The Land of the Freezing Sun

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Virumaa, Feb 11, 2018.

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  1. Virumaa

    Virumaa Well-Known Member

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    The Crimson Raven
    Dun Eidyn - Heroes Square
    1250 hours

    Andras Ross was a a cadet officer in his last year at the Ceretic Guletic Military Academy. He had like many of the Caledonians, red hair, green eyes and was of average height. He was now in the Heroes Square holding a republican flag a white-green-black flag while singing with the others, the republican anthem. He was one of the many who had a grandparent in the Communist Party of Caledonia, the only legal party of the one year old People's Republic of Caledonia. He saw, like many others, the republic as one of the sane moments in Caledonian history of the 20th century. The Republic, with Kadikistani aid gave them a new life. Though many of the projects were ended by 1960, when the republic was already disbanded, but they were funded by Kadikistani money that the country pumped into southern Caledonia to keep it's standard of living high so that the people won't join the northern rebellion. It worked. Many of the southern Caledonians felt detached from the 1957 war, or how the National Syndicalists dubbed it, the Liberation War and felt that the communist republic had much more pros than cons, especially when in the aftermath, it was only Caitish functionaries that came from the north to rule the south.

    Andras was here as a revolutionary. Even though General Corentin Ruellan, the Colonel-in-Chief of the Academy told the students to stay away from all much movements, the lesser officers, many of whom supported the demonstrators, have told the students that they will close their eyes if they will go to participate, they must go in civilian clothes and with no document on them that would prove that they are students from the Academy. Thus, Andras and many of the cadets went and joined the protests along with many students and workers alike. It was the first time in Caledonia's history since the proclamation of the Internal Settlement, that workers and students marched alongside.

    There were more than 100,000 people present in the Square. Andras stood holding a republican flag that he received from another man, as the Revolutionary Socialist Party were distributing flags and banners. Together with him was Santo Drest, a smaller, blonde man, in his early twenties too, also a cadet at the academy and a bast friend for Andras. He was holding a red flag. Looking around Andras could see that the whole demonstration was a red block, with republican flags here and there. Even so, he looked at the flag he carried and waved it a little, in the small space he had for himself in that huge crowd. He felt proud looking at the traditional symbols the of the green band of the flag imagining for a moment what his grandfather would have felt in 1957 when he saw that flag wave above the Dun Eydin Castle.

    The demonstrators have heard speeches from veterans of the 1957 war, Andras was lost in thought when Santo pushed him to pay attention to a Gunnishman that was talking about how he came to Caledonia as a volunteer to fight for the republic when he was only 16 in the hopes that a Caledonian republic would pave the way for revolutions in Gunnland and Elben.

    "We are the peat bog soldiers, marching with our spades, in the moor..." the people were singing socialist songs when loud noises and screams started to be heard. The people started dispersing. Andras looked around confused. Santo was still close to him. "It's better if we leave. It we are separated, we'll meet as fast at possible at The Defiant Monk," said Andras. The two threw the flags down as it would impede their mobility. After the initial screams and agitation, the police attacked. This time chaos spread all over the Square. Andras and Santo were going towards the Artur Seznec Boulevard, at it's end being the academy, but in the whole chaos, their advance was very slow.

    Many of the demonstrators have run, but the Revolutionary Socialist Party came prepared. Many of it's cadres teared the flags and used the flagpoles to fightback. The Square turned quickly into a huge battle ground when the police attacked with cavalry. It was such a mounted policeman galloping between the people fighting that nearly hit Andras, should Santo have not pushed him back, as he observed him coming. Everything happened extremely quickly. After the mounted police continued it's gallop, a man in a blue jacked came behind it and saw the two cadets. He was carrying a baseball bat. The man paused a little to look at them and then frowned. "You fucking communists!" he yelled and he approached. Andras was still in shock when he saw Santo approaching the man with his hands raised up, but still in guard, trying to talk to him. The man attacked and hit him with the bat. Even if he tried to defend himself, Santo fell and the man jumped on him. Andras, panicking and started filling with rage came and disarmed the man, before hitting him with his own bat. As the man fled, Andras took Santo and tried to get out of the Square.

    After a few meters, as they were approaching the waterfront apartments, Andras felt a hand on his shoulder. He saw the red armband and then recognised him as the man that distributed the flags and banners in his zone. "It is not safe here, come," said the man as he helped Andras drag Santo in the courtyard of one of the apartments. "It's better that we stay here for a bit before things calm down," he said. "Are you okay?" he asked Santo. "My arm hurts as fuck, but I don't think it is broken," he said. "Can you see something with your left eye?" the man asked. "A little. It looks bad?" Santo asked. Andras only now observed that before he managed to beat that man in blue jacket, he managed to hit Santo at least once in the face too. "Well, it's swollen and it would probably blacken, but there shouldn't be any problems. I am Goron Edern, by the way, commissioner in the Revolutionary Socialist Party. That was some pretty ninja stuff you did back there," he said looking at Andras. "I'm Andras Ross, and this is Santo Drest. We are... Cadets at the Ceretic Guletic," he said with a small pause. "Cadets? Ah, there is no need to worry, there were many of you in the square. And the RSP has a great deal of respect for the Guletic bunch, as they were even in 1957 great supporters of us. You are between friends here... and I feel that we need more as we are as close to the situation immediately before the internal settlement as ever. In the following weeks, the fate of Caledonia will be decided," Goron paused a little. "If you ever get a leave again, as looking at him," he pointed at Santo, "the officers will ask some questions and they might penalise you for all this, but should you ever get a leave in the city again, ask for me at the Drunken Lugh Pub in the Northern District. I'll buy you two a pint." He smiled and left them without saying anything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  2. Virumaa

    Virumaa Well-Known Member

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    The Hag
    Dun Eidyn - Ys House
    12th of February 2018, 0630 hours

    Gwen Felix was an old woman, in her late 60s or early 70s and she was still the head of the Constitutional Court. She was still energetic for her age, though as she looked at the clock, she thought that it really must be the last time she will stay up all night to work. Her car stopped in front of Ys House. She thanked the driver, tipped him 10 Bonn and then got out. A valet opened the door for her and she entered the neo-classic mansion that housed the Constitutional Court. In the lobby she looked in a mirror and for a moment she shuddered. The beautiful and round faced red headed lass gave way over the years to a hag, she thought. Her hair was white, but she cared for it. She still wore it long but she braided and then put it around the top of her head, similar to a crown. It was a fashionable hairstyle in her youth but it became an image of Caledonian women in politics after both Lena Rees, the Benadur from the 50s and also Olivia mab Andras, the previous Benadur also had similar hairstyles. As she went afterwards in her office, she asked for a cup of strong black tea.

