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Gravity Ships and Garden Snips (Intro, attn Auman/Gholgoth)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Caleshan Valkyrie
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Founded: Oct 07, 2004
Civil Rights Lovefest

Gravity Ships and Garden Snips (Intro, attn Auman/Gholgoth)

Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:25 am

She pecked at her breakfast --a simple yet intimately portioned platter of potatoes and various meats to start the day-- knowing she really shouldn't but still working her way out of sleep mode. The lights in her quarters were tuned down, and she saw through the light of the holoscreen alone, playing the morning reports.

"Cala Sippuro Sandrider was summarily defenestrated yesterday after repeated performance complaints by coworkers. He had recently been placed on probation for frivolous expenditures and evasions of scheduled duty. Cala Okhar, who will take the name at harvestwatch, had this to say about his predecessor:"

The holoscreen switched from the reporter to a man who could not be more than 40 starsigns old, who was at that moment working on some kind of heavy pipe rigging. He turned to the camera and said "My thoughts on Cala Sippuro? Seven curses to the wind but that guy's a shitpile. Wait, was? HA! How many twisted ankles was it? Fifty? Dumbshit. Glad he's gone. Who's in charge now? Oh... I gotta call mom! YA HEAR THAT BROTHERS?! I'M CALA NOW!"

A voice in the background replies "Hey! Congratulations! Finally winged Dippy Sippy, huh?"

The screen returned to the reporter, now smirking. "Sippuro, you will apparently not be missed. In other news, prizes and a fully paid eldership were afforded to a newborn girl in the Wavecrashers, as her birth marks the thirty billionth member of the Convocation."

Oh no you don't. No sappy baby pics!

She turned off the holoscreen and the lights automatically brightened up causing a momentary squeal of distress as they were far brighter than just the screen. A knock on the door came almost instantly. "I'm all right," she called back. "Just remind me not to drink that stuff I tried yesterday. Ugh."

She dressed into a functional farming outfit and finished her morning routine before stepping outside. Four others awaited her. Two shields, her dietician, and the keeper of itineraries. All bowed to her as she stepped out, and announced "Cala Gerude." She did a closed-eyed bow in turn then began walking. The four took up positions around her. Having stepped out of the sound-proofed environs of her quarters, even the muted sound of the engines grated on her ears.

"What am I doing today? If you stick me in insemination I'm picking an alternate. That stuff makes me queasy, and I already feel like puking."

"Scratch Archonal Special from the drinking list confirmed," the dietician immediately said, speaking into a barely noticeable earbud.

"It's an easy one today," The keeper replied, as her comment WAS meant for him. "The crew must have taken pity on you after seeing your dancing. Discretionary Duty."

"So I can just hang out on the command deck?"

"If that is where you wish to post."

"Exquisite... I was dancing last night?"

"Best you don't remember."

"Seven curses to the wind... I HATE dancing."




The entire command deck jumped to their feet and bowed as she entered. "Cala!" resounded in the decidedly more metallic room, and she spent a moment clearing her ears out before bowing in turn. "Plainsriders." The two shields took up their standard positions, and the keeper went off elsewhere, leaving just the dietician and the crew to monitor her.

At this point, LandJarl Kraas gestured her over to the main overlook. "Good morning, Cala," He said on her approach. "Morning report: we've five thousand cattle grazing out a space in sector 12, a minor accident led to three fatalities among the swine, so lunch might be heavy today."

"Request for antioxidant-heavy desert confirmed," The dietician pronounced. "Might I suggest strawberry blueberry yoghurt, Cala?"

"Fine, fine." Gerude replied, waving slightly at the dietician. "Anything else, LandJarl?"

"We've been getting some strange acoustic anomalies over the past few hours. They had been getting closer to our position, but stopped at midnight and I didn't want to bother you after... my apologies, Cala."

How bad had her dancing BEEN?

"I hope nobody recorded me. Anyway, acoustic analysis said what?"

"Claimed it was aerial but didn't demonstrate the same profile as a turbine craft. We're having a little difficulty making sense of it if I am honest."

Almost on cue, one of the farseers nearly fell out of his chair in surprise. "CONTACT! Unidentified flying object on direct approach from vector 147, 70 out, speed 50, height 2700 and dropping. It's as big as we are!"

"Confirmed!" Another farseer replied. "Metal and plastic composition, EM profile consistent with fusion power production, and I am getting some crazy readings from under it."

Kraas looked out the main overlook and to the left. "Coming over the mountains. Big bastard. Any messages?"

"Nothing sir!"

"Relay our situation to landcarriers 12 and 18, they're both close enough to provide support in the event a hostile response is needed."

Chatter broke out in the back of the room for a couple minutes, then two new voices joined the Cala and LandJarl at the overlook.

"LandJarl Veerason reporting ready to assist. We see them." "LandJarl Itude reporting ready to assist. We're repositioning to get a clear view. Charging up the rails as a precaution."

Gerude turned to Kraas "Should we also?"

"They're an older model, it takes them longer. We don't sweat the spinup. The Stargun would take a moment, but we've seen nothing exotic from this thing aside from whatever it's doing for propulsion." He turned to the farseers. "Any heat?"

"Only the Fusion Cores. Damn thing might as well be stationary and offline."

Gerude raised her eyebrows. "That is some mighty energy efficiency. I'd like to know what these people are doing viking at us as they are."

"Hopefully not actually viking."

"What are you going to do?"

"Send a hail, then a warning shot most likely. They're making no attempt to establish comms on their own. We've only to exhaust our preliminary assumption that they expect it from us first before we can assume hostility." Kraas walked over to the communications bench and spoke with the skytalkers there.

Gerude was alone at the overlook, and a new voice appeared at the comm panel in front of her. "Landcarrier 13, this is Starwalker 2. We've got an unidentified object on approach to your position." After a quick look at Kraas, who just looked at her and shrugged in a way to suggest he was surprised she was looking at him, she activated the console.

"Starwalker 2, this is Cala Gerude Plainsrider and we've been tracking them. They seem to be ignoring comms."

"Cala Plainsrider! An unexpected pleasure! This is Cala Victus Starwalker. Want me to staple them to the ground?"

"That's a negative, Victus. We've livestock on site."

"Understood, can't lose our beef. Yours is actually the good kind. Let us know if you need further assistance. We'll be in visual for about three more hours."

"Understood."

Kraas rejoined her afterwards, and looked out the massive window onto the rest of the landcarrier. The topside crew were bustling about like angry ants from their vantage, pulling tarps off of certain non-retractable weapon mounts that couldn't otherwise be protected from yesterday's rains. "We'll give them a moment to respond to our hail, then wing one across their bow."

Gerude looked out at the plains around them, focusing in the direction the strange object was coming from. She looked at the grounds, and came to a realization. "Could we get the cows out of the way in that time? It's going to pass right over them. I don't want to know what that strange radiation will do to the herd."

Kraas toggled the comms. "This is Kraas, I need the herders loosed immediately. Get our herd back in."

The Herders were drones of a sort, though they looked like mechanical wolves than anything. They had a continuous track of all the members of their dedicated herd, and had proven indispensable in the farming tribes when they were pitched three convocations ago. Gerude watched a small squadron of grayish shapes dart out from the carrier's base and start shuffling the herd to the side. They already looked anxious at the approaching skyboat.

"They won't get out in time," Gerude worried, looking at her timekeeper.

"Unidentified ship is altering course to match movement of herd!"

"Still no response to hails, sir!"

Kraas turned and spat into a receptacle. "They ARE viking at us! Wing a warning shot at them! Bring up the EW!"

Though muted through the soundproofed glass, the resulting THOOM was still impossibly loud. The shell moved so quickly it had already passed over the offending ship by the time Gerude spotted the shell's trail. The flying ship seemed to duck just as swiftly, then began to angle.

"Unidentified object is redirecting towards us! EM output has increased to 350% original value!" The farseers called.

Kraas thumped his hand on a rail. "They're spinning up! ALL GUNS FULL RELEASE! LET THE SPEARS FLY!"

"Not over the cows!" Gerude cried, but her words went unheeded. She might be tribal leader, but that didn't mean she had absolute authority. Military emergencies defaulted at all times to the relevant onsite commander with specialized training. A Cala was at all times a generalist, to best understand the concerns of their people.

Every single weapons emplacement on the landcarrier reoriented in an instant and opened fire, causing Gerude to struggle for a handhold as the entire landcarrier shuddered under the weight of its own assault. She was caught in the immensely uncomfortable position of having to choose between maintaining balance and losing her hearing. She was about to release her hands to cover her ears when the Dietician handed her a sound-dampening headset. She'd have to remember to ask what his name was later.

The approaching ship seemed surprised by the magnitude of the assault from one landcarrier. The first duck was peremptory, but the trackers had correctly guessed which direction it would try for and it managed to deftly dodge INTO the majority of the barrage. By the time it ducked out a second time, it was visibly on fire and listing.

