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Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
12-23-2017, 10:41 PM
Post: #21
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
The regular 10:05 train from Byrum had the short royal carriage as an extra at the rear side. It had three compartments, the first for security staff, the central one was rebuilt as a double royal suite and the third was there for the palace staff, all of them connected by a narrow corridor leading to the entrance doors. The five Kakuri, Moa included, had plenty of room in the carriage suite. Arimu wasn't supposed to follow along, but with the music theatre coming up the next evening, it was wise to spend as much time together as possible.

Amo was however feeling out of place in this company. His place was actually among the security staff, but as koto player his presence was needed as well. But he was nervous. He had never been on a train before and had no idea what to expect.

"We will get a reception by the town board at the station. But we will have to wait for disembarking, the carriage is getting detached from the train. Then it's a short walk to where the watermill once stood. We will enjoy lunch at town hall. After that there are some speeches for the local people."
"I am prepared," Surprise replied. She looked at Amo and winked. That produced a smile on his face.

The Kakuri visitors lightened up the platform. The receiving party were mainly elderly men in dark grey and black suits. Surprise was wearing a plain green traditional long dress with a light waist band in a flower pattern. For the first time since her arrival in Vittmark, Yuma was also wearing a traditional Kakuri long dress, hers was in purple with a darker waist band. Moa was showing a half long tight fit dress, with the top, arms and sides showing turquoise flower patterns and the main body in immaculate white. Arimu had the most Vittmarker outfit, an orangy brown pencil dress with a vest in the same color covering her white long sleeved blouse. A bit of the tropics had arrived in the Ådalish countryside.

Half the town had taken the opportunity to get a glimpse of the almost alien visitors, they were standing 2-3 rows beside the route from the station to the town's reservoir.
"You can still see the foundations of where the watermill was standing," the mayor was explaining, "but we raised the reservoir's level and put in modern turbines. We now have electric street lights in most of the town."

Surprise went up the little height beside the dam wall and stood between the foundations.
"She is wondering if there are any relatives present of the people who once built the mill," Moa explained.
"Kvarnberg stim, they are living two blocks away these days."
"Is it possible to visit them?"
"It's a small detour, but I think we will manage."

The young men of the Kvarnberg stim were surprised to see an official town delegation showing up at their gates. These days, the stim operated a steam powered sawmill, as well as a laundry service. It was a normal working day, so the facility was in full operation. The stim elder improvised a short explanation of the sawmill. Then Yuma took the word. She was reading from paper.
"Dear friends of Kvarnberg stim, Karls socken in the town of Ullingsås, Övernäs Stift. The Kakuri people want to express their gratitude to the creators of the watermill that is currently having a second life near the settlement of Ny Skiöldavik in the Kakuri State. We understand that it was not you who built the mill, but your ancestors. So we brought a present from our ancestors."

Amo opened the large basket he had been carrying around the whole time and started pulling out items he put on display. Glazed mugs, a terracotta cooking pot, some bowls, then he got out a wood block and carefully put in knifes, one by one, each of them with elaborate details on the handle. He made quite a show out of it. The cloths all the ceramics had been wrapped in were rolled out as miniature table cloths, some small glasses appeared, some a bit larger, a pitcher and finally two wooden serving trays with mosaic patterns and a brand new cutting board.

"Most of this is over 100 cycles old," Yuma then continued with her lovely accent, "and even though it is never enough to balance it out, it is a reminder of the second life your ancestors' work has for the Kakuri. It shows a bond between our stifts."

"If I would have known we would receive such honorable guests, I would have prepared the place and worn something more presentable," the Kvarnberg elder excused his appearance.
"It is good," Yuma assured him, "we meet you as you are, the real people of Kvarnberg. This is what you are and what you do. We prefer it that way."

After lunch, it was time to deliver the speeches at the town hall's steps. The mayor started off by reading a statement from Furstin Ulla, head of state of Ådalen, excusing herself for not being able to attend to a visit from a fellow head of state. His own speech was filled with the usual political plattitudes. Then it was Yuma's turn to speak on behalf of the Kakuri visitors. Her speech was short.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the town of Ullingsås, the Kakuri people do not deliver speeches. I present to you Tensho Urashinu Yiggu of the Nokumo Nobono leadership of the Kakuri people."
Amo started playing on his koto and shortly after Surprise kicked in with a song she had written for the occassion. A lot slower than the usual Nokumo Nobono songs, which gave her room to really use her lungs on the long notes. She had quite a voice. One that even impressed the local people who had never heard or seen a Kakuri before. She really threw out some long, high yells with a vibrato spanning a whole note while Amo was trying to keep up on his koto. It was actually quite a simple, straightforward song, but Surprise performed it as if her life depended on it.

