An Empire Reborn
November 5th 1973
Following strong prompting by Rome and the United Nations, Israel agrees to withdraw to its prewar border with the arab states and return to the status quo.
November 6th 1973
Rebels bomb an army barrack in Mozambique killing 73 soldiers. The attack was supposed to target Captain Medici, but due to the media blackout following the Mazzei incident the plotters had no way of knowing that the Captain was on leave in Italy.
November 8th 1973
Captain Medici cuts his leave short and returns to Mozambique.
November 10th 1973
Israel, Egypt and Syria officially sign a cease-fire accord.
November 12th 1973
The Italian space shuttle Caelus is launched. Count Lucchini leads the mission of 3 Olympinauts to dock with an American Apollo shuttle. The Caelus is the Empire’s first multi-passenger spacecraft.
November 14th 1973
The Caelus successfully docks with the Apollo in the first joint mission of the ISA and NASA. Broadcasted on live television the crew exchange gifts and pleasantries before beginning a series of scientific experiments.
In an announcement later in the day Medici hails this as a sign of everlasting friendship and cooperation between the United States and the New Roman Empire.
November 16th 1973
After spending just under two days docked together the Apollo and Caelus separate and perform a few last minute experiments before conducting their own missions not related to the docking.
November 17th 1973
Richard Nixon tells the press “I am not a crook” in relation to the Watergate Scandal.
November 20th 1973
The Arab nations place further oil embargos on countries which sided with Israel in the Yom Kippur war. Oil prices skyrocket in western Europe and the United States.
November 21st 1973
The Caelus successfully and safely splashes down off the coast of Italian East Africa.
November 22nd 1973
Using information eagerly handed over by Military Intelligence Captain Medici leads his company on a retaliatory strike against the village which produced the bombers against the barracks. The village is completely burned to the ground and its inhabitants to the last man, woman and child are killed by bayonet and thrown into the Zambezi river. If one was downstream and bothered to count the corpses they would number 351.
November 27th 1973
Count Lucchini and his fellow Heavenly Sailors are honored in a parade through the streets of Rome.
December 6th 1973
Gerald Ford is confirmed as Vice President of the United States.
December 14th 1973
German groups in Northern Italy begin petitioning the release of the aging Rudolf Hess from Spandau prison. They are claiming both that he was wrongfully convicted and that he is too old to remain imprisoned.
December 27th 1973
The NRE begins purchasing a large quantity of Arab oil from Lira Block nations. This is officially done to help maintain the economies of those nations during the political crisis.
January 3rd 1974
President Nixon and Consul Medici agree on a plan that would allow the NRE to sell a large quantity of “Italian” oil to the United States to make up for the loss of Arab oil. The price for the oil is significantly higher than the previous market value from before the embargo.
January 5th 1974
The American media attacks Nixon for his sweetheart deal with the NRE, calling it a weak and giving into the bullying of the Fascist world.
The New York Times publishes a cartoon of Nixon handing a large moneybag to Medici in exchange for a coffee can of oil with the caption of “Don’t worry Dick, there is plenty more where that came from,” behind Medici are several barrels with “Italian oil” written on them above a crossed out “Arab Oil.”
January 7th 1974
President Nixon defends his position on the Italian oil deals stating that it is better to have the oil and keep American industry running rather than force the nation to shut down.
January 10th 1974
Additional military forces are deployed to Mozambique with the objective of crushing the rebel elements within the colony once and for all.
January 21st 1974
The Imperial military begins a concentrated campaign against criminal elements operating against the Imperial government within Mozambique.
February 2nd 1974
South Vietnamese officials meet with members of the Italian government and military in Rome to once again discuss the possibility of Italian support in their war against the North.
February 10th 1974
Berlusconi as a newly minted member of the Fascist party is introduced to several Grand Council members as well as Consul Medici. He explains his ideas for the future of Italian telecommunications to them. Generally well received, the Consul takes a liking to the man though considers him to be too up front. Minister Evola on the other hand takes an instant dislike to the man and considers him to be everything that is wrong with Italian culture.
February 14th 1974
France, Western Germany and Andorra come together and form the Continental Union. The CU is an alliance primarily founded on military matters but also allowing for more open trade and economic cooperation between the nations.
February 28th 1974
The Labour party narrowly takes control of the government in the latest elections in the UK. The voters were disappointed with the handling of the oil embargo by the Conservative government.
March 3rd 1974
The new Labour government in England pushes for more economic cooperation between the UK and the Low Countries. They vow to form their own treaty organization before the year is out.
