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Thread: Resurrection: Rebirth of the United States

  1. #1001
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    That was very very bad of you, Cat.
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  2. #1002
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Now that went off the deep end, CatKnight...and beautifully so. Perperna lives!! Let's hope Harding's real battle goes off a little better.

    Oh, and congrats on passing the 1,000 post mark in this AAR. If it's got that far, you know it's a good one.
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  3. #1003
    Alien Space Bat Judas Maccabeus's Avatar
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    Man, Harding's having some weird (stress-related?) dreams, Tell him to calm down, don't have a cow, man...*
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    *Wow, even I've never pulled out a pun that bad before...
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  4. #1004
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    Well... I mean... That is to say... Wow.

    Boy, that was some seriously wild stuff. I noticed you even broke out the cyborg cows you were showing off in Mett's thread.
    Apparently not content to merely spook the animals, the gunner lay the cannonball through the midst of the herd to slam into the one lonely willow tree on the entire countryside.
    Good to see you're living up to your new custom title. It's very appropriate.

    Not much else I can say, except again plead my innocence: I didn't put the cow there, YOU did. Unless that's a real flag of Vermont, in which case I'll forever associate that state with Peperna the cow-tribune.

    I guess I'll be more careful with my comments in the future: I might (again) get far more than I bargained for!

  5. #1005
    Field Marshal jwolf's Avatar
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    Oh man, you had me going for it until the cows started shooting!

    When the real fighting is done it looks bad for Harding. I hope he will find a way to survive the Vermonters.

  6. #1006
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    That was simply ridiculous! Great fun to read and I think it did wonderfully to lighten up the mood a little.
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  7. #1007
    Disciple of Peperna CatKnight's Avatar
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    Draco Rexus: Hey, I didn't start it!

    coz1: Thanks for the congrats. I was shocked when I realized my spoof was post 1,000!

    Judas Maccabeus: Now that's what Harding needs...a cow. Hmm.

    Stuyvesant: I didn't put the cow there. That is the REAL Vermont state seal. When I was researching the First Vermont Republic a site suggested the seal may have been the first flag. (I've also seen thirteen stars in a very irregular formation and green and white stripes but I figured that wouldn't work.) So yes, the cow and the giant pine tree are theirs.

    jwolf: Good! I wanted the post to seem serious until the cows showed up.

    Machiavellian: LOL! Thanks
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  8. #1008
    Disciple of Peperna CatKnight's Avatar
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    March 1784
    Eastern New York (Vermont)



    "Your boy was wrong, Colonel Leyton." Benedict Arnold frowned through his spyglass, shook his head violently. "Damn wrong. I wouldn't give a penny for his work so far."

    "Respectfully, sir, Cornet Harding's report has not been entire invalidated." Leyton frowned at the seemingly quiet and peaceful town of Bennington, a series of white lumps on the snow covered ground occasionally giving off chimney smoke. "They could be hiding within."

    "He said they were gathering in force," Arnold snapped. Called away from victories in Cherokee Territory to Massachusetts, and now this game of maneuver with the Vermont rebels. He'd hoped to end it here in one bold stroke, but no. Not a soldier in sight, not a gun. He set his jaw and turned to the other man next to him. "General Wayne? Your opinion?"

    Wayne didn't answer at once. The last time he stuck his neck out, during the Shawnee campaign, Congress had cut it off for him. He saw no reason to risk himself now. "As you say, sir. Our intelligence was faulty."

    :General Wayne," Leyton began coldly.

    "Don't misunderstand me, Colonel. I said the intelligence was bad, and that is irrefutable. I do not blame the man."

    "Honest mistake, eh General?" Arnold snorted.

    "Lack of training, sir."

    Arnold yanked on his horse's reins and turned away, heading back for the encampment. Perhaps he was right about Harding, but damn him. Congress wanted and expected results, and the glory and honors that accompanied victories could prove ethereal indeed in the face of disappointment. He didn't claim to know what, or even if, the politicians in Philadelphia were thinking but a breakaway republic clearly wasn't on their agenda.

    Breakaway republic... perhaps this Harding character had done him a service after all. He stopped. "Colonel Leyton!"

    The New Yorker caught up, pulling on his reins by Arnold's side. "Sir?"

    "Did Harding offer any evidence for the troop build up?"

    "His message wasn't complete, sir, and his messenger was a pitiful creature."

    "I want to speak with him."

    ****

    About fifteen minutes later, Corporal Wilkins stood within the command tent and saluted. He was a thin man in his late twenties, balding on top from far too much stress.

    Arnold returned the salute then paused, cocking his head. "Do I know you?"

