NATION

PASSWORD

A Day in a Life (Cornellian Empire Only)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]

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Novitera
Diplomat
 
Posts: 782
Founded: Jul 14, 2014
Anarchy

Postby Novitera » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:52 am

4 Clans
Part 7


Shicheng

They were once again on the move. Two black SUVs traversed down the roads which the traffic knew to make way for. Cedric and Scott were in the back seat of one SUV driven by the former Noviteran Hinterlanders. The one in the passenger seat had his rifle at the ready while the other had his MP7 folded up and next to him as he drove. They were quiet and while one kept his eyes on the road the other was scanning for threats.

“You boys speak Baran?” Asked Cedric to them.

“Nope.” Replied the passenger seat indifferently. Maybe they did, maybe they did not. Cedric knew Noviterans did not care to lie about such things and it was unlikely that they did. Shintochi Latin and Japanese were all most Noviterans ever spoke. Those who were engaged in a lot of international business learned Roman Latin. The ones here picked up Spanish to speak with their Ayacan counterparts and Han to address the natives.

“Something about that exchange with Dai did not sit right with me.” Cedric said to Scott in Baran.

“I couldn’t put my finger on it either. But he did seem surprised by the news. I never trusted that slimy punk.” Said Scott speaking in a broken Baran in return.

“Your Baran is shit.” Said Cedric in reply.

Scott sighed. “As I recall, someone here got rotated out of Fineberg because he was flagged by Council Police and someone was not.” He said.

“Not because of my Baran fluency.” Cedric retorted. “Anyways, after this we’re going to go back and change into some native garb then head back out covert. I’m texting Bryndan to discharge us some funds for a new vehicle. Something less conspicuous.”

“Understood. Apparently our land rover was recovered. Some of the windows need to be replaced and its got some holes in it but otherwise still workable. Nice.” Said Scott.

They met with the Meili Kong. Near one of their warehouses in the wharf. It took time to talk the Meili Kong from backing out of the arrangement and letting the Jinrong take the shipment tomorrow. Nevertheless, Cedric walked away unconvinced that the Meili Kong were not going to be difficult about this.

Once they returned to campus the two went to the office that they shared to grab some disguises and surveillance equipment they kept in a box. One of Scott’s Han contacts who was a procurer of sorts met them in an alleyway a short taxi ride away from the Directorate Campus. He was there waiting in front of an old white windowless van.

“Scott! I get you good car yes. Very good. Come to Feng for your car always.” The man said in broken Japanese.

“Whatever you say pal.” Scott said and tossed him a roll of cash. The man caught it and walked off happily.

They loaded their gear then got inside to change into mandarin collared shirts, wide trousers, conical coolie hats and surgical masks that was not uncommon to wear in both Shicheng and all the cities of Novitera. In event of another shootout they had plate carriers stuffed with full Glock magazines and KPOS Scout Carbine Converters with Glock 18s inside them ready to go. On their persons they both carried Glock 19s tucked away. As usual, Scott drove.

They were on their way to a certain tea house Cedric knew Dai liked to visit regularly and entertain others. Cedric and Scott had never been inside nor spoken to any of its workers. They simply knew of it and were waiting for a time to use that knowledge. It was getting later in the day now closing on dusk. The van was parallel parked on the side of the street and they watched.

“I think that’s our girl right there.” Scott pointed out.

A pretty Han woman stepped outside wearing traditional Hanfu dress stepped outside. Cedric and Scott did not really know her. All they knew was wear she lived, that she worked here and at this time she regularly stepped outside for fresh air and a stretch.

Scott turned on the engine and drove off towards the tenement where the woman lived. They parked in the street along her route home and waited. It took several hours until the late evening to spot the woman from before approaching in the side mirror. Both had a turns taking a nap in the back of the van. She had now changed into something plain and drab. Clearly the girl was clever as she had deliberately made herself look disheveled with grime and by making her hair into a mess.

“Pretty woman, walking down the street,
Pretty woman, the kind I’d like to meet…”

Scott began to sing quietly. Once she was close enough they abruptly exited the van with pistols drawn. She yelped as Scott grabbed her and marched her towards the van. Cedric was already opening the sliding door.

“No please! I have done nothing! Nothing!” She protested.

“Its alright darling. You’ll be alright…” Scott tried to say soothingly. But since they were trying to do this swiftly his handling of her was rough and frightening. He shoved her into the van and Cedric shut the sliding door. Before long he was in the driver’s seat starting the engine.

Scott gently pushed her to sit with her back up against the wall getting a whiff of the delicious fragrance she was wearing.

“I have done nothing! Please! I have money in my room.” She was saying.

“You just sit right there darling. Do not worry. We won’t hurt you.” He said while petting her head gently. Her response was to draw her arms close to her body and slink away.

It was decided that Scott would be the one to interact with her for he was the more charming and calming between them. When he took off his coolie hat and mask she stared noticing his alien facial features and green eyes. Although Scott had died his normally sandy colored hair black, a close look at him revealed that he was no Han. The woman was speechless for a moment.

“You are Juwai Ren!” She exclaimed. The fear was gone from her. Now it was more a sense of wonder.

“That’s right honey. Juwai Ren.” Scott replied.

“Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu! Kaeritai desu yo. Nani mo shimasen deshita!” Please be kind to me. I want to go home! I did nothing.She rambled on.

“Well I’ll be damned. She speaks our language.” Said Scott. Even Cedric turned his head. “How’d you learn Nishigo?” He asked using the term Noviterans used to refer to the Japanese language.

“I watched movie. Read textbook. I also take online class. Learning computer coding.” She said proudly back in Japanese. It was clear she was delighted to meet a Noviteran to speak it with.

Scott laughed and suddenly she realized once again the situation she was in and recoiled. He noticed her fear along with her lovely heart shaped face beneath the grime she had purposely smeared on it. She must be in her early 20s with little marriage prospects. “Don’t worry. You’re not in any danger. As you can see, we are not Jinrong Tong.”

“First, what is your name? Namae wa?” He asked.

“Shen Yu. What do you want? Will I be taken to be a doxy? Please no! I do not want to be.” Said Shen then started crying.

Scott laughed again which made her cry even harder. He pet her head again. “No, no, no. Not at all. We’ll have you home before morning. We want to ask for your help.” He replied with a smile.

“Help?” She asked through tears.

Scott began to kindly wipe them away. “Yes, help. No need to cry. We will pay you money. Lots of money. But first, I have questions.”

Shen was eager enough to answer Scott’s questions about the tea house thinking this would please her captors. He found out about how many people worked there, who was there at night, her own role as a hostess which is what they had figured. They also asked about Dai and were glad to know there was a specific room he chose every time he visited for its splendor. Scott asked about the room as well.

“I need to go into the tea house and nobody must know I was there. Open the back door and lead me to this room.” Scott said.

It took convincing that it was possible. Scott showed her money and let her take some. Probably more than she made in a month. Even then Shen was difficult to tempt. She was afraid of getting caught but Scott worked out a plan.

