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A Time to Gather Stones Together [Nation Development]

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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The Ctan
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A Time to Gather Stones Together [Nation Development]

Postby The Ctan » Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:10 pm

Jurnai, Duat, Supreme Crownworld of the Great Civilization

Devagni Pancholi ita Dyvanakh ita Merenakh, Proaldaconciga of the Great Civilization of the C’tan rose from her bed, slipping out of its whisperfields and letting it slip from her form, gravitics and featherelles moving aside as she swept toward the ground, her feet touching the concentrically inlaid tiles, rubbery softness comforting her feet. The last eddies of the interlaced gravitic fields coiled and plaited her hair out of the way of her face as she moved.

She wore an age in her fifties, though she suffered nothing of the infirmity of age, she was fashionably augmented, and then a little more. Above all else her mind was expanded and as she slipped to the centre of the room, where a shallow step of a few inches was surrounded by a partial railing of brass, she shook her head slightly, taking her body through the bone-deep sensation of the cleanser working, before slipping her housecoat on and drawing herself through the doorway from her bedroom to the breakfast room, a wide window looking out on the rolling hills, she sank into a basky chair, a woven chair of flexible fabric that melded traditional techniques and she set a hand on the low beside her, summoning short list of favoured breakfasts, and selecting one.

The synthesis unit built into the house did its work in a trice, and a displacer carried the dish she had created, richly fragrant but small portioned, and she at last composed herself to reunification.

The parts of her outside her physical self were extensive, identity was a matter of what she had extended herself into, not merely herself. But there was another story, there always was. The reknitting of her halo of linked devices and systems, artificial sub-selves and units was a process akin to stepping into a steaming bath.

She gingerly linked her mind with the experience beyond it, and inloaded with it the information of what had passed while she had slept. Nothing drastic, of course, or she would have been roused, but something must have happened, given the way her halo tenderly settled, there had been a lot of processing outside of herself, her opinions had been shaped by simulacra of her personality and knowledge, and she did not so much experience the news as remember it.

The news was one thing, and one thing only. Enuncia was the word on everyone’s lips - the phrase had become memetically amusing for its irony. The Sergar Library affiliated research group known as the Nunciate Foundation had finally announced the completion of their great work. It had been a task that had required many disciplines, and the news surprised Devagni as much as any had. Some had thought the publication and review of such a thing, a complete grammar and syntax of Enuncia had been centuries off.

Any discovery was important, and the Great Civilization had not neared the end of knowledge, not even significantly, but this had been a sacred grail that many had sought and even died for. Actually a great many had done that.

Enuncia.

She had not imagined it; she knew that this was not a small change, this was as epochal as the discovery of genetic sequencing, or perhaps, the discovery of hyperspeed, or the conversion of the necrons to the necrontyr once more.

Devagni sat back in her chair, and felt the number of high level and urgent contacts she had relieved. She was no expert, but as one of the tripartite council who formed the executive of the Great Civilization, there were decisions to be made.

Policy to form, senate committees to address, and of course, awards and statues to raise.

And then. Then she knew where things were going.

Enuncia.

The True Speech of the Old Ones.
__ __ __


Naogeddon, Homeworld of the Necrontyr

Lithesh moved with the customary reverence. The attention caused her scalp to itch beneath her mop of arnstoan-avid feather-pleated hair, even if the light from the ancient and dim sun didn’t. She moved with care, approaching the top of the temple. She wouldn’t be allowed to fall, but she knew that the stepped platform had been used so long that its steps had been worn to gravel many times and replaced, the Necrontyr had always honoured their scientists and every tier of the pyramid was decorated with the faces of those who had been instrumental in paving the way to where they were today.

“You ought to watch the steps not the sky,” she suggested, her lilting command of the tongue she spoke slipping through the air easily.

The woman who walked beside her returned her gaze to the steps before her, “My mind wandered far, I wonder what my ancestors would think if they saw me now,” Aileer Serenti said, “I may not even be first to be honoured here,” she said, but this…”

The procession was a shifting glimmer of metallic fabrics, though they moved under planetary shields that diffracted and dispersed the inferno-star’s radiation; the group who climbed the pyramid were dressed in historic attire. Here on Naogeddon itself, the oldest tomb-world, there was nothing but history and heat. Far overhead another baleful object hung, the Catastrofane, an ancient Necrontyr world destroyed by the Old Ones during the War. Some said that the inhabitants still lived, after a fashion. Aileer looked upward and wondered if she would one day be able to help disperse it; such things were possible, that much was known, but the knowledge was lost. So much was.

The Naogeddon System was rich with history, and unlike the rest of the Great Civilization, only the Citizens of the Great Civilization were not permitted to leave without express leave of the system’s council and many precautions; it was not the heart of the Civilization any more, but it was certainly its spiritual home.

Aileer’s people had visited the world many times, of course, during the Great Sleep, they had even settled the other surviving planet of the system, which they named Belithal’chen, settled by the dour folk who called themselves Exodites; Aileer was a Yvressi not a Belithal’cheni, and her tongue was slightly different. But since many had joined wholly with the Great Civilization they had been able to come and go as they pleased.

Still, her entire species, the Yldari - an ancient title had been changed by the Old Ones to use as weapons against the Necrontyr; and here she was, at one of the most sacred temples of knowledge the necrontyr had erected in ancient days.

The local dignitaries and spectators who watched them as they reached the top of their climb contained well known heroes, Kavri the Golden, creator of the fractal engine, Airaheri, not the most powerful mage of the entire culture by any means but perhaps the most famous, Himelon, who had by many accounts saved the Necrons from their greatest threat in history.

Devagni stood beside Jeylas ita Atun, First Cryptek of the Conclaves, a ceremonial role for senior scientists, elected and hotly contested, but nonetheless one that had this particular duty.

Aileer had never seen Jeylas Atun before, but she had heard of her, she’d expected more, perhaps, the woman before her was small and unassuming, olive-bronze skin and dark hair contrasted with the gorget and pectoral combination of her position, while she carried the ritual staff of a plasmamancer. “Torchbearers,” she said, “you are recognized and bidden to enter the Temple of Truth, you who have brought truth to us,” she said, “stand forth and be recognized. This will be the largest single admission to the rank of Cryptek in the last thirty years, and all of us here,” she said, one hand sweeping to encompass the observation platforms and drones that surrounded them.

Aileer smiled.

This was only the beginning.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:54 pm

“Corva,” the man said, the voice was quiet, over the sound of the horse race being simulcast into the bar; the screens on the sides of the room showed the bets being placed, and Corva looked up.

“Machil Corva,” the man said again, bounding up the steps toward the raised booth, to grasp his hand, squeezing. The man who spoke was a tall pointed eared being, with long dark hair. “Do you mind if I call you Machil? Sit down,” he said.

Machil looked at him, examining his visitor with a wary eye. A knife missile cluster sat nearby, waiting to help if he needed them, but in the back of his mind, he still felt alarmed; Machil Corva wasn’t a man who was used to being approached and surprised.

The stranger’s outfit was sharp, the same kind of trader-chic that he’d seen any number of times, respectably appointed with golden thread that picked out sarati words along its wide sleeves and the starched, pinned cuffs beneath as he took Machil’s hand and shook it.

“I hear that you are a man to speak to about some valuables.”

Machil gave a moment to consider, this wasn’t an approach that a detective would use, too open, in an open area, with nothing to inveigle trust. And he was sure he recognized the man.

“I know you,” he said.

The man laughed, it was a warm but disconcerting sound. “Everyone does,” he said, “I don’t quite know everyone myself, but I’m pretty close,” he added and helped himself to a seat in the booth, “but really, I am pleased to meet you, Machil, and I want to make you a rich man, and someone else’s problem after that, nice and far from here.”

“And why do you want to do that for me?”

“Let’s just say that I know about what your guys took last week on the teleport shunt at Pelathar. Like anything with value they’re not things that can be easily replaced, but when the Vantar Cartel commissioned you to get them, well,” he said, a broad shrug, “they’re not the only interested party. Let’s deal.”

He knew the man if that was quite the right word, Ranisath, who had been the Supreme Coordinator for centuries until being dumped from office a mere decade and change ago. He could not see any guards or escort.

“Oh don’t worry, I don’t slip my minders for anyone, but I do it from time to time. We’ve got a good five minutes before the Lawkeepers show up.”

Machil’s hand went to his pocket, but Ranisath pointed a finger at him, in a child’s finger-gun expression, “Ah!” he said, “I can’t have you flitting out on me so soon,” he said.

Machil looked at the finger in front of him and frowned, there was something condescending about it, even when he knew the tales about the being opposite him.

“You see, I’m serious, I don’t slip the leash for anyone, but what you have matters,” he said, “and I’m willing to break some rules to take it off you. You didn’t come by it honestly, neither did Carosan or any of the owners before that back to its makers.

He paused and then changed tack adoptively, “I first saw it on Peramar, when Carosan had it on display. Have you ever been to Paramar, Machil? Few people go there now, just one of the fallow worlds, of the Great Civilization, the places where they wake the necrons and rehabilitate them, one by one, a slow pace,” he said, “I’d like to go there again sometime, see it as it was, all those arcs ago, before the Starchange, before the Sleep.”

“You should see it; when you get bored, when life grinds you down, if you stick it out or not, don’t deny yourself that, go to the slow-tombs and tell them to revive you when Paramar is rebuilt. Back as it was. Before the War. They won’t know, not for many cycles yet,” he smiled, “what you mean, so tell them you want to wake when more than ten million sapients live on Paramar again. You’ll see it then,” he said, “the Gardens of Paramar, when they bloom again. See that, Machil.”

The reminiscence stopped and the eyes, the impressions of them that had not shifted far, came back to Machil. “I want the Kem-Tara Stone, Machil. None of that happens without it. Either you agree to give it to me, and I see to it that the Cartels never find you, or I take it off you by force, and see to it that those Lawkeepers you’re worried about find you, maybe fast enough to still get a gene print. What do you say?”
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:59 pm

The Plains of Angoron, Sentinel One, Mars

The Nupaala cried into the red-tinged evening sky, a terrible death wail that could be heard all across the field. It had gone too far in search of forage and touched the Red Creeper. Seized fast, its death would be slow, the poisons would take it down by morning.

The shot rang out, a bullet catching it, it cried out in pain anew, and another shot followed, as it slumped into the creeper, its blood drunk hungrily by the creeper.

The shooter hated to lose cattle, but even if Nákra were to cut it loose, it would perish, and it was likely too toxic to even cure the hide. Sighing at the waste, he brought the long rifle down to the saddle of his mount, and took a pair of binoculars, scanning the horizon, looking for any sign of scavengers; carrion beasts would not go into the creeper, but they might be drawn in and look to the rest of his herd.

He did not see what he expected, out beyond the hills that shone with evening glow, lights were moving, at speed, far to his east, toward the City. He touched the magnifier and the image bloomed into a friendly face sat astride a lean grav-quad of City design.

There were few such things on the plains of Angoron, which made up most of the land surrounding the City, from the Elvish cliffs to the north to the border barrens in the south where arcane devices kept the wildness of the Angoron from straying into the lands of Man, the Angoron belonged to the Shar-hai, the Old Folk. The People of the City rarely travelled the Angoron, and rarely in numbers, but their technology came when the Shar-Hai came and went to the City, and the stars beyond.

The Jetbike carried Nákra’s second son, Ishmoz, a chance meeting, but a pleasing one, and it made the lost Nupaala welcome enough; the evening would be a good one. He lit a crys-flare, the light shining an artificial pale blue of welcome and held it high to draw Ishmoz’s attention and to bring him over.

“You’re back, do well?” Nákra asked as the quad-plate speeder pulled in, Ishmoz sat leaning back easily in its seat. He knew his son had, he could see that there were scars, but there was also wealth with him.

“I did,” Ishmoz said, his tone was tinged with pride, a fierce pride that could only come from such work, “I killed; more than you did I think.”

Nákra growled, the tone was a challenge, but it was also a jest, and he let it settle. Blood counted for much. He brought the reins to one side and pointed, “We are north this season, the filthy Búrzsnaga burned the south field we planted before you went,” Nákra regaled his son with the tales of the battle, but he knew that it would not be particularly impressive.

The Shar-Hai of the Angoron had long settled into low-intensity warfare, endemic enough, raiding was common, but few were prepared to attack another clan with true intent for fear of the Necrons. Even the Dark Worshippers could not be killed out of hand.

The Territory of the clan extended across a swath of pasture, across dunes studded with vitrified hills that emerged from the ground like the bones of a decaying carcass. Centuries ago the Necrons had cast out the Dark Lord, and rained fire down on his fortresses, here and there black iron spikes emerged from the grassy plains. Each had a name, and they gave their names to settlements now, few of the orcs of the Angoron plains failed to remember such days, they were mythic now.

Red Creeper littered the territory of the clan, there was nowhere in the great expanse of the Angoron plains below the Elvish Cliffs that was truly free of it, and while it could be burned off, it was perennial and difficult, only the hardiest crops could farm against it. Some said that ancient machine life forms with hateful intent and intelligence had cursed Mars with it, and Nákra believed that as likely as any other explanation.

Buying in of Brecan was the best way to deal with it, the hardy creatures were smaller than Nupaala, but made up for it with their thick wool which proofed them against hostile foliage like the Red Creeper, and their ability to clear land and almost every clan above the ground had their Brecan to graze it back, still, the animals were difficult to keep and controlled burns were best for clearing the land of the Red Weed.

Their clan was the Azdûsh-Hai, perhaps forty strong - as a Warband measured its numbers in the old ways - fighting adults, of course, they had three times that number. Not all were so fortunate, and they had a family of trolls among their number, who helped greatly; many tasks became easier with their strength available.

It was a mistake to imagine that they had a leader; or chief among their number, the youth weren’t counted but the adults and elders made their decisions, Nákra was as senior as any but the most veteran, but they did have a Skald, Grisha, who kept stories and precious texts, and who spoke to the Iterators when they came. Grisha, who was Ishmoz’s mother and Nákra’s partner.

Among those who spilt out to watch Ishmoz, Grisha was the one who watched him most warily. She was a keeper of tradition. “Vile filth,” she said, “there’s nothing for you here. Begone.”

Ishmoz dismounted, reaching not for the sleek City gun he carried but for the curving sword he carried. “I go where I want, Old One.”

She spat at his feet, “Come or go, we have no place for silk skins. Be away,” she gestured upward and outward with her hand over toward the East, “to the City with your worthless hide, or we will break your bones and throw you to the Creeper.”

The children watched from the shadow of their glass houses, scattered from play and work by Ishmoz’s arrival.

Ishmoz pointed the blade at her, and turned back to his speeder, opening a box attached to its webbing, casting out a dozen desiccated things, the right hands of humans. “You want to see my scars, Mother?” Ishmoz said, and turned his blade on the audience, “anyone who questions me, I will cut open,” she said, and kicked the hands across the pale-lit ground.

Grisha drew in a breath and hacked spittle onto the offerings, she offered no concession, but barked orders for the children to mount the hands on the trophy poles.

“You can enter the Meeting Hall,” she grunted and turned her back on him.

The Meeting Hall was the biggest of the prefabricated buildings of the Azdûsh-Hai, like most of the residences it had been grown from a seed, micrites turning the glass and sand of the Angoron to wide rooms. Like much out here, it came from the City. Though they had moved recently, it seemed as though the Azdûsh-Hai had been here for lifetimes, cured skins of Nupaalu and other greater grazers from their herds had been strung about on the outer sides to dull its gleam, with totem-runes carved into them, to ward off the Eye of the Dark One and his servants.

Grisha turned seamlessly from Ishmoz’s detractor to his kin the moment they stepped into the hall, passing these totems. “You did well,” she said, her voice proud, “as many as your father would bring… in a bad season.”

Nákra laughed, while Ishmoz looked at her for a moment, and then disdainfully slapped his sabre, “It’s not too late to give you scars, old woman,” but he spoke without malice now, beyond the Eye of the Dark One.

Hot fermented bean-brew was poured out, and Ishmoz took it, sitting in the place of honour, as the other boxes he had brought in were brought in furtively by the children and ransacked; toy Necrons and starships, items of clothing and shimmering holo-games, he was not the trader that was his brother, but he did not forget to bring some things from the City. He had brought raw-packs for Grisha’s pharmacopoeia and other such things, but they were locked away from curious hands.

Play with toys and games were only done in the Meeting Hall, out of the sight of the gods. Fitting, as before the adults had gathered, the children had already set into a fanciful rendition of the battle between Imakarum and Alistrasan, the Necron commander who had thrown down the Dark Lord’s wicked sorcerer-king and conquered the Angoron; though Grisha had long ago told their son and any other stripling past their first ten summers that such things were fanciful, and that it was likely the two characters had never met.

The children were always curious about such things, Nákra knew, when the rare emissaries of the City came with their gleaming escort drones they were just as excited. The Iterators, as they were called, were always keen to suggest other ways to live, and many would grow up to leave, some would head to far off Fringe Worlds, others to dwell in the City or elsewhere, some would change themselves completely, as the ancient orcor of the Menelmacari had done over ten thousand years but just as many had no desire to be any less orcish than they were.

“Where did you take those then, trophies are always welcome,” Nákra said, but they could be dangerous, the City-Folk objected sometimes, insisting that only their enemies could be taken by those who like Ishmoz went to the stars to fight for glory. “Slave-takers?”

“Child-burners,” Ishmoz said, “on the far side of the sea of stars, Men known as the United Empire who they found making war to exterminate a people. The Necrons fight them in secret, sending mercenaries against them.”

