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Thread: Timelines: What if Spain Failed to Control the World?

  1. #4501
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capibara
    Waiting for it eagerly
    the finale or the shower scenes?


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  2. #4502
    Roman LibrAARian comagoosie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robou
    the finale or the shower scenes?
    Both

    A finale lasts for only one season, but a shower scene can last a life time
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  4. #4504
    Detective Lt., Police Squad Eams's Avatar
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    Just got through page one, only two-hundred twenty-four more to go
    It looks promising enough though.
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  5. #4505
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerch de la Opo
    More shower scenes, please. They get me all worked up in ways I don't think I should publicly explain.
    ROFL you're terrible !

    Capibara: I'll try not to disappoint

    robou & comagoosie: ROFL too funny

    AlexanderPrimus: - cue epic trailer music - XD

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  6. #4506
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    Shower scenes? Alright, now I'm very interested. Could i get a list with links to all posts containing shower scenes? Preferably of female specimen of the human kind of course...


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  7. #4507
    He doesn't row Throne's Avatar
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    It's a shame that more people will remember Timelines for its shower scenes than for its amazing storytelling.

    But I'm not complaining.
    Lives, Lived, Will Live

  8. #4508
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throne
    It's a shame that more people will remember Timelines for its shower scenes than for its amazing storytelling.

    But I'm not complaining.
    It's called shameless advertising. Show the readers a shower scene and BAM they're hit with a great storyline too. From then on they are trapped in the storyline with only the memory that a shower scene started it all.
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  9. #4509
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qorten
    Shower scenes? Alright, now I'm very interested. Could i get a list with links to all posts containing shower scenes? Preferably of female specimen of the human kind of course...
    ROFL . Gosh you guys are terrible XD

    Throne & Eber: Haha very true !

    Season Finale Part I is 20% complete ! Behind schedule a bit XD
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  10. #4510
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    Okay just checking in . Looks like I'm going to be behind schedule by another 12 hours or so . Just so much to write about for this season finale I have to get it just right ! We're about 50% done though so expect it within the next 24 hours tops most likely in the next 12 ! For now , I need some sleep haha .
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  11. #4511
    AARficionado & Storyteller Demi Moderator Eber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonized
    Okay just checking in . Looks like I'm going to be behind schedule by another 12 hours or so . Just so much to write about for this season finale I have to get it just right ! We're about 50% done though so expect it within the next 24 hours tops most likely in the next 12 ! For now , I need some sleep haha .
    *sigh* I GUESS that is acceptable.



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  12. #4512
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonized
    Okay just checking in . Looks like I'm going to be behind schedule by another 12 hours or so . Just so much to write about for this season finale I have to get it just right ! We're about 50% done though so expect it within the next 24 hours tops most likely in the next 12 ! For now , I need some sleep haha .
    this is quite a revelition... i had always thought you never slept, at least by your almost constant attendance on MSN. Seems you took my advice BUT WHY NOW! WHY, WHEN YOU ARE SO CLOSE! *breaks down into tears*


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  13. #4513
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eber
    *sigh* I GUESS that is acceptable.



    (I joke...I'm also behind schedule and had to sleep last night instead of updating. We need our beauty sleep, don't we?)
    Haha , You can partly blame some distractions along the way too . Oi XD

    robou: haha , yes yes , Lestat does sleep too XD Albeit when the light is out XD

    After mass I'm getting back into the saddle to finish my work XD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throne
    It's a shame that more people will remember Timelines for its shower scenes than for its amazing storytelling.

    But I'm not complaining.
    I thought I was a perverse because I remembered this AAR because of the Panzerkardinal...
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  15. #4515
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner
    I thought I was a perverse because I remembered this AAR because of the Panzerkardinal...
    Haha well update is now ! And it's uberlong since it's a Season Finale Part I !

    Part II will be in a few days XD
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  16. #4516
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    Chapter CXII: The Traitors


    10 April 1610

    The yeniçeri* agha** kept his distance from the small group of ragged and distasteful looking men crowding the otherwise glorious interior of the palatial hall. However, although his body was facing the cooling portal where the portrait of a calming afternoon in Constantinople greeted him, his eyes and grimaced face were locked onto the suspicious gang entering the chamber. Passing in front of his view was the pacing Prince Shahim apparently inspecting and giving instructions to these summoned hands.

