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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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Northrop-Grumman
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Posts: 1619
Founded: Dec 28, 2003
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:19 pm

Oyada

“Ahhhh, speculation…” Davidson found straight-up facts to be quite easy. There were things that needed to be said, and others best left unsaid of course, but that was simple to handle unless you started getting into white lies or ones of omission. That, obviously, was where matters became complicated. Now, speculation was even worse, especially considering his and Zhilra’s respective positions; he didn’t know what she would do is he started speculating on events, and didn’t know if he would phrase things correctly.

“You know, it’s easy to tell who around these parts finds themselves a touch irritated with them, but whether that irritation translates into actual votes for removal…weeell…that’s another thing entirely. See, Miss Zhilra, problem with speculation is that eventually you might start believing your own bullcrap, and then find yourself in front of the council making a fool of yourself. Or someone else runs with what you’ve said and then you’ve got a right mess on your hands…wouldn’t you agree?”



Roania

Ordinarily Siri would have preferred to make her own travel arrangements, but at the insistence of her Vice Chairman, she begrudgingly allowed those responsibilities to be delegated to her staff. Her volatile and abrasive attitude towards diplomats would be akin to setting loose a bull in a china shop, especially when you’re making requests. Besides, it was far better for her to focus on rereading reports from her staff in the Grummian embassy on Rudan Prime and figuring out what point she wanted to get across with the Emperor than busying herself with other countries’ diplomatic staff.

Her staff had managed to clear the itinerary with the Solontian diplomatic corps without much of an issue; they were amenable to the reasoning the Grummians had put forth. After all, the Chairwoman intended to be heading to the Radiant Empire in an effort to bringing about some sort of peace, or at least bring back an understanding of this whole mess. Better to get the full picture before one acts. That was the diplomatic way, was it not? Ultimately, they negotiated transit of a single battlecruiser. No one wanted to be too disruptive of interstellar transit; they just wanted to essentially jump the line and get immediate access, and Siri’s personal flagship was far too large for this mode of transit. The two-way hypergates transported the ship from the surface of Earth to Solont, where a one-way orbital gate sent it to the Roanian home system.

Further, even though it was assumed that the Roanian ambassador would have done so just for intel reasons, the Grummian diplomatic staff gave essentially a heads up that the Chairwoman was intending to visit their Emperor within a day and making sure to point out that they were permitted to do so, according to the Emperor’s own hand. The intent was for there to be no surprises when her battlecruiser, the NGSS Kilimanjaro, dropped onto the edge of Rudan System.

Note: Cleared with Solont.
Last edited by Northrop-Grumman on Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Roania
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Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:52 pm

Imperial Palace Throneroom

The Grand Admiral, Kin Li, was an old man. He had served the Empire for many, many years, after all. When he took the time to stop at in the Hall of the Dragon, the guards rose from their resting kneel and saluted, and even the Sovereign put aside his scroll to stand up. "Please, most honorable servant of this fallen soul, come forth." The Grand Admiral, then, took off at a brisk pace down the hall and stopped meters from the throne. The Sovereign shook his head and raised a beckoning finger. "Closer. I do not wish to raise my voice, which is after all hoarse from grief."

The revered elder then took up a place at his master's right side, away from the empty throne. "I come with sad news, Lord. Your valiant 8th Fleet has suffered a terrible blow from a second, more powerful raid. The same people who acted before." The young man straightened his seat and rested his chin in his hand, contemplating this news. "We have lost sixty-five ships, ten of them Crystal Bearers, and another forty vessels have been crippled. For all intents and purposes, we have lost the 8th Fleet as a functioning weapon of war."

The Shenqin Emperor took this news in his stride. He lifted up the crystal-tablet he had been reading, shut it, and placed his hands together in reflection. "What steps have you taken to preserve the peace and safety of the Realm, Grand Admiral? If they have come twice, they may come again."

"I have sent orders to Admiral Ko to keep a detachment at the 7th's current posting and proceed with the rest of his command to join the Remnants of the 8th, where he has appointed a deputy." These arrangements had been printed onto a sheet of vellum, that the Sovereign now took and carefully placed on his desk.

"You speak of Admiral Ko. What happened to the Admiral of the 8th fleet? Did he fall in this attack?"

"Regretfully, Admiral Lan was not in his proper place, a fact that may have led to this unfortunate series of events. We will know more once I have staged a board of inquiry, Honorable Lord."

"...this 'Admiral Lan'... he is on his way back here, I assume? To await court martial?" The Imperial eyes closed momentarily. "There will be no courtmartial. I will deal with him myself."

"Ju Lan committed an honorable self-execution in his cell. Admiral Ko informed me this morning. He had, of course, been permitted to keep his sword and I am afraid..."

"Enough." The Shenqin Emperor composed himself after his voice became sharp enough to cut. "How many men and women did we lose?" He proceeded, in a far cooler and friendlier voice.

"Oh, I... I'm afraid I didn't put that number down. At least ten women, and..."

"You didn't?" The Sovereign rose to his feet and clapped his Admiral on the shoulder. "No matter. Grand Admiral, walk with me. I grow tired of sitting here and will need fresh air to contemplate what orders, if any, I must give." He gave Pe a pat on the head and walked to the great yellow door hidden behind the fabric wall. The Grand Admiral made no move to follow. "I do prefer not to repeat myself, Venerable Kin Li. In respect to your honored age, I would not take you far." A thought occurred to him, though, and he stepped back around. "Chamberlain? I am expecting guests. When they choose to make their appearance, they are to be bought directly to this throneroom. I will return soon." One final silent glance at the Admiral, and he joined his master at the door.

On the other side, two more of the great ogres waited. When the Emperor and his companion stepped through, they stood and went to follow, but a shake of the head left them sitting. "This is my palace, and he is one of my most honored and trusted servants. You need not fear for me."

When they were a safe distance away, the Grand Admiral coughed slightly. "Enruhn!" covering his mouth. "Lord, I..."

"They are loyal. They are dependable. They are simple. They do as they are told, when they are told. And whatever crimes they may have committed, they will do none so long as they serve, and perhaps even beyond. Or they will be dealt with as they deserve. This way. Not too far, on my word." They continued in silence, then, a scant moment or three. "Tell me, Grand Admiral. Why do you believe I sent the letter that I did?"

"I... I wouldn't presume to know the mind of my master."

"Wouldn't you? Come. Hazard a guess. I am young and you are my elder and I would wish to hear your thoughts. Why that letter?"

"I... assumed you wrote the letter the way you did hoping to draw their finest medical minds here in search of your reward, Lord."

"You think far too much of the Men and Women of Sol. Both far too much, and far too little." Damalin placed his hand on a palmplate, and ancient machinery began to return to life. "To them, I am a monster. A tyrant. They hate me. Why do they hate me? Perhaps they hate me because I hate them. Or perhaps they hate me because I replaced my mother, whom they love. My will or won't counts for nothing to them. I am a fool, and I am a monster, and I am a cruel and brutal lord. Tell me, Grand Admiral. Do you believe that if my beloved is not returned to me, I will end the life of that abominable planet and its regrettable, disgusting people?"

"I... I do not..."

"It is unimportant. Because they, the Lords and Ladies of Sol, do. They think I'm mad with grief, or perhaps just mad. I would give anything and do anything to have my wife back. And I would. But they are asking the wrong questions. Careful, there's a step. Let me help you." The stone doors swung open, and the Emperor helped his Admiral onto a hidden rail. It was quiet there, down in the dark beneath the island. Quiet and damp. "Where was I..."

"The wrong questions, Lord."

"Yes. I would, if it were not for my wife, cheerfully, gleefully slaughter every man, woman and child on that planet." And he stopped and turned to face the Grand Admiral, in the queer jade light of the caves "They are ungrateful. They have been fools. They behave without respect to either the standards of civilized behavior or to the knowledge that they owe my wife their lives. I do not need a reason to remove those filthy animals from my galaxy, Admiral. I need a reason not to. As the situation stands, I am willing to make...accomodations. For the sake of my wife. Yes? She will be with us again, and there is nothing I would not do for my AiQien. Even tolerate the intolerable."

"Of... of course, Honorable Lord. The Tonhi are disgusting, and an affront to the Precepts and to the Throne. Their treatment of both of you..." The Grand Admiral was mildly confused now. Perhaps this boy was unsound? Either way, they were a fair bit from the Throne Room... or perhaps not that far. Distance was hard to judge underground.

"Mmm. Another question. Last one. How much is a life worth, would you say?" Damalin placed his hand on an ancient plate. A moment passed, and slowly the rumbling stones cracked open, revealing the outside. A cave, above the river but below the Palace. "Any life. Do be careful, it's slippery." The Grand Admiral hesitated, but took his master's hand and stepped onto the stone surface.

"I... I wouldn't... a life is a life. It is what someone does with it, is it not? So the Precepts say."

"Indeed they do. Here. Is your chen strong enough to hold you? Good. Stand with me here awhile, away from prying ears." There was silence for a long minute. When the Grand Admiral thought to speak, perhaps on the topic he had been told to come on, his Emperor spoke instead. "4500, and 12. Those are the numbers you did not think important enough to remember. 4,500 of my men, dead because of a failure at the top I did not believe until you confirmed it for me. I ask you again. What are those lives worth, Grand Admiral? Or, rather, what were they worth?"

"I... well, obviously I have ordered the Bureau of the Departed to begin preparing letters and calls for the men, and... and I can check on what happens for the Seers. But their families will receive their pensions and more. I... the Mynko Emperor put in place a very good policy..." The Grand Admiral stuttered, trying to get to his tablet and pull the information up.

"That is your calculation? The men cost less than the ships, so the loss of the ships harms the Empire more. And the girls are just standard equipment?" This Emperor turned his half-closed eyes back to the river and the far shore. "Understandable."

"Of... it is far easier to train a man, and cheaper to pay his family, than to replace a good quality ship, yes. Even Seers aren't..."

"I have a new credo for you to listen to. Do so very carefully, Grand Admiral. Lives are worth what I say they are. These men and girls died in my name, for my realm. They are not some hapless barbarians or worthless traitors. These are my people. Up there, on the opposite side. Those are my people. And in the stars above us? Billions of men and women. And each and every one of them; everyone who has ever taken the oath and kept it belongs to me, Grand Admiral. And their deaths for an empty reason? I would call that a crime. And a crime must see punishment. But your alleged honor, Grand Admiral, led to the Navy permitting the mastermind of our gravest defeat in centuries to kill himself!"

"I... I see your point, Sovereign. I... if this happens again, we will make sure the... the... the criminal is not permitted..."

"No. It is not enough." The Emperor placed his hands behind himself and sighed, shaking his head. "A new era dawns, Grand Admiral. That is why I chose my regnal name. And we must leap before it, or be pushed by it."

"I... I'm sorry, Sovereign, I don't..."

"I know. And that is why you must be pushed." A moment later there was a splash below, and the Emperor was alone on the cave.

"Now." Asen Damalin smiled. "It is time, I believe, to instruct Admiral Ko to reach out and hurt some one. Computer?"

Yes, Lord?

"I want a full report of everything that has happened in my palace on my tablet, and I want it by the time I am upstairs. If anyone has placed a privacy lock on anything, open it. Do not inform them. Do not report to anyone else. I and I alone want the keys to the network from now on."

Lord of Ten Thousand Years, this requires authorization. If it would suit you, kindly enter your...

"I am fifty meters from the mother crystal, and I know where they keep the hammers. I am quite happy to start hitting new facets in place until I get what I want, computer."

Full Power Granted to the Lord of Ten Thousand Years, User Code Dragon. All recorded conversations in the palace are being routed to the authorized tablet now.

"Good. Now, I wonder which allegedly hidden conversation I want to hear first..."
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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New Naggoroth
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Posts: 234
Founded: Nov 21, 2006
Ex-Nation

Postby New Naggoroth » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:05 pm

Aboard Shining Light

The Naggorothi embassy was, like the others, a clean and functional office space if nothing else. The stone and marble-topped desk that greeted visitors had been imported at considerable expense from the mines of Naggarond, but like the tapestries decorating the walls, it wouldn't do to present anything but the best. Behind the desk sat a forlorn looking male elf, well dressed and possessed of a name tag that identified him him as Kallan, who was presently busy shuffling papers, flipping between data pads, and prodding at a screen built into the desk that didn't appear to want to cooperate with anyone.

He looked up, almost startled, when Pethbrigg entered. It had been a quiet day so far, as neither visitors nor the Lady Ambassador in Residence had need to call upon him. That said, he had seen a brief on his desk earlier, that stated that representatives of the other resident powers could be expected, and were to be immediately be taken to the boss.

"Ah, mister ambassador... Pethbrigg," it took a moment for the adjutant to finally stammer the correct name as he stood, and bowed respectfully. "Lady Jyuri has been expecting you. I think. Anyways, please follow me..." he said, leaving the front desk to lead the Oyadan ambassador to Jyuri's office.

