NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW NOR GLOOM OF NIGHT CAN STRAY THESE MESSENGERS ABOUT THEIR DUTY.
ALTHOUGH THEY'RE PARTIAL TO KIPPER.
The Missertross Poste is the Vulpine Imperium's airborne mail service. While packages and gilder transactions are still proccessed by messengers, day-to-day mail, simple letters, are instead carried through the air by Missertross gulls.
How It WorksEdit
- You write a message
- You attach the message, via string or some other form of adhesive, to a Missertross gull's leg
- You speak clearly while giving the gull the location and/or name of the recipient of the message
- You feed the gull a small kipper in return for it not pecking your eyes out
This is how the average citizen deals with Missertross gulls. If kipper are not available, usually another form of substinance is required; the gulls are not picky. Some (such as the Ministry of Niceties's gulls) will even accept various forms of beverage.
Because Missertross gulls are sentient beings, one needs not give them directions very often - they are perfectly capable of finding their destination via street signs, or, failing this, trial and error. Gulls will never ask for directions.
Every major area in Bully Harbour has a Missertross Poste Office, in which the gulls roost. The Poste is free of charge, apart from the offerings of food to the gulls, but every day somebeast comes to make sure the gull's roosts are clean and to feed the birds who haven't gone out; this beast is paid by the Ministry of Commerce for its devotion to duty. The Poste Offices are open very nearly all the time, as the gulls do not celebrate Imperium holidays; instead, they celebrate their own day of rest and relaxation, known as the Day of the Dive, in which the gulls are free to do bird things, such as decorating statues and causing distress in the docks. This day is celebrated on Thermidor 5th. The entirety of the Missertross Poste ceases for the duration of this holiday.
Large businesses and corporations also own their own private gulls. This also applies to most factions, Ministries and citizens of wealthy stature, if they so desire.
Most yards have them - little poles driven into the ground, upon which a wooden box rests. There's a tray in the bottom of the box, jutting out a little, with a very thin slot in the tray just under the wall of the box, to let rain wash out without washing in. Beside the tray, a hook, so the gull may disengage the letter from his leg without assistance.
Some boxes are even outfitted with a little tray full of various items the owners of the box think might appease a weary gull. They seldom do.
Missertross gulls most closely resemble their cousin, the albatross. The word "Missertross" comes from the joining of the word "Missive" and "Tross", which very nearly literally means "Messenger Bird". On the other paw, the word "Albatross" come sfrom the joining of the words "Albert" and "Tross", meaning, "Albert's Bird". The reason for this has been lost over time, and nobeast cares anyhow.
A Missertross gull without his goggles and hat is not a Missertross gull, it has been said. It is in one's best interest not to steal a gull's scarf, as they are quite fond of them, and tend to harbor lifelong grudges.
Though the birds possess the power of speech, they rarely make use of it. They are Rarely Amused, though apparently they have their own version of humour, which is to deliver a message to the nearest beast available at the message's destination - the message then goes though a small and exciting journey as the poor beast tries to figure out who the message is really for, and if they'll get in trouble for having read it to find out. Whether or not this is their way of having fun or simply their way of getting revenge, nobeast knows for sure.
In dire times, a Missertross gull may, of course, deliver spoken messages, although they'd sooner peck your eyes out than do any singing Missers.
The Missertross gulls are a protected species. Killing one for no reason is punishable by a year's worth of tapdancing lessons, although there is a fifteen gilder reward for turning in a dead Missertross (cause of death: natural) to the proper authorities, and of course it is not unkown for them to suffer what is known as the "Dismissive", in which the gull becomes extremely dangerous to those around it. In this case, it is a public service to put the gull out of public service.
History of the MissertrossEdit
In the past, the Missertross was not simply a postal service, but also the Imperium's air-force. The lack of any current wars with neighbouring countries has caused this fact to slink into obscurity, but those in charge of the Missertross Poste Offices are confident that should the need arise, they'll be ready to make the appropriate changes. Even now, all Missertross gulls are required to train one day each week in militaristic duties alongside the Stoatorian Guards. The gulls still hang on to their ranks, although in times of peace they hardly mean much.
How, exactly, the Missertross Poste began is nearly impossible to relate. There are simply too many factors: The training of birds, the hunt for which sort of birds were best to use for training, somebeast randomly sticking a piece of paper on a bird's leg, and the gradual decline of Vulpinsula's bird population (curiously in conjunction with the end of a fifteen-year famine), leaving only the toughest of the tough - the Missertross - around to use for further training and message-sticking.
Missertross gulls have their other uses as well. For instance, the Emperor owns a private flock of them which he uses to keep in contact with far away countries - several of the more hospital birds are even trained as diplomats for the Imperium, although never in serious situations.