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History of Transvaal


This page is a history of Transvaal from September 2009 to July 2010.

Annetjie van Matteus' foreign visits[]


The following embassies in Pretoria received notice today from Foreign Minister Hendrik Strijdom that Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus was requesting travel visas to visit their nations:

Please forward any necessary questions attention to Prime Minister's Office, Government House, Pretoria.


REPLY FROM REPUBBLICA ITALIANA: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic granted a temporary visa to Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus

REPLY FROM TAHOE: Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus has been granted a diplomatic visa. The Foreign Ministry inquires into her proposed itinerary for visiting Tahoe.

TRANSVAAL FOREIGN MINISTRY RESPONSE TO TAHOE: These are all going to be quick stop-over visits so she can touch base with some of our closest allies and powerful friends (or nations we admire). Basically fly-in, meet with leadership, answer any pressing concerns, and then depart.

That said but she may stay a little longer in Tahoe to scout out boarding schools for her daughter - who is entering first grade. Van Matteus wants to send her overseas so that she (her daughter) does not become a political pawn within the Transvaler education system.

TAHOE REPLY TO TRANSVAAL FOREIGN MINISTRY: Very well. The Prime Minister is schedualed to fly into Cruachan where she will dine with the President at his private residence in the City. Afterwards she can meet with the Cabinet for a semi-pubic press conference (i.e. all questions and answers will be published but the meeting will not be open to the public). She can spend the night in Cruachan and in the morning tour private schools. If she wishes to tour schools in Cruachan that can be arranged as can a tour of another city.

REPLY FROM THE UNITED NATION OF SERCA: Emperor Sergio II Grants Prime Minister van Matteus a diplomatic visa.

REPLY FROM ARCTICA: "Van Matteus is welcome to visit Arctica. When she's ready, just land at Oceana International Airport and she'll be escorted to the Central Government Building. Be assured there won't be a repeat of the incident last time."

TRANSVAAL FOREIGN MINISTRY RESPONSE TO TAHOE:This schedule is most aggreable to Ms. van Matteus. She intends to make Tahoe her first stop as she regards the Tahoe Republic as Transvaal's first and foremost ally and feels that by placing Tahoe at the top of her overseas itinery it will symbolise that close relationship between our two nations and people. A tour of suitable schools would be most appreciated, preferably one located in Cruachan so that our embassy staff is close-by on hand should the need arise for Ms. van Matteus to get into contact on short notice with her daughter.

Prime Minister van Matteus' aircraft (an Afrikaanse Lugdiens Boeing-747) will depart in a few hours for Cruachan.

STATEMENT FROM HARUHIIST EMPIRE: Due to the collapse of the Hanseatic League Commonwealth, the Haruhiist Empire (Chimairan Republic) located in that realm's former Northern Territory, would like to extend an invitaiton to Matteus to visit our nation.

TRANSVAAL FOREIGN MINISTRY RESPONSE TO HARUHIIST EMPIRE: Our Government and Prime Minister van Matteus appreciate the invite however for the time being, due to constraints, she will have to decline. Her intention to visit Hansa was more out of the intention of meeting with Sarah - ranther than the actual territory in general.


The orange and blue Boeing 747 lumbered off the runway at Windhoek’s small airport where the 250-man Transvaler Oorsese Korps were on hand to see their commanding officer off on her first overseas trip since being appointed Transvaal’s prime minister at the end of July.

It had been a whirlwind month for Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus. With her checkered legacy of misfortune and mishap inside the government, she had taken the bull by the horns and silenced her many opponents at home and aboard by doing what was least expected from her: carrying out much needed political and social reforms after the end of the Republican Military Government.

While some elements from the junta she quietly retained, such as Malan’s immigration policies and the unitary republic in lieu of the federalist policies of Jakob Hertzog, Transvaal was otherwise undergoing postwar reconstruction in an aura of stability and social peace.

Despite her frequent tagging as a neo-fascist by the foreign press, unlike many rightwing politicians in the Republic she genuinely promoted and supported African economic advancement as a concession. While like many Afrikaners, she quietly kept any real political power out of non-white hands – but she otherwise saw no reason why the black man could not have all the economic benefits and luxuries that the white man enjoyed in Transvaal. Even her own personal bodyguard, the semi-autonomous militia known as the Oorsese Korps, was almost entirely comprised of Namibian blacks.

Granted the economy was not performing as well as it could since the government had been unable to locate a replacement trade for coal and iron, but shortfalls aside in some heavy industry sectors she pressed on relentless to re-militarise Transvaal.

As the 747 reached its cruising altitude over the Namib Desert – the infamous Skeleton Coast of shipwreck fame – the 43-year-old prime minister peered out the window to look at the blue ocean. Next to her, already asleep, was her 6-year-old daughter Joanne de Ruijters. After hearing disturbing but unconfirmed rumours that her father Uys Rooyan de Ruijters was still alive, Annetjie felt it best to relocate Joanne somewhere safer. If Uys Rooyan was indeed and incredibly alive, she would need to ascertain his intentions and act fast against him if he decided to become a threat and exploit her position as leader of one of Africa’s oldest and powerful states for his own nefarious gains.

Annetjie van Matteus looked at Joanne. She loved her daughter but regretted ever getting mixed up with De Ruijters in the first place. She had first met him in the days before Transvaal’s independence – when she resided in Deutschland to work on her economic studies and political science degree. She had by chance met the tourist De Ruijters one day at a Berlin café. Knowing no other Afrikaners in Berlin, an on-and-off relationship developed between them. Joanne was the product of that ill-fated union. De Ruijters soon bailed on mom and daughter and returned to South Africa after Joanne’s birth – leaving the working mom struggling to bring up the child as best as possible.

Later their paths would cross again after Staatspresident Botha proclaimed Transvaal’s independence from ANC South Africa when both Annetjie and Uys Rooyan were appointed to government posts in the new Transvaal government. She became known as a heavy-handed Minister of Labour while he was Minister of Interior.

‘No…’ she thought to herself, ‘I refuse to allow that cancer Uys to ruin my daughter’s life like he almost did to me years ago. She will be safe in Tahoe.’

Annetjie pulled out a book on Gaelic to brush up on her functional albeit halting ability in that language before then laying back in the seat to get as much as asleep as she could before arrival in Cruachan. She looked forward to the dinner with their president and hoped to make a good impression with Transvaal's closest social and political allies.

The 747 cruised over the Atlantic northwards to North America.

Van Matteus' visit to Tahoe[]



TRANSVALER DAAGLIKSE NUUS [CRUACHAN]: Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus made the first stop of her first overseas visit today when her Afrikaanse Lugdiens plane touched down just after 4:30pm local time in the capital city of Cruachan in the Tahoe Republic.

“I am looking forward to meeting with President O'Deaghaidh” she told Tahoe media in a brief statement after disembarking from the 747.

Tahoe was one of the earliest supporters of our beloved Staatspresident Botha after our independence and that close relationship has continued through successive governments until this very day. May the social and political bonds that bring us together never weaken!”

After arrival in Cruachan, Prime Minister van Matteus made her way to the Transvaler embassy to change, refresh after the long flight, and then confer with Ambassador Andries Joubert before making her way to meeting with the Tahoe government officials.

At some point during the visit after official duties have been dealt with, Ms. van Matteus and her daughter will also make a visit the Cruachan Ladies School.

SEPTEMBER 6-10, 2009

At 6 PM sharp (Tahoe Standard Time), a small motorcade of two limousines and security SUV pulled up in front of the Transvaler Embassy. As the drivers and footmen hopped out to open doors for the Prime Minister and her staff, a few blocks away the staff at Roinn an Taoiseach were scrambling with last minute preparations for the meal. Unlike state dinners, which were held in the Great Hall, this was to be a private affair for the Prime Minister, Transvaler ambassador and the President and his wife.

Minutes later, the motorcade pulled up in front of the President's official residence. A few media personnel stood about twenty feet away taking pictures as Prime Minister van Matteus and Ambassador Joubert walked up the stairs to meet the President and his wife.

"Welcome to the Tahoe Republic, Madam Prime Minister" said the President. "It is good to see you again Ambassador." The President's wife and Transvalers made their introductions before being ushered in the house by the President who commented on the heat for at least the second time in their brief conversation on the steps of the Manor House.

Walking inside, a butler appeared to take coats and led the group into a small sitting room with dark panelled wood walls and an outdoor theme.

Annetjie van Matteus waved briefly to the Tahoan cameras flashing away before making the climb up the steps into the presidential residence.

The Transvaler prime minister walked up to President O’Deaghaidh and the First Lady of Tahoe. “I am so very pleased to be here.” She smiled, shook their hands, and then looked at the cameras as the last press photographs were taken before the rest of the evening became a more private affair.

Ambassador Joubert sense that the prime minister was both nervous and excited to meet O’Deaghaidh; therefore he kept to himself in the background so that Van Matteus could have her day. He was used to keeping a low profile. While he always received the greatest of respect and courtesy from his visits to O’Deaghaidh, he did occasionally catch wind of snickers of derision behind his back from some Tahoe officials due to his mixed Griqua background.

Annetjie van Matteus quickly tried to recall the president’s title in Gaelic – but could not remember the difference between uachtarán and taoiseach, so she used both words: “You know, An tUasal Uachtarán Taoiseach, this is not my first visit here – however this visit means the most to me as I now come here to Cruachan as Staatspresident Botha’s governmental representative. It is a great honour for me as the Staatspresident regards Tahoe in the upmost regards - more than any other nation we have relations with. He told me to tell you he will always be deeply thankful for all the assistance Tahoe has given our nation and people since our days of independence over two and a half years ago.”

Annetjie van Matteus had met the Tahoe leader a few times previous, during her capacity as commander of the Krygsmagte detachment that airlifted and assisted the Tahoe government during its socialist rebellion in December 2007 and then later, when she was briefly Transvaler Ambassador to Tahoe.

But this time around, despite now being the second-most powerful person in Transvaal, it was pretty obvious that she was in awe of – and intimidated by – the Tahoe leader.

"When you return to Pretoria at the end of your visit here please give the Staatspresident my regards, won't you? He is held in the most high regard in our nation, as are you, I might add. Now please, call me Seán." said the President with a grin as they stepped inside the house.

After enjoying a few glasses of the alcohol of choice (provided of course it is a Tahoan wine, whiskey or beer) in the Lodge Sitting Room, a young man in a black coat, pants and black leather boots knocked on the door and immediately walked in the room. To Prime Minister Van Matteus he looked like an Armtha SS trooper, although she didn't see any insigna except a pin on the high collar of his coat which she couldn't make out, but her confusion was only increased when he said, "Phardún, An Taoiseach?" to which President O'Deaghaidh replied, "Ar aghaidh leat, Tomas." The young man continued on in Gaeilge too rapidly for the Prime Minister to follow, but when he was done and excused by O'Deagaidh, he turned and explained that the Soldier (So he was a soldier then...) had come with an update from Governor Schwarzenegger of California who wished to inform the President that the horrendous wild fires in Southern California had been half way contained.

Almost immediately after that, a butler appeared to announce dinner was ready. Standing, the President offered his arm to his wife and lead the four into the hallway, where they walked a few steps before entering the dinning room. It was medium sized room, and clearly not designed for only four people, but the alternative was either the Great Hall, which could house hundreds or the President's private dining room which was not suitable for foreign dignataries.

Immediately after seating, waiters appeared to ask the leaders their choice of drink and a menu featuring Dayboat Scallops, Smoked River Trout and Northwest Crab or Beef Roast with Potato and Clams.

While the Taoiseach was conversing with his visitor, Van Matteus requested from the butler “Ba mhaith liom beoir, go raibh maith agat.” The butler returned with a generous and heavy pint glass of lager. “Thank you, go raibh maith agat”.

By now the dark uniformed visitor had left and the Taoiseach could now overhear Van Matteus conversing in her basic Irish. It was obvious from her unnatural speech patterns that she wasn’t too fluent it the language, she probably learnt what she knew from some audio course one could find in airport bookshops.

“Forest fires, you say? That is something we don’t face too much back home, generally seasonal floods and droughts – as strange as it may sound – are the usual natural disasters that strike Transvaal.”

“That man, was he Armtha SS? I recall a very brave and dashing Armtha officer that was stationed in Pretoria last summer… well, our summer, which would make it January… that gained a lot of notice and respect from those of us in the government who dealt with him during the Tahoe intervention against our native rebellion. I think his name was, von Halston, Haston, Haiston, err… something like that. Anyways I recall even the Staatspresident himself spoke highly of him a couple of times. Even hinted once that when Ambassador Séamus Ó Grianna reached retirement, he would like to see this Colonel Van Haesten, ah yes that’s the name – Peter van Haesten – possibly become your new ambassador to us. He said the colonel was an excellent representative of the prowess of Tahoe military might and organisation”

“Ah, speaking of which, I have a gift for you from Staatspresident Botha…” Van Matteus leaned for her handbag and pulled out a small black leather case.

She then moved closer towards the Taoiseach. “Meneer Taoiseach… this is one of the old Transvaal Defense Shield awards that the Staatspresident used to hand out to foreign leaders who assisted Transvaal back in the days when we were part of Nordreich and Norden Verein. It has since been retired, the last one handed out over two years ago. However the Staatspresident felt it was most appropriate to present you with this one since Tahoe was the only non-Norden nation back in those dangerous days for us to constantly come to our assistance. He feels it signifies the long friendly relationship that has existed unbroken between our peoples.”

As the dinner was finishing up, Annetjie van Matteus complimented the chef personally on the rainbow trout. "I so love rainbow trout but whenver we chance on it in Transvaal, it is rather costly from importation and never tastes as exquisite as this was tonight."

She then took a sip from her glass of lager as the table was cleared - waiting for an opportune moment to strike up conversation with the Taoiseach.

Meanwhile Ambassador Joubert was making small talk with the First Lady, alternating between English and heavily accented but still function Gaelic on something trivial about gardening. The ambassador was an avid gardener and farmer back home in Griqualand - and had acquired a small private cottage in the hills north of Cuachan near Healdsburg where he retired to relax when diplomatic duties were not pressing. When he was originally posted to Tahoe, Joubert held some reservations due to how his mixed coloured heritage would be perceived. However whatever obstacles he may have had to endure was rewarded with the gratification of knowing he held the most prestigious posting for any Transvaler ambassador. Plus he enjoyed the blessed weather where he could grow his grapes - an occupation he once had back in the Cape Province in pre-independence days when he was a university student.

Annetjie van Matteus then spoke up: "So Meneer O’Deaghaidh, while we have the time on our hands, are there any issues or concerns which the Tahoe government wishes to address?"

"Yes, forest fires are our most dangerous natural disaster. Practically our entire nation is forested, well, at least the parts that aren't bloody mountains, and small towns and farms are scattered throughout and so whenever it gets hot and dry, which is all summer in California at least, we get fires. Often we can let them burn out, which prevents new fires in that area for decades, but this particular fire has burned its way across Southern California just north of Los Angeles which is the largest single urban city - although San Francisco has a much larger metropolitan population- and so there is a lot of worry that the fire could get into the city itself."

"Yes, he was SS. Colonel Van Haesten, you say! Ah, I remember him, debriefed me on Pretoria he did. I seem to recall his being promoted, but I do believe he still is teaching at the Havana Military Academy. Afrikaans and Urban Warfare Leadership are his classes." Pulling out a small black notebook, O'Deagaidh made a small note to himself to inquire about reassigning the Colonel (The President remembered Van Haesten had been promoted to full colonel and told van Matteus so) to Pretoria as Ambassador O'Grianna's assistant, and commander of the SS detachment there.

The President's jovial mood quickly grew serious as Van Matteus pulled out and presented him with the Transvaal Defense Shield. Recognizing the severe gravity and honor of this award, he gave his thanks to Van Matteus and instructed her to give his thanks to the Staatspresident before saluting the Prime Minister.

As they finished their dinner, President O'Deagaidh had dungeness crab with clams, Prime Minister Van Matteus said, "So Meneer O’Deaghaidh, while we have the time on our hands, are there any issues or concerns which the Tahoe government wishes to address?"

Thinking for a moment, the President replied, "I am actually quite concerned with the stability of the Transvaler Government. It seems that with recent transitions in your government, going from civilian government to military dictatorship and back that the precedent has been established for instability. My government is willing to assist you in maintaining its power, in a democratic manner, of course, to ensure Transvaal's continued stablity.

“I can understand your concerns Taoiseach, however you must understand that the Karma War was forced upon Transvaal. The conflict was not of our doing. It was an unpopular war which we did not agree with but were however obliged to participate – and unfortunately for us resulted in massive political and economic disruption as our military command broke down. The RMG junta period which followed was simply the product of desperate times finding the means to cope, times which have since passed.”

“Granted while our economy still has some difficulties securing all the necessary resources which our industry requires – namely coal and iron – in areas of technology and state infrastructure, we have since rebuilt to around 95% our pre-war levels. Our re-militarisation continues at a steady pace, albeit slowed down somewhat again due to shortages in heavy industry resources.”

“On a political front, I have tried to combine the best aspects of the old federal republic with those of the junta to govern Transvaal as best as I can. The old federal system was stale and broken, a new republican system was needed in its place. I think it is safe to say that many of our foreign critics predicted that the Republic would falter under my government, however domestically we have seen more peace and prosperity than any time since the war.”

While Van Matteus was speaking, O’Deagaidh snuck a quick glance at Ambassador Joubert to see what his reaction was to Van Matteus' monologue; Joubert seemed to be nodding in agreement to most of the points.

Van Matteus then concluded: “Of course we do have national elections coming up in November, and that will be the true test whether Transvaal has indeed healed domestically from the grief of war.”

Annetjie van Matteus then asked the Taoiseach, "Is there anything else you wish to discuss? Otherwise I should probably return to my embassy with Ambassador Joubert and make my preparations to head to Italy."

Van Matteus' visit to Repubblica Italiana[]

SEPTEMBER 13, 2009

The Afrikaanse Lugdiens Boeing 747 lifted off gracefully from Cruachan Airport. “Well that was a nice, relaxed visit” said Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus to her secretary. However inside, she was actually thinking about her daughter now remaining behind in Tahoe.

The plane began to head eastwards as it started on its route which would take it to Republican Italy. The last time Van Matteus had met the Italian fascist leader Junio Borghese, she had been the Transvaler ambassador to Italy and Petrus Malan was dictator in Pretoria. Now ironically, the tables were turned as she was running the country while Malan was lingering away in comforbale exile in Rome as Transvaal’s ambassador.

The preparations of the visit to Italy by the Prime Minister of Transvaal were discussed last week in Rome by General Junio Borghese and Minister of Foreign Affair Roberto Ciano. At the end of the audience, Minister Ciano did not give details of the visit agenda of the Transvaaler Prime Minister, but informed that it is a state visit in which she shall be accompanied by General Boghese and several government officials.

General Borghese declared that the objective of the visit is to lay the basis for a straighter economic cooperation between the two countries, with highlight to sectors such as technology. It is the first official visit by a Prime Minister of Transvaal.

Foreign Minister Roberto Ciano also reminded about the time when Italy and Transvaal signed a trade agreement, almost 3 months ago. He said that it is a very important visit. According to Borghese, who considered Malan's regime a role model for his Government, strengthening cooperation relations between the two countries is uniting two people who never had any kind of diplomatic relation in the last years.

Roma, Leonardo da Vinci Airport... A huge crowd of supporters, put on display in Rome, is patiently waiting behind the fences for the arrival of Prime Minister Annetje Van Matteus. The airport is one of the safest places in Italy, being the only connection between Southern Italy and the rest of the world, it is heavily guarded by the Italian Army itself and a plethora of Camicie Nere, blackshirts. A huge banner says "Welcome!"

General Junio Borghese is looking at the sky, hoping for a clear weather during the whole visit. His forehead is sweating because of the heat, and the General whipes it with a towel from time to time "I heard she is good looking" he whispers to Foreign Minister Roberto Ciano, the General's best friend and closest supporter "Yeah well.. i heard somewhere she executed a dissident during a live broadcast, or something like that". The look on Borghese's face: priceless...

As the Afrikaanse Ludgiens Boeing 747 made its approach towards Rome, Annetjie van Matteus made her way up to the cockpit and requested that the plane be given permission to circle around over Rome before landing.

“The city is quite beautiful from the ground, but I would really like to view it from the air while I can.”

Her previous flights to and from Rome during he days as ambassador had been made on domestic flights - and seeing that the flight was a charter with the prime minister and her entourage the only passengers, the captain saw no reason not to ask. He contacted the control tower at Rome’s international airport:

“Greetings Rome! Springbok One here on our approach to Rome, our ETA is approximently 25 minutes. Our passenger onboard has requested permission to circle the perimeter of the city limits before making final approach. Over.”

"This is FCO Roma to Springbok One, permission granted. Welcome in Italy, enjoy your stay"

“Ahh, very beautiful indeed” exclaimed the Transvaler prime minister. “Unlike most modern cities, Rome hasn’t been cluttered by modern skyscrapers and highrises” she said out-loud to whoever was in earshot of her. Peering out the aircraft’s cockpit, she could even pick out some buildings, museums, churches, and other places of interest which she had visited during her spare time.

“Excuse me, madam prime minister” said the captain politiely but firmly, “We need to begin our descent into Leonardo da Vinci Airport so I will need you to take your seat now, if you please”.

Annetjie van Matteus walked back to her seat, sat down, and did up the seatbelt even though the captain had yet to turn on the ‘seatbelt’ light overhead. She briefly thought about the visit ahead.

Italian leader Junio Borghese had slowly but steadlily become one of Transvaal’s closer allies even though there had been amazingly enough little direct political contact between the two governments despite mutual respect and admiration for authoritarian regimes. Borghese had even moved his people in a direction imitating the old military junta in Pretoria – even though Transvaal has begun the first tentative steps towards civilian democracy.

No, much of Transvaler-Italian relations focused rather around economic trading, as Transvaal was a major market for Italian wheat and marble. Maintenance of those imports was vital to Transvaal’s economy, probably more so than any other trading partner. While Tahoe held considerable political and socio-ideological influence and weight in Pretoria, the Italian Republic held quite a bit of economic and financial influence even though the Italians were probably obvlious to the extent.

The plane was now making its landing approach, and Van Matteus could feel her ears pop from the cabin pressurisation. This was always the part she hated about flying.

She looked out the window near her and could see the tops of buildings and trees now speeding by down below as the 747 was lining up for its final few hundred metres. The plane sunk gently and then the familiar thud from the wheels shook the plane. The engines whined as the reverse thrusters kicked in... the plane slowing itself to taxiing speed.

After around ten minutes, the 747 had stopped in front of the main terminal. Annetjie van Matteus stood up and made her way to the front exit on to the tarmac. The door was unlocked by the crew, and she stepped outside on to the stairs leading down. The bright Italian sun shone down and Van Matteus could feel the heat and infamous Roman humidity.

Wiping her brow, she made her way down to the welcoming party at the foot of the stairs, occasionally glancing at the various signs saying “Welcome to Italy!” and “Welkom in Italië!” She could her the opening strains of Die Stem van Suid-Afrika – the Transvaler anthem – coming from the military band off to the side.

And there she was. Blonde white skin. Everyone else in the airport was suntanned with black or brown hairs and eyes. Extended right arms are also everywhere, the whole crowd, including Borghese, Minister Ciano and security forces, are welcoming Van Matteus with the two thousands years old Roman Salute. General Borghese, followed by Minister Ciano and a translator, makes some steps forward until he reached the stairs. There is a high number of women wearing uniforms, showing that despite being a country where civil rights became a taboo, the segregation of the woman is not tolerated. Many changes to the doctrine of fascism were planned and approved by General Borghese, in order to give his people an idea (or a perception) of justice and equality. "Prime Minister van Matteus, it's a pleasure to meet you. Welcome in Republican Italy, a world of its own.." the voice of General Borghese is clear and loud, He is used to yell at his generals and even at Romans from the balcony on Piazza Venezia when he addresses the nation with one of his nationalist, populist speeches. But the translator will eventually move the attention on himself.

Only a few people are wearing civilian clothes, and most of them are journalists of the national and international press, a sign that Italian society has been radically militarized in the last month, since the creation of the first italian fascist youth program Opera Nazionale Balilla. TV crews and photographers are costantly trying to get closer but they are blocked by security forces deployed all around the perimeter. Flashes and overjoyed cheers cover the music played by the Military Band from time to time. Meanwhile, a squad of Fascisti is trying to catch the attention of the Transvaaler press. Borghese is not bothered by them showing off uniforms and batons, he is aware of the fanatism of his supporters.

In post-Kaiser Martens europe, Italy successfully settled its government and territorial claims. Facing more than a challenge, both on national and international stages, General Junio Borghese reunificated the peninsula in less than 2 months, amid critics, threats and controversial decisions.

On hearing these words, Annetjie van Matteus smiled and responded by returning the roman salute as she approached General Junio Borghese and his welcoming party.

She went up to the Italian leader and shook his hand firmly. “It is a pleasure to return to Italy” she said in English, Borghese noticing that her accent was not typically South African. “Thank you for permitting me to visit you on behalf of the government of the Republic of Transvaal”.

Unlike President O’Deagaidh of Tahoe, of whom she was both in complete awe yet also had some previous familiarity over the years, she had only briefly met the Italian leader before and then only in passing during formal diplomatic engagements in Rome. She knew next to nothing about him and thus felt a little uneasy in trying to make small talk as she was ushered with Borghese towards a waiting limousine which would take them into the heart of Rome.

While the automobile sped along, she decided to break the ice by asking “So what is this news of a new pope here in Rome?” Herself a Catholic - a rarity in Transvaal - Annetjie van Matteus had more than a passing curiosity about the various popes claiming legitimacy.

Rome will be an off-limits area for vehicles and aircrafts during the whole visit, and the motorcade proceeds in the heart of the Italian capital without queues and traffic jams. The streets are empty, only a few people are walking on the sidewalks. Someone is reading a newspaper, someone is smoking a cigarette.. probably agents of the OVRA (Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism) making sure everyone is gathered in Empire Avenue to cheer General Borghese and Prime Minister van Matteus.

"It is a very old tradition. The bishop of Rome seized control of the Urbe after the fall of the Western Roman and somehow continued the legacy trought the centuries, one can be religious or not but the role of the Bishop of Rome has changed this city, and probably saved this city after the fall of the Roman Empire. The pope and the council of cardinals are commonly recognized as the last signs of the imperial authority over Rome, and we Italians respect this city and its traditions. Paul VII Borghese is recognized by the Italians as the legal successor to the throne of Peter because he was elected in Rome, because he is the Bishop of Rome, henceforth he is the Pope."

As General Borghese speaks, the motorcade passes the Altar of the Fatherland, proceeding towards the Colosseum. Behind the Anfiteatro Flavio, many divisions of the Italian army are ready to march in Via dell'Impero the route used by Roman Legions and Emperors who returned from military campaigns with another astonishing victory. Thousands of people are waving flags and showing banners on both sides of the street. The acient imperial forums, restored by the Republican Military Government, are once again shining in memory of acient glories and heroes, heroes such Ceasar Augusto and Costantine.

Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus waved occasionally as she looked out of the limousine at the crowds.

“These crowds, this is so unlike at home. When we have foreign heads-of-state visiting Pretoria – which isn’t too often, mind you – they are almost always very discrete occurrences. We fly them in through Johannesburg, drive them north to Pretoria, and then whisk them into Government House for meetings. Our government generally tries to avoid large public crowds of any sort because we never just know if it will explode and get ugly. Tempers flare and racial problems re-ignite. We don’t need to provoke that.”

As the limousine made another turn and drove past yet more throngs of spectators with Italian and Transvaler flags, Van Matteus wondered if her old favourite haunt was still open and operating. At some point, when all this official business had been dealt with, perhaps the night before she left for Africa, she would sneak out of the embassy alone and bolt off down to the Lungotevere Tor Di Nona where Giacomo’s was located so she could relish herself with her favourite pesto tortellini.

She then pushed her daydreaming aside… ‘I have business to attend to’, she thought.

“Signore Borghese, I trust you are satisfied with Italy’s relations with Transvaal? Our two states have not had much direct government-to-government contact since diplomatic relations were established many months ago. It seems that almost all contact has been handled through our respective finance and trade ministries. In that regards, Staatspresident Botha asked me to pass on his thanks for your nation’s economic and moral support during our difficult period after the war.”

"I am very satisfied by the trade partnership between Repubblica Italiana and Transvaal, and i appreciate the words of Staatspresident Botha. The Minister of Corporate Economy and Trade proposed to strenghten this cooperation. Recently we are experiencing an economic boom with a consideable increase of the national industrial production, there are technologic hardwares we are willing to export. At present, Italy is not yet ready to modernize all of its civilian and military technological equipments, and we will export our technology until the end of October. We have many buyers who have invested millions and millions of dollars, buying high tech equipments for low prices if compared to their national standars. One of these parterns, is the Tahoe Republic, they are just like Transvaal, one of our closest economical partners."

After the parade and the glorious celebration in Via dell'Impero, the motorcade reaches Palazzo del Quirinale on the Quirinal Hill, the Roman residence of General Borghese and historically the home of the Italian Head of State. Corridors and rooms are rich of valuable pictures and sculptures from many eras, from Acient Rome to the Risorgimento, from the times when Gebiv ruled on Italy to the most recent Reunification of the peninsula. It looks like a private museum, and Borghese is very proud of it

"We prepared a surprise" Borghese smiles, Foreign Minister Roberto Ciano takes the lead and opens the door to a big empty room.. with something similar to a sculpture, a statue, a monument, at least 3 meters tall but covered with a huge blanket "Ready?" Minister Ciano removes the blanket, unvealing the magnificent statue of Imperator Ceasar Augustus "This is an original statue of Emperor Ceasar Augustus, devoted to Augustus in 20BC. This is a gift from the Republican Military Government and the People of Rome, to the museums of Transvaal, a proven civilized nation. This statue shall represent a warning to anyone who poses a threat to civilization and prosperity" on the base of the statue there is an inscription saying S.P.Q.R. Senatus Populus Que Romanus: the Senate and the People of Rome.

On hearing about the export of Italian technology, Annetjie van Matteus interjected rather surprised “Excuse me Signore Borghese? Are you telling me that Italy is actually in the market for selling off technology production? Transvaal has been looking for a reliable, on-going dealer since the start of the year when the Franzharian markets dried up on us. I can guarantee that my government is very interested even for short term deals. You will have to get your minister of trade to contact our Minister Hofmeyr if there is an opportunity to set something up.”

"We were informed by your Embassy that Transvaal's technology market was sealed off for a while, forced by the tremendous surrender terms after the Karma War, and we have been busy for a while trying to keep track of all our deals and invest the right ammount of money without falling into a public debt. We have successfully invested this money and in 10 days we will have 3 or 4 open technology trade routes. We will contact Minister Hofmeyr as soon as possible to further develope this plan"

- - -

Later while at the Quirnale, Van Matteus examines the artwork with a keen eye. “I read somewhere that the popes used to reside here until they were given the boot after the Risorgimento. The palace is magnificent; I can see why the Italian monarchy wanted it for their own use.”

When the statue of Augustus Caesar is revealed, she is awestruck. “This is a most beautiful, priceless gift! However is it right to remove this from its Italian homeland? I am tempted to have it relocated instead to our embassy here so the Italian people can still view it. If not, then Government House has a small museum where it would be perfect. Signore, you are much too kind to bestow our people such gifts.”

Although she didn’t show it, Van Matteus felt a little embarrassed as the Transvaler Boers weren’t known for their presentation of gift giving. Decades of hardship on the veldt had made the Transvaler people value hospitality (and a man's word) rather than material goods as their sign of friendship and bonding. Also their culture was more rustic and rural. Presenting livestock to foreign dignitaries didn’t quite send the desired message.

General Borghese is proudly looking at the statue, firmly in the eyes. He doesen't want to look like a megalomaniac wanna-be roman emperor, but being the rule of Rome and living sorrounded by acient ruins and statues like this, is almost driving him crazy.

"Indeed this statue belongs to the people of Rome, it belongs to our past, it belongs to this City, it's witness of an acient civilization whose traditions are still here. The legacy survives in our language, in our laws, in our Republic, in our military. Wherever this statue is located, it will represent our people and our culture. You can take this statue to Pretoria."

- - -

Later, during a more relaxed moment as the two leaders took a private break outside the scrutiny of the media to have a small meal together, Van Matteus brought up the issue of the Transvaler ambassador.

“Signore, as you know, our ambassador to Rome is the former marshal, Petrus Malan. Considering his less than positive reputation with the international community during the junta, has your government taken any diplomatic flack with him now being posted here? And what are your own impressions and opinions of Malan? I understand that your government was very partial towards him – does it trouble you now that Transvaal has returned to civilian rule?”

And there the tricky question comes. General Borghese is always embarassed to talk about dictators and dictatorships, ironically, because he fears the guests might think he dislikes democracy or doesen't respect democracy as a valid form of Government. He doesen't really know what her opinion on Petrus Malan is, and he needs a few seconds to formulate an intelligent answer, trying to not make any gaffes.

"If i'm not wrong he was already in power when i issued a statement regarding the sovereignty of Republican Italy. Looking at his results and his charisma i tried to form the Italian Republican Military Government on the model of the Junta of Transvaal. The news of the coup in Pretoria sparked fear of a possible cessation of the friendly diplomatic relations we had with his Government. But when we heard you were the designated Prime Minister we resumed our daily routine without such fears.. We are not that kind of people who judge oversea or overalps countries so we tend to not stick our nose into another country's internal affairs. Transvaal is a country with a history rich of determination and changes and we beleive General Petrus Malan has brought some positive changes to the society of Transvaal.. this is, obviously, a personal opinion.

I have nothing against civilian rule itself, my decision to create a new Military Government in Italy was actually forced by the condition of Italy at the time. Italy is geographically united but its people must learn to cooperate and ignore cultural or political differences. United means stronger, as i'm used to say. After his arrival here in Italy we had little or no contact with him.. he took part to the monthly celebrations of the Republic Day and the Reunification Day a few days ago as Ambassador of Transvaal, but nothing more."

Annetjie van Matteus could sense her questioning about Malan was causing Junio Borghese some unnecessary discomfort. She decided to allay his worries.

“Well my intuition tells me that we both share similar viewpoints. Our nations have both undergone difficult periods of time during our existence and under the circumstances the government decisions which were made have by and large turned out positive in the long-term even though they were tough and trying decisions at the time.”

“Many back home regard Malan as a necessary Judas figure – he made and carried out delicate… umm, decisions… which needed to be made but no one else was willing to put themselves on the line. Without him, reconstruction and more critically, his… err, social engineering… policies in regards to immigration implemented after the devastation of the Karma invasion would have never taken place.”

“For that, while his reputation may have been tarnished overseas, most whites in Transvaal quietly regard him as a national savior for finally dealing with the so-called ‘native question’ and in turn making the governing minority now a majority.”

“However the military junta had run its course and if the civilian authorities within his government had allowed his rule to continue past its ‘best-before’ date, we realized we ran the risk of creating a situation where his policies would start to backfire on us. That is why myself and Hendrik Strijdom decided to push him out the door. We knew that Malan regarded us as his closest ideological supporters, so he could resign knowing that his legacy would be carried on… in a reformed manner made palpable to the outside world.”

“At some point, probably in the new year, Malan will be recalled home and given back command of his beloved missile corps. Our only roadblock really is figuring out how we are going to have two field marshals in our military, as it is somewhat absurd and comical to have one field marshal subordinate to another. There is also the delicate issue of convincing Malan to serve under Cruywagen – who was a vocal critic of him during the junta.”

Van Matteus then ate more from her meal, so that Junio Borghese could take all this in. She felt that by opening up to Borghese with some of Transvaal’s more touchy social issues, it hopefully showed that she trusted and respected the Italian Leader. The more she spoke with Borghese, aside from his quaint Italian bravado pompousness, she found him to be a charming and amicable man. When she returned home to Pretoria, she would advise the Staatspresident to regard Italian relations in a more serious light and work towards bringing them to a higher level – of, say, that of Tahoe and Arctica. Ideologically Transvaal could benefit from a close Tahoe-Repubblica Italiana-Transvaal axis as all three nations had much in common. However due to geography, Arctican and to a lesser extent Serca relations were important to maintain as well.

She then asked Signore Borghese, “Is there anything else you wish to discuss? If not, I have some private business here in Rome I would like to attend to. Nothing important, but just some loose ends I need to deal with from my days here as ambassador.”

"I see the 'native question' is not considered a secondary issue, but is something i can hardly understand due to the homogeneity of ethnic Italians.. i can only wish you good work and much government stabiliy in the years to come, this is what both our countries need. I have no other subjects to discuss with you, i think we have both reached important agreements and cleared our views on important national and international issues. Enjoy your stay here in Rome, contact me at any time if you and your staff need anything."

As the official visit comes to an end. Foreign Minister Roberto Ciano, who is also responsible for the safety of guests and 'very important people' like Head of Governments, Head of States or political leaders of any sort, had dispatched two OVRA (Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Antifascism) officers with the task of following Prime Minister Annetje van Matteus and make sure she was not harmed by the wild "urban jungle", even tought the crime rates had dramatically decreased in recent weeks, pick pocketing is still a major issue in the streets of Rome.

That evening, after dark…

The two OVRA agents perked up when they saw the figure of a woman emerge from the Transvaler embassy. From their Fiat, the one in the driver’s seat grabbed his binoculars and peered through them looking at the woman as she came into view from the streetlights above. It has been a dull and quiet night despite being instructed that at some point Van Matteus would be stepping out to run some errands and personal business.

The excitement was short-lived. “No, it’s not her…” said the driver, “looks like one of Ambassador Malan’s callgirls – the old dog must be calling it an early night tonight” he said as the woman crossed the street and made her way towards the Tiber. The woman was dressed in a black skirt with a black three-quarter length leather coat. Instead of the golden Aryan locks which they had been keeping an eye out for, this woman had a short black bob for hair.

The binoculars were put back on the dashboard. “Have you got any more coffee?” asked the driver’s partner.

Once she made it to the end of the street, the woman looked back quickly before rounding the bend and out of site of the two OVRA men. She had around three hours before Malan’s mistress du jour left and the OVRA realized they had been duped. One woman with short black hair walked into the embassy that evening but two would leave.

Annetjie van Matteus walked down the quiet deserted street, staying as close to the shadows as possible. Her heels clicked on the cobblestones as she crossed and turned right. The day had been humid and she found the leather coat and wig becoming overbearingly warm. ‘Not to worry, only a half dozen more streets’ she though to herself – occasionally checking to make sure that OVRA agents weren’t following.

She then reached the Tiber River and turned on to the Via di Sant’ Alessioza. ‘Not far now’ van Matteus mumbled to herself. She had taken this route many times before so she was able to avoid the regular local beat patrols. One last look around as she reached the apartment block. She buzzed on the door to the third building on her left and waited. “Buona sera?” said a voice hesitantly on the intercom. “Monica, it’s me - Annetjie.” There was a click on the intercom and then a feebled buzz. Van Matteus pulled at the door and walked in.

Stepping out of the elevator on the second floor, she walked to apartment 27 and knocked three times. The door was unlatched and an attractive Italian woman looked through the door ajar. “Annetjie, it’s you!”. The woman opened the door wide. Annetjie van Matteus walked in. As the door closed and was locked again, Van Matteus removed the black wig and the two women kissed…

- - -

Outside, across from the apartment which Van Matteus had entered, there was movement in the shadows. A large, hulking figure emerged. A massive African, dark as ebony, stepped out and grinned his perfectly white teeth. In his pocket he fumbled around with a pistol.

- - -

Around two hours later, Annetjie van Matteus emerged from the apartment. Discretion was now not so important, so she left the black wig behind and just put her hair up in braids. She looked outside to make sure no one was watching, before making her way back towards the Tiber. She snickered to herself ‘I wonder if those two OVRA dolts are still waiting for me back at the embassy… I’ll have to pick something up for them on my way back’.

She then continued along the Lungotevere Aventino. ‘It is strangely quiet tonight, must be from the heavy security points on the city outskirts keeping everyone away. Odd.’

Just then the hulking black man stepped out in front of Van Matteus, who stopped dead in her tracks.

He growled in deep, heavily accented English: “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Doctor François Kananga.”

Van Matteus took a step backwards. She had heard of this crazed Kananga fellow, as a mercenary he had been in league with Riaan van der Byl stirring up trouble and violence in the Congo before Van der Byl’s untimely and mysterious assassination in Madrid in May 2007.

“What do you want from me?” she asked – now second-guessing the wisdom of sneaking out alone at night to visit her old girlfriend in Rome.

“You Afrikaners set me up and sold me out! I have been waiting and planning, planning and waiting… for the day… to now get my revenge on the whole lot of you! It was I who killed Riaan van der Byl, now it is your turn to die…” he rambled on like an incoherent madman about killing the Transvaler government one by one. He was either drunk or high – or both.

Van Matteus tried to recall what she was doing at the time of Van der Byl’s assassination, in the hopes that she could talk her way out.

“I don’t know why you want to kill me… I was no friend of Riaan’s… I wasn’t involved in his Katanga Free State scheme… I had nothing to… – ”

Kananga pulled out his pistol and took aim at Van Matteus’ face. She stepped back and caught her heel on a cobblestone, stumbling back just as the he pulled the trigger. The bullet sailed wide over her. Van Matteus was now on the ground, staring up at the massive black man who moved forward to tower above over her. He lowered the gun and took aim.

< BANG >

Van Matteus froze. ‘Oh god, I have been shot!’ She frantically looked at her chest for the entrance wound. She was obviously still alive, but felt no pain.

The black man began to teeter and then fall towards her. She rolled out of his way just as he impacted face down on to the road.

< Thud >

Annetjie van Matteus looked around. She was now pretty sure she was not hurt – not seriously at least. She slowly climbed back to her feet as another dark figure made its way from the shadow of the building behind where Kananga had originally been standing.

“Who on god’s earth are you?” she asked.

A female voice replied. “My name is Sarah Tintagyl…” Smoke drifted gently from the barrel of her gun.

- - -

The echoes of the shot have brought the attention of the neighborhood, it is uncommon to hear a gunshot in this area, and from some windows, shadows are looking over the street, someone turn on the lights, dogs begin to bark from behind their fences "What's going on??" shouts someone "Someone got shot, call the police!", voices in the night, coming from the nearby buildings.

- - -

Annetjie van Matteus said to Sarah, “I don’t know you but I thank you for saving my life. Quick, follow me. We need to get out of here before the police show up.”

They left the huge corpse of the dead Kananga bleeding slowly on the ground. “Our friend here will help delay the police’s attention…” quipped Van Matteus with morbid humour.

By now, the Transvaler woman had taken off her heels and began to run in her stocking feet. Sarah Tintagyl followed close behind as the two women made their way back towards the apartment of Van Matteus’ girlfriend.

“I know someone who lives nearby, we will be safe there until everything passes over.”

- - -

Earlier That Morning...

Sarah stood in the line in the International Airport in Rome and wiped her eyes, she had flown directly from Austria after the end of the Nordic rebellion in an effort to take a few days to relax before having to head back down to Buenos Aires so that she could report to High Command. Unfortunately she had decided to come to Rome the same day that the Transvaaler Prime Minister had decided to visit and therefore security was heightened to an almost revolting degree, while she stood with two small bags of luggage in a line that would move a few steps every five minutes or so. At this rate, she might be able to get to her hotel by nightfall and that would be if luck was on her side. Time passed and the girl slowly inched closer to the gates, finally getting to the checkpoint that would allow her to pass into the city of Rome itself. The Borghese government was very effective in this manner, of keeping dissent and problems out of Italy, one of the few benefits to fascism. Truth be told as she though a bit about the Italian State, it put her a bit at odds. Italy had not taken kindly to the Mariehamm War and the former Lady Protector knew all too well that she was not appreciated to move about the country. But at the same time, the Italians weren't Nords, they were an overall friendly people, and she had changed physically a great deal since the war. Her tan arms, slightly toned hung down from her sun dress while Sarah's trademark blonde hair and ponytail swung from side to side as she walked up to the metal detector and two black shirted guards working for airport security.

"Signora. Your papers and your bags please." Sarah handed them away silently. The first guard scanning through her luggage, while the other continuously looked up and down at the passport. Still working for the Imperial Union, Sarah had been given an alias for travel, especially considering her name's background and for that she was thankful. "Signora Katherine St. Clair?"

"Yes, that's it."

"You're an Imperial, you're coming a long way? Here to see the Prime Minister's parade?"

"No, just for vacation, a bit of time off before going back home."



The guard chuckled. "Forgive me, you remind me of a face that appears or appeared quite often on the television. Sarah Tintagyl, the former Lady Protector. The traitor."

Sarah chuckled. "Yes, I get that a lot. Sometimes it makes it a bit hard to travel in Europe, or at least in Europe which have large Nordic communities. Though I find the resemblance much more forgiving in Austria as I hope to find in Rome."

"You need not worry about Rome, people will treat a pretty thing like you with the utmost respect. Giocomo?" He turned to the other guard. "Is Signora St. Clair's bag checked." Giocomo nodded and handed Sarah her luggage. "Enjoy yourself." Sarah thanked the guards as she walked towards the main terminal of the airport as the first guard picked up his radio and held it to his mouth. "We have a foreigner from South you won't miss her...why?...she looks just like Sarah Tintagyl."

- - -

After checking into her hotel and getting everything taken care of at the home front, or more-less the rental front, Sarah walked out onto the sunny streets of Rome to bask in the sunlight before the screeching melodies of a military parade echoed through the city. All in all, she wasn't a great fan of Transvaal or Van Matteus for that matter. The Transvaaler government had committed reprehensible crimes during the Malan regime and Sarah doubted that Van Matteus could do much better, she had heard the stories of brutality coming from her history and her past, but the more Sarah thought on the subject, the more parallels she drew between herself and the Transvaaler Prime Minister. They had both had brutal pasts, both strong and commanding women, and both wanted what was right for their country, or for Sarah her ideology that she hung onto of cynicism and pessimism. For a brief moment she thought about heading over to the parade grounds in the center of the city, but the idea of a total military parade with symbols of fascism everywhere. It would have been enough to make her sick. So instead she hastened to a small cafe owned by an elderly man to have tea while the day passed her by.

As she sat, stirring her drink with a silver spoon, the girl couldn't help but notice a dark figure sitting near her, chatting on the phone with some unknown on the other end. He was easily noticeable as his body was nearly busting out of his clothes and his skin as dark as night.

"She's here in Rome, some kind of political foray, really the perfect time to do it....she has a girlfriend who she hasn't seen in nearly forever of course she'll pull a stun...well if that doesn't happen I have other ways of doing so. My decision and I'll kill her the way I want....pity she was just elected Prime Minister too." At that, the man shot Sarah a death stare as she couldn't help but notice the conversation. He clenched his hand into a horrific fist of awesome strength and got up from the table. For most people this would have been a time to forget what had ever happened. For heroes this would be a time to run to the nearest police officer and explain in great detail that there could possibly be an attempt on the Transvaaler Prime Minister's life. But for Sarah, this was a time to think, she leaned back in her chair and took another sip of tea. "Why couldn't he be gunning for someone like Malan." She said to herself. "That would be much more appropriate." She pounded her hand lightly on the table. "$%&@. The woman just began, I'd be dammed to just let a maniac have his way."

Finishing the rest of her tea, she pushed the chair out and got up to begin walking down the street towards the south of Rome. She needed a particular service, one which walking through the ghettos of Buenos Aires, she had picked up with great finesse.

- - -

"I already told you babe, those aren't for sell for the price that you're giving me. I told you what you can do and we can take care of this real easy, but for a gem like you, I don't want cash."

Sarah's eyes rolled as she stared at the black haired punk looking up at her. In front of him was a .22 caliber pistol equipped with a silencer. He had been shocked at first with her knowledge of firearms and weaponry in general, but that just made it more appealing to screw with her. "I'm offering you five hundred lira for that gun and you're not going to take it?"

"I said two hundred and we go upstairs."

"And I said five hundred and we don't. I don't want to be anywhere near a putrid thing like you any longer than I need to be."

The punk laughed and bobbed his head. "Okay, well how about, you don't get the gun, you're coming upstairs with me and if you don't I'm just going to kill you right here." He turned to two large men behind where Sarah stood as they took out two knives, staring at her menacingly. "You really want to end your life like this? It'd be so much easier the other way."

One of the men lunged at Sarah thrusting the knife towards her stomach, she swooped out of the way catching him off guard then kicking out his legs dropped him to the floor, while buying a little more time by nailing her foot into the second guard's chest. With the first one on the ground, she returned, picked up the man's head and kneed him in the face, knocking him out cold. By this time the punk behind the table had already ran forward and loaded the gun he had displayed on the table. But with quick work, Sarah grabbed the knife from the downed guard's hand and whipped it into his hand. The pistol dropped to the ground, as the punk went down screaming the blood dripping from his wrist. Knocking out the second guard was another kick in the face before walking over to the dropped gun and picking it off the ground. Smiled at the bleeding criminal. "So I'm guessing that the deal is for free now?" She mocked and then walked out of the room they had sheltered themselves in.

Sarah walked out onto the darkened city streets of Rome with her new toy and having lost the OVRA guards who had followed her since the airport, wandering through the back alleys and into the ghettos where no foreigner was indeed safe, she was now at least a bit more free to pursue her objective at finding and keeping Annetjie safe. Walking as fast as she could, Sarah made haste towards the Transvaaler embassy, thinking that it was probably the best place to start and she was right in believing that. From the distance she watched as a woman with a black bob went off onto the streets. She smiled, Annetjie was as smart as they came.

She followed the Prime Minister from the embassy to where her lover's apartment was near the Tiber, always staying in the shadows, out of sight from the OVRA, from Annetjie, and especially from the hulking man from earlier in the afternoon. Pulling herself into a back alley, she waited in the shadows, waiting for a move.

Finally it came, Sarah watched as Annetjie left the apartment and began walking towards her, down the street, she seemed so peaceful, so tranquil, until the hulking man stepped out from the shadows as well. Sarah wasted no time at this point in revealing herself out of the shadows and slowly creeping behind the hulk, as a wraith out of the darkness.

“You Afrikaners set me up and sold me out! I have been waiting and planning, planning and waiting… for the day… to now get my revenge on the whole lot of you! It was I who killed Riaan van der Byl, now it is your turn to die…”


“I don’t know why you want to kill me… I was no friend of Riaan’s… I wasn’t involved in his Katanga Free State scheme… I had nothing to…"

She tripped and a shot rang out as the hulking man fired his gun, only narrowly missing Annetjie as she fell to the ground. He walked up to her and aimed down, he placed his hand on the trigger, and Sarah pulled her own. The blood splattered in the air for a moment as the bullet pierced through his head before the massive body fell to the ground. It was at this point that the wraith stepped out of the shadows, her blonde hair gently waving in the breeze of the city, as her piercing blue eyes looked down at Van Matteus as the politician got to her feet.

“Who on god’s earth are you?”

Sarah smiled, lowering her gun, the smoke hovering around her figure. "My name is Sarah Tintagyl."

Suddenly, out of the night air came the screams and shouts of the civilians "What's going on??"

"Someone got shot, call the police!"

Sarah felt Annetije grab her arm as she pulled her up the hill back towards the apartment. “I don’t know you but I thank you for saving my life. Quick, follow me. We need to get out of here before the police show up.” They kept waking at a hurried pace, as Annetjie stared back at the body of the hulking man. “Our friend here will help delay the police’s attention…”

By this time, Sarah and Annetjie had broken into a run towards the building. “I know someone who lives nearby, we will be safe there until everything passes over.”

"All right. Lets get there." Sarah said her voice stern. "We can't afford to be out here right now." Then she stopped Annetjie and turned her around quickly, with a bit of force. "We have a lot to talk about, you and I."

- - -

Two units were immediatly dispatched into the area by the nearest Police Headquarter. The loud electronic sirens could be heard in the night, breaking the silence. At the sight of the squad cars, the windows where people have been watching at the scene are suddenly shut. Sarah and Annetje must chose the next move before they could get in sight of the squad cars. A couple of members of the MVSN (Volounteer Militia for National Security), known by the population with the nickname of "Blackshirts", Borghese's death squad, were alerted by the shot, and the shouts. They are not armed with firearms, but anti riot batons and knifes, they all wear black shirts with the typical italian Fez hat.. they are the real "fascisti", the fanatical supporters of Junio Borghese. Their duties space from beatings to arsons and intimidations, but their favourite hobby is sorround the victim, beat, and eventually kill anyone who causes harm to the population or 'the safery of the nation', according to the official statute "I see them, let's go get them boys!" someone answers with the battlecry of the Italian army "EJA EJA ALALA'!!!", and just like a group of gladiators, they start to run against their targets.

However, they are too far to recognize Annetje or Sarah, two shadows in the night. Taking place in the center of Rome, the latin urban environment offers many ways to escape from the scene between buildings, under the acient bridges, in the sewers, inside ruined buildings (those still awaiting for demolition or reconstruction).

- - -

Annetjie van Matteus snapped at Sarah with her gallows humour: “Sister, now is not a very good time for chit-chat. Are you coming with me or are you going to wait here for the police to find you? We’re not far now…”

In the distance a siren wailed. That was enough for Van Matteus, who continued running and rounded a bend off to the left. Sarah shrugged and followed after her.

When Sarah rounded the corner, Van Matteus was buzzing frantically at an apartment door. The door finally buzzed open and she stepped inside – and almost as an after thought, holding it open for Sarah who was now close behind. The door latched shut and Van Matteus briefly peered through the hazy, grimy window to see if anyone followed them. “It looks pretty quiet on the street, I think we’re safe here.

She led Sarah up two flights of stairs to apartment 27. As they approached, Sarah could see an attractive woman in her 30’s with long, dark hair look out. She was in her nightdress and had a worried expression on her face. Evidently Van Matteus had woken her up.

“What is wrong Annetjie?” she asked. Her strong accent gave her away as being Italian. Van Matteus didn’t answer her, but instead commanded “We need to use your phone.”

“Who are you calling?” asked Sarah.

Until this point, Annetjie van Matteus never considered whether this mysterious Sarah Tintagyl even knew who she was. Monica certainly had no clue that her former foreign lover was the ruler of some distant African nation. Van Matteus had only told her minimal details about her life in Transvaal and that she worked at the embassy as administrative staff. She felt the less Monica knew, the better for both women just in case someone ever caught wind of their discrete liaisons. As far as Monica knew, her girlfriend was named Annetjie Burgers (her mother’s maiden name) and processed passports and visas all day.

“Malan? It’s me Annetjie, Sorry to wake you, but I’ve run into some unexpected trouble.”

“No, I am fine. I am not hurt – but someone tried to kill me. I’ll explain later.”

