NATION

PASSWORD

ASCENSION (Attn C'tan, SWG)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Godular
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ASCENSION (Attn C'tan, SWG)

Postby Godular » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:09 pm

It was rare for the two operational commanders to be in one place at the same time, but the completion of Kal'Shazzar's greatest undertaking was sufficient to draw Kaz'Ramael from his plots and machinations out in the field. They locked now in mortal combat, their armies arrayed between them, jockeying for position in their bloody struggle for supremacy.

"You know," Kaz'Ramael said as he hovered a black stone over the table while pondering where best to place it. His voice grated, like a sword on a grindstone. "I believe I have finally stumbled upon an answer to a question that has perplexed me for some time." He roved about the board, considering several locations before finally placing his stone.

"Do tell," Kal'Shazzar replied in his soothing doctor's voice, immediately placing a white stone on the opposite side of the board. "You and idle speculation must be a very infrequent acquaintance. It must be refreshing to give your mind... time to think."

"Indeed!" The spymaster replied as he picked up another stone and considered the board, taking in due stride what was either a backhanded compliment or a tremendously circuitous insult. "So much energy goes into managing all of the nonsense out there. Your comment also relates to my revelation, in a sense. Tell me, good sir, what would you say you miss most from when you were flesh and blood?" He pondered the board for some time, but kept an appraising eye on his cunning foe.

After some thought and a scan of the board, the Executor leaned back and sipped from a wine glass. "I would have to go with 'pain', to be honest."

"Interesting response," Kaz'Ramael said as he placed the stone with a smile. His opponent noted his move and cast a wary glare across the remainder of the board. "Not unexpected, either. One might make the case that pain is what keeps us grounded in reality, and our capacity to keep it separated into little more than a data stream would seem like one more step from our humanity and one step closer to the machines we made ourselves into."

"I could not have said it better myself," Kal'Shazzar replied as he placed his stone after mere moments of consideration, but a longer delay than before. "But it also carries into certain reflexes. Our capacity to move from body to body with ease takes away from us the importance of pain and the desire to avoid it. Without that ongoing threat, our thinking becomes dulled to things that other races might consider important. What of you?"

Kaz'Ramael's stone once again hovered over the board, moving from one place to the other as he appraised each possible course of action. "My answer is nostalgia."

"That... is different."

"Mayhap... I have not asked many others, and all indications are that many do not wish to contemplate such heavy lines of self-reflection. A reasonable enough sentiment, given our prevailing situation, but unfortunate nonetheless. I say nostalgia because our bodies and our minds no longer have an organic component to them, the things that we experience are little more than waves of data. Pain, shape, flavor... all are files that arise as the experience occurs and can be revisited easily, in every bit as much detail as when the experience initially took place. There is no degradation to speak of, and if such degradation existed we would only preserve the most poignant parts of each memory. We don't have anything to make a memory happy, or sad, or to say 'that was a good restaurant'. We just have... 'beneficial', 'unfortunate', and 'the curry was quite well prepared'. If one loses their sense of nostalgia, everything just becomes... statistics.

"And speaking of statistics: you're relying too much on probabilities rather than experience, friend." He placed his stone. Kal put his glass down and focused on the board intently.

"Bloody hell," the Executor grumbled as he took another stone and gave real thought to his next move.

"Ah, there's the mastermind I recall." Kaz leaned back, satisfied. "Now, the battle is truly joined."

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

Some time later, a voice came forth in their minds. Impossible to miss, impossible to ignore, it was the attention the two had been waiting for.

REPORT.

Ascension is ready, mistress. Numbers, control, and efficiency are as optimal as we can achieve. Kaz'Ramael and I have been discussing possible targets for Ascension, and we believe that one in particular suits our requirements nicely.


The spymaster spoke next.

As you are doubtlessly aware, a force of humans and augmented humans serving certain 'Chaos Gods' are in the process of invading several systems throughout the galaxy, likely with intent to spawn a rift to the fell realm their malign deities call home. Due to the nature of the threat, we find the vessels we have been refurbishing for service to be of eminent utility. One nation purporting to serve an enemy of these Chaos forces has issued challenges and insults against the invaders, seeking to draw them into a frenzy of indignation.

Though the Chaos forces have yet to respond, we have reason to expect that they will oblige in their own time. We will beat them to the punch.

WHY ATTACK A FOE THAT KNOWS YOU ARE COMING?

They know an attack will come, not when or where, and the indicators they use to identify when an attack will come will serve only to misguide them. Their notion of 'how' will also be completely incorrect. As a result, we will retain the initiative and thereby the advantage.


Kal'Shazzar spoke now.

Ascension will work, Mistress. We anticipate primary and secondary goals to be achieved easily, with tertiary objectives largely accounted for depending on how well the test proceeds.

VERY WELL. EXECUTE PROTOCOL AT YOUR DISCRETION. YOU ARE BEING GIVEN A FREE HAND IN THIS, TRUTHSEEKER, DREAMDANCER. DO NOT GIVE ME CAUSE TO REGRET THE DECISION.


The voice faded, and the two Godulans were left to themselves once again. Kal immediately took a drink from his wineglass, and Kaz steepled his fingers in thought for a moment.

"So how has Ilia been?" He asked after Kal had settled down. "You two seem to have been getting rather close recently..."

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

RYLOTH SYSTEM

Seen from approximately four light-hours from the central star of the system, the Twi'lek homeworld barely even qualified as a speck in the void. The other worlds in the system were in quite a similar situation, this far out.

Out in the darkness, space suddenly became occupied.

A single object materialized, of arrowhead shape and a coloration so black it would be difficult to spot even up close, possessed of no mass but prodigious power signature. It arrived, and it remained for all intents motionless. At the same time this object appeared, similar objects arrived in multiple other systems of the Centrality and beyond.

Editing slightly to reflect the possibility of other SWG nations getting involved in some form
Last edited by Godular on Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
RL position
Active RP: ASCENSION
Active RP: SHENRYAX

Faction 1: The An'Kazar Control Framework of Godular-- A collective of formerly human bioborgs engaged in a galaxy-spanning reign of terror for as-yet-unknown reasons. (SWG)

Faction 2: The Servants of the True Way of the Will-- A multi-species anti-technology crusade that travels the galaxy in ships brought forth from the power of their own minds. (MWG) (Faction represented in WA)

A 3.1 civilization, according to this Nation Index Thingie

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:36 pm

The Dancing Fire, Personal Transport.

The ship was a small craft by any standards, a TST starhome personal transport , set up as a mobile home of sorts, it was equipped with all the modern conveniences you might expect in such a small vessel. Rather than expending the fuel for a hyperspace jump its pilot had been content to wait the two days required to make the fifty-gravities journey across the system rather than use expensive fuel.

Zhad'sara held her caffeine in one hand, and lounged back on the sofa in another, watching a Menelmacari comedy adapted and re-made. There was something to be said for broad trade even in the arts; this was a re-working of a play by the famous Dramatheurge Anarquen from ten millennia ago. There were only so many artists that were acclaimed with such a coveted title, two of the best known were Shakespire and Al-Zaman, but there were others, more than a few from Ryloth. Anarquen was however, still alive, though he wrote infrequently now.

The sound of the cockpit chiming made her frown, and she paused the replay.

Climbing from her seat she went forward and sat down in the central pilot’s seat, punching up the control for the local scanners. They had detected something, a threat-vessel quite close to Or Tuma Colony.

She wasn’t sure what it was, and the system didn’t identify it. Which was very worrying, she’d seen the Coruscant attack and others on the holonet. It had to be a Chaos ship, she decided.

“Na'tuna, get up here, we’ve got a real problem.”

“What sort of a problem?” the younger twi’lek asked, he was a lethan, one of the rarest skin-colours, with a powerful brow-ridge and underbite, and a thoughtful look in the eye.

“There’s an unidentified ship detected, two light minutes out. It just appeared,” she said.

“I don’t see anything,” he said.

“It’s there. Look at the infra-red…”

“Wow. Practically a second sun. Glad it’s not near anything.”

“It must be a chaos ship, there’s no transponder, it didn’t drop out of hyperspace…”

“Look at the energy readings, let’s get out of here.”

“Agreed; it’ll take a few minutes to program the coordinates,” she said, a micro-jump was going to take a little while.

“Goddess, don’t let them shoot us,” Zhad'sara said, a simple and direct prayer. The minutes slid by until it seemed that nothing was going to happen, and the primitive navi-comp burbled its readiness. She reached forward, and touched the engage control, which turned the ship on its axis almost directly back the way it had come, and her slim hand wrapped around the engine leavers, pulling them back the ship jumped to lightspeed, vanishing in a moment.

Kala’uun City, Ryloth

Rach`talik sat with his feet up on the table. The annexe was a quiet place, located half a dozen miles into the night side, huge sensor domes like those on starships surrounded the building at distances of several miles. Here there was time to relax and enjoy the slow pace of life in comparative luxury, there were only a few dozen people who came out to the facility from one week’s end to the next, and most of those were part of the garrison, who didn’t generally come up to this floor.

An alert sign was posted on the wall to remind everyone to take threats seriously, and a chime sounded, indicating that the planetary shield grid had been triggered. A ship had appeared unexpectedly; the shields were constantly revised at infitesimal increments, to ensure there was a safe engagement radius to avoid cutting any ships in half.

All across the planet, the five cities and many lesser settlements, had engaged shields, which clicked on instants before the ship arrived; the response time was fast. Remarkably so; the shields were being controlled by hair-trigger systems that could respond with profound speed.

Rach looked at the screens in the hyper-sensor area as the ship dropped out and flickered into orbit, tumbling a little.

“Personal Transport Dancing Fire,” he said, pressing a control on the desk in front of him, about to issue the standard caution.

“They’re here!” Zhad'sara’s voice said, “Let us in, they’re here!”

Third time today. Rach sighed. “Stand by for close-range scan…” he said.


Compact Naval Vessel Inun

The Compact was the elder C’tani protectorate in the Skyriver Galaxy, and the smaller by far. The vessel was a Rendili Dreadnought-class Heavy Cruiser, six hundred meters keel length. It appeared unarmed, as had been the fashion in the day it was designed. Clam-shells covered the weapons.

Captain Na'aresh paced awkwardly, her lekku twitching in languid agitation.

“Their light cone has reached Or Tuma.” A sensor operator said. “Location confirmed.”

“Begin evasive manoeuvre scheme,” Na’aresh said. “Let’s take a look at what they’re up to. Prepare the reconnaissance flight.”

Ryloth System, Outskirts

Avarn was a human pilot. Humans weren’t rated as the best pilots by any means, and to reach flight status in a fleet where twi’leks and togruta were common meant that he was good. The ARC-170 was one of the largest fighter craft in service, with a crew of four, three humanoids and an astromech.

The ship, and another wing-man (wing-team, in this case) dropped out of lightspeed five thousand kilometres off the target.

“Set s-foils in attack position,” Avran said instinctively, powering up the scanners and weapons. The ships snapped out short wings packed with radiators from their atmospheric wings, resembling some deep sea fish assuming a threat posture.

They soared toward the target practically wing-to-wing in the immensity of out-system space, as though intimidated by the void.

Avarn looked at the communications set in front of him and touched the controls. “Unidentified vessel,” he began, “You have intruded in the Ryloth Planetary Exclusion Zone, please identify yourself, your cargo and your destination.”

The nose of the ARC-170 contained a number of sensors, particularly a battery of gamma ray spectrographic detectors, but also hyperwave sensors, six sensor modules and other sundry devices.

“Mass readings zero,” Gioven, the co-pilot said, “Energy readings off the scale, readjusting scale…”

Avarn activated the active sensors as they swept toward the ship.
"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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Godular
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Postby Godular » Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:25 pm

The object remained stationary as the recon flight approached, showing no outward signs of hostility aside from the fact that it completely ignored any and all communications directed towards it. The instant active sensors were turned towards it, the energy signature and the object itself simply faded away in a cloud of black mist, lost amidst the darkness of space save for a momentary darkening of the stars around it. A strange and disconcerting sense of well-being and happiness wafted momentarily over those ships closest to the now-absent object, as if something had been 'set right' by the vessel's disappearance.

This ran counter to the highly disrupted signal that went out from the ship as it disappeared. Any comm systems could pick it up: a wispy, almost ephemeral collection of voices, some crying while others spoke strange indecipherable chants, soon joined by a single voice laughing maniacally.

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

Deep in the void of space, far removed even from the twisted and distorted light of its closest neighboring star, a single massive engine radiated a malign green luminescence as it worked in silence. Its light died as it cut its support to the vessel in Ryloth, but was swiftly replaced by dozens of new points of light as a new set of engines spun up to full capacity. These lights belonged to the eldritch thrusters of great vessels as they turned as one towards a single point.

In their midst, an colossal structure of black steel had been calculating transit solutions ever since the object had first been sent out, relying on coordinates called in by the ghostly scout. Though such calculations were sluggish for the computers of a single ship, this juggernaut was in fact a vast supercomputer, tasked with establishing such transits in a mere fraction of the time it would take other vessels to determine. With the scout's assistance, these 'targeting solutions' could be far more exacting than if one were to simply eyeball a solution between a vessel and its intended destination, in which one would have to enter a solution on the far outskirts of the system to avoid any unanticipated collisions.

The new fleet's arrival would be both precise and simultaneous.

Each ship entered a specific 'departure point' and vanished in a wave of quantum distortions...

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

...to appear within the Ryloth systems in formations already moving towards their intended targets, with no waves of spatial distortion or light to herald their arrival. For all intents and purposes, they arrived as if they had always been there.

Groups of five multi-kilometer vessels in wall formations burned hard for the defending dreadnoughts present in the system, while a larger group of vessels some twenty strong arrived in a larger wall formation just outside of geostationary orbit. Among this latter group, a gargantuan ship studded with spine-like projections and crusted with strange black spheres hovered with its point directed towards the planet.

These vessels directed fire towards any orbital defenses within weapons range, focusing their fire on any satellites or space stations that had active shielding or defenses.

From these ships, no communication signals emerged.
Last edited by Godular on Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
RL position
Active RP: ASCENSION
Active RP: SHENRYAX

Faction 1: The An'Kazar Control Framework of Godular-- A collective of formerly human bioborgs engaged in a galaxy-spanning reign of terror for as-yet-unknown reasons. (SWG)

Faction 2: The Servants of the True Way of the Will-- A multi-species anti-technology crusade that travels the galaxy in ships brought forth from the power of their own minds. (MWG) (Faction represented in WA)

A 3.1 civilization, according to this Nation Index Thingie

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:00 am

Close yet far away

The ship soared through hyperspace, the perspective on the universe altered fundamentally by its tachyonic nature. The ship’s integrity and stasis fields preserved it as it hurtled faster than light itself. It was a tramp freighter, but the largest of that kind, perhaps. A HT-2200 Light Freighter.

The predator that stalked it hung on to its surface. They would not think that anything could get on board, but its people had advanced hyperspeed capabilities. Overhauling a ship in hyperspace and displacing an object onto it was uncommon, but not difficult.

It scuttled across metal and dura-steel, staying out of reach of sensors and holding itself out of view of the cockpit with its broad transparisteel windows. The rear section of the ship had a similar view, but the creature worked languidly, tracing its way along the bottom of the ship, moving on all fours from point to point over the landing gear. It reached out to sever one or two control lines as it moved.

The predator moved around the side of the ship, onto its dorsal surface, moving backward toward a narrow airlock. It worked on the systems there to override the controls, its hand flickering with arcane energies across the electro-magnetic spectrum as its systems became effectors, remotely monitoring and altering charge in the system nearby.

It suppressed alarms and notifications, locked the monitor into displaying the same frame and cycled the outer door, scuttling into the airlock.

It allowed itself to rise from its position on all fours, spine straightening, limbs stretching. It moved like a living being, not a droid. It still stood with a hunch, broad scapulas of its skeletal frame functioning as pauldrons, its long limbs giving it a luxury of motion. It reached out, hand whickering with effector energies again and cycled the airlock.

The predator’s senses were sharp, machines analysed the chemical composition of the interior and gave a sharp sense of scent. It could detect the pheremones of despair and of risk-taking behaviour, justified. It could scent poor hygeiene and it could tell the number, species, gender and age of all aboard.

The predator stalked through the ship, its profile causing the lights to flicker as it moved. A ‘droid turned to look at the predator and it held up a hand, effectors flaring, causing the machine to sink to the floor, collapsing to its knees first and then falling on its face with a crash.

They would have heard that but it might not alarm them.


The human who came to investigate was already spewing invective at the fallen ‘droid. The predator didn’t speak basic, and found the language clunky, related via engram it took no pleasure that it could understand the tongue, finding it crude, inelegant; the huttese insults were more colourful.

The predator jammed the local communications and stepped out into the open, savouring the fear response; it could hear the drumming of the crewman’s heart and the rushing surge of blood in the meat as it approached, it could trace the eyes and scent the fear-response.

The man moved to draw his pistol and the predator let him, it let him sight down the irons on the gun and watched as a crimson discharge splashed out, tibanna-plasma hitting the predator’s chest and having no discernable effect. The man’s face fell into an expression of surprise. A blaster should shoot through a ‘droid.

The predator was no ‘droid.


