A Bloody Spring (Semi-Open; TG if Unsure)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]


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Founded: Dec 28, 2003
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:53 pm

“That’s it...I’m done with this...” Siri O’Neill, the Grummian Chairwoman blurted aloud, slamming the transmitted document down atop the one previously received from ZMI. “We can no longer stand idly by as he’s throwing diplomats out in some sort of manic rage and now holding a gun to these people, demanding we help his wife or else he’ll shoot. He have very well left it alone with asking, offering whatever rewards he may wish, but no, instead he cuts right into threatening to kill people so they’ll do his will.”

“What shall be our next course of action then?” asked Vice Chairman Shiran Naelthasser, hands clasped behind his back, cocking his head to the side. “You understand as well as I that they will not grant you an audience nor will they heed our pleas. It is unfortunate to say that the diplomatic path shows no clear solutions. Likewise, a militaristic approach would result in nothing more than an utter catastrophe. That which remains is a reenactment of the Greater Prussian affair, would it not?”

The seated elven woman shrugged. “Perhaps, but instead of only having to win over one, we have many. If it comes down to it, then maybe our involvement will end; that’s not a road we haven’t been down before, but hopefully it wouldn’t poison the waters as it had before.” She buried her face in her hands and gave an exasperated sigh, speaking through muffled fingers. “Send word to the other members of the Concordat. Keep it simple: we’re convening as soon as possible to discuss the past, present, and future actions of the Radiant Empire.” She hesitated for a moment and then said, “I will personally attend.”

Shiran arched a brow. “Are you certain?” Since her husband’s death many months ago, Siri had only managed to make it abroad only once and even then it was only in the aftermath of yet another Roanian mess – one that directly led into this one. And she barely made public appearances anymore either; she was content to shy away from the eye of the galaxy and all therein.

“No.” She rose and sighed reluctantly. “But this is the duty that I have been given, whether I like it or not. I was there to guide our Phoenix from the ashes, and I may just be the one who will have to set it aflame again.”

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Postby Roania » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:05 pm


"Ambassador! Ambassador, you will be hearing me out, if you please!" Pethbrigg was pursued after a moment by the Ambassador, her eyes now a pale green. "Forgiveness, but I am aware that you came to me because the honorable ambassador has not arrived in your fair land yet. But if what you say is true, and Honorable... uh..." She clicked her tongue, evidently very displeased with the word she was about to use, "Honorable Imperial Majesty Naragan is truly unhappy with what the Lord of Ten Thousand Years is doing, it would surely be far more profitable for Imperial Majesty Naragan to speak to the Lord directly? Charter Clause 45.C.A permits any head of state or head of government of the ba... of the foreign entities within the alliance to call upon the Lord of Ten Thousand Years directly, whensoever acts of dire emergency require. I have the communication codes right here, if it would please you to take them."


A phone rang in the office of some midlevel functionary in the Grummian State. "Hello? Hello? Good, yes. This is Ambassador Kai Kay, servant of the Lord of Ten Thousand Years. I hold the honor of representing the Lord to your people and government, to remind you. I have served for many years and to my knowledge I have done so well. But obviously, this lamentable man has failed in his charge. I request a meeting with honorable Chairwoman Siri O'Neil, please, as swiftly as possible."
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Founded: Dec 28, 2003
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:11 am

Within a mere matter of hours, a meeting had been put together for the Roanian Ambassador. Not that it required that much effort on the part of the Chairwoman, though. She basically just had summoned him to her office without all of the diplomatic nonsense that tended to precede these matters. Oh, she could have decided to receive him in what was ultimately going to be her throne room, but she neither had the time nor the willpower to step foot in that place any time soon. A simple, rather bare office, filled with nothing more than a couple of shelves, a desk, a chair, and piles of paperwork greeted the Ambassador, and against the front edge of the desk leaned Siri herself, arms crossed, cold eyes watching the man expectantly to explain why he wanted this urgent meeting.
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Postby Zepplin Manufacturers » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:49 am

Nowhere in particular

"It appears we should at least respond."

"Then we shall.. Insure the secondary evacuation protocols with our in theater personnel assets are in place."

"Prepare the Vanishing Oversight and its escort group for immediate departure to Shining Light."

"One of us must go in person."

A single voice responds out of the harmony. It is older and male.

"It shall be me."

"Agreed. We must be present."

"And the message to him?"

"If he does not listen by proxy and reason let us appeal to his ..ah yes let us start within a context ..his quest".

"And Merlin said .."

Rudan Prime

The courier was well dressed, uniform shining, rank slashes and markings bright and formal, body language giving away nothing. The metal diplomatic document cylinder he handed to the Roanian official was clearly marked, the gestalts own logo prominent, only a molecular key already in the Roanians hands able to open it.

The documents inside were on a thick white parchment refined from a fungal growth on a moon half a galaxy away, to hold it felt fantastic, smooth, silky overly perfect, it positively glowed, the text however was printed in deepest black stellar carbon below the cover letter that loudly proclaimed diplomatic message, don't touch or interfere with else numerous bad things would occur, including threats of automatic bounty issue. After this came several dozen seemingly blank, save for there number, sheets and a series of medical formulae, device names and brands on flimsies. Many of them were prominent emotional inhibitors, external little systems that bypassed sections of the mind entirely, others torturous towers of chemicals for enabling vastly if temporary increased mental capacity.


To save her life and yours with a prediction of near certainty that you must seek to take a strong emotional sedative to avoid disaster in what you seek and you must be smarter even if only for a time to out think your foe.

If you do not there is again an almost complete prediction that you and she will not survive this.

The details of half a dozen safe objects and drugs to do this are below. Check with your medical staff if you must. Do this now we implore you. We cannot state this more strongly. Be swift in this. If you do not your actions will result in her death within all the realms of chance we can view.

Save her. Save yourself.

Once you have done so and place your hands upon this documents surface.


++++ An official private communique from The Gestalt, holders of the office of the Executive of the Incorporated State, Granted such by the 1403rd Concilium in the name of the Citizen Shareholders. ++++

If he did the following would appear.

Now we will speak with emotion and you are the one wrapped in cold equations and duty we must serve every moment.

We offered help and assistance as friends and allies. We did not ask payment or recompense.
We did not require a threat to be made to assist those we judge our friends.

We are not obligated to assist you in this internal matter, she and you are not one of our citizen shareholders. Yet we were happy and willing to do so. Great resources were made available to this goal. Charitably.

We gave a clear prediction of what your present course would result in, both personally and in your position as friends and allies should when one is making a mistake. This is not a service we offer lightly or to all.

You threaten violence to those around you and have carried it out. Your actions not only put your own life and position and its standing in jeopardy but that of your wife since you have seen fit in this instance to not care for your primary duty whose proper execution is the only thing that grants you the power or position to save her.

We offered to gain your wife that one most vital thing. Time. You rejected our emissary in a fit of rage and thus our offer. For her sake, that is still an offer that stands open. But mark us well Sovereign of the Radiant empire and self proclaimed thrice cursed, one we once called a friend and one we hope we can call such again in future. We do this for her. Not for you. Not for your threats and not for your payment.

You speak of your children to be but once so self defiled with murder of innocent children, and it is nothing but murder by your hands, you will no longer be amongst those we could count as friends and far from fit as a parent to any.

We give effort to save her and what is left from the ashes, murder and ruin your present course will engender around yourself by your anger when the last days you now seek to entice closer come. But we will not be able to save you from yourself. Only you have the power to do that as all other counts for naught in your empire by the machinations of your predecessors and both their success and there many manifest failures.

This we will do because of who we are and not that you have chosen to be. Until this is over and it will be over take the drugs. Use the systems. Remain able to rule and wield power. Save her with its use not its abuse.

But as you are now filled with the cold logic that drives us and a sample of the intellect that forces us to see not what we wish but what is and what could be. We now together must judge these things we have spoken of in the terms we understand as emotions for you and us now are almost an empty irrelevance. So we offer you mathematical proofs of your possible actions. We offer you the glimpses we have seen of your paths. And we offer you our predictions on what the enemy you face is and its goals.

Save her. Save yourself. Rage, the tool of your enemies, cannot stand in the way of intellect and reason is the surest way to to real victory. Consider that most basic logical requirement of the existence of self. Self preservation.

++++ An official private communique from The Gestalt, holders of the office of the Executive of the Incorporated State, Granted such by the 1403rd Concilium in the name of the Citizen Shareholders. ++++

The rest of the documents unlocked were those proofs and predictions. They would vanish back to invisibility at the first slash of anger that broke through the complex series of systems and medication the Gestalt had devised.
Last edited by Zepplin Manufacturers on Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Roania » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:22 am


The Ambassador entered the office stiff with offended dignity. Kai Kay would not sit, even if a seat was offered. He simply placed his hands at his side, loosely clasped into fists, and issued a shallow bow. "Honorable Chairwoman. It has been this lowly dog's privilege and duty to serve my master, the Lord of Ten Thousand Years, and your honorable people as a liason. In that time, I have always believed I have accomplished my job with the respect that is due to both parties." He was a tall, thin man, dressed in the finest robes and wearing his hat and badge of office, complete with three feathers. He was also, out of respect for Grummian sensibilities, wearing large glasses that blocked his eyes from view.

Still, a flicker of red could be seen dancing inside. "I find, to my chagrin, Honorable Chairwoman, that this has not been the case. For which I most abjectly apologize." He made no move to provide the bow of apology, abjectly or otherwise. His fists, rather, tightened somewhat, then relaxed as his role returned to him. "If it would please the Honorable Chairwoman to share her thoughts with this despicable one, how have I failed both the Lord of Ten Thousand Years, and you? For surely I must have. This meeting you have chosen to call is so unprecedented and unexplainable by all the Secretariat knows that there must be a reason you have not once called upon me to seek an explanation or a communique, as is most certainly your right. And what, Honorable Chairwoman, might I do to release this stain of shame from myself and from my family?" Finally, grudgingly, he cupped his hands and bowed forward. "This unfortunate individual shall take the blame for this oversight, as it could not conceivably be that there has been an error on your part. I have been recalled, as they say here, and my masters shall deal with me as per my offense against you, most gracious one. But until my transportation arrives, I remain at your service. What would you have of me? If there is any way I might discharge my obviously sorely neglected duties on your behalf."
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:06 am

“I have not called upon you, because of this.” Siri outstretched her hands towards the man and shook her head. “This barbarian woman finds the long-winded, formal bullshit that diplomatic staff typically sprout extremely grating to have to deal with. I am blunt, and I expect the same for those who wish to speak with me. I also do not care to get bogged down in weasel words and legalistic crap. That is one of the reasons I did not seek you out. The other is that the Radiant Empire does not seem too keen on hearing the concerns of those of us abroad; I did not want to waste my breath when I felt that it would not change a damned thing.

“However…” She bowed her head, closing her eyes in silence briefly. “…none of this is your fault; you should not share the blame for something that is my doing. You are someone who is trying to do their job and trying to deal with someone who is incredibly difficult. I do not play the game as people in your field do, and I expect that people such as yourself need to remind me of that fact by breaking down the door to tell me, as you have done. I would be glad to state as such to your ‘masters’.”

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Postby Zero-One » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:58 pm

To Naiya, that voice felt like long claws scraped slowly over steel plates, and heavy weight rolling over their rusted innards. It was ancient, foul. An unclean thing that needed removed, burned clean with fire … after they figured out how to release Ai-Qien, and prevent it from getting any hold in the waking world. She listened closely to the words, warped as they were. And a pattern began to emerge.

Agreeing with Shodey that it was entirely possible their conversations might be monitored, she opted for an older, familial method to convey her thoughts. Outside the mindscape, her hands worked subtly in brief, measured gestures after getting her adopted aunt’s attention.

‘Family. Elements. Worlds? 162 or less, time. Where?’ And at that, she shrugged very slightly.

On the physical plane, S.H.O.D.A.N. nodded then drew a small device hidden in the lines of her dress. She deployed a membrane-thin screen from it with a flick of her wrist, then quickly wrote her response in luminescent script: ”Yes, a pantheon. Where? Jungles, wood--” She glanced over at where the local doctors had been analyzing the weapon. ”--which is trackable by spectrography. First things first: save the girl. We don’t know if 1/day is an accurate burn rate.” She handed the data scroll off to her niece.

Naiya read over the message quickly, sparing a glance in the direction the AI Queen had indicated - and for a moment was overcome with the stupidity of her own oversight. The weapon. Of course. Logic might suggest that given the method of attack, and the source, that the jungle planet they were looking for was her home world. But this wasn’t a creature of logic.

“Can you?” she asked her aunt simply, nodding towards the wooden item, along with nodding her agreement on both the saving, and the unknown nature of time available. They would see soon enough, she figured. If another sacrifice were made, they had much less time to get this all sorted.

“Of course I can. Doctor, may I?” the gynoid said, stepping forward to get a better view of the object. Her tone indicated that the question was merely a courtesy.

Meanwhile, on a plane tangential to mundane reality, the local avatar finally received permission from the greater Her to access a rapidly reconfigured Test Sector out in the halo, full of fresh bodies with fresher soul-analogs pumped into them. Given their artificial auras and purely mechanical approximations of ‘being,’ they’d functionally serve as Elder God Happy Happy Foods with even less real nutritional content. They just had to smell right enough to bait the trap. With the connection made, she typed up a slight waver in the wall so the smell could get through. “We offer more than mere scores. Scores of scores, entire worlds, can be yours should we come to terms.”

As was her usual modus operandi, she didn’t lie.

Understanding the need for a thing and wholeheartedly approving of it on all levels was not always the same thing. Rarely, in cases of varying moral implications. Negotiating with the thing went against a number of instincts in the younger woman, all of which she wisely kept from so much as hinting on the surface of her mindscape form. While the information was gathered, and the talk begun, she wracked her brain to think of any cult or religion that worshiped snakes, poisonous things from beyond, was part of a pantheon of related entities, and who engaged in blood sacrifices - to a point, ‘swearing by a sword’. Unfortunately, much of her training and tutelage had revolved around another pantheon entirely. And all the potential ideas she had were coming up either as blanks, or pure silliness. Adam and Eve this definitely wasn’t.

