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Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows


The Confederation
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"The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind."

Tanzband's radio quietly crooned as he drove the staff car away from the small airport on the outskirts of Helsinki. It wasn't a long drive to the city center, but the sharp turns at every corner made for treacherous driving, especially with such precious cargo. Glancing over to the passenger seat he caught Sarah's profile, he frowned and realized the challenge that this day would be.

Rounding over the last turn; the city center came into sight just as the sun began to set.

Helsinki_center_evening.jpg

"For such a large city...it's very quiet...it's very nice here."

As they drove over a small bridge to enter the town proper, he reached a hand over to Sarah's and held it reassuringly.

"You're home."

Edited by Brian Reimer
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OOC: Clarification

I rebuilt Helsinki as close to the original city as possible, I had to completely tear it down and shove the rubble into large holes a good distance away, which I then covered with concrete. The city still has more backround radiation than normal, but it's safe. The people in the refugee camps have moved back.

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Sarah slumped down in the passenger seat and tried not to look up at the lights, not hear the sounds, she didn't want to be back. When she had arrived in Koingsburg, she had only expected a time to relax with Albert. She was already extremely miserable from the events transpiring in Brisbane so when Albert had proposed a surprise trip, she had expected the country, or European foothills, somewhere safe, calm, and a place to relax. When she had awoken to see the Finnish flag flying above her head, it immediately broke her down to tears. She had immediately told Albert not to talk to her and that doing anything like this was a horrible joke.

"Take me home...take me home right now. I want to go back home." But Albert only persisted and slowly, he watched Sarah edge out from the plane, down the stairs, and over to the town car that was parked some distance away. She kept her head down, to ashamed to look up at the city that had been her home for twenty-four years of her life.

The drive from the airport was worse than she could ever have imagined. Sarah sat like an impatient toddler in the front seat of the car, her face glued on the side of the door, but downcast from the window. Only coming up rarely to straighten her neck and satisfy the insufferable curiosity that was clawing at her insides. Every time she looked up and watched the city come a bit closer, she recognized a few landmarks, a few things that had been been completely destroyed during the Gebivan war. Truthfully, Mariehamm had done an amazing job with everything, restoring Helsinki to at least a replica of the city that Sarah had remembered.

Slowly the town car rolled over the cobblestones that lined the bridge leading into the city proper as Albert reached his hand over and took Sarah's own. "You're home."

She didn't pull her hand away. She would need all the support to even get out of the car at this point, but she was so weak, so tired, that the tears couldn't even penetrate her eyes, but the grief caused her irises to glow blue as small strands of water leaked from her eyes. Slowly she got out of the car and pulled her purse over her shoulder. Albert would follow her silently as they made their way to the docks and looked down into the Baltic sunset.

Sitting down on a bench see looked out into the horizon and sighed. "Things have changed so much Albert. In Helsinki, in Europe, in the world. You know." She chuckled at looked over at him. "Everything started on this bench...everything."

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A white and blue car drives up, on the side, is written Poliisi. It parks, and the driver steps out, wearing a khaki uniform, black sunglasses, carrying a sheet of paper, and handcuffs hanging from his belt...next to his pistol. He slowly walks up, "Are you Sarah Tintagyl?"

OOC: Don't worry, I've already talked to Feliks. Don't do anything crazy, this is just tieing up a loose end.

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A white and blue car drives up, on the side, is written Poliisi. It parks, and the driver steps out, wearing a khaki uniform, black sunglasses, carrying a sheet of paper, and handcuffs hanging from his belt...next to his pistol. He slowly walks up, "Are you Sarah Tintagyl?"

OOC: Don't worry, I've already talked to Feliks. Don't do anything crazy, this is just tieing up a loose end.

When the car pulled up Sarah had barely paid any attention to it, but when the driver had exited, wearing all regalia of the normal police officer and with a look of determination on his face against her she sighed. Even in her old home she wasn't welcomed.

"Yes." She turned to the guard. "If I'm not supposed to be here, I can just as well be on my way. I didn't mean any disrespect to you or your countrymen." She sighed. "Its just, this was my country too once."

