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The Labrador Valley War (MT, Open but TG to join)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Mount Zeon
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Psychotic Dictatorship

The Labrador Valley War (MT, Open but TG to join)

Postby Mount Zeon » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:46 pm

OOC: Some posts in this thread may contain mature content such as racist language and violence against women. If you are interested in joining, post on the OOC Thread and we’ll discuss it. If you post without talking to us first you’ll be ignored. The focus of this RP will be a war between myself and Muskegonia, and we both want to avoid a massive dogpile of foreign intervention.

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On the surface, an uninformed observer might expect the Kingdom of Mount Zeon and the Free State of Muskegonia to be on friendly terms, or maybe even close allies. They shared many things in common: a largely rural population dispersed into small farms, a highly patriarchal and generally misogynist social order, and international isolation which left them technologically and industrially underdeveloped. However, the reasons for that isolation also explained part of what made them unfriendly to each other. Mount Zeon, since the Revolution in the mid-twentieth century, has been ruled by an autocratic dynasty which imprisoned or executed its real or perceived enemies and forcibly dismantled an egalitarian social order to impose a radical theocratic government based on female submission and an eclectic interpretation of Christian theology. The Kingdom of Mount Zeon was isolated due to the harshness with which this order was imposed on its population. Muskegonia is a slave state, a land where prosperity is built on the bent backs of enslaved people of color. The state maintains a strict racial order and white supremacy is a foundation block of society. For this it faced international condemnation.

The two nations share a long and sparsely populated border which has never been defined to the satisfaction of both parties. Nowhere is this a greater problem than in the Labrador Valley. The wide gap in the Whitetail Mountains, once the site of a mighty prehistoric river but now dried out, contains rich soil for farming. Citizens from both Mount Zeon and Muskegonia both see the Valley as a place to find their prosperity. Violence has flared between Zeonese and Muskegonians as racial and religious tensions fuel and inflame disputes over land rights. The situation threatens to escalate beyond backcountry vigilante violence to open warfare.

Town of Greenfield

Greenfield was the second-largest Zeonese town in the Labrador Valley. It sat slightly above the average elevation, on a small plateau in the foothills on the fringe of the Whitetail Mountains. To the east stretched the verdant terrain that had given the town its name, fenced off and divided into dozens of farms. Those farmers handed over a portion of their crop every harvest to the government, who collected those tithes and redistributed the surplus. The Prophet Matthias and his successors had declared that no father, no male head of the household, should be in a relationship of economic subordination to another father. The tithe system allowed men who were competent to be sufficient without needing to engage in the corrupting marketplace. Men who were not competent were given enough to help them survive until they could stand on their own feet.

The town was on edge. Everyone had heard the stories of the bandit raiders who had struck several farms in the last few weeks. Homes and fields had been burned, and other families had been driven off of their homesteads. Everyone knew it was the Muskegonians who lived at the south end of the valley. Greenfield was too far distant to have its own militia unit stationed in town, so there was no organized defense against these attacks. The town began to organize an Association of men who could spare the time to patrol or respond to the next attack. Most of the Associators were older sons, men who had not yet married and left the home of their parents but who could be spared from the labor of the farm. These men, armed with simple semi-automatic rifles more suited to hunting deer and birds than shooting at other humans, formed the only organized defense of Zeonese settlements in the Labrador Valley. Hopefully it would be enough.
Last edited by Mount Zeon on Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:40 am, edited 7 times in total.
"Zeon" is pronounced "zay-on"

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Muskegonia
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Conservative Democracy

Postby Muskegonia » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:00 pm

In the capital city of Merryville, the official maps of the Free State of Muskegonia placed its border at the northern end of the Labrador Valley. It also ran along the northern end of the mountains, putting all of the Whitetail Mountains within Muskegonian territory. The federal government of the Free State had few powers or sources of revenue: one of the ways it acquired income was through the sale of land on the northern and western frontiers, where settlers slowly hacked out homesteads in the forests and hewed them out on the plains. For a Muskegonian, the home was everything: a man was not a man unless he could provide for a family. The ideal way to do that was on a small farm, which made a man self-sufficient. Men who strained against the constraints of the cities and chafed under the rules and restrictions of the factory struck out for the frontier with wives and children in tow. Men without families, or who needed more labor than their wives and children could contribute, purchased slaves for domestic or field work.

In the Labrador Valley, these Muskegonian pioneers encountered the Zeonese. Muskegonia and Mount Zeon were alike in many ways, but the Zeonese offended in several ways. First and most grievous, they rejected the natural order and allowed people of color to live among their communities as free men. Second and nearly as intolerable was their rejection of the institution of slavery. Mount Zeon was like an open flame, tempting slaves with the hope of escaping their bonds. The Zeonese had refused to return these runaways to their owners, infuriating men who saw hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of black and brown bodies slip from their hands. Finally, the strange religion of the Zeonese seemed to pious Muskegonians like heresy, and its practice offended not only the sight of man but of God as well. Added to all of this was the fact that, as far as the Muskegonians were concerned, the Zeonese were sitting on half of a valley which rightfully belonged to Muskegonia.

So there had been violence. What started as scattered and isolated incidents turned into something larger. A man named Luther Monroe founded a militia called the Whitetail Cougars, who were determined to drive the Zeonese out and take possession of the land. This militia began to receive aid and support from the governments of the neighboring Territories, and even the federal government in Merryville saw the Whitetail Cougars as a group that deserved encouragement. Far from the hunting guns of the Zeonese militia, the Whitetail Cougars had access to automatic rifles and other military weaponry. The violence in the Labrador Valley ratcheted up several notches.

The target of the Whitetail Cougars today was a farm several miles north of the town of Sullivan. The Zeonese family who lived there had been warned that they were trespassing on Muskegonian land, and that they would be wise to clear out. Apparently, they had decided to be unwise. Two pickup trucks, both once painted a bright red but dulled by time and hard use, smashed through the gate in the fence which surrounded the property. Men in flannel hunting shirts leapt or clambered out of the beds. Each man held an assault rifle. A dozen armed militiamen marched to the front of the farmhouse, and then one man stepped forward from the ranks and hollered for the owner to step out.
Last edited by Muskegonia on Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:36 pm

Officially speaking, he was here on entirely peaceful business: an agent of the Global Kindness Offensive, a branch of the Allanean government involved in dispensing international aid. In this case, Mount Zeon – for all its many human rights 'warts' – qualified for the aid because it had recently abolished slavery, perhaps as a result of a large slave rebellion that had recently shaken the nation up economically. (That Allanean agents had a hand in inspiring some of the rebels was neither here nor there). Therefore, the Allaneans supplied a humble degree of help – medical equipment for the nation's hospitals, some amount of funding to help transition the national infrastructure to a free-labor basis, and so forth. Another important aspect of help was funding and guidance for crews of psychologists, psychiatrists, and other specialists that aided ex-slaves recover from their time in the concentration camps, or learn peacetime professions.

Charles T. Hawkings was an economist gathering information that would help define the next fiscal year's aid package. And indeed, a conversation would reveal that he was in fact a trained economist, and spoke the very same economics lingo you'd expect an Allanean economist to speak – speaking of emergent orders, and knock-on effects, and creative destruction. A background check would confirm that, at one point, he graduated with a Master's Degree in economics from the Liberty-City School of Economics, and of course he was a credentialed employee of the Free Kingdom Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yet, as tensions at the Muskegonian border grew, his reports on the state of affairs in the country began to be forwarded, also, to the Ministry of War.

To: Grand-Ambassador Martha Sosnova, Head of the Global Kindness Offensive, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
From: Charles T. Hawkings
Subject: Labrador Valley
Encryption: Diplomatic comms

It is not yet clear to me what exactly is going on in the Labrador Valley. I have wanted to go there to look at the farming operations there, but I've been informed by my contacts that the place is dangerous, due to Muskegonians supposedly attacking peaceful farmers. I do not have the full information on the nature of this violence, and I suspect that the locals – as it is the nature of things everywhere in the world – exaggerate the crimes of the foreigner and downplay their own. But then again, Muskegonians are slavers, and as such it makes little difference to me – to be frank, I tend to sympathize with the Zeonic side because at least they have, after some persuasion, ceased to own slaves.

I shall inquire with some officials to see if I can actually go and visit the Valley. It is possible that restriction are going to be placed if the emergency becomes worse, but I hope that the rumors of violence are exaggerated.

Yours,
Charles T. Hawkings.
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Mount Zeon
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Mount Zeon » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:02 am

Muskegonia wrote:The target of the Whitetail Cougars today was a farm several miles north of the town of Sullivan. The Zeonese family who lived there had been warned that they were trespassing on Muskegonian land, and that they would be wise to clear out. Apparently, they had decided to be unwise. Two pickup trucks, both once painted a bright red but dulled by time and hard use, smashed through the gate in the fence which surrounded the property. Men in flannel hunting shirts leapt or clambered out of the beds. Each man held an assault rifle. A dozen armed militiamen marched to the front of the farmhouse, and then one man stepped forward from the ranks and hollered for the owner to step out.

Brookman Homestead

Like many Zeonese men, Howard Brookman had moved from farm to farm as new opportunities appeared. In his journey from farms near Amber Heights, New Hannover, and then finally southeast of Greenfield, his wife had given birth to a daughter, his third child. His eldest son was nearing maturity, and soon would begin to look for his own opportunities to marry and start a life for himself. When the Whitetail Cougars had come blustering to his door, demanding that he vacate the land he and his family had worked hard to clear and till, Howard had ignored them. There had been more pressing concerns to occupy his thoughts: the crops had needed tending and the house had needed repairs. Some angry foreigners had been nothing more than a curiosity. His sole concession to worry had been the purchase of a pair of rifles when he’d last gone into Greenfield.

The day the Whitetail Cougars returned to his home, Howard and his family had been sitting down for dinner with their neighbors. The Armstrong family’s farm was nearly adjacent to the Brookman farm, and the two families had grown close since their settling the properties. Howard and William Armstrong were sitting around the table with the two male Brookman children, discussing the fluctuations in their fortunes as farmers while their wives and Howard’s daughter finished preparing the meal in the kitchen. As was commanded by the teachings of the Prophet Matthias, the women brought out the food and set it before their husbands before sitting down. The two families had just finished their prayers when the sound of vehicle engines disturbed the tranquility of the scene.

Howard got up and looked out the window. His eyes went wide when he saw the armed men standing in his front lawn. Howard turned and told Francis, his eldest son, to run and fetch the rifles from the closet. The women exchanged frightened looks at the table – William Armstrong’s wife Liberty was the daughter of an escaped slave who had reached freedom in Mount Zeon. The Armstrongs had heard stories of what the Whitetail Cougars did to black Zeonese settlers. William got up and went to join Howard and Francis, but the Brookmans told him to stay in the back of the house – he was unarmed, and would surely be shot down on sight if he went to confront the Muskegonians outside.

“Wait here,” Howard told his wife and young children. “If you need to run, run for the woods out the back.” He looked to William and Liberty. “Will you take them to your farm?” The Armstrongs nodded in agreement. Howard inclined his head in thanks, then walked out the door with rifle in hand and his eldest son right behind him.

“You’re not welcome here,” Howard Brookman announced to the militia gathered outside. “And you’re trespassing. Go on home before you do something you regret.”

Allanea wrote:I shall inquire with some officials to see if I can actually go and visit the Valley.

