The Empire Strikes Back 96 – The State of the Empire 1885-1890

I would like to formally address the transfer of my former title and position as administrator, protector and governor of Catalonia to the honorable and capable Senator Nicodemo Theodosio.This decree will place Catalonia officially back under Spanish jurisdiction. I would also like to thank the Empress for the opportunity to have served my home as a its representative in Imperial affairs. And to Senator Theodosio, I wish you luck with this beautiful and cultured land and to handle it with the care it deserves.
I also regret to announce that my direct involvement in this Senate will be more limited and rare, as I will be heavily focused on the development of my new governorship in Oceania. I will still return for occasional senate meetings and to attend to affairs closer to the heart of the empire. I hope for you all to make good decisions for the state and her people.
Long live the Empire!
– Senator Magnus Kvensson

A ship sailed into the great harbor of Constantinople.  It was a small ship with nothing sticking out about it.  All around the ship, the harbor was in utter ruins from Konstantinos’s Rebellion, but nobody on the ship bothered to pay attention to it.
In fact, there was no living being on the ship.

The ship slammed into the nearest dock and came to a halt, workers scrambling to avoid the debris.  The instant the ship touched land, a large black dog leaped up from below the deck and rushed off the ship, quickly disappearing into the alleys and crowds of Constantinople.
The workers did not pay attention to the dog.  Instead, they were staring at the body of a sailor standing at the helm, his hands roped to the wheel and his eyes wide open as if in shock.

I would like to propose to the Senate and her majesty, that we prohibit weaponry and personal guards in the senate hall from this day forth. Twice now the senate has been attacked and something must be done. I propose that the Empress assigns personal guards to the senate whose sole duty is to protect our meetings. Personal weapons should be limited and all visitors should be searched. Also, a perimeter should be established of 100 yards around the senate building that only selected personnel should be allowed to enter. The senate must feel confident that they won’t be threatened. If we must constantly look over our shoulders for danger, then we won’t be able to focus on the needs of the land.

Second, while the situation seems to be that the people are calling for assistance from the government, I say it needs to be in moderation. The liberties of the people are at stake, The Communists and Socialists must not be allowed to push their agenda without limitations. Some changes are necessary, but the burdens on liberty and the budget will be uncountable if the Socialists accomplish their goals. I’m personally in favor of educational benefits now and some safety regulations. Anything else should wait till we’ve seen the effects of those policies.

-Heraclius Komnenos

to its  majesty
as your new chief of the navy i would like to request more funds to build up the navy or at least allow for more ships to patrol the harbor of the capital or at the very least grant me some fund to hire guards to inspect all arriving ships to prevent this from happening again. .reports have reach me of a mysterious ship docking at the harbor of the capital with a man at the helm dead looking shocked .the investigation has no found anything about the ship except that there might have been someone on the ship when it docked but i cannot confirm that assumption.

Senator Alexander Smithereens
chief of the navy


Senator Moustakas resigns and mysteriously disappears


Some time later, in late December 1889, several Senators are spending time in the Senate Hall.

The Senate Floor seems pretty quiet.

-Magnus Kvensson

It is in recess after Senator Moustakos disappeared.

-Ambrosio Palaiologo

A new Senator appears and introduces himself.

Hello fellow Senators, I am Venédiktos Nguyen-Climaco. I am glad to be here, to put my skills and knowledge to the service of Her Imperial Majesty, Defender of Eastern Christendom, the Guardian of the Hagia Sophia, Queen of the Holy City, Custodian of the Holy Sepulchre, Successor to most august Constantine, Equal to the Apostles, Princess of Alexandria, Protectress of Antioch, Ruler of Daqin, Empress of Rome.

-Venédiktos Nguyen-Climaco

… and of her other realms and colonies, Empress.

-Ioannes Angelos

Did you just try to insult the Empress?!  You’re lucky she’s not in the room right now.  For that matter, why are we still here?  The next session is yet to begin for a few days.

~Michael Doukas

I think we’re just amusing ourselves by watching the cleaners attempting to not stand on any of the carpets whilst still trying to clean them.

-Ioannes Angelos

Michael is slightly bored but does not feel like going home.  Luckily, he has brought a newspaper with him.
Hey, did you read the news today?  Said something about a ship sailing into port and docking…all without a single living crew member onboard.  Don’t know what to make of it.  I’ve got a copy of the captain’s log here if you can make any sense of it.  Based on the dates written it appears the ship went significantly off-course, apparently going around the entire Black Sea for over a month before arriving at Constantinople.  Strange, eh?

Log Of The “Demetrios”, Varna to Constantinople

Written 18 July, things so strange happening, that I shall keep accurate note henceforth till we land.

On 6 July we finished taking in cargo, silver sand and boxes of earth. At noon set sail. East wind, fresh. Crew, five hands . . . two mates, cook, and myself, (captain).

On 13 July Crew dissatisfied about something. Seemed scared, but would not speak out.

On 14 July was somewhat anxious about crew. Men all steady fellows, who sailed with me before. Mate could not make out what was wrong. They only told him there was SOME- THING, and crossed themselves. Mate lost temper with one of them that day and struck him. Expected fierce quarrel, but all was quiet.

On 16 July mate reported in the morning that one of the crew, Petrofsky, was missing. Could not account for it. Took larboard watch eight bells last night, was relieved by Amramoff, but did not go to bunk. Men more downcast than ever. All said they expected something of the kind, but would not say more than there was SOMETHING aboard. Mate getting very impatient with them. Feared some trouble ahead.

On 17 July, yesterday, one of the men, Olgaren, came to my cabin, and in an awestruck way confided to me that he thought there was a strange man aboard the ship. He said that in his watch he had been sheltering behind the deckhouse, as there was a rain storm, when he saw a tall, thin man, who was not like any of the crew, come up the companionway, and go along the deck forward and disappear. He followed cautiously, but when he got to bows found no one, and the hatchways were all closed. He was in a panic of superstitious fear, and I am afraid the panic may spread. To allay it, I shall today search the entire ship carefully from stem to stern.
Later in the day I got together the whole crew, and told them, as they evidently thought there was some one in the ship, we would search from stem to stern. First mate angry, said it was folly, and to yield to such foolish ideas would demoralise the men, said he would engage to keep them out of trouble with the handspike. I let him take the helm, while the rest began a thorough search, all keeping abreast, with lanterns. We left no corner unsearched. As there were only the big wooden boxes, there were no odd corners where a man could hide. Men much relieved when search over, and went back to work cheerfully. First mate scowled, but said nothing.

22 July.–Rough weather last three days, and all hands busy with sails, no time to be frightened. Men seem to have forgotten their dread. Mate cheerful again, and all on good terms. Praised men for work in bad weather. All well.

24 July.–There seems some doom over this ship. Already a hand short, and wild weather ahead, and yet last night another man lost, disappeared. Like the first, he came off his watch and was not seen again. Men all in a panic of fear, sent a round robin, asking to have double watch, as they fear to be alone. Mate angry. Fear there will be some trouble, as either he or the men will do some violence.

28 July.–Four days in hell, knocking about in a sort of malestrom, and the wind a tempest. No sleep for any one. Men all worn out. Hardly know how to set a watch, since no one fit to go on. Second mate volunteered to steer and watch, and let men snatch a few hours sleep. Wind abating, seas still terrific, but feel them less, as ship is steadier.  We seem to be lost, as we should have been in Constantinople last week.

29 July.–Another tragedy. Had single watch tonight, as crew too tired to double. When morning watch came on deck could find no one except steersman. Raised outcry, and all came on deck. Thorough search, but no one found. Are now without second mate, and crew in a panic. Mate and I agreed to go armed henceforth and wait for any sign of cause.

30 July.–Last night. Rejoiced we are nearing Constantinople. Weather fine, all sails set. Retired worn out, slept soundly, awakened by mate telling me that both man of watch and steersman missing. Only self and mate and two hands left to work ship.

1 August.–Two days of fog, and not a sail sighted. Had hoped when in the Bosphorus to be able to signal for help or get in somewhere. Not having power to work sails, have to run before wind. Dare not lower, as could not raise them again. We seem to be drifting to some terrible doom. Mate now more demoralised than either of men. His stronger nature seems to have worked inwardly against himself. Men are beyond fear, working stolidly and patiently, with minds made up to worst. They are Ukrainian, he Roumanian [sic].  I’m the last surviving Greek.

2 August, midnight.–Woke up from few minutes sleep by hearing a cry, seemingly outside my port. Could see nothing in fog. Rushed on deck, and ran against mate. Tells me he heard cry and ran, but no sign of man on watch. One more gone. Lord, help us! Mate says we must be past Straits of Dardanelles, as in a moment of fog lifting he saw land, just as he heard the man cry out. If so only God can guide us in the fog, which seems to move with us, and God seems to have deserted us.

3 August.–At midnight I went to relieve the man at the wheel and when I got to it found no one there. The wind was steady, and as we ran before it there was no yawing. I dared not leave it, so shouted for the mate. After a few seconds, he rushed up on deck in his flannels. He looked wild-eyed and haggard, and I greatly fear his reason has given way. He came close to me and whispered hoarsely, with his mouth to my ear, as though fearing the very air might hear. “It is here. I know it now. On the watch last night I saw It, like a man, tall and thin, and ghastly pale. It was in the bows, and looking out. I crept behind It, and gave it my knife, but the knife went through It, empty as the air.” And as he spoke he took the knife and drove it savagely into space. Then he went on, “But It is here, and I’ll find It. It is in the hold, perhaps in one of those boxes. I’ll unscrew them one by one and see. You work the helm.” And with a warning look and his finger on his lip, he went below. There was springing up a choppy wind, and I could not leave the helm. I saw him come out on deck again with a tool chest and lantern, and go down the forward hatchway. He is mad, stark, raving mad, and it’s no use my trying to stop him. He can’t hurt those big boxes, they are invoiced as clay, and to pull them about is as harmless a thing as he can do. So here I stay and mind the helm, and write these notes. I can only trust in God and wait till the fog clears. Then, if I can’t steer to any harbour with the wind that is, I shall cut down sails, and lie by, and signal for help . . .
It is nearly all over now. Just as I was beginning to hope that the mate would come out calmer, for I heard him knocking away at something in the hold, and work is good for him, there came up the hatchway a sudden, startled scream, which made my blood run cold, and up on the deck he came as if shot from a gun, a raging madman, with his eyes rolling and his face convulsed with fear. “Save me! Save me!” he cried, and then looked round on the blanket of fog. His horror turned to despair, and in a steady voice he said,”You had better come too, captain, before it is too late. He is there! I know the secret now. The sea will save me from Him, and it is all that is left!” Before I could say a word, or move forward to seize him, he sprang on the bulwark and deliberately threw himself into the sea. I suppose I know the secret too, now. It was this madman who had got rid of the men one by one, and now he has followed them himself. God help me! How am I to account for all these horrors when I get to port? When I get to port! Will that ever be?

4 August.–Still fog, which the sunrise cannot pierce, I know there is sunrise because I am a sailor, why else I know not. I dared not go below, I dared not leave the helm, so here all night I stayed, and in the dimness of the night I saw it, Him! God, forgive me, but the mate was right to jump overboard. It was better to die like a man. To die like a sailor in blue water, no man can object. But I am captain, and I must not leave my ship. But I shall baffle this fiend or monster, for I shall tie my hands to the wheel when my strength begins to fail, and along with them I shall tie that which He, It, dare not touch. And then, come good wind or foul, I shall save my soul, and my honour as a captain. I am growing weaker, and the night is coming on. If He can look me in the face again, I may not have time to act . . .If we are wrecked, mayhap this bottle may be found, and those who find it may understand. If not . . . well, then all men shall know that I have been true to my trust. God and the Blessed Virgin and the Saints help a poor ignorant soul trying to do his duty…

Well, I’m glad about this new Senator. It’ll be nice not being the only one in here without a Roman last name. I think he’ll help with the public relations of the Empire among her citizens, too. It gives off sort of a “empire of the people” feeling.
(Magnus takes a sip from a canteen stored in his inner coat pocket.)
The Empress being hell bent on being more socialist anyway.

