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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Hardstuff

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Mexico..?

Mexico!

MEXICO?!?

And when, my good sir, are you going to Ireland? ;)
 

Capibara

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Hardstuff said:
Mexico..?

Mexico!

MEXICO?!?

And when, my good sir, are you going to Ireland? ;)
Don't mess with Mexico :p
 

canonized

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Hardstuff: Haha I'll definitely put it on the agenda , I promise !

Capibara: XD XD We'll get to see just how cool this Mexican adventure is soon enough !
 

comagoosie

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I do beleive someone asked me to paint a cardinal a while back. Well here it is.




*scroll down*






It is a cardinal with orange hair and a broken cross :D
 

canonized

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comagoosie said:
I do beleive someone asked me to paint a cardinal a while back. Well here it is.




*scroll down*






It is a cardinal with orange hair and a broken cross :D

Haha , wow . I .. I'm just at a loss for words . Keep up the good work ? ROFL Thank you really , I'm flattered !

Working on the update as we speak .
 

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chapter82tile.gif


Chapter LXXXII: Close Your Eyes​

2 January 1610

Herr Rot held fast against the leather straps that connected his wrists to the hooks biting into the bark of the hull. It had been two hours already but the masked one betrayed no movement and no sound. Even the calculated motions of his breath were stifled enough by the mask that kept the spray of water so near to him from invading his mouth and nose.

The water sloshed underneath him with each rise and dip of the vessel and gave the ship the timing for its nautical heart. Herr Rot came to appreciate, in malicious meditation, the crudeness of that which he now clung to. When the boat that brought him there stealthed close enough for him to grapple onto the side of the galleon, the massive wooden construction drifted to its starboard side just enough to give his metal transportation a loving tap. He was lucky he had leapt and hooked his devices into the side of the ship before his own vessel hid under the safe cover of the waves.

Unfortunately, the unruly accident proved to add more complications to the simple plan. Tilting his head upward, he faced it in the direction of the barely audible conversation.

“Aren’t you feeling tired yet?” was the boy’s voice that Herr Rot could hear. He asked the same thing in his mind.

“Of course!” a girls’ voice replied shortly afterward. The alacrity forced a hot breath through Herr Rot’s nose with no little irritation. “But getting to go on this mission has kept me up these past few nights anyway.”

“Heh,” was the half hearted laugh by the young man, “I’d rather they had send me the other way… back to Jerusalem where General Schenkhuizen could probably use my help right about now.”

“I’m sure General Grubby will be fine!” the girl exclaimed—her shrill voice after these two hours of conversation began to grate more on Herr Rot’s ears than the slow grind of the waves underneath.

“Grubby?” the boy asked curiously, “How did you get to be so familiar with the General?”

“Why, I’ve met him of course!” there was a hint of taunting laughter in her vocalization, “and I found out all about him on his trip from Madrid to Jerusalem.”

“Well lucky you,” the boy said with a hint of jealousy that even Herr Rot could pick up. “Back to the lessons then?” there was a yawn inserted in there somewhere.

“I think you’ve had enough lessons tonight,” the girl answered, “you should probably get down below and get some sleep.”

There was a short pause before he heard the boy say, “I’d rather make myself useful for now.”

“You’re already falling asleep!”

“I can hold out. After all, you stayed up for my shift so I’ll keep you company too.” there was another short pause. “Thank you for tutoring me.” Herr Rot could hear the words coming out more deliberately.

“I’m glad I could help,” was the reply. Its tone was the same as when the two had begun talking.

Again, both were quiet and the one against the hull of the ship could feel a step or two of movement vibrating down the wood. “What was that for?” was the quieter, slower question by the boy after the pause. There was a hint of surprise in the voice.

“Just a reward for being a gentleman,” a giggly response was quietly said in return.

Herr Rot heard footsteps lead away from his side of the boat followed by another set carefully following behind. It was his chance. Uncoupling hook over hook, he slowly made his way sideways towards the rear of the ship. A window pane presented itself and the careful spider of a man leaned just enough to indulge his left eye with the contents of the room within.

