Bad neighborhood

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Srf
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Bad neighborhood

Postby Srf » Mon May 21, 2018 9:26 pm

Portus Avenio, Res Publica Dumanum
2015


As night descended on the Avenian suburb of Portae Orientalis, the good and honest working class Dumani quickly retreated behind their slightly unkempt lawns and into their semi-detatched homes. The streets, welcoming and orderly in the sunlight, were slowly infiltrated by short, dark-skinned figures wrapped in hand-me down clothes.They took up strategic positions on street corners, hands thrust deep into baggy pockets, sometimes standing in small groups and chatting.

Where are the Urban Cohort, the Dumani would ask, peering from behind their curtains at the dark figures congregating outside their houses and tutting every time a young Dumani strolled to the men, exchanged money for small plastic bags, and vanished. Every so often beat cops, patrolling the neighborhood, would flash their lights and send the central Crataeans scurrying into the darkness, but they didn't bother to do much more than that.

Portae Orientalis sat directly between two Migrant Zones, the one to the north populated by Sharfics to the south by Mingriuls. For reasons unknown the two Zones had been spared the usual security measures employed by the Urban Cohort, and their inhabitants had been able to move relatively freely in and out of their territory. Portae Orientalis served as a sales lot for both groups, peddling drugs and stolen goods to young Dumanis in the poor and under-served district. The two groups, deeply despising each other, had agreed on a de-facto dividing line which ran through the shopping district of the suburb.

A young Mingriul teenager, together with two friends, made the decision one night to violate the line of separation between the two territories. On the hunt for a popular and limited edition energy drink, they crossed into Sharfic-controlled Orientalis to quickly scout out a small convenience store down a side street. CCTV footage from inside the store showed the three boys in the process of buying a drink from the Hanin shopkeeper, before a group of Sharfic men bundled into the doorway and set upon the Mingriuls with knives and bricks. One boy was killed instantly, while the other two made it out onto the street before they too were slaughtered. By the time the Urban Cohort arrived to secure the scene, the Sharfic perpetrators had fled the area.

The attacks made the morning news, broadcast to every home in Portus Avenio. By mid-afternoon Mingriuls were out on the streets, baying for vengance.
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Dumanum
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Re: Bad neighborhood

Postby Dumanum » Tue May 22, 2018 4:33 pm

Portus Avenio
Ad urbe condita 2772, in the Consulship of Sulla and Marbo


Dumanum's domestic and foreign policy, being inextricably linked as they were, had seen the settlement of a large number of "allied" peoples as a consequence of the war in Sharfland in exchange for the continued cooperation of the parent tribes. This was hardly unheard of, and was a fairly potent tool in the Senate's arsenal for quelling unrest beyond the frontier that could ultimately result in even greater consequences for the Republic. Though mixed in popularity, the arrival of the Mingriuls displaced nobody of note- indeed, the demolition of the blighted proletarii slums and the construction of those new housing projects for the migrants provided good Dumani jobs. The cheap labor provided by the barbarians, uncorrupted as they were by the vices of the proles, also proved a boon to the regional economy. And so, the early years of the settlements were hopeful- the criminal element of Portus Avenio was replaced by seemingly timid foreigners who were willing to slave away many long hours at low wages in jobs that had previously been left vacant.

However, riding on the success of their predecessors, the Consulship of Pertinax and Galba had seen a similar deal struck with the Sharfs, mortal enemies of the Mingriuls, in an effort to hasten an end to the war in Sharfland and bring the allied Qoborqs to power there. While this goal was ultimately met, perhaps in no small part to this and deals like it, it was where the trouble began for Portus Avenio.

The arrival of the Sharfs had been trouble from the start: although yet another slum that had been marked for removal and relocation was finally demolished, the labor market was now glut with able-bodied young men. Where once there hadn't been enough bodies to staff the various textile factories that crowded the ancient town, there now simply were not enough jobs to keep the foreigners occupied. This was nominally good for the business owners, as wages for the foreigners, low as they already were, could now be cut even more. And so, naturally, the decline of the Settlement Zones was as rapid and complete as one would expect, and the accompanying decline in property value of the surrounding neighborhoods- long occupied by good, honest citizens and socii - lead to a further decline in taxes collected, which of course lead to a decline in services rendered (limited as they were to the police and fire protection provided by the local vigiles), and so on and so forth.

It was this atmosphere of urban decay and tribal rivalry that the first bricks flew through the first windows in Portae Orientalis, as young men with plenty of time on their hands and plenty of anger vented their frustration on the locals as they made their way towards their line of demarcation. This, happening in broad daylight as it was, occurred as most of the men folk were away at work, the women folk were home tending to the very young, and the less young were off at school, as good and virtuous Dumani are wont to do on such days. It was thus that a young mother, Atia Julia, wife to Marcus Julius, citizen, who, fearing for her life, fired the first gunshot of the day after a youth rabble tried her front door.

Few things got the attention of the vigiles faster than the report of small arms fire in a neighborhood like Portae Orientalis. And, for that matter, the attention of the husbands and working mothers, who collected their children from school and hurried home in droves to defend their hearth and chattels. With roads already in disrepair, the ensuing traffic jams only added to the chaos unfolding, for trapped vehicles make for easy pickings for large groups of unscrupulous individuals. Marcus Licinius, a proud Dumani Citizen, veteran of the Third Cohort of the Twelfth Legion, once recalled to serve in Siracusa, was most offended at this turn of events, beneath the dignity of a Dumani citizen as it was. He knew he was well within his rights when, the window of his vehicle being broken with a crowbar, he fired 3 rounds into the abdomen of 18 year old Shria Shrprq, killing him instantly. He was the third of many Mingriuls killed in what would eventually be called the Avenian Uprising

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Srf
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Re: Bad neighborhood

Postby Srf » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:04 pm

Deep within the dank, labyrinthine network of streets and alleyways that made up the Settlement Zones of Portae Orientalis hundreds of short, stoutly built Crataeans were jabbering away on phones and walkie talkies, marshalling personal networks which had lain dormant for several years. Old veterans of another country's war met in dingy noodle bars, as they did every evening, only this time they chatted over petrol bombs and rusty sidearms rather than tea and spicy yak broths. Poring over roughly drawn maps of the town, they added bottlecaps and coins to represent various mobs and police checkpoints while jabbering at each other in the harsh, guttural language of the central Crataean steppes.

