El Dorado [AMW]
[OOC: Yes, the accent mark is right! It should be pronoucned Pan-ZO, with the implication at the end.]
"Tus papeles." The guard barked it more like an order than a passive question and the already tense Alejando Panzó jolted. His face twitched in disgust as he reached into the inside pocket of his parka, reaching for his documentation. He came to the same place everyday as a civilian advisor to El Mariscal Don Santiago del Moro, but everyday the guard required his documentation, as if he was some Moor immigrant. He was beginning to believe the man hated him. In the two degrees celcius cold of Madrid's winter he shook around while he slowly retracted his papers, his hand wobbling like a man with alzheimer. He took it out and handed it to the guard who slung his assault rifle over his shoulder and snatched the passport and the government edict from Panzó. Taking his time he spent more time staring into the distance of the concentric patters on the paper than on the information itself and then went into his little guard phone and sat down opening something on his computer screen. Panzó sneered and he impatiently shook his legs. The guard took a look at him and then went back to his screen, finally getting up about a minute later as comfortably as possible. He gave back the papers and said only, "Autorizado." Authorized.
He entered into the courtyard of the Joint Chiefs of Staff building in Madrid and made his way through the beautiful garden providing some aesthetics to the ugly building, towards what was the entrance into the actual office area. The Quartel General was a rather stumpy looking building crafted out of the neo-classical architectural style that Spain had been so keen on rekindling during the massive construction projects of Madrid during the mid-19th century. Ignoring the façade he walked into the main building and greeted the beautiful secretary at the front, who knew him well, and he continued deep within the corridor where the elevators were established. Once within the elevator he made his way to the third floor and from there quickly walked to a door marked Cupula del las Fuerzas Armada. Knocking first, the door opened slowly and the man on the other side smiled and let Panzó in, who entered rather quietly as a man at the far end of the conference room continued to speak.
Panzó tried to listen in, but he had missed much, "...ench are redeveloping control over the state after the brief turmoil led by the assasination of King Louis XX. We are not completely sure on the resurgence of feudal politics in France but it seems an heir as risen, nonetheless there are still doubts to the stability of the country." He saw a pair of feet to the far right but couldn't make out the face behind the mass of people between him and the subject. He went back to the speaker, "...mies are currently poised along the Pyrenees for possible intervention in southern France, including Marseilles." He stopped as he heard a few grumbles.
One of the other generals, Alejandro made him out to be Commandante General Francisco del Bosch, son of the now dead dictator Milan del Bosch, spoke up, "Are you crazy? With plans to cajole Portugal into a union with Spain we cannot stir the international world to Western European politics! It would set back Spanish expansion for the next decade!" A demand a be-" He was cut off by the man with no face, sitting on a chair.
He rose and finally Alejandro got a good look at him and he swalled. It was King Juan Carlos II himself - someone who had been so kind hearted as to give Spain back to the powers of democracy, but one who insisted to partially control the strings behind the scenes. There was no doubt that had Tejero's and del Bosch's coup d'etat in 1981 failed the country would have turned out different, but after so much dictatorship, and after almost ten years of almost continous military expansion it was hard to persuade the minds of even the most noble men, and since del Bosch even the democracy of Spain had put more priority on the defense budget than what they should have. Although Spain had advanced economically to become one of the strongest economies of the world, they could not match France, Germany or Russia, and they could not match the now unified China and the always unifed United States. Regardless, they were not weak. But that was irrelevent - what was revelent was the king's ultimate decision, as he was commander in chief of the armed forces.
His voice boomed over the rest, hushing the crowd of politicos and military minds, "I can care less about Portugal. Louis XX and the French crown is still Bourbon, as the Spanish crown is, and for all the postulation that I am a mere figure head I dare any of you to prove it. The fact remains that the future of Spain is not a democracy as much as it is a right wing haven. What is it? A pure capitalism with a king at its head. A bit ironic, but the future nonetheless. Portugal is but a mere chapter, France is the future and to have good ties with France is to have good ties with the Holy League, who are our direct neighbors. It would be wise to keep good relations with them, no? Plus, it is a mere debut for the military power of Spain, for long underrated."
The generals dared not counter his argument, for he was the king, and the age of nobility and generalship intertwined in Spain had long passed, although the del Bosch dictatorship did see a few more noble appointments to the generalship of Spain's army. It seemed as war loomed close for Spain. But how realistic was it? How could Spain, a country who had not seen war since the Moroccon march on Tarfaya after the death of Franco (which can't be considered a true war) suddenly prove its mechanized effeciency. It would turn out to have no true persuasion on the king; his mind had been made up. It all mattered to how France reacted to such a thing, but then again, many thought that to Juan Carlos France itself mattered little - just the meant of the politics. But then, del Bosch spoke up again, "Su majestad, permission to contradict." The king nodded and the general continued, "What if France does not agree?"
The king merely said, "They will agree." With that the conference was more or less adjourned through principle and the generals began to filter out. That left only Alejandro, the Chief of General Staff Hidalgo Sotorno, and strangely enough, the king of Spain, in the room. Once everyone was gone but them Alejandro smiled, stepped up and first greeted the king with, "Su Majestad," bowing all the while. Then he turned to Sotorno and gave his respects, "Como esta usted?" The general rolled his eyes and replied, "Cut the crap Alejandro!" Both of them smirked but the king didn't seem amused. Alejandro quickly eliminated the smile from his face and paid attention to the king.
He spoke soon and fast, "I have to go the Palacio soon, so do not have much time to chat. You are Alejandro Panzó I assume? He didn't wait for a response, "You have been tasked to lead a diplomatic mission to Paris. The success or failure should play a big part in your future. I'm sure the general here will brief you on what exactly you need to know. But again, I must go." Both men paid their respects to the king, as the other man left, and Hidalgo let out a sigh while Sotorno rolled his eyes. Both men laughed again and then Sotorno set down to prepare Alejandro for his mission...