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When the car pulled up Sarah had barely paid any attention to it, but when the driver had exited, wearing all regalia of the normal police officer and with a look of determination on his face against her she sighed. Even in her old home she wasn't welcomed.

"Yes." She turned to the guard. "If I'm not supposed to be here, I can just as well be on my way. I didn't mean any disrespect to you or your countrymen." She sighed. "Its just, this was my country too once."

He handed her the paper, "I have been ordered to tell you that the warrant for your arrest has been revoked, and that the government of the Republic of Mariehamm apologizes for the delay. Oh...and off the record, can I have an autograph?" He pulls out a pre-nuke Helsinki postcard and holds it out.

OOC: :awesome:

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He handed her the paper, "I have been ordered to tell you that the warrant for your arrest has been revoked, and that the government of the Republic of Mariehamm apologizes for the delay. Oh...and off the record, can I have an autograph?" He pulls out a pre-nuke Helsinki postcard and holds it out.

OOC: :awesome:

She couldn't help but blush at the officer and Albert seemed to approve of the girl's smile. "Well please tell Minister Pesonen and President Uberstein that there is no need for any apology and that it is my apology that I perhaps could not do enough for the people of my country. A country that your leaders have done a great deal for in the past few years after the destruction of this glorious city now rebuilt." She took the picture of Helsinki and turning it over scribbled out, 'With Love, Sarah Tintagyl'.

"I hope that will do sir. Thank you for the news again, and perhaps if later in time I will have to take tea with your leaders." She looked back out towards the horizon. "They've done a great deal with this city and I hope that it will have the same glory that I once saw with it."

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Albert just stood there in amazement of what happened.

"Haha! Well...I didn't expect this to happen!"

He put the small layer of film back onto his belt... "Glad I didn't have to use this panic device, or else the Luftwaffe would have made Helsinki back to it's wartime self while we escaped!"

He said it in an uneasy manner, only half joking.

He looked at the sunset and sighed.

"So it all started right here, eh? So much has happened since then...It's hard to imagine what the world would be like if Visari hadn't risen to power...or I had the foresight to order the Prussian missile defense to shoot down the ICBM."

He put his head between his legs.

"I could have stopped all this! Why!? Why didn't I!? Damn the minds of fools who feel principles are greater than the lives of men and women around the world...damn us all"

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The operator threw down the headset as his boots clicked loudly against the wooden floors of the upstairs Diet Hall. He had to hurry, he didn't have much time. Everything would be lost if he wasted even a second. He pushed open the doors to the Council Chambers in the Diet. "Germany launched a nuclear ICBM! We don't have much time!"

There was no hesitation, except from the young blonde haired girl at the front of the table, who just seconds before had been looking quietly down at the battle maps showing a Hanseatic advance on all fronts in Germany. Or at least the advance of their 30,000 troops in the Battle of Rostock. But before Sarah could even think, her generals swarmed her and lifted her up in the air kicking and screaming to go back.

"No! No! No! Let me go! Let me go! I can't abandon my capital! My people! Get your filthy hands off of me!" Sarah screamed as four men in Hanseatic and Prussian uniforms grabbed her by the arms and lifted her into the air. "You aren't taking me anywhere, I need to protect my homeland!"

"Its too dangerous here Lady Tintagyl. The world values your safety, you are the voice of peace and reason in this world. We can't let you die." A Prussian said with a heavy accent. "Kaiser Tanzband has given us direct orders that you are to be taken to Königsberg immediately. There is a helicopter outside the Diet that will take us there." He said as they dragged the screaming girl down the marble stairs of the Diet.

"No! You don't understand this is my homeland, my birthplace! I can't leave! We're winning the war!" She started to cry. "You can't take me away from here! Everything I know, everything I love exists in this city! Please let me go! Let me go!"

