The Engellachian Shuffle

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Engellachia, May 18, 2019.

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  1. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Lodge of Legislators in Vesper,
    Capital of the West Engell Republic

    “That’s it, the nay’s have it, the motion for Midterm Elections has FAILED!” a Republican gavel holder declared before slamming that gavel angrily over and over until the wooden handle cracked. Supporters of the bill were either groaning in lament or rising to their feet to begin shouting at the stone faced Republicans, who remained sitting in their unofficial uniforms of black suit and tie. Metropolitan Police however reached them first, shoving the mostly old Republican men down harshly to the ground to be arrested.

    Madame Veronica North, the socialist opposition leader, simply made a run for the exit towards the press, where Vesper 24 reporter Nicole Furroughs stood front and center as North had instructed. “This is the second time the southerners have interfered in our democratic process,” Veronica calmly relayed, “Prime Minister Edwin Grafton is a Cusso-SoCR Stooge who intends to prostitute Engellachia to the South!”.

    Questions and reactions from other reporters began to ring out, but Veronica pressed on: “And with the help of the Vesper Metropolitan Attorneys Office, Vesper Police will be pursuing a warrant for the Prime Minister’s arrest to be executed the moment his plane returns from his traitorous trip to the South!”

    Then, as precisely bribed to do so, the Metro Police Chief arrived in scene of the camera to tower over her and the press. “Mister Grafton has waged war upon our proud city -” he barked through a thick North Thaumantic accent, “If or when he attempts to re-enter the city he will, we hope, be brought in to custody peacefully!”

    Questions rang out for Madame North, but she was already eyeing an exit. “I am heading east to Sylvania immediately, if Mister Grafton thinks he can go south to Welmonton and sell our Republic out to the Engellexian Pound, he has another thing coming - the might of Engellachians and Sylvanians standing together in social democratic solidarity!”

    With police chaperones in tow the politician practically ran to the door containing private hallways. Once inside she was embraced and kissed deeply with the tongue of Felix Ilchester, her primary co-conspirator in this and the previous year’s catastrophe.

    “Grafton ought not leave Beautancus alive, but if Steinvasser can’t deliver him the final round of poison, I have Heydendahl’s word he will deliver him to us personally!” Ilchester said with villainous exuberance. Together they walked hand in hand, laughing and cursing the Republicans, Cussians, and praising Grafton’s stupidity of deploying the military across the world for some ridiculous exercises while they plotted their takeover with the metropolitan police.

    Far away on the other side of the continent, Grafton was coughing out a lung in the presence of the leaders of Beautancus, SoCR, and Clarenthia while Ilchester and North were crossing the border of Vesper and Sylvania in a luxury SUV.
     
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  2. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Greenhouse at the Manor of Hubert Hogan,
    Bearskull Junction, State of Engellachia - WER


    "You want to whip and tongue that sucker and make a scion," Hubert Hogan whispered to three of his Grandchildren, a small knife in hand, "Then look here, I merge the tongues - see how they fit together like a puzzle now? That was branches from two different trees, that I tie together now, and I've grafted the green maple with the red; what do you youngsters think of that?" the mining oligarch asked.

    "Doesn't it hurt the tree, Opa?" the youngest at 4 years old , Henry answered with a question. The others, a boy and girl of 7 and 10 respectively, crossed their arms. "What do you think Hube?" Hogan asked his seven year old namesake. "Who cares?" the younger Hubert replied. "And what do you think Helen?" the Grandfather said, handing the knife over to the youngest boy.

    "Father says growing is pain, and that change can be difficult . ." Helen answered, deeply staring at the grafted tree branches. That moment a secretary nearly as ancient as Hogan busted through into the greenhouse, "Apologies sir, I know I'm never to interrupt family time, but it's the Doctor - you know the one. He demands to speak with you immediately!"

    The lady secretary pressed a home phone into Hubert's gloved hands, mouthing apologies in silence. Hogan brought the phone to his ear and immediately heard the whizzes, clicks, and rings of levels upon levels of the Cussian wizard's espionage machinery. No one else in the world, not the children or the secretary, could hear what Doctor Cypreau was saying to Hubert. "I see, I see, Doc" Hubert Replied, "Aren't you getting awfully tired of these politicians and their daytime soap operas? Hell, just a minute Doc."

    Hubert pulled the phone from his mouth and motioned to his secretary, "Who wants lunch? Mrs. Soboleva can treat y'all and teach you how to dress Zakuski, huh?". The two boys cheered, meat and bread - just the idea, had their mouths watering after a morning of being ordered around by their Grandfather. Helen stood still, staring yet deeper at her Grandfather now, "I'm not hungry, Opa. Are you unwell, or why are you talking to a doctor?"

