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Source: (consider it) Thread: Circus: Mafia - Over by Christmas
leonato
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# 5124

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Conte Leonato wakes in the night to hear the unmistakable sound of a lynch mob approaching his hotel. "It's because I'm Calabrian, isn't it?" he mutters to himself. "Nobody trusts us Calabrians".

Luckily the Conte has been preparing for such an eventuality and he is able to leap out of his bedroom window straight into his little tank. He puts it into its fastest reverse gear and zooms out of town.

Sadly the mob have predicted he would do this and manage to surround his tank. Leo knows what he must do, and offering up prayers to every saint he can think of he pulls a small lever on the instrument panel...

...

The exploding tank lit up the night sky for miles, helped by the cache of fireworks some wag of a sergeant had attached to the bomb.

Funeral on Thursday, attended by seventy-five little old Sicilian mourners.

--------------------
leonato... Much Ado

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Eliab
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# 9153

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DAY 6 - “A Story Without a Moral”

Thirty metres below ground, just north of Hill 60 on the Messines ridge, nightfall passes unnoticed. Tam Morton lowers his body onto the crossed wooden boards and swings his legs up into position on the cross-piece of his shovel. He scowls at Jimmy, who is taking over the shift as trammer, responsible for loading the dug clay into the carts passing back up the narrow tunnel towards the line.

“Tha’ reckons tha’ll last the shift, eh Tam?” grins the younger man. Morton is 65, though his enlistment papers give the implausible figure of 33, and the Tunnelling Company accepted him without question. Experienced clay-kickers are too rare to reject on such slender grounds as age. And as far as Tam is concerned, six shillings a day, fully five more than an infantryman earns, is just too good to pass up. Even if one of those “days” includes (as one in three of them does) two gruelling eight hour shifts in a three foot high tunnel under enemy lines. Tam, though, has been working in mines and tunnels, for most of five decades, digging everything from the Manchester sewers to the London underground. Today he feels it.

“Jus’ make sure tha’ keeps a bluidy eye on the fucking mice, lad.” He would have preferred a canary, of course, any miner would, but the canaries are all dead. A gassed mouse curls up in the corner of the cage, which isn’t exactly unusual for mice. A canary falls off its perch. Which, Tam has always felt, is a tad rough on the poor creature. He’d never liked to see dumb animals suffer, but he’d never say so, not here. If his team-mates thought he was sentimental about that sort of thing, they’d laugh like donkeys.

Tam drives the grafting tool forward into the clay, again and again, his limbs working almost automatically. The blade is pushed in, and with a twist of the heels and turn of the hands which has become subconscious, a fresh slab of clay drops from the working face of the tunnel. Martin Peasman, up for a stint as bagger, lies flat on the floor beside Tam, and as the shovel moves back and up, his quick hands scoop the earth into a sandbag which he thrusts and kicks back down the tunnel to Jimmy. The team know their trade, and by the end of the day the tunnel will be fourteen feet longer. Miners working with the ordinary pick and spade couldn’t manage half that. Fourteen feet closer to the point that they can start widening the tunnel for thirty thousand pounds of ammonal explosive, and give three or four thousand Germans on the heavily defended hill one hell of a bad day.

“Fuck! Get out! Out!” Jimmy grabs Martin’s ankles and pulls him down the passage. Morton, absorbed in his work, is slow to react, and by the time he has shifted his aching bones from the inclined planks running from floor to ceiling, and turned around in the narrow space between the boards and the wall, his mates are ten yards away, barely visible in the dim light. Dirt is falling heavily from the shaking ceiling, and one of the timber props at the side suddenly twists out of place and falls across the tunnel. A second later, a wall of clay descends in front of Tam, smothering the lamp and blocking out the light. He doesn’t even see whether Jimmy and Martin were clear of the collapsing roof.

It takes a moment for the facts to sink in. A fall like that could easily be twenty yards or more in length. God knows what caused it. Artillery fire above, a German camouflet, or simply the ground itself treacherously shifting. It doesn’t matter. At best, at the very best, there’s thirty feet of clay between the tunnel’s end and fresh air, and there’s no way, no way at all, that even the best clay-kicker could clear that, and guard against another fall, before the trapped air runs out.