New Jerusalem

Accepting the help of the Allaneans had been an…odd decision by Father John. In the aftermath of the revolt among the labor camp inmates which had convinced the leadership of Mount Zeon that the large and clearly restive population of forced laborers was more trouble than it was worth, the Kingdom had been approached by the Free Kingdom. The Allaneans had offered aid, apparently as a reward for ending their use of slave labor. The people they sent were strange to Zeonese eyes, as they were sure the Allaneans considered them strange in equal measure. Many of the people they sent were the kind of mock-men that the Prophet Matthias had railed against – “economists,” a fancy word for merchandisers who made a living without labor. But they brought with them funding and support that helped replace the army of coerced labor which had previously been responsible for the construction of the roads and railways linking the major cities of the Kingdom together.

The request from Charles Hawkings would normally have been something without need for any sort of official input. As part of the agreements, observers and advisors like Hawkings could travel as freely as a Zeonese citizen. In fact, they could travel much more freely, since they could rely on the government to help arrange for the purchase of rail and boat tickets and they had much more of an incentive to travel far and wide than the average Zeonese citizen. So Hawkings’ request made its way through the usual channels and landed on the desk of Isaiah Smith, the liaison between the Allaneans and the government of Father John and the rest of Zeonese society.

To the esteemed Charles T. Hawkings,

I have been informed of your desire to travel to the Labrador Valley. To assist you in your charge of information gathering, I have obtained for you tickets on an upcoming train traveling from Millstown to New Argyle. From there you may travel by boat up the Amber River to Providence, and from there by road to New Hannover at the north end of the Valley. As I am sure you are aware, there is a danger from bandit raiders who have been attacking farmsteads along the border with Muskegonia. I will pray for your safety, and trust in the strength of the Lord to protect you against any villains lurking in that area.

Yours in Truth,
Isaiah Smith

As described in the message, the trip to the Labrador Valley would take several days. It would be most of a day on the train from Millstown, around the coast of Little Galilee and across the Amber River to New Argyle. From there it was another large portion of a day on a riverboat traveling against the current up the Amber River to the large town of Providence. Beyond Providence the Amber River became too shallow for large vessels, so Providence was the point of disembarkation for most of those headed further south and the point of embarkation for the agricultural products of the Valley and other settlements headed to the rest of the Kingdom or towards an eventual destination at the docks of New Kirtland. From Providnce Charles Hawkings could travel by road to the Valley. The roads were simple ribbons of asphalt in need of upkeep, a single lane going each direction. After all that, Charles Hawkings would arrive in the town of New Hannover.
"Zeon" is pronounced "zay-on"

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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:47 am

In some ways, Allanea was unlike many other nations which shared its beliefs. Certainly it was not above some forms of discrimination, and, for example, they preferred to send to Mount Zeon, a nation whose people viewed themselves as Christians, a man who also was a Christian. Charles Hawkings was such a man. In his heart, he felt a deep faith in the spirit of the Lord, although of course the 'Christ' in whom Hawkings believe was probably unrecognizable to the people of Mount Zeon. There was a reason, after all, he was with the Global Kindness Offensive – he believed, fully and seriously, in Christ the Redeemer, in God the God of Love and Forgiveness – and he believed that in being here he was doing God's work.

The currency of all planning – economic and military, diplomatic and administrative – was information. It was, in the wise hands, as precious as the brightest gold. As he approached the town, he looked about for what he could see – the unkempt roads attracted his attention, of course – but also to check if anything would be lacking.

The first signs of unrest and violence, he knew, would be apparent long before he could hear the gunshots (a topic on which he had the most mild knowledge, having no knowledge of guns beyond the high-school self-defense course and the usual mandatory training that the Ministry provided to all of its employees) – he hoped, however, that his economic knowledge would help him spot those signs before he ended up held at gunpoint, or worse.

He took a few photographs of the approaches to the town, and the town itself, and then sought out an hotel – or at least whatever passed for an inn around here.
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Muskegonia
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Postby Muskegonia » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:20 pm

Mount Zeon wrote:“You’re not welcome here,” Howard Brookman announced to the militia gathered outside. “And you’re trespassing. Go on home before you do something you regret.”

The militia laughed at Howard's presumption. As far as they were concerned, it was Howard and his family who were trespassing and unwelcome. The Whitetail Cougars saw the Zeonese living in the Labrador Valley as nothing more than difficult obstacles to clear, like a large tree stump in the middle of a field. Like the stump, they would be uprooted completely. The man who had hollered for Howard to come out of the house cocked his head to the side for a moment, silencing the laughter among the others.

"We here are fully deputized agents of the law," he shouted back. "Here to remove you from land you don't rightfully belong on." The man's name was Thaddeus Vernon, though he wore no name badge or any other piece of identification that would tell a stranger that. He was, in fact, a sheriff's deputy in the town of Sullivan. "We'll give you a quarter of an hour to pack your bags and get on out of here. If you don't do it on your own, we'll help you pack."

The other militia voiced their approval of the offered terms. The headlights of the trucks continued to shine, bathing the front porch of the farmhouse in brilliant light. The Whitetail Cougars cast long, dark shadows on the ground as they stood and awaited Howard's reply.

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Mount Zeon
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Postby Mount Zeon » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:42 am

Allanea wrote:The currency of all planning – economic and military, diplomatic and administrative – was information. It was, in the wise hands, as precious as the brightest gold. As he approached the town, he looked about for what he could see – the unkempt roads attracted his attention, of course – but also to check if anything would be lacking.

The first signs of unrest and violence, he knew, would be apparent long before he could hear the gunshots (a topic on which he had the most mild knowledge, having no knowledge of guns beyond the high-school self-defense course and the usual mandatory training that the Ministry provided to all of its employees) – he hoped, however, that his economic knowledge would help him spot those signs before he ended up held at gunpoint, or worse.

He took a few photographs of the approaches to the town, and the town itself, and then sought out an hotel – or at least whatever passed for an inn around here.

New Hannover

The town was the largest Zeonese settlement in the Labrador Valley, and it served as the gateway to the farmland where most of its passers-through hoped to make their livings. The buildings, which were mostly brick structures that had replaced the first generation of wooden buildings, began in a sort of distorted T shape. The town “began” by the banks of the Amber River, where smaller boats docked at wharves to take cargoes downriver to Providence. There they would be transferred to larger vessels that could navigate the deeper section of the river. From this point the town stretched out in a line of warehouses and offices related to this work of collection and transportation. At the end of the stem of the T was the town hall, the center of government. The town hall was only one building in a small collection of buildings, surrounded by a heavy wrought iron fence, that also included the home of the Mayor and his family. The town branched off in two directions at this point, with private homes clustered on one side and public buildings on the other. This commercial district included several taverns which offered short-term rooms for rent. There was a steady flow of people for whom New Hannover was merely one more stepping stone, and so a sizeable local economy had developed around providing these people with lodging and transportation into the Valley proper. Few of the buildings were more than a handful of stories tall, and the steeples of a pair of churches on opposite ends of town loomed over the whole skyline.

New Hannover did not look like a town on the edge of a war zone, or even a town worried about violence. Some police could be seen walking beat patrols, strolling down sidewalks with a casual manner. The only armed men were militia in their forest pattern camouflage fatigues, who carried their weapons slung over their shoulder and seemed totally at ease. For the residents of New Hannover, the violence inflicted on their fellow citizens by the Whitetail Cougars was a distant problem which intruded on their lives only when a displaced family appeared in town asking for help recovering from the loss of a farm. The only signs that anyone was thinking about it were the distinctive shapes of rifles, usually in carrying cases or bundled up in a blanket or sheet, which were nearly ubiquitous in the luggage of the settlers heading farther south. These settlers traveled in their own cars, mostly old pickup trucks and other utility vehicles, loaded down with personal possessions secured to the roof or the bed by taut cords. A bus line also carried people between New Hannover and Greenfield, the other major Zeonese settlement in the Valley.

Whichever tavern Charles Hawkings chose – they all bore fairly straightforward and descriptive names like North Street Tavern or John Lead’s Tavern – he would find more or less the same kind of reception. Working at the front would be a younger man, usually a son or son-in-law of the man who owned the tavern, who would take his money and indicate which room he had rented with his payment. The room was serviced by women, usually daughters or daughters-in-law, who provided freshly cleaned bedding and other amenities. All the taverns included a place for meals and drinks on the ground floor, which was where the owner’s wife could be found cooking and serving guests.

Muskegonia wrote:"We here are fully deputized agents of the law," he shouted back. "Here to remove you from land you don't rightfully belong on." The man's name was Thaddeus Vernon, though he wore no name badge or any other piece of identification that would tell a stranger that. He was, in fact, a sheriff's deputy in the town of Sullivan. "We'll give you a quarter of an hour to pack your bags and get on out of here. If you don't do it on your own, we'll help you pack."

OOC: This next bit written with input from Muskegonia

Brookman Farm

The outcome had never been in doubt. The Whitetail Cougars had more men, and each man carried a far more dangerous weapon than those carried by Howard Brookman and his son Francis. When it became clear that the Zeonese would not be driven off by violent words alone, the Muskegonian militia turned to violent deeds. Howard and Francis were both killed in the short exchange of gunfire. William Armstrong, who rushed out to assist his neighbor in the defense of his home, was shot down as well. The militia stormed into the home and seized Liberty Armstrong and Lydia Brookman. The surviving Brookman children succeeded in escaping and finding a patrol of Associators, who had in fact been on their way to the Brookman farm after getting word that it might be a target of the raiders.

When the Associators arrived at the farm, they discovered the Whitetail Cougars looting the contents of the pantry and emptying any bottles of alcohol they could find. Men were carrying valuables of all sorts, from jewelry to furniture to drapes, out of the house and piling it in the back of one of the pickup trucks. At the first shots from the Associators, the Whitetail Cougars clambered in on top of their loot and hurried back towards Sullivan. They left behind two dead militiamen, who had been moved off to the side of the house in preparation for burial, and the bodies of the three Zeonese men they had murdered. Howard and Francis Brookman’s bodies remained where they had fallen, sprawled on the wood of the front porch. William Armstrong’s body had been horribly mutilated, in retaliation for his having killed a raider with the gun he’d picked up from the dead Howard Brookman. The two women were found bound in the master bedroom of the house. Liberty Armstrong had been treated with a particular harshness and cruelty in the short time she was a prisoner of the militia, while Lydia’s white skin had saved her from suffering the same outrages.

Even with the Whitetail Cougars driven off, they had succeeded in their objective of removing the Brookman family from the Labrador Valley. Lydia Brookman and her surviving children would move back to the town of Greenfield, leaving the home and farm to lie abandoned until, in all likelihood, a Muskegonian settler arrived to take possession of the property. The same fate would befall the neighboring Armstrong property, now without any male occupants. It too would become easy pickings.
"Zeon" is pronounced "zay-on"

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Muskegonia
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Postby Muskegonia » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:45 pm

Mount Zeon wrote:Even with the Whitetail Cougars driven off, they had succeeded in their objective of removing the Brookman family from the Labrador Valley. Lydia Brookman and her surviving children would move back to the town of Greenfield, leaving the home and farm to lie abandoned until, in all likelihood, a Muskegonian settler arrived to take possession of the property. The same fate would befall the neighboring Armstrong property, now without any male occupants. It too would become easy pickings.