-Magnus Kvensson

Ioannes makes a face, which is probably intended to be reassuring, but looks rather more like he’s simply not used to that expression.

“This new chap with the unpronounceable surname does at least have a good Roman first name.  Of course, it’s Western Roman, rather than Eastern, but we can’t have it all, eh?”

-Ioannes Angelos

Michael puts aside his newspaper on a table next to him.
Hopefully the new guy means we’re going to have some more diversity in the Senate which would better represent the population of the Empire.  I remember when my grandfather was a young man and new to the Senate.  He did a lot in his lifetime.  Who’s to say this newcomer can’t do the same?

-Michael Doukas

Bah more old Orthodox conservatives, will have to place a call to our parties representatives in the Phillipines and have them redouble their efforts to spread the word of the workers destiny to lead to the people.

With that Αιδεν returns to pour over a recent missives from London from some guys called Engels and Marx.

-Αιδεν Γκρέυ

Speaking of strange names, I’m looking for a agronomist named Aaron Aaronsohn in Palestine to help with the agricultural development of Oceania Major.
Magnus chuckles to himself
His was the first name to come up.
– Magnus Kvensson

Leonardo Favero chuckled to himself.  The recent Senate meetings had been quite dull.  To amuse himself, he had secretly changed the names on one of the senator’s name plates and the man had just noticed the glaring mistake.  A meaningless diversion, but an amusing one nonetheless.  Maybe next he’d forge a letter from the Empress to some zealous leftist requesting their presence on the other side of the city just to see them rush across Constantinople.  Yes, that sounded quite fun indeed.


A messenger then arrives, carrying a stack of notices and leading a construction team.

Oh, hello Senators! I’ve come with the notice for the next State of the Empire Address. As always, it will be on January first, over in Blachernae Palace. These are the newspapers the archivists considered significant.

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And these workmen are here to update your world map.
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A revolution in Russia and they still expand.  They will always be a threat to the Empire.  We must keep a watchful eye on them and strike when necessary.  It would seem that they have been at conflict with the Japanese.  Perhaps we should seek friendly relations with them as a countermeasure.

– Senator Leonardo Favero, Governor of Italy

It is good that we have established friendly ties with the Chinese.  The Ming Empire, should we manage to sign a formal alliance with them, will help us greatly in countering Russian expansion into Asia.  I trust that our friends in India are doing well against the Russian bear?  The Germans and Ruthenians continue to expand, and we must be ready to stop them should they go too far.

More dinosaurs!  I’ve always been interested in these beasts.

In other news, I am proud to announce that the technology of mechanized mining has been fully integrated and put to good use in Syria-Palestrina.  Production efficiency has risen significantly, and industrial output has never been higher.  I’ve never seen anything so efficient like this before!

Reactionaries break Vietnam…worrying, as that would leave them weak and open to Russian invasion, which we cannot allow.

And what have the Cherokee come up with this time?  Coca-wine?  How is this a cure for morphine addiction?!  I want to read the scientific paper they published proving this claim!  (quietly grabs some coca-wine to drink)

The Polish-Lithuanians want an alliance, ostensibly against Russia?  That sounds reasonable.

~Michael Doukas

Has anyone else noticed these flame-less lights around the Empire.  I was passing through Trieste and they had them lighting up the main streets at night.  Seemed like witchcraft at first.

– Senator Leonardo Favero, Governor of Italy

Flame-less lights…interesting.  I’ve found a few in Jerusalem and found them quite efficient and smell-less.

~Doukas

The wonders they make in the Empire these days.  Next thing you know we’ll have horseless carriages or a device that allows nearly instantaneous communication from one end of the Empire to the next.  I am glad the Empire is so prosperous that we can continue to develop such miraculous inventions.

– Senator Leonardo Favero

It seems that Japan lost their war against Russia as Outer Manchuria is still in Russian hands. Let us hope that those revolutionary “Jacobins” don’t plan to spread their revolution beyond Russian border.

I have to say that this nitroglycerin is very useful, thanks to it’s spread in (North) Africa, we can already see faster and more efficient mining.

– Senator Alexandros Damaskinos

“I am pleased to report that Macedonian engineers have succeeded in introducing mechanised mining equipment to the province.  This will increase industry in the area and improve the lives of the workers there.  Never let it be said that the Angeloi are not mindful of their populace!”

-Ioannes Angelos

Britannia has been advancing technologically very quickly. We were the first province to have electricity! However,I would like to complain about sub- par working conditions in the mines. We NEED better safety regulations to prevent preventable deaths from happening in the mines, which is common in Britannia.

-Ambrosio Palaiologo

“Mechanise and move the workers elsewhere.  It’s more efficient and fewer people die.  Everybody wins.”

-Ioannes Angelos

Thank you, Senator. The peoples of Asia are loyal subjects of the Empire and a proud part of the Roman world. Our names may reflect our respective ethnicities but Romanitas is what binds us to Rome.

As for my Western Roman name, my mother is a deep admirer of the Western monastic St Benedict of Nursia who lived during the times when the barbarians held sway in the Roman West.

Your Imperial Majesty, I shall eagerly await your Address. Generally, I support greater Roman presence and the spread of Holy Orthodoxy in our side of the world. It seems to be an auspicious time for our relations with the Middle Kingdom, though the Ming are generally suspicious of Western faiths, they view us more favourably than the Russian Bear in the north.

I am also appealing to Your Imperial Majesty for my mother’s homeland of Viet Nam, which has fallen to local reactionaries. Perhaps something can be done about the matter before Russia intrudes?

In eternal fealty to our divinely-appointed Empress,

Senator Nguyen-Climaco

You know what they say, this is an age of progress.  Soon we’ll have trains that can fly like birds and books that don’t need paper!

I agree, we should probably do something about Dai Viet, as the reactionaries have weakened them, giving the Russians an opportunity to expand.

~Michael Doukas

Our best and brightest believe that there is even more this electric current will be able to do in the future. Perhaps even reverse death. Of course my own province has been leading the way in experimentation in this matter.

We must push back reactionaries wherever they are and these lands do have some economic and power projection rewards if they happened to fall under our protection.

-Αιδεν Γκρέυ

Gentlemen, if I may say, I believe we have nothing to fear from the Russian Bear. Our legions are the strongest in the world and if we continue to invest and maintain relations with India, we will have the military strength of two empires. The only other improvements we could make is to possibly ally Japan in order to blockade their eastern provinces. Or if the Chief of the Navy allow it, the financing of new ports in the Oceania region and a new or reassigned Oceanic fleet?

-Magnus Kvensson

how long can we afford a war against the Russian bear before our money and manpower reserves run out considering we have to keep a number of troops back ti keep order and prevent rebellion
Alexander Smithereens

While I have nothing against allying with the honorable people of Japan, I believe that the ultimate solution for countering Russian expansion in Asia lies with the Ming.  Should we ally with India, Japan, and Ming, we will have the power of four empires to counter Russia.  The Russians may have a large manpower pool, but the Chinese have an equally large if not larger manpower pool, which is critical to block off their expansion.  I would recommend sending equipment and advisors to train and arm the Chinese troops so that they can help us against the Russians.

Smithereens, should we ally with the Chinese and Indians manpower likely won’t be a problem for the Empire.

I would support a new imperial fleet in Oceania should we have enough funds to support it.  I fear that the UTA may begin trying to expand into the Pacific…

~Michael Doukas

((Private: From the journal of Mara Dalassenos))

Diary again. No sleep now, so I may as well write. I am too agitated to sleep. We have had such an adventure, such an agonizing experience. I fell asleep as soon as I had closed my diary . . .Suddenly I became broad awake, and sat up, with a horrible sense of fear upon me, and of some feeling of emptiness around me. The room was dark, so I could not see Loukia’s bed. I stole across and felt for her. The bed was empty. I lit a match and found that she was not in the room. The door was shut, but not locked, as I had left it. I feared to wake her mother, who has been more than usually ill lately, so threw on some clothes and got ready to look for her. As I was leaving the room it struck me that the clothes she wore might give me some clue to her dreaming intention. Dressing-gown would mean house, dress outside. Dressing-gown and dress were both in their places. “Thank God,” I said to myself, “she cannot be far, as she is only in her nightdress.”
I ran downstairs and looked in the sitting room. Not there! Then I looked in all the other rooms of the house, with an ever-growing fear chilling my heart. Finally, I came to the hall door and found it open. It was not wide open, but the catch of the lock had not caught. The people of the house are careful to lock the door every night, so I feared that Loukia must have gone out as she was. There was no time to think of what might happen. A vague over-mastering fear obscured all details.
I took a big, heavy shawl and ran out. The clock was striking one as I was in the Crescent, and there was not a soul in sight. I ran along the North Terrace, but could see no sign of the white figure which I expected. At the edge of the West Cliff above the pier I looked across the harbour to the other side, in the hope or fear, I don’t know which, of seeing Loukia in our favorite seat.
There was a bright full moon, with heavy black, driving clouds, which threw the whole scene into a fleeting diorama of light and shade as they sailed across. For a moment or two I could see nothing, as the shadow of a cloud obscured the church and all around it. Then as the cloud passed I could see the ruins of the abbey coming into view, and as the edge of a narrow band of light as sharp as a sword-cut moved along, the church and churchyard became gradually visible. Whatever my expectation was, it was not disappointed, for there, on our favorite seat, the silver light of the moon struck a half-reclining figure, snowy white. The coming of the cloud was too quick for me to see much, for shadow shut down on light almost immediately, but it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat where the white figure shone, and bent over it. What it was, whether man or beast, I could not tell.
I did not wait to catch another glance, but flew down the steep steps to the pier and along by the fish-market to the bridge, which was the only way to reach the East Cliff. The town seemed as dead, for not a soul did I see. I rejoiced that it was so, for I wanted no witness of poor Loukia’s condition. The time and distance seemed endless, and my knees trembled and my breath came laboured as I toiled up the endless steps to the abbey. I must have gone fast, and yet it seemed to me as if my feet were weighted with lead, and as though every joint in my body were rusty.
When I got almost to the top I could see the seat and the white figure, for I was now close enough to distinguish it even through the spells of shadow. There was undoubtedly something, long and black, bending over the half-reclining white figure. I called in fright, “Loukia! Loukia!” and something raised a head, and from where I was I could see a white face and red, gleaming eyes.
Loukia did not answer, and I ran on to the entrance of the churchyard. As I entered, the church was between me and the seat, and for a minute or so I lost sight of her. When I came in view again the cloud had passed, and the moonlight struck so brilliantly that I could see Loukia half reclining with her head lying over the back of the seat. She was quite alone, and there was not a sign of any living thing about.
When I bent over her I could see that she was still asleep. Her lips were parted, and she was breathing, not softly as usual with her, but in long, heavy gasps, as though striving to get her lungs full at every breath. As I came close, she put up her hand in her sleep and pulled the collar of her nightdress close around her, as though she felt the cold. I flung the warm shawl over her, and drew the edges tight around her neck, for I dreaded lest she should get some deadly chill from the night air, unclad as she was. I feared to wake her all at once, so, in order to have my hands free to help her, I fastened the shawl at her throat with a big safety pin. But I must have been clumsy in my anxiety and pinched or pricked her with it, for by-and-by, when her breathing became quieter, she put her hand to her throat again and moaned. When I had her carefully wrapped up I put my shoes on her feet, and then began very gently to wake her.
At first she did not respond, but gradually she became more and more uneasy in her sleep, moaning and sighing occasionally. At last, as time was passing fast, and for many other reasons, I wished to get her home at once, I shook her forcibly, till finally she opened her eyes and awoke. She did not seem surprised to see me, as, of course, she did not realize all at once where she was.
Loukia always wakes prettily, and even at such a time,when her body must have been chilled with cold, and her mind somewhat appalled at waking unclad in a churchyard at night, she did not lose her grace. She trembled a little, and clung to me. When I told her to come at once with me home, she rose without a word, with the obedience of a child. As we passed along, the gravel hurt my feet, and Loukia noticed me wince. She stopped and wanted to insist upon my taking my shoes, but I would not. However, when we got to the pathway outside the chruchyard, where there was a puddle of water, remaining from the storm, I daubed my feet with mud, using each foot in turn on the other, so that as we went home, no one, in case we should meet any one, should notice my bare feet.
Fortune favoured us, and we got home without meeting a soul. Once we saw a man, who seemed not quite sober, passing along a street in front of us. But we hid in a door till he had disappeared up an opening such as there are here, steep little closes. My heart beat so loud all the time sometimes I thought I should faint. I was filled with anxiety about Loukia, not only for her health, lest she should suffer from the exposure, but for her reputation in case the story should get wind. When we got in, and had washed our feet, and had said a prayer of thankfulness together, I tucked her into bed. Before falling asleep she asked, even implored, me not to say a word to any one, even her mother, about her sleepwalking adventure.
I hesitated at first, to promise, but on thinking of the state of her mother’s health, and how the knowledge of such a thing would fret her, and think too, of how such a story might become distorted, nay, infallibly would, in case it should leak out, I thought it wiser to do so. I hope I did right. I have locked the door, and the key is tied to my wrist, so perhaps I shall not be again disturbed. Loukia is sleeping soundly. The reflex of the dawn is high and far over the sea . . .
Same day, noon.–All goes well. Loukia slept till I woke her and seemed not to have even changed her side. The adventure of the night does not seem to have harmed her, on the contrary, it has benefited her, for she looks better this morning than she has done for weeks. I was sorry to notice that my clumsiness with the safety-pin hurt her. Indeed, it might have been serious, for the skin of her throat was pierced. I must have pinched up a piece of loose skin and have transfixed it, for there are two little red points like pin-pricks, and on the band of her nightdress was a drop of blood. When I apologised and was concerned about it, she laughed and petted me, and said she did not even feel it. Fortunately it cannot leave a scar, as it is so tiny.
Same day, night.–We passed a happy day. The air was clear, and the sun bright, and there was a cool breeze. We took our lunch in downtown, Mrs. Melissenos driving by the road and Loukia and I walking by the cliff-path and joining her at the gate. I felt a little sad myself, for I could not but feel how absolutely happy it would have been had Ioannes been with me. But there! I must only be patient. In the evening we strolled in the Terrace, and heard some good music by Spiridon and Makedon, and went to bed early. Loukia seems more restful than she has been for some time, and fell asleep at once. I shall lock the door and secure the key the same as before, though I do not expect any trouble tonight.

