An Empire Reborn
May 15th 1978
Prefect Medici officially resigns from his post as Prefect and returns to Italy to once again to instruct officer cadets in Anti-Partisan warfare.
May 20th 1978
At the request of Consul Medici the OVRA begins investigating the possibility of fomenting a nationalistic uprising within Afghanistan.
June 4th 1978
Consul Medici arrives in London for the first visit between those nations heads of government since before World War II.
Landing at a military airfield the streets taken by the motorcade are cleared of civilians to prevent an attack against Medici. Nearly 1,000 police are present to keep the peace leading Medici to joke that the British have committed more men to protecting him than he has in his personal guard.
*Note: The Leader’s Musketeers consists only of 180 men. However, numerous other Blackshirt formations are responsible for defending his residences in Rome and throughout the Empire*
June 5th 1978
France temporarily pulls its Ambassador to the United Kingdom in response to the visit of Medici. The Ambassador will return at the end of the week with the departure of the Consul.
June 7th 1978
Consul Medici has an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.
June 12th 1978
Consul Medici returns to Rome after making a pledge to continue working to restore relations with the British government.
June 20th 1978
Dr. Vito Rizzo organizes a committee of leading political scientists and historians throughout the Lira Block to create a comprehensive library on Fascist thought and history.
July 2nd 1978
Consul Medici tasks Minister Gritti with reorganizing the government in order to make it more efficient and to increase communication between agencies. Also, secretly this will allow the OVRA to more easily penetrate other branches of the government.
July 10th 1978
An Italian missile train in the Balkans collides with a civilian train killing 23 people and injuring several hundred more. More alarmingly several Italian nuclear missiles are damaged in the accident, luckily none of the devices accidently detonated avoiding a major nuclear incident.
July 20th 1978
The IAEA condemns the NRE for their use of nuclear missile trains stating that they pose an immense risk to not only the population of the Empire but also to the entire world.
August 6th 1978
Pope Paul VI passes away in Rome at the age of 80.
August 26th 1978
Cardinal Albino Luciani is elected by the College of Cardinals as the new Pope and takes the name John Paul. A supporter of Vatican II he was widely favored for generally being apolitical when it came to fascist politics making him a strong favorite for both the Italian Cardinals who wished to remain in control of the Papacy and non-Italians who didn’t want to see a pro-fascist in the position of Pope.
August 29th 1978
The newly coronated Pope speaks out against the Italian government, marking the first time since the Lateran Treaty that a Pope has openly spoken out against the government. John Paul calls the "Italian Compromise" a blunder and a blight on Vatican II. The compromise just served to further the gap between the Church in Italy and the rest of the world and to help the Italian government just to establish control over local Churches.
September 3rd 1978
Pope John Paul continues to reveal his true feelings towards the NRE with a condemnation of the ongoing pagan revival. Calling the government complacent at best and at worst actively participating in bringing thousands of former Catholics away from the Church and back to the ancient ways of the pass of pagan revelry.
September 7th 1978
Consul Medici meets with Grand Council members Gritti, Freda and Rauti in a closed door meeting to discuss how to handle the situation with the Vatican. The normally meticulous record keeper Medici dismisses his recorders from the room and refuses to allow a record of the meeting’s agenda to exist. One future writer would refer to this as a "...secret gathering of noted Pagans and of the morally bankrupt."
September 28th 1978
Pope John Paul dies of a heart attack after only 33 days on the Papal throne.
Many conspiracy theories will spring up over the mysterious and sudden death of the Pope including several that he was murdered by an OVRA agent or Fascist sympathizing clergy within the Vatican.
October 5th 1978
Count Lucchini is promoted to the rank of General and assigned as the Director of the Imperial Space Agency.
October 7th 1978
Colonel Medici demands of his father a promotion and appointment to the Grand Council as well as being named heir-apparent. The elder Medici refuses the requests telling his son that he is not yet ready or worthy of either the rank or the post and that there shall not be any official heir-apparents nor would he approve of establishing another dynasty within the Empire.
October 16th 1978
The College of Cardinals breaks with centuries of tradition and does not elect an Italian to the position of Pope. Instead, for the first time ever they choose a Polish Cardinal, one Karol Wojtyla who takes the Papal name of John Paul II in honor of the recently deceased Pope.
October 18th 1978
Consul Medici meets with the new Pope in a private audience. Afterwards when approached by reporters the Consul would say the following "Though he is not Italian by birth, he is Italian in spirit."
November 2nd 1978
At an upscale restaurant in Modena Colonel Medici strikes and seriously injures a man from a family of minor nobility after the minor nobleman passed a lewd comment about Medici’s wife’s past occupation as a lingerie model. The police are summoned to the scene and release Medici after recognizing him.
The state media quickly suppresses the news of the incident.
November 4th 1978
San Marino sends a platoon of soldiers to Rhodesia as an expeditionary force.
November 5th 1978
Protestors in Tehran attack and sack the British Embassy.
November 6th 1978
Minister Freda orders that the Italian Embassy in Tehran heighten its security and evacuate all non-critical personnel.
November 10th 1978
Count Giovanni Battista, the father of the man injured by Colonel Medici petitions Emperor Umberto directly to intervene on behalf of his son.
November 15th 1978
Emperor Umberto calls for an investigation by military tribunal to be conducted against Colonel Medici.
The Consul so far has not moved to intervene against this tribunal.
November 25th 1978
Colonel Medici is secretly and privately brought up on charges for his assault of the nobleman and will face a military tribunal and be faced with possible demotion.
November 28th 1978
The "Ciano Diaries Vol 1" is published in the United States. The Diaries smuggled out by Edda Ciano are the private writings of her late husband from the 1930's to early 1950's. They detail many of Ciano’s inner thoughts on the Empire and many questionable acts of its ministers including Consul Medici. Subsequent Volumes are expected over the next year to get the remaining diaries in circulation.
The book is immediately banned within the NRE and the in-exile Edda Ciano is declared a criminal against fascism.
November 29th 1978
Hundreds of former Ciano aides and supporters are rounded up by the OVRA for interrogation and arrest. Many are released in short order once it is learned they had nothing to do with the diaries or what are perceived as Ciano’s crimes against the state.
A few lucky individuals are able to escape the arrests and flee the nation.
The book is quickly banned in nearly every Lira Block country. The Spanish Crown refuses to issue a ban.
December 1st 1978
Consul Medici promises Rachele Mussolini that he will not commit any retaliations against her grandchildren still living within the Empire.
Privately Medici is already planning to arrest the Ciano family once the Duce’s wife passes away.
December 3rd 1978
The court martial of Colonel Medici is put on indefinite hold so that the military courts can devote their full attention to this grave threat to the state.
December 5th 1978
Minister Freda demands that the United States extradites the criminal Edda Ciano to the NRE to face trial. The US refuses the request stating that Ciano is a political refugee and has been granted asylum.
December 10th 1978
The Special Court start the first trials of those now labeled the "Ciano Conspirators." The massive televised show trials are little more than a stage for Fascist judges to berate the prisoners and sentence them to harsh prison terms and even death. Over 3 dozen are slated to face the Court with various charges consisting of conspiracy, crimes against Fascism, crimes against the Empire, slander and defamation against the Duce and slander and defamation against the Consul.
Consul Medici has already ordered the courts to give the death penalty to Ciano’s top aides.
December 18th 1978
Following 8 days of trials, the kangaroo court conducts their final and largest trial that of Edda Ciano in absentia. She is found guilty on all counts and is sentenced to death.
Consul Medici publicly states that a bounty of one million USD is now on the head of Ciano.
End of Part 28.
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