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The Trans-Rhydin RailRoad.

 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: The Trans-Rhydin RailRoad. Reply with quote

"Permits?"

"Permits." Handed over.

"Work orders?"

"Work orders." More paperwork slides across the desk.

"Supply requisitions?"

"Supply requisitions." This time a folder containing a sizable amount of documentation inside is pushed forward.

"Labor costs?"

"Labor costs... and insurance." What seems like a small book is placed down.

G'nort grunted at Mai regarding the addition of insurance. "Engineering Judgments?"

"Engineering Judgments are on their way. We're waiting for the fire protection company to finish looking them over and write them out."

"Acceptable. Security?"

"Private Security contract waiting for your signature." Yet another document is presented for perusal and signing. A sigh is heard from the recipiant.

"Have we chosen an Engine? I don't want any of our most up to date trains to be used for this project, we can pick an older model."

"I anticipated that. We have the Dolgoch, The Stirling, A Palisade 4, a a CNJ 592, a Tommolt. the Haydn and an Eddy Tom. Their weight isn't too bad, so shipping any of them from Urnst to Rhydin shouldn't be too costly or difficult. Also, you might want to consider having more than one engine available." Mai scribbled into her notebook, both in anticipation of G'norts agreement, as well as the number of engines he was going to bring over to Rhydin.

"Oh? I'm curious to hear what your reasoning is behind that."

"Well, Mr. Talanador, travel to Yasou normally takes a week. By train, it's considerably less than a day"

"No kidding? Less than a day? Not bad, not bad. Approximately how much less are we talking?"

"Well, sir. It takes seven days, average travel by horse, to get to Yasou. You can ride a horse 60 miles in one day if you push it and are travelling lightly, with enough stops along the way to feed it. Those seven days to Yasou is roughly 420 miles. If you care, the horse would need some serious resting after that."

"I care!" Pause. "Go on."

"If you calculate the average travelling speed of these trains is 50-55 miles per hour, basing my calculations at 50 MPH, you simply divide 420 miles by 50 with the result of 8.4 hours to Yasou. Granted, you must take into account inclines and periods of time where the train would not go the average speed, perhaps stopping for a brief moment along the way. Or not. You can, therefore, estimate the travel time from Rhydin to Yasou by train to be anywhere between 7.5 to 10 hours. Approximately."

Mai had not brought her gaze up from her notepad once during that entire explanation.

"Seven days cut down to just over a third of one. Yes, yes I think that'd be acceptable. Of course, there's no way we're going to be permitted to put the station *in* Yasou or Jenli. So you have to figure an hour or two by horse outside the Mountain's borders." He leaned back in his chair and tapped his chin in deep thought. "I think this is a feasible idea. But you mentioned using more than one Engine. I would assume that would be for multiple trips?"

"In a manner of speaking. Every 5-10 miles, our plans call for a Passing Loop so that trains and/or maintenence vehicles can avoid oncoming traffic. If, every day or so, we have one train going from Rhydin to Yasou, and one train going from Yasou to Rhydin, we can increase trade, commerce, and tourism travellers. This, of course, leads to more profit"

"So, two Engines. I can live with that."

"Actually, you may want at least four."

"Why four? I thought you just said one going each way. That's two."

"And if one train breaks down, depending on the direction it was heading, having a spare train rushing out to meet it would be best. One from each direction."

"Hmm. That makes sense to me. How many of those older model trains were there?"

"Seven, sir."

A long pause of contemplation, he stares out of the window to beyond Rhydin's borders.

"We should bring them all. We'll make use of them one way or another." G nodded a few times.

"Preparations are already underway, sir. I will make the final reports and calculate the remaining figures and this project will be even further along."

"I love this plan. I'm excited to be a part of it!"

"One question, Mr. Talanador. What if the Governor doesn't approve of the railway to Yasou?"

He shrugs and leans back in his chair. "Then I go through with it anyway. I already have some investors interested in making this happen, and it certainly doesn't need the approval of any Government. It's not being placed inside the Rhydin City borders, and it's ending outside of Yasou's dome. Like you said, it opens jobs, trade, public and private commerce, tourism, etc. With the permits and other details, I've got all the permission I'll need. Letting the Governor know is simply a courtesy. Besides, I've had work started on this project earlier this Spring, months ago. We've already cut a couple of days travel out of it, if we had the Engines here."