I agree with the other senators. Blocking Russian expansion is for the best. I advise that we halt our expansion and refrain from taking lands to block Russian expansion. The larger and more widespread our population is, the harder it will be to govern and we are already dealing with a small rebellion problem. If the Empress can manage, what is the state of civilization and the armed forces in the nations of China, Japan, and India. I ask so that we may provide you with sound advice.

I would also like to address the other member of the Senate with a proposal to ban personal weapons and personal guards from the senate chambers. Also, a search of any non-senators and prohibitions towards any outside members entering the Senate, unless approved by the Empress or the Senate themselves.

-Heraclius Komnenos

i hate to agree but at this moment we are in danger of overstretching our army and i fear that if we continue expanding our army would be ill prepare for any major rebellion  specially one that is  spread all over the empire and specially if we are at war and we probably cannot spare troops to be playing Whac-A-Mole when they are needed at the front .

Alexander Smithereens

What is this Whac-A-Mole you speak of?

-Michael Doukas

Whac-A-Mole is a expression i use  for trying to keep  up  preventing  the people from rebelling except that as soon as you shut down one group another appears and it keeps spreading and soon you cannot keep up with the rebels because they are all over the place and the army is too spread out to effectively do its job

Alexander Smithereens

We are the Roman Empire! We need no allies to crush the Russian bear. The Russian bear is merely a facade which can be torn through by our elite legions. Rapid advances into the main Russian cities with good supply lines and strong flanks will easily force the Russians to concede defeat. We will achieve good supply lines through trains and road development while our allies and auxiliaries will hold the flanks as the main legions push. We must civilize those Russian savages! If we are to have an Eastern ally, it will be Ming. They will drain Russian manpower more than Japan. I would also like to thank the VII. Claudia Legion for defending Britannia so well and I would also like to advocate better safety regulations to rein in unrestrained capitalism. Hail Rome! Hail Rome! Hail the Empire!

-Senator Ambrosio Palaiologos, Propraetor of Rome, Duke of Nicaea, and governor of Britannia

If I may, again, Senators. I believe a way to solve the problems of manpower in our official, well-trained, and “Roman” legions would to allow colonies and other govenorships farther away from the heart land of the empire to police themselves. Giving these people slightly more autonomy and letting them hold themselves accountable for their actions. The appointment of native officials into more post in these regions would help possibly lower their risk of revolt as well. Yet, these legions and officials should still enforce the most important of Roman culture and law, with variations between regions to appeal the natives. Thus, this variation of “home rule” will allow more legions to relocate to more important areas mainly along the Russian boarder.

-Magnus Kvensson

I disagree with Senator Kvensson. Such a proposal is sure to raise the banners of minority nationalism which would tear this great empire apart. We must maintain control of our colonies as our bureaucrats and our empress know what is best for the empire. Home rule will be a facade for nationalist agitation and will be followed by revolution, rebellion, and war. Our Roman legions are strong enough to defeat Russia with garrisons in every province. We can mobilize or enlist more men in our legions to crush Russia decisively in a quick war. Rome forever! For Empress Veronica! Hail the Empire!

-Senator Ambrosio Palaiologos, governor of Britannia, propraetor of Rome, and Duke of Nicaea


Senators,

Given the rebellions of the last several years, We sought to better understand the workings of the mind, that We might better understand and govern the peoples of the Empire.

Initially, the research of the new Department of Psychology at the University on Constantinople focused on understanding how the mind forms associations from repeated experiences.
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On the recommendations of many Senators, We began a program of better the defenses of Constantinople, as well as recruiting an expanded Scholai Palatinae. The expanded Scholai Palatinae was drawn from families already living near The City.

A new legion, XXXIII. Legio, was drawn from XVI. Legio in Durban and sent to Walvis Bay in south-western Africa. Likewise, XXXIV. Legio was split from XXXII. Legio in Sassandra and sent to Dakhla in north-western Africa. Finally, XXXV. Legio was split from XII. Legio in Luanda and sent to Baromo, deep in central Africa. IX. Legio in Tunis was transported to Ekaterinodar, on the Russian border. The Light fleet was divided among the five assigned transport fleets.

By May, the Psychology Department had scoured the knowledge of associationism from within the Empire and requested support to study the means by which the mind forms hypothesis from its associations. This support was given.
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By October, the psychologists had again gathered the known information. Then they pointed out that it had been shown that the mind could also be studied by scientific methods, and asked for support for learning from the other science departments in how to conduct appropriate studies. We gave Our support within the university, which helped overcome the skepticism of the other departments.
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The expanding knowledge of the mind did not help divert the small liberal rebellion of November 1885. Though the legions did. And in fact, it was shown that the psychological knowledge had quickly gone to better methods of training soldiers, improving the legions’ ability in battle.
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By May, experimental techniques had been developed, and it seemed the Empire’s needs lie elsewhere. The navy had been neglected, and so We asked the admiralty to improve ship designs based around modern weapons.
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When they had completed this work, We gave heed to the engineers who claimed they could make practical use of electricity, and gave them support to demonstrate their claims.
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Near the end of 1886, Hedjaz blamed Us for Filipino protests in the Visayas region. Later, when those protests had earned violent crackdowns, We declared war on Hedjaz in order to bring the Filipinos under Our protection.
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In February of 1887, after communist revolutions in Poland-Lithuania and Hungary, there was a large communist revolution in the Empire.
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During this revolution, the expanding Scholai Palatinae proved their worth as they repelled rebels who had risen with The City itself.
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While fighting the rebellion, the Filipino cause became critical, and We declared war on Hedjaz. XI. Legio did the usual work in the east, while I. Legio and XIX. Legio moved on the Hedjaz heartland. Meanwhile, the East Fleet also attacked any Hedjaz fleets that were forced out of port.
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As the communist revolution was finished off, the various administrators throughout the Empire saw clearly that accommodations with the workers of the Empire must be made.
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We used this new support to enforce minimum wages throughout the Empire, as people desperately wanted.
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And by September 1887, Hedjaz surrendered. They instead were worried about India, who had declared war on them for the last of their Indian territory.
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Shortly thereafter, the basics of making electricity practical were completed.
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We directed the Humanities department to better explain the attitudes of Revolution and Counter-revolution in the hopes of avoiding more bloody rebellions.
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During this time, tensions in the Philippines kept growing. Particularly in Iraqi-held parts of the islands, which caused spill-over violence into the Imperial-administered parts.
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As the research into revolutions completed, We asked the businessmen in the Empire to find ways of making their workers more efficient.
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The discovery of rubber in Africa was intriguing for the development of electronics.

And We gave synagogues in Israel the same legal standing as churches, hopefully allowing for better integration of the Empire’s Jewish population.
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March of 1889 saw a small uprising of Spanish Nationalists, easily put down.
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When the time saving measures had been researched, We sought to save time in travel by improving the Empire’s railroads. Designs for steel engines were evaluated.
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In July of 1889, the situation with the Iraqi Philippines came to a head, and We declared war. I. Legio marched on Mosul, and XI. Legio moved to bring Palawan under order. It was over almost as soon as it began, as the slightest show of force was all it took to make them surrender.
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In November the designs for better railroads were complete, and some engineers claimed they could use the new petroleum fuels to make engines of unprecedented power. So We obliged them in their research.
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Progress  moves ever forward!

