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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Aug 15, 2008
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Sorry folks, it looks like that I'm not ready to provide the resolution of crisis for this chapter yet, so... err... cliff hanger time. :eek:o (Blame Paradox if you want to blame somebody, since they made EU3 so great that I spent more time than I want playing the Big Blue Blob France :p)


Anyways, the update is a really short one, and it'll be posted on the previous update to make a more complete one. Although it is short, it should give you something to think over before I post the full size updates. :D

Just in case somebody missed what I said:


CHECK THE PREVIOUS UPDATE FOR THE UPDATE!!
 

Enewald

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In what language did Scherloch speak the last sentence?
 

Kurt_Steiner

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When Rommel meets Holmes... what unexpected allies...
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Update coming up, a short one in preparation for tomorrow I'm afraid. Blame me and my eu3 game, but at least I'm updating everyday. :p However, I'm saving the last bit of this chapter also because that I want to build up the reader's mood here.

BTW, since people asked. If I did not specifically specify the language, the dialogue between Rommel and others will be in French. ;)

Text uploaded, a small image may be added later.

..............​


Rommel eyed Holmes and Watson closely. Who might the two Englishmen be, and what are their objectives?

“Monsieur, I wish that you can understand that we meant no harm here, but only wish that you can cooperate with us here,” said Holmes.

Rommel ignored Holmes, rather preparing to melt away.

“It seems that you are still not willing to tell anything. I’m afraid I should take you down at this very spot to make you speak.”

Holmes got into his fighting stance of a boxer, swinging from side to side as he approached Rommel rapidly with his fist clenched tightly before his face.

Rommel realized that he had attracted more attention then he had wanted already, as a crowd was visbly gathering, and decided to put a quick end to the fight as he dodged Holmes fists. Holmes’ fists were swift and unforgiving, as if stinging hornets. However, they were not unpredictable.

It was not long before Rommel caught one Holmes’ left fist in mid-air and pulled it straight down, while instantly lifting his knee. The twin moves resulted in Rommel smashing Holmes’ wrist with his knee. Before Holmes could even react to Rommel’s sudden attack, Rommel pulled Holmes over through Holmes’ injured left hand, and extended his lifted leg to land his jackboot on Holmes’ ribs in another double motion attack.

“Something is…” said Rommel as he let go of Holmes and let him fall, feeling that his kick felt a little different on Holmes.

“Holmes!” cried Watson as he rushed to Holmes’ side.

“I’m alright,” said Holmes to Watson before he turned to Rommel again. His left wrist bone appeared to be shattered, and the shoulder joint were also to dislocated. However the kick that could have potentially broken one of Holmes’ ribs seemed to have no effect on Holmes.

“I was expecting a powerful opponent, so I prepared some protection for myself, but it seems I had underestimated you too much” said Holmes as he got up and patted his torso with his right. The sound revealing the existence of some sort of padding.

“However, I am not here for a fight. In fact, I happened to be working for the British Government on this occasion in an investigation with a certain degree of cooperation with the Italian Government,” continued Holmes. “There were many strange killings in Britain right now, and a month ago I also received news that there were similar killings done in the same fashion here in Italy and came to investigate the possible relationship between the killings that happened in the two repective countries. The killings that recently happened here showed more distinct resemblance between the murders.”

“I suppose you have something to do with the French Government, and you are related to all these events in varying degree,” remarked Holmes. “If it is so, is it possible for a cooperation to be formed? We do wish to request your help.”

Although surprised at who Holmes might actually be, and what he might know. However, Rommel kept quiet for a while before he finally spoke.

“I suppose you already expect me to reject, am I right?” said Rommel finally as he began to melt into the crowd that was forming around them.

“Don’t chase after him… ” said Holmes to Watson as he held his companion back. “He is too powerful for us to challenge at the moment. Anywyas, I have the feeling we will meet again… together with the one depicted in our strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” said Holmes quietly as he saw the shape of Rommel disappear behind the gathering crowd and hold out a photograph of a painting by blood. A painting of an angel… of death, Thanatos.


A while later, in front of Rachmaninoff’s residence


Rommel returned to Rachmaninoff’s residence a bit exhausted after a long day, especially because of the fight he got himself into. However Rommel concentrated his self on how to make Aria eat more during dinner.

