Certified Idiot: Photo by Cajsa Lithell
|HKM Security Guard|
|Type||Henchman, courier, desinformation expert, rabblerouser & schemer|
|Home||Progresse, New Västervik|
|Employer||Hjortkloe Manufaktur (HKM)|
|Tribe||Conductor Tribe of Tåget|
|Former Employer||Info Direkt|
|Years in Stråssa|
|2144||Served and betrayed Info Direkt; betrayed Gullstäutar Köpmannagille; caused war between Chaosists and The Holy Church.|
|2145||Roamed the streets as murderer and robber; fouled Svarta Svärden's vengeance by striking a protection deal with the Chaosists; target of uncounted revenge mobs; accidentally ended up a mercenary on the side of Hjortkloe Manufaktur and became their utterly loyal henchman.|
|2146||Seemingly abandoned by HKM; sold Kemskrap; revealed dirty dealings of the Water Federation to the Dukhi in an interrogation of the last Water Federalist in Stråssa; leaked secrets from the archive of Info Direkt, then handed over said archive to a field agent of Hjortkloe Manufaktur.|
|2147||Sold Rutteskrutt and tried to publicly deny the infamous visit to a mutant brothel undertaken by Jonas Hjortkloe; betrayed Pansarvargarna; impersonated the Devil to Devilmen; mustered and led the great Lion Hunt of 2147, which saw Leo lynched by a mob for the sake of Konduktören's lies.|
|2148||Sold HKM Comics; wanted by Leo and hunted down by bounty hunters; frequently shot, stabbed and ambushed; participated in the Battle of the Brooms; befriended Casino Backen; received Certificate of Idiocy; hunted paranoid Russian scientist Yermak fruitlessly.|
|2149||Will allegedly accompany a small squad of HKM agents, and sell comics.|
|Out of Game|
Security Guard Konduktör Én (colloquially: Konduktör'n) (also known as: Borstis, Sköldis, Kvasten, Idiot) is a both an adopted tribesman of the Conductor Tribe of Tåget, a certified idiot, and a henchman currently employed by Hjortkloe Manufaktur following displays of absolute mercenary loyalty during Jonas Hjortkloe's failed expedition to Stråssa in 2145. This traitor, liar and murderer proved his mettle when paid and placed under superior (some would snarl, arrogant) leadership. Hjortkloe Manufaktur cracked the code for turning this villainous rascal into a competely loyal asset, and he is forever in their thrall.
The origins of Konduktör Én are shrouded in mystery. Some have noted his cameleontine tendency to mimic the dialects of others, which put his very homeland and mother language in doubt. Still, his earliest known affiliation is with Tåget, from Rälsa-Krylbo in what was once southern Dalarna. Tåget is an oligarchic triple-tribal union obsessed with trains, yet with an alarmingly faulty understanding of railways and locomotives, as seen in their new project, the Thundering Grand Train. Konduktör'n has never left his maverick tribe, yet true to his sly nature, he has simultaneously worked as employee for other factions in parallell with Tåget.
Konduktör Én mustered and led the infamous Lion Hunt of 2147.
- 1 Known Career
- 2 Leaked Archive Documents of Info Direkt
- 3 Lion Hunt of 2147 Photography Gallery
- 4 HKM Comics in Stråssa
Courier of Info Direkt (2144)
His first employer was Info Direkt (a front for money laundering) in 2144, headed by Direktör Morten von Müller. On the surface, Konduktör Én seemed to be the company's best employee, for he carried out his courier and information harvesting duties with slavish energy, trudging up gravel slopes in full armour merely to hand over advertisement papers. Yet behind Direktör von Müller's back, Konduktör Én constantly betrayed his boss and leaked information. For example, Info Direkt was hired by Jonas Hjortkloe to spy on KÅP, Red Peoples Front and the Chaosists to check if these anarchic groups were collaborating (they were not). Konduktör Én carried out the lenghty questioning of members from all these groups, yet he simultaneously leaked information about this espionage mission commissioned by HKM to the Red Peoples Front. Konduktör'n also fought, and lost, an arena combat together with his courier colleague Erik Asbester. He entered it with a whole cloak made of sewn-together gloves, and whirled round and round, letting it fly in a random direction while shouting "The glove is thrown!"
Direktör Morten von Müller was threatened and hunted by the Gullstäutar Köpmannagille from Gotland, who claimed that he owed them a huge debt in money. This tense issue finally seemed to be resolved after von Müller and his Dukhi scout Attall were knifed down by Gutar in rainwater puddles on the gravel streets of Stråssa in the dead of the night. Following this violent deed, Direktör von Müller underwent a life-saving surgical operation involving cerebral bionic implantation, carried out by ARS&e Mechanics. These procedures deleted his memory of the recent throat-cutting.
Yet the snake known as Konduktör Én then went in secrecy to Gullgaukn, the leader of Gullstäutarna, making her promise to never reveal the source for the following crucial piece of information, and told her that "The Direktör has hired assassins to repay a disservice which he no longer remembers." Upon swallowing this blatant lie, Gullgaukn swore in surprise, and had one of her underlings cut down Direktör von Müller a second time. A rowdy verbal confrontation followed where von Müller denied any hiring of assassins. As Gullstäutarna left, Gullgaukn glared murderously at Konduktör'n (who stood at rigid attention), but stuck to her word and did not disclose her source after all.
Konduktör Én also spoiled a hidden ambush by roaring and charging, and unwittingly had his fellow mercenary raiders mowed down in the darkness (except for his Info Direkt colleague Attall of the Dukhi tribe, who continued to snipe away at the targets of the failed ambush). This willingness to attack recklessly held true the next day, when the defeated wrecking host of the Holy Church returned to Stråssa and found the Sinterplant swarming with enemies. Borstis went in the front along with a heavily armored fighter from the Church, and he advised the holy man to: "Kill them all and let God sort out his own!" Which the warrior priest did not heed, but instead cautioned against.
Shortly afterwards, Konduktör'n, and a couple of other raiders, initiated a headhunt on Chaosists in the name of the Holy Church (cutting down a couple of people who were not Chaosists, and then roaring "The Swedish Church sends their regards!" into the Chaosist camp), which quickly escalated. In response, all Chaosists marched to the Church. There they confronted a lone priest, accusing the Holy Church of the Headhunt. The priest opened his arms as if to forgive the Chaosists for all of their sins, and was in return stabbed in the chest with a knife. A violent firefight erupted on the street, and all the Chaosists were mowed down.
A short while before, Konduktör Én had emerged from the Bar in Sinterverket. There he found Gullgaukn standing alone with her back to him. Reasoning that offense is the best defense, he rushed out and cut her down from behind, with a snide remark that the Direktör was lying (and that he wouldn't loot her as a mark of politeness, have a good day!). As he strutted away, he was shot down from behind by the two non-Chaosists that he had assaulted shortly before. There, Gullstäutarna and the non-Chaosists almost came to blows over who should take Konduktör Én captive. Almost: "The Chaosists are searching for him!" "Yes, but the Swedish Church also want him!" The non-Chaosists won the argument, and dragged the broom-crowned bastard to the Holy Church, where the churchmen roared and pointed weapons in righteous fury at the villain. Then, the two vengeful non-Chaosists dragged the wounded Konduktör Én to the Chaosist camp, yet found not a soul in that place. This was because they had all marched out to retaliate against the Holy Church; every last one of them...
Following this uproar, Konduktören's employer von Müller actually went to the Church on his own initiative, explaining that it had all been a misunderstanding, and extracted both an apology and a Heaven or Hell scratchcard from the Holy Church. Not only that, but Direktör Morten von Müller told Konduktör Én, his most trusted co-worker and diligent courier, that he would get to inherit Info Direkt if the Direktör would die in that night's grand fight. This revelation was quickly regretted, however, since von Müller discovered the sheer extent of Konduktören's betrayal. The courier disappeared from Stråssa. Enraged, von Müller slaved away at an investigation into who this treacherous Konduktör Én actually was. Yet a few weeks afterward, Direktör Morten von Müller himself disappeared.
