The Gold Standard ((Barbados))

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“The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.”

― James Joyce, Ulysses
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Rogelio Mariendez
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The Gold Standard ((Barbados))

Post by Rogelio Mariendez » November 15th, 2015, 3:59 am

((Edited title to include location.))
The Gold Standard
Bathsheba laid honest and bare. Glimmering from refracted sea-light, concentrated in it's eagerness to appear sacred. But it's scandalous namesake has tainted it's appearance of beauty, for within lay the adulterous lawless forces. Those forces were the traffickers of the most profitable resource of the Colombian wilds; cocaine. They weren't the producers, however, those were the domain of the brave and ambitious South Americans, whose homeland was choke full of coca leaves and were far too tempting to leave alone. The forces also weren't the dealers, Barbados was far too close for any real profit to be made from the selling of drugs, besides Barbados was also too populous and gentrified. The real money was made when buying the cheap cocaine to be sold in Florida or New York or Maryland. All that was really needed was a go-fast boat that was modified to contain several kilo's of cocaine and a connection across the water.

Connections, like say, a dealer in Florida or a runner in Dominica. That was how Rogelio was brought to Barbados, through a smuggling ring that operated a base in San Domingo's port. The Trenchermen, Sever called them; a ruthless cartel of criminals that operated in the happy, quaint fishing village of Bethsheba. While primarily drug-smugglers, he told Rogelio, they also dealt in the occasional gold-smuggling -a lot of that gold came from Rogelio - and the illegal transportation of people. Not human trafficking, he was quick to say, but simply smuggling immigrants and criminals across the Antilles and Caribbeans. He knew Rogelio didn't admire slavers, and neither did many of his own crew. They were robbers by choice; many junkies were junkies by choice; many women were prostitutes by choice and could leave the cycle if they had the money. Choice was the backbone of the cycle, unfortunately, it was broken cycle. Mariendez's efforts to correct the cycle within his own crew were successful, all of them disciplined and steady in their actions due to their drills and Mariendez's influence - they were all children under Mariendez, once - had made them hardy and vicious killers. But they never forced to steal, anything. They never forced women to submit themselves to them; they never forced women to prostitute themselves; nor did they pressure anyone into doing drugs. Rogelio's Honest Men, he'd call them.

Chuckling, he turned to Sever as they approached the seaside bar. Near the fishermen's wharf was the two-story bar named "Marlin-Merlin's Merlot", whose mascot, according to it's poster's and flyers and it's neon logo- was a Marlin in a star-and-moon covered cone hat drinking wine. Charming. Pulling up aside the bar, Sever pondered for a bit and twisted his gaze towards the Dominican, <<Friend. Let me handle the talking, okay?>>

<<Hm. Why?>> Rogelio replied, noticing a nervous air from his good friend.

<<I'll be frank.>> Sever rested his arms on the steering wheel, he had been driving all this time, mainly due to Rogelio's lack of a license. <<You are terrible with people.>>

Mariendez was shocked at this accusation. <<What! I'm great with people, I've convinced more women to hand me their purses than most men can bed.>>

<<Consentfully?>>

<<Not so, but still.>>

<<You don't even speak English well.>>

<<I know some.>> Rogelio's large hands caressed his goatee. <<Like... "Give me your money!" and "If you don't hand me all that you have, I will dash your skull across the pavement." >>

<<Huh. You don't even have an accent when you say that. That's... frightening. But you certainly can't hold a conversation.>>

<<I can try.>>

"Hello, Good Sir. How are you this fine day?" Sever said quaintly in a Bajan accent of English.

"Hand cash, no one die today."

"Oh c'mon, Rog. Try!"

<<Fine.>> Mocking the poshness of the English-folk, he placed a noble hand on his chest with curled back fingers and spoke absurdly "Wah's gud, mon campanion. Jow are yu?"

<<Well. That's... terrible. Let's just go in.>>
#####
The inside of the bar was reflective and possibly was a mockery of all the poor souls that actually have to live in seaside cabins their entire lives due to their status in life. The walls were decorated with plastic models of sea-life, and painted on it's jungle wood paneling were flowers and palm trees. The high-raised roof was covered in shark's teeth and plastic fishes, knotted together in a web of rough rope net. The bar was smoothed coral and covered in glass and a gaudy smell of seaweed and salt pervaded the entire premise, obviously synthesized from chemicals.

Chemicals interested Rogelio from an early age, though he never pursued that career. However, he has read an Americano book "The Anarchist's Cookbook." Very thought-provoking chemistry, there.