The Whitetail Cougars returned to the town of Sullivan to a raucous welcome. The temporary success of the Zeonese Associators in driving the Cougars off of the Brookman homestead did not diminish their victories: not only had the Brookmans been driven out of the Valley, but their neighbors had been dispatched as well. This second success was especially celebrated, because the Armstrongs offended all Muskegonian notions of who should be permitted to settle and establish homes in the Labrador Valley: on top of being Zeonese trespassers, they were a black family. Blacks could not be allowed to form homes, a concept distinct from the family which implied independence and self-sufficiency. Not only were black people considered by most white Muskegonians to be incapable of standing by themselves without the "support" provided to them in their bondage, but any who did buck expectations served as a possible incitement for rebellion or resistance from other slaves. To have killed a free black man was a greater success for the Whitetail Cougars than the murder of the two white men of the Brookman family.

It would not take long for the lands left fallow by the flight of the Zeonese to be occupied. More Muskegonian settlers were entering the Valley every day, and the hunger for land was insatiable. Both homesteads were soon taken over by Muskegonians, and the fields filled with slaves doing the hard labor of farming. The Whitetail Cougars celebrated their successes and continued their campaign of harassment and assault, slowly pushing the border farther north, inch by inch.

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Mount Zeon
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Postby Mount Zeon » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:35 am

Muskegonia wrote:It would not take long for the lands left fallow by the flight of the Zeonese to be occupied. More Muskegonian settlers were entering the Valley every day, and the hunger for land was insatiable. Both homesteads were soon taken over by Muskegonians, and the fields filled with slaves doing the hard labor of farming. The Whitetail Cougars celebrated their successes and continued their campaign of harassment and assault, slowly pushing the border farther north, inch by inch.


New Jerusalem

The temple-palace complex at the center of Mount Zeon’s capital was, by any architectural standards, an ugly piece of work. Behind the high stone wall were twelve buildings, housing not only the personal home of Father John and his family, but also the homes and families of the top echelon of the Zeonese government. This concentration of authority and power meant that Father John could easily summon his council to debate or plan a course of action. The wall and the buildings themselves bristled with defensive weapons: such a concentration of government in one space made the complex an obvious target, and it was the most heavily defended place in all of Mount Zeon. When the sun was in the right position, the shadows cast by missile launchers and anti-aircraft guns made it look like the buildings had spikes or thorns growing out of their heads.

The central building featured a massive dome, whose inside was painted with elaborate murals depicting the history of not only the Kingdom founded by the Prophet Matthias, but a summary of the entire history of the world as interpreted by the Kingdom’s founder. Massive painted images showed the creation of the world, scenes from the Old Testament, and then God’s pact with the Devil. To test the faith of his creations, God had withdrawn from the world and allowed the Devil to try and corrupt God’s children. Satan had nearly succeeded, and so God had enlightened Matthias and charged him with building a nation of truly Godly men. Mount Zeon’s ancient regime had been thoroughly corrupted; effeminate mock-men and uppity women preached of a weak and feeble Christ. These Finneyites remained a problem, but one which was well in hand. They had been driven underground by the regime which Matthias had led and his sons had perpetuated. The Kingdom had stood strong, and even the Great Prison Revolt which had led to an end to convict labor had not really shaken the foundations of the state.

Thus, it was a fully empowered government which received the news of the ongoing violence in the Labrador Valley. The reports had been coming in for some time, but the incidents had been too scattered to comprehend as anything more than frontier friction. It was thought that such attacks would diminish and end as Zeonese settlement of the Valley became more and more established. Instead, every new Zeonese who entered the Valley seemed to increase the violence directed against them. This latest attack was the deadliest yet: three men dead, one man’s wife violated and the other threatened with assault. Newspapers in Providence and New Hannover were running front pages with the words LIBERTY RAVISHED in massive letters at the top. Something had to be done. It was to discuss what exactly that something would be that this council meeting had been called. The men who sat around the large round table waited for their spiritual and political leader to arrive.

“All rise in the presence of the Father of the Kingdom and Vessel of the True Spirit.”

The men at the table rose in one smooth motion as the doors opened. Father John walked with his personal bodyguard on his right and his wife Mary, the Mother of the Kingdom, on his left. Mary was here merely as a formality, dutifully attending to her husband as expected of the woman who modeled good behavior for all women of the Kingdom. She would not be expected or permitted to speak. Her white dress was immaculate and seemed to shine under the lights of the room. Father John was dressed in the formal uniform of his station: a green military frock coat, lined in white silk and sporting buttons of shined brass, and green pants of the same shade disappeared into impeccably shined black wellington-style boots. A crimson sash with twelve golden tassels, representing the ancient tribes of Israel, was slung across his chest. He strode across the floor to his seat at the head of the table and then sat, allowing the other men to follow suit.

“We are all aware of the situation which demands our attention,” Father John said without preamble or greeting. “The Muskegonians have not only violated our borders, but they insult us by their actions. We foolishly believed this to be the work of unaffiliated hooligans. That has been proven to be a false understanding.”

Some of the men shifted uncomfortably. It was likely that someone had paid for that false understanding with their life. Richard Truth, the Grand Marshal of Mount Zeon’s army, had assumed his current position in the aftermath of the prison revolt. His predecessor had failed to contain or subdue the rebels in good time, and Father John had ordered his death. He was not the only one who had gone on to their meeting with the Lord in the aftermath of that debacle.

“We must defend our sovereign land,” Father John declared. “And we must consider how to punish our treacherous neighbors for their trespass.”

“I have already ordered units of the militia to establish a base near the town of Greenfield,” Truth said when it was clear that Father John was now awaiting replies. “I will also order some of our regular Army forces to begin moving towards the Labrador Valley. The limited options for transportation, however, will slow this process.”

“With your permission, Father, I will contact the Muskegonian ambassador and demand explanation,” Foreign Minister James Pleasant said next. “And I will impress upon him your anger at these events.”

“And you will demand that their settlers respect the border as we understand it,” Father John added. “If they will not end their preposterous claim to ownership of the whole Valley, then the only remedy will be the quick and firm application of the rod.”

Everyone understood what that meant: war. The Kingdom’s armed forces were not massive, and Mount Zeon’s long international isolation had deprived them of modern weapons. War would be a risky proposition. And yet if the Muskegonians continued on their current path, what alternative could there be?

Official Summons

The presence of the ambassador from the Free State of Muskegonia is hereby requested at the office of the Foreign Minister.

Yours in Truth,
James Pleasant
Last edited by Mount Zeon on Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Zeon" is pronounced "zay-on"

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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:10 pm

To: Grand-Ambassador Martha Sosnova, Head of the Global Kindness Offensive, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
From: Charles T. Hawkings
Subject: Labrador Valley
Encryption: Diplomatic comms

News of violence have now impacted the mainstream papers here. I do not doubt that these are being censored to a very substantial extent, but I also believe that the government here would not admit that there are attacks on its citizens unless the attacks had been fully confirmed. The valley itself is a place of strong economic potential. People are clearly coming regularly to plant and reap here, and the most basic infrastructure for growth (albeit modest) does exist.

The concern for violence appears to be genuine, although it has not yet reached the stage of a panic. People are going about armed, in a way which would be common in Allanea, but here it is unusual – people going about with hunting rifles slung behind their shoulders etc. That said people had not yet started fortifying their homes, nor has the local militia organized itself fully for patrol. This suggests that attacks on the towns, at least, are not yet a substantial concern.


* * *

MUSKEGONIAN SLAVERS SEEK TO CHOKE LIBERTY IN HER CRADLE


Liberty Times, Liberty-City – It should be said at the outset: Mount Zeon is not the finest country in the world. In many ways, it is literally centuries behind Allanea, or any number of other industrialized countries. Its treatment of women is appalling, and many of the individuals that it had recently freed from its slavery regime were merely moved to prisons. All of this is true.

Yet, as the violence in the Labrador Valley now festers and grows, it must be said – the Muskegonians do not attack Zeonese because they mistreat women. The Muskegonians also do not do so because of any other flaw which Mount Zeon has – but rather, they are guided partly by self-interest, and partly by hatred. They loathe the fact that, unlike their own decrepit parody of a state, the Zeonese do not, at least, treat people as chattel based on their race – indeed ever when they were a slaver society, they did not actually dive that low into the morass.

The question, then is: what to do? Some would argue – and, in our view, they'd probably be correct – that Mount Zeon's government would not accept any conditional aid in return for a better status for women and the like. However, we believe that, broadly speaking, this is not relevant: first, because expecting every country to reach our level of liberty and culture overnight is utopian and insane, and second, because the alternative is not freedom for Mount Zeonese women, the alternative is these women being subjected to terrifying abuse at the hands of slavers.

The question, then, is – what is the proper, and measured response, and how can we assure that it comes fast enough to actually mean anything?


* * *


To: The government of Mount Zeon
From: Salvador M. Brown, the John Brown Society of Allanea
Subject: Violence
Encryption: Hand-delivered, envelope.

Dear Sir!

Here at the Society we have observed some of the terrible events that are transpiring in your nation. Now, we do not see eye to eye on many issues, but, as you can guess from the name, most of us are strong Christians (a thing that is not common in Allanea these days, unfortunately), and all of us are united in the desire to see slavers see a punishment for their crimes, and avoid the extension of slavery to more lands. We are a direct-action oriented group (some may call us 'terrorists' but we'd like to draw your attention to the fact that we are not on the Free Kingdom's lists of known terrorist organizations nor are we on the prohibited entities list.

Now as you can see, it's probably possible for us to assist you in a range of ways, the extent of the assistance probably being dependent on what your government wants to see happen. We could have a small quantity of volunteers on the way fairly soon.
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Muskegonia
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Conservative Democracy

Postby Muskegonia » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:07 pm

Mount Zeon wrote:
Official Summons

The presence of the ambassador from the Free State of Muskegonia is hereby requested at the office of the Foreign Minister.

Yours in Truth,
James Pleasant


Muskegonia maintained an embassy with Mount Zeon but it was not seen as an assignment of great importance. One reason was that Mount Zeon permitted no slaves within its borders, and so Ambassador Horace Bainbridge was forced to leave his domestic staff in Muskegonia and bring hired white staff instead. Such an expense was almost too much for the federal government in Merryville, who had considered closing the embassy entirely. Instead, they simply decided that the ambassador was not required to be present in Mount Zeon year-round, and limited how many staff were actually stationed and living at the embassy building in New Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Horace Bainbridge was in Mount Zeon when the official summons from the Foreign Minister had arrived.

He briefly considered ignoring it entirely and feigning ignorance if pressed. He could easily blame some bureaucrat from the Mount Zeon government for failing to deliver the message, or sending it to the wrong address. It was an easy lie to reveal, but if they decided to expel him from the country he could return to his plantation outside the city of Merryville, and his favored house slave. But he decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to make Muskegonia’s position on certain issues very clear, and give Mount Zeon a chance to finally see reason and cooperate with their neighbor. So after dictating a short reply confirming that he would be at the Foreign Minister’s office shortly, he put on his suit jacket and climbed into the diplomatic car for the journey to the Foreign Minister.

When he arrived at the building that housed the Minister’s office, he demanded to be seen immediately. Horace Bainbridge was a man who had been born arrogant, and his time spent among the born-again abolitionists in Mount Zeon had not made him any less abrasive to those he saw as beneath him. He swaggered into the building, and the Foreign Minister’s office, with the confidence of a man who had rarely ever been denied anything in life.

"Right, down to business," he said before the Foreign Minister could get a word in. "I'd like to discuss some issues which your government, frankly, has been quite negligent in addressing."

