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yefiridwa

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Cherico, Aug 28, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Robert Kline
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Robert Kline


    "You're a descendent of Glenda Goodwitch?"

    Riku shrugged.

    "No, Merlin gave the surname of goodwitch to a lot of kids that were just abandoned at his school. I'm related to a few of the later ones. You have to remember that we didn't have the internet back then so information was often spotty."

    I nodded my head and sipped the coffee, it was good.

    "So what happened for the next couple days?"

    "Well in my case, I shadowed Hanzo for a couple days, learning more about things were really done and what our roles would be."

    "And learning how to commit crimes."

    "Do you realize just how restrictive japanese trade was during those days? We had one of the most protectionist economies in the world. A shirt that cost you 5 dollars in the US, could cost 50 in Japan. And food prices were insane because our agricultural industry simply could not keep up with demand and there were huge tarrifs on every thing."

    "So you smuggled."

    "Yes, we did. Pretty much every restaurant in tokyo, hell most japanese cities period, used smuggled food. They had to, the margins were too tight to survive just on domestic stuff. Even today with the colonies the price of food in Japan is 20% higher than what it is in America. it was even worse back then."

    He yawned and looked at a text.

    "Ok you probably want to see this."

    He turned on the television and my eyes widened, Ethiopia had been awarded Venus. The two of us were silent.

    "Didnt think they would pull it off."

    "They have been using every trick in the book....my money is that some serious backroom deals were done Kline San."

    I shrugged.

    "Probably. You think the rest of the worlds will go quickly?"

    "Yes...I think the big five have worked out some kind of deal, don't know who the ethiopians made a deal with. Yanks, Brits, France, but they pulled it off."

    "So you're thinking its some kind of neocolonial deal?"

    "Probably... Smart money is that the big five will take turns until we run out of worlds. Refugees will get planets in exchange for being proxies for their needs."

    "You dont think they want those worlds?"

    "You honestly think the minor powers would allow it?"

    I shrugged, it was a good point.

    "The old order died with the soviets, everyone has just been coasting on fumes. The new order is being built now."

    "And Japan?"

    "Will stand with America."

    "Because we're old friends?"

    "Because no one else wants us on their side."
     
    The Night Owl, 128Hunter and ninguem like this.
  2. Threadmarks: New solar order
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Peter Zweilander -the new solar order


    Eithiopia and what it means.


    So the Ethiopian vote went through, what does that mean for the order and why did it go through? If you want to understand why it happened look at the diplomatic deals and military deals and remember your history.

    Ethiopia, unlike most african countries, enjoyed one special benefit, the love and affection of America's african american community. Ethiopia at the time of the exchange had around 35 million people. The communist regime was firmly allied to the soviet union and when the war happened the nukes flew.

    Adis Ababa, the capital, was nuked completely, destroying the central government and about 80% of their military. The only intact organisation left in Ethiopia was the orthodox church whose leadership had been kicked out of the capital and forced to live in the hinterlands.

    Baha had long had fans of Ethiopia and they rallied to save what few people remained but resources were limited and saving Ethiopia meant that resources wouldn't be spent on other people.

    So the state mobilized its coast guard, volunteers and national guard and twisted the arms of other states to get the aid. The Ethiopian orthodox church rallied hard and used the fact that they were the only intact organization left to get aid to their people and get them off world. Leaving other religious groups to die.

    Eithopia would in the end lose 90% of its population to the war. Most countries in Africa and the rest of the planet lost far more than that. The 3.5 million survivors were placed on one of Trition's largest islands and then lived off of the largess of the winners for an entire generation.

    They worked hard to get their own world and managed to strike a deal. They would become an American vassal state and settle on Venus. In exchange France would be able to choose the next winner who would also become a vassal, then China, then India and then the British Empire. They would take turns until all of the worlds were claimed.

    so why was this deal hatched? In the end it was about trade, as in who would be allowed to trade.

    Extraplanetary trade requires lots of magi in order to successfully trade with others. America, due to its long tradition of magic, has those kinds of magi. The British, through the common wealth alliance, has those numbers. Both India and China engaged in crash mass teaching operations to get magi during and after the cold war. Both of them can trade with the outside system without help.

    France can't, they have magi but they don't have enough of them and they know it. However there is a region that has the magi needed to make them independent if they become a vassal state and that's Quebec.

    Canada defined itself as not being american and tends to be light on magi because of it, Quebec defined itself as not being canadian and decided to invest heavly in magic. Before the war each province got 10% of the clones. Quebec threw a stink and the other provinces gave them 20%.

    Education was determined by each province and in a move other people would consider mad Quebec gave all of their clones magical training and their education and culture was crafted by Quebec nationalists of the most extreme sort.

    Right now Quebec has a 5th of canada's population and 95% of its magi and they want to leave, a move canada does not want but its something that is going to happen. First because France needs Quebec's magi to acess larger markets, second because Quebec wants to leave and third because Canada has made noises about leaving the Commonwealth and the British empire will step aside and allow this to happen to punish them.

    China and India dont care and America wants to secure their sunward flank in case of a grand alliance of powers beyond the asteroid field. The new order is being built and Canada will be its first victim.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Riku
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku Dan


    I looked at the newspaper as the three of us sat in the van.

    "First Japanese Rocker."

    My friends looked at me.

    "What? We have lots of rockstars."

    "No, you know how Elvis invented a new style of magic when he was in the military?"

    They nodded their heads.

    "Well after his divorce he decided to start teaching people how to do it."

    And clean himself up, stop with the drugs and tour less.

    "Yeah so?"

    "So Keisuke Kuwata just finished his training."

    "The head of Southern All Stars? how did he get Elvis to do that?"

    "Apparently he just went to graceland and asked, said that the king was actually a pretty good teacher. A bit preachy about drugs though, said the stuff ruined his life and he doesn't want that to happen to anyone else."

    We nodded our heads, all of us had received the talk about drugs and about the consequences. To me it made enough sense. The van stopped and the doors opened, revealing the Japanese country side. An old man walked towards us in an old fashioned yukata, he looked at us as if judging us and finding all of us wanting.

    "The next three months will be absolute hell for you, you get one request. One."

    "Beer."

    "Decent food."

    My two friends spoke up instantly the old man rolling his eyes.

    "You the first one you will get a single can of beer a day, you the second I will have my daughter make something that doesn't taste like shit once a day for you and you the last one what do you want?"

    "No Pink Lady."

    The man blinked.

    "What?"

    "Their music... It's terrible sir, I hate it...I hate it so much.. it's garbage."

    He stared at me and I saw the faintest outline of a smile.

    "You sure you don't want any comforts?"

    "Not hearing their shitty music is comfort enough sir."

    He nodded.

    "Granted, I am sure you want to introduce yourself. Don't. You haven't earned that right, instead you will be given numbers 1 to 3 while I will try to turn each of you into some one useful."

    He paused.

    "Once you have finished my training then, and only then, will I bother learning your names."

    He pointed at a shack and we followed him, we saw dirt covered mats on the ground.

    "That is where you will sleep at night, welcome to hell."

    He looked at us.

    "Well? Clean the place worms!"

    We snapped to and started immediately as he watched us.
     
  4. Threadmarks: Riku
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku Dan


    The three of us were seated, we were all tired from cleaning our shack. The old man looked at us, his tattoos visible behind his open shirt.

