May 2011 Archives

Reunited...

Chapter Sixty-Four

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Prince William spent several weeks exploring the capitol city of the Pirate Peninsula. He frequented the bar he found on the first day. He became friendly with the bartender, and she became friendly with him. It seemed that all of the strife raging around the world and the city avoided him.

The hotel seemed abandoned. He stayed at the same room every night. At no time was their anyone at the desk. In fact, he never ran into another person at the hotel. He felt that it was an odd situation, but these were odd times. For the first time in a long time, he enjoy himself. However, he knew that would not last forever.

He was enjoying some time with his favorite bartender when a familiar face walked into the bar. One of the men that accompanied King Thorbjorn in prison entered the establishment. An eerie quiet spread through the room. Several people ran out the back door. The bartender froze. She stared at the man in fear.

His father's man scanned the place for threats. He looked around but did not pause on any one person. He did not appear to see the Prince, or at least recognize him. The tension did not leave the room as he walked out. A few moments later, he returned with a group of six men. The man at the center was another one of his father's men. They sat at a table in the corner, but every person faced outward.

One of the men waved at the bartender and she warily walked over to the table. Someone made a joke, probably at her expense, and they all laughed. The bartender did not even smirk. They each placed their orders and she rushed back to fill them. The men sat and talked as their orders were filled.

A small amount of calm re-emerged in the place. The bartender did not relax, but the patrons began to return to normal. However, without being able to converse with the bartender, the Prince decided to leave. Before he left, he heard, "Prince William!"

He thought about ignoring it. He thought he would just walk out as if he did not hear. However, as he opened the door he saw another familiar face guarding a fleet of vehicles. Hence, he decided to look at who called him.

"Oh!" the Prince said with a bit of mock surprise. "It's you!"

"You are alive! What do you know!" shouted one of the men.

"Come join us," insisted another.

"Well, I..." began the Prince.

"I insist," stated the leader of the group.

With that, the Prince sat with the men. The bartender gasped in horror when she noticed her friend sitting with these men. The Prince knew that he and the bartender could never return to the way it was. His time enjoying her company was over. With the friendly talk and the smiles, she would never trust him again. The Prince felt a little sad about that.

The men detailed the events of the weeks after he left. They talked about the riots and the fighting. They told the stories of a large force that came to the prison to break their comrades out. This is how they got out and the prison was destroyed. There were stories of fights and the grab for power.

While the assassination of the governor was well planned, the succession was not. The man who planned the thing assumed that he would be instilled in power. That assumption cost him his life. This resulted in near complete chaos. Many people wanted to have the power of the state. Each faction faced off against each other. There were regular battles. The civil war had begun.

The men stated that they had allied with Scott Richards. He was one of the local aristocrats and had gathered a formidable army. They believed that he had the best chance at coalescing power. That is why they joined him. They told stories of their battles. They bragged of their glorious victories. They came back to the capitol to relax for a while. That is what they were doing there at the bar.

Just like that, Prince William was caught up in the activities of the peninsula. He talked about his adventures. He spoke of the wars raging on in and around Lakeland. He talked about the treachery of Prince Bjorn and the assassination of the King. He talked about how Princess Angelina had been swept into power over all of Lakeland after the civil war and death of Bjorn.

After all that his people had gone through, he felt it better to leave than to make a claim to the throne. After all, he was in the wilderness making his way back when the war ended. No one knew he was alive. He made it sound like he entered the peninsula for exile rather than facing off with the people of Lakeland. The men seemed to buy it.

The men drank a few more drinks and laughed heartily. The bartender was haggard by the time they left. They did not pay for a single thing. They just enjoyed themselves and walked out. She worked hard, but got nothing in return except harassment.

They all walked over to the hotel where the Prince had been staying. They opened a locked drawer and each got a room key. The Prince asked for the key to his room. He now understood things better. These men took whatever they wanted. Who knows what happened to those who disobeyed. They likely died. It was also most probably a terrible death. He was mostly sure that is what happened innkeeper.

