Chapters 11-16

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Ivan's Story: 11-16

Chapter 11: Keynote speech

The next day Ivan came out with a soapbox in hand and made his way to the park. He placed it down and began to speak, "My fellow citizens, how can you let yourselves go by day to day under the oppression of a dictator? You must rise up and defend your freedoms as human beings! You deserve to live in a country ruled by the people and for the people, not by a frightened and power hungry dictator who hides away in his grand mansion when ever trouble comes along. You must stand as a group as a country, to oppose the oppressor, defend your freedoms, and run this country the way you see fit, not the way a man who brutally kills many innocent people, men women and children, and throws you into poverty and corruption, thinks. You must join together, for only together can we gain liberty, only together can we cause the revolution that will make the world a safe and wonderful place for our children, our grandchildren, you don't want them to grow up in a land that is governed in this manner do you? Now who's with me?" Ivan thought the speech to be effective, and to his surprise so did about 30 other onlookers. "I am with you, Vasidly Karasov is a pig! He doesn't deserve to run this country!" "Yeah so am I I have lived under tyrants for the majority of my life, it is time for a regime change!"

Hello sir, I was truly moved by your speech and I agree with your ideals, why don't you come down to the bar and make your speeches there, there are very many important figures in this town, you may yet be able to influence them. Here I'll give you the address." The man wrote down the address on a scrap piece of paper. "Here." he said as he handed Ivan the scrap of paper. "601 Kamochev lane." said Ivan as he read it. "That's right, you see if you can come around that address around 6 or 6:30 pm. that's when we have the most customers. "Wow thank you, by the way, what's yor name?" "Joseph, Joseph Glidnake." and with that the man turned around and walked away. "Well that's a start." thought Ivan. He picked up his soapbox and headed home.

Chapter 12: The Torch Tavern

The next day he met Boris at the same café they had been to on the day of the liberation, it had been at least a week since the two friends talked. In the middle of their conversation, Ivan introduced his political plan to Boris. After explaining what he was going to do at 6 o clock that day, Boris said "I will definitely be there. I think it's been long enough, it's true, we learned from the resistance that attacking right away and being impatient isn't the right way to go. You have my full support, but the hard thing will be gaining other's." said Boris. "I know I can succeed, and I will." replied Ivan.

At 6 o clock that evening, Ivan found himself and Boris entering through the door of the Torch Tavern. They sat down at the bar and Ivan he saw Joseph entering in through a back door. "Ah, there he is the politician! I'm glad you could come my friend; you won't regret it I promise. Can I get you anything before you begin?" asked Joseph. "No thank you." replied Ivan. "Suit yourself. Attention everyone, my friend Ivan here has a great deal of stuff to say, it is important, and I suggest you listen. Take it away my friend." said Joseph. "Thank you Joseph." and he began to repeat the speech he had made in the park. By the time he had ended, many were standing up and clapping for him. "Very good my friend, very good." complimented Joseph after everyone left the bar at closing time. Ivan was sitting at a bar stool sipping vodka and thinking as hard as he could. "It's not good enough," he said. "We need more methods of spreading my words to the people." said Ivan. "Graffiti." said Ivan softly. "What did you say?" asked Boris. "Graffiti," repeated Ivan. "Posters, pamphlets, non verbal political propaganda, to show how bad our country is right now, and then show them how I can lead them into prosperity, it will catch the eye of the common citizen and help them join our cause."

We will also need a party headquarters." "A political party, do you really think you can pull that off Ivan?" asked Joseph. "He has my support." said Boris. "Well I guess I can help in a way, I'm with you also, to democracy!" Joseph stuck his glass out in a toast. Ivan raised his glass also. "To democracy." he said.

Chapter 13: Spreading Propaganda

Ivan stepped out his front door the following night wearing a dark black mask, gloves and carrying with him a brown paper bag. He was out past curfew and knew that if he was caught, he would be severely punished, but since the police presence in the town had deeply dropped since most of the officers were called back to the capitol to maintain peace, Ivan wasn't very worried about that. He jogged to the corner of Nevorinski Street, he heard a whistle coming from a patch of bushes. Ivan replied by whistling three times. Out of the bushes came Boris and Joseph. "Did you bring the supplies?" asked Joseph. "Right here." replied Ivan. He pulled three cans of spray-paint out of the brown bag. After each of them received one, they headed to the town center.