    "Why Lady Helen, he thinks Engellachia is sick. Take the phone and tell him what you think!" Hubert encouraged. Helen, a blonde string bean of a child, stepped forward as her brothers ran away. "Hello? Mister Doctor? Yes, Engellachia is sick, oh so sick truly. But I met a man I want to marry last week who Grandpa says can make us better . . Oh, you don't know who that is? Mister Heiden, or is it Heyden?"

    Hubert ruffled the girls hair and pointed her to Mrs. Soboleva who was holding the door open for her; she nodded and ran to join her siblings. Hubert Hogan raised the phone back to his own ear and mouth, "I'm passing the puck, or I guess for you folks: I'm throwing the ball to Heydendahl."

    "Uh-huh, well - sometimes you have to lose some money to gain some money. I've lost a lot of money, Doc, but I'm not going to lose it all. I'm putting my money behind this kid with the Private Military Companies, I'm telling you it's providence and pure Thaumanticana - Rydell in the flesh for Engellachians. Attach all of your bugs and safeguards to him, I don't care, just don't get in his way - he can fix this little problem with the politicians yet!"
     
  3. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    On Broken Roads North,
    Upper Engellachia Near Pohjanma


    "Sonn'a bitch, Jaylon!" Clint screamed before skidding out and to the side off poorly paved roads. Their truck failed and kept from mounting the road again, and troops behind them advanced to lay down planks or offer advice on how to lay the difficult path north between Engellachia and Pohjanmaa. Orders months late instructed them to cover the melting paths north to the border, hoping to save energy and supply expenditures as the artillery division shuttered irresponsibly along a dangerous frontier.
     
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  4. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Disadvantaged at Sea,

    Bad to worse then infighting and disarray was the daily grind of a West Engell, Combined Armed Forces service member. That there was never enough food for all was not on purpose, it was off budget, that their ships lagged and lurched behind their Thaumantic allies wasn't by design - it was simply reality.

    Marsha McCormick sucked on a spot of rye bread as Cussian Jets flew by, bitter and sweet. Spitting out a chunk of sand or rock in the bread, Marsha crossed her arms and leaned back in her beleaguered Temptest fighter jet.

    "Wolverine?" she heard suddenly over the radio. "Wolverine-1, communications online, we have orders to fly Freedom of Navigation into Justosian Naval perimeters!"
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  5. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Fort Klarawood, Vestefjor State

    *beepbeep*

    Hank Aldwyth immediately regretted making his mark on that digital non-disclosure agreement, a hundred page tome purposely packed on to some iBone Smartpad with a hundred men and women behind him complaining that he did not need to “make a career” out of signing his bloody name. The West Engell Combined Forces soldiers he shared the damp smelling room with each wore different eras of uniforms or personally bought equipment, with holes in caps and jackets from moths or “AWOL Soldiers” as some liked to joke.

    Foreign allies of the Thaumantic Domain, particularly Beautancus, were infusing billions into the Engellachian military to finally bring them into the 20th or in the case of a few select Thaumantic Guard Brigades the 21st Century or beyond. The potential of new uniforms, rifles, and tech were exciting enough for any young soldier - but the greatest selling point for all of the re-enlistments taking place was the salary of real Engellexic Pounds instead of the worthless inflated Engellmarks that could barely buy a square of rye bread on a days work. If only they could pass a new Vocational Aptitude Battery at a level greater than a special needs case, and achieve a much higher than average score on the traditional physical battery they would have the opportunity to be paid and invest in their future months earlier than the rest of the poor directionless country.

    “What’s the catch, eh?” an Upper Engellachian named Corporal Roberts dared to ask aloud. A grisly Sergeant Major that resembled a bear man came barreling over to get in the Corporal’s face: “The catch is that once feckless volunteers and mercenaries like the lot of you join my Guard, the only way out is through exemplary completion of your contract or through the damn cremation chimney! Now sign your life over or bugger off back to your trailer park!”

    Roberts’ eyes widened for a moment before shrinking down into the emotionless state of a Combined Armed Force robot before scribbling his name into the device and getting back in line as if the exchange had never happened at all. Hank was now regretting his decision for the second time before being punched in the back from behind to move forward to fitting rooms containing the prized uniforms that they excitedly packed into new ruck sack systems and duffle bags. Outside new helicopters were flying overhead, and light armored vehicles from South Engell factories were humming about without screeches or clouds of exhaust as they were accustomed to. Some were letting out cheers, praising Orton and Heydendahl, while a few were trying and failing to cover their tears.

    Hank however still felt a deep trepidation as a the strangest sight yet came running by in formation: 30 or more Loagoans singing cadence in their native tongue while clapping or beating their chests. Around the corner and in the barracks he was assigned to he encountered a female lieutenant flying a miniature drone indoors with a crowd he would join gathered around with mouths agape.