“Yes, I am at Monica’s right now.” She shot a glance at Monica and then Sarah. “Bring the armoured diplomatic Mercedes with the smoked windows, as I think we will have some passengers joining us.”

Van Matteus hung up the phone. Monica kept repeatedly asking “Annetjie, what is wrong?” but Van Matteus ingnored her as she took stock of the situation. “Monica, turn off the lights!” She then went towards the window and glanced out into the darkness. A police car drove slowly by but didn’t stop.

- - -

The police inspector crouched down and went through the coat pocket of the dead black man. He had been shot almost point blank in the back, it looked like just one shot perfectly through his rib cage and puncturing his heart.

He felt some papers or something, he pulled his hand out of the pocket. “Hmm, what’s this? He thumbed through it, it was a passport – a Transvaler passport – for someone named Luther Sithole.

- - -

Van Matteus relaxed somewhat. She sat down on the old couch and drank from some coffee which Monica had made for the two women.

She spoke to Sarah. “So, who exactly are you… coming from nowhere to save my life? I suppose I now do owe you one in return. If you need assistance to escape Italy, I can arrange it, as I know people in high places.”

Van Matteus grinned sheepishly but something wasn’t quite right with this Sarah character. She had a gut feeling that Sarah knew, somewhat, who she was – but Van Matteus didn’t like being in the unsettling, defensive position of not knowing who this stranger truly was.

“We have around an hour before the cavalry will arrive to rescue us.”

“So, who exactly are you… coming from nowhere to save my life? I suppose I now do owe you one in return. If you need assistance to escape Italy, I can arrange it, as I know people in high places. We have around an hour before the cavalry will arrive to rescue us.”

Sarah smiled and picked up the coffee from the table and took in the aroma, she had to hand it to the Italians, they knew how to make a good cup of coffee. "Who am I?" The former leader couldn't help but laugh. "I'm honestly surprised you don't know who I am Annetjie, because I know you quite well, you and your insolent !@#$%^& that is your current Ambassador of Italy. As I said before, my name is Sarah Tintagyl, the former Lady Protector of the Hanseatic Commonwealth." The blonde woman sighed for a moment and took another sip of her coffee. "I knew that I looked a bit different, but I didn't think I had changed so much as you couldn't even recognize me." Sarah looked down at her arms and her skin. It was true, she had changed a great deal since Brisbane, with the added muscle and the bronzing, but still, hadn't she been one of the most recognizable figures in the world, the defeater of Nordland, the Angel of Peace, everything else. How could Van Matteus really not know who she was.

"As for saving your life Annetjie, it had not been my intention when I came to Italy to be playing hero, but to be honest when I heard our friend from before talking over with someone on the phone at a cafe that he was going to do you in, well I couldn't just let a fellow female leader like yourself perish right when your rule begins." Sarah looked up into Annejtie's eyes and time would seem to freeze. It had always been those eyes that possessed the men of Europe, Asia, and Oceania, that could cut deep into the hearts and souls of men, women, and children, the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. "During my reign as Lady Protector, I had high doubts of any such progressive movements coming out of Transvaal, but when Malan stepped down and you took over, I had hope, I had hope that perhaps in the future, the South African people, white and black could learn to love each other in total equality. You are a visionary Annetjie, you are the hope for Transvaal and I for one could not let you die, not to that madman that pointed a gun at your head."

"I guess I see a little bit of myself in you, even though you might be older than I am." Sarah chuckled. "But countries need strong rulers, something I was not. But I couldn't allow myself to continue to rule. The recent hegemonies, the Dragons, the Eurasians, all replaced what I defeated in Nordland and it was time for my leave. But I still hang around the world, I just can't seem to step away from the thing I strove so hard to help find eternal peace."

Sarah pulled out the gun and placed it on the table. "I guess I figured you wouldn't know who I am. A former leader who kills, but then I wouldn't have expected the Prime Minister of Transvaal to have a secret lover." She chuckled. "But don't worry, your secret is safe with me. I can tell you right now, I've done much worse. But there you go. That's who I am, Sarah Tintagyl, the former leader, the adventurer, the soldier and I'm here to help whatever you AnnejtieVan Matteus, what ever you need."

She took another sip of the coffee. "Though as to escaping Italy, given that I just killed someone, yes, it would be a big help probably."

- - -

The three women in the apartment see the helicopter's search lights moving on the neighborhood. Some people are talking behind the walls, someone is worried, someone is scared, someone is trying to see what's going on. It seems like security got tightened. Officers and members of the MVSN are now everywhere on the streets, they beleive the assassin is still in the area and are looking for him... someone said it's a blonde man, someone said it was a black male, they don't really know who they are looking for. The OVRA was probably on alert aswell, and dispatched a unit into the area. They do not look like policemen or members of the MVSN, they usually move with old, ruined cars.. or rather move by foot.

Another police car passes by the window and stops on the other side of the road. An officer steps out and says something in strict Romanesque dialect trought the car's megaphone, a foreigner can hardly understand anything he says "This is the State Police. Due to recent unrest, this area has been sealed off, please stay in your homes and cooperate with the law forces.. This is the State Police. Due to re.."

The officers are now going building to building, searching in the undegrounds, behind dumpsters, in alley ways, and sometimes even kicking some doors opens.. shouts and scream are heard in the night from the nearby flats, noises sometimes covered by the helicopter flying over the house.


They are coming up from the stairs, they are talking, giving orders, or knocking at the doors "Polizia!! Open the door!!" "I didn't do anything, leave me alone!" "Open the door, now!!" BOOM, BOOM - CRASHHH! "No, don't!!" noises of broken glasses, furniture being kicked on the ground.

- - -

"I'm honestly surprised you don't know who I am Annetjie, because I know you quite well, you and your insolent !@#$%^& that is your current Ambassador of Italy. As I said before, my name is Sarah Tintagyl, the former Lady Protector of the Hanseatic Commonwealth."

Annetjie van Matteus was taken aback and gasped.

“You, the Sarah Tintagyl? You must excuse me – when you first mentioned your name it simply did not register. Let’s face it, the strangeness and suddenness of your appearance caught me completely off guard.”

Van Matteus laughed, in her dark humour she quipped “all we need now is for Kaiser Martens to show up delivering pizza.”

The three women could hear the commotion down in the apartment courtyard. “Unwanted guests… damn, where are you Malan?” Van Matteus exclaimed. The Transvaler noticed Sarah’s face cringe at the mention of Malan’s name.

“Don’t judge Petrus Malan too harshly, he was a simple officer who was thrusted into power when our world came crashing down. He did as best as he could considering the dire circumstances, lord knows I have done worse in the past. Terrible times often require terrible methods, and at least Malan knew when to fold his cards” admitted Van Matteus in a rare display of guilt regarding her past.

Then she regained her composure. A smirk appeared on her face. “The irony here is Petrus Malan may end up saving your life in getting you out of this mess.”

"I guess I figured you wouldn't know who I am. A former leader who kills, but then I wouldn't have expected the Prime Minister of Transvaal to have a secret lover." She chuckled. "But don't worry, your secret is safe with me.”

Sarah’s comment about Monica resulted in a narrowed glare from Van Matteus. For a brief moment, Sarah felt the unnerving sinister side which Van Matteus had been famous years ago. ‘I struck a nerve in the ice queen - she’s actually embarrassed about her secret’ realized Sarah to herself.

Annetjie looked out the window again, now seeing the street ablaze with police cars. Looking back at Sarah, she said: “I think our best option here is to just go straight on into danger and hopefully we can bluff our way outside. They’d be expecting anyone in trouble to run away and hide – not to confront their fears and walk through the lion’s den.”

“Come.” Van Matteus said calmly. She walked to the couch and picked up her coat laying there, putting it back on. Opening the front door a crack, she peered out and could see the MVSN two floors below knocking on doors. They could slip out of the apartment and not attract attention which one they exited. However they would have to go through the MVSN to get outside.

At this point, Van Matteus felt bringing Monica would be a liability to their escape. Sarah Tintagyl however, Van Matteus acknowledged, had the wits to improvise all the necessary lies should they get arrested and interrogated – although Van Matteus guessed that the Italians would not arrest the Transvaler prime minister due to the diplomatic embarrassment it would cause. However she felt she owed it to Sarah to get her out of here with the least trauma. Plus the irony of Sarah relying on Malan for escape now bemused her somewhat.

Annetjie van Matteus gave Monica a quick peck on the cheek – whispering “ciao bella” in her ear – before taking a deep breath and stepping outside. Sarah Tintagyl followed her. “Follow me” said Van Matteus quietly.

The two women walked down two flights of stairs. The MVSN now noticed them. Van Matteus walked up to the closest MVSN agent and pulled out her passport. Handing it to the agent, she spoke sternly in as authoritative voice as she could muster: “This says who I am, me and my guest here were visiting a friend of mine. We are waiting for my ambassador to make his way here and pick us up.”

Handing it to the agent, she spoke sternly in as authoritative voice as she could muster: “This says who I am, me and my guest here were visiting a friend of mine. We are waiting for my ambassador to make his way here and pick us up.”

Then, as an afterthought, Annetjie van Matteus added “So, err... what is going on here?”

"Annetje van Matteus? The Prime Minister of Transvaal?" the man was confused, or maybe he was suspecting something, after all he is an inspector.. and he knows the area is not rich, there are no relevant buildings around except flats and small shops, a man with Transvaaler passport was found dead only a few blocs from the flat.. and now the Prime Minister of Transvaal.. followed by another woman "I'm Inspector Coliandro.. i think we should.. hold on.. may i her passport too?" he is looking at Sarah, not sure if he recognized her, but everyone at the entrance is looking at the woman, they whisper something.. and one of them grabs the radio, following the orders of inspector Coliandro.. "This is 158 to Dispatch, we have Prime Minister Annetje van Matteus right here.. she is with another woman.. i think i know who she is but.. i'm not sure, we are checking her passport now, over" "Roger 158, you need reinforcements?" "Negative, over and out"

- - -

At the Embassy of Transvaal, the two OVRA agents suddenly wake up from their sweet dreams.. they look at each other, like they know how incompetent they are "!@#$!!! Go go go!!!". Pretty soon the driver turns on the engine and turns on the blue flashing light previously placed on the roof "Faster faster!!"

Just then a black Mercedes sedan comes barreling out of the Transvaler embassy compound – almost colliding with the OVRA parked automobile out front.

At the wheel is Petrus Malan, still in his pajamas and housecoat. He seems to be making for the closest bridge across the Tiber.

- - -

Back at the apartment, Annetjie van Matteus urges Sarah to hand over her passport or whatever identification she was carrying. Quietly she says to Sarah, reiterating “…don’t worry, we’ll be all right.”

Van Matteus then said to Inspector Coliandro: “Signore Inspector, the ambassador will be here shortly, so would it trouble you if we all waited outside out front until he arrived?” She nodded upwards to the floors above, “It’s past midnight now, perhaps we shouldn’t be keeping all the tenants unnecessarily awake at such a late hour?”

- - -

Things just seemed to keep getting worse, and worse, and worse. First of all, Sarah found herself being saved by the very same person that she had held an embargo against years ago, the police had showed up at the apartment looking for the murderer of the hulking man who was probably still laying dead on the street below, and now she was face to face with Italian inspectors who were looking for her. She had her fake passport, which was a blessing in itself, but she was still very cautious at trying to get out of the hair of both Annejtie and the inspector that was in front of them.

"hold on.. may i her passport too?"

Sarah took a deep breath and stared at the inspector with dim eyes, it was the last thing she wanted to have to do. But almost immediately, Annejtie turned to her and smiled, it was a genuine display of friendship which considering their differences, Sarah was happy to have.

“…don’t worry, we’ll be all right.”

She nodded her head and reached into her back pocket, pulling out the passport and papers that gave her the identity of Cecilia St. Clair. "I trust all my papers should be in order Mr. Inspector, but I would agree with the Prime Minister, we have been with her friend all night. We heard the gun shots and went to the window, but I'm afraid that besides a few running shadows nothing came to my attention." She said as vague as possible. "Though it is getting late and I would really much like to lay down in the embassy where at least I know its save, if we could go downstairs and wait, we'd be most appreciative."

- - -

"I trust all my papers should be in order Mr. Inspector, but I would agree with the Prime Minister, we have been with her friend all night. We heard the gun shots and went to the window, but I'm afraid that besides a few running shadows nothing came to my attention."

Inspector Coliandro carefully reads the passport, touching the paper, checking the stamp.. "Prime Minister Van Matteus can go outside and wait for the car.. but we must ask you a few questions first" the man turns around and orders two men to go upstair and check Monica's apartment. Pretty soon they would be knocking at her door.

Meanwhile, the two OVRA agents with the task of following Annetje van Matteus have finally reached the area "Look over there!". They stop infront of the building and quickly get out of their vehicle. They make a quick run to the door and enter the building showing off their badges to the police officers and Inspector Coliandro.. at the sight of the OVRA agents, Coliandro steps aside, handing Sarah's passport to one of them "Thank you Inspector.. let Prime Minister van Matteus leave the building, and call your men back.. we take it from here.." "Yes sir.." Inspector Coliandro looked scared, intimidated by the man.. who had the look of a serial killer, not an OVRA agent.. or maybe the two things are strictly related. "Now back to you.. Sarah.. St. Clair? What is the reason for your visit in Italy?"

- - -

Sarah chuckled and looked down at her feet, a smile creeping across her face. "So I guess having one of the most recognizable faces in the world isn't to my advantage anymore. I'm not going to try and lie to authorities, you've treated me with a great deal of respect so far and I appreciate that. But as to my visit to Italy, I just had a bit of a run in, in Austria and I came her to relax before going back home to Buenos Aires, to try and unwind a bit. I met Annejtie at the embassy and we came over to her friend's apartment here. There was a shot, we panicked and now I'm talking with you gentlemen. I don't believe vacationing here even for someone like me is bad right?"

- - -

The OVRA agent does not change his facial expression, his cold eyes are probably the result of one of the most horrifying trainings a man could receive in a government organization. The OVRA differs from the Secret Services, because the OVRA only cares about national security and its undercover operations never cross the border.. that's why it was created as a "law enforcement agency", somehow related to the State Police. Little is known about the agents and their activities, and they rarely expose themself like that.. but the situation is not ordinary "Vacation is not a crime.. falsifying your passport is.. and we also wonder what your business are in a country like Austria, torn apart by civil war. But if Prime Minister van Matteus trusts you.. i think we can skip the part where i ask what is a black male with Transvaaler passport doing in the back of a coroner van just a few blocs from here. Because that would get you in troubles i think.. and we both know you have no diplomatic immunity, unless.. you make it to the car coming to pick Mrs van Matteus. The interior of that car is territory of the Republic of Transvaal, we have no jurisdiction in there."

It is unclear what his intentions are, he is probably alluding to the fact that he could just arrest her right now and put her under interrogation in some underground of the Ministry of Interior, where many people go in, and only a few come out - in one piece. He steps aside but keeps lookingat sarah ..we know who you are, we can find you anywhere, you will always be followed.. thats probably what he is trying to say with his orwellian language, typical of any secret police.

- - -

Annetjie van Matteus stayed alongside with Sarah Tintagyl as the OVRA spoke with her - she wasn't going to allow the two of them become separated.

Once the OVRA had finished asking their questions, Van Matteus said to him: "Excuse me Signore, why don't you just let her come with me and save all of us time. After all, you know quite well that I can get a Transvaler passport done up with her name on it within a hour or so. I will vouche for her and make sure she remains in the custody of the Transvaler government until she leaves Italy with us tomorrow."

'Where the heck was Malan?' she thought. The OVRA was correct, as soon as Sarah entered Malan's car, they could not touch her.

To break the tension as they waited for the ambassador - and to set up a ruse - Van Matteus changed the topic. In a faux innocent manner she asked: "You spoke of a dead, African male with a Transvaler passport near here. Perhaps once the ambassador has arrived to collect us, we could go to the crime scene to investigate? Did you get a name of the victim?"

Suddenly a black Mercedes screeched to a halt. Behind it were two police cars, which Malan had simply ignored, with their lights flashing. The Ambassador got out and into the apartment building and over to where the two women were standing.

Sarah Tintagyl had to fight back the urge to laugh at the ambassador's dishoveled appearance. He was wearing his blue flannel pajamas and a burgundy smoking housecoat.

Malan walked up to the OVRA man. "What is going on here? Do you know who this is?" he bellowed. After a pasue, he said: "Annetjie, we have to talk... something big has happened in Pretoria.

- - -

"Excuse me Signore, why don't you just let her come with me and save all of us time. After all, you know quite well that I can get a Transvaler passport done up with her name on it within a hour or so. I will vouche for her and make sure she remains in the custody of the Transvaler government until she leaves Italy with us tomorrow."

"She needs a new passport to leave the country anyway.. this one is not valid, anymore" the agent scratches the passport right infront of Sarah, like he is forcing her to get in that car.. it is the only way to make sure she is going to leave the country anytime soon, hopefully tomorrow.. he will get in troubles when the HQ will receive the report of the whole situation, including the assassination of that african man [i]"Luther Sithole is the name on his passport..". When Ambassador Malan enters the building, the agent could barely hold his laughs... but he was committed. "OVRA, Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-fascism.." after showing his badge, the agent points the car.. it looks like he has nothing more to add to the discussion, or he just doesen't want to get any further.

“Come Sarah...” urges Van Matteus, “Quickly, before they change their mind.”

As the two women make their way out of the apartment bulding towards the Mercedes, Petrus Malan calls out to Annetjie van Matteus in Afrikaans from the entrance way:

“Waarvan Monika, jy kan nou nie haar hier met hierdie boewe agterlaat nie…” *

She stops in her tracks. Quietly she says to Sarah, “Get inside the car, quick. I have to go back and get Monica to leave with us as well, the OVRA don’t like to get cheated out of an arrest, they will likely return for her once we have left Rome. She is innocent, harmless to them - but I cannot risk leaving her to that fate.”

“Malan, wait in the car with Sarah while I go bargain with the OVRA!” she barks. Petrus Malan looked at Sarah Tingatyl with suspicion, and then acquiesced.

“Annetjie, here… you are going to need this…” he tossed her his wallet. Sarah could tell it was stuffed with banknotes.

Van Matteus walked back into the apartment and sought out the head OVRA agent they had been speaking with.

“Excuse me Signore, one last thing to trouble you with. There is a woman in Apartment 27, as long as she is willing I want her to come with us as well. It would mean a lot to me… personally… if you could permit this.”

She then discretely flashed a thick wad of Transvaler rand banknotes at him.

“For all your troubles tonight dealing with this difficult episode”

The OVRA agent grabs the wad of banknotes and immediatly hides it in his pokets.. he just turns around and walks out of the building with his partner without saying a word. One by one all officers and MVSN members leave the building, and return to their patrol duties..

- - -

Meanwhile, Sarah and Malan waited in the embassy car for the Transvaler prime minister to return.

Sitting in the car, directly next to Petrus Malan was one of the most awkward moments of Sarah's life. She sat, her bottom shifting nervously in the seat as she twiddled her fingers waiting for a break in the ice that never came. Annetjie was taking too long and she was the only person in this whole godforsaken city who Sarah felt that she could trust, but perhaps the Prime Minister had been right, perhaps the man sitting next to her was no better a demon then herself.

"So I finally get to meet the Dictator of Transvaal himself." Sarah said looking up at the ceiling of the car. "The irony Mr. Malan is almost too much for me to comprehend, but I should be saying thank you instead of cutting you up." She sighed. "You're probably the only reason that I'm going to get out of this country alive now." Taking his hand, Sarah held it softly in her own. "I know we've had our differences in the past, but truly this does help me realize that we are what politics make us, so again, thank you for helping me out here."

Petrus Malan was taken aback by Sarah’s words. He was used to people calling him a dictator and he just allowed criticism to bounce off him and brushed it aside.

But no one had ever thanked him for doing anything – or at least that he could remember.

When he had to take command in the power vacuum of anarchy which gripped the nation, he did so because he was the last remaining military officer with any sort of functional command. The army had collapsed in a rout, the navy sent to the bottom of the sea. The airforce held out a little longer until outnumbered that it couldn’t get any aircraft airborne without being shot down within minutes. He swore an oath to defend the nation – and after about a week all that remained was Petrus Malan and the Transvaler Raketkorps – guardian of Transvaal’s small nuclear stockpile. He did was he had to, to keep Transvaal from succumbing to the invaders.

The man seemed tired. Not from the late hour right now, but tired in general. Tired in spirit. Defeated.

At the end of the day, he found himself kicked around and isolated by the civilian politicians. He did what he thought was the honourable thing and resign gracefully. He could have put up a fight but he was not a politician; he was a soldier. And he did not want to face another bloodbath brought on by civil war.

But in return Malan was shipped out of the country as an embarrassment.

“Drink?” he asked Sarah Tintagyl sheepishly, handing her a silver flask filled with Tahoe whiskey.

As Sarah grabbed it and took a swig, he quietly mumbled to himself “ja, you’re welcome.”

Someone overhearing him might have thought he said this out of Sarah’s silent answer of taking and quaffing his whisky – but he was finally coming around to respond to her comments of thanks in removing her from the clutches of the OVRA.

He then asked Sarah as she handed his flask back, “so where will you go after you leave Rome? You will fly out with Annetjie tomorrow for Windhoek. I am sure that she will then make the necessary arrangements to get you to Johannesburg and from there off to wherever it is you need to be.”

“Or… while you are in Transvaal you could see if she could arrange an audience with the old man himself…”

"Oh its been a while since I've had good Tahoan whiskey. Thank you for that Petrus." She leaned back and took the ponytail out of her hair, finally getting a bit comfortable for once. Sarah closed her eyes and tapped her fingers against her thighs. "After I leave Rome, we'll I guess I'm really not sure. I live in the Imperial Union now, part of their military actually so eventually I have to get back to Buenos Aires but in the meantime, I have wanted to visit and tour Transvaal for a long time really. I guess I've just had to set some kind of example to the world and since I condemned you in the past, vacationing there would be near impossible."

She chuckled awkwardly and looked over at the old man. He might have been a demon, but there was a calmness to his features and perhaps her own cold hard stares and her own rage inside had changed her greatly to appreciate men again. Though it was a first step, deep down she knew all too well, she hated the world. "The Old Man? You mean President Botha?" Her sapphire eyes lit up. "My God, it would be an honor, I don't know of many people who have been able to meet him and I would take it as a lifetime opportunity. If you could arrange such a thing, I would be most appreciative."

Sarah sighed and looked down at her feet. "Its funny, me sitting here with someone who is so radically different from me. It'd almost be like if Michael Martens would be here, though in that case we'd probably both have guns drawn to our heads. The world's changed so much, I've changed so much. To be honest Petrus, I don't even know who I am anymore. I feel...I feel so empty all the time."

Petrus Malan ignored Sarah Tintagyl’s comments regarding her previous condemnations.

“Eventually I have to get back to Buenos Aires but in the meantime...”

“Buenos Aires? That’s around five to six hours from Johannesburg. Our national airline doesn’t go to South America, but you should be able to pick up a flight on one of the South American carriers that makes refueling stopovers in Johannesburg when they are making their way from the Middle East or India.”

"The Old Man? You mean President Botha?"

“Yes, the Staatspresident. Talk to Annetjie when we’re on the plane tomorrow and away from here. I’m sure she would arrange an audience with him.”

The way Malan annunciated the word ‘audience’ made it sound like Staatspresident Botha was some sort of byzantine or oriental potentate.

“Our somewhat isolated location in the world as well as our withdrawn foreign policy means Mr. Botha doesn’t get to meet too many foreign leaders visiting Pretoria – except perhaps when the Transvaal Cup is going on in March.”

"To be honest Petrus, I don't even know who I am anymore."

Malan laughed, a rare smile cracked on his weathered face. “Well, it sounds like both of us have lived through interesting times thrown our way whether we wanted it or not…”

“Ach, look there… heads up!” Malan's tone becomes serious, they see the OVRA and MVSN agents making now their way out of the apartment.

Around a minute or so later, after the last one has departed the vicinity, Annetjie van Matteus and Monica come out the entrance of the apartment block at a brisk walk, almost a run. Van Matteus is carrying a suitcase while Monica clutches a handkerchief, quietly sobbing.

Malan starts the engine. “Here, you better move over” he said to Sarah as he leaned over to unlock the doors on the right side of the vehicle.

Van Matteus climbed in front with Malan while Monica took a seat in the back with Sarah. Tears were streaming down her face, and she looked at Sarah in embarrassment of her upset appearance. The woman has an expression of confusion and fear. She might even be in shock.

The automobile jerked forward suddenly as Malan sped off and headed back across the Tiber towards the Transvaler Embassy.

Around fifteen minutes later, the Mercedes glided into the embassy compound. The whole trip was made in an uncomfortable silence, but on their arrival Van Matteus turned around from the front and said to Sarah, “You are safe now, from now on you will be protected extraterritoriality with us. The Italians cannot touch you now.”

As the automobile stopped, one of the diplomatic staff came running out. He was hysterical.

“Madam Prime Minister! Mister Ambassador, hurry! Come quick! You have to hear what is on the radio!”

The four of them make their way inside, Van Matteus still carting along Monica’s suitcase. “Here, take this and make her comfortable” she says to one of the staff. Monica was ushered off into the residential wing while Van Matteus and Malan made their way – with Sarah in tow – into what looked like a lounge for relaxation and socializing with important guests. The radio is blaring. Van Matteus mentioned that they were tuned into Radio-Transvaal. The voice of an older man speaks over the airwaves in Afrikaans. Sarah guessed (correctly) that it is the voice of Staatspresident Botha himself.

Van Matteus and Malan listened intensely – before a look of shock appeared on both of their faces.

“Oh my god, the Staatspresident has just announced that Transvaal has re-aligned with Nordreich / Nordland!” a stunned Van Matteus informed Sarah Tintagyl. Malan then added, “We are witnessing the end of one era and the dawn of the next… no doubt, this will result in an ideological shift within the government. It all but closes the book on Hertzog's federalist legacy.”

- - -

The words seemed to bounce off her ears like hard rain as if the small piercings of water was literally tearing her soul and her body apart. How? How could this ghost continue to follow her everywhere she went, how could, after everything she had done, after all the blood she had split after all the tears she had cried was it still following her. To be honest, in the greater scheme of things, if Sarah had heard something like this say in Buenos Aires, or even some other random country during her travels, she would not be pained in the slightest. But it always came when she was around it, as though the whole ideology of Nordism seemed unable to be crushed. Why was everything worthless? Why was everything she fought for not seeming to have any effect anywhere? " cant..."

Annetjie and Petrus were far too engulfed in the broadcast to notice her by this point, but there wasn't really anywhere she could go either. She was stuck in the embassy and in Transvaal at least for the next few days. Stuck in a country, allied to a nation and ideology she had tried so hard to eradicate. The irony was too much. "Ex-Excuse me for a moment won't you." Sarah said softly as she turned away from the radio and the two Transvaalers. She walked down the stairs towards the lobby of the embassy, turned a corner down a small empty hallway, and after finding a small couch she laid down and literally broke down, not hard as she was often accustom to as a young girl, but silent and steady tears that ran down her face and onto the hard wooden floor of the embassy.

"Everything I do is a waste, everything I did. I abandoned my people, I fled my country, I have literally done nothing with my life that was even close to being constructive and for what?" She spit into the air. "For everything that I tried to change, just to crash and burn around me." Sarah looked up into the sky and screamed. "WHAT!? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!? WOULD YOU RATHER ME JUST DIE?! IS THAT WHAT'S HOLDING YOU BACK? IS THAT IT?!" The weak killed themselves, but Sarah persevered, even, when she didn't want to anymore and for as painful as it was, deep down, far deep down inside her heart she knew at least to herself that every decision she had made had been right. So while she might be remembered as one of history's great villains, or not remembered at all, a smile crept across her face. "You'll never win..."

- - -

Gzzzz Gzzzz "We interrupt this broadcast in order to bring you an important announcement. His Excellency General Junio Borghese is addressing the nation." Gzzz Gzzz

Through the tears, she could hear the Italian national anthem playing in the back ground as Borghese's voice came onto the air and so Italy too had joined the greater Nordic ideology. Not that this came as a surprise, the Borghese regime had always been prevalent to the Nords, Sarah found it even quite humorous for during the Valkyrie War it had not been the Nordic-Central nations to attack her through word of mouth, but instead nations like Italy to criticize her. Perhaps the Nords, in their Beer Halls and Pagan Temple were just too good to comment on a Christian Girl's racist crusade. Sarah sat up and wiped her eyes, there was no point in crying anymore because one could never truly wipe out an ideology of a people without becoming a destructive monster themselves. She was a villain in Italy and yet a heroine in Austria, an eyesore in Fascist Eastern Europe, but welcomed throughout North America.

"Funny." Sarah said to herself. "The whole world could divide over one ideology." She thought for a moment. "Well, perhaps another journey is in order after this on. One of a slightly less dark color, perhaps one that is a bit more bright." A grin crossed her face. They were out there, hiding, waiting to come back and she would find them and give them hope.

- - -

Sarah Tintagyl could hear the clicking of heels coming her way. She looked up and saw Annetjie van Matteus approaching her.

“Is everything alright? You look like a wreck, if you don’t mind me saying.” Van Matteus pulled up a chair and sat down across from her.

“Well… it also appears that the Italians have now followed our lead. While I think it was inevitable from their ideology that they should ultimately align with Nordland, I haven’t been able to figure out yet if this was something co-ordinated between Rome and Pretoria or simply coincidental. I have to admit that it all comes as a shock to me. And as far as I know right now no one else in the government nor the military had any idea that Staatspresident Botha was going to do something like this.”

Then she added, “It is very, very rare for him to take an active role in governing Transvaal – but whenever he does, it is often for an unforeseen reason to the rest of us. After all, he did not even see fit to intervene during the dark days of anarchy before Kruger and Malan seized power in the junta. Besides he does not have to answer nor explain himself to anyone.”

“No doubt when I get back to Pretoria I’ll be briefed by the Old Man on all the reasons why.”

The flat tone in Van Matteus' voice made it difficult for Sarah to gauge whether the prime minister actually approved or not. But then again, she could just be tired. The evening was late - actually now the early hours of morning - and had taken a drain on everyone involved.

Van Matteus could tell that something was troubling Sarah deeply. To take her mind off whatver it was, she suggested conspiratorially “Come… let’s go sneak a drink from Malan’s liquor cabinet, he’s got more of that Tahoe whisky! He’s gone off back to bed to be with his mistress. We won’t see him again until the morning.”

As they walked towards Malan’s office, Van Matteus said “Malan told me you were planning to make your way to Buenos Aries. After we land in Transvaal, I’ll see if we have any commercial freight flights heading to South America. It won’t be very glamorous as you’d be stuck on a bumpy old transport plane, but it’s free… and better yet, discrete.”

The Afrikaanse Lugdiens Boeing 747 had departed Rome around two hours earlier. It was now cruising somewhere over the southern reaches of the Sahara. Despite the large size of the aircraft, there were only four passengers aboard.

Years ago Transvaal used to economise and fly its government officials around on old airforce bombers, but after a few too many snickers of Staatspresident Botha showing up to international conferences packed like a sardine in rusted-out Lugmag B-17 bombers made the government realize that perhaps purchasing a suitable private transport more befitting would improve Transvaal’s image as a modern nation and not some third-world home of discarded second-hand aircraft.

On board were Annetjie van Matteus, her girlfriend Monica (who was sound asleep), Sarah Tintagyl, and Ambassador Petrus Malan – all located in the passenger lounge on the top level hump behind the flight deck. The sudden appearance of Malan on the flight was due to his recall to Pretoria for consultations regarding Rome-Pretoria relations in light of the new Nordreich alliance between them.

Annetjie walked up to where Sarah was sitting. “Come downstairs with me into the cargo hold, I want to show you something.”

The two women descended the spiral stair case onto the main flight deck. On commercial aircraft, this would be the main passenger area but this plane had been converted. All the passenger seats had been removed and converted into essentially a cargo plane. Sarah found it strange that the plane still wore the livery of Afrikaanse Lugdiens even those it was obvious the plane was never used by the airline.

They walked to the midsection, past Malan’s Mercedes and some other crates, where a black tarp was covering something very large and bulky. “Take a look at this Roman statute that Junio Borghese gave us,” said Van Matteus as she lifted up the tarp to show the head of Caesar. “We will probably put this in the entrance lobby of Government House in front of the main Volksraad chambers.”

Sarah could sense that Annetjie had something else on her mind, and that the statue was just a distraction to break the monotony of the long flight to Johannesburg.

“Malan told me back in Rome that you want to meet the Old Man? Is that so? I took the liberty of contacting Pretoria. The Staatspresident is currently relaxing at his private residence in the Cape region, and he is willing to grant you an audience if you so choose.”

- - -

Sarah had been in an uncomfortable state, somewhere between sleep and waking for much of the flight. She just couldn't get comfortable and when she did a sudden shake of the plane or a murmur from another part of the passenger cabin made her eyes flutter open again. Holding a small blue blanket and adjusting her pillow she tried to close her eyes again as they passed over the Sahara. As she sat and stared out the window, her hair hanging over the blanket ever so neatly, the quiet words of Annetjie filled into her ears.

“Come downstairs with me into the cargo hold, I want to show you something.”

The girl murmured for a moment before turning her eyes to the Transvaaler, Sarah nodded her head as she threw the blanket off onto the floor and followed Annetjie down through the passengers cabin and out into the cargo hold. There amongst the treasures that the Transvaalers had brought back with them from Italy was the great statue of Julius Caesar, Sarah couldn't help but chuckle when Annetjie showed her the statue. "I didn't expect you to be much a Roman historian Annetjie, especially with the new Nordic alliance going on. I was always under the impression that they hated the Romans. But Transvaal isn't Europe so that in itself is a plus." Sarah put her hands up in apology almost instantly. "Forgive me, just a bad history with that continent."

Sarah could tell she wasn't doing much for breaking the monotony of the situation as the Prime Minister forced another conversation out.

“Malan told me back in Rome that you want to meet the Old Man? Is that so? I took the liberty of contacting Pretoria. The Staatspresident is currently relaxing at his private residence in the Cape region, and he is willing to grant you an audience if you so choose.”

Sarah smiled and nodded her head. "That would be fine Annetjie, I would love to meet President Botha, it would be a true gift. But." She laid her hand on the Prime Minister. "Annetjie is there something bothering you? Seriously, since the gun fight, which I can understand can shake a person to their core you've seemed so shaky. I hope my presence hasn't done this to you cause you're one of the nicest people I've met in a long time. Whatever your past history was. I know you might not consider me a friend, but even I've given some thought of maybe calling Transvaal my final resting place, maybe retire here and all. I'd hope we could stay friends for a long time after that."

“I didn't expect you to be much a Roman historian Annetjie, especially with the new Nordic alliance going on.”

I’m not. Of course residing in Italy when I was our ambassador, I was bound to pick up some knowledge in passing but my overseas allegiances and interests, if you wish to call them that, have always been directed towards Nordland. After all, my father was born in Deutschland (which Sarah immediately realized explained her unusual not-quite South African accent) although he altered our surname of Von Matthias so it sounded more Boer to fit in better when he immigrated to South Africa before I was born. It also explains my ties to Namibia on account of the population of the Namibisches Deutsche people even though I was born in the Oranje Vrystaat. Trips there allowed me to experience my German heritage when I was a little girl.

"Forgive me, just a bad history with that continent."

“True. And that is probably why Staatspresident Botha has generally pursued a policy of non-involvement outside of Africa. He once said that Europe was a black hole that sucked in the worst and the best leaders into one confined space to collide with each other.”

Van Matteus laughed. “As you’ll find out, Staatspresident Botha likes to use allegorical descriptions to explain things. Like Roman history in Italy, those too are bound to rub off on you if you spent enough time working around him.”

"Annetjie is there something bothering you? Seriously, since the gun fight, which I can understand can shake a person to their core you've seemed so shaky. I hope my presence hasn't done this to you cause you're one of the nicest people I've met in a long time. Whatever your past history was. I know you might not consider me a friend, but even I've given some thought of maybe calling Transvaal my final resting place, maybe retire here and all. I'd hope we could stay friends for a long time after that."

Van Matteus was caught off guard by Sarah’s concern, as she never liked to show any sort of emotional weakness around people – certainly strangers like Sarah whom she only just met. She then blushed. “If you were around me enough, like the Old Man and his allegory, you would realize I am actually capable of great pain and evil. Sarah, I am not a good person. I have done things that bedevil me how I got away with my life. Most other people in my position, having gone through what I have, having done what I have, would now be six feet under with a noose around their neck.”

She seemed to be trying to distance herself from Sarah and her words gave the conversation a decidedly chilly edge. For a brief second the notorious butchering Ice Queen had returned. Van Matteus then changed the topic suddenly - but Sarah could feel an unsettling, sinister discomfort like one gets when around murderers and the insane.

“Anyways I am troubled by having to leave my daughter behind in Tahoe. Her… father… if you want to call him that, I found out recently that he is probably alive… which is not good for neither her nor I. He is only capable of creating suffering. I want to make sure she never has to go through what I did with him, so I moved her out of Transvaal.”

There was an uneasy silence.

“Well, we should probably get back upstairs. I need to get some sleep before we land. We will both be taking the train from Johannesburg down through to the Great Karoo and into the Eastern Cape. That is where the Old Man has his private retreat and farm tucked away in a quiet valley in the midst of the wine region.” said Van Matteus as she walked past Sarah to go back up to the passenger deck on the aircraft, but as she passed her Sarah stuck out her arm and grabbed her shoulder tightly. "We have all committed atrocities Annetjie, if I didn't think you were a worthy soul to be saved I would have had that monster on the streets of Rome pull his trigger. Instead, I am giving you the chance to make your live anew and reconcile those sins of the past. Annetjie we have all changed during our life and though perhaps I have not killed in the same fashion as you have or in the same state of mind as you have, I can assure you that we are both tainted forever with our pasts. Just know that you have a friend and one that will protect you until the end." Sarah shook her one last time to make sure the words stuck before letting the Prime Minister pass back up to the flight deck followed by the blonde adventurer.

Sarah settled back in her seat, an uneasy quietness falling over the plane. She pulled her blanket up to her neck and closed her eyes, but she was never able to fall back asleep. Annetjie Van Matteus had a story that Sarah could never hope to aspire to and it was one that she was thankful she had never been able to reach as well. The Prime Minister was more a political demon and racist than Sarah had ever hoped to encounter and what scared her deep down was maybe that the black man had been right in aiming the gun at her. Had Sarah just saved a demon from hell to let loose another reign of terror in South Africa? She tried to dispel the thoughts from her head, everyone deserved second chances, but who was she to play God and give those chances to people, though there was no doubt in her mind that she had altered history in someway from that moment.

The plane landed a few hours later and Sarah still had not been able to sleep and instead stretched her body and exited the plane along side her Transvaaler escorts awaiting her meeting with President Botha.

After a few hours, Sarah Tintagyl awoke suddenly to the sensation of the plane beginning its descent. She looked out the window expecting to see the urban sprawl and tin-roofed townships of Johannesburg below but instead saw blinding sand. They were over a desert. Annetjie van Matteus was sitting nearby and noticed that Sarah had woken up.

“We’re coming into Windhoek in Namibia. I need to touch down for a few hours as this is were I reside when not working in Pretoria. However we shall be putting you on a train that will take you southwards to the Cape – where Staatspresident Botha is currently on vacation.”

They received the signal from the pilot to buckle up.


The plane was down and screeched to a stop. Sarah looked out the window and saw the terminal. Windhoek airport was fairly small even by domestic standards. A sign beckoned in Afrikaans “Welkom in Windhoek” and in German “Willkommen in Windhuk”.

When she asked Van Matteus about the German sign and whether it was due to the new alignment with Nordland, Van Matteus replied “Oh no! German is still spoken here by the remnants of the Nordland settlers who came here over a hundred years ago. Notice how faded the paint on the sign is”. She laughed.

After disembarking from the plane, they walked over to some waiting vehicles. One of them had a Transvaler flag on it.

Van Matteus walked up to Sarah. “Well my friend, this is where our roads now part. I wish you the best of luck on your journeys. This car here…” pointing to a smaller, black BMW “…will take you to the train station. The chauffer will show you to the correct train. When you get to Cape Town, there will be a government official on hand to meet you. I hope you enjoy your visit with the Staatspresident.” The Transvaler prime minister then broke with the usual reserved manners of Afrikaner manners and gave Sarah a hug.

Very soon after landing at Windhoek, Sarah began to realize that despite being Africa’s oldest major regional power Transvaal had a very backwards feel to it once inside its borders. The whole country seemed like it was stuck in the late 1960s to mid-1970s in regards to modern conveniences – or lack thereof. Radio was more prevalent than television, almost all telephones still required dialing, digitalization was almost non-existent. Internet - what was that?

The only instance of 21st century technology she saw was the couple of sleek Lugmag Raptor fighters parked on the tarmac. She half-expected to see biplanes taking off instead.

The next leg of her journey to Cape Town only reinforced this quaint eschewment of modernity: Transvaal’s famed network of steam trains – the so-called Red Devils – which crisscrossed the Republic and one of which she now boarded.

In this regards, Transvaal was the undisputed leader of steam locomotive manufacturing and had perfected environmentally-friendly steam trains which were actually more efficient than most diesel-electrics found in Africa. Sarah found it amusing that while most modern nations had long since moved to diesel or electric engines, Transvaal still saw fit to continue to perfect the ultimate in steam locomotives.

At her arrival the Windhoek Station, the chauffer handed Sarah her tickets and escorted her to the boarding platform. The conductor, a black African, approached her and demanded to see her boarding pass. After a quick glance, his demeanor changed suddenly, and for the better – as he ushered her into one of the pristine first-class carriages.

In impeccable English, he said “Here you go, madam. Please enjoy your journey with us. If there is anything you require, please push this buzzer and someone will come to attend to you.”

From quickly looking around the station and the train, Sarah quickly noted that Transvaal’s railroad were managed and staffed almost entirely by black Africans – an exclusive employment concession which the government had seen fit to grant as a means to create a viable black middle class. Whites controlled and generally used the airlines, while blacks controlled and used the railroads – although there were quite a number of white Transvalers also boarding the train.

She settled into her cabin, a rather roomy compartment complete with a separate bedroom and sitting area and its own private washroom and shower.

Around half an hour later, the distinctive <whoot! whhoooot!> sounded and the train lurched forward, making its way out of Windhoek Station and slowly exiting the south side of the city.

The train picked up speed as it headed into open country, vast… wide… desolate country. This was the Namib Desert – one of the most inhospitable locations on Planet Bob. In the days of sail, this was known as the infamous Skeleton Coast – so named for all the rusted out shipwrecks and unfortunate survivors to find themselves washed ashore. If the desert didn’t kill them first, then the natives would have.

The sun was now going down, so Sarah cleaned up ("a shower! finally!") and changed before making her way to the first-class dining carriage.

Just shortly after being seated, served a glass of water and handed the dinner menu, the train made a lurch suddenly as it appeared to be applying its breaks to come to a stop. Sarah's quick reflexes grabbed the glass of water before it spilt over her.

Suddenly all the lights went out. People screamed – but soon the announcer spoke over the train’s public intercom system in an attempt to calm them.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic! We have received news that Transvaal is at war. We are undergoing blackout procedures.” Right away, the conductor and his assistants began pulling down all the windowblinds. As he went past Sarah, sensing that she was a foreigner, he said “Miss, whatever you do, please do not open the blinds or look out the windows unless all the lights are off… we do not want any enemy aircraft to spot us,” before rushing off to catch up with the rest of his staff.

Then the awful news broke. Sarah could hear someone somewhere in hushed tones saying… ‘that Staatspresident Botha had been shot', or 'killed', or 'kidnapped,’ or other amazing and preposterous rumours.

Sarah leaned forward and placed the water glass back on the table before leaning back on her seat. She wore a dinner dress made of black silk, with her wet hair from the shower still hanging straight over her face. As the passengers sat in the dark, Sarah closed her eyes and sighed. She felt alone again, lost in a hostile environment in a hostile country, though much better than Fascist Italy she had to admit. The entire dinner car was in a hushed fear, Sarah reached down to her leg and felt her inner thigh, the small pistol was still there strapped to her leg, but pulling it out here would be a horrible idea. "Transvaal at war?" Sarah said to herself. "Of all the times for this to happen, right when I'm given the chance to meet the Old Man himself." She almost chuckled in calling him by that name, Annetjie had apparently rubbed off on her.

Leaving her seat she walked up to one of the train conductors and took him sharply by the shoulders. Placing her fingers between the nerves in his neck, to get his attention quick and painful. Once he had turned around, the former Lady Protector looked at him in the face, her sapphire eyes, shinning even in the darkness of the train. "Sir, my name is Sarah Tintagyl, I am a commando in the Imperial Union's Special Forces and am on my way to see the Staatspresident. Is there anything I can do to help the situation right now?"

“Umm, wait here ma’am… I think there are some Krygsmagte officers her who could help you.”

Sarah released him and he scrambled off towards the very front carriage.

Sarah watched as the conductor ran off to the front of the carriage, while she stood alone in the center of the carriage feeling quite odd as all the eyes looked up at the woman in the black silk. She waited until the conductor brought back with him an entourage of military officers as well as agents from the Ministry of the Interior. The girl smiled seeing this, apparently her travel through the country was more important to the government that she would have believed previously.

A few minutes later, three officers in the sand brown tunics of the Krygsmagte appeared. With them were two men in dark suits and homburgs.

One of the suits spoke: “Greetings Ms. Tintagyl, I am with the Interior Ministry. We were placed on this train as escorts to ensure you reach your destination (the way he stressed destination implied he was not referring to Cape Town – the train’s end of the line) without incident but ordered by the Prime Minister herself not to interfere.”

“However under the circumstances, I suggest that you come with us. A few hours ago, some deranged fourth-rate power decided to launch a military strike on Staatspresident Botha’s private residence. The audacity of it! We have no understanding of their misguided motives – but trust me, they will pay dearly for their foolish actions. The Staatspresident was shaken but not harmed during the attack.”

She let out a sigh of relief at the words. "Good, thank God, I was sincerely worried that he might have been killed. With all these rumors going around already. But I'm glad that Annetjie van Matteus is still looking out for me." Sarah said with a smile. "As I said gentlemen if there is anything I can do, anything at all, just tell me. Otherwise, I'll be happy to follow you where take me. I trust it's going to be a long night and honestly, I love long nights."

The Return to Nordreich[]


"We are all Nordreich" poster plastered up around Transvaal

SEPTEMBER 16, 2009

Somewhere in Bloemfontein...

The revered stirred from his nap. The sun shone into his front room and the warmth basked him. Reverend Erasmus Du Toit leaned forward in his wheelchair and looked out the window. He wheeled himself over. The light outside beckoned him. It was calling. It spoke.

“Erasmus? Is everything all right?” asked his wife, calling from the kitchen. “What’s wrong dear?”

She made her way into the front room. Erasmus was right up face against the window, looking skywards. He seemed to be listening to something although Mrs. Du Toit heard nothing.

The light then disappeared, the sun moving behind some clouds. The room darkened again.

Reverend Du Toit turned around and looked at his wife. Then he spoke.

“The Lord told me one-thousand and six-hundred-sixty-six. That was the sign. In four days something will happen. The number 666 curses Transvaal... the 1,000 days of Tribulation will soon end.”

“Cursed, whatever do you mean?” querried his puzzled wife.

Erasmus Du Toit wheeled himself over to an almanac filed away on his bookshelf. He grabbed it and began to hurriedly flick through its pages. “There and there!” he pointed at the book.

Mrs. Du Toit picked up the book which the reverend handed to her. December 26, 2006 and November 25, 2007 were the dates which Erasmus had indicated. She read the captions below the dates:

December 26, 2006 – Staatspresident Botha declared unilateral independence from South Africa as Transvaal Afrikaners Republiek; nation accepted into the Nordreich Alliance.

November 25 - Transvaal accepted as a member of the Independent Republic of Orange Nations (IRON).

“What does this mean?” Mrs. Dut Toit was now utterly confused and suspected her husband was crippled with another bout of delirium which had stricken him after the assassination attempt on him last January which had kept him confined to a wheelchair.

“The Lord says that in four days the rule of Satan will end after the 1000 days of biblical tribulation since our nation’s birth. And on that same day Transvaal will have been a member of IRON for 666 days. 1000 days and 666 days will occur on September 21.”

The Reverend then lapsed back into his semi-state of dementia.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009

The sun had been down for hours, but outside on the front stoep, in the cool evening air, the Reverend waited and waited patiently for the apocalypse to descend down from above.

After a couple of hours, Erasmus Du Toit started to become dismayed. ‘Perhaps I misunderstood what the Good Lord told me?’ he thought to himself. He was sure that he had been given the prophecy of the end times. Today was the 666th day of the Orange Republic. The Lord had instructed him that it would all end. So now where was all the fire and brimstone raining down from Heaven?

He shrugged – and decided to call it a night. He began wheeling himself back inside when his wife came running out the door.

“Erasmus! Come quick!” As he made his way through the door, he could hear the radio blaring away; it was the familiar voice of Radio-Transvaal, Lukas Reitz:

“As we have just found out, Staatspresident Botha informed the Republican Government an hour ago that the Republic of Transvaal had henceforth broken with the Independent Republic of Orange Nations and would be making a return to its Nordic heritage by re-aligning with the Nordreich. The Era of the Oranje Republiek was now over!”

Erasmus Du Toit then slumped over, falling forward out of his wheelchair down to the ground. The shock had been too much for his weakened heart.


Rev jan van rehoboth

Reverend Jan van Rehoboth

The Reverend Erasmus Du Toit of the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk of Transvaal passed away early this morning from an apparent heart attack whilst on his farm.

Since the attempted assasination in January 2009 on the once notoriously outspoken leader of Transvaal's far right, Reverend Du Toit had retired to his farm in the Vrystaat to rehabilitate after awakening from a coma.

Confined to a wheelchair, the once supporter of draconian apartheid policies later recanted and spoke of reconciliation between Transvaal's whites and blacks. Although he retained his leadership as Supreme Pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church as well as his diocese appointment as Bishop of Pretoria, Du Toit was very rarely seen in public after his life-threatening injuries.

In an emergency synod held this afternoon, the Reverend Jan van Rehoboth was elected as the new Bishop of Pretoria and thus supreme pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church.

A private funeral has been requested by Mrs. Du Toit which will be held later this week in the reverend's home town of Bloemfontein.

OCTOBER 10, 2009


CATHOLIC CHURCH REBUILT IN JOHANNESBURG: Bishop Markus van Bruggen of Johannesburg consecrated the new Roman Catholic cathedral in Johannesburg yesterday after the original structure was torched during sectarian violence last December. Prime Minster Annetjie van Matteus was on hand during the mass of consecration and thanksgiving.

ARMED FORCES COMPLETELY REBUILT: After months of minitary recosntrcution, the Transvaler Seemag finally reached full strength with the relaucnhing of the last ships originally scuttled during the period of surrender restrictions.

A NUCLEAR TRANSVAAL IS A PEACEFUL TRANSVAAL: Field Marshal Petrus Malan, Commander of the Transvaler Raketkorps, announced this morning that two days ago Transvaal detonated its first test nuclear device built since the Karma War at the Bouvet Island Proving Grounds. The Raketkorps has resumed its primary duty to maintain a defensive stockpile of 6 Seekoeitjie [Little Hippo] atom bombs.

BOERS IN SPACE: Transvaal joined the space race today when it launched three satellites into orbit above the earth. The Raketkorps, under the command of Field Marshal Petrus Malan, also constructed one additional missile defense complex. Malan stated that “it is Transvaal’s desire to construct an anti-missile defense system in space above Southern Africa.”

OCTOBER 12, 2009


By the authority vested in me as Staatspresident of the Republic of Transvaal, I hereby proclaim the establishment of the autonomous province of Nieu-Hansa over the Cocos Keeling Islands.

For the posting of Provincial Governor, I hereby appoint Sarah Tintagyl.

As provincial governor and member of the Executive Cabinet of the Republic, Governor Tintagyl is hereby protected as a full citizen of the Republic of Transvaal and subject to all the benefits which citizenship entails. [signed] Botha Staatspresident of the Republic - October 12, 2009

OCTOBER 15, 2009


Maputo Shipyards located in Mozambique Province opened today with the launching of four new warships: SAS-28 Nemhauser (Clemenceau class aircraft carrier); SAS-29 Petrus Malan (Type 209/1400 submarine); SAS-30 Tahoe (Valour class frigate); SAS-31 Junio Borghese (landing ship)

All four ships will commence their Seemag service with operational manouevres in the Indian Ocean.

Meeting between Botha and Sarah Tintagyl[]

OCTOBER 5-14, 2009

“Good lord! You want me to go in that?” exclaimed a surprised Sarah Tintagyl.

The group of Transvaler officers and her had been let off the train, which then steamed off on its way into the silent, cool darkness of the Namibian desert. The six of them stood alone under the moonlit evening sky. One of the soldiers lit a small campfire and made some boiled coffee while they waited until daybreak.

As the sun began to rise over Africa, the sound of a helicopter in the distance could be heard coming closer to them.

The sight of the contraption was not very uplifting – as an antiquated Nordic-built dual-roter helicopter deceneded in front of them. While Sarah seriously weighed the survival odds of lasting out in the blazing desert sun and risking her life in this bucket of bolts, one of the Krygsmagte officers encouraged her, “It’s the only thing we have that can land in the sandy soil, what would you expect? Afrikaanse Lugdiens non-stop to Jo’burg? Besides, Staatspresident Botha is fond of this bird and uses it often to get around on his private business. It’s perfectly safe – hasn’t crashed yet!”

Sarah cautiously climed on board and strapped herself in as the craft become airborne and turned to the south.

“It’s a five hour flight to George Plass, the Staatspresident’s farm around 600 kilometres away.”

She thought to herself ‘this wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I said I love long nights…”

"Six-Hundred Kilometers! In this?" Sarah said as she buckled herself to the chair and leaned back against the seat. "Five hours, good lord." The problem was that she hated flying in planes to begin with, she had always hated flying in planes, planes and elevators anything that made her feel enclosed and no amount of training was going to get her out of a crash if this thing went down. Sarah had survived one plane crash already and that adventure, just thinking about it made her get goosebumps. 'Rather nothing think of something from a previous age.' She thought to herself as the blades of the plane began to whirl around, a sickening sound coming out of them. The heavy smell of gas and fumes in the air lit up across the abandoned desert as the craft ascended to the sky, Sarah's fingers gripping her chair tightly, her eyes darting this way and that as they broke off the ground.