    Do you know me!? Wilkins continued staring straight ahead, eyes slightly unfocused, afraid if he looked at the cause of all his misery he'd glare. It was at the beginning of the last war, when Wilkins was a messenger sent by Congress to stop Arnold's advance into Canada, that the general 'drafted' him into active service. Life since then had been one nightmare after another. "I don't believe so, sir," he replied coldly.

    Arnold studied him for a moment, then sat behind his table. "Where did you see Cornet Harding last?"

    "Sir, I gave a full report to Colonel Leyton."

    "I'm sure you did." Now the general's tone chilled. "Now you will do the same for me."

    "Yes, sir." Still Wilkins stared straight ahead. "I saw him last in Burlington on the twenty-second instant."

    Almost three weeks ago. "And he gave you a message for us?"

    "Yes. He had me commit it to memory in case I was accosted outside town."

    "And were you?"

    Now Wilkins did glare. "No, sir."

    Arnold's brow rose. "What was the message?"

    Wilkins closed his eyes. When he spoke again, it was without emotion or emphasis. "I have made contact with a John Stark, who appears to be their commander. He will be moving to Bennington with his local forces to meet with the rest of their leadership. Their local men appear to be infantry and snipers, but no artillery. I believe they will raid the Bennington armory."

    "Did he mention numbers?"

    "No, sir. From his tone and words though, I took his meaning to be they are of inferior force in a straight fight."

    Arnold leaned back. "How did he seem when you talked to him?"

    Wilkins considered. "Nervous. Wary. I think he suspected he might be watched."

    A sensible precaution. The general steepling his fingers under his chin and assuming a pouting expression. Quite a bit there Colonel Leyton had forgotten. It did seem to confirm Bennington as their 'capital', so perhaps the trip wasn't wasted after all. And John Stark? Assuming it was the same man he could prove a dangerous opponent. Stark had defended Vermont and New Hampshire during the two wars, and in '72 had been part of the attack on .... His eyes widened. "Short of cannon, you say?"

    "That is what I was told."

    "Very well." He knew where the Green Mountain Boys were. "You may report to Leyton's regiment for assignment. Tell the guard to pass the word for General Wayne."

    A few minutes later the general stepped in, ducking underneath the tent flap. He found Arnold moving back and forth, every movement quick and jerky with excitement, packing his gear and showing no sign of calling for his servant. "Sir?"

    "They aren't here, General Wayne." Arnold looked up sharply and smiled.

    "No, sir." We established that.

    "I know where they are. Colonel Leyton and I will head there immediately. You will follow by two days. I want you to send messengers into Bennington, ordering the civilian population to take what goods they can and evacuate. Offer them safe passage to the Massachusetts border."

    Wayne glanced out the tent flap, at the soldiers huddled around their fires. "Why are we evacuating them, sir? Will there be a battle after all?"

    "No, General." Arnold stared at him. "However, this is their capital. Its loss will hurt this republic and perhaps force them to make a mistake. Once the civilians are out, I want you to burn the town."

    *****

    The crack of a musket, far away, greeted Wesley Harding as he surged to his feet. Their calls and shouts had been receding this last half hour, and he began to suspect he might live after all. He ran along the snow covered ground, stumbling over roots and slipping on leaves as he careened blindly through the forest. His right arm throbbed under a bandage designed more to stop blood from marking the white then protecting the wound, that the result of a hasty pistol shot as he fled Potter House.

    Harding expected to take them by surprise and be well away by morning, having learned at dinner that they weren't marching on Bennington after all. No joy though: They apparently set guards against his flight, and now they raced through the cold, grey dawn heading..where? Was he even headed in the right direction? Wesley paused by a pine tree and listened to his ragged breathing, the throbbing of his heart in his ears. Silence. They must have seperated while the light was still bad and lost his trail, but it wouldn't be long before they found his staggered footsteps and slides down hillsides.

    He quickly unwrapped his arm and stared at the wound, already red and puffy. He judged it looked and felt worse than it was. He slapped a handful of snow on it, an action which made him see stars and slump against the tree. Tired. Just a few moments of rest. He'd hear them if they got closer...

    No! Harding bound his arm again, wincing as he tied the knot one handed. Now it was obvious part of the grey sky was lighter than the other: East. He turned his back and lumbered west.

    His destination: Fort Ticonderoga
    Last edited by CatKnight; 18-01-2006 at 03:24.
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  9. #1009
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    And we're back in sane territory, it seems. Things are looking bleak for Harding, I hope he gets away from his pursuers. Chronologically, can I ask when the scene with Harding takes place in relation to the scene with Arnold? Same time, later, previous?

    As to Arnold, you are being infuriatingly vague with his thoughts. It's clear he has some ideas about Stark, but the hints you offer are too unclear for me to decipher. How is it significant that he is short on cannon? Has he left them behind to defend an area, or...

    Wait a minute.

