Taking action

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Elben, Dec 21, 2017.

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  1. Elben

    Elben Active Member

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    Gregor was tall and well built with short fair hair and striking features. Tonight though, as the cold wind whipped across the open areas of the campus, he wore a balaclava along with his coat. Crossing the street, he entered a small tavern and made his way into the back where his friends waited.

    There was Annika, with the cold blue eyes; Dieter, boyish face with wire-rimmed glasses; and Karol, cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Gregor frowned under his balaclava at the turn-out, but composed himself before pulling it off. He told himself that Christmas was close and many had gone home.

    The others leaned closer to hear over the hubbub of the tavern as Gregor spoke. Dieter frowned and shook his head at some point, replying, "That's a misinterpretation! Marx wrote that..." The quiet debate continued. Annika remained silent, an arm draped over the back of her chair, and Karol followed the interplay with interest, if not complete understanding.

    Dieter was again speaking, "We must consider all options. We talk and nothing happens. Look at who promised to come tonight and isn't here. Action will be seen and heard!"

    Gregor nodded determinedly. "Comrades?" He stuck out a hand. Dieter immediately put out his own atop Gregor's. Karol didn't hesitate either. The three men looked to the woman present, her hand sought as a final consummation. Annika looked at the three, their boyish enthusiasm evident. Inwardly the woman wondered if these three were really up to the task... They would have to do. The female hand joined the others and the pact was formed.
     
    Kadikistan, Serenierre, Warre and 2 others like this.
  2. Elben

    Elben Active Member

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    Gregor, Dieter, and Karol sat in the commons of their hall. They had the large room to themselves as most of their fellows were still off enjoying the holiday season. Even though they had invited her over, Annika hadn't shown up, which they all thought a little strange, but their attention was quickly diverted as the discussion turned to events in Crotobaltislavonia...

    "Farrago is a stooge, Gregor! Kadikistan will use him and then lose him. The Revolution has come to CBS and it will not be long before the new vanguard rises up to lead the people."

    Gregor nodded at Dieter, accepting his explanation. He looked over at Karol who was busy watching one of the TVs in the room. The news channel was showing footage of the Slavonian recruits in their brand new uniforms being greeted by Victoria.

    Just then, the channel went on to the next story, the release of the bishop and the dissident. The three young men quickly leaned closer and watched the footage provided by the government of the pair being escorted by officers of Kadikistan and then walking across the neutral zone of the checkpoint to the Elben side where they were met by envoys from the king and the Catholic Church.

    "What a crock. I talked to my cousin last night. He lives down south and can see from his backyard the planes flying out of Kadikistan towards CBS. Those two are just window dressing." Karol shook his head and lit his cigarette.

    Dieter nodded and began to preach, "Just another sign of the weakness of the current system. It betrays its own principles in order to ensure its survival..."

    As his glasses-wearing friend comrade continued, Gregor pondered.
     
    Crotobaltislavonia and Xinhai like this.
  3. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    The glow of the end of the cigarette burned in a darkened room, only barely illuminated by a waning sun struggling to pierce through drawn curtains. A figure, a man, sat in a chair, his arm falling from his face to rest on his leg, the glow of the cigarette accompanying it. After a moment, the man exhaled, smoke rising up as if to choke God above.

    A woman stirred in bed, her eyes reflecting the glow of the cigarette with their own smoldering passion. "Jack," she said, "are you leaving?"

    "No," the man said after a long moment. "Just thinking."

    The woman rose up from bed, rustling her hair. It was Annika, bare under the sheets which she wrapped around herself guardedly. "Then what's wrong?"

    "Nothing."

    Annika frowned. She hated to pull information from him, and he knew it. He pulled the cigarette to his face and sucked on it again, the glow revealing his face. He was handsome - strong, bulky shoulders and traps tormented Annika's desires. His eyes, their unique folds and angles, were unique and exotic. Something about them drew her - she was tired of everything she knew, everything that comforted her. Everything around her was a facade designed to intoxicate her, but Jack - Jack was an honest reminder of a bigger world.

    "The news," Jack relented, looking at Annika, "more war."

