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stnylan

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I don't know. Rich brat, with connections, could be rather more than a reporter possibly.

And what better cover than appearing to be a complete idiot?
 

Jape

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RMAS Mercury
Somewhere over the Atlantic
March 20th 1898

zeppelin2.jpg


Five hours into the flight, Arthur was far more relaxed. After a nice nap, the weather clearing up and with Stanley vomiting in the lavatory, he was left alone to read his newspaper in peace. He had enjoyed a fine fish dinner, met a lovely New Englander couple, and at present was enjoying the soft melodies of the Mercury’s resident pianist.

-----

Will Labour spoil Chamberlain’s electoral victory?

As most Britons waking up today will no doubt notice, the entire public transport system is down. The Trade Union Congress has backed the move by the GRWU and ATOD to walkout much to the rancour of the Prime Minister and the Rad-Libs. Although it may come to many as just another strike by organised labour, and indeed is merely a one-day protest dealing with wages, March 20th may go down in history as the day working-class politics and the Radical-Liberal Party went their separate ways. The key lies in Keir Hardie’s Independent Labour Party.

Originally a collection of socialist groups formed in the last decade as the Worker’s Representation Committee, it had little strength more than as an apolitical protest group. It’s siding with the Conservatives in the 1889 Election thanks to a promise of social reform by Lord Salisbury revealed not only its influence on working-class voters, allowing the Tories and Whigs to seize industrial centres like Glasgow and Sheffield thought impossible only years early, but woke the Rad-Libs up to the possibility their place as the people’s party was under threat. Chamberlain’s coup in the summer of 1892 of gaining Hardie’s official support, effectively incorporating the WRC into his Party in turn allowed him to overturn a large majority in the Commons (albeit only gaining a hung parliament thanks to Irish and Boer nationalists), utilising local working-class candidates on a massive, unprecedented scale.

However this, some may say, exploitation of the WRC (renamed the Independent Labour Party in 1893) seems to have come with a price. Although Salisbury returned to office less than a year after leaving it, the brief Rad-Lib ministry illustrated Labour’s growing power. Look back only a few days ago to the last election, and you will see traditional factions like the Byronite Radicals and Scottish Nonconformists, once popular with workers, replaced by Labour MPs. Link this to recent talk by the Trade Union Congress to throw away their façade of political neutrality and give full financial backing to Keir Hardie’s ILP and suddenly it seems Chamberlain strongest ally is becoming a beast he cannot feed. If the Rad-Libs become, as it seems, increasingly reliant on the ILP to win working-class votes, the majority of votes, then what could stop Hardie cutting the chains and creating a fully-fledged and popular socialist party?

Returning to my original point, the transport strikes are a crucial moment for Chamberlain. While the PM and the great majority of his party members have lambasted the Unions’ actions, Labour has supported them. The Rad-Lab pact has reached a new low only a week after the elections and although even if the handful of Labour MPs did split, it wouldn’t upset Chamberlain’s 150 seat majority, there is always the future. TUC money and a growing ILP presence in British North America, Australia and even Ultra-Tory South Africa, could make a third major party a very real prospect for the coming century.

-----

“Bonjour Monsieur”, came a voice from behind Arthur’s paper. Lowering it slightly he saw a thin young man, perhaps a little older than himself, wearing a light blue suit and bowtie standing before him, a thin black moustache sitting above a polite smile and wielding a thin, black umbrella.

“Good evening, sir”, he greeted the stranger wearily

“Are you Arthur Lambert by any chance, of The London Times”?

“Yes, yes I am”

“It is an honour to meet you monsieur”, the Frenchmen offered his hand “you are quite well known amongst particular circles in Paris”.

“Why thank you”, Arthur shook with the man “And you are”?

“Oh forgive me monsieur, I am Pierre Juneau”

“A pleasure. Tell me Mr. Juneau what Parisian circles exactly am I known of in”?

Pierre produced a folded newspaper form underneath his, showing it to Arthur, “You are The Times”, he flicked the title of his paper with a smirk “I am also Le Temps*”

“Of course, please take a seat”. Juneau sat down next to him, producing a silver cigarette case.

“Gitanes”? He offered

“Oh, no thank you”, Arthur declined politely, showing his pipe”

“Very well”, Juneau, lit himself a cigarette, taking a long drawl before continuing, “So It’s seems we are both bound for the Jewel of the Antilles”

“Yes so it would seem. Tell me, why are you on an airship from Croydon”?

