Plush and Blood: Prologue
At the height of prosperity and progress of civilization a small spark ignited a flame in a world populated with what we would commonly refer to as “Stuffed Animals”.
Through the millennia the carnivores had used their elevated position to hold themselves over the herbivores. Long having abandoned the eating of another Plush's hide the carnivores still held their rule through fear and power. Factions arose and fell over the centuries until two distinct fringe groups began to emerge as majority powers. The extremist groups titled themselves and began a campaign for their ideal. The Carnivores in power called themselves Kings of the Land, aware of their own arrogance and using it to cement themselves in their position. The herbivores called themselves The Meek in order to play the victim as they waged political war against those in power.
At first things remained political, the bureaucrats lobbying and moving their pieces into position. Talks here, handshakes there, and bills put in the works with many dog eared pages. Decades went by as they tore at each other in the political war ground. The frustration of the Plush at these two extremist factions began to boil over when the first attack came. Hailed as terrorism The KotL blamed The Meek, The Meek in turn blamed the KotL.
Tempers flared and the attacks continued, small at first. A murder here, assassination there. A manufacturing plant destroyed in an accidental fire, a bank robbery gone wrong, a school massacred. Fingers were pointed, and blame was thrown. Each side convinced of the others willful treachery and barbarism. The Plush stuck between were drowned in media fire. Fear was instilled into their minds and souls until the population split. Unrest grew in waves.
Those unhappy with the divide of the Plush banded together and formed the Broken Circle. A name that represented the split in the Plush species. In an attempt to calm the tension the Broken Circle put itself in harms way between the two factions. The world could not go on with the division that had arisen. The Plush needed to find a new path to the future by not repeating the mistakes of the past. To think Plush still called themselves Carnivores and Herbivores was atrocious. The practice of devouring the fabric and hide of Plush had been abandoned long before written history began. The Herbivores and Carnivores had long since become omnivores. Yet both sides held to ideals that never existed.
Years went by with little to no advancement in the effort to end the stalemate. Frustration within the Broken Circle grew, patience had worn thin on all three sides. What was once an intermediary trying to find peace, found its members talking of taking direct action against the KotL and The Meek. The members of the Broken Circle were tired of sitting on the sidelines and waiting.
Unprovoked attacks on the Broken Circle began, eerily similar to the ones that had driven the KotL and The Meek into a frenzy. Peaceful protests and political movements that were trademarks of the Broken Circle turned to riots and outrage as the attacks were blamed on the two factions it sought to stop. The Broken Circle tried to calm its own members in a vain attempt to restore balance. When this failed and all seemed lost a single member stepped forward to take the helm. A well renown history professor by the name of Brown began to pull the Broken Circle back together. Within a year he had the Broken Circle’s complete support. With all of the Broken Circle’s resources at hand he began a campaign to turn the Plush through a series of subversive measures. The Kings of the Land were his first targets. Over the course of a year special “processing” plants began to pop up on the outskirts of nearly every city.
Opposition to the Broken Circle disappeared quietly, quickly, and en masse. Just as quickly they would return, changed almost imperceptibly to those that knew them, perfectly normal to those that did not. Their personalities remained, their goals and drives unchanged, but their political machinations subtly shifted in favor of the Broken Circle and its message. The Meek seeing the sway the Broken Circle now had over the KotL were eager to join the political war. They threw all of their power behind the Broken Circle in an effort to end the divide once and for all. They too however began to report members disappearing under mysterious and strange circumstances, only to reappear weeks later as if they had never left.
The Plush unassociated with politics shrugged the disappearances off as conjecture and rumor. They were more than happy with the climate that was beginning to unfold. Lawlessness and crime were begging to dry up as prisoners were taken to experience a new process of rehabilitation called “Stuffing” hailed by the Broken Circle as a peaceful end to all violent criminals. With a 90% successful rehabilitation and re-socialization rate, the Broken Circle cleared prisons of their inmates. All former inmates were tracked via a small identity chip implanted at their re-introduction to society. This was touted for the safety and security of the populous. In fact, you could do away with the worry of lost children, identification, AND physical money with a single Ident chip. Not only did it promote safety, it was the ultimate convenience; free to those who wanted them, and a requirement for all newly born children.