Kicking open the entrance door to the Hall the soldiers continued to push Sarah to the helicopter that was ready to leave as soon as she was inside. She was a wreak by this point, her eye shadow had covered her face in what almost looked like a black tar, she had a tired pinkish look to her face and she was defeated, she felt defeated that she couldn't go on. She didn't want to go on, she wanted to die. Death would be so much easier.

The pilot opened the door to the helicopter and the four men carefully placed the Prime Minister inside, the Prussians jumped in and with a great swing the Hanseatic soldiers closed the door. As the helicopter took off Sarah jumped up against the window and watched as Helsinki got further and further away from her. She began to bang her head repeatedly against the glass, crying hysterically as she did so. "No! No! No!" She cried her voice cracking then she looked down at the diamond ring on her finger. "LARSA! NO! PLEASE GOD! LARSA!" The cries echoed across the world, she had lost the will to live.

Then there was silence...and off in the distance faraway...smoke. The dreaded mushroom cloud overtaking her birthplace, her life, and her will to live. Still staring at the window, Sarah moved back in a dazed manner, as if she was dying in her own right. Turning away from the window of the helicopter she only began to shake as the tears wouldn't come out anymore. She just shook, as if in a bitter cold. No more warmth...no more warmth.

---

Sarah snapped out of her thoughts when she heard Albert shout and held his head between his legs.

"I could have stopped all this! Why!? Why didn't I!? Damn the minds of fools who feel principles are greater than the lives of men and women around the world...damn us all"

She looked over, holding back her own tears. God, were they a sorry sight. Sitting alone on the bench watching the Baltic sunset and softly and slowly, crying their eyes out. "Albert." She reached her hand out and held his shoulder. "Its okay, you didn't know. No one would have known. Just like what had happened in Brisbane, we weren't prepared. All we can do is try our best and move on with our lives." Sarah nodded her head. "Though perhaps if history had changed only a little bit, I wouldn't even be here right now. I would just have been a casualty of that war or something else." She smiled at him. "You know Albert, for as close as we are, I don't think I've ever really told you my story. Why I'm here sitting next to you right now. Why the world is like the way it is, at least according to my eyes."

He looked puzzled and she only patted him on the shoulder to reassure him. "When I mean, this is were everything started. I really mean...this is where everything started."

---

OOC: Pretend that she's telling you this through narrative.

IC:

"So what are you thinking about doing when you get back? Isn't Pyotr supposed to call you or something?"

Sarah shook her head at Clara, her friend of ten years. They had been in elementary school together and were about to finish high school the same way. The two girls had dreams to see the world and nothing could stop them it seemed. These were the two that had survived being stranded in the Finnish wilderness at night, for at least two days. They were in the Polar Bear Club at school, which with the Baltic Sea, was a very big deal and where Clara was captain of the school's woman's football team, Sarah was captain of the fencing team. The queen bees, inseparable and the apple of every Helsinki gentleman's eye.

"No, I'm still grounded from last month and dad's been pretty harsh with this line. I'm not expecting to get out of the house for another month."

"I told you, you could have slept over. But no, once you're drunk there's no convincing you otherwise."

Sarah laughed. "He's used to it. I'm the black sheep of the family anyways. Dad or mom never cared what I did. It was Samuel, Samuel, Samuel. The star child." She said mockingly. "They can't wait to get me out of the house."

"Hell of a way to live Miss Tintagyl."

She shrugged. "Well I'm not expecting anything big in life anyways. Clara, I've told you before. I have my goal. Go to college, become a teacher, have my summers off. That's it. Meet a rich gentleman from North America or Southern Europe and spend the rest of my life with him." She took a sip of her drink. "Not much going on here."

The sounds of urgency came from behind them. "Miss Tintagyl! Miss Tintagyl!"

Sarah turned to see her family's butler running up the streets of the twinkling city. His face as white as snow. "Hans! Hans! Calm down. What's wrong?" She pleaded for him to calm down. "You're going to have a heart attack."

"Your father has requested you back at the house immediately. Its very urgent. Its about your brother."

"Okay, okay. Just calm down." Sarah turned back to Clara and shook her head. "Here we go again. Off to hear them boast and brag. I'll talk to you tomorrow Clara."

