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Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
11-08-2017, 02:48 PM
Post: #11
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
(still May/June 7579)

Queen Anna was sitting on her bed, a large pile of folders on one side of her, a much smaller one on the other.
"If Palne would be here, he would disapprove," Teres said while passing by. "Hopw often has he told you to stop reading?"
"He's not here, is he?" Anna replied. "And besides, I'm not reading. I'm just checking quickly if there is something here I should be reading."

Anna sat up, trying to get the pillows in her back a bit morre comfortable. Teres hurried towards her, helping her out in the best possible way. She then put her hand on Anna's lower belly.
"Just two more months," she said gently.
"Yeah, great... when Iduna was born, I could hardly walk two months after delivery. Now I'm already disabled two months before..."

Teres sat down beside her on the bed, moving the smaller pile out of the way.
"You can walk... You just have to take it easy. Less working sessions, more time on the couch with your feet up..."
"That's why I'm sitting here with these piles. I have to prioritize like crazy. But I feel a new priority coming up. Could you get rid of the other pile?"
Teres wanted to jump off the bed, but Anna stopped her.
"You can get the pile from where you'se sitting..."
"Bathroom?" Teres asked while bending over Anna.
"No..."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-05-2017, 10:12 PM
Post: #12
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
(OOG: this took place in "June" or so, before the Moa storyline)

It would have been incredibly rude if Palne would have spent time at the Kakuri settlement on Gilles Carls without visiting the Fisks leadership in Nybygge. It was half a jungle away, or a couple of hours by trimaran following the coast. For some reason Little Finger and Surprise insisted on following along. At first Palne thought it was just to accompany them towards the harbor, but both the Kakuri emissaries disembarked.

"Mylord, my ladies," the harbor inspector greeted them on the jetty, "is there any way these... people can prove they are allowed to visit us?"
"My good man," Palne replied half irritated, "Little Finger has diplomatic travel papers, she is one of the Kakuri emissaries. Surprise has paperwork identifying her as an emissary as well."

The inspector took quite a while to look at both documents.
"Why are they different?"
"Look at them, they are different. They don't need to have the same paperwork. Do you want to see mine?"
"That won't be necessary, mylord. The travel ban only applies to Kakuri people..."
"They are all members of my Stift, and my own daughter is a Kakuri."

The inspector started to laugh now. "She's also the crown princess, that changes the matter."
Palne did not reply. He had more than one daughter with a Kakuri identity, but the inspector did not know that.
"Let me accompany you to the welcoming delegation," the inspector said. At the end of the jetty, a platoon of federal soldiers were awaiting the company.

"There's no need for that," the inspector told the commanding officer.
"I went through the reports about the previous two visits and the security situation has not improved that much. Fänrik Ovesson," he introduced himself to Förvaltare Svea Gefna while saluting, from now on ignoring the harbor inspector.

"What are your orders, fänrik," Svea replied.
"To accompany you to the Residency, sir... ma'am..."
"Proceed."

---

"Lord Kristersson," Arvid Fisk exclaimed when the company was led into the Residency, "Arild is currently on the northern islands, I have a full mandate."
"Lord Fisk, allow me to introduce..." Palne hesitated a while about the order. He had planned on starting with his family, since this was an informal visit, but he decided otherwise. "Her ladyship Uraskinu of the Nokumo Nobono... I assume you already met her ladyship Koyubi. Then there is her ladyship Ebba av Ostskogen Blåkulla, my mother; you must have met Sanna av Blåkulla too, and finally we have Förvaltare Svea Gefna of the Federal Police, Inälvdalens Regiment."
"The lieutenant is wearing a non-federal uniform," Arvid replied cold.
"That's perceptive, mylord. Förvaltare Gefna is currently serving as captain in the royal guards. She is in charge of our security during our travels."

"She has a different rank in the royal guards than the federal police? That is confusing. And just one security officer on such a long journey."
Palne was irritated that Arvid talked about Svea Gefna as if she was not present.
"First of all, Förvaltare Gefna singlehandedly led the victorious siege on Knutskulla, so she is the most effective, dedicated and loyal officer in our service. Secondly, the only place where we do need security during this journey is right here, in Carls Nybygge. That's why she arranged for an escort, also since the Fisks security forces consisted of one annoying harbor master fucking ants about my travel companions paperwork."

