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Earth - I'll Make 'Em An Offer They Can't Refuse

Posted July 20, 2021, 4:32 p.m. by Civilian Seamus McKenzie (Future Citizen) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Civilian Ragna Idun McKenzie (Future Citizen) in Earth - I’ll Make ‘Em An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Posted by Civilian Seamus McKenzie (Future Citizen) in Earth - I’ll Make ‘Em An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Posted by Civilian Ragna Idun McKenzie (Future Citizen) in Earth - I’ll Make ‘Em An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)

“We have begged… pleaded… implored her to help us move the Clan forward! To help us regain some of the McKenzie fortune that she squanders on her own desires and material wants!” More cries against Tara sounded, and the other side began to yell back.

“We have come here today- my siblings, my family, and our loyal McKenzies- to demand that Lady Tara not use the marriage of Seamus to the Viking temptress… the woman who led my dear cousin Argyle into a physical altercation with the Marshall by trying to seduce him in the Marshall’s own home!… to not let Lady Tara use this farce of a wedding as a way to sell the Clan off to the Edmans for her own gain!!!”

Both sides erupted and started screaming at each other. Seamus started yelling and pushing people from both sides back as the lines between the two groups grew ever closer.

Ragna knew it would come to something like that. She didn’t expect them to play that card so soon. As the crowd began to encompass Seamus, Ragna felt two hands, her mother and her sister, on her back, steading her. And then she heard her chieftess’ voice, her oldest sister, Revna’s voice rise above the storm…

Mike took Revna’s hand and held it tight, the hood of his cloak pulled up to cover his face. “Dont let your family tale the bait. Stand down… we got this. Make sure they hold their tongues and blades. This is their trap! Don’t let them walk into it!” He gestured to Cuyler, hoping he could see him, telling him to stay put.

The McKenzies

Revna squeezed his hand, “They won’t. Trust them and trust me. They are angry but they won’t misstep.” Cuyler met Mike’s gaze. They would hold for him. Revna was watching the chaos insue and she met her mother’s gaze across the yard and then Tara’s and nodded once. Revna’s voice rose above the crowd, but blended with the shouts and yelling. “JENTER, EN ADVARSEL! (Maidens, ONE warning!)” And then there was a sudden deafening crash as over a two hundred blades, warriors and maidens, met the metal rimmed edges of shields. As if Thor had just struck the earth with Mjollnir. Then the three women And then there was an erie silence filled with waiting, daring, and loyalty to Tara. The entirety of the Edman clan watching her, waiting for her word.

Edman Clan

As the crowd fell into stunned silence, Tara inclined her head to the Edmans slowly before turning back to Hamish. “I’m sorry, Hamish… what was that? I’m afraid I got distracted. Couldn’t remember if I took the scones out of the oven.” She leaned forward and stage-whispered with her hand to the side of her mouth “Don’t worry… I did!” and she gave him an wholly exaggerated wink before returning to her proper stance. The exchange brought snickers and small laughs from her supporters. “Now… what were we talking about? Ah yes… my incompetence. No really… do continue. I’m most intrigued.” she said with a smile… a smile that was more akin to a she-wolf as they find a lost sheep all alone.

Hamish glared at her and then said “Lady Tara McKenzie! By all rights and honor me and mine demand Reconciliation! It is time for a new Chief!”

Tara’s eyes became emerald flame. “You dare make such a demand? Today? We are supposed to be celebrating a wedding, Hamish McKenzie! You make such a demand before allow-“ “ENOUGH! STOP YOUR BABBLING, OLD WOMAN!” Hamish bellowed. Tara’s mouth opened and then shut, and she looked at himnwith wide eyes. “Reconciliation… the demand has been made.Will you accept and name your successor here and now? Or does this become the end of the Clan? And you know damn well we can do it.” Hamish fixed Tara with a glare that could melt steel. Tara took a step back and her mouth opened and closed in slight shock before she recovered and composed herself.

“Reconciliation… never did I believe you would steep this far down to gain power, you selfish boy.” She looked out across the crowd. For a moment, she said nothing. Finally she looked back at Hamish.

“I will accept on three conditions. First… you remove all your protections from Argyle. He pays for what he did to Ragna.” Argyle sputtered and pushed up to Hamish. “Surely you can’t begin to entertai-“ “What is your second term?” Argyle looked at him wide eyed, but no sound came from his open mouth. “Second is Seamus and his bride get their wedding and are allowed to stay on all the land he currently maibtains.” Hamish grinned and said “And the third?” Tara looked at the crowd and then said “Michael McKenzie is given a stipend for life. I failed him… the clan should not.” and a single tear fell down her face.

