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Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
09-26-2017, 11:23 PM (This post was last modified: 09-27-2017 05:35 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #1
Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
"Did you expect an airliner?"
Peppe Hampusson looked at the airship approaching.
"It's the Kejsare Karl allright," he responded to the militiaman manning the outlook tower. Usually, a Vittmarker airship would first dock at Nybygge on Gilles Carls on their southbound trips, before heading towards Gilles Villes. They got a message through radio telegram about an approaching airship about each month. Peppe was worried now. The last time this happened, they had a rebellion of Fisks against the federal government at hand, and that was more than two years ago. But indeed the Kejsare Karl indicated by radio that it wanted to land immediately.

Four people got off, a man around 50 years old, a woman much older and two young women.
"I always wanted to say this," Palne half-yelled towards Peppe, "take me to your leader!"
Peppe didn't know what to think of this, but Palne continued.
"What's your name, good man?"
"Hampusson, Peppe Hampusson," he replied.
"Stella's son?" Palne countered to Peppe's surprise.
"How do you know..."

"Stella was my cousin."
Peppe's brain started to make some connections now. He looked at the older woman slowly following them to the long house where Ville was living.
"Then this is..."
"Your great-aunt Ebba Petersdotter, sister of your mother's mother Enna Petersdotter," Palne explained.
"Vald on a stick... you're Palne!"

By now the group had reached the house where Ville usually spent his days in his hammock. Leading a stim this size, a socken this size on a tropical island, that was something you could easily do until you're 80 years old. Ville was 78.

"Unexpected guests," Peppe announced the new arrivals, "it's your cousin Palne."
Ville jumped up from his hammock as quickly as his body managed. He put on his glasses and noticed the older woman in the company.
"Ebba? Is that really you..." He walked towards Palne's mother and started hugging her. "I haven't seen you since... since... boats were still made from wood..."
"48 years, to be exact," she replied. "You have been doing well, so I see?"
"And how about you? Lady of Blåkulla..."
"That's all thanks to him," Ebba pointed towards her son, her eyes red from the tears.
"Palne..." Ville started, "I only heard about you... the man, the legend, the conqueror of Östervallen... singlehandedly worked his way into the House of Kulla..."

"It wasn't my hand," Palne said while he stretched out his right, "it was a different body part..."
Ville started laughing so hard that he started to cough.
"Introduce me to the rest of your party, please, who are these lovely ladies?"
"This is Sanne, my daughter, and our security escort Svea Gefna of the federal police forces of Inälvsdalen."

"Sanne... I'm your great uncle Ville... so nice to meet you..."
"A pleasure to be here. This seems like a tropical version of Blåkulla... I like it!"
"The Blåkulla name still send shiver through spines over here, so I'm not really sure that it is a compliment..."
"Oh it is," Sanne hurried to say. Ville laughed.
"I know what you mean, girl. We're all family here, even those who are not related to us. And how does the police officer fit into this?"
"I'm part of the Blåkulla stim, through the Fjällsta connection, but I am currently living at the new Knutskulla.."

"You're THAT Svea! You're about as famous as Palne over here. You're the warlord who crushed Ragnar Eriksson... The destroyer of Knutskulla! I didn't expect someone this young..."
"Courage and luck don't come in size nor age," Svea replied.

"This calls for a celebration. A family reunion! But you didn't come all the way across the globe just for a family reunion?"
"In fact, we do..." Palne replied. "Although honestly speaking, we are on our way towards the small part of my family that lives on the other island. Mom insisted that she wanted to follow along, and then I insisted that we should start our visit here. It was long overdue."

"It certainly was... and Ebba... travelling this far... at your age..."
"You should visit us some time, while you're still young," Ebba countered.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-28-2017, 07:16 PM
Post: #2
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
"You OK, mom?" Palne asked. Ebba nodded. She was sitting in the shade of a wide sun hat made of local reeds at the stern of the small 'eka' that was taking them from Gilles Villes to Gilles Carls. A larger boat would have meant that they would have had to change vessel off the coast of Ny Skiöldavik. That was a manoeuvre considered too risky for the 85 year old. So the trip was made in a smaller boat, a bit more bumpy, but the helmsman took it slowly with only half the sails up.

