June 2011 Archives

Reunited...

Chapter Sixty-Eight

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Prince William and his father's men were sitting in an establishment. A messenger rushed into the place as they were reveling in their power. The messenger was out of breath and took a few moments to recover. Then to everyone's shock, he announced that the warlords had accepted their offer. They agreed to accept Prince William as their new sovereign.

The Prince let out an excited yell. Someone came over to investigate, and the Prince ordered another round for the group. He could not remember ever hearing such good news. However, before the drinks were delivered, his father's men had stormed out of the bar. At first, he had thoughts about what he was going to do. Instead, he just sat there with a funny grin on his face. He just soaked in the current state and began to daydream.

He was happy that his father's men had gone. He could just sit there in peace. There were several fresh drinks there for him to enjoy. He sat there in a daze.

He was hoping that his father's men would become his men. They installed him as sovereign, and they would want places in his rule. He smiled. That smile soon faded as he realized they were too independent. They were much too unpredictable to retain. Something would have to be done with them. He was aroused from his daydreams by one of the men.

He did not want to go with the man. The man insisted, but the Prince still refused. The man left and returned with a few more men, and the Prince decided to join them. He got used to ordering people around, but those he ordered around were cowed by the actions of these thugs. He had no authority of his father's men, and they knew it.

Thus, he walked with them reluctantly. He walking was such a problem, that the men surrounded him to keep him from wandering. They practically dragged the Prince into the parlay tent. The emissaries from the warring factions were there. There were even groups that were not represented in the last round of negotiations.

One of the representatives stepped forward and spoke.

"It has been greatly discussed, and we accept your offer."

"Were there any dissenting voices?" asked the head of the Prince's group.

"We are all tired of the fighting. Thus, we have voted for peace unanimously."

"Is this what you all want?" said the King's man to the rest of the crowd.

"Yes," replied the representative and the rest nodded.

"You want this pipsqueak -- this pretender to royalty -- this poor excuse of a man for your sovereign?"

"Yes," they continued to respond.

"All of you want this?"

The crowd nodded. They all agreed with the terms. The Prince meekly smiled at the result and shrugged. An elbow to the ribs wiped the smile off his face.

"Are you sure this is what you want?" the Prince's group leader asked.

"It is time for peace."

The King Thorbjorn's men tried to begin a fight but the emissaries were prepared. Before the meeting, they had prepared an escape. They fled before a fight could get going. They pulled out in a big truck as the men chased them. It was all but official that Prince William was indeed the sovereign of the Pirate Peninsula.

The Prince was once again lost in daydreams. He thought about what to name his new kingdom. So many thoughts went through his head. It was not how he imagined, but his dreams had come true. He just stood their with his thoughts as his father's men came back into the tent.

One of the group of thugs threw the Prince onto the ground. He put his foot on his head, and asked, "What are were going to do now?"

"You said they would never accept this offer," stated another to the leader.

"How are we going to continue on if the war is over?" asked a third.

"We should kill the Prince now. That would void their deal," stated the man with his foot on the Prince.

"They seem to be united. If they got together against us..." another added.

"Our allies have deserted us. It is best to kill the Prince and regroup," the man standing on the Prince said.

"Boss? You have been pretty quiet. What do you think?" one of the men asked.

"Boss?" added the man with his foot on the Prince.

One of the men walked over to the leader, and looked at him. He appeared to be leaning casually against one of the tent poles. He was oddly quiet and they all wondered what was happening. What was he doing? The man looked at the leader closely. He reached out to touch the boss when a bullet struck him in the shoulder knocking him over.

"Get down!" he shouted.

Bullets began flying through the tent. The leader of the group was finally knocked over. He had been dead for a few moments, but was held erect by the pole. All of the men dove to the ground. They could hear the bullets whizzing through the tent. Occasionally, one would strike a pole or a table or some other object. Debris would fly around at the strike.

Just as suddenly as it had all began, all was quiet. The men looked around, but they did not dare stand up. They tried to get to the door, but the gunfire resumed when they got close. They looked for other ways out. One of the men pulled out his knife, and said he would cut through the tent and make an exit. That is when they noticed the strange smell.