After the applause died down, Moa was introduced.
"That's not really fair, is it," she started improvising right away. "In a lot of the places I visit, people look at me in awe since I happen to be the crown princess of Vittmark. Then something like this happens and suddenly I am reminded of the fact that I am just a poor girl from the south that ended up in a strange places due to even stranger circumstances. This, my good people of Ullingsås, is skills, is talent... I am proud and honored to be able to let you share in the experience and thus share a bit of the amazement I felt when I first met the Kakuri for 3 years ago. But let's not forget that we all have skills and talent we put to use for Vind's master plan. Let's not forget that we all can travel outside our own stift or state, showing what we can do and learning from others. If it's our capital, the mountains of the south or a tropical island, they all can be inspiring and learnful experiences. Just like we, the crown princess, MP Fukai and the lady Urashinu travel to Ådalen, to Ullingsås today. And when we get back, we bring new insights to our daily life, our known surroundings. Explore to become more creative, more valuable for Vind's master plan, no matter if it's within Iunsala's, Kulla's or Fjällsta's framework."

She paused for a while.
"I had a well prepared speech, on paper, but I think I will leave it here and just enjoy this moment, when we came together and got a glimpse from beyond the horizon. For Vind, through the times!"

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-25-2017, 12:52 PM
Post: #22
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
"The music theatre," Tora giggled when the company crossed the street in order to eat some lunch, "my stim members won't believe me."
"We will have a picture taken," Moa answered. She had her hair tucked into a black felt hat with large folded rim that reached just over her eyebrows. A pair of glasses made her daytime disguise complete. Still, they picked the most remote and dark corner of the lunch restaurant to sit down. Even the palace guards were in civilian clothing and had gotten the order to enjoy a normal lunch at the adjacent tables, so they would not draw any attention.

"How many songs do you have," Surprise asked Yuma.
"Eight that sit." She started listing them.
"Three of them I know well enough, let's do those together. Durrum?"
Moa felt a bit awkward. It was Arimu who was the musician here, but Surprise still was refusing to address her directly.
"Five more Nokumo Nobono songs, on top of the two Yuma is doing."
"Nice... that makes eight we can do with a larger group."
"Seven," Moa interrupted, "there is one song I would like to see Arimu perform on her own."
But when she mentioned the song title, Arimu objected.

"Thank you Durrum, but I can play it with Urashinu. She has the right voice for it. We'll split."
Moa looked surprised at her lady-in-waiting. She stuck out her neck for her, and now she declined the gesture?
"Urashinu is the guest of honor," Arimu continued. "She is Nokumo Nobono, she will get a title."
"But you wrote the song."
"Then it would be nice if I could have some saying in who is allowed to play it."

Surprise put both her hands on the table and made her shoulders as wide as possible.
"Only the Nokumo Nobono decides who is allowed to play this song," she stated in a low voice. But then she lightened her tone. "It is stated that Arimu can play it. And if she wants to get accompanied by someone who already is allowed to play it, then that is perfectly fine." She then looked directly at Arimu. "But we need to balance..."
"I have four songs that would fit today's occassion," Arimu suggested.
"Are they like 'My Grave'?" Surprise asked. That was a song that Arimu had learned a group called Kinzoku as a greeting from her afterlife in Vittmark. Arimu nodded.
"So let's say 8 together, 4 by Yuma and companions, 4 by me and 4 by Durrum and companion, that makes it balanced."

At that moment lunch arrived. Arimu took the time updating Nilla and Tora, since Yuma was kept in a conversation by Surprise.
"They are really hierarchical, right?" Nilla asked.
"Yes and no..." Arimu tried to explain. "The groups in Kakuri are pretty much equal, except for the Nokumo Nobono. And within the Nokumo Nobono, there now seems to be hierarchy. This wasn't the case when I was in the Nokumo."
"You were..."
Arimu nodded.
"Then Surprise is your..."
"... successor."

"So why did she hit Yuma?"
"Yuma has disobeyed the Kakuri way. She had to graduate from school and then it's usual to settle in a group. But Yuma defied that and went on her own mission, becoming a deep girl for the Nokumo Nobono, here in Vittmark. But she never got permission to do so."
"The last girl that hit Yuma got stabbed to the floor," Nilla added half laughing.
"Why didn't the crown princess carry out punishment? She's Nokumo Nobono..."

Arimu leaned over the table.
"Her ladyship did punish Yuma, but Yuma didn't think she had been punished enough. That's a Kakuri thing... So when Surprise arrived, she saw her chance to get properly repimanded."
Nilla shook her head.
"It makes some sense," Tora said, "it is about loyalty and responsibility. It's not our way, but there is some logic to it."
"Yeah, but you would say anything to defend Yuma," Nilla replied. "But what was this thing with cutting her hair, that was part of her punishment?"

"On the contrary. Being allowed to wear your hair in three lengths is a privilege. The Nokumo Nobono only hand out that privilege to former leaders, swordbearers, emissaries and outstanding performers. Yuma fits most of those categories."
"So, if I would get a haircut like that..."
"You would get stabbed to the floorboards. Even by me."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-25-2017, 11:08 PM (This post was last modified: 12-25-2017 11:10 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #23
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
The company crossed the street again. People were buying tickets at the entrance while the Kakuri music group entered the artist entrance.
"That's weird. People are putting their money on the table for something we still have to fabricate this afternoon."
None of the Kakuri got Moa's remark, but the two other Vittmarker girls got an extra layer of absurdity added to their experience of today.