The coastline was quite impressive, steep hillsides climbing straight from the shoreline, covered entirely with dense, tropical vegetation. No sign of a settlement, not even a harbor inlet. The Kakuri pilot at the bow give hand signals to the helmsman in order to navigate through the treacherous cliffs just below the waterline.

Palne had taken the time to catch up with Petterson, who he hadn't spoken with for over two years now. The police officer seemed to thrive in his new role as deputy governor of the mixed settlement of Ny Skiöldavik.
"It's a bit like my old police station at Nybygge, but ten 30 times bigger and with much more friendly neighbors," he had summarized his position.

The small ship now squeezed itself through a narrow passage parallel to the coastline. The main sail had to be taken down, it made the vessel too wide. After this passsage, a light blue bay opened up. Right in the middle, a cluster of poled and floating buildings were forming the hidden settlement of Ny Skiöldavik. It was connected to the mainland by a sturdy jetty.

(OOG tech note... the entrance to and lay-out of Ny Skiöldavik are not known to any foreigners.)

At the pier, a small group of Kakuri and a couple of Vittmarkers were awaiting the company. Petterson got off first, so he could join the welcoming party, together with his wife. Linnea Blåis, High Administrator of Civil Affairs of the Eastern Crown Domains, was there as well, completing the federal side of the group. The Kakuri side had Chopper, Little Finger and Green. The latter was carrying a baby girl of about a year and a half old. The last man present was Rono.

Palne approached him first, not saying a word. He got a framed picture from a leather portfolio and showed it to the man. In it was Yuma Fukai in a dark outfit, carrying a long, thin sword.

"It will not bring back Sohoko," Palne said in his own language, "but Yuma was able to wash away the shame of the terrible act and has restored its honor. She wanted me to bring the katana, but I heard she earned it by her actions."
Little Finger did a quick translation. Rono didn't reply with words, he just hugged Palne long and firm. A very unusual act Kakuri culture.
"Yuma is doing well. I am proud to say that I know her," Palne concluded.

Then he turned his attention to the rest of the group. But Chopper already had taken the initiative. She had taken over the baby child from Green and was walking towards Ebba.
"E'ba," she said while stretching out her right hand to meet Ebba's. Then she handed over the child. "E'ba..." she repeated.

Ebba looked the little one in her eyes.
"And once again, I am holding your child before you do yourself," she joked towards Palne. Which was the truth. Palne had almost missed the birth of Sanna. Ebba had stepped in to help deliver the baby then and had continued to do so even after Palne showed up the very last minute.

"She has your eyes," Sanna said while standing beside her grandmother. Palne in the mean time had gotten down on one knee in order to respectfully great the leadership of the Kakuri people.
"Tensho," he half whispered three times while offering the inside of his wrists to Chopper, Little Finger and Green. Chopper pulled him up and gave him a firm hug. The others just shook hands after having bowed and folded their hands first.

"She asks, how is Fighting Bird doing?" Little Finger translated without Chopper having said anything at all.
"Anna is sending her regards, to all of you. She is really happy that you have chosen her guidance onto the world scene."

If there was any protocol for a meeting between two leaders of member states of Vittmark, then those protocols had flewn out through the window by now. This truly was a family meeting now.
"Flower, Orange, Surprise and Byebye will join us later." Beside the weird accent, Little Finger's had become much better. "Come... into the shade..."

But Sanna was just standing at the pier, looking in awe at the settlement.
"What is it," Palne asked.
"I know this place. I know it inside out. I know where the supporting beams are, which building is what, what materials have been used..."
"Well, you helped design the place."
"There are people living here. Living... in what we have come up with... If they're not happy with it, it's my fault. I'm scared..."
"About what?"
"About what I've done. This... thing has consequences. I'm about to find out..."
"Don't worry. They're not gonna eat you alive. They will cook you properly first."

