1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Still Waters

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by CivOasis, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki
    Still Waters
     
  2. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki
    Resources and Links

    Background, Google Docs version
    OOC/Sign-ups/Questions/Discussion thread - background across first 5 posts
    Additional information (IC and OOC) on government structure and elections
    Current political overview

    Player Character Profiles

    Jason Ly - thomas.berubeg
    Srinivasa Anand - Robert Can't additional background
    Kuning bin Sari - NinjaCow64
    William Siu-Kei - arya126
    Yu Song - west india man
    Lianto Jenguang - Seon additional background
    Kalpana Reddy - SouthernKing
    Bei Lin Huang - <nuke>
    Méi Lín - Gurra09
    Henry Lang - Double A

    Cycles

    Cycle 1 - First Democratic Elections - February 8-March 26, 2016
    -Part 1 (News Reports)
    -Part 2
    -Part 3 (Player Character Plotlines)

    Cycle 2 - Election Aftermath; Mahagni First Attacks - March 28-June 18, 2016
    -Part 1 (News Reports)
    -Part 2
    -Part 3 (Player Character Plotlines)

    Everything after this point is in-universe. Please refer to the OOC thread for any questions, discussion, or other out-of-universe commentary. If you are just joining, please put your sign-ups there, as well.
     
  3. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki
    First Cycle - February 8 - March 26, 2016

    November 12, 2015
    Tiòngan, Hokoan


    Reports out of Hokoan today indicate that a surprise compromise has been reached between leaders of Hokoan's military-backed government and the civilian opposition, with a new constitution set to go in effect next month and elections slated for late March.

    Hokoan, a small but wealthy city-state in the southeastern Straits of Mallaca, has been ruled by military-approved politicians since a coup in 1983. Initially popular, by the early 2000s the government began seeing significant protests for a democratic process. By 2005, the now-exiled David Chua became the face of the self-proclaimed New Democratic Alliance, an underground political party pursuing a nativist and pro-democratic agenda. The organization led a series of often-violent protests throughout the remainder of the decade before David was exiled from the country. By late 2013, his sister, Olivia, had taken over as the face of the opposition, and began pursuing a more tolerant and peaceful message.

    Those past few years appear to have made all the difference, as Olivia Chua emerged from Parliament today with Hokoan Prime Minister Kuang Kah Sye to announce the new constitution and upcoming elections. While the military is expected to retain significant powers under the new ruling, and Chua herself is barred from office by a native-birth clause - a likely intentional irony, given her popularity and her brother's nativist rhetoric - the now-official New Democratic Alliance might be able to achieve the lead of a coalition government if they are willing to make some concessions on the party's more nationalist fringes.

    Despite this optimistic rhetoric from both sides, many have concerns about the viability and freedom of the upcoming elections. Both the government and opposition have often sought to suppress the predominantly-Muslim Malays and several smaller minorities from voting through labyrinthian registration laws, and the enormous guest worker and foreign resident populations - frequently lobbing allegations of human rights violations - are cut out entirely from the political process. On top of this, Mahagni, the second-largest island in the chain - and one which is predominantly Tamil, rather than Chinese or Malay - has long dealt with a strong secessionist sentiment, one which may come to the forefront of the electoral process with the now-legalized Mahagni First movement seeking parliamentary seats and the island's own S. Jayanti - currently Minister of Defence - viewed as a likely military candidate for Prime Minister.

    For now, optimism runs high on the islands. Foreign leaders and residents alike view the change as a positive step forwards, and British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated the Hokoan Ambassador and other leading officials in London today. All anyone can do at this point is wait and hope for the best.

    Daniel Ke
    Reporter, BBC Asia


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    December 6, 2016
    Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; District


    Concerns in Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; continue to run high this evening as yet another tourist has disappeared while visiting the region. American Samantha Morris, 21, was on a hiking trip with friends from the University of Tennessee when she disappeared Tuesday evening. Investigators tonight continue to have no leads, though this makes the sixth foreigner to go missing since October. Authorities are discouraging speculations that the attacks are connected, highlighting the recent spike of theft in the region as a potential corollary instead. Those with information are urged to contact district police at the following number....

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    January 14, 2016
    Achalakot District


    Officials announced today that they would not pursue criminal charges against members of the Mahagni First movement arrested during a secessionist protest last Friday. The protestors were detained around 14:30 on the 8th after they began throwing rocks against district government offices, causing thousands of dollars worth of damages. No injuries were reported. The move - already receiving criticism from Parliament and taxpayers - comes in the wake of efforts by authorities across the island to curb secessionist tendencies by reaching out to more moderate regionalists instead. When asked about the decision, Achalakot District police chief A. Ramaiah stated police were trying to avoid "making martyrs of terrorists," rhetoric likely to be found inflammatory by protestors and legislators alike.

    Mahagni First - declared as a political party following the introduction of the new constitution last month - pursues an agenda ranging from greater autonomy to outright secession from Hokoan. Citing factors such as the low ratio of districts to population on the island, and the selection of many ethnic Chinese MPs from Mahagni districts over the Tamil majorities, the party has attempted to suppress more violent rhetoric and protests of late in hopes of securing MPs across the island's districts in the upcoming elections. To do this, they will need to compete with both NDA and pro-military candidates, though party leaders remain optimistic about their odds of success.

    Sarah Cho,
    Reporter, Achalakot Daily


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    February 3, 2016
    Tiòngan, Hokoan


    Hokoan Minister of Science, Dr. James Tan, deflected questions about government and foreign research on the island of Háisai again today. The questioning came during a press conference regarding recent budget expenditures of Dr. Tan's Ministry, which has steadily approved more classified projects and received substantially larger budget allocations since he took office in 2011. Tan - a bioengineer - has pursued an aggressive expansion of research programmes across the country, often seeking larger budget allocations in exchange for greenlighting classified projects for the Ministries of Defence and Intelligence. The island of Háisai - already a burgeoning research centre at the time of his inauguration - has since become a cryptic symbol of his practices, with substantial speculation as to the work carried out in the more remote districts of the region reaching international observers. Despite all of this curiosity, the vast majority of the island remains heavily restricted, with few outside of the researchers themselves allowed past the southern settlements of Sh&#275;ng&#462;ng and Háisai.

    Dr. Tan himself remains highly popular and influential in Hokoan politics, with his focus on domestic education and international cooperation - and his extremely impressive results in bringing foreign research funds to the economy - making him all but guaranteed to retain his position under either an NDA or a pro-government administration. Increasingly, his friendly demeanor and clear personal upper hand in the Cabinet has made many civilians view him as a sort of kingmaker in the upcoming election cycle, with senior officials on both sides now seeking his support to swing the tide in their favor. Thus far, Tan has issued no commentary either way in support of either potential regime.

    Daniel Ke
    Reporter, BBC Asia


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    February 7, 2016
    London, United Kingom


    David Chua, exiled (former) opposition leader of Hokoan, was observed with the Irish and Indonesian Ambassadors in London earlier today, prompting substantial speculation as to his actions during what has become an extremely tense election season for his homeland. Since a military court convicted him of treason in 2008, and exiled him for his role in leading often violent protests in the country, Chua has been fairly silent on his involvement or opinion of event in Hokoan - even after his more-popular sister Olivia took control of the opposition and led it to a new constitution in more recent years. His presence with two ambassadors, then, turned heads across the world - what purpose could it possibly serve? Certainly not a simple courtesy visit - especially given the nations at hand.

    While Chua himself is very much tied into Hokoan's more recent history, Ireland and Indonesia played a greater role in the island's early push towards development. Hokoan-Indonesian relations have always been strained at best, with tensions peaking during the Indonesian Emergency - an armed standoff in the late 60's that culminated in the Council of Cork, an Irish-hosted summit of Southeast Asian nations and former colonial powers that set to defuse the situation before war broke out. The success of the Council is largely seen as having preserved Hokoan independence, though the conflict has been viewed by many as a lead-up to the later Indonesian invasion of East Timor, an event which did not help relations between the two countries.

    While none of these three individuals were in power at the time of the events - Chua himself wasn't even born until after the invasion of East Timor was said and done - their strange and unexplained meeting at such a pivotal moment in Hokoan's history has gotten the world's attention in a way that even the island nation's elections have not; no doubt that soon, the truth of these events will come out.

    Samantha Chaudhry,
    Reporter, Al Jazeera English
     
  4. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki
    As the first elections under the new constitution come underway in Hokoan, the question in the minds of many - both within the country and around the world - is what sort of change this might bring, and what those changes will actually mean.

    Both the establishment government and the main opposition party, the New Democratic Alliance, have substantial support bases that they will no doubt appeal to. Some of these are geographical - the NDA, for example, is virtually guaranteed to secure Olivia Chua a parliamentary seat in Còengdóu/&#38263;&#23798; District, her family's home territory, even with the constitutional bans on her being Prime Minister. Similarly, the military establishment is extremely likely to secure Tanjung Muarakerto, given the heavy military investment in the district. Most districts, however, are not quite so clear cut as those two, and so we are left to turn to the actual power bases of the two groups.