Roaming Bandit Employed By Hjortkloe Manufaktur (2145)
After the disappearance of Info Direkt last year, Konduktör'n had roamed the Närke landscapes and streets of Stråssa as a highwayman and murdering robber. In summer 2145, he joined forces briefly with a severely mutated Erik Asbester again, and together this duo went on a bloody bandit spree through the slums of Stråssa. Together, they robbed and gutted uncounted victims, from a substantial number of clans and raider groups, including Hjortkloe Manufaktur and the Chaosists. Soon, however, Erik Asbester tired of this dirty work, and his mutant instincts carried him elsewhere. Left alone was Konduktör Én, who carried on his daylight robberies. Suddenly, he overreached after hiding behind a bush and jumping two members of Svarta Svärden on a slope. He had incurred the Finnish wrath, and his cunning mind scrambled to find a way out of this corner of certain vengeance. Finally, he knew exactly what to do.
Konduktör'n marched straight to the Chaosists, who were preparing a large raid into the wilderness, and had been hiring mercenaries and freelance fighters. Konduktör Én presented himself to them, and swore that they would have his sword and his shield for free in the upcoming battles, if only they protected him against all those who wanted his head. When the Chaosists wondered why he was hunted, Konduktör Én declared that there is only anarchy and chaos in this world, where the law of the jungle reign. As such he had murdered and robbed way too many people, and now found himself the target of incoming revenge. At this, the Chaosists laughed, and had to agree that he was right: There was only chaos in this world, so welcome aboard our raid.
As mercenaries and scattered Chaosists slowly mustered in the relaxed Chaosist camp, Konduktör'n shot paranoid glances left and right. And suddenly they came! Like a flash of lighting, the entire troop of Svarta Svärden darted into the heart of the Chaosist camp. It all happened in an instant. Arvid, one of the previously robbed Finns spun round Konduktör Én and put a pistol to his back, yet before he could say a word or pull the trigger, Konduktör'n yelled out: "The deal! The deal! Don't let them kill me!" Whereupon a wild firefight erupted, with all of Svarta Svärden being mowed down by bewildered Chaosists. Thus were Svarta Svärden denied their sweet vengeance, and Konduktör'n escaped unscathed from their wrath.
Worse yet was what was to befall Arvid. His bleeding body did not escape the clutches of the Chaosists, for he was dragged inside a container, drugged and ripped open. Blood spurted from his mutilated body as the Chaosists robbed him of an inner organ under traumatic torture. The rest of the Black Swords presumed Arvid to be dead, and had started to arrange a tombstone for their fallen comrade, yet a horribly abused Arvid eventually limped back to camp, scarred for life.
The Chaosist raid force set out as afternoon gave way to evening, yet Konduktör Én proved false to his oath. For during the confusion of battle, he swapped sides with the Chaosists' victorious foes by crawling up to one of their medics in the dark and insisting he had been fighting on their side all along. They believed him, and so Konduktör'n betrayed the Chaosists for another raider group. He stayed with a group of mercenaries to defend an old silo, yet suddenly the overwhelming mercenary forces of Hjortkloe Manufaktur arrived in full splendour, pumping music and sporting magnificient lamps. The defenders consulted between themselves quickly, and Konduktör'n was one of those who loudly advocated to swap sides. They did so, and by this betrayal they all ended up on the triumphant faction's side, and partook of the spoils. As HKM won the first lantern raid for guiding the Skyvault to Earth, Jonas Hjortkloe asked with supreme confidence in a nigh-unbearable manner: "How does it feel like to be on the winning side?"
It was a gloriously arrogant scene, and Konduktör Én became spellbound by this display of raw financial muscles and military power. Back in the Hjortkloe expedition's camp, Konduktör Én stood in line to receive his spoils for his double betrayal that took him to the winning side. Yet as he was handed his caps, one of Jonas' companions pointed out that Konduktör'n had been the very same bastard that had cut him down and mugged him earlier that day. In response to this, Konduktören's sly tongue answered that "It was a golden opportunity. In business you need to be able to seize those, young man!" In response, Jonas' companion sternly pointed out that Manufakturen valued loyalty, to which Konduktör Én for once spoke truthfully as he replied: "I will remember that."
And so Konduktör Én returned again and again to serve Hjortkloe Manufaktur as a shield-brute (in between getting stomped and lynched by revenge mobs for his previous stunts as highwayman), a mercenary lackey that would do anything for his employers, explicitly against payment. Remembering the text on Jonas Hjortkloe's coffee cup last year (during a meeting between Jonas and Morten von Müller, which Konduktör'n attended as guard at attention), he once roared "Rather dead than red!" during a fight, earning him the liking of the HKM people and bonus money. Once, out in the bush, Jonas Hjortkloe and Konduktör Én were walking around the old silo, looking for enemies. Konduktör'n noticed that Jonas' shoestring was loose, and told him so. As they rounded the corner, Jonas took an arrogant stance and barked out: "Five caps to the one who ties my shoestring!" In disgust, one of his mercenaries swore and left the scene, thus forsaking his payment. Instead it was Konduktör'n who would tie the shoestring of the heir of Hjortkloe Manufaktur.
During one of the many evening wrecking missions, the retinue of Jonas Hjortkloe asked themselves what callsign they should use in order to identify friendly forces. Remembering Jonas' cup from last year, Borstis suggested that they use "Red!" and "Dead!" Jonas seized upon this immediately with enthusiasm, saying "Yes! Red! Dead!" Yet one of his subordinates argued that "Noo, we can't have 'Red' as our callsign! We need something else instead. The callsign shall be 'Code Blue'!" And Code Blue it was, yet the henchman's eagerness was noted
Wherever the forces of Hjortkloe marched, Borstis marched at the fore with high strides and shield raised. He would charge enemies through whistling bullets, meeting death or glory at a command from his paymasters. He would crawl long distances on his knees at the front of a line of HKM warriors taking cover behind his shield in order to reach fortfified huts. He would protect his employers against incoming fire with himself and his shield, and he would take uncounted wounds in so doing. He served his masters, and he served them willingly and eagerly. For the arrogant, money-wasting brats of Hjortkloe Manufaktur had succeeded with something no other mortal had ever managed to do: They had cracked the code to Konduktör Én's soul, and turned him into an absolutely loyal henchman.
When disgruntled raiders walked past Konduktör'n as Jonas Hjortkloe gathered his dwindling forces for the last lantern raid (in his failed campaign in Stråssa), they asked him in a low voice to assassinate the now-hated Jonas. Yet Konduktör'n who had never even needed prompting to betray anyone, would not do it. That treachery was unthinkable, for Hjortkloe Manufaktur had well and truly bought his soul. The year 2145 also saw the mutant Erik Asbester tear through the forces of Jonas Hjortkloe during a wasteland raid, until he had his throat slit by Konduktör Én out in the field. This was the end of Konduktören's and Asbester's fleeting companionship. Konduktör'n would spare no friend who turned against his paymasters.
The depth of Konduktören's maniac loyalty to HKM was revealed one morning, when he gathered up all his savings and handed them over as a bribe to the Dukhi. In return he only wanted them to listen to representatives from Hjortkloe Manufaktur and honestly consider joining forces with Jonas during the next lantern raid. As Konduktör Én escorted one of Jonas' companions to the nomad camp, the Dukhi laughed at them and called both for idiots, for they would have no time to join forces with Hjortkloe when they had their own armed caravan to attend to that afternoon. The Dukhi also refused on principle to work with HKM, and warned Konduktör Én to not associate with those bad people. Yet Konduktör'n heeded not their word, for he was in HKM's thrall.