"All right Sarah. Later."

She walked off with Hans down the street toward her home in the Old City, it was there that she was told that Samuel had contracted Van Dramm's Syndrome and would be dead in a month. The heir to the Tintagyl name was now empty, except for the rebellious daughter of Alexander Tintagyl himself...

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"Wow...I really had no idea...I feel terrible for not knowing..."

He made a mental note to order an adjunct to research Van Dramm's Syndrome and if something could be done about it's onset..or even genetic occurrence.

"So you really weren't kidding, eh? You were reborn on this bench...your life changed so drastically that it's all amounted to this..."

He giggled, trying to lighten to mood.

"Heh, you never told me you were a fencer! Sabre? Foil? Épée!? You really must show me your skills the next we are in Königsberg!"

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She chuckled. "Yeah, I wasn't bad. But its been ages since I've picked up a Epee, or at least in really serious combat. I mean I play around with a few people in Brisbane every once in awhile, but its never serious." She looked back to the sun, which had finally disappeared under the sea. "Reborn. I've been trying to escape ever since really. I mean its not like I don't love my country, or my position, or my life right now. But do I wish it were different? Of course I do."

Patting her legs Sarah slowly got up from the bench and turned to Albert. "If you don't mind, I was hoping that we could stay a little longer. There a few other places that I'd like to see."

He naturally obliged and took her arm as they couple began to walk back towards the Old City. Along the way, they passed various buildings. The night crowd was out in full force now, the cafes and the taverns were packed to the breaking point, while young and old couples, along with groups of friends walked along the streets making merry their time together. Sarah tried to smile, she tried to pretend that it was her city again. She remembered that when she used to walk around Helsinki at night, it had been a lot like Brisbane. People would say hello and ask how she was doing and she would respond in turn. But now it was only Albert that was able to support her as they continued down the cobblestone street.

A few minutes later the two broke under a small archway that led into a stone square and in the center, a marble statue of an angel. Water trickled from a stone vase she held going down to a pool of water, while a steady geyser shot from her back and down into the same pool. Sarah walked Albert over to the fountain and sat him down near the angel. Her eyes were glued on a house a ways off.

"I figured that this place wouldn't be the same." She looked down at the cobblestone that ran the square. "This place used to be extremely old, grass was growing out of the stone, and the fountain was all decayed, but it had a nostalgia to it. Now everything's new." She sighed. "That was my house over there...or at least it used to be..."

---

Sarah sat in a long black dress against the corroded white fountain. The funeral had been nice, very proper, though she felt oddly misplaced with all the political dignitaries from Tion and Greater Nordland. All these old men and women, in uniforms and black gowns, talking proper, talking about futures and about political prowess. Her father had eaten it all up. He loved meetings like these, the Baltica Iron Corporation seemed to shine at times like these, he shown like a star when her mother had died and she hated him for it. Especially considering she had only been ten years old at the time. It was because of this star that she had to leave the house, had to get some air, had to escape.

She sat there in silence for a long time before she heard the door open and close from the distance. Alexander Tintagyl appeared in a long frock coat, with a high collar as he walked over to the fountain and sat down next to his daughter. He took a deep breath and Sarah could barely tell if he was angry or saddened. She could never tell, nor did she really care.

"Is there any reason you just walked out on your brother laying in there?"

"Cause its just a show for all of them...I didn't see one of them give a meaningful prayer to him. They knelt down and got up. I don't even think half of them are Catholic."

"That's not the point Sarah, they're our guests. They came to support us in our grief."

"Is that what you call it now? I don't see you grieving all that much. I see you talking about the company, but I don't see you grieving."

"You always were an angry child on the inside. Going by emotion rather than logic." He said in a whisper. "I will miss Samuel greatly. He was my son, my heir, and the future of this family." Sarah looked at him puzzled. "Its not that I don't have faith in you Sarah. Its just that, you aren't ready for what I have been preparing Samuel his whole life for. To take over for me after I'm gone." He reached into his pocket and took out a small letter. "This is your acceptance to the University of Helsinki. You start on Monday, majoring in political science, business, and foreign affairs."