The young woman held her position, ready for any offensive movement by the entity, or for any visible change in the suffering Ai-Qien. In real time, she quietly conveyed her concerns over the followers of this thing to S.H.O.D.A.N..

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Postby New Naggoroth » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:05 am

The White Tower of Hoeth, Kingdom of Saphery

"You've come a rather long way just to ask a simple question."

The voice, soft and melodic, was that of Teclis, the Loremaster of the great tower, one of the greatest and oldest elves still living in the Ten Kingdoms. Cursed with frailty from birth, he hardly cut an imposing figure as he rose from his high-backed wooden chair, the golden staff he leaned upon held close to his side. Silver hair framed his lean face, and his pale eyes seemed heavy and burdened. He smiled, however, at the two kneeling mages who had entered the expansive library where he had sat, reading a heavy book written in old druhir.

"But you come seeking knowledge, and I suppose this is as good a place as any to find it. Now, tell me, Korhandris of Rhyslyr," he said, referring to the large southern city where the mage hailed from, "What troubles you and your apprentice... whom I have not met before," he continued, turning his gaze upon Ellenith, something of a mischievous smirk on his lips. It wasn't often that there was something or someone that he didn't know.

"Something terrible has befallen an ally of the Phoenix Throne, my lord," Korhandris said solemnly, his head still bowed respectfully. "I believe it to be a manifestation of a daemon, that has taken the wife of the Emperor of the Radiant Empire. I, and my apprentice Ellenith, were nearby at the time of the attack. While we only witnessed the aftermath, it is very precarious situation."

"A daemon?" Teclis asked, concern and curiosity intermingled in his expression as he stroked his chin, "Hmm. We have so far managed to avoid the attention of the Ruinous Powers since the fall of the Old World, and I have felt nothing in the aether that would suggest this has changed. I suppose, however, they would not remain dormant forever, nor would we be the only ones they would seek out. But what makes you so certain?"

"Master Korhandris was, at my suggestion, examining the stricken woman, my lord, when he noticed it," Ellenith spoke, perhaps a little out of turn, "He, well, both of us, felt the wrongness of what what had afflicted Ai-Qien. It is not something of our reality."

"Ah, yes, the denizens of the aether do tend to produce a very distinct aura, that it easily felt by those with our talents," Teclis said reassuringly, as he placed his hand upon Ellenith's shoulder. "You were wise in coming to me. I do not have all the answers, but I will do what I can."

"That is all we would ask, Loremaster," Korhandris said as the two of them rose to their feet. "Billions of lives hang in the balance. The Emperor is most distraught over the injury done to his wife, and threatens to wipe out the world of the perpetrators."

"Troubling. Did you feel as though it was attempting to possess the young woman?"

"Strangely, no, my lord," Korhandris said as Teclis lead them into the library. Hundreds, if not thousands of tomes, in countless languages, filled the tall shelves, each row illuminated by the warm glow of candles that never burned down. "It seemed startled by my gaze, as if it didn't realize that there were beings that could see beyond the mundane."

"Hmm...." Telics pondered aloud, as he suddenly stopped and reached up for a book. Bound in black leather, it seemed an ugly thing that drew light into itself. He opened it, and slowly turned the stiff pages. "That would suggest that it is more of an animal intelligence, perhaps..." he said, while he rapidly skimmed the strange, angular script that hurt Ellenith's eyes when she glanced at it. Just as quickly as he had picked it up, the Loremaster snapped the book shut and replaced it on the shelf. "Yes, there are other creatures of the aether besides those thralls of the Four, much like our worlds have their lower orders of life. Tell me more of what it did, how it felt," he instructed as he resumed walking through the stacks.

"It felt..." Korhandris seemed at a loss for words, unable to succinctly state his thoughts,

"Reptilian," Ellenith added, "It felt cold, like the gaze of something... like a snake, I would say."

"A snake? Hmmm..." Teclis stopped then, and hefted a thick book from a low shelf. This one had on it's cover writing that Ellenith was rather more familiar with; what appeared to her eyes to be some old form of High Roanian. How the Loremaster had acquired such a book, Ellenith hadn't the slightest idea. She didn't recognize the seal upon the cover.

"It just so happens, that your reixanxi friends have a rather colourful history of worship of old gods," Teclis said, almost excitedly, as he took the heavy book to a nearby table and laid it out. "Much like our own pantheon, the one they were held in thrall by in their early years was very real, composed as it was of aethereal beings. However, unlike ours, theirs did not have a benevolent facet. Or, perhaps, if it did, it was crushed beneath the weight of the demands of the gods that desired blood and sacrifice. Either way..." he said, flipping through the pages, past very detailed illuminations of ancient horrors and terrible deities, "What you face is monstrous in the extreme, though I think that needs no further explanation," his page-turning stopped on one particularly horrible illumination, this one of a hundred-headed serpent devouring terrified maidens in graphic detail.

"But it is still an animal," Ellenith said, as she grimaced at the image.

"Exactly!' Teclis seemed pleased she had reached the correct conclusion. "It has animal wants and desires. It craves blood and flesh to feed upon. If it hasn't consumed the young woman, then that would mean someone is feeding it instead. So..."

"So we offer it something better," Ellenith connected the dots.

"But what?" Korhandris asked, following the reasoning, "We cannot in good conscious feed a person to it in her stead, no matter how many lives it would save."

"A simulacrum," Teclis stated as he snapped the book shut. "I should think an elven virgin would whet its appetite more then anything. The very picture of beauty, innocence and purity."

"But when it finds out it's flesh is made of condensed aether instead of living flesh..." Ellenith sounded worried, unsure how such an arrangement would work.

"It will be most incensed, yes," Teclis nodded, "However, it will not learn this until it has agreed to release it's host. The simulacrum will collapse in on itself, and the daemon will once again safely be trapped in the realm from whence it came."

"And this whole unpleasant business will be finished," Korhandris said, a grin on his lips as things began to become clear.


"Almost?" both master and student didn't like the sound of that.

"It needs still be discovered who could entreat such a being into our world. And that one's life must be ended. But that can wait. We have work to do, and I would imagine our time grows short. You have touched the being directly, Korhandris of Rhyslyr," Teclis said as he rose to his feet once more, and turned to leave his library, "With even that brief connection, we can bridge the gulf and perform our work out of my sanctum. But we must not delay."


Thah-Tohn system orbital, fifth planet

Admiral Tychus was a patient man. That was why the hallytyr had put his in charged of the Combined Karond Second Fleet. He was dutiful, too; His ships, all forty-six of them, were arranged in a defensive formation and on alert to jump into action on a moment's notice. He was not an overly curious man; when he was tasked with this command, he did not question why a fleet would even need to be sent to aid an observe the actions of a foreign ally, he only obeyed. All that had mattered was that his ship, the dreadnought Sword of Khaine, was ready to serve, as were the other ships that he had been given to command. He was a dedicated, life-long soldier, to the core, nothing more and nothing less.

But his patience was wearing thin. The Roanian admiralty was reticent, to put it generously. They had, upon the arrival of the elven host, instructed their "illustrious allies" to lie in wait in the orbital of the fifth, uninhabited and empty, world. The Oyadans had apparently been given similar instructions, though this was only gleaned from observing their ships arranged in a similar fashion around another of the system's barren rocks, as their other erstwhile allies also did not deign to actually consult with them.

So they waited. They even waited as the first group of Sarian raiders jumped into the system and threw themselves onto the Roanian guns. While Tychus did not personally have experience with these particular pirate scum, the Naggorothi had over the years. With hundred of light-years between them and their nearest civilized neighbours, more then a few brands of raiders plagued the shipping lanes, threats that the navy constantly had to deal with. While a call for assistance had been made, it hadn't been directed to either of the two allied groups lying in wait deeper in the same system. And that, more then anything, grated on the veteran commander.

"Comms," the admiral's heavy, gravelly voice easily filled the command and control centre and commanded attention, despite the quiet chatter of various stations surrounding him. "Send a shortwave burst to that Admiral Lan. Remind him that we are present, the next time he feels he requires reinforcement. And..." he stopped, biting back from demanding an explanation from their friends as to why they were out here in the first place. Why protect a world that they're planning on bombing? "That's all."


New Anlec, Kingdom of Naggarythe

Chairwoman O'Neill's message to the Concordat had not gone unnoticed. Through the consulate aboard Shining Light, both O'Neill's call for a summit, as well as Damalin's personal appeal to his allies, were forwarded on to the Phoenix Court. There, they ended up upon the desk of the King's Hand, the High Lord Seraphon Nyvan.

And he didn't particularly want anything to do with them.

"So, Joral," the lord, arguably the third most powerful elf in the kingdoms asked his assistant, a distant cousin of his from some branch of the family that had intermarried into the ruling Vyros family of Hag Graef. "Tell me. Do we trouble his highness with this?"

"I... am not sure, lord," the boy said, his brow knitted with concern as he read the copy of the summons. "I... no?"

"No, we do not," Seraphon agreed, tossing the tablet to his desk as he leaned back in his chair, letting the warm glow of the false sun fall over his face. Given the inhospitable nature of the planet's surface, the great cities of Nagarythe existed entirely underground. However, day and night cycles needed to be maintained, as so tiny false stars had been built above each city to replicate the one that weakly shone upon the frozen surface far above.

"But we can't just ignore this. O'Neill will be furious if we just brush her off."

"Of course. So we won't ignore her. But the King is indisposed, and I'm rather busy," he said as he yawned and stretched, "So we must send someone else."

"The Everqueen would make an excellent representative."

Seraphon's barked a laugh, "Yes, well, good luck with that. I'm not even exactly sure where she is at the moment. And even if I did know, she certainly doesn't come at my beck and call."

Joral hummed. "Well... Loremaster Teclis, perhaps?"

"No. He hasn't been outside of his tower in, what, almost a decade? At least that I'm aware of. I suppose he could come and go as he pleased and none of us would be the wiser. But I doubt he'd be interested."

"We do need to send someone of import in the King's place," Joral said with a nod. "What about Prince Imrik?"

"That... is not a terrible idea, actually..." the lord sat up, and grasped his tablet once more. "I'm sure Imrik would enjoy nothing more then a trip halfway across the galaxy to attend tedious meetings. I'll inform him of his duty, and you can reply to the Chairwoman."

"Actually, my lord, are you sure that this is such a..."

"Of course! Get it done."

From the Office of the Eternal Phoenix King of New Naggoroth, Malekith Aenariyath

It would please us to attend your meeting, Chairwoman O'Neill, as we too are gravely concerned with the troubling unrest afflicting our mutual ally. However, at this time his Highness, King Malekith, is unable to attend in person. In his place, Prince Imrik Dragontamer, Lord of Caledor and King's Hand, will be in attendance. He will be departing the Kingdoms shortly, and should arrive at your Shining Light station within days. If you have need of anything else, please, do not hesitate to call upon me.

Lord Seraphon Nyvan, King's Hand
Last edited by New Naggoroth on Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
New Naggoroth factbook

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Zepplin Manufacturers
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Postby Zepplin Manufacturers » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:57 am

Deep space 23 light days from Tonh

The corridors hummed with activity, the grim columns of clerics and there brutish thugs moving the grey and silver bulk of medical gear or escorting lines of children into the ship's deep shelters. The brightly dressed gunwardens, there vac suits with their prominent torso trauma plates covered in a thousand ribbons and markings for kills singing to each other in guncant as they moved overhead rail cart after rail cart of munitions, and the constant tramping of the crew in general.

The ancient anti spalling padded black corridors positively were alive with traffic and much of it to his disdain the sort that even he, resplendent in his position had to stop to allow past for the good of the ship. A concept whose violation on any major sarian vessel would very quickly see one even of his rank trying to breathe vacuum before there corpse was thrown into the recycling towers. As he proceeded forward things became more official, guards now at every junction, great barriers that could cut even a grand corridor in half in a moment, turrets and even the silent trios of Forger armoured knights standing watching the passing morass. The quality of the corridors fabrics went up, now decoration and great shock proofed cases containing antiquities, arts and treasures but most vaunted of all objects the captured remains of enemies, there banners or shards of there ships, some still in rad proof cases. The great seals of Saria and the Shr’In were now a constant, the decking no longer bare flooring tramped by a thousand feet and worn with time but clean and shining with fresh coats of lacquers, stains and polished marbles.

Has did a final check of his court dress insuring the polish on his pistol grips was to a high shine before his metal clad feet entered the prince's own presence. It after all would not be proper for a herald to be seen in anything less. The final void lock guards eyes glittering dangerously as they watched him pass through its great metal toothed vestibule.

The chamber was vast. Covered from top to bottom in the jingoistic remnants of something other as well as the instrumentation and mechanism to control a fleet considerably larger than the clans present offering. Huge stellar cartographic displays, cascading masses of local read outs on starships, all were manned, while below in the cable sections many laid open dozens of of the Forge Wardens female engineers hissed orders at each other as the entire edifice was readied for action. To its rear the great throne sat high above it all, the three hundred steps each marked with a dozen ship lords logos upon metal tiles, there positions in the hierarchy at least as the prince saw them carefully moved up or down the ladder as he saw fit. The great operations positions were manned by the children of ship lords, deft nimble fingers dancing upon their surfaces as behind them there tutors and executors should there parents turn traitor kept watch over their every move.

The prince himself was reclined on something expensive, dark and wooden in front of the main strategy pits displays. His finely wrought suit of metal,fabric and expensive old xantian league plastics attended by half a dozen of the finest broken and his own harem. Has came to a stop as he entered the attendants field, and saluted. Without turning Maf T Shr’in, prince of the Shr’in and lord of every being he surveyed at least in the room waved him forward, the gaily if violently dressed crowd of ship lords, attendants and clerics parting before the herald as he stalked towards royalty. Mafs voice was deep, crinkling with a noble drawl bereft of emotion.

“You notice they fire slow, the main guns are very slow to charge but quite devastating. A class four or above by the old crux ratings Has, it even has Gulgarian here worried about our own armour.”

The prince indicated the old man with the sharp amber eyes, not just a Gun Warden but The Gunwarden. The old man stared at the herald straight in the eyes, his presence unwavering by the nobles who surrounded him. Those who crossed a Gunwarden soon found there ships less than well fed with munitions or worse surprises in wait.

