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Author Topic: Battle Cry (1984)  (Read 3531 times)

Offline Prydania

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Battle Cry (1984)
« on: June 23, 2014, 01:24:39 PM »


Vince Ares eyed the man across the street. The target was wearing a long black coat, his suitcase containing what he'd been after. This was it. Months of analysis. Even the CSIB in the Confederacy had been collaborating with Prydainia's SSI on this case. One of the Confederacy's best men had even provided the final piece of the puzzle.
Ares didn't necessarily appreciate that end of things, however. He was, by his own admission, a blunt instrument. He killed people for a living. Since his days in the Royal Marines. That had defined him. Maybe he hadn't made peace with it just yet, but he'd found a way to sleep at night at least. In this business? That was a sign you were doing well.
He peered into his guidebook that gave a brief history of the city of Hayden. He was with a group of tourists from the Confederacy and colonies who were here to see some of the motherland's historic sights. He himself was dressed in a slightly worn grey suit. Suitably unremarkable. Suddenly he saw movement. The target glanced at a pocket watch and then waved to a taxi that had just turned down the street. He had to act now.

He tossed the book to the sidewalk and briskly made his way across the street. Hopefully, if he moved fast enough, he could subdue the target without a struggle. Suddenly the target looked up. His eyes locked on Vince's. The game was up.
"Shit" Ares thought, already running after the fleeing man before his mind had a chance to process the word. The target's coat was shed almost as soon as he took off, Ares drawing his pistol and yelling "get down!" at the crowd around him as he fired a warning shot into the air. The target turned a corner. Ares saw him wrestle a man out of a car as he followed, making a bee line for the vehicle as he leaped onto the hood, his torso hitting the windscreen as the car took off, his body obscuring the view of the driver.
The car weaved a few feet as Ares managed to position his gun between himself and the car, firing off a single shot. The car jerked forward as the shot target's foot slipped off the gas, Vince rolling himself to the street and quickly forcing himself up. He reached through the open driver's side window and yanked the door open, wrestling the bleeding man as he managed to get an outstretched foot on the gas and turn the key.

The target, a bullet wound in his left shoulder, fell to the ground as Ares pulled him out. "Stay down" the SSI agent hissed as he pointed his gun with one hand and grabbed the suitcase with another. He had it. Finally. He had it.


"I'm shocked you remembered to stop the car, myself" Major Algernon, SSI quartermaster, remarked as he examined the floppy produced from the suitcase Ares had retrieved.
"Well you know" Ares answered, "we wouldn't want dead tourists on top of a major national security leak. Thinking on your feet is important you know."
"So you do think!" Algernon remarked cheerfully as he inserted the disk into the drive of the SSI mainframe. "I'm sure His Majesty sleeps well knowing that."

"Can you tell me what it is?" Ares asked as the quartermaster began to examine the schematics that flashed across the screen.
"Plans of some sort" the Major responded, scrolling down the file. "Solar technology far ahead of anything we're currently working on. It appears to be some sort of...cannon!"
"A solar cannon?" Ares asked, trying to make sense of what he was seeing.
"Yes and..." the Major continued, before stopping. His lips shaking. "X-77?" he asked terrified.

"Yes Major?"
"Look" the quartermaster pointed to the screen. "That chap in the CBSI that seemingly found the leak? He didn't go quite far enough. It's...I can hardly believe it."

"The Minister of Defence" Ares remarked, his voice cold, his complexion pale. "Kelman Winters."
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 10:41:59 AM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 05:46:41 AM »

"That's the problem with democracy. With people. Everyone's looking for the best in someone else and no one wants to admit the worst."

Stephen Crofts held up an issue of The Herald, the story of Kelman Winters plastered across the front.
"I often wonder, just how long the people of our great Kingdom will tolerate incompetence on the part of the Whig government" he exclaimed to a sizeable crowd in the city of Avon in southwestern Prydainia. The city was known for its lavish aristocratic town houses and growing business district. Old and new money coming together. In other words people who would, usually, lean either Whig or Tory in a national election. Crofts was looking to change that.
"The Minister of Defence" he continued, "was working to betray this country from under the nose of Prime Minister Rowan Smith for years! And not only that, he's vanished!" he screamed.
Suddenly his demeanour calmed. "Prime Minister Smith" he continued, speaking to the leader of the Whig government as if he were there, "you either knew and are a traitor, or you're incompetence justifies His Majesty's calling of this election in light of this serious breach of national security."

