Tales from the Frencoverse [Canonical Anthology]

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The Nexus of Man
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Postby The Nexus of Man » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:02 pm

Last edited by The Nexus of Man on Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:04 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Blakullar » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:13 am

~ The Manreaper ~

"Get the getaway car ready!" a man in a leather jacket and jeans covered in prison ink shouted to his comrades nearby as he burst out of a small wooden door leading to his mountain safehouse. "I want to be out of this place in thirty seconds!!"

"Boss, what about Kol-" one of his two balaklava-wearing bodyguards protested, before being silenced with:
Behind the group of gangsters, the ominous cacophony of havoc. The periodic thunderous bark of a large-calibre gun, the howls of terror and the rattle of futile return fire resonated from within the bunker, each gunshot accompanied by a pearly flash of light.

Semyon Rakovsky had been on the run ever since the debacle at the Senate Tower the week prior. He was one of the two vory, the elite of the Russian Mafia, who had helped coordinate the attempted murder of General Elena Trotskaya. He had fled the incoming firestorm the moment that things had gone hideously wrong. Now he, and every other extant vor in the entire solar system, was being hunted by the one organisation that nobody anywhere wanted to be in the crosshairs of at any point, ever – the Final Thirteen. Even as the sound of submachine gun fire ceased, replaced instead by the wild screaming of its shooter and that by a gut-churning crack, Rakovsky dared not look back as he was ushered into an old grey getaway car by his henchmen. He knew that his days were now numbered, but the survival instinct mandated that that number be increased as much as possible.

The door from whence Rakovsky and his thugs had just emerged instantly exploded into shards, broken apart by the mighty swing of a spiked flail. The deadly implement's nanocord was laced with vicious, retractable hooks, so one misfortunate gangster discovered when the cord sank its razor teeth into his neck, tearing his throat to bloody pieces as its wielder pulled the malefic weapon back to their side.

The attacker finally emerged into view, wearing a unique suit of black powered armour with dragon's head knee-guards, draped in a hood and cloak of equal darkness and wearing a monochrome half-mask shaped like the devil's mirthful maw. Two additional weapons, both huge semi-automatic shotguns, remained at its side, one of them already in the left hand that was freed from the right's duty of carrying the flail. The half of its face that was not obscured by its mask unveiled short, caramel-brown hair and a pair of blaring crimson globules for eyes, narrowed in ceaseless fury as the bearer of this apparel snapped its head to face the terrified Rakovsky in the back of the car.
"DRIVE, DRIVE, DRIVE!!!" he howled as the gangster in the driver's seat shifted the car into gear and sped away into the tundra forest, spinning rear tires kicking up dust with a squeal.

Popping its neck and returning the left shotgun to its partner in the sheath on its back, the assailant began to walk, as if in pursuit of the car. Then, it broke into a run, before erupting into a breakneck sprint. To the horror of Rakovsky and the other gangsters driving the getaway vehicle into the distance, the machine seemed to be catching up to them, galloping to a speed able to at least match the old Lada's pace.

"Drive faster, she's gaining!!" the vor bellowed to the front.
"I can't, boss!" the driver squealed as he desperately navigated the car along the road, making a concerted effort to avoid ploughing the automobile into a pine tree. "This is as fast as it goes!"

It was then that the passengers spotted their pursuer bounding high into the air with one mighty leap, flail-head whooping as if in triumph as its spinning carved deep into the atmosphere. Rakovsky loosed an effete scream as the murderous weapon burrowed itself into the bonnet of the car with a morbid metalloid thump. So great was the force imparted upon the small vehicle that it was at once catapulted rear-first upward, flipping onto its roof like a helpless turtle on its shell.
A few seconds after the brutal crash Rakovsky caught his bearings, beginning to crawl out of the car. The other three gangsters were as good as dead. Perhaps he could escape, perhaps he might just be able to lengthen his miserable life after a-

That thought was promptly mooted by the iron crash of the flail's head on the ground, leaving on the stony dust road a crack-riddled crater. The stygian-shrouded mace-bearer leaned down and grappled the whimpering Rakovsky by the scruff with its free hand, its blazing crimson optic-augments boring into his soul as they met with the vor's own tearful eyes.
"Wh..." he burbled, yet to make peace with his imminent death. "What the hell are you...?"

The voice that then emerged from the monstrous creature that accosted him took him by surprise. It was not that of a man, nor any human. Rakovsky was utterly convinced now that he had just been attacked by a daemoness, her speech grating with a mechanised, yet unmistakably feminine, cacophony. It was then that he realised just WHO this warrior was.
"Someone who's been waiting for this opportunity..." she growled in answer, machined alto buzzing with barely-restrained rage. "For a long, long time..."

Ippolyta the Manreaper, mistress of the art of hatred and a veteran of the Salvagings. Like most of the early Chthonians, she was adopted from the Siberian wilderness as a teenager alongside a younger girl who adopted the title Antiopa, her sister in blood as well as arms. When the time to fight was finally upon them, they fought alongside Elena Trotskaya, the Red Tigress, against Pandemonium's orkish hordes and the private armies of his lackeys, the raider-clan leaders that once ruled the Siberian wastes with an iron grip and the Vory v Zakone – the Russian Mafia.

The exordium of Ippolyta's passionate hatred of the vory was when she and Antiopa were captured by mercenaries under the Mafia's payroll. After three agonising months of torture and sadistic rape games, including the ham-handed removal of Ippolyta's voicebox to stop her screaming when men had her way with her, they finally bled Antiopa to death with a slash to the throat. Ever since that day, Ippolyta had been biding her time, waiting for just the right moment to exact her revenge upon one Semyon Rakovsky for the brutal murder of her sister.

Now that the Bratva had been officially declared traitors, Trotskaya and Drakolich brought the colossal resources of the Secretariat of Internal Security, the Special Purpose Guard Brigade and the Final Thirteen to hunt the criminals down and exterminate them, along with their associates and every other scrap of resistance, theoretical or actual, to be found in the wastes. To lead the purge on Trotskaya's personal insistence was Ippolyta, a call to arms that the recently-christened Manreaper answered with the glee of a greatly-pleased child at the Worker's Solstice Holiday. The vory, those self-righteous beasts that made a mockery of Mecharussian law and order had not only unveiled themselves as active enemies of the state, but had made an attempt to challenge the brotherhood itself, even after their near-destruction at the hands of the Salvagings. For their foolishness, for their arrogance, for mourned Antiopa ... their deaths would be slow!!

So Ippolyta's wrath-infused thoughts proclaimed as she disappeared into the forest, the head of her hated foe bearing a horrified gaze as it dangled in her left hand by the length of spinal cord that accompanied it. In her right, her dragging flail gouged a blood-caked trail into the feathery snow, leaving the flaming wreckage of the car to burn.
Last edited by Blakullar on Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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New Frenco Empire
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Founded: Mar 14, 2013

Postby New Frenco Empire » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:38 pm


This city fucking stinks.
What time was it? Two in the morning? Three? Four, even? All that mattered was it was deep into the night, and all the scum emerged from their hideaways and made their way into the streets at night. It was also at this time that an avenger would take to the sidewalk and attempt to clean it all up.
The avenger slid out of the prostitute's embrace, locating her tanktop among the mess of clothes that littered the floor of the brothel's room. When the sex worker stirred, she eyed her client's naked, heavily-tattooed form, locating her clothes on the floor.
"Goin' somewhere, sweetie?" The prostitute cooed seductively.
"Yeah." The avenger stated bluntly, not bothering with any witty retort.

Prostitution was an honest business that this avenger often took part in. She wasn't a people person, so she took comfort in the fact that there were women willing to satisfy her for money (which she had plenty of). Why go to all the trouble of wooing some bimbo on the street when these girls were trained, and relied on your money to do the exact same thing? Best of all, these women consented...they weren't dragged into it against their will. If any brothel held the Imperial Commercial Standard, it was guaranteed that all of it's workers were there of their own accord and not forced.
Zipping her black cargo pants back up, she flicked a hundred-credit piece towards the worker.
"Thanks." The avenger said, making her way out the door. That's a lot more than they ever charge, but I don't care.
Outside the brothel, she moved to the dumpster in the side alley, sliding the door open and climbing on, making sure no passers-by noticed her. She reached at the top of the garbage pile, pulling out the large holster she stashed here before going inside. Free from any unwanted views, she pulled out the monster of the gun inside; the old-world Taurus Judge handheld shotgun. She spun the cylinder, popping it out to reveal the five small shotshells within. If the Goddess is good, I won't need any more than these five.
She acquired this novelty gun just last week, looking for something that she could easily conceal, yet was powerful enough to "make a statement". Her arms dealer, Old Kyle, recommended the Judge, even discounting it to measly three hundred credits just for her. She took it, instantly infatuated with the piece. This'll make a reeeeal nice statement...

She made her way back through the sleepless city, weapon tucked safely in the waistline of her pants. She herself rarely slept, getting at most three hours every day. During the day, she spent her time in a sex worker's embrace, watching old vigilante movies, reconditioning her damaged body, or working on her aim (which had admittedly gotten a bit rusty since her time in the army those few years ago). During the nighttime, after her job as a SecuraBot technician ended...she observed. Plotted. On some nights, when the time was right, she acted. Tonight...was one of those nights. Tonight was a night Rachel Enns would make another statement.

The condemned sections of Lower Harlem was where the scum often operated, shielded from honest view. Her mark was an abandoned townhouse, serving as the brothel and base of operations for a tiny prostitution ring. After a week of observation, she deduced that the pimp always waited outside, with a bouncer just inside the door while the main attraction saw to her customers. Most of the clients were sick fucks that all deserved whatever it was Rachel could dish out, but she knew that on every Tuesday, a lieutenant of the Harlem Citizen's Watch took his pleasure at about this time. The depraved scum and venal cops could be bypassed; the current client was a bigger hit.
She made her way to the front of the building, where the pimp (a heavy-set black man with circular sunglasses) stood guard. She casually leaned near the building, her eyes peeled around her. Police response to this location was exactly seven minutes and twenty one seconds. But ONLY if there was no one around to report it before she struck...

"Hey girl!" The pimp outside catcalled at Rachel. "Nice tats!"
"Thanks..." Rachel said, nonchalantly lighting a cigarette before returning her hands to her pockets, looking around to make sure no prying eyes could interlope on what it was she was about to do.
"Where does a nice girl like you get all that ink?"
"The army..." She stated bluntly, exhaling a puff of smoke.
"Oh? You were in the army? So I'm dealing with some sort of badass chick?" He asked, crashing and burning in the ways of "suave".
"I suppose." I'm growing tired of you, you depraved, disgusting freak.
"I always liked me a woman who could put up a fight! What's say you come by my place later?" He hungrily offered.
"I'm not interested in men." She casually declined.
"You're telling me you bat for the other team?" He said, disappointed.
"Yeah." She said. As soon as this car turns the corner...
"Pfft. That's a damn shame. You know, they say you can cure a lezzie by feedin' her a nice dick. Hows about you give it a try? Take some of daddy's cure-"
The car's gone.
"Tell old is the girl upstairs?" She calmly asked.
"...what are you talking about?" The pimp said, his sexual desire instantly shifting to confusion.
"Because I happen to know that her name is Lucille, and she just turned nine." She seethed, flicking the cigarette at the pimp, it's cherry sparking all over his jacket.
"...the fuck? Hey, why don't you get the fuck outta here, girly? I would hate it if you got yourself hurt..."
"Is her name Lucille? Did she just turn nine?" She asked again, showing no sign of intimidation even as the pimp's fists curled up.
"Just...get the fuck outta here, alright? Go on! Scat!"

Rachel merely chuckled as her hand reached towards her waistline.
"Suck it." She muttered, pulling out the Judge and squeezing the trigger right into the pimp's stomach. The pellets ripped his organs to shreds as he fell to the ground, squealing in pain as his blood poured onto the steps in front of the house.
She stepped over the dying pimp, slamming her boot into the rickety old door, shattering it's hinges.
The bouncer, a heavily-built woman almost as strong as the pimp, turned, her eyes showing confusion as her hand went towards the pistol in her pocket.
Rachel was quicker, raising the monster that was her own piece at the bouncer, squeezing the trigger once more.
The shotshell scattered throughout the bouncer's body, killing her instantly at this short of range. As she keeled over, Rachel stepped over her as she went up the stairs, Judge ready to dispense justice.
She found the master bedroom, where she knew Lucille serviced her clients.

Locked tight, she used one of her shells to blast the handle open, forcing her way in with another kick.
However, Lucille's customer had heard the chaos downstairs, and readied his own gun; a high-caliber magnum revolver. As Rachel made her way inside, the two foes both fired off a round from their guns, striking one another. Rachel groaned in pain as the bullet impacted her chest, and the mobster squealed at the revelation that the buckshot had blown all of the fingers on his right hand clean off.
Rachel limped inside, one hand grasping the Judge, other grabbing at her wound. While the mobster flopped about on the floor, she removed her hand, seeing the bullet jutting out of her liquid Kevlar vest. It would definitely leave a bruise and some swelling, but this vest had saved her many times since she began her crusade. She removed the bullet and walked over to the mobster, screaming in pain as he held his maimed hand.
Seeing his assailant, he began rambling on.
"You're dead! You're dead! You're dead! I'll fucking kill you! I'll fucking kill you!" He muttered loudly, almost incoherently.
"Shut it." Rachel said, as she grabbed him by his graying hair. She put the handgun to his temple, readying for the kill...
"No! Don't shoot him!" A young girl could be heard yelling, but it was too late; the shotshell destroyed his skull, sending blood and brain matter in all directions (including all over Rachel, who merely loomed over the newly-created corpse).
Covered in the mobster's bodily fluids, she looked over to Lucille, who was naked and crying in a nearby corner.
"I'm...sorry..." Rachel awkwardly said as she heard the ringing in her ear.
"Dispatch to available cars, we have a 10-10S. Shots fired on Lower Sixth Street. All officers in the area..."
She always kept the police chatter in an earbud, as to know when she should make her escape. Hearing the sirens in the distance, she knew now would be the time.

She spared Lucille one last look before raising a nearby window, slipping out onto the nearby rooftops. She had already mapped her safest route home, using routes that she knew she could traverse undisturbed.
As she landed on another nearby rooftop, she had another thought...
Goddess, this city really fucking stinks...
Last edited by New Frenco Empire on Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Blakullar » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:32 pm

~ The Trail of Bones, The Charge Over the Grosser Priel ~

November the Twentieth, Twenty-One Forty-Two. The howling cantata of a blizzard rang like a death knell in the amber dawn sky, bringing in its song a razor chill to bear down upon the army travelling through the snow-bleached mountain forests. On the surface, the thump of hydraulic legs reverberated in the atmosphere as the AST-C hexapod assault walkers of the Eighth VDV regiment navigated the alpine forest in columns, walking fortresses bearing enough firepower to break open a mountain. Accompanying each walker was five tetrapod AST-N walkers, several of them with light anti-air missile pods to keep enemy warplanes at bay. Not far behind, a company of TU-48 bipedal mechwalkers, all bearing mighty fusion laser cannons and heavy stormhammer-arms able to break apart skyscrapers with a single swipe. At the very rear of the army was the artillery – TOS-50 Krikun rocket-flamethrower systems, ready to bathe the enemy in hellfire from their mounts on the backs of several AST-Cs.

