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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Prologue: Part one

J_Master

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Prologue
Part One
31st of December, 2016, 23:45


“Calm down mate, why are you in such a hurry?”

“I promised my parents I would be home for the fireworks, and I suspect that if I screw up being in time I don’t get to go out drinking again till I turn 18!”

“Oh shit mate, better hurry then!”

“Yeah. I need to go left here. Best of wishes to you and your family!”

“I’ll bring them. Same to you and yours too!”

Looking on my watch, I saw I only had a little over 10 minutes left.

“I need to hurry.”

I started paddling harder. Luckily, this part of the journey back home normally took me less than 10 minutes, but after such a party it became a lot harder.

“Almost home” I thought to myself as I saw my house coming into view. I could already see the large space between the garage and the barn, where my little brother had been igniting fireworks over the course of the day.

I drove onto the driveway and put my bike in the garage, which is disconnected from the house.

“I’m home, and with 5 minutes to spare”

I started gloriously walking towards the backdoor. I had made it.

I heard thunder.

“Guess we won’t be watching fireworks for that long if it’s gonna…”

I stumbled,

tried to rebalance myself,

hit the lamp,

and fell into the well,

a flash of light,

and then,

the cold, cold water.
 
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Prologue: Part two

J_Master

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Prologue
Part Two
I hit the water upside down, and reorienting myself was hard. I’m two meters tall, and the well is very narrow. Once I managed to get myself upright and above the surface, I grasped for air. Once I was calmed down a bit, I started screaming for help. After a minute I heard someone.

“Who’s there? Get of my damn property!”

“Help me, please! I’ve fallen into the well!”

“I’ll get you out son, don’t you worry.”

I was confused, why did the man call it his property. And I had never heard his voice, so it wasn’t my dad.

He threw a rope into the well.

“Hold on” he said.

I was lifted out of the well.

“Thank you”, I said to the man.

I turned to where my house should be, and I was stunned.

Where my house should be, was just a plain, patch of grass.

“What are you looking at”

“There should be a house right there!”

“No, there never was a house there. Did you hit your head when you fell down the well?”

I turned around, seeing a house, which I recognized. Something was slowly downing on me.

“Sir, if I may ask. What year is it?”

“Well, if I’m correct, it is just past twelve. So that means it is the 1st of January, 1936.”

“1936!”

And then I lost consciousness.
 
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Tom D.

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That's a very nice introduction. Consider me subbed.
 

stnylan

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Very effective introduction
 

The Number 9

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Nice intro !

Subbed.
 
Chapter One

J_Master

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Chapter One
2nd of January, 1936, 08:14


I slowly woke, seeing my mother next to my bed.

“Mom, I had this terrible dream.”

“Calm down boy, you’ve slept for almost 32 hours”

“I dreamt I fell into the well and got transported to the past.”

“Well, you’re safe now in good old 1936.”

“1936!”

I shot up from the chair I was sitting in, seeing everything clear now. I was sitting in an old fashioned chair, with some blankets wrapped around me. The chair stood next to a fireplace. The woman sat on a small wooden stool. I was located in a kitchen, and a small one. Slowly I put the pieces into place.

This is the house which stood here before ours was built in the 70’ies.

It’s 1936, this is the house of my grandmother.

But she hasn’t been born, so this woman her is my great-grandmother.

Then the man who saved my last night is my great-grandfather.

“They need to know as little as possible” I thought to myself, “or I could be erased from existence”.

I quickly calmed down, and talked to her.

“Thank you for helping me, and I guess also to your husband, without you so quickly noticing, I would have frozen to death in that well.”

“Well, you were hard to not notice. I don’t know how you made such a large bang when you fell into that well.”

“Where did you leave my clothes?”

“They are currently drying, outside on…”

“Wait, did you get into my pockets?!?”

“No, whatever is in there dries best in your pockets.”

“Okay, thank you. I have two other questions. Do you have any spare clothes and clogs I can borrow, together with a jute bag in which I can put my other clothes.”

“Yes, we have enough spares, they might be a bit dusty though. But why would you want them?”

“Okay, what I’m gonna ask might be very hard. I know there is a train station in town. I need to get to Den Haag, as soon as possible. I don’t have any money to pay for that journey. I need to borrow at least 40 Guldens to get there, and if needed also back here. If I can’t repay that money once I’m back, I’ll work for it, as long as you see fit. I need that money, lives depend on it.”

She was silent for a while after that, baffled, and thinking.

“Even though you are a stranger, I’ve only known you from this one conversation, and you could be scamming me in ways I can’t even conceive, I will give you the money. I don’t know why, but I trust you in some strange way, almost if we are family.”

I jumped up from my chair, and kissed her on both cheeks.

“Thank you so much”

She gave me the spare clothes, and I dressed myself whilst she packed my normal clothes. I got the money, and started walking down the road, heading for the town in which I had yet to spend my childhood. I never reached the centre of the town though. The train station was a few hundred meters from the actual buildings.

