May 11, Army Barracks in Athens
Vangelis Georgiadis never once thought he would personally live to see this day. The young farmer never expected to survive his time spent in the Macedonian forests, fighting off royal soldiers better armed and better trained then he. Every day it seemed like death was coming for him, and yet, he and his brothers pushed on, never stopping, never surrendering. And it had all come to this day. It felt a bit unreal, to have left his life in Thrace, still a young man of 24, to spend the next few years of his life fighting not only for his own life, but for the lives of all who would have something to lose under the Nationalists. He drifted away into a flashback as he thought of the day he left.
"So my son is to sneak off to play soldier because he's afraid the government will come for his Turkish whore?"
The young Vangelis had indeed joined the ranks of Democratic Army with the fear of what would happen to his beloved, a Turkish girl named Defne he met while still a child. He had always been sympathetic to communism, but it was not until the word of the butchering of Turks in the South, areas controlled by the kingdom, that he felt compelled to fight. His father had none of it.
"When they find what's left of you, ill let them know to dump you into the nearest ditch they find."
Defne was always a hated subject between the two. His father was sure it was her that had made him a "fucking leftist bastard". Their relationship was irreparably damaged when Vangelis had announced his intentions to marry her, going as far to declare his intentions to convert to Islam per the wishes of her family. Vangelis did so when he was 18, and the couple had a child, named Mustafa, shotly after. This only served to make the separation from his father that much easier, but made him wonder if he was right to go off and fight like this.
This dissociative state broke when Vangelis felt a sharp sting and caught sight of the bright red on his hand.
An audible chuckle could be heard from across the washroom, where a tall, blond man, 30 years of age but looking seemingly older, came to put his arm around the younger man.
"Careful Vangelis, don't want to come all this way just to end up cutting your own throat in the bathroom,"
Vangelis chuckled a bit as the older man, Adonis, lifted back up and began shaving as well.
"Got something on your mind, kid?"
"Same as always, Adonis"
"If you ain't always got that girl on your mind"
"I just sent her a letter this morning, letting her known I'm alive and that I'll be going back to Iasmos by the end of this month"
Adonis gave a hardy laugh at this news, "So little Vangelis is finally going back to his wife, huh?"
And with that came two more men, chatting among themselves as to how satisfying it was to watch the body of the old PM hang. Vangelis had not gotten the opportunity to watch Metaxas die. From what he had heard, the old man was basically on his way out no matter what, and the DSE simply wanted to kill him as a public statement, rather than let the bastard rot in prison away from public eyes.
A raid earlier last night had shown that King George high-tailed it out of Athens on the first plane as far away from Southern Europe as possible.
"Probably on his way to London to suck off the King for asylum," one of the two other soldiers said as the conversation turned to the exiled Greek King
"As if he'd need a reason to get on his knees for an Englishman" Adonis quipped across the room
Vangelis choked, fighting back a laugh as he finished his business and exited, making his way to the former Parliament building.
It was a hot day in Athens, and Markos Vafeiadis had picked a less than ideal time to deliver his speech to the crowd, looking for some news and organization with the loss of their former leaders. Word had reached Vafeiadis of the flight of King George II as soon as it was possible. With the death of Ioannis Metaxas, and the arrest and imprisonment of nearly all former member of parliament, it was plainly apparent what was to follow.
Vafiadis made his way to the front of the building, a roaring crowd coming to meet him and listen to what he had to say. For years he had given orders as the leader of the Communist resistance in Greece, and now his life's work had come to this. The woolen military uniform he had chosen to wear on this day quickly getting hot under the sun looming down on the city. He wasted no time in speaking,
"Comrades, Men and Women of Greece. I come to you this day with good news.