    A knock was heard on the door and a man in his late forties entered the room. "Can I come in?" he asked. "Of course, have a seat," responded Gwen. The man, named Peran Drest, was a member of the Constitutional Court too. He was seen as one of the more pragmatic members of the council. "I hope it's important, given how early it is..." he said with an annoyed voice, though when a valet brought the tea, his frown disappeared and the corners of his lips went up a little. "It is, as I prefer some privacy for this and as you know, the walls have ears, but at this hour, they are in smaller numbers than at more... normal hours..." said Gwen smiling. "I brought you here to show you this," she continued as she gave Peran a report of a bill from the Aonach, with a big "National Marriage Bill" header. Perans scoffed at first. "So they even used this idiotic name for it," he said before continuing to read.

    Three minutes pass in complete silence, with the exceptions in which Gwen sipped her tea, as Peran was reading. "It would have been absurdly amusing, if it wasn't so tragic," he commented. "It will fail. I mean, yeah, it has been voted by those cronies, but it won't become part of the Law Monitor. It clearly isn't constitutional," she said. "True. If Loago is to be incorporated in Caledonia, it clearly changes the statue of both countries. I will have to see again exactly how Caledonia's relationship with the Empire of Loago is described in our constitution to see if it changes, but it is clear that it changes the statue of Loago from an empire to a mere state. It is a constitutional change by itself. It needs to come to a referendum, if not in Caledonia, at least in Loago for sure," said Peran frowning as he was still skimming over the text of the bill. "I have a feeling that a referendum will be needed in both countries for it," she said.

    A knock was hear again on the door. A man, with a red face who appeared to have been running has opened the door and was followed by the valet. "Excuse me, madam, sir, I couldn't stop him," said the valet. Gwen recognised the man immediately. "No, it is okay. I know him, let him in," she said. "What do you have for me, Tegan?" she asked. Peran was still rereading the bill and didn't really gave so much attention to the man. "Ma'am it is of extreme urgency," he said as he gave a sealed document to Gwen. She opened it and started reading it. Peran observed that her eyes were shocked for a second, before they became confident again. "It seems we might win legally," she said. "What is it?" asked Peran. "Not here, let's go for a smoke outside," she said.

    The three went outside, in the garden behind the building. "The frost was cruel last night," commented Gwen as she went deeper into the still dark garden, as the sun didn't risen up yet. As the two men came closer, she continued "do you want cigarettes?" she asked as she gave each a cigarette and lighted them up. "Like I said, earns in the walls. Little in number this early in the morning, but still there. Here, in the garden, snowberries, oaks and juniper berries don't have ears," she said smiling. "Gentlemen, here is the reason to bring down the National Union and Madec and also plan B in it's undoing," she continued. "What is it?" asked Peran. "Invasion plans for the Peninsular Republic and for Boumerda," said Tegan. Peran was so shocked that he even dropped his cigarette. "What?!" he asked with a stern but still, slow voice. "It seems that with the disbandment of the Viridian Compact thanks to the incorporation of Loago into Caledonia, new negotiations have to be done with the Boumerdans to sign new free trade and travel treaties. It seems that Madec wants to give the Boumerdans an ultimatum: Chostangea or bust. What we have here are potential invasion plans from Dun Rheged into deep Himyar," she said. Peran was shocked. "They want to start a war? What's with the Peninsular Republic?" he asked. Gwen took a few moments to skim over the papers and then concluded: "They want to declare the Republic as hostile for harbouring Pan-Himyari nationalist elements and to invade it from Loago," she said. Peran inspired deeply and for a few moments the group stood in silence, the only noise being heard being the burning of the tobacco in the other two lit cigarettes. "It started snowing again," Gwen said with an irritated voice. "My old bones need to have the spring coming as fast as possible," she continued. Peran was silent. He was thinking more as of why is this hag more irritated of the snow that of the plans which would clearly destroy Caledonia. "So," she turned to him, "meet Tegan. He is a very good friend of mine and of my associates. He is an intelligence officer at the Bureau or State Security," she said. The two men shook hands. Peran was sure that Tegan wasn't his real name and most surely he was infiltrated in the National Union, but what he managed to bring out from there made him earn his respect. "You now understand why I want to bring down those monsters?" she asked. "Do you have the means?" asked Peran. "I'd say I have some power and I also have associates," she said before pausing to extinguish the cigarette. "I have three plans, and I need you to be part of plan A," she made a pause again and she put her arm on his shoulder. "I know that your son is a soon to be officer. I think he will finish this spring the academy. Do you want him to die in the savannas of Loago or in the deserts of Boumerda?" she asked sternly. Peran only shook his head. "I lost my father when in 1957 the northerners revolted. I lost a son, when in '85, Chostangea was lost. I do not want to see any more deaths for the sake of a dying empire and for a crown which is so far away from the people it represents. Look at it now. Yesterday, fifteen students and workers have been killed by the blueshirts and the police and more than 500 were arrested and the crown is silent. I want to stop this madness and I want you to join me," she said. Peran just nodded.
     
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  3. Virumaa

    Virumaa Well-Known Member

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    The Shadow
    Dun Eidyn - Ys House
    15th of February 2018, 1630 hours


    Tegan was waiting for the Constitutional Court to finish it's meeting. It was the most important step in what him and Gwen Felix called "The Legal-Revolutionary Process". Two days ago, him, Gwen and Aedan Blacach have met to discuss the next moves to bring down the fascists and to discuss a potential escape plan, should Saig Madec manage to suppress the Saturday demonstration and to put the country under the a state of emergency. The three have decided that if this will be done, Gwen Felix will be waited at the airport by a helicopter which would take her first to Calidia and then to Kadikistan, while Aedan Blacach will activate the LCC partisans which will be joined by a large part of the army and by most of the secret services, with Tegan being the liaison between the LCC partisans and the rebel elements in the army and the secret services. ""But it mustn't come to that," said Tegan then, but Blacach responded: "Should it still happen, I don't think Kadikistan would leave us for the fascists, especially when they didn't leave the Slavonians behind." Either way, things mustn't come to that, Tegan still thought.

    After he heard the sounds of the chairs being pushed as the judges rose from their desks, Tegan went to the door. The first to come out, was Gwen Felix. Tegan approached her. "You know the drill. By the snowberry bushes," she said, before turning to Peran Drest, telling him to organise and give the statements in the press conference. Gwen took out a cigarette and went outside, followed by Tegan.