Tam carefully runs his hands over the fallen clay, hoping in vain for some gap or escape. He finds the mouse cage half-buried, and tugs it free. The mice are squeaking wildly. The old miner grips the bars hard and wrenches the cage apart. There’s no chance, really, that even a mouse could find a way out, but a mouse stands more chance than a man, and they deserve whatever he can give them. Morton takes a deep breath of air, air that he already imagines is getting thicker, and relieves his nervous bladder by pissing in the direction of Germany. He then slowly and carefully shifts the boards around, gropes for his spade, and lies back, kicking again and again into the collapsed tunnel, until his head is swimming and he can work no more.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Eliab
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# 9153

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It's morning. Trench raids, shelling, accident, disease, machine-guns and sniper fire, have all claimed victims in the night, but the good news is, none of you were amongst them. You are all still gloriously alive!

But as your last lynching victim was innocent, there's obviously at least one killer still out there. And so the Prosecution phase begins...

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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Ooh, so it looks like the Conspirator's all on his/her own! Which means that we've got a bit more breathing space, and a second chance - unless the Traitor made contact last night (bare odds, all things being equal, of 1 in 5), we can finish it today if we lynch the Conspirator.

[ETA: I think that's right. I don't think I've missed anything, but it's possible.]

[ 20. January 2011, 21:06: Message edited by: The Great Gumby ]

--------------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Jay-Emm
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# 11411

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
It's morning. Trench raids, shelling, accident, disease, machine-guns and sniper fire, have all claimed victims in the night, but the good news is, none of you were amongst them. You are all still gloriously alive!

But as your last lynching victim was innocent, there's obviously at least one killer still out there. And so the Prosecution phase begins...

Drat I was hoping it was going to be clearer today, but no.

(The Mafia, if there are 2, still win on a wrong lynch. I presume they want to increase the odds)

For what it's worth, I'd divided the world into 3 disjoint pairs (where I thought a split mafia required 'irrational' action*) and was going to assume the odd member would be courted by both sides. That's rather moot now.

Hmm it's tempting to try and see if we can settle at this equilibrium. Are the mafia up for a draw?

* for suitably vague definitions of irrational, that exclude the mafia predicting me/us thinking like that.

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Jay-Emm
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Why didn't I think of that GG?


[edited below]
Oh and in response to AR

If there are 3 mafia then they're just playing with us, so we may as well enjoy it.

If there are 2 mafia, then this is our last chance.

If there is a one mafia, then we can lynch the conspirator (by mistake) but not an innocent (else the conspirator will declare at dusk and end up with a villager, conspirator and mafia)

[ 20. January 2011, 21:15: Message edited by: Jay-Emm ]

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Autenrieth Road

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Holy Saturday, it is today. Holy Mess over at the tunnelling. Let's hope it's not a Holy Mess here today too. There's some hope in that none of us were killed last night, which gives us (I figure it) a few more chances at lynching the apparently single remaining Conspirator (agreeing with Captain Slackbladder's reasoning).

Corporal Marley, what are your three sets of disjoint pairs? And who do you mean by "the odd member"?

--------------------
Truth

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Holy Saturday, it is today. Holy Mess over at the tunnelling. Let's hope it's not a Holy Mess here today too. There's some hope in that none of us were killed last night, which gives us (I figure it) a few more chances at lynching the apparently single remaining Conspirator (agreeing with Captain Slackbladder's reasoning).

Corporal Marley, what are your three sets of disjoint pairs? And who do you mean by "the odd member"?

I think I've got the one mafia case wrong (I seem to have missed a round, or forgotten there wasn't a death)

The odd member would be the person from the pair that the death occured in. That was assuming a two person mafia.

As for the grouping, I'd be curious to see what other peoples thinking is, but the root of the thinking is...
if Battista's a mafia, why did she nominate a mafia?
why would a mafia Eliza be conspicuous to vote against a mafia?

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Battista opened the door of the bar quietly. His head hurt rather badly. Who to suspect? Captain Slackbladder, who led the push to lynch the Italian? Sgt Harry with his forthright opinions and language? Corporal Marley who nominated the first innocent to be lynched and likes to speak in statistics? Nurse Rhoda who always sounds so sensible? Or the elusive Miss Bradshaw?

If there is only one conspirator left, then they cannot attack anyone for one more night, non? And if there is only one conspirator, then perhaps, by agreement with Agnes who needed to leave the game, the conspirator voted for her and not Harry.

On the other hand, perhaps we were left in tact BECAUSE Miss Bradshaw was detained elsewhere. Merde, but it was hard to think with such a thumping hangover....