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Mount Zeon
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Mount Zeon » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:25 am

Allanea wrote:
To: The government of Mount Zeon
From: Salvador M. Brown, the John Brown Society of Allanea
Subject: Violence
Encryption: Hand-delivered, envelope.

Dear Sir!

Here at the Society we have observed some of the terrible events that are transpiring in your nation. Now, we do not see eye to eye on many issues, but, as you can guess from the name, most of us are strong Christians (a thing that is not common in Allanea these days, unfortunately), and all of us are united in the desire to see slavers see a punishment for their crimes, and avoid the extension of slavery to more lands. We are a direct-action oriented group (some may call us 'terrorists' but we'd like to draw your attention to the fact that we are not on the Free Kingdom's lists of known terrorist organizations nor are we on the prohibited entities list.

Now as you can see, it's probably possible for us to assist you in a range of ways, the extent of the assistance probably being dependent on what your government wants to see happen. We could have a small quantity of volunteers on the way fairly soon.


Prophet’s Retreat

The compound had been constructed in the years immediately after the establishment of the Kingdom of Mount Zeon and the ascension of the Prophet Matthias. It had once been a simple cabin on the shores of Little Galilee, built by Matthias’ father in the late nineteenth century and inherited by the man who would one day rule the nation in which it was built. After the destruction of the devil’s puppet regime, Matthias had expanded the claim into a villa-style building and ordered the addition of more structures to the surrounding land. Now it was a place where the Father of the Kingdom could go to spend time in quiet, isolated reflection and prayer. It was here that Matthias and his successors went to be closer to the Lord, and receive His instructions. A brigade of elite soldiers were stationed on the site to defend it against any attack, and it was linked by modern communications systems to the government complex in New Jerusalem. Thus it took only half an hour for the contents of the message from the John Brown Society to make their way from Isaiah Smith, the man who had become the default person responsible for all things Allanea-related, to Father John’s reading desk. Smith had been summoned shortly thereafter to consult in person on a response.

“These Allaneans, do they stand for anything besides hatred of slavery?”

Smith hesitated before answering. “It is difficult to say, Father. It certainly seems to be the only reason they have any dealings with us. From what I have gathered about their own country, it remains firmly in the hands of the enemy.” Allanea might be a Kingdom, but they did not rule like one. They certainly did not think highly of Mount Zeon, or at least that was Isaiah Smith’s impression. But such was the fact of life dealing with almost any foreigner who arrived in Father John’s dominion. Few people outside the Kingdom of Mount Zeon, it seemed, had been chosen to receive the enlightenment that had been brought to Matthias, his descendants, and their people.

“This John Brown Society…I worry about accepting their aid,” John continued. “They seem willing to fight the Muskegonians, if only because their designs align with ours in this moment. What about when that moment passes?” Father John was one of the people convinced that the Allaneans had played some role in the Great Prison Revolt. Of course, there was no evidence of this – except among those who had fled the nation, spirited away by unknown means. The Kingdom’s intelligence services were attempting to make quiet inquiries into where men like Frederick Wyman, the second-in-command of the revolt, had ended up. So far nothing had come of this. The location of his superior, the man who had come to lead the uprising, was known: he was buried six feet under Zeonese soil, in an unmarked grave outside the town of New Holland.

“There was also a concern about their potential designs on land in the Valley,” Smith added. “These men may say they come to fight, but an Allanean traveled to the Valley several days ago. They may ask, or demand, land as payment for their services. This would not sit well with the people.”

Father John closed his eyes for a moment, focusing on his thoughts and the wisdom of the teachings of the Lord. He took a deep breath and then looked back to Isaiah Smith.

“When the Prophet Matthias began, the Church of the True Spirit accepted any who came to its doors and professed belief,” he said. “Some of those men were traitors, servants of the devil’s puppets. The Prophet allowed them the chance to open their hearts to the Truth. Some did, but others did not. They were not permitted to weaken the resolve of the faithful. Those who plotted against the Prophet were dealt with.”

Smith nodded. “I will draft a response for your approval, Father, and then return to New Jerusalem.”

To the John Brown Society of Allanea:
Friends, your timely offer of assistance is greatly appreciated. Mount Zeon finds itself confronting a treacherous neighbor, who cloaks their schemes in the dark of the night and strikes at innocent women and children. If your society wishes to stand alongside us in our battle against this despicable foe, we will gladly welcome such honest and true men.

Yours in Truth,
Isaiah Smith


Muskegonia wrote:When Ambassador Horace Bainbridge arrived at the building that housed the Minister’s office, he demanded to be seen immediately. Horace Bainbridge was a man who had been born arrogant, and his time spent among the born-again abolitionists in Mount Zeon had not made him any less abrasive to those he saw as beneath him. He swaggered into the building, and the Foreign Minister’s office, with the confidence of a man who had rarely ever been denied anything in life.

"Right, down to business," he said before the Foreign Minister could get a word in. "I'd like to discuss some issues which your government, frankly, has been quite negligent in addressing."


New Jerusalem

Foreign Minister James Pleasant was expecting boorish behavior from the ambassador from Muskegonia. Horace Bainbridge had not once been a pleasant man to deal with, from the moment he had arrived to take up his station. This meeting would be no different. He hadn’t even had his aide prepare drinks – he doubted the ambassador would want to “waste time” by asking for one and if he did James was prepared to make him wait while it was made. Still, he was taken aback by the blunt opening from the Muskegonian ambassador.

“As would I,” James Pleasant replied. He did not pause or give the man any opening to further control the conversation. “Settlers from your nation have repeatedly violated our borders and attacked citizens of Mount Zeon. Your government has been worse than negligent: it has, in my opinion, been overtly hostile. You have been summoned, ambassador, to answer these charges. Does President Newton really think he can use the Cougars to push the border northwards by force, without retaliation?”

Greenfield

The convoy of militia vehicles had rolled into Greenfield at the crack of dawn and their passengers had immediately gone to work. The first order of business had been to establish a temporary base for the men to use tonight. Large tents had been pitched in semi-orderly rows, creating a small artificial mountain range of peaked fabric. Folding beds by the dozens were distributed among these tents, so that each large canvas covered enough beds to sleep a squad of militiamen. Barbed wire had been uncoiled and laid down in a long perimeter around the collection of tents, marking the boundaries of the new militia base. Finally, a flag pole had been erected in the center and the Mount Zeon flag hoisted up to fly at its summit. With that, the temporary base was finished. It would house several hundred members of the militia, the internal security force of the Kingdom, until they could finish constructing a more permanent and solid base. Until then, the weather remained pleasant enough that the men could sleep in their current quarters without discomfort.

The militia had two purposes. The first was to legitimize the efforts of the Associators, who could now be deputized as local guides and auxiliaries for the militia rather than continuing to operate an armed group whose existence was technically forbidden by the laws of the Kingdom. The second was to prepare for the arrival of regular Army troops, who were slowly making their way by train and boat from further north. These troops would require barracks and camps of their own, and a third of the militia force would spend most of their time working on constructing those facilities at Greenfield and New Hannover. This influx of better-trained and better-armed soldiers would, it was hoped, deter the Whitetail Cougars from making any more assaults on Zeonese homesteads.
"Zeon" is pronounced "zay-on"

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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:49 am

The Labrador Valley

If the Zeonians expected that they would receive a flow of thousands of well-trained volunteers, they would be disappointed.

If they expected that they would receive no aid whatsoever, then they would be surprised.

The first sign of the John Brown Society's involvement would be not the presence of its men, but the arrival of gifts at the Mayor's office – various items that were not in a legal sense weapons, but items that the local militia would nevertheless find a great use for – a crate of quality thermal socks, several dozen tactical vests covered with pockets (rarely the finest types, but substantially better than nothing), some rifle scopes, slings, a handful of cheap digital radios that could be used to talk with some basic encryption, and even a handful of drones of the kind that hobbyists and photographers could make use of. And the gifts would keep arriving.

Some investigation would show that the Society published the Mayor's address on several websites, and its members – and perhaps some who were not neighbors – were making purchases that would, at least as the buyers imagined – assist the locals in defending themselves.

It would take a few days for members of the Society to begin arriving in the Valley. These were men – it was already known that women wouldn't be welcome – mostly in their thirties or older, many of them bearded in the fashion of the man whose likeness they bore.

Here they would seek out to rent a farm that was being abandoned by a family that felt intimidated by the constant raids, and, furthermore, bought a lathe and some of the usual farming equipment – blasting caps, for instance. They claimed there were lots of boulders and tree stumps on the farm to remove.

Yes, that was obviously it, boulders and tree stumps.
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Muskegonia
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Founded: Aug 19, 2019
Conservative Democracy

Postby Muskegonia » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:46 pm

Mount Zeon wrote:New Jerusalem

Foreign Minister James Pleasant was expecting boorish behavior from the ambassador from Muskegonia. Horace Bainbridge had not once been a pleasant man to deal with, from the moment he had arrived to take up his station. This meeting would be no different. He hadn’t even had his aide prepare drinks – he doubted the ambassador would want to “waste time” by asking for one and if he did James was prepared to make him wait while it was made. Still, he was taken aback by the blunt opening from the Muskegonian ambassador.

“As would I,” James Pleasant replied. He did not pause or give the man any opening to further control the conversation. “Settlers from your nation have repeatedly violated our borders and attacked citizens of Mount Zeon. Your government has been worse than negligent: it has, in my opinion, been overtly hostile. You have been summoned, ambassador, to answer these charges. Does President Newton really think he can use the Cougars to push the border northwards by force, without retaliation?”


The Ambassador reacted as if the Foreign Minister had struck him across the face. Indignation flared in his eyes and his frown turned into an outright scowl.

“You are one to speak of border violations, sir! It is a known fact that it is, in truth, your people who are violating the border.” Horace Bainbridge took some pleasure in emphasizing the word truth, knowing how commonly it was used in Mount Zeon. “It is your government which has attempted to move the border south through fraud! The whole of the Valley is Muskegonian territory, and any violence directed against trespassers from your nation is nothing less than self-defense. The natural right of any man to defend his home against intruders!”

The ambassador drew in a deep breath, pausing in his tirade but not stopping.

“If that is all that you have summoned me here for, Minister, then I must say you have wasted your time and mine. I will try and salvage this meeting by presenting my own government’s complaints: Mount Zeon has been a poor neighbor indeed. Your refusal to return runaways is not only an insult, but a grievous threat to the foundations of our society. If it continues, my government will be forced to consider stronger measures along our mutual border.”

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Mount Zeon
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Founded: Oct 23, 2018
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Mount Zeon » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:30 pm

Muskegonia wrote:The Ambassador reacted as if the Foreign Minister had struck him across the face. Indignation flared in his eyes and his frown turned into an outright scowl.

“You are one to speak of border violations, sir! It is a known fact that it is, in truth, your people who are violating the border.” Horace Bainbridge took some pleasure in emphasizing the word truth, knowing how commonly it was used in Mount Zeon. “It is your government which has attempted to move the border south through fraud! The whole of the Valley is Muskegonian territory, and any violence directed against trespassers from your nation is nothing less than self-defense. The natural right of any man to defend his home against intruders!”

The ambassador drew in a deep breath, pausing in his tirade but not stopping.