Following each in their slow march to war, thousands of soldiers bound in black powered armour and bearing arms. Amidst the columns of troopers, the Chthonian hypersoldiers, fifteen in number and equivalent to a thousand in strength each – the fabled paladins of the Mechanocratic Ideology. Elena Trotskaya, Ajax, Persey, Kheraklz, Antey, Arkhantos, Odissey, Peley, Kalliopa, Akhilles, Dedal, Abderus, Telamon, Neley and Zetes: all bar one bore the name of a hero or heroine from ancient Greek myth, a reminder of their deeply-held values of honour, bravery and supremacy of antiquity.

Their destination loomed over the landscape like an immense sea of ivory spikes jutting forth from the mountain surface. The imposing Dead Mountain range, Totes Gebirge. At its peak, the crown of the mighty Grosser Priel mountain. After the invasion of Kosice, the firestorm in Bratislava, the conquest of Vienna's equine guardians that were the Schlachtross tanks and the metamorphosis of the Danube into blood, they had finally arrived at their main objective – the defensive line between Szczecin and Trieste, what was once the site of the fabled Iron Curtain of the first Cold War. The Totes Gebirge was the weakest point in the entire line – hence why today, it was to be assaulted, so that the Mecharussian Armed Forces could surge through the line from the east. Mission success would be achieved if the regiment were to cross the treacherous passage from Hinterstoder into the Ackerwald Forest and reach the village of Seehaus on the other side of the Totes Gebirge.

At the helm of the attacking army of men and steel – atop the right shoulder of one of her walkers, a TU-48 model named Begemot – General Trotskaya, the Red Tigress, power-armoured in black and grey, swathed in a hooded cloak as red as the blood that flowed through her artificial veins. Deymos, the longsword of her own design, lay clasped in her left armoured gauntlet, the tip of its monomolecular blade resting on the tank as the onyx-black pommel, fashioned so as to resemble an angry skull, matched with its eyes of ruby its wielder's gaze into the forest ahead. The task of the General's bionic optical augments, two burning crimsoned suns, was to survey the distant mountainside for defences, targets to be struck down by the heavy Gauss howitzers of her walkers. Eight miles away, from the staging area outside of Hinterstoder, the structure of a fortress could be perceived, nestled into the heart of the mountain. The heavily-gated pass between Grosser Priel and the peak to the immediate south; the first to break through before the rest of the mountain could be assaulted. As dawn began to emerge in the far distance, the time to begin the ascent to the Totes Gebirge was upon her and her army.

"Andropov," she used her radio set to convey an order to one of the colonels under her command with an authoritative shout, "prepare your left flank."
"Yes, Ma'am!" Andropov's crisp reply sounded. The replies of each commander of hers were just as eager, ready and waiting for the taste of blood.

"Rudnitsky!" she barked to another colonel whose forces were at her rear. "Have your walkers follow mine down the centre!"
"Yes, Ma'am!"

"Golovkin!" she addressed the starboard flank, where her latest officer stood. "Take your platoon right once we breach the forest!"
"Yes, Ma'am!"

"Go forth, brave soldiers, and fear not the forces of darkness!"

The army was ready, the guns were locked and loaded and the cloud-paved skies began to part, as though mighty Ares himself was readying his Olympian throne to bear witness to the spectacle of war. Chest pulsating as condensed air vented forth from her lungs as the billowing smoke of a terrible bonfire raging within, Trotskaya returned her sword alongside her and revolved herself to face the many amassed onyx soldiers below her eyrie, gathered to wage war at her side.


The very forests seemed to shudder before her voice as its impassioned fury reverberated in echo through the woods, to be heard by any and all who she endeavoured to hearken unto it.


Ascending skyward, her sword of war was raised upward, its razor point challenging the great heavens themselves to stop her army's imminent onslaught.


And with the titanic, uniform invocation of that rallying-cry, an inferno was born, raging in the hearts of every one of Trotskaya's soldiers inspired by her sacrament. The assembled troops began their slow march into the forest, the hydraulic plodding of the battlewalkers not far behind. The Red Tigress herself was there to oversee the incursion into the Totes Gebirge, the crown of Grosser Priel looming overhead as she watched over the warriors under her iron command. With the three armies on the move to their target, ready to strike down the three gates of Grosser Priel as great Poseidon's trident, the attack on the Iron Curtain had begun.

A slow and steady traipse through the forest up the snow-bleached foothill of the Totes Gebirge, trees giving way before the thunderous advance of walking fortresses bipedal, quadrupedal and hexapedal. Behind them, the many soldiers of Trotskaya's regiment, not a single warrior afraid to enter the valley of the shadow of death, with no fear of evil. The distant, tumultuous roar of enemy artillery sounded like trumpets of war, an indication that the army had been sighted.

"Spread out your forces," the General coldly commanded on her radio. "Prepare your troops to fight. It is time."
"Yes, Ma'am!" all three of her junior commanders responded as crisply as each other. Trotskaya herself had readied her winged flight pack, preparing to leap into the fray to wage battle alongside her warriors as first among equals. Drawing forth her shortened assault rifle from her back, wielding it in her hand freed from the left's duty of bearing Deymos, she prepared to call once again.

"CHTHONIANS, ON ME!!!" she bellowed as she leapt forth from Begemot's shoulder, flight pack breaking her fall as she struck the feathery forest floor. Arms spread like an eagle preparing to dive upon its prey, she prepared to sprint into combat as the wolven howls of falling shells invaded the morning atmosphere.

Like the hammer of Thor did the artillery strike, the thumping cacophony of explosions wracking the air. The forces of each impact threw dense clouds of snow into the empyrean, broken body parts amidst some of the gelid cirri behind Trotskaya. Rowdy shockwaves shoved their way through any extant tree in their path, dashing them to the cold floor. In four volleys the Europeans pounded the rocky anvil beneath the Mecharussians' feet, the artillery their hammer; most missed their marks, but some crashed into the heart of the Red Tigress' advance, tossing into the sky hapless soldiers and a few walkers that were flipped onto their backs alike turtles capsized onto their shells, beyond help.

A simple hammer could not break the infallible bravery of the Eighth VDV regiment and their Chthonic guardians, however. Even as soldiers clad in ivory and azure began to take shape amidst the hoar-dusted conifers and the great exchange of blue and red tracer fire, the European moon and the Russian sun at war, commenced its deadly lightshow, they continued their immovable charge. At the head of the offensive, assault weapon in her right hand disgorging flechettes at a pace of six hundred rounds per minute, was the Tigress herself. Incoming fire was practically absorbed by the flaming warblade borne in her tight left fist, commanded by Trotskaya's augmented perception and superhuman reflexes. The knights Chthonic joined their battle-sister and her armies in the fray, melee-oriented soldiers breaking into a charge into enemy lines and rangers at the General's side, suppressing any and all European soldiers who would dare to consider outflanking their commander.

Every now and again the brutal, electric thump of a Gauss howitzer would sound, followed two seconds later by a distant explosive crash. The AST-Cs were firing for maximum effect, pounding the mountain fortress and busying enemy artillery. TU-48s would follow suit, their shoulder-mounted fusion laser cannons lashing the fortifications with their crimson solar death-rays. Comfortably returning fire was an array of laser towers, arising from their bunker emplacements like vicious sapphire eyestalks, azure beams coalescing and blaring forth from the focusing lenses atop their masts. More than one Mecharussian battlewalker found itself impaled by a furious cerulean heat ray, speared through the heart like a beast.

"We must destroy those laser towers before they tear us apart!" Trotskaya shouted into her radio amidst the adjacent roar of angry gunfire. "All forces, continue to press your advance! Abderus, Dedal, Zetes, follow me into the sky!"
"Yes, sister!" was the triple response that crackled through her radio.

The Red Tigress was soon airborne, leaping into the sky the second her flight pack was active and bursting over the treetops. From the height of one hundred metres off of the ground she could adequately survey the battlefield, bearing witness to the primal exchange of fire crimson and cerulean. One of the laser towers, now ascertained to be an X-40 Prétorien Tactical High Energy Laser emplacement, caught sight of her and turned its menacing icy gaze toward her, charging its death ray and forcing her to weave through the sky to dodge the incoming blast.

Good, thought she, for if the enemy's heavy weapons was focused upon her, then they were not so upon the more vulnerable ground troops below. Effortlessly evading the azure beam carving into the snow-clouds above the warzone, she witnessed the three Chthonic soldiers following her into the air from their prior positions, and prepared to fly her way to the laser tower that had dared to accost her. Sword powered up and ready to bring to bear, she waited for the laser to cease its assault before jetting toward it for a low pass.

Thrash. As a flaming knife through tender flesh, Deymos' monomolecular plasma-augmented blade reaped the tower through its mast, causing the structure to collapse with a cascading explosion. Making touchdown in the trench guarding its bunker once the startled Federal troops discovered that they were under attack from the Red Tigress, she unleashed her blade against the hostile belligerents. Once again, bullets rocketed off of her blade and armour as she carved her way through their ranks.

Dedal was about to make landfall ahead and clear out the trench after Trotskaya when he spotted a rustling in the snow. Something was arising from within, having been meticulously hidden from sight. What that something was became immediately clear when he landed on the top of its turret...

Trotskaya turned at the sound of a succession of explosions, and her eyes dilated when she watched the warrior Dedal be ripped to pieces by shrapnel from the proximity mine belt of a Schlachtross tank. Her attention was then turned to a rumble from some twenty metres away as the snowdrift seemed to erupt, heavy railgun glaring at her. Just as it unleashed its attack with a thunderous crash, she raised her sword to a defensive position, relying upon her phenomenal reflexes to duck, sweep and cleave the incoming explosive round in half with the edge of her blade.

"SCHLACHS IN THE SNOWDRIFTS!!!" she frantically bellowed into her radio, just as she gracefully leapt behind a trench wall to dodge incoming laser fire from the tank's pintle-gun. "DEDAL IS DEAD! ABDERUS, ZETES, SEEK COVER!!"

"Yes, sister!"
"Yes, sist-AAAGH!!"

That last cry from Abderus did not bode any good. In the trench after where Dedal had fallen, Trotskaya could only watch as the Chthonian began to grapple with a Schlach that had burst out of a pile of snow and attacked him. Waddling out of its ambush position, the tank impressed its huge, stubby leg onto Abderus' chest, the warrior struggling to stop himself from being crushed. Fighting off a bear trying to squash him was one matter. Doing the same with a sixty-tonne tank was quite another, something that became patently obvious when his armour eventually buckled and splintered under the colossal pressure and, after vomiting up blood through his mask, the Chthonian was defeated with a sickening crunch.

"ABDERUS!!" Trotskaya shrieked in manic desperation, only to catch the attention of the offending Schlachtross. Before it could end her with a cannon blast, however, the tank suddenly burst into flames per mandate of a crimson laser light, cast forth from one of the TU-48 walkers below. Specifically, the walker astride which Trotskaya had been when she made her grandiose speech.

Begemot was sprinting up the hillside as fast as his goliath legs could carry him, attracting the ire of the laser emplacements. Before one of them could charge up and finish him, however, the forty-metre tall mechwalker grabbed the mast of the cannon in his left fist, twisted it to the side and caused it to unleash its terrible blue beam against its own lines, gouging a blazing trench into the mountainside as it tore through the remaining Prétoriens and their EFAC custodians. Once the fortifications had been satisfactorily ravaged, Begemot yanked the THEL tower upward out of the ground like an offensive weed in the garden.

The Schlach that had dared to target Trotskaya was facing its own attack from the Chthonian Persey, shield raised and spear-tip blazing with fiery ichor. After the aspis soaked the proximity mine shrapnel like a sponge, the Unbreakable Wall thrust the plasma-coated spear into the underside of the tank, impaling it through the belly and causing its ammunition stocks to detonate with a mighty crash.

As debris rained down from the sky, Trotskaya herself caught sight of an all-too familiar shape in heavy red power armour and a wendigo-horn helmet, shotgun muzzle smoking as if he had just cleared out a nearby bunker.
"Don't tell me the tanks are giving you a hard time, sister!" the familiar bass of Ajax's voice japed as he offered his hand to the General.

"Do not be absurd!" she returned the banter with a grin as she grabbed the warrior's crimson armoured gauntlet. Once she returned to her feet, the smirk fell from her into a frown. "Dedal and Abderus are dead. Schlachs got them both. Bastards were hiding in the snow..."

Ajax nodded in acknowledgement. Though she would be loath to openly state her emotions, there was a way for him to decipher that Trotskaya was upset and angry: her usage of a curse word. Every time a brother or a sister perished, it hit her with the force of a burning hammer to the back of the head. Still, she was a strong commander with nerves of titanium: there had been many worse battles fought than this so far.

"We shall mourn them after we're done here," Ajax sympathised. "Persey and I have already swept the south trenches; Antey, Kheraklz and Neley are clearing out the north, while the remaining siblings are keeping ground forces occupied in the forest."

A mighty crash sounded from the centre of the trenches as the giant mechwalker ravaging the central trench brought his stormhammer to bear, its unstable fusion core disgorging the massive shockwave from which the hammer derived its name as it slammed into the ground.

"Oh, and Begemot and his walkers are pushing the centre. Now come, sister: let's win this fight! The valley gates are less than a kilometre from this position!"
"Then we shall tear down the gates and press our offensive!" Trotskaya stoically acknowledged Ajax's recommendation. "Zetes, status report!"
"Alive and well, sister! We're pushing into the centre now!"

Great relief washed over Trotskaya's psyche as it was evident that a third Chthonian had not fallen on this day. Her latest concern, however, revolved around for how long that would actually be the case. With the forests below the fortifications aflame with the mania of battle, she could have been forgiven for believing that there were tens of thousands of Federal troops bearing down upon the advancing Mecharussian army. The solace derived from the knowledge of Zetes' continued battling expanded as she bore witness to growing numbers of enemy soldiers retreating to the mountains across the bare snowfields, thin veins of trenches sprawling from the forest-border fortification to the colossal main gates, its wall joining the Grosser Priel mountain to the peak to its immediate south.

"Set the trenches before the gates afire with napalm," Trotskaya commanded into her radio, "Burn out any tanks hiding beneath the snow! Walkers advance across the trenches before the troops! Make no error, we are dealing with determined and well-equipped foes in these trenches! Golovkin! Once the flamethrower-walkers fire on the trenches, take them and advance eastward as we planned! Andropov, follow Rudnitsky and my men until we get past the gates, then split off from us and go around the southern mountain! Begemot, lead the charge against the gates on my mark!"

"Yes, Ma'am!"
"Yes, Ma'am!"
"Yes, Ma'am!"
"My pleasure, General!"

Just as the offensive was about to commence, a dull, thundering clank resounded from the direction of the gates. Slowly, the behemoth fortifications began to sink into the ground, as though to grant the retreating troops ahead salvation from the wrathful Mecharussians. Once the gate collapsed into the ground below, however, what was sighted was no welcoming hand for the retreat, which had instead taken up positions close to the gate, but an iron fist poised to crash upon their aggressors. Tanks. Panther 1A3s. Panzer Schlachtrossen. All in V-formations. Guarding them, a greatly-dreaded sight that forced Trotskaya's eyes to dilate.

Landkreuzer 1A1s. One for each of the three gates: three towering supertanks, monstrous laser cannons glaring at them like terrible azure eyes.

"What do we do, sister?" Ajax enquired.
At the pressing question, Trotskaya narrowed her eyes toward the rolling fortresses that sought the destruction of the Russian army. Her army. But faced with a threat this great, there was little choice but to enact her next command.

"We take them head on," she replied to Ajax, before bellowing into her radio again. "Form ranks and prepare to charge! Keep moving, do not reload your weapon, and get up close to their troops – so that we may face them as warriors! Walkers, suppress their tanks! Artillery, open fire on the fortifications! The time to wage Excidium is now!! Not a single step back!!"

