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Monday, December 14

Crisis in Freeport: Part 2 – The First Signs of Trouble

Sebastian snapped the paper open. It read: “CAPTAIN’S COUNCIL REVOKES LAW OF SUCCESSION IN POWER GRAB.”

The man who read the same headline gathered two of his comrades and stalked down the street towards the paper’s office, a crumpled up copy of the newspaper in hand. Sebastian tracked him from the air.

The low murmur of conversation filled the street in front of the office belonging to the Shipping News. The building was nearly completely surrounded by disgruntled-looking citizens, many of whom clutched copies of the special edition in their hands. Occasionally, an angry shout went up from a person in the crowd, but the general mood was that of simmering unease rather than outright anger.

After a few minutes, the door to the office opened and a short, round man in garish clothing stepped out into the street. With his appearance, the crowd became much livelier, and within a few seconds, the entire street was filled with the deafening roar of hundreds of shouting people.

Cries of “shut this rag down!” and “tell ‘em the truth, C.Q.!” went up, with a chorus of cheers and jeers accompanying each one. Stepping up onto a wooden crate, C.Q. Calame waved the crowd into silence, clutching a tattered cigar between his plump fingers.

“Good people of Freeport, be calm and hear me! Today’s edition of The Shipping News is but a window into the inner workings of the Captains’ Council, and I, your humble public servant, seek only to enlighten the masses as to the recent folly of the council’s members. I know that many of you are upset or frightened, and it is as you should be, fore there are those on the council that seek only to fatten their own purses by crushing you under their boot heels. For those of you that disagree with the columns in today’s special edition, I thank you for your patronage but urge you to remember that I am but the messenger.”

Several people in the audience began arguing loudly with one another. Then suddenly a ripple of violence spasmed the crowd, as fist fights broke out between the two rival groups. Fists flew, blood sprayed, ad the air was filled with a cacophony of terrified shrieks, clashing blades, and angry shouting.

The startled newspaperman was caught in the middle. He turned to the door but discovered it locked.

C.Q. leapt down off his box and hammered desperately on the door. “Let me back in!”

To angry citizens grabbed C.Q. and pulled him down into the crowd.

Sebastian sighed. More violence. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:35 AM


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