    "It is done." she said lighting her cigarette. "The National Union is no more, theoretically speaking, of course," she said, sighing. "Tonight and tomorrow will be crucial," she continued, "I have told the other judges to be careful in those next days. I expect Saig Madec to do something regrettable. He might ask for martial law, to keep himself in power," she sighed again. "I have kept contact with the State Security Administration and with the 325th Guard Battalion, the Dun Eidyn garrison. They have said that should Madec and his cronies call the army to restore order, they will not follow the orders and will remain in their barracks, but at the first reports of another unit coming towards the capital, they will come in the city first and arrest Madec and the fascists," said Tanet lighting a cigarette. "It is imperative not to turn this into a civil war. We don't need a new 1957. We have legally weakened Madec up to the point in which, if we would know clearly that there won't be any coup from his side, Aedan Blacach and the League of Communists would call for a motion of no confidence, they would win it and we would be over with this circus... But sadly we know that Madec won't play the legal card. That is why we must crush him. All this legal stuff is for the others, we feel a sense of legalism. In truth, you and me both know how things are done politically around here. We talk soft, while we carry big sticks. Currently, with the Saturday demonstration and with the loyalty of the LCC partisans, the State Security Administration and the southern military units, I like to think that I carry a branch, not a stick," said Gwen smiling victoriously. "The problem are the Caitish people and their blindness towards progress. They will surely support Madec and I imagine that they will organise a resistance," she continued. "They can be easily crushed, like they were in 1957. This time, the Caledonians are clearly with us, so it wouldn't even be as complicated like it was 60 years ago. But now, until Saturday, I want you to be safe and I want you to go and wait for that moment at the place we talked before. The Administration will provide protection, but you need to be in our range, we expect everything from the blueshirts and Madec," said Tanet.

    After he left Gwen Felix and Ys House, Tanet went to his car, where Oan Preden, another agent of the State Security Administration was waiting. "We have a development," started Preden to report. "Is Madec already beginning his coup?" asked Tanet interrupting him. "No, nothing of the sorts. The Government Palace is quiet currently. No, the problem is a new actor on the scene," Preden continued, "a post-delegationist group from the student scene, with members from the National Students' Union," said Preden as Tanet got into the car and started driving towards the western edge of the city. "And they are prepared and even have some fireworks with them," Preden continued, while reading a report. "Post-Delegs? Exactly what we needed... anarcho-capitalists over all this motherfucking chaos," Tanet commented. "They can actually help us," Preden said. "From the looks of it, their target is the headquarters of the Blueshirts," said Preden smiling. "Well, well... It would be an interesting development then. Let them bomb the shit out of that place and then arrest them for arson and terrorist attacks," said Tanet as he turned on the radio and tuned in on RBI. They continued their drive in silence, as Preden was making some notes on the report while he was at some points humming alongside the music on the radio.
    The car stopped in the parking lot in front of the military base of the Dun Eidyn Garrison.

    "It is good that you came so quickly. I have heard the news. So legally Madec is defeated, right?" asked colonel Mateo Brendan, as the two men from the State Security Administration entered the base and then in the colonel's office. "Well, legally he is now heading a minority government. He will be brought down on Saturday," Tanet commented. "We have a problem here, and I think it is because of you," Colonel Brendan continued, showing a document to Tanet and Peran. "A Caitman by the name of Talorc has been appointed commander of the Dun Eidyn government," said Colonel Brendan with an irritated voice. "Whatever you did at the Constitutional Court has made Madec so desperate as to promote a Major to Colonel and to give him the command of the 325th Guard Battalion, replacing me," continued Brendan laughing nervously. "So he is desperate and afraid," said Peran smirking. "Yes, but when he is afraid he is the most dangerous. When is this Colonel Talorc scheduled to arrive?" asked Tanet. "Tomorrow night," said Brendan. "I don't think he can do anything. If Madec wants to Caitishise the southern armies to keep them loyal, he is doing this too late, as the Dun Eidyn garrison is his priority and his guy manages to arrive only by tomorrow evening. It seems that even nature itself favours us with the snows that are blocking the north," he continued. "If this Talorc guy will do anything that would compromise the Saturday Revolution, I will simply put him under arrest. The men will follow me," concluded Brendan. "Perfect, do that. I will keep you posted. Depending on how the situation develops, the army would be called to keep the peace. Either way, this is the second last day of the Kingdom," said Tanet.
     
  4. Virumaa

    Virumaa Well-Known Member

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    Fact #60: "There are three things behind which there is no logic: the prostate gland, a Caledonian Republic and Engellexic humanism", Toiseach Gordan Loganaich in the aftermath of the Restoration of the High Kingdom of Caledonia in 1958 under High King Nechtain II and the National Syndicalist Regime.

    Headquarters of the National Democratic Party, Muir Road, Dun Eidyn

    Coll MacFhilib, the Chairman of the National Democratic Party drove his Eiffellander made car on Muir Road and parked it vis-a-vis the headquarters of the Party. He was a member of the Aonach for Dun Eidyn-Balornock, but every day before going to the parliament, he went in the morning to the party headquarters to check on the latest events. Even though secretaries were reporting to him everything, he preferred to show the people working there that he actively engages in leading the NDP. When he entered, the main secretary looked at him, a bit distressed: "Mr MacFhilib, there is a man waiting for you in his office. He it was extremely urgent and couldn't give many details only to you personally."

    Coll Mac Fhilib was a bit surprised, as usually he knew the secretary and she was very meticulous. It was strange to let someone in without knowing who he was and with what issue he came. He entered his office, as the man waiting there rose and shook his hand, greeting him. "Mr MacFhilib, my name is Douglas MacMurray, I have come to make you a proposition." Coll looked at him and observed his greying blonde hair and ashy eyes. A blonde man, speaking with a strange accent, clearly he was a foreigner. Coll observed that he was speaking rarely, showing that Caledonian Gaelic wasn't his first language and he was making an effort to speak him. His name, germanised, clearly was of a Gunnishman. But what would the Gunns want from him. For a moment, he tried to think of the Gunnish clans to see if there was a MacMurray lying around, but none ringed a bell in his mind.

    "A proposition?" asked MacFhilib. "What kind of proposition? What organisation do you represent?" he continued, but the man made a gesture which his left hand to stop him. "You said... or not you personally, but your party said on a twatter post recently, that soon the Caledonians would prefer security and stability over the idealism of prometheism. Let's say that I represent a group of people... powerful and influential people, whom have always believed that idealism without security is, frankly, bollocks and have always emphasised on the need to keep the country and its people safe and secure and most importantly, stable."