The drunks that littered the bar were served by Mermaid-dressed women. Nearly all of them were white tourists, young and old. The ones that caught Sever's eye were the four Afro-Bajan's enjoying their drinks at a booth. Three men dressed in fine suits conversed amicably with each other, poking at each other playfully and making merry. One sat silent until his eyes came upon Sever, and he made a jeering gesture. His bodyguards - as it became clear - straightened up and noticed the large and brutish figure of the Dominican named Rogelio Mariendez. Confused at the site, they began to reinforce their intimating disposition with sliding their hands into suit jackets.

The Cubano also saw this. "GOLDY! Goldy-goldy-goldy-goldy! This is the 'package' I promised you, my friend. The perfect man, if I do say so myself."

"Ah. But he looks like an Auntieman, to me." He chuckles, after noticing Rogelio's whiskey-stained polo shirt, like a washed up missionary. "Aight. Nah, he looks good. So this is the man that you had me deliver." The man was a 40-something Afro-Bajan, with long blonde-dyed locks. His name, according to Sever, was Marion Gold or "Goldy." He was basically the head of the Trenchermen, as he had the connections to the Columbian gangs that shipped them the cocaine through the donkey trails. "You." Marion addressed Rogelio smoothly as he stood up. "Made me a lot of odd cents, no. Lots o' gold from good buyers. Ah, but now it's all on t'other foot, ya got nothing and I got something. So... you owe me, huh?"

Rogelio stayed silent.

"What's he a gussypa?"

"He... uuh... doesn't know English."

"HAH! Good! Muh newly associate can't understand me. Good! What good is this?" The kingpin approached the duo, tagged along by one of his button-men. Laying an affectionate but concerned hand on Sever, he asked once more. "What good is this?"

"It's this good, Marion." Sever produced the Russian's briefcase. Handing it over to Marion, he judged it's weight and peaked it's contents before chuckling. Goldy began to rub his hands after he handed the briefcase to his button-man.

"Amazing. Aight... aight. So... what do ya want?" Gold gestured towards an open table, and the duo took their seats. "Girls! Drinks on the House!" The presence of the owner caused the waitress' to hurry forth, bringing several Brazilian-made beers.

Rogelio couldn't understand any of this. Beside the beers, of course. Fearfully, he didn't go too deeply into his cups. Sever continued to banter with their host, which made Rogelio even more nervous, though he never showed it. The Cubano turned to Mariendez and began to explain further. They both knew that they had to give up the Russian's cash as tribute in order to get any amount of respect or work from the Trenchermen, but now what was needed was the silvery tongue to convince Gold of their new business.

Mariendez leaned towards Sever and spoke softly. It was time to propose their business interests. Cubano spoke softly and carefully, as he explained what they wanted to do for a living. Goldy chuckled. Rogelio knew he couldn't articulate the way his friend and companion could, but he could tell his friend and companion what to say. The Cubano went further into the details of the plan, which both intrigued and shocked Goldy. People think of crime and the illegal goods service as stagnant- there always will be the need- but the diversification of criminal activities is key to a successful cabal of like minded hooligans. Rogelio - like any legitimate businessman - was offering a pliable service for an affordable rate. He was offering his experience as a former Dominican soldier and para-militant, to train the untempered and untested youth that were constantly trying to get into the game of coca leaves.

If only for a passing, Marion felt ill. However, for the sake of old money earned by the duo in front of him and a faint interest in what Rogelio could do. He agreed.

"Great! Now, we'll just need 10 of your recruits and three weeks." Excitably, the Cubano raised a toast, which was reciprocated by Goldy.

"Gooo-what?" Goldy exclaimed. "I thought you were going to train them."

"Well, yeah... I- uh- I know, but..." Marion's downcast eyes of disappointment proved too much to bear for Rogelio.

For the first time in the entire conversation, Mariendez objected. "I know jungles. Forests. Wilds. I train good men in jungles. You get money from my good men in jungles. Now, my good men aren't good men. They're dead men or forgotten men. I make your men good men for low price. Deal?"

The pause was intense, but it paid off. Marion agreed, preparations would needed by the end of the week. They would be given ten of the youngest soldiers that they had- all green behind their ears- and they would provide transportation to the training camp. Rogelio smiled, shook Gold's hand and promised him that he would not be disappointed. Funnily enough, Marion had understood it.

<<I deal with many, many Colombians. I know muhself some Spanish.>> The Bajan Drug Lord said.
#####
Sunday bells rang, as the Bajan folk began to congregate into their parishes. Bajans were as religious as any sort, many attributed their longevity to their faithfulness. It was true, after all, that many centenarians lived their beleaguered lives out in peace in the black sand beaches of this island heaven. Several boys stood out from the congregational masses, they were busy shining their baseball bats. Aluminum shine waxed off from the blue-sky sun; the boys' high maintenance of these sturdy sacred-swords were wonderfully telling. It showed their priorities: their idols-of-fixation.

