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Chairmen of the Border

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Stories & Tales' started by Jeremy 3.0, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. Jeremy 3.0

    Jeremy 3.0 Chieftain

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    The orange and blue lines seemed to push against one another, arguing for position on the ground between the two scouts.

    “I can’t believe I never noticed these before,” Gunter said, watching the lines in fascination.

    “You really have to be looking for them,” Niles said. “They’re a little easier to see at night. But not much.”

    “And you say they mark the border between Germany and Britain?”

    “Yes. See how you’re standing in your territory and I’m in mine?”

    Gunter shook his head. “I don’t need silly little lines to know when I’m standing in Germany.”

    “Oh?” Niles said, looking up.

    “Of course not. I can tell just by breathing the air. It’s cleaner here. And fresher.”

    “Fresher?” Niles said from three feet away.

    “Naturally. And the land here is better, too.” Gunter pointed to a group of German Musketmen gathered around a raised area behind him. “There’s proof of my point; saltpeter – the only such source on the entire continent.”

    “How do you know that?”

    “Hello? I’m a scout.”

    “Ah. Right.”

    Gunter crossed his arms. “I suppose you could try taking it from us if we were at war.”

    “Which we’re not,” Niles said.

    “No, not at present,” Gunter said with a trace of disappointment. “But if we were, I’d point out the weapons our men over there carry.”

    “Beyond British technology, that’s for sure,” Niles said.

    “And while I was at it I’d direct your attention to distant Hamburg behind me.”

    “I can see it over there.”

    “And the walls that circle the entire city?” Gunter asked.

    “Very thick,” Niles said. “Impenetrable, perhaps.”

    “To your knights and swordsmen? Absolutely!”

    “Of course Hamburg sits on the ocean…” Niles began.

    “We invite your little ships to try it,” Gunter said. “You’ll find the coastal fortress most unwelcome.”

    “You’ve thought of everything.”

    “We’re not idiots. We know you’ve been very active in your itty-bitty town over there. We fully expect an assault on our city within weeks. Perhaps sooner.”

    “I suppose that will put a damper on our little talks then,” Niles said.

    Gunter shrugged. “We can always take them up again after the war. I imagine the German city of London will have plenty of places for us to meet.”

    Niles nodded. “I probably shouldn’t tell you this but I suppose you’ll find out soon enough.”

    “What’s that?” Gunter asked warily.

    “We aren’t recruiting soldiers here.”

    “Of course you aren’t.”

    “We’re not.”

    “Fine,” Gunter said. “What are you doing then?”

    “Building a cathedral,” Niles said.

    “What? Way out here? Why?”

    He stopped as a curious buzzing sensation filled his body. Bright orange and blue lights crossed his vision. He looked down at the borderlines just in time to see them rushing past him, past the Musketmen, and onward toward Hamburg.

    “That’s why,” Niles said, smiling. “Now, on your way back, would you mind telling your men to step away from our saltpeter?”
     
  2. General Starkey

    General Starkey Chieftain

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    Are you going to continue this as a story?
    Because it sounds very promising.
     
  3. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Keep writing, I'll read any story as long as the author posts often enough. I really like how you've written this first bit, I've never read anything like it before.
     
  4. Yellowbelly

    Yellowbelly Chieftain

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    Jeremy 3.0

    Thank you for a delightful - and thoughtful - piece. It stands on its own as a vignette...but we're CivFanatics and we'd LOVE to know more about the game, its past and its future.
     
  5. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Ranger99's Going to NAVY?

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    please keep writing.

    it shows promise and a new war is dawning on the Germans and English
     
  6. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Battle of Britain! Woot Woot!
     
  7. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    :lol: Quite nice, really. Like the humor.
     
  8. soul_warrior

    soul_warrior Termite!

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  9. Jeremy 3.0

    Jeremy 3.0 Chieftain

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    Thank you for the comments. I had originally intended for the above to be all there was. But given that I just started a vacation…


    Nelson looked up from his crouched position and removed his wire frame glasses.