When the audience started to enter the music hall, they immediately noticed the weird stage setting. The theatre could hold about 400 attendants. The stage was large enough for a normal philharmonic orchestra. In a smaller setting, like a string quartet, they would move the musicians to the front of the stage. But the musical instruments were all placed in line at the back, leaving a large open space. Then again, nobody expected dancers.

At 20:15 the invited guest were taking their places on rows 10 to 16: some ambassadors, members of parliament, some senators, a large part of the city board of Östvallen, high ranking military officials... Row 12 was still empty when Queen Anna arrived with her party, her lady-in-waiting Teres Ståhlvik, her stepdaughter Sanna, her husband (and Sanna's father) Palne. Everybody got up and applauded. Anna waved and shook some hands on rows 13 and 11.

"Your grace, highnesses, myladies and mylords, ladies and gentlemen. The annual performance by a group of Kakuri musicians always comes on a short notice, as a surprise. Last year we had half the Nokumo Nobono perform as an interlude in this very theatre. This year, we really have a surprise, because one of our musical guests is no other than the woman with the voice of an entire choir who goes by the name Surprise. She will be accompanied by several Kakuri and local artists in a performance that truly is unique. They have asked me to introduce each and every one of them and luckily enough I have it on paper."

The musical director put on his reading glasses.
"Urashinu of the Nokumo Nobono, mezzo-soprano..."
People started applauding while Surprise made her way onto the centre of the stage.
"Durrum of the Nokumo Nobono, violin... her ladyship Fukai Yuma MP, alt and harsh vocals, Amo of Hikari on the wonderful Kakuri instrument called the koto, her ladyship Arimu Blåkulla, grand piano and mezzo-soprano, Mårten Jönsson on grand piano, Tora Dagsdotter Fors - performer and alt and finally Pernilla Sindersdotter Lindh - performer and soprano."

After the applause died down, Arimu took over the introduction.
"Your grace... We will be playing 20 shorter pieces in different settings, showing a range of music from present day Kakuri. Some of it might sound alien, even uncomfortable, others will undoubtably please the audience. Please consider this a roadtrip, a journey into the Kakuri realm. And with every journey, there might be a bump in the road, a meal that didn't meet the expectations, but all in all the journey will be worth to remember."

After 20 songs the improvised company received a standing ovation, even though it wasn't exactly clear if people really had enjoyed the musical twists of the Kakuri or that it was a courtesy to Queen Anna. She made her way forward towards the stage in order to hand out the noble title of 'fruiuncker' to Surprise.

"Today almost exactly three years ago, the crown princess established a relation with the leadership of the Kakuri people. A leadership based on cultural meritocracy. Surprise, or Urashinu as she is known to her own, not only has the voice of an opera diva, she has shown here why she has earned her position in the Nokumo Nobono. She is an excellent and practical clothes designer as well. Today, she will be able to add one more merit to her list, her unconditional loyalty to the house of Kulla, for which she will be rewarded the title of 'fruiuncker' of the Kakuri realm."

Anna was handed the sash she put over Surprise's shoulder, after which she handed over a framed certificate and a scroll. The audience started applauding again.

"Even the Kakuri member of parliament has shown her merits today, but I also want to spend some words on the other member of the Nokumo Nobono present today... The master of the weeping box, as she is known to her kind. Please..."

Moa was genuinely surprised by this. She was not even on stage, but looking from the side. She instinctively looked towards Arimu, which was the right thing to do. She had been performing her duties as translator all evening, so it was natural for a 'Kakuri' to do so. Then she decided Arimu had to get her in order to make this a believable roleplay.

"The Kakuri don't share their music, nor their instruments for others to play on," Anna continued the little charade. "Durrum, who to my knowledge has been the most recent addition to the Nokumo Nobono, has however taken the opportunity to combine the Stoldavian violin with Kakuri music. She was here last year as well, with two of her colleagues who were playing a guitar and standing bass. She also plays Orkanan traditionals..."

Moa pretended not to understand, then rushed off the scene to get her violin and started playing a traditional called 'A flower' as soon as she returned. It was met by an applause which made that she didn't have to continue.

"Even Durrum has shown unconditional loyalty to the house of Kulla, as well as a committed involvement in Kakuri - Vittmaker cultural exchange. And yet I can not grant her the noble title of 'fruiuncker', due to some court etiquette I can not get into right now. But I want her to know, right here and right now, that she earned that title just as much as Urashinu."

A round of applause filled the hall and Anna handed a scroll to Moa. But she wasn't finished yet.

"Finally, ladies and gentlemen, there is one other person who has marked herself as an excellent cultural liaison with the Kakuri, her ladyship Arimu Blåkulla. A skilled musician, an excellent composer, a compelling vocalist and a loyal lady-in-waiting for the crown princess. I don't have to explain why princess Moa isn't present, but she witnessed the dress rehearsal this afternoon. It is with pleasure that I can grant you the title of third lady of Blåkulla, which from now on gives you the name Arimu av Blåkulla."

