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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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Wow! Fantastic! I'm glad that I found this through the AAR Showcase, for it is for sure the most intriguing read I 've had in AARland so far. Great Report, just a bit light on the After Action side of things, though.
 

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I wonder if there are parallel universes?

7​
I was reading through some of the Archives, and I came across this article in The Daily Inquisitor.

November 9th, 2002​
Terror at Calico
10,000 feared dead in airship attack

The Calico Towers, the world's tallest buildings, were destroyed earlier today when they were struck by two stolen dirigibles apparently filled with explosive materials in what appears to be a suicide attack. Tower A was struck at 9:08 AM, followed by Tower B at 9:27. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks as of yet, but initial suspicion fell on various radical Islamic groups operating out of West Africa.

Scene of Chaos

The Calico Towers were in an area of downtown Port-au-Prince largely populated by Indian immigrants, which in the last few decades has risen to prominence as one of the worlds largest financial centres. The attacks have left the area devastated. In the words of one eyewitness,

"It's like a warzone, oh god oh loa, you just don't expect this sort of thing to happen here!"

Remarkable Escape

In the wake of these awful attacks, several amazing stories of survival and hope in the face of despair are coming to light. Most notable is the story of Pierre le Grand, a 21 year old trainee apprentice with Alan Kaida Ltd, who operated out of Tower B. In his own words,

"I'm amazed, and a little bit frightened that I'm still alive. Yesterday I had a dream, and felt bad all day, worrying about it. I can't even remember what it was about now, but I just knew that I shouldn't go into work today, so I called in sick. If I had gone in, I would certainly be dead. Someone warned me, somehow I was warned, but don't ask me to explain how. I have no idea."

The city's mayor, Yokib Rooin, is expected to address the city shortly. More to follow.

_____

At exactly the same time, Moldavia "Molly" Nemoy was reading the same article, on the Microfiche at the National Library of Port-au-Prince, located within the Hall of Records. She initially scanned it, and then re-read it again, this time much more carefully. Of course, she remembered the attacks; she had been at home in Jamaica at the time, but the cloud of smoke and debris that had risen like a vast mushroom was visible even from her parent's house in Falmouth.

She sighed, and shook her head. It was hopeless. She had spent the last three days trying to decipher Louverture's booklet. She had barely ate or slept, and yet she could not make head nor tail of any of it. She was convinced that the key to explaining the mystery of his disappearance lay in the notebook, but she drew blanks at every turn. She was confused and confounded, which made her scared and angry. It wasn't something she was used to.

"Excuse me Miss, could I please use the Microfiche? I've been waiting for such a long time..."

Molly looked up, into the face of a man with midnight skin and piercing eyes. She nodded mutely, and stood up. The man smiled in acknowledgement, and Molly left the library, and went out into the streets of Port-au-Prince in a daze. The sun was shining brightly, and as she walked she paid no attention to where she was going. She passed the mime artists of Rue de Feufoille, turning into Magnolia, eventually walking up into the Calico district.

There was no sign of the destruction that had befell the place those short years before. All the buildings were pristine slabs of modernity, their glass and concrete glittering and dazzling. The place where the towers had been was now a park, and Molly made her way across the busy road and into the embrace of the verdant tranquility that lay beyond.

She spent a while walking amid the shrubbery, taking in the fresh smell of the flowers and the astonishing blue sky. Eventually she found a bench beside a small lake, and sat down. It occured to her that she was unable to see the Hall of Records from where she was positioned. On the next bench across, an old man with a straw hat and shining white teeth had appeared, seemingly from nowhere, with a little dog sat beside his feet. She glanced across at him, and he lifted his hat with a grin.

I like Molly. She's a plucky girl, and while all this was going on I followed her progress with interest. It was quite frustrating, seeing her struggling with that old fool Louverture's codes and secrets, when the whole thing really was quite simple. I tried to make things a bit clearer for her, in the hope that she'd hurry up and get the plot moving again. It's a good thing she's a bright girl, if a little careless.