<<I did not know that Barbadians liked baseball.>> Rogelio shifted the plastic packages of water bottles. A yellow notepad laid nearby with the tallies of their supplies. 800 bottles of water at 16.9 fluid ounces equates to 105.65 gallons, all contained in 20 plastic packages with those packages stacked end to end inside of the RV's cabin; 500 cans of cheap beans of 117 ounces equated to 3,656 pounds of beans were stored inside of the storage compartment that was laid below the trunk; while the 2 splitting axes, three large three-person tents, and other equipment were securely tied above the RV's roof. Everything was ready for the trip, except... the Trenchermen.

Rogelio understood the nature of teenage boys, as he was one. These were criminal youths as well, which was a well-acquainted archetype to Mariendez. As a teenager, Rogelio spent six-months with a crew in Northern Dominica. Many of them were barely sixteen-years-old, with the higher-up's being in their late thirties. When he returned home to his Mother, he brought her an entire pig to be eaten. Even in absence, his ghost will pay for the worries of his family, although they always pleaded for him to take a job that wasn't as disgraceful and dangerous as it was. These children might have families that might not understand their plight or their pain or their unwillingness to live by the world's petty ideals. But Rogelio knew that this new family would understand them completely and wholesomely, even if they didn't trust him enough yet.

Sever met Rogelio outside of the RV, nodding towards the boys. Beside the company of future soldiers, there was the van that would ferry these young men to the camp outside of Joes River. From what Marion Gold had told them, they were mostly new recruits. Many of them were truants and had no real social obligations and as for familial obligations, well, Gold said that their families would be glad to be rid of them for some time. How they entered the trade was very simple, they were users with debt and bravery -or- stupidity. A lot of them were couriers for the most part, others were looked-after favorites of Gold's lieutenants, and others proved themselves enough to join their crews. Like John Baguba, Gold's favorite. Baguba was to be treated as the leader of this contingent of soldiers, because he was - for the most part - Marion's son, if not in blood then in bond. He had no opinion on it.

John waltzed up to the duo. He examined the curly-haired fat Sever, and the behemoth named Rogelio with disinterest. "Where to?"

"We're heading towards a camp up river." Sever explained.

"You mean, Joes? I thought they didn't have any camps near Joes, least not any I heard."

"Well, we made one."

"Isn't that illegal." Johnny laughed.

"I guess, it is."

Requested:
Events:
*Rogelio Becomes Hired Trainer For NPC Group: The Trenchermen, Drug Smugglers and Producers.
*Leave Open For Next Post
*- 10,000 $ Deducted to join the Trenchermen
*- 1,000 Amount of Cash Deducted For Food and Water for Four Weeks; Splitting Axes; Tents; Gasoline; and Other Goods.
Weapons
*10x Aluminum Baseball Bats - While Bajans prefer Cricket, it's unfortunate that the bats used in the good sport aren't as knee-cap breaking as a metal bat, cheap from American Surplus. ((Equipped on All Trenchermen))
*2x Splitting Axes - Great for chopping off the arms of trees, and only trees. Nothing but chopping the limbs off trees, screaming trees.
NPC's
*Contact: Marion Gold - Leader of the Trenchermen and Owner of the Marlin-Merlin's Merlot.
* Johnny "Bagya" Baguba - Afro-Bajan Solder for the Trenchermen. 17 Year-Old. Impressionable and Naive. Aspiring leader of the Younger Trenchermen. (( Thug Level Muscle ))
* 9x Younger Trenchermen - Boys from all over Barbados are drawn to the two worlds; legal and criminal. It's odd children from two different houses seperated by a single street can end up in different fields of work; one as a technician or a lawyer, the other was the man who handles smuggling cocaine from Columbia into Barbados to be converted into crack and sold to some dealer in Florida or New York. (( Thug Level Muscle ))
Vehicles
* Trenchermen Van - A van owned Bagya that can hold roughly ten people, although it would be crowded.

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Tuxedo Mask
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Re: The Gold Standard ((Barbados))

Post by Tuxedo Mask » November 16th, 2015, 5:08 am

Another awesome read Rogelio!

Everything is approved EXCEPT the thug level of the nine trenchermen. Sure they might have robbed the odd tourist or beat down another kid, but they are young and inexperienced. Most haven't even held a gun let alone used one, so for now they are just wild and eager teenagers with bats. Bagya can stay at thug level though.