Before they could do anything, the men noticed that the tent had erupted in flames. One man overturned some tables to use as cover. The men still alive piled behind the makeshift barricade. The Prince stayed in his spot on the ground. He knew he was not welcome in that group.

After a few moments, he tent was gone. There were a couple dozen men with automatic weapons surrounding the smoldering ruin. The men continued to hide in their barricade of tables. However, the bullets went right through the tables. They provided no protection at all. An expanding pool of blood surrounded the table splinters when they stopped firing.

The truck with the emissaries returned to check on the situation. Prince William was still alive but he was coughing horribly. The chief spokesman walked up to him and said, "What do you have to say now -- king?"

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Captcha! It does nothing! Greetings all. I just thought I would take some time to talk about the multitudinous comments that do not make the light of day. Recently, there have been a great number of comments left here. Most of them are huge. They are cut and pasted out of some sort of reservoir. They are automatically put in the Spam bin (mostly). However, they keep coming. I don't really care. Go ahead and waste your time. I just thought you might give up by now. Silly me. Further, I would like to note, for every link on this site, the "nofollow" marker is added. Thus, if you do post something with a link on it, it will not help you. The nofollow marker tells search engines to not follow the link. Thus, you will not get an increase in status in the search engines. You are just wasting your time (and a little bit of mine.) So, since you've cracked Captcha I have been left with no alternative than to increase the Spam filter strength. Thus, even fewer of your spams will get through. (Although, they would not be up there for long.) Sorry for the rest of you, but you don't really comment anyway. Thanks for visiting and have a nice day.

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Reunited...

Chapter Sixty-Nine

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Princess Angelina sat in the tent waiting for her father. She knew he would be angry, so she thought of what she would do and say when he arrived. She thought she knew what was going on, but sometimes it was difficult to tell with her father. After several minutes, the King stormed into the tent.

"Listen young lady!" he shouted while pointing his finger at her.

"King Jonathan," she interrupted as she rose and bowed. "Please have a seat."

"I came here to negotiate in good faith. What do you do? Do you call me? Do you send for me? No! you speak to one of my men!"

"You were not present sire, so protocol dictates..."

"Protocol? Young lady, I should take you over my knee."

"That would be seen as an act of war," the Princess replied calmly. "As an act of war, you would likely not leave this tent alive."

"Why -- I -- could..." he said as he attempted to gain control. He finally took his seat and added, "Yes -- sire."

"That is better. I informed your man of the situation. I assume he is a good man and that he passed that information on to you. I hope you are satisfactorily informed of the situation."

"Yes," King Jonathan replied curtly.

"Good. How do you respond?"

"Thank you. As you know, there was an agreement between the Calmondak Kingdom and the Nunu Kingdom."

"However," interupted the Princess. "I contend that the treaty was rendered moot when Nunu attacked Lakeland and was soundly defeated."

"The treaty does not mention anything about under what circumstance the king was removed from power."

"I would also contend that Nunu ceased to exist when the former king surrendered to Lakeland forces. Nunu then became a part of the Kingdom of Lakeland and this would also negate the treaty."

"I disagree."

"Which is why we arranged this meeting rather than going to war with you."

"Listen young lady, I am your father, and you will listen."

"I am the sovereign ruler over Lakeland, and you will listen. While I do have familial ties with you, I must do what is best for my subjects. Allowing you to claim land that my people fought for is something we will not tolerate. Simply put, it will not be passed on to you in any fashion. We will not let your treaty stand."

"Are you willing to go to war over it?"

"Sire, we already have."

"Would you be willing to fight a much superior fighting force for it?"

"If you wish us to show our strength against you, we would be willing to oblige. However, we do have pressing matters that we would rather attend."

"Like what?"

"The Maritime Kingdom was also a part of this alliance. We are still at war with them."

"Oh yes. I would also like to state that we have a similar treaty with their king."

"You will take their land should their current king fall?"

"Yes."

"And the former Kingdom of Kaanfed?"

"Their king was far less willing to participate."