    "So why are there only three of us?"

    "Because 4 is an unlucky number."

    We blinked at the man.

    "Look at our arts, the qulipothic arts. The first art is useful, the second is a great way to better yourself and the third path, our path, is great. The fourth turns you into an evil monster. The arts after that? Perfectly fine."

    "But there are 4 seasonal arts."

    I felt a need to interject.

    "Autum magi are useless and everyone knows it."

    He looked at us and nodded.

    "So, any of you dabble in magic before?"

    I shrugged.

    "All right, you pick three spells."

    My friends picked spells that looked cool or were good for a fight but as I looked through the long list I settled on three.

    "Healing touch, mending and a cleaning spell?"

    The old man raised an eyebrow.

    "Sooner or later someone is going to get hurt. Sooner or later someone is going to break something important and sooner or later a mess is going to be created and it will need to be cleaned stat."

    I paused.

    "Plus it removes blood and fingerprints, we both know that will come in handy sooner or later."

    The old man smiled at me briefly, it was replaced with a frown.

    "There's no combat utlity to this magic you know."

    "I know, but someone has to handle that stuff and pick up the slack."

    He nodded his head as if I had passed some test.

    "Very well."

    He pulled out tatoo needles and glowing crystals, simple tatoos were put on our left wrists then crystals were pressed to the tatoos. I flinched as I felt a burning sensation but I worked through the brief pain.

    "Normally dabblers just use a bracelet but we use some thing more permanent."

    I flexed my hand and cleaned some dust in the distance.

    "Lame."

    I shrugged at my friends comment.

    "Yes but useful."

    I would have to fight smarter yes but that would just make what victories I had that much more impressive. My mind thought over options as the old man got up.

    "We're still collecting reagents, you will spend the rest of the day cleaning... Well, everything."

    Suddenly my choice of spell seemed to be a much better idea than I thought.
     
  5. Threadmarks: commercial break
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Commercial break


    An image of Earth's moon.

    "Mare Imbruim…. 1984...."

    Men in space suits grip railings.

    "Russia had a series of bases there, it was a collection of the last holdouts of the soviet union."

    The astronauts load their weapons.

    "An estimated 70,000 Russians. Scientists, government officials, military personal and everyone who was able to flee to the Mare Imbruim bases."

    They land on the surface of the moon and nod at each other.

    "Earth was gone, billions of people were dead and dying. There would be no respite for the destruction of earth, no forgiveness, and in the empty void of space we would fight the final battles of world war 3."

    An image of the moon.

    "Mare Imbrum, based on a true story and coming to a theatre near you."
     
  6. Threadmarks: Robert Kline
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Robert Kline


    "So are you going to tell me about your awakening?"

    Riki sipped his coffee.

    "There isn't much to say, you're given your foci, you're given a chunk of quartz that has been charged with mana. Then you put it into some tea, or water or something, and drink the water while thinking real hard about your archetype."

    He paused.

    "Then you pass out for a couple hours, have something akin to an acid trip and then wake up different. Whole process takes maybe three hours at most."

    He took another sip.

    "Can you tell me about what you saw?"

    "Um not really, I don't remember. Well not quite true I remember colors and lights but not much beyond that, and the effect is different for every one who does it."

    "So your training?"

    "I'd rather kind of skip over it."

    "Painful memories?"

    "Not really, most of the time we just butchered animals for the local farms."

    I grimaced remembering my own childhood, how father had us kill animals for food every day.

    "You went through it too."

    "Didn't care for it."

    "It works though, fastest way to rank up."

    He leaned back in his chair.

    "Yeah it is, so you mastered the style that way?"

    "I did other things but yes we were all given part time jobs in a slaughterhouse. From the look in your face you did something similar."

    He closed his eyes.

    "I didn't stop that when I finished my official training."

    "Why?"

    "I wanted to be the best, get stronger, I wanted to finish walking the path."

    He smiled.

    "You're not just a huckster."

    "An American term, we follow the same path but we go about things differently. And Hucksters.....I've actually visited the States and I understand why you Yankees despise them."

    "Can you explain why?"

    He sipped his coffee and closed his eyes.

    "So the way of the thief, the third path... When you awaken you start out slightly stronger, more agile, smarter, wiser, tougher and more charismatic. Not by much but it is there. You feel that difference. You gain an instinctive skill with knives, clubs, any melee weapon that just uses a single hand and also lock picking, stealth, deception, persuasion, sleight of hand, stealth. And when you ambush people it hurts."

    He pauses.

    "Then you hit that next plateau, you're a little faster. Then you hit that next level that's when the world opens up. You gain this hand of mystic energy that starts off being able to hold up to 13 kilos worth of stuff. You can cast more spells on top of any petty ante stuff."

    He opened his eyes.

    "In America the path is called hucksters. They have a well deserved reputation for being criminals and are historically aligned to some really horrible things."

    He took a sip of coffee.

    "I read your history, they were slave hunters and overseers during the antebellum era. War criminals during the civil war, members of the KKK after it. and they still have a reputation for being con artists and criminals. Though to be fair a lot of 3rd pathers are involved In something shady."

    I decided to let him continue.

    "Hucksters pride themselves on being illusionists, on using sleight of hand, on using their head and tricking people. This is because seasonal mages can, and historically did, rip them apart easily in an actual fight and they're not rare. In America there are lots of them."

    He yawned.

    "In Japan it's different, the Yakuza took the art but we put a more macho slant on it and, because magi are rarer in Japan, we are able to kind of delude ourselves into thinking that we are complete magical badasses. So we tend to load up on combat magic which can mostly be used once a day instead of the illusion and utility spells a huckster would use."

    He leaned forward.

    "When the two of us meet in the real world, we dislike each other. Hate each other really."

    "Why?"

    "Hucksters think of Yakuza as dumb thugs and Yaks think of hucksters as effeminate wimps. I mean seriously when they aren't up to some scam they like to dress up like the steamboat era never ended. But in the end we just can't stand each other for lots of reasons besides that."

    "Like what?"

    "The selfishness is a big one....when a disaster happens Yakuza are expected to help out, to give out aid and charity. Hucksters either leave people to rot or try to profit off of it."

    "Really?"

    "Yes really, charity during disasters has always been important."

    "Why?"

    "Organized crime can not exist long term without the consent of the people."

    "The Mexican cartels."

    "Have the military on their butts, have to deal with growing vigilante groups gunning for them. Sure fear will work well for a little bit but once that turns into hate you're screwed."

    "I doubt it."

    "I don't. Hate....hate is one of the strongest forces in the world. When a man hates you, truely hates you, then fear stops being a factor and what he can lose stops mattering. Consequences stop mattering... And when the entire community hates you, then you lose."

    "The Hucksters?"

    "They survive in part because they are cowards. They don't like fighting and, for a huckster, if you got in a fight it was because you were too stupid to avoid one and they make sure to pick their victims carefully. They exist because they're considered to be a nuisance to their communities."

    He took another sip of cofee.

    "Imagine what they could be if they were respected instead."
     
  7. Threadmarks: Riku
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku Dan


    When we woke up from our awakening our sensei of sorts gave us options.