I look forward to seeing what you do in the jungle!
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Re: The Gold Standard ((Barbados))

Post by Rogelio Mariendez » November 25th, 2015, 2:51 am

It wasn't long before they reached the camp. The canopy of the jungle gave shade while funneling the golden ambrosia of the sun into beautiful splotches. Barbados was inhabited for thousands of years, it's natural beauty enhanced by the locale housing. British-era housing rising high with red-brick and tiles, it's colonial housing emphasizing reign of nature on most of the island by contrasting it with industrial architecture with the architecture of Gaia.

The boys hated it. It was obvious that they didn't expect a summer camp retreat when they were promised to learn how to thieve, murder, and extort like all the good little criminals and hoodlums. They didn't expect for there to be discipline in crime. That was what all two-penny hookers and thieves thought, that to be a criminal is to be free. But rather, it is the opposite, you are either always skirting the law by the hair on your ass or working for a man that is skirting the law by the hair of their ass. Either way, you must be cautious and disciplined. Otherwise...

Rogelio shouldn't have robbed that bus in Dominica, foolish as always. Mariendez was a fool for not branching out, for ignoring the other opportunities that came with his riches of gold. What honor, though, was left for those who dug the dens of flesh, dice, and drugs? A man must take his gold. That was a foolish ideal. Rogelio should've known the ease and protection that a steady income aside from his robbery would be a grand thing. He wouldn't make the same mistake. His niche in life was filled now with a greater sense of duty to his fellow criminal-in-arms.

At that time, Rogelio Mariendez forgot himself in thoughts of grandeur, which he wasn't wont to do. A plan formed in his mind from that grandeur. Greedily and generously, he smiled.

Then he remembered the children. The ten boys who varied from ages 13-to-17, were busy congregating lazily among their mud-stained van, while Sever was busy unpacking and preparing the camp. The first lesson became clear when Mariendez strode towards the boys, his gait was not that of a thug but a drill sergeant. His presence cleared the air somehow of noise, as these boys did not know the severity of this man. Their teachers could scream but never hit. Their fellow thugs would hit and never tell. Rogelio didn't hit often. He commanded Sever to speak on his behalf, so he relayed his thoughts to the Cubano.

The boys were told that they were not on a summer camp trip, this wouldn't be no boy scout's retreat. The next three weeks would be a test of the mind and the body, all those who passed would be respected and revered. The Trenchermen were looking for soldiers, and not the dregs of society that passed themselves as "soldiers." He made it clear and defined what it was to be a soldier; loyalty to companions, discipline, respect, and a mindset for self-improvement and determination. This confused them, as it likely would. The so-called underground criminal fraternities weren't so familial. Cain-and-Abel's littered their ranks, those fratricidal wastes of time and effort. These weeks would bond them or break them.

Continuing with his spiel, Rogelio detailed what they would be doing for the first week of the camp. The first day was an off-day, a day of exercising authority and maintaining the cohesion that was needed to keep these children whole. Rogelio would let them expand the camping grounds, teach them to hitch their tents, and who would be sleeping wit-

There was a laughter and riotous comments spouting from one of the older boys. A sharp-faced youth around 16-years-old, diverted attention from Rogelio's instructions. This couldn't be tolerated if he wanted the respect and fear of the boys, so he confronted the boy. Smiling, he asked Sever to question the boy, who was duly insolent. The 16-year-old raised himself on his toes, trying to raise himself to level with Rogelio while trying to press his face into Mariendez's. Rogelio laughed as the boy tried to insult him, so Mariendez spat in his. When the boy tried to retaliate by swinging a sucker punch as he expected, Mariendez crushed his testicles with his knees.

The boy reeled back as the other nine boys were shocked. The Cubano was absolutely scared by what had happened. Quickly, Rogelio twisted towards the other boys and began to reiterate his speech. When he was done, he picked up the young man whose balls he had knee'd and apologized. But if he were ever to disrespect him again, there would be nothing stopping him from throwing him into the river.
#####
Johnathan dreaded the tall-man, whose eyes of hate burrowed deeply into all the Young Trenchermen. After his incident with Leonhard, one of Eggsy Boyen's boys, most if not all of them feared the violence of the Tall-Man. His crude and violent nature was not well-known for he was a stranger in a strange-land. Near if not all the time, he spoke through his interpreter, Sever. The Cubano was respected among the Trenchermen, true. But Marion had no right to hand off all of his boys to the Tall-Man and Sever. One of them may have been raised as a Bajan, but that does not foretell that he means the better welfare of the Trenchermen.