Communiqué to Paris
For the eyes and ears of the administration of France I offer you some sort of diplomatic overture with Spain. With France out of the rucous of assassinations and brief moments of rebellion, or at least perspectively, the Bourbon dynasty of Spain, albeit limited in the amount of power and influence it can exert, would like to persuade the French monarchy to a meeting in Versailles discussing anything from simple economics to possible military cooperation between the two Bourbon countries. Of course, there would be discussions on things that I cannot explain in this telegram in case this ever was released to the public...on accident, if you will - as they seem to happen a lot these days. But nonetheless, it should prove rather valuable. The man heading our diplomatic team will be a trusted civilian, although civilian, under the name of Alejandro Panzó; hopefully this will be fine with the French government. We eagerly await your reply.
Mariscal Hidalgo Sotorno
The Roycelandian Broadcasting Corporation will continue to the monitor the story and bring updates as they happen...
(In other words, Tag until I can get home from work this evening!)
Flying on the winds wings Monsieur Charles-Gravier le Comte de Vergennes, Minister of State to His Most Christian Majesty Louis-Auguste, arrived at Madrid Airport. He flew in a newly Franco-fied Roycelandian Heavy Lancaster Bomber, commandeered by the Prime Minister to facilitate Vergennes’s swift journey south.
Vergennes was escorted only by half a dozen Garde Suisse as his motorcade sped towards the Madrid residence of His Catholic Majesty Juan-Carlos II. He bore dispatches by Maurepas’ own hand from Versailles: His Most Christian Majesty Louis-Auguste (son of Louis XX) has pacified the revolt, and Spanish troops are not needed in Marseilles. However, His Majesty King Louis would like to use this opportunity to finally unite the two Bourbon countries, having nothing but unbridled esteem for his royal brother Juan-Carlos II. For this purpose, His Catholic Majesty was invited to send an embassy in full suit to Versailles, for the purposes of resurrecting the Pact Famille. To that end Vergennes bore an ornate parchment, inscribed by le Marquis de Breze, Master of Ceremonies, as follows:
“Messieurs, le Roi vous accorde les grande entrees.”
Sirs, the King grants you the grand entries. This is, in effect, a ticket given to foreign monarchs inviting them to come and stay with honor at Versailles.
**bump for Mac**
OOC: No other communiques?
[OOC: The priority is to get me back into the HL. But, of course, I had plans to contact Russia and China; realistically, Hindustan as well, but I'm not really sure how likely it would be for them to accept a business deal with a potential member of the HL. I accidently replied without posting an IC..damn.]
[OOC: I hope you don't mind me inventing the speech for your character. It was to add a bit more fluff to the post.]
In Madrid the Spanish royalty had allowed Monsieur Charles-Gravier le Comte de Vergennes to stay for the night in the royal palace of Aranjuez, deep within the countryside of outer Madrid, close to no urban bustle, and a bit more honorous than giving him a room in the imperial palace of Madrid. The day after Vergennes and the Spanish ambassadorial team, led by Alejandro Panzó, left for Paris on a private Iberia flight. It would take three hours, but the spacious interior of the aircraft, designed specially for government trips would make it seem like less - there was nothing that wasn't there, that the men wanted. One of the flight attendants, a very beautiful young Spanish women, offered Panzó a drink and he nodded and responded, "Si querida, a whisky on the rocks, por favór." She then went around to take the orders of the other man seated around in the aircraft and finally brought them what they had asked for.
Swirling the drink within the glass he turned his attention to Vergennes. Eying him while the French man ruffled through his papers he formulated thoughts in his head. He could not give away too much. Just petty talk. He adressed the man, "So, Monsieur, how exactly are things in France?"
The other man turned his head up and smiled and responded, "Very good. We've established almost complete control in areas previously infested with rebellion. It seems as if our new king promises the glory that came to us through Louis XX."
The Spaniard nodded his compliments and said, "That's good. It seems as if things in Spain are heating up, even under the progressive democratic presidency we have. No doubt we are still a right wing country, but with every passing election things turn more socialist. You can understand my disgust, no?" The French man didn't answer and so Panzó continued, "But anyhow, it will be an interesting happenstance to meet with your king. We should arrive there shortly."
"Yes, yes, and thank you for your hospitality, and think your king as well. Ar-Ar?" The Spaniard interceded, "Aranjuez." Vergennes picked up where he was, "Aranjeuz was very nice."
They continued with the conversation until the aircraft touched land in de Gaulle international airport. From there Panzó would have to see what would happen.
...elsewhere other politics were taking place. Rey Juan Carlos II de Bourbon was interested in propigating Spanish imperial prowess to other places than France, and China seemed like the perfect opportunity. For years the Spaniards had been forced to confirm to American and German politics since their armaments were bought from them. Even now, the ranks of Leopard IIs in Valencia and in Madrid were a testament to that, as were the Pac 3 variants recently purchased from Washington. If all went right soon enough that would change. A resurgent Holy League would be pooring out weaponry that could match the west and the east alike - they would be the center powers, if you will. In fact, Spanish engineers had been working on designs ever since del Bosch's rise to power, but they never had the money nor the need to implement them into manufacturing. Nevertheless, recent orders had changed much of the automobile factory once used for Pegaso trucks into military manufacturing. Pegaso had been bought off by an Italian truck company and so manufacturing bases moved back to Italy where labour was cheaper, and then outsourced elsewhere, leaving Spain with a mess of abandoned industrial polygons. They soon found good use for them.
