Gotha date; RH
10-24-2011, 12:39 PM
Over the centuries, many people have wondered about the behavior of common starlings. They gather in large flocks to form a tight sphere-like formation in flight, frequently expanding and contracting and changing shape, seemingly without any sort of leader...
Harald Thuresson got out of his bed alcove just before 6 am. Up in the highlands that separated Ådalen from the provinces south of Blååsarna, it could be cold all year around. Harald revived the fire in his cast iron stove in order to make breakfast: a hand full of oak flakes in boiling water. Soon, there would be enough berries to sweeten up this daily routine.
He went through the door and was greated by his neighbor and cousin Olof, who was already waiting for him. Harald closed the door behind him with a small beam, attached to the door frame with a long screw. A rope through a "key"hole served as doorhandle, tied with a knot on both sides of the door.
It was the midst of summer during the warmest period of the 15 year cycle, which meant a lot of work with early harvests. They would cut the long grass today, the second harvest of the year. If the weather stayed like this, they could stack a winter supply of hay before the new moon.
On these hill slopes, harvesting still was done with scythes. The grass was tied up into bundles, which were left to dry on a rope between two pinetree poles. Further down the hill, the had constructions made out of willow branches, which could take large amounts of grass to dry while facing the sun. This high up, wood was scarce. In a summer like this, there simply was no time to haul the wood uphill and construct something similar here.
Around 11 am, the men went back to the mantalsstuga for a short meeting before lunch. Most of what the Alf was saying was going right passed him, he wasn't paying that much attention. He looked around him, and noticed two young men he hadn't met yet. Which was unusual in a small village like this. These must be those peacekeeping soldiers from Liden everyone was talking about.
The Alf was fulminating against the modernist tendencies coming from the capital, Harald understood when he caught some smithereens of his speech. It truly was one way traffic today, no one dared to join, no one had the inspiration to say something. Until Harald heard himself say:
"This is the first time we are able to work on a harvest with all the able men of our stim. And we have some outside help." He pointed towards the two young men.
Another stim member replied: "So far, I have nothing to complain about this thing called Vittmark either. I can't be bothered with it. There's too much work to do."
"Samman, yes. We can save the political debate for the long winter nights. Right now, I'm hungry and can't wait to get some lunch inside of me."
"It's too far from my bed anyway," continued Harald, "I'd like to eat some porridge with cloudberry and rye bread now." A typical choice of words: porridge was kind of white, the cloudberries orange and the rye bread so dark brown that it could pass for black. The colors from the flag of Vittmark...
"Porridge it is. What have the Ådahls brought us the last cycle? War, hunger, huge taxes... I don't mind to try something else."
And from that moment on, an early summer day in the Vittmarker heartland, one stim had changed allegiance, and one alf had to restore his leadership over the group. Or face someone challenging him for it...
11-12-2011, 02:34 PM
"Mommy, mommy, the trunkbulls are coming!"
For young Arvid, this was the first time he would see these furry pachyderms in real life. He had heard the stories about the Bengtists, an Orkanan sect that followed and protected wandering trunkbulls. Only in the warmest of summers, the animals would migrate this far north to Kötthagen, and with them the Order of Bengt.
This particular herd was called Valda, after the Orkanan Alf with the same name. She was in her early 50s now, and had been a part of the Order since she turned 16 and the herd had passed her village. Vanda had protected the herd from the mayhem of the Pan Anarian War and the Three Way Conflicts. Bengtists were never a part in any of these wars, but it's easy to get caught at the wrong spot at the wrong time.
Valda's stim was travelling on ponies, with a couple of scouts covering the flanks of the trullbunk herd. This was one of the few stims that actually had some domesticated trunkbulls, which made them more than welcome visitors.
Arvid's mother told her son to stay foot in the door opening of the family's house, no matter what happened. She herself ran into the fields to bring the working men the good news. For 3 years this had been waiting for the Bengtists. A bridge needed to be replaced and only the trunkbulls were powerful enough to help building the foundation in the middle of the fastly running river.
