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So the entire world forgot an Haitian century?
no records anywhere?

Haiti forgot, the rest of the world doesn't care enough.

Papa Legba, intermediary between humans and the spirit world (hurray for Wikipedia).

The update certainly explains a lot (so Molly is not really nuts, it's just the entire world around her?), but how (or why) did Pebble let the Criminal out?

Whatever the reason, it wasn't intentional, but still very much his fault.
 

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square into triangle doesn't fit

58

"To answer the question; why those hundred years in particular? The period in question, 1836-1936, wasn’t chosen randomly, as it may first appear. Rather, I decided that these were the years where the difference from Haiti at the start and Haiti at the finish was the greatest. This is the secret history of that century.

haiti1.jpg

"In 1836, Haiti was a destitute impoverished nation, under the corrupt leadership of President Jean Pierre Boyer. In 1843, Boyer was overthrown by Charles Rivière-Hérard, an officer in the Haitian Army, such as it was. Almost immediately he faced a threat to his power, when a revolt in the Spanish speaking east of Hispaniola broke out. Rivière-Hérard sent a force to quell the uprising, and succeeded in decisively crushing the Dominican resistance and was thus able to secure his grip on power, in control of the entirety of Hispaniola. Various plots and conspiracies were revealed, and Rivière-Hérard did not hesitate to eliminate all those who stood in his way, including General Jean-Jacques Acaau. Acaau had raised a rebel army while Rivière-Hérard was dealing with the Dominican Rebels, but was unable to take Port-au-Prince. Once the main bulk of the Haitian Army returned from the east, Acaau was captured in a skirmish and was executed.

"With the various attempts at revolution crushed, Rivière-Hérard concentrated on unifying the nation and turning Haiti into a more prosperous, economically viable country. To do this, he encouraged the building of schools and hospitals in the outer lying regions of the country, especially in and around Cap-Haitien, which was well known as a centre of anti-government feeling. He also established an open door immigration policy. Haiti wasn’t most migrant’s first choice in destination, admittedly, but the President sought to make the country more attractive to foreigners, and thanks to various troubles in Europe such as the liberal revolutions of 1848, soon a trickle of immigrants started to arrive.

"Rivière-Hérard also adopted a policy of expansion in the Caribbean, and upon the President’s death in 1850 the Haitians had done deals with the Spanish over Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as fought a brief war with Venezuela from 1846-1847, that secured control over the Orinoco estuary. The stability and (relative) peace of his rule had been hugely beneficial for Haiti, even if his grip on power had been absolute. Increased immigration from Europe had seen an influx of liberal ideas to Haiti, and it was decided by the ruling party that an election was to be held. Unlike previously in Haiti’s history, the election of 1850 was generally deemed as free and fair, and the eventual winner was Fabre Geffrard, a former army general who pledged to modernise the country and implement a series of liberal reforms. The 1850s saw the first attempts at industrialisation, as increased urbanisation meant that the wealthy plantation owners started to look towards the potential of the city dwellers to make their wealth, rather than relying on the declining tobacco and sugar trade. Port-au-Prince and Havana were the two cities that grew to become industrial centres of the nation, and by 1870 both had a population of over one million.

"Geffrard’s foreign policy was somewhat more ambitious than his predecessor, and in 1862 Haiti sent a fleet into the Pacific, with the aim of conquering Hawaii. The initial invasion ended in abject failure, with the Haitians completely underestimating the determination of their opponents. Next time around they were able to dislodge the Hawaiians and take control of the islands, but the defeat at the beginning cast a shadow over the Geffrard presidency. Luckily for him he had won re-election only a few months before, but the ‘Hawaii debacle’ was never quite forgotten by the Haitian people.