“Convenience. Air France doesn’t have any Atlantic flights, and even the Channel crossing, flight and train journey are faster combined than an ocean liner to get to the CSA. All the comfort and no icebergs”!

“Ha ha, indeed sir, indeed”

“I must admit though, I have been treated somewhat suspiciously since I showed by French passport at Dover, though given the atmosphere at present it should be expected”

“A shame sir, I think you’ll be happy to discover I am something of an internationalist. I judge those by their personality and not by the flag they wave”

“I am very happy to hear that monsieur! As I said I admire your work somewhat, so expect no rude nationalism on my part”

“I must admit, I’m vaguely knowledgeable about the French press and I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of a Juneau in politics”

“I had a colonial position until very recently, I am like you, as the Texans would say, a young gun. I rising star. I hope anyway, ha ha”!

“A colonial position you say? Well I believe you may be far more accustomed to the Cuban weather than I. The closet thing to the tropics I’ve ever faced was a summer holiday to Brighton Beach”! The two men laughed

“Well monsieur all though we face, with very little doubt, the grizzly task of recording the horrors of war I wish you the best of luck”

“And I you Mr. Juneau”

“We have no drinks to toast but I raise my cigarette to your pipe”

“Cheers”!

“Cheers”!

*Le Temps (The Times)- name of Le Monde in OTL until 1945
 

Jape

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RGB: He's good for a party though, you've got to give him that!

Drake Rlugia: I could say the same, as a fan of your Brazil AAR I'm very gald you're enjoying my own humlbe story

Cyrus_The_Great: Heh, you aint see nothing yet, but don't think Stanley is oging ot get an easy ride either

stnylan: Are you insinuating espionage? How terribly unBritish ;)
 

stnylan

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Espionage? A strange Frenchman keeping tabs on our young reporter. Now, he may well be a reporter, he may well wire news back to France, and he may even be sincere when he wishes him the best of luck ... but I'll peg him down as a spy as well until I know any different. :)
 

unmerged(59077)

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Stanley, Frenchman. Why does this feel like spy vs. spy?

Is it because I'm paranoid?
 

El Pip

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stnylan said:
but I'll peg him down as a spy as well until I know any different. :)

Is the correct approach and one I will be using as well.
ja.gif


British North America? Interesting, just how small is the rump United States? Can I ask for no maps though, I much prefer the information dripping out in this tantalising fashion. :D
 
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cthulhu said:
No doubt this AAR will feature the utter destruction of the British Empire by Napoleon III's brave soldiers. :cool: *Subscribes*

Considering Napoleon III is dead here, I can only imagine you envisage some kind of killer French evil zombie surfboarding hippie Travis Fimmel-lead army landing at Dover - a propsect which, for the record, makes me tingle.
 

cthulhu

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Vincent Julien said:
Considering Napoleon III is dead here, I can only imagine you envisage some kind of killer French evil zombie surfboarding hippie army landing at Dover - a propsect which, for the record, makes me tingle.

French evil zombie, yes. surfboard hippie, no. :D
 
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cthulhu said:
French evil zombie, yes. surfboard hippie, no. :D

What the devil have you got against surf-boarding hippies? :mad: :p
 

Estonianzulu

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Excellent AAR! I don't know hwo I missed the first couple posts. I'm caught up now and will be reading with great interest. I wonder if perhaps Mr. Juneau knows more than he is letting on.
 

Cyrus_The_Great

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excellent AAR, I too am suspicious of this pierre. It would be quite comical if they both knew the other was a spy but was not aware the other knew as well.
 

Maximilliano

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interesting AAR so far, i'll be watching
 

Jape

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Halifax, Nova Scotia
British Empire
March 23rd 1898


tourism_peggy_cove.jpg

“How can it be so cold out here, like Greenland out here”?!

“We’re in the Maritime Provinces you dolt! Greenland’s only just up the way”!

