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Ackesian Falling [Greater Olympus, Closed]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Achesia
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Founded: Sep 26, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Ackesian Falling [Greater Olympus, Closed]

Postby Achesia » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:53 pm



It was a field of dark, the stars the only thing above her as she stood in an empty plane of existence devoid of the trappings that earth and home would comfort her with as she stood bare to the existence on whatever ethereal plane she now resided in. Against the stars of space she felt she could hide nothing, not the most dark thoughts of her mind or the petty secrets she kept from those she loved. Only her chestnut eyes shown bright against the darkness she stood, a reflection of the stars above as she gazed around at the oblivion that was before her. Soon she would realize the coldness of her flesh as she grasped on to her own arms as if to comfort herself in her lonely existence. Searching, her eyes prayed for a salvation from the dark, but all she could find was the terror of this place, the fear such a local should be so devoid of all that was good in the world.

As she stood there she shivered, surely this was Beo’s punishment to a girl whom only knew wealth and comfort while others suffered, an eternity exiled to the emptiness of space where she would go mad under the pressure of solitude. But as she came to her senses she began to feel as if only this all was but a passing thought, a premonition into the recesses of space that had been brought to her. As she regained the fortitude that was her birthright, she lowered her arms, revealing herself to this dark void in boldness. It was only then that the world around her revealed itself, though still dark in the shadows and greyscale of such a devoid place, she could see the black grass blades as she walked on, they felt much like they did at home.

Though empty the silence of this place gave but the faintest cries for help. People crying for salvation from this sorrow and darkness. The thought of their suffering was heavy on her heart as she walked around, the voices around her like they were a mob, yet she still saw nothing but the grass under her feet.

For what seemed countless moments she wandered, her footsteps seemed unnatural as existence moved around her at commend but her body stayed tied to a single point in space. Never the less she searched the void for why she was there, and only when she held onto the last strings of the hope she previously had gained did she find the centerpiece of it all.

A tree stood before her, a large oak sprawling around the field without barrier, the lord of the void as it towered over darkness with only the stars to answer to. Its leaves shown a deep and glowing violet, they radiated the energy of its lifeforces as she approached it. The closer she neared the more her skin and golden hair radiated as well. The presence of this lord felt warming and comforting to her, a comfort that felt a lifetime away since she came to this place. As soon as she could she reached out to the trunk of this great oak, her radiant white hand pressing against its warm and ethereal bark as she let out a gasp of air. But as soon as she touched it, the tree withered.

Her cries could be heard across the void as the shreddings of the tree began to float towards space, like smoke from a fire it drifted out of reach and existence. Soon she stood alone once more, cold and afraid as if she were a little girl without home and no salvation to call to. But as she sank to her knees in sorrow, she felt a presence behind her, a hand reaching out from the void that graced her bare shoulder. Startled she turned, her lungs gasping for air as she fought the fear that overtook her. But as her eyes focused, she saw no danger. It was only another girl, no older than she standing above her, just as bare to existence as she was. Her eyes were glowing a magnificent green and hair was like fire as it floated around her.

Looking up at this girl she tried to ask questions, though the words seemed empty and without air. The girl only shook her head and smiled at her brightly. And just as if her smile woke the stars, the light around the two girls turned into a fire, and as she turned to look where the tree once stood she witnessed a magnificent cyan sun blazing amongst the heavens. She was in aw by this star that suddenly appeared, it was a celestial body that gave her hope of home. Yet as the fiery girl kept her hand on her shoulder she felt a squeeze, and then the cyan began to give way to another body.

It was an eclipse like none other she had seen, the cyan sun was crested by something more magnificent and beautiful, a powerful violet shining orb crossed over the cyan gradually. It was producing a magnificent show of lights that was as violent as it was beautiful. Soon the cyan was no more as the violet sun stood before it, unyielding it stopped its transition in front of the cyan sun and did not allow it to return.

While she was sad the beautiful cyan was no more, a tear of sorrow rolling down her cheek in its memory, the violet star was so beautiful she was entrapped by it. But before she was lost in the star’s beauty the girl behind her pulled her should and leaned in to her ear, the warmth of her face against her’s was sensual as her skin prickled with a wave of goosebumps. Her heart raced as she wondered what the girl wanted with her, what this all meant. The girl did not keep her waiting, instead the warmth of her breath was like a breeze over her cheek as the girl gave her the first words she had heard since arriving in this void.

“Break…. Not bend.” She said with a warm whisper.

It was then in her hand appeared a knife, a blade of violet alloys curved like the waves of the sea. The girl plunged it into the other’s heart, and the void disappeared as fast as her death.

---


January-


Trinity shot up in her bed, her body covered in glistening sweat as she gasped for the air that had left her in so sudden a moment. She grasped her chest, heaving and struggling for air so violently the sound of her breath echoed around the room.

A knock came at the door.

“Milady is everything alright?” It cracked open enough for her handmaiden to address her concern for the Duchesses’ gasping.

Trinity covered her breasts with her duvet as she continued to hyperventilate, her mouth was like cotton and skin damp but she tried to gain composure while she sat up trembling in her own chamber.

“Y..y…yes. I’m fine.” She managed to finally get the words out, her tone and heavy breathing doing everything to the contrary of what she said.

The sense of doubt from her handmaid on the other side of the cracked door needed no verbal confirmation, but there was no danger so Trinity knew she would move along soon enough.

“Oh… of course Milady.” The handmaiden seemed deeply confused, and rightfully so at the Duchesses’ behavior. “Milady, your father, the Prince wonders when you will be down for breakfast.”

Still trying to catch her breath Trinity shook her head, her blonde hair felt sticky to her back as the heat radiated off of her.

“Oh uh… what time is it?”

“Half past seven o’clock milady.”

“Oh… good.” She hadn’t overslept as much as she had thought, the deep dream filled sleep tampered with her senses. “I will be down shortly, that will be all.”

“Indeed Milady.” The door moved to close, but just as the lock nearly clicked it came back open. “I also posted the SignPost of your trip to Levosta yesterday. SignPost seems to be really liking it, you have over a thousand likes!”

Trinity took a long deep breath to try and regulate her breathing. As it all came back to her she recalled her trip to the children’s home the day before. Though she had put on a brave face of the Duchess of Avondale she had wept on the way home. She could see the empty expressions and soulless eyes of the children of Ackesia’s poverty. A sorrowful sight and a product of modern woes, Trinity only wishes she could do more than give them a gift of coin. But instead she was regulated to being a poster child for her father’s Principality, the sweet smiling and beautiful Duchess of Avondale, third in line for the throne of a fledgling and irreverent principality that wishes it were still the great kingdom it once was. Her handmaiden’s mention of SignPost also bringing back the renewed frustration that her social media and connection to the outside world was never under her control, the servants under special instructions by her father to control every aspect of her online persona.

It was all just a ruse, she was just a pretty face and distraction from the hell this country had become. Someone in the crowd told her once when she was a young girl that she was just the heir to a bloodthirsty tyrant, that the royals should fade from this nation entirely and leave even Avondale- the cultural epicenter of the Ackesian people- free from their presence. But as Trinity grew older, she learned that even the detractors of the former monarchy who ran this country had little regard for how they drove it into the ground. President Ackerman who had been elected and reelected, his influence spreading to all aspects of government, was no better than a tyrannical King.

But the words of that stranger in the crowd still haunted her, no matter how much her father tried to tell her that her grandfather, the last King of Ackesia, was misunderstood. It didn’t matter to those children who was ruling over them, the fact was that their rulers had failed them in every way.

“Milady?...” The handmaiden’s tone one of confusion from the long silence.

“That will be all Yuliya.” Her tongue gave a more terse snap than she had intended.

The door closed quietly without a word. Trinity buried her head in her pillow fully intending to drown the day away with more sleep. But her thoughts returned to the strange dream, and of the pain in her heart as she felt around the skin of her chest.

“Just a dream…” She reassured herself before rising to prepare for the day.

---


“The death toll of the Beldon protests rises to 23 this morning as officials at the St. Klara Memorial Hospital in Beldon confirm that two more protesters succumb to their wounds last night. This makes the clash in the streets of Beldon between recession protesters and Capital Police the most bloody protest since the formation of the Greater Ackesian Republic over 30 years ago. Still no official respon…”

The television returned to darkness as the Prince of Avondale, Henry the XI clicked a button on the remote.

“Good morning Trilly.” The Prince used his pet name for his only daughter, a name he had used with her since she was but an infant in his arms.

“Good morning father.” Trinity stood in the doorway to the private breakfast room staring at the black TV screen.

Her father sighed and scrapped his knife across the flesh of his steak as it clanked against the porcelain of his plate.

“Did you sleep poorly dear?” He lifted a bit of meat to his lips before consuming it, staring at his befuddled daughter as she stared on with empty expression at the TV.

Trinity was lost in thought, not responding to her father’s small talk.

“You look lovely my dear.” He remarked at his daughter’s red plaid dress and neatly manicured exterior. “You looked very nice yesterday at the Children’s home as well.”

“Did I?” Her tone was less a question and more an expression of doubt as she finally took a seat next to her father at the table, quietly letting the servant scoot her chair forward as she looked uninterest at her father’s food.

Her father looked her up and down, thinking about how they warned him 17 years ago he was not ready for a daughter. Sons were easy, two-dimensional even with their eagerness to please him. But not Trinity, always as complex as the world around her, a puzzle even to the man who knew her the longest.

“You did well in what you did. Those children will have a better life with the grant money.” He tried to reassure the troubled conscious of his daughter.

“Better… its relative.” She looked at him in the eyes for the first time that morning.

“You are of the House of Avondale my dear. Charity is our way of looking after our people… it is the only way we can look after our people. We are not the rulers of this land as we once were, we are just the Princes of Avondale, a small section of this land we call home. That is what the people desired 30 years ago.”

He took another bite of his steak as he prayed silently that would put an end to his daughter’s melancholy.

Trinity thought over the events that happened well before she was even a thought in her parent’s mind. The people wanted answers, and her bloodline failed them, and now the people’s government fails them again. Who is really the evil then if neither salvation could truly save Ackesia? She looked at her father, who could only stare at her in that moment. Prince Henry was second in line to rule over Ackesia before the war. But his brother’s actions saw him banished from their country and the monarchy ruined. Trinity often thought if her father had been first in line or the only son of her grandfather that things may be different for their country. But right now, in this moment she felt how much he wanted to see her smile, and not be troubled by past events well before her birth, the troubled legacy of their family.

Trinity gave him what he wanted, a warm and loving smile from a loving daughter.

“I’m sorry father… you’re right I didn’t sleep very well.” She turned in her seat and thanked the servant for her plate of food.

“Well I’m glad you are snapping out of it Trilly.” Her father scarfed down the rest of his food. “Eat up, your brothers and mother are gone today to the east, and you and I have some time to spend together after I have a meeting this morning.

Trinity smiled at the idea of spending the day with her father, something she did not get to do much as times became more troubled in Ackesia. Her father may be one for talk about how they are no longer monarchs of this great nation, but she knew that he still met with advisors and politicians frequently to try and affect some sort of change from behind the scenes… for the people who would wish they not be his subjects he still cared very deeply.

“Is it a meeting about Beldon.” She asked pointedly.

Her father who was nearly out the door sighed and lowered his shoulders in defeat to his daughter’s wit.

“Don’t trouble yourself with the evil of this world Trilly… just be the light it needs.” He walked over and planted a kiss on her forehead before disappearing to his impending meeting.

Light and darkness… what was any of it but shades of grey.
Last edited by Achesia on Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:03 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Achesia
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Founded: Sep 26, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby Achesia » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:55 pm

Beldon-

The bitch of this city was the cab drivers are like nervous pheasants when the wind blows fowl. You could stand on the street corner for a long time waiting for one to pass by, and with any luck they would be out of service or already occupied. Ariane Rayne (aka “Rain”) waved her hand frantically at a passing 2001 Gyrari Traction with a taxi bulb on top to no avail, the driver didn’t even bother to look the girls way as she stood hanging ten on the curb.

“Looked like a shit ride anyways.” The short blonde said under her breath with a grunt. The streets of Beldon, the metropolis from hell where all sense of warmth outside of the sewer off-gassing went to die. She stood there blankly, trying to ignore all the passers by who were probably wondering where a school girl was off to this late into the evening dressed in her uniform. Rain just stared down each car as it passed by, waiting for a lit-up globe signifying a free taxi. If she had a phone with the app this would be easy, but that was not an option right now. She had to play the long game.

Finally, what she was looking for came around, and at the same time a tall businessman stepped to her side and raised his own hand to summon the taxi. But as swiftly as he could call it over, so too was Rain’s foot in his shin, with a swift stomp and a sharp release of air from his lungs he stumbled backwards. The cabbie didn’t notice, probably a long shift, all he looked for were hands on the side of the road. The black 2005 Resende Costa pulled off just in front of Rain as she remarked to herself how it looked even more shit than the last car that passed. Regardless she grabbed the handle of the door and looked back at the walking suit she had conquered.