“If that is all that you have summoned me here for, Minister, then I must say you have wasted your time and mine. I will try and salvage this meeting by presenting my own government’s complaints: Mount Zeon has been a poor neighbor indeed. Your refusal to return runaways is not only an insult, but a grievous threat to the foundations of our society. If it continues, my government will be forced to consider stronger measures along our mutual border.”


New Jerusalem

Foreign Minister James Pleasant huffed and his eyes narrowed. “If that is the course which you and your government have chosen to pursue, then this meeting is concluded. You and your embassy staff have forty-eight hours to depart the Kingdom.”

Allanea wrote:The first sign of the John Brown Society's involvement would be not the presence of its men, but the arrival of gifts at the Mayor's office – various items that were not in a legal sense weapons, but items that the local militia would nevertheless find a great use for – a crate of quality thermal socks, several dozen tactical vests covered with pockets (rarely the finest types, but substantially better than nothing), some rifle scopes, slings, a handful of cheap digital radios that could be used to talk with some basic encryption, and even a handful of drones of the kind that hobbyists and photographers could make use of. And the gifts would keep arriving.

Some investigation would show that the Society published the Mayor's address on several websites, and its members – and perhaps some who were not neighbors – were making purchases that would, at least as the buyers imagined – assist the locals in defending themselves.


New Hannover

The packages had begun to arrive a few days ago. Almost immediately it had become apparent that these were intended for the Association, which put Mayor Jeremiah Bryce in a delicate situation. The Association was, according to the law, an illegal organization. While Mount Zeon did permit gun ownership, it was restricted to hunting weapons and any sort of organized armed group was strictly forbidden. The official militia and the Army were, according to the law, sufficient for the protection of the populace. There was no need for Zeonese to form any sort of paramilitary group. Of course, those laws hadn’t foreseen the kind of frontier violence which the people of the Labrador Valley were now confronting. So, the trick was to find a way to get those supplies into the hands of the Association without doing anything that formally recognized the existence of the Association.

The solution presented itself through one of his staff, Arnold Jones. Mayor Bryce knew he was involved in the Association, and the unspoken pact of silence on the matter had kept the issue from surfacing. It had been a simple matter to make sure that Arnold was made responsible for handling the strange packages from Allanea. They could make their way from the mayor’s office out to the Association. Some of the items, especially the drones, were a bit beyond the technical aptitude of the Associators and would see little use. But the tactical vests, the rifle slings, and the other more mundane items would be very useful.

Allanea wrote:It would take a few days for members of the Society to begin arriving in the Valley. These were men – it was already known that women wouldn't be welcome – mostly in their thirties or older, many of them bearded in the fashion of the man whose likeness they bore.

Here they would seek out to rent a farm that was being abandoned by a family that felt intimidated by the constant raids, and, furthermore, bought a lathe and some of the usual farming equipment – blasting caps, for instance. They claimed there were lots of boulders and tree stumps on the farm to remove.

Yes, that was obviously it, boulders and tree stumps.


Labrador Valley

The arrival of the Allaneans was a hot news item in the informal gatherings that happened after the conclusion of church services or around the counters of stores. The element that stood out was that these men arrived without families. In Zeonese culture it was rare for a man to stray far from his parents’ home before having a family of his own. Some men spoke darkly of invasions or infiltrations, but these were mostly dismissed as the product of bitter memories of the prison revolt. Men who had lost friends, family members, or property in that conflict and remained convinced that the Allaneans had played a role were of course more distrustful of Allaneans showing up in the Valley. Most people simply accepted it as logical; the Allaneans had men in the Kingdom to help distribute aid. It would be only natural that word would get back and attract like-minded people to move from their sinful country and join the land of God’s chosen. Those Zeonese who found themselves with new neighbors were hospitable and welcoming.

Providence

Colonel Edwin Merit heard the sound of combat boots on the hardwood floor of the headquarters ship and turned around just in time to see his executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Allan Macdonald, enter the room and salute. Edwin returned the salute and beckoned the other officer to step forward and report.

“Sir, the men have all been offloaded and camps have been set up outside of town. The last of the transport vehicles are scheduled to arrive the day after tomorrow.”

“Any issues from the journey?”

“None have been reported, sir.”

“Good.” Edwin took the written report when Allan offered it and laid it on the desk among the other clutter. The small room was hardly enough space for a brigade commander to operate, but it was better than a tent in the mud outside Providence. He’d be moving on soon enough anyway, down to New Hannover in whatever trucks or other transport the military could scrape together and get to Providence. The military of Mount Zeon had much more experience with internal suppression duties than external force projection, and so there was little infrastructure for getting large numbers of troops out to the frontiers. Word was that a railroad was under construction to ease the journey, but until then it was this hybrid of riverine and ground movement.

Almost unconsciously, Edwin adjusted the papers on his desk so that they formed a neat stack. Once he was on his way to New Hannover this boat would become the headquarters for General Randall Flynn, commander of the division which included Edwin’s brigade. Flynn was a harsh taskmaster who demanded perfection from his subordinates in everything from battlefield maneuvers to the organization of their offices.

“Make sure everything is ready to move,” the Colonel said after the long pause. “And see how many trucks we have available now. If we can start the movement tomorrow and get half the brigade down to the Valley, all the better.”
"Zeon" is pronounced "zay-on"

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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:20 pm

Labrador Valley

It would be a while, but eventually a representative of the Society found his way to making an appointment with the mayor. He was an unimposing figure - a young man in a plaid shirt, khaki pants, and a pair of well-polished shoes that betrayed him as one who was used to working in an office, not on a farm.

"Good day, Mayor Bryce" - he said, once he was allowed into the Mayor's office. "My name is Jebediah Althouse. I'm with the individuals who have recently rented the farm just outside of town. I'm also connected, if you will, to the individuals that have been recently shipping you aid packages." - he handed over a card which said Jebedia Althouse, Attorney-at-Law.

"Mayor, I appreciate you're in a difficult position. My clients and I are strangers here, and we appreciate that there are some fairly good reasons people have to dislike and distrust us. I would be also be mistrustful under the circumstances, and I cannot help but understand you. Let me assure you that most of my men are staunch Christians, and we are all here to do the Lord's work for Him, which I think is the most important thing on which we can all find a mutual agreement. I believe, as you do, that the Good Lord wants us to help people who are indeed, and that this mutual help is one of the key commandments of the Lord."

He paused. "Now, it is my belief that very soon the hour will come that the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats. For this hour my clients keep themselves well-prepared, as the Lord says in the Gospel of Luke. But until that hour we must make ourselves useful to those about us."

"For this reason my clients do wish to ask, is there any volunteer work that needs to be done about the valley, even if it not related to the present crisis? Are there any church roofs to be replaced, or fences to be mended, to which you could kindly direct my clients? This shall fulfil several purposes. One, it shall be proof my clients are of the best intentions. Second, it shall equip my clients with the better knowledge of the valley, and its residents, which shall be useful in the hour of need. And third, and most importantly, it is the Godly thing to do.
Last edited by Allanea on Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Union of British North America
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Union of British North America » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:39 pm

Outskirts of Providence, Mount Zeon

The truck carrying Helen Johnson was bumping up and down on the road, causing her to shift her body left and right, forwards and backwards, in her seat, or what was called a seat. Really it was a board on one side of the truck, and on the other side were wooden crates, metal containers, and cardboard boxes holding the supplies and materials that her civilian support detachment would use in the upcoming operations in the Valley.

She was with three other women. The youngest of them looked barely eighteen years of age, looking out of the small tear of the canvas that covered the transport truck, and the others looked well into their forties, stared down at the floor, ocassionally glancing to each other and exchanging a few words regarding what they would do with the supplies when they got to the camp. She was in her mid twenties, thinking of her cover story and her mission. She was "Helen Johnson", the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Howard Johnson of the Zeonese Army, may his soul rest in peace. Of course, the real Helen Johnson was alive and well, and well paid and cared for by the Service of Strategic Information station here in Zeon; the money was not the only thing the real Helen accepted, though the Zeonese Army's financial support to the family of deceased officers was rather meager given the current state of the Zeonese economy and the impending armed dispute with its southern neighbor diverting resources. She also accepted to prepare the deep cover agent of SSI into Zeonese ranks, for she wanted to help in ending the impending conflict--she believed that God had given her a purpose to end this war between Zeon and Muskegonia. SSI accepted her for her recent tragedy--her father died two weeks ago from a heart attack and nearly destitute--and for her willingness, even though SSI station thought as well as the rest of the NAU intelligence and diplomatic communities that the Zeonese theocracy and theology was something odd and backward.

The field agent's mission, as "Helen Johnson", was to infiltrate the inner circle of the Zeonese Army's main field force in the Labrador Valley area, learn what the Zeonese discover in relation to their enemy, the slavers of Muskegonia, and how the Muskegonians connect to the Sons of Liberty. The Sons were a domestic terror and anti-United Empire separatist group, dedicated to the NAU leaving the UE and instituting a racialist tyrannical order in North America. From the ashes of the Southeastern Rebellion, the Sons vowed to comeback and strike fear in the NAU as it became the growing and leading force of the United Empire.
They were behind the domestic terror attacks in the early 2000s, bombing a spectator sport event in Boston in 2001 and behind the oil spill cleanup facility incident in 2009. A rogue Son was behind the infamous regicide in New York in 1963. They were the greatest domestic threat to the NAU ever since the first ruminations of rebellion in the early Union.

The truck finally reached its destination--Providence--and was in the main square with other trucks and supplies being loaded into them. Helen got out of the truck with the other women, who all proceeded on the route on foot to the port of Providence where the command vessel of the Zeonese field force was docked.

The ship was a large riverboat, imposing enough to look like someone in charge of many important things lived on it but appeared to be old and barely worthy of use, and the aura of being a former large yacht. It could put up a fight but it also could be put down if given enough enemy ordinance or sabotage. Helen and the others ascended the gangway, and they all made their way to the area under the bridge, waiting for the officers and aides-de-camp of the colonel to notice them and get them to their work positions for the command staff.

The colonel of the regiment exited the bridge and walked over to the women and greeted them, something that the other staff officers hardly did when they first came on board. After some brief introductions where the colonel asked who they were and where they were from, the colonel was surprised to hear the name "Helen Johnson".

"It's been far too long since we last me, sir. It's been over 10 years," she replied, in a deferential manner as expected of a young Zeonese woman in domestic service. "My father, may he rest in peace, has instructed me to give you this letter." She pulled the letter out of her bag and held it out to the colonel.
An alt-history version of an America that peacefully avoided the American Revolution (Turtledove's "The Two Georges"), mixed with some of Sobel's "For Want of a Nail" and a lot of the anthology "Columbia and Britannia".

Real world territories that I am using: contiguous US, Alaska, Canada, British West Indies, Bermuda, and Baja California. Hawaii is an associated state.

Government: federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy.

I don't use NS stats except for NS governmental policies (basic policies of course), and classification (I'm somewhat of a SuperCanada). MT and NFT/FT. Official Name: North American Union (NAU). MTO, CAPINTERN, CFME member. Amistad Declaration signatory.

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Allanea
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Allanea » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:15 am

At the John Brown Society compound

"Brothers!" – spoke Josiah Campbell. – "Tonight is the night we wait no longer. Those of us who are ready shall begin their mission. Others shall labor here to sharpen the sword, to prepare the arms and equipment for themselves and their brothers, so that it shall be ready for the hour of the order."

They had assembled in this barn, and outside it, several of the Society's members stood guard, ensuring that they would not be overheard. A tractor was kept running outside, also, preventing the chaplain's voice from carrying too far.