Sarah took the letter and looked at it in shock, her face slowly contorting to one of anger and dismay. "So is that it then, you lost your one puppet and so now its my turn! Is that it! You think you can just decide to walk into and run my life?!"

"I'm your father and I have given you everything in this world. Wealth, a good school, and you go off gallivanting around with your friends day in and day out. Its time to grow up Sarah, its time to act like an adult for once in your life."

"No! Being a puppet isn't being an adult! You know what I wanted to do, you knew what my goals were. But you just couldn't take it could you. Now I have to pick up the slack that Samuel left behind? No thanks!" She got up off the fountain and began walking down the street. "I don't want anything to do with your dream!"

Alexander rose from he seat. "You don't have a choice!"

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"Sometimes one has to be reborn to understand what their previous life was really worth...and what their current one means to them."

They walked through the city...it's simplistic style a mix between Germanic and East-Slavic charms oozed in both architecture and culture. It's streets radiated excitement from the inside out.

"It's funny...people that is. No matter how any trials and tribulations they may face in their life, they still come out on Friday night to blitz the cafe scene or go to see a fußball match they don't really even care about...some things never change..."

He looked toward the sky, now completely dark.

"Look at my eyes, Sarah. The right one is a prosthetic because I lost it in an accident. Since then, I've been seeing the past in my right eye and the present in the left. So, I thought I could only see patches of reality, never the whole picture. I felt like I was watching a dream I could never wake up from. Before I knew it, the dream was over..."

He sighed deeply as they continued to walk through the city, finally reaching the fountain. He watched the water jet forward toward the sky.

"An angel...quite appropriate..."

He listened to her story, staying completely quiet, engrossed in what he was hearing.

He looked at her, thinking of a way to relate to her past...

"Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of starts and stops. There are ends we don't desire, but they're inevitable, we have to face them. It's what being human is all about...something you've taught me in our time together."

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"Human?" She scoffed at looked at him for a moment, shaking her head. "There's nothing human about politics. There are few politicians in this world that I still consider to be human at all." Sarah lifted her hands and looked at them. "I don't even know if I'm human anymore. Or if I'm some kind of monster created in the vacuum of human vice and greed that exists in every congress, parliament, diet on the planet." Getting up from the fountain, she sighed and looked at the rows of houses as the lights shut off one by one, entering into the dark. "C'mon, there's a few other places I want to go before we turn in for the night."

Walking out of the square, Albert and Sarah journey further through the Old City, back out onto the major streets of the cultural parts of the city. She lead him through the darkened parks and dirt pathways that were only illuminated by the dim glow from lampposts riddled around the parks. In the distance, Helsinki University opened up in front of them. The iron gates leading into the courtyard of the University were closed for the night, but Sarah walked up to them and grabbed the bars with clenched fists and held back her tears. "Like I said...not human..."

---

Sarah looked down at the paper in front of her and felt like the world was caving in around her. A great red circle took up the page, with the word "FAIL" at the top. The elaborate handwriting smudged in the midst of Doctor Tomas Pons' anger with her paper. She looked back up as the classroom began to empty out. Dozens of students around her, some older, some younger, all with smiles on their faces. She could see a few green markings in the storm of papers that ran out the door. But she just stayed seated, unable to move with the weight of her second failed philosophy paper in a month.

Pons grabbing his hat and coat to head back out into the chilled Finnish winter scarcely noticed Sarah still seated in the classroom. "Is there something wrong Miss Tintagyl?"

She sighed and picked up the paper from her desk. "What am I not getting? I'm going to lose my scholarship at this rate."

He chuckled. "You lose your scholarship? Miss Tintagyl, you're here almost for free anyways. With the blessings of the Baltica Iron Corporation. I don't think you have to worry about a scholarship."

"That's not the point. What aren't I getting? Why can't I do this? Why do I keep failing?"

"Because you're not applying yourself fully."