Suddenly a frantic Rachmaninoff appeared and went straight for Rommel as soon as he saw his guest.

“Monsieur Rachmaninoff, what is the matter. Why do you appear…” begun Rommel.

“Never mind me, Major Rommel…” said Rachmaninoff out of breath. “Aria… aria is gone… We can’t find her anywhere.”

Rommel was stunned by Rachmaninoff’s words, as if they were part of a petrifying spell.

“How… how can that be…” muttered Rommel to himself. The next moment he was out of sight, dashing through the street in search of Aria.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(85800)

Marshal of the Empire
Oct 19, 2007
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ah, an alliance between rommel and sherlock holmes would be a thing to see. maybe he can track down aria?
 

Enewald

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Rommel, never sitting nor walking.
Just like Jack Bauer, always running and shooting. :p
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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Rommel, never sitting nor walking.
Just like Jack Bauer, always running and shooting. :p

Like Bauer, but with a little girl to worry about, indeed.
 
Aug 15, 2008
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He's the update folks. :p It's the final part of this chapter! :D

Text uploaded but not edited, and still finding suitable pics to post. :eek:o


............​


“Where could she be?” asked Rommel to himself as he ran past several pedestrians on the street, and realized that he had completely no idea where the little girl could be except for the places where they had been when the Maestro and the other girls were alive… Rommel bitterly admitted to himself that he had not understand Aria quite enough. What was Aria to him anyways? Rommel thought about the question again and asked himself, should he simply conclude that “Aria is someone important”?

Rommel felt lost as he could not find any traces of Aria anywhere in the Italian city for hours. Although it was torturously cold outside, Rommel could feel that he was sweating inside, and the wet feeling was extremely uncomfortable.

Finally, Rommel arrived at the Napoli Centrale, the train station where they first arrived at in Naples. It was already dark, and the lights of the station were lit, illuminating the surroundings.

Rommel wandered around the building. As he was looking around, Rommel spotted Aria. However, she was on the other side of a wired fence, while crouching down on a railway track.

Rommel’s first thought was simple: what is Aria trying to do?

“Aria… Aria! What are you doing there?” cried Rommel as he rushed to the side of the fence, calling out to Aria.
Aria was only lightly dressed, as if she just left Rachmaninoff’s residence in a hurry. The little girl was shivering in the cold, trying to keep herself warm.

“Monsieur… Rommel…” Aria slowly turned her head to Rommel as she spoke the two words.

Rommel looked around the wired fence, and found a small hole in it. Did Aria crawled through the hole to the other side?

“Aria!” Rommel called again, not knowing exactly what to do and blocked by the fence from Aria.

“Monsieur Rommel… I think I should… go… go to where everyone is. I do not wish… to become a burden of yours…”
Did Aria feel that she herself is a burden? Rommel suddenly felt guilty for not trying to understand how Aria may felt before.

“Before I was taken in by the Maestro… I was on the streets… where nobody wants me… The Maestro, Amatia, Rico, and Sonia… they were all so kind to me… But they all got killed…” said Aria slowly and stopped briefly before continuing.

“For all these days I have been thinking… Why? Why am I the only one alive? Why did they not kill me? Was it because me that they got killed?”

Rommel too realized at the moment that there was something strange. Why was Aria the only one survived, not to mention why did she survived completely physically unharmed?

Suddenly the sound of an approaching train can be heard. It seemed to be coming at full steam, and less than a kilometre away.

“Aria!” Rommel cried as he bang on the fence. The wired fence shook violently but did not give way. Aria watched Rommel’s useless efforts as she put on a faint smile on her face.

The sound of the train can be heard ever more loudly.

“You have been most kind to me, Monsieur Rommel… However… I do not wish that you’ll get killed because of me… killed by l'ange… l’ange de la mort… ”

The tip of the steam locomotive can be seen vividly.

“Aria… step away from there!” Rommel started to panic. However to his surprise, Aria began to sing. Aria sung in her most beautiful voice.

The sound and shape of the locomotive was distinctively nearby. However, the aria Aria sang seemed to slow down the flow of time.