“Jergan? I heard shooting what’s going on?” Callidin called as he climbed down the ladder into the lower deck companionway, his own hand resting on his blaster. “Spast,” he said, as he reached the lower deck. The companionway’s wall was covered in blood, lurid and bright. It had splashed and sprayed out and pooled dripping on the floor. He drew his blaster and set it on maximum. The blood was pooled around the starboard locker. He knew what he’d find, but he had to be sure, he played the gun from one end of the corridor to the other, then opened the stowage locker door fractionally, gun firmly on the doorway.

The smell of blood was acrid, fresh, and the thing inside the locker reeked of it. Callidin had seen – and done – a lot of violence in his time, but Jergan was – had been – a friend. He could not tell to look at it, that the thing in the locker had been Jergan, but he knew it nonetheless.

When he looked back and saw the intruder he howled. It was metal, like a ‘droid but bigger, perhaps it would have stood nine feet or more if it were not for its hunched posture. Even then the spikes of its spine scraped the ceiling as it walked. Its green eyes glowed a bilious colour as it stood before him. It was not the shape of it or its nature that caused his scream.

It was wearing strips of something pale tan and crimson, dark on one side but glossily red, bloody, on the other. It had wound them around, wearing the long strips of peeled flesh as a priest might his vestments. One piece had Jergan’s face on it, staring. There was no expression the work had been sloppy, but it was recognizable.

Callidin held his blaster half-steady and fired. The bolt hit the creature and left a small portion of it cherry-red for an instant. The creature looked down, and then up. He could tell it was mocking him. He backed off, firing again and again. Where the blaster missed it pecked holes he size of a man’s head out of the internal walls.

The creature walked forward, and extended a hand whose fingers tapered to bloody knives, it was slow, and he kept ahead of it until only the airlock was behind him. He reached out to the pad and opened the inner door, stepping back and closing it, putting up the gun. Perhaps if he could hold it out for a while and get in a suit.

“Gima!” he called, turning his commlink on.

“What’s going on-”

“Just shut up, drop us out of lightspeed. Do it now.” He couldn’t risk a spacewalk at lightspeed.

The creature’s claws scraped against the inner door, a sound of metal parting and groaning echoed from it. Shaking, Callidin tried to reach for the suits.

A hand punctured through the inner door and he staggered back, shooting it, burning Jergan’s flesh off the arm as it reached up, but not harming the creature. It moved slowly, its hand drawing back and flickering with green fire, carving the metal like tallow. It pushed the door inward. Callidin fired at it desperately, and it seemed to hold off for a moment until his blaster ran dry.

The tiny porthole in the back of the airlock door showed the whirl of hyperspace return to normal. The commlink emitted Gima’s questioning voice, but nothing could be heard over the sound of shrieking as the machine reached into Callidin.


The Predator stood over the ruin of what had once been a man. There was skin left, it did not have time to practice the full depths of its art, but enough of the man had been denuded to make another covering, warm wet and fresh. It looked at the slender wet shape of Callidin’s body, oozing blood now that its heart had been stilled, and it rejoiced in its power.

Some said that the Flayed Ones were mad, a form of communicable virus among necrons. They were not wrong. Not wholly wrong at any rate, but neither were they wholly right. There was something deep in the necrontyr psyche that this appealed to, an inherent sadism that usually expressed itself in minor ways but could lead to extremes.

The Flayed One rose, and turned toward the cockpit and the last surviving crew-member. Her name, though she would never speak it to the likes such as these, was Amekhrithi, and internally she sang as she moved though she had no desire to give voice to her amusement in words the savages could hear. She could sense the one in the cockpit attempting to jettison the cockpit module, but as with the connections that would let him kill the slaves imprisoned aboard she had disconnected those links physically.

Amekhrithi approached the cockpit amused at the doors closed before her. She opened them with her claws. As before the man within shot her with a blaster and she let him have clear shots, savouring his mounting panic. She did not wish to slay him in the cockpit, someone might need to use the controls who didn’t care much for blood. She hauled him five yards outside and opened him, before taking his skin.

Amekhrithi tilted her head backward, receiving a message. Predicted but not unusual. The ship that had overhauled the slaver vessel would now have to leave her. It did not trouble her, she had already inloaded instructions on how to fly this craft. She hauled the seat away, bolts that held it in place groaning and snapping under a slight application of her strength and looked down at the controls with her green eyes, the controls were crude, designed for human hands. Her claws ticked over the controls, executing a hyperspatial turn toward a new destination, the Compact world of Bryx.

CNV Resolution

Some species and cultures were known as great warriors, their legacy one of martial defiance and written in conquests and burned worlds. Some leaders were known and feared for their martial exploits generations, centuries or even millennia after their time; the galaxy still knew, loved, and feared Xim the Despot, who had been a war-leader millennia ago before he had died ignominiously in slavery. Almost no one could name a twi’lek war-leader, twi’leks had never conquered anyone except each other, and had never fought a war in their own name on another world – while the twi’leks had a military tradition it was one almost devoid of the death cult that most cultures’ warriors held – as a result the planet had been conquered many times by outsiders, and there were all manner of oppressions heaped upon its people down the centuries.

This was immediately obvious aboard the Resolution as transit alarms sounded, indicating the approach of a number of attacking vessels of star destroyer class. Senior Fleet Captain Vellan leaned back in the command throne, watching the enemy ships approach. Five of them burning at full speed for his flagship, others, everywhere. It was obvious that the attack had been coordinated, and planned. Readings for energy on the vessels were significant and their type indicated that, for the most part, they were chaos craft.

Vellan knew that this enemy would not be something he wished to live under, or for his family, below, to live under, but he also knew that they’d not win this fight, the enemy were numerous and their weapons extremely capable.

“Ceenine,” he said, “what are the odds of winning this engagement if we attack now?”

“Seven hundred and sixty to one,” the ‘droid reported faithfully.

“I thought it would be something like that,” he said, pressing a button on his command chair down. “All craft, this is Senior Fleet Captain Vellan. Stand by for hyperspace coordinates, we are retreating.”

Kala’uun City, Ryloth

Rach`talik stared as the boards lit up all around. He knew what this meant. The shields would stay up. He checked a panel next to him, wondering briefly if perhaps a training sim had been left in the computer, but there was no sign of that. The sensor outpost he manned was one of several surrounding the capital, and he was painfully aware that if a bombardment started he would be caught on the fringe of it at least. The shields for the cities were built with the design principle of being impenetrable without leveraging such energies that there would be nothing but cinders left of the city beneath if they were attacked. Even if the enemy wanted cinders, they were built with far more space and power than shipboard generators and would hold out for some time. But here, isolated on the night side, there was no serious shielding and only a tiny garrison.

He stood up, dropping the caff he’d held, and hurried to the weapons locker, taking a blaster and buckling it to his side. The shields would hold, he knew, but his station would need to get the most detailed telemetry possible for the resistance. Before too long, the planetary defences would fire at the formation stuck where there would normally be a geo-stationary orbit on a coruscant-like planet.

There was no geostationary orbit for Ryloth, of course, it was tidally locked and only a few lagrange points would allow attacking ships to remain over the same point indefinitely, otherwise, to synchronise one’s motion with the planet’s rotation would be to kill all forward momentum and drop out of orbit.

Planetary Turbolaser Station “The Persuader”

The Perusader was one of a multitude of guns to be found across Ryloth, situated in a reinforced plasteel tower, it was a blocky tower that tracked the sky, mounted with a squared off top section. Far below, earthing spikes and power generators propelled this immodest gun, as it tracked the enemy vessels that had emerged into the system. The fire order had not been given, not yet, and even now its’ crew prayed to the goddess that they would not receive a combat order, exposed as they were; protected only by secondary shields, so that the main city shields would not have to disengage to allow them to fire, they were likely to receive the brunt of counter-fire from the orbiting ships; they might well destroy attacking vessels, but with this many, that outcome wasn’t in doubt either; if the enemy attacked, they would return fire, but for now, they would wait.

As yet, no one tried to communicate with the ships in orbit, the clan leaders and city rulers of Ryloth were largely asleep, and had to be roused before negotiation could be sanctioned.

The twi’leks weren’t a people to start a fight, even one over their own homeworld; there were no stations or satellite weapons in orbit, with most of their defenses concentrated on the ground.
Last edited by The Ctan on Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:04 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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Godular
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Posts: 8990
Founded: Sep 09, 2004
New York Times Democracy

Postby Godular » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:04 pm

His motions are precise and effortless despite the bulk of his body and the armor protecting it, his steps among the exposed wires and conduits are flowing and silent. Though the ship's corridors were once spacious and grandiose, the situation no longer holds. Now there is barely sufficient room for two humans to move abreast without any collisions with low hanging fixtures or pipes. There is precious little light to see by, but the darkness does not even register to his eyes. The ship hums around him, minute changes in pitch and tone easily sensed as systems are tested and retested.

A woman, mousy in behavior but possessed of muscles like steel cording, crouches in his path as he approaches. She gives no notice of him, running her fingers along a line of wires as one might caress a lover while occasionally giving voice to a guttural click. Veins pulse occasionally with a faint purplish glow beneath her bare skin. Though she is naked and in unnaturally robust physical condition, he takes no note of her and she does likewise. His stride does not shorten even slightly, and just before his boot would strike her, her existing movements take her a fraction of a centimeter outside of his path.

He feels her progress in his own mind, as naturally as one might feel hair blowing in a breeze. Though he is already around a corner, he knows exactly when she completes her check of the wiring and moves on, the same as he does for all of those who comport themselves upon his ship, the same as they are aware of his own movements. He is instinctively aware of all the workings upon his ship, of all the various species of people traversing its darkened corridors and working the mechanisms therein, establishing connections with the ship's sensors and other systems at seemingly random places around the massive vessel but never once wavering in their vigilance regarding the vessel's surroundings. If one moves away from their connection to any of the ship's systems, another connection is established elsewhere on the ship with no visible disruption in functionality.

Though they are all aware of each other, only he and select others are capable of directing. The woman behind him and countless others on his ship simply respond as extensions of his own body, not even wholly aware of their own actions but eminently diligent in their ministrations nonetheless.

He sees the meager defending forces flee the system in the face of overwhelming odds, and he is content to let them go. The defenders' departure is ushered along with a few choice volleys in their general direction, but more as a declaration of intent rather than an overt attempt to cause harm.

He sees the half disk of the planet below them, motionless as their ship holds position some thirty-thousand kilometers from the surface without giving any outward signs of how it maintains its position. He sees the other ships of his fragment fleet, similarly holding position or adjusting to accommodate the approach of the vessels that had until moments ago been dedicated to expunging the defensive forces from the system. Those vessels move with a fluidity much like those of the bodies contained therein. The instant a gap is made, it is closed by another vessel just freshly arrived.

His senses run through a variety of wavelengths and scans. He sees electromagnetic signatures signaling the presence of cities and of the defensive installations with weapons directed upwards at his ship and the others. For each gun pointed at him, many stare right back. He sees blankets of energy covering these facilities, providing token protection against orbital bombardment, and traces them to the installations from whence they are generated.

The planet is silent, awaiting the fleet's next move.

Fingers dance across controls. Signals reach across space.

He feels lips move, but the voice that speaks is that of multiple voices superimposed over each other, none of which are his.

"ATTENTION. WE HAVE AIRSPACE CONTROL. AS OF THIS MOMENT, NOBODY HAS BEEN HARMED. A RESPONSE IS REQUIRED WITHIN THIRTY STANDARD SECONDS OR THIS CONDITION WILL EXPERIENCE DRASTIC ADJUSTMENTS."
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Postby The Ctan » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:11 pm

Facility A94F293

The facility was underground, located somewhere quite unknown to most of the planet’s inhabitants. The illumination was dark, and it was built in the C’tani style, walls of ferrocrete and stanchions of green living metal making up most of its structure, large ventilation fans a feature of its location, concealed beneath a camouflage shroud on the day side of Ryloth, built into the walls, these collected dust and lint in grilles of metal that gave a distinctive and decayed look to the facility, which no one seemed concerned with. Appearances mattered little here. Crimson lighting lit the walls, while controls shone the errie green of the Great Civilization’s technology.

Selajara ita Novokh, who abbreviated his first name to Sejar, found the place almost relaxing. His people were accustomed to harsh environments, as much as if not more than the twi’leks. Standing at a little under seven feet in height he was slim, and angular, his features were drawn but similar to those of humans and twi’leks, though he had long, black hair pulled back behind him in bronze rings, he did not seem troubled by the pulsing hum of machinery that set so many visitors on edge, but then, this was his place of work. He watched with cold, silver eyes as a man was led into the room.

The prisoner was a twi’lek, a male tolian, young, perhaps twenty three, by Sejar’s reckoning, he looked positively terrified, clad in an off-white prison uniform, he resisted the wraith that held him; the cells were entirely sealed off and could only be entered by wraiths and other machines that used phase shift generators, which literally pulled them from their cells. The manacles on his hands and feet had no gaps or alterations, the metal placed cold in position by molecular synthesis. Sejar waved for him to be placed in the chair, the tentacles of the wraith placing his arms into position, the maximum extent of the manacles allowing his arms to be buckled into place by the mechanised restraints, and watched as it pressed his head back into position, padded restraints, connectors attached to his head, and his lekku, and Sejar stepped up to him.

“Bit’dystome,” he said, as he stepped up onto the plinth that supported the chair, reaching out to a bar nearby, “I am Sejar,” he said.

“What do you want with me? I’ve done nothing, you can’t hold me here…” Bit’dystome said.

“Sadly wrong, on all counts,” Sejar said. “You are a part of the Valla Cheku,” he said, “a proscribed organization, is that not so?”

“I am not,” Bit’dystome said, protesting faintly, pulling against the restraints. Sejar turned to look at the screen opposite them.

“Let’s see,” he said, and held up one hand. The prisoner contorted for a moment, and twisted against the restraints. It was hard to describe the experience as pain, but he panted after a moment or two, and relaxed, sweat shining across his body.

Images appeared on the screen.

Lesana Town – The Past

Lesana had suffered since the beginning of rise of the C’tani-backed Compact of Worlds; one of the major hubs of the spice trade and the slave trade, Ryloth had always had a seedy reputation and the cantina was no exception. A haze of Ryll spice hung in the room and pipes bubbled with diffusers; the place had seen better days, and the dancers’ booths were empty; one corner of the cantina showed the heinous effects of the strange weapons the offworlders carried, that had whittled a hole through the wall, and a groove in the floor, creating a secondary entrance that was almost disturbing to look upon, and which was boarded in plascrete.

Three male twi’leks sat as far away from that as possible. “Honoured one,” one of them, who had a low quality replacement eye installed and sutred into place. “Bit has been my friend for some years now,” he murmured. “I can vouch for him.”

An insect landed nearby, sliding in from the cold night-lands air and all eyes went to it momentarily. The C’tani had been able to subvert such creatures, tiny, microscopic droids weren’t unknown, and even stranger things rumoured. Even literal flies on walls had to be feared. One of the warriors moved over and crushed it under the heel of his hand, a paper covering protecting him from the smeared stain.

The older man waited, and leaned close. “Our organization does need men, for what’s to come. But I want more than just a recommendation. I want an oath by the Goddess.”

“What sort of oath?”

“An oath that you will not rest, until the offworlders are driven out, and until we have the freedom to return to the old ways that secured our world.”

Facility A94F293

Bit’dystome cringed as the images from the cantina appeared. “What the frak was that?”

“A memory,” Sejar said, “your species has a most advanced neural arrangement, it is comparatively difficult to access your memories, but we have had plenty of practice,” he said, “the machine sections your mind, and recalls memories as you recall them. There will be some errors, but you cannot consciously withhold information; will-power is not a concern, nor is the possibility of deliberate misinformation,” he said. “We can do much worse, a complete neural scrape takes only a moment, but there are traditions about what can be done; this machine gets the information we need, and at least lets you keep some secrets, personal ones we don’t care about.”

The prisoner breathed heavily, and Sejar leaned in, his clothing was intimidating, similar to spacer’s gear, but subtly armoured, and suggestive of physical threat. His breath was hot, like a desert wind. “We have a great faculty for dismantling cults, rebellions, terror groups, and more, and you are honoured to be part of it. We do not always pounce immediately, when we are done here, we will erase your memory of many of these events, and implant false ones, pleasant ones, mind you. You will be implanted with a mindshackle scarab, which will nestle inside your brain,” he smiled, “and you will help us in our work.”

“You frakking bastard,” Bit’dystome breathed, half defeated, half terrified, and half enraged. “You people come to our world and disrupt the way of life that’s kept us safe for thousands of,” he twitched, his mouth was moving, but no sound articulated as his vocal cords refused to obey instructions, Sejar’s hand rested against a lens-like brace on his arm.

“Nothing personal, but you’re not here to rant. Look on the bright side, when we use you like this, you will be given a lenient punishment when all this is over. Now, let’s see what else you remember about that handler.”

A chime sounded, the sound of an alarm in such a tranquil facility such as this. Sejar straightened up, “But not yet,” he said, with a tone of disappointment, “return him to his cell,” he said, stepping down from the carousel of the neural interface chair, a slight sway from its momentum in his step before he extracted a shining data crystal, only the first moments of an interview session; he would return to it later.

The Internal Security Agency was a usually-silent aspect of the Great Civilization; and it attracted a certain sort of mind. Sejar stepped through the key-hole doorway, and past the internal defensive systems, passing another of the agents in the hall. The facility had only a dozen full status agents and half a dozen juniors, as well as its automated staff. Mayi was a pretty Seroi-human woman, with raven hair, dressed in the desert robes many of her people preferred.