"Of course," she muttered to herself. "Of course! Black stones! It's so obvious!"

She scrabbled about in her bag, but felt a lump in her throat when she realised that AL's notebook for was not there. "Expletive! I left it in the library."

She was sorry to have to leave that serene spot, and as she hurried back to the library she hoped that it would still be there, where she had left it. Alas, when she arrived back to where she had been sat, both the notebook and the midnight man were gone.

Molly stamped her foot in frustration. She went back on the Microfiche, and read the article again, but it was useless. She needed answers, but all she had were questions. She felt lost, like a pebble in the ocean, cast adrift, lost at sea, lost at sea, lost at sea, lost in the middle of a-

Black stones. There must be something there, Molly, think! What are the black stones? What could it mean? There's something else, though, isn't there Molly? Another clue. But, you silly thing, you lost the notebook, so now you can't remember what it was. You shouldn't underestimate Circe, you silly girl.
__________________

*Ignore this footnote
 
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Surprise update! I know I said I'd update The Last Inca, but I felt like updating this instead. :cool:
 

stnylan

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That's alright mate - always nice to see an update out of you, regardless on which of your AARs it happens to be :)
 

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A summary of what's going on
I think it's needed.​

Part 1 - Our first encounter with Pierre, who has daringly snuck into the Secret Vault inside the Hall of Records in October 2008. He recovers a document by an eccentric academic called Albert Louverture. We also learn that the story is being narrated by a being known only as Pebble. The identity of Pebble is not immediately obvious, but it’s strongly hinted that he’s not entirely normal.

Part 2 - Pierre reads said document. Finds many pages missing. Louverture puts forward the idea that 100 years of Haitian history are missing. Pierre wonders if it’s possible to speak with the dead,

Part 3 - We are now back in July 2008, seeing the events that led up to the first two updates. Obviously Pebble is a fan of starting in medias res. Pierre has forgotten his own birthday. He is worried that he has not received an e-mail from his girlfriend Marissa, who is currently on an archaeological dig in West Africa. He does however get an interesting message from his friend Stephan, and Pierre has a nap before he goes to meet his friend.

Part 4 – Pierre meets with Stephan, who shows him an article in a magazine called Secret Worlds, about the Fountain of Youth, supposedly located at Bimini. Something clicks concerning the “lost” period between 1836 and 1936. First mention of the Calico Towers.

Part 5 – We are introduced to Moldavia “Molly” Nemoy, who is investigating a mysterious abandoned rowboat in the Sargasso Sea (Bermuda Triangle?). It’s apparent that it belonged to Albert Louverture, and that he has vanished into thin air. She picks up and keeps his notebook, which appears to be full of nonsense and gibberish. The meaning of these passages is actually quite obvious, but Molly can’t work it out.

Part 6 – Ramblings of a mental patient from a mental asylum that burnt down. We are not told who the patient was, nor how the text was recorded.

Part 7 – Molly has become slightly obsessed by the notebook, and has spent the last three days in the National Library trying to find info about Louverture and the contents of the notebook. She comes across an article about a major terrorist attack that took place several years ago. She takes a walk to clear her head, but accidently leaves the notebook behind. When she returns it is gone, and suspicion immediately falls upon the “midnight man”, who had previously asked to use the microfiche, where Molly had been sitting. She also manages to figure out part of Louverture’s code (with a little outside help), indicating something about “black stones”.

Questions and Mysteries

-What are the “black stones”? – There are several clues dotted through the previous updates, especially part 4

-What’s with all the 27s? – Good question.

-Is Louverture mad? – No, but he is a bit weird. Everything he writes has some kind of meaning.

-Is Molly hot? – Some might think so, but she’s not really my type.

-If I asked her out, do you think she’d say yes? – Probably not.

-What the hell is ‘pataphysics? – Look it up, it’s quite amusing.

-Who is Pebble? – Pebble is the narrator of The Lost Century. That’s not the answer you wanted, is it? Well tough.