“Nice try.” The fiery tone coming from a not even five foot girl in a plaid skirt and button up white top was more terrifying than it should have been as the tie wearing cab stealer winced at the terrible pain and tried to regain his composure. Rain closed the door quickly as to not give him time to rebuke, settling into the seat with knees together and bag in her lap.

“Where to sweetie?” The cabbie made an effort to turn his head around to look back at the girl, his missing-tooth smile the stuff of prison records.

“Dogs are named sweetie, not me… drive.” Her tongue lashed quickly as she nodded towards the front of the car.

The criminal grin faded into a scowl as he turned around with a weary eye on the girl.

“Punk kid.” She could hear him say under his breath. He let the car lurch forward as he rejoined the chaotic traffic of Beldon’s side streets, cars flowing around them like a rushing river.
“Take me to 12th and 21st West, but use Citadel Street.” Rain ordered casually as she looked out her side window uncaring.

“Listen swee… er kid, where’s your house? Its late and you shouldn’t be walking the city streets dressed like that.” She could see his wandering shit brown eyes in the rear-view mirror leering at her. If anything, she shouldn’t be in a cab with some wretch this late at night… but here they were.

“Thanks for the advice pops… drive.” She snapped and leered back at the reflection of his beady mug. She whipped a strand of blonde hair out of her face as she tried to ignore the stinking smell the interior of the cab let off. Her eyes were focused on the crowd, the fading light of day just enough for her to make individuals out on the side of the street. Despite the driver’s objections Rain knew he wanted to be paid, people who do things for the sole purpose of collecting money were like that. He obediently took a left on Citadel on the way towards the destination, it was far from the ideal route but it was what she needed.

Watching the side of the road as they passed St. Larol’s Park she pretended to be uninterested, watching the crowd walk the sidewalks, the family’s eating dinner at the bakery, and the children playing in the playground, it was all so normal. What would be normal to most but a sign to her was the girl standing underneath the great oak tree at the center of the park. She stood facing north, which was coincidently towards the road, holding a red balloon, staring into the distance.

She exhaled through her nostrils, that was the singal.

“Alright pops, change of plans.” Rain said as she undid the bun of her hair and shook her head around. “Take me to Café Oamenii Lui.”

“Oamenii… aren’t you a bit young for that scene?” The cabbie squinted his eyes at her, he knew something was up, but Rain knew he was the type to shut up if he was paid. She flicked the 100 Mag note she had from her skirt pocket into the front seat and stared the mirror peeping cabbie down.

“Yeah… drive… got it.” HE shook his head and huffed. He didn’t know what this girl was about, but money was money.

Rain on the other hand moved like she had it all worked out. Looking young like she did had its benefits, though she was 19 it was not hard for her to fit the part when she needed to. A tight school girl uniform she acquired and a bit of makeup and there was no telling her apart from the crowd of high-pitched secondary school attendees. Some times it didn’t even take that.

It was just a few minutes’ drive to the Café form where they were, Rain finished her preparations by unbuttoning her top blouse button and trading out her pumps for the heels she had stashed in her backpack. Peaking at her watch she made sure she still was within the timeframe.

Pulling up to the Café minutes later, Rain gave the cab driver a fiery look before tossing him a wad of Mags kept together by a hair tie. She didn’t say anything more to the driver, it was not worth it with him. Instead she stepped out of the cab and swung her backpack over her shoulder. Standing on the curb outside the café she could see in the reflection of the windows that the dirty cabbie nearly crashed looking at her stand. It was all just as she intended.

But the Café was not her target, turning around she put her eye on the true prize, the recently completed 3rd Capital Parking Garage. A behemoth of concrete on the south side of one of dozens of government buildings dotting the capital of Beldon. The lights of the café behind her and the voices of passers by muttering about their daily city lifestyle were nothing to Rain as she acquired her target, stepping out into the road she braved the flow of taxis and black sedans as her heels clapped against the concrete. By this time the sun had set behind the glass silhouettes of skyscrapers and Victorian style palaces as night was falling in Beldon. In the old days no one feared the fall of night in the heart of Ackesia, but poverty did a strange thing to a population and made the streets a harrowing place to be at night. That was in part why Rain was here, and why she choose the guise of a schoolgirl, the least threatening thing in the capital that night.

Entering the parking garage it was quiet, most of the spots were empty as many of the bureaucrats had skipped town early for the weekend, the echoes of her footfalls without impediment as she walked up the incline towards the higher floors. She stuck close to the wall, she knew exactly where the cameras were and didn’t intend for prying eyes to know she was there. Tossing her hair around with her hands she gave it a puffed, wavy, and almost messy look before turning he corner, her objective in her sights. The glass sliding doors of the 3rd floor lobby were illuminated with LED lights near to the odd mix of Victorian and post-modern art that adorned the glass cases at the entrance. Looking down at her watch it was nearly 5:30, and like clockwork the subject emerged from the automatic doors, his long trench coat bundled around him as he felt the cold winter parking garage.

He was tall, dark hair, in his early 40s, and had a goatee on his chin that looked like missed attempt to try and hold on to some sort of youth. It was not unlike how reports detailed his choice in women. He proceeded along the parking garage to one of a few cars still resting there in the government motor pool. The black sedans the very symbol of a lavish bureaucratic government willing to spend thousands on town cars but little on the people starving just outside the garages.

Rain could hear him wrestle for his keys, and she knew it was her time. Stepping out from the shadows, her heels clacking again she acted as if heading for the lobby, her school girl outfit doing the majority of the work as her hips swayed with each step. She made sure to quickly glance at him, nervous expression painted on her face as she feigned a quick jaunt towards the door in a predetermined path to avoid cameras. Her target took the bait easily, stopping in his tracks as he bounced his keys in his hand and watched the girl walk away from him in intimate detail.

“Hey!” He said in a stern tone.

Rain stopped, clutching the strap of her bag tightly as if startled by the mans manufactured tone of authority.

“Y..y.yes?” She said, perfectly maintaining her cover as the image of innocence.

“Its late, what are you doing here?” The man walked back towards the girl

“Um… uh… my mom… she works here. I was going to see if-“ Her eyes darted back and forth.

The man “hmmmed” and shook his head in interruption, still stepping towards her till he was at arm’s length. “
“Nobody here now sweetie. Its all closed up for the weekend. Your mom probably went home.” He looked her up and down and gave a charming smile. It was as charming as a snake could get, if Rain was not so good at her part, she would of wretched at the thought of him calling her sweetie, but instead she batted her eye lashes and gave a frown.

“Oh… well, I guess she forget she was supposed to meet me.” She shrugged her small shoulders and looked at the man with big blue eyes.

“Hm, well its dark out, not a good time for a pretty girl like you to be out.” He gave a hurl inducing smile again. The man came along side her and put his hand in the small of her back. “Common, I’ll drive you home, it would be my treat.”

Rain suppressed a shiver going up her spine as she felt his hand firm against her, his thumb walking the fine line between a twitch and a caress.
“Oh really sir? That would be so sweet.” She smiled as she let him walk her to his black government sedan.

Ever the picture of a plastic gentleman, he opened the back door for Rain and let her slide in, watching her every move as she got comfortable in the back seat. It was not long before the car door shut and he himself sat in the driver seat, watching the girl in the mirror as he started the car and pulled away. It seemed to be one of those nights between Rain and rear-view mirrors, she just gave the man a grin to maintain her cover.

“So where do you live beautiful?” He tried to come off as platonic as possible, but its hard to do that when being such a creep. Rain would rather be called sweetie a hundred times by the missing-tooth cabbie from earlier.

“Oh, in the Trandafir Verde district.” Her voice was squirrelish as she wiggled in her seat.

“That’s not far from here.” She could see his smile in the mirror. “I can take you there no problem.”

Rain gave him a naive smile back, this one was too predictable and was falling right into her trap. The black sedan pulled out of the parking garage on to the main streets of Beldon, following the exact route that Rain needed him to. Without him noticing she watched as they passed each intended CCTV camera, the record of his face driving this direction pivotal. Rain took a deep breath in, and let it out with a long drawn out huff of air. Now it was time for phase two.

They drove for about ten minutes before Rain noted they were in the outer parts of Trandafir Verde. Most notably he had yet to ask her specifically where she lived, but it was suspected and all to her plan. Soon after many awkward moments of him staring at her in the mirror, she saw he was pulling the car off into a dark alleyway, away from any street lights or camera. It was perfect.

The car came to a stop, he idled it for a long moment while still gripping the steering wheel and staring at her. It was only after a long uncomfortable moment did he break the silence.

“Do you know who I am?” His tone was one of cool confidence.

“No sir…” She replied as sheepishly as possible, her hands gripping the strap of the bag tightly.
He gave his signature “hmmm” again, Rain was beginning to think it was a tick of his.
“I am Mr. Nicolescu, I work on President Ackerman’s security you know.” His tone was grave now, a serious look in his eyes.

Rain kept her cool, only pretending to be intimidated as any school girl would. There was no way this stooge was on to her, his candor the stuff of intimidating young women into submission.

Mr. Nicolescu opened the driver side door and stepped out before coming around to the opposite passenger seat as Rain, opening the door and sliding in, ever too close to her.

“You make me curious why you were in the parking garage tonight.” Rain noted how he couldn’t help a perverted smile come across his face.

“Uh huh.” She did her best to make her eyes water and hand tremble. “I was just meeting my mom… honest.” She leaned away from the face of the nearing man.

Nicolescu took a long-drawn breath through his nose.
“Never the less I need to search you…” He said as his right hand grasped her knee and left grabbed the back of her neck. He brought his lips to the girl’s with a smack, his hands getting more and more occupied with her.

Rain’s hand rose up behind her head, the man taking this as a sign of submission and leaning into it, but instead he found a needle in his neck.

“Agghhh…” He stiffened up like a log with a constipated look of terror before falling unconscious.

Rain loosed his arms from her body and let him fall over into the floor board of the passenger seats.

“Sick fuck.” She tsked as she looked down at the paralyzed man.

Now she was on the clock. Rain shuffled through Nicolescu’s coat pocket and acquired his car keys before stepping out of the car herself.

“Stay right there… sweetie.” She knew he was not going anywhere for a while. Walking around to the back she popped open the trunk to see if there were any goodies inside, and sure enough she found just what she was looking for, the standard issue MP9 of President Ackerman’s security detail. Donning a few black gloves and black coat from her bag, she picked up the weapon and slid the receiver back to see if she was loaded. The sight of golden brass was pleasing to her, it was her lucky day that he decided to bring his service weapon home with him as it made the situation cleaner if his own weapon could be used. Smiling at the small black sub-machinegun she let the bolt slide forward with a snap and closed the trunk before hopping in the drivers seat, pulling the car out towards the end of the ally.

Stopping abruptly, she could hear Niclescu’s body thump against the back of her chair.

“Oh sorry sweetie, its gonna be a rough ride.” Her hands fell over her face as she donned a black ski mask. Soon they were off back down the road, MP9 resting on her thigh.

---


Just a few blocks down was a long stretch of apartment blocks, constructed by the government over a decade ago to aide in housing the booming middle class in Beldon. They were beginning to show their shoddy workmanship, but thanks to the resilience of the Ackesian people they kept some of their charm with beautiful murals and plants near and dear to the Ackesian spirit. There were few who walked this late at night after what happened a few short days ago in the downtown. Many of the residents of Trandafir Verde took part in the ill-fated protests, and no longer felt safe in the streets, fearful that conspiracy theories about Ackerman’s thirst for retaliation be realized.

But not Makariy Naumov, he was an idealist, a believer many would say in the Ackesian Republic. The son of a revolutionary that was famous for flying the flag over the Royal Palace in Beldon after it’s fall to the hands of the ADF during the Siege of Beldon, Makariy had a name to live up to in being the leader of a free Ackesian people. To him that loyalty to his fellow countryman and way of life did not hinge on a single President, even if that president was the hero of the War of Opposing Salvations. Instead he was critical of the economic policies of the current government, the cult of personality Ackerman exuded on his political structure leaving little room for solutions to the problems of today.

In fact, Makariy was one of the leaders of the recent protests, calling for a peaceful demonstration to show the government the will of the people of Beldon. But as things turned bloody on the streets Makariy channeled his inner father and took up rocks to ward off the police from protestors who could not defend themselves. The memories of women and young kids being beaten was fresh in his mind as he walked along down the side walk, the cold air around him was refreshing compared to the stale air of his moldy apartment. He needed this walk to forget those they lost that day.

Passing a couple on the side walk he smiled and nodded. He recognized them from the demonstration, despite the cold the pair had gone topless to the demonstration and wore body paint that read “In sickness and in POVERTY” with a rather inspired attempt at looped wedding bands along their stomachs. He grinned just thinking about how rowdy they got during the demonstration, giving them a knowing look as they smiled back, knowing exactly who he was. Makariy had certainly gained a name for himself during that week, many saying he should run for office. But what was the point of holding political office when the government was so corrupt.

Looking up at the night sky Makariy knew something had to changed… especially for them, the ones who had lost their lives. As he stared at the heavens thinking about the ones that did not make it that day, he scarcely noticed the car pulling up along side of him.