    MacFhilib raised an eyebrow. "May I ask who are those people?" he enquired. "No, you may not. In time, if we would become friends, you may meet them, but until then, no," said the man, whom MacFhilib started to believe to be extremely shady. "May I try to guess whom those persons are?" Coll tried his luck again. ""You are my guest to do it and is quite natural for you to do it, but it doesn't help you if I am not approving or disapproving your guesses," the man calling himself MacMurray quickly responded. "Let me try still. You said stability. Well, if you are approving of me attacking the government it is clear that your bosses fear that in the future, the current government will attack them, maybe with the nationalisation and socialisation laws. If they fear that, it also means that they were privileged by the old regime, of the liberals or even older, of the National Syndicalists, so they are probably industrialists and landowners. I would go with the heads of powerful companies and corporations like North Timber or the MacNill Conglomerate," said MacFhilib, but he immediately regretted that he felt the corners of his mouth involuntarily raising a bit, hoping that MacMurray would said something, but the man remained unmoved, with a perfect poker face. "I think that instead of playing those games, you should hear my proposition," MacMurray said with an irritated voice.

    MacFhilib sighed. He felt humiliated, like a naughty pupil whom was asked to behave by a stern teacher. He tried to hide his cheeks blushing, but I felt naked in front of the man presenting himself as a Gunn, though he was extremely sceptical that he truly was one. "What proposition?" he asked. "Have you heard of the Radek Money?" MacMurray asked. Of course MacFhilib heard of it. It may be one of the biggest heists from a Caledonian bank. Billions of buinn disappearing right when they money was to be surrendered to the authorities of Crotobaltislavonia. The Authorities were extremely annoyed, especially with CBS becoming an ally of Kadikistan and thus the chances to annoy them too were as high as ever. "Whats with the money?" MacFhilib asked, curious what the Gunn wannabe would say about them. "Do you want them?" asked MacMurray smiling. It was the first time the guy smiled and showed that he was human. MacFhilib was perplexed. "You have them? What if I call now the police of the Toiseach and say that you have them?" he asked. To that, MacMurray only smirked. "It would be an amusing spectacle, for I know for sure that yesterday, the embassy of CBS received around 15 prank calls about the money and the Gearda at least 30. It would be bad if the leader of a historical party like the NDP would start making prank calls too," said MacMurray with a smile emanating superiority. "So what is with this proposition?" asked MacFhilib. His mind was continuously working, he was imagining the industrial and agricultural conglomerates and corporations being attacks against the government, but if the money truly was in the hands of this man and what he said about the calls prove to be true, it meant that bankers and policemen were too taking a part in this, he thought.

    "We want you as an ally. We want you to continue to attack the government and the republic and that farce of a referendum and you would receive a part of the many to fund the future electoral campaigns of your party. From what I imagine, if you say yes, in a year at most, you might have a great chance to be the next Toiseach of a restored High Kingdom of Caledonia," said MacMurray sternly. He too could see the eyes of MacFhilib flick at the idea of him being the Toiseach of Caledonia. "I... well... I must say that my party has promised to abide the laws and provide stability..." said MacFhilib. "A crashed Buinn and a huge economic deficit, calls for nationalisation and now talks of war with Engellex and the collapse of the historically friendly relationship with Gunnland are exactly the opposite of what the people were promised," MacMurray continued. "I will leave you to sit on this and to think it. In a week's time I will return to talk with you and to receive your response. Before you would be ready to say no, I need to say that we are hoping for a restoration the legal way. There are also more violent means, just look in the north. Groups like the Monarchy of the North and the Catholic and Royal Army would be happy to receive the Radek money and believe me, as he is an acquaintance, Seathan MacRath too would love to be Toiseach," said MacMurray as he rose from his chair and simply left the room.
     
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  5. Virumaa

    Virumaa Well-Known Member

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    Fact #120: There are three constants in Loago: Tribalism, opportunism and heat.

    Anesu Creek Farm, near Umtali, State of Loago

    Tadgh Blacach, a 30 year old tall man, reaching 1.90 meters, yet slender going toward skinny, was working on his laptop, when his wife, Ayanda came to him to announce that a car entered the yard. "It must be our old friend," said Tadgh as he rose from the chair and went out of the room. Anesu Creek was come commonly known as the Royal Farm since Prince Tadgh used his inheritance to buy it. Through it he wanted to step away from the agitated life of Dun Eidyn and to marry the woman he loved. He was surprised how much respect the name Blacach carried around, as on a daily basis, people living in the area have been coming to the farm to meet the prince and what the Wala were calling, "the princess". Before he could enter the hall, he heard the butler: "Ah, Mr. MacFhilib, welcome. Prince Teague is waiting for you." It was typical for him to have his name butchered by the Loagins. There is an important Gunnish community living in Loago and for some time, their language seems to start influencing the speech of the Fante and Wala, probably being seen as simpler than the Caledonian or Ivernish languages and name forms.

    "Tadghin!" yelled Coll MacFhilip as he entered the house and hugged Tadgh. The leader of the National Democratic Party taught in his younger days at Rheged College where all of the big shots sent their children to receive some expensive yet quality education. He remained close to the royal family afterwards and thus it was no surprise he used diminutives for them. Of all, he liked Tadgh the most, as he felt he was wittier than his younger brother, Mael Coluim and had a stronger personality, something he fully observed during the succession crisis, when Tadgh just rejected the crown to marry a Loagin woman. In time, he became a friend and mentor of the family. "It is good to see you again, Coll," Tadgh said as he responded to the hug and invited him inside. The ex-prince presented Coll MacFhilip with his wife, the butler and the cook. As dinner was served, Ayanda preferred to let the two talk, as she was preparing for her own guests. The farm became a cultural hot spot in the area, as Ayanda was organising a musical and literary circle.

    "So, old friend, what brings you here, to the end of the world?" asked Tadgh. "Well, the statue of Maseru will be soon voted and Loago will be free in name too, not only in practice and before it, I wanted to enjoy one last safari like in the old days, and if you were on my path, I'd say to stop and say hello," said Coll as he started eating. "Sorry, it isn't as refined as what you would find in Dun Eidyn, but still..." said Tadgh as he observer Coll frowned as he took a bite. They were eating pap, a staple food of Loago, which actually was maize porridge, with chakalaka, an extremely spicy vegetable relish and zebra steak. Coll took a bite of the steak and was a bit surprised, as it was tastier than he imagined it.

