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Rise from the Ashes: A Story of the Change

Paradise Republic

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a part of Rise from the Ashes: A Story of the Change, by Ragnarök.

The Paradise Republic, all that remains of Sin City, is the product of numerous factions banding together in the face of the Change and doing whatever they must to survive.

Ragnarök holds sovereignty over Paradise Republic, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

334 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

the change series by sm. stirling - http://smstirling.com/books/

Setting

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The Paradise Republic
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Paradise Republic

The Paradise Republic, all that remains of Sin City, is the product of numerous factions banding together in the face of the Change and doing whatever they must to survive.

Minimap

Paradise Republic is a part of California.

4 Characters Here

Giuseppe Allegro [1] "The Young Don" of Las Vegas
Clarissa Gregory [1] Guarding Las Vegas Proper's Secrets
Klaus Bergmann [1] The Charismatic and Enlightened Weapons Master of Las Vegas Proper
Aves Beckett [1] Las Vegas Proper's Conscience

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4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clarissa Gregory Character Portrait: Klaus Bergmann Character Portrait: Aves Beckett Character Portrait: Giuseppe Allegro
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"Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind." - Kurt Vonnegut

Las Vegas, Bellagio
Change, Year 10



"You're kidding me."

"Afraid not," Klaus responded distantly, his fingers playing on the rim of his glass of Scotch. No rocks to be had, of course. "Clarissa came back to tell me about Aves. Signals and intel coming back confirms she's right." He took a sip of the stinging, smoky concoction.

"Why would she go north?" Giuseppe asked thoughtfully, his large brown eyes tilted up to the ceiling in deep contemplation. He crossed one pinstriped arm over another and drew his mouth into a corner. "I wonder what her reasoning was."

Klaus shrugged and raised his eyebrows briefly, clicking his teeth together to feign searching for some kind of explanation. "I'm not sure."

Giuseppe's eyes bore into Klaus'. "Yeah, you are," he said finally.

"Pardon?" Klaus asked after he took another sip.

"I think you know why she left."

"Probably kidnapped," Klaus mused aloud, lifting up his knobby shoulders again to indicate a feigned lack of awareness.

"No. Aves doesn't do anything Aves doesn't want to do," Giuseppe corrected icily, putting his own glass down on his end of the table and rising to his feet. Klaus said nothing. The dark-haired man smirked. "She'd rather be left for dead than taken alive." He paused again. Still nothing from Klaus. He laughed. "I know you know. Otherwise, Clarissa wouldn't have come to you. She would have come to me. If she came back at all."

Klaus rolled his eyes. "She's angry with me."

Giuseppe shrugged. "So, you're the reason behind this sudden, unexpected departure by your colleague, my colleague, one of our trade masters, and one of our Republic members? Someone who's actively been working against progress? Someone who we agreed should be watched?"

"Twisting words doesn't make them true," Klaus threw up defensively, bolting the rest of his Scotch down as he slowly rose to his feet.

"You are so full of shit. Why's she angry, and why is she going to Sacramento?"

Klaus gritted his teeth behind his placid expression. He knew exactly why. He looked down at the polished table, a mainstay from a conference room at the former Bellagio. He reached out a long hand to grasp his empty glass, then with the other hand held up four fingers. "It's a long story."

# # #

Las Vegas, Luxor
Change, Year 3


"Out of the way!" Clarissa shouted as she burst through the front doors, a huge smile on her face, her voice booming through the huge hall. "They're here, they're here!"

Aves watched the dramatic entrance from her place upon the staircase, shocked as she witnessed dozens seemingly clad in nothing but metal--men and women alike--stream through the entrance and situate themselves further into the cleared lobby, wasting no time in getting ready. Most of the others gathered on the upper levels high above to look down into the open area with great curiosity, whispering and chattering amongst themselves. Many of the newcomers pushed carts filled with what must have been handcrafted weapons, clanking and shishing along as they were wheeled in quickly. "Crafters," they called themselves. Some of them even ventured as far as "Warriors." As for Aves, she thought the idea "Quaint" and "Silly." Titles were stupid.

Clarissa dashed up the stairs to sit next to Aves excitedly on one of the steps. "Do you see all these gorgeous men??" she inquired teasingly, elbowing Aves slightly and hiding a giggle behind her hand.

The other woman rolled her eyes. "Just think of all the babies who will be born approximately nine months from now," she grumbled irritably as she continued to stitch a heavy needle into her leather guitar strap, which saw fit to fray and snap earlier in the day. Good leather was in short supply.

