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Long live the King!

Kevin Kingswell

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Deep beneath the foundations of the capital city of Libreville rested an old series of tunnels that used to form part of the structure to the castle that once lay above. This was back when the nation was run by the monarchy and though this monarchy ruled with what they called divine right the whole dynasty was beloved by the people for they were generous and kind. The old royal family were well known for helping those who suffered from misfortune or had disaster strike them. The royal coffers would be opened to help pay for any help these poor people required and though the King allowed his vassals to rule over their separate counties through out the nation if any count thought he could be cruel or abusive to his people they were quickly stopped by the royalty. 


Unfortunately the time of the royal family came to a sudden end when barbaric invaders from far away northern shores sailed down the coast and raided the nation. In what turned out to be a series of disasters the royal family fell to ruin. First the King and his eldest son were slain on the field of battle against the invaders, their bodies desecrated by these barbarians. On hearing the news the Queen fell ill and soon passed away and though they tried valiantly the royal army were defeated, the royal castle sacked and the entire family line purged. 


However, tales were told of how the youngest child of the King a child of only two years of age was smuggled out of the castle before it was over run by what was left of the royal guards and a number of the royal advisers. The name and lineage of this child has been said to have been secretly recorded by an ancient order of knights and that even to this day the royal blood still flows in a few of the nation's citizens. Not many believe this to be true in this modern era at least not for those who live in the cities and coastal towns but many of the more rural citizens still remember and tell the tales of old.


As it was these old tunnels were rediscovered when an expansion to the new sewer system for the capital was being built and the work crews found themselves having to stop their construction to contact the government. Tales of old buildings did not interest them though and they sent only a very young and very minor administrator to over see them and to get the construction crews back to work. This young man was thus confused when at the construction site he was met by a large group of village elders who almost never came into the cities themselves. The told the young man of the old tales, they showed him great patience when he discarded them as many of the more modern thinkers of the land did.


Yet when they revealed to him that they had something to show him, something that would change everything he thought he knew about the land's history he couldn't help but be curious. So he went with these elders through the old tunnels and was lead to a great wooden door set into the old stone. Four different locks were set into this door and he was not surprised when four of the elders removed a single key from within their robes and together unlocked and opened the door.


The elders lead the young man on wards into the room where candles not electrics lit up the room and where in the dim light he could see the walls were supporting wooden bookshelves, many of which were bare though some held the remains of books and scrolls. In the center of the room sat a large wooden table and in the center rested a coat of arms that one of the elders said was the old royal family's coat of arms. The man accepted this possibility but remained skeptical and so the old men brought out a large black book with gold edging and laid it before him.


Turning to the earliest page the young man sat down and with the elders standing guard began to carefully read the book's contents. The first few chapters matched up exactly with the history lessons he had been taught in school but as he read further he found that what he had been told and what the book said diverged further and further apart. When he asked for proof that the book was not lying the elders carefully retrieved the scrolls from the book cases and had him check them to match what they and the black book said. Even still he told the elders that he could not trust that the scrolls were real or just well made forgeries.


To overcome this the village elders agreed to have a person trained in the arts of detecting forgeries to come and verify that these scrolls were rule and to ensure they were being unbiased they agreed that the young administrator should be the one to choose which company and person they should use for this task. The young man agreed and a short call and wait later a middle aged woman from a private antiques shop arrived at the old tunnel system entrance. She was most annoyed at being called down to such a location but she knew the young man as a close friend and so she traveled with one of the old men as a guide to the room.


She was quite shocked at the sight of this old room but as she was allowed to step in and look around that shock was replaced with delight and she was over joyed when one of the elders promised to take her through the other contents of the room when her task was done. With this in mind she met her young friend before taking her slow and careful time examining the scrolls and the young man knew that the elders had not been lying when the lady gasped and went a few shades more pale.


It was all true she told him, her hands shaking lightly as she stepped back from the scrolls and book. They were indeed the real thing and not forgeries and this news was what left the pair in a slight case of shock. To be told that what they knew was a lie was quite shocking indeed and quite worrying as well. As one of the elders led the woman aside to give the administrator room to continue to read a commotion was heard from behind the group but the young man was too intent on reading more of the book's contents to notice. Continuing on he read and read, it was clear that the tale of the young child being smuggled to freedom was true and that these elders were the descendants of those royal guards and advisers that had fled that night, until he came to the last few pages where it marked down who among the population still had royal blood flowing through their veins.


One name stood out above the rest for he was the oldest current living descendant, though it said he was only twenty three the other few older descendants had died already due to various causes and as they had done before in the past the elders had found and kept this man safe from harm until the blood could be safely spread among the population again. The administrator turned to the elders and asked them if the young man named in the book know about his lineage and to answer they all stepped back one step to reveal another young man standing in the center of them and from his looks it was clear he was the one from the book.