"Geffrard served three six year terms, and in 1868 he was replaced by Nissage Saget as President. In the intervening years, a certain degree of tension had developed between the black Haitian population, the mulatto industrial and aristocratic elite and the mostly white immigrants, which he solved by-
tick tock tick tock tick tock...time is running out, my dear. The fourth of three would need to be an impossible thing, but how many impossible things exist in the world? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha>bzzzzt! Bye bye, sweet cheeks!​
-but even so, by 1936 Haiti controlled the entire Caribbean apart from those annoying Dutch islands and held Colombia and Venezuela as satellites, and…crap, where did the rest of my story go? I hate it when that happens!"

haiti2.jpg
Haiti's Caribbean possessions, 1936​
 
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Oh wait, there was an actual game going on as well?!? :p

Never tried any nation as desperate as Haiti in Victoria, but I'll go out on a limb and call that a very impressive expansion, considering the poor starting point you had.

Nice format to give us a very quick overview from beginning to end for Haiti.

Now, about that interruption: who did that and was it relevant to the story (or merely a convenient means to skip a drawnout history section)?
 

Enewald

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Wait, was that all just a prologue to the AAR?
This is a AAR after all? :D
 

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Oh wait, there was an actual game going on as well?!? :p

Never tried any nation as desperate as Haiti in Victoria, but I'll go out on a limb and call that a very impressive expansion, considering the poor starting point you had.

Nice format to give us a very quick overview from beginning to end for Haiti.

Now, about that interruption: who did that and was it relevant to the story (or merely a convenient means to skip a drawnout history section)?

Possibly both. ;)

Wait, was that all just a prologue to the AAR?
This is a AAR after all? :D

This has always been an AAR, albeit one based on a game played over two years ago for which I didn't take any notes...
 

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If you don't find it in the index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue.

59

How many impossible things exist in the world? The airship Liberty, it could be argued, was one. With a thin, ultra light outer shell made of reinforced mithrillium which provided enough lift for a small, comfortable compartment and several passengers, it really was something that seemed to defy reality.

And now, it was about to be stolen for the second time in its short existence.

Anton had taken Molly to the roof of a studio apartment not far from the centre of Port-au-Prince, where the Liberty lay hidden to all those passing by on the streets far below. From up there Molly had been able to look across the cityscape, dominated as ever by the pulsating, grotesque Hall of Records. The sky almost seemed bluer than the bluest blue, which, Molly thought, was very blue indeed.

“Wow, it’s amazing,” said Molly. In truth it didn’t look like much from the outside, just a strange, dully metallic chrome-coloured balloon, but even so, she thought she should give the impression of being impressed. Not that it was unimpressive; indeed, far from it. It was a marvel of engineering, just not one that was all the interesting to look at. If pushed, Anton would admit that to be the case, but then it was better for him if it didn’t attract too much attention. It was stolen, after all.

“This is the only one in existence, well, the only fully functioning one anyway that’s outside of the Eryx Corporation. It was built by a mad genius, who I used to work for.” Anton paused. “Well, one of the mad geniuses I used to work for. There have been a few…”

Molly laughed. “Really?”

“Yes,” Anton replied bluntly.

Molly cleared her throat and blinked. “Good, great. So, erm…” Her eyes drifted and appeared to glaze over, as if distracted by something, or someone. There was a flash of movement in the background, near the airship, unnoticed by Anton. Then she suddenly snapped back to attention. “Sorry, went into a bit of a daydream there! I’m always doing that.”

Anton narrowed his eyes, and said in a quiet monotone, “Right, well, now that you’ve seen the Liberty, I’m afraid I have no choice but to kill you.”

Molly’s eyes widened. “What?”

Anton burst out laughing. “I’m kidding! Geez, why can no one tell when I’m joking? Ah well, you probably should be getting back. I’m sure your bosses are eager to hear the good news.”

“My bosses? Oooh, right, the Jamaican Energy Company. Sure, but…I know I’m being really cheeky, but I don’t suppose it would be possible to go up in the Liberty? Just for a few minutes?”

“Well…”

“Oh, please? It’s like my dream…well, a dream, but it would really make my day.”

Anton sighed, and rolled his eyes. “Okay then, go one then. Just a few minutes though. I have an important meeting with the Prime Minister later, which I can’t be late for.”

Molly jumped up and down in excitement. “Yay!”