The men dropped their tools and made their way back to the village just in time to see a caravan of ponies and a couple of trunkbulls arriving on the main road. The other women in the village had already prepared for an outdoors meal, welcoming the travellng order. The village Alf had put on his ceremonial robe.
"On behalf of the village of Ostby, the stim of Ostby, I welcome you to our place. Thank Vind for taking you, your herd and your order past our village. It has been a long time. Please, share in the little things we have to offer."
Vanda got down from her pony and walked with her cane towards the village Alf.
"My name is Vanda of the Wandering Order of Bengt. I thank you for your welcome and the food and drinks you're offering. I hope we can return this favor."
After the improvised lunch, which had all the characteristics of a fest apart from the limited amount of food, the men from both stims started working together on the bridge. Some large boulders were placed on a large rock in the middle of the stream, after which the wooden bridge segments could be installed. The village of Ostby could finish the bridge later, without the extra help of the heavy animals.
In the mean time, Vanda had been counseling the women and elderly of the village. The local Alf didn't object to her giving spiritual and religious guidance. He knew that outside advice was a welcome distraction from the usual routines. He simply had to make sure that he got some updates from Vanda, so he could continue after she had left.
Not all receptions were this warm though. Many Alfs felt threatened by the traveling order. After all, the Bengtists are non-interventionist Orkanans, while most stims in Vittmark were convinced of Vind having a master plan that the Orkanans had to help realize. The traveling order's groups knew pretty well where to go, and which places to avoid, based on years of experience. But the furry animals they were following and protecting had their own travel plans, which made the life of the order members insecure. That's why they celebrated with the locals for every successfull visit. After all, they had to tack up supplies until the next friendly place, which could be a week's travel away.
When the caravan of ponies left the village at dusk, little Arvid was watching them from a stone wall beside the road. If they would return in 15 years or so, he would join them. The prospect of being on the road, getting great receptions and work with Vind's most impressive creatures, that was enough to win the heart of this young man. Just like it had done with Vanda for aboyt 35 years ago.
05-03-2012, 08:56 PM
Rune stopped the twentyseventeenth * truck for today and it wasn't even lunchtime. This wasn't exactly the job he had anticipated, but it paid well. The truckdrivers paid him well.
"Good morning. That'll be 2 crowns or 15 mark."
Vind in the roof, a newbie Rune thought.
"It costs 2 crowns to use this road."
"I never before paid for using this road. I wasn't planning on doing that now."
"It isn't the same road anymore. This is the transportation route for the railway project. We have improved it considerably. We made it available for private traffic."
"We? Who is "we"?"
"The Blue Mountains Railways Consortium," Rune replied, pointing at a badge on his jacket.
"And who are "we" bringing to stop me from using this road?"
Rune pointed to some people in camouflage uniforms sitting a bit higher up the hill.
"Federal police, Inälvsdalens contingent. This is not the type of roadblock you might have gotten used to during the Three Ways Conflict. I'm not a privateer abusing this road. I work for a federal enterpise. I don't carry any weapons, but they do..."
The truck driver sighed. Rune tried a different approach.
"First trip since a long time, isn't it?"
"Yap. I just came back from service. Ådalen coast guard."
"Important task. Thanks for defending our coast. I mean that. It must be tough to come back from that life."
"Society is changing. I just feel I can't keep up with all of it. They said that driving trucks was a good way to make some money."
"It still is. Trust me, the road is much better than a year ago. It won't kill your back in 2-3 seasons, and it goes much faster now. And I can guarantee you will see some trunkbulls."
The truck driver handed over 2 crowns.
"Where's the next roadblock?"
"On the way back. This is road tax, not a robbery. Here's a receipt."
Rune put one crown in a purse, the other in his pocket. It was a busy day today, but you wouldn't hear him complaining since he's working on a commission. He had to share his part with the police officers around, but there would be plenty left. More than this truck driver would rake in. For once, it paid off to be a southerner.