“So they can take them in the back when the time comes, I expect,” Grisha said, although the Azdûsh-Hai lived in the barren realm of the Angoron, it was perilous to underestimate an orc’s understanding of war, the Necrons fought in ways other than their infamous machine constructs when it suited them. And well it was for the Shar-Hai; an easy way to earn coin and earn scars. There had never passed a year where the people of the City were not fighting or subduing someone; the stars held a bounty of enemies.

The Necrons were strangely kin to the Azdûsh-Hai, none doubted that if there was ever true peace, and the Necrons were left without someone to fight, they would go mad.

A life without challenge was not worth living, and there was no better challenge than combat. The Gods hated the living, and they hated the orcs most of all. It was easy enough to explain to the scarless soft-skins, the poor deluded things that thought that life could be soft and easy; the Shar-Hai knew better. All existence was a cruel jest, one could carve out space within it only by struggle, and the old ways were the best to test one’s self.

There were others from the Angoron, the few who longed for the return of the Dark Lord, or the Steelskins who sought to armour themselves against the universe with the City’s technology, to become like the Necrons themselves, and those who sought to find ever more challenging worlds to wring into habitability, all had descended from the Angoron and its people, be they orc, goblin-man, half-orc, troll or otherwise. Nákra was proud of his son to have held to the path, his daughter had gone to be a Steelskin, but both sons had kept to the path of their people - the Azdûsh-Hai had long chosen to keep what was theirs, their land, their ways, their blades and their scars, on their own terms. They took things of value, but anything that they did not want, they would have no part of. Dark Lords, or Silk-Skin laws, the Angoron was their country and Alistrasan had seen that they could keep it as they chose.

Nákra was jerked from the thoughts of pride at his son’s gifts to the children by Grisha’s question.

“Why have you come home early?”

“We may not need to go far this year,” Ishmoz said, “I hear whispers. Out in the East, far beyond the City, on the far circle-sea, and beyond, there are those whose ambition may spill blood again, Man against Man. I wanted to bring that news so you can spread it, look to the old shelters, and be wary. War drums beat on Mars again.”
Last edited by The Ctan on Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:24 am

Mars Orbit

Elater watched through the windows of her ship as the Red Planet appeared before her. It was not so red as in her youth during the Martain Strife, she had seen the world in times when its green terraformed surface had been scarred endemically with fallen starships, when its pole had seethed with bronze and when its seas had been the algal green of biotechnology. The ship had passed to subluminal speed on its inertialess drive, though it was still using the engine to move as it passed out of the approach corridor, its reaction drives idle.

An interplay of systems confirmed the ship’s intended destination and that it was adhering to its flight plan, she barely paid it any attention, the ship guided itself and while manual controls existed they were rarely used.

She had come from Eta Carinae, one of the multitudes of the Great Civilizations’ holdings within the Milky Way and a star that attracted some attention purely by being among the greatest by apparent magnitude within the Great Wheel galaxy. The seething ripples of its nebula thrown off seven thousand years ago. She had taken something of its look, her eyes shone with Starfire, elven nature was at once static and mutable, and it was rare that she returned to the Sol System.

Compared to the great binary star and its network of convection-tunnels Mars was small, though more densely populated. It was hard to believe that billions of people lived there, she reflected, its proximity to Arda was perhaps the most important part of the world, though compared to Venus, the Great Civilization controlled less territory, what was here was important.

Homelands; many cultures within the Great Civilization called Mars home, and Elater would do so. She was Bajoni, and her destination, known as New Bijon now to many of the people of Mars, though Bajon still too many natives, was her childhood home.

As the ship altered its fields to pass through the atmosphere over the Hellas sea, Elater had it roll to give a better view, showing the globe ‘above’ her.

On most maps of Mars, the Hellas Sea was a stretched ovoid sphere, one could be mistaken for thinking it was wider than it was tall, here, it was clearer what it truly was a broadly circular impact crater. The impact that had gouged the sea had been world-shattering, or at least close to it, during the systems’ Late Heavy Bombardment, billions of years ago. Two thousand three hundred kilometres across, the sea was a deep reservoir of liquid water linked to the northern ocean by a now-venerable channel.

All of this was visible, beneath the curls of low-altitude cloud unable to pass out of the crater-wall mountains that ringed the area, as the ship passed through the Martain atmosphere. The Atmosphere was diffuse, and in the long term replenishing it was a Sisyphean task, the planet would not retain its shell of air and even as she through the upper reaches Elater’s felt she could almost see the atmosphere loss into the void as it wisped away.

This was a world that wanted to be dead.

The Hellas Sea was home to the great majority of Bajoni cities and commercial regions, clustered on the westward slopes of the thousand-kilometre range of the Hellespontus Montes which had provided ice to the first settlers. As she crossed the cloud layer, Elater could see the riot of high green trees that clung to the vertiginous slopes of the impact crater, nursed from the sea. The sea was a terrarium of migrated Terran wildlife, while the mountains were studded with conifers that reached heights far beyond their Terran antecessors in the low gravity.

Elater passed over the City of Helium, named for some ancient fanciful romances, a twin city that looked out over the edge of the crater-sea and was the capital of Bijon, the inner city was a thousand-mile high spire that clung to the side of the crater and plunged to the crater-bottom, with subaquatic residences invisible beneath and networks of wharves and ports beyond, linked by spar-bridges to the cliff-side city.

The mountains rose in strips beyond, as she passed over the city, the ship noting as it crossed the effective boundaries and contours of the colony’s interlaced defensive fields in their idle mode.

The ship came in to dock on one of the underside gantries of the great city’s bridge, its massive structure lined by thousands of smaller docking areas for the ships that came and went every moment of every day. In the last century, the Great Civilization had perfected the application of smaller and more efficient inertialess drives, which made shuttles and even modules capable of transgalactic journeys when desired, many cities had to expand their capacity for landing small-craft due to this over the last hundred and twenty years, and Helium was no exception.

There were many ways to travel, she could have displaced, or travelled by transmat beam, but she had chosen to take the scenic route, and she moved to the launch of her ship, walking down a brief flight of stairs into the aft, as the conjoined section landed, the launch was smaller, more in line with a shuttle or module, and she briefly gave a wordless instruction, her aura reaching out to the smaller computer on board, directing the ship where to go. It extrapolated and filed its flight plans with a quiet burr of confirmation and slipped back out of the landing bay, heading into the martian atmosphere high above the Hellas sea.

The city with its silver spires and copper domes dropped away as she flew over the stars, she faded the hull, a flying carpet effect showing the world outside the living metal cocoon she flew in as she rose above the mountains, heading over the ribbons of raised land and the preserved glaciers of pre-terraforming water that still nestled in darkened valleys, insulated from the atmosphere by stilling fields.

The Mountain glaciers were some of the many parts of Mars that had been preserved in New Bijon, the world had changed much but the Great Civilization’s more populous colony on mars was not a terraformed utopia. As they crested the last wave of the ancient impact-ripple mountains, the Noachian Plains, the name of the landmass, though the name had been given other unrelated meanings over time, and the region was better known as Noachis Terra spread out beyond, leading from New Bijon toward its far off borders.

There were other craters here, the colony extending for more than a thousand kilometres eastward of the circular sea. The uplands between them, the uplands were dwellings, a broad maze of residential land. Perhaps a quarter of a billion citizens called New Bijon their home, and maybe twice that many children, residents and immigrants, but out here the land usage were restricted to the citizenry only, and the highlands were dotted with the high-walled estates.

Both the C’tani Colonies were visions of more primal mars; several of the craters of Bijon on the Noachian planes were domed, old-style colony cities, others were surrounded by static fields that kept their atmosphere close to the primal Martian. The highlands were dotted with forests of black towers, perhaps two hundred meters high, that dissuaded fauna and retarded flora, keeping the land red across broad swaths of land with low-level anorganic fields.

Some of the craters were reserved and set up for columnar atmospheric envelopes, to provide the experience, both recreationally and for the many young nations of Arda, of landing on pre-terraforming Mars.

Between these, there were the citizen estates of Bijon, the C’tani often preferred the same style of building for residences, windowless, slightly inclined outer walls with flat rooves and gardens, and interior courtyards that divided off private inner space from wilder outer space.

The one she headed for had been here since the first unions, flat necrontyr-style housing, forbidding and unwelcoming, dark walls unadorned, and a narrow niche-like entry doorway on the southern side.

Mars had been wild, in the days of Elater’s youth, more so, during the Strife, and the house dated to that time, clear fields of fire all around, subtle concealed weapons and defences. Unwelcoming, unlovely, and clad in an armoured outer layer.

They were close to the eastern border, and as she set the lander down and opaqued it again, she smiled, turning about and gliding down the ramp that extended to the vitrobaked landing area, several other modules were parked.

The place hadn’t changed, the Bijoni people had not been too eager to reclaim the land from the Strife, on the horizon a hill that was a wrecked warship, Technate if she remembered rightly from centuries ago, while old Nomad terraformers sat like broken teeth on the edge of a nearby crater rise.

Approaching the house, high translucent crystals could be seen, where its underground rooms passively drew in the light as the day passed.

The doors opened at Elater’s approach, revealing a few steps down to the entrance room and its pillar-like teleport locus.

Elater’s mother was as traditional as they came, and there was nothing personal about the entrance hall, waist-high dado rail supported by panels of white mellyrn wood carved in the art nouveau-style known as NeoSindain-Floral, framed the darker upper part of the teleportation locus. Few parts of a home were accessible to displacement or transmat and the black central column of the room served as a receiving area for guests.

The custom in northern Bajon was to decorate this arrival room with the family history, the ship that they had come from Arda on was depicted lovingly on the western wall where the travails of rule by the Nitzchar and the other dynasts that had risen and fallen until the present area were shown above the inner door.

Beyond a wider entrance hall greeted her, past the inner doorway of the teleportico, which served as the last formal outdoors space, the house’s presence opened the doorway before her and the hallway was displayed. It was adorned with classics of martain form, her mother fancied herself a collector and the displays within would have excited avarice in many museums. An ancient old-pattern khala warrior’s harness was displayed from the days of the Yvressi presence on the world. The hallway opened up on the inner side to a peristyle and courtyard, built beneath an armourglass ceiling.

The same pattern of housing was in use across the Great Civilization and most necrontyr-species had broadly similar building habits, the inner courtyard gave a place to escape the noise and tumult of the day, while in older times and settlements providing an escape from harsh solar radiation and sandstorms.

She was barely into the garden when her mother approached, beaming widely. “Ela!” she called, holding out both hands, bracelets dangling from her wrists, her shoulders draped with golden chains.

“Amil!” she said, with pleasure, taking her hands and leaning in, a kiss across each cheek.

“I’m glad you came Ela,” she said. “I wanted to talk to you.”

“Of course,” she said, reaching down to stroke her fingers along the hollow beneath the eye of the tabby cat that had wandered up the steps from the garden, her touch rubbing against the scent-glands and sharing a moment of recognition with the animal.

Android servants with ceramic faces of placid obedience served a lunch of baked cakes in the garden, where they could watch the daytime conjoining of Phobos and Diemos.

Elater’s mother gave a broad smile, “I wanted you to come because I wanted your thoughts on this,” she said, her hand waving outward in a gesture that brought noospheric holograms into view from her aura, shimmering into view showing the arc of the outer rim of Castrobel Crater. “The Care Service is worried, I think,” she said, “They want to build a string of new facilities on Mars, this is the nearest one, and our area conservation council has been asked for feedback,” she said.

“I have been asked to provide a steer on what aesthetic we wish to put to it if the facility does go ahead. You were always a bit forward-thinking than me, but you know how I feel about large scale structures on the planes, simply ugly,” she said.

“It’s an Ophthalmic Hospital,” Elater said, “why are they wanting to build a class one ophthalmic hospital all the way on Noachia Terra?”

“Part of a string of facilities,” she said, “they don’t want to call for crisis intervention, but they are putting plans in place for a major public response. Up in the Montes, they’ve put in a string of fourteen rad-trauma facilities,” she said, “fourteen, we already have four good class one macro-hospitals in Bijon, and one in Sentinel, they think,” she said, “if you follow the Interest Groups,” a conspiratorial whisper sounded, “that the new ‘Martain Empire’ might do something very foolish, and we might have some large scale warship shooting on Mars again.”

Her mother didn’t sound worried, almost excited, Elater thought. “So they want to have a first response to cover, what,” she examined the image before her, “sixteen billion, impressive.”

“I think,” her mother said, “that the powers that be expect a major orbital conflict is likely, now, I’ve not seen the plans beyond the designs for buildings, but the Relief Instrumentality wants to make sure we’re able to pick up the immediate slack of a major crisis,” she said. “The only thing is, if that does happen once they have this behemoth built, we’re going to be rather busier around here than we’re used to,” she sighed, “but I’d like them to at least make it look a little easier, if I can see this thing from my garden, I’d rather it look a bit less like some ghastly piece of Tephet-Sheta someone slapped down on Mars.”
Last edited by The Ctan on Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:10 am

The universe is not like a puzzle-box that you can take apart and put back together again and so solve its secrets. It is a shifting uncertain thing which changes as you consider it, which is changed by the very act of observation. A powerful man is not a man who dissects the universe like a puzzle-box, examining it piece by piece and measuring each piece with scientific precision. A powerful man has only to look upon the universe to change it.
- Technomagos Gaelos


The Great Ship Rememberance of Rythek was a miles wide construct, but it was currently dwarfed by its creations, huge elongated trapezoidal constructs with single interior surfaces of shimmering actuator modules that looked like the bricks of a shattered wall. Two rings of these moved alongside the ship, a they were hundreds of kilometers away, heading on a parallel vector.

The whole craft-constellation was moving at a superluminal velocity, the trapezoidal actuator modules were positioned equidistant to one another in an expanding cone, their inner faces directed toward one another.

“It’s very pretty,” Thoma said, “but what in fact am I looking at, that you’re so pleased with yourself?”

“This,” the hovering avatar of the Rythek burred, “is the latest generation of what might be called Seam Rippers for the universe, pull out all the nasty snags and re-stitch it properly; have you have heard of a Spacetime Thunderbolt?”

“I can’t say I have,” Thoma said, “what is it?”

“It’s a weapon of mass destruction that uses an edge case of space-time to make a directed singularity weapon that ‘destroys’ space-time as it goes, essentially it removes a large piece of the universe in line with the barrel of the gun. You can wick a star system out of reality with it, spacetime does scar after a fashion, of course, but you get a small discontinuity. Now in healthy space time that kind of thing would hit you with about the force of an gnat’s wing, but there’s ways people have of modifying fundamental reality at what we call the Nerchar level, what might be called the Quantum Level in terms you’re familiar with. The field of science involved is Nerchar Rhiat or Quantum Speaking, the influence of sub-atomic behaviours over wide regions,” the shipmind said.

“And this is your idea of fun, watching big space-healers fly along?” Thoma gave a deep-pocketed shrug.

“Reality’s broken, we fix it, obviously the real reason we built the technology was to stop some aggressive lunatic deciding to shoot us with this kind of thing, but after that finding them and fixing the scars is easy enough.”

“I see,” Thoma said, “Fun, I’d hoped they’d at least glow,” he said. He would have to read up on the Great Civilization’s concept of subatomic physics it seemed. “It’s thoroughly boring, why is this a spectator sport?”

“You’ll see in a moment,” the Rythek said, and the tetrahedral colossi passed over a point, fire blooming out of the vacuum, a spray of hawking radiation that was illuminating the diffuse cosmic background. The stars changed behind it, visibly as the space-time compressed by the original weapon was restored, while the matter within had been held in a singularity and had lost much of its information content it was a spray of energy as the device that created it suddenly had to act in the ‘default’ metric of space-time.

“Ooh, sparkly, looks like a very fancy solar flare,” Thoma said, “I like what you did with the edge though.”

“Not easily impressed are you?”

“I try not to be,” he said. “Best thing you can do to prick you folks sometimes. So, who’s been shooting these?”

“A few grand-arcs ago, about the other side of the local group, we detected this one about to enter the galaxy a few years back, it wouldn’t affect us, but perhaps someone unfortunate enough to be impacted would get their star-system ripped out of the fabric of spacetime and compressed into a moving death-bolt, so we’re goal-keeping a bit. Once we’ve done the Thunderbolt head I’ll set the drones to trail back to its point of origin and make sure to erase any lasting effects on the route.”

Thoma put his hands in his pockets, “Impressive, I guess,” he said, “I take it you don’t know who actually fired the thing then.”

“Sadly they managed to shoot themselves with the same stuff, probably a war between closely related civilizations their whole home region is all criss-crossed with spatial scarring.”

“Gotcha, wiped themselves out with tier own superweapons, classic. I think I read a novel about that once, so let me get this right, some people have a way of building things that shouldn’t work with the laws of physics, but they modify those laws of physics locally. And that’s because of…”

“Sapient-Influenced-Fractality.”

“Which is totally a thing, and not at all the influence of the warp, which is also a big deal.”

“Now you’re getting it,” the ship said, “there’s a whole heap of superweapons and big thinky things that really shouldn’t work but kind of do, because science is fundamentally broken.”

“Fucking War in Heaven was a mistake. We’d have decent scientific constants if it weren’t for the Old Civs pissing in everyone’s drinking water.”

“You’re not wrong Thoma, which is why we have to do our bit to neaten out the little scratches in the universe.”
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:29 am

Within the Dorado Group

“So, what am I looking at?” Lady-Senator Windthorn asked, her hands folded in the sleeves of her long robe, she was a tall figure, whose pale white hair was perfectly coiffured in a ritual crown of flowers. “I have to be honest, it looks like just another gun to me,” she said.

