On every iteration of the Kupopolis boards thus far (AOL, Sliver, and even one of XStryker’s Kupop Classics blogs), this post from Kusader has made an appearance. It is considered a classic because it appeared at the very beginning of the “kupopolitic” period of Kupopolis storytelling, was one of the first of the “cabinet meeting” genre of posts, and saw Kusader publishing his list of cabinet members as “names on a page” (which went on to become trends in later Kupop storytelling).
Also, it gave us Jay Peterson.
Following this post is a “sequel” I wrote as part of the Defense of Worus plot arc, involving several of these cabinet ministers making a return to the story to rescue Kusader from his imprisonment in communist Kuvalla. It’s not as classic as the Kuvallan cabinet meeting post, but there you go.
Date: 6/6/97 2:36:14 AM
Prior to this post I’d like to make official the names of Kusader’s cabinet members. In earlier posts I’ve randomly drawn up names, but now I’d like to have an official list.
So, without further…stuff…here it is!
Prime Minister (head of Parliament): Kupop Kutos
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Jay Peterson
Minister of Treasury: Karina Kitts
Minister of Defense: Kotos Kyre
Minister of Justice (Attorney General): Kino Koster
Minister of Nature: Kupek Kitson-Krantow
Minister of Agriculture: Koswald Kahm
Minister of Commerce: Kuvira Kent
Minister of Labor: Kuru Korof
Minister of Health and Moogle Services: Kupen Kryst
Minister of Housing and Urban Development: Khronos Kreeon
Minister of Transportation: Kupek Kipstein
Minister of Energy: Kay Komenin
Minister of Education: Kupop Korsten
Meeting Room, Kuvalla Palace, Kuvalla City, Kuvalla
::Kusader has called a meeting of his top governmental aides to discuss the appearance of the Omnisent and Aryth. Present at the meeting are Kusader, Kuvara, Mr. Foo (as he was also at Aryth), the Prime Minister (Kupop Kutos), and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Commerce (Jay Peterson, Kotos Kyre, and Kuvira Kent, respectively.).::
Kusader: So, we all know why I’ve called this meeting.
Mr. Foo: Right.
Kusader: Oh, I probably ought to introduce you to these members of my cabinet. This is Kupop Kutos, the Prime Minister; Jay Peterson, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Kotos Kyre, Minister of Defense; and Kuvira Kent, Minister of Commerce. Guys, this is Mr. Foo, freelance adventurer, part-time army commander, part-time diplomat, and living pie chart.
Mr. Foo: Jay Peterson? That’s not a very mooglish name.
Jay: I was adopted into a human family.
Mr. Foo: I see.
Kusader: So, anyway, Kuvara, Mr. Foo, and I recently attended the Aryth conference. The way I see it, Aryth is a naive new dimension just waiting to be swallowed up. It’s our job to protect it.
Jay: Are you sure that’s wise? We’ve already gotten on the GA’s bad side. They do have the support of most of the indutrialized nations.
Kusader: Exactly my point. No matter how he denies it, Celiose is a megalomaniac. No matter how he tries to justify it, Celiose wants world conquest. He’s like a Mafia leader–“I’m selling protection. You wouldn’t want someone to, say, drop an Ultima missile on your capital?”
Mr. Foo: Nice analogy.
Kusader: Thank you.
Kotos: It’s a noble idea, but we simply don’t have the resources. After the GA’s attacks, we’re doing all we can to help rebuild. Something like that is just too costly. Besides, like Jay said, the GA has most of the nations backing it.
Kusader: Yes, but what if we had the help of a nation with nearly unlimited resources?
Mr. Foo: Hey, you’re not dragging me into this, are you?
Kusader: Well, why not? I’m sure Kevin would assist us in protecting a young new nation.
Mr. Foo: I guess.
Kuvira: Besides, Aryth could be a helpful trading partner. I’m sure the first thing the GA would do after conquering it would be to cut off trade.
Kusader: Right. Mr. Foo, you tell Kevin about our request.
Mr. Foo: Sure.
Subj: Meet-O-Rama 2
Date: 6/6/97 2:36:40 AM
Kusader: Our next item of business is the Omnisent. I would’ve liked the head of the KIA to be here to discuss this with us, but he had some important business.
Kuvara: I like the Omnisent’s ideas. Free, unbiased information available to all who need it.
Kusader: Yes. I think it would be great and welcome them with open arms. But Celiose, Il Duce himself, of course wants to suppress, assimilate, or even destroy it.
Kuvara: Are you assuming this or did you read his mind?