Sanna laughed nervously. Green had returned, grabbed her hand and dragged her to the covered central 'square' in the settlement. She had the most contageous smile. Of all the Kakuri, she seemed to have the most outspoken aura of naivety and happiness around her. When Sanna appeared under the canopy covering the small square, the people present started applauding. Fourty or fifty of them, most of them Kakuri. Some of them grabbed both her hands quickly and looked her in the eyes.

"Tensho Sanna, the creator," she heard them say softly in Wortsproke. Almost all of the Kakuri living in Ny Skiöldavik spoke Wortsproke, since they all had been working in Fisks' households in Nybygge before. Sanna was touched... but she knew she could not show any tears.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-03-2017, 06:33 PM (This post was last modified: 10-22-2017 08:20 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #3
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
(OOG tech note: none of this is known outside the group present)

The entire group was sharing an improvised lunch under the canopy. There was always a sea breeze here, making the place much more tolerable than the Kakuri settlement inland. At this time of the day one would have to sit inside in order to feel comfy.

In a not too subtle way, Em Blixt managed to get herself seated next to Palne.
"I am pretty sure Peter didn't ask you, and the Kakuri are not saying a thing, but we're both wondering what type of visit this is."
Palne pretended not to understand the question and continued eating.
"I mean, why is Chopper showing her child to your mother?" Em asked more directly.

"They're both called Ebba," Palne replied. "Chopper visited Blåkulla last time she was in Vittmark and the two of them met. I think she made an impression. Don't you think she's an impressive woman?"
Em looked at Palne. Both of them knew they were circling around the elephant in the room.
"OK then, let me know when I step over my bounds," Em tried once more, "but six months * after Chopper returned, she gave birth to a rather lightly skinned baby girl."

"And she named her Ebba. That's nice, isn't it?" Palne tried to keep a straight face and lured Em way out of her comfort zone. If she wanted to know what happened, she had to ask.
"Why else would your mother travel all the way across the globe?" Em took the bait. "Not just to see her granddaughter's work on this settlement. But maybe also to see her granddaughter?"

Now Palne skipped a part with his next question. "Madame deputy mayor of Ny Skiöldavik, are you wondering if the origin of Chopper's child might be worrying her majesty, your boss?"
Em remained silent. She knew she had overstepped now.
"Do you want to know if Queen Anna knows about this," Palne continued, "Do you really want to know what her majesty thinks of Chopper?"
She did not know how to answer that question. Or that she should... She decided to take a quick bite, one could not talk with a mouth full. Palne leaned over and whispered, making sure only Em could hear it.
"Her majesty was very satisfied, and I don't just mean with the child as a result."

Em choked on her food, Palne gave her some pats on the back, after which she recouperated quickly. Although she still had eyes the size of a stickball ball.
"In all fairness," Palne continued as if nothing had happened, "I did ask you if you really wanted to know."
Em blushed like the sun setting. Peter Petterson quickly joined them, sitting himself on the boards.

"It looks that Em has gotten an answer on this question she has been nagging on about for weeks now," Petterson addressed Palne. "I told her it is quite normal for noble families within our nation to create bloodbands. And the Kakuri have their own morals when it comes to family matters. I think it is just funny that both traditions somehow matched."

* Orkanan months...

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-04-2017, 04:54 PM
Post: #4
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Rono sat quietly a bit aside of the main group. He was holding the leather portfolio with the pitcure he had gotten from Palne and stared across the water surface into nothingness. Petterson pointed at him.

"Now that's a much more interesting story, I guess. What is it you gave him?"
"Long story..."
"I'm all ears."
"You know that Sohoko died, right?"

Petterson nodded. "That was quite a shock. It happened on Askers, so I've been told. But they are not telling me how he died."
"Sohoko was a sword bearer..."
"The katana?" Petterson interrupted. "I knew that. There are only a few katana masters."
"It seems that the katana got him killed. Some arms smuggler thought he could get a good price for it back home in Vittmark. A master and his katana never get separated..."
"... unles he dies," Petterson finished the sentence. "What happened to the sword?"