“We’ll do it in the early morning before there are any customers. You let me in through the backdoor. If anyone asks, you’ll say I am a delivery man. There is little sound in the room. If I am caught I will say I am delivery man and I got lost. Yes?”

He had to explain it a few more times and do more coaxing. What he pressed on would be her ability to buy her own laptop instead of using internet cafes. Ability to pay for more sessions of the online class to learn coding. Shen liked this idea and in the end agreed.

“Listen, we work for the Juwai Ren Princes. If you betray us the Jade Men will come. Do you want the Jade Men to come?” He asked.

Shen shook her head slowly.

The next day Scott found himself in the room. Shen had let him through the back. Conveniently enough, none of the other staff asked any questions about him as he carried a crate of butchered ducks wearing the same garb from yesterday. Once inside the room Shen went away to return in the brief time he had specified. As she had promised the room did have a single power outlet. He unscrewed the panel and opened it up.

It was one thing to simply give Shen the bug and plant it somewhere in the room herself. But then there would be a limited battery life. They could have used the ones that only turned on when there was enough sound but those were expensive and had a limited, though longer, battery life. Another problem was there was really no where in the room to easily hide the bug as Shen described it. The plants were maintained by someone else who could easily come across it and putting it in one of the vases he thought would hurt the sound quality. To solve all these problems, he had to wire the bug to the tea houses own electrical system which he could not have Shen do. This way, the sound would be acceptable and they would never have to worry about battery power. It was also less likely to be found.

As soon as Scott was finished he activated the listening bug and screwed the panel back on. There was a knock two times on the door. He opened it to find Shen standing there again once more looking nervous. To help her calm down Scott gave her a confident smile. Shen led him to the kitchen where he deposited the crate of ducks then led him out the back. When no one was looking he gave her hand a squeeze for assurance.

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 22712
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:18 pm

The Kohler Institute of Economics and Business
Fineberg University


When she watched Doeg Kishon playing basketball, she felt a tightness in her throat and her stomach almost hurt, and her heart quickened. His lanky body seemed beautiful to her. Watching his pulse race at his temple and throat made her feel like it was trying to match her own heartbeat. The intense look on his face as he crouched, alert as a hunter, then sudden shocking burst of his laughter made her belly leap. The way he dribbled the ball reminded her of the boys back in Nass, in a concrete park and with a battered chipped hoof. He spoke in a voice that reminded her of radio announcers or public officials. He was a real Baran boy. It made her dream of things she probably shouldn’t, that she should probably confess. Not that she didn’t know boys.

She was the only daughter with four brothers who she used to fight with all the time when they were teens. She always held her own with her brothers who teased her all the time. But when she ceased to be a child, her parents had forbidden her to scrap so much, hoping that she would draw in a good husband. And then things had changed just in her short lifetime. More girls were finishing school, there were more jobs that required administrative and social skills. Still lots of industrial work but there was more work for women. Even poor women from urban districts. It was still uncommon (though over the last 20 years or so not unheard of) to put so much resources into girls.

About six months before she graduated Veronica's high school counselor called her into his office to let her know she was in competition to get a scholarship to study economics in Fineberg. Praise the Queen-Empress, who had, the year before, promised to expand the number of scholarships on her Birthday and had been true to her word! The counselor encouraged her to look beyond her immediate future and think about where she might want to be five or ten years in the future. With the fire of ambition lit in her soul, the young student applied herself even more in her studies and in preparing to compete for the scholarship. Several essays and interviews later, a very nervous Veronica received a packet of materials that indicated her next year would not be spent in the military or some urban community college in Teman, but rather at the nation’s number one university.. Her nervousness was entirely due to the professor she had to report to.

Hannah Tanam was the reason Veronica was studying in Fineberg in the first place. The economics professor was on the executive board of an academic foundation that identified promising students from lower income urban and rural communities for grants to study at the university. The economics department was interested in producing more than just corporate analysts and business majors, hence the scholarship program and invitations to students such as Veronica Enab to come to Fineberg and study.

Veronica carried with her three research projects she had needed to prepare that summer to keep her scholarship, three reports to turn into Tanam that later would be passed along to the entire scholarship committee. Veronica's professor graded severely, but the projects were designed to help her do better in her department's classes and ultimately prepare her for post-graduate studies. The three folders in the TA’s hand represented a massive amount of work and a ruined summer, but they also represented her final escape from a dysfunctional family, rough neighborhood full of a mix of resettled displaced people, migratory work seekers, and unhappy childhood. Her only hope previously had been the military or lifetime in a factory barracks.

Tanam was still relatively young for a professor and in excellent physical shape from constantly exercising. She was 47 and had a very severe appearance. Her intense dark eyes and sharp nose somewhat reminded Veronica of the face of a hawk. Tanam's appearance was made even more intimidating by her immaculate dark business clothing and her jet-black hair with a few grey strands pulled back tight and wrapped in a bun.

Tanam's demeanor was partly that of a strict military officer and partly that of a high ranking female anchorite, the result of her r several years of service in the Navy working in the administration office at Tyrannis Naval Air Base. She stood very straight and walked crisply around the classroom tapping a pointer as she lectured. When alone with the professor Veronica always was tempted to stand at attention, and never would have dreamt of sitting down in her office without first being offered a seat. Even the way that Tanam referred to herself, using just her last name, reflected a total lack of warmth in her personality. The most intimidating detail about Dr. Tanam, however, was her sharp stare. When she was talking to a person her eyes seemed to bore right into her listener. Her expression always seemed to say. "Look, you pathetic little slacker, I know you better than you know yourself, so don't try to play Satan with me."

Veronica entered Tanam's office and noticed the time, 12:35. Shit. Her appointment had been at 12:30. Her year with Tanam was not about to get off to a good start. She rushed into the back office, but it was too late. Tanam was standing in front of her desk, her arms crossed, with a cold stare that tore straight into her student.

"Well, Miss Enab, I see we're keeping bankers' hours."

"I...I'm sorry Dr. Tanam...but it was only five minutes, and I was coming from another class."

"Veronica...two things. First, don't tell me you're sorry. If you were truly concerned you would've been here at 12:30 like I told you to. What you're sorry about is that I'm displeased."

"Yes Dr. Tanam." Doeg dancing around the covering player, dashing forward, focused on passing to his teammate...

"The second thing is that you come to me with an excuse, some lies about a class, even though your class ended at noon. Now, what do I say about excuses?"

"That 'excuses are like sins, everybody has them,' Dr. Tanam." Does he see me? Am I pretty?

"That's right. I'm not interested in hearing some excuse. Now that we have the apologies and excuses out of the way we can talk about your life and your summer projects. First thing, you got the RA position, right?"

"Yes, Dr. Tanam, I'm in the second floor RA in Newton Block."

"So we have your living arrangements taken care of...good. Now, let's see your work product for this summer."

Veronica handed Tanam the three papers. Tanam briefly looked at the tables of contents, then went straight to the endnotes. She went down the list of Veronica's citations on the first paper, taking notes into a separate ledger. She seemed satisfied with the first paper and moved on to the second paper. Tanam's face became increasingly irritated as she flipped back and forth through the endnotes of the second project.