Kusader: Hey, I have my psionics for a reason. Now, I propose that we fully support the Omnisent and help them repel the GA threat.
Mr. Foo: I’m sure Kevin would be fully behind you on that one.
Kupop: Like they say, knowledge is power. I’m sure the reason Celiose dislikes the Omnisent is because others may get ahold of that power he so desperately craves.
Kusader: Well put. Our final item is Atreus Inc., the consumer goods-turned-military company.
Kotos: Atreus could be extremely helpful. Our military development is strapped for raw materials and new designs, to boot.
Kuvira: Right. And because of the…conflicts…we have very few trading partners. Since Atreus has no alliances, we wouldn’t have to worry about getting cut off.
Kusader: Yes. But, like the Omnisent, Atreus is universal–it helps all who need it. Celiose isn’t going to like that.
Kuvira: I say we buy while we can and wait to see if the GA tries anything.
Kusader: Okay, good. Kupop, run those through Parliament. This meeting is now adjourned.
::Kusader’s Chambers, St. Mog’s Island, Kuvalla, Four Months Earlier::
With a start, Kusader woke up.
He wasn’t sure what he felt – his psionics had been gone for years, so it wasn’t a clairsentient awareness – but something was wrong. Outside, he felt – no, heard – something. A scuffle. Bodies hitting the floor.
This was it, he thought. He slid down from his bed and reached for the spear near his night stand. He drew it out of the leather sheath that was wrapped around the spear-tip and spun the weapon over his head – even after all these years, it still glowed with an enchanted light.
Kuerra was finally doing away with him. Even his use as a symbol of the nation was now spent… but one thing was sure, Kusader would not die quietly. He would go down fighting to protect his beloved wife and daughter.
The door burst open, and for a moment Kusader could scarcely believe his eyes. Three Moogles tumbled into the room, their vestigial wings flapping madly to keep the creatures balanced.
“Your Highness!” said the first – Kusader recognized him immediately as Kupop Kotos, the former Prime Minister of Kuvalla. “Pack your things, only what you can carry. Rouse the Queen and Princess. We are leaving… Kupo!”
Kusader relaxed his grip on his spear. “No. I am consigned to my fate. Don’t waste your efforts on this old ruin of a Moogle… if you would fight for Kuvalla, take up the cause of a younger, more able champion.”
“You don’t have time to be noble, sire,” said the second rescuer – Kotos Kyre, a Mog Knight and the former Minister of Defense. “If we’re not underway soon the rest of the guard will be alerted.” Kotos stepped back toward the door, his hands tightly gripping the hilt of his faintly glowing Ultima Blade as he watched the corridor.
The third stepped forward – Jay Peterson, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs. “You’re not safe here, sire. And we have news… about your friend Shane.”
“Shane Lile?” Kusader said. “What’s that tit gone and got himself into this time?”
“Later,” Jay said. “Wake your family, quickly. We have to leave.”
“No time!!” Kotos said, as he rolled back inside the chamber. Weapons fire cascaded in after him, splintering the door. Queen Kuvara screamed and shot out of bed, into Kusader’s arms. In the next room, Kusader heard Kurora shriek.
A pair of Yeti stormed into the room – wearing full body armor, and carrying massive mini-guns. They caught sight of the rallying Moogles and took aim with their weapons, but as they did Kupop unleashed a spell. A wave of magic overtook the Yeti, and their movements slowed considerably. As soon as the spell took hold, Kotos charged his blade with Ultima energy and effortlessly dispatched the two giants.
“Kurora,” Kusader muttered, as he bounded for the next room. He reached the door just as his daughter flung it open.
“Father, what was that noise!?” the girl cried.
Kusader looked over at the slain Yeti by the door, his face hardening. “We have to leave,” he said.
They filed out of the chambers: Kotos taking the lead, flanked on either side by Kupop and Jay Peterson. The Queen and Princess stood between the vanguard, while Kusader and his spear brought up the rear line.
Kusader’s chambers were deep inside the mansion, on the second floor. With the alarm tripped by the rescue effort, the elevators were out of the question – Kuerra’s guards had likely locked them all down.
“The rear stairs,” Kusader said, “We can get to the first floor and fight our way out the main entrance.”
“Hey, who’s rescuing whom here?” Jay Peterson said, with a wink and a “Kupo!”
“Don’t worry, Majesty,” Kupop said, “We have a plan.”
“Doors and windows are all sealed,” Kotos said, “We won’t be able to get out the main entrance. But we can still make our getaway if we reach the basement level. There’s an escape tunnel that goes to the underground harbor.”
