by Max Barry

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«12. . .63,89063,89163,89263,89363,89463,89563,896. . .66,95166,952»

Osterreich und Ungarn wrote:The Minister of Defense, Horst Martell, departs from Ruhmstadt in a jet and heads to the meeting place.

Terrabis-Seran wrote:Similarly, Iris would be heading via aired transport as well to the congregation destination.

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.

Pakitsk wrote:

It is the evening of the third day, and the men of G Company have been dismissed for the night. Despite this, the crack of rifle fire reaches Captain Córen in his tent, prompting him to discard the book he'd planned to spend the evening with and investigate. As he strides through the camp, a cheer goes up from the direction of the finished firing range, followed by a few quieter moans of disappointment. Córen gets closer, and the unmistakable tone of the chief sergeant's voice greets him before he has fully passed through the crowd of tents to find out what's happening.

"Come on, C boys! I know you can do better than that!... unless lugging shovels around all day has made your arms weak. Maybe you oughta take a furlough." The inventive profanity and shouting indicative of a military disagreement break out just as Córen reaches the range to find a half dozen men standing at the firing line, surrounded by a bubbling crowd of spectators. Nobody seems to notice the captain's presence, distracted as they are by two troopers having a heated "discussion" before them. One is the chief sergeant of G Company, his shako stark against the evening sky and the blue rank insignia along his shoulder proudly flaunted. The other is one of the engineers from C Company, red in the face and bellowing out a volley of insults that would put a drunken nomad warrior to shame.

"What in His Holy Name is happening here?!" Captain Córen's voice immediately brings all other sounds to a screeching halt. Some men, the two offenders included, immediately face him and stand to attention, their rifles brought down to stand at their side. Most simply shuffle away from the captain, leaving a convenient path for him to walk right up to the chief sergeant and his opposite. "Sergeant. You will explain." With a respectful nod of the head, the chief sergeant begins.

"We were having a shooting competition, sir." "A shooting competition?" "Yes, sir." Some nodding from the assembled crowd, as well as the men still lined up to take their shots at the targets. Córen raises an eyebrow. "Was there any betting?" The assembly goes quiet, the dull roar that had built back up fading away just as it had when he had begun to speak. After a moment of hesitance, the sergeant responds. "There was some, sir. I thought--"

"You thought what? That permitting this gross display of indiscipline would somehow buoy the cohesion of the company?" A surprised look from the sergeant and another bow of the head. "And to do that, you set the men against our brothers in arms in the rest of the regiment. You will return to your tent and recite the litanies of obedience." The chief sergeant looks Captain Córen in the eye and gives him the appropriate salute. After a frosty return gesture, the NCO lifts his rifle and marches off to his tent, while the captain turns to the engineer. "You will go now to Sergeant Ràvàl and report what you have done. He will decide what to do with you." The man salutes, and upon dismissal jogs off in the direction of his superior. Córen now turns to the rest of the crowd and raises his voice to be heard above the returning chatter.

"As for the rest of you, I am going to permit this competition to continue, but from this moment such things may not occur without the supervision of a commissioned officer. You may return to your business, without betting." The competition resumes, the cheers and jeers of the crowd muted in the presence of the captain. He doesn't take much interest, musing instead on some unfathomable officer business, but all competitors are doing reasonably well. If anything, one of the C Company engineers appears to be winning -- oh, hold that thought. Hearing the tramp of boots behind him, Captain Córen wheels around to find Lieutenant Iósev and Sergeant Ràvàl approaching. As they reach him, the lieutenant smiles. "Want me to take over?" "Please."

With a nod, the lieutenant deftly slips to the front of the crowd in order to be closer to the competition. Córen and Ràvàl pull back a bit to speak without the troopers overhearing. "You know, Cór, betting is hardly that much of an offense." The captain sighs and rests a weary arm on the hilt of his sabre. "I'm well aware, Ràv, but an example's got to be made. I can't have the men losing discipline before they've even joined the rest of the regiment. What did you do with your boy, anyway?" The sergeant shrugs, a comfortable gesture echoing a thousand previous conversations between him and Córen. "Sent him to set up a latrine. Probably won't need another one, but it's good practice." Córen chuckles softly, joined by his friend.

"Can't argue with that one." A moment of silence follows this remark. Not awkwardness, as such, just a lack of anything else particularly interesting to say, until the captain doffs his shako and takes a good long look at it. The regimental badge in the center catches the dying light as he inspects the city sigil and regimental number. A firm cloud flanked by wings, the sigil of Pàlìts, sits atop the symbol identifying the wearer as a member of the city's fourth regiment. Curious, Córen glances at Ràvàl's kepi. "May I see your hat, Ràv?" "Sure thing." Ràvàl takes off the cap and shakes his hair loose before handing the kepi to the captain.