Marion Gold was Johnathan's mentor. His greatest friend, the man who raised him from gutter-trash to be an up-and-coming part of the Trenchermen. All this meant everything to Bagya, but that didn't mean their cooperative oceans did not have rocky shallows. Back when Bagya was barely 9 years old, Gold offered a home to him and never has Johnathan done anything for Gold that hasn't been an attempt to repay this massive debt. So, for now, he would go along with Marion's idea of training child-soldiers.

As the afternoon came about, the Tall-Man settled the sleeping arrangements. They had brought three tents which housed three people, but since there were ten of the Young Trenchermen, Bagya had the luxary of shacking up inside of his van. It was a great van, nice A/C, radio, and the like. However, Johnny knew that there wouldn't be any partying around.

All the boys had to pitch in on raising the tent, though they failed again and again. Once they would raise one pike, another pike would bend or loosen and the structure would fall once more. There was a limit for how long they had to raise the tent, if the sun should go down before they could pitch their tents, then they would be forced to sleep in the cold or to raise their tent in the pitch darkness.

Two of the boys did nothing to aid their companions: Leonhard Shasheron and Bagya, himself. Leonhard spoke with Sever and the Tall-Man while handling a large bag of ice against his pelvis. The Tall-Man relayed some Chicano words towards the Cubano, who redirected it to Leonhard. Funnily enough, they laughed. Was there no ill-will from Leonhard against the man who did nothing but harm him for simplely speaking?
It turns out that the Tall-Man's threats had done nothing but solidify Leon's scattered thoughts. There was something off about the Tall-Man. Maybe it was the fact that he was Goliath amongst the Israelites. Maybe it was his foreign appeal. Or perhaps, it was the fact that the Tall-Man showed no malice for Leon but rather respect and forgiveness.
#####
If Marion's favorite was Bagya, then perhaps Tall-Man had taken a liking towards Leon as it turns out. Leonhard was some courier for a man named Alexander "Eggsy" Boyen, Owner of the Moonlite Isles Motel, and had handled some of the tributes to Marion. After ordering the children to take up camp, they took to conversation as janky as it is with a translator like Sever.

"Do not take my actions unkindly, friend."

"Sure! Friend." Leon's voice was hoarse from incredible pain as he tried to temper the flames of his testicular abuse. "Call me a friend! Call you a fucker!"

"Unkind, you should've learned your lesson back there. Do you wish to have another go at the game we played before." The boy grew quiet. See, Leon may have been one of the eldest of the boys and one of the more experienced but his connection with Eggsy was not like Marion's and Johnny's. Eggsy, for all his drinking and whoring, had trusted Leon with his money but never with business. Not like Bagya. While at school he boasted of his criminal skill, it was false.

"No, sir." Leon quietly pleaded.

"Relax, friend. As long as you stay in your place, you shall notice that I am not an unkind, cruel man. I'm simply pragmatic. I take and give as best as it fits, merits as merits."

"What the hell is this all for?"
Leon was offered some water, which he humbly accepted.

"Training. Good ol' fashion discipline and team-building. That's the sort of thing I'm best at."

"Training for what? Drug-dealing? Didn't know you had to be a fuckin' Sassy man to be a dopeman."

"Sassy?"

"SASS! S.A.S. Special Air Service. Queenie's own black-ops blooks."

"I've heard of them. Not too shabby. But we aren't going to become... 'dopemen', we're becoming soldiers for those dopemen. We're becoming... What's the word... warriors. Crusaders. We're becoming a militia of the free."

"What?"

"Nothing, just relax. Let's talk about something else, about... them."
Rogelio pointed towards the boys, struggling to raise their tents above. They continued to converse while the group of Trenchermen struggled and argued and explored. Some became frustrated only to become more invested in the problem.

After the sun had just teetered on the brink of darkness, all the tents were raised above. A camp fire roared from the wood that was chopped by the children, beautiful sprites of sparks came about as they prodded the flames higher. Sever began to cook the beans that were going to be allotted to the Trenchermen. Things were easy today, but by tomorrow, training will begin.

Rogelio had spent a good time developing his training regiment.

Monday would be a conditioning day. Cardio would be the most prominent thing. From sun-up to mid-noon, they would jog around the length of the Joes River from the camp to the sea. Mariendez was no sadist, so he would help bring up the back of the group. Afterwards, the boys would be treated with lunch and two hours of test before they would need to gear up for the Dry-go. For the next two hours, they would have to complete 200 crunches, 50 jumping jacks, 100 push-ups, and 20 lunges. Once they complete that terrible, heartfueling bout of exercise, they run a cool down lap. Then lunch.