But it was also firing. Apparently, its guns took longer to bring on line, but were bigger. One of the forward rails went up in a cataclysmic display of fire and ruin, and several other similar displays erupted within moments of each other. A hole appeared in a bulkhead and suddenly the dietician had no head. Now she'd have to remember to get his name for the eulogy. Damn. As the dietician's body collapsed to the ground, screams erupted from the entry hall as others were wounded by smaller caliber rails. Her medical training took over, and she raced down the hall without a word. The shields fell in behind her as she went, grabbing extra first aid kits as from their packs as they ran.




The flying ship managed to clear out a third of the Landcarrier's armament, but in its efforts to focus on one landcarrier, the salvos from the other two Landcarriers went unnoticed until too late. The confluence of two withering onslaughts from the two carriers was sufficient to bring it down, but it landed on top of the latter portion of the herd, taking some five hundred head with it. Mournful mechanical howling sounded out towards the rising sun. Over a hundred crew were lost in the attack, which lasted the better part of fifteen seconds.

"I want people out there NOW," Gerude ordered, more angry about the cows. She felt grief for the people who died, but the anger was for the cows. "Get me survivors, get me hostages if that's what they want to be. I want to know who just tried to vike us. I also want to know how they accomplished that magnificent engineering. It would seem we had something on them, and they had something on us. I would like for the latter to never be a factor again. If anybody needs me, I need to report to the other Calas. This is going to be a storm of the century."

"Understood," Kraas replied. "Cala. Please remember that as the ranking civilian here you are also expected to perform--"

"First contact, yes yes. Let me know if that's going to be necessary."

OOC: now posted with CORRECT nation. This is an intro thread. Open to parties mentioned in title header.
Last edited by The Caleshan Valkyrie on Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
Godulan Puppet #2, RPing as technologically advanced tribal society combined between several groups of ancient arabs and mongols with vikings.

Current Intro RP: Gravity Ships and Garden Snips

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Emperor Pudu » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:17 pm

“They've dropped out of radar contact, sir.” reported the young specialist at the console. “Dropped out? You mean landed?” queried his immidiate superior, the chief of the OI Division aboard the Belisarius-class spy ship Shan Erxian. “Could be sir.” Another black-uniformed smart young man, who happened to look unsettlingly like his fellow, “There were some real weird energy emisisons just prior to her dropping out sir,” The chief turned to look at the second man, “Real weird? Is that what I should put in the report?” A third identical man leaned back and looked over his shoulder at the chief, “Boss, I've archived all contact info, ready to send away.” The chief waved a hand in his direction, “No, keep this tight. Don't need anyone piggybacking on our hard work. I've got to call the Ops Lieutenant.”

Elsewhere aboard the ship Commander Arban had just sat down to his tea. He was accompanied in the officer's wardroom by his steward, a young man inexplicibly named Bat, as well as the ship's First and Second Lieutenants. The two junior officers were picking at a fruit spread on the table, while the young steward was positioned at ease, standing behind his charge. Arban lifted his teacup to his lips to sip, but it was still too hot, “Blasted cooks, always serving me boiling tea,” he muttered, replacing the cup on its saucer. “Sir,” one of the lieutenants said then, before dabbing his cloth napkin at his chin. “Huh, oh,” Arban caught his meaning and dried his own chin whiskers with his napkin. Whiskers may not be the best word for them. It was more like a short, bristly coat of black fur. “Thank you Erdene,” he nodded.

The two lieutenants, though not the steward, shared their commander's unusual trait. From head to toe they were covered in a dense mat of mostly black fur. The Second Lieutenant Erdene, who had spoken, kept his coat sleek and clean, the most well groomed of the three. The First Lieutenant, on the other hand, looked as if he had never taken even a brush to his: it grew wild and tangled about his face and hands and presumably everywhere else as well, bulging as it did against his black uniform. Commander Ardan found himself somewhere between the two, looking as if he had had a neat trim recently but then just rolled out of his berth without bothering to give it a comb for the last two weeks. Genetic abnormalities like these were not uncommon among the ranks of the so-called Citizens, and were tolerated as long as they didn't interfere with the duties of the subject. In this case, the officer's aboard the Shan Erxian were of a clade with one another: identical siblings whose embryo had been artificially divided at in-vitro conception to breed a complete officers compliment of 45 men.

There was a knock at the wardroom door. “Enter,” called out Commander Ardan. It was the armsman stationed at the door who stepped inside, “Sir, Lieutenant Sarnai requests the Commander in the CIC.” Ardan looked down at his hot tea, dismayed. “Bat, see to it that I have a nice, warm, cup of tea when I get back.” The commander then stood and left his subordinates to their breakfast. The CIC was deep in the bowels of the squatly-proportioned ship, far astern of the officer's wardroom. Entering the densely packed compartment, Ardan made his way to the commander's station where Third Lieutenant Sarnai was waiting. “Sir,” he began, “The contact we were tracking dissapeared over land thirteen minutes ago. We have intelligence to suggest it may have been a crash landing.” Ardan pondered this a moment. “Over land you say. Caleshan?” he questioned. “Indeed sir, it seems so. Signals suggest there were at least two of their landships in the vicinity at the time.” Ardan looked down at the contact display on the lieutenant's console, frozen at the moment of last contact, showing the two large land crawlers Sarnai had suggested would be there. “What are the odds of that...” he muttered just loud enough for his Ops Lieutenant to hear.

“What of the drones?” was Ardan's next question. “Sir, one we lost touch with just as the contact entered Caleshan airspace.” Ardan grunted at that setback. “The second, it seems, may have completed it's mision.” The Ops Lieutenant then touched a few keys to bring up a new display, “We had telemetry briefly, it looks like it's being jammed now, though, sir. The drone's position appears to be just where we lost contact with the unidentified object.” Ardan noticed a single flashing contact on the screen, blue for friendly, but accompanied by a little red indicator lit up to show the drone was unable to broadcast or receive from the ship. “Wonderful.” Ardan remarked, “If you can get an instruction through to the drone lets have it dump all the data it has to the comms buoy E5 and cook itself. No more direct transmissions to the ship. If they haven't triangulated our position already, they will soon. No need to antagonize anyone further.” Lieutenant Sarnai stroked the matted fur he had pulled into a short beard on his chin, “Sir, what of the first drone?” Ardan tapped a few keys on the lieutenant's console again, pulling up a wider map of the area. “Expect a warning order on that subject soon. Get the last known position of the drone over to combat systems, aviation division. Let's see if we can get her back.”

Fifteen minutes later in one of the ship's smaller briefing rooms Commander Ardan was joined by a dozen fellows, as well as by his stweard Bat who had brought the commander's tea. Ten men were seated in the room facing the commander, browsing a selection of hastily compiled intelligence in their briefing books. Another man, an officer judging not only from his rank pins but from the coat of black fur that covered his face, stood beside the commander. This lieutenant had woven his fur into dozens of small braids which he deocrated with colored ribbons. The final man was the only one in civilian dress, a loose fitting brown knit suit which appeared to hang off him with the same nonchalance that the man adopted in his own posture.

“Alright,” Commander Ardan began, after a satisfying sip of his tea, “This is a recovery mission. You've all seen the maps in your briefing books, we're going in after one of our drones. We're not sure who, if anyone, shot it down, and we won't have photo-recon on the spot until after you're already in the air. That means you'll have to be ready for anything.” The civilian stepped forward then to interject, “But what it doesn't mean is that you'll automatically go in shooting. If we can grab the bot and get back in the air without causing any more of an incident than this already has we'll call it a success.” Ardan nodded, accepting the interruption, “Our colleague here from the Foreign Affairs Bureau is right. We aren't here to start a war.”

The briefing was short and sweet. Ardan covered the objectives of the operation, while Lieutenant Sebsag covered the tactical details and Mr. Topaz, of the Foreign Affairs Bureau, impressed on the assembled soldiers the need to keep this quiet. The capture of a drone could easily provide dangerous leverage to the Caleshan government, which Topaz assured the men was convuluted and infamously difficult to deal with. There was no permanent Pudite representative to these people and it was of paramount importance that the Shan Erxian not become embroiled in a diplomatic incident here. Topaz explained "We're not expecting more than a few coastal tribesmen here. Sebsag," he turned to the officer to lead the party, "In addition to your normal gear you'll find the bird loaded with a selection of trade goods. If you should make contact, and again, I implore you to avoid it if possible, then perhaps you can strike an accord with the natives."

Sebsag acknoweldged this and looked over his men in the room. All were of a clade with one another, and therefore nearly identical, but his eyes settled on one who might serve to stand out from the crowd. "Mr. Altan," who was the team's medic, "I'm appointing you Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary," the lieutenant said jokingly, "You'll haul the good diplomat's gifts." Altan, who wore his shockingly pink hair in serrated rows of gelled spikes, nodded forlornly. The ten armsmen, accompanied by the flamboyantly be-ribboned Lieutenant Sebsag, then made their way to the ship's rear flight deck where a naval rotodyne was idling, ready for takeoff. Commander Ardan and Mr. Topaz had made their way up to the compass bridge, an open air platform above the combat bridge on the ship's conning tower where they could witness the takeoff of the mission crew.