About effing time
06-19-2012, 03:50 PM (This post was last modified: 06-19-2012 03:55 PM by Pepijn.)
Jocke already had lost track of time, he had no idea if it was his 6th or 7th day inside this stinking cell, which he had to share with a handful of others. He had been taken off the street since he had started a discussion with a local police officer. The civil servant was busy pushing aside some older people to make room for the alf of Vilmerån, a leading figure in this region of rural Friställen.
Suddenly the door from the office towards the containment area opened. That always happened suddenly, it was like the policemen made a hobby out of it to scare the prisoners by acting unexpectedly. But it was clear that this time, it was not for handing out some food. A couple of police officers in black uniforms entered the corridor.
"Jocke Garå... is there a Jocke Garå in here?"
He hesitated. These were no local policemen, they wore grey uniforms. Without drawing attention to him, he tried to make out what the insignia on the uniforms meant.
"Who wants to know..."
An older man who had been locked up in the same cell since before Jocke was brought in used his dark voice.
"Federal police. We're here to take custody of Jocke Garå. Are we speaking to him?"
Jocke got up. Federal police. That didn't sound good. But on the other hand, he had no idea when he would be released from this pit. He weighed his options and went for the opportunity.
"Sirs, I am Jocke Garå. May I request..."
"Found him!" One of the officers bashed through the open door towards the office.
Two local policemen came in, one with a key, the other with a rifle. The latter poked through the bars to make sure no one was standing too close to the gate. The other started opening the door while the rifleman aimed at the people inside. Jocke got on his knees, his back to the door and stretched out his arms. He had seen this being done several times during the last days, and the treatment seemed pretty violent, but it was to be preferred above being dragged out while getting punched and kicked, which he also had witnessed. He felt his arms being handcuffed.
"I'm not getting in, take him out if you want him."
Two hands helped him up and turned him around. Jocke was led through the corridor into the office, where a dark and a grey uniform were exchanging some forms.
"Is he getting transported just with handcuffs? The federals are out of their minds."
"I am sure this man won't try to escape. He knows it won't be wise."
A few minutes later, Jocke was shoved into a black van with the logo of the Federal Police Force, Inälvsdalens Branch on the side. His stomach was turned into a knot. He had taken the gamble to follow with these people, no clue what was about to happen.
"Sirs..." he started hesitatively. He was waiting for some response from the front bench, where he asumed the two federals were sitting. He wasn't told to shut up, so he continued.
"Sirs... could anyone tell me what I am accused off?"
"Later..." he heard from the small looking hole, "it's not a long trip."
Jocke recognized the building he saw after the van had stopped and he was taken out. It was an abandoned farm, about 10 km from Vilmersala. His handcuffs were taken off and he was shown in. Much to his surprise, he found his wife there. Jocke still didn't know what to think of it, but took the opportunity to embrace his wife, whom he hadn't seen for 6 days. Or maybe 7.
"Herr Garå, please sit down. We have gotten a report that you had been taken into custody by the local police forces in Vilmersala. No charges have been pressed, nor has anyone applied for holding you in custody after 48 hours. That is a violation of Federal Law. Unfortunately.... we have no jurisdiction, nor the means to act upon these misdemeanors by the public office. So, this is a trick."
"I knew something weird was going on," started Jocke. "But I still don't know what is going to happen."
"Here is the deal. If you plead guilty on a minor federal offense, you will get a probational sentence. If you lay low for a while, we can report the local police forces that you have served your sentence and are fully rehabilitated. All charges before your arrest by us have been taken into account in your punishment, so they are not allowed to prosecute you anymore."
"Uh... what? I plead guilty on something you and I know I haven't done..."
"And you're a free man. I know, it isn't fair. Locking you up without any reason is even more unfair. This is the trick we're using to get people out of the cells. It won't work forever, but in the mean time we're helping people."
"How can I be sure they won't harress me anyway?"
"Because then the sherriff will loose his job, and get replaced by a federal officer. Which is a win-win situation, because then we can end these private militias that only apply the law to some, and close their eyes for others."