"Now, very simple question. Why isn't there any reference to Keynes in here? The paper makes reference to the development of the Welfare State. So where's your reference to his work?"

"It was a 20-page project, Dr. Tanam. I wanted to concentrate on..."

"Well, that won't cut it, Veronica! You simply cannot understand mid-20th Century economic theory without mentioning Keynes. And oh, by the way, you didn't reference the Weber articles either, did you?"

"No..."

"Then I would say what you have here is an inadequately referenced project...oh don’t piss yourself, woman! I don’t mean plagiarized, I mean that you make vague reference to the Welfare State without exploring the policy ideas and their points of origin.” Tanam said with a look of clear disapproval.

“I suppose that I thought it was common knowledge.” Veronica said, trying to keep herself from sulking. She took the paper back, her heart stinging from the total unfairness of the situation. It seemed that had she been anyone else, the paper would have been perfectly acceptable, but because she was Tanam's scholarship student, she was at the woman's mercy. Tears welled up in her eyes, but with every bit of her emotional strength she forced herself to hide her distress.

Tanam clearly understood what was going on in her student's mind. "Veronica, look at me."

Reluctantly Veronica raised her head.

"Now I'm going to explain something to you. I can tell you think it's unfair that I'm pushing you like this. But there's a reason, a reason why I expect you to work way above the sophomore level.” the two women’s gazes met. “You are a token poor student at an institution designed to enable the pampered, privileged, and above all, the male to succeed in the professional world. Because of the generosity of the Monarchy, some exceptionally intelligent, hard working students are picked every year to demonstrate how fair the system is. In practice, however, these students, like you, are unlikely to make it. Most of them flunk out because they let something down. Their social skills and wealth are lacking. Your dialect is wrong. You are not a Baran, you are not even Haranese. In spite of your name.”

Veronica felt her face growing very hot, and was fighting off instinctive tears. But Tanam went on ruthlessly. And you’re a woman. Lower class women of your sort are supposed to marry. So it’s not fair. I know. But your only hope is this: be the best at what you do, work twice as hard to get ahead. The aristos will always have it easier even if they are not as effective or smart. You don't have any choice, if you're going to stay out of Rahab’s Row. Because, not only were you born poor, but you were born with a womb. So you have to work twice as hard as anyone else. Fair? No. Reality? Yes. None of us can escape reality. That’s the Story of Job. Now you use that head of yours, gird up your loins like Deborah and you fix that paper!"

"Yes, Dr. Tanam."”
She still felt the sting of resentment. But...Tanam...was she sad? Could not be, but she was then startled by Tanam’s hand on her arm a moment, squeezing. Then the stern eyes on her. “Get ready for class now, Miss Enab.”

Five minutes later the professor and her shaken student carried boxes of syllabuses, course schedules, and sample textbooks to a large auditorium-style classroom. The class was Tanam's introductory Theory of Economics course, the grueling 5-credit hours that always started with 150 students and usually ended with about 75. Veronica had taken the same class the year before and had received a "B".

Over the next few minutes the auditorium filled with freshmen, as Veronica managed to calm her nerves from the unpleasant session with her professor. Tanam was joined by her teaching assistant, a graduate student working on his Master's degree. Veronica, meanwhile, walked down the rows of young students passing out paperwork and signature forms. She noticed Doeg Kishon sitting with Madon, , and her neighbor Ivah. As she passed him a stack of papers, she gave Doeg a friendly smile, at which he blushed. He blushed!

The students wore uniforms. White dress shirts for everyone with a University of Fineberg patch above the pocket. Red edged for freshmen, blue edged for sophomores and juniors, silver for seniors, gold for graduate students. They all wore long, wide blue shorts and sandals every day, running shoes for athletics. Dormitories were single sex. Swimming and non-protective athletics were done nude.

Tanam stood quietly at her podium until her assistant finished with the final row. As soon as Veronica glanced up at her, the professor pointed at the doors and motioned her and the TA to close them. Tanam always ordered the doors of her classroom shut before she started speaking. The professor's policy was that to be late was the same as missing class altogether, since she had absolutely no tolerance for any disruptions once her lectures began.

As previously instructed, both Veronica and the TA stood at the back, to make sure that no one responded to the desperate knocking of stragglers trying to get into the locked auditorium. The latecomers would have to wait until the class was over, then endure a nasty lecture about punctuality once the doors opened and the other students departed. It was the professor's first hard lesson to her class, there was no flexibility when it came to discipline in the Introduction to the Theory of Economics. Even for the aristocracy, there was no sense that education was a right. It was a privilege, that one had to earn through one’s work. Of course if you came from money or breeding it was easier to get by with poor grades, you had relatives to help you get ahead in life.

After prayers (thanking the Monarchs for their generosity, the University for their hard work providing education, God for endowing them with the imitation of His Divine self so that they could learn.) Tanam quickly went over the course readings and schedule, then gave a short introductory lecture about the fundamentals of economics. They would be covering consumption, inflation, savings, investments, international trade and finance, national income and output. Such macroeconomic models, and what the models forecast, that were used by the government entities to aid in the construction and evaluation of economic policy.She concluded by holding up two of the course textbooks, explaining what the homework would be for the next class. With Hannah Tanam there was no such thing as "settling in". She presented testable material on both the first and final day of class.

Finally, Veronica opened one of the doors, while the TA stepped outside to round up the nervous freshmen who had not made it to class before Tanam began speaking. The TA led a small group of 18-year olds to the professor to be reprimanded, while Veronica looked for Doeg. She saw him, and could tell that he and his companions were extremely worried about the class and their new professor. Maybe...she could help him. The idea excited her.

But he was out the door too fast, he and his tall friends, loping out like antelope, and she was there with her heart in her throat.

Next time.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Novitera
Diplomat
 
Posts: 782
Founded: Jul 14, 2014
Anarchy

Postby Novitera » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:20 pm

Fineberg
University of Fineberg


Although people were beginning to sit down around him, Adrian hardly noticed. He took a middle seat in Dr. Taman’s class having arrived early to set up his Lai Dai tablet and watch the news. “McGill” was a well known Noviteran company (at least in Novitera) that dealt in financial software, information and media. They had their own news network in Novitera that broadcast around the clock financial news. At noon they were going over the first couple hours of the market open of the Avantine Stock Exchange and Adrian did not want to miss it. That was why he had come to the classroom 25 minutes early and was eating some falafel balls with chopsticks while viewing McGill on his tablet and listening through earbuds.

On the screen were two men in a suits arguing about the productivity of Lai Dai’s Sleek Series plant in Strana Mechty Jedoria. The bottom of the screen scrolled headlines in Japanese characters and stock tickers with numbers. Whether other students arriving were looking at his screen or himself, Adrian was oblivious. Once he finished the falafel he stuffed the box back into the brown bag it came in then into one of his backpack’s side pockets to throw away later.


