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Tyler

United We Stand [Norkotia]

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It was two weeks into September when the Millersburg Voyagers hosted their home opener against the Bay City Packagers, the prime matching up the second week of the Norkotian Semi-Professional Football season. Donning their navy and gold home uniforms, the Voyagers possessed one of the most feared defenses in the league, while their run-based offense was known for known to brawl over opposing defenders. Opposite them, wearing their visiting white, green and silver outfits, were the speedy Packagers, whose quarterback was one of the long-running stars of sport, and their passing offense known for its potent aerial assault.

As a whole, the Semipro Football League, or SFL, had existed for nearly a hundred years, though the game itself had changed relatively little in that time. A tough, blue-collar sport, it attracted farmers, industrial workers, lake sailors and numerous other working-class men, giving them an organized venue to let out pent-up aggression, show off their skill, or just make some extra money on the side. Unfortunately, the violent nature of the sport meant that an injury could put a man out of work for a significant period of time, but such was the risk the players were willing to take. Many of the business elites desired to shut the sport down to reduce missed work hours, while the intellectuals often scoffed at the barbaric nature of the sport, yet it had endured and even thrived. There was enough money in the sport now that some of the best players were even able to go fully professional. Such was the case for the Packager’s starting quarterback, as well as a couple of key defensive players for the Voyagers.

For this particular game, there was an added element of intrigue, as the Chairman of the Norkotian Council himself would be in attendance. Joseph Tynes, a native of Millersburg, one of the several town that made up the Norkotia City suburbs, had been a lifelong fan of the Voyagers, and though his advisors strongly urged against it, he was dead-set on being there for the heated rivalry game. In fact, Tynes felt it necessary to public show his endorsement of the sport, especially after the years of bad press it had received (despite how much money it made for the networks when they carried the games). But neither the chairman, nor the few thousand fans in attendance, could possibly have known that it would not be the game that this day would be remembered for...

Edited by Tyler

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Up in one of the media booths overlooking the stadium, a pair of sportscasters were providing live commentary as the game was broadcast to televisions and radios all across the Norkotian plain. Football had become quite popular on television, though the lack of channels meant only a couple games could be broadcast at one time. Usually the best match-up during each time slot was selected to be broadcast, with games being played at noon, four o’clock and eight o’clock each Sunday. Today, it was the Packagers at the Voyagers that got the call.

“After that seven yard gain, the Packagers now have only a yard to go on third down.” the play-by-play man stated.

“If I were the Voyagers, I’d be careful here. Bay City is known to go for deep balls in these sort of circumstances, and it’s caught more than a few teams off-guard over the years.” the color announcer put forth his analysis.

“Well, we’ll see as the snap goes to Brentell. Play action, you’re right Rick. Flushed out of the pocket and rolling left and-- OH! What a hit by Von Mueller!”

“Wow! Brentell did not see him coming! That is a big-time sack right there!”

“Loss of five yards and is… is the ball loose!? Recovered by the Voyagers! Garrison Schmidt has it! He hasn't been touched down! He's gonna go all the way!”

“Oh my!”

“Touchdown, Voyagers! The whole stadium is on its feet!”

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The crowd leaped to its feet as Garrison Schmidt took the ball fifty yards to the endzone, putting the Voyagers up 6-0 in the early goings of this rivalry grudge match. Positioned in a private booth just above the uppermost bleachers, Joseph Tynes was visible to almost anyone in the crowd who turned to look up at him. And for a certain man, a twenty-three-year-old college student named Rudolf Norwood, having a flawless view of the chairman was exactly why he was here.

His contacts had already smuggled a long-barreled targeting revolver into the stadium and taped it under the seat his ticket reserved for him. It was perfectly positioned below and in front of Tynes’s booth, providing a clear view upward. When the moment was right, the young man would draw out the weapon and end Joseph Tynes’s life. He had no qualms about this diabolical plan, for he knew of how Tynes sought to brutally clamp down on vice, like prostitution, drug-use and alcoholism, how the chairman sought to militarize the police forces, and how he wanted to force his religion back into the schools and media. This reactionary menace had to be put down, for the sake of his generation and those of the future.