Before he could even look the driver in the face a spray of bullets jumped from the automatic weapon and peppered the protest leader time and time again. The couple whom he passed both screamed, running the opposite direction of the gunfire, Makariy now laying on the sidewalk covering it in his own blood as passed to the heavens just like those whom he thought of moments ago.

The black sedan with government plates sped away, just as witnesses to the murder began to arrive and crowd the dead body of a man whom they had some hope. It was a hope that good people could lead a democratic Ackesia… it was a dead hope.
Last edited by Achesia on Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Achesia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6400
Founded: Sep 26, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby Achesia » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:49 am

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Ackesian Free Press
Feb 5

@AckFreePrs
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SHOCK this morning as police report of a brutal drive by shooting in the Beldon district of Trandafir Verde reveals that the victim was the leader of the recent violent protests in downtown Beldon, Makariy Naumov. Little has been said about motive other than “radical ideology difference ” amongst the protestors. Police have reported they have one suspect in custody. Read more here...

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Palatul Poporului “the People’s Palace” was not always named as such prior to the days of the Greater Republic. Instead it was the Palace of St. Beldon, the royal estate of the House of Avondale in Beldon before the fall of the monarchy. Beldon then was not the capital of the great nation of Ackesia, but it indeed was the largest and arguably the economic hub of the nation. When the Ackesian Democratic Front took over the city after the Massacre of Beldon, Ackerman’s rebels raided the palace, and tore down the emblems and shrines to the monarchy throughout its grounds. But the building still stood, and despite being the home of the monarchs they sought to destroy, it was left to stand only to be renamed to something more fitting the vision Ackerman had for Ackesia.

A palace was however, just that, a place where the elegance and lavishness of ruling life is brought on full display. Despite the economic hardships of the Ackesian Republic and the thousands of citizens living in poverty just a mile away from this very place, the halls of the Palatul Poporului were adorned with festive music, delicious food, and well-dressed bodies floating up and down participating in chatter so separated from the plight of the average Ackesian it would make the casual observer think that the old principles of aristocracy and elitism had returned to this place.

“And so, to conclude my speech as to not bore you any longer.” The suave man with thin beard and white smile smirked as he allowed the chuckles from the crowd to pass before continuing. “Thank you for attending the Ackesian Energy in Lira summit. I hope you have come to see Ackesia as I have, a beautiful nation that loves freedom, and its Liran neighbors. The people of Ackesia are a hard-working people, and our resources are the boon of a culture that stretches back many millennia. In these times of hardship around the world, I hope we may be partners to all in Lira to ensure that Lirans all have a warm home, transportation, and a stove to cook on. Ovaţii!” President Ackerman raised his flute of Champaign to the crowd of representatives from all governments of Lira. But in the corner of his eye he could see Sevastian standing vacant of any joy for the occasion, his hands folded in front of him in solemn duty to his President as Chief Political Advisor.

“Ovaţii!” The crowd repeated as the clanging of crystal echoed around the room before chatter began to rise again.

Stepping off of his podium President Ackerman loosened his tie and strode past Sevastian with urgency. He knew that his advisor had need to speak of him in private, the Palatul Poporului had many such secluded locations for them to do so around the grand halls of the residence of the Ackesian Chief Executive. One such room was a favorite of Ackerman’s to hear about the troubles of their nation. He would use it frequently to be advised of riots, wars, and famine, and not return to the room unless it was of a related topic. It was a funny thing Ackerman did out of a subconscious reasoning to segregate his troubles to a box. Though as he was deep into his 5th term as President he knew very well it did not work that way.

Stepping into the room, Sevastian closed the doors behind them. There was another who stood as the President entered, Maria, Ackerman’s Chief of Staff.

“Mr. President.” Maria nodded as she stood holding her touch pad in her arms.

“Is he talking?” Ackerman fell into the couch, leaning his head back to rest on the ornate gilded brass of the Victorian style couch, letting out a deep breath before running his hand down his face.

“Nothing more than before Sir. He claims he did not do it.” The advisors took seats across from the President, their tense posture a sign of how softly they were treading on this issue.

“I’ve known Nicolescu since the revolution!” Ackerman put his hands up in utter confusion and personal defeat. “He would never do such a thing as this; I trust him with my life.” A strained expression wrought his face as he thought about his friend, whom had been at his side since they fought on the streets of Beldon, was now locked up in the deepest and darkest prison in Ackesia for killing a political dissenter. Something deep inside Ackerman felt this was not right, the man was devoted to the cause Ackerman represented, putting the people of Ackesia first on the world stage and lifting them up to new heights. He knew that Nicolescu would never jeopardize it for such small fish.

“Sir…” Sevastian looked uncomfortable in his seat. “This may sound insensitive, but I must ask you this.” The pinchy looking man shifted. “Did you know about Nicolescu’s drinking problem?”

Ackerman sat silently, staring at Sevastian with a deadpan expression. He needed his chief political advisor, but he did not have to respect him. The man was a soft, privileged elitist who was raised in a rich family and sat on the sidelines during the war. He would have thrived no matter the outcome of the revolution, but here he is in Ackerman’s own court questioning those men who bled along side him on the battlefield for Ackesia’s liberty!

“Sir… I understand this is a sensitive subject. He was a dear friend, a comrade in the revolution, we know this.” Maria piped up. The younger woman on the other hand was very respected by Ackerman, a woman who at the age of 12 ran charities in the north for underprivileged Ackesians. Now here she stood far elevated from her humble beginnings as the daughter of a fisherman.
“… when the police found him in the car he had a blood alcohol level of .14. That’s…. high.” Maria shook her head.
Ackerman sighed, looking towards the window where the early afternoon rays of light shown in.
“Yes… I knew. But he had it under control! I just didn’t care, I drink too, fuck we drank together! I trusted him with my life. We did things together no men should ever have to do. We got through that war… together.”

“Yes sir.” Maria nodded with sympathy. “but he hasn’t left that war. Even his last psych eval the doctor recommended he be pulled from your detail and you overturned it.”

Ackerman looked to the floor.

“He is a liability now Sir. He killed someone who was one of your staunchest critics and the people will not be forgiving of this-“

“We can’t have a problem like this, this close to the election Mr. President.” Sevastian interrupted.

“Oh fuck the elec-“ Ackerman waved his hand away at the notion.

“No sir, don’t fuck the election. You are popular in the eyes of the people yes, but you are not above a series of bad optics. The protests, the murder… there could be more between now and voting day. Our people in the media are hiding this right now but we have to keep this… him under wraps.”

Ackerman knew where this was going.

“He has to stay where he is Sir.” Maria confirmed it.

Left to rot in the deepest dungeon of Ackesia. Away from suspicion and implication that the President was knocking off political opponents. If only the police had shown restraint in repressing the protests so heavy handedly they would not be in a mess like this. The idiot police chief taking the President too literally.

A silence went across the room like a blanket as Ackerman sat there, thinking of how far departed he was from the days of being able to act on what needed to be done with just a rifle in his hands. The silence continued until it was interrupted by the buzzing of Sevastian’s phone, the pinchy man taking it out of his pocket and reading over the message, his eyes growing wide.

“Sir you are going to want to see this.” Sevastian handed the President the phone.

Ackerman sat up straight and took out a pair of reading glasses to look over the message. His expression soured as he digested the meaning of the interruption.

“What the…” Ackerman tore off his glasses and pointed them at Sevastian. “Get the media on damage control, put this away!”

“But Sir… its viral.”

Ackerman shot out of his seat with a huff.

He turned to Maria, his eyes closing for a moment as he tried to breath.

“Get on the phone with Avondale, and find out what the FUCK THEY ARE TRYING TO PULL!” He threw his glasses and Sevastian’s phone to the floor. Walking towards the window with his hands over his head.

He could not fail Ackesia, he could not be pulled down like this. If he failed now how could he lead its people to salvation?

---


Several Moments Earlier…


“Breaking news this morning out of Beldon in a city reeling from the violent protests there last week now shocked at a violent murder in the streets of Trandafir Verde late last night. Reports say police responded to the 6th Block of the district after frantic calls from witnesses reported automatic gunfire and a man cut down on the very sidewalks frequented by families that live in the area. Police have released the name of the man as Makariy Naumov, an accountant from Beldon and most surprisingly one of the main instigators of last week’s protests. Police say they believe this to be in fighting amongst rival extremist political factions and have a suspect in custody. No further details are being released at this time. In other be-“

Trinity’s handmaid switched off the television after realizing it had taken a depressing turn.

“I’m sorry milady, I didn’t mean to soil your afternoon with such depressing news. She folded her hands in front of her as she waited for the young Duchess to give her orders. Trinity was taking tea in one of the many parlors of the palace as they watched on at the terrible way the country was eating itself. It didn’t matter if she saw that or not, it had all been on her mind anyways. Ever the face of singular emotion Trinity was not allowed to be affected by the happenings within Ackesia. To the contrary her farher still expected her to be the pretty little Duchess, shaking ahnds and kissing children as the world looked on adoringly at the Princes of Avondale, as if it were to distract from the poverty of their nation or make history forget their family gave up on leading it.

Trinity set her empty tea cup down on the saucer and contemplated for a moment all of the struggling voices inside of her head. But it was hard to do so when your servant was standing there silently staring at you as they waited for the next appointment on your schedule.

Trinity just looked at her for a long moment before she finally got the picture. Melany was often a dull girl, but that was to her father’s design. He was fearful that a spirited Trinity would get too many ideas if she did not have someone two-dimensional to weigh her down. But it did not take much dimension or excitement to realize the Duchess needed more tea. On a normal day Trinity would get up and grab it herself but with the news being so somber and the weight on Trinity’s mind she did not feel it.

“Oh I am so sorry milady.” Melany finally got the picture. “More tea?”


Trinity had less polite things to say in that moment, but that was just not her personality. Instead she gave Melany what everyone wanted from Trinity, a smile and a polite courtesy.


“Yes please dear.” She handed Melany the saucer and cup.

In the process of transferring it to her handmaiden, Melany tipped over her bag on the opposite side of the table, the contents spilling out.

“Oh dear me, I am sorry milady. Let me get you more tea and then I will clean that up.” The handmaiden scurried away with Trinity’s cup and she was left alone in the parlor.

Looking across the table at the mess Melany had left, the Duchess of Avondale noticed one thing about the pile of her handmaid’s contents. The official phone for Trinity had leapt out onto the table as if by fate. Access to her contact list, all of her social media, the outside world just at her grasp. Trinity took a deep breath, her head pounding as she looked at the phone. All the voices from her dream seemed to scream out to her, the red headed girl pinching her shoulder, and as she sat there the pain in her heart where the knife stabbed her radiated with a painful sensation. It was all as if to beckon her to pick up the phone.

Trinity in her mind was done with the expectations of her being silent. The children at the Orphanage, the news of the protests, murders, poverty, famine. It all plagued her people. Who was she to be silent in such a time as this?

Reaching across Trinity grabbed the phone, unlocking it and scrolling through the apps her handmaiden had illogically organized until she found SignPost. With a few swipes and furious typing Trinity relieved the burden she had been feeling. As she pressed the “post” button she felt like the pain in her heart, the pinch on her shoulder, and the screams of those calling out to her all subsided. Sliding the phone back across the table she leaned back into he chair and took a deep breath.

She was silent no more.

---


Image
Duchess Trinity of Avondale
Feb 8

@TrinityAvondale
Image


@AckFreePrs violence begets violence, should the President choose to oppress the voices of the people again, like in Beldon last week, I hope he remembers the violence that his people will reap.

4194k205
Last edited by Achesia on Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Achesia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Achesia » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:04 am

Later that Same Day...

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Prince of Avondale
Feb 8

@HRHAvondale
Image


The House of Avondale as well as the Prince of Avondale wish to apologize for the below social media message posted earlier today from the Duchess of Avondale’s SignPost account. A rogue staffer obtained the Duchesses’ phone and posted the message as political subterfuge and it by no means represents the political views of Duchess Trinity or the House of Avondale.


Duchess Trinity of Avondale
Feb 8

@TrinityAvondale
(Image)


@AckFreePrs violence begets violence, should the President choose to oppress the voices of the people again, like in Beldon last week, I hope he remembers the violence that his people will reap.

4194k205


105194
Last edited by Achesia on Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Achesia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Achesia » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:58 pm

Above all others in the world Trinity loved her father. Since the first days of her being able to socialize as a baby, her coos and expressions under her own control, she was a daddy’s girl. All of these years growing up as the Duchess of Avondale, her father was there to teach her many lessons in life. From history, to social life, to even politics her father had groomed her to be a Duchess just as much as he groomed his sons as Dukes. Trinity was third in line to be the head of state of the Principality of Avondale, just a minor autonomous region of a much larger nation. But that did not matter to Prince Deon, he raised his third heir and only daughter to be the strongest that she could be. All of this made her feel confident in everything she did, and all of this made the moment they were about to share together even harder.

