Jump to content

A fresh wind


Recommended Posts

A fresh wind

Scene 1,
Confederate States of Florentia,
Montcharmin, Confederal Senate
08/07/2023, 15h21

The front of the Confederal Senate.

With the war over, Hugo Lysandre "Lys" Dellague can finally get his draft constitution approved. Although the plan is still to put the new constitution to the vote in a referendum, the Senate still has to be informed about the plan, whether they agree or not, just to be polite.

Although the entire building is known as the Confederal Senate, it occupies only a small part of it. In fact, the building is also used to house the entire Confederal government.
The Senate occupies just one small room. Richly decorated with tapestries depicting the Florentian War of Independence, it is lit by two tall windows and a luxurious crystal chandelier. Below this chandelier is a long rectangular white marble table, with twelve ebony and velvet armchairs arranged alongside it. The usher, the first to arrive as always, places a summary of the agenda in front of each seat. The summary is surprisingly thick, three or four times thicker than usual. Indeed, as many aspects are managed directly by the States, the Senate has very little left to vote on. The usher, curious, opens one of the summaries and flips through it. His eyes are hollow, as if they had been hammered into his skull, and his thin moustache twitches gently as he whispers the agenda. Just then the Count of San Constantino, Senator of the Duchy of Lasoda, appeared.

"- So, Monsieur Mouffetard, you've got a wandering eye", he asked with a falsely sententious air.

"- No, no, please excuse me, Monsieur de San Constantino.
- It's nothing, Mouffetard. I understand your curiosity. In my case, I'll wait for my colleagues to arrive before reading the content.

The Count of San Constantino is a well-built man with a sympathetic bonhomie.

"- So, Monsieur de San Constantino," asks the usher in an attempt to keep the conversation going, "how's business?
- Just so-so. My slaves were rather agitated because of the revolt in Narizonia. Well... they still are. I don't understand why they don't calm down. It's probably because of this new liberal regime in Narizonia. It's giving them the wrong ideas.
- Oh yes, it's terrible. As soon as you hold out your hand, they eat your arm !
- Exactly ! Today they talk about equality, but what they really want is the end of white civilisation !
- That's terrible," muttered Mouffetard and San Constantino in a single voice.

Then came :
- Louis de Saint-Louis, Count of Saint-Louis, Senator for Rivière-de-Juillet ;
- Louis-Napoléon de Phauve, Count of Phauve, Senator for Nouvelle-Creuse ;
- Louis-Philippe de Houateurmane, Count of Houateurmane, Senator for Nouvelle-Vendée ;
- Désiré de Belleville, Count of Belleville, Senator for Javiosie ;
- François d'Avoin, Count of Avoin, Senator for Yalme ;
- Octave de Rognac, Count of Rognac, Senator for Tyronie ;
- Charles de Cabriès, Duke of Cabriès, Senator for Abalavier ;
- Jean Dupuis, Senator for Coayard ;
- and, of course, Hugo Lysandre 'Lys' Dellague, Senator for Bayave.
The only one missing is the Senator for Narizonie, who has not yet been elected.

As the Senators take their seats, the usher arranges a few bottles of bourbon and trays of delicacies on the table.

"- Gentlemen," began Lys, "I would like to inform you that I will shortly be holding a referendum in which all Florentian citizens, whether slaves or not, men or women, will be able to take part. The subject of this referendum will be the adoption of a new constitution, a constitution which you can consult in the agenda which Monsieur Mouffetard has distributed to you."

All the other Senators frowned and consulted the agenda. Then they all became indignant one after the other, with the exception of Désiré de Belleville and Jean Dupuis.

"- Come on, Dellague, this is insane !
- It's madness !
- Come to your senses !
- Abolition is overrated !
- Women's suffrage, don't even think about it !
- Distributing land to the peasants who work it would be anarchy !
- Abolish the tax privileges of the nobility, what's next !
- Gentlemen, calm down," exclaimed Lys. "If the referendum fails, I guarantee that I'll quit politics for good. After all, this constitution is pure madness, isn't it ? So the people will reject it. You have nothing to fear. Now that you know what I'm up to, gentlemen, let's move on to the next topics.
- Do you really think we're going to let you do this ?" the Duke of Cabriès shouted indignantly. The nobleman rises from his seat. "You're nothing but a populist leech working for criminals. Your politics boil down to bread and circuses. You think you know what the people need because, like them, you smell like a bayou and are as repulsive as a mud-bug. Come, gentlemen, let us not stay another moment in the company of this vermin."