G smiled and winked to Mai. "Besides, now that I have Seaside, I've got the Port I need to bring those Engines in. It's done."
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No good deed goes unpunished. And neither does any expensive corporate venture. They were more than halfway towards Yasou and word had gotten out to most of the realm that there would be a way to travel from the Rhydin outskirts to as close to Mount Yasou would allow. In most cases, it was met with relative excitement. There's always been something either nostalgic, quaint, or outright interesting about a steam train ride. Some just didn't care. Some, however, guessing the value of such a project to be a source of ill-gotten gains.

For G, he should have known something was going to go wrong. Mimi had spoken to him a few weeks back, having had one of her usually accurate visions that seemed to involve him and the Trans Rhydin RailRoad project. It was the blood on the drawing that caused him to mainly take it serious. She hadn't ever been wrong before, adding the blood to the mix made him take the extra precautions he'd said he would take when she told him about it. The problem with visions was that there were no set times for whatever to happen, to happen. As the weeks passed, the extra security went more relaxed, and even G, himself, became a little more sloppy in consideration to anything serious happening.

"Sir, we have word of a recent development on the TRRR...." A somewhat shaky, nervous sounding voice spoke up.

"Are we done already? Ahead of schedule twice over? Excellent, excellent." Came the response from our hero. He clearly hadn't heard the tone of the voice.

"Well, not exactly, sir. There was a bandit attack. We're guessing they thought there'd be money laying around since they kept yelling 'Where's the money?' I don't think they knew that there'd need to be a connection between the cities for there to be any reason for financial gain."

G went a little quieter, looking up from his paperwork. Someone was messing with his stuff, and he hated when people messed with his stuff. When that happens, people find the darker side of G to be something very unpleasant to encounter. "What happened?"

"Well, uhh.. they ended up taking some supplies and materials, but, they also had some explosive devices. They were launching them around whereever someone tried making a stand. The few guards who were there were no match. There were several deaths, and even more injuries......" That was left off in such a way that G could tell there was more.

"What else....?" Came the gravelly response.

"....Locke, your son? He was one of the injured. Badly injured. They took him to the nearest hospital. He wasn't conscious."

G got up quickly and started to the door of his office, leaving everything where it was. "Which hospital."

"They transferred him to Rhydin General. We got word to you as quickly as we could."

"Right." He started out the door, then stopped and looked back. "Get the RailRoad back on schedule. Add security." And then he was gone.
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Nayun
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"No survivors."

G'nort's own words repeated from Nayun's lips. Four hours, dawn crept up over the horizon. Bringing not only sunlight, but the image of those stacked freshly cut trees that draped over the railway. The Dolgoch forced to stop as it would only prove to be a costly maneuver to simply rush through the many stacked rows of wood. The steam whistle sounding out. Perhaps a warning of the impeding threat that the would be bandits might be facing. The heed not recognized, as Nayun could already see from her hidden glance from side window. A good group of them, twenty - if anything. She could be mistaken, but twenty is a good enough guesstimation.

The conductor was given a look. He appeared to be nervous, but he still offered her a shaken smile. Did he have faith in her? It was something Nayun wondered.

"Keep calm," as she turned away. "stay low." Her orders finished. She left the opened entrance at the side of the locomotive and moved to greet the bandits herself. As expected, the greeting she had been given was one of laughter and mockery.

Nayun stood there. Her red eyes focusing on the small group in front of her. When the train died down, she could hear more coming from the opposite side. So.. twenty was not the number, thirty - perhaps. She'd raise a single hand. Not a word said.

"What.. Wanna trade yerself for this lil' train, girly? You ain't mucha' a looka'.. but we're a lil' lackin' in the women department. You'd make a good toy for us.." That us being his final words as Nayun lowered her hand. The boxcar at both sides opened in that instant. Already knelt and ready would be those trained in the art of gunnery. Aimed, prepared, and soon enough letting loose the sound of thunder.