It was as if time itself almost grinded to a halt. Rommel draw out his hidden sabre and sliced an opening in the wired fence, before kicking the broken segment of the wall in and dashed forwards. The lights of the train illuminated Aria’s small body, and Aria closed her eyes before the train was just going to hit her. Rommel made a leapt forward for Aria.

With less than a millisecond to spare, Rommel got hold of Aria and rolled to the side, hitting a brick wall on the side of the track full force.

“Monsieur Rommel!” cried Aria as she noticed Rommel’s painful expression.

“Do not… ” said Rommel as he panted, “… do not view your life as something… you can so easily… give away…”

“Monsieur Rom…” Aria said sadly.

Rommel wrapped his arm around the little girl, and let out a deep sigh before he spoke again.

“Aria, listen carefully…you shall never let me worry so much… and you should always obey me. You’re important to me, and you shall be my daughter, while I shall be your father, Arietta.”

“A… Arietta…?” asked Aria in her small voice.

“Yes… I had a wife before. Her name is the same as yours, so to me you’ll be my little Aria, Arietta.”

Aria looked at Rommel for a moment. Tears were starting to form at the corner of her beautiful blue eyes, and it was a while before she could piece out something.

“Yes… Papa…”

Arietta then hugged Rommel tightly with all her strength and cried, cried as she would have ever wanted, cried in the isle of warmth in an ocean of darkness, coldness and cruelty.

“Am I doing the right thing?” thought Rommel as he brushed through Arietta’s hair gently with his hand. He himself surprised at the decision he just made. The white snow was still falling from the sky, and Rommel sighed before letting out a remark.

“Letting people rely on me… again…” said Rommel as he wrapped the little girl in his arms around with his great coat, before kissing Arietta’s forehead.


Some distance away, inside a residence


A man was smiling in a room looking through the window at Rommel. A beast-like being breathed loud and clear beside him.

“Looks like the girl was fully “delievered” to him as planned… my most respectable employer,” said the man smiling.

“Yes… good… The girl is “delievered”,” said another voice.

An old man in military uniform appeared from the darkness of the room.

“This will be the true beginning… the true beginning of making him my successor… my perfect successor,” remarked General Mercier to Jack with a smirk on his face.
 

Enewald

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Wait, the other ones got killed?
Wait, Mercies is back?
Hah, Rommel is still alive!
Which makes me only more confused!!!
WTH is Arietta?
 

unmerged(85800)

Marshal of the Empire
Oct 19, 2007
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rommel's gone all soft on us! i hope he starts a great journey of revenge against whatever the hell is going on.
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Wait, the other ones got killed?
Wait, Mercies is back?
Hah, Rommel is still alive!
Which makes me only more confused!!!
WTH is Arietta?

Yes, it may be a bit confusing now. If you can point out where it is particularly confusing I'll try to answer or edit the update without spoiling the storyline further down. ;)

Just as a reminder, Aria/Arietta will strictly be refered to as Arietta only. And BTW, Mercier is not back, he's just always there watching. :p

rommel's gone all soft on us! i hope he starts a great journey of revenge against whatever the hell is going on.

Well, as always, my response is: we'll see. :p

...........​

Alright folks, I suppose I want to say that Part I for this book I is finish, next time it shall be Part II of this book. BTW, I forgot to post this:

Gaia's website

In the homepage of my website there is a MUSIC you can download. You can have all rights to distribute, use, share... blah blah blah... since I allow you to do so. Yes, I composed, played and recorded it, so naturally I own it, though I have to say I composed it years ago and I didn't have any good recording equipment at that time so the quality may be crappy. :eek:o Still I do wish to share it, and I hope it's not too bad. For people who are going to download it I do urge you to listen to the music while reading this update again. ;)
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
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As soon as I read "A man was smiling" I thought "Mercier...". I am quite late, sometimes...

Dierctly going to your webpage.

So, now book I is over, when will book II come?
 
Aug 15, 2008
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As soon as I read "A man was smiling" I thought "Mercier...". I am quite late, sometimes...

Dierctly going to your webpage.

So, now book I is over, when will book II come?


I can say that from now on if I did not specifically refer to anyone, a man with the smile can be refered to Jack. :p

I should also say that my website has nothing yet, so don't do anything there except get the music I mentioned.