All the Senators, except Désiré de Belleville and Jean Dupuis, followed the Duke of Cabriès towards the exit. Lys got up and managed to catch up with the Duke. He whispers to him :

"- Avoid staying out too late tonight."

The Duke raises his eyebrows disdainfully. Lys replies with an inhumanly broad, Dantean smile. The Duke shivers in spite of himself, and hurries back to the other slavers. The Chancellor rubs his hands together excitedly.


Scene 2,
Confederate States of Florentia,
Montcharmin, Confederal Senate
09/07/2023, 0h47

As soon as he left the Senate, the Duke of Cabriès called an emergency meeting of slavers to act against the referendum. They concluded that guards should be posted in front of polling stations to force people to vote against the referendum, but also to prevent slaves from voting. So much for democracy, but we absolutely must protect freedom, the freedom to own a human being. The meeting went on for a long time.

The Senators left the cabaret where they had met. One by one, they set off in their limousines towards their respective States. Only Charles de Cabriès' limousine was late. Too bad, he'll have to wait.

The street is surprisingly deserted. Normally, the streets of the capital are busy until two o'clock in the morning, or even later. Charles de Cabriès leaned against a lamppost. The light coming down on him from above only partially illuminates his deep wrinkles, making him look vaguely like a zebra. The Duke grows impatient.

The sound of a horn startled him. A limousine has stopped and is waiting for him. The number plate is the right one. At last! his limousine had arrived. Charles de Cabriès climbs in, without even saying hello to the driver, and closes the door. Strangely enough, the driver locks the rear doors, and the partition window is activated.

"- Please remove the security. I'd like to get out if necessary.

- I'm sorry, but that might not be possible," replied a familiar voice. Then the driver turned round. Charles shrieks in horror. It's not his driver, it's Lys !

"- Too late. But don't worry, we'll have plenty of time to explain tonight. You can come out of hiding, bro."

One side of the back seat lifts up, revealing a man - Lancelot Dellague, Lys' little brother - hiding inside. He emerges from his hiding place, takes a seat next to the Duke and pulls out a revolver.

"- You move, you die. Simple, isn't it ?
- Lys, you'd better watch the road," remarks Lancelot.

"- But I could drive with my eyes closed. Look !". Lys closes his eyes, driving blindly.

"- Lys, you're swerving.
- "No, I'm not.
- You're on the other track!
- Holy Simoleon !" exclaimed Lys, opening his eyes again as a lorry was speeding towards them. In extremis, he got the car back on track.

"- Now concentrate on the road, for God's sake.
- Chief, yes, Chief !" replies Lys with a mocking expression. He loves it when his little brother shows responsibility. It's so adorable.

"- By the way, Lys, you brought the butcher's apron, right ?
- Uuuuh... I think I may....
- You forgot it ?
- Don't get angry, bro, but I think so.
- Come on ! For God's sake, you are the freacking leader of a freacking country and its freacking mafia, and you will be soon its freacking dictator, and yet you just can't plan a murder properly ? That's layers of stupidity.
- But if we plan every little thing, where's the spontaneity, the passion ?
- F*ck off with the passion ! I'm going to be full of blood, again.
- Don't worry. I'll do it myself.
- And mess up you're precious shirt from Lysia ?
- Sometimes, sacrifices are required, bro.", says Lys with a moralistic tone. It really is the pot calling the kettle black.

"- Talking about sacrifices, I think mine isn't necessar-
- Shut up !", shout the brothers to the Duke.

Tonight, the Duke of Cabriès will be sleeping with the alligators.


Scene 3,
Confederate States of Florentia,
Sainte-Yvonne-les-Prairies, Republic of Saint-Isidore (North-East)
15/07/2023, 17h04

Sainte-Yvonne-les-Prairies is a small rural village whose main source of income is cattle rearing, corn and citrus fruit growing. More particularly lemons, which are renowned throughout the state.