These men were much more dangerous than they were under King Thorbjorn. They had become ruthless and cruel. Nevertheless, he was now a part of their group. They had an allegiance to him, and they would likely treat him with respect. However, that did not make them any less dangerous. He did not know if they would turn on him. He hoped he would live long enough to find out how loyal they were to the family.

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Reunited...

Chapter Sixty-Five

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Princess Angelina woke up in a strange bed. She wondered what had happened. The last thing she remembered was a sharp pain in left her shoulder. She relived that pain when she touched that shoulder. She realized that it was now bandaged, and her left arm was immobilized.

Her wrappings made it difficult to get out of the bed, but she tried. A nurse noticed her struggles and came over to put her back in bed. It was a good thing because when the Princess stood -- from her perspective -- the room spun in circles. The nurse caught her before she hit the floor.

"Rest easy," he said.

"Where -- am -- I?" the Princess said weakly.

"You are safe," the nurse replied.

"It did not ask how I was," returned the Princess more strongly. "I asked where I was!"

"Sorry sire!" he replied with a bow. "You are in the castle of Nunu."

"What am I doing here?"

"Lakeland forces have captured the city. The doctors thought you would be more comfortable here."

"How long have I been out?"

"According to your chart," he replied looking at the clipboard.

"Just tell me."

"Approximately 16 hours sire."

"Where are the other injured?"

"They are in the castle's infirmary."

"Take me to them."

"But..."

"That was not a request."

"I do not..."

The nurse ran out of the room before he finished the sentence. A short while later another person entered. He was the doctor.

"Sire," the doctor began. "You need your rest."

"I will rest with the rest of the soldiers."

"But sire."

"That was not a request."

"Yes sire."

The doctor left with a bow. A few moments later he brought back the nurse and an orderly. The orderly was pushing a gurney. The pair carefully slid the Princess onto the gurney. The sides were raised, and the orderly pushed her out of the room.

She was pushed into a room crowded with injured soldiers. They cheered as she entered and waved. There was barely any room for her gurney, but a small space was made for her. The orderly raised her head a bit, and she could look out over the room.

"Thank you," she said to the orderly.

He did not say anything, but gave a bow.

"Well done!" the Princess said to the room.

More cheers went out. She looked around the room at the injured troops. Their faces brightened up by her being there. This also brightened her up.

"I must say, you are the best fighting force in the world!"

The cheers were much louder now. There were several bright smiles. Even some of the gravely injured soldiers beamed considerably.

"The doctor said we must rest. While I take no orders from anyone..."

The room erupted interrupting her comment. The Princess waited for the patients to quiet before she continued.

"As I was saying, I take no orders from anyone, but I have taken the doctors request under advisement. I recommend you do the same."

"Yes Sire!" the injured soldiers replied.

With that, the Princess closed her eyes and managed to sleep some more. A few hours later she was awakened by someone moving her bed.

"What are you doing?" she asked the orderly.

"I was told to move you to more private quarters."

"You will do no such thing!"

"But..."

"You tell the person who told you to move me to come see me immediately."

"Yes Sire!" the orderly replied with a bow.

He left her in the middle of the aisle and immediately ran off. A short while later, he returned with a somewhat official looking gentleman. She did not know the man, but gave him a very stern look. The man almost collapsed into his bow.

"Who are you?" the Princess asked.

"I was the king's man for many years," the man replied while looking at the floor. "I run this castle."

"What is it with everyone suddenly? I did not ask you what you did, I asked you who you were."

"My name is Jonathan Helmsley sire."

"Mr. Helmsley, on whose authority did you use to move me from this room?"

"Ummmmm," he began meekly. "I just thought that you would be more comfortable..."

"Stop!" the Princess interrupted. "Did you not understand my question?"

"Yes sire."

"What was it?"

"You asked whose authority I used."

"And?"

"It was my own sire, but ..."

"So you were used your own authority over my own wishes."