Book I is not over, what I said is over is part I of book I. Sorry if I confused you. :eek:o For now I suppose I will start part II after short drama III and stuff. ;)
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Sorry for being gone for some time folks, I just finished a row of three midterms... :eek:o

An short update should come by tomorrow if things work out well, and a full length one in the weekend. I should also say that short drama III may not be coming for some time, due to the fact that I really can't think of something amusing so far, so I guess I'll just go straight to the main story line.

BTW, I thought people will wonder what is the relationship between Mercier and Arietta. :eek:
 

Kurt_Steiner

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BTW, I thought people will wonder what is the relationship between Mercier and Arietta. :eek:

That I do ask does not mind I don't think about it, but I'm used to wait :D
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Update is here. Turns out the short update I was talking about evolved into the full update instead. :eek:o

Stuff uploaded, but may still need some editing.

..............​


Interlude


Rachmaninoff’s residence, 1899


“Monsieur Rommel, a lot more things happened, am I right?”

“Indeed, Monsieur Rachmaninoff, indeed…” replied Rommel as he looked softly at Arietta who was napping on his lap.

“Should I play more of my piano?” asked Rachmaninoff beside his grand piano.

“Yes, please do so,” said Rommel without turning away from Arietta.

“Monsieur Rommel, this might be a bit rude, but I believe that you have changed since we last met.”

“… change… ?” said Rommel in a confused tone while looking up at Rachmaninoff.

“Yes, you seemed to be less… cold-hearted, compared to last time we met.”

“… Is that so… ” said Rommel silently.

“It was time to leave,” thought Rommel as he looked at Arietta’s calm sleeping face. Orders were sent to inform Rommel to procede to leave Italy. Arietta could certainly not come with Rommel to where he will be going. Where could he settle Arietta, and who will be able to take care of her?

Rommel once again turned to Rachmaninoff, before he slowly spoke to the master pianist and composer.

“Monsieur Rachmaninoff, what would you say, if I suddenly tell you that I’d ask you to take care of Arietta... indefinitely?” said Rommel slowly uttering each word of his sentence.

Rachmaninoff stopped playing his piano and turned to Rommel with an almost shocked expression.

“I know this is certainly a request you’re not expecting to come from me,” started Rommel, “but…”

“I was actually expecting you to say that, Monsieur Rommel. I know that someone of your occupation could certainly not take care of a little girl. Furthermore your worries are actually quite visible in your expressions.” said Rachmaninoff, interrupting Rommel. “I’d not mind taking care of Arietta, and furthermore my sister will love her presence.”

“You have… a sister?” asked Rommel.

“Yes, I do have one. My sister and I’ll take care of Arietta for you. I can even teach her how to play the piano if you wish so.”
Rommel felt a sign of relief. Rachmaninoff was certainly a man that he can entrust Arietta with.

“Monsieur Rommel, since you are leaving Arietta with me, may I also ask when you are departing?”

“Today, precisely at five o’clock,” replied Rommel a bit embarrassed.

“… Monsieur Rommel, you do know that sometimes you cannot express what you’d like to say in a quick manner, am I right?” asked Rachmaninoff with a troubled smile.

…​

It was time to leave, and Rommel was ready to leave at the front door. Arietta was still napping, and Rommel left her on the bed sleeping peacefully.

“What would she think when she wakes up without me,” thought Rommel. The man thought about telling the little girl about his departure, however, everytime he was with Arietta Rommel could not allow himself telling her the almost cruel fact.

“I guess this is when we should say au revoir, Monsieur Rommel,” said Rachmaninoff.

“Yes, I’m afraid so.”

Just as Rommel was leaving, he suddenly heard a small running sound, before he felt someon tugging onto his coat. It was Arietta, almost out of breath.

“Monsi…… Papa, are you leaving… leaving without me?” asked the little girl.

Rommel did not know what to say. Finally after a brief while he turned to Arietta.

“Arietta… I should be leaving. Monsieur Rachmaninoff will be taking care of you. He is a kind man and well take care you as well as I can. I shall be back whenever the time per… ”

Arietta suddenly interrupted Rommel unexpectedly, while still holding onto Rommel’s great coat tightly.

“I’ll always wait for you to come for me again… always… but were you just trying to pity me… when you said that you will be my papa?”