***​

Anney wasn’t quite sure how it worked, but it did, and that was the important thing. Since acquiring the HMS Impossible, she found that, if she really concentrated, she was able to make herself invisible. Not really impossible, she guessed, but just unnoticed, in the same way as her ship. Probably some kind of psychic bond, or something. Whatever the case, it meant that she had been able to follow Molly and Anton a few paces behind, without fear of being spotted. Nonetheless she had kept her disguise in place, just in case, though it was debatable how effective it would be if Anton saw her.

She had followed them through the streets of the city, and then into an apartment building in a well to do part of town, up the stairs and onto the roof. While Anton and Molly had wittered on about some nonsense or other, she had been able to have a good examination of the airship. On the entrance to the cabin was a combination padlock, which had been surprisingly easy to guess. When it came to numbers, it seemed, Anton wasn’t particularly imaginative. Before she proceeded, she stopped for a moment, and sighed. She wasn’t too sure why she had agreed to get so involved with Molly’s schemes, but at least the sooner Molly was on Circe’s island, the sooner she could get on with her own task in hand.

So she snuck on board, sat herself down in the corner of the passengers’ cabin and waited, hidden and unnoticed.

***​

The Liberty rose, and from the cockpit Molly watched the city fall away and the glittering sea beyond it. She looked into the pure blue void, and she was filled with a strange sensation of butterflies.

“Wow, it’s beautiful,” she said. “It must be amazing to own one of these, you can go anywhere you like in the whole world, on a whim.”

Anton nodded silently, and fiddled around with some of the controls. There was a slight bump. “Ah, there we go, cruise control. I’ve set it to just float and only move very slowly, so we don’t get too far away from the city.”

“Great! Um, I don’t suppose there’s a toilet on this thing? Sorry.”

“Yeah, at the back.”

“Okay, I’ll be back in a minute.” Molly shuffled out of the cockpit, making sure to close the door behind her, and went into the main cabin, where she found Anney waiting for her.

“Right, so what do we do now?” Molly whispered. “I’m nervous.”

Anney patted her on the shoulder. “Yeah, me too, but listen, I gotta-“

She was interrupted by the cockpit door sliding open. Anney and Molly looked up into Anton’s face, which was wide eyed with a serene smile. In his hand was a gun. “Well now, Molly, you didn’t tell me you brought a friend along. That’s just rude!” His eyes met Anney’s. “Well, if it isn’t the pirate bitch who refuses to die. How dull, how predictable.”

Molly was dumbstruck, and tried to speak, but the butterflies chewing up her stomach meant that she was in a state of paralysis.

Anney slowly stood up, keeping her eyes firmly fixed on Anton, and edged backwards. “Put the gun down, Anton. The last thing you want is a stray bullet bringing this thing down.”

Anton laughed, a cruel, mocking laugh. “Oh, please. Reinforced Mithrillium! A bullet wouldn’t even make a dent. Now, I know bullets are useless on you, pirate bitch, but…” His eyes drifted towards Molly, who attempted to shuffle behind Anney’s legs.

“If you do anything to Molly, I will kill you,” Anney said, her voice oozing defiance. “You could fire a hail of bullets at me, but it wouldn’t stop me, it only delay me from grabbing your neck and wringing it until all the life was squeezed out of your body. Don’t think I wouldn’t kill you stone dead given half the chance.”

“Ooh, such a fearsome murderous pirate! I’m literally quaking in my boots!” He laughed derisively, and in the split second of distraction, Anney leapt forward, pouncing like a tiger, dead set on the gun in Anton’s hand.

There was a struggle. Arms flailing, legs kicking.

There was a gunshot. Eyes widened, in shock. Blood seeped through the clothes, and gasps of pain. Last moments in agony, moment of clarity, and gone. Glazed eyes, lifeless and empty. Over the hills and far away, never to return...

There was a thump, and then silence.
 

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You cliffhanging bas%}*¥! ;) Who got it?!? Who's dead?!? It ought to be Anton, but you never know with this tale. For all I know, Anton fired a bullet made from Deusexmachinium that killed Anney stone dead...

Inquiring minds would like to know, is all I'm sayin'...
 

Enewald

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Damned be you! :p

HMS standing for what?
Not the British version, I'd think.

