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About this City Journal

Mariah. It's a small city-state in southeastern Canada with an American flair for drama. It's home base for Roland Smith, Mark Blately and their upstart driving company, Roll Lately...

Entries in this City Journal

TBreezey

I'm kind of on a roll lately (lol) and I've decided to go ahead and put some promo pics up for all the major cities in Mariah.  There are a few more up north (South Stringendo, Stringendo and Mariah) that I'll get to in future updates.  For now, here's something to keep my CJ towards the top of the heap!

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Barelli-May13451250730291.png

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EastMarshall-May22011250730192.png

Largella-Mar19081250731604.png

I'll be visiting Largella in coming updates (as soon as I finish it gahhh).

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*Downtown in progress.

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Alrighty.  As far as Part Three goes, Roland will pay his requested visit to Arellus Weaponry in downtown

Barelli.  He'll uncover more about why Mathias is fueding with the rest of the fam, and there'll be more

driving shots!

Stay tuned for...

Chapter 1, Part Three- A Prophecy Paved in Blood

TBreezey

In burgeoning Regency Hills in Aranell, a white van pulled up outside of the house Roland Smith was

nearly shot at.

CJ31.jpg

A man left the house with a grey hooded sweatshirt on, and walked quietly to the back of the van.

Before the man could get to the back door of the van, a voice called from the house.

"Make sure you take care of everything COMPLETELY before you come back here.  That scum

has probably told everyone about it by now, so I don't want any more news getting out about it."

It was the man who threatened Roland.

"Alright Mathias," said the man getting into the van. "I'll make sure no one knows a thing."

The van pulled off down the road and Mathias went back inside the modest house on the end of

the roundabout...

CJ32.jpg

As the man who was in the back of the van and the driver exited Interstate 23, the man in the back

noticed copious amounts of smoke pouring from the tailpipe.  He knocked on the divider...

"Hey Mik, I think we should stop and check this out, man.  It's really smoking back here..."

"We had specific orders not to stop, so we keep going," the driver said.

CJ33.jpg

Mik, the driver, skidded onto Beckrich Drive, which ran straight through downtown Aranell.  Hoss,

the passenger in the back of the van, noticed the smoke seeping in through the holes in the floor

of the dilapidated van, but before he could yell out to Mik, the noxious fumes had knocked him out.

Mik kept driving, making it clear through downtown and halfway to the Colonial Center when...

CJ34.jpg

Police and fire crews arrived five minutes later, to find the charred remains of Hoss and Mik,

along with a scrap of paper:

COLONIAL BUILDING: 2159 COLONIAL BLVD.

The police also found a diffused bomb, which had evidently blown up too early...





Roland Smith sat, worried, at his desk in Pascarelli as news rolled in about a white van that had

probably been headed to the Colonial Building, the home of the state senate seat for Mariah,

exploded.  His eyes darted from the phone to the flat panel television on the wall, waiting for a call

from the police, because he was sure the man had told about him...

When the phone did ring, Roland nearly fell out of his seat before he could answer it.

"Roll...Roll Lately Limousines this is Roland how may I help you?"

"Yes I was wondering if you would mind carrying an elderly man out to South Bend from Aranell?"

Roland didn't know South Bend very well...  It was the end of the line for the Five Star Memorial

Highway that ran through Annaheim, and he knew of nothing past that.

"We sure can sir, would you mind telling me where in Aranell you are?"

Roland knew he was in Regency Hills before the man said anything.  He left to pick him up, along

with Mark, who was picking another client up near the same address.  Roland had not told Mark

anything, but he suspected he knew by Roland's mood that this was his least favorite part of

town now.

CJ35.jpg

Roland picked up the frail old man at the address he had been provided, and Mark drove off to

pick up his client also.

"If you could just carry me to this address in South Bend, I would be more than happy to give you

double fare, young man."

Roland sped off.

CJ36.jpg

The spring had caught up with the trees, Roland noticed.  They had sprung blossoms and

looked more alive now, a few weeks after his drive through Pascarelli with Mathias...

CJ38.jpg

The man in the car noticed the purple blossoms too, as Roland sped along the Barelli Bypass

Highway towards Pascarelli, Annaheim, Marshall and South Bend.  It was a long trip, and the

man had not yet said anything.

"Anything I can get for you sir?" Roland asked.

The man appeared not to hear and kept glancing out the window at the trees he had just

commented on.