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Jay-Emm:
If there are 3 mafia then they're just playing with us, so we may as well enjoy it.

Interesting point arising from this - can the Conspirators elect not to kill on a given night? It would be an extraordinarily unorthodox strategy, but it could conceivably be to their advantage in certain situations, so I suppose we shouldn't rule it out.

But if there were 3 (i.e. 3 active members of the Conspirator grouping, rather than 2 and an as-yet unrevealed Traitor), the game would already have been declared over. They win once the numbers are equal, as they can deadlock any vote and pick us off at night. So that isn't the case, although it's just about conceivable that there are 2 Conspirators and a Traitor still unable to find them.

Much more likely is one Conspirator and one Traitor, who will either be in contact but lying low (unlikely), have made contact last night (possible - my previous estimate of the odds is misleading, as the Traitor may well have already investigated some of the remaining players, so it may be more like 1 in 3), or still be in the dark.

If the Traitor is now in contact, the numbers already look bad for us, but as lynching an innocent would lose, we may be better off not lynching today, as the odds of getting all 3 innocents to vote for either of 2 from 5 are better than getting 4 to vote for either of 2 from 6.

OTOH, if the Traitor is still isolated, we must lynch today, as we could win the game and as there will be no murder tonight, we will still be in the majority tomorrow, whatever happens. I think we have to go for this, as the odds seem better, and if the Traitor's found the Conspirator, our chances don't look good anyway.

--------------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Banner Lady:
Battista opened the door of the bar quietly. His head hurt rather badly. Who to suspect? Captain Slackbladder, who led the push to lynch the Italian?

I realise you're only listing sketchy cases against each of us, Battista, but I simply must respond to this. We all agreed (including those who were implicated as a result) that anyone who had voted for Harry was an obvious suspect. I still believe that to be the case. I considered the Italian's record to be particularly suspicious, hence the nomination and vote (you yourself agreed that he looked dodgy, even while arguing for Eliza's guilt), but to describe it as leading the push is something of an exaggeration. It was less me leading the push than everyone else staring at the ground, whistling.

I made the nomination 3 days after nominations opened (and probably wouldn't have done so if there had been more than 1 other nomination in that time), and cast the first vote a full 20 hours after voting began, following which I was joined by all the others who had voted for Agnes. I wish our Generals had the same relaxed approach to their own "pushes" - there would be far fewer corpses strewn around Flanders.

--------------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Eliab
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# 9153

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Rules question:

quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
can the Conspirators elect not to kill on a given night?

No night action is compulsory. The conspirators can elect not to kill.

I should add that this rules set up (unlike some previous games) does not require the killers to agree on a victim. I will simply process the first order to kill that I get from a conspirator. So if Joab and Abishai are conspirators, and Abishai decides that inactivity is their best strategy, his PM to me saying "no action" is not binding on Joab. All it means is that Abishai is staying in bed. Joab can send me a order to murder Abner, and Abner will die. Only if all conspirators decline to kill will there be no murder.


While I'm at it, this (from further up the thread) suggests a misunderstaning of the rules:

quote:
Originally posted by Jay-Emm:
**In this case it is to be assumed that he [/b][the traitor][b]'ll go for the mafia win, although he could probably help us win.

Who a traitor might help, I can't possibly say, but he or she cannot share in an Allied win. The traitor's victory condition is that he or she has defected AND that the conspirators win. Any other result is a loss.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Battista's head had cleared enough for him to pour a decent beer again. The weather had turned even colder, but there were not many in the bar tonight.

He leant on the barcophagus and lined up a few odd cups thoughtfully.

Of the six of us left alive, how did we all do with our nominations and voting so far?

Corporal Marley was the first to nominate an innocent to die. He, Miss Bradshaw and I all voted to lynch poor Fr. Didier. Captain Slackbladder, Sergeant Harry and Nurse Rhoda voted otherwise.
In that round we know by hindsight TWO innocents were nominated, but we would expect the conspirators to vote together and Agnes voted for Fr.Didier.

On the second day, again we know two innocents were nominated. Agnes voted for Lt.Alice Adler, as did Corporal Marley, Miss Bradshaw, Captain Slackbladder, Sergeant Harry and I.

On the third day, Miss Hodge was nominated by Lt. Hearte and Sgt Harry nominated by Miss Hodge. We know Miss Hodge was innocent, and that all of us left voted for her execution. Agnes voted late for no lynching when it was already a foregone conclusion.