What is Mithrilium?
 

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You cliffhanging bas%}*¥! ;) Who got it?!? Who's dead?!? It ought to be Anton, but you never know with this tale. For all I know, Anton fired a bullet made from Deusexmachinium that killed Anney stone dead...

Inquiring minds would like to know, is all I'm sayin'...

Don't worry, all will be revealed...soonish. ;)

Damned be you! :p

HMS standing for what?
Not the British version, I'd think.

What is Mithrilium?

The Impossible was a British navy frigate, so it is the British version. Mithrillium is an fictional metal with properties of super strength and ultra lightness, whose name comes courtesy of Tolkein.
 

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The fountain of youth messes people up

60

The Shade sat, watching President Keita of the Republic of West Africa sleep, as he had done for the last two months. A slight smile crept across his lips. In the President’s mind, ideas were taking shape, visions of glory, great empires, vast armies of a million men…

The desert wind lashed his face. He rode, with his head held high, through the main city gate into the dazzling magnificence that was the city of Timbuktu, and the denizens of that place knelt and wept as they cast eyes upon their glorious leader, Mansa Musa, King of Kings, only…no. Not yet. Something was missing. The people began to jeer with derision, and Mansa Musa stared at them with horror. “This is wrong…so wrong!” he whispered, and then…

Keita’s eyes shot open. What had a moment ago felt so real, so vibrant, faded away to nothing. The Shade muttered a few words under his breath, and vanished swiftly and silently as if he had never been there at all. Keita sat up and wiped his brow, and examined his hand. Somehow it felt strange, as if it was not his hand at all. He reached out and touched his dresser, half expecting his hand to go straight through the polished mahogany, only to find the surface cold and solid. He breathed a little sigh of relief…or was it regret? He lay back down and closed his eyes.

Somewhere in the shadows, a pair of sneering eyes opened. “Dream a little dream, Mansa Keita, dream a little dream….”

***​

“Okay,” said Pierre, “I have just two more questions.”

“Shoot,” I said.

“Well, firstly, why exactly am I here?”

I considered this for a moment. “Depends. Your existential status is a subject that’s very complicated and not one I’d want to have to explain. You’re in this room right now because I want to help you with your book.”

Pierre nodded slowly, looking bemused. “O…kay.”

I was initially bemused by his bemusement, but then I realised something. “Oh, of course, I don’t mean the book you currently intend to write! Rather the one you will decide to write in the near future. This will be invaluable research, I assure you.”

“Well, I was considering doing something a bit different for my next book; the whole Minnesota Johnson thing seems a bit…mundane, after everything.”

“Indeed,” I said, unable not to grin. “And of course, while you’re doing that, you can join our little secret society if you like?”

“I’ll, er, have to think about that. Anyway, my second question…”

“Ah, yes, go ahead.”

Pierre looked me straight in the eye and said levelly, “In plain terms, with no obfuscation or riddles, tell me; what the hell is going on?”

I shook my head, and shrugged. “Beats me. Anyway, if you’re going to become a Saint, I should fill you in on our current membership. You’ve already spoken to Eleazar; he and Maurice have been keeping tabs on Circe, and have gained the trust of a henchman of hers called Anton. They’re, effectively, double agents.”

“Let’s hope they don’t turn out to be triple agents…”

“Indeed, or quintuple agents. That would just be nasty. Quadruple agents, on the other hand, would be fine and dandy. The there’s Lois, who is a loa like me, real name Erzulie. She mostly just eats my food and chastises me for being a silly old man. Charlotte is also a loa; I keep her around because she appreciates my poetry, unlike some people. Then, finally, there’s Leon Bandersnatch. I don’t know exactly what he is, but he’s good with computers and stuff, so he’s useful.”

“Right,” Pierre said, “so what am I? Your chronicler?”

I smiled. “If you like.”

***​

In the vast cave beneath Navassa Island, Madame Tsarzou was shaking. Not quite in a catatonic state, but definitely on edge, repeating over and over,

“Must…not…play…organ, must…not!”