"The affirmation impounded it. But it was impossible to tie the guy selling it to the death of Sohoko. The fact that it happened on Askers complicated matters even more."
"So the guy walks?"

Palne nodded. "No one has seen him the last months, we assume he is hiding somewhere."
"And the katana? I would expect our Kakuri friends want it back."
"Rememer Yuma?" Palne seemed to change the subject. "She appeared from out of nowhere, claiming to be a deep girl for the Nokumo Nobono. She is taking care of it now."
"She is? But a katana can only be handled by a master. She's not a master, is she?"

"I don't know. I offered to bring it with me of course, but Moa said I didn't have to. Yuma is the swordbearer now."
"In that case... you don't have to look for the thief anymore. He's dead. Because that's the only way you can get a katana, if the previous owner is dead."

Palne laughed. "You know Yuma? She's not even 5 ft tall. The alleged thief is 6 and a half."
Petterson pointed at Chopper. "She's not much taller. Yet she seems to have killed four Fisks settlers at age 12."

Chopper noticed that Palne was looking at her. She threw him a smile that made it clear she was up to something.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-09-2017, 10:47 PM
Post: #5
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
"You should not believe everything he is saying," Petterson tried to calm down his wife Em Blixt.
"But... he told himself..."
"He's playing with your mind. You were fishing for an answer on an impertinent question. Of course he gives you something..."
"That's not it. We all know that the queen... and that he..."
"That's the whole point, my dear. He knows what people are thinking, about him, his wife, his congregation. He just feeds you what you want to hear."

"I don't know," Em insisted. "He did admit he's the father..."
"E'ba is Flower's and Chopper's child, according to the Kakuri. She's raising her as a single mother, with the help of her Nokumo mates. Does it matter who is the father?"
Em remained silent.
"I know, it does to you," Petterson continued, "but it's none of our business."

"I don't know," she repeated once more.
"Well, there you have it then. You don't know. Just like before your embarrassing conversation with Kristersson. I am pretty sure he's laughing his ass off right now."

The rest of the Nokumo Nobono had now joined the company at Ny Skiöldavik. The sun was setting and as usual in the tropics, it would get dark really soon. The four guests were shown to a room in one of the poled cabins. But just as they were entering, Chopper grabbed Palne by his upper arm.

"Ie..." she said gently. Palne's Kakuri was good enough to understand that she meant he could not enter the cabin where Sanna, Svea and Ebba would be sleeping. Chopper indicated him to follow her.
"This is not going to end well," he mumbled to himself, "I either end up alone, or in the same room with her."

There was however a third outcome, one that Palne had not anticipated. He was led into the room where the rest of the Nokumo Nobono had spread out their thin matresses.
"Sike... now what?"

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-10-2017, 06:45 PM
Post: #6
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Little Finger had not been able to explain what was going on. Her Wortsproke had improved much, but it was clear that she had not tested this particular explanation on anyone with better language skill. This particular part of Kakuri culture had not been explored in Palne's native language yet.

Palne was clearly at unease with the situation. There were seven women and three small children in the room with him, and he had no idea what was happening or what he was supposed to do. And now the women were discussing with each other how to proceed. Then suddenly Palne had a brainwave.

"Nenne..." he tried to get the attention of the youngest one, better known as Byebye in Wortsproke. "What is going on," he asked in Auresian.
"It's... honor! No action..." she replied in a Pastanan-Anisoran hybrid.
"What is honor?"
"You... being here... with us. It's big... but it's not."
"I don't understand."
"We know. Kirisaki, Sano and Midori... they invite you. I agree... But, you also father of Durrum."
"Invite... for what?"