    Officially, it is unlikely that the 'military establishment' will be represented with an official political party or coalition, at least in this first election. That being said, the numerous candidates put forth for the party's guaranteed 16 seats are already a de facto party, and will likely form a voting block with the numerous 'independent' candidates espousing pro-military rhetoric in almost every district. These seats are likely to go to candidates seen as vital to the party's interest, especially those deemed too polarizing to compete with candidates from other parties, and as such will likely comprise much of the group's leadership. For all intents and purposes, this group can be viewed as much like a party - or at least a coalition. With a guaranteed control of 25% of parliament even before district elections take place, they are no doubt likely to form a very substantial portion of those sitting in Tiòngan/&#38263;&#23433; at the very least. They bring a strong argument to the table, no doubt - while they fall short on both democratic principles and civil and political rights, they have run Hokoan for over three decades now, guiding its growth and development from a small third-world island to a major international center of research and trade. There is no doubt that the quality of life in the country is, in no small part, a result of the guidance they have given. In addition to economic positions, the government enjoys a fairly positive interaction with foreign corporations - and while the status of civil, political, and human rights in the country draws unfavorable comments from other governments, the truth of the matter is that a combination of there being far worse places and a strong presence of those foreign corporations means that they have largely let Hokoan go undisturbed for years.

    The NDA has its own sets of strengths and weaknesses, of course. To some degree, it overlaps with the establishment too much for its own good - few expect an improvement in human rights abuses under an NDA-led government, and civil rights, while likely to relax somewhat, aren't terribly high on the priority list. The opposition party also has somewhat of a nativist bent - despite leader Olivia Chua's best efforts - which, while it could be a benefit in the elections due to the restriction of voting rights to citizens and the rarity of naturalized immigrants, is likely to sit poorly with the foreign corporations who control much of Mahagni's economy, or prominent foreigners in the country. Where NDA really shines, instead, is the vast expansion of political rights it intends to push forth - the very existence of the new constitution is largely their doing, and there is little doubt they will try to expand both voting and candidacy eligibility in an attempt to secure Chua a candidacy for Prime Minister in future election cycles. Large expansions of rights to protest and free speech are also promised, acknowledging the group's own rise, and a likely attempt to pardon David Chua to appeal to his support base - and possibly spur the former protest leader to return to Hokoan and take up politics himself - is not off the table. While unlikely to secure a majority government itself, an NDA-led coalition with several minor parties is possible if a strong showing for their supporters happens on election night.

    For those not interested in the similarity of the two main parties, there are smaller parties putting forth candidates in some districts as well. Most notable among these is probably the Hokoan Labour Party, perhaps the most prominent choice for those seeking better human and civil rights in the country. Taking a stance on many deeply controversial issues in Hokoan, Labour has outlined in its main political platform goals such as the improvement of guest worker conditions, easier paths to citizenship, relaxation of many civil law cods, and an end to the policies disenfranchising minority groups. While they are almost guaranteed to secure Apradesh and Prithvikot - where the relatively low citizen populations live among and often in similar conditions to the guest workers who dominate the district - and have somewhat plausible candidates on the ballots in Victoria and districts on the islands of Arunusa and Tanahwangi - overall Labour is likely to fair rather poorly, given their appeal is biggest among non-voters, and with the NDA posing a more credible option for securing political reforms. While unlikely to serve as much more than a minor partner in an NDA coalition, a strong showing for Labour in such an arrangement could open the door for successes later on, as the voter pool is expanded.

    Despite being a regional party, perhaps the strongest player outside of the NDA and military is Mahagni First, a fairly polarizing movement on Hokoan's second-largest island running campaigns on a spectrum from greater autonomy to outright secession. Mahagni First's campaign strategy is not to secure a role in any coalition, but rather to secure as many districts on the island as possible, in hopes of presenting a small unified front and preventing either the establishment or NDA candidates from securing a majority coalition. From that point, depending on their relative strength, goals range from an outright unilateral declaration of secession to greater autonomy for Mahagni, including perhaps most prominently a redistricting of the island to increase its Parliamentary representation, trading their support for the other parties' issues in exchange for their own goals. While pulling strength from their advocacy of greater strength for the second-largest island and their potential for increasing Tamil representation in a government that has skipped over many members of the island's largest ethnic group, their occasional tendencies to ethnic nationalism, unease about the prospects and consequences of secessionism, and more violent elements and rhetoric among some of the non-candidate members of the group make them a difficult pill to swallow for many, even in their strongest districts.

    The last party of note is likely to be the Malay People's Party. A centre-left party despite the name, the group serves primarily as an ethnic-interest party for the country's Malay population, which often draws the short straw among the nation's three largest ethnic groups in negotiations between the NDA and the military. While their focus on the Malay people likely limits their votes compared to the other three national-level parties, their otherwise centrist politics will likely appeal to those put off by the more partisan stances of other groups.
     
  5. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki
    Player Character Plotlines


    Jason Ly:

    The below is an excerpt from a Tìngchiu Entertainment promotional flyer, distributed mostly around the wealthy districts on the eastern side of the island of Hokoan between February 1 and now:

    Four Brothers Shipping CEO Jason Ly has once again reported stellar growth for Q4 2015, surpassing expectations for the fifth straight year. The corporation, headquartered out of Victoria District, is one of the largest domestic shipping agencies in Hokoan, and despite occasional controversies, remains one of the most successful companies on the island. Ly, the man behind this upward trends, leads his life as one of the most enigmatic public figures in the country. Despite his wealth, fame, and power, no clear source is ever present - leaving us all to wonder how a shipping magnate became among the most famous of our nation's jet-set. Now, finally, a source has stepped forward to tell us what the man himself will not! Jason Ly's secret life - hear it first with us, live, February 12 at 9:00 PM!


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Srinivasa Anand:

    Jack Leow was an extremely popular pastor - young, kind, in touch with his congregation. Born and raised in the small Huguenot community scattered across the farmlands of Diemsaranya, Father Leow came to his calling within the church early on in life, and his community always looked fondly upon the young boy and his charitable works - and later the man who served as their local religious leader, and thus the warm-hearted core of their strongest social circles. For Srinvasa Anand, Pastor Leow was the officiary at his wedding, a fond friend, and a close confidant.

    Was being the operative word, of course. On New Years Eve, Father Jack Leow was found dead in his church; shot from behind while leaving the doors open late for any members of his congregation who wished to come in that evening. Not yet 30, he was found by the officer and his family when they came in to pray with the pastor early the next morning - a moment scarring all involved.

    Currently, the Diemensaranya police district is investigating, and while any information at all on the murder is requested, the agency is not responding to calls for more information as to possible motives or suspects in this tragic act.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Kuning bin Sari:

    February 8, 2016
    Tiòngan/&#38263;&#23433; District


    A small restaurant in the Tiòngan/&#38263;&#23433; District was broken into late last night. Kuning Hokoan Cuisine - owned by Kuning bin Sari - had a window smashed in and the property searched by unknown individuals sometime between the hours of 2:00 and 4:30 this morning, police say. Though the register was among items searched, no money was taken, and as of this time it does not appear anything else was stolen, prompting investigators to wonder as to the motive of the intruders. Current speculation points to the unease surrounding the elections, as Rayyan bin Kuning - bin Sari's eldest son - is currently campaigning with the New Democratic Alliance for Tiòngan/&#38263;&#23433;'s Parliamentary seat, and has been known to meet with supporters at his father's establishment - though investigators admit that this is a stretch at best. No suspects have been named at this time.

    Alice Chen
    Reporter, Capitol District News


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    William Siu-Kei:

    The following report was leaked to the press around 3:00 PM on February 8, 2016:

    Memo dated February 5, 2016 to be delivered to the desk of Assistant Director William Siu-Kei was found yesterday evening - February 7, 2016 - on the floor near by janitorial staff.
    Sender remains unidentified, though examination of the note indicates no threat to the intended recipient. Note itself calls for the Assistant Director to return to his childhood home in the Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; District by midnight on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Memo also contains reference to a package, none identified.
    Assistant Director Siu-Kei indicates no knowledge of the note or package, and no indication as to who may have sent it. All employees within the Covert Field Operations offices in Mahanavalaya district are to be evacuated until a thorough search for the package - and verification of its composition, if discovered - can be made.
    Employment of any individual who leaks this notification to the public will be immediately terminated.


    The report's original source and the identity of the individual who leaked it remain unknown at this time. While not officially verified, civilians claim to have seen numerous people leaving government offices in downtown Mahanavalaya throughout the morning.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Yu Song:

    Controversy for Hokoan United today, as star striker Sefu Cheboi finds himself under arrest following domestic abuse allegations stemming from his wife, Furaha. Cheboi, 22, was recently recruited by the football club in hopes of turning around their recent streak of losses - though controversy surrounded his hard-partying reputation, one in line with the often infamously out-of-touch owners. With Cheboi's arrest, more hard time are no doubt ahead for the club - possibly once again including the possibility of financial collapse.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Lianto Jenguang:

    The following call was phoned into the C&#462;ogu&#462;ng/&#33609;&#24291; District PD at approximately 11:30 PM last night. A patrol was dispatched to the scene, but after an extensive search, found no evidence that the events described had taken place there.
    A request was issued to forward the information to the desk of Inspector Lianto at time of receipt. His expertise with forensics may be useful in determining what happened at the site; if not, this information could still be pertinent to his investigation.
    Transcript, translated from Hokkien where appropriate, is as follows:

    [Operator, EN]This is the C&#462;ogu&#462;ng PD, what is your emergency?
    [Caller, NAN] ...blood, bleeding...
    [Operator, NAN] You're bleeding? What is your emergency, where are you?
    [Caller, NAN] Bleeding, everywhere...
    [Operator, NAN] Where are you? What's happening?
    [Caller, EN] Rue Foret. 32 Rue Foret. He's bleeding.
    [Operator, EN] Who is bleeding? What's happening? We're going to send an ambulance out now.
    [Caller]coughs, heavy breathing
    [Operator, EN] What's happening? Are you alright?
    [Unknown, NAN] Just a bit of bleeding. It's over now, dispatcher. Goodnight.