    "So, how are things back in the old dreary north?" asked Tadgh. "Well, things are currently stagnating, especially in the high north. From what I can gather, the men of Seathan MacRath are too weak to deal a major blow to the Republican Army, especially after they were recently defeated in battle, but the Republican Army itself has its morale so low in the north that it borders on disintegration, so, I might say that they are pretty balanced in just terrorising the civilians," said Coll as he continued to eat. "I heard of some new developments," said Tadgh, smiling, "and I am a bit shocked that from my isolated part of the world, I managed to create more liaisons than you in Dun Eidyn," Tadgh contined. Coll growled a little, more anxious to hear what he has to say, rather than his unnecessary comments. "Elben might help arm the Catholic and Royal Army," said Tadgh. "Impossible. Elben has no navy. How could they smuggle weapons up north?" asked Coll as he stopped from eating. "They don't need to do it themselves. Like you said, the morale of the army is extremely low. Weren't a few weeks ago some officers arrested because they were smuggling weapons to the rebels? I wouldn't say its that hard. The problem would be another. If Elben helps the northern dissidents, Gunnland will do the same soon, as those two always work together. If they do that, they will give a huge advantage to the dissidents. Imagine Caledonia as a reactionary kingdom like it was in the late 50s and early 60s," said Tadgh. "The Clans won't accept that. Loago won't accept that," said Coll, as he resumed eating. "Loago doesn't give a shit now that they got their government. Once the statue of Maseru will be voted they will truly not care at all what happens in wee faraway Caledonia. As for the Clans, I have my own reasons to believe that one clan is supporting them," said Tadgh as he finished his food. He didn't touch the pap. "Yeah, I've been thinking that the lack of progress against the dissidents comes from the support Clan Loganach gives them," said Coll. "That might be possible, though the fighting there is counterproductive to the Loganach interests, as they are fighting on their grounds. No, I have someone else in mind," said Tadgh, "Clan Munn is, like you know, a cadet branch of Clan Gunn. If the southerner kingdoms are supporting the rebels, I may believe that they were promised to put a Munn on the throne," continued Tadgh.

    "There is also the problem of Marxism-Leninovism. In Monadh Rois, the Prometheists are clashing with the communists," said Coll. "Yes... I heard. I fear that we are approaching the impasse we had in the 50s, as currently, from my point of view, the government is overwhelmed and its members, from what it seems, border on the imbecilic," said Tadgh. "Look at Loago. We managed to create a functioning state here. We managed to end the fights between the Fante and Wala peoples, while also reaching a balance between ethnic nationalism and post-colonialism on one side, and white minority interests. We did what might have been seen as the impossible, as we created a moderate and capable political class. A new generation of Himyari leaders. We need that in Caledonia too. We have the radical monarchists up there in the north. We don't need them. We have the radical republicans in Monadh Rois, be them Prometheists or Leninovists. We don't need them either. We need moderates who are ready to understand that leaving all those fancy epithets in the country's name still leaves us with the main substance, which is Caledonia. The country is the same and we must still respect her if she is a monarchy, or a republic. Now its not the time to have a civil war," said Tadgh. "We need people to restart the dialogue," said Coll as he too finished his meal. "Restarting the dialogue starts to be an overused theme is northern journalism. No, we must have someone to really say that only through compromises we will keep this country alive. Compromises coming from both the monarchists and the republicans," said Tadgh. "If it is needed, the National Democratic Party will discuss with the Country Party. I imagine that Olibhia MacAnndra will be open to the idea," said Coll. "You can and should. But, I am one step ahead of you, as currently the head of Clan Blacach is meeting with Toiseach Lucas Ros and presenting this idea," said Tadgh. "What is the idea?" asked Coll. "It is currently classified. But the blacks can put much more pressure on the government than any opposition party does," said Tadgh. "What I want from you is to fight to keep the people united, for I fear that Engellex is preparing for something. One can manage and dialogue with Kadikistan and behind all that though play, they are pragmatic and know what they want. Whereas Engellex is an unknown menace. Now it is not the time to fight between ourselves. With the recall of the diplomatic staff from all over the world and the rhetoric attacks on Caledonia, Ivernia and Carinthia, I feel that we are mere months if not weeks away from a war in which they would want to enslave us all with their human commodity system. That is why I want you to follow exactly whatever instructions you will receive from Mormaer Robert Blacach and to be as comely as possible while you continuously ask for unity," said Tadgh.
     
  6. Virumaa

    Virumaa Well-Known Member

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    Fact #23: A person does not simply leave a Clan. A government does not simply declare war on a clan. In Caledonian politics, clans have been almighty, are almighty and will always be almighty.

    Blue House, Dun Eidyn

    A convoy made out of three luxury black Deira 9-5 cars parked in front of the Blue House, the headquarters of the government. Out of the one in the middle, from the front door a man with a black, white, green kilt, a black suit, white shirt and a black tie came out and opened the door on the back. From the other cars, similar men came out of the cars and organised themselves in a formation in front of the building. From the back door of the car in the middle, came out a man in his early 70s, with a wrinkled face, bald, but with a ginger beard and deep blue eyes wearing the same costume like the rest. He was using a walking stick, though he was looking strong enough to walk independently. He wasn't just yet another Blacach, he was The Blacach, the clan chief and arguably the most powerful man in the country. As he entered the building, followed by two of his men, the secretary at the reception greeted him and apologised: "The Toiseach is extremely sorry, he knows of your appointment but there was an emergency and is now in a meeting with Archbishop MacIver," she said worried. Robert Blacach didn't say a thing. He went straight to the door on the left, the office of the Toiseach. The secretary followed. "I am sorry, Mr Ros, I told him that there was an urgent meeting and the audience was postponed..." she tried to say as Blacach opened the door.