They observed presently the rotodyne take off and race away to the west. She would stay low and fly fast and hopefully be in and out before anyone was the wiser. “Now all that remains is the question of the second drone.” Topaz observed casually, once the rotodyne had dissapeared over the horizon. “They'll pull her off the gravship's hull as soon as they find her. What's your contingency there, captain?” Commander Ardan sipped at his tea, freshly provided by Bat, who stood at the rail on the commander's side opposite Topaz, “If we can get a signal to her we can order a self destruct, but I want to get that data out first.” Ardan replied. Topaz nodded sagely, “But if that's not possible. If we can't get a message in or out?” Ardan shook his head then, “Then I'm afraid we may have one of those diplomatic incidents you're so worried about on our hands...”
Last edited by Emperor Pudu on Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:29 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Auman
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Postby Auman » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:31 pm

Colonel Ius took a long, deep, sip of his coffee. It was blazing hot, just the way he liked it. The Strategic Command Center was buzzing, men and women conversed in hushed and urgent tones, focused mostly on their work, but all looking up at the huge screen front and center in the room... It showed the death of the AuGS Hiyawatha.

Ius watched the battle play out again, caught by surveillance satellites in orbit. Hiyawatha was skirting the coast of Caleshan, some backwater shit hole in the back end of nowhere. As good a place as any to shakedown the Remus Army Air Force's first and only gravitic destroyer. She had experienced trouble with her navigational systems, GPS was sporadic at best, so the crew decided to take the risk and use the coast as a landmark. When Captain Landsmark suggested cutting inland to shave some time off the voyage home, Ius okayed it... So the buck stops with him.

Colonel Ius took another scalding sip and checked his watch. He watched the battle once more, the glittering chaff and the sparkling flak reminded him of a Foundation Day party. A few good hits here and there against the enemy landship, but she was outnumbered and outgunned. He could hear the soft foot steps, muffled by the brown and black checkered carpet, behind him. He looked back over his shoulder, saw the billowing black cape and swallowed hard. Air General Nielsen stood next to him, watched the battle play out again and huffed. Ius noticed the Air General's jaw slide forward, the muscles tensing and relaxing like he was already chewing on his ass.

They stood in silence and Ius couldn't tell if it was tense or companionable.

"What do you see?" Nielsen asked, his eyes fixed on the screen.

Ius took another sip, rolling his reply around like they may be the last words he ever said. Nielsen answered for him.

"I see cattle. Protected by heavily armed land cruisers. Take it all in from the beginning, but keep your eye on the cows."

They let the footage cycle again. This time they paid attention to the movements of bovine. The urgency of the cattlemen. The enemy were careful with their fire, at first, not because they were particularly concerned about an international incident... But, so it became apparent to Ius, because they didn't want to risk their beef. All told, 282 men and women killed over steaks and hamburger.

"Neat." Said Ius, astonished. He raised the cup to his lips again.

"You're fine, Corey. Bad luck is all this is. I'd have made the same call. We're going to get through this and these fucking savages?" Nielsen cuffed Ius on the shoulder, "Overlord has sent down the third, seventh and eighteenth strike groups to settle their hash. They're going to pay for this."
Last edited by Auman on Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Caleshan Valkyrie
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Founded: Oct 07, 2004
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:51 am

Cala Gerude watched as several shields helped pry away a slab of metal while the engineers cut wires. They pulled a man from the wreckage, but he immediately swung on one of the engineers, knocking him out cold before being dropped by cattle prods. The shields stood over the unconscious survivor while the engineers tended their own.

"Brig that one!" she called out to them. "If he's healthy enough to fight he's healthy enough to stew."

"Cala Commands!" was their reply. The shields picked the survivor up by the various limbs and hauled him off, substantially less comfortably than with wounded survivors or those who didn't fight. She turned to look at the remainder of the rescue and recovery operation, as well as the intelligence-gathering.

Flames still licked at portions of the wreckage, but were diminishing by the moment. She'd authorized the use of the herders as winterwolves once they'd gotten the cattle back under control. What she had just witnessed was but a small microcosm of the greater whole, as several other rescue efforts had thus far brought out 14 wounded, 2 cooperative, 4 swingers, and one shooter who ended up wounded himself when a shield snapped his wrist. Guns are meant to be used at range, not in the presence of six people in arms' reach who all knew how to grab-and-twist with lightning speed. The rest of the wreckage was being addressed by pulling bits and pieces of machinery out and fawning over them with cameras and detectors, in an effort to derive function from form.

One cluster of engineers caught her eye, however. A slab of hull appeared to have something attached to it that was not supposed to be. Kraas was cursing up a storm, but when he saw Gerude looking back at him, he waved her over.

As she arrived, he bowed and started right up. "There's a third party here. This is some kind of spy drone, notice the hull shape? We looked back on the farseer footage and it took us a while but we managed to locate it in the mess. It attached just before we brought up EW and I'm now glad we still have that EW up. But that's not the worst takeaway."

"There are two parties out there with ships like these?" Gerude asked.

"No, Cala... there was a second drone. Once we saw how to spot one, we found the other immediately. It was flying overhead, and it's ridden off towards the north."

"Wait... it's going over us NOW?"

"Still not the worst takaway."

"How could it be worse?"

"Finding this?" Kraas pointed at the drone. "Dumb fucking luck. We weren't even looking. Same for that other drone. We've never thought to LOOK. Anywhere! It's never even OCCURRED to us that the folks nearby have anything like that. How long do you think they've had free reign to stare down on us like the Starwalkers do?"

The walls fell. "Oh. Shit. All of our misdirection efforts were just a one-dimensional facade... they've had us pinned to a tree for years and we've not known. This... this is a bloody catastrophe. Great, now I gotta walk back and address the Calas again. They will not like this."




"None of us are blameless in this!" Cala Windham Hawkeye called amidst the fingerpointing. "This was hubris on all our parts. Victus, did you even turn your scopes to the rest of the planet?"

"We looked around just after this session was called for. I regret to inform that no, we didn't see any of that stuff. There are space ladders out here. Now that we know there might be other people, we're seeing craft whizzing from surface to orbit and back with utter impunity. But beforehand... couldn't be arsed. Priorities. Oh, there was another ship on the far side of the mountains the freaky ship came from. It launched those drones."

Windham nodded. "We've all been struck by a combination of oversight and hubris the likes of which we'll never see again, because this just became our unveiling day. They already know about our landcarriers, we have to presume they know of our other surface facilities. The burrows might retain their integrity but that only matters with stuff we've developed since the last convocation."

Cala Granses Wavecrasher shuddered. "They've seen all that stuff at our meetings?"

"We must presume if they can navigate over our territory then they might know where we meet to exchange ideas. Luckily most of that takes place underground, but the movement of materiel is a different matter entirely."

The other Calas mumbled amongst themselves. Several voices rose. "Hawkeye's right. This is our unveiling."

Gerude shook her head at the implications. The unveiling was for when their people were going to expand out into the world. Now it looked more like a 'taking the mask off'. It made the idea rather disenchanting, given the circumstances.

"The vote must be unanimous!"

"In favor?" Arms clenched before the chest of every Cala. Gerude made a similar gesture and the deed was done. No more pretending to hide.

"Unveiling passes," Windham announced as the motion-bringer. With a smirk he said "Look out world, here we come. Hope we don't get mud on your carpet."

"What of the drone still flying over our territory?" Cala Jurg Gravedigger asked. Gerude never did understand why the mining specialists focused so much on burial themes. She'd have thought that would have been a detriment to morale.

"We're staring at it," Victus replied, "and the little ship that's just been sent out to recover it by that one boat I mentioned. They'll be coming over our territory in an hour, so maybe we should take the chance to have a thing?"

Windham nodded. "I'll let one of my ships make the invitation. They'll be more reluctant to refuse I think. Plus, I think I know a bit of their language, so we have a headstart on that."

Gerude pinged for attention. "What about my ships? I'm going to be days repairing this thing, and now I'm not so sure they were unable to get the word out. We might be dealing with an angry fleet soon."

Victus smiled. "Want me to staple THEM to the ground?"

"That might actually be necessary."

"That drone you found," Windham was focused on Gerude now. "Did it have anything strange on it too?"

"Turbined craft, stealth composites, some ECM. Nothing new."

"See if you can have that drone brought to my meeting site. I'll keep your crew apprised of the location when it comes. For now, just send it to Hawkeye 43."

"Oh. So that's why you say those other guys won't refuse."