Tuesday would be a safe-day. Five laps of sprinting around the camp. Then, team-building exercises. The group would have to share their own interests and have to support each other as they were blindfolded or otherwise fictionally maimed. They would learn the true value of friendship, the value of knowing that a man can have when another man can be trusted with his life. Or at least- in this case - their bodies. It was very unlikely someone was going to die terribly in the jungle, regardless of blindfolds.

Wednesday would be group exercising, once more. A focus on upper-body crunches and lifting large rocks - they couldn't afford equipment - and push-ups. However, part of the exercising would be a competitive finale where the boys would see how many push-ups they can do without stopping followed by crunches followed by a hearty meal and a ceremony for the victor. His prize would be some extra water and bean rationing. The evening would be followed with the first of their night training's, where Rogelio would personally tutor some of the more impressive boys.

Thursday and Friday would be similar to Tuesday. But during the morning and the evening, Rogelio would lead a hike into the hill-lands of Barbados. Perhaps they would gain an appreciation for the beauty of the jungle. Perhaps they'll never leave. Hehe.

The weekends would be a mixture of exercising and group activities. For the first time, he'd allow for the boys to go ahead and hike around the country but by noon they would need to come back. There they would take turns and divide the work of an exercising block and then they would gather around to hike around once more.

On Sunday, it would be special. Rogelio would announce the training regiment of the next week, while detailing the progress of everyone. They'd have a feast-day, spending time around the fire telling stories and experiences. A beautiful thing that socialization would be. Seven days would create a large amount of stories to tell, if Rogelio would keep these fickle creatures together.

He needed to. Mariendez needed to feel like he could actually change something. For worse or for... for worse.

Requested:
Events:
*1 Week of Training Passes
*The Young Trenchermen gain muscle, discipline and respect for Rogelio's leadership.
*Leave Open For Next Post

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Re: The Gold Standard ((Barbados))

Post by Tuxedo Mask » November 25th, 2015, 2:52 pm

All approved, one week passes in your three week retreat from hell, the boys get tougher and you all grow closer.


However, some of the boys have been bitching and moaning about the small food rations and uncomfortable sleeping conditions. If you don't do something about it and let the boys keep complaining, you could end up with deserters or even a mutiny on your hands. I would suggest either finding a way to better the living situation or do something more drastic than a knee to the balls to keep the fear of god in them.
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Re: The Gold Standard ((Barbados))

Post by Rogelio Mariendez » December 6th, 2015, 1:04 pm

The Sunday Hike left them on an overpass, looking over the Bajan sun. According to the phone of Leonhard, it was 8:33 A.M. and wonderfully beautiful. The boys didn't think so, their clothes stank of week old sweat and tears. The previous week had done wonders to the boys, who were at first so attached to their bats where now attached to the ground as they struggled to gain their breaths. The matted leafy forest floor offered rugged comforts that were taken from them during the steep hike to the hill-lands. This was wonderful.

A sheen of sweat on greasy ebony skin had appeared on Rogelio, his glistening brown eyes smiled upon the Sun. The rustling of the temperate forests brought something beautiful to Mariendez, his heart swelled with the bloody sensual noise of nature. Not far from the jungles that were bordered by the Joes River was the town of Bathsheba, whose inhabitants were mum except for this unearthly drone of defused noise. Extending from the main road of Bathsheba was the great roadways that circumnavigated the entire perimeter of island-nation. This grand island was dwarfed by the great continent that was simply across the pond.

For the moment, Mariendez gazed south and contemplated another business idea. Perhaps there was some value in starting a farm in the jungles of Colombia, but that would pull too many resources from where he lived into where he would do business. Sure, it would be a perfect connection, but that wasn't his game. His game was here - with the foot soldiers and the troopers.

Examining his regiment, he noticed there was an obvious absence. Johnny Bagya. Ever since Monday, he had flaunted his status and neglected the rule of Rogelio. On Monday, he did nothing but lead an entire squadron of the boys to basically boycott the exercise. They stood along the banks while the other more promising boys ran past them with fear and curiosity. Mariendez's voice and anger forced most of the boys to run along and participate in the exercise, but Bagya with all his attitude and tact refused to participate without incident and barely put any effort in his run and in his workout.

Incidents like this happened all throughout the week, but the most volatile one was when on Saturday, Johnny had forsaken his partner for a joint of weed. Rogelio had to internalize this, take this indiscipline to heart. So he ransacked Johnny's van and confiscated all his drugs. When Bagya found out that his bags of marijuana were floating downstream, he decided right there and then that this camp was nothing but a failure. He decided to leave, but not before taking all of the boys with him.
####
When Rogelio's troop of loyal boys reached the Camp, they found John loading belongings inside of his van along with four or so other deserters. It wasn't a surprise to Mariendez, but the balls of this action had taken him aback. In all five of the Young Trenchermen's hands were their prized baseball bats. Are they threatening me? This would not do.