“Wow, the town was small back then, uh, now, uh, whatever.”

Based on what little knowledge I had of the rail system at the time, I knew that I had to travel north, to Enschede, and from there west, via Utrecht, the main hub, to eventually reach Den Haag. I bought my ticket, and within half an hour I was on my train, heading north. And I finally got some time to think.

“Okay, you’re in 1936. You fell into a well, and got saved by your great-grandparents. You are planning to meet with the Prime-Minister, to convince him that you are from the future. GODDAMMIT, I already sound like a looney. Why don’t I just kill Hitler?!? No, the madman has some strange talent to survive assassination attempts. And I don’t have a way to get a weapon, or even speak enough German to get to the bastard. The only way I can save the country is to prepare it. I need to get a hold of the Prime Minister, Dirk Jan de Geer.


I’ve really lost my mind haven’t I?


Oh well, the only way to fight a madman is with a madman!”


And so I was underway to Den Haag, to talk to the PM, to start mobilizing the country for war, a war that would hit in four years. A war that would see our country occupied for five years, the deaths of many, and the destruction of our land. And I was the only one who knew.
 

Tom D.

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“They need to know as little as possible” I thought to myself, “or I could be erased from existence”.
That would be my reaction too :D. This is a very original setting you made and I really like it.
 

stnylan

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Ahh, the wonders of trying to make sense of timetravel. Not surprised our hero is a bit disorientated - I would be myself.
 

J_Master

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Ahh, the wonders of trying to make sense of timetravel. Not surprised our hero is a bit disorientated - I would be myself.
The only logical time travel story is one which doesn't use time travel. But hey, what other way is there to use hindsight to solve future problems?;)
 

J_Master

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BTW, I write this AAR way in advance. Because I currently have a break from school, so that when I need to go back to school and am very busy, I have a buffer which I can use to upload. I'm currently at chapter five.
 

stnylan

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Godt Nytår!
 
Chapter Two

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Chapter Two
2nd of January, 1936, 16:47


I got off the train at the Central Station of Den Haag. I asked a the ticket stall for the route to the Binnenhof, the centre of Dutch politics, and home of both houses of Parliament

“Just follow this street, go left, and after a while, it will be on your right.”

“Thank you, Miss.”

She was quite confused, the girl at the stall, hardly any older than me, maybe just two or three years. A guy like me, in old, farmers clothes, asking for the way to the political centre of our nation.

I was nervous, and afraid. I would need to convince Sir De Geer that I was indeed from the future, and that war was coming, and that our nation had to prepare in just over four years. And all that in the greatest economic crisis our country had known. I knew from my history classes that our economy only recovered after the end of the war, and only with the Marshallhelp.

“Oh, I need to take a left here.”

What if I fail, then what? I go back, repay my debt, live with my great-grandparents? Will I be drafted once the Germans invade? No, I’m not registered anywhere, I won’t be born for another 65 years! I won’t even make it to 1940 if I need to stay there. I’ll probably accidentally erase myself from existence.

“I’m already here.”

It was closer than I thought it would be. As I entered through a medieval gate, the Binnenhof slowly opened itself to me. Even though I had never been there, I was familiar. I had seen it enough times on TV. Every time some politically important news was presented, reporters tried to get a hold of the politicians who would enter the buildings via this courtyard. I knew Het Torentje, the office of the PM, was on the far side of the complex. It was around 5 o’clock, so he would be done with his workday around this time.

As I made my way to that far side of the complex, I saw a door opening, and from the door can De Geer.

UawmgVA.jpg


For a moment I froze, I knew this was it, this was my chance to convince the most powerful man in the country that war was imminent.

“Sir, may I have a moment.”

“Uuuh, okay.”

He looked at me strangely, and I knew why. I wasn’t the regular person who came here, a young man, a teen even, dressed in hand-me-down clothes and with, a to him, strange Dutch accent.

“This is something I need to discuss by twos, if you’re afraid I’ll do something, you may have me searched.”

“That won’t be necessary, come in boy.”

He unlocked the door, and let me go in first. As I went in, he called some cops. As he came in, and closed the door he said:

“If you don’t mind, I will have some cops at the door”.

“Isn’t a problem, Sir. It is always good to be precautious.”

He offered me a chair, on the other side of his desk. I set down, and he went and set down in his chair.

“What was it you wished to talk about?”

I took a long pause, overthinking the words I was to speak very well.

“This may sound strange, it may make me sound like a madman, and I can even hardly believe it myself. I am from the future, from the year 2016 to be exact. I don’t know how, but I got transported to this year, 1936. I know of things to come. In three years, Hitler will have broken every promise for peace he has made, every treaty signed over the last 20 years and the 3 to come, and will invade Poland, starting the Second World War. In May of 1940 he will invade all of the Lowlands, in a bid to get around the Maginot line, and it will work. Within 5 days, we surrender, within 15 the Belgians, and within 40 the French. What Hitler further did is unspeakable. I have been given this one chance to stop him. I want you to prepare the country. With my knowledge of the future.”