-----

When the Kakuri party finally arrived back at the palace, Anna had already gone to rest. There had been no reception or after activities at the music theatre, simply becaus ethe short preparation time had not allowed for it. But Palne, Sanna and Teres were waiting with two bottles of dark beer.

"This should be celebrated, two noble titles in one evening."
Arimu interrupted quickly though.
"Urashinu has anticipated such an event. They have brought something for the occassion as well."
Alis arrived quickly with a small crate containing four orangy fruits. Yuma got out her knife and cut the fruit open. It contained covered seeds that looked like minitiature berries themselves.

"It is a 'zakuro'. Based on Chipper's and Byebye's experience, the Nokumo Nobono thinks that it will be great company to the stingy bitter liquid," Arimu tried to explain. It seemed that they were right, the dark beer and the fresh berry-like seeds were complementing each other. But Moa took the culinary exchange one step further. She crushed some of the fruits and put them into her glass before refilling it. She stirred a bit and took a sip.

"This is even better..."
When she finished the beer, she got a little spoon to get out the beer drenched berries.
"Ate you dissing us, or is it really good?" Palne wanted to know. Teres tried it as well and had to agree with Moa, this was more than the sum of its parts.

"This drink needs a name," Teres concluded. "Dark Kakuri? Zukuro Brown?"
"Zakuro," Yuma corrected her.
"Bloody... Moa, this is really good!" Palne exclaimed.
"And there we have the name... Bloody Moa..."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-28-2017, 05:11 PM
Post: #24
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Moa entered Anna's private quarters.
"Is it OK if Surprise comes in to see you?"
"I'm still in bed and don't feel like coming out today. My lower back..."
"She is aware of your situation. She admires your endurance. But her time here is limited. She does not mind to have to meet under these circumstances. The Kakuri are pretty laid back when it comes to that, as long as you're on the same level."
"Well, send Urashinu in then."

It was only when Moa opened the door again to let Surprise in that she became aware of Anna having used her Kakuri name. Surprise entered the bedroom, with her head bowed down.
"I am sorry," she started in Kakuri, "I do not want to enter your spirit's own realm, but I will be leaving with the flying tan potato soon."
"She does not have to be sorry," Anna replied before Moa. "Mondainai..." she added. Now Surprise looked up. When they made eye contact, Anna went one step further.
"Ocha?" she asked.
"Hai, onegaishimasu," Surprise replied. Then another detail struck Surprise.

"That's... Flower's nightgown you are wearing. She will be pleased to hear that."
This time Moa needed to supply the translation.
"It is the only thing that is comfortable to wear right now, so she can extend my gratitude to Sano."

"Where did you pick up Kakuri?" Moa wondered.
"I'm learning it the Kakuri way. And I have been asking Arimu a lot. The two of you are not so inseparable as you usually are, so I have been claiming her a bit."
A servant arrived with three cups of tea.

"What is it you wanted to talk about," Anna continued.
"You have three tongues," Surprise started explaining, "the women-sailors and tomorrow. We wonder how you learned tomorrow."
Moa had to explain that the 'language of tomorrow' was the Kakuri way of saying 'Anisoran'. Then she answered Surprise's question without waiting for Anna.
"Fighting Bird speaks Tikeya, not Ashita. She has lived in Tikeya's Toshi-bu for many cycles. But why ask her? I know these things as well."

"Fighting Bird has three tongues. She's a tongue-tensho beyond our skills, she is the highest."
"I thought she wanted to speak with me, what are you discussing?"
"Surprise considers you a language master, since you speak Wortsproke, Cheltai and Auresian. She was under the impression you spoke Anisoran though."
"Easy mistake to make, they are quite similar. If they really do their best, they can understand each other."

"I think the Kakuri always considered it one single language, with some variations."
"Can you ask Fighting Bird if she can teach me the Tikeya tongue?" Surprise now interrupted.
"Ehm... she is asking if you could teach her Auresian."
"I'm not a teacher..."
"That's not the point. I think they don't have any source for Auresian over there. Coming to think of it, I have no clue how they picked up Stoldish, Anisoran and Hallish in the first place."

Anna got up from her bed and put on a robe. She indicated Moa and Surprise to follow her.
"If I remember correctly... It is the second panel, second shelf. There's a copy of Third Era Exemplars in Anisoran, about two thumbs thick, blue cover."
Anna used the hidden entrance towards her working quarters and started looking through her books.
"There it is. And it's not in Pastanan, I remembered correctly. I got it as a present during my last visit, it is signed by the publisher. Then... fourth panel, probably top shelf. It's an older book, I took it with me from Cedelphia. Could you grab it for me..."
After some pointing, Moa got the right volume.

"A middle school text book about Skaran Exemplars, in Auresian. Most of them are Third Era so it should contain the same Scriptures to some extent. I don't have any single book on Third Era in Wortsproke, but we can easily order that somewhere in town."

She turned around, faced Surprise and handed her the books.
"With these three books, and the help of Linnea and Koyubi, you will be able to study Auresian and Anisoran, Tekiyan and Ashiri, together with Nenne. They are very similar. But you can teach each other."