He was proud to sacrifice himself for Norkotia’s freedom.

As the fans rose, Norwood glanced over his shoulder and saw the chairman was also rising, thus presenting an unobstructed line-of-fire to his chest. Rather than join the crowd immediately, the murderous youth reached under his seat and ripped the handgun loose, quickly adjusting it in his hands and pulling back the hammer as he brought it out from under the bench. He did not anticipate interference, for the young man on his right and the young woman on his left were both activist students like him, and co-conspirators in this plot. They were merely there as buffers between him and the crowd, but they were vital nonetheless. So it was that when Norwood jumped to his feet, spun-around, and raised revolver so he could stare down the chairman through the scope, nobody was prepared to stop him.

“DEATH UNTO TYRANTS!!!” he roared, before pulling the trigger.

Edited by Tyler

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As Garrison Schmidt raced downfield to an easy score, Joseph Tynes had jumped to his feet like many of the fans assembled here today. Clapping and cheering like any other member of the Voyager’s faithful, he had no idea what was about to occur. Instead, he leaned to side, to where his advisor Diric Redbridge stood stoically, clapping like a robot. That man just did not understand to cheer.

“Diric, you gotta put some feeling into it, like--” Tynes began to say, before he suddenly gasped.

A pistol bullet came ripping through his right arm, shattering the bone in his forearm, before sending fragments of lead into his shoulder and upper-right chest. If not for bullet being completely fragmented upon impact with the bone, those pieces of shrapnel might have penetrated farther, but as it was, the wounds were shallow, though bloody.

“Like… ah… uh….” Tynes slowly turned to look at his right side, almost passing-out then and there.

“Protect the chairman!” Redbridge cried, showing more emotion in that flash of a second than he had been seen showing in years.

The secret servicemen immediately moved in and surrounded the wounded leader, forcing him to the ground to avoid a follow-up shot, before slowly working him toward the booth’s exit. One of aids rushed ahead to telephone an ambulance, while the men in suits dragged Tynes out of the seating area and into the concourse. But the time they’d moved him there, the chairman was already unconscious...

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Norwood knew he had blown it. The young man had never liked guns, in fact he thought the government should ban them, but he appreciated the irony of assassinating the conservative chairman with such a weapon. Unfortunately, he had only ever practiced on stationary targets, never once taking into account the fact that Joseph Tynes was a living being capable of unexpected movement. It was an oversight he only recognized once it was too late. The chairman’s simple act of leaning to the left to whisper to his advisor was enough to throw off the assassin’s aim, and the result was a bullet to the arm and shoulder rather than the chest.

Before Norwood could regain his bearings and fire again, Tynes’s lackeys had already pushed him down and out of sight, while the crowd on the levels above and below the assassin had been thrown into chaos. A couple citizens were trying to climb up from the next level down and grab him, though Norwood’s associates responded by shoving them back.

“We need to move!” the gunman snapped, before pointing his gun at the sky and firing, “OUT OF MY WAY!”

He shifted aim toward the nearest civilians blocking his path, and began forcing people to move aside as he and his friends tried to escape the seating section. Norwood reached the concourse, but his allies had been swarmed by the crowd as they tried to follow him. Alone, the gunman continued threatening people who got in his way, as he tried to find the stairwell Tynes would be ushered down. Spotting it, he found the first of the secret servicemen were turning the corner, no doubt the wounded leader would be right behind.

“Drop the weapon!” one of the stadium security guards roared from the left flank.

“I will never surrender!” Norwood screamed, spotting them man moving in, but knowing he had a few seconds before the guards could get clear of the crowd blocking his path.