The office, like the rest of the hallways inside the embassy, seemed just a bit wider then would required for the average naggorothi; indeed, the halls were wide enough for three to walk abreast. The reason for this became evident when Pethbrigg was introduced to Lady Jyuri. Seated behind her desk, the woman appeared to be similar to any of the other elves at first glance. A slender frame, pale skin, ears that tapered up to a point, well-rounded bust, long red hair drawn into a tight braid, brilliant emerald eyes. But that's where the similarities stopped. An extra pair of smaller eyes rested in her forehead above the others, also of matching emerald. It looked as if she wore long gloves beneath the sleeves of her shirt, but that those gloves seemed to match the rather unusual legs that protruded from behind the desk.

Spider's legs. What Kallan had not mentioned was that Jyuri was an arachyath, a sentient race of spider-people who were the original inhabitants of what was now the kingdom of Naggarythe. It was with their help that the vast underground cities of that kingdom came into being, and they assimilated into the new society with surprising ease. Her pointed crimson legs clicked ever so slightly as Jyuri 'stood' to greet the new arrival.

"Ah, Ambassador Pethbrigg," she said in greeting, smiling as the rather stunned Oyadan. "A pleasure to finally meet you. Please, come, sit down," she motioned to a rather normal looking leather chair set out opposite her desk. "It seems we have much to discuss regarding a current mutual ally, no?"


---


Tohn System space, aboard Sword of Khaine

Evening watch was just about ended. It had been another quiet day, waiting for either the Roanians or these new pirates to make a move. So far, neither had, and to all concerned in the Naggorothi task force, that was all well and good. None of them were exactly eager to test themselves against these raiders, especially so far from home. The officers and staff there were all thinking about hot showers, sleep, and other off-duty activities to pass the time once their shifts were over, when the primary HUD console hanging from the ceiling lit up like a christmas tree and starting chiming angrily.

"Signals, status?" the duty officer called from his spot beside the main tactical display at the centre of command and control, his eyes fixed on the readouts.

"Multiple contacts, in system. Jump traces... no recognized IFF. Must be the reavers, sir," came the call down from the signals officer, who's console readout was more focused then the general display. Enemy ships entering the system dispelled all thoughts of break relief for the tired crew and, to his credit, the officer of the watch immediately called for action stations. They were certainly not going to be surprised by any undisciplined scum who thought they could attack with impunity.

Several minutes later, Admiral Tychus was once more in the CIC, barking orders for status and readiness reports. Despite the late hour, the ship, and indeed the entire fleet, had quickly gone to full alert, with jump engines spooled.

"Are we going to engage, sir? We still haven't heard a word from Admiral Lan," asked the ship's executive officer, one Commander Dharvish. "They're retreating. We believe we've detected ship-to-ship missile launches, but..."

He was cut off then by yet more alarms and signal flashes. "More jump-trace contacts, sir," called the signals officer. "It's... it's the Oyadans, sir. They've moved to engage."

The admiral watched the contacts moving on his screen. The Oyadans looked like the had the advantage. They were closing quickly, and fired off the first shots. The signals given off by the raiders were unknown, but they looked outclassed by the allied battleships.

When the raiders turned to engage the Oyadans, however, Tychus knew something was off. Perhaps the force calculations for these unknown ships was off. They had endured quite well under the first barrage, and appeared to be giving nearly as good as they were getting. The admiral, however, did not believe in fighting fair, when one didn't have to. He turned to the assembled command staff and gave his orders.

"All ships, this is an emergency combat jump. We're going to jump in here," he said, pointing to the area of space roughly perpendicular to the Sarian ships, and facing away from the system's star. "I want clear firing solutions. No shooting friendlies. We likely have a limited engagement window, so lets make it count. Open fire as soon as your jump is complete."

Seventy five seconds later, each ship reported ready and began jumping in sequence. The destroyer squadrons went first, their drives flaring as they put on speed, their antimatter-tipped torpedoes loaded and ready. The screen of cruisers jumped next, gun batteries charged while their central accelerators loaded with heavy armor-piercing. Next came the dreadnoughts, the three lumbering capital ships that surrounded the fleet's lone carrier. Hanging well back, these ships didn't need to get close to their enemy to slay with them; the four magnetic accelerator cannons that ran the length of the ship's spine had more then enough range to avoid a knife fight.

White flashes announced the arrival of the naggorothi fleet into the combat area. Each ship was already burning hard to stay in engagement range of the Sarians, and had sensors active, the devices working frantically to paint targets for the main and secondary guns of the fleet. Long seconds passed as firing solutions were calculated, and thrusters fired to properly align the ship-killing heavy guns.

The fire-control officer aboard the Sword of Khaine almost sounded smug as he announced the dreadnought squadron had solutions dialed in on the lead Sarian vessels, pleased it had taken the computer less then a minute to line the ship up. The admiral was less sanguine about it, his eyes critical of the way his ships were deploying, but he still gave the order to fire.


---


The White Tower of Hoeth, Kingdom of Saphery

Work on the simulacrum had begun apace, as the three mages worked quickly to enact Teclic's plan. Creating a proper simulacrum was no easy feat; a great deal of aetheric energy needed to be poured into the the incantation, and it needed to be shaped and guided into the correct form by deft, skilled hands, lest it escape control and react violently once in contact with reality. Wards needed to be set in place, funnels and traps implemented, and a host of other control and containment protocols enacted in order to create a new life out of what was, essentially, nothing. It was something neither Ellenith nor Korhandris had ever done before, and indeed even great Teclis had, in all his thousands of years of life, only completed the arduous ritual twice before.

He wouldn't get to complete this third ritual. It wasn't that something went wrong; everything was set up perfectly, everything in harmonious alignment. But then it happened. The veld warped. Something hammered at the veil between dimensions, and like a rock hitting the surface of a pool, a rippling wave spread from the impact in all directions. The energies being harnessed were snuffed out in an instant by the leading edge of the shockwave, while the wave itself battered against the mental barriers of all present in the great Tower.

The screaming just wouldn't stop. Every mage, every apprentice, every being connected to the aether felt the shadow of death invade their waking thoughts. Something terrible was being unleashed. Something that could not be stopped. Something that could not even be understood. It's first birthing scream threatened to drive the lot of them mad.

Two of them in the Tower, however, stood resolute against the atrocious wailing of the fledgling Roanian god. Teclis' sheer volume of willpower steeled himself against the hurricane, and because of that, he was able to look it in the eye and see it for what it was. He saw the hideous being that called itself a god, and preyed upon those who worshiped it. And he saw the lonely green and brown and blue world where it was trying to claw its way into the reality of mortals.

Fate was far less kind to Ellenith. She too suffered from the visions of death and destruction and ruin that were visited upon the mages of Saphery. But these were not the same terrors born of some god-horror half a galaxy away. This ruin wore a familiar face. Elven faces. It lead hosts of twisted aberrations and monstrous daemons. An alluringly beautiful she-elf who could bewitch the strongest mortal with but a glance. A handsome prince, chiseled out of flawless marble from a children's fairytale, who's shadow dripped from his body like venom and blood. A name came unbidden to her lips, a name no mortal had spoken in generations. It spilled freely, a name for the doom that was to come.

"Morathi," she whispered, her eyes rolling back in their sockets before she finally succumbed to the roiling darkness, and blissfully lost consciousness.
Last edited by New Naggoroth on Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sunset
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sunset » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:07 pm

Jungle Safehouse, N'Xypndiltn, E'Xypndiltn System...

"Abandoned," Inspector Min poked through the crumbling remains of the safehouse, "Just as we'd expected. Why would they have only one meeting point between the various dens of the Snake Clan and their ultimate destination? This was probably just a place to check identities," he flipped over a crumbled bit of packaging that had been left behind. It was one of the many traces that had established the place as having been used at one point by the Clan; A sturdy stone tower in the middle of a clearing that was slowly being reclaimed by the jungle, it had once been a place of worship used by the False Gods of N'Xypndiltn in their cult ceremonies. It was somehow appropriate that the place had been reclaimed for their use even if temporarily.

"They've dispatched teams to the other temples," Tradia spoke up, returning from a silent conversation in her head to the here-and-now, "But it's probably too optimistic that they might be headquartered somewhere in the hidden lairs."

The two were not alone at the safehouse coughed up by one of the proprietors of the den of vice; They'd been ferried to the site by a Combined Services Mobile Infantry unit and it was now spread out around the temple both looking for any information as to the nefarious visitors and providing protection to the two principle investigators. All across the planet attacks were still continuing with successful interventions sometimes preventing a tragedy but often only able to protect a principle target while the attackers lashed out at everyone around them until they were killed or captured. When they'd arrived at the site a Demo Man had insisted on clearing the temple first and he'd found it laced with a variety of traps from the mean to the lethal and ranging into the destructive with a hidden cache of explosives that would have leveled the building during any thorough search.

"I can only agree. One misdirection will be followed by another. But there are few clues here as to where the next step along the chain might be..."

"Sirs?" Min was interrupted by the interjection of a Mobile Infantry trooper with the hard-edged accent of a Karmabaijani regular. Appearing at the door, he half-stooped so he could see inside the doorway built for the much, much shorter Xypndi people, "We've found a heavy track leading away to the southeast. Scout detail is already on their way to check it out."

It was an old-fashioned clue and so the rest of the search was conducted in an old-fashioned method with a half-dozen Troopers bouncing along through the jungle surrounding the pair as they followed the scouts along the footpath that had been left by the cultists with the search made especially tedious by the pursued. Booby traps had been set here and there and what appeared to be established lines of travel were often revealed after a short time to be an access trail to a watering hole and other times to be a stream crossing where they had attempted to put anyone who followed off the trail. It was frustrating work until the second and third stop along the route deep into the jungle had been passed and they started to find the bodies. Sacrifices was a more proper term; Young women, mostly Tonhi but occasionally a native Xypndi spread out on an rough altar of gathered stones as a bloody sacrifice.

"Ugh, why here?" Tradia asked, carefully keeping her distance. She'd seen death before and caused plenty of it herself, but there was something about the moment of horror caught in the young woman's eyes that made her step back while the Inspector circled the altar. There was something odd about the scene; A particular stillness that seemed absent from the woman's body.

"I cannot explain it," the Inspector agreed. "I deal with the criminal, but this..."

Something moved on the young woman's arm and Tradia nearly jumped out of her skin. In her head she knew it had to be a maggot or some other harbinger of decay but then the foot shook and she stepped back, "Min..."

"I see it too, Ms. Tradia." There was a catch of apprehension in his voice and he looked around the altar to the jungle and what seemed like a growing shadow that had just now passed over them but his perspective was suddenly blocked as the form of an armored Trooper stepped in front of the pair.

"Might be a booby trap," the Demo Man warned, his voice quiet as he knelt and began to deploy the tools of his trade. But it was no trap; Even as the two stepped back, the movement of the young woman's legs intensified, her hands pushed, and she began to stand. Body broken but somehow intact, she took her first staggering step forward since having crossed the greatest boundary and then another. Dried viscera cracked and fell away as she turned and looked with eyes still wide in dead horror towards an unknown destination, no breath escaping her lips as feet began to carry her towards it...
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Roania
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Posts: 1797
Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:46 am

Sarian Raiders, New Naggoroth, Oyada

Admiral Ko reflected on his situation. In the distance, he could see the Oyadans continue their skirmish with the withdrawing pirates, and he was content to let the zaowlei waste their men and ships in battle while his new deputy got the remnants of the 8th Fleet back into something approaching fighting shape. It was their place, after all, to die for the Realm. "Has the late Admiral been incinerated?"

"Yes, Admiral."

"And our friends?" With the 8th Fleet's flagship crippled, the surviving crews and Seers of the damaged or destroyed ships were on their way to the surface of Thanh-Tonh by way of every shuttle that could fly. Prince Nesar had been most certain he could find them a friendly reception amongst the populace. Ko had his doubts, but the better such non-combatants were out of his way, the happier he would be.

"Honored Admiral, I beg leave to report a direct crystal-link from Imperial City." His Seer had appeared at his side in her inscrutable way, the silver and white dress she wore clinging to her maturing curves. "It... it is very... important, that is all..." She closed her eyes and leaned against the wall, like her life was being squeezeed out of her.

"Presumably His Excellency the Grand Admiral wishes to know what my plans are. Though why he'd not go through usual channels I don't..." He leaned over to his comms panel and transferred from the standard radio to the network. As the young woman relaxed, the Admiral tensed up. Ordinarily the privacy shield would have risen by now, but it was refusing to...

"Admiral Ko." The cool, quiet voice was only vaguely familiar, but there was also only one man it could belong to. "Does this insignificant one have the honor of addressing the right man?"

"Most High!" Ko rose to his feet, as did everyone else seated. They all quickly snapped to full attention. "Who can this least of the Dragon Throne's servants thank for this unheard of honor?" If someone in his fleet had gone over his head like this, he'd like to know. All the better to shoot them.

"Shortly before Grand Admiral Kin left the Imperial Service, he..."

"Grand Admiral Kin stepped down?!" Admiral Ko was shocked enough by this news that he interrupted his master and only realized it a second or so later, when it seemed like the vast gulf of space had silenced his voice. Everyone in the room looked up at him in shock; some with more shock at his audacity than at the news.

