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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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fridges are nice in hot weather

44

All was quiet in the land of the dead. Janus of the two-faces, both guard and guardian, wiped his brow, and looked up at the big screen. A bunch of numbers and images were flashing by on a loop, which were clearly designed to look impressive rather than impart any useful information. The Eryx Corporation’s shares were up two points. Big deal. Janus had other things to worry about.

He turned his attention to the gaunt figure crouched on her throne, and frowned. Since her ‘reappearance’, Madame Tzarsou had been strangely subdued, to the point where the Secret Chamber of Doom was more like the dark and gloomy cave of reality. The lava pits were not boiling orange but rather black with the occasional flicker and glow of magma, and the walls were dirty and the air was fetid. Madame Tzarsou was sleeping, and she had been for much of the last few days.

With her blonde wig and square jaw, she was a ridiculous thing to look at. Janus did not know much about her past, other than she had originally come from Austria, or was it Germany? He wasn’t sure, and neither was Madame Tzarsou. She spoke very little about things like that, but it always left him with the impression that she was old...impossibly so. Being locked away in this dark cave would be enough to drive anyone mad, he thought. The only time she was ever lucid was when she was in front of the organ, and he knew that never ended well. He had to keep her isolated and psychotic for her own good.

Janus walked slowly towards her, and stopped when he saw her eyes were open. She raised her head slowly, and there was an unmistakeable glint in her eyes.

“It is time,” she said quietly. “My empire shall rise.”

Janus’s heart skipped a beat. “What do you mean?” He noticed that she had what looked like a remote control in her hand, but it only had one button. A big, ominous, red button.

She laughed, and grinned widely. “A new terror shall cast a shadow over the land! Watch!” She pressed the big red button, and...

Nothing happened. Janus sighed and shook his head, but suddenly the ground started shaking. A terrible rumble like a raging thunderstorm filled the Secret Chamber of Doom, and Janus was astonished to see the floor split asunder. Rising from the subterranean came a terrible beast, with cold lifeless eyes and a heart of steel. Madame Tzarsou looked from the beast to Janus with childlike delight.

“I thought...” Janus said, struggling to find the words. Madame Tzarsou regarded him smugly.

“Well you thought wrong, didn’t you? You naughty boy! You deserve a spanky bottom for your lack of faith, but I’ll let you off this one time.”

The beast stood, completely still, looming and dead. Having recovered from the shock, Janus cast a critical eye over the beast. His fear was replaced with amusement. “It’s not very big, is it? For a humongous mecha, I mean. It’s what, ten feet tall?”

“It’s bigger than you!”

“Well yes. Yes it is. But you might as well just wear a suit of armour...”

“Shut up.” Madame Tzarsou looked lovingly at the not-so-humongous mecha. “I don't get inside it, obviously. It is remote controlled. With this, my insidious plot for world domination cannot fail! I shall rule supreme over all dominions and stuff!” She blinked, and smiled. “I love being an evil overlord, I do!”

***​

“...some people say that the richness of the inner world of thought far exceeds that of the outer world of material things. The physical realm is finite and limited, while the imagination is infinite in its ability to sculpt and mould the world.”

“That’s nice,” Molly said tiredly. The taxi weaved its way through the streets of Flores towards her hotel, and as the driver continued to talk, Molly felt herself dozing off. The only thing worse than a philosopher, in Molly’s opinion, was a philosopher with a captive audience. If she was honest, it was something that she wouldn’t normally mind, but it reminded her of the day in Havana with Pierre and Toussaint, and she wanted to forget. It didn’t help that he was talking in Spanish, a language Molly only had a basic knowledge of.

The taxi crossed a bridge, into old Flores. This part of the city was built on an island in the middle of Lake Peten Itza, which Molly found strange but also quite delightful. The buildings were all white with red roofs, and after three long hours, it was a huge relief. Flores did technically have an airport, but there weren’t any flights available for the next three days, so Molly had had to get a taxi from Guatemala City after landing at La Aurora airport. The taxi drew up to Hotel de la Isla, where Molly had booked a room.