He let the firm yet calm words settle on the crowd before he continued, the black uniformed party members surrounding his pulpit.
"I won't promise you a laundry list of guarantees I can't afford like the Syndicalists. I won't promise you that we need to a return to civility and gentlemanly government like the Tories. And I won't lie to you about this country being fine and on the right track. Syndicalists will destroy us. Tories would have us living in the last century, and the Whigs will continue to betray our sovereignty abroad and compromise our nation at home. I can, however, promise you one thing..."
He paused as the crowd anticipated what he was about to say. He threw his arms up and shook his fists "Victory! Victory over forces that wish to destroy our nation. Victory over the millstones of relics, and victory over the incompetent and complacent. I promise you, Prydainia, victory in the fight to restore our national dignity!"
The crowd erupted. White party flags featuring the boar and national flags featuring the jagged cross dotted the crowd.
"I promise you victory. In many ways it is my only promise. My only proclamation. Victory over those who have led us down this Primrose Path. Vote for victory in the general election. Vote Social Commonwealth."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 06:08:12 AM by Prydania »

Offline Sovereign Dixie

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 03:13:21 PM »
Whitmore Manor, Birmingham, CSSD

   The television went black, the image of Crofts went with it and the room was filled with silence save for the sound of the ice rattling in President Pershing's glass. Leaning back in his seat, he looked over to CSIB Director Aaron Hawking. "Which one of our boys did you have working with the SSI on this?"

   Hawking, the older of the two men in the room, put on his glasses as he leaned over, grabbing the folder off of  the table. "Tom Clark, one of our analysts."

   "I haven't heard of him." Pershing rose with a soft grunt, and strode over to the liquor cabinet.

   "You wouldn't have, most likely. He just started last month."

    "Christ, Aaron, you put a fucking green horn on this?"

   Hawking peered over his glasses. "That greenhorn graduated top of his glass from Arsenal, and has doctorates in Poli Sci, Economics, and history. He also speaks twelve different languages."

   Pershing chuckled a bit, taking a sip of his drink as he sat back down, setting another glass down in front of Hawking.

   Aaron sighed, glancing down at the glass. He'd been on the wagon for fifteen years and during all of that time, Pershing had either not gotten the memo, or just didn't care.

   "Then bring him in, Aaron. The SSI evidently can't keep track of their own damned people, and this guy is dangerous. I expect a full briefing by the end of the day."

    Hawking nodded, "Will do, Mr. President."

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 06:11:45 AM »
Island of undisclosed location

"Minister, welcome. I suspect..."
"Not Minister anymore" Winters replied coolly, cutting Pietro Eisenhardt, his chief of security, off. "Though it wouldn't surprise me if the good Prime Minister refused to write me off just yet" he chuckled, recalling how easy it was to operate under Rowan Smith. It wasn't that he was incompetent. It's just that he never saw him coming.

He'd seen them coming though. He was out of the country and the fortune he had hid away seized, every asset of note from both the Ministry of Defence and his company, WintersCorp., secured before the SSI even had their man. Of course his company and reputation were in ruins. But that didn't matter. Those things belonged to the old Kelman Winters. Knighted as a peer of the realm, a respected industrial leader. Minister of Defence and a column of the Pryadainian Whig Party.
It was all gone because he wished it to be gone. He leaned across the steel railing, looking into the ship yards. Some of the most advanced technology in the world was being moulded into the shape of a fleet that would change the world forever. And the new Kelman Winters would be at the forefront. A man no longer held down by the millstone of an old, dying world. A man now led by an uncompromising vision of the future. There would be those who would fight that future, but he, his fleet, and the light of a new dawn would wipe them away.

"Mr. Winters..." Eisenhardt spoke up. "I suggest that we activate defences in the event that the Royal Navy finds us. No doubt they're already looking..."
"Fear's ever changing and evolving Pietro" Winters replied.
"You're afraid because you don't fully realize the power that we have here. The power you're tasked with handling. The Prydainian government...no, the world...the world won't find us until I deem them worthy of knowing."

Eisenhardt nodded. Winters was right... the location of the operation was sufficently well hidden. And while Winters had fled Prydainia he still had his allies in the SSI and the bureaucracy, which would largely remain unchanged regardless of who won the upcoming general elections. Their technology and contacts within Prydainia would keep them hidden.

"Can you believe it Pietro? People fighting the future. When it's such a beautiful thing..."
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 04:27:54 AM by Prydainia »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 06:33:36 AM »
July 22, 1984. The General Election.