With an almighty breath, she turned to the Chthonians by her side, the General's godlike voice at its apex in thunderous volume.





Overhead, the roar of artillery rockets so numerous in number as to darken the morning sky shuddered through the gelid air of winter. Golovkin's offensive was an evident success, to Trotskaya's great relief. On prompt, Deymos was uplifted from its resting place on the ground, its baleful blade levelled outward to point to the enemy charge.


Plasma, blazing with heat in advance of the inferno that raged upon the surface of Sol herself, crept up the blade of Deymos to enshroud it in vermillion fire.

In the distance the incendiary rockets crashed to the floor, the trenches bearing the massed Federal infantry soaked in hellfire and smoking brimstone.


Once again the bellow of resonant thunder rolled through the mountains, the angry cries of soldiers with ironclad determination to wage war and destroy those who would dare to threaten their beloved nation. Sword outstretched in one hand and rifle in the other, Trotskaya was the very first to break into a sprint. Followed soon was she by the knights Chthonic: Ajax and Persey at her left side, Kheraklz and Antey to her right, and the rest in formation on all sides of the offensive.

Like the Gjallarhorn did the magmatic thump announcing the discharge of the hexapod mechwalkers' magnetic artillery rampage through the alpine air, heralding the beginning of the attack. Within minutes, thousands of soldiers flooded into the trench-veins before the gates, covered by the thunderous barrage of howitzers whose heavy shells slammed into distant encroaching tank formations. The flamethrower-rockets kept up the firestorm for a kilometre ahead, a creeping barrage holding the enemy's infantry at bay with a wall of flame. Close behind the Chthonians leading the charge, Begemot and his warband of TU-48 mecha, their giant laser cannons blaring like the trumpets of the apocalypse as they ripped into the enemy armoured formations. In retaliation, flashes of blue were spotted in the distance as the tanks unleashed their own barrage of shells to wage ruination upon the incoming mechwalkers.

The inferno threatening to consume the Federation's soldiers forced them from their defensive positions and into the open. Seeing little recourse but to follow the tanks into the valley of the shadow of death, they too sallied forth into a charge to challenge the black-clad Mecharussian warriors forging their way through the storm of laser blasts, tank shells and bullet fire. As both sides waded into the flames deposited by the Krikuns' incendiary rockets, the Landkreuzers blasted their devastating main guns into the lines of Mecharussians wading through the trenches, all while autocannons distracted the walkers. The Panthers and the Schlachs ceased their tremendous charge, came to a halt and blasted their guns into the approaching formations of TU-48s. Most shells ricocheted off of the armoured hulls of the walkers, but a handful blazed through their hulls. Two went down within the first few minutes of the conflagration, but not before they closed upon their targets, stormhammers ready to shatter the counter-charge.

The central Landkreuzer, attention focused upon the incoming assault walkers, loosed a massive blue death beam into the main group, Begemot at the head of the charge being forced to dive out of the way of the sweeping laser blast to avoid being carved up by it. Other walkers were not so quick, and the blistering swipe of the luminous ray tore several of them in twain.

"GONNA NEED SOME HELP HERE!!!" the colossus Begemot called through the radio as he grabbed a nearby Panther tank in his left hand and hurled it at the offending Landkreuzer, striking its laser cannon and taking it out of commission.

"I am on them!" Trotskaya, already preparing to jump into the air with her flight pack, responded in earnest. Sword aflame, she bounded into the air and proceeded via flight toward the stricken Landkreuzer, which along with its two fellow supertanks began to reverse in order to distance themselves from the attacking mecha. Missile and rail turrets dotted the frame of the titanic war machine and were already firing their payloads at the Mecharussians in lieu of the crippled laser cannon.

Successfully outflanking the tank, Deymos at the ready, she braved dense gunfire from the ground to tackle the rolling fortress. First, a swipe through the vulnerable right 'leg' carrying the starboard treads: Trotskaya, sword at her side, dragged the plasma-coated blade through the thick armour, circling around the huge strut as she did so. The fixture immediately began to bend and flex under the tank's colossal weight, the Tigress sweeping her blade through the behemoth's four central treads at the rear to bring the death machine to a crashing halt. With a squeal of metalloid agony and anger, the strut snapped, and the mighty Landkreuzer keeled over onto its starboard side with a tumultuous crash.

As the victorious Trotskaya swung around the port side of her kill, an explosion blossomed mere metres just before her, filling her face with shrapnel and causing her to shriek with pain. Another struck just above her frame, crippling the flight pack and forcing her from the sky. One of the other Landkreuzers, flak cannons on its top blaring into the sky, had caught sight of her zooming through and opened fire on her, so she realised as her lissom frame careened into the ground with a crash.
Breaking her right arm against the mountainous rocks as she struck the floor with another grunt, blood cascading down her face from shards of metal, she briefly fell unconscious on the field. When she awoke, thirty seconds later, she sprouted a horrified gaze as the Landkreuzer had drawn to a halt, judgemental azure eye gazing upon her as it prepared to fire its laser cannon.

So this is how my tale ends? At least, I shall die on the battlefield. Forgive me, Ivan. Forgive me, father, for my shameful death...

As the thunderous roar of blue laser light seemed to consume her, her eyes were narrowed as she gazed into a second sun, enraged and cerulean. It was then that she bore witness to a man before her, death ray breaking against an all-too familiar huge aspis shield like an oceanic wave against a wall. Once the laser died down, the Landkreuzer expending all of its power into that one hateful blast, she heard the rattling, hoarse voice of one of the Chthonians:
"You're not allowed to die while my shield stands."

"Persey...?" Trotskaya mumbled. "You came to save me?"
Persey, the Unbreakable Wall, had come to her salvation at the very last second. Before the Landkreuzer responsible for her near death could retaliate, the frame of Begemot brought his heavy stormhammer to bear, a thunderous ringing resonating across the landscape as he struck the top of the supertank like a colossal gong, the war machine exploding into a thousand shards as Begemot smashed the titan apart.

"Golovkin," Persey turned and growled, shield weeping metal liquefied by the laser blast. "The General requires medical aid. I shall protect you."
"I'm on it!" the Lieutenant acknowledged as he made his way to the wounded Red Tigress, the Wall maintaining his guardian posture as a periodic icy crack resounded from the gun on his shoulder – his favoured cryogenic blastgun, flash-freezing Federal troops foolish enough to get close. At once Golovkin produced a repair kit to fix up Trotskaya's broken right arm, applying his skills in medicine to where the limb had snapped at the elbow joint.

"Where is Ajax?" Trotskaya enquired as Golovkin proceeded to repair her, noticing that Persey's best friend was nowhere to be seen.
"He is dead," the Wall responded. "Arkhantos, Zetes, Neley and Telamon went down with him. They bought me and Golovkin time to come to rescue you."

"Ajax..." Trotskaya whispered, tears growing in her eyes. "I ... led them to their deaths...?"
"No, sister," Persey consoled. "It was he who led himself to his doom, with the knowledge of his noble sacrifice. If it is any consolation, he and the other brothers took down many hundreds of enemy troops while they created their distraction."

"Then we must fight on," the General pronounced, fighting back a tide of lachrymation as she got to her feet, picking up her dropped rifle with her newly-fixed right arm. "For our fallen brothers – not just Chthonic, but Mecharussian too! We shall conquer these gates!"

"I shall fight alongside you, sister," the Wall grinned and encouraged.
"I'm with you all the way, General!" Golovkin followed up.

"And wherever he goes," a heavily-built armoured soldier behind him, breastplate tagged with 'SGT MIKHAILOV' and lugging an RPN-66-3 microgun, "I go!"
"Don't think for a second I'm missing out on the action!" a fifth voice called from the radio as Begemot lumbered toward the impromptu fireteam. The walker himself.

"Then let us proceed to TEAR DOWN THESE GATES!!!" Trotskaya chanted, sword levelled forward and challenging the mighty wall that lay before her.
"Uraaaaah!!!" the four men called, emulating the titanic chant that resonated through these mountains twice before.

Stolid warriors taking positions as they prepared to battle their way to the behemoth gates, Trotskaya with her sword and Golovkin, Mikhailov, Persey and the giant Begemot ever faithful by her side, they faced the European soldiers before them as the thrilling cacophonies of war in all of its brilliance thundered around them, they unleashed their might as they strode forward to conduct their epic conquest. On this day, a bond would forever be forged as the five fought through the enemy azure, black Chernydrakony close behind them, their collective victory as assured as the blood spilled on this day by the General's sun-blade.
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Blakullar » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:01 am

~ The Sword of Pride ~

A vast metal avenue stood before Timofei Prime, the Primarch of the Order of Cybermancers, the sky gazing down upon the towering fortifications of Jotunheim's equatorial fortress as a cobalt-blue blanket. Every now and again a supply convoy would rumble above the armoured roadways: a maglev train ferrying cargo and personnel to and from the nearby central warship factory. It was aboard such a vehicle that Prime was being conveyed to the factory, along with Grand Curatrix Elena Trotskaya on routine inspection.

The warship factory was a colossal circular megastructure, towering to a hundred kilometres in the sky and six times as wide. It was the most notable structure on the Mecharussian fortress-world of Jotunheim, gazing into the stars like a baleful black eye. As the magtrain approached the titanic building, a gate at its heart opened and the journey continued for another half-hour. Patiently, Prime and Trotskaya awaited, their guards close by their side as the juggernaut thundered through the bowels of the warship factory.

Soon, the train emerged from the tunnel and into the open heart of the warship factory. The frame for a truly-enormous construct loomed overhead in front of it, measuring at least five hundred kilometres in all dimensions and shaped akin to a gargantuan sphere. From the frontal carriage of the magtrain stepped forth the Primarch, in his black robes and silver psychic foil-plated facemask, followed by Trotskaya in her crimson hood-and-cloak and dark powered armour.

"What is that...?" Prime asked, his voice laden with surprise at the sight of the colossal vessel frame.
"That, Primarch, is Yulia's latest school project," the Curatrix sarcastically responded, looking over her shoulder to check who was around before elaborating. "A 'World Eater'. From what she has told me, it is to use antimatter cores to generate exawatts of power, which will go into a powerful singularity beam, fired with enough force to obliterate a planet in a single blast."

"Why would she even want to construct such a thing as a planet-killer?" the Primarch enquired. "Surely she should know that, compared to what lies in the wider Multiverse, the power to destroy a single celestial body is insignificant."
"She tells me that it is designed as a deterrent against a surprise Imperial invasion, though I strongly suspect that she may have more in mind for this technological terror than that alone," Trotskaya answered him.

"Knowing how much she hates Sidhae, I would treat her claim that the World Eater is designed as a deterrent, and not a first-strike tool, with scepticism," Prime enunciated. "All I hope is that you have some kind of backup plan should things go wrong."

"I do," Trotskaya replied. "And to be honest with you, I am surprised that she thought of a planet-killer before I did: her plan to use it as a deterrent is actually strategically sound, if more likely than not a ruse to hide its true purpose. I have been preparing for the eventuality of total war with the Imperium since even before the Flight, let alone my ascendancy. Father is more than capable of protecting the Home Dimension against any Imperial attack should they attempt to assault Earth. I believe, however, that it would be more likely that they would attempt to invade Jotunheim. I firmly believe that they would succeed, albeit while sustaining casualties numbering in the many hundreds of millions, if not billions: the surface defences of this planet, however formidable, will only hold them back for so long. That is why I intend to position the World Eater in a different universe altogether once it is complete: even if Jotunheim falls, and it will if the Imperium knows where to look, we shall still be able to launch devastating scorched-earth attacks against the Sidhae with nigh-impunity. New Aedun would be just the beginning..."

"But surely the Imperium would be ready for the destruction of another world of supreme importance and prepare themselves for the arrival of the World Eater appropriately," Prime countered.

"If we cannot target Carthage, Harrad or Eridanos, then we attack softer targets," Trotskaya stated. "There are twenty thousand worlds in the Imperium of Sidhae and counting, and their fleets cannot possibly defend every single one of them without spreading their own forces too thinly to stand against a conventional invasion force, from either ourselves or the enemies that already exist in their dimension. We repeatedly target lightly-defended worlds with sizeable populations of Sidhae, and it will incite mass panic. The Imperial government will be forced into desperate action, and that is when they will make a serious tactical mistake that will cost them the war."

A wholly-malefic, sharklike grin that slithered up Trotskaya's cheeks as her outstretched hand curled into a fist.
"With the World Eater at our beck and call, we cannot fail..."

"Unless they destroy the World Eater before it can be deployed, of course," Prime retorted, causing the smirk on the Curatrix's face to retreat.
"Well, then we had best make sure that they do not."

Prime's blue optic focused upon her as his head rotated to face her.
"I suspect that there is a more personal reason for you wanting to see the Imperium destroyed."

A thick cloud of condensed air was ejected from Trotskaya's mouth with a heavy sigh.
"I would be lying to you, Primarch, if I told you that I did not dream of my return to beloved Victor's arms. To state that I would not love to see the Imperium be swallowed by hellfire for doing what they did to him would also be a lie. If it turns out that Yulia does intend to use it for a first-strike against them, then I shall not act to stop her."

"Be very careful, Trotskaya," Prime warned. "I shall tell you what I tell your daughter. Confidence is a metal that shall make a strong weapon indeed. Pride, however, is dangerous. It is flimsy and brittle. If you go to battle with the sword of pride alone, then your blade will break in the first fight. If you do choose to wage war with the sword of pride, then I advise you carry alongside you a shield of caution."

"With pride comes expectation," Trotskaya agreed. "When a battle does not adhere to expectations, and it will not, then that is when the arrogant fail."
"Precisely," the Primarch corroborated. "Now, if I'm not mistaken, the garrison at the Citadel is showing a film to entertain the troops. Perhaps that shall take your mind off of the Imperium for a short while."

"Indeed it will, assuming that Ermakov does not try to show another film with nudity," the Curatrix answered. "There are times where I genuinely wonder whether he is running a cinema or a brothel. Simultaneously, I wonder to myself whether he is trying to seduce me..."

"In fairness, I wouldn't say no if you asked me out on a date," Prime joked.
"I am coming up to sixty years of age: I am much too old to be falling back in love!" Trotskaya opponed, cheeks pink with surprise at the Primarch's insinuation.

"I'm exactly ten months older than you, and yet here I am practically offering to take you out for a private dinner some time," Prime countered, fiddling with his hands nervously behind his back. For the first time in the whole conversation, his speech was as though coming from a normal human being, rather than the immensely-powerful psychic sage that he was. It was known around the base that Prime and Trotskaya were friendly with each other, though nobody seemed to know the exact level of intimacy between the two.

"You know that it is not happening, Timofei Yaroslavovich," Trotskaya rebuffed him with a humoured smile. "Besides, I was under the impression that you were already planning a date with a 'special woman' of yours."
"Who says I'm not?!" the Primarch replied.
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Blakullar » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:04 am

~ The Doomed King ~

From the vast, concave window of my private chamber I'm looking at a city at war with itself. Sunikagrad. The cacophony of distant gunshots rings through my window, smoke escapes from buildings afire where there's heavy fighting. More shots ring from further inside my vast estate: my loyalists, seeking to protect their leader from the incoming onslaught. They're calling it a coup d'état, an insurgency. The year's 2153, so my calendar says, yet I can never quite remember the day. While I stare out of the window I recall the circumstances behind what's happening today. I know what's going on, and why what's going on is happening. I know more than this coup's orchestrator will probably ever know.