"So this thing has never crashed?" She called out to the pilot. It also didn't help that she was alone on the passenger deck, plus Transvaal was at war. What if they were brought down by an RPG? So many things could go wrong right now and she could feel the beads of sweat already forming on her face and traveling down her neck and body. Couldn't they have at least let her change her dress?

"Nope, we've been pretty good so far Ms. Tintagyl." Returned the pilot from the cabin ahead. "You should probably get some sleep, its going to be a long flight." A sudden bump sent the copter shaking through the air for a minute as Sarah's eyes widened.

"You want me to sleep on this thing? You must be out of your mind?" Sarah broke her grip on the old seat and closed her eyes. "Sarah, c'mon, you've been shot at, almost killed a dozen times, its just a plan-" Another bump sent them reeling towards the ground before the pilot was able to bring the copter back up to flying straight. "Christ! Can't you fly this thing right!" She screamed at the cabin, but never got a response. It was going to be a long night indeed.

A few hours later as the helicopter began to head southeast, Sarah looked out and noticed that the desert was giving way to grasslands. Ahead in the distance, was a chain of snow-capped mountains. The terrain was now a combination of flatlands with scrubs amongst scattered hills and small flat-top mountains. But it was the large snow-capped ones far off which drew Sarah’s attention.

“Beyond those is George Plass – the Staatspresidents’s farm” said one of the crewmen when they noticed Sarah appear near the flight cabin.

The helicopter began to climb. It was now getting rather cold, a combination of the altitude as well as Sarah not being dressed for the flight. Someone from the cabin threw a heavy aviator coat towards her. She put it on.

The peak was now directly below them. Sarah reckoned that if the decrepit helicopter went down here, she’d freeze to death in a few minutes. ‘Strange’ she thought, ‘I never figured Africa could actually be cold enough to have snow anywhere.’

Thankfully the helicopter began its decent. The air in the cabin began to warm up somewhat. Down below she could see a picturesque white building sounded by lush greenery.

“George Plass” said the pilot.

Five hours later, the copter finally touched down outside of Botha's private residence and instantly after the wheels touched down, if anyone was around, they would see a woman in a black dress fall out of the passenger cabin onto the ground, on all fours as she began to cough violently and finally let loose a stream of vomit onto the sandy ground. "Definitely not what I had in mind for a long night." Sarah said moving her long hair out of the way of her vomit as she looked up into the bright sky, her body still perspiring. But she had arrived and in one piece too, finally being able to see Botha face to face.

There was some radio chatter in Afrikaans with the ground – although Sarah did hear her name spoken.

Finally the helicopter touched down a few hundred metres from the farm house. There were men in suits at the landing site waiting. After the rotor blades stopped, the crew unbuckled themselves from their seats and extracted themselves from the cramped cabin.

“See? That wasn’t so bad” the pilot said to Sarah.

The main entrance door was now open. Sunlight beckoned them and a gentle warm breeze basked over Sarah as she stepped down on to the ground. ‘I forgot it was now almost summer down here’ she thought.

A large African man, bald and wearing dark sunglasses along with an earpiece walked up to Sarah. He took a look at the woman, and seeing the state of her dress, she said ‘Come with me, you can freshen up and rest before you meet His Excellency. Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus said you could borrow some of her clothes that she keeps stored in one of the guest rooms.’

Apart from the ground crew working with the helicopter and birds chirping in the fruit trees, it was otherwise silent. It was obvious that the farm was the scene of a lot of activity, judging from the vehicles parked near what looked like an aerodrome shed (probably for the helicopter) and the scale of the farming, but it was strangely devoid of the human activity one would expect associated with running an operation such of this size.

“Here you go ma’am”, said the man escorting her. “This will be your guest room while you stay with us. I will give you a couple of hours and then call on you to take you to His Excellency.”

The ‘room’ was actually a small cottage, around 500 feet from Botha’s main house which sat alone away from the rest of the complex. There were half a dozen of these cottages –all linked by a narrow paved pathway. Inside the cottage was some clean clothes lain out on the bed and an assorted hamper of snacks and refreshments on the main table. A silver teapot of steaming hot rooibos tea waited to be drunk. Next to the rooibos was a bouquet of flowers, with a note attached in cursive handwriting. “Welkom in TransvaalBotha”.

- - -

“See? That wasn’t so bad”

She turned and glared at the pilot while she wiped her mouth from the spit and vomit still hanging from her lips. "No, that was just exactly what I look forward too every night. Flying through the desert and snow covered mountains in a bucket of bolts." Sarah sighed and pulled the jacket she had been given tight around her and looked back at the pilot who seemed genuinely hurt by her comment. "I'm sorry, its just that I don't like to fly all that much and when I do, that's the last thing I want to be flying in. Trust me, I'm a Colonel in the Imperial Union's Special Forces and when I was Lady Protector I had to fly everywhere, its something that I've never gotten used to."

But as the sun shone over the hills and hit her soft white skin, it warmed her to the touch and she smiled taking off the coat. Though looking down, her evening dress was pretty much ruined. As Sarah sat in the morning light, a large African man walked down the path towards her with a smile on his face. ‘Come with me, you can freshen up and rest before you meet His Excellency. Prime Minister van Matteus said you could borrow some of her clothes that she keeps stored in one of the guest rooms.’

"Thank you very much." Said Sarah as she took his hand and led her across the farmstead.

The Botha plantation in the early morning had the feel of something Sarah had not felt in a long, long time. Her grandparents when she was very young, if she could remember correctly only about five or six years old, had a great plantation in Southern Poland, it was in Nordland at the time, but the Tintagyl family was influential enough to own the land without the state bothering them, even if they were foreigners. The sun always seemed to shine brightly in a clear blue sky, as the morning dew dripped silently off the trees onto the ground below. Birds sung a melody in the distance and the young Sarah Tintagyl with pink ribbons in her hair would smile as she looked over the rolling Polish fields heading off into the Tatra Mountains. It reminded her a lot of the past and she couldn't help but sigh, it was nice to at least see a replica of something she longed for, for so long. It was this kind of setting she wished she could have for the rest of her days.

Finally the man lead her to a small cottage a small distance away from the main residence. He told her he would be back in a few hours, which would give the girl ample time to freshen up, shower, and change into something much more pleasant. Inside the cottage, which was as quaint as it was cozy, with a soft bed and warm decorations around the room. A clean pressed outfit lay across the bed, while a tray of food and tea was sitting waiting to be taken in at the foot of the bed. With the food was a beautiful bouquet of flowers with Botha's note written next to it. Sarah smiled as she smelled the flowers. "A true gentlemen no doubt."

Needing a shower desperately, she undressed herself and walked into the bathroom taking a long shower under steaming hot water that seemed to rid herself of all the grim that had built up since that night in Italy. "God!" She said as she shampooed her hair. "Has it really been that long? God Sarah, no wonder you've been in such a lousy mood lately." Finally after an hour long bathing cycle, the former Lady Protector stepped out and putting on a fluffy cotton robe went back out to the main room of the cottage, poured herself a cup of tea and rested her head against the pillows. It was like sinking into heaven and Sarah was asleep before she knew it.

The girl awoke a couple of hours later before the manservant had arrived to take her to see His Excellency. Quickly, she dressed, and luckily, Annetjie and herself, shared about the same body structure, though Van Matteus was just a bit taller, but Sarah was a bit more muscular, so perhaps they canceled each other out. Finally dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a white blouse, she waited for the servant to take her to the audience, with a man who for so long she had admired, a man that so few in the world had seen, and her opportunity was nearing.

- - -

As the two figures walked along the path towards the main farmhouse, the large African security man briefed Sarah Tintagyl over some protocol.

“Afrikaner society is very stratified, so out of deference to him, refer to him as Meneer Staatspresident or Your Excellency. He will probably refer to you as mejuffrou but when he stops using that term – which means ‘miss’ in Afrikaans – then you can just call him Staatspresident unless he says otherwise. If you use his name, always put some sort of title in front of it or even just Meneer (mister). Basically, as he permits formalities to lessen between you, you may reflect that as well.”

“Also…” and the security man let go of Sarah’s hand at that point, “do not touch him, unless he does so first. He is a very private man and does not like to make physical contact.”

Unbeknownst to Sarah, the security guard also did not want to be seen holding the hand of a white woman. Despite the fall of apartheid twenty years ago, intimate contact between the races was still uncomfortable and often looked down upon. The formal walls of segregation may have come down, but many invisible barriers still remained.

By now they were walking around the back of the house. A light breeze picked up as they approached the patio. A swimming pool, rather small in size, was located around back and they walked along a cobblestone path to get around it. In front of them was a wrought iron garden table with two chairs. On one of the chairs sat a recognizable grey-haired figure in a navy suit and wearing glasses – reading what appeared to be a newspaper. On the table was a teapot.

The amount of protocol and instructions for meeting Mr. Botha were enough to make Sarah's head spin as she walked along with the African servant towards the farm house. There was of course the necessity to call the man by a title, which she had always done with world leaders so this one wasn't new, even if she had become less formal since the dissolution of the state, however not touching him was something utterly strange to Sarah, who had always make it a point to extend her touch to anyone she was speaking to and for Botha, not even a handshake was sure to drive her up the all. Nevertheless, Sarah agreed, meeting Botha was much more important to her than not adhering to the customs of the people around her and for a woman that brought herself up on the ideas of multi-culturalism, not giving Botha the respect he deserved was out of the question.

As they approached the back of the farmhouse, the servant told her to wait as he walked forward to alert the Staatspresident of Tintagyl's arrival. In a moment, she saw him mention her forward and with a deep breath and a great stride Sarah walked across the cobblestone path towards the patio. Walking forward, the man stood up and for the first time Sarah was able to get a good look at the venerable leader, he was tall, very tall, and for Sarah who was a small girl of 5' 4", the man towered over her, but that didn't stop her from sending a beaming smile back to him.

“Wait here…” the security guard instructed Sarah when they reached around fifty feet away. He walked up to the Staatspresident, leaned and whispered something in his ear. The guard then motioned for Sarah to approach.

As she made her way towards the table, Botha stood up to greet her. She noticed his left hand was bandaged up. What then struck her was the size of the man, he stood around 6’4” tall and while not heavy in weight, he nevertheless seemed to tower over everyone by his height and sheer presence of personality. She had seen numerous photographs of Botha but they never really gave much indication of his physique.

Botha held out his hand. “Goeiedag mejuffrou Tintagyl, good afternoon!” he spoke, mispronouncing her name ‘tuhn-teh-hhrale’ as it would be said as spelt in Afrikaans. “Welcome to George Farm, this is my home when I am not in the capital. I do not get many visitors here, so this is an exceptional day...”

Botha motioned for her to sit down. He then poured out a cup of rooibos tea for her, serving it with milk and a slice of lemon. He then poured out a cup for himself and sat down.

Sarah chuckled at the pronunciation of her name. "If I may Your Excellency, 'Tin-ta-gael', otherwise I'll be chuckling our whole luncheon. But I understand perfectly with the difficulty of the name. You aren't the first and I promise you won't be the last, it's always been a pleasure going around the world and to press conferences where you can here fifty different variations of your name, though I much like the Afrikaaner sounding of it, I may have to adopt it." She watched him pour her a cup of tea and then sat down after pouring his own cup.

“Tintagyl…” Botha said, pronouncing Sarah’s name correctly. He laughed, “before we met today, the only news I had about you was through our media services. Naturally they have mangled your name, so you must accept my apologies for mangling it now. I have the same problem with my own name – even here in Transvaal you hear variations due to dialectal pronunciations.”

“I trust you had a safe journey under the circumstances?”

Sarah smiled again and chuckled. "I guess you could say it like that. Honestly since Italy everything has been extremely smooth for me, but if you go back further, since the Fall of the Hansa, my life has been one big adventure after another, its nice to just relax again for once. But at the moment, things have been very enjoyable. Though." She smiled. " Your helicopter." Sarah put her hand up and shook her head. "I don't know how you can fly in that thing comfortably, maybe its just my fear of flying, but good God was I scared, though its something I'll never forget I can assure you." She sighed. "Though I have to thank you, you and Annetjie both for allowing me this opportunity. I've wanted to come to Transvaal for a long time, a very long time and the country is more spectacular than I would have ever imagined."

“That old bird is the best in Nordic technology built to last. I acquired it during a visit to Deutschland a long, long time ago when Transvaal was just standing on its own feet – so you must excuse me for being sentimental towards it. It has never failed me yet, and as we Afrikaners have learnt over the years, we cannot turn our backs on those who have proven their reliability, loyalty, and dependability.”

“This pleases me to hear these most kind words.” Botha then laughed again, “Ah yes, our dear prime minister, she is certainly something else. I am glad to see her working so hard. She had a legacy of political baggage which I thought might have brought her down, but she seems to have been remarkable beyond anyone’s expectations – myself included. I just hope for her sake she can maintain herself and not fall back into her own selfish ways.”

“So, the famous Sarah Tintagyl… here in Transvaal. I have to admit that we keep our heads buried in the sands of Southern Africa, but from what I gather you have had quite an interesting life. Imagine that, here we are… having a quiet cup of tea, while in other times the world would be trembling from our words and actions, what do you make of that?”

Sarah could sense that Botha was trying to put them on a level footing, lest the young woman be unnecessarally intimidated by the Old Man.

Sarah smiled and bowed her head to the ground. "You do me too much honor Your Excellency, I have been trying to shrink back away from fame, though it is a bit hard considering what has been going on in the former territories of the Hansa." She sighed. "I'm known more as a witch today than as a leader, but such is the life of one that travels with the wind. Things will get better for those people, I have a great suspicion that the wheels somewhere in the world are already turning to make that land great once again." The girl looked back up at Botha and nodded her head. "But as to an interesting life, yes, I think God like to mess around with me. But to be perfectly honest Your Excellency, everything that transpired in the past ten years or so. I never wanted for any of this to happen."

"Honestly, I wanted to be a school teacher, but well my father had other plans for my life and after ten years of surviving a nuclear blast, two biological bombings, three wars, and building an Empire that I do hope that the world will not soon forget I find myself here after becoming a commando in the service of Empress Nadine Peacecraft." Sarah sighed. "I think that for just being someone in their early thirties, I've lived quite the life. But as to the world trembling, I would rather it tremble by someone else's words. If I have learned one thing on this journey Your Excellency that the majority of this world is extremely stupid. They want to be ruled by overlords and imperialists, and I guess I can't call names because I myself was an imperialist." She sighed again. "I guess that's why I left, the world has confused me to the point that I'm nothing more than a lost child. Perhaps its immature running away from responsibility and power. But such is the way of the world. I have gone West have have no intention of returning to the East. My life as a leader is hopefully over."

After listening to her incredible and interesting story, Botha remarked “Well, we often cannot choose the course which Fate dictates for us.”

“Three years ago, or thereabouts, when I stood up to Nelson Mandela and proclaimed my people’s independence from his corrupt, rogue regime, little did I even know that one day I would be responsible for the lives of everyone residing in Southern Africa. Very few people – except perhaps for Emperor Mudd of Tahoe – gave Transvaal much chance of survival considering we lived in the military and political shadow of two other rival powers in South Africa – namely, ANC ruled South Africa under Nelson Mandela and the Boer Staat under High Chancellor Hendrik von Kruger. Yet here we are today, drinking our tea on this most pleasant day within earshot of the birds here singing in the trees – yet Boer Staat and ANC South Africa have been long dead and buried. Strange how fate works sometimes - isn't it?”

Botha then changed directions… “But enough about the past…”

He poured out more tea for Sarah Tintagyl and then asked. “So, do you ever see yourself reclaiming your former glory in Australia?”

Sarah smiled at his question.

"Not by my hand no, but there are forces that are at work in this world and I do not believe that that saga of the Hanseatic Commonwealth is over just yet. You see Your Excellency, I have been around the world for a long time, and of all the nations, Nordland, Transvaal, Promised Land, these nations are a constant, along with the Hansa. They say that it is because the leaders are constant, you, Martens, Subtleknifewielder, but..." Sarah placed her hand on the table and undid a small ring from her hand, on the ring was a beautiful silver feather outlined in gold. "This is the ring of the Lady Protector, along with this, there was also a locket of the same image. The ring is to represent the past and what the country was, order, stability, peace. The locket is to represent the future, influence, power, glory." She opened the top of her shirt to show that her neck was bare. "Someone has this locket and I have been paying close attention to her and her travels have lead her into the pits of Hell themselves. I do not know if she is alive or dead at this point, but until that locket is once again in my hands, then no, the Hansa will not rise again by my hands."

"However Your Excellency, I can assure you this, it will return and it will be a voice of peace yet again for the world and perhaps I will watch as the great leaders and myths of the past to see my people grow and prosper again. From, oh so far away. In fact, it was one of the questions that I thought of proposing for you myself. You have a beautiful country here Your Excellency, one that I believe I could rest my head in. Would the Staatspresident of Transvaal be in the least bit upset if the former Lady Protector and her family were to settle in his country permanently so that I might be able to focus on my memoirs and my future as, perhaps someone a bit more reserved from the struggles of world politics?"

“By all means you are welcome to take up residence here in Transvaal…”

Botha then looked intensely at Sarah Tintagyl. The conspiratorial expression in his eyes now made her realize where he got his nickname of Big Crocodile. He then smiled…

“…but what if I told you there was a way you could regain a silver of Australian territory and remain under my protection?”

Sarah looked at him curiously. "Well I would be interested, you I must tell you that I am quite a woman of my own free-will so I would hope there wouldn't be many strings to this deal. But yes, go on, I am listening to you. Quite curious indeed."

Botha then sat back in his chair.

"The Cocos Keeling Islands in the Eastern Indian Ocean. Australian territory before the Great Scramble for claims which resulted in them ending up under Franzharian rule. We acquired them in September 2008 when the Franzharian Empire collapsed and subsequently transfered them to Transvaal."

"Apart from a radio station and transmiter located on one of the islands which we use to monitor ship traffic in that part of the Indian Ocean - and radio to our allies such as Tahoe and Arctica - we have basically left them alone. I realise that they are fairly remote from civilisation, but you are welcome to set yourself up there. We could make you an automonous province of Transvaal so you would be under our military protection - but free to do otherwise what you want, such as re-direct the radio broadcasting transmiter towards Australia and broadcast propaganda and such..."

"Each week the military flies mail runs out to our remaining Indian Ocean islands, so you would have a means to get supplies as well as get to and from the Republic mainland should the need arise."

Sarah's eyes fluttered open in absolute shock. "Your Excellency, I...I...I would be honored. This, this is one of the nicest thing someone has ever done for me." She couldn't help herself as she jumped forward across the table and embraced him like a little girl would do to her grandfather. "I am eternally in your debt, honestly, I have a place to retire and can still watch the world, it would be perfect." The former Lady Protector looked up into the man's eyes as her's twinkled in the sunlight. "There must be some way that I can repay you for such a gift, there must be something that I could do for you. To be able to see my homeland from the distance again, it would be a true blessing." She hugged him tighter and buried her head into his heart. "Thank you Your Excellency, thank you so much."

Botha looked rather uncomfortable as Sarah hugged him, but he could tell that she was ecstatic with his offer so he let her do so. He discretely waved off two guards which has been watching from afar but suddenly moved towards the meeting area when they saw Sarah make contact with the Staatspresident.

“Okay, okay… enough…” he laughed. After Sarah backed off, he continued:

“I realize the islands aren’t much but some atolls with palm trees and such, but in theory you would back in Australia technically so to speak. All I ask is if you ever find that you no longer require their usage, then please kindly relinquish them back to my government. Also, please do not hinder the military use of the radio station.”

Botha then motioned for one of his security to bring some paper and a pen. He began to scribble up a hasty proclamation. He then handed the sheet of paper back to the guard, and instructed “Please forward this to Pretoria and make sure it is made public through the prime minister’s office and foreign minister.”

Botha then sat back in his chair.

“Well, Miss Tintagyl, I have just proclaimed the establishment of the Autonomous Province of Nieu-Hansa as part of the Republic of Transvaal and appointed you the provincial governor.”

Sarah let go of the Staatspresident nervously. "I'm sorry, they told me that I shouldn't touch you and for that I apologize. I just get carried away sometimes." She said pushing the hair out of her eyes. "But as to what you told me to do, I promise, though I plan then to retire on the atolls so I doubt that until I die there would be any need for the reinstatement. They of course will follow Transvaaler law, Transvaaler doctrine, but it will be nice to be in the sun once and for all and to be able to relax. As to the military radio." Sarah laughed. "You'll probably find it with dust on and about it. Other people can handle propaganda, it is not for me to do. But after this meeting here, if I would be able to get a plane to take me to Nieu-Hansa, I would be most appreciated, there are many family things I will have to take care of once I arrive."

"I can finally be a mother of two and a wife of one without having to worry about the destruction of this god-awful world of ours."

"Why, of course! Arrangements will be made. Is there anything else you wish to discuss - or shall you be on your way now?"

Sarah sighed as she looked back up at the Staatspresident. "I feel like we've only just met and yet there are so many questions for me to ask you but I'm not quite sure where I can even begin. The mere fact that I can be close to my homeland, my adopted homeland again is more than I could ever have asked for and I have you to thank for that Your Excellency. I sincerely hope that I can bring as much prosperity to my little island as you have done to Transvaal here. Ever since I was a little girl, I admired this country, sure I detested some of its policies, some of its leaders, but something always drew me towards Transvaal. It is a fitting end to my story and for that I am eternally in your debt." Sarah rose from the table. "Yes, I would love to see the islands as soon as possible, but I sincerely hope that I will be able to be just as part of daily Transvaaler government as you and Annetjie are. My new adopted country and my new adopted father, it will be a story that I hope to write very soon."

Staatspresident Botha embraced Sarah and then showed her to the door.

“No doubt mejuffrou we shall meet again many times, I wish you godspeed on your journey. I hope Nieu-Hansa is everything you want it to be. And as one of our provincial governors, of course you are free to attend executive government meetings whenever you may find yourself in Pretoria.”

Sarah was then led by Botha’s security to the waiting helicopter as the staatspresident watched from his doorstep. ‘An intriguing young woman she is, I do believe Annetjie may have found her match’ he thought to himself as he looked upwards at the twin-rotor helicopter now airborne.

In a few hours Sarah would find herself in Johannesburg to board a B-1 Lansier bomber which would then drop her off during its mail-run to Transvaal’s most eastern and isolated location of its so-called ‘empire’.

December 1 Election[]

The current term for Eersteminister [Prime Minister] expires on November 30, 2009.

His Excellency, the head-of-state Staatspresident Botha has therefore called for a National Election to determine the next Prime Minister of the Republic of Transvaal.

TERMS OF OFFICE: December 1st 2009 to April 30th 2010

The office of Prime Minister is open to any party candidate of the white Afrikaner race. All citizens of the Republic of Transvaal regardless of race residing in the Republic may vote for Prime Minister.


Van matteus 005

Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus


Hendrik Strijdom


Jakob M Hertzog


Marthinus Hofmeyr


Frederik Geldenhuys

General malan 003

Field Marshal Petrus Malan

Annetjie VAN MATTEUS (National Party – incumbent) In office since April 30, 2009 and former prime minister in office in May–June 2007. Deposed by military coup in 2007 after publicly executing one of her ministers on television. Later tried for alleged treasonous involvement during the GOONS war but acquitted by the courts. Regarded to be a neo-fascist outside of the unabashed racist groups like Verwoerd Front but generally supports the current republic format and has adopted a more conciliatory, moderate approach during her current term in office. She resigned from the National Party after H Strijdom became prime minister in October 2008 and later formed the Martens Party of Transvaal as a far-right opposition group alternate to the Verwoerd Front. After the invasion of Transvaal during the Karma War, she dissolved the Martens Party and reconciled her differences with H Strijdom when she rejoined the National Party and with whom she conspired to force the RMG to resign and restore civilian rule. Subsequently appointed prime minister by Field Marshal P Malan when the Republican Military Government resigned and returned to their barracks. She managed Transvaal’s atomic bomb programme during Strijdom's government and successfully detonated the nation’s first atomic weapon on Bouvet Island.

Hendrik STRIJDOM (National Party) held governor posts in Namibia and Transvaler Suid-Amerika previous to being named prime minister after JM Hertzog’s resignation. Prime Minister of Transvaal from October 2008 until February 2009. Responsible for negotiating an end to the war in Paraguay and Transvaal's withdrawl from South America. During his term as prime minister Strijdom expanded the Seemag [Navy], increased government spending in the civilian sector, created an National Earth Day to help improve awareness to the nation’s environment, clamped down on radicals both leftist and rightist, and developed Transvaal’s nuclear weapons programme. Became Foreign Minister during the Republican Military Government and co-Deputy Prime Minister in Van Matteus’ government. As foreign minister he recently successfully negotiated a lease for a territorial enclave in Italian Somalia from Repubblica Italiana for construction of Transvaal’s future foreign airbase.

Jakob Martin HERTZOG (National Party) – former prime minister of Transvaal, the longest serving prime minister in the nation’s history, governed over two successive terms from November 2007 until his resignation on October 2008 and then briefly again from February to April 2009 when his government then collapsed during the Karma War. During his three terms in office, Transvaal’s population tripled in size and he successfully managed the painful economic transformation from Maroon to the Orange trading sphere. Due to his difficulty speaking English, foreign policy has generally a critical, weak aspect of his rule and he took the fall for leading the nation into a disastrous colonial adventure in South America. During his time in office he built 4 labour camps, legalized the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church), re-annexed Cherokee Namibia, withdrew from Angola (later re-annexed), joined the Pan-African Coalition, constructed the Transvaler Seemag and began technology deals with Franzharia. His government handed out R$20.5 million in foreign aid while receiving R$9 million in return. During the Republican Military Government, he led the opposition faction within the National party in alliance with the DBP. His legacy and political position is reflected by Transvaal’s period spent in Orange and IRON and is opposed the nation’s re-affiliation with Nordreich. He is viewed as leading the so-called left-progressive wing of the National Party favouring more political involvement of Transvaal’s non-white citizens.

Marthinus HOFMEYR (National Party) Minister of Finance, Trade & Education. Advocates government spending to increase the technology level in Transvaal and was responsible for carrying out most of Transvaal’s post-war reconstruction. Not much is known about his politics and is viewed as middle of the road and un-ambitious compared to Strijdom and Annetjie van Matteus.

Frederik GELDENHUYS (Demokratiese Barakke Party) Leader of the Democratic Drillhall Party which admires Field Marshal Cruywagen and favours the involvement of progressive elements within the Transvaler military to participate in running the government so as to remove the threat of white supremacists in Transvaler society. Since the end of the Republican Military Government, the DBP has lost influence as the Verwoerd Front fizzled out and many civilians opposed the re-involvement of the military in domestic politics regardless of ideology.

Field Marshal Petrus MALAN (independent) - Former junta leader of the Republican Military Government which governed the nation during the Karma War and post-war reconstruction period. His legacy is the adoption of a controversial immigration law (which consequently has never been repealed) to inflate the number of white citizens in Transvaal by limiting immigration to whites and promoting birth control amongst African citizens. He voluntarily resigned as leader of the RMG which returned the nation to full civilian rule at the end of April. Malan is currently Ambassador to Repubblica Italianaand is running for office to vindicate his name.

NOVEMBER 4, 2009

JOHANNESBURG FREE PRESS: A year ago it would have been considered unthinkable (and, more so, laughable) that Annetjie van Matteus would be leading the polls in a national election – let alone prime minister again.

But the social and political landscape has changed considerably in Transvaal during that time. Like many nations around the world, the Karma War had cataclysmic effects over Transvaal which impacted the nation and its people to the very core.

A year ago, the progressivist policies and leadership of Jakob Hertzog were firmly entrenched in the Federal Republic while Afrikaner nationalist sensitivities were being courted by an assortment of white supremacist groups promising protection an deliverance from the African hordes. There was a polarisation between those who saw Transvaal’s liberation through IRON while others saw the so-called Orange Republic a whitewash of its past. And at that time Ms. Van Matteus was derided as nothing more than a spent crackpot whose political worth was a few notches about zero.

The surrender of Transvaal and the post-war reconstruction period wiped all that away like a house of cards. A brutal military regime cleansed the nation of its complacency in the world – and, some say, of its thorny and delicate problem of justifying white minority rule in the country.

Today Transvaal has reclaimed its spot as a major regional power in Africa – but the picture on the canvas is very different and unrecognisable. Afrikaners and English are no longer outnumbered in Transvaal – yet Black Africans are not suffering the effects of their new minority status as previous Afrikaner fears of the black menace have crumbled now that the whites relish their safety in numbers. Once perceived as a neo-fascist bent on curb-stomping the masses into the pavement, Prime Minister van Matteus’ government has given Transvaal its most enlightened and vibrant period of growth and social reform.

Granted political power remains a pipe dream for Black Africans, but their involvement in the national infrastructure and the massive growth of a Black middle class has given them an economic clout and lifestyle never before experienced during even the best days of the old Federal Republic.

“With hindsight the Federal Republic can be viewed as nothing more than a broken-down front to placate uneasiness with the international community over our treatment of Black Africans” commented Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus during one government speech, “while the post-war Republic has been able to both surmount white fears of their survival in Southern Africa and build real economic value and worth to all citizens black, coloured, or white. The fact that the Federal Republic crumbled so fast shows its real nature, that it has no foundation.”

“No so...” claims her most vocal critic Jakob Herztog, who says that the Federal Republic ‘showed the world that Transvaal genuinely had the aspirations of everyone at heart. My government would listen to its people and the world, but not so with Van Matteus. She will only listen to you when it suits her and if you agree with her. She rules through bread and circuses, by buying off the passivity of our non-white citizens.”

NOVEMBER 5, 2009

Staatspresident Botha sat down in his private study to relax with his cup of rooibos tea.

‘Hmm, let’s see what crap is on television tonight…’ he thought to himself as he turned his television set on. He banged the side of the set a few times angrily, ‘Ach, no cable! Why do they always forget to pay my cable bill…!’

No cable meant he would have to rig up some rabbit ears to tune in.

But worse... no cable also meant he would be stuck watching the blandness of Tele-Transvaal 1 or Tele-Transvaal 2. Transvaal might be one of the most advanced nations in Africa but its television broadcasts and movie industry were not.

‘Goddamn, it’s that Lukas Reitz clown on the news again…’ Botha said has he switched on TTV1. He quickly changed the dial to TTV2 before the incessant accordion music blaring from Oom Paul’s Old Time Country Farm Dance forced Botha to return to TTV1. The only people who ever watched Oom Paul were 80-year-old Afrikaner plattelander grandmothers and labour camp prisoners – although in the latter case it was more a matter of torture – and not out of choice.

“Oh well then, let’s see what Lukas Reitz has to say about himself today. I can’t believe that Annetjie van Matteus hasn’t had him shot yet…” Botha blurted out.

Mrs. Botha could be heard asking from the kitchen, “What was that dear?” before returning to her baking.

“Oh look! They’re talking about the national election; let’s see what they all have to say…”


Tele-Transvaal - a symbol known throughout Africa for providing the very best in drab, low-quality, and boring television

A grey, drab voice droned on over the drab lifeless logo of Tele-Transvaal. In the background was played a muted version of Transvaal anthem:

- - -


National Elections in Transvaal are carried out under election governance by the authority of the Staatsregeringministrie van Nasionaalverkiesing (Department of National Elections).

For any National Election to be valid, a minimum of 40 electoral districts in the National Assembly must be decided.

If an election does not receive the minimum votes to make it valid, a run-off election between the two candidates with the most district votes is then called to take place two weeks after the original election.

The political party receiving the greatest number of votes cast for all candidates is elected to office; the candidate within that party is appointed the prime minister.

If a prime minister holds a minority of votes within his party, he must rule through a coalition within his party. If that coalition collapses, the governing party must find another prime minister from within its ranks.

Any candidate who gains a majority of electoral district votes within his party would not require a governing coalition - and any candidate who gains an overall majority of electoral districts in the entire election is deemed to have an "absolute majority" and can essentially rule unhindered by any sort of 'checks and balances' from within the government or from his party.

- - -

Then the drab image, music, and station logo disappeared to reveal a grinning close-up of Transvaal’s only newsbroadcaster: Lukas Reitz. Intro music then blared again:




Lukas Reitz of Daaglikse Tele-Nuus and Daily TV News

Goeienaand, good evening everyone, welcome! Lukas Reitz here from Afrikaans Daaglikse Tele-Nuus and its English-language equivalent Daily TV News.

My name is Lukas Reitz and I will be your host tonight for this, the National Election all-candidates town hall meeting for Prime Minister of the Republic of Transvaal.

Assembled with us we have invited numerous, respected members of the foreign and local press who will be fielding questions to the candidates. When presenting their questions, I request you give your name and news bureau you are assigned to. To assist me to maintain some semblance of order here, please ask one question at a time and state whom you are addressing it to.

So... now without further delay, I would like to introduce to you the candidates for the office of Prime Minister of the Republic of Transvaal. Here, starting on my left, we have the attractive and very lovely Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus (National Party – incumbent); Foreign Minister Hendrik Strijdom (National Party), former prime minister and now one of the co-deputy prime ministers; Mr. Jakob Martin Herztog (National Party), former prime minister; Minister Marthinus Hofmeyr (National Party) Minister of Finance, Trade & Education; Mr. Frederik Geldenhuys, leader of the opposition Demokratiese Barakke Party; and respelendent in his military uniform, Field Marshal Petrus Malan, Commanding Officer of the Transvaler Raketkorps, who is standing as an independent candidate.

Reitz then took centre-stage on the screen, saying “…and I, Lukas Reitz, will be your host - and as your host, I now open the floor to questions from our foreign visiting media” giving an expansive wave towards the visiting reporters sitting in the crowd.

GUY IN THE BACK, PROBABLY FREELANCE REPORTER: "Ms. Van Matteus, you are known to many around the world as a dictator, racist, terrorist, tyrant, and war criminal; your forced expulsion of practitioners of arbitrarily ‘foreign’ religions has been described by many in the international community as ethnic cleansing, several high-profile executions you ordered in the past have been called murder, and you were implicated in international terrorist activities following your first administration – how do you cope with being one of the most controversial figures in the history of mankind?”

Prime Minister van Matteus straightened herself up in her chair before replying to the guy in the back who was probably a free-lance reporter.

Her eyes narrowed slightly and she thought to herself, ‘in the past I would have had this miserable twerp disappear into the darkness of night, but unfortunately I cannot do that right now…’

Van Matteus took a sip of water before giving her answer.

“Everyone makes mistakes and my mistakes were made a long time ago. Some of those ‘mistakes’ which you so eloquently point out were the result of having to make split-second decisions under fire. I did what I felt was right at the time. But that is all in the past, I am asking Transvaler voters to look at what I have done the past few months since talking office and pass judgment on that when they cast their ballots.”

“So in response to your accusations, I ask: Have I been a dictator since July 30? Have I been a racist? ...a tyrant? …have I executed anyone or done any of these things which you use to drag my name through dirt… since July 30? My answer to you is ‘no’. I have nothing to be ashamed of.”

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT NED OF NEDLAND: "With luck, Geldenhuys' election will overturn the National Party's continued dominance of Transvaal."

LUKAS REITZ [TELE-TRANSVAAL NUUS]: “It would take a miracle for the DBP to break the National Party’s grip on Pretoria and actually win the election. The surprising success so far by Field Marshal Malan may be siphoning votes from the National Party but Geldenhuys would probably require an alliance with Malan to gain enough district seats in the Volksraad to unseat the National party – an alliance which has zero chance of occurring since Malan and Geldenhuys are political polar opposites.”

JOHANNESBURG FREE PRESS: “In case our naïve foreign observers haven’t noticed yet, the current electoral system was designed to maintain National Party dominance all the while providing the appearances of democracy. For a non-NP to win any election, they would need to gain an outright majority of votes – which has so far been impossible due to the excess of National Party candidates which splits the popular overall votes – while a National Party candidate just needs to gain the most votes within their own Party votes – because going up against outside party opposition, they would then be elected on the combined totals of all-NP votes cast.”

NOVEMBER 19, 2009

RADIO-TRANSVAAL: The Staatsregeringministrie van Nasionaalverkiesing (Department of National Elections) confirmed today that the current Republic election has reached the all-important 40 district votes threshold to validate the election and prevent a run-off.

At last count, the National Party looked to be in a comfortable lead with 25 districts to be sent to Volksraad while the opposition controls a total of 15 districts - with a third of the overall national vote backing Prime Minister van Matteus in what has been the culmination of an incredible political come-back for her. Six months ago no one in Transvaal nor overseas could envisage Van Matteus as being even remotely electable.

DECEMBER 1, 2009


TRANSVALER DAAGLIKSE NUUS: At one time considered unelectable, Annetjie van Matteus claimed victory in the fifth national election held in Transvaal since independence.

A total of fifty representatives have been elected to the 5th Volksraad with 27 of them from the victorious National Party. Not counting the 4th Volksraad which consisted entirely of appointed members of the Republican Military Government, the 5th Volksraad had the largest voter turnout in Transvaler history.

Ms. van Matteus polled an impressive 34% of the overall national vote although early poll returns had her pulling in as much as 45% of the popular vote at one point, before the Demokratiese Barakke Party began to make a concentrated late surge.

Also interesting was the strong showing by independent candidate Field Marshal Malan, whose legacy as the controversial former RMG junta leader was expected to condemn him to utter defeat instead of the sizable 8 districts which swung their support towards him.


1st Volkraad - August 27, 2007 (43 electoral districts)

  • P Cruywagen elected
  • National Party 22 districts
  • Boers-Volkstaat Party 21 districts

2nd Volksraad - May 1, 2008 (42 electoral districts)

  • JM Herztog elected
  • National Party 30 districts
  • Verwoerd Front 12 districts

3rd Volksraad - December 1, 2008 (45 electoral districts)

  • H Strijdom elected
  • National Party 23 districts
  • Demokratiese Barakke Party 9 districts
  • Transvaler Martense Party 6 districts
  • Verwoerd Front 1 district
  • 6 districts vacant

4th Volksraad - May 30, 2009 (58 electoral districts)

  • P Malan elected
  • Republican Military Government 58 districts (all uncontested)

5th Volksraad - December 1, 2009 (50 electoral districts)

  • A van Matteus elected
  • National Party 27 districts
  • Demokratiese Barakke Party 12 districts
  • P Malan (independent candidate) 8 districts
  • 3 districts vacant

Van Matteus' visit to Arctica[]

NOVEMBER 10-26, 2009

Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus has stated that she would like to make a brief visit to Arctica to meet with Sovereign Vedran: "Despite the chronic ideological rift between our governments, the Republic of Transvaal values Arctica as our closest regional partner. In the past, Arctican media has spoken out in support of the DBP - but now as head of my government and current National Party leader, I wish to hear what can be done if possible to eliminate differences between our two nations..."

RESPONSE FROM VEDRAN OF ARCTICA: "I am willing to meet with Prime Minister Van Matteus in the hopes of smoothing relations between our two nations."

A message was soon sent to her office: "The Sovereign can certainly make time in his schedule for a visiting foreign head of government. Please have the Prime Minister land at Oceana International Airport at her earliest convenience, and she will be escorted to the Central Government Building."

Due to the sudden nature of the visit, Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus decided to use military transportation to travel to Arctica. It would also prove to be a subtle means to delicately flex Transvaal’s muscles and remind its closest neighbour who was boss in Southern Africa.

As the lone B-1 Lansier bomber cruised over the Mozambique Channel, the prime minister took stock of the upcoming impromptu meeting. Van Matteus knew that the Arcticans did not like her. However she also knew that for an assortment of reasons, the Staatspresident valued peaceful and close diplomatic relations with the island nation located off the Republic’s coast. As the Staatspresident once told her, besides the obvious strategic reasons of defense, maintaining the goodwill of Arctica was a means to gauge international opinion on Transvaler domestic and foreign policies. “If the Arcticans are silent, then all is well for us” he once told her.

The aircraft now began its long decent over the water into Oceana International Airport.

Given the quick nature of the meeting, the Arcticans did not prepare a full welcome with all the ceremony that came with it. Instead, Van Matteus was greeted by only a black sedan at the airport, with one man holding a back passenger door open for her and one in the driver's seat.

"Welcome to Arctica, Prime Minister," he said as she got in, closed her door and got in the front passenger seat. The car immediately pulled away and began its drive from the airport. The view had barely changed since Malan last visited, except that it was spring now.

They stopped briefly at a heavily-guarded checkpoint on the mainland side of the bridge from the mainland to Vecanti Island, where the Central Government Building was located. They soon continued, covering the uncrowded span of the bridge quickly. After another checkpoint, Van Matteus became the second Transvaler to see the island itself personally. Soon, the car pulled in front of the 88-storey-high CGB.

Covering the same route Malan had months ago, Van Matteus was led up to the 60th floor and to Vedran's office. The decorations had been moved around a little, but otherwise everything was unchanged. The men who had driven Van Matteus left her in the office with Vedran and the two men at either side of the door. Vedran stood from his desk and shook Annetjie's hand.

"Prime Minister, it is good to finally meet you. Welcome to Arctica. Please, have a seat."

Vedran sat down again. "You wish to speak with me?"

“Thank you Soveriegn for meeting with me on such short notice.” Vedran could notice a tinge of anxiety in her voice.

“I understand that your government, your people, and your media have never warmed up to me. This is understandable due to some events which happened long ago. I come to you now to find out where my government would be able to find some common ground so that there can be better understanding between our nations.”

The meeting was strange, surreal almost. Vedran could not quite make out whether Van Matteus was trying to browbeat him through diplomatic means or if she was pleading with him.

“Sir, I suppose what I want to know is what exactly are yours and the Arcticans' issues with me?”

"With you?" Vedran leaned back in his chair. "Well, Arctica has historically been a liberal nation, and Transvaal not so much. The people are simply opposed to most of your party's policies, along with your reputation. As long as you are in a position of power, they will never be quite content with your government.

Not that that means our governments cannot maintain the relations we have kept for years. Regardless of who has been in power, Transvaal has been the one country that I can always rely on to stay consistent in its policies and one of the few that can be trusted to honor its agreements.

As head of state, I have no problem with you unless our governments have a problem, which I trust will not occur after years of peaceful coexistence."

Vedran noticed a sense of relief cross Van Matteus’ face.

“Excuse me, it was my misunderstanding that your government had issues with me personally – and not so much the National Party in general.”

“I realize that I do carry a lot of political baggage on my shoulders but I just ask you to judge me and my government on what I have accomplished since the end of military rule” Van Matteus quietly asked the Arctican leader, although the acute Vedran could not quite tell for sure if she was sincere or not with her words. The Transvaler prime minister had all the appearances and mannerism of someone who had the genuine welfare of her nation at heart – but something about Van Matteus still gave him the creeps.

“Our state… and I say state, because this transcends purely the government level and who may be in power at the moment… our state has always valued Arctica as our closest ally in Africa. Staatspresident Botha has always insisted that, despite any issues which may arise between our two nations, the Republican government is to strive towards maintaining as amicable relations with you and your people as possible. While we may be very close with Tahoe, Repubblica Italania, and even the Nordlanders on a cultural and ideological level, on a strategic and mutual security level Arctica is our most important partner. I think I am not wrong in saying that we have both realized that over time our two nations have watched each others backs on regional issues – not that there are many hot conflicts in Africa anymore.”

Van Matteus’ calm, praising words and icy smile struck Vedran as if she was trying to size him up or calculate how much lee-way she would have with the Arcticans ‘should’ problems arise.

Vedran watched as she praised his country, those blue eyes looking into hers as he took on a thoughtful expression. She was acting like a changed woman, but he didn't buy it. It had not been too long since she had shot a minister on television, since she had attempted to bribe an Arctican diplomat and ordered the beatings of prisoners. Van Matteus did what she needed to do to get ahead. Whether that meant making nice with people or having them roughed up, Vedran had a feeling that anything she did had her own interests in mind above all. People like that were dangerous. He could not simply forget about her 'baggage' as if she was a new person simply because she got reelected.

"Yes, our two states are integral to each other's security and to regional security. You helped us when we needed it, and we would do the same for Transvaal if there was a genuine threat to security. We had not intervened in your recent wars because it is a nation's right to defend itself without outside help. Should Transvaal require support to protect its people from foreign aggressors, you can find an ally in Arctica."

After the Arctican sovereign finished, Anntejie van Matteus sat there and was silent for what seemed like an eternity.

Then, she dropped a bombshell:

“I believe that is what Staatspresident Botha wishes to discuss…with you… when he comes here to visit…”

Vedran tilted his head a little, his eyes narrowing a tiny amount in curiosity, showing some of the suspicion he was feeling. He had never heard of Botha leaving the country, and he had only met the man once. Not only that, but the Staatspresident rarely involved himself in the events in Transvaal unless something important was happening. It would have to be an urgent issue for him to visit Arctica to meet with the Sovereign.

When he spoke, it was softly and slowly, as if he was fully focused upon trying to read Van Matteus and her intentions, almost as if some great secret was to be divulged, even though two guards were the only other people in the room. "Yes? Please, go on..."

Annetjie van Matteus tried to recount the exact instructions which the Staatspresident had given her.

True enough she had made the trip initially on her on accord, to shore up Arctican opinion about her and her government in the upcoming election – however when Staatspresident Botha caught wind of her sudden and hastily planned visit to Arctica, he decided then and there was the time to finally bring up with the Arctican Sovereign something which has been on his mind for some time… at least since the end of the war.

“Staatspresident Botha has instructed me to convey to you his personal greetings and well-wishes to the Arctican people and their great Sovereign”. Van Matteus’ tone of voice sounded like she was reciting memorized lines from a script. “He would also like to meet with you to discuss strategic security for Southern Africa… but more specifically…” at which point, Van Matteus glanced around the room to make sure no one was overhearing, “…err, contingency plans in the event of future invasions of our Republic.”

Then in a more natural voice, added as an after-thought, perhaps a token bone to get the Sovereign’s interest locked, “I believe he is also looking to make a territorial concession or something like that, but he didn’t not divulge to me the explicit details regarding that point.”

“Anyways,” she concluded, “His Excellency is currently waiting in Johannesburg for acknowledgement, with his transport standing by to bring him to Oceana.”

Vedran nodded slowly, his mind taking in the information. When Van Matteus was finished, he slid the telephone on his desk across to her. "Very well. Make the call, if you please. I'll have a space on the airport reserved for him." He would also use Botha's flight time to organize a full reception at the airport for the Transvaler head of state.

Van Matteus reached for the telephone, grudgingly in a manner which seemed to indicate that she either did not approve or agree with Staatspresident Botha’s visit or perhaps his sudden ‘interference’ in matters of state.

After hanging up after the call, she stood up – as to signal that her part of meeting was over and was ready to depart – and said “Very well then, he shall arrive here in Oceana in a few hours.”

She shook Vedran's hand and gathered her papers and such. As she departed from the Sovereign’s office, she paused in the doorway. “It must be important for him to come here, apart from his exile during the Boer Staat crisis almost three years ago, I cannot recall the last time he went overseas. Probably the Pan-African Summit a year and a half ago…” Van Matteus shrugged, then thanked Vedran again for meeting with her before leaving.

A Meeting of Generals in the Kalahari[]

NOVEMBER 5-17, 2009

The radio blared over a crackly AM station “…and in recent polls, Prime Minister van Matteus has been hovering around the 45% level of overall support amongst voters, which if the election were called today would give her an almost absolute and unprecedented grip on the National Party and government - while just as surprisingly the former junta dictator Marshal Malan has unexpectedly gained around 20% in recent polls…”

The lieutenant colonel switched the radio off. The roar of a jet engine passed overhead, and once its rumble had dampened, Dietrichs Gerhard then spoke to the rest of the officers which were seated in his situational tent located out on the edge of the Kalahari in Botswana where Lugmag fighter jets were carrying out practice manoevres.

“Gentlemen, this level of support for Marshal Malan is beyond any of our expectations. I strongly believe that given this, we should urge Marshal Malan to utilise his political weight in the future government to dictate changes to the military high command. Namely the removal of Marshal Cruywagen and Flight Commander Wise. Unless van Matteus secures 50% of the electoral district vote in the Volksraad, she will require the support of others to keep her in power. Marshal Malan will be in a position to be a deal maker – or breaker.”

Some of the officers nodded profusely in agreement while a few others were more cautious with their response. Gerhard continued:

“The military rebuilt this Republic and we must now demand our rightful political place in the government, while the opportunity is ripe.”

After the discussion had carried on throughout the night, as dawn approached on the Kalahari, Lieutenant-Colonel Dietrichs Gerhard summarized:

“So we are agreed then?

“Firstly, we Afrikaner military commanders will covertly oppose the election Hertzog and Geldenhuys. Should either one take power, we shall ascertain the potential feasibility of an immediate military coup or assassination.”

“Secondly, should Transvaal ever come under attack again and the government is thrown into anarchy, we shall arrest Cruywagen and Wise and then seize power to re-instate the RMG.”

“Thirdly, we shall establish a secret code phrase which I have written down and distributed to you all, which will be broadcast over state radio as an emergency signal to mobilize our group to action for a military coup against the civilian administration regardless the state of the government or leader.”

“And under no circumstances will Field Marshal Petrus Malan be made aware of our group until after the fact. We cannot rise compromising him should we be exposed, therefore his complete ignorance of our secret group is essential.”

“Agreed, gentlemen?”

Gerhard looked around the group of officers. Admiral Kruger had his doubts but decided to throw his lot in with the plotters – although, secretly he coveted the leading position in the shadow RMG for himself. Gerhard then looked at the assortment of Krygsmagte colonels and majors assembled there; all of them raised their hands in agreement. The colonel then spoke “On behalf of the airforce, as its senior Afrikaner officer, I commit the Lugmag.”

One of the Krygsmagte officers then asked “Sir, what about the Raketkorps? What if for some reason Malan does not go with us? That would leave our nuclear stockpile outside of our control…”

Gerhard brushed the question aside. “How could he not find sympathy with us?”

After the officers had been dismissed, they returned to their vehicles and made their way back to their respective units. However one of them had pangs of conscience. He had sworn an oath as a military officer to serve the nation, not become embroiled in its politics. He looked down at the piece of paper with the cryptic words “The veldt is on fire and the aardvarks are now burrowing to Pretoria”, crumpled it up, and threw it away into the brush.

After the officer corps had departed, Lieutenant-Colonel Dietrichs Gerhard walked over to the lone tent set apart from the main group deployed for manoeuvres.

“Did they buy it?” asked the voice from the shadows.

“Yes, I think they did. But we won’t know for sure until we actually go live with the plan. The army and air force are behind us, only the navy I have doubts about…” replied Gerhard.

“Bah! The Seemag is of no concern to us! There is very little they can do in response to events carried out on land.”

The voice asked hesitantly, almost in anticipation:

“And… the code phrase… what of that?”

“Yes, that has been distributed to all Afrikaner officers in command positions.

“Excellent. You have done well, now return to your duties and await the signal when events transpire to move our plan forward.

“Of course sir!” saluted the Lieutenant-Colonel.

Once Gerhard had departed, Uys de Ruijters emerged from his tent. He looked skywards at the Lugmag planes flying overhead in formation. ‘I have the Krygsmagte and Lugmag were I need them… in my grass... now to just wait for dear Annetjie’s government to inevitably unravel itself…”

De Ruijters clasped his hands in front of him as a sign of personal triumph before he made his way to his waiting jeep and departed from the base camp.

Botha's visit to Arctica[]

NOVEMBER 26-30, 2009

Over the Mozambique Channel, a flight of three B-1 Lansier bombers flew in a loose v-formation low over the water. In the lead plane, sitting in one of the navigator positions behind the flight deck was the Staatspresident. Every few minutes he would get up and look out the front window, to view the island of Madagascar looming in the distance of their approach.

Being that Johannesburg was southeast of Madagascar, and Oceana was in the northeast of the island, the Staatspresident would fly over most of Madagascar's countryside. When he reached Oceana and was cleared to land, he would be able to see a group of people and vehicles waiting for him.

When the plane landed, it was welcomed by Vedran himself, flanking him two of his guards, behind him an honor guard from the Army standing at attention, a man on one side holding the Arctican flag and the man opposite him holding the Transvaler flag. An instrumental version of Die Stem van Suid-Afrika rang through the air.

Vedran stopped in front of the plane's boarding ramp to await Botha.

The three B-1 Lansiers came over the last set of hills on their journey. Below them the expanse of Oceana came into their view.

“Excuse me Your Excellency, but you should now buckle in for the landing” said the pilot of the lead plane.

While the pilot made preparations to land and began his final approach, the two other bombers went into a circling pattern. Once the Staatspresident’s plane had touched down, they would turn around and return to their base in the Republic.

The lumbering bomber came down slowly and gracefully before finally coming to a stop at the end of the runway. The nose turned around and it taxied towards the main terminal where Sovereign Vedran and the rest of his welcoming party were waiting patiently.

Finally the service entrance opened and a narrow set of stairs were extended so that Staatspresident Botha could disembark. Die Stem van Suid-Afrika began to play and Botha made his appearance. He briefly looked around, using his hand to shield his eyes from the bright rays before descended down to the tarmac, wearing his trademark navy blue suit capped off with a homburg to shield him from the hot Madagascar sun.

Botha walked up to Vedran. “It has been a long time, a very long time old friend. Good to see you are still doing well” the Staatspresident said, extending his hand in thanks for the welcome.

Vedran shook Botha's hand. "Indeed it has, Staatspresident. It is an honor to have you here." He smiled, turning. "Please, follow me."

As the final notes of Transvaal's national anthem played, the two leaders passed between the two rows of soldiers on either side. An officer shouted "Present arms!" and as one, the men presented their firearms. When they were no longer between the rows, the officer shouted again "Order arms!" and the men returned to attention. They would stand at attention until the limousine was out of the airport.

As the two African leaders walked towards the waiting limousine, Botha said to his Arctican counterpart “…and I thank you for agreeing to meet me on such short notice. Due to the delicate nature of my concerns, I felt it best if I came to you to explain…”

Vedran nodded, trying to understand the meaning behind the visit. Everything would become clear soon. When the limousine pulled out of the airport, the Sovereign looked at Botha. The only other person in the car was the driver. "So I suppose it is best to start from the beginning. What is the reason for the urgency behind your visit, Staatspresident Botha?"

Staatspresident Botha took a seat in the comfortable limosine. “There are two issues I wish to discuss with you. The first relates to the security of the Republic while the second relates to territory. I’ll begin with security… now how to explain this…?”

“As you are fully aware, in the past both of our nations have come under direct enemy attack and invasion. And in both instances our nations have faced being on the losing side and sustained major damage to our national infrastructure and cohesiveness.”

“In your nation’s instance, my government was obliged to invade and occupy much of Arctica to otherwise prevent a major loss of your territory to outside interests. After all, back in those days, Transvaal’s own national sphere of influence was actually used to buttress your own territorial claims over the whole of Madagascar.”

