometimes not for the reasons she would like. As most Assingtonians know, there has been a history of violence between feminists and the government but nothing has ever been linked to Miss Thatcher and her organisation.
Whilst most think she won’t have a chance in the upcoming election, it would be foolish to underestimate this woman and her resources.
Statement: “It is true our nation has been through dark times thanks to the misdeeds of many different people, including those that would call themselves a colleague of mine. Fortunately I do not associate myself with such people as my love for Assington guides me true and I would never do anything to harm it.
Whilst our nation is already great, I intend to improve dramatically, delivering more freedoms to the people whilst maintaining a strong economy for our thriving nation. Women and men will be equal in all rights and plentiful those rights shall be.
I shall also put much time into making Assington more active within the world, establishing solid foundations for alliances and general diplomacy. Under my care, I vow Assington will go places we could only dream of!”
Remember, vote wisely because it's the only one you get. For further information, contact the electoral department of the Assingtonian government, Amethyst City.
Beneath Amethyst City Cathedral
The synthetic glow of a television flickered off as the elections broadcast finally ended, informing the world and any citizens outside of Assington that it was finally time to vote. Sitting next to the now Cardinal of Assington, Jason Kulstolv, was his only son and youngest candidate in the upcoming Assingtoninan elections. Mark Kulstolv.
The young man couldn't help but grin as it finally sank in, he would become the President of this nation. The leader of almost six billion people. It was almost dizzyin contemplating the powers he would have. When his father had introduced this plan to him seven years ago, Mark had been doubtful that his fat her could accomplish such a thing. Sure he was the Archbishop of Amethyst and the Cardinal of Assington was pretty much a puppet of his, but placing the title of President in front of his son's name was quite astounding. And what's even more amazing is they were ever so close to completing it.
"So what do we do next father?"
"There is much to do in the next two weeks, Mark. I'll certainly be paying a few visits to Miss Thatcher and there are a few things to sort out with certain Ministers within the government, but I'm quite sure we can work things out. You'll be living within the Presidential Palace within the month."
Switching on a desk light, it became obvious that Mark was still rather concerned about the situation.
"What about Lepedius? He's no fool and he's got resources..."
Jason merely gave his son a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry about him. I'll take care of things. All you need to do is keep up a healthy public image, play along with whatever you need to in order to make the people think you are the man they think you are."
"Good. Remember you have the public speech tomorrow night."
"I know, that'll be fine."
"Alright son, well I must be off. Running the church and all."
"Of course, I've must be off to work too. I'll talk to you tonight."
With that said, both men rose from their respected chairs and moved out of the dark office and into the stone electronically lit tunnels beneath the Amethyst City Cathedral. Jason took a path leading upstairs whilst Mark took another that would eventually lead him outside of the church grounds. It would not do to see him associating with the Christians after the death of the last President.
House of Ministers, Security Ministry
Boris Lepedius stood within one of the many large gardens littered around the House of Ministers. This one was his favourite, a maze of sorts with thick hedges and trees spread around the in a manner to create multiple pathways. Within the centre was a large pond possessing a small waterfall. Of course the waterfall was synthetic but it was still an aesthetically pleasing sight to the Minister.
There was another approaching, his footsteps soft as he followed the a path he knew well to arrive behind Boris. A brief silence passed before the newcomer spoke.
"I don't like this Boris. This boy shouldn't be in the polls, you know that as well as I. The rumours are crap, he's connected to his father and he's father is connected to those murders."
"That's what I would assume James. We can't prove anything though and whilst even the suspicion would be enough to act on any other occassion, we cannot interfere with the electoral process. You and I both know the consequences and the ill effects it would have."
"Aye, doesn't mean I have to like this."
"I know. We must tread carefully. I feel things are not going to be played straight here and if young Mark does win, it won't be via the majority will of the people."
"It wouldn't be wise to make such accusations."
"No, I imagine there would be no such evidence. If he does win then I shall accept that until I feel it necessary to set things right and ensure the safety of Assington."
"Of course. You have the support of the military."
"Thankyou my friend. I'm afraid it will most likely come to that."
With nothing more on his mind, Boris continued past the pond and back into the mass of flora whilst Major-General James Dune watched his friend disappear before flowing through the maze himself.