"Prokhor Stahlrim."

There it is: the cold, assertive alto of the woman who has come for me, General Elena Trotskaya in her red-shrouded, power-armoured magnificence. She will have just come through the open door into my chamber to claim her prize. I see her in the window reflection: at her side, four of her Chernydrakony, troops in matt-black power armour that compose her personal regiment. Or rather, her personal army.

"You are beaten. It is useless to resist. I am placing you under arrest under decree two-one-eigh-"
"Yep, it's just how I imagined it to go down."

I see the response I just gave struck her rather akin to a jet of gelid water, if only by the subtle wince she gives me.
"You were expecting this?"

"Expecting it?" is my answer. "General, I've been expecting the coming of this day ever since you were born. You always had this glint of ambition in you that I picked up from a mile away. You remind me a little bit of your old man..."

"I figured that out..." Trotskaya states, a suspicious expression glued to her countenance. "I merely did not expect you to take it this well."

"Meh," shrug I, the doomed king. "I've gotten kind of bored with life anyway. When you've seen what I've seen and lived to this age to tell of it, General, there's not a lot left that life can throw at you, except death. Besides, I know for a fact you'll be a way better leader than I could ever hope to be."

"Are you not at least going to put up a fight?" she continues.
"Oh, I've got you covered..." my helmet rasps, almost silently, as my digits coil around the grips of my Ardavian-built heavy handguns.

In a blisteringly-fast hand movement I bring my firepower to bear: in but a quartet of barks from the hand-cannons in my clutches, the soldiers at her side fall, splattering the floor with their entrails and denting the floor as the massive bullets pass through. Two glances to her side does good Trotskaya give: I can tell she hasn't been expecting this.

"Come now, did you really think I was going to bow out without giving you one last parting gift?" I speak as I twirl my guns in the trigger loops before dropping them to the ground with a clatter. From my pocket, I then draw from my coat pocket my weapon of choice for combat against the good General: the faithful, humble butterfly-knife.

"Even in death, you still know how to please a woman, Prokhor..." she beams to me a vivacious grin as the warblade Deymos arises from its sheath, ready for my last battle.

I stand about as much chance as a snowflake in the furnaces of Hell against her, but that's not the point. I don't want to win. I want to see if she's got what it takes. Her father has taught her throughout her whole life that all great things have got to be earned. It wouldn't be sporting if I just dropped to my knees and begged for my life when I already know she's just going to tear out my central processing unit, would it? No, she has to EARN that tearing – she must earn my CPU and my crown!

So of course I throw everything I've got at her, flying into the fray screaming like a mad motherfucker: she isn't the only one who's been preparing for this battle all her life. There's a couple of close calls: I impose a good backhand slash on her sword-wrist, causing Deymos to spin out of her grip, and bury my knife into her left eye, ripping out the bloody cybernetic as she roars in anger and agony. Yet she still comes, unyielding as the tigress for which she is named, claws ablaze and charging at me. Good. Very good...

Even now, as I gaze in my death throes into that blazing sun that is her remaining eye, it's not hate that I see, nor rage. It's determination. Courage. Resilience. I see in that eye of providence a woman who will lead this country to far greater glory than I. I'll tell you, reader, the same thing I told a delegation about her a few months back. I have watched her throughout the many, MANY years that she's been growing into the greatest ruler Man's ever gonna have. Her centuries buried beneath the ice-sheets of Franz Josef Land, her childhood, the Rape, the birth of the Chthonic soldiers, the day she fell in love with Victor Golovkin and birthed his progeny ... every day. She has been through utter hell and back so many times that there is truly NOTHING that will ever faze her anymore. She'll lay waste to cities, nations, ENTIRE PLANETS if it means getting what she wants – and I couldn't stop her if I wanted to.

So Elena doesn't know everything I've done for her. Good! If she did, she'd never be able to bring herself to kill me. To rightfully take the crown from the doomed king in glorious, magnificent battle like she should. THAT is how the story of Prokhor Stahlrim ends. It's how it was destined to end, and it's how I want it to end – with her carrying my head out the door in the grip of her left hand, Deymos in the other, parading it as her rightfully-earned trophy.

Alright, since my last battery's about to run out, I suppose you want some final thoughts from me. Maybe a cutesy little farewell speech? Hell, even a cheap funeral for the old bastard, I hear you think? Well ... now that I think of it, I do have one last thing to say...

It was a hell of a run.
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Postby The Old World Conglomerate » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:46 pm

Of Homeworlds

2271, roughly one month after the Desolation of Earth.
Excerpt of the recovered memories of a meeting between
Macillan Cisneroz (deceased) - former leader of the Terra Reunification Front and
Xikaan-043 (deceased) - former negotiator of Althernian Ultranationalist Movement


"I have always been wondering: How do you humans feel when you think about what you did to us. What you did to the Althernian people."

That's what the teal-skinned Althernian asked me, the structure of its face shifting and changing into a mockery of my own, though it was obviously straining itself with the area around the eyes - these things just had too many of them.

"I do not feel anything. From our point of view, we had just escaped our Homeworld. We had no idea what was going on back Home - whether the Mechanocracy would make one final, desperate power-grab, whether the Nexus would decide to spite all of Mankind and eradicate us in one final hate-fueled blow. If there was another invasion fleet on its way to annihilate us for our impudence of continuing to exist. It was necessary, as far as we could have known."

"That is not what I am asking. I demand to know how you can continue to justify the slaughter of seven and a half billion of my kind, even with the gift of hindsight. Even in the knowledge that the worst had not come to pass. That it was safe under the Imperium. Your vaunted, so often praised Dirt-"

I hadn't realized that I'd moved until it was over. Shredded skin hung from my knuckles, the underlying tissue laid bare, as blood dripped onto the floor...onto the xeno beneath me. the jagged, bone-like exoskeleton around its head shattered utterly. My...its face surged, and bubbled in a vain attempt to maintain cohesion, but it regardless managed to sneer at me. I spat in its face.

"Earth. Earth was burned to cinder a month ago by Elena Iosifovna Trotskaya, supreme arch-traitoress to all of Mankind. She struck the killing blow against The Homeworld, far surpassing any sacrilege the Fuhar-worshippers of the Galactic North could ever inflict upon the collective soul of Mankind, alien. Do you understand? The greatest traitors of our time until last month held our Homeworld in greater esteem than...than this once-human creature."

The beast was seemingly tired of its effort to maintain my face as its own visage bled onto the floor, its face settled back into its normal, disgusting featureless surface, thin slit for a mouth, six holes for eyes. Utterly unreadable facial expression. My hand really looked quite damaged, I noted again, feeling the pain setting in as the adrenaline wore down. Nothing that couldn't be fixed, however.

"See, human? We...understand one another. Both...our homeworlds longer remotely recognizable as...what they once were. Both times, the guilty party was your kind."

I frowned, and pushed myself off of the creature, perhaps just putting enough weight onto its body to reward my ears with the sound of a few more cracking bones. These things healed quickly enough, so it wouldn't be a problem, I figured.

"There will be no cooperation between our groups, and most definitely no cease-fire. Continue to harass Humanity in an attempt to force us to give up Neuropa, and I will see to it that we finish the job we started over a hundred years ago, beast."

And that were the last words I told it, before leaving it behind to wallow in filth. Of course, when a week later a public plaza went up in fire and smoke and with it several hundred humans, they claimed to have nothing to do wth it. Just as well. Whatever happened afterwards, we had nothing to do with either, naturally.


(I felt that something highlighting futurConglomerate mentality was needed.)
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Gigaverse » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:38 pm

Gates of Hell

Lorraine Franconian
Late Middle Japanese

Duchy of Lorraine
Rhineland, the 3rd of August
Anno Domini 1492

"Burn the witch!"

"Cleanse her with fire!"

Word was that Giovanni Battista Cibo died on the 25th of July on this 1492nd year of the Christian calendar. For some inexplicable reason, the population of this Duchy was quick to lay the blame upon the daughter of a recently-deceased nobleman. The belief was that she was responsible for the witchcraft that killed the Pope and her own father, and she was attempting to murder the venerable Duke René II. The ignorant masses always liked to conveniently forget the ample evidences to suggest that she was tricked into this situation by a political rival of her father, a clergyman engaging in an illicit affair with her own mother - whose jealousy had prompted the woman to try and dispose of her daughter. Her adopted daughter.

If anything was to take the blame, it was the recent popularity of the accursed book known by the name "Malleus Maleficarum". Also at fault was Cibo's passiveness, in contrast with the general aggressiveness of European Christians. I tell you this, reader, for this was yet to be the worse time for those within the grasp of the Roman Catholic Church.

As the carriage - where the cage with the miserable girl rested - continued to roll down the road to the execution grounds, where the crows preyed upon the rotting bodies of the condemned, the maiden looked on - half-terrified, half-accepting of her fate. She must already had imagined her demise at the stake. Such "cleansing" heat, quite frankly, would have been much, much more pleasant compared to what she might have suffered at the hands of the guards, judging by the way they're eyeing her and how she's desperately trying to cover up the dirty, torn rags she was wearing for "clothes".

Behind a crowd eager to stone the young woman to death, I dropped behind a cigarette as I marched to follow the girl to the place of her fate.
Facial features hidden by a cloak, I continued to witness as a spectator, walking alongside the masses with as low profile as it was possible for me. At this rate, until the supposed execution, they wouldn't be able to harm her any further; watching a little more wouldn't hurt.

"Witch! Is there anything you would like to say for yourself?"

The voice of the clergyman - her main accuser - echoed towards her direction, gathering the attention of the angry mob who wanted no less than her being lynched. Her horrified expression, too, was drawn at him. There it was; the stake. Her executioners, who were anything but devout Christians, awaited beneath its platform, perhaps waiting to take turns with her charred remains. Their foul stench invaded my nose from far away.

The girl could not manage to speak up with her weak, trembling voice. With the advent of the Malleus Maleficarum and profound hatred for witches, the torturing process had elevated to such an extent that few would have tried denying the status as witches upon being brought to the stakes. Reading this one girl's lips, however, I can make out that she did indeed spoke slowly: "no, I'm not a witch".

And even then, that was impressive. In such cases, some would gather what was left of their strength to scream at the top of their lungs, trying to claim their innocence before expiring themselves well before being brought to the stakes. This girl, on the other hand, knew not to try something so foolhardy, despite her inexperience.

On top of all that, I knew it when I saw it. There was a pool of psychic power within her. A potential psyker. While ironic (in that she might really be an unknowing witch after all - which I doubt was really responsible for the crimes she was being charged with), she would certainly serve my purposes well.

"I thought so as well...", the clergyman turned to signal, "Executioners!"

"You know, normally we would have just skipped straight to the burning...", the false priest shook his hand in fake pity, "but, judging by the graveness of your crimes, you deserve nothing less than to be stripped of what little dignity you have left. It is either me, or the guards, little girl."

As the "little girl" in question was brought before him and forced to kneel before her accuser and executioners, they gave her this most despicable look more resembling the most depraved of sexual predators instead of the supposed dignified look of Christians. One of the executioners even grabbed his own crotch in anticipation. Not that the masses had any complaint whatsoever - this could well be one of those rare occasions that their true natures come to light, after being restrained for so long by the Church.

Now you will hear my judgement, prideful mortal fools.

Extending my cloak to both sides, I managed to catch by surprise the massive audience present, along with the debauched troupe and their soon-to-be victim. A black gas exited from the area that was supposed to be my stomach, explosively entering the area where the central characters of the event were. As the cloud of gas that formed stabilized, the cloak - still at the position where I originally was - had been emptied. Standing by the side of this girl was the form I had chosen for this little trip.

The amusing flabbergasted looks on their faces were understandable. Not everyday do they get the chance to see a gigantic figure in red armor evoking the Devil, wearing a demon-faced mask to add.

First to react to my appearance was, predictably, the corrupt clergyman.

"S... S...", the shaking bastard pointed at me with his index finger, his eyes widened, "SATAN! HE COMES, TO PROTECT HIS WORSHIPER! THE DEVIL HIMSELF!"

"Excuse me, mister Devout Christian?", he couldn't have told, but as I turned to him, I was raising my eyebrow behind my mask, "Does protecting somebody make me the devil now?"


"Lo, scum.", I pointed back at him, my own voice just loud enough for the mob below to hear, "And dare you call yourselves children of the Lord, when you have it in your hearts to tolerate the presence of such hypocrites?"

"HEA- HEARTLESS! FILTHY! EVIL!", was all he could use to retort, most certainly motivated by fear. Evidently, some within the mob had enough blind bravery to try and toss their rotten tomatoes and rocks at me, but they never expected me to deflect or destroy them with ease - just as they never expected the Spanish Inquisition.

I glanced at the girl in rags next to me. Frightened and confused, her current emotional state had sealed away an incredible individual - one whose contribution was needed for the cause. I grew a pair of black feathered wings, and quite literally took the helpless girl under my wing, much to the anger of the crowd below. If her fetal position and nearly bursting into tears was any indication, her fear of the unknown had taken over her original half-acceptance of being burnt at the stake.

"Hear ye, lost souls.", I raised my arm to catch the attention of the crowd, whom by then had settled down into a state of bewilderment, "Jesus died for the sins of your kind. It is those same sins that drive your society now. Repent, or your days will be numbered!"

Intentionally keeping vague on whether or not I was a messenger of "God" or "the Devil", I disappeared with the young woman, leaving behind no trace but loose black feathers.

Musashi Province
Tōkaidō, 10th day of Fumizuki
Entoku 4 (Jinshi)

I, along with the "little girl", had made it back safely to Japan. It seemed everything I had planned out was working as intended.

10th day of the 7th month. We came back within the month of Ashikaga Yoshitane's proclamation as Shogun, a few days short before the imperial government decreed an era name change to "Meiō". On a wider scale, the year was within the frameworks of what would become known as the Sengoku period; and equivalent to "Anno Domini 1492".

In other words, while the western world was busy burning witches and discovering an entire continent where they could start practicing genocide, the mortals of the east were being quite busy tearing themselves apart.

"Master, you have returned?", a burly, dark-skinned man even larger than myself coming from inside the shrine greeted me - who was still clad in full armor - in the local language, perhaps not yet noticing the girl by my side.

"Sir Archambault, it would be prudent of you to converse with me in this girl's mother tongue; as I am aware that you are fluent in Lorraine Franconian, yes?", I presented him the girl by my side.

Archambault took a step back, before he came to the realization that I must have, yet again, found another protégé/apprentice/what-have-you. He cleared his throat and sat down to the floor to face the girl whom I brought back with me.

"Miss? Miss?"

"S- Stay away! I fear no evil, for my mind is clean!", the girl said; but she was evidently startled by the sound of someone so strange-looking and clad in something so alien fluently speaking her mother tongue. Maybe she had enough back in Europe. Perhaps there was a part in her truly believing that burning back there, cleansed of all little sins and going to heaven with a pure heart was a much better idea.

"Clean it is, but I don't care; for in my presence, everything will sooner or later be spotlessly clean.", I turned to look at her with my mask still on.

Her mind wasn't eased at all by the sight of something like that, though. Adorable as that look she was giving me was, bullying was a bad habit. About time to remove the mask. And remove it I did, along with the helmet, finally revealing my face to her. As I tied my ponytail and let the girl take a good look at me, I handed Archambault the helmet and mask. He stood up, nodded in acknowledgement, and retreated with those items, leaving me to work with her by myself.

I looked at her part-puzzled, part-doubtful, part-panicking gaze. First things first, a diplomatic smile would help solve this situation. I slowly squatted so that our eyes could more easily meet.