He was silent. During my speech he was amazed, confused and afraid. And after a long time of silence:

“Cops, take this looney away”.

“No, you have to believe me!”

The cops came in, grabbed me by the shoulders, and began dragging me out. I needed to say something to convince him, but what.

And then it hit me.

“Within 3 months, Hitler will order the remilitarization of the Rhineland. The French and British will only give a diplomatic objection. And a political commentator will say that it is nothing more than the Germans walking in their own backyard.”

The last thing I was able to do was throw a piece of paper with the address of the house to him.

I was dragged out of the Binnenhof and thrown on the street. I had failed. His last glance at me was one of rejection, rejection of the notice that the Germans wouldn’t respect our neutrality, just like in the last war.

I made my way back to the station. The last train had already left. Everything was closed down. I found a bench, my jute bag with my clothes made a good pillow and some old papers did service as a blanket. I would have to spend the rest of the night here.
 

stnylan

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Well now, one hopes that in three months time he will remember the looney.

Though to be fair to him, it is hard to blame him for this attitude.
 

The Number 9

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I like the setting of this AAR. It's original, and I'm eager to see how our narrator will gain De Geer's trust and maybe save The Lowlands. :)
 
Chapter Three

J_Master

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Chapter Three
11th of March, 1936, 12:30


I had spent the last 3 months with my great-grandparents. Of course they didn’t knew I was from the future, I wouldn’t risk erasing myself from history, but it would be equally worse if I didn’t repay my debt I owed them. So the last 2 months I spent doing chores in and around the house, helping milk the cows, repair the roof, help with the birth of a calf, regular farm stuff. In return I would repay my debt and have a roof over my head. I don’t know how, but it must have been that “mysterious family feeling” they had about me.

I had just returned to the kitchen after doing some work, and I set down for dinner. Pea soup, nothing better for a harsh, February day. I was just discussing the rest of the days’ work with my great-grandfather, when my great-grandmother came in.

“There is somebody who wants to speak to you.”

In walked De Geer, with a newspaper under his arm. He threw it on the table.
5037a3d7-ec6e-4daf-b7c6-96ab5807de23

tvj1Vin.jpg


“You were right, even about the commentator. I think we need to have a bit of a better talk.”

“That won’t go here”, as I subtly nodded to my great-grandparents.

“Okay, then you will come back with me to Den Haag.”

“I’ll grab my stuff, but before we go, you need to give them 40 Guldens.”

“Why?”

“I owe them that debt, and otherwise, if you don’t pay, I’m going to have to stay here to repay that debt.”

He reluctantly payed the money. I grabbed my stuff, and said goodbye to my great-grandparents.

“It has been nice knowing you two, you make a very lovely couple. I’m sure your kids will turn out as good as you are.”

“It has also been nice to work with you, does my wife need to pack some soup for you.”

“Yes, I would like that.”

She packed some soup for me, together with some Rye bread.

“Here you go dear,” giving me 2 kisses, one on each cheek, “good luck.”

“Thank you.”

I put on my coat, put on my clogs, stepped out the door, looked back one last time, waved, they waved back, and then I started walking.

“Don’t you have anything better to wear?”

“It is this, or my clothes from the future. I found this a bit less notable.”

“We’re going to have to get something done about that, I know a good tailor in Den Haag.”

“Let’s talk about that on the train.”

We stepped on the train, the guy at looking at me strange, knowing the guy he let on the train was now stepping in one with the PM. We had a private coupe, so we could discuss some things in private.

“First of all, why did you come to me, why didn’t you go to France or Britain, countries who can actually stand op to Germany?”

“They won’t listen to me, they do not wish to have another war, their politicians are in denial. And I can’t blame em, the coming war will be worse than the last one.”

“And you think that we, the Netherlands, can stand up to Germany?”

“No, not alone, I’ll discuss the details once all data has been provided to me, but the plan is to delay any German advances into the country till the French and British arrive.”

“And where do I fit into this picture?”

“You’ll be my way into parliament. Any action I wish to be taken to prepare the country for the war will be brought to them by you. I’ll work from the background. I want a small office near yours, so that I can quickly respond to things.”

“And how do you expect parliament to pass all these laws.”

“We’ll call back to the old policy of Armed Neutrality. To preserve our neutrality, we need strong armed forces and strong defences. Any military industrial build-up can also serve as socialist legislation to strengthen the weak economy.”

“And why would I basically become a puppet.”

“You won’t, everything which isn’t of interest to me, you’ll take the shots on. And once we have successfully defended the country, you can take all the credit.”

He thinks for a moment.

“You got yourself a deal, once we arrive, I’ll have a small office set up in Het Torentje and you’ll live in a small apartment. I’ll make sure you are paid for by the government.”

“That’s been decided then. Coffee?”
 

stnylan

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So, he has his opening. Now to make use of it.