A Quiet Job (SYAE)
OOC: For context: Songhai is a religiously-guided society-almost fanatical in that sense (though they are not Muslim-they have developed a unique faith).
Bamako, Mali, is their Holy City-the former Ancient Mali and Ancient Songhai important city during the early African empires more than a millenium ago (which has connections to why it is so important to modern Songhai).
Songhai Holy City, Bamako
Hall of the Clairvoyents
"Your failiure is pressing-one we thought to be high of the faith we would not think to let us down."
One medium-skinned man sat at the center of the room-kneeling on the floor, two very large, ornately-adorned guards standing on either side of him to the rear, holding dangerous-looking pikes. His face was scarred, a long, jagged red line cutting from his left cheek to upper right forehead, just above both eyes. He wore a simple brown cotton shirt and a black tunic-like robe.
Before him sat three other men-sitting on large, elaborate thrones, decked with gold and jewled designs. Each throne had a long, curved saber attached by a simple leather attachment, connected to the right armrest. The men on these thrones were all tall, though the middle one was simply a beast-roughly 6'10", bigger than many basketball players, medium-skinned, and muscular. His neck throbbed with muscle and vein, and wore a gold-linked outer-armor-like robe-above a white and violet shirt. The others were somewhat less imposing, though all were above 6'2", all wore somewhat elaborate dress, and all had the same reddish-brown skin tone-Northwest Africans bred with Moors, though no longer Moslem at all.
"They overwhelmed me-there was nothing I could do," replied the man on the floor.
The man was Oudan Banishti-a SpecOps commander, one of the best of Songhai originally from what had been Togo, before the three before him-the High Clairvoyents-had united West Africa by storm.
"Overwhelmed your entire force? And the only alternative was to explode the device?"
"The Heretics were too dangerous to be left alive, Holy Ones," Banishti pleaded.
The central man drew forth in his throne, staring Banishti straight in the eye.
"Yet whose heresy was greater-theirs...or yours?"
"I accept full responsibility, Lords, though it was the best choice I could have made at the time."
"You will be made example of!" shouted the leader to the left. "An example to serve all of Songhai!"
"Indeed," said the central one again. "But one further question, commander. Were your at least able to learn their origin?"
"Yes, Holy One. Algeria."
"I see. Guards-" he indicated the large soldiers nearby, "return him to his cell."
"At once, Holy Ones," the guards responded. Both grabbed a shoulder of the former SpecOps commander, shoving him to his feet and out the door.
"Your heresy will weigh you greatly," the central said as he left, "but those Algerians-their Heresy will weigh them greater-on them all. They will feel our pain-in their fate."
Mali Province, Songhai Dominion
Asongo-Plains of the Fathers
His head was bare, sweat dripping from what little black hair adorned it down to the ground.
His name was Kiwanuka-Toyomo Kiwanuka. Not even a full-blooded African, he was an odd sort-a mix of Japanese and what had been the nation of Mali. Since his father had been the African, and from what was deemed the "holiest" province of the Empire, he was deemed acceptable-and had made good use of the opportunity. Kiwanuka was a Special Operations commander, newly ascending to the position after his former boss-a man named Banishti-had "disappeared" after a failed raid against Guinea rebels (who had been massacred instead of captured for information). Such failiure was intolerable-though Kiwanuka knew this. His mixed heritage gave him the best of both worlds-an honorable man, but crafty and smart, not caring to risk what it took. He was very good at what he did.
And today, it would involve the Heritics-those of Algeria-who had sponsored these Guinea Rebels (or supposedly sponsored them). The point didn't matter to Kiwanuka-he had things to do, and if the Clairvoyents said the Algerians had been the conspirators to try and fracture the Songhai Dominion, then they were responsible-end of story. The Clairvoyents would provide salvation when the time came, at any rate, and Kiwanuka was not one to miss on opportunities. Though Kiwanuka knew he would probaly never reach the two highest ranks in the SpecOps career-Zealot and Sacred Guard-he didn't mind. He was doing his duty-for the Gods.
The plains-the Plains of the Fathers-were hot this day. The city of Asongo, numbering a bit over 90 thousand inhabitants, was a short deal away, a normal border city-though its status as border city would soon be nullified, if all went right. The Algerians had been a pain for the Songhai Dominion ever since the Imperium first came together under the High Clairvoyents, resisting any attempt at joining, defiling the Gods, and repeatedly attacking border companies that patrolled Mali. It was a common nuisance-one no longer.