Life in the Luxor was already so disorganized as it was, and the news that more would be coming was alarming. Where would these people go? Not to mention, it wasn't like the artists there currently had been using this section of the building. She had to remind herself to think of their welfare. She let out a long sigh. "Why do I have a feeling that no one but me is getting any sleep tonight?"

"Oh, I know I sure as hell am not getting any sleep tonight," Clarissa said through smiling teeth as she waved at a few of the men gathering in pockets around the bottom of the staircase. "And if I were you, I wouldn't, either. Just look at them. I'm so bored by all the same boys, over and over. Don't you just… ooh, those swords are just so… so cool."

Aves turned her head to look at the other woman, and laughed. "You're kidding me, right?" she smattered out somewhat condescendingly. Clarissa laughed. "Do you realize what you sound like?"

"Oh, I must sound like a horny human being to you, that's what it is!" the girl scoffed humoredly as she lengthened a long arm and wrapped it around Aves' tense shoulders, giving her a friendly squeeze. "Lighten up, Kitten. Not everyone is like you. Besides, what should I be on the lookout for, a cool car?" Clarissa cracked, tossing aside Aves' grumpiness with ease. "No one's got a car now. At least, not one that works. And, just think of it," she added excitedly, gesturing her hand below at the carts of metal weapons being parked along the old check-in desks, "I bet most of those are cars. How much you wanna bet?"

It was then that Aves spotted Giuseppe striding confidently through the front doors, barking at his entourage and occasionally glancing at and talking to the taller man walking beside him, nodding as he surveyed the lobby full of people and objects. Unlike most of the people around him, he wore what looked from afar like leather armor and didn't carry a sword. His face was bright and mischievous, framed by long'ish hair, eyes smoothly reverting between coolly examining his new surroundings and actively acknowledging the other.

Aves thought he almost looked funny standing next to Giuseppe and his crew, despite the fact that they themselves were wearing their own similarly-fashioned ensembles. She'd never understood all these men and this need to feel "armed to the teeth." And there, they were, lo and behold… a hippie and a bunch of mobsters. Classic.

"Avey, you know who that is?" Clarissa asked, nodding her head at the stranger.

Aves shrugged her shoulders and took her eyes off of him. "I have no idea."

Clarissa bit her lip teasingly as she raised her immaculate eyebrows at Aves, and then let out a long, dreamy sigh. "That's Klaus Bergmann. From the way you were looking at him, I thought you knew him."

Aves shook her head. "I've probably never seen that guy in my entire life."

It was then that Giuseppe looked up and made eye contact with Aves from far away. He smiled broadly and nodded to her, lifting up a finger in a "just wait a moment" gesture. He said something to the hippie, who looked up and stared at the two for a few long seconds. Aves laughed internally. Clarissa's ability to draw attention was uncanny.

"Looks like he wants to know who you are," Aves quipped. "He looks silly."

Clarissa burst out laughing. "Oh, Avey, come on, don't tell me you don't know who he is!" The other young woman shrugged again. "That's the guy who supplies everyone on The Strip with weapons. I heard he hand-makes every single one. And I hear he teaches them how to use them. I also hear he's some big history geek. I think that's cool."

"What else did you hear about him?" Aves laughed. "And I highly doubt he makes every single thing. Look at all that stuff down there."

"Well, even if it's not true, he's really fun to at least look at," Clarissa said, looking down in the direction of Giuseppe and Klaus, narrowing her eyes and offering a huge, flirtatious smile. "You know they're coming right toward us, huh?"

Aves looked back to the lobby as she noticed the small group had gained a considerable amount of ground as they made their way toward the staircase. "You mean, you," Aves laughed.

"He's not looking at me," Clarissa responded with a little bit of an accusatory low tone, "he's looking at you."

Aves rolled her eyes and pushed her hands down on the step she was seated upon and began to elevate herself to her feet. "I better let you guys talk."

Clarissa likewise stood and put a hand on Aves' shoulder to stop her from rising, effortlessly popping her back down to sit on the step. "Giuseppe!" she squeaked out come-hitherly as they approached. "You never call anymore."

Giuseppe shrugged his shoulders dramatically and half-smiled, his tired eyes the only indication that he was remotely out of sorts. "Clar, my Egyptian queen!" he greeted dramatically. He then turned to Aves and smiled, far tamer in his expression toward her. "Aves." She nodded and smiled wordlessly, keeping her eyes on Giuseppe as Klaus approached. "I'd like for you to meet Klaus. Bergmann. He wanted to know who's in charge here."