    He was not often a man of many words, which gave the words he spoke more meaning. She could read between the lines easily enough and she knew. "You know the future won't be won without war," she reminded him.

    "It's not that. It's just...," he drifted off, unable to explain. This time Annika struggled not to pry. She read his words, she knew that there was something connecting Jack to the conflict, and she wanted to know more. "Nothing. How are your friends?"

    She did not appreciate the change of subject, but she permitted it. Jack was a friend - a friend she could use to satisfy herself - but not a friend with a broader commitment to share himself. "They're fine, young, maybe."

    "Young," Jack chuckled, "you're young. Me? I am, too."

    "I mean: naive."

    "Mmm," he mused. "Everyone is, they'll grow out of it."

    "I am not sure they understand what they are getting into."

    "Every revolution starts somewhere, Annika. Good people, smart people, bad people, dumb people. None of that disqualifies them from having an opinion," Jack said, as if speaking from some sage wisdom. Annika wondered just where Jack had learned his ideas - she knew, in her heart, but maybe she lied to herself. "Your friends see something wrong with the world. All they have to do is find other people that can see it, too."

    "And you? Do you see it?"

    Jack looked at her, almost offended by some perceived accusation, choosing not to acknowledge the question immediately. He paused and dragged on his cigarette again. "You know the answer, Annika."

    "Then why don't you join us?"

    Jack smothered his cigarette in a tray before rising from his chair and moving to sit beside her. He had an urge to run his hand through her hair and pet her, but he knew better than to patronize her with affection. "When you're ready, I'll be there. But, right now, I have to go."

    Annika drew away from him and laid back in bed with a sigh. "I know."
     
  4. Elben

    Elben Active Member

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    The holidays were about over and students had been drifting into school over the past few days. Messages that had been sent were finally read and replies sent. Now Gregor looked around the back room of the beer hall with a frown as the meeting descended into the usual debates.

    Reinhard was speaking tonight. He was a graduate student working under one of the professors who sympathized with the young students. Serving as a key go-between between the leftist professors and the students, his word carried weight. But there was the problem: Reinhard loved to talk. Meetings for Reinhard were a platform for him to hold forth on the finer points of Marxist theory. Even Dieter had grown tired of the older student lack of ambition.

    At last, things were breaking up. Many of the students congratulated Reinhard on his latest critique of Elben's decadence and corruption based on what they knew Elben's closing of its airspace and Kadikistan's triumph in keeping its air bridge open. Many of his listeners packed their gear up and headed out. After a few moments, the hall had mostly cleared and there were just a few left.

    Annika had returned from wherever she had been before, and there were Dieter and Karol as always. Staying behind too were Irma, a plain young woman who insisted on wearing peasant garb which only adding to her plainness, and Jan, the young kid, was younger than every other man present due to his asthma that had kept him out of the army. Gregor knew then that this was the cell. Irma and Jan were quickly briefed and voiced their support.

    But how to proceed?

    Karol held up a newspaper, the front page headline proclaiming the king's trip to Gunnland. "Jan, your old man's a railroad dispatcher, right? Can he get us the Royal Train's itinerary?"
     
  5. Elben

    Elben Active Member

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    Excuses were provided. Arrangements had been made with professors back at the university. And now they were gathered in a house they had rented for the week. A TV set was on and tuned into coverage of Archbishop Kubicki's death. On the table was a map of the main railroad line that led from Gunnland into Elben, heavily annotated with times based on the schedule they'd been provided. But rather than keeping hard at work, the members of the cell sat, dividing their time between the TV and conversation.

    "Air, he's coming home by air!" Gregor shook his head.

    "We can still make a statement. Our plan is a good one," answered Jan.

    "Without the old man on board, it'll mean nothing," Dieter replied with wiping off his glasses with a kerchief. "Statements are only good if they truly grab the attention. Otherwise it's just noise."

    Irma was dressed in a winter dirndl, a disguise that did little to help her fit in. "I say we do it. There's probably a better chance now that security for the train will be lighter."

    "We don't stop." This was from Annika, her gaze cold and determined. "If we do, we might as well not ever try again."

    Gregor nodded. "Then it is agreed."
     

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