"Some of you, and especially the younger ones, are feeling trepidation at our mission. Some of you are letting your kindness be a weakness. I hear some of you say – how shall I take the life of a human being? Does not the Muskegonian have a family? Is his soul also not that of a man, precious to our Lord? – and these are true, every soul is created by our Lord with the full potential to do good. Some become doctors, some painters, some pastors. And yet others become murderers, and despoilers, and slavers. And the Lord says: If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible. And moreover, Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh. Now I tell you this: true, the life of a man is of great value, but it can be turned to good, or it can be turned to evil. "

"As we shall pray to the Lord before our mission, so do now the slaves and their children pray. They pray to the Lord that their master not be cruel to them tomorrow. That he not whip them bloody with his right arm, and not take them away for his foul enjoyment, nor sell their children away from them. And I tell you that you are the instrument of that prayer, for thus speaks the Lord our God: Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms. And tomorrow, a child will wake and know that she shall not be whipped that day, for the man who wields the whip has been slain in the night. Tomorrow a wife will wake and know that she will not be despoiled, for her despoiler has been shot dead. Tomorrow a man will wake and know that the Lord is just, and His is the vengeance and punishment."

"Let us pray, brothers. Psalm one hundred and forty four."

Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me….


* * *


They ventured out of the farm under the cover of night, and moved patiently, like hunters. Their gear was hunting gear, and if they were to be stopped along the way, they would show deer bait, bottles of deer urine, and so forth – but they were not hunting for deer that night. For a mile they walked along the road, making sure to leave no footprints, and then split up, some in pairs, others – the more experienced ones – moving alone, into Muskegonian territory.

An hour before dawn the first of the hunters was already laying in wait, two hundred yards from the edge of a Muskegonian farm. As the sky began to turn grey, he saw one of the white farmers make his way out onto the porch of his home. He was a hardworking man, this Muskegonian – doubtless out to feed his cows, or start his tractor, or perhaps wake up the slaves – although his man was likely not rich enough to own more than a few. None of this mattered.

The Allanean breathed in, and breathed out. Just as he finished exhaling, he pressed the trigger on his hunting rifle gently. There was a snap, which the man barely heard, and the farmer collapsed, clutching his lower belly. This was going to be a painful death for him. Moving smoothly, the terrorist – for this was what he was, now – placed his rifle back in its case and began to crawl away from his position.

Elsewhere, on the horizon, black smoke would be visible – the mark of two more members of the Society, who had doused a farm tractor in fuel and set it alight.

Yet elsewhere, an unseen assassin had fired a shot through a family's window as they were sitting breakfast, shattering the skull of a wealthy paterfamilias just as he was uttering the words "We give you thanks for the food and drink…"

As the assassins retreated, they used the deer scent bottles they carried with them to obscure their scent, and confuse any dogs that might be following. In places, they spread out porcupine quills, cut into dozens of tiny needles, to deter any dogs who might be too persistent on their trail – quite enough to stick, painfully, in the paws or even nose of a canine, but for a person who was not familiar with this particular trick, merely a dog getting a splinter.
Last edited by Allanea on Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#HyperEarthBestEarth

Sometimes, there really is money on the sidewalk.

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Muskegonia
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Founded: Aug 19, 2019
Conservative Democracy

Postby Muskegonia » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:23 am

Mount Zeon wrote:New Jerusalem

Foreign Minister James Pleasant huffed and his eyes narrowed. “If that is the course which you and your government have chosen to pursue, then this meeting is concluded. You and your embassy staff have forty-eight hours to depart the Kingdom.”


Horace Bainbridge wanted to laugh in the face of the Foreign Minister of Mount Zeon. That was the best they could do? He’d always suspected that for all their talk of being the only bastion of “true” men on Earth, the Zeonese were weak. The Whitetail Cougars had been prodding and poking the bear for months and now it seemed the beast had no teeth or claws after all. It was pathetic.

“Very well sir,” huffed the ambassador. “I won’t need the full time. My staff and I will be on a plane home by the end of the day. And I’ll be sure to send you the bill, since you’ve decided to so inconvenience me with such a hasty departure.” Without waiting for any kind of dismissal or goodbye, he turned and walked out the door. He strode out of the building and into the waiting car, which took off for the embassy. The staff there was minimal, and so it was quite easy to collect everything and everyone which needed to leave the country in a few hours. Documents and other items which either could not be moved or were not needed back in Muskegonia were destroyed. The building itself was vandalized as well – Horace Bainbridge directed his staff to destroy electrical appliances and shatter porcelain in the bathrooms, under the guise of “inspecting for listening devices.” Once the building had gotten its just desserts, the Muskegonian entourage boarded the diplomatic cars and made their way to the airport for the flight back home.

Back in Merryville, the ambassador briefed the President and the leaders of the Senate on what had happened. President Leland Newton was soon on the phone with Stewart Roberts, the governor of the Territory which included the Labrador Valley. The two men spoke for half an hour, and determined that the situation in the Valley constituted a risk to the territorial integrity of the Territory and the Free State as a whole. The President requested that the Governor call out his Territorial Guard militia and prepare to deploy it in the Labrador Valley. Governor Roberts agreed, and soon he was on the phone with Adjutant General Jackson Clayborn discussing the particulars of the mobilization.

Allanea wrote:The Allanean breathed in, and breathed out. Just as he finished exhaling, he pressed the trigger on his hunting rifle gently. There was a snap, which the man barely heard, and the farmer collapsed, clutching his lower belly. This was going to be a painful death for him. Moving smoothly, the terrorist – for this was what he was, now – placed his rifle back in its case and began to crawl away from his position.

Elsewhere, on the horizon, black smoke would be visible – the mark of two more members of the Society, who had doused a farm tractor in fuel and set it alight.

Yet elsewhere, an unseen assassin had fired a shot through a family's window as they were sitting breakfast, shattering the skull of a wealthy paterfamilias just as he was uttering the words "We give you thanks for the food and drink…"

As the assassins retreated, they used the deer scent bottles they carried with them to obscure their scent, and confuse any dogs that might be following. In places, they spread out porcupine quills, cut into dozens of tiny needles, to deter any dogs who might be too persistent on their trail – quite enough to stick, painfully, in the paws or even nose of a canine, but for a person who was not familiar with this particular trick, merely a dog getting a splinter.


If you wanted to find the Whitetail Cougars, you normally didn’t have to look much farther than the Muskegon Tap. This large public house was where the men of the town gathered for weekly, or sometimes nightly, meetings. The public house was a male space: women not merely discouraged by social convention from entering, they were in fact forbidden by law. The given reason was moral: the public house was a place of drinking and bawdiness, where no lady of any age or standing could expect to find the respect she was owed. In practice, the public house provided a refuge for men who sought spaces free of the slowly encroaching moral reform movements which wealthy and middle class women were beginning to spearhead. It was in this public house that Luther Monroe, a wealthy landowner whose main estate was just east of Holton, had founded the Whitetail Cougars militia.

Now the militia was meeting to discuss the recent outrages. The anger in the room was palpable. The Zeonese had never before had the temerity to strike at Muskegonians. They had fought back when the Cougars had come to force them off their ill-gotten lands, and sometimes during those fights men had been killed or wounded, but nothing like this had happened before.

“They shot Dan Scott through his window!” One man recounted with fury in his voice. “Shot him dead right in front of his wife and children, while saying Grace”

“John Billings died this morning,” another man announced. “Damn Zeons gut-shot him on his front porch.” He spit a wad of tobacco out onto the well-coated floor. “Damn awful way to go.”

Luther Monroe, standing on a chair, raised his hands and shouted for quiet. He turned to James Pembrook, who had led the pursuit of the assassins. He had little good news.

“Lost ‘em pretty fast,” he reported. “Zeons put down some quills behind ‘em and got one of my best dogs. Impossible to tell where they went.”

“I say we pay ‘em back!” The man who’d brought the news of Dan Scott’s death shouted suddenly. “They kill two of us? I say we kill twenty of them!” The crowd hurrahed their approval of this rate of exchange. Luther Monroe shook his head.

“We will have vengeance, but we cannot move too rashly,” he declared. Some men booed this decision. Some may have considered calling him a coward, or weak, but Luther Monroe carried a bowie knife and a revolver on his belt and had announced his willingness to use either to prove his manhood against any challenger. The code duello remained alive and well in Muskegonia. “We will give the Zeons a chance to admit their errors and leave us in peace. Here is what we shall do…”

That night, the Whitetail Cougars attacked not one, but three homesteads. In each case, the families were forced to watch as the Cougars beat and then killed the men and even older boys of the homestead. The homes themselves were put to the torch, and in front of each home a large cross was erected and then set aflame. The women of the households were sent up the roads to the north, towards Greenfield, in whatever night clothes they’d been wearing when the attackers arrived. In some cases, the Whitetail Cougars had stripped even those from the women, forcing them to trek naked into the towns. Other homesteads found warnings, either printed and nailed to doors or painted on the sides of barns in blood-red paint: LEAVE THE VALLEY OR DIE.

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Mount Zeon
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Mount Zeon » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:25 pm

Allanea wrote:"For this reason my clients do wish to ask, is there any volunteer work that needs to be done about the valley, even if it not related to the present crisis? Are there any church roofs to be replaced, or fences to be mended, to which you could kindly direct my clients? This shall fulfil several purposes. One, it shall be proof my clients are of the best intentions. Second, it shall equip my clients with the better knowledge of the valley, and its residents, which shall be useful in the hour of need. And third, and most importantly, it is the Godly thing to do.


New Hannover

Mayor Jeremiah Bryce was suspicious of the Allanean lawyer. For one, he did not like lawyers. This was a hangup which was usually found among the rural farmers of Mount Zeon, who disdained lawyers as one of the class of mock-men who earned disproportionate incomes despite doing no physical work. This was a prejudice which had been a key part of the Prophet Matthias’ ideology, and had helped rally the peasants of Mount Zeon to his side during the Revolution. In the cities, that prejudice had diminished as lawyers provided important services. Jeremiah retained a farmer’s skepticism of men who spent more time in an office than on a farm, even though he himself was also guilty of that charge.

“Yes, those packages have been overflowing in the post office,” he said. “And they put me in a tough spot indeed. But if you want to lend your aid to the people in the Valley, I think I can get you connected with the people who would know best where your efforts could be exerted.”

The people in this case was one person: Arnold Jones, the same man who had taken care of getting the Society’s packages to the Association. Mayor Bryce was quick to make the introduction and explain the lawyer’s proposition.

“Lots of folks would be mighty glad to have some more helping hands,” Arnold said. “Come to the services on Sunday and stick around at the end. People talk, and they might just have some work that needs doing.”

The Zeonese of the Labrador Valley, like the Zeonese of most of the countryside, had a long tradition of community meetings. These often took place in the spaces in and around the churches after services, but there were also fairly regular congregations of farmers in geographic areas. These meetups were social spaces where men could swap talk of their farms and crops, but also where pressing subjects like the ongoing violence from Muskegonia was brought up and discussed. It was in meetings like these that the Allaneans could connect with those families who needed extra hands to put up a fence or raise a barn. It was also how they could speak directly, and often frankly, with members of the Association. Arnold Jones was happy to make those connections, pointing out the leading Associators to the Society’s leaders. “Those fellows who sent the presents” were welcomed into the fabric of the Valley communities. As the violence escalated, everyone understood that it was hang together or hang separately.