    Audio logs indicated that the final voice did not belong to the original caller.
    Additionally, no records for the phone number used exist. Further searches are currently underway to identify the source of the call.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Kalpana Reddy:

    Dinesh Gopal shifted his weight, leaning off the ankle he had twisted in his effort to access the property. Getting past the fence had been hard, though fortunately any alarms - he felt sure there had to be alarms, even if he couldn't see them - hadn't been tripped. That wasn't where he'd injured himself. Nor had it been while he climbed up the tree closest to the house, though that itself was also difficult. No, he'd injured himself by tripping on a chair. The only chair in the entire yard. Which was a bright white, something that hardly blended into the grass, even this late at night.

    Grimacing, Gopal leaned further out along the branch, pulling the can of spray-paint - a reddish-brown, like an iron-tainted clay - out of his pocket and spinning it in his hands a few times. Leaning downwards, he struggled to spell out his message - a rather crude insult directed at the homeowner's gender, and a generic and empty death threat, all underscored with "Mahagni First!"

    Satisfied with his - frankly ineffective - work, as any rebellious teenage tagger might be for successfully targeting the home of their district's MP, Gopal attempted to shift his weight up on the branch when he heard it crack, and saw the glass windows below rush towards him.

    It would be the last thing he would ever see.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Bei Lin Huang:

    January 26, 2016
    Tìngchiu/&#20013;&#24030; District


    Hokoan government officials announced a security detail for local pop idol and actress Bei Lin Huang early Tuesday afternoon. Huang, 16, is without a doubt Hokoan's biggest celebrity, with both her music and films having reached millions across the Sinophone world. While not formally a government employee, Huang serves as a cultural ambassador for the Hokoan people, and as such receives frequent support from the Ministry of Culture, especially for her ever-popular historical dramas. While speculation as to the nature of the threats against her is rampant, Bei Lin's personal staff has declined to comment, instead preferring to focus on the idol's work, including a recent photoshoot in Hong Kong. Such commentaries are far from unheard of, though additional government security is certainly a strange protocol for dealing with obsessive fans.

    Selina Khaw
    Reporter, Tìngchiu Entertainment
     
  6. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Grantaire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Barricade
    31st of December Backpost

    The lights of the village and the other farms shone out in the darkness of the valley. The moonless night was very still, very quiet. Anand was walking back from the shops, he had been out buying a certain type of biscuit for his wife. He was half way up the garden path when he turned back to look over the valley.

    This was his home, a tiny isolated French speaking community. He had almost abandoned it years ago when he moved to his police department on Mahagni. Looking at the scattered farmsteads he now regretted that decision immensely. He had grown up here, met his wife here, got married here. The valley was like a small microsystem to itself, you could be born, live and die without ever leaving it and live a perfectly happy life.

    Anand almost sat down, he wanted to savour this moment. However the cravings of a heavily pregnant woman complicate all such things.

    He jogged back up to the door, shopping bag in hand.

    -------------

    They had been planning this for moths, but nothing could prepare him for the horror of the room. He walked along the corridor, his best officers behind him, to a closed door - the last in the house. He took the doorknob and tunrned it slowly. A signal quickly executed by his other hand alerted the other police officers to take up positions around the door.
    It creaked as he opened it and the beams of their torches cut through the black revealing an empty room.

    -------------

    Anand awoke from the dream and almost jumped up into the air. Similar nightmares had been plaguing him ever since he had heard that his old department was under investigation. Though thoughts of that room had been plaguing him ever since he first set foot in it. He got out of bed and poured himself a glass of water in the kitchen. The almost finished pack of biscuits was lying on the counter, the face of the insufferable Lin Lin smiling gently from the silvery packaging. She truly was inescapable, even here in the most rural area imaginable.

    After a long gulp of water Anand sat down at the wooden kitchen table. Ever since the raid things hadn't been the same. Though he had only managed to take a cursory look at the evidence they picked up some of the names had be burned into his memory. If what internal affairs had said was true then maybe he was one of the only people left with knowledge of the identities of the passport holders.

    He booted up the tiny laptop thing that was in the kitchen. It was there mostly for checking interesting recipes that he wanted to cook but tonight it would have a different use. Anand opened Google and typed in a single name:
    Catarina d'Herbinville

    Upon learning that it was an unsolved murder he began looking at the records on the police database. She had been a visiting academic who disappeared a year ago. The case had be put aside after many moths of no results, the duty officer died only a few days later. He began scrawling notes on a sheet of paper, looking for any connections between her and the operation they had shut down in Mahagni. Nothing was coming up.

    Anand took out his battered old tape recorder that an old police friend had given. He stood up and began to pace up and down the veranda overlooking the silent valley. He hit record and began to speak into the recorder:

    "3:26 AM 1st of January

    "Restate assumptions on the Mahagni First raid. One. One of the passports found was that of Catarina d'Herbinville. Two. Nobody knows what happened to Catarina d'Herbinville. Three. Police Inspector J. Pillai was found dead after leaving the investigation. Four. The Room." He paused for a moment and composed himself .

    "I suppose that Pillai's death was not a coincidence and neither was the fact that we found a group of European passports in a base for a violent faction of Mahagni First. The options appear to be simple: clearly secessionists are responsible but either their influence stretches further than I thought or there was some sort of police cover-up.

    "I would not be surprised if we find her alive, held captive by this violent element who do not wish it to be known they have hostages due to the upcoming election. The leads are old and the case is long dead but perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye."

    He hit the record button again and sighed to himself. What am I doing? he though. He went and sat again at the kitchen, pouring himself another glass of water, glancing again at the smug little rich kid plastered on the biscuits. This was all too much. He was meant to be on leave, looking after his wife and child. He packed up his things. Perhaps now that he had said it all his dreams would no longer be haunted by the empty room.

    He finished the water and went back to bed, observing how his wife had efficiently developed a new sleeping position in order to accommodate for large baby lump, he placed his hand on it a smiled. Within a few weeks he would be a father. Farther Leow would of course be called upon to christen the baby. Anand pictured the scene in his minds eye and lay back down on the bed.

    Only a couple of minutes later there came a frantic knock at the front door and muffled shouting. Anand saw his wief waking, kissed her on the forehead and told her to go back to sleep before heading up to answer the door.



    News travels quickly in small communities, but no news had ever travelled faster in the small valley as that night.

    Father Leow was dead.
     
  7. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,648
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    Prologue (rewritten to fit Cao Guang Scene)

    Excerpts from News Reports: The peaceful district of Cao Guang suffered a great tragedy today when a local farmer reported discovering a body of a still yet unidentified female in a ditch by his field. While the Police were quick in securing the scene, they have yet to issue any statement to the press....

    .........................................................................................................

    The police have identified the body of the woman found as Faye Risamasu, a local woman of age 22. Police have called for the victim's boyfriend, one Christian Sinusinga, to report himself to the department for questioning, based upon witness testimonies that placed the two couple together on the night of last confirmed sighting of Faye Risamasu. "We believe," Inspector Komar Gan said. "That he has some information that can shed light onto this case."


    .............................................................................................................

    In a news that shook the sleepy district of Cao Guang to the core, the police have reported discovery of another victim: Teja Daiyu, age 44. Witnesses who arrived at the scene before the police could properly secure it reported seeing a body, mostly naked, bound in cloth and nearly buried under mud from the farm after the heavy rainfall yesterday night...

    ................................................................................................................
    Internal Police Memo

    The prime suspect, Christian Sinusinga, has been determined to have an airtight alibi for the estimated time of death for Faye Risamasu, and is unlikely to have motives to kill Teja Daiyu.

    Our detectives have formally requested assistance of central police department's forensic teams to help secure and analyze the evidence gathered.

    ............................................................................................................

    .............................................................................................................
    "We are most likely dealing with a serial killer," Inspector Jenguang concluded. Inspector Komar Gan let out a chuckle. "Listen Inspector Jenguang... I don't know how it was like in Tingchiu, but this is Caoguang. It's a quiet town. The worst crime that we had to deal with in the last 10 years were burglaries. How can you expect us to believe that there is suddenly a serial killer loose in our neighborhoods."

    "Certainly it may be hard to believe," Inspector Jenguang said, forcing a smile. These bastards call for help and now they don't listen to me? They must have expected that the Central would send some tech monkey or forensics expert, not another inspector. "But the evidence collected so far, as little as they may be, certainly appear to point towards a serial killer. The police department of Tingchiu concur with this analysis and have sent me to help you profile our killer."

    Heavy rainfall rapped against the window as the radio blared I've got you under my skin by Diana Krall. Inspector Jenguang took the opportunity to shut it off. An awkward silence followed. Inspector Jenguang coughed.

    "Let's begin. Firstly, the two murders so far have similar MO. Both times, our victims were found bound, raped, and in condition of undress. Both times, our killer appears to have strangled our victims with rope and gagged their mouth with their own clothing, one case socks and in another, pantyhose. It is difficult to believe, with the murders similar MO, that these two crimes are unrelated. Furthermore, it is also equally difficult to put any conceivable link between the two victims aside from the fact that they were alone at the night of their death. From this analysis, we can surmise that this is a work of an opportunistic killer who may not have any motives other than sexual thrill in his murders."