Snoring loud enough to be heard through the glass, an aged figure slumbered disquietly on an officer’s bed. Around the round body, the spy espied a secured oil lamp bolted to the table next to the bed. The light from the lamp refracted against a glass of wine half filled with red liquid while heavy books buttressed the glass on three sides—a clever way to keep it from tilting from the motions of the boat. A small pile of glimmering shards was cordoned off in one corner of the room—probably a previous glass that had been rudely disturbed during the short bump the two vessels had earlier.

For a moment, Herr Rot reached into a pocket on his shirt and gripping something metallic within. He relaxed his touch, however. It was an instinctual move to go for that piece, but he knew that such a loud contraption would not be best here—lest he should be stranded in the middle of the ocean after the rest of these Spaniards were alarmed. No, instead he reached for his tools and began to operate the window quietly. It was then that footsteps at the top of the castle drew near freezing him once more against the hall of the ship.

“So does your uncle always drink before bed?” was the familiar male voice.

“You could tell?” was the female accompaniment.

“I could smell the Burgundy even as he gave orders. It doesn’t seem like he drinks it as casually as the rest of us might.”

A pause and Herr Rot could hear the creak of someone leaning against the rear railing of the ship. “My uncle is no drunkard by any means,” the girl began to explain, “but he’s been cultivating wine in California… a kind of retirement project for him.”

“Wine in California?...” there was a stifled laugh from the young man. “Somehow I have a skeptical take on any wine outside of the Continent.”

“It has to be good,” the girl defended, “he drinks a cup of it throughout the night. He says he has a terrible time sleeping so he drinks a little every time he gets woken up.”

Herr Rot did not have to hear any more. His peering eye returned to that bottle and glass. Indeed, a loud bang would be inappropriate here. Thus, he would need to resort to his specialty—the red powder contained in his rear pocket. He was not called Herr Rot for no reason… But for now, he’ll wait once more for the clueless couple upstairs to move away.

---​

Willem could barely keep his eyes open but somehow a glimmer of a yellow dress hiding in the misty dimness of the Atlantic night forced his eyes to savour consciousness a bit more. “I suppose I’ll just have to try it sometime,” he conceded while being barely able to keep his upper body upright though both arms were like rigid columns rooted on the railing. Aside from the speck of white and yellow lace from the corner of his eye, there was nothing but the deep blue of the wine-dark sea.

“Was this what you wanted to do?” was the even toned question from Madeleine. “I mean,” she leaned against the edge as she talked to get a better look at Willem’s tired face, “do you come from a military family?”

Willem had not the breath left to push through his lips. He merely shook his head. Heavy eyes fell downward to gaze upon the enveloping waves cresting all the way to the horizon. As his body compressed against the wood of the ship, it forced air out of his lungs and he manipulated it as best he could. “Axel’s a small town,” he sighed out, “and my father worked as a tradesman there for all of his life. When the general conscription came, he managed to pull a few favours and get me into the officer’s academy.

Madeleine narrowed her eyes curiously as she watched Willem’s tired face articulate his story. It was not common for even the richest of merchants to be officers in the army unless they had turned into priests and became chaplains. It was usually the aristocracy that dominated the ranks of the leadership. “You owe your father much for getting you such a prestigious position.”

Willem turned his head towards her and it was as if the tiredness fell from his face and washed into the water below. There was a strength in his expression that it need not be said that he knew full well the responsibility he kept. It was that solidity that now kept him awake. After a moment, a smile broke on Willem’s face. “What is it?” Madeleine quickly asked but unable to resist the infectious smile.

“Perhaps I should have told you I was a commoner before you gave me that kiss?”

“You have the nerve!” Madeleine laughed while raising her voice. She tried to hide a flush on her face in the darkness of the night. “It mattered not a single bit to me. I’m a California girl, after all. We’re not as high strung as the girls in the courts of Madrid.”

“Prove it.”

“Excuse me?” Madeleine rolled her head at the smirking yet confident look of that commoner-soldier.

“Give me another one,” was the simple challenge.

“I underestimated you, Senor Van Axel,” she recited comically, “you’re more daring than I thought.”

“That’s how we merchant commoners think,” he returned with a proud smirk pushing his lips to one side, “we have no other way to get ahead in life.”

There was a hesitant pause and Madeleine could feel her face burning up again. She took a sudden step towards him that surprised even her as much as it did him. Her request was quiet but it was just as quick: “close your eyes.”

---​

“Kapitän, Permission to come up?”

“Make it so, Leutnant.”