“This hotel in your mind is so much richer than it is in reality,” the cabbie declared. “You can twist it and enlarge it and make it a five star if you just imagine it to be, but in the material world it remains a small, three star hotel, with many cockroaches. That will be seven hundred quetzals.”

Molly wasn’t sure how much seven hundred quetzals were in Haitian gourdes, but she nonetheless handed over a wad of bills and took her luggage out of the boot as the taxi driver watched and laughed, before speeding off and covering Molly in a cloud of dust.

“He’s probably going twice as fast in his mind,” Molly muttered with contempt, once she had recovered from a choking fit.

She checked in, and had to drag her suitcase up to her room herself as the only porter the hotel employed was taking a cigarette break. The room was small and stuffy. “We Centro-Americans are strong, unlike you Haitians! We don’t need air conditioning!” Molly opened the window, and sat on the bed. She then promptly passed out from heat exhaustion, and dreamt she was in a fridge somewhere in Jamaica.
 
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Stuyvesant

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Nice comment about the cabbie-as-philosopher-with-captive-audience. Molly had a few good lines (thoughts?) in that one, before she passed out. At least passing out from exhaustion is a pretty innocent way to go, for this story.

I really liked this sequence:
The beast stood, completely still, looming and dead. Having recovered from the shock, Janus cast a critical eye over the beast. His fear was replaced with amusement. “It’s not very big, is it? For a humongous mecha, I mean. It’s what, ten feet tall?”
Well played, the original throwaway line about the mecha so long ago now having its payoff with the appearance of another mecha. I smiled most aprovingly. :)
 
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Enewald

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I would be terrified should I be forbidden to laugh at her WC ambitions. :p
 

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Nice comment about the cabbie-as-philosopher-with-captive-audience. Molly had a few good lines (thoughts?) in that one, before she passed out. At least passing out from exhaustion is a pretty innocent way to go, for this story.

I really liked this sequence:
Well played, the original throwaway line about the mecha so long ago now having its payoff with the appearance of another mecha. I smiled most aprovingly. :)

People do seem to fall unconcious quite a lot, don't they? :D

I would be terrified should I be forbidden to laugh at her WC ambitions. :p
It's probably best just to humour her.
 

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Pierce Inwitt is actually quite a humourless man

45

Old Man River sludged slowly through the sleeping city of New Orleans. The air was moist and heavy, and the fall of night had brought no relief. The sky was the colour of blackcurrant juice, and a thousand stars punched through the void, easily mistakable for fairy lights, as opposed to the vast gaseous balls they indeed were.

Anney came to the banks of the Mississippi, and the HMS Impossible was right where she had left it. It was curious how, even when she had arrived in broad daylight, no one had taken any notice of this great ancient wreck in the middle of the river, but it made a bit more sense as she had entered deeper into the city. It felt as though something was tugging at her mind, with insistent puppy eyes, crying out silently ‘don’t leave me’! It was like there was a bond, or a piece of string that tied them together, growing ever tauter the further she strayed. It was pretty neat, but also a quite unusual feeling. She had desired for the wreck to remain hidden; somehow, she instinctively knew that her wish had been granted, through some kind of intercommunication of psychic energy and god knew what else, allowing her to go about her business unmolested by the shipping authorities or indeed anyone else.

She smiled and nodded to herself, and walked back towards Bourbon Street. The ship knew she wanted to go to Charleston, but it made more sense to Anney to go over land. She would spend the night in New Orleans, and set off in a hired car tomorrow morning. She was certain that when she arrived in the South Carolina city, the HMS Impossible would be there, waiting.

She checked her watch. It was only half past ten, and she was not nearly drunk enough. After leaving Kwame’s shop, she had accidently caught sight of herself in a mirror, and had realised how atrocious she looked. It was semi-amusing that Kwame would desire her even in this state, but he was a lusty old bugger who would chase anything that breathed, as long as it was female. Her trousers were ragged and charred black by Circe’s flames, and her top was stretched and filthy. Thusly, she decided that an entirely new look was in order.