    “I must again protest my involvement here,” he said to Captain Stilton, who was standing nearby along with a squad of English musketmen. “I am not a geologist and have absolutely no skills that will be of any use here whatsoever.”

    “Have you ever taken a science class in your life?” Stilton asked, lighting a pipe.

    “Of course I have.”

    “Then you’re the best qualified man we’ve got. This isn’t exactly London out here.”

    “I have a doctorate in botany!”

    “Plants grow in the ground. That’s close enough for me.”

    Nelson replaced his glasses and, shaking his head, returned his attention to the strange material beneath him.

    “It appears to be a crust of some material intermixed with the sod and underlying strata.” He looked up again. “You say you make firearms with this?”

    “Just the propellant for the rounds. Without it a musket’s just a fancy club.”

    “Which is officially not the case,” one of the musketmen chimed in quickly. Stilton shot him a sharp glare. The musket project had not gone as smoothly as he would have liked.

    “I see,” Nelson continued. “Wouldn’t you think the person making the propellant would be a better source of questions than myself?”

    “That’s classified,” Stilton said, adding to himself that when he caught the double crossing German who had helped them with the gunpowder formula, what came next would also be classified.

    Nelson pried a chunk of the material from the ground and held it to the light. “Very odd texture here. It’s almost…stringy.”

    “Stringy? Do rocks get stringy?”

    “Some do, I think. A lot of plants can, of course.” Nelson snapped the piece in two and peered over his glasses.

    “Good lord,” he said. “Do you know what this is?”



    “Sauerkraut?”

    “Damn right,” Ludwig said “Six tons of it. Had the entire kitchen staff working double shifts for days.”

    Gunter watched from the top of Hamburg’s fortified walls as the English scurried across the mound of dried kraut.

    “But you had musketmen guarding the mound.”

    “Apple on the strudel,” Ludwig said. “I even managed to fool you.”

    Gunter shook his head. “I guess that’s why you’re the Spymaster.”

    “Assistant Spymaster,” Ludwig said.

    “Right. So there was never any saltpeter?” Gunter asked.

    “Well,” Ludwig said, glancing around. “I wouldn’t say that, exactly.”

    “Oh, spill it,” Gunter said.

    “Look, it’s easy,” Ludwig said. “Say you’ve got the opportunity to control the sole source of saltpeter on the entire continent. The only thing to do is wall it up in a fortified enclosure.”

    Gunter looked at him in confusion. “But the only fortified enclosure around here is…right here in Hamburg.”

    “Of course,” Ludwig said, grinning. “Do you think we built the city in a desert for our health?”
     
  10. CoolioVonHoolio

    CoolioVonHoolio Quit WoW, back to Civ.

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    :lol: HA! OWNED!
     
  11. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Awesome chapter. I really like how you write this story. Keep it up!
     
  12. Jeremy 3.0

    Jeremy 3.0 Chieftain

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    “And lo did the mighty British Empire send its fleet through the spray of the whitecaps, coursing o’er the waves and setting the hearts of their enemies to wail and tremble.”

    “You missed your calling, you know that?”

    “As a poet?”

    “As a comedian.”

    The two German soldiers stood at their station at the Hamburg coastal fortress and watched three tiny British ships struggle to row out of the port of Bristol. All three seemed to be in immediate danger of succumbing to the waves.

    “Good thing they picked a sunny day or they’d never make it fifty meters,” said Klaus. “Speaking of which…I make the lead craft at just over 1500 meters. Think I could pop him from this far?”

    “Why waste a good shell?” Jurgen asked. “If you wait until they get a little closer I’m sure a small rock would sink any one of them.”

    “Planning an international incident, are we?”

    The two spun around as a completely non-descript man in unmemorable attire smiled back at them.

    “Just engaging in some patriotic banter, Spymaster,” Klaus said.