"Well, I don't want to go back to those cells. What am I signing up for?"
"How about... violation of federal property? Could be this pencil, could be the sabotage of an airship, we'll never know. The sentence is a week in prison, with suspended implementation. If the local police is picking you up, we will come and get you for that week. Paperwork is watertight."
Jocke was looking at his wife. Finally there was some law above the law of the local landlords. It wasn't exactly justice, but it was something.
"Where do I sign?"
09-10-2012, 01:02 PM
Two men bursted into the small office next to the mantalshus in this small socken (parish) of Inälvsdalen.
"You... you sign this paper now," they bashed at the clerk that had just put on the kettle for some herbal tea.
"What's this?" he replied.
The duo put the paper right in his face. The clerk started reading it. It was a transaction form for land ownership. These people wanted to buy land from the socken. For 1 crown...
"1 crown? You must be joking..."
But one of the perpetrators got a handgun from under his belt.
"Does this look like a joke?"
"I can't sign this. There is no land for sale."
The clerk was right. Immigrants could only lease land. The local stims had reached an agreement to keep the lands to themselves. At first, this was to exclude individuals that had affiliated them with Fjällsta Stift, when it still was known as Frifågel. It was this agreement not to sell land that had created a landless class in the south.
But it turned out that it worked well with immigrants from Liden and Ådalen as well. The locals were happy to make the land available for lease, simply because it was too large for the local community to cultivate. The newcomers could easily do that. Without them gaining influence in local matters.
These two men were about to change that. Under the influence of agitators from the north, they had felt the urge to take matters into their own hands. Land ownership was crucial in defining the future of Inälvsdalen, and these immigrants had decided to become active.
"You will sign it, or we will kill you. Your choice."
The clerk grabbed a quill and dipped it in ink, shivering heavily. He then signed Lars Andersson.
"Please don't kill me... You know I need to confirm this when you register it at the stift. If I'm no longer here, it wont get approved."
The two men looked at each other. This was clearly something they hadn't thought about. But they took their chances. One guy pulled the trigger, then the other started messing up the place, trying to make it look like a burglary that went out-of-control. They took some valuables which they dumped into the fast streaming river.
Two days later, one of these men entered the stift office with the transaction document.
"Hmmm. That's unusual, congratulations sir. Let me see... Karlsro socken, which stim? Ah, Larssons. That's not the first loss they have this week."
At the same moment, the stift clerk hit the man full in the face with a marble paperweight, breaking his nose and chinbone. The 60-something year old man slowly rose from his chair and put his foot upon the immigrant's chest.
"I need some help in here," he yelled while looking the wounded man in the eye. He continued at a lower volume.
"The man you have killed was Anders Larsson, not Lars Andersson as he signed the paperwork. You never learn it, you northern scum. We're half a million people with 10 first names and 10 last names..."
09-10-2012, 02:28 PM
OOG: Tsk tsk tsk. Northerners. That was a fun read.
Tommy » Kuala Lumpur
01-28-2013, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 01-28-2013 01:10 PM by Pepijn.)
January 27th 7570
The small delegation from the federal government had settled in the back of the large limousine that would take them to Äs, capital of Ådalen. Business as usual, part of the long and never ending discussions about federal taxes and how they should be spent. Vittmark thought they were entitled to a bit of the surplus generated in Ådalen, which then would be spent in the place which needed it most. Thanks to the political bargaining, Ådalen's money always ended up in Ådalen...
Half an hour into the federal territory called Kletudde, they approached a region that was under the control of the Av Ådahl family. The four people in the car and their driver were used to these informal "border controls". It was just a way of letting travellers know they were now in Ådalish territory, making sure everyone knew who was calling the shots here.
The car stopped at a roadblock which was placed exactly on the administrative border. Two men with guns were waiting for incoming traffic, a couple of more were scouting from a small tower next to the road. The car was instructed to halt and one of the men approached on the driver's side. The soldier didn't say anything, just knocked on the window and gestured that the driver had to get out.