Byebye shook her head. "Not happening. You father. But still you know."
Then she continued in Kakuri, mainly with Little Finger. She in her turn addressed Palne in Wortsproke.
"We are constant... for Fighting Bird. She... gave a portion to Kirisaki. Now we allow portion of us. We wish to. But can not..."
"Difficult," Nenne added in Pastanan.

Palne tried to form an image in his head with the few jig saw parts he had.
"I am guessing here," he addressed Little Finger, "and I might be wrong... but are you suggesting that, ehm... you want to compensate for Queen Anna..."
"Compensate?" Little Finger asked. Palne put out both hands, mimicking scales: "Balance..."
"Yes!" she half yelled. "But no..." she continued cryptically.

"Make up your mind, girl," Palne replied, half out of desparation.
"We balance... you choose any... but you can not." Little Finger looked sheepish, not being able to explain it better.
"You are father," Byebye added in Pastanan.

Suddenly it dawned on Palne.
"You can not... because it is the whole of the Nokumo Nobono, or nothing."
"Yes!" both Byebye and Little Finger yelled.

Now Palne had to come up with a reply that would not insult the women. Telling them that Anna would not like the offer the Nokumo Nobono could have been making, that might be taken the wrong way. Telling them that "compensation" was not necessary might be an insult. And letting them know he was glad he hadn't to go through with this, that certainly would result in a culture crash.

"The Kakuri and us Stoldavians, we are different," he started. "In our stims, in our groups, it is normal to share sleeping quarters... We trust each other, we are sure we take care of each other. So that we can rest, we can sleep, nothing more. It is a very strong link, the strongest. Is that... good enough?"
While Little Finger tried to explain the rest, Palne repeated what he had just said to Byebye in Auresian. Now both women could explain. It led to what seemed to be a heated discussion between Chopper and Flower. But Chopper kept smiling the whole time, no matter how fast she talked.

"Chopper says, Fighting Bird can ask balance, across the now. For now, we sleep."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-11-2017, 11:45 PM
Post: #7
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Palne woke up in what seemed to be the middle of the night. It took him some time to realize where he was, but seeing Chopper's face right in front of him helped a lot in finding his bearings. He looked around him and could see in the reddish moonlight that everybody was vast asleep. Except for Chopper.

She indicated him to sit up. Palne was curious to know what was happening on one side, but a bit worried on the other hand. Nothing was happening, however. Chopper tippy-toed to her mattress. She curled herself around E'ba. It seemed that she wanted to get to sleep.

Then Palne got it. It was his turn to sit awake and guard over the group. The Kakuri never slept all at the same time. Someone had to be on guard. The gravity of the moment struck him. These women left their well-being and night rest into the hands of a Stoldavian middle aged man. That was quiet a big sign of confidence.

But then Palne realized that he had no idea how long he had to be on guard, or whose turn it was to take over. A good night's sleep equalled about 8 hours, and there were 8 adults present. Only then he checked his watch, noticing that it was a quarter to six. That was one challenge tackled.

He had an hour to come up with an answer to the next challenge. He decided to narrow down his options to one of the women he could communicate with: Byebye or Little Finger. But maybe that was the plan, or even a test. Maybe it was time to contact someone else. Flower was out of the question, she spoke a bit of Cheltai, but Palne not a word. Orange spoke Hallish, a niche language unknown to him as well. He had no idea if Surprise spoke a different language, but then he remembered she was still sitting up when they went to sleep.

Green... If all of them had some knowledge of a foreign language, than which one would Green master?

It was almost 7 now and daylight started peeking across the horizon. Palne had made up his might and gently tried to wake up Green.
"Dein Tur," he whispered in Stoldish.
"Danke sehr-u," Green replied. But instead of sitting up still, Green got up completely and went outside. She came back with some fruits, vegetables and noodles, but sat outside. She started to fill the bowls.

Since Palne couldn't sleep anymore, he decided to join her.
"Brauchst Du... Hilfe?" he tried. Palne's Stoldish did not comprise of more that 50 words or so. Green had so far shown only a handful too.
"Ja... Danke..." she replied and handed him a knife and some fruits. Together they watched the mountain side to the left of them slowly get a more yellowish shade of green because of the sun starting to shine on it.

