May 10, 2007

Fortunae Rota Volvitur

The saga continues........

Honestly, I had no idea how much diplomacy and negotiation would be required when first my Cousin Kendra was taken at the Reconciliation Day Ball. There have been many behind the scenes acts attempting to assure a greater good, peace, and release of the Kaiserin. To that last point, Baron BardHaven and I did meet and achieve what I believe was my desired end - the Kaiserin released and permitted to reach her boat for passage back to her people. What seems unclear to me still is what BardHaven has described as possible further retribution for the pain and suffering of Clive. I suspect that I have not had my last negotiation with him if I am to prevent such action. We will see. The next move is clearly the Baron's.

As for another of the villains in this affair....

I have been in communication via very secure channels - and primarily by trusted MI 5 messengers - with Hotspur O'Toole. In several of his last intercepted communications, I had the sense that there was discontent, unhappiness, and perhaps even some remorse. Having called him on this, he did in fact reach out to me. Not just for himself...but also for his faithful operatives in CHIT.

What follows is the transcript and my own pictoral documentation of the events of last night. Understanding that I needed her assistance and influence as well, I contacted the Duchess of Carntaigh, who agreed to join me in this venture. We made our way to O'Toole's home in exile. Roma.

[18:40] Hotspur Otoole: Your Grace, I wish to thank you for traveling all the way to Roma to treat with me and mine. It would not be.. politic.. were we to show our face in Caledon at the moment.

[18:40] Eva Bellambi: Say your piece, traitor. You have the the attention of Loch Avie and Carntaigh. But make it swift. The war you started commands our attentions.

[18:41] Gabrielle Riel: Yes, speak traitor, and know that Caledonian blood has been shed for your base amusements. Do you know an innocent girl was shot defending the Governor with her own body???

At this point Agent Pennyfeather stepped forward as if to harm Duchess Carntaigh, but Mr O'Toole placed a hand on her shoulder and she stepped back. It seems he does still have control of his band of miscreants.

Agent Pennyfeather is most threatening to Her Grace, Gabrielle.

O'Toole steps in

[18:43] Hotspur Otoole: (places a hand on her shoulder) Easy, Agent P.

[18:43] Hotspur Otoole: Your Grace, do not speak of that. I did not dangle Victoria City in front of Neualtenburg airships for the sake of a grand diversion while I rescued some distant relation!

[18:44] Gabrielle Riel: How DARE you? It would never have happened if ...

[18:44] Eva Bellambi: Enough, Cousin. We are done here. He has nothing to offer us.

As I moved to leave the villa, I was stopped in my tracks by the next words out of O'Toole's mouth

[18:45] Hotspur Otoole (shouts) How about total victory at Neualtenburg, and an end to the war in one attack?

[18:46] Eva Bellambi: You have our attention. Speak.


At this point, I was handed a picture by one of the CHIT group, a Mr Iason Hassanov. Mr Hassanov seemed to watch me for an inordinately long period of time. I kept a close eye on him even as the negotiations continued. The cold steel of the sgian dubh tucked in my garter provided some comfort to me. I knew that I would be able to find the unprotected spot in this robot's build quick enough should he make any false movement toward me.

[18:47] Hotspur Otoole: I have, in my possession, the Malaprop medium bomber, a devastating new strategic weapon FAR more lethal than our old Da Vinci helicopters. If you will allow me some of the remnants of the Caledonian Air Force and a fleet of militarized transport ships to act as troop carriers, it is possible to smash through the thinnest portion of their anti aircraft gun defenses at the Northern end of their city.

[18:48] Hotspur Otoole: Once the way through their ground defense has been cleared, the path will be open for Pearse to land with the ground militia, and move into the center of the city, seizing effective control of the Neualtenburg government.

Duchess Carntaigh and I made the slightest glance to one another. Our interest was piqued.

[18:49] Gabrielle Riel: What of that great... leviathan of the air that bombed us last week? The...what was she called? The Brynhilde?

[18:50] Hotspur Otoole: Aye, there's the rub. I'm guessing it got shot up pretty badly from all reports. If they have her in the air again, then that changes my plans drastically.

[18:51] Eva Bellambi: True enough. My operatives in Neualtenberg tell me that the Brynhilde is badly damaged thanks to the fine work of Virrginia Tombola and her ornithopter, though I do not think she knows how many hits she actually made. O'Toole, what are the chances of success with the Brynhilde in drydock?

[18:53] Hotspur Otoole: About 70%, give or take.

[18:53] Eva Bellambi: And if she is fully - or even partially - functional?

[18:54] Hotspur Otoole; About 30%.

[18:55] Eva Bellambi: Sir, that is insane! We would not countenance risking the last of the Caledonian Air Force on this mission, no matter how sophisticated the bomber!

At this point O'Toole seemed oddly calm. He took his time in making an answer to me. Walking straight over in front of me. With only a few inches seperating us, he looked directly into my eyes and said

[18:57] Hotspur Otoole: I'm not asking you to. I will take the lead position on this mission.

[18:57] Eva Bellambi: Sir, do you realize what you are saying?