"Honestly speaking..." Arild replied, but he changed his tone halfway the sentence, "I would have made a similar remark if I was in your position. We are much alike, you and I, and that's why we might not get along very well. Nothing that would be in the way of an effective, professional relationship, I hope?"

"Of course not," Palne countered while shaking Arild's hand, "I can understand why you need to keep a distance from visitors like us, keeping up Fisks policy to the local population... your people... I get that."
"We have an informal afternoon meal in half an hour. Let my staff show you to your quarters."

"Where is Ella," Palne asked one of the servants. Ella had been the personal assistant of Moa a couple of years ago.
"Ella does not work here anymore," the servant replied?
"Not? Where..."
"The officer's residence of the federal military."
Palne now turned to Svea Gefna. "Could you go there and invite the three highest officers and Ella?"
"Of course," Svea said and she turned around to carry out the request.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-11-2017, 11:40 PM
Post: #13
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
"Pam da - sama," Little Finger tried to get Palne's attention. She was trying to squeeze in a quick briefing between all the scheduled activities. Surprise was standing next to her.

"What can I do for you," he replied.
"Urashinu will travel with you to Ushawara." No need for an introduction, Little Finger came right to the point.
"What will be her task för the Nokumo Nobono? I don't want any..." Palne had to cut himself off there. If he would use the word 'surprise' here, it would get really confusing.

"Surprise is the only one who never has been in Witu-marka," Little Finger started. But Palne interrupted.
"You are always in Vittmark. All the Kakuri live in Vittmark. But I know what you mean, she hasn't seen the mainland."
Little Finger smiled before she continued. "She will... talk... with Durrum, with Yuma. She wants to... make music. Amo is following along." She pointed at one of two the Kakuri guards. Palne did not know he played any instrument, let alone that it was allowed for a non-Nokumo member to perform alongside the cultural leaders.

"No road trips? Registering exemplars, visiting shrines..."
"No, not that, but travel to Odara, say thanks for the watermill."
"It's good to know these things in advance, especially if Yuma or Moa has to join her. They have their own activities, and need guards as well."
"Of course..."
"Which language does she speak?"

Palne knew that all the Kakuri spoke a foreign language. As long as Wortsproke and Chi could be considered foreign.
"Not a language," Little Finger replied, "she has to find one."
"So how will she communicate with us?"

Surprise took a step forward and showed a stack of cards. She said something in Kakuri and showed Pane one of the cards.
'I am sorry I don't speak your language.'
"That's very nice... but how do we speak to her?"
"Ebba has the same cards. She does not speak any other language. They are even... in balance... You can... borrow cards. But belong to Ebba."

Palne sighed. Usually these trips came with a plot twist or unexpected event, and with Anna's pregnancy and the war mongering neighbors in Aedeland he didn't need any more distraction. At the same time, he knew he had to oblige. The Kakuri were free to travel, as long as it wasn't to Fisks. And Little Finger had a point, Surprise was the only one of the leading group that had not been on Stoldavian soil. The Kakuri belonged to his congregation, so he had a certain responsibility.

"Thanks for bringing this up... talking about this."
Then Little Finger grabbed Palne by the shoulders.
"Goodbye then. Safe journey. Return soon. Always welcome."
Without waiting for a reply she turned around and walked away towards the harbor with the other Kakuri guard. Palne quickly instructed Svea to follow her, making sure they would make it to the harbor safe. After all, this was Fisks.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-13-2017, 05:17 PM (This post was last modified: 12-14-2017 11:15 AM by Pepijn.)
Post: #14
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Palne sat himself down at the dining table in the common room of the Kejsare Karl. Outside he could see the coastline of Bowersland just on the horizon. But then he focused on his table companions. His mother Ebba, his daughter Sanna, the blonde Kakuri Suprise and her guard Amo and finally their own guard Svea Gefna.

"Everybody satisfied with their quarters?" he asked. Ebba went htrough her stack of cards and showed one to Surprise. She replied by making a V-sign with her right hand beside her right eye, turned her has and looked towards Palne. Surprise had really dark eyes and was looking slightly cross-eyed. Palne knew that she would be gazed upon in Vittmark, with her appearance closely resembling description of the mythological rå women.