“Aye m’lord prince, three or four hits in the same spot and they will burn through, but I fear for the port great bay it was never the same after your grandfather replaced it when we were through with the D’rsal.”

“I thought D’rsals port bay door fitted our own perfectly Gulgarian, at least it has always appeared so to me”

“It does my lord but it seems in the dark old D’rsals was worse off than we expected, my predecessors did not check it but the doors not the pure metal, it's got half a dozen lessers bonded in its depths.”

The prince withdrew his goblet from the hands of a broken standing to his left and stared into its depths. From within them, beneath the drifting alcohol the clear plastic coated and preserved set of eyes stared back.

“Damn penny pinchers!, you hear that D’rsals, may the grinder and the dark take you! Grandfather should have burnt you down a decade earlier and perhaps I would have a decent port door! “ Maf did not however dash it to the floor. He was royalty and this was a still savoured relic. A broken took it from his disdainful hand motions, her face floorward and body in the formal position of shameful contact.

“Well that just won’t do long term and they have enough to swarm us if we go en mono, I wish to test them, your masters Has will pay me more than well for that alone. What about there secondaries!”

Has broke in now, his voice clear above the crowd, herald training backing its every nuance.

“As we can tell they won't be burning through our armour any time soon but the Fangs and anything lesser will suffer under them, they don't have the dispersal mass of pure haik to deal with the output but they should ride out the initial barrage just fine. Still no missiles or kinetics to be seen at all but the Oyadan formations relavistics are still a threat though there drones are a fine challenge for the beheaders.

Has pulled a data want from one gauntlets inner lining and waved it through the field of light in the strategy pit. As he did Oyadan ships appeared, estimated power curves and more dancing as sarian glyphs flowed around them.

“We have good records from Clan S’ga and Gm’ra of their performance. Those battleship main guns of theres are cruiser killers, the Fangs won't hold under it and at most one or two impacts from those primaries and a Fang will break m’lord prince. Not the fastest of vessels or the most maneuverable but we would do well to not engage them without clear advantage, they are rarely incompetently led.”

Has gestured and his fingers danced in mid air. The Naggarothi flotilla appeared.

“We have no idea who these are save for rumours from the S’or but as they are between heralds at the moment i'm afraid m’lord we have nothing certain. They look liked mixed armament and are far out of position and as for this”

A burning wall filled half the chamber now as the great view panned into the star, the judgement Free of Charges halo of sensors in part mapped as they spiraled and anced outward.

“Grinder damned Long Patrol, almost as bad as the Sunetti just sitting there watching, half a dozen other traces, seems like the scent of these Reixanxis blood on the void brings many my prince .“

The prince grimaced then smiled at something that most would find not very humorous at all.

“So they know we are here, or are watching this great drama of an empires infighting, all watching and all the system a stage. Oh let us put on a show for them. Yes. A show. A blooding. “

The prince stood, his hands dancing as ships were chosen and formations selected.

“Now what I want to know is will the Fangs perform their function as im sure you do Has.. Van! “
A greater ship lord looked up from his board game further down the platform, a bald weapons fire burned head bobbing strangely as Maf shouted for him.

“Van you will perform a slash strike here, concentrate on the cruisers and destroyers, the damaged ones in specific, I want them to bleed Van. The clan needs to know if there weight will carry. I need to know. A full strike but that alone. Return to point mmm”

The prince gestured and a point twenty light minutes outside the system boundary appeared.

“ Upsilon after a standard random walk. Yes. We will be ready in the claw for them there if they do follow but I doubt it. I have seen nothing overly foolish from them yet.

A gruff older voice responded from the burned individual in agreement before the prince continued. “Marik!” A younger Sarian now, his finery covered in red bars for everyone he had killed in formal challenge.

“A pole slash right here two minutes after Van. On this flagship of Lans. Your full squadron. I want him to be shaken personally. Make sure it carries at least some through but I doubt you will do more than rattle him, though we can always ask the fates for more. No need to promise victory, just perform the slash and join us inside the claw at upsilon, again after random walk. I want no mistakes in that. If they cannot follow you through it then they are unworthy of seeing the centre of a claw! “

The prince sat and reclined once more gesturing for one of his attendants to bring forth a platter of meats. “Now go both of you and ready yourselves.”

The prince began to gnaw on the morass of meat as both greater ship lords left, a tailing pyramid of others following them.

Two hours later. 2.3 million kilometres from the Roanian 8th fleet

Space boiled for a moment then was filled. A line of seven Fang class cruisers, drives burning hard already heading straight for the fleet. At the rear the dagger of a Feral class heavy cruiser, its clan markings clear, all surrounded by a spreading pool of beheader corvettes, noticeably however the assault shuttles were still firmly upon their external moorings.

Greater ship lord Van F Sal sat in the deep leather of his command chair, his third wife gently massaging his scarred and burnt scalp with oils as he watched the ships come into formation, the gentle hissing as jink thrusters pressurized audible even here in the depths of his bridge.

As he watched counters and spheres of influence dance across displays he eventually as the ranges closed ground out a single word.


As he did the eight sarian anti shipping missiles on their mounts on his ships flanks could be felt detaching before there drives hurled them dancing and bobbing towards the enemy, an escort of beaders on single use boosters following them into their fiery end. Ahead of him the Fangs copied his launch, but from there forward prow missile mounts only two of the the anti shipping missiles belched forth, already there lower masses showing in the cruisers movements as the weapons left them behind in awash of light and distorted space.

“And now we wait to see the show. Pilot. Hard burn. Bring us about, flank speed for the dark, squadron to mirror gross movement but jink, all weapons priority to the rear and to defense, beheaders, full tercio to the rear, I want our drives baffled by your hulls if you have to damn it!. Times!?”

The last word was a roar. From the ops pits beneath him a commoner tech shouted out in response.

“Fourteen minutes to impact, twenty two till jump sixteen till Marik is due.”

Van sat back and closed his eyes before waving a hand in mid air before him at something only he could see. “Now we see how fast we can run or they can dance and die”
Last edited by Zepplin Manufacturers on Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Roania » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:35 pm


As may be expected from a man of his class, race and station, the Ambassador simply folded his hands into his long sleeves and bowed slowly. "We have a saying. 'The wise master knows all that happens in his house. The sage, however, does not.'" He released his bow and his hands and resumed standing at ease, hands at his side. "You might feel that the Lord of Ten Thousand Years is behaving... erratically. And that would be your privilege, and your right even in the Hall of the Dragon Itself. I will simply state that at no point in the history of this Dynasty has any Sovereign chosen to take upon themselves all the burdens of governance. Nor have many of their predecessors. It is not a mortal burden... begging, of course, your pardon. The Sovereigns have always chosen to divest themselves of much of this burden, and their appointed have also spread theirs, and so on, and so forth, until this unworthy individual has come to you, bearing a tiny fraction of the Sovereign's ultimate power, but knowing still that the Lord of Ten Thousand Years has placed faith in my superiors to do their best, and that my superiors in turn have placed some of that faith in me."

He then simply produced a small document covered in calligraphy that bore, at the bottom, the Black and Yellow of the Imperial Seal. "And now, I ask that you do the same. I wish you and your land no harm, and will always speak truth if I may. I hold in my hand a copy of the Imperial Rescript on the Access of Foreigners. It does, as you say, command that no foreigners shall be permitted an audience. You are correct that this means the Lord of Ten Thousand Years has no desire to hear their appeals, and your words would be routed to those who can accomplish nothing by passing them on."

"However, I will draw your attention to this row of characters here. In the Sovereign's own hand it states 'Those who have been presented before shall always be welcome'." And Kai Kay smiled very thinly, barely showing his teeth, and bowed once more. "I remember well, because I cleared your travel plans with Duke Ramiel, that you attended the glorious nuptials of the Sovereign and his Consort. I would dare say that that qualifies you to call upon the Lord however you may wish so. If you would wish to call, I have the codes for the Palace Network in a locked box in my office. If you would wish to visit, well... so be it. But I urge you to speak with both the Lord of Ten Thousand Years and the Secretarial Cabinet before you act... precipitiously."

Zero One, Dread Lady Nathicana

you̕ ẁi̷sh ͏t͘o̴ ͡g̵ive̛ ͘m̕e sac̕rifice͝

͡moré s̴a̕c̸ri͠fice̴ ͡th̨an̛ ͢th̷e ͞h͢éirophant
i͝ a̧m ̀s҉a͝t҉ed̸, ̷bu̕t ͏i͞ ̀ha͜v͞e ̛not̨ b͞eeń ͢glu͏tt͜e͞d

̴fo̵od͞, y͘ouǹg͡ ́and ̧fr͘ésh ̵an҉d f͝ęr͘ti̢le
͝tha͜t͡ i̛s ǵoo͞d̢

̴you o̶ff͢e̷r m҉uçh
but i̸n̨ ŕeturn̢ ͝

you w͞is̴h t̴ha̸t͞ ̨i do͠ ҉wha̶t͝

The Serpentine head again caressed AiQien's breast, a long black tongue licking the tan flesh in undulating circles as it continued, seeming to see all in the room and all around it even though it faced their avatars.

"This, young lady?" Kousenel glanced at the crystalline case where the wooden blade rested, its ornamented head carved to resemble a fang. In the crystal, it glowed softly, a malevolent and toxic green. "All we've worked out is that its reservoirs of poison have not run dry. We can't figure out what it is or... forgive me. My frustration is showing."

There was a reason for that, that became visible as the crystal shattered into dust and the doctor carefully took the knife by its handle to give to her. Even though the glow was lost without the crystal, there was a long trail that seemed to lead back into the snake. A... limb or tail had formed and was now drawing slow circles around the young woman's abdomen. It hadn't stopped speaking, of course.

r̸e͘le͘a̸se ͠thįs̸ o͝ne f̵ro͡m͞ t̀h̨e͜ ear͞t͟h͘ ̛o̵f m͝y̷ mo͞t́he̡r̴s

͡r̶e͢l̛e͏as͞e̡ ̸th̡is ̴on͟e ̷f̡rom̸ ̴t͝h̷e ̸sea҉ o͡f my͜ ͡s͜is̷t́ers͟

́r̀e͏leasé t͠his o͝né from ̀th̷e̵ f͝i̕r̶e̡s̴ ̢of҉ ͢my͝ brother̀s̢
̸ręlèase̢ ͡t̷h͢i̶s̴ ͢one ͞fr̡ơm͠ ̷t͢he ̨dar͡k̵ņess̨ o̕f ̷m͞y fa͜t̵h͢ers͠
i͢t ̢i̶s no ͜gre̸at t̴h̀i͝n͢g͢ yo͏u ͞a̛s҉k
͘t͜o̵ res̴tor̵e͝ t̢hi͢ngs to͘ t̡ḩeir ͠c̷o̧u̡r̀s͠e͜

̛i͠t i͠s̀ ͢no ͝sm̡all̕ ͘t̶hi͘n̸ǵ ҉yo͠u as͝k
͏the h͠iero͘ph̵an҉t ͡ha͠s ͟k͟e̕p̧t h͝is̴ w̸o̧r̡d͘ ͟t͟o͟ ͡me
̢be̸f̧or͏e̴ i̷ ͘b͏r̛e͢a҉k ́m̀i͏ne ҉to ̨h͞im̴ ͘
̀i wis͝h s̀o̧m͝e̡ţh̀įn̢g héŗe̛ ͏and no͠w
tw͡o ̵wome̕n he͠r̴e

̛b̛u͝t̢ ͘n̴e̸i̢the͏ŗ ͟is҉ a̛ ̛m͟e̕a̵l̶
́the ai͞r ̢a҉r͡ound b͝o͠th ͘i͢s̀ ̸sţr͟ang҉e
pro͠v̸e͢ g͝ood f͠ai̡th a͞s̀ onc̛e ͠wa͠s ̶an͠d͝ w̨i̵ll be ̢àg͟a͏in̶

t͟h͘ere ̢is̀ a ma̷n ͡am̢ongst ̨y̸ou

t̨a̴ke ́th͏e s͏worń ͞k͟n͞if͏e
͞an͝d ͢ģi͢ve ͜him̷ ̶t̀o͝ mè
as in t̕h̵e ҉fane͘s͠ ̀of old̸
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Postby Sunset » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:17 am

Tradia's Hovercar, En Route to K’Xytil Spaceport, K’Xytil City, N'Xypndiltn…

"...we also keep it for intelligence purposes," Kathrine said, answering the Inspector's question before he got a chance to answer it. Kathrine Price was the appropriately named CEO of PricePlus, the moderately sized (and priced, though the pun had been avoided) passenger line that operated service between N'Xypndiltn and several nearby star systems as well as the destination in reasonable demand among the Tonhi population; Thanh-Tonh. Her narrow accent was a recognizable reminder of her own origins among the remnant population of the corporate state of Imnsvale. "Not of the type you are thinking, Inspector. Service is one way to distinguish our brand from another and when a guest finds their favorite holovision show - harvested from logos or depictions on their clothes or catch phrases taken from their conversation - playing in their suite, it helps to put them at their ease. Data storage is cheap so we keep a profile for all of our customers with the goal of having a continuous and comfortable experience for them."

"Which is also useful intelligence data," the sandwich-wielding Inspector noted dryly.

"No, I suppose not. We put your man into the system as soon as we got the warrant and;" A collection of still images harvested from various cameras unfurled across one side of the screen as the CEO's head slid to the other, "Here is what we have. Importantly, we can tell you that he has never been a passenger aboard our service but..."

"He has been a visitor," Min finished, another mouthful half-chewed. The carnage in the tunnels had put his stomach off any thoughts of food and it was only now in the mid-morning that the hunger had overtaken him to such an extent that he was both reduced to the rudeness of eating in front of a guest - though virtual, the CEO still counted to his cultured mind - and to the barbarous level of consuming fast food.

The image he'd chosen showed the Prince standing carefully posed as if waiting for something or someone with his various retainers standing around or nearby paying attention to the crowd while their master waited seemingly unperturbed by the bustle and flow around him. The passenger service was just one part of a larger operation and most of the traffic seemed to be the crew of various ships and ground staff from the starport itself. A touch and the image became a video that then resolved into a projected hologram as the crowd began to move. The other images were essentially the same and their various time-stamps showed that this was right in the middle of the sequence. A minute passed and the Inspector's choice proved apt as something off-camera caught the Prince's attention and he half-turned to greet a younger man with an answering slight bow to the new arrival's lower and thus more respectful one.