This wasn't a fight. This wasn't supposed to be fair. G'nort said no survivors, and Nayun took his word as law.

In the first volley of bullets, the bandits size had been cut from the guesstimated thirty to a simple twelve. She knew the numbers well enough when she heard the spotters on both sides, Mio and Maya, speak single digits each.

The second volley sounded then. Twelve turned into a single one. Nayun could hear Maya reprimanding two of the gunners for targeting the same person, yet it did not seem to matter in the end. The final one, the lone straggler, had already begun running away when the gunfire started. Nayun - without care as bullets whizzed past her, followed. Her body kept low as she dashed across the grassy plain. The distance between herself and the escaping bandit cut quickly, and she soon enough found herself within range.

With a flash of steel her katana dug deep within the confines of the mans leg. Ripping into skin and bone. She cleared the first leg, but the second one had stopped her blade and forced her to hurriedly tug it back as the man began to fall onto the blood soaked grass.

He was crying. Pleading. But all of this came to deaf ears. The orders were given, they were to be followed, they are the absolute. The bandits attempt to escape by clawing at the ground became short lived as Nayun gave a downward thrust of the blade to pierce through his right hand.

It was all so quick and calculated. She had no intention of killing him just yet. That is why she grabbed hold of his jacket and began to drag the man behind her; his blood creating a trail that led right back to the train.

Some were busy dealing with bodies. The sound of axes and blades meeting necks echoing throughout the air. Bones cracking along with the death moans of those suffering from their gunshot wounds -- yet those would be quieted soon enough by the end of a sword.

Nayun did not need to speak. These were Adennians or girls from RhyDin who were trained by her. They knew what to do.

Peace.. is hard fought, her own voice spoke within her thoughts.

The smell of fire filled the air. The fallen trees used to create the final resting place of the bandits as the defenders partnered up to toss the fallen bodies into the inferno.

One would not get peace. The coward who ran and did not die in battle. He had been left behind for the time being -- his wounds set ablaze to keep him alive. For now, he had been a twitching mess on the ground; crying and begging.

Nayun looked to the Dolgoch from her rocky perch beside the tearful man. Steam bellowing out.. they would be leaving soon. She rose, then stepped over the man. He must have thought this would be her showing mercy. His begging turned into many thanks, but even that would turn into a gurgling moan of pain as Nayun stuck her blade slowly through his stomach.

"Cowards die slow." She said. Leaving the bleeding man behind.

"How many hours?" Nayun questioned the conductor as she stepped back inside the locomotive.

"A few.. you'll know when we get there."

Nayun set herself down to rest. Knees drawn to her chest while katana came to rest between her legs. "How so?"

"You'll see the piked heads. The boss isn't as kind as you."
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Report.." Nayun's monotone voice sounding out through the spiritual bond she held with her shikigami, Yun. While she may not be at the work sight, she at least had been prepared to send an other in her place.

Maya and Mio were her eyes and ears during this operation. She had enough faith in the two to be able to keep the group in line and hopefully ward off any bandits.

The vision of Maya came to Nayun's minds eye when she crouched down in front of the kitsune-shikigami that sat oh so many miles away.

"Sensei.. We've had no troubles," There was a pause in her voice. "Yet." Came some seconds later. This may cause another to feel uneasy, but Nayun knew better. In a land like this - it was better to be prepared and keep up a guard. Nayun thought for a moment; while on the opposite end Maya knelt there waiting for her orders. Finally, Nayun's lips parted to speak words through Yun.

"Understood. Keep vigilant. If there is any conflict, contract me immediately."

"Sensei!" Mio's voice came next. Nayun had been about to end the connection once Maya's nod had been seen, but lowered herself back down to sit against the tatami floor of her dojo.

"One of the workers asked if I wanted to go watch the sunset with him.. Can I go?", why Nayun had been asked this -- the Adennian didn't know. Maybe it is because she took on a mothers role when she brought in the girls. Nayun sat there in silence to try and think of an an answer.

She had no knowledge in any of this. So she answered truthfully. "I do not care. As long as it does not hinder the mission."

The report seemed to be over from that point. She watched through the kitsune's eyes as both women gave her a bow, Mio's more excited than Maya's. Only after did she open her eyes to take in the sight of the dojo around her.