“The gun isn’t actually remarkable,” the being beside her said. It was hard to look at, and harder to look at without laughing. She was aware that the form it had taken here was intended not to be distressing to look on, but she was not sure it worked. She was not decieved by the appearance. It was adorable, she had to admit, and she would have said it was utterly so if she had no knowledge of what this thing had done down the aeons. “It is the recoil-bracing that you must pay attention to,” it said.

“I’m seeing it,” she said, looking at the machine in deep space beyond the observation deck of the venerable Jalkalissatana’s enormous command mastaba. The ship had survived the ancient War in Heaven, and harvested populations, it was not a new ship, not a ship of the second Great Civilization, but of its precursors. The thing that sprawled in a form that was faintly adorable. “What am I seeing?”

It was a muscular form faintly like a tyrannosaur crossed with feline, with large paws that sat folded up on its forelimbs beneath a chin that was large enough to swallow her like a man eating a pea. Its skin shimmered from gunmetal grey to ivory white depending where on its irridescent form the eye fell, its head was shaped faintly like that of a horse, with a head crowned by horns, and four wings, feathered, despite its lizard-like structure.

She was being spoken to by Mag’ladroth Asirnoth the Void Dragon, greatest of the C’tan, architect of the traumatic genocide of the Biotransferrence, who had devoured civilizations and cultures, who had burned the stars and torn galaxies from their path. She did not doubt that the creature, despite its best efforts, could see her as nothing more than a few dozen pounds of mostly water with discreet wafers of technology nestled in it, and delicate but flavoursome microampere charges to consume.

The hairs on the back of her neck would not relax, and she had a constant sense that the creature in question could turn on her at any time. It was generally agreed that Ranisath, Mephet’ran, the entity that had once been the weakest but most human of the C’tan, had reformed, that it desired to set the galaxy in order and make amends.

Asirnoth, she suspected, simply saw the cosmos as a puzzle box. There were many C’tan, she had seen them, screaming fragmented things, remnants of a lethal pantheon, the Great Civilization had only released those it was sure it could put down again, if the need arose. This one, this one was among the worst.

It was also among the most useful, by its artifice the inertialess drive had been created and the great Eyes of the Dragon which powered the Great Civilization’s vast infrastructure created. Perhaps most importantly it had been by its artifice, in part, that its ancient atrocity, the biotransferrence, had been mended.

She had once read a story, where a utopia was powered by a single tortured soul, the whole thing tainted; it was not the same thing, but the Great Civilization could not afford to cast aside the knowledge of the Star Gods who gave it its better known name. Even the most transcendent of artificial intelligences were merely sutured into space-time, the C’tan were born in the birth of the universe, as old as it was, and they could not be destoyed without breaking the cosmos further than it was. But more than that, they were an incredible boon, this was not a shard, nor a broken thing, but the true Magla’droth, a being of incredible power.

She was not sure if she should ask it to change its form, like Faustus, the work of fiction whose demon had been named for another of the C’tan through some akashic folk-memory. It disgusted her that the creature that had wrought more woe than Morgoth or Sargeras millions of times over should be trying to be disarming.

“When the First Fires became the embers of the universal pyre, they left fissures throughout the universe, with the length of the universe, the flaws in the diamond as it expands through the cosmos.”

“You are talking about cosmic strings?” She asked incredulously. She was no scientist, and she suspected that even the poetic description she was being given was a fraction of

“Your terminology does not encompass the thought-forms required,” the ancient atrocitect said, “however it will serve to explain. The weapon here contains a system that bridges the Macrocosmic All to tether it to the nearest such fissue, linking it to the reserve mass of the underlying universe. This allows the weapon to fire kinetic impactors of greater power than could otherwise be realized without considerable expenditure of energy, allowing baryonic projectiles to reach a closer percentage of the speed of light than before.”

“Okay,” Elsina said, “I get it, how much better do we really need kinetics to get though?”

“That depends what you want them to do,” Warlord Ferinion said, “this weapons system is intended to be doing one thing reasonably well, to address battleplate proliferation.”

“I have heard of it, people do like to do what Menelmacar does,” she said, “is it really necessary to design around that though?”

“At present, no, most threat-force battleplates aren’t real competitors for our own,” the Menelmacari commander said, as he stepped up to stand beside her.

One of his adjutants, Caida, whose hair was snow white continued for him. “Especially non-Triumvirate aligned powers, but it’s worth designing as if they will be. Kinetic shielding, gravitic, barrier types and competitors,” she said, “do have to put the momentum somewhere, while our current shielding technologies rely on interaction with spacetime fabric locally to counter such things, using our drive technology to pin the ship in place, basically running gravitics counter to impacts, the effective limit of this system is several orders of magnitude higher, rather than using gravitics to anchor the ship and disperse change in vector to all particles in a uniform change, this…”

Caida paused, and looked at the Void Dragon. “Anchors the weapon to entire universe and disperses its recoil throughout it.”

Was she imagining, or did the C’tan twitch slightly in annoyance at the vagueness of the explanation. She got it though.

“So this is a major improvement in terms of kinetics, and can actually threaten equivalent-technology gravitic shields… Please, proceed,” she said.

Caida took a sleek tablet from under her arm, and swept a hand over it, necrontyr rune-patterns giving way to a nice straightforward circle.

“Please, if you would do the honours senator,” she said.

Elsina touched the button, looking at the weapon outside. Immediately it began to glow on radiator fins built into it, the inefficiencies in the neutrino-discharge systems were sufficient in this test example to give a visible glow.

“Was it supposed to do something else?” she asked.

“It did not explode,” Caida said, “that’s a good sign. The projectile should enter the target any moment now. Twenty three light seconds.” Caida watched a countdown, there was no light from it, and no impact sign from the target. “And, done. The same thing will also work with a Tachyon Lance, of course,” she said.

Elsina had to admit, travelling megaparsecs to see a black hole swallow a projectile travelling an infitesimal fraction below lightspeed and far too fast for her to see in any optical frame of reference was somehow disappointing. She wasn’t especially fascinated by guns at the best of times, but apparently someone in the committee needed to observe the work of the Constallation Group in action.

“Can we at least put an asteroid in front of the next one or something?” she asked.
Last edited by The Ctan on Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:59 pm

Saturnspace

The transmat had a rising tone that filled the room with a humm, the space around the reception area filling with lambent green energy, the machine taking longer than a displacer to operate, transmat was not most people’s favourite means of travel, but it was a convenient way to make the journey from Venus to Saturnspace. Most people did not like to shred their atoms and project them across space, Katisha had no problem with it, she was not one to value continuity of consciousness, as some called it, far from it.

An automatic system within her body ran a diagnostic, confirming the status of her form, and her noosphere projectors reached across space to the nearest of her sisters, confirming her presence and arrival; she logged her system-number as Katisha-459, a sequential copy of her original form. She could be found in several forms: there were seven copies of her in Sol-Space, sixteen in the Mictlan System, twice as many at Siedon and the rest scattered at various projects and locations.

She did not seem human, though each part of her contained copies of least the original flesh that had been born to her so many centuries ago; though like all flesh it had cycled its atomic composition many times in even her first body. Her brain and a tangle of attached organs sat within her torso, while her ‘head’ was a wide flat structure with a viewing port and several glowing jewel-like eyes.

She had been asked to send a copy of herself to Titan to solve a longstanding mystery in one of her many fields of study, starship design. She communicated briefly with the State Barge’s systems, like any starship designer of any note she was augmented far beyond baseline norms; she could still not keep up with the shipmind’s rate of cognition speed, however, and allowed a sub-self on one of her computronium systems to consider the experience as she headed to one of the rings of observation decks around the side of the ship, she would look at it later, however for now, though she did not possess anything as crude as the mark one eyeball, she did want to observe the vessels she had come to examine.

The Crimson Star Combine had been in operation for a long time, but not as long as the Triumvirate of Yut Combined Services, and not as long as Katisha herself had, and an age-old question had reappeared in the company’s briefings; was the Supreme Emperor[i] battleship in any way related to the Ancestral Universe’s [i]Emperor class battleship?

The question wasn’t as irrational as it sounded for in the Ancestral Universe it was well known among the few people who had been privileged enough to know such things that the Emperor class battleship was a mystery, the ancestor of the other tumblehome-prowed vessels of the Old Imperium, dating back to long before the Old Imperium’s founding.

One camp suggested that the TYCS WarShip was, in fact, the ancestor of these cousins, some of which had been built from lost space-frames, this was deemed unlikely as it was another timeline.

Another suggested the Dark Age of Technology had hosted a similar culture or at least a similar designer to the Triumvirate.

Another and the favourite had suggested it was merely coincidental, convergent design, and that the name was simply a logical one for large warships. Katisha would know when she was able to examine one from the inside.

There was a longstanding betting pool at Siedon, and Katisha was one of the few who had been aboard one of the Ancestral Emperor-class ships; one of the few people qualified to give an opinion on the matter.
Last edited by The Ctan on Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:53 pm

Devagni Pancholi ita Dyvanakh ita Merenakh soared through the air, the wind in her face as she grasped the running rail of the chariot, her guards with her standing behind her as she ploughed through the void, they had crossed through the outer reaches of the atmosphere a few minutes ago and the soap-bubble that surrounded them was becoming permeable, letting the wind in.

“Have you ever seen anything like it?” she asked.

High-Judicator Khames, the commander of her guards, shook his head, the metallic form shifting slightly, “I have not,” he said, “in ancient days we had bigger structures but ownership was different in the Necrontyr Dynasties of old. We feared to unleash our technology so freely; the Secessionists in the last age wanted to become like this, some of them, but that was before my birth.”

“I thought so,” she said, as they watched the barrier-mountains drop away beneath them. They had come to the Orbital of Tarinen-Nhaéslal to ask, no beg, to take a part of it.

“Well,” Devagni said, “I doubt the old Triarch had to go around begging to dig up people’s gardens,” she said.

“That he did not,” Khames said, his voice sounded wryly amused. The Nhaéslal Residence was visible ahead of them, a domed-structure of white walls, and energy projectors, it held a few separate atmospheres within it, with open-air gardens on its side, water fell from it, a waterfall that she guessed was fed by a system of short-range portals from the oceans of the world around them, the water became rain, spread out over the thousands of meters above the surface that undulated below.

The chariot came in to dock, they had travelled from the hub station the axle of the spokeless wheel of the Orbital, to speak to its owners. They were there on one of the rails of the palatial Residence, the only living people in this entire megastructure.

Devagni waved and smiled, descending from the lean chariot with her bodyguards remaining a sword-sweep behind her in line with ancient customs. She crossed a sycamore-lined landing pad to Nhamashal and Shialaevar Nhaéslal, bowing in greeting.

“Mamzel Shialaevar, Ser Nhamashal,” she said.

Shialaevar and her husband bowed in turn, “You honour us, Proaldaconciga,” she said, “one does not expect a home visit from the deputy leader of the entire Great Civilization,” she said. “Please come in, I have had the house prepare something fitting, you may not know this but of course we have very fine orchards and vineyards, and I would be delighted to offer a guest anything that our little world can produce,” she said.

Devagni nodded, “I do apologise that Telissat himself did not come, I felt it would be a little less intimate, a personal visit means less from someone who can be in a thousand places at once.”

“Oh I quite understand,” Shialaevar said, as they passed into the high corridor that broke off to meander through groves of white-barked trees in which sheenbirds sang. “The first teacher-birds we had here,” she said of the mechanical creatures, “the living children they reared are all flown away, but they guide them at times, and then return here, once every summer, to delight me, a quirk of programming that was given by the lady who gifted them to us.”

“Marvellous,” she said, pausing to listen, the sound was beautiful, the machine-birds were alive, the part of a terraforming process where young creatures hatched as generation one of the ecology was taught by mechanoid doubles, “You care a great deal for them,” Devagni said, beginning to get an impression of the seriousness that Shialaevar gave all this.

“Oh yes,” she said, “every little bit of life interacts with every other,” she said, “machine and organic, it is all one,” she said. “That is why you must understand my reluctance to give you what you want, Proaldaconciga,” she said, her near-black eyes looking to her guest. Shialaevar was as beautiful as all elves, her umber skin and dark hair well-groomed and attended, she did not seem to be a hermit who allowed her appearance to become unkempt, the Nhaéslals received guests and travelled, and Devagni had no doubt that she appreciated the disruption that the proposed carving up of her garden would bring than Devagni did.

“Of course,” Devagni said, “I have come to put the case, no more,” she said.

“Indeed,” she said, “I am listening,” she said, “and I have heard of the project you want to disassemble my garden for,” she said. “You want to avoid having to use any temporal chicanery or overt tricks to populate segments of the proposed Jupiter rings,” she said, “I have listened to the Diplomatic Service’s emissaries, and I do understand that what you ask would make the project much more whole, from the C’tani side. We have never been shy about our willingness to share or give up our garden, you must understand this, First Senator,” she said. “But to carve it apart would disrupt migration patterns and require substantial work to restore. It took us close to two hundred years to bring our garden-world to this development, nothing was here in this system before we came but rubble and dust.”

“No one is denying the achievement, indeed we are recognizing it,” she said, “your world is not the only one, but it is the one with the best mix of worlds and environments represented, we could approach apart an agri-farming orbital without much risk, or a single-biome world, but Tarinen-Nhaéslal is the best by far to show the worlds of the Great Civilization, you have almost every species’ homeworld represented with a full plate, and several many times over, along with other environments.”

“The work of my lifetime,” Shialaevar said.

“To date, Mamzel Nhaéslal, to date. I am sure that you have plans to move forwards.”

“Oh yes,” she said, “I do,” she said, “but, please, come to the aft overlook with me,” she said walking through the edge of the orchards, past staterooms and the wide domes of alternate atmosphere chambers.

When they had passed through the Residence’s opulence, they stood together at a balcony looking out from the flying structure to the orbital below. “Twenty worlds in a strip a thousand kilometres side to side,” Shialaevar said, “do you see the clouds of canopteks there?” she asked.

“I do,” she said, watching the clouds of industrious machines that hummed across the mountaintops.

“They circle this world, every ten years, travelling a thousand kilometers per day, to mend the world’s erosion, and prevent desertification, it may be automated but it still takes some work to make this world thrive,” she said, “some gardens have their spiders, mine are the gardeners,” she said. “I have always said that I would share my garden if people wished to visit it, and if they needed a home and I would even give it to them. But I did not want to have it carved up and exposed in Sol, to decorate a vanity project.”

“I can understand that,” Devagni said, “perhaps it would be better to think of it not as a vanity project, but a symbol of hope,” she said. “There are many in Sol who worry about its future, about the commitment of true space powers to it and its people; the Jupiter Rings will set people’s minds at ease.”

“And firm up a claim to the world that the Triumvirate has rarely pushed.”

“Another way to look at it,” she said.

“But, I will agree,” she said, “if you can give me something,” she said.

“I’m listening,” Devagni said.

“I did not want to ask this of the Diplomatic Service, but the Tomb World Rehabilitation Programme, I want something special. I want to create new plates that replicate Naogeddon’s indigenous fauna, with the genetic material available,” she said, “I will let you take a third of my garden, but only if I get to be the first, when a paleo-naogeddon ecosystem is fully mapped, to implement it. I want the first full Naogeddon ecosphere to be here. It would be something quite different, and a challenge unlike any I have dealt with before.”

Devagni frowned, “I cannot guarantee it, but I will speak to the Hiearchs of Atun and the keepers of the homeworld, and implore them to grant you this request.”

“Excellent,” Shialaevar said, turning, “please do come, I have been most rude, and I must show you that my kitchen is at least the equal of my earlier boasting.”
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Prologue for another Nation

Postby The Ctan » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:59 pm

The Elsydar was of a new generation of spelljammer ships, and she was a ship as far as could be imagined from the majority of ships of the Great Civilization, indeed she was incapable of being built by most of their shipyards, instead, she had grown, nurtured in the firmament, and she had abilities that most did not possess, along with something else. A living crew.

She was no warbird, indeed she largely did without conventional weapons, or even metal in her hull instead she had been grown from a single seed of wood, that had been spun and adorned with love, to most cultures she would a flight of fancy, but she was impossibility made real, the wind filled the sails that spread out on all sides of her, spun from cloth that caught the waves set in the calm of the cosmos by the thoughts of sapient beings. She was capable of slipping between worlds within outer dimensions and could travel without time wearying her passengers. A tree descended distantly from the great tree of his homeland wound in crystal powered it, and its crimson sails were adorned with runes in the patterns of the Great Civilization. The ship looked almost nautical, and the roots of the tree that made her mainmast had been extended and grown to provide the whole spacious length of the craft.

Ardreth Sinaran ita Atun was not one to rely on machines nor to take unexamined what was offered to him, and he had recurred a crew that were like-minded. With his boot set on the forecastle deck of the Elsydar, he surveyed the world ahead. His cloak of crimson flapped in the astral wind as they coasted toward the dark world before them and he rested his hand on the hilt of his sword. The ship could very much run itself, the spirit that animated it was not truly self-aware but it made handling easy enough.

The world they had come to was what they had expected, there were places within the galaxy where the normal rules did not apply, not fully, and this was one of them. In the scattered immensity of stars magic the arts by which thought alone could refine reality, and perilously many such places were infested by The Enemy of All Things, that had twisted them.