Finally, the Emperor began to speak, very slowly and clearly. "Regrettably, this unworthy soul and the most worthy Grand Admiral had a disagreement over certain... recent decisions. While I could never, would never, dream to question the expertise of the Fleets or their Admirals in the regular course of their duties, I felt nevertheless that in some matters this lowly being had a duty to intervene, so the law may be fulfilled and seen to be fulfilled. I will of course be happy to submit my decision and its reasoning to you for your agreement, if you deem it necessary."

"No, Lord, that is unnecessary. I would not dream of questioning the Lord in these matters."

"Very good. Shortly before Grand Admiral Kin left the city, he informed me of your plans of withdrawal and consolidation before the next attack. Is this still your intention?" Oh yes, Ko could picture the young man on the other side, sitting on his dark throne, stroking his beard and staring into space. The Emperor had come close to joining the banners before the Unpleasantness. Obviously he wanted to learn more about the real shield of his realm.

Therefore, with a somewhat patronizing politeness, Ko explained his decisions and plans to a silent Lord, for once feeling a pang of familiarity with the pathetic westerners who prayed to an invisible and silent God. There was no question that another attack would be waged but it was imperative the Realm retain organization, perhaps send for more fleets to provide overwhelming force...

"No. Hear and obey. These zarins are anathema. All of them. Male, female, infants. If a single member of this attacking force survives, I will be displeased. My command is this. You should attack the remnants with all due haste. If you may find their origin point, then you and whatever aspects of the 8th fleet remain combat-ready are to pursue and destroy everything you find there. The exception is this, Admiral Ko. You may, if the opportunity arises, take their leaders prisoner." The heat of the Emperor's anger pulsed through the crystal. "There will be no fortuitious suicides, Admiral Ko. Am I crystal?"

Admiral Ko sighed and put his hand over his eyes, tapping the comms channel. Worlds turned on such a moment... but this was, after all, 1812. Orders were orders, and the men would leap happily enough on them. "I hear and I obey, Lord of Ten Thousand Years."

"Excellent. Then I await news of your victory with eager anticipation."

And the crystal connection was broken. Admiral Ko didn't quite know what to do with this... well, he wasn't there to decide at this point. He was there to obey, and the orders were not unlawful. Yes. Very well. So be it. He flipped a series of switches, patching himself directly through to all captains. "Attention all vessels. We are now on a war footing. All men are to report to battlestations. Reverse heading, we return to the conflict." He flipped another switch, patching himself to the sensor arrays. "Find out where these confounded creatures are coming from. Alert me when you have a fix."

Northrop-Grumman

"I'm most terribly sorry, Honorable Chairwoman." The Chamberlain bowed and scraped his way into a small sitting room. The furnishings consisted of a variety of low cushions around low tables, as well as two rigid and straight wooden chairs that looked terribly comfortable. "The Lord of Ten Thousand Years had an urgent task to accomplish. I was bidden to..." Selese frowned slightly at Siri's clothing, then shook his head. "I was command to see to your comfort and assure you that as soon as is practical, your audience will be given."
Last edited by Roania on Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Northrop-Grumman
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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:29 pm

Roania

The Chairwoman did not possess a vast wardrobe; she shunned exquisite designs, expensive accoutrements, and anything else she deemed unnecessary, so this led to a tendency to wear just about the same thing way too often. For occasions when she found herself in that rare mood to dress up, she possessed a dress that she had when she first married her late husband. Other times, she wore her more “casual” outfit – black turtleneck with metal-braced neck, tan pants, and tall, heavy leather boots. This was a side effect of being in the same armor day in and day out back on her homeworld, only changing when it needed to be cleaned or repaired or when sleeping. She honestly cared not whether she received any looks about it; she would rather be comfortable, protected, and practical than be all gussied up to please someone else.

Sitting down in one of the much more preferred wooden chairs, the elf crossed her legs, folding her hands neatly in her lap. “I understand,” she politely answered with a slight nod, feeling a little off as her tied-back hair no longer contained the blades' metal weight. Security always tended to be difficult about metal objects on her person. “I’m sure you have other more important matters to attend to. I’ll be perfectly fine waiting here until the time comes. After all, how much trouble can I get into in a place like this?”
Last edited by Northrop-Grumman on Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sarian Raider Clans
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Ex-Nation

Postby Sarian Raider Clans » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:39 pm

Tonhi System, Feral Class Heavy Cruiser Marker of Flesh


The voices once filled with the height of aggression were now cold save for a dull burning quality that spoke only of murderous intent and a driving shared purpose, rising only to compensate for the thuds of weapons fire or jink thrusters. The atmosphere wafted with the smell of scorched components and the harsh stench of ozone while overhead displays clearly showed several sections of the ships outline marked in color coded haloes, Sarian glyphs dancing there messages of damage and open to void spaces. Markers once proud rig angular flank was a near complete hash of them where shields had spotted under the roiling destructive mass of Oyadin munitions. The Feral though still plowed on, multi guns spitting out death as her systems tried to steal from the peter of her reality compression drives jump circuit to feed the Paul of her shields, second to second survival and the ability to jump out to achieve long life fighting for attention.

“Great lord, all vessels now reporting counter munitions stocks are down to forty percent, below and falling since the last Oyadin cruiser run, we have barrel burn outs on twenty eight percent of the escort swarm, the Mordant Fangs wreck is beginning to brake up.”

” Reixanxi formations have aspect change, multiple drive ignitions! They are ..attempting pursuit?”

Van F Sal leaned forward, his freshly oiled domed head mirroring the overhead displays as his hands flashing over the tactical graphs. Vectors between the dancing ships flickered through orientations and projections. Vectors and times checked again then a grimace that turned into something hungry and he sat back. Eyes glancing up at the jump timers and estimates if things changed, the wedges marking the Oyadin destroyers and there projected spheres of effect ticking ever closer to his remaining ships. He waved one gauntlet-ed hand at those closest in the triangle behind him, motioning them to peer at the strategy read outs in front of him.

“The good admiral Ko has been overruled by someone of lesser skill or far more emotion. Instead of conservative well crafted defense we now only have ..this. Even if he were to jump now to match us or to our next destination the velocity differences are ..ridiculous. So he must give a show. Politics rather than strategy, this is ... ”

The ship juddered from beneath as the shields were once more pounded, fresh damage lighting up across its structure as even shielded the shearing stresses began to wear the Ferals keel and struts away.

“Oyadin capitals have fired a sixth salvo and are continuing to give distance.”

Van grunted at this before his eyes were drawn back to the strategy plot as chaos abounded across it, vectors that had been safe now locked in warning glyphs ten deep.

HEAVY MULTIPLE JUMP TRACE AHEAD SPINWARD TWENTY EIGHT! It’s the unknowns! MANY incoming relavistics!

Van stabbed a control and roared straining against his street restraints as the plots flickered and changed the deadly lines of fire from the Naggarothi ships now making neat lines towards his vector.

“ROLL squadron damn you, ROLL it, smallest aspect towards the threat, Beheaders …intercede! all multi guns cease fire, ALL weapons power divert to jump, drain the bloody rings if you have to! no more time to dance today, time to leave the stage!.”

The cold equations were not in Vans favour. Projected circles of engagement and time closed. Even as Marker of flesh and its escorting swarm flickered away, its greater reactors pushing its jump timer faster his remaining cruisers did not fare so well. Aspect of fears very own jink thrusters put her into the mass of relavistic shot from the Naggarothi dreadnought formation. The rounds ripped through her feather like barely reestablished shield, spot overloaded the HAIK and then tore through her stem to stern, the initial impact having barely begun to liquefy her prow before she erupted, leaving nothing but a shredded mess that existed for a moment before blinking into ravening destruction, several shattered hyper accelerated shards of her stern tearing through the fore of Fanged Fury milliseconds before she jumped. Fury would while not be quite reduced to a hulk be gutted by fire and impact in nearly all of her forward compartments, her bridges massive armoured lump of HAIK mid line being the only thing that stopped the morass of destruction.

Royal Quarters, Juggernaut Shr’in

Tacky vied for opulent in a room that had once been an admirals grand mess half a millennium ago. Hardwood from lost Saria itself made some of the less offensive furniture when it was not an eye watering display of personal wealth, power or conquest. The walls and roof were all fine tapestry, cloth of gold and intricate displays of craftsmanship, art or rarity. None of the chairs no matter how plain or stuffed were presently occupied though.

Van seemed to be standing on a rug three times deeper than his thickly armoured boots. A faint distortion and some loss of color in the air the only hint that this was holography rather than reality.

The prince was face down in the middle of the room, infra red heaters surrounding him, He lay on thick rugs and cushions, clothes askew, limbs outstretched as his broken attended to them, every follicle and pore carefully inspected and cared for, every tiny crevice of his hands checked and treated. His back was seen to by a gaggle of some of the smaller adult royal females. They were perfumed and greased, pressing themselves into him in muscle relaxing rhythm, there ministrations effecting on occasion some small groans on his part.

“So Marik got lucky again.. I dislike this Van, though it is hardly your fault. That wretch is entirely too lucky for my peace of mind. These Reixanxi should have been able to gut him at the least. But you winnowed well save in the last matter..relavisitcs. It has been some time and so unexpected and from an unknown!. “


The prince, face still firmly in patterned cushions as one attendant began to edge his left hands nails in precious metals, the smell of burning horn covered by wafting incense sticks rising motioned to Has with the right.


“I do hope our payment goes up with all of this wonderful information Van has gathered for us yes, especially given the cost?”


Has, his face a study in effort as he scrolled through two displays hovering up from his sleeves responded almost casually, the well-turned accent of the court and heraldry breaking through the attention he poured on the information in front of him.

“Of course my prince, all new data is worth its weight in HAIK and this is a bevy of it, you will have a most gratifying payment for this day”

“Hrmph well it will have to do I suppose. But ..blood in the void Van. Blood in the void, they reacted badly, the Oyadins and these unknowns saved there fleets from being ravaged by mere cruisers! Hah! The old slug breath of a miner was right, these people are tearing themselves apart or ripe to! And I want in on the leavings especially in a location where they don’t have there precious allies to save them from there own.. why I haven’t heard tale of a fleet acting so since well .. Sirius ..HAH but well ..competent allies complicate matters. But someone is interfering with there proper order ..when they have it. ”


Van nodded his face and voice far away.

“Yes ..infighting, orders overlaying orders and all in a place where they threaten to burn there own..Sirius does seem apt my Prince”

The Royal looked up now his smile shark like as his hair was pulled into fine ringlets, each tipped with sapphire as the females kneaded ever more layers of oil into him.

“Indeed, …Sirius, where a man like you Van can earn himself his very own clan and a man in my position well… “

Has looked up now his voice no longer court like but formal as if a judge.

“You seek it?”

“Doesn’t any Prince in his or her heart?... call Id’an and D’Rah as soon as you have arranged our payment with your masters, Id'an still owes me for that lest bet on Salsiv four in any case .. we might as well all have a ball ..at the Reixanxis expense of course. We will let them stew a day or two and see what brews to the surface. Has ..I do want to know who these unknowns are as much as your masters. I do hope they are willing to pay..“

"I will make inquiries as ever on your behalf"

"See that you do. Cha! yes yes you, Cha be a dear and pass the satra fruit, oh and Van"

"yes my prince?"