It hadn’t taken her long to find what she was looking for. On Decatur Street, a fancy dress shop. She strode in, perfectly aware of how she looked and that she had no money, but the woman behind the counter paid no attention to her. Even when she waved and hollered, the jewellery encrusted, bespectacled woman stared blankly into space. Anney shrugged, and took a rather elaborate pirate outfit into the changing room, thinking she might as well look the part. She admired herself in the mirror; of course, it was completely unrealistic, but she just couldn’t resist the hat and the eye patch, even if it obscured her vision. She scooped up her old clothes and tossed them in the nearest bin. She was curious if she would get any funny looks.

As it turned out, she didn’t. She figured that the sight of a girl dressed as a pirate wasn’t anything to write home about for people in New Orleans, even outside of carnival season. Night fell, and she found a nice little bar on Chartres Street called Tristero’s, and settled down in a shady corner with a glass of Jack Daniels. A couple of guys near her were talking, both quite drunk.

“I tell ya, Inwitt, this guy Toussaint, he did all kinds of research into orgone. He published all these papers, and put them on the Grid, and it all sounded real shady. Guess what I found today?”

The other man, Inwitt, took a sip of his drink. “What?”

“Well, I checked on Parasol, and all his papers have been taken down! There ain’t any trace of his research anywhere. Think about it, the guy disappears in mysterious circumstances, a couple a weeks later turns up dead, and suddenly his work has been erased. I’m tellin’ ya, Inwitt, the guys on the Parasol forum can’t explain it. It’s like someone’s hacked into their system, or somethin’!”

“There’s probably a perfectly rational explanation for it, Mike. I saw his funeral on cable...I wasn’t paying attention, until that hot chick who read his eulogy came on. As for Parasol, eh...maybe they realised he was a quack.”

“He wasn’t no quack!” Mike said, quite defensively. “Honestly, Pierce, I read his postings on Chirp, and it sounded as though he was on the brink of finding something big! About orgone.”

Anney laughed silently, but continued to listen.

“What is this orgone, anyway?” said Inwitt, “I keep hearing that word, but have no idea what it means.”

Mike finished the last dregs of his drink, and winked conspiratorially. “It’s a kind of energy, like a psychosexual life force that permeates everything. But you know the Haitians, they have these devices that suck it out of the atmosphere—that’s why they never get any clouds. Now, Haiti controls the entire Caribbean Sea, a whole chain of islands, each with devices, these cloudbusters on them.”

Inwitt frowned. “So what, they suck this stuff outta the sky and the clouds disappear?”

“Yeah, though the idea is that you can stimulate rainfall by releasing the orgone back into the atmosphere, at a specific spot. Only, the Haitians are bottlin’ it up, and sucking the sky dry. Hey Inwitt, guess what is the best orgone absorber?”

He shrugged. "I dunno. What?"

Mike said, quietly, shifty eyed. “Water! I reckon they're using the entire friggin Caribbean Sea as a giant absorber, and I bet you a hundred bucks that's what Toussaint was thinking too! But where is the excess orgone going? It can’t just disappear, and they won’t just leave it in the sea...”

Inwitt solemnly regarded his pal, and then burst into raucous laughter. “Oh man, you’re drunk. You want another?”

Mike nodded glumly, and Inwitt went to the bar. Anney remained, hoping that they would talk about some more interesting stuff, but the rest of their chatter concerned some other guy called Louverture, which for some reason rang a bell with Anney, but she couldn't think exactly why.
 
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Ah, Pierce Inwitt... You, sir, must be a master! This reminds me of an ancient adventure game called 'Under A Killing Moon', which had a character called 'Ema Nymton'. And of all those prank calls Bart Simpson makes to Moe's Tavern. :)

Okay, so I understand that HMS Impossible is invisible, due to all sorts of magical happenings (call it literary imperative), but why is Anney (I know you won't answer the question, but the least I could do was ask)?

Interesting conversation to drop in on, even if Anney disagrees. It was enlightening to me, at least, which is something that happens rather infrequently in this tale. ;)

Job's a good 'un.
 

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Just a reminder to get your votes in for the AARland Choice AwAARds, if you intend to vote. The turnout has been very poor this quarter, so it needs all the votes it can get. Voting ends very soon (like within a day or something), so do it NOW!!! Or not. Whatever.
 