Aves balked before she could politely greet the man. "'In charge'?" she repeated almost dumbfoundedly. "That's fancy. It's also something I've never heard before."

Giuseppe didn't skip a beat. "Well, fuck it, you are now," he sighed. "You're the smartest one here. Except for Clar, of course," he added with a slight wink in her direction. He glanced back at Klaus. "This is Aves. The one I told you about. Beckett. And that's Clarissa Gregory." Klaus' blue eyes bore into Aves' own as Giuseppe talked after nodding cursorily to the tall beauty beside her. The newcomer's face carried an almost neutral expression as she looked back at him, except for the fact that he let his eyes travel a little more freely than she would have liked. "Aves will get you acclimated when you're ready."

Aves looked at Giuseppe again. "Why? Clarissa's been here longer than I have," she protested, fatigued and generally annoyed. The last thing she wanted to do at the moment was talk to the man with the wandering eyes.

"Because I have to talk to her," Giuseppe answered simply. Clarissa bounced down the stairs after Giuseppe as he turned to leave, but not without craning his neck to face Aves and wink on the way down. "It's important, Becks."

Aves watched as the small group sent themselves away, then looked at Klaus, who still hadn't taken his eyes off of her. One thing she couldn't tell from far away was that he was… handsome. Oh, no. Intense blue eyes. Hair almost like a surfer. A very striking face, indeed. She quickly caught herself after she realized and cast her eyes away casually. Men were nothing but irresponsible trouble. She smiled nervously and hovered her hands in the air inquisitively. "So… what do you need?"

Klaus' smile broadened further across his face. "I can think of a few things," he spoke a little flirtatiously. Aves stared back at him and rolled her eyes. He laughed and straightened up. "Like some water."

Aves eyed him suspiciously for several seconds, then started for the top of the staircase. "You can have some of mine," she quietly offered as she plucked up her lantern. The sun was setting outside, depriving them of most of their light, which came through a few windows--some already in place, some that had been added after The Change. She quietly led him down one of the corridors overlooking the scene and up several flights of stairs, and finally approached her door. Before entering, she turned around and held a finger up, still refusing to make eye contact with him. "Stay here. I'll go get it."

Klaus burst out laughing. She pursed her lip and opened the door, quickly shuffling inside. He moseyed to the door frame and leaned into it, comfortably stretching his arms to grab the top as he watched Aves grab a massive guitar case and strap it around her back, then approach the shelf containing her food supply. "I'd hate to see what you'd do if you wanted me to walk in," he cut, still laughing teasedly. Someone sure liked pushing buttons.

Aves grabbed the handle of her plastic gallon container and made for the door, shoving it into both of his hands as she rolled her eyes. "Just keep it," she grumbled. "I have an extra. Consider it a welcome gift."

Klaus took the container and held it to his chest and nodded to her, not breaking eye contact or moving his arm or getting out of the way. "I already feel so welcome."

Aves shook her head and folded her arms across her chest. "Would you just please get the fuck out of my doorway?... or Giuseppe will have to find someone else to show you around."

Klaus laughed again as he backed away. "Fine, fine, I am kidding around with you," he managed, striking a more serious tone. "But Giuseppe was pretty set on the fact that you're the one who knows what's going on."

"Clarissa is more suited to show you around than I am," she insisted as she exited, pulling her door shut behind her. She shoved her hands in her coat pockets and adjusted her green scarf. "She's social, and she's been around longer than me."

Klaus imitated her body language, in what must have been an attempt to mimic her. "Well. Giuseppe thinks you're brighter."

A pause. "Well, Giuseppe doesn't know Clarissa very well, then," Aves fired back broodingly. "I thought I was, too, when I first met her. But I ended up learning a lot from her."

"Like what?"

"Like how not to listen to a word that comes out of a man's mouth."

She picked up the pace and began to head down a set of stairs when one of Klaus' associates scurried up and mentioned something about a guy named Gary. Klaus rolled his eyes and turned to Aves, smiling broadly and extended a hand to her. "I better get going, but I hope I see you soon," he said politely, having clearly taken the hint that perhaps she wasn't one to be trifled with.

"Maybe," she answered awkwardly as she accepted his hand, but still forced a brief handshake before she turned on her heels and walked away.