On the fourth day Agnes, nominated by me, was voted out of the war with Miss Bradshaw and Conte Leo voting for Harry, who was nominated by Corporal Marley. Agnes, we know was a conspirator. Corporal Marley tried to make his vote conditional in that round.

On the fifth day Conte Leo was nominated by Captain Slackbladder and Miss Bradshaw by me. Corporal Marley declared he would vote the opposite way arbitrarily to the previous poster. He therefore voted for Miss Bradshaw.
Conte Leo was executed at the instigation of Captain Slackbladder, Sergeant Harry, Nurse Rhoda and myself. I deeply regret that in order to effect an outcome, I did not vote for my nominee.

Miss Bradshaw is now missing for most of the time, and Corporal Marley is looking very suspicious to my way of thinking. But I am going to nominate Miss Eliza Bradshaw once more, simply to try to see if I am right in my suspicions.

--------------------
Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Holy Saturday was dragging on interminably. Lord, but it was quiet. The world seemed deserted and the temperature continued to plummet. Battista went back over the last bitter week.

On April 2 Miss Adler had nominated Colonel Sylvain.
Colonel Sylvain had nominated Miss Bradshaw.
Fr.Didier had nominated Miss Hodge.
Sgt. Harry had nominated Pax Romana/ Captain Slackbladder.
Lord Harris had nominated Dai Laicattell.
Corporal Marley had nominated Fr. Didier.
Fr. Didier was lynched and Dai Lacattell, who refused to vote, died overnight.

On April 3 Lt. Hearte had nominated Colonel Sylvain.
I chose to nominate Alice Adler.
Miss Adler was lynched and Lord Harris was killed overnight.

On April 4. Lt. Hearte nominated Miss Hodge.
Miss Hodge nominated Sgt. Harry.
Miss Hodge was lynched and Lt.Hearte and Col. Sylvain were killed overnight.

On April 5. Corporal Marley nominated Sgt Harry.
I chose to nominate Miss Agnes.
Agnes was the first conspirator lynched, and Lt. Burt was killed overnight.

On April 6. Captain Slackbladder nominated Conte Leo.
I chose to nominate Miss Bradshaw.
Conte Leo was lynched and for the first time, no-one was killed overnight.

It is interesting to see how many of us left are reluctant to nominate anyone, even when we ourselves are accused. Nurse Rhoda, and Miss Bradshaw for example, have never nominated anyone. Captain Slackbladder, living up to his name, has ventured to point the finger once as has Sgt. Harry. Corporal Marley has weighed in twice, and I have been the most active (and the most successful) in trying to find the conspirator. If it is the quiet ones we have to watch, then may I suggest ladies and gentlemen, some of you need to begin to venture an opinion.

Battista poured himself a hot toddy to fend off the creeping cold, and settled himself down to wait out the rest of the day. He was vaguely troubled that someone may have declared an Easter armistice and not bothered to tell him about it.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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"I'm afraid my drink-addled brain can't bloody remember if Captain Sackbladder's voting record has anything suspicious in it" remarked Sgt Bournemouth. "That he nominated an innocent in the last round puts him on my fucking watch list, that's for sure. I'm not officially nominating him at the moment though, because I'd prefer to see if others smell the same stench of shit on him that I do, metafuckingphorically speaking."

--------------------
"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Autenrieth Road

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I'm trying to learn from the unfortunate experiences of my sister Rose, and not get carried away with convictions of guilt leading to nominations.  Today I'm inclined to trust Monsieur Lalonde and his nomination of Miss Bradshaw.  This is because (a) M. Lalonde is the one who nominated the guilty Mlle. Machant and (b) I'm inclined to suspect those who voted to spare Mlle. Machant rather than those who voted to lynch her.

It does seem odd to have a vote with only one candidate, so I nominate Corporal Jacob Marley.

Sergeant Bournemouth, I could almost get behind your suspicion of Captain Slackbladder, except that I agree with Captain Slackbladder that in his nomination of Conte Leonato he was expressing the general sentiment of which group seemed most likely to hide a Conspirator.

[ 23. January 2011, 13:24: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

--------------------
Truth

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Imaginary Friend

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# 186

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"So that settles it then: since it's a fucking imperative that we get a lynching, I'm not going to run the risk of a split vote. I'm not going to nominate today."

--------------------
"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Jay-Emm
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# 11411

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If it was just me putting my bets on combinations
I'd probably still go for Harry&Bannista or Slackbladder&Rhonda.