When they reached the town center they began their work. It took about 45 minutes, but at that time they had covered the front wall full of their messages. "Dictatorship denies your freedom!" "Democracy Now, without it, there is no peace!" "Support your country, not your oppressor!", and other messages. Then they headed to the park and began their. By the end of the night they had painted the park walls, the front of the town center walls, the left side of the court house, and several others throughout the town. All they had to do now was wait for morning and see how the people reacted.

The next morning Ivan drove over to the Torch Tavern and found himself a seat at the bar. Joseph spotted him and approached with a smile on his face. "What happened last night has had a major effect on the people, have you driven by the locations yet today?" "No not yet." replied Ivan. (Joseph let's out a little chuckle.) "It's quite amazing people just stopping and staring at the words on the wall, some motivated by it, and some shocked at why someone would do such a thing." Ivan thought about this for a few seconds, "People were actually being motivated by their efforts." he thought with a smile on his face. "Oh by the way can you come around tomorrow night to speak a l;ittle more to the people at the Tavern, I've invited a couple more people to come and listen, and I'm sure other's have to. If you keep up your good work my friend, you may have the whole town agreeing with you by the end of the week." "Sure I will. Do you want me to come around the same time as last?" asked Ivan. "Yes that would be good; I'll await your arrival, good day Ivan." Joseph turned around and headed over to a new customer to serve him a drink. Ivan turned around and walked out the front door, putting his hat and heavy coat on, it was a cold day.

The next evening Ivan walked into the Torch Tavern and awaited Joseph to meet him. Boris was sitting next to him and he said, "Do you think they will be as supportive as last time?" "I am sure of it, even if they are still loyalists to Vasidly, they have to listen to what he has done to the horrible things he has done to them and why they should join us." replied Ivan. Joseph walked up to Ivan, "It's time Ivan, good luck." He then showed Ivan to the front of the tavern. He cleared his voice and began his speech. "My fellow citizens, you have come here because you believe in upholding justice and freedom. You believe in following the ways of capitalism, democracy, free speech, civil rights, and the American lifestyle. But we are not here to talk about the Americans. They would not help us in our time of trouble, we must learn to help ourselves, to stand as one, to join together as Novistranians and stand up for what we believe in, a country run by us, the people, not that mockery of a leader, the so called grand president that will lead us to glory. All he has lead us to is misery and poverty! What did he ever give back to the people during his presidency what did he ever do for his countries people? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! He kills the innocent; he spends all of our overly paid tax dollars to pamper himself, not to keep us safe from robberies, murders and bombings! We need a leader that will take care of the people. That is why I am here my friends; I am here to lead you to democracy and to help you gain your god given rights as human beings! But I need your support my friends; I need you to believe in my cause, and to back it with economical support, as well as participating in our cause through your actions. Only then, will we as a town, as Novistranians, be able to be recognized by the rest of the country and hope that they will help us too. Now who wants to help me in my quest to oust the president, and make this great country of ours into a republic again, the country it was meant to be?"

At closing time Boris had written down at least 45 name on a notepad for a list of those who wanted to join their political party. "Wow, that was more then expected." he said in surprise. "Yes, now that we have a list of members, we need a base of operations. That still remains a financial problem." said Joseph. "We need to start recruiting more influential members." said Ivan. "Like whom?" asked Joseph. "The mayor, the town priest, anyone with a voice, if the people see them looking up to me they will see me as a true leader who can lead even important figures. How we do that is still to remain decided. Let me see that list please Boris." Boris gave Ivan the list. "Not bad, Joseph, if you could, would you schedule these meetings regularly, since we don't have a headquarters yet, your tavern will have to do." said Ivan. "Most certainly, as long as they come for a good drink or to and a strong sense of patriotism towards the party, they are welcome in my tavern any time." replied Joseph. "And Boris, if you could help by contacting these people and telling them that we will begin meeting regularly as soon as Joseph figures out a schedule." "Most certainly." said Boris. "As for me," said Ivan. "I've got some recruiting to do." he then took a swig of his drink and left the tavern with a quick goodbye.