The C’tani were a nation of many peoples, thousands upon thousands of cultures were represented in the so-called Great Civilization, but theirs were two founders, whose people were entirely represented within the Great Civilization. “Cousin,” Mayi said. They didn’t seem concerned or hurried as they climbed the stairs, but both were linked to their surroundings, and already aware of the flotilla overhead and the fleet through the system. “Close range space-folding, intimate transition,” she said. “Chaos ships. Chronosian,” she added, “if the analysis is correct.”

The operations centre had been reconfigured to display local space, several agents already gathered. They could talk without speaking, but the nearness was an instinct that none would admit they found reassurance in, so physically gathering was still relevant. “They do match the forge patterns. All except this ship, but our monitoring stations near the Chronosians have reported no unusual activity for some time, so this is a surprise development.”

Sejar rested his hands on the edge of the operations table, staring into the holograms, “It is beyond unusual for chaos forces to abandon the use of the Empyrean no matter what efficiency advantage is offered. It is against their religion. The Chronosians are comparatively innovative but this is unprecedented; we must find out more about the new ship”

Ryloth Command Center

Not every Twi’lek lived down to their reputation for military incompetence. High Colonel Sen’ura was one who defied the stereotype. The product of the ruthless military academies of the Centrality, she was almost infamous on Ryloth for the way she drove her troops. While most of the twi’lek homeworld feared and respected the necrons, the Compact army was held in less regard; but also outside of the local chain of command, the citys’ leadership councils, which ruled the planet, had no real sway over Sen’ura’s operations, which rankled them extensively.

The cities controlled their own batteries, and their overshields, but they did not control the big turbolasers built into the bright and night sides of the planet, which meant that their systems were slaved into the Compact’s systems for gunnery control.

By the time that orbit had been controlled by the assailtant force, Sen’ura had barely had the chance to fasten her Compact Defence Corps uniform. All of Ryloth had one time zone, and the attack had occurred in the early evening, which had meant that she’d had to leave her dinner to respond to the crisis. The sea-green jacket was done in the same Menelmacari style that the C’tani military used for everyday use, reinforced with red leather shoulderpads, and with a string of three red rank tabs on a plaque across her left breast.

With Vellan’s withdrawal, she was the only Compact Commander of such rank in the Ryloth system; the Compact had been reluctant to appoint any flag officers, and so had stratified its ranks to include Senior Colonel and High Colonel, ranks that other bodies used only sparingly. She hadn’t fully fastened the jacket, letting its right hand fasteners hang loose, revealing the cream lining beneath; the Menelmacari dress code considered this slovenly, while the C’tani – and therefore the Compact – considered it a feature of the uniform.

Slamming herself down into a chair in the command center, the location of which was isolated by hardened land-lines and underground construction, she frowned at the display. “Fraking coward,” she uttered, “Sound planetary alert, send a general distress signal, and tight-beam assistance requests to the Douglas system, and also to Erilnar and Shili,” she ordered, expecting and hoping that half of that had already been done.

“Incoming message,” a technician said, turning to look at her, she nodded, and the multitudinous voice rang out from the speakers.

"ATTENTION. WE HAVE AIRSPACE CONTROL. AS OF THIS MOMENT, NOBODY HAS BEEN HARMED. A RESPONSE IS REQUIRED WITHIN THIRTY STANDARD SECONDS OR THIS CONDITION WILL EXPERIENCE DRASTIC ADJUSTMENTS."


A sergeant in motion outranked a lieutenant who didn’t know what was going on, so the proverb went. Right now, that meant that High Colonel Sen’ura was in charge of the planet; the local potentates who were more inclined to compromise were largely still enjoying their evening’s activities or scrambling to get to their own command centres. They would be too late to stop Sen’ura’s unilateral answer. She didn’t consider appeasement; if anyone asked she would simply say that no one who gave a thirty second ultimatum was serious.

She was not a veteran observer of chaos fleets; she knew only of the raids on Coruscant and Alderaan and the tactical briefings she’d received.

“All batteries, target the nearest ship and fire,” she said, calmly. “All squadrons, scramble,” There was a lapse of silence in the command centre, as she looked around. “Do it now!” she snapped.

Ord Guramma

The kill order had been issued six years three months and two days ago, but Thanven was patient. He had waited in a pocket of non-existence for the majority of that time, high on the slopes of a mountain locally known as Abreg Hill. His structure was more than the simple machine that a human could see; he was linked with the devices that maintained his hide and which allowed him to analyse realspace.

The spoor of his target had come into view a few times, but never openly. There were other options for assassination but this type of mission had a unique effect; it made it clear that the targets of the Great Civilization’s anger were never truly safe.

The sleek form of the yacht came to rest in the open air spaceport with its cleared blast areas around the pads, unlike more urban starports, there were no blast pits here, which was part of the reason it had been chosen. The predictive psychohistorical mathematics had said that Zenn Thuris would come here, in time.

Thanven reverted, lifting his rifle to his shoulder. The device was a specialised weapon, meant for long range work, it resembled a conventional weapon, but its tights were clearly designed without conventional optics in mind. He raised the weapon, but did not need to sight down it, his single monocular eye was more than sight enough to pinpoint the target, and in a moment he fired the neural disruptor. There was no entry wound, no muzzle flash, no trace of him.

Zenn Thuris, wanted for tech-smuggling and illicit arms dealing, twitched once and dropped to the ground, instantly dead. This was the cost of violating the laws of the Great Civilization; Zenn had once been known as Atheris ita Dyvanakh, until he had decided that the allure of selling the weapons his people crafted – though never the knowledge to construct them – to those without the technology to reproduce them, and thus living as a king on the outer rim of the Skyriver Galaxy, was too great to uphold his oath.

Thanven did not move, he simply vanished, fading away back to the belly of the one of the vast ships of the necrons, called when he had confirmed the presence of the target, and standing off the best part of a light-day away.

Bondu Airbase, Ryloth

Bow'posi ran across the hangar at the sound of alarms, the alert rippling through the station for his squadron was not required; they had been on alert, and already the response to the incursion was beginning; the announcement had said it was chaos forces.

They had trained for that; void shields were much like many other ships’ shields, semi-porous against close range fighter attack, at least by all accounts. If their escorts could hold off interception, and they could avoid weapons fire, they could at least tie the aggressors up for some time, to delay rescue.

Already, the guns kilometres away in the dark side were lighting the perpetual night over the ice-plains with the ruby-red flash of cannons, converging to a single point somewhere in the sky. The First Battle of Ryloth had begun…
"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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Godular
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Postby Godular » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:50 pm

THORN SYSTEM. 35 YEARS AGO.

Few outside of the unknown regions had ever seen a godulan avatar in person, and fewer still had seen multiple avatars in one room. Of those who had experienced firsthand what an avatar was fully capable of when roused to action, not even dust remained. For many outside entities to bear witness of twenty such beings in a single chamber, however large that chamber might have been, would have been a swift descent into anxiety-induced madness.

Many years ago, a titanic clash had burst into the system, two titanic wills locked in mortal combat. One an upstart group of genocide-hating technocrats, the other the eminent Chaos power in the region. The battle was vicious, but the results spoke for themselves. Since then, the ruins of the Chaos fleet had been studied, picked at, and occasionally chewed on by the oft-changing denizens of Thorn. One day, the idea of salvaging the fleet entered into the collective consciousness and the Godulans, ever ready for the next engineering challenge, took to the project with relish. Eventually, piece by piece and ship by ship, a fleet of restored Chaos vessels began to take shape under the ever-shifting prismatic glare of Thorn's glow.

One postulate as to why the reconstructed fleet had not experienced any 'after-effects' relating to their chaos taint was that one particular Chaos God was particularly fond of deception and intrigue, and that such an entity would be positively ecstatic at the idea of some serious wool-pulling. Tzeentch might even seek to obfuscate the presence of the reconstituted fleet from the eyes of the other primal forces, if only so he/she/they/it could be the first to laugh their ephemeral ass off when the full plan for the Ascension came to fruition. While many Godulans would take issue with their actions serving the cause of one or more Chaos Gods, many others were quick to note that some things just 'had to be dealt with'.

The chamber had once played host to a weapon known as a 'Macro Cannon', though the weapon and the ship that played host to it had been battered into oblivion long ago. Even so, there was room for groups of hundreds to stand with sufficient room between them that nobody spoke over the other. The lack of armament in the cannon chamber served to make it seem even more cavernous. Groups of armored humans stood before godulan avatars, attention rapt as each avatar took them through various steps of the retrofitting process. Two avatars stood among these disparate crowds, overseeing this small slice of project: Ascension in person.

"By Sojun's flaming balls, these people built STUPID." Kal'Shazzar had only just been restored to awareness, and was in the process of surveying all that would be within his purview. He had not known of the reconstruction effort before his 'death' and subsequent resurrection with a moral lobotomy thrown in as a distinctly unwanted freebie, and occasionally found himself commenting on things that other Godulans had long since gotten over.

"Indeed sir," General Corbox replied. "Stupid in the same way that a brick to the head can still kill you. Our ships had better technology than theirs by miles, but we still got a savage drubbing before we dropped the hammer. Now this 'Mistress' thinks it fitting that I be in charge of bringing them back to full functionality after it was my actions that got us into this mess in the first place."

"Admit it, Ark. You like the challenge." Kal turned a sidelong glance towards the former provincial governor-turned Engineer General.

Corbox bristled slightly at being referred to with such familiarity by a person he had every reason to hate, but quickly suppressed his indignation. "Aye, I do. I must hand it to the 'Mistress', she certainly has a good eye for efficiency."

"So, summarize for me the plans regarding these batteries. There is a vast amount of room in this chamber alone, and there's frackin' SIX of these things to a SIDE. I have some ideas already, but you lot have had so much more time to consider it than I."

"They will still be weapons emplacements, but with this amount of space we have sufficient room to mount dedicated reactors," Corbox replied, then nodded towards what once was the 'barrel' of the macro cannon battery. "We'll be replacing that plate with a channeling lens so it can fire shipboard weapons without regard for ship orientation."

Kal'Shazzar nodded understanding. "So how will you address the scenario of losing shields?"

"We're going to be running power conduits all through the ship to funnel any residual energies to the torpedo stations. ... they'll supplement the Q-E connections for the engines we have on those decks."

Kal's eyes widened. "Really? You got clearance from her?"

"A free hand, she said. She has no use whatsoever for bureaucracy." Corbox sneered at the other godulan. "It is no wonder she chose you as Executor."

Kal'Shazzar simply smiled. "Welcome to the machine."

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

HOLDING POSITION OVER RYLOTH. PRESENT DAY.

Like the others, his ship has oriented itself to present its broadside to the planet below. There isn't much point to doing so in a practical sense, but keeping up appearances is a recognized priority. The hand must not be shown all at once. Even with their capacity for omni-directional firing, their first salvos will come from the lance batteries... with additional power funneled in from the ships' new engines.

He stands in the chamber, electricity arcing about him but causing him no worry. As on all the other vessels, he has ordered a spooling of all additional reactors in preparation for the assault. The glistening forms of his servants scurry and skitter about, acting like an agitated swarm of ants in their frantic movements but never without a clear purpose. They pay him no mind and he returns the favor, but he is not ignorant of their activities. Even in the silence following the transmission that had overwhelmed the airways, there was never any moment where he was not thinking about what would happen next. The message was sent, and preparation continued.


Still, one voice emerged across the span of sub-objectives.

"Hmm. I wonder if we were too forward. These people always were skittish."

This comment unleashed a flood of commentary in the ensuing moments, expanding it into an infinity.

"They wouldn't have issued their challenges if they weren't ready for a fight!" "I know I'd be nervous with this kind of fleet hovering over my head." "I wonder how far we can penetrate their surface with a single blast..." "Maybe we should have given them a little more time?"

Paying little heed to the whirlwind conversation overlaying his senses, he directs his awareness to the ship's sensors just in time to see the first bolts of ruby light leave the surface and converge on a ship nearby. The targeted vessel's shields flare in the onslaught, but in such a concentrated frenzy of incoming fire they hold only long enough for the ship to roll over, presenting its topside towards the planet below.

"NEVERMIND! WE'RE BACK IN BUSINESS!"

His servants need not be ordered. His ship is already thundering in response as the dorsal-mounted lance batteries, augmented with Godulan Quantum Engines, pour forth such a stream of fire from each barrel that many witnessing the assault would claim that the weapons were simply loosing a solid stream of energy, bathing much of the night and day sides in a baleful green glow as the Ascension responds to Ryloth's emphatic commentary with its own scathing reply.

A cursing voice drifts into his awareness, and he notes that while the initially targeted vessel has been grievously wounded, with a topside showing severe structural damage but little in the way of actual hull breaches, but it is not completely out of the fight.

"My channelers are gone, and my lances are fuxxed entirely! I don't know how many of my kin are gone, but the top of my boat is just one big lump of slag."

"Status on the supplemental generators?"

"Golden. But no channelers to direct their energy for ship weapons. I got the ventral launchers out of their field of fire, though."

The voice that comes next IS his own. "Congratulations, Lucinde. Your cruiser just became a missile variant. Do you require our assistance with targeting solutions?"

"Yeah. We got company coming?"

He casts his awareness towards the surface, noting the rather large number of small-craft signatures popping up. "Lots. We are about to experience a target-rich environment."

"They'll HATE me..."

Another voice: "Wait. Direct all munitions towards the ground defenses. Targeting solutions are provided. Lock and fire. Ordinance: Onslaught."

"On it."

Lucinde's vessel, seemingly stricken in the face of the onslaught it has endured, erupts with wave after wave of torpedo launches. These torpedoes, each the relative size of an X-wing, redirect themselves almost immediately towards the planet below and proceed to burn hard for the surface. Of the laser barrages still savaging the upper half of Lucinde's hull, a bolt sails wide and against all probability strikes a torpedo immediately after launch. A crackling of baleful green energy reveals the shielding around the torpedo as it veers to join its increasing volume of companions in scudding towards the planet below.

Amidst all this, the largest vessel of their fleet remains silent.
Last edited by Godular on Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
RL position
Active RP: ASCENSION
Active RP: SHENRYAX

Faction 1: The An'Kazar Control Framework of Godular-- A collective of formerly human bioborgs engaged in a galaxy-spanning reign of terror for as-yet-unknown reasons. (SWG)

Faction 2: The Servants of the True Way of the Will-- A multi-species anti-technology crusade that travels the galaxy in ships brought forth from the power of their own minds. (MWG) (Faction represented in WA)

A 3.1 civilization, according to this Nation Index Thingie

User avatar
The Ctan
Minister
 
Posts: 2710
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Ctan » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:57 am

The Night Side

The night boats of Ryloth weren’t well known galactically, but it was certainly one of the most iconic professions. It was perhaps not as terrible as spice mining; that other well known trade, and there were few good ways for a low caste twi’lek to live on their hidebound home world and this was possibly one of the better. The boat creaked and groaned as it slipped over the land, its structure was such that one could think of little more than a fairy-tale, its bow was lit by a fungus-lantern and its sails were canvas, full on the wind of the dark lands that frosted the sails beneath austere starlight.

There was no light pollution from the surface, not a soul for miles. Occasionally a predator would lurch from the dark and Venn’ya would turn the boat’s sails, haul up the speed and accelerate away, or take the deck-gun and fire a shot of powder-propelled lead at the menace. The lamps swayed a little as they turned with the wind, tacking across league after league. Heating elements kept the boat tolerable, though cold, through its journey into the night lands, and Venn’ya had his lines carefully laid, to let him furl the sails and handle the high speed winds of Ryloth.

Sha’rellya sat beside him, she was asleep, curled into the padded backmost portion of the boat, his wife was gifted as a mechanic, at least by the standards of the planet, which had never had much in the way of formal education institutions. She slept while he was awake, and she woke while he slept, to keep the boat on course.

The craft was wooden for the most part of its hull, its low flat deck was wooden, to keep from skin contact with bare metal, but held beneath it a series of gravity plates repurpoused to take the place of wheels or skids that had let ancient craft navigate the darklands, a battery sat in the forward section, wired together with simple controls, while the aft of the boat was built for comfort, filled with soft furnishings and furred blankets.

A smaller bundle of blankets stirred beside him, and he hooked off one of the leading lines, easing off the speed a little, he could only see ahead without standing from the low canopy, but tucked in and sitting he could spare himself the most severe discomfort of the cold, and huddle more firmly into his furred garments.

“Dada,” one of the other blankets said, and blinking, Syre’nya popped her head out.

“Wear your hood sweet,” he said, and drew her hood over her head, twi’leks were poorly adapted for cold environments, being vulnerable to extremes of temperature.

Snuggling back into her hood, his daughter smiled, “I had a dream, dada.”

“What of?” he asked.

She smiled, and laughed, “Of my own Mazer-horn,” she said, “I would love it and learn to play real well,” she said.

“We’ll see if we can’t get you one,” he said, she’d been asking for a while, he had no idea if the dream was real, but hopefully they’d have money, after this journey, to the depths of the night side where they would harvest ice and bring it home, the ice would be used for traditional temple libations and drinks, things that were distinct from vaporator-reclaimed water more easily available.

“Dada, look,” she said, turning and pointing behind the boat, toward the dayside.