"You're not telling me you have a card for everything," Palne now addressed Ebba. She turned the other side of the card towards her son. It said 'are you all right'.
"That is close enough."

A light meal was served by the cabin crew. Ebba got a piece of cloth out of her hand bag and rolled it out a bit. She offered the chopsticks to Surprise and Amo, who both took their own set in gratitude. Sanna had to laugh.
"You seem to have everything covered."
"I have 8 pair, so I hope they want to re-use them. I have no way of asking them."

The company started eating while chatting and noticed that Amo and Surprise were exchanging conversation as well. They seemed to be at ease. Which seemed to become more obvious when she sent away Amo after desert and started explaining something to Ebba, without her cards.
"I think she wants to sit with you in private," Sanna tried to explain.
"Well, let's test it then," said Svea who got up, gave a short bow and went her own way. Sanna followed her example, getting a mirrored reply by gesture from Surprise. Finally Ebba got up. Palne noticed Surprise took a deeper bow towards his mother. Then the two were alone at the table. Without Ebba's stack of cards.

"You are the highest representative of the Kakuri executive government, so you should make an appearance in the senate. Moa can translate for you." Palne waited a moment. "Dream Moa..." he repeated.
"Hai," Surprise replied.

She had the same hair style as his daughter Sanna, straight, long, blonde... or almost blonde. Surprise had a hint of reddish in her hair color as well. Palne now realized that it was the exact same hair color Moa had before she became a teenager and turned into a full redhead. The phenomena of the blonde redhead had been considered a bad omen up until the establishment of the Greater Stoldavic Empire. The superstition had survived the empire by decades.

"I think I am an expert in the Kakuri ruling class," Palne continued, fully aware that Surprise did not get a word of what he was saying. "A couple of years ago I sat at this exact same table with Orange... Sitchi Dai..."
"Sitchi Dai, hai."
"Trying to figure out what this message was you were taking to Queen Anna. Exploring your alphabet. Combining our limited knowledge of the Hallish language. She's... I don't know... she behaves like a joker, but she can be dead serious. She's always challenging."

Surprise showed Palne one of her cards. 'I don't speak your language'... Palne slowly took the card and turned it around.
"Anata no gengo wa shaberemasen" he read aloud, slowly. Surprise laughed. She knew that Palne could read their words, but did not understand much of the language. She repeated twice as fast.
"Anate," Palne said again, now pointing at Surprise.
"Jchr vofvof sprtchr," Suprise tried to imitate the way Wortsproke sounded to the Kakuri. Just a lot of consonants glued together. Both laughed out loud.

"I talk a lot with Little Finger of course, Koyubi. And I sat on the train for an entire day with Byebye, finding out she speaks some sort of Auresian once we were there. But then again, she did not say much on the way back either. I am talking about Nenne..."
"Nenne, hai..."

"I don't have to tell you I did spend some time with Chopper. Even Green I have been able to communicate with. Midori..."
"Midori-chan no kyūseishu..."
"And now I am sitting here with you. Oh, right, I didn't spend much time with Flower either, but I think Moa compensated for that. Sano... Durrum..."

Surprise produced a grin.
"Sano-nisan..."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-14-2017, 12:23 PM (This post was last modified: 12-14-2017 12:25 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #15
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Moa entered the Kejsare Karl after it had touched down at Rustning, the civilian airfield in the south of Östvallen. She gave her dad a quick hug but directed her attention to Surprise immediately.

"Urashinu... the chest pounds, the earth on the day of destruction, for another sun, allow me, as the hen its ducklings, touch the old soil with me." Moa's use of the second Kakuri language had improved immensely. She had to provide two translations to her own stim members, while she greeted them as well.

"Basicly, what I said, that I am glad to see her again, and invited her to join me to take her first step on Vittmarker soil," she explained.
"That's four expressions in one sentence," Sanna tried to summarize.
"Five... her name is second language as well."
"So it's a different alphabet, completely alien grammar, thousands of new words and all of that packed in an abstract way. I don't know how you manage."
"Me neither."