    "Don't you have to attend a meeting with the Pope? I am pretty sure there is a plane waiting for you at the airport," said Blacach as his eyes met the Archbishop's. MacIver's face was flushed. "Your grace, I..." Mac Iver tried to respond, but he was interrupted. "Your excellency, I have an appointment with the Toiseach and we have some rather important subjects to discuss. I would prefer you to just leave your machinations for some other time," said Blacach without flinching an eye. He used the more republican style of "excellency" rather than the typical "grace" as a way to sting the Archbishop, which was seen as a great friend of the republicans. MacIver rose from the chair and went outside without saying a thing. Lucas Ros looked a bit perplexed. He knew he had in front of him The Blacach, the richest and most influential man in Caledonia and probably the whole Viridian Union, but he wasn't expecting him to be this rash. He knew he had an appointment with the clan leader but the current scandal between the Archdioceses of Dun Glas and Dun Eidyn came up, especially with the call for excommunication. He knew that the clans were the real powers in the country and as of yet he didn't manage to win the support of any clan, so he was walking in a minefield. He wanted to first stabilise the country and then start negotiating with the clans to win their support. He wanted to start with weaker clans like Loganach or Munn and then continue to Sutharlainn and at the end Blacach, but the Mormaer came asking for an audience, so he had to start with the strongest clan, thus he was having a powerful handicap in this discussion. He wanted to keep the Mormaer as friendly as possible so he kept a neutral face when, before leaving, his eyes met with the Archbishop's and saw his call for support.

    "Your grace, please sit down. I am extremely sorry for this. There was an emergency as the relationship between the Archdioceses of Dun Eidyn and Dun Glas is falling apart," he said with a worried face. What a weakling, thought Blacach. He remembered how 60 years ago, he was only 12 years old. His father, Aindreas Blacach went to meet with Toiseach Gordan Loganach after he restored the Kingdom. Immediately after he arrived, Loganach yelled at him, called him a weakling, for not resisting the republicans, as the restoration of the Kingdom was then based on the efforts of the Sutharlainn, Loganach, Munn clans and even of the Blacachs of the North, the cadet branch of his clan, while the main line of the Blacachs just stood by and waited to see how things developed. This made the clan weak and also created many enemies in the National Syndicalist regime. That is also why now, Blacach waited to see the republicans defeat the National Union in what they called the Snowdrop Revolution. He didn't want a return of the fascists. The clan prospered in the liberal period between 1985 and 2018 and managed to become the strongest clan during his tenure as Mormaer. Robert Blacach wanted this to continue. He didn't want an 1957 again. But still, he thought back of that episode 60 years ago and could only say that Gordan Loganach was truly a powerful Toiseach. He managed to send the Party of the Left back in its caves and to bring stability to the country he did the biggest taboo in Caledonian politics, namely he detained and killed most of its political enemies. After the political repressions of the 1890s and early 1900s when the royal government killed anyone remotely linked to the organisation of the failed republican revolution, a true overkill, the savagery of the episode made many Caledonian politicians to respect and unwritten law, which was to never repeat such an event. 1958, Gordan Loganach didn't care about this gentleman's agreement and sent nearly 100,000 people to labour camps in the high north. Now, he is described as one of the most evil tyrants in Caledonia, even even today, farmers in the north continue to discover human remains from places where political prisoners were executed 60 years ago. But, as much as it was an aggressive, violent and inhumane act, it gave Caledonia 50 years or stability. Compared to him, Lucas Ros was a weakling in the eyes of Robert Blacach.

    "Your excellency, I have come to discuss some grave matters with you," started Blacach. "This country has the right to stay away from a fascist dictatorship. No one would gain anything from a return of the National Syndicalists. But still, I would say that the people also have the right to be themselves and to enjoy their culture, their faith and their typical idiosyncrasies. I am here to try to offer you an overview of this country, so I can know for sure that you see this country and this people correctly, not through reports of sycophants," he continued. "Your grace, I believe that the bureaucratic apparatus of the Commonwealth is mature enough..." Ros was interrupted. "If you really think that, you are more naive than I anticipated. You want to create a modern nation by emulating the Gallic Commonwealth. Very well. You can befriend them, you can ally with them, you can do whatever with them, but let me tell you, that the Caledonians are continental Celts from the south. They are northerners. They are closer to the Ivernians, the Gunnishmen and to the Elbeners than to the Gallegans. This country is stagnating. In two months this government has just responded to the crises threw at itself. Not only that it has never taken the lead, but it has responded poorly," said Blacach with a stern voice.

    "Your grace, the country is in crisis. There are northern dissidents whom have started an armed rebellion against Dun Eidyn, Engellex is targeting us, probably readying to invade Loago and Kadikistan is the bear that mustn't be woken at all costs. We are in a profoundly complicated situation," Ros tried to excuse himself. "The country is stagnating. Do you know what is happening in the north? The Republican army is close to disintegration as many are deserting for the rebels, while also smuggling weapons to them. In Monadh Rois, prometheists and leninovists are ready to kill each other. This is want you want? A double civil war?" asked Blacach sternly. "Your grace, those rebels will soon be dealt with. The people wanted a republic and by defending it, we are defending their interests," said Ros. "You really think they wanted a republic? What is this then?" asked Blacach as he took from a file he held a graphic. Lucas Ros looked at it. It was the result of an opinion poll ordered by the National Institute of Statistics, at his order, asking 10,000 Caledonians if they approve of the Republic. Around 20% said that they support it, 65% said that if they would have known better, they would have changed their vote, and 15% were undecided. "You ordered this statistic to see where you are situated and when you learned the truth about this yet another failed republican experiment, you ordered the Institute to withhold the publication of the results. What if I will send this to Affiliated Press or the European Press Association?"Blacach continued. "The people expect instant results. A period must pass until the country is stable and prosperous again," said Ros. "But is you say the people are now rushing, why do you condemn them? You also rushed the referendum and won thanks to the anti-fascist revolutionary fervour. If I go tomorrow to the press and publish those results while also asking for the signing of a petition for a second referendum, I expect that I would get the necessary half a million signatures in a fortnight and then the parliament will vote to organise the referendum," said Blacach with a relaxed voice. "This is like a coup d'etat," responded Ros angry. "If you want to call it like that, it might be, yet organising the referendum to fast after the Snowdrop Revolution, calling it a fight between the fascist kingdom and the democratic prometheist republic and even proclaiming the republic before the referendum was even organised, is in my opinion a coup d'etat too," said Blacach. "The only thing that legitimised your move was the constitutional court which and that hag, Gwen Felix. She was a bit too zealous in regards to the March on Dun Eidyn while also closing her eyes in regards to the abuses of the Snowdrop Revolution. She should retire, soon I presume," he continued. "We can war, but in the end, I can just simply say that the clan members should boycott the republic. I will be followed by the Sutharlainns and the Loganachs. I don't really care about the Munns they are a loose cannon. But still, if I do that, it would be amusing to see republican elections with 10% voter turnout," concluded Blacach smiling. Lucas Ros closed his eyes. He knew that Robert Blacach was extremely influential and with the current state of the country the people will feel closer to the clan than to the nation and thus will follow his guidelines.