"Indeed I do" spoke the man at the center of the group of elders. "And it is time that the royal family of Gabon return to its divine position of leadership". 

Edited by Kevin Kingswell
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The procession that made their way down the main street in the capital of Libreville was quite the strange and outlandish sight. To the fore walked two young men, one was a young man dressed in the clothes of a low level administrator and looked like he could fit in with any other person if it wasn't for the fact he walked a step behind and to the side of the other young man in the procession. This man was tall and carried himself with authority and grace, his clothing was expensive and outlandish. Wearing a combination of gold and crimson with black outlines he even had a cloak of sheer white that hung down his back. 


Along with this man walked a small group of village elders, each one slightly different put sharing the same sort of old creased skin and calloused hands. Clad in the elder robes of their office and holding their staves they helped to give the fashionable young man at their head an air of presence. Behind these men walked a number of common citizens, most of these were older in age between fifty and upwards though a number of young men and women walked with them.


As the procession walked on wards cries were heard from the people in the procession and around. "The Royal Family returns!" and "Long live the King!" was shouted out and it was clear they could only mean the young man at the head of the people. Nearing the seat of the government the procession was forced to halt within viewing distance of the building by a line of police cars and barriers that blocked the road. Police officers manned the other side of this blockade though they were standing watching and talking and not taking any sort of aggressive actions.


In the center of this police blockade an older man and younger woman walked out and kept walking until the came to a rest before the man many were calling King and his supporters. Here the older man introduced himself as the chief of police for the city and the woman was his second in command. He asked for this man calling himself King to explain himself and his actions and why he was trying to cause trouble by pretending to be royalty that had not existed for hundreds of years. Smiling to this chief of police the would be King had the elders bring forth the scrolls and book showing his blood line as with the administrator neither police officer believed them to be true but when a police forensic officer checked them and exclaimed, in quite a stunned voice, that they were real the chief couldn't quite believe it but with the evidence before him he knew it to be true.


The crowd were surprised when the chief dropped to one knee before the would be King and lowered his head. In contrast the police woman shook her head and screamed aloud that this was all a sham and she ignored her chief's orders to comply. Angrily storming back to the blockade she ordered the police officers there to arrest the whole lot of them but when the chief countermanded her many of them had no idea what to do and simply stepped aside. Unable to stop the procession now that most of her officers were inactive the deputy chief had those still following her orders to follow and watch the procession whilst she went for reinforcements.


The chief and a few of his officers that were following him went ahead of of the procession now as an escort and led it up to the seat of government where the current ruling party leaders stood waiting before the entrance. By this time a number of reporters had managed to work their way around or through the crowds and as the would be King and the elders along with the chief walked forward to meet with the party leaders they had their cameras and microphones focused on them.


The would be King stepped up to face the party leaders with the elders moving to form a supporting group at his back and before the leaders could speak he addressed them. "Men of Gabon many years ago this land was ruled by the royal family who were handed the right of leadership and care by Divine Right. They ruled fairly and equally and were loved by all. They were thought lost by murder and disaster but it was not so. The royal bloodline has survived through all these years as these documents shall prove to all. As the oldest surviving descendant of the royal bloodline I, Ortega Turay, have come forward to take up this mantle of leadership".


"This is a time of democracy and free choice" responded the head of the party to Ortega, "you would take that away from them?" Turay shook his head in denying the later half of that remark. "No I will not, I know how times have changed however, I will leave the choice in the hands of the people whether they wish to return to the ways of old or stay with the times of today. For as their King I am a benevolent and kind man". "You are no King!" sneered the leader in disgust, "you are nothing but a mad man who thinks above his station. These documents mean nothing, forgeries and lies the lot".


"You would deny me my claim!"


"I do".


A hint of anger flashed across Ortega's face before he quickly calmed himself and spoke again this time though he spoke aloud to the government members, the press and the people. "I will not force my claim here and now as you clearly wish me to do so. I will suffer no violence that could put the people at risk. I ask all those who are willing to believe in the old days of the royal family to travel to the town of Ayem where me and my supporters are staying. If you wish to see the proof of my claims I will welcome you there".


With this the man who would call himself King turned and left the government member's standing in anger, disbelief and general shock. Even so when the procession left Libreville it did so at three times the number it had been when it entered. The police escort has also doubled in size as those willing to or already believing the claim put forth came forward. As the government returned to their seats of ruling to decide on what they should do next would be King Turay traveled to his temporary home of Ayem to plans his future moves as well.     

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