"It is just..."

"Mr. Helmsley you worked for the previous King, and you likely had a fair bit of power in running this castle. Is that correct?"

"Yes sire."

"Those days are over."

"As you wish sire."

"If there is space in this place where individuals can be made more comfortable, then these men here deserve it more than I. Thus, what you will do is prepare those places for as many people as can be fitted comfortably. Do you understand?"

"Yes sire."

"Anything else?"

"No sire."

"Push me back to my spot, and then you may go."

"Yes sire."

Jonathan did as he was told and pushed the Princess back to her spot. He gave a deep bow, and left the room. She got out of her bed, and went around to the men. She wanted to personally thank each of them. However, she was quite weak. She had to fight the tunnel vision as she first got out of bed.

She stood with her eyes closed for a few moments and then went to talk to the person in the cot next to her. She asked about his injuries, where he was from, and got to know him a little bit. Then she thanked him for what he had done for her. She then got up and talked to the next man.

A nurse thought about approaching her and advising her to go back to bed. However, instead she went to find the doctor. The doctor came in with a stern look on his face. The Princess return the look, and the doctor backed down.

"Sire please!" the doctor begged.

"I am tired of resting," the Princess explained.

"But sire..."

"These men fought for me," the Princess interrupted. "The least I can do is talk to them. It is not too strenuous; I promise."

"I will get you a wheeled chair."

"Very good."

The doctor returned, with an office-type chair with wheels. It was not what she expected, but it was well received. With her arm the way it was, she would not be able to get around on the chair she was expecting. The Princess thanked him for his kindness and ingenuity.

She was talking to one of the men on her chair when one of her generals entered.

"Sire," he said as he got on one knee.

"Yes?" the Princess answered.

"I have grave news."

"What is it?"

"An army is marching from the west."

"What!" she exclaimed. "Whose army?"

"We believe it is your father's."

"Why would my father be marching here?"

"Apparently he had a treaty with the Kingdom of Nunu."

"He did?"

"It is our belief that he is coming here because we attacked the Kingdom."

"So, you think there may be another battle here."

"Yes sire."

"Prepare the men!"

"Yes sire."

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Reunited...

Chapter Sixty-Six

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Prince William stayed with his father's men during their time at the capitol. They were on a break from the peninsula's civil war. He tried not to participate in their bullying, but he dared not chastise them for it. After all, they were ruthless and cruel, but they had no reason to remain loyal to the former throne of Lakeland. For some reason, he felt a connection with the men.

Nonetheless, it was apparent to him that these men were after their own power. They had a form of respect. It was out of fear, but no one questioned their power. Whatever these men wanted, they took. No one even questioned it. This amazed the Prince. These men had garnered a reputation in a very short time. Further, they took advantage of this fear.

After a few weeks, the men stated that they had to get back to business. The war was not over, there was simply an armistice. The negotiation period was over, and the fighting may return. They asked the Prince to join them. He declined the generous offer. When they insisted, he joined them.

The Prince left his aircar behind, and traveled in one of the other vehicles. He felt that traveling with them made more sense than attempting to follow. Further, he did not think he could escape them with his own vehicle. So, he just went along for the ride.

As the men traveled south, the damage from the war was much more apparent. There were still corpses lying out in the open. Further, there were bodies hung on poles as a warning to others. There was much cruelty in this war, and the Prince was stepping right into the middle of it.

After several hours of driving, the convoy of aircars pulled up to a compound. The guard waved them right through. They traveled to the center of the compound where an open spot for them was waiting. It was near a large makeshift building with a few guards protecting the entrance.

The group walked right past the guard and broke into a negotiation session. The reaction in the room was the same as in the bar. The tension level rose to a great extent. Even the leaders of the opposing factions feared these men.

"Times up!" the leader of Prince William's group said.