“Thankfully, during the Karma War when Transvaal came under attack, while we suffered a major loss of population and infrastructure devastation, we did not lose a lot of territorial sphere of influence, at least not enough that our global claim came under threat.”

Botha paused to allow Vedran to digest all he had told him so far

“However… my government, well… I suppose me… since at one point there was no government to speak of during the war, was very close to contacting you to request an Arctican occupation force be sent into the eastern portions of the Republic, so that we knew that our territorial claim remained in friendly hands until after the war and we had recovered enough to re-exercise our global territorial claim.”

Vedran could tell that Botha was uncomfortable about the topic at hand. As a rule over the years, the Transvaler government and people had maintained an almost cocky arrogance about their strength and invincibility. However the Karma War shattered that image at home and unbeknownst to the Arcticans or anyone else for that matter, the contemplation of weakness in the face of their enemies was traumatic in government circles. Therefore as guardian of his people, Botha was now making secret contingency plans just in case the same fate struck the Afrikaner homeland again in the future.

“Basically, we want to establish some secret protocols at the highest levels between our governments should we ever request and require Arctican intervention in our affairs if faced with invasion and our inevitable defeat… much like we did with the Madagaskar Vrystaat in the south of Arctica.”

Vedran could tell it was a bitter pill for Botha to swallow to say those words.

“You know that we have very close, ideological allies in the world, such as Tahoe and Repubblica Italiana – however they are very, very far away and Arctica is our only regional neighbour whom we can trust. The Sercans to the north of us we have never form that close of a diplomatic relationship, mostly because they share a mutual frontier with us. Do not take this the wrong way, but we have never felt threatened by Arctica – militarily nor culturally – so because of that, we feel we can trust you should our very national survival be at stake.”

Vedran was aware of the Transvalers' pride in themselves and their country, and could tell by the Staatspresident's voice that he was uncomfortable asking for help like this.

When Botha was finished, Vedran hesitated to reply. Botha's statement about Arctica not posing a threat could be interpreted a number of ways, but Vedran knew better than to be offended by it, and simply assumed that Botha was referring to Arctica's nonaggressive attitude and willingness to discuss issues before bringing out the guns.

"And you are right to feel that, Staatspresident. If it was required, my country would intervene military on Transvaal's behalf. It is one of the most stable nations in the history of Planet Bob, and despite changes in government has always been level-headed in its dealings with my government. Stable, reasonable, and interested in maintaining regional security. Apart from some ideological differences, Transvaal is the best neighbor one could ask for. I would certainly do my best to prevent the loss of that neighbor if it came to it."

The gravity in Botha’s manner lessened when he heard the Sovereign’s reply.

“This is good to hear. On account of the sensitive nature of this contingency, I request that it be kept between you and myself. Even my own government is in the dark about how close we were to outside intervention. Although there is very little they could do under the circumstances, it would nevertheless be a catastrophic decision to make and have deep social ramifications for Transvaler society as a whole.”

Botha then looked outside the window of the limousine as it sped along. A heavy psychological weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and he needed a moment to reflect if he made the correct plan or not.

After a minute or so of silence, Botha spoke “Excuse me Sovereign Vedran, I was distracted by the beautiful view outside. As you probably know, I do not leave Transvaal very often. It is actually very pleasant to be here, relaxing actually... without all the government officials constantly in your presence and fawning over you.”

Calmly he continued, “When I return to Pretoria, I shall have a secure telephone line set up. It shall be an emergency hot line between our two countries. God willing it will never be used, but it is nevertheless there in case the very survival of our nations are at stake.”

“And, please understand what I meant when I said that Arctica poses no threat to Transvaal. Despite our understandable ideological differences – which, when you look at the greater picture, haven’t really been a cause for division between us- we in Transvaal have never felt that Arctica had any ill-designs against us – be it militarily, socially, or irredentist over territory. I know you have given refuge to opposition figures in the past, and between you and me, that is not a bad thing. I have always regarded Arctica as the bell-weather gauge of our domestic and foreign policy – and what you and your people have to say, or don’t say, about Transvaler political events is very keenly monitored and analysed in Pretoria.”

“I have always made sure that my government personal understand that we are fortunate to have a neighbour such as Arctica.”

Vedran listened closely, as he was being given information he had been unaware of up to that point. While Botha spoke, the limousine and its escorts passed across the bridge to Vecanti Island, the Central Government Building looming in the distance.

He'd had an inkling that Arctican media and government comments on the events and policies of their neighbor was a basic indicator of international opinion of the country - the Arcticans had always been the most vocal on Transvaler events, and the comments were usually honest expressions of opinion rather than statements crafted to get a specific reaction - but he had been unaware of how carefully those statements were examined.

Right as Botha was about to move to the next topic, the limousine stopped in front of the tower. Deciding it was sort of silly to discuss something in a stopped limousine, Vedran was glad when the driver opened the door for him and the Staatspresident. He got out and looked up, shading his face with his hand. He sighed and looked across the limo roof to Botha.

"It's a long way up to my office. And it's a nice day. Join me for a walk and we'll speak...I want to show you something"

They might have looked like two old friends catching up over their lunch break if it weren't for the two armed guards following a few steps behind them. Even though it was his home and security was tight anyway, Vedran rarely traveled without guards, being slightly overprotective of himself and his guests ever since the Slavorussia Imperial Ball incident.

Vedran walked at a relaxed pace along a street on the island, going for maybe a hundred meters before turning into what looked like a park at first glance, but upon closer scrutiny turned out to be a memorial. There was a large marble slab set into the ground, surrounded by a concrete pathway. It carried the date August 17, 2008 and many names listed in alphabetical order. Flowers had been laid beside it.

Beyond was a large group of very young peach trees in blossom, encompassing the area of what could be the foundation for a building. It soon became clear to the Staatspresident that this was the memorial for the victims of the first Oceana tower that had been destroyed at the onset of the Arctican civil war.

Vedran walked up to the marble slab and crouched beside it. His finger traced two names - those of his Mundokiir and Thurokiir who were killed during the initial battle, and close friends of his. For a moment he looked thoughtful, even sad as he looked down upon the names.

Soon, he stood and led Botha to the edge of the park and sat on a bench in the shade of older trees (that had been transplanted there).

"See those peach trees? They were planted a year ago and this is their first blossom. You see, for peach trees to come to fruit they must have a number of cold days in the year, making them unsuitable for growing commercially in tropical areas. So every once in a while, the employees here have to artificially create a chill environment. It's an expensive process, but it is necessary if these trees are to create such beautiful blossoms and produce fruit. Much like peace...yes, for there to be a lasting peace in this world, compromises will have to be made, and some of them will be bitter, others not so much. The nations of Europe and Asia, regrettably, do not seem to understand that idea, and so they destroy each other and the earth they live on over their squabbles..." Vedran looked off into the grove for a moment, then turned to Botha, smiling softly.

"But we are reasonable men down here in the south of Africa where the problems of Europe seem a world away. Tell me, Staatspresident, of your territorial matter. I am sure there is an agreement we can come to that benefits both of our nations."

Staatspresident Botha laughed with Sovereign Vedran as they reminisced about the abortive Slavorussian Imperial Ball. “Come to think of it, I believe that was the last time I left Transvaal. Back then it seemed every official, international social occasion that took place resulted in terrorist attacks or gunfights breaking out amongst the guests. It turned me off from traveling overseas, even to places we considered our reliable friends.”

As they turned into the park area before the war memorial, Botha’s eyes fixated on the date embossed on the slab: August 18, 2008. He thought back to those days, long ago, as Transvaal’s eastern neighbour was torn apart from the vicious evil of civil war and Transvaal. Then began the long period of occupation which commenced around a week later as Krygsmagte troops poured into southern Arctica to maintain some semblance of law and order in the wake of Arctican government collapse in the southern portion of their island. The occupation last for around four months and helped reinforce the recognition of mutual reliance both nations had for each other’s security. Botha felt it was interesting that Vedran was showing him this memorial considering the timing and nature of their discussion only a few minutes ago.

Botha then stopped in his tracks. “You do know, Sovereign, that the one-year anniversary of the last Transvaler troops departing and the re-unification of the Madagaskar Vrystaat with Arctica will be on this Tuesday. It seems eons ago.” The Transvaler leader stood for a moment in reflection and honour of the Arctican dead… and, the dead Transvaler service men as well. Botha made a mental note that when he returned to Pretoria that some sort of memorial ceremony should be held on December 1 to honour those who served – and in some cases, died – in the fight to maintain Arctican independence and unity.

The Staatspresident nodded in agreement to Vedran’s assesstment of Europe, Asia, and Africa. “I can recall in our early days of independence how the first world nations would constantly deride us for Africa’s instablility. However, if you look at the map today, except perhaps for Somalia and the north-west coast of Africa, the continent as a whole is one of the most stable on the whole planet. We can pride ourselves that we have never seen a major continental war – although it helps our causes that we have ensured both of our states don’t get embroiled in such events. I do not know how the European people can survive with their constant bickering, wars… and all that fallout?”

“Now, for my second point…”

“As you are fully aware, Transvaal is beset with some unique social problems which have arisen between the various races which call Southern Africa their home. I am not going to go on some long tirade to justify Afrikaner dominance. I know you know our position and why we maintain that position. I am not asking you to agree with us. It is always easier for some far, flung world leader to denounce our so-called human rights situation when they themselves do not have to contend with the hundreds of years’ legacy of hate and mistrust which has entrenched itself in the psyche of our people of all ethnicities.”

“However, regardless how much reform or oppression we exercise, Transvaal remains located on a social-political powderkeg. We saw that explode in widespread, spontaneous rebellion last January. We had fears of a second rebellion during the darkest days of anarchy which gripped us during the Karma War – which explains why General Malan saw heavy-handed methods as the only way to preserve Transvaal as we knew it.”

“Despite the fact that whites are currently a majority in the Republic, we still have a large segment of the population which strives for some sort of political expression – even though we provide more for our Black minority (the expression sounded strange to Vedran’s ears although it was now the reality inside Transvaal) than most nation do elsewhere in the world.”

Botha took off his suit jacket from the heat and folded it up beside him before continuing.

“What our Black Africans need is their own state – but previous attempts in the past have all failed. What the White Transvalers require is a safety value for Black African political expression so as to prevent future rebellions and violence from breaking out.”

“Therefore what I propose is that Transvaal and Arctica establish a joint administration over Northern Mozambique and Malawi. Both nations would have full territorial jurisdiction and usage over the territory. As for laws and governance, the more liberal and lenient of the two nations’ laws would take precedence.”

Arctica is an island, confined in all directions by an unmoving barrier of water. But surely your people need more room to expand and grow? This would give your people that land. Where we benefit from this is that we will encourage our more restless minorities, who strain under Afrikaner rule, to move to the territory so that they can exercise their own, free political rights and aspirations.”

“You see, any autonomous territory we set aside for our Black population will always have a legacy of mistrust. But having a 50-50 Arctican presence would help alleviate that mistrust and thus create a firm, concrete guarantee of their rights. Our native African population trusts your government much more than any Afrikaner government could hope to achieve without alienating its own power base in the process.”

Botha then took out a piece of paper and unfolded it. It was a map of Southern Africa, which he then handed to Vedran.

“This would be a joint, overlapping land claim – the first seen in many, many years. It could well show the rest of the world, such as Europe, how to live in peace with its neighbours, sharing that which is most valuable and cherished by all nations - and which is most fought over: land.”

Vedran took the map into his hands. He had seen many such maps, with Transvaal in orange and Natal in black, and some other territory that Transvaal was giving away. All of those had failed, but this one might just succeed.

He was certainly not expecting something like this. He thought that the Transvalers would be ceding them some small islands, but this was a significant venture, and something that would give an example to the world.

"We have enough land for our people to live comfortably, but no doubt there will be the adventurous few who would like to experience life in a jointly administered territory. And since the more lenient laws will be in effect, I suspect many from Arctica will go and become entrepreneurs there, as this country regulates business to a degree that some ambitious individuals would find...stifling.

“As you can see, both of our nations’ so-called restless population would benefit. Your people would have access to more liberalized economic prospects while my African people would have more political influence than they do in the Republic.”

To tell you the truth, I do not recall even one such project being undertaken on Planet Bob. The closest I can think of are joint protectorates. If this experiment turns out to be a success, we might be seeing more of these jointly administered territories popping up across the world.

I think...I think I will accept this intriguing offer. To see what happens. In the hopes that it may change something in this world."

A smile came to Botha’s face. He was not sure if the Arctican leader would actually accept his offer.

“Well, back in the days of our independence survival, both Transvaal and South Africa maintained de facto joint control over Johannesburg and Pretoria. In fact both nations claimed Pretoria as their capital. Later the South Africans evacuated to the Western Cape, which then left us in sole control over the Witswaterand region. Mind you we were striving for absolute control.”

“This would not be the first historical instance - but it could well become the first time for success that two governments have mutually and independently shared land and its development and in peace. If we cannot pull it off, then joint-ownership is something that would never take flight elsewhere.”

“I propose we call the new territory “Transvaal-Arctica” and “Arctica-Transvaal” with both names interchangeable so that no perceptions of favouritism or ownership precedence is implied. I also propose that border controls between our home nations and the territory would not exist. I would even be willing to allow it to become a literal free-trade conduit between our two nations, if that was something Arctica also sought.”

“As for military troop levels, both nations would always maintain an equal level of group troops (IG numbers) to maintain security and governance.”

“Lastly, I propose that we hold an election in January for the territory’s new joint home government.”

“Despite these minor details to work out between us, I will make the necessary announcements to the international powers and proclaim its existence. I think December 1 would be an appropriate date to take effect as it holds some significance for both our nation’s shared history.”

"Yes, December 1." Vedran looked at the memorial, remembering the end of the Transvaler occupation on the island.

He looked back at Botha. "I agree with the proposed name and a January election, but we need to decide upon an appropriate number of soldiers to station in the territory. Arctica currently maintains a standing army of (20,000 IG x10) and public records show that Transvaal maintains twice that amount. I do not want to endanger Madagascar, and not only is Arctica-Transvaal in close proximity to both of our mainlands, but the only nation it borders is a peaceful one. So I suggest that a relatively small number of soldiers be stationed there by each of us, say, (5,000 IG)?

Botha replied. "Agreed, we do not need a large number of troops based there. I was going to propose 10% of the smaller army, so 2,000 from each military (since Arctica has the smaller military). After all, that would be a combined force of 4,000 troops which is more than enough for policing and frontier control. As you correctly pointed out, the only other nation bordering is peaceful. During wartime that is a different matter and we can take that up then. Likewise if Serca becomes hostile towards either of us."

There is also the matter of the indigenous population. Will they be given dual citizenship?"

"What would be Arctica's preferance? Frankly it was something we had not given much thought, we just expected people would retain passports from their original nations. Do you suggest dual or single citizenship? Or territorial-based citizenship and should the territory be disbanded they can decide which they would adopt? We are actually quite open to all considerations."

"Yes...a territorial-based citizenship would be the best for those who are already there.

"Sounds good to us. We were planning on leaving our borders between the Republic and Territory to be open and unmanned anyways. There is practically nil crossborder traffic between Mozambique and Serca (due to lack of roads and unfrendly terrain), so we could just close the border between Serca and the Territory for security reasons - unless Arctica was planning on using the Territory as an economic stepping-stone between Arctica and Serca."

"We should keep them closed for now, but when the January elections finish, we can have the elected officials decide whether to build roads to Serca. It would be good for Arctica-Transvaal if foreigners came to invest or simply as tourists, and when we do eventually allow foreigners, it may be taken the wrong way if the Serca border was still closed."

"2,000 troops from each nation would be a good idea, for reacting to immediate threats. If more are needed to deal with a threat, they can easily be transported there."

"Agreed. Frankly we're not concerned how many troops Arctica has there, but we weren't planning on commiting a lot to be permanently stationed there - especially since we haven't in the past when it came under our direct rule. If for some reason (i.e. manouvres, jungle training, etc.) you wanted to post more there than 2,000 then we aren't going to complain."

"Very well then. I will inform the military of that option."

"How do you propose governance of Arctica-Transvaal should be handled? Since there will be an election in January we should decide which position it will be for and what authority that position should hold."

"I suppose we need some sort of governor. Since the territory is jointly-ruled, then perhaps we should have two governors who can then handle the interests of their own communities be it Transvaler or Arctican. This would also help reinforce the equal, dual nature of the territory without having one governor who may favour one community over the other."

"A dual governorship may be rendered useless due to disagreements that may arise; there needs to be a third, elected from the 'territorial citizens'."

"What we are worried about is the vast majority of the population right now is Transvaler or former Transvaler. We wish to ensure an equal political share and say between citizens from both nations involved. Why not we hold an election to take effect for January 1st, see how the results work out and any unforseen problems with the dual set-up - and then perhaps then hold another election two months later for March 1 which would be a longer term in office?"

Vedran nodded, agreeing now that it was best to see how the system worked rather than making changes before it was implemented - and it seemed like a good system. "Alright then."

"For elections, Transvalers could vote for Transvaler candidates/parties for the Transvaler governor, and Arcticans could vote for Arctican candidates/parties for the Arctican governor."

"That seems fair."

Vedran wrote down all these details on the back of the map. "I believe we have laid the groundwork for what could be a very successful undertaking. I thank you, Staatspresident, for the opportunity to improve the lives of our citizens and to help create one path to peace for an increasingly desperate world."

He glanced at the grove past the memorial. "When these peaches come to fruit, I shall be sure to send you some."

"That would be most appreciated."

Vedran stood and extended his hand for Botha to shake.

"Thank you once again Sovereign for agreeing to meet with me. I must now make my return home in anticipation of the election results being announced in around 5 hours"

"I shall have officials from our Staatsregeringministrie van Nasionaalverkiesing (Department of National Elections) contact their Arctican counterparts in a couple of weeks and this election can be set up."

Botha once again shook Vedran's hand before taking leave and returning to his waiting aircraft.

Vedran left Botha at the limousine, which then took him to his plane.

The Sovereign then went straight up to his office to do his part for Arctica-Transvaal and to help set up the hotline between the two leaders.

Territorial retreat from the North[]

Formation of Transvaal-Arctica[]

NOVEMBER 29, 2009

On December 1 one year ago, the last Transvaler Krygsmagte troops of the occupation force in Arctica departed from the Madagaskar Vrystaat. Arctica and Madagascar was thus once again re-united under the rule of Sovereign Vedran.

In the year which has followed, diplomatic relations between Transvaal and Arctica have strengthened despite the tragedy of war and destruction which has plagued both nations’ history.

Therefore, to show the world that two nations can live and share in mutual, neighbourly peace and goodwill despite any ideological differences we may hold between us, as of December 1, 2009, Transvaal and Arctica will maintain a joint claim/ownership of Northern Mozambique and Malawi. The territory will be called Transvaal-Arctica and Arctica-Transvaal (to be used interchangebly) and is fully part of both Transvaal and Arctica in a mutually-recognised overlapping land claim.

This almost unprecedented display of two independent nations sharing joint ownership, management, and development of territory will show the nations of the world – specifically the nuclear burnt-out wastelands known as Europe how to live in peace – instead of focusing on narrow-minded egotistical greed and expansion driving their war machines and providing their tired, haggard citizens with nothing more than another blanket of fallout on their plates.

Elections will follow in providing an autonomous local government to mutually govern the territory.

NOVEMBER 30, 2009


To show the world that two nations can live and share in mutual, neighbourly peace and goodwill despite any ideological differences we may hold between us, as of December 1, 2009, Transvaal and Arctica will maintain a joint claim/ownership of Northern Mozambique and Malawi. The Territory will be called Transvaal-Arctica and Arctica-Transvaal (to be used interchangeably) and is fully part of both Transvaal and Arctica in a mutually-recognised overlapping land claim.

  • Citizenship is territorial based.
  • Arctica and Transvaal are free to maintain whatever border controls deemed necessary between their nations and the Territory.
  • Laws within the territory are based on a combination of the Arctican and Transvaler legal codes with the more lenient or liberal law taking precedence.
  • Transvaal and Arctica may each base ground troops up to 10% of the smaller nation’s military IG troop count. For example, if Transvaal has 40,250 soldiers and Arctica 20,000 solders, each nation may base up to 2,000 soldiers each within Arctica-Transvaal. In the case of one nation having 0 troops, then 10% of the other nation’s military may be permitted. This restriction also applies to tanks but not airforce nor naval units.



Botha, State President of the Republic of Transvaal


Vedran I, Sovereign of Arctica

Independence of Rhodesia[]

DECEMBER 2, 2009


By agreement between the Republic of Transvaal and the Provisional Authorities located in Northern Rhodesia (assigned to General Rhodes of Rhodesia):

1) the Republic of Transvaal hereby recognises the complete and full independence of this territorial authority, henceforth known as Rhodesia, from the Republic effective one minute after update December 3, 2009.

2) the Republic of Transvaal is hereby granted a grandfathered overlapping territorial clause (also known as the Lübeck Clause). Should said independent territory leave RP, lose or relinquish their assigned territories, nation deletion, or leave the game, Transvaal immediately regains said territory.

3) the Republic of Transvaal promises not to interfere in the internal social-political forces within Rhodesia, which likewise promises not to interfere in the internal social-politics of the Republic.

4) Due to the Botha Line Doctine in effect over Southern Africa, Rhodesia is assumed to have the political and military protection of Transvaal at the Republic’s discretion.

Signed on this day of December 2, 2009

- Botha State President of the Republic of Transvaal Government House, Pretoria

- General Rhodes Acting President of the Republic of Rhodesia

DECEMBER 3, 2009

The Government of Transvaal applaudes the decision of the Rhodesian people to strike out on their own path.

It reminds us of our very own declaration of independence almost three years ago as we said "no more" to the corrupt, roguish behavior of Nelson Mandela of South Africa. However, in this instance, our two people remain as respectful friends united by our common settler culture and history.

Thus, to futher cement the common goodwill between Transvaal and Rhodesia, Staatspresident Botha has authorised the Ministry of Finace & Trade to grant R3,000,000 in foreign aid to help assist.

Independence of Elanthia (Comoros Islands)[]

Comoros Islands gain independence from Transvaal

The Republic of Transvaal has agreed to grant independence to the Comoros Islands under the Government of Elanthia. The islands had been part of Transvaal since dissolution of Lübeck territorial control on June 30, 2009. Prior to Lübeck independence on November 1, 2008, the four islands had been under Transvaler rule since August 2008 when they were forcibly united after the Transvaler occupation of Arctica.

“Due to circumstances arising from the recent war, our government is no longer able to exert its authority over the island chain. Local representatives from Elanthia approached us regarding a request for their independence, which the National Volksraad has agreed to do” said Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus.

The independence agreement signed between the two nations is identical to the succesful negotiations which resulted in Rhodesian independence from Transvaal early last December.


By agreement between the Republic of Transvaal and the Government of Elanthia (assigned to Davis of Elanthia):

1) the Republic of Transvaal hereby recognises the complete and full independence of this territorial authority, henceforth known as Elanthia, from the Republic effective one minute after update March 12, 2010.

2) the Republic of Transvaal is hereby granted a grandfathered overlapping territorial clause (also known as the Lübeck Clause). Should said independent territory leave RP, lose or relinquish their assigned territories, nation deletion, or leave the game, Transvaal immediately regains said territory.

3) the Republic of Transvaal promises not to interfere in the internal social-political forces within Elanthia, which likewise promises not to interfere in the internal social-politics of the Republic.

4) Due to the Botha Line Doctine in effect over Southern Africa, Elanthia is assumed to have the political and military protection of Transvaal at the Republic’s discretion.

Signed on this day of March 11, 2010

- Botha State President of the Republic of Transvaal Government House, Pretoria

Unearthing the truth in Mozambique[]

Discovery at Nacala[]

DECEMBER 2-13, 2009

Soon after Arctican troops and government agencies arrived in the new territory, a small group of locals at the deepwater port of Nacala along the northern coast of Mozambique hesitantly approached the senior Arctican military officer in charge assigned there.

Through Swahili and Portuguese translators, they told the Arctican officer: “We want to show you something – but you cannot tell the Boers we showed you, otherwise they will get mad and burn our village down... or worse.”

The Lt. Colonel in charge of the Arctican garrison in the city, a younger man named Broussard, was glad to help.

He looked at one of the translators. "Tell them that I will send some men to see what they want to show me."

The general picked up his phone and spoke to the secretary outside of the office. "Call Lieutenant Malahelo to my office."

Soon, the door opened and an officer of Malagasy ethnicity entered and saluted the general.

"Lieutenant, I want you to take three men and help these people with their problem. They need to show us something that they believe necessitates a certain level of secrecy, from the Transvalers. They fear for their safety. Report to me as soon as you can."

"Yes, sir."

After rounding up the men he needed, the Lieutenant asked the locals to show him what the problem was.

Two jeeps with Arctican military markings took off along a dirt track cut out of the dense bush which covered much of northern Mozambique. Away from the coastal settlements, like the port town of Nacela, the country was wild and largely unihabited.

In the lead jeep was Lieutenant Malahelo. Along with the driver at the wheel one of the locals who had approached Broussard, he appeared to be some sort of chief in charge or village elder. Also in the jeep was a translator, who was trying to speak - almost forced to yell - to Malahelo over the noise of the engine and loud, constant rattling of the jeep along the bumpy road.

“He says the site is around ten minutes from here and was abandoned by the Transvalers last February before the first attempt at Mozambican independence. Not much remains except the some foundations... and the graves.”

The Lieutenant blinked, hearing the word 'graves'. Now that northern Mozambique is part of Arctica as well as Transvaal, their dirty secrets are bound to be crawling out of the woodwork. But they must know that too. Maybe they'll try to conceal their actions.

The Lieutenant was silent for a moment, taking the new information. He picked up his radio and called the other jeep. "They're leading us to what remains of a Transvaler compound and gravesite. Keep an eye out."

He looked at the translator again. "Ask him what function the site served before it was abandoned." The Lieutenant knew that the Transvalers maintained prison camps in Mozambique, but had not heard of any in this area.

The translator questioned the elder, who replied back something to him. The translator leaned forward so Lieutenant Malahelo could hear him better. “He doesn’t know, they were kept away at pain of death. But he says not too far now…”

After a couple of minutes, the jeep came to a stop at a junction in the road. The tire tracks called a ‘road’ cut through the bush continued off to the right onwards to who knows where, while an old barbed wire gate blocked the tracks going to the left. Further examination show what looked like a barbed wire fence blocking their way and going off both sides into the dense, impassible undergrowth.

The native pointed repeatedly at the gate, and spoke in what was probably Swahili or some other local indigenous tongue to the translator. The translator then said to Malahelo, “he says we have to continue on foot, past this gate, for around half a kilometre or so.”

The group left the jeeps parked in front of the gate. As the Arctican soldiers used some wire cutters to make a hole in the fence, Malahelo noticed the glint of metal around ten feet from where his jeep pulled up. He walked over and noticed a rusted, yellow sign with black lettering abandoned like trash on the ground.


The translator noticed Malahelo looking at the sign now in his hands. It’s Afrikaans, I think it means ‘state labour penal camp for homosexuals’ or something like that.”

Malahelo hopped out of his jeep, grabbing a pair of wire cutters walking up to the gate. He sighed heavily, hating to leave the jeeps behind. They were the only way out of this place.

He listened to the translator and walked up to the gate, looking past it into the brush for a moment before turning to look at the three soldiers following him. He pointed at one. "Private, guard the vehicles. I want you to contact HQ now, inform them of our position and the situation so far. Check in with me every ten minutes by clicking the radio twice. Click once to signal distress."

The Private walked off, leaving only two others. After working to make a hole in the fence, Malahelo passed through, he and a Private on point, another guarding their rear. Malahelo was holding his standard-issue TT sidearm; the man next to him was carrying an AM-8 "Mauler" and the rear guard carried a combat shotgun.

The Lieutenant noticed a glint of sunshine reflecting off a piece of metal which had been discarded there. His eyes ran over the words while the translator explained their meaning. He scowled at the sign and its meaning. To put innocent people in a camp in a place like this...

Malahelo refocused on the mission: he was to protect the natives and their translators and to investigate the abandoned site. Pressing on into the bush...

With the obstacle of the gate out of their way, the group of Arcticans lead by the village elder continued on foot. The site appeared to have been cleared from the bush at one time, the tell-tale evidence of stumps and the young re-growth seemed to indicate that. However since the site’s abandonment, the never stopping tentacles of the jungle had taken back much of the area.

Ahead of them opened up a clearing. Suddenly one of the soldiers tripped. It appeared to be a brick and mortar foundation for some sort of building.

The native elder, who had gone on ahead around one hundred feet, began to wave wildly at the Arcticans and pointed to the ground. Watching their footing on the ground, the Arcticans made their way to were the elder was. In front of them was a sunken pit which had recently been unearthed. The elder then lead them around to the other side of the pit, which was around twenty feet in diameter. He point at the ground where a dozen corpses of various decay were lined up in a row – and then said something. The translator told Malahelo, “He says that once the Transvalers left this area a few days ago, the villagers came in here scavenging for discarded junk left behind. They then stumbled across this mound, which they mistook for a garbage midden so began to dig through it. Instead they found these bodies.”

One of the Arctican soldiers went down on one knee to examine closer. “Sir, they all appear to have been shot in the head, at close range… execution style.”

He then asked the lieutenant, concerned “...what are we going to do about this?

The Arcticans pressed onward, the Lieutenant keeping his eyes mainly on the ground in front of the group, his breathing shallow, scanning the terrain for any tripwires, pungi sticks, or potential pitalls while at the same time paying attention to the sounds of the jungle, listening for any signs of an ambush. The Private behind him scanned in front of and beside them for any enemy movement. The rear guard trailed them, his back to the group and his shotgun constantly up, ready to respond should a threat emerge. Sometime during the walk, Malahelo's radio clicked twice.

The Lieutenant let out a relieved breath when they reached the site without incident, but he remained vigilant. The Private tripped, almost dropping his Mauler. "This is the foundation they were talking about, sir."

At some point the elder had passed him and despite the Lieutenant's warnings had gone ahead of them and was now waving frantically. Malahelo shook his head. The man was making himself a target for whatever lurked in the jungle. Quickly, he waved the group forward and reached the elder, looking down into the pit only for a moment, paying more attention to the translator.

"A few days, you say?" This worried Malahelo more than the rear guard's report of the kind of death these people suffered.

He said to his men in a low voice, "Defensive positions around the civilians. Keep your heads down." The Privates did so, each dropping to one knee and scanning the jungle with their weapons.

I must inform the Lt. Colonel about this. If the Transvalers left only a few days ago, they may be back. I have to call for reinforcements to secure the area. Regardless of the two nations' informal alliance, he doubted that certain groups within the Transvaler military would hesitate to cover this up.

The Lieutenant dropped to his knee and put the radio up to his mouth. He held down the talk button, eyes on the jungle. "Private, respond."

“All quiet sir,” the private reported in. “I haven’t seen a soul out here since we left Nacela. It’s pretty thick out here. There are not even any animals around except for the occasional bird overheard. If there is anyone around, they must be confined to the trail or this clearing. We would hear someone crashing through the bush. It's impossible to move into the bush and maintain silence.”

The Arctican soldier who had first noticed the gunshot wounds in the corpses then quietly called over the Lieutenant.

“Sir, excuse me for saying this, but something doesn’t quite make sense. If the Transvalers did close this camp in February like the natives told us, then that would probably accurately match the amount of re-growth over the foundations and the cleared area here. However, look at this... some of these bodies, like this one here, look fairly recently deceased. Too recent.” He pointed to one in particular, clearly a woman in her twenties, with bright pink dyed hair, “I’m no forensics expert by any means but she looks like she’s been dead for maybe a month.”

"Yes, I see now," said the Lieutenant thoughtfully. Who had been using this site for an execution ground, for months after it was supposed to be closed?

Malahelo radioed the private again and explained the situation, then ordered him to use the more powerful radio in the jeep to contact HQ.

At the Arctican garrison headquarters in Nacela...

"HQ, come in. This is Private Engelman. Over."

"HQ here. What do you need, Private? Over."

"I have a message for Lt. Colonel Broussard, urgent from Lt. Malahelo. Message follows: abandoned Transvaler prison site found in jungle, no intact buildings. Natives claim site closed in February, abandoned several days ago, vegetative regrowth supports that claim. Large burial pit found, most recent corpse estimated at one month dead. Request immediate reinforcements to secure site. Repeat, immediate reinforcements requested. Do you copy? Over."

"We copy, Private. HQ over and out."

The radio operator wrote down the conversation and handed the transcript to his superior, who delivered it to Broussard. Broussard immediate radioed for a full platoon of soldiers to be sent out with a medical team to cordon off the area and recover bodies.

One of the soldiers manning the radios called for Broussard's attention. "Sir, we've got word from one of our city patrols that a squad of around 10 Krygsmagte soldiers just entered town making their way for the docks. They appear to be frontier guards - did you want them detained?"

"Detained? No...send one of our own squads out, ask the officer in charge if he needs help. If not, have them tag along anyway."

In a matter of minutes, a squad of eight Arcticans approached the Transvalers. The Sergeant in charge of them waved them down. "Good day!" he called out. "Do you need a few extra hands?"

The ten soldiers of the Krygsmagte border guards looked disheveled from being out in the bush for too long. They all had beards and looked like they all needed a hot shower.

An ensign, the lowest grade officer grade in the Transvaler military, responded to the Arctican sergeant.

“Oh… hello, we’ve just arrived back in from our month-long patrol along the Mozambican frontier with Serca and are now waiting, hopefully, for our transport from here to take us back to Maputo.”

The ensign then confirmed, “I heard something over our radio that Transvaal was now occupying or sharing this god forsaken place with Arctica? Is that true?”

"Yes sir," said the Sergeant, making sure to address the man properly. "As of December 1, Malawi and northern Mozambique comprise a jointly governed territory called Transvaal-Arctica, or Arctica-Transvaal. My men and I are part of the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force."

After receiving confirmation of that fact, the ensign asked “can we be of help while we wait for our boat home?”

The Sergeant had been informed of a discovery in the jungle but had not been told of the more alarming details. "Yes, sir, I believe you can. You say you've been patrolling the border? Are there any remote Transvaler installations out there that may need to be told about the change of jurisdiction or aided in any way?"

The Krygsmagte ensign, who spoke with an English twang, seemed affable and genuinely pleased to see another civilized face apart from his compatriots in the squad.

“No. Apart from border patrols which are ferried in to Nacela on monthly rotations, there is no Krygsmagte military presence out here at all. The northern frontier of Mozambique is pretty wild and off the beaten track, so we see very little activity. Spooking wild animals is about as exciting as it gets for us most days.”

“Admittedly Transvaal has never really maintained much of an influence in Mozambique once you move inland from the immediate coast. That’s why we rely on coastal ferries to transport us; the road network – if you can call it that – is practically non-existent in the interior. Mostly dirt tracks and footpaths.”

“All we do is keep close along the Serca border, keep track of border stones marking the frontier, look for evidence of smuggling – which if it exists is pretty small scale and between local villages straddling the border, and keep track and observe any disturbances amongst the natives. By and large, we leave the locals alone and they leave us alone. The only time we interact with them is when we need to replenish our supply of rations.”

"Understood, sir. If you require support, contact the garrison here in town." The Sergeant saluted the ensign and walked off to report to Broussard.

Meanwhile, the Arctican platoon and their medical team reached the gate in the jungle, with the lone soldier guarding the two jeeps. Soldiers had been equipped with cameras and were photographing all important items, such as the discarded sign. They'd also brought more heavy tools to take the entire gate apart, and confiscated the sign.

Due to the dense brush, they chose not to take transport trucks but instead took a small convoy of jeeps, each with a trailer attached to transport the bodies back to the base. Unfortunately however, the jeeps and trailers could not go into the denser brush to reach the actual camp, and using stretchers to remove the bodies would take up too much time and manpower, so eventually the decision was made to use wheelbarrows.

When the reinforcements reached the clearing where the camp was, they positioned themselves near the edges, facing outward. The medical team and the photographers made their way to the pit, photographing every angle of the scene before the medical team began the task of removing the bodies and lining them up side to side. The team did a quick check of each body for means of death, then photographed them and began loading them up. Each one was given an approximate time of death also. All this took about 30–45 minutes before the bodies were ready for transport.

The Lieutenant in command of the platoon relayed orders to Lt. Malahelo that he was to escort the civilians back to the vehicles and to take them back to the base to talk with Broussard about protecting their village from reprisals.

Once the photographing and taking of notes was complete, the team began loading the bodies into the wheelbarrows and hauling them back to the gate.

"This is terrible," one of the medics remarked. "I feel like a guard at a death camp, I hope I never have to do this again."

The medic behind him whispered, "Who knows? Maybe the Boers have got more of these scattered around the place..."

The bodies were loaded into the trailers. A tarp was then secured onto each trailer. With all of the soldiers, medics, and natives on the jeeps, they drove back to town and into the small compound within the city that the Arcticans had taken as their headquarters.

Driving into the parking area, the soldiers got off their jeeps and then split into two groups. The reinforcement platoon and the medics began unloading the bodies and taking them to one of the unused buildings in the compound for temporary storage. The Arcticans planned to discover the identities of the deceased and find those responsible for the executions, but the infirmary in the headquarters was ill-equipped to do things such as make dental molds or DNA tests, and taking the bodies to a hospital or morgue in the city would alert the Transvalers. The next logical step was to secure the native village who had found the site from reprisals.

The second group, then, consisting of the original detachment led by Lt. Malahelo, escorted the civilians back to Broussard's office.

A guard opened the door for them and the soldiers saluted Broussard.

"Welcome back, men. Lt. Malahelo, the message from your man was brief. Make me aware of the details."

Malahelo expanded on Pvt. Engelman's brief message, telling Broussard the details of their discovery. "All of this will be included in my report, sir."

"Good. Now, before continuing this investigation, I must ensure the safety of these people and their families," said Lt. Col. Broussard, gesturing to the villagers. He looked at a translator. "Ask them where their village is, and what contact they have had with the Transvalers before...and what we can do to keep them safe from reprisals that may come after we inform the Transvalers of our discovery."

The translator and the villagers talked back and forth for around five minutes, before the translator turned to Lieutenant Colonel Broussard.

“Their village is around thirty kilometers northwards from here, around two-thirds the way between here and Memba, the next town along the coast. Their village has no name. But they also say they don’t want you to tell the Transvalers that they found the site. They don’t want to get involved any further. The only contact they have had with the Transvalers in the last couple of months was with one the periodic patrols by the frontier troops. They saw a group a few days ago but stayed inside when they passed near their village.”

"I was not planning on telling the Transvalers about it. I will tell them that a group of soldiers found the site while driving through the forest. It is still true.

The issue here is the likelihood that whoever was responsible for the executions will connect the discovery of the site to these people's village. I cannot allow that to happen, as it is my job to protect the denizens of this region. From anyone."

The translator relayed back to Broussard that “the villagers would rather stay in Nacala for the time being, for their own safety. They don’t trust the frontier patrols and fear if they return to their village they will get attacked there.”

"Very well. Ask them whether they want to stay in the compound or go into the city. And...thank them for their help in locating the site."

Once the civilians had left, Broussard dismissed the three Privates, leaving only himself and Lt. Malahelo in the office. The Lieutenant stood for some time while Broussard wrote down orders, and handed him two pieces of paper.

"Lieutenant, take these to my XO." The Lieutenant did so. One paper was an order for a squad of scouts to be sent to the gate to the execution site, to hide in the brush and watch for anyone approaching. Anyone who attempted to enter the area was to be apprehended and returned to the base for interrogation.

The second paper contained orders for another squad to make their way to the informants' village, to check up on it and to stay there for the next few days to make sure nothing happened to it.

A few hours later, a member of Arctica’s military medic corps showed up at Broussard’s command office. After waiting to see the lieutenant colonel, he was ushered in to meet Broussard.

“Sir, I checked over that body of the woman who looked to be the most recent victim. Strange as it may sound, I believe she was already dead before she was shot. From my examination, the entry wound and shards from her skull seem to have occurred after surface decomposition had begun. And comparing the various states of the other bodies, it is my guess that these people were killed at different times and all dumped at the site at once. It would seem unusual that such an isolated, out of the way place would be used as a frequent dumping ground over such an extended period of time.”

“Also, another clue, one of the oldest bodies, well… more just a skeleton, had traces of dirt composure quite different than the soil found at the site… as if the bones were dug up from somewhere else, and brought there to be dumped.”

“I was able to recover a couple of bullets as well”, which the medic then handed over to Broussard. “They measure 7.9 mm in diameter, too large for the standard FN FAL rifle which which the Krygsmagte employs, which is 7.8 mm. However, it does match exactly the same calibre as a 303 Lee-Enfield - which is very popular amongst Transvaler farmers and hunters.”

Broussard held the bullets in his hand while listening to the medic.

"So it seems like when the site was closed by the government in February it was really abandoned by them. What we may be looking at here is vigilante groups...that's good in that we won't have the issues we might have in confronting the perpetrators as we would if the government was doing it." Broussard handed the bullets back to the medic.

"Put these in an evidence bag. You are dismissed."

After the medic left, Broussard left his office and approached one of the radio operators. He told him to contact the base at Quelimane, where the overall headquarters of the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force was located, and where the ATDF's commanding officer, General Ružinić, was located.

At Broussard's instruction, the radio operator informed Quelimane of all the events of the past few days, and requested a boat to come retrieve the corpses, where they could be taken to the base at Quelimane and with the better medical facilities there, dental molds and DNA tests could be performed, taking the first step into the actual investigation.

Soon, Ružinić was informed. He ordered a boat sent out to collect the evidence, and his reports to higher-ups in the mainland caught the attention of Arctica Information Command, the intelligence service.

While the boat was en route, AIC contacted some of its spies still operating in Transvaal, the ones closest to Mozambique or in southern Mozambique, asking them if they had heard of similar happenings or of any racial violence by Boers.

Additionally, AIC sent two agents to Nacela to pose as adventurous young Arcticans seeking a new life in the joint territory. Neither of them were very experienced, and for both of them, it was their first mission.

Broussard summoned to his office the Sergeant that had greeted the Transvaler frontier guards. "Sergeant, do you remember what those frontier guards were armed with?"

"I believe they were FN FALs but not one-hundred percent sure, but I don't think they were Lee-Enfields, that kind of antiquated rifle would have caught my attention."

"Very well, Sergeant.

There is one more thing. I believe some family friends of mine are arriving by boat soon. They want to try life in Arctica-Transvaal...bring them to my office."

When the two spies arrived (posing as a couple) they sat down silently. One of them spoke up immediately. "AIC has sent us to investigate your issue. We've been briefed on the developments so far. If we discover anything, you will be made aware. We will report to Info Command regularly, who will inform you. If that is not a possibility, we will report to you and it will be your duty to relay the information to our handler immediately.

None of your men are to be made aware of our identity or mission, do you understand?"

Broussard shifted in his seat, his face hardening. He wasn't used to being talked down to by AICers, but he knew that unless they interfered with his mandate, he would have to keep his mouth shut. He simply nodded stiffly in reply.

He got a cold smile in return. "Good," said the other agent, obviously enjoying the degree of power her profession gave her. Both then stood and walked out, their demeanor changing as soon as they were out of the door. They were now the curious, adventurous young couple out to make something of themselves in a new land.

Meanwhile in Quelimane the boat had arrived, and had been swarmed by medical personnel who wanted to work on the corpses right away. Dental impressions were made, fingerprints taken from the not-quite-decomposed samples, a dirt sample had been taken from the anomalous skeleton and research was done on which areas that type of soil composition could be present, the lengthy process of DNA profiling was underway, and proper autopsies were performed for the first time. In several weeks the the DNA results would come back, and then the Transvaal government could be contacted to aid in the investigation, with all pertinent data already available for them to check against their records.

Just in case any of the dead had traveled to Arctica and been arrested there at any point, the available fingerprints were run through the police computer.

Until then, Broussard's scouts, the two agents, and the official records provided by the other operative were the Arcticans' only way of uncovering this mystery.

After a few days, AIC would report back to Broussard that none of the AIC agents were able to locate any previous examples of such violence by the Boers - or anyone for that matter.

In fact, one of the agents had the audacity (and gallows humour) to say that the last known instance he could find of a mass execution like this "...was when Annetjie van Matteus had the entire SWF-LSF soccer team shot over two years ago."

However, one intrepid and resourceful AIC agent who shuttled between Maputo and Pretoria on a regular basis under a 'business cover' as a tea exporter was able to locate and access some of the government files for the "Nacala Penal Labour Colony for Sexual Deviants" (he maintains an affair with one of the clerks who handles visitor access to the restricted portion of the archives). He wants to know "if you want the files (he simply walked off with the originals) forwarded to you?"

"Yes, make copies and fax them to me," instructed the man's handler.

Lieutenant-Colonel Broussard sat at his desk going through the contests of the rather thick folder which had been couriered to him from Pretoria via Maputo and Oceana.

Broussard smiled to himself, a silent chuckle of a salute for the agent who had the audacity to walk right into the Transvaler national archives unchallenged and subsequently walk out with all the original files and arousing no suspicion. For all the regional belligerence and supremacy the Transvalers sometimes tried to present to the world, they were certainly not one of the smartest nor alert when it came to their own internal security at times.

What were now strewn about on his desk were the official prisoner records for the Nacala Penal Labour Colony for Sexual Deviants.

What struck Broussard as unusual was that during the camp’s entire operational period between completion on June 5, 2008 and its closure on February 26, 2009, prior to the first failed attempt at Mozambican independence, it only ever contained three prisoners.

Three prisoners. Broussard was amazed that the Transvaler government would go to all that effort to build and maintain such an operation for three unfortunate people who happened to be imprisoned solely for their sexual orientation. They spent a fortune on nothing. He laughed to himself; not only were the Boers terrible policemen but they were incredibly wasteful as well.

If the documentation was indeed true, and all evidence seemed to indicate that it was genuine, then it was likely that the bodies found were not linked with the operations of the camp.

He then noticed a signature on some memos which sent a chill down his spine. Many of the initial directives and government orders relating to the construction and operation of labour camps which emanated from Pretoria had the signature of then-Interior Minister Annetjie van Matteus. He wondered to himself about the whole the macabre irony of Van Matteus ultimately responsible for managing something that she herself could have been imprisoned in, if all the quiet rumours and whisperings about her sexuality were indeed true.

Broussard then noted attached reports which contained the names and whereabouts of the three ‘sexual deviants’ of Nacala forced labour camp; even after their release the Transvaler government maintained tabs on their movements. Two men and one woman. One of the men had left the country permanently for an unknown destination while the woman had been killed during enemy bombing in the Karma War. That left one Piet van der Merwe – currently a resident of Cape Town – as the only traceable, former prisoner.

Also included was what looked like the damage control report from Pretoria in the wake of the Tahoe-Arctican investigations into Transvaal’s forced labour system. Broussard cracked another wide smile. He felt proud, that for once, here was indeed physical proof that his homeland had done something that happened to strike some real fear and uncertainty into the Boers.

Lastly, there was the formal notice of closure issued by Interior Minister Gert Boersma, van Matteus’ replacement. That name he recognized, as Boersma had taken up exile in Arctica when the Malan dictatorship was in full swing. And the last that he recalled hearing through Arctican media reports from that period, Boersma still maintained a private residence in Arctica.

Broussard gathered all the papers and put them back into the manila envelope. They would be photocopied and then the originals returned to Oceana to be taken back to the archive before any one from the Transvaler government had noticed they were missing. It would take some time before any forensic evidence would be made available, but at least for the time being he had some leads which he could follow in the meanwhile.

After reading the documents, Broussard realized that he would just have to be patient while the Infos followed the leads. He quickly sent the items back to Oceana so that it could be returned before whatever daring agent who retrieved it got compromised.

There were two groups of Arctican spies in Transvaal, having been sent in two waves. The first group was originally sent in late April to plant themselves in the SNP created by "Karl van Zyl." The planned size of the group was three agents, but Transvaal broke into war and any threat Van Zyl posed was neutralized, so only two were sent.

The second group was a larger wave sent in when Transvaal was focusing all its resources on the war. Arctica saw the opportunity and decided to infiltrate a few more into the country if a problem like Van Zyl should arise again. Until such time that action would need to be taken to protect Arctica, they served a passive information-gathering role.

However, in the next step of the investigation, an agent from the first group would be used. Codenamed Cheetah, the operative had taken on the name Xandra Hoffman before entering Cape Town on a ship, April 22. Claiming to have lived in Namibia for some time, she soon acquired Transvaler citizenship and got a clerical job with the National Party headquarters in the city. She voted regularly but otherwise kept quiet. Her role within AIC mostly required keeping watch for any important documents passed her way. Other than that, she basically lived her life as any other middle-class Transvaler. There had been no important things she needed to pass onto AIC, and so her espionage mission seemed more like a witness relocation program until she was contacted by her handler. The message stated that there was something she needed to do, and described what that was.

Xandra, who was so used to her new life and devoid of contact with her countrymen that she might not have responded to her birth name anymore, didn't know whether to be excited or to dread this break from her routine. But she quickly reminded herself that despite appearances she was still an AIC operative, or colloquially "Info."

Included in the message was Piet van der Merwe's home address. Posing as some sort of humanitarian worker wouldn't be very difficult, since she wasn't well-known at all and was just another face in the crowd.

So that is what she did. One afternoon, posing as a member of a fictional humanitarian organization within Transvaal (which was, of course, operating in secret, which might deter him from asking questions or probing her identity further), she approached the subject at his home under a second false name, told him who she "was," reassured him she was not a journalist, and began asking questions about him, and eventually the camp, trying to ease into the subject, taking notes as she did this.

Piet van der Merwe answered his door reluctantly. He no longer trusted strangers.

“Hello?” he said, peering through the opening of the latched door.

Seeing it was a lone woman standing there, and not a group of military thugs like the time before, he unlatched the chain (which probably would not keep anyone out anyways) and beckoned her to come inside. As he closed the door, he hesitantly looked around one last time, wary that he was being watched.

Van der Merwe made some coffee for his visitor and then sat down to answer the various questions she asked. He sensed that she was not whom she claimed to be, and when discussion began to focus around his time in the detention camp, as he referred to it, he knew why she was here – to find out about the nature of the camp – although still not sure who had sent her.

But he felt that whoever she was working for (he assumed a foreign magazine journalist trying to expose some dirt on the government), she was probably not going to report him to the Interior Ministry.

“Yes, I was arrested I think in July 2008, I don’t recall the exact date for sure, but the camp in Nacala where I was sent was fairly new. There was another man there, then around a month later a woman joined us. We were kept there until the end of February, when the camp was closed and we were released.”

“What else would you like to know?”

She started out with asking him questions he expected, about the conditions in the camp, how often they were fed, what life was like after he was released, things like that.

Then, "Was there anything strange about the camp, something you would not expect to be there? Maybe the guards behaving erratically, any threats from the locals, strange visitors coming and going?"

Piet van der Merwe thought carefully back to those days he spent in the camp.

“Anything strange, you ask? Well the whole set-up seemed strange – like a farcical stage-play. It was like the camp operated as if there were supposed to be hundreds imprisoned. We would go through the motions of having roll call three times a day even though there were only three of us there and it was impossible for the guards and officers not to know our whereabouts the whole time. There were probably a dozen barracks to house prisoners – although all were empty except the one we occupied. We put up blankets to divide it so there was some privacy between the three of us. Most of the time they just left us alone.”

As she spoke with Van der Merwe, Xandra Hoffman suspected that his outgoing personality probably made him a noticeable target for the authorities’ attention, someone who simply did not blend into the rest of the generally conservative and staid white society.

“We were always treated firmly but respectful, no one ever beat or tortured us, if that is what you are wondering, despite the frequent rumoured practices of Interior Ministry security personal. I believe we actually had regular army troops assigned as our guards, and I got the impression we were a punishment or disciplinary posting for the army. All in all it was fairly quiet – we never saw any visitors from the outside world. As for locals, from what I heard they simply stayed away.”

Then Van der Merwe asked pensively, “excuse me, but why are you asking these questions?”

"My organization is concerned with human rights...if you were tortured or abused in any way, I'd want to know that, naturally, and my organization may pass some information to people who could expose that.

And the rights of the prisoners aren't the only things we're concerned about, Transvaal has had a pretty bad record of treating the blacks too. So if the natives around your camp were making threats, that indicates dissent and of course there must be a reason for that."

Hoffman placed her notes into her purse. "Well, Mr. Van der Merwe...thanks for your help. I should get going before it gets dark. Good luck to you."

Van der Merwe looked somewhat perplexed when Xandra Hoffman spoke of Transvaal’s treatment of blacks. Unbeknownst to her, it was part of the cruel irony that often appears in stratified, discriminatory societies, where the oppressed in one social strata nevertheless look down or fail to acknowledge the oppression of those ‘beneath’ them.

As he showed Hoffman to the door, he commented “I doubt the government was bothered at all about natives in Mozambique, as it’s the Zulu and Xhosa whom the government and most whites, for that matter, dislike the most on account of their numbers and the fact their homeland falls within South Africa itself. Anyways it was nice speaking with you, I hope was of some help.”

As soon as the strange foreign woman was outside, he closed the door quickly on her. After all, the prying eyes of suspicious neighbours.

"Thank you for your help Mr. Van der Merwe, do not be surprised if this shows up on the news in the future, here or elsewhere."

After she was out the door, Xandra used standard evasion procedures to shake anyone who may have been tailing her after seeing her enter Van der Merwe's house.

- - -

AIC left the task of contacting Boersma to the military, since they were the only ones "officially" involved in the investigation, even though the investigation was still not actually official.

After extending the courtesy of calling Boersma to arrange a meeting before visiting him, a Major Andrew Wilhelm of the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force, wearing his dark blue dress uniform which by regulation matched the hue of the background of Arctica's old flag (OOC: I don't have it right now but if I find it I will edit in the link).

"Good afternoon, Mr. Boersma," he said, taking off his hat and extending his hand to shake, and introduced himself.

"I apologize for meeting you on such short notice, but there is a matter that the ATDF requires your input on...if we may speak inside?"

Once inside, the Major told Boersma that some of the soldiers from Nacala had been led to the remains of the prison camp by the natives, and told him what Broussard's men had found there. He told him what he knew of the investigation - everything minus the espionage involved, which Wilhelm was not even aware of - and that, as Minister of the Interior at the time the camp was in operation and when it was closed (or so the natives told them), Boersma may hold relevant knowledge.

"The ATDF would be grateful if you could aid in this investigation in any way.