“They’ll have Yeti all over that tunnel once they figure out it’s our only way out of the mansion,” Kusader said.
“No choice now,” Kupop said, flapping his wings. “Let’s go.”
Rounding a corner, another patrol of Yeti ambushed them. This time they were able to open fire with their weapons before Kupop could get a spell out.
Quickly, Kusader and Kotos grabbed the Queen and Princess, and darted aside. Jay and Kupop ducked under the weapons fire and each began casting. First, Kupop set an inverted Floatation spell in front of them; the effect was to slow the speed of the incoming needle rounds, making them drop harmlessly to the floor. Jay then cast a Fire spell, only to frown in dismay that it did nothing to harm the Yeti.
“You stupid noob,” Kupop scolded him. “Yetis absorb fire.”
By this time the Yeti had dropped their guns and were rushing the Moogles. Jay and Kupop shrieked, and closed their eyes just as Kotos and Kusader re-emerged. With a thrust from Kusader’s spear and another slash of Kotos’ Ultima-powered blade, the Yetis fell to the floor in a heap.
“Yetis are immune to fire, ice and lightning,” Kupop said, smacking Jay Peterson on the back of his head.
Jay drew out a pistol from a holster at his side. “Okay, so my magic is worthless here. Great. Why didn’t anybody tell me this?”
“We did tell you! Constantly! ‘Jay, remember, you won’t be able to use your spells on the Yeti.’”
“You did not tell me anything of the kind.”
“OH MY GODS, YES WE DID!”
“Can we not do this here, you two!?” Kotos snapped. “Now please, just focus or we’re going to wipe.”
Kusader rushed ahead, followed by his family. Hurriedly, the King’s would-be rescuers followed.
“Here are the stairs,” Kusader said, as the group of moogles came upon a large, thick bolted door. “… Who’s got the key?”
The three rescuers exchanged glances.
“Well,” Kupop said, “We weren’t planning on it being locked…”
Kurora shoved her father aside. She pulled a pair of hairpins out from the fur behind her ears. “This won’t take long,” she said, “Just keep me from getting squished by the Yetis.”
Kusader looked up; a prickling sensation tickled in his whiskers. “Patrol coming,” he said – though he wasn’t sure how he knew this.
The moogles formed battle lines. Kusader and Kotos took the front line, while Kupop and Jay Peterson held the rear.
This time, the group was mixed: a trio of Moogles, each leading an armored Yeti. The Yeti carried an assortment of large, heavy clubs with varying numbers of spikes, and the Moogles were armed with rifles.
Immediately, Kupop blanketed the party with a large Floatation shield; the bullets of the Moogles smacked the barrier and dropped harmlessly to the ground. Meanwhile Kusader and Kotos drew in the charge of the Yeti, and Jay hurled a ball of lightning in the direction of the Moogle riflemen.
The Mog Knight Kotos rolled under the initial swipe of one of the Yeti – its club smashed into the floor and stuck there. Kotos came to his feet with an upward slash that severed the shaft of the Yeti’s weapon, then on the backswing he caught the Yeti in its soft underbelly. The green-blue Ultima-charged blade sizzled as it cut cleanly through armor, flesh and bone, dropping the Yeti to the ground in two bloody chunks.
Kusader took two at once. He met the first attacker with a glancing parry from his spear; the momentum of the blow set his spear spinning in his hands, and he twisted round to let the razor edge of the spear-tip slash the side of the second Yeti’s neck. A jet of blood spurted up from the fresh wound, and before either could react Kusader had spun round and thrust with all his strength, piercing the first Yeti through the torso. The Yeti slid backward as Kusader withdrew his wepaon, spinning round again and bringing his spear low to the ground, sweeping the second Yeti’s legs out from under him. He collapsed to the floor with a loud crash, whereupon Kusader finished him with a quick downward-thrust through his eye.
Kotos and Kusader looked up from their kills, only to see the trio of enemy Moogles had been dealt with – nicely fried by Jay Peterson’s lightning magic.
Kurora stepped back and opened the door just as the fighting ended. Without more words, the party slipped inside, shutting the door behind them. Coming out on the first floor, Kotos took point again and lead the group down winding corridors. The light was tinged red, and the sound of blaring klaxons was ever present.
They encountered no more patrols right up to the door into the basement levels. Kotos took to the access panel and quickly mashed a series of buttons, causing the door to slide open with a hiss.
