Tales from a Mosque (10): The Infidel Wedding

Near the suburbs of a large Austrian city, where Imam Faraj’s mosque was standing, there was a baroque mansion, hidden between dark woods, belonging to the noble Mandorff family for almost 200 years. It was close enough to the city centre, so the owners could stay in touch with all critical events there, but far enough, to have enough privacy for family matters.

The famous event, which should happen here today, commented by the media as Austrian social event of the year, couldn’t find a better location: all access routes could be easily blocked and supervised by heavily armed guards, to protect the participants, many of them from highest VIP spheres home and abroad, against sniffing tabloid media rats, gate-crashers, stalkers, amateur paparazzi, tourists, thieves and of course terrorists.

The presence of media was intentionally banned from the event, to create the desirable scarcity effect, and to raise journalistic and public attention into utmost heights, so the fences and entry gates to the site were literally occupied by curious and hungry admirers of arriving VIP participants, real social, political, business, public and artistic elite, including at least one Hollywood star, former fashion model Lisa Barbuscia, five ambassadors from foreign embassies, and yet others big shots, who insisted on not being named anywhere, so their security and privacy could be protected.

However, people like them haven’t used luxurious cars to arrive: they preferred helicopters, which transported them here safely from the local airport, where their private jets landed, to avoid trafiic jams and potential criminal attacks. Without any doubt, the security of the event was taken extremely seriously, and even several security agencies sent their perfectly trained Special Forces paramilitaries here, including three sniper teams, located strategically at the hummocks around the mansion, to provide supervision, and if necessary, an armed intervention against potential dangerous intruders.

Of course, that such extreme security precautions could be hardly allowed to a common citizen. But the people who organized the event, they had many powerful allies everywhere, and when some envious journalists started to criticize the publicly known and open deployment of military-grade assault weapons at the site, it was simply explained by the Police spokesman, that these security measures are necessary to protect the key political figures, attending the event, and all citizens are asked to avoid the private lands of Mandorff family, in the interest of their own security.

A high-profile event like this of course attracted many dubious entities and individuals, who had their own malicious agendas. But when a group of four young and bold anarchists, known for disrupting of similar public events deliberately, who attempted to infiltrate the outer perimeter of the site, were found badly beaten at the streets, denying to provide any testimony against assailants, to keep their bold and rough image, everybody understood, that extreme measures will be used against any intruder, and no mercy, sense for human rights, tolerance and even consideration of valid laws can be expected.

All these small details created the desirable media picture of the event, perceived as something absolutely top, fully comparable with similar hyped, deliberately inflated events abroad. Many local citizens were even proud, that such thing is happening in the city, and most of the people wished the future husband and wife luck, as both of them presented themselves quite modestly, never emphasizing their success and wealth too much, having a relaxed attitude to their public image, paying no attention to their countless media enemies, who tried to start brawls and feuds, to acquire the media attention, to build their public brand.

Inside the mansion, everything was perfectly prepared for more than two hundred participants of the wedding. The central hall of the chateau was cleared from all precious furniture and expensive paintings, and ten long rows of simple wooden benches were installed instead, to give the event an unexpectedly modest face, as both Anthony and Kathrin wanted to be perceived as people, who are different than other VIPs, something really special, even unique, and they knew exactly, what Public Relations measures to use, to achieve such demanding task.

Another reason for this unusual arrangement was, to emphasize personalities of all attendees, and their perfect outfits, of course, not being overshadowed by costly artistic works around. There was also a precious seat order, so the future pictures of the event, of course leaking into the media deliberately, will show the absolute social elite, that even Cannes Film Festival could be envious. Some participants of the wedding were known, other deliberately not, to hype the tension and expectation: indeed, Kathrin, the fiancée, could make her living as a Public Relations executive.

Now, it was before eleven in the morning, and the guests were arriving. Again, according to the precious order, as the charter helicopter flights were organized by the Mandorff family, so the organizers could have full control of the event, not allowing some idiot to play his or her “celebrity game”, disrupting the event somehow, to draw the overall attention to him or her. The event provided no seducing opportunities like this, and before the evening party, when the guests will be even urged to create various scandals for the media, good and modest behavior was expected, even enforced, as the security men, polished, dressed in suits but strict, were present everywhere, hiding their Uzi compact submachine guns under their jackets.