43 was one of the Hawkeye space launch platforms, fully three times the size of a normal carrier and proportionally armed. Only the Starwalkers matched them on the number of platforms fielded, but only because they had built nothing other than those things. The Hawkeyes had manufacturing and research down to an art, and enjoyed a great degree of influence because of their contributions. If anyone could be seen as an actual leader of the Caleshan, it was Windham Hawkeye.

And Gerude was a higher seniority Cala. Funny how things worked out.




The low-flying aircraft sent from the Pudite vessel went relatively uncontacted until the end of its run, as directly in its path stood one of the largest damn landcarriers one might have ever seen, with all guns tracking them. A simple message arose with a map showing a specific location and the words 'land here, call drone'.
Godulan Puppet #2, RPing as technologically advanced tribal society combined between several groups of ancient arabs and mongols with vikings.

Current Intro RP: Gravity Ships and Garden Snips

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Emperor Pudu
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Founded: Aug 24, 2007
Father Knows Best State

Postby Emperor Pudu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:31 pm

The little Sea Starling rotodyne that Lieutenant Sebsag's party had embarked upon was presently cruising at about two-hundred kilometers an hour, making the wind rushing past the open door gunners a serious gale. The craft was painted in a sky blue color, except for the nose area where a gratuitously slobbering mouth was drawn with a tongue lolling out to one side over rows of unnaturally pointed teeth. The word 'Nasty' was painted on the side of the craft just aft of the drawing, evidently it's name. Sebsag sat with his headset on listening in to the pilots chatter from one of the dozen jump seats in the cabin of the bird. The Sea Starling had been designed to carry just six passengers, but the Starlings in Pudite service had been modified to fit the unique conditions of their cargo. The average height of the armsmen in Sebsag's team was four-foot-ten, which meant that at five-foot-six the Lieutenant stood nearly a head taller than the rest. Citizen's whose destiny was the armed forces were selected for smaller than average size, and thus consumed less food and could cram more bodies into their aircraft and armored vehicles.

When the abrupt message slipped over the comms the co-pilot turned back to acknowledge Sebsag had gotten the gist. “We're also picking up a structure at bearing 225 on the navigational radar. A big one, right in our path." The pilot then added, "Could be a large barn, or a grain silo?” The co-pilot indicated the relevant screen to the lieutenant. Sebsag glanced at the contact display before speaking, now slowly and deliberately, “That's no barn,” he muttered, “It's a land ship.”

“Well,” Sebsag continued unperturbed, “Looks like we can toss avoidance out the window. Bring us up a couple hundred meters and see if the search radar can't find any drones loitering in the area. It would be embarrassing to admit we don't have control of the thing, as they've just busted us flying in here to get her back.” The drone had been out of contact with the ship for some time, though the Nasty had on one of her hardpoints a laser set that could beam a message to the drone if they got it in their line of sight. “In the mean time,” Sebsag continued, “Better make course adjustments toward that landing zone,” the lieutenant then turned to look at Armsman Altan, whose headset was doing serious damage to his intricately styled hair, “Ambassador!” he called over the intercom, “Better get ready for your first posting!”

At her speed the Nasty would arrive at the map designated position in a matter of minutes. A brief acknowledgment burst was transmitted back over the radio at the same frequency the little gunship had received her instructions, and a second message was bounced off one of the offshore comms buoys for the Shan Erxian to pick up indicating they were going in for a landing at the invitation of some locals. Sebsag could only wonder what kind of aneurism this would cause the diplomat Topaz to suffer.

“Do we have anything from the photo-recon yet?” Sebsag asked. “Yes sir,” the pilot replied, “the satellites passed over the spot we last saw the drone about twenty minutes ago, but there was no indication of ground activity. They also didn't see the drone.” The lieutenant tugged on one of his braided locks of fur and ribbon, as he did when he was thinking hard. “And the search radar, do we have any contacts?” The pilots indicated again where the rotodyne's own search radar was diligently classifying the flocks of birds the extraordinarily noisy craft was spooking for miles around as it passed. “Nothing yet sir, by the looks of it,” came the reply from the cockpit. “Looks like we're going in empty handed.” came Sebsag's reply.

The Nasty arrived at the indicated coordinates quickly and did one circle at low speed above the landing site before coming in to disembark her crew. The rotodyne set down, though her dual rotors were still spinning at an idling speed when the armsmen finally jumped out and took up positions. Lieutenant Sebsag took the lead, followed closely by Armsman Altan, who was loaded down with not only his own gear but a duffel bag filled with the gifts provided by the Foreign Affairs Bureau. A thought struck Sebsag then and he turned to his appointed envoy, “Altan, I think we had better take a look at these gifts before we try and impress anyone here, no telling how patronizing Foreign Affairs was feeling today...”

The young armsman dutifully went to one knee and swung the duffel bag off his shoulder to the ground, where it produced a conspicuous clanking of glass. He opened it up delicately and quickly rooted around through the assembled contents. “Looks like someone raided a galley, sir.” he replied, holding up a couple of bottles of rum and nodding down at some brown-paper wrapped hams and a few cartons of cigarettes. “There's some more stuff,” he produced a pouch of gold coins, crowns as they were called, the currency of the realm back home. “And this.” he held up a CD player, headset, and a pair of discs in jewel cases where in permanent marker was scrawled 'The Nisi 42 – Beach Party Beats' and 'Now That's What We Call Patriotism vol. 5'. Both albums featured the electro-pop stylings of one or more government-sponsored idol groups. They were popular at home, though their patriotic lyrics may not translate well overseas, and neither indeed would their language.

“Spectacular.” Sebsag groaned. “Say, pop open one of those cartons and toss me a pack while we wait.”

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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:59 pm

Almost immediately upon the curiously-attired vehicle’s landing, two Valkyries leapt forth from the top of the enormous landcarrier seeming little more as dots in comparison to the armored beast from whence they emerged. They covered the distance to the landing swiftly, but slowed to a more respectful speed shortly before arrival.

“No sign of vector change on the drone, Cala.” Windham’s keeper of itineraries said. “Weapons continue to track, and it will leave our range in twelve minutes.”

“Thank you, Bael. Let us get to the bottom of this mess.”

The two Valkyries disgorged four people each: Windham, two Keepers, three shields, and two hunters. The shields and hunters wore a curious body armor, with various mechanical servos and plates over an existing body armor that gleamed black in the light. Their weapons were peacebound.

Windham strode up to the strangers, rifling through their own bag.

He looked towards the most ostentatiously dressed among them and pointed at the drone before speaking in heavily accented words. “You cannot call drone? Is your drone?”
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Postby Emporer Pudu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:25 pm

For a moment Sebsag considered denying that the drone was theirs, but settled on the truth. "Aye. Is my drone." He had lit one of the Crusader brand cigarettes in the interim and was puffing idly on it now, "You don't mind if I?" he held up the cigarette, but then carried on regardless, "I am Fourth Lieutenant Dorman Sebsag of the Imperial Reconnaissance Agency," he stepped forward to extend a furry hand to the leader of the welcoming party. Sebsag had no idea how much of his language these people were likely to speak, but hopefully they had heard of handshakes.

"That drone was disabled and is off course, we apologize for the inadvertant breach of your airspace," he paused, rethinking his words, "Drone. Broken. We catch. Apologies." he tried again, speaking slowly. Still looking unsure, he gestured with his off hand at Altan behind him with the bag.

The armsman stepped forward and held the bag open for their hosts to see, "We have gifts," he began unsteadily, "Food and drink. Smokes. Music." As Altan spoke Sebsag took a drag on his cigarette conspicuously, "Oh this?" he held it up again, "Good faith, not poisoned, all that."

"If you can allow us to chase that drone down we can get it back under control and we will get out of your hair." Sebsag explained, still adopting the slow cadence of someone speaking to a stranger of another language.

The soldiers behind Sebsag and Altan watched this curious display with interest. They were also sure to keep an eye on the guards the locals had brought with them. The Reconnaissance Agency armsmen were dressed in simple black fatigues with black balaclavas pulled over their heads which concealed the fact that all ten of them looked like a set of identical siblings. Altan was the only one of the rank and file who had forgone the mask, in his role as ambassador. The troops carried small caliber personal defense weapons in a resting position and most carried holstered pistols as well, while the two still aboard the Nasty were careful to keep their heavy machine gun barrels pointed non-threateningly at the ground.

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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:39 pm

Windham looked at the overly furred hand for a moment, then tentatively took it, but went elbow to elbow. “Cala Windham Hawkeye,” (it sounded like Vind-Home) “Cala is, how you say... chief of tribe.”

Releasing the arm, he added: “Take bearsarker idea too literally. Need get thing from pocket, no mind?” He did not seem to indicate any concern for the cigar, as there was a warm but brisk wind rolling over these substantially greener plains.