In contrast to his own shako, Córen notices immediately that the regimental badge on the new style of hat is fashioned of some kind of fabric, rather than the brass that makes up his own. The cloud and wings are sewn into the kepi's own fabric, rather than pinned on, as is the regimental number. The brims are of similar length, just long enough to provide some shade for the eyes, but where nothing adorns the crown of his shako, the kepi holds a pair of crossed shovels, cast in bronze. Pointing it out to Ràvàl, Captain Córen asks, "What's this?" "Oh, that? It's a branch badge. Engineers have those shovels, infantry get bayonets, and so on. I think the Vûlakìs and his direct staff get silver braiding all around, too." Córen wears an expression of disbelief, but the sergeant nods to underline the point, so he just hands the kepi back.

"When did you boys get these?" Ràv thinks for a moment. "Just last week. There was a big old crate, and the entire regiment got them. You're the only company without, at the moment, but when we left I saw that there were still plenty left for you." Captain Córen returns the shako to its proper place upon his head and shrugs. "We'll see when we get there. I don't understand it all. Aren't these things good enough?" Both men's trains of thought are derailed by a particularly loud cheer going up from the assembled soldiers. A winner must have been declared, because everyone's dispersing. Lieutenant Iósev marches up to the captain and Ràvàl, a curious look on his face.

"Captain, can you remind me of something? How many corporals do we have?" Captain Córen thinks for a moment. Two for each of the three sergeants to assist with their sections, plus another two to keep the camp in order. "Eight, all told. Why do you ask?" The lieutenant adjusts his shako minutely and draws closer, speaking softly. "I called roll, and there were only five attending the competition. I sent one of the men to fetch the rest, and he came back with two." With a frown on his face, the captain raises an eyebrow. "Captain, either your count is wrong, or we're missing a man."

OOC: You know, I'm not sure where I expected this to go.

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."

The East Pollcific? Poll? Poll? Poll? Vote in a poll! Vote in my poll! I have a poll! Iwaku has a poll! Vote in our poll! It's linked below! Vote! Don't forget I can ban you! Just vote!

page=poll/p=186834

The Marlands wrote:I'd be interested in this

Great!

Greater Rostoria wrote:Ill send over the Vice President and minister of the armed forces. The representatives are both happy for Rostoria to enter into the alliance. The 2 men wish to sell their weaponry and equipment but also have military bases in other countries...IC:

The Rostorian government would be happy to send over Rostorian 2 representatives. The Vice President Vladimir nakov and the minister of the armed forces Gregori Zimmerman. The 2 men would be happy and excited for Rostoria to join into the military alliance, Their 2 main goals in the alliance was to sell Rostorian military equipment and set up foreign military bases. The 2 men would get into a plane and leave for the designated city and accord place. The plane would take off from New kalkingrad and make its way to Limerick. (Hours later) The plane would be close to arriving at the designated location, The plane carrying the 2 Rostorian representatives would then call in the Limerick ground control. "Hello hello, This is Alpha-2 carrying two Rostorian representatives for the Limerick Accord. We are requesting permission for a landing, Over"

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.

Krozland
The Marlands
We are ready for your representatives.

Peatiktist wrote: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.

OOC: Its fine man, we can take this as fast or slow as needed.
Iris, although a little concerned on the seperate way of transportation on arrival, would never the less enter the boxcar.

Osterreich und Ungarn

Peatiktist wrote: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.

Peatiktist wrote: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.

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.

In today's list of funnies...
Nothing yet. Nothing funny. Just more rowdy peasants.

Flers-Douai wrote:We are ready for your representatives.

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...

The Death Syndicate wrote:In today's list of funnies...
Nothing yet. Nothing funny. Just more rowdy peasants.

Why do you have rowdy peasants instead of dead peasants? The latter is much quieter.

Jolly Reaper wrote:Why do you have rowdy peasants instead of dead peasants? The latter is much quieter.

I need the rowdy peasants to coax into revolution so I can sell them and their oppressors guns.

The Death Syndicate wrote:I need the rowdy peasants to coax into revolution so I can sell them and their oppressors guns.

OHHH! And then you kill them.

The Marlands wrote: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...

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.

Jolly Reaper wrote:OHHH! And then you kill them.

Bingo.

Flers-Douai wrote:Great!
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.

Krozland
The Marlands
We are ready for your representatives.

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.

The Death Syndicate wrote:Bingo.

Brilliant. I love my work, it's why I'm so jolly when I'm reaping.

Krozland wrote: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.

Flers-Douai wrote:Another guard, Baile Bacreigh, guides him toward an exit temporarily labeled ‘Krogeich’ or Krozland. Outside, a sleek black limousine awaits Onez.

Onez steps in the limosine and moves himself into the inner chair.

Peatiktist wrote: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.

Minister Martell sighs upon seeing the boxcar, before entering, sipping at his coffee.

Jolly Reaper wrote:Brilliant. I love my work, it's why I'm so jolly when I'm reaping.

Why don't you reap some b1tches?

Krozland wrote:Onez steps in the limosine and moves himself into the inner chair.

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.

Terrabis-Seran wrote:Such Hostility!

Man's left himself right open. He has nobody to blame but himself.

I wonder if I could use EATU as a way to nullify the referendum...

«12. . .63,89063,89163,89263,89363,89463,89563,896. . .66,95166,952»

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