    “The hell is that for?” Hank asked in shock. The Lieutenant laughed and threw him the remote, “This is just for shits and giggles, but imagine a few thousand of these things strapped with C4 buzzing towards Pohjanmaa! Or the Two Kingdoms! What a rush, eh?” She said. Hank caught the remote and proceeded to test its capabilities, fun indeed, but was she serious?

    “We are all going to be in the Lyndon Palmer UAV Combat Brigade. You must have tested well Aldwyth. We won’t all be flying drones, heck most fly themselves or the Southerners will take remote control, most of us will be training on communications warfare systems - real high speed shit, so I hope we can trust you?”

    Everyone was looking at Hank now but he was still fixated on maneuvering the drone, “Huh? Oh, of course . . I’m the modern Thaumantican as much as any of you!” Hank defended.

    “That sounds like something a mole would say, Aldwyth . .” The lieutenant replied emptily in the CAF way, but then in a moment she was bursting in to laughter again and punching him in the shoulder, almost knocking the remote to the ground. “What a rush, eh?” Hank sighed.
     
  6. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Eisgarten, Engellachia

    Summer would soon grimly abandon the West Engell Republic, stretched out from the heights of Scania cresting the Tavastian Sea, down to the frigid northern corridor where the Implarian and Thaumantic oceans meet. Military preparations for a probing operation against Post-Delegationist Pohjanmaa would once again elude those Engellachians diabolically committed to Republican supremacy in the North.

    Dictator Heydendahl, who lacked this fixation and many other expansionist desires, settled into a large comfortable chair in his personal study where much of the Occidents historical works stacked tightly beside an ever growing library of Old World histories. To his right on a small table rested tens or nearly a hundred paper dispatches were resting beside a hot coffee which he tested the temperature of carefully.

    Outside the confines of his home he could subject himself to the manifold technologies of his Mercenary Company and the Thaumantic Domain, but his knowledge of their misuse and dangers to himself and his children inspired a policy of minimal permission of modern communications technology.

    The first dispatch hailed from Vesper reading: “MBS-Socialist Party and Pioneer Party form ‘Engell Defense League’, appoint Forrester County Sheriff ‘Alton Franklin Pike’ to lead drive demanding annual elections take place as scheduled in December.”

    Heydendahl raised his eyebrows at the name, this was one of the Sheriffs who claimed he would arrest the Dictator if he stepped foot in his County. The union of these wayward parties was not a shock however, the writing was on the wall that a coalition would form to oppose the Neo-Republican Movement that had exploited the power vacuum left by Felix Ilchester, a Pioneer man with a balance of power agreement with the Socialists.

    Karl would not pursue a campaign for President, the new role would be even more symbolic and toothless than in the previous sham government. Through public and private machinations Heydendahl had solidified a seat at an exclusive table of oligarchs who rarely stepped into the public eye unless only to play at some diversionary game with people’s lives. He was playing that public game now, an exhilarating rush of power over several million people and a nation at the spearhead of starting a world war.

    The other oligarchs would advise he stand down from the dictatorship, the safest choice for Karl and his family. Thaumantic Alignment has been accelerated by the war effort as a mandate to keep troops well paid and secure beside Domain allies, whereas in peacetime the currency switch and military finagling should have taken years of paper pushing and brow beating. The powers availed by war empowered Karl, his dictatorship, and the Thaumantic Alignment Committee the coverage to begin laying the foundations for permanent rule.

    Karl chucked the dispatch into the bin, whispering the name “Alton Pike” before taking up the next blurb: “TCS has lost contact with Agent SR-GU-19. Permission to terminate requested.”

    Surprised he spit the Himyarica brew coffee out of his mouth on to the dispatch. “Sheryl-Lynn Rydell, Gunnland, 2019?” he confirmed aloud to himself after deductive reasoning. This Thaumantic Civil Service advised he meet with her, but never explained she was one of their robotic agents. Karl promised himself then never to allow his children to go to an Engellachian University, nor Thaumantic, nor anywhere he could guess the TCS was trapping recruits for their robotic reprogramming operation. Wiping the liquid off as best he could, Karl placed that dispatch off to dry. He would not sign off on such an order, for Ms. Rydell or MacLeod perhaps by now was still a ticket out of the Domain should the Heydendahl’s lose favor among Engellkind.

    The third and final of the immediate priority dispatches was from the war itself: “General Kentigern Hayes to conduct full assault on Burgundian center, claims can achieve certain victory despite equipment and number disadvantage. Complains lack of First Republic Forces, and that Treatyfolk will ‘fumble the Oyster’.”

    Karl agreed with a nod, he had invested his own safety in meeting with officials in Ouistreham face to face - lending credence to the West Engell Republic’s military, economic, and political commitments to the city of Ouistreham. NoCR and SoCR were AWOL quite as Hayes bemoaned, but mum was still the word on why Underwood and her northern counterpart had not levied and sallied forth. His response would be to activate TCS Agent ‘CB-NE-19’, one Karl had actual knowledge of from its initiation.