[/quote]After the first shots rang out the Mingriuls rushed to collect their casualties and return them to the Settlement Zones, out of the reach of Dumani police and healthcare services - choosing instead to either treat or bury them in accordance with ancient tradition. Dumani drones hovering over the demarcation lines saw more and more women and elderly joining the associated crowds, although young men remained the overwhelming majority at the frontline. The Mingriuls began chanting rhythmically as they advanced toward the line of Demarcation, where a similar crowd of Sharfic men had gathered to protect their own Settlement Zone. Between them, a thin line of Vigiles who had managed to make it through the traffic stood nervously, clutching their police issue carbines and shouting into walkie talkies.

The chants between both sides grew louder and louder, aimed at both each other and the police, before the inevitable occurred and the first bottles, then rocks, went hurling into the police lines from all directions.

A few days after the riot, a news crew interviewed a Crataeologist from the University of Urbs Dumanus and showed him leaked police drone footage of the mobs. He explained that both sides were booing the police and Dumani citizens, calling them cowards for fighting without honour and using weapons against the unarmed. The ridiculousness of the incident was highlighted, he said, in the words each side used - Mingriuls chanted "Ukhurl", the Sharfics "Ekharl". Much like the tribes himself, he said, the difference was purely superficial.
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Dumanum
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Re: Bad neighborhood

Postby Dumanum » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:44 pm

So this is how it ends.

Certainly, it could have ended much earlier than this and in an equally painful manner, but there was a certain degree of embarrassment to the current situation. Ripped apart by an angry mob in his own hometown. That particular scenario had never before seriously crossed the mind of Decanus Lucius Verus of the Portus Avenio vigiles.

There’d been plenty of opportunities to die in Siracusa, and then Sadari, though it had been rare enough in his unit- a military police cohort guarding the droves of captives taken by the legionaries at the front. That experience had prepared him well enough for this job, or so he’d thought. After all, Portae Orientalis was a nice little village, and nothing particularly exciting ever happened there. Or at least, that’s how it had been before he’d first left home to do his Service.

”Attention! This is an illegal gathering! By order of the duumviri of Portus Avenio you are ordered to disperse. Failure to comply will result in a state of riot being declared.”

They were outnumbered at least 50 to 1, the 30 Vigiles that had arrived on scene finding themselves surrounded by thousands of steppe people within minutes. The only thing separating them from the twin mobs were the lines of stopped automobiles that followed the Via Comita, the road that formed the de facto line of demarcation- fortunately, the arrival of the vigiles had been enough to permit the vehicles' occupants to make their escape on foot. Unfortunately, the Urban Cohort would probably get there after the vigiles had all been torn to shreds by the barbarians. They'd likely be the evening's news story, another cautionary tale to good honest Dumani about the dangers of making unwise deals.

The blue-clad Vigiles found themselves crowded tighter and tighter together behind the makeshift barricade of vehicles as the rocks began to land. The chanting grew steadily louder.

Were they really throwing rocks? At Dumani citizens? Who did these savages think they were?

The thought was just enough to tip the balance from fear to anger. Sudden movement- no time to react as the object entered his line of site and smacked smacked him before he could even raise his hands. A flash of light, a sharp, brief pain to the head followed by a hollow ringing. Verus found himself on his ass, and a moment later pulled pack to his feet. He felt something wet trickle down his forehead, and he struggled to keep his balance. His vision failed to focus, his brain scrambled for the moment. He was fully conscious of the fact that the adrenaline was numbing the pain. A concussion, at the least. Not that it’d matter in a few more minutes.

"Attention! This is your final warning! Disperse immediately and return to your domiciles!"

“VEXILLATIOOOOO!”

The centurion’s voice was somehow loud enough to carry over the baying mob. The men involuntarily stood a little stiffer at the sound.

“QUARTUS ORDINES! EXTERIORIIIII…FACITE!”

Instantly the group shifted, forming four ranks: two facing the Mingriul line, and two facing the Sharf, with the outer ranks kneeling. The width of the line shrunk, forcing the advancing mob to pack themselves tighter to come to grips. Verus’ vision began to clear, finally. A thousand faces stared back, most wrapped in bandanas or rags to conceal their identities. Positive identification or not, if a single vigilus fell by the hand of one of the settlers, they’d all suffer for it. He took some small measure of comfort from that.

“ARMAAAAAE…PARATE!”

The simultaneous racking of charging handles sounded over the din. The steadily approaching horde stalled as one- just for a moment uncertain of their own chosen course of action. Safeties clicked from semi to fully automatic. On either side of the demarcation line, eyes went wide. Verus knew that look well. The brash men near the front of the crowds were having second thoughts, a few even trying to turn away to escape, but the ones behind pushed on none the less.

“HOSITEEEEES…DIRIGITE!”

Carbines snapped up as one, fingers straight and off the trigger.

”Attention! By authority of the Duumviri of Portus Avenio, a state of riot is declared. Lethal force is authorized. Charon guide your souls.”

“SPONTEEEEEEEE…IACITE!”


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