The Dukhi caravan was betrayed by Techno-Korps Lindemann out in the field, of whom Konduktör'n cut one German down. Meanwhile, one car with valuable goods got hijacked by Maskinhundarna, and drove off. Konduktör'n led the vengeful caravan guards right into the Machine Dogs' camp. The foul hounds chickened out and wanted to hand over the goods without a fight, but Konduktör Én saw through their vile ploys and instead cut their envoy down on the spot, spearheading the assault on the Machine Dogs. Afterward, he reported this event to the Dukhi, who cheered at it. There must be violence!
Loyalty did not mean ceasing his loudmouth ways, however. When all of the Hjortkloe expedition and its mercenary force was annihilated by Grimbarts Söner (and Borstis briefly taken captive due to a false wanted poster), Konduktör Én limped back to Stråssa, supported on his shield as a crutch, and went through the streets shouting woe over Hjortkloe Manufaktur's utter defeat at the hands of Grimbarts Söner.
In gratitude for proven services in the field, Konduktör Én (along with a few other choice mercenaries) was granted citizenship in Progresse, New Västervik. The roaming bandit had at last found a home.
As Panzer Wolves and wild mutants assaulted Stråssa in the dead of night, Konduktör Én slavishly protected Jonas Hjortkloe and his retinue, killing and taking innumerable hits in return. The HKM medic patched him up barely enough to get Konduktör'n up on his legs again, and so Sköldis the willing bodyguard acted the living shield to his paymasters time and time again. It was a perfect moment, and Konduktör'n would long savour it in years to come.
Unbelievably, the arrogant brats had turned the treacherous bastard into an utterly loyal henchman. The betrayed Direktör Morten von Müller may well have rotated in his grave at this, if indeed he was lucky enough to be dead...
Archive Leaks (2146)
Borstis served HKM in Progresse loyally as a somewhat filthy Security Guard (which was only tolerated because of gratitude among the high-ranking members of Jonas Hjortkloe's 2145 retinue), yet a miss in communication (or an underhanded scheme to rid Progresse of the smelly guardsman) resulted in him returning to Stråssa on a null and void mission, with no contact to meet him. Abandoned, Konduktör'n tried to survive. He returned to his old ways of banditry, but moreover he used his inside knowledge from old Info Direkt to good advantage. Konduktör Én tracked down Direktör Morten von Müller's archive (or perhaps he had known about it all along), and paid Nova clandestinely to copy certain documents for him. These copies he then sold to whoever was prepared to pay up, claiming the copy to be the original and only document of its kind.
In this way, a major leak of precarious information from Info Direkt occurred. One of the leaked documents from Info Direkt pertained to a heinous visit to a mutant brothel by Jonas Hjortkloe back in 2144, which spread like wildfire after a mysterious man bribed the barmaids in Sinterverket to gossip about it.
Another leak struck the reputation of southron merchants. The Water Federation had pulled out of of the north, leaving behind a single, unfortunate tribesman: An ambassador known as Callun. This member of the Water Federation came under ruthless Dukhi scrutiny following Konduktör Én's handing-over of classified document copies from the archives of Info Direkt. Callun, but a poor, lone man, was forced by the Dukhi to read aloud all of the filthy, highly sensitive material, and was then questioned intensely by the Dukhi. Callun later on had his throat cut by Konduktör Én out in the woods. Such was the disgraceful end of the Water Federation in the cold north. But the Dukhi endures.
However, the Dukhi caravan of 2146 was an abject failure. The Dukhi asked Konduktör Én to run around the whole town and shout when the caravan would depart, in order to attract more caravan guards. But instead they drew a large number of bandits who placed an ambush for the Dukhi caravan! During the hopeless defensive struggle, Borstis managed to close in on a much more heavily armoured enemy warrior, who attempted to shoot him from behind a tower shield. Konduktör'n cut him down in exhilarating triumph before being blasted apart by the other foes.
2146 was the year when Aki uttered his winged words at the fireside in the Dukhi camp. As Aki sat at the campfire and tended to cooking food, a little fire spilled over, and was quickly extinguished. One of the Dukhi women needled him for it, yet Aki sprung back with the reply: "It's not just the women's hearts I set on fire!" To which all the Dukhi ladies responded with a great "Walalalalalala!" tongue waggling sound.
Konduktör'n also joined the Dukhi in their quest to retake their precious heirloom rifle from Le Arte Finito. He stood at attention behind Ludwig and threatened him, with a growl: "The gun or your life." Yet ultimately deadly threats could not sway the art-loving Ludwig. Only arguments hinging on art could; and did. Finally on the note of Dukhi in 2146: Hoya named Konduktör Èn Idiot, a badge of honour which has stuck. Though he did reply that he was a Certified Idiot. Konduktör'n also claimed that he sold half his brain to afford his crest (broom), though who would trust such a lying snake?
Another way for Konduktör Én to scrape by, was to brew a horrid soup-drink called Kemskrap and sell it, sharking on the streets. At one time, skeptical raiders pointed out that it smelled like "ass-water", to which Borstis replied that it was ass-water.
Out in the sands outside Stråssa Sinterverk, Konduktör Én performed a great feat of arms. Jumping in sand from one crater to the next, and breathing heavily from the strain, he threw himself over the top, and jumped charging down on the neighbouring crater, where four Panzer Wolves were lying and shooting at other raiders. One of Pansarvargarna spotted Konduktör Én as he loomed over the edge of the crater, saying "Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!" and was then rapidly cut down in a furious succession of blows that felled all four Panzer Wolves.
Borstis performed another notable martial feat in 2146: A gang of what appeared to be policemen had got into a quarrel with Kumla outside the entrance to Shot in the Dark. Several members of the Kumla militia stood tightly pressed together behind the concrete obstacles of the entrance, and the ongoing firefight went on in Kumla's favour. Yet Kvasten saw an opening in the ramshackle concrete block fence, where one of the blocks had fallen down akin to a ramp, and he charged over open ground as bullets whizzed and whirred, storming up the concrete block ramp and leaping over the obstacle, cutting like a maniac at the Kumla men and taking a couple down with him before their mates' point-blank rapid fire shredded Konduktör Én.
At last, the archive leaks ceased when an operative agent of Hjortkloe Manufaktur got in contact with their wayward Security Guard. Konduktör Én handed over the archive of Info Direkt wholesale to HKM, and managed to travel back home to Progresse, New Västervik.
Devil's Voice & Lion Hunt (2147)
In summer 2147, Konduktör'n went on unpaid holiday to Stråssa, because he craved violence and action after months of boring security guard patrols in Progresse, New Västervik. This holiday would turn him infamous, for he proved an arch-traitor like never before.
On one occassion, Konduktör Én joined a group of adventurers on the fly, since there seemed to be violence on offer, and he is always searching for violence. Unbeknownst to him, these turned out to be cunning Panzer Wolf infiltrators working with drug-controlled wild mutants as superweapons, but even when this stood clear, he followed them into the field anyway. These infiltrators soon joined a large band of Panzer Wolf troopers, and placed an ambush out in the woods. In this forest, Borstis took one woman and one man captive, and herded them in front of him with his sword. Since he owned no rifle, he acquired two by these hostages, and planned to point with his sword for them where to shoot. However, the ambush was ultimately spoiled, and the party broke up. Konduktör'n returned to Stråssa and thought no more about it, but this joining forces with the Panzer Wolves would come with consequences.
In 2147, Kvasten camped as neighbours of Devilmen, a gang of satanistic lawyers from what was once the country of Denmark. They were tricked by Konduktör Én (following hasty night tent repairs) into believing his voice to be that of the Devil, whereupon they rushed out in the middle of the night to attack Kumlamilisen as ordered (yet chickened out).