Adrian Toshiyasu’s background had turned him into a hustler and automobile enthusiast. He had grown up in the suburbs of Dabrid where his father worked at a Jouhinjutsu auto assembly plant working as a machinist. The pay was decent and it kept them out of the poorest neighborhoods but the lower end of Novitera city life was something Adrian remained constantly exposed to. He heard the sirens at night and learned which streets to avoid. Watching his father, he took an interest in cars at a early age learning to work on engines and continued this hobby to this day.

Fortunately, he had tested well and got into one of the better high schools in the area. Not a private school, for his family could not afford that. Nor was it a school for gifted people. But certainly one that would provide a solid education. There Adrian did two seasons of sports, football and kickboxing. Some of his fellow classmates had some seedy contacts. Through them Adrian found a job working at a chop shop affiliated with the Dabrid mob in the off season and summers when he was able to prove his technical expertise on cars. It was good under the table pay and better than any kind of money he would otherwise be making at his age.

In the summer going into his senior Adrian received a good tip from one of the Dabrid Police detectives who was a father of a football teammate. The man had pulled him into his unmarked car while Adrian was walking to school one day. “I know what they do at that shop on 23rd. I know you work there. You fucking moron! Adrian, I know you’re usually a smart kid so you can imagine my surprise.” He showed Adrian pictures of himself exiting the shop.

Shocked, Adrian profusely apologized and begged the detective not to take him in. “You’re lucky you’re on the team and I’m feeling kind.” The detective said. They worked out a time when Adrian would not be in the shop. That day, it was raided and close to a dozen were arrested.

Even if Adrian had been caught, it would have been more so a slap on the wrist him being a minor. Then perhaps a permanent record that would be difficult but not crippling. That being said, the experience was a wake-up call and he decided he would never press his luck again. He focused on sports and studying in his final year of high school managing to become an All-League middle linebacker and took third place in the state kickboxing tournament.

Good grades, even better test scores and his sports achievements got Adrian a scholarship to the University of Soletrek in Avantine. His parents were so proud.

“Oh, my boy is going to Avantine! Wonderful! I always knew you were a smart one Adrian!” His father exclaimed in tears. Adrian felt a bit embarrassed.

At U of Soletrek he joined a fraternity for the social aspects and networking opportunities and had the time of his life freshman year. The fraternity even made him Deputy Social Chairman and he spent the last semester of the year helping to organize some of the college’s wildest parties. They even threw him a party when he won the school’s intramural kickboxing tournament. On top of this he participated in the Investment Club which was why he was on the computer watching the news now as the Club was in the middle of a competition which Adrian was able to still participate in overseas.

Avantine was fun but Adrian wanted to see more than Novitera having never travelled before. Studying International Business, he learned of emerging markets overseas and thought it a good opportunity than the hyper-competitive market at home. To top it off, Adrian’s grades were slipping and he was in danger of losing his scholarship. He had too much fun his first year and decided he needed to get away to somewhere calmer. When presented with the opportunity to spend his second year in Fineberg, he took it.

The main reason for the exchange program was for Noviteran students to network. During the several orientations in Avantine Adrian went through before leaving, it was highly encouraged to develop was many strong contacts as possible during their time there especially with their Edomite classmates. That would serve as the foundation of their network after college if they were to work in international business involving New Edom. In fact, they were all given a budget and required to take one Edomite classmate out to lunch or coffee every week. Maybe the Edomites would find that weird. But Adrian wondered why they should care. He would love for someone else to pay for his meals and drinks. Of course, Adrian planned to do more than that wanting to organize some events himself even if it was something simple like a group dinner. One thing he had learned in the fraternity was being a gateway to fun social events was very powerful in a college environment.

Although this was a freshman class, Adrian had spent his freshman year doing general education requirements and taking language and other business classes. This included two semesters of calculus, two semesters of statistics, introductory management information systems, introductory finance, introductory accounting, Roman Latin and introductory geology.

Looking at his watch, it seemed like there were 3 minutes left to the class start. He was watching the news because Adrian was part of much stock investment competition run through an internet site called “Fantasy Fund”. Here games could be set up where each one playing gets a set amount of “money” to invest in the securities market. They could make trades of securities and options as if they were doing so in real life and it kept track of the value of everyone’s fund which reflected real world values. Whomever had the highest value fund within four months would win. Settings could be manipulated like being able to see everyone else’s holdings or which markets could be invested in. This game gave Adrian a starting amount of 2 million UFD. Not being particularly knowledgeable about securities yet, his fund had fallen in value to 1.89 million which displeased him but he was having fun anyways. He was playing against 20 others in the investment club back at U of Soletrek in Avantine. Adrian decided he would make a game of his own and invite classmates here to play on it as a way to make friends. At one minute left to go before the start of class, he closed his positions in several Noviteran media companies and two Adiran tech companies. Not knowing where to put the money, he parked it in Noviteran Index Funds for the time being and decided to figure out where to stick the money later.

Being the first day, he had found that the language barrier was difficult. Although he had taken a semester of Roman Latin in college and one semester in high school, Adrian found that he had not practiced it near enough. During class, he would need to have his tablet out and an internet translator open to input some words that professor would say he did not understand. He actually liked wearing the uniform though. It was easier to put on than a full suit and tie as was required of Noviteran universities. The prayer was a strange thing but he did not mind. This was explained to him in the orientation and they were told to respectfully be silent and bow their heads. Of course, he did not pray and spent the time daydreaming.

On top of the differences of the country all together, university life was different. Things here were regimented and strict compared to back home. There seemed less to do in terms of social events although Adrian figured he had not looked into that enough. But it was clear the rollicking and lewd parties of U of Soletrek would not happen here as was hammered into them at the orientations. He thought that a good thing as that was what had got him in trouble in the first place.

“Respect their Christian religion and things to do with the Monarchy…”

“Don’t even think about cocaine. No coke until you’re back.”


There were other orientations too regarding drinking, conduct with the opposite sex and general customs. By the end of it, only 3 of 10 students that originally signed up remained and were intent on doing the program.

The course seemed well enough for him and he liked the material. He had taken an economics course in high school. Half of the class would be a refresher and the other half concepts he was unfamiliar with which pleased him. It surprised him to see how long they would spend on Keynesian economics. Generally, Noviteran education taught it so they could understand but generally regarded it as nonsense. A thing touted by other countries to sell the people on loathsome socialism. They were told that there may be some different ideas taught about business and economics there. It would be obnoxious to talk about the Noviteran way at every turn but they were told they should not be afraid to declare and stand by what they believe. As long as they could defend their opinions intelligently and the topic was open to discussion.

He did find Tanam extremely intimidating reminding him of a trading floor manager as depicted in media. The class had more busy work than what he was use to and he realized he could not afford to fall behind on the readings. Feeling confident, Adrian used the opportunity to throw up a flag and make himself known to the class. He raised a hand to ask a question when Dr. Tanam opened the floor to questions.

“Is the rational consumer principle really reliable when what is ‘rational’ differs across many different people? Economic textbooks I’ve read talks of this as one of the greatest difficulties when companies are doing economic modelling in unfamiliar societies. I’ve read that some economists believe ‘rational’ is fluid and subject to manipulation.” He posed feeling a bit self-conscious about his Noviteran accent.