However, various unexpected situations and surprises were prepared, to keep the atmosphere exciting and entertaining. Without knowing it, Fatima and Layla, the only two Muslim women attending, became a part of this precisely directed game, as Anthony, the fiancé and business tycoon, originating from the U.S., changed the seat order at the last moment, so Fatima will be seated directly beside the leading actress, Lisa Barbuscia, to show the world, that the family has ultimately good connections everywhere, including Ummah, the community of Islam, and they are respected even by Muslims.

Before going, Fatima yet improved her impressive outfit, consisting of a beautiful abaya and hijab of course, with cooperation with her fashion advisor, Layla, and the owner of the “Woman’s Destiny” fashion boutique, Suzanne Hasselblattova from Prague, who arranged a special package of Cartier jewelry to be delivered, so Fatima became the real Arabic beauty, bejewelled with gold, looking like some sheikha from United Arab Emirates, scenting with immense oil money, wealth and power.

So, when Fatima and Layla were going through the rows of other guests, to their sitting places ahead, in the second row, just behind the closest family members, all attention was directed to them: proud, secretive and shining women, displeasing Lisa Barbuscia, who expected to be a queen here, without competition, and she really didn’t appreciate Anthony’s ingenious game with the public, to achieve his personal goal: to force local politicians to permit building of his ‘Glass House’ at the main square, changing the city forever, by indicating a powerful connection with the local Muslims, using Fatima as cat’s pawn against authorities.

Also Countess Theresa Von Laubringen, the tall blonde American with noble Austrian roots, was deeply surprised, seeing two Muslim women, moving around her ahead, like if they would be some Middle Eastern princesses or something. She was just fighting them: it was her, and her reliable aide Heinrich, the old servant of her father, who organized the treacherous media campaign against the mosque in the city, not using religious hatred and fear of Islam as hammer, but rather soft and covert measures, alleged public interest, that citizens need a park, and connecting with the Chinese interests in process, promising them the ground for construction purposes later, as this was the only way to contain rising Islamic influence in the city.

None of the guests knew the range of this complicated relationships between several key participants, but the game of power in the world was simply never ending, and its next act was planned by Fatima, a female aide of Imam Faraj, to happen right here, and today: in order to save the mosque, it was necessary to persuade the Countess to leave her efforts against Islam, and the best way to achieve this extremely demanding task seemed to be so called active conversion to Islam, to change an archenemy into the most powerful ally. Meeting the Countess here was a promising opportunity of such bold action of higher interest, if allowed by Allah.

Also, the Austrian Intelligence assets were present, because of the alleged theft of a highly classified NATO document, suggesting an effective tactics to contain the spread of Islam, now used in practice by the Countess Von Laubringen. The white paper was allegedly created by an extremely classified paramilitary PSYOPS unit of the Czech Army, whose existence was always denied by the Czech Ministry of Defence, but Czech tabloid journalists were able to gather many evidence of the Unit’s real existence and executed operations, disturbing many key players, including NATO highest ranks.

It seemed, that someone from the closest vicinity of the Countess was able to get his hands on the document, maybe Heinrich, an old servant, using his network of clandestine collaborators home and abroad, serving for Von Laubringen family interests of critical importance. However, there was yet another, and most disturbing possibility: that no theft in fact happened, the document was delivered here on purpose, to test the newest advanced measure of Unit’s Psychological Warfare strategy, directly in the field.

When all guests were gathered, exactly at eleven o’clock, an older, overweight Christian priest was coming, slowly, with dignity, to lead the wedding ceremony, accompanied by an official of the municipal office, so the wedding would be valid both in church and worldly sense.

When both men and a female assistant reached their designated places in the front, facing the audience, the music started playing: a modern arrangement of Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”.