Janus, her guard(ian), entered, carrying two cups of tea, and gave one to Madame Tzarsou. She looked up at him, with helpless eyes.

“I remember, Janus, a long time ago…the audiences, they were vast! They would come, just to see me play. I was famous, all throughout Europe, I was a legend, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted more, I needed more, and…”

Janus sat down, and took a sip of tea.

“Can I see the prisoners? They were meant to keep me company. Why aren’t they keeping me company?”

Janus stopped, and sighed. “The prisoners escaped, a long time ago. Don’t you remember?”

Her eyes widened. “Escaped? Bring me the guard, he must receive a spanky botty!”

“The guard disappeared not long after the prisoners…do you really not remember?” Janus smiled slightly. “And you already administered your punishment.”

“Oh. Time passes, and I don’t even notice. And there’s no escape. I’m going to be here forever, aren’t I? All alone…forever and ever. Eternity is a long time to be alone.”

“Er, I’m here,” said Janus.

“No you’re not, you’re just another figment of my imagination. I hope you’re not getting delusions of reality?”

Janus sighed. “No, of course not. Perish the thought.”

Madame Tzarsou trembled, and unthinkingly mimed playing the organ with her hands. “I can’t hear the music, let me hear the music. Please, let me hear the music? Oh god, please, LET ME HEAR THE MUSIC!!”

Janus was gone, and Madame Tzarsou’s shrieks echoed throughout the cavernous chamber.
 

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“Oh. Time passes, and I don’t even notice. And there’s no escape. I’m going to be here forever, aren’t I? All alone…forever and ever. Eternity is a long time to be alone.”

“Er, I’m here,” said Janus.

“No you’re not, you’re just another figment of my imagination. I hope you’re not getting delusions of reality?”
Been watching Inception? :)

So, Pierre is getting informed (at least somewhat), Mme Tzarsou is getting the shakies and President Keita is getting some bad dreams. At least Pierre is getting somewhere...
 

Enewald

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I probably should watch inception... :p
Bah, forth bring more!
 

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Been watching Inception? :)

So, Pierre is getting informed (at least somewhat), Mme Tzarsou is getting the shakies and President Keita is getting some bad dreams. At least Pierre is getting somewhere...

No, I haven't seen it. In fact, a signficant portion of that update was written before the film was even released... ;)

I probably should watch inception... :p
Bah, forth bring more!

More on its way!
 

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Terror at 5000 feet

61

Anton opened his eyes, and felt a gun pressed against the side of his head.

“Wh-what happened?”

A harsh voice said, “Shut up! Don’t move unless I say so.”

He twisted his head slightly, and saw Anney glaring down at him, gun in hand. At the other end of the cabin lay the body of Molly, completely still. He blinked, and began laughing. The gun pressed tighter against his head.

“I thought I told ya to shut up!”

“She’s dead?” he said, with a smirk.

Anney sighed. “Yeah, she’s dead.”

“Then why aren’t I? What happened to ‘if you shoot her, I’ll not stop until your dead’?” His mouth curled into a grin. “Lost your nerve?”

“Hardly. It’s just…well, I don’t know how to fly this thing. So, this is what we’re gonna do. You’re gonna pilot this airship back to Port-au-Prince, and once we’ve landed I will shoot you. I think I’ve got enough bullets in here to start with the kneecaps, and then carry on from there. You will die, eventually. It will just take a little longer than you’d want it to. Get up!”

Anney stepped backward, gun still pointed at him, and Anton got to his feet. “Geez, my head! What the hell happened?”

He made his way to the cockpit and opened the door, and Anney followed close behind. “The gun went off, and then I knocked you unconscious. You’re lucky I don’t let my emotions get the better of me, otherwise you would never have woken up.”

Anton sat down at the controls, and frowned. “Lucky? Is that some sort of joke.”

“Just take us back to the city, and shut it,” Anney said, glancing back at the prone form of Molly. Shit, she thought, she’s actually dead. I can’t believe she’s actually dead…what about Circe’s island, and…shit. That bullet could have gone anywhere, but bastard fate had to intervene…

Anton flicked a few switches, and the Liberty began a slow 180 degree turn, dipping slightly to one side as it did.