Quickly, Rogelio belted out a command for his loyal troop to stay back while he handled the deserters. Approaching Bagya ticked the boy off, so Mariendez offered up some conversation. "Boy. What are you doing?"

"I ain't your boy!"
He closed the van's back doors violently, and raised the tip of his bat so that it pointed towards the Dominican. "All fookin' week, all you did was hike our asses up and down the hills! Gave us shite food! Shite water! Shite sleep. What does this have anything to do with pushing and pulling dope."

<<THERE'S MORE TO THIS THEN YOUR IDIOTIC DOPE!>> He screamed in Spanish, startling the deserters. Rogelio in a rage began to approach them. <<ARE YOU ALL IDIOTS!? CAN'T YOU THINK OF LIVES GREATER THEN SLINGING YOUR "PRODUCT"?>>

"I don't know what the fook you said. But just in case, you're a faggot ass too!"
Charging the poor boy, Rogelio rammed the 17-year old into the van. The boy screamed in agony as Rogelio twisted the baseball bat out of his hand and began to bash the hard metal end into the van door. Crunching metal broke and burst so close to Johnny's face that he couldn't help but scream. Mariendez grabbed the collar of Bagya's t-shirt and used it to throw the boy unto the ground, ripping the shirt and muddying his clothes. In such a shock did he try to flee, but Rogelio placed his knee on the boy's chest.

"Boy! You stay! YOU - " He noticed one of the mutineers approaching him from behind with a baseball bat on the ready, so he began to swing at the boy. None of the swings connected but it certainly backed him away. "YOU ALL WILL STAY! YOU THINK I AM WEAK."

Pulling Johnny up from the ground, he raised him high and proceeded to drop him on the ground once more. Before dragging him back into the van, manhandling his body until he found the van's keys and then throwing Bagya into the van. Quickly, he locked the boy inside of the van as he helplessly began to beat against he door.

"NO MORE DESERTERS." All the children were shocked by the violence of this. Rogelio approached the deserters swayed by Bagya quickly, and raised his seized bat. But instead of putting up a fight, they laid down their arms just as quick as he had raised his. Kicking one of the boys in the ass, he commanded them to fetch firewood and beans.
####
Sever was busy babysitting all the frightened and unsettled Trenchermen. Today was a feast day, as all Sundays were to good little Catholics like Sever and Rogelio. Sitting on the back bumper of the van, Mariendez made sure that Bagya had some company. The beans were cooked to be rife with steam and plentiful that day. The boys ate fiercely seeing as the last week was such a drain to them. Some of the boys ate so much they vomited into the river. It didn't matter much, there was plenty to go around.

The Cubano had taken kindly to the boys, even Bagya. Every now and then Mariendez would flick his eyes towards Mariendez, silently judging him for starving the 17-year-old. Son of a Drug Lord or not, he would be disciplined just the same. The boy should be glad he wasn't crippled or drowned, or at least glad he wasn't killed.

The harty feast was welcome to all, and the merrymaking was filled with the worrying and stories of the boys. The fire was bursting with heat, filling the camp with a glow of home and comfort. Sever Cubano cooked his beans while spouting old tales of his days as a pusherman on the streets of Christ Church back when he paid up to the Oistins-based traffickers called the Oyster Kings, because they had operated under the guise of being a loosely unionized fishing company. However back during the 90's, most of the crew were sent to Her Majesty's Prison on the Saint Hill, without his suppliers the Cubano had to find other work. He bounced from being a bouncer, to being an accountant, to being a bookie, to now being a fence.

"Wait? Her Majesty's Prison." One of the boys - a fifteen-year-old named Rupert "Rupes" Bradsworth - had asked. He elaborated, "Didn't that place get burnt to a crisp back in '05?"

"You're correct, good sir." The Cubano explained as he poured some water unto the fire to create some good atmosphere to his story. "I knew one of the blokes who did it too. There was a riot, see. Turns out that the prisoners were wont to act up, but never in such a style. Only a few hundred prisoners were there, compared to say the prisons in Brazil. They ran that place all the same as if it were in Brazil, but when the pressure from Her Majesty's Constables came through. They decided to take over the prison. An-"

"Look where that got them." Another boy named Willis interrupted. "Half burnt, t'other popped!" The Younger Trenchermen laughed.