"The Social Commonwealth Party has won a shocking victory, a majority with three hundred and eighteen seats. For only the second time in this nation's history a general election has been won by a party other then the Tories or the Whigs, the first time since the Syndicalists' lone minority government, won in 1927. The Syndicalists, for their part, also made significant gains, winning one hundred and thirty seats, putting them in line to form His Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Both the Tories and the Whigs took major losses, mostly in the face of the wave of Social Commonwealth support. The Tories have been reduced to eighty-three seats while the governing Whigs have been reduced to seventy-four."

Stephen Crofts, 318

Jeremy Gill, 130

Alexander Chatham, 83

Rowan Smith, 74
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 07:19:35 PM by Prydania »

Offline Sovereign Dixie

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 12:46:41 AM »
   Mobile, CSSD

   The floors of the CSIB offices which contained its inner machinations were often an insane place to habitat. Habitat not being an inaccurate word given the hours, sometimes days, it's analysts and directors spent within their confines. As a direct consequence the rooms had all of the sights, sounds, and indeed, smells, one would expect of such a situation.

   The normal bustling had settled down, now merely a dull roar as many crowded around the 19inch television (the CSIB's first colour set) to watch the Prydainian election returns. Money exchanged hands on more  than one occasion as wagers on the outcomes were won and lost. Director Hawking's nose wrinkled as he entered the room.

  "Christ, when was the last time some of you bathed?!" He asked, scanning the room for Clark. A random shout from the huddled mass in front of the TV could be he heard in reply. "Dunno, chief, what day is it?"

   From a back corner of the room, Hawking seen a lone red ball rising and falling from behind a cubical wall. "Tom!" He shouted, striding to the desk.

  Clark rose from his confines, a surprised look on his face as he peeked over. "Me?"

   "How many other people are there here named Tom?" Hawking asked sharply as he rounded the corner.

  Clark shrugged. "Five, at last count." His look contained a slight benevolent smirk.

  "Grab everything you've got on Kelman Winters and come with me, smart ass."

  Tom's grin evaporated instantly. "What? Why?"

  "We're going to brief the President. Well, you're going to brief the President."

  Clark's hands shook slightly as he manically grabbed up several folders, a video tape, and the odd loose leaf of paper here and there. "I.. I can't do that. I mean, I can.. but... why?"

  The two men walked around the crowd in front of the tv, shouts of cheers and moans erupting as the final results were announced, Tom looked at the screen, taking note of the returns and grinning slightly as they left the office.

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 02:01:37 AM »
Sarum, night of the General Elections. Campaign Headquarters for Stephen Crofts.

Crofts approached the podium established in his home town, the small out of the way farming community where he had grown up. Though he wore a basic suit and tie he'd traded the sports jacket for a Mackintosh jacket, making him look less like a politician and more like a farmer trying to look his best. A boar's head pin adorned the lapel, the lone piece of SoCom party imagery on his get-up, in sharp contrast to the black uniformed guards who surrounded the podium. Behind a Prydainian flag crossed with a SoCom party flag, and pillars of light created by searchlights created the backdrop for that. He looked at the cameras confidently, and began.

"Victory!" he called out to the crowd assembled, who exploded into a thunderous applause.
"Victory for the Social Commonwealth party and victory for a truly national cause" he continued as the applause died down some.
"A national cause...I mean that. I truly do. The Social Commonwealth Party was elected to lead a nation. And we will. The entirety of it. From industrial labourer, to farmer, to barrister, to aristocrat, we will lead this nation. We will come to form a truly national cause over the next five years. A national consciousness in which every person of every station will see themselves reflected in the Prydainia we are building. A national character that defines each and every one of us. And we will all be stronger because of it. The people of spoken, and they have cried out to us for salvation. We will provide it.
To the industrial workers who voted Syndicalist. Join us. To the aristocrats who voted Tory. Join us. To the middle classes who remained loyal to the Whigs. Join us. Join us as Social Commonwealth leads this nation to renewed greatness. Let us cast aside these old labels as we move forward, together. We will do so without compromise, but we will not do so without compassion and inclusion. We offer you our hand in friendship and national solidarity. Let us make this country great again. Together."
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 08:21:08 AM by Prydainia »

Offline Sovereign Dixie

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2014, 12:48:49 AM »
   Birmingham, CSSD

  "What does the President want me to tell him that you couldn't?" Tom and Hawking were standing outside the door to Pershing's office, the young analyst visibly shaken.

    "He wants the insight of the person who's been working with the SSI this whole time. This is too important for him to hear second hand. You'll be fine. Just go with your gut and tell him what you think."