Private Residence of Julia Thatcher
There was no denying that the politics of Assington was a man's world. Sure there were female politicians, just like in any other occupation but it had always been an unwritten law that governing the nation was something only a man could manage. Whilst by all appearances the government did nothing to hinder the oppurtunities of women, it was something burried within soceity. They held onto old values.
It was a significant credit to Miss Julia Thatcher that she had forged herself a so far successful carreer whilst never comrpomising or submitting the dominion of men. She was famous around the nation as the founder of Assington's largest feminist movement Despite her unpopular beliefs, she has always presented herself as a calm and reasonable woman to the public and hence her success.
Sitting within one of the many connected rooms referred to as the library, Julia couldn't helpt but cringe at the documents before her. She had expected Minister Lepedius as one of the candidates for the Presidency but Mark was a surprise that troubled her. Most looked upon Mark as a respectable, upstanding young businessman that could certainly do Assington a lot of good.
Julia knew very well that Mark had connections with the his father and was a devout Christian himself. Alas she didn't have documented proof, merely intel from her particular connections. It was all very dodgy, this entire election just didn't seem right. There was a significant chance that he could even be related to the murders of Calis and Calin.
Sighing to herself, Julia moved to the other end of a large desk and booted up one of the many computers littered around the house. She would have to contact some associates and have them double their efforts upon everything surrounding Mark and his known associations.
With the computer online, Julai began established the necessary secure network.
<Medusa> We have new priorities.
<Wraith> I've heard the news. I assume you mean the hidden holy man?
<Medusa> Correct. It's time we learned more about him I would suggest you attend some of his sermons and learn about his faith.
<Wraith> Understood. What of the man with the guns?
<Medusa> Nothing above the usual for now, I'm more concerned about the other. I would certainly appreciate copies of important scriptures if you could mange.
<Wraith> I'll see what I can do.
<Medusa> has severed connection...
<Wraith> has severed connection...
With that done, Julia shutdown her computer and returned to her assorted documents. Evidently the winner of this election wouldn't be legitimate, yet that didn't concern her as long as she finished on top.
Amethyst City Convention Centre.
Presidential Candidate Debate.
Thousands of people waited in near silence within the main seating hall of the Convention Centre, their eyes glued to the front stage as they expected the three podiums before them to soon be filled the three candidates as they engaged in verbal battles.
Entrance to the centre tonight was free as this was no concert or performance, yet the seating capacity was fully occupied and millions more would be watching from home. Since the power of the elected President was near to absolute, those that could vote tended to maintain a keen interest in politics, they didn't want to vote in the wrong guy, or woman in this case.
Behind the stage was a maze of corridors, rooms and technical equipment. Currently ASA agents could be found almost every ten metres, combing the area for any potential threats to the candidates or themselves. So far one man had been removed due to suspicion of him being troublesome, that and it turned out he had several knives upon his person had put the agents on edge.
Nevertheless, the debate was about to begin as music erupted throughout the hall, signalling the three candidates to leave their rooms and make their own way onto the stage. Evidently there was no friendship between the three and there were no promises things would remain civil.
Applause filled the air as Julia, Mark and Boris moved onto the stage, all displaying pleasant grins and waving to the audience until the noise died down. Once silence resumed a young male voice filled the hall as another man entered the strage, this one holding a microphone.
"Welcome all to the official Candidate Debate! Tonight certainly proves to be interesting as the Mark, Julia and Boris debate a number of topics and undoubtedly throw a few fists. Verbally that is..."
Turning back to the three candidates, the young man nodded and pointed towards Mark.
"Mr. Kulstov, why don't we start with you. Tell us why the people should vote for you as the President of Assington."
Mark nodded in return and cleared his throat.
"It's quite simple really. I will change this nation for the better, I will make it a safer place by taking care of the vampire problem, by actively hunting down and destroying terroist organisations such as the Silver Scorpians and providing even more funding to our law enforcement agencies. Don't worry though, I won't be raising taxes, merely allocating the national budget with a little more common sense."
Mark allowed a brief applause before continuing.
"Assington is certainly a great nation but we can be greater. I intend to bring us forward in all aspects of civilisation, my experience as a businessman shall be valuable in managing our already thundering economy and I shall ensure that all citizens benefit from my actions."
The audience noticed Boris laughing slightly, as did the young man on stage.