And Kiwanuka was its engine.
Songhia Holy City, Bamako
"Heretics meet their fate!"
The Heirarch of Legacy, one of the three of the Songhai High Clairvoyents (though admittedly, Legacy and the Heirarch of Faith were both somewhat subservient to the Heirarch of Judgement, despite the supposed "equal" power) stood on a small platform on a massive obelisk that towered into the sky. There were taller obelisks in the Holy City-one that towered more than seven hundred meters into the sky, setting a record for buildings-but this one was the focus of attention today. The Lower Obelisk, in particular, was used commonly in dealing with those who had gone astray.
A massive throng filed all across the Holy City's Lower Atrium, a massive citadel complex complete with ornate architecture and temples. On a platform slightly below the Heirarch, the summoned, Oudan Banishti, stood, hands tied behind him, kneeling on a flat stone. Two Sacred Guards, decked in elaborate armor, stood behind him, lofting massive scythes.
"Those who defy the faith shall find no salvation!" shouted the Heirarch, "The Gods banish them to their fate!"
"No repent!" roared the crowd in cheers, surging against the Obelisk.
"And comes the closing hour for them, the Gods be avenged!"
The decibles climbed as the croud yelled, Banishti kneeling with his eyes closed.
"Your Heresy will end you here," the Heirarch quietly said down to the platform, then silently nodded to the guards.
The first guard pulled back the man's head, revealing the bare dark skin of the neck. The crowd chanted, knowing what was coming next to the deemed Heretic.
The second guard now moved in, Scythe raised high. Two quick moves of the arms by the guard, and the scythe came away bloody and slick. The body of the former SpecOps commander slumped forward, the head landing next to it.
The crowd roared again.
OOC: Hopefully this post can give you some leads, H-Town Tejas.
"Hear me, fellow Africans!"
The Seer of Fellowship bellowed from the foyer of Tindouf, the largest city in Southwestern Algeria. The city was not all that large, yet the only real outpost for kilometers-most certainly until one reached Beni Abbes, all the way on the Morrocan-Aeson border. Therefore, it was the leading candidate for the Songhai Prophets to spread the faith-a reversal of Islam's spread more than a millenium before.
The city had other advantages the Prophets looked to take advantage of. Only a year before, Tindouf had been the victim of torrential flooding, displacing thousands. Though the Algerian government had sent plenty of aid to compensate, Tindouf was left in a somewhat broken-down state. The Algerian government, as it was, was in a moderate shape-not as good off as the metal-rich Songhai coffers that the Imperial government had been selling overseas in droves from Lagos in exchange for larger influxes of money, but still rich in natural gas and oil. However, the American State of the Union recently could compromise that-with the commitment to find environmental-friendly conditions and alternatives, oil could dry up fast.
Which is where Songhai could step in.
"Times have changed," the Seer bellowed above the crowd of some several thousand of the city's thirty thousand inhabitants. Algeria's powerful neighbor sending one of its higher echelon over to speak to the Algerians in one of their more impoverished cities was a big deal.
"Algeria faces many issues at hand," Fellowship continued, his thick, rich voice carrying across the dry landscape, "For decades, oil and natural gas-two very needed commodities-have carried the Algerian economy. But the Western moves towards environmental-friendly climates threaten this very economy. Hydrogen powered cars, Solar power...where will the gas go? Who will need the oil? Soon, only the most powerful oil nations-the Arabs, those of South and Cental America-will be milking the rewards, while deserving Algeria will stand isolated and crumbling due to the West's passion. The Algerian economy will not be able to compensate in time-and disaster will come.
"Algeria is faced by militants, extremists, every day-a waypoint for the terror that has inflicted Western fears. The country's image is distorted by this-shunned somewhat by Western coffers. The top investors will soon look elsewhere for every need, rather then turn to a country they consider overrun by extremists-they do not see Algeria in its glory. But image is image-where will you turn?
"Algeria faces its own problems at home. Lack of public water and energy, housing issues, unemployment-it all strikes. These problems have existed ever since the end of the great Civil War which struck this glorious country, and have yet to be resolved-or considered! Where can Algeria turn?