-Airships?? What is this, some kind of steampunk? – Haha. Come on, everyone loves airships.

-What's the deal with the Hall of Records? That place gives me the creeps! - Me too, my friend. Me too.
 
Last edited:

Fiftypence

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lalalala I can't hear you!

8
“Molly, you look exhausted, it’s a good thing you have a holiday coming up!”

Molly blinked. After losing the notebook, she had returned back to the police station, and she was now sat in the canteen sipping on a bitter cup of coffee. The person who had just spoken was P.C. Lois Mimsy, her friend and colleague. With her braided black hair, oversized glittering earrings and dark, catlike eyes, Molly theorised that she must have been some kind of Vodou priestess in a previous life. Maybe she was in this life as well, for all she knew. Lois was notoriously secretive about her private life.

“Do I? Oh, right, of course, of course.”

“A week of relaxation beside the sea, man I could do with that right about now. You hadn’t forgotten, had you?”

“No, no. I’ve just been so involved with the Louverture case that my mind can’t seem to focus on anything else at the moment.”

“Boy, sounds like you really need a holiday! If I could go anywhere, I think I’d go somewhere cold. Somewhere like the Sahara desert. You planning on going anywhere nice?”

“I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“Damn, Molly, if I had a holiday coming up I wouldn’t be able to think about anything else!”

Lois let out a deep laugh, and Molly smiled slightly and glanced up at the clock. Sergeant Leon Bandersnatch had called for a briefing at half past three, and it was now going a quarter to four. The junior officers had assembled at the Conference Room at the right time, but had found it strangely locked. Molly thought she could hear voices from within the room but they were muffled and incoherent, and she had been unable to resist as Lois and Maurice Molyneux, another colleague, had grabbed her hand and dragged her to the canteen.

“Maybe we should head over there and wait outside,” said Anney Burleigh, who spoke French with a distinctive Carolina drawl which never ceased to sound strange to Molly’s ears. The general consensus was agreement, and once they had gulped down the remainder of their coffee the four officers discarded of the empty cups and made their way through the station towards the Conference Room. It was a quiet day; not many inhabitants went outside when it was so scorching, preferring to remain inside in the comfort of their air conditioned homes, and so crime was generally scarce on these types of days.

The Conference Room door was still shut when they arrived, and Molly could hear raised voices coming from within. One was certainly that of Bandersnatch, and there was something faintly familiar about the other, but she could not work out where she had heard it before. A couple of minutes later the door swung open with a crash, and a man wearing a jet black tailored suit and dark sunglasses stalked past silently. Molly gaped, and suddenly realised where she knew the voice from.

“It was him! The midnight man!”

Lois screwed her brow. “What are you talking about, girl? Come on, Sarge is waiting for us.”

They entered the room, which had dark blue walls and chairs laid out in neat rows. On the wall at the front was a large picture of Albert Louverture, and with his glasses, wild eyes and messy grey hair could not have been anything other than an academic, except possibly a hobo. Molly hurried up to Bandersnatch. His face was red and flustered, and he was taking deep, soothing breaths.

“Who was that man?” she said, insistently. Bandersnatch shook his head.

“No one.” He sighed and fidgeted with his neatly groomed moustache. “Come on, it’s already late. Let’s get this over with.”

The officers took their seats, and Bandersnatch paced a couple of times to and fro before speaking. “Three days ago, a routine reconnaissance flight drew our attention to an empty rowboat, adrift in the Sargasso Sea. We initially believed it to have been rowed there by an individual called Albert Louverture.”

“Initially?” Molly murmured inaudibly.

“Unfortunately, we have no leads. There is no evidence.”

Molly raised her hand. “Sarge, that’s not true. I found a notebook, clearly labelled as belonging to Albert Louverture.”

Bandersnatch regarded her coolly. “I see. My notes indicate no such notebook was submitted as evidence.”