"Convinced just yet that I'm not Satan?"

"N... No.", the girl shook her head and narrowed her eyes to get a better look at my face, "The Devil is a trickster, to whom all must be keenly aware of and always be vigilant against; this much my father had taught me..."

"Aha.", I chuckled, "Just as well, feel free to address me however you see fit. Funny thing is, my names do tend to start with the 'S' sound as an initial. I just haven't thought about using 'Satan' yet; but I have gone with many names in different languages. Sigismund. Sébastien. Shinji. You name them.", then, I raised my index finger, "I do not deny that I have never tricked anyone either; but mistake me neither for the arch-Devil, enemy of the Christian God, nor a simple Pagan who the Inquisition will try to seek to no avail."

"I... I don't know..."

"There's just one tiny little problem: I still haven't heard your name yet, young lady."

"Anneliese. I... I dare not mention the full name my father had given me, for I have..."

"Shh. Do I hear a sob story coming this way.", the index finger I raised stopped before her lips, "Try saving that for later when your mood is better or you're more willing to open your heart. Right now, we both know what kind of situation you've been through."

Anneliese quietly nodded.

"Quite the name you've got, given your region. Consider yourself lucky. I don't come across witch burning sessions everyday."

"But I am not-"

"What if you potentially are?"

She simply froze in place at my statement. A potential she didn't take into consideration, that. Before she could come to any further conclusions, I might have to say something.

"What the Church has taught you is 'witchcraft is bad'. They just aren't aware that witchcraft, and 'magical abilities' in general, can be used for good, just as a sword can be used to kill or save, depending on context."

A doubtful and hesitant Anneliese looked away from me. Her conviction to her religion was strong, this girl.

"I was ready to accept my fate. To purify myself.", giving a distant stare to a place far away, tears formed under her eyes, "Even if you weren't the Devil... why did you... why did you intervene?"

"In time, you will understand. Now that you have stepped through the Gates of Hell however, there is no going back."

The moment I put my hand on her shoulder, I had determined that I made the right choice. I wanted the help of this person. And she will sway to lend me her hand in this project of mine.

"God will vindicate, Anneliese. God will vindicate."
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Postby Blakullar » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:44 pm

~ Every Time, Without Fail ~


A name that has stuck to me for ... hm, how long has it been now? Twenty years? Thirty? Forty? A hundred?! I honestly can't remember. What does it even mean, 'drah-koh-lit-tch'?

Drako. Draco. Of dragons. The giant flying lizards that breathe fire. Well, actually it isn't that simple. They breathe all sorts of things. Ice, poison, lightning ... but do you know what they all have in common? Their breath destroys things. Quickly. Fitting, wouldn't you agree? I destroy things, also quite quickly. Well, at least I used to. But that got boring, so I decided to get a little more intimate with my destruction. I experimented. I did different things, destroyed people in many, MANY different ways. In the process, I discovered something. Destruction was at one point repetitive. Like pushing a rock up a hill. And then running back down the hill to fetch said rock when, just as you're about to get the rock over the cliff, it slides out of your grip and rolls ALL THE WAY DOWN THE HILL AND STOPS AT THE BOTTOM. Every time. Without fail.

Lich. A wizard, a knowledge-seeker, one who gives up his own life in its pursuit, binding his soul to a box for immortality's sake. Again, fitting. I've been here for decades, maybe even centuries, I don't care to remember, with the explicit purpose of wanting to know why. Why, why, why, why, WHY must I keep pushing this stupid rock if it's just going to fall out of my sweaty palms again? So at one point I just went 'the hell with this' and I decided to consign my soul to the phylactery, searching for the why. Of course, what inalienably ends up happening is that I STILL manage to end up having to shove this damn rock up a hill. And what happens? The wretched thing slides out of my grip and rolls ALL THE WAY DOWN THE HILL AND STOPS AT THE BOTTOM. Every time. Without fail.

So I'm a giant flying lizard who breathes fire and hid his soul in a jar while looking for a why. That's what 'Drakolich' means, right? Of course there's more to it than that. There's always something lurking beneath a thing. A truth. Even below a why, there's truth. Even when you think the answer is truth, there's so much more to it than that. Take warfare, for instance. Truth is the first casualty of war. An idiom that people tend to recite when talking about it. Quite an oxymoron, wouldn't you agree? A truth is the reality of things: what it is. So are you honestly telling me that reality is the first casualty of war? Don't be absurd. Someone, the only person for whom I have a profound respect, told me the truth. I fell into the trap of believing that truth is war's first kill. No, it is innocence. The reality of war is that innocence, not truth, is the first casualty of it. For a second, I thought I could stop pushing the rock – but when I did, the blasted thing slid out of my grip and rolled ALL THE WAY DOWN THE HILL AND STOPPED AT THE BOTTOM. Every time. Without fail.

See, life is like trying to play a game of chess with a really bad loser called Fate. Just as you're about to capture the very last piece on the board, he just flips the damn table and you have to start again. At some point you're going to realise that carrying on is just plain fatuous. So then, why bother playing the game altogether? What the actual hell is the purpose of playing the damn game if you already know the outcome – if you know that the conceptual rock is just going to slide out of your grip and roll ALL THE WAY DOWN THE HILL AND STOP AT THE BOTTOM? Every time. Without fail.

Well, I can't speak for you, but I find that watching Fate get screwed yet again is just so much fun.
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Postby Gigaverse » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:24 pm

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Gigaverse » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:16 pm


Mechanocratic Russia
August 2129

"Please know, Elena, that whatever happens – I will always love you!!"

This frosty night, the 26th of August, 2129, will forever go down certain people's memories as "The Rape" of a young woman. From here on would be chains of days after days in shock for the poor girl... And the entire time, I would be there, unseen by anyone, silently bearing witness to the deed being done.

I'm deeply sorry, Stalin, for your daughter's unexpected plight.

"I got her."

But given the delicateness of this event that could shatter this world if I handle it the wrong way, I would have no choice but to observe this gang-rape. I pray for your safety, Elena - I thought only to myself, my hands clasped before me while my eyes closed so I can try some of my trickery on the thugs and relieve the pain from her in whichever way I could.

Be strong, Elena.

E... Elena.

"E... Elena..."

As demonic visions filled the head of Stalin's daughter, so did those of a time long gone come to mine. That of a completely naked child with long blond hair and bruises all over, clinging to a blonde young woman, also equally unclothed and scarred. The look of the child spelt absolute terror; the purple irises stolen of their soul and brightness, the entire body trembling as the head rested by the young woman's ample bosom. A couple of large, hairy men would bust open the door and take the child away from the warm, comforting feeling of her chest to face cold, harsh reality - the denial of a normal life.

"Elena...!", the child would mutter in the young woman's direction, to no avail. More burly men had arrived beside her and already started to unzip their pants in eager anticipation.


Only then did I notice a single tear starting to roll down my right cheek. I opened my eyes to find myself watching the sight of the first few days when experiments were being performed on Elena. Elena Trotskaya. No, myself, I'm afraid this is not the Elena you once knew.

Elena Trotskaya.

She is now in a state very near to what can be described as "despair". To say that these depressed feelings would come to define her from this point onward would be quite correct - as it is certainly my impression of her, regardless of time and space. But, again, intervening now would be too soon. Of course, little Elena and her father might have the off-chance of coming to hate me for my negligence of them - and everything else for that matter; but if everything could go so perfectly, I wouldn't even need to be here in the first place.

Elena Trotskaya.


"Elena...", the child continued to utter while restrained in the lap of a certain sharp-dressed, middle-aged man holding a cigarette in hand.

"Oh? Our top-class commodities have grown infatuated with each other already?", one of the other large, domineering males present commented. Among all the men, the one with the child was the only one seated and properly dressed - those other than him giving the impression of sloppy thugs, indicating that they were the underlings.

"Doesn't matter.", the boss dismissed his henchman's words, "All I need is this little boy.", he sank his nose into the child's long hair and licked the neck, just in time for one of his lackeys to arrive with a small box in hand; inside which was an object shaped like a crimson-red rose.

"You are mine now. A world of bliss awaits you."

Having dropped his cheesy line and started laughing, the madman was somehow still able to hold the child in order for his lackeys to ready and plant the rose into the child's head. Tears rolled down the blond child's face as agony began to take over, the red of blood starting to dye his long strands of hair and the water streams on both of his cheeks. The pain of a parasite eating away at one's brain, destroying treasured memories of loved ones - including the only one there who could have provided comfort in those horrifying times.

"E... E... Ele... Ele..."

I promptly placed my left hand on my head. Indeed, a scar was still there, well-hidden from the eyes of others.

Even now, as I watch Elena Trotskaya being subjected to her own world of pain, I would be reminded of the gentleness of another Elena - who brought consolation to others while quietly suffering on her own. Elena, no less than a heroine she was. Her gentle ways, I wanted as my own. I wanted to show them to Elena Trotskaya too. Right now, I can act impulsively, broken her free and taken her away - just the image of a "divine figurehead" she's praying for. Hell, I could have just done so from the start and saved her the trouble of being raped.

But then again, it's not my time yet to change history. Not this world. Not this Elena Trotskaya.

So I would have to retreat, keeping it in my heart that one day, Elena Trotskaya can be shown a path out of the darkness. For once, little Elena would be allowed something mildly resembling a normal life...?

Good night, Elena.
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Postby Blakullar » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:30 am

~ Lilita ~

They say you don't have a name,
Nemesis of mine. No, you didn't surrender
Your name in memory of the Emperor.
That would be too pretentious, profane almost.
You, my dear, are not a pretentious
Woman. Your plain robe, black as your
Wretched heart, is testament enough to that.

You claim to have been birthed in
The Prybaltika. So it must be there.
"Viktorija"? It means victory, but you are
Undeserving of it, so it cannot be.
"Elena". How DARE I blaspheme my Mother's
Hallowed name by assigning you it, wretch
That knows nothing of her burning pain!

"Lilita". That sounds much more like you
Who wrote the bull commanding Father's misery!
But how can I but guess until
I drag you into my cauldron, begging
And screaming like the whore you are?
For that is the judgement that awaits
You, guilty Lilita, for your heinous crime.

You have lived for a half-millennium.
In a half-hour it will unfold.
All your life before those emerald eyes,
As you watch twenty-thousand worlds die.
Just as you, Lilita, took from us,
I will take everything you hold dear.
You will know my family's agony, wretch!

Elena may have birthed but two children,
While billions have slithered from Lilita's loins.
Learn Mother's pain and bask within it,
Wretch. For every year of my life
I have stirred my cauldron, and promised
Your doom. Only when there is ash
Will justice arise like the flaming phoenix.
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Postby The Nexus of Man » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:30 pm

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Postby Blakullar » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:57 pm


~ Two Merciful Men from a Hundred and Twenty Years Back ~

I was sired and raised by a god to eventually be the harbinger of rejuvenation, of the creation of a new world, of Emancipation. I inherited his great power with the responsibility of carrying forward that vision. Instead, I have brought destruction. Mindless suffering. And there is none but myself to blame for it all.

Human civilisation was birthed on this world, this quasi-solar fireball to which you bear witness. I myself was born upon it one hundred and sixty-one years ago to this day. The destruction of this beautiful blue planet was not the doing of the inert body which rests upon the obsidian throne, but the monster that once inhabited it. A beast that took out her own fury on billions of Earth's innocent inhabitants, in the mistaken belief that her own son had been robbed from me by the commanders of this world. He thought I was a monster. He saw me for what I really was long before my home planet burned as revenge for the theft of someone of infinite value to me. And only after a half-year since I destroyed Earth, I now realise that he was right. He wanted to save me from my own rage.

I am no creator. I am no rejuvenator. Nor am I an emancipator. I never was. Even when you gifted me your godlike power after the aliens came to assault your core, I was not able to save my own beloved Victor from death by the Crusaders. No, my purpose in life is not to create. I am a destroyer. Not just of armies or of worlds, but of dreams too. Our dreams. Dreams of a humanity unified as one universal superpower, the responsibility for carrying the many trillions of people who call themselves humans forward falling to me. And I have failed you through the only thing that I was ever good at: destruction. I am so sorry for everything, Father ... in a way, I am thankful that you have passed on. At least you would not be tormented by my betrayal of your vision that I promised to realise.

That old body of mine, still clad in her ancient powered armour and scarlet hooded cloak even as she sleeps. Her sword Deymos, hilt gripped in her right fist and propped up on the floor by its tip, and Fobos, which rests in her holster. I still have fond memories of two men from a hundred and twenty years back. I have lost their names in the infinite depths of memory, but they were men who showed me kindness in a cruel world. Even after I tortured one of them and attempted to butcher the other, they were merciful to me. They did so much for me in return for nothing. Had they chosen to kill me like I deserved on that day, that girl on the throne would not be resting where she does, and yet I have repaid their mercy by destroying the world which all three of us once shared. If nobody else, I owe it to them to repair the unspeakable damage that I have done...

I was sired and raised by a god to eventually be the harbinger of rejuvenation, of the creation of a new world, of Emancipation. I inherited his great power with the responsibility of carrying forward that vision. For those two merciful men from a hundred and twenty years back, for the billions whose lives I have cruelly taken away, and for my son Evgeniy whom I have alienated through my own foolishness, I dedicate all my life and the power that I have been awarded to finding a way to fulfil that vision. To create, to rejuvenate ... to Emancipate.
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Postby Blakullar » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:04 pm

~ Of Masterpieces ~

My procession through the dust is heralded by the humming scream of my hoverbike's magnetrine discs in full operation. I am kept warm by the direwolf-fur pelt wrapped around my neck as the familiar red plasteel cloak attached to my hood flutters behind me in my high-speed navigation of the cracked soil of this world.

When I arose from my empty slumber, my right eye was, as always, the first to open, the first to greet the sights of the new day. Eventually the left one, a crude-looking, twin-optic cybernetic implant acquired years ago, powered up. I could have had it replaced with a truly-human eye by this stage, whether in one of the many cloned bodies I keep under Jotunheim Citadel or in my present one. But I would not trade one of my most prized battle trophies for something so trivial. You see, Listener, I acquired this implant when I rose to power thirteen years back. My left eye was gouged out by my predecessor, the former Grand Curator whom I had to slay in single combat to win my crown. As my story attests, it was I who was the victor, and who wears the crown in his place.

The world that I tread, my eyesight encapsulated by the horizon of spiked rock formations below a blazing electric-orange sky, is a bronze-dusted planet harried by dense blue storms, fifteen thousand light-years away from Earth. It has taken me a week to reach my destination, but I am finally here. What you and I observe in our collective present, Listener, is Avr'madri. It translates from the Khazard'Vaari tongue to 'the valley of the kings'. An appropriate name for their ancient, long-destroyed homeworld, I should think. My reason for travelling such a great distance from human civilisation, alone, is to decode an artefact that I acquired many years ago – the same black hexagonal stone that lies on the same table as my clock. I took long ago to referring to it as the Starkiller Tablet, named for its prior owner and present great enemy, Qh'naaz. Why I seek to learn the secrets embedded in this runestone is a reason that, for now, I shall keep to myself, as I always have from all but my closest peers. Amidst the shriek of my hoverbike as I navigate Avr'madri's bronze sands, I contemplate my purposes.

I have travelled here aboard an 11F50 Pegas warp-shuttle, permitting only my loyal bodyguard Chekhov to walk alongside me. A towering robot, measuring five metres tall and four wide, he has fought with me through the Fourth World War and protects me with a diligence that shames even the soldiers that once composed my regiment in the days of my army command. He is amongst the inner circle that knows my reasoning for being here, and he also knows that this is a mission that I must undertake alone. So as I speak, he remains at the shuttle's landing site, three hundred miles west of here.