    “Assistant Spymaster,” Ludwig said.

    “Of course.”

    “This appears to be a good time to remind everyone that we are not, in fact, at war with the English,” Ludwig said. “Despite what the rabble-rousers over in Bristol might want.”

    “Oh yeah, we heard about that,” Jurgen said. “They’re calling it ‘Krautgate.’“

    “Pure unadulterated propaganda,” Ludwig said. “As long as the British sail outside our border, they are to be left alone. Am I understood?”

    “Of course!” Jurgen said.

    “Quick question,” Klaus added, raising his hand.

    Ludwig sighed. “It’s the blue line in the water. I know it’s hard to see. It’s a little easier at night.”

    “Really?”

    “Not much.”



    Niles did not want throw up. He hated throwing up. Why, oh why, had he agreed to this mission?

    “This better not be another pile of kraut,” he shouted over the roar of the sea. “We’ve been eating nothing but bratwurst and schnitzel in Bristol for weeks.”

    “We got the map from a reliable source,” Captain Stilton shouted back “A pack of crazy Babylonians who got blown way off course in a storm.”

    “I never heard of them,” Niles said.

    “They live up north. Mostly stick to themselves.

    “They can be crazy as they want to be as long as the map is true.”

    “I can’t believe the Germans would bother setting up another fake resource this far out,” Stilton said. “Quite frankly, I can’t believe there’s enough cabbage on the planet to do it again.”

    Niles held onto the ship’s railing and tried very hard not to think about cabbage, or bratwurst, or the roll and pitch of the ocean. And somewhere, through the glint of the light off the ocean, he saw something forming on the horizon.

    “Land!” he shouted. “Land ho!”

    “We know that,” Stilton said, tapping him on the shoulder. “We’ve got a map. Remember?”
     
  13. Jeremy 3.0

    Jeremy 3.0 Chieftain

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    The past can reveal much...

    In 4000 B.C. when the world was not in the least bit young but seemed so for the handful of primitives making up the human race, so many things seemed important then that today, perhaps, might have been given a pass.

    “What do you call that?” Gerrmahn warrior Klaut asked, sitting down on a heap of animal skins.

    “What, this?” said Nilger, the Englander. “We call it fire.”

    “You can’t call it ‘fire,’ ” Klaut said. “In Gerrmhan, ‘fire’ is a slang term for a very specific part of the male anatomy.”

    He rubbed his hands in front of the flames. “Besides, you don’t get to name it anyway. We’re the ones who invented it.”

    “Are you out of your head?” Nilger said. “We’re the ones who found fire in the pile of tall weeds that fell down after the storm.”

    “You mean trees?” Klaut said. “You can’t even come up with a separate name for trees but you get to name fire? Whatever.”

    “Don’t go there,” said Nilger, picking a stray hornet from his beard. “We haven’t forgotten that you stole the wheel from us.”

    “Stole the…? Was your birth overly complex? The wheel is only the most simple machine ever devised!”

    “Yeah? If that’s so, what shape is it?”

    Klaut rocked on his haunches and watched the dancing flames.

    “You know,” he said. “When I tell the others what you’re saying, they are so going to kick your ass.”
     
  14. Jeremy 3.0

    Jeremy 3.0 Chieftain

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    Assistant Spymaster Ludwig sat at a desk covered in maps in the Hamburg coastal fortress. He was talking to himself.

    “Nothing north but more desert,” he said. “Past that is mountains and crazy Babylonians. No way they can get around the cape in those little boats.”

    He snapped his fingers at Klaus, who was oiling the coastal guns and trying hard to blend into the background.

    “Has there been a report of the English building a lighthouse?” Ludwig said. Klaus peered at the guns for help.

    “A lighthouse? Not that I’m aware of, sir. Certainly not in that little town they built over there. We’d certainly notice that.”

    “Absolutely,” Jurgen agreed. “Once they built that cathedral it looks like all they’ve done is build boats and recruit workers.”