"We can get those books at a book store, probably," Moa interrupted.
"Durrum... she asked me to teach her. So she is getting my books. On loan, they're still my books. But books are made to be used, not to collect dust on a shelf. And there's some self interest in it as well. If they learn these languages, I can communicate directly with Nenne, Urashinu, Koyubi, Sano and Durrum."

Moa explained as well as she could, which she managed to do successfully, since Surprise started thanking Anna extensively.
"Douitashimashite..." Anna replied slowly. Moa started to laugh.
"It's 'Do'tash'mash'te'..." Moa corrected her saying it twice as fast.
"Damatte kudasai *," Anna snapped back (*Shut up)
Surprise started laughing in a way Moa hadn't heard her do so before.
"Urashinu loves Fighting Bird," Surprise said after she had regained common speech again.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-30-2017, 12:06 AM
Post: #25
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Petterson looked at the horizon. He was late. The airship was already approaching and would probably arrive before his trimaran made it to the harbor of Carls Nybygge. Or maybe he wasn't late, but the airship arrived ahead of schedule. Indeed, the NTR-AB "Kejsare Karl" was already leaving from the tower in front of the Residency when the trimaran docked.

He and his assistant Shay Na were the only ones who could get off the ship, the Kakuri did not have permission to enter Fisks territory. Pettersson was met by a couple of federal soldiers once he made it to the end of the jetty.
"There's trouble," the federal ensign explained after formally saluting the superior officer that Petterson was. "They have arrested Surprise and her companion."
"On what grounds?"
"Tresspassing on Fisks territory."
"But that's insane. She's Nokumo Nobono. This would never have happened if I would have been on time."

"It probably would have, sir. Look behind you. It's the FMV Åke. The entire military crew of the merchant vessel has disembarked and have set up posts all around the town. This was premeditated."
"Well, let's bring those Fisks a visit and see if we can straighten out this mess."

There was a large contingent of Fisks militia gathered in front of the Residency. They largely outnumbered the 20 or so federal soldiers who were awaiting orders. Petterson walked right up to the entrance, only accompanied by the two soldiers who met him in the harbor.

"Just the man we were waiting for," Arild Fisk said when Petterson was lead into his office.
"Could someone please explain what is going on?"
"We are detaining two Kakuri who entered Fisks illegally. I think that should be your responsibility, see to it that the Kakuri stay in their own part of the woods?"

"Mylord," Petterson tried to answer as unnerved as possible, "you are detaining Urashinu of the Nokumo Nobono, emissary of her people. She recently got the noble title of 'fruiuncker' directly from her majesty."
"She might be noko-something, but she can't be an emissary. We have kept track of them. Six of them entered a couple of years ago with diplomatic passes. One of them is banned. So that leaves five emissaries. To me, all those Kakuri's look the same, but this one... sticks out... She's not one of the group with diplomatic passes."

Petterson had to think now. Arild Fisk seemed to have a point. There were 7 Nokumo Nobono members living in the Kakuri State. Chopper received a life ban. So that left 6. And indeed the agreement with Fisks included only 5 mutual emissaries who could travel freely.

"Could his lordship show me the mutual registry of emissaries, as signed by both legislatives?" Petterson asked to buy some time while he kept thinking.
"What good will that do?"
"It is for these kind of occassions that we have agreements, mylord. I would like to go through the text we agreed upon."

A clerk was sent out to get the paperwork.
"What if I would let two emissaries come over so these two could be their companions? It would save us all a lot of trouble."
"Thus admitting they were trespassing? We can not let them leave without any repercussions, it would set a bad example."

Petterson frowned. "Is that the way to treat your neighbors? You have to share this island, remember..."
"We did not ask for neighbors, nor did we want to share Gilles Carls with a bunch of ant eaters."
"I am sorry to have to say this, your lordship, but that line of argumentation is more fitting for the Kakuri people."

The awkward silence was cut short by the clerk entering with the right file. Petterson started reading it from the back.
"When was this ratified?"
"Ehrm... I don't know from the top of my head," Arild Fisks replied, "what does it say?"
Petterson turned the file around.
"Nothing... Herr Fisk's signature is there, but not a single shred of evidence that this passed the legislative... If Fisks is trying to prosecute the two citizens from the Kakuri state, then this mean it will have to be done through interstate legislation. Which means that the crown will get involved."

Arild Fisks was quiet a while. Then he responded.
"Fine by me. The agreement is clear. So there are some signatures missing, that does not make it invalid."

Petterson suddenly saw a way out of this mess.
"It does not make the agreement invalid, no. But it means that the list of emissaries can be changed before ratification. That is, if both parties agree."
"We don't agree to anything. These tresspassers will be treated in such a way that no one will violate the agreement ever again."

Petterson now produced a smile.
"You did, mylord. Let's retrace our steps, shall we? Which emissaries have been in Gilles Carls since the Kakuri gained statehood? There's Chopper, but she has been banned. You would recognize her. Byebye accompanied her during the same trip, a year and a half ago. She's one of the younger ones. Little Finger has been here on numerous occassions, she's the one speaking Wortsproke. I think once she was accompanied by Flower, the muscular one. And some weeks ago by Surprise, the blonde one. At that time, none of the Fisks administration took any action against Surprise. I think that the federal soldiers here can testify that she has been introduced to Anton Fisk..."