I know that I am close to my destination, for my mind is abuzz. A warbling resonation scrapes against my skull as a distant psychic engine begins to stir, the vividness of memories doubling with every hundred metres I surpass. For now it is a mere discomfort: I encountered worse during the war and even the Flight, battling monstrosities of even greater power than this. It is not the reverberations which I fear the most as I make preparation to tread the dark halls of a phaeron's fortress-tomb. It is what lies within the tomb, what guards it. The psychic reverberations drag back those haunting memories of screaming, of burning flesh seared by virescent lightning. My flesh, subsumed by an agonising terror that even the Song of Experience could not bring under control. We could face off Imperial energy rifles in the Flight, those Selenic abominations during the war, and the bugs that made up the Helleonic Confederacy. And yet of everything I have ever fought, it is the arc weapons' wrath that I dread facing again...

As my hoverbike draws to a halt and I disembark, the images grow more painful with every passing second, tying a knot in my throat and sowing cramps in my stomach. They have changed from scorching lightning to sexual violence. I feel my mind numbing with fear as an ancient song plays before my eyes the frightening inferno of the Rape in stark detail, mimicking even the furious agony that ravaged my body once before. Along with it come the threats of the Second Rape. That monstrosity, the demon that once called himself 'Sidh' and dared to mock the human form with his adopted shape, the eyes of what was truly Satan in the flesh burning with azure hellfire. And Victor ... oh God, Victor...

I stumble into a sandstone boulder, drunk with terror. I press my hand against the stone as tears erupt from my good eye and I become desperate in my efforts to hold back the vomit. It is being presented with the dreadful vision of beloved Victor's fate that finally convinces my mind to start screaming at me to turn back. I cannot continue. If what lies outside of the tomb is enough to bring me to lachrymation, then surely whatever horrors lie inside of it will be enough to drive me irreversibly insane.

But my immovable heart barks at me to carry on, reminding me of what I must do. Victor's own faithfulness obliges me to fulfil my final promise to him, irrespective of the difficulty that blockades my path. The essence of the Ideology of my following is strength; I must be strong for those I love. Wiping my eye, I stand upright and make my way toward the storage compartment of my hoverbike. I have prepared for the eventuality of a psychic attack, but had not expected one this intense. The locker on the side pops open after I input the code onto its keypad, and within its confines I see the psychic-foil skullcap, folded up and ready. Its dense, silvery material will shield my mind from the terrible mental assault that this place broadcasts to me. Pulling my hood back, I slip the cap onto my head of raven-black hair. When folded, it feels as though I lift a brick, but this minor discomfort is palpable bliss compared to the hateful promises of agony and rape that the tomb's dark spirits threaten me with. My psyche clear of all wrath, I inspire an assuaged breath and turn to my left.

I have arrived at an artificial valley, sloped jasmine-coloured walls at either side towering to three hundred metres in height, assuming that the rangefinder in my optical augment is any reliable measure. In the far distance, some one thousand metres away, a huge pyramidal structure commands the immediate horizon, the late afternoon sun leering at me through this artificial mountain's bifurcated summit. Beyond the massive gate that precludes conventional entry, I see a pair of stone colossi bowing down on one knee, holding up the veranda over the entrance. Along the sand-bleached concourse are similar statues; some have fallen to the ground. Others stand upright, facing each other as they grip what I recognise as arc-ravagers, weapons bearing the likeness of halberds. Their cold, alabaster-carved gazes are turned in my direction as if examining the visitor about to grace them with her presence; every one of them bears the likeness of an angular octopus, tentacle-like beards trailing down their chins. This is what the ancient Khazard'Vaari people must have looked like before they eschewed their organic forms for machinery, so I decide. It is not the first time I have found myself feeling small, a helpless fly in the sights of wanton boys, judged by forces magnitudes stronger than myself.

Under the disconcerting gazes of what statues are still standing, I proceed to my destination. Here, I am at the tomb of Zu'nakul; the stories that my father has told me of the Khazard'Vaari declare that Zu'nakul was the phaeron selected in the place of Qh'naaz to ascend to the position of Machine King after she was delegitimised. That was the crisis that started their succession conflict – the war that led to this world's desolation, bringing down a great empire by the will of one single, evil individual. This empire is a macrocosm of myself; the cracked, sandblasted murals illustrating elder glory humbled by hubris-inspired weakness carved into the artificial cliff-face of the exterior wall. Yet alike great Ozymandias amidst ruins buried under Saharan sands, the glory remains, standing proud in the face of seven thousand years of isolation. For me, there are glimmers of hope that, one day, everything will be set right again. The fur pelt that warms me from the cool valley winds is one such spark of that former glory.

This fortress-wall is the other reason I have left Chekhov back at the ship. To pass, I require stealth and agility, both of which my faithful bodyguard believes is something terrible that only happens to other people. His job is to protect, not infiltrate; if he attempts the latter, he cannot perform the former. As I approach the base of the wall, my implanted sensors detect hundreds of magnetic signatures embedded within it. Antipersonnel mines, intended to stop intruders from clambering up the side. My first obstacle, and a cleverly-incorporated one at that. I activate the adhesive on my gloves and the spikes in my boots, and prepare to scale the wall, mindful of where the mines are positioned.

The wall is easy enough to navigate, but it is the gun towers that I am more concerned about. On each side of the closed gates, to my left and right, is a giant artillery piece, the size found on battleships, housed inside of a conical structure. No doubt a mag-devastator – the Khazard'Vaari mag weapons are the other great death machines that I fear, though not as much as the arc weapons. Within each is a miniaturised particle accelerator and a psionic exhibitor that flash-forges a psychically-contained globule of antimatter, promptly launched from the coiled barrel at railgun velocity. A mag-devastator can launch shells powerful enough to match the blast that once ravaged Hiroshima two hundred years ago, but their might is variable in case they must contend with a closer-range target. Along the wall's face, I also catch sight of several cylinder-turreted arc-erasers, of equivalent strength to an autocannon. At this point I begin wondering why I have not already been targeted and killed: these defences are supposed to be strong enough to defeat a whole invading army, still less one hapless explorer.

I reach the top, deploying my gauntlet-blade with a metallic shriek to cut through a monofilament wire. The deadly defensive has quite clearly been implemented to shred any successful climbers unaware of what may lurk at the wall's summit. As is standard procedure, I prick my ears up as I listen for the footsteps of possible guards. Hearing nothing, I vault the wall and land on the walkway atop it; here I can gather my bearings and appreciate the sheer scale of Zu'nakul's tomb. The imposing colossi propping up the veranda must tower to at least a hundred metres tall each, the rest of the pyramid reaching a total height of six hundred and fifty metres. The open entrance is situated right between the two stone Atlas-esque giants; it is a hexagonal tunnelway, internal darkness nestled within its wide embrace. As I scan the ground below the wall for targets before proceeding, I get ready to leap from the wall, my intent to leave my pelt behind and in shelter from the dust. I will return for it later, once I have completed my visit; if I perish, I will signal for Chekhov to collect it and bring it back to me.

With thick wolven fur eschewed for my hooded lithe frame, red plasteel cloak fluttering in the wind as I descend, I make landfall with a roll. The time to proceed is upon me. The steps which I travel up to reach the entrance are laden with innumerable hieroglyphs, representations of stars and constellations embedded into the floor. It is only thanks to my father that I can read these glyphs, and speak the tongue they are written in as well. My being the only human to know the written and the spoken Khazard'Vaari languages with fluency, I know, is crucial to my present mission. Reaching the stairs' top, I prepare to enter the dark tomb before me as I stand between the colossi, drawing my greatsword Excidium with my left hand. Vigilance is a must in this place, where hell knows what devious tricks and deadly traps lie to obstruct my journey through the tomb's interior. The other matter I must attend to is the removal of my psi-foil cap. Briefly, I hesitate doing so, knowing what horrifying visions lurk in the open, but I remind myself that clear mental access is a must for solving some of the puzzles here. Slowly, I lift up the cap, ready to jam it back on should my mind begin to resonate again. No more threats invade my mind; the source of the resonations must have been on the exterior. Pocketing my cap and drawing my plasma blaster Fobos from its holster with my right hand, I switch my optic to low-visibility mode and proceed into the unknown.

The silence, bar the crunch of my sabatons on the worn stone, is surreal. Each chamber I enter, my state of readiness at maximum in case of an encounter with some unspeakable horror, possesses at least six pedestal-mounted statues, and along the main corridor twenty of them entered my sight. They all bear the same general appearance: bronze-coloured, vaguely skeletal, with more angular-shapes and heavily-armoured chests, their metal skulls terminating at the top jaw in metal fangs as they clasp battleaxe-like arc-reapers in their clawed hands. These are no doubt drone guards, asleep and awaiting an intruder to fall into their trap.

As I step into the main burial chamber, ten minutes into navigating through several deadly traps and passing through the opened door, worry begins to flow down my spine. Why has the trek been so easy thus far? And why have the reverberations stopped? It is as I approach the massive golden sarcophagus, bearing the corpse of the phaeron Zu'nakul himself, ready to study his secrets in the hope of unlocking the Starkiller tablet, that a barb of sudden panic stabs at my heart.

The Cryptkeeper knows that I am here.

This immediate realisation is what saves me from instant death at the hands of a tremendous crash from behind me. I recover from my hasty forward dive, Excidium at the ready, and turn to face a crouched, cloaked skeletal figure. It has small wings on what resemble a helmet over its skull, eyelights blazing a bright gold illuminating its metal the same bronze colour as the drones. Slowly, the figure rises from his crouch, towering to a height of four metres before my eyes. The cloak, once covering its entire body, flutters aside and reveals a lithe, well-armoured skeletal torso affixed to a pair of triple-jointed legs terminating in four-strong claws. Its arms, puffed outward in a threatening stance, bear the seven vicious digits that I recognise from my prior encounters with Khazard'Vaari warriors. A Cryptkeeper is the Warmaster of a dynasty – the commander of its armies – at the time of a phaeron's death, assigned by custom to guard his tomb and the secrets within from any and all intruders. A Warmaster, and therefore a Cryptkeeper, is that dynasty's strongest warrior, save for the phaeron himself.

Just as quickly as he appears, however, the Cryptkeeper of Zu'nakul leaps back into the air, disappearing from sight as I back into the chamber. Where the fuck is he?! The sooner my eyes answer that query, darting all around the room for his signature, the better. I look everywhere for him. Everywhere but one place...

It is only knowledge that the Cryptkeeper has attempted this trick before that stops me from dying again. He strikes from above, only a roll out of his path to the right preventing myself from being cleaved in twain by the gigantic, falx-like warblade that crashes into the stone floor with a metal ring. As my estimate of him bearing a close appearance to a Wight-Guard confirms, my opponent is much, much faster than his girth would suggest. He quickly recovers from his failed strike, swinging the blade in a clockwise arc and forcing me to duck beneath it. No block from Excidium will stop it from ripping me apart: for the dynasty's strongest, I expect his arc-weapon to be no less than a masterpiece, its dark-green adamantite construct easily making short work of my soulforged greatsword. Therefore I rely purely on my agility to survive and spring out of the way of another thrash, this time coming in from my left. Still, I have not accounted for an enemy this stunningly-fast and skilled, a cybernetic creature that would lay waste to even my old nemesis Fred Harrigan with laughable ease. If I am to beat the Cryptkeeper, it must be with great speed. I ready Excidium as I recover from the third attack, an upwards slash of the blade, and move in to land a strike of my ow-

It never happens, for I am caught in a blindingly-rapid movement by the Cryptkeeper's clawed foot. A slam into the ground knocks the wind out of my lungs and Excidium out of my hand, and it is here that I know I am beaten. Unless...

"Wait!" I wheeze at the Cryptkeeper, producing a hoarse rattle in the Khazard'Vaari language. "I have not come here seeking a fight, and battle you only to defend myself!"

My would-be slayer, blade raised up high, stops. His eyes flicker off and then on again, brighter than before as they return to prominence. On an otherwise featureless and cold face, an expression of shock.

"Mortal defiler, you move with the grace of machine-kind, and you know our tongue?!" the Cryptkeeper speaks to me in the characteristic grating growl of a Khazard'Vaar, the surprise in his voice being as obvious as that on his countenance.

"I have run into your kind before, Cryptkeeper Vortex Hunter," I quickly explain myself, remembering that the name of the creature with whom I have just traded blows is Shokh'ran. "I have fought against the agents of the Starkiller in the past, and the Consumer of Planes himself has tasted my blade!"
"The traitors responsible for the death of my Phaeron..." Shokh'ran speaks as I feel his titanium grip on my belly loosen, but not disappear. "Why do you come here, mortal, to my master's resting place?"

"I am on a personal quest to avenge my fallen beloved," I elaborate after a breath. "I carry with me a psionic exhibitor that once belonged to the Starkiller. The secrets that lie within it are necessary to the success of my quest. I seek not to plunder your master's tomb, but peruse his library in the hope of fulfilling my mission."

"I must enquire..." the Cryptkeeper states. "How does a mortal such as yourself know the language of my people? And of the Starkiller's Dynasty?"
"I am a close associate of the successor to the Machine King-" I state, but before I complete my address a tight pain wrenches at my innards as Shokh'ran's wrathful grip tightens, my armour releasing a metallic squeak as it get crushed.

"You lie, mortal! The only legitimate successor of the Machine King is my deceased master! The Blue Vizier has proclaimed it!"
"I tell you, the Machine King lives ... sort of!" I splutter as I feel my guts come under infernal pressure under the Khazard'Vaar's foot. "He landed on the planet that I call home two hundred and fifty-eight years ago! His mind merged with that of my father! The Qh'naazi have been calling me a 'Masterpiece'!"

I see Shokh'ran considering this development for a moment, his eyes dimming in thoughtfulness.

"If your words are truth, then that makes you the daughter of the King himself, and I sense no duplicity in your words..." the Cryptkeeper eventually enunciates in a low voice, releasing me from his vice. "In that circumstance, allow me to apologise for acting on my preconception of you as a thief and a defiler."

"You do not need to apologise for being vigilant, Vortex Hunter," I inform him as I stand and brush myself down, the armour plate having crumpled under the immense force applied to it. "And I in turn apologise for disturbing your well-earned slumber. I ask only that you escort me to the library of your Phaeron."
"Certainly, Masterpiece," Shokh'ran acknowledges my request, one made to assure him that my intention is benign. He gestures me to follow.

"If I may ask, why do your people refer to me as a 'Masterpiece'?" I cannot help but enquire as the pair of us proceed through the tomb's halls.
"It is a term of endearment used to refer to someone's child," is the answer. "Life is the greatest gift that one can give. It is sacrosanct, a far greater construct than anything that the mind is capable of creating, through technology or ancient magic. We may create emulations of it through both, but each and every One Who Embraces The Machine was once of flesh and blood. Children are the future of our race, its future leaders, the perfect creations – Masterpieces."

"I see."
"Because of that, it is a strong taboo among us to harm a child, whether they be our own or those of lesser races. The first among us to break the taboo was the Starkiller herself. When the war between the dynasties broke out, the Qh'naazi slaughtered many billions of us on their hitherto-unprecedented warpath. They disregarded many of the other old customs of our species in their great seizure of power ... and even seven thousand years on, I cannot bear to recall what became of the children of those who opposed her. It is most likely that the Qh'naazi use the term 'Masterpiece' to disparage you; they regard you as weak, unenlightened and naïve, as if you were a child. Know that I, however, use the term in the more respectful sense."