She never did like this. Playing the part of the one in charge. Still, this is her role for now. Nayun turned her attention back to the model train she had been slowly, piece by piece, putting together. This can at least occupy her time until her new arm is completed.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:54 am    Post subject: Supplies for the Railway Reply with quote

Supplies for the Railway

"We will be there soon," Nayun paused as she pressed a hand to the snow white covered fur neck of her kitsune-familiar; Yun. The youkai had cast an illusion on itself to double, no, triple its size -- this allowing the woman to ride upon its back. Yun proved to be faster than a horse and more agile. The choice was clear when it came to non-mechanical transportation.

Not as fast as the trains that would glide along the railway that soon would lead close to Yasuo. But, for now - the kitsune will do.

The kitsunes weight shifted, as did Nayun's as they hurriedly turned about a bend. When the blocking vision of trees finally allowed sight of the roads, Nayun could spot a gathering of monks on their way. She pressed her heels to the kitsune and gave a soft tug to its neck. Yun slowed as to not cause alarm as they passed by the traveling monks.

"Good day." The Adennian spoke in her monotone; yet there had been a hint of familiarity and respect hidden away within the recesses of her voice.

The monks offered her a smile. One of them Nayun recognized. They had sparred one another during her stay within Yasuo. Yun's speed declined more, allowing her mistress to keep beside the monks for the time being. The conversation held was nothing more than respectful pleasantries and ended with Nayun bowing her head; all while the monks did the same.

The command of Go had no need to be spoken. A jolting kick of her heels into the kitsunes side proving to be enough. The monks left behind to continue their journey in peace as both mount and mistress continued on their way up the mountain.

The barrier was close. Nayun had been to Yasuo numerous times. Though the first encounter had been strange and caused her a panic, the next had been understood and expected. It is why she gave a lift of her foot and pressed it to the back of her mount. With a push, she'd rise up as they hit the barrier and took a leap. Her kimono fluttering within the air as she fell and met the dirt path with boot covered feet.

As for Yun. Once the kitsune had met the barrier, it's illusion magic instantly lost all power. The youkai emerged from a puff of smoke in a continued dash and caught up to her master in no time. With a soft cry of annoyance, the kitsune climbed up Nayuns kimono and took her place upon her mistresses shoulder.

Nayun was without her mount, but felt nothing of it. Mount Yasuo had many beauties she can admire during her remaining walk to Jenli.

.....

The marketplace of Jenli was alive and bustling with hustlers of goods and trinkets. Nayun moved through the crowd while a group of children followed after; they found the trailing kitsune to be an amusing sight and wanted to play with poor Yun. One of these children, a small boy, had grasped the poor kitsune by one of its tails and dragged it into his arms! Not even a second later, a small girl took possession of the spirit animal.

"Play nice." Nayun's warning to the kitsune as she continued on her way. For now, Yun would be on her own while Nayun busied herself with finding what she needed; food.

The railway team were low on supplies. She offered to travel the way to Yasuo and provide them with what they needed. It is why she stopped at the butcher first. Paper held packs of salted meat were carried within a small push-cart by a few local boys who were paid to help. Nayun guided them through the crowd with authority; as only a katana at a hip can grant. They would have no trouble making their way to the different fruit and vegetable vendors.

Poor Yun had finally escaped the pesky children to reclaim her rightful place on Nayun's shoulder once she visited the final chosen vegetable vendor. Nayun looked over the food supply and gave a simple nod of her head. This will be enough, she though.

.....

Nayun came to Yasuo on her kitsunes back, but left riding a horse drawn wagon. Yun had a new task, and that was to not eat or even touch anything, so she opted to attempt sleeping in the corner while eying the many apples that were held inside a basket. One wouldn't hurt to eat, was on the foxes mind; but the thought of upsetting her mistress was something she could not bear!

"It looks like rain.." Nayun said with a look off in the distance. It would be upon them in an hour or two, so she felt no need to bring up her hood just yet.