    Much depended on this scrambled egg brained agent’s success, if it could rally the First Republic to the war and deliver the Domain a victory then Karl could consider crushing the Engell Defense League before the scheduled elections and cling on to power. If the war was lost then it and the other agents might fall into EDL hands, or worse to the hands of the Cussians. Karl had inherited Sheryl-Lynn apparently, an intriguing placement from his predecessor Felix Ilchester. “Engellachian Royalty at the center of the Tiburan Empire, why she could be Duchess of the Trailer Parks!” Karl joked to himself with a smirk.

    Ilchester had created so many rabbit holes to venture down and lose ones self in, another was the cyber warfare department that was just beyond his purview at the moment. These technicians boasted that they could create stay behind networks in the event of invasion or collapse, and Heydendahl had done a mix of the two to take the mantle of power. His smile left him then, he would need to flex what control he had of the TCS to determine the strength of Ilchester’s stay behind network.

    “Perhaps Alton Pike is the vector?” Karl mused before shaking himself back to his study and standing to move and file his replies.
     
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  7. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Midnight Streets of Vesper

    Neither tall nor short, fat or skinny, Thaumantic Civil Service agent Melvin Roach slipped out of the back door or ‘Bye-Bye-Baldwin’s’, an extravagant den of the Vesper nightlife that displayed in song, dance, and private room everything Westernesse has to offer.

    Sticking to his routine the agent methodically removed a pipe from his pouch and struck a match to light a rare but precious blend of indoor hydroponically grown marijuana from here in the northern city if extra legal vice. With his brown hair and shabby suit, Roach crept about the active midnight streets until reaching a trolly headed for the port district.

    Instead of entering the small cab, where pairs of young lovers bounced off of each other with every bump without stopping to apologize, Agent Roach clung to the outside to enjoy the still yet unfrozen open air while the season still permitted. Per usual, none took notice when he jumped with a quiet trot off of the trolley to the next round of his nightly check-ins.

    “I got one sir, an invitation!” A young dockworker declared to Roach. “Does that mean I’m off the hook?”

    “Nope.” Roach dismissed easily before taking the invitation with one hand and patting the boy on the head with the other, “Perhaps I may visit you less, or never again at all, but you’re not off the hook from us until you’re ashes.”

    With this invitation to a suburban shooting club on the next day tucked away in his breast pocket, Roach turned away from the young man who had personally discovered the human trafficking ring in Vesper last year and had nearly brought the continent to war. His commodity was notoriety among radical circles for being at the center of the conflict if only by accident, and to the Civil Service as a blabbermouth worth squeezing for contacts he reluctantly made with Socialists and the Ultra-Kinist scene.

    After another two rounds with wayward souls, Melvin Roach bunked down in a flop house still taking Engellmarks under the table illegally despite the Vesper wide mandate to convert all marks into Thaumantic Pounds. An uneventful and dreamless sleep welcomed him in for six hours until the house manager began clanging on two pans to wake up or incur further rents.

    Beside men and women of varying classes that had crashed beside him for a few hours after an evening and early morning of weekend amusement, Roach tended to shaving his face with an over priced one time use razor sold by the flop house owner, and treated himself further to a breakfast sandwich consisting of days old fish and egg.

    A twenty minute stroll and a 5 Thaumantican Pounds offered up to a darling young lady at the train station placed Melvin on board and in the North West “Holiday Line” with a final destination of Blossom Lake, an aptly named vacation getaway for Vesplander and until recently Sylvanian alike.

    The season for summer celebration was coming to an end, meaning lodging and diversion prices were in decline as the town made its regular transition into winter fishing, sport, and indoor entertainment. Excited families of the lower classes took full advantage, and packed the train with Roach in matching shirts bearing the name and district of their Mutual Benefit Societies that yielded yet a further discount for booking in large groups. Agent Roach sat next to one such group that bothered him only once to ask who he was and what he was planning to do at Blossom Lake.

    “BINGO with my dear widow mother.” Melvin had replied dryly, to which he was offered condolences and luck in the game before rightfully ignored for the remainder of the trip.

    At Blossom Lake proper less public transportation availed near anonymous group travel, but Melvin was not about to sit in a taxi with a prying driver who might remember how he looked and where and when he went. Instead Melvin rented a bicycle a block away from the train station and pedaled up and down hills beside other tourists until reaching the outskirts of town where the cracks of gunfire could be heard long before he could see the grand log wood lodge.

    Two broad shouldered guards, one Melvin recognized as a retired Vesper Metro cop, stood in his way to the entrance. Melvin produced the ticket the young longshoreman had given him, which the retired cop took without wracking his feeble brain where he recognized the unremarkable ticket holder from, permitting entry with a token “brunch will be served soon” before slamming the door behind Melvin once within.