The sky was lit by green, lines of green that shone like the harsh light of the bright lands.

“What the…” he stared, “get your goggles Shary, get them on tight,” he said, reaching for his own, “we need to find shelter,” he said, standing bolt upright and trimming the sails to haul the boat around.
__ __ __


Ryloth Near Space

Bow'posi was an excellent pilot, and he controlled the sleek headhunter like he was born to it, his skill at the controls was finer than any droid brain for three sectors and he could match wits with pilots from the core whose better aircraft were not matched by the sheer duration of flying time he had under his wings. The throttles open, his ship accellerated with enough speed to be in orbit in seconds, and closing with the missiles in even less time. Blue-red bolts of laser-fire lashed at one and another, frizting harmlessly against the shielded missiles, as they soared back the way they'd came. "Spast," he snapped, growling a rimmer's curse as the missile slid through their formation, untouched by the first shots that would have been sufficient to blast most torpedoes.

"Fancy missile," his wingman, Juva said. "Wonder how much it costs them?"

"More than it's worth," Bow'posi said, and rolled back. the Manouver had no name in core-manuals, as he flicked safety limiters off the ship's maneuvering inertials, gyroscopes grinding in their housings to reposition the ship and counter much of its forward momentum. He opened up the engine fully, the targeting display flagged 'attempting to match speed with target' as it showed the missile's orientation and heading. Catching a missile or overhauling it was difficult at the best of times, and there was only one way to accomplish that even in the lightweight Z-95.

His hands flicked over the controls again, there was nothing but casual professionalism here; it was a maneuver the squadron-commander had come up with. Safety limiters shut down, and he looked visually out of the window, grey helmet with its red-striped lek-harness pressing against his neck as he craned his head to watch the missile grow closer, it did not seem to be moving quickly, though Ryloth grew in the window.

He pulled a lever, and then folded his arms into his ejection harness.

The ejection was quick, as the ship’s programmed instructions took over.

The human - or twi’lek - eye wouldn’t follow the displays as they frantically protested the instructions loaded into the hyperspace motivator, the red warning text filled the screen like a blood-splatter of arubesh.

The pilot seat ejected, the displays going dark as they were cut loose, the whole pressure-pod broke loose as the headhunter angled its nose, straining its engines to the upmost to keep a practical course, as the planet loomed large.

The headhunter streaked as space seemed to turn around it, and its hyperdrive accelerated it, projecting it into a tachyonic state - almost.

There was something in the way.

The missile.

A substantial part of the fighter’s tonnage would be converted into energy and slammed into the missile, forming a counter-missile that would hit it at velocities unfathomable to humanity. Hundreds of megatons, maybe gigatons. Far more than a fighter’s laser positions.

The fighter covered a hundred kilometers in the space of a thought, surging through the space illuminated dazzlingly by the crimson energy beams of the attackers and the pulsed turbo-blasts from the planet.

Bow'posi would survive - unless the missile’s warhead was something that would be set off by a counter-missile impact - but he would require quite elaborate nano-treatments to cleanse his body of the radiation poisoning, even in the dampened pod a hundred kilometers from the impact.

This wasn’t typical; most of the squadron continued onward to attack the ships, or tried to intercept the missiles with inadequate weapons, but neither was it atypical.

This was not quite the military behaviour one would expect from the twi’leks.
__ __ __


Gulia, Varn Valley, Ryloth

The settlement of Gulia had been founded as a rest-stop for caravans travelling across the twilight desert five thousand years ago, in the wake of the flood of the Varn valley that had temporarily created one of the largest open water areas on Ryloth. The water had gone but Gulia had remained, and still been a waypoint for trade in centuries; later, it had been exhausted.

Today, it died.

Its shield-batteries were the first on Ryloth to overload, the explosion was massive, gigatons of energy being released by the overloading shield were released at once, into the heart of Gulia. The explosion could be seen from space with the naked eye, a moment after an energy beam touched an area where gun batteries fired into space. Lightning flashed and scathed across the land, and detonated.

The explosion cast up a mushroom cloud that blazed with lightning and fire, and if there was one thing that would become very obvious to the attackers, it was that they could not drop the shields of Rylothian settlements without risking destroying all the economic value of that settlement.
__ __ __


Ryloth Command Center

High Colonel Sen’ura snapped her head around, as the report came in.

“Varn battery reporting casualties. Three guns destroyed, two partial, none undamaged.”

“Order the partials to continue firing, keep on the same target,” she said, watching the holograms above the command table, showing a flat projection of Ryloth’s near space, “Keep locked on the first ship,” she said, leaning toward the display showing Lucinde’s ship manoeuvring, “I want that thing destroyed,” she snapped.

About half the planet’s defensive batteries were firing at one target – the other half were on the other side of the tidelocked planet and could not target any of the assailing ships – and even manouvering to protect herself, Lucinde would find there was not really anywhere to hide from the twi’lek batteries.

She was quite determined to not let the damaged ship retire, even though the other ships were a greater threat. For one thing, ships could be repaired, which meant that when a liberation fleet arrived, Lucinde’s vessel might well be repaired. Sen’ura knew that she was not defending her world with a realistic hope of winning this battle outright, rather, she was fighting the first blows of a campaign that would require other hands to finish; outright destroying a ship was preferable to severely damaging two, in Sen’ura’s professional opinion.

Then there was the prospect of ground troops, if the ships were carrying an invasion force it was better again to destroy one ship than damage two, as that was a sure-fire way to destroy a regiment or division of troops – or at least scatter them in a forced landing – who might otherwise be protected.

There were ways for Lucinde to avoid this, of course, outright withdrawl from the system would be possible if her FTL still functioned, and Ryloth’s trio of moons would make for adequate cover; she could also try and land, and thus get out of the line of sight of the gun batteries.

But nothing else would actually induce them to stop firing at her, unless perhaps a very choice target indeed presented itself.
Last edited by The Ctan on Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:01 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
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Godular
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Postby Godular » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:10 pm

A bloom of light registers in his awareness as one of his servants recognizes a planetside shield generator overload on the sensors. The other ships are leveling a firestorm of prodigious magnitude upon the planetside defenses, but this detonation outshines even those. A similar detonation erupts further up as one fighter disengages all safeguards and sends their fighter into an Onslaught torpedo at hyperspeed. The torpedo is struck with such ferocious energies that it doesn't even qualify as vaporized afterwards.

The other torpedoes in that specific flight deploy instantly, and the forward node of each torpedo bursts open into many dozens of smaller pods. These pods each contain a surprisingly high-yield antimatter warhead and multiple lasing rods which are focused intently on targets fed into the torpedo's small computer at launch. They use the energies of the horrendous blast that consumed their stricken companion as a detonator, releasing containment on the single kilogram of anti-hydrogen so that it could interact with the normal matter around it and produce an explosion smaller in magnitude to that which struck the first torpedo, but far greater in numbers and directed towards those planetside batteries that are still operational.

Only the distant rumble of his ship's guns breaks the silence as they watch the torpedoes activate. He can sense the thoughts of his peers in a similar state of disbelief. Six of those torpedoes had just deployed, and seventy more of them were on route towards the surface.

Now they all understood why the Godulans were so afraid of their own weapons.

But there are no more torpedoes coming from Lucinde's vessel. He senses her in pain. The heat and the devastation of her ship is becoming unbearable. She has redirected the energies from the backup reactors to what shields she can allow in one last gasp to maintain control. Those engines are tough bastards, but they're starting to fail. Even in the face of the Ascension's onslaught, the planetside defenses focus their fire on her ship with absolute determination.

"I... cannot hold..."

Her voice is weak and agonized.

"I will move to evac!" Another voice says, uncertainly. This is the first time they have stood to lose a brother or sister to hostile fire.

"YOU WILL NOT."

The other voice is resounding in its intensity, and all other voices are drowned out by its power. He realizes after a moment that he is on his knees, and knows that he is hardly alone among the brethren.

"AH-SCEN-SHUNNNNNNNN! ONE OF YOUR OWN STANDS UPON THE PRECIPICE."

They all know what is about to happen next.

"LUCINDE. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO."

"I... do..."

Lucinde's ship drops out of orbit as if she had only to press a button to make its next move manifest. The engines of her ship flash with brilliance as all safeties are overriden and she starts a burn towards the surface.

One voice announces her move. "Ascend." It repeats this word over and over. Soon it is joined by others, and soon even he joins in on the chant.

"Ascend. Ascend. Ascend. Ascend..."

"THAT IS NOT DEAD WHICH CAN BE REMEMBERED WHOLLY."

"Ascend. Ascend. Ascend. Ascend..."

"IN SACRIFICE, THERE IS ONLY VICTORY. IN THE FACE OF MEMORY, DEATH IS MEANINGLESS."

"Ascend. Ascend. Ascend. Ascend..."

"LUCINDE. WE WILL REMEMBER YOU."

Lucinde's last moments are of the primal shriek she brings forth as she issues her last command, and the vessel's engines surge in power as she redirects everything to them, causing her vessel to accelerate even more swiftly than the torpedoes she has launched. Even inertial dampening has been terminated in order to give more power. The last order is her death, as nothing organic can withstand so many gravities of acceleration in such a short time.

"UPLOAD COMPLETE."

She has turned her ship into a molten meteor of steel and slag, even now accelerating towards the surface, towards the largest concentration of ground based fire directed against it. And those commanding the other ships exult in the passing of one of the brethren.

And in the face of this, the largest vessel finally moves. The strange pinecone structure of what once long ago was known as the Archonal Command Ship Apocalyptus bursts open, sending some sixty obelisk-like sub-vessels into the space around it and producing a cloud of strange metal spheres. Left behind, a tremendous vessel similar in shape to a four-bladed arrowhead some twenty kilometers in length brings its own guns to bear. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to the other vessels, but the blasts of searing green light it pours forth upon the planet below are enough to identify its connection to the other vessels.

The obelisks around it add their own voice to the proceedings, redoubling fire across a broad swath of the surface.

Slowly, the cluster begins to descend.
Last edited by Godular on Thu May 04, 2017 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Faction 1: The An'Kazar Control Framework of Godular-- A collective of formerly human bioborgs engaged in a galaxy-spanning reign of terror for as-yet-unknown reasons. (SWG)

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TURTLESHROOM II
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Postby TURTLESHROOM II » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:31 pm

{ OOC: I am going to make fan art of this in NS Ball. }
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Nothing wrong with [that] when you have year round tumblr attendance.
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NATIONSTATES BALLS FAN ART!!!

Postby TURTLESHROOM II » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:22 pm

CLICK FOR FAN-ART BELOW

Image
Last edited by TURTLESHROOM II on Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Jesus loves you and died for you!
World Factbook
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"NOOKULAR" STOCKPILE: 821,333. General Long denied access.
RWHS wrote:
BF wrote:Especially when we have the annual stormfront migrations.

Nothing wrong with [that] when you have year round tumblr attendance.
DEFCON: Suspended.
Second Constitutional Convention pending.
News ticker (updated 1/31/2018 AD):
FINAL DEATH TOLL: 1001993 rioters, 101342 soldiers, 9112 cops, 311500 civilians (includes foreign intervention)
PEACE AT LAST: TURTLESHROOM CIVIL WAR ENDS ON OCTOBER 12TH, 2018 AD, FIRST TURTLESHROOMIAN STATE DISSOLVED

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:11 pm

Ryloth Command Center

High Colonel Sen’ura watched the battle unfold. She was standing now, her uniform undone at the shoulder, the open flap of her jacket with its cream lining hanging loose as she leaned over the tactical table, inspecting the display before her.

It showed the planet in a dymaxion projection, scores of triangular sectors that displayed the varied biomes, a single strip lengthwise displaying the twilight lands where most inhabitants lived, it was perpendicular to the plane of the solar system but that was of little importance to twi’lek cartography. Dozens of blue domes showed on the map above the terrain, where shield generators existed.

Each of them held several bars of strength indication showing field intensity, dissipation rate and capacitance, among other more esoteric numbers, alongside one another. As the dozens of torpedos hatched into dozens more submunitions above her she waited to see what the damage was as traceries of hostile scarlet from the munitions lanced down toward the Lenar battery overshield.

“What happened? Did it bypass the shield?” she asked, C’tani weapons could do that, at least sometimes.

“Negative,” Vay’yai said, she looked like nerved were eating her, her compact uniform undone to the waist, fatigues beneath showing that she’d been called from the gymnasium before this fracas started. “Sensors show each submunition is antimatter-fuelled, one kilogram, submunition maximum energy, forty three megaton bursts.”

“So we’re looking at less than sixty gigatons for the volley?” she paused, “They could have done that with a simple turbolaser!”; it seemed very complex for all that. Transmutation of matter into energy was not uncommon, it was how hypermatter worked, after all, though it was tremendously more stable than antimatter, as it functioned by the conversion of tachyons held in a gyrating state, that was accelerated, releasing their intrinsic energy, effectively converting them from matter – albeit superluminal matter – to energy.

“Well if they are carrying antimatter, lock onto their launch silos and focus ion weapons there,” Sen’ura said unflustered, “nothing like having your containment vessel disrupted when you’re carrying volatiles.”

The cheep of an inbound message sounded, and she sighed, recognizing the priority tone, “I’ll take this,” she said, and held up her hand, stepping back. The holoprojector she held was of a type that had existed for thousands of years, five images shimmering above it, those of the leading elder of each of the Five Councils.

“High Colonel!” Vay’men, chief councillor of Sal'kaasa, was the first to speak. “I understand that you have opened fire when the fleet in orbit wished to negotiate!”

She levelled her gaze at him, “That’s true,” she said, “they threatened us on a thirty second timer; I made a tactical decision that this was a bluff,” she said.

“You could have tried to stall them,” Jalrinya of Lohema said, “instead you’ve made conflict certain.”

“At the moment,” she said, “the conflict is going as well as can be expected, we just killed one of their ships.”

“Which is now heading for Lessu,” another of the dignitaries protested.

“We will need to discuss this,” Jalrina said.

“Let me know,” Sen’ura said, and the links cut one by one.

But one of the council members was still there, a tolian male, Cham Syndulla. “Colonel, we need to talk,” he said.

“I’m listening.”

“I know we’ve never been on the best of terms,” he said, “You and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, but I’m with you here, and so are my people, but we need to make sure that we can’t let Jalrina and her people steal a march on us, if one city moves to accommodate, half the planet will go with them,” he said.

“I hear you. What do you mean?”

“As you know the Compact Charter assigns certain special protective duties to the compact army.”

“Are you suggesting a coup?”

“Certainly not colonel, but… the leaders of vulnerable cities might well,” he said, “be vulnerable to assassination, and we would never want that to happen.”

“Oh, agreed,” she smiled, lekku twisting in unsupressed irony, “I would be mortified if Jalrina and her faction were to come to harm.”

“Absolutely, a terrible idea,” Cham said, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea if maybe, some safe location could be found for them?”

“Oh, yes, but where?” she asked, a finger pressing to her chin.

“I happen to have a retreat in the hills of Navran, it’s out in the bright-lands a little way, hard to access by land.”

The encrypted transmission rippled. “I’ll have my men see to it that Jalrina and her people get there safely, never fear councillor.”

“I think we understand one another,” Cham said.

“Colonel!” Vay’yai called.

She looked to the tactical table, which had changed radically in the last moments, “I’ll see to it that that gets done, Cham. Be sure to pass my concerns on to your fellow councillors, I must go,” she said, pushing the button of the holoprojector and leaning close to the tactical table. “I see our big friend has decided to come out to play,” she said, “I’m not impressed by the subcraft; we’ve made them hurt, keep engaging the known chaos ships, ion cannons at the…”

The ground shook and the lights faded, holotable flicking out and in again. “Shield generator on the Slaver’s Peak just went out,” Vay’vai reported, the peak was fifty miles away but they’d felt the earthquake shockwave, “massive impact, one of their ships went kinetic, tractors from Lessu tried to lock on but couldn’t get it through the shield-angles out there.

“Casualties?”

“Everyone in the shield complex, the whole peak went,” she said, the ship had hit, and its momentum had been transferred to the shield generator, breaching its hydraulic bracings and inertial compensators, and ploughing the shield complex deep into the mountain. “We’ve just lost contact with ion battery Tarkus and Nexu,” she added, “pin-point fire hit us from those sub-craft, twenty guns gone, make that twenty two. Goddess knows how many the earthquake will hurt.”

“Order all shields, anything goes kinetic and inert again, let it go through and raise their shield the second it passes, we can have Y-wings break it up with sonic mines after it hits, unless it hits a city.”

Vay’vai nodded and the sheets of fire continued unabated from the dozen remaining batteries on the facing side; Ryloth’s teeth were as difficult to pull as its native wildlife; substantial work had been done to protect the planet from orbital bombardment.
Last edited by The Ctan on Wed May 31, 2017 4:25 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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Godular
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Postby Godular » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:52 pm

Eh.

So Lucinda had forgotten to take them off the promotional setting. She had bigger things on her mind, like several thousand tons of rapidly melting bulkheads. The ship had more than proven its durability in the face of the unremitting beatdown from the planet below, and still had sufficient integrity to survive its suicidal descent into the atmosphere and subsequent crash into the area shield.

The torpedoes couldn't be reset after launch, but they had served secondary functions that aided the fleet in its own way. Planetary defensive fire seemed to lose some cohesion for a moment, as if the defenders were attempting to locate something.