The assassin leveled his revolver, as the mass of men carrying and guarding the chairman turned the corner of the stairwell to make the final descent to the main concourse level. The suits were blocking his view of his target, but if he had to, he’d shoot them down to get to the man in the middle.

“DIE!”

He squeezed the trigger, intending to send a bullet into the lead secret serviceman, but as his gun fired, his leg gave way underneath him. As his own bullet flew wildly into a neon sign over a nearby concession stand, a second bullet tore through Norwood’s leg. The assassin fell to the concrete floor, the pain registering in his brain after a momentary delay.

“No! No no no no!” he grasped, trying to raise his revolver again.

But he never got off another shot, as security guards, aided by proactive citizens, swarmed the gunman and forcibly disarmed him. Norwood struggled and shouted, but it was all a useless effort as he watched the chairman hoisted onto a stretcher and taken outside. The assassin could do nothing but scream at his captors as they wrestled him into submission.

“No, you can’t do this! I must save our rights! The tyrant must die! For all our sakes! Death to the tyrant! Death! Death! DEEEEAAAAAATTTTTHHHHHH!!!”

Edited by Tyler

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After several hours of surgery, Joseph Tynes awoke in a hospital bed, his advisor in a seat beside him and a secret service guard at the door. His right arm and shoulder were numbed beyond feeling, though when he looked down he found his arm tightly bandaged and immobilized.

“The doctors managed to save the arm.” Diric announced, upon seeing Tynes awake and semi-alert, “But they don’t believe it will ever regain its former functionality. I find the arrangement unsatisfactory.”

“Good to see you too, Diric.” Tynes managed to say, a slight smile appearing on his face, “Are… mom or dad here?”

“I took the liberty of having trustworthy guards sent to your parents’ home. They will be remain there in protective custody until the investigation ends.” the Vulk answered, “I assure you, they will be permitted to see you once we are certain no further attacks are in-play.”

Tynes nodded, a tad disappointed, but understanding his family was at risk. His father, mother and siblings had grown more distant from him as the years went on and as he moved closer to achieving his goals. It was probably for the better, because as chairman, he invited even greater risk to their safety. Though painful, keeping them at a distance was necessary.

“Wh… what exactly happened?”

“An assassin attempted to murder you with a Schmidt Arms Model 300T Targeting Revolver. However, the bullet struck your arm rather than your chest, causing severe damage to your ulna and radius, and sending fragments into your shoulder. Most of the lead fragments have been removed.”

“What happened to the assassin?”

“He and his associates were apprehended in the stadium and have been taken to the Millersburg Sheriff’s Office for questioning. Currently, the sheriff suspects they acted alone, but they will notify us if they learn anything more.”

Tynes laid his head back and closed his eyes again, leading his associate to suspect he had gone back to sleep. But he hadn’t gone to sleep quite yet.

“Tell me... “ Tynes said, not opening his eyes, “How are the people taking it?”

Diric stood and walked over to the window, which overlooked the picturesque Garrison Bay and the distant cliffs of Arkholm on the far side. It was twilight, though the stars were out in force already. But even this beauty seemed to have no affect the emotions of Diric Redbridge as he gazed through the glass.

“You’ll be pleased to know that most of the populace is outraged on your behalf. However, there was a protest near the university campus only a few hours after news went public. Seems a lot of the students, and faculty, are demanding your resignation. The situation turned violent thanks to the arrival of a smaller group of counter-protestors, eventually spiraling into a riot. Significant damage was done to a number of businesses and agencies known to support you.”

Tynes smiled, still not opening his eyes.

“Well... You know what you need to do, my friend.”

“As always, Mr. Chairman.”

Edited by Tyler

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In the days following the assassination attempt, more riots and politically-motivated assaults occurred across Norkotia. Most were committed against supporters of the Tynes administration, though the violence ultimately went both ways. The sheriff offices were overwhelmed, not having the manpower to handle this sort of chaos.

