The meeting place is an Imperial Railroad Station
Though the Imperial Railroad is nominally freight only, the guests are ushered onto a boxcar to be taken to the actual meeting place.
OOC: Don't know how much we'll be able to do tonight and tomorrow.
Gotta go to bed early today so I can be up at 4:30 A.M. and catch a plane to Orlando.
Lieutenant Iósev checks the street he and his escorting troops are on. This is the right place -- Corporal Càlb's recorded home is here, on Parish Lane. Following last night's discovery that the junior NCO was missing, the company had been dismissed for the night, under the belief that he may have simply been out on a late jog and would be back in the morning for a proper reprimand. No such luck; during the night, a further couple dozen troopers had slipped away. Càlb is the only NCO among them, however, so starting with him had seemed a reasonable course of action. The lieutenant adjusts his shako, keeping it firmly upright on his head, and raps on the door before him. A young woman greets him nervously.
"Hail, friend. We seek one Càlb Málóts, corporal in the Fourth Pàlìts Regiment. I am told this is his home." The woman's face loses some of its already pale color, but to her credit there is very little shakiness in her voice. "He is not here, sir. I have not seen him since he went to the muster." Iósev raises an eyebrow and casually rests a hand on the butt of his revolver. The soldiers behind him glance at each other uneasily, but at a glare from the sergeant accompanying them resume their hard expressions. "He was not present for the morning's sermon. We suspect that he has returned to the city -- if you are sure he has not returned home, you will not oppose it if we come in and search around a moment." Now the woman's face openly falls. She begins stammering, desperate to come up with some excuse, but the lieutenant slips past her into the main room behind her.
One of the troopers is ordered to hold the door, just in case the wayward corporal does return, while his fellow, the sergeant, and the lieutenant make their way through the house. A full bookshelf sits along one of the walls, adjoining the home next door, opposite a window letting in the warm light. Some mats are scattered around the floor, obviously for the man and his family, sitting atop a mildly dirty rug of wool. There are the signs of recent use by more than one of the mats, prompting Lieutenant Iósev to turn to the woman nervously fluttering behind him. "If I may ask, how many live here? You and the corporal, and that accounts for two -- but I see another three mats, all of which have recently been shifted." The woman stares at the mats for a moment, as if unsure how they got there, before responding. "Well, um, they are for our friends. They come over almost every night to see me and Càlb." With that, she falls silent and studies the lieutenant's face, obviously unsure if he believes her.
Well, why not? It's hardly improper for family friends to visit, and they may have come to wish her fortune while her husband (that's the guess he's making, and he's sticking to it) goes off to fight. The search turning up nothing, Iósev is on the verge of turning around and leading his men out of the home entirely until a loud smash of broken wood comes from behind him. Wheeling around to meet the noise, he finds the sergeant and one of the privates withdrawing the butts of their rifles from a suddenly very unhealthy looking bookshelf. With a crash, the remnants of the poor thing fall to the floor, revealing a passage into the next house, through which are visible a number of brass badges lying on the floor. Drawing his revolver and flanked by two levelled bayonets, the lieutenant enters through the portal.
"That, er, is... You have to know I didn'--" The woman is interrupted by a glare from the sergeant, a look well known by the infantrymen of the Grand Ataman's armies, while the private and the lieutenant investigate more closely. The badges are indeed from the 4th Pàlìts Regiment, evidently discarded in great haste, but the shakos they were attached to are nowhere to be found. One far more interesting discovery in the room draws Iósev's attention, however.
"What's this? 'Society of Pupils weekly meeting?'" The lieutenant examines the small brochure closer, his expression growing more and more stern with every pass. Finally, he wheels back around to the woman still standing in the exposed passageway, shaking the paper at her. "What do you know about this? And if you are thinking of running, allow me to remind you that I still have a man at your door." Shaking, the woman directs a quiet prayer to the heavens before answering. "It is a community of Ãdàmrìtsk's faithful, that is all. It is headed by the priests here in the city." Incredulous, Iósev once again raises his eyebrow before directing the private behind him to collect the shako badges.
"I think we ought to have a talk with these priests. Sergeant, get back to the Captain and tell him of this." Handing the brochure to the NCO, who salutes and jogs off, the lieutenant holsters his revolver, leaving it threateningly loose. "Lady, you will accompany us to the local temple. Let us go."
Hello, this is Limerick Private Aeroport, landing strip seven is open for Alpha-2 use. Over.
So, if you’re already sending reps, that’s fine. I’ll tell everyone else that they can fly to Limerick. Even if Karc hasn’t responded, I’ll just alert him separately.
We are ready for your representatives.
A new day dawned upon the autonomous region. Harald sighed, taking a swig of espresso. He couldn’t decide whether time went by fast or slow right now, for puppeteering this felt like trying to rake molasses uphill. It was slow, and gradually trying to slip back down. He could not let this happen. He was pleased, however, by the initiative shown by Rob in his new role, and by the successes seen by the interpretations of his suggestions and subtle coercion. Time was ticking down, and now was as good a time as ever to introduce Rob to the “ghost writer”.
The weather once more was a dreary downpour by noon, the muffled cracks of thunder breaking the silence of the modest meeting room. Several heads of White Rose cells, which have been growing steadily over the past days, patiently waited. At the far end of the room sat Rob, nervously twiddling his hands. He knew not who these people were, nor why he was here, but he was sure that they were comrades of his cause. The bell struck 12 o’clock, and the door promptly opened as Harald moved to sit on the chair on the opposite end of the meeting table. He had since modified his garrison cap, such that the eagle of Felsinsel was hoisting the a five-petaled stellate flower, made of blue lapis and seated in a brass outline. This Bluestar Amsonia crest would glint under the gilded eagle as he sat down, shrugging off his greatcoat and sipping from a flask.
