Connin-nigh Pub
Ave’lose, Province of Ave’liyu, Kingdom of Auraliyu
December 23, 1921, 7:29PM

“Bless Aiya, it’s goddamn cold out there!” A Vulpine recited in vain as the aggressive snowflakes pummeled his back as the wooden door swung open into the dimly incandescently lit bar, discussion ringing about as many of these people had came just coming from the factories, the mills, and the mines as Ave’lose had been one of the few cities not yet blighted with the authorized temperance where rural and agrarian centers were forced to go dry. Winter had started out with a bang with the follow-up being a blizzard battering down on the Auraliyun capital city, during this weather, this bar was among the only spots for some as they had neither of the just barely livable shelter the proletarians had in this bar, seeing throughout the tables some were sleeping with a bottle in hand, probably passed out drunk, tired, or a combination thereof. This southern Vulpine was among the many wiry lightweights in this bar, his ears cold as due to their exposure with the nearly useless toque he had on. After just finishing a dinner with his family just a block south the man was looking for a drink to refresh off of a 12 hour long work day he had endured at the local steel mill that was producing many parts for machinery to go to Vekaiyu. Auraliyu was merely a bootlicker to the Vekaiyun Empire as it entrusted much of its resources to this war.

The Vulpine took out a worn silver pocket watch from within the interior pocket of his grey jacket that had been worn and a bit torn after a couple of years of use, he didn’t have much money to pay for all sorts of new clothes as adding clothing to his salary wouldn’t fare well against family necessities in terms of expenses. He walked up to a rectangular oak finish table, one of the three people sitting on the table waved at him, signalling to sit down as the trio were conversing while sipping on their glasses of cold light beer, “Hey Maxwell, we we’re waiting for you!” The Northern Vulpine said with a slight tone of optimism as Maxwell sat in the dirty wooden chair, to his right was another Northern Vulpine and one of the only Humans in the bar that towered over everybody else in this room.  They all seemed to be enjoying the time despite that they have been dirty from all the soot and grime they’ve lived under as miners for the Coal Mine owned by Norman Avrekosk, one of the millionaires who had been friends with the King and his royal family who they both seemed tolerant in maintaining the laissez-faire status quo workers had been enduring for years.

“What’s been going on with you Reggie?” Maxwell asked the Vulpine who greeted him with a toothy smile, he hadn’t seen him in hours as the other three had been working together in the mine for several months which led to an assumed companionship between the three. Reginald couldn’t respond after a second as he gulped down a couple swigs of his beer, finishing it, "
“I’m doing fine, haven’t eaten anything yet, the waiter still hasn’t gotten me the fish yet.” The Vulpine impatiently responded as he glanced around impatiently, “Work wasn’t too good, one of the kids there ended up having some coughing fit that ended up nearly killing him! He was a damn good kid, didn’t know his name, he was only eight years old.” His voice turned into a rather pensive and depressive tone as he followed up with how his day at work went, this experience was noted by the rest of this posse as the Human and Vulpine had a bit of small talk. “How’s Remone and Varian going too?” Maxwell asked Reginald as the two were occupied with their own conversation as they seemingly ignored him, Reginald scratched his head “I guess they’re doing fine, Varian told me his wife was gonna kill him as he hadn’t even come home yet.” Reggie responded as it led to a chuckle escaping from Maxwell’s muzzle, it was common news for Varian to usually neglect his wife on a Friday night for his own leisure.

“Yeah but, all of us have been surviving, Remone hasn’t been doing so well, all I’ve heard him doing was cough and even cough up blood while we’re in the mines, seems like that whole thing is getting to him first.” Reggie worried for Remone, the Human had seemed to have been increasingly ill, “We’ve talked to the foreman, he doesn’t give a shit, all he said was “If you can still swing that pickaxe then don’t worry about it!”” Reggie seemed to end it with a mocking voice to imitate the foreman who didn’t have much regard for Remone’s well being. Varian to Remone’s right had been doing alright compared to Remone himself, despite him losing his left ear in the War a few years back that rendered him deaf in one ear, he still was a hard worker. “You know, when we all came back from fighting those Morstays and Packlivanians, we would’ve gotten all sorts of cheers, veterans pensions, and even a union but nah, none of that here.” Reginald followed, beginning to rant “I don’t trust those unions, they were all just made to make us feel like we matter, but all the leaders do is just have drinks with that stupid royal family, I’m barely making enough to get presents for my kids on Christmas and they’re not even giving us a good enough wage for the amount of work we bust our asses for!”