    Take things easy, go a more moderate path, or go through his training from hell. We picked the last one. He smirked at us and told us that we had the option to quit. But if we completed the hell march... well, people would respect us. So naturally we picked the hardest option. For the next 90 days we woke up to having cold water splashed on our bodies, we ate a simple breakfast exercised and were then driven to a slaughterhouse and killed cows for the next 12 hours. When we came home there was more exercise followed by dinner and then we slept, exhausted.

    All of us had moments where we thought about giving up, but the three of us were friends and we supported each other. When the 90 days were over we felt exhausted and frustrated because we really hadnt trained ourselves how to use magic, we just felt tired.

    "90 days."

    He looked at us.

    "The summer is almost over, you managed to survive. Now a normal hell march...well pig farms are easier to get our people into but the boss pulled some serious strings."

    We stood up straighter.

    "A normal hell march turns a man into an 8th ranker, that's actually pretty impressive. The medium path turns out a man who is a 11th ranker, and the easy one leaves you a 17th ranker. You three however are 5th rankers."

    He looked at us.

    "Killing cows gives you a little more spiritual ompth then killing pigs, I know its been hard work, unpleasant and horrible, but."

    He threw a rock at me, I dodged it and then all of our bodies moved as a shock wave went threw the building, we got up and the man nodded.

    "You got stronger. Right now you can build a deck, and have the spiritual might to handle 14 spells. On top of your little dablers tricks, your deck will be the most important thing you create. It will be your foci, your hold out weapon. A good deck can and will save your life, a bad deck will fuck you."

    He walked back and forth.

    "You only have enough gas in your tanks to handle so many spells a day and, unlike a seasonal mage, once you're out you're out, but that doesnt mean you're helpless."

    He tossed me a dice and I caught it and then I fell to my knees as a ghostly hand rose out of my fore arm.

    "That....my friend is your ghost hand and I'm going to train you boys on how to use it."

    I couldn't help but smile at his words.

    "We have 3 weeks people, lets make 'em count."
     
  8. Threadmarks: Countries of america
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Richard tide water


    11 countries of America.

    In order to understand American politics one must understand the alliances that underpin it and the cultural foundations of its various regions.


    Yankeeland- founded by puritans. The residents of the northeastern states and the industrial Midwest tend to be more comfortable with government regulation, they value the common good and education more than most regions. When Compass was about to be built there were vicious fights about where to put the school of magic. Yankeeland lost the fight but got a paragraph in the constitution that would end slavery more than 70 years later.

    Faced with the fact that the first school of magic was placed right in their strongest regions yankeeland at first deeply resented magic but, with the war of 1812, they embraced it and have a thriving magical tradition.

    The new Netherlands- situated around New York. This region was founded by the Dutch and historically accepted persecuted minorities and is known for its tolerance and economic skill. This tolerance however does not transfer to magic. The new Netherlands region is hostile to magic, seeing it as something that disrupts what they feel to be the natural equality between people. Magi and magic are often officially and unofficially persecuted and kept at arms length.

    The Midlands- stretching initially from Quaker territory, the midlands is centered around a pluralistic and organized middle class government. Intrusion is not welcome and ethnic and ideological purity is likewise not held in high regard. When the country was planning for the end of the world the New American was based around the midlands culture. After the transport they became more than half of the country. The region is now dominant in American politics and drags the country towards political and ideological centrism.

    They historically see magic as just another tool, to be used to better life or for commerce, neither fetishising it nor holding it in disdain.

    Tidewater - these regions are composed of the East coasts of Virginia, Carolina and Delaware. They value tradition and respect authority. The region has been in decline since the beginning of the Westward expansion. A cultural mistrust of seasonal magic is a part of the make up of the region, with most preferring to use the older qulipothic arts if they use magic at all.

    Greater Apallachia- extending from Western Virginia, holding north of the great magic dead zone of the south and extending deep into Texas, these regions were founded by Irish, Scots, and northern English settlers who had left a warzone. They greatly prize individual liberty, deeply despise southern aristocrats and distrust yankee social engineering.

    When Compass was created its teacher purposefully reached out to this region, providing zero interest loans, donations and financial incentives to get their children into his school. In return greater Apallachia fetishises magic and considers it a key part of their personal identity. They treat an attack upon magic as an attack upon themselves.

    Deep South- south of Kentucky. This region traces its lineage to the people who tried to replicate the West Indies caste system in America. The region is magic poor and tends to deeply despise magic and magic users. They value social control and a system where people know their place.

    El Norte- The south west and the area just above the border regions. These were the areas that were owned by Spain before the war of 1812, Hard Work and self-sufficiency are prized. Magic and magi are often barely tolerated.

    The left coast- Yankee social utopianism and apallachian independence mixed together. This region owns the Western coast of america. Mixing social ingeneering while having a respect for personal liberty the region combines the best and worst of the two societies. By its nature it has a deep love and respect for magic.

    The Far West- A region historically controlled by industry, the Far West gained a firm dislike of big institutions and are very libertarian. Magic is considered to be a useful tool and a part of life, much like in the Midlands.

    New France- The former French colonies in and around New Orleans. The region's culture deeply influenced the freed slaves who looked for a way to rebel against their former owners. After the civil war the slaves were given land, guns and settled in Baha and the border regions between America and Mexico.

    The region is deeply egalitarian and values education and consensus, it also has a deep abiding loathing of the deep South and El Norte who are considered to be their historical enemies. Magic is beloved as both a cultural touchstone, a way to defend their lives and property and a way to thumb their noses at their perceived enemies.

    The First Nations- Mostly centered around Alaska, Arizona and New Mexico. These regions are places where the native tribes made deals with the federal government. In exchange for keeping their property they accepted the united states sovereignty.

    The regions learned how to use American laws and institutions to their benefit and work to maintain a balance of power that prevents people from abusing them. Government is seen as a tool and balance is prized. Magic is deeply respected, with Magi often taking the places formerly held by shamans.

    American Politics.

    The Modern Republican party was created by an alliance between greater Appalachia and Yankeeland. Yankeeland thought that slavery was immoral and greater Appalachia deeply resented the hipocrisy of the Deep South who proclaimed their way of life to be immoral while keeping slaves.

    When the war began the Deep South allied to El Norte and Mexico in order to gain independence. No region on the Union side suffered more casualtues, endured more atrocities and had more destroyed than greater Appalachia. When the war was over they wanted revenge.

    Yankeeland wanted to take the former slaves and create an ideal society. The First Nations wanted to create a buffer zone between themselves and Mexican banditos and Apache raiders armed with mexican weapons. The slaves just wanted to be free.

    The Deep South found that the labor pool of slaves they depended on was removed from their territory and with this action New France became the tip of the spear aimed at El Norte. Both regions found that they had lost land and property in the creation of New France and deeply resented it.

    The two, despite their cultural differences, allied to one another and bonded in their mutual hate and resentment. New Netherlands was contacted and became the bankroll for this alliance. This forms the foundation of the democratic party. But resentment alone can not create a lasting political party and the alliance drifted until Huey Long created the philosophical underpinnings of the democratic party.

    The democrats would propose a paternalistic kind of socialism, that respected a social hierarchy. Yankeedom and Appalicia brought in New Francerance and the Left Coast to oppose these ideals. With other regions becoming the battleground between the two ideologies.

    This explains the oddities of American culture compared to Europe.

    In europe ethnic chauvinism is associated with the right. In America this behavior is deeply associated with the left, with several democratic congressmen caught doing things like blackface in the modern era.