Years went by as the Kings of the Land began to break down until they were once again little more than a fringe group. The Meek had all but been absorbed by the Broken Circle who now held over a quarter of the worlds resources at its disposal. A single group with that much power began to frighten Plush. Whispers of unrest and the rumored disappearances began to circulate. Wild conspiracies about a Plush's stuffing being replaced began to take hold in the minds of the distrustful. Discontented with the new Ident chips and “peaceful” re-integration of millions of prisoners back into society; small rebellious bands began to form. Propaganda was their weapon and anarchy was their name. The “Peace” the Broken Circle had brought to their world in such a short span of years they claimed; was built on the corpses of freedom. They cried out that order without freedom was little less than slavery in the eyes of the Plush. They damned the security, and watchful eye of the Broken Circle claiming invasion of privacy. They snarled at the idealistic speeches that screamed of hidden agendas.
The attacks began again. At first no one claimed responsibility. The small acts of terror were pointed directly at Broken Circle institutions, surely this had to be the work of a anarchist cell. More acts followed in quick succession intermittent claims of ownership reared their heads. The Plush holding out for peace felt fear once again at this new aggression. They were unsure of what to feel or who to fear. Propaganda from both sides made compelling arguments. The Broken Circle had brought peace, and assured the Plush prosperity was on its way for good. The Rebels claimed that the peace the Broken Circle brought was at the freedom of liberty.
The Broken Circle took the stage and declared that this rebellious attitude is what nearly lead to the collapse of society less than a decade ago. A collapse the Broken Circle had single handedly saved them from. These were not rebels, rallying against a corrupt regime, these were terrorists attempting to strike lies and fear into the hearts of peaceful Plush.
Within days, almost as a response to the riveting speech, a hospital fell victim to a violent attack. The casualties numbered in the thousands. The local authorities apprehended suspected terrorists attempting to flee the scene. What conspired in the days after was a careful move from peace to all out war. The Broken Circle stood before the Plush of the world at the Trial and declared the so called “rebels” to be enemies of not just the state, but all Plush.. Their existence would not be tolerated. The Broken Circle began to surgically strike at all suspected rebel havens. A new security force was created with the sole purpose of tracking down and capturing the rebellious elements and bringing them to be rehabilitated.
With the processing facilities in full swing the Broken Circle began to police its cities looking for any unrest. If you were suspected of harboring rebels you were taken, if you were suspected of spreading propaganda you were taken, if you were suspected of discontent you were taken. The Broken Circle's iron hand came down upon the world in an attempt to crush all opposition.
The rebels however, just moved further into the dark their means now justified, their beliefs confirmed. They began to organize and form a communication network. Within a year they had a working underground that was beginning to disrupt the Broken Circle's efforts to strip Plush of their free will. At the heart of the quiet rebellion was a band of one hundred squirrels lead by a seemingly untouchable leader, Spartan. They stung at the Broken Circle with such lightning fast ferocity that the devastation they caused was barely settling before they were gone. Hope began to flutter back into the hearts of those underground. They claimed Broken Circle's foundation was beginning to shake. The one hundred were coined “Invincibles” by their underground. They had never lost a man, and impossible odds seemed always to lie within their favor.
The Broken Circle, however was not as disrupted as it seemed, secretly watching the rebels and their actions. The Broken Circle was more than happy to let the Rebels “play” within its world, knowing what its true capabilities.. In one fell swoop, a clever trap was sprung and the one hundred squirrels that were deemed invincible were taken and Stuffed. With these one hundred Plush at his back, the professor of history that had orchestrated the rise of the Broken Circle took center stage. President Brown emerged as the leader and assigned the Invincibles, now truly representative of their name, as his own personal army. With 50% of the world in the palm of his hand, President Brown set his second plan in motion.