He pulled out a small tube with a smaller tube beside it. He grabbed the smaller tube and pulled, revealing a paper-thin computer display. He thumbed through a few images, then turned it around to show the hairy one footage of the second drone, just after it had been pulled from the wreck. “Also yours? Found while looking for survivors on viking ship.”
Last edited by The Caleshan Valkyrie on Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Emporer Pudu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:08 pm

The Lieutenant gave the Cala a vigorous handshake in what was apparently the local custom. When one's face was covered by an inch of thick bristly hair facial expressions had to be much more exaggerated to be read by an observer and so Sebsag plastered the widest smile he could on his face. "Is honor to meet great chief of Caleshan."

His expression only twitched a little bit, hopefully not enough to tell, when Windham showed him the image of the second drone. "That drone malfunction too! Many thank for find!" Sebsag insisted as earnestly as he could. This was an awkward suprise.

One hundred and fifty kilometers to the north east, aboard the Shan Erxian, Commander Ardan waited tensely for news from Lieutenant Sebsag, briskly waving away the loyal Bat who had proffered another cup of tea. Their last message, broadcast from the relay buoy some thirty kilometers behind him, had informed Ardan that Sebsag was walking into a meeting with the Caleshan. "Gods, I've sent the wrong shore party..." he quietly lamented to himself. The lieutenant on watch in the CIC then broke his reverie to report "Sir, we've lost the friendly identifier from drone two. Still transmitting last instructions, frequencies appear to remain jammed." Ardan dismayed at the news. It appeared the drone had been destroyed or otherwise was now permanently beyond his electronic reach. "Stop transmitting." he ordered finally. "No more signals from the ship. Keep your ears up."
Last edited by Emporer Pudu on Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:20 pm

“Drone not malfunction, ship did. Lose altitude for some reason.” Windham waved his hands about as if indicating confusion. “Big mystery. Found explosive device on drone, deactivated and stowed in big box made of... how you say... lead?”

He looked at the bag the others were picking through. His only comment was “Strange gear selection,” then he continued. “Can have back if answer questions. Flown over us before?”
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Postby Emporer Pudu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:27 pm

"Drone have no weapon. Not cause malfunction." Sebsag hesitated before answering the rest of the Cala's questions. The explosive charge must have been the primer to ignite the jet fuel in a self destruct sequence. So the commander hadn't been able to get through to the drone. Even now these foreigners could be picking through her innards, hungry for their intel.

"We never fly over before." he finally answered, "Come from far away, very far." He gestured at the horizon and made dipping motions with his arms to indicate 'over'.

At the Cala's reference to the duffel bag, Sebsag added "Is gift for great chief from Emperor Pudu. Fine meats. Strong drinks." The lieutenant motioned for Altan to pass the bag over to the chief or one of his warriors.
Last edited by Emporer Pudu on Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:47 pm

The Cala reached for the rum first, popping it open and giving a sniff. “Not bad.” He handed the bottles over to one man behind him, who promptly inserted some sort of sensor and began rattling off things in gibberish. The Cala’s eyes rolled and he said something back in gibberish, at which point the soldiers around him bowed. One of the soldiers stepped up and took the duffel with a nod.

“Have reason to doubt claim, but damage done. Can catch drone for you if want. Shoot or grab?”

“Who own viking ship?”
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Postby Emperor Pudu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:05 pm

At the Cala's handling of the rum Sebsag relaxed a bit, "Shen Almaru Rum," he explained, "Very strong." The lieutenant wasn't lying about that, at least from his perspective. The brown drink had been produced under contract for the military specifically and one benefit of the heavily modified Citizen biology was that their body absorbed the alcohol much faster. It took very little for a Citizen to get drunk, and took correspondingly less time for them to sober back up as well. Both were a benefit when the consumer was in the soldiering profession. To an unaltered human metabolism, however, the rum would come off a bit weak.

Sebsag was growing increasingly unsure how many of the Cala's questions he should answer at this point. He decided to address the immidiate concern first, tugging on some of his fur braids nervously as he weighed the situation in his mind. "You shoot drone. We collect wreckage, tell you what we know of mystery ship? Make trade?"
Last edited by Emperor Pudu on Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:13 pm

Windham seemed at first to not have heard the furry ambassador’s offer, for he seemed suddenly focused on his paper-thin computer. Then, with a strangely theatrical flourish, he tapped a part of the screen.

Three muted THOOM’s sounded in unison from the landcarrier as it let fly from separate railguns, but the drone was already swatted from the sky by the time the sound reached them.

“Reasonable proposal. Who viking ship?”
Last edited by The Caleshan Valkyrie on Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Emperor Pudu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:23 pm

Sebsag arched his head back to watch the trails of smoke and debris track toward the ground. "You return drone in box as well?" he sought to clarify, "Then we have deal."

The attack would have triggered the drone's identifier beacon if it still functioned and would, Sebsag hoped, lead the Nasty right to her black box. These drones were hardened to resist just such attacks, given their clandestine purpose, so hopefully what data the drone had gathered they would be able to recover.

"Raider ship belong to big navy. We follow long way. We get drones back and my chief can give you many details." Sebsag extended his arm again, for a handshake, "And a drink to seal the deal!" he added emphatically.
Last edited by Emperor Pudu on Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:34 pm

Windham snapped his computer closed, then took the arm more assertively this time before stepping back. “Will put in box, yes.”

“Want tell them not try vike us second time. Want tell all not try viking us. Cows or cities, no viking. Take extreme exception.”

“Want wait here until boxes brought?”
Last edited by The Caleshan Valkyrie on Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Emperor Pudu » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:43 pm

Again Sebsag found himself unconsciously tugging at his braids. "Well." he paused, imagining that the word for rotodyne wasn't one his host would be familiar with, "Bird cannot carry drone and men same time. Need bigger bird." Sebsag explained hesitantly.

"We wait, take pieces of that drone," he pointed at the column of smoke in the distance, "And we come back for drone in box later. My chief gives you information on big ship then." His cigarette burned down to the filter, Sebsag stubbed it out on his boot and stuffed it into a pocket. He lit a second one for the wait.

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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:53 pm

Windham shrugged. “We hold second drone here until fatbird arrives. Should not be long before engineers get first box ready. I go back home for dinner, but have cameras locked. You need something you wave. You need better computers, we talk later.”

With that he returned to his respective Valkyrie alongside his retinue. Within moments the pudites were left to themselves and the distinct feeling of being stared at from twenty different directions.
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Postby Auman » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:33 pm

The AuEF Crowstorm was sailing in sight of the Caleshan mainland. She was an expeditionary frigate, meant to range far from the armada and act as eyes and ears, identify threats and neutralize them before they could cause trouble. Today, she would serve in this capacity... In a manner of speaking, anyway.

Commander Hikaru stood by the guard rail on the helicopter landing deck and watched the shoreline through a pair of binoculars, no doubt a man on the other side was peering back at him. Given the tenacity of these people, he was honestly quite surprised this ship was still floating. What little he knew of the Caleshan, there was one undeniable fact about them that was already understood quite well... They were quick on the trigger.

"What was the dumbest thing you have ever paid money for?" Hikaru overheard one of the flight mechanics ask a pilot.

"Well, I don't think it was dumb, but it is the first thing that comes to mind... I once paid someone ten bucks for a high five." The Pilot said. The flight mechanic looked confused.

"What is that? A grilled sandwich or something?" Interrupted a boatswain. The pilot smirked and eyed the two of them up like he was running some kind of a scam. "Like a real high five? Man, if I knew you could make that kind of cash off of them I would have considered a different career." Said the flight mechanic.

The pilot shrugged his shoulders, "It was a really crisp high five. Worth every penny, if you ask me. It didn't sting or anything... I mean, I felt it after, but it was satisfying."

"You're pulling my leg," The flight mechanic guffawed, "Even an outdoor pizza oven is a smarter investment."

"In my day," interrupted the boatswain, "High fives, handshakes and fist bumps were a test of strength, the triumph of will and the power of the human spirit!"

Hikaru tuned them out and went back to scanning the terrain. Sandy, arid and not quite Mediterranean... But pleasant, picturesque even. Under different circumstances, he wouldn't mind taking a vacation here. He checked his wristwatch, it was time to get ready. Hikaru went belowdecks where he was met by the ship's executive officer, Commander Pighin. The XO handed him a black tactical vest and one of those compressed air life vests.

"Put those on." Pighin said with an abruptness in his tone of voice that left no doubts. Hikaru complied and slid the vest over his navy blue uniform.

"We're giving you four hours once you hit the beach to make contact and then you're back onboard. The SCC may have ordered us to take you on, but I don't have to like it... Understand?" Pighin jabbed a stern finger at Hikaru.

Nobody ever wanted a member of the diplomatic corps on their ship. It was bad luck. Hikaru never argued, he simply smiled and nodded along, letting whoever it was to blow off steam and then he got on with the mission. He was, after all, a sailor... Just like everyone else in the fleet.

"You have my duck and one of my men, most importantly. Come back with both of them and we won't have to talk to each other ever again."