Chapter 14: Politics in the Russian Orthadox

Ivan made his way to the Russian Orthodox Church that Sunday. It was a cold day, autumn was the current season, and all of the leaves began falling to the ground. Ivan pulled up to the front of the church. It was rather nice, a large cathedral with very beautiful stained glass windows. A large statue of St. Peter built at the front of the church and a tall bell tower that rang right when he arrived. Ivan stayed throughout all of the mass. He being a catholic, found the differences interesting. But he had to keep his mind focused on the priest, a man at the age of 32 with a nice smile and a serious attitude. Ivan had previously learned that the man had been serving there for about 15 years now and was deeply respected by all the members of the diocese. Ivan believed if he could recruit the man, that the majority if not all of the church members would follow the priest in his beliefs of democracy, and look up to Ivan to be their next leader. After the mass, Ivan met the priest at his car. "Hello father my name is Ivan Grinko, would it be okay if I had a few words with you?" asked Ivan politely. "Oh yes my son, what is it you would like to talk about, I'm listening." The man seemed cooperative enough, this would be easier then Ivan had expected. "Well father, I know that you as a man who wishes to spread the good word of god, would agree with me that god would want this country to be free of oppression. Now what I was going to ask you father, is if you would like to support me in my attempt to oust the dictator Vasily Karasov and give this country back to those who deserve it, the people. God desires peace among his children does he not? I am sure he would approve of you joining my cause and helping his people live in a more peaceful and organized country." said Ivan. "Look my son," said the priest. "God does not work through politics, he is the creator of this earth, he created man, he gave them free will, and politics is one way that man uses his free will. Politics involve lies, broken promises and cheating to gain power, god does not need to do this, for he already has power, and politics is for a man who strives for power, now me, I am not interested in gaining power, I am only interested in spreading god's word and worshiping him as best as I can. Now I enjoyed our talk, good day and god bless." The priest started to enter his car but Ivan stopped him. "Please father, I am begging you. This country is falling apart, our leader is hiding behind his heavily guarded walls while the outside world is falling into corruption and poverty. Please father, join me and we can change all of that. Think of the children!" Just then the priest looked over and saw some young toddler's playing in the leave piles while a loving couple watched over them. "Do you want them to grow up in a country where they are being led by someone who would kill you in a second for even the tiniest bit of criticism? Think of your church members, where will they look to when the gang war breaks out? The capitol will be a living hell and our government will be in ruins then we will be lead by gangsters! Please father, listen to my plea, and join my cause so we can bring about our revolution as peacefully as possible." There was a short silence and then the priest spoke. "I have heard your plea my son, and I will deeply consider it, come back next Sunday and then I will give you my reply, but as for right now I have other things to attend to, good day." The priest then got into his car and drove off towards the downtown area leaving Ivan standing there alone in the parking lot.

Chapter 15: The Mayor's Gang Involvement

The next day Boris met Ivan in the Torch Tavern at opening time. "I contacted the new members yesterday, Helinski and Groytnik won't be able to make the meetings, but everyone else's schedules were flexible enough to meet here every Tuesday at 6 o clock." said Boris. "Good work Boris." replied Ivan. "By the way, who was it that you were trying to recruit the other day?" asked Boris. "The priest of the local Russian Orthodox Church," Ivan said. "He didn't seem interested at first but I think I manipulated his way of thinking in the end." said Ivan; he then took a gulp out of his drink. "Which influential figure are you looking to recruit next?" asked Joseph while cleaning out a glass with a washcloth. "The mayor," Ivan replied. "He has a lot of support in this town, he looks over the police, the town's money, law, and political broadcasting, and he is truly an asset we must acquire, once we have him and the priest, the town will fall to us quickly." Ivan then took another drink from his beverage. "How do you say that we recruit the mayor?" asked Joseph. "Well, he is throwing a formal party next afternoon. The town hall is where it is going to be held. Now, if we can only get his attention at a time where he is more or less alone, I believe we can bribe him into our party." "What would we bribe him with; we have little if no resource as it is." said Boris. "I can think of something, he is a semi powerful man, if he could gain more power, it would please him a lot."