However there is a chance of the single conspirator, which would tie in with (me or) Eliza, and we would then win.

This probably is more likely than the odds of me picking right and persuading all innocents (after all support is likely to be evidence of picking wrong) and then getting it right again.

If nothing else at least one other innocent is responsible for the nomination state. So I think I won't nominate.

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Eliab
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Two people have nominated already, two others say that they aren't going to, and anyone else has had a fair chance.

Prosecution over.

Defence phase begins.

The accused have until at least midnight on Monday (27 hours from now) to explain themselves, and longer if I go to bed at any sort of sensible time.

As always, if time extensions are needed, PM me.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Banner Lady:
If it is the quiet ones we have to watch, then may I suggest ladies and gentlemen, some of you need to begin to venture an opinion.

Ha! Considering that you suggested that I should be under suspicion precisely for venturing an opinion, even one that everyone shared, I find this more than a little rich. I agree that it's important to venture opinions and make accusations, just as it is to talk in general, but if that's the case, it's in our interests not to be excessively suspicious of those who make accusations but get it wrong (which is bound to happen when any accusation is made - look at the odds).

I'll make no accusation today, though, as the two obvious candidates (to my mind, at any rate) have already been nominated, and any additional nomination would surely look like an attempt to split the vote.

[Gah! Would you look at that cross-post!]

[ 23. January 2011, 20:08: Message edited by: The Great Gumby ]

--------------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Jay-Emm
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# 11411

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I think I've said all I've got to be say, already.

It should be almost clear we're not both mafia (and if we were it doesn't really matter this turn anyway).

But I can't think of any actions that can prove mutual innocence (even knowing mine), if I could I'd have made a last ditch accusation.
And given I'm not really sure of Eliza's guilt (or innocence), the only reason I'd go for her over me is that I know I am innocent.

After all if I had an argument that would sway you, then it would also be in a mafia-me's interest to use it.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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“Six left” mutters Major Daute. “How many more have to die before the last of the enemy agents are exposed?”

He takes another sip of Cognac. It doesn’t matter really. So long as they keep killing each other, he’ll keep writing up his report. Then medals for the survivors, and, with luck, a promotion or two for the staff. But who’s for it today:

Miss Eliza Bradshaw who is definitely not popular with Battista Lalonde; or

Corporal Jacob Marley who’s suspected by Nurse Rhoda Autenrieth?

Or, perhaps, it was someone else altogether?

We’ll see.

VOTING COMMENCES

[ 25. January 2011, 08:28: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Miss Eliza Bradshaw.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
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*sigh* Let's take the plunge, then.

Eliza Bradshaw

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
*sigh* Let's take the plunge, then.

Eliza Bradshaw

I don't have any option
Eliza

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
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"Eliza it bloody is then. By the way, can I run the bar when you're gone?"

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Eliab
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# 9153

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A decision has been reached. Eliza may post a death scene any time from now, but please do not reveal your role until Nurse Autenrieth has had at least 24 hours from now to register a pro forma vote.

If there is anyone whose night action will not be influenced by learning the newly-deceased's role, then they can submit orders now to save time.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Autenrieth Road

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Oh well. No votes to lynch my nominee. Miss Eliza Bradshaw.

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Truth

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:

If there is anyone whose night action will not be influenced by learning the newly-deceased's role, then they can submit orders now to save time.

That sounds rather ominous. And Harry, are you quite sure you realize who you are voting for? No more drinks for you today I'm afraid. I think you've had quite enough...

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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Eliza Bradshaw is dead.

Her silence was clearly more the product of terror than guilty, because she was entirely innocent, an Allied Civilian.


NIGHT FALLS.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Eliab
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# 9153

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DAY 7 – “Watch This Space”

“Christ is risen – good morning, monsieur!”

“Ah, he is risen indeed. Bonjour, Madame du Clerk.” Lieutenant Arthur Harris looks up from his borrowed bicycle and smiles at Isabel, the Belgian widow in whose farmhouse he is billeted. He wheels the machine to the gate and sets off towards the temporary airfield at which his squadron is based, and at which the chaplain will shortly be celebrating Easter communion. Harris is still unsure whether the transfer to Belgium was right. He had been feeling increasingly redundant as a pilot in a Home Defence squadron, what with the once-terrifying Zeppelins beginning to look more at more like obsolete, and highly flammable, gas bags. And the promise of a quick promotion to Flight Commander in a fighting squadron in Flanders was very tempting. But the last week’s flying was deadly quiet, barely a hostile aircraft sighted. All the action was taking place to the south, around Arras. Was the move to Ypres a mistake?