It was the moment when Fatima turned her head left slowly, having a look at the place, where the Countess Von Laubringen was sitting, sending her the clear message: “Just look, I am here too! Surprise!”

The Countess noticed it, feeling pure anger. Now, she can’t leave, it would be an insult against the organizers, also she would damage her personal brand, but she will have to share one site with a Muslim woman, who came here with some clear, but unknown intention. Theresa can’t kick her out, unleash the guard dogs, she is not at her own castle right now: if someone invited the Muslim woman here, even to a honorary sitting place, she had to make some good moves, Theresa thought with increased anxiety.

Usually, she would call for her servants, consulting the matter with them, particularly Heinrich, her trustworthy ally, who directed the whole show against the mosque. But here, only her brother and father were present, and if her father, a friend and admirer of Imam Faraj, would find out, what she created against the mosque, he wouldn’t be pleased!

Just when the bride was coming festively, together with her father, making all women to cry from emotions, Theresa’s cell phone vibrated. It was a text message from Heinrich, and there was a clear warning:

“Important: I was just informed, that the woman from the mosque is allegedly an Austrian Intelligence operative. Sent to the mosque for terrorism prevention purposes eight years ago by the government, but practically serving to the Imam today, executing special tasks, with wide connections to the local Police force and who knows where yet. Her name is on the list of the attendees. Can you confirm, whether she is present?”

Theresa was really surprised by the tone of the message, like if they would be some friends, or what! Like if she should report to her servant! But then she realized, that old Heinrich must have a good reason, to speak openly, without his classic restraints.

“Ja, she is here. Even sitting in the second row, I don’t understand it. She had to make some powerful connections, or what. What do you know about it?” the Countess replied with a sigh. Maybe Heinrich will explain her, what happened here.

“She did indeed. In today’s newspaper, there is her photo from the vernissage, organized by the bride yesterday. She is talking with him and her together, and they seem to listen to her very closely. I don’t like it, Countess. She seems to have very powerful allies now. We have to talk. Call me,” Heinrich wrote with urgency.

Theresa watched both the bride, and the groom, thinking: why? What they could be talking about with Fatima yesterday? She had to persuade them… to what? And how? Maybe she promised them something, if they will make a place for her today… but what? It all still made no sense…

After the ceremony, when dozen of professional photographers took necessary photos, the Countess left for a bathroom at the first floor of the mansion. After checking, whether she is alone, she dialed Heinrich’s number.

“Countess, there is an update…” he wanted to start, but she had enough of such behavior.

“Bitte, Heinrich, remember, that you are my servant, not a friend from a chess club. I demand proper respect, ja?”

“I am afraid that you are in no position to play a queen, Countess, with all respect. You are in a deep trouble, so listen, and forget all silly noble titles,” Heinrich replied with unusually low, manly voice, hardly to be expected from such an old man.

“You should know, that they could be all playing you, right now, and you are under their influence at the mansion, under their control. The mosque woman, and the newly married pair, they have some common interest, something very important, maybe extremely valuable, and they want to use her, and maybe all Muslims, for some unknown purpose.

You can count, that you have two new and powerful potential enemies on the horizon, if she will point her hand at you. Maybe not today, but I recommend to leave the wedding immediately, and to stay away from them all, until proper counter moves and investigation can be made. Any second you are staying, the risk is higher,” Heinrich spoke quickly.

“And one more thing: be careful rather of him, than her! I mean the businessman! On the photo, he looks completely captivated by the Muslim woman, I can recognize it from his eyes. Maybe you should make connection with his new wife, I don’t know, tell her, that he is unfaithful with the mosque woman, that they have an affair. You have to break the connection as quickly as possible,” he suggested yet.

“Slow down, you old dumb fool,” the Countess interrupted him. “You recommend me to leave at first, then to instigate the bride against the groom. So what should I do? You want me to disrupt the wedding, to publicly blame him from infidelity? That would be a real explosion here… good for the media, no? That would be a scandal, oh my God!”

“I don’t know, Countess… this is not a village wedding. Such move… against them, that VIPs… it could have unforeseen consequences. The businessman is able to destroy you alone, don’t forget that. Not speaking about both powerful families, which would be embarassed, as never. Your father wouldn’t be pleased as well.”