He cocks his head, considering the scene before him, much like those upon the other raider ships. The voices are oddly quiet, some confused, others considering.

The ion batteries. They have reduced their fire and seem to be more exploratory in nature, as if they were trying to test whether disrupting certain areas of the ship would cause some sort of chain reaction. While the Ascension vessels were constructed of mighty stern (and decidedly analog) stuff, the thrice-damned blasts still cause aggravating static on impacting the ships' shields.

"Antimatter," he realizes. "They seek to disrupt containment of our antimatter torpedoes."

"Let them!" cries another voice. "So long as they lunge at shadows, we retain the initiative!"

"AH-SCEN-SHUNNNNNNNN! WITNESS!"

An image flashes through their minds, replaying the impact of Lucinde's vessel against one of Ryloth's shield barriers. It repeats from multiple viewpoints, replaying the same scene from all available angles until one view that shows it almost sidelong. Each time it is the same. Impact, and the shield fails. Impact, and the shield fails. Impact, and the shield fails. Impact, and the shield fails... as the mountain crumples under the impact.

He hears another voice: "The shield generator recoiled under the blow? It absorbed the kinetic energy of the crash... directly?"

Another voice continues: "We have a gun for that."

"WHERE FIRE WOULD FAIL, BRING FORTH THE HAMMER."

That settled it.

The main batteries of the ships go silent. Wires are crossed, buttons pressed, switches flipped, and wrenches turned. When the Ascension makes a decision, it is carried out swiftly and with great purpose. Power is rerouted from the lance batteries, and the vessel echoes with the giddy cries of glee as secondary batteries suddenly found their weapons enabled and the shields between them and the mounting swarms of fightercraft suddenly superpowered. The defending fighters had already discovered that the shields around the Ascension vessels were far less permeable than those more typically ascribed to vessels serving the Gods of Chaos, and with so much planetary fire focused on a single ship, attacks from the fighter squadrons were little more than an aggravating nuisance, much like the ion cannon blasts.

But now the close-range batteries are fully active, and responding to the buzzing gnats with wave after wave of strobing return fire. Swords of eldritch energy reach out into the darkness and converge on enemy fighters, sweeping hither and yon with meticulous targeting to strike at those fighters still nearby.

The fire has only momentarily slackened from the massive Command Ship, and it has redirected its movements. The satellite vessels fall silent entirely, but from this grouping, one can easily detect a massive surge in energy readings.

A surge of energy lashes out from each of the satellite vessels, not towards the planet, but towards the tip of the Command Ship's arrowhead structure, or at least towards the shields near that particular point. As soon as these pulses strike the shield, the shield itself ripples and the stored energy is released. Channeled through the shield itself, a pulse of pure kinetic energy is directed towards one of the shield canopies below, greater than the impact of Lucinde's vessel by an order of magnitude.

The Godulans always considered Quantum Renders a rather lowbrow option in a fight, but sometimes one just needed to punch another ship in the face. Directing bolts of 'condensed momentum' at enemy targets, the vessel could essentially mimic smashing objects of various sizes into enemy vessels or planetside targets. They'd considered the idea of replacing the macro cannons with such weaponry as a means to save space that would normally be dedicated to ammunition. That it might be strategically pertinent hadn't honestly occurred to anyone.

Go figure.

Bit of a short one, but it is somewhat difficult to RP distributed intelligences, and this causes some rather impressive writers' block.
Last edited by Godular on Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Faction 1: The An'Kazar Control Framework of Godular-- A collective of formerly human bioborgs engaged in a galaxy-spanning reign of terror for as-yet-unknown reasons. (SWG)

Faction 2: The Servants of the True Way of the Will-- A multi-species anti-technology crusade that travels the galaxy in ships brought forth from the power of their own minds. (MWG) (Faction represented in WA)

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The Ctan
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Ctan » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:12 am

Orbit

Unfortunately the Ascension was in for another disappointment from their Ryloth test, as the beam struck, the shield generators did not seem particularly stressed by this at all. Conservation of momentum was a profound physical law, one of those things that could not be easily altered, and defeating it was difficult. Conversely, kinetic energy was simply energy.

The way that they were measured was key to casual understanding.

A hover-car with a mass of ten tonnes travelling at three meters per second had thirty thousand kilogram-meters per second; ten thousand kilos, times three. A one kilo shell fired from an AT-TE’s kinetic cannon, travelling at an impressive hypervelocity of thirty thousand meters per second, had the same momentum.

The repulsor-car had forty five kilojoules of kinetic energy, the shell would have four hundred and fifty megajoules. Higher kinetic energy did not correlate to more momentum.

In twenty five thousand years of the Galactic Congress, many people had come up with new technical means to kill their fellow man, and a beam of kinetic energy was not particularly troublesome, by comparison.

When the MerrWeapons Combine had designed the WorldShield 6 used by Rylothan defence contractors in the cities of Lesshu, Nabat and Kala’din – other cities had procured competitors’ shields – the droids who were tasked with constructing the inertial dispersal systems had examined sixty five thousand weaponized non-projectile gravitic, kinetic-pulse and impulse weapons on file, as well as a smaller number of legendary or ancient weapons.

When the Necrontyr had come to Ryloth, they had upgraded the firmware of the WorldShield Sixes and their cousins in other areas, with vastly greater records, though there were limits to this, they were nonetheless further enhanced.

The simplest and most widespread kinetic energy weapon, excluding of course, simply firing something at the target, was widespread, indeed, it had been used by the Rylotheans in this battle; the tractor beam. Tractor beams could be used to crush a target as easily as they could hold one, though they were far less efficient than simply blasting a target, they had that function.

Perhaps the most infamous on file, the Two Wave Gravshock Device, a hypothetical weapon as far as the C’tani knew, though one they could easily confirm its viability, had also been assessed, though there was no defence for something on that scale.

Directed kinetic energy however, was well within the knowledge base of both parties, and the shields performed adequately in this regard; ultimately one type of massless particle was much the same as another, and still radically different from the inarguable momentum of a vast object.

There was an effect, of course, but in fact, using energy beams conveyed less momentum than macro-cannons had; the generators, optimised for this kind of attack, were able to disperse it more efficiently than the weapons that the Chronosian ships had originally been armed with.
__ __ __


Outside Lohema

The fractured nature of the planet meant that there was always another armed group not far away. As the air-cruisers swept toward Jalrina’s mountain-side estate, they kept low to the sands, touching the stalks of long sungrass that grew nearby, and dodging between peasant-houses, cutting under power-lines and keeping their emissions directional and their shields configured for low sensor returns.

Sergeant Viylan’ii was a Nagai, one of the rarer races in the compact, and reminiscent, at least initially, of the necrontyr, overrepresented in the ranks of non-commissioned officers, they had a reputation as fierce infantry fighters. Outside the slatted windows of the air-cruiser the mountainside estate could be seen.

“Remember, we’re not here to kill people, just take them into protective custody as quickly and efficiently as possible,” he said, “so make sure you keep those blasters locked on stun, no matter what happens, you’re all here in order to help Representative Jalrina.”

There was a quiet chuckle from some of the twi’leks aboard, they knew well enough not to say anything that would be recorded on mission-camera, but more than one shared smirks, before pulling down the lekku-enclosing helms onto their heads.

The Air-Cruiser deployed sonic-pulsers as it landed, screaming weapons that disoriented and agonized, fired from missiles under its wings moments before the side doors slammed back on fast pistons with the hiss of pneumatics, and the Compact Response Force arrived to ‘take care of’ Jalrina.

The same ‘protective measures’ were being taken elsewhere. The moment each strike team hit the ground, they opened fire on clan guardsmen, many of whom were under-equipped and recoiling from the screamer weapons, blue-rings of stun fire lashing out as they moved.

The stun weapon was a blessing, and virtually no one in the strike teams bothered to hold fire against anything that popped its head up.

The reeling defenders were less cautious, and before long the plastoid-armoured strike groups were losing soldiers from sporadic fire.

At Jalrina’s manse, the strike group came to the blast doors, already closed, to the house itself, weapons shouldered they slammed against ferrocrete walls with their stucco that gave it a more opulent appearance. “Detonators!” one of the point men called, and with a hiss of minor fusion, the door was boiled away, with a little of the walls around it fragmenting and searing in the heat. Carpets and drapes smoked.

Stun grenades, that caused searing yellow pulses that fired optic nerves, followed, as they moved on. A fight between soldiers equipped in full plastoid battledress and those who were not was not necessarily one-sided, but the Compact’s Rapid Response Force was well trained, and they moved with speed.

Blaster-pulses of stun energy fired with ululating sounds and in chamber after chamber the words ‘room cleared’ were barked. Squad machine gunners advanced at the lead, their power packs allowing them to spray entire rooms with interlocking hoops of stun-energy.

At times the combat became rather more serious, and more than once, the guards tried to lay ambushes, cutting intruders down with vibro-pikes that clove through plastoid as though it were jelly, and the wearer spilled out like the heart of some soft, crimson confection.

The Nagai were invaluable here, many were veterans, and all were knife-men and bayonet fighters, and faster than human or twi’lek. It was not only the strike teams’ blood that Jalrina’s binary cleaning droids would mindlessly suck from the polished floors.

Viylan’ii finished one of the last guards, his elfin-quick reflexes letting him step under the blade of the polearm, grabbing it, his knife was out in a flash, stabbing inward, at the last second he brought it into the defender’s arm, and the man reeled, while another of the strike team stepped in close, and shot him with a stun blast from two paces away; at such close range it might well be lethal, time would tell. He wasn’t moving, anyway.

Viylan’ii grinned, and took the polearm, “You know,” he said, twirling it, “I like this,” he said, checking where the controls were.

“Safe room this way sarge,” one of his warriors, a pan-preteur, said. Viylan’ii flicked the vibro-blade’s power off and put it on a long table, making a note to swipe it later.

“Let’s go protect the representative.”
__ __ __


Ryloth Command Center

“They’ve changed armament again,” Vay’yai said. “Kine-field weapons, not sure of the type. We’re getting less impact stresses on the shield, inertial converters are handling it.”

“That’s good news,” Sen’ura said.

“Not quite, it’s one set of components no longer being stressed, but the impacts are pulsed in a nasty way, quite clever really,” she said, “the Joreikna oveshield’s their target, and we can’t hold that kind of firepower for long, the heat-sinks will go in approximately half an hour, it’s only so long because Joreikna is set up to pump its water supply through the shield generator too, so they’re boiling the drinking water away there, every little helps when the system’s this stressed.”

“What’s the failure scenario?” Sen’ura asked.

“The heat sinks will melt down in maybe twenty minutes, after that the shield generator will consume itself; it’s liable to detonate inside the city, and level everything.”

“Good,” Sen’ura said, “don’t let these chaos frakkers take anyone alive,” she said, and looked to her communications teams for ground units, “Make sure the city guard aren’t letting anyone evacuate, get them to the bombardment-bunkers, they might manage there.”

“They keep changing weapons, they’ve retrofitted a lot of free space in their ships to carry additional weapons, I’d guess,” Sen’ura said. “They keep trying new approaches, I wonder…”

“Yes ma’am?” the sensor operator asked curiously.

“Why are they afraid to land? The assaults on Coruscant, Alderaan, and other places, they were eager to get down to the planet as quickly as possible… it can’t be that they just need to kill people by bombardment, they’d have done that there, too,” she mused for a moment. “What’re they up to?”

__ __ __


Outside Lohema

They advanced by leap-frogging down wide collonaded corridors, past art-rooms and dining rooms, past kitchens where staff could be heard in panic. This deep inside the mountain-home the screamers outside were less debilitating, and they mixed with the warbling of security alarms.

“Are you sure?” he asked, coming to a point indicated by his men.

“Wall reads as hollow, and it’s ray shielded. Seam here.”

“Okay,” he said, looking at the wall, and the seam. “Guess she’s locked in tight.”

“How’re we going to get her out?” Chiiri’sian, one of the twi’leks, asked.

“Meet the bore-bang,” Viylan’ii said, pulling a silver cylinder from his webbing, and using his blaster switched to kill, to punch a small hole in the hardened permacrete wall with a couple of high power shots, “Someone’s cunning idea for a mining charge, it’s practically a miniature mole miner, way too expensive as a mining charge, I hear, got rebranded for just this job,” he said, flicking the carbine back onto stun, “Everyone back,” he added.

They didn’t need to mind themselves much, sealed helmets gave optical and audio protection, and they could watch as the device burrowed with a short pulse of scintillating energy and a small motor on the back, before exploding, bringing down half the wall. There was a risk anyone on the other side was dead, but frankly, Viylan’ii didn’t care, though he wouldn’t say it.

The cursing that followed from the other side in aristocratic twi’lekki told him that there was at least some life in there, he gave a two finger gesture and Chiiri’sian darted forward, posting a flash-bang through the hole, as he followed, carbine up, and fired over her shoulder.

He switched to the encrypted command channel, reporting to the lieutenant with the other breaching party, “Primary and three additional targ-, err, important persons acquired. Returning to the air cruiser.”

“Good, make it snappy,” the lieutenant said, “we’ve got a serious additional force of local guards on the way and they’re pissed off.”
__ __ __


Orbit

Oblivious to her father’s ‘necessary measures’ below, Hera Syndulla was fighting a losing battle. For whatever reason the attacking vessels had managed to really dial up their shields, and that was making her squadron almost useless. “Withdraw,” she said, issuing the order with considerable regret. They’d taken losses, and at this point, counter-starship operations were clearly a non-starter, especially with many of their concussion missiles and photon torpedos fired to no real effect. “Let’s get back to base, we need to re-arm and rethink,” she sighed, hauling her Y-wing’s stick to one side and banking toward the planet.

A terrible toll had been reaped on the fighters, and they were forced to flee and look at other options.
"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
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Postby Godular » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:24 pm

UGH. HOW AGGRAVATING.

The strike had not gone as intended once again. His servants stop mid-refit and wait, as if frozen in anticipation of the new order about to arrive. Their communications are swift and instinctive, traveling at the speed of thought itself. Confusion wafts across the mindlink, but had been told in advance that things were still in a testing phase. They had entered this situation knowing little, and they now learn more here than all the training they had previously received.

ALRIGHT, ENOUGH WITH THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE. THINGS NEED THE DOING. SHIFT PRIMARY ARMAMENT TO FRACTALS AND PREPARE TO DESCEND. RELAYING TARGETING ASSIGNMENTS NOW.

Confirmations pulse through the link as orders arrive telling them which of the Archonal Command Ship's satellite vessels to support. A swarm of targeting solutions arise, targeting areas just out of line of sight from major defensive hubs and the primary population centers on the north and south poles. They'd still be relatively close, given the relatively slim habitable area of the planet, but the Ascension were tough enough to handle some extremes of heat and cold.

The massive command ship sends the signal to its satellite vessels, and the Darts surge forward immediately, plunging towards the planets surface in their pre-set pattern. The orbiting vessels shift into a full-speed dive as well, their reinforced shields assisting both in the strain of atmospheric entry and whatever defensive fire still strikes at them from the surface.

His servants move like clockwork on fast-forward. Refitting the ship's main armament to fractal is even easier than going from plasma to kinetic. Many Godulan weapons systems were designed for interchangeability, and while the conventional weapons were annoying to disengage, to bring up the fractals took hardly any effort at all. Even so, the actions have been practiced and perfected, and now the switch is made almost with muscle memory alone. The Fractal guns go online just before their respective dart collides with the ground.

He orders all guns to fire, sending pulses of spatial distortion directly into the ground below the dart. A massive shockwave, reminiscent to a three-dimensional mirror shattering, tears into the surface. Atomic bonds are severed by the scything blades of the momentary shatterspace anomaly, turning what once might have been solid bedrock with the occasional reinforced tunnel running through into a mush of disturbed sand. The dart plunges into the sand, capable of withstanding a much more catastrophic impact at its speed, and buries the first three-quarters of its body within the ground.

His vessel slows to a stop, and reorients itself into a defensive position just above the dart while its cannons start seeking out any forces that might seek to contest the landing.

The portion of the dart remaining above ground immediately deploys as the spheres accompanying it set down as well. Multiple immense defensive batteries pop up, as well as a single flat platform in the middle of the newly spawned mobile beachhead. A flash of light and a crash of sound as air is displaced announces the arrival of the first wave of landing craft, and massive armed hovercraft start moving towards the closest populated area.

This scenario repeats itself with each of the darts that strikes.

OOC: Apologies for the long-wait-for-short-post, but this part was hard to describe.
Last edited by Godular on Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:13 pm

The Dance Academy of Kelaya was a substantial building based in the lee of the mountain of Savin, south east of Lessu, one of Ryloth’s twin capital cities, and the more outward looking of the two. The academy was based in the lee of the temple of Baccara, a minor goddess that had once been a regional diety and had been subsumed by most into an aspect of Kika’lekki, the dominant divinity of the twi’leks.

It and its accompanying temple, located closer to the bright lands that faced toward the system’s star were the first places that the invaders encountered resistance, and the first of several ill organized efforts to defend the planet. The temple and its surroundings had a substantial guard force, protecting the holy site and its priestesses, and the dancers, a necessity given the continued presence of slavers on the world, who would happily raid the latter site; temple dancers, once they completed their service as acolytes were valued across the galaxies, from the slave-driven hell worlds of the Hutts, to the courtesan academies of the Great Civilization, and kidnap for the former was a constant risk, and funds from the latter had given the defenders at Kelaya an sense of their own ability.