    Is Stark heading for Fort Ticonderoga, in hopes of capturing it and its artillery? Is that why Harding is headed that way? I really shouldn't read these updates when I'm half asleep, they'd probably make a lot more sense if I didn't. Anyhow, a nice update which creates a lot of openings for further plot developments.

  10. #1010
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Oh the tangled webs we weave, Cat! AGAIN!

    Man, there are so many different ways this story of the North can run, it ain't even funny!

    And then add to it the issues of Mr. Black and Company down in the South, I do believe I'm feeling my head beginning to spin!


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  11. #1011
    Field Marshal jwolf's Avatar
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    Stuyvesant's surmise of a guerilla raid on Fort Ticonderoga makes sense to me. I hope Arnold can get there in time to prevent it. Harding has a tough fight for survival but at least he's out in the open and has a chance. Be good to him, OK?

    In game, are these events simulated by a giant revolt in Vermont (Megantic?), or perhaps by longterm high RR there?

    I have to admit the rebellion and intrigue in Vermont is refreshing because, compared to Black's dealings, at least there are no supernatural evil powers at work (with the possible exception of the cowbots ).

  12. #1012
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Super natural or not, this fledgling US of A has quite a bit of problems both north and south. I hope some bigger fish doesn't use this as an excuse to attack.
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  13. #1013
    Fort Ticonderoga is the place to attack. Even I have made entry into that fort, amidst the noise of shooting.

  14. #1014
    Disciple of Peperna CatKnight's Avatar
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    Stuyvesant: Harding's scene takes place a little earlier or about the same time as Arnold's. Also you're right, everyone's arranging for a party at Fort Ticonderoga.

    In the real world Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold attacked Ticonderoga in '75. This allowed them to bring guns to Boston, which in turn allowed 'us' to surround the city and 'encourage' General Gage to leave. Stark's role is unclear - I've heard one report suggest he was there, and another not mention it. Stark first gains prominence defending Bennington in '77.

    In our AAR Washington starts in Boston, having taken it. Therefore I've assumed there was a successful raid involving Arnold, Allen, and now Stark against Ticonderoga in late 1772.

    Draco Rexus: Hey, same web we had before the cows showed up. We're just still...uhm...stuck.

    We're about to head back south. The Vermont campaign was meant to be a sidelight, and it's on the verge of turning into a major epic. Time to get back to Heyward, Preston and Rutledge.

    jwolf: In game I fired a double revolt in Sebago. (I'm assuming Sebago is what we'd call New Hampshire and Vermont.) I believe Megantic's in Canada because it's not a US core.

    The northern army (Leyton's, though he's not represented in game...the US has entirely too many leaders for its own good as it is) had just put down that revolt in Upper Canada. (Just north of Ticonderoga province.) I moved them into Sebago to have it out.

    No, nothing supernatural here. I think everyone's bitter about the cowbots. I guess now's not the time to admit I was thinking of talking to a mod about changing my username to CowKnight?

    coz1: The big guys are being quiet. In game France still love us and we're just beginning the truce period with England. That may change before this is over though.

    J. Passepartout: I'd be alarmed that you could take Fort Ticonderga, but of course you ARE the Shah Space Invader.
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  15. #1015
    Disciple of Peperna CatKnight's Avatar
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    March 1784
    New York



    The dogs howled. Or were they wolves? Wesley Harding couldn't be sure, couldn't take the chance that they were on top of him again. Did they have dogs? God alone knew how long he'd dueled the better part of a squad across eastern New York. Two days ago he'd gotten lucky, found one alone and slit his throat before he could cry out. His partner investigated and met the same fate. He paid for his luck yesterday with a lucky pistol shot lodged in the same damn arm that they hit before. It hung limply, bound to his side by his belt. No pain. No feeling at all. And how could it be so damned hot in the middle of a snow covered forest?

    Wesley swayed, sank to his knees. One clump of snow slapped on the arm, more out of instinct than any real interest in the wound. A second clump to his face, trying to cool down and clear his head.

    "Blood!" someone called nearby. "Blood on the ground!"

    "Christ!" Wesley surged to his feet and ran blindly. Branches, hard with cold and sharp with a hundred pine needles sawed at his good arm through the cloth as he shielded his face. He ran...where? Where was he going? Away from the voices, that's all he needed to know. They would kill him if they found him, if he wasn't already dead. His heart hammered, he exhaled in short wheezing gasps that hung for a horrible second before the next shuddering intake. He swayed again, trying to get his bearings. Where in hell was he? This wasn't Rhode Island! He'd be late for dinner. Momma would worry...

