| Atlantis |
POD: c 85,000,000 BCE; Relevant POD: 1452
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Nationality:||United States of Atlantis|
|Parents:||Nicholas Radcliff (father); unnamed mother|
|Relatives:||Victor Radcliff (grandfather)|
Before the InsurrectionEdit
Radcliff was the grandson of Victor Radcliff through his bastard son Nicholas. Being black, Frederick was raised as a slave on the cotton plantation of Henry and Clotilde Barford, thirty miles south of the city of New Marseille, in southern Atlantis. Radcliff never actually knew his father; Nicholas died when Frederick was three. Frederick's mother made sure he knew who his grandfather was. For his part, Frederick was somewhat ambivalent about his life. On the one hand, he was a house-slave, and had a soft life compared to the slaves in the field. He even had wife, Helen, although that was a precarious situation given their station. On the other hand, he was aware that, but for his skin-color, his lineage would have insured a very successful life.
This all changed in 1852 when, while serving soup to guests at a dinner party, Frederick tripped on a loose floor-board and spilled soup all over several female guests and his mistress herself. While Henry Barford believed the whole mess had been an accident, the social structure mandated that Frederick be punished with five lashes and a transfer to the field.
Frederick survived his five lashes, and he and Helen were banished from the house to a shack. However, his rage at the Barfords and their overseer, Matthewbegan on that day, and he privately vowed he'd kill them all. Within a few days, he was in the field. He quickly learned how Matthew kept the slaves, both Negro and copperskin in line by playing them off of on-another. At the same time, he also realized that the slaves routinely worked as slowly as possible without being disciplined. At the end of the first day, he was left wondering if death was preferable to this exhausting work.
On Frederick's second day in the field, Atlantean cavalry soldiers arrived at the Barford plantation. The soldiers had been on their way to the city of New Marseille, but three men developed symptoms of yellow jack, and their commander, Lt. Peter Torrance, decided not to risk an epidemic in the city. While Barford was initially resistent, Torrance made it clear he was prepared to use force. Barford conceded and let the sick men stay in the slave cabins. In short order, one of the soldiers died, and several others who'd been healthy became sick, including Lt. Torrance and Clotilde Barford.
By chance, Torrance had words with Frederick. Frederick was forthright about his lineage, and Torrance was inclined to believe Frederick's claim. He informed Frederick that slavery wasn't allowed in Torrance's homestate of Croydon, and suggested that just because people wanted Frederick to remain a slave didn't mean Frederick had stay a slave. This conversation left Frederick puzzled, a fact he shared with Helen.
Frederick pondered Torrance's words over the next several days, as the yellow jack continued to spread. He realized that the guns the soldiers had been transporting were completely unguarded. He also realized that at the moment, the consuls of Atlantis, were split on the issue of slavery. While Cosquer native Jeremiah Stafford would certainly veto any efforts to end slavery legislatively, Frederick was also willing to gamble that Leland Newton of Croydon would veto the use of the Atlantean Army to put down any rebellion. He shared his plans with Helen, who was initially horrified by his leading an insurrection, but soon came to support him when he assured her he would charge the men under his command to fight "clean" (no needless slaughter of whites) to keep anti-slave forces on his side. At the end of his conversation with Helen, Frederick realized he was ready.
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