Regardless, there were several countries that would prove to be beneficial. However, Spain had to find a way to be beneficial to them. The first attempt would be with China, and Juan Carlos II would visit China personally. He ordered a communiqué sent immediately;
Communiqué to Beijing,
Greetings from Madrid! It is high time that the Spaniards attempt to fimiliarize themselves with the new foreign powers. China, of course, has offered itself to be more lucritive than the United States. Indeed, the United States has seemed to devolve into a rather quaint theocracy, although we cannot attack them too much - they still have seemed to gain the top footing in international economics, and we [i]do purchase most of our military goods from old NATO countries, including the United States. Regardless, I seek a conference with the Chinese administration either in Beijing or in Madrid; whichever proves best for yourself. I eagerly await your reply. Thank you.
Juan Carlos II
Foreign Affairs minister Hu Jin Tao read the communique and chuckled as he read the line about the military equipment. Why on earth did they bring that fact up? Hu realised that the Spanish still saw China as Sino, militaristic and aggressive. Under his reign, China had almost become isolationist militarily, but was engaging in foreign diplomacy like never before. It would be nice to introduce Madrid to the new China.
Communique to Madrid
We would like extend an invitation to Spain to a conference in Beijing to establish a greater level of co-operation between our two great nations in all fields of society.
Foreign minister Hu Jin Tao will be hosting your delegate in the Presidential Palace. We look forward to meeting with you.
(I have a thread for diplomacy here)
A gilded carriage, bearing on its decorated side the standard of Bourbon Spain, was pulled grandly down the Marble Court towards the Grand Doors of the Chateau de Versailles. Ahead of it, on either side, were arrayed members of the Royal Bodyguard.
To the left was the Garde Suisse, resplendent in their red, silver and gold uniforms, white plumes flying from their Kevlar plated tricorner hats. To the right were the sparkling members of the Gardes du Corps, the noble only cadre of warriors that was but another jewel in His Most Christian Majesties copious crown of lifeguards.
As the carriage trotted to the doors and slowly came to a halt, the Bodyguard presented arms, and the Suisse beat on their massive drums. Out came the honorable Spanish Ambassador, Senior Panzo. He wore a full Court Suit of yellow pastel silks: a sword at his hip, silk stockings on his leg, gold buckled shoes and powdered face and wig. This was his moment of glory. As a sign of faith with his Bourbon relation in Spain, King Louis-Auguste was granting the Ambassador Les Grand Entrees…the most formal and glorious method of entering Versailles, reserved only for Popes and their legates, Kings and their immediate representatives.
Up the sweeping staircase Senior Panzo sauntered, as the Suisse and Gardes du Corps snapped their arms to attention. The trumpeters played a volley, and the great Royal Flag of France was dipped in salute. Senior Panzo then continued his saunter down the very Hall of Mirrors, French aristocrats politely nodded and smiled at him as he slowly transversed the opulent promenade. Ahead of him now would be the impossibly splendid gold lined doors that led to His Most Christian Majesty Louis-Auguste’s Throne Room.
They opened, granting a view of His Majesty enthroned from on high.
“May it please Your Majesty! The Ambassador Extraordinary from His Catholic Majesty Juan Carlos II!” shouted the major domo as he rapped his silver shod teak staff on the marble floor.
Panzo then stood at the foot of the throne majestical. Above him sat good King Louis-Auguste, in a white silk Court Suit and ornate wig.
“My brother Juan Carlos is esteemed by us beyond any doubt. It is with the greatest sense of family concord and national felicity that we now welcome you monsieur, his honored representative. We wish now to extend our hopes for a restoration of the Pact Famille, and the most cordial and enduring relations possible with His Catholic Majesty that are granted under the sun.”
That evening, the ambassador met with M. de Maurepas, the Prime Minister. He would suggest to Senior Panzo a resuscitation of the Pact Famille, which was a iron alliance signed in the Ancien Regime by the Bourbon Kings of France and Spain. It was a full alliance, military and trade. Spain would be of course invited into the Holy League, which Louis-Auguste could arrange entry thereof, but it was also suggested the Pact Famille was a more pressing document. Nevertheless Holy League membership only made sense for Spain, with Tsar Wingert’s assent its profitability was assured. Marriages were also discussed.
Louis-Auguste wished to return to the old state of affairs, when Catholic Majesty and Most Christian King were the closest allies in Christendom.
Panzó had been dazzled by the honors bestowed upon his arrival and he had made sure to show his gratitude to his most holiest majesty, Louis-Auguste, expressing, "Su Majestad," and dropping to his knees when he first saw him. Louis-Auguste was possibly the most poweful monarch in Europe, and even Tsar Wingert I had troubles matching the regality of his French counterpart. To Panzó and his master, Rey Juan Carlos II, the only man greater than the current king of France was the respected Louis XX. Panzó made sure to offer his gratitudes to Louis-Auguste a bit more and upon the first day of meeting His Grand Majesty he presented to the French royal a beautiful bouquet of golden flowers; of course fake, but manufactured out of almost pure gold [knowing that pure gold is too soft], with petals engraved with a series of the most lucrative South African diamonds. Panzó left the royal court with a feeling of satisfaction concerning the image he had left upon the French king and then prepared for his meeting with French Prime Minister de Maurepas.
The other man began the conversation first, "I trust the old Spain is alright." This received a vehement nod from Panzó and de Maurepas continued, "I think it's obvious that what best interests both parties is a reunion of the Bourbon dynasty in terms of a tight alliance. A Pact Famille, if you will."