There were lots of But and we need more time, but the smart ones scrambled out of the room. The Prince was not sure what they were going to do. They did not have any firing weapons to just open fire on the negotiating parties. However, he noticed that they had not even drawn what weapons they had. Instead, the men started a big brawl in the midst of this negotiation room. Apparently, they did not want to kill the men they were fighting. At least, not kill them quickly. They wanted to take their time. That is why they did not simply open fire with some sort of gun.

A few men eventually drew knives. However, more regularly they used their bare hands. These men were outnumbered by 5 to 1, but the individuals at this meeting were not match for these seasoned fighting men. Further, the men did not discriminate. They were fighting everyone in the room. If an individual was in the room before they got there, they were a target. When the fighting was over, they outright killed 3 men and left dozens more injured.

When the fighting was finished, the leader spoke to the remaining conscious people.

"Diplomats!" he shouted. "This is Prince William Thorbjornson! He is your new king! If you have any questions, we will be happy to hear them."

This announcement stunned Prince William. Just like everyone, he feared these men. He did not expect them to instill him in power. He thought they would take it for themselves. He was not sure how far their loyalty went. It turned out they were still loyal, and still considered him worthy of rule. It was quite a surprise.

The thought of having his own kingdom left the Prince reeling. It is what he fantasized about for years. Now he was close to it becoming a reality. The only drawback was he would be beholding to these brutes. He was not sure whether he could live with the situation -- both literally and figuratively.

He stood there gazing off into space as the men continued to negotiate with the surviving individuals in the room. Eventually, they all agreed to pass along the proposal. They would inform their constituents of the situation. However, the Prince did not hear any of the conversations. He was living in his own world.

When the room cleared out, he was still standing there looking off. One of the men shook him out of his daydream. He asked what happened, and the men replied. The peninsula civil war may be over, but the factions would have to accept the offer before them. The men explained that it was not likely that they would. Hence, there would likely be more fighting. It seem to the Prince that this was what these men hoped.

This revelation knocked some sense into him. He thought they wished to instill him as sovereign. However, what they really wanted was to present an unacceptable offer to all parties. In this way, the war would continue. Reality smacked the Prince in the face again. He asked what happens next.

They would give the factions a couple of days to decide. If they rejected the offer, the war would continue. If they accepted, they did not know what would happen. They had never thought that they would accept the Prince as their king. Thus, they did not know what to expect should the parties accept the offer and end the war.

The men patted the Prince on the back and escorted him to a nearby pub. In this way, it was no different here than it was in the capitol. The men did what they wanted, and no one asked questions. The Prince began to get used to the situation. He had a group of very powerful men who surrounded him. They seemed to respect him. At the very least, they accepted his company.

He loosened up and began acting more regal. This delighted the group. He did not know anyone there, so he did not feel bad about abusing them. He made orders, and expected them to be fulfilled without question. Soon, he was drunk with his new found power. However, like everything in his life, it could not last forever.

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Reunited...

Chapter Sixty-Seven

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Princess Angelina got dressed despite the doctor's objections. She knew that it was important for her to meet with her father personally. If there was a treaty, it was voided with the abdication of the king of Nunu. At least, she thought it would be. However, it was difficult to know with her father. She would have to find out, and that is why she was getting dressed.

The Princess believed in doing everything herself. She had always thought that. She wanted to be self sufficient. Thus, she never had an attendant. She never had any help with her day to day things -- like getting dressed. When she attempted to get dressed with one arm, she wished she had help. She felt that an assistant would be helpful now.

Nonetheless, the hospital was staffed by nothing but men. Therefore, she was on her own. Not to mention the doctor refused to offer anyone for assistance. Since she was disobeying doctor's orders, she would continue to do it by herself. She believed that the doctor did not think she could do it.

While getting dressed, the pain occasionally became so sharp that she nearly passed out. Every aspect of her wardrobe was a challenge. She appreciated a time when she had two hands more than ever. The simple act of getting dressed had become quite a chore.