    Clark nodded and walked in ahead of Hawking. Pershing sat behind his desk, tall black leather chair back turned towards them as he cradled a phone between his neck and shoulder.

    "I expect to see Admiral Roger's final invasion plan by the end of the week, is that undersood?" The president didn't slam the receiver, nor did he place it back on the cradle lovingly. Neither of the two CSIB agents asked what the call was in regards to, as they had a good idea already.

   "Mr. President, this is Tom Clark. The analyst who-"

   "Yes I know who he is Aaron." The president stood, extending his hand to the young man. "I've heard a bit about you, nice to put a face to the name. Have a seat, care for a drink?"

   Clark shook Pershing's hand, "A pleasure to meet you sir. I'll pass on the drink, thanks." Hawking shot him a quick and harsh look, which was quickly received and acted upon. "Actually.. yes, I think I will have one."

   Tom's eyes widened as he looked around the office, a bit of surrealism getting the better of him. He was brought back to reality by an elbow to the side as Pershing's back was turned while he poured two glasses of bourbon. Clearing his throat, he opened his briefcase, pulling out three folders of identical contents, one for each man in the room.

   He accepted the glass of bourbon from Pershing as he opened the folder, taking a sip cautiously and trying with every bit of resolve he could muster to not vomit as soon as the liquid hit his gullet.

   Pershing sat on the edge of his desk, lighting a cigarette as he opened the folder and began scanning the information.

   "About six months ago, "Tom began. "the CSIB was approached by the SSI to collaborate on a money laundering and arms trafficking operation that involved a multitude of Prydainian and Confederate corporations. It turned out that was just the tip of the ice burg. The money and paper trails were elaborate and complicated, but very traceable. It kept us busy just long enough for the real fun to start." It was rather obvious that Clark was getting quite excited.

   Pershing looked up over the papers in his hands. "Fun?"

   The young analyst cleared his throat once more. "Well.. anyway.. a few weeks later there was a breach in security at a Prydainian research fascility. The SSI clammed up on any further details, except they made it very clear they needed this bastard caught. I managed to work backwards, and unravel everything.. at least most everything... and was able to narrow the breach down to someone either in upper Prydainian brass, or the Ministry of Defense. We knew the where, just not the who and the what."

   "And that's what led the SSI to their capture of Winters?"

   Clark nodded. "It is, yes. Though, as we all know, he managed to get away." He took another sip of the bourbon, choking it back more effectively now, though his eyes still watered somewhat.

   The president nodded, and reached back, it was his turn to share some information. He handed Clark an unbound stack of papers. "This is what he was up to."

   Pershing sighed as he watched Tom's expression change, his eyes widened, making a car along his forehead and cheek more noticeable. He drank the rest of his glass in two large gulps without flenching.

   "Are they sure about this?"

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 02:37:51 AM »
SSI Headquarters. Beaconsfiled, Prydainia.

General Sir Pembroke Stewart, the Chief of the SSI, frowned watching the elections results come in. Crofts had campaigned hard on promising to get to the bottom of the Winters affair. SSI was, of course, doing the same. His major worry was that Crofts would look to make an impact and purge the national security apparatus, SSI included, to show the public that he was taking meaningful action. Who knows what that could mean?
The General just sighed. What happened tomorrow was one thing. He had a job to do now. Regardless of how late it was.

It was then that Vince Ares entered, taking the seat opposite the Chief, who turned the television off.
"You wanted to see me Chief?"
"Yes X-77" Stewart replied, rubbing his temples. "Progress on the Winters affair?"
"We're flushing his men out of the Ministry of Defence. We have three in interrogation at the moment. They're staying quiet but I don't suppose that will remain the case for long."
"X-77" the Chief replied, "we need to show the newly elected government that we're making a serious effort on this one."
"The suggestion that we're not?" Ares asked, a bit defensive.
"It's politics X-77. Regardless of the fact that we are, we need to show the politicians we are in a meaningful way."
"Well, what did you have in mind?"
"The CSIB helped us on this one..." the Chief began before getting cut off by Ares.
"I don't like where this is going."

"X-77" the Chief answered firmly as Ares shut his mouth but kept his cool gaze locked on his superior. "As I was saying, the chap who helped us over there. He's already briefed his government on the situation. I've spoken with Director Hawking, and I'm bringing him over. To help oversee your efforts in this matter." He slid a file across the desk, labelled "Clark, Thomas." Ares thumbed through it.