Our gaze remained locked. The serious nature of this conversation demanded no less. There was as much said through his eyes as there was via his words. He continued:

[18:58] Hotspur Otoole: Entirely. However, it makes sense. Who has flown practice runs over Neualtenburg? I have. No one else. I know where their flak emplacements are. I know what kind of opposition we can expect in the air. We BOTH know the level of security within the capital city, Your Grace. You have been there have seen my memos and those of Agent Tinlegs.

[18:59] Gabrielle Riel: Wait a moment, O'toole. You are not the generous type. What is in this arrangement for you?

Slowly breaking eye-contact with me he turned to Duchess Carntaigh

[19:01] Hotspur Otoole: Now we arrive at it. Your Graces.... we.. of CHIT.. are tired of our forced exile. We wish to return to Caledon, not as prisoners, but granted full and unconditional amnesty for our actions (entirely under orders) at the Reconciliation Ball.

[19:02] Gabrielle Riel: WHATT??? NEVER!!!! YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES, BEAST!!

[19:02] Eva Bellambi: Not so fast, cousin...We will discuss this with the Guvnah.

At this point, I noticed that O'Toole pulled out his pocket watch and seemed to look not at the watch-face, but perhaps at a photograph hidden inside. Finally he said:

[19:04] Hotspur Otoole: I fear that would be a waist of our valuable time. I suspect I know the answer of our dear Guvnah already. I fear we embarrass him these days. I don't think he expected us to survive this affair. This offer expires in ten minutes. You have everything you need to decide. I would do so now if I were you!

Stepping a little away from this menacing group, Duchess Carntaigh and I discussed the matter briefly. But we knew what our answer must be.....

[19:07] Eva Bellambi: Very well... we accept your terms. If you and your group of CHITs will do this service to Caledon, we will ensure that amnesty is granted you. IF you survive this peril, the Guvnah will readmit you into Caledon as full citizens.

[19:08] Hotspur Otoole: Excellent. Now, let us discuss the project in detail, as the hour for a strike grows nigh.

Agent Amplebeak and Pilot Frequency Picnic

We discussed his plans at some length before departing the CHIT stronghold. In his exile, he has given this much thought. Frequency Picnic of the air force had been called in to discuss this as well. She believes that the plan will work...if the Brynhilde is not fully functional. She has volunteered to be part of this first wave attacking along with the CHIT. This is a wise decision. Tombola and Pearse will likely feel better with one of their own working along side this group.

And we find ourselves at the beginning of the end.

fidem meam nota


A. Tinlegs, Gnome said...

I'm an agent of CHIT? A renegade? Surely there must be some error?

I had thought I was serving as a loyal agent of Caledon's MI 5. Being conflicted by my loyalty to Caledon and loyalty to my friends I had resolved to remain loyal to Caledon and the Guvnah while attempting to keep lines of communication open to the renegades should they have a change of heart. I was certain they would because rascal though he may be my friend Otoole is not a rogue. I felt certain that there were other reasons behind his act of treason that was so out of character for him. Blackmail perhaps, since he does tend to be a bit cavalier about his romantic dalliances.

Ah well. CHIT happens. If it is to be my lot to be accounted amoung the renegades then so be it and I must bear the burden of that as gracefully as I am able.

If there is to be an invasion of NeuAltenberg despite my efforts to achieve a detente then I will happily offer my service on Caledon's behalf.

I think my mission should be to slip in under cover of darkness the night before and gain access to their biergarten. There I should endeavor to consume their supply of NeuAltenberg lager, thus dermoralizing their troops.


Hotspur O'Toole said...


I do hereby testify that Agent Tinlegs was never a blackbird. He is merely a former MI5 operator that occassionally passes me a nice intelligence plum from time to time. He was at the meeting solely for his latest estimation of Neualtenburg's air defense structure.



Virginia said...

Your grace, I have nothing but the highest respect for Miss Picnic's aeronautical judgement. If she says a plan is executable, why then, I believe we have a chance.

I do apologize for the lack of intelligence from the raid on the Brynnhilde. I am just not a seasoned veteran, and events (such as having the beastie shot out from under us) others might shrug off with a "A, bit sticky that, eh?" commanded my full attention.

On a hopeful note, Mr. Sputnik tells me he is still processing the film cannisters from the flight. Much was damaged, but he is nothing if not clever by half--I jave faith that more answers might be forthcoming. Perhaps we did disable her enough that she will remain in dock. Failing that, perhaps some weakness might be found.

Her Grace, Eva Bellambi said...

Agent Tinlegs -
Do you think I do not know that you are a loyal and faithful member of MI 5? I understand that you have maintained your friendship with O'Toole through all of this (how could I not know this really? I am in charge of military intel...come on)and that has been of some use as well.
Your loyalty to Caledon is known....and given that you may be in on the first wave of the air attack...or on the ground providing front line information to us as this transpires, your patriotism will be widely known in the end.

Telemachus said...

I for one look forward to adventures with Hotpsur when he is allowed back in Caledon, and hence happily anticipate his reinstatement, what ever that takes; in the meantime someone needs to script some dueling pistols so HS and I can shoot each other over and over on my lunch breaks :)

Love to all

Sir Tele