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Tales of the Open Blue: The Shadow Government

Congress Aresura

Regional Actor
Oct 31, 2006
Jose (OpenBlueJoe)
Cofressa Beach, Cofressa Capital Zone
Provisional Collectivist Congress of Aresura

21 / 06 / 2020

"Life is... what you make it."

Such was the foggy and semi-coherent thought, inspired by the song the nearby band was playing in the background, that passed through the young man's head as he felt the world around him. The cool, dry sand he laid upon, the full moon reflecting the sun's rays from the other side of the world onto his little portion of the beach, the bottle of some cheap brand of rum clutched loosely in his right hand, the feminine figure who laid next to him wrapped in the embrace of his left arm. But such was merely the tip of the metaphorical iceberg of feeling for the moment, for not only was the rum in the half-consumed bottle flowing through him, but also the results of the edible he had consumed a mere half-hour before. He could feel the rum coursing through him as vividly as he could feel his own blood flowing through his body, feel his heartbeat reverberate like a drum, much like how he felt more than heard the sounds of the music floating through the air from a local band playing for the local amusement. Through the sand he could feel the waves of the Blou Sea crash against the shore, the tide slowly yet surely coming in and reaching for his bare feet, and the feet of the woman next to him.

This young man was more aware of himself and of his surroundings than ever before in recent memory. A low bar to be sure, as memories had become a bit unclear for the time being, but such were the effects of combining authentic Aresurai rum with Aresurai marijuana. Had he gone all the way like those weird Hortonite cultists and drank some Aresurai coffee to complete the cocktail of drugs, he'd be experiencing some... oddities. For now, two out of three was more than enough, and opened his mind to the meaning of life and what the purpose was, if only a glimpse. It sank in past his hazel eyes, penetrated his pale skin and scraggly beard, and rattled around his brain underneath his messy and currently somewhat sandy brown hair. He saw himself weakly, feebly, grasping at the meaning which playfully flitted in front of him, like a fish darting around a stationary boat. It was elusive, beautiful, and so close... yet so far...


The voice brought him out of his intense, from a certain point of view, concentration, but he did not mind at all, for it meant that his companion had finally awoken from her own induced trance. He looked to his left and smiled as he stared into the groggy, slightly unfocused brown eyes of the woman, her black curly hair falling in strand in front of her freckled, beautiful face. Jackson Hawkins swore for a moment that he looked into the face of God, though it certainly wouldn't have been the God his Tiburan-Catholic missionary teachers had taught him in the past, and to be fair it was probably another effect of the rum and weed cocktail.

"Yes, Jess?"

Jessica Spade paused for a moment, as though considering her words carefully, though given her state a third-party would've pointed out she was more likely trying to recall how vocabulary worked in general, but fortunately such a third-party-pooper was mercifully absent, and so after a few moments Jess was able to respond uninterrupted.

"Why are we here?"

Jackson mulled over the words, first to remember what each word meant, then how exactly he should respond.

"Well… a few hours ago I told you about this great spot to get drunk and high, and maybe later we could-“

“No… that’s not what I meant.” Jess interrupted with an unusual amount of clarity, bringing Jackson’s train of thought to a disappointed, screeching halt. “I mean… why are we here, and not doing something else?”

Her meaning still unclear, Jackson tried to restart said train, “If I could trust myself to stand upright we could go back to my place and-“

This time a gentle smack to the side of his head brought that effort to a second halt. “You’re not listening!”

The tone of her voice, despite his addled mind, convinced Jackson to resign himself to an incoming lecture, “Then tell me, love. Forgive me, I’m a bit befuddled…”

Jackson swore he could feel the disgruntled disapproval, much like a teacher would give to a stubbornly dull student, emanating from Jess as she propped herself on her elbow, so she could look down on Jackson and ensure she had his full attention.

“I mean… don’t you remember the conversation we had a few hours ago? About how the Reformists are just jerking us around, keeping us angry at the Legitimists and post-delegationists while keeping us drugged on weed, booze, and caffeine? How they’re doing nothing to end this cold war and reunify our archipelago, but instead just acting as a military junta with a socialist cloak?”