The next afternoon, Ivan and Boris arrived at the front of the town hall; their graffiti still clear as ever. When they entered, they were quite surprised, many important figures where there, and getting a moment alone with the mayor would be rather hard. "Just try to blend in" said Ivan. They had dressed in their best suits, they needed to seem respectable to the mayor for him to take them seriously. "There he is." said Boris pointing to the mayor, who was standing talking to a rather mysterious looking man, it looked like they were whispering to each other. The mayor looked left then right then signaled for two of the guards to follow him, and the man did so also. "Should we follow them?" asked Boris. "Yes, but at a distance." replied Ivan. They moved through the crowd after the mayor and his associates. They led them through a door at the back of the room. Ivan and Boris arrived at the door, checking carefully to make sure no one is looking, and looked underneath the slit of space at the bottom of the door. "It leads down some stairs, looks like they have already made it to the bottom." They slowly opened the door, "You stay here and guard the door." Ivan walked down the stairs slowly and he could hear the mayo's voice. "You useless pig!" said the mayor. "Why couldn't you?" "Because," replied a brutally beaten man. "They found me out I couldn't stay there, they would have had me killed, they already tried to." The mayor cussed loudly. "We had the drugs ready for them, but you just had to screw up, we could've been swimming in money right now, they were the highest bidders!" The mayor turned around and reached into his pocket. "I am sorry sir, I tried my best but the gang leader believed me to be lying I couldn't persuade him otherwise." The mayor scratched his chin lightly. "Well, then Grotivsky you failed me for the last time." The mayor turned around and put a single bullet into the man's head. The badly bruised corpse slid off the side of his chair and splattered blood all over the floor. "Get this cleaned up." Some of the guards picked up the body and dragged it out of the room through a back door. He walked up to the man he talked to at the party, the man shook hands with the mayor and walked off. The mayor then pointed to two other guards and they headed back upstairs. Ivan had been hiding behind a large wine barrel, recording the whole event.

What happened down there?" asked Boris on the ride home from the party. "The mayor killed one of his operatives, because he failed him." replied Ivan. "Operatives?" asked Boris. "The mayor was involved in illegal drug distributing." replied Ivan. "I got it all on record tape, forget bribery, this is more then enough to get him to help us, and keep him quiet about it."

Chapter 16: Blackmail

That next day, Ivan drove to the front of the mayor's house. He put a letter in the mailbox and drove off. A little while later the mayor came out to check his mail. He found the letter that Ivan had written him. He sat down inside his house next to a warm fire on his armchair. It read:

We would like to make a transaction with you, bring a case of your finest, and we will pay double for it. Meet us at the back of the alley on the corner of 5th and Lossack at 4 pm today; we will be awaiting you there with the money, come alone or the deal is off.

That day at 4pm the mayor's limo pulled over at the alley, he got out, alone. "That's a good boy, now go into the alleyway." Joseph was watching from a building directly across from the alley way with binoculars, a rifle leaned against the wall next to him.

The mayor walked to the end of the alley way, he saw a silver case that supposedly had his money in it, he nervously grasped his own suitcase full of illegal drugs, there was no one there. The mayor thought about it for a second, then advanced on it. When he opened the case he found no money at all, he began to leave when he heard the cocking of a shotgun and a barrel placed against the back of his head. "You greedy and gullible man," said Ivan. "How can you run the town and a drug cartel at the same time? A highly respected man like you, well, well, I guess that will all end soon enough, unless you are willing to comply with our terms. We could just simply kill you right here for your evil deeds, but I know you wouldn't like that now would you." "You can't prove anything," said the mayor with his hands raised above his head and sweat pouring down like rain. "You have no evidence." Ivan nodded at Boris and he pushed the play button on the portable tape player. "We had the drugs ready for them, but you just had to screw up, we could've been swimming in money right now, they were the highest bidders!" "I am sorry sir, I tried my best but the gang leader believed me to be lying I couldn't persuade him otherwise." "Well, then Grotivsky you failed me for the last time." (Gunshot) "Get this cleaned up." Boris stopped the tape there. "What do you want?" asked the mayor in a nervous tone. "Well you see," Ivan said. "We need money, lot's of it, and," Ivan pushed the barrel of the shotgun harder against the back of the mayor's head. "If you don't comply, we will release this tape and have it broadcasted for everyone to hear, and I am sure that Vasidly Karasov wouldn't want a drug dealing gangster running one of his towns, now would he?" The mayor was sweating madly now his hands shaking a lot, the president's punishment was definitely a free gift he would never wish to receive. "How much money do you want?" asked the mayor shakily. "Well let's say, 50 thousand by next week, and 25 thousand by the end of the day. Leave the money here when you acquire it. Now if you leave this alleyway before an hour has elapsed, one of my sharpshooters will have you killed, good day to you." Ivan and Boris turned around and left in their car headed for the Torch Tavern, leaving the mayor there standing in a dark alleyway scared for his life.

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