"...and there is the missing link," Min breathed, zooming in on the man's face with a surprisingly deft sweep and spread of the fingers. An outline appeared around it and he swept it off to one side and the video resumed from the new angle while a dossier began to generate on the passenger side window of the hovercar.

"ThaManh," Tradia read aloud, though she was already familiar with the face that matched the name. His was front and center on the dossier that fronted the reports that continued to be passed back and forth with unrelenting regularity. "The assassin."

"And it seems friend to Prince Li Nesar. Ms. Price, can you..." He had been about to ask the executive to search the recordings for the man's image when something in the current video caught his eye.

It was another man, older, but with a more familiar cast to his face than the darker skin of the Tonhi. Whoever he was, he was lurking at a corner of the spaceport concourse and seemed more than casually interested in the meeting between the Prince and his younger relative.

"I have seen that man before. He is Roanian, but where?"

"He seems really interested in ThaManh," Tradia offered as the video continued.

Step by step as the Prince turned to leave the port, the future assassin in tow, the unknown man followed along behind them. Though he was a Roanian and several times came within easy eyeshot of the Prince's retainers, none stopped him or made any attempt to object to his presence.

"And I'm sure I've seen him too, now that you mention it."

"And if we both have, then we can narrow down the where considerably. Ms. Price," he returned to the previous question, "Please search for any instances of either of these two men in your records. The first is a known assassin and the second may be an accomplice in some manner."

"I'll have my staff get right on it," but this time it was Tradia's turn to interrupt; "A blue jumpsuit! I remember now; He was getting off the Thousand Tidings of Impeccable Joy. Dressed as a technician then."

"Ah yes. From the Snake Clan. But how are they tied up," Realization broke over Min's face and he shuddered, "No... It is too horrible to accuse them of, but yet what we found in the caves would draw the line directly. But are they servants or masters here? I fear the sooner I am put into contact with Internal Harmony on Rudan the better, and I now worry that we two are in grave danger. Tell me quickly, Ms. Price," he turned back to the woman on the other side of the screen, "Are any of your..."

The question and warning went unfinished. A hand was pressed across her mouth and there was the sharp flash of silver followed by a splash of crimson just before the connection went dead.

"They make their move..."
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Postby Zero-One » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:13 pm

S.H.O.D.A.N. considered the knife, and the tendril of connection, and the request. Things were starting to slot together, and as she connected the dots in her singular mind she also took the opportunity to feel the weapon in her hand. More importantly, the sensors embedded throughout her skin measured nucleides, determining isotope ratios borne of distinct planetary histories. She made up her mind: all things considered, it was a negligible sacrifice to make. After a quick ‘stand by’ hand-signal to Naiya, she turned to face the Doctor directly, standing between him and the stricken princess.

“I am sorry, Doctor,” she said, fixing Kousenel’s gaze with her own, “but I am afraid I’m going to have to do something surprising.” She slapped her free hand on his shoulder and, with the jolt, stabbed with her right.

Stabbed herself just below the wrist. Simultaneously, she threw a proverbial cloak over his aura and replaced it with an image of the sort of death throes she was more than used to. It wasn’t the hardest trick she’d ever pulled, and in the meantime she bled real blood--replicated in real time from onboard CHON stores, imbued with that special je ne sais quoi that constituted what of the doctor’s ‘essence’ she could both extrapolate from close proximity and synthesize in short order--onto the wooden dagger. She could give up as much fluid and 'soul' as was necessary to feign the death of a single man.

”And it is so. You need not worry about breaking your word to the Hierophant, for we have similar desires. He wants the girl alive, we want the girl alive. Transfer her to us, and we will see that your word regarding her condition is kept. As for what he offers, do we not offer more and faster? He needn’t ever know that his ends were achieved more quickly by other means.”

The half-cat gynoid closed her palm around the knife’s blade with clinical detachment. The ruse required more blood, and that she could provide. At the same time, she could let some of her real blood into the mix, nanites that could taste the material and further place its origin. Meanwhile, she mentally and psionically fortified herself around the blade; it might cut her flesh, but it would not cut her. “You should be frustrated, Doctor.” She stepped back, smiling wryly at the Reixanxi. “Since you appear to be dealing well with Anathema right now, I’ll let you know that I just had to play at sacrificing you to some sort of elder snake-godling.”

Given how much she was already managing the snake’s perception, masking a physical conversation wasn’t a particularly taxing addition. “Your patient, Doctor, is suffering from a memetic venom as I just claimed: memetic in that it is like a snakebite, but the snake no longer lives in the physical realm and would very much like to return. The venom is not exactly what one could consider a purely physical substance, which is why it doesn't deplete: it is being continuously refilled from ninety degrees to reality, and its properties resist standard detoxification methods because it isn't even really there.

"Thus the presence a creature from beyond space and time acts as the immediate cause of our continuing ills. From what exists in the public domain about the Temple of Light, I would not be surprised if this creature’s interest in 'darkness' and returning to things ‘as they once were’ is related somehow to the Temple’s past.”

As she drew her hand from the blade, the flesh sealed itself up as though it had never been torn. “Therefore, the good Imperatrice and I are getting rid of this decrepit serpent by hook or by crook. There is someone behind it--behind this entire plot--and they both will be crushed like the insects they are in due turn. To do this, it would help if we knew more of their context. A physical origin, from this,” she said, holding up the blade as she sent the chemical, structural, nucleide, and craftsmanship patterns to Herself to be checked back against databases of every world she could get any information on, “and a historical origin, perhaps from a suitable agent of the Temple.

“You can help us get your vengeance against the frustration this old one’s caused. Whom should I direct Doctor al-Fulani to question regarding old pantheons long buried?”

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Postby Roania » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:18 pm


"And why did you do that?" The Enforcer turned on the Tonhi assassin, his hand moving to the device at his hip. "The Master was most specific. No blood must be shed, lest it mar her value as a sacrifice." The Snake was an old Triad, with pretensions to its founder being among the original swearers of the Three-Fold Oath. It had played this game of death for centuries, and some things just were not done. Even if now the women were due to be eaten directly, and not used and abused first.

"Your master was specific. As was mine, the King. This woman has interfered with the life of the people and should pay her price in blood." The assassin glanced around and lowered his voice. "Had you wanted her unharmed for your foul rites, perhaps you should simply have come here yourself."

"You were a vital part of this plan, Tonhi dog." And the Enforcer smiled a grim little smile. "For the Empire to pay its price they need to believe an agent of the Throne murdered this woman. These barbarians have no means of knowing who, precisely, died here. You will serve the gods well."

"What are you... no!" This was the last word he ever spoke. A moment later he turned into a cloud of dust, settling around the office. Then the enforcer dropped a carefully written letter onto the table, next to a yellow envelope sealed with the Dragon's sign. A melodramatic touch, but one necessary for the barbarians.

Then the unfortunate woman was lifted up, her blood was stopped, and she and the enforcer both vanished into a void.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Postby Zepplin Manufacturers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:39 pm

Admiral Wenclease Thursday, Long Patrol Personal log. Operation Cross Party Justice.

This is the inhabited galaxy. The Milky way in the Virgo cluster. Four hundred and sixty five thousand constantly interfacing sentient species across one cubic zetametre a bare tenth of a percentage of which can be claimed to be bound by anything we would recognize as jurisprudence and a bare tenth of that which we patrol. The inhabitants of this vast lense represent every possible race, ideology and chemical make up that the creator no matter what his form sought to deposit here. Alpha sector, this cultural nexus that makes up our collective home. Trillions work and play here. Most strive to achieve something better and like any other place anywhere there are those that have it and those that want it, those that have it enjoy it no matter how they got it, those who want it can get it with the support of civilized upstanding species and sympathetic neighbors.

Some however seek the easy way, for even in a galaxy of wonder to see there are always those who are blind. That's where I come in, doing my job to the best of my ability on a daily basis. I work aboard the Standing Rights, an Insider Trading class command variant dreadnought of the Long Patrol, the long range multi system law enforcement arm of the Incorporated State. I carry a badge. My name is Thursday. Admiral Wenclease Thursday. The boss is high justice Mcnamara on Perdition in the Lutyens system. Our job is to enforce the laws and preserve the safety of decent sentients.

I was working day watch in the command section for central subsector. A two and a half cubic kilometer converted main general bay midships of the Standing Rights. This facility was under forty six meters of the toughest shielded and armoured ships citadel the yards could produce and appointed with some of the finest com intelligence systems in the known galaxy. The edifice of knowledge and equipment is manned at all times by the fine officers of the Long Patrol information and command sections.

These dedicated beings are volunteers from the half dozen races under the auspices of the Incorporated State who have seen to take up the challenge, burden and responsibility of serving the law for the greater good. They constantly monitor the vast flow of information from all patrol craft, stations, officers, drones, other services and civilian reports and collaborate with the finest SI officers the service has at its disposal and each other.The face of crime we are asked to challenge however gets bigger every day and as space is infinite so are sentient depravities.

It came from the hard working crew of the long patrol Judgement Free of Charge and captain James Frankeswerthy to be first on the scene. There present less than pleasant duties related to operation cross party justice, which I was overseeing,were to monitor the then seemingly inevitable destruction of the Tonhi systems only inhabited world by its present nominal rulers, the Radiant Empire, a polity that while it most certainly believes in an absolute form of law in no way believes in anything similar to our shared concept of justice.

The Radiant Empire was by past political necessity a close military and cospatial ally of the Incorporated State. We had stood in the past against the unlawful and the mad. However now we of the patrol were helpless to interfere with the Radiant Empires internally lawful dispensation of its Emperors will,a mad and unlawful act to the rest of the galaxy. An act of monstrous planetary murder and hostage taking that at best was questionably the produce of guilt induced temporary lunacy and at worst the first act of a vile slaughter.

Frustration throughout the ranks and the civilian population had been growing as one man held a world hostage. At any attempt to interfere with their duty and we have been informed that the Radiant empire's fleet will open fire on the world below, a globe of life that in nearly any other situation it would be their duty to die to defend. Standing by while mass murder occurs is not the Patrol way and it ground in our collective guts, my own on contemplating roiling when thinking about it. Even here in our staunch edifice of analysis and decision I could see it on the faces of the Patrol men and women. On my fourth coffee of the afternoon ensign of the peace Mason, a promising young man from the Astin system, brought to my attention the latest update from the Judgement free of charge.

A full scale Sarian raider clan incursion was underway in the Tonh system and Captain Frankeswerethy had issued a code R. This code call necessitated action on my behalf. Though two major Raidant Empire fleets were present and two formations from our allies including a very heavy representation of Oyadan fleet assets I feared this situation would spill wildly out of control if a full migration of the Sarians was underway. On consulting with the ZMSF and ONI I was assured that all indicators were that it was a single clan or two at most, but one hundred and forty years ago the superb navy and secret service of the now effectively defunct Sirius Star Republic had also claimed it was only one clan before they were utterly overwhelmed.

At four twenty that day I ordered elements of operation cross party justice in proximity to the code r declaration, including the Standing Rights task force to commence jump to Tonhi at best safe speed for simultaneous emergence. This operational requirement would, unfortunately,place us in the position where it might be several hours before arrival, but arriving in sections and squadrons might easily allow us to be destroyed in detail if this indeed did turn out to be a migration rather than a mere "raid" where rather than millions tens of thousands would die and rather than billions hundreds of thousands could be enslaved.

Though we might be just saving a world to burn under the beams of the Radiant Empires fleet it was a far cleaner death or life than that which the Raider clans would grant.
Last edited by Zepplin Manufacturers on Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:06 am

If it hadn’t been for her aunt’s heads up warning, Naiya might have shown some surprise. As it stood, she trusted her implicitly. And to be fair, had her own lines of reasoning that currently conflicted on several levels. In no equation did the life of one outweigh the lives of an entire world. Not when one got down to numbers. It helped of course, that the doctor was not one of her own, nor was one she knew well, and was a part of the House that currently was creating a number of the problems at hand …

Ah, the Dominion way of thinking. One never did really outgrow it. Perhaps with the exception of her brother, at times. Bless his idealistic heart. He likely would have protested, and loudly, not taking the time to note the subtle hints, and not being able to parse the more circumventive reasoning that both Shodey and Naiya were able to with ease. No, her brother would have made a right mess of all of this. Just as he was gradually making of his own empire, though he strongly claimed otherwise. Naiya had seen the hints, and she had warned him, only to be told that she was being paranoid, and was spending too much time listening to Mama’s old stories - and wouldn’t they all come out some time soon to see the latest efforts at cleaning up the damaged environment, make a week of it …

Yes, all this and more were being batted around in her head as she held herself still, her expression in the mindscape reflecting the same in the waking world - one of placidity, emotionless calm. Not even her pulse sped at the sudden movements, her eyes shifting only to watch her aunt work her own sort of ‘magic’ on the scene.

Within the mindscape however, she watched the Serpent without blinking, taking note of every reaction, or lack thereof, every telltale indication, were there any, of what it might be thinking, whether or not it accepted the ‘sacrifice’, prepared as always to strike should the situation go seriously awry.

”We have shown our good faith to this one. It is only fit that this one, in turn, shows its. Remove yourself, your dark coils and cold scales. Retract the scythes of your sisters, remove your venom from this girl. Release her entirely so she may heal, in full. Not so much as a drop can linger, for if she dies, so does our bargain,” the young woman stated coolly, her voice even, as emotionless as her current visage, thinking that a more Daoist approach, when faced with the unknown, might be the most appropriate. Reflecting that which is shown.
“What is one life you care not for against all those you hunger for? Relinquish your hold. Fulfill your pact to your Hierophant, and to us. Then reveal to us where we must go to make our payment in full, so all bonds are kept, all offers fulfilled.”