Together with the Vibe-Raiders, Devilmen also participated in Borstis' unwitting betrayal of Pansarvargarna. This started when Konduktör'n (at last, after so many years of trying!) found a group willing to attack the other raiders from behind during a large battle against the Panzer Wolves. This willing and able group, were the Vibe-Raiders, and their neighbours in Devilmen followed suit. The infamous deed was carried out when they stayed behind to guard the right flank during an offensive against the Panzer Wolves led by Leo. On this sparse right flank, a few scouts seemed to lurk in the bush, looking into the forest. When the lead scout (the leader of the Panzer Wolf infiltrators) went up to Butch of the Vibe-Raiders and advised them to follow the main force into the sandland, Butch laughed and replied that they'd guard the flank instead. As the lead scout went back to his companions in the bush, Konduktör Én asked Butch if he should cut the lead scout down. "Yes, sure!" was Butch's command. Sköldis ran up and cut down the lead scout from behind to the utter surprise of the other scouts, who were mowed down by the Vibe-Raiders and Devilmen. These had however not been scouts, but Panzer Wolf infiltrators, and the next instant two large wild mutants, accompanied by Medibot 55463, appeared, and attacked them. Vibe-Raiders and Devilmen swore, shot and kited these mostrous killers away from the sandlands, where they should have attacked Leo's fighters from the rear. The carefully laid plans of Pansarvargarna were destroyed because Konduktör'n had finally found willing accomplices in a mass betrayal, that didn't go according to plan.
In response, the furious leader of the Panzer Wolf infiltrators gathered a raid party of 20 on the spot, and unprecedently burst through the pallisade front gate of Stråssa in the dark of the evening. They were on a hunt, and their only true target was Konduktör Én. This group carried with them a wild mutant serum, with which they infected a number of unfortunates in the confusion of the evening darkness. Yet they found their real prey, when Sköldis burst out from his tent, sensing violence in the air. The infiltrators knocked him down and injected serum into the hated Konduktör Én, whereupon the arch-traitor roamed the streets as a drooling and hissing monster, before being shot down, carried to Renovo hospital and evenutally cured of the serum. Nevertheless, Konduktör'n had been the sole reason for this attack of the Panzer Wolf infiltrators into the slums around Sinterverket in Stråssa.
In 2146, a nasty rumour started to circulate about Jonas Hjortkloe having visited a mutant brothel (and then slain the employees of said establishment) back in 2144, following his captivity at the hands of Red Peoples Front. Apparently a shady character handed over a copy of a spy document from Info Direkt's archive and bribed the barmaid in Sinterverket to talk loosely about this false matter. Fortunately, Security Guard Konduktör Én worked diligently in 2147 to fervently deny that any such mutant brothel visit had ever occured (thereby unwittingly spreading the rumour further), by gifting people on the street free apples from the greenhouses of Progresse, and by informing the public via Radio Active.
Hjortkloe Manufaktur strongly denies this rumour.
Konduktör'n has displayed an entrepreneurial side (which is not surprising, given his deviousness), one that is driven by survival necessity, slyness and also lessons learnt from working for HKM and observing his ruthless employers. 2147 saw him sell Rutteskrutt on the streets of Stråssa, which was allegedly a degenerated kind of apple sauce and a load of loud salesman sharking. It sold out rapidly.
On the topic of Hjortkloe and mutant brothels, Apollyon of Snapphaneklanen astonishingly revealed to Borstis that he had seen Jonas Hjortkloe at the mutant brothel (meaning implicitly that he himself had also visited said establishment). This conversation quickly turned sour, however, as the dismissive leader of Snapphanarna explained that the bridge at their camp was Scanian ground, and no one would pass without paying bridge toll. The treacherous reptilian brain of the lowly HKM henchman spun at this cheeky business practice, and his thirst for blood awoke in that instant. Calmly, he told Apollyon that he would see how many caps he had in his wallet on the inside of his shield, where he in reality keeps his antique sword sheathed. Drawing this blade, Konduktör'n cut Apollyon down in the dark of the night, and ran from the scene, screaming "Scanian ground!"
The revenge of Snapphaneklanen came next evening, when a couple of hired assassins shot down Sköldis with regards from the Scanians. Konduktör Én was given an explosive enema by his alleged friends in Pang i Bygget, and was up and running within minutes. However, as he rose from the ground, another group of strangers approached, and one of them wished to challenge Konduktör Én for unknown purposes. Spluttering something about them having to line up in a queue, Borstis stumbled forward, and was cut down in the ensuing fight. It was deemed a good fight, though.
This was not the end of Snapphaneklanen's animosity toward Konduktör Én, however, for the very next day Konduktör'n publicly offended Apollyon. As Kvasten led the vast party of lion hunters (see Lion Hunt of 2147) past Snapphanarnas' camp, and within earshot from Hjortkloe Manufaktur's operative agent in Stråsa, he called out to the lion hunters: "Leo has went to a mutant brothel, just like Hjortkloe and the leader of Snappanarna!" One of the Scanians shouted out: "What the hell do you say about us!?" Yet they were ignored, for Konduktör'n and the lion hunters had bigger fish to fry: Namely, Leo.
Later that day, during a large knifefight between Kumlamilisen and Castor's crew which Borstis participated in for the heck of it, he was cut down. As he lay bleeding in the sinter dust, a familiar face appeared above him: Apollyon of Snapphaneklanen. "Do you remember me?" the Scanian asked. They exchanged a few words, whereupon Konduktör'n revealed what Nared of Pang i Bygget had told him: Leo had screwed a mutated Elk! With a grin splitting his face, Apollyon knifed Konduktör Én in the throat. As Sköldis lay unconscious in the dirt, Beatrice Klarion from Progresse, New Västervik appeared above him, heaping abuse and disappointment over the henchman, telling him that he had broken against the hierarchy of Stråssa by assaulting Leo. She then tried to rub out the HKM logo from Konduktör Én's helmet. Beatrice indignantly reported on the incident of the Lion Hunt of 2147 in her blog, yet the higher-ups in Progresse would take notice of the scandal in a far different manner than the blogger did. For the light in which they saw the incident, was not one merely of soured relations with their coffee-drinking business partners of Snapphanarna, but one of a new asset skilled at scheming, propaganda and rabblerousing appearing among their paid ranks. An expendable asset, with considerable field experience...
On the subject of deviousness, some bastard had put up false posters featuring Pappas Pistoler crossed-over, with a below-the-belt advertising for Finnish knives, with ugly regards from Svarta Svärden. The Finns had forgotten this when they were asked by Konduktör Én to tag along with Pappas Pistoler, their allies of Kumla and their random mercenaries into the woods, to search a crater for buried valuables. Out in the forest, Pappa forebodingly ordered everybody who wasn't of Kumlamilisen or Pappas Pistoler to form a separate group. This was then ordered down, at gun-point, to search the mine-strewn crater for the buried goods (which Red Peoples Front had retrieved earlier, accompanied by Borstis). As they found nothing, Pappa ordered everybody who wasn't part of Svarta Svärden to leave the crater. Konduktör'n climbed out of it with a malicious laughter.
Left behind in the hole, were the entire group of Svarta Svärden, with Kumlamilisen in a ring around the crater lip. As the centre of attention stood a haunching Pappa, twirling his moustache, and speaking in an angry and tired voice: "This is a good occassion to raise the question about those bloody notes you've put up with a cross over my face!"
Some few words back-and-forth followed, with feeble denial from Svarta Svärden's side, before Pappa ordered the Kumla gangsters to mow down the Finns were they stood. Svarta Svärden fell, with bullets hitting them from all sides, some even striking into their ears. As their bleeding bodies hit the dirt floor, Konduktör Én drew his sword, cut one Kumla militiaman down, and shouted "For Finland!"
He was immediately peppered with small-arms fire, and rolled down into the crater, triggering a gas mine in his heavy fall. Later, as the victims of the crater massacre limped home, Svarta Svärden asked Konduktör'n who had put up the posters, to which he replied with "It was Info Direkt." Svarta Svärden subsequently awarded Kvasten a Finnish medal for bravery.