Molly frowned. “I told you about it on the boat, but you ignored me! You weren’t interested at all, so I investigated it by myself. You just blanked me when I mentioned it to you, sir.”

“Did I? Well, it’s not too late to submit it, if you can…?” He looked at her questioningly. Molly thought she saw a slight smile on his lips, but it was gone as soon as it appeared, if it was ever there at all.

“I…can’t,” she said, feeling herself turning red.

“Oh really? Why is that?”

“It was…stolen. That man! The man in black with the sunglasses who was here, it was him! He stole it!”

Bandersnatch shook his head. “P.C. Nemoy, you look really tired, and I hear you haven’t been sleeping well recently. When I’m tired, I find my imagination runs away with me. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“My imagination?? I am not delusional! No, I had the notebook! There was stuff about heady Elysium, and something about not underestimating Circe, and black stones…” She looked around wildly and thought she heard someone snigger. She realised that she wasn’t doing herself any favours with this kind of talk, and so sat back down, fuming quietly.

Bandersnatch laughed, not unkindly but rather pityingly. “I believe you have a holiday coming up. Enjoy it, get some rest. I think you need it.” He turned to the wall behind him, and tore down the picture of Louverture. “This case is closed,” he said as he screwed it up into a little ball and dropped it in the bin. “As far as any of you are concerned, Albert Louverture never existed. He is a figment of your imaginations. There is no notebook. There was no rowboat. The case is closed.”

“Was there ever even a case?” Lois said, with a disbelieving, sarcastic laugh.

“No. Molly, your shift is due to end at five, but I’m going to let you clock off early and begin your holiday a little bit early. Feel free to leave immediately. The rest of you, we have a case of a missing dog that needs some serious attention…

Molly left the Conference Room in a daze, feeling a great confused rage swelling within her like a tropical storm. It was obvious that she had no other choice, and would have to take matters into her own hands. She would not be getting much rest during this holiday, it seemed.
 
Last edited:

Fiftypence

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That's alright mate - always nice to see an update out of you, regardless on which of your AARs it happens to be :)

Thanks for reading. :)

My mind has been overrun by the forces of chaos.

That will probably help considerably. :D

Black stones. All so obvious really...

Great to see another update and a summary to boot. The latter is definitely useful but probably wouldn't be needed if we were getting updates on a regular basis *cough*

And yes, airships are simply cool. By extension that makes this AAR the place to be seen

All the answers concerning the black stones are there, if you know where to look...

Yes, airships are cool. :cool:
 
Last edited:

Beamed

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Pebbles...
Black stones..

Hmm... Wonder if they're related by more than word choice.
 

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My my my, isn't this annoying?

9​
Now it is time for a us to step forward in time a little, a couple of weeks or so. Fear not, this is only a temporary temporal diversion, but I'm afraid I won't be able to reveal who is speaking, for our scene is a dank, dark cell, and my eyesight isn't what it once was. I think I've given them both a mention, though, somewhere down the line. There is an occasional drip from some unidentifiable source, and the crying of the seagulls that filters through the tiny barred slit up near the dungeon ceiling means that our prison might very well be near the coast.

But then again, it might not be.​

Here we go:



"They're going to kill us, aren't they?"

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, what reason have they got to hold us here indefinitely? Killing us would make the most sense, I reckon."

"Why?"

"'Cos we're dangerous! Well, I am, I don't know 'bout you. Ah, I can't believe they got me at last, those bastards. After all these years..."

"I'm not dangerous! I've been here for at least two weeks, and no one's told me anything. But you seem to have some kind of clue, so please fill me in!"

"...You really got no clue why you're here?"

"No!"

"Ah."

"Who are 'those bastards'?"

"The Law, I'd guess. I thought I could hide forever, but someone musta recognised me. Even got myself a steady job, in the last place anyone'd look. Met some real nice people, too, damn shame to leave them behind."

"But I've never broken the law. Well, one time I downloaded some music off the Grid without paying, but that doesn't really count."

"Don't it? Ah, well, there's the thing. It does count. Everything counts when it comes to the Law."