Hikaru nodded and climbed aboard the rubber hulled inflatable boat. A crew pushed them off the well deck into the ocean. In time, the Crowstorm grew small as the shore grew nearer. There was a small town nearby. Someone from there was bound to make contact with them. They had been broadcasting a message over an open channel, warning the Caleshan that an envoy would be arriving soon at a very specific set of coordinates and a very specific time. The boat ran aground and Hikaru pulled it away from the greedy clutches of the outgoing tide, with the help of a marine named Rohdes.

Hikaru reached into his assault pack, which he was leaving in the boat and grabbed a satellite phone as well as a couple of spare batteries and stuffed them into his jacket pockets. Rohdes snapped back the slide on his sidearm, clambering a round. Hikaru did the same, but he knew that if it came down to a gunfight, they were already dead. They stood there on the sandy beach, waiting... When, as an after thought, Hikaru grabbed a long, tangled, cord of driftwood and drew a line in the sand.
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Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:57 pm

Getting the survivors of the crash to talk had been difficult when nobody knew what the other was saying. Thankfully all the Calas knew if you wanted it done proper, you call a Wavecrasher to the scene. Second in influence only to the Hawkeyes, the Wavecrashers specialized in naval matters... including the last two hundred years of making them look like a bunch of backwards tribal nomads. The day between then and now had been infinitely more productive than the first.

Those days were gone now, noted for the boondoggle it was thanks to the most over-equipped cattle rustling attempt ever.

Now the veil was off, and one could almost feel the change. Everyone stood taller, walked more purposefully, and just seemed more eager... maybe even hungry. Disconcerting thought, that one.

Cala Granses Wavecrasher watched recordings of several interviews as he flew, his Earbud supplying the sound he did not have over the roar of the Valkyrie’s quad turbines. As they approached the meeting point, he sent shooing messages to the outriders and had them take up position half a mile out in either direction.

The Valkyrie landed a respectful distance away from the diplomat and his guardian, and shortly after he stood before him, Keeper of Itineraries, Dietician, and two Shields standing behind him about ten feet. When he spoke, it was with only a slight accent.

“Interesting. The other party that came for their property kept their weapons down. You’re practically ready for us to come hooting over yon hill with scimitars held high. But then, first impressions make all the difference. I am Cala Granses (it sounded like Grawn-Cease) Wavecrasher, might I offer you a ride? We have some people that belong to you.”
Last edited by The Caleshan Valkyrie on Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Emperor Pudu » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:22 pm

The crew and compliment of the Nasty were lounging about, the late afternoon sun was now burning down on them and most had taken to the rotodyne to get out of the direct rays. Lieutenant Sebsag, on the other hand, had removed his shirt and coat and spread them over the ground where we was now basking, his black fur coat seen to radiate heat when his armsmen glanced over to him. He had bundled his jacket up into a pillow beneath his head and he was still smoking, though he had passed the pack around to the armsmen and some were seen to have lit up, or at least be holding a Crusader behind the ear. On the far side of the Nasty from the Caleshan landship a couple of soldiers were tossing rocks at trees, others watched their sport with a bored indifference.

They had been waiting here for about an hour after the departure of the Cala. At first the landship had left them uneasy, though now they were just waiting for its towering shadow to finally reach them and get them out of this sun. Sebsag had sent a short message back to the Shan Erxian explaining the situation and requesting a larger bird be dispatched to retrieve the intact drone. About half an hour ago a team of Caleshan engineers had arrived under guard to deliver a crate of shredded bits of the drone they had shot down earlier, which was now stowed securely on the Nasty.

The unusual encounter had left them all a bit bewildered as to what was coming next. Armsman Altan was comiserating with a pair of fellow soldiers aboard the rotodyne, "Tribesmen my ass, how the hell did command expect this to go?" he muttered. "I had hoped there would be more horses. And swords." another added. "Horsemen and swords we can deal with. This!" Altan raised a hand at the landship, "What the fuck is this thing!" The third man, who was popping open a sealed ration pack at the moment, looked up, "That Foreign Bureau man is gonna have his work cut out for him with this lot." There was a chorus of grumblings, "He's gonna have a lot to answer for, more like." Altan ammended the man's statement.

"Quiet your complaining!" Lieutenant Sebsag called back to them from his reclining post, "You're not the ones who are going to have to debrief the commander on this debacle anyway!" He punctuated his statement with a long puff on the cigarette, blowing a cloud of thin smoke that drifted back through the compartment of the Nasty. Altan stood up then, stretched, and began to wander the landing site. "Everyone staying hydrated?" he would ask, passing little knots of men engaged in their own pursuits. "They didn't have to take the gifts if they didn't want them," he would say under his breath, recalling the bottles of rum and baked hams that were undoubtedly taken out of one of the crew galleys aboard the ship.

"I said stow that mouth!" Sebsag called again, catching a whiff of the discontent on the air. "There ain't no diplomatic immunity here armsman!" Despite his threatening tone the lieutenant still did not stir from his repose. A crackle from the Nasty's radio then broke the tension. One of the pilots threw a headset on and took down the message.

"Sir!" he called out to Sebsag, "The Terrible is about three klicks out!" The pilot was referring to the second rotodyne that was based aboard the Shan Erxian, this one a larger Sea Gannet bird. Some of the men craned their necks to peer at the horizon, where the tiny dot should be visible already. They would also certainly hear the craft before they saw it: rotodynes were notoriously loud.

The lieutenant gave a groan as he hauled himself to his feet, "Alright, let's shape up. Clear that deck!" He called over to the pair of malcontented armsmen enjoying an early dinner of their day rations aboard the Nasty. Sebsag then hastily threw on his shirt and jacket, though he wasn't as quick to button up. Soon enough the wide body of the Terrible was visible against the eastern sky.

The big bird came in for a landing between the Nasty and the landship. Sebsag walked forward to greet them, unbottoned jacket and shirt flailing behind him in the downdraft, while he waved his arm at the Caleshan cameras undoubtedly watching. As if the arrival of the 'fatbird' wouldn't be enough to motivate them to action.

Hopping down from the Sea Gannet, which was about twice as large as the Sea Starling of Sebsag's party, was First Lieutenant Batuk. Three sailors hopped down behind him, wearing the rank of boatswain's mate. Batuk was perhaps the only officer who wore his body hair more wildly than Sebsag; it was thick, matted and crusted with sea salt all over. "Ahoy!" he called out to Sebsag, and the two met and shook hands. "Welcome to Caleshan!" Sebsag roared back over the deafening noise of the rotors overhead and the engine behind.

The First Lieutenant was then led by Sebsag over toward the landship. "Look at that mother..." Batuk marveled at the steel beast. "I expect they'll be out any minute with our cargo," Sebsag added, "They haven't taken their eyes off us since we arrived." Batuk grunted and looked over the big vehicle again, this time with a more skeptical eye. "So you've met them, then?" Batuk asked finally. "Aye." Sebsag answered, "They're a funny folk. Came out in power armor and waving little screens all over at me." Sebsag pantomimed the Cala unrolling his little computer display. "Huh." Batuk shrugged, "I expected horses and swords..."

The Caleshan did indeed emerge shortly after, a larger team this time, including a few more guards. They flew down aboard one of their Valkyrie craft and wheeled their cargo into the hands of Batuk's sailors. The men, who were of the deck crew of the Shan Erxian, secured it quickly and efficiently in the body of the Terrible. Batuk watched the Caleshan with curiosity, though they hardly spoke and not at all a language he understood.

When they had finally departed Batuk turned back to Sebsag, "Definitely an interesting lot." he observed casually. "No argument there." Sebsag replied. After checking his cargo was secure, and as Sebsag was loading his men back into the Nasty, the two met again between the birds. "So." Sebsag began, the two men again choosing the landship as the focus of their gaze, "Think we'll ever be this close to one of those big bastards again?" Batuk shook his head slowly, looking over the bristling weaponry and stark grey steel armor plating, "Not if we know what we're doing."

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Auman
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Auman » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:53 am

Hikaru smiled, the guy standing in front of him was hard to read. Trust, so they say, is the most important ingredient in a healthy relationship and they didn't have enough between them to fill a thimble. They stared at each other wordlessly for what was only a moment, but what felt like an eternity. Granses gestured towards his chopper with a slight flourish and then Hikaru held up a firm hand, declining.

If they went anywhere with Granses, they were as good as hostages themselves. If they left the beach, Crowstorm would lay into that sleepy little village just up the stream with everything they had. Contingencies, never leave home with out them.

"Mr. Granses, I am Commander Hikaru. I have been authorized by the diplomatic corps to speak on behalf of the Stratocracy of Remus, in the name of the Overlord, Alexis Villa... Who, I may expressly point out, is very displeased with you. I'm here to collect any survivors from the wreck of the Hiyawatha, the gravship you destroyed with no reasonable cause. Once the men and women have been safely returned to us in good health, there will be further dialogue."