    With the rapture American politics is driven towards the center, with both parties forced to moderate their behavior in order to gain and hold onto power.
     
    128Hunter, ninguem, preier and 2 others like this.
  9. Threadmarks: Riku Dan
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku dan


    "Interesting."

    The master looked at me.

    "Is there a problem?"

    "You are aware that all of your cantrips are not combat based."

    I shrugged.

    "audio illusion, sense magic, sense composition, crafter's eye."

    "Some times I might need to create noise or go silent. We gamble a lot, sensing magic means sensing cheaters. A part of our business is smuggling goods, knowing what those goods are made out of and if they're broken and need to be fixed is important."

    The master nodded, I was worried.

    "That's....not what I expected."

    I blinked.

    "Why not?"

    "Your friends went with more, well flashy basics. Looking at your requested spells they're all utility and illusion spells with some healing mixed in."

    "Someone has to keep the team safe."

    He nodded his head.

    "All right."

    He pulled out a blank six sided die.

    "You're going to carve runes into the dice, the two you have tatooed on your body and the four others. Here are the runes for the spell."

    I looked at it.

    "Looks difficult."

    "It takes time but it's worth it."

    I went through a couple dice before I carved one up to the old master's standards.

    "Now cut your finger."

    I did so.

    "And press the blood onto the runes."

    I blinked as the dice glowed.

    "You see how there is a hole drilled in the corner? Put a string in it and tie it to your wrist."

    I did it and blinked, my senses shifted. I knew what the table was made out of, knew where it was fraying, knew where I could break it.

    "Wow."

    "What you're feeling is a small portion of what a spring magi feels."

    He looked at me as if sizing me up.

    "That path isn't possible for me."

    "Not true."

    I blinked, he smiled at me.

    "But I chose this path."

    "Follow me."

    I followed the old man outside into his zen garden, he raised his hand and a stone pillar rose out of the ground. He then took a seat on it, his hands moving turning it into a throne. I stared at him.

    "You're not like us?"

    "I am, but qulipothic magic and seasonal magic are not opposed. I learned the same tricks you did and then learned more."

    "How? I, I didn't think it was possible."

    "You must become a first ranker then, when you have finished a qulipothic path, you can walk another path. But you cant learn thid until you finish your current journey."

    "So it's possible to have both?"

    "Yes but it takes a lot of hard work."

    He closed his eyes and faced towards the sun.

    "I was there when we were kicked out of Korea...there when my power wasn't enough."

    "So you."

    "Fought a Jayu."

    He opened his robe, revealing an ugly gash, and I grimaced.

    "I could get that fixed, the injuries from that fight, but I chose not to. These scars... they forced me to get better, forced me to up my game. I had been conscripted into the Japanese army and, after fighting in the war, I had finished walking the path of the thief and had awakened myself to the path of Spring."

    "We lost."

    "That we did."

    He closed his robe.

    "We had never fought magi before, you see."

    "The jayu?"

    "They fought in small squads, never more than seven of them. The Jayu would hit and run, me and my division we fought the silent legion."

    I grimaced.

    "I..."

    "They deserve their reputation, an entire unit of magi working as one coherent whole. Most militaries, if they were lucky, had a single mage in a squad. To face an entire batallion, an entire legion of them, with perfect teamwork...it."

    He shuddered.

    "It was slaughter. The few of us who survived either made it back to the boats or fled into the jungle, hunted like animals. I managed to make it back to the boats, I served under Sakae Oba on Saipan after that..."

    I studied him.

    "The war made you strong."

    "No....It did not. War, real war, takes pieces out of you, your innocence, your peace of mind, your time. When I returned home my biological family was dead or wanted nothing to do with me. All I had left was the family, our little organization, my brothers."

    I nodded my head.

    "You think about them, your friends. They think about glory, about being tough guys, but you... Your choices show that you care."

    "And?"

    "And we have been thinking about what to do with the three of you."

    I stood ramrod straight.

    "You will be positioned in the new airport, in Narita."

    I blinked.

    "What?"

    "There have been attacks on the airport, it's been happening ever since 72. Our organization does security."

    "Really?"

    "Yes. The airport has been targeted by activist groups, the worst of them the Chūkaku-ha has been a problem."

    "How bad?"

    "They firebombed the airport, caused 60 million yen's worth of damages, killed two police offficers, maimed several pilots and put gasoline on a stewardess after tying her up. Locals were able to stop them before they set her on fire."

    My hands clenched.

    "Who are these animals?"

    "A communist organization, officially they're anti-stalinist but they accept weapons and arms from both the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. Their stated purpose is to overthrow the Japanese government, end the American Japanese alliance and install a communist state."

    He narrowed his eyes.

    "And where do we come in?"

    "The Chu's, as we call them, get their funding from three sources, donations, money from the Soviet Union and drugs. They have tried to smuggle drugs through the airport, we use that airport for our own smuggling operations. if they are successful in turning the airport into a drug operation..."

    "The government will crack down."

    "Correct. The deal is under the table, we provide security and prevent drugs from being sold on the streets and in return they turn a blind eye to our other smuggling operations and get paid for the security work on top of that."

    "Is it dangerous?"

    "There have been attempts to smuggle weapons and planejack the jets. We have successfully foiled all attempts. There have also been more attacks."

    "So keep the Chu's from messing with the airport."

    "Yeah, I know it's not glorious, but it's important work. You up for it?"

    "Of course."
     
  10. Threadmarks: Riku Dan
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku dan.


    Three weeks of sparring, practicing our spells, practicing how to fall without hurting ourselves, how to throw a punch or a kick and fight with melee weapons. We ate, breathed and slept combat and when we were finished Hanzo arrived and picked us up in a car. We were blindfolded and drove.

    "Take off your blindfolds."

    We obeyed and Hanzo nodded.

    "All right, you got your asignment right?"

    "Yeah, work at an airport."

    "You know why you're getting that job?"

    The three of us shrugged.

    "Tanaka, Sato, Dan... This summer wasn't about training you, not just about it rather. It was about finding out what your skill set is, what your personality set is, your maturity levels."

    "So we failed."

    "No...no, you proved that you can put your nose to the grindstone. A lot of people older than you flake out after the first month, you three took the hardest level of training right down to the wire. When you were working the job, you whined and bitched don't think we didnt notice that."

    We cringed.

    "But you always made sure that it was just about the work. You didn't disrespect your coworkers, you didnt disrespect your boss. You proved that you could work with civilians. This..."

    He paused.

    "I won't lie to you, this isn't a kushy gig. It's a rough one."

    He lit a cigarette and took a deep drag.

    "But it's also an important one and in the end we decided it would be best to start you out here."

    "Why?"

    "Gambling... Well, you could run one of our arcades, and probably do a pretty good job of it, or bounce in front of our clubs. Dan you're more willing to tone things down so I would trust you to handle some of our more social stuff."

    He took another drag.

    "Really the only thing you were disqualifed for was prostitution."

    "Why?"

    Tanaka sounded offended.

    "Tanaka you're a horndog who sees women as sex objects, Sato you get shy and blushy around pretty girls and act like they're goddesses"

    I chuckled.

    "Dan, of the three of you, you're the worst."

    "What?"

    "Sato's problem is easiest to train him out of, he just needs to talk to women enough to know that they're people. Tanaka just needs a good woman to reign him in but you... you have a problem with women."

    "There's a place for them and I'm not rude to them."

