A highlighted newspaper article found by Liv next to the toilet read – “The Baron de Batz, apparently found the next handful of years to follow to be somewhat dangerous for him, and moreso for those around him. March and April of 1794 saw the execution of colleagues and friends, and by June 20 of a group of 60 convicted red shirt wearing individuals had apparent tie’s to him.
Life not going quite as swimmingly as he had hoped, Jean Pierre de Batz, Baron de Sainte-Croix, made a lifestyle change and moved to the delightfully south central Province of Auvergne where he bought a Castle. Sadly he was located then arrested. Happily he did a runner whilst being sent to Lyon. The Baron de Batz may or may not have scarpered, and hit Switzerland at the gallop.
Thereafter he was removed the list of emigrants by the Parisian Consulate, and gave up politics. Along came the Restoration, he picked up a couple of awards of rank and pretty much retired into seclusion, to finally move from mortem to post-mortem in 1822.
So too, his ferret inhabited saddlebag’s were rumoured to carry and number of charters and property deeds in one, and 1200 Royal d’or coins, ranging in date from 1422 to 1431. Other lesser units of currency, keys, and banking details were located within the dark confines of the travelling, equine tethered arc.”
Or so the story goes.
17022012 to 29052012.
30051431 “ha ha ha ha!!!”.
“Good on you! Weren’t you the inspiration behind the Great Fire of London?” 29052012 lips on.
“Did i mention how good that dress looks on you? Ha ha ha ha!!!” 17022012 taunts.
“Right, bugger the pair of ya. That’s it. You take Queensbury’s rules. You can take Rafferty’s Rules. You take the bloody road rules for all I care, but it is on and I will be waitin’ for both or either of yiz out the front. I’ve ‘ad a gut full and it’s on!!” 30051431
“I’m sorry over cooked bread, but I cannot hit anyone that wears a dress. Especially one with a cross target on your chest.” 29052012 causing 17022012 to snort coffee through the nose and laugh at this.
Burnt black rock hard knuckles are thrown by 30051431 with speed and accuracy of a far younger dress wearing burns victim. 29052012 is taken off guard, and catches one beautifully in the space between eye and ear on the left side of his head, causing him to bravely fall down semi-conscious but mostly through not being keen on receiving another.
With that 30051434 steps back to gain a pose more suited to a fly half setting for a kick at goal. 29052012 the lesser however will not be having the likes of that thank you very much, and charges up the inside of the planted leg. Once there he does what ferrets are best at doing. Finding the rabbit and managing all efforts to kill it. It is not unheard of that a ferret will settle in a burrow and consume the dead rabbit. 30051431 was getting the inside scoop on how this was done.
Needless to say, it was 29051202 the greater aiding 30051431 and helping him from the deck.
Ferret removed and all things settled, cut straight to it and asked Mini about his number, and the number above Scallop. Lastly about this odd association with him.
“I’m not too sure. When I was hit by the truck I had been listening to the competition to name the ferret from the story they had been reading on the radio. It was titled Scallop, and was about the King Louis XVI; a man named Baron de Batz. The book itself is not known if it is a work of fiction, or a factual account of the King, and his changeling aided escape from the kiss of ‘Madamme Guillotine’ and the subsequent life lived through until his death in 1822.”
Utilising her masterful grasp on the French language, “Wow” was about all 17022012 could come up with. “But that doesn’t explain the ferret? What is the story with that? It is not every day that someone exits Gero and enters Orain with a possibly fictitious, unnamed ferret courtesy late night radio.”
“I genuinely have no idea. There was the competition you had to buy into, €250 thank you very much, which ran for a month or so. The competition caused a huge ruckus throughout France and the rest of Gero. Think about, every history book on France written since late January 1793, includes the death of the King, his family, and his supporters.”
“Now imagine first if it is merely a tale, it is a tale which will out sell the Davinci Code, particularly is a US publisher gets hold of the manuscript, and then waters it down to be sold off to the tragically ill educated US market. It will be rewritten for the stage, for film, for radio. There would be spin off’s with merchandising, and McDonald’s or Sir Paul McCartney will be the rights to it. Elton and Phil Collins could arm wrestle for the opportunity to the sound track for the upcoming animated Disney production”
“Then there is the spin off market. things the likes of “Who really was Joan of Arc”, or “was Joan of Arc actually John of Arc, a brilliant general who liked to wear woman’s clothing?” all of that rubbish. Liv turned to give John an intense look, that went for six seconds longer than was comfortable, then returned her gaze to Mini once more.