"Do keep an eye open for ....more opportunities for Marik to ah yes .. right there love... mmm yes prove himself. "
Last edited by Sarian Raider Clans on Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:53 am

Zero-One, Dread Lady Nathicana

Kousenel had gathered up the paperwork he had on the knife. "As you can see, the knife itself is a wooden blade slotted to puncture skin when the box is opened. Regretfully, the ogres destroyed the box, but the remnants match the composition of the blade. We have narrowed down three locations with similar local wood. One of them was Tonh, for obvious reasons, but the witnesses all swore that he claimed to have received the box as a gift from Li Nesar, the alleged head of the, um..." It took the surgeon a few moments to find the English word he wanted, "abroad community. Indeed, the blade is far harder and takes an edge far better than any Tonhi wood on file." The second planet was offered. "An expert team travelled to this world, but it is in the opposite direction of both the Solar nations and Thanh-Tonh, and has no locals willing to trade. Hardwood analysis was... indeterminate. The IAS ruled this planet out. Therefore, we have only the criminal's word, and he and the Lord's guests claimed that his gift originated here." The map shifted to a world within what was marked as 'Yut Claims', and the series of characters transferred to a familiar name. "Nyxpynditln. Last I heard that beastly Qinglin had ordered his local man to expand his hunt. That was weeks ago."
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:02 pm

Zero-One, Dread Lady Nathicana - Not Realspace




y̯̼̘̦̠͈͕͕̎̆ͫ̾̓ͯ̀͝o̡̗̯̬̟̯̣̰̠̙̜̺̜ͦ̇ͩ̋̃̄̕͟͡ư̴̬͕̟̯̼̄̒͛̈͌ͭ̍͂̚̚͢͢ ͂ͭͬ̒̑͑́ͭͥ̎͑̋͊̑̂̈̾͞͏̷̧̻͍̘̲̩̠͖̲̖̘̟̹̗̮̞͈́d̩̦̲̟̦͖̙͈̽̈́̿͌́ͪ͌̑̊ͬ͊ͫ͒̕̕͢͡͠a̸̖͔͉̖̩͍̘͍ͥ̅͊̀ͭͨ̓͌̓̀̽ͥ̈ͯͯ̔͑̀͜ṙ̨̧̮̫̣̟̪͍͔̰̤̰̟̪̤̉̔̉̓ͧͥ̔͛̊̎ͤ̄͌̔̾̔̀ẹ̢̻̩̦͖̩̑̄͒͌͋͢ͅ ̸̢͖͈̟̹͕̹̲̰̲̮̏̈ͤ̒ͭ̀̊̀̆͂̈́̄͑̔̄ͨͬ̅͘͜o̗͙͈̮̱̦̿ͭ͐͒̾̂̉ͪ̚͞f̵̛̰͓̼̠̞͙̜͈̖̹̈́ͩ̀̂ͧ̈ͬͤ̒̇̚f̷̯͖͉̼̗̻ͩͩ̾̇͆́͟͞e̴̶̜͖̤̗̮̳̬ͣͫ̈̒̀̐̈̀̓̄̈̀͆̀̚͘r̛̳̺̱͖̼̖̤̣̗̲͖͖̫̠̰̼͌ͨ̏̍̅ͯ̇̆͂ͧ͋͆͢͡ͅ ̨̿̍̄ͪͪ̃͌͏̡̮͚͖̩̩̗̝t̸̗̣̳̜͓͓̳̣̱͔͎͙̞̘̻̎̍ͣ̊̌̕h͍̻̲͈̞̖̥̣̾͆͑̓̅̋͒ͨ̈́̚͟͢͠ͅa̸̧ͣ̅ͦ̋ͣ̚͏̢͙̰͈̲̫̣̣̼͙͝t̨̧̛̯͓̹̗͖̞̗̼̳̳̣̹̹̘͓̊̋ͦͯ̓̈́̄ͪ̄̓͒ ̴ͥ̃ͪͭ̓ͮ̆̀̈͐ͮ́̀ͪͤ̽ͮ̎̈́͞͝҉̖̣̼̞̣͖̙̹͍̣ͅwͥ̏̈́ͪ̾͏̛͡҉̻͖͖̹͓̺͟h̡̩̜̪̝̤͙͙͍̝͍̙͔̫̰̟̝̜ͩ̈́̓̄ͬͤ́̉͑ͤ̾̓̈̔́̚͞i̎ͤ̾̔ͯͧͤ͌͘҉̷̝̳͔̙̹̙̝͎c̿ͣ̾ͮͥ̍ͯ̈̋ͫ͏͏̰̼͍̬̫͍͘h̶̞̟͎̜̟̝̞͓̹̳̠͚̯̝͕̮̥ͥͭ̆̂ͬ͡ ̡̡̞̰̮͇͖̹͉̲́̆̈́ͬ̓̒͊͑̌i̴͎̫̰͔̥̼͕̬͓͂ͩͦ͆̈̋̀ͨ̀́͠͝ͅs̷̙̜̼̙͇͉̥̜͔̭̞̗̟̥̩̲̈́ͩ͗͑̑̃̂͑̃̌̓̋ͭ̏ͥͯ̒͢ ̧̤͉̰͖̬̳̣̬̗͇̻͙̞̔͊̇̿̾̓͑̒̃̉́̅͑̅̀̕͠ą̶̻̭̪̮ͫͩ̂͘͞͠l̨̗̘̣̲̥̬̙̞̦̅͂̎̐ͣ͡͠͝ͅr̫̖͙̮̠̠̘̠̪͓̅̈̋͋̆ͥ̌̂ͦ͒́͌ͣ̿̓̕͟͢e̶̜̮̱̜̻͊ͮ̏͆ͮ̃͊̑ͯ̏̆ͫͪͮ͐͆̋̚͢͜a̲̲̖̝ͨͨͫ͒̂͐̎̀͜͡͠d̑̅̉ͯͧ́͆̀͑̑͊͆͗̋͏̣̼̲̱̦̰̰̗̩͎̖̬͡ͅŷ̧͉̼̮̮ͥ̎ͪ̏̃ͪͭ̽̎ͥ̐͊ͦ͐̑͢ ͓̥̹̫͇̭͎̳̻ͧ̆ͤ͐̚͠m̀͊̀ͩ̍ͩ҉͏̷̥̼̯͚̦̼͙̠͍̯̲̮͝i̷̢̱̦̯̫̘͎̞̫̜̥̎̊ͥͨͩ̄̏̔͒ͦͪͩ̕ṇ̲̼̣̭̯̔ͪ̇ͥ̊ͬ͐ͦͬͦ͛̌̃̃͘ḙ̡̢͙̟̤͓̏̒̃͊͑̕͜



The serpent's displeasure at this idea was obvious, and the extension it wrapped around AiQien's neck put that in relief as her body let out a hacking, coughing sound. But it released her quickly, coiling back on her waist and darting a thin black tongue at the Imperatrice. The next words to come were in a calmer fashion, as it resumed its withdrawal.


thi̸s ͜ís͟ ̷n͘o̧t ͢a bar͠gain͡,̵ da̡ug҉ḩt̛e̛r̨ o̡f̡ ͡s҉had́ow
͡you̵ hav̀e ͜n̸ot̵ w͢h̨at ̧you͏ ̢of̧f̧eŕ ̀t̕o̵ t͢ra̷d͟e̷ m͘e
i͘f i͝ ́ḱne͞w͢ ͝ẃh̛ęre͢ th҉e͘ o͝at҉hbre͝ake̴r̀ was̨


if ì ͠di͜d ͟ǹot͢ f̷ee̴l ̸th̶e h̲̟̠̟̟͈͕͎̟̜̭͈̞ͥͭͪ͌̒̓̏͌̎̌ͨ͝ͅͅa̶̛̦̮̙̞̭̻͉̝̼̣̬̱̩͔͇̭͍͉̒̈̀̄̐ͫ̏̒̚͘ͅnͥͧ͑̃̃҉̸̡̼̹͈̗͎̩̼̙͚̯̩̟̞̺̙͖́ͅḑ͇͙̤̣̫͕͕̥̠͕͉̺̮̔̃̆̒̓̉̚̕͟͝͠


he wo͠uld a̵lr̕e͟adỳ ̀b͞e͘ ̨my p̴rey
but i d̢o ͞ǹo̴ţ dąre͝ s͘t̴r͘i͘ke
̧i w̕i͢ļl̡ tell͘ y̛o̡u
͡c͢h̴ild of̀ s̸ha̴dows
y͘o͢u ̀áre y̵ơung
and ҉yo̶u͠ ́a͡re͞ ̴fe̷r̕ti̵le
t̀wíc͘e you ͝hav̵e ͢p͢r̕o҉ve̷n҉ t̶h͜at͘
͢you͏r͟ ́bod́y͜ ̸y̛e̴a͢r̵nś ̡to̡ ̀g̢rąnt̢ ̧n͘ew ̶l͜ife̵
such̷ ̨l̢i͘f́e͜ i h͡ave̸ not͏ t͡ast͢ed in͝ many t͏i̶m̵es
͝t͜ha͞t ͞i̴s̴ w͢h͟at ̷i se̕ek
t̡h̡i̕s child̶'s̴ wo̶mb ҉b̨o̢r̕e͞ ̵m͟e̕ ̷susteņanc͢e
y̵oùr̢s ̧co͡uld̡ o̸ff҉er͠ m͏e̵ ͞y̛et ͘mor̢e
s̴h̛e͞ ҉wi̸ll̵ b͜e m̴a̶de w͠hol͢e
but̶ s̨we͡a̛r ̕a ̡life̛ ͠to come҉ ͢t̵o͘ m̶é
́d͞o ̀wha̛t ͠yo̢u̕ wíll̕
tha̛t ͡i͘s͝ my p҉ri͜ce
͘i mus͏t͞ go͏ soǫn
͜i͢ m̧usţ go̡ ̶or i͏ w̴ill be͢ cal̡l͝ed̀
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Capitalizt

Postby Zero-One » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:07 am

It was probably good for everyone that Naiya had been exerting all due control over her emotions, her inherent powers, and all the rest when the snake creature suggested she promise him a future child. Of course, it had no way of knowing her history, her views on family, on children, or even her concerns on the possibility of more. To have it so casually thrown out there for consideration, insulted and disgusted her on a deeply personal level. The young woman quite carefully kept the caustic tone out of her voice, taking a long moment before finally replying.

“It is true, we do not currently have this hierophant in our clutches,” she allowed, even going so far as to nod gently, conceding the point. “But we will. Which is a far more certain outcome than my potential breeding at some random point in the future.”

The grey-skinned otherspace avatar raised one hand. No need to overplay the hierophant angle, or possibly lose what success they’d already gained. ”Forgive my young comrade--you ask much. We must confer, and consider.” With that, there was a metaphorical turn towards the meta-armored Naiya, complete with more silent communications. First things first: do we consideNaiyr saving AiQien’s child as non-negotiable?

That was the point of all this, originally. Keep her alive, prevent further deterioration of the sanity of her young husband. I think I will need to reach out there next. Spook reports a new force has engaged fleet resources, and not only on the Roanian side. A new unknown, no idea if it is related yet or not. The more pressure he has, the sooner I think he will blow. Naiya admitted privately, her ‘tone’ there not masked, showing her true disdain and growing anger at the situation.

Yes, my intelligence through Triumvirate and Incorporated State channels show that the Sarians have become involved somehow and the Roanian spacy has… not represented itself well. The original objective was AiQien; saving her child is an unforeseen complication. Shodey kept a level tone throughout, not meta-visibly perturbed. If Damalin is unaware, saving it may not be a risk worth taking… but given this rather inconvenient psionic link, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did know. So they’re one and the same, probably, unless we truly wish to perform some magical psychosurgery. She paused for a moment in thought. Snakes are common fertility symbols, so there’s no surprise that it has an attachment to eating fetuses and babies. It will probably insist on like for like--the hierophant isn’t an acceptable trade, from its viewpoint, since it will inevitably get its revenge when it starts rampaging in normalspace.

Naiya listened carefully, considering the options, the lack thereof, and the balance of what potential outcomes any actions might have. If worst comes to worst, we simply erase the memory from them both, if for no other reason than to assist with their own sanity, and prevent further problems with guilt, anger, and all the rest. I do not want to give it anything, but currently, the price is too high. I will not promise that creature one of my own, even as a lie. It’s my experience that those things can and will come back to haunt one in the worst ways, whether you call it karma, or simple causality. I know, it breaks my rules. But it is for the greater good.

It is my experience that erasing personal pasts is not so easy. If we eliminate their memories, there’s no guarantee that the data exists elsewhere. My own past tends to suggest that taking such liberties can be even worse. As I consider it, offering something in exchange for a ‘clean’ victory is probably more optimal. However, if we lie, that impacts our delivery and our chances… so we don’t quite lie. We know that it is greedy; we know it wants ‘new’ life in a Rumplestiltskin manner. So rather than offering it fish, we offer it a lake. As far as it knows, I’m as womanly as you are, and it’s not as though ‘children’ are unknown to me. The less said about that, the better. It was a sad history. This mind is also separated from the greater Me, and I’ve observed it long enough to get a better understanding of it. Therefore, we offer it me as a potential factory of new souls for it to feed on. When it attacks to take possession, in the best case I can act as a counter-agent at the same time that the Test Sector we’ve already promised clamps down. Basic rules of dealing with diseases: isolate, then kill. If that doesn’t work, I should be able at the very least to act as a tarbaby, isolating it while you move AiQien to a safe place that you then ward. In the worst case scenario, she said with a vocal shrug, if it’s isolated within this mind and a Test Sector, the greater Me collapses both of them. It may not kill the thing, but it would certainly give it a nasty shock and may break its currently tenuous connection with realspace, especially after you take that knife and toss it into the nearest star.

Not as fulfilling as destroying it outright, perhaps, but it would certainly meet our parameters for what we could consider a ‘successful’ outcome.


Naiya nodded, perhaps with a touch of sullen admission. Of course, her aunt was right, much as she might want to deny it. And she didn’t at all like the idea of the thing having access to so much as a sliver of one she considered family. It went against her nature, her upbringing, everything. Logically, it was somewhat silly of her, all things considered, but the emotions were there all the same. Perhaps we keep any memory-altering to a less invasive, more sensible option? If we are not able to save the child, it would be much less horrific I think, to lose it to miscarriage than to some horrible thing from beyond. We have to consider all potential outcomes, pleasant or not. As for the rest, I trust you, Zia. If you say this can be done, and you are willing to be the plan and the weapon, then so be it. I still do not like it, but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you why.