"Something to say Mr. Ledpidius?"
"Yes actually. Mark here says he'll be working to do what the people need and want. Does that mean you won't give extra funding to the Church? Atheism is at it's peak in Assington, most recent polls suggest as much as 90% of the population hold to no faith and yet you would have them elect a Catholic? Unless your faith is less substantial than I believe, you would not be serving the people's best interests."
Whilst Mark maintained his pleasant facial expression, inside he was fuming. Whilst he had no substantial connections with the church as far as the public was concerned, the mere fact that he was known to be a Christian could cast doubt over the people. Boris knew this and he had no qualms about highlighting that to the people.
Shaking his head, Mark replied.
"There is no need to worry about my faith, it shall have no influence upon my governing decisions. As our law states, there is to be no merging of Church and State in any manner and I intend to uphold that.
Noticing the tension between the two men, the debate host turned the spotlight to Julia Thatcher.
"Miss Thatcher, would you care to say something?"
Flashing the young man a brief smile she nodded.
"Of course. I'm not going to make promises I can't fulfill. I can say though that I will do my best to make Assington a more pleasant place for all to live in, men and women alike. The people deserve more freedoms and I intend to give it to them, especially the women that have been discriminated against by their very own government. Under my leadership, Assington will become a more pleasant place to live with liberties to go around for all!"
Many people cheered at Julia's words, women and men alike. Both men remained silent as the people applauded, none of them particularly liked her yet they felt eachother to be more pressing matters.
Of course the night was still young, there were many more hours to exchange verbal blows tonight.
House of Ministers, Security Ministry
Results were in from last night's debate and Boris couldn't help but frown. He'd narrowly won the opinion polls as far as those attending the event were concerned whilst things were a little different as from those watching or listening from home. Yet that was to be expected and it wasn't what bothered him.
Thatcher had of course been far behind, it's true she had a following but it was quite minute on the scale of over six billion citizens. The problem was that Mark had been only a few hundred opinion points behind him and that was far too close of his liking. So far this election could go any way, Mark certainly had a credible image as far as the people of Assington was concerned.
Boris knew very well there was much more to this whole situation than a simple tight political rivalry. Whilst Mark's association with the church was somewhat vague in the public perception, the government knew very well he was a Christian and likely to be quite close to his father, despite popular belief. Of course this worried many members of state as none wished for the changes a religious dictator could bring about the nation. And so there was more than a few questions when it came to how Mark passed through the nomination stage of the electoral process.
Everything seemed to fit too perfectly, there was no trail to follow or questionable activities that would indicate foul play and yet Boris knew it was happening. Whatever Mark's father had done as far as shifting the media's outlook on the recent deaths of the Inferno brothers had worked since everyone had almost forgotten the fact that the two brothers were crucified.
Cardinal Jason definitely had his hand in the murders and the recent nomination of his son. Whilst he could employ the use of government force to be rid of these men, the timing was unfortunately ill suited as any such actions would merely be interpreted as an attempt to be rid of a political enemy.
Dropping into a large leather chair before his desk, Boris promptly accessed his computer, going over multiple files he had regarding the church, Jason, Mark and anything related to them. It was time for action, Boris simply had to make sure it was done precisely and appropriately.
The silence was suddenly broken by a phone bursting to life, Boris activating the speaker phone. The relatively young secretary chimed in with her usual good mannered words.
"You require something sir?"
"Patch me through to the ASA commander."
"One moment sir."
Boris continued to browse his intel files until another voice flowed through the phone line.
"Can I help you Boris?"
"Alex, yes. I have a very delicate operation. Do you have any free time to discuss this?"
"If you'll be up at two tomorrow morning, then yes."
"Fine, I'll come to you... I can't be sure everything is entirely secure here."
"Not secure in the ministry?"
"Yes, it's troubling me."
"Alright, I'll see you later."
The call disconnected and Boris was left in silence once again, left to contemplate his problems. He could only conclude that somehow Jason had influenced the very government itself. He knew Mark was a resourceful young man but he wasn't a political animal like his father.
Beneath Amethyst City Cathedral
Mark fumed as the results of yesterday's debate registered within his mind. Throwing down the paper and kicking out the chair next to him, the presidential candidate began pacing down the length of his father's office, his anger quite evident.