-Ambrosio Palaiologo

It appears that those communists just won’t stop.  Did we not give them their conference?  Did we not give the people the privileges they deserved?  Why, then, do these radicals keep trying to depose the Empress?  I must clarify, these radicals are not the same as our rational colleagues here in the Senate.  Let it be known that they will be treated the same way as any other traitors who rise up–with steel!
The Jews getting more rights?  If they don’t rebel, I’m all for it.
Nationalists?  I bet it’s the Russians trying to tear apart the Empire from within.
Nice work those boys at the Pandidakterion have done on researching psychology and counter-revolution.  Hopefully we won’t have another…

((In Michael’s mind))

-Foolish brother.  You never learn, do you?
-Konstantinos?  You’re dead, you can’t be here!
-How do you know?  I could be a figment of your imagination.  And those psychologists have determined that mental illnesses can occur in relatives of the afflicted.  Food for thought.  Get it?  Food FOR THOUGHT?!
-You did this!  Your supporters went around the Empire massacring anybody communist or non-Greek.  You caused the recent communist rebellion!  Those you oppressed are now turning on us!
-How do you know it wasn’t my failsafe all along?  If I can’t have the throne, nobody can.  The purging of heretics Markos and I carried out were twofold: first, I would eliminate any rebels and opposition should I become emperor; second, if my rebellion failed, those I massacred would take their anger out on you guys, as I’m dead.
-You won’t win, Konstantinos.
-I already have.  Those nationalists…how do you know there aren’t anymore of them?  How do you know Theodosio isn’t both a radical Communist and a Spanish nationalist?   He did take pride in his socialist ideals and his Spanish heritage.
-You can’t divide us, we are all loyal to the Empress.
-Oh please, brother, you have always felt this way.  You have always felt inferior to your older brother, always wanting a way to prove your worth to the Empire in a different way from me.  You have always been wary of your safety and that of the Empire.  How do you know who’s loyal and who’s not?  You can’t just ask them.
-Shut.  Up.  Now.

((Public))
Michael shook his head.  He couldn’t continue talking about this.  It was too painful.  But he had to speak up.
Hopefully we won’t have another rebellion.  But I must reiterate my points about reforms.  The people need their reforms and they need them soon.  Otherwise they will continue to revolt.  The Ministry of Security is working on better methods of tracking potential rebels and neutralizing rebellions before they begin.
And we must stay united in our loyalties too.  I know that with the recent uprisings we may be looking at the socialists and the Spanish with distrust, but that will only make things worse.  “Love thy neighbor,” says the Bible.  We are in a position to change things.  Our socialist senators can call for the radical communists to stand down.  Our conservative senators can appeal to the reactionaries.  Our liberal senators can appeal to the reformers and those who want change.  Together we can stand against any rebellions or enemies in our way.  But if we give in to fear and mistrust we will fall, just as the Old Empire did centuries ago.

((Private))
Michael looks up towards the doors, and for a second he though he saw Konstantinos standing there wearing purple-outlined robes, winking and holding a bloodied sword in his hand.

~Michael Doukas

***Meanwhile in a dank cavern under the Senate***

Hooded Figure 1: Dammit, thousands of our supporters cut down by the Legions. What is more galling is those waste of space Socialist got all the power!
Hooded Figure 2: Patience my young apprentice, did you think those were the most loyla of our supporters? No, they were just those we felt were expendable, plenty more fools to lead to the slaughter. Did you see what they called themselves “Imperial Communists”! Mwhahahaha, already those in power quake at the possibility that the sheep will turn and chase the shepherd.
HF 1: When do we reveal ourselves master?
HF 2: Not yet, I still have the Empress’s ear and we can use that to further our goals.
HF 1: I can not wait to reveal ourselves to these corrupt fat cats
HF 2: Soon young one, let the hate course through you. Grow strong and while we wait I have a new mission for you.

**** As we pull back from this scene to the Senate itself****
Traitors my naive Doukas??? No good true free men, who only seek a better life and true representation within these walls. If anything the reforms passed by this body do not go far enough to quell what could be a tidal wave that could overcome the Empire, I and my fellow members try to appeal to the people to wait that we can reform from within and yet we are stymied at every turn.

What man among us would not fight for a better life, who here can not say that they or thier ancestors have not fought and clawed to gain thier position?

And though I agree in part with the Duke of Nicea, that providing some autonomy would just cause jealousy and envy amongst other subjects. Instead we need to provide a reason for our people to want to fight, to be willing to serve the Empire as faithfully as we do, or most of us do. The Duke however notes that we could crush any revolution, even whilst at war, but imagine if that rebellion had of occurred whilst the legions were away in Russia or in America?

I put it that we need to push forward reforms, to allow voting and sweep some of the dead wood from this chamber!

Αιδεν Γκρέυ
Governor of Brittany, Chief of Staff

Αιδεν Γκρέυ , I appreciate your respect in calling me a Duke. However, I would appreciate it if you spelled the name of domain correctly, it is Nicaea, not Nicea. It is fine if you address me as duke, senator, propraetor, or governor. Bah, a whiff of high- explosive shrapnel or even grapeshot and the crowds would disperse. This Empire can easily defeat any other nation on the planet right now. We will always have enough men to crush ungrateful rebel scum. In the unlikely event that the legions are all deployed, we can mobilize our citizens to defeat them or use auxiliaries. However, I recommend the formation of the Imperial Guard, which all males between ages 18-25 must serve a year in. This will strengthen our pool of reservists.Hail Rome! Hail the Empire! Hail the Empress!

– Senator Ambrosio Palaiologos, Duke of Nicaea, governor of Britannia, and  propraetor of Rome

IMPERIUM ROMANUM
SPQR

I care not for whatever hell hole spawned your ilk, Palaiologos. Such talk about the people of our land, I am sure one as you would love to turn out even more of the poor to fight their own brothers!

You claim to seek this is in the best interests of our Empress, the mother of the Empire, all true Imperials know that the Empress holds us all as children to her bosom and protects each and everyone.

And men, I do not even think the word applies in your case, animals like you only concerned with protecting your ill gotten gains and keeping the people in chains. It is no longer the Empire of the 1200’s we are no longer serfs and chatels to be beaten into submission, the people of the Empire cry out as one for changes, and you reactionaries and conservatives demand a march through a lake of blood to maintain your wealth and position.

How long before the Legions themselves, tired of killing their own brothers and sisters, begin to feel that the Senate no longer serves the Empire. That the Empress listens to those who refuse to listen and begin to radicalise themselves. The thought of our own Legions marching on the capital must surely cause even the bravest of use to ponder a change in the course we take.

Αιδεν Γκρέυ
Governor of Brittany, Chief of Staff

((Private))

No diary for two whole days. I have not had the heart to write. Some sort of shadowy pall seems to be coming over our happiness. No news from Ioannes, and Loukia seems to be growing weaker, whilst her mother’s hours are numbering to a close. I do not understand Loukia’s fading away as she is doing. She eats well and sleeps well, and enjoys the fresh air, but all the time the roses in her cheeks are fading, and she gets weaker and more languid day by day. At night I hear her gasping as if for air.
I keep the key of our door always fastened to my wrist at night, but she gets up and walks about the room, and sits at the open window. Last night I found her leaning out when I woke up, and when I tried to wake her I could not.
She was in a faint. When I managed to restore her, she was weak as water, and cried silently between long, painful struggles for breath. When I asked her how she came to be at the window she shook her head and turned away.
I trust her feeling ill may not be from that unlucky prick of the safety-pin. I looked at her throat just now as she lay asleep, and the tiny wounds seem not to have healed. They are still open, and, if anything, larger than before, and the edges of them are faintly white. They are like little white dots with red centres. Unless they heal within a day or two, I shall insist on the doctor seeing about them.

~Mara

((Letter, Samuel F. Byrillios & Son, to Messrs. Cyrillos, Paternos & Co., Constantinople.))

“Dear Sirs, —

“Herewith please receive invoice of goods sent by railway. Same are to be delivered at [REDACTED], near [REDACTED], immediately on receipt at goods station Central Terminal. The house is at present empty, but enclosed please find keys, all of which are labelled.
“You will please deposit the boxes, fifty in number, which form the consignment, in the partially ruined building forming part of the house and marked `A’ on rough diagrams enclosed. Your agent will easily recognize the locality, as it is the ancient chapel of the mansion. The goods leave by the train at 9:30 tonight, and will be due at King’s Cross at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon. As our client wishes the delivery made as soon as possible, we shall be obliged by your having teams ready at Central Terminal at the time named and forthwith conveying the goods to destination. In order to obviate any delays possible through any routine requirements as to payment in your departments, we enclose cheque herewith for ten pounds, receipt of which please acknowledge. Should the charge be less than this amount, you can return balance, if greater, we shall at once send cheque for difference on hearing from you. You are to leave the keys on coming away in the main hall of the house, where the proprietor may get them on his entering the house by means of his duplicate key.
“Pray do not take us as exceeding the bounds of business courtesy in pressing you in all ways to use the utmost expedition.

“We are, dear Sirs,

“Faithfully yours,

“SAMUEL F. BYRILIOS & SON”

((Letter, Sister Agatha, Hospital Of St. Joseph And Ste. Mary Buda-Pesth, to Madama Mara Dalassenos))

“Dear Madam.

“I write by desire of Mr. Ioannes Dalassenos, who is himself not strong enough to write, though progressing well, thanks to God. He has been under our care for nearly six weeks, suffering from a violent brain fever. He wishes me to convey his love, and to say that by this post I write for him to his superiors, to say, with his dutiful respects, that he is sorry for his delay, and that the interrogation of the Count is completed, though heavy casualties were sustained. He will require some few weeks’ rest in our sanatorium in the hills, but will then return. He wishes me to say that he has not sufficient money with him, and that he would like to pay for his staying here, so that others who need shall not be wanting for help.

Believe me,

Yours, with sympathy and all blessings.

Sister Agatha”

“P. S.–My patient being asleep, I open this to let you know something more. He has told me all about you, and that you are shortly to be his wife. All blessings to you both! He has had some fearful shock, so says our doctor, and in his delirium his ravings have been dreadful, of wolves and poison and blood, of ghosts and demons, and I fear to say of what. Be careful of him always that there may be nothing to excite him of this kind for a long time to come. The traces of such an illness as his do not lightly die away. We should have written long ago, but we knew nothing of his friends, and there was nothing on him, nothing that anyone could understand. He came in the train from Wallachia, and the guard was told by the station master there that he rushed into the station shouting for a ticket for home. Seeing from his violent demeanor that he was Greek, they gave him a ticket for the furthest station on the way thither that the train reached.
“Be assured that he is well cared for. He has won all hearts by his sweetness and gentleness. He is truly getting on well, and I have no doubt will in a few weeks be all himself. But be careful of him for safety’s sake. There are, I pray God and St. Joseph and Ste.Mary, many, many, happy years for you both.”