Moa turned around, her right hand opened behind her hip as an invitation to Surprise to follow her. She in her turn lifted her left hand, but did not grab Moa's hand. They walked out of the gondola, side by side on the ramp. Surprise stepped onto the red carpet that had been rolled out. She halted, giving the small ceremonial guard the time to pay their respect. She had seen a similar ritual when Anna had visited Toshi-bu a couple of years ago. But as soon as they were done, Surprise took of her shoes and stepped off the carpet.

"I don't want to insult you," she said to Moa, "but it's cold." Moa laughed politely. Even though it was the end of May, compared to the everlasting tropical summer at Gilles Carls it was a lot more cold in Vittmark.
"I am sure the soil is not offended, but warmed by your presence," Moa replied. Surprise smiled. She then put on her shoes and stepped onto the carpet again.

"One, we go to the white horse with the rollig star," Moa explained while pointing at the car, "two, we will eat with Fighting Bird, Eba the white, Pamda, Sana, Suwaya and more; three, I will show you the people's kotan and the land's kotan."
Surprised gave a short nod and proceeded with Moa to the car. They had to wait for Amo, who was carrying his own bag holding a musical instrument. Then they set off towards the White Horse, the bar where Yuma and her music group were rehearsing.

"Do you want me to talk, or do you just want to look," Moa asked before the car left the airfield. She knew that seeing a city with over 600,000 inhabitants for the first time was an experience with impact. She did not get an answer, so she assumed Surprise and Amo would try to digest themselves. At the first larger intersection the car took a right turn.

"Fighting bird's kotan?" Surprise asked.
"Not Fighting Bird's... Not a kotan like yours. It is open, for people. We show them the lands, the plants, the animals. We will go there tomorrow." Moa was talking about the newly opened Museum of Natural History.
"It is... enormous!"
"It is the largest. Four of the five largest are here, within a 15 minute walk: the animal and plant kotan, the old guard house, the little star's pavillion and Fighting Bird's kotan."

The car held right at a fork in the road, taking a route down to Korsö, an area that had been rebuilt completely after the Three Ways Conflicts. Moa asked the driver to stop on the bridge leading to the Belt Town.
"Remember... Naka and the water under the bridge?" Moa referred to a slight cultural mishap when the Kinzoku visited Östvallen. Their vocalist Naka had challenged Moa's authority, regarding Arimu to play a Nobuko Nokomo song. In Kakuri culture, nothing is ever easy. Moa had to explain Naka she forgave her outburst, illustrating it with the Vittmarker expression 'water under the bridge'. Naka had told about the event. This way Moa had contributed to the second language for the second time.

Both Amo and Surprise confirmed that they recognized the anecdote.
"It was this bridge..."
"Your buildings have stories, just like ours."
"And this bridge has a Kakuri story. As well as handfulls of others."

The small motorcade continued, taking a left in Felled.
"Aren't we continuing to Söderport?" Moa asked the driver.
"We considered the route through Mellersta and Fridas more secure, highness."
The motorcade took a right on a boulevard-like road, locally known as the High Road. Together with the Short Road and Quayside, these were the only east-west routes through this part of town. Moa had preferred Quayside because of the view across the Sörstaströmmen canal, with the Söderport fortress right in the middle of it, but she understood that this wasn't a sightseeing tour.

They dived into the maze that was the New Town until they stopped in front of Hvita Hästen. Once they got in, Yuma dropped whatever she was doing and started a whole bowing ritual in front of Surprise. First a 45 degree bow, followed by a full 90 degree which she held for quite a while, she then fell on her knees, face down on the floor, hands and arms stretched out. She slowly curled up, throwing her hands and head back. While staring at the ceiling, she presented her knife to Surprise.

"It is dirty," were Surprise's unexpected welcoming words.
"I am dirty," Yuma replied, "I don't deserve a clean cut. I defied the Nokumo Nobono, used your 'za' for my own purposes."
"I am not going to cut you. This is Ushwara. We do it as they do here. How do they do it here?"

"Water under the bridge?" Moa suggested.
"NO!!" Yuma yelled, "Not water under the bridge. Not that, anything but..."
At that moment, Surprise slapped Yuma on her right cheek with the inside of her open hand, so hard that she tumbled over.
"I heard this is how they do it over here," Surprise added. Yuma slowly crawled up again. She wept her hair from her face when she felt that she was bleeding from her mouth. She put some blood on her fingertips and painted red lines above and under her eyes.
"Thank you," she said before licking the rest of the blood from her chin.