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sunset » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:06 pm

Tradia's Hovercar, K’Xytil Spaceport, K’Xytil City, N'Xypndiltn…

"...They make their move;" The words had barely left the Inspector's lips when the car was rocked by a sudden jolt, throwing him up against the door and sending the smaller warrior sprawling across the divider into his lap along with the ice and slush from his untouched Happy Happy Slushie. Neon green foam flew, expanded in an instant, and for a moment the whole car slewed, spun, and then dropped out of the sky as the windshield showed a worrisome view of the ground below. Green canopy scattered and then the ground met them with metal-tearing force.

The car was only resting in the furrow of its own destruction for a few seconds before one door began to lift, the other trying to join it but giving up the ghost in a series of halting jerks. One then two figures rolled out, both covered in the stringy green remains of the crash foam with the smaller crawling quickly away while the second staggered to his feet before the first barked a warning; "Get down! They..."

A half-step forward was the only thing that saved Inspector Min's life as the would-be assassin fired again. Air rippled as the hyper-sonic round whipped past and tore through the car, opening it up from hood to tail like a mechanical gutted trout. Shrapnel whipped away from them, carried along by the distortion of the passing munition. She pulled him forward, bearing him to the ground and crawling low, desperately putting whatever cover she could between the unseen sniper and herself. Alerts played in her ears, incoming messages from her augmented reality that threatened a lethal distraction but she ignored them to push forward as the last of the neon threads tugged away. Another shot and the car lurched under the impact as dirt and debris rained up into the sky and then down on their heads. Once more and a tree just over her shoulder exploded into flying splinters that peppered the underbrush they were taking scant cover in.

"Your suit..." She concentrated for a half-second, making her way through the commands, and an invisible hand fumbled at the Inspector's wrist as she tried to work the unfamiliar interface. Struggling comprehension and he slid his fingers over the buttons to jab at the controls just as another gout of earth flew into the air and he too faded away before being momentarily revealed again as an outline against the falling soil; "Run!"

It didn't matter. A few heart-pounding moments later and they realized the fire had stopped but they ran on to leave the car a shattered ruin behind them. Perhaps the gunner was only trying to pick up the two cloaked figures as they wound their way through the jungle towards the sloping metallic copper wall that was the outer edge of the city, but whatever the cause they reached the base of the curving structure without another whip-whistle shot. It was only when the two knelt crouching under a protruding panel that the Adjutant stopped to check the messages that were still streaming in.

"It's happening all over. People... Women," she clarified, skimming the headers, "Attacked and killed or kidnapped. Roanian weapons."

"But we know differently," the Inspector declared. "A trick by the Snake Clan. But so bold - they must have a reason to emerge like this! To put the blame on the Empire."

Curve by curve the two were skirting the wall, still staying under what was presumably some kind of cover where they could while quick bursts from one to another relied on their near-invisibility. There was no sign of their unseen archer though both scanned the jungle and the hills with stares that seemed to pierce the heavens.

"You must call it in," Min hissed, switching back to the augmented channel. "This is not our doing."

"I'm trying;" But the connection was unresponsive and a look of worry crossed Tradia's unseen face until a familiar voice picked up the line and resolved into the figure of a woman sitting at a console with her boots up and a sandwich in her hand; "Hey Tradia. Sorry about the delay - someone tried to kill us. Rammed a car into the office but you know it's a fucking tank. You okay out there?"

"Yes, not really. Someone tried to kill us too! But it wasn't the Roanians!"

The woman at the console took a bite from her ever-present sandwich, "Sure looks like the Roanians from here. Disintegration weapons, floating piles of ash... If I hadn't been watching your conversation with poor Mrs. Price - sorry, bad habit - we'd probably be burning their crops and salting their fields... Mmm, salt," she reached for a little bowl and sprinkled some over the open face before flicking the rest away, "Could use some. But the Executor wants to talk to you. Stay put - we're on our way."

Minutes later and the crisp snap of trees breaking like toothpicks and the swish-fwoosh as they flew through the air to pinwheel into the jungle announced the arrival of the Executor's office. Driving right over the pair it stopped with the two massive pontoons on either side while a hatch opened above them. A ladder dropped and the armored figure of a petite Marine waved at them from inside. Climbing up, they found themselves in the Bulldog's maintenance bay and being led up to the command deck-slash-Executor's office by a Xypndi Marine in possibly the cutest suit of power armor ever. Miranna was at her desk, or walking in front of it, and as soon as she noticed the pair she dropped what she had been working on to run over and half-tackle Tradia.

"Oof! Glad you're okay. We passed the wreck..."

"We got lucky;" It was a sober declaration but the Executor was still smiling, "Good news on a bad day. There's been attacks all over the planet and everyone's on alert now. If it wasn't for that botched job on Kathrine Price," she shrugged. "What's our counter-move?"

"Arrest Prince Li Nesar." Inspector Min caught her eye and lifted his chin, "By myself if I must. I am certain he is involved, though whether he is acting at the behest of the Snake Clan or with them as his agents I am not sure. I also believe... Excuse me?" He turned to the sandwich at the communications desk, "Can you access the last moments of our conversation with Mrs. Price? The older man we were talking about?" A nod and a moment later the recording appeared between the three. "I believe that this man may be involved. He is too old to be a common thug or enforcer and the others seem to pay him some deference and the Prince's men allowed him to go about his business unmolested. And he is Roanian. To mix with the Tonhi here... It is not done unless the need is pressing."
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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:24 am

What would Jack say? was the question that lingered in Siri’s mind. Oh, she would’ve loved to throw this man’s ass out the door and continue with her original plan. She was exhausted, aggravated, and at her wits end with their behavior lately. There was little expectation that the Roanians would listen to a word she said, much less actually act on it. But, on the other hand, that’s not what Jack would’ve done, and she knew it. He would’ve at least talked to them, not particularly nicely, mind you, but would’ve given them a piece of his mind before jumping into what she was going to do.

The elf groaned quietly. If she was to go through with this, then it was going to have to be done right, and that required more than just a simple call, which could be easily disconnected with a touch of a button the instant it became heated. No, she was going to have to force him to throw her out if he wanted her to shut up. But there was the sticking point that the Concordat meeting was scheduled to happen within days. She wasn’t about to start telling everyone that she suddenly had other plans and to delay it for however long it’d take her to return. Instead, she would have to find another way, any way, to get there and back again in what little time she had.

Alacona would cut off about three quarters of the time to reach Rudan Prime, but that still left almost a week of transit time, so that wasn’t feasible. She was aware that the Roanians had quicker methods, but she wasn’t about to ask that of them. Who else… In her mind, she ran through the list of allied nations; most had no such capabilities except… Ah!

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention,” she remarked, bowing her head slightly. “And I’ll heed your advice and speak with your Emperor and Cabinet to make my concerns known and to hear them out. Hopefully, we can put this mess behind us, or at least, come to some understanding on where we all stand. I appreciate the codes, and while they’d be the quickest way, I think a personal visit is in order…”

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Postby Roania » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:57 pm

At the Palace

The Surgeon's eyes opened wide and bright, then went so dim that they may as well not have been shining at all. "Jaenjsu!" Was his first word, as he stared between the three women with a mixture of pure terror and blind hatred. For a moment he could have ended AiQien's life then and there, consequences be buried, and indeed his hand actually did move towards the crystal interface with the intent of setting off a reasonance cascade that would have probably turned him, her, and a good portion of the palace to dust.

All that ended in a minute, and Kousenel stood there, his hands clasped in front of him, covered by the voluminous sleeves. "You have asked a very dangerous thing, for I doubt your care is truly or solely for our beloved Imperial Consort. Were the Lord of Ten Thousand Years to hear what I have heard would lead very quickly to the massacre all wish to prevent, and the Lord of Ten Thousand Years would have the services freely given of the Temple and the Secretariat in carrying it out, as opposed to merely the soldiery." Slowly he bowed, his palms meeting. "And so we must find a priest who will see their way to not telling the Lord. Which... limits our pool. Immensely."

The doctor sat in his chair and reached for a piece of paper, an ink-pot and a quill. "We need a priest who will know something useful about... this topic. This rules out already the vast majority of the Temple's servants. We must find a priest who will not view it as his obligation to reveal this information to the Dragon Throne. This rules out the Chaplain. Therefore, I must send you elsewhere. I can handle things from here." The doctor glanced at the numbers. "Situation is... stabilizing. The Celestial Master is in the Halls of the Constance of Day and Night. If your servant brings..." And here he wrote a series of very fine characters, then produced his seal and pressed it hard at the bottom, "this letter to her staff, she will see him or you. I think she would be more willing to talk to women under these circumstances, but..." Kousenel coughed, looking between the two. "But perhaps not. She is very... traditionally-minded. I leave it to you to determine how to get anything from her. And what you feel you must share. She has neither the obligation to inform our Lord, nor does she have any particular desire to draw his notice at present."

Kousenel turned his attention back to the medical instruments, all of which were waving between incomprehensible symbols and apparently meaningless colors. The net effect, however, seemed to be cheering.

Palace, but elsewhere

The snake was slowly unwinding, the venom in AiQien's soul-veins drawing back into its mass. If a blackened void could look perturbed, it did.

s͞l̴o͏w҉l͢y i҉ ͟d̶r̸aw ̛a̸way
it is unim̛p̶o̕ŕtant

̛w̸o҉rd҉ ̧s͟ha̢l͢l̕ ̷be ̡k̷ept̴ ҉in ͢óur p̛ac͡t͞ a҉s ̴wa̛s̷ n̷ot ̧k̴ept

̵the̷ ḩi͏e͠ro̵p̕ha̶nt͞ ̛ha̢s̕ ̵b͡roke ̶hi̧s ̨word̸ ͏

c͏o̷ld͝ ̢blo͢od a͢nd dęa͡d͜ ͠fle̶sh̸
i͠ w̴oul͠d ͝take͘ thi̶s ͜o̧ne͘ wit̕ḩ me̸ ̡
b̵u̴t̸ ͞the l̛i̢fe͠ ͢s͢ḩe͡ ͜c͢ar͟r̛ie̸d ́gav̶e s͞úste͢na͞nc͏e ͝eno̢u̷ģh҉

̴say wh̵er͘e my ͏p͟a̸ym͠en͡t ͠i͝s̡ and ͜i̕ w̸il͟l͠ ̕t̶a̢ke it

in ͝ti̧me you͡ an͞d͝ y̕ours͏ wi͜l͞l be ̢f̕oo҉d̸
̡in ͡t̕im̛ę

b̴ut̷ no͢t now̕
̕k҉ee̛p y̷ou̕r҉ ̡wor͡d̨ a͡s i ̡kȩep̕ m҉in͢e

The tail, then, suddenly halted, and rested in an all too familiar manner along AiQIen's abdomen.

w͠o̷u̡l̡d́ ͘y͝o̷u͘ ͝h̛a̧ve ͠thi̡s͝ li͞f̢e ̷b҉ac͏k̷ ̶as ͟w͞el̕l
w̴h͘a̷t wou͢l͜d͘ ̛y͠o̕u of͞fer

Planet Thonh

"Never seen the like." The ISU captain looked in on the room they'd found and shuddered. "Orders, Prince Nesar?"

Nesar contemplated his seal of office for a long minute. Behind him, the other ISU officers were either being very sick or corraling their prisoners into a boxy formation, while his wife composed an eager report that he knew he couldn't permit to be sent on. "How many bodies?"

"We... we don't know. We've found thirty. mostly..."

"I am well aware of what you found, Captain. I wished only to know the quantity." He coughed and his voice grew momentarily unsteady. "All the adult men among our prisoners are to be permanently silenced Tongues out, throats chained. You know the drill."

The Captain placed a fist to his chest and bowed. "At once!" He started off, but a strong hand went to his shoulder.

"All the women and children go into the... the... the charnelhouse. All of them, do you understand me? And if anyone tries to speak, Captain, your officers are to render them silent by any means necessary."

"O-of course, Honorable Prince." And now he went off to see to his new duties, glad for the question of them.

"Beloved wife." Nesar called Daeri over with a long, slow sigh. "I'm sure you're very proud of your report about what we've found here. And you should be. We helped the ISU end the worst... this... in years. Decades, perhaps. The ramifications within Internal Harmony are only just starting to be felt. Which is why, wife, I must inform you now that if you will not delete your report and be guided by me in this, I will kill you and throw your body into the room." Daeri's eyes went wide, her hand went slack, and she let Nesar have access to her crystal immediately, unable to say a word. "I will explain later."

Twenty minutes later, one of the ships remaining in orbit fired its lance, turning the discovery and the witnesses to a fine dust in the middle of the jungle.

Planet N'Xypndiltn

"I am pleased to announce, my children, that our war to reclaim what is ours has begun!" The Hierophant held up his hands to the heavens and shouted along with his worshippers and those remaining Tonhi and Snake Warriors not out and about trying to drive the Nimatojin and Tonhi to a state of fury. "Indeed, as you have just seen, I have ended our deal with the Watcher in the Dark! Or, to use his proper name..."


The word caused the trees to bend slightly and many of the Tonhi to quail, though Li Nesar simply smiled as the Hierophant went on. "The slut who betrayed you will soon be dead! War will rage forth in the cosmos, and we shall all have what we deserved! Centuries of work bought to fruition in a month with your aid, men and women of the true Tonhi! And now, let us begin the sacrifice, my children, my true faithful! Here, as we do elsewhere! This shall be the culmination of our efforts, and the deaths here shall help bring it about! Your King is among you!" The Roanians and Tonhi began cheering.

Taking that as his cue, Li Nesar stepped forward. "People of the true Tonhi! Allies of the Snake! I thank you for all that you have done. When my world is mine, when the entire Empire belongs to me, it shall be a God-fearing Empire! No more shall there be a Dragon Throne! No more balance and harmony! The strong shall master the weak! The weak shall serve the strong! In this we see our future as we see our present, for what have we been but weaklings before the winds of chance? Now, I call upon you all to do whatever is necessary!"

And the Hierophant stabbed him in the heart and sent him pitching over to the ground. All around them, the Snake and selected Tonhi turned upon the remainder of the crowd, murdering them in a bright fury.

The Hierophant raised his hand. "I call upon all the Gods to witness me as I take what was stolen from me! I am the Priest-King! And with this sacrifice, I call forth the true Divine! Breaker of Oaths! Giver of Life!"