"When we are victorious over the Maritime Kingdom, will we need to have a similar discussion?"

"I suspect the results of this discussion will suffice."

"Then I will restate our position. You have no claim here. Go home."

"I disagree."

"Let me put it another way. If you control Nunu and Maritime from your position, your kingdom will not be contiguous. This will cause issues for you. Whereas, it would be easily absorbed into Lakeland."

"Our plan was for it to retain some of its sovereignty and instill a loyal subject as its new king."

"Perhaps one of your children?"

"You know, that would be you or Prince James."

"Hence, would it not be logical to renounce your claim and let us take control?"

"Calmondak cannot lose face."

"Stop being silly father."

"In what way am I being silly?"

"You have made your show of force. Anything further will reflect poorly upon you."

"How do you mean?"

"If you attack -- me -- you will appear to be a bully. You would be beating up your own daughter -- a little girl."

"If I do not attack, I will appear weak."

"You know that is not true."

"Do I?"

"Yes. You know that no one will look down upon you for not attacking your daughter's forces."

"Is that right?"

"Of course. Everyone knows that this show of force is just a demonstration. It was nothing more than an excuse to see me and tell me how proud of me you are."

"Everyone knows that do they?"

"Of course they do. No one will think any less of you if you pack up and go home."

"Now you are being silly."

"Perhaps a bit."

"I am proud of you."

"I know father."

"We really do have a claim."

"You can explain it as I have to anyone who doubts you."

"What about your war with the Maritime Kingdom?"

"We gave them a sound thrashing here. They should be greatly weakened. However, if we do not continue soon, they will have time to regroup."

"We could aid you in the fight."

"Your people would be fighting for Lakeland and get little in return."

"They would follow you."

"Also, this may void your treaty with them."

"That is the spirit!"

"I will call my generals and we will start a plan."

"Agreed!"

The Princess now knew that her father's march was just a pretext to join her forces. In that way, the King of the Maritime Kingdom would not automatically assume that the Calmondak forces were joining the Lakeland forces. Thus, he would have less time to adjust his strategy. King Jonathan knew that with the treaty for both kingdoms, the Maritime Kingdom would not suspect if he marched to make some sort of claim. Thus, the show of force was for them.

With the agreement between King Jonathan and Princess Angelina complete, the Calmondak forces would join the fight against the Maritime Kingdom. The Princess insisted that the Calmondak forces be the reserves for the Lakeland troops.

With the armies ready to go, all of the equipment was packed up for the journey north. The Lakeland army was once again on the march.

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Reunited...

Chapter Seventy

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Prince William was filled with regret. Over the last several weeks, he had behaved horribly. He let the power go to his head, and he was now paying for it. He wanted to respond to the emissaries, but his lungs were too filled with smoke. All he could do was cough. However, he was resigned to his fate.

The Prince was surprised that the people gathered did not kill him immediately. He expected to be shot on site. However, his captors treated him much better than his father's men would have treated anyone in the same situation. He was grateful for that. He decided to express his gratitude as soon as he could clear his lungs.

His captors checked him for weapons and led him into the back of their truck. He did not know where they were taking him, but he was happy for every moment that he was still alive. His coughing began to subside as the truck moved along. He tried to breath in as much air as he could. Soon, he was able to talk.

He began to utter some sounds, but he was instantly silenced by a rifle butt to the ribs. He began coughing again, but it was short lived. He bowed low to the soldier who struck him. He decided that he would not utter any additional sounds.

Eventually, the truck stopped. The Prince was pushed out of the truck and he saw the many orderly rows of tents. There were thousands of tents organized neatly along a central road. The tents fanned out along secondary roads. The Prince assumed the flags denoted the allegiance of the tent owner. It was quite the impressive arrangement of temporary living quarters.

The Prince did not have much time to admire the camp as he was rushed into a large central tent. The man in charge of him pushed him along to where he was wanted. He did not have a chance to look around much. He wanted to marvel in the scenes of it all, but he simply was not allowed.

Once in the tent, he noticed a chair next to a wall on a small raised platform. He was pushed to that spot and roughly placed into the chair. They attached his hands to it, but the Prince had no intention of struggling. He felt sorry for his actions, and he was ready to face the consequences. Nonetheless, he was shackled to his seat.