((Dr. Stavridis’s Diary))
Strange and sudden change in Renato last night. About eight o’clock he began to get excited and sniff about as a dog does when setting. The attendant was struck by his manner, and knowing my interest in him, encouraged him to talk. He is usually respectful to the attendant and at times servile, but tonight, the man tells me, he was quite haughty. Would not condescend to talk with him at all.
All he would say was, “I don’t want to talk to you. You don’t count now. The master is at hand.”
The attendant thinks it is some sudden form of religious mania which has seized him. If so, we must look out for squalls, for a strong man with homicidal and religious mania at once might be dangerous. The combination is a dreadful one.
At Nine o’clock I visited him myself. His attitude to me was the same as that to the attendant. In his sublime selffeeling the difference between myself and the attendant seemed to him as nothing. It looks like religious mania, and he will soon think that he himself is God.
These infinitesimal distinctions between man and man are too paltry for an Omnipotent Being. How these madmen give themselves away! The real God taketh heed lest a sparrow fall. But the God created from human vanity sees no difference between an eagle and a sparrow. Oh, if men only knew!
For half an hour or more Renato kept getting excited in greater and greater degree. I did not pretend to be watching him, but I kept strict observation all the same. All at once that shifty look came into his eyes which we always see when a madman has seized an idea, and with it the shifty movement of the head and back which asylum attendants come to know so well. He became quite quiet, and went and sat on the edge of his bed resignedly, and looked into space with lack-luster eyes.
I thought I would find out if his apathy were real or only assumed, and tried to lead him to talk of his pets, a theme which had never failed to excite his attention.
At first he made no reply, but at length said testily, “Bother them all! I don’t care a pin about them.”
“What” I said. “You don’t mean to tell me you don’t care about spiders?” (Spiders at present are his hobby and the notebook is filling up with columns of small figures.)
To this he answered enigmatically, “The Bride maidens rejoice the eyes that wait the coming of the bride. But when the bride draweth nigh, then the maidens shine not to the eyes that are filled.”
He would not explain himself, but remained obstinately seated on his bed all the time I remained with him.
I am weary tonight and low in spirits. I cannot but think of Loukia, and how different things might have been. If I don’t sleep at once, chloral, the modern Morphios! I must be careful not to let it grow into a habit. No, I shall take none tonight! I have thought of Loukia, and I shall not dishonour her by mixing the two. If need by, tonight shall be sleepless.
Later.–Glad I made the resolution, gladder that I kept to it. I had lain tossing about, and had heard the clock strike only twice, when the night watchman came to me, sent up from the ward, to say that Renfield had escaped. I threw on my clothes and ran down at once. My patient is too dangerous a person to be roaming about. Those ideas of his might work out dangerously with strangers.
The attendant was waiting for me. He said he had seen him not ten minutes before, seemingly asleep in his bed, when he had looked through the observation trap in the door. His attention was called by the sound of the window being wrenched out. He ran back and saw his feet disappear through the window, and had at once sent up for me. He was only in his night gear, and cannot be far off.
The attendant thought it would be more useful to watch where he should go than to follow him, as he might lose sight of him whilst getting out of the building by the door. He is a bulky man, and couldn’t get through the window.
I am thin, so, with his aid, I got out, but feet foremost, and as we were only a few feet above ground landed unhurt.
The attendant told me the patient had gone to the left, and had taken a straight line, so I ran as quickly as I could. As I got through the belt of trees I saw a white figure scale the high wall which separates our grounds from those of the deserted house.
I ran back at once, told the watchman to get three or four men immediately and follow me into the grounds of [REDACTED], in case our friend might be dangerous. I got a ladder myself, and crossing the wall, dropped down on the other side. I could see Renato’s figure just disappearing behind the angle of the house, so I ran after him. On the far side of the house I found him pressed close against the old ironbound oak door of the chapel.
He was talking, apparently to some one, but I was afraid to go near enough to hear what he was saying, lest I might frighten him, and he should run off.
Chasing an errant swarm of bees is nothing to following a naked lunatic, when the fit of escaping is upon him! After a few minutes, however, I could see that he did not take note of anything around him, and so ventured to draw nearer to him, the more so as my men had now crossed the wall and were closing him in. I heard him say . . .
“I am here to do your bidding, Master. I am your slave, and you will reward me, for I shall be faithful. I have worshipped you long and afar off. Now that you are near, I await your commands, and you will not pass me by, will you, dear Master, in your distribution of good things?”
He is a selfish old beggar anyhow. He thinks of the loaves and fishes even when he believes his is in a real Presence. His manias make a startling combination. When we closed in on him he fought like a tiger. He is immensely strong, for he was more like a wild beast than a man.
I never saw a lunatic in such a paroxysm of rage before, and I hope I shall not again. It is a mercy that we have found out his strength and his danger in good time. With strength and determination like his, he might have done wild work before he was caged.
He is safe now, at any rate. Georgios himself couldn’t get free from the strait waistcoat that keeps him restrained, and he’s chained to the wall in the padded room.
His cries are at times awful, but the silences that follow are more deadly still, for he means murder in every turn and movement.
Just now he spoke coherent words for the first time. “I shall be patient, Master. It is coming, coming, coming!”
So I took the hint, and came too. I was too excited to sleep, but this diary has quieted me, and I feel I shall get some sleep tonight.

Rabble like your are one of the reasons there are so many rebellions. Populists, every single one of you! We should respect each other as Senators in this great empire but you venture to insult me without provocation! Britannia, the province I govern, has one of the best safety regulations in  the Empire. We protect our people and are at the forefront of the technological revolution that is called electricity. I would like for you to check facts before hurling insults! The Empress does not protect those who wish to overthrow her, we must crush those rebels. The majority of the people in this glorious Empire are good citizens and so should be rewarded. We should protect those citizens from the menace that is radicalism and corporate greed. However, those radicals must be crushed. Therefore, I am advocating my policy of one year of service in a new unit called the Imperial Guard. I have spent much of my fortune helping the people in my dominion. I have no idea why you think I am a greedy royal or a stubborn reactionary. I dislike reactionaries too, they are holding back progress and the Empire, weakening it in the process. The Legions will never march on the capital. I guarantee that.

-Senator Ambrosio Palaiologos, Duke of Nicaea, propraetor of Rome, and governor of Britannia

IMPERIUM ROMANUM
SPQR

I am sad that Filipino nationalism has taken an evil turn and that the bane of communism has taken root in our islands! But I am happy at the prospect of a united Filipinas under the aegis of our Christian Empire, with only Sulu left in barbarian hands.

Perhaps more socialist reforms and evangelical zeal would put down these revolutions?

Senator Nguyen-Climaco

I would agree with socialist-type reforms, but increased efforts at proselytization may only make the issue worse, as those who do not follow Christianity may hate us for taking away their traditions and become more inclined to rebellion.  Maybe instead of directly interfering with their way of life we could educate them.
Education has many benefits.  You educate them in Roman culture, and they become Romans according to the ideals of Romanitas.  They will then become productive and loyal citizens of the Empire, for as they have become Romans they loose foreign nationalism and gain Roman nationalism.  And my friend and mentor the German politician Bismarck told me that nationalism is a very powerful force in this time and age.  Why not harness it for good?
However, we can still spread the True Faith to the unbelievers without upsetting them.  How?  Again, education.  You educate their children in Roman and Christian ways, and they will become devout Christians and loyal Romans.  They cannot be angry that their traditions are suppressed because they never were raised on those traditions.  Therefore these reeducated citizens will be less inclined to rebellion.  If the parents object, we can always try to integrate the local traditions into Roman culture, though of course conventional Greco-Roman ideals will be a priority.

~Michael Doukas

Your mentor is Bismarck? That crazy, old bat who kept on ranting about German nationalism? Who are you?

Although I agree on your reeducation policy.

-Ambrosio Palaiologo

Blame my father for hiring him after he retired from politics.  Although he spent most of his time tutoring my brother…

Michael Doukas

Senator Ambrosio, Senator St?ße? G????, Please! Are we not civil Romans in these halls? Let us have discussions of reason and rational, not insults. While I do see the value of Ambrosio’s ideas, Senator St?ße? G???? is more correct in this matter, we exist to represent the people of OUR empire. Our cannons and steel should be facing towards the outsides of our border not our insides! I advise Senator Ambrosio to instead of investing in another military, to perhaps share some of his ideas and policies on how he made Britannia such a ideal province, so other senators may listen and possibly adopt some of his concepts.
– Senator Magnus Kvensson of Oceania Major

What insults? Is it not true that Bismarck is somewhat eccentric? And remember,  St?ße? G???? was the first to start insulting me. I agree, we exist to represent the people but when sections of the population rise up against the will of the people, we have an obligation to destroy such evil sentiments. The Imperial Guard is not the military! It is a force composed of enlistees who learn how to fight so when war breaks out against the Russian Empire, we are prepared to invade and defend. The Legions just may become overwhelmed by the sheer weight of Russians so we need people who can form new units to beat back those waves. In Britannia, we have the strictest safety regulations anywhere in the Empire. Our capitalists obtain permits to construct areas of dangerous work and are regularly inspected for any deviation from safety laws. We encourage societal capitalism, capitalism for the good of all instead of the few. We give our citizens free job training so they can be employed.

– Senator Ambrosio Palaiologos

Well my fellows like you always have you talk without knowledge, I would ask if our security and police forces have compiled a list of the various malcontent groups within the empire and perhaps and idea of the numbers that support various reforms.

If we can see what we are dealing with perhaps it will be best to work on those issue most pressing to the Empire.

Senator & Chief of Staff Αιδεν Γκρέυ

Of course you resort to crude insults that you cannot even structure properly! I would like you to refrain from continuing to insult your colleagues and engage in an orderly discussion. I second this motion to see what our security forces have done to monitor and stop treasonous rebellion. I also agree on his stance of listening to the people to see what they desire and see what can be done to assuage that desire and accommodate the people.
-Senator Ambrosio Palaiologos, governor of Britannia, duke of Nicaea, and propraetor of Rome

IMPERIUM ROMANUM
SPQR

Ioannes Angelos places two fingers on his brow for a moment in thought and then declaims, “and do not listen to those who say that the voice of the people is the voice of God, for the tumult of the crowd is always close to madness.  Aelcuin of York knew well about the perils of listening to the common people and he lived over a thousand years ago.  Let us not go down this path, lest we face the consequences of such iniquity.”

I understand your concern Ioannes, however I go back nearly 2,000 years when the last King of Rome Tarquin the Proud was deposed for not listening to his subjects and this is not a fate I would wish for our beloved Empress.

-Αιδεν Γκρέυ

Reactionaries like you inflame popular sentiment against the monarchy since you attempt to hold back the tide of progress. We must adapt or die, your unchanging stance is part of the “die” part instead of the adapt. Imagine this: A massive continental land war against Russia, Germany, and the UTA. After years of warfare, the manpower reserves of each country is depleted. The Legions have advanced deep into Russia and landed in the UTA. Then, autocratic rule at home causes millions of citizens to rise up. How will you stop that?- Ambrosio Palaiologo

To be fair Senator, if our police had the ability to identify these all these cell groups, we would not be having a problem with rebellions.
– Magnus Kvensson

“Let us not deal in fantasies, Senator Palaiologos.  How do you propose we fight a land war against a nation surrounded by oceans?  Moreover, do not fool yourself that Kyriarchia is somehow more palatable to this hypothetical rebellion than is Patrikioi, because clearly if the Empire is in revolt, all your insidious methods of attempting to be all things to all people have clearly failed.”

-Alexios Angelos

I do not understand your convoluted logic. We will fight the UTA if need be and send our Legions with ships to crush them. What insidious methods? I am here for the people.-Ambrosio Palaiologo

“As am I, but let us not pretend that the people will get to make their own decisions.  You would likely address the people by pretending to listen to them and enacting what they wish, but presumably only after ensuring that those options are good for you and the state.  I would instead find local leading people and inculcate them in the wonders of the Empire to properly Hellenise them, before sending them back to guide their fellow people according to the wishes of the Basilissa and her senators.”

Ioannes half-smiles, somewhat coldly.  “Expecting commoners to guide their own fates is like asking a humble shepherd boy to herd a dozen cats and never lose a single one.”

Michael watches the other senators bicker on about the legions and war with the Cherokee.  The divide between the communists and the non-communists was greater than ever before.  The divide in all of their beliefs was greater than ever before.  Never had he seen the Senate so divided before.  “A house divided cannot stand,” said the Great Chief Lincoln of the UTA, he recalled.
Somebody tapped him on the shoulder.
Michael turned and saw Konstantinos next to him.  He rapidly recoiled in shock, falling out of his seat and knocking over some of his papers.
“Relax, brother,” said Konstantinos, “It’s me.”
“YOU?!  YOU ARE DEAD!” Michael screamed, jabbing his hand in Konstantinos’s direction.
Some senators turned and stared at Michael.
“Sir,”‘ said a senator next to him, “Konstantinos is dead.  Who are you talking to?”
“Yeah,” said Konstantinos, “Who are you talking to?”
“I am fine,” said Michael, “I just…was recalling my brother’s rebellion.”
“Pfft, like that does anything,” said Konstantinos, “No.  I’m here.  They’re lying that I’m dead.  I am your brother for God’s sake!  Treat me like the brother that I am!”
Michael tried to take his seat and ignore Konstantinos’s ramblings.  His brother simply whispered in his ear, “Markos Angelos is still out there.  How do you know the Angeloi here aren’t working for them?  How do you know the communists are plotting your downfall?  How do you know the Faveroi, Komnenoi, Palaeologoi, the Empress aren’t trying to kill you?”
“GET OUT OF MY SIGHT KONSTANTINOS!” Michael screamed, punching Konstantinos’s image.
The image of the traitor vanished as Michael’s fists passed through the empty air.
Now the entire senate was looking at him.
“Please excuse me for a moment,” he said, making his way to the door.