Panzó nodded. Fortunately it seemed as if the French were looking for the same that the Spaniards were looking for; a full fledge military alliance. The Spanish representative responded, "Before we get into business I wish to, again, give thanks to His Majesty Louis-Auguste for his more than beautiful honors bestowed on me upon my arrival. Second, it is quite wonderful that Louis-Auguste believe that a Pact Famille is what should be in order, as Su Majestad Juan Carlos II believes much the same." He took a breath and sip from the coffee laid beside him and then pressed on, "However, there's a degree of waryness when it comes to French politics; that is, their position towards a democratic Spain. The country has been a right-wing democracy since the death of del Bosch, but there seems to be a socialist revolution on the rise, ready to sweep the next elections in the coming months; something that will inherently put a cap on the King's power, especially as he has many wishes for the future of Spain." He let the information seep in and then went on, "In other words, what would be Louis-Auguste's reaction to the 'feudalization' of Spain, if you will. Of course, what would be implemented is a greater form of pure capitalism, with checks to provide the necessary impedements to make capitalism successful in an imperial society, but capitalism nonetheless. But, we want to de-socialize it, if that is the right word." He awaited the other man's response as he took another sip of the drink.
M. de Maurepas took a pinch of snuff, wiggling his nose before he broke into a wide grin.
"My dear fellow, quite the contrary. If democracy strengthens the House of Bourbon in Spain, so much the better. Indeed, Their Most Christian Majesties upheld the semblence of it for some years vis a vis the Estates General. Luckily now that the Lily Throne has my skills, such antiquated forms of politics are no longer nessicary. But by all means, let them vote as you will until such time as His Catholic Majesty wishes."
This in turn drew a smile from Panzo.
"Let us sign the Pact Famille monsieur, I see no further obstacles in the way. His Most Christian Majesty has also expressed a wish to me." Maurepas concluded as he drew a ravishing photo of La Comtesse Antoinette de France.
"Marriage, monsieur. Let the two Bourbon branches again re-unite by blood, and the Pact Famille is as good as done!"
((Sorry about the brief post Mac. Will continue after Christmas I think. Regardless, I see nothing but good things ahead for both of our excellent monarchs! Merry XMAS!))
[OOC: We'll assume Prince Phillip never married. And, I'll worry about role playing the marriage to free your time.]
Panzó nodded and responded, "Yes, of course." He took a look at the photo and gasped - of course, to himself. She was beautiful. He stammered to pick up his words and then adressed the French minister, "Let me show this picture to Prince Phillip. I have no doubts that he'll be interested. And as for the pact; consider it signed by King Juan Carlos II, transferrable upon death to the word of future king Phillip VII."
With that done, Panzó moved on to other matters, "Our generals wished me to ask you on the availability of French engineers and manufacturing centers for the contruction of first rate ordnance for the 'new Spanish army' and the 'Armada Invincible', which have been the focus of Spanish rearmament after the death of Franco and the rise of del Bosch. We already have blueprints and prototypes, but our factories in Bilbao and Catalunia are meant for armour and small arms, and we can't possibly begin the production of all this military equipment in Spain. French industry in Flanders would come of use. Should you agree, Spain has no problem as doubling this technology as French, and it would only further unit the two in a military fashion. What do you think?"
With that he sat back and relaxed, all while he waited for the other man to responded.
*Points at massive Russian military machine, run by friendly HL pal Wingert*
OOC- true, but the Pact Famille would even be a somewhat closer allaince than the HL, although the HL is as tight as a drum. Mac, Ill respond tonight...appreciate your willingness to cover the marriage.
My bad...i'll get something up by tommorrow.
Following talks long into the night with M. de Maurepas, Louis-Auguste’s canny Prime Minister, the Spanish Ambassador would retire to his rooms tired but hopeful. Following a small meal of pate and brioche, and taking off his cumbersome wig and powder, no doubt the Senor Panzo would pass straight away out. At around five in the morning Senor Panzo heard a scratch on the door, of course no one knocked in Versailles, that wasn’t polite.
He would admit His Most Christian Majesties Herald of Arms, in full livery in regalia. With a silver staff in one hand he presented to Panzo the document that was in the other, and then whispered excitedly:
“Monseigneur, le Roi has his lever today at seven o’clock. You have been invited!”
The Lever du Roi was an ornate ceremony, but what wasn’t ornate at Versailles? The King rose in the morning, attended by his Gentlemen of the Bedchamber. These were the grandees of France: the Prime Minister, eminent Aristocracy, Merechal’s, and Court Seigneurs. For at Versailles, in France, power and influence depended singularly on how close one was to the King. In the act of ultimate symbolism, at the lever and coucher, the greatest men in France demonstrated their closeness to the King by helping him wake and dress and them repeating it in the evening. Panzo would now attend; Panzo was now a Gentleman in the Ordinary of the Bedchamber.
It was a grand spectacle. Panzo was admitted past two huge and muscular Garde Suisse into the Kings Private Apartment, he was greeted by the fifty or so nobles already assembled there. First the organist would begin the music, and a trio of Franciscan monks with a children’s choir would begin singing from the small chapel in the next room separated by a gauze curtain. With a great flurry the King’s major domo would ripe open the curtains, and His Most Christian Majesty would rise up, to a room all a-bow. The King appeared already in undergarments, his body servants had dressed the Royal Body within the limits of decency. One by one, as the King stood and raised his hands apart, the grandees would come forth and place one single item of clothing upon the King, after first executing that elegant Court Bow Versailles was famous for. First a linen shirt, next a silken vest and down glimmering breeches. Then came the diamond-buckled shoes, tied to the silken stockings already worn over the Royal Legs.. A fat noble with too much powder, the Minister of the Lesser Pleasures, stepped forward and dressed the King with powder. A fine wig was placed upon the combed Royal Hair and pinned on. Panzo held back, for he was given the supreme honor, the last article, le cordon bleu of the Ordu du Saint-Louis. Once he had draped the sash over Majesties shoulder and midsection, Louis-Auguste smiled. All the other nobles fell back and bowed, but Panzo was signaled to remain standing. Then, to his utter surprise no doubt, the King embraced him and kissed his cheeks before proclaiming regally:
”I wish the alliance M. de Maurepas has purposed to me. It is done. Tell my brother Your King I find his terms acceptable, let trade commence. The cities and industry of my Kingdom will now abet the rise of my own Bourbon cousin. Go now, and live forever with the honor that you helped give a rebirth to the Pact Famille.”
