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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

iain_a_wilson

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Hello,

As a writer, I'm a relative new comer to the EU3 forums (having had one brief foray here that sadly got derailed by the World Cup). I've hung around and read a lot here (sometimes lurking, sometimes commentating) but I've never really sat down and churned out a proper AAR for you good folks here in EU3 land.

I've recently finished my Suenik AAR - a CK comedy that has finally reached its rightful conclusion. Therefore I've been uuhm-ing and aah-ing about what to write next and I've decided that I want to do something a bit different from my usual fare.

How will it be different? Well, after a think I've decided upon the following:

1) It'll be an EU3 AAR - as I've said previously, I've dabbled but never written anything substantial for EU3.

2) It'll be a narrative, but rather than being comedic (my usual bag) it's going to be serious. Not a "dark" comedy like Oranjes (how many AARs can I get in one post?) but a serious narrative where my main concern is the story, rather than getting people to laugh.

Should be a sufficent challenge!

So, without further ado (bar one place holder for the contents!) I give you, The Sleeper.

All criticism gratefully received!

Iain
 

Eber

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I'm excited for this! :)
 

iain_a_wilson

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THE SLEEPER

"John! Come back! Please!"

The woman's shrill, frightened voice echoed down the white-tiled corridor; its imploring, hurt, begging tone playing havoc with John's already fraught nerves. He dearly wanted to slow down and stop - his lungs felt like they were on fire, his legs were lead weights, and his left arm - slick with blood from the deep scars which criss-crossed its surface - throbbed dully and painfully.

"John! Stop! This won't help anyone!"

John gritted his teeth and pushed her voice to the back of his mind. It would have been so easy to turn around and walk back to her; to have her hug him and assure him everything was normal, but he refused to. She had lied to him once before - how did she expect her claims to be believed this time?

Besides, he had to know.

From somewhere behind him he heard the clatter of footsteps. The twisting, turning confines of these sterile, dim corridors played havoc with acoustics, but John guessed the sound came from somewhere quite close by.

Which could only mean one thing - they were gaining on him.

He attempted to pick up his pace, but his body responded by sending a shower of spots blooming across his vision, and an acute stabbing pain into his already tightened chest. With a loud gasp, he placed one hand onto the tiled wall - cool to the touch and reassuring solid - and supported himself for a couple of seconds while the pain passed. Blood seeped from beneath his palm and ran in dark red rivulets down the wall's stark, white surface.

"John? Can you hear me? Where are you?"

Hearing her voice again, John straightened: his bloody palm print made to look sinister and grotesque by the sea of pristine, shining tiles which it was smeared upon. As he started to run he tried to focus on his reason for being here. The answer jumped back at him with a brutal, unflinching honesty.

Betrayal.

Julia.

Jeremiah.

Nenita.

Robert.

Nobody could be trusted. Nobody was who they seemed.

He mentally corrected itself.

Nothing was as it seemed. Every time he thought he had everything figured out, his surroundings seemed to melt away in a sea of unreality, leaving him confused, frustrated and with more questions than he had before. He was persistent though - hell Ruth had joked that this persistance and stubborn refusal to give up was the only reason she had agreed to marry him - and this very persistence was what had led him to this soulless, barren maze deep beneath a city he neither knew nor understood.

This persistence of his had also seen Ruth ripped screaming from the world like she had never existed. Even now, with the sting of betrayal stoking his rage into a blazing inferno and driving him beyond the limits of his normal endurance, her face didn't come easily to his mind's eye, her voice was a distant echo, and her touch was an almost forgotten fantasy. If the pain didn't continue to wrack him and the letter he carried didn't confirm what he half-knew, he felt he might forget her completely.

"John!"

Julia's voice - closer now than before. He couldn't be sure, but was a tiny mote of anger wrestling with the fear and worry in her shout? Determinately he half ran, half staggered down the corridor, rounding the bend ahead of him in such a clumsy, inelegant manner that he almost lost his footing and ended up sprawled across the floor. But he stayed on his feet, and what lay before him caused him to keep up his part-demented gallop. In the far wall stood a door, a simple wooden affair with a shining brass handle, that looked as out of place in this underground world of gleaming white tiles and stark metal fittings as his own bloody handprint on the wall behind him did. He took a step forwards and stopped.

Ahead of him the corridor lights were turning off. One by one, starting with the ones closest to the door, they were abruptly fading into darkness. John willed his body into a mad charge for the door, but as he did so the corridor ahead seemed to lengthen - inperceptly at first, but the more he tried to reach the door, the further it shrank away. John cursed loudly. His feet were hitting the tiles underfoot, he could turn his head to the side and saw he was moving but no matter how fast he ran the door remained tantalizingly of reach.

He sagged visibly and the instant he did so the darkness around him started to deepen. The faint illumination provided by the lights behind him was gone now, and he could barely make out where the door once was. Swiftly and inexorably his entire field of vision was plunged into darkness, to the point where he could not tell if his eyes were opened or closed. His mind swam with an overwhelming sense of vertigo as he fingers desperately fumbled for the knife that hung sheathed from his belt.

"Not again", he thought, "not now when I'm so close."

With a scream born of frustration and fatigue he wrenched the blade from its scabbard and drew it swiftly across his arm. As blood welled from the fearsome cut in his skin and he staggered from the pain that coursed down his nerve endings, John let out a light laugh as the darkness around him vanished. The knife fell from his fingers and clattered onto the floor; the blood from the blade splattering the smooth, white tiles with a galaxy of tiny red stars. John clutched his wounded arm tightly and slumped against the wall.

"Still here", he breathed.

"Freeze!"