And the earth underneath began to gently heave and shake as he kept repeating the word. The ceremony could take hours to finish, if not days. But each time, the dead lying on the floor, broke and mutilated though they were, could be seen to twitch.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Oyada » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:31 pm

Pethbrigg considered this, after an appropriately imperious pause. “Very well,” he conceded, with an expression that said precisely the reverse; “I will be pleased to inform His Imperial Majesty of this possibility. Now, ma'am, if you will excuse me, I must attend to... further discussions. Good day.” He bowed again, and his stride, wobbly though it made his paunch, brooked little further argument. He would notify the White Tower of that just as soon as he'd had a word with Ruby.

“Ruby”, aka the Naggorothi embassy, was but a short wander through the cavernous station, though it still took Pethbrigg the best part of half an hour to find the place; he'd never really seen a need to visit these strange half-pointies before, and the route's unfamiliarity left him circling aimlessly through the labyrinthine corridors in an increasingly unhappy cloud of sweat and frustration, which was eventually how he emerged into the embassy itself. Blissfully cool and clean – as was all of Shining Light, including his own quarters, despite his best endeavours – its sterile air was somehow infused with scents of something unreal and yet familiar; spring pastures, the breeze from the cypress mountains, the gentle tang of woodsmoke tasted on the autumnal winds. Eerily soothed, Pethbrigg presented himself before the Naggorothi and waited his turn. There wasn't much to say, but it had to be said.

Zhilra typed furiously on her UC as Davidson spoke, chewing a sweet as she did, apparently oblivious but nodding at the right moments. This was good, better than expected; no stonewalling. It could, of course, be a filthy foreign trick to break them away from the Radiant Empire; frankly, at this point, that possibility was still looking safer than being allied with it. She jotted a few more notes and licked her lips, interest piqued.

“You say 'for now'”, ambassador. That sounds rather like your government having second thoughts. Which brings us to the next question. How many of us – that is, members of the Concordat, are beginning to think the Radiant Empire a liability? Might we be better served by its removal from the alliance altogether?” Zhilra's emerald eyes practically glowed with excitement. She could almost smell the possibility, and it wouldn't slip from her grasp. If there was to be an expulsion from the Concordat, it would be a huge boost to her name to have displayed the foresight to see it coming, and act appropriately. If they could forsake the dangerous Roanians without losing any other of their allies – strange keiti though they were – it could hardly be so bad as having to break with all of them at once.

“I apologise,” she added demurely, smiling nonetheless. “I am acting outside the orders of my government; just speculating, if you want. It seems worth speculating on, don't you think?” Again that smile, sweet and straight to the point, and another sweet disappeared into her mouth, to be chewed up and crushed and swallowed in pieces.

The dots around Tonh IV were moving. Mobile Forces Ton 1 and Ton 2, assigned the codenames VANDAL and HAND, rearranged themselves as their sublight engines came to life in earnest, pouring irradiated wash into space, and moved to regroup. Already their jump engines were charging; the fast-moving destroyers' twin stacks of teleportation arrays were the first to readiness, their emitters glowing a gentle emerald while the slower, more ponderous heavies completed their own preparation to move. The destroyers, meanwhile, were ready. Three of them, the independents of Destroyer Squadron 105, abruptly vanished in a flash, bathed in and consumed by the same emerald aura. A moment later, the sixteen ponderous fleet tenders, the lifeblood that kept the Navy's ships running outside their ports, winked out of existence, to reappear many light-years distant, in the system of an unregarded white dwarf. They would have no part to play in battle.

The remainder of VANDAL paused as the last of the battleships reached readiness, hanging as if suspended in amber, and flashed into nothingness, to reappear, after some pensive minutes, no more than a few hundred thousand miles from HAND, itself bristling into life. Slow STL manoeuvres brought the two bodies of ships together, arranging themselves into a slightly ragged but functional sphere formation as they set their course, aiming for a point in space roughly perpendicular to the incoming Sarian ships and not quite half a light-minute away from their tracks as they raced into torpedo range. The drone carriers' waiting cylinders had done their job superbly, but now the Sarians had entered with the Navy broodingly referred to as “Sleeping Death”; that unpleasant hinterland wherein one could no longer rely on the FTL sensor sphere, but the enemy was still at a range of light-seconds, a range long enough for a broadside or a torpedo spread to miss wholly, not even grazing its targets, and hurtle into the endless night. They would have to rely on fast computing, good calculations, and above all else, the expenditure of a great deal of ordnance to have any real chance of scoring hits; no amount of luck could change that, and no system of guidance the Imperial Navy possessed could cure it. There was only weight of fire and decisiveness of action to go with.

There were other problems, too, to consider: most worrisome of those problems was the delicacy of the sensors that made a warship a warship, not a blind, blundering metal lump. The most insensitive to anything short of explosive damage were the ships' phased array radar sets, massive flat lumps seemingly shoved haphazardly onto their superstructures. Their abilities could be degraded more readily than they could be cut altogether, but any ship using one was broadcasting her position for any ordnance within a huge range, and of course, the old problem of jamming had not gone away. The Navy's remedy was redundancy; not only were the arrays themselves in duplicate, but a host of smaller, single-function sets could take over some of the functions of the main sets should the need arise. At worst, they might distract incoming missiles long enough to preserve the big sets from harm. The ladar arrays were another solution, albeit one noted for vulnerability to distortion and misdirection. The passive sensors, working in ultraviolet and infra-red and probing awkwardly through echoing subspace for the distortions ships caused, like a blanket beneath a child, were another remedy; finally, there was the oldest of all sensors, the eyeball, albeit connected to a computer rather than to a human brain. But they were short-ranged, slow to pick their targets, and that lag could spell death for a ship. It had spelt death for many in the Belt Wars.

The sphere slowly reconstituted itself into a single circle, as the smaller cruisers shifted from their positions and the destroyers and their light cruiser leaders took their place in a ring around the battleships. The formation's ability to generate fire to either side far outweighed that along its edge; that was the risk one had to accept. Meanwhile, the heavy cruisers could roam at will; their eight-inch guns lacked the sheer brute smashing power of the bigger ships, but were still nothing to sniff at. Only one of the sixteen ships had ever encountered the Sarians before; her captain was eager for blood.

Aboard his flagship, the aged battleship Tokitzohazei, Vice-Admiral Fuima Safumisa watched his holographic projection of their departure with more anxiety than cheer. The problems of engagements such as these had been studied year on year since he'd joined the Imperial navy, more than forty years before. Every time the conclusions had seemed to change in detail, but remain identical in broad scope: the best chance of victory went to the force with the biggest advantage in numbers and firepower. His ships might not want for firepower – Grummian antimatter synthesis tech had finally seen to that perennial bane of the old Navy – but the force of which he was in charge felt glass-jawed, his ship old despite her refits, its men readier than he'd expected but all unblooded. The cruisers at least had the advantage of being new, fitted out with the latest survivability enhancements the designers could conceive; somehow, in spite of the mass of composite plating that surrounded him and his staff at the root of Tokitzohazei's spindly pagoda tower, he still felt vulnerable, glancing through crimson battle-light at the old pipes and conduits that lined the compartment's walls, and rolled his eyes slightly at the fact that the random word generators back at NGHQ had decided to name their combined force COBWEB.

She was a veteran, that was the way to think of it. He creased his smooth features into a half-serious smile. A veteran. The old ship had fought at the Diamond Rock, had fought at the Purge of Tarawei, had been blooded herself far more than her crew. He rested his hand on the console ahead and felt her trembling minutely, the engines straining fit to run themselves out of the propulsion shafts altogether, feeling his wedding ring dance against his finger, and wondered what tales the ship could tell. Perhaps she would keep her peace; perhaps the memories would be too hard to bear. Suspended from the walls of each mess compartment, her Roll of Honour told of the price her crew had paid for victory over the insects.

Fuima set his jaw, and focussed his tanned face on the display. Reports were coming in, and he accepted them with courteous nods and an automatic word of gratitude to each of the younger staff officers around him, most of them eager, some nervous, one or two visibly excited at the prospect of a fight. Gets people different ways, he thought, and raised a black, thick eyebrow slightly.

“Commander Shinmiyo, you seem excited,” he remarked casually, cracking a grin. “Nervous?”

“Me, sir?” Shinmiyo bobbed up from his console and bowed with such speed that his officer's sword crashed harmlessly against the console's thick casing. “No, sir! Can't wait to get a shot in at the gaiti. I imagine Captain Zhiya is especially eager, too.”

“No doubt, Commander,” Fuima nodded, rubbing his broad jaw where it ached unaccountably. “Still, keep to your work and concentrate. We'll all be very busy once the firing starts.”

“You mean we will be firing, sir?” Shinmiyo practically leapt at the word, eyes wide and eager.

“If I judge the situation favourable, then yes, we will be firing. For that judgement,” he reminded the young Commander gently, “I need you to keep tracking the movements of the cruiser divisions.

“I-- yes, sir,” Shinmiyo responded, uncertainly, and returned to his console. After a moment, a rather more subdued Shinmiyo added quietly: “I'm sorry, Admiral; it's just that this... this is what we train for, isn't it? Fighting the gaiti, even if it's for the benefit of these Reishanzhi, is what we're meant to do. My father and grandfather... well, you know.” The Commander concentrated intently on his screen, knowing that Fuima was either behind him, or coming that way.

“I do, yes,” Fuima said simply. “I know. Soon the Sarian creatures will know, too. The Imperial Navy has not lost its edge.”

COBWEB edged into its place, a widely spread disc, its surface facing inward toward the Sarians as they screamed in on their launch paths, turrets tracking their movement as best possible given the irritating sensor lag. Fuima looked across the holo display, his mind bridging the gap to his elusive opponent, and considered whether history would lambaste him for his failure to catapult the drone carriers and form a fresh line of sensors. He would have done, but against the Sarian guns it would be suicidal, and against their light craft it would be simple murder. His pilots were not expendable, and nor were their drone carriers; he wouldn't send them to slaughter unless he had no alternative.

“Order all ships to load common for main batteries, frag for secondaries. Anticipate hostile missile action,” he said softly, and his comms people made it so. Across the fleet the obedient loading machinery slid shells scuffed and propellant charges polished into the dark breeches of their guns, and turboalternators charged their coil capacitors to maximum; there could be no errors or misfires. Tokitzohazei's fourteen main guns trained sedately to her starboard beam, waiting. The lighter secondary and tertiary guns scanned through their arcs, bereft of targets. The passive sensors waited, their operators staring fixedly at screens that seemed to burn with unprecedented intensity.

Aboard Tokitzohazei, Fuima spoke once more.

“All main body ships set fire-control to semi-automatic and sensor communication to fully automatic.” A pause to give that order time to be done. “Cruiser Division commanders have their orders. Good luck and bantsa.”

Fuima took a deep breath as the Sarians unloaded their ordnance, massive missiles screeching from the leading ships and boring straight in on Lan's fleet, and touched his sword's worn grip talismanically.

“Main body, illuminate!”

They were committed now. With sensor arrays speaking to one another in an attempt to avoid both intended and unintended jamming, the eight battleships and eighteen lighter ships of his little force powered up their radar and ladar arrays and, forty-seven point three seconds later, began tracking targets. A bare ten seconds after that, the first Oyadan broadside bellowed from Tokitzohazei's guns behind two-thousand-foot jets of superheated steam and flame, hurtling to their targets' anticipated location while behind them the guns recoiled, rolled smoothly back into battery, and gaped in anticipation of fresh ammunition.

Fuima set his teeth, dry lips sticking to them as he waited for the result. Meanwhile, to the left of his holo display, the sixteen cruisers of his divisions still accelerated into their positions, past the Sarian cruisers and their ordnance, torpedo solutions already being plotted. The Sarians presented a poor target right then; the trick would be waiting for the right moment, and Fuima was confident that he knew that right moment. When the Sarians had passed him, he would turn the swiftest of his ships loose, letting the destroyer squadrons bring their massive torpedo broadsides to bear as they chose; for now, he needed their escort, and the guns of his big ships would have to do the job. He could have launched torpedoes of his own, but none of his battleships' tubes were loaded, and their flats lay empty, one product of shortage of funding that he didn't dislike. A single internal torpedo explosion would rip a ship apart like paper; he didn't much care to carry sixteen of the damned things. That was the light forces' job.

The cruisers were still busy now, crossing the track their Sarian counterparts had left behind them in a single, long column, moving to bring its centre onto a level plane with the clan's ships. The Sarians were turning away, and as they did so, Fuima hoped, the sixteen cruisers would turn with them. If they got their job right...

Yes, yes! There it was! Fuima slapped the sword's pommel firmly, nodding. The Sarians were turning, and his own cruisers turning to match them. Good. They would have a few minutes, at least, running ahead of the much larger Fangs before they were overhauled, and that was the ideal time. He could have issued an order, a reminder, to the cruisers, but there seemed little point; besides, it was bad for security. He prayed instead; Amateizu, who watches all the stars in the heavens and whose light shines on the righteous and unrighteous alike, grant that these unrighteous ones be plunged into eternal night, and guide these, your righteous servants, in the light eternal...

Even as Fuima's silent supplication ran through his mind, the first track notifications flashed up on the display. He watched, mesmerised, as the tracks multiplied steadily, their anticipated vectors reaching across the gap to intersect the Sarians' course. Sixteen cruisers, each firing a half-spread of four weapons, made a total of sixty-four torpedoes aimed for their opponents, and Fuima noted with some admiration the near-perfect sine-wave shape the spread had formed, aiming to make life at least fractionally more difficult for their enemy's point-defences. After a moment, the torpedoes' tracking dots began to wink out; for them, the penultimate stage of their mostly silent lives was upon them, as their compact, one-shot jump engines drove them into subspace and pounded down the distance between the two forces. If his prayer had been answered, the crew on the battle bridge above would be able to peer through the armoured direct-vision blocks and see the blossoming of a new and ephemeral constellation.
Last edited by Oyada on Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:14 am, edited 3 times in total.
Freedom's price is liberty. The individual and his liberty are secondary to our objectives; how are we to protect our lives, our culture, our people, if they all act independently? If each man pursues his own petty aims, we are no more than tiny grains of iron in a random heap. Only by submitting to the need of the whole can any man guarantee his freedom. Only when we allow ourselves to be shaped do we become one, perfect blade. - General Jizagu Ornua, The cost of freedom for Oyada, 1956.