“Willkommen, Rob. You’ve been acquainted with my work and ideas for quite some time, but I’ve never had the pleasure of being your personal acquaintance.” Harald says, leaning back into the shadow cast by the dim lighting of the room.
“Pardon? Your… works and ideas…?”
“I see you are understandably confused, but you must know that these whispers fed into your ears must come from somewhere. It's a terrible shame the fate that befell your predecessor, Isaac was quite useful.”
“Are… are you the ghost writer?”
“Indeed, comrade. Let us simply say I am an expert in the field with an invested interest in Terrabis Seran regaining its righteous land.”
“On that we both agree, it seems.”
“Agree we do indeed, Rob, which is why you find yourself in the position that you hold now. My compliments for your accomplishments.”
“Would I be bold to assume that you had some influence in my ascent to this position?”
“You would not be. I cannot speak to the masses, it would draw too much unwanted attention and questions. You, however, have a proven knack as a people’s person and improvised orator, for that I applaud your service.” Harald’s tone is almost monotonous, with only the slightest hint of empathy.
“I take it this is not for pleasure. What is it that you want?”
“A referendum must be held, Rob. The time has come due. However, it is obvious that Lahnhof will not be as lenient to us in the future. There is a possibility this referendum fails, and there can only be one response. It will be our final response, and only if diplomacy has proven to be not an option.”
Rob sighs, shaking his head. “We will be crushed.”
“No, not if we are prepared. The ARG is already in an opportune position to seize armament, and we have gained support from abroad. We must light the match, but Lahnhof will be the one to ignite their own pyre.”
“I do not know what you are planning, comrade, but… you have not failed us so far.”
“Good. Then let me inform you what I am planning, let us talk strategy and evaluate our available assets.”
The conversation was long winded and would last long into the afternoon and night. Charts, spreadsheets, tables, maps, schematics, and all sorts of documentation would be brought to the table to be pondered, evaluated, cross referenced, and finally into a concise abstract for future plans. Rob, fueled only by the expresso and baked goods provided at the conference, would the next day begin to organize the necessary centers for voting, an endeavor that would consume the majority of the next week. On the third day of preparations, however, he would deliver a speech to an eager press, broadcasting his message across the autonomous region, to prepare people for what was to come.
”Comrades and fellow countrymen, I have a most important announcement, and I shall keep it brief. In three days time, a referendum will be held. I know notice is short, and for that I apologize, but time is of the essence. We will be holding a referendum to gauge the public opinion on whether or not the autonomous region should be ceded to the government of Terrabis-Seran. I want you all to find your local voting center and cast your ballot.
Before you make any decisions, I want you all to think about this. I want you all to look about you, the shared culture that we all have and have been promoting the preservation of, the boom of the small industry brought, the decline of crime thanks to our Autonomous Region Garrison, and the new community of which we all are proudly part of. All that has happened has happened because we followed the model of our kin in Terrabis-Seran. Then look at the past, to what there once was, and look around us, to what exists beyond our influence. The grau of Ären and Zürges have been divided amongst ethnic boundaries, but has much changed there? Tensions have increased along an arbitrary ethnic boundary that has only been reinforced by the passing of law by politicians who do not represent us. Then look here, where we live together as countrymen, together but unique and our individuality preserved. Look to the BUC and the heraldry upon their goods, and see that everyone gets the recognition they deserve. Now, in three days' time, I wish for you all to vote on which way you all believe will lead to the brightest future for us all.
To any of my comrades in Lahnhof who hear my message and the truths of what I speak, I implore you to follow in our footsteps. We will gladly lend support for our fellow kin and countrymen, as we seek a peaceful resolution to our demands.”
In the adjacent provinces, light protests would erupt. The spillover of ideas across the borders would lead to demands for similar occur, and even broader calls to accept the BUC and establish their own contemporary ARGs. The territories once claimed by the Duchy of Terrabis-Seran would be alive with chatter and independent schemes as the actions of the freigaue of Wittingsgau and the far-western freigau of Hahnau would resonate in their sister regions.
Corrie Clarkson, a new representative from The Marlands approaches Limerick Private Airport gates and goes through all the normal customary practices. She is feeling quite nervous even though there isn't anything too serious going on right now. She hopes that she leaves a lasting impression at this import accord meeting...
I need the rowdy peasants to coax into revolution so I can sell them and their oppressors guns.
OOC: don’t worry, my people think highly of your nation.
She is met by a burly man, and by the identification tag above his breast pocket, his name is Airear Leinnal. He directs her towards the terminal exit and out into the early morning sun.
Onez grabs his things and proceeds to leave the plane. He steps into the airport and goes through all the usual airport practicies and keeps moving. The words Dentrez said to him ring in his mind the whole way through: "Secure our nation" rings in his head as he makes his way to the gates.
Another guard, Baile Bacreigh, guides him toward an exit temporarily labeled ‘Krogeich’ or Krozland. Outside, a sleek black limousine awaits Onez.
OOC: as standard procedure, first we will drive you to the Hotel Dillomar, which usually hosts international figures of politics.
Baile steps down and into the limousine, and asks if the esteemed diplomat would like some traditional Corgish Whiskey.