The amount of work this class entailed already made Adrian weary thinking about it. But he was not concerned about whether he would be able to do it. In fact, he was determined to succeed. Noviterans were supposed to be the finest businessmen in the world. To underperform his Edomite classmates would be an embarrassment. One thing he knew for sure was, if he did not understand fundamental economics by the end of the course, he never would.
Last edited by Novitera on Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Republica De Gran Chaco
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Posts: 427
Founded: Jun 29, 2015
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Republica De Gran Chaco » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:21 am

Dongying

The morning was cold, and the young girl shivered as she got up. The room was small and dark this early in the morning and Preeti had to be careful where she stepped to not disturb the other members of her family. She made for the small bamboo door and stepped outside. The home of her family was very humble, a small one room building made of a bamboo frame and walled in mud. Preeti knew that there were rich people who lived in beautiful homes of concrete in the city. Homes that would not collapse if a storm came beating through the hills, but this was a luxury that she could never imagine having.

As Preeti stood out in the dark the bitter morning wind caught her. Quickly she tied her dark hair back before pulling the small blanket around her shoulders tightly and began walking up the steep slope to the latrine to relieve herself. The sky was clear and the stars were visible, but the girl payed no mind to this. Light pollution was something completely unknown to people in these parts. The idea that some people could live their lives not seeing the night sky was unimaginable.

The girl was a skinny thing of about fifteen years. Her parents believed that she would soon be old enough to marry, and had been looking for good matches. There were some boys from the area that were serving in the Rifle regiment who might be able to provide a stable life for her. Preeti was not overly excited at the thought of leaving the comfort of home to marry a stranger, but she did not dare argue with Papa or Mama. Besides, that was the way of the world. The thought was scary now, but Mama, and many other women in the village had first given birth at sixteen, so she would not be alone in this.

Preeti, finished with her morning ritual, groggily made for the cow shed to clean up after the animals. It was difficult to see in the dark, but the girl had many years of practice and went around the cow and pushed past the goats, picking out their excrement. She sighed when it was finished and woke her younger sister, Anisha, up to begin the long walk to the jungle to cut grass to feed the animals.

For them the walk was normal, an everyday necessity that had to be done. The small goat paths up and down steep slopes were taken with ease, but would be exhausting for even fit men that were foreign to her area. The walk took an hour and a half and the girls sang softly in their language to try to not think about what creatures could be lurking in the dark forest.

The sky began to lighten as they reached the grass fields. The girls began cutting and bundling the fodder for the animals. They did this with quiet efficiency, saying very little, wanting to get back home as soon as possible. The grass was tied in a bundle as large as Preeti’s body. She hefted it onto her back and began marching back up the hillside towards home, singing as she moved. Her little sister followed carrying her own bundle of grass.

After another hour and a half of an uphill march the two returned to their home. They took the grass to feed the animals before going back inside. When they were able to return into their home, the girls found their mother had tea brewing. Preeti and Anisha began preparing to make the meal for everyone. Potatoes were in season, so that is what they would eat. There was still a little bit of salt, garlic, and some herbs that they had picked to go with the food. There was no rice. Papa had wanted to save some money, so no one had gone to the market to buy any.

Anisha called Papa inside when the meal was finished cooking and everyone sat to eat. The girl’s father was a small, thin, wiry, man. He had a light frame but he was strong from years of hard labor. The man squatted down and took some tea. He tasted it and turned to his daughters, “You girls will go to the river to get sand today.”

“Will you go with us Papa?” Preeti asked.

“No.” The father answered, “I am going to town, I am helping to build a new school that some priests are building. I will be gone for some weeks. Get sand while I am gone, and help your mother.”

“Yes Papa.” The girls answered.

The father looked at Preeti, “I am going to be working with a man whose son is a Naik in the Rifles. I think we are close to an agreement. You should be happy. You will soon be bearing children.”

Preeti made a face, “Papa please, the thought is so scary.”

The man smiled, “If everyone were like you, we would have no people on this earth.”

The girls cleaned up before saying farewell to their father and leaving to make the hike to the river. They gathered all of the tools that they would need down at the river. Large bamboo baskets, spades, a wood box, and a large net to filter out the bigger stones. The hike to the river was shorter than their morning trek to cut grass. After 45 minutes of the girls singing, they reached the water at the bottom of the valley.

They stretched the net over the top of the wooden box and drove nails into the corners to keep it taught. There were others at the river doing the same work, but the two girls kept to themselves, shoveling sand onto the net as they talked and laughed with each other. When there were too many stones on top of the net they were brushed off and the digging continued.

“Are they tractors coming to buy the sand today?” Anisha asked.

Preeti shook her head, “I don’t think so, we will need to keep the baskets here overnight. We must mark them.”

Anisha made a sour face, “Didi, Papa hates that, he always thinks that the sand will get stolen.”

“What to do? We cannot carry that and the grass, and it is too heavy to take home. We have to leave them here.” Preeti explained.

Together they filled up the baskets. Preeti helped Anisha pick up her basket, then grunted as she hefted her own onto her back. The walked to a spot they knew away from the water. The bamboo baskets dug into their backs scraping them up and tearing holed in their clothing. They moved as quickly as they could to haul the heavy load to their hiding spot. When they finally finished, they let the baskets fall and sat down to rest for a moment. They marked their baskets and tools and then stood.

“Owwwww.” Anisha complained, “Didi, am I bleeding?”

“Yes, but I am as well. Don’t complain. Come let’s go cut grass.” Preeti said.

Anisha danced around a bit, bothered by her back, but followed her older sister away. The walk to the jungle was shorter and easier this time. The girls walked along the valley floor to reach their destination. The light began to fade as they cut. Anisha tried to leave early, clearly getting nervous by the approaching nightfall. Preeti had to scold her for not cutting enough food for the animals.

Only when the bundles were as large as they were in the morning did the two girls leave for home. Preeti’s stomach was growling. She was so hungry, and quietly hoped that there was something for dinner tonight. She was dreaming of rice and peppers, garlic, and the ever-rare chicken in the meal when she was bumped hard in the back. The bundle scraped on her sores from the sand baskets.

“Ahhhh, watch your step, Anisha!” Preeti cried.

“I though I heard an animal.” The little sister said nervously.

Preeti was angry, but the thought of something stalking them in the dark entered her mind. Still she doubled down, and continued to yell at her sister, “Don’t be stupid!”

The girls bickered as they walked and it helped them pass the time. Home finally came, and the animals were fed. Preeti’s heart rose when she saw her mother cooking dinner for them. It was such a blessing to come home to find that, and she gave Mama a big hug. Mama beamed, but reminded her daughters to go and wash their clothes before dinner.

With the laundry finished and hung on a line the girls ate their potatoes and peppers, before cleaning up and going to bed. Preeti laid out banana leaves, which were softer on the scrapes and scratches on her back and fell asleep. Morning would come too soon, and the grass needed to be cut for the animals.
كان التيز سمين

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 22712
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:23 pm

A Tobacco Factory
Carnmag, Teman Province


Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom,
and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me,
that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;
for I delight in these things," declares the LORD
--Jeremiah 9:22-24


All around the province, tobacco plantations had been growing over the last eight years, making landowners rich. Tobacco bales were received at the factory in big bales, which were then stemmed and cut, then moisture was adjusted, roasted, flavours and blends added. Binding and treatment with insecticides also took place.