    Inspector Jenguang glanced up from his notes to inspector Komar Gan. Of the inspectors in Caoguang, he appeared to be the most competent. He was, after all, the first one to admit that they needed help and successfully lobbied the local police commissioner to ask for Hokoan's aid. "You still seem unconvinced," Inspector Jenguang said.

    "Caoguang is a big place, but has very small population for its size," Inspector Komar Gan said. "Most people living in little villages and farmsteads know each other. It's just difficult to imagine that one of them can be a serial murderer." He shifted his toes. "We have already dedicated separate investigations into the murders of Faye and Teja Daiyu. It appears likely that these were crimes of passion by someone they knew."

    Inspector Jenguang sighed, exasperated. He threw up his arm into the air. "Inspector, every second you delay in establishing connections between these two murders is a second that our killer could be using to kill his next victim! We should be doubling patrols right now and giving out warnings to not travel alone! We should be trying to calm the people down, not incite panic!"

    "Do you have any idea how big Caoguang is?" Inspector Komar Gan snapped. "We don't have nearly the manpower to set up roadblocks or even patrol half of this district. Inspector Jenguang groaned. Komar Gan was right in this regard. "I would much prefer people be scared and alive," Jenguang said. "Than calm and dead."

    Komar Gan rolled his eyes and walked out of the office. Inspector Jenguang sighed and turned to the window. "I guess we just wait, then..."

    He did not have to wait long.

    Next morning, news spread like wildfire in Caoguang, and soon, the entire nation.

    Another woman was found dead.
     
  8. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Grantaire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Barricade
    It reminds you, losing someone who was close to you, reminds you of what you've had and what you could have had. You want to reach out and hold them one more time. Old friends, even when occasionally annoying, remembered all the more fondly after the leukaemia claims them. Old loves now gone leave you wishing for a last goodbye. The irritating formality of aged relatives shuffled off this plain seems all the less annoying when their complaints are heard no more by mortal ears.

    One of Anand's oldest friends was being put in the ground. The sombre gathering of villagers gathered round the newly dug grave as the sun shone down from a clear sky. Hats sat in hands and hankies on faces.

    Condemned to the ashes and earth Father Leow lay now under a large amount of tropical dirt. His trainee and assistant, an English expat girl called Amy led the service. She'd been in the village for 2 years now and spoke French and Tamil as well as anyone else, she was as much a member of the community as anyone who had been born in the valley. With the lyrical style of a great orator she delivered a service that would stick with them all for an age. Leow would be missed.

    ----------------

    In the party at the village hall that afternoon Amy came up to speak to Anand "How's your wife?" she asked him.

    "Due next week, its all very exciting." He responded taking a sip of the Diemensaranya made alcohol that was a frequent hit at all the parties. "She couldn't really make it due to the baby."

    "I understand." She smiled at him and sat down at the seat to his side "I've been meaning to talk to you about Leow's candidacy for member of parliament. The election is coming up at the end of next month and we need to fill the candidate position."

    Anand had never really got involved with the politics too much in his time as a police officer. He had heard about Leow's ambitions and had spoke to him about it on many occasions since the beginning of his paternity leave. "Who do you have in mind to replace him?"

    Amy look sheepishly to the floor and took another drink. "Some people were suggesting you. We all know you have strong feelings on the local issues and you're a well known figure not just in the village but across the valley. We think you'd have a chance at the job, maybe you could make a difference."

    Anand sat in silence for a moment, pondering the question that was being asked of him. He'd never had much ambition in the way of politics but with Leow dead he almost felt a duty to at the very least consider the offer. The music coming from the speakers changed to another track, a horrific Lin Lin piece that Anand hated. He took a gulp of his drink and said "I'll get back to you."
     
  9. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Grantaire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Barricade
    As he sat on the boulder at the end of the garden path, tape recorder in one hand and one of Leow's campaign leaflets in the other, Anand knew he had a big choice ahead of him. The lights of the Valley sparked against a black canvas almost like they were giant stars too heavy to rise into the night sky where the smaller lighter stars hung. The light from his own porch shone down illuminating the path bun not much after the low stone wall around the garden. The night was warm and the heavens open, the distinct lack of light pollution in the valley made the skies a true spectacle.

    If he chose to peruse a career in politics he would have to drop the case of the d'Herbinville disappearance. Maybe he would be bale to approach it from a political angle but for the time being the issue would lie dead in the water. On the other hand perhaps the influence afforded to him by a potential ministerial position would allow him to peruse the corruption and outright criminal behaviour of the police especially in areas with separatist sympathy.

    Having seen Father Leow dead had changed things as well. Anand wasn't sure he really wanted to work in the police any more. At first he had wanted to help bring the person to justice, but he soon realised this was a job best left to the police of the area. A grieving soon to be father was not going to be of much assistance at all. He took the tape recorder and hit the play button.

    "12th February, 8:22 PM

    "When Amy took me aside to tell me about the election I had never thought I would end up thinking about it seriously. But facing facts there is no doubt that I won't be retuning to the job of DCI far a long time. The internal investigations being conducted may take a year and in that time there's no policing to be done.

    "I could stay at home and look after the baby, but I'm not sure that I'd enjoy doing no work for that length of time. The campaigning would be based out of this area so I'd be able to keep looking after my family for the time being, but at the end of the day if I fail in this election I can just go back to police work.

    "Having a child and coming back home makes me think about my legacy here. Sure I may be making a difference in my department's area but will that affect my children? I'm not so sure. I could truly make a difference if this works out, make the whole country a better place, save countless lives, make the lives of my children safer and better."

    --------

    Standing on the podium a small crowd gathered round Anand felt truly excited for what was to come. Amy was standing next to him she'd been organising things all night, the printing of new flyers and banners had been near instantaneous under her guidance. Where previously Leow's name had been written now Anand was emblazoned in such large letters it would make even Lin Lin blush.

    He spoke into the microphone at the podium "I am very grateful to all of you for coming here. My name is Srinivasa Anand, I was a good friend of father Leow and it is a great honour to have been asked to stand in since his death. He was a great man and I hope I can live up to his legacy when I represent you in parliament!"


    Srinivasa Anand will be standing for MP
     
  10. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 The Continuation of the Dream Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    7,665
    Rayyan bin Kuning sat in the restaurant, rubbing his temples to relieve the headache that he had. Today he was supposed to have a celebratory dinner with his father and all of his colleagues in this restaurant, but instead he was treated to one of his dad’s semi-paranoid delusions. Instead of enjoying a nice meal with his friend, he sat in the empty restaurant listening to Lin Lin singing way too loud. Usually he enjoyed Lin Lin’s singing, but his father had jacked up the volume to as loud as it could go to confuse any potential bugs.

    “Father,” Rayyan said, raising his voice to be heard over the music “Please there is no way that the government put listening devices here.” His father just shook his head and continued banging his walking stick on the walls. Rayyan sighed. He couldn’t take this anymore. He expected no help from his brother, he was hiding in the kitchen as usual. He was going to have to stop this himself. Rayyan walked over to the radio and turned off the music. His father looked at him with wide eyes, his expression was a mixture of shock and anger.

    “You are going to kill what little remains of your eardrums if you keep at it like that.” Rayyan said. He knew that there was no way he could convince his father that the government wasn’t out to get him, but he could find a compromise. Because of his connections to the opposition, he knew a lot of very interesting people. “Look dad, I know some people. Ex-military specialists, they aren’t cheap but they can sweep the entire restaurant for listening devices better than you can.” His father looked sceptical at the proposal. “They’re trustworthy and you can watch them work the entire time, so you know that they aren’t slacking off. Can we please just have dinner without Miss Lin Lin and your cane?” Rayyan just wanted a nice dinner with his father before the craziness of the election season truly started to kick in. His main role this election was to go door-to-door, informing people of their rights and helping them register for the election. In countries with well-established democracies people of his position probably had underlings for these sorts of things. But manpower was always tight and Rayyan didn’t believe in shying away from a task just because it was “beneath” him. However, once he started on this process he knew he would have no time to spend with his family. He just wanted one nice family meal where his father’s craziness was kept to a minimum. Was that too much to ask for?

    “Okay.” His father said, as he waved his finger “But don’t talk about anything important.” Of course now that the conflict was over, his brother came into the room with the entrees. Rayyan put his dislike of his brother to one side, he had fought hard for this family dinner and he was not going to let his brother ruin it.

    ****************​

    “Are you sure you want to do this father?” Irfan bin Kuning asked as his father slipped into the sleeping bag. “It is technically illegal to live in a business district.” His father made an annoyed “pah” noise.

    “They won’t care.” His father replied “And if they do, well a couple of Syes will make them not care.” By “Syes” he means the $100 note, which has the current Prime Minister’s face on it. The police, even in the capital, were fairly corrupt. And even the cleanest blueshirt wouldn’t say no to taking a bribe for such a minor crime as this.