Arthur’s thoughts are interrupted by the hum of an engine overhead, a Sopwith 1½ Strutter returning from patrol, most likely, with the occasional sudden break in the noise a clear sign of engine trouble. He looks up and after a few minutes locates the silhouette. The aircraft is turning, from west, to north west, to north. It’s going to pass almost straight overhead.

That’s away from the airfield! Not a Strutter, then – an EA, then. The first bloody EA that Arthur has seen out here, and he’s on a bicycle. It must have copped some Archie crossing the line, or had a dud engine, and be turning back. A few seconds’ observation confirms it. The aircraft is plainly losing height – not quickly, but it’s clearly in some trouble. Probably a Rumpler C-type, acting as a light bomber and out to hit reserves moving up the Poperinghe road. Harris imagines the pilot’s frustration at having to abandon his mission. The usual protocol would be to drop any payload over the enemy trenches, but that would risk exposure to more fire from the ground, with very little chance of hitting a significant target. Most airmen would ditch the bombs at anything vaguely noteworthy behind enemy lines, and then get home over as quiet a spot as possible. The German observer would be looking for any likely building to bomb.

A sick realisation hits Harris like a punch in the stomach, and he spins his bicycle around and hammers the pedals back up the lane to the farmhouse. He’s a fit man, but a fit man cycling cannot hope to outpace even a struggling biplane. As the flying officer races frantically back to his billet, the bomb seems to hang in the air for a second, and then a fountain of dust of broken glass bursts out of the farmhouse on every side.

Arthur finds Isabel’s body, or most of it, beside the crushed hen-house. The farmhouse walls are still standing, but inside is one vast empty space, the floor littered with a smashed up mess of roof-tiles and splintered furniture and floorboards. Good God, that was one light bomb. Just one. A twenty pounder, most likely. Lt Harris remembers his first night on Home Defence – the squadron wit, with a cousin in the Air Ministry, had passed around an official memorandum from 1915 in which an expert had expressed the opinion that no purpose could ever be served in using explosive ordnance from the air as gravity alone would suffice. The short-sighted fool should be here now, where, two years later, a light bomb could knock out a large building. Next year? The year after? God knows that the Zeps were bad enough, until scout aircraft got good enough to reach the same height and take them down, but one day machines were going to get powerful enough to carry dozens of bombs bigger than the one that struck this farmhouse, and go fast and high enough that they could cross the lines with impunity and destroy whole towns, cities, even. God help us all, then.

Arthur Harris turns his bicycle around slowly, and heads to his squadron to report.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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Another quiet night. When Easter morning breaks, sending the joy of Christ's resurrection in the hearts of every Christian presently engaged in the war in Flanders, all of our (remaining) intrepid heroes are ALIVE to celebrate.

Which means, of course, that at least one undetected murderer remains, and it's time to decide who this is most likely to be.

Prosecution phase opens.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Battista awoke to the sound of snow falling and a priest chanting 'Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum. Alleluia!'

He shook his head and listened hard again. It sounded for all the world like Father Didier, but surely that was impossible.

'Well,' he muttered, 'forgive me father, but I have got it wrong again. The conspirator is still among us and now we are down to five. A little divine inspiration would not go amiss right now.'

He stumped over to the pot-bellied stove and busied himself lighting the fire. The only thing he wanted to drink right now was strong, hot, coffee. He had been saving a rare spoonful of it for a significant day of celebration, and being alive today seemed good enough.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Autenrieth Road

Shipmate
# 10509

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Alleluia.  The Lord is risen.  The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia.

Would that I felt so optimistic.  I feel much more like the myrrh-bearing women, who must have felt dreadfully confused on coming to the tomb and finding the stone rolled away, and no body, but a shining young man in white.

Well, who's left?  Monsieur Lalonde, Captain Slackbladder, Sergeant Bournemouth, Corporal Marley, and me, Nurse Autenrieth.  You four conceal a Conspirator and a Traitor.  The Traitor may have joined up with the Conspirator last night.  (Unless there was only one Conspirator to start with, and the Traitor is already joined up.  But only one Conspirator seems unlikely.)  (The lack of murders the last two nights strongly suggests that there were only two Conspirators.)