    The heads and bodies of hundreds of animals lined the floors, walls, and ceilings with birds of prey. Generations of faithful taxidermists contributed to an animal kingdom that even Melvin Roach had to stop for a moment to observe in amazement before being shaken back to humanity by the deep booming voice of Sheriff Alton Franklin Pike, a shotgun folded back and over his shoulder walking in with other serious looking Engellachians in tactical clothing or traditional shooting garb.

    Melvin sat down in a row of seats next to several other eavesdropping and gawking men and women excited to hear the controversial Sheriff speak. Pike handed his shotgun off to a compatriot in tactical gear, he wore the Heydendahl Defense Solutions logo on his polo shirt but Melvin suspected Heydendahl was no more in the know of this gathering than the general public. Pike then stared out at the crowd, passing easily over Agent Roach without a second look, before accepting a round of Engellachian Hunters Liqueur and toasting to “All Engellkind”. Others joined in while Melvin, a true Thaumantican, stood with the rest but said nothing before returning to his chair with arms crossed, a speech he guessed was soon in store.
     
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  8. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Alton Pike gave the nod for a technician to flip a switch that would kill all incoming and outgoing signals in and just outside the Shooting Club Lodge, a small yet highly illegal precaution that would be followed up with personnel being screened upon exiting for recording devices meticulously.

    “Sons and Daughters of Engellkind are lying dead in the mud, rendered to unrecognizable ground meat by shrapnel, all while being led by mixed company of Otherkind!” Alton Pike began by tearing apart an invisible shred of raw meat before making an ‘O’ with his left hand to designate the Other, all non-Engell’s.

    “Karl Heydendahl, a descendant of kiniving Ostmarkian Mercenaries who betrayed us time and time again going back to the revolutionary siege of Charleroi, down to the righteous Great War where his Grandfather surrendered Eisgarten to the Pohjan for coin and title!”

    The intimate audience seated and standing before Pike booed, sneered, and cursed the Heydendahl name. Alton shook his head as if in disbelief, “And worse are these indignities I am told from my brothers in arms, that the Cussian Imperialist amalgamation is bursting at the seams with red skinned savages, Azraqi slavers, and whole platoons of indistinguishable mutts that our First Republic progenitors call ‘Thaumanticans’ in order to dress up and ease our concerns before the imminent extinction of Engellkind!”

    Alton Pike was turning red now, with his associates on either side grinding their teeth and squeezing their rifles or shotguns tighter with every word uttered. “WE NEED TO BRING OUR HUSBANDS AND WIVES HOME!” a woman from the crowd shouted, a welcome interruption for many who clapped or voiced their concurrence.

    “Ma’am, you do not know it, but you are more correct than you even know!” Alton offered her and the crowd, who grew silent to follow what exactly he meant. “Our dear brother General Hilliard is training a Division of Elite Troops at Fort Klarawood to join the war at home, our true home, on the Ancestral Islands of Engellex!”

    Some clapped him on, but most hung on to his next words closely, this room of Ultra-Kinist radicals with either lineage or kin like fascination with the history and ideas of the early twentieth century civil war between all Engellkind. Despite their joy to share company with fellow Kinists, their skepticism withdrew them to memories of massacre of the last such machination to make common cause with Old Engellex in the North, and common enemy with their Southern cousins.

    “But before our warriors in blue and grey, blood bearers of the wolf within, can make their strike - it is up to us to win back the government of this land from the Other, and labor just as hard to wake the wolf within the island of the progenitors!” Alton Pike said, growling through his final words before marching through the standing party to shake hands and offer answers to questions and offers of service.

    “When must we kill him?” a former legislator asked, without specifying who he meant. Pike knew it was the Dictator, Karl Heydendahl, “His image is already dead and broken,” Alton soothed, “an international slave trader, failed diplomat, and alas - a self proclaimed dictator - he will have the sense to walk away, true to his form as a mercenary. No one is paying him enough to stay that is worth the trouble of a bullet or knife to the back.”

    “This DET, division of elite troops, have you seen them yourself?” a retired officer then asked. “We all will soon enough, General Hilliard will be inviting us to observe a field exercise on their path to proving their worth for the League of Tyrants!” Pike blasted with great confidence, “I need you though brother, I need all of you to follow my leadership voluntarily so that we do not let the crescendo of conflict and crisis go to waste!”

    Pike then passed over a man in a shabby suit, his arms crossed and appearing disinterested with the whole charade, but was once more enthralled to see the woman who had shouted about bringing the warriors home. “What is your name, ma’am?” Alton asked the woman with a child no taller than her hips.