“Oh, by the way, there’s something rather important you should know,” said Anton breezily, still fiddling with some controls.

“Oh yeah, what’s that?”

There was a click. He smiled sweetly. “I’ve got another gun.”

Anton turned round and fired three bullets into Anney’s chest in rapid succession. She staggered backwards in surprise, and Anton swooped down and grabbed the gun that had fallen out of her hands. She leant against the wall, breathing heavily.

“Mine, I think you’ll find. Now, pirate bitch, I know that not even a bullet to your brain would kill you, but it would probably slow you down for a while. So, with that in mind…” He shot her in the head, and she collapsed into a broken heap. Anton knelt down beside her and felt her pulse.

“My goodness, you really are a freak of nature, aren’t you?” he said with a wry smile. “You might not be able to die, but you sure can be kept prisoner…” He remembered what happened on Navassa Island and cringed slightly. “Well, this time you can. This time there’s no escape.”

He glanced at Molly’s corpse, and headed towards the back of the airship and opened the door. Far below lay the glittering ocean, and the open air was sharp and bracing. He picked up Molly’s body, and tipped it out. A few moments later came a distant splash.

He went back into the cabin, only to find Anney was gone.

“What the…”

A figure sprinted past him, and before he had a chance to respond, Anney leapt out the open door of the airship and plunged into the dark, cold water below. Anton let out a cry of surprise, which quickly turned to rage.

“Aww damn it, not again! Not again!”

A few moments later came a distance splash.
 

Enewald

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Why cannot it not die? I don't remember, this AAR is too old. :p
 

Stuyvesant

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So Molly's dead, but there has to be a way to nullify that, right? I mean, we're talking Haiti, Voodoo, all that sort of stuff, there's bound to be a way to fix this...?

By the way, since Anney is willing to jump out of the airship after being shot, then why didn't she cap Anton first and take a dive into the drink, thereby avoiding the unpleasantness of being shot in the first place, and, equally importantly, gaining well-deserved revenge for Molly? ;) I guess she really doesn't like getting her clothes wet... :p
 

Fiftypence

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Why cannot it not die? I don't remember, this AAR is too old. :p

She drank from the fountain of everlasting youth.

So Molly's dead, but there has to be a way to nullify that, right? I mean, we're talking Haiti, Voodoo, all that sort of stuff, there's bound to be a way to fix this...?

By the way, since Anney is willing to jump out of the airship after being shot, then why didn't she cap Anton first and take a dive into the drink, thereby avoiding the unpleasantness of being shot in the first place, and, equally importantly, gaining well-deserved revenge for Molly? ;) I guess she really doesn't like getting her clothes wet... :p

Explained in the coming update. ;)
 

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your mission, should you choose to accept it

62

The clouds rocked gently, swaying from side to side. The moon danced, and the stars followed with perfectly synchronised choreography, everything moving together in complete harmony. The ground was damp and hard, and gave off a familiar smell of ancient wood.

“What the…how did get here?”

Anney stood up gingerly and glanced around, and found herself in the familiar surroundings of the deck of the HMS Impossible. Last thing she remembered was jumping out of the airship, and then…nothing much after that.

A voice behind her said, “You can thank me for that.”

Anney spun round, and Miss Charlotte gave her a withering look. She shook her head. “Another fine mess you’ve got someone else into, I see.”

Anney glared at her. “Shut up, it wasn’t my idea, it was…oh, Molly! That scumbag chucked her body out of the airship…”

“Yes I know, I was able to recover it along with yourself. Though I’m beginning to think I shouldn’t have bothered with you.”

“Then why did you?” Anney snapped, “I could have swam to shore by myself.”

Miss Charlotte laughed, entirely without humour. “Yes, I’m sure you could have done, but that wouldn’t have been very productive, would it. Anyway, I need you for something.”

Anney sat back down on the damp planks of the deck, and put her head in her hands. “Ugh, I don’t wanna know. Anyway, where is she? Molly, I mean. And what happened to Anton and the airship?”