The commander there took two simple actions, his first decision was to use the temple’s sixteen speeders and skiffs, along with guards, to carry priestesses and acolytes back to Lessu, with as much escort as could physically fit on the speeders, carrying more than a hundred civilians and almost forty guards away from the temple site, with them the sacred icons of Baccara.

That left fifty other guards, ranging from the temple guards with ritual lyaer’stas, weapons that carried a vibroblade on one end, used for maiming and injuring, to the more practical of the defenders, armed with a mix of blaster carbines and other weapons.

They were the Sesk’vati, the Warrior Caste, in keeping with the gender segregation of Rylothean society, all of them were men, most young. From ancient times they alone held the right to carry arms, and while the concept of caste was decried by religious conservatives and reformers both as an imposition of centuries of huttese trade and support for noble leaders, it still held and fired the imagination.

Of the Sesk’vati who defended Kelaya many were spice users; why would they not be, when it was an affordable vice that made time pass more pleasurably in the twilight lands, and more than a few carried dark pouches of the substance on their person; nerves were ever present, and the use of the narco-spice to take the edge off was while condemned by trainers, not something that many would report in their fellow warriors, leaving it a rife vice that reduced their prospects as a fighting force.

The tactics they used were simple enough, they spread out, outside the temple itself, and in the blazing eternal light on the plains, they filled sandbags and dug fox-holes to await the inevitable.

This was but a snap-shot, a small example of the general nature of the unorganized resistance on Ryloth, better than some, worse perhaps than others, and notable only for being the physically closest endangered area with any resistance at all.
Last edited by The Ctan on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:18 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 Godular » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:35 pm

OOC: Apologies for the long wait. It has been something of a busy school year.

The hovercraft are swift for their size, and cover the intervening distance between the landing site and their intended target with little delay. Armed with a suite of suppressive weaponry, they target any armed response to their approach with a barrage of concussive blasts intended to incapacitate rather than immediately kill. Though not intentionally lethal, concentrated assaults could indeed batter defenders into oblivion, and potentially collapse any subterranean access points. Any armored emplacements are targeted with fractal guns similar to but smaller in scale compared to the batteries on the recently descended battleships.

At a specific range, the hovercraft pause and direct a surge of firepower at these defensive emplacements. A single craft among them pauses for but a moment to direct a laser at the largest structures and relay information back to the landing site.

The landing site responds with a momentary pause in the stream of landing craft, and a massive crack of displaced air announces the arrival of a miniature replica of the dart's undeployed form. It arrives at speed, sailing through the air like a missile and covering the distance between the landing site and its intended destination in a matter of seconds. It crashes directly into the structure, slowing only slightly at the last moment, and sends forth a billowing cloud of dust as the impact erases any semblance of structural integrity. The instant this new craft comes to a complete stop, the back opens up like the petals of a flower, allowing a mass of humanoid forms to come boiling out.

They are all muscular, bare-chested, and armed with stuttering blasters that are surprisingly well aimed even as they rush towards the defenders at a flat-out run. Despite the impact, several emerge injured, but within moments broken bones and wounds seem to mend of their own accord, allowing their owners to enter the fray alongside their kin. Any bolts of defensive fire that strike an attacker seem at first to bring it down, only for it to rise again and rejoin the battle. They move almost as one coherent organism, rather than a fighting force of individuals. Any attempts to organize a response to the attackers is met with another buffeting salvo from the hovercraft.

Two things become readily apparent for those defenders capable of examining the situation. One: The attackers don't make any sound aside from that created by their footsteps and gunfire. There are no screams of pain, no orders being shouted, not even feral roars. Two: Every single one of the attackers are of the same height, build, and facial structure as those around them.

Amidst the chaos, a single individual steps foot onto the battlefield. Armored similarly to a chaos marine, it bears no markings declaring its chapter or affiliation, and has a pair of large shoulder attachments that seem almost like wings to glancing observers. They alone display more individualized behavior compared to those that preceded them.
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Postby The Ctan » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:25 pm

The Kelaya Academy
“Stop them getting in, bring them down!” Tauv’ani shouted. He’d taken spice before the walls had come down, the moment the guns had opened up on their defences and blasted through most of the sandbagging and the thousand-year-old walls of the academies without serious resistance. It had seemed like the thing to do at the time.

Since then they had held the outer works for several minutes, and fallen back, the group had never really expected to hold for long, and as the situation became clear, they had made a hasty plan to fight from the old walls and then fall back, and make the violators pay if they tried to enter the Goddess’s sanctum. Kelaya and the temple with it had been a place of worship for countless years. A good place to die.

That was undone when the enemy transport had crashed into the main building and they had been caught between the vehicles outside and the troops within the compound, and then, it had become slaughter.

Feya’nal dropped, exploded into pieces by a fractal-weapon, his optical implant the only recognizable part of him that survived the shock of transition, bouncing off a far wall and settling staring emptily at the sky.

Tauv’ani felt invincible; the spice would do that. Perhaps he would have surrendered without it. With it, as he was one of the last defenders capable of fighting, he simply smiled, taking cover (invincible or not he remembered some of his uncle’s training) and waiting. He knew, intellectually, that he was about to die. But he didn’t fear death. He could hear them coming closer.

He wondered if they could hear that he had a thermal detonator.

From the fifty defenders, more than thirty were killed by the hovercraft or the fractal weapons; and perhaps a dozen left alive yet wounded or surrendered. It was over in minutes; a perfect bloodbath.

Facility A94F293

“Stop them getting in, bring them down!” the cry went out. The temple guard who gave the cry was a tolian twi’lek male, time slowed to a crawl as his finger closed on the blaster’s firing stud, a splash of crimson plasma flaring the air in front of the weapon’s barrel, a rod of spun tibanna plasma forming and discharging. The bolt stopped.

The image was a natively grainy blue-white, the computers of the base had added false colour; the image was recorded from the optic of one of the guards, an artificial stimline-equipped device provided during prior service to Guvara the Hutt, one that had a monitoring channel; slicing it had not been difficult, and it gave a soldier’s eye view of the massacre of the Sesk’vati at Kelaya. The violation of his privacy had been signed off about a month ago when evidence had come to light that the man’s service to Guvara had not ended. Shortly after the point where cry had echoed past, the image only had a view of the sky, the wearer had been cut down by the flood of offworld warriors that had emerged from their pod.

“Lightly augmented humans, it seems,” Sejar said, “mixed number of Wookies, similar augmentation, heavily exploited races, probably why they’ve come here,” he said.

Mayi looked through the man, approaching closer to the frozen hologram, “Cant back two seconds please,” she said.

“Compliance,” the facility computer intoned, winding the combat back; the view in the soligram chamber changed, they didn’t have a nice omnidirectional unit, the images only showed what had been seen by the implant’s owner.

“The technology is widely inconsistent with known chaos forms,” Sejar said, “heavy dependence on sophisticated energy weapons and repulsor vehicles, I think that our visitors are not what they wish us to think they are. No signs of ritual scarification or branding, nor of chaos mutation.”

“Agreed,” Mayi said, “and look here, this one,” she added, “Astartes like, certainly, the profile makes you want to think so.”

“Ancient myth does suggest that there were once Astartes who blackened their armour entirely, blackshields, of the Horusian Revolt,” she added, “several groups.”

“That would explain the archaic patterns but widely divergent methods,” Sejar said, “and perhaps their divergent tactics.”

“Let’s consider that a possibility, perhaps Night Lord Stock, going by the wings, and the lack of obvious devotion.” She paused, “Their armaments are reasonable, but it seems like the hovercraft have no inherent capability for troop transport, they sent in one of their needle craft to deal with the ground forces here, and they were not well provisioned.”

Sejar paused, “That doesn’t seem like a mistake that astartes would make, though with Eighth Legion descendants, who knows, but without significant infantry with their vehicles, it means that they will have trouble dealing with small groups equipped with anti-tank weapons, the terrain on Ryloth is not favourable to ambush, but we’re going to have to cede a lot of ground to them in the initial phase of this operation,” he paused, “we may as well see to it that they have mines optimized for repulsor-tanks in areas of interest we leave behind, they won’t need to be too well secured, if they’re travelling without fighting vehicles or infantry-equivalents, they will lack much in the way of options save to run the things over or blast the entire area potentially for hours.”

“I’m intrigued by their gun effects,” Mayi said, looking at the spontaneous and bloody dissolution of one of the twi’lek defenders, her hand waving over the life-sized image to spin her part of the image forward and back, distortion markers showing that the death was out of sync with the rest of the image, slightly moving as it did in line with the original observer’s head motions, corrected by the computer. “I kind of want one,” she added.

“It’s nasty,” he said, “but look at the way they move,” he said, “a Gestalt.”

“Interesting. Good,” she added, “I see it now,” she added. “Yes,” she said, “we could possibly use that, we will need to get some samples.”

“I’ll pass it on to the Colonel,” Sejar said.

Compact Response Forces Base Realtor

“Attention!” Sergeant Keya barked the order. An immigrant from Coruscant, she was from a colonist family, moving from the crowded underslums of Coruscant as a child. She still enjoyed the sunlight, though she had to admit, posting to Ryloth could make you long for the sun to go away, it was constantly there, in between the shadows of the horizon.

The troops came to attention in ranks on the marshalling field, part of the spacious complex they occupied. Captain Ayal, properly Ayal’sena nodded, “At ease,” he said, powering up the vertical display screen, covered under a sand-coloured awning, “we have a mission, and I’m sure that all of you are glad to hear it. The enemy has landed and contact has been made with isolated groups. Command has orders for us; the enemy seems to use genetically and cybernetically altered foot-soldiers as the first wave of ground attack, and we’re going to engage them in their next attack. We are supporting a ground attack on one of their ground columns by AT-TEs and Juggs out from Lessu; our objective is something special though. We’re hoping that destruction of their ground vehicles will draw them into deploying ground forces.

“When that’s done, we will be mounting an initial attack using Tempest and Y-wing bombers, which are going to be deploying enhanced cluster munitions and nerve agents in the combat zone, which is why we have limited participation in this operation to the response forces. There are properly armoured enemy combatants, however, and they roughly match the ‘Astartes’ we’ve been training for. That means that every anti-infantry gun needs to be cranked up and we’re going to be issuing additional thermal detonators.

“Our objective, ladies and gentlemen, is to bring back corpses. We’re getting faraday-cage and superluminal-jammers rigged now, the boffins want a look at what makes these guys tick, frankly, I don’t care, I want to put them down.

“The invaders are very partial to using orbital bombardment, no surprise there, so we’re only using craft that have been fitted with jammers and optical disruption, that’s limiting our ground forces to travelling dayside to mask them from infra-red with scanner jammers, if you’ve not seen them, they’re the track things with the baffles on them; keep an eye out for them, if you get cut off from air-evac, they’ll be the location to withdraw to and the ground element can pick you up.

“For our group’s aircraft we’re again going to be going dayside, we should be able to mask most of our signatures with ground level flying, the Centrean shield camouflage prototypes the ground crew are installing now and reflec coating, we’ll be split into multiple flight groups so that if there’s a detection only one group is compromised and we estimate a flight time of thirty minutes there, and we’ll be leaving once the ground forces approximately thirty minutes out, we’ve got one hour to gear up, when you fall out, head by the armoury, and make sure to double-check every armour seal, if I find one idiot here going into battle with some smoke filter instead of the proper NBC units, I will personally hunt you down in the afterlife. Dismissed.”

Firefist, Satellite Besh

The Harvest Ship Meravaid cruised across the desolate ruins of the city. The name was not important. Far below, its killers stalked the ruins, hunting the survivors who had not surrendered like hunting hounds. The battle had been brief, and around the city the remains of defence ships lay scattered like broken toys, yet another phase in the long-running and slow burning crusade against the Tofs, aggressive orc-like beings that had dominated the satellite galaxy. They had been warned to leave, and the city was being corralled now. Some of the Nagai, the people who had been dispossessed to occupy this world, would rather a massacre. They were not getting one. The necrons were being intensely cautious, and using ground forces to physically remove those who would not leave the city, displacing them into the general bays of the Harvest Ship. Only those who resisted with manufactured weapons were met with lethal force, most of the population were being driven ahead by the phase-shifting wraith constructs and life-sensing millipedal stalkers that passed through solid rock like fishes through water.

On the ground, Bargan, one of the few defedners, watched the machines of the necrons close in. There was little hope left, though he was dug in and his men fought fiercely. The enemy that massed below was impervious to blaster fire. As one, the machines amassing below turned, to regard the vast ship overhead. Hunting hounds responding to their master’s call. And in a breath, all were gone.
The necrons had left the city of Ahandrah.

The Aklan Pass, Sunward of Lessu

The sound of wheels crushing rock and the thumping beat of walker legs echoed through the pass, the sound deadened by the wide-spectrum jamming that ranged from auditory to gravitic and more. Private Bryn Anvan enjoyed the sight. Ryloth hadn’t lost its shine for him yet, austere environment, but a post with more pretty girls than you could shake a stick at. He’d signed on for the Compact Defence Corps on Tallan, a big world, but one with only some regions signed up to the Compact; still a solid deal as far as he was concerned.

They were close to the settlement of Kar Menya, a vast network of hydroponic farms under glass houses and traditional fungal farming in the natural tunnels and caves. It was a target that raiders looking indiscriminately for victims couldn’t afford to miss, thousands of farmers and their families from the Sesk’nablin worker caste. Kar Menya itself had been reinforced, and many had been unwilling to leave, some even breaking custom to take up arms, meaning the population had been increased by the Sesk’vati-warrior caste members.

The Compact Forces were another level from such defenders though, and the invaders would find them made of sterner stuff. They had a place to make a stand, and on the high mesas approaching Kar Menya the Compact Response Forces had chosen the sight to make their stand. The order came to move out, and Bryn dropped down from the vehicle’s top hatch, buttoning it up, and hit the control for the side doors, both of which swung down, allowing the soldiers to disembark. AT-TEs could climb vertically if the need arose, and they had chosen a site that only a repulsor vehicle could normally reach.

He ran across the rubble and examined the camouflage-painted and netted Tactical Enforcer that squatted behind him like a spider ready to bolt from a tunnel at an intruder. They had work to do, and part of that was to cut an embrasure for the vehicle to take cover under. The enemy had weapons that penetrated armour easily even in smallarm form, the briefings had recommended old, low tech solutions. Trenches. Sandbags. Analysis of the weapons used suggested that they would react to any solid material and that meant that they would be best keeping their vehicles protected.

It was solid advice anyway, they’d probably have used such things regardless. When a soldier had nothing to do, improving his current fighting position was always a worthwhile use of his time.

They played out barriers, large concertina-structures of plastic rods and lightweight fabrics that formed wide bucket-like sections. Into these concertainers they first threw a few shovels of sand or mid-size stones to weigh them down, then sprayed high-expansion firefoam and carbonite mixtures, that formed low mass but solid bulk within moments, needing only a fraction of the work that equivalents might require to secure them in place. Normally they would have used the AT-TE’s ball-guns to excavate its position to sit lower to the ground, but they were concerned about the weapons fire compromising their stealth.

Where gaps were left for the ball-guns to fire, they were set up with conventional sandbagging around them, letting the majority of the AT-TE’s structure sit two yards behind barricade objects, while the debarked troops spread out and dug in. Their positions were augmented by razor-wire and sequencer charges that they threw off the edge of the cliff from their fighting position, listening to the agile mines clamp on.

Below, in the pass, similar concertainers were deployed from a moving vehicle, creating layers of barriers, filled in the same manner.

The Bright Lands, Sunward of Kar Menya

Sergeant Keya sat by the open door of the U-wing, her rifle slung across her lap, pointed out of the door. The doors were open and speed low, the strike force coasting on repulsors to minimize their appearance on sensors as they soared toward the contact sight, the troop transports were a formation flying lower than the others, though because the U-wing’s eponymous wings were swept back she could tilt her head back, and with her HUD see the Y-wings and tempests coming in.

When the attack began, they would come in once enemy ground forces engaged, and first the Tempests would drop cluster bombs, powerful munitions that would scatter fuel-air explosive bomblets, powerful incendiaries that would each cover a four acre area, burning through flesh and depleting the oxygen within the fire zone.

Only then would the second wave of bombs, from Y-wings, drop, covering the U-wing landings. These carried nerve agents, chosen to affect the ascension forces, skin-transmitted, that would cause death by their effect on the muscles.

She checked her rifle.

Then it would be time to kill what was left.
"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 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:50 pm

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Ravings from Ryloth
Twi’lek Affirmative Politics and Cultural Restoration

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The Invasion I guess…
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Posted by Silya’vai
36:2:25
So, yeah, not much to say about this. We’re getting bombed and no one knows why. Apparently the attackers are somehow related to the chaos guys, and showed up with a demand to surrender without condition. Not sure if the Syndulla-administration and the Compact made the right call on that, we’re getting hammered, but less than it would have been a few years ago.

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Vulture Fighter checkpoint at the far side of the holobridge at Lessu
I’m in Lessu city, for anyone that doesn’t know it’s a fairly small place on the surface, (pic left, from when we were coming in – they let me take a picture which was decent, didn’t think they’d want to) and a lot of refugees like me have headed in as fast as we can. I’m currently stuck in a temple annexe on the third level, most of the infrastructure’s internal but the city’s mayor says he wants to keep people out on the surface as long as possible, air filtration’s all internal now, like a space-craft, and they don’t want to push it apparently.