Now followed a rabid quest for revenge. Shouting "Death to Kumla! Death to Kumla!" Sköldis switched garb and went incognito out on the streets armed with only a knife. He stalked Stråssa in search of lone members of Kumla, but they were hard to come by. Finally, he passed through Sinterverket and happened upon two relaxing Kumla gangsters in the bar. He drew knife and stabbed them, running away with a weird laughter of "Höahöahöa!"
Konduktör Én obviously had the intention to hunt down all of the Kumla militia (for which he also tricked Devilmen to almost attack them at night). To end the uneven vendetta, a group of Kumla men sought out his camp, and opened peace negotiations. The broom-crested Idiot, however, misunderstood their speech, and took it to mean that it hadn't been Kumlamilisen who had shot him down, after all, but instead it had been another gang of people dressed up like Kumla. He asked confirmation, and they nooded at this, perplexed and relieved. In response, he roared: "I will kill those devils! You're safe to go."
Thus ended the conflict with Kumla, and soon Konduktör Én would march alongside with the scarlet gangsters to take down the Maskinhundarna. All futile, however, for the road warriors had long since chickened out and fled their own camp to escape the wrath of Kumla. This was the second time Borstis had witnessed their craven conduct, and he was not amused.
As punishment for the (false) smear poster, Pappa refused to let the Finns purchase a fine pistol, and instead locked it in a safe, leaving the retired war veterans completely unarmed. The seeming end of Svarta Svärden's beef with Pappas Pistoler came when the nouveau riche Finnish war veterans approached Konduktör Én in fine costumes, and tossed up heaps of money that rained down around him. As Borstis scrambled in rigid armour to pick up all the paper caps, Svarta Svärden tasked him with attacking Pappas Pistoler and send their regards. Suddenly mad with wealth, Konduktör'n marched straight to Pappa's gunshop, waited sneakily outside, and called Slisk to him as the goon walked lone down the street. As Slisk approached, Konduktör Én cut him down, tossed five caps at his bleeding body on the ground (thus mimicking his superiors, the companions of Jonas Hjortkloe back in 2145) and shouted: "Svarta Svärden send their regards!" Konduktör'n was immediately hunted down the streets, shot from behind and stomped upon while on the ground. Is this the end of the feud...?
This year would already have entered the annals for the infamous extent of Borstis' dirty dealings, yet one event would top them all. It would be the greatest crime ever committed by Sköldis, and this dark glory was won by stepping over the bleeding corpse of the greatest hero in all of the Nordic wasteland: Leo.
The lead-up to this legendary atrocity began with some trashtalking from DJ in Radio Active, where the radio-babbler waxed skeptical over Pansarvargarna's string of failures with conquering Stråssa. DJ claimed this to sound like a conspiracy, and accused Leo the hero of cloning the Panzer Wolves in order to have foes to fight and paint himself as the saviour of the settlement.
The infamous Lion Hunt of 2147 began early one morning, when Aki of the Dukhi approached Konduktör Én with a crucial piece of information. He told the Security Guard that Leo had visited the same mutant brothel as Jonas Hjortkloe and was collaborating with Pansarvargarna, and finished by instructing Konduktör'n to spread this discreetly.
What followed was a masterpiece of desinformation, harnessing the power of mass media and outrageous lies. For Borstis wandered the streets until he happened upon Bult3n, a hunted man begging for small drink money outside of the Sinterverk. Konduktör Én led him aside, and said he would make him rich with 16 caps if Bult3n could repeat a vitally important message to Radio Active. The foul information handed over by Aki grew in the telling, and Bult3n overperformed in his dealings with the radio people, for he not only told them everything he was asked to, but added further bits still to top it all off. As Bult3n and Konduktör'n walked down the stairs of Sinterverket into Baren, they could hear Groove of Radio Active say: "...we have a traitor in our midst, and his name rhymes with Cleo!"
Soon much of the slums of Stråssa was abuzz with this fantastic rumour, and Konduktör Én worked tirleessly to pour petrol on the flames of infamy. He rushed all over town and told people all about it, yet his message at one point changed into a sharper one, for an English bandit proposed that he announce a lion safari, where people would pay him to shoot Leo. Knowing how price tags would repel potentially interested warriors, Konduktör Én changed it to instead be a grand Lion Hunt (no fee attached), with mustering of all bold hunters to take place at the Vibe-Raiders' camp at 13.00. Up and down the streets of Stråssa ran Konduktör Én, and in an hour he had told dozens of people about Leo's betrayal: Of his collaborating with Pansarvargarna; of Leo training them into a deadly force; of him visiting a mutant brothel; and of Leo planning to take Stråssa by storm with his minions this very night, if we don't stop him! The propaganda speeches glowed hot, and they were many, directed to small groups and individuals all over town. Kvasten called on all brave men and women to muster and hunt Leo in force, and large was the crowd that showed up at the Vibe-Raiders' camp, and it grew larger still as it marched out and was joined by even more people. It likely numbered about 50 lion hunters, all in all. The infamous Lion Hunt of 2147 was on.
That fated day, Leo awoke very late in the morning, about 11 o' clock. When he emerged from his quarters, he entered a village that was no longer his. People glared strangely at him, and some even shot after him in the street! The mob was restless, and it hated his guts.
At first, the Lion Hunters sought Leo in the wilds, but he wasn't there. Thus they marched back to the slums surrounding Lovisagruvan, with parts of the Lion Hunt party fraying away, and most of it lagging behind. Forward scouts of the Lion Hunters reported finding Leo in town, and thus the vanguard marched on him briskly. Yet before they reached Leo, a small surprise party of Panzer Wolves appeared from behind, howling and firing their handguns. These were quickly slaughtered by both the Lion Hunters and Leo, yet the fresh impression of the great hero killing Pansarvargarna threatened to unravel the entire lynchmob scheme.
A woman called out to Konduktör'n: "How can you accuse Leo of working with the Panzer Wolves? We all just saw how he fought them!"
Yet Sköldis seized control of the situation, and turned the sharp edge on Leo by the power of words. For this was a disciple of Info Direkt who spoke, and the entire travesty was a gross case of desinformation worthy of that baleful firm which he had betrayed.
Konduktör Én spoke thus: "Oh, as if throwing away a pinch of minions would work as distraction here?!"
Then he pointed with his whole hand, right up in Leo's face, and heaped the accusations at him, thereby reminding the listening crowd of the ill rumours: "No! YOU have visited a mutant brothel! YOU have betrayed us all! YOU collaborate with the Panzer Wolves! YOU train their rabble into a lethal army! And you're very handsome." At this, Leo stroked his forelock in recognition of his own beauty. Konduktör'n continued relentlessly: "And YOU plan to overrun Stråssa tonight. Yet WE have come here to stop your madness, Leo!"
At this barrage of blatant lies, Leo could but ask the gathered people in disbelief: "Do you really want to go all the way with this?"
In response, Konduktör Én backed off from blast radius, and called out his orders: "Step back! Lion Hunters! Open fire!"
There was a tense moment that hang in the air, when the bazooka-armed Rednar of Pang i Bygget looked from Konduktör'n to Leo in bewilderment, and asked: "Who should I shoot? The Broom or Leo?"
Konduktör Én responded with a single word: "Leo!"
And the great hero fell in a withering hail of gunfire. Thus was Leo lynched. It was a warm moment of ultimate triumph to savour, and it would forever after raise the spirits of Konduktör Én. After the fell deed was already done, Borstis was asked by Fredrik Tveskägg to bring forth his proof and to name his source. At first, Konduktör'n wished to keep his source secret, but soon yielded and named the Dukhi. Fredrik Tveskägg asked if one could trust them, and pressed on further for proof. Bring forth the proof now!