    Hanzo looked at me.

    "We purposefully had you all interact with women, local girls, during training. Sato would act like a blushing mess, Tanaka would break out pickup lines that didn't work and you just treated them with restrained fury....our girls are people. They're people who are just trying to pay their bills. This isn't an insult but I don't think any of you have the maturity to handle that kind of business."

    He paused, his eyes turning towards the road.

    "So who's going to be in charge."

    Tanaka's words hung heavy in the car.

    "You're asking who's going to be in charge out of the three of you?"

    He nodded his head.

    "No one, all of you are going to be given a team of 4 younger brothers and you're going to have different tasks."

    I decided to ask a question.

    "So how did we get in at the airport?"

    "Simply put the government fucked up."

    Hanzo leaned back and took another drag.

    "The locals were not consulted by the goverment when they were creating the plan. So they learned about the plan from the news and that just isn't done. They also used eminent domain to take land instead of trying to build a consensus."

    "Were we...?"

    "No...none of the families were in on this one. You think we would be involved, you know use us to bully people into selling, but in this case our hands are clean and thank the gods because this was a cluster fuck. So the socialists, communists and other crazies got involved. Now there were riot cops on one side, student activists and commies on the others and none of it looked good."

    "So that doesn't answer why we're in now."

    "The government needed someone who could talk to the locals and try to break up the alliance they had with the commies, with the chu's. If you're wondering if we busted heads, no. What we did is we found people who got screwed over by the land deal, people who were pissed off about it or who had raw feelings about it."

    He stopped the car.

    "Then we bribed them."

    I blinked.

    "What?"

    "Yeah, restaurants sprung up in the airport, the employees all local, the owners local. Then bars sprung up. Then businesses. The government couldn't admit they fucked up, they would lose face. So we talked to people and worked on the problem piecemeal."

    "And."

    "And riot cops were getting hurt and it looked bad. The government didn't want to play the role of the bad guy. Having us do it, that works better. When things look bad we go in and play the heel, break things up."

    He looked at us.

    "No killing people."

    "But."

    "Most of the people involved in this shit? They're kids who are in over their heads. Get them away from their leaders, get them to fucking talking things out and some times you're able to reach them. Your average protester? They're not bad kids."

    "Chu's?"

    "They're different. They're dangerous, they like to hide themselves among the normal people, amongst those kids who are in over their heads. They're so convinced they're the hero of their little fucked up story that they're willing to go to very dark places."

    Hanzo's voice was deadly serious.

    "How dark?"

    "Lost my eye, they used some dark stuff. Keeps the winters from fixing it."

    His voice was filled with anger.

    "How will we tell the difference between normal protesters and the Chu's?"

    "I could tell you a whole bunch of bullshit, but the truth is this: people say that seeing is believing but experiencing is knowing. Only way to really learn the difference is to be in the shit....sorry."

    We stopped at the edge and looked at the city below us, from the sky it looked gorgeous. Hanzo smiled.

    "Wish it was that pretty down there but it isn't, things are never the same up close as they are from a distance."
     
  11. Threadmarks: in universe poland ball
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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  12. preier

    preier Not too sore, are you?

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    :D

    Warning: some knowledge of the prequel helps understand certain frames.;) (go read the prequel tag in)
     
  13. 128Hunter

    128Hunter Far to busy to respond often, my apoligies.

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    Good God but that was absolutely adorable. Keep on tugging those heartstrings Cherico.
     
  14. RageKnight

    RageKnight My heresy senses are tingling

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    Just shoot me. I never liked coffee.
     
  15. ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    Last image is broken, but otherwise nice.
     
  16. Threadmarks: war of 1812
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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  17. preier

    preier Not too sore, are you?

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    "we won" Indeed! I remember well those reparations:D

    You want that VERY expensive dye? Sure, have TONS of it. My Phoenix buddy had a ... Little Accident and has a bit too much of it...
     
  18. Threadmarks: in universe poland ball
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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  19. preier

    preier Not too sore, are you?

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    This really reads as a friend list where you also added that one guy you hate, just to keep an eye on him.

    Really liked uk's "on Third empire" and lolled at France's "friend when he wants something"
     
  20. Threadmarks: Riku Dan
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku Dan


    We woke up around 6 am, Hanzo had us get out of our now tattered jeans and T-shirts and into suits. We drove in silence, Hanzo didn't play the radio or even smoke instead we just drove.

    "The airport's important."

    "Yeah smuggling operations usually are."

    Hanzo sighed at Tanaka's comment.

    "No it's important to me, not just because of the money but for personal reasons. The airport... it's a lot like us, nobody wanted it around but it has a purpose. It contributes, it's there for a reason. I suppose thats why I love it, it reminds me of myself, reminds me of us."

    We drove up to the airport and Hanzo pulled out his ID, I saw tatoos under the security guard's suit which nodded at us in mutual understanding.

    "New boys Hanzo?"

    "Yeah."

    "Younger brothers?"

    "Older ones, the boys who stopped the fuck up with the actor."

    The guard raised an eyebrow.

    "You warned them about the Chu's?"

    "Yeah but does anything really prepare you for them?"

    The guard froze and then nodded at the statement.

    "True, have them get their ID's first then give them a tour."

    "How indepth?"

    "We need someone to watch the nexus."

    "Shit."

    "Yeah the Chu's tried something."

    "Those idiots. Don't they know that."

    "You think they care?"

    "Pricks."

    Hanzo sighed and parked the car we followed him like ducklings, he flashed his ID several times and we went into the depths of the building. When we got to the basement our photos were taken, we were given badges and then we followed Hanzo out.

    The very back of the airport had a large building that looked more like a concrete wall. When we got inside we flashed our badges and then stared at the glowing blue portals. On the other side americans in uniforms sat on chairs, looking bored.

    "That's....."

    "Ridgecrest city, Kern county, California, America."

    We stared at him.

    "It's an open secret that this place exists."

    "The nationalists have to be."

    "Pissed?"

    Hanzo interrupted.

    "Remember that oil shock around 69 to 73? Remember when the price of gas in Tokyo was seven times what it is today?"

    We blinked but I did remember my father complaining about it.

    "The yanks don't use oil in their power plants, why would they? They got so many magi and laylines and open land that they can just plop a powerplant and get free power. That's what 90% of their power comes from then 5% from nuclear and the rest from a variety of stuff. Oil? Their cars are all biodiesel."

    "Why don't we use it?"

    "Requires a shit ton of land and magi to process that shit. So the yanks, they're sitting on a lot of oil that doesn't have a market. We needed a whole bunch of oil and Opec was fucking us sideways. So the government grabbed land that wasn't that developed that had a nexus on it and connected us to the yanks. There are other portals, the ones down below the ground are pipes that send oil to the city."

    "And no one complains?"

    "Price of gas in Tokyo is a third of the national cost. The government has a 10% gas tax on it and half of it goes to the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. The yanks sell the oil, the government gets tax money and we get cheap gas. Every one wins. but direct connections to another country? That makes people uncomfortable, so we just kind of ignore it."

    He paused.

    "It's like Okinawa. The yanks claimed all the nexus and connected them to back home, the rest of the country bitches about it but the locals just kind of pretend it doesn't exist."

    He motioned for us to walk away.

    "All right so our operation, we don't use planes."

    "But."