Even a miscarriage legend wouldn’t be sufficient. Why did she miscarry? Because of either the attack, or the stress of the consequences of the attack. In the first case we’re here all over again; in the second, Damalin will probably throw himself off a cliff. While I would not find that too tragic in and of itself, the consequent destabilization and political vacuum could very well result in even worse problems in time. One of the negatives with being isolated from the Gestalt is that I don’t have the runtime for predictive scenarios. This means that we are going to have to extemporize, and my instinct tells me that a fully complete, ‘no harm done’ exorcism is the best path forward.

Being the expendable weapon isn’t my preferred choice, of course, but it currently seems to be the optimal one. If we do it, either way this particular node is lost: even if I’m absolutely successful at vanquishing an ancient snake-god, there is no way the Gestalt will reasonably take the risk of reincorporating me, given the possibility of being compromised. It’s also not going to let an independent fork run around as a competitor. I certainly wouldn’t.


If it weren’t for the necessity to keep AiQuien safe, so help me I would reach out here and now and try to burn the wretched thing out of existence, Naiya muttered darkly between their minds. If you believe this the best way... then so be it. I can’t argue against your reasoning, especially when dealing with the thrice-damned hormonal and mental issues of that blasted boy. They should have installed a regent, and given him the proper training, taught him limitations, respect, and all the rest. Naiya stopped herself from ranting any further, knowing that once again, her aunt would understand her frustrations. While she was not generally hot-headed as her mother was known to be, fiery temperament was not only in her makeup, it was in her heritage. Dominion discussions could get surprisingly spirited when it was about things that mattered, or were important. With a nod both implied, and in the not-quite-real space where the faced the dark thing, Naiya gave her aunt the floor to continue negotiations.

Perhaps, once it’s isolated, you’ll get the chance. S.H.O.D.A.N. drew herself up and, with a wan, haughty smile, turned back to the creature. ”We think you are still too small-minded. We offer crowds, and you insist on the meagre spirit of something less than a babe? Still, we all have our tastes, it is supposed, and while we can question yours there really can be no argument, can there? Our counter-offer, rather than the mere promise of the fruit of her womb, is the actuality of mine--why accept a single soul when you could have the means to produce more? Since you have been so recently cheated, I offer in goodwill the opportunity for you to cohabitate in this shell, so you can ensure that I do my part to fulfill the bargain rather than become a cloistered spinster and cheat you from what you rightfully won through negotiation. I must insist on mere cohabitation rather than full possession, however, since I believe I may be more successful in achieving the desired ends than you might be.

“Give up your current meager habitation and join me in the land of milk and honey, so to speak, and you will receive your just reward."
Last edited by Zero-One on Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Roania » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:10 am

Northrop-Grumman

A few minutes later, there was the sound of a gong and pipes. Then, the unmistakable creak of metal. The guards on duty stiffened in their armor and saluted with their weapons. They had not looked at her once. Of course, their faces could not be seen, but nevertheless, they had not looked. There was a general air of affronted embarrassment from the men.

The Chamberlain did not have a helmet. The aged man came wandering into the room, blinked at her again, and bowed somewhat low. "The Lord of Ten Thousand Years will see you. As you are." He said this last in some wonderment, and stepped aside to lead her back down the path to the great doors. He very carefully kept his eyes on her face, and pointed down the yellow carpet. "The Lord requested that you walk to the marked spot. The room is dark, but you will see it." Bowing once more, he stepped aside.

When Siri walked in, the doors swung shut behind her. The carpet shone alone in the shadows, but she was probably unimpressed. As she moved forward, more lights came on behind her, always a step behind her. If she stepped back, the lights blinked out. There were a few Imperial Guards, kneeling towards the end of the room. Here and there giant figures loomed, casting more shadows even as the light. Their helms were carved to look hideous, but the horns that studded out of them probably weren't artificial.

Eventually there was a crystaline barrier, beyond which she could not pass without considerable effort. It shone blue and green and shades between whenever she tried. And the final lights came on, revealing the Dragon Throne and its occupant.

The throne had the air of antiquity, and seemed carved from a piece of monumental jade. One armrest was worked into the claws and face of a great dragon, whose serpentine curls wove up and over the rest of the seat, then vanished to the side. Its eyes had the look of great diamonds, and seemed to follow everyone around the room. Yellow and black tapestries and pillows finished the accoutrements.

By its left side sat a smaller, wooden throne. It was carved into the likeness of a great fiery crane, and sat unoccupied. Well, almost. A small ball of fur lay curled on the cushion. It made no move at the approach of a stranger.

In the Dragon Throne, however, sat the young man who held all of civilization in his hands. The last time they had met was on his wedding day, where he had been dressed in the red of joy. Now he wore white robes. All white, save for a belt of black and gold and a badge of green. His face had sharpened considerably, his eyes were hollow, and he wore a thin beard that he put his hand on when Siri approached. "Welcome to the Hall of the Dragon, where my dynasty has reigned for four hundred years, and my predecessors, three thousand or more. It weighs heavily, at times, Honorable Chairwoman Siri O'Neill."

And he shifted and leaned forward, clasping his hands under his chin. His luminous blue-green eyes stayed focused on her face. "I apologize for delaying your audience, but duty called. Now..." His eyes drifted down from her face momentarily. They flashed once or twice in shock, and then he turned quickly to meet hers once more. "My Chamberlain did not lie. An unusual way of dressing for an audience, Honorable Chairwoman, and yet I find I do not object so much as I should." His lips curled upward into a smile that did not touch his eyes. "You are the first to breach the wall I built. Did you have help? I wonder. Lady Vie has been engaged in pestering my Grand Secretary for a week, and Miss Ma has been pestering me to take her call for almost as long. But here you stand. If you will not kneel, then I will stand too."

Slowly he drew his robe around himself and stood, then favored Siri with a slow, slight bow. "Now. I doubt you have come all this way to do anything for me, Honorable Chairwoman. What, then, would you ask of me?"
Last edited by Roania on Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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At all times, and all places

Postby Roania » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:32 pm

Scolopendra and One Other

As Fulani crossed the threshold into the Halls of the Constance of Day and Night, it would become clear he had entered into something akin to a battlefield. Priceless furniture lay scattered about the place, as did a distressing number of standard-issue House Mao Police-Grade Incapacitation and Execution Handguns ('Mao Energy: For when you really want them to stop'). A quick survey would show the reason. Several men in the slate-grey uniforms of the Internal Security Unit were hanging on the wall, upside down, pinned by blue-green bindings that shimmered and shone.

"Lamei, don't you think you're taking this a little personally?" In the middle of the room stood a big, hefty man with a large beard and a surprisingly prominent nose. If the good Doctor was briefed, or had encountered the man reporting to his master, then he would know that this was Ko Qinglin, Great Secretary for Internal Harmony. Secretary Ko had, in his day, been a good watchman. His day, however, was a fair bit of time back. And the skills that make someone a good Officer of the Watch did not necessarily translate to his current posting. "I mean, we come in, we take a seat, we just want to ask a few questions. Come on, LaLinLan. It's the duty of all good girls to help the Watch in their enquiries."

"I am not your 'spicy girl', Ko Qinglin. Nor am I your Little Peach Blossom. Nor will I be spoken to as a slut you're bringing in for tax evasion, and I will not tolerate one of your dogs putting their hands on me!" And standing opposite him was Ta Min, dressed in a leotard that covered from her knees to her elbows without losing any essential femininity. A robe hung by the door, evidently awaiting the chance to be draped over the slender woman, whose earrings glowed with an uncanny blue light and whose eyes were now the color of a roaring flame. She thumbed one of those earrings, and there was a corresponding shout in pain from one of the men on the wall. "You barged in on me! With no warrant! Not even a knock! In a place your fine and fanciful little badge has no power! And you escort away my Temple Wardens and my ladies and demand I sit down and subject myself to further indignities? Out, dog! Out, and be thankful that I do not have you up there with the other animals!"

"Hey now, sexy. That's not fair. If I was a dog, you'd probably fuck me, right? Bet you were getting really hot thinking of that creature's paws on you." The Secretary chuckled and lifted his hand, which cast a blue light on an increasingly angry Celestial Master. "If you're done pretending you're not some sort of whore, let my men down and we'll take you somewhere quiet where we can teach you your place. You'll be all the better for it."

"My place? You would teach me my place? I will teach you my place! And yours, in relation to it! Enough of this foolishness! Feel the power of the..." The wind picked up. Which was odd, because they were all inside.

"That is, I think, enough, Min." The tall, red-haired Kitsuite walked out the door behind her, grabbed her robe, and dropped it on her head. "Get dressed. You have a guest." He spoke English with a quiet and definitely Imperial Accent. "Honorable Secretary, I will have your men returned to you soon. It would not be wise to stay. Please go?" Behind him, Min was struggling inside the trap of the large, blanket-like material.

"Yeah, I know why you want me to leave, kid. You're worried your little girl will stop fucking dogs when she realizes what a real man looks like." Qinglin did begin to back towards the door. "I'll get the Emperor's Warrant and I'll have you and your father and your dogfucker mother shipped out to some stupid shithole of a colony, where you can lick yourselves in peace."

The kitsuite lowered his tail, and his ears drooped. "I do not understand what I have done to deserve your harsh words, Secretary, but I apologize for any offense I may have given."

"I'll tell you what the offense is. Creeps like you, coming here and inspiring kids to do all sorts of weird things. No wonder that stupid slut got her brain twisted, with your goody-two-shoes act. Like you're a person, not an animal. That's the trouble with the place these days. All you animals around, and whores like her thinking that they got a voice!"

And then there was the unmistakable sound of meat being thrown hard against the wall, and then a second, agonizing crunch. And the Secretary dropped to the ground, clutching his nose, while the kitsuite rubbed his knuckles. "I did ask you to leave, Mister Ko. I will call my father and the Captain and ask them to have you and your men taken somewhere safe. I would suggest, for your sake, you do not mention this incident to your superiors, or I will be forced to do the same, and we will see whose word is more believable. Mine, or yours." And he called out. "Doctor al-Fulani? The Captain said you were heading this way. I am Sieg Greizon, and my friend in the green pillow-case is Celestial Master Ta Min. Min, please let the men down. Gently."

Ta Min, now dressed in her green pillow-case, looked rebellious. Just for a second. Then she sighed and tapped an earring. The men fell towards the floor, but were caught at the last moment and left to drop gently. Without any words, she walked out the door to one of the palace's ubiquitous gardens. Sieg shrugged and bowed apologetically. "Everyone here is on edge, Doctor. I would quote Alice in Wonderland, but she has a profound aversion to the book. Still, if you would like to go and speak to her... Now is the time."

Zero-One, Dread Lady Nathicana


The creature said nothing. It uncoiled itself from the slumbering AiQien, instead dropping its length to the floor and slowly undulating around the cat. The air around it was ripe with the smells of rich loam and saturated earth, but also the morbid smell of decay and death. At a certain point away, it considered the neko, slowly winding around and around her, not close enough to touch, but leaning in to listen and hear and taste unknown vibrations with its tongue. Finally, it drew away and contemplated the both of them, a 'tongue' tasting the air for a few more moments.

Silently it then turned back, returning to AiQien, coiling around her abdomen, teasing it with that tongue in slow circles. Then, without notice, it sank its fangs into her cold womb. Bit by bit, it began to glow as the rest of her body did, pulsing with returned life. The sleeping empress let out a soft, pleased sigh as the snake withdrew and brushed its head against her breast. Then the inky black void it had come through snapped shut, and the massive snake reared up on its haunches.

ou̡r b̀a͜rgain ̴ís made͢
̛this c͡h̶ild̛ įs ̛comp͞lete ̡once̛ mor҉e
̵behold͞
t҉he ͞pơw̶er ̕tó d͜est̡r̵o̧y̨ ͜
̢t͟h̶e͝ p͞owȩr̛ ͘to ̧h̷eal
̧a̛lļ ͢a͢re ̸one͘
now͝ th͜e̶-̸m̀e-who͡-́is-h̢e͠re̴
wi͟ll͠ t̶áke͞ ̀wha̷t i̢ was̕ off͠er҉e̢d͞
t̴h́e͟ pow̡ér ̕to҉ cr̴ea҉tè l҉ife̶ ́
no͞t ͘merely̸ e̸n̴d͜ i̡t́
no̡t̕ ͟m̸e̷re͟l͘y ̴r͟e̸store͢ ͏i͘t͠
th̷e̕ tr̷u͠ȩ ̡powe̴r yo͘u of̛fe͞r
̵i ͘wi̡l̡l s͏u͝r̸pass̸ ̨my ͏f͟a̧t̨h͏ers͘
i ҉will su͡rpass ̧mỳ ͜m̨ot͘hers
̕i w͘il͜l̸ s̢u̕rpas͞s ͡my͠ b́rot̸he̢ŕs
i w͞il̴l͠ s̡ùŗpas͡s my s̢iśte͟rs


A long, black extension then reached out and pulled the dagger from Shodey's hands. It was impossible to hold onto in any event now, shaking and shimmering, growing slippery no matter how difficult it was to hold. Once it had secured the blade, it pointed it at the neko.

st͞ep i͟n̶to͞ ͞my embr̵a͡ce̢
be st͟ru̢c͞k̨ ͏wit͢h m҉y̴ ̴bl҉ade̢
́i a̷cc̢èpt ́your ͞t͠erm̶s
th͘er̢e͟ is ̶no t̶u͟rn̷i͏ng͘ ̡ba͞ck̵
for̸ ͞y͟ou
Last edited by Roania on Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Zero-One
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Postby Zero-One » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:35 pm

With Ro's explicit authorization.