The entire control room was a-buzz with movement and procedure. “Stand by main vents.” “Shut out main engines!” “All hands forward!” “Blow negative tank.” “Stern planes ease to—”

“Must you constantly run these exercises, Kapitän Fritz?” a more calculating voice asked in the middle of the excitement.

“The crew must always be in readiness, Herr Gehirn, always.” was the stout response from the man across the table of sea charts plotting their progress across the Atlantic.

“The Type IX is an excellent machine,” the man replied to the captain, “and after sinking thirty nine Spanish ships, I don’t think a pitiful galleon will pose much of a threat to us.”

The Captain merely grunted as he returned to his duties. “I expect you to fulfill your responsibilities, Herr Gehirn, and I shall take care of mine. Your man better finish his job.”

“Herr Rot is an efficient operative,” was the simplistic and almost arrogant reply, “and if he cannot neutralize the de Fronsac man, Herr Veilchen or Herr Rosa here will take care of him. Without de Fronsac, they will still continue with their mission and lead us to the Timepiece, but without the nuisance of that Frenchman to contend with. He already eluded us once in Mecca; he won’t do it again.”

The captain of the boat pretended not to pay any attention to the man or his two cloaked attendants on either side of him. What idiotic names, the captain thought to himself. The different cloaks each was wearing also added to the feeling that a circus was camping out inside of his boat. “Level us out, chief,” he called out and left the special operatives to deal with their own business.

Herr Gehirn dismissed his look from the captain and looked down at the charts once again. He noticed the marks indicating the last location of the galleon where they had deposited one of his agents. The other two cloaked men approached the table as well. “You should have let me go,” Herr Veilchen complained from behind his mask, “it’s certainly better than being cramped in here for weeks.”

“It’s not like you to complain,” Herr Gehirn responded absently while tracing an ebony gloved finger across the map underneath him.

“Nonetheless,” Herr Rosa asked, “What are we going to do tonight, Herr Gehirn?”

The man in the middle pulled forward other charts and maps from the side of the table. The translucent papers were not just locations of water formations and ports but also land maps with dots scattered across each of them spreading from Madrid to Manchuria and back again through a network in the Americas. Herr Gehirn grinned at the various points on the maps and handed pens to both of his accomplices. “The same thing we do every night, Herr Rosa…; try to take over the world.”

interlude2.gif


Interlude​

“Here,” Professor Cole indicated on the map laid out for him on the large center table. Dots colonized various points on the cartography and indicated several lines coming from Loreint in the German Province to a point somewhere in the Atlantic. “This was the path we last assumed U-107 took before it disappeared and here,” he pointed now to a different point on the large world map, “is where we found the remains—or at least where the Enemy during the Great War had found the remains about the same time U-107 was on its Sixteenth Patrol… having both virtually exist at the same time…”

“And how much of the remains do we still have? Can we discern how it went down?” the Cardinal asked standing next to the professor.

“I’m afraid we can’t,” the man replied. “Being that old it could have been anything from intentionally scuttling the ship to something sinking it… or simply if they had left it underwater long enough for it to not be discovered until now… we’re not sure. What I don’t understand is, Your Eminence, is why these things—”

“You will be briefed in due time, Dr. Cole. You’ve certainly done enough to warrant our trust with you in this matter.” The towering figure of the Cardinal exuded a calming comfort to the curious scholar. “Do you know anything about the Dead Sea Scrolls, Professor?”

The question promoted Professor Cole’s inquisitive look into one of sheer bewilderment. His corpulent frame visibly shook at the idea. “Not much, Your Eminence, although it is widely talked about amongst many of us…”

The Cardinal nodded before shifting back away from the center of the table to the sanctuary of the shadowy seat at the very end. “One of our operatives was able to retrieve the extant copies that we had in hiding in a converted bunker in Japan. I believe that in order for you to fully understand what it is we’re asking of you, we must tell you the full history of this world.”

“‘This… world’… Your Eminence?”

“I’m afraid we don’t have too much time to spare on long explanations, Professor… but for now, we’ll send an expedition to see if we can dig up anything we have not yet found at the dump site. Where did you say the remains were last discovered?”

Professor Cole had to look at the map frantically once again with his pinch nose glasses focusing intense eyes onto the paper. “U-107’s remains were discovered a few kilometers off the harbour of Vera Cruz.”