"Some didn't, though. A friend of mine was there during the riots. He and the other boys there had rigged the boiler to explode in order to break open the stone walls. The police had the entire permeter under lock-and-key, though. They tried to juryrig some smoke bombs, see, but when they tested them out they caused the boiler to explode. Killed everyone! Everyone! Burnt down the entire prison, that's why they built that other prison down Christ Church." For this part, the Cubano leaned closer for effect and began to whisper to the intentful children, like any regular teacher would to lecture passionately to their students. "In all that smoke! In all the fire and the death, this kid managed to get his ass out of the prison."

"Who?" One of the younger boys asked from the crowd. Awkwardly, Sever skirted the entire question, while Rogelio felt the van lurch and bounce as the boy inside began to groan from the Cubano's story. Beckoning the Cubano, he whispered something into his ear, preparing him to help translate to the boys.

There was a stillness as he strode to the front of the Young Trenchermen, all huddled together around the fire. Tongues of fire came to meet the melting image of Rogelio as heat began to malshape light itself. He breathed in and began to speak, with Sever interpretating.

"Boys." His eyes scanned sympathetically across the nervous Young Trenchermen. "I am proud of most of you. All of you deserve the best, which I plan to repay. But for those traitors who threatened to desert this camp... " Several children shifted in the dirt. "I won't punish you as awful as I had with Johnathan. His pride was borne of his status, not of his actions. All of you who were seduced by his thoughts need to know that this camp may have weakened you physically but not mentally. Look within! This is a challenge of the will. Would all of you forgo that challenge, give in to the temptation of laziness and apathy? I thought better of you. The Trenchermen thought better of you.

"All of you are strong, from the youngest to the oldest. But strength means nothing unless you have the intelligence and discipline to control it, to make it your beast and not the beast of others. When you are grown men, the Trenchermen will be bettered by your collective effort to strengthen the cause.

"The next week shall see to that your efforts the past week will not be lost. We will be cutting back the exercises."
A joyful cheer erupted from the boys, who smacked and kicked each other playfully. Rogelio smiled in the moment, but then continued with severity. "I will be replacing them with combat exercises." Even more of a cheer came as all the children became excited at the thought of fighting with the Dominican and their friends. "Boys! Remember, this is training. We're here not just to play and bond, but to train ourselves into fighting machines. I will teach you all I know with what you have.

"But first, I will tell you a story. An old story.

"I was but a child in the days of Old Haguis' crew. He was the man who offered me the ability to feed my family through the tragic violence of crime. Back then, in the 1990's, the Americans loved the Dominican Republics cheap hotels and beaches. Just like here. Just like here, their hotels catered only to tourists and tourists alone. Americano money fed the fatcat hotel-owners. Turns out it isn't so appealing to see the poverty of children as they dined in lobster and caviar, so like here as well, they built tall walls around the hotel estates. Their greed did nothing for the children. The wealth, in fact, had caused the violence.

With the whitefolk came the beautiful dollar. The whitefolk may've loved the views and vistas and little whores that populated the street, but there was something else. Some pain deep inside of them, that echoes soundly like a drum. A pain only satisfied by the chemical pleasures of narcotics. So, there was two options for me: becoming a pusher of drugs; or a robber of men.

I chose the latter. I joined Old Haguis on one of his excursions into the wilderness. The forests around San Domingo were harsh. My feet blistered in their sandals, my body burned with pain. The gun in my hand was an old, old pistol. A Colt Single Action. Now, Old Haguis was not merciful. He and his men would not stop for nothing as they were nomads compared to my previous life as a sedentary man. They would not be dragged down by me. I wanted to quit. To forget this venture and go back to boxing. I wanted to leave.

But I didn't. I promised myself that I would find the courage to prove Old Haguis wrong! I knew I could be one of the greatest bandit on the Southside. I knew I had to do it.

I failed, though. The raid we were planing on one of the tourist buses was busted soon by a police patrol. Old Haguis and I were captured, but in thanks for me being loyal and proving myself. Haguis had give himself up to the police, pardoning me with his testimony. I was shocked by this. This loyalty from nothing.

I hope you all understand why I say this story. We will start combat training, tomorrow. Prepare your bats."
With that, the fire was doused. All returned to their tents, with stomachs filled with beans and hearts filled with unwavering doubt and stalwart courage.

Requested:
Events:
*1 Week of Training Passes
*Johnny's Dedication is Tested. Johnny is convinced to stay.
*All the Young Trenchermen swayed by Johnny's call for deserting are turned back and return to the camp.
*Leave Open For Next Post

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Tuxedo Mask
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Re: The Gold Standard ((Barbados))

Post by Tuxedo Mask » December 7th, 2015, 5:07 am

All approved.

I really like this story and can't wait until the boys start learning to fuck shit up.
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