Stanley only grumbled in response, stamping his feet on the pavement, his hands in his pockets desperately trying to get warm. His light cotton suit was hardly adequate for the weather; even Spring in Nova Scotia could be a rather grey affair. By comparison Arthur sat snugly in his long tweed riding coat and thick red scarf, a flat cap warming his head as they waited for a carriage. The Halifax Aerodrome was a distance from the town itself and Imperial Airways had been kind enough to have transport waiting for their valued passengers. Unfortunately, determined to lighten his luggage in the last few hours of the flight, Stanley had finished off his rum and vodka simultaneously in a ‘cocktail’ he insisted on calling a Caribbean Cossack. Not surprisingly he had felt rather ill from the incident and during the landing vomited quite a bit. Needless to say after aspirin, water and a quiet nap, substituting a pillow with a lavatory seat, the two had missed their ride. Luckily a small flight from Newfoundland was inbound in a few minutes and soon a fleet of cabs would greet the arriving passengers. Of which Arthur and Stanley would pinch one.

“You said Cuba, Evans packed for Cuba”, Stanley eventually responded in a sheepish tone.

Arthur just tutted, tired of his friend’s ‘shortcomings’.

Stanley’s face was pale and wan as could be expected from his activities for the past two and half days. Nonetheless he wasn’t passed out or on the verge of death, he dealt with more hangovers than most and certainly unlike most sensible people didn’t restrict his drinking to the odd evening. Few could empathise with his unwanted habit of moving from drunk to hungover in the middle of the day. By all accounts it was an experience not to be repeated but in such a task, Stanley was a veteran and it was the only area the louche fop could ever say he had experience in. The only week he had worked in his life, at his father’s accountancy had been apparently stained by a rather unfortunate event. Stanley refused to talk about it but supposedly it involved his father’s client, the Sultanate of Zanzibar, the Sultanate’s sudden bankruptcy, the Sultanate’s sudden revolution and the Sultan’s sudden execution. Needless to say he now lives on an allowance.

Suddenly from up the road came a locomobile taxi-cab, rather rare in British North America. The vehicle crept up towards the two men. A tall, redheaded man standing on the sidestep.

“Accuse me”! The man called in a booming Canadian accent “I trust one of you is Mr. Arthur Lambert”?

“I am”, answered Arthur as the ‘loke’ slowed to a halt, deciding not to stand politely due to the inclement weather

“Are you our ride into town”, asked Stanley, desperate to get out of the biting wind

“Heh, I suppose I am”, laughed the Canadian, jumping down from the cab, at which point Stanley grabbed his bag and virtually vaulted into the backseat. The man gave a confused look before shaking it off and walking over to Arthur. “I’m Alf Henderson, your photographer from here ‘til the Stars and Bars* flies over Havana”

“Ah, finally we meet”, Arthur finally stood, shaking his new partner’s hand “A pleasure, I was very impressed by your portfolio, particularly your pictures of the Red Indian Tribe”

“The Cree, a marvellous people. I wish I could praise your work as well but politics isn’t my thing I’m afraid”

“Consider yourself lucky”! Arthur laughed

“Shall we”? Alf motioned to the taxi-cab.

“I would quite like that”, smiled Arthur, rubbing his red raw hands together

“Err… just one thing”, the photographer whispered

“Yes”?

“Whose the other fella”?

“He’s on holiday”

****

Mr. Henderson had taken the two Englishmen directly to the Golden Promenade Restaurant for a meal, as their train to New York, the first leg of their journey to Florida, was a still a few hours away. Although a rather nice eatery, with soft, plush, cushioned chairs, fine silverware and great service, its name relating to the beautiful ocean view seemed to no doubt only apply for the six weeks Nova Scotia suffered the strange season others called summer. As the three dined the massive window showing Halifax’s seafront revealed only dark waves crashing against the seawall which Arthur was sure he saw crush a seagull at one point; luckily no one was there for a nice view. While Arthur and Alf planned out their journey south and the itinerary once they arrived at the 1st Confederate Army headquarters in Key West, Stanley was catching up on several lost meals. On searching the menu for something to quench his massive appetite, a symptom of only eating bar olives for the past three days, he had come across a Canadian delicacy: The Lumberjack’s Breakfast, a gargantuan breakfast of three-plus eggs; massives rations of ham, bacon and sausages; plus several large pancakes.

“So if we are met without any complications”, asked Arthur, glancing towards Stanley “We should be in Florida by the night of the 27th”?

