Autumn in Freiburg

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Srf
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Autumn in Freiburg

Postby Srf » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:03 pm

"Excuse me sir?" the rag-swaddled tramp, eyes wild and face filthy, staggered toward a well-dressed man drinking a beer on the bar's terrace. "Care to secure a down-on-his-luck fellow with food for the night? Just a dollar is all I ask, sir".

"Hmm. Did you try the mission?"

"I did sir, and I'm not welcome there. I was set upon by some regulars and it was all blamed on me. Oh, what a week this has been!"

"There's no way you are this foul from sleeping rough for a week. Here's a dollar, go and buy yourself a gibzibi or a Praeburger or something."

"Five dollars and I'll make you a very happy man, sir!"

"Fuck off" the man with the beer put a hand into his linen jacket, pulling out a heavy pistol. The tramp scuttled into the darkness, muttering and sniffing sharply.

The man sighed and sat back, took another swig of his beer and checked his watch. Despite arriving twenty minutes late himself, his aquaintance had not shown up for almost an hour.

"Hey, Bridling!" a voice called from the end of the street, as if on cue. Bridling turned and saw a rather fat man in slacks and a Drift-Island style floral shirt powering down the street toward him. Bridling raised his beer in recognition, and took a good three sips in the time it took for his friend to reach the table, gasping and fanning himself.

"Sorry I'm late... The usual. Drive-by on Independence".

"No problem, Chuqi. I've been quite happy sitting quietly with a drink. It's been quite a week.

"Yes, I meant to ask you about that. How were the negotiations?"

"About as good as can be expected. The Ports Committee was never going to break its own monopoly in Freiburg, so it was all a bit of a waste of time - oh."

Bridling motioned for two beers at the waiter who was trying to catch his eye, and turned back to Chuqi.

"Anyway, I wasn't holding out much hope. But it's still a kick in the teeth to have them drag it out for three days and then crap on us from all the way up there". Bridling grimaced and threw a gaze at Port Tower, the recently-constructed PC headquarters that overlooked the Freiburg docks.

"Yes, I can imagine" Chuqi replied. "Well, it is what it is. What's our next move then?"

"Well, there isn't one. Not yet. I need to make some calls and make some house visits. But I'll call you when I have an idea."

Chuqi looked a little annoyed. "So the news is, there's no news. You could have just called me, Bridling".

Bidling nodded. "Yes, but it's good for you to get out. Anyway, I wanted a beer. Here's yours".

The two clinked bottles and sat back, both lost a little in their own thoughts. In the distance, a brief crackling of machine gun fire broke the late evening calm for a second.
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Srf
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Re: Autumn in Freiburg

Postby Srf » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:47 pm

"Hey mister CEO! The usual tonight?" the young provincial girl fell into step alongside Mr Bat as he walked toward his car, draping two lithe arms across his chest.

"No thanks Jiguda" Mr Bat smiled, gently lifting her arms off his shoulders and giving her hand a quick squeeze. "It's the wife's birthday. I think at least once a year I should make a bit of effort, hmm?" he half-heartedly brandished a bunch of flowers and grinned. "I'll see you tomorrow though".

Mr Bat reached the limousine and hopped into the back seat, slipping off his tie and unlocking out his smartphone as the car pulled out of the lot and onto the main road. For a solid ten minutes he sat hunched in the back without so much as lifting his head, messaging his wife, mistress and vice-president alternately while his car made progress through Freiburg's packed streets.

Presently he felt the car stop, and opened his mouth to thank the driver. "Great timing today Fazel, it's not even eigh-"

His eyes met Fazel's, who had turned around in the seat. Except it wasn't Fazel, it was a big and unfamiliar man wearing Fazel's uniform, and pointing a pistol at Mr Bat. Mr Bat's stomach dropped through the floor, his heart raced, sweat immediately began to trickle down his back.

"Who... Whoever you are... I can give you money. As much as you want. Just let me live... And we don't have to tell the Socials about this".

The man's face remained impassive. "Open the door".

Mr Bat looked outside. He was in a run-down prewar housing development known as Rice City, about thirty minutes from the city center. The middle of nowhere. He swallowed, looked back at the gunman in the driver's seat and opened the door. Immediately a man who had been crouching next to the door sprang to his feet and grabbed Mr Bat under the arms, hauling him out into the open as he kicked and moaned. Mr Bat was thrown into the dust, where he crouched and sobbed and sniffed while the gunman climbed out the front of the car.

"Get up. Have some dignity"

Mr Bat got to his feet and briefly looked around. They were standing in the courtyard of a shelled apartment block. In the corner, a group of what were probably Uirian gypsies sat around a campfire, drinking spirits and watching the proceedings somewhat dispassionately. Mr Bat knew this sort of thing happened all the time in Rice City. They would be no help. He turned to the fake driver.