Then, Konduktör Én, the infamous liar and traitor, stepped forward with a straight back, looked out proudly and seriously over the gathering crowd, and declared loudly: "I swear on my honour as an honest man!"
At this, an audible gasp was heard from the mass of people. The reputation of Sköldis preceded him. In the milling confusion, Konduktör Én was asked for payment by Smiler the highwayman. Declaring himself broke, the rabblerouser was thus cut down and looted by his own lynchmob; and his bleeding body was then thrown in a ditch and his skull sledgehammered by Lennart the Panzer Wolf infiltrator; whereupon a chance passer-by took the opportunity to immortalize himself standing on top of the helmet of Borstis.
Directly following the outstanding success of the Lion Hunt of 2147, Konduktör'n mostly stayed low and sneaked. He participated in some bouts of violence, ate delicious kolbullar at the restaurant of Jämtländska Republikanska Armén, and hitchhiked on the vehicle Bandis. Finally, Konduktör Én was kicked by a mob of Pansarvargarna prior to the great night battle, whereupon he recovered and acted as shield runner for the reporters of FOXY NEWS, and then ran into smoking combat alongside Albert the mutant (an old friend from 2145's mercenary service for HKM). As victory was announced, Borstis pumped his sword to the skies and shouted, variously: "Manufakturen! Info Direkt! Scanian ground!" At hearing of the latter, Captain Vadim of Red Peoples Front swore: "For hell! Okey then! Scaaania!"
"Manufakturen! Info Direkt!" the broom-crested henchman yelled in triumph.
2147 had been an exhilaratingly spectacular year, yet would justice come to call in vengeance for all the crimes of Konduktör Én? Would he receive payback for all his lies and backstabbing and murders?
"Manufakturen! Info Direkt!"
The plan was for Förste Ballastöversittare Pumpvett of the Navvy Tribe of Tåget will travel from Rälsa-Krylbo to Stråssa, in order to sell Tåget's new megalomaniac construction project: The Thundering Grand Train. He was to be guarded and attended by Konduktör Én of the Conductor Tribe, yet the irresponsible drunken swagger of the superior officer Pumpvett quickly led him astray on this, his first foray far from home. Förste Ballastöversittare Pumpvett soon stumbled off on his own street adventure, hunting drink and lifting the sorrows of his heart to strangers. Pumpvett once ended up a hostage of the Devilmen when he believed their satanic camp to be a café.
Konduktör'n grabbed this abandonment by his tribal superior with both hands, and set out with haggling and shameless salesman sharking to reap sales and profits for Hjortkloe Manufaktur. Accompanied by Nils, a young man from the neighbours of Casino Backen outside Raider Town, Borstis prowled the streets, samples of freshly printed HKM Comics in his hands as he tried to persuade the fickle denizens of the slummy boomtown of Stråssa to hand over cash for nigh-worthless paper. No argument was below him as the Security Guard unleashed a barrage of grinning drivel over the bad citizens of the Närke emporium.
At the gates of Klustret, Konduktören found a thick crowd of eager faces painted red, as he presented his wares. He stressed the presence of the appealing Captain Leo in the comic pages, kenning the Cluster to be great fans of this walking, talking sex icon. Knowing the local clientel, he added for Sticker's benefit that this reading material was excellent for her morning porn. Aki, last remaining Dukhi in Stråssa, burst through the crowd, sporting his own red Kluster facepaint and haranguing Borstis when Aki realized that the Lion Hunt (2147) comic entirely hinged on his own confidential slander of Leo last year. Aki berated Konduktör'n as this friend of the Dukhi gleefully opened to pages of a comic and showed Aki to be right at the very beginning of the story. The broom-crested idiot turned the sparring of words to his advantage with a remark that won much laughter among Klustret: "Your face is worth one cap!" Borstis then handed over a hard cap to Aki, which Aki subsequently and begrudgingly used to purchase a comic sample at a discount price.
Once, outstide the Sinterplant, Konduktören cheekily approached one of the white-armoured ladies who trailed their hero, Leo. In 2148, Leo had upgraded his power armour with a second shoulder cannon, lending balance and devastating firepower alike. Yet the year before, when the great Lion Hunt of 2147 had taken place, the unfortunate guardian of Stråssa had only sported a single shoulder cannon as the ungrateful crowds gunned him down. Consequently, Borstis showed her the front cover of Lion Hunt (2147) and pointed out that the missing shoulder cannon meant that this was a strip-tease with the stud Leo in it. The lady responded "Oooh!" and bought an issue.
Mostly, Konduktören pointed out to potential customers the shining, fresh, white paper which the comics were so newly printed on. Had they ever seen such brilliant paper? Without yellowing patches, blood, dirt or excrement sullying the pages! One could turn snow-blind just by looking at it. Get it while it's still hot! He likewise argued for the comics' reusability as toilet paper. And the people of Stråssa bought the trash willingly.
The attempts to sell HKM Comics in 2148 often got Konduktör Én into trouble. Once, when Captain Leo was walking past Borstis' ramshackle tent, the demagogue held up a copy of Lion Hunt (2147) and shouted: "Leo! Jonas Hjortkloe send his regards! He has figured out a way to make money out of your disaster!" To which Leo only responded with a sideway glare and a knifing finger movement across his throat. Another time, at the basecamp of the solidly criminal Kumla militia, Borstis and Nils were greeted by a hostile scarlet mob which nearly gutted Konduktören where he stood, had it not been for one creative Kumla man bashing a pineapple into Kvasten's helmet, dazing the comic salesmen. The pair was subsequently hunted away by Kumlamilisen.
Fans and friends of Leo the hero were not amused by the reputation-smearing comics hawked by the HKM employee. One time, as a wrecking session drew to a close and the band of mercenaries which Konduktören had attached himself to were counting down for a calm, sweet victoy at a Lantern hill, the members of 5th Division called out to Borstis and invited him to join their countdown. He had just barely managed to make Leo's apprentice accept a free comic, and sprinted up the little dirt hillock. There, the Germans of Fifth Division stood together, arms around each others' shoulders. Konduktören joined the group, arms around a couple of soldiers' shoulders, and they all shouted out loudly the countdown from ten to zero. They were apparently struggling to maintain faces and not laugh, but that could just have been the military victory they were greeting. Yet as they hit "One!", only Konduktör Én yelled out the word, while the 5th Division instead fell silent and cut him down on the hillock. They screamed at him: "Leo is a good friend of ours! You bloody swine!"
The crimes committed during the great Lion Hunt of 2147 were not without consequences. The Lion of Stråssa would have his revenge, and justice was indeed done in those hectic days of late summer 2148. Captain Leo, had issued no less than 11 wanted posters for confirmed demagogues and willing lynchmob participants, and those present in the wasteland town were tracked down, subjugated and brought in by greedy bounty hunters. One after another, the bounty hunters lined up outside Leo's office, or presenting their victims to him out in broad daylight. Nared of Pang i Bygget proved an odd case, as she was handed over by her own kinsfolk, loudly berating Leo for his potatiskanon. Most wanted criminals, however, were dragged in violently. The disillusioned desperado Smiler, for instance, managed to save his skin with the Lion Hunt (2148) which he had bought cheaply off of Konduktör Én earlier that day. Smiler argued that he had in fact been the hero of the whole tragic event, since he was the one who brought down the rabblerouser, as was evident in the comic. Leo let Smiler off the hook.
Konduktör Én, however, faced a less gentle welcome. Shortly after being driven from Kumla's camp, he found himself chased down the gravel street by a maniacally screaming Nared, who battered him nigh-unconscious with a big wrench, for the sake of some innocent smearwords. A couple of rough bounty hunters then grabbed his body and dragged him out of the light of the day into the darkness of the Sinterplant. They dropped him off against a wall outside Captain Leo's office, where another Bounty Hunter (a snappy well-dressed Englishman in black garb) had brought in Renar of Pang i Bygget, forcing the demolition madman down on his knees with his arms behind his back. Bounties were collected for both criminals, and Konduktör Én was dragged out the backside of the Sinterplant and thrown among garbage and grass.