    “Mrs. Whitesmith, well -“ she answered before trailing off into tears, “Mr. Whitesmith is here in my arms,” she said quite hysterically with a military grade urn of ashes held close to the heart, “if he could rise from the ashes he would fight for Engellkind again and again and again.”

    “But my dear Mrs. Whitesmith, he has!” Pike reminded by pointing to her small son who looked up at him with wide eyes. “Our ancestors live on through us, and the desire to match their deeds stir our souls to great action!”

    The brown haired man in the average suit then approached Pike from the corner of his eye, but just as soon slipped around another volunteer for the campaign and out the door. Pike kept his peripheral vision active to throw glances at the man who casually ordered a rye-runner soda for the road, allowed security to screen him for electronics for which he had none, and then quietly took a token invitation for their next group meeting in Vesper proper in a matter of days.
     
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  9. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Clean yet far from modern, Melvin Roach slunk back into the blue vinyl seating of the “Holiday Haley” train back to Vesper, his nostrils filling with the fresh air from the countryside that poured through open windows. “I saw you there.” a female voice struck over the steady and predictable wind and bump of Haley who hurdled faithfully back to the Metro. Melvin continued to stare out the window in ignorance, a tried and true method to be left alone.

    “You sir, you with the wretched suit, I saw you at the Shooting Club!” she said again louder while slamming herself down across from Melvin Roach. She wore a white sleeveless blouse, light blue pants, and kept her light brown hair up and off her shoulders for mobility.

    “And what?” Melvin dismissed, shaken only for a short moment by the woman’s striking beauty, “Target practice and brunch, I recommend you try the Kadiki Potato Salad.”

    The woman was biting her lip now and squeezing down one eye, “You didn’t eat, and you certainly didn’t shoot, in fact we have never seen you before.”

    Melvin shook his head in disbelief, “Well I’m not a celebrity, so what have I done to gain you as a fan, Miss? . .”

    The woman broke out in an endearing smile, “Miss Roe, but that’s a fake name, what alias might you carry?”

    “I don’t have to tell you, but it’s Roach.”

    “Good alias, it fits with your personality and garb!” Miss Roe jabbed. Melvin smiled for the first time in perhaps a year, drinking in the smile she returned like water in a desert death march.

    “Well anyways, I can trace my roots to the Revolution, my Great Grandmother was a nurse in the Kinist Rebellion and married my Great Grandfather who was injured as a wire runner, and two of my Grand Uncles died in the Great Northern War.” Miss Roe recounted, a typical introduction for Engellachians: listing familial participation historical events, “What deeds do the Roach Kin claim?”.

    “They never told, and I never asked” Melvin replied with some melancholy, “If everyone died or was maimed in some grand war we wouldn’t have a country would we?”.

    Miss Roe shrugged her bare shoulders but kept her eyes locked with his, “I believe we wouldn’t have a country if they didn’t! And if you would disagree, why may I ask were you attending an Engell Defense League meeting?”


    Melvin stared out the window once more defensively, “I was there for the potato salad and instead all I received was an angsty patriotic speech. I’m still hungry by the way, so if you don’t mind I’ll be getting off at the next stop for a spot of McBonaficius or something convenient” Melvin grumbled as he tipped his hat and climbed to his feet.

    “Well met, Mister Roach. We’ll be seeing you again in Vesper I trust, so try to eat next time and be ready to share some efforts for the cause!”

    Melvin continued away without so much as a nod. These Kinists were turning out to be more taxing on his conscious than the mafia or anarchists combined. Miss Roe was stunningly beautiful, confident and engaging, but she was an overt Kinist and if there was one thing Melvin knew it was not to become ensnared with one of these clannish and conspiring people lest you planned to make eight children with one or be murdered and never found in some nameless holler.

    Agent Roach ate as he said he would, quite paranoid to his surroundings now, and shuffled his feet back on to the next train going south after a few hours of waiting. ‘Holiday Hank’, a brother to Haley in all ways save for green paint instead of blue, on which no one bothered him as he pretended to sleep all the way ‘home’.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019 at 3:01 AM
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  10. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    6,054
    Location:
    Suncoast FL
    Capital:
    Vesper
    Nick:
    Nilshanks
    A normal week of rounds to Agent Roach’s check-in itinerary commenced as soon as he returned to Vesper. The phone at ‘Bye-Bye Baldwin’s’ was as always void of any incoming or outgoing messages. The club owner, Vadim Lubadov attempted to offer him a dancer for the night, but Melvin ignored the bribe and exited the establishment only taking note of the singer on stage who commanded a strange voice and dancers wrapped in wolves pelts. He would have to ask about her tomorrow, this redhead with a voice that made the patrons writhe and move in circles as if dancing before a fire for her ancient witchcraft.