"Christ, an analyst?" he muttered.
"Someone has to do the thinking so you know who to shoot" the Chief replied dryly. Ares just continued reading.
"And a rookie as well. I'm not a babysitter for Christ's sake."
"No one's saying you are X-77. Lt. Clark has valuable insight into the inner workings of this assignment. More so then anyone on our end, I dare say. You'll take full advantage of his insight on these matters. Is that understood X-77?"
Ares stared daggers into the man, his pale blue eyes locked onto the Chief. Still, he nodded. "Of course sir. Anything else?"
"Yes" Chief Stewart replied. "Find Kelman Winters. And kill him."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 06:15:00 AM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 11:58:40 PM »
Island of undisclosed location

Kelman Winters leaned back into his chair, the board room empty save for him. The air conditioning crisp, providing him some relief from the tropical heat outside.
"Mr. Winters."
Kelman smiled. "Admiral" he smiled warmly as Alexi DeZeller, the officer who would lead his fleet, entered the room. "Progress is good?" he asked.
"Yes" he said sternly, his rock-hard jawline barely moving, his Ozian accent strong. "It is. The final touches are being applied to the cannons."
"Excellent" Winters said smiling, standing to shake the man's hand. "Imagine Alexi. Being able to deliver a blast as devastating as a nuclear strike without fallout. We'll have the world in our hands."
"Yes, and we will break all who stand in our way."
Winters smirked. "You can't fight the future."


St. Tobias' Palace

Andrew III shook the hand of the departing Prime Minister. "I'm sorry to see you go Rowan" he commented. "Shame we never got to know each other better after untimely...incident involving my father."
Smith just nodded. "It is Your Majesty. I truly believe a longer Whig tenure could have born great fruits for this country."
The young King offered a sympathetic smile. "Be that as it may, we're both bound by duty here, I suppose."
Rowan Smith nodded and took a deep breath. "In light of the results of the latest general election I feel I must resign my position of Prime Minister of Your Majesty's Government."
Andrew III nodded. "And who would you recommend replace you in this post?"

Rowan Smith bit his tongue. Tradition mandated that he nominate the leader of the party that had won the majority of seats in Parliament. That being Stephen Crofts. Yet he had to fight himself to say the man's name. It wasn't so much a case of raw feelings in the aftermath of such a decisive defeat. There was something...different about Crofts and his Social Commonwealth Party. Alexander Chatham and the Tories? Even Jeremy Gill and the Syndicalists? They were both steeped in the traditions of liberal democratic politics. They operated by the rules of civil society. The SoComs and Crofts? They were crass, they were violent. They had thugs in uniform. And they were angry.

"I suppose I would have to nominate Stephen Crofts" Rowan Smith managed to say. "Though I have reservations."
Andrew III nodded. "Well even I'm bound by the people we represent Rowan..."
"Yes, Your Majesty. I suppose so. I only trust the realities of governance will temper him and his band of...supporters." He censored himself. The fact was that veterans of the colonial wars made up a large percentage of the SoCom core.
The King nodded. "Thank you Rowan. Your service to your country will never be forgotten."

The King and now ex-Prime Minister shook hands as Rowan Smith, the private citizen, left. In through another door came Stephen Crofts, the entire ceremony choreographed as tradition demanded it be, even though the press was bared from the proceedings.

"Mr. Crofts" Andrew III smiled, relaxing in the chair in the small meeting room.
"Your Majesty" the son of the southern Prydainian farmer remarked as he sat down opposite the King.
The smile on Andrew III's face couldn't stop growing before he burst into a silent chuckle, holding his hand out, which Crofts shook with a smirk.
"I suppose you'll want the job?" Andrew III asked.
"Well who am I to deny the will of the people?" Crofts asked coyly.
"Congratulations Mr. Prime Minister" the King replied.


Crofts left the side entrance to St. Tobias' Palace, making his way to a waiting limo as the press hounded the newest head of government.
"His Majesty was very encouraging. He wished me, the Social Commonwealth Party, and the other assorted members of Parliament luck in addressing the issues that face this country. We're going to move forward as one nation, I promise you all that."
The short statement given, he ducked into the limo, the door closing behind him.