CJ37.jpg

They left Aranell and entered Pascarelli when the man said something:

"Roland...  my name is Marius Sullera.  I know the man who threatened you last week..."

"How... who..."

"Don't ask questions, just go the address and I'll explain everything there.  Don't worry about me,

I'm not like him.  There are things about that man that I will never personally understand."

Roland obliged...

CJ39.jpg

He was near the road to Annaheim before he dared say anything.  The man told him that the man

who had threatened him was a modern revolutionary, who was planning to blow up the Colonial

Building, and the same man had failed earlier today, but he was still at large, only without two of

his finest henchmen.

The man didn't say anything about who HE was though, and Roland was still very confused

about a lot of things, but he kept driving.

CJ312.jpg

In Annaheim, while he was passing by the Annaheim Metropolitan Airport, Roland noticed that his

rear left tire had lost a significant amount of air, but Marius, in the back, didn't seem to have

noticed, so Roland chose to continue, afraid of stopping, especially in that part of town.

CJ313.jpg

Before passing through the newly renovated East Jackson Housing Authority headquarters,

Roland realized he had no choice but to stop and repair the tire.

"I'm sorry, sir but I'm going to have to stop and fix the..."

"It's ok Roland, you may fix the tire and I'll sit and wait.  You wouldn't mind if I made a few phone

calls though, would you?"

Roland of course didn't mind, told him so, and proceeded to fix the tire.

He glanced nervously over his shoulder often, and a few times saw Marius looking at him while

talking on his cell phone.  Nervously, in ten minutes, they were back on the road.

CJ315.jpg

Passing by the Arthur Fieldman Wind Farm, on the Five Star Highway through Annaheim, Marius

knocked on the divider, and Roland rolled it down to speak.

"I can tell you're nervous Roland...  There's no need to be.  I'm not going to hurt you, and I'm not

going to tell anyone else to."

"I know sir, I just don't understand who you are exactly and how you..."

"Ah, yes.  That'll be answered shortly Roland, just get us to South Bend."

CJ316.jpg

In Marshall, a small provincial outskirt town to the east of Annaheim, Roland noticed three

White Castle restaurants in quick succession, and wondered how they expected to survive in

this vicious economy (many businesses were closing up shop in Aranell, and one skyscraper in

Barelli was demolished after the corporation went bankrupt).  Roland guessed this would,

unfortunately, be the most advantageous time to enact a coup, when the government was its

weakest.

CJ317.jpg

As soon as he entered East Marshall, the landscape changed dramatically. (Included is the

road map of East Marshall to show how desolate it is.  The lines are all streets.)

CJ318.jpg

Five minutes later, the Five Star Highway ended and State Road 20 began, carving a straight

path through South Bend, the least populous area in Mariah.

"We're nearly there, sir." Roland said on the intercom.

"Good, good.  And for heaven's sake stop calling me sir, Roland, it's insulting to you to have to

call another grown man sir.  You can call me Marius."

Roland prefered not to call him anything...

CJ319.jpg

Roland saw a few stores approaching, and Marius asked if they could stop so he could go in

and grab a drink.  Roland stopped, and told Marius that no, he didn't prefer anything to drink.

As they left, Roland wondered when the small gas station would be exploding...

CJ320.jpg

Roland swung the limo onto a bumpy dirt road and drove for five miles to the end of the road to a

gleaming mansion, a welcomed distraction from the farmland.

"Okay sir... er... Marius.  That'll be $596.57, please..."

"Yes of course."

Marius handed over the money, with a slip of paper with an address on it, and Roland wondered

why these men liked playing with address slips so much.

"Any questions you have about me or about why I know who I do will be answered in that building,

in downtown Barelli.  Go there after 8 pm and tell the security guard that I sent you there.  He will

send you to my office, Room 3218.  There, in the desk drawer, you will find the file of one Mathias

Rosenbaum.  He is the man who tried to scare you, and I believe he needs you for more than you

know, and more than you would like to know.  I trust you will not betray me, Roland?"

"Of... of COURSE not Marius, but what am I supposed to do after I have that information?"

"Just come and see me when you see fit, Roland, and I'll tell you anything else you need

to know" Marius said.  "Goodbye."

"Goodbye, Marius..."

Roland sped down the Highway, and decided to go to the address to at least see what building

it was.  Forty five minutes later...