"We're not ready," Surprise said without any intonation. "Get up and face the Nokumo Nobono."
Yuma got up on her feet and stared Surprise in the eye. "Tensho..." she half whispered. Surprise stood there with Yuma's knife in her right hand. Suddenly she grabbed a handfull of hair on Yuma's right side, at the height of her ear. She pulled her head towards her, putting the knife just under the cheekbone. In one swift move she cut off a part of her hair, then she repeated on the other side.

"Three lengths?" Yuma asked, "but I am not..."
"You are," Surprise replied. "In the people's kotan, you are the voice, ears and ways of the Kakuri. You can only do that in three lengths. A daihyou is like a shisha, it comes with a rank. And you are a worthy keeper of Sohoko's katana. Now, Shisha Fukai Yuma, show me what you have been busy with the last two cycles."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-14-2017, 05:21 PM
Post: #16
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
The whole spectacle had been witnessed in utter shock by a couple of local girls, the piano player and the bar owner. They were used to Yuma's outbursts by now, but they never had seen the girl getting this treatment without serious repercussions. There was one person present who was used to this kind of behavior though: Arimu.

Surprise and Amo were introduced to everyone through Moa.
"This is Tora, she is a singer and dancer also on behalf of the Nokumo Nobono, a friend of Yuma. And this is Nilla, also singer and dancer, also a friend. Mårten is this kotan's musician. And Erik, owner of the place." She the switched to Wortsproke, "This is Urashinu of the Nokumo Nobono of the Kakuri people and her guard and companion Amo."

"Show me..." Surprise simply asked. Moa transferred the message, but Yuma had already set the wheels in motion. Mårten started playing on the piano while the girls started dancing until Yuma started singing. She had changed some lines to Worstsproke so the girls could do harmonics. But after half the song, Arimu interrupted.
"Sorry, Mårten, but that girl is hard to please. Is it OK if I take over for a while?" Mårten got up from his stool with a smile. He still was struggling with playing the typical kakuri brand of music. Arimu set off from the start again, with a lot more fire, dynamics and weird improvised time changes. The girls were caught off guard and had to improvise. But instead of being bothered by it, they were enjoying themselves.

"Yuma," Surprise said after the song ended, "take that musician with you and come sit with me. No, the other one," she quickly added when Yuma made eye contact with Mårten. Yuma sat herself beside Surprise, while Arimu had to take a seat at the opposite side of the table.
"You have become better. They were wrong to let you graduate."
Yuma smiled from ear to ear when she heard those words of praise.
"You will make an excellent permanent presence of the Kakuri. But that piano player... Can you work with this girl instead?"
Surprise nodded her head towards Arimu without looking at her. Moa had to intervene. But before she could say a word, Surprise grabbed her hand and looked Moa in the eye.

"I am not allowed to speak with the dead one. Can you tell her that?"
"I think she heard you."
Arimu grabbed Moa's other hand and stared towards Surprise, who was trying to avoid her gaze.
"Can you tell her I love her regardless?" Arimu said. She was waiting for Surprise to a show a tear. But Moa wasn't having any of this. She got both their hands and put them on top of each other.

"I am Durrum Mu-Wa of the Nokumo Nobono, red panther sister, tear eater, afterlife ruler, tensho of the weeping box... Arimu, stop making her feel awful. Surprise, talk to her. That's an order. Because I am also the queen's dream." She then indicated Yuma to put her hand on the pile as well, and topped it with her own.
"We are the Kakuri people in Östvallen, we show, we tell."

Moa then turned her attention to Amo. "What do you say?"
"I say nothing, tensho of the weeping box. I am in the shadow of your light. All your lights. I see. I help. For the Nokumo Nobono."
Moa's egalitarian tendencies had reached a border here. Amo clearly was not on the same level as the others, and he knew that.

Surprise got up, but did not pull her hand from the pile. She looked around.
"You, you, you and you... play! I'll join you."
Moa's driver approached with her violin case. Amo got his Koto from his bag. Yuma tried to explain to the girls.
"We are going to play, all of us, I don't know if you can join."
But Surprise gestured the girls to join them.
"I like them," she told Yuma, "just tell them to let loose."

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