But the scent of the Primordial Annihilator did not taint the wind here, though magic stirred from the dead world. They were three days out from Selurûn, one of the most settled Giltherani worlds of the Great Civilization, a world where the indiginous population had been all but slain in god-war, where continents had been lofted high into the upper airs and where the world’s core had frozen to a barren land beneath.

As much as he had to believe he could judge the world before them, the crew counted a far better specialist than he. Turning back toward the wheel house, he headed aft and climbed the stairs to the Elsydar’s control room.

“It looks bleak,” the ship’s augur Aliria Cantrona said. She was an Aurothi human from Arda the magic-rich world known as Earth. The further one went from Arda, within this galaxy at least, the less common stable magic using species were, and all of the Elsydar’s crew hailed from that world or had ancestors who had settled there at least for a time.

“World augury is an imprecise science,” she continued, a projection of her thoughts extended before her, showing the world that lay ahead. “I think this is a cemetery world, captain, there’s just one spike of recent life that drew us here,” she said. There were touches of conventional technology throughout the ship, she sat far toward the magical on a continuum between the purely technological and the purely magical but she was still a hybrid; and the table on which the spell had projected Aliria’s thoughts was linked to the living metal systems threaded through the Elsydar, the forward optics focussing on the area in question.

“Well that’s a tomb,” Ardreth said, the city was ruined, ancient buildings rising from the marshes on the coast of a sea. “Let’s hail anyone down there before we land,” he said.
__ __ __


The shore party appeared in a burst of light. The Elsydar’s crew moved shrouded in a protective mist of their own atmosphere, the magic that had sent them here protected them from harm in all but the most extreme environments, and the most terrifying contagions. Ardreth raised a lantern, looking around the area they had arrived in. There were no signs of recent habitation, and the drip of water from the high places in the remaining buildings was everywhere.

“There is someone here,” Aliria said, her hand in a warding gesture before her. “I think it knows we are here, now.”

Crevasses of ancient earthquakes split the ground, and they moved cautiously, a translation charm worn at Ardreth’s throat conveying his words to anything that used verbal speech. “We are here to meet you, we mean no harm!”

There was no sound, there were bodies here, whatever ancient cataclysm had killed this world had ended all life, even microbes and the bodies were puffy waterlogged bloated things that had eroded under the remaining pressures of the world, only a few had scraps of flesh left, whatever they had been far from human.

The creature that attacked them was armoured and garbed in white, and no native, for it was undeniably human, or human enough. It was fast, capable, and its weapon, a sword of shining steel, carved through the skin-suit body armour that Jayenna wore. Her blood splattered the ground, and she recoiled with a scream of horror.

Ardreth’s blade was in his hand, he was glad of it, for one of his fellows reached for a weapon that fell apart in his hand. He knew what the beast was, he remembered its kind. “Eiron!” he shouted, “get her back, don’t let him touch her.”

The creature towered over him, it wore a faceless, eyeless helm, its strength jarred his blade in his hand, he knew that the weapon he carried was the only one that would work, for it was an ancestral blade, crafted for his father when their home had lain under the shadow of Ermor, three centuries ago, it blazed with crimson fire from the Espruar runes that had never been more than engravings before, enchantments from the ancient Library of Ages in Menelmacar had been written into it at its creation, and they provided a degree of surety, for this enemy was a reflection of the Menelmacari’s hereditary foes.

Koehionel, one of his crew, grasped Aliria and hauled her back to her feet, his own weapon unmade in the moment it had been pointed toward this enemy, and that had been an enchanted weapon. Ardreth almost wept to look at the creature before him, and he could see Eiron averting his eyes in panic, the presence of such a thing could unmake courage, while weapons that were set against them rarely survived.

And it was a superlatively skilled blade wielder, Ardreth fancied himself skilled, but it was preternatural, it moved with ease and it struck with the strength of an industrial hammer.

“Get us back to the ship,” Ardreth shouted, each word bought with a step backwards, and a frantic effort to cover, to twist the blade of his enemy aside and stop it from landing a blow on him. When it had struck Aliria it had not known about the living metal that garbed them beneath their clothing, the blade had slipped and only taken her arm; if such a thing could be described as only. It was not likely to fail to kill on a second blow, his enemy had, much as he had, taken to holding the sword as another weapon, the creature he fought still used its own enchanted blade as a cutting weapon. Ardreth held his sword by its blade, driving for the weaker points in the enemy’s archaic armour.

A momentary failure and it had him, its gauntlet seizing his blade, ripping it away from him and casting it aside. The enemy’s weapon swung for him, and he expected to die before he could escape.

The deck of the Elsydar replaced the dead world’s landscape, and he could hear only the breathing, laughter echoing as they were whisked to safety, Koehionel having shaken off the soul-tormenting terror of the enemy to bring them home.

“What was that?” Aliria asked, panting, the skin-suit had injected her with potent numbing agents, and she had settled back.

“Koehionel, fire up the ansible, call a warning, Eiron, get to the helm, get us into high orbit, we need to get to a full-service medical facility. Regenerating the limb won’t do it, we need specialist healers. That was a Castellan of Herumor,” he said to Aliria, “and that it was even here needs to be reported.”
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:11 am

Ytusa adjusted the shoulder-mantle of her clothing as they soared into the valley. The air-boat soared across the mountains, the wind in her grey-black hair as she shifted. The group on the air-barge was an age range between twelve and sixteen, eight in all, including her sister.

The world-ring of the Orbital was a huge structure, and they had been travelling for more than an hour across its mountain-ranges and valleys.

The orbital replicated the predominant earth-biosphere in any given epoch, a ribbon of living metal a thousand kilometers in width, the Mosar-Nan-Terrios Orbital was a work under construction, and the mountainsides were still being sculpted.

Her sister, Halia, had dressed as she was, in sand-beige and pale cream plastid fabrics that were worn over living metal armour-suits that served as protection in case of someone doing something foolish.

The Orbital Ring consisted of more than eleven thousand square ‘plates’ each of which held a snapshot of a different period of the bio history of Gaia, ten thousand of which held snapshots going back almost two million years into the early Proterozoic, with another one thousand representing the earlier proterozoic and archean epochs.

“We should have done dinosaurs,” Janna said, “they’re always popular.”

“Everyone does dinos, we’ll never get a Callandra Learning Award with dinosaurs,” Halia said, adjusting the mag-boat’s keel, “we want to pick something a bit more recent.”

Halia and Ytusa had the same father but different mothers, their father had once been the highest placed official of the Great Civilization; Janna had far less of history in the Great Civilization, her parents having moved here only six months ago, but one could not tell much difference between them in dress or style. This was one of the incentives that the Great Civilization used to lure immigration; the education standards available were high and more importantly available to all, and access to education was considered a fundamental right.

“Yes, but everyone likes dinosaurs,” Janna said.

The ten thousand plates covering the last two billion years were snap-shots of Gaia two hundred thousand years apart, some species were going to be on every plant, others were not. Halia had a goal in mind, “Quinkana will be just as charismatic,” she said, “just wait ‘til you see one.”

The maglev vessel was a lean structure of pale white under a sun-awning of green, it slid through the air, propelled by field interactions that kept it aloft; in a rotational environment such as an orbital, where gravity was only experienced due to centrifugal force, standard contra-grav structures were worthless without building them into true reactionless drive and they instead coasted by repelling themselves against the ring itself, miles beneath the ground below.

“Here we are,” Halia said, touching a control that brought the observation barge into a relative stop, the vehicle was quiet enough to be unheard.

Beneath them a series of basking crocodilians were sunning themselves, mouths open, legs planted either side of them. Ytusa sat next to her sister, as Jenna waved a hand over one of the controls and dispatched a wave of lean spy-flies to begin photographing the creatures.

Their expedition was due to last all morning. Janna watched the screens with rapt interest, opening up a sketch-book reflexively and describing their shapes in broad terms. The overall question that the group, along with three other groups from their school had chosen to explore was whether predatory behaviours changed through time.

“Well we’re not getting much in the way of live behaviour here,” Ytusa said, “we should move on to somewhere else to see them in action.”

“They’ll all be in action at some point,” Halia said, “but we don’t really need to look too closely, the experiment is mostly about counting how often they eat,” she said. “A few spy-flies will keep them under surveillance,” she said.

Janna leaned in to look at the test grid, they had a series of experiments planned, and they wanted the same species in different eras, there were only three plates, thousand-kilometre regions of the orbital ring, where the ancient crocodilians thrived without outside feeding and environment support, the Mosar-Nan-Terrios ring was seventy years old, but it was only a fraction of the way complete, with most regions unable to truly provide a living biosphere.

The educational programmes of the Great Civilization were designed to allow every child to explore their own creativity, and desire to learn and interact with their environment in ways they controlled, self-directed learning in groups was the model that they had adopted in almost all areas; the industrial education of most spacefaring and pre-spaceflight cultures where children learned set academic disciplines with concrete testing as the focus worked very well to produce industrial and service workers, and to inculcate a response to authority, the Great Civilization had no need of non-scientific personnel for its industries and far more for creative individual effort, and their culture had adapted to serve that need.

She called up another screen, although Janna lagged behind many of her contemporaries she was able to excel in some things, computer language came naturally to her, and the spy-flies were running a visual search programme that she had designed, she linked in the aura notes, the shimmering form of her data-djinn sat along with the other two girls’, coiled up in holographic form on the railings of the skyboat.

“There we go,” she said, “we’ll get live reports of their activity, which we can look at anywhere,” she said.

“Nice,” Ytusa said to her. “Shall we go find some more?”

“Actually, I really do want to see the Cretaceous Plates,” Janna admitted.
Last edited by The Ctan on Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:59 pm

Shess Merithan looked past the perimeter psy-drones as she examined the site, windblown dust skirling through the atmosphere of the dead world. She moved with care, the place beyond was still active, and the Great Civilization had not taken any active ownership, nor had their machines, the whole valley was a still, dead place, a cleave in the ground, a place where reality ran thin and the things beyond every plane and brane were pushed against reality, and she could feel it in her bones.

There was nothing there, nothing visible, at least, and even though she had become experienced with the workings of the Old Ones, she had to admit there was something that still unsettled her.

“Well, fuck you too Lithesh,” she said. Her species was one of many within the Great Civilization far younger than her companion’s, she was a Lashunta, humanoid, but with no history of these things. Lithesh was a Necrontyr, the enemy of the Old Ones.

“Well I would come with you, but ‘no air, only spindle drones’ is not a very appealing scenario,” Lithesh said, “I really don’t want to be betting the whole operation on the Structure being pre-War in Heaven.”

They’d brought nothing necrontyr with them, no living metal, no reliable technology; even the ship that Lithesh was on in orbit had come from Tor Yvresse, from its older fleet of less-integrated vessels.

Finding the few remaining artefacts of the ancient Enemy was difficult, finding intact ones more so. Something as powerful as this was a rare occasion that would be remembered.

Someone had to go in, of course, such structures, when they functioned, were not likely to let drones into them, and did not respond well to force; the best way, if not the lowest risk, was to enter the complex in person. Still, there was no way that Lithesh could do it, which always meant she was free to run comms; though no one would speak a necrontyr language here. Fortunately, all of the Enunciates were well versed in other languages.
__ __ __


The drones that accompanied Shess as she crossed the liminal boundry, toward the structure which could not be seen or detected by uninitiated eyes or instruments, were sleek things, striated along their underside with broad, smooth backs, their front sides were crowded with lenses and probes, and they shone narrow stablights into the dark as they floated into the Loom.

Crossing the boundary was easy, entering the space where the structure’s intrusion into the Materium was accessible was a small achievement for her, though most of the Great Civilization’s people, even the splendid magi, could not even begin to accomplish that.

The space was dark, a channel or crevice, unaided, Shess could not see the ceiling, and even the instruments on the first wave drones failed to capture it. Perhaps the structure was an unbounded artificial space, infinite in height, undefinable in its spatial design. Such things had been encountered before in the works of the Old Kind, as much as the Great Civilization themselves used such engineering.

The walls were the deepest black, as were the floors, lines of pale white could be seen as the structure responded to her Enunciation. She wondered if the structure could think, she wondered what awareness it had. The possibility of being crushed was there, but the probes could not pass onward alone, without the Impressum of sapience capable of Enunciation; the structure would not unlock otherwise.

Tessalating tiles made up the floor and the walls, and she watched carefully. She could hear the sound of rushing water or something that seemed like it, in the walls, and the distant stirring of mechanisms, for a moment the image of the entire structure filled with moving parts struck her mind, rolling machine parts hidden from sight.

She approached the dark wall where the drones had come to a stop, and she spoke the language of creation, the first song, and she spoke words of opening, the structure changed, as it responded to the spoken commands, drawing in around her, they were in an engineered reality here, and the wall was the edge of the cosmos.

Her words were in the painstakingly deciphered Ur-speech of the Old Ones, and the universe, the Warp, obeyed.
__ __ __


Shess did not look up, she knew that here, the unbounded infinitude was the Great Ocean. In the days when this structure had been first spoken into being, it was likely a calming sight. Here, she did not look up.

The majority of the Loom was built outside the tenuous soap-bubble that was the universe, her whole existence had been on the inside of that bubble, now she walked on the outside.

Her little cloud of drones followed with her, and she switched to recording, communication with the ship could wait until she survived, if she survived.

She whistled, and her flock spread out, her ocular clicking with their images as they searched a widening circle of the structures, here and there a reflective structure glimpsed what was outside the structure, and she winced, even muted by the relay.

The structure was lit here and there, with pale white, and the walls gleamed like polished black obsidian.
__ __ __


“This is it,” Shess said, “I’ve made it to the Loomface,” she spoke as the drones formed a circle around her. The darkling space had no obvious controls, it was dark as the void, the noctilith floor was grooved, and made with more tessellating tiles. She had hoped for some kind of monumental art or inscriptions, but to the Old Kind, this had been a functional space.

Something was depressing about that, given the purpose of the structure, and she let out a breath at the audacity of the Old Ones. She had built a career in the study of their arts and ways, but still, there was something about the Loom that rankled her.

They had failed on this world, but on so many others, perhaps even her own, they had succeeded. The enunciation place was a raised dais, six-sided, with different step heights visible reflecting the several most common species of the Old Kind.

She knelt in a seiza posture, and around her, glimmering white hololithic projections snapped into view around her. If she touched them, she would likely lose a hand, the machinery around her had been fooled by her Enunciation thus far, and while she was no Necrontyr, there was more than mere genetics accounted for here.

She looked at the unit and wondered if one of the Old Kind had sat or stood here long ago. Most of these Looms were automated, there had been millions of them in the Great Wheel galaxy alone; the Old Ones had placed them on life-bearing worlds, to influence the processes of evolution.

They were not so gauche as to directly interfere in genetics, but instead these devices guided mutation toward their needs, over the term of billions of years, they pressured life toward the Old Kind’s goals.

Shess had seen the places where the Old Ones had not walked, where life had climbed the slow ladder on its own, intelligence coming in more diverse, more idiosyncratic forms.

Late in the War, the Old Ones had tuned these devices to adopting the Necrontyr body-plan as their new template, and species on countess worlds, including perhaps her own, had become closely aligned to that design.

Humans named it humanoid, perhaps her own people had somewhere named it Lashuntir, though she’d never heard the term used.

While the interference in evolution struck her as morally dubious, creating patronage that could not be ethically fulfilled without immediate uplift and equality, which they had never provided, the use of other sapient beings as warriors was morally repugnant.

In the later phases of the War, the Old Ones, unable to compete with the Necrontyr and C’tan’s great technology, had turned their client species into weapons, stirring the warp and emotions, in a range of ways, but all had paid the price, as much as the Necrontyr had been ruined by the biotransferrence into necron shells, the Aeldari, the Krork and the Hrud, the Jokaero and countless others had been ruined in spirit.

This Loom had never spun a species into a guided path, it had become idle almost seventy million years ago by a world-breaking asteroid impact, and that made it a perfect site for study, for it had spun down to a fraction of its intended operating power, as no evolutionary pathway toward a large-brained creature whose metabolism could support complex abstract thought had been possible.

It had awakened three million years ago as the environment had changed again, and it had already begun to drive certain promising life-forms into the tree-like flora that still existed.

Shess was not sure if it should be deactivated; or allowed to continue its work; they had another quarter-million years before such a decision needed to be made. Time enough to study the site entirely, as the need arose.

Shess was sure that the Old Ones had felt that performing so monumental a task was a gesture that those they created would thank them for, and the Necrontyr had thought that such things were repellant interference in the free will - for the Loom did not just shape sapience but guide its forms and responses as it grew. Where was the truth? She was not a veteran of the War in Heaven, she was merely one of those who could pick up the pieces and see what had been lost, and what could be made in the present.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Ctan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:16 pm

[With the kind permission of Roania and Mystrian Altea]


“Of course, if you master all these arts, your chances of attracting the eye of a general or senator is greatly increased.”

“Excuse me Mamzel, what is a senator?”

Levanna blinked, looking at the young woman who had asked the question. “I mean, a senator’s an elected official, properly the term is Concion,” she said, “or Conciga, for women."

Cuifen gave her a stare, a little bemused. “Elected, Mamzel?”

Levanna had to admit, she hadn’t really heard more than whispers of such things before her own homeland had fallen rather dramatically into the C’tani sphere of influence, and she was still not entirely conversant on all the details, but she felt she owed it to her pupils to give as good an explanation as she could.