"But I spend hours at home studying, I've read the books, I've done what I need to do. Seriously, there's people in class that barely do any work and they're towering over me with grades."

"Because you don't open your mind. You don't apply your own knowledge to what we've read. You're just giving me the backwater of Voltaire's arguments, Kant's arguments, Rousseau. I want to here it from Sarah Tintagyl and until you can do that, you will continue to fail my class." He shook his head. "The heir to the Baltica Iron Corporation and you can't even make your own philosophy up. You're going to be meeting with world leaders and business men from around the planet and you don't even have your own original way of thinking. Keep that up and you won't survive a day. Just pray you never go into politics Sarah, I'd fear your sheltered life might be broken by the grief that leaders cause upon each other. Lord knows what would happen to you if you had to deal with a crisis of your own."

With that the Professor left the room, leaving a weakened Sarah slowly falling to the floor, tears running down her face. She immediately ripped up the paper and threw it into the trash bin and gave into her tears. But at the sound of approaching footsteps she dried her eyes and picked herself up before anyone could see what she had been doing. But as Sarah tore from the room, she knew that the students entering knew what she had been doing.

"Was she crying?" A boy laughed.

"Yeah, I think she was...lame..." A girl's voice.

Running out to the courtyard, her tears immediately froze to her snow white face, turned red through the cold and her blush. The wind whipped her blonde hair from side to side. But it was back off to home from her, there was no time for friends anymore and she had equally been abandoned. With Sarah's days no consisting of studying and attending meetings with her father as his personal secretary, the world seemed to have shut her out. Apparent as she passed a coffee shop on her way home, there in the window was Clara and scores of other friends. Chatting, laughing, having a good time, and there she stood, out in the cold. Clara turned and looked at her for a moment, but then just turned her head as Sarah felt the rest of the tunnel close in front of her. She turned away from the window and buried her hands under her shoulders and walked home. Preparing herself for the inevitable rage of her father.

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"Sarah...humanity is only what we make of it...what we feel about it. Sarah...and I know you are human and that I am human...the deep and affectionate love that I feel for you proves this. If this feeling is not human, I do not know what is."

They continued to walk until they reached the university gates.

"So...you of all people failed philosophy? I really find that hard to believe, you're a walking philosopher. My perception of Pons as a genius must be misplaced, for he sees nothing of natural ability and intelligence."

He laughed...only half joking, thinking "NOTE TO SELF, MAKE SURE PONS SUFFERS (lol)"

"So...what did your father do?"

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"No, no. Pons is still by far one of the smartest men I have ever met in my life. God bless that he's still alive at eighty-seven years old and if it weren't for his constant criticism, I would have been dead a long time ago." She chuckled. "I have him to thank, that at my wit. Because he was right. I was really nothing but a puppet to the ideas that he taught and I was really nothing but a puppet to my father and to the Council after independence." She lifted herself up from the gates and cracked her knuckles. The sound echoed in the cold night air as they walked away from the University. "In all respect, I've felt like a puppet most of my life. Blowing in people's winds, this way and that."

Sarah sighed as she rested her head on Albert's arm. "As the CEO of Baltica, as the Chancellor of the Hansa after independence, countless ventures into foreign affairs, and even still today I feel like I've been tossed around by so many people. I guess it started with my father and Pons could see that. That why he made sure that I formed such an open mind cause he knew that I was so easily manipulated. Honestly, if there was one thing I could change about myself, it would be that."

They continued to walk, further and further out of the city. It seemed like a half hour of journeying across old roads as they reached areas that were barely effected by the previous war, where even some buildings were still intact. Another looming black gate opened up in front of them. The door, which was barely hanging on the hinge, was rusted and decayed, and the words on top of the gate. "Cemetery" were foreboding to the couple as Sarah pushed the gate aside with little strength. Slowly they crept inside and held their heads low in solemn respect to the ancient graves that dotted the hillside. The graveyard was still decently kept, but weeds had started to over some graves and many had fallen off their bases, giving an eerie abandoned feeling to the site.