"Christ Dessler, another smoke?"
One of the newly elected SoCom MPs from the capital of Beaconsfield, Erik Dessler, sat on the opposite end of the limo, smoking a Bowser & Fern cigarette. He was an older gentleman, holding a doctorate in political science. He was also the new Foreign Affairs Minister.
"I'm on the other end of the car Stephen" he said almost mockingly. "Besides, I don't have many years left. No use wasting them being healthy."
"You're not that old" the new Prime Minister commented, looking out the windows as the rain started to come down. Dessler shrugged.
"Regardless, we have a lot to do. We're still three years ahead of schedule."
"Yes, well I don't ask Kelman Winters to drop a pre-packaged electoral victory into our laps, did I?"
"You know what we have to do to proceed then?"
"Most definitely" Crofts replied, again staring out of the window at the rain-soaked streets of Beaconsfield.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 12:33:15 AM by Prydainia »

Offline Sovereign Dixie

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 04:42:39 AM »
Written by SD and Prydainia

Beaconsfield, Prydainia

The first thing Clark became aware of as the plane landed at Beaconsfield International Airport was the soft nudge of the light attendant's hand on his shoulder. The slight rocking mingling with his dream, grandually making it more and more lucid until at last his eyes opened and consciousness invaded his mind once more.

His eyes blinked slowly and lazily as he looked up at her, "Wha...?" He asked sleepily.

"We've landed sir, you can leave now." Her tone rewrote the sentence to "Please get the fuck off my plane." He stood up to find the aircraft to be completely empty save for himself and the rather annoyed stewardess.

He could hear the flick of her lighter as he walked down the gate into the airport proper, he recognised his inital contact standing among the sea of people, and was rather grateful that she noticed him as well. He hated trying to get someone's attention in a crowd. It made things, awkward.

Eve Bliss smiled, noticing the Confederate analyst. She had been worried that something was wrong, as he hadn't appeared among the crowd of departing passengers. She sighed quietly seeing him. Having to report that her contact had just vanished? She thought for a moment about checking his visage against the photo in his pocket but it wasn't necessary. She knew him by site. That sort of thing was important in her work.
She adjusted her glasses slightly before extending her hand. "Mr. Clarke I presume?"

He nodded, looking around the bustling area briefly before fully hearing her question. "Yes, yes, that would be me." He shook her hand, meeting her gaze briefly before once more scanning his surroundings.

Clark hadn't been to Prydainia before, but he felt as though the SoCom flag being displayed next to the National flag which hung from the upper rafters of the building was a new addition. This Croft's guy doesn't waste any time. "Nice to meet you, Ms. Bliss."

She smiled and turned quickly, the Confederate accent causing her to smile as she briskly led him to an insconspicuous gate to the side of the customs terminals. She pulled out a badge, which indicated she had a high level of SSI access. The guard glanced and nodded waving her and Clark through.
"I'm Executive Assistant to Admiral Stewart" she explained briskly. "The Admiral regrets to inform you that he can't meet with you at the moment. This whole Winters affair has the whole agency in a bit of a frenzy."
She stopped, turning quickly to face him. "This should get you started though" she said, handing him a stack of files. The top of which was marked "Ares, Vincent."
"Instead I'll be taking you to the top agent assigned to finding our elusive ex-Minister of Defence." She smiled at him briefly before turning again and leading him to a black limousine waiting just outside.

The transition from a cramped office filled with empty take out boxes and the vague odor of stagnation and unfulfilled potential to being waved through security and stepping into a limo was almost surreal to Clark as he sat inside the limo.

He thumbed through the rather hefty stack of of files he was handed before opening the first. He glanced at the photo contained within the folder. "Wait... did he get this shot at a photography studio? The foot-on-a-chair-with-a-fireplace-in-the-background look doesn't strike me as SSI standard ID material."

Eve smiled, "he's got a certain sense of style."
She sat back and opened a folder of her own, making notes as she left the Confederate analyst to his work. The limo made its way into Beaconsfield proper and waved through the streets. A statue of an elk marked the entrance into what was known as the "Old City," the oldest part of the city that predated even the formation of the Kingdom of Prydainia. The limo pulled into a nondescript parking garage. Two armed soldiers guarding a mechanical door checked the driver's credentials and stepped aside as the door opened. The limo drove through, coming to a stop. The driver opened the doors on both ends as Eve Bliss stepped out, looking back.
"Welcome to SSI Tactical Command 6."

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 04:09:19 AM »
Written by Sovereign Dixie and Prydainia

Clark tried not to show his shock at the rather stark contrast between the SSI facility and what he was used to back at the CSIB. The equipment was far more modern, there was far more room, and the air was far more... clean. Some things remained the same though, many of those who bustled about looked every bit as fatigued as his compatriots back home. Goes with the territory, I guess.

"Quite a nice place you have here, Ms. Bliss."