The small local bistro is, like many other country bistros in the north of the country, a predominantly wooden building. "Chez Marcel" is painted on the front of the building, above the entrance. To the left of the building is a small stable made of sheet metal, where customers can tie up their horses.

The interior is sparsely decorated. The walls are covered in beige wallpaper with numerous traces of damp. A stuffed bull's head hangs above one of the windows. The bar is located just below the mezzanine. This gives access to a number of hotel rooms. At the back, a radio plays country music. The bistro is almost empty: the locals usually come from 6pm onwards.
Hugo Lysandre 'Lys' Dellague is waiting at the bar, glancing at his watch from time to time. He's waiting for someone, and that someone is late.

That's the moment the door opens. The newcomer is wearing a yellow shirt, a red scarf, black gloves with yellow straps, yellow boots with a spur, a large blue hat decorated with a red ribbon, and blue jeans faded by manual labour, almost entirely protected by white wool-covered chaps. A revolver, a whip, a flask of bourbon and a flask are attached to her belt. Finally, she carries a strap around her waist on which she stores ammunition.

"- I'm sorry, Miss," begins the barman as he finishes cleaning a glass, "but this bistro is off-limits to wom-"

The barman looks up and doesn't finish his sentence.

"- I beg your pardon, Miss Lémone. Please, take a seat. You're welcome", he corrects hastily.

"- Ay'd prefer daht," replied Marguerite Lémone. She takes a seat next to Lys. He turns to her and remarks mischievously.

"- You're 4 minutes late.
- A cowherd never arrives late. Or early, for that matter. Ay arrive when Ay want to, you li'le tenderfoot."

They both burst out laughing. Marguerite Lémone is the owner of a ranch north of Sainte-Yvonne-les-Prairies, where she raises her cows and grows her lemon trees. She is a symbol of the old Saint-Isidore, before capitalism took hold and began turning the prairies into supermarkets. As well as being a cowherd, Marguerite Lémone heads the Agrarian Union of Cowherds. And it is this trade union that serves as a front for the mafia in the north of the country. Some 94% of the cowherds in Saint-Isidore are members. Marguerite takes off her hat and places it on the table, revealing her pretty brown curls. Her short hair, roughly cut (probably by herself), together with her robust appearance and tall stature, give her a bovine air. She exudes more virility than all the men in the room.

"- How are you, Marguerite ?
- Well, Ay'm above da snakes, so every'ing's fine, hah ! Well, some guy 'ried to set fire to ma ranch, thou'h.
- He did ?
- Yeah, he dih. Proba'ly hired by 'he corp'rations. They wan' me ded 'cause Ay'm in their way.
- Knowing you, you probably got off easy.
- Yeah yeah, don' wo'y. Ay caugh' him a' home, so Ay knocked him ouwh with my rahfle buh and said...
- Yippi-ki-yi-yay, mo'erf*cker", completes Lys.

" - Exac'ly ! Hahah.
- I'm glad you were able to handle the situation. But let's get straight to the main topic of discussion.
- Your cons'ituhtion ?
- Yes, my constitution. I know the slavers will be posting guards in front of the polling stations. I need you to stop them from operating in the North.
- Na'izon'a, C'ayard and Saint-Isi'ore?
- Exactly.
- Goh it," she replies with two gun fingers. "And your cons'ituhtion, does i' do any'ing craz' ? Ay mean, it's no' in favour o' big business, is it ?
- No, it's not ! Of course it isn't. That would be knowing me wrong.
- Ay'm glad it doesn'. Ay trust ya.
- Thank you for your time, Marguerite", he said, gently taking the cowherd's hand before placing a gentlemanly kiss on it. Normally, Marguerite would have bitten off the testicles of any man who dared to kiss her hand, but this time she did nothing but blush.

"- See you later, Miss Lémone. I still have to talk to the other bosses."

He stood up and waved at her, before leaving the bistro. Margueritte Lémone sighs.

"- Ay don' know wha," she murmurs to herself, "bu' daht li'le b*stard never ceases to have 'n effect o' me."

Edited by Florentia (see edit history)
Link to comment
  • Create New...