CJ321.jpg

Roland could see the title plaque on the huge red skyscraper from the corner of the road.  The building

he needed to get into was the Plaza Arellus, and the oldest weapons manufacturer in the state was

headquartered there.  Marius Arellus, grandson of legendary Marcus Arellus, had just handed him the

keys to defend the city and the state from Mathias Rosenbaum.

The problem with all of this is that Mathias Rosenbaum had a grandfather, also.

His grandfathers name was Marcus Arellus.

Roland's stomach turned and his heart began to beat in his throat.  He didn't want any of THIS...  He just

wanted to roll with the rich and famous.

Instead, he was now doomed to die with the poor and the infamous.

Stay tuned next time for...

Chapter 1, Part Three- A Prophecy Paved in Blood

TBreezey

I realized that I left some pictures off of Part One that were for familiarization

of Aranell, so I'm going to put them here as a kind of teaser for Part Two

and for an overview of Aranell.  Thanks for all the views so far and comments

ratings are always welcomed and appreciated greatly!

aranellmar2306125070164.png

The main subdivision of Aranell, Regency Hills, is located in the midlle-east of the map, with

seasonal woods winding throughout.  Roll Lately has recently expanded service to this part

of town, as evident in Chapter 1, Part One.

aranellmar2606125070166.png

Many wealthy residents of Aranell choose to buy their first home here, mainly to sell in the booming real estate market

here.  Many students of the university in Barelli (Interurban University of Mariah) also choose to live in the quiet

neighborhood.  Because of this, many families have lived in this one neighborhood for their entire lives.

aranellmar3106125070167.png

To accentuate business in Aranell, Roll Lately decided to expand their fleet of cars to five, allowing one of the

new drivers to answer to calls every ten minutes in areas distant of Pascarelli, the city that their office is in,

if business ever gets that high.

As far as Part Two goes, Roland will meet another man who will have interesting news on the man who

threatened to shoot Roland in Part One.  The story is already heating up as Mark takes control of the business

and hires a few more good men to drive the ever-expanding business forward.

Chapter 1, Part Two- Viva! Viva! Viva!

Coming Soon!

TBreezey

The upstart limousine associates Mark and Roland had established their offices in pristine

Pascarelli the week before today.  No business had come through yet, but neither of the

twenty-somethings seemed to mind, as they expected it to be slow for the first few weeks,

while people slowly found their way into Barelli and got their hands on a brochure produced

for Roll Lately Limousine Co.  But one Monday, at 10:00 am, Roland was sitting at the desk

of the newly renovated office playing solitaire when the phone rang...

"Roll Lately Limousine this is Roland how may I help you?"

"Yes, I understand you can pick me up from anywhere in Mariah?" said a man, probably 40,

with a rouch voice.

"Yes, yes that's right sir!" Roland said, jumping up from his game.

"Well I need a pick-up at Governor Choi's mansion please.  As soon as possible too,

because I've got urent business to attend to in Aranell and I assume you will deliver me

there?"

"Yes sir!  We'll be over in about ten minutes!"

"Thanks..."

With a click the man hung up, and Roland called Mark with the news as he ran out to the

limo out front to pick up the man.  Ten minutes later...

CJ21.jpg

Roland got out to open the door for the man, but it was obvious he was in a hurry, as he

quickly got in himself and snapped to Roland:

"No need, no need let's just go please..."

"Oookay sir I'll have us over in Aranell in about twenty minutes.  Would you like anything to

drink or any music to listen to on the way?"

"No, no thats fine..."

Roland drove on, and he was midway through the forested drive to the Barelli Bypass

Highway 231 when the man spoke again.

CJ22.jpg

"Why are all the trees dead here?  It's not very appealing to drive through such dead terrain.

Perhaps you should have gone a different route?" the man said.

"Well, these trees usually fade away during this time of year, but during the spring time when

they're in full bloom, this is a beautfiul drive, one of my favorites, actually."

"Hmmph" the man grunted.

CJ23.jpg

Roland hopped onto the Bypass Highway and was running about 75 mph when the man

lurched in the backseat, apparently sickened by Roland's quick lane change.  Roland couldn't

see this though, because the privacy screen had been raised per the man's request.  The man's

eyes shifted to the front to make sure Roland hadn't seen this.

"It's working too quickly..." the man said quietly to himself.

The man knocked on the screen and Roland rolled it down to see what was the matter.

"Everything alright sir?"

"Yes, yes I was just wondering if we could speed up at all?"

"I'll do my best sir, just sit back and try to relax.  There's an AC control panel above you if you get

too hot."