I Alexander smithereens call on the senate to suspend Michael Konstantios Doukas  from the senate still he cleared by a doctor  and declared mentally sound  and considered not a danger to his fellow  senators and himself.

A doctor walks into the Senate about an hour after Michael has left.

“I am Michael Konstantios Doukas’s personal physician.  After much inspection, I have determined that my patient is mentally sound and capable of carrying out his duties as Senator and Minister.  He has arranged for bodyguards to accompany him should he suffer another outburst.”

He also reads from a statement by the Doukas household, stamped with the seal of the Imperial Household.

“It is absurd that a fellow senator, especially one who does not have that much experience, demands the removal and suspension of one of our members from the Senate.  Do you know who we are?  We are the Doukai, the most powerful dynatoi in the Empire.  One does not simply dismiss a Doukai, especially one who has safeguarded the Empire in the darkest of times and constantly strives for the safety of all, including the Empress and his fellow senators.  We assure you, Michael Doukas is mentally fit to conduct his duties as Senator and Minister.  He has agreed for bodyguards to accompany him to assist in his activities should he require assistance.”

Michael, accompanied by at least six guards, returns and takes his seat in the Senate.  He is calm now and looks composed and perfectly sane.

“Do I look crazy?  Do I want to usurp the throne from the Empress?  Answer me, Smithereens.  Look me in the face and tell me, ‘You deserve to be locked up in a sanitarium, faithful servant of the Empress’.  Only the Empress may order my resignation or suspension from the Senate.  A mere senator such as you cannot remove a fellow senator from his position, much less a Minister.  Look me in the face, Smithereens, and tell me, ‘Minister who faithfully served the Empress and defended the Empire against Konstantinos Doukas, you must be locked up in an asylum as a danger to all after everything you have done for the Empire and your demonstration of sanity’.”

i Alexander smithereens request that Michael Konstantios Doukas be examined by an independent board of doctors chosen by the senate not that i don’t trust his personal doctor but i would like another opinion from an independent source.

A physician from the University of Constantinople arrives.

“I concur that Michael Doukas is mentally fit to carry out his duties as Senator and Minister.  As I have no ties to the Doukas family, I assure you that my judgment is unbiased and just.”

I, Ambrosio Palaiologos, has no opinion on the expulsion of Doukas.

It is not our place to pass judgment on each other.  It is up to the Empress to decide such matters.  If she feels Senator Doukas is mentally unfit to serve her, she will dismiss him.

– Senator Leonardo Favero, Duke & Governor of Italy, Minister of Intelligence

“As fascinating as it is to see the liberals tear into each other, given that the fellow with the ridiculous surname is clearly of no good stock, unlike Senator Doukas (despite any other failings he might have), perhaps the offensive senator should be taken out and whipped like the low-born mongrel he is.”

-Alexios Angelos


Senators, your passion and desire to protect the Empire is exemplary. But it seems there is little agreement as to the best course of action. We agree that more education would be favorable, but the people are currently crying out for safe working conditions. Well, in addition to being allowed to elect Senators, but we should constrain ourselves to discussing reasonable actions. Perhaps if some Senators have ideas on how the administrative apparatus of the Empire can be made more willing to adapt and enforce laws passed in Constantinople? As well, We have become concerned that the lack of Greek-speaking bureaucrats in some regions might be the cause of all the instability and militancy. Perhaps the unemployment aid is not reaching many who need it? It seems impossible to tell.

For those who wish to know more of the various movements in the Empire, We believe the Minister of Security can provide that information.

Senator Smithereens, We would ask that you be respectful of the positions of your fellow senators. All are Senators based on Our sufferance, and We will remove any of them if needed. We would advise you to attend to your fellow Senators and notice how they comport themselves. While their rhetoric may be extreme, sometimes too extreme, they do not seek to remove each other from their positions.

Senator Doukas, We understand, better than most, how the events with your family can cause a mental and emotional trauma. Thus your outbursts. May We suggest you speak with some of the faculty in the psychology department at the University of Constantinople. They can be of great help.

We have decided to reappoint Senators to their same governorships, unless any wish to request to govern a different region. We plan to appoint Senator Heraclius Komnenos to Dalmatia, and Senator Venédiktos Nguyen-Climaco to the Philippines. Thus, the list of governorships would be:

(North) Africa – Alexandros Damaskinos
Armenia – Julian Leon
Asia – Constantine Panaretos
Britannia – Ambrosio Palaiologos
Dalmatia – Heraclius Komnenos
Egypt – Marcos Alexandros
Macedonia – Ioannes Angelos
Naples – Nestorius Septiadis
Raetia – Columba Comminus
Sicily – Alexander Smithereens
Syria – Michael Konstantios Doukas
Thracia – Prince Alvértos
Australia – Magnus Kvensson
Brittany – Αιδεν Γκρέυ
Italy – Leonardo Favero
Philippines – Venédiktos Nguyen-Climaco
Spain – Nicodemo Theodosio

Provinces governed by non-Senators would be Mauretania, Georgia, Guayana, Palestine, Aquitaine, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Burgundy, Catalonia, France, Java, New Zealand, South Africa, and Wales.

The ministers would be:
Minister of security – Senator Doukas
Minister of intelligence – Senator Favero
Chief of Staff – Senator Αιδεν Γκρέυ
Chief of the Army – Nicodemo Theodosio
Chief of the Navy – Senator Alexander Smithereens

If any senators are interested, We would desire to appoint a new Foreign minister and an Armaments minister.

And We noticed that We have neglected to update you on Our family. Prince Artoúros has had a third child, a daughter. Princess Veatriki has married Prince Henry, a minor prince of Germany, and they already have three children.

What further thoughts have the Senators?


Ioannes returns to the Senate with a missive, looking greatly distressed. “I have received news that my son Demetrios has gone to his final reward fighting against the barbarians in the East Indies. I will take this opportunity to resign my duties, if the Basilissa permits, and ask that my grandson Alexios be confirmed in his place.”

Your Imperial Majesty:

It is with deep gratitude and honour that I accept the governorship of my country.

We too as a newly integrated province of the Roman Empire are lacking in Greek-speaking bureaucrats. The encouragement of immigration of Greeks to the outer regions of the Empire is recommended and once a trinket has arrived, to set the national focus for bureaucrats in these provinces.

Lastly, we congratulate Your Imperial Majesty for your new grandchildren.

In fealty,

Senator Nguyen-Climaco, Governor of Filipinas

Michael begins reading from the stack of papers he has brought with him.

My apologies for the delay, but here is the information the Ministry of Security has gathered on rebels and other movements.

Reactionaries–let us call them Konstantinians–demand a return to the old ways. They number around six hundred thousand. Jacobins number about four hundred thousand, though they are likely to increase in number quickly and rise up faster than the Konstantinians. Between them, about one hundred and fifty brigades are ready to defect to their ranks should uprisings begin. However, they are not the most dangerous rebel groups.

Burgundian nationalists, Aquitainian nationalists, and communists are the most dangerous rebel groups. All number at least nine hundred thousand in members. Seventy five brigades are ready to defect to the Aquitainian rebels, forty six to the Burgundians, and a staggering four hundred and fifty one to the communists. I should reiterate, the communists are the most dangerous group. They are the largest, with four million, and four hundred and fifty one brigades are ready to defect to them. I recommend that we either crack down harshly on the rebel organizations or give incentives to get rebels to defect back to our side before any uprisings begin. What is the state of our economy? Perhaps the people are angry at the taxation rates?

Now to the movements. The only one of significant size (over a million) is the suffrage movement, with about three million citizens joining. Suppressing them would stop the movement for some time, but that would only turn them into Jacobin rebels, which we do not want. Therefore, we have two choices–grant voting rights to them, which is unacceptable to most of us, or attempt to lower national consciousness.

Of note: some rebel movements talk about a “New Zealand,” “Australia,” “South Africa,” “Philippines,” “Wales,” “Java,” and “Belgium” as nations to restore sovereignty to when such nations have never existed or of an “Italian unification” or “French unification” movement. Are they drunk or something? Luckily those movements are quite small compared to the ones detailed above.

 photo 96-35_zpsekjntpp9.png photo 96-36_zpsatgfk2of.png

~Michael Doukas

Senator Doukas, can I request the total population of the Empire, just to judge how much of an issue any of these movements or groups are.

-Αιδεν Γκρέυ

((All Private))