“Not far now,” Kupop said, “Once we hit the tunnel we’re home free. I don’t think they’ve made it here yet.”
“Here they come,” Kotos said. Behind the group, farther down the corridor, a rather large patrol was making its way. The room shook with the thunderous approach of more Yeti than the party could reasonably handle at once.
The Mog Knight stared down the oncoming horde. “You really think you’re done being a hero, Sire?” he asked.
Kusader stood beside Kotos and drew up his spear. “Maybe. But today I will fight.”
Kotos smiled. “No you won’t, Sire. Today you will live.”
Kotos pounded Kusader in the gut with the hilt of his sword, sending him doubling over backward. Jay and Kupop caught the King, and pulled him back into the stairwell, as Kotos turned to the access panel.
“Kotos!” Kusader gasped, as the door slid shut and the loyal Mog Knight turned to face the Yeti. The King struggled against the other two Moogles, who were joined by the Queen and Princess in dragging Kusader along.
“Don’t invalidate his sacrifice, sire,” Jay Peterson said, “Kotos believed in you – make him proud!! Come on!!”
Recovering, Kusader reluctantly joined the others, and the group picked up their pace. They emerged from the stairs in a basement storage level. As they scampered toward the far end of the dimly lit room, they heard the sound of the door above crashing inward, and the howls of the Yeti in pursuit.
“… Kotos,” Kusader moaned, clenching his teeth.
Kuvara, the exiled Queen, took Kusader by the hand and lead him after the others.
“Here we go,” Kupop said, as he came to the wall. He pressed in against one of the wall tiles, and a hidden panel slid open. “Hurry, everyone in!!”
The Moogles rushed inside as quickly as they could, but caught sight of the emerging throng of Yeti just as the hidden panel grinded shut.
“Crap,” Jay Peterson said, “They saw us!”
“So move, idiot!” Kupop hissed, as the rest of the party leapt into a sprint.
The escape tunnel was Moogle-scaled – one of the few parts of the palace that wasn’t built to accomodate humans or the much-larger Yeti. Which was why the fleeing Moogles could easily make out the sounds of the Yeti crushing the very stone of the walls as they attempted to continue the chase.
The moogles eventually put enough distance between themselves and the Yeti that they could no longer hear the smashing of stone. They emerged in the underground harbor – to find a patrol of Kuvallan soldiers there waiting for them.
They sprayed the party with weapons fire almost immediately. Kupop quickly erected his Float barrier, but not before one of the needle rounds struck Jay Peterson in the chest.
Jay fell forward, clutching his wound. Kuvara screamed, and Kusader fell into the ranks of the guards with his spear, tearing them to pieces.
More guards were coming. Kusader kneeled by Jay’s side.
“Leave him,” Kupop screeched, “We have to go!”
Kuvara and Kurora pulled the King to his feet. He was covered in blood, matting his white-brown fur and staining his clothing. Jay twitched and muttered plaintively as the party left him behind.
The group raced down the network of catwalks to the docking floor below. They dodged ricocheting weapons fire, as pursuing guards took potshots at them from the levels above. When they reached the edge of the concrete, Kupop pulled a two-way communicator off his belt.
“Barndoor this is Horse,” Kupop said, “Open up, over.”
Weaponsfire sprayed down just then, as the Kuvallan soldiers took up positions on a landing directly above the group. The Moogles dove for cover, while Kupop threw up yet another barrier. He groaned against the strain; his mana was very nearly depleted. Harmless shells clattered to the floor all around him as they struck the Float barrier and were robbed of their momentum.
There was then a splash from the water, as a submarine slowly began to surface. The hatch opened up, and a Moogle – Kusader recognized him as Khronos Kreeon, the former Minister of Housing and Urban Development – emerged, firing off a grenade launcher at the guards.
“DIE COMMIE MOTHERFUCKERS!!” Khronos screamed, cackling maniacally.
The explosion sent several of them flying off the landing, but they quickly returned fire, turned their weapons on the emerging submarine instead. Khronos, for all his bravado, was riddled with needleshot, and his shredded corpse slid back down inside the hatch of the submarine.
Just then, a flash of arcane fire engulfed the enemy soldiers. They screamed as they were burned, and several leapt over the railing as their smoldering corpses splashed down in the water below. Up above, Jay Peterson’s drained body collapsed and he breathed his last, smoke trailing up from his fingertips.
“Inside,” Kupop said, panting, as he withdrew his concentration from the barrier. Quickly, the surviving Moogles bounded across the divide between the dock’s edge and the submarine, and filed down the hatch.