The story so far (in order):
The Oil Baron and Baroness left the library in the wee hours of the morning after much discussion of how best to deal with the Pizza Baron. They immediately encountered Chelsea, who had been diligently keeping watch on the door from the hidden nook across the hall. It was a hollow beneath the servants stairwell and tight up against the wall of the corridor, useful only for storage. It was an uncomfortable place to hide herself, and not exactly a secret, but most of the servants forgot that the quirk in the old buildings architecture was there. So she had an excellent place from which to observe Barry, the Baron's own attendant, passing the library and stopping just outside the door not once, but three times while the Baron and Baroness were inside.
"I have some unfortunate news Baron, Baroness. The only person I have seen for the last four hours was Barry, and he passed the library three times and stopped outside the door for at least a minute each time... I assume you suspect we have a spy in our midst Baroness?"
"Yes Chelsea, you're absolutely right. Barry? Well that's a shame, you are quite fond of him aren't you dear?" She looked over at the Baron as she spoke, watching the surprise melt off his face and become a stony glare. Mrs Preda always enjoyed putting her husband on the spot and watching him deal with it. Their marriage was built on respect for one another's quick thinking, ruthless action, and ambition.
"BARRY!" He suddenly yelled at the top of his lungs. Mrs. Preda merely stood there as Chelsea flinched in surprise. "BARRY GET DOWN TO THE LIBRARY THIS INSTANT!" Within moments they heard footsteps running down the hall towards them. It was not that unusual for the Baron's voice to be heard through the whole house, summoning Barry to his side at any hour of the day or night.
"Yes sir, here I am!" He skidded around the corner a few feet away and stopped dead when he saw Chelsea and the Baroness as well as the Baron. The Baroness was smiling in a vaguely predatory way, Chelsea looked disgusted, and the Baron's face was a picture of cold fury. "How can I be of service?" He managed to squeak.
"Let's all step back into the library and have a little chat shall we Barry? We've got so much more to discuss and only recently realized just how useful your input might be!" Mrs. Preda said brightly. She stepped forward towards him and took him by the arm. Chelsea quickly copied her on his other side and they gently but firmly guided him toward the library. As they passed the stony faced Mr. Preda he stumbled, and they had to half drag him the rest of the way inside. The Baron followed and firmly shut the heavy door behind them. To Barry the sound of its closing had a certain finality to it and as Mrs. Preda and Chelsea deposited him in one of the comfortable reading chairs he began to sob uncontrollably.
What on earth am I going to do about the olives. The thought struck him as he watched the bemused Charlie be shepherded out of the room by Otto. And didn't Otto mention something about Anchovies to me last night! Charlie better not come back planning to put anchovies on our other pizza! Otto was a good man, but if he planted that thought in Charlie's head he would need to be replaced. The Pizza Baron made a mental note to have a chat with Otto about anchovies and the realities they were already dealing with, no need to complicate things further!
529 pizza's each and every week for at least the next year. Half of them would have to have olives on them. It was a logistical and supply chain nightmare. It would have been impressive to accomplish such a thing with fresh ingredients, sourced from scratch even before the fall! Thankfully it seemed Charlie would be able to pull himself together and keep baking, at least for the short term. He would have to get those assistants trained up quickly.
He gazed out the window, mulling over the problem. He knew this plan was genius, with luck it would make him the most powerful man on the continent. As he looked out at the great field of solar panels interspersed with clusters of tiny houses, the groups of children at play, and the various servants at work he wondered whether he would be able to pull it off without olives. Maybe they would get lucky and find another pallet of the damn things somewhere! Just then he noticed the dust cloud left by a rider coming along the road towards the main gate. Gas was only used sparingly these days so it was rare for anyone other than a Baron to travel in a vehicle. Riders such as this often carried messages between the communities or between Baron's.
Most didn't know it, but often the messages destined for the Pizza Baron were from his various spies in the communities or in other Baron's households. It was necessary to keep tabs on his people and have the most up to date information possible. A little bit of electricity alone was not enough for the people to thrive. They had struggled for many years and the old baron had been tough on them, so had he at first. The spies helped him maintain order and silence any dissent before it grew. He watched the rider speed through the gate and begin climbing the hill to the mansion. Perhaps one of my spies has some good news for me he thought as he turned from the window and sat down at his desk to wait for the message.
The rules for this week remain the same as previous weeks!
I'd like to continue building on the story of the Pizza Baron and his post apocalyptic world. Each week I'll pick a winner that becomes the next piece of the story and wins 20 $PIZZA and a 5 SBI sponsorship from me. I may award additional prizes if I feel multiple entries expand the story well.
Each week I'll write a post announcing the winner and then I will write another chunk of the story and open it up again for the next weeks competition. I'll compile the winning entry for each week. If we reach a conclusion of the epic tale of the Pizza Baron I'll divide another TBD amount of PIZZA among all the winning entries throughout the whole story and publish the finished story here on Hive with all the contributors as beneficiaries. If this goes well we might have the first open source blockchain novella on our hands! 😂
The posts from previous weeks that didn't win establish side storylines that may be tied back in to the main plot if you so wish! This way entrants can expand their own storyline and still have a shot at winning the contest.
Bear in mind this is an experiment as well as a competition so we will see how many entries I get and how well it goes!
Entries must be more than 200 words but less than 1000.
Entries must use the hivepizza tag
Entries must comment on this post with the link to their entry
Entries must fit in the world/scenario that has developed from the previous weeks contest(s). You are free to develop characters, introduce new ones, invite aliens to the feast, I don't care as long it makes some kind of sense in the context! The Pizza Baron should remain relevant to the plot!
(I've named it a Tale of TWO Pizza's for a reason HINT HINT)