“Elected officials are chosen from among those who wish to rule by the multitude,” she said, “the most powerful are the Triarch and the Senators,” she said, “senator is a common word meaning word meaning something like Elders,” she did not know the history of the common tongue too well even though it was her mother tongue, “but they aren’t necessarily excessively old, though they are generally considered wise. There’s two types, Aldaconcigi and Concigi, these are Imperial Gothic titles, meaning Elder-Councillor and Councillor. The Aldaconcigi gets elected, the Concigi appointed for their wisdom or as representatives of a few special interest groups, such as Cryptek Conclaves, Conquered Territories, and so on,” she said.

“So they are not all elected Mamzel?”

“No, not all of them, about one in four are the appointed type, and they are supposed to give expert opinions. They don’t hold voting powers in the senate except on matters relating to their sphere of expertise,” she said, “these are public administration, provision, art, industry, defensive affairs, and subject peoples. As Rekhyt, we’re not asked to vote for Aldaconcigi but there’s a panel of Conciga that represent my own homeland, and another that represent Rekhyt domiciled in fully-C’tani lands, for whom you actually can vote, but unlike for Maktey, who actually have to vote unless they're unable to, it's entirely optional.” These terms were the formal terms for subjects of the Great Civilization, she had already covered in a previous lesson the concept of the Citizen.

There was a distinct difference between the two principal classes of the Great Civilization, and the caste system her homeland of Altea had formerly possessed, that all people were expected to be subjects unless they chose to become Citizens, Levanna preferred the idea to that of inheritance; her children would be Citizens or they would get an earful every damn day, even though she doubted she could do it herself.

The terms Citizen and Subject were largely used in Common, but the terms Levanna used most, Rekhyt and Maktey for subject and citizen were regional; the first being inscribed with lapwing-birds, which amused her, and the latter word, meaning Guardian, an Aeldari influence, which amused her in written form for other reasons.

“How does that work Mamzel?” Cuifen asked, she was a beautiful young women, as they all were, her long hair combed straight, and like all of Levanna’s small class she was distinguished by her fluffy wings of silken feathers. “I understand why one would appoint lawmakers, but why do people choose their own leaders?”

She was from a place more strangely authoritarian than Altea had ever been, Cuifen had exiled herself after discovering no road for advancement, or marriage, in her homeland, some years ago as a teenager she had committed an act of petty vandalism, and that had left her without opportunities, for the black mark lingered for life there. She had abandoned her family name, perhaps to avoid bringing some shame on them, perhaps because she had been persecuted by them; Levanna did not ask, didn’t want to pry. Like Levanna, she had adopted a surname reflecting one of the great dynastic clans of the Necrontyr, Maynarkhiry, in her case, after the ruthless and authoritarian followers of the Mother of Oblivion - the majority of her charges had some alignment in their titulature to the more traditional elements of Necrontyr society.

The Great Civilization was not so unforgiving, and Roanians were regarded with the same avarice that its ruling class viewed all foreigners; the C’tani aspired to be a universal state, and invited immigration with enough fervour that it used the term Recruitment as if it were an army or a commercial enterprise; of course, being able to live within its spacious and sprawling borders did not entirely speak to a way of life, and this particular lesson had a goal that was more complex than simply being able to reside 'under the scarab's wings'; they wanted to achieve status through consorthood or marriage and listened to Levanna because of her experience in doing just that.

There were small settlements of Roanian immigrants within the Great Civilization, as there were of any species or culture the C’tani could get to. Here in the city of Neocoritan the Street of Ten Thousand Gods held shrines to Fen’hwan the Great Phoenix and half a dozen other Roanian deities, including Du’r Zin, the unspoken spirit of forbidden loves; a fitting place for it.

There was nowhere in any of those temples that one could find a god of democracy; instead, the precepts of their culture-founder said much of servants, and it was perhaps not too surprising that there would be an interest in the role of courtesans, banned as a scandal at home, exalted here. Some sought such things for status, some as an aspiration for family, others for the ears it would let them whisper into. To achieve that required learning, looks or luck, and ideally all three. The House of the White Orchid was an instruction house for the skills one would need for that, and Levanna had a good understanding of it, but Levanna had to admit she felt challenged by the idea of explaining civics.

“It isn’t the choosing of leaders that appeals,” she said, at last, “it’s the idea of being rid of them,” she mused, rising from the elevated pallet, and this brought out a chorus of startled laughter and scandal, with several of her charges looking toward the door as though expecting the Lawkeepers to burst in and seize Levanna for treason.

She let them settle down for a moment, “The rule of Telissat Amris won’t last forever, and one day he will be out of power,” she said, to continue, “the same is true of every senator, septarch, sepatarch and even the council of Neocoritan,” she said. “I find that a rather comforting thought.

They didn’t seem to agree, and Cuifen raised her hand again, the pearls of her headdress shimmering on the left side of her face as she tilted her head in contemplation, “So, you have no idea who will be in charge in the future?”

“Not really, no,” she said, “but their rule won’t last either.”

“Awful,” she said, shaking her head in disapproval, forgetting the term of respect she had used for her teacher until now, which made Levanna smile even more; she suspected that some of her class were going to waste their time trying to report her to the Lawtenders after today’s lesson. “Poor C’tani, living with such inconstancy,” she said with a commiserate pout.

Levanna laughed, “I’m a poor teacher of civics,” she said, “let’s go back to calligraphy,” she said, “there are several principal languages you should be familiar with,” she said, spreading a roll of parchment across it, moving to stand behind it as her flock rose. “All of you are familiar with Rudanese of course, and it would be expected for you to be so,” she said, “you should polish that skill, but along with that, there are several languages you’ll want to learn, you aren’t required to master them all, but the more you know the better,” she said, “D'rɑgolɛth, Quenya in the Sarati script and the Tengwar script, the Sarati would be used more for wall hangings,” she said, setting out the brush, “Seroic, the language of the humans of the Great Civilization, is a ritual language that you see more often as a script than you’ll hear it as a spoken language,” she said, “there are languages that do not fit the brush well, monumental inscription, but you’ll find that the necrontyr sine-script does this well, but it is challenging to learn compared to the demotic script. We will begin by showing each script and how it may be used with a brush,” she said.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:12 pm

NGC 1379

If there was anything that was quintessentially ‘Necrontyr’ it was the idea that archeology required undertakers. Namash ita Thurasid was one of that particular breed, an essential position aboard a survey ship.

The Great Civilization usually described its exploration as survey, the ancient explorers had charted a thousand galaxies, and the largest part of the business of a modern explorer was trying to ascertain what had happened during the tens of millions of years and what the starchange had altered and what had been left as the old archives said.

Stepping into the analysis chamber, Namash looked at the phos-glpyhs that hung in the air before his counterpart, a wide armourcrys window looked out on the gently turning orb below. Raising his hand in the sign of greeting, he let his silver eyes scan the displays.

“What am I to see here?” he asked, the glyphs showed a statistical analysis of many groups of people that had once called the world beneath home. None lived there now, its people survived, and tesseract-probes had watched them on a dozen worlds surrounding this one, but the living were largely the business of the Introduction Instrumentality, not the mortuary division.

“I thought you’d like this,” the woman within said. Elarin Brendt was a tall human woman who wore her hair in an wide turban that bore the crest of the Veritan faith, a group that had plenty of adherents on Survey ships.

He looked at the diagram of the native species, whose words for themselves had varied over the hundred thousand years of their literate civilization but whom the C’tani largely called Raptans. He looked at the image, “Endemic infection?” he asked.

“Entirely so,” she said. “The shipmind brought it to my attention about an hour ago and I’ve been working through it,” she said, “you are familiar with toxoplasmosis gondii?”

“It doesn’t sound familiar,” he said, extinct human medical conditions were not his field at all. He inloaded a definition of it and raised one eyebrow, “Carry on.”

“So, through most of their latter history,” Elarin said, summoning a hologram that shone with a timeline, “there was a parasitic infection largely dominant in the Raptan population, which looking at our genetic analysis was likely to make them more amenable to authority.”

“Hence the caste systems that existed in their society? That explains a lot about their customs actually,” he said, looking at the timeline. “That’s when we see kin-groups changing to be less integrated.

“That’s also when more extreme wounds and exhaustive extractive labour becomes a lot more normalized, despite the industrial development of the planet,” he said. “It’s about when they stopped looking for ways to save labour and went around thinking that the best way to run a stellar empire was mass enlistment and rallying the public behind sloganistic sects gave way to settled castes,” Namash said.

The data they had on the planet took into account the hundreds of billions of Raptan remains that had been unearthed, the ship had searched through the planet and countless drones swarmed through the loam, sampling all the interred remains of countless generations.

“And then, just like this,” Elarin said, snapping her fingers, “the plaque disappears, perhaps in the course of a single generation, even.”

“A medical treatment, then? Or perhaps some natural counter-agent.”

“What happened we can only speculate at for now, though as we gather more detail, it might become apparent; but by this point, the social change is accompanied by the traces of fusion-scorching on continent seven.”

“What’s your postulate?”

“I think it was likely natural,” she said, “a more aggressive outgrowth of the original parasite, that went through the population within a few generations, and made the authority enjoyed by those who are immune, you see here how high-status burials are rarely infected throughout the infection era?” she asked, and at that point, ambition kicks back in like it normally does, and people question why it is they’re in the trenches.”

“Really interesting,” Namash said, “I’ll look into the low-caste burial customs there, and when we have enough of a cultural framework, we might look to whether reinterrment to burials might be culturally appropriate.” The obsession with death ran deep in necrontyr culture, and everywhere the survey went, when it found dead worlds, there was the consideration of whether the remains of long-passed sapient beings had been interred with sufficient respect. Those who had lived under deep coercion, slaves, low caste peoples, those who were utterly subjugated, were particularly likely to be extracted from long anonymous pits in the ground and reinterred in tectonically stable sanctuary tombs, where the best analysis of their practices suggested it would have been desired.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:46 am

“Slave! Bring my armour!”

The words came out before he was fully awake, and he regretted them as Kyphax did most days. He had uttered them on waking most days. No slave came, though, and he looked at his armour where it stood on its armature beside him, eyes empty but judging.

Pulling himself from the sleeping pallet he drew on the shimmering scales of his robe, buckling it around his waist.

Beneath the window, on an arched brass frame, his bolter sat, on its armature, polished and perfect, ready with loaded magazines beside it, next to that, his helm, with its bifurcated faceplate reminiscent of his ancient legionnaire armour but with the addition of curling horns atop it, and the jutting mandibles below.

He did not wield either, instead his hands found the slender form of his blade, his true companion. He raised it up and buckled it on, adjusting it to his waist.

The sunlight through the window was clean and pure, and the vista outside his home was unspoilt, the table-lands of the Lands of Solitude were a greyish beige, broken here and there by vegetation.

And then he checked the thing that stopped him from using any of them. He did not check in words but instead with a thought.

++ I am still here ++

The voice was his jailer, the things that infested his mind, parasitic machines formed a mind of their own, a keeper more sure than any bars or jailers, they were called mindshackle scarabs, and they could answer questions.

It was a ritual, but he started every day questioning if the jailer was still there or if it had malfunctioned in some way; perhaps in enough centuries he would escape it. Perhaps.

Kyphax took up his sword and examined it, he had taken the weapon from one of his chapter’s ancient enemies, and it bore the icon of a fist on its golden pommel still. He drew the blade and let the light of Surya, the system’s star, gleam along its length. Touching its ignition stud he let the disruption field shimmer along its blade, and satisfied he extinguished the weapon a moment later, sheathing it and hanging it from his belt.

He stepped out into the bright table-lands. Surya’s light shone across them, the continent here had always been bare, and Kyphax had settled here far from the population of the locals, an ocean from the nearest city and with mega-fauna and bitter storms, a place to offer challenges, and a way to keep the hand and eye sharp.

There were many Astartes here, at least, compared to the galaxy beyond the startide. None too far away he knew his ancestral enemies dwelt. He could almost taste them on the air. Here were those who could not adjust, exiles and wanderers, he had fought in the armies of the Warmaster, before the starchange had carried his ship here, he had been an outcast then, on the run after he had failed to take control of his warband, and his ship had been pursued, they had not had time to understand that they had crossed into another universe when the necrons came upon them.

The battle had been brief, and Kyphax’s brothers had put up a brief fight as their ship was crowded with enemies, though they had been taken alive. The necrons had a great desire to understand what happened in the Ancestral Universe, and Kyphax’s force had experienced the starchange later than most.

He had not seen his brothers until they had been done probing his mind, until they had installed the mindshackle scarabs, until they had dumped them here. And then, as much as he had tried to keep them together, there was no binding cause any more. The black they all wore was no longer a cause, but a history.

One by one they had gone their seperate ways. Kathos had taken his bike to the far north and lived following the herds that called the Lands of Solitude home. Abalim and Keritas had left last, Abalim had gone offworld, had spat on the gods and sold out utterly, preferring to “fight as an astartes for any cause than be a prisoner forever.”

Kyphax looked out over the landscape and sighed as he sat on the stone step of his bunker-like dwelling with its narrow window slit and single door. He took his knife and marked a groove in the sandstone.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:58 pm

Pisces Dwarf Galaxy
Anunitum Expedition


Matsura Takenari stepped through the portal, there was no greater sense of displacement but he was aware this was the furthest he’d ever travelled from the Milky Way.

He looked at the area around the portal, the forward operating base had been assembled yesterday, but it was far from small, dominated by an viewing screen opposite the portal that showed the exterior of the station.

“Here we are,” he said, looking across the area, there were planters for flora but nothing had grown in yet and screens that showed the area around them.

“Takenari,” the familiarity made him smile.

“Candor,” he said, “how’s it going?”

“Our shipmind has been busy,” he said, “we have been preparing for the first part of our mission,” he said, turning to walk back toward the observatory, making the sign of awakening and calling up a phos-glyph screen that hung in the air before him, glowing with the soft lambence of holographics.

“Nice replication rate,” Takenari said.

“We’re using comparatively simple units to boot-strap the observatory, we estimate with the assets assigned we should be in a position to make meaningful analysis of the emergent situation within the Triangulum Galaxy within six days,” Candor said.

“We know what we’re looking for?”

“We’ve carried out an initial perturbation test with two long range vessels,” Candor said, “by pulsing an ultra-low-energy tachyon beam through the affected region protected by a Krȃng Crown we’ve been able to determine how actively their FTL interdiction technology disrupts the beam.

“And the englobement?” Takenari asked, “there’s what, forty billion stars in the Anunitum Spiral?” he asked. One tenth of the number in the Great Wheel.

“Yes, with each deployed probe taking the form of a single long range projector,” Candor said, “There’s not much bandwidth compared to a civilian communications platform, but with the replication rate as it is we need thirty seven replications from the loadout and twenty five from the superluminal carrier construction array.”

They stepped into the viewing room, where a far larger hologram hung of the Triangulum Galaxy, showing the billions of stars there.

“When that’s done we should be able to track the formation of any interdiction field in real time, tachyon beams crossing each star.”

“How long will deployment take?” Takenari asked.

Candor looked to one side, “That’s one for you, friend,” he said.

“Assuming no interception missions, and that we remain at a sensible standoff, we will be able to deploy within ten to twelve days, I already have the local processing power to run it, the array will go live simultaneously, and each node will communicate relative positions by entanglement, stellar drift will eventually make the array ineffective but conservatively once it is running only a few superluminal carriers will be needed to keep it fully replenished.”
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:36 pm

The instruments immediately turned blood red, warning of local spatial conditions. Nambra M'Haaren ita Novokh watched the instruments of her ship as it slipped from hyperspeed and whistled quietly to herself, “No one should need that many singularities,” she said, as the ship adjusted a course to avoid the radiation slew of the hundreds of singularities in concentric rings around the system’s massive star.

Each of these compressed universal bubbles was held in a ring of shimmering living metal bigger than most civilizations’ largest habitats, though none of them was her destination.

The ship’s course took her past one of them and the shielding that was woven into the outer atoms of each hull layer blazed with protective auras.

The ship slipped past this ring of constructs toward the system star, where ribbons of confined plasma extracted from the swarms that opaqued most of the blue star’s surface linked the constructs to it, providing the bulk matter that stabilized the singularity platforms.

A smaller star, a binary companion, was visible beyond the giant englobed star and its singularities, its orbit threaded through the billion-kilometre plasma columns. Nambra knew a fair bit about this system but had never actually seen it before, which was why she had chosen to attend this rare invitation by ship, she wanted to make the most of the sight-seeing.

It was not often one was able to see a recluse’s home.

A scorched and glittering planet orbited the lesser star, its surface covered in cities of computer substrate, kilometre crevasses of data spires and glittering rivers of crystalline perma-data. Even as the ship used its inertialess drive to shorten the trip between the primary star and the world that orbited its companion she had the chance to take another look at the data flow, so much information rippled through spacetime here that it threatened to erode the barriers between this universe and others simply based on the information density of local space.

The planet was the residence of the most reclusive of all the C’tan, the entity known as Kenan, and it rarely entertained visitors. The Void Dragon was infamous as a being of engineering, but this entity was its rival, perhaps more an expert in the pure application of science, though many historians and scientists would disagree as to which had had the greater achievements.

__ __ __


A diffuse but breathable atmosphere kissed the ship’s hull as it slipped through, like a blade, to approach the barren world. The controls warned that gravity here was more than six times the Ardan standard, and humans would only be able to survive with precautions. Nambra was not concerned of course, for this was a wholly technological environment. As far as the horizon went, glimmering crevasses of green and blue shone.

The form of Kenan was the size of a mountain, as her ship began to decelerate, dropping below the speed of sound in the dense, broiled atmosphere, it took the form of a vast machine, first cousin to the AIs that made up the Great Civilization’s high-level processing infrastructure, though the being the ageless knot of high energy thought touched down in the planet.