"How could this happen? He's not meant to be more popular than me! This is my election and my presidency."
Jason merely watched in silence as his son threw his little tantrum. He wasn't concerned at all and was infact quite pleased with the results. He knew that overall Boris would most likely win the election through popular vote, yet the fact that Mark wasn't far behind would simply make the desired outcome that much more believable.
"Calm down, this was only an opinion poll and there are still five more days of voting. All that matters is that you win the actual votes, then you can do whatever you want."
Slowing his speed, Mark eventually picked up the chair and sat. He was still bitter about the result yet his father's sense was calming him down somewhat.
"Of course I am. Don't worry about anything, you know what you need to do and I'll take care of the rest."
Jason was mildly disappointed that his son didn't have much sense for politics, at least not as much as he did. Of course Mark would be his puppet but there would be times when the young man had to make his own decisions and Jason wouldn't be there for him all the time.
"Anyway, it's time we moved on to our next step. I'll be contacting the Roanian Catholic Church."
"They shall be aiding us in this operation somewhat."
"Right. Well I have to be going, I've still got a business to run inbetween all this..."
"Of course, I'll speak with you tonight."
Mark departed silently, closing the door behind him as Jason booted up his computer and began establishing a secure connection with his Roanian contacts. He had two men of particular influence he needed to contact and hopefully they would see things his way.
To: Joachim von Schner
From: Jason Kulstov
I apologise for the sudden contact and informality Father but I fear it may be necessary during my current predicamament. I have a proposition that is sure to interest you and your superior. As you may know there are elections in Assington and soon to be a shift in government, my son is undoubtedly going to win this election and that provides certain oppurtunities for your respected Church.
You will find a report detailing what I intend attached to this message. I hope we can come to a reasonable agreement as I believe through our combined efforts we can transform Assington from the land of heathens into a place of enlightened and strict faith, as it should be. I await your response.
To: Lydia Hylar
From: Jason Kulstov
The time has come for things to change in Assington and in order for that to happen I would call upon friends from Roania. I know very well of your past ventures within my nation and was saddened to see the government take such actions against your fine corporation. In order to ammend such an injustice one of the frist actions my son will do as the new President will be allowing you back into Assington.
In order for this to occur I request you go over the attached file and get back to me as soon as possible. This won't happen without our combined efforts.
With both messages sent Jason knew it was merely a matter of time before they replied, agreeing to his proposition and moving them one step closer to seizing the presidency.
Private Residence of Julia Thatcher
Julia sighed as she slumped within her office chair. The last few days had been frantic, attending publicity events, formulating further campaign platforms and basically doing everything within her power to gain popularity. She knew very well she was the undedog of this election and certainly had the odds against her. Assington had never had a woman in the Palace over it's entire history.
Clearing her mind of political history, Julia logged into her computer and began pulling up certain files. She was almost due for a report from certain intelligence sources. Hopefully their efforts would pay off and something could be used in eliminating one of her competitors from the game. Whilst it was somewhat against her nature to be so underhanded, Julia realised who she was dealing with and whilst considered Boris to be a somewhat honourable man, Mark on the other hand was not to be trusted in the slightest.
<Medusa> I trust you found the sermons quite fulfilling?
<Wraith> Of course, I feel quite enlightened.
<Medusa> Care to spread the faith?
<Wraith> It must be done in person. I know it's uncommon, but trust me... any other way and you wouldn't be touched by His presence.
Julia paused for a moment as she contemplated the request. She'd only ever met her source once in person, many years ago. The circumstances for that were significant and he was right. If he wished a meeting then it must be significant.
<Medusa> Do you have a desired location?
<Wraith> There is a small temple of ancient heathens on the outskirts of our soutern city border. Tomorrow night.
<Medusa> Alright, I'll be there.
<Medusa> has severed connection...
<Wraith> has severed connection...
Sighing to herself, Julia switched off her computer. The ancient heathens had her thinking for a bit, yet she felt confident in the implied location.
Sitting upon the the other end of a secure connection was Jason Kulstov, a corpse lying upon the ground behind him. Blood stained the carpet due to a gaping slash across the man's throat yet that didn't bother Jason, the shack would be burned to the ground once his men were done anyway.