    Instinct alone saved him as a shape blurred in front of him. He leapt back and drew his knife left handed as the figure passed by. Another shape appeared on his left flank, hesitated. Wesley slashed blindly. His new assailant fell back. The first one charged, head low like a bull. Harding reversed his grip on his knife and swung downward as they fell in snow. Blood. Blood on his face, in his mouth, warm, and salty. Was it his? The shape howled and thrashed like a mad animal then lay still. Harding rolled on his stomach and tried to crawl, but now his second tormentor was back. Something heavy pressed into the back of his neck, forcing Wesley's face in the snow. He grabbed at the ground with his good hand and cut his fingers on the rocks. He couldn't breathe! Harding thrashed, earned a wonderful gulp of cold air for his efforts, paid for it with a solid blow to his head. Something metallic clicked behind him.

    "For my brother," someone hissed.

    Harding tried to rise, found he couldn't. Tried to speak and couldn't find the breath. Somewhere he heard trumpets. The angels were coming. Thank God, there'd been days he'd wondered if they were for real. I'm over here, Lord. I'm over...

    *****

    She was the light and the way, the last bastion of hope in a world gone mad and as good a reason to try and fix it as any other. In her tiny hands rested everything good and fine in the universe. She would never know pain. She would never know fear. She would never know sorrow.

    Not if John Preston had anything to say about it.

    Christina Preston was born on December 21, 1783. At three months he couldn't be sure who (or what) she looked like, with a head too large for her chubby body and tiny wisps of curly light brown hair on her otherwise bald scalp. In other words she was perfect, less a habit of forgetting herself in front of as many people as possible. At the moment she held her father's pinky in a vise grip and gummed at his nail, eyes closed and mostly asleep.

    John rocked her somewhat expertly as he paced up and down the porch studying the pre-dawn stars. He could pick out the major ones: Polaris the North Star began the handle of the Little Dipper. Find two stars pointing right at Polaris - yes, the end of the 'cup' of the Big Dipper, also known as Ursa Major. Cassiopeia. Gemini. Many nights they kept him company and sometimes he even talked to them like good friends when he couldn't sleep. Like tonight.

    Something was...wrong. Something. He could feel it in his bowels and whenever he tried to puzzle out its reasoning he filled with dread. Perhaps it was just Cassie: She'd been quiet the last few days, as if something was bothering her. John learned not to talk to her when she was like this: He'd ask what was wrong, she'd deny it, he'd get irritated, she'd get angry and soon they'd be arguing. Then he'd end up apologizing, because God knows women can never admit to being wrong, especially when they are.

    Christina sensed her father tense and opened her blue eyes. This wasn't her bed? She scrunched her face and whimpered.

    "Hush," he murmured. "You're all right." He wrapped her blanket tighter and hugged her. Hearing his voice and smelling his scent, the child relaxed.

    No, something was clearly wrong. Rutledge? God knew they disagreed on what was best for Carolina on a fairly regular basis, but that merely annoyed him. This felt different though. This felt...

    ...like something bad was happening.
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  16. #1016
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    Uh-oh... Is that Black, who, having tired of using Rutledge, is taking over Preston's body? That wouldn't make sense for him, after all Rutledge is a much more useful pawn, but at this point I'm unwilling to rule anything out.

    I'm fearing that you're setting up Christina for one unhappy life. I hope I'm wrong, but the part of the update concerning John and his daughter seems laden with darkness.

    Not to mention that Harding seems about to die, although he seems too delirious to notice. Again, I hope I'm wrong, but it would take an awful lot of Luck for Harding to escape this situation, with presumably a gun cocked to his head.

    Two very different moods (progressive delirium and impending doom) both very well painted. Bravo!

  17. #1017
    Field Marshal jwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatKnight
    This felt different though. This felt...

    ...like something bad was happening.
    Exeter?

    Too bad about Harding. I hope he really did hear the angel's trumpet.

  18. #1018
    It does appear that something is actually happenning to Preston right now... Stuyvesant says Black, I wonder if it may be a confederate spirit of Black's.

    It's really too bad for Harding, especially the gun wounds in the same arm and so on before they got him.

  19. #1019
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    I have to agree with Stuyvesant you painted those two moods quite well indeed, Cat, very impressive!

    I'm hoping that a miracle does occur and Harding is not called to join the angelic choir just yet, but from the wounds he's received, it may just be better for him if he did.

    Sometimes fatherhood will clue even dumbest people into obvious things going around them, hence Preston's final realization that all is not well in the state of affairs (you all thought I was gonna say Denmark, didn't ya? )

    And meanwhile back at the ranch, how's dear Tom doing out in the backwoods surrounded by hostile Indians?
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  20. #1020
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    At least Harding does not suffer anymore. That poor bastard was on death's door for a while it seems.

    As for little Christina, I'd imagine she will become the epitome of a "daddy's little girl" if Preston has the chance to spoil her. The question is - will he get that chance? But congrats to the lucky parents, regardless.
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