    “Bounty hunters,” the yeniçeri spoke to the soldier attached to his detail a little off to his right, “We don't need that scum.”

    “Yes, sir,” the bodyguard gave his response while similarly interviewing each entrant with his eyes.

    “Those traitors won't escape us,” the agha huffed before being interrupted by one of the various couriers and pages working in the room alongside the spectacle.

    “Sir, we have a priority message from the Arabian Ship Muntaqim,” the messenger informed him.

    “Right,” was the simple acknowledgment from the commanding officer.

    As the chief officer was busy deciphering the message, Prince Shahim took deliberate steps in front of his 'guests.' The men-- and perhaps some women as well though the distinction was a bit dubious with the masks and hoods prevalent in the 'fellowship'-- were a hodgepodge of the Empire's less desirable citizens. Some grinned as widely as a Persian scimitar and others kept a face as solid as the triple walls of Constantinople. One, even, was dressed in the full suit of armour with only a thin gap in his visor allowing him to see and trailing down his nose and mouth in a Y shaped pattern.

    “...There will be a substantial reward for the one who finds the Two Traitors. You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. No decapitations,” and here Shahim pointed squarely at the one dressed in full armour.

    “As you wish,” was the response from behind the metal.

    The agha that had been on the far end of the hall had crossed the distance to the briefing area in a hurry. “Prince Shahim! My Lord, we have them,” he said hurriedly.

    Shahim twisted his body at his subordinate. “Where?”

    “Just across the Austrian border, they've apparently made contact with the girl.”

    There was a pause in Shahim's mannerisms as he stood there contemplating the news. He looked back towards the mercenaries. “You have your lead, go.”

    As the men defiled out of the room, Shahim's eagle glare returned to his aide. “How soon do you think we can outfit my personal guard to head there ourselves?” was the question he asked more quietly.

    “I'm afraid that will be almost impossible now, My Lord,” a second commanding officer approached Shahim and his aide. “I have terrible news from the front,” he went on without ceremony, “the Spanish-Austrian forces have broken through our defense line along the Danube and are heading south--”

    “That is no matter,” Shahim dismissed the thought with a wave of his hand, “The Anatolian levies will arrive in a few days; we'll just have the Balkan army regroup in--”

    “There's more, Your Highness,” the agha carefully interrupted lowering his voice. He did not give Shahim a chance to show his anger as he continued: “There has been an incident along the road to Selânik***... our coast garrisons have engaged a Spanish army that landed there-- at least eight thousand infantry and two thousand horse... They carry the flag with the slogan 'Voor Je Schepper Staan****,'” the man attempted to convey phonetically.

    “Schenkhuizen!” Shahim growled under his breath before shooting a glance at his own aide who immediately looked down as if a spear had been lodged through his chest just from Shahim's look. “I thought you guaranteed to me that our foreign friends arranged for him to be recalled to Madrid!”

    “Drescher assured me of the plan a few days ago,” the agha under his command stuttered violently, “He said his best Madrid agent would find a way to recall him to that city--”

    “What's worse,” the other officer interrupted, “is that our fleet is still stationed near İskenderiye to fend off reinforcements from arriving to that city... with the Spanish Armada now heading for the Marmara we won't be able to reinforce the city or the field army with the Anatolian reserves since they would not be able to cross... We've been surrounded.”

    ---


    “Colonel Benito!” one the lieutenants rushed forward screaming above the pell mell of shells rocking the walls of Alexandria. “The Turkish navy is bombarding us from their position in the harbour now that they know our ships are nowhere close to us... we're surrounded sir!”

    The Colonel nodded tiredly to his lieutenant, “tell the men to hold their positions.” In the man's hand was a half crushed piece of paper.

    “May apologies for the deception,” the parchment had said informally although it was an official communication, “but there was no other way for me to get General Schenkhuizen to willingly leave Alexandria and onto the transports at such a pivotal time and fool the Turkish spies in the same stroke. I'm sorry to say that we have no choice but to abandon operations in Alexandria; there is a greater matter that I have reassigned General Schenkhuizen to in the Balkans. The person to whom this parchment is given to is therefore charged with holding Alexandria for as long as they can and for God to help them until we may return.” It was signed by Alvaro de Guzman, secretary to Cardinal Lamprecht with the Cardinal's seal next to it.