Soon enough there would only be two competitors left in this race and only one true winner. Terminating his connection, Jason unplugged the monitor and other accessories before handing it over to one of his loyal Inquisitors.
"Clean this place out, then burn it."
The Zombie Alliance
OOC: Is this open?
Lydia's expression was blank as she studied the coded transmission. "Well, well, well." The businesswoman tapped her steepled fingers to her chin thoughtfully. The beautiful woman considered her beringed fingers for a long moment. "Cancel my appointments for the next few months." She told her secretary. "I'm going to Assington." The agent bowed low and departed from the room.
As a vice-president of the Omega Corporation, Lydia had many responsibilities. She had to present her division's findings to the board, help defend her company in court, and assist in various other matters as they came to a head.
This was one such matter. 'Perhaps an outfit change is neccessary.' She rose to her feet and slid a finger down the front of her dress. The fabric parted as she did, and fell down her body to her hips. With a sniff she wiggled out of it. Standing completely naked, she then traced her delicate fingers down the curves of her body. It was a beautiful body, one that had served her well in countless boardroom battles and similar circumstances. 'It's almost a shame to cover this up...'
She walked over to her office's wardrobe and selected a jumpsuit. With a fluid moment Lydia dressed herself once more, then stepped forward and through the closet. "Inform the Assingtonian ambassador that I will have a visa by the time I board a starship tomorrow," She called out to her office staff. Then, with a smirk, she slid down the stairwell to a meeting with a very important person.
(Sorry, Ass. But I wanted to get this nation alive again for this RP, and that took a while.)
OOC: Not a problem.
IC: Beneath Amethyst City Cathedral
The light was slow to return after however long the darkness had reigned, Julia wasn't sure. The last thing she remembered was arrived at an old Pagan temple on the outskirts of the city. She'd meant to be meeting someone, yet the name escaped her currently as a throbbing pain surged through every nerve of her body.
Awareness began to slowly take over once again as Julia noted the temerate climate she found herself situated within. The room was dark, yet dimly lit by a few flames and the air was stagnant. Opening her eyes, Julia found herself to be several metres off the ground. At this point she noted her current predicament as the feeling returned to her limbs. She was suspended across a crucifix, upon a stone wall.
Another voice emerged from the darkness, unfamiliar to Julia.
"There is no need to cuss in a House of God."
"Fuck you, asshole."
Stepping out of the shadows, Jason smiled briefly as his dark eyes focused upon the woman before him.
"That's no way to treat your host, Miss Thatcher. We haven't met before, but I know you... Medusa."
Julia's eyes widened as she comprehended Jason's words.
"No, Wraith died several days ago. I'm Jason Kulstov, you would do well to remember that name for the remaining moments of your life."
Julia used all her self restraint not to soil herself. It all dawned upon her now, what this was all about, why this was happening. He was behind it all, it had to be him. Whilst Mark was a smart man and a great businessman, he didn't have the political mind or depth to instigate this chain of events.
"It's been you, all along?"
"Quite right, alas you won't be sharing this revelation with anyone, besides the other tormented souls you'll be joining in the depths of Hell."
"Save me your scare tactics, I care little for your religious bullshit!"
Shaking his head, Jason sighed.
"And that's why you'll never find salvation."
It was evident Jason was merely taunting her, he was actually enjoying the moment. Julia realised she wouldn't be leaving here alive, he wouldn't allow it. Tears began to flow down her face.
"Don't be sad Miss Thatcher, you wouldn't have won this election anyway."
Moving right up to the base of the crucifix, Jason glared up at the woman.
"If it makes you feel any better, I'll let you in on a little secret. The Inferno brothers both died on crucifixes quite similar to yours, although your death will be much more pleasant. Alas, I don't have time to deliver the punishment you deserve in this life."
Now wimpering, all Julia could do was shake her head as Jason withdrew a semi-automatic pistol and chambered a round.
Without saying a word he unleashed a single round, forcing the bullet to pass through Julia's brain and lodge itself into the stone wall behind her.
Hidden within the shadows upon the other side of the chamber, four pairs of eyes watched in silence, two natural and two electronic. Even if the area were well lit, their presence would not be noted thanks to highly advanced military technology.