"These tunnels are over 400 years old" a man in a sharply tailored three piece grey suit and tie replied, giving a slight nod to the Confederate analyst before turning his attention to Eve.
"And though they're old they're also quite beautiful. If you manage to find yourself alone in them at just the right time" he added.
"Well I wonder if the same ever applies to you Vince" Eve responded, giving him a slight smirk.
"Oh Ms. Bliss" Ares answered, "of course it does. The timing's just never right" he had a sly look on his face as he stared back at her for a brief moment before snapping his attention back to Clark.

"You must be Clark" he said, extending his own hand seemingly oblivious to the fact that the analyst had his hands full with a stack of folders and his own bag.
"The name's Ares. Vince Ares."

Tom watched the two exchange flirtations with a sharply raised eyebrow So much for the world's most highly vaunted Intel organisation. Fucking flirt around like high schoolers.

Clark set the bag down on the floor and shook Ares's hand. "I am indeed. Nice to meet you, Mr. Ares. I almost didn't recognise you without the fireplace." He grinned good naturedly before picking his bag back up, following the two as they walked along the corridor.

"So you're the fellow who snagged Winters eh? Well, for a time at least."

"I wouldn't be so generous. I snagged one of his lieutenants. In actuality Kelman Winters had left Prydainia before we even know we were looking for him. We've flushed three of his men out of the Ministry of Defence. We're trying to get a location out of them."

Ares stopped by a two way mirror looking into a room. A wearing tan scrubs, obviously a prison uniform, sat a table. He had a black eye.

"That's Rolland Belmont. Promising career. Good family. Was also one of Winters' men within the Ministry. He's our most promising lead thus far. The two others and the man I 'snagged' have all been rung dry. Maybe you'd like to observe the next round of questioning? To help your...analysis" he with a lighthearted tone that either suggested he was being extremely helpful or condescending. With Prydainian wit it was hard to tell.

Clark nodded matter of factly, "Well, I had actually hoped to take a look at the intel you've gathered thus far on Winters, both the man and his organisation. But, I do suppose you have all been quite busy. If this is the best lead you have so far then it shall have to do." Clark's tone was pleasant and nonchalant, but showed he quite well understood the intracasies of Prydainian culture in as much as it pertained to passive-agressiveness.

He grinned, the scar along his cheek wrinkling slightly. He set his bag and pile of folders down on a dark mahogany table on which also sat a rather lavish arrangement of tea and biscuits. "Ah, haven't had these since I was a kid growing up in New Beaconsfield." He poured himself a cup and grabbed on of the confections before sitting down.

Ares eyed him, a bit unsure of what to make of him before turning to Eve. Ms. Bliss, gather the notes on the previous prisoners for Mr. Clark.
He then nodded a bit to Tom before pulling out the chair opposite of Mr. Belmont.
"Rolland" Ares remarked with a smile. "I don't suppose today would be a good day to tell us where Kelman Winters is hiding."
"He's on an island" the man replied, just staring at the surface of the table in front of him.
"Well that narrows it down" Ares retorted dryly. "Want to be a bit more specific? Or should I just assume he's hiding in a pub in Erie?"
Rolland Belmont just looked up and said "no" very matter of factly causing Ares to pull back and slog him across the face before readjusting his cufflinks.
"Rolland...Rolland, look at me" Ares snapped, holding the man's face by his chin. The former Ministry of Defence employee was clearly in pain, but was also holding back tears.
"I can hit you all day Rolland, and if you don't tell me what I want to know we'll bring in the doctors and the truth serum. So just save yourself a lot of pain and that nasty hangover that doesn't come with a fun night out to make it all worthwhile."
The man looked up at Ares, and then to his side, looking around him to Clark, observing the proceedings.
"You're bringing in foreigners" Belmont commented.
"And how do you know he's a foreigner?" Ares asked.
"He looks like he's just gotten through an air port" Belmont answered. "It's good that you've done so though, secret agent man" the battered prisoner replied mockingly, "because it's not going to be just Prydainia that burns."
Ares grabbed the man by his shirt and pulled him to his feet.
"I'll pry the location of that man from your brain, one misfiring neuron at a time" he growled, "and then I'll kill you just to make it worth my time. So don't make me do that, because it's just going to be very unpleasant for both of us."
Rolland laughed. "Look at you! His Majesty's loyal attack dog" he chuckled in the way that a man only laughs if they're drunk or high, even as Ares tossed him back into his chair.
"And all you can do is growl!" he added laughing before Ares pulled out a loaded handgun, pointing it at the prisoner.

Mr. Bellmont." Clark said calmly as Ares held the barrel of his gun at the battered man's face.

"Where is it?" He ask just as calmly.

"Where is what?" Belmont retorted, spitting out the words.