Hamish was silent for a long moment before saying “I agree to the first two terms. Argyle will get no more assistance from any of us as of this moment.” Argyle’s eyes went wide and he said “You… you… you can’t do this!” Hamish looked back and said “Remove him.” and soon Argyle was being dragged towards the main gate. “The Marshall and his blonde toy can stay on the land for the next three years. After that, they must pay rent. But the third? Oh no… no no no… that pariah will never receive anything from this clan. Take it or leave it, Tara. Name your successor. And remember… they cannot hold a current clan office and must have a legitimate claim to the seat. No Seamus, in other words.” and he grinned. There were four people who could take the seat. And the other three would simply name Hamish Chief anyway. There was no way he could not become Che-

As Argyle was dragged away Cuyler slipped silently away. Devlin and two others appeared beside him and with two very strong hands, with out a word, he removed the hands escorting Argyle away and the he grabbed Argyle by the back of his neck and squeezed. “Oh no, boy you don’t get away that easy.” He turned to Devlin, “Hold him and keep him quiet.” And then he reappeared with his wife and daughters as if he never left.

“I name Michael Angus McKenzie Chief of Clan McKenzie!” Tara said loudly and defiantly. Hamish looked at her and then shook his head. “You senile old bag… you know the rules!!! The one you name must be here! Now! Now there is only one real option for you so stop wasting time and name-“

“I ACCEPT.” boomed a voice over the crowd. Two figures, one man and one woman, moved through the crowd. As they got near Seamus, the man took off his hood…

Revna moved beside Mike and it was something to see, the way they moved together, no doubt that they owned the path they walked. They ascended the steps, a curtsey, “Lady Tara” and Revna kissed Tara’s cheek. Revna turned standing right beside Mike and turned a knowing a pitying look on the cousins, but they would find no mercy there.

Michael Angus McKenzie stood tall as he walked with his wife up the steps to Tara. “Hey, Gran. Good to see you.” and he kissed her cheek. “I like your hair.” Tara grinned. “Not now, we are quashing an insurrection, dear boy.” “Oh right… sorry.” and he looked at Hamish. “Before I begin…” and he turned to Revna.

“Excuse me my love… could you be a dear and put some very angry and able shieldmaidens right along the front of that line right there?” and he pointed to the divide between McKenzies and whatever the other side was rapidly devolving into.

Lord Michael McKenzie

Revna’s voice rang out above the noise and commotion, “Shield Maidens!” And pouring out of the crowd, shields on arms and weapons drawn but lowered 50 then 100 then more angry and skilled women appeared and they ringed the cousins and loud clap of metal ringed wood sounded and shield upon shield locked into place. “If they try to get past you, show them what Viking Temptresses do to liars and traitors to clan.” There was a yell of approval and then Ragna moved, Helka and Runa with her, Oddvar just behind. Ragna was having another one of those living memories. Faolan standing as Seamus was now, and it was war, but not a civil war she knew that, but she blinked and it was gone. A few more maidens appeared, Kirsten and Ada among them and made a loose circle around Ragna as she returned to Seamus. Seamus was made part of the second wall, not blocking his movement, and Ragna secure inside.

As they shields came in, one of the cousins moved forward. He was large, bigger than Argyle and in much better shape. He had a shaved head and a mustache and goatee, and was strikingly handsome. “Runa Edman! Runa! Here!” and he waved a piece of actual paper at her, reaching over the shield wall to her.

As the paper left his hand, the Maidens pushed him hard back, and a small altercation broke out. He smiled once more at Runa and then… he was gone. The Maidens silenced the antagonizers and all eyes fell on Revna and Mike.

Runa looked up from under the cowl of the cape, into the face of a very large man. She didn’t recognize him and there were so many McKenzies that even though he was now on the other side of the shield wall that didn’t mean he wasn’t one of the loyal. She reached for the piece of paper, and in that slight moment of contact there was heat and electricity and a flash of knowing that old Gothia had trained her to pay attention to. Runa snatched her hand back, just as the maidens forced him and the other cousins away from her and Ragna.

The paper was addressed to Mike, but it was sealed with a modified McKenzie seal… it was stricken through with a diagonal line. There was second piece, simply folded, with her name on it.

Revna looked at Mike, “I believe that should suffice, My Love, or should I summon more?”
Revna

Mike smiled at her and patted her hand. “No no… thats fine, love of mine.” He looked at Tara and said “You think thats good, Gran?” and Tara smiled and said “Oh my yes… thats just lovely.” Mike let things settle down for a moment, and gave the chance for realization to dawn on Hamish and the cousins. Hamish’s eyes were wide, and he looked around and then at Mike. Mike pulled off his cloak and then pulled the sword from his back. He swung it slowly from side to side and he took each step down very slowly, drawing the moment out.