For 5 long years, we have been in struggle against the vile forces of the Kingdom. We have toiled for years, spilling blood, many giving their lives so that Greece may be free of the bindings placed upon her by those who would call themselves king. So that every Greek would know freedom. We sang that mantra, "Freedom or Death". And each time those words escaped our mouths, they rang true. For many, the later would be the reply to their call, however those who died did so for this moment, for this time when we can firmly say that the Revolution has won in Greece, and that we, the people, have cast aside they who would be our masters, and shown to the world that the Greek People are in control of their own destiny. We have shown that we need no King, and we need his cronies even less! Thus, brothers and sisters, we will proclaim, on this day, a Hellenic Socialist Republic, and the abolition of all monarchy and nobility in this land!"
In the cheering, roaring crowd was Vangelis, who seemed to drift into another dissociative state as he heard this news.
Is this real?, he thought, looking at the crowd around him, at the commander there at the front, proclaiming a new Republic and the fall of the monarchy. All this time, he expected nothing more than to die. To die protecting his beloved and at least saying he tried for her, and to join her in death when the nationalists came for her. And yet, he was standing in this crowd in Athens, seeing the fruits of not only his but many, many other's labors.
Vangelis would awake back in the bunker sometime later, disoriented, and catching a voice beside him.
"Just like old times,"
Adonis had been responsible for saving Vangelis' life many times in the war. Most notably, in the push into Thessaly, where the Kingdom opened fire with artillery onto them, with Vangelis being knocked unconscious, only to be dragged to safety by Adonis. The two had been the best of friends in the Army, with Vangelis returning the favor later, during the battle for Delphi.
"If old Adonis were not watching you..."
"I'd be a meat splatter on the ground right now," Vangelis said teasingly.
"I was planning on passing out on the floor too, but I was hoping you'd wait to join me in it after I invited you to celebrate tonight"
"Of course, I can always go for round two"
Vangelis Georgiadis sat reclined in the old wooden rocking chair his wife had moved from their home out to the porch of their home. Now a man of 44 years, he fiddled with a set of komboloi as his youngest daughter, Vakdi, happily played with a pair of dolls her mother had crafted for her, humming some children's song that Vangelis had tried synchronizing moving the beads along with. His eyes followed the beads, falling into a kind of trance as he moved them from one hand to the other.
The man turned his head back to see his wife Defne standing outside of the door, her long black hair tied up, and dressed in clothes betraying what she was doing inside.
"Oh, Defne, what is it, my love?"
"Mustafa", she said, exasperatedly tapping her hand on the side of her hip, a habit she had when annoyed. "You were to meet him in Salonika for lunch, remember?"
Vangelis' eyes widened as he remembered. He had lost so much time in playing with his komboloi, he nearly forgot he was to meet his eldest son in the city before he left.
"Ah, thank you, dear," he wheezed out exasperatedly, "I just need to get my..."
He was cut off by Defne simply holding out his car keys, a mildly annoyed look on her face.
"I called the cafe he is at to let him know you are coming. Don't keep him waiting too long"
Au Bon Pain Cafe, Thessaloniki
Mustafa Georgaidis hated those who were not punctual. He hated lateness in general. Sometimes he wondered how he became like this, but then he remembered when he met with his father, and then the childhood seeds of this distaste for tardiness became all too clear. Mustafa had sat in the cafe, drowning himself in coffee for nearly 30 minutes waiting for his father to arrive. It would be another 30 before Vangelis would enter into the building, finding his son eying him across the room, his hand tapping on his hip, a habit he picked up from his mother.
"I hope you are not upset with me"
"I am not," Mustafa replied, motioning with his hand to let the employee at the counter know to bring over the food he had purchased for himself and his father.
"Mustafa, it has been too long since we last spoke!"
Vangelis would never be used to the aloof nature of his son. He knew him to be an intelligent young man, 25 years old and already involved in a rather high position in the military. It would seem the personality of Mustafa affected his appearance as well, making him look quite a bit older than he was.
"So, why is it you're going to Cyprus again?"
Vangelis nodded at this, "So when will you be back"
"Don't know, just need to be there as long as they need me. I'm leaving tonight."
The conversation continued for some time before father and son caught sight of the time.
Mustafa's face became strained at the time, only for Vangelis to chuckle.