    "We don't, we check luggage for drugs, for illegal shit and we make sure everything is officially on the up and up. What we actually use for smuggling is those gates."

    "They have guards."

    We exited the building.

    "What's the market for drugs."

    He blinked.

    "It's a big market, one the chu's dominate because they're stupid. Now whats the market for beef? For chicken? For wheat or dairy."

    "We smuggle food?"

    "Average cost of food on the yankee side is a 5th of what it costs in japan. The price of japanese beef is 17 times that as american beef and I'm going to be honest other then the wagyu stuff it's shit. So what we do is this we find excuses for people to go on vacation in america and then give them lists of things to buy to bring home."

    "How do we convince people to do that?"

    "Simple we got people who owe us money and when they can't pay, they win a trip to California. They take one of our special suitcases to a supplier on the other side. That case gets filled with food and other items people want because yes we do special requests."

    "Really?"

    "Yeah really. Thing is they have magi who have spells scanning for illegal shit such as drugs, weapons or guns, that sort of thing, but if it's legal those scans just let it go. It doesn't matter how much stuff is being moved, just that it passes the smell test."

    I looked at one of our people as a man in a bad suit and a combover handed over a wheeled trunk. Our boy opened it and then shook the man's hand.

    "2 hundred thousand yen in debt, he's got 14 more vacations before he's paid it off."

    "The wife's ok with it?"

    "He brings her and the kids along, they all think he's some great poker player. He pays back his debt, the wife gets to go to another country on the weekends, kids play on the beach and we get our money back."

    He paused.

    "Unless he fucks up. Then we have to beat him up but most of our mules are smart enough not to fuck things up so badly."

    He looked at me.

    "This is where you come in Dan. Remember how you're a US citizen?"

    My stomach felt sick.

    "Yeah?"

    "How do you feel about Karate tornaments?"

    It was then that the sinking feeling somehow got worse.
     
  21. preier

    preier Not too sore, are you?

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    nice to see this back, cherico
     
  22. Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    My new years resolution is to finish it.
     
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  23. 128Hunter

    128Hunter Far to busy to respond often, my apoligies.

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    It’s nice to see that this wasn’t dropped. I’m enjoying the other story but I was wondering how this would unfold.
     
    preier likes this.
  24. Threadmarks: Trade
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Peter Zeiwlander - Trade


    Back before the war all you needed to do to trade with another country was to either send goods across a border or put a ship on the water. During the cold war America bribed up an alliance and anyone could trade with anyone else as long as you agreed to fight the Soviets their way.

    It worked and was one of the biggest eras of trade in human history, before that you had the imperial system where countries had their own navies to protect their trade and get natural resources. The end of the world changed that.

    Now the survivors each had an entire world full of resources for themselves but international trade became much much harder.

    You couldn't simply ship goods across a border, you couldn't simply put a boat on the ocean. You needed to either have rocketry good enough to pass through the void of space or have magi teleport your goods from nexus point to nexus point.

    The problem with the former is that aerospace technology is expensive, you have to survive for weeks and months in space and then safely enter another world's gravity well AND then escape said gravity well on the return trip. Most worlds do not have the technology to do so.

    The problem with the later is that you need a large amount of seasonal magi to do consistent international trade. As magi are capable of doing many things and are needed for many things you have the issue of opportunity costs and tradeoffs. After looking at the books, in order to do consistent international trade in the modern era you need to have at least 3% of your population be seasonal magi.

    That means trusting 3% of your population to be living weapons, to be capable of doing as much damage as a machine gun or a cannon. Most country's political classes simply are not willing to do that. Those countries will have their ability to trade dictated by the countries that are. Does that sound rough? Well that's just the way things are.

    So lets look at the nations that can trade.

    America before the war had a seasonal magi rate that hovered between 10% and 20%. Some times it would be higher some times it would be lower but after 1820 it never really fell below 10%. That's even with large amounts of immigration from the old world.

    When the war hit, the old bird's firm request for Mars was that all of the clones would be seasonal magi. The population doubled and they went from having 15% of the country be magi to a majority of their population. Even with an influx of refugees that majority remained and only grew larger because Magi had larger families than non magi and because magi advocated for more magic schools.

    These days all American schools teach magic, with religious schools being allowed to opt out of it. The American magi population is now 85%. They have the highest percentage and number of magi in the system, that's why they were the backbone of international trade during the transitionary period after world war 3. Things have changed but those numbers allow them to form trade blocks with lots of other countries.

    The United Kingdom has historically treated their magi shabbily, sending any magi who were not in the aristocratic class to its colonies. World war two changed things, they sent their children to Compass in mass and, when those children came back after the war, the former colonies told the UK that they couldn't send them into exile.

    This block remained, teaching others in the ways of magic. When the war happened, Magi were 4% of the UK's population, Australia had a magi population of 33%. After the war the UK realized things had changed and put in a crash course to increase their magi population. They also strengthened the commonwealth into an economic trading block. Together with its former colonies the commonwealth has the next largest amount of magi, enough magi to trade. Pooling their magi allows the commonwealth to punch above their individual weight.

    China is the third strongest nation or trading block.

    The republic of China was formed in its modern state when its magi realized that the mundane leaders were losing and that they would all die if they didn't take control. So they held a coup and then successfully held back mao's forces for generations, hiding behind walls and Western support while they rebuilt.

    The magi realized that they didn't have public support or legitimacy and so tried to grow their numbers carefully. Seasonal magic schools were open to anyone who scored in the 10% of their schools. These students would be the bureaucrats and leaders of Chinese society. The next 50% would be allowed to learn qulipothic arts.

    These days 20% of China's population is composed of seasonal magi, which means the country is capable of international trade and can form trade alliances with nations that don't have that capability. They're currently the 2nd largest economy in the system and their trade block is growing.


    India, after the sino indian war and the loss of Kashmir, realized that they had to get their act together or they might face another invasion. The fact that they only survived because an international coalition came to save them was another factor.

    So, after a brutal and ugly purge and pogrom of anyone who collaborated with the Chinese, they began a modernization policy. One flank of this was magic education. When the war happened 5% of their population was magi, these days it's around 12%.

    India's problem is that the country is in many ways disorganized and quite a few ethnic and religious minorities want to leave. The leading hindu party doesn't see this as a problem and plans on creating their own commonwealth out of ethnic minorities who set up their own countries on other planets. Despite their problems they're the third largest economy in the solar system.

    France.....France more than anything else wants to be relevant again, they want to be a great power again. The problem is their economy is behind the times, their technology isn't the best. And the percentage of magi is a mere 1.5% of their population which isn't enough to be independent. You need at least those 3% to do that.

    That 1.5% by the way is after a crash course to increase their number of magi. they have also been trying to stay relevant by trying to maintain the European Union, which isn't working because the UK said no during the 80s. The two countries capable of independent trade, Italy and Poland, want to leave. With Polex passing about 5 years ago and being held up by a desperate France while Italy is holding their own leave vote this year.

    France's goal of using the EU as a way to have more power on the international stage is falling apart before its eyes. It simply doesn't have the magi to do international trade and its coalition doesn't have enough magi to overcome that issue, with the ones capable of doing so trying to leave. It needs a large segment of magi willing to act as its middleman.

    It needs Quebec.
     
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  25. Threadmarks: Riku
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku Dan


    "So...your mother was Betty Goodwitch?"