"You know who I am. You know what will happen to you if you do this."

"Yes I know who you are. You are a parasite and a corporatist gangster. You are an Anglo puppet who destroyed what this country could be. You are shit." The man with the gun stated these as facts, his face remaining unreadable but his words masking real venom.

Mr Bat's arms slumped. This was not a person with whom he could negotiate. He was a dead man. The man behind him also pulled out a pistol, and jabbed it into Mr Bat's back. "On your knees."

Mr Bat sank to his knees, arms hanging limply by his sides. The driver raised the pistol and shot him once through the head.
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Re: Autumn in Freiburg

Postby Srf » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:19 pm

The Freiburg Wire | Still only $1, every day of the week!


MURDER IN FREIBURG - BUSINESSMAN BUTCHERED IN RICE CITY


Rice City - the deceased body of Port Authority CEO Mr. Nuor Bat was discovered late last night in the eastern district of Rice City.

The brutal murder, which has shocked and stunned the residents of both Rice City and greater Freiburg, has all the hallmarks of a gangland execution. A group of Uirian witnesses described the death of Mr Bat, who was killed by gunshot to the head by two unknown assailants.

At Social Office headquarters, Commander Aumed Ferim refused to be drawn into speculation as to the motive for Mr Bat's ultimely demise, and insisted that a case had been opened and all leads were being investigated.

The Commander's reservedness is seen by many as an effort to avoid implicating the Vorga government in the murder. In the streets of Freiburg today many people believed that Mr Bat's death was orchestrated by Vorga to destabilise the associations. Certainly, questions remain as to how Mr Bat was brought to an area like Rice City without becoming suspicious. A manhunt is underway for Mr Bat's personal driver, Fazel Metib, who has not been seen since last night and is potentially implicated in the unfortunate incident.

The Port Authority has released a statement of deepest sympathy for Mr Bat's family, and has convened an extraordinary board meeting for later this day, where an interim successor is expected to be chosen.
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Re: Autumn in Freiburg

Postby Srf » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:27 pm

Chuqi grunted as he climbed out of the car into the early morning sunshine. The state of the art sewer system, built by cheap Questarian "specialists" five years ago, was broken again, and the stench of shit was hanging over Freiburg's central business district like a fog. Probably another body clogging up the pipes, Chuqi thought to himself, and reached back into the car for his briefcase. His guard rushed out of the front passenger seat, brandishing his machine pistol at the hip and sweeping in a 180 degree angle like an action star.

"Oh stop it Anzor, you look ridiculous". Chuqi snapped. He buttoned his jacket and started walking toward Port Tower.

"I'm sorry, mister Chuqi" Anzor replied, walking at a brisk pace next to his charge.

"I don't really see why I need you at all, Anzor. No offence. Nobody is going to gun me down in the car park. And if they were then I doubt your little gun could stop them."

"None taken mister Chuqi. As you know the Port Authority ordered guards for -"

"Yes for all board members, I know". Chuqi replied, pushing his way through the outer door of the building. "Still Anzor, I do not lead a degenerate life like some of these people. I don't whore or do crack or anything else that would lead me into Rice City like Bat... Ah, good morning!"

__________________________________________________________________


The men around the table spent at least five minutes shouting at each other before the chairman managed to restore order. Jackets were readjusted, ties straightened and water sipped as the Port Authority's board members reacquired their dignity and sat quietly in their seats. The chair nodded to himself, sighed, and spoke again.

"Gentlemen. If I may, I will be happy to share with you the current details of Mr Bat's case. His driver's body was found in his home, bound and gagged and shot in the same manner as Bat himself. Time of death is estimated at around 15:00 yesterday. Someone outside the company sought to kill Mr. Bat. This position clearly carries danger for the time being, which is why -"

The shouting and arm-waving began again. The chairman raised his voice and continued. "Which is why you must be ENTIRELY certain that you are ready before submitting your name for the ballot. As before, everyone in this room is eligible for appointment".

At this, the room erupted. The chairman ignored the sudden explosion of activity and continued to speak. "The vote will be held, gentlemen, in one week's time, at next Thursday's nine AM board meeting. Please do not be late. In the interim period I will deal with the day to day business of the late Mr. Bat's role. Thank you".

The chairman snapped his briefcase closed and strolled out of the room, flanked by a pair of his own company guards. As he left the storm of claims, counterclaims, accusations and insults continued to swirl among the other board members unabated. Only Mr. Chuqi remained silent, hands steepled under his chin and eyes looking straight ahead. He was deep in thought.
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Re: Autumn in Freiburg

Postby Srf » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:02 pm

Mr Bridling passed a five dollar note to the bartender and brought the three beers to his corner table. Two other men, who had been hunched together and whispering fervently, pulled back as he approached. Bridling smiled as he sat down and distributed the bottles.