This sucks, obviously, but I’m pretty glad we made it, our town didn’t fare so well, they’ve lost contact. Everyone in my family’s okay, at least, but others haven’t been so lucky, and the mood’s pretty gloomy, people are crying a lot, the kids got sent out first and it’s heart-breaking. I’ve been trying to help look after some, but I don’t really know what to say to them.

We can see the surface turbolasers firing almost continuously, hope they’re doing some good, and we’re shielded here, as well, and everyone’s fairly confident that we’ll hold out, I’m not so sure, but I think they’re probably in for a fight if they come here, pretty much anyone who’ll carry a gun has been given a blaster, even I have, but… well, I’m not sure about that.

If they get in I hope we can be underground, that’d be the best thing I think.

So, yeah, here we are, hunkered up behind walls like it’s a thousand years ago, waiting for the slaver-horde to show. Every ten minutes it seems like some speeders show up with more refugees though, I’m going to post regular updates in the comments every hour or half hour or so so I can keep you guys in the loop.


Discuss this Article
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Ssan’yai
I’m watching it on the news, can’t get over this. What’s wrong with these people? They hit us here on Coruscant, but I never imagined they’d go for Ryloth. Goddess protect us all.
12 minutes ago
Likes 3


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Par-Vellan
Wow Silya, hope this doesn't turn worse; I remember when we had to leave, it was pretty rough; hope your situation goes better. Thinking of you and the family.

Best of luck, anything we can do, just ask.
13 minutes ago
Likes 1


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Silya'vai
Still looking grim here folks, aid packages went around, and there's talk about rationing. There was a run on some of the shops on the second level and the city militia have been put on the streets to keep order. On the other hand, we're beginning to move underground now, but they're insisting on no-pets being allowed underground; Ryian went to see if he could help with an animal shelter on the south side that's trying to round up everyone's rycrits and other critters and keep them from roaming wild; if you've seen them at any celebration with fireworks, you can imagine how this is stressing out pets and wildlife.

Maybe it'll stir up some lyleks to eat the bad guys. We can only hope.
17 minutes ago
Likes 128


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Suvian
I've heard that the Ryloth planetary defence authorities have stopped signalling for help. What's that about? Have they surrendered? Silya, are you okay?

I'm really worried for you guys.
30 minutes ago
Likes 4


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Mayli'vai
Sil's okay, she's just attending to our aunt. We're all okay here, if that's happened it's not coming over the broadcast systems here. No idea. Nothing's happened in the city though. Anyone got any ideas?
21 minutes ago
Likes 21


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MA49-Q
It might be good news. Perhaps that means help is on the way?

Also, Maker-screw-my-lug-nuts, I can actually see the pummeling you guys are getting, and I'm on a Blightlands Mineral Survey for spice-caves. I'm about sixty miles away; everything's over the horizon from here but I can see the shots.

Going to ping one of my buddies though.
10 minutes ago
Likes 45


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Culture Vulture (DFS-5430)
Hi Silya, nice to talk to you again; in case anyone's wondering, I'm the one on the left in the photo (one of the little ones, the big ones are Hyenas).

Can't give any operational security information, but; I can say the line the CDF's asked volunteer forces to give to anyone making inquiries, don't panic.

Wish I could say more. Maybe after we win this?
Just now
Likes 87


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Prime Imperialist
This sucks, who'd want to bomb Ryloth

Where are we going to get our slaves from now?
3 hours ago
Likes 23


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Ayma Sinvess
Perhaps we should start with you, laserbrain? Oh wait, you’re worthless. Wouldn’t get anything for you.
Seriously, I don’t normally wish harm on anyone but people like you are really taking it too far. This is a real event right now, crawl back where you came from. Slavery’s on the rise, but you can be sure that idiots like you aren’t going to be the ones on the benefit. You should be scared of slavers, not laughing at them.
3 hours ago
Likes 63

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Holo Tusken
Wow, an ‘abolitionist’ Zygerrian, I bet it’s a ploy, and you’re behind it.

Look forward to buying you Sila’vai, you’ll probably be nice and cheap.
2 hours ago
Likes 13

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Ayma Sinvess
Believe me, if I could be bombing anyone, it’d be you.

You think I'm joking, but I'm really not.
2 hours ago
Likes 21

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Gar Mack Tannaq
Because of course, the real way to deal with slavery isn't anything to do with addressing the obvious facts of the situation, with regard to the real differences between species, and ensuring that every species has their intellectually fitting niche within galactic society, no it's blowing up anyone who threatens the crypto-Alderaanian bubble.
1 hour ago
Likes 3


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Holo Tusken
Quite right, honestly, who cares about what's happening to Ryloth, we've got more than enough twi'leks in the core already. It's a ball of rock that contributed nothing to society but a slave caste, and cutting edge research shows that twis are genetically engineered by the Builder-race to be slaves anyway.
1 hour ago
Likes 6


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Ayma Sinvess
The slaver says that all species are unequal; that the difference in the ability of a given sapient from one to another is the grounds for discrimination.

Happily for the rest of us, the beam-tube made all species equal.
20 minutes ago
Likes 21

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MODERATOR Avyan Ayo
I would note that advocating slavery is against the terms and conditions; discussion of ongoing topics is permissable, but please desist from 'cheerleading.'

Threats of personal violence are also against service terms. You have all recieved personal notes to this effect and will be suspended if this conversation contains further policy violations.
15 minutes ago
Likes N/A
Last edited by The Ctan on Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:53 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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Godular
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Godular » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 pm

The dart was a hum of activity as things progressed. Hovercraft returning with still-living cargo were processed with efficiency and effect, blood samples and exposure data both being acquired as swiftly as the craft could be unloaded. The sheer amount of new information pouring in was staggering to contemplate.

New blood, as the case might be.

His footfalls are heavy, though muffled by the clouds of dust kicked up by the moving vehicles and the bustle of activity. A scream arises from behind him, more of shock than pain, and hangs in the air for a few moments before fading away into a strained growl. He pauses, but does not look back. His mind's eye is already seeing the situation unfold in all of its revelatory glory. A pop of displaced air signifies the departure of another transport, returning its cargo to its new home. He moves on once again.

Report.

He stops again, and turns his gaze skyward by instinct.

Appropriation estimates stand at approximately fourteen thousand. Smaller settlements were captured within minutes, but we are now having to move further afield, and will likely be encountering our first truly coordinated resistance efforts soon.

Acknowledged. We will be loading in additional defensive protocols momentarily. Link up assault groups as needed to disrupt larger targets. We can approach areas of resistance from multiple vectors, so be certain to use that.

My forces are on approach to one such location as we speak. Kar-Menya, if the maps are correct. We're already reworking ascension to accommodate the new information we've acquired. We should be ready for introduction of the chemical to the ecosystem within the hour.

Acknowledged. Keep us apprised.

The voice fades, and he sets to his patrol once more. Another cry rises from behind him, and he listens to it transform from frightened scream to strained growl. His awareness expands just a little bit more.




The hovercraft move with their typical haste, but seem to strike up formations as they move. Each formation is soon joined by another wing, and another, and what once was thirty separate armored hovercraft now approaches nearly one hundred, with other wings on approach to the area from other directions. Within each hovercraft, dozens of men and women scan the area through their respective sensors, checking for any sign of armed resistance.

One of them sees the fortifications before the others and recognizes the meaning, yet the response is immediate across the entire wing. Shields are brought up almost reflexively. Resistance is about to stiffen.

OOC: Sorry for another short one... not really much for me to go on. I suppose we can assume that similar scenarios are playing out elsewhere on the planet?
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Faction 1: The An'Kazar Control Framework of Godular-- A collective of formerly human bioborgs engaged in a galaxy-spanning reign of terror for as-yet-unknown reasons. (SWG)

Faction 2: The Servants of the True Way of the Will-- A multi-species anti-technology crusade that travels the galaxy in ships brought forth from the power of their own minds. (MWG) (Faction represented in WA)

A 3.1 civilization, according to this Nation Index Thingie

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Postby The Ctan » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:59 pm

Blue Squadron, Sixty Miles Sunward of The Aklan Pass

The Syrian’ti was an X-wing, callsign Blue Four, but the fighter itself was named for the dedication on its bow, a woman who most would take to be a Sephi force user, carrying a curved sword and casting lightning from her fingertips, dressed in a red-dress with a split skirt, riding a white winged steed who looked almost as menacing. The first shot of the battle was fired from the torpedo tubes mounted below this nose-art, two projectiles encased in frictionless forcefields of blue light reminiscent of Cherenkov radiation.

The X-wings were hundreds of miles away, hurtling past the eroded rock formations of the planet’s endless sunbaked wastelands, the Syrian’ti’s nose was pulled up fractionally as they launched, guiding the torpedos into a slightly more favourable trajectory as the ships banked and swept to the left, S-foils still in flight position, giving them a smoother manoeuvre through the rocky canyons.

The proton torpedos were complex devices, they could skim the ground at anything from half a meter to a hundred miles up and track intelligently, circling in and out of the caves and canyons, even avoiding the fauna on the ground, as they soared across, here, they followed the ground most of their route to avoid detection from space.

__ __ __


The Aklan Pass, Sunward of Lessu

The invaders weren’t the only ones who reacted in a single instance. All across Kar Menya, perfect coordination was observed, not with the defenders, of course, they were only near-human, they had their limits. But the first attack on the invaders’ hovercraft wasn’t from them, instead it was from a force that had the same millisecond precision that the Ascension had. Landmines.

They were linked to a binary-droid hub unit by short range radio link, and they waited until the hovercraft were within their fields of operation before going active, sensor-proofed casings buried in the sand opening and activating thrusters, spinning the mines like tops as they flew before activating fusion pulses within them, channeling plasmoid penetrators downward in blasts more kinetic and dangerous than normal laser-cannon bursts.

The mines were an unsubtle weapon, but by being placed on the heights and the walls of the canyons they discouraged movement through those areas, extracting a toll from any who would approach the route to Kar Menya too closely, the art of using landmines though, was to make sure that they were useful both in deterrence and as weapons in and of themselves, and there was no practical route that would keep the hovercraft from being attacked by at least some of the mines.

The Rylotheans had programmed their mines to wait until the enemy were within the outer perimeter of the field before switching them to active, meaning that even an immediate retreat would still force the enemy to run a gauntlet, though not as much as an advance; by such means drivers – or guiding intelligences - could be encouraged to guess at which route was best, and force them to dither or reconsider.
__ __ __


The pass thundered and trembled with fire from another source, as arcing laser blasts curved over the horizon from artillery pieces, while rocket mortars and anti-tank missiles were fired from closer range, the artillery that the Compact had brought to bear was formidable, filling the pass with fire, but there was another type of artillery, or rather a tactic that was used in the mountainous terrain.

When the Ascendants were penalized by the jumping mines for flying high, they were also punished for going below the upper levels of the rocky mesas, demolition and sequencer charges, and rocket-grenades were used to trigger avalanches, turning small explosions into waves of death.

Lieutenant Colonel Kovani Jacarissita watched the pass as the blasts thundered through it, the sound was like the Goddess had turned the world upside down, rumbling sounds that echoed from the narrow walls before they even saw the first enemy in the winding heights of the pass. Sensors could detect the gravitational stirrings of the enemy craft through the mountains, and her artillery commanders were able to correct their fire to keep pouring it onto the enemy.

“Enemy approaching, sunward three thousand meters, angle twenty seven degrees shaderight!” one of the sensor operators in her command vehicle called. She looked to sunright, in the opposite direction, to her shield generator, mounted on the back of a cousin to her command AT-TE the shield generator already glowing with energies barely contained. “Activate overshield!” she snapped into her helmet-mic, and the command was obeyed instantly, a curtain of blue energy rising first from the generator and then falling like a waterfall between the mountainsides to stabilize as a barrier covering them from all directions.

It was as good as hoisting an ancient war-banner. The moment the enemy came first into view, seconds later, rockets fired from the front lines all around her, hurtling out to strike at the hovercraft, while AT-TE mass driver cannons and dorsal blaster cannons fired with booming rapports or the energetic thew-crack sound of heavy blasters.
__ __ __


The Great Temple, Lessu

“Sacred Goddess vouchsafe and protect our warriors, deliver them from harm and burn the interlopers beneath your bright gaze,” Tyanna said, her arms lifted high. The great temple’s inner ward was closed off to those who were not acolytes, rendering the audience exclusively female, but social reforms had put a strange twist on these ancient laws, her image was projected into the underground halls of the great city and the city’s surface.

“With the meditation of our hearts we call on you Kika’lekki to turn your face toward us and grant your resolve to your children who battle the foe,” she intoned, as a cantor-priest she was charged with leading prayers while other more senior priests performed secret rituals. She was not a true believer, not as some of her sisters were, to her it was a matter of caste and duty to honour the goddess and to do duties and make offerings.

But she knew equally well that her words were being heard across the planet, they were being broadcast by loudspeakers at the front lines. The enemy had come to Ryloth, thinking to bring harm to her people, for that she hated them. But she knew as well that many faltered, they were used to the galaxy grinding them underfoot; to stand and fight raiders and invaders, this was a courage her people had only recently acquired.

She offered prayers in her mind to the Star Gods; this was a syncreticism that wasn’t actually banned, for her people had never believed that Kika’lekki and her avatars and projections were the only source of divinity – you could not have the history that her people did and believe you were chosen for a special destiny – but those gods, if gods they were, she knew existed.

Send us your warriors, she thought, within her mind, as she prayed for the Goddess, in whom she half believed, to send her own far less tangible divine blessings.
__ __ __


Gidrim, A Galaxy Far Away
The Unblooded was surrounded as he woke by an armature that kept him upright like an antediluvian space rocket, it was made of metal bracings, and reinforced with tubes and power cables as well as data lines that connected his warform with the chamber surrounding him. Scurrying like the ground-crew, scarabs skittered across the armature as it disconnected, cables and lines disconnecting and falling loose as his frame unlocked, moving imperceptibly as his mind took up residence in it once more.

He flexed his hands and reached out toward the stone doors of this burial chamber, making the sign of opening. The doors slid open soundlessly, and before him the antechamber began to light itself, wan illumination flowing. It had been years since he had walked abroad, for he greatly preferred his organic form, his peaceform, and for some time he had rejected the imprecations and pleas of the Great Civilization’s military to resume his war form, and the title of Nemesor.

He let his sensorium run in full organic form, of course, he had not changed so much as to be comfortable with the war form, and kept his image the same as his organic form in the augmentations that their kind shared. When he looked at another necron, he saw their faces, he preferred it that way.

“My trusty companion,” he said, his words echoing out, “let us to the marshalling chamber, we must to Ryloth go with all haste,” he said; he moved with a fluid grace, his hands slipping to the double-bladed staff of light displayed with his other weapons. He twirled the rod of command as he walked, a cloak of jade green plates that adorned his form parting around it as he carried it under his arm, the sign of opening passing by his form.

The companion he spoke to did not reply, silently inclining his head; as much as his general had a penchant for speaking in the ancient style and speaking. His companion had a longer history in the military service of the reborn Great Civilization, holding the title of First Blade of Civilization.

The crypt in which their war-forms rested opened into a hypostyle hall where soldiery were congregating, necron sentinels, the newest replacement for the underpowered warrior combat forms, and immortals, their shock-troop brethren. Corpse-guardians stood alongside them as they emerged, and the Unblooded spoke. “Soldiers!” he said, “I will give no great explanation of our work today; this is a simple task, we are tasked with the defence of a world of our people,” to him there was no difference between the people of the protectorate and the Great Civilization’s own citizens, who made up a small portion of the population of Ryloth, “they fight to defend their world even now. Will we let them stand alone?”

The question resounded from the gold adorned ceiling of the hall, his enhanced augmitters reverberating his words from the ceiling as the fortification’s systems broadcast it to other marshalling halls.

The response was one word, echoed back to him far louder.
__ __ __


The Aklan Pass, Sunward of Lessu

The proton torpedoes hit with a pulse of atomic ruptures, explosions bright enough to blind anyone looking at them unshielded even at significant altitudes, had the shield generating AT-SG vehicles not protected the Compact troops in the Pass, they would have been flash-fried instantly even half a mile distant as the proton torpedoes fired from the X-wings struck their targets. Other explosions had caused avalanches; what these did to the terrain around the enemy hovercraft was not fit for such a word, instead the mesas and mountainsides splintered through, rolling down in great ground-quakes, the facing sides of the mountains were fused to glass and the fire-balls of the titanic overpressure explosions lasted twenty seconds each.

The Juggernauts up the pass rolled into battle, firing their own atomic-grade proton munitions into the firestorm, rockets that passed out of the friendly shields generated by the AT-SGs and hurtled along the pass with shrieking sounds in waves, detonating in smaller explosions as their dialable proton munitions were used to focus fire on enemy vehicles.

These weren’t the only munitions though, more precise aiming was often more effective in killing vehicles than atomic munitions, and the firepower that was poured out included precision munitions dropped from Y-wings, as well as rocket-fire and artillery from the ground.