Reginald seemed very dissatisfied with the current things, everyone at the table was, everyone at the bar was, after the war Auraliyu just seemed to be in an unending cycle of recession as the laborers who mostly were veterans of this over decade long conflict had been doing nothing but working without any reparations from the people who had the power to make their lives prosper. Everybody who worked seemed to be in a union, but all the low turnout strikes these unions hosted weren’t doing much as all they were for is to keep headlines so any clueless soul in Auraliyu or all over the world could see another country is prospering in willful workers demanding workers rights, but the reality was that not much confidence had been in these union hosted supposed cries for more rights. All the people in this room agreed and shared a common identity that those ruling this country had not really cared much for them anyway, and the tensions and their further frustrations grew much higher as the weeks went on, Maxwell, Reginald, Varian, and Remone simply and casually talked for the next couple of hours, seemingly passing off Reginald’s rant as an example to cite in the future as their nothing to lose lives grew increasingly more uncertain.

Amberine Harbor

Amberine, Province of Emperor’s Fruit, Auraliyu
December 28, 1921

No matter the seasons, the cargo which originated across the Urth still didn’t give a lick of care for how snowy it was and how icy the waters it charged through were, these wooden docks were much of Auraliyu’s aorta to global trade which it became more common following the war, mostly being imported goods from other countries as they were carried away on stagecoaches on horseback to suppliers, the people working were somewhat prepared in the -13 degree weather, the wind chill didn’t much help with things as it was much a miserable near new years for these workers. Hours that felt endless of hauling heavy boxes onto strong stallions as to be carried off to god knows where, some imports like alcohol, exotic meats, spices, were likely taken over to royalty or the wealthy across Auraliyu to satisfy their wants with luxury foods and luxury wines. Ben’s orange fur was being pelted with tiny snowflakes which dissolved upon impact, he held a large box of bananas as he carefully walked over to the back of a stagecoach with many other tropical fruits likely to be hauled off to a market or to a prince or into the King’s belly over west in Ave’lose, none of these people bothered to quench their taste for fruits like these, their foremen were perfectionists as even taking a single banana would lead them to be struck by their foremen, so workers were living with foremen hired by the company which owned this harbor, effectively having power over the country’s most important dock. As he set the box filled with just barely ripe bananas he brushed his gloved hands off, seeing his friend Jon out by the ship, walking down the ramp with a large box of jars of yeast extract

“Shit, this is heavy.” Jon said, the Vulpine’s arms strained under the very heavy box as his physique could barely carry something like this, “Help me with this why don’t you?” Jon said as he stepped onto the rotting wooden floor, offering it to Ben as he took the box, walking over to another stagecoach to set it in the back, as to put that weight off of Jon who he knew wasn’t too strong, the desperate Jon having took the low paying job to barely sustain his wife and child back at the tenement 3 blocks away. The work was alright in every season except winter, where they both had to endure the bitter cold that their fur couldn’t even help fight against, the Humans who were much stronger than the Vulpines had relative ease with carrying crates of imported goods from stagecoach to stagecoach as well as assisting with tying heavy ships with heavy rope to the moorings or constructing the warehouses. Much of the Vulpines did work manning the cranes though accidents were common as safety wasn’t much of a regard for the employers, the last person who died as a result of drowning after falling from the wharf and hitting their head against a rock underwater, knocking them unconscious and eventually drowning, when they died they usually were hauled off to graves. There wasn’t much anxiety surrounding the possibilities of accidents among the young, everybody working here didn’t feel like there was much to lose as most were young boys who weren’t married, some older workers had families to feed as their senses were heightened over working in an unregulated mess.

A loud high pitched whistling rings out through the area on the port, the foreman blows into his steel whistle as he declares it was everybody’s lunch break, nobody however had food, so they either just began to converse with their colleagues while popping a smoke into their mouths to release their stress, Jon and Ben both simultaneously sighed of relief as their companionship had lasted enough to where their emotions sometimes matched even with their expressions, the began walking as they both put cigarettes into their mouths, striking a match as Jon lit his and his friend’s up. “How’s Iris doing?” Smoke escaped from Ben’s mouth, walking with his cigarette nuzzled between the tips of his two fingers, “She’s pregnant again, I don’t know how many months she’s up, but we’re gonna have another kid I guess.” Jon responds as a puff as smoke meets with the preceding acrid cloud that formed around Ben, “My boy is already a pain enough!” He follows up jokingly, “Nice! Becoming a father again, maybe it’ll increase the company.” Ben says cheerfully as his friend, one of his only friends accomplishing with creating life, Ben has visited his tenement for dinner a couple of times, hung out with him, joked with his wife, and played with his son, spurring from the common working they do which leads to companionship among the below average conditions. People exclaimed as loud as they could to the two, Ben quickly looked up to see a large wooden tank of water appearing above them as the poor rotten wood supports could not take the several thousands of gallons as the ice within the cracks of the wooden supports began to expand, Ben quickly rushed out of the way as he dived down, a loud crash screamed out throughout the port as wood and ice scattered across the port, Ben slowly got up, shaking his head as commotion behind him began to gather up following this great mishap. Ben brushed off the frozen dirt as he looked behind with Jon nowhere is sight, legs appearing from a block of ice and wood as blood had began to pool out from the open cracks between the wood and the ice, he quickly stood up as he walked over to the crushed man, “Jon?” He exclaims out as workers tried pushing the large block of ice as quick as they could off the man, with many people pushing it at once it quickly shifted off albeit with brute strength among 5 people.