Smiling still, the King strode out, followed by the captains of his bodyguards. As Panzo watched him leave, his saw the massive doors open, and felt the sunlight from the Hall of Mirrors wash over him.
Now Spain too, embracing her Bourbon crown, would enter into the day once again.
Panzó had never witnessed something so regal, and never had he been so close to nobility in his life. It had truly be a surprise, and a very pleasant honour. The entire event had seemed to seal the newfound alliance between France and Spain - a reunion between Bourbon crowns, which had not been seen in past history. After the king had left the court in which the lever had been held, Panzó spent a bit of time speaking with the others around him, although they had more interesting things to squabble about amongst themselves. And so, sometime later, when it was polite to do so, he left, and that very day settled for a flight back to Madrid. There would be plenty to tell Su Majestad Rey Juan Carlos II, and Panzó would certainly be a respected man after this. France and Spain, together at last. If all went according to plan, Western Europe would become one military entity, and the dreams of a modern Spain could unfold at last. It would all take time, true, but with time anything was possible. Spain had delegated to a position of contempt to the rest of the world, and certainly not a viable player between the 'first world'countries, but Spain was returning to her golden age - her etapa de oro. Panzó could feel it in his veins.
It took him a while to leave the Palace at Versailles, but when he did he was even more anxious to return to Spain. He took a carriage that had been offered to him back to Paris, and there he made his way to his hotel. He had told the carriage to leave him off a street from his residency, and from there he had walked. There was a series of stands, and Panzó was interested in the day's news of Spanish politics. He stopped and picked up a Spanish paper, and then a French paper, and perused the former first. He stopped in his tracks as he read the headlines. Cataluña's autonomy had been threatened by the stationing of more personnel in Barcelona and the outlying villages and minor cities. It had seemed that the situation had intensified - it was a normal occurance, but this deployment seemed to be larger than usual. He made a mental note of the most outstanding fact that newspaper had illustrated - it had not been authorized by las cortes, it had been authorized by the King. He had to return quickly.
And so with that, he took a taxi to the central railway station in Paris, and ordered a ticket on the high speed train which merged into AVE in Spain, which would take him to Barcelona. From there, he would take AVE to Madrid. Hopefully, things would be good enough if Cataluña - at least good enough for him to get through Barcelona without troubles. For all the gold that had been displayed in France, it seemed that Spain had been drenched in the steel of conflict.
OOC- fantastic. just so you know, you have the OK to marry Antoinette to any one of the Royal House whenever you get it done, Ill leave the ba;; in your court. ciao.
"They cannot get married!" Dacio Gernan, president of the Spanish government, pressed the issue to King Juan Carlos I and his son, Felipe Príncipe de Asturias, further, adressing each concern which made him and the rest of Las Cortes rather shaky. His face grew redder with every passing word as he gave the two men a toungue lashing, "How dare you circumvent the Republic to further your own interest? You may have signed this allegiance, but Spain has not." With that, he sat back down, and the rest of the congress of the disputed clapped, agreeing with the man's harsh words. The royals sat silently. Gernan stood again when the clapping and shouting subsided and he said, solemnly, "The actions of the King have pushed the Republic to the edge. Despite my vow of superiority over the bad governing policies of the Socialist, and my promises made to the House of Bourbon, I cannot, and will not, allow this to happen again. The King is no longer in a position of power, it is high time we erase his position totally." With that, all fell silent.
Felipe stood as the other man sat down once again, and walked out of the building, but before he left he turned to the room and said, "The power the house of Spain holds is beyond what your mind can bear."
From a certain perspective the government was right. The king had overstepped his boundaries in sending over a diplomat, and several military attachés' to France, and now he would have to pay the high price for it. As he walked into the inner courtyard Filipe took out a Amena cellphone from his jacket pocket and marked a number. It took some time before the call went through, but when it finally did Filipe smiled a bit and asked, "¿Donde estais?" He received a muffled answer and he responded, "Then go." Closing the phone he hustled out of the building, entering a black Audi A8, and finally left. That same day the House of Bourbon was voted to be obsolete, and Spain became the Third Republic. The constitutional monarchy had ended.
The country seemed to have entered a crisis sometime after that, on the same day, and there were threats of yet another civil dispute - something Spain could ill afford after the short Sengunda Guerra Civil, which had lasted for less than two months, but had claimed thousands of lives. Filipe had obviously prepared for the moment, and merely two hours after the vote had been officially announced an armoured division, composed of Leopard 2Es and lighter vehicles, had occupied Valencia, while a second armour division had occupied Sevilla, with a third tightening a noose around Madrid, which was laden with Guardia Civil loyal to the Republic. In other words, sides were forming, just like in the two previous wars. The army was undoubtfully loyal to its commanders, who were loyal to their king, and so by the end of the day Filipe had his supremacy on the ground assured, especially as any unloyal elements in the air force had been assassinated during the beginning of the deployments. The only thing that was left was the navy, the second largest navy by tonnelage in Europe [OOC: using RL statistics and ships], and most of the officers remains expressively neutral, waiting for the two sides to show their strengths. But the crisis would be overwith before the day ended.
When hostilities had begun Juan Carlos and the rest of the high officials of the Republic had been sent by armoured convoy through the streets of Madrid into a protected government bunker, underneath the Royal Palace. Some twenty kilometers south, high above them, three Eurofighter Typhoons began to descent altitude, heavily laden with armaments on both wings, and in internal weapon stores. The three jet fighters swooped in over Madrid, outmanuevering the badly placed anti-air artillery the Guardia Civil had set up. In a quick strike, which was over before it started, a single GBU-28 bunkerbuster was placed over the location of the bunker, through satellite targetting, and within seconds the entire high echelon of the Republic, and the king, were dead. With that, the 'Third Republic', which had never truly manifested itself, surrendered to Filipe. All the while, Valencia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Bilbao, Leon, Toledo and Cadiz were all fully occupied, while El Tercio, in Ceuta and Melilla, consolidated their occupations of the North African cities - the final Spanish enclave on the continent. The navy had declared its loyalties to the crown, and the Republic had failed to draw on its internation friends - or, it didn't have the time to do so. Regardless, it was safe to say that the Republican cause had been destroyed.