When the children woke up, their breakfast was ready to eat. Flower got up as well, since Palne and Green were nowhere to be seen. They arrived 15 minutes later with 4 buckets of water.
"Four is a crowd," Flower told Green.
"The day is long..."
Palne just sat down and grabbed a bowl of noodles with something similar to cucumber. An unusual breakfast for a Stoldavian, but this was Ny Skiöldavik.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-13-2017, 11:10 AM
Post: #8
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Green was just watching while Palne was eating his breakfast. She was sitting on the wooden flooring, feet flat down with her knees in front of her body, her chin resting on her knees. Palne could not tell if her thin white gown was nightware, dayware or maybe both.

”That's just plain awkward,” he said, knowing she wouldn't understand anyway. She just tilted her head slightly and produced a smile that was nowhere near grounded in any event taking place at that particular moment. E'ba and her adopted half sister (or whatever she was) Riina started running circles around Green. Even on this side of the planet, young children were obnoxiously much awake in the early morning.

”Go say good morning to your dad,” Green said to E'ba. The little kid grinded to a halt and looked at Palne half hiding behind Green. He was wrestling with a piece of cucumber, not being used to eat with chopsticks. The little one was amused by the clumsy giant. She slowly approached him and put her tiny hands on his. She grabbed the sticks and tried herself. She was even more clumsy than Palne, but somehow managed to lift a little piece and tried to feed him. Palne quickly caught the falling piece in his bowl, knowing that it was not done to handle any food with his hands.

”Yep, she has my fine motor skills,” Palne said.
”Sheh-wa,” E'ba replied.
Green got up and indicated both to follow her. They walked over to the little hut where Ebba, Sanna and Svea were sleeping. Green pointed at the half door and then made eating movements with her hands. Palne got the message, he should wake up the other guests and invite them for breakfast.

”I slept like a log,” was Sanna's first answer when she was awake enough to understand where she was. ”And how was your night?”
”Slept like a log,” Palne replied. ”I think they just wanted to have me in the same room as the little one,” he continued while pointing over his shoulder. Which wasn't exactly true.
”Then why didn't we all sleep there?”
”It was pretty tight this way already. And those children wake up really early. I have been up for one or two hours or so already.”

”Let me get dressed, then I'll come for breakfast.”
At that point, E'ba had grabbed Sanna's long blonde hair.
”Urrassinu?” she asked. Green walked into the room as well, trying to disattach E'ba from Sanna.
”It's OK, just let her,” Sanna said. She was hoping her tone of voice was enough way of communication. Then she noticed Green's gown.
”Well, if she is dressed like that for breakfast, then so can I.”

The other two needed some more time to get going, but Sanna joined Palne, Green and E'ba towards the low breakfast table. Sanna was holding E'ba, a bit worried about a small kid like this walking across the jetties of a floating settlement.
”What are the buckets for?” Sanna asked Palne.
”Oh, Green and I already got some water from the well on land. It's a nice walk.”
”Got water? But there's running water in every dwelling.”
”I don't know. She just showed up with them and indicated me to follow her.”
Sanna laughed.
”What?” Palne asked.
”Well, she does not need to walk to the well for water, and she does not need your help carrying the buckets, so she must have had other motives. Anything else that happened?”

”No, not really. Why should it?”
”Dad... you are a treasure around here. Flower attached Moa to the Nokumo Nobono. E'ba is Chopper's trophy child. The Nokumo is showing off their ties with our family as a way to confirm their status as leaders. They are trying to integrate our stim with theirs. Maybe, just maybe, Green wants a slice of reflected glory as well, in order to improve her position within the group.”
”Have you been talking with Linnea last night? She and her anthropological nonsense...”
”Just look at the way she's looking at you.”
”They are all looking like this.”
”To you, yes... not to me. Well, Flower is, but that's a different story.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-22-2017, 09:10 PM
Post: #9
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
The sun had just set. The most pleasant time of the day, temperature-wise. Svea Gefna was looking for Palne. She suspected he might be in the Nokumo quarters, even though most of the Nokumo Nobono still were outside near the fireplace. She knocked on the doorframe, not trying to look inside. She was terrified she would stumble into the exact thing Em Blixt had warend her for.

