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Articles: A story that never, ever happened...
Posted by Arthegarn on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 11:04 AM PST

Cult
Long before Xeno met them in Devon's castle, RG invited Sketch to visit his natal Italy and tour the country a little. Sketch jumped at the opportunity, took the first plane to Rome and there met RG and his current girl, who was introduced to her as Amanda. Amanda was a tiny blonde, only a little over five feet, with a childish face and body in everything but her notorious and nearly perfecfect bosom. She could have passed for a teenager but for that little -well, maybe not that little- detail.

One time, during that visit, the three of them were in RG's car... Amanda was sleeping in the backseat, as she always did whenever a car started moving, and RG was driving while at the same time resisting Sketch's unending questions about their secret destination (he had something prepared for the three of them in an ancient, 12th century Benedictine abbey, but wanted it to be a surprise), the conversation was cut short by a sudden silence from RG.

"This is not normal" he said.

Pointing a hand to the highway lting before them, Sketch saw the blinking lights of maybe half a dozen police vehicles, apparently blocking their path.

"That's the police, right? Is it an accident?" she asked.

"Well, that's not the police, actually. That's the Carabinieri, technically a branch of the Italian military more than a police body, even if they have police-like duty in some cases. They are the guys with the funny hats at customs, for instance". RG slowed down their approach, and Amanda stirred. "Besides," he added "I am not seeing any red lights, only blue, so no emergency vehicles in the blockade. I am guessing this is an ordinary identity check."

"Ordinary identity check? Why would you have "ordinary" identity check?" Asked Sketch, to RG's mild amusement.

"Yeah, sometimes I forget how American you are, this must seem a little fascist, being stopped in the middle of the road by the army for no good reason and me not seeing anything particular about it. Relax, this is panem nostrum quotidianum. They probably are looking for terrorist or maffiosi or something like that."

If RG had tried to sound soothing, he most certainly was not. "Aw" Sketch thought "I had forgotten I am now in a country with REAL terrorism. And this is happening in contemporary western Europe? Gosh!" She started rummaging in her purse for her passport, trying to remember how to say "Sono una cittadina americana, portami alla mia ambasciata" from her high school Italian, just in case, as RG pulled over and woke Amanda up with a fast burst of Italian words.

As their car stopped, Sketch could see five other vehicles ahead of them, two civilian and three with the flashes of the carabinieri sirens. One of the cars had the trunk door open, and a large, snow-white dog was sniffing in it. A uniformed man with dark, large, practically Solamnic moustaches approached them, RG pulled the window glass down and exchanged some more Italian with him.

"Can you give me your passport and the car's docs, please Sketch? They are in the glove compartment" he said as he took his Italian ID card from his wallet and spoke a little more with the man. Sketch could make out the words "turista americana" and something having to do with their mysterious destination, but she had the impression RG was speaking even faster than usual. Could he be nervous? No, most likely it's just so I don't make out where are we headed... The policeman (or soldier, or whatever) took their documents, gave them a cursory glance, and headed over to one of the cars with them.

"Cossa succede, Argiostro?"Amanda asked, still a little dizzy.

"Probably nothing, love. They'll just check our I.D.'s over, see that we have no criminal records or anything and send us on our way. See? Here he comes."

And so he was. The agent - Sketch could see he was a sergeant now - returned the bunch of papers to RG, who passed them nonchalantly to her; bade them buon viaggio, saluted and turned over. "See? Nothing to worry about" RG said, and started the somewhat lengthy operation of securing the papers back in the glove compartment, returning his ID card to his wallt, his wallet to his pocket, fastening his seat belt, turning the car on and returning to the road. As he was beginning to do just that, Sketch saw that the snowy dog he had seen was resolutely barking at them. The car had barely started moving when the sergeant made them the motion to stop again. As RG did so, the dog came over to the car and started sniffing around and scratching at the back door.

"What's going on, RG?" she half asked, he was already engaged in another conversation in Italian with the sergeant and another officer, likely from the K-9 unit, who had approached them. A third carabiniero, this one at a prudent distance and armed with an ominous and very prominent assault rifle at his side, was also seeming to take an interest in them. After a short exchange of phrases, the sergeant took a step back and motioned RG to dismount. Fuming and with a really funny look in his face, he unclasped his seat belt, opened the door and, as he was about to step out of the car, seemed to think it better and said something fast and unintelligible. "Non importa.Per favore, uscire dal veicolo, signore." he said "I don't care. Please step out of the car, sir". RG did so, obviously reluctant, and started another conversation with them. Suddendly, and for a very brief moment, he went pale and opened his eyes wide in surprise. He recovered pretty fast and started a confident half-laugh as if what the officer had said was really presposterous, but Sketch could tell something was going on.

"Oh, my, what is going on here?" Sketch thought, half as in a dream, as RG told them all to step off the car and the dog jumped resolutely in. "Why is that dog so interested in them and the car? Now, wait a moment... RG can't possibly be... Oh frack! Now what where you thinking when you accepted to come over!" The swarm of armed men was beginning to coalesce around them, RG had been told to empty the trunk and the dog was intently scratching at one of the bags. "After all, what do you know of this guy? Nothing at all! Just some emails and post you exchanged over the Internet! Now, didn't your parents always tell you not to talk to strangers? Yet here you are, thousands of miles from home, with a guy you barely know and a girl you don't know at all, in a foreign land with terrorism in it and which language you barely speak to order a coffee from a well-meaning bartender! Now what on EARTH where you thinking?" She was barely aware of the carabinieri having dug a small, metal box wrapped in plastic from the bag, presenting it to RG and him raising his hands as if it were the first time he saw the thing. "Damn! I can't believe this! After this nobody is going to give me a decent job! I'm never going to see my family again! Wasn't the Castle If actually in Italy? Sono una cittadina americana..."

Then, to her mild surprise, Amanda stepped forward and said something she quite didn't make out, while looking at the same time both impish and childishly innocent and flapping her eyelashes at the carabinieri. They then seemed to forget RG and her, and start talking to Amanda in what sounded like father-like tones, while she did her best (which wasn't quote good, actually) at looking properly abashed and chastened. After that they were returned their bags, their papers, and sent on their way again. As soon as they were on the highway again, RG burst out with laughter.

"Now what is so funny about that!" Sketch exploded. "Are you going to tell me what has been going on? What was in that box? Why did they let us go? What on Earth has just happened!!"

"Relax, Sketch" RG replied. "As it turns out it was not a search for explosives. It was a drug bust. And Amanda" he said, looking at her through the rear view mirror with the look of someone who is going to make someone else pay "had, shall we say, a little something extra in her tobacco can that may not be exactly incense but brings her closer to God..."

As somebody said, just a minor infraction.


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A story that never, ever happened... | Login/Create an account | 3 Comments
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Re: A story that never, ever happened...
by Schizo on Feb 17, 2012 - 06:34 PM
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Nope, never happened. Let me tell you, though, (hypothetically, of course) that getting in trouble with a foreign military when you don't speak the language is an intensely nerve-wracking thing. And makes for very good stories after the fact. All's well that ends well!


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