As she sat opposite a silent father, Trinity couldn’t even bring herself to look him in the eye. It was not out of shame or embarrassment, nor was it the fact she had made a fool out of the House of Avondale on the world stage. Instead it was anger, rage even that Trinity felt sitting there. How could after all of these years of her father teaching her what was her duty to do, protect the people, now sit across from her and tell her what she said was wrong. To put out an official statement stating that the SignPost she wrote did not reflect her views, or the views of her family. Her father even went as far as to say that she did not even write it. Trinity balled her fist and clenched it so tight as she recalled the scene of the security guards escorting Melany off palace grounds for being a rogue political dissenter. Trinity had no real love for the girl but she knew that she didn’t deserve that. Perhaps that was Trinity’s only regret, the fact Melany had to take the fall.

Looking up, her eyes full of tears and anger at her father, she waited for him to speak. Perhaps he would even explain why after 18 years of her being on this earth why did he feel the need to be a walking contradiction to that. In the corner of her eye she could see her father’s chief of staff, Vasile Fedorov silently standing with his constant dutiful presence. Vasile had been with their family for years, almost a second father to Trinity. Despite his solemn silence which added depth to her father’s, Trinity could see something too in his eye, something Trinity undoubtfully felt was disappointment.

“You are angry at me Trinity.” Prince Deon Avondale the II leaned forward in his chair, his hands folded on his desk in solemn patience. “But you have no idea what you have done. The Principality we have here is a privilege, a one by rights we should not have given the outcome of the war 30 years ago.”

Trinity couldn’t believe her father would say something so weak.

“You think we live in this Palace by right and the people love us for it. Indeed many in this city, and this province do love us and support what we do. We are charitable, we give people hope and encouragement, we do things for the people.” His tone began to shift. “But we are NOT political Trinity.”

“We sit in the shadows as they suffer father!” A tear ran along the top of her pink lip as she tried to hold herself together. But having this conversation, affirming her belief that she was but the portrait of some princess to be admired by people, it tore her apart.

“As the people wish us to.” Prince Deon sternly reiterated as he gave his chief of staff a quick glance, seemingly almost forgetting he was there.

“No… no. Maybe the people 30 years ago, but not today!” Trinity pointed viperously out the window to make a point.

“You know the will of the people Trilly?” Her father sat back in his chair. “You think out there across all of Ackesia people want to hear royals talking about what should or should not happen in their country?”

“I think they want hope father.” Trinity’s eyes were dry for once. “I think of all things in the world, all of the pain and sorrow our people are seeing now, I think they need hope. Ackerman is draining them of that hope. And maybe I am just a pretty face that is to dance around at balls or kiss babies at orphanages, but I’ll be damned if I should not try to give people hope!” Trinity threw her head into her hands with her last intense words and began to sob.

Prince Deon let out a deep breath.

”Vaslie would you leave us please?” Deon looked over to the ever-silent Chief of Staff.

“Of course, my Prince.” Vasile nodded and gave a bow, as he left the room he looked to Trinity. Trinity could not make out the emotion behind the glance, perhaps because her own emotions now betrayed her. She watched as he exited the room as silently as he stood in it. The creek of the door louder than ever before it shut.

As the door shut, Prince Deon stood up from his chair and walked around his desk to kneel before his daughter, embracing her like a father as she balled.

“My beautiful Trinity. Ever do you have the most beautiful heart. I have raised you to be a leader, someone to do right in this world and give people strength.” He lifted her chin up to look her in the eye. “And I know now It feels like I am telling you the opposite. You spoke out against tyranny, against someone who would ravage our people for his gain. And you may have given some hope.”

Looking at her father, her mascara running from he eyes Trinity hung on every word.

Her father flustered, trying hard to get these next words out of his mouth.
“But… we are no good to the people dead.” He lay his hand on her bare shoulder. “We have to be here, and be strong for the people in trying times. Should we play our cards wrong, and draw attention to ourselves no matter how righteous the cause, those who wish to hurt our people will eliminate us.”

Trinity knew there was fear in her father’s words. It was not something she was used to, Prince Deon being a symbol of strength in uncertain times, not only to the people of Avondale but to her as well. Yet as she looked upon the aged face of a man who for the majority of his life sat as the figurehead of a dying tradition, she knew he felt insatiable fear.

“I spoke with President Ackerman earlier today.” Prince Deon cleared his throat and sat in a chair next to Trinity. “He believed me that it was not you who posted the SignPost. That instead it was a rogue staffer, your handmaiden.”

Trinity’s expression curdled.

Her father put his hands up to calm her. “I did what I must to protect you! Ackerman is backed in the corner as his approval amongst the people deteriorates. There is no telling what he could do in desperation should we become dissenters.”

“So we hide? We let him have his way with the people father?”

Prince Deon became frustrated. Standing up form his chair he ran his fingers across the top of his head.
“I must ensure my family is protected Trinity. Should you listen to anything I’ve said you would know why.” He stood above her now, a towering man just as when Trinity looked up at him as a child. She felt like a child in this moment, a little girl naïve to the ways of the world. What if her father was right? What if he had not been able to convince Ackerman she did not write the SignPost. Trinity soon began to realize the graveness of the situation they were in, how she could bring great harm to her family.

“Ackerman believed you didn’t write the SignPost. But the post went so viral and spread so far that the damage it did can not be fixed with a retraction. Conspiracy theorists are already out there disputing everything our retraction said. They say you are some sort of heroic voice.” Trinity saw the slightest smile slip across her fahter’s face before he managed to wipe it away. It warmed her heart to know at least deep inside her father felt pride for the woman she had become, and what she did.
“So the deal is we must help him fix this. Thursday night you are to go on Morgan Branson Tonight, and dispel what you said in the SignPost. You have to convince Ackerman we are not medaling.”

The little girl beneath her towering father looked despondent to her father’s request. Yet again she must play the face of innocence.

Her father knelt down once more before her.

“Trinity you must do this. You must do this for our family.” His hands were on her shoulders as he plead with her.
Trinity only nodded, her tears returning as her face fell into her father’s chest.

“That’s my Girl, that’s my strong girl.”

But was she strong? In the deep recesses of her mind she heard the screaming from her dream again, the screams of children across the oblivion that was Ackesia.

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Achesia
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Founded: Sep 26, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby Achesia » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:15 pm

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OF DEADMEN AND DUCHESSES
Murder linked closely to President's office as Duchess of Avondale takes to social media
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Shania Blythe (@OBSBlyth)
8 February, 2020| Aatream, Produzland




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News in Ackesia has passed several cycles with talk of the intense crackdown on protests in Beldon slipping from the top spot in the headlines yesterday as Ackesians return to their every day lives in the streets of Beldon. The President would have you believe it was all but an anomaly, that bigger and better things are happening in the Greater Republic. The global recession due to the increased tariffs from the Meridiq and the two huge storms that hit SE Nori recently have however hit home in Ackesia, and continue to do damage to the Presidents approval ratings no matter how much doctoring of headlines Ackerman’s regime does. In fact when a media outlet with many connections to the Ackerman regime posted something critical of the President recently, it did not go unnoticed in downtown Beldon.
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SignPost from the Ackesian Free Press about the murder.

On the heels of the Beldon protests last week one brave Ackesian “Free” Press reporter posted an article extremely critical to the Police’s response to the recession-based protests claimed the crackdown decision came directly from the President’s office. This unusual angle from an agency known to be close enough with the Chief Executive to spin headlines in his favor was surprising to most outside observers. But what originated as a pleasant surprise soon became troubling as anonymous sources confirmed the reporter responsible for the article, Alwin Fiedler, had not only been let go from the news outlet, but on the same day was arrested by Internal Security Bureau agents. Clearly unbiased news is not welcome at the Ackesian Free Press and those stepping outside of the lines may find themselves more than unemployed. Sources have little information about the fate of Alwin Fiedler since his arrest last week, it is still presumed he is in custody by Ackesian ISB.

As troubling as the arrest of dissenting reporters is, the opposite has become a true problem for the people of Ackesia. Often a casual phone call from the Palatul Poporului can do more than spin a headline off course, it can make the news disappear entirely. Such is the case of what many thought was a small bit of news out of the outer districts of Beldon last week, when the murder of a Beldon protest leader lead to speculation it was the result of political factionism amongst those critical to the regime. The Ackesian Free Press wasted no time trying to both keep the story out of the lime light and make it seem as non-consequential as possible. When so much work is done to keep the news right where it is wanted by those in power, then something must be hidden that is much larger. After much digging and brave sources obtaining police records and evidence, it was discovered by the Observer that the headline spun to blame anarchist for the death of Makariy Naumov was an utter lie.

On the same night, in the same district of Beldon, one Elwin Nicolescu was arrested by capital police and taken to the darkest hole in Ackesia, the Krupin Complex. He was arrested under suspicion of drunken conduct, but the reality of what sources to the Observer discovered in far more chilling. Mr. Nicolescu is in fact a member of President Ackerman’s personal security detail, and beyond that a close friend and supporter of Ackerman who fought along side him in the War of Opposing Salvations. This realization along with evidence in regard to the murder of Makariy Naumov links President Ackerman to his killing. Bullets from Nicolescu’s standard issue MP9 according to the official police report (which was heavily secured by internal protocol) were indeed the ones that sprayed Makariy Naumov in the streets of Trandafir Verde. CCTV footage of the highways between the capital administration building and Trandafir Verde also place Nicolescu in transit between the two locations, a sure sign of pre-meditation.
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The Duchess of Avondale last month at a press dinner in the Principality.

Did the order come directly from Ackerman to have Naumov killed? Only Nicolescu knows. But the facts of the close link between the gunman and the President, the obvious doctoring of headlines by the Ackesian Free Press, and the evidence hidden from public record are signs that point to this being a desperate attempt to silence political opposition leading up to an election.

It is all very chilling, the thought the 5-time elected leader of the Greater Ackesian Republic and hero of the revolution would stoop to such levels of gross tyranny. And while the people of Ackesia did not hear about the truth of this story from the news outlets there, someone did indeed point out this story in reference to Ackesia falling to violence at the hands of a dictator unwilling to loosen his grip on the people. Duchess Trinity of Avondale, the only daughter and middle child of the Prince of Avondale posted a SignPost earlier today that caught the eye of not only a generation of younger Ackesians afraid for the direction of their nation, but also the outside world.

“Violence begets violence” she astutely pointed out to social media in response to the Ackesian Free Press’ SignPost about the murder. The young Duchess trending in the top spot of SignPost today as many seek to learn more and more about Ackesia’s most popular political critic of President Ackerman. The eighteen-year-old has spent the majority of her life doing charity work many of the House of Avondale have conducted since the revolution and their abdication of the Ackesian throne. What made her post the words she did remains unknown.

We also may never know, as the official Press Office of the House of Avondale issued an immediate retraction of the SignPost, claiming the words expressed therein were not the views of Trinity Avondale or the House of Avondale. Rather it was claimed a rogue staffer posted the SignPost as subterfuge. Many took to social media in disbelief of the claim, the words expressed on social media by the young Duchess obviously striking a chord in the hearts of Ackesians. But whether you are team #BelieveInTrinity, or just take every headline and ingest it as truth, you will soon be able to hear from the Duchesses’ mouth as the President’s Office announced she would appear on late night talk show Morgan Branson Tonight to talk about the post.

Until then Trinity Avondale remains the #1 search on ZipWord today in Ackesia as people turn to even the elusive possibility someone on high stands for their well-being.

As always, here at the observer we are here for a better tomorrow… for that very hope.

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Achesia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Achesia » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:32 am

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The Observer
Feb 10

@theobserver
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Despite controversy surrounding both the origins and merits of Duchess Trinity of Avondale’s SignPost over the weekend, recent approval poll shows substantial increase of approval for the Duchess amongst the Ackesian people. Polls also indicate slight skepticism over official statements claiming SignPost did not come directly from the Duchess.

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Achesia
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Postby Achesia » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:11 am

“These false labels of ownership are what they have held over our “the people’s” heads for centuries! I stand here before the alter of these inhumane claims before the people of Ackesia I see as free!”

The fire burned at his feet as he stood upon a wooden barricade. Before him a thousand had gathered to watch the blaze. It was an inferno like no other, engulfing documents of all types: deeds of ownership, notices of estate, titles of nobility. They all either burned in piles or floated around the thick smog filled air as they became cinders consumed by the atmosphere over Beldon. This great bonfire was a testament, a pledge to those people in Beldon who lost their lives at the hands of the army.

“I am calling out to all Ackesians today!” He yelled until his voice was horse. Before him several of his followers held up receivers at the end of long cords leading to the radio towers behind him mounted on the public administration building at Beldon. Much like the fire behind him there was a fire in the eyes of the people gathered before him. Many had come at the behest of their own sensibilities after the loss of so many lives at the hands of the Army several days prior. Some were armed, and even in the most fiery portions of his speech he could hear them firing their guns off into the sky in fervor. Zachariah Ackerman was afraid to some extent; never before did he feel such a burden of responsibility towards so many people. But now as he stood upon the barricade they had erected before the public administration building and gathered the people to hear what he had to say, he knew he had to be strong for the people. Strong for Ackesia.

“Today is not a day for diplomacy. That has failed us in this struggle against the oppression of those who think them better than us. They rape, kill, and steal from us as if it was their right! But today I see many free Ackesians before me who have taken this city from the hands of evil by the might of their own hearts!”