"Palne, you're needed outside," she tried. After a while, she heard a reply from the dark cabin.
"Ehm.. I'm kinda needed in here as well," Palne replied half whispering. After a few seconds Green appeared through the door opening. She put her hand in front of Svea's mouth.
"Sssh..." she said softly, then she mimicked a child being rocked to sleep. She had a sheepish grin on her face, not the type of smile she was usually walking around with.
"Pamda," Svea now whispered, then she put her hand about 5 ft from the floor, "Ebba..."
"Hai," Green nodded and she went back inside. Within 10 seconds or so, Palne was outside.

"What is it with my mother?" he asked.
"She... she says she does not want to travel back to Vittmark."
Palne laughed. "And you had to disturb us for that? Of course she does not want to go back. No one does. This place is just wonderful. Or actually, the people are. There's an air of tranquility around them... I don't know, I don't understand them, but I don't care."

"But... it's serious. People are depending upon her back at Blåkulla."
"Svea... We have to get used to a future without Ebba one day. I fear that day, but the only thing certain in life is that our presence here is limited. Let me talk to her. If she is serius about staying, who am I to say she can't?"
Svea still stood there, a bit shocked about the casual response from Palne.

"Man... if I would have the possibility, I would stay as well," Palne continued. "Moa would for sure. I am pretty sure that Anna prefers this place above many many others. Kulla is a marvelous place compared to the snakepit that is called Östvallen, but only here one is far enough away to really get away from it... Listen, I'll talk to her. Bring it up a bit subtle."

"Please do," Svea replied. "It's my job to get everybody back home safely."
By now they had reached the fireplace. It was located at the exact spot where the floating and poled parts of the settlement met. Ebba was sitting comfortably in a long deckchair, talking with some of the Kakuri people. Since most of the Kakuri living here were coming from a Fisks household, they had some knowledge of Wortsproke.

"So, you want to stay?" Palne asked her.
"So much for subtle," Svea whispered.
"I am not looking forward to the trip back, no. But I know staying is not an option."
"But it is. I can understand why."
"Let's not talk about it now. You should ask Petterson for an ale he imported from the northern islands."

At that moment, Green and Chopper sat down on the wooden flooring next to Svea, Ebba and Palne.
"Alles gut-u?" Green asked.
"That's so funny, she's speaking Stoldish," Ebba said. "Sehr gut!"
"Sohoko was learning it to her," Petterson added when he came with his hands full of ale bottles. "Before he..."
"Was she supposed to become the swordbearer?" Svea asked.
"No idea," Petterson replied. "The rituals of the swordmasters are only for the swordmasters and their apprentices. Even Linnea has no clue. What are they doing?"
Petterson pointed at Green and Chopper, who were grabbing an ale each.

"It seems they join us," Palne stated.
"They never do that. I mean, never..."
"Well, maybe they have a near divine experience to digest."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-25-2017, 03:15 PM
Post: #10
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Palne, Petterson and Shay Na had managed to meet somewhere more private. In this case the little reservoir a couple of hundred metres inland. Petterson and Shay Na were sharing the obligations of running the small settlement of Ny Skiöldavik, Petterson as delegate for the Kakuri and Shay Na representing the federal government. And not the other way around, as one would expect, Petterson being a federal police officer and Shay Na an ethnic Kakuri.

"The Nokumo seems very at ease," Palne opened the informal meeting. "I remember that after their first trip abroad they didn't dare to travel as a group anymore. Now all seven are here, for three days now."