    “You should go home, rest up.” His father continued “It’s going to be very busy soon.” Of course it was going to be busy, his father always made him go all out when it comes to his brother. Ifran knew he was going to have to clean the kitchen half a dozen times before his father was satisfied with serving food for his brother’s friends. Ifran was jealous about how much attention from his father his brother got, he knew that. But he had good reason. Rayyan had a terrible opinion of his father, his considered him to be a crazy old man. Of course he would never say it to his face, but he should have more respect for his father than that. Sure, he was a bit eccentric but his father was a great man who raised both of them all by himself. The thing that annoyed Ifran the most was that his father still praised Rayyan even though Rayyan had done nothing to help his father. Rayyan did nothing in the restaurant and left home as soon as he was able. It was Ifran who took care of father and the restaurant, he sacrificed his life for both of those things. He had a negligible social life and he hadn’t had a romantic relationship in years. Yet despite all of his sacrifices, it was always Rayyan this and Rayyan that. Ifran couldn’t understand it. It wasn’t even that his father was proud of his brother’s political achievements, his father was incredibly cynical when it came to politics.

    “Please be kind to your brother.” His father said, snapping Ifran back to reality. “I know what you are thinking about when you make that face, I know you well. Please be kind to him.” There was a momentary pause. “I am worried about him.” This surprised Ifran.

    “How come?” Ifran asked. His father, in a rare moment of solemnness looked at the wall.

    “Have I ever told you,” His father continued “About the scorpion and the frog?” Ifran shook his head, surprisingly he had never heard this story. His father began the story, speaking much slower than he usually does. “There is this scorpion and he needs to cross a river, as all the food has run out on his side of the river. He asks a frog to help him cross the river, but the frog refuses to help him as he knows he will get stung if he tries to help. The scorpion tricks the frog, he says that he will not sting the frog or they will both die. The frog is fooled and tries to help the scorpion, but he is stung and then he starts to die. Because the scorpion couldn’t help itself, it has to sting. Stinging is the only thing it knows how to do.” Ifran wasn’t sure how to react to this story, but he could see that his father was starting to cry.

    “Please, just be kind to your brother, okay?” His father asked. “I need to go and piss.” His father, after abruptly changing the subject, walked off to the men’s toilet. Ifran just stood there for a few moments, sighed and then walked on home.
     
  11. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,411
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP
    Bei Lin Huang

    Internal Memos

    From: Ed@linlinintnl.com
    To: All Employees

    REMINDER: NO STAFF MEMBER IS ALLOWED TO MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH LIN LIN.

    This is the second time this month that this has happened, but a reminder to all staff members that you are not to make make direct eye contact with Lin Lin. Doing so is grounds for immediate termination, as outlined in your contract.

    In addition to not making eye contact, please remember to give the respectful bow, as well as only approaching when given permission.

    Let&#8217;s make February an incident free month! We have the Festival of Eternal Love on the 11h, I&#8217;m looking for difference makers out there!

    From Marketing@Linlinintnl.com
    To Alex@linlinintnl.com

    Custom designs for Love Fest have arrived, the turnaround time for these is ridiculous.

    Festival is anticipated to have around 500,000 attendees over three days, the concert specifically has ~100K. I anticipate that a majority of attendees will buy SOMETHING, but the big ticket items will be purchased at the concert. I recommend the custom Lin Lin jackets to be sold at the parade though.

    Target goal of merchandise sold: 300,000 units ($4.5 mil USD in revenue)

    From: Liao@Linlinintnl.com
    To Alex@linlinintnl.com

    Hihi! Everything&#8217;s clear for the festival and the parade, police are assigning to the route and to concert as requested. They also requested that we take the extra security detail as we talked about before.

    Side note, I was asked by someone we still care about impressing for a&#8230;.personal affect. Do you think we could get Lin Lin to spit in a vial for him, or do we just have an intern for that now?

    From Alex@linlinintnl.com
    To Liao@Linlinintnl.com

    Good news, disgusting report. Let me look into it. There&#8217;s a few more people I think Lin Lin would like to have blackmail on...


    From Ed@linlinintnl.com
    To: All Employees

    REMINDER: NO STAFF MEMBER IS ALLOWED TO REMOVE PERSONAL ITEMS USED BY LIN LIN

    All staff members must remember that taking anything that has been used by Lin Lin for your own personal use or profit is extremely prohibited and will result in both termination and criminal prosecution.

    Items can include, but are not limited to: clothing, food, tissues, bodily fluids, seat cushions, and other such items.

    We would like to also remind you that fake items (including the idiotic &#8220;Bottle of air Lin Lin breathed into&#8221;) that are marketed with Lin Lin&#8217;s name or likeness is still an action that can result in criminal prosecution.

    Festival of Eternal Love is only three days away, and we will be seeing a variety of outside contractors working with us. It is the staff&#8217;s duty to help protect Lin Lin, her personal items, and her image.

    If you have any questions or need to report an issue, please let either me, Alex, or David know.

    From Sam@Linlinintnl.com
    To Alex@LinLinintnl.com

    Here are the numbers you requested:

    Attendees: 104,786 (Full crowd)
    Ticket revenue: $4,191,000
    Merchandise sold: 387,000 (this includes the parade earlier in the day, as well as the online purchases for specific concert gear)
    Total Revenue: $12,675,000
    Best selling item: &#8220;Forget your SO! All you need is Lin Lin!&#8221; T-shirt

    All in all, not a bad haul! We might take in more in Hong Kong and Beijing but not a terrible way to start February.

    We also know the good movers, we are planning the items as necessary to better accommodate our fans.

    Beijing is the 12th, Shanghai the 13th, and Hong Kong finale on the 14th, Lin Lin wants three days off before she starts shooting again.

    Where are we at with the Trung Sisters drama?

    From Alex@linlinintnl.com
    To Sam@linlinintnl.com

    Good numbers! I want to see even higher in China!

    I&#8217;m going to nix Trung Sisters. Lin Lin wouldn&#8217;t do it if there was a female &#8220;equal&#8221; to her in casting, it&#8217;s just not going to fly. Plus I think the anti-Chinese sentiment behind it could alienate viewers.

    This year let&#8217;s focus on bringing the latest season of Crisis out, and the young Wu Zeitan biopic too. Prelim numbers are showing it&#8217;s going to be huge in Hokoan, China, and Taiwan. Netflix is even interested in doing a joint venture since the laws are loosening here.

    This year, let&#8217;s turn our Princess into an Empress!
     
  12. arya126

    arya126 Squad Leader

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,306
    Location:
    Outside the Wall
    Over the fence, climb the wall.

    Look right, then left-No! Movement to the left.

    Run right.

    Drop down to the street.

    Sprint along the shadows.

    Quick turn into the left alley.

    A gunshot rings out in the night.

    Climb on top of a dumpster. Jump off the other side, roll under a broken fence.

    Hit the next road over, gunshot!

    Drop to the ground, roll behind a car.

    Second car comes speeding around the corner, ruining your cover.

    Submachine gun pokes out of the car.

    It is pointing at me.

    Pick up a broken brick.

    Throws the brick into a nearby window.

    Run towards the window.

    The gun is firing.

    I can feel the bullets come into contact with my pants.

    I dive...

    ...through the window.

    I am up and running.

    Left, right, right again.

    Burst through a back door.

    Climb a fire escape.

    Jump across the alley to a low lying roof across from the top of my fire escape.

    Run across the rooftop.

    Naval buoy clangs. I redirect towards the sound.

    Almost there.

    The external hard drive digs in against my thigh in the jeans pocket.

    Burst of light to my right-muzzle flash!

    Drop to the ground.

    Roll off the roof.

    Almost there.

    Motorcyclist stopped on the edge of the street.

    I draw a knife.

    Stab in the thigh.

    Slit his throat.

    Mount the motorcycle.

    I drive.

    I drive away.

    ---

    Mission accomplished.
     
  13. Gurra09

    Gurra09 Guru of Hekkia

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,274
    Lin woke up bright and early to the sounds of the Tingchiu streets. It was market Sunday and despite the sun barely having risen above the horizon vendors were already making their way into the district to set up for a busy day to come. Lin on the other hand had no reason to hurry and remained in bed for a little while, gathering the energy to eventually get up and make some jasmine tea, her favorite, to enjoy on the balcony.

    She had just finished her tea and was going inside to get dressed for the day when she heard someone was knocking on the door. This confused Lin a great deal because she wasn't expecting any visitors this early in the morning. Outside stood a woman in her 60s and after putting her glasses on Lin could see that it was Ming, her younger friend and neighbour from two stories down who goes with her to tai chi practice in the park on Sundays.

    - Ming, hello. What are you doing here so early? Practice isn't for another hour.
    - Is it really? I could swear it's 9 o'clock.
    - No, it's only 8 yet. Do you want to come in for some jasmine tea and wait?
    - Thank you, but no. I thought I was in a hurry so I skipped my morning shopping. See you in an hour then?
    - I will, have a good morning, Ming.
    - You too, Lin.

    An hour later Lin went out the door ready for practice expecting Ming to be back but she was nowhere to be found in the building. Ming did seem a little off earlier in the morning so Lin decided to go look at the cornerstore, but the clerk said she hadn't been there at all today. This was strange, but then it was not unusal of Ming to act a little weird at times and Lin needed to move on if she wanted to get to the park in time for practice. It was probably just one of those days anyway.

    But Ming didn't show up for practice either so when Lin got back home to take a lunchtime nap she stopped by her friend's apartment. Nobody answered her knock, and when she tried to open the door it was unlocked. Lin had never been to Ming's apartment before, they mostly met each other outdoors or at Lin's, and what she saw inside was a giant mess. Granted, Ming wasn't the most organised person but this didn't look like a place where anyone could live. Papers and all kinds of other stuff were spread out all over the floor, desk drawers had been thrown out of their place, and the bed looked like a massive pillow fight had taken place in it. And no trace of Ming.