The cry from behind came not from Julia, but from one of the five soldiers who were advancing slowly towards him, each of them hunched over a rifle that seemed to be firmly trained on John. He gripped his arm tighter, and slid back along the wall, ignoring the blood dripping from between his fingers. The lead soldier flicked his rifle in John's direction.

"I said freeze!"

From where he stood, John could not make out the man's face. The top and sides of his head were completely covered by a dark, metal helmet and his eyes were concealed behind goggles of darkened glass. His appearance did not sit well with John, and he had difficulty keeping him in focus.

"Sorry. I can't."

To a man the five soldiers fell into a firing stance. He knew it would be futile to run, but he didn't know what options he had left. The door was only a few yards away and there was a chance - a tiny, gossamer-like, sliver of a chance - that he might make it before they opened fire. He tensed to move.

"John!"

He exhaled as Julia pushed her way past the soldiers. Her faced was flushed with exertion, and her normally tidy blonde hair spilled messily down her back. Her chest heaved as she caught her breath, and patches of sweat stained her white vest top. When she saw John her hands went to her mouth in horror.

"Oh hell, John!" she squeaked. "What's happened? What have they done to you?"

She took a step forward and her boot sent the knife John had dropped spinning across the tiles. Eyes wide with fright, she slowly bent to pick it up and held it in front of her face for a few seconds, staring in horrified fascination at the blood that gave the blade a thick, crimson sheen, before turning to John and waving it in his direction. When she spoke her voice was slow and choked with emotion.

"Those wounds? The cuts? You did them to yourself, didn't you?"

Tears welled in her eyes.

"Why?"

John shook his head as if trying to clear it.

"It doesn't matter."

With a force that belied her size, she hurled the knife onto the floor, bending the blade and splattering her trousers with John's blood.

"Of course it fucking matters! Look at you! You're almost dead! You're pale as a ghost - I'm surprised you're still on your feet! What the hell have you done?"

Hot, angry tears poured down her cheeks and with surprising swiftness she raced to where he stood and shook him. The soldiers seemed unsure of what to do and backed off slightly.

"Listen to me", she spat, "Listen to me you stupid bastard. I don't know what you're playing at but you have to come with me. We can save you - I can save you. There's no need for any of this. If you just..."

"I had to know I was real."

His words -almost shouted - cut her off like she had been slapped. He hung his head and laughed to himself - a soft, nasal sound that was choked with emotion and devoid of any mirth.

"I had to know I was real. Can you believe that?"

Julia looked at him, eyes wide, and mouth working soundlessly. She reached out one hand and grabbed his good arm, but he shrugged her off and raised his hand to point down the corridor. Blood dripped slowly from his fingers and spattered his shoes. With another one of his almost-laughs he turned to Julia and the soldiers, his voice weary but determined.

"And now, I need to know what's behind that door."

The soldiers raised their guns.
 

Eber

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Well, my excitement for this AAR is still there, but now I'm perplexed and astonished. Great start! Excellent, just excellent!
 

Cornelius Rex

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Now I'm especially happy to have dropped by the EU forum today :D.
 

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You've certainly got my attention :eek: Looks like a good one, glad to get in on the ground floor!
 

dinofs

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Wow, that was an amazing start! You definitely have my subscription. :D
 

Johan11

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Wait, what?

I'm perplexed, but happy. Happy that there's something new to follow. Something new from Iain WIlson.
 

AllmyJames

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:eek:

What's behind the door? Who are these people? What's this got to do with EU3?

I can't wait to find out! Great start!
 

iain_a_wilson

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Thank you all for your responses - I'm staggered by the amount of attention this has received in such a short period of time. Then again, I'm used to the more sedate waters of CK and Victorialand...

Wow, that was, to say, shocking.
Good - that was the intention ;) Welcome aboard!

Well, my excitement for this AAR is still there, but now I'm perplexed and astonished. Great start! Excellent, just excellent!
Thank you very much. I hope you continue to enjoy what I have planned!

Ooh....ahhhh
Behind the door lies the
MADNESS!!!
Or a EU3 AAR featuring...hmmm a European minor state like Lorraine?
*taps side of nose* You'll have to keep reading!

Now I'm especially happy to have dropped by the EU forum today :D.
Aww! Thanks very much! I'm very happy you dropped by too!

You've certainly got my attention :eek: Looks like a good one, glad to get in on the ground floor!
I'm glad I've got your attention and I'm glad to have you onboard!

its certainly different ... & dramatic
I'm glad it's come across like that. Hopefully I'll resist the urge to put up screen captures with silly comments underneath them ;)

Wow, that was an amazing start! You definitely have my subscription. :D
Thank you very much - I'm happy to have you subscribed!

Wait, what?

I'm perplexed, but happy. Happy that there's something new to follow. Something new from Iain WIlson.
Hold onto that perplexed feeling - it's bound to continue! Great to have you with me!

Yes....perplexed, but an incredible beginning. I'm looking forward to this!
Thank you very much - hopefully you will continue to enjoy the updates to come.

:eek:

What's behind the door? Who are these people? What's this got to do with EU3?

I can't wait to find out! Great start!
Well, stick around and you might find out ;)

Again, thank you all for your comments - I'm really pleased to have you all reading, and hopefully I can keep you hooked (in an non-invasive way of course!).

Updatewise, I will HOPEFULLY have something up by the weekend. Stay tuned!
 

morningSIDEr

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Very tense and gripping stuff. I'm certainly subscribed and eager to find out what is behind the door. Actually considering how dark this first update was, perhaps I don't want to find out what is behind the door!
 

Ashantai

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I love the tension! Very interested to see more!
 

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  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
What he said ^
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