Climbing up a cobblestone road and then a grassy hill, half covered in weeds, Sarah bent down to one stone in particular and swept away the grass and dust that covered the name: "Alexander Tintagyl" along with "Margaret Tintagyl" and her brother "Samuel". Sarah held strong for a minute before her legs gave out and she fell to the ground, her head buried in her hands.

"No! Its not fair! Its just not fair to have everything taken away from me like this! Why? Why? Why did you turn me into this? Why did you turn me into this monster?!" She hugged herself tightly and whispered to to stones. "I never got to say I love you...I never got to say good bye."

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Albert stood behind her, holding back tears. It was one of the most heart-wrenching sights he had ever experienced.

"Sarah...I...don't know what to say."

He kneeled down next to her and placed his hand on her shoulder.

"You have suffered so much...and endured so much loss...but never regret the past. Tell them that you love them NOW."

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"In Nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen."

The snow feel lightly around the grave sight as the priests and other guests of honor began to retreat from the vault being lowered into the ground, while gravediggers came back to begin to cover the hole with the frozen dirt. Sarah stood over the vault, with her legs frozen to the air, and her face covered in a veil of mourning. She was twenty-one, and the new CEO of the Baltica Iron Corporation, the strongest economic corporation in the Helsinki area and in most of Confederate Tion. Only a week ago, she had walked out of her father's life, hoping never to see him again, never wanting to deal with anything pertaining to his dreams again. But here she was, frozen in the cold and looking grimly at the void in the ground. Only the wind whispered around her.

"I am truly sorry for your loss Miss Tintagyl." Said a voice from behind her. Sarah turned slight, but never lifted her veil. Josef Hok, the vice-CEO smiled at her. His lips curling up in the fashion of all greedy capitalists. But the Communists were just as bad as he was. It was something she learned in politics, there was never any love. Only hate, hate for anyone who was different than you. Hate for anyone who was the same as you. "I do hope that you can trust me, if you need anything, anything at all. I will be there for you."

Sarah took a deep breath and turned back to the gravestones, her family displayed in front of her. "I guess, it feels strange that I'm the only above the ground." She chuckled hatefully. "Even in death, I'm still the odd one out. I was the bad child when they were alive and now they've pushed we away from them again in death."

"There's no reason to joke about such things Miss Tintagyl. Your father lived an eventful life, we were all very proud of him. Him and Samuel both and I trust we will be equally proud of you."

"Yeah, I guess I really don't have a choice." She bent down and kissed the gravestone, the snow melting on her lips as she turned and slowly began to walk down the pathway out of the cemetery, trying her hardest to organize her thoughts, but to no avail. As she trotted down the path. Miroslav Grozny walked up to Hok and smiled just as Hok had done to Sarah.

"You know, for as unstable as she is, perhaps it would be easier to just convince her to leave."

"No, we need her. The liberals on the board like her, they like her a lot and we've started to begin talks with the Tionese government for the final plan."

Grozny's eyes boggled. "Its a possibility now?"

"Sarah Tintagyl will be Chancellor of the new Hanseatic Council, the puppet girl that we need. Think Miroslav. She's young, attractive, knows nothing about politics. People will love her and so long as we're giving her pats on the back and telling her 'good job' she'll be too confused to know anything that is going on."

"Very good..."

---

She stood back up and wiped her eyes. "He wanted the best for me, even if I didn't want it. I just wanted to live a quiet life in the serenity of my home. But I don't think he anticipated everything that would happen. Sometimes, I wish I would have just followed the policies of Ile de Noir. Maybe the world would be different then, maybe things would have been better, maybe things would have been worse. I don't know. But I think I've said good-bye already. Maybe its just, I wish I could hug them once more." On her coat was a small white rose, she tore off the pin and gently laid the flower on the stone. "Just always know that I miss all of you, each and every day, and when I die I promise I will smile."

Pulling herself back to her feet, Sarah sighed and turned back towards the gate. "Its late Albert, I think we should probably be getting back to the hotel. Unless of course there's somewhere that you want to visit?"

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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