It was a hard question for Rommel to answer, and Rommel looked at Arietta and thought for a long while, before he finally opened his mouth.

“Even if it is so… wouldn’t you hope for so someone to do so? We all wish for the pity of others… that’s why we weep, and shed tears…”

“… papa…” said Arietta as she flung herself into Rommel’s arms. Rommel then gently brushed over Arietta’s hair with his hand.

“I know that you wouldn’t need me to say this, Monsieur Rommel, but I should say this for Arietta,” said Rachamaninoff, “Stay alive, not just for yourself, but for her.”

“I will…” said Rommel as he stepped aside from Arietta. After he took another long look at Arietta, he left the front door of Rachmaninoff’s residence, not knowing when can he returned to the little girl himself.


20090120125335.jpg

(Arietta will always be waiting you with your long desired peace, Rommel. :p Again, don't criticize the picture at me, since I'm not the one who drew it. I still have trouble deciding whether Aria's hair should be brownish or blonde. Opinions?)​


An unknown hotel room, Naples, 1899


“Holmes, I do suggest that you rest yourself. The wounds you received from the French agent haven’t completely healed yet.”

“Watson, would you please? I’m trying to concentrate here,” replied Holmes who was seating before his stack of files and clearly not allowing anyone to disrupt him from his work.

Watson let out a sigh, while telling himself in his mind that Holmes was always so stubborn, particularly when he was engaged in his work.

After a brief while, Holmes suddenly turned to Watson and spoke.

“Watson, I’d like you to remain silent for a moment and listen carefully what I have to say.”

“I’m all ears, Holmes,” said Watson realizing Holmes was ready to share his findings with him.

Watson reached for his calabash pipe and lit it. After blowing out some smoke, Holmes spoke in his serious tone.

“It seems that a Doctor Jekyll really existed. He was a physician and had a wife and a son. However he and his wife were found dead in their residence more than ten years ago. Their house was burned down, and it was not known what exactly had caused their death. Their son had been missing ever since their death. The Jekylls did not have contact with any of their relatives for a long time, and they have very few friends to talk with. However, a known friend of his, named Allan, was known to be close to our man Dr. Jekyll.”

Holmes let out a deep sigh before continuing. Obvious trouble lay ahead.

“Looks like that we’d have to go to Africa to visit our friend Allan. Africa the Dark Continent.”


Somewhere off the coast of Madagascar, 1899


Rommel looked at the clock hanging on the wall. It was three in the morning. Silence hang in the room where Rommel was resting himself, if one excludes the sounds of the clock reminding Rommel of time.

Rommel looked out of a window. It was dark outside, particularly dark considering one was situated one hundred metres below the surface of the seas.

“Arietta…” mumbled Rommel to himself before he rose and left his cabin into one of the narrow corridors inside the steel hull of Nautilus, the silent Trident of the Seas.


Nautilus.jpg

(The Nautilus! :D However I will have to say that I have no plans for Nautilus in this AAR to have a ram. ;))​

 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Eh, Nautilus.. alright...
I hate manga pictures when they try to cause emotions in one, that makes Aria look like a inhuman creature in my eyes. :eek:o
Pity is for weak.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Allan? Africa?

The League, perhaps? ;)
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Eh, Nautilus.. alright...
I hate manga pictures when they try to cause emotions in one, that makes Aria look like a inhuman creature in my eyes. :eek:o
Pity is for weak.

I'm sorry, Enewald, but I am quite fond of manga pictures. Not in a very serious manner I can tell you, but more of them will come up in future update, though in a very small quantity. I'm a bit upset with you using "inhuman" on the pic I prepared for Arietta, and I'm sure that the picture I had for Brutus is more suitable for that phrase.

Pity is for the weak, alright, but I was originally going to let Mercier say it. :wacko: Kinda spoil it now. :(

Kurt_Steiner said:
Allan? Africa?

The League, perhaps?

I talked about putting Allan in this AAR a long time ago. It's time for him to show up. ;)
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Just as a reminder, update should come in the weekend. People can also expect a lot of screenshots. The screenshots did take me a lot of time to obtain. ;) These days I'm sleeping at four in the morning almost every day, so the update might be a be crappy.
 
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