    Colonel Benitez grunted at the memory of the orders while his lieutenants around him looked towards with him no little sense of panic. The Persians were already halfway up the walls and despite the constant repulsion by the men of the city, thousands and thousands of ladders continued to rise along every inch of the barricades. Jafar was no novice, Benitez thought to himself; he knew that he outnumbered the Spanish greatly and therefore chose to attack at almost every vulnerable point along the wall.

    The Lieutenants would come and go delivering bits of bad news after bad news. “Fire in the citadel,” one would say and Benitez would reassign a squad to put down the flames. “Rioting near the bazaar,” another would report and Benitez would have to thin out his lines once more to put down the quasi rebellion. “Sabotage at the main gate!” someone would yell and Benitez would have to personally lead the assault to retake the tower before returning to one of the parapets to overlook the siege.

    The lieutenants' mouths were tired out by each bitter reverse like it was one inhalation of sand after another. “Perhaps...” there were those words that long lingered in the mens' minds and, like some sudden breeze of fresh air, forced the letters to condense onto one of the lieutenant's tongues: “if we surrender now, Jafar would be willing to give us favourable terms just like in Jerusalem...”

    Benitez had served under his Dutch master for the length of the Jerusalem campaign and had even shared in his brief capture and it was perhaps this intimacy with General Schenkhuizen that rubbed some of that strategic and tactical analysis onto him. It was part of the genius of Jafar that the lieutenants under Benitez's command were so amiable to a retreat-- to giving up the city to a 'generous' antagonist. Jafar had shown the Spanish that he was willing to make them rich if only they would give away their precious cities-- it was a more cunning calculation than putting them all under the fear of slaughter.

    The Colonel looked to his companions with his dirty face glistening dully in the afternoon sun from the mixture of oil, sweat, soot, and blood. “The day is getting late...” he said finally with a crooked grin and a sigh escaping stealthily, “and we've been fighting since yesterday... why not just for a few more hours... just to close today--”

    “That's what you said yesterday--” one of the lieutenants interrupted but Benitez placed a hand on the man's shoulder almost immediately.

    “Just one more day,” Benitez said to him with a smile. The man looked back at his Colonel disarmed, but stood firmly. He could feel Benitez's strength in the grasp of his gauntlet on his shoulder like the grip of an a lion.

    “Just one more day, Colonel...” the soldier repeated slowly regaining his soldier's smile before turning back to his fellow lieutenants. “And what are you fools looking at?” the man cracked out with a laugh to his fellows as more bombs whistled around them and punctuated his every word, “You heard the Colonel! We must hold out long enough for General Schenkhuizen to complete his mission. We must buy him some time!”

    Colonel Benitez stepped up next to his lieutenant and faced the dirtied men holding fast against the battlements attempting to hear him over the din of sword and scimitar clashing along the ladders. “Save your tears!” Benitez roared as loudly as he could to as many of his men around him as could hear, “Save your tears!” he repeated, “for the day when the pain is far behind!” he unsheathed his sword. “On your feet! Come with me! We are Spanish, stand or die!”

    “Save your tears!” the lieutenant next to him repeated after him while drawing his own weapon and looking out to the men beneath them, “Take your place! Save them for the judgment day!”

    “Santiago y España!” the soldiers cheered out.

    ---


    Jafar walked amongst his marching soldiers complete with staff in his left hand and a emblazoned scimitar on his right. One looking at the sight may mistakingly confuse Jafar's actions to be merely solidarity with his men, but the General knew from his years of experience fighting the Russians, Spanish, and even Turks that during a siege where horses were relegated to the further off areas guarding the peripheries, a man riding on a horse in the middle of charging ladder infantry would be spotted and sniped as an officer-- especially in a desperate situation such as this.

    Even his presence was merely a formality. Knowing that General Schenkhuizen was not in the citadel to give it a defense worthy of his enemy's reputation, Jafar had left the details of the assault to his commanders. He was only there to give his men the morale they needed to hopefully take the city in the next few hours.

    “General,” the scarred man crept up behind him. If it weren't for Jafar's icy nerve, he might have jumped at the shadow puppetry of a man that slinked behind him.

    “What is it?” Jafar asked without turning the march.

    “I believe I have both good news and bad news...”

    “Spit it out,” Jafar commanded with some impatience.

    “The reports from the Turks was wrong... General Schenkhuizen did not go back to Madrid... he's landed a few miles from Kustantiniyyah with ten thousand soldiers...”