Her enunciation and clarity took Jackson by surprise. He could’ve sworn Jess had ingested just as much rum and weed as he did. Clearly that was an erroneous assumption, or alternatively she had a much higher tolerance than he did and just recovered her wits more quickly, which was vaguely sexy… that particular thought quickly halted as he looked upon her penetrating gaze, and realized he had to take this seriously if he wanted to continue having a pleasant evening.

“I don’t remember the details… but yes, I remember us talking about that. I know you’re right, Jess, I didn’t disagree with you… I just don’t know what we can do about it. We’re a couple of thirty-year-old citizens, same with our friends who think like we do. We’ve got no power, just access to said drugs, which we acquired shortly afterward. … heh, ironic, now that I think about it…”

His attempt at humor fell flat, given her stony gaze that quickly withered his own growing smirk, but at least she wasn’t angry at him anymore, as he had proven he paid attention. The lecture would, unfortunately, continue though.

“Well, I had been thinking about it, and I think I have an idea of what to do.”

Jackson’s right eyebrow rose out of cautious curiosity. “… and that would be…?”

“We create our own shadow government.” Jess responded with finality, as though it were a declaration of an obvious fact.

Jackson stared back, attempting to comprehend her declaration. For some reason, despite its brevity, this was the most challenging sentence he had yet to decipher. It might’ve been the booze and weed taking a stronger hold of him, yet he could swear he was growing more and more sober with each passing second, much to his increasing dismay.

“… I don’t follow. I’m pretty sure we’re not allowed to do that, and regardless, who’d listen to us?”

Jess gave a mischievous smile to this, “No, we’re not, but if we proclaim it as something else, such as a political club to assist the continuing Reformation of Aresura at the local level, while in fact subverting and replacing Reformist control with our own, we can bring true Collectivist Socialism to Aresura, and actually do something about reuniting our people and islands.”

Jackson continued to stare at Jess, finally beginning to grasp the gravity of her words and how serious she was about this. She had always been vehement about reunification, given how her childhood island was on Avelia now under control of the Legitimists and Touzen, and how she desperately wanted to live there again. It was one of the reasons why she was initially so supportive of Constantine’s coup and the Reformist goals of bringing socialism and efficient democracy to the archipelago. Her disappointment and cynicism was her only reward, however, as the years passed. Every day, although the Reformist Junta made platitudes about finally driving out the Touzen and sweeping the Legitimists into the dustbin of history, nothing was done. Although vaguely socialist reforms were introduced to Reformist Aresura, there were still no political freedoms, and those reforms were mostly in a loosening of drug laws and state-control of the economy, which only enriched the Junta rather than the people. Jackson saw it along with Jess, but he hadn’t had the same visceral feeling of betrayal she had, only disappointment that he had been lied to. A small part of him was willing to accept it as life, but ever since he started his romance with Jess, more and more he was willing to believe something needed to be done about it.

He remembered the lyrics of that song that had been playing earlier, “Life’s what you make it.” Was life, in his addled state of being, telling him now was the time to change this, to remake life into something better? He had no idea, but he knew that if he tried, he’d make Jess happy. That, for the moment, was what mattered most to him, Aresura’s actual embrace of socialism being secondary.

“… that… might work.” He finally replied, struggling to speak the words without slurring too much. “But won’t they catch on, at some point?”

Jess, now much happier that Jackson was at least vocally open to her plans, excitedly replied, “You know how corrupt the Junta is. Just keep openly proclaiming our loyalty to the Reformist ideals, maybe a bribe here and there if needed, and by the time it becomes too big to hide, we’ll be too big for them to just squash without problems.”

Jackson considered her argument as seriously as he could, and finally nodded. “As you wish, hun. Let’s do it. But… er… can we start our revolution tomorrow? I’m pretty sure it’s a bad idea to get too serious about overthrowing a government with all the guns while hammered and high as a kite.”

For a moment, it seemed Jess was too excited by the promise of long overdue action to listen to Jackson, but after a brief hesitation and self-assessment, she gave a goofy grin and reached over Jackson to grab at the bottle of rum he had been holding, easily removing it from his weak grip, and taking an impressive swig of the liquid within. Then she began kissing him, and passion dominated Jackon’s addled thinking for the rest of the night.