A cheer went up at his words, the fervor could be felt deep into the bone of every man and woman there. The adrenaline of the day was coursing through Zachariah’s veins, having forcefully taken the Public Administration building from the Royal Army hours earlier and begun to set fire to all of the records of the aristocracy.

“Today, we have driven the Royal Forces from our city! These people, this family of thousands has won their liberty and that of their city of Beldon.” Ackerman between the cheers motioned for one of the radio microphones to come closer. “I hereby give notice to those who would wish to make us slaves to their will. I give notice to the King that Beldon is no longer his city, that this place is now free of his rule, and it is OF THE PEOPLE!”

The crowd cheered louder than ever before as gunfire erupted into the air in celebration. Zachariah’s blood bumped harder now as he listened to their cheers. He knew this would not be the end of their struggle but he sure as hell hoped that this would be the beginning of a better nation for his people. A nation where a few did not have unilateral control over the many.

“I call on all of our brothers and sisters of Ackesia outside of this city to join us. Throw off the yoke of the aristocracy and let us form a nation which is of the people, by the people, FOR the people!”

Cheers exceeded all others as Ackerman raised his fist in the air. The triumph of that moment was like a wave of emotion that would never be felt twice in a man’s life. It was the feeling of creating something bigger than one self and fulfilling a purpose in this life. It was a purpose which may not have been realized until that moment, but one served to better the countrymen around him.

----


It was not until nearly 40 years later did Zachariah Ackerman realize that the emotions he felt that day in 1987 while the highest he has ever felt, were surely not going to be the strongest. Standing in the window buttoning up his white shirt looking out on the protestors in the streets before the Palatul Poporului, President Ackerman could not believe he has now seen the day he was the subject of the protests and demonstrations. The Bonfire Notice was the most pivotal moment of Ackesian Democracy, one which he led thousands of Ackesian to throwing off the oppression of the monarchists from the east. In the decades after, Ackerman led the westernization of Ackesia, a nation steeped in homogenous culture that it created a huge wall to its growth on the world stage. SO much had been achieved by his country, that as he stood watching the protest leader shout chants to the hundreds that had joined him outside the seat of the Ackesian government, he felt despair.

Ackerman believed in the depths of his heart everything he had done that day since 1987 had been in the countries best interest. While certainly there was regret in how certain things turned out, the recent bloody protests in Beldon for one, the rest of it he felt had brought Ackesia forward. That’s why he let his advisors have their way and investigate the reporter from the Ackesian Free Press who wrote the article defaming him about his handling of the Beldon Protests. He didn’t think it would turn out like this, or be on the media stage like this. His advisors swore that his arrest due to tax evasion would be totally transparent to the media and none would be the wiser. But this whole incident involving Nicolescu gunning down the political dissenter in the street change things. It implicated Ackerman in ways that were damning, yet as he reflected on it all he was not sure if he was truly guilty or not.

Did he say something to Nicolescu to encourage him to do this? The two had been old friends since the war and often shared a drink to talk about the world. Maybe off-color remarks about those who opposed what Ackerman thought best for the nation were what encouraged a man on the edge to commit such an act?
“You look like you are over thinking again.” A female voice came from the other side of the room.

Ackerman sighed as he finished buttoning up his shirt and watching the protestors below hold up their signs defaming his good name. Over to his left his Chief of Staff Maria Akulina lay on her stomach nude upon the President’s bed. Her legs her propped up behind her as her hair was disheveled and skin glistening with sweat. She didn’t bother covering up any, just lay staring at him as he contemplated all of his failures before the window of his misery.
“Well…” He motioned at the protestors.

“Give it a news cycle.” She rolled over, her hair pouring over the edge of the bed, it gave Ackerman two distractions from his frustration over protests for just a single moment as he watched her. Her head dropped down over the edge of the bed as she looked at him upside-down. “If it lasts a news cycle then there is a saying, ‘it either lasts 1 cycle or 9’.” Maria ran her fingers through her red hair as she admired her boss’ expressions as he admired her body.

Ackerman stepped closer; he was now looking down at the younger woman as she hung off his bed upside down.

“Hasn’t it already been a news cycle…” The side of his mouth shrugged as he looked down at her.

“Oh…. Yeah I guess it has.” Maria forgetting that after having dealt with the initial fallout from this last night they had retreated to this room to discuss strategy before it devolved into their usual shenanigans and they woke up the next day.

It was now the second cycle.

“I just… I thought I was doing what the people needed here Maria.” He sat next to the woman on the edge of the bed.

“Sir…” She sat up, her bare body pressing against his as she put an arm around him and stroked his chest. “This is just an exercise of democracy, protests happen, and by next month they will be over and the media and people will be on to the next drama.

Ackerman tried to nod and agree, but it felt like more than that. He turned towards Maria, putting his fingers on the side of her neck to caress it, but then placing his thumb on the opposite side as he held her neck there sensually.
“But… you are President Sir. You are President Zachariah Ackerman, the people’s hero. If anyone knew what was best for this nation it would be you.” She reassured him as he held her by the throat.

The two kissed for a long moment as they pressed against each other, not a word left either’s lips until they were done thirsting for the other’s.

“Because of that sir… you could always bring it to the ISB’s concern that there is a terrorism concern with the protests. These political radicals have been known to take extreme measures to get their point across.”

Ackerman felt her words to be some sort of comfort in that moment. It was like he was back in front of the Public administration building all those years ago. It was so easy to take back their liberty with force, to secure the future of Ackesia with force. Back then it was the Royals who stood against them, a clear enemy that was easy to get the people to unite against. But how was he now going to get the Ackesian people to understand that these protestors did not have Ackesia’s best interests at heart, how would he be able to continue to make this nation better with them in the way.

“They have such power to their words.” Ackerman let go of his partners throat and sat with his hands folded before him as he looked at the floor.

“You listened to them didn’t you…” Maria shook her head. “I told you not to, you have such a soft spot for revolutionaries.”

“I can’t believe I would live to see another day when a royal would have such influence on the people. They are out there in worship of her, even when she did not write the damn post!”

“They don’t see it that way Sir.” Maria scooted up against him more. “Trinity Avondale is very popular among the millennials of this nation, she is some sort of symbol for the new generation, and they don’t believe the SignPost came from anyone but her. Plus she is pretty, and you know what pretty girls can do.” She winked in jest.

Ackerman exhaled in frustration.

“But… we have her on Morgan Branson tomorrow. We have her on script. She is a young naive girl and her family is very afraid you’ll throw out the truce should they oppose you politically. The Avondales and the idea of any influence they have outside of their little Principality is dead. Once she gets on Morgan Branson and denounces the sentiment of that SignPost, it will be all over.” She ran her hand along his abdomen as she tried to comfort him.

“I don’t know… I just don’t have a good feeling.” Ackerman looked her over once more as he tried to let his mind loose of the burden of what was unfolding outside.

“You care.” She smiled at him as she got off of the bed. Maria knelt before him as he sat at the edge of his bed, her hands wrapping around his belt buckle as she undid it. “You just need more distraction Mr. President, you just need one more moment with me….”

Ackerman laid back as Maria relieved him of his remaining angst, her youth a simple distraction from the problems of this world. But outside he could still hear the bull horns and vitriol of his nation imploding. Yet this most senior of advisors assured him it was all under control.

“So, you’ll talk to ISB?” Ackerman looked down at her.

Maria lifted her head up as her lips smacked. She took a breath and wiped her mouth before answering with a smile.

“It will be taken care of before tomorrow.” She locked eyes with him as she exhaled with sensual purpose. “Now relax as I take care of something else…”

----


Hours Later...

Image
The Observer
Feb 14

@theobserver
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Breaking: reports of police break up of protest outside the Palatul Poporului. Several injuries reported, more details to come. Situation is currently unfolding as protesters resist being removed from in front of the residence of President Ackerman.


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Postby Achesia » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:13 pm

Streets of Beldon-

Around her the eyes and eager ears of the world watched and listened as she detailed the plight of the Ackesian people. Behind her the palace of the people, the Palatul Poporului stood in a very contrary manner to its name. It was not the people of Ackesia who entered and exited its grounds, nor stood guard outside its gates. Instead Fences taller than three men atop each other’s shoulders stood as a reminder to those on the outside they were not welcome in the people’s palace. At the gate, guards dressed in ceremonial uniforms holding assault rifles posed apathetically to the citizens gathered outside their palace, guarding a place and those who thought themselves above their fellow man rather than guarding the spirit that was Ackesia. In and out went men and women in suits so far removed from the threadbare vagabonds of the streets of Beldon, indifferent to the starvation and aliments of their country beyond the tall fences they worked behind.

Minerva I'Anson took a deep breath as she watched the parade of apathy continue as it did every day in the heart of Ackesia. The very palace that bears the name of its people was now a temple to those who would make it a monument to themselves, much like those who originally built it. No matter if the palace held the title of “royal” any longer, the people were still not welcome. Even on the very streets outside they were dissidents and looked upon with judgement by those who wielded power. To Minerva this was the peak of Ackesia’s sickness. To fill the void of aristocracy and nobility that once held power here, the cloud of elitism and greed grew. President Ackerman had turned a blind eye to his people, and his actions played out by those whom he calls enforcers of the law were a testament to the once great revolutionary leader’s separation from his common man.

Before Minerva a circle of reporters waiting to hear why she stood now outside the palace, why they had gathered in peaceful defiance to their elected leader’s will. These reporters were not just from Ackesia, but from the world. Soon all of Greater Olympus would hear the plight of Ackeisa and her people. Who better a spokeswoman than the leading opposition candidate from the Ackesian Liberal Alliance, just a handful of days before the election.

“President Ackerman indeed lead our people out of the grips of tyranny.” Minerva braced against the cold wind that flowed between the buildings of Beldon. “With his example all those years ago Ackesians took back their nation for themselves and built this great democracy around them to defend their will, and their rights. They took down the royalist banners of oppression from this city and stood against the armies of those who would enslave us!” Minerva looked towards her campaign manager, who grimaced in a disapproving way.

Rachel had advised her many times to avoid disparaging the royalists. A good chunk of Ackesians in the east still considered themselves as such today, and Minerva would need those votes to oust Ackerman. But Minerva spoke from the heart, part of what made her so appealing to many in the western portions of the nation. But those same constituents were Ackerman’s back yard and fiercest supporters. Ackerman was a hero of the people, one whose legend had outshined every aspect of the mortality and carried him election after election without a true challenge. But this year would be different, Minerva and her followers continued to say. This year they would end this cult of personality around the Hero-President Ackerman.
“There, the Palatul Poporului!” She pointed to the blue walls of the seat of Ackesian government. “The peoples palace! Behind bars of steel far removed from any of the real citizens of this nation. Within the halls of their palace they are blind to the starvation, the disease, the plight of their fellow Ackesians. President Ackerman has lost touch with his people, and now leads through the ignorance of those who would not question him, and only seeks to carry out his will absolutely.”

It was true that top to bottom the influence of the once leader of the Ackesian Revolution held a huge influence on all matters of government. His party held the majority in the Diet of Ackesia, loyal to a fault to his agenda. His close associates sat in the Chamber of Proxy, bowing to his will in every major decision. Judges who sat in benches on the High Courts used his interpretation of the law in their rulings. It was a government of one man, a neo-monarchy with the face of being democratic. Yet just like the real thing, the singular vision of the Ackeisan government has brought with it corruption and indifference to the needs of Ackesia. Ackerman has for many years sought to bring Ackesia on to the world stage as a leader in eastern Lira and beyond. But in stretching the nation so, he has forgotten where home is, and how necessary it is to nurture the soil from which his people grow.

“This election will show that the Ackesian people are ready for a new direction. Ackesia is strong, but the continued focus of President Ackerman in expanding our influence beyond here has brought sickness to our lands. Resources which should be used to feed our children are being used to further agendas in the west. We the Ackesian people cannot continue like this!”

Behind the reporters the hundreds of protestors who had gathered with Minerva cheered, holding their signs aloft and waving them in the air as they listened to Minerva sway the world to her cause. The passion within the crowd was real as they stood there peacefully, a demonstration to those in power that they would not be silent.

But what did silence the crowd was the sudden chirping of klaxons and sirens from up the road. Within an instant a half dozen burly vehicles, armored as if to face an insurgency, made their way down all sides of the road forming a line. On them red and blue lights flashed brilliantly as sirens wailed to announce their arrival.

“Over there over there, point it over there!” The reporters signaled to their cameramen; Minerva was no longer the center of their attention. The two-dozen reflective vest wearing “Press” ran to the sidelines where they could get the best view of both sides of this impending conflict, the Beldon Capital Police and the protestors whose only desire had been to demonstrate peacefully.

Minerva walked out in front of the protestors, her eyes a fixed on the line of heavily armored vehicles lurching slowly towards them now. Out of the corner of her eye she noted the guards of the Palatul Poporului close the gates abruptly, sealing the house of the people off from this impending clash. More guards in less ceremonial uniform also joined them to ensure this conflict did not spill over onto the yard of those above such demonstrations of desperation.