"Oh yes," one of the soldiers interrupted, "Herr Fisk made a comment about her not carrying paperwork, but Herr Kristersson vouched for her. It was clear that Surprise is a member of the Kakuri leadership."
The soldier was speaking about Arild's younger brother Anton, who had met Palne and company before they set off to Vittmark by airship.

"By doing so, Anton Fisk has accepted Surprise of the Nokumo Nobono as an emissary of the Kakuri people. Otherwise he would have had to arrest her already then."

The awkward silence lasted a lot longer this time.

"I am Anton's superior, so I can reverse that. Fisks sticks to the original document."
"That, mylord, is the kind of arbitrariness the government of Fisks is not allowed to execute. Up to the highest ranking official of the Fisks administration at the time has accepted Surprise by their actions. That is, by definition, a mutual agreement by the two parties involved, Fisks and the Kakuri. If Herr Fisk wants to adjust that agreement, he will have to reach unanimity with the Kakuri leadership. It's quite easy if his lordship wants to try, you have a leader in your custody. Go ahead, ask her."

Arild Fisks was furious now.
"Out! Away you go! I will let you know how we treat those tresspassers."
In the commotion that followed, Petterson was able to take the file with the unsigned agreement with him.

"Now what, sir," the federal ensign asked once they had left the Residency.
"Time for Plan B."
"There is a Plan B?"

Petterson looked across the cliff toward the harbor, where the Fisks merchant vessel was anchored.
"Every 10 minutes, a group of two soldiers will walk down to the harbor. I will await them and give orders there. All the federal troops will come to the harbor, except for the radio man and his guard."
"What is the plan, sir?"
"We are going to take something from them, just as illegally, to improve our negotiation position."
"What is it sir?"

Petterson nodded towards the harbor.
"But, that ship is heavily guarded..."
"I don't think so. My estimate is that Arild has ordered all the ship's militia to defend the Residency and other military objects. So who's left to defend the ship?"

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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12-30-2017, 02:32 PM
Post: #26
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Petterson saw the second group of federal soldiers arrive at the quayside. One of them was Sgt Torstensson, highest ranking officer when Petterson wasn't around.

"Sir," he saluted, "could I have a word with you? I am a bit worried about your strategy."
"What is it, Torstensson, afraid that we can't pull this off?"
"No sir. I think we can gain control over the vessel. The question is, at what cost, what do we do with it and where do we proceed from then?"
"That's three questions..."

"Sir... I would rather not risk the lives of my men over the immediate future of two prisoners. I am aware that you are a higher ranking officer, but you fall outside my chain of command, his lordship being a police officer and we military. We could discuss command lines, but is his lordship willing to consider an alternative approach?"

Petterson hesitated. As usual, the sergeant was both right and wrong at the same time, putting him in a position where he could not make a right decision anymore.
"Let's get off the streets first," Petterson suggested, "and talk this alternative over quickly."
He pointed towards a tavern.

"We're closed," the bar tender yelled as soon as he saw three federal military coming through the door.
"That's perfect," Petterson replied quickly, "then we don't interrupt your business when we temporarily confiscate this dwelling for the federal mission. We have a daring rescue mission to plan, so if you could vacate the premises?"
That was not the reply the bartender had expected. He still ordered all the people out and left quickly.

"Probably he's going to update the Residency. Which means we have about 15 minutes before their militia barges in. I hope a lot of them will come, spread them thin a little bit. So, what's the plan?"

Torstensson put some telegrams on the table.
"We got a pre-warning that the chancellor of internal affairs will be asking Arild Fisk to resign. We were asked to outline a cause of action for the event. Taking him in, giving a federal reprimande, releasing him again. However, we have advised the chancellor not to execute this option."

He put a file folder on the table.
"Arild Fisk is not the main problem. He is stubborn, self centered, rude, but he is practical enough to see the long term picture. He usually chooses his fights well. However, the last three years of so, we have noticed a pattern. Actually, you started with mapping this pattern. It turns out that Arild Fisk is under the influence of someone with her own agenda..."

"His wife?" Petterson made a wild guess.
"They don't even sleep in the same room. No, it's one of his more regular... sidekicks..."
He now opened the folder.
"Jenita Holm. Do you know her?"
"Heard off her... might have met her. Wasn't she in the local board a while ago?"
"That's her. Got caught with her hands deep inside the treasury, the whole thing was buried and a new position was created for her. Instead of grabbing the cash herself, Arild is now bringing it to her..."

"What is her profession then?"
"A whore... not a prostitute available on the public market, no... she has her own agenda and is whoring herself out to get what she wants. Arild is firmly in her grip. We have noticed that he is unreasonably stubborn every time he returns from her house. We have been tracking him of course, especially after the incident with her majesty."

Torstensson referred to a stand-down between Anna and Arild, the latter having staged riots by locally employed Kakuri staff. It ended with nearly 40 Kakuri being taken to Ny Skiöldavik against the will of the households where they were employed.