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Anney isn't invisible, just unnoticed for some reason.

46

Some say that Parasol has always existed, though not always under that name. They say that it has, throughout the centuries, operated in the shadows, fighting against injustice and tyranny, promoting the idea of liberal thought and enlightened values. Others say that it all began in the middle of the last century, and only gained some degree of popularity and notoriety with the advent of the Grid in the 1990s.

The truth about Parasol remains unknown, except that the website isn’t the true face of Parasol, but rather a mere tribute. The real members of Parasol wouldn’t be so obvious as to post on the Grid, where information is freely available for everyone. Rather, it is claimed, they developed their own network, so secret and well hidden that not even the Haitian government can confirm its existence. All that is known about this mysterious communication network is its name; the Internet.

Back in 1953, a junior minister in the Haitian government called Fabien Deschamps stumbled across the writings of an obscure psychologist called Wilhelm Reich. He had been born in Galicia, and had immigrated to Haiti upon the outbreak in 1918 of the Second Austro-Italian War in order to avoid conscription to the Austrian Army, later enrolling at the University of Port-au-Prince. He was fascinated by the ideas he found contained Reich’s writings, and decided to try and get in contact with the man.

This, however, did not prove easy, as in his old age Reich had become a recluse, living in a small cottage in the middle of forty acres, around which he had built a great wall to keep all outside interference at bay. As his career had progressed, he had grown ever more disillusioned with the stringent rules of psychoanalysis and thus proceeded to break each and every one. During the Great War he had been enlisted to work in the POW camps as a counsellor, though less than six months later he was relieved on his duty due to his unorthodox methodology and recurring allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards the British prisoners during therapy sessions. After this he sold his practise and moved into the country, and cut himself off from the outside world. In his isolation he grew paranoid and quite possibly psychotic, and devoted himself to subjects that most definitely lay outside the realm of psychoanalysis.

Eventually, after several attempts and a relentless persistence, Deschamps was able to arrange a meeting with Reich, and the psychologist agreed to show the government minister the reason for his isolation; the Cloudbuster.

When Deschamps saw it, it was only half-finished, but it was enough to convince him that Reich’s ideas about orgone and the possibility of weather manipulation was solid fact, and not just hopeless pseudoscience. At that time Haiti was going through a severe heatwave, which had been preceded by terribly destructive tropical storms. Deschamps immediately realised the value that the Cloudbuster could have. It could not only save the need to invest in expensive storm protection, but could also create a system of regulated weather. That kind of control would surely benefit the Haitian people greatly, and immeasurably improve their lives.

At that time, Reich did not realise how vital to human existence orgone was, only that it existed and could be manipulated. If he had known this, and what would happen next, he would never have even agreed to speak with Deschamps, let alone give the Haitian government full access to his research. He ended up receiving no compensation, and died a year later in his hermitage of a ‘sudden heart attack’, though the real cause of death was rumoured to be somewhat more sinister in nature, despite the coroner’s verdict of death by natural causes.

Ever since, no storm has arrived in Haiti, and no clouds had been seen in the sky. And all the while, Parasol’s cells had been in constant communication with each other, preparing for the Day of the Dead. For you see, Reich left behind vast amounts of writing, none of which has ever been made available to the public. Upon his death, his entire estate was left to his family back in Galicia with one exception; his private papers. They, rather curiously, were left to Sunburn Concern, a small charity based out of Cap-Hatien. Less than a year later the charity mysteriously disappeared without a trace, as did Reich’s writings.

It’s unclear what subjects Reich may have touched upon in his later life, but Deschamps had caught a glimpse of a work in progress while in Reich’s house, which seemed to be a garbled stream-of-consciousness style, filled with esoteric references, dreamlike descriptions and ambiguous prophecies. In Deschamp’s own words,

“It gave me a chill to look at, just from the jutting scrawled writing. Reich had left me alone in his study for some long forgotten reason, and upon his desk was a large notebook, lying open. Maybe it was wrong of me to take a peek, but I couldn’t resist. I only caught a few words, but this was very far from psychoanalysis. I caught references to Antillia and the devil and terrible, ancient gods, as well as to Baphomet and witches and all kinds of strange fancy. The more I read, the more terrible the world seemed. It was a weird feeling, as if everything was going out of sync. I couldn’t sleep that night, for I was haunted by images of a demon and the briefest flicker in the eyes of an old portrait of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, just the slightest hint of a sneer in his features.“

Bzzzzzt!