Gert Boersma, a rather short pudgy balding man, sat back in his chair as he recollected:

“Yes, I recall those labour camps were quite an embarrassment for many in Pretoria once their existence came out in the open. Once I replaced Van Matteus as the Interior Minister, I tried to do my best to divert as much attention as possible away from them, so our more zealous types working for me in the Ministry would hopefully ‘forget’ about them and thus prosecuting the very people who were supposed to end up in them.”

“Of course, I had to keep them filled with some prisoners, as the government would have begun questioning why the labour camp system had no inmates at all - but when they did ask me why our inmate population was lower than expected; I just replied that perhaps they overestimated their target expectations of prisoners. I also lied and said that most of the people we “arrested” for deviant behavior or unapproved religious beliefs also had committed felonies, so we just put them in our general prison system and quietly released them. I feel sorry however for the souls that I had to send to Mozambique to maintain the front of operating the camps.”

“I can verify – by my word – that all the prisoners assigned to Nacala were later released. I can also verify that as far as I am aware, no executions were ever carried out. Granted our security apparatus may utilize brute force or use ‘intensive investigation’ techniques during interrogations at times to maintain its reputation of fear, but I never heard of anyone deliberately killed in such a manner as you unearthed at Nacala.”

“If you ask me, I think your people in Nacala were purposely led there so you would discover those bodies. Most black Africans, and certainly those in the hinterlands of the Republic, want nothing to do with any government authority out of mistrust or fear. There must have been a reason why those locals contacted your people, either out of fear of something far greater than the government – or they were paid to do so. The situation seems just too convenient to occur under ‘normal circumstances’.”

“Also, consider this: when we evaculated that territory in February 2009 for the abortive attempt at Mozambican independence, I received orders from Pretoria to level the camps in the areas we were turning over to the new independence governments, so they would not find any evidence of them and thus expose our operation to outside, prying foreign eyes. So one would think that if this crime were carried out by government or camp personal, the first thing they would do is remove any bodies of deceased prisoners, ja?”

"Yes, the oldest of the bodies is estimated to have died after the camp was closed. A dirt sample was also taken from another skeleton that does not match the soil in which it was buried. Your theory that the natives deliberately led us there does add more mystery to the investigation. It leads me to believe that the usage of Lee-Enfield rifles was also meant to mislead us, meaning that old boers or Verwoerd Front supporters are probably not the perpetrators. Organized crime maybe?

Anyway, I thank you for your help, Mr. Boersma. If any further information comes to mind, please contact the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force headquarters in Quelimane." Wilhelm wrote down a number on a piece of paper and handed it to Boersma."

As he was leaving, Wilhelm could not help but to think Van Matteus was somehow connected to the murders. She was Interior Minister for a time, after all. Perhaps it was his morbid sense of humor that connected the rumors of Van Matteus' sexual orientation to the post-mortem gunshot wound on the newest corpse, the woman. Maybe she didn't like her girlfriend's new hair color, he thought to himself, grinning as he walked back to his car.

Boersma listened to what the Arcticans told him about the nature of their discoveries and the evidence so far collected before giving his assessment:

“Organised crime? No… highly unlikely! The government has always maintained a strong arm on organized crime and stamped it out at every opportunity possible. What little organised crime that has occurred over the years is almost always based in the South Western Townships near Johannesburg, better known as Soweto. Northern Mozambique is some of the most remote parts of the Republic, that’s basically why we built the camps there – because no one is around and nothing goes on.”

“I also doubt this act was perpetrated by natives or blacks, as the government takes a very dim view on arming Africans. Generally the only Africans, and I mean here blacks, who would have access to firearms would be soldiers – and all of Transvaal’s black troops are usually stationed in Namibia or Botswana.”

“If it were local populace, then the weaponry – assuming they even had access to a secret cache of weapons - would most likely be different ordinance… foreign-supplied… like AK-47s or something ex-guerillas might have stored away. But Mozambique has generally not been a scene of native rebellion or resistance.”

“If you are suspecting the use of Lee-Enfields, then that there tells me the perpetrators were almost for sure whites. It’s a popular weapon amongst rural white civilians and ex-military. I myself would actually lean towards some sort of secret Boer group. Perhaps ex-Verwoerd Front although they have pretty much disbanded since the death of Reverend Du Toit and the Karma War finished many of them off too. But those that survived, such as that queer Karl Van Zyl fellow who was briefly my replacement, the military junta didn’t keep any tabs on them. From what I heard through my sources remaining inside the Interior Ministry while I was in exile, apparently Malan and his cohorts had more important things to focus on than a bunch of redneck farmers and bitterender racists.”

As he listened to the affable Boersma, Wilhelm found it incredible to believe that his guest had somehow rose to the position of Interior Minister in a nation that many called 'closet fascists' and didn't always have the best track record for human rights.

Then as Boersma stood up to leave, he asked: “Have you spoken to anyone in the Transvaler government about this yet?”

"No, we are waiting on DNA results to come back from the corpses. All other possible forensic evidence has been required, and we've been chasing leads while we wait for the results. So far you're our only lead, since you were Interior Minister for quite some time.

And, I think that Broussard does not want to bring this issue to the attention of your government until he has prepared all of the evidence. It's been several days, they should be coming in soon."

Wilhelm considered the possibility of Van Zyl being involved in the killings. It would make sense: Van Zyl was last known to have taken asylum in Serca, and the Serca-Transvaal border in Mozambique was very lightly patrolled. Hopefully with the DNA results some light could be shed on who these people were and why they were targeted, and by whom.

“Agreed, when your government does broach this issue with Pretoria, exactly how and with whom you bring this up with will be most critical.”

“It is entirely possible that someone in the government does actually know about this incident – so the last thing you want to do is go into the lion’s den itself to rat out on the lion. Or even if it is an isolated incident, it is still damning enough information that it could be turned around as blackmail inside the Volksraad.”

As Boermsa departed, he turned around and quietly said to Wilhelm, “Be careful, my friend…”

"One more thing, Mr. have served with the government of Transvaal for quite some time. You should know best who can be trusted with this information and who cannot."

Boersma stopped in his tracks and thought. “You know, that is a very good question…”

After giving some thought, he continued “Well you cannot go to the Interior Ministry because Van Matteus has still not got around to appointing a replacement to Van Zyl since his disappearance around the time of the Karma War.”

“Anyone who you could trust is probably powerless to do anything about it, although Archbishop Cornelius Hoof, who is Minister of Religion, might be a possible option as the government might listen to him if he was able to bring up the subject. Problem is he is a dithery old man who keeps out of politics except when brought in for a consulting role in ethical questions.”

“Another option is approaching Field Marshal Cruywagen. He has a reputation for being just in such matters. Besides, I believe your government has good contacts with him.

Once Boersma had departed, Wilhelm was handed the coronor's report from the AIC investigation:


All twelve bodies had evidence of gunshot wounds made at point-blank to the head – although this appears not to be the cause of death for any of the victims. Some of the bodies appear to have been buried and then dug up, only to be shot. Some of the bodies have evidence of embalming. While it is my opinion that the bodies were all buried at the camp location at the same time (based on similar dirt moisture levels found under nails, in nasal openings, etc.) it is beyond a doubt based on their various levels of decay that these victims all perished at different times, some as long as two years ago and one as recent as a couple of weeks. Therefore my time line is these bodies were placed at the site there no more than 14 days prior to discovery. On the most recent victim, a woman, a business card was found with a name (Julie du Prees) and a telephone number written on its back which we have traced to a Maputo address.

At the time the Major was boarding a boat back to Quelimane, the DNA tests being conducted there finally came back with results. Of course, without the Transvaler records to check them against, they were useless.

An AIC agent purchased a prepaid cellphone using cash from the agency's budget and called the number on the business card, posing as a "wrong number" caller just to see who answered. After recoding the result, the phone was destroyed. Additionally, any public records the Transvalers had about the address were consulted.

In Pretoria, Ambassador Anton Dietz contacted the office of Paul Cruywagen and requested a meeting to discuss an issue which had arisen in the joint territory, citing the fact that Cruywagen would be the one to contact about such things, being that Arctica-Transvaal had no formal government yet and was basically under military governance.

One of Lt. Colonel Broussard sergeants burst into his office suddenly as he was going through some routine paperwork.

“Sir, that Portuguese translator – the one who worked with us and the natives – he’s been found, dead. The local police constabulary was called to a hotel this morning after the innkeeper found him dead, his head stuffed into the toilet to drown him. Looks like he put up a fight too, there was blood all over the place and damage done to the room. Anyways one of our men overheard about this unusual incident on the police radio and checked into it further. When he arrived on the scene of the crime, he recognized him as our translator.”

"...huh. That's odd. Since I hear the Transvalers are being made aware of this investigation soon, our involvement here will soon become official. Have one of our men 'assist' the local police in their investigation. Have him make sure that no evidence is misplaced...also, I want a report from my men watching the village. If something happened to the translator, the natives may be connected to this somehow."

- - -

When the number was called, a woman answered. Before the AIC agent hung up, he was able to get the woman’s name, Julie. A quick look of the local telephone directory and property tax records confirmed the number and address belong to Julie du Prees.

- - -

Meanwhile, Anton Dietz contacted Field Marshal Paul Cruywagen’s office. Despite being immersed dealing with suppressing the troublesome rebellion in the Northern Cape and recent negotiations regarding the new Tahoe air base in Namibia, the marshal was nevertheless willing to make some time for the Arcticans on account of his old ties to that country.

Cruywagen appeared a few hours later at the Arctican embassy in Pretoria.

“Good afternoon Ambassador Dietz” the gruff commander-in-chief of Transvaal’s military said, giving a hearty handshake in the process, “what can I assist you with?”

"Thank you for meeting with me, Marshal. I know you have your hands full, so I will be brief. Evidence of a grave criminal act has been uncovered in the Arctica-Transvaal territory. The details are in this folder but the basics are that someone has been digging up bodies, shooting them in the head, and transporting them to an abandoned labor camp in Mozambique.

The ATDF down there is determined to get to the root of the problem, but the trail of evidence has led into Transvaal itself, which is obviously outside of the Defense Force's jurisdiction. They've been gathering evidence for a while now and finally have enough to present it to your government.

The problem is that we have no idea who may or may not be involved in this conspiracy or for what purpose. It may be a random string of murders, or an internal security threat that just happened to be caught due to the sudden territorial changes. Whatever it is, I trust that the information we have gathered so far will be better off in your hands than with one of the more controversial members of your government."

Dietz slid a thick folder across his desk to Cruywagen, containing everything the investigation turned up, or at least every piece of evidence that had not been attained by spies. Officially, Arctica had no spies operating in Transvaal or any foreign country.

"And, Marshal...if we crack this case, it will show to the world the success of our joint territory venture, and the level of cooperation two countries can exhibit if they commit to peace."

Marshal Cruywagen pulled a drag off his cigarette as he looked through the folder.

After a couple of minutes, in his characteristic gruff voice, he croaked “This is very unusual information which your people have uncovered. I am not quite sure what to make of it myself.”

“Either you have stumbled across something rather unsavoury that was taking place at the camps, or you are being set-up to believe that. The question is, if it is the later and your evidence here seems to indicate that, who is doing this and what do they expect to gain from this?”

“A major problem going on in Transvaal right now is Prime Minister van Matteus for whatever her own reasons has failed to appoint an Interior Minister since Karl van Zyl’s failed coup attempt in July. Therefore we are experiencing a whole mess of assortment of security lapses and blunder – such as the assassination attempt on the Staatspresident back in October or the recent Boer rebellion in the Northern Cape. The Ministry is running itself directionless and would be useless in any investigation.”

“There is little I can do at this point except quietly check Krygsmagte records for any possible, unusual orders issued related to troops stationed in the Nacala district. All that would do is confirm or rule out any army involvement or personal.”

Then Cruywagen had an idea.

“You know, there is something you could do in the meanwhile. Contact the prime ministers’ office requesting a meeting with the Minister of Interior. Make it something mundane, like investigating possible smuggling operations uncovered in Transvaal-Arctica, something boring enough politically that wouldn’t require the attention of the prime minister herself. It’ll however have to force her to appoint someone – either as Interior Minister or simply as a liaison officer with your embassy… and hopefully that person would be sympathetic enough to your investigation to gain you access to any records you would require to continue investigating.”

“And if she ends up meeting with you, then play along with it and see where it leads.”

Before leaving, Cruywagen added “…see if she will give you Boersma to work with. He is currently on the outside of the government but someone who is resourceful enough but also not a political threat. But most important he has a genuine integrity for justice.”

Van Zyl's rescue[]

JANUARY 4, 2010

TRANSVALER DAAGLIKSE NUUS [PRETORIA]: After over five months without anyone running the Ministry of Interior, Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus reluctantly accepted the military's request to re-appoint Gert Boersma as Interior Minister.

"It is absurd that the government has allowed our nation to go for this long without a police chief" commented Field Marshal Paul Cruywagen to the press at Government House.

Normally the Marshal is reluctant to voice his opinion on political matters but said that "recent incidents and events in the Northern Cape and elsewhere now require the immediate attention of someone firmly in charge of the judical and investigative authorities..."

JANUARY 8-15, 2010

After settling back into his old office, Interior Minister Boersma picked up his telephone and dialed up Minister Strijdom the Foreign Ministry.

"Hello? Boersma here... thanks I'm fine... Say, I am wondering if you would be able to contact the Arctican embassy and let them know I am requesting a meeting with their ambassador.... Oh, nothing serious, just working out some logistical issues over policing in the joint administration territory."

Boersma smiled to himself as he hung up the phone. He had some favours he needed to pay back to his Arctican friends...

The ambassador received word from Transvaal's Foreign Ministry and set up a meeting. Soon, Boersma would be notified.

"Welcome to the embassy, Minister Boersma," greeted the ambassador. "Congratulations on your appointment. I understand you are here to discuss some unresolved issues with the joint territory."

Dietz was glad that Cruywagen asked for Boersma to be appointed, and that Van Matteus accepted his request. An interior minister was needed to further investigate the happenings in Mozambique, and one who was sympathetic to Arctica and had a mind for justice was the best he could ask for.

Boersma shook hands and thanked Dietz for the congratulations.

"Yes, 'unresolved issues' with the joint territory... that is what I told our foreign office. Actually, I came here to discuss your investigation into the Nacala matter."

"Marshal Cruywagen views the events there most seriously, however he cannot take much action without raising suspicions or raising criticism of military interferance in the government - just in case someone in the government is or was involved. It is my understanding that he had to pull some strings and subterfuge to convince Van Matteus to re-appoint me."

"So we both have agreed that it would be better if your people continued with the investigation. I have too much on my plate to re-organise this department to devote resources to an investigation. Personally I feel more comfortable with outsiders looking into this. I am hoping that some of your dead ends may disappear now that I have the authority to grant you unrestricted access to our national archives [ooc: Boersma is unaware that Arctica already had an inside means into the archives]."

"If anyone does start questioning why there are Arcticans mucking aorund in our archives, I can make up some simple excuse like 'they are trying to educate themselves on the infrastructure of Mozambique' or some other reason related to the joint-administration".

"Thank you for that. I will send someone to pick them up. I also expect the Arctican governor of the territory will appreciate access to information on Mozambique."

"Marshal Cruywagen has ensured me that he can find no trace of any unusual Krygsmagte involvement at Nacala, so he believes the next course of action is to explore any possible government involvement, and after that sector is either implicated or eliminated from involvement, then start looking at civilian involvement."

"I would think that investigating problem individuals in your government would be your job, Minister."

Boersma laughed. “Yes, one would think so Ambassador… however keep in mind that my ministry also has quite a checked past with its loyalty towards the government and its institutions. Four of my previous five colleagues – De Ruijters, Roussouw, Van Zyl, Van Matteus – all likely have blood on their hands. So when our people start poking their noses around Government House, the executive cabinet gets squeamish and panicky and smell a coup. Even I myself do not trust all my personal. No, until I have firm evidence that no one in our government is involved, and can present that as such to them, I have to keep my ministry in the shadows.”

The ambassador looked displeased. "I see...then how do you suggest that we proceed with investigating members of your government? I would prefer a course of action that has very little risk for...embarassment, for either of our governments." Boersma could probably see where Dietz was coming from; his job was to represent Arctican interests, and one of those interests was to minimize embarrassment and damage to his nation, especially the government.

Boersma smiled and then cracked a laugh. “Yes I suppose you make a good point. However at this stage, your people do have a legit excuse to be poking around in our archives. Once you get past the entrance clerks, no one will pay any further attention to you – that is assuming there is anyone even there at the time.”

“When someone goes into the main archives and the restricted section, there are sign-in sheets. If someone else is currently visiting, your people at that time could decide whether it is safe enough to continue or not. In fact, if there were anyone of interest in the archives, that alone would be interesting as government members have secretaries and such to do their file retrievals. However anytime Interior Ministry people visit, word of that usually spreads like wildfire as the lists are posted up at Government House for department verification and such.”

“Just don’t take any files with you and thus no one will know for sure what your people were looking into. Anyways see what you can find there and if you uncover any leads, report back to me and we can acertain the next step.”

"Also, the military now has Karl van Zyl in custody, he would be the best person to try interrogate regarding Verwoerd Front involvement."

"Van Zyl and his followers are our major suspects in this investigation, though at this point it is hard to tell who could have done it. I would like to arrange a meeting between him and some of the men the ATDF has working this case. I might also mention that as territorial governance transitions into civilian hands, there are plans for the Bureau of Internal Investigation to gradually replace the military in investigating matters like this.

“That can certainly be arranged when you deem fit. Cruywagen has already cleared your people to meet with Van Zyl.”

"Good, good...I will make a call after this meeting is concluded and find out where he is being held.

“According to Cruyawgen, he is being held at the Johannesburg Barracks. You can contact Cruywagen’s office to make the arrangements to see Van Zyl.”

And this is a long shot, Minister, but do you suspect that any of the Transvaler candidates for territorial governor aim to use their authority to cover up as-yet undiscovered evidence in the Nacala case?"

“You know, that is an intriguing question. I never thought of that.”

“Coincidently enough, Jakob Hertzog was prime minister during the time the camps were constructed and operated – although my understanding is they were built pretty much built without his knowledge. However I am not sure what Hertzog would be trying to cover up, granted he is probably embarrassed with their existence during his tenure, but his integrity as a person is pretty strong despite the humiliating reputation the poor man has been burdened with. He was probably our most democratic leader, so I doubt he would abuse his position as governor should he be elected. ”

“I doubt any of the other candidates would cover anything up, apart from the communists most of them seem pretty decent people and above such corrupt practices.”

“And speaking of the communists, I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to use knowledge of the camps as a means to embarrass Pretoria. Mind you, their attention would be directed towards the former camp located at Beira as that was where communist and anti-government political offenders were imprisoned. If there were some sort of communist involvement in this case, I would suspect they would have targeted Beira as their comrades would have more intimate knowledge of that facility – which was also closed at the same time.”

"Hmm...last I checked, the Communists are tied for votes with Hertzog. It is too close to call yet, so there is a real possibility that they will attempt that. With access to your files, I can inform the ATDF of other labor camp sites in Arctica-Transvaal and suggest that they check for anything similar to what they uncovered in Nacala."'

Boersma got up and dug through one of his filing cabinets. He pulled up a piece of paper and made a photocopy of it, which he then handed to Dietz.

“This is a list of the original camps built in Mozambique and their function - only Maputo and Inhambane remain open although both now cater to civil felons and violent offenders. Beira, Quelimane, and Nacala are located in the joint aministration territory. All three sites were demolished and then relocated to Namibia when the first attempt at Mozambican independence was attempted last year."

JANUARY 14, 2010

Field Marshal Paul Cruywagen could not believe the news coming from Maputo. He regretted every minute he had ever governed as prime minister of Transvaal, fearing it would lead to a normalization of military involvement in the Republic’s less-than-ideal democratic institutions. Unfortunately for him, the Karma War had shattered his hopes and ever since the military junta last spring, many of his officer corps felt that the military now had an inherent right to become political when interests were at stake.

Such as today’s assassination of Geroge Fischer. Cruywagen hated communism as much as any National Party supporter, but he also respected the people’s right to choose. If Fischer was what the Mozambican people really wanted, then so be it. However many in the military – probably the vast majority of its officers – saw no wrong in using any means necessary to stamp out socialism before it could try to take root in the Republic. Cruywagen felt that while he may control the military, he did not control his officers – almost all whom had risen up the ranks under Malan’s tenure in the RMG junta. It was instances such as today that he felt his own influence slipping from his hands.

He had issued a statement through the media pledging a military investigation into this violation of democratic institutions, but he knew full well – like everyone else – that he would face a wall of silence from his officers.

Then there was still this whole business the Arcticans had literally dug up in Nacala. He remembered that the Arctican ambassador had contacted him, wanting access to interrogate Karl van Zyl regarding the matter. Cruywagen extinguished the cigarette he was smoking, and thought to himself ‘what if the same people who assassinated George Fischer also tried to spring Van Zyl from his confinement at the Johannesburg Barracks?’ He had to act fast to prevent that from occurring…

The Marshal picked up his telephone and dialed the Arctican embassy. In his rudimentary Malagasy which he had acquired while stationed there during the Vrystaat occupation, he asked “I need to speak with Ambassador Deitz as soon as possible – it’s important!”

The secretary at the embassy, who was ethnic Malagasy, recognized Cruywagen's voice. "Just a moment, please."

She redirected the call to Dietz's office, who was just about to write a note to Cruywagen regarding Van Zyl.

"Dietz here. How can I help you, Marshal?"

In a combination of English and broken Malagasy, Cruywagen spoke with Ambassador Deitz in a tone of voice that almost hinted of anxiety and uncertainly - uncharacteristic of the usually cool and gruff commander-in-chief.

“Ambassador, I assume you have heard the news what happened this afternoon in Mozambique? Anyways I am starting to suspect the same perpetrators might attempt to free Karl van Zyl from the military prison facilities at Johannesburg Barracks. I do not think Van Zyl’s imprisonment can be maintained in Transvaal for much longer, as after today’s events I cannot trust my own officer corps. Therefore I need your help… would Arctica be able to take custody of Van Zyl until the situation better permits our own authorities to deal with him and carry out fair justice for his crimes. I ask this as a personal favour; if my government lodges a formal complaint with yours, I will deal with that myself.”

"How quickly do you need him out of there? I can have someone flown in to get him in a few days. However...

There is a code in the Foreign Ministry's 'handbook' designed to expand the flexibility of the embassy's role in unstable nations that allows me to, as Ambassador, divert a part of the embassy guard to aid the legitimate government at the urging of a high-ranking official. I believe this falls within the bounds of that code. I will send a squad to retrieve Van Zyl, and I will print off the form for the 'urgent request' and send a courier to you to sign it.

Van Zyl is far too much of a risk to be allowed to escape."

“Agreed, that is why I contacted you. I would like to see him out of here as soon as possible although I do understand if there are delays for planning and logistics. I was unsure what kind of embassy security detachment you had at your disposal.”

“Send me your required paperwork and along with it, I will give your courier written orders signed by me stating that your people are taking custody of Van Zyl. If your people run into opposition, get them to contact me at this number.”

“I will also include a map of the barracks and where the prison complex is located. Since the barracks are located adjacent to the international airport, you might find it easier to simply take Van Zyl there and fly him out on a private transport – rather than to hole him up in your embassy.”

“I thank you for your assistance in this critical matter.”

"I have two squads at my disposal, standard procedure. My men will be there shortly. Goodbye." Dietz hung up the phone, then picked it up again and dialed 0, for his secretary.

"Marie, get me a copy of the 306. Wake up 2nd Squad, they're to replace 1st Squad which I require for an emergency action. Tell Jennings to get in here." He set down the phone once again, and soon 1st Squad filed into the room, followed by Jennings, one of Dietz's aides. By then, the ambassador had filled out his part of the paper.

"Sergeant, it will be noted that I'm calling a 306 at...18:20. You are to take the SUVs and escort Mr. Jennings to Marshal Cruywagen's office. Jennings will serve him the 306, and the Marshal will give you directions and a signed order to the personnel at your destination. From there, you will travel to the Johannesburg Barracks and retrieve Karl Van Zyl.

You are to take him to Johannesburg airport where I will hopefully have a transport waiting to take you to Arctica." Dietz wrote down something on a strip of paper and handed it to the Sergeant. "If there are any problems, present the personnel the 306 and the order, then instruct them to call the number I wrote down there. If you encounter further resistance, react appropriately. Understood?"

"Yes, sir."

"Very well. Jennings, take this." He handed the form to the courier and sent them on their way.

Upon being admitted to the Marshal's office, the courier and 1st Squad filed in. Jennings set a pen on the desk, along with the form. "Sign at the X's please, here"

Field Marshal Cruywagen read through the form which the courier had handed to him. “This looks good to me” he said gruffly and wrote in his name in the first blank and then scrawled his signature at the bottom. He then picked up a folder sitting on his desk and handed it along with the 306 back to the courier. He said “Here is a map of the barracks as well as the fastest route between in and the airport. Good luck with your mission.”

After departing the Marshal’s headquarters, the group of Arctican soldiers then piled back into their vehicles and headed towards the barracks. As they motored along the Kaiser Martens Highway which linked Pretoria and Johannesburg along with Botha International Airport and the barracks nearby – Jennings watched in wiry amusement as their small convoy passed vehicles and pedestrians - all oblivious to the nature and identity of the group of SUVs.

They pulled up to the main guard post and entrance for the Johannesburg barracks, one of the largest military complexes in the entire Republic. It was here that almost a third of the Krygsmagte – approximately 13,000 soldiers - was stationed during peacetime.

The lieutenant on duty walked up to the lead vehicle, along with three other non-com soldiers, all looking somewhat cautiously suspicious at the group of SUVs.

“Yes? How can we help you?” he asked.

The man driving the first SUV looked at the Transvaler Lieutenant. "1st Squad, Arctican Embassy Guard." The Sergeant, who was sitting in the passenger seat, handed the driver the 306 and presented it to the base guard.

"We are here on directions from Marshal Cruywagen to take Karl Van Zyl into our custody."

The lieutenant was taken aback by the answer. Something didn’t seem right here, he thought. What on earth were damned foreign troops doing trying to get into a Transvaler base? He asked “Well that may be so, but do you have any written orders stating this?”

The Arctican sergeant thrusted the signed 306 orders at him. The lieutenant thought he had made a bluff and didn’t expect to be called on it. He read through the document, and indeed noticed Cruywagen’s signature on it.

“Very well… who is the senior person here?” he asked. “Come with me, I need to go inside to verify this order.”

He shot a look at the guards manning the post and road barrier, and barked “make sure they do not pass. If I haven’t returned in 10 minutes, call for back up.” The lieutenant obviously did not trust these strangers.

The lieutenant and the Arctican sergeant walked side by side in silence. When they reached the shack that functioned as the entrance command post, he held the door open for the Arctican and ushered him inside. “Wait here…” he said, not really indicating where – more as a means for the lieutenant to establish control over the moment.

He picked up a telephone and started dialing. He snorted into the receiver, “Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief please… err yes, you heard me correct, the marshal’s office. Thank you, I will hold.”

After around two minutes, someone on the other end came on the line again.

“Yes Major… I need to verify the origin of some orders. I have some men from…” the lieutenant dug out the 306 from his pocket and began reading it out over the telephone. When he finished, after he moment he said “yes sir, of course I shall wait.”

A couple of minutes later, a voice replied on the telephone. The lieutenant’s eyes widened. “Yes, sir, thank you sir, very well, I shall get the prisoner for them. Yes sir, thank you. Goodbye.”

The lieutenant put the receiver down. “Well fancy that, Marshal Cruywagen did issue this… I thought you guys were someone or something else.”

After thinking what to do next, he said “Come with me” and the two soldiers returned to the Arctican vehicles.

The lieutenant began giving orders to his guard detachment, and then turned around to say to the Arctican group: “You can park right over there, just inside the fence, and wait while I get the prisoner prepared for transport and brought to you. Seems our Mr. van Zyl is the popular fellow, you are his second visitors he has had today. Let's hope he has recovered enough from his first visit to go on a holiday with you...”

The Sergeant couldn't help but to be amused at the whole scene, from the Lieutenant's initial suspicion to his surprise at discovering they were telling the truth.

When they were back at the vehicles, he called to two of his men. "Yves, Jimmy, get out here."

A young man exited one of the vehicles, followed by a slightly older Malagasy soldier. Each had a Tokarev holstered.

"Yes, sir?" asked the younger one.

"You two go to the prison and help out the Lieutenant.

And, Lieutenant...I'll need that form back."

When they were on their way, the Sergeant followed the SUVs over to the designated parking spot. He'd sent his men to follow the Lieutenant to make sure there was no foul play by any of the officers that may try to break Van Zyl out of prison.

As the Lieutenant drove a jeep with the two Arctican soldiers to where Van Zyl was being held, he said to them “We first need to make a stop at the base hospital and pick up a stretcher.”

“Why is that?” asked the Malagasy soldier.

“Err, you’ll see when we get there.”

After stopping at the hospital, they piled back into the jeep and headed towards a small, windowless brick building. “This is the base jail, he’s being kept here.”

The Lieutenant dug out the 306 order and led his two Arctican escorts inside. He spoke in Afrikaans to the two military policemen on duty, showing them the curious piece of paper with Cruywagen’s signature. The MP both shrugged and grabbed the set of keys to the lock up.

“Are you coming?” the lieutenant ask the two Arcticans.

As they walked into the dark corridor of cells, a dank smell enveloped. It reeked of sweat and excrement. They walked up to the third cell from the entrance, and the MPs unlocked the cell. The two Arcticans, once their eyes adjusted to the darkness, could see a figure curled in the corner.

One of the MPs kicked at him, but the prisoner failed to respond. “Wake up Karl, you got more visitors. They are taking you for a ‘holiday’. Bon voyage!” The unusual tone in his voice made the Arcticans think that he was alluding to something else.

The lieutenant laid out the stretcher and the three Transvalers hauled the limp Karl van Zyl on to the stretcher. The two Arcticans picked it up and carried Van Zyl from the cellblock. Once they had exited the cellblock, in the bright light they could see that Van Zyl had been beaten… severely. His face was bloodied and bruised, with one eye black and swollen.

“As you can see, he’s had a rough night…” joked the lieutenant.

As the Arcticans took the stretcher out, the Malagasy was at the rear, and the younger one couldn't see the extent of Van Zyl's injuries.

"So who were his other visitors?" he asked.

As the two carried the prisoner back to the vehicles, the Sergeant was pacing the parking area, wondering whether this was too easy or if they had simply caught Van Zyl's allies off guard.

"From what I heard from the guys on duty at the front gate, six kaffirs from the Oorsese Korps and some woman with dark glasses and black hair. They came in at around midnight. Marched right into the MP office and scared the freaking snot out of the MPs on duty, they refuse to talk about it. The Oorsese spent around three hours working him over before leaving. They said they would send some people today or tomorrow to retrieve him for 'disposal', as they said. I'm assuming that's what you folks are here for..."

"Yes," lied the Malagasy. "I would think that's pretty obvious."

The other interjected, "More importantly, is this man going to need medical attention?"

The lieutenant laughed. "That's the funniest thing I have heard lately." The lieutenant looked down at the battered Van Zyl, and said soothingly as he was loaded on the back of the jeep, "oh, I think the only medical attention this poor sod is going to see is a bullet in the back of the head - isn't it Karl?"

Both of the Arcticans were disturbed by the Lieutenant's mannerisms and his creepy attitude that suggested he knew something they didn't. They walked a little faster, wanting to get to the SUVs and on a flight out of Transvaal as soon as possible.

They loaded the stretcher into the back of one of the SUVs and shut the doors after the squad's medic hopped in with Van Zyl. He took his combat knife and tore open Van Zyl's shirt and began to ascertain the level of injury the man suffered.

The Sergeant walked up to the Transvaler Lieutenant and retrieved his 306. "Your assistance is appreciated, Lieutenant. Carry on."

They piled back into the SUVs and barreled out of the base.

With van Zyl now loaded onboard one of the SUVs, the Arcticans sped off away from the base and back along the service road which would connect them back with the Kaiser Martens Highway. From there it would be around ten minutes to reach the exit for Botha International Airport. That was the plan. Hopefully.

Just before the SUVs reached the highway, they were passed by two jeeps and a troop transport heading towards the barracks. Judging from the markings painted on the sides of the transports, it appeared to be a detachment from the Oorsese Korps.

The SUVs slowed down somewhat and spaced themselves out so as not to attract undue attention. The Oorsese Korps vehicles passed by without slowing down.

The SUVs were now on the highway.

One of the Arcticans in the lead vehicle then asked “If all goes well, we should be inside the airport complex in 15 minutes. Does anyone have an idea where we are going to find a flight out of here? It isn’t like we can just walk in with some guy passed out on a stretcher and buy a bunch of seats for a commercial flight.”

Meanwhile, in the SUV with Van Zyl, the medic checked him over “He’ll live, but looks like our friend here has taken a nasty beating. Definitely been tortured… look at these burn marks here on the ends of his fingers… not just a random clubbing. I think he’s been given electric shocks or something drastic.”


The Sergeant shrugged his shoulders at the soldier's question. "I have no idea - the Ambassador said he'd have something for us, though. Let's hope it gets us out of here before we're forced to hand him over."

The SUVs parked in a crowded parking space near the airport. The Sergeant picked up the car's radio.

"2nd Squad, 2nd Squad, come in. This is Sergeant Evans."

2nd Squad's sergeant responded. "1st Squad here. Got a problem?"

"Tell the Ambassador our mission has changed slightly. The Oorsese Corps is after him too, and they might intercept us before our transport gets here. Ask him if he can talk to Marshal Cruywagen, get him to slow those thugs down." The Sergeant knew this was unlikely since Annetjie van Matteus commanded the corps...

"I'll go tell him..."

When Dietz received word, he immediately phoned Cruywagen to see if the Oorsese Korps could be persuaded.

Cruywagen pondered at what the ambassador had told him.

“That’s strange... if the Oorsese Korps are involved, then so too is Van Matteus. What on earth would she want with Van Zyl? Anyways there is very little I can do to stop them, the Korps is beyond my control. Even though they are a branch of the Kyrgsmagte, any orders I try to issue to them would be cleared past Van Matteus first. The only time I really have any reasons to issue orders to them is during wartime deployments.”

“I have been able to arrange transport for you. When you arrive at the airport, make for the commercial hangers. There waiting for you is a Lugmag Lansier B-1 bomber registration ZA-056. It has orders from Flight Commander Wise for a ‘reconnaissance training’ mission over Mauritius – which will conveniently stray over Arctica . The crew is reliable and trustworthy, they have been given orders by Wise to follow your instructions to land wherever you require in Arctica. However keep in mind their radio traffic will likely be monitored, so they cannot give any indication of landing or taking off in Arctica. Hopefully no one will notice them on radar from Johannesburg when they land. You will need to make prior land arrangements and destination before takeoff and they will have to land and take off blind (no radio communication with your airport control)”

Dietz listened to Cruywagen's plan. Upon asking how they could transport someone in a Lancer, he realized that the bomb bay could actually be used to transport people if the pilots were careful.

"Hold on a minute Marshal, I need to reconsider my current extraction plan."

Dietz got on his computer and consulted Ministry and public records, only having to do a cursory search before finding a suitable place.

- - -

Meanwhile, in the Arctica-Transvaal territory, 100 miles from the border...

A C-130 of the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force, codenamed 987 Alpha Zulu, sped toward Transvaler airspace on a course for Pretoria, escorted by two F-16s.

"This is 987 Alpha Zulu to Air Force Base [whichever one is closest], please respond. 987 Alpha Zulu from Qualimane AFB en route to Botha International Aiport on orders of General Ružinić. Request entry into Transvaal airspace, please confirm, over."

“987 Alpha Zulu. This is Johannesburg BIA, we hear you loud and clear. Err, please state the nature of your request to land at BIA... over.”

After several minutes without a response, Botha[ International Airport received a brief response.

"987 Alpha Zulu to BIA air traffic control, disregard that. Changing course now."

The C-130 took a sharp turn left, now on a course to Tromelin. Its escort did a Split-S and made back for Quelimane.

“Acknowledged. Out.”

- - -

After checking, the Ambassador noted that both a C-130 and a B1 could land on and take off from Tromelin's airfield.

Tromelin was one of the small islands ceded to Arctica by Transvaal in July 2009, and contained little more than an airfield, a weather/surveillance station manned by 8 members of the Indian Ocean Territory Defense Force, and some endangered turtles.

On a course from Johannesburg to Mauritius, a stopover there would be unnoticed.

"Marshal, if the B1 takes of soon, then within a few hours Karl Van Zyl will be in an Arctican military infirmary. I will call you back when this is all done."

The ambassador depressed the phone's hang-up thingy and dialed the Sergeant's SUV's car phone...

Within a few minutes, one of the SUVs pulled up to the hangar in which the B-1 was waiting. The back doors opened and two men exited, carrying a stretcher with Van Zyl on it. On the stretcher, leaning on Van Zyl was the squad medic's first aid kit. As the medic and soldier carrying the stretcher approached the plane, they looked a little surprised about the bomb bay's size. "We're going to be sitting in that thing for God knows how many hours?" The medic said with a grin, "Let's hope we get there before Van Matteus calls and orders them to drop us out."

To make sure that wouldn't happen, and to oversee the whole mission, the Sergeant climbed into the cramped cabin to give the bomber crew their instructions.

"All right boys, here's the deal. You're to take us to Tromelin Island, coordinates 15° 53′ 32″ S, 54° 31′ 29″ E. Once you've dropped us off, Arctica will take it from there. The Ambassador tells me he's made all the necessary arrangements and you can fly us through Arctican airspace and land on Tromelin without talking to anyone.

Now let's get this bird up in the air, I don't want to sit around here any longer than I have to."

The SUV exited the airport, and after meeting up with the other one, made back for the embassy.

- -

IOTDF weather monitoring station, Île Tromelin

"Yes, sir. Uh huh. I understand fully sir, I'm to let any foreign bombers land that want to in the next couple hours. Uh huh. Okay. Ye- Oka- Over and out, sir. " The IOTDF Private took a few long drags of a contraband cigarette and continued listening to his music, paying attention to everything but the radar.

- - -

The four-man aircrew introduced themselves to the party of Arcticans. Brief and polite pleasantries aside, Major Godwin Harris, the senior officer who happened to also be the pilot, said “We understand there is some urgency and you want to get airborne as soon as possible. Flight Commander Wise said that this was a delicate mission of the highest importance and that you would give us the destination for… err, the cargo.” As he said that, Major Harris glanced at the stretcher being loaded onboard.

He then turned to his flight crew. “Gentlemen, get the bird warmed up while I show our guests the seating arrangements…” Major Harris led the sergeant into the bomb-bay area. We will place the chap in the stretcher in here along with your medic and anyone else who can fit aboard. You sergeant however can squish into the cabin with us up front.”

When informed that their destination was Tromelin Island, Major Harris was surprised somewhat. “Huh, not quite the destination I had in mind, I was expecting somewhere in Arctica. But it’ll be no problem, we’ve actually flown there twice before – back when Transvaal still owned the island and we flew milk and mail runs out there every couple of months. Actually now I think about it, it’s ideal because I believe it is out of the range of our radar based in the Republic. They won't see us land there. Mauritius will probably notice but they rarely concern themselves with military flights.”

By now the whine of the engines starting up could be heard, so the major shouted “Okay, let’s get everyone onboard!”

There would be no way to get Van Zyl, now strapped and drugged up in his bloodied stretcher, through the servicing hatches into the bay area, so the ground crew hoisted him up and hooked the stretcher onto bomb-mounting fixtures. The bomb-bay doors were then closed.

“Come, follow me. Your friend in the stretcher will be fine until we get airborne, then you can lower him down. Just make sure he’s all hooked back up there when we land, otherwise when we open the doors he will tumble out.”

Within ten minutes, ZA-056 was airborne and climbing over Johannesburg. The rest of the flight would pass without incident and land safely on Tromelin.

After the B1 had deposited the small group at the airfield, they waited...

Finally, after some time, they would hear propellers in the distance. A C-130 soon touched down at the airfield, zooming toward them before screeching to a halt.

- - -

Several hours later, everything had been sorted out. The three embassy guards were put on the next plane to Jo'burg. And from their flight in the bomb bay, they got some stories to tell to their children - or grandchildren, depending on when the mission became declassified.

Karl Van Zyl was recovering in an infirmary in a military base outside of Antananarivo. However, he would not get much rest, as there were plans for him in Arctica as well.

The base commander had instructions that, once the doctors reported that Van Zyl was relatively healed enough, the commander should schedule for a clandestine visit by Arctica Information Command. They would be under orders not to beat him or electrocute him or anything of the kind, but they were going to be authorized to utilize sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, and chemical means to question him about what they needed to know. Not only about the incident at Nacala, but his activities in general.

The Arcticans needed his testimony, if it could be called that, about the events surrounding the camp outside Nacala, and they needed to find out if any of his activities were detrimental to Arctica, and maybe gain some intelligence on Transvaal in doing so. Neither under Arctica's laws nor any international agreements Arctica signed was Karl Van Zyl protected from indefinite detention and 'rough' questioning. They doubted he would tell any of the Transvalers about it, and even if they found out and asked, AIC could always cite national security, which was a valid reason now that Arctica had joint governance of Malawi and Northern Mozambique.

The ambassador began to wonder if Cruywagen had decided to kill two birds with one stone by giving them Van Zyl. He got to have an important prisoner taken to a safer place, and the Arcticans investigating Nacala got thrown a bone. Whatever the case, it was a mutually beneficial deal.

- - -

As everything came together and the first rays of light crept over Pretoria, Ambassador Dietz had one call left to make before retiring to bed. His fingers dialed the numbers sluggishly, and he yawned as the other line began to ring.

"Marshal? It's done."

“Good. Thank you,” Cruywagen said in his typically gruff way. “I have not heard anything from my end why the Oorsese Korps were interested in him, as he was Interior Ministry personal - and not theirs. However now that they are involved in some manner, as long as their commanding general is also the prime minister of this country, I don’t see Van Zyl being safe here. He may be in your custody for a while. Keep me posted with anything you find out from him and likewise I will do the same. Goodbye ambassador.”

Meanwhile back in Arctica...

A doctor from the infirmary approached the group from AIC. “Sir, the patient is now awake and coherent. He is still pretty banged up but he should be fine to talk with. I’ll be outside here if you need me.”

The AIC people entered the private room and closed the door behind them. Van Zyl was sitting upright in bed nursing a cup of coffee in his hands. He was a smallish, slight man probably in his early to mid 50’s, although it was hard to tell as he had recently shaved off what little hair he had.

“Yes? How can I help you?” he asked in a quiet calm voice.

From what background material that Boersma had been able to forward to the AIC on Van Zyl (this was made at Cruywagen’s request) combined with Arctican intelligence reports on him during his tenure as Interior Minister, while he physically looked the part he did not sound nor behave like Karl van Zyl, who from reports spoke with a high-pitched nasal voice and a pronounced lisp. This man in front of them, his tone was more cautious and relaxed, as if every word he said was coldly calculated and disarming.

‘Have we even got the right guy?’ thought one of the Arcticans in horror.

The three Arcticans walked into the room. One of them hesitated for a moment, asking himself if they'd brought in the wrong person...

However, the lead man in the group knew more than both his junior associate and Boersma, as AIC had access to information about Van Zyl that BII did not know. While the two agencies shared relevant information about each other, Van Zyl was not thought to be the concern of BII. The only thing that made the Bureau relevant in this matter was the fact that one of their agents, the head of the Antananarivo office, had brief contact with him.

Arctica Information Command and the Bureau of Internal Investigation were two different government agencies that were meant to accomplish the same task using two different approaches. Basically, they were different sides of the same coin. It was their job to protect the people of Arctica. The difference was that AIC focused on external threats while BII focused on internal matters. Their two mandates converged on July 9, 2009 when an associate of a presumed-dead De Ruijters disrupted an official visit to Arctica by Field Marshal Malan by accidentally setting off a chemical weapon that was meant for the visiting leader. The BII agent whose responsibility it was to protect Malan after the attack had a few exchanges with Van Zyl, including one where the man lost his trademark lisp.

And here were the three men looking at the man responsible for uplifting their organization from a small counterintelligence service founded in the early days of Arctica's Madagascar-based government to a large, well-funded, active intelligence-gathering force that recruited agents of all backgrounds. The first actual use of AIC employees to commit espionage in a foreign country was a result of Van Zyl's actions in the Karma War.

But he had made some foul-ups along the way. The AIC had access to information that showed Karl Van Zyl did not exist in Transvaal's census data until Uys Rooyan de Ruijters had stopped existing, presumably forever. Then there was the matter that Van Zyl had executed an attempted coup in Pretoria soon after an assassin was found dead of his own weapon, alongside him officials papers signed by Uys Rooyan de Ruijters. If that was his true identity, it might also explain Oorsese Korps involvement in the events of the previous night.

And here were the three men looking at the man that had somehow managed to engineer his own downfall...

The lead agent stepped forward. "I am Agent Richards, and these are agents Delacroix and Lee."

Richards was skilled at questioning suspects, but Van Zyl was a master manipulator, despite the mistakes that had led to him sitting in a hospital bed in Arctica. So he decided that to unnerve Van Zyl and make him uncomfortable around the agents, unsure of what they knew, of whether the questions they would ask would be because they wanted to know, or because they wanted him to think they didn't know. The best way to do this, Richards figured, was to drop a bombshell right off the bat. It would also let Richards determine Van Zyl's real identity, or even if this was Van Zyl at all.

And so, Richards greeted the man in the most casual voice he could muster in his situation. "I hope that plane ride didn't shake you up too much. How are you feeling, Uys?"

A rubbery grin cracked across De Ruijters’ face. These guys were good, there would be no bluffing with them. It also meant the game was up. But then, the game had been up numerous times in the past.

He began to clap slowly in congratulations to stress his point. “Well done gentleman! You know, it is most amazing that you were able to figure out my identity with just one gracious salutation – while Van Matteus’ cronies were unable to beat it out of me. But then again, my compatriots are dullards. Which is why and how I have been able to always stay one step ahead of them.”

“What is it you want to know? I am not going anywhere.” he asked calmly. Agent Richards wondered if De Ruijters was consigned to his defeat or was trying to sound out where exactly he stood in relations with the Arcticans.

Richards, not wanting to underestimate his enemy right from the start, decided it was the latter.

"That's the thing. The Transvalers will likely pressure us for your return. Once the heat goes up, it's only a matter of time until you become more trouble than you're worth to us.

However...I am told there are...alternatives under consideration within AIC should you prove to be valuable.

Basically, your level of cooperation determines whether we acquiesce to your countrymen, whether you will be held here at the Director's discretion, or...well, the possibility of other alternatives depends on your cooperation." By planting a hint of other alternatives for De Ruijters that would not entail death or prolonged suffering, Richards planted a seed within the man's mind, creating a benchmark for him to meet to access these alternatives. What would they entail? A deal for a lighter sentence? Fabricated reports of an escape, and a new life as a new man? Or was this Richards just taking him for a fool?

"Now," began Richards as one of his associates watched De Ruijters closely for any signs of recognition, emotion, concealed dishonesty, etc. and the other transcribed the exchange on a notepad. "Let's begin with your were in Paraguay, as I recall?"

Richards was starting from the beginning of Karl Van Zyl, hoping that from this starting point he would be able to piece together the events from there, and the idea was to have enough of the story by putting together De Ruijters' story with what they already knew, and by that they would have a more complete picture, thus making it harder for the man to determine what they did and didn't know. To try and catch his lies, the perceptive Lee kept his eye on De Ruijters at all times and would call him out if he detected a sure falsity.

De Ruijtiers leaned back and scratched his goatee with his hand.

“Yes, it was in Paraguay. One of the most idiotic actions ever taken by Pretoria” he laughed. “Why on earth did Transvaal need more untermensch when we already had more than enough kaffirs at home?”

He paused to see what his hosts’ reaction was – whether they became uncomfortable or queasy with his hard-line racial views and blatant contempt for non-whites.

“It all started when Erasmus Du Toit contacted me and gave me more than ample funding from his church funds to organise a group of white volksfighters to go there and stir up trouble, in the hope it would bring down colonial rule and knock some sense back into Pretoria and Hertzog's pandering to the darkskinned peoples.”

“The fact that Annetjie van Matteus was posted there as governor also appealed to me, an extra incentive, as we have a hate-hate relationship and I felt I could serve my own personal interests all the while Du Toit was bankrolling me. Ever since she spurned me in Berlin and stole my child, I have sought revenge at any costs and devoted myself to her downfall.”

“The chaos we created in Paraguay did its work, it ultimately brought down that tool of the kaffirs, that moron known as Hertzog.”

“The man who replaced Van Matteus in Paraguay was Strijdom, who shared some common ground with my group and Du Toit on account of him being an refugee intake from the old Boer Staat. Strijdom soon clued in what myself and Du Toit were trying to achieve with our bogus involvement there, and the fact that its fallout ended up unexpectedly springboarding him to power as prime minister as Hertzog’s successor. So when my volksfighters were finally crushed from the anti-colonial invasion which followed and I had to look at how to extract myself from the impednding collapse of Boereguay, out of gratitude he made an offer to help fake my death and whisk me out of the country before the communists got their hands on me.”

“Through his position in the government, he had the means to come up with the Karl van Zyl identity. The only condition was I refrained from any political activites while he was prime minister. Three days after he was named prime minister, Strijdom put in motion my death and rebirth.”

Then a devilish grin cracked across his face.

“However once Strijdom was shipped into exile, I was thus free from my obligation to him, so I could make an attempt to regain my influence in the country and took advantage of the anarchy arising during the Karma War.”

- - -

Annetjie van Matteus was not impressed. Heads would roll. “What do you mean he has disappeared?” she screamed.

According to the drivel the hapless lieutenant on the telephone was telling her, a group of unidentified but uniformed men had entered the Johannesburg barracks and simply walked off with Van Zyl in tow. “Ma’am, we believed them to be your people returning to collect Van Zyl like you informed us” he said, trying to deflect some of the prime minister’s ire. “they had paperwork from Cruywagen instructing us to turn the prisoner over to them.”

She was taken aback. ‘Cruywagen? What does he have to do with this?’ she thought to herself. Before the conspiratorial fireworks went off in her head, the lieutenant chimed in “Obviously the orders were false, likely forged signatures…” The lieutenant had no reason to doubt his commander-in-chief. Van Matteus did, however, but her anger clouded her intuition. “Yes, likely forged,” she said in agreement.

After giving the lieutenant another verbal dressing down, she slammed the phone down. Digging through her desk, she found a pack of cigarettes which she stashed away just for stressful moments such as these. She lit up and then walked over to her office window to look outside and gather her thoughts.

‘So close, yet now so far’ she thought. This odd Van Zyl character had been her only probable link to the whereabouts of Uys Rooyan de Ruijters, the father of her daughter – currently hidden away at a private school in Tahoe. However Van Zyl prove to be too hard to crack under torture despite the unspeakable pain she had inflicted on him.

‘I was sloppy’ she thought, ‘I should have killed him right then and there. Now the bastard is free again.”

- - -

Richards did not react to De Ruijters' view on race relations. He respected the National Party's method of maintaining control, and had no qualms with it unless it made trouble for Arctica and he was called upon to do something about it.

He gave a minute smile when the man mentioned Strijdom. If he was telling the truth, that was an interesting surprise to the agents. They had no idea how De Ruijters faked his death, or that an NP official would risk his reputation to help out a dangerous extremist like De Ruijters.

"Ah, the Karma War. I believe we had a part in that." He left it at that, just to make the man think. He meant to make De Ruijters think about the implications of that while he spoke; the idea was that he would think more about that than about his answers, and possibly let something slip.

"Tell me about it."

“The Karma War? Oh well, once the full impact of that conflict and its damage was felt throughout the country, we – and by we, I mean the underground Verwoerd Front – realised that we had a golden opportunity on our plate.”

“With the extent of civilian casualties, the vast majority of them being blacks, through my new position as Interior Minister I was able to convince Petrus Malan that postwar reconstruction could be utilized to reverse the racial imbalance simply by encouraging white immigration to replace our civilian losses. No Afrikaner, no white Transvaler, is comfortable about the spectre of the black majority – because it always remains a social political sword of Damocles hovering over our civilized way of life. However due to foreign sensitivities, the successive National Party governments have been unable, or had the necessary will and zeal, to ever deal or address the race issue in a manner to the satisfaction of the VF.”

“Where the plan really came together, and what was lost on outsiders, was that the chaos and bloodshed of the war gave the Verwoerd Front the necessary cover to ensure as much destruction rained down on the native African neighbourhoods.”

“I always found it amusing that I was in the earlier days of independence the Interior Minister of Transvaal, so it was easy for me to sink into the role and utilise the ministry’s power to its full extent. My agents who were sympathetic to my cause were tasked with providing our enemies with misinformation so that their bombers would divert and strike the townships and other African civilian sectors and avoid our white population as much as possible. We led our enemies to believe that our industrial might was located in all those neighbourhoods where instead there were tin shacks. They never bothered to verify on the ground the intelligence I was feeding them.”

De Ruijters grinned. He obviously seemed pleased with what he saw as the sinister brilliance of his master plan. His smile broke into a laugh, like some insane mad scientist.

“Don’t you see? Don’t you see? We tricked our enemies into unintentionally and inadvertently doing our dirty work, wiping out all our undesirables – it worked perfectly and no one outside our underground VF group suspected a thing, except the sudden realization and relief that our population demographics had changed as a result of the war. And then with the politically immature junta at the reigns, we could manipulate the postwar demographics of the country.”

De Ruijters was unaware that thousands of kilometers away, the culmination of his nefearious work was beginning to unravel as nuclear warheads rained down on Transvaal.

Tahoe airbase at Swakopmund[]

DECEMBER 17, 2009


From: Ambassador Seamus O'Grianna

To: Foreign Minister Hendrik Strijdom

Subject: Overseas Military Base

Your Excellency,

I would appreciate a meeting with you and officers of the Transvaler Krygsmagte regarding the aquisition of an overseas military base located within your territory. Our defense ministry is concerned with Northern African aggression towards nationalist regimes, as evidenced by the recent military activity against Italian Somaliland, and feels that a forward air base would serve as an effective deterrent and staging ground for Tahoan defense of our Transvaler and Rhodesian allies.

At your earliest convenience,

Seamus O'Grianna, Ambassador to Transvaal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs


TO AMBASSADOR Ó GRIANNA: In light of recent, unfortunate events in Somalia against allied and friendly nations, our Government would be pleased to meet with you to discuss arrangements for an air base in the Republic. The Government of Transvaal would welcome a Tahoe prescene in Africa to counter the bellicose and antagonist policies of the democratic fundamentalist regimes of Northern Africa.