"Come on guys, we are co-conspirators aren't we? There are no secrets between us!"

The slightly older of the other two glanced at his colleague, then back at Bridling.

"We are just confused. We did what you said with the PA exec, and I'm not regretting what we did to that piece of slime, but we still don't really know why".

"I told you, to throw out the Anglo puppets".

"But you are Anglo".

Bridling looked up at the men with an angry flash. "I am bloody well not. My father was a Praetannic, yes. And I grew up in southeast Haversham and went to a white school with Legalist teachers in stupid hats. But I am not an Anglo. I am a 'smelly Shirry' according to them. I belong to this land just as much as you".

The other man who had spoken coughed, and drink some beer. "Yes, maybe. But you are not a communist."

"No. Does it matter? I want to see the Freiburg cartel broken up just as much as you do. I'll give you the money and the tools to do it and then we can stab each other to death for all I care. But this mission is all about Sharfic solidarity".

"This is Sharfic solidarity" the second of the two men snarled, pushing past his older colleague and tugging up the sleeve of his jacket. on the inside of his forearm, a slightly faded but unmistakable red ox head had been tattooed into his skin. "I fought for this country while you drank wine in Haversham. I bled for it too".

"Congratulations" Bridling replied. "You joined a Buzkashi ultra club and got a tattoo. That was what, fifteen years ago now? Twenty? It was a long war and now it's over. Here you are now, persona non grata in Vorga, meeting a bourgeoise expatriate in a dive bar in a Freiburg slum. If you want to fight the war again we can do it now. If you want to make this country better then let's work together."

The older man slapped the younger around the head. "Calm down Adem, you fucking idiot. Ok friend, we can carry on this work together. What is your plan?"

Bridling nodded, seeming satisfied. He took a quick swig of beer. "Alright. The Port Authority is going to have a vote on the new CEO next week. My friend Mr. Chuqi has to win. Here is a list of board members - don't do anything with it yet. Chuqi and I are going to work on the political side and bring people around to vote for him. Anyone who emerges as a strong challenger will need to go - I'll contact you the same way as before."

The older man raised his eyebrows. "Why would we help you and your fat friend become the new kings of Freiburg? There doesn't seem to be much in it for us".

Bridling shook his head and stood up. "Trust us gentlemen, we are going to change everything. I'll be in touch".

He strode out of the bar as the two men watched and finished their beer. After a few minutes the older man turned to the younger.

"You had better get on the phone to Vorga".
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Re: Autumn in Freiburg

Postby Srf » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:52 pm

"Chuqi? It's Bridling"

The tinny voice coming through Mr Chuqi's intercom jolted him out of a stupor on the sofa, and he rushed to buzz him in while sighing and rubbing his eyes. He spent the 45 seconds waiting for Bridling's elevator to slip a shirt on, and clear at least some of the filth off of his table. Bridling knocked on the door while Chuqi was busy cramming some empty spirit bottles into his garbage can: he opened the door and Bridling stepped into his apartment for the first time. He took a look around.

"What's that awful smell?"

"Heh. We were smoking... I'll open the window".

"We?"

Chuqi gestured to the sofa while stumbling toward the windows. Bridling's gaze settled on the sofa, upon which lay a half-dressed girl who was, in Bridling's eyes, far too young for a fat old man like Chuqi. She appeared to be in a deep sleep.

"Chuqi, who is this?"

"My girlfriend. For today". More giggles.

"Do you think maybe she would like to leave? I was hoping for a private conversation".

"Oh, she'll be fine" Chuqi said, leaning dangerously across his window frame as he pushed it open. Bridling looked back at the girl and took a few steps toward her. He then looked back at Chuqi. "What have you given her?"

"Some opium" Chuqi replied, now wandering toward the kitchen. Bridling sighed and followed him, watching for a minute as his host struggled to fill up a glass of water. When he turned around, Bridling punched him in the gut. Chuqi sank to his knees with a long, pained exhale.

"Ow! Why?"

"Pull yourself together, you fat idiot. The vote is tomorrow and you are up in the clouds in this absolute sty of an apartment. I came here to give you some important news. Will you remember if I tell you?"

"Sorry, Bridling. I will remember."

"Ok, get up. Now, unless something goes catastrophically wrong tomorrow it's a dead heat between you and Teggzin, which I will call my friends about shortly. Your supporters are pretty much with you either way, so even if it's messy you can still win. Now go have a shower and get to bed. I'll deal with the girl".

Chuqi nodded and they shook hands, before he stumbled toward the shower. Bridling took another look around the filthy apartment, sighed to himself and walked over to the girl. She couldn't have been more than 40 kilos. He slipped her clothes back on as she started to moan and move her head around, then half-walked, half-carried her to the elevator as she regained consciousness.
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