    Melvin proceeded outside and recuperated with the necessary routine of hydroponic marijuana, and a hanging trolly ride to the east side to sit in on an anarchist book club meeting. These he could often catch a nap during, as they were repetitive for at least an hour until some inane disagreement concerning the necessity or lack of enforced building codes or when a child has the agency to make decisions independent of their parents erupted. This evening it was a homosexual man and a straight man coming to fisticuffs over whether or not private communities should or could bar homosexuals from their covenant compounds.

    As he stood up and left with the regular crowd, a diverse mix of disheveled like himself or particularly trendy, Melvin could not help but looking forward to sitting in on the Kinists again. Producing the invitation from his pocket again for the fourth or fifth time today he cursed himself, the glowing yellow eyes of a wolf stared back at him as encircled by an address to a private cigar club that he had never heard of in his years of navigating every corner of the metropolis, or so he thought.

    A tight minibus was the best route there, many stops, yet with everyone packed like sardines together uncomfortably there were few words ever exchanged besides apologies or excuse me’s. His only interaction was with an elderly grandmother with sacks of potatoes and various vegetables for her children and grandchildren, who smelled the marijuana on Roach and stared disapprovingly at him for five hard stops until he offered to help her out of the bus with her garden goods.

    “Straighten yourself out, sonny” she made sure to advice after offering thanks, “You might possess manners, but you dress and smell like a stray!”

    Roach pursed his lips and nodded in the affirmative, too much time spent pretending to be a street drifter was turning him into one. Instead of re-entering the minibus he waived it on and checked himself into a motel to wash up, comb his hair, and iron out his suit to somewhat upgrade the degradation he had depressed down to. He would be late for his next encounter, but these political meetings tended to be so self-consumed that a late show rarely distracted from organizers blowing off hot air at each other.

    A taxi would be necessary so as not to be too late, and little to his surprise the taxi driver had not heard of this little cigar club either. “Wolfthistle?” the cabbie repeated, “Do you mean Dragon’s Tale, the Cussian club off of Confederate’s Av?”

    “No sir, it’s meant to be on the corner of Rydell Boulevard and Charlotte’s Way” Melvin said aloud before coughing on the connection made in his mind for the first time now that he told it to someone.

    “Oh, really?” the cabby balked, “that entire district has been abandoned since Engellpox, or uhm Unforgettable or some such catastrophe, the one where they bombed us to kill their own?”

    “I know the one” Melvin agreed with a sigh, a final utterance before a ten minute ride in total silence. The radio, which the driver cranked up to “this eery wolf bitch” offered some pause to the Agent, it was the voice of the singer from the club and the same song again: “My Pack is With You” the DJ clarified, “by this new singer from Last Mass, Vestefjor! She’s mating contemporary pop mixing with turn of the century instrumentals, hell I might run with the wolves if it means a night with her!”

    The cab driver screeched to a halt at the corner of Rydell and Charlotte as instructed, taking the Thaumantic Pounds offered up gleefully but hasty to speed away from the abandoned district as soon as possible. At two large black doors with golden handles a familiar pair of guards, a large man Melvin recognized now, and the retired cop accepted his invitation ticket with not so much as a word.

    Before Roach could proceed in he could hear a hot rod scream and screech to a halt right where the cab had vacated, and out it sauntered the red haired singer and another unidentifiable man wearing grey cargo pants and a blue polo. The two walked past Melvin like he was invisible, neither offering token or comment to the guards who pushed him in after them.

    Inside the parlor was dark, smoky, and as pretentious as Melvin would have expected such a Kinist den to be with family crests, portraits, and old battle flags covering the walls that new and old Kinists from the last meeting clung to. Miss Roe was on him like predator to prey immediately, pulling him in for a hug and kissing his neck.

    “I knew you would make it, I brought you some crab salad if you’re hungry again this time my darling little Roach.”

    Melvin raised his eyebrows to the ceiling and stood reaching at his lipstick marked neck mouth agape. “Why thank you, I am hungry actually!” he admitted sheepishly.

    “Well sit down and eat, I think my father would like to speak with you. I’m Alma by the way, Alma Pike!”

    “Nag’s Head and off again!” Agent Roach swore under his breath, he has not been tasked with researching any of these people beyond what he overheard or was told directly by handlers, an attractive daughter belonging to the Kinist Cult leader as it was shaping up had not been in his minimal background instructions.

    Accepting a goblet of barberry hooch, as strong as the crab salad was delicious so that when Sheriff Alton Pike put a hand on Melvin’s shoulder from behind, Melvin actually had some spirit to be sucked out of him in surprise. “What are your intentions Mister Roach, and don’t give me the salad bit you tried to feed my lovely daughter . .” Pike said with cigar smoke hanging between the their eyes.

    “I’m here to find find my pack, my kin” Melvin began, presenting it as truth while struggling to know himself if it was a lie, “if you are here to lead, them I am here to follow.”