    Where could Ming be?
     
  14. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,891
    Location:
    Deva Loka
    5char
     
  15. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,411
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP

    Lin Lin addressed the brave men in uniform

    Just the latest from the greatest pop sensation! Lin Lin, while not technically able to yet serve in the military, could not contain her passion and love for the brave Hokoan Army. The 2nd Armored Division, in a reward due to its exceptionally good performance last year, was treated to a surprise Lin Lin mini concert and meet and greet! Signing autographs and taking pictures with the soldiers, the commanders had one last surprise for the troops; they would no longer just be calling her "Lin Lin". Approval from the President himself has made Lin Lin the new Colonel of the 2nd Armored Division! Though her duties will be ceremonial, Lin Lin is very excited, declaring that no matter what, it is important to honor and respect those that are putting on the uniform to serve their country. "Even if it's just to help morale, I'm ready to do my part!" said Lin Lin, with her award winning smile. Lin Lin's PR Manager later confirmed that this was not necessarily an endorsement of the ruling military government, but rather "an appreciation of all those who have, and continue to, serve in the Hokoan military. Whatever the case, the soldiers of the 2nd Armored Division are thrilled, and are looking forward to seeing "Colonel Huang" again soon!
     
  16. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki
    Second Cycle - March 28 - June 18, 2016

    February 19, 2016
    London, United Kingdom


    Hokoan exile and former opposition leader David Chua was observed near the Indonesian embassy in Mayfair again today, prompting yet another round of speculation as to his recent activities. Over the course of the past several weeks, Chua - who had previously disappeared from the public eye in his exile - has been observed meeting repeatedly with the Indonesian and Irish Ambassadors. All parties involved have thus far declined to speak to the press, but given the nations involved and the upcoming elections in Hokoan, many are speculating on the possibility that the country's opposition is attempting to persuade the international community into pressuring other factions within the city-state to restore Chua's citizenship, paving the way for him to return and re-enter politics.

    Analysts indicate that such a move is probably ill-advised - no evidence exists to support the notion that David Chua has been involved with Hokoan politics since his expulsion from the country. Indeed, no evidence even exists that he has kept in contact with his family - and with his sister Olivia Chua leading a much less militant and more conciliatory party than he left, experts caution that Chua's return could destabilize the opposition at what is now a critical time for the country's democratic prospects.

    While David Chua's return would obviously be a symbolic victory for the Hokoan opposition, it is also interesting to note that leaders in that nation deny knowledge of his activities in London, and seem as surprised as the rest of us about his recent high-profile interactions.

    Whatever the case, something is afoot - few rarely make appointments with ambassadors just for afternoon tea, especially those as enigmatic and reclusive as David Chua.

    Samantha Chaudhry,
    Reporter, Al Jazeera English


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    February 23, 2016
    Sh&#275;ng&#462;ng/&#28145;&#28207; District


    Conspiracy theorists will no doubt delight at Dr. Tan's unannounced visit to the island of Háisai/&#28023;&#35199; today. Arriving late yesterday evening, the Minister of Science brushed off reporters as he visited the National Institute of Biochemistry, projecting an air of displeasure before disappearing for the night. Early this morning, Dr. Tan was observed again, this time visiting several foreign aerospace research corporations before heading north into the S&#257;mg&#333;ng/&#26862;&#23713; district with a military escort. While Háisai/&#28023;&#35199; itself is dominated mostly by research staff, parts of the island - especially S&#257;mg&#333;ng/&#26862;&#23713; - have long been a source of speculation and strange sightings by the few long-term residents and by guest workers in the more populated regions. In recent years, these alleged unexplained phenomena have increased - with many off-shore fishing boats reporting strange sounds and lights along the shoreline, and frequent armored convoys along the few coastal roads of the island's northern end. This unusually terse episode from Dr. Tan will no doubt exacerbate these speculations, given his recent propensity to devote more time on the island - though many of the more reasonably-minded amongst the country will no doubt attribute his stress to the rather uncomfortable middle ground he walks between the military and the NDA in these upcoming elections.

    Nathaniel Ooi
    Reporter, Hokoan Central


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    March 12, 2016
    Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; District


    Officials tonight have released a report indicating an abrupt end to the tourist disappearances in the Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; district, raising as much speculation as to the origin of these attacks as their abrupt end. Media speculation has highlighted recent strings of murders elsewhere on the island - particularly in neighbouring Diemensaranya and C&#462;ogu&#462;ng/&#33609;&#24291; - as well as a cryptic message leaked from a Ministry of Intelligence office last month referring to the region last month. The Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; police department has dismissed these claims, reminding the public that it does not deal in conspiracy theories and will make information publically available as it is able to do so. Despite this, many on Còengdóu/&#38263;&#23798; are left wondering what - if any - impact such a mysterious threat could pose to their daily lives, with many claiming that...

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    March 26, 2016
    Cibiru, Hokoan


    The Southeast Asian nation of Hokoan was rocked by explosions tonight, breaking the fragile peace that has otherwise persisted throughout the island country's first democratic elections under a new constitution adopted last December. The attacks, carried out on the western island of Mahagni, were carried out at a voting station in the tourist district of Cibiru around 18:30 local time. At the time of writing, 37 deaths have been reported, with dozens more injured. Responsibility for the attacks is currently being placed on the youth wing of Mahagni First, a right-wing political party tied to secessionist and regionalist tendencies on the island.

    Mahagni is the second-largest island in the country, following Hokoan proper. With the exception of the Malay-dominated Tanjung Biru district, the tourism hotspot is dominated by ethnic Tamil, in contrast to the primarily Chinese and Malay populations of the other islands. Together the three groups form the majority of the Hokoan population - but the balance of power is far from equal. While economic and military power is largely shared by Chinese and Tamil members of society, the predominantly-Muslim Malay populations tend to be less wealthy on average, and ethnic Chinese disproportionately dominate the nation's political elite.

    With so many of the nation's Tamil people being on Mahagni, there have long been calls for a strengthening of that island's power as a way of equalizing their influence nationally - or for outright secession of Mahagni, circumventing the main island's domination entirely. This dissent has manifested itself in the form of Mahagni First - alternately called a social movement or a terrorist cell, depending on one's perspective of the group - which was legalized as a political party alongside other long-term opposition groups (such as Olivia Chua's New Democratic Alliance) under the new constitution last year. While many more moderate Mahagni First politicians are expected to take office under a policy of greater autonomy - rather than outright secession - in the upcoming session of the Hokoan Parliament, Cibiru - tied as it is to the national economy - has always been a more loyalist district, and is expected to select members of the existing military regime.

    Despite the attacks, election officials have indicated an intent to consider the voter turnout and results tonight in Cibiru - and across Mahagni - as valid, and will not be hosting a re-vote for the region's parliamentary seat. The political branch of Mahagni First has not issued any commentary yet on the attacks, though it is unlikely little they can say will ease tensions between their politicians and other factions in the upcoming Parliament - or fears across the island that, perhaps, these attacks are only the beginning.

    Klahan Metharom
    Reporter, BBC Asia


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    March 28, 2016
    Tiòngan, Hokoan


    Celebrations and surprises alike fill the streets of Hokoan today, as the preliminary results of the country's first democratic elections - following a new constitution adopted in December - are announced. Despite an attack on the evening of elections which left 41 dead and another 83 injured, observers both domestic and international are hailing the elections as free, fair, and a triumph of the negotiation process between the New Democratic Alliance (NDA) - headed thus far by newly elected Còengdóu-district MP Olivia Chua - and the existing military-backed government, which took power in a 1983 coup. An NDA-led coalition controls the cabinet, though popular military-backed Minister of Defence S. Jayanti has already been nominated to return to her post, and the more neutral Minister of Science, Dr. James Tan, is expected to do the same. Despite this, the rule will be under minority government - despite rules requiring one-quarter of all MPs to come from a nationally-elected, military-approved pool, and the leading role of the NDA in establishing the new constitution, both groups faired worse than expected, with minor parties picking up a substantial number of seats as well. Well the NDA has agreed to a coalition with the Hokoan Labour Party and the centre-left, ethnic-interest Malay People's Party, they are still left at equal standing with the military-backed politicians - and both sides will now be forced to make uneasy deals with the devil in order to win the support of the right-wing and semi-secessionist Mahagni First, a group coming under substantial criticism both domestically and internationally after youth-wing members were apprehended in connection with the election night attacks. Also in Parliament will sit one independent candidate, Srinivasa Anand, who has yet to comment on his alignment with any group.

    The long-term democratic prospects of the country, however, are under severe scrutiny. Newly-elected NDA Prime Minister Soh Boon Chian, for example, has already stated that he views himself as a steward of the role for de facto party leader Olivia Chua - currently ineligible for the position as a result of her Singaporean birth, a constitutional clause many believe targeted specifically for her, but which the NDA has made a priority of rewriting. Such statements, while likely to garner support among the party itself, will no doubt alienate members of the military establishment who have worked to oppose Chua, as well as minority parties and international observers who fear that the Chian's position - and possibly that of his successors - will deteriorate into little more than a figurehead role for party cabals. Tensions between various factions within both the NDA and the military establishment themselves also threaten to stall any further compromises - as do the complications of minority government with Mahagni First as king-maker.