The air conditioner rattled and hummed in the warm air, but inside the office at the top of the iron staircase it felt as if it was doing nothing but stirring the humidity around. If there was any coolness, it came more from the big ceiling fan that whirled and clacked in the centre of the ceiling. Orlando Beriah, the factory manager, sat back in his office chair under the fan and smiled as he wiped sweat from his forehead and his muscular, almost hairless chest with a hand towel. He was wearing only a pair of loose, lightweight cotton shorts and expensive foreign made sandals. Educated in Novitera, he had returned to a good job in a factory owned by a consortium of business interests held by minor aristocracy. The longer he stayed in New Edom the less he wore. He wanted to stand out from the employees, after all. He did have a set of tropical clothing of light cotton and linen for when he went out as well. Back in Novitera, he had been a dress shirt and slacks type of man when being casual, a suit man when not.

Towel in hand, mopping at his forehead, Orlando got up and looked out of the side window, seeing below him the busy floor of the open-sided factory shed where the naked men and women were seated in rows at long benches, bent over their work, with their fingers flying over the tobacco leaves they were treating, they might have been students studying hard.

Those Orlando saw working below him as he looked out over the cigar factory through his office window were mostly bone and lean sinews, softer tissues lean, though here and there women’s hips stuck out from sheer anatomical virtue. He was no philanthropist, but he knew the factory workers were better off than most of the others in Carnmag, than most in New Edom, in fact, and work in the factory was eagerly sought.

Then Orlando walked to the other side of his office and looked out on the other part of the factory. It was smaller, but the floor was concrete and fully enclosed, and it was filled with cigarette making machines, with men and women working in the hot, steamy conditions, watching the machines as they spun out hundreds of thousands of cigarettes each day. They were being wrapped in fine white paper but the filters and logos were not put on—they would go to companies that actually marketed them as their own.

This part of the factory was where the brightest and best workers were employed, and here the people were more filled out in appearance; they had actual jobs, not ‘temporary employment’ which kept the other workers anxious and concerned. Normally any difficulties were dealt with by these folk being the pinnacle other workers aimed for—a permanent job, a certificate of expertise. But his eyes settled on one young man down there, trying not to watch the flex and roll of his muscular backside, the pendulant sway of the evidence of his manhood, the lean body and stubborn jaw, bold eyes and close shaven dark hair. His flexible fingers worked with agility. But he was talking. Always talking. He should really do something about it…but he found that where every other employee would get weak kneed and tongue tied before him—it was the reverse in this case. In this case, Jeremiah (damn it, what an unfortunate name!) Cabot made his knees go weak.

He lowered the shorts, unable to not tend his arousal; his door was locked after all. He watched, breathing harder. He should really do something. He could even hear him over the security system if he wanted…he went to it. A vivid memory of Jeremiah Cabot in the company showers, looking at him with the…not insolent, rather the untamed eyes of a Griffon or a cat. No idea what he thought, only so confident, so certain of his abilities, his glorious body glistening in the water that flowed over him…

Orlando smoldered like a hot cigar; breathing hard he stepped back. This conversation would have resulted in firing, and he knew he could always get more workers in thanks to the lovely rail system connecting these parts.


Jeremiah

Jeremiah started the day’s work off by getting a supply of tobacco on his table. A good day’s work was considered to be the production of about 2,000 cigarettes, and it took about two pounds and three ounces of tobacco for every thousand cigarettes, so one person could not work out but about an average of four pounds a day.

After getting the tobacco on the table he took a portion of it and put it under a damp cloth. This was done in order that the tobacco would return its freshness until it was used up. After getting the tobacco all under the cloth it was pressed flat so as to get it in better form to work with.

When all was ready, he would take a portion of the tobacco from under the cloth and place it on the table directly in front of himself. This small portion of tobacco was in amount about enough for one cigarette. Directly in front of the employee was a small pasteboard square on which the actual rolling was done. Taking the tobacco up in one hand, it was placed on the paper very carefully particularly attention being given to its smoothness and the clean appearance of the paper it was being wrapped in. After the cigarette had been rolled it was stuck together with paste which every operator had in easy reach. It was here that the skill was required for too much paste on a cigarette would make it have a black appearance and thereby prevent its being marketed.
When he had made a good number of cigarettes, he would stack nine of them between his fingers and trim the ends with a pair of shears. This operation also required great skill for it was very easy to ruin several cigarettes with one miscut with the shears. Jeremiah was rather proud of his work, in fact.

However he was also an angry young man. He spoke to Paula, Roxelana (a New Othmani immigrant who had married a member of the ETC), David and other workers at his table. “You know how people keep getting docked for sick leave here? Well I was studying on the library at the computer, and there was a WA study on how tobacco workers get something called ‘green sickness’. And you know what that is? Puking, shitting watery, dizziness, weakness and early heart attacks. They say it’s the pesticides, the nicotine in the tobacco. It should be considered hazardous work. It is hazardous work in other countries, we should have gloves and other protective gear, even breathing gear. But they say it’s harmless, even the Ministry of Health says it’s harmless.”

“You should talk about it at the Union meeting,” said Paula. A handsome, mature woman with long dark hair, curved hips, drooping but shapely bosom, she was always making eyes at Jeremiah, but she was very married and he ignored this, with difficulty. She was also educated, which was a further temptation—she had worked as a mail clerk in Shavan until the place got hit by Anarchists, she and her husband and nearly grown children had fled. One child, a girl, was married to her shame to some foreign hippy, the other, a boy, worked in the tobacco plantation now. Her husband had gone to find work at Magna Lacuna, worked at a shipping harbour, and only visited once a month now.

“I’m going to. But you know what—Brother Land says we should put up ballots for the Unionist Party and make factory worker conditions in Carnmag an issue.” Jeremiah’s eyes were bright. “Why not? If an ethnarchy is a sovereign state within a state, then it should be able to protect workers!”

“That won’t happen, and we’ve got a good thing going here,” warned David, shaking his head. “We’ve at least got regular jobs and we can’t be fired without cause. And what about all the others, they’re lucky to have any work at all. Why wreck a good thing?”

Roxelana said nothing as usual; she kept her head down, knowing that only her husband’s status and good job here as a custodian kept her with some extra money enough to live decently. They had been living in a tent until 3 months ago.

Jeremiah took a deep breath. “I’m going to talk about it anyway. You’re all part of the Union—why not go all the way and be Unionists? Brother Land is going to be there, and a lot of other people who really stand for workers’ rights.”

David sneered. “Where’s your escort and big car, big talker?” David was a burly man, big and brawny and tough, and his older brother was the same and was also an assistant manager who ran the power system for the factory. “Leave well enough alone.”