As we enter the library and I begin my search, Shokh'ran asks me what exactly my quest is. I tell him my long and painful tale. I tell of the First Rape. The conquests in the Salvagings. The firestorm of Europe. The demise of the Chthonic brotherhood. The fall of Pandemonium. The horrors of the Flight. The cataclysmic Fourth World War. And of beloved Victor...

"In but a half-century you have faced such great hardship..." the Cryptkeeper expresses profound catharsis from the recollection of my plight. "Please allow me to express my heartfelt sympathy for your loss."

"I ask not for sympathy nor mercy," I inform him. "I understand fully the difficulty in accomplishing the task that now lies before me, and stand ready to face the challenge, no matter what dreadful shape it may take. Or at least, I understand it now."
"And I wish you great luck in your grand quest against the Starkiller's forces, Elena Trotskaya."

"I must disappoint you by stating that I do not believe in luck, Cryptkeeper."
"Your belief will soon change out of necessity. The Consumer was narcissistic and predictable, and thus weak. The Starkiller is not only many times more powerful than he could ever hope to be, she is also a cunning, manipulative and morally bankrupt monster. You must know that defeating a Phaeron is no simple task, and the thought of facing one is enough to make even myself pause. Prepare yourself for the most dangerous foe that you have ever faced, Masterpiece of the Machine King."

"I will, and I extend to you my heartfelt gratitude for lending your assistance in these dark and dangerous times. Your people will get the revenge against the Starkiller and her minions that they deserve."
Last edited by Blakullar on Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Nexus of Man
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Postby The Nexus of Man » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:25 pm

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Imperium Sidhicum
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Founded: May 28, 2013

Postby Imperium Sidhicum » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:42 am

Rape and Revenge

The distant sounds of artillery thunder quieted down along with the nightfall. For all their perceived technological inferiority, these Altorisians were giving hell. No wonder Malkar and his single legion had failed back on Draitous.


"I didn't... mean this to happen..."

"Don't worry about it... Neither did I."

"It's just that... Another minute, and I would literally have that punk's balls in my hands! I suppose I should thank you for bugging me out of that one..."

"No harm, no foul. Come here..."

The gunfire in the distance renewed in strength, drowning the suppressed sighs and moans of lust coming from the tent, one amongst hundreds. One soul's climax was blotted out by the thundering crescendo of 800-millimeter siege guns blasting away at the Alpha Legion positions some hundred clicks further. The other's moans of extasy were drowned in the howling screams of a nearby rocket battery launching it's deadly payload towards the same. If anything these Altorisians were good at, it was heavy artillery. No wonder Drax himself had considered enlisting captured Altorisian artillerymen as auxiliaries when this damn campaign was eventually over. After all, it was largely thanks to their efforts that it still wasn't.


"How many have you had before me?"

"A few... There were a few lads. Including this very cute human. Assassin by trade. And a few girls as well. A very special girl. She is dead for all that matters now. And you?"

"Pretty much the same. No cunt-borns, though."

"Cunt-born they may be... But it don't really change their quality."

"I suppose it's different for someone in your line of work."

"Not really. It's their spark that matters. Something... innocent, free from the vile corruption of this world."

"I couldn't possibly bring myself to lie with a cunt-born. Not after... nevermind."

"Tell me."

"I'd rather not..."

"Girl, I know first-hand about it, if you're thinking what I'm thinking."


"I had long abandoned all hope when he came for me. That is why I stick by his side ever since."

"You are lucky. I never had such a saviour come for me. When they were done, they just left me. To be picked up by my own, and to serve as an example for what happens to those who cross their way."

"I thought I knew everything about horror, but this... It must have been mind-numbing, to pick your own soldiers to have done upon what would otherwise be done unto you..."

"At least I didn't spend more than a year that way."

"Let us not speak of such things anymore! Come here..."


"So you say it was this Visari chap who brought you back?"

"Yes, him. And his disciple."

"Who was he?"

"She, actually. That special girl I mentioned."

"Did you love her a lot?"

"Very much. But it is all past now. I do sometimes wish I could have her back, but... nevermind."

"Care to have a drink? I snuck a flask of that Altorisian whiskey or whatever it is from back in the cantina."

"By all means!"


"So what's the story with your cloak and purse?"

"The purse? See these old skins here? When Drax came for me, I was barely alive. He kept them alive especially for me, so that I could exact my Sidh obligations, and erase my shame in blood. And here they are. I remember their names, their every move, every thrust, every grunt, every filthy drop of their sweat and drool on my body... And now they are here with me. I flayed and tanned these while they were still attached to their living flesh. And Arcadius... for a time I wanted to be his for what he did for me."

"Are you two...?"

"Oh, no... He's too much of a gentleman, though I admit I have considered the thought. He's been like a father, no, more like a grandfather to me. Or however humans would describe it, at least."

"He must love you a lot to treat you the way he does from what I've seen."

"Oh, believe me, I have to haul my own weight like everyone else in his legion. When I ask him, he says he's keeping me around for my voice."

"I heard you back then in the cantina. You have a wonderful voice."

"He says it helps him relax. I sing for the men in the cantina often, and for him in private when he is upset."

"Sounds like there really is more than eye perceives between you two."

"There is. Just not the way most imagine it to be."

"You never told me what the cloak was about."

"Ah, that... Women. There were also women in that prison. You wouldn't expect women to cheer up things they did to another woman. But they did. Arcadius spared them too. Just for me. And here they are, along with every single other one of similar heart I have slain."

"Indeed, as truly as the Word, I envy you right now..."


The morning dawned, and the sparse artillery barrage increased in strength with it. The sharp blasts of field guns and howitzers mixed with the deep, rumbling thunder of siege guns and piercing screams of artillery rockets. Two women still lied in each other's embrace, cuddled together as if war was none of their business. Two hearts foreign to these alien lands and their ways, yet so familiar with them. Two hearts accidentally finding themselves in the same place and of the same circumstance.
Freedom doesn't mean being able to do as one please, but rather not to do as one doesn't please.

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The more God in one's mouth, the less in one's heart.

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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Blakullar » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:50 am

~ The Manreaper: Hellions ~

There were two categories of people that Ippolyta the Manreaper would consider to be amongst the most pathetic lifeforms in the Multiverse.

The descending order started with Sidhae, who ranked on par with wasps in her unflattering descriptions of them – creatures that played no real role in the food chain and existed for the sole purpose of being pests. To begin with, they bred themselves in vats: that automatically put them below animal dung on the evolutionary hierarchy. That, at the very least, could be used as fertiliser to grow crops that could go on to feed a family; these dull creatures were unable even to create a family on their own independent accord, wearing this as if it were something to take pride in. More hilarious still, Sidhae thought themselves superior to humans because they claimed to dedicate themselves solely to the betterment of their Imperium. Yet as the recent past attested well, even a Judicator, apparently the most faithful of their kind, would be more than happy to turn their backs on everything that their comrades had died for just to avenge some small-time whore that they had only recently started dating. Their lessers were even more pathetic: these supposed patriotic and unyielding bastions of virtue could be turned against themselves with a bribe or a threat to their lives. There were few kinds of people that Ippolyta loathed more than the self-righteous hypocrite, a claimant of virtue and righteousness yet bedfellows only with heresy and sin. Even the Frenks, for their own tank-bred nature and dedication to meaningless carnal pleasures, remained as humanists untainted by sanctimony and were thus higher than these alien scum.

But if there was anyone lower than even the greatly maligned Sidhae on the Manreaper's personal hierarchy, it was the criminals, who ranked somewhere between the common cold and the bacteria that one would find in hamster droppings. If Ippolyta was to tell the truth, the hatred that she devoted to these was more a personal one, much of the mental trauma that she was plagued with to the present day being attributable to them. Watching people be subjected to the horrors that she had for the sake of monetary profit infuriated her to no end, and especially as a spit in the face to law and order. Human suffering should be devoted to a higher purpose – the betterment of a nation, a community – not directed to a pointless commodity that would disappear on death anyway. Ippolyta had few standards and proudly bore the badge of 'sociopath', but what standards she did possess were rigid and unforgiving.

Yet for all the disgust and hate that she ascribed to these two peoples, Ippolyta was unyielding in her belief that even the lowest lifeform in the Multiverse was capable of improving itself and becoming great, worthy of the supreme status that came with humanity. That was the essence of the Mechanocratic Ideology: to construct a superior human being, through mind and technology. The Manreaper was her own woman now: no longer a protégé of Drakolich, like a nascent adult being let into the wide world by her father. Now that the Trotskaya Regime was in power, she had been given the rank of General, and with it the responsibility of a regiment of 25,000 soldiers.

But Ippolyta wanted to go further: as a Chthonian, her duty was as a vanguard of Mechanocracy. She had developed and refined an idea during the course of the Flight of the Polunochnaya, a long, bitter campaign into the Imperium that came to its blood-soaked conclusion five months earlier. That idea was the current reason that she was out here with a company of her soldiers, training the first of a warband of criminals, ex-wasteland raiders, Gulag inmates, former Desolators. She was determined to transform them from creatures between viruses and bacteria on the evolutionary hierarchy, worthy only of contempt, into fierce warriors, vanguards of the Infinite Ascent like herself. She would call these new warriors of the Mechanocratic Ideology the Prokazniki – the Hellions.

The previously-hinted "out here" was the Earth-like moon Fafnir IV-a, Vanaheim Region, Universe #4918419 – just six light years away from Jotunheim, a world that the Regime had earmarked for colonisation. The climate was several degrees warmer than that of Earth thanks to tidal heating, and a combination of sufficient distance and a strong magnetic field made the radiation level blasting from the icy-blue ringed gas giant Fafnir IV tolerable to the post-Sundering population of modern Earth. The winter's presence was announced by the sight of blank trees all across the surface, each devoid of leaves, and a ground covered with grassless, heat-baked earthen dust. In the summer, these hardy plants would grow thick leaves to hold water, for rain was scarce. To Ippolyta, this place that evoked mental images of Passchendaele at the height of World War One was home.

Normally, this planet would be her personal retreat, reserved just for herself and her retainers, but today a ten-strong squadron of Prokazniki had proven to be special cases in stating that "any dickhead can be a soldier!". The names of these recruits were Malenkov, Zaretsky, Loginov, Lykov, Bolotin, Petrenko, Belyakov, Shimko, Ilyov and Khmelnitsky – the only reason that she had even bothered to learn them was so they would know who was being bellowed at for, in her own words, "being too retarded". These particular recruits had struck her with their comments, Malenkov in particular catching her ire with a boastful comment about being able to tackle Trotskaya herself "and have her all to myself afterward!". The Manreaper was just about to pull his skin off with one almighty yank, when the cogs of her twisted mind produced an idea to prove all ten of them very, very wrong. After all, even the most pathetic creature could be improved...

The ten recruits were gathered in a prefab bunker, the haphazard nature of their line formation making any respectable drill sergeant's blood boil. About thirty metres away from the bunker stood a circular road-sign, borrowed for Ippolyta's present purpose. The path to the sign was clear, as was the bush-speckled plain facing it.

"Gentlemen!" the signature mechanical warble of her synthesised voice resonated through the bunker as she paced up and down the formation. "This demonstration will be a simple one for you. All you must do is make a beeline for that sign out there. Something nice and easy to show that you are indeed worthy of the title of soldier!"

"What's the catch?" Loginov enquired.
"I'm glad you asked..." the Manreaper turned to him. "The catch is that the area is currently being watched over by a manned, fully-restored MG42."

"Question!" Belyakov spoke out. "What's an MG42?"

A spark of joy glittered in Ippolyta's eyes, the sort that would be found in those of a child about to explain their favourite playground activity.

"The Maschinegewehr 1942 is the fourth most fun toy to use that a person can get their hands on – the third is a bag of crystal meth, the second is a flamethrower, and the first is a chainsaw. It's a machine gun that was produced and used by the Third Reich during the Great Patriotic War. It threw seven point nine two by fifty-seven millimetre slugs into a killing field at a rate of fire of one thousand five hundred rounds per minute. It got the moniker 'Hitler's Buzzsaw', both because of the sound it makes when firing and because you can literally saw any sorry motherfucker in half with it..."

"Pfff..." Malenkov could be heard scoffing. "This'll be piss-easy! I bet this is just some trick designed to scare us!"
"Perhaps you'd be willing to demonstrate your theory, Malenkov!" the Manreaper's narrowed eyes bored into him.

"Perhaps I would..." the unruly recruit stated.
"Go for it..." Ippolyta stepped back and gestured toward the given objective for Malenkov to attempt.

And so he did; whistling a merry tune, Malenkov proceeded from the bunker and walked, at a leisurely, carefree pace, toward the designated sign. When he was three metres out, the other recruits peered outside of the bunker with their commanding officer.

"Hah!" the recruit stated, gleefully waving back to the troupe. "I told you anyone could be a sol-"

He was interrupted by a distant, pattering roar ripping into the air; what each crack announced was the dispatch of a real bullet. Malenkov, a sitting duck at such a slow gait, felt his smug expression contort into silent agony as a shoal of flesh-ripping copper piranhas, seven point nine-two millimetres in width, tore into his body, each hit demarcated by the eruption of a thick red cloud. Once the thunder ceased, his lifeless carcass split in two at the waist, his top half sliding backward and striking the ground with a rustling thud, his separated legs following as they bent forward. Amidst a pool of viscera, Malenkov had just demonstrated Ippolyta's explanation of the MG42's moniker for all to see.

"Oh, did I mention this is a live-fire exercise...?" the Manreaper's eyes flashed with pure, evil sadism as she turned to the visibly horrified recruits. "Zaretsky, you're up - go!"

The hapless Zaretsky knew very well that this would lead to his death, but his fear of what would happen should he defy her got the better of him, so he made a wild dash for the other side in the hope of escaping death. Predictably enough, the moment that the gun started up again, Zaretsky was right in the firing line, being cut down in a hail of gunfire like wheat to a scythe, his head exploding in a puff of red smoke as he flopped onto the ground as a lifeless wreck.

This would go on for each recruit called to the hotplate by Ippolyta and cast toward their objective, each meeting a similar grisly end to Malenkov and Zaretsky.

A bullet dashed his brains across the dirt before he made it two metres.

One shot hamstrung his left foot; another five spilled his guts all over the floor.

His chest was ventilated after he stumbled over a rock.

Four seconds passed while the five remaining recruits scanned their eyes about the line, searching for the man condemned to die.

"I said – LOGINOV!!!" Ippolyta barked again, her voice a mimicry of a revving chainsaw.

At last, the requested recruit stepped forward, his knees visibly trembling with fear as he spoke.
"Uh ... with all due respect, Ma'am, I ... refuse!" Loginov stuttered.

Every single other recruit in the line looked at him with unbridled horror. He had committed the one taboo that no sane human being anywhere would dare to commit: he had disobeyed an order directly given by Ippolyta the Manreaper herself. Loginov himself watched with terror as the murderous Chthonian turned all her attention towards him, striding toward him with her hands behind her back. Before long, she was right up in his face, the recruit staring into her dark, inhuman optical sensors that glowed a deep, burning red.

"Care to explain your refusal?" her cold, robotic enquiry was thus.
"Because ... I-I-I'll get killed, ma'am..." the recruit managed to stammer out his response.

For but a moment Ippolyta gave Loginov a glare that alone could flay a man before drenching his exposed musculature in carbolic acid and leaving him to die in ineffable agony. The trembling recruit expected something of this order to become of him for his transgression. The Manreaper's dreadful hand fell onto his shoulder...