“So what should I do?” the Countess almost screamed angrily. “To escape, like some scared loser? They would notice, they would know, mostly she, the mosque woman, the bitch is watching me, like a hawk! To avoid them? To wait for the Muslim woman to enter my bad dreams, as some nightmare?

Man, think of something, and think very, very quickly! How is it possible that you didn’t put some surveillance on the bitch, or something? Why did I give you all the money? It was all your mistake, you careless idiot! You and your cheap collaborators, all useless! I could buy five of you for one miserable Euro at the city market, you unreliable losers!”

There was a moment of silence at the speaker. “All possible moves are too uncertain,” Heinrich thought loudly. “We both need more time to think, before some fateful mistake will happen.”

“You forget, that I am locked in the bathroom, and any second I am staying here, instead downstairs, with other guests, I am losing face, and social points,” Theresa said with resignation, and someone knocked the door. “Just a minute!” she tried to repel the person.

“There is one man, who could help,” Heinrich suggested quite silently. “He should be present at the wedding as well, with a woman, an owner of a fashion boutique. He is strongly overweight, you will notice him easily. Tell him, that you are a friend of ‘Wu’ corporation. Describe him the problem, he will tell you, what to do, I hope. Or just wait, until the mosque woman will approach you, until she makes a move.

And yet one more thing. I have a suspicion, that the businessman could be persuaded by the mosque woman to convert to Islam. That document warned, you know which paper I mean, that there is an option to use it as an offensive measure, to promote Islamic interests in the society with utmost effectivity, just by targeting the key persons, and preferably using assets of the opposite gender. And who could be better asset to execute it, than a woman with a proven Intelligence background? Maybe this is the reason, why she was able to get there,” Heinrich speculated.

“It’s getting better and better,” Theresa repaired her makeup with a mascara. “Be careful what you say into the phone, you fool! But we underestimated them so much. And there is two hundred people downstairs, so how can I identify the man you described between them? Do you know his name?”

“No. The Chinese warned me, that this asset should be approached only in a critical situation… and I am afraid, he doesn’t speak English too well, only German. But you will recognize him, he is loud and distinctive, and he likes to drink and to narrate hero tales. Just wait after the banquet, when people will be introduced! Most likely, the opposite side will refrain from any move against you until the evening party, when the current tightened code of behavior will be loosened. I really wouldn’t go there,” the servant recommended.

“And some drunk fool should save all the situation?” the Countess wondered. “This is a comedy. I am even starting to enjoying it!”

“Then everything is allright! Go, have fun, Countess, talk with people, socialize, work your way to the man inconspicuosly, nothing is happening, no problem, and we will be in touch. I will make some phone calls, and I’ll try to get more information,” Heinrich promised, and calmed Theresa a little bit.

She returned downstairs with her wide American smile, thinking positively, completely ignoring all worries. That old fool fabricated the alleged conspiracy anyway, just to seem more important…

Since yesterday, Fatima was more relaxed, even inside the crowd of infidels again. Before the early morning prayer, she narrated her experience from the vernissage to Imam Faraj, and he expressed his understanding, that it’s a natural feeling of animosity and tension, if she is almost a single Muslim between a plenty of non-believers.

“They are not like us, and it’s easy to despise them,” the Imam said advisedly. “But any emotion covers your good judgement and decisions, making you weaker. It’s not the Countess who will defeat you: it will be Allah, who will take all your strength from you, and you will fail. Don’t connect to her too much, don’t accept her frequency, keep remembering Allah at every moment… and clean your heart from all pressure and hatred.

Of course, it’s hard to love her, if she does everything possible to damage us. But even if she would succeed, we can take it as a valuable experience, learning, how to not only survive here, but to prevail.

If you won’t be able to control your emotions tomorrow, then don’t approach her: you would lose. Just send the message without words, and then let her own mind to create fear and insecurity. Later, there will be yet another, more suitable opportunities. There is no rush, keep it slow and soft,” Imam Faraj finished his speech, but he seemed tired of paying further attention to this matter.