    “Workers?” Ludwig said. “They’ve been building workers?”

    “To connect themselves to the other English cities,” Klaus said. “They stopped building a road toward the saltpeter once the realized it was sauerkraut. Good idea, by the way.”

    “Speaking of which, is that ever going to be on the commissary menu again?” Jurgen asked.

    “Don’t hold your breath,” said Ludwig. “So all of the workers are building roads toward the main English empire?”

    “I guess,” said Klaus. “Although it seems that they recruited a whole lot more workers than what we see working outside.”

    “We wondered if maybe some of them was waiting for someone to invent sunblock,” Jurgen added.

    “And one of the workers didn’t look like the others,” Klaus said. “Like maybe he was more important than the rest.”

    “Now there you go again with stereotypes,” Jurgen said. “How are we rise above our base instincts when you insist on categorizing people and not judging them as individuals?

    “Wait a minute,” Ludwig said, jumping up. “Was this worker wearing a hat?”

    “Yeah, I think so,” Klaus said. “Musta worked their way around that whole sunblock problem.”

    “A settler!” Ludwig shouted. “They’re trying to build another city!”

    “Oooh, good idea!” Klaus said.

    “How’s that?” Ludwig said.

    “I mean, they’ve got to be stopped!” Klaus said.

    “Way to go,” said Jurgen.

    “I’m just not very political,” said Klaus.

    “That’s because you’re too busy labeling people.”

    There was a series of raps at the iron doors leading back to the main part of the city. Ludwig listened for the pattern to end before nodding at Klaus to open them.

    “Guess I got the signal right?” Gunter asked as he walked inside.

    “I have no idea,” Ludwig said. “But I figured only the real you would spend the whole five minutes working out the secret knock.”

    “What can I say? I’m a professional.”

    “And that’s going to come in handy,” Ludwig said, returning to the maps. “I’ve got a good idea that the Brits are looking to build another city out here. The question is, where?”

    “Nowhere close,” Gunter said, removing his coat. “Not unless they’ve figured out how to build on top of a mountain or in someone else’s territory.”

    Ludwig pointed to a map. “What about west of the mainland? These maps just show open ocean but is there possibly something else out there? A barrier reef or maybe an island?”

    Gunter leaned over to look at the map. “Actually, that’s a good question,” he said.

    “Pardon me?” Ludwig said, looking up.

    “No one said anything about boat travel,” Gunter said. “I scouted out the entire mainland by myself, you know.”

    “So what’s out here?” Ludwig asked, pointing a finger toward the western seas.
    “Hell if I know,” Gunter said. “I’ve never been on a boat in my life.”

    Klaus cupped a hand and whispered to Jurgen.

    “Even I know that’s a wrong answer.”

    “Someone remind me to take a strong look at your contract when this is all done,” Ludwig said. “In the meantime, the Brits have a healthy head start and they know where they’re going. This is going to be close.”

    “Is this a good time to remind everyone that we are not, in fact, at war with the English?” Gunter asked.

    “Nothing to worry about,” Ludwig said. “There’s a very specific way around that.”
     
  15. Jeremy 3.0

    Jeremy 3.0 Chieftain

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    How do I get this forum to cough up my password? I'm going to need it on vacation.
     
  16. General Starkey

    General Starkey Chieftain

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    Great story!!
    Im not sure about getting your password though, sorry.
    General Starkey :king:
     
  17. Yellowbelly

    Yellowbelly Chieftain

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    Jeremy 3.0

    Ask Thunderfall. So we can have more installments...please?
     
  18. Darwin420

    Darwin420 Darwin Plays Video Games

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    :goodjob: Thumbs up to you, Jeremy 3.0! This is one of the most entertaining stories I've read on here!
     
  19. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Once again, nice work. You've looked in User CP right?
     
  20. North King

    North King blech

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    Wow, nice story. :lol:
     

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