Hikaru pulled the satellite phone out of his jacket and tossed it over the line he had drawn in the sand. Then he did the same thing with the batteries.

"There's a sleeve attached to the sat phone, inside are instructions on how to contact us. You return our people, maybe I'll start to trust you... Maybe we can talk some more. Maybe we can stop a war from breaking out. Anything is possible. But before we can do anything else, I need the survivors here in two hours, or we have nothing. Do you understand?"

Do you understand?

The words floated between them like motes of dust in a shaft of sunlight.
Last edited by Auman on Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Caleshan Valkyrie
Diplomat
 
Posts: 526
Founded: Oct 07, 2004
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:17 pm

Day after the battle, early morning.

Naval Intelligence Officer Temujin sat in the interrogation room fiddling with his datasheet, running through records of the previous day's happenings and inserting notes here and there. His fingers danced on the sheet with remarkable speed, though sometimes he would stop and reverse the footage before letting it repeat, making more notations. Two shields stood behind him at the table, their rifles readied but barrels down. Across from him, a platter of sliced apples and pears rested in front of an empty chair, and beyond that was an open bulkhead door.

He was still fiddling with certain pieces of footage when a rubber-on-steel clonk behind him and to either side announced the arrival of a lone man dressed in otherwise unmarked white clothing. Upon looking up, he gave a simple smile and gestured towards the desk. "Hello! Would you please take a seat? Are you still hungry? We have reason to believe genetic modification is practiced by many northlanders. So we cannot presume whether the nutrition you have been provided has been sufficient to meet your needs."

The man shook his head and took the offered seat without a sound. He looked for a moment as though her were deep in thought, trying to find the correct thing to say, or how to say it without cursing, then spoke: "Where are we?"

Temujin replied immediately: "A quarantine ward."

"Ah, okay..." said the man in white, pinching the bridge of his nose. "And where is that? What geographical space are we currently inhabiting?"

"You are presently located within the Tribal Lands of the Caleshan Valkyrie."

"Because a few hours ago, we were flying home over jackall nowhere when you guys jumped us. So before you kill me, it would be nice to know where I'm dying."

"A landcarrier is hardly capable of jumping, amusing though the thought might be. We have no intent to kill you."

"It's uh... It's a turn of phrase. I'm going to level with you, chief. I have never heard of Caleshan before in my entire life."

Temujin gave a slight nod and the tiniest of shrugs. "This is to be expected. We did not wish to be known. This incident has shown us that was a rather silly proposition."

"Yeah, this incident has been pretty silly, hasn't it?" Came the man's reply, previous emotional flaring rising another notch. "How many of my brothers and sisters made it out? How of them did you kill? And where are my smokes?"

Temujin's voice remained even as he spoke. "Twenty six were recovered from the crash site. Seventeen were injured, including yourself at the time though only superficially. Five were uninjured and four were injured in the process of subdual. The remainder died on impact or during the exchange. What are smokes?"

"Alright, let's do some back of the napkin mathematics right now," the man replied, making a show of doing some mental math. "Two hundred and eighty two people were on my ship and you can account for twenty six that are still alive. What in the world possessed you to shoot us down?" As Temujin began to reply, he added: "I mean, what are we doing here, man? What do you want?"

"The arrival of your ship in our airspace was the first recorded instance of a foreign power doing so. I should like to show you some footage of the incident from our end, to eliminate any confusion before I ask any further questions." Temujin's voice remained calm.

"Well hey, I like movies. Let's see it."

Temujin pressed a button on his datasheet, and camera footage of the Plainsrider Carrier Command Center began playing, showing Cala Gerude and LandJarl Kraas exchanging pleasantries and going over reports before one of the lower officers called out. Beneath the footage, translations of every comment played out, color coded to indicate source. After the lower officer's explanation, the footage switched to external camera views zoomed in on the flying vessel as it crested the mountains and flew towards them. The remainder of the scene played out, including the cannonfire and the demise of the ship upon which the man had previously served. Once Kraas began receiving damage reports, Temujin terminated the footage.

He had not taken his eyes off of the other man while he watched, and it seemed like whatever bravado had possessed him had deflated entirely, to the point that his eyes were noticeably wet by the end of the footage. He slumped in his chair.

"We tried to hail you twice, and you did not respond. We fired a warning shot, and you spun up your guns. Those guns killed one hundred and fifteen Plainsriders before your ship was brought down."

"Well obviously someone didnt get the message." It was difficult to tell if the man's voice was edging towards sobbing or rage. Best to assume both.

"Very apparently," Temujin replied. "Your uniform was different from the others when we recovered you from the crash, are we correct in presuming you to be a superior officer?"

The man's head snapped up, and he looked at Temujin with a mechanical expression. "Lieutenant Junior Class, Anthony Vahn Hought, serial number 1985-2224-2921, Remus Army Air Force."

"Thank you. Why did our hails go ignored?"

Lieutenant Hought continued his mechanical stare, and did not reply.

"Ah. If that is the end of our conversation, you are invited to return to your room. You will not be disturbed until such time as we begin arranging for your return."

The man sat in the chair for a moment, then stood up and left the room. When he had returned to his own room, Temujin toggled the door closed behind him and reset the quarantine ward. He then continued the process with the other crew. It proceeded in much the same manner.




Two days after the battle, midafternoon.

"Do you understand?" Hikaru said after flipping the phone across the line.

Cala Granses Wavecrasher stood looking at the fellow impassively. Slowly, he bent down and picked the phone out of the sand. He flipped the phone back over the line at Hikaru's feet.

"We can have them brought here in half an hour. We were planning on returning them to you for the asking. You should be able to bring more boats over in that time, yes? Maybe you should use that device to make the request. Do you understand?"

Granses debated whether throwing the man's own heavy wording at him would indicate what he thought of the lengthy speech he had just received. He decided in the end that he didn't actually care.
Last edited by The Caleshan Valkyrie on Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Godulan Puppet #2, RPing as technologically advanced tribal society combined between several groups of ancient arabs and mongols with vikings.

Current Intro RP: Gravity Ships and Garden Snips

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Emperor Pudu
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Posts: 157
Founded: Aug 24, 2007
Father Knows Best State

Postby Emperor Pudu » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:50 pm

The commander's office aboard the Shan Erxian was small and spartan, but that suited Ardan just fine. He was pacing in menacingly small circles around his hapless Fourth Lieutenant Sebsag, who stood with his eyes to the front in the center of the room, as the junior officer gave his report on the shore action undertaken earlier that day. At the conclusion of Sebsag's tale, and with a copy of the written report on his desk, Commander Ardan addressed his subordinate, “So you ordered the shooting down of our own drone?”

Sebsag nodded uncomfortably and was clearing his throat to respond when Ardan continued, “You know what would happen if I were to lose this ship? I would appear before a court-martial.” Ardan had ceased his pacing and was standing about nintey degrees to Sebsag's port side. The lieutenant replied, “It seemed the preferrable option at the time.” Ardan scoffed, “I read the report. So this 'Cala Windham' had offered either to recover this drone or to shoot it down?”

“The word he used was grab, sir.” Sebsag replied, “I was not eager to learn what that entailed. I also thought at that point we would recover the wreckage ourselves, and keep the craft out of their hands.”

Commander Ardan nodded along, “They already had one of the craft in their hands. The weapons department tells me they stripped the thing down to the bones, before putting it back together real nice.” Ardan wrung his hands in consternation at the thought of it.

“It was a difficult decision, sir. I only hope I made the right choice.” Sebsag concluded. Ardan was only a few feet away in the cramped confines of his office, eyes set hard on his lieutenant. “Your mission was to recover that drone. Instead you were intercepted, and the drone was destroyed.” Those were the facts of it, and Sebsag had laid it out just as it had happened in the report. “Yes sir.” was his only reply to his commander.

“But,” Ardan said then, “You did return with the drone, or at least most of it.” His voice had softened then, “As well as arranging the immidiate return of the second drone, which they already had in their possession when you arrived.” Once again Sebsag replied only with “Yes sir.” At this Ardan finally smiled. “Well damnit Seb, looks like we've gotten all we wanted!” he clapped his identical brother, one of nearly four dozen of them, on the back and made his way over to the desk, “I think that calls for a drink. Care to join me in a toast?”

For a third time the lieutenant replied “Yes sir” though this time with considerably more good humor, “And sir?” Sebsag added then, “May I arrange an additional liquor ration for the armsmen as well?” He took the glass that Ardan offered to him, “Of course,” the commander replied, raising his glass, “Ever upward.”

Two days later the leading officers of the Shan Erxian were convened in the wardroom at the invitation of their commander. Ardan's young steward Bat had laid out light foods and was taking the drink orders of the assembled lieutenants when the commander himself arrived. He took a seat at the head of the table and greeted his men, “Thank you for joining me." Ardan reached for a platter and began assembling a collection of meats, cheeses and spread on flatbreads which he piled on his plate before him, "I do hope you've helped yourselves to the food." At which point he popped one of his creations into his mouth whole.