    "Okay then. What do you really want?" he asked. "A compromise," said Blacach serenely. "A compromise?" asked Ros concerned. "Yes. It is clear the the current situation in the country breeds radicalism. Radical monarchists and fascists in the north and radical republicans and leninovists in Monadh Rois. We should unite to provide a front which can defeat all those and keep Caledonia together," said Blacach. "But like you said, the army is demoralised. How do you want to defeat the northern dissidents?" asked Ros. "I'll just order the people from Clan Blacach to fight them. Your Republican Army is so weak because you forgot that the clans are more important to the people of Caledonia than the nation itself. If the clans will support you, you will see a great change," continued Blacach. "Ok, so you will support the defeat of the Leninovists and the northerners..." said Ros. "No, I want to deal with the Leninovists diplomatically. I will deal with the northerners," said Blacach. "But what compromise?" insisted Ros. "The return of normal political life in Caledonia. The rejuvenation of the country. We haven't created a global empire while being a republic. We did it under a king. We were a great power under a king. The republican episodes were moments of desperation and decadence. We need to return back to what we were. We need the king back," said Blacach. "That is no compromise. You want to undo the Snowdrop Revolution," said Ros frowning. "Yes, I do, but again, I am compromising. We will create an elective monarchy. We will revive the old tanistry and have the people elect their future king. This will make a compromise between the monarchists and the republicans," said Blacach.

    "It is too much. A monarchy is still a monarchy. The people voted for a republic," said Ros. "The people were unaware what that vote meant and you know that. They were manipulated and are now rebounding and supporting Seathan MacRath and his goons," said Blacach. "At most, if you want to accept it, I can create the post of Lord Protector, which could function like a constitutional monarch," said Ros meekly. "No. The people what to return to their roots and to the era in which Caledonia was strong. They don't want continuous experiments. No one heard of a Lord Protector in Caledonia itself," said Blacach sternly. " This is my offer. You will say that you want to create a second referendum to pacify the country. You will call Seathan MacRath to peace negotiations. The second referendum will provide three options: first, keep the republic as it is; second, organise an elective monarchy, with Mael Coluim V continuing his reign and the people electing through a vote his Tanist; third, return to the old hereditary monarchy with the 1985 constitution. The first option is to bring the radical republicans to the table, while the third option is to bring the northern dissidents to the table," said Blacach. "This would come from me, this is my part of the compromise. What is your part?" asked Ros. "I will keep you in power. I can easily create a political front under which the Country Party and the National Democratic Party will unite together. If I can bring them in an alliance with the Prometheist League, you will have much to win. First, if the negotiations fail and the rebels won't accept the idea of the referendum or its result, I will personally put my own weight behind the operations to crush them. If that happens, Seathan MacRath will come begging for his life," said Blacach. "This will destroy the northern threat, while leaving the Marxist-Leninovists as the only opposition. If Kadikistan wants to respect its image as a pragmatic and honorable country, they will still do anything possible to not repeat the 1957 episode and will like to keep Caledonia in the Northern Status Quo Treaty. For that, they will have to keep their dogs at bay and with it, there you have it. Stability," continued Blacach prophetically.

    "Stability is something we currently lack. This is what stops us from developing and prospering," said Ros thoughtfully. "And things will get worse from here," said Blacach. "From my own reports, the rebels in the north managed to win the political support of the Kingdom of Elben. If they did that, Gunnland isn't that far. The northern dissidence will erupt in a full blown civil war and if that happens, the Leninovists will stir the shit too to gain power. Do you really want a three way civil war?" asked Blacach sternly. "No, but neither do I want to turn my back on the ideals of the revolution," said Ros. "Did Lena Rees turn her back on Prometheism?" asked Blacach annoyed. "What?" Ros was surprised. "You heard me. Lena Rees was the best Toiseach this country had in the last century and she was a prometheist which fought against communism and national syndicalism under the banner of the High Kingdom of Caledonia. That is what I want to recreate," said Blacach. "If I propose this, the party will turn on me. The Congress will end up breaking the party," said Ros. "Many will understand that the republic is doomed as it is and will see the alliance with the Country Party and the NDP as a necessary evil. Some will care more about politics, and personal power than the country, so they will break the party and will be against it, but they will be a negligent mass if the alliance is created," said Blacach.

    "I will discuss with some of my associates. We understand the grave situation we are in now and if Prometheism is to continue, we must unite and win the support of the clans," said Ros is a defeated voice. "But if this thing is to go forward, I want you to promise me on the honour of your whole clan, that you will support the government, whatever the result of the referendum is," said Ros looking in the eyes of Blacach for more than 10 seconds for the first time in the meeting. "Very well. Of course I will," said Blacach as he rose from his chair and shook Ros' hand.
     
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  7. Virumaa

    Virumaa Well-Known Member

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    Fact #53: The Northern Enclave resisted in the 1957 Caledonian Emergency up until Kadikistani reinforcements came thanks to the support of the Caitmen, which revolted against the assimilation policies of the Caledonian regime.

    Taran map Onuist College, Dun Garan, Present Day

    Catriona Blacach, a 49 year old woman, was rinsing the whiteboard at the end of her class. "Inflected Prepositions with Possessive Determiners" still remained on the board, written with a black marker, as she was interrupted. She taught Caledonian language and literature and geography at the Taran map Onuist College, one of the only two Colleges in Dun Garan. Colleges were typical schools in the Caledonian education system made out of all classes, from first graders to twelfth graders all in the same institution. Catriona didn't like that much to teach Caledonian grammar, as she found it extremely complicated and complex, maybe a bit too much for the students. She preferred to teach literature more, but that was something one would find more in high school text books, rather than middle school text books. Even if she will become 50 this weekend, she was still very youthful, appearing at least ten years younger. Her youthful appearance and demeanour made her a student favourite among the teachers.

    "Santist ta henui, hox an..." started a girl which remained in the classroom during the break to speak with another one, in Caitish. A boy went to the girl which was talking and literally smacked her over her mouth. Catriona, while still cleaning up after the class was interrupted by the screams and cries of the girls. She turned towards the scene. "You have no right to speak that barbarian language here! This is Caledonia! We speak Caledonian here!" the boy yelled at the girls, both of them crying now. Catriona went towards the students and caught the boy by the hand as he was preparing to hit the girl again. "For Christ's sake, Iain, what is wrong with you?" she asked the boy half in shock, half in rage. "We are living in Caledonia, we don't need slimy and smelly Caits here," the boy said with a sincerity and innocence that made Catriona thing that she asked more about the weather rather that such a serious thing. "You're coming to me to the principal, and the counsellor. We need to have a discussion," said Catriona.