The Union of British North America wrote:The colonel of the regiment exited the bridge and walked over to the women and greeted them, something that the other staff officers hardly did when they first came on board. After some brief introductions where the colonel asked who they were and where they were from, the colonel was surprised to hear the name "Helen Johnson".

"It's been far too long since we last me, sir. It's been over 10 years," she replied, in a deferential manner as expected of a young Zeonese woman in domestic service. "My father, may he rest in peace, has instructed me to give you this letter." She pulled the letter out of her bag and held it out to the colonel.


Providence

Colonel Edwin Merit made it a point to go and greet the women who were coming onboard the headquarters ship, if only so that he could have an idea of their names and faces. It was not uncommon for Zeonese officers whose jobs kept them far behind the lines to send for their wives to come and join them. These women cooked, cleaned, and sometimes performed secretarial work of a non-military nature like preparing tea or coffee during meetings. It also kept them close by, where their husbands could ensure that they continued to act properly and discipline them if they did not. Some men also sometimes brought daughters with them, mainly as a way of arranging marriages with eligible men in the military. Edwin’s own mother had married a young officer who had been serving as an aide-de-camp for her father.

But it surprised him to hear the name “Helen Johnson” come out of the mouths of the women who had arrived by truck – along with several pallets supplies – at Providence. He remembered meeting a Helen Johnson years ago, but the memory was vague and left him little to recall what she had looked or sounded like. Her father’s name he remembered well. Colonel Howard Johnson had been a friend when they were both lower in rank. They had each commanded a regiment in the same brigade. Edwin had risen through the ranks and become a brigade commander himself. Howard had risen in rank but not in standing – dogged by persistent but never proven rumors of a secret penchant for alcohol, he had been transferred out of combat formations and exiled to some logistical management position behind a desk.

“It has been a while,” Edwin repeated as he opened the envelope and read the single page it contained. The Colonel had a good idea of what the letter’s contents might be before he began reading, and his guess was right on the money. The late Colonel Howard requested that Colonel Merit see to his daughter’s welfare. Her prospects for marriage, and thus for any sort of life at all outside of being the object of charity from the community, were slim to none. The request was Colonel Johnson’s last effort to try and lift his daughter above the mire of his ruined reputation.

“Your father was a good man,” he said as he folded the letter and placed it back in the envelope. It was the least he could do for an old friend. “Macdonald!”

Lieutenant Colonel Allan Macdonald, who had been speaking to another one of the women nearby, said something short and excusatory and then crossed the distance to where Edwin and Helen were standing. He saluted and then nodded his head to Helen.

“Lieutenant Colonel Macdonald, this is Helen Johnson. She’ll be joining my family. Find Major Danielson and get her on the roster.”

“Right away, sir.” Allan saluted again and then turned to Helen. “Follow me, miss.”

The Lieutenant Colonel took Helen to another portion of the headquarters boat and introduced her to Major Bryce Danielson, the man in charge of personnel issues for the brigade. With the brigade having made several large moves recently, he was clearly occupied with other concerns and barely spared any time to deal with the young woman who Lieutenant Colonel Macdonald brought to him.

“Welcome to the brigade. Colonel Merit’s quarters are down the hall. The women are living one deck above. Find one of the other wives and get directions from her.” With that, he was back to scurrying around a cramped office checking roll calls against roster records and other paperwork. The other women on the boat were quick to help Helen find her way: showing her to her quarters and acquainting her with the schedule. The largest portion of their tasks would be preparing meals for the officers and performing other domestic tasks. The women were not given free reign of the ship nor were they intentionally given classified material to handle, but while in the course of their duties they were not attended to with any particular scrutiny. It would be very easy for an experienced spy to sneak looks at documents left out by the Colonel and other officers.

Muskegonia wrote:That night, the Whitetail Cougars attacked not one, but three homesteads. In each case, the families were forced to watch as the Cougars beat and then killed the men and even older boys of the homestead. The homes themselves were put to the torch, and in front of each home a large cross was erected and then set aflame. The women of the households were sent up the roads to the north, towards Greenfield, in whatever night clothes they’d been wearing when the attackers arrived. In some cases, the Whitetail Cougars had stripped even those from the women, forcing them to trek naked into the towns. Other homesteads found warnings, either printed and nailed to doors or painted on the sides of barns in blood-red paint: LEAVE THE VALLEY OR DIE.


Labrador Valley

The brutality of the Muskegonian attacks shocked the people of the Labrador Valley. The previous assaults on individual homesteads had been rough and violent, but this coordinated and flamboyant declaration of intent put fear and steel in equal measure into the spines of the Association. The informal militia, now operating as deputized auxiliaries of the official militia unit deployed at Greenfield, stepped up its patrols. They moved from a responsive force that would deploy in reaction to raider attacks to a proactively patrolling force that hoped to catch the next batch of raiders before they reached their targets. The Association patrols tended to be a single pickup truck with four men riding in it, going from farm to farm and along the main roads. Their most powerful weapons were the radios they carried to summon more Associators or the militia. The militia also began to patrol, sending armed jeeps along the roads and dispatching foot patrols to monitor likely paths off the beaten trail that the Whitetail Cougars might use.

The biggest question was who had conducted the attacks on the Muskegonians. The Associators all swore that they’d had no part in the shootings or sabotage. The most commonly invoked theory was that a lone farmer, or several non-Associators, had finally gotten fed up with the constant bullying and had decided to strike back. While they denied playing any role in the shootings, the Association did feel some sense of righteous approval. The Muskegonians had pushed and pushed for weeks with only the barest resistance. Now someone had finally given them a taste of their own medicine. Some members of the Association began to discuss making their own “strenuous efforts” against the raiders – a phrase which soon became the common cover for discussing a copy-cat attack on a Muskegonian farm. Those copy-cats soon began to act, sneaking out at night to shoot at Muskegonian farmers or break farm machinery. They lacked the skills and finesse of the Allaneans, but even if they were less successful the violence in the Labrador Valley had risen another couple of notches.
"Zeon" is pronounced "zay-on"

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Allanea
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Allanea » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:54 am

“The hunting rifle, properly understood,” – said the Allanean to the two Zeonite farmers – “Is not different from any Army sniper’s weapon.”

They were eating lunch now, a hearty farmer’s lunch after a morning’s work, in which the plaid-shirted man had helped them drive fence posts, put out lengths of barbed wire, and so on. The working gloves which he used had been worn when he started, and were now even more so. Now, as he wolfed down an enormous sandwich - about a foot’s length of white bread, cheese, eggs and bacon ¬– he began to expound on his views of marksmanship.

“Any man who can competently hit a deer at three hundred yards can hit a man. And any good rifle, which is not a total piece of trash, is as good as you will be. Hold it steady, and with the right breath control and trigger pull you can hit anything you can see. Now, your sling, it is not just a means to carry your rifle.”

“How so?” – one of the farmers asked. – “What else is it for, if not for carrying your gun?”

“You can use it to help in your aim.” – replied the Allanean. – “Wrap it around your arm, for instance, and you can use it to better steady your rifle. The trick to what snipers do is not really so much marksmanship.”

“But?”

“It is patience and sneakiness. Crawl up as close as you can to the other guy – three hundred yards is cool, two hundred is better. Calm yourself as much as you can – and any man which you can get your sights is at your mercy. Not that I am advocating any use of violence… which of course I am not, such an advocacy is against the law in this country, yes?”

All three of them laughed, as all three understood each other perfectly.

“But really, you are hard working farm folk. With the stuff you have in your farm, you can fashion any number of defensive devices – or just buy them in the store. A wolf trap will break a man’s ankle. And I needn’t tell you of all the fun things you can do with fertilizer and a stump-clearing charge, right?”

This was the rule everywhere. The Allaneans had come from a country where the rifle was the traditional badge of the citizen (indeed, Allanean law did not use the term ‘citizen’ - Allaneans were arrogant enough to just call themselves Freemen – and so it was common even for entirely innocent Allaneans to be well-aware of all sorts of nasty tricks that in most countries were the domain of only the truly paranoid.

And they were happy to share this knowledge. They did not – as of yet – hold any classes or training sessions, but if one asked, they were totally ready to share.


* * *


Joe has been a slave all of his life. His wife, also, was a slave. He had never expected to be in any state other than a slave. It was hypothetically possible for him to buy his freedom, and for him to run away, but somehow Joe knew, quite clearly, that this would never happen. His two children were also slaves, and he was not surprised that his master, and his master’s wife, felt entitled to discipline Joe’s son, James – just as Joe himself had been, both as child and as an adult, with a swift, flexible stick, and also with the soup ladle. Somehow it hurt more to see his children so treated, than to remember himself disciplined as a child.

But he could not conceive of a way to shield Jim from the blows. He already knew that it was pointless.

The night after Joe put his son to bed, still bleeding and weeping from the blows, he was awakened by a scream. A terrible woman’s scream, at a high pitch. The woman was in pain.

His first thought was to check on his wife – but his wife was safely in bed next to him.

“My God! That is Missis Clemens! We must go check on her, she must be injured!”

As they burst into the living room, Joe and his wife beheld a scene that seemed to have come out of the Old Testament.

Mr. Clemens lay on the floor, his rifle still in hand, his white nightshirt splattered in blood. A man – a white man, much like Mr. Clemens himself – stood over his corpse, shotgun in hand. Another man – six feet tall, immensely muscular, his skin like melted bitter chocolate – was dragging Missis Clemens by her hair. In one hand he held an axe.

“My God! Let go of me, you damned heathen!” – she yelled, and added to that a few words by which she used to refer to Joe.

Yet the ‘damned heathen’ did not even slow down. “I don’t think so.” – he said, yanking Missis Clemens’ head up, and bringing it down on the table with a loud thwack.

“I am not going to be your plaything you disgusting baboon!” – she shrieked.

The man laughed. “My plaything? I am going to have to wash my hands after I’ve touched you.”

“What? What do you mean you?”

“I am a Freeman.” – the Allanean said. He raised the axe, and lowered it. There was a disgusting crunching sound as it came home, and Missis Clemens twitched and shrieked as he struggled to free the axe. Then she moved no move.

The man turned to face Joe. “Good day, Sir. I apologize for exposing you to this scene of awful violence.”

“I… what?” – said Joe.

“I’m sorry. Time is of the essence. Grab everything of value,” – the Allanean said, as he liberated the gold necklace from Missis Clemens’ neck. “Take this, it’s yours by right. It’s bought with your blood and sweat. Take this.” – he picked Mr. Clemens’ rifle from the floor. “Don’t use it unless you’re spotted. Run.”

Of course, the house would soon burn. Left on one of the walls was a grim message – THIS IS OUR VALLEY, YOU GET OUT.
It was written in blood.

* * *


The Clemenses were not the only ones to get attacked. The Allaneans used two taglines – in some places, This is OUR valley, you get out, in others Death to the slaver. This served, in their mind, to confuse the enemy regarding the identity of the group behind any particular attack, as well as to both intimidate and provoke.

And, of course, the Allaneans’ did believe it was the Zeonites’ valley.
#HyperEarthBestEarth

Sometimes, there really is money on the sidewalk.

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Muskegonia
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Founded: Aug 19, 2019
Conservative Democracy

Postby Muskegonia » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:37 pm

Allanea wrote:The Clemenses were not the only ones to get attacked. The Allaneans used two taglines – in some places, This is OUR valley, you get out, in others Death to the slaver. This served, in their mind, to confuse the enemy regarding the identity of the group behind any particular attack, as well as to both intimidate and provoke.