The others had indeed picked at the selection and now at the mention of it a few more forays were made. First Lieutenant Batuk sliced an apple on his plate and picked the pieces up with his knife; Erdene had ordered a glass of wine from the steward and sipped contentedly; Sarnai was spreading soft cheese on hard crackers while Sebsag was busy slicing up a spiced sausage and washing it down with dark beer.

His officers now comfortable Ardan launched into business, "I've brought you here to hear your thoughts on our mission going forward.” Bat placed a cup of steaming hot tea in front of Ardan which elicited no response, “Everyone, we will be joined presently by our Foreign Affairs attache, Topaz, who has an idea he'd like to present to us. Before that, however, I would like to make a sober assessment of the situation with your input.”

Second Lieutenant Erdene was the first to take the invitation to speak, “The drones, whose recovery was our primary mission, are locked up safe and although it's all but certain the Valks cloned every bit of useful data on 'em, they are also in possession of the physical craft the drones were sent to surveil. Our speed and trajectory recordings and particle emission data aren't exactly a major intelligence coup for them at this point.”

“Our mission,” insisted Batuk defiantly, “Was to shadow the Varathron leg of the Hiyawatha's shakedown cruise. The ship is still in Varathron. Our mission is not over, as I see it.” Batuk was the ship's First Lieutenant, his primary duty was leading the boatswains in the deck seamanship of the Shan Erxian, though the chiefs of the engineering and supply departments also reported to him. He was a hard, practical man with a seaman's eye for the short-term forcast.

“What more can we do, though?” Sebsag asked then, “They aren't exactly fond of visitors, I can tell you that much.” Fourth Lieutenant Sebsag was the Master-At-Arms and led the ship's security personnel. He was a tough and implaccable fighter, but when he was out of danger he was the most relaxed and carefree of his brothers. Destined for his role since childhood as they all were, Sebsag had received hormone treatments his entire life which had altered his endocrinal reactions such that when his brothers might feel stress and anxiety his body coaxed him into a feeling of mild euphoria, only intensified by trauma.

“We wait, and we watch.” Lieutenant Sarnai answered. “Just yesterday we received word from one of our fishing ships to the south of here that a Reman Navy frigate was in their vicinity. They're too far for us to pick up ourselves, but this ship will likely be the first of many.” The quiet and inquisitive Lieutenant Sarnai was chief of the Operations department. Most signalmen were trained to find two confirmations of a potential contact before it was good; Sarnai preferred three.

“All the more reason to get out of the way.” Erdene retorted. “If this turns into a shooting match we don't know who might see us as a potential target.” Second Lieutenant Erdene was the executive officer in charge of the Combat and Weapon Systems departments which on this ship amounted to some pintle-mounted machine guns to repel boarders, a few active countermeasures, and a pair of CIWS guns. The armament suited the attitude of the man, or perhaps it was the other way around, but in either case Erdene was a cautious and pragmatic officer who took the security of the ship to be his primary function aboard.

“They do both have their reasons to want us gone.” Sarnai acknowledged, “But Remus is an ally, by tradition at least, and the Caleshan already know not to fear us. I think there is yet much valuable intelligence to be gained here. As Lieutenant Batuk pointed out, the Hiyawatha is still in Varathron.”

“Perhaps we can get more out of them?” Commander Ardan asked then. Batuk nodded at the idea; Sebsag shook his head; Erdene looked away, as if performing some mental calculus; it was Sarnai who replied, “Precisely my thought. We traded a few cartons of cigarettes for two drones! What will they trade for...” Sarnai appeared to trail off, gesticulating for some effect.

“An airlift from Throneport loaded with three hundred tons of gold? A bulk carrier diverted from Khiraz carrying a quarter million tons of raw copper? Just some ideas,” unnoticed by all the enigmatic Mr. Topaz had entered the wardroom and had been watching the proceedings. “They have something we want," he emphasized, "and before they realize just how valuable it is we need to find out what they want. If all they asked for was the presumed order of battle of a strike group of the Remus navy, we can find a way to make sure they get that information.”

“A strike group,” Lieutenant Erdene's eyes widened, “So they do want a war.”

“Three, in fact. Intelligence suggests they left harbors and anchorages yesterday morning.” Topaz replied. “It does look like they mean to threaten war at the very least. But they're coming all the way down from Remus, if we act quickly perhaps we can still turn some advantage.”

“So what do you propose?” Batuk asked, impatient with the talk and speculation.

“We shall need to arrange another meeting, quite simply." Topaz said, taking a seat at the table and picking an orange out of a basket of fruit before him. "Sebsag, you did say in your report that we would offer them intelligence?” he asked, peeling the orange.

The lieutenant nodded, “Aye sir, promised them a meeting with my chief,” he looked to Ardan.

"Very good." Topaz nodded before popping a slice of orange into his mouth. Sebsag looked from Topaz to Ardan and back. When the Foreign Affairs man had swallowed, he continued "I say we find out just what we can get out of them, and just how much it's going to cost. As you know, our resources are... considerable."

"I'm up for another face to face," Sebsag began, "But you said it yourself the other day, these are not a simple people to work with. The one I met said he was a cheif, but how many cheifs are there?"

"More than enough." was the reply from Topaz. "And who's to say which of them will reap the benefits of this boon that has fallen into their lap? How will they decide? Especially once we've offered one or two of them significant rewards for any technology they may recover?"

Lieutenants Batuk and Sarnai were in favor of the plan, with Erdene dissenting and Sebsag not registering an opinion. The matter seemingly decided, the commander clapped both hands before him with an air of finality, “Well then. What are we waiting for?”

In the next hour a message was broadcast on the same frequencies that Cala Windham had used to hail the Nasty two days before, broadcast powerfully from the ship itself. The strangers from the sea wanted another meeting, and this time they would bring much more than some refreshments to the table. In preparation a small number of Pudite-flagged merchant ships in the area would also be contacted. They were to begin making their way toward the Caleshan territory with orders to hold in international waters for further instructions.

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The Caleshan Valkyrie
Diplomat
 
Posts: 526
Founded: Oct 07, 2004
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby The Caleshan Valkyrie » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:28 pm

The Caleshan had been viked, and had defeated the viker. To them, spoils rules applied.

The Caleshan understood exactly what had fallen into their proverbial lap, and once the unveiling had been formally established scientists and engineers from all over the Tribelands descended upon the wreck like a swarm of locusts. Wanderers such as the Caleshan were used to getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible, because they never wanted to be in the same place from one day to the next. Even though the warring among the tribes had been settled long ago, there was still the instinctive 'Who's coming for us? We must not let them catch us!' that drove their actions.

And so, by the beginning of the second day after the incident, in what could only be termed a monumental feat of engineering in its own right, the entirety of the hull had been stripped and the interior pared down to a scattering of non-essential fragments and the internal framework. The tent city was dismantled as quickly as it had risen, and the most important parts had been stowed onto a group of Sleipnir Heavy Cargo Haulers which had begun trekking off to the convocation site, well to the northeast.

Cala Gerude watched the last of the immense cargo haulers leave, just as she had watched them arrive. Granting the other tribes the privilege of participating in this endeavor had earned her tribe enormous concessions across the board, and she thought that well made up for the loss of the five hundred head of cattle that the crash had taken with it. Travel rights, convocation concessions, trade preferences... she'd authorized a light-duty day for the crew of her landcarrier to celebrate, and they worked it to the fullest extent. They were usually pretty good about doing the same turn, so she hoped she wouldn't have to get up early tomorrow.

She woke up early anyway. Checking her itinerary, she saw that the crew had voted a light-duty day for her as well, and was JUST about to settle back in to sleep when Kraas' voice piped in on the intercom. "Begging your pardon, Cala. We are being hailed."

"Bwuh?" Was all she could manage in the tangle of confusion and indignation caused by having one's expectations dashed.

"We think the third party in that fight wants to speak with us."

"Does... Temujin know what they're saying?"

A momentary pause. "Yes. He understands them, and says they want to barter."

"Temujin is empowered. He has my authority in dealing with this situation with the understanding that I want to know what exactly it is they want and how much they're willing to give for it. No other decisions are to be made, nor can be made without input from the convocation."

Another voice piped in, and must have been Temujin considering the phrasing. "Orders acknowledged. Have a nice morning, Cala Gerude."




The pudites received a somewhat short but polite response in the form of a return transmission from the landcarrier. "This is Naval Intelligence Officer Temujin, speaking on behalf of Cala Gerude Plainsrider. We are familiar with your last known location and believe that a landing points at the provided coordinates are within easy reach of your transport vehicles. We shall await your presence there in approximately five hours. Thank you and looking forward to your arrival."
Godulan Puppet #2, RPing as technologically advanced tribal society combined between several groups of ancient arabs and mongols with vikings.

Current Intro RP: Gravity Ships and Garden Snips

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