An image of an envelope popped up on the screen. “It is coming soon”, said the message, having been transmitted five hundred miles through the Internet. “The pieces are in place, and Fet Gede approaches. The Divided Man shall arise, and Haiti shall be reborn.”

Haiti shall be reborn? What does that mean? thought Molly with a weary puzzlement, as she made the long journey through the jungle towards the ruins of Piedras Negras...
 
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Enewald

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Haiti shall be reborn?
Like a new rebellion against the rich landowners? :p
 

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Ooh! Ooh! This has been a while! Glad to see it continue.

By the way, I just spent an entertaining half hour learning about the real Wilhelm Reich and his theories (Orgone, cloudbusters). Ah, bless Wikipedia - I'd never have known all this stuff was based on real-life occurences otherwise. :)

I think I understand things a little better now. If Orgone creates rain (amongst many other things) and it hasn't rained over Haiti for decades, then where has all the Orgone gone? Hmm...
 

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Haiti shall be reborn?
Like a new rebellion against the rich landowners? :p

Similar, but more...metaphorical and symbolic.

Ooh! Ooh! This has been a while! Glad to see it continue.

By the way, I just spent an entertaining half hour learning about the real Wilhelm Reich and his theories (Orgone, cloudbusters). Ah, bless Wikipedia - I'd never have known all this stuff was based on real-life occurences otherwise. :)

I think I understand things a little better now. If Orgone creates rain (amongst many other things) and it hasn't rained over Haiti for decades, then where has all the Orgone gone? Hmm...

No one knows. It definitely still exists, somewhere, as it's a kind of energy and some things, such as the Law of the Conservation of Energy, hold true even in this reality (at least for the time being).
 

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The crowds probably weren't really that excited by the flag, it's just Pebble's view

47

‘They speak in secret languages, writing with long forgotten alphabets, in the dark places…out of sight, out of mind, cursed by the future. A realignment of reality is needed, they sing…and I sat and I watched as the stars went out, and the sky was torn asunder and I was blinded by the aurora…lo! She is come! And her eyes were filled with wonder, and the fallen man picked himself up and unleashed his fury upon her transgressors, and…’

I walked from that place, and saw a crowd was gathering in front of a podium, where the President was giving a speech, about how great and glorious Haiti had become in the two centuries from independence. I can’t remember the President’s name, nor what he looked like. I think he was of German stock, with maybe a little bit of Creole mixed in there somewhere. Once he had finished extolling the virtues of the country, it was time for unveiling of the bicentennial flag, to replace the old red and blue flag. “A new flag for a new era,” he said as he pulled a cord. Behind him the new flag rolled down, unveiled for the very first time, and the crowds went wild.

Haitiflag1991-2.png

The Haitian flag, adopted 22nd August 1991

I wasn’t cheering though, but instead stared at it with a terrible apprehension. I looked from face to face, and spotted in the crowd the mother, with the two girls. The younger girl and the mother were cheering with everyone else, but the older one was simply staring at it, with a vague look of dread on her face. I shook my head, and walked away. I found a bench and rubbed my chin. This flag, with those colours…was more than a mere flag. A lot more. It had probably been designed by some committee, in some smoky backroom in some government office, but there was no way of knowing who was on such a committee. Somehow they had managed to...but how? I was deeply troubled, and wondered if it could be a coincidence?

But the more I thought about it, the more I knew it wasn't. This wasn't just a new flag for Haiti, on her two hundredth birthday...

This was a warning-no...this was someone gloating, and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it.