Nambra’s ship came to rest on a floating lotus-pad of gleaming metal, and she headed aft to disembark, breathing the air only through filter-fields as she stepped onto an abeyant, the hovering chariot-like platform carrying her across the landscape.

Her clothing fluttered in the breeze as the surveying platform coasted over the foothills of data-substrate that surrounded the mountain-avatoid, hundreds of others had gathered too, on similar larger platforms that hung in the air before clusters of optical sensors the size of racetracks.

__ __ __


Walking to the closer side railing, Nambra wondered at the collection of experts and emissaries here, some were organic, others AI presences, here a sleek drone with a piscine outer surface like a flatfish hovered at eye level, pulsing an emotional substrate while there an avatar made of hundreds of scuttling machines showed the interest of far off shipminds and other constructs.

Some were mages, and she recognized one or two, fellow experts in her field, she gravitated toward one that she knew, after a moment, and made a greeting, her palms together before her heart.

“Caspian,” she said, “what a pleasure, how is Antia?”

He smiled as he returned the gesture, “Very well,” he said, “I’m pleased to see you here, you got the message from our reclusive friend here too? Then I think our beliefs might be right, that this may be related to the Altris Paradox?”

“That would be exciting,” she said. “There would be no limit to the contemplative-retrieval operations we could automate.”

“There might still be some inherent limits that we will encounter or practical limits,” he said, Nambra had a reputation for optimism about the potential of automated reader systems, and Caspian had always been more cautious than his correspondent.

As the last of the group cycled in, shining green phos-glyphs began to appear, the Sign of Communion appearing, with a momentary pause, Nambra swiped her hand through it.

The torrent of thought that began a moment later made her heart flurry in her chest, and thoughts of fire unfolded in her mind, an aeon of contemplation resolved in a moment, and at once she knew the answers to questions that she had not yet considered.

She grinned with excitement, as she felt the thoughts revealed to the limits of her ability to comprehend them, even though she was gifted in some areas, and trained with academic rigour, there were engineering subtleties of the C’tan’s proposal that made her feel as though she was toe-deep in an ocean of thought.

Far off AIs had the other parts of the revalation, and she grappled with the consequences of the experimentation and thought of the star god, Caspian and the others burst into competing conversations at once, animated, through speech, thoughtform, high-intensity chirping sound and esoteric radio-telepathy bursts depending on their societies.

__ __ __


The truly ignorant thought of the galaxy as a series of quadrants, the educated thought of the galaxy as a set of spiral arms, and the truly experienced thought of it as an evolving galactic whirlpool of pressure fronts of star-creation with far more going on than could be seen on a two-dimensional map.

The star Aritane could not be seen on most maps of the galaxy used by young races even under the greatest magnification, because it was to be found in the Saggitarius Stream, the long reach of stars drawn out of the Saggitarius satellite galaxy as it ploughed through the galactic disc time and again, sitting high ‘above’ the galactic disc.

Here the Ilcathelma Aritane orbital hung, the first modern orbital it was a million of kilometres wide strip of spinning living metal that basked in the illumination of an unremarkable fading star.

Hours of conversation on the high platforms surrounding the Hermit God’s thought platform had left her tired, and she allowed the yacht’s autopilot to carry her home, instead of watching from the armourglass of her small onboard study.

The journey was short, but the pre-sets in the ship had the vessel carry her on the scenic route at any given time, to make sure most flights took more than an hour and the ship dropped out of hyperspeed with a fine view of the distant red giant and the dark occlusion of the ringfloor.

As the ship coasted in toward the familiar structure of her home, she sighed, using a mental command to one of the ioun stones that orbited her to instruct the ring to displace her home; she was fond of hybrid magic and technology, though this was a form of magic that had the functions of a high-end personal computer, imitating technology, an unusual but aesthetic choice.

The room dissolved to her tele-locus within her home, a gazebo surrounding a black pillar that stood within the outer rim of her garden, the sun, as seen from the Orbital ring, was large. The sky was red above, some of the plates of Aritane had particulate layers in their atmosphere to bring them to an artificial look of a planet closer to the Gaian norm, but not so for this one, dominated by the blue-violet plants that had evolved under different ecological pressures.

That the sky was darker than humans were used to was of little consequence for most of the inhabitants, the sunlight was dark but carried the full warmth of daylight, and for many, this was a blessing.

She came through the stairs that led to her reading room and collapsed. The burst of creativity that had gone through her mind had exhausted her, and she fell into a chair.

“Productive trip?” Celebrineth asked, her companion coming to sit beside her with a soft kiss to her cheek.

“Exhausting,” she said, “but it seems that I will have work to do,” she said.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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This is a parody not a callout, if you need that explained.

Postby The Ctan » Wed May 12, 2021 7:01 pm

A post With the permission of Crystal Spires, a work of political parody on Nationstates? Shocking.



“Look, I’m just saying it’s totally reasonable.” Yisrei said, “the C’tani definitely have brain control bugs, and lots of them have implants too, you don’t expect that they got those voluntarily, do you?”

The coffee in her hand steamed with a rich aroma, and Yisrei took her slender pen, scratching into the rich paper as she sat in one of the thousands of small venues that clustered by the Narai River’s scenic banks.

The server gave a grimace-smile, a frozen expression of compliant hesitation, “Of course Ma’am,” she said.

“I’m sure you get it, they just make you wear that, right?”

Yisrei was pointing with the top of her pen toward the pin worn on the strap of the server’s sea-green apron, the ouroboros of D’halbrisir with the radiant symbols of the ankh-glyph of the Great Civilization interwoven through it. It was the badge of the integrationist movement, worn with the badge of the Spirean Environmentalist Party, above a badge reading, ‘Hi I’m Sumeri.’

“Ah, no,” she said, still smiling, “is there anything else I can help you with?”

“I just want to know why you’re supporting something like this?” she asked, “it’s an honest question.”

The server, at last, turned away, in frustration, “Enjoy!” she said.

Yisrei sighed, considered badgering the woman but there was no one else present, she wouldn’t come back.

Image


Yisrei had not just been in the capital for sight-seeing of course, and later in the day she reached her destination, the broad precincts of the Council buildings, wide lawns and fountains that had been trudged to a muddy slurry with the feet of protestors there for a thousand and one causes.

She barely knew where to begin, she had been planning to attend for almost a week, people were selling all manner of paraphernalia and refreshment stands, and workers from anti-integrationist and segregationist parties were present on every corner.

She kept her distance from the latter, but the former was much closer to what she was looking for and before long she found a group with a stand showing the many atrocities of the C’tani, glossy images of their sinister flayed ones and other nightmare machines along with maps of the Altean states that would be neighbours without borders if the integrationist parties had their way.

“The whole agenda is scary, and it’s amazing to me that so many people are in favour of the idea of becoming part of some vast space empire,” Yisrei said, “all these media things are controlled by their robots anyway,” she said.

“Right,” the stall-holder said, his expressive gestures, “the fact is this is an alien invasion and we’re asleep at the tiller and about to sail over a waterfall.”

“You get it,” she said, “it’s a relief to be able to just talk about it,” she said, “we’re here talking about letting them run our defence and law enforcement and more,” she shook her head, “we’re all sleepwalking into slavery.”

“And the worst thing is,” the man said, “they’re redesigning everything to bring in the seabound, it’s not a coincidence that the High Council got in on seabound votes,” and she smiled. “We need to be angry about that, they’ve put in an Occupation Government,” she said.

“I think,” Yisrei said, “it’s suspect that the elections were suddenly swung by the whole tidelands region,” she said.

“Right,” the Melian man leaned forward with energy, bringing an accusatory leaflet down onto one of the papers in front of him. “They claim to have registered millions of voters in three weeks with their robots, honestly, how dumb are people?”

Yisrei had heard it before, but she’d never made the leap entirely into embracing the 'Occupation Government' idea.

The received wisdom, as put about by the media and ‘fact checked’ sites was that the C’tani had been 'hands off' compared to dozens of other nations in the Spirean elections, but had provided material assistance to charities aimed at registering minorities who hadn’t previously been able to vote at anything like the degree they wanted to.

Less than a year later the C’tani and Crystal Spires had signed a protectorate treaty, one that also gave them substantial law enforcement powers, particularly after the old Order of Uncorruptibles, who had served as the nation’s main law enforcement body had been dissolved due to its sequestered lifestyle being considered dangerously close to a form of involuntary servitude, though most had re-enlisted in the continuity authorities.

“Yes,” she said, “they really are a puppet government,” she admitted.

Image


“Disband the Occupation Government!”

The slogan had been going around for more than an hour and Yisrei was if anything, quite tired, she’d been on her feet for most of the day now and lunch would have been a blessed relief, but she didn’t want to miss anything, there was a verve and anticipation in the air.

The last speaker of the day, and the man whose social media presence had made this happen, Turmon the Magnificent. He was a genius some said, and others, a parasite, Yisrei had always found him engaging enough, but today he spoke with lightning.

“They are here to take our jobs, and they’re here to take our culture too, and make us all into swamp-wallowers, did you know they’ve got three new cities planned, just this year alone,” he said.

Turmon stood tall, his minotaur’s horns polished and capped in gold, while he wore a glimmering suit of a post-transuranic called auramite, sculpted with eagles and faces contorted in worshipful ecstasy, the image of the cruel Emperor of the Stars whom the C’tani reviled.

“There are very bad people up there in the Council, and they’re illegitimate, every one of them, right there, today, they’re debating a law that will put us out forever.

“The C’tani want their Sea Council to ban all future foreign donations in elections, that’s what they say, they want Spirean elections to be free of dirty money,” said the man in the suit of golden gleaming power armour, “but what they want to do is establish their phantom voters from the sea here forever.

“It’s rigged, and they’re going to rig every election from now until there are no more Spirean elections,” he said, “and I want to share my concerns, with everyone here today, do we want our elections to be sea-rigged forever?”

Yisrei was among thousands who called out a clear, certain ‘No!’

Triyan wore a T-shirt with the slogan ‘Maven is Zaiden.’ Which was perhaps the most popular conspiracy theory in Crystal Spires.

Image


The High Council buildings in Caltris were not surrounded by fences, nor was the security extensive, inquiries would later blame this on the removal of many veteran Uncorruptibles from duty either to re-train or in some cases in protest over the reforms of their order.

To Yisrei however, it seemed that it was sheer complacency on the part of the Sea Council’s guardians, Crystal Spires had had a revolution in living memory, and as she joined the herd pushing against the doors that had been closed on the western front of the building she exaulted to see the guards withdrawing further into the building.

Tear gas and enervation hexes hung in the air thickly, the former reducing visibility with an eye-inflaming mist that made her lungs heave and the latter making her arms hang loose as she passed them, but these were not enough to stop those carried by the crowd from behind.

As quickly as that had come, it was over though, and the colonnaded Forntian halls awaited, cool after the sun of the rally and quiet but for the echoing voices around them.

Triyan was there as well, and at least there was a familiar face as the crowd loosened, she headed toward him, “What’re we going to do next?” she asked.

“No idea,” he said, “we’ve got all day, tonight, tomorrow…” he said, and then a thunderbolt of thought struck him, “We’re going to expose them,” he said, “we need to find the Minister of Health and Welfare’s office!” he said.

There were signs, of course, directions in the logographic script of D’halbrisir, and she found herself following the energized Triyan until at last they found the office.

It was locked, and together they levered open the door, “What’s in here?” Yisrei asked.

“Proof! Proof that ‘modern medicine’ is a con, and that they’re putting drugs in the vaccines to make everyone stupider,” Triyan said.

Image


Yisrei heard screaming in the distance, and she winced, her ears ringing from the sound, and she looked about the office, seeking a way out. The minister’s office was not as large as she’d imagined, and there were cabinets along one side, the sound of a stampede could be heard, something had changed.

Sounds of celebration had become sounds of panic, as the marble halls of the High Council building began to floor with intruders, she opened the door, and saw the pack tightly packed, she wanted to get into the corridor, but something held her back, and she stared up the corridor.

She’d seen necrons before, they’d been all over D’halbrisir for years now but they had never been quite so imposing. There was only one in the corridor, and it stood resolutely, a group of intruders had clearly been hurt by it somehow, and she watched as one of them fired, the gyrojet rifle firing with a swoosh. The response was immediate as the bolt caught the machine’s shoulder, cracking a fist-sized hole into it.

It held up its hand, and Yisrei’s skin caught fire, as did everyone else in the corridor’s, she screamed and ran back into the office, the necron sentinels were equipped with a line-of-sight microwave device that could be used to disperse crowds, she breathed heavily.

“Wait, don’t.”

She called too late as Triyan stepped into the corridor, yelped and after a moment flung himself back out of the way.

He looked at her, and then tried to open the windows, before giving up after a moment and smashing one open, she followed, there were more of them outside, and pyramidal structures around the Council Buildings.

Having exhausted all unreasonable means, Yisrei listened to the broadcasts from outside the office, and following instructions put her hands on her head, knelt down, and waited.

Image


She hadn’t exactly been intending to storm the high council buildings, not when she’d come, and Yisrei felt it was all deeply unfair. The court procedure had been much faster than most Spirean courts, as the C’tani had juristiction over insurrection; apparently the mere fact that there was recorded evidence of her participation in the riot was enough to convict her without even needing any other witnesses, which was an outrage, she should have been at least allowed to call character witnesses but her lawyer had said that would be a waste of time. Outrageous.

Yisrei tugged at the pillory, and glowered at the passers by; sometimes it seemed that the whole world hated her honesty. She recognized a name in the crowd, filming her on a phone, Sumeri.

“See! This is how they treat legitimate protest!” Yisrei called. The brain control bugs were next no doubt.

Sumeri laughed, "This, right here," she said, "is why I support integration."
Last edited by The Ctan on Wed May 12, 2021 8:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:11 pm

The tomb was a culturally central place for the Great Civilization, but it was still not a place that all visited, Nambra had never found the time to visit an Awakening before, but for this, she felt it was essential.

The tomb of Iphrekh was a dark place, though it had been opened, she found it repressive; she wore flowing white robes of mourning, traced with rejoicing, garlands of bright pink and white flowers strung with shimmering silk.

Each awakening was a celebrated event, though they were not uncommon, at first they had been centrally administered by the Great Civilization’s central government, today they were more local affairs as the ancient clan-dynastic realms had reasserted themselves.

Nambra was a member of the Novokh, most of the ancient dynasties accepted non-necrontyr, though a few did not, they had swiftly become irrelevant. There were few among the Novokh, though, for the Novokh were first and last, the butcher-dynasts.

The endless wars before the Great Sleep had made many violent cultures, but the Novokh had made ritual violence a part of their collective self-expression to a frightening degree.

Even now, the Novokh clung to these expressions of savagery, and though her blood micrites had sealed the wound on her hand, she wore her very own blood mixed with ochre as face paint, in gentle lines under her eyes and across her forehead.

All others present had adopted similar formality, while the lychguard, ancient guardians of tombs, had carapaces of similar adornment.

It helped to make things as familiar as possible at an awakening, though non-necrontyr could attend, it was always best to bring a majority of biological necrontyr, and for them to be the first in the line of sight, with necrons available.

Awakening was often traumatic.

Nambra had studied the art for many long years, but understanding the rite of awakening was difficult, it blended many different strings of thought and creation, the physical and metaphysical, a form of healing that allowed the recovery of lost thought and memory.

Seventy necrons would be awakened today, and Nambra would help, stepping close to the terminal at the heart of the rite, she looked at the creature before her.

The old necrons had been built in many ways, and often cheaply, a form of deliberate limitation in some places, the limitation of war in others, there were several timelines of the Ancestral Universe, and each culture in the galaxies in which the older necron civilizations had slumbered had differing interpretations of how to build one.

It was tall, far taller than Nambra, but laid inert on the gleaming malachite-coloured living metal, on its back, removed from the stasis chambers that had held it, the warrior seemed a sad, quiet thing. Its face was still and silent, a mask decorated in the same blood-red as her own face was.

Many had been made anonymous by the depths of the great sleep, though this world had endured, the identities of those necrons who had lost all personality had not been preserved, a genocide made all the worse by how it had been self-inflicted.

She looked at the hovering attendant drone that lingered over the retrieved warrior, reticent as she reached out to touch the inert figure’s hand. The metal was cold, and moved on smooth joints as she lifted it between her smaller hands, before placing it down.

Engram-probing had given the body nearby form, this was a necrontyr body, humanoid, organic, living, but asleep, or rather, pre-conscious. The same probing sometimes revealed those who preferred their machine existence, though they were a minority, albeit a notable one, to the experience of the fleshtime, here the preparatory work had prepared an organic body. An empty receptacle. Older, in appearance than most living necrontyr, that could be wound back, but they tried to match age, and appearance to the memories of each person who was awakened.

Each small awakening like this took as its seed one individual and tried to pair them up with known partners, family, starting with the oldest in that group.

Many wanted this process sped up, mass awakenings, using processing techniques that would restore some function to all of those whose minds were lost, but for now they held a minority of this difficult topic; the necrontyr of the Great Sleep had complex emotional needs, and techniques that were not tailored to individual circumstances would awaken countless quintillions faster, certainly, but the quality of life of that population would be notably lower.

The personal touch was provided here by a trio of necrontyr who were with them, dressed in silver robes of the style that had evolved from ancient star-faring garb, a visual continuity between the present and the past, before the great tragedies.

