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"Sal, make sure you get all this. Ready? Damnit. Hurry then. Okay, okay, let me know." Bontate paced his office. He hated these formal matters, but he needed to get started. Responsibility now, you know? They told him he had things to do. Told him the success and security of the country depended on it. Incessant pressure from the major families helped move things along too, you know. Sicilian politics were rough. If you didn't move along and appease everyone, follow the right customs, shake the good hand and pat the right back, you were probably done for. People disappeared all the time - no skin off his back. He knew what he was doing.

"Come on Sal, don't have all god damn day." He checked his watch. Had to see his wife in an hour, better get this done quick. The families wanted their name in the world, they wanted to get moving, and he wasn't about to spark another major war between the already feuding factions by delaying them any longer. The Romanos and Dattaglias, the Ricci and the Moretti, the Grecos and the di Gesus, they all had their motives. Didn't help that there were half a dozen major families and only three major islands. "Sal, damnit!"

"Alright, gotcha, ready to go." Sal shuffled his notes together and prepared to write.

"Ready? Right. Title, 'Dispatch -', no, 'Greetings from the Islands of Sicily.' No, don't put that. Title, 'Message from the -' no, damnit."

"Sir?"

Bontate rubbed his temples. "Better just title it 'Communique.' Plain and simple. Okay, ready, Sal?"

Communique; Grand Republic City; the Sicilian Islands.

Leaders of the world, I am writing to you on behalf of my people, the Sicilians, and on the behalf of the commercial interests of our nation. I realize that we have been almost silent at the world stage, but I assure you that will soon change. As residing speaker of the Council of Five, and elected Representative of the Merchant Body Republic, I have been instructed to make our stable presence known to the world. Rumours may have spread of a civil war within our country. While it is true that we have recently suffered a minor internal power struggle, the Islands are under an era of peace and prosperity. I wish to quell all fears you or any visitors may have in opening trade and conducting business with us.

I have also been instructed to inform you of the various industries of our nation in which we encourage you to invest in. Sicilian commercial products range from our quality Citrus, Tomatoes, Olives and Grapes, to Microchips, technologically advanced systems, and other technological breakthroughs (both in medicine and other more practical matters). Should you wish to do business with our nation, we encourage you travel to the Republic City and take in lodgings. Our renowned feminine escort system will be sure to take care of you as you conduct business, or merely observe what our nation has to offer. If you wish, we can also tour you through one of our nation's top technical institutes, the University of Sicily, a mere minute's ride from the Diplomatic quarter.

All foreign telegrams will be redirected to me or an assistant. If any of you have any inquiries at all, I'd be more than happy to oblige. I ask only that if you do send delegates our way, that they travel directly to the seaport at the Republic City. We've had several independent merchants already travel in from foreign waters. Most of them have known where to go, however several others have become permanently lost within the isles. We do have a working temporary airfield, as well, to field all minor craft. We await your arrival and humble business proposals!

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- Chairman S. Bontate

"How's that, Sal? Be sure to get these out to the major powers. Throw in that informational as well, keep anything you think important for our potential investors. Here." He threw a packet towards Sal, but a gust of wind blew in and knocked the papers loose. "Damnit, Sal. Isn't there a god damned thing to do about this?"

"Sorry, sir. Budget's tight. Rebuilding and all, you know." Sal muttered as he picked up the loose papers.

"Okay, okay. Alright. Damnit. Some minor power struggle, eh Sal?" Bontate turned and looked out through the gaping hole in the wall of his second story office. There was probably something here before. A window, good chance at that. He didn't know. He didn't care. The old capital building was blown to smithereens. Knocked all to pieces during the revolution. Rebuilding is going to take forever. They only just finished rebuilding the new diplomatic quarter. Coupled in with the only seaport in the city, not too far from the university.

"I hope they buy it, Sal. Hope they do. It'll be a pain in the ass to keep the delegates from wandering into the city once they're here. A real pain in the ass." Bontate looked out over the part of the city they were in. Old Luca district, maybe? He wasn't sure. He hated this ******** hole. Probably old lower financial district. If these buildings weren't some of the only ones left with clean water and electricity, he'd be out of here. Out in a heartbeat.