"Fellow Africans, your answer is at your doorstop."
A large backdrop of the purple-and-maroon flag of Imperial Songhai dropped behind the Seer, perfectly timed. Two Sacred Guards, highest of the Elites, formed in rank-and-file behind the Prophet, lowering their ceremonial-yet dangerous-spiked pikes in an outstretched position-almost inviting.
"Africa heeds your calls!"
The Seer raised his hands over his head, eye flitting to every eye of the large crowd in front. To the Algerians, maybe it was a large crowd-but the Seer of Fellowship, one of the higher of the Lesser Prophets, was used to much more-Lagos was Africa's biggest city, after all, with 15 million people, divided between New Lagos and Old Lagos.
"South Africa, Dweladelfia, Abbysinia, the UASR, Zaire-they may not hear, nor listen, to the needs of the Algerian people-but the merciful Heirarchs of Songhai are willing and wanting to help the Dominion's brothers to the East! Songhai offers the salvation of Algeria! To prevent the cataclysm that will come when the West pulls out the economic floor of the great Algerian country, and to heed the wants of the common people to a better tomorrow!"
The Prophet lowered his hands, and grew significantly quieter.
"However-should this opportunity go to nothing-then those who wish to prey on smaller countries such as Algeria may make their move-and devestate what the people of this country have worked so hard to do."
He smiled out at the crowd, an inviting smile, as of trust between old friends.
"But fellow Africans-the destiny of the continent is at hand! One of every six Africans alone is of the Nigerian province-simply one of many of the glorious provinces of Songhai, which absorb all of the grand benefits the Heirarchs offer! Just recently, the once-desolate country of Western Sahara was absorbed as the latest province of Songhai-and it has already been partially reconstructed into a much grander state, thanks to the care and willingness of the Heirarchs to assist the people!
"All the Algerian people must do is advise the government! Tindouf is simply the first steps of Songhai-we will spread the word to all Algeria, showing them the benefits that await for Algeria in Songhai!"
The Prophet once again raised his arms, and smiled.
ooc: Okay, thanks.
IC: AL-JAZA'IR, PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ALGERIA
Prime Minister Abdelaziz "Abdelaziz 2" Belkhadem sat in the chair in his office. On his laptop (on Youtube, regrettably), he watched a video of the Songhai "Seer of Fellowship" give a speech in Tindouf. His Amazigh wasn't so good, so an interpreter translated the speech into Arabic for him. He listened, he listened...he wasn't all that impressed. So oil was going to dry up. Most Algerians, or for that matter, Libyans, UASRians (that term, while incorrect, really didn't offend them, and Belkhadem still had trouble figuring out why similar terms got Americans so riled up), and Saudis, all didn't really care. Just because Whitmore said he wanted to ban fossil fuels, that didn't mean that Americans were going to quit buying their Hummers and their Lincoln Navigators and their pickup trucks and the like. In fact, it probably meant that far-right hicks would go out of their way to buy gas-guzzlers to be a bitch to their President.
And all those problems that he was mentioning? Were his people truly naïve enough to believe that they didn't exist in Songhai? And then, there was the big, heavy anvil that hit you in the head when you tried to annex Algeria into the Songhai. And it went by the name of "Muslim for 500 years." Did the Songhai honestly think they could just breeze past that? Western Sahara was supposed to be the big proof that Muslims could rock with the Songhai? News flash; most Algerians, especially in the Tindouf area, knew one or two Sahrawis. What was a Sahrawi's overriding desire? "For the bullshit to stop," according to most of the ones Belkhadem knew. And, the Songhai made the bullshit stop. But, in Algeria, the bullshit was essentially over, or at least not bad enough for the people to want to be Songhai.
Still, the "Halo People," as Belkhadem's American...second cousin's nephew's wife's brother (he had met this guy a grand total of one time, and they had to speak in French) referred to them, were a force to be reckoned with. There was no doubt there.
"Alright, I've seen enough," he said to the translator, pausing the movie, "You can go."
The translator nodded and left the room. Alone now, Belkhadem pulled out a notepad, writing down some stuff he had to talk to "Abdelaziz 1" about. Algeria needed to be ready...
OOC: Halo people, I love it! (never really thought of that, but that's pretty cool...)
I'll put some more up soon.