‘The sorrow, the misery, the…nothingness, unrelenting nothingness…like a stage, you know, with players, actors, reading lines from a script…the fake veneer with fall away, and the truth will be exposed…oh it’s unconscionable, the very idea, but there must be three…the third will complete the triangle…the parasol is immortal…the immortal is parasol….’

The ride was bumpy, and Molly felt uncomfortable and not just because of the heat. In Flores she had made a few enquiries about the possibility of hiring a guide to take her out to Piedras Negras, and all sources had led her to Ramon. His house was on the other side of the bridge, just off the island, and it was ramshackle, with a yard littered with debris and junk. She had knocked gingerly on the door, which after considerable cursing was answered by a young, unshaven man with a dark blacked haired ponytail, with a cigarette hanging from his mouth so casually that Molly wondered if he even realised it was there at all.

“Um, are you Ramon?” she said, in clumsy Spanish.

The man looked her up and down, and then shrugged. “Sure, baby.” He dropped the cigarette and stamped it out, and then scrunched his face. “Mmm. I heard there was a Haitian in town, but no one said it was a moderately attractive Haitian.”

Molly opened her mouth in astonishment, and then snapped it shut. “Look, I need a guide to Piedras Negras, and for some inexplicable reason I was pointed towards you.” She brushed her air out her eyes, and narrowed her eyes.

Ramon nodded, and sucked his teeth. “You’re doing it the hard way, lady. Shoulda flown to Mexico and approached from Villahermosa. The roads are much easier that way.”

“Yes I knew that, but I was told the Mexican border was closed,” she replied somewhat reproachfully, “and that Flores was the best option.”

Ramon shrugged, and produced another cigarette and a lighter from some recess of his clothing. “Yeah, we and the Mexicans have a few issues to sort out, man to man. You see, we Central Americans don’t get on too well with our neighbours, Haitians not excepted.” He blew a ring of smoke into Molly’s face, and then muttered something about Panama before saying, “Okay then, I’ll take you to the ruins, but I ain’t doing it for free if you catch my drift.”

Molly looked at his leering expression, and took a sharp breath. “I must warn you, Ramon, the last man who came within several inches of me ended up with a broken leg, and that was before-“

"Whoa, whoa, slow down there lady!” Ramon waved his hands, and shook his head with mocking, hacking laughter. “I meant cold, hard cash. Pesos, preferably, but I can take your strange Haitian money if that’s all you have.”

Molly did her best not to look embarrassed, but couldn’t help the creeping blush. “Oh. Fine, then, erm, yes, I have pesos.” Molly scrabbled around in her purse, and took out a wad of crumpled bills. “Will this do?”

Ramon took the money and counted it, and then nodded.

“When can we go?” asked Molly.

Ramon winked. “Right now.”

That had been yesterday, as Molly had needed to go back to her hotel room and pack some stuff for the journey. The Jeep bumped along a dusty trail, with Ramon at the wheel. Molly was doing her best to resist asking how much further it was, and instead sat in the passenger seat, occasionally glancing at Ramon, trying to get a measure of the man. He spoke little while driving, concentrating on the road, and his relaxed demeanour from earlier had been replaced by an intense brooding, the only constant being a permanent cigarette between his lips.

About half an hour later the Jeep rolled to a stop, and Molly got out and looked around, too tired to take in what she seeing. The area had long since been cleared by archaeologists, as well as a tour operator who had planned on turning the site into a tourist attraction before sadly going out of business. Before her the ruins rose up from the jungle, with its stepped pyramids and walls covered in mysterious hieroglyphs that refused to yield their secrets to anyone. Then it hit her. Here, in the depths of the Guatemalan jungle, were the black stones. At last she had found it.

Maybe here, somehow, there would be some kind of clue that could solve the riddle of the disappearance of Albert Louverture.
 
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Stuyvesant

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Aargh! My eyes! It burns!

That flag is simply hideous! That purple is horrible! I don't know when my eyesight will fully recover.

I see we're back in 1991 and Pebble is observing events. Of the little girls, which one was Molly again? I'm suspecting the older one, the one that's bothered by the flag (though perhaps not as much as Pebble is - or I am, for that matter, albeit for entirely different reasons). Or I'm mixing my characters up again (this does occasionally happen).