With the barrier left behind, both kitsune and girl made their quiet journey back to the railway.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rain had come and passed. Nightfall looming overhead with the stars and moons hidden up high by heavy clouds in the sky. Nayun sat beside the cart with her back pressed upright against a wheel. The horses had been left to graze and rest. Yun, her kitsune companion, had also been allowed to roam free and hunt as she saw fit. Nayun sat alone with a fire roaring before her. The heat, along with her heavy cloak, allowing her to stay warm within the chill of the early winter air.

The changing of seasons was something. The sounds along the plane where she made camp had been little to none. No animals. No sounds of chirping crickets. Only the crackling of the fire and whistles of the wind. Nayun closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, then exhaled slowly through parted lips.

A foreign sound came. The brushing of dew soaked grass. It was not Yun, as the bell the fox worn would have warned her of such things. No, this was something else -- or someone else. She'd open her eyes and stare out into the open plane before her. The blanket of darkness covering much of it from beyond her fire.

It had been a simple task without confrontation; yet it seemed things would change. She'd part her lips to take in another soft breath. Steady as it went, nice and low to keep her ears pinned to the sounds of the creeping unknown venturing closer with each grass crushing step. One, two.. One, two. It is no animal that came. Two steps. One after another. Humanoid then. The time between the two showing a larger stride. Tall, possibly male. Nayun took hold of her katana and rose to stand then.

"May I ask your name?" The Adennian spoke in her monotone, but even it felt somewhat calmer in tone.

The footsteps ceased. Worry? The seconds passed without any other. Contemplation? The unknown and possible assailant had left themselves open by such an act. Nayun turned her head and looked toward the darkness that covered the intruders advancement.

"I could have killed you twice." and she made sure they knew this. "If you wish to play assassin, you must not wait. The element of surprise is lost; you have two options. One is to retreat, the other is to come and face me."

The cards laid out on the table, so to speak. Nayun set thumb against the guard of her katana. The lightest of clicks sounding out as a passing wind carried it along.

Yellow, orange. The fire burned hot and flickered about. Its range growing larger, only to shrink some seconds later by another passing wind. The sound then came. Not of wind and not of the fire. No, it was the sound of weight being pressed to grass once more. Nayun's eyes kept their unblinking stare out into the distance until the figure could finally be made out. The fire coating the man with a shadow that forced the Adennian to squint to gain a better look. One step closer and she had what she needed.

It was the man from the raid earlier last month. She had pierced his stomach with her blade and left him to die a cowards death; slow and painful. But death did not become of him, or she would not be seeing him in front of her right now. A vengeful spirit -- this man is not.

"You're alone.." He said.

Nayun gave a lift of her chin. "Yes.. These horses are no threat to you, so I am indeed alone." Drawing her blade had come to mind. But, she held her hand back as another thought crossed. He had not charged her yet, even though he held a spear. His voice also told her another thing; he is unsure of himself.

"May I ask what you planned to do? Avenge your fallen comrades? Take my life for almost taking yours?" Nayun questioned him. The man kept still at the opposite side of the fire. She watched his body language, the way he tensed up. The way his fingers gripped tightly at the spear he held. The way the light of the fire shimmered across his face to show an expression of worry. He lost his element of surprise; it was do or die now. That must be on his mind.

"You're alone.. You wouldn't be able to grab for your rifle." What he spoke is true. Her rifle had been left within the cart. Nayun gave a soft tilt of her head at this.

"Yes.. and no." Nayun's voice trailed as she slid as right arm rose. Her fingers brushing against the fabric of her cloak and pushed it back to expose layered kimono she wore. Not only that, but the handle of one of her revolvers. With light tug, she'd draw the weapon and aim it at the man.

Instantly, he took a step back out of worry. Nayun watched his body tense and the fight or flight instinct took over. He will either charge her or run. Charge her or run. Charge her - or run. Two options. Both had a high possibility of death. Could his spear take her in the time she could pull the trigger? Impossible. He had to know this too.

"You did not answer my question. Did you come here seeking revenge for your comrades or for yourself?" Nayun questioned once more.

The man didn't speak. He instead took a better grip of his spear and took a step forward. He was going to charge, Nayun could see that easily enough. All she had to do was pull the trigger.. yet, she did not.