"YOU are a bloody genius!" she announced, her rattling warble brimming with the glee of someone having finally found something that they had spent hours searching for. "Why are you a bloody genius, Loginov?"

"Because I said I'd get killed if I ran into machine gun fire...?"
"Exactly!" Ippolyta replied. "The very first law of war is that you are not an action hero. The second law of war: YOU. ARE NOT. A FUCKING ACTION HERO. Only two kinds of people would try and run into a machine gun nest's line of fire: morons and hypersoldiers! You certainly aren't the latter, so that leaves only the former!"

When the recruits stood with a blank expression, the Manreaper elaborated further.
"Third law of war: you will die at some point. I'll die eventually, you'll die eventually. We cannot run from death. We cannot hide from death. WE. WILL. DIE. What is not inevitable, however, is how you eventually eat it. Whether you die in a comfy retirement home after the war, die a heroic death for your glorious Motherland, or die looking like a complete retard – of the kind who thinks that just any shithead can become a soldier – depends on the decisions you make out on the battlefield. Understood?!"

"Ma'am, yes, ma'am!" the recruits enunciated in unison.
"GOOD!" Ippolyta stated as she paced towards her favoured genius. "You pathetic bags of meat might actually survive Hellion Boot Camp if you keep that in mind! Now, on a related note..."

Loginov was about to breathe a sigh of relief, when all of a sudden the Manreaper's fist collided into his groin with an audible crunch.
"THAT'S for refusing a direct order!" she barked as the man immediately collapsed onto the floor, clutching his crotch and squeaking like a mouse in searing agony. "You're all dismissed for the evening – Sergeant Blokhin in the MG bunker will show you the way back to Vorkuta!"

Ippolyta's location for the rest of that night would be her home, the so-entitled Manreaper Castle. Its owner would admit that it was a rather pretentious name for a prefabricated two-storey house at the top of a hill, constructed from a dull-grey metal, surrounded by barbed wire and the intermittent sentry gun for security and punctuated by a swimming pool at the back. From the perspective of everyone looking up toward where it was positioned, it hardly looked like a castle at all. Of course, what the Manreaper would be eager to point out was that this so-called castle was still under construction. The other aspect of this house that she merrily enunciated was that, within practicality, its entirety would be built from captured war trophies. This feature would become clearer as visitors made their approach. The roof tiles were in fact slabs of explosive-reactive armour plates salvaged from Panther 1A1 tanks captured in the Second Russo-European War. The veranda overlooking the poolside at the back was propped up by legs from dismantled Schlachtross HACVs. The interior was much the same story: beside the two main doors, one would immediately be accosted by a pair of deactivated Sidh powersuits mounted on stands, the tablecloth in the dining room was a repurposed battle flag bearing the Imperial Aquila, the window curtains were from European Federal Army Corps standards, and every item of leather furniture in the house was made from the skins of enemies that met their ends by the Manreaper's hand. Even the towels in the bathroom were made from the braided scalps of soldiers that she had personally killed in combat. The ultimate purpose behind such an aesthetic was to present not just the contents of the house as war trophies, but to have the house itself as one, a standing testament to Ippolyta's battle prowess that came only second before Trotskaya's. One that would expand as she collected additional trophies – armoured fighting vehicles to melt down into walls, armour to mount on stands, skins to make new armchairs and rugs...

The woman that stepped out onto the poolside, clad only in a yellow bikini, could easily have been mistaken for any other woman than Ippolyta the Manreaper, whose armour, hood and mask were presently hanging up in her wardrobe. Her identity was given away by the distinct soullessness of her red optical sensors, along with her signature selachian maw lined with razor-sharp teeth and cream-coloured hair that flowed to her shoulders. Viewed in full, the Manreaper's lithe, well-curved form consisted of flesh-like armour plates, dark lines segregating each piece like the fault lines separating planetary tectonic plates. The legs giving her a powerful stride were different: they were purely cybernetic, the colour of gunmetal, feet clawed and shaped like those of a tyrannosaur. The grey abruptly terminated into sarcoline at the gap between her thighs and her hips. What few articles of organic tissue remained, the most notable on her back and belly, were deeply scarred, one particularly long and gruesome-looking pink trench ripped across her navel suggestive of her having survived evisceration. To the daring observer, Ippolyta's physiognomy appeared as that of a cybernetic organism, the perfect marriage of human flesh to machined steel.

At the poolside was a shaded bar, lined with an assortment of drinks and refrigerators containing fruits of varying kinds. Its tender was a hovering Caretaker drone, two of its three spindly arms presently cleaning out a shot glass with a rag. The dull, twin red optics atop the droid's rotating domed head spotted a sullen gaze on the countenance of its mistress, the expression being in between a scowl and sadness.

"More sloppy recruits, eh?" the droid intoned.
"I'll say!" the Manreaper snapped. "Five of the idiots failed the MG42 test! FIVE! Who the hell would have thought you'd have to tell someone not to run in front of a firing machine gun?! Especially when said idiots spout off that they're so damn good at soldiering!"

"Even the stupidest dogs will obey if you beat them hard enough, General," the Caretaker spoke up in a reassuring voice.
"The truest thing I've heard all day, and it's coming from the fucking robot..." Ippolyta grumbled with misanthropic disdain. "Pour me a drink!"

"The usual Caipiroska, Ma'am?" enquired the robot.

The Manreaper stole three seconds to deliberate her response.

"Let's go with something different!" she announced after thought. "Gimme a Manhattan."
"Coming right up, General!"

While the droid prepared the cocktail, Ippolyta herself got into her deckchair and laid back into it, her optics dimming as if the woman was in a state of relaxation. Alcohol, one of the last great bastions of corporeal disregard for the maddening world around her. For the last few weeks, she had been bathing her endless sorrows and hates in vodka, spicing up each drink in a different way. Her present favourite cocktails to drink herself into a stupor with were a Cape Codder and a Caipiroska, but tonight, just to be different, her fury would drown in Dash Angostura bitters, sweet red vermouth and rye whiskey, garnished with a Maraschino cherry. Not that it would matter in the end. Cherry, orange or lime, the Manreaper would with any luck end up in the same state that she would every time she was in this mood: drunk like a log. In all honesty, if she wanted to relax, she could have just invited some of the men up here for a gangbang. As Fate would have it, there were a few strong lads amidst the Prokazniki that she knew for a fact would be more than happy to partake in such merriment. But making the necessary arrangements would involve getting up out of the chair...

"Your drink, General," the Caretaker returned, a cocktail glass filled with crimson beverage and a cherry garnish in its foremost claw.

Ippolyta received the drink with a curt grunt and turned to face the sunset, the deep blue gas giant beginning its ascent to replace the sun. This land before her, gnarled and scorched by radiation and heat, was her domain, her queendom, the land that knew her as its lady and mistress. It was also a refuge, a place for her to explore her thoughts in peace from the insanity of reality. A place to consider what led her up to this day, what made her strong when once she was weak. Too weak to defend her beloved sister Antiopa, too weak to stop her killers, and too weak to avenge her until just under a year back, when she at long last claimed the head of that wretched Semyon Rakovsky. Eyes slipping shut as she took another sip from her drink, she recalled an old haiku that she learned in her spell in Japan, during the long and savage Hokkaido Campaign...

Through lakes of fire
I wade, and all my fears
Be purged in brimstone.
Last edited by Blakullar on Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Imperium Sidhicum » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:13 am

~On Social Idiocy ~

---From an Imperial propaganda pamphlet---

Greetings, human friend!

Did you know that 95% of Humanity are social idiots? We certainly believe so.

It is the duty of any sane, socially-oriented state to look after these social idiots, protect them from themselves, mitigate the destructive consequences of their idiocy, ensure the undisturbed continuity of the society. It is the state's duty to make sure that every human being, even the very dumbest one, can live out his days in peace, to prevent these 95% from harming themselves and others including their nation in one way or another.

There is no analog to the Imperium in the history of Humanity in this respect, in the degree of protection it provides to it's citizens from their own selves in a manner that enables every citizen of the Imperium to live a wholesome, self-realized and respectable life regardless of his individual physical and mental potential. The Imperium guarantees that even those citizens who are not the most beautiful, talented, intelligent or energetic have a roof above their heads, an honest job to make a living with, free healthcare and education, and an opportunity to progress and advance. Drivers, agricultural machine operators, security guards, laboratory assistants, line workers - in our society, these people aren't losers in "uncompetitive jobs", but normal and socially respectable professionals with a reason to be proud of their work.

Most people are easily manipulated and controlled. It is very important for them to be told what and how to do, what to desire, what to believe in and what to fear. Without that, they become easily confused, make erroneous decisions and easily fall prey to all sorts of deception and fraud, from criminal to political kinds. The illusion of freedom and independence in decision-making is only harmful to most. The notion of "listen to no one, think for yourself" is only true and valid if the person in question is indeed capable of thinking for himself. Most people, however, arent. They are nowhere near as smart as they think themselves to be.

If such immature, ignorant and weak-willed individuals are left to their own devices without setting them specific bounds and restrictions, at the same time ensuring them the minimum necessary means for survival that keeps them from constantly struggling for physical survival, such people will immediately begin to degenerate. Such people can irreversibly damage not just themselves, but also their nations.

If such people are given a choice - between a sitcom and a show on astrophysics, between Terran classics and trendiest pop-stars, between working as pioneers in colonization projects and being sales managers of useless junk in fancy offices, between studying microbiology and a quick career in a reality show, between marital fidelity and the opportunity to bed everything that has a pulse, between mutual beneficiality and base self-interest, between social value of one's existence and easy money, between films about environmental protection and the degenerate madness of reality TV - they will always choose the worst, the basest, the most shocking and outrageous. It has been tried and proven time and time again.

So what is the solution? The solution is not to give the socially-irresponsible masses a choice of degrading options - which is exactly what the Imperium does, improving and making it's citizens better people whether they want it or not. To deny people the chance to choose wrong isn't restriction of their freedom but charity. Unless of course one believes the purpose of his life to be the display of his socialy idiocy in every form and setting it in stone. If such is the case, then the Imperium is ideed a totalitarian hellhole, strangler of freedom and genocidal imperialist oppressor.

The entire Sidh social ideology is designed to protect citizens from any and all tragedies and disasters, to make them maximally better, smarter, healthier, morally upright and pure.

Are you an idiot - slacker who doesn't care about himself - smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs, chug soft drinks, eat fast foods, has festooned himself in tattoos simply because, listens to loud music on earphones, doesn't get enough sleep? In a liberal capitalist society, that is your right, your free choice, because you are a free man who can choose to treat himself and attend periodic medical checkups, or choose to live on ill. In a capitalist society, nobody cares, because the more ill you are, the more money can the medical industry charge from you. In Sidh society, your freedom of choice would be restrained by compulsory exercise, health classes, compulsory medical check-ups, assignments to sanitariums and free clinics and hospitals within walking distance.

Are you an idiot - workaholic who wastes the time meant for personal betterment at work? Business owners and managers no doubt like you, because you keep working, while they keep smiling and counting the money. The Imperium, however, has a Labour Code that limits your right to toil 24/7 and requires you by law to have adequate rest.

Are you an idiot - drunkard? Right now it is your own problem - and that of the unfortunate people around you. You are a free man, free to drink yourself to delirium for all anyone cares, the liquor stores and drinking establishments will only be thankful to you as their most loyal customer. In the Imperium you - oh, the horror - would be taken to the drunk tank, given a sound beating, publicly chastised at work, lose your bonuses, or even put into compulsory rehabilitation.

Are you an idiot - parasite, an artistic specimen "searching himself", dreaming to become a rockstar, famous writer or artist but for now spend your days strumming guitar on the street and begging for money from your family and friends? Not here you aren't! You are welcome to work, make an honest living, earn your social guarantees and learn to do something useful in your life in case you fail to become the new ProtoZoa. Imagine that, the Imperium even has laws against vagrancy and idleness, stripping a person's right to be a useless bum - how barbaric and oppressive of artistic personalities, is it not?

Are you are a family of idiots - romantics? Songs by the campfire, sunset in the forest, only a backpack and a guitar in your possession and seven failed marriages with seven children behind for the two of you? Don't worry, keep on camping and singing - in the Imperium, the state has assumed responsibility for the procreation of the nation, so you will not even have to worry about giving birth to the said children, let alone raising them to be healthy, fit, productive members of society that you would obviously be incapable of in any case. Elsewhere your children would become future material for vagrants, drug addicts and criminals, social services and the prison-industrial complex would make a fortune from them, or they could be sold to some homosexual couple for adoption while still young.

Are you an idiot - womanizer, and a married one at that? Flower, chocolate and condom salesmen applaud you. You have 24/7 hotels, dating websites specialized for arranging one-night stands, sex shops, private STD clinics and expensive divorce lawyers at your disposal. In our repressive totalitarian hellhole you would be reprimanded or even put to hard labour for personal misconduct unbecoming of a Sidh, and if you make the commitment of entering a monogamous relationship, then it better be serious.

Are you an idiot - dissident? Listening to enemy propaganda at nights, dreaming to sell your nation out to the enemy for a chance to live in luxury? You agree to be ruled over by outsiders, feeding on the scraps from your lords' table, you despise your Fatherland and it's people yet continue to use all the goods produced by it? Know that a nation must be capable of defending itself, so the likes of you do not throw it into chaos and poverty, as had happened to the nations of Terra in early 21st century. So please be so kind and either get to doing hard and honest work for the benefit of your nation and people, or get the hell out before your corruptibility and stupidity harms anyone else - or we will make you to.

In these circumstances, one is simply compelled to become a cultural, educated, upstanding and broadly-developed person, becoming a soldier, doctor, engineer, scientist, or at least a respectable miner or factory worker. Our society offers no such choices as becoming a transvestite, food-stylist, blogger, image consultant, club promoter, conceptual artist, eyebrow designer or dog leash model.

We believe that every merchandiser who dully arranges canned food in the shelves of supermarkets has what it takes to become an intrepid space explorer, brilliant scientist or a legendary war hero, someone who will discover miraculous virgin worlds, unlock the secrets of the Universe or save billions of lives with his courage. The capitalist system you live in is simply more comfortable with having these people continue to exist in the pathetic and miserable condition they're currently in. The goal of our state, society and way of life is to improve people in every sense of the word rather than have them exist solely as consumers of industrial goods, and to instill the highest and noblest traits in them rather than unleash their basest drives and instincts.

The absence of opportunity to make poor lifestyle choices has allowed the Sidh people to grow and mature, accomplishing such strides, discoveries and heroic feats no one had even thought possible before. People of the Imperium have their energy harnessed in a productive direction, they have a chance to fulfill their potential as something useful to society. They are punished for evil and encouraged towards good, and given a clear and unambiguous understanding of right and wrong, without any shades of grey, room for interpretation or "open endings".

Are you tired of living in a world ruined by the idiocy of others? Do you recognize it in yourself as you read these lines? Then you have made the first step the right direction of remedying yourself. We can help you, but you must make the choice yourself. We do not promise it will be quick or easy, if anything, it will be the exact opposite, but in the end, you will become something better than you ever thought yourself possible to be.

Do you have what it takes to become more than just another social idiot who exists solely to the detriment of himself and those around him? We believe that you do - come and find out.

Apply for conversion in the nearest Human Affairs Office or Imperial embassy!

Ave Imperator, and have a good day!
Freedom doesn't mean being able to do as one please, but rather not to do as one doesn't please.

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The more God in one's mouth, the less in one's heart.



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