    Paperwork....after all of my effort to distance myself from the american side of my family my very japanese yakuza boss's demand that I reconnect with them.

    "Yes."

    The man had grey hair and nodded.

    "I served with her in india."

    I blinked at the man.

    "What was she like?"

    I cringed, the words coming out unbidden. The man closed his eyes.

    "Shy..."

    I blinked.

    "Your mother was, well, incredibly tough when the going got tough, in a fire fight she held her own but she didn't talk much...just wasn't her nature."

    And that was it. Shy, the grand total of what I knew about my mother was that she was shy. The man helped me finish my paperwork and I was given a suitcase, a passport, a new ID and prepared for my next mission.

    "Finished?"

    Hanzo looked at me.

    "Yeah, ready for the mission, go to the right place, have them fill the order and come right back."

    "They um told you where she was buried?"

    "Some place called Glendal. It's not that far from the place. Don't worry I won't let something like that distract me."

    Hanzo gave me a look of concern.

    "You've never visited your mother's grave?"

    "It's in a different country. I think dad's buried next to her."

    "You should go visit her grave. Your father's grave too."

    "I have a mission."

    Hanzo sighed.

    "The family understands that you have a life outside the family."

    "I know and I can live that life when there isn't a job to do."

    Hanzo closed his one eye and took in a breath.

    "All right, this isn't working."

    "What isn't working."

    "Giving you hints, its not working. Riku... You're a smart guy, you're a hard worker, but you have a chip on your shoulder and a grudge against the world."

    "I am a professional."

    "Yes you are."

    "Have I ever insulted a woman in front of you?"

    "No but you're cold to them and you're rude to them. So far that hasn't affected your career with us but, sooner or later, you're going to get invited to a party or a mixer. And the wives and daughters of important people in the family will be there."

    "So don't get drunk and don't talk to them."

    "It doesn't work like that. The drunk think, you could get away with. Lots of big brothers worry about hurting someone with their powers and don't drink at all. But you will be expected to interact with them."

    "Aren't you on Tanaka about how he's."

    "There is a middle ground between acting like a dog in heat and treating a women like a monster who's about to attack you."

    He ran his fingers through his hair.

    "All right, this is an official order. Go to your parent's graves, try to deal with whatever issues you have with them, make peace with your past. If you're looking for a rational reason to do this think of it as a mission ok? Visiting your parent's grave is your cover."

    He looked at me with concern.

    "Look, I worry about you. You have a lot of potential but I've seen lots of smart guys lose everything because of their personal baggage. Promise me that you will do this."

    "Fine, I promise."

    "Good, good, so with that out of the way we're going to get you signed up with the Japanese Karate association."

    "I don't know karate."

    "You dont have to, your job will be helping various dojos 'visit' the United States to compete against the yankees."

    "Let me guess their parents owe us money?"

    He smiled.

    "Not all of them of course but we have arrangements with our chronic gamblers, or people who are hard up on cash. Their children join a martial arts club, they compete in a few matches and purchase a few things for us. If they owe us money we take money off the debt, if they don't then they get a cut."

    "Civilians?"

    "Of course."

    "Can't you do that without me?"

    "Japanese citizens can only arrange trips so often, but an american citizen can sponsor an exhibition match at anytime."

    "And that's going to be my gig I assume?"

    "It will be something you do on the weekends, you will have to work 'part time' at the airport."

    "And?"

    "You will still get 2 days off a week, what do you want?"

    "Monday and friday, I have a sinking suspection that this is going to be a lot harder then you say it will be."

    "You really are a smart guy."
     
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  26. Threadmarks: Riku
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Riku Dan

    I do not have a problem.

    Ok I can be cold at times but I do not have a...ugh.

    A stewardess looks at me with suspicion and flinches as she sees the tattoo on my wrist. I reluctantly get in the elevator with her, taking the corner furthest away from her, making a point of not looking at her.

    Music plays over the radio, I recognize the song Hiroshi Suzuki's Shrimp Dance. I make a pointed effort to ignore her but hear wimpering and sigh as I look over at the terrified woman. I roll my eyes and I press.

    "Please tell me we're not both heading towards the roof."

    She made an eeping sound and I shook my head.

    "You know what? I can walk."

    I moved along the elevator room, careful to not get close to her, to press the button. She continued to look at me with fear as....the lights went out.

    "Ugh."

    I slammed my head against the elevator's doors as the woman whimpered. I turned around, looked at her, and she flinched. I tilted my head.

    "Can you please stop doing that?"

    "Stop.....what?"

    "Making that noise. I don't want to be here with you either, the less you distract me the more time I will have to think up a way to get out of here."

    "Um allright."

    I got on my knees and pulled out a dice, I felt the power rush through me and then I closed my eyes, trying...

    "Well crap."

    I got up.

    "What's wrong?"

    "What's wrong is that I'm trapped here with you."

    I couldn't help it, some of the sheer disgust I felt leaked out.

    "All right...."

    I took a deep breath.

    "I traced what caused the problem. Someone hit the transformer that powers this building with a rocket."

    She blinked.

    "And how do you know that?"

    I waved my hands and let them glow.

    "Magic."

    I shook my head.

    "Now normally the elevator would have a battery or something so it could get us at least to the next floor but they clearly cut corners. There are a couple of stray wires that need to be put into place then I think I can jury rig us at least to the next floor."

    "Oh."

    "Do you have any tweezers or nail clipers? Anything I could use as tools?"

    She turned her head.

    "Why am I not surprised?"

    I shook my head and started floating, she screeched.

    "Oh come on what's your problem?"

    "You're floating!"

    "Yes....your point being?"

    "People don't float."

    "Magic."

    I did jazz hands and went to the work panel.

    "Stop that?"

    "Stop what?"

    "Floating."

    I stared down at her.

    "I don't see what the problem is. You don't want to be in an elevator with me and I don't want to be in an elevator with you. I am going to go to the panel, get out and then fix the elevator so we can get out."

    "It's not normal."

    I stared at her.

    "Really... That's your reasoning? I am not allowed to solve a problem that effects us both because it's not normal?"

    I floated to the ground.

    "Do you want out of here?"

    "Of course I do."

    "Then let me fix the problem."

    She bit her lip.

    "We should wait, let someone else."

    "Why?"

    "What?"

    "Why should we wait for someone else to fix our problems when we can solve the problem on our own?"

    "There are people out there whose job is to fix it."

    "All right, granted that's a thing. But you see, there is one small problem with that idea."

    "What's the problem?"

    "You see your plan has one big giant issue."

    "What is it?"

    "I would have to spend more time with you."

    I flew up and started moving the panel.

    "Do you think you're cute or something?"

    The woman seemed angry.

    "Woman, I am adorable."

    I banged the panel and smiled as it popped of. I got on top of the elevator and sighed at the mess I saw.

    "Damn it."

    "What?"

    Exposed wiring really? Did no one care about safety? I carefully moved my hands and tried to jam the wires in their correct spots. I used magic to mend the obvious breaks and smiled as the elevator moved up, the thing dinged as we went up a little. I dropped down to where the stewardess was.

    "It didn't open."

    Nothing's ever easy. I went to my knee and pulled out a knife. I heard screaming and turned to her.

    "Can you not do that?"

    "You have a knife?"

    "Yeah, I do. It's a useful tool."

    I turned my back to her and pryed open the door and then grimaced.