Yeah, leave well enough alone moaned Orlando in his mind, watching Jeremiah’s fingers at work, imagining them elsewhere. I should report you…maybe I could threaten to, have you where I want you…

Jeremiah knew he was a big man, but he glared at him, hiding his own doubts. “David, I have a question for you.”

“What’s that?” David grunted.

“How do you breathe?”

“What?” David squinted at him.

“Isn’t it hard to breathe with your nose up the company’s ass?” Jeremiah asked him. David’s eyes bulged.

“Why you little…”

The two women laughed. David’s face reddened, and he began to get up. “You aren’t going to be around others all the time, boy. You’ll pay for that remark.”
Jeremiah said, “You better bring all your weapons then, you dumb stupid ox. I’ll kill you.” He meant it too—with a man like David, he’d have to stay down. “In fact, I’ll do it right now, I don’t care if I got to a penal battalion I just want to see your blood pouring out. Let’s do this.” He grabbed his knife.

David, to his astonishment, broke into a grin, and sat down. “Hey, I was just a little angry, no need for that. Don’t be so serious! I just think you’re biting off more than you can chew…”

Jeremiah watched, to his astonishment, as David began to basically kiss his feet. He had been a smokestacking bully all along. “Come to the meeting,” he said, decisively trying to take advantage. “You might be surprised. And there’ll be some food and drink there.”

David laughed. “Hey, food and drink, I’m always up for that.”

Damn, and now Paula was making big eyes at him again. And him with no woman, not wanting one being so damned poor, but so tempted by

“Jeremiah,” she said as the whistle blew and it was time to change shifts, as they were heading to the showers, “When did you last have a good meal? You look so thin…you should let me cook you a good meal…”

here we go… he thought. Resist!

Watching them on the monitor, Orlando was not sure what to do, but he could barely think now, as he imagined Jeremiah and Paula together, mating like animals, and the white hot blaze of lust nearly blinded him...
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Republica De Gran Chaco
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 427
Founded: Jun 29, 2015
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Republica De Gran Chaco » Fri May 17, 2019 5:44 pm

Chivay, Chaco

Roman groaned at the alarm on his phone and rolled over hoping he could try to sleep through it. His wife, Lidia, was up, however and shaking him awake, “Roman, get dressed, you have to go to work.”

She waited a moment to be sure that he was sitting up and then walked out of the small bedroom into the small dining area of their house. It was a humble domicile, made of concrete, with two small bedrooms and a welcome area that served as both the dining room and the living room. It was nothing special, but they could afford to outright own it, with enough money to send their kids to a small private school run by nuns rather than the shabby government school.

Roman was thankful for being able to afford all of this. He had grown up out in a small village where everyone worked as farm hands and had not had the same opportunities that his children would. He was doing better than his father, who never learned to read, and could barely speak any Spanish, but Roman wanted his children to do better still.

He shifted over to the edge of the bed and looked around for his boxers. He found a clean pair that his wife had laid out and slipped them on. He stretched a moment and yawned, before stumbling over to the table. Lidia was outside cooking breakfast, but she had already placed a cup of tea on the table for him to begin sipping. Roman could hear his kids getting dressed in their school uniforms in the next room. His two daughters once dressed, went in the back to assist their mother with the food. Roman called to his son who was still in his room, “Atilio! Go and get my work things from the clothes line!”

The boy came out of the room, “Yes Papa.”

He traipsed out of the back door and returned with an armful of clean laundry. Roman, picked through it and grabbed an undershirt, socks, and his gray coveralls. The boy took the rest into his parents’ room and began folding it into piles for the family. Roman put his clothes on, followed by steel toe work boots in time for the girls to come in with the food. He waited for the family to sit before praying. They ate together while he listened to his wife fret over their school uniform. That was a Monday tradition for the family, after all the laundry was done, for her to make sure they looked as neat as possible. As the week went on the kids were allowed to look a bit sloppier, but again on Monday, Lidia would straighten ties and tuck in shirt tails.

Roman looked at the clock on the wall, and stood up. He kissed his wife and said farewell to his children, before stepping picking up his work gloves and lunch box and stepping outside. He walked up the small narrow dirt street towards the main road to wait for the crowded public bus that would take him to his job at the Jouhinjutsu engine factory. Over the past few years Noviterans had been building factories all over Chaco, and now Adiran ones were being built.

For Roman and many others like him from the villages, and slums in the cities, it was an opportunity to move up. The 2015 uprising had sent harsh shockwaves through the Quechua community. Much of the violence was inflicted on fellow Quechuas as well as police and white businesses. The community was left with a bitter taste in in its mouth, and wondering what to do, pressed between the government security forces everywhere that looked at them all suspiciously, and a movement that had seemed to only bring destruction on themselves. Then the factories started opening up and the government infrastructure programs began hiring. Young men from all over were able to get jobs that paid them good wages, and brought them year-round stability, that just wasn’t there when many worked as farm hands or day laborers.

Roman moved nearer to Chivay and got a job. When he had earned enough, he bought his small home, and sent for his family. He enrolled his children in private school and never looked back. He whistled happily as he made his way up the hill to where the other men were waiting for the bus. He greeted some friends and talked with them about an up coming baseball game. They actually could consider buying tickets to go to the games from time to time.

The bus arrived and looked packed already. It was always standing room only. The small crowd pressed their way onto the vehicle paying their fares and shoving people back so that they could all get on. There was no room to shift once the bus began moving, but Roman was used to this and just waited patiently until they arrived at the factory. Getting off the bus was always a glorious feeling. That punch of fresh air in his face helped him get ready for another day of assembling engines.

He would work his ten-hour shift on an assembly line attaching hoses to engine blocks like he did every day. The work was monotonous, but it was a lot less physically demanding than hauling sacks of grain in every day. They even got two ten-minute breaks and a half hour for lunch. At six o’clock the shift ended and Roman, tired from his day headed back out to catch the bus home.

When he finally walked through his door, his kids were busy, glued to the small tv, watching a popular Chacano cartoon. Lidia greeted him with a kiss, “How was work today Romancito?”

Roman grunted, “Fine, just a lot of standing. My back is tight, I need you to massage it tonight.”

“Of course.” Lidia said, while dishing out potatoes and vegetables onto plates for everyone.

Roman ate his meal while asking the kids about their day at school. His oldest daughter was very excited, because the school was planning a trip to the zoo, “And Papa, they say that we can see all kinds of animals even kangaroos! I want to throw a stone at one to make it hop! It would be so cute to see it hop around.”

“What a stupid animal a kangaroo must be.” Roman commented.

“Yes Papa, but they are so funny how they have to jump instead of run.” His daughter said happily.

Roman smiled, “That’s good, I hope you have fun. Tell me what a zoo is like, I have never been.”