The mosque should be saved, but not for any price, and maybe he was right: too much thinking and calculating leads humans away from Allah, from His mercy, blessing and wise guidance.

Still, arriving here, walking between the VIP people, with expensive jewellry on her body, being watched with fascination, she couldn’t resist to feel tension, even doubts. Would Allah be pleased, even if she would succeed here today? Wouldn’t she play their, non-believer’s game? Wouldn’t she be like them, only covered with an additional piece of fabric, meaning practically nothing?

Fatima knew well, what Allah would like to see. She promised herself, to do some good deeds here, instead of cold calculating.

So, during the banquet outside the chateau and after it, she talked with all possible people around, without any prejudice, she tried to be simply a pleasant companion, showing the guests, that Muslims are humans like them, and there is no reason to any mutual animosity.

Fatima and Layla moved from one party to another, greeting with guests, doing introductions and small talk, until they stopped near an overweight man, who just narrated about his allegedly famous Grandpa, with a beer in his hand. Fatima remembered him: it was the male assistant of Suzanne Hasselblattova, the owner of the “Woman’s Destiny” fashion boutique, who supplied her with all beautiful stuff, which she wore at the moment.

“… For more than two years, since his military file was finally declassified, I do just everything to bring military honor back for our famous family. Don’t you think, you proud radiant VIPs and aristocracy, that you are the only one, who knows the meaning of the word! I was born in a poor neighbourhood in Prague-Liben, but the Military made a real man from me!

Special Forces, do you understand? It’s an army elite… and it’s me! Whoever will say anything against us brave soldiers, I will punch his noble face instantly!

And one day, very soon, I will get the highest military medal myself, when all my own heroic deeds will be declassified! I deserve nothing less, than the ‘Order of the White Lion’, and First class, I am not a second hand loser, only then I will be satisfied!

And also, I deserve the deepest love of some noble, rich, VIP woman from Monaco, who will pamper me, keeping enough of beer in her luxurious fridge, so I can have deserved rest and relaxation, after all that secret operations I have executed for my homeland and her citizens, risking my young precious life, drinking taxpayer’s money in pubs with very questionable individuals, who carry sharp knives in their pockets, when I was on important Intelligence missions there!

But that damned officers, that selfish, secretive big shots! Do you know, what horrible things they told me, except threats of sending me to a military court, for alleged high treason, such a horrible insult?

That it will take at least one hundred years to release my own file, as I participated in so secret military operations, that even my future grandchildren will be banned to know the details!

Poor kids, they would like their Grandpa, the same as I like my Grandpa, maybe even more! Such a pity, that we can’t have a beer together, discussing latest military tactics!” the lousy man had a long draught of beer, and all people around laughed.

Fatima watched the man. Could he be somehow connected with the theft of the classified NATO file? But how would such idiot get his filthy hands to it? No, he is probably not related, she decided to move to another guests.

But another woman had much more interest in listening to his alleged heroism. Working slowly and systematically, pretending to be a little bit drunk, smiling loudly, Countess Von Laubringen moved close to the man, waiting for her opportunity.

When he went to refill his big glass for approximately nineth time, as he was always very thirsty, the Countess pretended to cross his way just occassionally, and she apologized.

“I am a friend of the ‘Wu’ corporation, mister soldier,” she told him just by the way, after she openly admired his alleged military heroism, feeling like an idiot, as he seemed completely dumb.

“Then let’s have a drink, Frau Comtesse! Your friend is my friend, and you look very good. How could I send such a beautiful, certainly rich dove away? I am not a fool, such chance has to be used! You never know, what hour on the clock is your last! As the Latin philosophers, much more clever than me, a common grunt, say: Una Hora Ultima!” he directed at the nearest bar, placed under a big parasol.

Speaking German was not completely easy for the Countess, and she considered her effort completely futile soon, when she saw the man only nodding, drinking beer and saying compliments, not anything important.