The sirens soon chirped loudly several times and stopped. Behind the riot vehicles several busses with their own flashing lights arrived to drop off many dozens of police officers armored for battle in padded vests, helmets, and shields.

“This is the Beldon National Police, you are ordered to disperse this gathering immediately! I repeat-“

The voice behind the loud speaker repeated this several times as Minerva stood before the lines of protestors. Behind her she could feel the fear, many who gathered here did not intend to clash with police. Some were young and spirted, ready to fight for their country, but others were old or too afraid of being beaten or arrested. Minerva however was not afraid, and as she could see the cameras waiting for what would happen next, she knew this was the opportunity for the world to see the fortitude of the Ackesian people.

“We gather here peacefully! With permit for political demonstration!” She yelled back, fist in the air as the crowd murmured their agreement with Minerva’s sentiment.

“This is the Beldon National Police, you are ordered to disperse this gathering immediately!” Yet more indifference came, without much surprise from Minerva.

“We will not back down in the face of this oppression! It is the right of the people to gather and-“ Minerva’s manifesto was interrupted as a water cannon hit her squarely in the chest, the stream of high pressure water knocking her down and pushing her several feet backwards into the crowd. For her the world went black for a quick moment before she regained her senses on the ground surrounded by demonstrators trying to help her back to her feet. She had hit her head on the concrete when she fell, but was otherwise fine.

The crowd however did not black out when the water cannon hit their leader, they saw the whole thing, and if one thing could unite a crowd who previously stood in fear, it was the blatant act of suppression of their ideals. The crowd howled at the line of police who gathered opposite of them. Chants of anger and dissent began to get louder as those who felt the stir in their hearts enough to confront the police made their way to the front. Some held large signs made of wood in front of them like their own shields, others picked up what little rocks or debris they could find and began to throw them across the no man’s land between them and the law.

The clash had begun.

When Minerva regained her footing the battle had just gotten into full swing. Several canisters of tear gas flew over the heads of the first line of protestors, spreading smoke and confusion all the way until they landed in the middle of the crowd. Many coughed and gagged as they inhaled the toxic smog but despite this they still held ground, the front lines did the best they could to hold off and resist the pressure of the police line that neared.

Soon plexiglass shields and wooden protest signs clashed and protestor and policeman began to brawl. Several of those who separated themselves form the group found themselves surrounded, Minerva could see the police officers beating them with batons on their backs and heads until they submitted, and some even continued to be beaten despite their submission.

This was not how it was supposed to happen, she thought to herself as she watched her followers act as if they were warriors. They surely were not as such, many wielding sticks and pipes as if they were medieval knights, but only in the sense that they watched a few kids cartoons for study. Her people were being beaten to within an inch of their life, and despite the resilience and determination they showed, the police would pick them off until the crowd broke and those who evaded arrest ran home.

“Minerva! Minerva! We need to get you out of here!” Rachel her campaign director came to her side with haste, grabbing her arm and pulling her in the opposite direction of the front lines.

“No! I will not abandon these people today.” She pulled away from Rachel, defiantly watching as more tear gas cannisters were fired into the crowd. Both she and Rachel gagged as the smoke wafted into their direction, the irritation of their eyes and nose causing them to feel panicked as the sights and sounds of the riot around them unfolded.

“We cannot continue the campaign if you are arrested Minerva!” Rachel pleaded, but as she watched Minerva wipe away the snot from her enflamed nose and brace against the crowd shoving around her she knew that talking her out of this situation would be next to impossible.

“They were beating them Rachel… they had already submitted to arrest and they were beating them!” Minerva looked back at her campaign director with a fierceness in her eyes. This was not the Ackesia she had grown up in, this was the product of years of neglect, of a decade of pain that now festered like an infected wound. Now they, the antibodies of society needed to wash out this disease.

Beyond the lines of protestors, the police continued to grab them in small groups, circling around with each clash and isolating small pockets of protestors so they could be detained. Nearly a hundred protestors had been taken into custody this way already. Nearly a hundred were bruised and bloody as police showed little mercy, respect, or decency as they mopped up the streets outside the house of the man whom they answer to.

Was Ackerman a hypocritic? Were all the stirring orations that school children learn about today just a ruse? Did he use the Ackesian people to seek his own power and become their defacto king? Minerva asked all these questions as she watched the beatings, resistance, and suppression continue. Only the sudden pops of rubber bullets being fired into the crowd snapped her out of the trance, the smoke dancing as if the music of blood and suffering were it’s song.

“We got him! Show them what is like!” Minerva heard the crowd jeering a few dozen feet ahead of her. Rushing forward she came to a circle of a dozen or so protestors, each kicking, beating, and spitting into a circle where a police officer curled herself into a ball. The angry mob had the look of revenge in their eyes, the memory of their compatriots being carried off by the police and beaten until they were near death. Minerva could see the international press watching and filming as the protestors who had just hours ago come in peace beat this police officer to death in hate.

She could not let their movement be defined by this.

“Stop!” She rushed forward, blood still crusted in her hair and snot rolling down her nose as she shoved the perpetrators aside. “Stop! Stop! Stop!” She yelled over and over as she made her way into the center of the circle with the policeman. Minerva knew the other police were struggling and too far from their comrade to rescue her in time before she would be killed by the brute nature of hate and revenge.

“This is not what we are here for!” Minerva hoarsely yelled, coughing between words as the toxic smog still filled her lungs. “We came here to speak our resolve. We came here to demonstrate!”

“They beat us for such things! They care not for our resolve!”
“They know only violence!”
The objections of her fellow protestors continued as Minerva stood over the police officer. She was quickly losing her mandate as the leader of this movement unless she took action. But like her words were harsh against those whom her advisors would see her be more political with, Minerva would speak her mind, and be truthful to her conscious.

“They may only know violence, but we do not!” She grabbed the police officer who was stunned from the kicks and fists she had received, hoisting her to her feet. “But this, this is our fellow sister of Ackesia! What is our protest but in unity with our brothers and sisters!” Minerva looked over towards the cameras, walking with the officer towards the police lines.

The chaos had subsided for a moment, the police who desired to get their comrade back waited for Minerva to bring her to them, holding off any further push into the protest until then. Bringing the officer past the last line of protestors Minerva held up her hand to show peace to the officers who stood stoutly with their shields and batons. After handing off the female officer to the police she continued to hold both her hands to either side of the conflict, bidding them both to subside and hear her words.

Minerva who had the first blow struck against her, blood still about her from her fall at the blast of a water cannon, turned towards her fellow protestors.

“We gain nothing from conflict today! We have showed our resolve to the world, we have showed that our message is our desire for freedom. But should we all fall bloody then no one will be there to continue this struggle that we hope to finish in the coming weeks. Let us go home tonight, in peace, and leave this place!”

The crowd muttered amongst each other, some of the more adrenaline-fueled members looked unhappy of the idea of surrender. The police themselves held fast, even their feelings of hope this could be ended peacefully could be felt by the presidential candidate. After a few long tense moments a few dozen from the crowd heeded Minerva’s words, putting down their signs, sticks, and stones and walking away from the zone of conflict to return to their homes.

“I promise you, what we did here is not the end of our fight for freedom! But when I say that, I also say let us do so peacefully while the option remains!” Minerva tried to calm the crowd as she watched more and more disperse. Being the human spark for this blaze she hoped her diffusion of the situation would hold the most weight. And even behind her the police gave more distance to allow the crowd to disperse peacefully.

What started with dozens soon ended with hundreds, even those who wanted to continue their quest for blood began setting down their stones in favor of returning home as free citizens still alive and well that night. Despite many being bruised, bloody, and lungs ablaze, level heads prevailed as Minerva maintained her mandate. Many of her people walked away free that night, yet the anger still lived inside her for what she witnessed happen to those who did not.

As the situation returned to normal, the tear gas dissipating, and rioters leaving, the international press felt it safe to step into the streets again. Several reporters walked towards Minerva for comment.

“Ms. I'Anson, what has happened her tonight.”

Minerva could feel the camera as it swept up and down her body, showing her tattered, wet, and bloody clothes as she tried to compose herself for the press.

“Tonight, we saw what happens to those whose desire for a better Ackesia runs contrary to those desires of President Zachariah Ackerman.” She stared into the camera, hoping he would see the seriousness in her eyes…
Last edited by Achesia on Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Achesia » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:41 pm

Should she find herself on the plains of grey darkness and dust again, Trinity swore that she would pinch herself awake before the voices haunted her. But as she had closed her eyes to rest so too did her eyes open in restlessness in the land shadowed by the demons of her dreams. She lay amongst the colorless grass as the stiff and warm wind blew around her glowing form once more, and peering up into the sky only the brightest stars could pierce the haze this world clad around it. As the warm winds torched her bare skin she sat up to survey the hellscape that she was once again unfortunate to visit, stranded amongst the doubts and fears of her mind on a voyage to inner thoughts of her soul.

It was a waking nightmare that Trinity now existed in, she shivered as the chill of isolation and darkness covered her, yet she perspired from the warmth of the violent gusts that tore across the dark terrain. All was empty the way she looked, only the pin-pricks of light beyond the vale could she witness. But though her senses were clouded with fear she could feel a presence behind her, like a gathering she could feel the people all massed in one giant congregation.

Standing up Trinity dared to turn, she knew what she would see would likely stay with her even as she woke, a haunt from beyond that would not depart her. Yet she knew she had to look, she had to see what was beyond her isolation.

As she turned she could see them, thousands of people all standing in mass, their silhouettes were all that she could see, no faces or identities, just the shadows of men women and children standing there singing. At first the fog of her mind hindered her from hearing the chorus they sang, but as she stepped closer the words became clear.

Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Let the song of your choice come alive

Can't lock up the truth
Or chain our beliefs
Can't drown out the song
Of those who are free

Freedom, freedom, freedom
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom, come on
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Let the song of your choice come alive


Their chorus continued for some time as she watched, the congregation jointly repeating the words of freedom and liberty in tune as their words echoed across the clouded space above them. However tuned their song was, Trinity felt no warmer from it, instead she felt a coldness with something dark underneath the words they sung as she watched them continue in unison to praise their freedom of choice. Each note passing word sent a chill down Trinity’s spine.

For some time she watched, their words tireless as they continued. It was not until the earth shook did Trinity remember the shadows she was surrounded by, it was when the massive dark hand grasped the horizon that she remembered the queerness of this place. At first the hand grasped the dark soil and ripped it, clawing for hold as it pulled up further and further. Once it held on to the land, the mass it was attached to appeared before the congregation. It was a giant abomination with two heads each with a dark crown jeweled with dark stars. ON the crowns were their names: “Freedom” and “Liberty” the gothic words wrot in glowing yellow letters across the abomination’s two brows. Its crown was nailed unto its head, and its black oozing blood stained the surface of the already dark world as it lifted itself onto their plane of existence.

Trinity was struck with fear at the sight of the creature, its heads while sculpted in the likeness of beauty carried eyes of red and yellow terror that ripped their vision through the very soul of her. She held her breath as it gained its footing before the congregation, their song unceasing despite tremor or site of the colossus. The beast stood towers high over the crowd, they were but ants unto him. And as he watched them sing he smirked something sinister, and within his hand appeared a scythe and on the blade was written “Avarice”. The thousands of shadows sang just like they did before the appearance of the giant, unbothered as the sinister creature raised its scythe high above its head.

“No!” Trinity cried out; she did not know why she cared for the people in the crowd but her heart sank as she witnessed the blade rake along the first lines of the crowd. Despite the screams of horror from those who were hewn by the beast, the others continued to sing, albeit even louder than before.

Freedom, freedom, freedom
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom, come on
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Sing your freedom, freedom, freedom
Let the song of your choice come alive


Trinity sobbed as she watched the lives of men, women, and children snuffed out in bloody trails before her, all the while the beast cackled at the deaths it collected. Sinking to her knees Trinity held her hands to her face, denial of what was happening crept over her as she tried ever so much to awake from this nightmare she was trapped in. All around her the amount of screams of horror began to out number the songs of freedom and choice, their terror was like a stab to her as she covered herself in grief. The souls of those dying before her passed through her in a way she could not herself come to terms with, and with each swing of the abomination’s glave she felt it weigh on her, though she did not dare let her eyes wander from the safety of her palms.

“Break… not bend.” The voice of a child rang closer than all the screams or songs.

Daring to look up Trinity blinked through the tears and horror. Her vision was misty from the tears in her eyes so she could only see the small form before her in the littlest of details.

“Break… not bend.” The voice of a little girl said again as it neared.

“Break… not bend.” Another voice, one of an older man said.

“Wha..?” Trinity couldn’t shake off the tears yet their words continued to echo. Forms of all sizes began to near, a crowd had left the congregation and surrounded her.

“Break… not bend.” The voice of a toddler said.

“Break… not bend.” Now that of a man’s.

“Break… not bend.” Dozens said it before her now.

Overwhelmed Trinity began to heave, the voices getting closer and closer as they chanted those three words.

“Wha… what are you saying! What does it mean!” She cried, her fear gripping her heart. “Why are you saying this?!”