The Prince realized that he was in a makeshift courtroom. There was a large raised table to his right. To his left were a pair of tables placed upon the floor with a few chairs behind them. Straight out was a seating area. It appeared that his trial would begin soon, as people began streaming into the tent. The rows of seating began to fill up. However, the tables remained empty.

He recognized a few people in the crowd. They shouted and pointed at him. He was now thoroughly ashamed of his actions. He decided to not look at the crowd any longer. He simply put his head down and closed his eyes.

The roar of the crowd steadily rose. It appeared that there would be plenty of people to watch this spectacle. The crowd noise was almost enough to urge him to look up, but he decided it was best that he did not. He just sat there waiting. With the events of the last several days, he was very tired, but his anxiousness kept him awake.

After quite a long wait, the Prince heard a gavel and the room quieted to a soft murmur. The Prince continued to hang his head. He heard someone say all rise, and he attempted to comply. However, his shackles prevented him from standing. Instead he lifted his head to see the judge sitting at the raised table on his right.

"Be seated," the judge announced and everyone took a seat. "Who do we have here?"

"We are not sure your honor," came a reply from the Prince's left. "Please state your name for the record."

The Prince looked around, and decided that they were waiting for him. He was not sure what he was going to say.

After a brief bit of coughing, the Prince stated, "My name is William Thorbjornson."

"Is that all?" asked an attorney on his left.

"It is all that is relevant," replied the Prince.

"Do you not claim to be the new sovereign over our fair land?"

"Mr. Prosecutor, you are out of order," stated the judge.

"I am sorry your honor," he replied.

"While I appreciate all of your interest in this case," the judge began. "There will be no convictions today. This man has rights -- even if he is not a citizen of your land. He will need representation. We are just giving him a preliminary hearing and nothing more. It is here that we will decide what to do next. I will have not tolerate any outbursts. I will act to remove anyone disrupting this proceedings. Have I made myself clear?"

Above the grumble of the crowd several individuals said Yes, your honor.

"Mr. Thorbjornson," the judge continued. "Do you know why you are here?"

"I believe so," the Prince replied.

"Would you like to elaborate?" asked the judge.

"I am afraid that if I do, those statements would be held against me."

"Fair enough," replied the judge. "Let me describe the particulars. A group of mercenaries were hired by one of the local warlords to facilitate some fighting. These men were fierce warriors, and that warlord soon became powerful. After months of fighting, it was decided by most of the parties involved that the fighting should stop. However, these mercenaries were not convinced. A truce was called, and these men went away. Do you follow so far?"

"Yes your honor," the Prince replied.

"Good. The warring factions came to a settlement, but no one knew how to handle these mercenaries. Upon their return, an envoy explained to these men that the war was over, but the asserted to place you on the throne of a new kingdom. Does this sound familiar to you?"

"Yes your honor."

"Very good. Now, we need to decide if you are a threat to us. That is why you are here. If you wish to explain yourself, we are willing to listen. On the other hand, we can grant you counsel and we can go through a complete jury trial. Nevertheless, everything will be determined today. The people willing, you may survive the day."

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Reunited...

Chapter Seventy-One

By Douglas E. Gogerty

King Jonathan's and Princess Angelina's combined army continued its march north towards the Maritime Kingdom. The Princess would have liked to ride with the men, but her injuries prevented her from doing so. She was forced to sit in one of the protected wagons. Many argued for her to stay with the wounded in the Nunu castle. However, she could not be persuaded to be left behind.

Her father regularly checked in with her, and they had several long conversations. As they traveled, she asked everyone who came to see her for regular updates. Eventually, the scouts would report to the generals and then to her. In this way, she did the best she could to remain involved in the war effort.

After several days march, they entered the Maritime Kingdom. There was no fighting until that time. However, even the fighting in that kingdom was light. The scouts did a good job of preventing any type of ambush. Further, the army was on high alert. At any unusual circumstance, the convoy would stop. Therefore, the march toward the capitol was slow.