“Mmm. I heard there was a Haitian in town, but no one said it was a moderately attractive Haitian.”
This Ramon sure is a smooth talker. :)

Now Molly's at her destination. I wonder what she'll find. Hmm, Black Stones - Pebble himself, perhaps?
 

Enewald

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Are Haitians that rare? :p
And what are those colours supposed to symbolise? :eek:
 

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Aargh! My eyes! It burns!

That flag is simply hideous! That purple is horrible! I don't know when my eyesight will fully recover.

I see we're back in 1991 and Pebble is observing events. Of the little girls, which one was Molly again? I'm suspecting the older one, the one that's bothered by the flag (though perhaps not as much as Pebble is - or I am, for that matter, albeit for entirely different reasons). Or I'm mixing my characters up again (this does occasionally happen).

This Ramon sure is a smooth talker. :)

Now Molly's at her destination. I wonder what she'll find. Hmm, Black Stones - Pebble himself, perhaps?

It's not supposed to be particularly attractive, but the red background is certainly doing it no favours.

Are Haitians that rare? :p
And what are those colours supposed to symbolise? :eek:

Central America and Haiti don't have a very happy history due to certain political disputes concerning Panama and the Yucatan, so Haitians are usually advised to keep clear when relations are volatile, which is most of the time. As for the colours, no one's quite sure what they're meant to symbolise, but they do have a definite meaning.
 

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...Yes, the flag does look a bit different now. The purple was supposed to be at the bottom, not in the middle. :eek:o
 

Stuyvesant

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For some reason, separating the purple from the black decreases the horribliness (horribility? Horribilocity?) of the overall flag. Either that, or I'm getting used to it. :p

Clearly, if you're willing to 'correct' the flag, then there must be some thought behind the particular layout. So, without any reason or intelligence, let's take a stab at this, shall we?

Hmm... The black could refer to Pebble, or the Black Stones. Or perhaps it refers to the nothingness that Circe is striving to bring. The last one would be my favorite explanation.

White... Perhaps this refers to the (absent) clouds and is therefore a reference to the disappeared orgone.

Purple... Is this a reference to Minnesota? Has an American Football team that plays in purple and is the original home of the artist previously known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (one of his nicknames is 'The Purple One', apparently). Of course, purple is also the color of Emperors, but I don't think they've made any appearances yet. This is definitely the trickiest color to come up with an explanation for.

Ah, five minutes enjoyably procrastinated. Time to go back to 'work'... :)
 

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Wow , the flag was perfect to enter into an existential crisis with XD Another quality update , old chap .
 

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For some reason, separating the purple from the black decreases the horribliness (horribility? Horribilocity?) of the overall flag. Either that, or I'm getting used to it. :p

Clearly, if you're willing to 'correct' the flag, then there must be some thought behind the particular layout. So, without any reason or intelligence, let's take a stab at this, shall we?

Hmm... The black could refer to Pebble, or the Black Stones. Or perhaps it refers to the nothingness that Circe is striving to bring. The last one would be my favorite explanation.

White... Perhaps this refers to the (absent) clouds and is therefore a reference to the disappeared orgone.

Purple... Is this a reference to Minnesota? Has an American Football team that plays in purple and is the original home of the artist previously known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (one of his nicknames is 'The Purple One', apparently). Of course, purple is also the color of Emperors, but I don't think they've made any appearances yet. This is definitely the trickiest color to come up with an explanation for.

Ah, five minutes enjoyably procrastinated. Time to go back to 'work'... :)
The black stones is merely the literal translation of Piedras Negras. There's nothing more to it than that. The black is certainly related to Circe's ambitions in a roundabout kind of way, but it's not a specific reference.

The three colours don't have separate meanings as such, but must instead be taken together. Also, I specifically chose not to use the colour designated as "royal purple", which is slightly different to the purple of the flag, so there's no imperial connection there. The Minnesota connection is amusingly apt, considering the name of Pierre's character, but not something that had occured to me.

Wow , the flag was perfect to enter into an existential crisis with XD Another quality update , old chap .
Thanks for reading. :)