March 5th 1974
Consul Medici conducts his first official state visit to Burma. Traveling with him are numerous industrialists and engineers. Officially, they are present to help jumpstart the Burmese industrial base. Unofficially, they are there to evaluate the situation and prepare the country for a large scale military deployment.
March 7th 1974
OVRA field agents report that a revolution is imminent in Portugal. Rome warns Lisbon of the potential danger, but the warning is disregarded.
March 18th 1974
OPEC votes to end the embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.
April 1st 1974
Terrorists strike the most holy shrines of Fascism!
In a series of organized terrorist attacks never seen before within the confines of the Empire, five terrorists(a sixth was previously apprehended and extradited before the plot became known) launch attacks against five shrines of Fascism.
Abdul Hakim, a Muslim extremist managed to enter the Shrine of the Protector in Libya and detonated his bomb-vest killing himself and 7 others as well as damaging the shrine itself.
A Serbian exile was apprehended outside a shrine in Belgrade by Blackshirts. He was carrying an Uzi and a homemade bomb on his person. Another attack this time by an Frenchman against the Il Duce birth shrine was likewise thwarted without incident.
In Constantinople, a gunman at the Shrine of the Stallion opened fire on Blackshirt guards who attempted to seize him after spotting his gun. Killing one guard and injuring two more before being wrestled to the ground. He was then executed on the spot by the commander of the watch.
The final attack, conducted by Gontran Desmarais the mastermind of the plot, is against the Tomb of Mussolini. Posing as a Fascist pilgrim, he gets as close as possible to the sarcophagus before rushing it and striking at it repeatedly with a hammer. He is tackled by the guards and severely beaten.
Following the attacks all the shrines are ordered shutdown so that security can be increased and further plotters tracked down and brought to justice.
April 3rd 1974
The Italian engineering units are sent to Burma to construct airbases and naval ports capable of handling a large scale military deployment.
Viceroy Borghese is given orders to put together a Far East Squadron within 2 years time.
Repair work begins immediately on the damaged shrines.
April 4th 1974
Gontran Desmarais regains consciousness and offers a full confession and explanation for the attacks. A former French naval officer who was taken prisoner in the Border War, Desmarais was a small figure in radical politics since the mid 50's. Suffering from terminal cancer and mental illness he decided to strike out against the NRE with other like minded individuals. Claiming to have been inspired by “The Last Bastille Day” he believes that the attack against the Shrines was France’s only hope to defeat the Italian Empire.
His confession reveals much of the motivation behind the diverse group of terrorists, Serbians, Muslims and Frenchmen. Also, implicating a sixth man who was detained at the border and sent back to France weeks before the attack.
April 7th 1974
Paris demands the return of Desmarais and the other surviving French national. Claiming that they are mentally ill and need to be committed to receive the help they need.
Likewise, Rome demands the return of the extradited Philip Henri so that he may be tried for his part in the attacks.
Both parties refuse the others request.
April 10th 1974
Golda Meir resigns as Prime Minister of Israel.
April 12th 1974
Upset over the treatment her father received from the Italian government Gudrun Himmler travels to Switzerland to seek the publishment of her father’s locked away memoirs.
April 15th 1974
Captain Medici returns to Rome following the completion of his second tour of duty. Taking the advice of his trusted friend Berlusconi and of Viceroy Gritti he chooses to remain in the regular army rather than transfer to Blackshirt M division. The captain will be promoted to major within the month and receive his new assignment.
In his private life he continues to insist on courting lingerie model Antonietta Mazzei. Minister Evola has assigned her with a cadre of bodyguards nominally to protect her. However, there true mission is harass her and restrict her movement in a bid to convince her to end the relationship.
April 17th 1974
Minister Evola commissions Tommaso Landolfi a noted Italian fantasy and science fiction writer to write a series of fantasy novels to rival that of the Lord of the Rings and to be done in the Fascist style.
April 18th 1974
All shrines except for the Shrine of the Protector and Mussolini’s tomb are reopened to the public.
April 20th 1974
Minister Evola announces the formation of the “Praetorian Guard,” a new elite unit whose sole purpose is to guard the Shrines of Fascism from further attacks. Over the next several months the Guard will be put together and take over guarding the shrines from regular Blackshirt units.
April 25th 1974
The left-leaning Movement of Armed Forces(MFA) rally its troops and put their plan into action for the overthrow of the Portugese government. The battle for a free and democratic Portugal begins.
End of Part 18.
Please visit my forum for discussion and access to new parts as they become available.