    The words seeped into Jafar's ears like a possessing demon's ghost invading his brain. “He's outmaneuvered us...” Jafar hissed under his breath. “He knew he could not hold Al-Iskandariyya so he wants to take the Sublime Porte instead... a much more valuable prize... he could force the Turks to exit the war...”

    “But I hear that the Spanish army would have broken through the Balkan line eventually, anyway” the scarred man curiously spoke aloud, “sending the General ten thousand men here in Alexandria would have relieved the siege for at least several more months...”

    “Correct...” Jafar acknowledged, “Taking this city would have been considerably harder for us if those reinforcements went in this direction and if the Spanish were to win on the Danube front it would only be a matter of time until they reached the Turk capital-- which is why we were hoping to end this quickly here... but this way...”

    “It seems like a blunder.”

    “No... nothing these Spaniards do is without proper calculation. General Schenkhuizen's force would effectively stop the Balkan Turk army from regrouping and with their Armada in the straits, it would stop any reinforcements to the city. They want a decisive battle at all costs to take Kustantiniyyah at the cost of their possessions here in Africa... the question is ... why?”

    ---


    “General Schenkhuizen will begin his siege of the city soon and General de Silva with the regular corps will press behind the retreating Turkish lines in Rumelia,” Alvaro explained as they made their way through the underground passages of the labyrinth underneath Constantinople, “it will not only ensure our victory over the Turks, but it will, most importantly, guarantee that whatever we discover down here will remain in our hands.”

    “Is that why you sent an army to 'rescue' me from my tenure in Novgorod?” the Metropolitan Andronikos chuckled in between staggered breaths, “just to drag me back down here to identify some Greek mysteries for you?” Father Julio, already almost as ancient as his Orthodox counterpart, was holding onto that old man's hand guiding him down the all too familiar corridors of the labyrinth they had visited so many years ago.

    “I assure you that Novgorod is also a valuable asset to the growing stability and wealth of the Empire,” Alvaro replied to the oldest of his companions down that dark and cool corridor. Andronikos merely laughed some more in return; apparently the Metropolitan was one of the few people to ever understand Alvaro's jokes.

    “We're here,” Father Julio announced as he watched the signs on the corridors carefully. “I just have to make sure to disable the traps I remember from his Excellency's first trip here with me.” Julio handed off the aging man's arm to Alvaro so that he could attend to the wall in front of them.

    “Thank you for convincing Father Julio to come back here,” Alvaro said quietly to His Excellency as he watched the elderly priest depress several of the stones into a pattern along the barrier in front of them.

    “I'm sure it seemed that way,” the jovial Byzantine spoke in his accented Spanish-- though now it furthermore carried the slight hint of northern Russian in his speech, “but really, when he heard of your plan when you briefed all of us... I think he wanted to make sure you did not have to go alone down here...”

    Alvaro did not smile, but the warmth of his hand supporting the old prelate relayed to the elderly clergyman that the appreciation reached all the way into Alvaro's calculating bosom. “He's supported my mother through the estate he was awarded after his mission and he made sure I was given the education I needed for the work I would have today... He trusted me even though my real father was a traitor and he put the faith of a Christian into me in both sense of something I hold in myself and as that trust he always had in me that I would never betray him... Even though he never coddled me or pretended that I was his son, he was always like a father to me. How could I not do my best to make sure the Spain he helped to protect would continue to be protected?”

    Alvaro felt a wrinkled hand rest atop where he was gripping Andronikos's arm. It felt like an old book was kneading its wise lettering directly into his body as it vibrated from the deep tenor of Andronikos's voice: “You have helped him very much too, Alvaro. You were the one who showed him that normality could return to life... After what he's seen... especially in those Lithuanian villages... the horrors...”

    “I know...” Alvaro replied looking into the greying eyes of the old man compassionately. “The horrors both of you have seen.” Andronikos held his composure but merely nodded before lowering his head to the safety of the uniform browness of the dirt beneath.

    “It should be safe now,” Father Julio announced as the last of the blocks was pressed into the partition. There was a short delay of a few seconds before the sound of a bucket of stones splashing into the bottom of a well announced the slow rumble of the wall parting in front of them. A rattle greeted the three and the shining constellation of hundreds of glass vials and flasks reflected the light of Alvaro's torch. The interior itself was like a miniature maze of tables of stone and marble built in a circular pattern in concentric arcs. The dome above them was definitely Byzantine in architecture but served the double purpose of aesthetics and providing a funnel for ventilation leading upward to a small hole at the very top of the dome.