“Girl, I am not sure, whether the local beer is so strong, or somebody added a bit of magical potion into it, some vicious dwarf, like in a tale,” the alleged soldier said with emotion. “But I feel, that I just fell in love with you, and it can’t be undone! Seeing the two of us, we would be a perfect pair, much better than all those alleged VIPs around: a military hero, his proud muscular chest full of medals, I mean myself of course, and you, a tall, good looking mature woman, who can certainly appreciate a real male, with many life achievements!

So, I am telling you, Frau Comtesse: let’s get it together, without any hesitation! I am willing even to marry you, and believe me, if all my beer buddies will arrive to our famous wedding, such hall like here will be too small for all the fame! We will need a stadium!

Only love could persuade me to retire from the military service, but I deserve some rest after all that heroism, in your luxurious mansion… I hope, that you have any? In Liechtenstein, or Monaco perhaps? Don’t save money on me, girl, invest them into your perfect love life!

How old are you? Forty five? You hide your age well, but I will love you with make-up or not, as famous Svejk military family knows the meaning of fidelity well! And we can still have at least eight children together, I will work on it day and night, when I will return from the local pub!” the man opened his heart completely, leaving the Countess literally breathless.

“I listened to your interesting offer very attentively, mister Svejk, and I will grant you a hearing at my chateau, as such suggestion from a peasant, a soldier or a noble man is fully legitimate and valuable, and it’s my female duty to give you a chance, as I am a widow anyway, free as a bird, quite wealthy indeed,” the Countess promised desperately. “But please, what about that situation I was telling you about? Can you help me somehow, or your Chinese friends? I would be so grateful, and I wouldn’t resist any warm future feelings towards you!” the Countess tried to push the conversation, as the time was passing.

“You seem as a woman of a big honor, Frau Comtesse, and you only cofirm my good feelings about you,” Svejk declared his deep admiration. “And it’s my male duty to bring you gifts during courting process, to show you, how capable man I am. So, a tip for you! Around two o’clock, forty minutes from now, there will be a big surprise.

There is a famous, key Czech tabloid magazine, called ‘Heavy Slander’, now expanding even abroad, and imagine: today, a Special Issue will be delivered and distributed freely into the streets of this beautiful city, to all crowds, cafés and pubs, even to the Town Hall!

The theme of the edition will be very special, and I am sure, that you will like it. And then, we will talk again about my proposal, OK?

I am no cheap priest, I don’t offer my blessings twice! But you will see, that Svejk military family is a very attractive, noble clan with shining history to connect with. If we will join forces… oh, my famous Grandpa will be proud, and you will become a part of our tale, aristocratic girl!

Be warned, there will be an earthquake soon… so I recommend you, to keep very, very close to me, even touching me and embracing me directly, to accept my manly protection, as fire balls will fall from the sky soon!”

At the same time, the Mayor of the city was sitting at a trendy restaurant near the main square, having a lunch with his trustworthy secretary, a member of the same political party, Social Democrats, and they were discussing the recent events in the city.

“Don’t you think, that I haven’t anticipated various complications from the current situation with the Muslim community,” the mayor stated, when a waiter carried away empty plates, and it was time for a good coffee. “But I knew, that in the end, the Town Hall will profit from the situation. They will all fight together, they will bite each other, and we will be the ones who will have control of events, making moves. So I just opened the playground for them, as the elections are next year already, and it’s a good time to start the re-election campaign slowly. Our work is not done here yet, and I want to continue, if the citizens will give me their trust, that I can lead this city to a good, and sustainable future.”

“I understand your angle of view, Joachim, absolutely,” the secretary agreed without conditions. “The question is, what to do with the ‘Glass House’ issue? The man seems to be so desperate already, that we can expect even a foul play.

Did you ever hear about the word ‘Lawfare’? It’s a Chinese concept, and very dangerous. Until now, the man was going the standard way, bribing us, making covert connections… but now, if he is possibly standing behind the Muslims? He could hurt us, and our party, many of our interests, using lawyers, complaints and suits as a weapon, to achieve his plans here.”