Nambra had not performed the rite before, and was only assisting, like any medical process, as this fundamentally was, the practice was not possible without extensive tutelage, but she could assist, and she felt it would be beneficial to her learning.

Nambra reached out, and held her hand over the inert, Necron body, as the officiant began to thread the weave through the two bodies. The process was a blend of science and magic, not uncommon, but elegant, refined by the art of famous archmagi, as well as the knowledge of the C’tan, who had been the prime movers of what they sought to undo.

The spirit grew and flickered, some said there was a touch of it within the Necron frames, others said it was a process that remade the spirit anew, Nambra felt it.

It was like blowing on the embers of a fire, the gentlest of actions, the deepest and most sacred of necromancy, as machine systems invisibly bonded the two bodies together, and glimmering, psy-conductive cables took the growing soul and spirit from the inert body to the living.

The living body howled in place nearby, as its new occupant thrashed, jerking forward and pulling herself free of it, she pulled herself free of the table, cables taut, and a moment later, Nambra felt the fire die within the metallic frame, drawn wholly into the living body.

The awakened one, the woman, was wide-eyed, her hands crossing her line of sight, and her voice working, quiet and then loud, difficultly seeking words.

Nambra watched her tears flow.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:00 pm

Mag’ladroth was not the penitent being that Ranisath declaimed itself, the Apollonian messenger had turned its feathers entirely, it was no longer an emissary of its fellow C’tan to the frail but amusing mayfly species, instead their emissary to the C’tan. The Void Dragon had followed some part of the way, but the labyrinth of its mind had few compartments for such concepts as mercy or pity, it could relate only dimly to most humanoids.

Its part in the War in Heaven, the fall of the Necrontyr, did not trouble the being at all; the sixty million years it had been sorely wounded had been a lesson, but it did not process emotion as humans, necrontyr, and the other species that crawled on rocks did. It could accept, to a degree that its actions had led to suffering, but it did not care.

It was aligned with its own kind and the Great Civilization that had built itself on their knowledge as a matter of simple interest; it was given problems to solve, and the resources and aid to make its strange dreams into reality.

Long ago it had set in the firmament the power systems that had driven the first Great Civilization’s final campaigns against the Old Ones, its Eyes, quasars enclosed by self-replicating machines that could channel power through the interstices to the necrons’ war machines. In the timeline where the necrons had rebelled against it - one of many that its mind thought of as its own composite past - they had lost access to these wonders, but it had created many other works of wonder.

These were vast constructions and formed the great power source of the Great Civilization, but Mag’ladroth had regarded them as a compromise, able to be brought to something approaching their full functionality rapidly enough to slay the Old Ones.

Flying on wings of force light seconds wide, the C’tan watched its constructs, even to a being as vast as it was, the task at hand dwarfed its unfurled form, the machines were starships of incredible size by the standards of most inhabitants the Great Wheel Galaxy, their journeys would be long, but here, the demonstration of the concept was adequate, swarms that attended stars on the upper surface of an ellipsoid galaxy that held a gentle curve.

Its essence was linked to these systems, allowing it to make minor adjustments as it satisfied itself the constructs were ready; it folded itself and flew.

Mag’ladroth could propel itself in the same way as the inertialess drives it had gifted the necrontyr, and cross a galaxy in a blink of an eye, but it took more than three sidereal minutes to reach its destination, a system similar to the one it had left waited there, across the other side of the great galactic filament. It sent its thought into the systems that awaited it there, and the two systems linked, the first of a network that would slowly begin to draw the kinetic energy formed by the collapse of collapsing regions of space in the early universe formed vortices of motion across the largest scales of the cosmic web.

This new artifice would, in time, provide a harness for such vast energies, and a replacement for the Dragon’s Eyes. The contentment that the creature observed from that knowledge was as profound as its lack of empathy.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:30 pm

The Witness Chamber

Light from the Mictlan star shone through the windows of the Witness Room, falling on the concentric ring of chairs built to the sleek standard of the species within the room, clustered around a central viewing pit that was accessed by three different short flights of three steps each, which adjusted with living metal dissolving and re-forming when necessary to meet the needs of those who approached.

Axatirno nos Olormaranwe had the most common type of body-plan for the Great Civilization’s citizen, the necrontyr-form often labelled as humanoid, though as he was a Quendi he was taller than some, and the living matter shifted as he stepped down into place. The sunlight was fading from the room and artificial lights rising to meet the needs of the room.

As one the rest of the observers rose when he stepped down among them, several of them wore the garments that were called Military Dress, adorned with glimmering scarabs on their shoulders and upper chests, and metallic clips like sleeve garters that were bunched into folds in their garments representing military armills, these men and women gave sharp salutes, clenched fists on their chests, over hearts or at the top of the sternum depending on where they wore icons of the Great Civilization.

“Proaldaconcion,” a woman with dark hair said, stepping forward as the sun faded away through the windows. Axatirno did not need any introduction, but several of the civilians present nodded in recognition, but the title was important. “We are ready to proceed with the Salura action at your command,” the military woman said. She wore a cluster of lozenge-shaped diamonds at her neck that spoke of a command rank within the Great Civilization’s special engagement forces. “We have confirmed the target positioning and are ready to proceed with the insertion.”

“No time like the present,” Axatirno said, walking to one of the flowchairs and lowering himself into it as it rose to meet him.

Since he had entered the room the central display had been showing a time dilation factor increasing at a gentle rate, as the sun had faded, a seagull was caught in static motion, moving as it through treacle, as it took off from its perch on the outside of the waterfront building.

The present was perhaps overstating the matter. Axatirno could feel loss-of-connection warnings from parts of his halo, the parts of him that extended outside the body that nature had wrought for him, familiar for this kind of discussion, some parts could still function, while others warned of the growing time dilation between him and them.

The central display’s soligrams ran like ink in water and shifted to display the target, and a dozen insertion corridors as Axatirno took his seat. The insertion corridors were an alteration of faster than light technologies, projecting the Ancient Ones from their carrier vessel several parsecs from Salura.

As the forces began to insert within the target area, one of the other commanders present looked to several of the audience. “The Salura facility is believed to be a Red Redemption facility of unusual size, while we have usually been able to suppress these via simply appraising local forces, the Salura planetary government has not responded to requests for action by the Diplomatic Service, most likely because of bribery by the Redemption’s backers.

“Our forces’ objective here is to take the facility with minimum irretrievable sapience loss for enemy personnel, and to detain leadership where possible.”

The first wave to pass through the insertion corridors were drones, scarabs and other smaller units, moving with speed, even though they were breaking the sound barrier inside the target atmosphere they moved slowly for the witnesses, and Axatirno looked at the witnesses.

The questions followed as the operation began, and at least one of them wanted to ask, perhaps to make a point, as Axatirno doubted they’d not read the briefing materials, “Why aren’t we shooting them dead?”

“Although most of the Redemption’s recruits are willing and drawn from high-prejudice states, they rarely know what they’re signing up for at this level, and the ‘flesh-shriving’ process tends to include enough intrusive neural wetwork that they can’t really be terms consenting to their continued involvement,” Axatirno said.

The questioner’s face was a little annoyed, perhaps he’d come to simply see as much killing as possible, the Conflict Witness program was one that selected randomly from all those who expressed an interest in observing military operations, in some cases with a certain degree of risk of needing to be revived, in order to ensure that there were citizen witnesses to military operations, especially those that were classified, but it deliberately didn’t make judgements about the motives of applicants, most were motivated by civic desire, but some just wanted to vicariously do some killing. As long as they passed the background check they were simply in the pot.

The days when he could practically have told them to join the army were gone, though he had himself served in the Bajoni army centuries ago, the Great Civilization’s organic military forces were entirely relics and social clubs, with a hypothetical element of preparedness.

“Why exactly has the Saluran government not agreed to let us act overtly?” another asked. “Really just bribery?”

“I can’t definitively speak to the planetary Matriarchs’ thoughts,” Axatirno said, “but I think that’s likely, there’s a major plurality of humans there and some non-humans, and without ties to a major pluralistic state, many of the electorates feel their social identity is threatened, though few of them know the details of the Redemption’s operations, they see them as a potent humanocentrist operation.”

The first of the necrons was projected through the interstitial corridor to the north on the map, and a flat holoscreen displayed its view of the facility as it entered, the other machines hadn’t been linked to the witness chamber directly, but if anyone present had wished to they could be inloading the views of any unit in the operation.

The enemy were already responding, though the whole operation was slow compared to the witness chamber, the Ancient Ones were, like many of the Great Civilization’s forces, far faster than feral and relic necron forces; the view switched to a gun-camera view as the lead Ancient One fired, the camera jumping as the gun recoiled, high impact flechettes skittering through the chamber the insertion was taking place, stitching lines of quarrels into cybernetic response drones.

The Redemption was an old and respected name in lunacy, and the form they took now would have in many ways delighted their progenitors, through diligent efforts they had attained a degree of technology higher than the Old Imperium in most regards, the work of tech-priests who had spurned the Void Dragon’s emissaries and fled from the armies of the Great Civilization in its fledgling days, along with the most deranged of the God-Emperor Neoth’s worshipers.

Of course, as much as their ancestors would have delighted in the power they now had, they still existed as pariahs, even the humanocentrists of the galaxy were considered far too milquetoast for the Redemption, whose hyper-radical creed was as self-critical as it was insane. They only recruited - often by force or guile - ‘pure’ humans, and principally from societies that prized their humanity.

The first of the Redemptionists the intrusion force encountered made Axatirno want for a brief and fanciful moment to be in the field; it was a terribly abused human frame, towering with gene-bulked flesh and stim-lines, the creed of blending humanity to the machine had always been a commandment of the Old Imperium, but though their servitors and astartes were a clear path to this creation, this was their further extension.

The Redemptionist Zealots were not human, not any more, but nor were their minds lost, they were instead altered neurally to experience pain more intensely than any human could, their limbs threaded through with coils of tensile muscle tendrils, and bolted over with armour plates; the zealots who agreed to undergo their shriving had their skin peeled off and replaced with translucent cultures similar to deep-sea fish, to display their devotion. They preached that this transformation to warriors of their faith was in emulation of the Emperor.

Of course, many of their leaders did not do this to themselves, these were the drugged, the desperate, the clinically depressed that were lured into their non-militant congregations with support and acceptance, the declarative and certain answers of firebrand preachers. More than a few were distressingly young when they were altered, for ‘The Redemption accepts no limits on Faith’ was a longstanding claim of their leaders.

There were limits to what could be done with human flesh, but they were fast on it, faster even than Axatirno had been in his soldiering days, almost as fast as the Ancient Ones, the costs paid by the biological frame were profound of course, bones torn and ligaments snapped, they would be healed by the nanotechnology that coursed through them if they lived.

Part of them was still aware of this, though their minds could not form thoughts that rejected their state or to surrender, they knew fear.

The gun-camera showed the lead necron firing a burst of flechettes into the joints of the first Redemtionist, one, two, four, and switched back to the view from the necron’s eyes as it reached down to break away a martyrdom package from the crippled enemy.

Not all were so lucky, if survival for these unfortunates was actually fortunate, and Axatirno watched as the combat changed, several being slain outright, others crippled and captured, a few blasting sections of the Redemption facility, or bringing down one or other of the Ancient Ones.

The Redemption held a unique hatred for the C’tani, they believed, and from a certain point of view their beliefs were true, that the Star Gods and above all the Great Deceiver, had, in bringing about the Starchange, divided them from their god, pulling them into an impure universe as a demiurgic scheme; they believed they were in a hell, where the Great Civilization was a form of near-demonic conspiracy against all that they believed in. Of course that most of their modern recruits were not descended from humans brought to this cosmos by the starchange but native to this universe was usually taken as a sign that natives were even more wretched sinners by their nature.

Axatirno watched the engagement without showing emotion, his hands steepled before him, there was the consolation that it was a success, and perhaps their captives from among the Zealots would be one day able to find some healing, and better still, another of the cells of the Redemption was removed, perhaps one day they would all be removed, but even five centuries was not enough to be entirely rid of the madness; at least it had been driven into the darkness once again. Their original leaders and scientists had long been killed, but they had franchised their movement and cells no longer knew the activities of one another at all. One day, he would see this and the rest of the Old Imperium’s pervasive madness thrown down, and each day he brought that goal and the other noble goals of his conviction a little closer.
Last edited by The Ctan on Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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The Ctan
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Ctan » Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:10 pm

The Nightingale run of frigates were small vessels, as the Great Civilization saw it; they were one of the smallest interstellar combat craft used by the Great Civilization. A blunted arrowhead shape a quarter kilometre long, they were still large enough by some standards.

The crew space on the Jerisvilan was two decks nestled in the dorsal centre of the craft, with wide armourglass observation windows. Out of those, Olina ita Ogdobekh watched from a broad couch; she could fly the ship, if she needed to, but she was not there to fly it. She was there to do exactly what she was doing; watch the ship’s operations as a volunteer observer.

“Well isn’t this tedious,” she said.

“I have my chronosense dialled down a little.” The speaker was the ship itself, Jeris’ avatar took the form of a gerbil-like creature sat on one end of the couch.

“Isn’t this type of mission supposed to involve just burning through the translight interference?”

“Against a hostile power, yes, that’s part of the mission profile. Sadly this is a civil request, and while we’re confident that ally’s shaping up well, we don’t really want them to see all our tricks.”

Olina looked at the time-to-intercept display projected into the polarizing layers of the window before her and sighed.

“So these things are dangerous in the wrong hands then?”

“Yes,” the ship said, “given the manufacturing concerns they’re probably dangerous in the right hands.”

Oliana frowned, looking up at the display and standing, leaning on the refreshments table nearby, lifting a cup and pouring squash into it. “How do they edit reality anyways?”

“There’s a fair bit of preparatory reading you’d need to really make sense of that answer,” Jeris said, “but in short, it’s a cheap and kludgy shortcut.”

“Huh,” she said, she’d encountered that kind of answer enough to not take too much offence at it, she had not been raised in the Great Civilization and she ran into that kind of answer with scientific questions often enough. “Add it to the stack if you would.” It was improving, even if not useful in a day-to-day sense, to expand her horizons.

“Done,” the ship said.

“Not a cosmic-boundary manipulation suite I take it?”

“No,” the ship said, “those are dangerous in a different way.”

“What actually is so dangerous about cosmic boundary manipulation?”

She could swear the ship paused just for a moment, but that was likely in her mind, or perhaps deliberate. “In truth, you would get a dozen different answers from people smarter than me,” the ship said, which for a being whose brain massed one hundred and three thousand tonnes was something, but there were beings who dwarved the shipmind more than it did her, “but there are a few persistent concerns that mean the Great Civilization, and the Menelmacari Ascendancy trend toward disapproval of what’s generally called Holographic Boundary Manipulation, above a certain scale.”

Sitting back down, Oliana smiled, “Go on.”

“One big one is the down-chain cascade. I was supporting one of the contingency groups for that a few centuries ago. The down-chain cascade is one of those scenarios that has got a whole contingency group dedicated to it. What do you know about boundary manipulation technologies?”

“They work by manipulating the cosmic information, in broadly the same way as a Reality Chamber, but on a bigger scale. Certain societies, the Nimatojin most notable in general galactic society, use them as a means of backup. I recall seeing a wave of Eternity Incorporated international advertisements some time ago.”

“If you want to do more with the technique you can, the same way that a Reality Chamber runs a local pocket reality by altering certain data about space and matter, you can if you push it hard enough use it to create matter.”

“Presumably you’re still looking,” Oliana said, “at a huge energy requirement.”

“You are,” the ship said, “but that’s not what the down-chain cascade concern is about, as far as boundary information goes, you can fundamentally change reality in a distant location…”

“Down-chain as in the past.”

“Yes,” the ship said, “we actually use up-chaining for some things, and down-chaining is no great worry, in itself. Time isn’t really what organics see it as, but think of it this way, when you pass a certain barrier with the technology you’re looking at being able to alter things that happened years in the past.”

“I can’t help but notice that we do that.”

“Well I hardly mean that we should be forbidding it and going about frowning at every scientist that wants to look at it, but we would like people to be good neighbours, but that’s not really the cascade worry, let’s say someone wanted to go very deep in the past; build one energy gathering platform, load it with a few designs, build it into the past, it replicates, and when you can get enough to build another seed…”

“It replicates further into the past,” Oliana said, with a thought she called up a holofield, and dropped luminescence into it.”

“Just so, push it far enough and you can get back to population three stars, or even into baryogenesis if your cosmic-boundary self-replicator has some very rugged material patterns. But the real trick is that’s when you end up re-writing your own reality.”

“We’re discarding the many-worlds unrealized realities here.”

“Well, somewhat, somewhat not, but even then there are ways to fill the entire cosmos with Ralkovia if the wrong people start using the full implications of cosmic boundaries too heavily.”

“And we have precautions against this?”

“Let’s just say there was a time when the Down-Chain Cascade Concern Group needed warships,” Jerisvilan said. Oliana sipped her glass and smiled at the non-answer.

“And what about simply using it as a matter replication technique? That seems to be in vogue.”

“It is in self-replication technologies, equivalent to using a teleporter to move around your house instead of building doors; it saves time but at a vast energy cost. I don’t think we’ll be adopting it any time soon, elegance is a virtue.”

"I went to a house that did that once," Oliana said, "intriguing, so it has advantages as well as disadvantages.”

“Yes, but then almost everything does.”

“You said down-chain cascade was one reason to be concerned, but that’s hardly going to stop us, we’re no less greedy than everyone else.”