"But this isn't a police cell! It's a dungeon!"

"Yeah, I know. But I don't think we're dealing with any kinda law that you'd be familiar with. I mean the Law, capital L. You know something that you ain't supposed to know, you gotta watch out for the Law. You figured out any way outta here?"

"No. But I don't know anything--well, actually I know quite a lot, but nothing dangerous!"

"Nothing dangerous, huh? How d'you know what's and what's not dangerous?"

"Well, I...I don't know. No one's told me anything."

"Okay then, how about a little treat? I'll tell you something, gratis, and then if we both manage to get outta here, they got two targets rather than one."

"Do I have a choice?"

Nuh huh. Sorry, but that's just the way the cookie crumbs fall. You could put your hands over your ears and go 'lalalala' but I reckon I can shout a damn sight louder than you can."

"Okay then, tell me if you must. What's this big dangerous secret that you possess?"

"No need for mockery or sarcasm, lowest form of wit, so they say. Well now, the thing is, you see, I know.

"You know what?"

"I know what happened."

"You know what happened?"

"Mmm. Don't scoff, I heard you scoff, but believe me, that's why I'm here."

"...What the hell are you talking about?"

"I'm telling you I know what happened. The lost century, that hundred years that no one wants to talk about? I know--because I lived through it."
 

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Pebbles...
Black stones..

Hmm... Wonder if they're related by more than word choice.

All things are related in some way...when the meaning of the black stones is revealed, it might just give the tiniest glimmer of an insight into what or who Pebble is.

My God this isn't dead! Glad to see it back, Fifty! :D

It's aliiive! :D
 

Fiftypence

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Nice flapjack, recall diplomat, suitcase jeopardy

10​
I have a little house, a small cottage in the hills with a sloping roof and smoke coming out of the chimney. The smell is that of fine chicken, freshly slaughtered this morning, mouth-watering and enticing, but also comforting and relaxing. The main room is small and cluttered, with washed out blue and yellow painted walls with a rickety wooden table in the centre. It’s a simple place; I enjoy living here, just me, Cerebus and the chickens. It feels like a proper home should.

There was a knock on the door. I grinned, and called out, “Enter, enter!” The glamorous lady that came through the door I recognised well, with her flowing pink dress, braided hair and large gold earrings. I stood up, and gestured towards the stove.

“Just in time. The chicken is nearly ready.”

“Excellent. Smells good!”

“Not as good as it’s going to taste, my dear. Isis was a mighty strong bird when she was alive, and a mighty succulent bird now that’s she’s dead.”

She sat down at the table, her earrings jangling, as I served the food up onto two plates. I took it to the table, one plate for her and one for myself. I stared at her intently and disapprovingly, and she screwed her brow.

“What?”

“Mimsy? You’re really calling yourself Lois Mimsy?” I laughed, as did she.

“I don’t see the problem. You’re just an old man with a dirty mind.”

“It’s not my mind that’s dirty. Honestly woman, what are you trying to do to the poor girl? She already has it hard enough!”

“She don’t like it hard at all!” Lois said, erupting into gales of laughter. I rolled my eyes, taking a mouthful of chicken.

“Okay, I walked right into that one.”

“You so did. This chicken is truly fantastic, man!”

I was pleased with the compliment and grinned. Chicken with rice and beans, simple but so filling and satisfying. You couldn’t invent a dish more Haitian. I cleared my throat.

“I take it you’ve noticed about P.C. Molyneux?”

“Noticed? Hell, that man smells strong. I’ve smelt kennels more fragrant. But really, I got bigger things to worry about than him. There is something seriously weird going on right now, weirder than I’m used to.”

“You mean the business with Louverture? Indeed, it’s quite odd, but Molly’s on the case, and luckily for her she’s got a week’s holiday. I gave her a little nudge in the right direction, but I don’t think she quite understands the enormity of what’s she about to confront,” I said.

“Mmm. Still, that time off give her some time to think about things.”