“Now, Gran… correct me if I am wrong, please. As of right now I am the Chief of the McKenzie Clan, is that right?” Tara grinned and said “You are, and I couldn’t be happier.” Mike paused and looked back and smiled. “Good. I want you to be happy.” He turned back and began the slow walk towards Hamish and company. “Seamus! As the Marshall of Clan McKenzie, do you recognize me as Chief, with all the powers and authority that go with that?” Seamus grinned and said “Aye, brother. I do!” and Mike inclined his head at him. “My thanks. Soo…” and he laid the sword flat on his shoulder as he approached the ring of shields. They parted and closed around him as he walked up to Hamish and looked down at him.

Revna leaned slightly toward Tara her voice soft for only them, “He really does love playing for a crowd,” and she smiled softly. Watching the wall open and close around him, he’d already gained their loyalty, he was one of them. And Mike wouldn’t even see it that way. They loved Revna and would do anything for her but if they didn’t think Mike was worthy they wouldn’t give him their support or loyalty. Forcing her gaze away from Mike she scanned the crowd, years of experience allowing her to make quick assessments, and was satisfied that things were going the way they wanted…

“First…” and turned and said to everyone “As of this moment Argyle McKenzie is no longer of this clan. He is banished. No recourse. No aid will be given, no support rendered.” He turned and looked at Tara and yelled “See? I listened when you told us the old stories!” and the crowd laughed. Tara shook her head but grinned. Mike then said “So I gave a lot of thought about what to do with all the rest of you. You are some real pieces of work, you know that. Normally I would have called you pieces of s#it, but this being a formal occasion and all… So! Same fate as Argyle? Naw. Thats not me, lacks originality. Plus its way to easy. So… all of you, your parents and your children are hereby no longer McKenzies. Three generations down from Argyle, Hamish, and Victoria are herby removed from the Clan. As of this moment, Clan McKenzie funds are revoked from your use and all your money is being g returned to Clan control. Your homes are forfeit, your belongings as well. Everything you own will be donated to the most needy of the Clan, your funds distributed to do the most good for the most of those who kept true the name McKenzie.” Hamish sputtered and said “You! YOU CAN’T! YOU CANT DO THIS TO ME! TO US! WE… BUT…!” and Mike said “Sure I can… Clan Chief… remember?” and he smiled coldly at him. He then raised his voice again.

Revna spoke, making sure it was very clear that she and Mike were on the same page, they were in agreement and that both clans would be held to the decision they had made today. “Ragna Idun Edman McKenzie, as Clan Herald I charge you with adding the names of the banished and removed to the list of útlagi.” There was a gasp and then murmurs of approval from the Edmans. There was no return from útlagi.

“That being said… I don’t want to punish the children for the crimes of their parents. Therefore I say this to the youngest ones of this group… the actual children. You, your children, and your children’s children. have the chance to prove yourselves. If you petition for admission, you will be judged by a Council of McKenzies… but not nobles. The Council will be made up of the Chief and members of the Clan from all over. And If the Council agrees unanimously to allow the petitioner back, they will be readmitted as full members of Clan McKenzie. To get that decision you must have demonstrate that you will not again bring shame upon the Clan, and that you are a person of character, kindness, generosity, courage, and loyalty… all the things you have shown you have lost.

He walked up to Hamish and stared down at him. He then said softly, so only Hamish and the Maidens near him could hear, “You step foot on McKenzie lands again and I’ll break every g•!!@mn bone in your body. Now take your collection of snakes and get the hell off McKenzie land. You’re trespassing.” He took a step back and then looked around.

There was a ferral laughter that went through the Maidens, they obviously would enjoy the opportunity to catch any of them on McKenzie land again. The Edman warriors had been quick at work. The shield wall opened and in poured the biggest, strongest, level headed of the loyal of clan McKenzie. Oddvar understood that the ousting of the cousins needed to be a McKenzie only thing. The clan needed this and so he made it happen. Two of the loyal for every cousin. Helka removed herself from the wall around Ragna and paced her way to where the cousins were being escorted out and she stopped the pair with Victoria. She smiled at them. “If you don’t mind she and I have unfinished business.” The clan knew about Victoria’s little excersion to Seamus’ home, and this short, older, but firery woman was serious. With curious grins they let go of Victoria, who tried to run only to be stopped by a very fast and very firm grip to her shirt. “I might be older girl, but I promise you I’m meaner than even your wildest dreams,” and Helka frog marched her backwards into the ring of shield maidens.