“I spoke to him many times,” the mayor tasted the coffee. “He is really completely obsessed with that construction plan, and he won’t stop. If you ask me, whether I will allow it to be built, let me tell you, that he hasn’t supported us enough, and it’s an ancient political rule, if a citizen wants something from the leaders. He should support our party next year, during Parliamentary and municipal elections, he should give us millions from his pocket, and then we can be some friends, listening to his suggestions, how to make our city more beautiful and interesting.

As you know, his problems with the State Landmark Protection Office, which denies him the permit to raze the current building, are not related with us. But yes, we could push his plan forward, standing behind it, backing it, persuading citizens, that the Glass House will be beneficial for the city as the whole.

But does the man help us? His Public Relations strategy to promote his project is weak and questionable, and I can’t support a project, which is not able to assert and defend itself. But this is the kind of advice I can’t give to him openly! I indicated, not myself, but through the employees of course, but he is simply blind, and dumb. He has enough money to buy us all… and instead, he is crying like some baby!”

“Sorry, Joachim, but I still have to think about the Islamic issue, how it’s related with the Glass House. Wouldn’t we seem too soft, if the mosque and the Glass House will get the green light simultaneously? I am telling you, as a secretary, that there will be too much pressure, events are happening right now, and we will have to make a decision. I heard some talk, that the recent media avalanche could spill into the Town Hall, and possibly could sweep us away. You should know, that leaders of our party are watching the local events closely, and also evaluating your steps. There is no simultaneous opinion inside our party yet, but it can be made soon. And will our heads hold this time? I am not sure,” the secretary was anxious, describing bigger picture.

“We will wait, how the wedding will go,” the mayor decided calmly. “I heard, that they are planning something for the media in the evening. If it will be good for us, OK, let’s talk to the man again. If not, we will simply ignore him, as he has no public support anyway: people are against the demolition of the current house from the 19th century. And this is also the reason I had to deny the invitation for the wedding: I knew, that he could orchestrate a provocation, as he is running out of time. Hey… are you listening to me, or not?”

“Sorry, I just saw something outside,” the secretary apologized. “Do you see it? There, on the left? Some people, dressed in red, are giving out some newspapers, or what. Did we permit it, anyway?” the secretary was not sure.

“I don’t remember… but people outside seem to be quite excited. Go there, and get a copy for me immediately, ja?” the mayor was curious.

When the secretary returned with a bright red sheet of paper, he was examining it already.

“I think, that you will like this,” he said with enthusiastic eyes and smile at first, but then, as soon as he sat back to the table, still reading, his face expression changed dramatically. “No… actually… you won’t.”

“Give that pamphlet to me, you fool!” the mayor took the newspaper roughly.

“What is this?” he asked with complete shock, when he read the content. “Who published it? Who allowed it to be distributed? Call the Municipal Police director right now, and order them to seize the whole edition immediately, before something really nasty will happen! Top priority, instruct them to mobilize all able bodied men, including backups from the nearby villages!”

“Are you sure, Joachim, that you want to execute an open censorship in front of the media? Do we even have such competences? Such move could smell with a regular prison sentence, at least with your immediate ‘voluntary’ resignation,” the secretary noticed a TV staff from a nationwide TV station outside, preparing their camera, to make interviews with the citizens. A very famous and very ruthless journalist could be seen in the team, and he was known to be sent to the most imporant events of the country.

“Someone is directing a big game,” the mayor realized finally. “The wedding is running, and in the meantime, in the city center, this happens, in large! Is it just a coincidence? Definitely not, and we have to contatin the situation immediately!

OK, here is, what we have to do! Call the spokeswoman, tell her to alert the whole press team, to prepare a suitable statement for the media quickly. The journalistic rats will come, and they will come soon. We have just minutes remaining… Waiter!” the mayor stood up quickly.

“Ja, Herr Bürgermeister?” the man asked obediently.

“Open the cocktail lounge for us, and start preparing refreshment for twenty people. Call me your manager, we need to close this place only for our employees, no one from the outside allowed. Understood?

And remind your superiors, that the licence for this restaurant can be revoked easily, if they won’t be inclined to our interests right now.”

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Alan Svejk