M. Lalonde nominated the Conspirator Mlle. Machant, so is presumably Innocent.  Corporal Marley voted not to lynch Mlle. Machant, which seems like prima facie evidence of Guilt.  Unless the Conspirator felt forced into voting against his co-Conspirator?  That would suggest that a late voter for Mlle. Machant might be a Conspirator, trying to avoid an accusation of splitting the vote.  I can't remember who voted when; must review my notes.

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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The votes when we succeeded in lynching a Conspirator were:

Sgt. Bournemouth, for Mlle. Machant.

Nurse Autenrieth, for Mlle. Machant.

Cpt. Slackbladder, for Mlle. Machant.

Miss Bradshaw, for Sgt. Bournemouth.

Conte Leonato, for Sgt. Bournemouth.

M. Lalonde, for Mlle. Machant.

Cpl. Marley, who tried to make his vote dependent on 2nd Lt. Burt's vote, but this was disallowed, hence for Sgt. Bournemouth.

2nd Lt. Burt, for Mlle. Machant.

Most of us still alive voted relatively early, except for Corporal Marley, who tried to evade responsibility for a choice, and M. Lalonde, whom I believe to be Innocent. I'm sorry, Corporal, but you look awfully suspicious.

I nominate Corporal Jacob Marley.

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Truth

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Jay-Emm
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# 11411

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Jacob was out of ideas, and again feeling that Nurse Rhonda was looking at him in a very peculiar way.
If there had only been one active enemy then only the voting behaviour with respect to Agnes told anything, he shuddered as he realised the implications.

He wondered, two villains must still be out there (possibly working together) he had been nominated, was this the villagers at loggerheads or a mafia keen to remove a vulnerable corporal.

Yet Nurse Rhonda, (and indeed all the rest) had voted early (or nominated) to condemn the known mafia. Of these Harry had the most reason to vote for a fellow mafia, although had failed to offer a 3rd (innocent), he had tried to go for no lynching first.
It was a thin thread and, he had suspected him before on faulty reasoning (that maybe Harry had nominated Slackbladder to shield Eliza in the first round) but it had a chance of getting a guilty party.

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by Banner Lady:
Battista awoke to the sound of snow falling and a priest chanting 'Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum. Alleluia!'

He shook his head and listened hard again. It sounded for all the world like Father Didier, but surely that was impossible.

'Well,' he muttered, 'forgive me father, but I have got it wrong again. The conspirator is still among us and now we are down to five. A little divine inspiration would not go amiss right now.'

Father Didier finished with the Easter office. Divine inspiration he didn't have (turns out that the Beatific Vision doesn't quite work like you'd think it would—it seems that, even in Heaven, some Mysteries have to remain), but a good Poke of Beatitude he could do.

"Vote, you silly mortals! Even Father Aquinas is getting impatient—and Brother Anselm has good money riding on this one!"

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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I intend to close the nominations phase on Monday afternoon, which I think is sufficient to ensure that anyone who wants to nominate has had a chance to. That means that you have 14 hours from now if you still want to nominate.

There's nothing to stop the accused from explaining their positions before then, of course.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Eliab
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# 9153

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Prosecution phase over.

Defence phase begins. The suspects have 24 hours to weasel their way out of trouble, then we start the vote.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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Major Daute chews his pencil thoughtfully as he considers the accusations. Not at lot to go on, even if he cared about the result, which, frankly, at this stage he does not. Whether from bravado, or blind funk, the two defendants stand mute. Enough already.

Time to VOTE:

Cpl. Jacob Marley prosecuted by Nurse Rhoda Autenrieth; or

Sgt. Harry Bournemouth on the indictment of Cpl. Jacob Marley?

Or is it possible that both accusers are tragically mistaken?

Voting commences.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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"Bollocks! Fuck me for not getting round to bloody defending myfuckingself. Shit-for-brains that I am.

"I'm obviously voting for Cpl. Marley, so I might as well get the ball rolling."

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Jay-Emm
Shipmate
# 11411

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I'm not voting for myself either.
There's a faint chance I can feel smug at the end of the game, and in the more likely chance of voting for an innocent it's not like I'll be the only one.
Harry

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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The only remaining person who didn't vote to lynch Agnes, it has to be Marley.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Battista listened as the snow storm increased in intensity. Brrrr, but it was cold. Cold as death.

He went back over who had voted with whom. Six times the Sergeant and the Captain had voted together. Five times Harry and Rhoda had voted together. Five times Slackbladder and the nurse had voted together. Marley often voted on his own.