"And this is your suggestion? Apprehending Holm and then exchange her for Surprise?"
"We do have enough evidence about corruption to at least pick her up and interrogate her. But we can not do that here, the militia would break her free from our facility in no time. So..."
"We pick her up, take her to the jungle and let Arild make a fool of himself. He could ignore her, keeping up appearances, in which case we will send her to Östvallen. Problem solved. Or he could act like the hothead he is and let down his cover. I like it. So we're at Plan C now. I guess she is being guarded by the militia as well?"

"She's not a prime target according to Fisks, so if we can spread their forces thin, they will probably leave her unattended. We'll use the exact same route, directly into the jungle, instead of taking her to your boat in the harbor."

"Well," Petterson concluded, "I think it is wise if you would command this operation, so I can focus on our main target."
"And remain available as communicator and negotiator."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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01-01-2018, 01:49 PM
Post: #27
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
Petterson knocked on the door of the prison facility of Carls Nybygge. For a place with about 5000 permanent residents, the complex was ridiculously large. But it said something about the leadership style of Fisks.

"Lt. Petterson of the federal police, stationed in Ny Skiöldavik," he announced himself when a tiny window opened, "with my interpreter Shay Na of the Blixt stim in Hagen."
"The federal police has no authority here," he got as short reply.
"I did not say that I did. But I am still requesting to see the acting officer of the facility."

The door opened and the duo was led to the officer of the sergeant on duty.
"What can I do for you?" he started without introducing himself.

"I am Lt. Petterson of the federal police, stationed in Ny Skiöldavik. The Kakuri Stift send me as delegate, to give legal counsel to the two Kakuri you are holding in custody."
"I am under strict orders that the tresspassers are not allowed any visitors. For what we know, they could plan an escape together. That's why we keep them separate."

"Sergeant, that is not only a breach of Vittmarker legislation, it is also an unorkanan thing to keep people in isolation, especially before trial. Who has been giving you this order?"
"My captain. I'm strictly following orders."

"Listen, I am offering you a way out, to avoid prosecution. If you state that you are only following orders, with the name of your superior, then we will not sue you for this clear breach of federal rules."
"You are outnumbered by 10 to 1, you won't be able to..."
"We're very patient. And we can outsource the execution of penalties in case a conviction happens without the accused being present. In here you might be safe. But you have to get home, and probably even get some sleep. You can't be vigilant all the time. So, put your mind at ease..."

The sergeant looked at Petterson, then beside him towards Shay Na, then back again. The Kakuri had a certain reputation. They were considered dangerous... silent murderers they had been labeled by the Fisks Militia after Arild Fisk got abducted from his own bedroom a year ago. The event had been kept out of the public realm, but the officers within the militia had been drilled in order to avoid such a thing from ever occurring again.

"Fine," he gave in. He quickly wrote something down and handed it to Petterson. "Don't let my superiors see this."
"Of course not. If you now could show us to our duo."
"Can't do that..."
"Yes you can. You just handed me a statement that you received an illegal order. Any federal officer can give you new orders." Petterson pointed at his lieutenant insignia.

The sergeant sighed. He had no intention to stand his ground. His job didn't pay that well. If he could avoid a collission with federal authorities, he would.
"Let me take you to them then."

Amo was in a pretty bad shape. He seemed confused, not aware of what was happening to him. Traveling to Vittmark had made a huge impression on the young man, letting him experience things he couldn't have imagined, and then the trip ended in a cellar at a Fisks prison.

"We will take over custody," Petterson stated boldly.
"He has been apprehended by the Fisks militia, under Fisks rules," the sergeant objected. Petterson produced another piece of paper.
"Your legislative body has not ratified the agreement yet. See... this is Fisks' copy of the agreement..."
"How did you get that? It must be false..."

Petterson pointed at Arild Fisk's signature and seal. The sergeant looked up.
"What does this mean?"
"As long as the agreement is not ratified, it is a matter between member states. In that case, these people should be under the custody of the federal legal system. The police, in other words, not the military. And I am the police... Listen, you can tell your superiors you and your family were threatened, or whatever excuse you want to make. But I am leaving with these two people today."

"They will be picked up as soon as they get to the other side of those doors..."
"But that's not your problem then. Shall we start with the paperwork? The federal authorities have no quarrel with Fisks correctional facilities. We understand you are working under orders. Illegal orders according to federal legislation, but I can understand you have to comply to those."

It took a couple more hours to get all the paperwork ready. Surprise and Amo would be handed over to the federal police and kept in custody at a facility of their choice. Well, there was only one facility in Carls Nybygge, and it wasn't really safe since it had been stormed and burned before. So Petterson took Surprise, Amo and Shay Na back to the harbor under cover of darkness, the three Kakuri disguised as local staff. The trimaran had already left, but Petterson took the small 'eka' that was registered as a federal piloting vessel. It took them all night to make the trip towards Ny Skiöldavik, more than twice the usual time. But it had the advantage that they arrived when the first fishermen had left the bay and could pilot them back in.