“Yea”, answered Alf, looking at his notebook, filled with scribbled details of their planned route “Technically we could be there by the night of the 25th but the problem is borders. Crossing into New England is no problem- open border, but then the United States might take a little time and then crossing into the Confederacy is going to be a goddamn nightmare! Not to mention their horrendous ‘de-centralised’ rail network, different trains, different gauges, erratic timetables…”

“He he, why will to be a nightmare to cross the border? I thought President Lee and President Cleveland were moderately friendly these days, what with rapprochement and what not. Lee was something of a darling in the Union last year for finally abolishing slavery de jure if I recall”.

“Well it might be thirty-odd years since the ‘falling out’ so to speak but rapprochement was emplaced more to weaken hawks ready for a second round than a sign of actual friendship. Now that Lee is set to invade Cuba, Cleveland and his ‘Bourbon Democrats’ are up in arms, what given their extremely anti-imperial stance”

“I see”

“Well that might be the real reason for tension but the border is going to be tight because a recent mass flight of blacks into West Virginia”

“Why would they be fleeing, now that slavery is gone”?

“You think a law is going to stop an entire nation looking at a people like a sub-species, no better than pack animals? Even you yourself said it was abolished de jure. De facto, slavery declined rapidly after the 1870 revolts and what with individual states abolishing it etc. but it still goes on in certain backwoods”

“You don’t say? How ghastly”!

“Ghastly indeed, but most states abolished it in the 70’s and 80’s with compensation for owners, meaning indentured labour, or bond slaves as most call them. Needless to say, plenty are still bonded, with ‘employers’ giving out miserable wages, making it almost impossible for some to buy their freedom. Thousands have been born into this system since the revolts and its still perpetuating, Lee knows he can’t anger employers so I can’t see it being made illegal anytime soon. Anyway to cut to the point, along with bigotry, segregation, no political voice and the occasional lynching, bond-slavery is a pretty good reason for a lot of blacks to run the border”

“My, my for someone not interested by politics you seem quite well-versed”

“I’m not fascinated by the Ottawa Assembly or all-hallowed Westminster Mr. Lambert, but I’m not ignorant of the world either”

“Of course, I meant no offence”

“None taken. Anyway as we’ve already gone over and I’m sure you are knowledgeable about given you’re the one doing most of the work, we should have two days for you to interview soldiers, officers and General Wheeler while I get plenty of pretty pictures. We should be on a ship bound for Cuba by the 1st of the new month”.

“Excellent”

“Splendid”! Stanley burped

*Stars and Bars- Confederate Flag
 
Last edited:

Jape

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Cinéad IV: :D

stnylan: Try to be nice, offer him a cigarette and he gets a witchhunt just because he's French! Good reason really ;)

RGB: No, they be entirely un-related :p

El Pip: You're in luck, I wasn't planning on revealing any maps until much further down the line, by which point a lot will have been touched on. British North America was Canada's name pre-1868, and as you may notice, the empire is a federation so no such change took place, although Canada is a more common, conversational name, it is bigger than OTL Canada though. The rump US, bar New England and the CSA hasn't been whittled down, just denied their destiny shall we say ;)

cthulhu: We'll see how it goes, but as VJ stated he's dead, the Prince Imperial never met the Zulus and is now Napoleon IV- bearing in mind the only reason the 2nd Empire is still around is because the Franco-Prussian never took place, I suggest you dont be so cocky ;)

Vincent Julien: I must admit I do agree surfboard hippies have never bother me I have nothing against them, evil zombies on the other hand...

Estonianzulu: Glad to have you onboard, even if you too are rapped up and conspiracy theories!

Cyrus_The_Great & Maximilliano: Cheers!
 
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Interesting. North America seems to be a bit of a mess. Now personally, I would rather like to see a map at some point, because I have difficulty internally visualising these things.

Jape said:
I have nothing against them,

I'd have something against them! ho ho ho
 

unmerged(59077)

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The Stars and Bars, not such a nice place.

But Arthur will get to take a first hand looksee soon enough.
 

Jape

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Vincent Julien said:
Interesting. North America seems to be a bit of a mess. Now personally, I would rather like to see a map at some point, because I have difficulty internally visualising these things.

Hmm, fair enough- what does everyone else think? I could easily fit a map in once they arrive at Key West, being a military HQ and all
 

Maximilliano

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map would be fantastic, i find the set up so far fascinating... I'm guessing that a sort of Imperial parliament was created instead of dominions?
 

unmerged(59077)

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Map would be good.