To the mans surprise, which shown in the way he jerked back in fear as Nayun's revolver-held arm lowered itself; she would not shoot.

"Live today. Fight tomorrow. Words my mother told me. You do not run out of fear, you retreat to plan your next move. When the opportunity comes, you take it." Nayun holstered the weapon back at her waist and set the butt of katana's saya against the wet ground; between her parted feet. One hand pressed to the pommel of the weapon, while the other set itself over the hand.

"You ran out of fear. Yet you are here. A mixture of both. Tell me, my attempted murderer. Are you here to avenge your comrades or are you here for yourself?" Nayun asked once more.

"I don't give a f*ck about them.." She could hear the anger in his voice. Not only that, but confusion. He must be wondering why she dropped her stance and took on one that left her even more open.

"Let me attempt to understand.. A sell-sword. Seeking money before winter blankets this land with snow and death. By your appearance it seems you have not eaten well in some time.." Nayun's monotone paused. "You may interrupt me if I am incorrect."

But he didn't. He kept quiet. So, Nayun continued. "You joined a group of marauding bandits to take what you need to survive winter. You wondered if they would betray you once the mission was over."

Nothing. He spoke not a word. Nayun closed her eyes and took in a soft breath. "You do not come here for them.. You do not come here for riches or survival. You come here to strike me down because I have taken something from you." Her eyes opened then. Fully focused on the man before her.

"Your honor," She paused. When she spoke those words, he moved. Not away -- but for her. Stalking steps that crept closer and closer to thin the range between the two of them.

"You know I can kill you. That I will kill you. You know that you have no chance of defeating me. Yet, you continue on.." He stopped then. They were only a few feet from one another then. The man well within range to thrust out his spear, and for her to choose to step away and pull free her blade and break past his range for the kill.

He knew this. She knew this. Even without pulling her blade, she had him in check. He could retreat here and create more distance, but even then - how would he kill her?

"It is an admirable trait in a warrior." Nayun confessed. Another cold breeze moving between them. The fire dying down from its force, only to be reignited when the air stilled once more.

"Tell me.. Nameless man who has come to kill me." Nayun took in a breath, then exhaled. The fire between them growing bigger and illuminating the space about the two of them.

"Do you wish to continue to stay a dog.. Or is the wolf still there, in your spirit.. Does it wish to join a pack?"

The nameless man moved then. One step. Two steps. The spear thrust forward. And, as predicted. Nayun moved. Even as he attempted to pull the spear back to create a barrier between the two of them, it had been too late. His range completely lost in a split second and the shimmer of flame reflecting off steel danced across his features.

Nayun's blade found his waist. Her left palm pressed against the blunt back edge of the blade. All she needed was to apply pressure. To continue the motion. He would be disemboweled within a matter of a second -- and he could do nothing about it.

But.. They stood there. The fire light dancing across both of their figures.

"I never liked.. being a lone wolf." He said. His spear dropped to the ground with a soft crush of grass. He stood there. Unmoving. Accepting that he had been defeated not once, but twice by the same woman.

A silence took place between the two of them. It ended when another cold breeze rushed against the two of them; it enveloping their forms with a chilled presence before flying away. Nayun pulled her blade away soon after. It given a flick to the side, then directed back into the saya which it called home. With a turn, she'd set her back to the man and step away.

"Do you like tea?" Nayun asked.

"I do.." He replied.

Conflict did not always need to end in bloodshed. To have a life owed to you is better than taking one. Words from a monk of Yasuo. G'nort said, `No Survivors`. But this man is already dead. His life now belonged to her. Nayun's pack grew that night. Another wolf to run along with the rest. The trip back to the railway construction site wouldn't be a lonely one.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It had been several months since the last update and G'nort had kept things pretty tightly wrapped. There had been no more major incidents since the last one cost him his son. It seemed that Nayun had done a more than satisfactory job with the deterrent system he requested. Namely, punishing everyone who attempted to attack the trains by slaying them to the last man. His own warning of lining portions of the tracks that were attacked with the bandits heads on pikes also seemed to be an excellent form of discouragement to those who might see fit to try and attack parts of his business and plans.