I have made arrangements for our military high-command, consisting of the commanders-in-chief of the army, air force, navy, and rocket corps to be present along with myself and any other government personal you may deem necessary to attend. I have spoken with both Staatspresident Botha and Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus and they are in agreement to permit such a base on our territory.

Since you are Dean of the Foreign Diplomatic Corps in Pretoria and thus entitled to attend Volkstaad sessions and Executive Cabinet meetings, we recommend that Government House in Pretoria would be a suitable location and under the disguise of a closed door Volkstaad session so as to not arouse the prying eyes and ears of any potential spies which may be operating in Pretoria.


H Strijdom, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Trasnvaal and Minister of Foreign Affairs


Dear Minister Strijdom,

It would please me greatly to attend a meeting with you and your military commanders in the Government House. My military attaché, Colonel Peter van Haesten, will meet with you at your earliest convenience, that is, whenever the next Volksraad session is scheduled.


Seamus O'Grianna, Ambassador to Transvaal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

DECEMBER 18-21, 2009

Hendrik Strijdom arrived on foot to Government House, the seat of power in the Republic. That day’s general session in the Volksraad regarding a development proposal to construct a national highway system in Transvaal had been postponed – therefore there was very little activity going on inside the government buildings as most Volksraad representatives had taken the day off.

As Strijdom walked through the main central hallway leading from the front entrance into the Volksraad chamber, he noticed Field Marshal Paul Cruywagen waiting outside smoking in the quiet afternoon sun. As soon as he noticed Strijdom, Cruywagen put out his cigarette and walked over to Strijdom.

“Good afternoon Deputy Prime Minister, the others are already here… we are now just waiting for Ambassador Ó Grianna and the rest of the Tahoe delegation to arrive.”

The two men walked into the massive Volksraad chamber. Strijdom put down his briefcase at the head of the table; he would chair the meeting on account of him being the most senior government official in attendance.

“So, who else from Tahoe will be attending?” the field marshal casually asked Strijdom.

“Apart from Ó Grianna, I believe that their military attaché Colonel Peter van Haesten will also be here.”

“Van Haesten?” The name stirred in Cruywagen’s mind, “He sounds familiar from somewhere…”

“Yes, he should...” replied Strijdom. “He is that rather resourceful officer who assisted us in suppressing the Azarian insurrection last January… a rather intriguing and fascinating man indeed, if I may say so. And Staatspresident Botha himself was pleased to find out that he was subsequently posted to Pretoria.”

Along with Cruywagen and Strijdom, in the chambers were Flight Commander Leonard Wise of the air force, Admiral Rudolf Kruger of the navy, and Field Marshal Petrus Malan, of the rocket crops – and who was ultimately responsible with the maintenance of Transvaal’s small nuclear arsenal. Also present was a coloured man, Ambassador Andries Joubert, Transvaal’s representative in Tahoe and most senior diplomat, who had flown in on Strijdom’s request to sit in and keep him informed of any Transvaler-Tahoan developments.

- - -

A tan Land Rover owned by the Tahoan Embassy pulled up in front of Government House. The driver, a black African employed by the Embassy, quickly hopped out and opened the door for Ambassador O'Grianna and Colonel Van Haesten. The Ambassador, keen with local customs, wore a light brown suit with sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat over his grey hair while the Colonel wore the khaki summer uniform and black beret of the Armtha-SS with its distinctive insignia unlike any other unit in the Tahoan Military (which made since, because technically the SS was the paramilitary, special activities division as part of the Tahoan Intelligence Agency: G2). The two men made their way into the Government House, where they were directed to the Volksraad Chamber.

Entering, Colonel Van Haesten saluted the numerous Transvaler officers as Ambassador O'Grianna shook hands all around. Taking their seats, O'Grianna leaned forward and said, "Well gentlemen, I trust you all know why we are here, and I do thank Minister Strijdom for seeing us on such short notice." Seeing the Transvalers nod, he continued, "As you know, my government is deeply disturbed with the unfortunate events to the north. That is precisely why we are requesting permission to build and operate an overseas military base on your territory. This not only serves as a deterrent towards the hostile nations to the north, but in case of war allows us to assist you immediately and resupply and reinforce your forces without having to go through diplomatic channels, which, as my attaché here can attest, are very much held in contempt by you military types."

O'Grianna glanced at the quick smirk on face of Van Haesten that quickly faded to its usual expressionless glare. He continued, "I trust you understand the nature of our request?"

- - -

After the arrival of the Tahoe delegation, pleasantries were exchanged for a few minutes before Strijdom brought the meeting to order and saw everyone to their seats.

The entrance of Colonel Van Haesten caused the most stir. Although he kept a low profile when in Pretoria, he was Tahoan figure more known in Transvaal than his own homeland. He had a lot of clout and respect from all branches of the Transvaal armed forces.

He was viewed as the foreign ‘darling’ of Strijdom, Annetjie van Matteus, and other National Party ‘rightists’ – but even Marshal Cruywagen acknowldeged his ability, once stating in private to Ó Grianna during a diplomatic reception at the Tahoe embassy that ‘the only thing more absolute and uncompromising in the face of danger than Van Haesten was the Holy Bible itself’

After being the centre of attention for some minutes, Van Haesten excused himself to get some refreshments which had been left out. From there he surveyed the scene around him in the Volksraad and its participants.

The Tahoan colonel noted to himself the rather interesting – and intriguing – observation that every one of the Afrikaners here in attendance had at some time or another held the Number 2 post in the Republic.

Cruywagen and Strijdom had been elected prime minister in their own right, although it had been some years now in Cruywagen’s case. Admiral Kruger and Field Marshal Malan had both headed the Republican Military Junta during the Karma War, although Kruger’s tenure was only for a few days.

Strijdom had been prime minister when Van Haesten was first posted to Transvaal – but since the assassination attempt against Strijdom, the African rebellion, and simply surviving the Karma War as a civilian member of the RMG, Van Haesten noted that Strijdom seem to have found his niche as foreign minister in Van Matteus’ government. He recalled that at the time of the rebellion, Van Matteus and Strijdom had been at loggerheads with each other but in subsequent months the two had formed a strong political team and brushed aside any prior differences.

As for the two other Transvalers also at the meeting, both of them were likewise rather unique individuals within the larger government bureaucracy.

Flight Commander Leonard Wise was as English as any Anglo-South African could be, but he seemed to be liked by all. He fully accepted his secondary ‘place’ within the Afrikaner government circles with tact and dignity - and because of that, he showed no political ambitions unlike Malan and Kruger had in the past. He could exercise no ambitions under the current regime even if he wanted to – and because he and everyone knew that, Wise also had made very few enemies despite being viewed as a close ally of Masrhal Cruywagen, one of the so-called ‘progressive’ members in the National Party regime.

The lone non-white face in the entire group was that of Ambassador Andries Joubert, a coloured Griqua man whose heritage was a fusion of Khoi bushman and Afrikaner. When Joubert was first assigned as Ambassador to Tahoe by Staatspresident Botha himself no less, many eyebrows were raised in both Pretoria and Cruachan. However Joubert, like Flight Commander Wise, was able to work around his social hurdles and detractions and had gained much respect at home and abroad. He may have a dark complexion, but the ambassador was as god-fearing and civilized as any Transvaler Boer – which endeared him to his Afrikaner colleagues.

Van Haesten occasionally thought (as a contingency move) that if Transvaal were ever forced to have a non-white leader, Joubert would be the best suitable candidate on account of the common, shared culture between Griqua and Afrikaner. The man was probably the only dark face that most Afrikaners regarded as a full equal – and he could probably even win an election despite the race restrictions. But Joubert being a quiet man not fond of the limelight, preferred his posting in Tahoe – regarded as the most prestigious in Transvaal’s foreign office. For him, to work with one of Transvaal’s closest and oldest allies, that was satisfaction enough.

“Excuse me everyone, if you would please take your seats” said Strijdom, his voice raised against the general hum of discussion going on.

Strijdom began with the government response to Tahoe’s request for a base. Judging from the reaction of Wise and Kruger, the air force and navy had not been informed of the nature of the meeting.

“Gentleman, I have met with both Staatspresident Botha and Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus regarding the request by the Tahoe Republic to establish a military base within our Republic. Both of them readily agreed to support and approve such a move, although ultimately the final decision rested with the Staatspresident on account of possible sovereignty issues with other foreign powers.”

“Prime Minister van Matteus suggested that Swakopmund in Namibia, near our Walvis Bay naval installations, would provide a suitable location. There is an airfield there which is not being used – plus the location in proximity to our harbour, drydock, and shipyard facilities would be a boon for Tahoe in supply and replenishment options.”

“The only question which came up during my discussions with Staatspresident Botha was he was concerned what foreign reaction would be to a Tahoe military presence in Africa. While he himself has no qualms and in fact welcomes Tahoe to the region, he does wonder how some of Tahoe’s more vocal and critical enemies will view this base – especially in light of Tahoe’s anti-colonial policies in America. He wants to know whether Tahoe has examined the reaction and ramifications of this base?”

"Before I begin, I have agreed with the good Colonel here to handle only the diplomatic and civil affairs regarding the proposed military base. All military matters will be handled by Colonel Van Haesten. Now, the foreign reaction, if there is one, will be negative. There is no point in denying this. We will be accused, perhaps rightfully" O'Grianna mused, "of being hypocrites and liars. Simply put, my government does not care. International bad press is not a concern, not with a National Party Government in power...perhaps if Labor was the ruling party we would be swayed by internaional opinion, but I assure you the President and Prime Minister are totally behind this, no matter what the international press corps says."

O'Grianna continued, "That said, I feel we have some very good basic options to deal with this. First, we simply deny it is our base. We do this by announcing that it is being used for joint operations including a sizable Tahoan contingent and, for plausibility reasons, either have some Transvaler troops around or give some of our troops Transvaler uniforms so we can take picture of both nationalities being on the base - which I might add will happen either way, especially with the wargames taking place. There will already be large numbers of Tahoan troops in the country as it is. And we simply won't announce it to anybody, either way. Second, we use the socialist strategy of creeping towards the endgoal. For them it is slowly implementing statist policies until the public is numb to a socialist takeover, and for us it shall be slowly building up the Tahoan forces there. The bad media will be at the beginning, when there are perhaps a hundred Tahoans and twice that number of Transvalers. By the time the whole thing has blown over we will have the station fully staffed. I doubt most national intelligence agencies will even monitor the base. To conclude, yes, gentlemen, we have considered the diplomatic fallout and devised ways to counter. I'll let my colleague comment on the military considerations."

Van Haesten had returned to the table by this time to listen to O'Grianna's diplomatic considerations. It was a simple plan, but the simple plans were often the successful plans. He pulled a few maps that had been provided over to him and looked them over for a minute before beginning.

"Yes, Swakopmund...South West Africa...Namibia I mean...should be fine. The airfield is to small, based on what I see here relative to the size of the buildings it cannot be more than a mile long, so it will have to be expanded to double that. Our fighters can operate out of a short field, but not intercontinental transports or KC-130 in-air refueling aircraft. There is plenty of room for expansion to the northeast, though. Other than that, its on a slight ridge so will be easy to defend once we have a perimeter built and of course will need barracks and hardened aircraft shelters, but those won't be a problem. I estimate troop composition to be an Air Group - two squadrons - and accompanying ground crew. Two or so infantry battalions, no more than 600 troops, for security or rapid response to local problems, probably a special forces group as well. All increases in military will be reported to your government of course. We probably will want to build the facilities to house up to a brigade or so in case of emergency, as well as family housing."

He took a pen out of his pocket and drew on the map, saying, "This is the outline I would expect for the base perimeter, to allow for the final length of the runway plus all the construction we will be undertaking. This line, on the end of the runway, is a rough estimation of how long the final runway will be, which I expect to be paved. The final details are up to you, though."

As Strijdom looked at the revised map that Colonel Van Haesten had handed him, there was the slight buzz of murmured talking from amongst the Transvaler high command. Strijdom felt interrupted or distracted enough that he turned to them, and barked “Excuse me gentlemen, is there something you would like to say? I am trying to concentrate here on these proposed revisions.”

Field Marshal Cruywagen stood up and spoke for the rest of them.

“I am sorry sir, I apologise both to you and our Tahoan friends here – it is just that the high command is pleased that the good Colonel is involved with managing this base. But what we want to know is: does this mean he will be appointed as the base commander?”

Once Cruywagen had finished and sat back down, Strijdom addressed the Tahoan delegation.

“The extension of the runway makes perfect sense to me, therefore I see no reason why we cannot grant you the necessary extension of base grounds. Our original proposal was simply based on what we saw as the most feasible for security purposes however the runway extension simply goes beyond on to land unused by the locals, so it would not be infringing on anyone there.”

“As for foreign reaction, my government would agree that any foreign reaction will be negative. However as long as Tahoe is fine with dealing with the aspects which may affect their own foreign image, Transvaal sees no need at all to hide the base. Our main concern in bring the topic up was just to confirm that your government had addressed the potential problems expected from foreign powers less than thrilled to see a Tahoan precence in Africa.”

“If anything, after the despicable acts of aggression against our two Italian friends – one of them a close ally which due to logistics and political ramifications we were unable to assist militarily – we would like nothing more than to see Southern Africa become a nationalist thorn in their imperialistic delusions… that as much as they may dream about eradicating their perceptions of fascism, they cannot and will not be able to alter the reality here in Southern Africa – which will always remain a nationalist beacon against both communism and democratic fundamentalism for the rest of the world.”

Van Haesten spoke first, answering Cruywagen's question, "Yes sir, as the senior Tahoan officer in Africa, I would assume the command of the base, initially at least. I do not know if the Ministry of Defense has there own plans for the future regarding command, or if they plan to turn Africa into an independent military command. I have requested that my old unit, the 23 Battalion of the Armtha-SS be deployed as one of the infantry units, as they have the most experience in Africa. I expect the other unit will be one of the units participating in the wargames."

O'Grianna continued, "We have indeed considered the consequences, and should you feel it wise to annouce the public existance of the base, then we will not oppose that."

It is our intention to include (...or bury) the base announcement along with a couple of important domestic annoucements which the Government will be making in the next 24 hours. One of those announcements is the evacuation of our Mogadishu enclave; we like the timing of the two exchanges.

We expect that general popular opinion in Transvaal will come out in support of the base, as events in Somalia and Italy have made many of our civilians (and military, for that matter) uneasy.

The base properties will be officially handed over to Tahoe tonight, one second after midnight on December 22 (update time). As far as Transvaal is concerned, the Swakopmund Base Territory (or whatever Tahoe decides to name it) will be regarded as sovereign Tahoe territory and Republican laws will not apply to Tahoe citizens while on the base.

As an aside, our liason with the Swakopmund base will be the Namibian provincial governor, Edmund Thomasson.

Assorted News from Summer 2010[]


TRANSVALER DAAGLIKSE NUUS [CAPE TOWN]: Fierce storms crashed down on the south coast of the Cape of Good Hope, causing widespread flooding, disruption, and downed power lines. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from their homes and crops in the region were destroyed. In response to the tragedy, the Government distributed aid to the bereaved and displaced. Meteorologists have blamed global warming for the unusual weather systems brought northwards from the polar regions and predict the acrimonious weather will last for around a month through the high summer.

JANUARY 25, 2010

TRANSVALER DAAGLIKSE NUUS [MAPUTO]: The Republic of Transvaal announced today that effective February 1, 2010 the government would recognise the Portuguese identity of Mozambique and appoint its own provincial governor.

Alberto Azcondos, leader of the the PPM, gained 60% of the popular vote for Portuguese political parties in the recent territorial elections and was named the first Mozambican provincial governor.

"Mozambique was elevated to the status of province a few months ago but Pretoria failed due to oversight or neglect to name a governor" said Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus during today's session in the Volksraad. "Namibia and Rhodesia have both had provincial governors since they were established, but Mozambique has always had a nebulous, ‘middle’ existence within the Republic - not quite 'black' enough for localised African Native rule and not quite 'white' enough for its people to be regarded on the same level as Afrikaners and Anglo-Transvalers."

"Today the Portuguese influence is recognized by the Republic and the Portuguese language is co-official in the province along with English and Afrikaans."


  • Alberto Azcondos (PPM - Partido Popular de Moçambique) (3 votes [60.00%])
  • Salvador Raul (MDM - Movimento Democrático de Moçambique) (2 votes [40.00%])

Transvaal in the Second Unjust War[]


"We are all Nordreich"

FEBRUARY 3, 2010


TRANSVALER DAAGLIKSE NUUS [PRETORIA]: Due to alliance commitments, the Republic of Transvaal is now in a state of war with the nation of Odinsland.

“This is our first full-fledged military operation since our re-unification with Nordreich in September, so our government and military are anxious to fulfill our duties and commitment to the best of our ability” said Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus during her television broadcast to the nation late last night.

While offensive operations by Transvaal’s armed forces have been limited to minor blockading actions at sea and bombing strikes in the air, Krygsmagte ground forces held fast during defensive counterstrikes early this morning – with casualties numbering 15,374 dead in the two decisive victories for the Republic. Enemy casualties were reported to be over 14,000 dead as the Odinslander offense was routed.

Interior Minister Gert Boersma reported that 344 civilians were killed in two missile strikes launched against Pretoria and Johannesburg.

FEBRUARY 4, 2010

CYBERNATIONS NEWS NETWORK [CAPE TOWN]: Widespread but unconfirmed reports are indicating that Johannesburg has come under some sort of nuclear attack as contact with the Pretoria-Johannesburg heartland of the nation has suddenly gone silent.

The only semi-official reference to the attack has been when Bartnel Botha, the manager of the Transvaal Springboks of Liga Mundo said the club was moving to the safety of Namibia after the following statement:

"After today’s devastating attacks, the club executive considered disbanding or moving to a safe location outside of Transvaal, but after receiving a telephone call from Staatspresident Botha himself, who has specifically requested that the club continues operations within the Republic of Transvaal for the sake of national morale, we have now relocated to Windhoek in Namibia for the duration of this war."

In the same press statement, Bartnel Botha also mentioned that "...although civilian casualties are reported to be light, in the face of widespread anarchy the Witwatersrand capital region has since been deemed ‘unsafe’ and ‘off-limits’"

No official word has been heard from the government in Pretoria and both Radio-Transvaal and Tele-Transvaal have since gone off the air.

CYBERNATIONS NEWS NETWORK [CAPE TOWN]: According to unofficial and unconfirmed reports, over 2,500 civilians were killed when Pretoria came under nuclear attack tonight from Knoth.

While resistance on the ground has collapsed, the Seemag and Lugmag continue to strike back – with the heroic airforce achieving the most success. Flight Commander Leonard Wise has reported that 176 enemy aircraft, including 131 bombers, have been shot down over during airstrikes over enemy territory while Lugmag losses have numbered 36 aircraft lost.

FEBRUARY 9, 2010


CYBERNATIONS NEWS NETWORK [WINDHOEK]: With no end in sight to the anarchy which has gripped the Republic of Transvaal in the wake of the TOP-C&G War, Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus has formally requested that the Tahoe Republic sends a military expeditionary force to Transvaal for the immediate occupation of the Cape Province.

“With the breakdown of central government control, the Loyalist Republicans under my leadership are unable to maintain authority over Cape Town and the Cape Province. Therefore for the duration of the war, we are requesting our ally Tahoe to dispatch an occupation force to Cape Town and maintain an occupation.”

When asked whether this would raise political tensions in the region, she replied “At this point, our immediate survival is at state. I am not worried what foreign powers may think. Maintaining the future integrity of the Republic is my primary long-term concern at this moment. We are also looking at Arctica taking an active role in Mozambique but the safety and security of Cape Town, which has remained untouched by the conflict, needs to be guaranteed first and foremost. It is highly probable that our post-war capital will need to be relocated to Cape Town or Bloemfontien until the Witwatersrand is suitably clean from radioactive fallout.”

CYBERNATIONS NEWS NETWORK [CAPE TOWN]: Two-thousand soldiers from Tahoe began disembarking tonight at the Simonstown Shipyards near Cape Town after the Cape Province of Transvaal was voluntarally placed under the military occupation of Tahoe.

Loyalist Republicans lead by Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus acknowledged earlier in the day that they were no longer able to maintain order over the province - and had issued a plea for foreign assistance to provide occupation troops in lieu of Republican authorities.

In Mozambique, Governors Jakob Herztog and Alberto Azcondos unilaterally authorised the occupation of Northern Mozambique by the Arctican military forces already based there in a similar measure although the Loyalist Republicans have yet to confirm or deny that decision.

What Southern Africa is now seeing is a dismembermant of the Republic of Transvaal in an attempt to advert further destruction from enemy forces - most notably from the five or six nuclear strikes which have rained down on the Witwatersrand region, the industrial and ecominic heartland of the Republic.

Anarchy has gripped the nation and although Prime Minister Van Matteus' government has been unable to re-assert its control over the country, the Transvaler Krygsmagte and its associated military wings have continued resistance, independent of the Government Loyalists which have relocated to Windhoek, in the face of dire adversity.

Government relocation to Windhoek[]

FEBRUARY 4, 2010

The incessant knocking on her bedroom door finally woke the prime minister. A groggy Annetjie van Matteus, normally a heavy sleeper, looked at her alarm clock. ‘why on earth is someone waking me up at four o’clock in the morning’ she thought to herself. Out of bed, she wrapped herself in her house coat and answered the door. It was her maid and two officers from the Oorsese Korps.

“Ma’am, Johannesburg was hit by a nuclear missile from Odinsland, we have to evacuate you to the government shelters. We have already made contact with Staatspresident Botha’s security team at George Plass for his removal to safety.”

She stood there stunned like a deer in headlights. All she could muster was a feeble “what?” before the two officers, urged her “Ma’am, you need to come with us now.” In the distance she could now hear the wail of air-raid sirens, which snapped her out from her trancelike daze.

Half an hour later, now airborne en route to Windhoek, she read the scattered reports and desperate messages which were coming in. Apparently a tactical missile was launched at Johannesburg Barracks, killing all the Krygsmagte soldiers there and damaging a large portion of the Lugmag stationed at the airport nearby.

She crumpled up the sheet of paper she was read and threw it at the floor in frustration. She then asked the teletype clerk, “Any word from Marshal Cruywagen?”

“No ma’am, at this point we have to presume he was killed in the blast, his last reported whereabouts were at Johannesburg Barracks.”

“What is our military capacity?”

According to the casualty reports we have received so far, the Krygsmagte has been completely wiped out, the Seemag is operating at around 60% strength, and the Lugmag has been carrying out counterstrikes and is relatively intact. The Raketkorps are also still operational but have reported the loss of one our atomic bombs through faulty construction or wiring problems.”

Van Matteus took stock of her situation. The army was out of the picture, so if she faced the military deciding to impose a junta to replace her, it would come from Admiral Kruger or Field Marshal Malan as no one would recognise Flight Commander Wise’s authority in such an act, on account of his ‘Englishness’.

“What of civilian casualties?” she enquired.

“From the nuclear strike, actually quite minimal, we are hearing reports of between 300 and 400 civilians. This is far less than what we have suffered from conventional strikes against our cities. However most of our economic infrastructure was destroyed in the strike, it will take some time to re-establish government authority over the country. We have heard of widespread rioting throughout the Witwatersrand as panic sets in.”

She then made her first tough decision. She feared what ramifications it might hold for her after the war, but the urgency of the moment required immediate and swift action. She would deal with that later.

“I want you to broadcast the following message to all military troops that are able to receive radio broadcasts. Inform them that all hospital facilities are to be used only for military and government personal. Priority must be given to officers and the government. All civilian wounded from the nuclear attack are to be turned away – and if met with resistance, eliminated.”

She saw no need wasting valuable and precious medical resources on people who would most likely die anyways from radiation poisoning. They were collateral losses, the sooner dealt with the better. Yes it was heartless she thought, but she had to think first of national survival and the ability to maintain resistance in the face of the enemy.

Then she made her second tough decision: “Also broadcast that effective immediately any one resisting or opposing the legal government of the Republic of Transvaal” – and by that she implied herself – “would be summarily executed without trial. This includes any military personal who may seize the fragile situation to impose a junta over the nation.” Then she added, “contact all our prisons if you still are able, order them to dispose of all their prisoners as soon as possible.”

FEBRUARY 6, 2010

“Ma’am, glorious news from the front!” said the excited radio operator at the prime minister’s makeshift command centre in Windhoek, where the remnants of government had evacuated.

Annetjie van Matteus was shocked. “We still have a front?!?! How is that?”

“It’s Marshal Cruywagen, ma’am… he survived the atomic attacks and was able to regroup and find replacements for the Krygsmagte. Our forces went on the offensive earlier tonight and secured four major victories against our superior and more numerous enemies!”

On hearing that news, cheers erupted throughout the collection of tents which now functioned as the temporary seat of power for Republic. After the two devastating nuclear attacks a few days before, this was the best news the shattered country had enjoyed. The war was far from over and the final outcome uncertain, but the news of the battles was a welcome sign hope after all.

Van Matteus also realized the implications. It was a reversal of fortunes not only on the battlefield – but in the corridors of political power in the nation. The army was no longer regarded as Petrus Malan’s creation as most of his post-Karma War appointments and recruitment had died during the nuclear attacks. Now allegiance of the army was now firmly back in the hands of Marshal Cruywagen.

In fact, after the initial defeats, she had seriously considered removing him once and for all as commander-in-chief – while he was down and out – if he wasn’t quite possibly dead already. Now he had risen from the ashes and brought the people their first offensive victories of the war.

‘The postwar is going to be very interesting indeed,’ the embittered prime minister thought to herself.

FEBRUARY 8, 2010

Field Marshal Petrus Malan sat in his tent, waiting. His radio operators had so far been unable to reach Pretoria or anyone else in the government. “Sorry sir, no luck yet...” one of them said, poking their head through the entrance of the command tent.

The commander of the Transvaler Raketkorps thought long and hard about the ramifications of what he would do next – but decided that it was now or never. He stepped outside and made his way over to where an unassuming rocket was sitting on a makeshift launch pad. The Raketkorps’ nuclear arsenal may be antiquated by modern standards, but once the rocket got airborne and assuming it could find its target, it would pack just as deadly a punch as what had been raining down on the cities of Transvaal.

“Is it ready?” he asked the ground crew working on the rocket. “Yes sir, just give the word and we will activate the firing mechanisms on the warhead.”

Malan nodded, and then so there would be no confusion over orders, added “...make it so”. The rocket crew sprang into action. Within ten minutes, the old V-2 would either be airborne on its way to Odinsland or it would have come crashing back down to earth and taken out the base. Two days ago when they tried to launch, the engine misfired and the V-2 had failed to lift off from the launch pad. Thankfully the ground crew had also failed due to an oversight to activate the warhead.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, Malan had to receive orders from both Staatspresident Botha and Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus – however he had been unable to establish any contact with either, assuming they were still alive. He figured that since he had received second-hand reports that Pretoria and Johannesburg had come under multiple nuclear attacks, that he no longer needed any orders from about to launch.

“Sir, you better make your way to the launch bunker...” said one of the ground crew running for cover. A countdown then began, broadcasted over the loudspeakers of the installation.

Twintig... negentien... agttien...

Malan made his way to the bunker, although little good it would do if the rocket decided to explode on the pad. ‘Hopefully they remembered to activate the nuclear warhead’ he thought.

Dertien... twaalf... elf... tien... nege...

Malan peered out of the blast window as smoke began to emit from its tailpipe.The nuclear V-2’s used by Transvaal were a combination of old Deutschland technology reverse-engineered from the Second Great War combined with uranium which had been acquired from Heft back when Transvaal was a member of IRON. In fact, Transvaal has nicknamed its atomic weapons ‘Seekoeitjies’ – or ‘Little Hippos’ out of gratitude to Heft’s at-the-time timely uranium supply.

Drie... twee... een... nul...

The marshal for a brief second winced, expecting the worst...

Flames and black smoke enveloped the launch pad. Malan relaxed as there was no accidental blast. Around a minute later, as the smoked cleared, one of the launch personal looked skywards and pointed “Look, there it goes!”

A small trail of fire could be seen making its way upwards and northwards towards Odinsland.

Half an hour later in Odinsland, radar would pick up the lone, lowly rocket slowly making its way to Valhalla, the capital city of Odinsland. Mistaken for a regular cruise missile, which Transvaal had sparingly used during the conflict, the V-2 was ignored. “It won’t do much damage, the others they launched didn’t, just ignore it.”

Five minutes late, over 35,000 souls would be regretting that small oversight...

Arctican occupation in Northern Mozambique[]

FEBRUARY 6, 2010

John Hull, governor of Transvaal-Arctica, used the war to fulfill one of his campaign promises. He asked for an enlargement of the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force and moved the AOTDF to a standby alert. Construction of defenses was hastened, and a few naval ships were transferred to the AOTDF. A buildup of troops and hardware occurred along the joint territory's "border" with Transvaal proper. Hull stressed that it was a precautionary measure to safeguard the joint territory and that he had been informed by higher-ups that Arctica would not be entering the war unless the joint territory was attacked or if Transvaal's situation was desperate. The Defense Force was now a 25,000-man unit [2,500x10], violating the terms of the territorial charter. Governor Hull claimed it is a necessary, temporary measure, and is seeking to enter talks with his 'co-governor' Jakob Hertzog to allow the measure and to possibly revise the charter to allow larger deployments by each nation.

There was a divide in Arctica Information Command. 50% of its agents in Transvaal had been killed by the initial nuclear attack on Pretoria and Johannesburg, and more were dying as collateral damage during the fighting. Up to 75% of all Infos in Transvaal were killed or incapacitated. The rift came from conflicting ideas on how to react. One, supported by the Director and about a third of AIC, said that the best course of action was to do nothing: to send no more agents in and to keep surveillance in Transvaal at the current reduced levels. This camp's extremist suggested cutting Info Command's losses and pulling out all agents during the fighting, or even removing the dissidents by any means necessary. Director Gennady Vladimitrov maintains that AIC is not a democracy, and that such rifts are dangerous to the cohesion and efficacy of the Command. He has fired some of the worst offenders.

The other way of thought, supported by most of the rest of AIC, including the shadowy Deputy Director, is that AIC should take this opportunity as they did during the Karma War and send even more agents into the country, this time implanting themselves in the wounded government. Its extremists support the removal of Director Vladimitrov, whether by appealing through the proper channels or by other methods. There have been a few leaks and vaguely worded stories, but the rift is mostly unpublicized and internal.

All Arctican embassy personnel survived the attack, being miles away, but Arctica is seeking to remove the Ambassador. At around 4am, A C-130 entered Transvaler airspace, escorted by four F-18s launched from the carrier Mon Millennia. They insist on landing at what remains of the airport and extracting the embassy staff.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations are being continued; a Foreign Ministry official has been assigned to liaise with the remnants of Transvaal's government.

Jakob Hertzog, the Transvaler co-governor of Transvaal-Arctica, contacted his Arctcian counterpart John Hull:

“We cannot reach anyone in Pretoria or Johannesburg and I have no idea who is running the government at the moment - or who is still alive for that matter. Therefore at this time I recommend that Arctica takes full control over the territory until it is clarified who is still in control of the Republic. At worst it would remove the territory from our enemies as a legitimate target and thus save some lives.”

Hull, after conferring with the mainland, decided that this was the best course of action. It would free up Transvaal's border guards and their own territorial defense force for use on the front, and it would always allow Arctica to just keep the territory if a hostile government was in place when all the smoke cleared.

The governor replied to Hertzog in the affirmative, and announced the changes before moving in the newly transferred additions to the AOTDF to fill gaps in the defenses that had been created by the Transvalers' departure - or if they did not depart, to strengthen those positions. Meanwhile, the troops that had been ordered to reinforce the "border" arrived, having to use maps to find their position in relation to the borders on the maps as there were no border checkpoints.

FEBRUARY 7, 2010

Jakob Hertzog informed his Arctican opposite that, as far as he knew, there were no longer any Krygsmagte ground troops still in the territory. Not privy to the details and nature of the military’s operations in the territory, it appeared that whomever was still in command of the Krygsmagte had pulled them back to the Republic itself for defense and in an attempt to maintain order.

Neither Mozambican governor, Hertzog in the joint administered territory nor Alberto Azcondos, the provincial governor of Southern Mozambique, had received any news or instructions from Pretoria. They said it was like as if someone had come along and removed that portion of the country from the map and it did not exist anymore. Therefore between the two of them, after conferring about their situation, decided that Arctica should occupy Northern Mozambique and if he was unable to maintain a semblance of order in the South, Azcondos would request an Arctican occupation of the remainder of the province.

As Azcondos told John Hull, “I think we should give it another week in the hopes to hear from Pretoria or wherever the government may have to moved to – assuming they survived the attacks – before we figure out what to do with the Mozambique Province. I would like Arctican troops in a ready position to occupy Maputo and the other major coastal towns. Relations between our two governments have been good enough that I would not envisage any diplomatic problems as a result. If Pretoria for some reason did take offense to an Arctican occupation of the southern province, both myself and Hertzog would lend our support to defend that decision and would take ultimate responsibility.”

FEBRUARY 15, 2010

The government of Arctica confirms that the recently enlarged Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force, under the direction of General Ruzinic, in cooperation with Governor John Hull, has occupied and fortified key points that will secure the territory's border and defend the land against a possible invasion by Odinsland or opportunistic dissident groups within the Republic.

Tahoe Intervention[]

FEBRUARY 10, 2010

President Sean O'Deaghaidh re-affirmed the Tahoe Republic's total commitment to its ally. This aid includes military, financial and politcal, as the President pledged economic funds to rebuild the nation post war as well as troops to garrison the Cape Province.

President O'Deaghaidh signed an executive order granting Peter van Haesten the rank of Brigadier General and full control over Tahoe's military base at Swakopmund and the two thousand motorised infantry of the 23 Battalion (Van Haesten's former command)and light infantry of the 534 Battalion that have been deployed to the Cape Province.

Asked if the Tahoan troops would take direct part in the fighting, the President responded that all activities carried out by the Tahoan troops in Africa would be at the sole discretion of General van Haesten, as communication would be cut off, for the most part.



Genral Peter Van Haesten of Tahoe

General van Haesten had recieved his commission in the thick packet of orders that had arrived with the Tahoan soldiers from Cuba. The promotion didn't mean much to him. The extra responsibility didn't affect him and the extra money? He lived on army bases, ate army food, in short, never spent his own money. He didn't even have a family to support. And retirement? An army pension farm somewhere, most likely.

What he was conerned with, however, was the collapse of the Transvaler government. His base at Swakopmund was a smoldering ruin by now. Bombed and shelled out of existence and the remaining fighter jets and transports had relocated to Simonstown, along with the two dozen helicopters and fourty or so remaining vehicles. The good news, the reinforcements from Tahoe had brought 50 IFV's and about one hundred fifty APC's along with the usual compliment of trucks. And the most useful of all? A Tahoan guided missile destroyer that had escorted the transports and now remained in Cape Town Harbour. Its advanced missile defense system meant Cape Town was safe, probably, from nuclear attack. This didn't help the refugee situation. Thousands of civilians were pouring into the city, mostly from the shattered Witwatersrand region.

The collapse of the Transvaler government meant he was asked to occupy the Cape Province with no further directions, as far as he could see. The police and few remaining local troops that hadn't been moved to the front were keeping good order although without adequate communication with Transvaal's military or government, he couldn't safely take the initiative.

He had set up his office in the Cape Town City Hall, where an injured Ambassador O'Grianna wheeled himself into the General's office. O'Grianna had been injured in the first nuclear strike when he was trapped beneath a fallen bookshelf, confining him to a wheelchair the past few days. It was the ambassador's suggestion to attempt to send a runner from Swakopmund (about a hundred Tahoan soldiers remained behind at the base) to Windhoek, about 250 kilometers away. About five Tahoan soldiers set off on the highway, arriving in Windhoek about two hours later searching for the Transvaler government.

As the Tahoan soldiers approached the outskirts of Windhoek, on asking for directions “to anyone who is in command”, they were instructed to make for the makeshift tent city which has sprung up to the immediate east of The Khomasdal, Windhoek Welwitschia’s antiquated stadium which had, amongst other refugees from the Witwatersrand, become the temporary home for the Transvaal Springboks of the Liga Mundo.

During their trek to Windhoek, they passed by an increasing number of refugees also going in the same direction. During one brief rest stop, the Tahoans were told that what was left of the government people who made it out before the nuclear attacks had relocated to Windhoek, ‘most likely because this is where Van Matteus calls home’ said one of the refugees. Rumours abounded, they said. Some had heard that no one knew where Staatspresident Botha was. Others had heard that communists had set up a revolutionary commune in Pretoria after being forewarned of the nuclear strikes. No one knew whether the war was being won or lost and most didn't know if the military was still fighting.

In one corner of the tent city was an area cordoned off by the local Krygsmagte detachment for use by the surviving members of the Transvaler Government. The Tahoans could see their Transvaler compatriots bore the signs of major battle fatigue and almost all sported bandages and splints to some degree. These men had seen a lot of action. Some even had what looked like flash burns and dark blotching which indicated the onset of radiation poisoning. Yet despite their injured state, they continued on to carry out their duties to the best of their ability.

In front of the entrance to government area was a small wooden sign which had been hastily hammered into the ground. It bore the words “Government of Transvaal – Open for Business, Enquire Within” – a macabre attempt at humour under the dire circumstances. The Tahoans made their way to the guards standing near the sign who were checking the papers of all those seeking entrance into the enclosure.

FEBRUARY 11, 2010

The Tahoan soldiers approached the tent city area housing the government of Transvaal. They got concerned looks from civilian and military alike, most not recognizing the camouflage pattern causing suspicion until the Tahoan flag patch was visible. Careful observers noticed one of the Tahoans was a naval intelligence officer. The fact that the strangers were armed caused the Transvaler guards to shift their weapons into a more comfortable position to easily return fire, if fired upon.

Striding up to the guard on duty, the naval intelligence officer asked in thickly accented Afrikaans to speak with someone capable of giving orders to the Tahoan contingent in Cape Province. This earned confused stares and another request to see the Tahoans papers and for them to turn over their firearms. This was done, and one of the Transvaler guards disappeared into the tent only to return a few minutes later with an officer. The Tahoan officer explained once again that he had an urgent need to see the Prime Minister or some other senior leader to give the Tahaon troops orders.

FEBRUARY 12, 2010

The Krygsmagte officer looked over the Tahoan identity papers which had been handed to him. “From Swakopmund you say?” After looking over the strangers once again, he said “Wait here…”

Around ten minutes later, a blond woman returned with him whom they immediately recognized. A week of no sleep (and no make-up) had given her a tired look but she still managed to retain her charm under the circumstances. “I understand you are looking for someone in command” Annetjie van Matteus said. “I suppose that would be me, although how much I still ‘command’ is anyone’s guess” she half-heartedly laughed. The Tahoans couldn’t tell whether she was being witty or simply acknowledging the truth.

She tossed a thermos of hot coffee and a couple of plastic coffee mugs at the men, “Here you might want some of this while it is still made with fresh water.” She sat down at a portable, fold-up table and grabbed two chairs from the jumble of ‘supplies’ which had been salvaged or requisitioned from Windhoek. She motioned for the naval intelligence officer, who appeared to be the most senior of the group, to sit down with her.

“Any news from the outside world?” and by the question, she implied beyond Windhoek. “We haven’t heard anything from Pretoria nor Johannesburg for almost a week since we evacuated. I heard rumours that Bloemfontein got hit once but the damage was as minimal as one could expect from a nuclear warhead. I issued a broadcast requesting Tahoman (a quaint term some Afrikaners used instead of Tahoan) intervention in the Cape through some foreign press posted here – but I have no idea whether anyone heard it.”

The naval intelligence officer was surprised to be speaking with the Prime Minister herself. Taking the coffee, he explained the situation as best he coould.

"Uh, yes ma'am, your request got out via Swakopmund. We had communication with the government until a few days ago when enemy bombers destroyed our only remaining satellite dish. We had been running airstrikes against Valhallan forces as well and they finally hit back. Anyway, the President sent two battalions, about 2,000 soldiers to Cape Town along with a guided missile destroyer for missile defense. Cape Town should be safe from nuclear attack, although I've seen those destroyers work and it can be scary to see it destroy the missile seconds before it detonates., General van Haesten...oh, yes, he got promoted, is in command. He brought all the remaining forces from Swakopmund save a company of infantry to join the troops in Cape Town."

"Anyway, the reason we are here is becaus the general wants orders on what to do. Your police and miitary survivors who aren't the front have kept order well in Cape Town and he says he doesn't really need all of our troops there, some can be deployed to the front. Cape Town and the Province in general are being turned into a safe zone from where to reconquer the rest of the counry. Another deployment of Tahoan soldiers is en route and shuld be here within a week or so. Do you have contact with whoever is commanding the Krygsmagte?"

“Van Haesten?” said a surprised Annetjie van Matteus. She seemed relieved to hear the name. “Good choice, your people could not have picked a better person for the job. He knows this country like the back of his hand.”

She then relayed what she knew about Transvaal’s military.

“From what has been filtering in the past few days, the nuclear attacks have stops as the fronts against Knoth and Odinsland have petered out. I believe we are still fighting against the State of Israel although it’s now merely the exchange of conventional missile and some bomber sorties.”

“As far as I know, and last we heard, Field Marshal Cruywagen is still in command of the military however we have had no direct contact with him. We received third-hand reports that some of our small nuclear stockpile has been launched against our enemies. I don’t know if Staatspresident Botha authorised its use, it was something I had no one asked me for clearance although at this point it is not an issue I am going to worry about. So if those reports are true, then it is safe to assume Field Marshal Malan is alive and in command of his forces as he along with the Staatspresident and myself are the only one who can launch our nuclear weapons.”

“I don’t know what the status is of our navy and while I have had no contact with our air force, we have seen Lugmag aircraft fly overhead at times, so the air force must still be operational.”

“We are hoping to get Radio Transvaal back on the air in six hours at which point I will try to re-assert my government’s control over the country. We will also be sending a small detachment of our people to reach Pretoria and see what the situation there is like. Re-establishing communication with all branches of our military is critical – after which point I will hopefully have a better picture of just where the Republic stands. For all I know, parts of the nation could be under enemy control or under rebellion against Republican authority.”

“Right now, as for the Tahoman forces in the country, I need them to maintain order and security over the Cape Province so that I can focus on regaining the Witwatersrand. Until this conflict is over, General Van Haesten will have to improvise until the loyalist government is in a position to effectively assert control over the Cape Province.”

FEBRUARY 13, 2010

"General Van Haesten has indicated that he can effecively control most of the Western Cape directly. The interior will be more difficult as we don't have the troops in country yet, although once the 4th Northern California Regiment arrives that dynamic should change. I have been ordered to stay here as the Tahoan military attache, although with no communication that position is essentially meaningless." The officer sighed. Continuing, he said, "I will have the rest of my men relay your instructions to General van Haesten."

- - -

Van Haesten walked out of his office onto a balcony overlooking Cape Town and its harbor. The city was unnaturally still, with the population mostly staying at home and the thousands of refugees being set up in camps in parks and especially the sprawling tent city covering Signal Hill. The destroyer LT Boudicca floated at anchor on the gental swell in Table Bay and a column of armored vehicles rumbled down the highway out into the Province's interior, the only traffic on the highway excepting the occasional civilian car braving checkpoints and air raids. Looking into the bright summer sky he noticed the contrails of a flight of patrolling Tahoan jets high above the city. Van Haesten had just concluded a meeting with the mayor of Cape Town who had politely, insisted in over half of the Tahoan troops to remain in the city to keep order. Eventually the Tahoan officer had told the politian point blank that as many soldiers as possible were being sent into the countryside and neighboring cities to keep order and that the Cape Town police would have to keep doing their own job.

Cape Town had, after all, avoided much of the rigours of war with the exception of a few aerial dogfights and bombing runs and the occasional missile strike. The neighboring cities had not been roughed up either and for that reason Van Haesten was sending most of his two thousand infantry out to set up firebases and camps acros the Western Cape region and launch helicopter and ground patrols out into the rest of the province. The 500 infantry from Swakopmund were being kept in reserve. However, the mayor did get some consolation in knowing that two companies of Tahoan soldiers were being based in Cape Town to help the police keep order along with a company each in the cities of George, Oudtshoorn, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Swellendam and Worcester.

- - -

Field Marshals Cruywagen and Malan were now mopping up the remaining, sporadic domestic resistance which had sprung up in the Witwatersrand. While radiation levels were now at acceptable levels to enter the devastated cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg, both officers recommended waiting until the cessation of hostilities before the government returned to Pretoria. Johannesburg was the worst hit as the vast shantytowns of the Soweto stood no chance in the blast.

On surveying the scene from above in his helicopter, Marshal Malan licked his chops at the sight below him. He quipped to the pilot, “One advantage with being hit with nuclear weapons is they don’t discriminate with the casualties.” Malan’s grim observation was correct in that the power base for Transvaal’s bitterest opponents had been caught up in the nuclear attacks. Any concerns about a communist rebellion breaking out had gone up in the smoke of the mushroom cloud. “If these wars launched against us have one benefit, its that it makes it easier to further whiten Transvaal during the reconstruction”. He hoped that Van Matteus would appreciate the position she was now in for re-shaping the country in their shared image.

That evening the airwaves crackled with the following broadcast; it was the calming voice of broadcaster Lukas Reitz:

“This is Radio-Transvaal now on the air. Our brave prime minister, Annetjie van Matteus is still in command of the Republican government from Windhoek. The Krygsmagte has won numerous victories on the front lines and our nation is secure once again from enemy invaders. Our allies the Tahoe Republic have responded to our calls for assistance and have established an occupation of the Cape Province so our military forces can be committed to the borderlands and the front. The government therefore asks all residents of the Cape to render assistance and comply with all orders issued from General van Haesten, Governor of Cape Province. As soon as it is safe to do so, the government will return to Pretoria. That is all. Victory shall be ours. Ons almal is Noordryk.”

After nine days of anarchy, Annetjie van Matteus had finally re-established government control over what remained of the Republic of Transvaal. The economy was still a mess but Ministers Hofmeyr and Steyn estimated that basic services and industry would begin operating again in another 24 hours.

The prime minister now looked at map of the Republic spread out on a table. It was marked up in red showing the front lines and the extent of Republican control. “The Cape now doesn’t look so bad, but we need to do something in Northern Namibia and Southern Angola immediately before those regions slip from us”. She then glanced eastwards at Mozambique. She had since found out that in the absence of communications, the two governors there had taken matters into their own hands to save the situation. While it may not have been her first course of action, she nevertheless congratulated Governors Hertzog and Azcondos for their quick thinking for calling in Arctican forces to secure their territories.

“I should probably meet with General van Haesten as he may be posted here for some time. I could use his help in Angola and Northern Namibia.” Van Matteus then called for her adjutant to arrange transportation to Cape Town.

FEBRUARY 15, 2010

When a messenger reported to Van Haesten that Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus would be arriving in Cape Town he gave a non-commital shrug and said, "Hmm, very well," before turning back to the massive map of Cape Province that had been hung on the wall in Cape Town City Hall, which had been essentially appropriated by the Tahoan Armed Forces (much to the silent chagrin of the mayor). Dozens of orange dots, represtening Transvaler Police or military were contrasted with green dots, for Tahoans, and blue dots, for potential enemies.

Tahoan troops had been shot at on more than one occassion, and at least ten houses had been destroyed by helicopter gunships, but so far resistance had been minimal and casualties light. Only a few dozen wounded, mostly from accidents and not enemy operations, and none killed.

FEBRUARY 17, 2010

A few hours later, still intensely studying the map, General Peter van Haesten heard a voice behind him almost purr “…congratulations, General!”. He turned around in an instant to see Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus standing there with two cups of coffee in her hands.

“Your people tell me you never take a break – but come, let’s go outside and get some air… and talk” as she hands him a cup of black coffee. “Sorry I couldn’t find any milk, there hasn’t been any around since the war began.”

They walked down to the waterfront not far from Van Haesten’s command centre at Simonstown, the great spralling naval base which the Transvaler Seemag had called home. Now it was occupied by Tahoan ships, as the remaining ships of the Seemag stayed stationed out at sea, lest their anchorage in Cape Town drew the undue attention of an enemy nuclear warhead.

Van Matteus always seemed relaxed whenever she was around the General – which sometimes made the professional soldier in him uncomfortable. Unbeknownst to him, she deeply admired the man and regarded him a true friend of the Transvaler nation. She viewed him as a true man of action and someone she saw eye to eye with on almost all matters. She admired his toughness in the face of calamity and with all the recent chaos and uncertainty in Southern Africa, she was pleased that the Tahoan government had sent him.

“General, I think your work in Cape Town will soon be completed. Internal resistance, what little there has been, has practically dissipated now in the zones under government control. We anticipated a full-fledged communist revolt but according to Marshal Malan, much of the Marxist terrorist cells and leadership died during the nuclear attacks. We expect that we shall be able to re-establish control over the Cape in the next week.”

“Once the war is over and the shooting has finally stopped, where we are going to have serious problems is along our frontier regions of Northern Namibia and Southern Angola, which we have lost all influence over. We have requested the Arcticans to take our interests in Northern Mozambique, but our northwestern flank is severely vulnerable. We have lost the use of our facilities at Walvisbaai where we have shipyards, drydocks, and a harbour located.”

“Until my government can begin reconstruction and re-assert its influence over those areas, which may take a couple of months, we are going to require your assistance in maintaining the security of the northern Botha Line. I suppose what I am wondering is: what will your government’s reaction be to essentially setting up a colony in Southern Africa? We know your enemies such as Rebel Army will raise a stink about this and possibly UMS too. The Sercans will probably feel uneasy having Tahoman colonial troops stationed along one of their frontiers – but I think I can convince them that Tahoe poses no harm to Southern Africa. They have always been good at ignoring us and we visa versa. It would be nothing but a temporary measure until we can get our own house back in order.”

“As an aside, we are also seriously considering buttressing our Rhodesian allies by handing over our Rhodesian Province to them. We know that reunification with their traditional capital of Salisbury has always been something they desire – even though they have never broached the topic with us.”

FEBRUARY 18, 2010

As van Matteus finished her remarks Ambassador O'Grianna strolled up with an annoyed look on his face, saying, "Madam Prime Minister, no one told me you were here yet." O'Grianna glanced at General van Haesten, who merely shrugged and said in his deep voice, "I hope you are recovering well, Ambassador. My staff is very busy dealing with military matters." Van Haesten looked like he was about to address the Prime Minister's questions but O'Grianna quickly interdicted, "Prime Minister, despite being an old, injured man, I could not help but overhear your last question for the good General. Let me answer first, as it involves certain political matters important to our Government and the National Party. Under no circumstances will the Government of the Tahoe Republic condone, permit or assist in any way with a Colonial Government in Africa. I realize your wordchoice is limited and understand the true implications, but no, we will not set up a colony of any sorts involving civilians."

Van Matteus knew Tahoans were blunt and had dealt with them enough in her past, Ambassador O'Grianna in particular to not get particularly offended, but his outright denial of her suggestion was upsetting considering all Tahoe had done in the past.

Van Haesten looked again as he was about to speak but again O'Grianna cut him off, "Now, as I said we will not set up a colony. I have made no mention of an increased military commitment."

Van Haesten added, "Yes, I have just gotten off the radio with Captain O'Doul and he reports that his transports and their escort should be docking within the day. That is the 2nd and 8th Battalions of the 4th Northern California Regiment. They can be deployed along the border immediately. We do, as the Ambassador is attempting to suggest, need a political solution, though."

FEBRUARY 19 to MARCH 3, 2010

Annetjie van Matteus seemed dismayed but the reaction from Ambassador Ó Grianna was pretty much expected. She knew full well the Tahoan government’s opposition to colonialism – but she nevertheless wished that General van Haesten had had the opportunity to finish their discussion, as he would probably have a more creative solution to her political dilemma. The General may not be a politician but he certainly knew his way around politicians.

“Very well” she shrugged. “Do you have any suggestions Ambassador? – as we might well have to cut Southern Angola adrift and we fought tooth and nail with the old Pan-African Coalition to regain control of it after the last time we lost it.”

Actually, Transvaal had given up Southern Angola to the Pan-African Coalition peacefully and then snapped it up again like a vulture on that organisation’s demise but Van Matteus wasn’t concerned with the exact details at this moment. What she was concerned about was if the Republic lost its grip on it again, it would likely become a permanent loss.

“However you still could redeploy in Northern Namibia, no?”

Van Haesten gave an annoyed look to the Ambassador before responding to the Prime Minister.

"Ma'am, I fully believe I have the ability to hold onto both Angola and Mozambique. I believe the Ambassador was merely stating that any government by civilian Tahoan's is out of the picture. Military government is another story. Granted, we may need to get creative in how we respond, since the world and locals alike won't like Tahoans running things. Perhaps...perhaps, hmm, this may be unorthodox but I believe it is my perogative as Commander in Chief in Africa" Van Haesten gave a sharp look at the Ambassador, who merely raised an eyebrow, "to order such a thing...if you gave me command over perhaps 4,000 Transvaler soldiers as well as my 4,000 Tahoans, I can hold any area of the country. You may have to give me a commission in the Transvaler Army, since I know Tahoans at least would refuse to take orders from a foreign officer."

Van Haesten paused and looked around to gage the reaction. O'Grianna gave an impassive look back, and van Matteus murmured, "Go on..."

He continued, "We have to move fast. Those regions are already slipping out of control and will only continue to do so. I only have 4,000 troops and to be honest, if I have to butress the government across Transvaal I don't know how I will manage. I can't hold firm control over Cape Town AND Angola or Mozambique. The interior has to be turned over to local troops but I can hold the frontier."

O'Grianna looked like he was about to speak but Van Haesten cut him off, "Ambassador, I respect your opinion as the representative of the Tahoan government and a senior member of the National Party, but I am not a politician. I am a soldier. I will do everything in my power to carry out my orders, which are to support the Government of Transvaal in any way possible. You do not have the authority to countermand any of those. It is customary in the military to speak only when prompted or given permission."

‘Now, this was classic Van Haesten in action’ thought Annetjie van Matteus. ‘No intimidation in the face of danger nor with whom he spoke to – he always appeared cool and unfazed by authority figures.’

“General, unless our troops are required to undergo another offensive, I should be able to spare you 4,000 soldiers. And don’t worry about a commission, since our two countries are formal allies through Nordreich, during wartime your rank carries full weight with our soldiers. No different when we have launched co-ordinated offenses under the command of another nation’s command of the front.”

Then she gave a conspiratorial smile… “Besides, your name is well-known, respected – ...and feared – by our troops. Don’t you worry General, trust me they will listen to you and they will carry out your orders.”