    “We've found it...” Andronikos marveled at the sight, “The Secret Laboratory of Κωνσταντίνος Δ'*****!”

    “Which of the vials must we secure?” Alvaro asked as he helped the elderly prelate into the chamber.

    “Those over there,” Andronikos pointed to the ones on the far end of the circular chamber. “But be careful... that material is very dangerous. Its corrosive qualities will burn right through you.”

    “Don't worry,” Alvaro reassured Andronikos, “we came prepared. After all, if this is the only material that can kill the Others permanently, it would obviously have to be very dangerous even to us.”

    Andronikos nodded his head, “Indeed; for this is the most secret of Greek sciences-- this is the real Roman Fire-- and it had the power to burn without flames.”

    ---


    The last bolgia seemed like a dire combination of all the preceding bolgias: imposing roots; strange lights; noxious fumes; and a maddening dimness. Trap after trap, Renault managed to inform the group beforehand, and each time the trap was foiled. But it was finally at the doorway to the final circle of Renault's adaptation of Dante that Raul seemed to feel very apprehensive.

    Perhaps it was because of what Renault was asking him to do. “Raul, this next part, while Riku and Willem hold onto these cables over here, I want you to go into this pool and trigger the key at the bottom. Listen to the metal clicking while you're in the tube and it should tell you the number of the key you have to pull. Pull it, and the doorway will open, but don't touch the other keys or it will release concentrated acid into the tube.”

    Raul was shocked to hear what Renault was instructing and for a while just merely stared at him. “Uncle!” Madeleine quickly said although suddenly lowering her voice similarly surprised at her own loudness, “I... perhaps think you should let me do this part--”

    “I need you to do the math for me as that stone abacus over there switches,” Renault explained while pointing to the contraption on the right. Madeleine cast a desperate glance at Raul and then at Riku and Willem who similarly had a mask of mortification on their faces.

    “But--” Madeleine attempted to protest, but Raul interrupted her.

    “Your uncle's right, Madeleine,” Raul stated plainly and quickly, “no one can do the math faster than you can. I'll go.”

    “Raul you--” Riku tried to say but Raul already slipped off his boots and unstrapped his tunic off of his sweat-and-oil slicked frame. As the clothing shed off of his upper body, the familiar serpent-coil of scars became visible in the unforgiving illumination of the torches. Madeleine hoped to say something more but Raul had already sunk into the pool.

    The bubbles tickled Raul's face as he descended into the water shaft. Well-like in nature, only the red and green afterglow of the torches above him influenced by the growths in the water gave him any bearing on his surroundings. Despite the murky water, he could make out a set of keys ahead of him sticking out of the floor of the well like little signposts set in a circular pattern. Each had a different number of holes etched into their handles. Now to discern the tapping he was told about, he thought to himself.

    “You should not have let him go down there, uncle,” Madeleine protested as soon as she could see Raul descend out of immediate earshot.

    “What's going on with you all?” Renault asked while they all took their positions at their assigned stations. Madeleine was directly across from her uncle memorizing the rapid changes in the abacus with ease. “Why do you think Raul can't handle this assignment?”

    “His scars, Señor de Fronsac,” Riku spoke up for them while struggling to hold onto the rope he was assigned to keep in place. “This situation is very similar to how he received them... It's one of the reasons he is so affected by water.”

    “I see...” Renault seemed to relent looking back to the bubbles tickling the water's surface... “a mission gone awry?” he asked the others curiously. When he did not immediately get an answer, he looked at the others who surprised him by looked absently in other directions.

    “It was his mother,” Madelein spoke up, “he told us about it when we were in Jerusalem although Riku and Willem already knew from their trip through Baghdad. His mother tried to kill him when she was pregnant with him. She enlisted the help of a Chinese alchemist of some kind to try and kill him... It failed but left the baby-- left Raul scarred for the rest of his life and with phantom pains of burning without flames.”

    Raul could hear it now, the gentle noise permeating the water like the sound of one of those gamelans he had heard during his journeys to the East... “Six...” he said to himself as he listened closely. Finding the proper key, he let his fingers drift against its mossy handle before he gripped it and pulled it upward. What a strange noise it was, he thought to himself. The regularity of the beats... it was almost like a heart... like he was--

    “Yes... back in that place again,” Pablo whispered into his mind, “back where we were nurtured for eight months before she tried to kill us.”