The people on the back seats couldn't hear what was being discussed outside, but they weren't paying attention either. Until the other armed soldier knocked on the window of the rear door with the barrel of his gun.
"Everyone out!" he yelled.
"Take it easy," one of the government officials replied. "We're on our way to Äs on behalf of the federal government."
"Your government is of no value here, so shut up," he got as an answer.
He was then dragged out of the car, searched for weapons and held at point range, while the others got the same treatment.
It was at this moment that the 5 travellers that things weren't as usual. Which they got confirmed when they were shoved into a small army truck without windows nor license plates.
"You have been taken into the custody of the Royal Army of the Kingdom of Ådalen. Your federal government has no authority over us. You will remain our guests until Östvallen has vacated all the federal facilities on our soil."
The abduction was not a lonely incident. Police forces had closed federal institutions all over Ådalen. At the same time, the MPs of Iunsala Förbund handed over a long statement to the chair of the federal parliament, which could be summarized as follows: we're here to negotiate a secession from the federation and nothing more, after that, we're gone.
Federal police officers had their bones shaken throughly in a very uncomfortable cargo wagon, which took them from a building site in the Blue Mountains towards the junction in Ryttsadel. As soon as they arrived, they jumped out of the cargo train, securing the building site and the entire village which was located near it. A local mantalshus was evicted in order to take away a gathering place for the local population. Two alfs and an Ådalish police officer were put under house arrest.
Just outside the village, roadblocks with improvised fortifications were set up. It was obvious that the federal government didn't want to have this location in the hands of Göran Ådahl. The police officers had a clear task: keep the place in federal hands until some heavy artillery would show up to support the claim.
02-05-2013, 10:56 AM
A small convoy approached the roadblock just north of Ryttsadel. Three flags were waving from the three vehicles: the old red flag from Ådalen with its blue diagonal, the new federative flag and a white one.
"Good morning, gentlemen, how can I help you?" asked the federal officer in charge of the roadblock. He took a quick glance towards the back seat, where he noticed the insignia of a captain. "...Sir..." he added while saluting.
"We have been sent on a mission from Äs to establish contact with our local officials and see to it that their authorities are being returned to them."
"In that case, herr hövittsman should talk with Captain Jonsson Eller. I can arrange an escort. This car can pass, but I need to check the other two. It's herr hövittsman's decision if he wants to wait for that, or to proceed. We can guarantee your safety."
Ten minutes later, the car arrived at a barrack near the new railway station that was under construction. Captain Jonsson Eller was already outside awaiting his guests. He saluted when the captain, his clerk, a security officer and the driver from Ådalen got out.
"Hövittsman Jonsson Eller, Federal Army, Sandsala Batallion. How can I be of service?"
"Hövittsman Lundin, Ådalish Royal Army. I have recieved orders to re-establish Ådalish authority in Ryttsadel and the entire valley behind it."
"Well, let's get inside then."
A federal security officer inspected the handgun presented to him by his superior and handed it back before the captain entered the single room wooden barrack. With his hands stretched out, he insisted on inspecting the weapons that were carried by the Ådalish delegation as well. He began with the light pistol of the driver, opened it to check the ammo, closed it and made sure the safety was on. He then returned it. The Ådalish guard was next, and the federal security officer handed him his own gun for inspection as well. It was a ritual without words, making clear that both parties were armed, and with that stating that there was no reason to use them.
Once everyone was in and seated around the table, Jonsson started off.
"Captain, there is a political question I have to ask you from my superiors. Do you think that our presence here is illegal?"
"Given the current situation, where Ådalen has filed for secession, but still is a part of Vittmark for the time being, your presence can not be labeled as illegal. However, removing local officials from their duty and retaining them is. Installing heavy artillery also is a provocation which we can not leave unanswered."
"Good. In that case, we can solve this situation. For your information, all alfs have remained in their positions, we just issued a temporary ban on large meetings, in the light of the inflammable situation. The stift leader has been under house arrest during the first two days, but has been freed of that two days ago. Our aim was to secure this site as a place accessible for all the member states of the federation. If your government can uphold that, then our presence is no longer needed. We can take our artillery and leave. Although we'd like to have some federal police officers in function here, given the fact that many workers who are not from Ådalen might feel themselves exposed."