And, of course, the Allaneans’ did believe it was the Zeonites’ valley.


The Whitetail Cougars had expected the Zeons to flee the Valley in a great exodus. In every previous instance, they had responded to force with cowardice. Attacks had gone unanswered, and even the pathetic Association they had created had done little but posture. It had been a sure thing in the mind of Luther Monroe that when the Cougars ratcheted up the intensity, the Zeons would back down. Instead, they were responding in kind and doing worse. The men who had rushed to the pillar of smoke rising from the Clemens Farm had found no survivors. Mrs. Clemens was either dead, or she had been carried off by the Zeons or the Clemens’ slaves. The possibility of that second option infuriated the Cougars. Previous attacks had been limited, at least where white Zeonese had been concerned. Women had not been physically harmed, though they certainly did not leave their encounters with the Cougars mentally or emotionally unscathed. But now the Zeons had shown their hidden barbarity, and all restrictions were off. The Cougars sent more raiding parties over the porous border, and now they were out for the blood of any Zeons who they could find.

Back in the capital of Merryville, the Senate had met to discuss the ongoing crisis. President Leland Newton had already requested that Governor Roberts call out his Territorial Guard to deal with the violence. Now he was seeking to add more emphasis to his position by doing the unthinkable: requesting authorization to deploy the federal Army on Muskegonian soil. This was an unprecedented request: the Army had never been called out in a military capacity within the borders of the Free State before. It spent most of its time building levees and doing other public construction work.

“The Junior Senator from Lygonia is hereby recognized,” announced the President of the Senate, Joshua Morris.

Hiram Smith rose in his seat. “Thank you, Mister President. Senators, the crisis in the Labrador Valley has reached a tipping point. Zeon abolitionists are striking at Muskegonian homes, murdering men and women and releasing slaves. The Territorial Guard must be reinforced by the Army in order to not only protect lawful settlers, but to eject the Zeonese squatters!”

The chamber was already raucous, but this debate turned it into a free-for-all shouting match. The idea of authorizing the President to deploy the Army on Muskegonian soil went against all principles of the Senators, who blocked almost every meaningful exercise of federal power outside of its established responsibilities. Finally the President of the Senate managed to restore some order to the chamber and recognized Custis Hogarth, the Senior Senator from Carola Territory.

“I believe that the honorable senator from Lygonia is exaggerating the situation,” Hogarth declared. Carola Territory was far from the frontier and he saw no need for federal intervention. “Surely the Territorial Guard and the, ah, concerned citizens who have organized themselves in the Valley can defend their own homes?”

“This is a matter of national honor!” Smith shouted suddenly. “Will you let the Zeons’ insults go unanswered?!”

More shouting filled the room, with the constant ringing of the gavel on wood as the President of the Senate called for order. While some senators made speeches, others worked out the backroom deals which had been essential to the functioning of the government for centuries. The final compromise saw President Newton back off his demand for the regular Army. Instead, the nearby Territory of Waverly would call up its Territorial Guard and prepare to deploy them alongside the Lygonian Territorial Guard. This would give the Muskegonians a strong force that could hopefully send a clear message to the Zeonese about the Free State’s willingness to fight for its territorial integrity.

Donovan Higgins, the Governor of Waverly Territory, called on his Adjutant General Zebulon James to mobilize the Territorial Guard and prepare it for deployment.

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Allanea
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 23469
Founded: Antiquity
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Allanea » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:57 am

Somewhere in the Free Kingdom of Allanea, Headquarter of the 19th Submarine Division Bloodseekers

Rear Admiral Timothy Kenwood leaned forward over the desk.

"I needn't impress upon you that your mission is classified, Captain Larina."

"All submarine missions are classified, Admiral." – she replied, throwing her hair back. "In this case, there is no diplomatic issue involved."

"That is correct, Captain. Under the Amistad Declaration, we are already at war with Muskegonia. If a Muskegonian soldier was in this room, I would require no authorization to draw my sidearm and shoot them. That said, there are considerations of strategic and tactical surprise. We would not want the Muskegonians to be aware of your approach. Moreover, officially speaking, the Minister of War has yet to offer the Zeonites any overt assistance."

"That's because they're twerps."

"That, and the fact that, as I understand it, they are still hoping to avert war. Moreover… it should not be surprising to you, Captain Larina, that our nation is not in any meaningful way a friend to the Zeonites, except that we are helping them transition to their country to a semi-free economy, or at least to a free-labor economy. On the other hand, we are at war with the Muskegonians."

"And so my role is…"

"Exactly as you imagine it. I want you to take the Cretoxyrhina to these coordinates." – the Rear Admiral slid a single glossy card across the table. It was a map, and marked on that map in a red dot was a location several hundred miles off the Muskegonian coast. "You will remain submerged at all times, below thermocline levels and under complete radio silence. Within two weeks from your departure, by which time you're probably going to be on-target, you will receive a broadcast by ELF."

He placed a vellum envelope upon the table.

"Place this in your safe. Should the broadcast be Sierra, Kilo, Uniform, Mike – an anagram of the first four letters of the word 'Muskegonia', - you will open this envelope and proceed per the instructions within. Should the broadcast be Alpha, Alpha, Alpha, you will abort your mission and return to your port of call."

"Yes, Admiral." – she said, taking the envelope.

"The Cretoxyrhina is right now being issued the armaments for the mission. It should be ready by tonight. Be ready to leave at midnight."

"Yes, Sir."

"Good hunting, Captain Larina."


* * * *



The submarine left at midnight exactly. It slid out of its pen, like a sea monster being released into the wild. As soon as it was clear of the harbor, it began descend, until its black hull was no longer visible from the surface, and then even further, into the cold darkness where the sounds of its passing vanished in the menacing whispers of the seas. It was now invisible and nearly inaudible, so quiet now that another submarine might not even hear it if it was passing right next to it.

Like the monster for which it was named, the FKS Cretoxyrhina moved through the waters, which had changed little since the prehistoric ancestors of sharks hunted there. Like those ancient fish, it too was a hunter.
Last edited by Allanea on Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
#HyperEarthBestEarth

Sometimes, there really is money on the sidewalk.

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Drekka
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1292
Founded: Aug 03, 2011
Father Knows Best State

Postby Drekka » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:13 pm


Personal Cabin
Pager 1
International Waters


Content with the passing of a resolution of reducing food waste, the Ambassador sat cross-legged,
sipping on the thickness that was her warm cinnamon rice drink while watching the pulpy cult classic, Bad Fellows. That mission itself wasn’t exciting, but it was preferable to having to avoid national condemnation for the hiatus on any semblance of democracy. Aside from that, she was proud to had helped convince the WA to meet the high ecological standards Drekka has.

Pausing at a scene involving hammy accusations of adultery, Lana took a moment to peer out the window,a friendly SKi-70 Zenith fighter flew from a short distance. I t’s flatness and blued colors almost perfectly blended into the sky itself. She wasn’t too different from the plane, as northern had much freedom, while being powerful.

Not wanting to think about such things, Lana tapped on the enter button to resume the movie. Instead, an ancient message popped up. [YOU HAVE MAIL], complete in 480 resolution. While rare, nothing good came from orders presented this specific way.

”What!? , Lana yelled, spilling her drink over her lap, knowing that her work was cut out.

30 MINUTES LATER


To: Horace Bainbridge, Free State of Muskegonia Ambassador
From: Lana Paralle, National Drekkan Directorate/ ANIT
Subject:Real politics
Encryption:Diplomatic

Salutations,

I am Lana Paralle, lead ambassador of the National Drekkan Directorate.
The strife that affects the Labrador Valley made its way well beyond your borders. Coming from a nation that had never relied on slavery, a difficult yet decisive decision was made.

The fact that your nation may soon face aggression from members of Amistad Declaration signatories, if not already, is cause enough for be involved. Articles 3 and 7 render a well-meaning treaty one of malevolence with the purpose to destabilize smaller sovereign nations with minimal contest for predation.

Make no mistake, we do not support slavery but unrelated strategic interests are being put well before any ethical conflict of interests. As a member of the World Assembly, the national Armada will be deployed to defend your people as if they are of Drekka, with assets being available as soon as 72 hours, if you accept. I’ll leave that decision to you.
Last edited by Drekka on Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Muskegonia
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 10
Founded: Aug 19, 2019
Conservative Democracy

Postby Muskegonia » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:47 pm

Drekka wrote:To: Horace Bainbridge, Free State of Muskegonia Ambassador
From: Lana Paralle, National Drekkan Directorate/ ANIT
Subject:Real politics
Encryption:Diplomatic

Salutations,

I am Lana Paralle, lead ambassador of the National Drekkan Directorate.
The strife that affects the Labrador Valley made its way well beyond your borders. Coming from a nation that had never relied on slavery, a difficult yet decisive decision was made.

The fact that your nation may soon face aggression from members of Amistad Declaration signatories, if not already, is cause enough for be involved. Articles 3 and 7 render a well-meaning treaty one of malevolence with the purpose to destabilize smaller sovereign nations with minimal contest for predation.

Make no mistake, we do not support slavery but unrelated strategic interests are being put well before any ethical conflict of interests. As a member of the World Assembly, the national Armada will be deployed to defend your people as if they are of Drekka, with assets being available as soon as 72 hours, if you accept. I’ll leave that decision to you.


The message from National Drekkan Directorate arrived in the diplomatic department of the Free State of Muskegonia, the Foreign Affairs Office. The Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Daniel Graham, was informed by Ambassador Bainbridge that he had been contacted by a foreign power who was offering aid something that sounded a lot like military aid. There was also this mention of the Amistad Declaration, something that no one in the Foreign Office had heard of before. Muskegonia was a small and diplomatically isolated nation; the grand doctrine announcements of places like Allanea were of little concern and certainly not worth wasting space reprinting in newspapers. With Muskegonia so isolated, it had few embassies abroad who could have reported the Declaration’s issuance or its contents back to Merryville.

Soon the matter had been passed up to President Leland Newton, who had much more leeway to act in matters of foreign affairs than he did in domestic situations. He read the message with an uncertain optimism. If this Drekkan Directorate was offering to provide the sort of assistance that could dramatically alter the balance of power with Mount Zeon, that could be the key to resolving the Labrador Valley situation without having to pull concessions from the Senate like teeth. And this talk of the Amistad Declaration and its aggressive signatories was concerning as well. Their pointed pronouncements that they did not support slavery were disheartening, but there were some nations who maintained diplomatic ties to Muskegonia who were not themselves slave states. If they wanted to ignore the naturally ordained order of life and invite chaos into their land, that was their decision. As long as the Drekkans did not start spouting abolitionist nonsense, a working arrangement could be reached.

He directed the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to compose a reply, which would be sent through the same medium that the original message was delivered.

To: Miss Lana Paralle and the National Drekkan Directorate
From: Secretary for Foreign Affairs Daniel Graham and the Free State of Muskegonia
Subject: Assistance
Encryption:Diplomatic

Greetings,

Under the Constitutional authority vested in the office of the President of the Free State, I hereby accept your offer of assistance. Please provide the relevent information on how your Armada will be arriving, so that our own military can make the appropriate preparations to receive them. In addition, any information you can provide on this Amistad Declaration and its signatories, and the threat they might pose to the Free State, would be greatly appreciated.

Cordially,
Daniel Graham


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