Wild mobs lined the streets of Strelsau, shouting and jeering at the motorcade as it wound by. Ruritanian troops, the royal insignia on their uniforms covered by bright red bands, escorted the armored truck, though they were clearly more interested in fraternizing with the crowd than keeping them in check.
Once the motorcade reached the Tarlenheimplatz, the central plaza of Streslau beneath the imposing walls of the old White Palace, it stopped and disgorged its passengers: King Rudolph VI, his consort, and the Queen Mother, Flavia of Elphberg. They were accompanied by their staff and other minor dignitaries. The guards in the truck, former members of the crack Hentzau Brigade, took their task more seriously than the others and kept the masses at bay. The royals and their retinue were led to a dais that had been erected against the walls of the White Palace, where a microphone and motion picture cameras has been set up by order of the Commissar for Public Affairs.
The Commissar himself, Michael Hentzau, was waiting with a hand-picked battalion of Ruritanian Revolutionary Guards. He smiled and nodded at the deposed King, who said nothing, before turning to the microphone. The crowd quieted to hear his words:
“My fellow citizens of the Ruritanian People’s Republic!” he cried. “We, the people, who have freed ourselves from the reactionary yoke of the bourgeois, unelected monarchy of the so-called House of Elphberg, have gathered here to pass judgment upon the same for their crimes!”
The crowd hooted and hollered; Hentzau let them have their fun for a moment before he pressed on: “The sentence, confirmed by the People’s Commissariat, reflects decades of oppression, the massacre of peaceful protestors at Zenda chief among them. It has decreed that, for their crimes, the so-called royal family is to be executed immediately!”
At this, King Rudolf VI shouted and attempted to speak, straining against the Revolutionary Guards holding him back.
Hentzau dismissed him with a wave of his hand. “They have had ample opportunity to defend themselves, my friends. Now, the sentence is to be carried out immediately! Here, under the walls of the White Palace which for so long has symbolized their oppression, the so-called House of Elphberg will pay for its crimes with blood, and the ultimate symbol of their oppression, the bullet, will finally be used against them!”