After dinner the kids were sent outside to bathe themselves then told to go to bed. Roman stripped down and lay on his bed, waiting for Lidia to come in and massage his back. She came back in and began kneading his muscles, and soon he was snoring.
كان التيز سمين

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Solisian Union
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Posts: 435
Founded: Apr 22, 2018
Corrupt Dictatorship

Observations Taken From Capullo City

Postby Solisian Union » Sat May 18, 2019 4:33 am

Observations of Victoria Grossman (A Week of Notes)



1.The sky is cloudy. The people are returning to their homes. The day is coming to an end. When the moon took the sun’s throne, it started to rain. Cars and trains continue but the people are inside. Hopefully, they are warm. The late ones are still at the train stations, the bus stations, and the stops for people who share their cars.

2.I visited my friend, Charo, and we went out to the park. Children were playing. The trees were being watered as are the shrubs. I saw Pepa with the park workers. They made sure that the plants were alive. There were a few dead bushes. They took them away.

3.Chepe bought a new shirt. ‘How much is it now?’ I asked him. He told me: ‘It’s ten more Pesos now. The last price was only 20.’

4.An old woman: ‘Things are not changing for good reasons. If the police continue behaving like bandits, the Reds will come back. They will come back, God help us all.’

5.Checkpoint at five kilometers. Checkpoint, another one, at fifteen kilometers. I came late. The bus driver apologized personally to my editor. The editor gave him ten pesos and she forgave me for being late.

6.Three days ago, I found a widow receiving her annual funds from the government. When she walked away, she was stopped by a tall man wearing a great coat. Luckily, there was a police officer nearby. She stepped towards the man, pushed him away, and chased him away from the widow. When he vanished, the police woman escorted the widow personally back to her house.

7.The newspapers were talking about the Azen Legionnaires who made the charge that killed hundreds of protesters. Soldiers passed by, talking about it. One said: ‘I am worried about my boy. I hope he didn’t get hurt or killed.’ and then the other one said, ‘I am also worried about my girl. She has friends who joined the protests.’

8.Chuy smiled at me today. He was cleaning the stairs before I left the apartment building. I smiled at him and he said: ‘Be careful today! Be careful!’

9.There are more signs outside. ‘Lesbians not allowed.’ ‘Deviants need not apply.’ ‘Reds - stay out!’ ‘Don’t bring trouble into my shop.’

10.Traffic jam. Two women were arguing with a group of men. A red car smashed into the back side of a truck. Two minutes later, police officers arrested them all. When I left, I heard screaming, I heard grunting and crying. When I returned to the intersection and asked the people I remembered from that day, they told me: ‘The police beat the women. They were deviants - bloody sinners.’

11.Nacho was afraid to come out of the apartment building. Because of his fear, he had to ask me to buy food for him and his cat, Paco.

12.Today, the government just raised the price for eggs: What was once five pesos is now ten pesos.

13.A small protest at the train station. Police had to remove them from the tracks. Nobody was beaten.

14.I saw some teens running from police women and Guardia Civil. Later, when they ran into an alley, I heard shooting. I ran to see what happened and I found two small bodies on the far side of the alley. In the middle, the authorities were beating the rest.

15.The highway leading out of the city was closed. I asked my friend, Lieutenant Paca, about it. She told me: ‘Reds planted a few mines on the highway last night. One mine blew up under a bus. Twenty people are dead. The wounded are in Saint Lalo’s Hospital.’

16.Hot day. It’s 47.3C right now. My air conditioner broke down. I didn’t stay at home. I went to the mall. While I was there, I saw a young man being dragged outside by mall guards. ‘Deviant!’ cried a woman who followed after them. She was spitting at him, cursing at him.

17.I saw posters on the outside of the apartment building. They were Red posters. Some were posters for the democrats. Others were promoting the community of ‘deviants’ and ‘sinners’ as people describe them. Ten minutes later, as I was leaving for working, my landlord was busy tearing them down from his building.

18.Someone was arrested at the intersection near the office. My editor and I saw the police arguing with some Traditionalists.

19.Lola warned me: ‘There’s going to be civil war, oh Lord, there’s going to be one soon. I am afraid; please don’t go outside.’

20.A gay bar was destroyed. A fire did. The authorities found many bodies.

21.Concha went missing last night. She was supposed to come back from the grocery store. We called the police and they told us that she was kidnapped by the Reds. Concha was a secretary to the mayor of the city.

22. Toño left the city because he got a call from the Army. He was needed to help his unit reinforce the police while they tried to restore order in the south.

23. A father of four: 'I lost my daughter in the south. I couldn't weep. I was too afraid to weep. My wife doesn't like to see me weep.'

24. Opinion of Licha, a janitor at the office: 'I honestly think they should bring back Soraya. The Chairwoman was good at keeping the Reds away from trouble and she was good at keeping the government away from cracking down on too many people. Soraya is the best peacekeeper.'

25. Fito, a Guardia Civil. He was just promoted. He is now a Captain. He told me: 'Things are not going well for us. My boys and my girls keep on returning from the city with more people, more arrests. Young people are sitting behind the bars of our station. It is a big station, but if we keep making arrests and if the people from the LGBT community keep making trouble, I don't think we can handle it. We can't handle it, and if we can't handle it, we have to call the Azen Legion and the rest of the military.'
Last edited by Solisian Union on Sat May 18, 2019 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cossack Khanate
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Postby Cossack Khanate » Sat May 18, 2019 10:01 am

Selvik, Cossack Khanate

Aarav Raj leaned against his family’s small balcony, looking out to the cityscape of the capital. The sun was just rising over the horizon, an orange ball that signalled the start of the day. Yet Cossacks were awake at least an hour before, to follow Hindu tradition of praying before the sun arose. It was supposed to bring good health, and the tradition was overall considered a necessity to being successful. Even if many didn’t agree, that didn’t stop the religious majority from rising at 5 in the morning.

Aarav was 16. He attended secondary school, trained with a gun, and flirted with girls behind his parents’ backs like any other Cossack child. Yet perhaps he had a different path of life in mind.

A cool wind blew against his face. He checked his watch. 6:12. Sighing, he slowly sauntered downstairs off the balcony. Making his way into the kitchen, where his mother was cleaning up the remains of breakfast, he popped a chocolate into his mouth before hurrying out the door with his backpack on his back. He stepped out onto the busy street. Selvik was somewhat of a cobbled-together city. New age city designers tried to minimize waste and promote green transport, cultural activists and nationalists vouched for restoration of ancient buildings, and businesses advocated for tall skyscrapers and clean streets. The result was mixed. Waste and pollution had been minimized, and the government had promoted “Live where you work” policies. Due to this, most streets had at least 3 small family-owned stores, and apartments rose up near large restaurants and factories. Waste reduction programs had most families grow food in their own backyard with compost from their own food waste. And the main transport was either fuel-efficient methane-based “scooters” or bicycles.

Aarav unlocked his bike from his his garage and hopped on...
The Holy Decreeist Empire of Cossack Khanate
A constitutional monarchy with a unique government system.
A proud Nation that supports Social Conservatism, State-People Unity, and the progression of our people and righteousness.
Myself (OOC): “Why bother? Humanity is going to destroy itself by 2100…”
Me in not so much of nutshell: The Nutshell
Tier: 9 , Type: 7 , Class: 1, according to this index
“My battery is low...and it’s getting dark” - R.I.P Opportunity Feb 13th, 2019

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