“You have a choice. You can apologize for the wrong you did and beg forgiveness until this mother’s wrath is satisfied or…” and the Maidens laughed. Victoria sneered at Helka and remined silent. Helka nodded, “Alright then,” and the back of her hand connected with a resounding crack across Victoria’s mouth, cutting her lip. “That’s for calling my daughter a trollop.” Then she smacked the back of her head so hard Victoria’s neck snapped forward. “That’s for being so addle brained you though that worthless no-man of a brother could even stand in the shadow of my son.” Then she reached out and lifted Victoria’s chin making her look at her. “And this is because you weren’t woman enough to fight your own battles, but used hired thugs instead.” And then Helka struck her twice exactly as the Andorians had struck Seamus. Victoria landed on the ground in a heap, bloody mouth, swollen jaw, broken nose. But unlike Seamus, she didn’t get up. Helka turned to smile at the two lads, “You can have her back now.” Helka moved in the opposite direction, she stopped next to Mike and where only he could here, “Gods that felt good.” Then the wall parted and she was standing in front of Seamus. “I would never dream of replacing your mother, but you are my son now.” She laid a hand right over where his jaw had been bruised and then she walked away to Cuyler.

“Where’d that coward Argyle get to?” he yelled.

Lord Michael McKenzie

Ragna reached out and grabbed Seamus’ arm, a tremor as adrenaline, fight or flight, rushed through her. It was a feeling she was familiar with, but at that exact moment she wasn’t sure if she fight or if she would fly.

“Right here!” Devlin along with two others drug a struggling, spitting, curssing mass through the opening in the wall and dumped him on the ground. From the steps Revna’s voice carried. Revna drew a deep breath, moved down the stairs and through the wall, laying a hand on Mike’s arm. “This man assaulted one of our own. Beat her, left marks on her body, and had intentions to…break her and then kill her.” She waited letting it sink in. The girls were eerily quiet, the men…shifted weapons and rolled shoulders. “You’ve heard the accusations, that she seduced this man, lured him into Marshall McKenzie’s own home for the purpose of inciting Seamus McKenzie into assaulting him,” and she pointed at the struggling form. “You all know, you’ve all seen the medical report. The woman he assaulted,” she stepped without fear right into Argyle’s space, eyes full of fire and made him, by sheer force of will, to meet her gaze, “is Princess Ragna Idun Edman McKenzie, Herald of Clan Edman, Our Klanvart, 2nd in line to become Chieftess, and MY sister. Is there any of you here who believes the accusations?” There was a resounding NO from every Edman and even the loyal McKenzies. She nodded. She turned to look at Ragna and nodded, “His fate is in your hands.” And Revna began to chant, the Maidens around the shield wall answering.

The wrath of the gods is nothing compared to mine.
Shields Combine to build our wall. We roar like Thor as Enemies Fall
I can Love and I can Fight
Men are strong but so are we, with axe to waist just watch them flee
In both You’ll hear the Maiden’s Might!
My Grudges will not die with me, I’ll end you soon as Valkyrie

Ragna moved into the wall and took up the chant with Revna, and then everything went silent. Devlin and the other two dropped Argyle. “Give him a blade,” was the only thing Ragna said. Devlin dropped his sword in front of Argyle and then they melted out through the wall. Revna led Mike out and then shrugging her shield to her arm joined the wall. Ragna reached back over her shoulder and drew her sword with ease and speed and as if by magic the tip of her sword rested in the soft hollow of his throat. “Pick it up.” Argyle spat at her, bent picked up the sword and tossed it aside. “I didn’t need a weapon to put you in your place before, I don’t need one now.” He leered at her and then across at Seamus, “You not given her what she wants, Seamus? She’s gotta come back ta me?” Ragna dropped, her stance widening, her center of gravity fixed and the whistle as her blade cut the air and with a quick flick of her wrist the flat of the blade slammed into Argyle’s ribs and the crunch of bone was heard and he dropped to his knees and then control born of skill and years of practice and power born of rage, the blade followed around in neat tight ark slamming into his back knocking him face first into the dirt, and Ragna kicked him. When Argyle finally rolled to his side she knelt down, “That was for the ram. Now get up. It’s time for you to dress for me for dinner, Argyle.” Ragna stood up and backed up several paces. Argyle stared at her but didn’t move. “Come now Argyle, I’m just Seamus’ play thing. Get up.”