    "Damn it."

    The elevator only went up partially but I saw freedom, freedom from this creature. I floated up and crawled to freedom.

    "HEY!"

    I froze.

    "What?"

    "Aren't you going to help me?"

    "Didn't you say that we should wait for someone to save us?"

    "Please."

    "Ugh...."

    I took off my coat and my shirt, I created a rope out of it and lowered it down.

    "Climb."

    "I uff am trying."

    I sighed and pulled. I grimaced as I heard my coat tear but saw her finally grip the top of the elevator.

    "help me."

    "You can do this."

    "Please."

    I grimaced as I touched her and helped her to the ground. She huffed and looked at me, her eyes lingering way to long on my body and I looked at my destroyed colored shirt.

    "Great."

    My coat was still intact though so I put it on. I walked towards the stairs and heard footsteps behind me. I tried to ignore it and heard someone wimper as I heard some one fall. I turned around and looked at the woman.

    "Why?"

    "What?"

    "We got out of the elevator, this is where our paths split."

    "I think I hurt my ankle."

    I stared at her.

    "You tried to go upstairs in high heels?"

    "Well yes what was I supposed to do?"

    "Take them off, then put them back on when you're on more solid ground."

    She grimaced and I went down, she was bleeding.

    "Crap.... I'm going to have to touch you."

    She wimpered.

    "Look, do you want this healed of not?"

    She nodded her head and I put my hands on her ankle, her eyes opened as my hands glowed.

    "It feels ok now, but my shoe is destroyed."

    "Fine...I will fix that too."

    I grabbed the broken shoe and used the mending spell. She put it back on.

    "What are you doing?"

    "What?"

    "This is what caused the problem in the first place."

    "Oh...right."

    She took off her shoes and we walked up the stairs.

    "So um where are you from?"

    "No."

    "What?"

    "We are not doing this. We are not friends, we are not coworkers. We are strangers and I would really like us to continue being strangers."

    I continued walking.

    "I'm from Mihonoseki."

    "I have no idea where that is."

    "It's a small town in the east."

    "Good for you."

    I continued walking up.

    "Where are you from?"

    "Tokyo. I was born here, I was raised here."

    "We should exchange cards."

    "How about not?"

    I continued walking.

    "Would your mother be proud of you treating a girl like this?"

    "She's dead."

    The woman blinked.

    "Ok, your father?"

    "Killed himself in front of me when I was 16 years old. And my grandparents are dead too, don't ask me if I have other relatives because I don't know."

    "So we're both alone in the world."

    "Your parents alive?"

    "Well yes but they're back in my hometown."

    "Then we are nothing alike."

    I took another step and felt someone pull my arm. I looked at the woman.

    "I almost fell."

    "can you not do that?"

    "What?"

    "Touch me...I did not give you permission to touch me."

    She blinked...

    "What?"

    "This is the first time I've been on the other end of this conversation."​
     
  27. Threadmarks: Peter Zeiwlander
    Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    Peter Zeiwlander

    To understand Canada you must understand their plan for the Rapture.

    Canada had 100 million clones to work with. Quebec got 20 million as a deal to shut them up, the other 80 million would be split between the provinces of Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and labrador, Prince Edward island, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

    Canada was given Titan, the single most oil rich planetoid in the solar system. Now, for you Americans, oil is that thing that the rest of the world uses to power their cars and power plants, they don't just use it to make plastic like you do.

    In a single bad day Canada replaced the Middle East as the oil producer of humanity and Quebec gave them the power to ship that oil wherever they damned well pleased. It was an ideal situation.

    Unfortunately the people who ship that oil wanted to leave so Canada decided that the proper solution was to bribe them. And those bribes were promptly spent on making it easier for them to leave.

    Because Quebec isn't motivated by money, their motivations are very different. They don't care about the cost, they want out. And during the last generation you have seen a silent ethnic cleansing of English speakers in Quebec territory as they used more and more intrusive language laws to kick them out.

    Quebec voted to leave during the 90s, that vote won but the Canadians gave them bribes and tried to convince them to stay. More referendums were held and the leave votes just got larger.

    So how does this affect Canada?

    During the 1980s the Canadian liberal party supported a detent with Russia and held a nuclear disarmament conference between America and the Soviet Union. Then the soviet union destroyed Earth.

    The Canadian liberal party died that day, it exists only as a historical memory. In that power vacuum rose five political parties.

    You now have the Canadian conservative party, The reform party, the New democratic party, the people's party and the Block Quebecois.

    The NDP is a socialist party, the Block Quebecois is a Quebec nationalist party, the Canadian conservative party is a right wing party, the reform party is as far right as Canada goes without going into fringe territory and the people's party isn't actually socialist but a collection of small government libertarians, most people call them anarchists.

    With the destruction of the liberal party the NDP did a full on blitz to get votes from a scared left. Then they banned clones from voting and made a deal with Quebec. Their clones would be given an exception in exchange for the NPD being put in charge of the nation, Quebec would be given autonomy and bribes.

    In making this deal the NDP made itsef the ruling party of Canada. By the time the other parties noticed what had happened they had been completely cut out of power. The emergency powers the NDP gathered never really vanished.

    They used the oil revenues to bribe the cities into supporting them while the rural areas, the new territories of the now expanded provinces, were disenfranchized.

    Ok now you have done that. As a clone you're a second class citizen but you're told that your children will be able to vote, that it's just temporary.

    Only it isn't. You're old and you're still not allowed to vote while your children are blocked from voting because of suspicions of 'defects'. The political parties that call for you to be given the vote are constantly put into prison on spurious, and sometimes false, accusations. New immigrants are given full voting rights with the understanding they vote the NDP's way. And while they are given generous 'transition' benefits you pay ever larger taxes and do not get benefits.

    As time has gone on the NDP has become increasingly corrupt, despite all of the roadblocks their share of parliament is shrinking and the only thing keeping them as prime minister is their alliance with the Block. Quebec provides the votes and the threat of military intervention if a rebellion happens.

    Only Quebec wants to leave, has voted to leave and France is now pushing for them to get their own world. When that happens the Block is no longer a factor in canadean politics. So what happens?

    Canada's ability to independently trade with the outside world will no longer be controlled by Quebec and Ontario. Ontario had the political power, Quebec had the mages. The only region in Canada that prepared for Quebec leaving was Newfoundland. When Quebec leaves they will control half of Canada's magi, and they're now the headquarters of Canada's conservative parties. The rest of Canada's magi mostly live in more conservative areas.

    The NDP currently controls 20 percent of the votes, and the block controls another 40 percent. If Quebec leaves that means the other parties will then control 60 percent of the vote, and that's before they end the legal discrimination against clones and their descendants.

    The question isn't if the NDP will lose power, the question is whether it will step down peacefully or if Canada will have a revolution.
     
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  28. ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    How come after Russia socialism still exists in a serious capacity?

    Also, I don't remember how the Americans get their energy fuel? Was it i the previous story?
     
  29. Cherico

    Cherico Well worn.

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    They say.

    "That was communism fuck those guys."

    Socialist parties survived by being really anti Russian and dissociating themselves from the soviets as quickly as they could.
     
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  30. ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    Ah, the usual "it was not REAL socialism" defense. You know, I would be surprised if the Poles don't regularly send assassins or support opposing parties on any place where this thinnly veiled disguise grows traction.
     
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