Did this mean anything? A dim memory stirred, of Harry growling 'Trust me, I'm fucking dangerous'.

"Very well, Major Daute, today I will vote for
Harry".

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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I have the deciding vote, then. I'm not convinced by M. Lalonde's analysis of pairs voting, because the evidence of no murders for the last two nights points to just one conspirator left, with the traitor joining up no earlier than last night, if then. So who would have had any knowledge to be voting in pairs? Captain Slackbladder's reasoning is more in line with sussing out how one would have expected a conspirator to vote. Unless the conspirators were playing a deceptive strategy? But that raises more puzzles than I can solve at the moment. So I shall hope that we have trapped a conspirator by his earlier defensive vote to spare Mlle. Machant, and vote to lynch Corporal Jacob Marley.

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Truth

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Eliab
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# 9153

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Corporal Marley is lynched, on suspicion of being a conspirator. He may post a death scene.

Unfortunately, the Corporal was an Allied Soldier. The conspirator(s), whoever they are, still pose a threat.


NIGHT FALLS.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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[HISTORICAL NOTE]

Having introduced a historical figure into this morning's narrative, I should point out that while Arthur Harris (later 'Bomber' Harris of Bomber Command in WWII) did serve as a Home Defence pilot, and transfered to the Western Front in 1917, after the Zeppelin threat had largely subsided and the Gotha raids were yet to materialise, and was to claim his first victory (or five) over Ypres in July that year, he did not, in the real world, transfer until June. The placement in Belgium in April 1917 is an anachronism.

The Air Ministry memo, commenting on the redundancy of putting explosives in anything that you mean to drop on people, though, is genuine.

The rest was fiction.

[/HISTORICAL NOTE]

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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Captain Slackbladder had had enough. He was tired of the trenches, tired of keeping his head down, tired of the constant din of the whizzbangs and mortars. He certainly had no intention of staying alive through 3 years of bloody war only to be bumped off by a crazy serial killer in some godforsaken corner of Belgium.

If anyone could offer him a way out, a fresh start, a chance to escape the insanity of all this, he was all ears. Maybe tonight could be the start of a whole new life.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

Posts: 5382 | From: Home for shot clergy spouses | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Jay-Emm
Shipmate
# 11411

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Liam Marley took the train and then the bus until he got to his old families residence in Ashbourne.
His father had recently died, and he wasn't getting any younger.

Following the tall spire to St Oswalds wasn't that difficult, and finding the war memorial not that hard either.

Maybe among the veteran's someone would remember his grandfather dead in the trenches of 1917. Failing that maybe his grandmother before she moved, heavy with child, to Liverpool in the winter of that same year.

But even seeing where he was immortalised in stone would be a start, he'd failed to find a trace in Mapleton, Mayfield. He looked at the names, Mark Lawrence, Joan Letts (nurse), Carl Letts, Michael Mace,Abel Matthews, the list went on without a break to Jason Williams,

The investigation following the sad events at Flanders may have eventually cleared the name of Jacob Marley, but his name was missing from all memorials.

[and back to the plot]

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Eliab
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# 9153

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DAY 8 – “People We take Our Hats off To”

The staff car passes Hell-fire Corner just before dawn. Major Daute hates the idea of being so close to the front, and particularly being close to it at a spot that the German gunners have ranged to an inch. But there’s no help for it. If he’s to make any sense of the patchy notes for the grand plan left by General Zurcon, and win his promotion by saving the Flanders offensive, he has to see whether the rough sketch plan matches what he presumes was the General’s view from the Menin road. The dull first light is all he needs to check.

It isn’t. The contours of the land are all wrong. God alone knows what the General was sketching, but it wasn’t this section of the front. Damn! A wasted trip. The Major curses bitterly and turns back to his car, the black shape almost invisible against the charcoal-grey sky to the west. Major Daute’s aide and his driver lean against the vehicle, their difference in rank momentarily forgotten as they share one of the pleasures common to every class – a smoke. As the Major approaches, his hand automatically dips to his pocket, and he extends a rather inferior brand of cigarillo to the younger officer, to take the third light.

The two smokers see Major Daute stagger and fall a split second before hearing the crack of the sniper’s rifle. A second later they are crouched knee-deep in the mud and the roadside, hearts pounding, not knowing whether the German can possibly see well enough for another shot, as the sun rises peacefully in the east.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged



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