    Raul tried not to respond. His body instinctively attempted to escape as his hands rushed water downward to begin his ascent. That's when the pinch of something against the back of his neck gained his attention. “What?” his brain triggered as he looked down. His necklace... the one with mother's hair in it... it had snagged at a different key and pulled it upward slightly. Already, Raul could hear the sudden rush of extra liquid entering the chamber. “Are you trying to kill me again, mother?” his brain lashed out in panic. “Do you hate us that much?!”

    “I see,” Renault said while listening to the sad tale. “I suppose that does explain why he has the eye colouration that he does for someone picked up from the orphanage of Infinite Castle.”

    “Indeed,” Riku confirmed although he had no first hand experiences of what it was like to be in Infinite Castle-- that mass of buildings on the Chinese coast that housed the European guild-sponsored spy network led by a perennial “Jesca.” “It's also why he's worked so hard to try and be the next Janus... to be able to control the Timepiece and see his mother again.”

    “Well I'm sure once we secure the Timepiece, then perhaps Raul might get the promotion he wants,” Renault began to say almost nostalgically. “The Timepiece itself is just past this bolgia in the circle of the traitors in the frozen river of Cocytus which is divided into four concentric circles: Caina for the traitors against kin, Antenora for traitors against country, Ptolomeia for traitors against guests, and Judecca for traitors against Lords. Cocytus is a frozen river reflecting the calculating and cold endeavors of traitors while doubly serving as a poignant image that this is exactly the furthest away from the warmth of God represented in the poem by the light and warmth of the Sun. Since the center of the Earth is where the Poem takes one, it should be allegorically understood as being the furthest possible position from God and the sun simultaneously. The contrapasso perhaps takes an even greater meaning when you come to understand how Satan fits into--”

    “Uncle!” Madeleine interrupted pointing with horror at the pool.

    “What is--” that's when Renault saw it as well, “Raul!”

    ---


    “He broke through the handcuffs when he came to so we had to put him in double restraints in the far room,” the lieutenant sighed out some smoke as he rubbed the back of his head and placed the case file on the inspector's table.

    “And you're telling me nothing came out on the prints for either of these jokers?” the inspector asked in return while leaning back in his desk chair. The slow whirlwind of smoke rising from the lieutenant and the inspector was spun lazily by the ceiling fan above.

    “At least not in this area there ain't,” the lieutenant replied with a sardonic laugh before a knock on the door interrupted their conversation.

    “Ricardo, what is it?” the inspector asked the man peeping into the room.

    “You've better come down to the crime lab, inspector,” was the unsure response by one of the lab technician.

    ---


    “As I told you before, the operation went well so she shouldn't have any complications,” Dr. Alvarez began to explain. “We're still waiting for the lab work but I don't suspect there's any infection from the way she responded to the treatment.”

    Antonio turned to Jakob who was sitting next to him in Dr. Alvarez's small hospital office. They exchanged pleasant smiles although Jakob was sporting quite a few bandages. “That's excellent news doctor--” Jakob had begun saying.

    “I'm afraid there is one problem, however,” Dr. Alvarez interrupted while folding his lips into his mouth. He immediately got both of the young men's attention. “You see... there's the matter of insurance.”

    “Insurance?” Antonio was puzzled.

    “Yes,” Alvarez went on, “as I recall you didn't list any insurance in the paperwork we asked you to fill out. Although it's usually the case that we don't turn away severely injured patients if they can't show proper documentation, you have to understand that it's illegal to not have insurance of some kind even if it's government insurance... and since the expense for the operation is--”

    “Ahh... you mean you wish to be compensated for your services?” Jakob realized with a smile, “You must forgive us!” Jakob added almost eagerly, “we're not very used to the customs of this... area. We are prepared to pay you in full.”

    “In full?” Dr. Alvarez said not knowing whether to laugh or be worried as he looked at both of his visitors from the top rim of his glasses. He tapped his pen onto his knuckles for a few moments and only gazed at the smiling and satisfied expressions on the other two. “Alright,” he conceded with a shrug as he passed the clipboard to the one in bandages. “You'll find the assessment total on the bottom of the page.”