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Postby Sarian Raider Clans » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:29 am

Tonhi System, Feral Class Heavy Cruiser Marker of Flesh, Six minutes till impact, Ten till Mariks Squadron Arrives, Fourteen till jump

At one moment Van had been reclining in his command chair, his own throne, master of all he surveyed, one hand slowly circling his second wife's midriff idly as his scalps itching between the next oil treatment was for once suppressed with the thrill of battle . Overhead the jump and impact counters flickering on his personal displays as his amber eyes were drawn to slits. He observed the bridge crew in the dull red battle lighting. Hunched over their stations and deep in there display and control lined pits, private petty concerns and squabbles suppressed, speech for once at a respectable murmur. At least outwardly disputes would be kept silent for the good of the ship but now he watched both them and the position trackers. Waiting for those who failed, though they were few to live long enough to make it to a bridge, or those wishing to use or trigger the failure of others and thus endanger his ship and his lordship for their own petty gains and revenges. His gun wardens at least were trustworthy, more than even most of his own retinue, these and his forge wardens his eyes danced over as one would a valuable vase or artwork.

Out of the main watch pit a cry not of fear but of almost wishful urgency split the steady hum of activity, screens across the bridge flashing into action and the cascade of speech growing.

“JUMP TRACE!, Great lord the Oyadin Battleships enter the fray spinward.. active tracking and firing! second drive, estimating cruiser scale, trace is ahead but diverging! AHEAD! INBOUND, declaring blade! multiple track! tertiary jump trace! Very rapid! Confirmed! BLADES! many blades inbound!”

A dull thud and hiss could be heard as jink thrusters started to fire in sequence, the staccato hammer of MH2 capsules being released, volatilized and hurled outward by reality compression rings felt rather than heard even in his sanctum. Van released his second wife, left hand fist forming a fist that gaveled down, right hand dancing across tactical displays as she vanished backward to slide with a sinuous grace into one of the jump seats towards the rear of the bridge, his retinue folding in around her in a triangular wall of armor and muscle, he sitting at there head could hear as there boots collectively audibly locked to the deck. His voice was hoarse and deep but he did not bellow.

“ Hold missiles all of you! Odd numbered Beheaders to a two way break forward! all ship lords to follow!, stay in support range and give me a hole and fill it with shot on the markers! damn your outcaste hides, forward bearing turrets six pulses forward as fast as you can bear, beheaders be burned if you must, at the dagger traces now sharply! when you have give me a full salvo at those cruisers, mix it, give them reason to clear out! all that can’t! I want a wall of obscurant thick enough to bloody walk on between us and those guns and to the rear!, squadron dance damn you! dance but do not brake course!“

Even as he spoke, even as his fingers had already transmitted half a dozen other responses to various other parts of ships and his loyal agents the Oyadin capital shells Fuima had sent on their way streaked through the formation, most would slip into the dark, jink thrusters or the long journey through the void having met them, a paltry few would be intersected by the sudden whining roar of point defense fire, deflected or in one spectacular case blasting a beheader to white hot shards.

More would batter the aging Sirius republic navy shield generators into inoperability, the bubbles of their effect unraveling in multicolored hues and discharges. Some few left would shred surface systems, leave gun-wardens desperately dancing between alternate sensor feeds, crews stunned and ring there ships like bells as the HAIK ate the energy and radiation, main drive diverting precious thrust to stop spin.

One however would slip through the Fang known as Maw of tears, her point defenses useless, her shield already collapsed, penetrating forward of her mid line turret barbette, a portion of the original Sirius republic navy ceramax armor providing almost no defense at all as the round greedily buried inward before finally detonating.

The resulting contained blast volatilized the Multi gun turret, burned through six bulkheads and danced into ready munition carousels and feeds and gutted the Maws midline sections but that alone was not lethal. Lightning quick explosively driven internal doors and bulkheads had eventually begun stopping the ravening internal destruction.

But they had not quite been in time as a single failing set of doors doomed the Maw. A thread of the white hot nuclear death had eked its way deep inside the Maws engineering spaces, the durable HAIK that armoured the systems acting to conduct and contain the wave of destruction rather than stop its passage. The ships beating heart, the reality compression drive, catastrophically and at full burn and effect failed.

The aft third of the vessel vanished in an eye watering flash of distorted and not quite “right” light and radiation before the rest was converted to a white hot shower of shrapnel first driven out then sucked back in several times as the compression drive effect spun out of control in its last moments, the drive field compacting the ships now lifeless irradiated shattered forward remains to a scalded ruin.

“IMPACT!” Maw of Tears! compression drive failure great lord, she's gone! trace shows Oyadin capital fire!” Biting Scourge has lost her bow skyward tower, two minutes till tumble correction! she's falling out of formation! Ivory Swords reporting battery a and c are gone!

On the endlessly changing bridge displays the glowing wall of oddly twisted shrapnel that used to be a Fang class cruiser zoomed into place along with the dancing highlights of others as damage reports filtered across the squadron.

“So much for Lord Tars rising star and my ex wife! Hah!, ignore it all of you and let the grinder take his due! Give me fire on those daggers or you can join Tars with her and the Grinder Biting Scourge!, There's naught we can do about gunfire but dodge!” Van then gently flicked a control on his left side, the system having switched from squadron to ship only. His voice now not urgent but calm. Too calm and slightly edged with fury.

”Gunwardens ..let the Fangs fend for themselves after the first pulse, those cruisers shall have my reply early, full salvo, load for slaying, all turrets that cannot bare, full obscurant and mixed shot between us the battleships. Let the Reixanxi eat our drive wash and follow, we do not know how myopic they are as of yet and I will not steal Mariks target this day. ”

Outside the angular hull of the Marker of Flesh and the Fangs and in part the void itself was covered in blue hues as the multi guns spoke. The Feral class heavy cruisers pulse of fire launched mixed ready shot far faster than any beheader or even the Fangs turrets could hope to propel.

It lept outward first to meet then pass the Oyadin torpedoes, most of the dumb shot missing, but the eye watering white spheres of thermonuclear detonations joined by the blinding filthy blasts of anti matter filling the void even as the hails of fire from the Fangs and finally the Beheaders reached out to try weaken the blow.

The second pulse of shot and those thereafter from the Marker of flesh ripped outward to the Oyadin Cruiser squadron, a roiling cloud of degenerate matter tipped 56mm penetrators, multi spectrum screamers, flares and dupe decoys all escorting a 400mm round filled core of fusion warheads and transuranic sabots. Strange veins and mechanisms in the projectiles hearts fickling failing shreds of reality compression fields induced into them by their guns launch rings ever so slightly to guide them on target, the smaller rounds responding in sympathetic resonance, almost as a school of fish that streaked towards the Oyadin cruiser formations.

Seconds later the salvo of Oyadin missiles that had made it through the walls of fire would begin to detonate with devastating consequences to the forward Fangs. Those that had been slovenly or simply unlucky in their movements suffered. Biting Scourge, only just under control would vanish in a sphere of light from a near direct hit, the so far undamaged Fierce Fang would find half of her surface installations, port side crew and turrets cooked beyond use.

Finally Vans own Marker of Flesh would buck and roll, it’s heavier shield holding for the first blast as its close escort of Beheaders burned like candles in a flame-thrower, the second blast sending the shield to collapse and making a hash of its port main domed long range sensor arrays. The radiation cooking her forward facing more lightly armed point defense outcaste turret crews in their harnesses, a third of the heavier port point defense turrets guns finding there independent sights scorched to uselessness.

Moments later however unlike the Ferals whose shields simply seemed to burn out Marker of Flesh’s rippled back into existence and her turrets continued to spit out there gun-warden crews hate in tightly spaced and surprisingly disciplined groups, her mass rolling to present her remaining long range dome towards the Oyadin battleships, the cruisers now well within her more conventional sensors range.
Last edited by Sarian Raider Clans on Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Sunset » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:45 pm

Senator Thang's Estate, N'Xypndiltn, E'Xypndiltn System...


The voice from behind drew his attention and the guard whipped around just in time to see the little warrior perched on the pillar behind him appear seemingly out of thin air before the heavy pistol barrel connected with his upturned jaw and sent him tumbling to the ground. A crack and the second guard fell as she shot him in the chest, electric lightning sparkling across his body as he slumped against the pillar opposite and his rifle clattering across the rain-slicked slate of the courtyard entrance. With a half-leap her feet touched the ground and she turned to sweep the gun across the blood red doors that barred any further entrance to the manor. Just behind her two light footsteps alerted her to the presence of the Inspector and Tradia glanced over a shoulder to confirm before returning to watch the doors.

It was simple logic; They were looking for the Snake, so look for the Snake where they had found them before. Their months-ago investigation into the presumed den of vice had turned up what hindsight now said was an overly-suspicious nothing; The place had been as clean as a whistle aside from those activities which were normally legal in the Republic to begin with. Various games of fortune and chance had been played out at the low tables while scantily clad and enticing servers had circled among them but despite a night of not-quite enjoying themselves the pair had found nothing to rouse suspicions or to justify the issue of a warrant. Even their hosts had seemed gracious and pleasant to the point of paying above-proper deference to the Roanian and the young Xypndi escort who had accompanied him.

"...I looked really good in that dress," Tradia sighed wistfully, looking down at the body-hugging but ultimately functional stealth suit.

"You did," Min agreed, drawing another glance and a smile; "Thank you! No time for flirting though," she switched to her augmented communications gear, "Perimeter is secure. Your turn, Lieutenant."

With a bit of careful work and only the occasional pistol-whipping the pair had worked their way through the guards surrounding the manor but inside they could easily be surprised by the random movement of guards and guests where even an accidental flip of a light switch could cast a revealing shadow on the wall or a bump in a crowded corridor might uncover their presence. To bring their assault to a successful conclusion called for a bit of shock and awe and that was the loaner Lieutenant's role to play.

"Roger that... Stand clear," the voice on the other end warned but the intricately carved and decorated wooden doors barring their entrance received no such warning.

Wood cracked, splintered, and exploded inward as an invisible force slammed into it accompanied by the whip-crack sound of that same something traveling at a high rate of speed. Shouts could be heard from inside and then there was the sharp sound of steel being drawn and the answering ominous hum of a power weapon charging up. The lightning snap of an energy weapon followed and there was a bloody scream cut off as a meaty thump could be heard from the courtyard and then it was all mayhem as the Marine swept through the Manor in a humanoid typhoon. Walls parted like kindling as the Super Valkyrie plowed through them irregardless of what might be on the other side and the slightest show of resistance was met with a blast from the suit's point defense that shattered gun and blade alike as guards and over-eager guests added to the panic screams of staff and server with their own cries of anguished pain. Where the unexpected leapt out at him they were met with the flat of the tremendous sword to bat them aside with bone crushing force to crumple against wall and pillar or sprawl amid shattered furniture.

Those that could ran and while the sounds of chaos still rang through the manor the Inspector and the Adjutant were kept busy intercepting these and either dropping those who looked in any way like Triad members with their own pistols or allowing the guests to run past and into the waiting arms of a squad of officers sent down from the orbiting warships. The mayhem spreading through the cities was occupying the attentions of all the local police and law enforcement and it was with some surprise that many of the guests found themselves rounded up by the claws and pincers of a Sakkran Navy detachment.

"And now it is time for some answers," Inspector Min stepped up to the most likely of the lot, a prisoner wearing the garb of a professional gambler with wide sleeves and carefully layered robes. One of the few with the paler cast of a Roanian, he was rarer still in that he was held firmly in the clutches of an enormous Deep One who held him firmly between its claws with a casual ease. Even the Inspector seemed intimidated at the form that loomed behind the captive as he stepped up and raised his chin to look him in the eye. "Where is Prince Li Nesar?"

"...I do not know." A slight pinch and he screamed; "Are you quite sure? I cannot testify to the locals, but the Emperor may just allow you to die above ground if you tell us where he is."

"...above ground..."

"Certainly. For someone who has been implicated as complicit in the attack on his beloved Consort? I would expect nothing less."

"...and the Emperor holds no power here," but he glanced to the soldiers and sailors who studiously continued to ignore his impromptu interrogation.

"Yet here I am, and at the invitation of the Republic. Look to your own future; Where would you prefer your soul spend eternity?"
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:33 am

Yes, it was a dangerous thing, especially given the current mindset of the young ruler, Naiya thought as Kousenel went through his thoughts and explanation. 'I will need an old priest, and a young priest', came unbidden as the list continued. It wasn't that she took it lightly, but more that if one couldn't maintain some sense of humor in the face of rather intimidating odds, one might as well pack up and go home. Again, it was a rather Dominion way of thinking, laughing at the danger whilst quietly sorting out how best to deal with it.

The Celestial Master was one she was familiar with only in passing. The last time she had been here, she had seen the young woman who held the office, and remembered having been disturbed at some level on account. Having been limited by her own rules on reaching out to investigate on less visible levels, and not having been formally introduced in the hustle and bustle of it all, Naiya hadn't had the opportunity to investigate that little niggling impression she'd come to trust when felt. That they would have to deal with her here and now was another unknown she quietly filed away as a point of irritation she would simply have to deal with on the fly. It certainly didn't bode well that she too was avoiding the eye of Damalin. Not that she could blame many at this point.

----- ----- -----

What was most important was the gradual withdrawl of the serpent spirit, though even that came with complications. Not kept his word? That meant this Hierophant had broken the trust, and gods only knew what that might mean in the long term. Naiya did not let her visage there be ruffled by the threats of devouring, nor the reference again to the tiny life lost already in the process, though it was a point that hit entirely too close to home for her.

At least they could make the offering anywhere they chose - that should help immensely with anything that her chosen aunt had up her figurative sleeves. The young woman maintained her calm even as the thrice-damned serpent continued to caress the spirit form of Ai-Qien. He would meet his fate soon enough, if she had her way.

"We keep our word when given, unlike this hierophant you speak of," she informed the dark thing. "Perhaps he would make a sufficient payment, in turn for his treachery. Him, and any others who serve him directly that we happen to capture? Of course knowing his location, and being able to strike swiftly would most likely guarantee you a more bountiful offering."