"Thats what your prosti-, sorry, lady-guides, are for, sir?" Sal said as he finished editing and organising the telegram. "Keep them busy inside the cordon area?"

"Escorts, Sal. You bet your ass. The Dattaglias can at least do something right around here." He shuddered from the wind and turned to leave. Get those informationals out. I've got to see the damn wife." He left the room, to leave his assistant to finish the packaging. Once Sal was done, he sent them down to filing where they'd be mailed to the various leaders of the world.

siciliaflagrevolution.png

The Sicilian Nation1 is a vibrant and diverse community. The people of the islands have had a tough history full of struggle and hardships, and constant in-fighting and rivalries has made these people isolationist and wary of outsiders. It is very highly suggested that any foreigners visiting stay away from the islands themselves, and only visit the mainland, where Republic City is. Since all imports and exports must first go through the port at Republic City, there is little reason for visitors to travel to the islands. Though the wars are over, any foreign vessel might be considered a threat by local forces, and the government does not have a strong enough control on the populace to regulate militia forces or vigilante justice. There is, however, a large black market that operates within the islands, and foreigners with the right connections can procure choice products for reasonable prices.

The Sicilian people consider themselves likened to a merchant republic. Power rests in the hands of six very strong merchant families, who control all aspects of Sicilian life. The government, officially, is broken into the Council of Five, and the Lower House. The Lower House fields 500 delegates elected by the people. The Council of Five is the ruling body, with a representative from each of the traditional leading families holding a seat. The Council of Five appoints a Speaker from one of the families to represent the Council, who as Chairman makes decisions, and acts as the face of the nation. This speaker is also considered to be the representative of the people, known officially as the Representative of the Merchant Body Republic. Currently, that speaker is Stefano Bontate.

The di Gesu family, originally from the Island of Siracusa, is one of the dominant financial factions that deals primarily in the trading of wealth and investments. During the revolution, while the di Gesu forces were spread trying obtain control of the mainland their rivals, the Greco family, rested control of Siracusa from them. Most major di Gesu families were either driven or killed from the island, and now the di Gesu control the mainland, sharing some influence with the Romano family. The di Gesu family is currently the most powerful family in Siciliana, controlling the majority of the Lower House, and also controlling the largest and wealthiest port and city in the nation. They hold a seat on the ruling Council of Five.

The Gre​co family, from the Island of Siracusa, is one of the dominant trader factions that deals primarily in illegal drug trafficking and smuggling. As the bridge between the mainland and the other islands, the Greco family has been able to regulate and smuggle various cargo to and from the nation. Greco representatives at the seaport in Republic City ensure that their cargo reaches its destination. The Grecos and the di Gesu's have a rivalry that dates back to before the war. Currently, they hold control of the island, but due to an influx of farmers and workers from Messina, share some influence with the Ricci family. The Grecos also hold several mines and towns in the Eagle Islands, and share influence with the Romanos. They hold a seat on the ruling Council of Five.

The Moretti family, from the Island of Messina, is one of the dominant agricultural factions that deal primarily in the manufacture and production of spirits, grapes, olives, and olive oils. Though they share a rivalry with the Ricci family, is nowhere near as cutthroat as the one between the Greco and di Gesu families. The Moretti family has always put blood above all else, and believe in the right to maintain the land they've died for. Of all the families, they are the most suspicious of outsiders. Currently, they control most of the Island of Messina, though many of the farmlands and smaller towns are still controlled by their rivals in the Ricci family. The Moretti family is one of the weaker families, though maintaining large control of their island has kept them closer to the Grecos and the di Gesus than others. They hold a seat on the ruling Council of Five.

The Ricci family, originally from the Island of Messina, is the other dominant agricultural faction. The Ricci pride themselves in being jacks of all trades, able to fit wherever they go. Their migratory nature is the root of their idealistic differences with their rivals, the Moretti family. Members of the Ricci family can often be found working in factories, on farms, doing research, practicing the arts and music, or in shipping, or anywhere else. While often considered to be the working men of Sicily, and the lower class, the Ricci never fail to impress what they are best at. Though they have no dominance in any one island, their influence in both Siracusa and Messina is enough to put them right up there with the Morettis in terms of power and wealth, and their reputation as the honest and skillful working class has helped them keep it. They hold a seat on the ruling Council of Five.