Years went by as Brown organized his empire, he strove to consolidate his power into one magnificent city. His plan was realized with a massive effort put forth by his new found Stuffed followers. Two neighboring cities were combined into one sprawling metropolis. A gleaming heart to his body of work. The population soared as Plush poured in from around the globe to occupy this new safe haven. Stuffed and unstuffed were soon mixed until there was no way to tell one from the other. In fact, the mere notion of Stuffed began to disappear as the years rolled by. Browns influence over his Plush pushed the notion of Stuffed from the minds of the unstuffed until it seemed like it was all a nightmare. His Utopia was formed, a perfect city free from crime, danger and war. The cities around Utpoia suffered the consequences of rebel occupation.
Always at the forefront of advancement President Brown revealed to the world it’s notion of peace. The end of world hunger is what they called the Elysium Fields. A violent desert waste on a southern continent was transformed. Within a year the Broken Circle had seeded and grown a vast field of flowers covering every square inch of sand. Edible flowers that the Broken Circle claimed were ever-renewing. The vastness in size painted a swath of color across the planet viewable from space. Pale daisies and bloody tulips waved in the warm winds. Teams of harvesters found the flowers sprouting behind them days after passing over. The Plush rejoiced at the bounty.
Brown assembled his armies to eradicate the rebels from the globe once and for all. Systematically working his way across the globe his influence began to push the rebels from their hiding places. The rebels fell back into the mountainous terrain where the city of New Camelot sat nestled in a foundation of stone. Here they believed they could make a stand and be heard once again. They pleaded with the Plush of New Camelot to aid them in repelling Brown and his Broken Circle forces. The Plush were divided, they had been far from the influence of the warring factions and sought to keep themselves out of the eye of the world. Before their answer could be given Brown and the Broken Circle arrived on their doorstep. Unwilling to give their city to either force New Camelot refused to yield to Browns demands.
A rebel commander by the name of Cromwell had seen this coming for a long time. Having bided his time and carefully stockpiling weapons he and his cell were ready for the siege that closed New Camelot off from the rest of the world. For two years the city held its ground with the subtle help of the rebels. For two years they fought side by side for a common cause of stopping the Broken Circle in its tracks.
Brown was no fool, while the rebels walled themselves in, he carried on with his plan subduing the world around it. After two years of reforming the world Btown returned to New Camelot with his Invincibles. In one fell swoop he crushed their defenses and broke the will of the inhabitants of New Camelot. Thousands gave their lives over the course of the siege and thousands more perished as the fought to retain their city. When it was all over only one force remained, that of the Broken Circle.
Five years later President Brown and his Broken Circle hold 80% of the world in the palm of his hand. The resistance had been rounded up in the cities under his control and reintroduced into society as productive members of the party. The rebels were permanently scattered to the far corners of the world and fell into silence as Browns empire “forgot” about past. The last remnants held no hope of ever retaking the cities from the Broken Circle, the damage was done. Any hint of dissent detected by his citizens, Stuffed or Unstuffed, would find them turning the perpetrator over to the authorities. Stuffing was all but a scary rumor whispered in the darkness or in laughed at in jest.
As Brown solidified his grasp upon the world, the last pockets of unstuffed found two men. They were not heroes, they were not villains, they were up to the highest bidder if you could pay their price. Their names were whispered in fear of bringing them down upon the speaker and those around. Rumors of their ruthless abandon for Plush life gave them their names. Their atrocities could only be committed by denizens sent straight from Hell to punish the world for falling under the spell of the Broken Circle. Those who witnessed their ferocity and wanton destruction of everything around them fell to their knees and prayed. Known as the Right and Left hands of the Devil, they were the single thorn still irritating the Broken Circle. It was unknown whom or what they were paid, some said it was money, some said it was souls, it was irrelevant. In two months the Devils Hands had nearly crippled Brown’s processing network. In what seem a last hurrah, they stormed Brown’s Mansion. Some suspect this was an assassination attempt, some suspect it was more. Brown however, always two steps ahead; had already laid a trap. The Devils Hands were captured and sent to Brown’s main processing plant in the center of his crown jewel, Utopia. This is where our story begins...
The last of the Unstuffed...