Agents Stone and Fuller remained perfectly still as they watched the man before them. Jason Kulstov had just killed one of his son's political opponents, if he was capable of that then there was no telling what else he'd done in order to further his son's chances of becoming the next Assingtonian President.
Everything the two men saw was also being recorded in an attempt to gather enough evidence to disqualify Mark's involvement in the election. This appeared to be enough. Continuing to wait, both men observed as Jason moved away from the corpse and dropped himself into a rather large chair before his desk. Pressing a button upon his phone, another male voice answered.
"Send two men down to my office and prepare things for the arrival of a foreign guest. She is Roanian, so I expect you to accomodate for any cultural norms and the sort. We cannot risk this going wrong. Understood?"
"Yes sir, it shall be done right away."
At that point the room had a wide arc of light cast into it as Mark strode into the room, part of the light reflecting upon the two cloaked men within the shadows. Jason caught the glimmer out of the corner of his eye briefly, yet was distracted by his son's disgruntled appearance.
"I was just at a publicity event and everything was going well until a bunch of Thatcher supporters decided to turn up. They started a brawl and the event had to be cancelled. I know it harms her cause, but this event was aimed at capturing a lot of the undecided, which I think was going quite well. I would have prefered to finish it."
Jason couldn't help but chuckle at his son's problem.
"I don't think Julia will give you any more problems, she has dropped out of the election."
"What?! How do you know?"
Merely smiling, Jason's head turned to the far wall, looking straight at Julia's corpse. Mark followed his father's gaze and almost jumped out of his seat in surprise.
"You sneaky bastard..."
The Presidential candidate could barely contain the grin upon his face as he looked between his father and Julia Thatcher. At that point, two men dressed in white robes enetered the large office, awaiting orders.
"You two, stand to attention."
Both men took up straight stances, prepared to act on a word. Without saying anything, Jason grabbed his pistol once again and aimed towards the dark corner of the room to his right and squeezed the trigger.
Stone and Fuller both dived to the side as they watched the pistol aimed in their general direciton. They had no idea how Jason had spotted them, yet that wasn't really important now.
The two men in white robes spun around to see what the target was yet only saw what appeared to be a clear blur of air moving out of the darkness. They both stood still in shock as their master fired off another few shots, slamming into the stone wall beside them.
"Don't just stand there! Shut the damned door!"
Jumping into action, both men raced towards the doors and slammed them shut and drew their own pistols.
Grabbing his phone, Jason almost screamed at the man on the other end.
"Get some heat vision goggles down to my room, now!"
Both Stone and Fuller cursed silently. Whilst their cloaking field hid them from the naked eye, there was no masking their body heat. Whilst both men were armed, they were not authorised to kill Jason or do anything that would reveal their identity and purpose.
Silently clicking his comm, Fuller spoke to Stone.
"See what you can transmit out of here."
Within seconds Stone was tapping away at his wrist computer, initiating the transmission to a secure location. Unforunately that all ended rather quickly with a single burst, the distinct bang of a high caliber pistol.
Fuller immediately turned to see Jason standing across the room, a pair of electronic goggles upon his head.
Not knowing there was more than one, Jason began moving towards his downed target whilst Fuller tapped away at his own computer, bringing the remote activation menu for Stone's fail safe device.
Closing his eyes, Fuller actived it and listened as Jason screamed in surprise. He'd been looking at Stone's body when all of a sudden a flare had erupted upon his back, glowing a distinct bright white common to magnesium. Within seconds Stone's entire body was engulfed with this white hot flame, making quick work of all equipment and clothing, as well as the man's body. Within a minute the flame had finally subsided, leaving a pile of ash behind.
Forgetting the mission, Fuller drew his weapon and moved towards Jason. He could at least do the nation a favour before he disappeared in a white flame of his own. Ready to pull the trigger, Fuller jumped as two shots found his ears, the bullets closely following as they passed into his abdomen.
Only able to squeeze off a single shot, Fuller was unsure if it struck as he went down, noting the two men in robes now wearing goggles as well. Sighing to himself, he dropped the gun and activated his own incinerator.
Jason grunted as he fell to the ground, his shoulder engulfed in agony. Soon afterwards another bright glow came into view, causing the holy man to remove his goggles and shield his eyes.
ASA Headquarters, Amethyst City underground complex
Bill Knight was a simple computer technician for the ASA. He wasn't high up in the order of the organisation but he knew how to do his job well and was in turn rewarded for such with a comfortable life.