The chanting ended, the crowd simply stood before her, the faint and distant screams of the congregation becoming less and less prevalent as the abomination swung Avarice.
As the chanting ended, Trinity was able to wipe away her tears and clear her vision. Before her the first voice, that of a little girl stood. She first could see she wore tattered clothes, and as she lifted her gaze horror struck her, the face of the small child pale and lifeless. Her eyes were wide with death, and skin rotting, and most horrifically a gash dominated her skull where the dried blood of her lifeforce stained.

Trinity lifted her arms as she maternally reached out for the child who while appearing lifeless, walked and spoke as if she was not. The child neared her, but with the distance of caution between them. Behind the child Trinity could see the colossus was now near, raising his scythe behind his head.

The child looked at Trinity, face to face she came with the glowing girl from beyond, and in the last moments before the sweep of Avarice she smiled, a glowing tear drop running down her lifeless cheek.

“Break… not bend” She whispered.

And then there was Avarice, sweeping across those that gathered around Trinity. No matter how much Trinity screamed her objections to the deed, they died before her. Their bodies were hewn in bloody fashion, and lifeless they became in all senses of the word.

Trinity, unharmed, fell to her back, emotion left her. Only the words they chanted stuck in her mind, the child’s tear in Trinity’s eye.

“Break… Not bend.” Trinity whispered to herself as Avarice drove down into her, bringing the world to nothingness.

Her eyes opened, Trinity again in her bed, in her room, in the palace, in Avondale. She was laying back in dejection just as she did in the field, not urge to shoot up out of fear, the emotion gone from her even in now back in her reality. Yet the tears were carried with her, her pillow drenched in them as she looked up at the ceiling of her chamber.

A knock on the door came.

“Come.” Trinity said just above a whisper as she pulled the cover over her chest, yet did not look away from the ceiling above.
“Milady.” The voice of Vaslie, her fathers Chief of Staff intruded the room as the door cracked open. “Are you alright?”

Trinity did not feel the need to make herself into a better state of appearance, Vaslie being her father’s assistant since Trinity was but a little girl.

“Yes… just a dream.” Trinity looked at him in the corner of her eyes. Vaslie could see they were bloodshot and moist.

“Dreams are heavy affairs Milady.” Vasile walked towards the veiled windows and pulled back the drapes to let sunlight into the room, he hoped it would do much for the Duchess’ spirit. “But they are never without purpose.” He looked to Trinity with an encouraging smile.

Trinity did not have a response. Instead her attention was drawn by two others standing in the door, wearing fine garbs and red cloaks. They were girls not much younger than she, each standing with respectful expression and hands folded before them.

“Should you be ready for the day milady I would like to introduce you to your two knew handmaidens.” Vasile smiled as he gestured to the girls, much shorter than he.

“This is Anya and Petra. They are in fact daughters of a close friend of mine, and will no doubt serve you well.” Vasile smiled as he clasped his hands. He looked at all three of the girls in the room before dismissing himself.
“Milady, it is an important day for you today, I do suggest you get ready. Anya and Petra will certainly aide you in any way possible.”

Without queue they both curtseyed for the Duchess, still standing there with respect.

Trinity was sure they would serve well. Whether they would serve her or her father’s intention to keep her a prisoner of thought was another matter. She looked over the girls, each cute by their own right with bright blue eyes and red and brown hair. They looked like statues standing there, almost creepily watching her and waiting for her first orders.

The door closed behind them all as Vasile left, and still they stood.
“Ok… well. I better get ready for this.” Trinity’s thoughts went to her interview on Morgan Branson Tonight scheduled live for that evening. There she was to perjure her soul before the world and say she did not say a thing that she did. All for her father’s sense of dignity.

Both girls curtseyed again and went about their duties of grabbing Trinity’s clothes and preparing her for the day. Trinity however brought her head to her knees as she sat on the edge of the bed, the girls voice still echoing in her head over and over.

“Break… not bend” She whispered to herself so faintly.

---


“As you can see on the graph here and here sir, reports of protests and demonstrations that are unlicensed by the Ministry of Interior are up by almost 25% in major urban areas. Beldon specifically has seen a rise of only 10% but that is mostly due to the swift dissolution of unsanctioned mass gatherings in public areas. However this also has put a burden on Capital Police to crack down on these gatherings which according to the Chief of Police is occurring at a growing pace.”

President Ackerman crossed his legs in his chair with one hand running along his bearded chin and the other holding a glass of scotch on the rocks. He stiffened his arms and legs as the whine of the engines grew and his plane, a Heshlin 777, lurched forward down the runway of the Beldon-Markov International Airport. He ignored the sudden force of gravity and light headedness as the meeting in his onboard office went quiet as the plane lifted into the air. He would wait for the plane to normalize its ascent before responding to the graph before him. Each major city of Ackesia was shown on a map with a bar graph indicating licensed and unlicensed demonstrations towering above the cities. Dissention was on the rise, and the heavy-handed approach his advisors had told him to take was like kindling to the fire.

Before he could break the silence his political advisor Sevastian obliged.
“Sir and with the incident out front of the Palatul Poporului yesterday, and the growing disapproval of the responses to the demonstrations, Minerva I'Anson and her party are up in the polls.”

Ackerman smacked his lips and squinted his eyes, unappreciative of the constant reminder from his advisors, particularly Sevastian, that his political enemies were gaining popularity.

“Sir, I know you don’t like to hear that, and all of what Sevastian and Dalca are saying is true, but vast majority of the nation still views you as the hero of the revolution. To them this is all disgruntled and angst-ridden youth rebellion.” The voice of Ackerman’s Chief of Staff Maria Akulina said through to speakerphone on the President’s desk.

“Looked like more than just youth out in that demonstration.” Ackerman nodded towards the video of Presidential Candidate Minerva I'Anson being hosed down by riot police being played on the news over and over.

The staff present in the office sat uncomfortably as they each looked at each other for what the other would say next. Typically, in moments like these Maria, the chief of staff, would melt the ice that was the President’s overbearing conscious and normal business could continue. Yet with Maria remaining in the capital as the President and his staff went on the campaign trail to Levosta, it created an unease in the air.

“Well sir… tonight will be a big help towards quelling any unrest. A large part of these demonstrations have been fueled by the words allegedly posted by the Duchess on SignPost. They firmly believe she has spoken out against you and that dissention has hurt you the most.” Sevastian attempted to reassure.

Ackerman chuckled before taking a sip of his couch. Who knew some pretty blonde girl barely old enough to vote herself, and member of the oppressive Royal Family of Avondale would hold so much sway over the populace still with her uninformed political opinion? It was all ridiculous to Ackerman, the grandchild of those he and many in the nation fought against inciting riots all over the nation. This generation upcoming was surely lost if they looked to her, the daughter of privilege.

“Once she comes out and says those were not her words, then her credibility is dead in their eyes and we should see a drop in these numbers.” Dalca, the deputy national security advisor whom President Ackerman was astonished still had lungs as the stench of smoke came off of him, confirmed Sevastians point.

“How long till they go live?” Ackerman questioned, taking another sip.

“Just a few minutes.” Sevastian turned the channel of the TV from the boring graphics to the intro for Morgan Branson Tonight.

The staff each said their final words before departing the room. Ackerman ignored most of them, focused on the television program before him as he was forced to watch the spawn of his enemies, those who killed his comrades, be paraded around like a darling as she says kind words about him.

Sevastian was the only one who remained to watch as well. He fumbled with his phone as he sent a few texts.
“The Media Minister is on the ground at the studio now. She says all is going to plan and the Duchess is backstage ready to say her piece.”

Ackerman sighed.

At the studio, Morgan Branson, the long-time host and so called “voice of late night Ackesia” gave his famous and humorous opening remarks related to headlines in the Republic. The middle-aged man had strong laugh lines, but even stronger grey hair as he sipped his own drink placed strategically next to a bottle of water on a desk he sat behind before a live studio audience.

“Ah yes, so I heard the weather is pretty poor in the capital this time of year.” Branson looked around knowing he was about to deliver a good zinger, the audience giving its preparatory laughs before the punchline. “Ahh yes, its so poor that I heard even political candidates are getting dumped on.” Branson slapped his desk as he referenced Minerva I'Anson getting hit with a riot hose by Beldon Police.

The studio audience laughed heartily, but Ackerman as he watched simply raised a glass in submission of the fact that Branson got him on this account.

“He has to seem somewhat impartial Sir.” Maria still on the speaker phone reassured the President.

Ackerman did not say a word in response.

“Ah yes, truly am sorry for Minerva, after that hard of a hit even she was questioning her party’s politics.” Branson laugh at his own jab while the audience was divided on their boos or laughs. “Oh common common good fun.” Branson clapped.

“Well aside from cheap shots at political candidates tonight, we do have a very special guest here in the studio. You all know her for charity, social gatherings, and her pictured strewn on every fashion magazine in the nation. She is the darling of Avondale and purveyor of redacted SignPosts, the Duchess Trinity of Avondale everyone!”

In the corner of the stage Trinity winced at the final remark, she was not too fond of being patronized but it came with the territory. Behind her both Vasile, her two handmaidens, and the Minister of Media who was prepping her to recite her lines like a parrot for the last hour all beckoned her on stage as the audience and Branson clapped. Dawning her bright smile and social face, she stepped out before the hungry crowd.

Walking out onto the stage the lights hit her eyes differently this time. She had been on TV dozens of times before for interviews, yet this one felt different in a way. The audience who were remarkably positive to her entrance seemed cold to her, almost eerie in their platitudes. Walking over to Branson who stood up at his desk she shook his hand, even he seemed cold to her, his smile empty.

None of it felt right to Trinity as she sat down in the large chair nearest to Branson’s desk, crossing her legs in a lady like fashion as the crowd still cheered for her. The cameras flashed as they absorbed her likeness to inevitably be on the cover of every magazine and blog by morning.

On his plane 30,000 ft above Ackesia, Ackerman sipped his scotch as he bore the thoughts of what a much younger Ackerman would think viewing the child of his sworn enemies be applauded by Ackesians as she stood there smiling in the ignorance of the death toll her family wrought. Certainly, those who died beside him in the streets of Beldon were not smiling at this sin.

“Duchess Trinity.” Branson sat down behind his desk, smile still on bright. “So good to have you here with us tonight.”

“Thank you.” She smiled pleasantly, all was good, everything was fine there on the stage.

“I trust you had a nice trip all the way from Avondale?” A few audience members from the Principality “wooped” in this moment to show their support.

“It was, it was nice.” Trinity did not have much to say, only knew to keep smiling. In the corner of her eyes she could see the Media Minister texting furiously and watching her like an anxious dog, and Vasile and her handmaidens standing stoutly, their eyes fixed on the two of them.

Branson laughed at the Duchess’ simple answer. “Very to the point my lady.” Branson chuckled. They continued with small talk like any other conversation, aside from this one taking place before the entire nation. President Ackerman watched on impatiently, wishing they would just get o the point and he could be rid of thinking about this whore forever.

“So, my lady.” Branson kept exaggerating both words whenever he referred to her, only the slightest twitch of her eye would every tell of Trinity’s annoyance with it. “Recently I’ve heard you have had a bit of trouble with social media.” Branson’s tone was more serious than before. The Media Minister stopped texting as she waited with baited breath for this conversation.

Trinity shifted in her seat; her smile was all but gone as she put a drifting strand of hair behind her ear.

Branson knew she would be slightly uncomfortable at first with this question, but thankfully he had years of experience asking such questions to big names in Ackesia.
“You know one time someone hacked my Facepage.” He widened his eyes as if it were part of the joke. “Yes, they hacked my facepage just to set a status to “I’m not Funny.” The audience had a small laugh at this. Branson shrugged his shoulders a bit before continuing. “Ehhh yes, well turns out that comment got one thousand laugh reacts.” The audience roared. “Thank you hacker for helping me there.”

Once the audience died down Trinity knew the question was coming.

“So I know you and I have that in common my lady. But your hacker did not do you any favors did they.”

Trinity meant to respond, she knew this was the time she was supposed to relinquish all responsibility for the SignPost criticizing the President. But as Branson queued her, she still sat silent, frozen in her seat with a blank expression.

Ackerman sat forward in his chair.
“She’s not going to do it.” He said taking another long sip of scotch.

“Give her a moment Mr. President, Sevastian reassured.

But inside Trinity’s head all she could hear were whispers. It was the whispers of the congregation, it was the song that they sang, it was the cries as they were killed, it was the words the little girl chanted to her.

“Break, not bend.” It echoed in her mind from the dream last night. Trinity was frozen, and so was the audience as they began to murmur as to why she was not responding.

“Ha… yea its not a very fun thing I know. But when that disgruntled staffer used your phone to post such a charged message that wasn’t a good feeling either was it?”

This is what they meant… she thought to herself sitting there in fear. All of the sudden the fear like ice broke off of her, and she found herself looking at Branson, looking at the camera.

“No.”

“Well yes I’m sure-“

“No, I mean. There was no hacker, I posted that SignPost.”

The audience, Branson, the Media Minister, Sevastian, and the whole of Ackesia collectively lost their breath. But not Ackerman, he knew this was a bad idea from the start.