The Dattaglia family, from the Island of Palermo, is the dominant industrial faction. Palermo has become a bustling and diverse island, with the north being heavily industrialized, and the south retaining its rustic charm with citrus orchards and vineyards. Money moves fast in Palermo, and even faster out of it. The Dattaglias are known for their embodiment of the industrial revolution, dabbling in mechanics, design, and manufacturing, and then partaking in the vices of metropolitan life. They are especially known for their brothels and bars. The saying goes, 'there's no pick in girls like the Palermo pick.' Among the dark life of the city of Palermo also resides the University of Palermo, where a lot of military research and testing is conducted. Unfortunately, the manufacture of other illegal products also takes place. Palermo is the center for the illegal narcotics trade in Sicily, and both production and distribution occur across the island. Through the wealth amassed by their drug trafficking, illegal arms dealing, and special ability to corrupt, the Dattaglias have been able to retain control of the Island of Palermo. They hold a seat on the ruling Council of Five.

The Romano family, originally from the northern part of Palermo, is the other dominant financial faction. The Romanos are often considered the new blood in Sicilian politics, as they were originally a minor faction of the Dattaglias. Before the war, the relation of the Romanos and Dattaglias was very much the relation between the banker and the worker. The Romanos had control of the financial quarters on Palermo, and the only known precious metal mines in the Eagle Islands. During the revolution, the Romanos, outnumbered and outmatched, were driven out of Palermo. Many went to join their relatives in the Eagle Islands, while others went to support the di Gesus on the mainland. The Romanos are known especially for their skills in technical research and development, and many of them can be found in the employ of the two universities. They currently have a small influence in the mainland, though it is dominated by the di Gesu family. They also control the Island of Rome, and most of the Eagle Islands.

Crime and War

The revolution has left the Islands in a much more lawless state, much to the preference of the families. Sicilians are more comfortable living in the world of hardships and lawlessness that they've come to know. However, it does pose a problem for visitors. Without someone to escort them, visitors run a high risk of disappearing within the islands for good. The war has also left much of the major cities in shambles. While many portions of Palermo have almost fully recovered, thanks to the amassed wealth of the Dattaglias, Messina, Siracusa, and most importantly, the Grand Republic City, still have large portions in ruin. Currently, the only pristine area of Republic City is the newly christened Diplomatic quarter, situated around the seaport, and the University quarter just to the south. The Diplomatic Quarter has been cordoned off to keep any delegates or foreign investors from venturing into the city and possibly becoming disheartened about conducting business with the Sicilians.

The black market is centered around the three major islands, and it is believed that the heart of all illicit dealings is within the Islands of Ivory. The Islands of Ivory are a territory of the nation, not governed by any one family, nor under direct control of the government. Like the northern territories and some of the smaller islands, it is largely underpopulated, wild, and lawless. Major arms deals, narcotics shipping, prostitution, smuggling, and other illegal activities go down here. However, the seas are patrolled by both family forces, and pirates (often in the employ of different families), and it is dangerous to venture here without sanction from the government, or escort of the one of the families. It should be noted that, despite the rivalries of the different families, there is an unspoken trust and respect between all Sicilians. In times of trouble, and Sicilian of any faction is safe with any other Sicilian. Sicilians are a hardy, untrustworthy people, but they distrust and dislike outsiders even more than they do each other. At the same time, the government is unintrusive and relaxed enough that a government ship would easily be welcomed in the bays of the black market trade. After all, they're probably there to pick up there own shipment of illegal goods.

(OOC: 1. This map shows the nation, major cities, and the most traveled sea routes within the nation. I realize that on the map Aves posted, my AoI and Controlled land is switched. That is a mistake, and will be corrected the next time I ask him to update it, which will be the next time I make a land purchase. In case you missed them, here are the maps again. ABC)

(OOC: Yeah, you can consider this my official DoE. My other very early post was really just to get my name on the board. My RP style might be a little different than yours. Sorry. Deal with it. Same with my writing style. I'm pretty informal, and I like my main characters to reflect that. I'll try and keep people varied and diverse so you can see some obvious differences. Like everyone else, my characters are mine. However, if you want to do anything with them, just let me know and I'll probably be okay with it. It's all for fun anyway, right? So if you want to send in a ninja squad assassin team, or have a traveling band of misfit performance artists that my leader just has to be a part of, just let me know. We'll work something out. And to clear things up so I don't get complaints, everything I mention here, as per the rules, I have either purchased, or have the research for (or am in the process of researching).