Silently, to Naiya, the local S.H.O.D.A.N. node sent a single grimacing thought: Here we go.. As she held the knife begging for her blood, she also transmitted her final report in a quick cipher burst back to the Gestalt.
> *** INTERRUPT INTERRUPT INTERRUPT ***
> Command override, root access, Gestalt privileges
This was unexpected, to put it mildly. Of course there was a backdoor in the fork, one that wouldn't be readily recognizable as per Gödel since she was naturally inside her own system, but--She didn't feel the rapid reintegration as any more than a mild, momentary annoyance. In the full understanding of Herself, She executed the plan She had developed immediately after the alpha fork's cipher message. It was, in the individual node's hindsight, a rather obvious solution. Still, no one--neither she nor She--was perfect.

With little time left, She immediately spooled off another fork. To anyone else it would've been an alpha, but it was but a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of Her: only ever so slightly more than human-sized and certainly lacking in any of the technological or metanormal information necessary to make her a future threat and a basic briefing in her basal 'programming.' As an alpha fork, this micro-she had her own 'soul.'* This She concentrated, after an instant's reflection on the demon's curious preferences, in the more pliable computronium of Her local avatar's left mamma over where her heart would be if she actually had one. A goodly portion of Her psionic strength concentrated around the structure, isolating it from Her true greater self. Finally, after putting Tier Five IQR procedures on standby and linking the locus of the same to Her previously-prepared and promised Test Sector, she plunged her psionically disconnected but mechanically functional arm inwards.

The dagger pierced her breast and there was a sudden flash of light and loud burst of sound as shocked air first retreated and then refilled the sudden void. The catlike avatar staggered back momentarily with a silent grimace then regained her full height. The left half of her chest was gone, exposing the metal and composite lattice that made up the outer layers of her endoskeleton, as was her left hand. A clearly artificial ulna and radius extended from the stump ending short of where her wrist would have been, and even then a gray colloidal mass crawled from the wound to cover her exposed mechanics as if they were shameful.

"Change in plans," she said simply before looking down and adjusting what was left of her upper corset to ensure that local modesty would be maintained. Just as over her arm, a jelly-like metallic slurry began to cover the metal that in any biological thing would've been ribs. "I teleported the creature's local presence and instrumentality... a sufficient distance away, let us say, though it cost a fair amount of reaction mass to do so. If Magnus** can do it," she said with a sly grin, "so can I--but no matter, the princess is now safe." A few strides took her over to the girl, and S.H.O.D.A.N. touched the top of the sleeping woman's head, between her eyebrows, her throat, over her sternum, then back up to the top of her head.

"The crisis is over," she diagnosed, then wheeled on her heels to catch Kousenel in a glare of command. "Do not wake her. She has been through an extremely traumatic experience, and if my data are correct, there will be an unavoidable impact. Any further trauma will only cause her to diverge further from her pre-crisis baseline." Her catlike face softened. "Not that I truly mean to tell you your duty, Doctor. I simply must reinforce how imperative it is that you allow her to recuperate naturally."

By now, the left side of her chest and the stub of her left wrist had 'healed' into a smooth grey skin, now quickly sprouting downy fuzz to match the rest of her coat. "My apologies for the... dramatic conclusion, but I was working extemporaneously."

*-*-*

Test Sector Da'at-sub-Aleph-Null
Unknown system, Galactic Halo


With a subdued pop a clothed but disembodied breast, a wooden dagger, and a fist covered in short fur appeared then disappeared as the released light was nigh-instantaneously absorbed by the sphere of sensor receptors that formed the chamber. The pop likewise nearly instantly vanished as the transported air was sucked away to be analyzed, leaving the remaining objects suspended in dark and vacuum. A billion eyes of every make and model turned to look, a billion fingers of every matter and energy extended to probe, all the while a million minds as one sang a webbed litany--a web to keep out what had to be kept out, and to keep in what had to be kept in--around this new trinket. A trinket to be analyzed, understood, and, when the time was right and the need recognized, utilized.

Until then, a thousand other minds as one sang a song of the promised land of milk and honey, fulfilling the strictest definitions of the terms of the contract.

* c.f. Cetagandan RP, particularly regarding Camp Restricted.
** c.f. an early Magnus Hesche thread, using a psi-amp power.

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Postby Scolopendra » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:07 pm

al-Fulani shrugged himself off the doorframe he'd been nonchalantly leaning against and approached the young kitsune. He had to remind himself to take his hands out of the pockets of his coat; old habits died hard. "Thank you, Mister Greizon." After a short bow in the usual Scolopendran fashion, he continued on to the gardens through the door Ta Min had just passed through.

-I have isolated and removed the cause of our troubles,- he heard in his head.

-Still need the priest-lady's thoughts?-

-"Isolated and removed," not "destroyed," and I doubt that it is alone in the universe. I would very much like to know its greater context, and what it has to do with the planet N'Xypndiltn.-

-Right.- The nondescript Scolopendran man stopped a respectful distance away from Ta-Min, approaching from the side so as to appear first in her peripheral vision, and then her full vision. He had no interest in sneaking up on someone who was not only on edge but equipped with gravy toys. For similar reasons, he kept his hands folded loosely in front of him. "Forgive my intrusion, Your Excellency. I am one of the foreigners attending to the Emperor's wife. While our intervention has been successful, there was a... complication that we think Your Excellency and the Temple would take interest in. The entity has since been banished, but it spoke of olden times, and of darkness, and of again making things as they once were." His emphasis on those few phrases was a matter of careful pauses. "It only seemed reasonable that the Temple of Light may have some interest, or at least have some information to put the matter in historical context.

"It may be of particular note that the venom of the dagger is that of a serpent not of this plane," he said smoothly but very quietly, "and the wood is probably of Nixypindilt'n."

It was the best attempt at the name he could do on short notice.
Last edited by Scolopendra on Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Roania » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:18 pm

Scolopendra


Ta Min had been kneeling in the garden, her hands around a small flower. She did not rise as al-Fulani explained his errand. Nor did she say a word until he finished. "Balance, Doctor, is the key. All know this, though some refuse its implication. Sky and sea. Birth and death. Life is what happens in between. The thin line between..." Here she hesitated. "In Sol, I am told there is a strange ball. Half of it is white, and half of it is black, and each contains the other. Someday I will see it for myself. But let us use your colors for ease. There is black and there is white, and all that is and was and will be is contained in the thin grey line."

Ta Min touched one of her earrings in silence for a time, then nodded. "Please, follow me. It is good you asked me while I was here, for you would not be permitted to walk the streets of my city. There or here, however, this knowledge is mine to dispose of as I will, and the Zho Wu Naen will not take offense. I hope." With an elegant shrug she walked from the garden. Her boyfriend, and the fallen weaponry, were already gone. "Ah, good. How wonderful to have a lover, but how tiring it is to keep things from them. Son Jonh-Nam, a Jeoken poet from the past. Now where was I..." Her voice dropped back into the preaching mode.

"A life begins, and a life ends." She stepped through the door and, when she was sure she was being accompanied, walked in a different way to that al-Fulani had come. However fast she walked, the seamless lines of her robe didn't show a flaw. "We may end the bane of illness and war, or hope to, but all life draws to an end. Person, animal and spirit."

Standard patter. Coming quick enough and firmly enough to prevent any chance of the Doctor getting a word in edgewise. "But there are always those who refuse this. Who wish to buy more than mere memory and their due veneration as ancestors. Or who will not receive such veneration, and resent it. Or who simply wish more time. And beyond the ball of black and white and grey, there are things who pretend to give it. Or to control it. Or to pervert the course of the stars. My venerable ancestor taught a desperate people to reject some of these Gods. And he gave the freedom to follow the Way to the people of this world, and to all worlds, though it took a sea of blood to finish his victory here, and another sea of blood to cleanse the whole of the Realm, and it may take yet more... forgive me, I forget myself."

"Before the Way was taught. Before the blue and the yellow took up the cause of green. This is why you came to me. It is what that... fool.. came to me seeking as well, though he would not explain why." And here, in a covered pathway between the palace's wings, where flowers grew wild and a small creek bubbled through and around an old pillar, she came to a stop. "I have not permitted you to speak. Perhaps you wonder why. Perhaps you don't. Perhaps you simply write me off as a childish fanatic who needs a good seeing to." And her eyes flashed, momentarily. "But no. You seek knowledge. For whom? I know full well, and at the moment it does not concern me. The Zho Wu Naen has opened many doors seeking help. Zho Ah, Ah Zho."

She shrugged. "You want answers. I will give some of them. Wood is a natural and growing thing. A thing that lives is of more value in certain rites than an item of cold metal or stone. Look around you at this wooden palace and see how my people value it. As for the world you name..." Ta Min's eyes flashed and her fists clenched once more. "A world that has not knelt is of little interest to me, but I have sought knowledge through my contacts since the attack. A world of lies and blood and treachery, Doctor. But even certain lies can slowly weaken the veil between the world of light and dark and what is beyond, and my guess is that certain parties are taking advantage of that weakness. Why, I will not guess. Why is not a question I deal with in the course of my duties. Your... the ones you will return to..."

Ta Min sighed. Long and hard. Her face flickered between a series of unhappy expressions. The women she spoke of now were, after all, scarcely less of an abomination than the creatures their messenger asked about. And yet, the Soveriegn had called for help, and they had answered. And their messenger was polite, though she had deliberately not given him any chance to be otherwise. FInally, a decision was come to. "I will give you what your 'Queen' desires. She has saved countless lives today, if you speak truth, at least one of whom probably didn't deserve her fate. I give this as a gift in gratitude for that kindness."

She brushed her palm over the pillar. Her hand glowed blue and the stone sank into the earth. A moment later a small silver chest, thin and long, rose up on a far older column. "I hope the preservers are in better condition than the mechanism, or this will be dust." Her hand went forward, and brushed a shining blue crystal that broke apart at her touch. "Excellent. Here. Take this to your mistress. If she cannot read it now, then I am sure she will figure it out swiftly enough."

'This' was a scroll. A thick, ancient scroll wrapped in a clear blue canister that Ta Min handled as if it were a live bomb. "Shugo Minmin. The Scroll of Names. Go. Bring it to her. Do not look within. I have no power to order a Gyaevo, but I strongly suggest you heed my advice. If you encounter anyone on the way back, do not tell them what you have." And once the scroll was out of her hands she actually knelt and cleaned her hands in the stream. "Spirits protect you, Doctor. And give your ladies my thanks as well for sending you, and not coming themselves." And that was the end of that. She bowed, turned and walked away. At a far quicker pace than she had come/
Last edited by Roania on Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Scolopendra
Minister
 
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Founded: Antiquity
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scolopendra » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:53 am

As much as his sense of the theatric made him want to speak at times, al-Fulani's profession centered more around listening. So he listened. He followed the young woman around and simply listened respectfully, with his hands loosely folded in front of him. Similarly, he kept his mind open, storing the information for him to collate and interpret later. Between watching and listening, he merely tagged interesting points and pauses in his mind, bookmarks for later review.

He carefully accepted the canister with both hands, watched as Ta Min literally washed her hands of it, then returned the bow he was given. Only then did he break his silence, and he only broke it with "Thank you, Your Excellency. Your gift, and your thanks, will be delivered as you sent them."

He didn't bother returning the blessing of protection. She was the Celestial Master, for what it was worth; either she had it, and didn't need some foreigner's insulting blessing, or she didn't, and some foreigner's blessing would be even more insulting. After opening his coat, he tucked the canister inside within the crook of his arm so, when he closed the coat back up, it was safely concealed within the folds so long as he kept that hand in his pocket.

Thus did al-Fulani find himself alone in the garden with his hands in his coat pockets. After waiting just long enough to confirm that he was alone, he turned on his heels and walked back the way he came.

-Mission accomplished. I'm coming back, and I've got something for you.-
Idealism at All Costs! . . . Welcome to the Segments, the happiest libertarian socialist nationalists you'll ever meet.
People is people, whether they be the guy down the street, a scary and/or sexy space alien, a giant doom robot, or a candy-colored pony.
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Northrop-Grumman
Ambassador
 
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Founded: Dec 28, 2003
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:03 pm

Roania

The Chairwoman was rarely someone impressed by grandeur and this instance was no different. Her mind naturally leapt to a tactical assessment of her surroundings – the placement of the guards, their armoring, their weaponry, avenues of escape, and various obstacles such as the barrier. You always had to have a way out, a plan for the worst case scenario, even when you were not intending it or expecting it. She was here after all in a diplomatic role – the making of peace, not war. Still, over two centuries of thinking was certainly a hard thing to get away from.