“President Ackerman’s actions have brought pain to the Ackesian people, those who died on the streets were killed unjustly for only daring to stand agai-“

The stage lights cut out swiftly.

“We are off the air Branson.” A producer stated from the corner of the stage.

Branson only stared with contempt and anger at Trinity, his smile and humorous demeanor gone like the mask that they were. Trinity jumped as Branson slapped his desk in anger.
“You are going to regret that missy.” Branson stood up and adjusted his coat. “Ohhh you are going to fucking regret that.” The TV show host stormed off the stage as the studio audience began to file out.

“Go get her.” Vasile ordered Petra and Anya to escort Trinity who was frozen in her chair staring at the floor beneath her feet. As the two handmaidens took Trinity by the hand and beckoned her to come with them, an applause began to ring out from the audience who was being dismissed swiftly. Dozens of members of the crowd clapped for the Duchess who felt the warmth begin to crawl back into existence. As the crowd cheered, they were only forced out of the studio faster, producers hastily pushing them out the door before hopefully Branson could get back on the air and explain all of this away.

Trinity felt the voices in her head rest. As funny as it was, she felt they were at peace now that she understood. She understood that she could not bend in moments like that, less the people suffer by her silence.

Things in the air above Ackesia however were not so content. Ackerman stared at his bloody hand in blind rage, the broken glass of scotch underneath his palm against the desk where he smashed it.

Sevastian had not even bothered to turn and look at him yet, only holding his head in his hand as the commercial for LemonZing soda played on the channel that was moments earlier showing Trinity defy the will of the President and his advisors, further damaging their position.

Ackerman sat watching the blood pool on his desk as he thought about all that they had accomplished to build this republic, and all that the Avondales were still undermining after all of these years.

“I am so sorry sir.” Maria’s voice echoed over the speaker phone.

“Fuck that, I should have killed them when we had the chance. When I had that whore’s grandfather in the diner signing the peace treaty, I should have slit his throat!” Ackerman threw the remains of the glass against the bulkhead of the plane.

“Sir we should at least get someone to come tend to your hand.” Sevastian rubbed his mouth and placed his hands on his sides.

“Get out of my sight before I slit your throat.” Ackerman pointed a bloody hand at his political advisor, not forgetting this was all his idea.

Sevastian left with haste as the President sank back in his chair.

He was a tyrant, not in his own mind but those who subscribed to the idea that the granddaughter of a tyrant had any right to call someone else a tyrant. The millennials would drive this country back to ruin if they willed it, their protests, their demonstrations over the simplest things. They defied his authority at every turn. Ackerman was what was best for Ackesia, he knew how to run this country towards prosperity, he should never let anyone question that.

As he sat alone on the flight to his campaign stop, he contemplated a world where he alone made the decisions for Ackesia.
Last edited by Achesia on Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Achesia
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Founded: Sep 26, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby Achesia » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:10 pm

“I’m here today with several students at Beldon National University who as you can see have prepared themselves and their campus for confrontation with the police. Please tell us, why are you wearing all of this? Why have you shut down the campus?”

The camera pans to hundreds of students standing at the entrance of their urban campus barricaded with wood, chairs, tables, and signs. The university itself looks as if it is a war zone with students wearing all manner of PPE such as construction helmets, goggles from chemistry lab, and soccer shin guards as they further barricade their school grounds. Several such students stood front and center with cameras to speak with international reporters there to witness the chaos.

“Hundreds are dying each day here in Ackesia from poverty.” One student who didn’t even bother to remove his face mask to speak. His muffled voice full of weariness after nearly a week besieged by police in their school.
“We began as just a simple demonstration on our school’s campus, a protest against the government to raise awareness. But President Ackerman’s goons have come and taken some of the more active voices of our student movement to… god knows where!”

“Is that why you are hiding your face today?” The reporter leaned in closer.

The student’s eyes, the only characteristic visible to the cameras, looked concerned but determined.
“Yes. I fear for my well being speaking to you.”

“What do you all seek to accomplish hold up in your school?” The camera began to pan to students in the background, using wet concrete and bricks on the single road leading into the campus in hopes to slow down riot vehicles.

Several of the students looked at each other, each knowing their fate at the end of all of this would be a cold cell should a higher power not come to their rescue. One girl, shorter than the rest who dared to have an uncovered face spoke. She wore a Minerva campaign t-shirt, as well as a purple arm band which has come to be an unofficial symbol of solidarity with Trinity Avondale for her high-profile remarks against the President.

“We are here to prove to President Ackerman that you cannot just take away our voices, that we are free peoples here. Criticism of the government is our right!”

The rest of the students, and even the reporter nodded.
“We also appeal to National Diet to call forward a vote of no confidence against the tyrant Zachariah Ackerman!”

“Clearly tensions are high here at Beldon National University in the heart of Ackesia’s capital, with emotions amongst the student body now besieged by Beldon Capital Police at a fever pitch.”

The camera panned to the large barricade of wood, graffitied with many anti-government, pro-Minerva, and pro-Trinity messages. Students stood along the barricade as if it were their battlement, holding sticks, makeshift shields, umbrellas, and bottles of gasoline. Among them a smaller girl, under five foot stood with a single blonde strand leaving her face mask. As the camera panned to her she looked away quickly, clearly fearful of her identity being revealed.

“Reporting from Beldon, Ackesia, this is Vera Chaykovsky, Tanayska Pravda.”

Only miles away from the university, President Zachariah Ackerman sat at his desk watching the report come in on his television.

“Zachariah, the situation is getting out of hand.” The phone on his desk chastised.

“The Police Chief has assured me he has the situation under control.” Ackerman tapped his index finger on the desk.

“This is being reported on international news, it does not look like its under control to me. We are already beginning to feel this in the equities market, our projections for opening tomorrow are not good. Not unless you bring this to a close tonight, and smoothly.” The voice on the other end had a rasp of impatience about it.

“Martin, you have been with me since the beginning, why the doubt now?” Ackerman had his own impatience that he subdued in his voice.

“I am with you Zachariah, but the board is growing inpatient with this situation. The girl has done you a lot of damage.”
The board of Ackesian National Energy was a fickle one, always prone to panic in situations like this. Ackerman had not felt this much pressure from them since Dalengora. The words of a girl from Avondale never would have worried him before, yet this generation coming up it seemed to be like a torch.

“Martin, you keep the board in line, and I’ll keep the country in line. That has always been the way we do these things.”

“Not this time Zach, there is blood in the water, and some of the board seem anxious… too anxious.”

“What do you mean by that Martin?” Martin Lupai had been one of Ackerman’s fiercest supporters amongst the corporate elite since his ascension to the highest office in the land. Yet these past years he had begun to seem flimsy in his stance.

“There is talk about supporting your opponent… look Zach we all respect the hell out of you. You’re a national hero, and you’ve been the only President since this country was founded but-“

“Oh to hell with the niceties Martin, you all want a regime change at the slightest change in the wind!” Ackerman began to tap the desk louder.

“Zach… you’ve been president since ’90. You built this fucking place, no one is denying that. But the world is changing, and old dogs like you and me, well the world doesn’t have eyes for that. They have eyes for people like Minerva, or the young Avondale girl. The public, they just like what looks and sounds good on paper.”

“Fuck all that Martin.”

“Zach… all I can say is handle this, and fast. That’s all there is right now. Get this off the headlines and get the markets trending upwards.”

The phone chimed as Ackerman stabbed the on/off button.

“Tonight, huh old friend?” He furiously hit the hotkey for his secretary.

“Yes sir?” The young female’s voice enquired.

“Get me the chief of police, and shit the Minister General as well.”

“Right away Sir.”

---


Trinity sat in the foyer outside of her father’s office. He, his advisors, her mother, and some of National Diet Delegates had been meeting inside the Prince’s office for some time. It had been a hell of a week since she went on the late-night talk show and doubled down on her SignPost. To say her father was disappointed would be an understatement, he had not talked to her or even bothered to look at her since. The affect of her words have also been wide spread, demonstrations breaking out all around the country with protests supporting her, the Avondale family, and the anti-Beldon sentiment breaking out the likes of which had not been seen since the end of the civil war. The whole country was a powder keg, yet as Trinity saw it, her words did not cause this. Her words only ignited what was inevitable. Every day the breadlines get longer, and no matter how many times her family dipped into the coffers of the House of Avondale to prevent that from happening on their home turf, even in the Principality the affects of the economic downturn were beginning to be felt.

Across from her was the Avondale family Therapist, one that had been on retainer for their family for what seemed like a generation. The last time Trinity had seen them was when she was a little girl and protestors attacked their motorcade when visiting Beldon over ten years ago. Now he looked even fatter and wrinkled, but her parents had ordered her to see him.

“So these dreams, keep coming to you in your sleep. They seem very vivid?” He grunted as a wad of phlegm built up in his throat.

“Yes…” He talked as if she were crazy, like these dreams were some sort of mania that plagued her. Yet Trinity knew she saw even clearer, both within the dream and after. They were like messages from beyond to her, each with a lesson. “Its like I am there.” She added, clenching Anya’s hand.

Her two handmaidens had been particularly useful in the past week. Despite her previous skepticism she did grow rather fond of them and their lax attitude about her and what she did. They were less observant in the spy sense than previous holders of that office, but at the same time knew exactly what she needed and when. That is why she insisted one of them stay with her as she talked to the psychiatric mass across from her.

“Do the voices tell you to act out like this?” The old man shifted in his seat, obviously uncomfortable both physically and within his career choice.

Trinity firstly never mentioned anything about voices or premonitions telling her to do things, so that certainly annoyed her more with the situation. The family therapist seemed keener to go after his confirmation bias that she was schizophrenic than actually speaking to her about the problems within her family. Yet after the question settled in, she couldn’t help but let a tear fall down her face. The man clearly thought she was insane, which meant everything he was telling her parents would point to such.

Before she could answer, the door to her father’s office opened, and the various parties within began to exit. Trinity, Anya, and her therapist rose from their seats out of respect. Most of the individuals leaving, various Delegates or advisors passed by her with little regard, yet much judgement.

Last to leave were her parents, both of which had somber looks on their face. Yet as her mother neared Trinity, her somberness turned to anger, and with a flick of her wrist she raked the back of her hand across Trinity’s cheek. The foyer still occupied by advisors or delegates unfortunate to have not left yet to witness the event and her therapist who simply took notes of the occasion, fell silent as Trinity fell to her knees and clasped her reddened cheek.

Anya stooped to help Trinity up, but Yulia Avondale stooped her, grabbing her arm and pushing her backwards.

“Do not help the welp!” The Princess of Avondale snarled as she looked down at her daughter who stared up in fear.
“How dare you!” She clenched her fist. “How dare you do this to your family! Look what you have done to us, done to your father. Do you understand what you have brought upon us! Upon Avondale!”

She did this for Ackesia, not for her family. Trinity thought as she fluttered between contempt for her mother and sorrow for herself.

“You… you’ll never see the light of day again. You have ended yourself! Every time they speak of you it will be of this disgrace!” Her mother made to slap her once more but her father restrained her, shaking his head at his wife.

Yet as her father led Yulia off, he only gave Trinity a single look, and it was far from the loving expressions he gave her during much simpler times.
The Prince and Princess of Avondale exited the room swiftly and the door closed behind them. On all fours Trinity began to sob, the warmth of the world leaving her much like in those dreams of delirium she experienced. To what lengths did a daughter have to go to loose her family’s love? Trinity Avondale certainly felt as if she had discovered such a measurement, her life now that of a failed and unwanted royal to be hid away from the press or public eye. But she did not care about any of that, she cared about what was right. The fact her family only cared about what looked right made her more sorrowful.

Anya soon picked her up off the ground and sat her on the couch next to her. Across from them the therapist scribbled some more notes for what felt like several minutes before breaking the silence between Trinity’s weeping.

“How do you think your mother felt then?” He asked without any sort of feeling or empathy.

Trinity looked up at him with bloodshot eyes, devoid of any polite answer.

“Perhaps that is enough for my lady today.” Anya stated before Trinity could answer, taking her arm and leading her back to her chamber to hopefully regain some of her composure. The therapist tsked as they left the room, scribbling on his note pad furiously as the girls left.

While leading the teary-eyed Duchess back to her chamber hand in hand, Anya leaned into her ear and whispered softly.
“If I may say so milady, I think what you did was brave.” Trinity looked up at her with surprise. “But what is brave is not always expedient in the eyes of our elders. I think what you said will be looked upon as the thing that had to be said. Not all of us have a voice that reaches as far as milady’s.”

Trinity looked at her and contemplated. Despite the judgment she received in these walls what if she had to say what she did. The people who do not get paraded on late night television certainly would not have reached as far as she did.

“Forgive me, milady if I misspoke.” Anya lowered her head.

“No Anya… thank you.” Trinity gave the simplest of smiles she could muster. “Thank you for being here with me.”

“Always milady.” Anya patted the Duchess’ hand as she led her back to her chamber. Trinity only hoped she could enjoy the solitude of her empty mind tonight as she slept without being spirited away into the nether once more.


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