But this was merely the latest in a series of incidents that had the Norkotian people on edge. Several foreign bandit gangs had raided settlements in the outlying regions, resulting in many of the villages joining the loose confederacy that held the towns around Norkotia City together. Little did the people know that many of these raiders had been hired to stage their attacks in order to drive the cities into the waiting arms of the Tynes regime.

Even more recently, a documentary had been released on Norkotian television, detailing the atrocities committed near the Terran village of Tormo, and the subsequent battle in the megacity of Last Chance. Though most of the documentary was factual, certain aspects of the incidents were embellished to make the perpetrating Legion of Doom appear more powerful than it was, and to portray the defending Terric Military as unprepared and incompetent. Though these events had occurred thousands of miles away, the reality of how vulnerable Norkotia would be to such an enemy had certainly generated paranoia in the hearts of the people.

Through it all, Tynes had presented himself as the man to protect Norkotia against all threats, whether they were domestic or foreign. It was not surprising then that there was significant reaction to the chairman being shot. Though, perhaps the reaction itself might have been a bit artificial as well, given there were certain forces who stood to benefit from the increased hysteria...

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It was the 25th of September, just over two weeks since the Joseph Tynes was hospitalized from his wounds. Despite most of his staff urging him to take time to recover, the chairman instead spent most of those days meeting with members of his administration and the council. During this time he remained reclusive, not appearing in public and instead remaining isolated in the capitol building. But then, the day before, it was announced the chairman would make his first public appearance since the assassination attempt. This appearance was to be an address to the nation, and it generated considerable excitement amidst the riots and anarchy that had been growing in the streets.

So it was on that cool, rainy day in late September that Joseph Tynes took the podium in the council chambers. In their seats were all the members of the council, while packed into the audience seating were reporters, lesser politicians, businessmen and a host of citizens. Even in the halls beyond the chamber itself, many more stood in place to hear the chairman’s speech filter out the doors and into the halls. Cameras and microphones were set-up so the event could be broadcast across the plain, as no doubt many people at home also wanted to hear what the chairman had to say.

Tynes emerged with his right arm in a cast supported by his left shoulder, but otherwise dressed the part of a Norkotian politician. Despite the fact that someone had tried to murder him, and the fact that his country had plummeted into chaos while he was hospitalized, the chairman seemed upbeat, almost possessing a suppressed giddiness as he took to the stand.

“Good evening…” he began, “It’s an honor once again to be able to address you all tonight.”

But the formalities and necessities that dominated the first portion of his speech didn’t interest him much, so he was quick to move through that section of the speech. Though he was grateful to the support from his doctors, family, and advisors, he was not here to thank them. He was here to announce something he had dreamed of doing for years, but which he did not think would be possible for still some time. The assassin, in his failure to kill Joseph Tynes, had given the man just the opportunity he needed to bring his dreams into fruition.

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“And that brings us to the heart of the matter.” the chairman’s voice elevated as he neared the main body of his address, “The attempt on my life may have left me scarred and crippled, but it has also strengthened my resolve… and given me perspective.”

His confidence and enthusiasm grew with each word as the chairman looked back and forth across the chamber.

“In recent months, we have all watched in horror as violence has escalated across the entire continent, from the civil war wreaking havoc in major Terran cities to the recent invasion of the port of Last Chance. While those events may have seemed far away and inconsequential at first, the chaos has gradually spilled into our own backyard. First it came in the form of bandit raids in the outer regions, but now it has been joined by riots and assaults in the very heart of our civilization!”

There were a number of nods in agreement from the audience, although most didn’t need reminding of what was already very apparent. Nobody was safe anymore.

“Many years ago, our forefathers formed this government, which provided us with a framework that has allowed people to prosper over the past two centuries. But even back then, those same founders foresaw the day would come that it wouldn’t be enough to rely on our isolation alone. And so, they wrote into our constitution a provision that would provide a leader among their descendants with the necessary power to safeguard the nation of the future. For two hundred years, we have been able to look at the provision and say: There may come a day when we need this, but it is not this day…”

He looked intensely into the audience directly in front of him, as well as into the main camera that was broadcasting this speech all across Norkotia, even outside the jurisdiction of the government.