“The narcotic patch. Where on your body is it.” Clark took a sip of his tea.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” The prisoner asked, the look on Ares’ face asked the same question.

“I have a job to do, I don’t feel like waiting for you kids to get done with your little dance.” Clark stood up, walking over to the former MoD employee, looking at Vince as he grabbed the back of the man’s collar.

“If he moves, make sure he doesn’t do so ever again.” Tom said casually. Though working as an analyst, he’d seen enough during his time in the CS Military to know certain things when he seen them.

He spoke to both of them, and neither of them, as he reached down under the back of the man's shirt. "A common practice, among those wishing to ensure compliance from their subordinance in extreme circumstances, or those wishing to give the proverbial rat a piece of cheese now and then, is to foster an addiction. Or cater to an existing one. I'd say in this case it's the later." Clark grimaced as his hand yanked on the latex patch he found just under the prisoner's armpit.

A slight ripping could be heard. Belmont winced. Clark examined it. "Pretty run of the mill. Opiates. Clever and cost effective." He tossed it down on the table. "Ms Bliss, have your boys see if they can determin the manufacturer of the patch as well as determine if it's as plain as it appears or if there's anything more to it than what presents itself at first glance."

Clark sat back down in his chair, taking another sip of his tea. "By all means, fellas, keep goin'."

The prisoner growled as Ares looked at Clark over his shoulder for a moment before holstering his pistol and pulling the man back into the chair.
"Kelman Winters' location" he said calmly.
"Give me my patch back"
"Give me the location of Kelman Winters."
"My patch...."
Ares slapped him across the face. "If drugs are how you want to play this game I'll just call the doctors in."
Rolland looked up, biting the inside of his lower lip. He wasn't going into withdrawal yet but he was bracing himself for it.
"You can't fight the future" mumbled before Ares sighed. "Get the doctors Ms. Bliss" he said.

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2014, 10:21:34 PM »
Ares looked over at Tom Clark as he went over the notes on the previous interrogations.
"What do you think?" Eve asked quietly.
"I don't know what to think. Beyond the fact that he's arrogant" the agent answered.
"Well he is a Confederate."
"It's not that. It's his profession."
"You've worked with our analysts before Vince" Eve answered, giving him a "don't be so difficult" look.
"Yes, men who know me. Men who don't involve themselves in my end of the business."
"Well play nice, the Admiral insists."
Ares just sighed and nodded, watching the Confederate analyst pour over the data. 

Offline Sovereign Dixie

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2015, 10:27:00 PM »
Tom didn't need to hear the exchange to have at least some idea as to the topic of the verbal exchange as the scowl on Ares' face spoke more than his words could have. His eyes barely made the effort to look up from the interrogation logs as he spoke. "Relax, Mr. Ares. When we bag this son of a bitch I will be out of your hair and things can go back to normal." After all I'm sure there are more fireplaces to pose in front of.

Clark reached up to rub between his eyes. "We know what he was working on. We know he's on an island, and we know he's got more connections than a dog has fleas. We'll find him, it's only a question of whether or not we'll find him soon enough." He sat the manila folder down, shooting a narrow glance over at the prisoner before shrugging. "I wouldn't waste too much of your doctors' time on this piece of shit. Assuming Winters plans on continuing research and construction of the armaments referenced in the documents I've perused then he is going to be restricted in location. It would have to be a place both capable of housing the equipment as well as being located within a lattitude that would provide adequate sun exposure. Since that is the case I don't see why we can't treat Junky McJunkerson here like the disposable piece of dog shit he is."

Offline Prydania

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Re: Battle Cry (1984)
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2015, 11:16:52 PM »
Vince smirked. He could appreciate an appropriately placed jab. He pat the Confederate analyst's shoulder before standing behind the suspect, placing both of his hands on Rolland Belmont's shoulders, firmly.
"Well Mr. Belmont...that's unfortunate. The intelligence business is really straightforward. He collects the data, and tells me what to do with it. And he just told me that you don't have any worthwhile data. So I might as well get it over with..." he cocked his pistol and pressed it against the back of the subject's head. It hasn't even come to a full resting position against the skull before the man jerked up, wide eyed.

"It's somewhere between Letonna and Megatri!" he blurted out. "It's all I know! He'd talk about using pirates...something about appreciating the lack of a language barrier....and some mercenary from Vazhuvir! It's all I know!"

Ares smirked, placing the gun back in its holster under his jacket. "Come on" he said briskly to Clark, quickly making his way to the door. "I'd hate to leave you behind just as you were getting interesting."