“She’s down below deck, in one of the cabins. She should be safe there. I put a magical field around the ship, so he wasn’t able to get anywhere near. After a while he gave up and went away.”

“O…kay, fine. Whaddya need me for?”

Miss Charlotte sat down beside Anney, and looked at the sky. “I wish I didn’t need you for anything. First Marissa, now Molly…it really does seem that wherever you go, other people end up getting hurt. But you, oh no, not even a bullet in your brain can stop you. You’re a dangerous person to be around, Anney, and you’re loyal to no one but yourself.”

Anney rolled her eyes. “Look, I jumped out of a frigging airship in order to try and do the right thing by Molly. She may be dead, but I wasn’t about to let her body get dumped in the sea, or worse, mangled in the wreckage of a crashed airship. It probably doesn’t make much sense, but I swore to myself that I would protect her in death, as I failed in life. Why else do you think I stayed on that damn airship? I coulda jumped any time, but I wanted to get Molly’s body to safety, to give her a proper burial or cremation or whatever. Anyway, I asked you a question, not for a lecture on my moral failings. So I ask again, whaddya need me for?”

“Fine. Kwame Bawon doesn’t trust me, but he’ll listen to you.”

Anney looked up in surprise. “Kwame?? What’s he got to do with anything?”

Miss Charlotte sighed. “If the world is to survive, then right now he is the only person who can help us. We’ll be in New Orleans in a matter of hours.”

***​

“So, that’s us,” I said, as I led Pierre into a better lit room with a table stacked with newspapers in the middle, and several glowing computer screens. “So let me ask you something important.”

We sat down at the table, and I cleared away some of the papers so I could actually see Pierre’s face over the mess. “What’s your opinion of the new Prime Minister?”

Pierre shrugged. “I don’t know. To be honest, I didn’t even know we had one. Who is it?”

“Ah,” I said, nodding to myself. “I assumed you didn’t know, but had to make sure.”

“Didn’t know what?” Pierre said, growing increasingly confused.

I went over to one of the computers, and sat down in front of it. “Let me show you something. I must warn you; this is going to come as a bit of a shock.” I opened the grid browser and typed in ‘prime minister haiti’ into the image search. I pressed enter.

Pierre’s eyes widened. “But that’s…”

“Selena Eryx, Prime Minister of Haiti,” I said, “former Business Secretary, and CEO of Eryx Industries.”

Pierre shook his head. “No, no, that’s not…that’s Marissa! They’re completely identical! How can that…” A look of realisation flashed across his face. “Ooh, so Marissa also has an identical double, like me and Eleazar!”

I coughed, and shook my head. “Er, I’m afraid not. Not in this case.”

Pierre frowned. “Then I don’t understand.”

I explained to him exactly what had happened. It was interesting watching his face go from confusion to horror in a single movement. And of course, I should point out that the whole thing with Pierre and Eleazar isn’t quite as simple as them being doppelgangers, but that’s for another time. Pierre shook his head, in disbelief.

“Now Pierre,” I said, “it’s crucial that you listen to me. This, as I said, is the work of an enchantment, and it can be fully reversed.” I reached into my jacket pocket, and pulled out a small vial filled with a gloopy, red liquid.

“What’s that?” Pierre said, screwing up his nose.

“This,” I said, holding it up to the light, “is the cure to Circe’s disease. If you can get Selena Eryx to drink this, then the link will be broken and you’ll get your Marissa back. This is your first, and hopefully only assignment from the Saints of Infinity. If you can do this, then it will be a major blow to Circe’s plans and you’ll get your girlfriend back.”

Pierre took the vial, and gazed at it thoughtfully. “Right, so all I’ve got to do is get close enough to the zombified puppet Prime Minister of Haiti and somehow get her to drink this disgusting looking potion without anyone noticing?” He laughed nervously, and shrugged. “What could be simpler?”
 

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  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Potion or poison?

A most economical way to phrase that particular question. I can only second it. :)

First Marissa, now Molly…it really does seem that wherever you go, other people end up getting hurt.
Hmm, this makes Anney sound an awful lot like Dirty Harry... I eagerly await a "Do you feel lucky, punk?" quote. ;)