It's a Long Way to Kiel
A humorous, entirely - entirely, entirely, yes - OOC "RP"/not-RP about some of the UoS characters in Bomballey.
D-oe'd'm'ts Aoe-t-aoe-t-evaan Veinov, the highest priest, the highest Patriarch, of the United Apostolic Churches of Haane and Keste, the sole true Christian Church, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, emerged from his campers' tent, positioned strategically on the lawn of Bomballey Borough Park, near the central square, where the mythical Bomballey Square Massacre, which no one dared speak of, happened. So frightening it was that everyone said that it had not happened; that the arrest of the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate, and the Council of Ministers of the Haanean State had happened all in a peaceful manner. But that was but a front. He had not been there to see it, but horrors unimaginable had taken place on the great concrete expanse before him, he knew it for sure.
It had been months since the end of that endeavor, the great Endeavor of Bomballey. Where the people had risen up and established a system of just socialism, in which ownership was not in the hands of the state or the bourgeois but in that of all the people, distributed or shared among them; the economic power expressed through the Christian workers' associations.
And now, it seemed, the little borough, once choked with smoke and laden with drugs of all sorts, had returned to normal - or rather safe. Normality in Bomballey had always been a strange thing. Areai's clique had quickly taken the district over, transformed it, with the money that they had robbed of their homeland, into a shining jewel - but at the same time, a shining dictatorship, through the Bomballey Corporation.
The remnants of her rule, as well as that of Marchand's, remained.
Before the great square still stood a great statue, rivaling the Statue to Copala's Liberty, of Areai, standing on a pedestal on which the words "PRAISE HER" were engraved. It still stood, somehow entirely intact, although it had been vandalized. Behind it was Areai's personal mansion, possibly the largest mansion in Copala City if not the world, where the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, and the Council of Ministers had met before they were arrested in their entirety.
The houses of the workers' associations, the markets, so many things, were marked clearly as "Houses of the Revolution," "People's Warehouses," "People's Banks," "People's Forum," even "People's Petrol Station," on wooden signs, still somehow pristine, words painted in bright yellow.
He walked through Bomballey Square, where many youth were gathered, planning, no doubt, the restoration of the Haanean State. They had been its greatest supporters; many of them, at the same time, were now without parents. What else could they do in their free time? Study, perhaps - and finals at the various schools operated by the Social and Service Workers' association, top of their class, certainly better, by miles, than any of the terrible schools that existed in the rest of Europe - Saint Dominico's Academy of the Holy Cross, a hive of delinquency and failure, which one of his flock had told him of, in the blackest possible words, came to mind - were approaching. But they deserved a small break. They had attempted to push through a social revolution, tried to push off the Reitzmic military, semi-successfully, and had inhaled the most poisonous of fumes for all of a week. Surely, after all that, they would be terribly, terribly tired.
He went as far as the Statue to the Empress's Love, and then turned into a street. The sidewalks were wide, lined by beautiful, flowering trees; the buildings pristine, although blackened, somewhat, by the burning in the streets.
Little kiosks and stores, lines formed in front of them, stood. All single-person businesses, or cooperatives, per the dictates of the workers' associations. He did not enter any of these lines, and continued on.
Little, haphazard booths stood on the street, empty. The remnants of the 'stations of people's defense' that the State had created in its final days. He walked passed them, before crossing the Boulevard of Imperial Glory. Well-maintained, pristine, beautiful, as with all other streets, lined, too, with trees. The crosswalks were perfect; so was traffic.
On the other side, youth chattered in an outdoor seating area of some new cafe. Specialized in Istkalener milk tea, which seemed to have become extremely popular among the Haanean teens of the area.
They turned to look at him for a moment as he passed; then turned back. Curious, perhaps, in the religious aura that he naturally released; in the call of the only true church and salvation.
Several streets onward - "Avenue of the Merits of the Empress," "Avenue of the Resurrection of the Haanean Nation," "Way of the Imperial Leader," "Road of Devotion to Her Holy Leadership" - was a memorial. Standing before an apartment, vandalized - really vandalized, beyond a point he had thought impossible to reach - statues of the Ueliohens. Terrifying creatures, they were; he was glad that they were dead. A youth was coming out of the building, carrying a great number of bags; he embraced another youth, no less of the same sex, quite passionately as well. That was not natural; but he could not judge. In any case, he continued walking.
The youth who had emerged from the building went inside a taxi, waving to the other youth as he departed. If he remembered correctly, that was the person who had told him about the Academy in Inquista; he had thought that he was faithful, but evidently he would need to be disciplined.
A few minutes later, he had reached a great wall, of brick. Not the end of Bomballey, nor its border with Reitzmag, but rather a zoo. The entrance was a great arch, on which a copper plaque, the words "The Empress's Zoo, for the Gratification of Her Beloved Subjects," inscribed on it, rested.
He paid the fee of four EMUs, and entered. Many interesting things to see - penguins, lions, and tigers, allegedly 'rescued' from the 'tyrannical grasp' of Carole Baskin - a lie, per the confession of one of the Ueliohens - they had bought it off the black market, apparently. But the zoo was entirely legal - the animals were well taken care of, and they had prepared documentation for all of them, alongside quite a bit of money, should they ever need to give 'gifts' to an inspector.
He realized that his position - as a member of an underground church in Bomballey - had actually given him quite a bit of knowledge about its inner workings. So many of those in Areai's inner circle did not actually believe in her church that he was able to know essentially all of their wrongdoings and how the structure of Bomballey and the Bomballey Corporation allowed them to get away with them.
No matter, really. He did have to get back - it was far, far, far too late.