Filipe entered the city the next morning and he immediately disbanded all levels of Las Cortes, and issued a televized response to the previous day's violence, which was aired through satellite imagery, to provide it to the rest of the world as well. He humbly said, "Socialism has once again felt the brunt of defeat. Now Spain can truly rise to what she derseves." But one could argue that it was not socialism that failed, it was humanity as a whole. Filipe had already sent a communiqué to Paris reaffirming the alliance, and then had reaffirmed Spanish friendliness towards Portugal and Italy, while sending a sharp warning that Spain was not weak to Morocco, which had always had its eyes on the Melilla, Ceuta and the Canary Islands. A new Spain had risen.
His Most Christian King, Louis-Auguste, received an emergency briefing at two a.m., as he lay in his massive bed. Monsieur le Merechal de Saxe, Chairman of the General Staff, Monsieur le Duc de Saint-Germain, Minister of War, and Monsieur le Comte de Maurepas, Prime Minister, addressed the King as to the events unfolding in Spain.
In short order, the Spanish Bourbons, regarded as sacrosanct by their blood French relatives, were informed that the Kingdom of France, as it had done in the past, was ready to send armies in forthwith to crush Republicanism in Spain. As of three a.m., the Royal Dauphin Corps, a massive body of shock troops and Quinntonnian made Abrams tanks, stationed at the Arx Arsenal in Marseilles, were on stand by and prepared to cross over into Spain in force in twenty four hours; and to secure both the Pyrenees and His Catholic Majesty Juan Carlos’s supply lines to his Northern blood-ally. Serendipitously the Royal Dauphin Corps, some sixty thousand strong, had already been awaiting deployment to Ft. St. Martin in New Caledonia, so they were ready to go. As well, Louis I, King in Algeria, sent off a number of phone calls as well, informing King Juan Carlos he had a strong ally in North Africa.
Louis-Auguste himself had wanted to take plane to Madrid immediately, and check on the health and welfare of his royal cousin, for they were in fact first cousins. He would bring a teak cane to “beat the damned rebels like intransigents donkeys.” His advisors calmed him, the Royal Surgeon administered a heavy dose of laudanum, and in the end the Prime Minister M. de Vergennes sent off a series of dispatches to the Catholic King. Did Spain need French intervention? Were the Spanish Bourbons well and safe, or did they need a French army on the ground to secure them and for piece of mind?
And, in Louis-Auguste’s eyes the most important matter, was the marriage still on?
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Royce I was watching his Massive Wall-To-Wall TV in his office when he saw the brouhaha unfolding in Spain.
"You know" he said out loud, "If the Spanish won't play ball, we may have to 'Protect' the Canary Islands and Ibiza from Moroccan Agression..."
Bilbao, El País Vasco
The short and successful royal coup in Madrid had not translated into immediate success elsewhere, especially in the Basque Country, where ETA was just jumping at the opportunity to rearm. Indeed, after its agreement to disarm in the face of growing local dissatisfaction with the group, ETA had sulked, slowly loosing membership, and it needed a cassus belli just like this one to reinstate the vigour that had created the prime seperatist movement in Spain during the 70s, 80s and 90s. By the second day of the coup, when Madrid again settled in peace, and Phillip was merely a few days from coronation and his wedding with what in Spain was considered the 'French Woman', the Basque Country had proclaimed that it would not recognize Phillip as sovereign, and would continue to recognize his father as king of Spain, despite the fact that by this time Juan Carlos I had died as collateral damage in the bombing and destruction of most of Spain's high officials of the administration and Las Cortes. Nevertheless, this created a huge issue for Phillip, and if he failed to show a strong hand he faced possible insurrections which could potentially span El País Vasco, Cataluña, and even, perhaps, if unlucky enough, Asturias. All knew that the seperatist movements were rearming, regardless of their size in membership. If Phillip tripped even once he would witness the vast and exponential growth of these miniscule groups. This growth could topple his reign even before the crown was firmly on his brown haired head.
And so, Phillip played his strongest cards. The R-11 Príncipe de Asturias had been deployed to the Bay of Biscay, along with the F-102 Juan de Borbón and the F-104 Méndez Nuñez, both of which were F-100 class frigates. The first ship was Spain's first carrier, matched by the L-61 Aragón, the first and so far only Buque de Proyección Estratégica [Strategic Projection Vessel], which was deployed near Barcelona for the same purposes. In any case, the R-11 had spent the day runnin its Harriers off the deck, expending fuel in flights over the Basque Country to make sure ETA understood that the military fully backed Phillip, and that Phillip would not hesitate to put the 'terrorist' organization back in its place. Fortunately, Phillip's argument was supplemented by the fact that the French had moved divisions to the Spanish border, just in case Phillip needed them to quell the rebellion. But in so far that would be unnecessary, even if Spain's armoured brigade was needed elsewhere. At least to this point in time the display of naval power was enough to quiet the situation in the 'non-Spanish' provences, and it didn't look as if a violent solution would be needed. In less splendous manor, the A-15 Cantabría, a replenishment ship, slowly drifted about forty nautical miles north of Bilbao, just south of the Príncipe de Asturias, but she too manifested the renewed Imperial power and the A-15, in some way, also displayed the renewed Imperial vigour to expand the armada into something that could truly rule the waves. Indeed, although the A-15 had been a 'Republican' project, in other words, laid down during the days of the partido popular [PP] and completed in 2008, it did provide a glimsp of the future Phillip would provide the Armada - the massive expansion which would turn Europe's fastest growing surface fleet and her second largest fleet per tonnage, into a world class seafaring force which could match the United Kingdom and come close to the United States. All understood it would take time, but given that time it could be turned into something to contend with. Unfortunately, this meant a slower expansion of the ground and air forces, although partnership and cooperation with France could possibly speed things up.