"Yeah, thanks" said the man.

CJ24.jpg

Roland rolled through the border to Aranell and the man continued to cluch his stomach

tightly behind the safety of the privacy screen.

CJ26.jpg

Roland was nearing the interchange for Interstate 23 when the man yelled in pain loudly

enough for Roland to hear, so he rolled down the screen quickly.

"Sir, are you sure you're ok, do you need me to stop?"

"Don't ask any more questions and I'll double the fare for your tip.  Just step on it, please I need

to get to this address quickly" the man said, handing Roland a slip of paper:

6480 Independance Court

"Yes sir I know exactly where this is.  About five more minutes.  Is that ok?"

"Yes that's fine just try and avoid traffic."

CJ28.jpg

Rolan's rolled down the interchange at I-23, heading on a faster route to Regency Hills, the

neighborhood the adress was located in.

CJ29.jpg

"Take this next right..." the man said, obviously warn out and sick.

"Yes sir!"

Roland took the next turn with special quickness, as he could tell the man was about to be sick,

and Roland was determined to keep his new limo as clean as possible.

CJ210.jpg

"It's the last house at the roundabout..."

"Yes sir."

A few seconds later:

"Here we are sir, that'll be $158.67 please.  We take all major..."

The man swiftly reached into his coat pocket and pulled a revolver, silver and menacingly shiny,

putting it right against Roland's head.

"You're from Cromartia, right my boy?" the man said, a cold, murderous, tone to his voice.

"Yes... yes sir..."

"Well you know the price YOU pay when a bullet goes into your brain then, then right?"

Roland panicked, and closed the door so the handicapped man on the street wouldn't see any

of this unfolding.

"Yes sir I do just please..."

"SHUT UP.  No one can know about the trip you just gave me today.  If I learn that a single

person has heard of this, I'll hunt you down and re-teach you what'll happen personally.

And I'm a strict teacher, you lucky s.o.b."

Roland nodded stiffly, and the man stumbled from the limo, and ran, clutching his side,

to the front door of the house, gun still drawn.  A man with a hood on opened the door to

admit him, before the man even got to the door.  Roland didn't dare look into his face, he

just turned the cab around in the roundabout and raced down the street, back onto the

highway, heading for his office in Pascarelli...

CJ211.jpg

Roland had learned the hard way that trafficking the rich carried with it a harsh reality.  The rich

had power, and that power bought them access to all sorts of dark materials.  He hoped that the

man wouldn't be appearing on the news any time soon, and that no ominous news was on the

radio about an attack on the governor...

Who was this man?

Why did he have a gun while visiting the governor's mansion?

See what happens next week in Chapter 1, Part Two- Viva! Viva! Viva!

TBreezey

Hi everyone!

For years, businessmen and women clamored for more from their home cities of Cromartia, Enorell and Elizabeth. 

They commuted to and fro in their own vehicles, clogging the major arteries of the interstate system and filling the

air with smog, the air over in the business districts often as thick as a nice crab bisque.  One interstate was not

often traveled though...

Annaheim-Nov17301250474935.png

Interstate 23, heading north out of Cromartia, led to Mariah, a pleasant, though small, region of cities that was growing

with promise.  The heart of the state, Barelli, was already a bustling small metropolis when Roland Smith and

Mark Blately decided to found Roll Lately Limousine Co. out of the smaller city of Pascarelli to the south.

Fresh from the bustle of Cromartia is Annaheim, the large city that's the southernmost in the province of Mariah. 

As you drive north on I-23, it's obvious when you enter Mariah.  One side of the interstate is blanketed in beautiful

seasonal trees while the other is a sprawl of farmland that has spilled over from Cromartia

Annaheim-Nov30301250474976.png

Quickly though it becomes obvious that you are leaving the fields behind because, while still in

Annaheim, the trees fade and a wealth of industry forcefully takes over the skyline. 

Annaheim-Dec3301250474998.png

Roland and Mark took this into consideration when choosing Pascarelli as their home

base, which will become more obvious in the next update.  It seems that Annaheim is

its own industrial hell-hole, but more to the east in the same city, there is a pleasantly

green business district, with a plethora of low-rise, high-wealth buildings.

Annaheim-Dec13301250475034.png

It will be interesting to see how Roland and Mark shape their future in this growing

metropolis, and how the people they meet and drive will shape them.  Many characters

await, and much money is to be made...

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