Eventually, she was dressed. She looked a bit ragged, but that was somewhat what she wanted. Her father would perhaps show a little pity with his daughter in such distress. Several members of the hospital staff attempted to straighten this or adjust that, but she scared them off with a look.

Outside the city, both sides worked together to erect a tent. The Princess dispatched some messengers to invite King Jonathan for a parlay. The messengers soon returned with the acceptance of the offer. Thus, the Princess would meet face to face with her father. She would get the entire story from him. She would find out why he marched into Lakeland and then into Nunu.

The effort of getting dressed and walking through the city took quite a bit out of the Princess. Therefore, when she sat in the tent she struggled to stay conscious. She knew she had time, so she reclined a bit to rest. She did not anticipate it, but she fell asleep. After a while, she awoke with a start. She did not know how long she was out, but it was well past midday. Where was the king? He was due hours ago. While it was not unlike him to keep a person waiting in this situation, he would have been there by now.

She got upset with her father stormed out of the tent. The King's retinue was standing on guard in front of the tent with her own retinue. She knew that the King had arrived. He was likely not very far off.

The Princess walked up to one of her father's trusted men, and demanded to know where King Jonathan was. He bowed and told her that the King was in the city. She thought about storming after him, but she thought better of it. She invited the man into the parlay tent. He did as requested.

"Duane McGuinness? Is that right?" she asked as she offered him a seat.

"Yes ma'am," he replied with a bow as he took the seat.

"Mr. McGuinness why are you here?"

"Because you made the invitation."

"Very good sir. What I want to know is why you are here in Nunu?"

"Because the King ordered it."

"Mr. McGuinness, I appreciate you answering my questions. There has been a bit too little of that going on lately. However, I do not appreciate you answering them with as little information as required. Be that as it may, I will ask again. What I wish to know is why the King marched upon Nunu."

"Yes Sire. It is because the King is now sovereign over this kingdom."

"Why does he feel this?"

"By treaty."

"Go on..."

"There is a treaty which states that if the former king of Nunu and his heirs were dethroned, King Jonathan would then be instilled upon the throne."

"And the King thinks this is valid."

"Yes ma'am."

"If I say that the former King was not dethroned -- but abdicated -- what then?"

"You will have to discuss that with the King."

"The King is not here. You are. Do you not speak for the King?"

"Yes sire. However, he would want to speak for himself on this matter."

"As I said before, the King is not here. What is your opinion now?"

"I believe that the former King of Nunu abdicated under duress. Thus, the treaty stands."

"Very good. Who was the treaty with?"

"The former King."

"Thus, if he no longer is around, would that nullify the treaty?"

"I see. In actuality, the treaty was negotiated for the throne of Nunu. Since the throne still exists, the treaty is still intact."

"However, it is not intact. The kingdom formerly known as Nunu no longer exists. It is now a part of Lakeland."

"It was only through aggression that this came to be."

"Ah! But it was not out of aggression but self-defense. The Kingdom on Nunu attacked Lakeland. It was the throne's own actions that led to the downfall of the sovereignty of Nunu."

"Princess, you should really be discussing this with your father."

"I would, but he is not here."

"He wished to let you sleep."

"He could wish all he wants, but I was not consulted. Thus, his representatives must speak for him until he arrives."

"But Mistress..."

"Very well, you may go fetch. However, what you will do is tell him that his treaty is no longer valid, and he should return to his Kingdom."

"I -- yes ma'am."

"Correct, that was not a request. You may go inform him."

Duane McGuinness arose and walked out of the tent. The Princess let out a smile. She liked this Mr. McGuinness. He answered questions and followed orders. She did not have to give them twice. He was a good man. She hoped the situation she put him in would not be too difficult on him.

She listened and there was a small commotion outside. She distinctly heard his voice bark out orders. She sat back and waited. She wondered how her father would respond to the order she gave. King Jonathan was not used to taking orders. However, she knew him well. She knew she had to negotiate from a point of strength, or he would walk all over her.

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  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks for the kind words Kerry. I too am very read more
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