As he lay there in the grass, badly bloodied and battered, three things happened: First, Arvid, Ebhen and Paul arrived, three stekerii of Svarta Svärden. Bemused by the honorary Finn's misfortunes, they deigned to sign a comic with their famous names, and handed it back to Borsten before trotting off.
Second, scout Dahl of the Vandals showed up shortly thereafter, and attacked the wounded man: "I like Leo!" she screamed and beat upon the stranded lynching organizer. Konduktör Én tried to fend Dahl off by presenting the very comic which Svarta Svärden had signed, whereupon she snapped. Dahl grabbed ahold of the comic issue, bit it to a ball in her mouth and threw it straight into the face of Borstis. She yelled in Swedish: "I HATE THE BLACK SWORDS!"
Third, Konduktören was quickly thereafter visited by a shady figure from Pansarvargarna who injected his palm with a monster serum, as revenge for last year's betrayal. The serum worked quickly in Sköldis' system. As a helpful passer-by rushed to help the wounded man to his feet, Konduktör'n was fully in the grip of the monster serum. Spitting and growling, he leapt up and hunted the man around a chair in the camp of Forward Scout Unit. Yet the serum had strange effects, for Idioten soon identified the chair as his prey, and he attacked it with hisses and biting to the confusion of spectators. Soon, however he sniffed out another target, and charged Svarta Svärden from the rear. The three startled stekerii fled and fired backwards as they ran, managing to bring the berzerker down. The serum eventually wore off, but it would not be the last time which covert agents of the Panzer Wolves assaulted Konduktör'n that week.
The Lion of Stråssa would have his revenge, and justice was indeed done in those hectic days of late summer.
A failed counter-robbery occured outside Kumla's camp in Pappa's old den, following a firefight in the street. Borsten, having recently received medical treatment from Skuggan, was just back up on his feet, when one of the British Redcoats walked over towards them. He received a hefty pistol from Skuggan as the Brit announced: "This is a robbery."
Konduktören turned around with the pistol raised and replied: "And this is a gun."
After some back and forth talk, he decided to press the matter by aiming at the man's foot, only for the certified idiot to have forgotten the safety on. The incident of course ended with Konduktör Én splayed on the ground, with the British victorious.
In the summer of 2148, Rednar of Pang i Bygget organized an advertised duel between two crested warriors, promising a third mystery guest in the arena. It would be the Battle of the Brooms. The announced pit fight down in the Sinterplant drew bets.
Following other entertainment, the fighters emerged in the round sintersand pit to the roars of the crowd, sporting red ribbons tucked into their belts. First to march into the arena was Konduktör Én, pumping his sword into the air and yelling the name of his: "Hjortkloe! Hjortkloe! Hjortkloe! Hjortkloe!"
Then followed a nimble neon-crested man armed with a wrench, and the heavily armoured Seth, who fought für Lindemann. The crowd greeted them loudly, and the first fight of agility ensued. The crested warriors grasped after each others' red ribbons, shielding themselves and roughing their opponents away in the arena. Seth defended himself mightily, but his bulky armour left him the slowest, and the most vulnerable in this loose-limbed and fast-footed battle. 'Borstis' at last managed to tug Seth's tail off, only to turn to his neon foe and see that very enemy stand triumphant with Konduktören's own proud ribbon in his hands. The HKM henchman threw himself to the floor in recognition of the neon fighter's victory. The lightest-armoured combatant carried home the first round.
Yet the planned tail fight was immediately followed by an unplanned melee, with a great deal of close quarter violence. The neon warrior once managed to grab Seth's arms from behind while Borstis hit the red-crested juggernaut from the front. Yet the lightly armoured neon warrior, who had been so formidable in the tug-a-tail fight, was likewise doomed to fall in this contest of brute force and endurance. First fell Konduktör Én after a furious exchange of blows, and Seth the mighty hewed down his neon foe until he alone stood triumphant, roaring his victory to the jubilant crowds as the last man standing, with one foot placed on Borstis' chest.
The best broom won: Seth!
As the crested warriors marched out of the arena, Konduktör Én held aloft an issue of HKM Comics and yelled: "Buy Hjortkloe comics!"
Thus concluded Kvastkampen: The Battle of the Brooms.
Referendum Saboteur (2149)
Twister ... Månskensdryck ... Deceived by the charlatan doctors Lux & Trux ... Handed out HKM Comics of the issue Steamroller (2148) as free samples of toilet paper, reusable seven times. ... Rushed in for a piece of violence when gangers attacked the Lion of Stråssa. Stole a vial of red nanobots that fell out of the pockets of Leo, which was subsequently handed off to HKM Agent Törn on dubious intel of it being the seed of Leo. Törn went directly to Renovo with this treasure. Shortly after followed vengeance from Svarta Svärden for innumerable past ills. Assassinated in an abandoned container by false doctors, who forced Borsten to sign off everything he owned to the Black Swords. Then they cut his throat anyway, on orders of their Finnic clone clients.
This cheeky rivalry with Svarta Svärden saw Konduktör Én unexpectedly cut down Paul and Arvid at close quarters, then shot down by Ebhen. It saw Borsten lured into the woods and gunned down by Paul at his fallen clone brother's grave. When Konduktören took off his helmet and said "Hat off for a fallen sword-brother," Paul raised his gun and replied: "This is very fitting, because it was you who killed him!" Likewise, the Black Swords paid Kungliga Post och Telestyrelsen to shoot Borstii in the hand or foot (the mailman chose hand upon hesitation of the recepient). In retaliation, Konduktör Én sent back a stabbogram falsely addressed from Kumla, with a load of swearwords and foul regards added by two other postal customers standing in queue. In addition, the devious Security Guard hired Magpie and the Rad Devils for lush caps to conduct an expedition into the wasteland in a hunt for treasure marked out on a map handed to Borsten by Svarta Svärden. An adventure and lengthy search followed, where the violent raiders were ambushed by a Deerman; found a golden toilet brush which Konduktören subsequently gave to Jonas Hjortkloe in a most sycophantic fashion; saw the Rad Devils and Konduktören attack the camp of the Black Swords with false promises of candy beans and drugs as bait; saw half the Rad Devils gunned down by a hit squad sent by Magpie as a vicious parting of ways; and finally saw a member of the Rad Devils being offered love instead of lead by a member of the Legion, who stood atop the roof of a sturdy vehicle. Anarky!
Gifted Moon-chai-ne to the Dukhi. Gave them blueprints for the Thundering Grand Train, which caught the interest of Ghulam. Konduktören later spoke to Ghulam, whose interest in the rails was aroused. Borsten, hailing from Tåget in Rälsa-Krylbo, possessed some surface expertise regarding the crafting and repair of rails, whom Ghulam's people had known as mythical steel serpents up until now. Explaining the heating and working of iron by machinery, manpower and draft animals, Konduktör Én proceeded to plant devious seeds in the mind of the curious Ghulam, by mentioning that the fractured tribes of the frigid north could potentially be colonized by the Dukhi in centuries to come, if they built a railway from Dukhi homelands all the way to Stråssa. "Imagine, that instead of the shambolic chaos of TKL's referendum earlier today, you would have a matriarchal Dukhi council bringing sanity to the wild north. Here, people care only about where their next drink will come from, but you Dukhi are patient and lasting like the deserts and mountains." Ghulam proved receptable for such talk, and grandiose visions for the future were birthed that sunny day in Outpost Valkyrie.
On seeing each other again, hoya was told by Konduktör Én: "Remember the company Hjortkloe Manufaktur? Those bad people you told me to stay away from? Well, I sold my soul to them, and am now in their service whole-heartedly." Hoya grew serious, and gave Borsten pertinent advice: "Remember, that you are not the company you keep."