Map showing Arctica occupation zone in navy blue and Tahoe occupation zone in yellow

“At this point, shift your focus now shift to maintaining our frontier territories. My government is now stable enough to re-exert our authority over the Cape Province, so your troops can be relieved there. Don’t worry about Mozambique; our eastern frontier is safe in the hands of the Arcticans. They too realize that their own regional security relies on a strong and united Transvaal. Your objective now should be the occupation of Southern Angola and the areas of Northern Namibia not currently under our SOI.”

A large convoy of trucks and armored vehicles rumbled into the city of Lubango as the sun rose. Locals recognized Krygsmagte uniforms and equipment but few recognized the distinctive Tahoan Army patterns and armored vehicles. General van Haesten and his staff quickly got busy dealing with local authorities (the few that remained) while Tahoan and Transvaler troops began the construction of a major military base in the hills overlooking the city to the west. Bulldozers flattened terrain and vegetation and began preparing to pour concrete on a double runway featuring reiforced shelters for the aircraft. A small tent city popped up in lieu of barracks, but those would certainly follow soon after. Three tall flagpoles bore the banners of the Tahoe Republic, Republic of Transvaal and the flag of their formal alliance, an eagle with odal rune and cross. A large country estate, formerly belonging to a wealthy white Transvaler farmer who was killed by rebels along with his family served as the headquarters for the base.

The roughly 9,000 soldiers (four thousand Tranvaler infantry and 4,000 Tahoan motorised infantry plus 1,000 Tahoan support crews and pilots) would in the next week or so be distributed to firebases across southern Angola and northern Southwest Africa. Eight military districts, each under the command of a colonel would be set up with absolute authority of the Governor in Lubango.

Intelligence staff is expecting a brutal bush war to start as soon as the locals recover and as such Van Haesten is moving quickly to arrest dissidents and gain control of as much of the territory as possible as well as working with local leaders, especially police, to secure the area.

Despite having an on-going presence in Southern Angola since January 2008, the territory was far and away one of the most destitute parts of the Republic – if not the entire continent. The words “squalor”, “hopelessness” and “abuse” came foremost to mind to describe the place, as it was obvious the Transvaler Government had done practically nothing to improve the lives of its misfortunate residents.

Southern Angola was an anomaly in the Republic – too important in the Republic’s regional defense plan as a buffer region to permit it leaving the Republic, yet remote and culturally different enough that successive Transvaler governments omitted it from government investment and infrastructure budgeting.

A Transvaler colonel walked up to General van Haesten and saluted. “Welcome to the toilet of Africa, sir” he said in all earnestness and honesty. “I am Colonel Viljoens, nominal commanding officer of the Krygsmagte forces operating in Angola. I have been instructed to place my troops under your command for the duration of your stay here.”

As Van Haesten walked around examining the burnt-out plantation which served as his headquarters, Viljoens gave him a run down on the situation in Angola.

“The people here – the native Negroes, I mean – are pretty passive now and try their best to avoid us. Years ago, back when the SWF-LSF threat in Southern Africa was at a peak, the local populace tried to rebel against us but we beat the snot out of them pretty good. Since then, they just stay out of our way and do as little to attract our attention. As you can see, the entire territory is pretty remote as there are practically no paved roads. Pre-war pretty much the only government activity here was border patrols along the Transvaler-Sercan frontier. Occasionally we have had to deal with smuggling operations or coastal piracy, small scale stuff really. So long as it doesn’t get in our way, we just let it go as part of the local ‘economy’”.

The Viljoens stopped and turned around to face the General. “You know sir, as much as I dislike the place and its people and everything to do with it, it would help matters if Pretoria actually threw a little money in this direction. Even for basic necessities such as clean water. This place is an absolute dump and Pretoria does nothing to alleviate the misery even a little. If the people here ever did find the courage again to rise up, I cannot say they wouldn’t have justification. I’m thinking here in preventative terms, sir. Snuff out the seeds of discontent before they can take root…”

General van Haesten indeed had seen the shellshocked stares on the dirty faces of locals as they convoy drove through Lubango. Even without including the Tahoan soldiers, the Transvaler contingent was easily the largest goverment presence most locals had ever seen.

"Well Colonel" van Haesten said in his now nearly pefect Afrikaans (he even spoke with the accent of the Witwatersrand remarked Colonel Viljoens), "whether they like it or not, Southern Angola is going to have a permanant government presence from now on. We were ordered to secure the region, and I don't see how to do that except to extend government rule here permanantly. I saw these kind of places: backwater, poor, inhabited by negroes, while I was stationed in Cuba. Our government was effectively bringing poor rural regions that had historically been antagonistic to white Tahoan authority in Havana under control through a mix of social programs and military power. We have the latter, now we need the former."

Van Haesten walked with Viljoens back to the tent that was serving as the headquarters while the plantation house was being rebuilt. A bulldozer and dump truck rumbled by (both driven by locals) to work on the runway. A helicopter gunship roared overhead from north where a patrol had been engaged by a group of rebels before being pulverized by a mix of gunships and ground forces that had been dropped off via helicopter. Van Haesten had integrated the units, so every Tahoan company had a corresponding Transvaler company (who knew the terrain).

Once back in the tent, Van Haesten asked Viljoens to assist him in appointing 4 of the 8 military districts with Transvaler officers of his reccomendation, as well as to help decide what exactly the districts should be, geographically speaking. Van Haesten wanted to start deploying his troops around the region within a week, as any longer would only hasten the difficuly in bringing them back under government control. Disturbing reports of small scale rebel activity and anarchy were reaching his ears daily.

“Until very recently the two Portuguese regions of the Republic were simply ignored – except for Maputo and its immediate area on our eastern coast because it had strategic port value. We used to call them the ongewenste witmense, the ‘unwanted whites’, even though most are mixed-blood or negroid”

Switching back and forth between Afrikaans and English in describing the situation in Angola, General Van Haesten noticed how Colonel Viljoens used the word “negro” in his English speech – a term almost never heard on the African continent. On asking why, it turned out Viljoens had trained in Tahoe during one of the frequent training exchanges between the two countries and had heard the term used there amongst other Americansims he had picked up. In fact, as he listened closer, Van Haestens figured that Viljoens had probably acquired his knowledge of English in Tahoe rather than being around Anglo-Transvalers.

“But ever since the Arcticans became involved in Mozambique, the Portuguese have been starting to gain some recognition and grudging respect from us Afrikaners and also the Anglo’s. I wouldn’t be surprised that during the post-war reconstruction, we see some Portuguese influence begin to creep in – a subtle racial realignment if you can call it that. I don’t know if the Afrikaners will ever regard them as equal whites on the same level as the Anglo’s but I think those which can pass for being European will be in demand from a country which will once again require more immigration from sympathic Western European nations to buttress our numbers.”

As Viljoens spoke, he thumbed through his paperwork to find suitable officers for the military districts. Van Haestens sat at his desk which had been hastily set up for him.

“Now, as for the Krygsmagte troops under your command... along with myself, there is 1 other full colonel – his name is Kurt Martiens – and 4 lieutenant colonels assigned to our force of 4000. We also have 18 majors and captains, 53 lieutenants and ensign officers, 528 non-commissioned officers of various ranks between an assortment of warrant officers, sergeants, and corporals, and finally 3395 men of private ranks. We could also request up to two generals from the Krygsmagte for a force of our size, if we liked... however between you and me, we probably don’t need them here interfering with what is your command.”

Just then, the two men heard a voice behind them, calling for their attention from the doorway. “Sir, this message just came in over the radio from Pretoria…”

The corporal saluted both men and handed the note to Viljoens, out of habit and familiarity rather than any disrespect intended towards the more senior officer sitting at the desk. “It’s from the prime minister” said Viljoens, who quickly read it and handed it over to Van Haestens.

<< TO VAN HAESTENS & HQ: War over, peace declared. Maintain pacification in Angola until further notice – PRETORIA PM-AVM >>

“Huh, just like that… and it is all over. I wonder who won?... if anyone did... she made no mention of that,” pondered the colonel.

“However Colonel Viljoens, our war here still continues” replied Van Haesten. “If you please, carry on with your briefing.”

“Sorry, General… err, as to the set-up of military districts, we will need detachments here at Lubango as well as Namibe on the coast is critical as it is our only seaport – otherwise I would suggest Canongolo, Menongue, in the Burma-Poço district, Caconda, along the coast north of Chapeau Armado, plus one roving group based in the national parkland in the southeast.”

Colonel Viljoens then walked over to General Van Haesten's map of Southern Angola – the general seemed to have a knack for commandeering maps and office suuplies from the most unlikely (or unwilling) sources – and began to mark the location of the units on the wall.


Occupation deployment in Southern Angola

“What do you think? This should cover all sizable population areas as well as secure our northern frontier. We are perhaps a little thin along the Namibian border as well as in the southeastern parklands – however, I do not anticipate any problems coming from Namibia while the Southeast is pretty wild country, difficult to navigate about, and almost impossible to control anyways… not only for our troops, but would also be for any potential rebels which might attempt to operate from there.”

Van Haesten looked at the unit markers Viljoens had placed on the wall. The geographical distribution looked good and though having only a thousand troops in each district (except Lubango) would leave the troops very spread out should an unlikely large scale rebellion take place, the helicopter gunships and 9 surviving fighters would give the Tahoe-Transvalers a good deal of firepower that could be brought to bear, if necessary.

"That all looks good Colonel. I will have the orders drawn up for Colonel Martiens to take control of Namibe and Colonel Joe McKelvey will command in Menongue. I'll keep you here to command the central district and be my chief Transvaler advisors. I'll appoint three Tahoan Lieutenant-Colonel's and two senior Transvaler Lieutenant Colonels to command the two remaining districts."

Van Haesten stood up from his desk and called for his secretary, a staff sergeant who had served with him since van Haesten was a newly minted platoon leader in the Armtha SS, quickly stepped into the tent. He asked what van Haesten needed (in a surprising degree of familiarity that surprised Viljoens) and once told to draft orders for individual units and officers to deploy to their assigned district once the survey crew finished scouting locations for firebases across the theater stepped out yelling orders to his assistants.

"I'd also like to consider the formation of a local militia like we did in Cuba. Local whites, in this case mostly Portugese - in Cuba it was Spandiards - would form a heavily armed paramilitary that can be deployed anywhere in the Province. They can probably be trusted with armored vehicles and other weaponry and will help local whites integrate into the greater Transvaler culture through military service and language since orders would be in Afrikaans, though I'd expect they use Portugese, or whatever language they prefer for day to day operations. The second militia and this one truly would be just a militia, would be drawn from the Negro and Coloured populations that can protect villages and towns across the region. There will be some rebel influence and I would fully expect some weapons given to them to turn up in the hands of rebels, but it should make them loyal as they are given the chance to protect themselves and participate in the rule of the region, albeit safely under the control of the whites. What do you think?"

Colonel Viljoens thought about Van Haesten’s suggestion about the militias.

“That might prove difficult, sir. There aren’t many whites of any sort in Angola, certainly not now. The few that were here that didn’t get killed, ended up fleeing for the safety of the Republic when war broke out and government control… well, what little there was anyways… evaporated.”

Viljoens took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “Sir, what we have here to work with is an endless supply of uneducated natives most of whom cannot read nor write. Finding natives here with knowledge of Afrikaans and English is out of the question – but finding Portuguese speakers shouldn’t be too much of a problem.”

“But I will see what we can find. After all we have to start somewhere…”

The following day, Colonel Viljoens reported back to General Van Haestens that, surprisingly enough, 10 local Africans had been located in Menongue, Lubango, and Namibe that could read and write Portuguese. Five of them could even converse in very rudimentary English which they had picked up listening to foreign broadcasts on the shortwave radio. Along with these men, which he had conscripted, he had another 116 men who could be recruited as ‘volunteers’ if they were fed and provided with boots and a uniform.

“Half of these people are Nhaneca-Humbe from the central region around Menongue while the rest are Hereros, who also overlap into Namibia, that reside more towards the coast.”

“Two of them, one named Iddrisu Bijoudebola and the other Simâo Mba Lubaki, seem to have some sort of secondary school education – they would probably be the best candidates for any NCO positions.”

Van Haesten's helicopter circled a hilltop along the Sercan border before it landed on a cleared patch at the top. A few huts stood in a circle along the top of the hill along with some trucks and tents. A flagpole flying the flag of Transvaal floated in the hot dry breeze. Van Haesten stepped out of the helicopter along with his staff and greeted the Transvaler base commander, a captain.

"A tour of the firebase, captain, and then fill me in on the situation in your sector if you please."

The captain obliged and showed Van Haesten the huts, built with the help of locals, which housed the 150 or so Transvaler soldiers. This was a minor firebase and thus had no artillery, but the Transvalers did have six heavy mortars situated in dugouts along the rim of the base. A series of trenches and barbed wire protected the base and machine guns poked out of bunkers spaced every 30 feet or so.

Collapse of Rhodesia[]

MARCH 15, 2010

Transvaler Krygsmagte troops began deployment along the Transvaal-Rhodesia frontier today as Pretoria watches with concern. The Rhodesian government, Transvaal's closest ideological ally in Africa for the past three months, is teetering on the brink of collapse.

"The situation in Rhodesia is cause for alarm, as our regional security the past few months has been based on a secure - and friendly - northern neighbour. We held so much promise for Rhodesia but it appears the recent war stretched their resources and economy beyond their means. The whereabouts of General Rhodes, leader of Rhodesia, is unknown to us. In light of this, the Republic of Transvaal will be excercising its rights as protector of Rhodesia and re-annexing the state into our Republic unless the situation suddenly reverses in the next 24 hours..." - Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus, Radio-Transvaal soundbite

MARCH 16, 2010

After twenty-five days of anarchy and inactivity from the Rhodesian Government, Transvaler Krygsmagte forces began carrying out the re-annexation of Rhodesia into the Republic of Transvaal.

While the appearance of Transvaler troops was welcomed by the vast majority of White Rhodesian citizens seeking relief from the weeks of anarchy and chaoes, there were numerous incidents in Black African townships surrounding Livingstone and Lusaka of Transvaler and old Rhodesian flags being burned in protest.

“We are trading one colonialist regime for another” said one black woman who asked to remain anonymous - while one male youth who gave his name as “Evans” said that “...we don’t want more white rule, we want our freedom!”

Representives of the Transvaler Krygsmagte and surviving reminants of the former Rhodesian government met during the morning at Livingstone-Victoria to officially sign the dissolution of Rhodesian independence. The territory immediately reverted back to being part of the exisiting Province of (Southern) Rhodesia in the Republic of Transvaal.

June 1st Election[]

APRIL 20, 2010

Pretoria… April 2010

It had been almost two months since the nuclear nightmare ended, but as summer turned into autumn people began to become more restless. Winter would soon be approaching and the government had so far failed to deliver on reconstruction. For the first time in the nation’s history, white citizens on a vast scale were experiencing firsthand the neglect and disdain which their black and coloured neighbours had to endure.

“Dis onaanneemlik!” was heard more and more amongst the Afrikaners. “Unacceptable! We won the war but lost the peace...”

Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus sat alone in her office. In the past couple of weeks she had begun to notice the rising intensity of anger in the Volksraad. First it was from the backbenchers and opposition – but her controlling majority of representatives permitted her from ignoring them. It wasn’t until those within her own power base, and her parliamentary allies such as Hofmeyr, Steyn, and Strijdom began to quietly and subtly critic the prime minister’s mishandling of reconstruction. She could afford to ignore the bleatings of the DBP opposition; she could not afford to ignore her own party members.

Her position in regards to the military was not good either. During the war, she had caught wind of secret contingency plans to re-establish a junta and replace civilian control with military rule. Although she had no names, she suspected Field Marshal Malan would have a part to play in any such adventure. Field Marshal Cruywagen, her commander-in-chief, she could not trust either; his politics made him a constant ideological adversary although he did not have the willpower nor ambition to act against her.

She saw two distinct course of action in front of her but neither looked particularly prospective. She could simply retain power by proclaiming a dictatorship to eliminate her rivals. That would keep her in power for the short-term but would make the nation difficult to govern, as most of her rivals she required for the day-to-day management of the country. Or she could dig up a contentious political issue which would divide the National Party but possibly win over enough outside voters to see her re-elected at the end of May.

That contentious issue would be the abolition of Transvaal’s blankifikasieheid (‘white’-ification) policy in regards to immigration and population control. Field Malan had instituted the policy a year ago during reconstruction after the Karma War but it had never been repealed on account of its complacent popularity amongst the white population which benefited from the subsequent transformation of whites into a solid majority over the once-feared black masses.

By removing the colour barrier, she would inadvertently re-open Transvaal’s racial wounds and likely raise the ire of the Afrikaner far-right – which the policy had essentially extinguished into political oblivion in its wake. However, while she herself supported the colour bar, its removal would gain her strong, vocal foreign support and any of her opponents that dared to support the retention of blankifikasieheid would be damned by the foreign press as racists. The gamble too was it might also hopefully win her votes amongst the black voters.

That was her plan. It was a risky move that could backfire but one she would have to make unless she wanted to see herself out of a job. Unless the Transvaler economy picked up suddenly in the next month, she would have to make the gamble whether she liked it or not. It was not in her nature to allow herself to simply go down to defeat from something as trivial as a ballot box.

She first needed to start calling in all her favours overseas. She needed the foreign press to start a vocal campaign questioning the nature of blankifikasieheid.

APRIL 23, 2010

The four men stood steadfast and stared grimly across the prime minister’s desk. Strijdom, Malan, Hofmeyr, and Steyn. As soon as rumours began to spread through the corridors of the Government House of what Annetjie van Matteus intended to do, they had converged as a group to challenge her to rescind her decision.

Hendrik Strijdom, the deputy prime minister, felt the most betrayed. After patching up their differences from over a year ago, he had thrown the weight of his political support behind the woman that many had viewed unfit to govern the nation. Likewise with Field Marshal Malan who had rewarded Van Matteus’ participation as a civilian member in the unpopular military junta by appointing her his successor.

“You cannot just decide on a whim to alter national policy, what you propose to do would split the nation. And we are not talking whites versus blacks here!... We are talking a full-fledged white civil war. And we know who would win that. Not us whites!” bellowed an enraged Strijdom.

Field Marshal Petrus Malan surveyed the situation. Of anyone in the room, he probably had the means to ultimately decide Van Matteus’ fate.

“The policy of blankifikasieheid – as instituted by the good marshal here” continued Strijdom, “had brought an unprecedented level of racial peace and stability to our country as well as all the benefits of prosperity. But with our Republic still reeling from the economic effects of the war, we cannot afford an influx of unsuitable immigrants nor an exploding increase in the number of Black Africans in the country. What you are proposing to do is re-open all the wounds created by Hertzog and doom us to national suicide!”

Hofmeyr and Steyn watched silently. Unbeknownst to most, it was on their shoulders that the day to day management of the national economy rested on. Neither of them had much charisma to work independently, but whomever was in charge would require their complacency otherwise the nation would ground to a halt. That was why Strijdom and Malan had brought them along to the prime minister’s office, both were ideologically likeminded and their presence in the meeting was to show Van Matteus how tenuous her position was if the four of them decided to throw up political roadblocks.

Annetjie van Matteus saw herself outnumbered, so she called their bluff. “Is this some sort of coup against me?”

Field Marshal Malan replied, “No, it isn’t – for that would be for me to decide. However what we are… let me see, how shall I put it?... ‘suggesting’ is that you rescind any decisions to abolish white-only immigration and blankifiasieheid… otherwise we shall alert the national press to your, err… queer behavior… which we all know is deemed illegal under Transvaler law and thus making you unfit and ineligible for office.”

Malan then smiled.

“So, to answer your question Prime Minister: no, this is not a coup. It is, however, blackmail. And you can buy our silence by retaining blankifikasieheid as a state policy.”

"We will wait until Monday for your decision."

MAY 2, 2010

The current term for Eersteminister [Prime Minister] expires on May 31, 2009.

His Excellency, the head-of-state Staatspresident Botha has therefore called for a National Election to determine the next Prime Minister of the Republic of Transvaal and representation for the 6th Session of the National Volksraad.

TERMS OF OFFICE: June 1st 2010 to November 30th 2010

The office of Prime Minister is open to any party candidate of the white Afrikaner race. All citizens of the Republic of Transvaal regardless of race residing in the Republic may vote for Prime Minister.


Van matteus 005

Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus


Hendrik Strijdom


Jakob M Hertzog


Marthinus Hofmeyr


Frederik Geldenhuys

General malan 003

Field Marshal Petrus Malan

Annetjie VAN MATTEUS (National Party – incumbent) In office since April 30, 2009 and former prime minister in office in May–June 2007. Deposed by military coup in 2007 after publicly executing one of her ministers on television. Later tried for alleged treasonous involvement during the GOONS war but acquitted by the courts. Regarded to be a neo-fascist outside of the unabashed racist groups like Verwoerd Front but generally supports the current republic format and has adopted a more conciliatory, moderate approach during her current term in office. She resigned from the National Party after H Strijdom became prime minister in October 2008 and later formed the Martens Party of Transvaal as a far-right opposition group alternate to the Verwoerd Front. After the invasion of Transvaal during the Karma War, she dissolved the Martens Party and reconciled her differences with H Strijdom when she rejoined the National Party and with whom she conspired to force the RMG to resign and restore civilian rule. Subsequently appointed prime minister by Field Marshal P Malan when the Republican Military Government resigned and returned to their barracks. She managed Transvaal’s atomic bomb programme during Strijdom's government and successfully detonated the nation’s first atomic weapon on Bouvet Island.

Hendrik STRIJDOM (National Party) held governor posts in Namibia and Transvaler Suid-Amerika previous to being named prime minister after JM Hertzog’s resignation. Prime Minister of Transvaal from October 2008 until February 2009. Responsible for negotiating an end to the war in Paraguay and Transvaal's withdrawl from South America. During his term as prime minister Strijdom expanded the Seemag [Navy], increased government spending in the civilian sector, created an National Earth Day to help improve awareness to the nation’s environment, clamped down on radicals both leftist and rightist, and developed Transvaal’s nuclear weapons programme. Became Foreign Minister during the Republican Military Government and co-Deputy Prime Minister in Van Matteus’ government.

Jakob Martin HERTZOG (National Party) – former prime minister of Transvaal, the longest serving prime minister in the nation’s history, governed over two successive terms from November 2007 until his resignation on October 2008 and then briefly again from February to April 2009 when his government then collapsed during the Karma War. During his three terms in office, Transvaal’s population tripled in size and he successfully managed the painful economic transformation from Maroon to the Orange trading sphere. Due to his difficulty speaking English, foreign policy has generally a critical, weak aspect of his rule and he took the fall for leading the nation into a disastrous colonial adventure in South America. During his time in office he built 4 labour camps, legalized the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church), re-annexed Cherokee Namibia, withdrew from Angola (later re-annexed), joined the Pan-African Coalition, constructed the Transvaler Seemag and began technology deals with Franzharia. His government handed out R$20.5 million in foreign aid while receiving R$9 million in return. During the Republican Military Government, he led the opposition faction within the National party in alliance with the DBP. His legacy and political position is reflected by Transvaal’s period spent in Orange and IRON and is opposed the nation’s re-affiliation with Nordreich. He is viewed as leading the so-called left-progressive wing of the National Party favouring more political involvement of Transvaal’s non-white citizens - and while maintaining membership within the National party, he now follows an independent course and often opposes official party policies.

Marthinus HOFMEYR (National Party) Minister of Finance, Trade & Education. Advocates government spending to increase the technology level in Transvaal and was responsible for carrying out most of Transvaal’s post-war reconstruction. Not much is known about his politics and is viewed as middle of the road and un-ambitious compared to Strijdom and Annetjie van Matteus.

Frederik GELDENHUYS (Demokratiese Barakke Party) Leader of the Democratic Drillhall Party which admires Field Marshal Cruywagen and favours the involvement of progressive elements within the Transvaler military to participate in running the government so as to remove the threat of white supremacists in Transvaler society. Since the end of the Republican Military Government, the DBP has lost influence as the Verwoerd Front fizzled out and many civilians opposed the re-involvement of the military in domestic politics regardless of ideology.

Field Marshal Petrus MALAN (independent) - Former junta leader of the Republican Military Government which governed the nation during the Karma War and post-war reconstruction period. His legacy is the adoption of a controversial immigration law (which consequently has never been repealed) to inflate the number of white citizens in Transvaal by limiting immigration to whites and promoting birth control amongst African citizens. He voluntarily resigned as leader of the RMG which returned the nation to full civilian rule at the end of April. He had held the post of Ambassador to Repubblica Italiana and is currently Commander of the Transvaler Raketkops [Rocket Corps] and maintains Transvaal's small nuclear weapon arsenal.

MAY 4-14, 2010


Tele-Transvaal - a symbol known throughout Africa for providing the very best in drab, low-quality, and boring television

A grey, drab voice droned on over the drab lifeless logo of Tele-Transvaal. In the background was played a muted version of Transvaal anthem:


National Elections in Transvaal are carried out under election governance by the authority of the Staatsregeringministrie van Nasionaalverkiesing (Department of National Elections).

For any National Election to be valid, a minimum of 40 electoral districts in the National Assembly - or Nasionale Volksraad as it is called in Afrikaans - must be decided.

If an election does not receive the minimum votes to make it valid, a run-off election between the two candidates with the most district votes is then called to take place two weeks after the original election.

The political party receiving the greatest number of votes cast for all candidates is elected to office; the candidate within that party is appointed the prime minister.

If a prime minister holds a minority of votes within his party, he must rule through a coalition within his party. If that coalition collapses, the governing party must find another prime minister from within its ranks.

Any candidate who gains a majority of electoral district votes within his party would not require a governing coalition - and any candidate who gains an overall majority of electoral districts in the entire election is deemed to have an "absolute majority" and can essentially rule unhindered by any sort of 'checks and balances' from within the government or from his party.

- - -

Then the drab image, music, and station logo disappeared to reveal a grinning close-up of Transvaal’s only newsbroadcaster: Lukas Reitz. Intro music then blared again:



Always happy to be your host, the face of Transvaal news: Lukas Reitz

"Goeienaand, good evening everyone, welcome! Lukas Reitz here from Afrikaans Daaglikse Tele-Nuus and its English-language equivalent Daily TV News."

"My name is Lukas Reitz and I will be your host tonight for this, the 6th National Election all-candidates town hall meeting for Prime Minister of the Republic of Transvaal."

"Assembled with me, Lukas Reitz of DTN and DTVN, we have invited respected members of the foreign press who will be fielding questions to the candidates. When presenting their questions, I request you give your name and news bureau you are assigned to. To assist me to maintain some semblance of order here, please ask one question at a time and state whom you are addressing it to."

"So... now without further delay, I would like to introduce to you the candidates for the office of Prime Minister of the Republic of Transvaal. Here, starting on my right, we have the always dashing and attractive Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus (National Party – incumbent)…"

Van Matteus shot Reitz an icy glance as if she was intensly creeped out by his overbearing manner.

"Foreign Minister Hendrik Strijdom (National Party), former prime minister and now one of the co-deputy prime ministers, Minister Marthinus Hofmeyr (National Party) Minister of Finance, Trade & Education, Mr. Frederik Geldenhuys, leader of the opposition Demokratiese Barakke Party, Mr. Jakob Martin Herztog, former prime minister standing as an independent National Party candidate, and respelendent in his military uniform, Field Marshal Petrus Malan, Commanding Officer of the Transvaler Raketkorps, who is standing as an independent candidate."

Reitz then took centre-stage on the screen, saying “…and I, Lukas Reitz, will be your host - and as your host, I now open the floor to questions from our foreign visiting media” giving an expansive wave towards the visiting reporters sitting in the crowd.

"Victor Frost, DUNES."

"My question is addressed to the incumbent, VAN MATTEUS."

"You recently pushed for a piece of legislation that, while controversial within Transvaal, proved widely popular with other nations, particularly your close ally of Arctica. If re-elected, do you intend to continue the push for the end of the 'Whitification' policy?"

Annetjie van Matteus obviously looked uncomfortable with the question – but she was smart enough to realise it would come up sooner or later during questioning.

“Err yes, blankifikasieheid. My government did some studies to consider changing our immigration policies but at the end of the day… with further consultation with the government and party… it was generally agreed that now, due to our still-difficult economic problems… was not a good time to be making, err… sweeping changes… to our fundamental state policies.”

Victor Frost could tell from her voice that Van Matteus was not being sincere with her words. She was either hiding something or parroting a prepared line of political gibberish. Or both. Whatever it was, she gave the appearance she was placed on the defensive.

Meanwhile, Field Marshal Malan smiled wryly and nodded in apparent agreement as the prime minister answered.

Interesting. Either she didn't believe in the change she herself had pushed for...certainy possible. Or she was being pressured by party or parties unknown. Possibly, both.

"I see. Did this 'consultation' have any connection to the recent attempt to oust you via a vote of no confidence?"

Field Marshal Malan and Hendrik Strijdom seemed slightly startled and taken aback by the daring course of questioning that Frost was pursuing. Malan seemed the most perturbed, enough that he was now sitting upright instead of his typical lazy slouch. Strijdom briefly jotted something down on a notepad which he had causually removed from his suit pocket.

Prime Minister van Matteus hesitated before replying, “umm... perhaps but also other things which were deemed in camera government business not of public concern.”

It was clear in the tone of her voice that she felt did not feel comfortable with the topic at hand. She gave the impression of an animal cornered and trapped, knowing it was targetted in someone's crosshairs.

Before Frost could ask another questuion a reporter from The Imperium stood up and launched her own question to give Prime Minister van Matteus a break from Frost's interrogation. "Prime Minister van Matteus what would be your plans for dealing with any foreign nations in regards to the changes you have made?"

“In regards to what changes? My government hasn’t made any social policy changes. In regards to our immigration policies, it was just consultations which ended up being shelved.”

“Besides the Transvaler government has generally taken an approach where if nations want to have diplomatic relations with us, we’ll just ignore any domestic social concerns and likewise they can expect the same of us. It is not in our interest to involve ourselves in the domestic affairs of other nations – and we appreciate the same mutual respect in return.”

"I see our data gathered on your nation is quite limited. However, we now know to what to give you in terms of respect in accordance to your affairs. I currently have no more questions so I guess I will allow reporter Frost to continue with his interrogation" replied the Imperial reporter glancing across to Frost as she sat down.

An Arctican reporter in the crowd smiled at Mr. Frost's line of questioning. When he saw that Van Matteus was sufficiently made a fool of, he raised his hand along with the others.

"Ronald Dreyfus from Arctica News Service with a question for Mr. Geldenhuys."

"Sir, since preliminary polls show you almost tied with the incumbent Prime Minister Van Matteus, viewers back home would like to know your policies in more detail. Mr. Geldenhuys, if elected, what social and economic policies do you intend to pursue? Additionally, towards what end do you plan to involve the military in the civilian establishment under your possible governance, and to what degree?"

An interesting question, thank you. The background behind the DBP is rather unique and unusual. We are a civilian political party that originally sought to politically align with the progressive faction of officer corps against right-wing extremist elements at work within in the nation.

In most countries, when the military is actively politicised, it is generally a conservative force. However, in Transvaal, up until around a year ago, it had generally been the opposite - when the army has thrown its weight into the political arena it was often a lone progressive, liberal voice in a nation which has generally been very conservative and reactionary in social thinking. The reason for that has been due to the leadership and wisdom of Field Marshal Paul Cruywagen.

What we wish to achieve emulate Cruywagenian policies from when the Marshal was prime minister of the Republic: to remain fiscally conservative and oppose outright marxist nationalisation economics but not be so blinded and paranoid, like the National Party is, to institute benefits to workers that do not necessarily contradict free enterprise.

On a social level, we seek to find a solution to our difficult racial problems and somehow work towards reconciling Afrikaner national aspirations without having to stomp all over the rights of non-whites.

If looks could kill, Frost would have been taken away for a double murder, the Imperium reporter and Mr. Dreyfus.

Nevertheless, he had a feeling that pursuing the current line of questioning right away might not be the wisest course of action, so he addressed his next question to Jakob Hertzog.

"Mr. Hertzog, during your tenure Transvaal benefited greatly internally...but your foreign affairs policies proved disastrous. What makes you think you can do a better job now?"

Jakob Hertzog cleared his throat and began to speak in his atrocious brutalisation of the English language:

"I can like to think that Transvaal foreign policy needs now changed have. The Republic has to trying force himself on the rest of Africa stopped do, we now just still want be a region power in Southern Africa. I have admitted that I have make bad foreign policy decisions but Transvaal foreign policy is not so strong and overbear as before not. So then I then to focus on domestic policies to going do. Transvaal not want a need for dominant foreign policy, we want in peace with our neighbours live."

"Thank you, Mr. Hertzog. Van Matteus...seeing as you determined, in the end, that the proposed changes to the nation's immigration laws were not in Transvaal's best interests...why did you propose such changes in the first place?"

"Err… I thought our country was at a suitable mindset to be ready for discussion on our immigration laws. However, I misread popular opinion and the social dynamics current in the nation. We are not economically nor socially at the point to reverse blankifikasieheid.”

Meanwhile, Field Marshal Malan gave a coy smile.

"Field Marshal Malan."

"Considering the highly controversial nature of your tenure and later resignation...why have you chosen to run in this election?"

Field Marshal Petrus Malan sat up in his chair, somewhat a little surprised the attention was now on him. He made the most of his response:

“The Republican Military Government was only controversial because our ideological enemies and the hostile foreign press deemed it to be controversial.”

“If you consider what Transvaal had to endure due to its unfortunate defeat during the Karma War and take that into account, then I do not know many other people who either would disagree with what I had to do – nor had the capabilities and willpower to do what had to be done to save our homeland. It’s easy to sit back and throw criticism on the past from the safety and warm comforts of peaceful hindsight – but desperate times require desperate measures for survival. And our survival was at stake.”

“I have no regrets with my service record as a member and leader of the junta. Also keep in mind that the Republican Military Government was a temporary measure, I resigned when I saw our nation strong enough again for civilian rule – not because of any sort of internal nor external pressure.”

“After my resignation, the policies I had instituted and the solid leadership I provided during reconstruction prove popular enough that many loyalist supporters of the military government encouraged me to provide the same level of leadership and insight on a civilian level. After the strong and decisive level of support I received last election, it is only nautral that I stand for election this time around”

Sanchez Rodrigo, reporter for the newly established Republican News, then decided it was his turn to ask a question. He was a sharp one, and was watching this debate avidly with interest, all the back meaning behind every word playing on his imagination.

"Van Matteus, does the current immigration policy affect or apply to simple visitation, such as tourism, world travel, etc?"

“No, it does not. It simply restricts who many apply for citizenship. Many people seem to have misconceptions to the extent of our laws and social policies - often taking them to extreme beyond their actual application. We still get accused by foreigners of racial segregation even though that has never been the case.”

A slightly overweight, bespectacled man in his 30s wearing a borrowed suit and sporting a five o'clock shadow and emanating the odor of overapplied cologne, waved his hand emphatically after pushing through the crowd.

"Robert Dawes, with the Free Worker with a question for Van Matteus!" The Worker was a little known and unpopular left-wing periodical with a small circulation, which led some to wonder how the man was even allowed into the press conference.

"Ms. Van Matteus, how do you expect the good people of Transvaal and the world to take you seriously after you shot a minister on live television? How do you sleep at night?"

Annetjie van Matteus was peturbed that little blesh was being dug up...

“That was an act which occurred during wartime. At the time the country was wracked by anarchy and I had to make an example to re-exert my authority. The ramifications have already been addressed and dealt with in our courts, so I see no need to further discuss this now-irrelevant issue from the past”

A man with a potbelly and a large Grey beard in his mid-60's stood up and asked "Ms. Van Matteus, what is your opinion on the current war against Tahoe, considering the close diplomatic ties they have with Transvaal?"

“Naturally, we support the Tahoe Republic as far as the extent of our respected neutrality permits. On a humanitarian level, my government will assist as much as possible with medical needs as well as provide Tahomans fleeing the conflict a place of refuge.”

“On a military level, the Transvaler navy has been providing its Tahoman counterparts with intelligence regarding any belligerent ships that have been spotted on patrol or on inter-ocean transit in our territorial and regional waters around the Cape of Good Hope. This is something our navy has always done – peacetime or wartime.”

“Should the unthinkable occur and the legitimate Tahoman government collapse, there are contingency plans in place in regards to how Transvaal will assist with the preservation of the rightful government of the Taoiseach.”

MAY 14, 2010

At some point after the candidates meeting...

Field Marshal Malan looked over the results of the early election polls. As long as Annetjie van Matteus managed to gain the most votes within the National Party, he would be able to manipulate the situation in the Volksraad to place his chosen man into power.

Petrus Malan didn't care about himself winning the election, that wasn't why he took part as a candidate. His heart was set with the establishment National Party but by declaring himself an independent, it gave him an opportunity to manoevre and bend the Volksraad to his will.

It also sent a message to those progressive such as Jakob Hertzog or the DBP not to push their luck too far. Herztog was a lame duck, despirate and vain enough to contiunue to cling to hopes of his political rebirth when in fact his day had come and gone the moment Transvaal severed its ties to IRON and the Orange sphere, both which the former prime minister closely identified with. Herztog as leader of a Nordreich nation made about as much sense and was about as plausible as Transvaal being ruled by a black man - it simply would never fly.

No, Malan had Annetjie van Matteus right where he wanted her: on the political defensive with nowhere to go. She may end up indeed winning the election, but she would lose power nevertheless as the Afrikaner national psyche would never tolerate the reality of what most Transvalers would deem a sexual degenerate running the government.

He would give her the choice to submit and resign - and thus keep her reputation intact, perhaps enough to fight another day - or she could make a stand but be consigned - permanently - to the trash heap of Transvaal's history.

MAY 25, 2010

As Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus listened to the election early-returns broadcast on Radio-Transvaal, she was troubled as to her prospects. Unless there was a major push to get voters out to the polls in the next week, Transvaal was faced with the very real prospects of an inconclusive election. That would mean a run-off election the following month between the two candidates irrespective of party which gained the most of the popular vote. In all likelihood that would be herself and Frederik Geldenhuys.

Unlike other elections where the National Party had been able to gerrymander the voting procedures to typically ensure their own victory regardless who was running as their party candidates, a head-to-head battle with the DBP could be disastrous. When the electoral procedures were written up years ago, no one envisaged that Transvaal would face a low voter turnout. So in an attempt to make Transvaal’s election process appear to be more ‘fair’, the run-off situation was left without any checks in place to guarantee a National Party victory.

Now Van Matteus faced the irony of being the leader of essentially a one-party state being turfed out of office by a bunch of dissidents who were allowed to form under their own political banner to give the veneer of democracy to placate and silence foreign critics. Only two things went wrong however: first the dissidents did not willingly take on the role of pasties, and second no one ever expected the voters not to fulfill their national duty to go to the polls.

The very system which was rigged to ensure National Party dominance over Southern Africa was now a threat to its own dominance from a very small and previously regarded as harmless loophole.

Van Matteus sat back and regarded the consequences – not only to herself, but to the country she loved. No one really understood what the DBP stood for. They were obviously deemed as progressives however within the general conservative mindset of most South Africans – certainly amongst the whites – no one really knew just how radical their government would be. They claimed to be inspired by the period when Field Marshal Paul Cruywagen had to take the reins of the nation to keep the white supremacists hounds at bay. Cruywagen was no liberal socialist – but he also was no Christian nationalist either. If the DBP could maintain a centrist course and not open the floodgates to non-white immigration, then perhaps Transvaal would not be open to the always-feared threat of communist infiltration. However the DBP’s party structure was small compared to the institutionalised monolith of the National Party. Even though the DBP may have its grips on the top positions, the entire bureaucracy below them was still staunchly Nationalist in heart and soul. There was no way the DBP could be able to manage the nation without that entrenched bureaucracy. If the party leadership could not direct the nation, at least the party rank and file were still in a position to do so.

Of course, one had to wonder how Field Marshal Malan would react to a DBP government in Pretoria. The possibility of him leading a military coup ‘in salvation of the nation’ or under some other pseudo-political banner against Geldenhuys was a very real fact. And where were Cruywagen’s loyalties? Both marshals commanded enough troops loyal to them personally to make any sort of military takeover become bloody quickly if the two marshals ended up on opposing sides of the barricades.

The prime minister herself had not ruled out completely the notion of a coup to retain power. After all, if it looked like Malan was going to make a move, she may as well pre-empt him. If a dictatorship was inevitable, then a civilian dictatorship had a better chance of survival than a military dictatorship. Besides, it would force Malan to back her – as there was no way he would come out in support of the DBP government. Cruywagen was still an unknown factor; she knew that the old marshal detested her going all the way back to before her first term as prime minister in 2007.

Years ago Van Matteus would not have seconded guessed her limited options. However since being reunited with her daughter, the rescue of her secret and forbidden lover from Rome, and her trying her very best to put her bloody past behind her and run the country with an honest (as honest as any politician could afford to be in Southern Africa) and smiling face... Annetjie van Matteus now second guessed herself... for the first time in her life...

MAY 31, 2010


CYBERNATIONS NEWS NETWORK [PRETORIA]: A constitutional crisis is now looming in the Republic of Transvaal after incumbent prime minister Annetjie van Matteus claimed victory after an “inconclusive ballot” in that nation’s national elections for the 6th Session of the National Volksraad.

Official results have the National Party with 13 district seats in the Volksraad, the DBP with 8, and independent candidate Petrus Malan with 3. A minimum of 40 districts seats elected – the current ballot falls short by 16 districts – is required by law for that ballot to be regarded as legal and binding.

The opposition Demokratiese Barakke Party is crying foul after polls closed at midnight on Sunday with only 24 electoral districts reporting decisive results – resulting in what the Staatsregeringministrie van Nasionaalverkiesing (Department of National Elections) deems as an “inconclusive election”. According to Transvaler electoral law, a run-off ballot but be held no later than two weeks later between the two candidates with the most votes – Van Matteus and DBP leader Geldenhuys.

Annetjie van Matteus went on national television this morning and stated that “…the people of Transvaal have shown by their lack of interest that they really don’t care about elections…” and that "in the best interests of our nation", she would take office for a nine-month term as stipulated by the recent referendum passed where 62% of the electorate supported extending the term in office by three months. This would keep her in power until March 1, 2011.

STATEMENT MADE BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ARCTICA: "Arctica urges its neighbor to hold runoff elections between Van Matteus and Geldenhuys. Regardless of the people's apathy, the existing law must be respected. If the incumbent Prime Minister cannot retain her office by following established electoral law, she is not fit for office.

A second election must be called to determine a clear winner."

When she had heard this statement from the Arctican Government, Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus telephoned the Arctican ambassador Anton Dietz and requested to meet him in person at Government House to discuss Arctica’s opinion on the manner.

"Of course, Prime Minister. I will come as soon as I am able."

As Dietz got out of his car in front of Government House, he still wasn't sure what exactly Van Matteus was going to say to him, but he imagined she was going to try to persuade him that she was the rightful leader.

JUNE 1-8, 2010

RADIO-TRANSVAAL: Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus announced today that a new Nasionale Sosiale Sekerheid (National Social Security System) had been created by the new government.

“The Republic of Transvaal and my government are pleased to announce the formation of a national social security system” said the prime minister on Radio-Transvaal. Marthinus Hofmeyr will manage the new welfare system as a department of the Ministry of Finance.

In light of the constitutional crisis over the recent election results, Ms. van Matteus’ announcement comes as a surprise as the prime minister is known for her strong opposition to social democracy. It is believed the formation of a welfare system is a move to upstart the progressive opposition DBP and its supporters.

After exchanging the usual pleasantries, Annetjie van Matteus cut to the chase with Ambassador Dietz.

She spoke calmly and quietly, yet still with a slight sense of urgency in her tone: “Mr. Ambassador, the diplomatic reaction from your country was to be expected. I would have been surprised if your government had been silent. However, I need you to convey to your government the difficult position I am in...”

“First, there was the very real possibility that a run-off election would have decided nothing, as our constitution does not clarify if the minimum 40 district results are required in a run-off ballot. We cannot keep having monthly elections if the electorate isn’t going to the polls. It would bring our government to a standstill.”

“However, as you probably know, there is the greater concern about the military’s stance on all this... should the DBP win a run-off vote. I think we both know that certain elements in the army would not remain on the sidelines. Make no mistake, the DBP will never gain power in this country – the bureaucracy and more so the military would conspire against it. It would be a doomed government - the quetsion being how and when it would be brought down.”

“So by claiming victory, I am trying to avoid the very real risks of a civil war and military rule.”

“Therefore, I ask you to ask your government this question: what would they prefer in Pretoria, a friendly, stable civilian administration with me at the head –or a military junta whose ties to Arctica would be strained and prone to instability and violence?”

The ambassador nodded slowly. Taken at face value, the Prime Minister's explanation was reasonable. But she either did not see or did not want the Arcticans to consider the inverse of what she was saying.

"What you say is true, but then, by claiming victory you are also risking the same. As I understand, the DBP is strongly associated with the moderate camp of your military, which has been known to effect sudden changes in government." He paused for a moment to let this sink in.

"It is still too early to tell just how controversial your decision to claim victory will be, so you cannot be certain of this...but if you were to begin talks with the DBP to prevent the military factions from getting agitated, that may ease things. And I hear election reform has had good results in situations similar to this one. It would help clear up any discrepancies in the current law.

Of course I do not presume to tell you your business, but Arctica would hate for its closest neighbor to erupt into another civil war."

The ambassador wondered what exactly was going on in the Prime Minister's head at that moment. "If your request still stands, then I will relay your message to my government but I doubt it will be well received."

Van Matteus generally felt she needed to be on her guard whenever dealing with Arctican diplomats but this time she decided that her position vis à vis the Arctican government would be strengthened if she simply laid out the bare and basic facts they way she saw them; she spoke in a calm, precise tone which borderline-hinted she was lecturing Ambassador Dietz – however she tried to downplay that by smiling in a friendly, non-threatening manner:

“There is no moderate camp in the military anymore – except perhaps in the Lugmag [airforce], and that branch has no influence whatsoever in the socio-political contexts.”

“You see, Ambassador, the two recent, major wars which have plagued Transvaal have literally killed off most of the DBP’s powerbase in the army. The DBP was a more viable force in the days of the Federal Republic – but now that Transvaal has re-aligned with Nordreich, the military and its recruits are now much more susceptible to that orgnaisation’s propaganda and values. In other words, the wars have since buried the DBP under. Literally six feet under...”

“The foreign media, foreign governments for that matter, have a misguided appreciation for the DBP. They do not comprehend that while it may gain a lot of civilian political support in our elections, that support does not necessarily translate into political power. You see, even if people dislike what the government…” and the manner Van Matteus stressed the word government, she implied a National Party government, “… for the vast majority of Transvalers, white Transvalers, and even some coloureds, the alternative is incomprehensible and too drastic to contemplate. Ultimately our people are kept in line with fear, but not from fear emanating from the government, but rather fear of without…”

“The generation now that mans the military has little memory, if at all, of Hertzogian centrists, progressives, and whatnots from the days of Federal Republic. Only Field Marshal Cruywagen remains as a lone reminder of those days – but as long as he remains determined to remain outside of the political arena, then the military will continue to come under the sway of Field Marhsal Malan – who admires the authoritarianism style of government exemplified by Nordreich.”

“And yes, I would appreciate it if you could convey to your government our conversation – off the record, of course – as my personal courtesy to advise our closet neighbour and ally in Africa.”

What she hoped to accomplish was to sow the same seeds of fear amongst the Arcticans that she touched on: that fear of Transvaler instability and political vaccum was a much greater threat to Arctica - and Africa for that matter - than some simple ‘electoral irregularities’.

Dietz realized that she was telling him the truth. He was disappointed, but didn't let it show. He wondered briefly if there was something that she was not aware of, but realized that she wouldn't have kept herself in power for this long if she didn't have the whole picture.

"I see what you are saying, Prime Minister. I regret that the political situation in your country does not allow these elections to conclude in a more democratic manner. Nevertheless, I will relay your message to my government, but I make no promises about that."

“Your opinion is understandable, and I appreciate you coming here to hear me out. I suppose the easiest way to convey this – if there is opposition to my course of action – is to put it this way: clearly, who would Arctica prefer ruling Transvaal? Myself… or Malan… or Strijdom? I realise that Arctican public opinion of me is rather low, but I am also sure that Malan and Strijdom have even fewer admirers in Arctica.”

Ambassador Deitz was about to stand up and depart – but Van Matteus interrupted him before he could.

“Excuse me, Ambassador, there is perhaps one more thing that we should discuss while I have you here, concerning Transvaler-Arctican relations. The joint administration territory in northern Mozambique has not had any elections for over six months. It is probably now time that our governments organize new gubernatorial elections for Arctican and Transvaler governors.”

Independent Province of Tahoe-Transvaal[]

JUNE 8, 2010

PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENT PROVINCE OF TAHOE-TRANSVAAL: Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus announced today the establishment of the Independent Province of Tahoe-Transvaal. Carved out Republican territory in Southern Angola and Northern Namibia and with its capital located in Swakopmund, the new province was formed as a refuge for Loyalists of Tahoan Taioseach Sean O’Deaghaidh.

“The Republic of Transvaal recognizes Sean O’Deaghaidh as the sole legal ruler of the Tahoe Nation and its pre-war territory. In light of the illegal occupation of the Tahoe Republic and coup d'etat against the Taoiseach, the establishment of this new province under the nominal protection of the Republic of Transvaal allows both a safe haven for his loyalist supporters and troops to regroup as well as to continue to exert their sovereignty as a nation in the world” said the prime minister during her press conference.

Overture to Amerikanisches Reich[]

JUNE 11, 2010

Foreign Minister Hendrik Strijdom announced today that the Republic of Transvaal would open diplomatic dialogue with Amerikanisches Reich:


“Since the wave of democratic fundamentalism which has swept across America, the Republic of Transvaal is obliged to re-assess its ideological stance with the rest of the world. With the Loyalist Government of the Tahoe Republic, under An Taoiseach Sean O’Deaghaidh, currently forced to relocate within the safety of the Republic of Transvaal, our Christian Nationalist ideals and values are once against under the threat of international communism and the immoral forces of social liberalism.”

“The Amerikanisches Reich is one of the few nations left in the world that, along with us, stands up to defend itself against these progressive forces of social immorality and decadence.”

“Thus the Government of the Republic of Transvaal would like to offer its hand in heartfelt friendship to the government and people of the Amerikanisches Reich. Noting that currently no diplomatic relations exist between our two nations, I have been authorised to extend formal diplomatic recognition and offer an exchange of Ambassadors. To indicate the seriousness of our diplomatic overture, the Minsitry of Foreign Affairs shall appoint our most senior ambassador, Ambassador Andries Joubert - who also doubles duty as our ambassador to the Tahoe Republic.”

Territorial Elections in Transvaal-Arctica[]

JUNE 11, 2010


Andreas Ratsimandrava - Fifty-six years old and a native of Madagascar, Andreas is just old enough to remember the end of French colonial rule on the island. Growing up in a newly independent Madagascar, he served in provincial-level government, and worked closely with the Arcticans when they arrived on the island in 2008. A competent administrator, as Arctican governor of the joint territory Andreas hopes to work closely with both countries' governments to expose social injustices in the territory and increase the standard of living. He favors fair trade over free trade. He wants to keep Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force (ATDF) deployments at current levels and will not push for an increase or decrease. During the last six months, he has been a vocal critic of John Hull's management of the territory. Hull had focused solely on security and had left the poverty and other injustices untouched. Andreas wishes to decrease but not get rid of some of Hull's measures such as the increased rotation of ATDF soldiers and the jungle training camps. This will be his second time running.

Nicolas Pasqua - An ethnic Frenchman, Nicolas is the second cousin of the owner of one of the larger Arctican vanilla producers and the brother of one of the provincial legislators in the Indian Ocean Territory. He was educated in Europe but lived most of his life in Réunion, working as a lawyer in the legal departments of several corporations under the Franzharian, Transvaler, and now Arctican regimes, and did a short stint for the Arctican Ministry of Finance. If elected, he hopes to use his position to attract new businesses from Arctica, Transvaal, and other countries to the joint territory, given its unique situation and lax laws. He wants to lower ATDF deployment levels on the reasoning that when a democratic government takes power in the joint territory, a large military presence can only stifle the potential for development in Arctica-Transvaal by scaring potential immigrants or investors away. On top of that, he believes a strong military in the region is unnecessary due to the low chance of any threat, and given the territory's close proximity to both Arctica and Transvaal, reinforcements can be quickly deployed if a threat does arise. Another critic of Hull's administration, Pasqua claims that Hull is "too much of a military man" and that he "cannot fully provide for the needs of the citizens and the needs of business because he sees things in terms of strength and violence." This will be his second time running.

Samuel Seymour Dickers - Formerly one of the national legislators from Oceana, Dickers was part of a small group of communists in the National Congress. He is the son of a former trade union leader from the Republic of Arctica, the predecessor to the Union. He graduated from the University of Arctica at Arctica City (now defunct) with an art degree, and he got into Congress mainly through his family's waning influence. Now that his term is up, he has decided to run for Joint Territory Governor. His plans for improving the territory are largely aimed at the citizens of Northern Mozambique & Malawi. He wants to implement health, education, and agriculture programs aimed at these people to take them from their suffering and make them less dependent on charity. His programs have been called "radical" and he has taken flak because he wants to fund them primarily from the national government's coffers. When asked for his ideal co-governor, Dickers has stated that he would be interested in managing the territory alongside the CPTSA candidate or the ACP.


Jakob Hertzog (National Party) - former prime minister of Transvaal, the longest serving prime minister in the nation’s history, governed over two successive terms from November 2007 until his resignation on October 2008 and then briefly again from February to April 2009 when his government then collapsed during the Karma War. During the Republican Military Government, he led the opposition faction within the National party in alliance with the DBP. His legacy and political position is reflected by Transvaal’s period spent in Orange and IRON and is opposed the nation’s re-affiliation with Nordreich. He is viewed as leading the so-called left-progressive wing of the National Party favouring more political involvement of Transvaal’s non-white citizens. Herztog is seeking to use the position of Transvaler Territorial Governor to strengthen the diminishing progressive wing of the National Party in the executive cabinet of the Republic. A notable black mark on his resumé is that the notorious labour camp system in Mozambique was constructed during his first term in office – however he has since publicly stated that he regretted doing so and blames ”others in the National Party” for going down that path.

Frederick Geldenhuys (Demokratiese Barakke Party) - Leader of the Democratic Drillhall Party which admires Field Marshal Cruywagen and favours the involvement of progressive elements within the Transvaler military to participate in running the government so as to remove the threat of white supremacists in Transvaler society. Since the end of the Republican Military Government, the DBP has lost influence as the Verwoerd Front fizzled out and many civilians opposed the re-involvement of the military in domestic politics regardless of ideology. Geldenhuys is seeking to use the position of Transvaler Territorial Governor to springboard DBP influence into the executive cabinet of the Republic in Pretoria.