Everything about the first phase of the battle was intended to destroy the enemy’s ability to manouver, to force them to dismount, to destroy or cripple vehicles, and to draw them into the battle.
"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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Godular
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Godular » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:45 pm

A shriek of pain races across the mindlink as several hovercraft sacrifice themselves to protect the ranks behind. Three Ascendants succumb within moments as their respective vehicles fall under the fires of creation, taking their associated hosts with them. The remainder hold their associated orders together and assess the situation with the few moments they have been bought. The fore is subject to an assault by defending forces that have established defensive fields and bulwarks of materiel to disrupt a counterassault by fractal guns. Ordinance was being dispensed with considerable fury from the sky. A challenge had been made --it seemed-- to force them to unload their troops or risk losing them as the carriers eventually succumbed to the onslaught. Truly a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't scenario, as it essentially amounted to deciding whether one wanted their vanguard to die on the ground or in the hold.

The action plan is immediately agreed upon.




Many kilometers distant, the Ascension Raider hovering over the nearest beachhead directs its nose towards the conflict, and auxiliary generators whine under the strain as they are pushed into overdrive.

Ion ordinance authorized. Saturation fire authorized. Commence on mark. Mark.

Those twi'leks being shepherded onto the portal platforms draw their eyes upward at the sudden deafening roar and flashes of green brilliance as the raider just above them sends wave after wave of torpedoes into the distance, each wave disappearing over the horizon within the span of an eyeblink. Covering the distance between the beachhead and the beleaguered hovercraft within the span of several seconds, they also keep relatively close to the ground and in loose formations until they note their targets.

Veering off towards their selected targets, the torpedoes reveal themselves not to be such at all, but drones of a sort. Fully armored and shielded, they engage defending fightercraft and ground forces with equal fury, and direct beams of ionized plasma at both, seeking to disrupt the ground force's shields and to disable the fightercraft. Though initially small in number, they are reinforced continually by fresh launches from the distant Raider. Curiously though, they seem to have no regard for already-launched munitions from the defenders, and the assault on the invading force continues roughly unabated.

One after another, the gravimetric signals indicating the vectorgrav fields of the hovercraft wink out under the relentless barrage. Return fire slackens proportionally to the reduction in gravimetric signatures. Eventually, after what seems like an eternity but could not have been more than a few minutes, none remain.

The drones continue their attack however, their numbers swiftly escalating in spite of any anti-air resistance the defenders can muster.

When given a choice between failure by one means and failure by another... respond with more than was bargained for.

The sections of canyon walls to either side of the defenders blast inwards as concussive blasts complete the drillwork facilitated by streams of fractal fire. Small arm fractal fire leaps forth from the newly opened cave entrances as the first of the hovercraft surge forth, directing their own cannons against nearby armored vehicles. Dust and sand slough off of the upper edge of the hovercrafts' shielding, and they join the battle in earnest well within the defensive perimeter. Beneath the hovercraft, many humanoid forms pile forth as a humanoid stampede.

They used the cover of the terrain to unload the soldiers.

The foot soldiers of the Ascension stream out of the hole at a flat run, shooting at defending soldiers or major support structures for the artillery that had been pounding the areas previously assumed to be containing the halted Ascension force. Nothing was aimed at the shield generators, however. In fact, the drones break off almost immediately after this new attack begins, focusing instead on bringing down defending fightercraft and any more proton torpedos that might be in the area.

Why waste good cover?




I am surprised you permitted us to employ this tactic.

You might be our servants, but we would be foolish to treat you as expendable assets. Besides, we need to get as much data as possible while we can. We've no idea how long it will be until their reinforcements arrive, and it behooves us then to employ as many options as we can think of while we have the luxury of contemplating them.

We approach thirty-thousand samples. How many do we need to consider the primary objective complete?

The lower limit was achieved once we had five thousand. You have already exceeded expectations on that front. Your primary concern is with secondary objectives. Test them, to test yourselves.

Acknowledged.
Last edited by Godular on Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Faction 1: The An'Kazar Control Framework of Godular-- A collective of formerly human bioborgs engaged in a galaxy-spanning reign of terror for as-yet-unknown reasons. (SWG)

Faction 2: The Servants of the True Way of the Will-- A multi-species anti-technology crusade that travels the galaxy in ships brought forth from the power of their own minds. (MWG) (Faction represented in WA)

A 3.1 civilization, according to this Nation Index Thingie

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:28 pm

Between Places

The Unblooded stood on the side of Lhessu city, watching the enemy armies approach as he directed his own forces in defence of the city. The enemy forces were far stronger than they were now, the projection that he viewed was one that was simulated using the best data available and conjecture based on it. He had removed all evidence of chaos beyond residual designs, it was clear that the enemies were not using the STC-derived technologies beloved of chaos forces, for all that chaos forces decreed they embraced a higher science they rarely innovated.

He had conducted a hundred thousand simulations of this battle already within his sensorium, necrons, like many machine warriors, were input-output bound, their cognitive hardware could accelerate far beyond their bodies’ reactions, at least without the artifice of chronometrons. He had the time to prepare mentally as much as physically, his intellect partitioned.

He was conversing with his troops and his ships, as they made the leap to hyperspeed, leaving the Great Wheel behind them as a greyhound leaving a trap, the crescent shapes of their ships distorted out of any recognizable shape as they passed into the inertialess state, great god engines within them blazing with power harvested from the Dragon’s Eye, a megastructure of C’tan design that provided the inordinate power the ships used.

Another part of him observed this while the primary physical body he inhabited, a towering war-form nine feet in height and reinforced with amaranthine weave, a material that impregnated its armour plating with the resilience to survive at the heart of a nucleonic chain reaction, stalked the ship’s corridors.

Part of his mind, the part that would in a human be the muscle memory and proprioception and the myriad other organic senses that governed the body, did not change, but in his self-image, much as a living necrontyr of the older sort, not the reborn race but the heavily cybernetically enhanced original form he had worn in the flesh-time. A foible, uncommon but not so rare as to be unheard of.

The Reborn Necrontyr in their own more lissom forms, with genetic material interwoven from a dozen species giving them a vitality and unfading youth, seemed young to him still. He responded to a query by hiving off a sub-self from the simulation, a self that remembered looking away from the battle and at once speaking to another of his kind, one of those under his command, in a courtyard of one of the distant halls of Gidrim.

“Tarsian,” he said, to the young-seeming woman who was no less ancient than he.

“Commander,” said she.

Tarsian was no organic being, at least not now, her form was a thing of terror. Altered to cast aside the reflections of their diverse people’s discarded and disintegrated genetics, her war form was a weapon in every sense of the word. “What question have you for me?” he asked, holding a glass of phantom chirak, that appeared in the simulated world as he called for its tasted, raising it in gesture to her health.

“It is one that troubles me, I would once have not thought about such things. But these people, these ‘twi’leks,’ what is their worth to the Great Civilization?”

“It is not enough that they wish commonality with us?” he asked. “Fear not, I understand your question. Their culture, it seems natural to attract such assaults; for long they have invited them. Why train them to resist when they would never have done so before? Why race with full array of war to their aid?”

“This is my meaning,” she said, with a gesture of acceptance. “But also, it seems beneath us. Humans and others I can, in time, accept, and accept among us. These people. They have never accomplished any great deeds of science of their own, they have barely begun to tame their world, despite millennia of contact with their galactic culture in the Skyriver galaxy. Why are they important to such as us? Are we so governed by emotion and compassion now that this is what we care for?”

“Is that an ill thing?” the Unblooded wondered. “But, their accomplishments,” he said, “regard.”

The necrontyr architecture of his reception mindspace vanished, replaced with the open plains of Ryloth. In the distance, fortified hilltop settlements with broad windmills could be seen. The star shone in the distance, and in acknowledgement of the image, and the heat it held, the stirring desert breeze, Tarsian lifted her hand; robes of silver shrouding her image-body where a kilt had served before, flecrobes of necrontyr design, common on their own homeworlds in the flesh-time.

“Adjust your visual acuity to the Twi’lek performance index, and tell me what you see.”

“The sun and the sand, the people and their caravans, beasts of the plains.”

“No stars,” he said.

“None,” Tarsian agreed.

“There are no astronomers on Ryloth, or at least there were when this simulation is set,” he said with a gesture to the primitive scene beyond, the pastoral farming on defenced tiers of stonework that hugged the mountains. “Perhaps some rumours come to them from bold ventures who travelled far hence to Night,” he gestured away from the sun, “But no cycle of day and night affects the lives of the people of Ryloth. None have ever seen their three moons but as boulders in the daytime sky. Our Quendin friends would grieve for them.

“Think on the ancient stone calendars of Naogeddon, of Terra and other worlds,” he said, “the purpose that they were built for by people who had not yet learned to join stones with mortar.”

“Agriculture. To set the seasons,” she said, “which of course, they could not do here,” she mused aloud.

“This is so,” the Unblooded said, “the twi’leks seem to be similar to necrontyr, and it is tempting to judge them against our standards, but while their world is no Death World, the challenges it presents to developing civilization are great indeed,” he said, “their people are as old as any in the Skyriver Galaxy, yet for much of its history they lived thus,” he said, “Coruscant was already an ecumenopolis at this time,” he said. “Here, for long aeons, they could not even set the seasons to grow and to reap.

“Their historic accomplishments are humble,” he said, “but it reflects not on them but on their environment. There is no defect within them, and their accommodation of aggression is a cultural trait that in time will vanish; one need not fear the sound of the predator when one knows of fire and the spear; with our advances they will soon lose fear of their neighbours. We will kindle in their culture the fire of our own, as one torch passing to another.”
__ __ __


The Aklan Pass, Sunward of Lessu

Jocen snapped one of the missiles onto the tip of the launcher, the launcher was a low velocity piece but it was designed to achieve a specific end and that meant that this crude design was useful. Leaning into the carbonite barrier he brought the missile to his shoulder and looked down the holographic sight mounted on its side, the HUD of his optics vanishing as he did to avoid clashing, squeezing the trigger, the rocket-motor causing a whoosh of expanding gas that was muted by his enclosing helmet.

The rocket roared through the sky, passing out of the bubble of the shields and sloughing off its outer casing in three equal sized shell components as it reached its target range, and the missile core within burnt out, collapsing away from what was left. The payload extended spindly metallic vanes and twisted its forward section as the wings caused it to sweep down into a glide path as it shot over the landscape of broken stone.

The probe droid was no more intelligent than a seabird at best, but it was far more sensitive than any raptor. As it overflew the enemy positions its continuous broadcast to the Compact Defence Force computers were focussed on uploading as much data as possible; it was likely to be shot or intercepted unlike most probe droids it did little computation about what it was seeing, focussing instead on imaging and relaying what it saw.
__ __ __


The Spice Mines of Kala’uun

“On the wall, on the wall!” the guards called, punctuating their words with blows from the butts of stuncarbines and the powerful neural shocks of goad-sticks flashing with sparks as they pushed the inhabitants of the mine to the walls to assume positions, they were not allowed to stand, though they hardly could in the low natural caverns, placing their hands on the walls ahead of them. Eventually the fettered miners had complied.

“Listen up!” one of the guards demanded, “we have a visitor.”

“Congratulations, prisoners!” the voice would be charming in another context, a tenor with a pleasing command of the language, “I have brought you good news. All of you are hereby released to the authority of the Great Civilization for immediate reassignment.”

Selajara ita Novokh cut a figure in the mines, taller than he needed to be, he moved with an easy command of such environments nonetheless, he had played in underground vaults and caves, and were adapted to the lack of light; in ancient times the rite of Showing Forth had been the treasured occasion when childhood began, when one first saw the sun, close to puberty. This was not so relevant, but he was still as comfortable underground as any twi’lek.

“Some of you are Valla Cheku, some of you are simply criminals, Cartel, Black Sun, offworld slavers, sexual offenders and con artists who prey on the vulnerable, and more besides, none of that matters any more. By order of the Nemesor of the Great Civilization, you are all drafted, effective immediately. This world is being invaded, and you will help defend it,” Sejar said. “You will fight for it,” he added. “Those of you who survive, will be paroled, or if you are no danger to others, may have your sentences reduced. Welcome to the Ryloth Penal Brigade.”

The response was as enthusiastic as he had expected – he had not given them the choice to join for good reason. They knew that they would be unlikely to survive, but it did not matter to Sejar, warm bodies to throw to the invader were what was needed.
__ __ __


The Aklan Pass

The Aklan Pass had become a site of mayhem, and Bryn Anvan found to his surprise he was actually enjoying it. He was a man perched with a blaster rifle behind solid cover and so far feeling like much of the battle was going their way. Drones whipped overhead and ion fire caused the over-shield to flicker like a crude bulb in a child’s science experiment, failing, then re-establishing itself.

For him, the battle was the culmination of all that he had endured and trained, the enclosing helms that all the soldiers wore were more than just protection, they muted the horror of watching his fellows die, though those who fell too the enemy fracture weapons were sprayed in welters of blood and gore they did not scream nor die messily, for the most part, they were simply scattered and that was for all its visual brutality, something that could be easily pushed aside, without linking the dead to names or faces, it was simply meat.

The battle was running much as hoped, for although the enemy were above them they had no shortage of good firing positions and they had done their homework.

That was when he felt it, the shaking of the rock chimney he was stationed on, as something happened far below. It wasn’t him who heard it first, of course. “Sappers! Burrowers!” the call went out. “Quadrant three, brace! They’re coming through.”

That was when he joined up what he was feeling with what he saw below. He moved carefully, dropping to a prone position and holding his rifle to his chin, before moving forward and positioning himself to use the cliff edge for cover, looking down at the crowd that was flowing through the choke point, firing down on their heads. He held the trigger until the barrel was too hot even through the insulating grip, changing power cell after power cell and firing into them as they came.

He dropped grenades until he had none left, grinning in satisfaction at the explosions, the fractal weapons could not easily get him here simply by the quantity of rock between them, of course, as he changed ammunition he rolled back and retreated, repositioning, and watching, firing and putting the rock between himself and the enemy.

Bryn Anvan finally crawled back from the precipice to return to the AT-TE. It was astonishing how quickly one could put hundreds of blasts through a rifle on fully automatic, but with the enemy below charging through a tunnel exit there was a natural choke point, and a position where they could be fired on with ease.

He wasn’t the only one firing at them, two then more AT-TEs fired into the area, and powerful thermal detonators and rail charges were used. It wasn’t all their way though, the oncoming ascendant foot-soldiers had their distinctive weapons, and they worked as well as anti-armour devices as anti-personnel guns, blasting holes in the sides and canopies of the weapons.

Still, the assault was one of fish in a barrel shooting out with lethal weapons, and the entrenchments and security they had there was no shortage of fishermen here.
__ __ __


Duat, Supreme Crownworld of the Great Civilization

Devagni stepped through the portal, and the moment she did, she heard the snap of displacement engine as she was teleported. It was a little stomach turning, and the necron guards who had stepped ahead of her were displaced with her into the situation room built into one of the wide valleys that ran across Duat’s surface. More guards, Triarch Praetorians with their ceremonial rods of covenant saluted her as she passed through their guard.

She had always found ceremony rather ridiculous, and she felt that the exaggerated size of the towering guards that accompanied her made her look rather diminutive, she was no more than a hand-span above five feet, while the Praetorians came to nine feet. Still, it did not bother her, not compared to the burning rage in her heart.

“We are attacked,” she said, as she stepped into the situation room, walking to the table as those within stood, “what is the status of our response?”

It was Telissat who replied. His avatar sat at one corner of the triangular table and he sat down slowly once more, “Our fleet is underway, we estimate it will arrive within the day at the rendezvous point, our Skyriver forces are assembling to join it and we will be able to respond effectively, while ensuring we have a reserve should this be a diversion,” he said.

“What about the ground situation?”

“Local defence forces have engaged the enemy at the Aklan Pass. A minor route on the way to one of the joint capitals,” he said, “they are doing surprisingly well but they will be overwhelmed in at most twenty minutes,” he said. Telissat had been a military AI before he had been elected to the ruling council, and his explanations of the background were as good as any.

“We cannot win?”

“We have enough forces defending the capital our reinforcements are headed there,” he said, “But the Compact Defence Forces intend this as a limited scope engagement, winning in the conventional sense is not the objective.”

“And the enemy?”

“We estimate between forty and seventy thousand twi’leks have been kidnapped thus far, objective unknown but likely more than simple slavery,” he said.

Devagni had been supervising the Fornax Expedition, her arrival here had been delayed, the other Triarch Councillor Axatirno nos Olormaranwe sat at the other corner of the table, “Our own citizens are safe,” he said.

“How do we know that?”

“Soulkeeper implants,” he said, “we have got a full ping sweep on everyone present,” he said.

“Obliging of them, could any be spoofed? That is possible.”

“Not with the skyriver travel protocols, we have been using interstitial nanoscarabs and have a good uptake,” Axatirno said, “they are coded for emergency response, you’ll always get non-takers,” he said, “but those that have them, we could track easily, and it would not be possible to detect them while dormant, obviously until flushed,” he said.

“We had a discussion about that a little while ago,” De Vere, head of the Internal Security Agency, said.

“At least there’s that,” Devagni said, “but I am certain the electorate is still going to be enraged to an unprecedented degree. We need to hit these bastards back, and follow them to where they came from, and kill everyone involved.”

“Yes,” Telissat said, “we also need to talk about policy, we have the Compact Council coming online in five minutes and Legate Eratan.”
Last edited by The Ctan on Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:05 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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