These wise words would forever ring in the memory of this former courier of Info Direkt, yet it remains to be seen if he can fully comprehend them, or indeed accept them. For the time being, Security Guard Sköldis remains slavishly loyal to HKM.
At another time, hoya came to read Konduktör Éns formal Certificate of Idiocy, remarking that this means that the Dukhi cannot ask Hjortkloe Manufaktur for money if Borsten did anything stupid. She went further, and spurred Idiot to new heights of ambition, new peaks to climb: "You must strive further! You can be Idiot of the Week, even Idiot of the Month!"
Gave out free toilet paper to Americans. Guns-only zone. The pistol sidearm in its holster saved Konduktör Én from being gunned down on the spot. He was then asked to undergo a test, to see if he was an illegal alien from Mars. If the test turned out green, he was an alien and would be gunned down. The test read red, and so the friendly Americans of New Freedom Land drugged their guest as compensation, which caused Konduktören to see double, and eventually six-double. "You and your Thirteen friends!" Borsten swaggered off in a giggling stupor, and indirectly recommended the drugs to two members the Rad Devils, who upon hearing and seeing Borsten's delirium exclaimed "Fuck, I'm convinced!" and went straight to the Americans' camp.
Next day, Konduktör Én returned to the armed camp of New Freedom Land, to sell moonshine with the usual salesman sharking. On this occassion, one of the laughing Americans told him (while pointing to his own head) that a Centrally Placed Intelligence Source had received information that proved Captain Leo to be an illegal alien from Mars. Since he tested red, they said. The Americans wanted Borsten to spread this news to the public, and also promised a juicy reward if someone managed to beat down and drag Leo to their camp for proper testing.
Lynchmob tearing down corrugated plate walls and cages in their frenzy to get to Lep-Åke Vrederberg with a noose. Chanting: "Häng inte läpp, häng Lep-Åke!"
Received information from the Rad Devils which hinted on them potentially joining the Panzerwolves in the upcoming battle, since that best aligned with their ideals of Anarky. Directly afterwards, Konduktör Én gave Magpie information of this, and adviced Magpie to avoid the hillock where the Rad Devils were positioning themselves.
Foxy News wanted to have Borsten as their shield in the coming war footage, yet events led elsewhere. In the battle against the Panzerwolves, Konduktör Én and Albert the mutant witnessed how Leo, the Lion of Stråssa, was gunned down in the initial assault. Gathering their courage, they decided to rush forth and protect the protector of Outpost Valkyrie. To the words, "Ingen minns en fegis!" ("No one remembers a coward!" they leapt forth, with several other shieldbearers joining in to form a shieldwall to protect their fallen hero. Leo received medical aid, and Albert and Borsten charged forth ahead of the defenders of Stråssa, again shouting the same warcry. They were cut down in a hail of bullets.
Bleeding, Konduktör Én received medical aid, and limped up to join the shield wall (techno-testudo) of Techno-Korps Lindemann. This advanced in good order to the beats of Techno, yet Sköldis and a TKL soldier were torn down by a biting Panzerwolf maniac attacking them from rugged terrain to their exposed left. Konduktören received medical assistance a second time (as did the wounded TKL member) thanks to Krankenmann, and the shieldwall advanced in the opposite direction, kneeling in a hail of bullets ricochetting from their metal shields. Rising to advance once more, Konduktör Én was cut down a third time by bullets, and his conscious memory of the battle faded into a nightmare vision of Tummen of Kumlamilisen battling a Panzerwolf uggernaut.
Leaked Archive Documents of Info Direkt
Hjortkloe Manufaktur's investigation into Info Direkt. This message was somehow found in Info Direkt's archive, which should be impossible if Info Direkt truly ended in 2144.
Top-secret document on the Water Federation leaked in 2146 from the archives of Info Direkt. Likely cause of von Müller's disappearance (p.I).
Top-secret document on the Water Federation leaked in 2146 from the archives of Info Direkt. Likely cause of von Müller's disappearance (p.II).
The infamous lying document from the archives of Info Direkt, that set off the false rumour of Jonas Hjortkloe and the mutant brothel.
Info Direkt's report on Partiet (leaked 2146).
Lion Hunt of 2147 Photography Gallery
Konduktör Én (K): "Ooh, as if throwing away a paltry five minions would deceive us. No! YOU went to a mutant brothel! YOU have betrayed Stråssa! YOU are involved in the wild mutant business! YOU collaborate with the Panzer Wolves and train them to become better fighters! And you're very handsome!" Leo streaks his hair with a finger, acknowledging his famous good looks.
K: "You it was who let twenty Panzer Wolves in through the front gate of the pallisade yesterevening! We know that you have trained the Panzer Wolves from a ragtag mob into a thinking fighting force! They have become dangerous, and it is the doing of your tactical genius! We know that you plan to strike and seize all Stråssa for yourself and your inbred minions! But we have assembled to stop you!
A good hunt! What a prey! Ingratitude is the world's sole reward. Isn't that right, Leo? And so a dark chapter of insanity and witch hunt closes in the annals of Stråssa. A brief moment, when rabid hatred flared up for the man everyone looked up to and everyone tought they could trust. A glimpse of madness, when the people betrayed their own champion, and mowed him down in cold blood. Thus concluded the infamous Lion Hunt of 2147 AD.
HKM Comics in Stråssa
Following the dirty deeds of one HKM employee during the Lion Hunt of 2147, Beatrice Klarion advocated for casting him out of both Progresse and the company for disrespecting established authority. However, rumours claim that some young higher-ups in Hjortkloe Manufaktur (upon hearing the report of the accused one), instead of throwing Borstis out, saw a chance for profit by printing such dirty tales in comic format.
The debut year of 2148 saw HKM Sercurity Guard Konduktör Én sell HKM Comics Oblivion (2144) and Lion Hunt (2147) in Stråssa with foul salesman sharking. When attending an arena event, Borstis could be heard shouting "Köp Hjortkloe serier!" Much of the time, the newly printed HKM Comics would be given a sales pitch as toilet paper. At other times, the absence of Captain Leo's second shoulder cannon (newly installed in 2148) was used as an argument for the Lion Hunt (2147) comic being a strip tease, in order to appeal to Leo's ardent fans.
The following is a list of all known comics thus far:
HKM Comic: Oblivion (2144)
Oblivion (2144) is a historical comic booklet which deals with actual events of said year, involving treachery within Info Direkt and its hostile debtors, Gullstäutarna Handelsmannagille. Its back feature an advertisment for Stråla Brännarna, following a deal struck with Diesel.
Public Download (PDF)
HKM Comic: Lion Hunt (2147)
Lion Hunt (2147) is a historical HKM Comics booklet which deals with actual events of said year, involving a whirlwind of lies and desinformation culminating in the lynching of Captain Leo. Commonly known as the infamous Lion Hunt of 2147. HKM denies any connection to said events, and further denies all rumours about Jonas Hjortkloe and a mutant brothel.
HKM Comic: Steam Roller (2148)
Steam Roller (2148) is a historical comic booklet which deals with actual events of said year, involving French battlefield feints in the mercenary service of Kumla, as well as bold-faced treachery. Its back feature an advertisment for using HKM Comics as toilet paper, sporting Jonas Hjortkloe.
Gifts & Treasures From Svarta Svärden
Svarta Svärden have been known to craft works of art and poetry when they are neither too drunk, nor sober nor hangover.
A hidden treasure of gold discovered outside the camp of the Black Swords by Konduktör Én and the Rad Devils ended up gifted sycophantically to the CEO of Hjortkloe Manufaktur, Jonas Hjortkloe (2149). Open source photo. Treasure by Svarta Svärden
Knivogram to Konduktör Én sent via Kungliga Post och Telestyrelsen from Svarta Svärden (2149). Open source photo. Letter by Jimi Johansson.