13 August.

My dearest Loukia,

I know you will be anxious to hear all that has happened since we parted at the railway station.
Well, my dear, I got to [REDACTED] all right, and caught the boat to Varna, and then the train. I feel that I can hardly recall anything of the journey, except that I knew I was coming to Ioannes, and that as I should have to do some nursing, I had better get all the sleep I could. I found my dear one, oh, so thin and pale and weaklooking. All the resolution has gone out of his dear eyes, and that quiet dignity which I told you was in his face has vanished. He is only a wreck of himself, and he does not remember anything that has happened to him for a long time past. At least, he wants me to believe so, and I shall never ask.
He has had some terrible shock, and I fear it might tax his poor brain if he were to try to recall it. Sister Agatha, who is a good creature and a born nurse, tells me that he wanted her to tell me what they were, but she would only cross herself, and say she would never tell. That the ravings of the sick were the secrets of God, and that if a nurse through her vocation should hear them, she should respect her trust..
She is a sweet, good soul, and the next day, when she saw I was troubled, she opened up the subject my poor dear raved about, added, `I can tell you this much, my dear. That it was not about anything which he has done wrong himself, and you, as his wife to be, have no cause to be concerned. He has not forgotten you or what he owes to you. His fear was of great and terrible things, which no mortal can treat of.’
I do believe the dear soul thought I might be jealous lest my poor dear should have fallen in love with any other girl. The idea of my being jealous about Ioannes! And yet, my dear, let me whisper, I felt a thrill of joy through me when I knew that no other woman was a cause for trouble. I am now sitting by his bedside, where I can see his face while he sleeps. He is waking!
When he woke he asked me for his coat, as he wanted to get something from the pocket. I asked Sister Agatha, and she brought all his things. I saw amongst them was his notebook, and was was going to ask him to let me look at it, for I knew that I might find some clue to his trouble, but I suppose he must have seen my wish in my eyes, for he sent me over to the window, saying he wanted to be quite alone for a moment.
Then he called me back, and he said to me very solemnly, `Mara’, I knew then that he was in deadly earnest, for he has never called me by that name since he asked me to marry him, `You know, dear, my ideas of the trust between husband and wife. There should be no secret, no concealment. I have had a great shock, and when I try to think of what it is I feel my head spin round, and I do not know if it was real or the dreaming of a madman. You know I had brain fever, and that is to be mad. The secret is here, and I do not want to know it. I want to take up my life here, with our marriage.’ For, my dear, we had decided to be married as soon as the formalities are complete. `Are you willing, Mara, to share my ignorance? Here is the book. Take it and keep it, read it if you will,but never let me know unless, indeed, some solemn duty should come upon me to go back to the bitter hours, asleep or awake, sane or mad, recorded here.’ He fell back exhausted, and I put the book under his pillow, and kissed him. have asked Sister Agatha to beg the Superior to let our wedding be this afternoon, and am waiting her reply . . .”
She has come and told me that a local priest has been sent for. We are to be married in an hour, or as soon after as Jonathan awakes.”
Loukia, the time has come and gone. I feel very solemn, but very, very happy. Ioannes woke a little after the hour, and all was ready, and he sat up in bed, propped up with pillows. He answered his `I will’ firmly and strong. I could hardly speak. My heart was so full that even those words seemed to choke me.
The dear sisters were so kind. Please, God, I shall never, never forget them, nor the grave and sweet responsibilities I have taken upon me. I must tell you of my wedding present. When the chaplain and the sisters had left me alone with my husband–oh, Loukia, it is the first time I have written the words `my husband’–left me alone with my husband, I took the book from under his pillow, and wrapped it up in white paper, and tied it with a little bit of pale blue ribbon which was round my neck, and sealed it over the knot with sealing wax, and for my seal I used my wedding ring. Then I kissed it and showed it to my husband, and told him that I would keep it so, and then it would be an outward and visible sign for us all our lives that we trusted each other, that I would never open it unless it were for his own dear sake or for the sake of some stern duty. Then he took my hand in his, and oh, Loukia, it was the first time he took his wifes’ hand, and said that it was the dearest thing in all the wide world, and that he would go through all the past again to win it, if need be. The poor dear meant to have said a part of the past, but he cannot think of time yet, and I shall not wonder if at first he mixes up not only the month, but the year.
Well, my dear, could I say? I could only tell him that I was the happiest woman in all the wide world, and that I had nothing to give him except myself, my life, and my trust, and that with these went my love and duty for all the days of my life. And, my dear, when he kissed me, and drew me to him with his poor weak hands, it was like a solemn pledge between us.
Loukia dear, do you know why I tell you all this? It is not only because it is all sweet to me, but because you have been, and are, very dear to me. It was my privilege to be your friend and guide when you came from the schoolroom to prepare for the world of life. I want you to see now, and with the eyes of a very happy wife, whither duty has led me, so that in your own married life you too may be all happy, as I am. My dear, please Almighty God, your life may be all it promises, a long day of sunshine, with no harsh wind, no forgetting duty, no distrust. I must not wish you no pain, for that can never be, but I do hope you will be always as happy as I am now. Goodbye, my dear. I shall post this at once, and perhaps, write you very soon again. I must stop, for Ioannes is waking. I must attend my husband!

Your ever-loving

Mara Dalassenos.

—-

19 August.

My dearest Mara,

Oceans of love and millions of kisses, and may you soon be in your own home with your husband. I wish you were coming home soon enough to stay with us here. The strong air would soon restore Ioannes. It has quite restored me. I have an appetite like a cormorant, am full of life, and sleep well. You will be glad to know that I have quite given up walking in my sleep. I think I have not stirred out of my bed for a week, that is when I once got into it at night. Michael says I am getting fat. By the way, I forgot to tell you that Michael is here. We have such walks and drives, and rides, and rowing, and tennis, and fishing together, and I love him more than ever. He tells me that he loves me more, but I doubt that, for at first he told me that he couldn’t love me more than he did then. But this is nonsense. There he is, calling to me.

So no more just at present from your loving,

Loukia

P. S.–Mother sends her love. She seems better, poor dear.

P. P.S.–We are to be married on 28 September.

—-

((Stavridis’s diary))

20 August.

The case of Renato grows even more interesting. He has now so far quieted that there are spells of cessation from his passion. For the first week after his attack he was perpetually violent. Then one night, just as the moon rose, he grew quiet, and kept murmuring to himself. “Now I can wait. Now I can wait.”
The attendant came to tell me, so I ran down at once to have a look at him. He was still in the strait waistcoat and in the padded room, but the suffused look had gone from his face, and his eyes had something of their old pleading. I might almost say, cringing, softness. I was satisfied with his present condition, and directed him to be relieved. The attendants hesitated, but finally carried out my wishes without protest.
It was a strange thing that the patient had humour enough to see their distrust, for, coming close to me, he said in a whisper, all the while looking furtively at them, “They think I could hurt you! Fancy me hurting you! The fools!”
It was soothing, somehow, to the feelings to find myself disassociated even in the mind of this poor madman from the others, but all the same I do not follow his thought. Am I to take it that I have anything in common with him, so that we are, as it were, to stand together. Or has he to gain from me some good so stupendous that my well being is needful to Him? I must find out later on. Tonight he will not speak. Even the offer of a kitten or even a full-grown cat will not tempt him.
He will only say, “I don’t take any stock in cats. I have more to think of now, and I can wait. I can wait.”
After a while I left him. The attendant tells me that he was quiet until just before dawn, and that then he began to get uneasy, and at length violent, until at last he fell into a paroxysm which exhausted him so that he swooned into a sort of coma.
. . . Three nights has the same thing happened, violent all day then quiet from moonrise to sunrise. I wish I could get some clue to the cause. It would almost seem as if there was some influence which came and went. Happy thought! We shall tonight play sane wits against mad ones. He escaped before without our help. Tonight he shall escape with it. We shall give him a chance, and have the men ready to follow in case they are required.

23 August.

“The expected always happens.” How well the writer Disraeli of Britannia knew life. Our bird when he found the cage open would not fly, so all our subtle arrangements were for nought. At any rate, we have proved one thing, that the spells of quietness last a reasonable time. We shall in future be able to ease his bonds for a few hours each day. I have given orders to the night attendant merely to shut him in the padded room, when once he is quiet, until the hour before sunrise. The poor soul’s body will enjoy the relief even if his mind cannot appreciate it. Hark! The unexpected again! I am called. The patient has once more escaped.
Later.–Another night adventure. Renato artfully waited until the attendant was entering the room to inspect. Then he dashed out past him and flew down the passage. I sent word for the attendants to follow. Again he went into the grounds of the deserted house, and we found him in the same place, pressed against the old chapel door. When he saw me he became furious, and had not the attendants seized him in time, he would have tried to kill me. As we were holding him a strange thing happened. He suddenly redoubled his efforts, and then as suddenly grew calm. I looked round instinctively, but could see nothing. Then I caught the patient’s eye and followed it, but could trace nothing as it looked into the moonlight sky, except a big bat, which was flapping its silent and ghostly way to the west. Bats usually wheel about, but this one seemed to go straight on, as if it knew where it was bound for or had some intention of its own.
The patient grew calmer every instant, and presently said, “You needn’t tie me. I shall go quietly!” Without trouble, we came back to the house. I feel there is something ominous in his calm, and shall not forget this night.


((Loukia’s diary))

24 August.

I must imitate Mara, and keep writing things down. Then we can have long talks when we do meet. I wonder when it will be. I wish she were with me again, for I feel so unhappy. Last night I seemed to be dreaming again just as I was at [WORD TORN OUT OF PAGE]. Perhaps it is the change of air, or getting home again. It is all dark and horrid to me, for I can remember nothing. But I am full of vague fear, and I feel so weak and worn out. When Michael came to lunch he looked quite grieved when he saw me, and I hadn’t the spirit to try to be cheerful. I wonder if I could sleep in mother’s room tonight. I shall make an excuse to try.

25 August.

Another bad night. Mother did not seem to take to my proposal. She seems not too well herself, and doubtless she fears to worry me. I tried to keep awake, and succeeded for a while, but when the clock struck twelve it waked me from a doze, so I must have been falling asleep. There was a sort of scratching or flapping at the window, but I did not mind it, and as I remember no more, I suppose I must have fallen asleep. More bad dreams. I wish I could remember them. This morning I am horribly weak. My face is ghastly pale, and my throat pains me. It must be something wrong with my lungs, for I don’t seem to be getting air enough. I shall try to cheer up when Michael comes, or else I know he will be miserable to see me so.

—-
A hotel, 31 August

My dear Jim,

I want you to do me a favour. Loukia is ill, that is she has no special disease, but she looks awful, and is getting worse every day. I have asked her if there is any cause, I not dare to ask her mother, for to disturb the poor lady’s mind about her daughter in her present state of health would be fatal. Loukia’s mother has confided to me that her doom is spoken, disease of the heart, though poor Loukia does not know it yet. I am sure that there is something preying on my dear girl’s mind. I am almost distracted when I think of her. To look at her gives me a pang. I told her I should ask you to see her, and though she demurred at first, I know why, old fellow, she finally consented. It will be a painful task for you, I know, old friend, but it is for her sake, and I must not hesitate to ask, or you to act. You are to come to lunch at my estate in Athens tomorrow, two o’clock, so as not to arouse any suspicion in Loukia’s mother, and after lunch Loukia will take an opportunity of being alone with you. I am filled with anxiety, and want to consult with you alone as soon as I can after you have seen her. Do not fail!

Your friend,
Michael Doukas.

((Telegram from Stavridis to Doukas))

1 September

Am summoned to see my father, who is worse. Am writing. Write me fully by tonight’s post to Ring. Wire me if necessary.

((Letter from Stavridis to Doukas))

2 September

My dear old fellow,

With regard to Loukia’s health I hasten to let you know at once that in my opinion there is not any functal disturbance or any malady that I know of. At the same time, I am not by any means satisfied with her appearance. She is woefully different from what she was when I saw her last. Of course you must bear in mind that I did not have full opportunity of examination such as I should wish. Our very friendship makes a little difficulty which not even medical science or custom can bridge over. I had better tell you exactly what happened, leaving you to draw, in a measure, your own conclusions. I shall then say what I have done and propose doing.
I found her in seemingly gay spirits. Her mother was present, and in a few seconds I made up my mind that she was trying all she knew to mislead her mother and prevent her from being anxious. I have no doubt she guesses, if she does not know, what need of caution there is.
We lunched alone, and as we all exerted ourselves to be cheerful, we got, as some kind of reward for our labours, some real cheerfulness amongst us. Then the mother went to lie down, and Loukia was left with me. We went into her boudoir, and till we got there her gaiety remained, for the servants were coming and going.
As soon as the door was closed, however, the mask fell from her face, and she sank down into a chair with a great sigh, and hid her eyes with her hand. When I saw that her high spirits had failed, I at once took advantage of her reaction to make a diagnosis.
She said to me very sweetly, `I cannot tell you how I loathe talking about myself.’ I reminded her that a doctor’s confidence was sacred, but that you were grievously anxious about her. She caught on to my meaning at once, and settled that matter in a word. `Tell Michael everything you choose. I do not care for myself, but for him!’ So I am quite free.
I could easily see that she was somewhat bloodless, but I could not see the usual anemic signs, and by the chance ,I was able to test the actual quality of her blood, for in opening a window which was stiff a cord gave way, and she cut her hand slightly with broken glass. It was a slight matter in itself, but it gave me an evident chance, and I secured a few drops of the blood and have analysed them.
The qualitative analysis give a quite normal condition, and shows, I should infer, in itself a vigorous state of health. In other physical matters I was quite satisfied that there is no need for anxiety, but as there must be a cause somewhere, I have come to the conclusion that it must be something mental.
She complains of difficulty breathing satisfactorily at times, and of heavy, lethargic sleep, with dreams that frighten her, but regarding which she can remember nothing. She says that as a child, she used to walk in her sleep, and that when in [REDACTED] the habit came back, and that once she walked out in the night and went to East Cliff, where Mara found her. But she assures me that of late the habit has not returned.
I am in doubt, and so have done the best thing I know of. I have written to my old friend and master, Professor Albrect von Habsburg, of Vienna, who knows as much about obscure diseases as any one in the world. I have asked him to come over, and as you told me that all things were to be at your charge, I have mentioned to him who you are and your relations to Loukia. This, my dear fellow, is in obedience to your wishes, for I am only too proud and happy to do anything I can for her.
Von Habsburg would, I know, do anything for me for a personal reason, so no matter on what ground he comes, we must accept his wishes. He is a seemingly arbitrary man, this is because he knows what he is talking about better than any one else. He is a philosopher and a metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientists of his day, and he has, I believe, an absolutely open mind. This, with an iron nerve, a temper of the ice-brook, and indomitable resolution, self-command, and toleration exalted from virtues to blessings, and the kindliest and truest heart that beats, these form his equipment for the noble work that he is doing for mankind, work both in theory and practice, for his views are as wide as his all-embracing sympathy. I tell you these facts that you may know why I have such confidence in him. I have asked him to come at once. I shall see Loukia tomorrow again. She is to meet me at the Stores, so that I may not alarm her mother by too early a repetition of my call.