Ben quickly reacted with distress as Jon’s bloodied and crushed face emerged, he was completely unresponsive and his skull appeared to be crushed in by the block of ice, as it was mostly assumed as Jon was dead, Ben quickly denied the assumptions as he aggressively shaked his friend with a cracking voice shouting his name, Ben’s mind was rushing with emotion and overwhelming terror as his friend could not respond. Nobody knew what to do, one person called the foreman out as he rushed quickly to this scene as one man in distress who was begging his friend to be responsive, people stood and watched as Ben broke down in anxiety and fear. The Southern Foreman looked on, “Someone grab him and put him in a bag or something.” The foreman placed the whistle in his mouth, blowing into it as the loud whistle rang out, “Everybody back to work, you saw nothing!” He says, seemingly ignoring the cries of Ben has as two men took the body at the dismay of the corpse’s friend, “Mr. Margavike, that includes you,” The Human grabbed him by the shoulder, putting him up on his feet, striking him against the face “Quit crying you chickenshit, you can do that later.” He barked out, seeming to take the death as sort of a casual and regularly occurring thing, at least he knew Ben’s name, he slowly got up, under teary eyes and reluctance for everything, he slowly continued on his day.


Ben walked among the dim dank halls of a cramped tenement building which resided among a small fish market which sprinkled it on with a fishy smell for those who call it their humble abode, his eyes red from hours of crying as his friend has died, he felt distressed that Iris’ husband wouldn’t be coming home but his friend to tell of grim news, it was hours of wondering how he was going to tell her, he didn’t want to have her be left wondering why Jon didn’t come home. He walked in the small corridor slowly, fumbling his hands as his mind raced in how Iris and possibly her son will react to the news, Apartment 249 was their building, every tenement was identical with rent being nearly the same cheap bucks that workers could be able to afford, Ben approached it as he looked up at the dirty uncared for door, Ben opened it, a small living room with a couch, a small kitchen, and a doorway into a small bedroom, there was no running water as water was retrieved via a pump in the tiny courtyard where tenants went out with their buckets for cooking, drinking, or washing. Iris looked up as she was knitting on the couch, her fur a light tan as her abdomen looked slightly bloated as she was just a few months pregnant, “Ben? What are you doing here? Where’s Jon at?”  She set the unfinished piece of yarn beside her on the dark brown couch, standing up as Ben’s legs were shaking, “There was an accident at work… Can I sit down?” Ben asked the widow as she nodded yes, proceeding with him slowly taking a seat on the cushion, “Why, what happened? Is Jon alright?” Iris quickly sat down as she grew more anxious at the possible implications, “No he’s dead.” Ben hesitated to get that out as it was a struggle, she quickly broke down in tears to hear the news, “Oh my god, how did this happen?” Iris’ voice struggled as her anguish overpowered her, she was suddenly widowed with an expecting child, “It was so damn fast, a water tower fell out of nowhere and crushed him.” As Ben recited what had happened hours ago his eyes began to water from reminiscing on that event, just making him think of it made him begin to slowly decompose into a crying mess.

“Foreman didn’t give any care he did, just slapped me to get back to work, just hauled him off somewhere, probably to some unmarked grave.” Ben followed, wiping the tears from his fur “He was a good man, he was my only friend.” Ben was saddened, there wasn’t much of anybody who treated him with respect other than Jon, meeting together as they first began to work at that port, their presence together creating comradery between each other. “What am I gonna do? How is Marco going to react about this?” Iris had millions of thoughts rushing through her head as her 3 year old son had been napping in her bedroom following a day at school, “How am I gonna feed him? I can’t go to work, they won’t even hire a lady.” With Ben feeling so much pity for his friend’s wife he just couldn’t see her sustain a job, she didn’t feel too cut out for any work and relief on survival from the wages her husband made to bring food onto the table, “I can… Help you get by the best I can, could that help?” Ben requested to Iris, it felt as if it would be a great token of friendship if Ben helped his friend’s wife after he passed unexpectedly just to keep them on their feet. “Sure, thank you, you’re a good man. Now, please just leave me be, I want to be alone.” Iris finished it off as her voiced cracked once more, Ben nodded as he stood up, leaving the tenement as he breathed out, walking out to his, Ben quickly wondered why Iris was so unopposed to helping her survive, the death was sudden and she quickly grew desperate at the news, maybe that’s why, his anger for being screwed over by bad employers and careless governance had grown larger on this day.