From all of the reports, it appeared that the Maritime Kingdom was purposely slowing the progress of the Lakeland and Calmondak forces in order to regroup at the castle. From these early indications, it appeared that another siege would be required to win this war. The Calmondak and Lakeland armies began preparing for such an eventuality.

For weeks, the army continued its slow push towards the capitol. One of the benefits of the slow march was that the Princess had time to recover. She began to ride with the generals by the time they could see the castle complex in the distance. In this way, she had the opportunity to give input on the strategy for the upcoming siege.

As they anticipated, when they got close to the castle, the skirmishes became less prevalent. By this time, the Maritime Kingdom forces would be gathered in the castle. Thus, they would be available to aid in the city in any way necessary. While the skirmishes gave them time to organize, it was time to establish themselves in the city. With the important resources gathered in the city, they could develop a strategy of their own. In addition, they could use the able bodies to collect supplies for the upcoming siege.

However, as the Princess's forces approached the city, they found the gates wide open. The Princess asked for volunteers to enter the city to scout around. Warily, the volunteer scouts entered the city. As they fanned out, they found the streets deserted. Their presents was not opposed in any fashion. Eventually, one of the scouts came to a big tent outside the castle walls.

This scout had found the parlay tent. Inside the tent stood a single messenger. Once he entered, the occupant told him to stay and left. After a short while, he returned with some emissaries of the Kingdom. The emissaries had an official message for the Calmondak and Lakeland armies. The written document asked for a meeting with qualified representatives of the invasion force to arrange a peace settlement. It appeared that the Maritime Kingdom was surrendering without any further fighting.

King Jonathan wanted to send his best men, but the Princess would not hear it. It was her battle and not her father's. She would handle the emissary arrangements. In fact, she insisted that she go herself with a few of her trusted generals. King Jonathan protested loudly, but the Princess would not budge on the issue. The more the King objected; the more she was set on going.

After a lengthy debate, the Princess and 20 men entered the city. All of the accompanying individuals were experienced soldiers. A few of the Princess's generals had diplomatic experience, but only the best fighters among them were asked to join the Princess. The soldiers marched in a box formation around the Princess as they entered the city. They made their way to the parlay tent.

Once again, a sole messenger was in the tent when they arrived. He asked them to wait as he retrieved the emissaries from the Maritime Kingdom. They were surprised that the Princess had come in person. They were even more surprised when she insisted that the King negotiate in person.

The King of the Maritime Kingdom arrived a short while later. He abdicated to the Princess on the spot. Arrangements were made for officially dissolving the Maritime Kingdom and making it part of Lakeland. The Princess sent for her father, and he arrived shortly afterward.

There was a brief discussion on what to do with the former King of the Maritime Kingdom. The Princess felt there were very few choices. She felt that he could not stay in any Lakeland territory. He would be a symbol and could cause problems for her. Even if he did not directly do anything directly, he could cause strife in her kingdom.

One option was to travel overseas. However, there had been so little contact with the countries outside of Morica that no one was sure any civilizations existed on other continents. The former king was not keen on taking this option.

There was the Pirate Peninsula. However, the king had explored this option in the time before the invasion. Several of his scouts returned telling of the civil war raging on down there. Thus, he was not interested in going there.

Thus, the only option left was for him to live under the rule of King Jonathan in Calmondak. In effect, he would be a hostage in King Jonathan's court. However, he would be treated better there than any other place. Thus, he chose that option.

The Princess interrogated the scouts who had recently returned from the peninsula. They told of stories of Prince William's exploits. They described actions that to the Princess seemed out of place. Those actions did not sound like the Prince she knew. However, these scouts also heard of plans that would end the war, but they would not turn out well for the Prince.

The Princess was torn. The stories did not seem right. However, if they were to be believed, Prince William could be in trouble. She decided to skip any ceremony and investigate for herself. She gathered a group to travel overland towards the peninsula. This group would be reinforcements as she planned to travel by sea. While much more dangerous, the seafaring Maritime Kingdom could get her there faster if the Prince was indeed in trouble. She wanted to take that risk.

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