Yours always.

Jim Stavirids

((Letter, Albrecht von Habsburg, MD, PhD, D. LiT, ETC, ETC, to Dr. Stavridis))

2 September.

Mein good Friend,

When I received your letter I am already coming to you. By good fortune I can leave just at once, without wrong to any of those who have trusted me. Were fortune other, then it were bad for those who have trusted, for I come to my friend when he call me to aid those he holds dear. Tell your friend that when that time you suck from my wound so swiftly the poison of the gangrene from that knife that our other friend, too nervous, let slip, you did more for him when he wants my aids and you call for them than all his great fortune could do. But it is pleasure added to do for him, your friend, it is to you that I come. Have near at hand, and please it so arrange that we may see the young lady not too late on tomorrow, for it is likely that I may have to return here that night. But if need be I shall come again in three days, and stay longer if it must. Till then goodbye, my friend Jim.

Von Habsburg.

((Letter, Stavridis to Doukas))

3 September

My friend Mike,

Von Habsburg has come and gone. He came on with me to Athens, and found that, by Loukia discretion, her mother was lunching out, so that we were alone with her.
Von Habsburg made a very careful examination of the patient. He is to report to me, and I shall advise you, for of course I was not present all the time. He is, I fear, much concerned, but says he must think. When I told him of our friendship and how you trust to me in the matter, he said, `Du must tell him all du zink. Tell him vhat ich zink, if du can guess it, if du vill. Nein, ich am not jesting. This is no jest, but life and death, perhaps more.’ I asked what he meant by that, for he was very serious. This was when we had come back to town, and he was having a cup of tea before starting on his return to Vienna. He would not give me any further clue. You must not be angry with me, Mike, because his very reticence means that all his brains are working for her good. He will speak plainly enough when the time comes, be sure. So I told him I would simply write an account of our visit, just as if I were doing a descriptive special article for THE DAILY EMPIRE. He seemed not to notice, but remarked that the smuts of Constantinople were not quite so bad as they used to be when he was a student here. I am to get his report tomorrow if he can possibly make it. In any case I am to have a letter.
Well, as to the visit, Loukia was more cheerful than on the day I first saw her, and certainly looked better. She had lost something of the ghastly look that so upset you, and her breathing was normal. She was very sweet to the Professor (as she always is),and tried to make him feel at ease, though I could see the poor girl was making a hard struggle for it.
I believe Von Habsburg saw it, too, for I saw the quick look under his bushy brows that I knew of old. Then he began to chat of all things except ourselves and diseases and with such an infinite geniality that I could see poor Loukia’s pretense of animation merge into reality. Then, without any seeming change, he brought the conversation gently round to his visit, and sauvely said,
`Mein dear young fraulein, ich have ze so great pleasure because du are so much beloved. That is much, mein fraulein, even vere zere zhat vhich ich do nicht see. Zhey told mich du were down in zhe spirit, and zhat du vere of a ghastly pale. To zhem ich say “Pouf!” ‘ And he snapped his fingers at me and went on. `But du and ich shall show zhem how vrong zhey are. How can he’, and he pointed at me with the same look and gesture as that with which he pointed me out in his class, on, or rather after, a particular occasion which he never fails to remind me of, `know anything of a young fraulein? He has his madmen to play vith, and to bring zhem back to happiness, and to zhose zhat love zhem. It is much to do, and, oh, but zhere are rewards in zhat ve can bestow such happiness. But zhe young fraulein! He has no wife nor daughter, and zhe young do not tell zhemselves to zhe kinder, but to zhe old, like mich, vho have known so many sorrows and zhe causes of zhem. So, mein fraulein, ve vill send him away to smoke zhe cigarette in zhe garden, vhiles du and ich have little talk all to ourselves.’ I took the hint, and strolled about, and presently the professor came to the window and called me in. He looked grave, but said, ` Ich have made careful examination, but zhere is no functional cause. With du ich agree zhat zhere has been much blood lost, it has been but is not. But zhe conditions of her are in no way anemic. Ich have asked her to send mich her maid, zhat ich may ask just one or zwo questions, that so ich may not chance to miss nothing. Ich know vell what she vill say. And yet zhere is cause. Zhere is always cause for everything. Ich must go back home and zhink. Du must send mich zhe telegram every day, and if zhere be cause ich shall come again. Zhe disease, for not to be well is a disease, interest mich, and the sweet, young frauein, she interest mich too. She charm mich, and for her, if not for du or disease, ich come.’
As I tell you, he would not say a word more, even when we were alone. And so now, Mike, you know all I know. I shall keep stern watch. I trust your poor mother is rallying. It must be a terrible thing to you, my dear old fellow, to be placed in such a position between two people who are both so dear to you. I know your idea of duty to your mother, and you are right to stick to it. But if need be, I shall send you word to come at once to Lucy, so do not be over-anxious unless you hear from me.

((Stavridis’s diary))

4 September.

Zoophagous patient still keeps up our interest in him. He had only one outburst and that was yesterday at an unusual time. Just before the stroke of noon he began to grow restless. The attendant knew the symptoms, and at once summoned aid. Fortunately the men came at a run, and were just in time, for at the stroke of noon he became so violent that it took all their strength to hold him. In about five minutes, however, he began to get more quiet,and finally sank into a sort of melancholy, in which state he has remained up to now. The attendant tells me that his screams whilst in the paroxysm were really appalling. I found my hands full when I got in, attending to some of the other patients who were frightened by him. Indeed, I can quite understand the effect, for the sounds disturbed even me, though I was some distance away. It is now after the dinner hour of the asylum, and as yet my patient sits in a corner brooding, with a dull, sullen, woe-begone look in his face, which seems rather to indicate than to show something directly. I cannot quite understand it.
Later.–Another change in my patient. At five o’clock I looked in on him, and found him seemingly as happy and contented as he used to be. He was catching flies and eating them, and was keeping note of his capture by making nailmarks on the edge of the door between the ridges of padding. When he saw me, he came over and apologized for his bad conduct, and asked me in a very humble, cringing way to be led back to his own room, and to have his notebook again. I thought it well to humour him, so he is back in his room with the window open. He has the sugar of his tea spread out on the window sill, and is reaping quite a harvest of flies. He is not now eating them, but putting them into a box, as of old, and is already examining the corners of his room to find a spider. I tried to get him to talk about the past few days, for any clue to his thoughts would be of immense help to me, but he would not rise. For a moment or two he looked very sad, and said in a sort of far away voice, as though saying it rather to himself than to me.
“All over! All over! He has deserted me. No hope for me now unless I do it myself!” Then suddenly turning to me in a resolute way, he said,”Doctor, won’t you be very good to me and let me have a little more sugar? I think it would be very good for me.”
“And the flies?” I said.
“Yes! The flies like it, too, and I like the flies, therefore I like it.”And there are people who know so little as to think that madmen do not argue. I procured him a double supply, and left him as happy a man as, I suppose, any in the world. I wish I could fathom his mind.
Midnight.–Another change in him. I had been to see Loukia, whom I found much better, and had just returned, and was standing at our own gate looking at the sunset, when once more I heard him yelling. As his room is on this side of the house, I could hear it better than in the morning. It was a shock to me to turn from the wonderful smoky beauty of a sunset over Constantinople, with its lurid lights and inky shadows and all the marvellous tints that come on foul clouds even as on foul water, and to realize all the grim sternness of my own cold stone building, with its wealth of breathing misery, and my own desolate heart to endure it all. I reached him just as the sun was going down, and from his window saw the red disc sink. As it sank he became less and less frenzied, and just as it dipped he slid from the hands that held him, an inert mass, on the floor. It is wonderful, however, what intellectual recuperative power lunatics have, for within a few minutes he stood up quite calmly and looked around him. I signalled to the attendants not to hold him, for I was anxious to see what he would do. He went straight over to the window and brushed out the crumbs of sugar. Then he took his fly box, and emptied it outside, and threw away the box. Then he shut the window, and crossing over, sat down on his bed. All this surprised me, so I asked him,”Are you going to keep flies any more?”
“No,” said he. “I am sick of all that rubbish!” He certainly is a wonderfully interesting study. I wish I could get some glimpse of his mind or of the cause of his sudden passion. Stop. There may be a clue after all, if we can find why today his paroxysms came on at high noon and at sunset. Can it be that there is a malign influence of the sun at periods which affects certain natures, as at times the moon does others? We shall see.

((Telegram, Stavridis, Constantinople, to Von Habsburg, Vienna))
4 September.

Patient still better today.

((Telegram, Stavridis, Constantinople, to Von Habsburg, Vienna))
5 September.

Patient greatly improved. Good appetite, sleeps naturally, good spirits, color coming back.

((Telegram, Stavridis, Constantinople, to Von Habsburg, Vienna))
6 September.

Terrible change for the worse. Come at once. Do not lose an hour. I hold over telegram to Doukas till have seen you.

Senators, I propose myself for the position of minister of armaments. Especially considering my past experience in the defense industry. I am also willing to follow more ‘social’ methods of armaments considering some of the other senators political association.
-Senator Magnus Kvensson


Senator Angleos, Our deepest condolences. He shall be appointed forthwith. Senator Kvensson, We would be pleased to appoint you as armaments minister.

The updated list of appointments is:

(North) Africa – Alexandros Damaskinos
Armenia – Julian Leon
Asia – Constantine Panaretos
Britannia – Ambrosio Palaiologos
Dalmatia – Heraclius Komnenos
Egypt – Marcos Alexandros
Macedonia – Alexios Angelos
Naples – Nestorius Septiadis
Raetia – Columba Comminus
Sicily – Alexander Smithereens
Syria – Michael Konstantios Doukas
Thracia – Prince Alvértos
Australia – Magnus Kvensson
Brittany – Αιδεν Γκρέυ
Italy – Leonardo Favero
Philippines – Venédiktos Nguyen-Climaco
Spain – Nicodemo Theodosio

Provinces governed by non-Senators would be Mauretania, Georgia, Guayana, Palestine, Aquitaine, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Burgundy, Catalonia, France, Java, New Zealand, South Africa, and Wales.

The ministers would be:
Armament minister – Senator Kvensson
Minister of security – Senator Doukas
Minister of intelligence – Senator Favero
Chief of Staff – Senator Αιδεν Γκρέυ
Chief of the Army – Nicodemo Theodosio
Chief of the Navy – Senator Alexander Smithereens

As always, Senators, thank you for your time.