    Ultimately, little can be done now but to watch and wait - something that no doubt will be occurring across much of Southeast Asia as this small city-state takes its first fledgling steps forward into democracy.

    Daniel Ke
    Reporter, BBC Asia
     
  17. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki

    As the dust settles on Hokoan's first round of democratic Parliamentary elections, the cycle can be best described as full of surprises. Neither the military-backed establishment candidates nor the New Democratic Alliance were able to secure a majority government, though the NDA has managed to secure a coalition-based government and control of the Cabinet. Labour and the Malay People’s Party both performed far better than projections indicated – and having become integral to the NDA’s coalition, will likely be able to push some of their own agenda this election cycle. Several seemingly guaranteed seats were also given up to surprising candidates – for example, NDA-backed Derek Szeto securing expected military district Ce&#333;njyù/&#26149;&#39770;, or MPP’s victory in Hiongsoa/&#39321;&#23665; with MP Iskandar.

    But what do these competing groups actually want – for themselves and for Hokoan? Our political analysis breaks it down, party by party*:

    Military Government:

    With 29 seated MPs and control of the Ministry of Defence, the establishment-turned-opposition controls almost half of the government on its own. It’s a bit up in the air whether they should be considered a coalition or a political party – officially, all of these individuals ran as independents with generous praise from military leaders – but as many served as MPs under the previous constitution, they represent the nation’s most senior politicians. Politically, they dominate the islands of Chhintó/&#38738;&#23798; and Háisai/&#28023;&#35199;, and constitutionally control all 16 nationally-elected seats. By and large centre-right, this group has a strong interest in foreign economic participation and defence, research, and intelligence spending. They can arguably be broken into a hardline branch seeking to retain and restore their political status, and a reform wing seeking to create a smooth transition while preserving their legacy.

    Specific goals outlined by many campaigns include:
    Spoiler :
    - Appealing to foreign business and research interests as a way to bolster the economy
    - Maintaining status quo political and civil rights
    - Countering Mahagni secessionism
    - Preserving their control of nationally-elected seats
    - Opposing the return of David Chua to the country


    New Democratic Alliance:

    At 19 seats and control of the cabinet, the NDA – and the coalition it leads alongside Labour and the MPP – leads a minority government in Hokoan right now. Although similar to the military-backed officials in many regards – both could be described as centre-right – the NDA is busy pursuing an agenda of political and domestic economic reform. Much like their opposition, the NDA is also split into two branches – largely on what many accuse of being nativist and Sinocentric policies, a stance frequently derided as being a pragmatic defence against Labour’s predominantly-immigrant-and-minority support base. Though Prime Minister Soh Boon Chian is a member of the party, real leadership falls under Còengdóu/&#38263;&#23798; MP Olivia Chua. Plans of the party at large no doubt include ambitions of a majority government under Olivia Chua in the future.

    Specific goals outlined by many campaigns include:
    Spoiler :
    - Abolition of nationally elected MP positions, or access to them by members of all parties
    - The abolition of the native-birth clause for eligibility for Prime Minister
    - Restoration of David Chua’s citizenship
    - Appealing to domestic businesses and entrepreneurs as a way of bolstering the national economy
    - Countering Mahagni secessionism


    Hokoan Labour Party:

    With six seats and a position in the ruling coalition complete with two Ministries, the leftmost of the minority parties is also by far the most successful. With a support base predominantly ineligible to vote, Labour was mostly expected to perform well in areas with few native-born citizens, but instead found a broader appeal. Their strategy this Parliament sessions appears to be coercing the NDA into more aggressive political and civil reform, which will vastly increase their support base and possibly elevate them on similar footing to the major parties in future elections.

    Specific goals outlined by many campaigns include:
    Spoiler :
    - Abolition of nationally elected MP positions, or access to them by members of all parties
    - The abolition of the native-birth clause for eligibility for Prime Minister
    - Voter ID and eligibility reform, particularly extension of the vote to permanent residents
    - Easier pathways to immigration & citizenship, as well as abolition of the guest worker policies
    - Loosening of the civil code & a more robust protection of civil rights


    Malay People’s Party:

    The smallest and most niche member of the ruling coalition, the MPP secured four seats and a Ministry in the current election cycle. Largely centre-left, the MPP represents perhaps the least controversial politics of any of the parties – though their ethnic interest agenda has left them with a small voter base and some hostility. This election, they appear to be largely concerned with civil reform, though discussion within party leadership about adopting a less Malay-oriented campaign in future elections could potentially open them up to bridging the gap between Labour and the more conservative parties.

    Specific goals outlined by many campaigns include:
    Spoiler :
    - Voter ID and eligibility reform
    - Loosening of the civil code & a more robust protection of civil rights
    - Producing support and incentives for smaller local businesses in order to improve the standard of living for workers
    - Improved employment regulations and worker rights
    - Promotion of the Malay language and culture within the public sphere


    Mahagni First:

    Entering politics with by the smallest support base of any party and having rejected a position in either coalition, MF has secured a much better position for themselves than a first glance would indicate. Right-wing and highly regionalist, MF claims to support greater autonomy for Mahagni – though many among their support base call for outright secession, and strains of Tamil nationalism make the group particularly despised among the island’s Malay-majority district of Tanjung Biru. The four MPs from the party have presented themselves – somewhat accurately – as kingmakers, intending to trade their support or opposition for either coalition’s position on nationally-focused bills in exchange for that coalition’s aid in passing Mahagni-oriented ones. Given that they stand largely opposed to the national unity desired by the military-backed officials and the NDA, and the large ideological gaps distancing them from the other minor parties, it is unlikely that Mahagni First will cooperate on any bills without some avenue for their personal agendas to progress.

    Specific goals outlined by many campaigns include:
    Spoiler :
    - Redistricting of Mahagni to increase the island’s representation
    - Economic incentives for Mahagni-based companies and expansions of the island’s industries
    - Transitioning of national assets on Mahagni to regional police and government agencies
    - Expansion of the role of the Tamil language and reduction of the role of Chinese dialects in the operation and functioning of national initiatives on Mahagni
    - A referendum on Mahagni’s independence if no progress is made on improving the island’s position within Hokoan’s current government


    *We have omitted independent Diemensaranya MP Srinivasa Anand, mainly due to a lack of information on his intended policies. It seems his campaign was largely grassroots, and the upset of an independent candidate reaching the national scene means that his policies have not been followed closely up until now.
     
  18. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Sawaiki
    Player Character Plotlines


    Srinivasa Anand:

    In the months that have passed since Pastor Leow's death, still almost nothing remains understood about the crime. No suspects have been named, no motive identified, no additional evidence unearthed, no similar attacks unveiled.

    For the local community, the loss has struck hard - the church has not yet chosen a formal successor to his position, and though Srinivasa Anand has taken up the role of Diemensaranya MP in Leow's footsteps, little really exists to dull the sting. As winter turns to spring, concerns begin to arise across the constituency &#8211; some call it the loss of their spiritual leader; others trauma from such a violent act in such a peaceful place. Regardless of the cause, observers are beginning to take note of the lethargy of the community &#8211; children are skipping school, depression is plaguing the elderly, and rising rates of drug abuse now begin to appear across much of the heartland of rural Diemensaranya.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Kuning bin Sari:

    At Hokoan Kuning Cuisine, business is booming. With bin Sari&#8217;s son, Rayyan bin Kuning, serving as a New Democratic Alliance MP for the nation&#8217;s capital district, the small Tiòngan/&#38263;&#23433; &#8211; based restaurant has become a de facto secondary office, a meeting of the minds for many high-ranking leaders from within the ranks of the ruling coalition. Such attention is not without consequences, however &#8211; and in Hokoan&#8217;s political heart, few even among the civilians remain neutral in their allegiances. Pro-military graffiti regularly finds its way onto the property overnight, and though it&#8217;s not uncommon for the culprits to be caught, their efforts have certainly shifted the eatery&#8217;s customer base to a more controversial sort in recent weeks&#8230;

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    William Siu-Kei:

    From the desk of Minister of Intelligence Ng Mun Sen:

    The recent number of leaks from the Mahanavalaya offices are being taken very seriously by the Cabinet, and I expect there to be similarly serious investigations on site. You deal with highly classified material, and as such the appropriate protocols must be taken. Your position is currently under review, and no doubt the results of the investigation - as well as any further lapses in protocol - will be factored into those considerations. Full responsibility for the events at the branch must be considered to fall upon your shoulders. All progress made in your investigations is to be forwarded to my office immediately - under strict adherence to all security precautions.

    Additionally, effective March 1, 2016, Assistant Director of Covert Operations William Siu-Kei will be placed on a temporary leave of absence. His propensity to receive bizarre and unwanted anonymous packages from Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; is cause for alarm, and until both his personal connection and the origin of these materials is fully investigated, he is to be considered both a potential security risk and in need of a security detail as a government official under threat of bodily harm. The office's inability to track the origin of these packages - or to better filter their contents - is also under significant review.