Chapter LXXXIII: Vera Cruz (coming soon)
 
Last edited:

Capibara

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Very interesting, so the Germans found a way to time-travel, let's see how our heroes can deal with and how the hell did Herr Rot got in the ship? Nice to know more about Willem.

Great reference about Pinky and the Brain :p
Can't wait for the next update
 
Last edited:

unmerged(62343)

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“The same thing we do every night, Herr Rosa…; try to take over the world.”

I going nuts trying to figure out what show this line came from. Nice update. Love Herr Rot's annoyance with Willem and Madelaine over there nattering inane chatter. So, finally, someone is talking about "This World". Alternate realities...that's what I'm talking about. You ever read Simon Hawke's "Timewars" series?
 

ForzaA

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grayghost said:
I going nuts trying to figure out what show this line came from. Nice update. Love Herr Rot's annoyance with Willem and Madelaine over there nattering inane chatter. So, finally, someone is talking about "This World". Alternate realities...that's what I'm talking about. You ever read Simon Hawke's "Timewars" series?

here(as capibara mentioned)..And let's just say Rosa happens to be the German word for a certain colour.... :rofl:

Love the update :)
 

Woody Man

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Ooo getting interesting, good to see the Germans on top form haha!

And good old Van Axel, some good lines! :D
 

Murmurandus

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Mmm, time to watch Das Boot again... ;) :D
 

Avernite

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It is true what those Germans say, this Frenchman is a nuisance. How dares he snore so loudly when Willem and Madeleine are in such an important conversation! :p

I like Willem, I think ;)
 

unmerged(61296)

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Grüss Gott, German plotters and a time-traveling device ?

In true AAR French spirit, let me say that I, for one, welcome my Uchronical German overlords.... ;)

And bring back de Fronsac, I want French nuisance to abound ! By God, we haven't perfected that to an art for centuries so some Teutonic oaf can shrug if off. We also copyrighted the Gallic shrug, Rot, you fool !
 

canonized

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Capibara: That was the reason of the 'love bump' . The U-boat came onto the side of the ship and Herr Rott got on via the hooks.

grayghost: haha never heard of it . Though I think others have already tried to mention it to me I'm not entirely sure.

ForzaA: let's not forget to mention what Gehirn means XD

English Patriot: ROFL thank you sir , yes those lines were well practiced hahaha

Mettermrck: a major problem for a world without such things yet ! We'll have to see what happens - wink -

Murmurandus: Haha , I used some of the script to help me with the scene . XD

Avernite: Of course you like Willem , he's from Zeeland ! XD

Atlantic Friend: ROFL . Well I'm sure we'll preserve our snail eating genius a bit more . At least maybe until the next update . We'll have to see . So many poisonings going on !

Oh and I'm surprised no one has caught on to the significance of U-107 yet . General_BT and I were busy all last night finding her .
 

canonized

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Uh oh ...

slightly disturbing news ladies and gentlemen .

http://www.mymym.com/en/news/11976.html

Looks like General Grubby's 4k has disbanded and now he's joined with Meet Your Makers

Hmm ... that means that no longer will General Grubby be flying the flag with four crowns ...

and he has gone to "meet your makers" and his team mate is Lucifer . does this mean that General Schenkhuizen should die ? Hmm .. ! I didn't expect this to happen at all .

Any advice ?
 

Rensslaer

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Warcraft players have a fan base now??? <<blinks>>

And I was amazed when I found I could sell my Dragonrealms Gleaming Silver-White Plate Armor for $300!!! :D

What a world!

Rensslaer
 

General_BT

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canonized said:
Oh and I'm surprised no one has caught on to the significance of U-107 yet . General_BT and I were busy all last night finding her .

*grumbles about looking through U-boat combat records, until he remembers he's a dork and had a fun time doing it* :)
 

canonized

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rensslaer: oh yeah , it's been around for a very long time . the WC3 scene hosts huge tournaments with big screens and fireworks and thousands of fans in a stadium watching .

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2PooY3sAGaQ there's a video about Grubby and you can just see the fans mobbing him .

General_BT: Hey , you were the expert ! Couldn't help but recognize your genius XD
 

ColossusCrusher

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Ohmigod! Time-travelling Nazis!
What's next, Skorzeny in Madrid? :D