"Quick, I have to send a telegram to the sergeant of the federal military in Nybygge," Petterson explained as soon as he disembarked.
"You don't have to," his wife Em explained, "he is already here. With a prisoner. Awaiting your instructions."

And indeed, Torstensson was sitting at the police post in the floating part of Ny Skiöldavik. A 35 year od woman was sitting behind him, handcuffed and all.
"Plan C executed," Torstensson greeted jovially when Petterson entered.
"Plan D worked as well," he replied while Amo and Surprise were led in. "I met a prison guard who didn't want to fight us and followed my legal reasoning. Quite unexpected, I have to say. But it shows Fisks is not a monolith.

"So, what do we do with her?"
"Fru Holm, I presume? You have been arrested by the federal police on the accounts of corruption, abuse of public means, colluding against federal authorities and a couple more accusations I will put on paper. You will be transferred to a federal house of custody."
"I know my rights! I want to see my stim alf!"
"As soon as you're in a secure federal facility, we will make sure your legal delegates will be present there. But we don't have the proper facilities here. You will be transferred immediately... Torstensson..." Petterson indicated that he wanted the federal sergeat to follow him outside.

"Take her to Villes. We will book her a journey on the next airship, picking her up after it has landed in Nybygge. I will hand you written orders, so we don't have to use the radio telegraph to announce our intentions."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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01-03-2018, 09:25 AM
Post: #28
RE: Let's drop in on those Kakuri once more
"The lady Brunmyr," Anna's clerk announced her next visitor. Petra Brunmyr was met by a mixed bunch of government officials, as usual in Anna's woring quarters. But this time, everyone was there for the meeting with Petra Brunmyr. Teres Ståhlvik, Anna's lady-in-waiting, indicated that she could sit down next to her.

"Mylady," first chancellor Ödebo opened the meeting, "once again we would like to appeal to your unlimited loyalty and unique experience, to help out the federal government and the crown."
"No tea?" Petra Brunmyr joked.

"The situation is as follows" chancellor Av Lårsten of internal affairs continued. "The administration of public affairs at Fisks and the relation with the federation are a complete mess. About a year ago, the crown gained a majority share in the public affairs of Fisks. Her majesty wants to lift that option now and appoint a federal governor."

"You want to send me to Fisks?"
"Not at all," Anna interrupted herself. "But the fact is that you have over 15 years of experience running the public affairs of a company owned town. The situation at Fisks isn't that different. Except that the trading company, land owners and public affairs are all together in a single board, with Arild Fisk heading the lot. And he isn't keeping track of what is happening."

"Examples..." Petra Brunmyr was in the right mood.
"They don't ratify agreements with other government bodies, for example. They arbitrarily pick people up from the street, for made up reasons. And they keep harrassing federal police and military. Tip of the iceberg."

Ödebo continued. "The next bit is absolutely classified, but we have arrested a woman for corruption and conspiring, and she's one of Arild Fisk's mistresses. She's being take to Vittmark as we speak. With her removal, we think we have created a situation where we can normalize relations."

Petra Brunmyr now sat at the tip of the couch. "Arrested by the military?"
"Apprehended by the military, taken in custody by the police."
"Legal counsel?"
"Our officer saw to it that her stim counsel met her at Gilles Villes, before boarding the airship. It was impossible to have her in custody at Gilles Carls."
"I see... and now?"

"Like I said, we want to appoint a governor. I would like her ladyship to come with a proposal. There must be someone in your administration, close to you, who has the right experience, is loyal and up for an assignment in the tropics."
"So you really don't want me..."
"Petra," Anna interrupted, "you are of the upmost value over here. If you want to take the assignment, that is your choice of course. But the Fisks might need someone with... a different profile."

"Male, 6 feet, middle aged or older, I assume?"
Ödebo and Av Lårsten started to laugh.
"Her ladyship assumed right. A former military or police man might be a bonus."
"You are referring to Larsson," Petra Brunmyr came to the point. She knew the people around her and there was one man in particular who fitted the profile. Iunse Larsson Tunn.

"If that is your proposal," Av Lårsten replied.
"I can ask if he is willing to pick up the challenge. But he wants clear guidelines, transparant structures."
"We are counting on your administration's expertise to come up with a proposal for that as well," Anna concluded. "Please use chancellor Av Lårsten, senator Av Blåkulla and myself as peer group."

"I'm sorry," Petra Brunmyr now addressed Moa, who had been sitting there all the time, apparently observing only. "I was not aware her ladyship participated in her capacity as senator."
"Not a problem," Moa replied, "but I am governor of the Eastern Crown Domains in the territory, and the Kakuri people's representative here at Östervallen. So it is in our interest that Fisks get a reliable government. It was my colleague Urashinu of the Nokumo Nobono who got arrested on dubious grounds and held under appauling conditions. I am pleased that the federal government is taking up this matter, otherwise Kakuri Stift might have retaliated by itself."

"I am not up to date of the military capacity of the Kakuri," Petra Brunmyr excused herself once more.
"Let's just say that it's not the capacity in quantities that come in play, but the surgical precision."

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