“Fair,” the ship said. “There are other reasons. Not least, the cosmic-boundary is not really an unsculpted material but a record of everything that’s ever been in the cosmos. The easiest way to discover it is by inference from the rule of conservation of information. The more you write on one part of the boundary, the more that substrate if you want to call it that, loses coherence elsewhere.”

“Into what?”

“Escalating micro-changes in background radiation leading to an entropic influence is the leading theory I have seen. Now when we’re still talking about a single galactic group we’re not talking about a major risk to the integrity of the cosmic web.”

“Okay, drill down into that for me, why can’t you write without concern?”

“The assumption that people have when they look at the concept of data, and conversation of information and they imagine it runs something like a magnetic tape or optronic disk, where they are faced with a large volume of data medium that is empty by design and without value, that’s not always the case, and small addressing errors can have complex unpredictable effects.

“Things like the Eien, or Reality Chambers, aren’t going to be a problem for reality at large, as they operate in a pinched-off ‘space’ for want of a better word, though that is why we should really be having this conversation in Necrontyr,” the AI said fussily.

“Humour me,” Oliana said, “I have to speak necrontyr plenty, I want to speak Nayalin more, it’s pleasant to speak my mother tongue. I think I follow anyway, we can do the technical version later if you insist.”

“As you wish, in any case, even empty space isn’t really empty especially in terms of data and while there are limited risks within current deployment scales, when you get into matters of deep time it becomes a problem; when you’re looking more than a quadrillion years into the future, these things become seriously problematic.

“It’s part of why the Menelmacari have been keen to propagate their Reality Anchor technology is to mitigate this kind of widespread damage to the fabric of reality. They’re not so going to give it away, but just by making a show of it in the right places makes people try to clone it.”

“I guess we’ve not had any input from our descendants on the matter,” Oliana stopped briefly, as a chime sounded. “Ah, this should be good,” she said.

“Transmat range in three, two, one…”
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Mon Aug 23, 2021 5:10 pm

Portmon, Malgrave

Ess’ar ita Thurasid was the very image of a C’tani. Of course, they were a very diverse population, and her physicality had little to do with it, though she was striking. Instead she looked the part not because of who she was biologically, but rather how she dressed, how she moved, and of course, what she was doing.

She stood on board an Abeyant, a hovering drone made of silvery blue metal and inlaid with green, while a series drones toiled on the complex before her. She was in control, after a fashion, of enough materiel to grind mountains to dust and raise towers to the stars. Engineering was largely automated in the Great Civilization, but there was a principle at work.

Wherever organic beings could find fulfilment and wished to, they could have the reigns. The mountain had been a scenic sight, and when she was done it would be again, but for now, ablation projectors and exile beamers were displacing thousands of tonnes of rock from the mountain side.

She had a crew of six involved in the project, and while she had attracted a lot of positive attention – and propositions – from the people of Portmon, on the northern coast of the nation, her co-director had not. Of course, she was a Sun Elf, while Dolmyr was a Xorn, a far rarer creature but an instinctive expert in burrowing and excavation.

“The main engine gallery is complete,” he said, from his own hovering platform, built for his trilateral body, with a ring of screens all around the rail. Ess’ar looked up at the mountain the local people called Moncae, the highest in the northern coastal region.

Thousands of canoptek spyders and other engineering constructs had descended on the mountain, to delve with a fury that no living workforce could match. Crowds of sight-seers had come out, for this was a rare occasion. Many of the constructs would be staying to maintain the structure, even when it was handed off to local administrators to care for at least in name, it was still fundamentally a C’tani structure, and there would be no way for the Malgraveans to provide the resources to maintain it without these machines.

Ess’ar’s expertise was related, an equally critical field for such a construct, geological stability, while Dolmyr was quite capable of delving, she was more concerned with the survival of the mountain and the surrounding area.

“We should be able to take the strain,” she said, a thought to her halo giving the order for the insectile machines to activate the local gravitational field generators that hovered above the mountain, their fields intersecting in the gallery.

She impulse a command to open a channel and her hand touched the rail of her abeyant. “Simultaneity,” she said.

An image flickered into view, of a necrontyr avatar projected from the factory ship in orbit.

“Ess’ar,” the shipmind’s avatar said. “Are we ready?”

“Ready when you are,” she said, looking at the holographic displays around her.

A thunderclap sounded from the mountain, and plumes of dust were carried out of it like a mock volcanic eruption, as a displacement field of a structure the best part of a mile in length shoved an enormous quantity of air through the mountain.

“Restoring internal gravity, ten percent,” she said, and held out her hand, a display forming around it, and she turned it slowly, a gentle alteration.

A strange noise, like no earthquake caused by man, followed, as the mountain creaked and cracked like a tree in a gale.

Dolmyr did not move, he did not need to in order to keep one eye on the mountain and one on his instruments.

“Living metal trusses are engaged now,” he said. Forces as expected, proceed to quarter gravity.”

She nodded, and adjusted again, another round of checks followed, and then another, and a third, as telemetry flowed in.

The structure that was now within the mountain, slowly easing its weight into the support network that branched out from the mountain for miles around and even under the sea, was a shield generator, one of many being installed through Malgrave,

The Malgraveans had asked for protection from space-based threats, and this was a significant part of that, the cousin of those that had been installed in Crystal Spires and the Idrisean Confederacy.
Last edited by The Ctan on Mon Aug 23, 2021 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:58 pm

Ytusa nos Ancalimë swished her tail as she leaned over her father’s arm, looking up at the table. It was so bizarre to her to see so many people in one space, she wasn’t used to this at all. She had asked to go somewhere new and he had obliged. Civilization was vast, and she had seen lots of places. She had to admit she had favourites, her mother’s homeland was one of them, and so was Duat, where they made their home much of the time. But every world, every sept and sepat, every town and city was a little bit different. Here though, it was neither a part of Civilization or a protectorate, this was the first truly foreign place she had been in her thirteen years of life.

They had taken a ship beyond the boundaries of Civilized space, and she was startled. Wearing a nondescript coat linked to falsehood, a personal sensor-damping device they had taken a lighter vessel than her father’s usual ship.

Van, why this one?” she asked.

“Old Kind script,” her father said. He did not really need to look at each stand, he had walked through the market and stopped at the right stand, he picked up one of the items on display and showed it to her. “See here, the inscription?” She looked at it closely, she felt she recognized what she was seeing, but she knew he didn’t want her to say anything. She had picked up many skills, though she had no idea what she really wanted to do with her life.

“You gotta pay for that.” the stall-holder was a crabby man. From his build, Ytusa could tell he was gene-modded for bulk but then hadn’t been eating right with it. Weird.

“There’s no price, what do you want?”

“Sixty thousand.”

Her father gave a shrug, and passed his hand over the terminal before him, holding the piece of stonework in hand.

“He overcharged you,” she said.

“He did,” her father said. “But it will do him some good.”

She shrugged, “What is it, anyway?”

“Old Kind memorial architecture, it’s useful, nothing too useful but I want to get a better feeling for their earlier history.”

“Weren’t you there father?”

“Yes,” said Ranisath, “but there’s information that even I don’t have, I know a lot about how they passed from the galaxy, but there are still relics drawn through the Starchange, enough to reconstruct whole species, given time.”

She frowned, “They say that the Old Kind were our enemies, and implacable for everything else they were.”

“That’s true,” Ranisath said, “they were not wholly evil, nor wholly good. But I still feel a responsibility, I have re-made the Necrontyr, but they were not my only victims.”

Learning what her father had done had been something she had only had to come to terms with in recent years, but she knew as well what he had done in recent centuries. Still, the topic made her uncomfortable, she was still learning how to judge between what she was taught and what she saw in her own life. She craned her neck away and looked at another of the stands, fabrics labelled with extensive guarantees that they came from real plant fibres. “Let’s take a look over there,” she said.

Ranisath followed her, and she reached out, feeling the quality of several soft fabrics. “I think this would make good bedding,” she said.

“Possibly, but we are going to be in Starvale for the nursing,” Ranisath said, speaking of the house where she had grown up, on Duat, high in the cliffs of a chronal community, where time could be run at a varying rate by the local homeowner’s choice. “This is bamboo fibre,” he said, “it would be good for Redsands,” the estate on Gaia was equatorial and filled with blazing heat.

She nodded, instead choosing a heavier flannel, “How about this, Van?

“Now that will suit your new brother much better,” he said.
Last edited by The Ctan on Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Postby The Ctan » Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:45 pm

“So you don’t vote on laws?” Lee Yu-bin asked.

“We do, but it’s very rare,” Su-Jin said. “Most law changes don’t ever get to a senate hearing.”

“How does that work precisely?” Rosa Agresta asked.

The sunlight of the Mandragora system was golden, the product of the star that cast even warm midday in autumnal golds and reds, though brighter than any earthly sunset.

Su-Jin sat in the largest seat of a horseshoe-shaped couch looking out from low terraces on wide gardens. Mandragora had long been known as the

Another woman, Rhee Chae-Yeong, made a gentle curtsey to Su-Jin as she arrived with a tray of drinks, “Here we are yeoju-in,” she said, setting them down on the table beside her, before sitting down.

All three women were from the United Kingdom of Malgrave, and Chae-Yeong was a celebrity there, and even beyond, but for now she was very far from home.

Su-Jin considered her answer, “Ultimately, as a culture grows it becomes increasingly difficult for it to maintain any kind of bureaucracy. A government is only as good as its mechanisms of actually getting things done; that is a lesson the first Great Civilization learned with great difficulty and one that in some accounts lead to the War in Heaven. There’s several solutions to that problem, but one of the better ones is to localize, another is parallel lines of control. Otherwise, if we were making decisions on Duat that would be supposed to affect people in far off colonies, we would be well off on almost everything we do. We do both of course.

“And then there’s the diversity, I like to think I’m pretty smart, but I’m not a dawnbird or a vardine, and I don’t really know what’s important to them instinctively in the same way I do a human; representation is fine of course but there are more species than senators.”

“Really?” Yu-Bin asked.

“Oh yes, the Great Civilization is very diverse, there are thousands of senators, there are countless peoples. We can’t really represent the people, despite being drawn from them.” Su-Jin looked at the speaker.

Yu-bin looked at her, with her hands on her knees, a picture of attention. She was a policy researcher, and despite the languid air of the garden and the drinks, she was always looking to learn more when her host could be drawn on these things.

Rosa asked the obvious question, “Why elect senators at all then?”

“Good question,” Su-Jin said.

“Well?” Chae-Yeong said. Her questions were less pointed. “What are you for,” Chae-Yoeng said, “Ah, if that’s not impertinent, yeoju-in?

Su-Jin laughed and sipped the cool lemonade, “It is not a polite way to phrase it, but it is a good question. There’s an obvious answer of course, it channels a certain sort of ambitious people into a limited pool of competition. All the humanities and many other species groups besides thrive on status games. None of you would be here if I were not a senator, after all.”

Rosa opened her mouth to begin an objection but thought better of it.

“But beyond that, we do serve several real purposes too. Think about an interstellar culture, it’s easy for a nation-state on a planet to govern its population.”

“It’s not that easy!” Rosa protested, “We did have a long civil war before the government imposed control again.” Her expression was a pout.

“But it would have been a lot harder if you could have sailed all of Aria away at a moment’s notice,” Su-Jin said.

Rosa gave a frown but did not disagree, “I suppose that’s true,” she said.

“That doesn’t mean that there aren’t interstellar cultures that use force, but it is a losing strategy, having the highest organ of the state be a committee that obtains its legitimacy from the people means that even populations not directly represented in the senate are assured that the Great Civilization is not, in fact, a Necrontyr-led state.

“That seems like it wouldn’t really work,” Rosa said.

“It doesn’t work fully, but it works enough, Necrontyr are not strongly represented in the senate. Which reassures some people. Another advantage is that the senate is large enough that it doesn’t actually get much direct governance done.”

“Now that seems truly inefficient,” Chae-Yeong said disapprovingly.

Su-Jin laughed, “We do a lot of work, ultimately almost every Aldaconcigi is on one or more committees that do see a lot of policymaking for institutions like the Diplomatic Service or the Conflict Service, but laws don’t typically get made by us. Even the Committee of Legislation and Management is not actually going out making laws, they’re more often recommending the adoption of one or the other fork in the legal code.”

“Of course,” Yu-Bin said, “who makes the actual text? Special interest groups and professional drafters I would imagine.”

“There’s some professional drafting there, yes,” Su-Jin said, “though that is mostly expert systems at work, if you don’t write the law to be reasonably achievable, it won’t compile,” she said, “got to debug that stuff. But any citizen can make their own edits to the law, individual jurisdictions are their own repositories, which are then merged back into the main legal branch for that jurisdiction, you can set up as small a sub-division within a local law as you wish, though there are content controls; if you want to alter the way local land is allocated on your world, or your sepat - you could say region or county there - then you can make the change, persuade people to take it on, usually something like that, for planning and development, can be altered at the community level, and then if it works out well you will get more support until it merges.

“There are limits, things like fraud, crimes against the person, and so forth, require a lot higher content control before they can be implemented, you can’t really change those without the assent of the majority of civilization, though the degrees to which that work depend. So there are whole septs - that’s a solar system and its ancillary assets and support-systems, essentially - working with some radically different economies. The Mictlan System uses the Credit and free-assets model, for instance, where anyone that wants to show up gets a roughly equal crack at the land assets, but you have a form of money for most everything else, for which there’s a citizen and resident stipend. Out here on Mandragora there’s a much more regimented mechanism where there’s actually no currency legally supported though obviously if I want to sell you something I still can, but we’d have to make our own very elaborate contract if you wanted to borrow something, but non-citizens can’t own land. Over on Gheden land ownership is a fully monetary thing.”

“Confusing,” Chae-Yeong said.

“Yes, it gets more confusing, but you’d be surprised how similar these things actually get, people tend to have a few fairly simple templates. But there’s another artefact of the system. Lexivores.”

“They eat laws?” Yu-bin said.

“Essentially yes, beyond initial trimming of law codes, and conflict identification most legal repositories operate near-sapient systems that flag obsolete regulation and law for deletion, that trims a substantial amount of legislation and provides an ‘evolutionary’ pressure to adopt ideas that work reliably.”

“So laws are usually changed just by… people?” Chae-Yeong said.

“Just so,” she said.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Ringspam Rani has a nice ring to it.

Postby The Ctan » Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:19 am

The Nasatal System

There were a great many ways to travel faster than light in and around the universe, the Great Civilization’s favourite was surely the inertialess drive, but there were others nonetheless. One of them was the tachyon shunt drive. Popular in the Skyriver galaxy and many other places, this hyperdrive functioned by skipping the asymptotic energy requirements of travelling at light speed, only to travel faster.

The orbital of Nasatal-Altacormafarmë-4 was one of the many rings produced by the Great Civilization, and the fourth produced in this star system. Unusually though, nothing had grown on it, not yet.

The Nasatal star hung like a jewel on the edge of one of the star clusters that hung like debris around the Great Wheel galaxy. There was little in the star system aside from the orbitals, a substantial portion of the debris in the metal-poor star had been cleared, and the star had been tapped for dense materials to create the orbitals that hung around Nasatal like a string of rings.

Around this barren ring strange ships hung, disturbingly asymmetrical, and with shapes that eyes could not follow directly, their forms not quite mapping to ordinary space-time metric. One of several species that had independently invented the Tachyon Shunt drive, the inhabitants had spent time altering the new orbital to provide motivator units, as off-putting to untrained human eyes as their ships, spaced throughout it.

Perhaps more challenging than the experience were the few dozen people who had moved to the ring-wall’s habitats. Test runs and simulations were one thing, but the sociological experiment was more challenging. More than three hundred people had agreed to move to the world-ring, and while that was a lot of people by some measures, the inner track was a hundred earths of space.

Lorn Kallar was a human, or at least he had been. But he was substantially augmented. He looked up at the arc of the orbital overhead, and he did not need glasses or other tools to look at the gleaming arc of the night-side. He blinked, briefly, as his eyes became used to the shock of the light as a second sun burst onto the scene, the fusion-lamp within the orbital’s hub coming on, blazing with the light of an artificial star, though directed and channelled to the surface.

Where the orbital was going there would be no reliable natural light for some time.

There was an audible, rising hum as the engines around the orbital began to reach full power, and Lorn’s enhanced senses could feel the structural integrity fields preparing for the extreme stresses to come, rising to their full capacity.

The stars vanished, replaced with a blazing pale light that carried precious little warmth, dim and faint.

The Kvarel System

The orbital had left with a population of three hundred, it had arrived with a population of four thousand. That population would have been far more if people were less concerned with their offspring being denied the benefits of the wider Great Civilization, but still, a minority of original colonists had children, and some of their children, and some of theirs, though it had been centuries since the last birth on the orbital. A population that had grown more rapidly, and without such concerns, would have filled the ring in the thousands of years that had passed in flight.

As time passed for the tachyonic ship at least. Time passed at a much greater rate for the ring than it did in sidereal time, and the same was true of its people.

Some modelling had been made for simply rotating the orbital at superluminal velocities in place, but the relativistic lengthening of the process made it less desirable than simply taking it in the direction of its shortest axis.

When it had departed it had been lifeless, seeded with simple single-celled organisms, now its caretakers and their fleets of drones had seeded the world such that whales roamed its deep oceans and old-growth forests rose on its mountains.

A signal was sent confirming success, one of the septillions of data bursts and mind-backup pulses that had been sent through its flight, via quantum entanglement. To the ships that had watched it depart, the journey had taken mere minutes.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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