    Catriona knocked on the door of the principal and then entered. "This is wrong on some many levels," said Uisdean Mac a Phearsainn, the principal after he heard the story of what happened from Catriona. "Iain, who told you that Caitmen are slimy and smelly?" asked the principal. "Mother said that they stink and they are lazy and prefer to kill Caledonians rather than live a normal life," said the boy. Catriona started to become enraged. "You know your mother has no right to call people that way, right?" asked Catriona irritated. "Cat, please..." said Uisdean to stop her and then looked back at the student. "Where is your mother from?" he asked. "Dun Eidyn. She married my father and moved to Dun Garan because my dad works at the oil rigs in the White Islands," said the boy. "Of course..." muttered Uisdean for himself. "Iain, listen to me, you said your mother comes from Dun Eidyn. That city is far away, around 800 kilometres to the south. If she only recently came here, she can't know how Caitmen truly are, so please, don't follow blindly what others are saying," said Uisdean. The boy nodded. Now go apologise to the two girls.

    "Just that? Some weak, no pressure, no consequence discussion?" asked Catriona as Iain left the office. "At the moment, yes," said Uisdean. "It isn't fair. Those girls might now be traumatised. Just imagine yourself how it would be if someone would come and smack you and yell at you because you are speaking your own language," said Catriona angry. "Calm down, I see that you try to transform into your mother, but please, understand. That boy is just 12. He is innocent. The real problem are his parents and I will call them immediately to have a talk with them and if they don't understand the new realities they can move their dandiprat to another school, but until then, we have more pressing issues," said Uisdean as he handed Catriona an order from the Ministry of Education. "They want, in time, to devolve Votadinia into become a real Caitland. With its own national language and functioning autonomous government in Dun Glas. For that it seems the need Caitish medium schooling," said Uisdean. "So what does this have to do with me?" asked Catriona. "Well, if we need to attract more funds, we will need to show that we will be the first school in the region to become a Caitish medium school. You know some Caitish, probably on conversational level, but you need to know more if you are to teach geography in Caitish. You don't need it for Caledonian, but if you want to keep your current pay check, you will need to improve your Caitish so I won't be made to hire a geography teacher who speaks Caitish fluently," said Uisdean. "And when would we become a Caitish medium school?" asked Catriona. "By the next year we should have everything sorted," said Uisdean. "You literally give me four months to learn to speak Caitish fluently..." said Catriona annoyed. "Well, I would say you shouldn't waste time around here then and start rehearsing," said the principal.

    Catriona traversed the school yard and then passed through the hedge row in her own yard. In the days before 1985, the population of Dun Garan was bigger by around a third at least if not a half, and Taran map Onuist College, at that time, Toiseach Daniel Loganach College was the only high school the town had to it was nearly triple in size. She was currently living in what in the past has been the gardener's house. It was a four room house with a small yard surrounded by hedges that has been build in the late 50s when the school was expanded and then was given to private owners when the town and the school too shrunk. The rent was extremely cheap and being so close to school, it was an ideal place for her to raise her children. Usually she was so lazy to go out of the school ground and go on the street to her house that she just preferred to pass through the hedges to reach her yard. The students were usually making fun of her apparitions but she didn't care. Now the thing with the Caitish language was annoying her. At her age, after she managed the impossible, raising a child as a single mother while still attending classes at university she thought that by now things might get easier. She was born in 1968. Her first born came when she was only 18. Sean, her oldest son, was now 32 and married, with a son of his own, living in Dun Glas. After her first husband left her, she married again with another man, with whom she had a second son, Aindreas, who was now 23. He was living now with his partner in Dun Eidyn. He came out as bisexual, when he was 16 and since then had a series of relationships with both women and men in time became running jokes in the family. He now settled with an Gall-Goidel he met at University in Dun Eidyn. He was born in 1995 when she was 27. Afterwards, her last child was born, Aoife, whom was now 18 and in her last year in high school. She was born in 2000, when she was 32. A year after Aoife was born, she got dumped by her second husband and raised Aoife and Aindreas alone. Now, as her children were already adults and she was a grandmother, she was expecting her life to become easier, but the devolution of Votadinia seemed to be against it.

    "Aoife, you home?" she asked as she entered the house. No response meant she was either still at school or already out. Catriona shrugged. Her mind was still repeating the the imagine of Iain smacking the girl for speaking Caitish and the words of the principal repeating "...you try to transform into your mother..." again and again. She sat down. It wan't remotely bad into trying to emulate her mother, she thought. She helped and defended the vulnerable and the weak. She used her influence in Clan Blacach to defend them even from the clutches of the National Syndicalists, even if she wasn't as successful as she hoped to be. Still, she tried. It was her turn now, a generation later to try. She went in the attic in which she was holding in an old chest some stuff of her mother's. As she opened it and rummaged through the old newspapers and journals, she observed the corner of a photo reaching out of one notebook. She opened at the page the photo was and looked at it. The photo showed two women, Catriona recognised one, thanks to her braids locked around her head to be her mother, while the other woman was holding something like a ball of towels. The was she held the towels mimicked the way one would carry a baby, though she couldn't see if there truly was a baby there. She looked around and see more photos. In another, she recognised herself as a teenager, holding hands with her best friend at that time, her mother was behind the two. Another, which attracted her attention more, showed her mother and a man playing with cosmetics in a bedroom. On the back side, scribbled in crayon and barely readable, "As fabulous as we are strong" could be read and underneath, the date, 12th of December 1984. She couldn't recognise who that man was. As she continued to rummage through the stuff, a small booklet fell down. Catriona took it and blew the dust from it. It was written in German: "Rosa Liebe unter die Obsidian Fahne". She didn't speak German and would have loved for Aindreas to be around to translate, as she could only understand Rosa, which would have either meant rose or pink and obsidian which was a nickname for the Caledonian flag, the Obsidian Banner. Probably it was something like "Rosy life in Caledonia" or something, she thought. Just some propaganda book about the great life under the National Syndicalist dictatorship. But when she opened it, she saw written in crayon and barely readable again: "Pink love under the Obsidian Banner. I am glad that we have managed to make the Eiffellandians write about our little commune and struggle for respect and liberty. May 1985." She closed the chest and kept the photos and the booklet. Yes, she decided that she wanted to be like her mother. It should be easier today than it was in her days. She wanted to make something positive in her life and provide protection and support for the poor, the vulnerable and the weak.
     
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