The Ådalish captain produced a piece of paper and handed it over.
"This statement has been sent to Östervallen by his... by her highness."
It was a pompous piece of work, with the unconditional demand to return Ryttsadel to Ådalish authorities, but at the same time acknowledging the federal government as the sole owner of the railway line and facilities, as some sort of private enterprise.
"Well, then it's just a matter of agreeing on a timetable. We'll start packing immediately."
"There is however one matter left unattended. The fact that your troops have illegally detained, or obstructed the freedom of movement, of Ådalish citizens."
"As the officer in charge, I'll take full responsibility for that. All the others were just following orders."
"In that case, I'll have to put you under arrest."
"Have you done the same with the militiamen that abducted and kidnapped federal officials during the last week? If so, I'll put my destiny in the hands of any Ådalish military or civil court. If not, then I'll just return with my troops to Sandsala and turn myself in at the federal courts."
"I am not in a position to bargain here."
"Listen, captain Lundin, you can march in with your soldiers here while we retreat, creating the image of the military success that Äs needs so badly. But you can not demand something that you are unwilling to do yourself. I can tell you that if Ådalen does not take disciplinary action against these militiamen, then the federal government will, no matter what the future status of Ådalen within or outside the federation will be. But that's beyond what we are discussing here. So, let's make this timetable so I can return to Sandsala as soon as possible."
02-13-2013, 11:11 AM
Feb 17th 7570
Winter snow was covering the landscape around Lovis Bruk, an ugly construction site of an industrial landscape. The blast furnace was getting started up, aiming at a production start in March or April. The railway yard necessairy for the upscaled production still needed a lot of work. Main problem was the old railway line, which had to remain operational until the spring when its refurbishment would start.
A large part of the new wooden railway station was already in use as the head office of Förbundsiärnväg i Sörmark AB. The company had been founded as a federal venture, but soon it had acquired two regional railways: the company running the Grönspång to Kronsta line through Lovis Bruk, and a local company aiming at operating on the new line between Lovis Bruk and the cableway station in Nedre Högdala. And with the foundation of the member state of Sörmark imminent, the railway company showed all the growing pains imagineable. Instead of a federal government company, it now was a public private partnership with the new state as main shareholder.
The executive director was looking through the window, which faced the industrial railway yard. In April coal had to get unloaded here and steel had to get loaded, with the steam engine leaving the waggons to be unloaded behind and locking on to a fully loaded set of wagons within 10-20 minutes, in an around the clock timetable with no margin for error. The entire line towards Högdala was single track railway, shared with a passenger service.
Then there was the constant construction work, which disrupted timetables all the time. At the moment, the line towards Grönspång was being rebuilt in the 1220 mm gauge, with a new 1524 mm railway being built next to it. But there was no rolling stock for the new service yet. They had tried to transport this across the unfinished mountain railway, but after the difficulties the two small shunters already presented, they had changed the plan. Now only the bogeys would get transported through the mountains, while the steam engines had been put on a boat towards Helreich, where they had to be put on flatbeds to transport to the wrong side of the construction site. A detour of over 2000 km.
"That's just material. It doesn't protest. This is a lot more difficult..."
The director handed over a directive from the preliminary board of Sörmark to one of his administrators. The company was run as a set of parallel businesses: linear infrastructure, buildings, passenger service, cargo service and rolling stock. The whole idea was that these columns would have to cooperate on each level.
"Since the mergure, we have become what the government calls a mid-size to large company. We are now required to have at least 25% staff from each of the three main groups living in the area".
(note: land-owning locals, landless locals gathered in Fjällsta Stift and recent immigrants registered in Liden or Ådalen)
"I've been going through our staff records, and it's a mess. Most people we took over from IKJ are locals. JI was set up by people from Liden. Our own staff mostly has a background from the north as well. Which means that we'll have to recruit freethinkers. Lots of them."