Mulémbwè Benda (ACP – African Congress Party) - An all-black nationalist party seeking the end of white majority rule and the transformation of Southern African towards black rule. Like the communists, the ACP is using the political sanctuary provided by Transvaal-Arctica to operate out in the open against Pretoria.

CPTSA (Communist Party of Transvaal-South Africa) - Although illegal and routinely suppressed in Transvaal, the communist party has nevertheless been legalised (grudgingly by Pretoria) in Transvaal-Arctica due to legal loopholes. The CPTSA views Transvaal-Arctica as a new safe base for anti-government operations against what it deems the ‘white apartheid regime in Pretoria’. Due to the assassination of their previous candidate, George Fischer, the party is running in the election with no declared candidate – stating that should it win office, it would then appoint a suitable member from its secretive central committee. The communists hope their election would embarrass Pretoria by forcing the National Party to accept them into the Republic’s executive cabinet.

Salvador Raul (MDM – Movimento Democrático de Moçambique) - centre-left party favouring social democracy and eventual independence of Mozambique from Transvaal rule. Under the current joint-territorial administration, Raul favours a move towards eventual annexation of northern Mozambique by Arctica so as to remove Transvaler influence and interference in local affairs before an eventual demand for outright independence.

Alberto Azcondos (PPM – Partido Popular de Moçambique) - centre-right pro-business party, favours maintaining the status quo in Mozambique with the current nominal rule by Pretoria over military and overseas affairs but moving towards greater autonomy within the Republic. Azcondos supports the joint-administration, viewing it the ‘best of both Transvaal and Arctica’.

Gustavo Marcello (MPU - Moçambique Partido da Unificação) - centrist party that favours the reunification of Mozambique under one single administration. While not opposed to the joint administration system in Northern Mozambique, the MPU believes that the territorial integrity of Mozambique should not be divided regardless what type of administration is in place – be it direct rule by Pretoria, independence, some sort of power-sharing involving Arctica.

JUNE 30, 2010

The polls have closed, and results are:

Nicolas Pasqua has been elected Arctican governor with 64.29% of the vote. His main competitor throughout the election as Ratsimandrava, and Dickers received comparatively few votes.

The Communist Party of Transvaal-South Africa has been elected to the Transvaler governorate with 35.71% of the vote. The party got competition from Frederick Geldenhuys of the DBP for most of the election, but there was a late push by Jakob Hertzog of the National Party that was not quite enough to beat out the communists.

A phone rang at the Arctican embassy in Pretoria:

“Ambassador Dietz, there are two officers of the Transvaler Krygsmagte here requesting to see you. They say it’s rather important...”

"Very well, Marie," said the Ambassador with a tinge of suspicion in his voice. "Send them up."

As the officers neared the ambassador's office, one of the two soldiers in front opened the door for them. Dietz was standing behind his desk, his hands on the edge.

"How can I help you gentlemen?"

Field Marshals Petrus Malan and Paul Cruywagen walked in. Malan saluted stiffly while Cruywagen, thinking saluting an ambassador as being unnecessarily pompous on Malan’s part, just stood there.

Malan spoke first. “Ambassador Dietz, as you may be aware, hostile communist elements are now poised to take over in the joint administration territory. We have come to notify you that the Republic of Transvaal will not be recognizing these results. The communists cannot be permitted to take power in the territory, therefore we have been ordered to begin arrests to suppress the communists in the territory. I am now asking for your cooperation I this matter.”

Marshal Cruywagen, in a more calm manner, then voiced in, "It is the government's intention to invalidate the votes for communists and thus appoint Geldenhuys as governor, as he received the second-most number of votes.

Dietz ignored the Marshal's salute. He was more curious for what reason the top military officials in the nation were standing before him. And when he learned why, he decided this would be the first time in the long Arctican-Transvaler diplomatic history that he would give them a firm and resounding no.

"Your government allowed the communists to run. They are the favored candidate in a democratic election, and yet you want to deny them governance? The election results came in last night, gentlemen, and they are clear." He looked at Cruywagen then.

"The joint territory was meant to be a place where the economic freedoms of Transvaal and the social freedoms of Arctica could come together, to create the best of both countries. And now that the people have exercised that freedom, you wish to deprive them of their elected representatives?

I am no great friend of communism, gentlemen, but I am telling you that my government will refuse to entertain this political disaster waiting to happen." The ambassador looked down at his desk, exhaling, gripping the edge of the desk, and then looked back up, his eyes darting back and forth between Malan and Cruywagen.

"Am I to understand, then," he began slowly, controlling his impatience, "that by your presence here your government intends to make a military operation out of this?"

Field Marshal Malan replied immediately with a resounding “Yes!”. Field Marshal Cruywagen looked at Malan and then at Dietz, before cautiously and uncertainly replying “No.” Malan snapped his head at Cruywagen, bellowing “What do you mean ‘no’?”

“The ambassador is correct, through its own shortsightedness Pretoria did permit the communists to run. It now has to accept the consequences of that shortsightedness. And our government already has one bogus election on its conscience to contend with – it doesn’t need another…” said Cruywagen in his usual gravely voice.

“But our orders from Pretoria are to suppress the communists in Mozambique!” retorted Malan. “We cannot permit such a threat to exist on our borders. I will not tolerate it…” and Malan swung about and stormed out of the office, making his way to the main foyer of the embassy.

Cruywagen then turned to Dietz. “Despite my own personal dislike of Marxism, you make a good point ambassador. Unfortunately I do not know if I can convince or reign in my government to think clearly about this development, as after all, Malan is correct, we did receive orders from the prime minister to inform the Arctican government of Pretoria’s intention to quash the communist government in Mozambique.”

JULY 2, 2010

RADIO-TRANSVAAL: Alberto Azcondos of the Partido Popular de Moçambique has been re-elected unanimously as Governor of the Mozambique Province.

No word has been announced by the government regarding results from the elections in the joint-administration territory of Transvaal-Arctica.

Dietz sighed. He released his grip on the desk and sat down. "Please, have a seat Marshal."

"If your government plans to suppress the party and its supporters, through either unfounded arrests or the military operation Marshal Malan intends to carry out, my government cannot support yours in these actions. Most likely there will be an official protest, and, if any suspicious deaths are to occur as did in the last election, our general in Quelimane will likely take action. I have only met with him on occasion so I do not know him well enough to predict exactly what he will do, but it will likely be to protect the targeted groups in some manner. I do not have to tell you that that will not end well if Malan does not relent.

The best chances for averting disaster, most likely, lie in our governor. Mr. Pasqua is a very strong opponent of communism, being a free market proponent, but he also opposes military action to solve these kinds of problems, or at least that is what his campaign platform suggests. Conveniently, he is also the civilian commander of the ATDF.

I am only telling you what I think will happen. I have no power to make any of these decisions, but I can certainly affect how they are made. If I can only contact the governor before an irreversible military encounter occurs, then I expect he will be a moderating force here.

What I need you to do, Marshal, is at least try to advise the prime minister to take the military out of the equation, as nothing good can come from that. One thing I have gleaned from my brief experience with the General is his strong sense of duty. If confronted with military action against the communists, he may refuse to listen to Pasqua."

“The problem in Pretoria is that Field Marshal Malan holds all the cards right now to blackmail Van Matteus. If she doesn’t bend to his will when something comes up that he differs in opinion, he makes threats to ‘expose’ her. I am not sure what blackmail dirt he has, but apparently it is enough that it would bring down her government. Malan feels betrayed by Van Matteus and now wants to see Hendrik Strijdom back in power somehow.”

“I will see what I can do with convincing Van Matteus – however I suspect that she and Malan hold similar views as to what needs to be done with the communists. But I will point out Pasqua’s credentials; it may be that if he can take a hard line against the communists and contain them should they exploit their position to become a threat to Pretoria, then maybe Pretoria will back off.”

“It is no secret that Malan has a dim view of the joint-territorial arrangement.”

Dietz blinked several times when Cruywagen mentioned blackmail. He was well aware of the information most likely used to blackmail Van Matteus. The Arcticans had considered revealing it if Van Matteus became uncontrollable and a swift change in governance was needed, but no situation severe enough to reveal such career-ending information (in Transvaal, at least) as the prime minister's sexual orientation had presented itself. And now that the other option was a farther-right government backed by Malan, that reveal was off the table. The thing that surprised Dietz was that Malan knew of it and was actively blackmailing her with it. That certainly changed things.

"Well, it may be enough that you are trying. That fact will help Pasqua in convincing the general not to act rashly. And it would be even better if you succeeded in convincing the PM.

However, as you said, that might not affect Malan's plans. Whatever he is using to blackmail her, it seems that he is in control."

Dietz exhaled, not quite sure what to do. "Err, is it possible to perhaps leak this development to your media? Would that even help?" Widespread press coverage of such actions usually deterred the government in some nations, but the ambassador was not sure if that would work here.

“No, the media in our country is pretty ineffective. Everyone knows that Tele-Transvaal and Radio-Transvaal are extensions of both the government and National Party and kept under the thumbs as to what they broadcast – while the Johannesburg Free Press, which would relish such a story, is often written off my most of our citizens as being sensationalist… when in fact they are often right on the mark. But unfortunately conservative Afrikaner attitudes die hard and the Free Press remains regarded more of a liberal Anglo newspaper.”

“As for Malan’s blackmail, I have no firm proof what exactly it is, but I have heard various rumours. One of them was it pertained to her involvement in our labour camp system in Mozambique – however I don’t believe that is indeed the smoking gun, as your own government and media did a good job in helping expose that black mark against her. So I doubt popular opinion would shudder too much now if he made further exposures about the camps – unless it was genocidal in nature, and even I don’t believe Van Matteus would descend to that sort of evil.”

"We know it's something that would put her firmly under his control. With the information you have given, I can only guess as to whether he has pressured her to do other things. I suspect he may be behind her keeping the immigration they are, since she seemed evasive when confronted by the press. Anyway...

You are the commander-in-chief of your nation's armed forces. Surely, there must be some way you can prevent Malan from using military force in the joint territory."

"True, but in this case the orders are appearing to be issued from above by the prime minister", Cruywagen signed as he picked up his officers' cap and prepared to leave.

"I will see what I can do from my end, but perhaps your man Pasqua in Mozambique can try to reason with the communists once we know exact who the governor will be - at this point all we know is the party won the election, but they haven't named a governor yet... most likely because the last few times they have revealed any personages, they soon end up dead."

"Very well, Marshal. I appreciate your assistance in this matter. Please keep me informed on any new developments on the situation."

When Cruywagen left, Dietz got to phoning his superiors back home and told them of the situation. Pasqua would have to be informed.

JULY 5, 2010

Some time later, in Quelimane...

"General. General, please calm down. I cannot run this territory with you questioning my every decision."

General Ruzinic barked back, "How? How can I be calm when the Transvalers are sending their army down here to weed out the people I am assigned to protect, and you want me to sit on my hands and let them?"

"You are going to have to realize eventually, General, that my style of governance is far different than that of my predecessor. You have spent too much time with a free hand in security matters, and you, and your people must be restrained to avoid a catastrophe that will be a black mark on this territory forever. Have you even considered the consequences of a military confrontation here, in this one place that is supposed to be a haven from such conflict?"

"Yes! Whatever you might think of the communist system, those people are still denizens of this territory and I am sworn to protect them. If the Boers want to send their army down here and start rounding them up, I am not going to let that happen, consequences be damned."

Pasqua sighed. "Listen to me. The central government in Oceana is preparing a letter of protest to be broadcast today across the world, and-"

"And you really think that's going to stop them?"

"Never interrupt me when I am speaking, General. I am not Mr. Hull. And as to your question, Oceana expects the international pressure will be enough to prevent escalation, and perhaps to force the Transvalers reconsider the wisdom of using their military here."


"And, General, removing the military from this electoral disagreement may create the possibility for a peaceful redressing of grievances. This requires your cooperation as well-"

"And my-"

"If I cannot secure your cooperation here and now, I will relieve you of command and appoint another commander of the ATDF. If you are not willing to play by the rules, General, you are not going to be a player in the events to come. Do you understand?"

Ruzinic sat silent for a long moment.

"Do you-" Pasqua began.

"I understand, Governor. I will make my men aware of this development." Then, tersely, "Is that all?"

"One more thing. If the Transvalers still proceed on this course after the statement by Oceana, then I have been told to authorize you to gather the communists inside our bases across the territory and repel any forceful, unjustified attempts to apprehend them or their leaders." Pasqua grit his teeth at this last statement, obviously displeased. Ruzinic, however, smiled.

"Understood, Governor. With your leave, I shall begin preparing my men."

Pasqua waved his hand dismissively, returning to his papers, and the General left.

Several hours later...

"Citizens of Arctica and of the world, ladies and gentlemen of the press," Foreign Minister Ramiaramanana began, only slightly flinching at the countless camera flashes.

"Today, our ambassador in the Republic of Transvaal has been informed by high ranking officers in that nation's military that their government intends to arrest members of the Communist Party of Transvaal-South Africa, and to ignore the wishes of the Arctica-Transvaal Joint Territory's residents in selecting this party to be their representatives in a democratic election.

We have been told that the military of Transvaal plans to carry out these arrests. Ladies and gentlemen, I have come to you today to inform you of this travesty, and that this government will not tolerate such a grievous violation of these people's political freedoms. I urge you, the citizens and governments of the world to condemn the Republic of Transvaal for these violations, and I further urge the government of Transvaal to cease and desist immediately.

Any discrepancies that may have occurred in these elections can be addressed in a more peaceful and mature manner. We are all reasonable here. The people and government of Arctica will not bow to this threat against our people and the people residing in the joint territory.

It is my regret to inform you that if the government and military of Transvaal insist upon this course of action, the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force will take necessary steps to protect the safety and property of the victims.

Thank you all.

Deputy Minister Mahavony is available to answer the questions of the press."

Ramiaramanana took his papers and left, and the Deputy Minister turned to face the crowd.

In Pretoria...

In light of the recent events in Mozambique, the Embassy of Arctica in Pretoria was a hive of activity and Ambassador Dietz was beig kept busy.

In the waiting area were two visitors now seeking audiences with the ambassador. One was Alberto Azcondos, leader of the Partido Popular de Moçambique, who had been re-elecetd as Governor of the Mozambique Province to the south of the joint administration territory. The other was Foreign Minister Hendrik Strijdom - who also doubled duties as Transvaal's deputy prime minister.

Dietz asked his secretary, “Did they arrive together or separately?”

“Separately…” was the reply, “Senhor Azcondos arrived around twenty minutes after Herr Strijdom arrived, in fact the Transvaler foreign minsiter gave him a nasty look like ‘what on earth are you doing here?’ when the Governor strolled in.”

Dietz figured that Strijdom would update him on the situation, but he had no idea what Azcondos wanted, so he did not know how valuable his information was. Strijdom had arrived first so it would be fair to admit him first, but if the Foreign Minister wanted to make a deal, Dietz might benefit from any knowledge gained by meeting with Azcondos first.

After a quick mental debate, the ambassador picked up his phone again. "Send Azcondos up. Keep Strijdom occupied, offer him a drink or something."

RADIO MAPUTO: Comarde Nthambazale Jonathan Mzumu has been appointed by the Central Party Committee of the Communist Party of Transvaal-South Africa as the duly and lawfully–elected joint-governor of Transvaal-Arctica.

“I look forward to working closely with Comrade Pasqua in Mozambique to make Arctica-Transvaal a beacon of hope for all oppressed people in Southern Africa” said Comrade Mzumu to representatives of friendly and socialist media representatives. “We shall show the Boer settlers in Pretoria that we in Mozambique can prosper without their negativist colonial practices which degrade the majority of people in Southern Africa. Viva free Southern Africa, Viva Free Mozambique!”

Alberto Azcondos was a portly man who seemed both affable and nervous. From what little Dietz knew of the man, he had been a succesful businessman in Maputo before stepping into local politics. Prior to forming the PPM, he had been the compitent mayor of Maputo - by far Mozambique's largest city. Azcondos spoke in understandable but heavily accented English in a manner where he struggled to use a vocabulary somewhat beyond his means:

“Thank you for meeting with me Ambassador Dietz. I would like to first thank your government and people for the great benefit and just assistance you have give us in Mozambique – and it is out of that gratitude that I come visit you today, our first meeting ever in fact. As Governor of Southern Mozambique Province, for the sake of peace, I now beg you to not agree to the communist government and instead exert complete control over the territory. I myself do not fear the communists as much as those in Pretoria – but they will not tolerate Marxism to take root in Africa. They will use force to prevent the communists from turning Mozambique into a base against them...” By now, Azcondos was sobbing with tears streaming down his face, now almost hysterical. “Our land will be stained with bloodshed! Please I beg you!!!”

Dietz was taken aback by Azcondos' hysterics. "I assure you, Governor, the territorial government in Arctica-Transvaal and the Arctican government in general are working to prevent this from erupting into open conflict. We will not take control of the entire territory, nor will we allow the communists - or anyone who may be elected there - any influence outside of the powers granted to them by the electorate.

We are trying to take steps to get the Transvalers to make this situation the business of the civilian government and not that of their military. I will be meeting with Minister Strijdom soon and will attempt to get this under control."

Azcondos regained his composure. “Excuse me Ambassador for my outburst, but the Transvalers will never tolerate nor work with any sort of communist group. Pretoria considers itself at war with socialism. They however would probably accept a full Arctican occupation in lieu of accepting an elected Transvaler governor who is a avowed communist – and an African one as well!”

Dietz had no reason to believe that Azcondos was lying, especially since his campaign platform supported the joint territorial arrangement. However, Arctica had no intentions of taking full control over the territory. So they were in a more difficult position than Dietz had considered.

"Thank you, Governor, for your advice in this matter. Hopefully it will help us in resolving this problem. Is there anything else?"

Alberto Azcondos replied in the negative, shook hands, and then departed with some haste. After a minute or so, the ambassador’s secretary leaned in through the office doorway, “Sir, Foreign Minister Strijdom is here to see you now…” She backed away and ushered in the gaunt and serious Strijdom.

Hendrik Strijdom stepped forward to shake Ambassador Dietz’s hand. Dietz was taken aback somewhat at Strijdom’s appearance – something was wrong, he did not seem his usual self but he could not seem to place why. Dietz had not met Strijdom many times – but from the numerous press photographs he had seem of the Transvaler foreign minister, he seemed sallow and tired. But still as grim and stern as ever.

Strijdom coughed heavily before saying “Thank you for agreeing to me with me regarding this delicate issue between our two nations. I come here to discuss with you possible – and agreeable – solutions that would satisfy both of our governments.”

The foreign minister motioned for permission to sit down, and after Dietz waved casually yet friendly at one of the conference couches in his office, Strijdom sat down. The cagey foreign minister begun by sounding out the Arctican position regarding Mozambique:

“First off, how important is this to your government that we… accede… to the communists in Northern Mozambique – knowing full well that my government is effectively in a state of war with the CPTSA?”

"There is some importance in it. Not because they are in opposition, or because of their political views or anything of the sort, but because they won the election and it would not sit well with the people or the goevrnment if we were to support attempts to deny them their governance. This is the same answer you would get if your government had a problem with one of the other candidates.

I do realize, however, that the CPTSA is the most controversial of those parties involved in the election, but outside of political activism I do not believe there is a threat to your government. We in Arctica do not imprison or otherwise persecute any but extreme groups for their political views. So you can see how much of a disaster there would be if my government supported, allowed, or otherwise condoned such persecution in the joint territory.

So while it is important for us to keep the communists in their positions and protect them from persecution, we would at the same time like to alleviate your concerns about them. If you have any suggestions as to how this could be done, I'm all ears."

“Prime Minister van Matteus obviously wants to take a hardline approach towards the Marxists. In this regards she probably has the support…” – mindful of Arctica’s admiration of Marshal Cruywagen – he stressed “… of most, but not all, of our military. Any sort of legitimacy given to the CPTSA would create unsettling concern in Pretoria – and more importantly, amongst our white electorate which remains resoundingly anti-communist.”

Strijdom then coughed a couple of times before continuing on. “Personally, I can appreciate the appeal of taking a hardline approach towards the communists… however, in my position as foreign minister, I am also given a window to also appreciate more a cautious attitude than the rest of my fellow government ministers.”

As almost an aside, he then said… “Obviously any excess military deployment of troops in the territory would be a violation of the joint-administration agreement,” in a manner and tone which made Ambassador Dietz wonder whether Transvaal would actually violate the territorial agreement on troop restrictions.”

The foreign minister then pondered to himself… “What to do? What to do?” pronouncing the words in his accented English distracted, as if he was instead pondering the nuances of flavours of a fine wine. Dietz could not tell whether Strijdom was genuine in his bewilderment or simply leading him along.

“I suppose… if the communists agree not to use the territory as a base against the Republic – militarily, politically, and ideologically, then perhaps… just perhaps… the powers that be in Pretoria would not feel so threatened. Obviously anyone affiliated with the CPTSA - such as this Mzumu character - would not be permitted to enter the Republic proper – so any sort of cooperation between their regime and Pretoria would be out of the question…” implying that the governor would not be permitted to sit as a member of the Republican executive cabinet in Pretoria like all other provincial governors do.

Dietz felt there was a catch to his offer – with Marshal Petrus Malan's fingers in the Mozambique pie, there was always a catch or some sort of compromise tobe worked out in his favour – but he could not yet deduce what that catch or buy-off was.

"I agree that some sort of compromise needs to be reached by the two sides here, those being your government and the CPTSA. I would be within my rights to accept or reject your deal, but seeing as the CPTSA, while technically Transvaler, is still quite separate from your main governing body, so it would only be fair to involve them in any decision-making proceedings.

What I propose is that negotiations are initiated between your government and the communists in power in the joint territory. Of course I would insist that the proceedings include the Arcticans as a moderating force, mainly because our interests in the territory lie with both sides being satisfied."

Dietz then seemed to remember something. "However, before this is even considered, I must have your government's assurance that the Republic will refrain from taking unjustified action against the communists in the territory, military or otherwise. Especially military. If there is cause for such actions, our governor, or if he is unavailable, our security forces should be informed beforehand with evidence."

Strijdom grimaced at the suggestion for ‘negotiations’. “Ambassador, we are at war with the CPTSA. Any willingness to negotiate, as you say, would be interpreted by them – and our own electorate – as a sign of weakness on our part.”

“Obviously with our troops and their supporters in close proximity, conflict is bound to happen. Even if the military issued instructions not to engage, I doubt our government could guarantee that those orders would be followed to the letter by the rank and file soldiers. You see, our military in ingrained and indoctrinated with hatred of that perverted ideology. It is in our military’s nature to seek out and destroy that enemy at all costs.”

Strijdom then coughed again, before continuing. “Honestly, between us civilians, I doubt many in the military would tolerate any sort of recognition or understanding with the CPSTA... in fact, it could even trigger a military coup out of fear of the government being too soft on marxism.”

He then added, “Especially since at least one of the commanders...” implying Malan, “... is doing everything possible to encourage military engagement with the CPTSA.”

"The negotiations can be as private or public as you want, but my governments wants the two sides to at least enter in some kind of civil discussion over this, to at least create the possibility for peace. If you have to sit down with your bitter enemy and talk it out, then I insist you do that rather than allow this situation to spiral further out of control."

Dietz was not quite sure if Strijdom was really honest in expressing that the military was, to some degree, uncontrollable when dealing with the communists, or if it was some kind of a good guy/bad guy tactic.

"Then I suggest that that order is given, whether you can guarantee it's followed or not. If your commanders are that reluctant to obey orders, then I will pass the word on to Governor Pasqua to place the communist leaders under protection."

"One more thing...I have reason to believe that your Prime Minister is being blackmailed by Malan, so he is not only a threat to the communists, but anybody he decides is his enemy. Reign him in somehow. If this turns to shooting, we will know who to blame, and once people have died, my government is slow to forgive."

Dietz hoped his message was not too subtle to receive. If Malan was as much of a problem to the Republic as he was to peace in Southern Africa, there was an opportunity here.

Strijdom’s reaction was stunned, he seemed incredulous. “On what basis do you know that Petrus Malan is blackmailing Van Matteus? The old marshal is a patriot to his nation – he saved us from the destruction of the Karma War. Besides, Van Matteus owes him her appointment as prime minister last July – and continued maintenance in power after the disputed national elections recently.”

His eyes narrowed suspiciously at the ambassador, before asking “It was my impression that your government was not too fond of Annetjie van Matteus – if so, then I ask who would be more palatable to the Arctican government if you don't approve of Malan?”

"Not too long ago, I was informed that Malan, or someone, was using some secrets Van Matteus may be keeping, for whatever purpose. Regardless, this suggests he has substantial influence over her. While Van Matteus is...not very popular in Arctica, it has disappointed me greatly to learn that her decisions could be controlled to some degree by a man who was military dictator of your nation for quite some time, and who is possibly the least well liked Transvaler in Arctica.

If you do not believe me, drop some hints around the Prime Minister and you will soon discover whether my information was bad, but I am confident it is quite reliable. Due to confidentiality reasons I cannot divulge who told me this, but I believe their information to be accurate."

Hendrik Strijdom’s manner now seemed to be guarded – as if he wished to extract himself from the ambassador’s office as the earliest convenience.

“I see…” he said cautiously.

He coughed again and then collected his briefcase before standing up. “Well then Ambassador Dietz, I must be going. I shall convey your points to my government and see what I can do to convince them to take a more… hmm, let’s say… a reasonable approach to the situation.”

He shook hands politely again – his touch chilling the ambassador’s hand – before departing.

JULY 8, 2010

Sometime later back at the Foreign Ministry…

“They somehow know what we know about the prime minister” reported Strijdom tersely to Marshal Petrus Malan, “I am sure of it!”

Malan seemed perplexed. “But they didn’t say exactly what our blackmail was?”

“No, no details… but the way Ambassador Dietz expressed it, he had a seriousness and confidence in his voice that he knew exactly what he was talking about” replied Strijdom.

“Then that must mean we have a mole in our midst” concluded Marshal Malan. “It is no secret that Arctica has spies here in Pretoria – but the nature of Van Matteus’ illicit relationship is only known to a few people here. I can count them on one hand. Someone must be leaking information to them – although I am not so sure the Arcticans are smart enough to realize the bombshell it would be if the details were leaked to the public.”

“It could also have been someone who worked in our Reppublica Italiana embassy in Rome, no?” suggested Strijdom. “After all, she wasn’t so discrete about her secrets there – especially when we had to evacuate you, her, and her girlfriend from Rome… along with the strange Sarah Tingatyl woman… hmm, perhaps she leaked something to the Arcticans? I don’t know… except that we need to keep our hand now guarded if we are still to chase Van Matteus out of office at some point…”

Strijdom then coughed, before adding… “After all, some of us don’t have the luxury of time”

Dietz reflected on the meeting and what effect it might have. The Transvalers at least knew their intentions regarding any actions taken in the province, and that was all he could reasonably hope for.

Strijdom's attitude had changed noticeably near the end of the meeting, especially after the ambassador had mentioned blackmail. Best case scenario, Strijdom believed him and was hopefully going to investigate. Worst case scenario, he was in on it and now they knew the Arcticans knew.

And then there was the coughing. Dietz brushed it off as a cold and went to inform the Ministry of the results of the meeting, as well as the possibility that he may have tipped the blackmailers off.

Co-Governor Mzumu:

I officially welcome you to the governorship of Arctica-Transvaal. I expect that you will maintain the freedoms that territorial commerce has enjoyed thus far, and that you do not make trouble for the good people of the territory. I hope to maintain close contact with you should anything problematic arise.

Additionally, I have been informed that a risk exists of Transvaler military forces entering the territory and disturbing the peace we have all enjoyed. As you and your supporters intend to cause problems for Transvaal and may provoke such action, I ask that you refrain from doing this, and further advise you to accept the protection of the Arctica-Transvaal Defense Force. Should you or your party do anything untoward, I am authorized to remove this protection at any time. Tread carefully.


Nicolas Pasqua, Co-Governor, Arctica-Transvaal Joint Territory

JULY 9, 2010

Fraternal Greetings Ambassador Dietz of Arctica!

The CPTSA appreciates your support in our struggle against the Boer oppressors in the people’s free territory of Northern Mozambique. Since I am unable to travel in safety to Pretoria to meet with you, I would like to invite you to a face-to-face meeting in my capital at Pemba to discuss future co-operation between the CPTSA people’s regime and Arctica.


Comarde Nthambazale Jonathan Mzumu, Co-Governor of People’s Free and Democratic Territory of Mozambique

A few days after their meeting, Strijdom retruend to the Arctican embassy to follow up with Ambassador Dietz.

“Unfortunately my government has reached an impasse in regards to accepting the CPTSA election. Prime Minister van Matteus is adamant about taking a hardline against the CPTSA, while the military now seems more willing to agree to a truce of sorts. After some discussion, both Field Marshals Cruywagen and Malan have agreed to honour a truce of sorts with the CPTSA... and those of us in the Republican government who support this will do all in our power to circumvent the prime ministers orders in regards to Mozambique.”

Strijdom began to cough heavily, only able to stop after asking Dietz for a glass of water. The foreign minister quickly and as discretely as possible took some pills before tucking them back into his suit pocket.

“Excuse me, it must be the weather” he said sheepishly, an obvious lie Dietz detected to save face in embarrassment.

“Now, where was I? Ah yes, all our military commanders – that is, Cruywagen, Malan, Wise, and Kruger – have agreed to honour a ceasefire against the CPTSA within the joint administration territory. In return, the CPTSA is not to use Mozambqie as any sort of military base or propaganda tool against Pretoria. To do so would be regarded by us as a re-declaration of hostilities between the government and communists. Obviously there is still the problem of the Trasvaler Oorsese Korps once they return from their deployment in Tahoe - as they are loyal to Van Matteus and oustide of direct army control. The CPTSA would have to contend with them should Van Matteus deploy them to Mozambique. All we can guarantee is the Krygsmagte won't engage the CPTSA unless provoked first.”

“Is this agreeable?”

Dietz was more concerned now about the Foreign Minister's coughing. It clearly wasn't a cold. He took note of this, and the fact that Strijdom had not been, to his knowledge, experiencing these symptoms before he saw him the other day.

After listening to the results of the Transvalers' deliberations, he nodded. "This is acceptable to us, and we will be discussing it with the CPTSA soon. Also, we appreciate that you have been able to convince the military to halt any pending operations against the communists."

Dietz considered the problem Van Matteus' little army may pose. Due to its small size it was doubtful that it would attempt the kind of widespread arrests that the Krygsmagte may have done, but it was still very capable of doing harm to the CPTSA leaders and their families. The ambassador would have to check that Pasqua had followed through on his offer to use ATDF troops to protect Mzumu.

"And Minister, you will try to keep me informed if anything changes, won't you?"

"One last thing..." Strijdom added, "Let the CPTSA know that this 'ceasefire' agreement only pertains to the joint-administration territory. For the rest of the Republic of Transvaal, it is business as usual for the military and state security forces for rooting them out. If any of their members are found to be in the Republic, and this includes Mzumu, they will be arrested and imprisonment for violation of the Supression of Communism Act of 2007."

"I will make sure to tell Mzumu that, as I am meeting with him soon. Thank you, Minister."

JULY 10, 2010

When Strijdom left, Dietz informed Mzumu of his impending arrival, and booked the next flight to the joint territory. After arriving in Pemba, the ambassador made his way to Mzumu's place of governance. Two jeeps with a squad of ATDF soldiers followed the ambassador's vehicle, as these were the men assigned to protect the Governor.

JULY 11, 2010

The governor’s residence – which also doubled as the seat of government for the Transvaler administration in Transvaal-Arctica - was a hive of activity. Around the perimeter of the residential grounds were men in combat fatigues, wearing black berets with red stars, and carrying AK-47s. Some of them stood around causually, smoking cigarettes and chatting, while others stood at guard stern-faced, as if they were blinded by their new-found importance and power.

These were guerillas of the CPTSA – a sight Ambassador Dietz was quite taken aback by. The Transvaal Government for years had been droning on and on with their propaganda machine about how White Afrikanerdom was under siege from the red menace… but here right in front of him, now, was evidence of that red menace in the flesh. Dietz hitherto thought the Transvalers had just been drowning in their own paranoia.

Interspersed around the groups of CPTSA men were members of the former administration under Jakob Hertzog packing and moving their belongings out of the compound to make way for Mzumu’s administration. As Ambassador Dietz stepped out of the jeep which had brought him from the local airport, he recognized a familiar face of sorts – that of Jakob Hertzog, himself now sorting through and loading boxes and suitcases into a minivan. Hertzog looked up from his work, gave the Ambassador a tired nod of acknowledgement, and went back to his work.

A CPTSA soldier marched stiffly up to the ambassador, gave him a salute, and announced proudly that “Comrade Mzumu will see you now!”

Dietz entered the compound, a squad of nine men trailing behind him, some with Maulers slung over their shoulders, others with Mini Uzis and shotguns for close-quarters combat.

The Ambassador was quite surprised at the military strength of the CPTSA and realized for the first time that the Transvalers' fear of them was not unfounded. He had not expected the guerrillas, and the ATDF soldiers looked around a little uneasily at where they were going to be spending the next while. "I thought this guy was some helpless dissident or something," whispered a private to his buddy.

"Shut up," came the hushed reply from the Sergeant in charge. There would be time for talking later.

Dietz nodded to the approaching soldier. "Very well, take me to him."

Ambassador Dietz was lead to a to an office in the Governor’s Mansion – called the “Command Headquarters” according to the white sign with crude red lettering above the entrance. As he walked in, a dark black man wearing a mao suit and dark sunglasses stood up.

He held out his hand and said, “Greetings! I am Comrade Nthambazale Jonathan Mzumu, Leader of the people’s struggle of equality and justice in South Africa. I thank you Comrade Ambassador for making the journey to visit me here in Pemba. On behalf of the central committee of the Communist Party of Transvaal-South Africa, my people thanks your progressive nation deeply for recognizing the people’s rule of the CPTSA as the legitimate desire of the Mozambican people.”

The Ambassador shook Mzumu's hand. "Thank you, Governor. I will make sure to relsy your thanks to my nation.

And do not forget that the people of Malawi are also a part of this territory." The ATDF soldiers found somewhere out of the way to sit or stand, while their sergeant approached Mzumu and stood beside Dietz.

"This," the ambassador began, "is Staff Sergeant Robert, and he and his men are the ones sent by Governor Pasqua for your protection. However, from what I saw outside, I doubt you will need much more protection. Nevertheless, they are still assigned here." The Arcticans still needed someone to keep an eye on Mzumu.

Robert saluted the Governor. Despite his French last name, he did not look like Dietz or Mzumu. He was, in fact, one of many on Reunion that were of Indian origin.

Dietz sat down. "To tell the truth, I did not expect so many armed personnel here. Do many of your supporters have weapons?"

“I must say it is interesting you mentioned Malawi – as that is, in fact, where I am actually from. Along with Southern Angola, presently under the jackboots of the Tahoe fascists and their Boer allies, Malawi is both one of the most forgotten and destitute regions under the rule of Pretoria. I appreciate that you in your capacity as ambassador did not forget us, like so many foreigners do.”

"Yes, it is a sad fate some of these people have been left to. Hopefully with the joint administration, things will begin to improve" said Dietz in response.

Mzumu clasped his hands as he spoke. He seemed to enjoy gesticulating to get his point across, often clasping his hands as if in prayer and other times shaking a fist – not threateningly – in no one’s general direction.

“The safety this territory provides us now permits the CPTSA to train and maintain an armed militia – although ever since the fall of Serca, the vacant frontier areas in the Sercan protectorate has also provided us a safe, secret base outside of the Boers’ military reach. Obviously they function both as security as well as guerrilla forces if need be. There are probably around 800 to 1000 of our people armed with weaponry supplied to us from various nations and socialist parties friendly to our liberation cause.”

"Actually, that is what I wanted to speak to you about. As you can understand, the Transvalers were very resistant to allowing the CPTSA to govern the territory. They eventually agreed, on the conditions that your party is not to use the territory as a base for military or propaganda activities against Pretoria. In exchange for your cooperation, they will agree to a ceasefire, in the territory and the territory alone. They have also cautioned me, and that is the reason I have advised Governor Pasqua to send these men even with the ceasefire, that the Prime Minister was especially resistant to the ceasefire and there is a chance she may use the Overseas Corps where their regular army cannot go."

"What sort of weaponry do your guerrillas have, anyway?" asked the Sergeant.

Mzumu’s eyes narrowed somewhat from suspicion. He wasn’t sure he could trust the Arcticans – after all they were still capitalists. However Ambassador Dietz seemed to be sincere, so he replied “Our liberation fighters are armed with AK-47s and other personal arms, occasionally grenades and we have a few portable mortars – material that can be carried by one man and is easy to hide in the bush – nothing heavy or motorized.”

Dietz nodded a little but didn't ask further, deciding not to push his luck. He was more interested if they possessed a specific weapon.

He then clasped his hands with a confused look. “In regards to the Boers… if the prime minister is against us – then who is making this agreement? And it seems convenient for them that some of their troops can violate the ceasefire while none of ours can…”

"Foreign Minister Strijdom informed me that their military had agreed to the ceasefire after we had persuaded them to keep the military out of any disagreements in the joint territory. The Prime Minister's personal 'army' is the reason I asked Pasqua if he could spare these men even without the threat of mass arrests - because there are other ways they can get to you...and even though you have your own soldiers, this will help to deflect any attempts because while you are their enemies, we are not, and they would be reluctant to come gunning for you or your supporters knowing Arctican soldiers are here."

"Strijdom is a snake, that explains everything. I hope I can trust your people as there is no way I can expect my people to trust the Boers if Strijdom and his crony Malan are pulling the strings."

Mzumu then became more agitated. “ I will stress one point to you, should the Boers dupe us into false security and they launch attacks against us in Mozambique, we will retaliate with assassinations against government people. And by that, I am implying the fascists in Pretoria. You can go and tell Herr Strijdom that part of the bargain.”

Mzumu called for his security personal. “Thank you ambassador for visiting with me, but as you can see I am a busy man...” He made a bowing motion to indicate their meeting was now over.

"Very well then," Dietz said a little uncomfortably, "just be careful. If you need anything else, please contact Governor Pasqua." The Ambassador took his leave. The Sergeant watched the door close. He stood silent for a moment, and one of the seated privates set his Mauler across his lap as if waiting for something. Sergeant Robert spoke up.

"Well sir, looks like we're going to be here for the next while. Where do you want us?"

JULY 15, 2010

A few days later back in Pretoria, Ambassador Dietz is told he has another visitor.

“Sir, there is a Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Dietrichs Gerhard requesting a meeting. I took the liberty to run his name through our database on Transvaler personalities… turns out he is the second-in-command of their airforce and seems he was briefly a leading member of the military junta last year along with Marshal Malan. Should I send him in?”

"Yes, go ahead and send him in." Gerhard...Dietz could faintly remember hearing about the man a long time ago. He wondered what he wanted now...

Lieutenant-Colonel Dietrichs Gerhard seemed nervous. “Ambassador, I would like to make a deal with your government. I believe you are holding someone by the name of… umm, Karl van Zyl…”

In return for his release from your custody, I am willing to… err, lend my services to your intelligence agencies…”

Dietz narrowed his eyes slightly. He looked Gerhard over closely and determined by his nervousness that the man was possibly approaching him inidividually, on no one's orders.

"Van Zyl," the ambassador stated slowly, still thinking about Gerhard's intentions, then suddenly pulled himself from his thoughts. "Yes, Van Zyl," he repeated, a hint of suspicion in his voice.

"If you can explain yourself more thoroughly, and tell me who sent you, I may be able to help you what about Van Zyl?"

“No one ‘sent me’”, said Gerhard. “Van Zyl was a colleague of mine… in military intelligence… with the airforce. It came to my attention that he was in your custody.”

Then Gerhard said sheepishly, “the current government has alienated many senior officers in the military – especially the airforce which has the least political clout.”

“Everyone in military intelligence in Transvaal knows that Transvaal is infiltrated with Arctican spies – however none of them have in-roads into our military command.”

He waited to see if the implications sunk in, before adding “…what I am offering is… my services as a spy. I have access to many top level military departments. I am willing to provide inside military and some government information - what I have access to - to you for three months in exchange for the freedom of Karl van Zyl.”

Dietz was certainly surprised that the Transvalers had discovered their passive sleeper agents. Either Info Command had done something very wrong or the Transvalers had done something very right. Either way, they were likely compromised and this was very valuable knowledge. The ambassador managed to keep his composure other than raising his eyebrows slightly at first in reaction to the surprise.

"I'm sorry Colonel, I don't know what you're talking about. We do indeed have Van Zyl in our custody, but I am very doubtful of what information you are using..." Dietz paused to consider the possibilities. He had no idea what they wanted Van Zyl for, how they had figured out the sleeper cells or whether Gerhard was bluffing, whether this was a ruse to discredit him and his country...whatever military information could be gleaned from Gerhard, he did not consider it worth the risks.

"Whatever you are proposing, Colonel, this is dangerous talk. Now if you have treasonous tendencies I am not the person to talk to. Van Zyl will only be released from our custody following a diplomatic process, and certainly not for whatever you are intending. Unless there is anything else, I have things to do. Let's not speak of this again."

Gerhard looked dismayed by his rejection. He stood up to depart, but before leaving the office he said, "You know where to find me if your people change their mind. I will leave you with this tidbit of useful information, there will be a coup against Van Matteus in the next two months..."

The thought that echoed through the ambassador's mind the whole time was what's this guy's angle?

Dietz looked on as Gerhard left, his expression as impassive as he could make it.

How could they have found out? Dietz thought to himself. Did they have the phone tapped? A number of possibilities ran through his head, and he decided he needed to calm down. He picked up his phone and dialed Oceana.

"Hello? This is Dietz...With the embassy, yes...I need to speak with the Minister, directly...ugh, yes, I'll hold."

When the news finally reached the Director of Information Command, he was skeptical yet not quite sure. They had been cautious, only inserting the sleeper cells during times of war, and thus security holes. Any information gathering was passive and limited to things that were seen - except perhaps one incident during an investigation in Mozambique. The cells had no knowledge of each other. This development worried him. If the Colonel's offer was indeed a ruse, any obviously reactionary moves taken would reveal them even more, and also reveal them as being clumsy. Despite the advice given by his Deputy Director who was more aggressive and more of a risk-taker, the Director decided to wait until the next scheduled report to decide on anything.

As news of this latest surprise discovery broke through Arctica's security apparatus, someone suggested that "You know, Transvaal's Minister of Interior is presently in our country attending the INTERPOL conference - perhaps we can somehow arrange a private meeting and sound him out, discretely obviously, to see if we can detect where our network weakness occured? You know, see if he drops any references or hints to recent spy rings in Transvaal, or something of that sort?"

Tahoe Restoration Conference in Windhoek[]

JUNE 20, 2010

In the generally quiet and quaint backwater of Windhoek in Namibia, representatives from the Loyalist Government of Tahoe, the Republic of Transvaal, and the Amerikanisches Reich were discreetly making their way to an unimposing Cape Dutch style house located on the outskirts of town. Any local observer passing by would not be too alarmed by the number of military personal in the vicinity of the house, as this was, after all, Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus’ private residence. A heavy military presence was common when she was staying there away from the burden of government in Pretoria.

The venue would be perfect for not attracting undue attention for the upcoming conference. Pretoria, the heart of the Republic of Transvaal, had a reputation for being one of the most spy-infested cities in Africa – mostly because Transvaal liked to keep it that way, as a means to dupe its ‘enemies’. One of Transvaal’s more unusual practices of maintaining its neutrality and national defense was cultivating Pretoria as a ‘safe’ city for spies, so that the Ministry of Interior could conveniently leak out whatever misinformation it wanted to feed to hostile and antagonistic powers. An impression of antiquated ‘weakness’ was embelished so that Transvaal would never appear to be a serious political and military threat.

However important… secret… state business was always carried out in the hinterlands where there was little chance of exposure, in places such as Windhoek, such as the business at hand today at Van Matteus’ house.

In an adjoining situation room which had been added on to the original older structure, sat the top brass of the Transvaler military – minus Admiral Kruger of course, who was currently leading the task force detachment of the Seemag (Navy) heading into the North Pacific. Along with Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus, Foreign Minister Hendrik Strijdom and Minister of Interior Gert Boersma from the Republican government were Field Marshals Paul Cruywagen, commander-in-chief of the Krygsmagte (Army) and Petrus Malan, commander of the Raketkorps (Rocket Corps) who maintained Transvaal nuclear arsenal, along with Flight Commander Leonard Wise and Lieutenant Colonel Dietrichs Gerhardof the Lugmag (Airforce). They waited for their opposites from Tahoe and Amerikanisches Reich to arrive.

There was an unexpected guest. It was a long-haired blonde man in a black uniform without any signs of which country it may belong to. However, this was a sign in itself. He had circular black sunglasses and dropped by driving an ancient, restored Kübelwagen. Apparently, an old Nordlander sympathized with the Tahoan cause as well as with Transvaal. It was no surprise really.

"Got any place for me?"

Two black uniformed Armtha SS men stepped forward asking the man for his identification and what he was doing in the area.

Meanwhile the Tahoan motorcade of armed jeeps was 5 miles away approaching the city from the north.

"You know who I am. I am in debt with Tahoe. I have tried to help from the start and will continue to do so."

He says, and then removes his sunglasses for a moment, to show them red eyes. It seemed that this man was Kaiser Martens himself.

Meanwhile Annetjie van Matteus clicked her heels in delight. After all, her two idols Kaiser Martens and An Taioseach Sean O’Deaghaidh would be here in the same room together. In her house, no less.

"How on earth did he find his way here?" asked Strijdom, leaning towards the now-beaming Van Matteus. "I don't know, who cares... but now we have Martens on our side, our cause is invincible..." said the distracted prime minister.

'Hrrumph' muttered Hendrik Strijdom. While he was rather partial towards the Tahoan leader O’Deaghaidh, for some unknown reason Transvaal's foreign minister was decidedly cool towards Martens - although his recent concerns about a soft German reaction to the Tahoe crisis had now evaporated in Strijdom's mind seeing that Martens was now at the conference.

After Annetjie van Matteus had regained her composure, she remarked to Strijdom, "Martens has a Transvaler passport, Staatspresident Botha himself gave it to the kaiser, our Kaiser..."

Strijdom the staunch republican looked rather crossed now after what Van Matteus had just said. "Your kaiser perhaps, but not Transvaal's and not mine..." he snorted back at her.

David Brussels drove with one guard, but it was a very nice car at least, and David was the driver. The armored column of jeeps was going "slower than molasses" according to the guard so David swung by and started to pass them. He hoped to God they saw the Amerikanisches Reich's flag on the front of the car that they put on it after they made it into the outskirt area so they don't think they're up to something and kill them.

They pulled up to the house where a man took the keys from David and him and the guard stepped out. The guard immediately started to glance around casually as they walked towards the house, were cleared by the guards, and entered. He introduced himself to all the people - whom he had seen most before - and the guard, but said nothing of his guard's name.

"Obviously our Kaiser," playing on the little argument he overheard earlier, "Kaiser Verteidiger, expresses his desire to be here in person but with the way the situation is on the continent, he was not willing to send himself or any of his top military advisers overseas. This guard is a guard of mine, but also represents our military. He is representing our military, I am representing our country and policy. Just like what we represent, he would die for me."

He pulled a chair out for the guard and one for himself and they both sat, waiting for the Tahoan representatives, and for the matter with Kaiser Martens to resolve. "You may also refer to the guard as Henry, but that will not be his name if you ever meet him again."

Martens grins and tips his invisible hat in greeting when noticing the obviously pleased Van Matteus.

"In spite of the situation, I am glad still that we meet again in a more pleasant environment." He nods, and then nods again to each of the other people there present. He adjusts the neck of his uniform and then casually sits down, as if he were just hanging around with friends rather than dealing with some serious business.

" no secret that I have always favored Tahoe. A war is a war. But the genocide that I have seen is something that is outright not acceptable. Still, I wish I could do more." He says, modestly. After all, the Kaiser did not seem to be the Kaiser anymore. He tucks his sunglasses in a pocket, to show serious red eyes which showed inner peace and defiance, as usual. He waited for all to be present before voicing his concerns and beliefs.

Annetjie van Matteus smiled back and nodded, before standing up and addressing the rest of the delegates.

"Well it would appear the Tahoan contingent have been delayed with other immediate business, hopefully they shall not be too long now before they arrive..."

The Tahoan motorcade pulled up a block from the house. A tired looking Sean O'Deaghaidh and stern Peter van Haesten stepped out and were quickly surrounded by black uniformed guards who escorted them down the street. The two Tahoan leaders hurried, knowing they were late.

Sean O'Deaghaidh wore his trademark tam o'shanter with the insignia of the African Corps commanded by van Haesten who wore his khaki winter service uniform. Entering the house past security they stepped into the situation room, greeting the Transvalers and Amerikans warmly. The surprise appearance of Martens pleased both O'Deaghaidh and van Haesten, but particularly the latter who had grown up in a Nordlandic home in Tahoe.

Sitting down, O'Deaghaidh spoke first.

"I do apologize for our lateness, Peter and I had to deal with a surprising situation back home. As you well know the territory of Lower California is currently the focus of the world in terms of the Tahoan resistance. We recently received news that three major attacks completely shut down transportation across the lower part of the peninsula and killed hundreds of enemy troops. Within an hour of the attacks the government of the 'Holy' American Empire" O'Deaghaidh sneered at the word holy, "announced their unilateral withdrawal from the territory."

"This is unexpected and excellent news!" said Annetjie van Matteus, now noting the prescense of General van Haesten.

Foreign Minister Strijdom sneered at the fawning prime minister whose attention now seemed more focused on the three men - Martens, O'Deaghaidh, and Van Haesten - sitting around in residence than the immediate issue at hand. Strijdom quietly grumbled to himself in disgust under his breath, "Hmm, one would never imagine she was a poeslekker..." before interjecting into the main conversation.

"An Taoiseach O'Deaghaidh, how does this sudden development impact your cause? Will the Loyalists cease their liberation campaign so as to consolidate their gains and re-establish the First Republic - or does the conflict continue until complete liberation of all former territories?"

David Brussels too was happy to hear the news but wondered the same thing and added after Strijdom, "Yes, do tell the plan, and how we can play a helping hand," David patted the guard, who nodded, and David continued, "With our nation being on the North American continent, we can help greatly and we will do just that. It would be an honor to help our oldest and most loyal ally."

O'Deaghaidh continued:

"We are currently consolidating our advances and continuing to supply insurgent groups across the occupied territories. We have decided to let Cuba and Nova Scotia go as both state governments surrendered after a minimal fight and the military forces evacuated along with the loyalists to Swakopmund early in the war. Hawaii we simply do not have the ability to fight a prolonged campaign to reconquer and quite frankly after the massive casualties the Pacificans and Cochin took taking the islands with overwhelming superiority in terms of firepower we aren't willing to take the risk. No, now the campaign becomes political. As you well noticed, the so called Second Tahoe Republic reunited with the secessionist Cascadian Republic and now proclaim to be the true government of Tahoe. They face massive public opposition and have contacted my Government in Exile to arrange a compromise to give themselves legitimacy while restoring the government in exile to power, with some reforms in place obviously. My government is currently debating the possibility of joining a coalition to restore the Tahoe Republic to its place in the world."

"That said, we remain committed to restoring Texas to the control of the Amerikanisches Reich. This is as important to us."

David Brussels replied, "We appreciate that we are remembered but we still must wonder then, what can we do for you now?"

"We simply need a continuing base of support for our loyalists on the continent as well as temporary aid here in South Africa."

Kaiser Martens then interjected, "Well. Maybe we can offer a few things."

"Firstly, we have our satellites, if you should need any images. If it is there, it can be detected. Secondly, we have noticed that a number of Tahoeans have moved to Germany. We can offer these, and any other potential warriors, special training. As you may know, military training in Germany is mandatory either way. But we can train them even better if they request so. Then when they're done they can find their way back to Tahoe somehow. Additionally, we can translate some of our manuals and have them sent for your already-deployed warriors to use. We can also teach and provide manuals to build weapons out of relatively simple materials, as well as explosives."

"Also, perhaps, some of our own guys may be interested in dropping by. Tahoe does have a Nordlandic population after all, so if we teach some volunteers your language just right, there won't be a problem. Of course, these can only be just a few else we may want to incurr in great risk. But you wouldn't be surprised at what good leadership can do, even in very limited numbers."

"Of course, there's also the usual help to all civilians and those who may want to seek shelter also. But that is already in place. What do you think, could this help out a bit?"

Prime Minister van Matteus replied affirmatively, "Staatspresident Botha has informed me that the Tahoe-Transvaal province will remain at your disposal both as a refuge and a base for as long as is required."

In response to Martens's suggestion, Strijdom suggested "If that is the case, then Swakopmund would be a perfect location for this offer of training and marshalling of manpower from Nordland. It would save Germany the hassles of having to deal with any blockades or military opposition to their intervention as their resources would be heading to a 'neutral' third-part port - or at least a territory under nominal Tahoe Loyalist control. If German troops made an outright or obvious appearance in North American soil direct from Germany, it may inadvertanlty draw them into a larger conflict as it might solidify North American opposition to European interference in Western Hemisphere affairs."

An unofficial represenitive of Taeunas spoke up from their quiet corner. "The establishment of a foothold on the continent was always a first priority. The 'hijacked' Taeunas freighter sitting at anchor here is proof of that. We do agree that the sudden appearance of foreign nationals on that soil would cause an international spark. We hope to avoid this if at all possible. Europe does not need to have conflict brought to its newly found peace." He glanced at the Transvaal delegate. "Nor does this land." She crossed her arms and looked about the room. "I believe that all here can agree to support the Loyalists however they may need it, with as much discretion as possible. The problem before us is how. That freighter has an entire heavy brigade's worth of weapons and equipment on it. The only problem is that the designs are distinctly Taeunas. People can be disguised relativly easy, once in the AO. Not so for weapons."

"Well our borders are open for any traffic between the fighters and anyone wishing to deal with the fighters... though I don't know how much good we can do since we do not border anywhere close to this."

"Very well," said Kaiser Martens. We can do as Herr Strijdom here suggests. It will be interesting to see how our guys and tactics work out in such a different weather."

While Martens was speaking, one of Van Matteus’ aides entered the conference room and walked up to her and whispered something in her ear. She made a an annoyed, surprised expression in response.

Once Martens had finished, she interupted and said, “Excuse me gentleman, but Field Marshals Cruywagen and Malan will now need to take leave of us. There appears to be some troubling events brewing in our Mozambique province which will now require their attention.”