In Bilbao proper, however, ETA still concocted its series of machinations, spearheaded by the leadership of Arturo Deorama, as he was called in the rest of Spain. He had met with the rest of the leadership of the militant organization in a bar in plain center city, ready to speak of the future. With his beer in hand he adressed the rest of the group, "So what do you guys propose we do now?"
Another man, garbed in an old military uniform of the Second Republic [prior to the Civil War of '36], replied, "Strike while Phillip is still weak. That aircraft carrier cannot fight car bombs. We have at least one hundred men at our disposal - we could strike wide and far."
Another high ranking ETA official shook his head, "The casualties would be far too terrible!"
The first official scoffed, "So what? The recruits we will get once all know of our renewed offensive and rearmament will counteract the losses we take." He seemed rather sure of himself and rather sure that ETA would conscript a wide array of young soldiers to its cause. He seemed to have forgotten that the membership of ETA had actually begun to waver, one of the reasons the organization had de-armed to begin with.
Deorama pushed through orally, "Yes...well, we have to strike, or else our chance will pass up, no?" The rest nodded, which actually annoyed Arturo. They, unfortunately, did little thinking on their own. "We will start small, but symbolically. I have prepared the explosives; two men will park a car in the center of Guernika and blow it while nobody is around. There will be no casualties, but it will prove that the resistance is back" The others shouted in agreement and it seemed that ETA was resurgent.
Just then a Harrier II that had originated from the Príncipe de Asturias shot over the center of Bilbao, cutting through the city with the brief but intensive cacophony that came from its massive turbofan engines - especially at that low of an altitude. Deorama shuddered, but said nothing. The Harrier II turned somewhere just south of the capital of the Basque Country, then banked and turned around, heading right back through the city. All the while, Basque police officers patrolled the streets outside, unknowing of what had gone done in that bar and what plans doomed Spain to more years of terror and violence...
Guernica, El País Vasco
David Virdéo stepped out of the old Seat Toledo after his buddy had left and turned the corner. Virdéo was the technician in the group, and he passed over everything once more, unknowing that a police officer had registered his face, although the latter man failed to suspect what would come. After the check the Basque had left his car and too turned the corner, walking into a building and then up the flight of stairs, and entering the flat. It was a cozy place, but it was not his or that of his friend - it was rented by ETA and prepared for them, with the window facing the car. Without saying a word David stepped into the balcony and looked around, and then took his cell phone and rang a number. It was all to surreal and looked like something ripped right out of a movie. Seconds later the Seat had exploded, sending a shockwave for at least a hundred meters in all directions, shattering windows and sending glass and scraps of metal through the windows and into the buildings. David and his friend, by that time, were on the floor, although a piece of glass had lodged into David's thigh - that would have to be treated. The police officer, unsuspecting, died that evening - the first casualty of a renewed offensive of terror by ETA. The car was in flames, and the entire block and the block that intersected with the one the car was one, had been more or less destroyed by the primary and secondary shockwaves of the explosion.
Virdéo turned to his friend and said briskly, "Vamonos." He took the piece of glass out of his thigh and limped out of the flat with his friend. He did his best to keep the pace, but he was forced to slow down by the time he left the building.
His friend turned to him and pleaded, "¡Nos tenemos que ir ahora mismo!" He turned again, only to see Virdéo limping, and then left his friend behind.
David Virdéo swore under his breath, but kept walking, leaving the horror behind him. Two police cars swerved into the street, turning the corner, and stopped near him, letting loose four officers. The four men approached him and one of them ordered him to stop. He failed to comply, ignoring the pain that shot through his leg, and started to run. He didn't make it to the corner. He was hit in the thing again; this time by a bullet. Falling to the ground, he knew his days as a freeman were numbered. All evidence would point to him. But ETA had struck again...
Madrid, Comúnidad de Madrid
The city of Madrid had been pacified, along with every city in Extremadura, Andalucía, Castilla la Mancha, Murcia, Castille y León and Valencia. Every city in those communities accepted Phillip as Su Majestad Rey Felipe VI, to be crowned soon enough to make it official. But the future king had a thorne in his side - and that was the seperatist movement of the Basque Country. It seemed this thorn had pricked him, and he was not pleased. Nevertheless, he was amused at home, and the new nobility did their best to keep the troubles from his mind. They needed a king that focused on the future and gradure of Spain, not on petty insurrections that would be quelled with later. To that extent they had organized military parades in the streets of Madrid, including a grand and extensive array of AMX-30 and Leopard 2E battle tanks, their guns raised in salute. These were followed by marching soldiers, goosestepping in perfect precision - a dejá vu to Franco, unfortunately. Trumpets blared, and the soldiers turned to salute their future royal, and it was all done in such splendor that it seemed Spain was not troubled at all. In fact, to the foreign world it would seem that Phillip had gained perfect control of his country in just two days, putting Spain back on track. This couldn't be farther from the truth, but then again, the Basque problem could be solved, and without a parliament, it could be resolved quickly. That was what Phillip intended to do. He had too much on his time to worry about the Basque question.