Now that all that has passed. Now that work was complete and a few trial runs of the trains were finished, the Trans-Rhydin RailWay was ready to be opened for business.

Just outside of Rhydin's main city was where the station was located. In fact, if you left through the North Gate in the Seaside District, you could walk there within a half hour to check in and get ready to ride to Mount Yasou at any of the three departures of the day and arrive just outside of the protective magic field of the other city within a days time. There would, depending on business, be an option to increase the amount of departures but for now, three was a good, round number.

There was a grandstand there at the opening, and G'nort stood there with Merci beside him, as well as Mai, Nayun, Ogie Oglethope and a flock of gnomes, even Bae Seul was collecting the trash nearby out of force of habit. G'nort was looking over at the largest of the steam locomotives he had transported over from Urnst through the Dockside district, easier as he is currently the Baron of that area. The inaugural train, which was affectionately known as The Viscountess, was ready to go, steam ejected out through the blast pipes and through the smokestack, hissing as he waited for the word to go. G smiled and squeezed Merci's hand, receiving an encouraging smile in return as he made his way to the microphone. An old fashioned band played a happy tune that came to a stop as he tapped to get the large crowds attention.

"Hello, hello, attention! Ladies and gentlemen." Pause for effect. "Welcome to the grand opening of the new Trans-Rhydin Railway! Rhydin to Yasou in ten hours or less!" He thrust his arms in the air, building the excitement from the crowd of people who have little or no access to the fancy cars or flying machines that make any other travel ridiculously fast. This was for them, and they cheered loudly. They were excited for the opportunity to trade, travel, explore and just ride. G'nort was excited because of the large cut of money that would be coming from all of that and into his pocket. There should have been no surprise over a selfish reason for taking the time and energy to build this railroad system, and he made sure the profit he'd get would be significant. After all, cargo wasn't just for sailing ships, doing it through trains was faster and easier, as well as able to pack in more than you could in a ship.

The band played an enthusiastic number while people started to board the train. Conductors and ticket punchers smiling as they welcomed people onto the Viscountess. G'nort and Merci and the retinue would all be travelling in the first class cabin, of course. But first, there was the media. He silenced the band and nodded, taking a slighting less happy expression as he pointed to the first reporter.

"Hello, Cherry. As always, it's always a pleasure to see you."

"Hey, G'nort. Love talking to you." Cherry cleared her throat, having been promised the first question. She knew what she would ask, but it would be difficult. "Cherry Bomb, Paragon Press. Ahem. Mr. Talanador. There's been rumors floating around for a few months now, I mean, it's hard to silence everyone who worked on this wonderful train system. Umm. The rumors are that there were some brigand raids on a few sections of the line. A few of the ones we've talked to have said that there were some deaths.... and that.. well.. one of those deaths was someone close to you.. your son? Is this true?"

He gave Cherry the initial question because he knew of her wanting to ask about his son, so he was mostly emotionally and psychologically prepared for that. He felt Merci tighten her grip on his arm for support. Merci was so good to him, she knew how this had made him feel and that it had to be answered to the press. The lives of famous people were always spotlighted. He cleared his throat and nodded. "Yes. it's true. My son, Locke, was an unfortunate victim of a violent and brutal attack by bandits. He was rushed to the closest hospital, as there were no healers nearby, where he eventually succumbed to his wounds. I was there when he passed, there is no need to dwell on it or say sorry. It won't bring him back, and there were several others who also died in the attacks. We mourned, we move on."

"Surely you miss him?"

An incredulous look, he heard a sharp intake of breath from Merci. "Are you serious, Cherry? Of course I miss him. What man can truly get over burying his son? I said I moved on, and that's how it should be."

Cherry bit her lip, she knew she shouldn't have went there. G paused for a few moments, and a couple reporters began to raise their hands to be picked to ask their question. G didn't look at them, only at the podium. Suddenly, all desire to speak in this press conference had disappeared. He looked at Merci, who gave him a sympathetic smile because she knew him well enough to know what was going through his mind and with that encouragement, he looked up and let out a deep breath and threw on a fake smile.

"That'll be all, no more questions. It's now time for the inaugural ride to Yasou! ALL ABOARD!"
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