"Things have changed," Petterson replied. "Recently, Urraskinu has become much more integrated in the group. A couple of them have children now, which calmed down a lot of people. And they managed this whole murder case very well."
"What murder case?" Palne wondered.
"Sohoko, the sword master..."

"Ah right, of course. So how did they manage it?"
"They did not," Shay Na interfered. She looked a bit empty across the pond before she continued. "Saved by Yuma. The deep girl..."
"True," Petterson took over. "According to the Kakuri, Yuma was sent abroad to take care of the matter. But in fact, she traveled on her own initiative and happened to stumble upon the sword."

"In Orkanan terms, that is all part of Vind's master plan."
Shay Na looked at Palne after this remark. The Kakuri had their own religion, but were listed as freethinking Orkanans in Palne's congregation for political reasons. This time, the Orkanan was right.
"Having Yuma taking care of the matter can be seen as Vind's confirmation of the leadership of the Nokumo Nobono," Palne continued.
"True..." Shay Na replied hesitatively, "and not true."

Petterson started laughing. "Things are never black or white, true or false, it's always a bit of both. The Kakuri don't see it as part of Vind's master plan, but they see the Nokumo well integrated with the royal family and getting things done on the other side of the planet. The Nokumo delivers..."

"Yuma does..." Shay Na intervened once more. "Thief is dead."
"We don't know that," Palne countered. Both Petterson and Shay Na started nodding. They were absolutely convinced the man who brought the sword to Vittmark was dead.
"Otherwise the sword would be here," Petterson tried to explain.
"Katana..." Shay Na half whispered. "Yuma earned..."

Palne tried to imagine it. Yuma was not even 5 ft tall, quite thin as well, the face of a child even though she was 21. That lovely little creature would have slain a renowned smuggler who uses his fists to get better deals? Then again, Yuma had quite a temper. And she was very skilled with a knife.

"Moa told me she had to mediate on her behalf because of a knife incident..."
Now Petterson started leaning forward, showing an interest in this history.
"She didn't tell me all the details, but if I understood correctly she pinned down this girl with a knife in the wooden floorboards of the bar where she is working. Missed her neck by a quarter of an inch, on purpose."
Shay Na and Petterson looked at each other.
"That's not the Yuma I know," Petterson stated. "I talked with her a couple of times. She was getting language training. Which in Kakuri terms is Little Finger telling you to start speaking Wortsproke with those who know the language. Which is Linnea, Em and me. She seemed a bit... shy... maybe even naive."

"Em says, Yuma's smile melts," Shay Na continued. "The women... do not like Yuma. The men..."
"Well, it's the same in Östvallen. She has dozens of male adorers, and almost equally many jealous girlfriends. Like the girl that got stuck on the floor. You should have seen her in parliament. She totally burned her colleague from Hagen who accused her of not knowing what she was talking about."

"How did she manage that?"
"She said he talked to much. A representative of the people of Hagen should be worried more about Hagenite interests than bullying an immigrant girl."
Petterson laughed.
"Not exactly in those words," Palne continued. "She drew a perfect parallel, using figurative idiom which was completely knew, and most people got it."
"What was the occassion?"
"Oh, the Vittmarker response to this so-called straits cartel."
"Right, what happened with that?"

"Not much. It's mainly talks. It looked like an interesting way to make some money for some nations, but others thought that it was not worthwhile setting up a cooperative attack force to implement the thing. They're still waiting for ratification, even in the signatory nations. It's dead in the water."

Petterson and Palne laughed aloud, but Shay Na did not get it.
"You talk too much. About what?"
"Oh, the Aldsay..."
Shay Na put up a face as if she had been pressed down in fresh trunkbull faeces. "We hate them," she added vocally.
"You never met one," Palne countered.
"Stays that way," Shay Na replied.
"Then... why?"

Now Shay Na looked surprised. "We... part of Fyerrusta, part of Witu Marka. So we hate Or-tse. How do you say, Rock? Comes with land?"
"Comes with the territory," Petterson corrected her while laughing.
"There..." Palne concluded, "completely integrated in Vittmarker society."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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