With that in mind, the tanks that had formed that prossesion, in the 1st Cavalry Brigade, left that same day north. They had moved by rail, including the men, and would arrive just outside of Bilbao within the next day. From there the vehicles would be taken from the trains, and they would drive themselves north into the city of Bilbao proper - the leadership of ETA would be decapitated before the Guernika strike would expand into a fullfledge offensive of terror. Phillip was truly intent on destroying the threat before it emerged strong enough to hurt him. Soon enough, that was just what he was going to get. In the meantime he had issues to speak over with Louis XX of France and Louis I of Algeria - these issues revolved around Morocco. But before any of that could progress he would have to actually be given his crown, and then marry Atoinette of Bourbon, who would become Reina Atoinette de Borbón. In any case, at least she was a bourbon. The last queen had been Greek of all things! So much to do, so little time...
Sudden Military Deployments
The Spanish increase in military size had been precarious and rather slow, sensing that the populace had not yet embraced the new administration so far as to allow them to exponentially increase the ground army. In any case, events elsewhere, namely Cambodia, had given Phillip the reason he needed to propel events foward and bring the Spanish army up to par with its European neighbors, and naval wise, surpass his European neighbors. In any case, the Cambodian incident had put the Holy League in a very dangerous situation, and Soviet belligerence made it impossible for Spain to supply and aid its ally through the Suez Canal, while the Quinntonians were more or less opposed to anything French, thus causing the cesation of the Panama Canal as a plausible route of supply and deployment, which would hinder operations for the Holy League. In the end, the Holy League counted on one sole factor, and that was Russian ports in the Pacific, which unfortunately had the tendency to freeze over during the winter. The Holy League would have to hope to the highest form of power, whatever one was to believe in, that the crux of the problems that would be encountered in Southeast Asia would be met before the winter season in Russia, and before the Holy League could somehow grasp some sort of control in the shipping lanes that ran through the Mediterranean, Red Sea and around the Indian subcontinent. In any case, whatever the future held, Spain seriously needed to ignore its own itching for expansion and instead focus on aiding France. For those reasons the Príncipe de Asturias had left the Celtic Sea and had rondevouzed with another major portion of the Spanish Armada somewhere off Portugal.
On the ground things went a bit faster. The 1st Mechanized Infantry Division, along with the Foreign Legion, had been transported by rail to Bilbao, where they would be picked up two days later by amphibious transport ships and converted merchant ships, and they would meet with the surface combatant fleet and head north and then east together, moving through the English Channel and into the North Sea. Once there operations would become riskier. The transports would be sent alone into the Baltic Sea, and they would offload the men and their equipment in St. Petersburg, Russia. These men and their equipment would be sent by rail to Port Arthur, on the Pacific coast, while the transports went back to the fleet, which would leave about four days after leaving the men in Russia to the Arctic Ocean. Russian ice breakers and smaller ships would aid in navigating the entire task force through the northern Russian waters, breaking up the ice and opening safe routes for shipping, including averting icebergs and other dangerous obstacles. It would be a slow and potentially dangerous route, but insofar it was actually safer than risking going around the subcontinent of India. That said, it was also an ambitious deployment - a total of around twelve thousand combat personnel would be put in Cambodia, along with circa forty-eight thousand logistical personnel for the ground forces alone. The majority of the logistics for the navy would come from Russia, while Russian ports in the Pacific would be a major source of supplies to ground forces - France and Spain would need to provide a continous stream of goods to St. Petersburg, which would then face the long and arduous journey overland to Port Arthur. From there, the material would see its way to French controlled Indochina - it was long, expensive and dangerous, but it beat having to risk Soviet intervention.
Unfortunately, not only would this postpone planned operations in Morocco, which could actually prove advantagous in the long run, but it would weaken Spain to the point where it would have to use the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Division and the 1st Mountain Division to occupy the Basque Country and slowly but surely destroy and decapitate ETA and other minor seperatist movements. Only after that could Phillip rest assured as King of Spain and then look south. However, as suggested before, perhaps this would provide an advantage. Spain still needed at least two years before her ground army gained two more mechanized divisions and one more armoured brigade, while it needed at least three years before it could double the amount of support craft and Eurofighters in its air force - the Duque del Lébano would not be commissioned for another four years. There was still much time before Spain could actively consider itself a European power, as compared to France, and with that status it would also easen the occupation of Morocco. Greater trust with Russia would also gain Russian support for the Moroccan invasion, as well as French support to repay Spanish deployments in Cambodia, while a political defeat on the Soviets and their allies would provide with valuable force that would hinder Soviet influences in Morocco and the Western Sahara. In any case, that latter point could backfire, as the Soviets desperately looked for a new front to block the Holy League. Or things could potentially go awry, and the Soviets could actually defeat Holy League forces in Southeast Asia. Whatever happened it would have a direct impact on the future of Spain and her expansion. In that sense, it actually made much sense for Spain to put as much as it could in Cambodia to avert said debacle.
The parallel war that looked as if it would hinder the alliance, not help it, was beginning to turn away and in return cooperation seemed to increase. Unfortunately, this could be at the expense of Spain who did not have absolute guarantee of French and Russian support in Morocco. Politics could play nasty tricks like that. But either way one could look at it, success in Southeast Asia for France ultimately meant success for Spain elsewhere - especially North Africa. It was with this thought in mind that Phillip made his ultimate decision to deploy men to Cambodia. It would be up to authors to look in retrospect to analyze whether or not this was a good decision.
[OOC: A minor geographic correction... what the Russians called 'Port Arthur' is, in fact the Chinese city of Lushun (returned to China in 1945), while the presence of the Lyong peninsula has supplanted the ports of Primorye in AMW, most notably Vladivostok (known to the Lyongese as 'Gochu', whose Russian-built naval facilities were returned to the PRS at the fall of the Soviet Union). The furthest south that the Russians would have a port would be somewhere in southern Khabarovsk].
[OOC: Bah, so what port would I use? And I have to correct my naval route too - apparently, Russian ships will not risk the voyage to guide Spanish shipping.]