    Jakob took the clipboard and scanned the enumerations while attempting to maintain the jovial smile on his face. He couldn't understand any of it.

    ---


    “I don't understand any of it,” the technician said lowly as he let the inspector and lieutenant into the room.

    “Well it's a suit of armour-- I can see why it would be a bit of a mystery--” the inspector tried to make a joke but no one was laughing.

    The technician just scowled in return. “That's the point... your stun guns shouldn't have worked on him if he was wearing this piece of metal.”

    The inspector and lieutenant seemed a bit stunned. “But...”

    “Would you lend me your firearm please, lieutenant?” the technician asked.

    Reluctantly the man handed over his piece and the technician gingerly placed it near where the armour was hanging over the side of the table. Immediately, the weapon was pulled up and stuck to the underside of the metal frame emitting a loud ring throughout the laboratory. “What...” the inspector could barely ask.

    “Something's happened to this piece of armour,” the technician spelt out his concern.

    “Could the stun weapons have done this?” the inspector asked.

    “I thought of that as well, but this is the same thing that's happened to the set up in the West Hollywood that didn't involve the stun weapons.”

    “There's another set of armour like this?” the inspector asked.

    “Yeah... some shooting occurred over there around the same time we caught these guys. Though the armour up there... it's black--”



    Interlude


    “Zio...” Carlos repeated to himself as he read the file. “Do we know anything more about him than what's listed on this report about his appearance on the television?”

    Lara shrugged as she looked over Carlos's shoulder. “We did get a location from Pablo... and a little description-- something about black armour.” she indicated the pictures near the rear of the dossier. “Captain DeWitt says we should be arriving at this Zio's location near the suburbs of Beijing in about an hour..”

    “Around the same time Rodrigo's supposed to be going into the Siberian compound,” Carlos remembered with a sigh; he let his fingers run across the edge of his forehead and interact with his hair. The soft light of their air transport swayed casually above them as they reviewed the papers on the table. The other fingers idly passed to the last picture in the dossier-- but it wasn't a picture it was more like a drawing... “What's this?” Carlos asked.

    Lara gave Carlos a look and pulled the drawing into the light. “It's a sketch Pablo made of this Zio person,” she explained. The crude black lines and spots of red was a disturbing sight for her. There was something from the drawing that struck at Lara's throat. It felt-- diabolical.

    Chapter CXIII: Satan (coming soon)

    ENDNOTES:

    *janissary

    **denotes a chief or high ranking officer

    ***Thessaloniki in Macedonia ; I had to use a modern Turkish transliteration since I couldn't find the old Turkish that was given in romanized letters .

    ****As some of you may now , real Schenkhuizen (aka Grubby) changed clans from 4k (Four Kings [c.f. chapter LXXIV: Descent for Grubby's use of the four Kins Flag]) to MYM (Meet your Makers) thus why his banner now incorporates the Dutch equivalent to the phrase as his motto in honour of the real Grubby changing to that clan . I'll let one of the Dutchmen provide the literal translation if they'd like .

    *****Constantine IV . Byzantine Emperor . He used Greek Fire against the Arabs . Although having the room be his secret Laboratory might insinuate that he created Greek Fire , this is a wrong assumption . It merely shows that this was the alchemy and chemicals chamber of Constantine's operations .
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  18. #4518
    Plus ultra! Capibara's Avatar
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    Excellent chapter! So Raul has a twin brother, very interesting, I wonder if he will be able to make it out of this one
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  19. #4519
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderPrimus
    Oh my goodness!

    Janissaries... No disintegrations... 1984...

    Great update...
    Zing XD Extra points for immediately pointing out the 'disintegration 'reference ! There's actually one more reference in that chapter way more obscure though XD If anyone gets it they get double extra points .

    Capibara: Haha , no silly ! not a twin brother ! But more like a Twin self . Schizophrenia ! Although Twin .. you may be on to something here . More than you might think XD
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  20. #4520
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonized
    Zing XD Extra points for immediately pointing out the 'disintegration 'reference ! There's actually one more reference in that chapter way more obscure though XD If anyone gets it they get double extra points .

    Capibara: Haha , no silly ! not a twin brother ! But more like a Twin self . Schizophrenia ! Although Twin .. you may be on to something here . More than you might think XD
    Hmm, I think I might me getting something, but I still need a little bit more of info
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