    “We will see, wipe the mayo off your chin son, and try not to be so damn weird tonight, engage a little bit!” Pike ordered firmly, but not angrily.
     
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  11. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    6,054
    Location:
    Suncoast FL
    Capital:
    Vesper
    Nick:
    Nilshanks
    Surrounded by those devoted to the Kinist cause, or perhaps just a cult of personality, Alton Pike once more motioned to cut telecom sin and out. Different now however was that what few fixtures lit the dark room were blacked out to focus on one much brighter light that illuminated a large round table being carried over by four men that may have been as as the West Engell Republic itself.

    “We all know that our ancestors are rooted in our very bone marrow,” Alton Pike began, “and that their energy courses through our very veins . . But what the State Atheists, Christ-followers, and Otherkind do not want you to know is that they still live on within our souls, and can and should be awoken to be called upon!”

    A tornado of whispers spun in the room, dismissive or terrified but reacting energetically all the same. Alton was ready for this, steadying with them with his hands, and being the only one in the literal spotlight everyone was soon to follow. “Our enemies have killed to prevent us from unlocking this power that belongs to Engellkind. Through the Dark Ages of a Christian Engellex, to the tyranny of atheism and disbelief, down to the Kinist Rebellion where Charlotte began to commune with the First Engells and Marpesians waiting for the right vessel!”

    The red haired woman joined Pike’s left flank now, and his daughter Alma on his left. “Tonight we do not dare commune with those who ran with wolves, none of us are ready I fear, but Madame Fiona has practiced in the art and science of ancestor awakening and can show us through our dear Alma.”

    More whispers erupted again, “You can leave if Otherkind’s brainwashing has made sheep of you, go ahead, this is neither a prison or a cult - it is your right as a Free Engell to move about as you choose!” Alton reminded, but no one was making a budge, all felt supernaturally glued and affixed to where they stood when this ordeal began.

    Alma began to undress methodically rather than sensually like she was preparing for a medical exam, a slender and enticing figure that was already activating something within many of the male spectators. Alton, her father, looked on without any emotion at all. Laying back on the cold table her skin broke out with goose flesh, a pale palette for Madame Fiona who immediately began painting her with naked flesh with lines and patterns of a blue pasty substance.

    “You are witnessing Engellkind’s oldest ritual,” Alton Pike mused, “every motion sacred and deliberate, the paint adhering to ancient recipe” he alluded, a hallucinogenic recipe to be precise, heated and absorbed by the vessel’s bare skin. Alma was moving a bit now, speaking a bit in garbles of what none could determine was their language, something older, or absolute nonsense. Madame Fiona was speaking this same language too but louder and clearer now, either guiding Alma or guiding someone or something out of her.

    “That is Engellisc, yes, the tongue stirs our ancestors in words our ancestors can hear.” Alton instructed, a teacher to enchanted students. “They are nearly ready . .”

    Alma began to writhe and scream, rattling naked on the table before Fiona could throw a wolfskin over her and join a stone cup to her lips which he drank desperately as if near death from dehydration; the liquid red, deer’s blood fermented with more hallucinogens and alcohol. She then began to heave for breath, sitting up on the table with the wolf pelt clung above her breasts and a terror in her eyes that horrified her audience nearly as much as she displayed.

    She spoke then clearly in that ancient tongue, mystifying most, but clear for translation from Madame Fiona: “Who are you all, Others? My kin shall come for me and tear your flesh down to the bones and scatter them through the ancient forests where wolves still run!”

    Alton stepped in a bit to interject, “We are of your kind from many children passed!”

    The character that had taken hold of Alma squinted and shook her head, “Our children do not speak to us anymore, they have lost their way. Did you wake me for rape, or just to ask play games with a dead woman?”

    “You have been summoned for orders,” Alton said, to which his daughters possessor held one hand to her ear to listen. “I command you as a leader of our Kin to stir those like you trapped within our flesh, young and old as your spirit is, to rise within our Kind so we may once more embody your strength and knowledge.”

    Alma lowered both hands and let the wolfskin slip, “I can do this task, but I warn you now they will not run with weak wolves. Be prepared to fight and kill Others and those who claim to be our Kind, for they will seek to kill you - kill us when they discover we can run through this forest between life and death!”

    The whispers returned, but Alma or whomever was on them immediately “QUIET!” she screamed, “I hear most of you already without speaking and smell the fear rotting within weak flesh! Wake us again to a stronger audience!” she commanded before slamming herself back down hard to the table that thumped and shook from the strike.

    Alton rushed to his daughter, showing emotion now to cover her again and hold her close as she shivered from a chilling freeze that only she felt. “We meet again in a weeks time at Fort Klarawood, the invitations will be given at the door as always . .” Madame Fiona told her shocked audience.
     

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