“My fellow citizens, I fear that day has finally come. In order to prepare our nation to face the challenges ahead, I have concluded that it is necessary to invoke that very article our forefathers so wisely placed into our founding document. Effective immediately, I implement Article 6 of the Norkotian Constitution, and hereby assume the office of Grand Executor of Norkotia Law, and relinquish my duties as Chairman of the Norkotian Council to Councilman Roland Stracht. And as my first act in this new office, I shall commission the creation of the first Norkotian Army, to safeguard our nation and counter the threats of today, and those of the future!”

Another round of applause went through the auditorium. Though not all in attendance approved, those that did easily drown them out. Even the people who had been against the chairman before were coming to realize the government needed to respond to the dangers spawning all across Terrenus.

“Furthermore, in the coming days, the council, the new chairman and myself shall finalize a plan to reform our current government into a stronger, more stable alliance. I will not rest, nor will my administration, nor will the council, until this new coalition is prepared to deal with whatever the world may throw at us next. We will protect our people! We will protect our civilization! We will ensure Norkotia continues for another two hundred years, and a thousand more beyond that! Yes, my fellow citizens… this is that day! This is the day we declare the birth of the first... Norkotian... Union!”

The crowd cheered, many rising to their feet as Tynes’s eyes blazed with conviction. All that he had worked his entire adult life culminated in this moment. This moment, when his people would finally be unified. This moment. This day.

“Today…” he trailed-off for dramatic effect, “WE STAND UNITED!”

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Minor Summary

After a failed attempt to assassinate Chairman Joseph Tynes, Norkotia devolves into anarchy as anti-government rioters take to the streets. In response to both the chaos at home and the rising threats elsewhere in Terrenus, Joseph Tynes announces the implementation of a never used provision on the Norkotian Constitution to declare himself Grand Executor and establish the first-ever Norkotian military.

Summary

Desiring to be seen among the people, Chairman Joseph Tynes attends a major football game being held in his hometown of Millersburg. During a big play, the crowd rises to its feet in celebration, providing cover for a fanatic to draw out a hidden firearm and attempt to assassinate the chairman. However, the bullet does not kill Tynes, instead causing major damage to his arm and shoulder. The would-be assassin tries to finish the chairman as his bodyguards drag him to safety, but is apprehended by stadium security. Tynes is taken to the hospital where his condition is stabilized.

In the ensuing days, anti-Tynes students and faculty at the Norkotian University take to streets to demand the chairman resign. Riots break out, while assaults against pro-Tynes citizens and business spike. In order to bring the violence to a critical mass, Tynes instructs his advisor Diric Redbridge to secretly encourage the violence. Subsequently, the chaos spreads across all of Norkotia for the succeeding days, with the existing law enforcement staff unable to contain it.

Nearly two weeks after the assassination attempt, Joseph Tynes makes his first public appearance since being shot. Using the violence at home and abroad as justification, he invokes the never-before-used Article 6 of the Norkotian Constitution to appoint himself as Grand Executor of Norkotian Law, giving him the authority to establish an army. In addition, he announces that the existing confederation will be reformed into a more centralized union, in order to provide better security for the member cities. Tynes's declaration is met with resounding approval from his supporters and most of the Norkotian population.

Notable Consequences

  • Joseph Tynes is hospitalized after a disgruntled student attempts to shoot him. Tynes's right arm is subsequently crippled as a result.
  • Norkotia falls into civil unrest as anti-Tynes protestors spark riots and looting, as well as assaults and murders against Tynes supporters. The violence eventually extends both ways, however.
  • To reestablish law and order, Tynes declares the formation of the Norkotian Union and implements Article 6, granting himself the authority of Grand Executor.
  • Tynes orders the establishment of a Norkotian military, spawning a sudden and rapid arms build-up.

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