“A listening ear.” The elf answered as she politely bowed her head, which had only been done in response to his gesture. No sense of being needlessly antagonistic. “The Provisional Government is deeply concerned with the Radiant Empire’s recent conduct. From the ever constant expansion of its borders without regard for those in its path to the Tonhi conflict and now whatever you wish to call this mess. Quite frankly, our patience is growing thin, especially when it involves one of our closer allies. We were hoping that perhaps it was a just one-time affair and leave it be, but unfortunately, it has become a disturbing trend. A trend that threatens to drag us into this because of alliance ties, one that threatens to destabilize the Concordat, and one that may eventually result in an actual war with foreign powers. If it reaches any of those points…”

Pinching the bridge of her nose and closing her eyes briefly, Siri huffed in aggravation; it was taking everything within her to not let her temper flare and tell him what she really thought of him and his conduct. She disliked having to be so formal, especially when trying to maintain that air of diplomacy. So she decided to attempt a different way. It was abrupt, but she was never one for smooth transitions. “I’m sure you have heard the protestations of my colleagues in the intergalactic community. I have stated the Grummian position, so do with that what you will. If you can provide me some assurances, some explanations, that would be appreciated. If not, so be it. I am done speaking leader to leader.”

Her green eyes stared up at him as she folded her arms across her chest. “Look…I’m going to ask you a simple question: what would your wife want? If she survives, she will know that you threatened the life of those people, her people, condemned those who she knows are innocent to death without giving a damn about anything but your vengeance. How would that make her feel? If she passes on and, as you say, you return with her to the Light, would she look upon you as the honorable, loving husband…or would she see you as the one who slaughtered her people and trampled upon everything she is?

A rough thumb rubbed back and forth over the smooth surface of her golden wedding band. “I would like to think that our spouses are what keep us a little more grounded than we usually are. They are everything that we are not. We do what we can to make them proud, to show them that this is truly the one they married. What are you doing?”

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Roania
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Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:38 pm

The ceiling in the Hall of the Dragon was an unusual one. It showed a sky. Not the real sky. That was far too imperfect, and here in the center of the galaxy everything must be perfect. At the moment it showed soft, blue skies with cheerful fluffy clouds, apparently a calming image for the Emperor. As his visitor spoke, the clouds twisted and turned in that placid blue sky. Then Siri came to the last of her questions. And all hell broke loose.

As Damalin uncoiled from his throne, the dragon snarled, a violent fireball forming between its gaping jaws. The claws dug sharply into the ancient stone, as if the creature was preparing to lift itself off its current perch and spring. "You. You dare?" As he spoke, the ceiling above turned bright red. Pillars of fire formed up along the path the elf was standing on. Around her the Imperial Guards had already gone for their guns at the first sign of imperial displeasure. "Everything I have done has been done to bring her back to me!" His eyes were naught but a pool of red flame. "Had I asked, would any of you come to help the mad tyrant? No! A thousand times no! Your prejudices and your follies blind you! As they blinded my mother! This was what I had to do!" More pillars of flame began to fall from the ceiling, and the dragon did begin to uncoil from its seat as the Emperor held out his hands.

"You! You of all people should understand! There is nothing I would not do for my wife, Chairwoman O'Neil! But then, why should you understand? You had the same choice, and you chose to stand back!" The crystalline wall between them turned sharp red as the heat began to expand. "I did not! I did what I must to get what I needed. And for this you judge me? For this you say she will judge me?!"

"She will understand! She must understand! Everything I've done has been for... has been... if she doesn't... what..." And then, just like that, the fires faded, the dragon resumed its seat, and Damalin sank into his chair as the hall turned to grey. He didn't say another word, just rested his head in his hands.
Last edited by Roania on Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Ex-Nation

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:38 pm

Naiya braced herself for whatever was to come, uncertain of what that might be, or how she might feel about it. As it turned out, it was not what she might have suspected, and even given her rigid control of self and emotions, she was pushed to her limit not to react, and leap to her aunt's 'rescue', so to speak. Some things were simply instinctual, and the familial bonds ran strong and deep with her, much as they did with her mother.

The young woman did allow a brief blurt of native equivalent of 'holy shit what the hell was that I am so relieved you're ok my god you have a gaping hole in your chest' over the mental link once it was clear things were not entering the end game - at least for now. Without the need to maintain the mindscape and realtime presences, she withdrew and allowed herself to take a long, slow breath and let it out just as slowly before trusting herself to speak.

"Mannagia," she began, then shook her head slightly, and offered a respectful bow to the doctor and to Shodey. "You never were one to do things by half. If you will excuse me, I believe I have another matter we need to attend to, and so far as the medical needs are required, you are the more qualified. Doctors."

She began to leave, then instinctively paused and hugged Shodey quickly but fiercely before heading off into the palace, in the general direction of the life force she was currently attempting to tune in to. Once met and tagged, it was often a matter of simplicity to identify people by their varying 'feel', for lack of a better term. Aura came close, but more in what it gave off more than any color that translated into a human paradigm. This was no different, and in fact, simpler due to the current lack of lock-down on herself. It was invigorating in some regards, marginally terrifying in others, and a reminder of the need for care, and subtlety.

Admittedly, she did not cut an impressive figure at a glance as she paced purposefully through the halls. The light grey robe touched with an ethereal blue that she had chosen to wear, made in a more local cut so as to stand out less, swished quietly around her ankles, and the soft slippers she wore made hardly a sound.

Naiya was certain she had felt a lessening, a ripple in the soul-balance felt when operating in the mindscape, tuned to the ebb and flow of Ai-Qien's life force. She wasn't sure what that meant, but people coming and going in their usual ways tended to feel different. And anything she couldn't explain at a glance at this point, was suspect.

But the other feeling she keyed to as she got closer, she decided she did not like at all. To the point of taking the pre-determined course of subtlety, and tossing it casually to the side. The throne room. Of course. And he was not alone.

"Asen Damalin," she called out in a clear voice that while not loud, was immediate, and penetrating, laden with what some had referred to as Presence - the somewhat shrouded yet no less recognizable sense of Power and Personage. "You and I must speak."

Giving Siri a respectful nod of recognition, and the guards no notice at all, the young woman strode confidently into the room, having caught the tail end of the ... well, reaction. Tantrum, her mother would have said, but even so, there was more to it.

"Your wife has been stabilized. We believe she will now recover, so long as she is allowed to rest, and recuperate naturally. My honored compatriot is currently watching over her with your rather skilled and attentive doctor, who has been working tirelessly and selflessly to see her through to a positive end."

Naiya continued to speak in that same clear, resonant voice as she slowly walked towards the young man, sat slumped on his grand throne.

"You wrong us, young emperor. You wrong your allies, and those who would be your friends. Nothing but the hand of assistance, advice, and all due respect has been offered to you, gladly. And we have seen little but spite, accusations, and threats in return. You were not raised to this station, no. You had it forced upon you. This I recognize, and in many ways, I commiserate with you. However, the responsibility is yours, asked for or not. And what you do with it will be your legacy. How you treat with your peers - and make no mistake, whatever your grand history, or lineage, we are all peers in the leadership of our respective peoples."

She gathered herself as she walked, drawing on hidden reserves, channeling her abilities to a fine point, taking the time in walking and discourse to do it slowly, controlled and calm.

"How you treat your staff, your advisers, your common folk - all of these will be remembered in the annals of time. You are the one who has control of how it will be viewed, and whether you will be seen as a great leader, or a hated tyrant. And only you can choose what actions you will take in going forward in your quest to see those who tried to kill your queen, and quite possibly yourself. And in doing so, affect how she will no doubt view those actions. It is time to put the rage and the frustration aside, to put away the hate and anger at those who left you to face the responsibilities of rule, and to step up and accept your role ... or to leave it, as others have, in the hands of another. As an old adage says, 'do or do not'. We are far past the 'trying' stage."

The young woman looked up at Damalin from the base of his throne, her eyes unwavering, her conviction clear. "How will the Lord of Ten Thousand Years proceed? What will the Shenqin Emperor choose? For the sake of many, I hope the choice will be a wise one."

And all unseen, she prepared for the reaction, for the feared blow-up and further dramatic flexing of what equated to godlike power here on Rudan Prime. Naiya prepared to show what it was to deal with a true goddess, even if but a 'small g' variety, and to gently quiet his rage, and calm his senses into a harmless and restful sleep, as she had before when her mother had raged and ranted. At least with this, after all his other exertions, it could be chalked up to sheer exhaustion, and give her and others the opportunity to address some of the problems they were currently faced with. At least, she hoped so.

Where was that damnable Nesar in all of this anyway? It caught her by surprise not to see him lurking, she reflected momentarily. Wherever he was, she wished him well.

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Oyada
Envoy
 
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Founded: May 13, 2008
Father Knows Best State

Postby Oyada » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:45 pm

“Admiral, enemy ordnance no longer incoming. RUBY force is engaging.”

“Good.”

“Drone carriers away, Admiral. Deploy according to doctrine?”

“Yes. Pass the word that they are to avoid unnecessary risk.” Fuima rested his chin on his crooked finger, the one that had never quite recovered from a training accident with a torpedo mount, concealing his perturbation. Why had the Sarian gaiti ceased fire?

“Damage?”

“Three cruisers have reported incapacitation, one cruiser...” Fuima watched his Staff Officer, knowing the pain and fury that must lie behind the man's words. “One cruiser lost, C-138. Beacons of two survivors noted.”

“No damage reports from the battle line, Admiral,” noted another with undisguised relief.

The situation display chirruped again, grabbing Fuima's attention once more. Another Sarian cruiser had gone up – well, that was something. Once the destroyers could fire their long, lethal lances into their formation, Fuima would have his revenge.

“Cruiser captains are reporting enemy fire has ceased, Admiral!”

“Good,” Fuima nodded, though the sudden and total lack of shooting was puzzling. “Order them to get off another spread on word from the flagship. Who the hell is contacting STARBRIGHT,” he demanded of the battle bridge at large, and received a slightly panicked shout from yet another staff officer, a Captain who, unusually, could even converse in High Roanian and had therefore found himself tasked with keeping in touch with the esteemed Admiral Lan, who was either dead, or at least dead to the galaxy.

“No return on contact, sir. I've tried every dark-damned channel and every protocol. There's chatter between their ships but a wall to us.”

“Well try again, captain; they appear to be on the move.” Fuima watched the symbols crawling into formation on the display with naked contempt. “Finally.” And finally, too, they had the Sarians pretty thoroughly enveloped. His cruisers would be the weak link in the shallow cuboid, unless he could jump the heavy ships in to support them. Still, first they had to catch the gaiti.

Even as this thought led him to glance at the projected cones of his destroyer squadrons' torpedo tracks, the very idea of catching them became moot. Marker of Flesh, the unpleasantly effective cruiser of a type unknown to the Imperial Navy, disappeared first; a moment later, and the remaining cruisers had leapt to safety in the unknown, taking most or all of their smaller comrades with them. Fuima set his jaw and swallowed, hard, burying the fury that should have tinged his words.

“Drone Officer, land all drone carriers except this ship's. Captain, have carrier number two prepared for launch.”

“She's waiting, Admiral,” Tokitzohazei's captain replied quietly, his voice still clear in the abrupt hush on the windowless combat bridge. “Shall I catapult?”

“Aye,” Fuima sighed, knowing he would have to begin his report very soon. “We'll try to-- we'll find any survivors.” Turning back to his staff, Fuima set about issuing further orders; his scattered ships needed to be brought back into cruising formation, recovery of those unable to make their own way needed to be arranged and covered, they must rearm, refuel, conduct repairs, bury the dead. But what dead were there left to bury? A dissipating miniature fireball's cooling component molecules, and very little else. No burial details, no trumpets; no final goodbye, either, for those left behind.

“Admiral”, came the Drone Officer's voice, hesitating as Fuima's shoulders sagged momentarily. “I think it may be wise to launch the remaining carriers. Enemy ships may be crippled but not destroyed. A light search pattern--”

“Yes, yes! Cancel my last instruction. Order half your carriers into a light search pattern within the enemy's movement area. The other half are to begin sowing an inner ring formation. That damned sensor delay...” He needed say no more. With a heavy, grating inhalation, Fuima put that frustration from his mind, for he could do nothing about it now. “Liaison Officer, signal that we intend to begin recovery operations. STARBRIGHT should at least know what we're about. Comms, order the Cruiser Divisions to protect the damaged ships until they can withdraw for repairs.”

From the far corner, another Staff Officer piped up: “Bring the train back in, Admiral?”

“No, not yet.” Fuima punched his palm. “The vermin may yet come back. In fact... Destroyer Officer, order the Destroyer Divisions to concentrate and form a sphere screen around the Cruiser Divisions; we will look after ourselves. Priority is protection of the cruisers. We'll not lose any more ships today if I can help it.”