“That of course is if it is just a story. Then there is Pandora’s Pithos. If it is really true, what bad things will be released on France? the obvious hype will generate interest not just in france herself, but in Frances history, the credibility of those from then to now that the basis of laws and finance and the division of land, the alliances with neighbours, long standing rifts with enemies. What would have become of Napoleon? How will it affect education? Will there be a flood of apparent heirs to Royalty. Will there be ramifications within the church? The list goes on. But that is the Gero talking. What of our very own, little old Orain? What will happen here?”
Just to illustrate the difference between 15th Century and 19th Century education standards of the time, Liv and John in stereo “Merde!” at the idea of everything just spoken of.
“The thing I still don’t get is the ferret. I had never seen a ferret until I reached Orain. Adding to that, why would it magically align itself with me? The coincidence is outside my scope of understanding, pretty more like everything else here. Anyway, that is me.”
And so it was.
“I don’t care what ya say, yiz a bloody idiot if ya try, is all I’m sayin’”
“John, my oldest friend in Orain!! Why won’t you help me? You have been here 581 years! I have been here only days. Come on. Please help me. Do you have the ten of hearts?”
“No, and that’s bloody it. Go fish.”
“John, don’t just help us, come with us. Do you have the Jack of Spades?
“Go fish. No I will not help. Why should I. Nine of Diamonds?
“Bugger, take my card then! It will be fun, exciting, profitable. Jack of Hearts?”
“No. He’ll come Mini, don’t you worry. Queen of Hearts?”
“Go fish. Ok I will, and let it be known that the only reason I am is because I am a sexist pig, and I am a sucker for beautiful women. Nothing more. Except for one thing miss. You. I want to know a bit more about you. You come from the late nineteenth century, yet you have 17022012 floating above you. We are going nowhere until you tell us why.” The temperature in the room starts to drop 10°c at a time. Liv has gone from “Liv” face, to “Olivia St. John Melamare” face in well under a second.
“I am not happy with this question.” a scowling Olivia St. John Melamare declares to the room in general. “But, it will need to be told sometime, so it may as well be now as any other time.” John grins and leans closer. Mini finds that eye level with Liv is not always were Liv appreciates it, catching him with eye’s rapidly moving upward from chest to chin then to the eye level as prearranged and preferred by women Orain wide. Olivia St. John Melamare scowl’s further. Mini puts on a strong face, and like a scared rabbit looks elsewhere.
Liv clears her throat, and away we go.
“I was born in Normandy 1873. Wealthy family. One younger sister. We were schooled as Presbyterian Ladies, then we both attended the University of Paris. Different years of course, and before ask, we both dressed and made out to be men. Olivia is not so different to Oliver, and Joan is not so different from John, is it “John”?”
“I was interested in being a teacher. I studied and passed. Then I moved to science. I studied and passed. I was briefly married to a man who developed a unique condition of the blood, and then died of blood loss not long after. And here I am.” add winning, dangerously disarming, smile here.
“No!! Keep going. Then what?”
“Merde. I moved near by to advance my knowledge of the soul. The centre of the human spirit. And while I was doing that I managed to get myself a whole lot deader than I anticipated.”
John the persistent. “and you were dead how long?”
“Now there’s the question. My life in Gero ended in 1901. I was born into Orain 17022012, coincidentally my birthday in Gero was the 17th of February also.”
“This is like getting blood from a stone! Why such a long time dead?”
A scowl returns to the lovely face once more. “I told you I was experimenting on the feasibility of the existence of the soul, and it’s attachment to the human body. Well I managed to build an Arc of sorts with a series of different metals.”
“I was working inside it, and the struts holding the lid open collapsed, entombing me inside. The catch was that what my arc was turned out to generate quite a low form of energy, similar to a battery, just not so grandiose. My workshop was in the lesser of three cellars within the large house we visited earlier. The energy created by my Arc was enough to hide the vibrations of the soul of the dead. So much so that Death was unable to pick them up. Something she equated as some sort game that only she could play, and always win. She felt, not thought, felt that I was out to beat her, and that I had.”
“When Death finally caught up with me, to say she was unhappy would be saying that it hardly rained a drop on Noah’s street. The reason that it took so long to find me was that the cellars had flooded about the same time I dead, and they had been covered over for safety.”
“Death still sends the beast after me on roughly a monthly basis. I run as best I can, but it is just a matter of time before it has me and my soul.”
With that, they all looked at each other. “Go fish.”
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