I shook my head and sighed. “And then there’s Pierre-“

“Oh yeah we all know about Pierre. That’s a silly game you’re playing there, not to mention dangerous.”

“Hey, I’m an old man. I’ve got to find fun wherever I can.”

“You’re not that old,” Lois said, with a snicker. “I just hope you know what you’re doing. A lot of people will be very angry.”

I shrugged, ripping at the chicken with my teeth with animalistic savagery. “Ah, well, I’m old enough not to care who I upset. But things are looking interesting, aren’t they? I wonder how long I can keep this going.”

“There’s a long way to go yet, old man,” said Lois with a smirk. Her expression suddenly transformed into a frown. “And you’ve got some nerve. I mean, Pebble? Really? That’s not even subtle.”

“Subtle enough, I think.”

“Subtle enough, sure, sure. Just one thing though, Caillou Noir, do you really think that this chapter should end with that god-awful poem?”

I huffed in mock offence. “You making fun of my poem? I showed it to Miss Charlotte and she loved it.”

“Miss Charlotte? Why ain’t I surprised? That stupid white girl, probably wouldn’t notice if a brick hit her on the head.”

I laughed, and said with a wink, “You’re just jealous because she’s so pretty. Those eyes, they would intoxicate a lesser man I’m sure, and a voice as sweet as syrup!”

“I am NOT jealous, damn! Why would I be jealous of that streak of piss? You know, that whole brick to the head thing is looking really tempting right now…

I could see that Lois was getting a bit flustered, her cheeks rosy and her eyes narrow. Ah, jealousy, Lois was famous for it. She still is, I’d guess. I’ve never been sure exactly why; she gets plenty of attention. She’s been married three times, and wears three oversized wedding rings on her gumbos, in her typically ostentatious way. But- Ah, enough of that! Things had veered off course like a misaligned rocket, drooping like a broken rooster as it draws an arc in the sky, so I decided to end the chapter a little bit early. I recited my poem.

"Stilt tangential coriander,
Reflect plum nation,
Halberd bulbous, gill affect
Thread happening chart,
Reaper peruse electric crush,
Wrist itch."​



I like to think that Tzara would be proud.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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That chicken sure does sound good.
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Haiti is a bit overpowered if you think about it. Creole is the only accepted culture and there's a lot of money to be made. Just research freedom of trade and other industrial technologies and you're sugar production will soon hit the roof.


Though I've never played a game as Haiti. I find it so funny and easy to conquer Haiti, get 3.0 sugar production out of it and have it provide about 36 monthly income for me (it's practically the easiest country to conquer and one of the most worthwhile colonies in the game. Plus it's state and you can build factories there to assimilate non-cultures).


Especially when playing as a small minor, it makes me feel like I'm doing Operation Red Guard, grabbing the regulars from the pub, arming em' with shotguns and rifles and overthrowing a Caribbean Republic
 

Fiftypence

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Food. Food. And poetry.

Where is the Law?
The Law is everywhere.

That chicken sure does sound good.
Good, proper Haitian food. :cool:

Haiti is a bit overpowered if you think about it. Creole is the only accepted culture and there's a lot of money to be made. Just research freedom of trade and other industrial technologies and you're sugar production will soon hit the roof.

Though I've never played a game as Haiti. I find it so funny and easy to conquer Haiti, get 3.0 sugar production out of it and have it provide about 36 monthly income for me (it's practically the easiest country to conquer and one of the most worthwhile colonies in the game. Plus it's state and you can build factories there to assimilate non-cultures).

Especially when playing as a small minor, it makes me feel like I'm doing Operation Red Guard, grabbing the regulars from the pub, arming em' with shotguns and rifles and overthrowing a Caribbean Republic
Haiti is actually easier in VIP than vanilla. In vanilla (which this is), there's no sugar but rather both provinces are tobacco, and so you start off pretty poor. Tobacco is okay, but eventually it's worthwhile to try and attract immigration and industrialise.
 

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