"I can tell that face, and I agree, it's getting late for me too." he spoke as he rose up, "I'll be sure to tell your mother and your sisters the news"
"Thank you", Mustafa replied as he hugged his father. The hug lingering for some time before both left, parting ways once more.
Famagusta, Cyprus, Rhodes and Cyprus Department
This was nostalgia.
Mustafa had not been back to Famagusta since he had come here on holiday with his parents. However, the nature of this visit would be far less inviting.
The Popular Civil Guard had gotten reports of subversive activities in Cyprus, mostly coming out of the Turkish minority areas in the North. Mustafa played a valuable asset in these areas, being half-Turkish and a native speaker of the language himself. Accompanying him was his partner Mihail, who was far less useful in these areas, but served the all-important purpose of providing some muscle for the smaller Mustafa.
The two had just gotten information. As usual, when it came to Cyprus, the name Melik was bound to follow. After breaking a couple arms of some Turkish nationalists in the city. Something about an exchange with two Turkish intelligence agents going on in Melik's home before leaving the city, and the two were now staking out the location, having recently seen some visitors enter, and waited for them to leave.
"What do you suppose they're doing in there?" inquired Mihail, greedily consuming a Doner he had purchased earlier as they sat in the car watching
"As they usually do, plot against the country probably"
"No I mean like, they're probably eating or something, but I don't know, how do Turks eat dinner?"
"We eat it the same as you," Mustafa replied sarcastically, "we slather everything in yogurt and then blend it before drinking it as a liquid"
Mihail snorted at this, "No need to be a smart ass, I'm just curious. I've never met a Turkish person before you"
Mihail had come from Sparta, and likely had never even seen a Turk before he was stationed in Thessaloniki.
"Well, I am half-Greek too"
Mihail shrugged before pointing out movement outside the house.
The plan was to intercept the agents before they got out of Cyprus, and recover whatever it was that Melik was giving them. As the Ottoman agents departed, Mustafa and Mihail were right behind them.
Argyrokastro, Northern Epirus Autonomous Region
Yiannis Anastasopoulos was a true son of Epirus.
Born in Ioannina, Yiannis was ecstatic to partake in the rightful return of Greek lands to the Greek state. Being stationed in Northern Epirus was fine and all, but he did have one problem. And it was the degenerate savages that were an unfortunate carry along.
To say that he did not like Albanians was a grave understatement. Yiannis hated Albanians, who he saw as basically savage. A couple of young women had come by and accidentally bumped into him, prompting him to scream at them, calling them both "shiptars", their name for themselves but that was a painful slur when uttered by the Greeks. The girls quickly shrank trying to get away, only for Yiannis to take hold of one, briskly pulling off the girl's hijab, nearly choking her as it came off. "What are you doing wearing this fucking rag on your head," the soldier said, shouting at the girl, who looked near to tears at this point, "God has no place in this country, so get your head into the 20th centary already!" he said, throwing the cloth onto the ground, prompting to the one girl to start sobbing, as her friend took her hand and walked her away.
"Do you always have to be such an asshole?"
Yiannis turned his head around to see his partner Thaimes, lighting up a joint just out of sight in the alley as usual. It seemed his partner was always getting cheap drugs from the Albanians living in the gutters of Argyrokastro.
"I'm surprised you were paying attention." Yiannis said, walking over and motioning for Thaimes to share the marijuana with him, as usual.
"I don't see why you hate them so much,"
"We're in Greece, in Greek land. Why should some barbarians get to demand to be different?"
"Whats it like living in ancient Athens?"
"Oh shut up, Thaines"
Northern Epirus was mostly Greek even before the occupation, though a significant Albanian minority existed. Tensions were always rising between the Albanians and Greeks, especially in xenophobic behaviors of settlers from Mainland Greece, and occupying soldiers.
"Did you hear that they shot down a guy not to far from here. Say he was planning to try and get in contact with Albania to get them to come invade again."
"Of course I did, and good riddance, I say!" Yiannis spoke between a drag of the joint "Less filth in Epirus, the better"