The transmission he picked up, encoded in security ministry encryption was a common occurance of the job. Little did he know the significance of the content or what it's consequences could be.
Noting it in his log, Bill forwarded the notice of receival to his superiors and continued with the satellite calibration he had been assigned to for the night.
One day remained until the polls closed the vote counting would begin. Jason sat within his large leather bound chair, grimacing as the church doctor finalised the stitches within his shoulder. Of course he wasn't going to be seen at a hospital considering the circumstances he was shot in and so the surgery had been performed overnight within the cathedral.
Since it seemed Julia Thatcher had disappeared and thanks to a few people within the media, everyone was led to believe the pressure was too much for her and she'd simply abandoned the election and even the country. With her out of the way it was simply a matter of beating the Security Minister, which wouldn't be a problem when it came to the actual counts.
Whilst there wasn't any evidence to suggest such, Jason knew Boris was behind the attack, perhaps even an assassination attempt. The men were certainly disciplined like the military, even willing to take their own lives to prevent the mission being compromised. Unfortunately there was little he could do about such currently. With a little more patience though, Mark would be in office and then anyone that dared to challenge the might of the Church would be crushed.
With the stitches done, Jason took a long swig out of a bottle of honey vodka. Mark was busy with campaign business of the last day and everything else was set in place. It was merely time to wait.
House of Ministers, Security Ministry
So far there hadn't been any news on mission of last night. Boris couldn't help but feel anxious as it was the last day of voting. Whilst he was confident he would win a fair election, there was no telling whether it would be fair and hence the goal of the mission had been to find out.
The fact neither of the men had returned was unnerving, it didn't bode well at all. Pacing within his office, Boris almost jumped when the door opened and a young man walked in holding a USB drive.
"Sir, this was recieved last night. It's incomplete and something was interfering with the signal but I'm sure you'll be very interested to see what's on it."
Alone once again, Boris plugged in the USB and entered his authorisation code. Opening the media file, Boris watched in silence as the scratchy scene played out before him. A woman easily identified as Julia Thatcher was strung up, crucified upon a stone wall. It was too dark to identify the man yet Boris knew who it was and wasn't even surprised to see him kill her.
Now that he was sure of how this game would be played, Boris had a lot to do in the next twenty four hours.
Range: ***Planetary/System Text Transmission***
Origin: Amethyst City, Assington, Fatal Terrain, Earth
Elections are well and truly over, the votes are tallied and the whole nation awaits the result. Due to the apparent pulling out of Julia Thatcher, the election is simply between Mark Kulstov and Boris Ledpedius.
No doubt both men are capable to serve Assington well, otherwise they would not be on the poll in the first place. Public opinion polls have been relatively close throughout the entire voting week with Mr. Lepedius leading by only a small margin.
It should be noted that any votes cast for Julia Thatcher have been automatically counted towards the second preferences of the respected voters.
The next President of Assington, winning by a margin 52% to 48% margin, is Mark Kulstov!
House of Ministers, Security Ministry
Boris didn't waste any time once the announcement had been made. He knew enough to realise whilst Mark may now be the President, his father was really pulling the strings and something told him many of the Security Ministry staff would find themselves in similar positions to the Inferno brothers and Miss Thatcher if they decided to hang around.
Thankfully over his career Boris had made many friends throughout various organisations within Assington, people that were loyal to him and not his position. People within the military and ASA would make sure he disappeared, never to be found by Mark or Jason.
No doubt existed within the Security Minister's mind that the election had been tampered with, whilst he didn't possess the necessary proof to appeal to the High Court, he had enough to verify Jason's hands were bloody, alas it was too late. For now he would have to go into hiding, biding his time until it was right to strike back.
All files of particular significance were being incinerated by his loyal staff and computers had been rendered useless by powerful magnets. Whilst even Boris didn't know his final destination, he was aware it would not be upon Earth and thus was extremely confident he would never be found by the men now occupying the seat of power within his beloved nation.
Sighing to himself, Boris gazed upon an image of his family. They of course would be coming with him, whether they wished to or not. Activating the locater beacon within his watch, Boris quickly faded away as he was transported onto an orbiting military vessel, bound for a colony outside the Sol System.