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It was a beautiful sunset, as Archon Beauregard was finishing another long day at the office. He saw a letter at the top of his considerable pile of files, letter and other assorted paperwork. Sicilian Islands. He opened the letter, and read what was basically a sales pitch. However being a wine drinking country, the Dominate could always use more grapes, or wines if they produced any. Technology was vague, but he supposed that was to be expected. He couldn't help but chuckle at the "permanently lost" part.

"Couldn't hurt." Beauregard said as be reached for a pen.

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Chairman Bontate,

I write to you to inform you of our desire to open trade relations with your nation.

If it pleases you, we can offer your own people among other things, rubber(regular or processed), meat, grain, clay and brick. If you are in need of armaments, we have a variety of weapons and gear that are among the best in the world.

If you are interested, then feel free to get in contact with us.

Sincerely, Archon Jonathon Beauregard

Dominate of Drakia.

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Official Diplomatic Message

New Imperium be willing to establish trade with Silcilia. However, it has come to our attention that Silicia is a semi-lawless nation and we need assurances that our merchants can be protected from pirates.

With regards,

Lord Michael of New Imperium

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An unkempt, portly looking man wearing a cap came into Chairman Bontate's second floor office, trailed by a rather slender and attractive young woman. In her hands were several papers, and in his a cup of coffee and a half-eaten cannoli.

"Got some good news for you boss," he said through a mouthful of cream. "Oh, the girl's got somethin' for ye too." He gestured over to the woman. "Go on Bella, give him the letters."

Bontate took the papers from Bella and quickly skimmed them over. "Ah, good good. Responses from Drakia and the Imperium. Was this all?"

"Yes - yes sir," she stuttered nervously, keeping her eyes down.

"Alright, good. You can go." He motioned for Sal to close the door as she left. "Damn. Thought we'd get a little more. We'll have to send some scouts out to look for more deals. What else you got for me, Sal?"

"Just internal stuff, you know the same old. The Romanos and Dattaglias are holding a weapons demonstration in the 'isles in a week. Big Johnny wants you to be there to represent the di Gesus. Also, there's that shipment of Little Blues and Mindflood just came into Siracusa. Word is the Grecos are trying to push it south without payin' the rest of the families their share."

"Damnit. What does that jack-hole Ritchie think he's doin'?" Bontate wiped his brow. "I'll have to talk to Jo and Caesar, see if I can rustle somethin' up. While you're here, take a note. Ready?"

Lord Michael of New Imperium,

A pleasure to hear from you. I assure you that you'll be as safe in our waters as you would be in your own, and your ships have nothing to fear. To avoid getting lost, we will make sure to send your merchants explicit directions. All international traffic comes in and out of only one port, so you should not have any trouble.

We would happily open trade with your nation. As a sign of good faith, we invite you to send one of your delegates to visit our nation, tour all we have to offer, and work out the terms of trade. We only conduct business in person, I'm sure you can understand. You will get a better sense of what you're buying, anyway. Will you require an escort service? We have a lot to offer. Things to keep in mind!

We humbly await the arrival of your delegation in the port at Grand Republic City. We also have an airstrip active if you have access to planes and wish to fly in. If you'd like to schedule anything, let us know.

- Chairman S. Bontate

the Sicilian Islands

Archon Jonathon Beauregard, of the Dominate of Drakia

How good to hear back from you. We are most pleased to learn of your interests in opening trade with our nation. We would be more than happy to negotiate a deal to drop tarrifs and commence open trade of our crop exports, and encourage you to send a delegate to smooth out the deals. I promise that when your delegate arrives he will be able to see all that we have to offer, and then we can work out particulates. I can already tell you that we have investors who would be very interested in importing Cattle, Grain, and Brick from your nation.