Oddvar placed a hand on Kirsten and slipped into the ring. He walked over to Argyle, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and jerked him to standing. “The Princess gave you an order, peasant.” Oddvar picked up the tossed blade, “Sure you don’t want it?” Argyle took it, but didn’t know what to do with it. He held it before him and stared across at the woman who’d seemed such an easy mark a month before. And then a quick casual flick of her blade sent a reverberation down the sword Argyle was holding, numbing his grip. And then she was dancing around him, sword and woman poetry. First once sleeve was gone, then the buttons one at a time. His tie cut from behind his neck to fall at his feet, a powerful blow to stomach muscles, ripping them. Another sleeve gone, belt cut at the buckle making him swallow and scramble backwards. Pants cut up the inseam, a kick to an ankle, the flat of a blade to the back of his head, and then his clothes no more than tatters she stopped, gave him a once over and nodded. There was a rage in her, she’d always known it was there and the strength of it scared her, but now it was free and it had a target in Argyle. Then she began to advance on him, powerful overhands, back hands, side cuts, over and over she paced him around the circle. She left him just enough time to get the blade up, the power racing down the metal making already weak and out of shape muscles scream in protest. “You left women beaten, terrified, blow threatened their families, blow their children, blow, shamed in front of their husbands blow blow blow, and carrying YOUR children with nothing to support them.” The final one came hard and at the last minute flicked and turned landing solidly on his shoulder taking him to his knees. The edge of the blade came to rest across his neck. “Beg. Beg the way you made them beg.” Argyle looked up at the face in front of him and he knew no matter how much he would beg it wouldn’t be enough, this…creature…this Avenging angel had come for his soul.

The laughter started in the shield wall and spread out. Ragna glanced down at the soiled and wet stain on Argyle’s tattered pants. She looked back and met his gaze, “That’s what I thought” and hilt in hand she gave him a black eye to match the one he’d given her. She took Devlin’s sword, her sheathed in one smooth movement of finality and walked right up to Kirsten, handed Devlin’s sword to her and the wall parted for her. She moved right into Seamus’ arms. “Take me home, Now.”

Ragna McKenzie

Seamus looked down at her and smiled. “My love… you are home. You are with me.” and he leaned down and kissed her in a way he had never done before with others looking.

Mike watched the cousins being escorted off the estate and he looked at Tara. “Lady Tara, did you make that call I asked?” Tara grinned with a smile that would make Death himself give pause and said “Oh aye… Lord Michael. And I’ll continue to follow your directions to the end of my days.” and she turned to the assembled clans and yelled out in a voice that carried over the cheers and jeers. “Why are ye silent, ya wee nobs?! We have a new Chief! Three cheers, ya McKenzies!!” and the crowd erupted in cheers so loud it echoed for miles. Mike looked down at Revna and said so only she would hear “I’d still rather be a punk musician.” and he smiled and winked.

Outside the gates to the estate, a second scene was unfolding. The vehicles and security the cousins had brought with them were now surrounded by dozens and dozens of tattooed, pierced, black-leather-with-silver-studs-and-spikes clad, mohawk and shaved headed young and young-ish adults. On the hood of one of the cars lay a well-built young man with green and red liberty spikes in his hair, back on the windshield, eyes closed and slowly chewing gum.

As the cousins were shoved unceremoniously out the gate, Cuyler and Oddvar (who had made sure they left) looked out and grinned. “Oh… oh well done, my son.” said Cuyler with a grin. Oddvar’s smile matched his and he said “That boy’ll make a fine Chief if I do say so myself.” Cuyler nodded and said “Let’s go.” and Oddvar laughed and said “Have you lost your mind? Who would want to miss this?!” and the two older men looked at each other, grinned, and then looked out through the fence.

As Hamish came up to the car, the green-haired figure, without opening his eyes, said softly “You the c^$@ that tried to best my boy Big Mike McKenzie?”, his accent decidely not Scottish, but more rural North American continent… the former deep South of the United States. Hamish glared and waved at the security guards wordlessly… who didn’t budge. The figure, still without moving and still chewing his gum, said “Ya see, d!$khead, these ‘ol boys already done been told y’all ain’t got no money. And they also done been told that if any of ‘em raise a finger to try an help ya… well… that ain’t gonna go so good.” The figure raised his head and looked at Hamish and the cousins. He slowly sat up and then just as slowly slid off the ground car. He stood up, and he wasn’t exactly tall… but he was built solidly. He walked up to Hamish and said “Name’s Bubba. Bubba Buchard. And I’m here to chew gum and kick ass.” and he spit the piece of gum out and right in Hamish’s face.

“Uh-oh… Bubba’s outta gum…”

The McKenzies


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