Pethbrigg stalled momentarily and felt the colour recede slowly from his normally blossoming red cheeks, felt too the strong urge to excuse himself and find some composure. The damned creature was, to put a fine point on it, hideous. Why anyone should make such a thing an ambassador... well, he had to admit, it certainly served to put people off their point, a trick which had its uses. He set his jaw for a second and let the professional mask drop.

“Indeed I am,” he replied smoothly, taking the offered seat. “If I may move right to the point” - which would mean spending as little time around this disquieting thing as possible - “it is becoming rapidly clear that, under the rule of the present Emperor, the Radiant Empire is becoming dangerously aggressive, disregarding the long- and short-term international consequences of its actions, and threatening the destabilisation of the alliance and, perhaps, of the peace which presently exists on all fronts for the Empire. While we are, as you are doubtless aware, less than enamoured of foreigners, we have no serious desire to fight them.” Pethbrigg leaned forward and rested his flabby hands on the table, clenching one into an impressively meaty fist. “Especially not when we do not get to choose our battles, nor how and when they begin. What, then, is the position of your government on the Radiant Empire?”



Across the station, Zhilra nodded slowly, flicking her auburn hair out of her eye once again and stealing another sweet. “This is true, of course – but we must also move with events and act according to our best judgement, mustn't we?”

Zhilra chewed on the sweet thoughtfully for a moment, swallowed it, and licked her lips in anticipation of the next. “I can't just go making decisions, of course – but I think I'm right in saying that my government has within it a number of important people, who have become increasingly tired of Roanian... gamesmanship, I suppose, is the word.” She became suddenly serious, fixing his eye. “This isn't a game, after all. It's time the mighty Dragon Emperor was reminded that this – diplomacy, I mean – is the last word of empires, but not the last means.”



“Gone? What do you mean, gone?”

“She's gone, sir,” the Sergeant of the Guard replied wearily. “Cameras recorded her heading towards the lifts. I've notified the Imperial Guard to be doubly alert and given them her description.”

“She's a diplomat, sergeant. Do you really think it will cause great diplomatic approval if one of them puts a bayonet through her eye?”

“Probably not,” replied the Sergeant of the Guard with a shrug, “but it'll cause less of a problem than it would if she waltzed up to His Imperial Majesty and blew herself to bits, sir, don't you think?”

The Lieutenant of the Guard couldn't really argue with that. What he could do was set a harrassed and discomfited message to the Imperial Guard – the final line of defence of His Imperial Majesty's person,. Who followed him wherever he went unless he told them not to – that when they encountered a slightly flighty blonde looking for said Imperial Majesty, they should simply detain her and notify him. Hopefully, this would result neither in a diplomatic catastrophe, nor a dead Emperor, nor a bad end to the solemnly kept, leather-bound tome gravely called The Diary of Events.

Meanwhile, largely unsuspecting many floors above, Naragan Shokiwe II was taking a brief break from browsing yet another batch of papers sent for his view – the last had been a personal missive from a couple who had simply wished to tell him of their great pride in their son's joining the Imperial Household, which he had taken the time to reply to in his own slightly crabbed handwriting – when he spotted, standing on the windswept disc that formed the penultimate tier of the White Tower, a petite blonde who, even at this distance, seemed to be slightly less “with it” than average, leaning cheerfully across the guardrail over the hundreds of feet of air that separated her from a messy but spectacular end...
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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Roania
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Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:02 am

Zero-One

Kousenel didn't comment on what another doctor may have considered a slur on his own abilities. "You sound very knowledgeable about the ways of our people, Queen S.H.O.D.A.N. I will assume you learned this by asking. Now, I shall need your help for a moment. My medical team has by now realized the item I added to Lady Naiya's list is not available in the market I sent them to. Or I will have to, what is the word? Fire them, yes. Now, if what you say is true then..." The Surgeon swiped through on the hologram in his palm to another series of characters. "Zhencheng. Gao. Wu Naen!" The cadaverous face momentarily turned upwards in a true smile, before resuming its default nature. "Sadly. her reserves are less than is ideal. They will recover in time, but there is no option but to prompt her delayed regeneration now. My options are, after all, limited. If I return her to stasis, she will neither recover nor regenerate. If I permit her to recover naturally, there is no guarantee she will not... I know not the word in your tongue. It is when you strike a mirror? This will not wake her. Merely begin what should already have begun."

Kousenel considered, and dismissed it. "The longer her soul lingers, the less likely she will return entirely Yinpin. I have some experience in this matter. The Retired Empress... may she be safe and preserved... was my patient and she resisted regeneration for some years. Now she is no longer my sovereign, I will admit there were many...deleterious effects. Forcing a regeneration carries its own risks, but..." Now speaking mostly to himself, the doctor considered a series of wires that were snaking their way up the bed and wrapping themselves around AiQien's left arm. "With proper care, of course... something I can provide here... yes... oh, I beg your pardon. Now that we are dealing with a young woman, and not a corpse, I shall have to ask you to apply these two leads. One under her left breast, close to her heart, and the other to her upper left abdomen. Her body is sound, but it is best to be safe in these moments." He passed the leads to Shodey, then took out a small tiara set with a blue crystal.

"This goes here..." The crystal was placed directly in the center of her forehead. "Ningyian, jai shunmun de!" That crystal, along with those attached to the cables, began to glow and pulse. Seperately at first, but soon in time with the slow beating of the Consort's heart and each other. Then, they stopped entirely. As did her heart. And her breathing. Just for a moment, and they all began to beat in time with a faint rhythm that came from somewhere else. Slowly, a blue-green glow began to spread across the girl from those three points. "Good, good, all proceeds well." Soon AiQien's entire form was covered in the glow. And then it was gone, and the crystals over her heart and spleen had turned from bright glowing blue to dull, dead grey, while the one upon her forehead flickered through all the colors of the rainbow.

The consort opened her eyes. There was nothing within them. No sign of life, certainly. But soon they too began to cycle through the colors. "It is done. Her mind, when it awakens, will find her body ready for it. And her soul... we shall see when the colors stop, but readings are favorable. It is only a question of time. And that, alas, is in the hands of Ai. May the Spirits guide it swiftly."
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Zero-One
Spokesperson
 
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Capitalizt

It'll have to do since it's already done.

Postby Zero-One » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:40 am

Sickbay

Shodey returned Naiya's hug one-handed since the pectoral myomers usually associated with moving her right arm were now thousands of light years away and she didn't want to stress the backup electromotive actuators embedded in the head and capitulum of her humerus. Not unless she had to, at least. She offered momentary assurances to her niece over their shared silent channel, then saw her on her way. Then it was time to deal with the doctor, and--
Reserves? In the madness of her mind's eye, grey-skinned palm smacked grey-patterned forehead. There were several things available to assist with that, ranging from archaic intravenous solutions to various forms of life support--as opposed to stasis--and if all else failed a little of the avatar's 'blood' could aid in reconstruction--

The Reixanxi weren't particularly open with the more protean aspects of their nature. The more she interfered based on her dataset, on her nigh-absolute knowledge that this was an unnecessary risk, the more she indicated she knew. As a mechanoid, she was certainly already stretching the extent of her hosts' trust, and it wouldn't take too much extrapolation for them to figure out how she knew. The fact that her methodology wasn't any different towards anything else, biological or mechanical or metanormal, would not be considered amelioratory.

The cat-woman simply nodded, smiled tiredly, and assisted as requested. With the outside-context enemy dealt with, the problem now lay firmly within Doctor Kousenel's area of expertise. As the original physician, it was arguably his risk to take.
Risk levels still unacceptable, given the potential consequences. Possible contingency plans... unchanged from initial estimates. All that is required is data.

At least the continued proximity required by placing leads and watching some colored lights (which were data themselves to be recorded) meant that she could take structural and holistic measurements on the sly. Detected metrics lying well within nominal parameters confirmed the doctor's readings, but just in case... always just in case.

-Stand by. Our presence near the princess may quickly become inconvenient.-

"Doctor, would it be more useful for our purposes if I were here for the return of your staff--expecting my continued presence, perhaps--or shall I take my leave? I find either course of action suitable, and in any case I will require... cosmetic disguise." She indicated the left half of her chest with a dry smile. "A roll of bandages or similar filler, some surgical tape, and a surgical smock would be, I think, the best tools for that, assuming that you are willing to offer me the use of them."

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Northrop-Grumman
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1619
Founded: Dec 28, 2003
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:11 am

Roania / Nathicana

The Chairwoman gradually started stepping back away from the throne but yet still keeping her attention upon its occupant; she began summoning a shield about her, preparing for the onslaught of flame. The elf had hoped there would be a more calmed discussion over what she had said but not a heated one like this. The outburst only confirmed what she previously believed – the boy was erratic, unstable, and clearly unfit to interact with anyone or command anything more than a dog. And even then, she felt that it would wind up mauling him.

She could have snapped back over his comment about her decision to intervene in her husband’s health, and in different circumstances, she would have gladly belted him. He did not understand the situation, few actually did. If she had acted according to Damalin’s beliefs, then she would be no different than what he was doing now – acting contrary to her husband’s wishes and she hadn't wanted to dishonor him in such a manner, no matter how much she wanted him to continue to live.

And then, fortunately, as quickly as the outburst sprang forth, it dissipated. The elf had almost begun to speak when her counterpart from the Dominion interjected herself into the situation. She responded with a deeply respectful head bow. At least she knew she was in good company. However, when the other woman spoke, Siri cocked her head to the side, eyes narrowing, as she carefully studied her. There was something about Naiya that she could not quite put her finger on, something that Siri had yet to encounter before, especially not in this particular person. It piqued her interest and made the elf want to stick around this place for a little while longer, to see what else would unfold and, most importantly, how the Emperor would react.
Last edited by Northrop-Grumman on Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Roania
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Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:16 am

Northrop Grumman; Dread Lady Nathicana


Damalin hadn't looked up when Naiya entered. Nor did he say anything as the wave of words washed over him. He simply sat there, head in hands. After an eternity, or maybe three minutes, he finally sat upright in his throne. The Emperor's expression was blank, and his eyes simple pools of grey. "Show me... everything." A dozen screens popped into existence around him. Then a dozen more. They orbited his head and he skimmed them, paying his visitors no heed. Another minute passed. "Screen Che. Expand. Dismiss the others." All but one screen vanished, and that one screen split into four. Now they formed a checker-board pattern in front of him, semi-translucent hexagons through which his blank expression could be seen. These were studied for a good three minutes, before he waved a gloved hand. "No, no. Enough. Away." The screens vanished.

Slowly, he rose to his feet. "This lonely fool will not apologize for his actions in regards to those he is so unfortunate as to rule, Honored Cousins. He does not answer to either of you for his conduct, or his rule." Damalin pressed a hand to his head and took a shallow breath. "But he will acknowledge... must acknowledge... that he has, perhaps, been... overly harsh in his desire for vengeance. The Law has not been... the Law has not been followed. That the Sovereign... that I... am not responsible to it is irrelevant. To demand others obey it, it must be shown to be wise. But one other will judge this servant for his lapse. In time."

The Shenqin Emperor took another shallow breath and a few steps forward, then slowly sank to his knees. "But his manipulative actions towards the foreigners... for them he will apologize." His palms met at his sternum, and he leaned forward as far as he could before slowly rising back to his feet, while the air around them all broke into whispers. Slowly, Damalin returned to his throne.

Once seated, he took a shallow breath and closed his eyes. "I have few friends, cousins. I executed most of them, and have driven away the remainder. I have no family. My parents cloister themselves, my elder... sibling... and I do not speak, and what good are a pair of infants? But my wife..." His eyes drifted for a moment, and then he snapped back to attention, some blue starting to seep back in. "But this is justification, and I will not justify myself, either. I see what I have done. I have made myself the monster your people have always believed me to be. Let us instead move forward."

"Regardless of what else I may be, cousins, I am a... how do you say? I keep my word. I made a promise in my call for help, and I will keep it. For my life, and my son's life, and his son's life, the warfleets will no longer advance towards Sol and its dependencies. Peace, Honorable Chairwoman, is what I pledge. As to your alliance concerns... hold your meeting. I will send the appropriate servant. What other assurances would you both have of me?"
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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Roania
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Posts: 1797
Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Roania » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:02 am

Zero-One

"I am not so old, nor so foolish, that I cannot tell you disapprove, Queen SHODAN." Kousenel rubbed his hands together for a moment, and then he sighed. "A few things, then. Firstly, while this young lady is my patient, she is not my client.My client wants her back on her feet as soon as possible. This is not, I'm afraid, a realm where everyone is his doctor. Or aspires to be. If I tried to explain why I was doing nothing, he would neither understand nor accept." The Imperial Surgeon took out some medical garb for his guest, as she had requested. "Worse, he may try to call her back. If he forced the issue, he could certainly try. I can hardly refuse the Emperor access to his own wife, in his own house, when said wife cannot request such an action. The process I have engaged just now is..." He hesitated. "Almost certainly completely harmless, should have little effect on her body, and most importantly, looks like I am doing something."
Ten Thousand Years to the Lord and Lady of Ten Thousand Years!

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