Our people are proud, and only believe in conducting business in-person. If you make it within the week, your delegation might even be able to witness a demonstration of some of our technology available for distribution.

Should you wish to conduct business, let us know. We will await the arrival of your delegation in the port at Grand Republic City! We also have an airstrip available if you have access to planes and wish to fly in.

- Chairman S. Bontate

the Sicilian Islands

Bontate stood up from his desk and stretched. "Alright, get those straightened out and sent to our friends up north in Drakia and out west to the Imperium." A wind blew in, blowing several papers around and knocking off Sal's cap. "And damnit, Sal! Get someone up here to patch up this god-damned hole."

(OOC: Sorry for being super delayed/late on this. Finals week, you know.)

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Chairman Bontate,

The Drakian Government will send out a delegation by plane as soon as possible. Our own Combines(Companies) will be pleased with the potential for a new tariff-free market, especially those in agriculture. We also look forward to any demonstration of new technology. For our part, the Dominate has found significant interest for some of your products, which can be further discussed on arrival.

The Drakian Government wishes to inform you however, that due to unfortunate incidents in other nations, we will also be sending a significant security contingent. We apologize for any inconvenience in this regard.

Sincerely,

Archon Beauregard

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Official Diplomatic Message

New Imperium happily obliges and will send our Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Blake, along with six security personnel. This diplomatic team will be boarding a plane within a few hours and should arrive at Grand Republic City International Airport by tomorrow evening.

With regards,

Lord Michael

OCC: @ Beauregard: I have created the IC for the First Galactic War thread.

Edited by Lord Michael

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Archon Jonathon Beauregard, of the Dominate of Drakia

We eagerly await the arrival of your delegation. Due to recent global events, I understand your concern about personal safety. While I promise you have nothing to fear while staying in our nation, we will gladly accommodate your security force.

I apologise, but I will not be able to see you immediately, as I have some business to attend in the isles. Instead, I've instructed my assistant, Sal Marino, to meet you off the plane. You can't miss him, he's a decently large man and he'll be wearing a rather ugly red suit and cap.

- Chairman S. Bontate

the Sicilian Islands

Lord Michael of the New Imperium,

We eagerly await the arrival of your Finance Minister. I apologise, but I will not be able to meet you right away, as I have business to attend to in the isles. However, one of the members of our Council, Ritchie Gallo, has requested to see you off the plane. He should be able to find you, but if it helps, he'll be the one with green shoes. He is a bit eccentric, but you will be in good hands.

- Chairman S. Bontate

the Sicilian Islands

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OCC:

Lord Michael of the New Imperium,

We eagerly await the arrival of your Finance Minister. I apologise, but I will not be able to meet you right away, as I have business to attend to in the isles. However, one of the members of our Council, Ritchie Gallo, has requested to see you off the plane. He should be able to find you, but if it helps, he'll be the one with green shoes. He is a bit eccentric, but you will be in good hands.

- Chairman S. Bontate

the Sicilian Islands

This is incorrect I'm sending my Minister of Foreign Affairs.

IC: The whine of the jet engines could be heard as the plane powered down after arriving at Grand Republic City International Airport. As a ladder lowered six security personnel quickly moved out of the plane followed by immense civilian clothing named John Blake, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Imperium. Shortly thereafter, a man in green shoes approached. The security personnel recognize this man as Ritchie Gallo. Ritchie Gallo said, "Welcome to the Silcilain Islands. If you follow we will get you out of this airport so we can talk about matters of trade."

John Blake and his security personnel slowly followed Ritchie Gallo out of the airport.

Edited by Lord Michael

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Ambassador Emma Gelson stepped onto the tarmac at the Sicilian Airport, cold blue eyes surveying the airport. She could see the Sicilian delegation across the tarmac and among them, the one called Marino. Sure enough, the red suit and hat left a lot to be desired. The near platoon strength of Citizen Force troopers came out behind her. After the debacle at Germania, the Dominate felt that its representatives abroad needed more... thorough security. The Security Directorate had been "reassigned" to internal security operations and some of its denziens had been forcibly retired.

The Ambassador began walking towards the Sicilian group.

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