Yes, she knew how to bargain. It had something they wanted, and they could offer it something in turn, back and forth, until one side or the other lacked. That's how it generally worked. In this case she hoped its hunger would be the tipping point, as it had seemed to be thus far. Nor did she have any qualms about following through, in this case.

----- ----- -----

In the waking world, she nodded at the doctor's final words on the matter. "Thank you, Doctor. We appreciate your candid response, as well as your assistance. We will do all we can to continue to assist."

As he had already proven his ability to communicate, Naiya threw a thought out towards al-Fulani. Can you give us a sitrep on Damalin, and if possible, prep for a run to see the Celestial Master? Things are in motion; we may be stabilizing on this end.

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Postby Oyada » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:51 pm

Fuima felt the colour drain slightly from his face. The Sarian ships were still largely intact, and his first salvo, fired unguided in the hope of avoiding the attention of their sensors, had gone hopelessly off the mark. Ships that size weren't meant to move with that much agility, and...

… and he'd given the game away the second he illuminated anyway. Fuima's stomach fell with far greater velocity than his face. He'd blundered on the most basic of doctrinal matters, spent so much time thinking about how best to get his enemy between the jaws of the light forces that he'd forgotten one of the cardinal principles behind the Navy's every method: Once battle has been joined, all advantages which can be brought to be against the enemy must be brought to bear against him as rapidly as possible to maximise chances for success. His first, unguided, broadsides had been telegraphed from the second his ships had fired up their sensors. Now, moreover, those sensors were running up against the thing he'd wanted to negate in the first place: a wall of electronic noise that at least degraded their performance, and at worst stopped it altogether. The display began to show glaring red markers as the radar and ladar returns wavered, though none vanished completely, and the IR was temporarily half-blinded by explosions anyway. At least that was something useful: One could effectively follow one's own impacts.

There was a third problem, as well, Fuima saw, drawing in air slowly past his teeth. Their enemy was shooting back.

On the far side of the Sarian formation, Fuima's cruisers knew all too well that their enemy was shooting back. The screamers advertised the oncoming fire's presence and, happily, made life marginally easier for the ships' defences, but cruisers weren't built to take punishment for long, and their point-defences were comparatively light. The long line was still coalescing into a wall and making the most violent manoeuvres it could when the first impacts overtook them, sent the luckless bridge crew of C-331 staggering in their suits and blasted open half of the lightly armoured pagoda tower to vacuum, the nuclear warhead in their midst still more staggering and sending the whole ship juddering with its blow. That blow demolished both of her jump engines in a trice, erased all but ten per cent of her sensors, and caused the instant shutdown of two of her four fusion reactors, all as she took on a rapid longitudinal spin that the remaining plant fought to correct. Her captain ordered her helm hard over and tried to make her roll, bring her back into formation, for to be alone was to be dead, as she drifted and writhed in the anguish of shot impact, but even as she writhed her eight-inch turrets managed a sputtering salvo towards the Sarians.

Somewhat ahead and above, C-61's armoured hull shuddered to the impact of megatonnes as the adamantine alloy that gave her strength deformed and bent and resisted the nuclear onslaught hurled at it, resisted enough to save her life. It could not save the lives of seventeen of her engineering staff, either killed by heat or by radiation in that instantaneous flash. And at the stern of the column, C-138 slid and slobbered off her course as a Sarian shell smashed her after thrusters and reduced their complex steering mechanisms to a heat-chewed tangle of bent metals and pulsating but undirected thruster glow; at least she could steer in a straight line, for now, but that would do nothing for the two shattered heat-exchangers that had instantly cost her more than half her electrical power and sent her sensors dark, brought the whining ammunition hoists and controls to a halt, snuffed out everything save the point-defences. Smaller rounds arrived to finish the job, and the bulky mass of her pagoda tower became a colander, a grave for her luckless bridge crew, and little more, while her remaining crew struggled to bring her back into the fight and then, as the damage mounted, simply to keep her alive, in vain. The rest of the Maw of Tears' burst battered her but it was another nuclear head that dealt the killing blow, detonating squarely in the torpedo flat and obliterating the cruiser in a colossal blast of light, a blast that could be seen even across the formation as it expanded and dwindled and fell away to blackness.

Fuima watched her wink out on his display and swallowed hard. At least it would have been quick. Combined, her twelve remaining torpedoes carried the equivalent of three hundred and sixty gigatonnes of TNT in their gleaming warheads.

“Cut loose the destroyer squadrons. Tell squadron commanders to execute torpedo attacks as they see best. And have all remaining capable ships catapult a drone carrier and switch to guided explosive!” Fuima's cold horror began to transmogrify into blazing fury. “They'll pay for that.”

Beneath him, Tokitzohazei rang as her fourth broadside discharged, a dull, dolorous pealing that was delayed slightly longer than usual as the hoists brought up the appropriate ammunition. Fuima heard the harsh call of the gunnery buzzer and felt her tremble again through the console, as the shapes of drone carriers emerged onto the game board and the destroyers surged ahead of his plodding battleships, quickly hurrying into the classic diamond formation with their cruisers at the lead, top and bottom points, stubby radiator stacks taking on a low glow as they built up speed.

“Heavy ships into double-rank wall! Port ten, match the keels. Let's open the range up,” he commanded casually, hoping the uncertainty behind his eyes did not reach past his lips.

The destroyers didn't care. Vastly better thrust-to-weight ratios working in their favour, they began to bring themselves into firing position, seeking to draw slightly ahead of the Sarians. They would not make the elementary error their heavier brethren had made; they were torpedomen, a name that had mystique bred of a century's glory in it. Their torpedoes basked contentedly in their tubes, and the torpedomen watched as the moment drew near.

In the distance, another rippling flash. C-290 emerged from it, slipped from the heart of a miniature star with half her turrets a shambolic nightmare that entombed thirteen men and her radiator stack simply gone, a gaping hole pouring forth reactor fuel where it had once been before the stunned engineers shut off valves and stopped the bleeding. Fuima's cruisers lashed back with all the eight-inch fire they could bring to bear in between flinging proximity shells towards the incoming ordnance and furiously trying to avoid it, and aboard Tokitzohazei Fuima hated his own inability to catch up to the wretched raiders. That made his next decision for him.

“Battleship divisions,” Fuima bellowed across his Combat Bridge, “charge for short-range jump on the flagship's nav marker. Signal readiness by divisions. Kakarre!

He'd get back into this fight, by the gods of the light and darkness. He knew the names of every one of the big ships. His own, Tokitzohazei, was the oldest and the weakest, the smallest too. But around her were names that had pride and history and honour every bit as great as hers: Mojisuki, Asakhumo, Khayero, Hasakasei, Zhihigami, Susukhazei, Khatakazei, all veterans, all carrying the pride of a Navy that had almost forgotten it needed any.

His display chirped quietly, and Fuima snapped his eyes to the point and nodded, satisfied. The destroyers were coming into position; once their spreads were away, he would position his ships squarely across the front of the Sarian formation, broadsides on, and damn their main batteries...

Except he couldn't. The damned Roanians were sitting right behind his targets. A vein on Fuima's temple began to throb threateningly, and he bellowed to one of his staff to get hold of Admiral Lan over whatever secure channel they had for communicating with their ever more variable ally.
Freedom's price is liberty. The individual and his liberty are secondary to our objectives; how are we to protect our lives, our culture, our people, if they all act independently? If each man pursues his own petty aims, we are no more than tiny grains of iron in a random heap. Only by submitting to the need of the whole can any man guarantee his freedom. Only when we allow ourselves to be shaped do we become one, perfect blade. - General Jizagu Ornua, The cost of freedom for Oyada, 1956.

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Postby Roania » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:39 pm

Oyadan Imperial Palace, Oyadan Capital City, Continent of Oyada, Planet Oyada, Oyadan System, Oyadan Dwarf Galaxy

Never let it be said that the Empire didn't understand the concept of diplomacy. It was merely a game the majority of Imperial Subjects, and their master, took absolutely no interest in. Why bother to take the time to speak to foreigners as foreigners, after all, when one day they would all be under the Dragon Throne? Waste of resources. Fortuitously, in the years since the Realm had been forced to temporarily acknowledge the presence of other 'states' in the galaxy a study had been made of the rules and processes by which these alleged countries dealt with one another, and training had been made for agents to carry the Sovereign's word to those who pretended to be worthy of his attention, and to provide the Secretariat with their alleged 'news'. And occasionally, more.

Sometimes, a nation might enter the Empire's books as actually worthy of being treated as equals.


Oyada was such a nation, and some sages even spoke of their 'Empire' as being almost half-civilized. It even kept its word! This meant that it was very important to keep their King, harmless as he was, happy. And some bright spark in the newly minted Department of Foreign Affairs had found a way to make him potentially very happy indeed.

Elei Keiri had arrived on Oyada both cheerful and perplexed. Cheerful, because she had been taken out of semi-permanent psychiatric care as 'cured' and was free to gallivant around asking questions and poking into things as she had always loved before the... thing she didn't like to think about. Perplexed because some very nice people had given her a red dress, some feathered badges and a ship, then sent her off to Oyada as the new Ambassador.

And now, here she was, sitting in a nice palace waiting room, brushing her hair out. All because she'd asked to see her friend Naragan! When the Sovereign's friends asked to see him, did the Imperial Guards put them in holding? ...probably, actually. Well, either way! "This dress is ridiculous!" She concentrated her attention and her chen on the fabric and adjusted it to fit tighter to her prodigious chest and shorter than her ankles. "That's better. Now, I can't be sitting around here all day! I'm sure they'd not mind if I took a look around myself." And off she went, out of the sitting room.

8th Fleet, Tonh System

"Hostile targets detected entering system and approaching. Same pattern as the raiders from before, Commodore." Reports like this were taking place on each of the command vessels of the 8th Fleet. "Men are returning to battlestations."

"Steady, Captain." And the Commodores would then retreat to their command rooms, where...











Commodore Kem Yun-Sai shut off the conference and rubbed his eyes. First, he could not believe that Admiral Lan had left his post to go to a vivisection! He knew many of the Rudani were slack, but how slack could they possibly be! And now they could not reach him? And now his colleagues were bickering over who was in command as opposed to just following a plan? He... actually, he could very well believe that.

Well, no matter. "Computer! Open comm to Admiral Ko! Inform him that Admiral Lan is unfortunately not in command!"

Done, Commodore Kem Yun-Sai.

"Computer! Broadcast to all ships! The Second Detachment goes to battle! They may follow us or not! But I fight for Queen Sun Je-Syong, and in the service of the Lord! Oru!" He switched off that broadcast and opened comms to his detachment. "Second Detachment! Formation of the Fist!"

Sarian Raider Clans and Oyadan Expeditionary Force

The second raid by the Sarians turned out to be an unpleasant near-loss for the Imperials. Riven by indecision at the top, and expecting more of the same suicidal attacks as the first raid, nearly two thousand lives were lost to the opening attack before elements of the 8th snapped out of their stupor and began taking more aggressive actions. The actions of the Second Detachment proved provident, especially when the Battleship Cowardice is a Rose of a Thousand Thorns bought itself and its shield into the path of a screaming missile that threatened to destroy the crippled cruiser Conqueror of the Black Sea and its crew. This act saved the lives of 300 men and the ship's Seer, and the Battleship's shield restored itself fully in a matter of minutes owing to the Sarian withdrawal leaving it unpressed.

In the end the Sarians were driven off with the help of a nearby Oyadan expeditionary force, though at a heavy cost. Especially in the First Detachment, where a surprise attack had led to a series of missiles being sprayed at the Flagship, the Super Battleship Mercy Is Only for Those Who Kneel. The Flagship's shields were battered and parts of the hull were seriously damaged by wrecks, while several destroyers were lost in an attempt to destroy a missile and a Cruiser suffered a resonance cascade that destroyed it, the Sarians it was engaging, and three nearby corvettes. As the Sarian retreat led them into contact with the Oyadans and away from the maimed Fleet, three detachments retreated towards the system's capital, with the 2nd and 4th remaining to hold off any further aggression and provide aid to the OIN if needed.

Total Imperial Losses are estimated at 4500 men and 10 Seers. Total Sarian Losses are unknown. Admiral Ko ordered that every disabled Sarian ship was to be obliterated and commanded that no quarter be given and no mercy be shown in further engagements. In the aftermath, he began organizing the 7th Fleet's pullout from Tonhi orbit, save for the 5th Detachment, with the intent of joining the 8th. However, he did give the following orders, seconded by Prince Nesar and Great Secretary Daeri Cheruv.

Admiral Lan was placed under arrest and detained upon the Super Battleship The Dragon's Vengeance Has Come. He subsequently released himself to his ancestors and was destroyed with full honors. Commodores Te Kuno and Inari Nari were deprived of their commands remotely. Commodore Kem Yun-Sai received a breveted promotion to Deputy Admiral and was given command of the 8th Fleet.
Last edited by Roania on Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scolopendra » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:26 pm


The explicitly nondescript man suppressed a wince at the sound of a voice in his head that wasn't coming through his headware. It was a known risk, of course, and it confirmed many suspicions--useful in the immediate hindsight--but he'd have to double-check the null-wall and make sure it was secure against at least passive incursion. He relayed his message back technologically via S.H.O.D.A.N.. -I overheard him give his spooks a month. Outside of everything going wrong how they usually do--or Little Lord Fauntleroy knocking over his milk in spite again--this end is settling down as well. What do you need from me?-

The mechanoid briefed him on the situation, and immediately after he politely excused himself from his quiet corner and returned to the medical quarantine area. A quick knock on the door, a rapid exchange of the writ, and he found himself off to find the Celestial Master. The direct approach was usually the easiest, so he took that... or, at the very least, the closest to that he could bring himself to. The doctors attending to the princess wished to avail themselves of the wisdom of the Celestial Master--true enough--and he had been dispatched to retrieve or speak to her as she wished. The game plan regarding Ta Min herself, well, he'd sort that out as he went along. No need to bind himself to courses of action that could be rather easily closed off.
Idealism at All Costs! . . . Welcome to the Segments, the happiest libertarian socialist nationalists you'll ever meet.
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