    I hope I make myself clear, Director.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Yu Song:

    With Sefu Cheboi&#8217;s high-profile case gathering national controversy in sports headlines, Hokoan United is going under rapidly. The club&#8217;s struggle to find a replacement for the Tanzanian-born striker has returned it to its abysmal record, with many speculating that this may mark the final season of football on Hokoan.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Lianto Jenguang:

    Records requested by Detective Jenguang:
    - Listing of all times Diana Krall&#8217;s &#8220;I&#8217;ve got you under my skin&#8221; has been played by radio stations broadcasting in C&#462;ogu&#462;ng/&#33609;&#24291;
    - Listing of all hardware stores within five miles of known murder victims
    - Registry of all sex offenders known to be present on Còengdóu/&#38263;&#23798;
    - Map highlighting minor roads and footpaths throughout the district
    - Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023; PD records on tourist disappearances in Yúnh&#462;i/&#38642;&#28023;
    - Diemensaranya PD records on the death of Father Jack Leow


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Kalpana Reddy:

    Aparaprastha burns.

    The tensions of the past several months have finally boiled over, and the strained protests of Mahagni First have devolved into full-scale riots, both for and against the movement. With the recent attacks, few unaffiliated with the group &#8211; and many moderates within the party &#8211; are willing to speak in their favor, but many of the pro-secession elements within the movement have adopted a more violent rhetoric. The youth wing in particular has taken a violent stand against elected leaders across the island &#8211; both from the opposing parties and even the more peaceful and autonomy-focused MPs from the organization itself.
    The subject has now taken a national stage, as elected MF officials argue both their case and their separation from those responsible for the attacks &#8211; and both coalitions are forced to weigh the trade-offs off all but mandatory collaboration with those officials and the prospects of sending resources to put down the unrest.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Bei Lin Huang:

    Missing Persons Brief filed March 11, 2016:

    Name: Huang Bei Lin
    Born: August 8, 2001 (Age 16)
    Hometown: Shanghai, PRC
    Current Residence: B&#257;kdóu/&#21271;&#23798; District
    Nationality: Hokoan
    Occupation: Actress, Performer

    Ms. Huang disappeared sometime shortly after leaving her home in B&#257;kdóu/&#21271;&#23798; around 2:00 AM this morning, while en route to performances in China. The primary suspect in the disappearances is Faaj Alang, a recent hiree to her personal security detail who remains the only member of her personal staff currently unaccounted for. Given her high-profile status, it is believed that the motive will be to demand a ransom &#8211; though her personal safety throughout this ordeal remains in question.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Jason Ly:

    The old Tìngchiu Entertainment flyer floated on the surface of the harbor before me, continually promoting an event that had never come. The event had been canceled quietly, without fanfare &#8211; one day the ads were there; the next they were gone. The mystery speaker had never been announced, after all, so no one need to explain their absence.

    Victoria is not Prithvikot or Arunusa. Here, people are beat down, but not forgotten. The homes are run down, but we do not live in slums. Victoria is, in many ways, what Hokoan has always been &#8211; an imperfect reality, a quiet powerhouse subdued by more glamorous neighbours. While the rich and powerful in Tiòngan or G&#257;omén may look down upon us, ultimately it is we who are responsible for Hokoan&#8217;s real survival &#8211; and the agents of its ultimate change.

    In Victoria, we submit to the rule of law.
    And the word of Jason Ly is law.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Méi Lín:

    &#8220;This is pointless, you&#8217;re interrogating a senior citizen. I&#8217;m surprised she&#8217;s not in a nursing home by now, she probably can&#8217;t even remember what she had for breakfast.&#8221;

    The second officer shifted his weight uncomfortably. &#8220;Not an interrogation. It&#8217;s not like we have a choice, anyway &#8211; nobody else saw her that morning.&#8221;

    The two men were speaking to Méi Lín to try and resolve what had happened to Ming almost two weeks prior. Given the state of the apartment, foul play was suspected &#8211; but little evidence of what had occurred was available, and with no other ideas, they&#8217;d turn to trying to pick the elderly retiree&#8217;s brain for any details she might be able to recollect, no matter how much of a stretch that may be.

    With a sigh, the original officer turned away again. As he did so, his collar shifted just enough to reveal part of a tattoo to the former secretary &#8211; &#27494;.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Henry Lang:

    Arunusa is the domain of organized crime &#8211; almost to the point where legitimate business in the district has all but died out. As a result, it&#8217;s not very common to see an officer in uniform &#8211; undercover, sure, with varying degrees of success and life expectancy, but police don&#8217;t generally have much luck in areas where nobody&#8217;s particularly interested in their services.

    Such made it a very strange day indeed when Henry Lang returned home to find one asleep in his bed.
     
  19. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,411
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP
    It wasn&#8217;t every day that you return from a kidnapping. A peasant girl could be kidnapped and there&#8217;d be a circus about her return; a celebrity would get a thousand times more attention? And Lin Lin? She smiled; she doubted there wasn&#8217;t a camera left in Hokoan covering this national event.

    It was really sweet of Ly to host her welcome home party. It was even sweeter for him to assemble her guest list on such short notice. She still didn&#8217;t know how she got off that wretched island so quickly, but when she got back it was all business.

    The limousine (a palanquin or a rickshaw wouldn&#8217;t feel quite right for this event) pulled up right to the entrance, and the photographers started snapping even before the door opened. Had she requested it, a team of guards (all of them replaced or otherwise reassigned since the incident) would immediately form a phalanx and frustrated the efforts of the leeches. But tonight was a night to be seen. All eyes were on her; not that this situation was unusual but today she commanded even more attention. The outfit and shoes were both items from her upcoming fashion line and making their debut tonight; these photographs would sell millions on their own.

    The photos snapped eagerly as she smiled and waved. Her time to hold court would be soon, but letting her fans get their fill was important. And it would be a lie if she said she didn&#8217;t enjoy all eyes on her after all...

    The party itself was a classy affair. Ly, or more likely his interior designer, had good taste, She recognized some of the Parisian accents she had recommended during one of those idiotic designer shows. She never ate at these parties, and it would be unbecoming to drink at her age...

    Lin Lin smiled though as she heard the slurred words from a nearby man. Almost every person in here was a person of wealth and importance. Before that would mean some businessmen and generals. But now, there were politicians here too, and that made things interesting. You could feel the contempt oozing from the words of the emasculated military men, the smugness of the new NDA ministers, and of course just the tension caused by the presence of the MF politicians. Lin Lin liked them. Underestimated but now the center of everyone&#8217;s attention, coveted to thwart their opponents. It seemed one of the MF politicians was laughing at the obvious anguish on the faces of two MPs, one NDA and the other military, as they made incredibly awkward small talk. Always looking to help, Lin Lin sent a server to them with a fresh round of drinks. They&#8217;d be good targets...and some generals were getting belligerently drunk&#8230;.she motioned with her head and her personal assistant gave a slight bow and went to work

    Of course, Lin Lin wouldn&#8217;t have attended if the night didn&#8217;t have some time for her to take central stage. It was a triumphant return no doubt. No ransom paid, no harm physically. She had an idea of who might be to blame, but for now it would be necessary to play cards close to the chest. And what better way to do that then divert some attention? Ly gave a nice speech about her importance to Hokoan, and Yong, the Minister of Culture, gave a speech about her status as a cultural icon, but as he gave his speech a minor scuffle broke out in the audience. Yong tried to keep on course with his speech but the altercation blew into a fistfight between the two MPs that were with the smiling MF member. Derek and Harta as she heard them be called, were MPs, one for the NDA and the other from the military, and they were going at it like high schoolers. Just as security guards were ending that fight though, another uglier one broke out. Two generals, both incredibly intoxicated at this point, lashed out against Ng Mun Sen, the minister of intelligence. Blood was flying at this point, and the security detail quickly rushed them off stage.

    As they went backstage, Lin Lin couldn&#8217;t help but emit a mischievous giggle to Ly. Things were about to get interesting&#8230;.


    Spoiler Lin Lin on the red carpet :
     
  20. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 The Continuation of the Dream Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    7,665
    Rayyan walked into the restaurant, it was just after closing hours which were the best times to talk to his family. He could (mostly) avoid the constant attention that came with being an MP and he could avoid the large amount of people going in and out of the restaurants. His father took a tapestry off the wall, on the wall was some military slogan written in graffiti.

    “Dad, what happened here?” Rayyan asked in a confused tone “Aren’t you sleeping in restaurant to prevent this sort of thing?” His father shook his head as he walked up the stepladder.

    “There’s been a police cruiser parked outside the restaurant for the last week.” His father said as he scrubbed the graffiti away “I know this city, someone’s paid them off to arrest me if I show the slightest inkling of living out of the restaurant. I’m not taking that risk.”

    “I’m sure there’s some loophole somewhere,” Rayyan replied “I could get a lawyer to look over it see if there’s some way you can live here and still have it be a restaurant.” His father stopped scrubbing and gave a disappointed stare at Rayyan.

    “That kind of manipulation of the law sounds like something you were campaigning against.” His father said very seriously. Rayyan sighed.

    “I know father,” he replied “But it’s so much worse than even I thought. People I thought of as allies have shown their true faces, people I trusted as friends have proven themselves to be no better than my enemies. And there was that strange incident with someone who I never thought would involve themselves in politics. Honestly I feel dirty being in the same room with some of these people.”

    “When you are fighting a war,” his father said in a solemn tone “It is naïve to assume that you will not get your uniform dirty. But there are some lines that you shouldn’t cross. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.” He smiled, indicating that things were fine.

    The conversation moved to less important things for the rest of the night, but lingering doubts remained at the back of Rayyan’s head. Had he put his father in danger by pursuing his dreams? Could he live with himself if his father was hurt? All these thoughts and many more were left unsaid in that cold, dark night.
     

Share This Page