"Plenty of those around," answered his administrator.
"That's not the problem. We have to hire more staff anyway. But if we only give jobs to the landless, then the other groups will think that is suspicious. And that will cause problems. Not only on the outside, but also internally."
He gestured his administrator to sit down, because this could take a while.
"What we mainly need is maintenance staff, people loading and unloading cargo. We have plenty of people with railway experience from the companies we took over, and we have enough office staff, so only the low wages jobs are left."
"That's... natural sir. The cargo service is the new business within our company."
"Don't you see it? We hire freethinkers, which will create friction with the other groups, and we give them the dirty work, so that the other groups will be able to give orders, make work schedules, etc. It's a recipe for disaster. We create a situation in which the freethinkers will become vulnerable."
"Since when does his lordship care about the freethinkers?"
The executive director was an immigrant from Liden himself, recruited for the job because of his experience with narrow gauge railways in Liden.
"I don't care about Palne's pals, but it will create unrest, possibly even dangerous situations. It will prevent us from running this company as smoothly as it should."
"What if... we would give them one of the columns as well? Then they'll at least have to cooperate with others on a similar level."
"One of the columns? They don't have experience with railways, so they can't possibly manage cargo, passengers or rolling stock. They're building the tracks, som they might have some experience with linear infrastructure. Otherwise it's buildings..."
"No, no, not buildings. Stations won't be a problem, but water towers, coal depots, freight facilities, cranes..."
The administrator was saving his own ass here, since he was in charge of buildings.
"Linear it is then. We'll have to recruit from the construction firms."
"Yeah well, how difficult can it be to adjust bolts, re-level ballast or fix the odd sleeper."
"Not too difficult, but how often do you do inspections, and how many people do you need for it? We'll leave those questions to them as well..."
02-28-2013, 10:40 AM
A knock on the door interupted Andreas Lind's task of cleaning the weapons of his militia cell. He didn't expect any visitors, so he positioned himself besides the door opening, at the side of the hinges.
"Who's there?" he yelled.
It remained quiet for just a bit too long, making Andreas worried. But that moment didn't last long, since the door was knocked open by the force of a small battering ram. Andreas was knocked down by the half of the door that came his way.
Two men with rifles entered the cottage, followed by an unarmed man in a long coat, clearly the leader of the group. He turned towards Andreas, kicked the gun he had dropped away from his hands and replied.
He grabbed Andreas by his shirt and dragged him outside, where a timid federal government official was waiting. The man in the long coat threw Andreas in front of the official, who was here for very unofficial business as it turned out.
"Is that him?" the man in the long coat asked.
The official took a good look at Andreas, and recognized him as one of the kidnappers who had held him and 4 others hostage some weeks ago, when Göran Ådahl rolled out his plan to create an indepent nation.
The man in the long coat started his monologue, probably for the last time today.
"Andreas Andersson Lind, on behalf of the Liljegren stim from Kletudde, we are decommissioning your militia. We will take your equipment, and what we can't take with us, we'll destroy on spot. You... are retired."
He took a handgun from his holster, aimed and pulled the trigger within a fraction of a second. The bullet hit Andreas' left leg just above the knee, and he started squeeling like a pig.
"Lucky bastard," the long coated man said, "you will live to tell your neighbors, your stim, your stift and your chick in Äs that nobody messes with Liljegren. Next time we'll burn down your village. This time, only your cottage. Now drag yourself towards a doctor, because you're the only one who can spread the word."
The attackers boarded a small steamtruck and made their way towards federal territory again. Smoke from the burning house would attract attention soon enough, and it wouldn't take long for the heavily wounded (former) militiaman to inform the authorities. By then, they would be safe in Kletudde province again though.
Incidents like this weren't uncommon, stims and stifts were often showing off muscles to improve their positions. But two things were different, this was pure revenge, and the stims were living on different sides of the internal borders. In Vittmark, there was no such thing as a monopoly on violence.
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